Reviews Rate the game you finished/retired

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Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
3,506
11,730
113
Belgium
Why the score-drop? ;)
I knew someone would bring this up 😁

This felt like the right score today, since I've noticed a few more imperfections after spending 15 more hours in this game. Sometimes it's very hard or even impossible to beat the game if you have bad luck with the cards you get. It has to be said that some of the new cards are actually made to solve these issues, but the problem still exists.
 
OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
3,506
11,730
113
Belgium
Finished A Memoir Blue


Excellent story-driven game that pictures the memoirs of a swimmer, using casual puzzles and wonderful art. There's no text or speech in the game, except for a few songs. A very unique experience, definitely worth playing!

Also my respect to Annapurna for publishing such artful games. I'm so glad they've stopped taking Epic's money hats, because most of their games are amazing!

Score: 8.2/10
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
8,157
20,937
113
Finished


This game was not what I expected. I expected a regular horror walking sim that takes you on a journey with an interesting story. This game has 13 chapters and all chapters takes place in the same area, which is a house and it's surroundings during WW2. You found your twin sister dead in a lake (her name is Martha) and you freeze up when the parents comes looking for her and because you and Martha look alike and your parents can't tell the difference, you call yourself Martha, so identity theft. And let's just say the story is weird and creepy with some twists at the end.

There are a few creepy/weird/horrory moments in the game, but not enough for me to call it a horror game, it's mostly just creepy and weird. You are given a bunch of objectives throughout the chapters, which again happens in the same house and the area outside the house. You don't need to do all the objectives.

The game is...I dunno...bland. You sorta just walk around the house and it's surroundings doing a bit of simple detective work, that's it. The game is not mediocre, but it's not great either. It has it's moments, it is interestingly enough to play to the credits and explore the house and it's surroundings, but it's not a great game either.

Im gonna give some fault of my expectations to the game towards the marketing (trailers) which makes it looks like a horror walking sim, but it is not, it's a exploration walking sim that takes place in one area throughout the game with some creepy moments.

Score: 7/10
 
OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
3,506
11,730
113
Belgium
Finished Mass Effect 1 (remaster from the Legendary Edition)


Mass Effect is one of the game I was looking forward to play on the Deck, and I was positively surprised. Not only because the game looks and plays great on the Deck, but also because the 2nd half of the game was completely unfamiliar for me. I'm sure I played ME2 and 3 on PS3, but the lack of ME1 on that platform may explain why I never finished it. I probably only played the first few hours when I borrowed an Xbox console from a friend.

This said, the game is still fun to play nowadays, despite a few flaws. The first few missions and the game's finale are still impressive, especially the design of the citadel. But other missions exists of boring corridors and have way too much backtracking. The combat is decent and works very well with the analog sticks and gyro controls of the Deck, but is also extremely easy on normal difficulty due to the stupid AI. Higher difficulties aren' t much fun because your team mates are dying before you fired your first shot.

But the best thing of the mass effect series are the excellent story and characters, and these are still impressive today. I'm not very good at remembering stories from games I've played more than a few months ago, but I'll definitely remember this one. I'm looking forward to replay the other two Mass Effect games on the Deck, but I'll probably wait until running Origin games isn't a huge pain in the ass.

Score: 8.0/10
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
8,157
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113
Finished


This was one weird, but fun game. It's a photography game, with 8 levels and the levels have a bunch of main objectives you have to take photography of to complete the level (like "take a picture of 6 birds with the standard lense") and a few optional objectives and you have 10 min to deliver all the required photos. You also earn money for the photos (you can't use it on anything, it's basically just a score). A lot of deep meaning and metaphors in the levels, about climate change, the UN, war, capitalism and so on. The game is fun, it's fun to practice photography and find how to do the objectives the easiest way. It is a bit short though (2-3 hours), but it's fun. You will also get new lenses when you complete certain objectives and all objectives in the levels that let's you take pictures in many different ways. My main negatives is that the game is quite ugly in many areas and the platforms (you have to do some jumping and stuff to get to some areas is a bit difficulty and frustrating. Still, overall a very fun photography game with quite a lot of deep meanings.

Score: 7.8/10
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
8,157
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113
Finished


Very relazing and fun game about unpacking boxes and placing the stuff where it logically goes. 7 levels where the first level is the easiest one as it is basically the tutorial. When all the boxes has been unpacked, the stuff that is places in the wrong place will be marked with a red "aura" aroung it (you can turn this off in the accessbility options). Overall, veyr relazing and fun game, but got a little stale and overwhelming in the final level as there were so much stuff to unpack and not a lot of room to place it in.

Score: 8.3/10
 

AHA-Lambda

MetaMember
Oct 9, 2018
2,515
6,255
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Retired Scarlet Nexus (PS5)


Playing Scarlet Nexus currently; I hope it picks up soon tbh 😞

The combat is varied in options but still errs a little on the easy side so the need to experiment doesn’t really come up.
I’m at the 3rd chapter now and the story is still just training pieces for the characters, but weirdly there’s barely been any intro to the actual world? Nothing on why people have psychic powers or what the monsters you fight are 🤷‍♂️
Cross posting from last month's main thread.
It did pick up since then but not by enough.

It's a really mixed experience on the whole, that just didn't feel worth the time when considering its 40 hrs long.

The combat, while flashy and having lots of options, isn't very involved and halfway through route 1 on normal still felt mostly button mashy and repetitive.
The story, while attempting to intrigue with a political mystery, isn't engaging when the characters are mostly generic archetypes and there is no attempt at establishing a base for the worldbuilding.
And the artstyle, while really good and stands out among other anime scifi, isn't enough on its own to play the game.

It's a shame, I was really quite looking forward to this one.
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
8,157
20,937
113
Finished


Really great side-scroller shooter. Great pixel graphics, fantastic gameplay, very fun, lots of weapons, fun to find secrets and collectibles, story is "meh" and some enemy encounters and bosses are a biit frustrating at times, game is also kinda short, which it was more. Like there are 4 areas, each area has 5 levels, each lever lasts 3-6 min depending on how good you are at these types of games. Each lever has a boss (called "bounty" here) at the end.

The game also supports 2 player coop (kb/m and controlles). Also has an arcade mode that let's you play the entire story mode in one go.

Score: 8.5/10
 

Virtual Ruminant

MetaMember
May 21, 2020
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Finished Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris (Crystal Dynamics / Square Enix, 2014)

Having disposed of Osiris, Egyptian god Set is ready to take over the world from the depths of Duat - but there is one tank-topped, dual-wielding goddess he didn't account for, and she means business. Tomb Raider, but it's a 2.5D twin-stick shooter with occasional puzzles and optional co-op.

Pro:
  • This game is just as good as its predecessor Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, but with even better visuals, much better music and the boss fights turned up a notch or two on the epic dial. Just a joy to play.
Con:
  • Unfortunately the PC port of this game is severely broken and there's a good chance it will not even start (because the intro animation crashes with certain locale settings in Windows 10 - an issue identified by Metacouncil's very own Parsnip) or will be unable to load its own saves, so every time you quit the game, you will have to start from the beginning. Fixes from Square Enix are not forthcoming for either issue.

I got this game for free on Steam as a COVID-giveaway from Square-Enix, then bought it again on sale on Xbox One after hitting the showstopping not-saving bug mentioned above, then discovered the console releases are hard-capped to 30 FPS, then in a desperate last-ditch attempt tried the (Windows) PC-port again on Linux running under Proton in Steam - and there it finally worked, in (mostly) full 60 FPS glory.

It's a really good game and I had lots of fun with it, but you really want that 60 FPS experience, so the console versions are kind of ruled-out, and the PC port - will it work for you? Who knows. There is no playable demo this time. Hard to recommend under these circumstances. Real shame.


4.5/5
 
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Parsnip

Riskbreaker
Sep 11, 2018
2,255
4,890
113
Finland
because the intro animation crashes with certain locale settings in Windows 10 - an issue identified by Metacouncil's very own @Parsnip)
The funny thing is that I still actually haven't played the game myself.
I had it in a backlog blitz at the time, but because of the crashing issue I switched it out. Haven't yet gone back to it even after I figured out how to fix the issue.
 
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fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
8,157
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Finished


Really fun and good sidescroller plattformer. Suprisingly long too, took me over 8 hours to finish the game 100%. It's not often I complete every level in a platformer 100% (means all collectibles gathered), but I did in this one. There are 4 islands, each island has it's own theme with 9 levels in it. 7 regular levels, 1 level that is shorter and to unlock it you have to collect all crystal collectibles in the other levels in the island map, then 1 level with a boss.

There are 3 types of collectibles in each level to gather, 1 one them aree 2 crystals you, you get each crystal from finding and compeleting a very small bonus level with an objective (the smal bonus levels inside the levels are hidden, so you have to look for them). If you get all collectibles of a certain collectible you also get an extended ending which I really liked. So lots of collectibles you can find and finding them will grant you rewards, so that was very nice.

Story is cute, the cutscenes are nice, the music and sound is nice.

The negative part is that certain enemies and parts of some levels can be quite frustating and I felt the difficulty increased really fast and quickly going from the 2nd island to the 3rd. You can also do time trials in each level (finishing the level before the time runs out).

Overal a really fun and good platformer let down by som frustrating and annoying parts.

Score: 8.6/10
 

AHA-Lambda

MetaMember
Oct 9, 2018
2,515
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Retired Gravity Rush Remastered (PS5 via PS Now)
I feel like I could piss off some with this as I know it's a cult classic :face-with-tears-of-joy:
I admit I didn't give this one too long but it's only ~10rs I believe (and at end of the day I've a million and one other things I want to play or do) and after 1-2 hrs and 5 chapters it just feels like there isn't much here beyond the gravity shifting mechanic. And that alone isn't enough, as it's not inherently satisfying on its own like say swinging in Spiderman for example.
 

Mivey

MeatMember
Sep 20, 2018
2,698
8,170
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Retired Gravity Rush Remastered (PS5 via PS Now)


I feel like I could piss off some with this as I know it's a cult classic :face-with-tears-of-joy:
I admit I didn't give this one too long but it's only ~10rs I believe (and at end of the day I've a million and one other things I want to play or do) and after 1-2 hrs and 5 chapters it just feels like there isn't much here beyond the gravity shifting mechanic. And that alone isn't enough, as it's not inherently satisfying on its own like say swinging in Spiderman for example.
I played this on PS Now during the free week or so and finished it pretty quickly. I agree the basic mechanic gets pretty old, but I really liked the setting, and I kinda hope if Sony ever gets serious about porting their back catalogue to PC that this one and the sequel end up on Steam. Playing this natively with perfect IQ would be just pure bliss.
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
8,157
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113
Finished


A very beautiful interactive experience. Quite short (just a bit over 1 hour), but it was really well done. The story is told through music and visualization, some casual puzzles here and there. Even took a few screenshots as some of the scenery were really beatiful. The story is really sweet and sad. Felt a bit too slow at times which made the pacing feel bad.

Score: 8.4/10
 
OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
3,506
11,730
113
Belgium
Finished DMC: Devil May Cry


I'm a huge fan of Heavenly Sword and Enslaved, and with this DMC reboot Ninja Theory delivered another awesome game. Deep and exciting combat, great set pieces, lots of different enemies and a good story make this game a must-play for all hack&slash fans. Too bad we never got a sequel to this game, since I enjoyed it a lot more than Hellblade with it's very basic combat and repetitive puzzles.

Score: 8.7/10
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
8,157
20,937
113
Finished

Solar Ash (Epic Games Promo code)



The game is good, decent fun, noting fantastic, nothing mediocre. The gameplay is fast-paced where you play a weird character named Rei and traversaling through the world by skating and killing enemies by slashing them (I think it's a sword). Not too say too much about the story, there are 6 big-scale areas in the game, every area has one boss to defeat, to get access to fight the boss you have to destroy a certain amount of red eyes in each area and destroying each eye is like a smaller time trial.

The game is basically 80% travesal/traveling through a very nicely designed world, I love the art style the devs have used. Then 20% combat (killing enemies and bosses). My problem stems from that the traversal (skating, dodging) get's old pretty fast and defeating the actual bosses and doing the red eye time challenes are the most fun part of the game and that part is just 15-20% of the game. The art style itself is great and the scale is cool, but the level design isn't all that great and get's quickly confusing finding the eyes you need to destroy.

So basically, positives are that the boss fights and red eye challenges are fun, the art style is great and the scale is cool. The traversal which is part of the game's cre get's uninteresting and boring somewhat quickly, the level design is often confusing, often getting deja vu by the level design and parts of the combat can still get frustrating as you sometimes have to find enemies in the middle of the red eye challenges which is really frustrating.

For being Heart Machine's first 3D game, it's a pretty good effort and I look forward to Hyper Light Breaker.

Score: 7.8/10

Getting it on Steam when it releases.
 

Mivey

MeatMember
Sep 20, 2018
2,698
8,170
113
Here are my thought on Heavens' Vault, after having finished it.

This game basically has you playing as Indiana Jones, if the Indy films were not about fighting Nazis and being on an action adventure, but instead if it was all archaeology, deciphering ancient languages and very slowly uncovering the ancient past.



It's a game by inkle, probably well known for their interactive fiction games likes 80 Days or the Sorcery games. Despite having a strong focus on interactive narrative, most of Heaven's Vault has you traversing 3D maps and actually interacting with people and objects, not just reading text and making choices. There is still a lot of decision making and reading involved, but the additional interactivity felt like a breath of fresh air here.

The big mechanic here is translation. Learning an ancient writing system and slowly getting better it over time. I really loved the work inkle put into this. Quite addicting.

The actual game mostly lives from its mystery, as it is set in a strange world inside a nebula, where the humans have incredibly advanced technology, like being able to have habitable moons with their own air supply and water and means to traverse the various moons on the nebula. The strange thing is though that they completely lack any understanding of their tech. They just know it's there. There's some surface knowledge of an "ancient" empire that built it all, but it fell and a dark age followed it. Thus our hero Aliya is basically trying to uncover the very history of her people and how basically all began.



The final ending felt pretty satisfying, even if I didn't go back to replay the game to truly find out all the secrets. One thing that's a bit annoying with the game is the slow pace that is holding it back. Walking around planets is very, very slow and it's a bit annoying with some translations how the game forces you to begin from scratch if you make small mistakes. Would have been an overall nicer experience with some tweaks.

I didn't mind the 2D sprites over 3D graphics, even if it does look very odd at timesi, especially as facial features are not consistent across all the directions. So when you turn the camera, your character suddenly smiles or frowns, etc. since there is only a single sprite for certain directions. That's a bit lazy and it looks dumb.



Overall a pretty good game, can easily recommend it.
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
8,157
20,937
113
Finished

SIFU (Epic Games Promo Code)



The game is hard to review, because it feels and looks good to play, but the more you play, the more flaws you notice that makes playing the game worse.

There are 6 levels where the first is the prologue which acts like a tutorial. The tutorial and the first 2 levels made the game feel really good, fun and addictive to play. However, the game throws so many combat/movement ideas early on during those levels, that it get's overwhelming. After the prologue and the first 2 levels when everything is introduced, the last 3 levels becomes incresingly boring, unbalanced, flawed and repetive. Boring because you do the same thing all the time.

The combat is unblanced, the game tells you all the many things and combat combinations you can do, but the enemies are too quick to let you do any most that. In difficulty games like Sekiro, Dark Souls, Returnal, you can learn the enemies animations, find opening that you can use to attack, noen of that here, there isn't really much to learn and when there are more than 2 enemies at the same time in Sifu, just cross your fingers that button mashing, dodging and blocking works out. Any combos that requires you to press more than 3 buttons fails because you never have the time. So I ended up button smashing and hoping for the best. Dodging is important, but badly explained and difficulty. Blocking is difficulty and doesn't work when enemies have lighting marks on their hands as it will break it. There are so many cool ideas and combinations in the game, but the core gameplay doesn't let them work. Enemies are too quick and never let's you experiment. So what the game tells you and what it actually does feels like 2 different things, like the game has different parts that doesn't cooperate wwith eah other.

It was fun and addictive beacause everything is new and the devs seems to have focused their creativity on the first half of the game.

It is also a roguelite, when you die, your character ages and you have to start the level from the beginning, when the character get's too old, he dies and you have to restart the game. You upgrade skills and stuff with certain objects you find and when dying, but it doesn't change the experience much for me.

There are collectibles that you can find in each level that get's put on a detective board in the game's hub (main characters home), that mainly is for learning more story and background. Certin paths in the levels are blocked away and you need keys for them which you can find in other levels, so the devs wants you to revisit levels in order to find all story clues.

The game also let's you pick up certain objects like pipes and bottles to use on enemies, it's shame that there were so many objects that always looked pickable, but it wasn't. The areas are big, but with little interactivity.

So in conclusion, the game looks great thanks to a really good art style, the level design is great, the open areas looks great, the first 3 levels were gorgeus with lots of different colors, the last 3 were boring looking. The first 3 levels were fun and additctive as it's all new, then it becomes boring and repetive and the fighting is ublanced. There is a long list of button combos you can do, but most of the time you have no time for them and fighting more than 2 enemies becomes a pain and a frustrating experience. The upgrades are nice, but doesn't change the combat for the better.

Feels like the devs just thought that the more options, ideas and button combinations they threw in, the more variation the gameplay will have, but that didn't work.

Score: 7.9/10
 
OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
3,506
11,730
113
Belgium
Retired Blue Fire



Blue Fire looks like a very promising hybrid between 3D Zelda and Hollow Knight, but sadly the game has too many flaws for me to enjoy:
  • The combat is very underwhelming. Mindless button mashing is often more effective than timing or tactics.
  • The game only has a handful of save points. Quitting or dying means you have to replay a significant portion of the game.
  • The platforming can be very frustrating, especially when you have to jump to platforms you can't see (arounds corners, behind a wall etc).
  • There's NO map. If you find a new key or ability, you'll have to search every area again for a locked door or a new path you can access, which is very annoying without a map.
  • Shopkeepers are spread throughout the game world, and are hard to find without a map. Warping is only possible in the second half of the game, and only between the sparse save points.
  • There's way too much needless backtracking. For example, to access some of the later bosses in the game, you need to find new paths or dozens of hidden orbs in sections that you've already played.
The latter actually made me quit the game: to reach some of the orbs, you need abilities that are well hidden in other area's. This game requires you to search the entire game world over and over again, without a map and with only a few save/warp points. With over 500 games in my backlog, this felt like a huge waste of time to me. Meh.

Score: 4.8/10
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
8,157
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113
Finished


Really enjoyed it, beatiful art style, great level design, nice looking world, interesting world, gameplay that is a nice mix of Zelda and Dark Souls. Lots of places to explore and treasures to find that let's you upgrade your characters and buy stuff that can help you on your way (bombs, potions etc.).

The part I did not like was that in order to reach the good ending you had to find all pages for a certain book which can somewhat be desribed as the game's manual and to do that took a lot of unneccessary time. Also in order to progress the story at a certain point, you had to backtrack to a few certain places you have been before and do something, problem is, if your memory is bad, you will have a lot of problems as these places are not pointed to on your map. Yes, there is a map which is in the book/manual in the game.

Overall, I enjoyed the game despite the negatives written above.

Score: 8.3/10
 
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Arc

MetaMember
Sep 19, 2020
1,381
4,819
113
I finished Gears 5. Easily my least favorite game in the series. I usually like the Gears and Uncharted series as big dumb action movies I can complete in a few evenings, but Gears 5 feels like too many steps in the wrong direction. The open world sections add nothing substantive and only slow down the pacing. For the most part the set pieces aren't great and there is only one that I really liked. The most obnoxious thing is there are so many enemies with explosive weapons that will easily kill you in one shot that the game becomes frustrating. I usually play the games on hard, but dialed it down to normal in the last half hour since I just wanted it to end.
 
OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
3,506
11,730
113
Belgium
Finished Nowhere Prophet


Nowhere Prophet is definitely one of the best card games I've ever played. It combines a story driven campaign using random generated maps, with excellent tactical combat and several rogue-like mechanics to gain new cards and perks. The game is very challenging and requires your constant attention, even on lowest difficulty. But you'll learn with every run and beating it feels very rewarding. While there aren't as many cards as in Heartstone, you can unlock new decks and classes that force you to change your strategy. Extremely addictive and very recommended!

Score: 8.9/10
 

Virtual Ruminant

MetaMember
May 21, 2020
383
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Finished Sunset Overdrive (Insomniac Games / Blind Squirrel Games / Microsoft Game Studios, 2014)

Pro:
  • The typical high level of an Insomniac production: The design of the open world, the characters, the weapon designs, the character customizations options, the enemy NPC design, animation and the sheer amounts of them - top notch. The game still stands out for the onslaught of enemies it is able to put on screen (and on the player's tail) at the same time, together with other exceptional titles such as Serious Sam or Days Gone. Married with high framerates and high resolutions on PC, this game is still a serious looker.
  • The gameplay is non-stop action and non-stop comedy. If you wanted, you could just go to town on endless amounts of enemy NPCs all day and never finish a mission. During missions, there's not just pretty funny dialogue delivered through great voiceover performances, the game also breaks the fourth wall constantly and delivers its own satirical meta-commentary right after the normal punchline. It's the kind of writing that sends my eyes rolling at most modern-day Marvel movies and left me completely aghast in Halo Infinite, but here, where the scenario and the characters are purposely made for comedy, it actually works.
  • The soundtrack also stands out, lots of original Californian punk-rock songs (with lyrics) recorded specifically for the game and for contrast some hard-hitting dub-step to score significant battles with robot and mech enemies. Some ten hours into the game I was humming along with all of them - even though west-coast punk usually isn't something I'm listening to at all.
Con:
  • The original Xbox release to this day is technically underwhelming. The game was originally released as an Xbox exclusive for the original Xbox One and to make it work on that hunk of junk, it's locked to 30 FPS at a maximum resolution of 900p and has remained so ever since. Particularly the low frame-rate really is a bummer.
  • The game crashed a couple of times on me on PC, but no significant progress was ever lost. The game does however have trouble with Steam's cloud-sync for savegames and will always report a corrupted save at startup if it's turned on - this doesn't affect game play (or auto-saving) however.

An awesome romp that did not ever stop or slow down for the 30 hours it kept me busy.


4.5/5


Previously reviewed in this thread [here] and [here].
 
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OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
3,506
11,730
113
Belgium
Finished Get Even


This story-driven horror game has a few very interesting gameplay elements based on your (in-game) smartphone. You can use it to examine the crime scene (fingerprints etc), to light the environment, to show your position on the map and to locate enemies and electric conduits using heat detection. This makes exploration much more fun than in simular games.

Enemy engagement is very diverse as well. You can just shoot them using your "corner" gun, which is designed to fire around corners without being exposed to enemy fire. But you can also try to approach enemies from behind and take them down with a stealth kill, or even try to avoid them completely by slightly altering the environment.

The latter is possible because most sections in the game are played using a virtual reality device that can be used to retrieve memories of yourself and other people. The story around this is intriguing, but also very confusing until you discover what's really going on in the final part of the game.

There are several other flaws as well; when you're spotted by an enemy, suddenly all enemies in the area know exactly where you are and start shooting at you. There's no quicksave, so if you want to finish a section undetected you need to start again from the last checkpoint. You're also supposed to scan many objects with your smartphone, but there's no visual indication which objects have already been scanned. This is especially annoying when restarting a checkpoint, since you don't know which scans have been registered by the game or not.

Despite these flaws, Get Even is a fresh breath of air in the genre, and is definitely worth checking out!

Score: 7.2/10
 
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fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
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Finished


Was a bit weirded out by this game, got something different that I expected. So I expected I somewhat linear western game with 1 character you control from beginning to the end, it was not. Instead you get to play 5 different characters with their own story and all characters has something to do with each other. The journey of the first 2 characters were fun and interesting, but it got quite repetive and uninteresting with the last 3 characters.

They all live in the same world and the world is open and the world has a big bunch of different maps you can go to to find stuff. There are side missions and main missions in these different maps/levels (what I mean). The game is tracking the days you are using and if a character's journey ends on let's say day 16, the next character's journey will start on day 17. Everything you have discovered on your map with the previous character will be kept, same with perks. So the game's map discovery doesn't restart for each character, which I liked.

The gameplay is fun and interesting in the start, but gets' boring and uinteresting and somewhat frusrating, especially the shooting, after a while which is the main problem. However there is a lot to discover, a lot of stuff to find, lots of interactivity in the world. I really liked the graphic and liked the world design and level design. The main problems I have is with repetiveness and the gameplay, especially the combat, that should have been refined.

Otherwise a good start for Wolfeye Studios.

Score: 7.8/10
 
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fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
8,157
20,937
113
Finished


Was excited for this, as I really enjoy the Diablo games. Graphics is really nice, level design is nice for the most part, but combat is clunky and the levels are far too long strected which made me dislike the game. If the devs cut the levels in half, the game would be much better. Thanksfully I didn't come across any bugs which has been the game's biggest complaint. So yeah, the pacing is off, levels are far too long strectched with just fillers. Combat is decent, lots of skills, but the feeling of good combat like in Diablo games just isn't there, I really like the combat feeling in Diablo. Didn't care much for the story here.

Score: 7/1o
 
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OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
3,506
11,730
113
Belgium
Finished Carto


Very original game where you have can alter the game world by moving and rotating pieces of the map. This feature is used to solve puzzles and to reach new parts of the game world, where you meet a bunch of funny people who give you new quests.

The puzzles are a mixed bag: some of them are very clever, while others are rather easy or trial&error boring. But the charming characters and lovely art made me enjoy the game until the end. Definitely recommended if you want to play something new.

Score: 8.0/10
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
8,157
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113
Finished


Very nice looking game thansk to the art style, really nice music too. The game itself is kinda odd. After doing the prologue you are given a task from your "tribe" to collect a bunch of masks in order to complete a ceremony which finished the game. You leave the tribe and can go anywhere you want. There is no hand-holding, you explore the world, pick up different "side quests" by talking to different characters you find through the world, you find masks by buying some masks and others by completing some puzzles.

You only need like 3 masks or so in order to go back home to the tribe, completing a ceremony and finishing the game. The game gives you the freedom you finish it up whenever you want, it all comes down to home much you wanna find and explore. You don't need to find all masks. At some point you will receive a message saying the ceremony can be done, but you can still take as much time to explore as you want.

Gameplay is based on running, using a bike to explore and you can climb on most things, sorta uses BOTWs climbing system with stamina.

I did like the game, but the world is too big for it's own good and very barren, there isn't much to do in it I felt and a lot of the quests felt like a chore to do. The puzzles weren't particularly interesting either. Feel like the game could have been a lot better if the devs reduced the size of the world. The world is divided into regions and you can buy maps from cartographers to help you out a little bit. But the game did feel quite boring at times.

Score: 7.8/10
 
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OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
3,506
11,730
113
Belgium
Finished Darwinia


I remember reading about Darwinia in a local PC gaming magazine when the game was released, but everything about it looked so weird to me that I never played it. Luckily, times have changed, since I mainly play indie games nowadays and really appreciate fresh ideas and innovation in a game.

While developed in 2005, Darwinia is still lots of fun to play in 2022. You are playing in a strange looking digital world, where you can create "programs" to fight enemies or capture buildings. The combat is rather simple and lacks multiple strategies, but the variation in objectives and the excellent world design will definitely keep you playing. This game is at it's best in the later missions, where you can send constant streams of Darwinia's to your enemies.

Last but not least: Darwinia received an update this week to make it playable on the Steam Deck, which is how I've played it as well. The analog controls worked fine and the colorful graphics look great on the Deck. Very recommended!

Score: 8.0/10
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
8,157
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113
Finished


Pretty fun game, but with too much repetive content. Basically you have a bike that you use to travel down a mountain to a resting place. There are 4 different mountains in the game, each mountain has 4 trials/levels that you have to complete, so 4 different ways down the same mountain. Getting down the mountain is a lot of fun, problem is that in order to unlock new levels and other mountains, you have to finish the same level twice, first time as simply a way down, second time requires you do do certain objects, like not crashing mroe than a certain number of times and/or getting down before a certain period of time.

The game itself is a lot of fun, but having to repeat the same path down twice sucked a lot of the fun out of the game. The grapics and music is nice though.

Score: 8/10
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
8,157
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113
Finished


Sorta like a Tony Hawk skating game, just you being a spaceship/ufo thing, you glide over a bunch of plants, working on reaching a blue light object. Really beautiful game with nice music, a very peaceful game in the same way as Flower and Journey. Liked it a lot. Only had some frustrating camera moments in the game and some places were not as good looking as others.

Score: 8.3/10
 
OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
3,506
11,730
113
Belgium
Finished Inspector Waffles


Very charming adventure game, where you play a detective in a city called "Cat Town" which is inhabited by cats and dogs. The puzzles are entertaining, and the story and dialogs are truly excellent and filled with funny puns about pets. Amazing achievement for the first game of this small studio. Very recommended!

Score: 8.5/10
 

Paul

Junior Member
Jan 26, 2019
210
509
93

Death Stranding is the most detailed, mechanically sophisticated and audiovisually spectacular... delivery boy simulator.

I actually find it quite amazing how Kojima Productions can handle such a necessary but common activity in a way that makes it solid entertainment for a nice 50+ hours. Just starting the journey in Sam's shoes - a nice intro in a landscape that looks like Iceland, a visit to a cave, a strange invisible monster, the beautiful Lea Seydoux, cryptic dialogue and a fascinating atmosphere. Then the first two chapters, where strange characters with strange names like DieHardman or Deadman, Mama or Heartman say strange things and brandish unfamiliar terms that the protagonist Sam obviously knows but I have no idea about. Of course, as the game progresses, everything is gradually explained, often through various text logs and emails, although even after finishing, I for example still don't know what the acronym DOOMS stands for, if it's actually an acronym for anything at all. And the amusingly literal/weird character names are of course also explained in overlong Kojima-style cutscenes and dialogue, like:

Hi, I'm Seven Dead Kids Murphy. Why do they call me that? That's a great story. I had seven kids and they all died. The first one died in a car accident. The second died in a rock-climbing accident. The third was an illness... I think? After a while, I stopped paying attention. Oh, and my first name is Murphy. Like Murphy's Law, you know? What a coincidence, huh? But I got the name mostly because of the kids. Who are dead. All seven of them. But enough about the tragic past, can you deliver these underpants to South Knot City?

At times, the story comes across as unintentionally funny (although the princess beach scene must have been a cringe on purpose, no one can convince me otherwise), but as a whole it is fascinating and at times genuinely moving. Mads Mikkelsen is great as always, his charisma working as a magnet, so even if half the game his scenes are just context-free shorts with his kid, it's still fun to watch.

Why "only" 80? Because...despite the sophistication of the gameplay mechanics and the fascination with the world and story, I couldn't help almost falling asleep at times - especially the third chapter, which was maybe 15 hours long and story-free 99% of the time, really tested my patience. And of course...as I wrote, despite all the sophistication, the story, the amazing moments when Silent Poets or Low Roar start playing after a thrilling crawl through a canyon full of BT monsters...it's still all about delivering packages. Occasionally non-enriched by long and boring boss fights in the Japanese style.

However, even though I wasn't completely blown away by Death Stranding, it is in many ways a unique experience that I will have fond and distinctive memories of.

8/10
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
8,157
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Retired


for now. It's a shame, beautiful graphics, beautiful music, nice world, just that I didn't get the gameplay to click for me, don't really understand how to progress in the game and felt the things I did was a waste of time, like a bunch of random side activities.

Might get back to it in the future.
 
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C-Dub

Makoto Niijima Fan Club President
Dec 23, 2018
2,305
6,429
113
34
Cardiff, Wales
www.playedthat.com
Retired


for now. It's a shame, beautiful graphics, beautiful music, nice world, just that I didn't get the gameplay to click for me, don't really understand how to progress in the game and felt the things I did was a waste of time, like a bunch of random side activities.

Might get back to it in the future.
My thoughts exactly. I wanted to love this game so much, but I don’t think there was much happening with the gameplay. Added to that, I don’t think the story gripped me enough to push through the really shallow gameplay.

It’s a disturbing trend among some indie developers where they obviously can’t write proper character arcs, conflicts (internally and externally) or do story blueprinting to drive the narrative because they follow the narrative minimalism trend, but then don’t back that up with gameplay chops.
 
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Virtual Ruminant

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May 21, 2020
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My thoughts exactly. I wanted to love this game so much, but I don’t think there was much happening with the gameplay. Added to that, I don’t think the story gripped me enough to push through the really shallow gameplay.

It’s a disturbing trend among some indie developers where they obviously can’t write proper character arcs, conflicts (internally and externally) or do story blueprinting to drive the narrative because they follow the narrative minimalism trend, but then don’t back that up with gameplay chops.
I wrote a gushing 5/5 review for Spiritfarer on this thread, but here's a slightly sarcastic TL;DR rewrite of it, which I feel is also valid:
This game reflects the human condition accurately: You get thrown into an unknown world, but you aren't free to explore as you please, you have to constantly manage a bunch of annoying busywork, and the better you get at managing it, the more there is to manage. And then eventually your friends start dying. And then you die, leaving nothing behind except a wake of junk.

If you feel like dwelling on this experience, which is mandatory for everybody in real life anyway, in your vidya time, this game is for you. Don't expect it to make you feel good either. In fact, very much expect the opposite.
 
OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
3,506
11,730
113
Belgium
Retired Undermine


Undermine is a very well made rogue-like, where you need to defeat a huge amount of enemies and bosses by swinging and throwing your axe. On your way you'll discover chests and shops with useful potions, weapons, items, blessings (and curses) to make life easier (or harder) for you.

While I enjoyed the 16 hours I've spent in this game, I decided to stop playing because it's such a HUGE grind. To upgrade your health and damage or to unlock new stuff, you need to gather a ridiculous amount of coins by playing the same area's over and over again. Without these upgrades and better unlocks, it's almost impossible to beat the next area because of the very high difficulty. I'm aware this is a common thing in rogue-likes, but I felt like it's more extreme in Undermine than in other games I've played in this genre.

Only recommended if you're willing to spend many, many hours in grinding coins before being able to make some decent progress. With hundreds of games in my backlog and on my wish list, this is obviously not for me.

Score: 6.1/10
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
8,157
20,937
113
Finished


Really fun game, sorta like an open world sidescroller where you play a spider who does different objectives in order to get help to reunite with her boyfriend who has been captured by a bird. It's a physics-based game, took a bit of time to learn the physics and when I did, I often felt like Spider-Man, really fun game overall, even took my time to explore (almost did all the optional objectives too).

Score: 8.5/10
 

C-Dub

Makoto Niijima Fan Club President
Dec 23, 2018
2,305
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113
34
Cardiff, Wales
www.playedthat.com
Finished ANNO: Mutationem


Great art style, and I love the hub worlds. However, a lot of elements of this game don't quite come together.

For starters, the combat is very shallow. Mostly just mashing the X or Y button against easy enemies. X is the weaker/faster weapon, Y is the stronger/slower weapon. There's a system where you can upgrade your weapons with "chips" and even replace your weapons with new ones, including elemental damage against enemies, but it all feels very thrown together and doesn't offer much depth or customisation and, as such, doesn't have much of a gameplay impact either.

The story is nonsense. Characters are all underdeveloped and the game has a lot of talking heads only half-explaining things, which just makes the whole plot feel very basic. The game also goes off on some unexplained tangents, especially in sidequests, that attempt to give the world depth but make you realise that what you're looking at is a deceptive puddle.

What I will say is that there was clearly a lot of worldbuilding made, most of it underutilised, and the main character has the skeleton of a good plot thread. The writers have clearly thought about her, and her past, and tried to use that to drive the plot. However, as with everything else, it feels half-baked and doesn't quite come together.

The plot itself is not good. It starts off inoffensive enough, but goes into what the developer describes as a "dark and bizarre" place. In my view, it's just utter nonsense and is clearly an attempt to add some "spice" to an otherwise by the numbers genre piece.

Voice acting is a mixed bag. There is some very good acting, especially with main characters, and some very bad acting too. I am of course talking about the English voices. I believe this game is also fully voiced in Japanese and Chinese, and you may want to use one of those languages instead.

In short, the game feels complete, but also that it wasn't properly planned. The issues feel more foundational than developmental. However, there was a thread of some intrigue that carried the game along up to the end. I don't necessarily recommend this game at full price, but if you want to see squandered potential that is still decent, getting this at a steep discount is not the worst decision you could make.

What I'm most excited about is whether ThinkingStars decide to make another game in this style. I hope they do because they are definitely on to something here with the 2D meets 3D artstyle and graphics, and how that allows them to create a really dense hubworld that feels like a real crowded city. At times I felt like I was walking through a scene in Ghost in the Shell or something, and that's no small feat.

If they can improve their storytelling and actually make better decisions about the combat (possibly even doing a turn-based thing rather than the shallow action "RPG" platformer thing we have), I think they could be onto an indie classic. Alas, this game ain't that.

6/10
 

spiel

Junior Member
Apr 17, 2019
55
172
33
I finally completed Chinatown Detective Agency, a few weeks after backer codes were sent out at the end of April. I had a good time overall, but couldn't help feeling a little let down.
  • The main plot was pretty cliche with the usual evil AI trying to kill all humans, and of course the creator had daddy issues. Is that how all cyberpunk games go?
  • Bugs! Made even worse with the fact that you can't save mid-case, so you have to repeat whole sections to get back to where you wanted to be.
  • Systems felt shallow.
    • The game has a time mechanic, so some cases need to you reach an area at a specific time, you need to catch flights, etc. Thankfully, you can fast forward time. Early in the kickstarter the devs shared an endurance system, but that was removed in the final game. I kind of get why, it could become busywork if not done right, but it would have made time in the game pass more meaningfully. As it was, time only gave a bit of pressure.
    • Later, there was an option to upgrade the office so you could hire an employee, but it didn't contribute significantly to the gameplay. Other than adding to the immersion of owning a detective agency?
  • On-the-rails gameplay. You're pretty much just moving from case to case, solving clues one at a time.

Score: 6.5/10, maybe 7 if generous

Despite the lukewarm score, it's not all bad, If you're itching for a detective-style game where you piece clues together through real-life or in-game research, then CDA is a nice short adventure.

I was still in the point-n-click mood, so I played Roki (Röki) too. Uh, the controls are actually keyboard only, no clicking. They were kind of fiddly but I got used to them. The game is a wonderful take on the adventure game genre. Puzzles set in a hub, a journal to track areas of interest, a minimalist interface, which all helped with the immersion. It's a testament to how good the atmosphere and puzzles were that I didn't mind the backtracking and tedious climbing animations in later sections. Most importantly, the ending made me cry :cryblob: :cryblob: :cryblob:

Score: 9/10
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
8,157
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113
Finished


Kinda hard to review. The game itself is fun, the platforming is fun, but the combat is quite mediocre, doesn't feel great and the enemies takes too many hits and you lose a lot of life quickly. Nice looking game, takes around 4-5 hours to finish and there are 6 levels. I found the levels to be far too long for their own good, some of the levels have "mini-games" that you need to play to progress and they went on too long, so the pacing is off, levels are too long and combat is mediocre, but in general it is still a fun game to play. with nice graphics and music. Every level introduces a new weapon to use, but mosatly use 2 of them mainly.

Score: 7/10.
 

Virtual Ruminant

MetaMember
May 21, 2020
383
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Completed Watch_Dogs (Ubisoft, 2014)

Grand Theft Aiden.

Pro:
  • One of the better looking Grand Theft Auto knockoffs, but doesn't quite reach the level of detail and scope that GTA V achieves. Considering the resources at Ubisoft's disposal, there's an almost disappointing lack of the sort of custom-made asset-art eye candy you can normally expect in AAA open world games. Lots of repeating graffiti, generic fake brands, fake ads, etc. Still a great looking game, particularly during rainy / stormy weather.
  • Some innovative and interesting game mechanics, like the good hacking minigame and the whole concept of taking over and jumping between surveillance cameras to perform remote surveillance / hacking / infiltration. The "digital trips" mini games are also very funny, and some of them are even fun.
Con:
  • Horrible performance of the PC port. I only managed to get it to run at a smooth locked 30 FPS at maximum detail after way too much tweaking and having to do things like bumping the process priority up in Windows' Task Manager and raising the process's graphics performance preference. 60 FPS was just not happening without huge stutters / framedrops.
  • Bugs, bugs, bugs. Bugs everywhere, in every mission type, buggy weapons, buggy vehicles. Not nearly as bad as Assassin's Creed Unity, and nothing ultimately game-breaking, but just - well, Ubisoft in 2014 I guess. Not exactly a golden age. The online features didn't work at all, since the game never managed to connect to Ubisoft's servers - which are still up and apparently do work for some people.
  • Some of the story missions are shockingly bad. One mini-boss fight locks you into a tiny area and then just spawns two waves of enemies literally behind your back (since the area is so tiny). Apparently the intended way to win is to fail a couple of times and then just place proximity bombs on every spawn point and then win by default. Just appalling for a 'AAA' game.
  • Aiden Pearce is one of the weirdest video game protagonists I have ever seen outside of Japanese games. As a character he isn't believable at all and as a parody of the actual players in front of the screen he gets loaded up with too much backstory.

It's not a great game, but good enough to scratch the GTA-style action-adventure itch. All in all I had a good time, but then I also only paid roughly 8 bucks for the privilege.

3/5
 
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Paul

Junior Member
Jan 26, 2019
210
509
93
Finished: Wasteland 3


I played Wasteland 2 for over fifty hours, but after getting to LA and seeing there is another map to play through, I abandoned it. I was too tired of it at that point. To this day it remains my "most hours invested without finishing" game ever.
So I am glad to say Wasteland 3 did not have that problem. My playthrough took around 60 hours (on PC gamepass, played with controller) and I enjoyed it all the way through.
I can't really think of too many faults - sometimes the game stuttered despite GPU only running at 50% utilization and showing 60fps..but that's about it. I liked its atmosphere and very grey storytelling, where most factions and characters have some significant flaws and you gotta think what you want to do. There are plenty of decisions to be made and skills to be checked, in both gameplay and dialogue. Combat is turnbased, but still quick and crunchy. Soundtrack is great and one song near the end of the game was particularly awesome.
While the game is not quite at the level of its classic predecessors (Fallout and Fallout 2), it is still thoroughly enjoyable.
I would like to see a first person/third person AAA game from Wasteland world next, thanks InXile and MS.

8.5/10
 

Mivey

MeatMember
Sep 20, 2018
2,698
8,170
113
I finished Persona 2: Innocent Sin

Played this one Retroarch on the Deck, and can say that feels like the perfect way to play this. The game's low-fi pixel art look looks pretty good on the small screen, especially with a good CRT filter like CRT Royale that ships with Retroarch.

My last SMT game before this was Soul Hackers, and Persona 2 feels pretty different. The focus is less on collecting demons, in fact each of your characters can only have one Persona "loaded" at a time, and getting new ones is much harder than collecting demons was in Soul Hackers. So that shifts the focus on getting one really good Persona and leveling up its rank. The demon interviews are still as fun and random as before, though perhaps not as useful.

The actual story and characters in this one was really good. I barely remember playing the first Persona game years ago, and I quickly gave up on it since it felt too much like a bog standard dungeon crawler with no really interesting characters or story. This sequel is very different in that regard. I loved the interactions between Lisa, Eikichi, Maya and the rest. The story twist of a world where suddenly all rumours become true is also pretty neat and the story really goes some places.

I liked the ending too, especially since I can immediately jump to the second part of this duology. I know that in the next game, you switch to Maya as the silent protagonist, so it will be interesting to see how our hero Tatasuya acts like now that we have no control over him anymore. I imagine we will also get a much more in depth look into Maya's backstory, which was really only briefly covered near the end of this game.
 

Mivey

MeatMember
Sep 20, 2018
2,698
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113
Great review. P2 is awesome.

I wish the PSP remaster of Eternal Punishment got a translation. The PSone version is, well…
Just started the PS1 version of Eternal Punishment, and it's pretty ok. The slower run speed is a tad annoying, but nothing that the in-built fast forward cannot fix. More annoying is the slower in-game text speed. Well, maybe I'll get used to it.
 
OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
3,506
11,730
113
Belgium
Finished Monster Sanctuary


Lovely metroidvania with beautiful pixel art and deep turn-based combat. You encounter a huge variety of monsters, and based on your efficiency in combat, you have a chance to collect an egg of this monster that you can breed to add this monster to your team. Each monster has a unique skill tree and can be fine tuned with food, weapons and armor that further impact your skills. This works really, really well and provides the game with a lot of depth and different play styles.

In the last part of the game, the huge amount of monsters becomes a bit overwhelming, and certain boss fights are nearly impossible without having certain monsters in your team that can deal with buffs and debuffs. But despite these flaws, Monster Sanctuary is so much fun to play and a fresh breath of air in the genre. Very recommended!

Score: 8.1/10
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
8,157
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113
Finished


Beautiful game, interesting story, multiple endings that are hard to choose between. However the combat is not good, feels bad, clunky, janky, annoying, which is a problem as combat is a huge part of the game. There are 7 chapters, a lot of the chapters goes on for a bit too long making the game quite repetive to me, but not a big deal here. The main problem is the combat. Also, there are collectibles you can find and for some reason you cannot replay chapters after credits to look for more collectibles, you have to replay the whole game and your collectibles are not saved, so no new game plus. There are also some skills you learn by just playing/progressing in the game. The game is very linear, but I didn't have a problem with it, there are some paths off the main path you can go to where there are collectibles to find.

Score: 6.8/10
 
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