Reviews Rate the game you finished/retired

Dec 5, 2018
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3,128
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Ok, I haven't written any review in a while so here goes a battery of review

The Legend of Heroes Trails of Cold Steel III & IV

I'm treating them as one game since that's how the story works. You can read my detailed reviews/rambling here and here. If you've played every game leading up to here you know what you're getting for better or worse. The music is good as ever, the combat is probably the most entertaining, but the story draaaags a lot I get why they do that but it has been a problem for a while. In the end it's hard for me to review w/o spoilers.

7.5/10

Elden Ring


What if dark souls but with an open world. That means you can explore nearly all the world from the start, so your experience will be different, while you're really likely to end up fighting the same boss first, after that it will depend on how you approach the game. This is also the game that gives you way more ways to cheese your way through, which is great. Thinks like spirit ashes that are like summons but don't raise the boss HP makes most bosses really easy to cheese. Then again the game seems to be built for you to get help in some way (be it by summoning players/NPCs or using ashes) so it's fine. My main complain (though, that was already a thing in dark souls 3) is how some bosses seem to have extremly long combos, there was something charming with how bosses worked in the original dark souls. With that said it's probably the best from soft game so far.

9/10

Final Fantasy VI Pixel Remaster


I had reviewed the other 5 so of course I was going to review this one. The last of the pixel remasters. While I think that V is better in a mechanical way (the job system gave it way more flexibility) this game shines more in the storytelling aspect. While the first half of the game is more "linear" what makes the game great in my opinion is how after losing all your party in the midpoint of the game you're given a lot a freedom. After getting an airship during part 2 (Word of Ruin) the game let's you go straight up for the final dungeon with only 3 (of your up to 14 party members. This is also one of the largest (playable) casts in any FF, althought to be fair you're likely to be spaming the same attacks towards the end) or you can go around the world and see the consequences of your actions in part 1 and also see what your party members have been up to. And this sense is something I'd like later FF did but I don't think it will happen again.

8/10

Fire Emblem: Three houses (Switch, I should have played on Yuzu but oh well)

I had always been intrigued by the FE series but I've never played any game and I'm not sure this was the best one to start on. This game introduced the "academy" (monastery) part of the game which feels like it made the game longer than it should have been. I still think that many games started introducing the social aspects that seems became popular in RPGs because of (modern) persona w/o grasping what made it work in persona but I digress. The game after the tutorial mission makes you pick one faction (house) and then playthrough the game with them. The game is split into either exploring the monastery where you can raise your units relationships (to unlock supports and learn about them) or raise your stats, and battles and also teaching which is another way to raise your units stats. All in all i liked the game but my main complain is how if you want a full picture of the story you should have to beat the game 4 (well technically 3.5) times, sure each NG+ cycle will go faster and faster since the game gives you tools to go faster, but the first half of the game is nearly identical except for some conversations depending the house you sided with

7.5/10

Cuphead - The Delicious Last Course (DLC)


What can I say ?, It's more Cuphead If you liked the main game it's more of the same. 5 years after finishing the main game on expert I basically lost all my game skills but I still enjoy it. The most interesting change in the DLC is that you can play as Ms. Chalice who controsl different than Cuphead.

9/10

Wargroove


I had read that this game is inspired in advance wars, but since I have not played these games I don't really know how true that holds up. It took me a bit for the game to click with me but when it did I really enjoy it. The game campaing is a battery of battles, that are usually won by defeating the enemy base/commander or clearing the map of enemies. The main mechanich of the game is the groove which is a special skill that the commanders have (and each one has an unique one), Completing a mission can give you up to 3 stars, this stars are used to unlock stuff in the gallery but their most important use is to see the game's true ending/epilogue. This is my main complain with the game in order to see the true ending you have to get 100 stars (which is half of all the ones you get in the game). Even if you perfect all the missions (main and optional) in the story you will be short 1, which means you'll have to do puzzles or arcade mode. I usually don't mind if a game has extra steps for a true ending. The problem is that the ending of the game is not really and ending but rather a cliffhanger.


8/10
 

Amzin

No one beats me 17 times in a row!
Dec 5, 2018
763
1,697
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I finished Hatchwell, I restarted after the dev added a quest tracker to make it easier to not miss stuff. It feels kinda bad to give it a negative review because it's reasonably well done and clearly has heart but honestly, most of my time with it was just tedious or frustrating. It's very clearly inspired by top-down Zelda, but it just doesn't have the level of polish that those games did. It's also another example of a game where combat feels completely pointless - it never once felt interesting, engaging, or tense, it was just something in the way of playing the rest of the game. More games need to realize YOU DON'T HAVE TO ADD COMBAT.

Combat was annoying, but the frustration of navigating the dungeons was what leans it towards negative for me. That is the bulk of your time, and while the level design is fairly clever, it is INCREDIBLY inconsistent. It's also punishingly tight in a ton of places, and in some cases you can take damage and have to reset the room through no fault of your own because everything exists on a grid in the room except for you (and enemies), which means you can be one pixel too far forward and trigger a spike trap and the timing is so tight that because you triggered it as you went around the corner, it knocks you off back to the start.

On top of that, about half of all the "open the door" puzzles reset upon leaving the room. But, the other half don't. There is no clear indicator of when or why this is, but it makes navigating back and forth a huge pain, especially because the map only shows rooms and exits which is useless because most rooms that have 4 doors have 2 isolated pairs. You'd literally be better off drawing a line map yourself. The resetting puzzles also means you almost never get meaningful shortcuts and end up having to circle back entirely.

Bosses are sort of OK, some of them have really bad attack patterns that require you again to be very precise and very well timed, and often just eat damage to trade a hit back. You can technically farm money infinitely and buy piles of potions and I basically did that to get through the second half of the game because restarting from the first room of the (unlocked) dungeon and having to wander 3-4 rooms at half health back to restart the boss is itself a bad design.

The missable quests is disappointing but given the narrative structure of the game it makes sense, but it's a huge huge negative for me. That alone wouldn't cause me to dislike it, but it's another thing for the pile.

The game has charm, and is cute, and definitely has heart, but I think it really missed the mark on actual gameplay. Combat needed to be removed or made interesting. Rooms need shortcuts back after you've completed puzzles (adding shortcuts would make the map less useless, too). The puzzles were all OK but a few here and there were pretty tedious as well. Bosses were hit or miss. The penultimate boss fight was probably the most interesting one and it's arguably the easiest boss fight in the game.

I think, if using true 1-10 scale, this would be a 4 for me. Some people will find enjoyment out of it but I only carried on through sunk cost I think (also because I was playing on my Deck - I would have abandoned it playing at my main PC I'm sure).


Finished Necromunda: Hired Gun

Despite the unpleasantly high FoV (110, cannot be lowered), I finished Necromunda in 14 hours and was pleasantly surprised - I enjoyed it more than, for example, Halo Infinite or Doom Eternal. Granted, the story is horrible incoherent shite, the interface is moronic, and the fifteen guys who made it couldn't get rid of the Eurojank, but the monumentally grandiose, dirty and fantastically atmospheric location design combined with frantic, properly crunchy gunplay won me over pretty quickly. Running up walls, sliding across floors, doublejumps, glory kills, grappling hook, weapon upgrades, a proper metal soundtrack...it's all here. Plus, I was able to buy augmentations not only for myself, but for my mutt as well, which counts. Just a solid humblebundle game, and I'm interested in more similar games from the world of Warhammer, which I was basically unfamiliar with until this game.

7/10
Yea I also like it more than Doom Eternal (what little I played of Eternal because it was boring me). It does what Eternal wanted to do, except without the stupid forced restrictions making all your choices meaningless. Turbo Overkill does basically the same thing too, also much better than Eternal, but it's still in EA (it's excellent thus far though).
 

Line

meh
Dec 21, 2018
1,222
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Just in time for the second game, I finished (well, two runs of)
And... it's a product of its time in many ways.

For one, it looked amazing in 2001. Barely a year and a half after Diablo 2 (it's crazy how old it is when you think about it), those effects and the physics? Very impressive for the time, still looks okay, and more importantly: feels nice. Cutting a rat in half or sending limbs and brains flying never gets old.
Now the levels themselves on the other hand... they look and feel a blocky, some are stupidly linear and not very engaging... that wasn't great then, and today? That ain't it, really.
Sound design was very well done, now that holds up well, both in atmosphere and combat feedback. The voice acting is a bit crackly and sometimes poorly mixed, though. But again, oooold game.

But it's gameplay wise that those games evolved the most.
And where the controls are just as smooth as they were, and made for a controller in mind (scrolling for skills is messy, that could have been improved a bit for the remaster...) with not much to complain about... the big issue is that Dark Alliance 1 is very, very barebones.
Only three chars (well, and one extra), veeery few skills, and a progression that is just very limited by the low number of different items, and that most of them are just straight upgrades.
Only in the very late game of a regular campaign will you see more interesting items with more than maybe two stats/effects. That so many of your good items will just be found at traders is also not cool. It just wasn't as good as Diablo 2 progression wise, and it's even more obvious now.

A problem that existed then and still exists today would be balance. Playing alone, the game is brutally difficult, even in Normal mode. Some bosses are a nightmare, while plenty of others are really, really easy.
Definitely a game made with coop in mind, removing a lot of that pain... but both from the lack of balance, and the odd lack of side quests after Act 1, you can feel that the game was rushed a lot.

Now is it worth replaying for nostalgia? It plays well, but it's not a very good game now.
Alone? It's maybe a 5/10 being generous.
For coop, I'll say it definitely makes for some good fun, 7/10.


But really, it's biggest issues and why I'm posting now, is the rerelease of Dark Alliance 2.
Same strong combat.
But (slightly) better levels. Much more variety. 5 base classes and 2 extras. All of them have way more skills available, they are more interesting, and prestige classes add more stuff to them during the adventure too. More variety in items, and their quality, and you can add gems to modify them too. And it's longer (though that one might be a flaw in some aspects, since those games are pretty repetitive by nature) and more consistent all the way.

So is Dark Alliance 1 worth it when the second pretty much replaces it entirely?
Not really.
But it's an interesting relic. It would have benefitted more from being in a Dark Alliance pack.
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
8,749
23,091
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Finished


Absolutely loved the game, one of the best games I've played this year. Gorgeus graphics, great level design, great world building, you care a lot for the cat and the characters you meet in the game. The story is suprisingly decent for a cat game. The gameplay feels good, I was skeptical at first since the game doesn't allow you to scratch, jump etc. whenever you want, it's decided by the game, but I had no problem with it. Nice puzzles and nice music. Exploration and finding collectables and such is actually fun. The enemies are okay. Enjoyed there's no combat.

Score: 8.9/10
 
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Amzin

No one beats me 17 times in a row!
Dec 5, 2018
763
1,697
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I just played Omno - start to finish on Steam Deck, which was a good form for it, but I will eventually replay it on a bigger screen, as it's a joy to experience.

When I first tried the demo, I was expecting a nice, sort of surfing-puzzle-platformer light game. Which, to an extent, it is.

But really, it's a love note to the joy of exploration, and the wonder of the world around us. Playing it mirrored feelings I get when I get to go hiking somewhere new, or find that park that's just right, things like that. It has cute creatures and distinct biomes and resonated with me in a way I wasn't expecting (from the demo). Despite being on the shorter side, and limited in scope, it absolutely nails what it is going for in a way few games ever do, or even designed experiences outside of games.

It's worth playing it as that - a journey of exploration. You can miss things, but you should enjoy your time in each area to explore around and find them. It's one of my favorite games in a while.
 

Mivey

MeatMember
Sep 20, 2018
2,995
9,260
113
Steamworld Dig 2 (played on the SteamDeck, ran flawlessly)

As far as sequels are concerned, this one is a pretty safe bet. It doesn't change much from the first game, the progression system is essentially the same one. You mine a bit and feel how your equipment isn't as effective any more, you go back to town, sell your items for some money, upgrade your equipment, and repeat. The second game has a lot more challenge levels, which are essentially puzzles which give you some upgrade points. That's the big new addition: each piece of equipment has a number of possible upgrades, which need "cogs" to activate.
Overall the actual gameplay was simply superb. Very addicting and hard to stop playing.

The story continues where the first game left of. After his encounter with Vectron, Rusty is changed. He leaves town without telling everyone, and Dorothy, an NPC from the first game, sets out to find him. The overall plot is straightforward, but that's also not a problem as it's not the focus of a game like this. I did like the fact that Steamworld Dig 2 seems to explain how the space setting of Steamworld Heist came to be. Unless the developers get a bit creative, it does make it impossible to have a straightforward Steamworld Dig 3, though, since the Earth blew up. I guess you could mine on asteroids and stuff?

Overall a very good game, and one I can heartily recommend to anyone who liked the first game.
 

Mivey

MeatMember
Sep 20, 2018
2,995
9,260
113
I finished Lacuna. (played on the SteamDeck)

This game right away presents itself as a "modern" take on the classic point and click adventure genre. I guess that also meant no actual pointing anymore, it's essentially meant to be played with a controller. That suited me fine on the SteamDeck, but I would guess it might make it awkward to play on mouse and keyboard. I did not try, so I cannot comment on this, just something to keep in mind.

The presentation is very slick. Despite the low-fi 2D look, the game uses a lot of complex lighting effects to give the scenes more depths. Things cast shadows, light gets occluded by objects, etc.





There's also a "detective mode", where the game highlights clues you can pick up and it collects them all in a very handy menu. It's all very though out. Similar to Tangle Tower, the game also expects you to formulate your conclusions, though here it's not by forming sentence, but by completing a sentence by filling in the gaps. For example "[1] has killed [2], because [3]." and then you need to select from a set of choices for each of the numbers. It's a bit simplistic, but it gets the job done.

The overall presentation is also supported by the great music, a wide mix of genres, though with a focus on Jazz. Or maybe it's just the jazz themes that stuck with me.

A short, but really well done adventure game. Especially impressive as it's the first game of a new German developer DigiTales. Really looking forward what they will do in the future.
 
OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
3,632
12,307
113
Belgium
Finished The Witcher Enhanced Edition Director's Cut


Watching The Witcher on Netflix brought me in the mood to replay the games, so I started with this one on the Steam Deck with a few mods to improve the textures, interface, sky boxes and character models.

The combat hasn't aged very well; it's often annoying and Igni in combination with stamina potions wins most of the battles. But everything else in this game is so incredibly well done that I enjoyed it until the very end. Especially the story and characters are amazing, and even most of the subquests are fun to play.

The game also runs very well on the Steam Deck and plays great with a controller layout made by the community. Definitely recommend!

Score: 8.4/10
 

MegaApple

Just another Video Game Enthusiast
Sep 20, 2018
1,162
2,828
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Finished The Witcher Enhanced Edition Director's Cut


Watching The Witcher on Netflix brought me in the mood to replay the games, so I started with this one on the Steam Deck with a few mods to improve the textures, interface, sky boxes and character models.

The combat hasn't aged very well; it's often annoying and Igni in combination with stamina potions wins most of the battles. But everything else in this game is so incredibly well done that I enjoyed it until the very end. Especially the story and characters are amazing, and even most of the subquests are fun to play.

The game also runs very well on the Steam Deck and plays great with a controller layout made by the community. Definitely recommend!

Score: 8.4/10
Is there a controller layout for regular controllers on PC?
 
OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
3,632
12,307
113
Belgium
Is there a controller layout for regular controllers on PC?
I'm not sure, I only tried a few profiles for the Deck. The profile I used needs the trackpad for inventory management, and the back buttons to switch between fighting styles for both swords. Regular controllers don't have those.
 

Mivey

MeatMember
Sep 20, 2018
2,995
9,260
113
I retire Eiyuden Chronicle Rising (been playing it on the SteamDeck).

This game starts out really enjoyable, and I think there was the potential here to build something really great and fun. It's ultimately bogged down by a developer who doesn't understand that quality is more important than quantity. The game essentially requires you to solve tons of side quests. They are the main way your character levels up and is thus able to advance the story. Combat is essentially negligible as a source of EXP. The problem is that the game's 160 or so sidequests are almost all just really dumb fetch quests that get really tiresome really soon.

The game's combat starts out fun, but gets more and more annoying the more you advance. The main reason is actually technical: I very often find myself missing combos because the game simply refuses to execute them. This generally only occurs when a lot is going on in the screen, so I wonder what exactly is happening here. I think this would have been less of an issue if the game was a lot shorter and didn't expect you to master its system very well. As it stands, the combat feels like it really needs a lot more polish and care, especially on the programming side of things.

The biggest reason why I have no qualms about just giving up on this game is the story and the characters though. They are just really uninteresting. Nothing really offensive, just bland. And I wouldn't mind the blandness if the game was sweet and short, but as it stands, it just ends up feeling like a slog.
 

Virtual Ruminant

MetaMember
May 21, 2020
425
1,421
93
Finished Prince of Persia - The Sands of Time (Ubisoft, 2003)

Farah Croft and the Lil' Fresh Prince.

Pro:
  • The puzzle-platforming is still fun.
Con:
  • The voice-acting is poor.
  • During combat the camera is so bad, it must be considered a hostile NPC.
  • The combat system itself is ambitious and reminded me more of a Soulsborne than Assassin's Creed. Not a plus in my book, in fact, quite the opposite. Thankfully there is one particular move (that the game doesn't tutorialize you about) that one-shots most enemies, otherwise it would have been very annoying.
  • The level design is too ambiguous in places and often left me in doubt about whether I was going the wrong way or just needed better timing on the platforming.
  • Bad checkpoints / savepoints placement.

Hasn't aged very well, but I can see why it was a hit at the time - it hooked me enough to finish it.

If anybody else is as late to the Prince of Persia party as I was, I would recommend playing a console release in an emulator, so you can take advantage of save-states. I played the PC version (Ubisoft Connect), which still runs well on modern PCs and even supports XInput-Gamepads - although you will have to create your own button and axis-layout from scratch.


3/5
 
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Yoshi

o_O
Jan 5, 2019
601
3,335
93
Retired Lost Ark


Lost Ark is fun until it becomes a grind, like with most F2P MMOs.

I enjoyed my time leveling in this game. The combat is especially fun and sets it apart from almost every MMO I've played. Unfortunately, the game becomes repetitive after reaching a certain point, and you stop progressing at a pace you were used to, unless you spend real money.

3.5/5
 
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Paul

Junior Member
Jan 26, 2019
233
560
93
I enjoyed my time leveling in this game. The combat is especially fun and sets it apart from almost every MMO I've played. Unfortunately, the game becomes repetitive after reaching a certain point, and you stop progressing at a pace you were used to, unless you spend real money.
Not even possible to finish the story without getting to grindpaywall?
 

gabbo

MetaMember
Dec 22, 2018
3,244
5,323
113
Toronto
Where to start?
Can a shooter have great gunplay but have the worst gameplay loop that the other games in the series have seemingly perfected or at least feels less like work, because this felt like work. Also, the villagers you meet and a few villains, racist as fuck.
Would recommend skipping
 

Line

meh
Dec 21, 2018
1,222
2,040
113
Not even possible to finish the story without getting to grindpaywall?
Yoshi is right, but that's being kind honestly. There are vast segments that are just nonsensical because of the deep cuts the levelling received over the years in Korea. Some parts will just leave you confused about who, why and how things are happening.

The game has good combat, but progression is just non existant, you almost never change armor pieces and they all look the same, they are mere stat sticks that only add to your item lvl, which is literally the only thing that ever matters in the game.
It's distilled fake progression, and the ultimate goal of all those shitty grinds that are everywhere now, with ilvl, color rarity and all that shit. Do things>number go higher, what does the number mean? Absolutely nothing. But it goes up!

I wouldn't give Lost Ark more than 3/10, and that's because it looks pretty good.
 
OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
3,632
12,307
113
Belgium
Finished Steamworld Dig 2


This game is a huge improvement compared to the first Steamworld Dig (which was already great FYI). It's an almost perfect metroidvania, with excellent level design, funny characters, great controls, tons of secrets to discover, no needless backtracking and colorful graphics. Very, very recommended!

Score: 9.0/10



Retired Atom RPG


I'm both sad and angry that I need to retire Atom RPG for being stuck with my current build, because this game does so many things right and is a great achievement for such a small team.

So let's start with the good stuff: Atom RPG is a love letter to the classic Fallout and Wasteland games. The world has been nuked and survivers need to fight, craft and make friends to survive. The storytelling in this game is really good: you can talk to every person you meet, quests and subquests are well designed and often have a funny ending. The environments are also very well done and worth exploring.

Sadly, that's where the good stuff ends for me. The game lacks a main story line that keeps you playing. You always ask the same 5 questions to EVERY person you meet. The combat is boring and lacks tactical depth because the AI is terrible. Friendly NPC's will kill you if you're in front of the target they pick etc etc.

Even worse is that the game is terribly unbalanced. Random encounters will put you up against overpowered enemies that are impossible to beat at your current level and gear. Bosses are several times more powerful than anything you've faced so far. And melee builds are completely worthless.

The latter is the reason why I retired the game: when leaving a certain location, enemy scavengers take your full inventory, all gear and all of your money. I can't possibly understand why the devs thought this would be fun for anyone. But even worse: after this theft, the scavengers block the access to that location (which need to be completed to continue the game) while being impossible to beat with a melee character, even after leveling up for many hours. This is just bad game design.

Score: 4.8/10
 
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Yoshi

o_O
Jan 5, 2019
601
3,335
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Finished Dying Light 2


Parkour is fun, combat is fun, but the story is a slog to get through. There are some questionable design choices too, such as guns no longer being equipable weapons like in the first game.

Definitely a step down overall from its predecessor.

3.5/5
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
8,749
23,091
113
Finished


The game is basically an anime card time-attack platforming game. There are 12 chapters, 10 of them have 10 levels each, most of them are at the same length. Each level is fast-paced. You pick up cards that gives you different abilities, like Fireball card gives you shotgun and if you decide to drop the card, it shoots you up where you aim, if you pick up the same card many times, it fills you up with more ammo and you can drop each of the cards to get it's special ability multiple times (like if you have 3 Fireball cards, you can drop them to shoot you up 3 times). You can only have 2 different cards at the same time and only 3 of the same card, so you must be tactical and strategic in which one you want to use to progress fastest. The story took me 14 hours to play through, the game is really variated so it's far easier to play it yourself or watch a video than explain the gameplay by text, what I described is the most basic of the gameplay. There is a lot of depth to the gameplay. Lots of different cards with different abilities, each level is greatly designed.

Most levels also have a gift you can find hidden around which you can give to other characters in the game's hub to get to know them better, giving them gifts improves your relationship with them and they will grant you new dialogues, side missions and memories (your character has forgotten things). It was a lot of fun to find gifts and I completed my relationship with all the characters 100%. Each level also gives you a medal based on how long it takes you to complete a level, in order to progress the story you need gold medal in each level and after that you can take your time to improve your time even better, which gives you the "ace" medal.

The story is corny and crappy which is the only thing that drags the game down, I skipped through all the dialogues and stuff.

I enjoyed every moment of my 14 hours with the game and can see myself coming back to it later for more ace medals and some character-based level rushes.

One of my favorite games this year.

Score: 8.9/10
 
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Dec 5, 2018
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Dungeon Encounters | where did the graphic budget go

Do you like dungeon crawlers but don't care about the story and those fancy graphics ? Then this game might be for you.

When I say this game has no story I mean the only story that the game has are about 4 lines of text (which to be honest, I don't even remember) other than that the characters have a bit of flavor text that tells you who they are, but again it doesn't matter.

Ok onto the game. The game is divided into exploration and combat. The exploration part consists on moving through various maps, where with the exception of a few levels, there is not even music only ambient effects). Charting a whole map will give you ability points (more on that later). The tiles can contain some Hex code (from 00 to FF), you can check what they are in the menu (or simply by going over), for example, 01 moves you to the next floor and 02 to the previous, others contain shops, healting stations, riddles (which are riddles to secret items, you can find them without the riddle), teleporters, enemy information or abilities.

Then there are another group of codes (the same from 00-FF) but in black, they aren't visible by default, but the first ability you find will let you see them, so if you want to play like an old school JRPG where you randomly stumble you can do it (althought I don't really recomended), enemies reset every time you change floors. And like with the other tiles the content of each is fixed, you can know what types of enemies are going to attack you (what you can't know is the quantity).

As you explore, as I said, you can find abilities, in order to equip them you need to get ability points, which you get by charting a full level and also every ~1000 or so charted tiles. There are two types of abilities exploration abilities, they will make your traversal easier, like moving through floors without using the stairs (which will be a necessity in the closest thing that this game has to post-game) and combat abilities, most of them give you immunity to status effects, healing and some damage multipliers (i.e, damage double if at low health, and stuff like that).

When you start the game you can make a party, not all the party members are available from the start, some the games tell you exactly where they are, others are marked as wandering, that means that you need to find their location and then interact with the exact position where they are, the game will give you tools to make that less tedious (and you can of guess where they are based on their level),

Now, combat. Most of your party members are identical, by that I mean they can equip the samethings, with a couple of exceptions most characters can equip every piece of equipment. Only a few weapons are exclusive to some characters so just choose the characters you like the most. Every party member has 2 stats when they level up HP and PP (Proficiency points). Every piece of equipment you use has a PP cost, so the higher the PP the cooler stuff you can equip.

Every character and enemy in the game has 3 bars, Physical defense (PD), Magical defense (MD) and HP. Every helmet you equip will give you some sort of Magical defense, and every piece of armor you equip will rise your Phisical defense, you can also equip accessories that have various benefits (raise defense, or speed, or critical chance, etc). Weapons (you can equip 2) in this game can be classified in:
  • Physical/Magical damage: as you can imagine Physical lowers PD and Magical lowers MD, once a Physical weapon has lowered the PD of an enemy to 0 then and only then it will lower it's HP, same with the magical weapon. There's a third type of weapon (that's exclusive to a character) that will do HP damage meaning it will ignore defense it has a drawback but still. If you don't equip a weapon you will always do 1 HP damage (which can be useful with certain type of enemies that have very high defense but only 1 HP).
  • Fixed/random damage: fixed weapons will always do the damage that's displayed in the weapon whereas random weapons do UP TO that damage (not counting multipliers)
  • Melee/ranged: some enemies are inmune to Melee damage, usually ranged weapons are not as powerful, so that's a drawback, but there's a late game ability that will transform all your damage in ranged
  • Single/Multiple target: self explanatory.
A couple more things, if your group dies in a fight you will have to form a rescue group and take them back (if you want to recover them, that is), what's worse, you could fall throught a black hole (or some enemy skills) that scatters your party and you'll need to find it again.

I liked the game for the most part, but the last 9 floors (that are some kind of post game) were kind of frustrating, I ended up searching for a guide how to navigate some of the floors since there are parts that require the use of traversal skills but I was losing track of what i had charted and what not.
 

Yoshi

o_O
Jan 5, 2019
601
3,335
93
Finished Raft


Raft is what I considered to be one of the best survival games currently out, along with 7 Days to Die, Valheim, and The Forest. Like the games mentioned, you can play Raft in singleplayer and still have fun if co-op is not your thing.

From the beginning, you start off with merely a scrap hook that you use to collect floating debris in the ocean. Those materials are then used to build your raft and craft things that are essential to your survival. Every now and then, you'll come across a shark that will attempt to destroy what you've built. You'll need to be equipped with a spear to defend your raft.

Exploration is the game's biggest draw. Discovering new islands and other locations can feel jaw-dropping at times. The gameplay loop consists of collecting supplies, building your raft, and exploring new landmarks that are part of the story.

And if you're not a fan of survival games, you can always mess around in its creative mode. It's one of the few games I've played where building is actually fun.

Highly recommended.

5/5
 
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OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
3,632
12,307
113
Belgium
Finished Monster Train


Amazing card battle game with a unique twist: you play your cards on a train with 4 floors. Monsters always appear on the lowest floor, and ascend a floor when they survive your attacks. On the top floor there's a crystal that should be protected at all costs, so it's necessary that you beat all monsters before they reach that floor. This is done by playing cards, which spawn a creature on the floor of choice, or cast spells that can heal, apply buffs and debuffs etc. These mechanics work incredibly well, making Monster Train one of the most enjoying card battle games I've ever played.

The game contains 5 different decks, and you can combine two decks for each playthroughs. Each deck has a completely different playstyle, and also has two heroes to choose, who can be upgraded in several ways. To increase the replayability even more, you can switch to a higher covenant after beating the game, which adds extra challenges to your run. I have beaten the game with each faction for the first five covenants, but I'm sure I will do many more runs in the next few months. Oh and the game works great on the Steam Deck; just press a button when you see a black screen and change the video player in the settings screen. Next time you boot the game everything will work fine. Very, very recommended!

Score: 9.2/10
 

Mivey

MeatMember
Sep 20, 2018
2,995
9,260
113
I finished Umurangi Generation.


This game first got my attention because of its mention from this medium post: . "Your Apocalypse is bad and I would know". It shows very convincingly how the portrayal of post apocalypse games is often incredibly biased from the point of view that Western civilisation is some pinnacle of human existence, and thus its loss is some kind of absolute tragedy, turning all humans into barbarians and just creating misery overall. Basically defining the apocalypse as the loss of all culture.


And this something that developer Origame Digital tackles very differently. You play a Maori photographer in a future where huge Kaiju have attacked the Earth and human's are fighting desperately against them with giant robots. So pretty cliche setting. Except, the focus of the game is not on the battle against them. That's literally just the backdrop. The focus is on how the people in the city of Tauranga, on North Island of New Zealand experience this time. A UN occupation force is keeping the civil population "in check", and we see protests against them as well as the negative sentiment of the population via countless protest signs, posters and graffiti.


And one thing that is very different about this apocalypse, is that we don't see the people just being miserable or violent. Quite the opposite, even among all this destruction, people are having parties, get togethers, and dancing. And it makes sense that these basic aspects of humanity wouldn't just up and disappear just because our great "Western culture" isn't there anymore to impose order. It's a very refreshing take on this sub-genre.

The game is a sort of photography simulator, your task is always to find a number of objects from a bullet list, many of them requiring very specific kinds of shots and lenses to be used. While this seems a bit arbitrary, and it kinda is, it also is a pretty good trick in getting the player to quickly get a feeling for each level. What is there, what the people area doing, and the overall mood of the place.

It's a super short game, just about 2 hours, and I liked my time with it a lot.
 
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Yoshi

o_O
Jan 5, 2019
601
3,335
93
Finished Gas Station Simulator


Your uncle leaves you with an abandoned gas station and it's yours to run. You have plenty of job roles which include:
  • being a cashier
  • ordering and picking up products for your store
  • cleaning floors and restocking shelves
  • fueling cars
  • fixing cars
  • pressure washing cars
You also have to look out for a little rascal who comes around and sprays graffiti on your walls every so often. There's A LOT of stuff to do in this game and it can get overwhelming fast. Thankfully, you're able to hire employees to take some of the load off.

The progression in the game feels just right. You're constantly trying to expand your gas station. You can unlock extra fuel stations and parking lot spaces so there's more paying customers. The game can feel a bit janky at times but I can look past that since the core gameplay loop is oddly satisfying.

4/5
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
8,749
23,091
113
Finished


A very fun and addictive game about washing different locations and vehicles. You can buy different power washers, different liquids, different clothing, different stuff to make things easier, like there is different liquids for different things like wood, metal, glass etc. The game has a lot of content and I found it to be a really relaxing game about washing stuff. There is a percentage counter showing how much you have left and when you are a 99%, the game will tell you what you have left. You can also buy an ability that lets dirt glow for a few seconds, making it easier to find what you need to wash.

My main negatives are that the game does get a bit stale and repetive towards the end, but that's after 20 hours or so for me.

Overall, a great and fun simulator.

Score: 8.7/10
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
8,749
23,091
113
Finished


A quite good roguelike, nothing suprising, nothing to drive the genre forward, but it does what it does, well. The graphics are really good, the level design is great, the combaty is good, but the way when you get hit or bump into an enemy, your characters get "bumped" back a few meters was quite annoying. The skill tree was cool, but the exporation (which I found important in roguelikes) was quite boring. Might get back to the game in the future as finishing it and doing new game plus unlocks new lore, bosses etc, but not sure.

If you've played a lot of roguelikes before (like me), the game feels cool and good to play, but nothing fresh and suprising.

Score: 8/10
 

Amzin

No one beats me 17 times in a row!
Dec 5, 2018
763
1,697
93
I finished Keplerth main questline + lore pickups

This is a big "Yes, but...". The game is easiest to compare to a top-down Terraria - you start with little, can build blocky bases, and as opposed to Minecraft there's a clear tier progression of wood/stone <- Copper < Iron < Silver < Gold < etc. The landscape and various buildings, towns, ruins, are procedural and you advance by going down underground into 1-19 different levels. Part of the problem is the procedural generation makes these levels mostly pointless - there are 4 tiers of underground, each with up to 5 levels, and those 5 levels could just be 1 level and you'd never need more. Maybe for multiplayer with a bunch of people it's more useful but for solo or even just a few people the "size" of the game largely feels meaningless and makes Terraria's more limited map make more sense.

The gameplay is pretty fun, and the game looks decent for what it is. The balance / escalation of it feels good up to a point - the last 2 bosses, e.g. the end of the game, are horribly balanced. The second to last boss you HAVE to use melee for (more or less), and the final boss you CANNOT use melee on because almost every attack is a 1-shot no matter what. The game is also incredibly grindy at the end. Basically the first 20-25 hours are well designed, interesting, novel, and then the last 5 hours is dealing with 2 bosses which... isn't great. Mods make this a lot better and the game has workshop support and I heavily recommend the increased ores/torches/walls mods for most of the game, and the gene page expansion and 1-slot skill mods for the last 2 bosses unless you actively enjoy tedium in your game.

The gene system is both a highlight of the game and another area of being underwhelmed - you have a "gene page" where you can slot in different buffs (from different sets) either on the fly or create and save themed pages (tanky, melee, ranged, and so on). You unlock these by getting uncommon drops from enemies or ores or plants (which nicely do not take up inventory space), and once a specific one is unlocked you have it forever. The problem is the default gene page size is so small and the effects, while noticeable, don't compensate for the games poor balance, so at a minimum the system gets improved a lot and made more interesting by the expanded gene page size mod in the workshop. The 1-slot-skill mod makes it so every gene "buff" takes up only 1 slot which means you can actually have every gene mod active at the same time, which I did for the final boss and it was still dangerous and took a while to kill (that's how bad the final boss is).

The pet system is neat, the follower system is an echo of the gene system (you can "create" a follower using gene packs you get from giving items to NPCs but this again is INCREDIBLY grindy so I recommend mods, again). There's a lot of originality here for a game that can absolutely come off as a Terraria clone but unfortunately it lacks the refinement and rather than leaning into "fun" of the design it leans into "grind". There are more systems in the game too - active skills you can unlock which the game never mentions anywhere, you can build your own town and have survivors, farm animals / plants, even have "kill rooms" of different enemies endlessly streaming in (very slowly) for infinite somewhat middling material drops, etc. There's a lot here for sure.

I don't like recommending games that require mods to be good, but I think Keplerth, for the bulk of the game, is fine without mods, and if you play it more as a sandbox rather than a questline you arguably never need them. Ultimately, I'd give it a 65/100 due to the poor endgame and very grindy subsystems that make it hard to engage with them. If you add the mods in it becomes a 80/100 easily for me and I could absolutely see replaying it if it ever gets additional content or reworks (or if someone I know wants to play it co-op).
 

Yoshi

o_O
Jan 5, 2019
601
3,335
93
Finished A Plague Tale: Innocence


This is my second playthrough. I don't replay games very often but with the sequel around the corner I wanted to revisit, and I'm glad I did. The game still holds up well!

A Plague Tale: Innocence is a mixture of stealth, puzzles, and action in the form of a deadly slingshot. The story is interesting, the characters are memorable, the graphics and atmosphere are great. What stops it from being a masterpiece is the overall writing and dialogue between characters. I felt those were the game's biggest weak points. However, the voice actors did an excellent job and made me look past most of it.

A common complaint people have about the game is the difficulty spike during boss battles. I'm in the minority, but those were my favorite parts since the game felt a bit too easy up until then.

One thing I must also praise is the game's fantastic soundtrack. The music really sets the tone from the start and it wouldn't feel the same if it were anything different.

Here's hoping the sequel is just as good or better.

4.5/5
 
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spiel

Junior Member
Apr 17, 2019
79
267
53
"Completed" The Hex.

One of those meta video games. I don't have the motivation to uncover the side content and secrets. It's an interesting mishmash of minigames from different genres and it was fairly amusing to play stuff I don't usually go for. I'm guessing the art style is intended to invoke amateur Flash games of old, because the game certainly isn't visually pleasing. There are some unexpected/entertaining moments, but I didn't go away with my mind blown or anything.

Meh/10
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
8,749
23,091
113
Finished


Slow uninteresting start, but it quickly built up to become a really exciting, interesting and good game, if it's better than the first, I don't know, but I really enjoyed it. Some cool set pieces, simple, but nice puzzles, lovely backgrounds, nice music. The art style does make parts of the environment somewhat ugly though.

Score: 8/10
 

spiel

Junior Member
Apr 17, 2019
79
267
53
Ittle Dew 2 complete

It's a lot like the first game: familiar mechanics, smart puzzle design and irreverent humour. Although combat difficulty increased sharply, which took some getting used to. Luckily, the game is generous with checkpoints. You also can pretty much run past enemies, other than the "clear this arena to open the gate" progression in dungeons. That's the one major issue, there's really no point in engaging with combat during exploration since mobs respawn, but they are everywhere on the map. The main campaign is a nice short length, taking me about 6.5 hours to complete, probably less for more skilled gamers. There are more advanced puzzles to complete at your own pace which I may take a gander at.

Finally, just wanna gush over the art because it's really cute!!!

Had a good time, 8/10
 

Yoshi

o_O
Jan 5, 2019
601
3,335
93
Finished Thief Simulator


A fun simulator with an addicting gameplay loop.
  • Stroll into neighborhoods and rob houses
  • Sell the items you stole at a pawnshop
  • Purchase new tech like an electric lockpick and hacking laptop (you'll need them to break into the more advanced security houses)
  • Run away or hide from the police/security guards if someone or a camera catches you
The game has a story with several missions and side jobs. There's also a leveling and skill tree system that will make your life as a thief easier.

Expect some jankiness with this one. But overall, it's enjoyable if sims are your thing.

4/5
 
OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
3,632
12,307
113
Belgium
Finished Wintermoor Tactics Club


Lovely turn-based game, with lots of references to D&D. The story is about a few students from the Tactics Club, who regularly play boardgames together. Suddenly the principal of their school orders them to fight the other clubs of the school instead, forcing them to expand their club and train their abilities.

The combat is surprisingly good. Each character has a unique class, and has a selection of possible upgrades and special attacks. You can only use 3 of your characters in battle, so picking your characters and their upgrades heavily impacts your chance to win. Most of the battles are rather easy for experienced players, but the game is still fun until the end. Definitely recommend!

Score: 8.0/10




Finished Evan's Remains


Very charming puzzle game with a surprisingly good story. You're playing a girl who arrives on a mysterious island, searching for a man who disappeared. On her way she encounters strange monoliths, that contain physics puzzles which reveal hints about a secret artifact when solved. But after solving a few puzzles, it seems there's something really fishy going on.

Most of the puzzles are very easy and can be solved rather quickly. But the story is so good that you'll keep playing to know what happens next. In combination with the lovely pixel art and music, this game is a must play for everyone!

Score: 8.8/10
 
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fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
8,749
23,091
113
Finished


Liked it a lot more than Virginia. It's like an interactive movie, but this one has a lot more gameplay than Virginia, like a walking/running siimulator with a few mini-games.

The story has 6 chapters, each chapter has 3 "sub-chapters" which follows 1 main character each, so throughout the game, you control 3 different characters. I found the story to be very interesting, it has some supernatural elements which goes off-the-rails in the final chapter (chapter 7, you control everyone in that chapter) which is my main negative.

I can't write much more as it will just spoil the game, it is a heavy narrative-driven game and I quite liked it despite the supernatural elements becoming too much and weird in the final chapter.

Score: 8/10
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
8,749
23,091
113
Finished


Enjoyed this more than I thought I would. It's quite the fun and good metroidvania game, doesn't do much new, but it does what it serves you, really well. The story is decent, nothing special. The level design is really good, combat is okay, can be repetive at times, what I enjoyed most was exploring the world, which is important for a metroidvania, to me. I enjoyed the characters and the world. Cool weapons and upgrades. Great graphics. Quite the abrupt ending though.

Score: 8.4/10
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
8,749
23,091
113
Finished


Pretty cool and interesting horror-ish game. Basically your character is a psychologist and your are inside your own mind or something, you are in a hotel that you have to explore, there are 4 types to find for 4 each people (some patients of yours) and you have to uncover the truth about them and yourself by playing through the tapes. Not gonna spoil anything else.

Gameplay is janky, but decent, You receive different tools you can use throughout the game like pistol, flashlight, shotgun, flare gun (my favorite) that you use to progress. Lots of things to find and many places to explore. Game was bigger than I thought. Some parts of the game was far too long and big than they needed to be and some annoying puzzles. Other than that, a decend horror-ish game.

Score: 7.5/10
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
8,749
23,091
113
Finished


The best part of the game is the great level design and art style, it's lovely and gorgeus. The lore, world building and characters you meet are also great. The story was okay, but I didn't care for a lot of it for some reason. The combat was quite boring and too slow for my tastes. Simply put, your companion throughout the game is a living dice, you throw it, it gives you a choice of cards you can use for combat (a card that gives you defense, a card that gives you a weapon etc.), but you can't use them all at once, so you must be strategic.

You can buy more cards from a dealer you meet by using money you find, you then can gather a deck of card, every card costs a certain amount of points to add and you can only choose cards that goes up to 15 points, the stronger a card's point is, the better. Like, the best weapon card costs 4 points, so you can only add 3 of those weapon cards to your deck and so on. Problem is, when you throw your dice, the choice of cards based on your card deck is random, so often when I needed a weapon card, I only got defense cards, so the combat system is quite random.

The combat itself is also slow, you have to shoot blue crystals that grown on certain places on your enemies (usually shoulders), you gain experience by them which let's you throw dicey to get cards.

There's more to the combat, but I'll leave it at that. The combat was at first very cool and interesting, but quickly got too random, slow and repetive. The game itself is also quite janky.

If it weren't for the great art style, level design, lore and world building, it would be a very mediocre game.

Score: 8/10
 

Mivey

MeatMember
Sep 20, 2018
2,995
9,260
113
I finished Yakuza 4




After the kinda disappointing Yakuza 3, this one feels like a return to form. The big new feature are the three new characters you get to play as, alongside Kiryu. And I can't stress how much this helps the story be interesting again. Akiyama is almost the anti-Kiryu in how much he understands how Kamurocho works and how to actively help the people, instead of always being 100 steps behind whatever current thing is happening and punching his way through enough goons, which is really how Kiryu's story works in all his games so far, including this one. Saejima was less interesting, but his story had a nice mystery to uncover, one that is made even more interesting for players of Yakuza 0, since that famous attack was already introduced in the backstory of that game. I wonder how this was perceived by the original audience of 4, who only got to play Yakuza 0 many years later. Finally there's also Tanimura. His part of the game is similar to Saejima, as he wants to uncover what truly happened 25 years ago. Like Saejima, he wasn't super interesting to me as a character, but the overall mystery still made his part quite enjoyable to play.



What really sold me on Yakuza 4, though, were the amazing substories. Almost everyone of them was well made, with great writing and usually expanding our understanding of the character involved. We learn how Akiyama is using Sky Finance and his strange test -based lending system to help people in need, while trying to avoid people stealing his money or abusing his lending services. For Saejima and Tanimura, it helps to portray who these characters really are, how each of them is helping the people of Kamuchoro in different. I especially liked the focus on immigrants in Tanimura's story. It sadly falls just shy of actually criticising Japan's messed up legal system that forces these people to live essentially underground, but at least it tries its best to humanise them, which is more than can be expected these days, sadly.



I was also impressed how good this game looked for something that was original a PS3 game. I imagine a good portion of that is just due to the Remastered improving the textures, but at times the character models really look quite amazing. I look forward to Yakuza 5 in this respect, as that one should even use the same engine as Yakuza 0.



This is now the fifth Yakuza game I have finished and arguably the second best. So my current rating of the series would be as follows

Yakuza 0
Yakuza 4
Yakuza Kiwami 2
Yakuza 3
Yakuza Kiwami
 
OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
3,632
12,307
113
Belgium
Finished some games during my holiday at the Belgian coast :)

Finished Swords and Soldiers 2: Shawarmageddon


Swords and Soldiers 2 is a 2D strategy game where you have to destroy the enemy base at the other side of the level, while protecting your own base. To do so, you have to gather money from gold mines and crates that are dropping from the air. You can use this gold to produce units and to research new unit types. As soon as a unit is produced, it keeps walking to the other side and you can't stop or retreat.

To prevent this from getting boring, the developers have made a lot of different units in 3 unique factions. This is great, but you often have to gamble which unit to produce, since the fog of war around the enemy base prevents you from seeing which units the enemy is sending at you. You'll also need lots of trial and error to see what combination of units works against specific enemy attacks.

To keep things fair, you can also collect and produce crystals which you can use to cast spells. Spells can bribe enemy units, place defensive towers on the battlefield, raise fallen units etc. Using these spells is lots of fun, but again, also lots of trial and error. This makes the game rather frustrating in the later (more difficult) levels of the campaign.

Score: 6.9/10


Finished Hob


Amazing 3D platformer from the developers of Torchlight, with influences from the later Zelda games but also with a lot of fresh ideas. You play a mysterious character, who has his arm replaced by a mechanical arm in order to fight against some kind of evil that spawns monsters and toxic plants. There's very little hand holding, it's up to you to discover what to do and what's going on.

What makes Hob so special is the incredible level design. Completing certain objectives transforms the game world, by moving and joining floating islands or filling parts of the world with water, allowing you to reach new areas and heights. Many of the world puzzles are very well designed, and there are a bunch of great dungeons where you can upgrade your arm with new tricks. The world is also filled with secrets to discover, which you can use to learn new combat moves. The enemies and bosses are diverse and fair, the combat never became frustrating for me.

The only thing that I didn't like about this game is that you sometimes have to run around a lot to find out how to reach a certain area. But let this not keep you from playing this master piece. Oh, and a huge finger to Perfect World Entertainment for closing Runic Games in order to focus on live service games. What a shame.

Score: 9.0/10


Finished FAR: Lone Sails


Interesting explorer game, where you cross the bottom of a dried-up ocean in a post-apocalyptic world, using a strange vehicle. On your way, you'll have to find enough fuel to keep driving and now and then you need to solve some simple puzzles to continue. The puzzles aren't very creative, but the design of the world you're passing through is incredible. Your journey is accompanied by beautiful music as well, making this game definitely worth playing if you want something relaxing.

Score: 7.9/10


Finished The Henry Stickmin Collection


Rather an interactive story than a game, but a very funny one. After a failed bank robbery, you need to help Henry escape prison and execute a bunch of exciting missions. When a situation occurs, you're being asked what you want to do or what object you want to use. While there's no logic in picking the "right" solution, every option results in a hilarious situation. There are also lots of references to popular games like Zelda, Mario and Final Fantasy. Trying all the different options grows old very fast, but it's definitely fun while it lasts.

Score: 7.9/10
 
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Paul

Junior Member
Jan 26, 2019
233
560
93
Finished: Chronicles of Myrtana: Archolos

It took me cool 140 hours (according to steam, 115 on save). What a fantastic RPG. Best Piranha Bytes game to date, albeit not actually made by Piranhas themselves. Played the entire game with xbox controller thanks to steam input, works like a charm. DX11 renderer is very recommended.

Archolos is, like Enderal, a non-commercial but (quality-wise) completely professional open world RPG. It flawlessly implements the design principles of Gothic 2, only on an even larger scale. That means atmospheric exploration of a new, previously unseen island, down-to-earth human dialogue and character writing, and the immensely satisfying character development, where villager Marvin who can barely hold a sword gradually becomes the Butcher of Archolos, killing enemies in pirouettes ala his Blaviken colleague. Or become a firestorms-throwing mage. The respect one has for the first many dozens of hours of the iconic shadow beast, and the sense of satisfaction when the first specimen finally falls…

Of course, you can fish, make your own weapons from swords to bows to crossbows, practice alchemy, lockpick chests, pickpocket…you can go into the mines and just do…mining for a few days. The economy is balanced so that there is always something to spend money on, there is always an incentive to make that one new sword and sell it to a blacksmith with a fat profit.

The amount of quests along with their quality, the way they often unexpectedly build on each other, the amount of all sorts of mini-events Marvin encounters is mind-boggling. The world is alive because of this, however, and practically every visit to the local town of Archolos (which rivals Novigrad in size) I encountered something new. One time it’s a rogue vendor who sold me spoiled fish - I didn’t let him get away, I took him down outside the town and got my money back - and another time it’s his sister, who apologized for him and gave me my money back - making me wonder if I should reload a save that’s several hours old. Or maybe a beggar who nags that he needs a scratcher. Well, only a skeleton’s severed hand will satisfy him.

Archolos is divided into six chapters, each with its own unique location and atmosphere, though they are of course linked by the exploration of the island itself - except for the final sixth, which is linear. But given the story’s progression, it makes sense. The ending itself is enriched by ending slides along the lines of Fallout - and nicely detailed, with many characters and events being mentioned.

Jestem Marvin a šukám roboty!

Archolos is very decently written and translated into English, but the dub is Polish…and it’s great. Characters have charisma and especially Marvin himself has a distinctive voice and emotionally, Archolos works, despite the twenty year old technology and non-existent facial animation. The writers are also great with simple animations - every time Marvin did a facepalm, I smiled.
After finishing it, which kept me up until four in the morning, I got exactly the feeling of melancholy that comes with finishing something great. I’m sorry it’s over, but I’m glad I experienced it.

So that's second free, non-commercial masterpiece RPG finished this year. I wish there were more.

Score: 9.5/10

On my way to town



In Archolos's harbor district



Foggy elevator



How do I get to monastery...



Skeletons Party Hard



Slums in the morning



Archolos at night

 

Joe Spangle

Playing....
Apr 17, 2019
2,272
7,740
113
Played quite a bit of Medieval Dynasty lately...


I like i a lot, Its a nice builder/sim game with a bit of a story but the meat of the game is creating your own medieval village, building houses, farming, workshops etc. Fairly chill game, bit janky but has some nicely thought out mechanics once you get to grips with it.

8/10
 

Mivey

MeatMember
Sep 20, 2018
2,995
9,260
113
I finished Life is Strange: True Colours



My second LiS game I finished, not counting the Dontnod game Tell Me Why, which is pretty much a spiritual sequel to the series too.
The game is pretty good, I had a nice time with it. I think the most important thing is to have actually likable characters, which the first game really didn't have for me. The other thing is if the game can actually focus on an interesting real world issue. Life is Strange 2 really focused on the role of illegal migration, albeit in reverse where two kids need to flee to Mexico. True Colours doesn't really have such a connection to the real-world. That would probably be my biggest gripe with the game. It all feels so absurdly perfect. You play an Asian-American characters, and despite being in the most rural town there's zero racism she ever encounters. Nada. She can start a relationship with another girl, and again, in this perfect rural town, everything is totally cool with it. No side-eyes, everyone is just perfect and nice. The only "villain" in the game is a big bad corporation and the perhaps the lawyer lady who represents them, though the game does make a point of showing that she too is being blackmailed by the bad corporation.



We get a brief look into Alex, the protagonists, early life, but it kinda rushes by too fast near the end to really matter much.



Overall, I didn't quite enjoy this one as much LiS2 or even Tell Me Why. It wasn't bad, it was just kinda boring. The "jukebox" nature of the game was probably its coolest feature. You get to just relax during moments in the game and listen to various songs. And they were pretty nice for the most part. Albeit a bit boring near the end. Could have used more variety.
 

Virtual Ruminant

MetaMember
May 21, 2020
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Completed Prince of Persia: Warrior Within (Ubisoft, 2004)

See my previous review of Sands of Time, it's essentially the same game, except there is less platforming and more combat, and the combat is more complex, making the overall experience worse. Also the music is worse (unless you're a Godsmack-Fan). On the bright side, the voice acting is better. I was about to retire this game about halfway in, when a very friendly superfan of the game swooped in and gave me a bunch of helpful tips, which allowed me to complete the game (with the canonical ending even). Cannot recommend, unless you have similar coaching available.

2/5


Also completed Out of Line (Nerd Monkeys, Hatinh Interactive, 2021)

Pro:
  • Very pleasant art direction all around - music, level design and characters are all great.
  • Good puzzle platforming built around a throwable spear mechanic - the spear is mostly used as a deployable extra platform rather than a weapon. Not a completely original concept, but still nicely implemented here. Sometimes the spear also gets used as a portable lever.
Con:
  • Short-ish: Can be beaten in 3-4 hours.
  • Achievements for collectibles, but no level select even after completing the game.

Good looking and fun little game. Found this one in a Steam Next Fest a year ago and the final game delivered exactly what the demo promised.

4/5


Also completed Lost Ember (Mooneye Studios, 2019)

Pro:
  • The general art direction and the music in particular are very nice.
  • Stress- and peril-free exploration-centric platforming that lets you control a variety of animals with different abilities and movement modes (including birds and fish).
Con:
  • Level design is a mixed bag - some areas are really pretty, some strangely generic. The game encourages exploring the levels in detail for the various collectible-hunts, but that will inevitably lead to finding under-developed bits.
  • Some of the animations are sub-standard and some animals simply lack them, leading to immersion-breaking video-gamey moments (you can, for example, control a parrot-type bird, but it only has animations for flying and cannot land and walk - but the game doesn't prevent you from just flying into the ground and then scraping beak-first around the level and collecting mushrooms anyway).
  • Both the camera and the character models have a lot of clipping issues.
  • The voice acting of the narrator/co-protagonist is quite badly produced (the voice is played back completely dry without any effects and almost never fits in with the environment sound because of this) and I personally also found the actor's delivery annoying. Thankfully the game has an option to turn all his voice lines off (misleadingly called "Disable Commentary"), and I played 90% of the game with that option enabled.
  • The story tries to inject some high drama into the otherwise comfy/relaxed gameplay, but was too generic and tropey to really do anything for me.

This game makes an ambitious attempt at playing in the league of games like "Journey", "Vane", "Rime", etc., but there's too many flaws in the presentation to make the necessary degree of immersion happen. The story also doesn't quite cut it.

Compared to other recent entries in the more narrow "Non-cartoon animal exploration/platforming" genre like "The First Tree" or "Spirit of the North" however, this is the best by far.

3.5/5


Also completed 3 out of 10 Season One (Terrible Posture Games, 2020)

"Part animated show, part game, 3 out of 10 is the first playable sitcom."

Pro:
  • I fully expected cringe, but was pleasantly surprised: The game actually is funny. Not omg-I-have-to-tell-all-my-friends-about-this-funny, but funny enough for a good and entertaining time.
  • The quality of the mini-games that connect the story bits range all the way from "meh" to suprisingly-accurate-and-fun-parody-of-existing-game, but the best thing is - you can do as badly as you want in them (or skip them outright), none of them will block your progress (or change the outcome of the story for that matter). The only game-play bits that are required to move the story along are some very, very bare-bones point-and-click sequences (go talk to character X).
  • The voice-acting and voice acting cast are very good.
  • The art-style may not be everybody's cup of tea, but the quality of the animation is very good as well.
Con:
  • You could complain that the almost completely optional nature of the "game" parts of this game make it in fact not a game, but then, the whole thing is free with no strings attached, so really, there's nothing to complain about here.
4/5


Also completed Hadr (Dominik Konečný / Ateliér Duchů, 2020)

Magician's cloth simulator.

Pro:
  • Simple and innovative concept: You control a physics-enabled piece of cloth and have to cover objects in various scenes with it, so they become completely invisible to the camera - and they disappear. Make enough objects go away and you can progress to the next scene.
Con:
  • The simulated cloth has so little friction, it slips off of objects a bit too easily. This becomes somewhat annoying in later levels, where you have to switch between multiple cloths and place them together over larger objects to make them disappear.
  • Some of the level music strays into so-artsy-its-grating territory.
Fun little game with a neat original concept that works well. I beat it in slightly under two hours.

3.5/5
 
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