Reviews Rate the game you finished/retired

fantomena

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Dec 17, 2018
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Retired


The game would have been much better without being a roguelite. The golf gameplay with using the different cards (almost like a deckbuilder) made the game quite fun, but repetive at times. However the game is a roguelite and a good roguelite needs a lot of variation in the gameplay to be good, the game failed at that aspect imo, this game would have been much better without being a roguelite. Fighting the first boss in the game is extremely difficulty and winning is based on luck, which I really didn't like.
 
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fantomena

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Finished


Really well done road-trip game with lots of story and choices that matters. You are playing as a "missing teen" (escaping from home) and your goal is to cross the border through route 96. During that journey you meet mulitple characters you interact with. Each "stop" let's you meet a new character and when done you can choose between multiple ways of moving on like taxi, bus, hitchhiking etc. Each character you meet have their own story, there is like 6 characters you can meet and each meeting gives you a certain percent on that character's story, when you have reached 100% on a character, their whole story is known. However, you can fully finish the game without completing all character stories. However you need to be careful during every roadtrip journey as you can be killed, die of hunger, be jailed up by police or border patrol and so on. Each time you start up a new journey with a new missing teen.

You also need money to take bus and taxi and buy food, there are multiple ways to get more money. Each roadtrip might take 20 min-1 hour depending on your choices, but every road trip is unique, so the game never get's repetive and is not a roguelike.

There are some flaws as the story is a bit thin in some parts and some decisions your character and other character can take doesn't make sense, but I still liked the game a lot.

Score: 8.4/10
 
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OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

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Jan 12, 2019
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Finished Devil May cry 5


Devil May Cry is back, and is bigger and more diverse than ever. This time there are three completely different characters to play with: Nero has a classic sword and gun, but can also equip a wide variety of powerful mechanical arms that give him extra moves and attacks. When Nero is in trouble, he can even sacrifice his arm by detonating it. The second characters is named V, and is rather unique since he can't attack enemies himself. Instead, he can summon three different creatures to fight enemies. Only when an enemy is very low on health, he can finish them off with his cane. Last but not least there's Dante. He can fight with several different guns and melee weapons, including a bazooka and even a motor cycle! Dante also has four different stances that give him extra powers, and he can switch weapons on the fly, resulting in the most diverse combat we've seen in the series so far.

All of the above, in combination with a decent amount of different enemies and impressive boss fights, results in a great game. Although, I personally prefer the combat and level design of DmC: Devil may Cry. In DMC5, the variety in combat is supposed to be achieved by switching weapons, but I ended up using my favorite weapons most of the time. DmC had less unique weapons, but a lot more combo's that are easier to pull off. Also, the level design in DmC5 has too many boring "cave" sections, and has a strong "arena --> corridor --> arena" feeling. But again, DmC5 is a very good game and definitely worth playing.

Score: 8.0/10
 

Virtual Ruminant

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Finished Limbo (Playdead, 2010)

Probably among the top-five gems of the 2009-2012 XBLA/PSN golden era of "downloadable" games [when downloadable was still a hip and new thing on consoles and had to be carefully separated from the "big", disc-based AAA releases, so as not to stir up the anger of big physical video games and general electronics/media retailers].

Also, in a rare confluence of merit and success, one of the all-time top-selling ones, which continues to live on to this day on PC.

It somehow kept slipping down on my ToDo list over the years, but this year, and of course during Spooktober, I finally played it and loved it like almost everybody before me.

While it may not be the perfect stylish indie puzzle platformer (why do some switches look like traffic signs, making it easy to miss that they are interactable? - Why are there no tutorial prompts at all throughout the entire game, even though the control-scheme uses two buttons and has non-obvious features such as hanging off ledges?), it's close to perfectly cut wrt to length and content, the optional collectible achievements are immensely satisfying but still fair and the one achievement that isn't fair and straight-forward is the perfect carrot-on-a-stick to provide long-time replay value for the game.


4/5
 

fantomena

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Finished


Well, got the minimum star requirement in all campaign levels. Fun game, smooth gameplay, well-designed. Main negative is that the campaign can get quite repetive and tiresome as you need to do a lot of the same things in every level with building up hospitals the same way. Sandbox is where the freedom is where you can play the game the way you want. Not much else to write.

Score: 8/10
 

FunnyJay

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Finished the main story of on the Steam Deck.

Classic Remedy!
Gameplay was overall great, graphics were impressive, music awesome and the story was interesting.

I was a bit surprised that the game didn't feature more interactions with the altered items / objects of power, since a lot of the marketing was focused on this SCP-like aspect. In my opinion, only the floppy disc (launch ability), the fridge, and the traffic light really stood out and were memorable.

The story seemed to leave a lot of threads hanging as well.

When I was nearing the final missions, I thought the combat was starting to wear out its welcome a bit.
The encounter where you're waiting on a cable car while waves of increasing enemies attack was the first moment I got annoyed.
First, I didn't really get I was waiting on a cable car, so I missed when it arrived. And when you die, you were revived all the way back across the quarry, and had to traverse it all just to get back to the combat encounter. A few tries later I died at least twice while either mis-stepping and falling off the ledge, or levitating off by mistake and not getting back up. Really frustrating. And the same happened when I finally reached the Hedron chamber and had to cleanse the siphons. Way too easy to accidentally strafe off a cliff or levitate off into nothingness.

And finally, the combat fel uneven at times. Some moments you feel invincible and wreck all the Hiss agents around you, the next one bullet hits you and you are on the verge of death. It felt like some encounters were really "easy" and in some you got totally wrecked without knowing what you did wrong. I'm definitely (among other encounters) talking about the Mold enemies that sniped you across a room in one of the later game encounters.


But all in all, I really liked the game, and plan to play through the DLCs as well.
Oh, and it worked great on the Deck, averaging about 3 hours of gameplay!
 

FunnyJay

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Finished Control - The Foundation DLC on the Steam Deck.

Meh.

The locations were kind of... boring.
Endless caverns and mines. The office complex of the main game was a lot more interesting (I know! Imagine saying an office is interesting!)

The new enemies were annoying, zerg rushing you all over the place.

The new powers really had that old fashion expansion feeling. You know, "here's a new power that is totally unusable in the old main area of the game".

The story kind of fell flat for me.

It was interesting to see the Former reappearing and taking a "larger" role.

I'm starting to feel that I'm done with Control.
But Control - AWE DLC remains!

EDIT: Also, I went in with the assumption that the Foundation was a wink to SCP, not just literally the building's foundation...
 

Virtual Ruminant

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Finished Amnesia: Rebirth (Frictional Games, 2020)

The sacrifices of a mother.

Pro:
  • Very nicely constructed story with lots of threads to unravel, which remained sufficiently mysterious and intriguing enough to string me along and kept me interested until the end (or well, just before the end, but I was quite close at that point).
Con:
  • Pretty much everything else is a step or two backwards from the brilliantly made SOMA - the visuals, the state of the game engine, the level design, the monster AI, the voice-overs, the sound-design, you name it, SOMA did it better. Anybody who's a fan of SOMA (I am) and was hoping for a next step up from that will be disappointed.
  • For fans of the original Amnesia/Penumbra and especially those hoping for a hardcore experience with real peril, this also will be a disappointment, because there is none. If you successfully evade the monsters, you will need to pat yourself on the back, because if you don't it doesn't really make a difference. Sometimes getting caught actually beats the monster.
  • While getting to the end is an interesting journey, the ending itself is just one last (but not even the most challenging) monster escape. The fact that there are four different possible outcomes doesn't sweeten the deal much.

Personally I had a good enough time with it because I kept myself entertained with speculating about the story while playing, but it's hard to recommend this to anybody looking for a good horror game. Played on "original mode" (there is an alternative "adventure mode" without monsters but "some additional puzzles"). Fans of exploration games / walking sims / (light) first person puzzling might have a good time by going straight for the adventure mode.


2.5/5

Previously reviewed in this thread here, here, here and here.
 

fantomena

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Finished


Fantastic sidescroller skating game. Somewhat easy to learn and hard to master. Tons of levels (there are like 5 zones, each zone has a bunch of main levels and some "side" levels"), each level has a main goal to simply complete it, 3 challenges and a last challenge to complete the level without reloading to a checkpoint. The challenges has various difficulties.

The art style is great, gameplay is great, difficulty to master, but still great, doing the challenges is fun, but can get frustrating due to variation if difficulty.

Each level has also multiple routes that leads to the goal and if you take one of the non-main routes you can discover other characters you meet that can give you new challenges or things to customize your character. The game has a big focus on customization, you unlock different hats, colors, shorts etc. for your character when doing different things like completing levels, completing challenges etc.

I didn't do many side missions or challenges as they became harder, but I will definetly come back to the game when I have bought the DLCs in the future.

Score: 8.6/10
 
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didamangi

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Nov 16, 2018
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Finished the main campaign of


Nice looking graphics and runs great, it feels nice playing a pc game with very very very very very few stutters/hitching. Unlike UE4 engine games. Story was interesting enough to keep me playing. Fun traversal, combat is arkham knight with better animations. Solid 7/10 game, nothing special. I liked Sunset Overdrive more tbh. Even though that pc port isnt's as good as Spider-Man.


Also finished this game a while back

Very solid metroidvania with nice combat and graphics but a forgettable story. Bosses are fun and challenging, although they recycle a few of them in the end. They have some deep combo system but unfortunately the game doesn't let you do it often, enemies either dies before you finished the long ones, or they're just too many and you have to dodge their attacks, forcing you to do just the basic combos. The stutter fest, more than the usual UE4 games drags down the experience somewhat. Still, would be down for a sequel. NIce first attempt by the devs. 8/10
 

fantomena

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Finished


Amazing game, lots of fun, charming story and characters, great art style, good and really smooth gameplay. Sorta like a pikmin game. These tinykins are small things beings that you can use as tools to help get through the different zones of the game. There is a sorta like a main character that will give you tips and help you throughout the game, a hub you use to go to the other zones and lots of characters to meet throughout the game. The goal is to make a rocket and to do that you need 6 different missing parts. These parts are found in different zones and each zone is different with great level design. Each zone introduces you to a new type of tinykin, for example, red tinykin can carry heavy objects, blue can be used as electrecity cable, another red can be used as bombs to destroy objects and so on. The puzzles are easy and fits the game, lots of collectibles in each zone that is fun to collect and if you collect enough of a certain collectible you will get to upgrade your hover ability so you can jump and hover over great distances.

Feels like every zone, with the level design, puzzle and tinykin is thought out and well designed. Main negative is that it got a bit tiresome to play on the last 2 zones and you really do the same things over and over, but the great level design and great use and variation of the tinykin made the game a lot of fun to play.

I didn't collect everything, but I was close and will return in the future.

A big positive suprise.

Score: 8.9/10
 

Virtual Ruminant

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Finished Through the Woods (Antagonist / Fulqrum Publishing, 2016)

More sacrifices of a mother.

Pro:
  • Interesting take on / adaptation of Norse folklore into a modern spooky story
  • Good presentation for a tiny, kickstarted indie game, with English and Norsk voice acting.
Con:
  • Many bugs
  • The maps give the impression of being open, but are actually full of invisible walls
  • Very short relative to the MSRP (4 hours, and I took my time and even restarted a chapter a couple of times)

2.5/5
 
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FunnyJay

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Finished Control - AWE DLC on the Steam Deck.

Personally, I enjoyed this a lot more than The Foundation. I might be a bit biased since I am an old Alan Wake fan.

I thought there would be more Alan Wake in the DLC, since I was expecting Jesse to run into Alan in the motel or something.

The new gimmick in this DLC with the light felt better than the tedious rock manipulation in the Foundation. It actually caused some really tense horror moments when you raced around in the darkness, trying to get to the next light before Hartman managed to catch up with you.

But after finishing AWE, I really feel I've got my fill of Control. A great main game, two so-so DLC expansions.
Time to move to something else!
 

Mivey

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Sep 20, 2018
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I finished Marvel's Gardeners of the Galaxy


One of the rare modern linear, single player action games. A dying breed these days, for sure. I like what Eidos Montreal was going for here. The writing in this game is excellent, and the banter within the Guardians is just great. In fact, it's so good, it makes the MCU films look pretty weak-sauce in comparison. It's not afraid to go a bit deeper into the lore of the comics, but it also gives you the impression of a larger universe that isn't just about you or the current thing that's happening in the game.










Visually the game is also quite breathtaking. Each level is unique with its own look. Colourful and vibrant and the addition of ray tracing really helps make everything look photorealistic, especially whenever you have reflections on screen. Combined with DLSS for perfect IQ, and it's just sublime. Ran above 70 FPS at 1440p on my 2080TI, so I'm pretty happy with the performance there.





The only thing holding the game back is the combat. It's not bad, and can be quite satisfying too. The shooting just feels very "floaty" with no visual feedback that you are actually shooting at enemies here. You can tell that Eidos isn't really making shooters and this isn't their forte. The combat gets very repetitive very quick, and it's made worse by the devs tendency to have loads of waves of enemies.
I kinda wish developers and artists in general would juts appreciate at some point that less can be more.

Overall, I had a good time with this game, and I got for pretty much nothing when they gave away keys for it for pretty much pennies. Strangely it's still on Steam for full price. Very strange choice there by Square. But then again, this is Square we are talking about.
 

fantomena

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Finished


Quite fun and decent puzzle-plattformer where you control 2 different characters you use to solve puzzles with, one plays the level in 2D the other one in 3D. The concept is neat and works well, it does get a bit repetive after a while, but it's not a long puzzle game either.

Score: 7.8/10
 

Virtual Ruminant

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Finished Skully (Finish Line Games / Modus Games, 2020)

Pro:
  • Interesting scenario, nice retro-ish 3D platformer look and a cast of voice actors that really give it everything they've got
  • Versatile player character (four forms with different abilities, up to 3 of which can be instanced at the same time)
Con:
  • Very hit-and-miss level design - some bits are good, some feel like an abandoned early access game
  • Difficulty curve is more like a difficulty sawtooth-waveform
  • Tries to be too many things - Marble Madness, Rareware-style action platformer, Crash Bandicoot -style rage-bait and sometimes a full-blown puzzle game - and does none of them particularly well.
  • Towards the end the difficulty becomes pretty demonic thanks to some quite unfair level design and checkpoint placement
  • Very generic soundtrack

This is simply not a very good game, but thanks to the story and great voice-overs it made me laugh, and thanks to the combination of jank and sometimes slightly sadistic level design it made me moan and rage more than once - and when I finished it, I felt strangely accomplished.

3/5

Previously reviewed in this thread here.
 
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fantomena

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Finished


Shorter than Boneworks, but quite a lot of fun. The game has 14 levels, where 1 one of them acts like the main menu and another acts like a game hub (so in reality there are 12 levels). The hub has a bunch of doors which gives you access to different things like a parkour minigame, shooting trial, sandbox (do whatever you want here), arena (wave based shooting), one door gives you access to mods and so on, there are 5 different doors all together.

The main issue in the game is that when you get to level 2 which is the hub, how to continue the main story is somewhat of a puzzle. You have to go a certain path in the hub to find a crane puzzle you have to do and unless you watch a Youtube tutorial for the puzzle, it's difficulty to understand what to do. This is not explained well, at first I thought the hub was all there was to the game. meaning the arena, parkour minigame, shooting trial, sandbox, mods etc. was the game, but it wasn't, so I had to look up online to discover the puzzle to continue the story.

The story missions are fun and cool, but short and the game rents a lot of models and objects from Boneworks which is used in this game, which is probably why Stress Level Zero managed to make the game faster.

A main gameplay element is the avatar system which is introduced to you in level 4 or 5 in the campaign, most of the levels afterwards gives you and let's you train with new avatars you discover, like one which makes you tall, one that makes you fast, one that makes you really strong etc. All of them have that different ability and look different, like another one that changes your gravity. I liked this system a lot and it really changed how you play the game.

Other than that, there are some annoying physics based puzzles, I don't even know if I completed them all the way you should, but the physics in the game allows you to do things mostly the way you want. The physics is not perfect, but seems to have progressed since Boneworks.

Overall, despite the negatives I've mentioned, I enjoyed the game a lot.

Score: 8/10
 
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Virtual Ruminant

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Finished Apsulov: End of Gods (Angry Demon Studio, 2019)

To Helheim and Back

Pro:
  • Really good presentation especially relative to dev-team size - sound, looks and performance are all great. The only exception are some of the enemy NPCs, whose movement sometimes doesn't look very convincing.
  • Gameplay is more or less the proven Penumbra/Amnesia-formula of exploration and hiding / avoiding enemies, but the usually inevitable flashlight is replaced by a kind of supernaturally enhanced night-vision, which also reveals otherwise invisible things.
  • Good story that goes in hard on Norse mythology with a bit of a SciFi wrapping around it.
Con:
  • You eventually get an offensive weapon and I don't know if I was just particularly dense or the tutorial was lacking, but I managed to use it wrong until almost right at the end of the game (but got there anyway)
  • There is no map and there are no quest markers, so you will have to remember where the NPCs tell you to go - and if you forget, you might get lost for a minute or ten.

Norse-mythology heads should put this on their wishlist - to my knowledge, this is the only game in recent times that features a literal Norse god and sends the player to Niflheim, Helheim and Jotunheim. Everyone who would enjoy a Penumbra/Amnesia style game with a SciFi touch should take a look as well.


3.5/5


Previously reviewed in this thread here.
 

FunnyJay

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Finished HITMAN 1 campaign (playing through HITMAN 3).

Finally, after all these years, and owning both HITMAN 1, 2 and now 3, I have finished the campaign from HITMAN 1. I remember playing up to Hokkaido a few years back but never finishing the last mission.
Truly a great game, with a weird nothing of a story. Having the "story" end where it did back in 2016 must have really sucked. Not that story in the Hitman games have ever been anything really great.

That said, having some of the more "standard" starting equipment locked behind location mastery for locations I've played like a thousand times before (looking at you Paris) is kind of sucky in the last game in the trilogy.
I really do have to grind at least Paris to unlock the starting poisons and have them accessible throughout the rest of the campaigns.... :expressionless-face:

Still, all escalations and all optional content remains for HITMAN 1, but I think I will save that until I finish the HITMAN 2 and 3 campaigns.
 

Virtual Ruminant

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Finished Unforgiving - A Northern Hymn (Angry Demon Studio, 2017)

After playing Apsulov, I put the developer's other games on my wishlist and almost immediately got a deal on this one, which is their first published game. Unfortunately it's not particularly remarkable, solid first effort for an indie first person horror thing, but also roughly the quality you can expect these days for a first effort indie first person horror thing.

The most interesting parts were discovering how many callbacks and references to this game there are in Apsulov.


2.5/5


Also replayed The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, but the Redux version (i.e. Unreal Engine 4 port) this time (The Astronauts, 2015).

This free update for the game mostly offers more GPU settings compared to the original Unreal Engine 3 release. Playing it now, it's quite interesting how "normal" the quality of the environment with its photo-sourced textures looks these days - when it originally came out, this was one of the best looking games far and wide. The fact that the whole game streams in seamlessly without loading screens and other transitions isn't very special anymore either now.

As far as the gameplay goes, it still sits somewhat uncomfortably between genres - too much walking simulator and not enough puzzles for first person puzzle fans, too much horror for walking simulator and first person puzzle fans (but not enough for somebody looking for a horror game), and too vague a mystery for detective game fans. But if you're open minded enough to enjoy a bit of all of that, it's still a great experience.


3/5
 
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fantomena

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Finished


Not sure if I liked it as much as Innocence, but I still really enjoyed it. The game is much longer (took me over 20 hours to finish), there are 17 chapters, some takes over 1 hour, but the later chapters are quite shorter. The game is in general a lot bigger too, with bigger areas and more enemies and more rats.

The main problem I have is the gameplay, it's very basic, you have a sling you can use to shoot stones (or you can use your hand to throw quicker), throughout the game you get to craft other things to throw, like flames and such (all in all 5 different things you can use to throw at enemies and the environment doing different things) and you get a crossbow later in the game. You can also order your companions you meet to do different things like Hugo controlling rats, another fights enemies, another companion lights up the way. Otherwise you can use torches and sticks to get through rats like the first game.

The gameplay hasn't changed much since the first game and is very basic, so it gets repetive and monotonous since the game is longer and bigger. The game is also somewhat slow paced very often, even in combat, which I didn't particularly enjoy.

However, the world design, the characters, the story and lore is very interesting despite some plot holes and things that doesn't make sense and sometimes I hated Amicia and Hugo for being somewhat assholes.

So everything is very much like the first game, but longer and bigger (areas), I wish there was more gameplay variation.

The music is however great and the game looks very nice overall.

Score: 7.9/10
 
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Virtual Ruminant

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Finished Pineview Drive (VIS-Games / United Independent Entertainment, 2014)

A janky haunted-house first person horror game with something of a cult following I got convinced to play by a friend.

I just played one in-game day every day in October and that way, the game can't really get boring or annoying - but be prepared to be very bored and annoyed if you try to play it in one sitting.


2/5



Also finished Inside (Playdead, 2016)

A hugely ambitious and almost entirely accomplished spiritual successor to Limbo - now in full color and with the surrealism turned up to eleven. In its very best moments, you don't feel like you're playing a puzzle platformer, but following someone deeper and deeper into a spiraling paranoia-fueled nightmare full of absurd dream logic and architecture.

But then you will inevitably arrive at a bit that is designed to make you die a couple of times before you figure out the way forward (or the timing for some precision platforming) and you will remember that you're just playing a video game after all.


4/5


Previously reviewed in this thread here, here, here and here.
 

Virtual Ruminant

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Finished Ultreïa (Olivier De Rop, 2021)

Compact (3-6 hours) point and click adventure with nice art style, very interesting character design and good music (but no voice acting).

Unfortunately the story is somewhat messy and struggles to fill the shoes of the rather ambitious concept. The puzzles are pretty okay (not much silly adventure game logic at all, thumbs up), but there are a handful of pixel-hunting road blocks and I've hit them all and got stuck every time - no idea why developers still do this, I'm not aware of anybody who actively enjoys pixel-hunting in adventure games.


3/5
 
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Mivey

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Sep 20, 2018
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I finished PowerSlave Exhumed


I first heard about this from DF Retro, covering the remaster of this old game by Nightdive Studios. What caught my attention was the fact it wasn't just a simple "Doom clone", but instead put a MetroVania esque spin on it. So you revisit levels with new powers to reach new areas. It's still a pretty short game overall, but it never overstays its welcome. There's a wide variety of weapons, most of which are only useful for very particular situations, but they do make things more interesting overall.
The game isn't very difficult at all, especially if you get all the health powerups. There's still cases where you can die if you do something dumb, but it never feels unearned. The three boss fights the game has are not super interesting, but the early ones do put up a nice challenge.

Overall a nice game. I played it on the Steam Deck, and it runs perfectly.
 

Virtual Ruminant

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Finished Evan's Remains (Matías Schmied / Whitethorn Digital, 2020)

Ever wanted a visual novel that is also a puzzle platformer, but one that optionally lets you skip the platforming just like you can fast-forward through the text? This game is for you!

The platforming is classic 2D single screen puzzle platforming with the usual toolkit - some platforms switch other platforms on and off, some make them change location, some are teleporters, some are bounce-pads, etc. None of them are impossibly hard, but they are a good, fun challenge and will keep you busy just for long enough to let the VN parts sink in.

As straightforward as the platforming is, as convoluted is the story - and then there's a twist on top of it. And another one. A for effort, but it didn't really blow my mind or got me very much emotionally invested. "To the Moon" this isn't.

Solid game though, the 16-bit-ish pixel art is great and the music isn't bad either.


3.5/5

Previously reviewed in this thread here.
 
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Yoshi

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Jan 5, 2019
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Finished TerraTech


A creative and fun game where you build your own combat vehicle and take on enemy vehicles. You're able to build cars, tanks, planes, helicopters, hovercrafts - whatever you like!

In campaign mode, you start off as a tiny vehicle and scavenge the land for blocks, weapons, and other useful utilities that will make your vehicle more powerful and durable. Enemy vehicles will randomly spawn throughout the map and they will become harder and harder as you progress.

There are trading stations scattered across the map that will allow you to purchase parts for your vehicle provided you have enough currency. There are quite a few ways to earn currency. I've mostly done it through completing missions (given out by various trading stations) and destroying enemy vehicles, but you can also earn currency by scrapping your spare parts at the trading station and by mining.

The game has 6 unique corporations. Each corporation has their own set of missions and their own XP system. You'll have to level up each corporation if you want to unlock more of their parts to use for your vehicle.

One of the few things I dislike about the campaign is that it's far too easy. Once you really know how to build your vehicle, you will not struggle as much as you should against the hardest enemy vehicles. Another thing I dislike is the inventory system. It's a bit of a pain to go through your inventory to find the parts you want to use for your vehicle as there is no search bar. However, there is a way to filter items by categories and corporations. It's not as ideal as a search bar would be, but at least it's something.

This is mainly a sandbox game so there is no ending in sight. I considered the game finished once I maxed all 6 corporations. The game has online co-op which will let you play through the campaign with your friend. There is also a deathmatch mode if you wish to take on your friends or fight against other players. Or if you want to just build your vehicle in peace, there's a creative mode. The game also features Steam Workshop where you can download and play around with custom vehicles made by players.

While the game has its faults, it's still quite fun to get creative and build your own vehicle however you like and put it to the test.

3.5/5
 
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OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
3,634
12,314
113
Belgium
Finished Code Vein


Interesting souls-like where fixed classes have been replaced by "blood codes", which can be replaced at any moment during the game when not in combat. Each blood code has unique stats (STR, DEX etc) and also a unique set of gifts (=skills and perks). After "mastering" these gifts by using them enough, you can use them with other blood codes as well. They way, you can customize your character a lot more than in other souls-likes.

There are a few different styles of weapons in the game, including swords, axes, halberds and bayonets. Especially the latter is interesting, because you can actually fire a bullet as well. Weapons can (temporary) be infused with different kinds of damage (stun, poison, ice etc), making them more effective against certain types of enemies and bosses. Nice thing is that weapon infusion increases resistance against this type of damage as well.

The combat is good. Not "From Software" perfect, but lots of fun nevertheless. The difficulty isn't too hard. You're being accompanied by an AI partner all the time, which gives you time to heal when health is low. Some of the boss fights are really frustrating though, mostly because your AI partner dies too soon or because the boss has attacks with a huge range that are hard to predict. Beating these bosses felt more luck than skill to me.

The most significant issue I have with this game is the story telling: the story is mediocre and the characters and cut scenes are very boring. There's also the monotone level design. Most of the levels barely have variation in textures and colors, making them extremely boring to explore. This is a huge disappointment after playing the Souls games with their impressive level design. You're also fighting the same enemies over and over again, once again something that From Software does so much better.

Despite these issues, Code Vein is definitely worth playing if you're a fan of Souls-like games.

Score: 7.4/10



Finished Hot Wheels Unleashed


Surprisingly fun arcade racer with a classic "Hot Wheels" theme. Drifting works really well, and there are tons of tracks filled with loopings, jumps and magnetic track parts. The tracks are built in only four different environments, but they are very well designed and look really crisp. The game looks especially amazing on the Steam Deck, running at 60fps at maximum settings without stuttering.

There are a few flaws though: easy difficulty is way too easy, while medium difficulty requires you to do almost perfect races. It's also hard to see where you're gonna land after a jump, and the person who designed the dinosaur head that closes right before entering should be punished in a very sadistic way. But my biggest issue is the use of loot boxes to get new cars. Be prepared to "win" the same cars you already own over and over again, while never getting the cars you actually want.

Score: 7.9/10
 
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Virtual Ruminant

MetaMember
May 21, 2020
427
1,430
93
Retired Spitkiss (Triple Topping / Dear Villagers, 2018)

From what little I played this seemed like a very good game to me, but it is a port from mobile and it is clearly made for screens in portrait orientation - and I don't have a tiltable screen or a Windows tablet to make that work properly.

If you have a Microsoft Surface or similar, give this a consideration - touch is supported (even though the game will always display a mouse cursor for some reason).

I will just buy this again on Android and play it there (on my tablet) in due time.
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
8,763
23,132
113
Finished


Sorta like a replay for me as I finished the game back when it originally released. Still a fantastic game, not much to say really. Beautiful art style, great music, amazing writing, good gameplay. Might come back in the future as there are still things left to do.

Score: 8.9/10
 

Yoshi

o_O
Jan 5, 2019
606
3,376
93
Finished Kill It With Fire (thanks again Kuroyume!)


The goal is to find and kill spiders with any and every object you can find. The more spiders you kill, the more you're able to progress through the level.

Neat game, but it's definitely on the short side if you don't care about 100%ing.

Also, if you have a fear of spiders, the options allow you to change the models into something less creepy.

3/5
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
8,763
23,132
113
Finished


A very fun side-scroller shooter. Played it with DualSense, not sure if it gave the game more feeling, but the the shooting and hitting enemies with the DualSense felt really good. Great art style, good music, great gameplay. The gameplay feels great, the mix of shooting, dashing, running and grappling hook is amazing. You will also find chests in the game that allows you to upgrade yourself and your weapons and tools, but you can't use every upgrade at once as they require sources of energy and you only have a certain amount of them (but you can find more of throughout the game). You have shotgun, pistol, laster pistol, sniper etc. as weapons to choose from and there are upgrades you can find specifically for each weapon.

The main negatives are that many of the levels have much of the same level design and environmental design which makes the game feel repetive and the chests sadly, despite of the cool upgrades, kills the pacing a lot, the gameplay is really fast-paced and you open up a chest you have to stop and then it takes a few seconds to upen the chest and receive the upgrade and decide what to do with it.

Score: 8.4/10
 
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sprinkles

Junior Member
Dec 8, 2018
484
933
93
I've been chipping away at my small PS4 backlog, so I can retire that console from my desk soonish.

Finally beaten Trails of Cold Steel 4 (started on PS4, paused late last year after 40 hours at the end of Act 1). I was tempted to restart on Steam Deck, but decided against it. Finished the game at 96 hours, yes this game is long (too long imo).
I have so many mixed feelings about the game. I played all other Trails games before, so the bits and moments old cast returns / past events get mentioned are great (as they already were in ToCS 3).
Later side quests are amazing in length and depth. These are not just Kill Monster X quests, but lengthy and story driven quests. But some made no sense at all - really? Organizing a Harvest Festival and gathering flowers on the fricking morning the World War starts???
They got most of the end of the Erebonia arc right imho - but it was kinda hilarious how anti ToCS 3 it all felt. In ToCS 3 at the end you have all these heel turns one after another and the situation gets worse every time until the bad end with main cast dying. In ToCS 4 all those heel turns get undone bit by bit and all those dead guys? Still alive and kicking...
So I have been mostly positive about the game, right? Onto to the bad parts:
The game is way too long. After 80 hours you beat Act 3 and think "now the finale is here". WRONG. You have a 5+ hours long interlude in a fucking Amusement Park. Then the final chapter starts, you think "now it's off to the final dungeon". WRONG. You have to do the same pre dungeon side stuff (which by itself is great, as I mentioned before) like in all the other chapters. Another 5+ hours at least. If Falcom wanted the best way to kill any story momentum they did it.
The final dungeon is disappointing in scope. Just linear corridors. Easily the worst of all Falcom dungeons (not a high bar either).
Rean Schwarzer and all the Harem antics. Now, I did enjoy me some Harem Anime in my time. But there is time and place for everything. It just felt horribly out of place and got worse with every "special" Bonding Event. And then you get to Michelam and every girl gets her time and THEN we turn ALL down off screen except one? WTF.
Rean Schwarzer as a MC. Still the worst Falcom MC by far. Thank god it's over.


Also beat Killzone Shadow Fall. No idea why I bought this earlier this year. I think I listened to some tech discussion on Digital Foundry and thought "oh you never played this". Don't play this if you are used to FPS games on PC. 30 fps and low resolution made my head hurt. Only play this for the story if you like playing as war criminals. Never mind, don't play this at all.

I still have a few PS4 games left (restarted Sakura Wars, and have a 10hour save of the first Blue Reflection). Won't ever start this one though, it will stay shrink wrapped (and I also have no idea why I own it):
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
8,763
23,132
113
Finished


Liked it a lot. Gorgeus visual, fun gameplay, interesting world building, good level design. Main negatives are that the story cutscenes were not really interesting, the combat could have used some more polish and some of the platform jumping was a bit clunky at times, but overall I really enjoyed the game.

Score: 8.2/10

Finished


Interesting puzzle-story game. There are 4 acts, you control a girl and her shadow, the girl and the shadow are in different "dimensions" and you have to help each other out with puzzles and get over obstacles to progres throughout the game. It's sorta like Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons gameplay, but you completely switch between the characters.

The graphic style was really nice and the music was decent. The gameplay sadly overstayed it's welcome quite fast, but still played the game to the end. Story was nothing to write home about and ending felt quite abrupt.

Score: 7/10
 

Joe Spangle

Playing....
Apr 17, 2019
2,274
7,754
113
Finished


Really well done road-trip game with lots of story and choices that matters. You are playing as a "missing teen" (escaping from home) and your goal is to cross the border through route 96. During that journey you meet mulitple characters you interact with. Each "stop" let's you meet a new character and when done you can choose between multiple ways of moving on like taxi, bus, hitchhiking etc. Each character you meet have their own story, there is like 6 characters you can meet and each meeting gives you a certain percent on that character's story, when you have reached 100% on a character, their whole story is known. However, you can fully finish the game without completing all character stories. However you need to be careful during every roadtrip journey as you can be killed, die of hunger, be jailed up by police or border patrol and so on. Each time you start up a new journey with a new missing teen.

You also need money to take bus and taxi and buy food, there are multiple ways to get more money. Each roadtrip might take 20 min-1 hour depending on your choices, but every road trip is unique, so the game never get's repetive and is not a roguelike.

There are some flaws as the story is a bit thin in some parts and some decisions your character and other character can take doesn't make sense, but I still liked the game a lot.

Score: 8.4/10
Just to add my thoughts to fantomena 's review of this -

I really liked it. Very well done story game. Enjoyed playing it through and developing the different tales. Thought it was a clever way to tell a story.

8/10
 

spiel

Junior Member
Apr 17, 2019
79
267
53
Finished Control

Took me a while because I'm a wimp, and constantly dallied around safe spots to avoid combat or jump scares (which there isn't a lot of but still...). It's a satisfying, competent game. The setting was really the highlight here. I adore the strangeness of the world, juxtaposed against mundane office bureaucracy.

My biggest critique is towards the end, combat was mostly the game throwing mobs at you. The screen is a mess because enemies and projectiles are coming at you from every direction, while you're trying to navigate around the space. I frequently died in 2 hits which meant I had to restart from the last checkpoint. It got a little frustrating. Halfway through, I turned on immortality mode, which improved my experience; I could simply enjoy the story and explore at my own pace.

Another annoyance is how falling into pits = instant death, but I acknowledge that's mostly a "me being awful at the game" thing.

There were quite a few cool sequences and areas. My personal highlights were the Mirror portal, and that odd twisty hallway in the Prime Candidate Program. I was expecting a bit more out of the Ashtray Maze since it's constantly hyped up, but it was just ok. Having played Dishonored 2 and Superliminal, its shifting space didn't really faze me.

Score: 8/10
 

LEANIJA

MetaMember
May 5, 2019
2,563
6,098
113
Austria
Finished Dark Souls III

I liked it a lot :)

Having played and loved Elden Ring, but having only played a little bit of Dark Souls 1, very little of 2 and also only a little of DS3, I expected similar but still more different enough, but was (positively) surprised at just how similar the two games – DS3 and ER – really are. People werent kidding when they said ER was "Dark Souls but open world". That is really an apt description.

Of course, some stuff's different. No horse, no proper jumping, no proper dualwielding, no Mimic/other spirit summons...
I missed not having these at first – I always played with the Mimic. But, I adjusted. I was worried the game would be too hard, but the enemies & bosses in DS3 have less "endless combos" making them somewhat easier, I suppose (not Sister Friede or Gael tho, uuuugh).
For harder bosses, I summoned people to help out, thankfully enough still play DS3.

But yeah, great game. Now I am contemplating continuing the other games I played recently (Kena, Asterigos and Plague Tale) or going for more Souls games.... maybe finally play through DS1 now that its back online? or DS2? or another playthrough of DS3?
 

Yoshi

o_O
Jan 5, 2019
606
3,376
93
Finished Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II (contains light spoilers)


This ranks among the best Call of Duty campaigns. The game flowed very nicely. It had the right amount of cutscenes mixed with gameplay. Nothing ever dragged. The story was interesting enough to follow. The missions felt diverse in the sense that you're not always pointing and shooting. One mission involved hijacking a camera to guide your fellow soldier through an enemy-infested zone where you command him to hide, move, and kill. The game also introduced a crafting mechanic midway through! In one particular mission, I needed to find objects, piece them together, and use them to get out of a sticky situation.

All in all, a fun action-packed campaign that leaves a lasting impression. Can't wait to dive more into its multiplayer and co-op modes!

4.5/5
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
8,763
23,132
113
Finished


Didn't like it much. The positives are that the first (forest) area looks really good and the sound and music is quite good. Some of the clothes and level design is quite decent too and the atmosphere is great. The gameplay however is boring and monotonous. Killing any enemy takes too much time and they are often far quicker than you are and don't get me started on the vampires that appears later in the game, they can suddenly jump out of nowhere and take big part of your life.

The game's main mechanic that make it differ from other Soulslikes is the shell part. You are actually like an undead/zombie thing and at the start of the game you take over the body of a soldier with armor, instead of using a shield to block attack, you activate the shell that makes your body really hard so you don't get hit, like a shield. My problem is that activating the shell takes too much time, the shell is on for too little time and it takes too long time to be able to activate it. So you sorta have to decide for every enemy encounter wherver usaing your shell at any moment if it's pointless or not, like a puzzle, sometimes I tried to get as many enemies as possible to attack me at the same time to not make using the shell pointless.

You can get to find throughout the game a few other shells to use to and you can switch between them, the differences between the shells seems to just be the look of the armor. So the combat in the game wasn't really good imo.

On the positive side, you can find a few different weapons in the game, but I just used the starting weapon as the other weapons felt slower to use. There is also upgrades you can do and a ballstia (shooting arrows) for logn distance combat, but reloading it takes so much time that unless the enemy is super far away, it was pointless. Upgrading weapons and such was also very confusing as the game doesn't explain how you find the resources needed particularly well.

There's in general a lot of items and stuff you can use that isn't explained very well what they do and to find more info about them you have to keep using them, so if you find something that can hurt you, you sorta have to use it to find out that it hurts you, which I find to be dumb.

Otherwise, there are like 3 "dungeons" in the game, each with a boss that has a special item needed to access the final boss, I found the dungeons, especially the last one, to be really ugly and level design was confusing.

Basically, beautiful first area, good sound, music and atmosphere, boring, monotonous and ubalanced combat with some ugly areas and elements that doesn't make sense and isn't explained well.

Score: 6.8/10
 

Stevey

Gromlintroid
Dec 8, 2018
2,318
6,960
113
40
Finished Cultic Chapter One.


Fantastic game, just got better and better as I played through it. Levels are well designed, combat is super satisfying, hard to believe just one guy made this. It looks fantastic, although I did turn dithering off in the graphics options to make it a bit easier on the eye IMO.

9/10
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
8,763
23,132
113
Finished


Short, but very cool puzzle game. Basically, the whole game is in a box, each side of the box shows different things, you have to interact with certain objects in the different sides of the box to progress in the game. The game also has a story (sad story) that you can find by collecting hidden photos throughout the game (like collectibles). Great art style, decent music, great use of the concept.

Score: 8/10

Finished


Finally played through the campaign after all these years. A very fun side-scroller that uses destruction as a main gameplay component (you can destroy everything). To not completely die, you have to rescue people throughout the game, each rescue gives you a new life and a new character (like robocop for example) with new weapons. Some frustating platforming parts and it got a bit repetive towards the end.

Score: 8/10
 

Line

meh
Dec 21, 2018
1,225
2,051
113
So, I've player a bunch of games, but have been lazy with adding them in here.
Lots of relative disappointments, which didn't help.

Let's start:

I like Tales of in general, despite being very much the definition of C tier.
And this one... I guess it's actually moving away from that... and also sink very deep into its mediocre parts while others in the franchise (like Berseria) managed to be better than they should have been by having some really good elements.

First things first, it is visually very solid. It's on the upper range for environments and models, decent lighting, good filters to make it just slightly anime but not too much, it ends up as very coherent instead of an odd mix and match of realistic and super cartoony.
The locales are also quite pretty, the cities are filled with enough props and life to not fill too fake, and the fields are not copy/paste even in the same region.
Good job there, definitely a rarity in the genre.

In the same aspect, zones are fairly short and condensed, they don't force too many encounters on you... but it's also one of the big reasons why the game fails: there's no puzzles, and while it's not just a corridor, it's very, very linear and guided and just.... pretty boring.

And pretty boring is also fitting for the combat... sound design works well enough, it's fairly fast and responsive like its predecessors, but the game starts unbalanced with enemy levels progressing much faster than yours early (and then it's the opposite - balance is not catastrophic but certainly doesn't help the other faults), it feels pretty spammy for a long while until you unlock slightly longer combos, and the mechanic of breaking poise to unload on mobs - that is very nice for the short, regular encounters - just doesn't work on (most) bosses.
Instead they have weak points to break with brute damage... which ends up in a very similar result, just slower, and less rewarding than playing well to avoid stopping your poise-breaking combo.
So, average mechanics, but quickly shows up in a much more negative way by having such little enemy variety, even bosses repeat multiple times, that is not fun. They had good basics, but failed hard to capitalize and balance it all.

Story wise it's just as mediocre as the rest, but then, there are few Tales of that manage to avoid that.
It's not awful, just bland, with fast and loose progression at times, with major scenes letting you wonder why characters act like assholes or goody two shoes and everything in between... the little skits, now using a motion comic system with the models instead of portraits explaining a bit more... but rarely enough for characters to feel very consistant... I do wonder if there were many story revisions over the years, that might explain things.
The one exception being Dohalim, not only is he very good, he is miles away from the usual tropes of anime. A noble accidentally doing good not because of morals but because it was easier and more within his cowardly nature to do so, and actually having some real introspection? Genuinely surprising and interesting.
Too bad the rest of the cast is much more simplistic.

In the end, it ends up as a succession of just okay scenes, with okay zones and okay combat, but it's all very limited, and weak level design, characters and very repetitive fights make the game weaker than the sum of its parts.
Nothing is awful for once, but nothing is very good, had the story been at least successful in delivery, it would have been way better, but as is, I can't really give it more than 6/10.
Tales of suffer from gutting the puzzles since Tales of the Abyss, it's time to bring them back. Or do something with levels and combat depth if you don't manage to get a good story going.


Trials of Mana is hard to judge. It might be a recent remake, it's first and foremost an absurdly close rendition of the original, in 3D.

And where the models are honestly very cute and the various outfits both fairly faithful and also more unique than the simple recolors of back then... the rest of the game is kinda ugly.
Not in a badly done way, but in a very, VERY cheap way. Texture work, effects and levels are not that pleasing... in large part because the game might look and play like a third person action RPG... but the levels are not, and work almost as if they still were top down.
It's not rare to find a chest behind a tree, that you can see clearly. But not open until you reach it through the little way to the side... and only one side, not the other that your model should be able to traverse, but nope, invisible wall because that's not how it was on the SNES.

And there's loads of really odd and slightly frustrating things like this, from fences to little slopes that look like they should not be a problem to jump over, but no.
You get used to it, but it's a rare case where it's too similar to the original, I feel like.
Which ironically, also brings it more interesting levels than you would expect in a modern game. The zones aren't long, but it's always a cute little journey with cute little monsters to destroy everywhere, and plenty of little treasures to find all around.

Much more drastic changes happened for combat (.... not going to complain with how slow and awful the collisions were in the 2D mana games), it's now very, very simple with fast three hit combos to start (and then upgraded to ever so slightly longer), some red circles attacks to avoid here and there, and magic/skills to unleash with the push of a button.
It does the job, it certainly makes for short encounters beside bosses, but there's very, very little to find joy here, despite the fairly decent job system getting expanded with more active and passive skills to unlock with each of them.
Being stuck with 3 characters out of 6 available means that you don't really benefit from too much support from your two other chars fighting alongside you. At best, you get a buff or a debuff, but it's very, very early 90s action game, there's not much to it full stop.

It's fun enough, but you have to know that it's more fitting for the little children that we were rather than some epic action game.
Don't expect more than a Saturday morning cartoon either, if the combat is simplistic, the story and characters are barely even a thing... which is a bit regrettable, because a lot of the story beats or simply the way to go after a dungeon can be a bit rough to understand with so little text... which they fixed in this version with the ever present yellow icon to follow on the map.
And I think that was a mistake, the world is not as linear as it seems (and it opens up quite a bit later), so expanding the character interactions and having clearer objectives would have made more sense than just marking the way to go constantly... sometimes, sticking to the original too much is not a positive if you end up gutting a chunk of what made it great to begin with.

Did I have fun? Well yeah, it's a Mana game that plays well and looks cute.
But as much as I knew I'd play a very, very simple game, I expected a bit more than just the 1995 game with some smoother combat and progression and more guidance than I would have liked.
I'll give it 6.5/10. Your mileage may vary depending on what you're looking for in a game like this.


Now this is how to do a remake. Most of the good parts of RE2 are still here, some are new, some are a bit questionnable - the over the should view changes completely the feeling of the game.
But is it a bad thing? I don't think so.
It is a very good looking game, very atmospheric. The constant claustrophobic areas help a ton with what would be otherwise a much more... action packed, and easy game, not unlike RE4 and onwards can be.
You do need to be careful of your ressources (in higher difficulties anyway), puzzle items take a lot of inventory space... but it must be said that having chests and save points all around make that point less "annoying" than it was. You're just much faster to move around in a TPS than with tank controls.
I'd consider that to be the right compromise of action and survival horror, Leon is not yet a killing machine and it's not a bad thing to be able to get killed by two random zombies that get the drop on you.

My only real gripe with the game concern the bosses, rather than the very well done normal encounters and exploration.
Where being confined help with not being able to run laps around every enemy, against Birkin? Some fights become veeeery annoying, when you cant see very well and really really on the environment for major mechanics... yeah, probably the only moments where the different camera is really a negative.
It must be said Mr. X is very disappointing, with the extra movement speed, he's not much of a threat, just a waste of time.

But that's a fairly minor thing in the scheme of things, when almost every level is fun to explore and fight in, and it never wastes too much time between cool sequences and new things to fight, giving just enough weight to the little puzzles for some breathing room.
The second campaign also adds decent replayability, but I wouldn't say it's really needed. It's good to see the little rooms and different things that happen to both Claire and Leon, but let's be real, the cheesy story is not really here to hold the game together. It's just a fun enough backdrop.
I'll give it a comfortable 8/10, and now I need to play RE3. I've been pushing back playing those games because I know of the weak points becoming more obvious... I just hope RE4R won't follow that trend.
 

Stevey

Gromlintroid
Dec 8, 2018
2,318
6,960
113
40
Finished:

Well, only played the Shadows Of Rose expansion.

It was OK, pretty short at 3 hours and I didnt really like the switch to 3rd person camera.
No interest in playing the campaign in 3rd person or playing Mercenaries so I'd say wait for a sale if you only want to play the expansion.

6/10
 

Joe Spangle

Playing....
Apr 17, 2019
2,274
7,754
113
I finished the main story of Cyberpunk


Overall very good. I played it a bit a launch but shelved it to wait for better hardware/performance patches and so the recent update and a new gpu + cpu meant time to jump back in. I started a new game.
Visually its incredible at times. Lots of detail, lighting is fantastic. The story was pretty good, quite a few interesting characters. The gameplay is fine, i found bits of it a bit janky, Driving for example, some awkward animations from NPCs, it definitely was improved over the launch version, a lot less bugs and weird stuff. There is a lot to like though and even though the open world isnt quite as 'real' as say a GTA game it still was a fun world to explore.

Overall very good. 8/10
 

Paul

Junior Member
Jan 26, 2019
236
573
93
Somerville on gamepass


I am not a huge fan of Inside (6/10) so I always keep hoping that one of these days, one of these games will actually blow my mind or something, but yet again, it is not to be.
Somerville is decently atmospheric puzzle platformer/adventure with nice Another Worldish artstyle, that nonetheless bored me quite often. Weak puzzles, weak gameplay, minimalistic meh of a story.

5/10, it's mediocre at best.

Fans of Inside might enjoy it more than me.
 

Line

meh
Dec 21, 2018
1,225
2,051
113
I played more stuff that I havent posted about in here. :zipper-mouth-face:
And I have a big blob of oldies that I replayed and need to write about... maybe another day.

For now:

I don't know Spongebob very well, never played the original, but I do like collectathons.
First impression: I had to turn down the gamma. I have never, ever had to do that, in any game.
It's just far too bright and colorful! And yes, it looks really fantastic, way better than the original that seemingly was a bit drab for the franchise. But it's a tad much, especially in the hub world. Just an explosion of colors at times. Music is as expected from a Spongebob episode too, but I also ended up lowering it a bit, because the short loops get a bit grating.

And finding a hub world, a simple, but functional one in a 3D platformer, with little secrets and its own puzzles? We dont get that too often nowadays.
It does not hold a candle to the levels themselves though, which are... surprisingly well done, and no doubt flavorful for the fans of Spongebob. The amount of verticality and shortcuts to unlock was a really nice surprise, I didn't expect to find levels that are mostly pretty smart and well paced, they are not just long corridors or fairly empty areas, they are indeed pretty packed with content, with enough little challenges along the way and lots of money tokens to gather if you're so inclined (and you do need a lot if you want to unlock bonuses later), it almost feels a bit like an adventure game at times when you go back to earlier parts of a level because you've unlocked new mechanisms or opened new ways.
Pretty cool stuff, way better than I ever expected from a licensed game! Even big names can really flop their levels - totally not thinking about a third of Mario Odyssey here...

Gameplay wise... it feels a tad jankier. Having three characters with slightly different abilities is cool, but Spongebob definitely has way more than Patrick and Sandy since he unlocks some along the way in the hub while they do not. And some puzzles genuinely ask you to use his full toolkit, quickly and correctly... surprisingly more complex than just "jump and use attack button" sometimes. Too bad there's not a lot of those, but it's very welcome.
Sandy being able to float for extended periods of time, I was worried it would make the game simplistic, but the level design usually takes her ability in consideration, and you can't cheese content made for Bob or Patrick, so that's good... but poor Patrick is an afterthought, his capacity to lift heavy objects is seldom used, and being able to freeze the "water goo" to walk on for a handful of short "walk here missions"... definitely both the least interesting, and clunkier to use in combat out of the three. He even has less dedicated content than the two others.
But at least he has his uses against bosses, some of them require you to play multiple character one after the other for each phase, they are not hard, but hey, they work.

I did not end up finishing it 100% - the main tokens are straightforward and even have little hints in the menu if you miss something, but the game asks you to find a crazy amount of money to unlock bonuses, and I didn't want to grind them out.

Still, I had a great time with the game, it's far better than I expected it to be, and I see why the fans loved it so much.
An easy 7.5/10 from me, and I imagine that fans can add an extra point to see their cartoon playable with this quality.


A recent one.
And I dropped it.
I like the way it looks, it's decent 2D, and the sound design is very solid, reminds me a lot of Metroid. But the combat... I do not dislike having a gun that does more damage the closer you are and heats up fast, making your melee attack stronger, I think that's a god concept.
But it also makes you very vulnerable, and with movement being fairly slow and enemy tells being not that readable... it's not that great.
However, that wouldn't be such a problem if it didn't involve Souls mechanics, but with full loss of all your XP on death (and its use to upgrade your character stats being so linear for a metroidvania)... with the option to remove some of the loss, but not completely, and it does nothing to the extremely limited number of "bonfires".
It just doesn't feel that great, it's unnecessarily punishing, and it is... just plain.

But at least it made me yearn for a metroidvania, so I played instead:


Obviously, the visuals being made in UE4, it's quite striking. Maybe the best looking metroidvania around? They certainly went all out for the steampunk-furry-Honk Kong style.
It does look great, and while I was worried that zones would all be a bit samey, it didn't end up being the case, there is good variety here. Well for zones anyway, enemy models repeat a lot (if with new abilities).
And it's all done well, but very, very by the book. get new movement abilities, explore new areas to progress the meager story, do some light puzzles, platforming... all very decent.
But it's combat where it shines, with three veeeery different weapons, and a good amount of extended combos for each that you can also combine together.
As a rarity for an action game like this, longer combos are truly useful, as they will stunlock basic ennemies and even break the poise of bosses in order to accumulate large amounts of damage - much more than you would do by just doing basic three hit combos (not that you cannot do that, but it's a lot slower). It both makes the HP pools not feel too large, but also gives you hyperarmor when you use longer ones, so it does feel surprisingly good and effective to go for longer chains rather than hit-and-run tactics like souls-likes all too often end up being.

The exploration and the platforming is perfectly competent, if, again, expected. You will get your wall jumps, double jumps, dashes, graplin hooks, etc.
Your character isn't slow, but the game being very, VERY large, and fast travel options like the tram and the lemming ball being very limited makes it a bit more painful than it should be, though... compounded by the fact that some levels you really don't have a reason to come back to later.
Levels might be well done, but if they're not very well linked, it's definitely a negative for a metroidvania.

As for the story, it's more than a little light. Too bad, because the world is interesting, the little snippets of before their world turned to this steampunk dystopia could have been expanded... there's very little time to find and appreciate the little furry characters and their motivations.

Nonetheless, I enjoyed it quite a bit. Decent exploration, very good combat and very classic mechanics done well. But I would advise against trying to complete it fully, it definitely felt tiring to try to get all the upgrades and explore each level at 100%.
Curious about a follow up from the dev, but for now that will be 7.5/10.
 

Joe Spangle

Playing....
Apr 17, 2019
2,274
7,754
113
Just finished an oldie but a goodie....


Having only bought around 50 new games recently I decided to play.......Portal 2. What a great game it is. Finished it over 3 play sessions, the game is nice and short and to the point - about 6ish hours to run through (have played it probably twice before so some puzzles were easy, some still took a bit of thinking though). Story is excellent. Full of wit. Graphically it holds up really well, for a game that's 57 years old i was impressed. Volvo games just have a certain level of charm and quality that you don't really get from many other studios. Love the little touches like the turret voices and the consistency with the aesthetics, the companion cubes, the broken down, decaying test areas. If i had to criticise anything id say that maybe the controls were a bit floaty (probably able to sort that out with Steam Input). I kept missing some jumps and runway bits but that's a minor gripe. Overall i love it though and would recommend it to everyone who likes a story based puzzle game with one of the best, most unique game mechanics ever conceived.

9.5/10
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
8,763
23,132
113
Finished


A few days ago. Pretty good walking sim with some gameplay mechanics. Not really a scary game, but it has a lot of religious christian symbolism in the game. Story is weird, icky, but interesting, the game also looks quite nice for the most part. A bit janky too at times. Not much else to write. However the "bad" ending is really brutal.

Score: 7.8/10
 
OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
3,634
12,314
113
Belgium
Finished Days Gone


Another open world zombie game, but I liked it a lot more than most other games in this genre. This is mainly because everything in this game is so well designed. The world is beautiful and feels actually alive, thanks to the wind moving the plants and grass, the animals doing their stuff and of course the zombies walking everywhere. Driving your bike, ranged and melee combat, using stealth and crafting works great, and the story and characters are decent. But I was most impressed with the exciting horde fights and the story missions which are very well designed. My only complaint is that there are too many "filler" missions, probably meant to extend the play time. Days Gone would have been a better game without them, but it's still a very recommended game!

Score: 8.0/10


Finished Valfaris


Amazing 2D action game with beautiful pixel art, a great metal soundtrack, plenty of different weapons and an impressive amount of boss fights and unique enemies. The game is souls-like challenging, but rarely felt unbalanced or unfair to me. Only exception for this is the final boss fight, which has three battles without checkpoints and the last of these battles is terribly designed. But hey, be sure to play this game for everything else, and watch the ending movie on Youtube like I did. Very recommended!

Score: 8.4/10


Finished Yes, your Grace


Well designed interactive story where you play the role of a king who has to make difficult decisions in order to save his kingdom and/or his family. To do so, helping your people and creating as many alliances as possible is a must. Like most of these games, it's often difficult to predict the outcome of your choices. But the story and characters are great and there's plenty of humor and excitement to be found. Recommended.

Score: 7.9/10


Finished Devil's Kiss


Short but funny visual novel that describes the events before the story in Lair of the Clockwork God. Free when you buy that game, so what's not to like?

Score: 8.0/10


Finished Lair of the Clockwork God


Hilarious and very well designed hybrid between a platformer and point & click game, and much more than another puzzle-platformer. There are two guys to play with: Dan loves platforming but hates solving puzzles, while Ben loves puzzles but even refuses to jump. Yet they have to work together to reach the end of each level in many creative ways. Each level in the game feels unique and there are plenty of clever ideas and funny situations. In fact this is one of the most funny games I've ever played! :)

Be warned though: the game is rather difficult, both the platforming and solving some of the puzzles. The devs really like trolling the player so you'll need to think out of the box from time to time. Strongly recommended!

Score: 8.2/10