Reviews Rate the game you finished/retired

Virtual Ruminant

Junior Member
May 21, 2020
283
778
93
Finished Aviary Attorney (Sketchy Logic, 2015)

The year is 1848. Paris is on the brink of yet another revolution, and the prisons are overflowing with guilty and innocent alike. In this trying time, Monsieur Jayjay Falcon, a bird of prey with a good heart and questionable lawyering expertise and his witty apprentice, Sparrowson, have bet their law office on one clever marketing trick - calling it Aviary Attorneys, to be listed near the beginning of the Parisian business directory...

The game is a detective visual novel in the style of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, was financed through a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised 18,917 GBP and released through Steam Greenlight. There are 4 cases, the last of which branches into 3 different endings depending on the player's handling of case 3.

Pro:
  • As if the setting and characters weren't already charming enough, the whole game is illustrated in the style of (and occasionally with verbatim works of) 19th century French caricaturist J. J. Grandville and scored with arrangements of 19th century French classical composers such as Camille Saint-Saëns, Hector Berlioz, Georges Bizet and Erik Satie. Intertextual art direction doesn't get better than this.
  • The writing and story is great. Like its big inspiration Phoenix Wright, it's a comedy first and foremost, but it gets a fair share of satirical digs at the notion of justice in along the way.
  • The story progresses by calendar days and the save system is very comfortable - it lets you go back to any day you have previously played at any point.
Con:
  • The first case is pretty much a game tutorial, which leaves 3 proper story cases - which really isn't much. Even with the branching endings, this game will not last beyond six hours. The setting and scenario surely would have had room for more.
  • Lacks a fast forward function.

I loved everything about this game, what a gem! My only complaint is that there isn't more of it.


4.5/5
 
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OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
3,034
9,741
113
Belgium
Finished Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King


Blossom Tales is a very decent Zelda clone, with beautiful 16-bit pixel art and a wonderful soundtrack. While it lacks the clever dungeon design and charming characters of the Zelda games, it's definitely worth playing because the devs put so much love in this game. There's a large overworld with charming towns, funny characters and plenty of secrets to discover. You also have to find your way through several dungeons, filled with puzzles and deadly traps.

My major point of critique is that certain types of puzzles are repeated way too much throughout the game. The dungeons are also rather linear. On the other hand, the combat works really well and most of the boss fights are very well designed. Recommended.

Score: 7.5/10
 

Virtual Ruminant

Junior Member
May 21, 2020
283
778
93
More or less finished MouseCraft (Crunching Koalas, 2014)

It's a Lemmings-style puzzle game, where you need to pave the way for three mice through two-dimensional levels filled with obstacles and deadly dangers, so they can make it to the exit.

It modifies the Lemmings formula by taking away abilities, meaning your only influence on the mice's behavior is passive, and adds a mechanic to extensively modify the level itself - with tetromino building blocks, some of which have special properties such as being explosive, decay from getting walked on, being soft-surfaced to neutralize fall-damage, etc.

There also are collectible items in the levels, which do influence the level completion score (bronze, silver, gold). A certain number of these items need to be collected to unlock the next set of levels in the game.

Pro:
  • Clever and successful combination of Lemmings and Tetris elements to make a new and interesting puzzle challange.
  • Pleasant art direction, although it lacks the originality of Lemmings and thus is less memorable.
  • Fair level design that manages to be challenging while avoiding all of Lemmings' problems such as pixel-hunting. There is also a great block-by-block undo feature that avoids the old Lemmings annoyance of having to start over due to a mis-click.
  • Includes level editor.
Con:
  • Especially the last set of the four sets of levels really is more of difficulty saw-tooth waveform rather than a curve.
  • You could easily imagine a lot bigger and more complex levels, but this clearly was sacrificed in order to make this game more portable/mobile friendly.
  • Level editor not integrated with Steam Workshop.

I'm always looking for Lemmings-style puzzle games that manage to improve on the original formula and this one really does. You can regularly get excellent deals on this game (as low as 3 USD) and you get a good 20 hours(*) of challenge out of it if you plan to perfect every level. Solid recommendation for fans of the genre.


(*) HowLongToBeat.com disagrees with me here enormously, claiming 8.5 hours for full completion. I daresay that unless you are a seriously big-brained puzzle pro, my estimation is closer to reality.


3.5/5
 
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Dec 5, 2018
879
2,103
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Final Fantasy I Pixel Remaster

First of all, I had previously played a version of this game so I'll make some comparisions along the way.

As far as the plot goes it's probably the simplest one, it barely has any. It can be summarized in like 3 lines:
  • The Warriors of Light Save the princess
  • The warriors of light must find the 4 crystals
  • The warriors must bring the crystal at the right place and face the final boss.
There's a bit more to it but it just doesn't really matter.

As you start the game it asks you to select the class of your 4 party members you can combine them anyway you want, you have 6 classes (which will later be upgraded as part of the story) to choose from. In theory any combination should work.
Magic in this game works like the original release, that is, for every magic level you can purchase spells and for every level you have a limited number of uses rather than relying in a shared pool of MP as latter games (and 2 of the previous remasters of this game) would do. It might seem like a problem but it really isn't since later on you can cast some spell using infinitely reusable items, so you can reach the bosses with max MP (which is where you'll really need to use higher level magic).

One problem that you might encounter with the game is that you might not know where to go, you basically need to rely on random NPCs metioning places in (sometimes) vague ways, but since you'll need to visit nearly any place you'll eventually find the next destination.

Some previous remasters/remakes (the GBA Dawn of Souls and the PSP 20th Anniversary) had some extra dungeons with bosses from other games or entirely new bosses but are removed from this version I think the bosses would need to be fully rebalanced to work in this version but maybe not, still is not a big loss. That means that the closest thing the game has to a superboss is the warmech, an enemy with a very low encounter rate that is on par with the final boss (about ~1h of my play time was trying to get it to spawn).

This version includes a minimap for each dungeon, which makes dungeon exploration way easier (since you can see where you have to go and where most chest are located.

Depending on your windows region settings somethings might not render properly (water and lava), that made one dungeon unplayable for me (well, I could rely on the minimap but still). I ended up having to create a script that changes my region settings to the US then launch the game and then revert to my settings. If it were any other company I'd expect them to fix that (but with SE, they could fix it or maybe do it in 2 years when nobody expects it), the problem comes from the way Unity handles the culture, but I won't hold my breath (Edit: As of 26/08/2021 it has been fixed).

6/10
 
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fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
6,922
16,749
113
Finished


Really enjoyed my time with this. I found both the gameplay and story to be very engaging and intriguing, the music and sound were good and the graphics were nice too. Time loop games aren't for everyone, but I at least enjoyed this one. The negative is lack of "skip dialogue" button, the twist being really weird/disgusting and a few plot holes I found. Overall, I really enjoyed the game.

Score: 8.6/10
 
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didamangi

Who do you think you are? I am!
Nov 16, 2018
493
1,341
93
Jakarta, Indonesia
steamcommunity.com
Retired:

I know it's a 3DS game originally but clunky controls and the arkham combat in 2D doesn't really translate to a very fun gameplay. I'm a few hours in before thinking this is just the arkham series shrunk down to linear sidescrolling map with clunky controls, animations and combat. And that's just isn't fun for me. 4/10.

Retired (for now):

Another 3DS game ported to pc, I actually like the lords of shadow series, story is interesting as always for the series but the stiff combat and controls doesn't really help. I like the cell shaded cutscenes and I wish they use that for the in game graphics as well, would've made the game more visually appealing rather than the bland 3D look. It's not really a bad game but after playing some top notch metroidvanias this just feels like a step down. Might revisit it in the future if the mood strike though. 6/10
 
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Paul

Junior Member
Jan 26, 2019
130
267
63
Finished - 8/10


Holy moly. Where to begin. A Final Fantasy for fans and first timers. I am a first timer alright. This was my first JRPG ever. I never played any because their aesthetics, linearity and turnbased combat systems always turned me off. I much prefer western RPGs (my favourite genre by far).
But hey this game looks like it has a nice 3D world to explore and action realtime combat! I might enjoy it!

And enjoy it I did. To give it best possible chance, I watched Brotherhood Anime. I watched Kingsglaive movie. I read prequel short story. Then I played the game, and all its DLCs, and did the alternate endings in them.

It is a game that has metric shit ton of flaws:

  • worst sidequest design in history of mankind
  • near zero interesting NPCs
  • weird pacing with some truly bland and boring sequences, right when the game should be crescendoing (chapter 13)
  • extremely simplistic combat system that allows entire game to be basically played by holding a right trigger
  • annoying inability to drive a car for the first 7 chapters or so, resulting in me having to browse my phone while waiting for Ignis to drive me to destination
  • couple really annoying dungeons
  • CRASHES, first 20 hours the game crashed on me very often, and usually just after I spent an hour in a dungeon where I could not save. Then I found some random miraculous combination of settings that made the game mostly stable

Story which...well, it has its share of fun and melodramatic moments, and I liked the main characters, but the whole point of the story and its ending just does not really sit well with me ("I am a God and you will do as I say" And that's what we do.).
And apparently it did not sit well with the writers either, because they introduced two separate alternative "endings" in the two DLCs! And one of them was even supposed to get 4 more follow-up DLCs that would completely change the ending, before Squeenix canceled it (and so it got released as a 400 page book - and I am considering reading it).

Anyway, laundry list of flaws. So why the hell did I play it for 75 hours (incl. DLCs) and actually enjoy it?

I loved its world - 50s americana fused japanese fantasy was fresh and fun to see and explore. I liked the lead characters. I liked the spectacularity of the combat and the animations. I am an OCD-afflicted sucker for doing quests in open worlds...even if the quests piss me off with their terribleness. I absolutely loved the whole summer vacation vibe of the game (even if it clashed with the apocalyptic setup), and I loved its soundtrack and atmosphere.

Oh and btw, it's not an RPG. It's an open world action game. Zero decision making agency here.









 

d00d3n

Junior Member
Jan 26, 2019
171
277
63
Ys IX: Monstrum Nox

It is a good JRPG with some improvements compared with Ys VIII, but comes off as a less engaging game for me personally.

The main story is good, but it feels much slower and more convoluted than the minimalist deserted island survivor scenario in VIII. The big revelations were held back until the last three hours of a fifty hour game, and the chapter based story content until that point was somewhat disappointing, although sometimes amusing.

The level design is fine, and on the plus side it felt more vertical than VIII, but there is an abundance of maze like levels often representing literal dungeons, which can feel repetitive, even if the levels are fun to explore. I think there is less cohesion between the different levels compared with VIII. The feeling is that they focused on the Balduq hub, and then there are various one-off dungeons connected to the sub districts of the hub, while VIII provided an epic journey over physically connected levels with a greater focus on points of escalation and pacing.

The Balduq open world is well designed and obviously represents something that did not exist in the previous game, but there is a lot of repetitive content and grinding that comes from the design choice to go open world.

The character design is great. Most of the characters were really memorable both in graphic design and story content in a way that seemed like a clear improvement from VIII.

The music is also great.

The battle system is good, but exploitable by cheap tricks and repetitive moves on normal difficulty.

The PC port is great, especially the native mouse and keyboard support, which I used through my entire PC playthrough.

Overall I would rate the game 8/10, compared with 9/10 for Ys VIII.
 

Yoshi

o_O
Jan 5, 2019
364
1,731
93

Like Skyrim with guns.

In all seriousness, I had a decent time with the game. A lot of people have grown tired of Bethesda's formula, but it still manages to lure me in. The story was interesting enough, and the combat felt better than previous Bethesda games. My build was basically Run 'n Gun. Didn't touch VATS at all.

The DLC was hit or miss. I thought Far Harbor was really well done and at least on par with the main game. Nuka-World, however, had a good introduction but quickly got repetitive and failed to keep my attention.

With all that said, Nick Valentine is the best companion.

4/5

One of the coolest moments in any game I've played:

The video doesn't quite capture the same feeling as when you're in-game. But ya, seeing the enormous airship while the main theme plays in the background made it such a memorable scene.

In my playthrough, I sided with the Institute. I wanted to make up for the lost time with my son. Sure, the Institute did fucked up shit, but maybe I thought I could change it for the better when Shaun/Father named me his successor.
 
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Bonfires Down

Junior Member
Nov 18, 2019
208
527
93
Finished Halo 3



This is how I would sum up the Halo 3 story not having played the earlier games:
  • Shoot aliens in the face
  • Shoot other alien species in the uhm... thing where the face should be
  • Ally with aliens who we were shooting in the face
  • Kill some guy
  • Get betrayed by said aliens 5 minutes later
  • Rescue Cortana
  • Blow up a thing
  • Dramatic escape with explosions
  • Get betrayed again. Or we betrayed him. Who knows.
  • Someone dies a heroic deathTM
  • Blow up another thing
  • Dramatic escape with explosions
Now that is exaggerated and I know there is more to the story. But what is shown in the game is just not well presented or well written by today's standard. And most of the important stuff is in cutscenes even while there was plenty of opportunity to progress the narrative through voice overs during gameplay.

Ok, story isn't everything. But in a campaign it is what takes a good game to a great one for me. The lack of subtitles doesn't exactly help with understanding the story either.

There's also something off about the sound design. Not sure if it's a lack of music at points or a lack of ambient sounds. But it makes things feel "empty" at times I guess.

But, does the gameplay hold up? Yes it does. The core gameplay still feels good, even though it takes a while to adjust to the lack of sprint and the low gravity jumps. The shooting mechanics feel great and the weapons are varied and balanced. It's not as uniquely excellent anymore as I thought it was at the time of release but it's still good stuff. There's a nice bit of variety with the various vehicles you get to control and there's definitely some fun to be had with the sandbox nature of the game and the sometimes chaotic AI. The visuals also hold up surprisingly well.

Probably gonna check out the multiplayer next as I've never played a Halo MP, and maybe try my hand at heroic difficulty sometime.

7.5/10
 
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Dec 5, 2018
879
2,103
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Final Fantasy II Pixel Remaster
Or SaGa Zero (maybe)

Unlike FFI I had not played this game in any shape or form. I was always intrigued by it but never got around playing it.

As for the story, the game actually has one. It's simple but it exists (and for a NES game it's a considerable step up). The story revolves around a group who lost their home due to an invasion by the empire and end up joining the rebel army.

Now, as for what made this game interesting is the progression system. You don't level up but rather get better skills. That is, if the more you use a sword, the more damage you'd do, same with magic. Then stats go up depending what you do, weapons will rise you strength, magic will raise another depending of the type of magic and so on.
I kind of like it, once you learn how to exploit it (i did learn how to really exploit it towards the end of the game, and since I wanted to get the cheevo for maxing 1 weapon skill). One weird thing that this game does is using a shield will raise your evasion (and that is a very important thing).

One of the weirdest thing in this game is how status effects work, it seems like if an enemy can do an status effect when hitting you it will do it 100% of the time unless you block it or evade (that's why evasion is so important). If not you might end up stun locked with your whole party unable to act and waiting for the swift release of a game over.
And that leads me to one of my biggest gripes with the game the encounter rate is miserable you'll be fighting every few steps (at least in this version it seems you get improvements faster). There are some trap rooms in dungeons that make the encounter rate even worse.

That said the game is pretty broken (which I like) the blood sword (which drains enemy HP) is so broken that it works even with the final boss, making the last boss a bit anticlimatic.

As with the remaster of FFI there are some cool additions, a minimap for dungeons (which makes finding chests less annoying), autosave after every room (that makes randomly dying cause you got stun locked less annoying, in fact there isn't a "traditional" way to save inside the dungeons) and a quick save slot that let's you save at any time.

6.5/10

P.S. The game also had the same bug that depending on your OS region it would fail to render some effects, I used the same script that I made for I, but to my own surprise SE patched the game just a few hours ago so now it's no longer a problem.
 

Virtual Ruminant

Junior Member
May 21, 2020
283
778
93
Finished Botanicula (Amanita Design, 2012)

A quirky point-and-click/drag/chase puzzle adventure game.

Pro:
  • Amanita Design always is a guarantee for excellent, highly stylized hand-drawn animation, music and sound design - with a strong weird bend. This game is no exception. Just a joy to experience.
  • While it still has all the basic components of classic point-and-click adventure puzzling (2D game world, clickable objects, an object inventory, it's all very streamlined. Every room and puzzle is designed to be entertaining at least as much as puzzling and there's just an enormous amount of funny animations to be discovered while clicking around the game.
  • Short and to the point: About 4 hours worth of play time with zero filler.
Con:
  • Odd native resolution (1440x900).

This game predates the absolutely hilarious Chuchel and really feels like its spiritual predecessor, a first step away from the hardcore point and click adventures Amanita got a reputation for during the 00s and towards just letting loose with the comedy. Not quite as funny or great as Chuchel either, but still a joy to play.


4/5
 

Joe Spangle

Playing Mad Max
Apr 17, 2019
1,764
5,673
113
Not finished but played a fair bit of Dicey Dungeons to get an impression.


Its great! I'm really enjoying it. Sort of a card based duelling game where you roll some dice to attack/defend against a series of fun cartoony characters. Its got a lot of charm and light humour. I like the battle mechanics, there is a good amount of strategy mixed with the randomness of the dice roll. Not really into card games in general but this one is a lot of fun and has a lot of replayability.

It was on sale recently for a few quid so it'll probably be so again soon. Well worth it.

9/10
 
OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
3,034
9,741
113
Belgium
I actually finished Dicey Dungeons today :p


Excellent card battle game with very clever game design. Every character plays completely diffrent, plus there's an 'alternate reality' level for each. The game is quite lengthy - you have to finish all floors 6 times with each character before you reach the final boss - but the excellent gameplay and variation kept me playing till the end. Very recommended!

Score: 9.0/10
 

Digoman

Lurking in the Shadows
Dec 21, 2018
683
1,900
93
Psychonauts 2


Despite the Steam link I played the gamepass version. As of 27-August-2021 there were some stutters typical of caching shaders in DX12 when you do certain things for the first time (like smashing some objects) but they got better the longer I played the game and were just a small distraction.

If you liked/loved the first game, you can stop reading this right here. This one improves in almost every way while still being “old school” and familiar. Go play it. It’s incredible.

Now for the full text praising this game.

First, the context. A long time ago when I started playing the first game, it didn’t immediately grab me. The controls were a little clunky and the art style took some getting used to, as did the writing - which to be frank is probably usual for Double Fine games.

But by the end… I was a huge fan. Incredible levels, fun characters and great fun all around. Even the last level where the wonky controls really got in the way did not reduce my opinion about it. I haven’t played the VR game.

So enter this sequel. It started as a crowdfunded project before the Microsoft acquisition of Double Fine, so it’s first and foremost a “love letter” to the fans of the previous games.

Here lies probably what can be the biggest criticism I can make about it: It can be too similar to the first game in some aspects, like the exact same type of collectibles, a lot of the same powers and the story itself is also a direct continuation of the previous entries, including the VR one. They try to do a quick reintroduction to the powers and also do a recap of the story when you first start, but it can certainly be a little confusing if you are new to the games, while at same time a little “boring” if you just played the previous games.

But none of that matters after the first hour or so. By then the imaginative level design, charming characters and amazing art will have won you over. Also the controls of the first one are vastly improved. Some very small nitpicks (some lock on issues, lack of “impact” when you are hit) aside the game plays exceptionally well.

It’s a joy to traverse these amazing worlds. As I wrote, there is an “old school” feeling here, like those huge rooms that are 20 times your height just so you can jump around, and the graphics look gorgeous while still retaining the simple style of the original.

Like the first game, there are small “open world” sections on the real world for you to explore, but obviously where the game shines is in the “mind” worlds you enter. They are very creative both from a gameplay and visual points of view. The game is always throwing something new at you, always keeping you entertained right until the end. It took me 16-17 hours to reach the credits, and all the time I was enjoying myself, smiling and even laughing out loud with some of the jokes. The writing has all the charm of the original and I really found myself caring for these “silly” looking characters. Shoutout to one the new students “Sam” that’s way to funny/fun.

Summary: Okay, I need to wrap this up. As someone who hasn’t played the first game in a while, this one was perfect for me. It’s astonishing how they kept it familiar but improved everything at the same time. And all of this with a level of polish that feels a little strange on a Double Fine game. Sure, there still is some of the “clunkiness” of their games (like some weirdly paced cutscenes that can also have loading screens in the middle of them) but that’s actually a good thing. They didn’t spend the extra time and money on trying to streamline the game or make it too modern to broaden its appeal. Instead, they choose to polish what they had and make one of the best possible versions of what it wants to be.

This is just the same Psychonauts that you (maybe) loved before, but improved and with almost everything that was “bad” removed. It took a long time, but I honestly couldn't have asked anything else from a sequel.

By far my favorite game this year. Sorry about the long text, but I find it hard to stop gushing about it.
 
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DesolationStone

Junior Member
Sep 17, 2020
28
66
13
Italy - Campania - Salerno
and maybe try my hand at heroic difficulty sometime.
Remember: every Halo must played the first time at Heroic: it's the best difficult where you can actually see how good it's the A.I. and the variety of enemie's ranks.
Anyway, for me Halo 3 it's a mix of love and hate: the narrative it's so short and need to cover a lot of events, but damn how I love the missions where you to fight against the Scarabs!


I've played a lot of games since last time, so here's a recap

- Planescape Torment


I'm not very good in English: 4 years ago, in my first year of high school, I got a 3 (on a scale from 0 to 10) in English, so I'll let you imagine my situation. So, in 2018 I bought Planescape Torment, because at the time a group of Italian rpg fans called "Allegri Buffoni" announced that they had started working on a translation of the Enhanced Edition of Planescape. The translation was completed at the end of 2019, but for some bureaucratic reason (Beamdog's fault) it was never officially released, until last May, when AB's leader, tired of months of nothing, released the translation on an Italian forum. For fun I started to play the game in English, and, to my surprise, I found that I was able to understand almost everything, so I continued to play in English until the end after two months. Anyway, the video game is great, the setting is crazy and the writing incredible (thanks Avellone), but I hated the UI, the inventory and, as everyone agrees, the combat, which was somehow nice for the visuals, but also so repetitive and confusing.

9.5/10

"Time is not your enemy. Eternity is."

- Homefront

A very nice and short FPS. I liked the setting and I interpreted it as a self-criticism of the American ideology of exporting democracy: right now, it's the USA under the occupation of another country, North Korea, that wants to export security and modernity. Anyway, the gunplay was meh and the enemy A.I. a little stupid, but everything else was fine. A big F of respect to the multiplayer: lots of good ideas died for the low player population.

6,5/10

- Homefront: The Revolution


A lot of my friends described this game as terrible, but I found it very good, obviously not a masterpiece or a very good game, but a normal, classic game with good ideas and some problems. The gunplay was much better than the predecessor, and I enjoyed playing with the "Sandbox" which, unfortunately, was barely implemented. I liked the story and the narrative, but not the A.I. and the repetitive gameplay. I also played the dlcs and really liked the final one.

7/10

- Disco Elysium

So, after playing Planescape, I decided to take the second step and clicked play on steam for Disco Elysium, even though I was terrified of the amount of English text I would be reading and trying to understand. Best idea of my life. This game has already changed me like only a few games have been able to do this (System Shock, Ultima 4, Alpha Centauri). The storyline is simply amazing, the most mature for an RPG since Fallout New Vegas but set in a realistic fictional environment with real people, real ideologies, real people, and a beautiful art style. Even though there's no combat, the gameplay leads you to decide what kind of person you want to be: a drunk, a cop on the rebound, a psychopath, etc. You have so many possibilities and so many ways that you probably need 4 or 5 runs to discover each combination. The voice acting is simply the best I've ever heard, and the soundtrack is so good that it led me to buy a video game OST for the first time. In the end, this game has a writing so deep and complex that I can compare it to a book: I found references to Latin, French, ancient Greek, but also real scientific and political documentation. Even the title Disco Elysium (where Disco comes from the Latin for "Discovery") has a double meaning. I'm simply proud of myself for having the opportunity and knowledge to play and finish it.
Disco Elysium - OST - Whirling-In-Rags 12 PM
11/10
 
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C-Dub

Makoto Niijima Fan Club President
Dec 23, 2018
1,646
4,498
113
33
Cardiff, Wales
www.playedthat.com
Played a few games recently, retired most of them.

Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin (PC)

I loved the first Psychonauts and I was super psyched when its sequel was announced. In the interim, Double Fine released this little VR curiosity.

I should start by saying it's okay. Well, that's being generous. The writing is good, the gameplay is super-meh. Puzzles are uninspired and the use of VR as a medium is poor. This is a game that could very well be played as a pancake title and nothing of value would be lost.

About the only reason I persisted was because it's a Psychonauts game. If this was anything else I'd have ditched it. That said, fans of the first game who want a primer on the story for the sequel would do well to play this, especially if it goes on sale for cheap again.

5/10

Twelve Minutes (PC - retired)


Horrible. Utterly horrible.

The game starts out intriguing but then descends into David Cage nonsense part-way through. By the time I'd dropped it I was thoroughly appalled and disappointed with the poor quality of the writing and embarrassed by proxy that Daisy Ridley, Willem Dafoe and James McAvoy acted in this. Games always struggle to gain "legitimacy" in circles where quality actors, writers and directors work, and shit like this does the medium no favours. What am absolute clusterfuck of a game.

I abandoned this game before the end, but out of curiosity looked up spoilers. I'm glad I wasted no more of my time on this garbage.

I might go as far as saying that this is the worst game I've invested any meaningful time in in years. Why did Annapurna, a company that usually sells itself as a publisher of high quality games, allow this trash to release? And this isn't even the first mess they've released recently: Last Stop was also a bad game. Funnily enough, both are Game Pass games, so the next time Annapurna release something on Game Pass I will be wary of its quality.

3/10

Super Mario 3D World (Switch - retired)


I should say that I played and loved Bowser's Fury, which felt like a proper 3D Mario miniature. And that I already played 3D World on the Wii U and found it disappointing then.

It's just as boring as I remembered. Kitsch art direction and insipid gameplay mechanics round out a 3D Mario that takes all the poor qualities of 2D Mario and transposes them into a 3D game. Super Mario 3D World is peak "Nintendo has lost the plot" during the Wii U era, and porting it to Switch and increasing movement speed doesn't fix that.

Bowser's Fury is banging, though. They should release that as a more affordable standalone.

6/10
 

Bonfires Down

Junior Member
Nov 18, 2019
208
527
93
Finished Halo: CE Anniversary campaign



The level design is mixed bag. Some of the levels are well designed, even though it's nothing special by today's standards. But then some of the interior levels are just filled with what are almost identical looking rooms and corridors, to the point where you often don't even know where you are. At times I even just zone out and play by routine. And then there is the infamous Library level. It's just as bad as I expected, and maybe worse. Just endless copypasted rooms with slight variations, fighting the same few enemies over and over. It's pretty baffling that this managed to make its way to such a big name game. However, in hindsight I almost look back at with fondness, like some surreal fever dream. It's not fun, but it's memorable.

I realize the game had to be rushed for the Xbox launch but that's not my problem. They would have been better off just removing half of the repeated stuff and have the campaign be shorter.

The story is pretty cool. I like the concept, but it's spread pretty thin over just a few cutscenes etc. There are optional terminals for more exposition but they just introduce more stuff that is not explained.

So again, it is the gunplay that saves the day. Honestly pretty amazing how perfectly Bungie were able to nail it for the first installation of Halo all while introducing several new concepts some of which are now standard in shooters. Halo 3 has more "stuff", but the core gameplay feels just as good in the first game. And it is often enough to overcome the repetition, but not always.

I played the game mostly on normal, and I hear that heroic or higher is where it shines. I actually started out on Heroic but after getting stuck at one section I backed down to normal. I do like difficult games but there's got to be some element of randomization or progression (e.g roguelites) or I will get frustrated and then bored.

6/10
 

DesolationStone

Junior Member
Sep 17, 2020
28
66
13
Italy - Campania - Salerno
Finished Halo: CE Anniversary campaign


6/10
Halo CE have a lot of issue as you already said, but IMHO 6/10 it's too low!
Alright the ripetitive level design, alright the bad flood and alright the bad narrative, BUT
- The game has a very constructive and funny tactical-sanbox gameplay:
There is a Command hierarchy between the covenat in the order Elite - Jackal - Grunt that you can use at your advantage my calling the right enemy at the right time; the weapons are yes few, but distinguished from each other: AR in close combat, sniper rifle in distance, magnum for headshot, plasma pistol in combo with magnum, plasma rifle for mid-distance etc. This differentiation many times allows you to have multiple approaches of action
- The A.I. it's simple great
Even from great distance, the enemies will try to catch a cover they will try to response to your moves
- There are a lots of intelligent design ideas
Like the fact that you are not the only one with the regenerative shield, that vehicles need more passengers to operate, that you can carry only two different weapons and that the 4 difficulty actually change the gameplay: the number of enemies, their A.I. and other things that push you to use more strategies
Anyway, yes, the game it's globally overrated, but only because for the time was the most advanced FPS for console and also had a fantastic Lan Multiplayer
Not a 10/10 or even a 9/10, but surely over a 6/10 (y)
 

Yoshi

o_O
Jan 5, 2019
364
1,731
93
Psychonauts 2

Pros
  • Faithful to its predecessor
  • Solid 3D platforming
  • Art/Level design is great
  • Fun combat system
  • Enjoyable boss fights
  • Satisfying to explore areas for figments and other collectables
  • Still maintains its charm

Cons
  • Story/Characters not as humorous as the first game
  • Pacing issues, second half of game felt very rushed as you constantly jump from one brain to the next
  • Slight annoyance having to swap powers to get through a section, as you can only have 4 equipped powers at a time (you can pause/open a menu to swap them on the fly)

The good outweighs the bad, as the core gameplay is much improved compared to its predecessor.

4/5
 

C-Dub

Makoto Niijima Fan Club President
Dec 23, 2018
1,646
4,498
113
33
Cardiff, Wales
www.playedthat.com
Psychonauts 2

It's not often I play a game on Game Pass then add it to my Steam Wishlist because I think it's worth buying in the future. Psychonauts 2 is one of those games.

Quality writing and humour, touching on some emotional subjects with gracefulness and depth. There's no pity porn here - just flawed people and their psyches.

The platforming has an old school twist, with refinements and tightening up from the first game that make it a joy to play.

Art direction is ugly (in a good way) and always interesting. The whole thing just seeps bizarreness.

I think this game is quite the accomplishment. It's a wonderful fusion of solid, if unremarkable, gameplay, quality writing, good music and excellent visuals. There's no AAA capitalist nonsense like dark patterns, abusive DLC cajoling, a gazillion icons on the map to overwhelm you in a faux live service environment. It's just a wholesome 10-20 hour game that respects your intelligence and your time.

9/10
 

Yoshi

o_O
Jan 5, 2019
364
1,731
93
Superliminal - Thanks again sk2k! :)

One of the most unique and creative puzzle games out there. Using perception as a mechanic to solve puzzles is an extremely clever idea. It's unfortunately on the short side, as it only takes around 2 hours to complete. I also wish the puzzles were a bit harder. Nonetheless, it's a very trippy and mind-bending puzzler worth playing.

4/5
 

Virtual Ruminant

Junior Member
May 21, 2020
283
778
93
Finished South Park: The Stick of Truth (Obsidian Entertainment / South Park Digital Studios / Ubisoft, 2014)

You're the new kid that just moved into town. You don't talk much. Your parents send you off to make some friends. And all the kids in South Park seem to be heavily into LARPing right now, so you play along...

Pro:
  • Looks like South Park (style, animation, backgrounds, characters), sounds like South Park (voice overs). Perfect marks.
  • Story and setting is pretty much on par with a good South Park episode - lots of parody (the game mostly lampoons The Elder Scrolls V - Skyrim, but later on also pays homage to 8-bit JRPGs), and the usual wild and quickly escalating story twists. Combined with voice-over performances and dialogue writing that is indistinguishable from the show, again makes for a perfect score.
  • The RPG gameplay and mechanics are not just set-dressing, there is some depth to the systems, particularly for combat. The game never takes it far enough to be actually difficult or difficult to figure out though - clearly it wants to entertain more than to challenge.
Con:
  • For people who want some real grind and lots of time spent in an RPG, any RPG, even a South-Park-RPG, this game will be slightly disappointing. The amount of side-quests is very manageable, what little grind exists is mostly there to be made fun of by the game, and if you don't forego looting and weapons upgrading on purpose, you will not lose very many battles. Even a completionist run of the game should not take longer than 12 hours, a solid playthrough probably more like 8. For super-fans of South Park, the amount of locations from the show present in the game might also be slightly disappointing, even though the essentials are all there. For me personally none of this was a problem.

It's a funny thing with me and South Park, I keep thinking "eh, probably not for me" and then pretty much every time I get around to watching the show again, or when I watched the movie or played this game years and years after it came out, my reaction always ends up being "Wow, lol, this was great!".


5/5
 
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OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
3,034
9,741
113
Belgium
Retired Train Sim World 2


This game is really hard to review for me. On the one hand, Train Sim World 2 does lots of things right: very detailed locomotives, improved environment graphics compared to Train Simulator, excellent sound and plenty of varied scenarios.

But on the other hand, there are so many things that aren't explained in the tutorials, and it's very time consuming and often frustrating to figure these things out. Be prepared to read lengthy community made documents and videos if you want to understand the safety systems of the German trains, and I gave up on the "Fully Fueled" scenario because I couldn't figure out how to set up a train with 4 locomotives. While I usually don't mind some trial error, having to walk a mile between the front and tail locomotives each time is incredibly boring and frustrating.

The fact that the game has plenty of bugs doesn't help either: markers are in the wrong place or show the wrong value, the game crashes from time to time, scenarios are giving you the wrong instructions etc. Saving and loading is even completely broken, which is unacceptable in a game with 2+ hours scenarios.

All of the above made me give up on this game. But there is a good game underneath all of this. With some decent bug fixing and decent tutorials, Train Sim World 2 would be so much more enjoyable. But sadly we're not there yet. :(

Score: 5.6/10
 
OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
3,034
9,741
113
Belgium
Finished Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night


Excellent metroidvania with a huge amount of enemies, bosses, weapons and upgrades. This is the modern Castlevania that Konami never made. Experimenting with different shards and weapons is incredibly fun, and the game is polished from start to end.

My only point of criticism is that it's very hard to figure out how to get the "real" ending without using a guide. While this is common in modern metroidvanias, Ritual of the Night has a huge amount of content locked after the bad endings. Also, one of the necessary shards being locked behind a 10% drop rate of a certain enemy is even complete BS. But even with this minor flaw, Ritual of the Night is definitely one of the best metroidvanias ever made!

Score: 9.1/10
 

C-Dub

Makoto Niijima Fan Club President
Dec 23, 2018
1,646
4,498
113
33
Cardiff, Wales
www.playedthat.com
Road 96 (PC)

A fun little "choose your own adventure" that procedurally generates the events you encounter and the order they come in. It's kind of like a narrative roguelike, but also not quite.

This creates an interesting way of telling the story, where you get bits and pieces in each run, but as the player you get to see all the parts come together.

I very much enjoyed expressing my own political views in my first road trip, but in subsequent chapters I liked to roleplay a little bit, taking the role of the liberal or the hyper-revolutionary (if you hadn't gathered, I am exasperated, politically, and would just rather leave a dump than try to make it better).

There are a few gamey moments, and I'm actually surprised at how well conceived and balanced they are. I particularly enjoyed the air hockey game.

I feel the small cast of characters you encounter are a little "incestuous" so to speak, inasmuch as everyone has links to everyone else, and Petria is by no means a small country. The coincidences and encounters are a little uncanny. But if you're willing to suspend your disbelief on that and let the the story play out, I think it's an interesting story about good people beaten down by a despairing lack of hopelessness, and you really find yourself in the moment, empathising not only with the people you encounter but the teenager you've inhabited on this run.

It's quite an achievement. I've never played anything like it, and after a good 7 hours on Road 96, I'd like to see someone else take a stab at this narrative structure.

9/10
 

Joe Spangle

Playing Mad Max
Apr 17, 2019
1,764
5,673
113
There is no game...


Fun sort of point and click game with an interesting narrative and some unusual puzzles. One of those games best to just play blind so i wont say anything about the story other than there are some good-ish references to gaming from the last 30-odd years, past to present. Overall i enjoyed it. Maybe it dragged on slightly too long. Got stuck a couple of times but the Not a game gives you an option to hint at the puzzles so if you're suck you can get some help. Took me 4.5 hrs to complete over 3-4 sessions.

7/10
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
6,922
16,749
113
Finished


Never played the first game despite owning it so that sorta tainted the understand of the story and characters in this game, but that's all my fault, not gonna make the score lower because of that.

This game has some incredible design, from environments to characters, absolutely top notch design. And despite not really understanding the story, the world is really interesting and captivating. The gameplay is good, but some off the movement was a bit frustrating and the combat was very basic. The game is long (20 hours), but the pacing was great, didn't have a dull moment. The voice acting and music was great and exploring the environment for secrets and colelctibles was a lot of fun.

In general a really good that got a bit dragged down by somewhat basic combat, a bit frustrative movement and a story I didn't fully understand (again, my fault for not playing the first game).

Score: 8.4/10
 
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Joe Spangle

Playing Mad Max
Apr 17, 2019
1,764
5,673
113
COD Advanced Warfare.


Meh. run of the mill COD shooty game. Forgettable plot and characters. Its got Kevin Spacey in it. I pressed F to pay respects. There are maybe 3-4 good missions but overall its not very high up on my COD Campaign good list.

6/10
COD Infinite Warfare.


Now this was a great COD game. Probably up there with MW1+2 and Titanfall2. Great campaign, good characters, got a sort of Battlestar Galactica feel to it.

9/10
 
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Joe Spangle

Playing Mad Max
Apr 17, 2019
1,764
5,673
113
Inside


Terrific little game where you control a boy who is trying to escape from some sort of future-esque evil corp type situation. Its one of those games where you just have to progress from left to right but there are lots of environmental puzzles and dangers on route. Tons of atmosphere, the visuals are great. Has a bleak dark tone. Simple controls, its more about the journey. Very good little game.

8/10
 

Virtual Ruminant

Junior Member
May 21, 2020
283
778
93
Finished The 39 Steps (The Story Mechanics / The Secret Experiment, 2013)

An adaptation of John Buchan's early 20th century adventure/spy-thriller novel of the same name in visual novel form.

Pro:
  • As far as visual novels go, this one is bespoke and lavish - a unique style and user interface that has little similarity with the Japanese genre mainstream, lots of beautiful pixel art and the occasional silhouette stop-motion animation, text taken verbatim from the novel, plus superb voice-acting performances and a compact but effective original music score mixed with early 20th century archival music recordings. It's so media-rich, it clocks in at just under 2 GB in size.
  • One feature I found particularly great is that various newspaper pages that are to be found throughout the story turn out to be original scans of British newspapers from 1914 such as The Scotsman, in which the fictional articles are cleverly embedded. I had a blast reading most of these original news, typical newspaper filler articles and ads from the time and researching some of them online while doing so.
  • The adaptation is completely faithful to the original novel.
  • Good progress system with chapters (preset checkpoints) and bookmarks (save-games that can be created at any point).
Con:
  • The game tries to keep things interesting by putting in some very light point-and-click mechanics at various points, but they never really matter, every click just linearly moves the story along. There would have been some opportunities to introduce some actual interactive gameplay at various points, but none of them were taken.


Apparently the studio had high hopes for this game to be just the first in a whole series of similarly made visual novels adapted from literature classics, but those never materialized and the studio does not exist anymore. Truly a pity, I would have loved to play them. The only reason I'm not making this a 5/5 is that I'm not that much of a fan of the source material here, for a spy-adventure, it's very parochial - John Buchan wasn't quite Ian Fleming and Richard Hannay isn't quite James Bond.


4/5
 
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Virtual Ruminant

Junior Member
May 21, 2020
283
778
93
Finished Monument Valley (+ DLC content "Forgotten Shores" and "Ida's Dream") (Ustwo Games, 2014)

A puzzle game for touchscreen devices (Android/iOS/Windows Phone). The player guides a character called Princess Ida through mazes of perspective tricks, optical illusions and impossible objects while manipulating (and sometimes rotating) the world around her to reach various platforms and ultimately, the level exit.

Pro:
  • Very nice art direction, somewhat abstract graphic design, pleasant soundtrack and lush sound effects to inject some atmosphere into the quite geometric levels. The game won numerous design awards and you can immediately see why.
  • The puzzling is not difficult at all, to the point where you could complain about it being too easy, but it is still very satisfying just to look at the levels and appreciate all the neatly designed perspective tricks and impossible objects you're working with as you guide Ida.
Con:
  • Not even the DLC content has some actually challenging levels - I think the most time I spent on a single level was ten minutes. As a consequence, this game and all its DLC-content is comfortably 100%-able in 2-3 hours, and half of that in a rush.

This game is one of those rare beasts that actually met the great hopes that a lot of people had in the early 2010s for mobile games, particularly mobile games designed for tablets - unique experiences that would make great use of the touchscreen as a new control surface. We all know what happened instead, mobile gaming became a hellhole filled with worse garbage than any video game bargain bin and with more exploitative and abusive game design than in any casino gambling machine.

Anybody owning a tablet that this game runs on ought to buy and play it (and the DLC levels) just to get a glimpse of what could have been.


4/5
 
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Virtual Ruminant

Junior Member
May 21, 2020
283
778
93
Finished Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (Naughty Dog / Sony, 2007) in the Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection (Bluepoint Games / Sony, 2015) remastered version for PS4.

An action-adventure with a lot of cover-based third person shooting. You play as grizzled, good looking Nathan Drake, who claims to be related to famous English privateer and explorer Sir Francis Drake, out looking for treasure somewhere off the coast of Panama, with reporter Elena Fisher and (friend? business partner?) Victor Sullivan in tow and when you aren't being hunted and shot at by modern-day pirates, you discover some very strange things as you follow the tracks of a treasure called El Dorado into the Amazon Rainforest ...


Pro:
  • The Bluepoint remaster of this game fixes all the various (and serious) technical problems of the PS3 original: Smooth 60 FPS instead of never-quite-managing-30, lots of polished-over textures, smoothed out geometry, enhanced lighting, tight controls instead of the huge dead-zones that used to make aiming a pain. It really is a complete remastering job, but, and this is important to keep in mind, not at all a remake.
  • This sounds like a joke, but I swear I'm serious: This game has the best tinnitus noise simulation (when you get hit or nearly hit by a large and loud explosion) I have ever heard in any game. It's so good, I got a physical reaction of actually feeling a little numb in my ears every time it came on (you need to wear headphones to fully appreciate it of course).
Con:
  • The art direction of this game is somewhat wonky. I could not get over the late-90s/early-00s-Resident-Evil-style exaggerated enemy animations, where every enemy dies with a dramatic back-flip. I also could not believe it when I saw in the credits that the orchestral parts of the musical score were actually recorded using session musicians and real instruments - the production makes it all sound very much like a sampler-and-synth affair. The soundtrack also does the 90s thing of overcompensating the lack of actual environment noise in jungle settings with exotic wind instrument music. All in all, the game does show its age.
  • Graphics and level design also haven't aged that well and reflect the limitations that Naughty Dog initially had when developing for the PS3. The maps feel small, sometimes even cramped, there is still visible distance LOD pop-in in larger areas, etc.
  • The jet-ski sections where you need to control the craft and also shoot at the same time are really clumsy, so much so that they stick out as a part of the game that just does not work.
  • By today's action-adventure standards, it's really short. You're meant to immediately turn around and play the game again some five more times to beat it on every difficulty level - a nod to arcade game design that also seems very outdated now.
  • The story and characterization is the bare minimum you need for an exotic treasure-hunting adventure setting. It's almost funny how little characterization or background is given for any of the characters in the game, including the protagonist Nathan Drake himself.

I should stress that despite all those bullet points in the con section, I really really enjoyed this game - on easy difficulty. Not sure if I will ever bother playing it on the other difficulty settings. This game still hits the action-adventure sweet spot for me. I had never completed this game before and completed the 8 hour campaign in two long evening sessions, which is incredibly rare for me these days, but the game is just so moreish that I never felt like putting down the controller and stopping. The fact that the story is so bare-bones actually helps enormously with this, it's a delicious snack of a game.


4/5
 
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Joe Spangle

Playing Mad Max
Apr 17, 2019
1,764
5,673
113

This is a pretty good game. Im about 5 hours in and id say the first two or so hours are very intriguing. It looks nice, has a fairly unique game mechanic. If you like sneaky sneaky slowly stealthy then its going to be right up your street. Im not quite finished with it and might not get to the end but felt compelled to review it based on what ive seen so far.

7/10
 
Dec 5, 2018
879
2,103
93
Final Fantasy III Pixel Remaster

The last of the NES games.

I had started the DS version years ago but I didn't play much so I can't really compare them.

This game was clearly a step up from the previous 2 in so many ways.

The story is still simplistic but still interesting enough. It can be summarized in that a bunch of kids end up having to go on an adventure to save the world. But the characters you encounter along the way, who will accompany you for some time, are interesting enough to keep going.

Also the orchestral OST is great.

Now as for combat, as you advance the story you unlock jobs/classes that you can switch at will (I know that the other versions had some restrictions when you swapped jobs like reducing your stats or not letting you do it until you did a few fights but this version has no restriction) and each class has its particularities (not only with what skills they have but also how your stats grow). Since there is a high chance that you will not use all the jobs (and it's not a really long game so there's no much reason to do it) there are some gimmicky fights, like having to use certain classes against certain bosses having to use the Dragoon class against the Garuda (and the game will let you know by giving you a bunch of equipment for that class before the fight, or having to use the scholar class against a boss that can change it's weakness, or having to use the dark knight aganst enemies that can divide themselves, etc. One minor thing I didn't like about the combat is that when you get a back attack a bunch of menus are flipped but not all of them constanly confusing my brain.

As for the dungeon design, well there really isn't any most dungeons are pretty straightforward, sure this version has the map which makes it even easier, but even without it there's nothing to it. That said, this game has an obsession with hidden paths (both in dungeons and cities) that you can only tell apart because the tile has a different shape. Also most towns have some hidden items that you can only find by well interacting and seeing and exclamation point. One big improvement in the dungeons in this game is that the encounter rate is actually reasonable, compared to the previous games where you would get a random encounter every few steps here is way more reasonable.
This version (like most SE remasters) includes auto save on room change and even the option of quick saving, I'm saying this because the original version didn't and that probably makes the lasts dungeons (that are longer) more annoying to explore since if you die you had to redo everything (sure you could leave and save outside, but then you had to trek all the way back, this also makes resource management less of a problem (It kinda makes the game easier since you can take more risks).

Also the world map exploration is gimmicky, you don't have 1 airshp but rather you have multiple ones (even a submarine) each with a different gimmick (either it's too fast, or it can't go over rocks).

This version also includes some optional dungeons/bosses that give you nice rewards.

7/10

PS: how ?

 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
6,922
16,749
113
Finished on PC:



Both DLCs were decent, but far from as interesting, well-designed, fun and overall enjoyable as Odyssey and Origins DLCs. They took around 5-8 hours to complete whch is decent, but didn't feel like it provided my anything substantial. If I had to pick which one was best it would be Wrath of the Druids.

Wrath: of the Druid: 6.5/10
The Siege of Paris: 5/10

I got the Ultimate Edition on a price error (12$) on release, so I mainly played them because I had access to them, so why not play through them.

Finished on PC:



It's a decent beat em-up, but have played others I've found better. I have the PS3 version and I think that one is somewhat better or the UPlay version is buggy/worse as I found the gameplay to lack sound (the sounds of fighting, punching etc. was weirdly low) and the overall feel of the gameplay felt to me worse than on PS3. It took me around 1.8 hours to finish, but there are a few online modes and SP modes you can try out (Dodgeball, Survival Horror, Battle Royale. If you into beat em'up you will have fun, but if you are not, you can avoid it.

Score: 7/10
 

Mivey

MeatMember
Sep 20, 2018
1,963
5,952
113
Gotta work a bit on my reviews "backlog":

Finished G-String:

I played and finished this last month, and it's quite the interesting experience. A Half Life full conversion mod developed over near a decade by a single developer, it's probably the most immersive and unique thing I have seen come out of the half life modding scene. A cyberpunk game set in a far future, with very dystopian elements to it. Everything is commercialised and everything is a commodity, most of all sex, mostly seen in the in-game adverts and broken sex bots.
I have to say, I am not sure I understood much about the game's overall plot.
We play as a Korean woman, Myo Hyori, who has strange telekinetic abilities, as well as pyrokinesis. These two abilities also inform the gameplay, one is essentially the gravity gun from HL2, whereas the other ability generates a ball of fire you can fling at enemies and objects. Myo Hori is held initially captive to be experimented on, but breaks loose and the rest of the game is essentially her attempt to flee getting caught again. That's the basic plot, on top of that Myo also gets regular visions and seems to be in connection with some other Twin Peaks esque shadow world. Can't say I understood much of it, not that the game tries to explain it much.

Overall, a very intense and surprisingly long adventure that doesn't expect you to think about the big picture, it's just moment to moment often intense action. Would recommend everyone to check it out.


Also finished Hellbound.

There's less to say about this one, but not because I didn't like it. It's a modern game, in terms of technology, but clearly a homage to old 90s shooters, a mix of Doom, Serious Sam and Duke Nukem. The combat is a bit too much wave-based arena shooting. Would have preferred something that stuck closer to the Doom side, and less on the Serious Sam side. But it's still a short and fun experience.



Last month I also completed Metal Wolf Chaos XD.

This game is just pure camp. There's a coup in the US, the Vice President uses his mech suit and a renegade US army to storm the capital and oust the President. The President who also has a mech suit, and escapes the coup attempt by riding an airplane that is launched from the reflecting pool.
You know, this one:



That opening sets the tone for the rest of the game, where the President travels the country, destroys basically everything in his giant mech suit, and somehow manages to get the people back on his side, organising a rebellion against the Vice President.

While the story is fun, the gameplay is the real selling point of this game. You play a near invincible mecha warrior who has access to almost a hundred weapons from which you can choose to bring at most 8 with you (less if the weapons require both hands to wield). The actual combat is basically a bullet hell shooter, except you are the one creating the bullet hell, and really just need to occasionally evade attacks of stronger enemies.

There's not much more to say about this one. Really had a great time with it. Kinda wish From Software goes back to this type of game at some point.

Also finished Axiom Verge

Very traditional metroidvania game. Honestly, this is one is less "metroidvania" and more "literally just metroid". It's clearly a homage to the first Metroid game, but one that actually tries to be creative and original.
The weapons are all very unique, as are the abilities, which feature besides the usual staple like double jumping, also the ability to glitch through walls, and actively "glitch" enemies and the world around you to unlock new passages .
Plot itself is kinda nice, even if not terribly interesting, though I don't think it was really the focus either.
Overall, a great Metroid-inspired game. Shame the sequel is EGS exclusive, will definitely check it out once that releases on Steam the next year.

Another game from last month was "Everything"

This is one of those games I would compare with Katamari Damashi and a few other unique games. It's something you just have to experience for yourself. Great idea and it really doesn't overstay its welcome.
What I liked the most about the game, is how it combines the actual gameplay experience with philosophical ideas, that strengthen the overall experience. Also learned about Alan Watts from this game, so that was also really nice.

Really think everybody should play this game and give it a try.

And the final game from last month: Baba is You

Absolutely stunning puzzle game, on a league with Snakebird to me, even if doesn't quite have the genius of say Steven's Sausage Roll or The Witness. My only issue is perhaps that the game's first half feels too easy. Would have been more interesting to me if those early bits would be trimmed down to focus on the ideas in the later parts more.




 

Bonfires Down

Junior Member
Nov 18, 2019
208
527
93
Played most of God of War 2018



It's good. Just not as good as I was hoping.

I guess my favorite part is the production values and the presentation. The visuals are spectacular, especially considering the PS4 hardware. And the single camera take "gimmick" is great. I love Kratos' voice actor, though I admit I find Atreus pretty annoying at times.

The actual plot is "ok". There weren't a lot of plot points that I cared about. The dialogue mostly feels like Atreus getting excited about something and Kratos telling him to not get excited. Rinse and repeat. It's fun for a while but it's stretched out over a rather long game. I don't personally care much about the mythology stuff that is talked about. And your goal, taking your wife's ashes to the highest peak is just not too exciting. I'd say the story mostly lives on the excellent presentation.

The combat is definitely enjoyable and a visual spectacle. But for me there are just too many moves to keep track off in the chaos of battle and I tend to fall back on just a handful of them, which ultimately makes the combat rather samey. I also prefer playing as a more agile character as Kratos is rather slow and clunky compared to some. And again, I think the main campaign could stand to be shorter. If you're good at these types of character action games and you enjoy slower Souls type games, you'll likely enjoy it more.

7.5/10




Dropped Horizon Zero Dawn



I played 15 hours. The main sticking point is that I just don't enjoy the combat. If you are good at stealth, I reckon it can be fun. But I'm not, and a single enemy spotting you means everyone comes running and it all devolves into a button mashing mess. And learning how to take them out stealthily is pretty hard that way. There's also the fact that you need to gather materials to get ammo. Ammo for the more interesting weapons is particularly hard to come by. I like a good survival gathering game, but it just feels out of place here.

Story is decent. But it didn't really get me hooked in the time I played.

Just like GoW, the game is absolutely beautiful and my primary enjoyment actually came from taking photos with the built in photo mode.

5/10




Dropped Shadow of the Colossus 2018



This one gets repetitive real fast. Each boss goes like this:
  • Locate the boss and ride your horse there. Ok, this is a nice, cool experience once or twice. But it's pretty much the same thing every time, the landscape is barren and it doesn't offer any challenge.
  • Find out how to mount the boss. This is the one part that requires some creativity and thought.
  • Climb the boss to find the weak spot. This is essentially just pushing your analog stick and occasionally holding R1 to grab. Epic I guess, but not very interesting.
I killed 5 or 6 before I had enough. It might get more interesting and challenging later on though.

Anyway, my primary interest here was the story and there's absolutely nothing happening so far. I assume it will take off later on but I'm not sure I'll ever see it.

4/10
 
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Paul

Junior Member
Jan 26, 2019
130
267
63
Finished: The Ascent - 8.5/10


So, the stuff about how this is a Cyberpunk 2077 killer and how it realizes what Cyberpunk failed at, yeah that is nonsense.

HOWEVER, this absolutely IS a great Diablo-like cyberpunk shooter and anyone who enjoys this type of action games, or cyberpunk setting, or ideally both, owes it to themselves to play it.

Stuff I loved:

- audiovisual design of literally everything, every room is packed with detail, immense atmosphere, great music

- suprisingly good sidequests and story - while all 100% linear (no, this is not an RPG) without a single choice or dialogue option available, I enjoyed following it all

- chunky combat that feels great, with good balance and pace of getting new augs and weapons to spice things up

- stylish interface, with every character, enemy, faction and lore having its own codex entry (and usually decently entertainingly written)

Stuff I didn't like:

- the fact that it's "just" diablo-like and not a more realized RPG (and yes I realize it was never promised as such, it's just that there so lot of potential here)

I played the Gamepass version. Had couple issues - RT is not working (game looks insanely good regardless, but still a shame), and while it was stable for 25 hours, during the last hour of the game I had two crashes. And had one bug where GPS stopped working, fixed by reload. Overall the technical state is not bad, I was able to enjoy the game perfectly fine 98% of the time.

Bit of 4K gameplay by yours truly:


These views never got old:



I will be following Neon Giant's future work with great interest.
 

C-Dub

Makoto Niijima Fan Club President
Dec 23, 2018
1,646
4,498
113
33
Cardiff, Wales
www.playedthat.com
Scarlet Nexus (PC) [Abandoned]

So I gave up on Scarlet Nexus after around 10 hours. The game started off slow in terms of plot, but the gameplay was rock solid. After 2-3 hours the gameplay got awesome, but the story never picked up. At around 9-10 hours the plot really went off the rails, character development was nonexistent, and while the gameplay remained awesome, I'd had my fill and the plot wasn't carrying it.

The best way to describe Scarlet Nexus' gameplay is character action JRPG with psychich powers. It's really, really good and the depth of augmenting your powers with lite versions of your squad's powers was a really interesting and engaging way of keeping combat interesting. Art/costume design is really cool, and the enemy designs are quite grotesque in an interesting way.

As for the plot... well... it's a game full of cliched characters and talking heads. Nobody has any personality, and while the game has a really interesting high concept hook, the moment-to-moment plot beats are as flat as a pancake. There's a really good concept here that's let down by poor character arcs. The game tells me to sympathise with characters and, well, I don't. Nobody's motivations feel convincing. Characters change allegiances in a chaotic back-stabbing dance so frequently that it becomes farce.

It's really dire.

I'm going to be generous with the score, as I had a lot of fun with this in the 10 hours I played it, but Bandai Namco really dropped the ball with the plot on this. I'm so disappointed that quality gameplay is so marred by it, to the point that I felt somewhat guilty dropping such amazing gameplay 10 hours in because I couldn't bear the plot anymore. Sadly, that guilt is the only thing this game made me feel.

7/10
 

Digoman

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

Cute little game about a spider…. with laser eyes.

The game is fun, but nothing challenging. It’s more about enjoying the style, doing some light puzzle solving and relaxing.

Took me about 4.5 hours to finish it, finding several collectibles but not 100% it. It’s about the right length. Any longer and it will probably overstayed it’s welcome.

It’s a very focused experience. It does few things but it does them well. There is no progression or new powers to get, it’s just swinging and placing webs, moving objects and firing you lasers. The physics mechanics work really well, so much so that I’m sure I solved one or two puzzles not “the right way” but it worked all the same. There is a little trial and error specially in finding some spots to shoot your web that are out of the screen, but on the positive side every one you place remains there for the whole game.

Everything else about the game is… cute (not in a bad way). The art style, the music and the little story.

It’s not something that left a huge impact on me, but I did have a really good time playing it. Watch the trailers. If you like what you see, there is a good game in here that’s about 4-5 hours long.

It also offers accessibility options for turning spiders into cute blobs and dimming the background.

4/5
 
OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
3,034
9,741
113
Belgium
Retired Hollow Knight


This was my second playthrough for Hollow Knight. The first one was completely blind, but this time I used a guide to collect all charms and reach the "true" ending. Well I actually never reached it since the white palace is a bit top hard and frustrating for me. But I had more than 30 hours incredibly fun with this game. No doubt one of the best metroidvania's ever made!

Score: 9.0/10


Edit: after a good meal, I tried the white palace again tonight and managed to beat it. Only the final boss remains but that's for another day. I'm in the mood for a nice quiet turn-based game now 😁
 
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OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
3,034
9,741
113
Belgium
So I've finished Hollow Knight after all. Not the true ending, because having to beat the hollow Knight again when you die during the true final boss fight is a huge d#ck move. 😡
 
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Phoenix RISING

A phoenix always RISES!
Apr 23, 2019
1,295
1,692
113
37
Ann Arbor, MI
www.geeksundergrace.com
Played most of God of War 2018



It's good. Just not as good as I was hoping.

I guess my favorite part is the production values and the presentation. The visuals are spectacular, especially considering the PS4 hardware. And the single camera take "gimmick" is great. I love Kratos' voice actor, though I admit I find Atreus pretty annoying at times.

The actual plot is "ok". There weren't a lot of plot points that I cared about. The dialogue mostly feels like Atreus getting excited about something and Kratos telling him to not get excited. Rinse and repeat. It's fun for a while but it's stretched out over a rather long game. I don't personally care much about the mythology stuff that is talked about. And your goal, taking your wife's ashes to the highest peak is just not too exciting. I'd say the story mostly lives on the excellent presentation.

The combat is definitely enjoyable and a visual spectacle. But for me there are just too many moves to keep track off in the chaos of battle and I tend to fall back on just a handful of them, which ultimately makes the combat rather samey. I also prefer playing as a more agile character as Kratos is rather slow and clunky compared to some. And again, I think the main campaign could stand to be shorter. If you're good at these types of character action games and you enjoy slower Souls type games, you'll likely enjoy it more.

7.5/10




Dropped Horizon Zero Dawn



I played 15 hours. The main sticking point is that I just don't enjoy the combat. If you are good at stealth, I reckon it can be fun. But I'm not, and a single enemy spotting you means everyone comes running and it all devolves into a button mashing mess. And learning how to take them out stealthily is pretty hard that way. There's also the fact that you need to gather materials to get ammo. Ammo for the more interesting weapons is particularly hard to come by. I like a good survival gathering game, but it just feels out of place here.

Story is decent. But it didn't really get me hooked in the time I played.

Just like GoW, the game is absolutely beautiful and my primary enjoyment actually came from taking photos with the built in photo mode.

5/10




Dropped Shadow of the Colossus 2018



This one gets repetitive real fast. Each boss goes like this:
  • Locate the boss and ride your horse there. Ok, this is a nice, cool experience once or twice. But it's pretty much the same thing every time, the landscape is barren and it doesn't offer any challenge.
  • Find out how to mount the boss. This is the one part that requires some creativity and thought.
  • Climb the boss to find the weak spot. This is essentially just pushing your analog stick and occasionally holding R1 to grab. Epic I guess, but not very interesting.
I killed 5 or 6 before I had enough. It might get more interesting and challenging later on though.

Anyway, my primary interest here was the story and there's absolutely nothing happening so far. I assume it will take off later on but I'm not sure I'll ever see it.

4/10
Jaw dropped.

You didn't like three games in a row that some consider all-time greats.

I'm curious now, what you actually do like. What gets a 9 out of you these days?
 

Bonfires Down

Junior Member
Nov 18, 2019
208
527
93
Jaw dropped.

You didn't like three games in a row that some consider all-time greats.

I'm curious now, what you actually do like. What gets a 9 out of you these days?
I liked God of War. Just not as much as most seem to. I guess I just naturally gravitate toward writing about what can be improved in a game so maybe I seem more negative than I intend.

TLOU2 got a 9 from me earlier in this thread.
 
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AHA-Lambda

MetaMember
Oct 9, 2018
1,936
4,370
113
Jaw dropped.

You didn't like three games in a row that some consider all-time greats.

I'm curious now, what you actually do like. What gets a 9 out of you these days?
I agree with most of that actually 😂
GoW 2018 was solid but rather unimpressive given the hype imo
Horizon I dropped cos its just another damn open world game
SotC I haven't played but I tried Ico and was very bored
 
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Mivey

MeatMember
Sep 20, 2018
1,963
5,952
113
I adored Shadow of the Colossus when I played it. What really sold it to wasn't actually the gameplay itself, but how each fight in the game was so unique, and how it was elevated by the presentation, the music and how it managed to look so amazing and refined on a pre-HD console like the PS2.

I must say I too was a bit disappointed by ICO when I got to play it later. It's not bad by any stretch, but it really doesn't have that same genius that SotC had.
Still need to play Last Guardian, to be honest.
 
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