Ok. Yesterday I covered games that were ok but not great. I talked about not-platting Dark Souls and Dark Souls III. Now, it’s time to hand out my meaningless and silly awards, but be forewarned–there aren’t many of them this year. This has been a strange year (duh!) for games (oh) because on the surface, there have been a lot of games that have had people talking. Animal Crossing New Horizons (especially important at the beginning of the pandemic); AssCreed Valhalla (fuck Ubisoft. No, seriously. They should have gotten WAY more shit for covering up all the sexual abuse at their company), and; Cyberpunk 2077 (fuck CD Projekt Red as well for being liars about their game and about being ‘for the people’. Also, for all their blatant isms in the game). These are just three of the major games released this year and I have not played any of them. Then there were the social games like Fall Guys, Among Us, and Phasmaphobia, none of which I played, either. I did buy A Mungus, though. I’ve realized that I’m not going to get on the hype train for most games that other people like. There is one glaring exception to that which I’ll get to in a second.
Side Note: I don’t get why people find Phasmaphobia scary to watch. I get why it might be scary to play, but watching it does nothing to me. Then again, watching most scary games being played does nothing to me. Anyway. Whatever. Just a side note.
In the interest of full disclosure. There are three games I’ve flagged for my end-of-the-year awards. Two will be my co-GOTY while the third is an honorable runner up.
The Best Sequel That Faltered In The End But Was Still Worth The Ride
Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?!
I played this game back in early February, which was pre-pandemic. That means I don’t remember much about it because it’s been such a blur. The year, I mean. It’s really hard to believe that 2020 is over. Such a weird and wild ride. I went back and skimmed my first review of CSD3 and it seems like it came from another era. Was there actually a pre-pandemic time? Apparently, there was. Anyway, I played the hell out of this game when it was in Early Access, 100%ing it along the way. I finally learned to rebind the keys, third game into the series, which I used sparingly.
I loved it. I loved the on the road aspect and the planning. What I did not love, sadly, were the food truck attacks. It was great in theory. These attacks that made you have to deal with chaos and stress on your feet! I can see why David Galindo, the dev, came up with this idea, especially in a post-apocalyptic world. In practice, however, I hated it. Part of the joy for me in the game is the rhythm and my ability to plan for the days. Yes, in the other games, there were unexpected things like the health inspector or the romantic diversions, but the former was dealt with by playing the game the same way and the latter you could ignore.
The food truck attacks–there was nothing you could do about them and it would throw off my entire day. Remember, I only accepted perfect days. I know that’s my thing and it didn’t have to be a thing, but that’s the way I rolled. Then there were upgrades you could get that negated the food truck attacks and it took a fair amount of grinding to get to the point where all the attacks were blocked. Honestly, that was the best part of the game because it was difficult enough without the bloody food truck attacks.
I was really happy to play the game and looked forward to it coming out of Early Access so we would get the last chapter. And. *Sigh*. That’s where the game lost me. It should have been great. It really should have been. But…it wasn’t. The gist was *spoilers* I was entered in a food truck competition in an arena. Northernlion and his wife, Kate, were the announcers–which was brilliant. I loved that bit. Anyway, all the food truck attacks were reinstalled and I was very unhappy again. On any given day, two to four attacks were utilized. Some were doable such as taking away two holding stations, but others, such as the decaying freshness of the holding food made it a living hell, especially since I had the upgrades on all the time and this level knocked everything back to no upgrades. There was a day when I had to constantly refresh the holding station foods while serving 9 or 10 customers and I simply couldn’t do it.
It wasn’t fun at that point. I had maybe three or four days I hadn’t done and I couldn’t bear the hours it would take to get them perfectly if at all so I quit. That’s right, I didn’t even finish the game. There have been updates including slowing down the decay factor because I think chubigans (the dev) realized he’d made it too hard, but that was way past the point I quit the game. I want to go back and finish it, but it’s been some time and I’m out of practice. In addition, that last round isn’t fun at all. I’m not mad because it’s an excellent game otherwise even though I did not like it as much as the original, but that last round was too much for me. I still give it an enthusiastic thumbs up for anyone who’s interested in management sims.
I think I’m done for this post. I have a lot to say about my co-GOTY and don’t have the energy to do it.