I am a game developer but also a passionate gamer that is always looking for new game experiences for me to discover, enjoy and learn from. This page is about giving you a glimpse of the games that I have played in 2020 with some quick thoughts of my experience playing through them.
The Last of Us 2
Probably one of the most controversial game so this year Last of Us hit me hard and I felt emotion in a video game that I haven't felt in the long time. The level of mastery of the gameplay, visuals and details oriented features is a sight to behold and I enjoyed it greatly.
I believe it falls short of the first Last of Us in a few places. What made the Last of Us such a powerful for me was to see these characters being in impossible situation of life and death and making tough choices in the hopes to survive another day in this world. LoU2 focus on characters that make wrong choices and let hate takeover themselves. As soon as the player understand that those are wrong choices then they become disconnected from the characters and breaks the immersion. I would have also made Abby's story line the first you experience and discover half way through the game that she kills Joel. Shocking and betraying the player who was learning relate to the new characters.
Overall it is still an amazing game even the story i believe fall short sometimes on Niel and his team I believe was trying to deliver but you have to respect the clear passion and dedication that devs have put into this game
The Last of Us
Even though I have played this game when it came out 7 years ago, I wanted to replay this game and understand what made it such a powerful experience while I was younger.
The game's theme and gameplay is from the start remarkably representative of how the character should feel and act in this world. Everything is aggressive, scarce and every decision you make could mean life or death. This is a story of characters that are put in impossible situation where only determination and brutality being the only way out.
One of my favorite design in this game is its difficulty scaling. It is one of the few games that understands that difficulty does that mean that an enemy should take more hits to be killed. It is about strategic decision and margin for error. Playing this game on very hard, the player can still one shot enemies but you can also dies just as fast. This is a sign that the game is still fair and balanced to not make the player feel frustrated and cheated if they died.
Trails of Cold Steel 2
The first game focuses on building characters and establishing relationship while the second focuses on engaging the characters into a call for action for its overall plot. I enjoyed the game more as it was dynamic in its pacing.
It is clear that this game was made on a very tight schedule as the engine and gameplay stays extremely similar to the first game to the point that 80% of the environments are reused from the original. I found it inter sting to the see the constraints that the team must have had in terms of resources and how they found clever solution to drive the story forward while revisiting existing places and not making the player bored
Trails of Cold Steel 1
The Trails series has been a JRPG series that has gotten a very passionate fan base over the years and I have wanted to take the time play this series to understand what makes it so beloved with its player base.
The game pacing and gameplay feels very similar to the Persona series separating play phases between conversation and relationship building then a dungeon phase. As a gamer I do not believe I completely fit the demography they are targeting and one of the values of these games goes into the detail of the world building and relationship built around huge amount of reading.
What is remarkable though is the commitment that this series has at having all of its games tie in an overarching story that keeps motivated to play the following games