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Year in review. I completed 70 games, the lowest in a few years. But there were many 60 hour, and longer, epics that I played this year. My Xbox year in review page says I played 1460 hours! That puts me in the top 5% in the world. The boss of Xbox, Phil Spencer logged 900 hours in comparison. The most played game was SnowRunner at 130 hours. I was also in the top 5% for gamerscore earnt and achievements unlocked. I have a feeling the hours that Xbox logs are not accurate and represent all activities when logged in, not just physically playing a game. I also would have logged at least 400 hours on Playstation, I played a lot of long games there too.

The CMOT GOTY awards for 2023, for games played and finished only. The only gaming awards that matter.

AAA/AA Awards

1. Lies of P (XSX)- Awesome effort for a studios first game. Picks up the slack in a year where I didn't play a From Soft game. Obviously this must also be my best release of 2023.
2. Wo Long Fallen Dynasty (XSX)
3. SnowRunner (XSX) A simulator at number 3!
4. Hardspace Shipbreaker (XSX)
5. Death Stranding Directors Cut (PS5)
6. NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139... (PS5)
7. NiOh 2 (PS5)
8. Hogwarts Legacy (XSX)
9. Redfall (XSX)- yes for real, I really enjoyed it
10.Ghostwire Tokyo (XSX)

Small Studio/Indie

1. Bramble The Mountain King (XSX)- also best Indie release of 2023.
2. Paradise Killer (XSX)
3. Pentiment (XSX)- I know it cheating, it's from an Xbox owned studio...but it's just by a fraction of Obsidian as a small side project and feels more like it belongs in this section.
4. Jusant (XSX)
5. Gris (XSX)
6. The Bookwalker: Thief of Tales (XSX)
7. The Legend of Tianding (XSX)
8. Chained Echoes (XSX)
9. Signalis (XSX)
10Venba (XSX)

Best Graphics and artstyle combination:

1. Lies of P
2. Bramble The Mountain King

Best soundtrack:

- Tied between Lies of P and Bramble the Mountain King.

Biggest dissapointments:

1. Ghost of Tsushima- not terrible but I really expected to love this game, but it was too forced- forced to stealth when I didn't want to, forced to do what my babysitter NPC says to do. Every quest is just "follow the footprints in the mud until ambushed".

2. Horizon Forbidden West- Similar to Ghost of Tsushima. I believe Sony first party game have become too infected by the dreaded "Box Tickers". They play safe to a fault.

Worst game finished:

Final Fantasy Remake Intergrade- too scripted, too linear, too many cutscenes too many explosions. Nothing made any sense. Felt like a 60 hour Call of Duty campaign.
Post edited January 01, 2024 by CMOT70
I finished a good few. The most notable one(s) I think are the Megaman games (1-10). Pointer: try to finish each game as close together as you can. They re-use many of the same mechanics, so it's a good idea to finish the next title while the one you just cleared is still fresh in your mind. I finished Shinobi 3 and the first Ninja Gaiden game last week.
The only thing to add to my pitiful list was I completed Phatom Liberty
mechmouse: The only thing to add to my pitiful list was I completed Phatom Liberty
Well ... I stopped finishing games, too, around midyear.

@all: You did a fine job. I enjoyed reading what you did. Thank you all for the read. See you around in the 2024 thread.

(21.01.2023) Please Fix The Road (GoG) - 12h 38m [Achievements 10/10] - rating 7,3
I was looking for a game for a sunday afternoon. Didn't check on the game itself too much, decided to go with one "how long to beat" estimate. This was way off. I don't see a way one can "beat" it in 2 hours. It has 120 puzzles. It was okay. I would have prefered less levels.

(29.01.2023) Astro's Playroom (PS5) - 4h [Achievements 46/46] - rating 8,0
Got a PS5 for the normal price, while being lucky. I didn't waste my time looking for it for ages. Astro comes pre installed. The little guy did a wonderful job introducing the console. It was fun while it lasted.

(15.02.2023) Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (PS5) - 18h [Achievments 40/40] - rating 8,5
Bought it physically for cheap, while I didn't even own a PS5 (my wife already did have a ps5, though). Played it from start to finish on the highest dificulty level. Since I explored early I got stuck a while on one of the first optional bosses, with barely any additional powers. But i didn't want to leave my experience behind. So I tried for over one hour to beat that thing down. I was happy when I finally did. The game became more easy afterwards. Was quite happy to have chosen the difficulty level. It was totally right for me. In general I enjoyed the game. Did everything on my own. It had about the right amount of playtime.

(25.03.2023) Syberia: The World Before (GoG) - 14h 25m [Achievements 21/30] - rating 7,5
Played it with my wife watching. We actualy think it's not that great, though it's not bad. I just don't get what direction the series is going. Personally I think the story could have worked with a new protagonist better. To me, Syberia 1 is still the best entry in the series.

(02.04.2023) Elder Scrolls Online: Graymoor (PS5) - 137h 04 [Achievements 3/4] - rating 6,0
Now the phase where I tried to keep up with ESO started. Playtime is overal time played my char since the last story chapter/dlc. With whatever what I was doing in parallel. Now onto Graymoor. I did not enjoy it. Thats probably why it didn't keep me up on the game. ESO doesn't need more reimplementation of old stuff. It should be more bold. Though I did and do kind of enjoy the excavations.

(07.04.2023) Elder Scrolls Online: Markath (PS5) - 5h 15m [Achiecments 3/4] - rating 7,0
Playtime is actually just for the last few quests, which you unlock after playing the story of Graymoor. It was better than Graymoor. But that's it.

(16.04.2023) Terra Nil (GoG) - 8h 39m [Map: 100%] - rating 9,0
Played the version ages ago and paid a few bucks afterwards. Because I really did enjoy it. Was happy to see a beefed up version released. Bought it, played it and still enjoyed it. This version is slightly less random and feels a bit easier. It doesn't overstay it's welcome, which is great. Looking at the other ratings, this is my personal GOTY.

(23.04.2023) Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle (PS5) - 43h 55m [Achievements 2/4] - rating 7,0
It's a solid ESO chapter. Nothing more, nothing less. Though I am irritaded, that the map scale is off. It's tiny on the world map but in game scaled bigger than the other maps. I hate stuff like that. Scale should be uniform.

(07.05.2023) Elder Scrolls Online: Firesong (PS5) - 31:55:00 [Achievements 2/2] - rating 7,5
I enjoyed that one. It's a bit better than the average ESO adventure. But now I don't exactly know anymore as of why - before you come asking. ;)

(20.05.2023) Firmament (GoG) - 7h 57m - rating 8,5
I was surprised looking at my rating at the end of the year. Well, I simply do enjoy Cynide's games, I guess. What bothered me about the game: for me, it was way too easy. And the story is nothing worth of note. The finale - well, since you actually don't see a single trace of a living being (you only see some crude machines, that might have been usefull, or not), the unveiled "truth" about the players personality can be true or not.

(29.06.2023) Hero of the Kingdom (GoG) - 4h 04m [Achievements 48/48] - rating 7,5
It's actually casual and quite a nice change of pace. Though it is grindy. Had to repeat quite a few actions to amass enough gold to get everything done.

(02.07.2023) Hero of the Kingdom 2 (GoG) - 5h 51m [Achievements 38/38] - rating 7,5
It's more of the same. The grinding part is still as true. You just look for another way to grind it.

(16.07.2023) A Building Full of Cats (GoG) - 1h 46m [Achievements 23/23] - rating 8,5
Played it togehter with my wife. Fun and casual. We were looking for one cat particualy long.

(13.08.2023) Dr Livingstone, I presume? (GoG) - 7h 42m [Achievements 25/25] - rating 7,0
Played it with my wife watching. She gave the game a 6,5. It's okay, I think. I was willing to replay it a few times until I got all the achievements.

And than I kind of did not finish anything anymore, though playing this and that.

Than came Starfield (XBOX play anywhere version, on PC).
I did sunk a lot of time in it (currently sitting at 281hrs, according to Game Backup Monitor). I visited all 120 star systems, landed where possible and scaned everything. Two planets are not completable because of creatures not spawning. Additionally one is buggy, but doable.

After that I returned doing misc quests and main. Now I am stuck because of a bug in a main mission. After 3 bigger patches they obviously didn't patch anything important (quests, spawning, saves).

Also I had - or at least I did - to turn off all autosave options. Lost one day 7 hours until I realized my game got currupted after quicktravelling extremly fast while building some outpost supply lines. The save-function simply stopped working. With autosaves off, I had less to no save issues, deleting old manual saves and keeping around 10 active manual saves.

Basebuilding is interesting, but other than helping with ressearch kind of pointless. Also there is barely anything to place outside (no stairs, no platforms, limited building options, etc. ...).

The ship editor is nice, but lacks vertical options.

But don't get me wrong. Besides these negatives, I really do enjoy it. It kind of is "my" game. But so was No Mans Sky in it's release version (played on PS4). I am not too happy how NMS evolved, though I am happy about their succes.

And I am not sure what the plans for Starfield are. I would simply wish for more sense of wonder, finally a true volcanic planet, or the chance to enter all water, all ice or gas giants. What I also did like, that there are systems, where not a single trace of civilization is to be found. Hopefully they are not just without man made stuff, because they are going to use it with the/a upcoming DLC.
Post edited January 06, 2024 by kzadur