Reviews Rate the game you finished/retired

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
6,922
16,748
113
Retired


Nice graphics, good gameplay, fun overall, but that's during the first few hours as I found it to get too tedious and grindy for my taste. If they can give more variation in the gameplay/what to do, the sequel could be really good.
 
OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
3,034
9,741
113
Belgium
Finished Chasm


Very decent metroidvania with a procedurally-generated game world, beautiful pixel art and lots of different enemies. There are some RPG-like stats as well, depending on the armor and accessoiries you're wearing. Most of the gameplay elements have been done before in other games tho, so don't expect to be surprised. But for fans of the genre, Chasm is definitely worth playing.

Score: 7.9/10
 

Digoman

Lurking in the Shadows
Dec 21, 2018
683
1,900
93

Mass Effect 3 Legendary Edition

Finally finished the third game.

First of all, it plays very well. Not "for the time" good, just play really well, period. Way better than the second one. It also runs better. Very smooth at 144 fps. Only noticed severe frame drops on the Citadel. The mouse sensitivity was a little high when on zooming on sniper rifles, but I played as a Vanguard zipping around.

As for all the rest... well, it is again basically the same game. If you look at the wiki you will see a little tweak here and there, but is basically unnoticeable. Which is a shame because unlike Mass Effect 2 this one could have used a little more work since it was clearly rushed on release. They could have fixed the Journal, added context and maybe some animations on all the conversations you just overhear, and so on. I also thought the second game was better looking (probably the colors), but that's subjective.

But again, when you are in combat, there is very little to complain. I even enjoyed to obvious hook missions to "go play our mutiplayer" (that isn't here on this edition).

Story-wise.... well, I'm not going down that road :p .... let's just say the ending is just as stupid as it was on release, no matter how much they try to justify it with the "extended cut".

Mass Effect Legendary Edition (Full)

So... as a whole, is this package worth it?

If you already have all games on PC.... not really, at least not at full price. Unless you are like me and want an excuse to replay all of them. The first game actually had lot of work done on it and for the most part these changes are good/great, improving the gameplay while retaining everything that made it by far the most charming one for me. But the second and third game are basically the same games, with all the same qualities and problems they had before.

Now... if you haven't played these games before, than by all means it is very worth it as they are still great games and I had very few technical problems. Just know the ending sucks and enjoy the journey :)
 
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Routa

Non-Stop MMO Searcher
Dec 22, 2018
861
3,797
93
Finished Kamen Rider Blade



A PS2 fighting game based off Kamen Rider Blade




Tachibana's meme scream for any Kamen Rider fans in here :blobnerd: .

Without the Kamen Rider name, I doubt I would have anything to say about this - but because of it - I had some good fun with it.

It's a bit simple, doesn't seem like there are too many complicated combos. You can cycle through your cards to grant you the different special moves. Once the enemies health gets low enough, you can do the awesome Blade finishers. You hit one of four buttons, and if the enemy hits the same button - they dodge it. It's a bit of hype killer if they do dodge it because once you start the finisher, Elements starts playing. Here's a short clip of the Evolution King finisher :frogbongo:


The seal mode is pretty fun, and it could have been pretty awesome if greatly expanded upon. You fight through the undead, and then seal them at the end of the fight - gaining their card which is a new ability but unfortunately, it strictly follows the show here. So you only see abilities used in the show despite tons of cards not getting used. This leads to the seal mode being pretty short since each character seems to only fight undead they sealed in the show. Missed opportunity here.

Theres also some weird puzzle mini-game where it slowly zooms out on a photo and you have to guess who it is. Don't have much to say about it.

It's an average fighting game carried by the Kamen Rider name for me. If this didn't have the Kamen Rider IP attached, no way I would have played this.

Also, this is a secret character:



Rating: 6-7? / 10
 
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fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
6,922
16,748
113
Finished


Great game, beautiful graphics, interesting story and good gameplay. I only wished there were more to do and even more depth to the mysteriousness of the island. I also felt the game was sorta split between 2 game modes into one. Like, you can collect resources and stuff and use them to craft tools and a place to sleep, protect yourself against the enemies, but then there is the story you can follow that requires you to leave what you have made in terms of cabins, defenses etc. for most of the game in order to follow the story. If the story and survival aspects of the game is blended better together in the sequel, the sequel could be an ever better game. As in, I used a lot of time to gather resoruces and build a cabin and make defenses, but to follow the story I basically had to leave that behind and the canon ending (there are to endings) doesn't let you continue playing. So it's like there are 2 games in one and that felt really weird to me and the reason for my score.

Score: 8/10
 
OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
3,034
9,741
113
Belgium
Finished Regions of Ruin


Interesting 2D game with beautiful pixel art, where you discover lots of different locations on a huge world map, fight lots of monsters and gather resources to build and upgrade your base camp. The game is not without flaws tho; it becomes rather repetitive after a while, it's very easy to become overpowered and the platforming can be very frustrating using a keyboard. But I still had lots of fun with this game, so it's definitely worth trying.

Score: 7.1/10
 

Joe Spangle

Playing Mad Max
Apr 17, 2019
1,764
5,673
113
Finished Death's Door


Loved it. Great little game. Nice style, setting and overall gameplay. You are a crow that works for a sort of death department of soul collecting and are tasked with seeking out some powerful souls to help resolve a problem with the world. It works by visiting different areas, progressing through towards an end boss (bit zelda-y but not quite). Combat is good. The difficulty was spot on for me. I dont have the reflexes for the more difficult action games and so this was just right, i didnt feel like any fight was beyond me and got through it in about 11 hours (that included a lot of time fafing about exploring looking for secrets). I think there is some end game stuff i can do as well. Thoroughly recommend.

9/10
 

boop beep

boo
Dec 6, 2018
1,784
3,546
113
Finished the puzzle platformer Thomas Was Alone the other day. I didn’t really like it. The platforming didn’t feel great, it had regular physics issues and several times it felt like the intended solutions were overly capricious/janky. I was not entirely sold by the narration either. At least it was short. Would not recommend.

Also finished the adventure game Yesterday. The story felt a bit rushed (as if the original draft was twice as long and stuff was cut), relied on some questionable stereotypes and was not much of a mystery despite being billed as such. Its puzzles also harken back to the worst age of adventure games in terms of obtuseness. Also not great but short at least. Wouldn’t recommend it either, but I did quite enjoy the evil cult stuff and some of the ideas around that. I think there could’ve been a pretty good game there, but the end product doesn’t quite deliver.
 
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Bonfires Down

Junior Member
Nov 18, 2019
208
527
93
Finished Control


Ehh, kinda disappointed honestly after hearing so much good about the game.

Combat: Well, combat feels good. There are some cool abilities like telekinesis throws and flight. The environmental destruction is impressive. But, it just gets really repetitive after a while and I don't feel like they introduce enough new stuff to shake things up. There's some variety of enemies but most of them can be defeated in the same way. And my impression was that the Shatter and Charge Pierce weapons were simply the best so I rarely used the other variants. Apparently I also managed to miss a "sieze" ability that could have added some much needed variety.

Story: There were some interesting moments with Jesse's brother and what went down in their hometown. But in the end it just devolved into a mess that I don't understand, and I don't think I care enough to figure it out. There are a bunch of characters introduced but few of them seem to really matter. There's a lot of documents that flesh out the world but I didn't find most of them very interesting. I particularly don't care about reading about yet another weird object with half the document redacted. And coming directly from TLOU2, the way the story is told just felt very primitive.

Graphics: I give them props for the art directions being excellent and I really enjoyed the vistas. But again, it gets repetitive. It's all indoors so there is a lot of concrete and industrial stuff.

I don't like being too harsh on Remedy as they are such an underdog and seem to be constantly on the verge of bankruptcy (at least that's my impression). But a lot of their game design feels stuck in the past. Gotta say I enjoyed Alan Wake a lot more when I played it, but it's possible I was just less demanding back then.

6/10
 
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OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
3,034
9,741
113
Belgium
Retired Project Warlock


Project Warlock is an amazing retro shooter with excellent shooting controls, lots of different weapons, great level design and an amazing soundtrack. I had tons of fun with it, until I reached the tank boss in the last level of the 4th act. This boss is completely ridiculous because of the endless wave of spawning terminators in all corners of a small area. I lost all of my 24 lives in less than 20 minutes. :(

To make things worse, after losing all my lives I was thrown back at the main menu, AND HAD TO PLAY THE WHOLE F**KING GAME AGAIN FROM THE BEGINNING! Seriously, there's no way I'm playing 44 (!) non-random levels again (which took me over 6 hours) because I died in an unfair boss fight. :mad:

This is just bad game design, I haven't been pissed off like this by a game in a long, long time. Until the devs fix this, I really can't recommend this game to anyone.

Score: 3.9/10
 

Bonfires Down

Junior Member
Nov 18, 2019
208
527
93
Retired Project Warlock


Project Warlock is an amazing retro shooter with excellent shooting controls, lots of different weapons, great level design and an amazing soundtrack. I had tons of fun with it, until I reached the tank boss in the last level of the 4th act. This boss is completely ridiculous because of the endless wave of spawning terminators in all corners of a small area. I lost all of my 24 lives in less than 20 minutes. :(

To make things worse, after losing all my lives I was thrown back at the main menu, AND HAD TO PLAY THE WHOLE F**KING GAME AGAIN FROM THE BEGINNING! Seriously, there's no way I'm playing 44 (!) non-random levels again (which took me over 6 hours) because I died in an unfair boss fight. :mad:

This is just bad game design, I haven't been pissed off like this by a game in a long, long time. Until the devs fix this, I really can't recommend this game to anyone.

Score: 3.9/10
As a side note, on Casual Mode there are unlimited lives. Can't remember whether there are other differences.

Personally I liked the game for a while but the flat levels get a bit boring eventually.
 
OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
3,034
9,741
113
Belgium
Retired Train Station Renovation


Very relaxing game where you need to renovate train stations. First you have to fix all the broken parts, bring the trash to containers and complete a few simple tasks. All of this is done by running around, selecting the right tool and pressing the mouse button so there's no challenge involved. There's even a button that highlights everything that still needs to be done.

When your trainstation is clean, you can redecorate it by ordering items with your virtual tablet. The amount of available items is very limited, so lots of the stations you renovate end up looking the same. Each station has a unique environment, but it doesn't prevent that this game becomes quite repetitive after a while.

Nevertheless, I still had fun for a few hours because of the great atmosphere and relaxing gameplay. Be aware that the achievements are broken, and even when you'll get them working again they will break again after a while. This issue has been reported for months by several members, but hasn't be fixed yet for some reason.

Score: 6.2/10
 
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fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
6,922
16,748
113
Finished


Both the main story, Iceborne story (fantastic expansion) and a few optional quests and activities like special assignment. The game is gigantic with a ton of options. Played for 52 hours till now and I can see myself coming back in the future at some point to play more. Nice graphics, great design, interesting story and world lore, great gameplay and nice music. Game has a steep learning curve, it takes a lot of time to understand all the gameplay mechanics and the different systems in the game, what they do and how to do different things. Also great design on the monters. Negative is that I don't feel like everything was expplained all that well, especially the upgrade and craftig systems, game took some hours to truly click for me and I felt overwhelmed by stuff to pay attention to many times.

Score: 8.7/10
 

RionaaM

Vogon Poetry Appreciator
Sep 6, 2018
887
2,187
93
Finished Uncharted: The Lost Legacy on PS5 last weekend. Loved it! It looks fantastic and is really fun to play. This is the only series I can think of where I enjoyed every sequel more than the previous game, and I'm glad to know this trend didn't end with the latest release. To me this is everything that the new Tomb Raider games wanted to be. The story is interesting enough, characters are very charming in their own ways, the interaction between the two protagonists is really well done, which in my opinion was also the case in all the previous games; for the record, I haven't played the Vita exclusive so I can't comment on that one (OK, Nadine isn't a playable character, but she's your partner for 95% of the game so I'd say she earned that title). Shooting mechanics are solid, and it's great that they kept the rope for some expanded platforming abilities.

As far as I'm concerned, Lost Legacy takes everything that Uncharted 4 did well and trims the fat, while upping the fun factor up to 11. As much as I would have liked it to be longer, there's never a dull moment in here. I loved U4 already, even if some scenes tended to drag on a bit, but it's undeniable that it was slower paced. This, however? This is pure adrenaline. It kept the driving sections from 4 and improved them, replacing the linear areas with a big open space during one of the game's earlier chapters. The trade-off is that set pieces are toned down here, since you can explore this area at your leisure instead of being railroaded into one of those awesome playable cutscenes that the series perfected. You can rush to the main objectives, or take a detour and discover a bunch of puzzles that will eventually lead you to more treasure. Personally I think this change is worth it, since there are cool set pieces to be found elsewhere, and gives the driving segments a new dimension.

Something that's disappointing, and was the same in U4, is that this wasn't upgraded for PS5. Still the same non-4K resolution (though who am I to complain, still rocking a 1080p TV) and 30 FPS. If not a native version, at least I hope this gets a patch that unlocks the frame rate when running on Sony's latest console. But despite this, I had a hell of a good time here, and I'd love to see a new game that took advantage of all the capabilities of the DualSense controller.

I really don't know how to rate this game. It's so good, but I'm left wanting more, so it's hard to give it the best score. Still, I believe this deserves a really high 9/10, with my biggest criticism being its short length.
 

boop beep

boo
Dec 6, 2018
1,784
3,546
113
Finished Environmental Station Alpha, wee! Saw credits anyway. There's a bunch more post-game stuff -- which I did some of -- but it largely seems kind of tedious and very hard. So that's a skip from me. I feel pretty satisfied with it regardless.

Great metroidvania, action-adventure platfomer or whatever you want to call these. It's got issues like its uneven difficulty, an at times nebulous critical path and a less than stellar map, but all the positives ended up outweighing those negatives on the balance. It's got great atmosphere, sharp platforming, a pleasant soundtrack, some really fun bosses, great minimalist pixel art, lots (like, tons) of fun secrets to discover and a really clever grappling hook implementation. There's a lot to it, and I think it's worth playing if these types of games generally appeal to you. Completed it in around 15 hours (hard to say for sure because I had some time on it from idling cards). It's also super cheap, so that's a plus. In short: good, recommend!

I've read several posts on the Steam forums that the developer's working a sequel. They seem to have taken a lot of the player feedback in stride, which is really cool to see. So if they can iron out some of these kinks, I think that's genuinely a recipe for an all-time great one of these.
 
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Mivey

MeatMember
Sep 20, 2018
1,963
5,952
113
So here a few brief Reviews of games I finished over the last couple of months:

Horizon: Zero Dawn:.

I gotta say this one is complicated to review. I loved this games visuals and its presentation of its explorable open world. There's so many times when playing it that I felt the need to stop and activate the games brilliant photo mode to take some pictures. It's insane how beatiful this world is. Guerilla Games accomplishes this not by being faithful to how the lighting during certain weather patterns would look like, but by exaggerating things like shadows or colours to create more dramatic effects, and it works brilliantly.



The actual game also has a very interesting post-apocaplytipc setting, where humans live together in a strange world with highly advanced machine life forms, that mimic animals. Part of the plot is explaining how this world came to be, and how it connects with our modern world, and I loved every little tidbit that helped explain this.



What I also enjoyed was the combat, which to my pleasure also featured a really nice implementation of stealth, with enemies clearly telling you their movement patterns and allowing you to use the terrain to sneak up on them. Your main weapons are bow and arrow, though you are also given a large number of other weapons, like rope casters and many other assorted weaponry. I didn't even explore all of it, honestly, but there's a lot of variety there.



Where the game ultimately lets me down greatly, is the quest design, specifically the side quest design. Almost every side quest is just a simple fetch quest. Alloy speak with someone, they need something from somwhere, or tell you how someone they care about is lost somewhere, Alloy gets there, fights some things and goes back. That's the basic building block of almost every single side quest. Guerilla essentially never deviates from this , and it made me quit this game, almost made me quit it. I do not understand how a game that's smaller than Witcher 3 (the world map is maybe the size of Velen + Novigrad in Witcher 3), does not manage to write at least a few remarkable quests. The Bloody Baron quest of Witcher 3 become a literal meme, that's how popular that side quest was, and yet they can't even afford an actual writer for these quests?
It's a shame how much this game is sabotaged by it's horrid quest design, or the lack thereof.
The way I dealt with this is just avoid 80% of these quests after playing halfway through the game, and that helped things a lot.



Ultimately, it's a decent game, but held back by one bad design choice




Death Come True

A very short FMV game, very linear too.
I will not say much about it, as it would spoil too much. I think this is a decent game for maybe 10€ or less. Some nice quirky characters, and a pretty bonkers plot. It's not as remarkable as something like Contradiction, and there's barely any interactivity at all. Still a few surprising twists in there, and pretty good production quality.


The Room 1 & 2 & 3
( I finished Room 3 last month, but I did play the three games over the course of a month or two)

These are some really great puzzle games. Essentially it's always presented similar to "room escape" puzzles, where you are stuck in a room with some strange apparatus and you need to find a way to open it to get a key leading you to the next chapter.
The only thing about these games that annoys me is the "pixel hunting" that's involved when you need to find all the things you can interact with. Luckily the games come with a "hint" system that helps with this and just tells you what you should look at next. A real life saver.

Overall a great series, can recommend this to anyone who likes puzzle games.

Smile For Me

This is a 3D point and click adventure game and I really liked this games setting. You are in some kind of institution run by the mysterious Dr. Habbit. The people there, the Habbiticians, are all very sad and it's your job to try to help them find happiness again. A really fun and crazy adventure overall. It's also a a fairly short game, took me just over 3 hours.
I don't think there's a point in saying much about this game, as it's something you should discover for yourself. Clear recommendation to anyone who likes adventure games.
 

RionaaM

Vogon Poetry Appreciator
Sep 6, 2018
887
2,187
93
So here a few brief Reviews of games I finished over the last couple of months:

Horizon: Zero Dawn:.

I gotta say this one is complicated to review. I loved this games visuals and its presentation of its explorable open world. There's so many times when playing it that I felt the need to stop and activate the games brilliant photo mode to take some pictures. It's insane how beatiful this world is. Guerilla Games accomplishes this not by being faithful to how the lighting during certain weather patterns would look like, but by exaggerating things like shadows or colours to create more dramatic effects, and it works brilliantly.

The actual game also has a very interesting post-apocaplytipc setting, where humans live together in a strange world with highly advanced machine life forms, that mimic animals. Part of the plot is explaining how this world came to be, and how it connects with our modern world, and I loved every little tidbit that helped explain this.

What I also enjoyed was the combat, which to my pleasure also featured a really nice implementation of stealth, with enemies clearly telling you their movement patterns and allowing you to use the terrain to sneak up on them. Your main weapons are bow and arrow, though you are also given a large number of other weapons, like rope casters and many other assorted weaponry. I didn't even explore all of it, honestly, but there's a lot of variety there.

Where the game ultimately lets me down greatly, is the quest design, specifically the side quest design. Almost every side quest is just a simple fetch quest. Alloy speak with someone, they need something from somwhere, or tell you how someone they care about is lost somewhere, Alloy gets there, fights some things and goes back. That's the basic building block of almost every single side quest. Guerilla essentially never deviates from this , and it made me quit this game, almost made me quit it. I do not understand how a game that's smaller than Witcher 3 (the world map is maybe the size of Velen + Novigrad in Witcher 3), does not manage to write at least a few remarkable quests. The Bloody Baron quest of Witcher 3 become a literal meme, that's how popular that side quest was, and yet they can't even afford an actual writer for these quests?
It's a shame how much this game is sabotaged by it's horrid quest design, or the lack thereof.
The way I dealt with this is just avoid 80% of these quests after playing halfway through the game, and that helped things a lot.

Ultimately, it's a decent game, but held back by one bad design choice


The Room 1 & 2 & 3
( I finished Room 3 last month, but I did play the three games over the course of a month or two)

These are some really great puzzle games. Essentially it's always presented similar to "room escape" puzzles, where you are stuck in a room with some strange apparatus and you need to find a way to open it to get a key leading you to the next chapter.
The only thing about these games that annoys me is the "pixel hunting" that's involved when you need to find all the things you can interact with. Luckily the games come with a "hint" system that helps with this and just tells you what you should look at next. A real life saver.

Overall a great series, can recommend this to anyone who likes puzzle games.
I'd love to play Horizon, but I don't know what platform to choose. From what I've heard of the PC port it may or may not run well, and it may or may not crash during some missions. And the game isn't enhanced for PS5, which means it'll run at 30 FPS just like it did on PS4 Pro. Right now I'm waiting for a potential PS5 patch, but that might never come...

As for The Room, the first 2 were amazing. Played a bit of 3 on my phone many years ago and it felt different, since you could explore several paths from what I recall. Need to go back to it and then play 4.
 
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Virtual Ruminant

Junior Member
May 21, 2020
283
778
93
Finished Max Payne 3 (Rockstar, 2012)

A middle-aged Max Payne is working a private security job in São Paulo and it does not take long before things start to turn bad and a lot of lead is in the air. But who is behind the sudden assault on Max's new boss and how did Max end up in Brazil in the first place?

Pro:
  • All the polish of Rockstar's proprietary game engine in a version that is already very similar to the one that powered the initial release of Grand Theft Auto V, a production team involving no less than seven different Rockstar studios and an original soundtrack composed by noise-rock band HEALTH.
  • All the classic Max Payne mechanics around the bullet-time effect make a return in this game, but embedded into Rockstar's own third-person centric control schemes and camera work.
  • Voice actor James McCaffrey who voiced Max Payne in the Remedy games resumes his role and gives another outstanding performance.
Con:
  • The game's collectible system is constantly at war with the game's mission design - on the one hand, you're encouraged to explore every room to find collectibles (as well as health boosts in the form of painkiller pillboxes), on the other, the game constantly gives you the hurry-up in the shape of Max voice-overs and occasionally will even enter a fail-state and reset you to a previous checkpoint for not moving on quickly enough. The game also sometimes is not particularly clear about which path or door will exit a room, so your collectible exploration can be accidentally cut short, with no chance of return.
  • The story starts out pretty well, takes a couple of interesting turns and delivers a couple of great set pieces, but falters and fizzles out towards the end. Max Payne as a character also becomes increasingly less interesting as the story progresses, which in itself is quite an achievement, but not a good one.
  • A lot of the distinctive style of the first two Max Payne games has been lost, including the graphic novel style cut-scenes.

All in all this is a pretty good action game, as you would expect given the production values. Solid 4/5.

But: Is it a good Max Payne game? In my opinion: Hell no. Everything about the game-play and the presentation just feels way too much like Grand Theft Auto V, just without the vehicles and without an open world. And the story ... oh dear, it really made me appreciate Sam Lake's brand of cheesy hard-boiled detective fiction so much more now that I've experienced Dan Houser's fanfic remix. It was also absolutely painful (no pun intended) to see Max Payne visually transformed from a character you will recognize as Max Payne at the start of the game, into essentially Grand Theft Auto V's Michael De Santa (shaved head+beard variant) by the time the credits roll.

2.5/5
 
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Rahul

Junior Member
Jul 14, 2021
14
25
13
Finished ALAN WAKE
Rating : Must play

Reminded me heavily of older action games (surprisingly a lot of RE4). This one got collectibles so right, almost felt like Doom's secret hunting.
Story is really smart, with parallel narrative that is only possible in video games. And very smart use of cliches.

Lot of HEART and SOUL was put in the game and it really shows. You rarely get it in big-budget spaces these days outside of few EU and JPN game studios.

If you are playing, PLEASE PLAY THE SPECIAL EPISODES AS WELL. Ep 2 esp. is goddamn brilliant. The last section was one of the coolest uses of light I've seen.

There is a LOT of associated media around AW, including a whole prequel mini-series (which is up on YouTube).
Fav one!
Hollow knight


Idk if y'all like it, it's a good one if you like darksouls.
 
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Digoman

Lurking in the Shadows
Dec 21, 2018
683
1,900
93
Finished/Retired

Orcs Must Die 3


As a solo experience, it's decent but leaves a lot to be desired. Almost all the maps are clearly designed with two players in mind, with multiple entry points for the orcs. In most of them you can search the map, barricade the other routes and then make your kill zones. But there are some where this is not possible so you have split your attention and resources. Which brings to another important thing to point out: It's been a really long time since I last played the previous games, but I think this one requires you to be more active with your weapons/powers. The problem with this design choice apart from being a matter of taste, is that it amplifies the problems on those "split" maps if you are alone. This is specially true in the expansion mini-campaign (included on this release).

With those problem covered, I didn't have a bad time at all with game. It is very familiar and the "war scenarios" where the game ups the scale a lot are actually very fun. It's just probably a better experience in coop.

If you enjoy it, there is also the current usual attempt to keep the game going, with weekly challenges, a mode with random perks and the endless one. Also a lot more traps/weapons than you can use/buy/upgrade with the just the main story. But after about 12 hours of doing the campaigns a tinkering a little with the extras modes, I think I'm moving on.

On the technical side: it looks good. I didn't have any problems with crashes/bugs and only a a little slowdown when there were a lot of enemies in endless mode with traps applying several effects on them.

So: Basically it's Orcs Must Die 2.5 (way better graphics of course) with still having the focus on coop and I think a more active role of the player during the waves.
 

Mivey

MeatMember
Sep 20, 2018
1,963
5,952
113
So, some time after I finished it, here's my review for Trails to Azure



So, in case someone doesn't know what the Trails games are about, I think I can briefly sum up the main things that make them interesting for me. Developed by Falcom (one of the oldest Japanese game developers, about as old as Square, and Enix were), this is a series of JRPGs, set in a continuous universe., where the events of one game affect the plot of the next. The games are split into "arcs", where one arc might have anywhere from 2 to 4 games. Aside from the continuous world and lore, each game also gives a very special focus on NPCs. Each and every inhabitant of the towns you come across, has a name, and a mini story that runs parallel to the plot of the game. These can be fairly simple, just a character doing their daily chores, but can also be quite involved, for example, a young couple falling in love and marrying. The way the player can follow these stories is simply by speaking to the NPCs. Thus, when in essentially every old JRPG, NPCs are almost meaningless walking text boxes, the Trails games actually use them to tell myriads of tiny individual stories. A nice benefit of that is that taken as a whole, the NPC stories give you a macro view on the people of a city or country, what they care about and how they view certain important plot events.
You also have a turn-based combat system, which is made much less tedious by the addition of a turbo mode (absolute life saver) in all the PC ports. You have Crafts, which are complex physical attacks and Arts, which are magical attacks of various elements. Each uses different points system (CP and EP, respectively), and combat is about cleverly making use of enemies weaknesses. It's neat, even if it's not exactly a highlight of these games.





SPOILER WARNING -- SPOILER WARNING -- SPOILER WARNING -- SPOILER WARNING -- SPOILER WARNING -- SPOILER WARNING --
I mention important plot points frequently in the text below, and you should really only read this if you finished the game,
SPOILER WARNING -- SPOILER WARNING -- SPOILER WARNING -- SPOILER WARNING -- SPOILER WARNING -- SPOILER WARNING --

Azure picks up directly where Zero left off, finishing off the investigation into the DG cult and leads to some pretty action heavy moments right away. You also know you're no longer some junior detective, since you fight side by side two of the most impressive fighters of all of Crossbell, Detective Dudely and Arios McLaine. Where Zero had a fairly slow start, similar to FC, Azure picks up the pace right away, it's rising action all the way to the Final Chapter. It's really only chapter 1 that's a bit more quiet, but as the name "Ominous Days" suggests, it's really just the quiet before the storm, showing the players how their actions in Zero have broken the uneasy peace and status quo that existed in the previous game.

My best comparison with Azure so far would have to be Trails in the Sky SC, which is also the second game in what is essentially a duology (3rd is really not a strict sequel to SC, the way SC is to FC). But where SC often felt repetitive and very predictable, Azure kept me guessing what w0uld happen from beginning to end. Really great kino. I really loved the dramatic and surprising plot points of this game, and especially its villains. That was something that Zero was really lacking, and that Azure delivers in spades.
The closest thing to a criticism I have, is that maybe Falcom crammed in too much things in here. Where earlier chapters of Azure still take their time to present all the things that happen to important characters (like Cloe, Olivert, Osborn and so forth), near the end of Azure all these international events are just mentioned in long walls of text at the end or beginning of a chapter. And some of these events are pretty world shattering, so it's noticeable when you're just told about it. I have to assume this just due to Falcom running out of time, and perhaps a time that Azure could have been even better if Falcom had given it a few more months of development time. But to give them credit, it's incredible they managed to produce something of this quality in just a year. Boggles the mind.



Another criticism I have is a bit harder to explain. Azure does a great job in providing closure to the character development of Lloyd and the SSS, showing how they each overcome their personal barriers and come closer to becoming the person they want to be. This and the story of KeA provide a beautiful finale. However, that's not where the story of Crossbell ends. The game ends with our heroes rejecting the idea of using KeA powers to magically wish away all the issues of Crossbell state and its problematic relationship with its powerful neighbours. Instead, they choose a much harder path, one that can lead to war and an occupation.
We see this happening in the credits, of the game, and we see how the SSS help with the underground resistance against the occupation. However, the actual story of what happens to Crossbell, is left completely open. And that kinda rubs me the wrong way. Especially knowing this won't be addressed until after 2 long games (Cold Steel 1 and 2), and likely not until CS IV or even Reverie afterwards, I dunno. Let's say it's only Reverie that provides closure here. That would be 5 games. 5 games that you need to wait to get the proper actual ending to the Crossbell arc, and that's not good storytelling in my book. While I would already rate Azure higher than any other game I played so far in the series, that's a major issue I have here.

Those were the important bits, a few other notable things about Azure:

The new fishing quest in this one is just great. As Lloyd is already a "Master Fisherman", there was no point in just repeating that all over again. Instead, Azure shows how a strange new "Imperial Fishing Guild" invades and occupies the premises of the old one, and a certain "Lakelord" explains how he and his guild are now the proper fishing guild in all of Crossbell. Naturally the members of the Crossbell Fishing Guild, Cerdan, Kopan and Peter cannot accept this, and together with Lloyd they challenge Lakelord and his "Elite Four" to some high-octane fishing duels to find out who is the best fisher in all of Crossbell and has the right to be its true fishing guild.
Some of these duels were kinda ridiculous puzzles, expecting you to have a complete fishing notebook (or looking things up in a guide). Overall pretty fun, though.



I liked the addition of the fast travel system via the new car, certainly made the NPC sweeps quiet a bit nicer as you don't need to go see the same bus animation all the time. I hear that future game are even better about this, and I look forward to that.

I was impressed with the new mechanics Falcom added to the combat system here, first with the Master Quartz system, which adds a nice quirk to how you equip the Orbments as you get a base amount of elements in every line, and the new Burst system which activates in certain story scenes, and essentially allows your characters to attack one after the other until the "burst meter" runs out. This is made especially effective as it allows arts to be cast instantaneously, instead of waiting for the usual casting time. I really like how much Falcom has added to the combat system compared to the Sky games.


My current rating of Trails game so far is:

Trails to Azure >
Trails in the Sky 3rd >
Trails in the Sky SC >
Trails from Zero >
Trails in the Sky FC

Note here, that even FC for me is a great, and highly enjoyable game in my mind. So much so, that I feel really tempted to replay the Sky games once the Deck is in my hands.


For now, I think I'll take a bit of a break from the series before booting up Trails of Cold Steel sometime later this year.

And finally, I rate Azure 3 out of 3 Mishy, and as an additional bonus, one Mishette
 
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Mivey

MeatMember
Sep 20, 2018
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Horizon in one word: Superficial

Pretty on the surface, mediocre to poor in its substance.
I think if they hire a few better quest designers or writers, it could make the sequel a lot better. The free form climbing could also help make the world more easily explorable.
I agree that the first game is held back the bad design choice I mentioned, but I think there's still potential in the franchise overall.
 
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Bonfires Down

Junior Member
Nov 18, 2019
208
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Me catching up on Playstation exclusives Part II:

The Last of Us Part II



There was no single moment in Part II that hit me quite like the ending of the first game did. But, as a whole, this is a better game, gameplay wise much better even.

Gameplay: While the first game throws you right away into clicker encounters or arenas with lots of enemies that are too hard at such an early stage, part II has a much better difficulty curve. They even allow you to stab clickers this time. The game hits a good balance of stealth and combat. I really like how gunfights are to be avoided at all costs and how they feel like a desperate struggle for survival rather than a power fantasy. The gunplay is not really "good" or accurate, but because of the nature of the game this actually turns into a positive instead. The melee animations are seriously brutal and they work in tandem with the rest of the game to present a world that is brutal and characters that are broken.

The "arenas" where enemies try to hunt you down can be fun but honestly they are still among my least favorite parts of the game. The integration of gameplay and story breaks apart here. I would actually like to see an open world survival game set in this universe where these arenas might make sense. But as it stands I'd rather they had focused on more linear environments with a continuous focus on the story.

Another part of the game that I still don't enjoy is scavenging for supplies. The game is already plenty long and it feels like pointless busywork to me. Again, this might be a good fit for an open world survival game, but not here.

Story: There's a lot I could say about the story and characters and their actions but it would be too much to write here. On the whole, this is one of the best stories told in gaming and it's probably the best presentation I've seen. By the end it feels like you've read a great book or watched an extensive TV series and it has the same effect of "just one more chapter/episode". The character and facial animations are stellar and make most other games look a generation behind. And I've spent hours and hours watching videos analyzing the game by now.

There have been criticisms about Naughty Dog using emotional manipulation to make their story work, and I agree with some of those criticisms. But there were only a few scenes where this really bothered me and because of how ambitious the story is I'm willing to mostly overlook it. But as stories of this ambition and quality start to become more common in gaming, I could see how those part might not age as well.


I see now that despite how much I liked the game, I still spent half my time here criticizing it. I guess when things work as they should you don't think about them and just go with the flow, while flaws are easier to point out. It's actually been a few months since I finished the game but I wanted to jot down some thoughts before I forget everything. But to end on a positive note, this is the best Playstation exclusive I've played so far, and the game is even in my top 10 GOAT list now.

9/10

My review of the first game
 
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Dec 5, 2018
879
2,103
93
In my attempt to actually beat a game I bought during the sale I decided to play Secret of Mana:

I never played the original so I have no opinion of how it relates (but you can tell they kept some somethings mechanics on how they feel).

The story is super simplistic, a hero's journey if you will, the protagonist finds an old magic sword in a rock and that kicks off his adventure to save the world.

The combat isn't really that great, you either use one of the 8 weapons you can find or use magic (the main character can't really use magic). Weapon combat is pretty useless because you need to wait after each attack (until the weapon meter reaches 100%) to actually have a shot at hitting the enemies. That leads us to the next problem with the weapons each weapon in the game can be reforged (after finding an upgrade orb) so you can get a stronger version and for each version you can level up the weapon more but in the late game most regular attacks will either miss or do little damage.
If for some insane reason you want to upgrade the weapons to max level, you'll have to spent a few hours farming in the final dungeon of the game for the chance that the enemies drop a chest and another chance that the chest has the final upgrade orb (I googled the drop rate of the orbs and it's pretty miserable), so if you want to upgrade the weapons to max level when you're missing the final orbs (just use cheat engine).

Then there's the magic one of the characters has mostly attack magic and debuffs and the other has buffs and heals. Magic is upgraded in a similar manner find seeds and then level up (by using them), the spells you can use are learnt as part of the story. Early on you will earn that magic is OP, The only problem during the early dungeons is that you need to manage your resources so you have enough MP to beat the boss (and even then is not that hard to reach the boss avoiding as many fights as you need), later on it becomes a joke since you have a bigger MP pool and you can drain enemy MP.

Since this game is a 3D remake there is a thing that in some areas was a bit annoying, if your character is under something that you can't see the game will highlight the characters so you know where they are, but it doesn't do the same with enemies so at times you won't see them but get attacked (is not really a problem but it can get annoying early on).

A positive thing about the (remake) game is that like many remasters/remakes of S-E games it has an auto-save every time you get a loading screen.

6.5/10
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
6,922
16,748
113
Finished Marvel's Spider Man: Miles Morales (Playstation 5)

Bought it on saturday for 35$, feels like I got my money worth, anything more would be a regret due to the main story being quite short (5-6 hours) and a lot of recycles elements from the original Spidey game. Some of the side-missions were actually really good and increased the game with around 3 hours. The story was much better than I expected, almost teared up at the end. Gameplay was also fun and the new powers Miles have gave him some other combat gameplay mechanics that Peter doesn't have which helped with the variety. Negatives are that the story is too short and too much recycled elements.

Score: 8/10
 

Paul

Junior Member
Jan 26, 2019
130
267
63
Finished Marvel's Avengers

Eh, it's not bad, the campaign, for free. I liked Kamala, combat was ok, story was classic mediocre marvel fare with some funny and nice moments and some lame and cringe moments, graphics was gorgeous.
Zero desire to play beyond the campaign though, and definitely not interested in buying.
 

Mivey

MeatMember
Sep 20, 2018
1,963
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Last week I finished Mars: War Logs.




This is the first Spiders game I played, and I vaguely remembered that this game was kinda derided by reviewers, comparing it with Mass Effect (unfavourably). At first, I was kinda confused why you'd burden a small indie RPG game with such a comparison, but as the game went on, it become clear that Spiders ambition was probably something the scale and size of Mass Effect, or at least to provide a game as close to it as they could. There's a pretty basic moral system, the upgrade system feels comparable and even the romancable companions are here.
But it's clearly all held together with a very shoe-string budget.



The game's setting, Mars, is really barely explored. If it wasn't the game telling me that we are on the red planet, I would have honestly forgotten about it. Sure, the lighting is a bit reddish at times, but that's it. The game's factions are never explored, the game has these mutants that are treated like slaves, and even hints at unrest within the mutants about this, but it's not brought up again.



Mars: War Logs wants to do so much, and it doesn't accomplish a whole lot. Combat is a very clunky affair, that reminded me of early sections of Witcher 2, where you are seriously underpowered, but are free to use dodging to roll around the map like an imbecile, which basically leads to a strategy of getting a few pot shots, and then rolling around until you get another opportunity. Not very fun, and easily broken.

Side quests also get boring very quickly, with almost all of them being simple fetch quests.

For some reason, I still kinda enjoyed the Euro jankines of it all.
 

Yoshi

o_O
Jan 5, 2019
364
1,731
93

Unfortunately a major step down from its predecessor. They replaced all the interesting bits of Transformed (flying/water sections) with a 'team racing' gimmick that wears off pretty fast. All in all, an average kart racer with a great soundtrack.

3/5
 
OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
3,034
9,741
113
Belgium
Finished Final Fantasy Remastered (PSP)

No doubt this game was great in the NES era, because it added lots of gameplay elements that were unseen or uncommon at that time. But for me, the game didn't age very well.

It's often very unclear where to go next, and exploration is a chore because of the annoying random battles, forcing you to fight the same easy enemies over and over again. Even worse: some of the items you need to progress are hidden in certain dungeons, but are missable - meaning that you can complete the dungeon without finding these items (which happened to me twice). None of the dungeons have maps, so without a guide I probably wouldn't have been able to complete the game.

The combat is well designed but very unbalanced. Except for some boss battles, enemy encounters are ridiculously easy. Of course the final boss is several times stronger than anything you've seen before, and even heals himself for half it's health once in a while.

On the bright side: the PSP remaster has lots of improvements compared to the original NES version. You can save where you want, see the stats of weapons and equipment and even unlearn spells. Still, I believe this game is only fun for people with nostalgic fealings towards the original game they played in their youth.

Score: 5.0/10
 

Mivey

MeatMember
Sep 20, 2018
1,963
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Yesterday I finished The Technomancer



As it was in my backlog, after finishing Mars War Logs, I jumped right into its sequel. This was released in 2016, just three years after Mars War Logs. And it really feels a generation ahead of the previous game in the series. Models are much better, level design is drastically improved, you actually get the impression they are living under giant domes on Mars. It explains more clearly the setting, with humans living as citizens of various water corporations (called guilds sometime) that have become the defacto sources of power. This time, the game really feels like something you could actually compare with BioWare games. Even the companions feel much more interesting and feature their own quests this time around, allowing you to explore their past and present issues better.



I was a bit surprised by the choice of having this game's plot happening at the same time Mars War Logs. I guess it did allow Spiders to revisit plot points of Mars War Logs and essentially "fix" them. There's even some elements that are outright changing events and elements of the previous game, though ultimately, it's just details that make the world feel more interesting. Where in the previous game we saw things from the perspective of the citizens of Aurora, we this time play as a "technomancer" from Abundance. Technomancers are elite military units that can wield strange electrical powers. This game also actually explains where those powers came from, and how the secret of their origin needs to be guarded from the rest of the world.
Speaking more about the plot and setting, this game also finally deals with the mutant population and explains how there's a group of "free mutants" who are trying to create their own nation. Exactly the kind of thing I would have liked to see in the previous game too.



Combat feels a lot more fluid compared to MWL, with 3 different combat styles available to the player (plus the technomancer "spells" you can use at any time). It's still a clunky affair at times, but much less so than it was before. One bad thing Spiders hasn't given up on, are the number of trash mobs you will need to fight. Very, very often when traversing even cities, you will need to fight random mobs of thugs (and other enemies as the plot advances), and it's always at the same spots on the map, and the same exact group and it really drags the game down a lot. I can only imagine this is here to drag out the length of the game. It's not a very long RPG, at just about 23 hours it took me to finish and it might have been just a 18 hour game without these dumb fights all the time. Kinda hope Spiders either makes their combat in their next game much more enjoyable, or reduces the number of encounters.


Overall, I really liked my time spent with Technomancer, though. Amazing to see a developer improve this much with just a single game.
 

Digoman

Lurking in the Shadows
Dec 21, 2018
683
1,900
93
NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139...


This is a tough one to “review”.

First the context: Played NieR:Automata on release, using FAR. Great experience overall despite the port. Also at the time I watched some overview of the story of the previous games. Didn’t remember a lot of it for this game but knew some of the broad strokes of the story.

While overall I very much enjoyed my time with Replicant, I think it’s fair to say that it is a worse game than Automata in almost every aspect. Music still is great. Gameplay is somewhat worse but still decent. Then you get into the parts where the original age of the game really shows: Map and quest design. Maps are small and not very interesting, and the sidequests are terrible overall. Lots of fetch quests with running around the maps all the time. Some people say this on purpose and that the game does not want you to 100% it. Problem is some of these quests give weapons that are required to see all the endings. So you will need a guide. Full disclosure: I cheated to grind a lot less for some of these quests, especially the fishing one.

The game's strengths lie in it’s narrative of course. Again Automata reached higher with me, but there still the same charm here. Unfortunately I can’t go into specifics because of spoilers (and thus this review will appear more negative than it really is) so I will just say that I really enjoyed the characters and story. I have almost no complaints with the main story quests.

Once again you are required to play through games several times to view all the endings. I’m going to be extremely generic and what you have to do in each route/ending I but will spoiler just in case.
The game has two parts and five endings:

Ending A: Play through the game normally and do the sidequests you want. A few are recommended to have faster travel and better fishing.

Ending B: Play through the second part again. Sidequests completed before remain that way. A few cutscenes and dialog are added during this playthrough to expand the story. Ending is also expanded. There is a new optional mission to play.

Ending C and D: You will again replay the second part of the game on the same conditions, but this time you will have to get all available weapons (no need to upgrade them). As I said some of the side missions give weapons so you will need to do them if you haven’t already. One of the main missions is a bit different here with new content, but except for that everything is the same (I think) until the ending. Both endings diverge in a decision after the final battle.

Ending E: You play through the first part of the game, starting fresh. Highly recommended to just zip through the main quest. Everything is the same until about 1-2 hours in when you start a completely new short path leading to the game’s final ending.
The main problem here is that I think the game needed more variety in these multiple playthroughs. There aren’t enough differences. This is something that Automata did better. Again, I did enjoy the final result a lot, but it did take a while to get there.

One final observation I must make: One of the characters has an outfit that would make Automata’s 2B blush in theirs. Even though it is not “hammered” down there is a story reason for this that’s… kind of hard for me to judge. I’m personally not a fan at all of the design and regardless of motives, you will have to see a half naked butt during several cutscenes while they are trying to be emotional.

Port quality (as of 05-Aug-2021): It’s better than Automata… but that’s not saying much. There was a patch at least that fixes some issues and makes the game run fine for me, but with a weird 58-59 fps cap. You can disable it and use SpecialK to get 60 fps. Unfortunately if you want to go above that without speeding the game logic you will need to revert to the previous version of the game otherwise SpecialK doesn’t support that. I did that and played through most of game at 144 fps. Aside from one annoying bug where one of your companions is faster and keeps getting in front of the camera while you are “traveling” I didn’t encounter any major problems doing so.

Graphics wise this is a remaster so don’t expect much. In general characters look nice but textures/backgrounds while decent aren’t up to “modern standards”. Audio is great.

Summary:

I liked the game, but it takes a lot of patience to get to the really good parts, especially the final ending. You will have to deal with some dated quest design. Also the playthroughs should have been more different in my opinion. Automata is the clear evolution of all the design goals here and a better game overall. That game I can recommend without hesitation. This one while I still do recommend it, it has to come with some asterisks about the shortcomings.
 
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OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
3,034
9,741
113
Belgium
Finished Dungeons 2


Decent game where you have to build and manage your dungeon in the underground, while fighting evil forces on the surface. The campaign is fun, but there isn't much room for variation in tactics or strategy. Still worth playing thanks to the great concept.

Score: 7.1/10
 

bobnowhere

Careful Icarus
Sep 20, 2018
1,351
3,333
113
34. Liberated (Steam) - Playable comic book where cells can be story or even action/puzzle platform sections. Draws heavily from dystopian movies to tell a tale that would not be out of place in today's world of fake news. ★★★★

35. CATch the Stars (Steam) - Pretty simple puzzle game in a similar vein to the more advanced Sinkr games. Pull the various threads in the right order to clear the level. A Cat goes on a journey to look at the stars ★★★

36. Death's Door (Steam) - Fantastic ARPG taking style notes liberally from Studio Ghibli. Great levels, story and design are matched to a great battle system maybe only let down by a movement system than can be a little haphazard. ★★★★ 1/2

37. Omno (PC Gamepass) - Beautiful little 3d platformer about discovering the world around you and it's various inhabitants. Fun puzzles. ★★★★

38. Cyberpunk (Steam) - Finally got around to finishing it. Unmatched in immersion, an amazing open world but felt empty at times as most of the content is simple checkbox stuff. Characters come and go, outside of the obvious one, and you never feel like you changed them. ★★★★

39. The Bunker (Steam) - Fun little FMV game where you are the last survivor alone inside a nuclear fall out bunker. Discover what happened and how to save yourself when it all goes wrong and your comfortable routine is interrupted. ★★★ 1/2
 

Digoman

Lurking in the Shadows
Dec 21, 2018
683
1,900
93
Finished

Observation

This one didn’t work for me. It’s one of those games that you actually want to like or recommend, but when you put it all down “on paper” (that’s an old person term) there are just way too many bad things vs a few good ones.

You play as an AI of a space station where as usual mysterious things are happening and everyone except one of the crew has disappeared. You view (or “observe” :p) things through the cameras. There’s usually 2 or 3 in each room, where you pan and scan for things to interact. In other segments you will be on a floating orb where you have normal first person controls.

The story is not very original but starts out nicely enough. Good VA, setting an interesting premise and actually making you look forward to what’s next.

Visually the game looks great, but with a lot of post-processing filters. It’s set in the near future but has a tech retro feel. The interfaces you see are old school, including sometimes distortions to seem “curved” like CRTs. Laptops/displays on the station are flat, but a mixture of Windows 95 or older styles of interface. And of course, nothing says “you are seeing things through a camera lense and the tech is kind of retro” like Chromatic Aberration. Lots and lots of Chromatic Aberration. And that’s with it turned it off in the options. Also, I understand facial animation is expensive/hard and really appreciate this game didn’t take the cheap approach of everyone keeping their helmets on, but maybe don’t keep so many long zooms in the faces.

And then we get to the gameplay part. First of all, use a controller. Keyboard and mouse are bad here. The cameras you will be controlling for most of the game? Have to use WASD to move them. First-person segments works better, but with lag in the movements. So even if you are tempted because there is a lot of “cursor” control…. don’t . Because then you enter the rest of the gameplay.

It’s Simon says, QTEs, or a few variations of the game telling you to “do this” so it can move along with the story. Basically you move around to try to find some clues and/or objects to interact (and sometimes that involves the equivalent of “pixel hunting” in 3D) and then do these mini-games which again are designed for controllers.

I have absolutely no problem with games that have minimalist gameplay elements to try to create an experience (“Walking Simulators” being one category) but everything here just gets in your way in a clear attempt to pad the length of the game and that includes slow camera movements. The only difficult part is sometimes trying to find what you have to interact or exactly what sequence you have to do. It’s just annoying.

Still, I was playing hoping the story would be strong enough to compensate for this. And for the first two thirds it is. But then it takes a jump in the final act where it feels like there’s something missing. Since the game also likes to keep some things vague and open to interpretation, I didn’t know if it was intentional or a really screwed up pacing (budget reasons?)

Finally, bugs. I encountered several. Animation (which were usually nice) not connecting properly, clipping and models zipping around trying to be in the “correct” position. It was only gamestopping once where the character model wasn’t where it was supposed to be. Reloading from the previous checkpoint usually resolves this, so it probably won’t happen to everyone. But for me, even the final sequence had clipping issues on the camera. I also had an issue where when changing some options, like disabling v-sync, capped the game at 60fps. Only returning to the presets fixed it.

Summary:

I really wanted to like this. It has actually a very good start for the story, and the graphics can look very impressive. But then the really bad controls and annoying gameplay trying to pad gametime gets in the way.

To be fair, if the story connects with you then will probably enjoy this short game (5 to 6 hours). But for me the last act felt abrupt and it didn’t “stick to the landing”, so there wasn’t a lot left to really like.
 

spiel

Junior Member
Apr 17, 2019
46
122
33
Finished Carto from this month's Humbly Bundly, 9/10

The game is basically an embodiment of :blobmorning2:

It's short (~4-5 hours) which is a plus as there's zero filler. Pacing was great, there was just enough variety with the mechanic and biomes so the game always felt fresh. Whoever wrote the item descriptions did an excellent job because I laughed aloud in a few places. On the whole, the puzzles are fair and I was never stuck for long. The lowest point was a section where it turns into moving tetris pieces around — not my thing at all, so I had no qualms referring to a walkthrough for that. Overall it's not a very deep game but it was a joy to play.
 

Mivey

MeatMember
Sep 20, 2018
1,963
5,952
113
I retired Stories Untold.

Talk about a one trick pony. It's meant as a collection of four short games, with the focus being that you play on an old PC terminal. And I really dig that 80s PC vibe. Like, those giant terminal keyboards look amazing.

But the games are just too boring and lacking of interesting ideas. Where the first one had an interesting idea, the second one was just boring and the third one literally throws a big microfilm manual at me and wants me to decode some morse code and whatever. And that's just really doesn't feel like a worthy investment of my time. Complete nonsense.
 

Mivey

MeatMember
Sep 20, 2018
1,963
5,952
113
I just finished Erica.

This is an interactive FMV game. It's essentially a murder mystery game, about a young girl named Erica whose father gets killed, and the murderer seems to be chasing after Erica ever since, though crucially never hurting her.
I found the story to be mildly interesting, but what really makes this a chore to play is the addition of lots of mini interactions. Opening a book, a door, using a lighter, etc. All those moments the game stops, and wants me to use the mouse to interact with something. 90% of these moments are meaningless fluff. They don't affect anything, they are not branching moments. They just serve as interruptions to the narrative for no good reason. Feels like a complete waste of development effort, and worse, of my time as a player.

The actual mystery is not super uninteresting, and it's not made better by the game that features multiple "flashbacks" of scenes you saw just minutes ago, to hammer in what's going on.

Overall, it was fun to play it once, but I don't see myself going back to go for other endings. The game doesn't allow you to skip scenes you have seen before, so to get all 6 endings, you really would have play the same annoying FMV game 6 times. Yeah, I'm good.
 

Digoman

Lurking in the Shadows
Dec 21, 2018
683
1,900
93
Shamefully finished Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered


So… this a bit of a shameful post but I think maybe it can be useful since there is a movie coming out this year and there is a risk that someone like me decides to replay this game and use this Remaster as an excuse.

Don’t. There is no remaster here. I bought it really cheap in the summer sale (somewhat decent regional price) and even that was a ripoff.

Cutscenes are encoded a little bit better and there are some minuscule differences in lighting/shadows, but on PC there is almost nothing diferent. They didn’t even bother to fix original bugs like a very strong negative mouse acceleration that made it impossible to use Mouse and keyboard me - very fast movements did almost nothing to the camera over here.

Found this PC comparison on youtube if anyone wants to see how much difference there is :p
So avoid this one even if the new movie gets you nostalgic about it.
 

Dinjoralo

None shall remember those who do not fight.
Dec 6, 2018
480
631
93
Finished Halo 3 (MCC PC Gamepass)

To be honest, this was actually quite good. Overall it feels like the game spent more time varying things up with different elements more consistently, and actually succeeding at having some set-pieces that made levels feel less samey, compared to its predecessors. I still can't agree with things like the two weapon limit and how weapons are made less interesting because of it, nor the lack of enemy variety with three enemies dominating most of the runtime, and the story, while delivered better, is still pastey tripe that I find more entertaining when I poke holes in it.

6.5/10. If I had to rate the prior two games, Halo 1 was just boring and samey, 5/10, and Halo 2 was actively trying to be bad, 4/10.
 
OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
3,034
9,741
113
Belgium
Finished Guards


Surprisingly well made turn-based game from the developer of Warstone TD, where you change turn by moving one of your heroes. You can pick 4 heroes out of 8 different classes, and each heroes has a unique attack and super attack. 3 of your heroes are on the front row, and 1 hero is in the back, where he/she is being healed a little every turn. With each turn, the enemies are moving towards you and every hero attacks. You need to make lots of tactical decisions to place your heroes in the most efficient lane and prevent them from dying. After each level, you can upgrade your heroes according to your play style.

All of this sounds more complex than it is, and playing Guards is really fun. My only point of criticism is that the F2P roots are clearly visible. By playing the game, you earn credits that you can use to permanently upgrade your heroes, which makes the game significantly easier. Luckily you earn plenty of credits so it's not that much of a grinding. It also seems to be possible to beat the game without these upgrades, since there's an achievement that requires this. Very recommended!

Score: 8.2/10
 
OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
3,034
9,741
113
Belgium
Finished The Surge 2


The Surge 2 is definitely one of the best souls-likes I've ever played. The combat is really great, and it's awesome to be able to experiment with different weapons and equipment without having to grind for hours. The story and level design are much improved compared to the first game. The game world feels so much more open and has tons of hidden paths and secrets to discover. My only point of criticism is that the game becomes incredibly easy near the end with the General's A.C.U. Punching Glove in combination with certain tech. But I still enjoyed every minute of this game. Well done Deck 13! :cat-heart-blob:

Score: 9.0/10
 

Virtual Ruminant

Junior Member
May 21, 2020
283
778
93
Finished YIIK - A Post-Modern RPG (AckkStudios / ysbryd, 2019)

The year is 1999. Eternally plaid-shirt-clad, fresh college graduate Alex has just returned to his small New Jersey hometown with no idea what to do with himself or his life and, after following a stray cat into an abandoned factory building, witnesses the disappearance / abduction of a woman by strange supernatural beings. Alex enlists the help of former high-school friends and random internet strangers from an online forum dedicated to urban legends to investigate - and things only get stranger from here ...

Pro:
  • All the mechanics and tropes of offbeat 90s and early 00s JRPGs such as EarthBound, Shadow Hearts or Wild Arms in a distinctly American indie package.
  • Completely unique, Lo-Fi art direction that looks like outsider art, but every element of which is a reference to existing games.
  • Eclectic soundtrack that spans the whole range from great to incredibly annoying with contributions from Toby Fox and Michael Kelly.
  • A story that constantly takes turns into ever weirder territory to keep things interesting - at least initially.
Con:
  • Sometimes the charm of the basic interface and Lo-Fi graphics breaks down and reveals the fact that the ambition of the two-brother-development-team was slightly ahead of their ability to make it work. I played version 1.25 of the game, which, if other reviews are to be believed, already fixed a lot of very rough edges of the initial 2019 release and came out this year. Apparently another big update, 1.50, is in the works, release date yet tba.
  • Two thirds into the game, the story takes a hard left turn into territory that pushes far beyond the boundaries of my ability to suspend my disbelief, and regrettably never recovers from there. It's unclear to me if that is yet another reference to its Japanese inspirations or just overambitious writing.
  • The controller support of the Steam version of the game in particular seems to fight with Steam's own controller support, leading to weird input lag and sometimes buttons/triggers outright not working. I eventually forced Steam controller support to off and disabled the Steam overlay for the game to work around these issues. I initially started playing the game on Game Pass for Windows and that version did not have these problems.
  • The turn-based, quicktime-event-heavy combat system is easy to pick up, but lacks depth and tactical challenge once your characters are sufficiently leveled up.

I came to this game with less baggage than most, having played none of the JRPGs it is so inspired by - in fact, I have barely played any JRPGs myself in my life, since turn-based combat is a huge no-no for me (although I might be starting to come around on that with age). To me it was just an interesting, quirky little thing, but judging by other reviews, this game apparently rubs seasoned JRPG fans the wrong way constantly, so your mileage may vary.


3.5/5
 
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fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
6,922
16,748
113
Finished yesterday


Fantastic game. It was really engaging, interesting story, nice gameplay, nice world building and lore, nice music, played really well, liked the combat and upgrade system. Only negative was that the movement felt a bit "iffy" at certain times, like when walking on ice and that the first area felt quite basic and tiring (especially due to some backtracking). Other than that I really liked the game.

Score: 8.7/10
 

C-Dub

Makoto Niijima Fan Club President
Dec 23, 2018
1,646
4,498
113
33
Cardiff, Wales
www.playedthat.com
I haven't done this for a while. Recently finished full time work and now I'm down to 25 hours a week, so I've had a lot more time to play games. Here's what I've been enjoying.

GORN (PC VR)

This is a silly VR game that I enjoyed for an hour or so. It grew old on me pretty quickly but I did enjoy the comic brutality of it, and swinging weapons around was very fun.

8/10

Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir (Switch)

Boring. It's an old adventure game that has a lot of archaic design decisions, and a bland plot to go along with it. I picked it up based on a recommendation, but with hindsight I should've realised that it was hype from a Nintendo fan. I've been burned by recommendations from them before, and I should've known better.

3/10

Fantasian (iPad)

Eh. It's decent, but a bit of a slog. I played it for a while since Part II released, but honestly the game doesn't do enough to keep you hooked and feels like it wants to be grand and ambitious but is held back by its budget. It's a poor facsimilie of PS1 Final Fantasy games.

5/10

Necrobarista (PC)


An interesting filmic visual novel that has slick visual presentation held back by some poor UI/UX decisions. I enjoyed the writing and I think this is one of the better VNs I've read recently, mostly because it respects my time and is actually well-written.

8/10

Persona 5 Royal (PS5)


One of my favourite games, I decided to do a replay of this since I recently picked up a PS5 and can now play it again. Just as good as I remember, and I managed to grab the Platinum trophy on this.

I could write a whole rant about how good Persona 5 Royal is, but I'll just say this: it's a modern Persona game with refinements added from feedback about the original game's shortcomings. The plot feels better paced because the gameplay is more streamlined in ways that doesn't make it easier, but saves you a ton of time. This has allowed Atlus to cram more story in that makes the game more enjoyable from start to finish.

And the new story involving Kasumi and Doctor Maruki is really well-written. It gives me hope that future Persona games are in good hands now much of the original creative team have moved on to non-Persona projects.

10/10

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (PS5)


A great example of a next-gen game. Rift Apart follows the standard Ratchet & Clank formula, but adds lots of brilliantly huge and fast paced setpieces that demonstrate what faster IO brings to the table. I got in on this just as the 40fps mode was added and, since I have a 120hz TV, this really added a lot to the game. It's amazing what a big difference 10fps makes in terms of smoothness.

As I said, this is basically your bog-standard Ratchet & Clank game. I felt some of the weapons in this game weren't as good as prior entries, but the level of polish on the moment to moment gameplay really feels like Insomniac have started to make the most of this series. After god-knows how many entries, it still doesn't feel old.

9/10
 

Avern

Junior Member
May 14, 2020
177
534
93

Just finished going through the early access content for Dread Templar. It was... eh.

The game had some good qualities. The last few levels of Episode 2 introduced some enemies who forced me to move in different ways, and E2M5 had some great, open arena battles. The art direction really picked up in the latter half of Episode 2. It felt like something you'd see from the modern Doom 2 mapping community (and I mean that as high praise). Guns looked, sounded, and felt good to use. So not terrible. But...

It's got enemies with lightning fast reactions who will shoot you the instant you round a corner (projectile based and not hitscan, but often they're close enough that you can't dodge it). The weapons feel nice enough, but it all feels so rote. There's one cool weapon in a bow with recharging ammo, but its ammo takes forever to recharge. It also suffers from that enemy slurry thing that the modern Doom's have, where the game just repeatedly throws a nice mixture of enemies at you. A lot of the enemies have very similar attacks, so you end up having to move in a similar fashion in almost every fight. It gets samey fast. Movement feels completely basic and stock. There's a dash, but it's on such a long cooldown that I was killing myself in platforming sections by thinking, "surely my dash must be back up by now" and then leaping into an abyss. The melee weapon's hits visibly lag behind its animation. There are some enemies with really dangerous attacks, but I don't think they have any audio cues to warn you they're coming, so that's fun. Actually, audio effects are just lacking on enemies in general. The E1M5 boss is a horrible difficulty spike (dude is mad spongey and summons minions in a remarkably nasty formation later in the fight).

There were just so many little problems, and most of them felt so obvious to me that I don't know why they weren't changed before the EA launch. It's some death by 1000 cuts stuff, because nothing individually ruins the experience, but there's just so many little problems.

I have got to stop buying retro-style shooters without thinking about it. I love this subgenre, but at this point, I think I've been disappointed by more of them than I've enjoyed. In a way, Dread Templar might be the most egregious. It feels downright cloying with how often it references other shooters, while not being compelling itself.
 

Joe Spangle

Playing Mad Max
Apr 17, 2019
1,764
5,673
113
Pretty much done with Mini Motorways for now....


Very nice simple little puzzle game where you have to create links between spawning houses and their destination (i guess they are shops or offices etc). It starts off nice and relaxing and quickly ramps up to unmanageable. I liked the first one a lot (trains) and this one is nearly as good, same sort of game. Good to kill 20mins if you are stuck for something to play.

7.5/10
 

didamangi

Who do you think you are? I am!
Nov 16, 2018
493
1,341
93
Jakarta, Indonesia
steamcommunity.com
Have been finishing some metroidvanias on my backlog.


What a beautiful and delightful game. I love pretty much everything about this game. From the amazingly beautiful graphics and the animated cutscenes and the music, to the brisk progression and decently fun bosses. It's one of the best game I've ever played. 10/10




I burnt out 80 percent of the way, just too long and exhausting for me. Pick it up again after a few years and have to spend 30 minutes to get my bearings back. But it made me remember why I love it when it first came out. Good boss fights, immersive world, gorgeous depressing world. Just goes on too long and drains me like the first Dark Souls, which I also love but get burnt out. Which I know I'm in a minority for this and that's fine. I still enjoy it though. 8/10




A sweet and short game, very straightforward design and not a lot of challenge but something about the gameplay keeps me hook. Kinda like if Mr. Driller have a good action adventure game. I'm digging it :D 7/10




Massive improvement over the first one to a more full fledged metroidvania but also still quite short, play it virtually nonstop until the end. Would love to get a third game but I think the devs are now working on The Gunk. 8/10