Top 10 Favorite Games After Four Years With KeenGamer

I mentioned last year that my productivity in terms of titles reviewed was fairly low. While I cannot remember the exact number, this past year was pretty low, as well—only twenty games. This would imply that the ten games I cover today will make up a clean half of the games I’ve reviewed between September 30th, 2020 and the same day, 2021. Nevertheless, there’s a solid selection of titles I’ve come across that make up the best games I’ve played in year four of my KeenGamer career.

No personal input from me this time around; life’s been relatively good. Work has been steady and I have no major complaints. If there’s been any reason for the lack of games reviewed, it could just be the increased responsibilities I have now that I work for Keen full-time. That said, I’ve already published a Metroid Dread review since the cutoff and will likely have another review out in the coming days. Off to a good start for next year!

Small and maybe unwarranted note, but I don’t receive review copies for everything I review. Also, since I’ve formally reviewed all games in the following list, I won’t go into substantive detail here.

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Thoughts on AM2R: Another Metroid 2 Remake (v. 1.5)

This could arguably be an “Updated Thoughts” post, given I looked at AM2R already around the time of its release. Though as a technicality, this is version 1.5; back then was version 1.0. It’s different… technically.

Nevertheless, as a quick catch-up, AM2RAnother Metroid 2 Remake—is a fan-made remake of Nintendo’s Metroid II: Return of Samus. It was in development for a billion years and finally released in 2016, then was given a cease and desist notice by Nintendo shortly afterwards. However, as evidenced by its subreddit, development is steadily continuing. Updates to the current package will feature even more content than before and, apparently, will feature a complete graphical overhaul.

It’s been five years since I played this for the first time, and while my impressions were good, I had some reservations. In time, I would come to prefer Nintendo’s official remake in Metroid: Samus Returns. Now, I’m five years older, five years wiser, and five years removed from a fan game that has apparently received some added polish. My Metroid marathon this year wouldn’t be complete without going back to one of the best Metroid fan games ever produced.

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Thoughts on Pokémon Black Version 2

Surprisingly enough, I never played this game as a wee lad! It may have been a case of stubborn cynicism upon their announcement—”Why do these games need a sequel? I’m good with the originals.” Ironically, it wasn’t until much later that I would find out that this title and its White Version 2 counterpart are essentially pseudo-sequels. They take place at a later date in the same region, but it’s not all that necessary to play the originals to fully enjoy them.

Despite being wrong, I still never found the motivation to buy play them before being swept up in more recent Pokémon news/games. Now, thanks to a friend of mine, I was provided a physical copy to try out for the first time. Interspersed between my playthrough of Metroid: Samus Returns, I would learn whether Gen 5 is all that a specific subset of fans promise it to be. That, and whether the original games are a better representation of what this generation has to offer.

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Updated Thoughts on Metroid: Samus Returns

Some may see the title of this article and think, “Wait, updated? When did you ever cover it?” For those unaware, I am also a writer for online gaming publication KeenGamer, which houses many, many reviews for games I’ve covered since 2017. The very first one? Metroid: Samus Returns.

Writing it a couple weeks after its initial release, I had not touched it in the years since. Given Dread is coming in the next couple months, I found it dutiful to go back to pretty much any Metroid title I could get ahold of and re-coat myself in the sweet sci-fi aesthetic that I adore so much. Samus Returns was replayed over the course of late June and early July. Now, I have some re-adjusted things to speak about when it comes to the (currently) newest title in the franchise.

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Updated Thoughts on Metroid Fusion

Last weekend was not great. I had been dealing with the fallout of a certain incident which resulted in a less-than-stellar perception of myself, leaving me in an emotional rut. One nice silver lining, though, was the decision to play through all of Metroid Fusion in one sitting, something I had not done in several years.

After reading my prior review of the game, I’ve decided to update my thoughts on the title. Why? Because holy hell do I not agree with much of what I said before. Plus, I’m an obsessive self-reviser. Five years with no touch-ups on the topic is sure to drive me insane.

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Top 10 Games I’m Looking Forward to After E3 2021

I truly missed E3. After being cancelled last year, 2021 returned with all the lovely game announcements and surprise reveals that I once cherished as a gaming connoisseur. While my tastes and standards have shifted since 2019, I still viewed the Wholesome Direct, Xbox/Bethesda Showcase, and Nintendo Direct in full, and otherwise kept a pulse on the E3 “hype train” on social media.

So many games… I can barely keep my head on straight (not that I could before). Now that most of the celebration is done and gone, what’s there to look forward to? What games am I, specifically, foaming at the mouth to get my hands on? These are the ten games that I’m most looking forward to post E3 2021.

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Updated Thoughts on Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door

A Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door review already exists on this site. Along with it, an extensive amount of posts on its content, via Traveling Thoughts. Even with this amount of information about my thoughts on the series, I couldn’t help but feel the need to clarify further. It seems my quest for constant updates upon further self-reflection will never have me run out of content to post. That, and in hindsight, I believe my prior review on this topic is underdeveloped. I had the Traveling Thoughts, but really, who’s gonna read all that? (I should do another Traveling Thoughts subject soon…)

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Actually, Mortal Kombat’s Direction Is Fine; I’m Just a Nostalgia-Bound Cynic

Back in January of 2019 B.C. (Before COVID), I made a post chronicling my history with Mortal Kombat and how its current direction left me uninterested. Now two and a half years later, with Mortal Kombat 11 released with multiple DLC packages and a new film recently released, I’ve kind of fallen back into the Mortal Kombat vibe. Not enough to play any of the newer games, but to the point where I’m willing to give these new entries the benefit of the doubt. After all, I’m been trying to rid myself of the nostalgia goggles that have been strapped to my face for several years.

The intention of this post is simply that of revision—to update the thoughts I had previously stated and basically dab on my younger, likely more cynical self. For those who were here for the first post, welcome back! To those who weren’t, please feel free to give the link to said article above a click and get familiar with the structure of the post. This will basically be mirroring that, only with a “before and after” style of rebuttal.

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Thoughts on Metroid Prime 2D (Demo 0.1.21.4.1A)

I was made aware of this project’s existence roughly two weeks ago. Seeing a gameplay video that chronicled the entirety of the demo’s length, I was immediately sold on the premise. Metroid Prime, only on a 2D plane, worked on by fans of the franchise who hope to innovate as much as replicate. Apparently, it’s been worked on since 2004(!!!), and the fruits of their labor comes in the form of a 20-30-minute demo. It took me a little while to get around to it, but I’m really glad I did. It ended up being a very encouraging (and very rough) appetizer.

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