Reviews Rate the game you finished/retired

fantomena

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Dec 17, 2018
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Finished


A decent and fun Diablo-ish game. It's like a hack and slash game, but where you can find and unlock different forms/characters that gives you different abilities to defeat enemies and explore the world. Lots of different fun forms, but Im not sure how well it worked in this game, because the combat feels quite fast paced with tons of enemies and certain enemies can only be defeated with certain combat abilities, so I had to often "pause" the combat andd think what form I need to use to get the correct ability to defeat the enemies, which killed the pacing for me somewhat.

Other than that, beautiful art style, fun world to discover with lots of secrets and dungeons to do. Decent story and decent characters.

Score: 7.8/10
 

Yoshi

o_O
Jan 5, 2019
699
3,952
93
Finished


There are a lot of qualities that make this game great, such as the story, graphics, level design and gameplay. But what makes it really special is the dynamic between two very well written characters and how their relationship constantly evolves throughout their adventure. This is further elevated by some of the best voice acting in gaming. The performances by Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson were nothing short of phenomenal.

While the game released in a bad state on PC, it has been getting consistent updates to improve its performance. The game is now in a much better state than what it used to be in. The whole situation reminds me of Arkham Knight and how that game had a turnaround for the better.

Overall, The Last of Us is an amazing game that lives up to the hype and I highly recommend you check it out if you haven't already.

5/5



Also, be sure to watch the TV show as well once you're done playing. I was surprised at how faithful it was to the video game. Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey do an incredible job of capturing the essence of Joel and Ellie.
 

spiel

Junior Member
Apr 17, 2019
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Completed Forgotton Anne

I get all the comparisons to Studio Ghibli films.
The vibes, story beats, visuals, are all very Howl's Moving Castle and Spirited Away.
It's actually a decent game in itself too.
  • It leans towards cinematic platforming so the puzzles are not too challenging, but engaging enough. There were more interesting ones in a later section of a game that I wish were expanded on.
  • The platforming also feels pretty good despite being on the slow side. Although I lost patience in the final part due to the constant climbing.
  • The occasional callbacks to your choices surprised me. I wasn't expecting this much effort for the narrative.
  • I'm still deciding if I dislike or hate the ending.
  • The entire game felt like a cohesive, complete product. I enjoyed my time with it.

Rating: 8/10
 

MegaApple

Just another Video Game Enthusiast
Sep 20, 2018
1,420
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Finished Uncharted 1 - Drake's Fortune (PS4)

Its ok, decent 6 outta 10.
It is clear this was their first game and a learning experience. Too many shootouts and streched out levels. Nice voice acting and art design tho.

THE MOST SURPRISING part was, you can trace the lineage of modern 3rd person action game. The type of level design used, the kind of dialogues, enemy encounters/fights, the look-and-feel.
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
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Finished


A few days ago. Liked it a lot. Great pixel art design, great level design, fun and decent combat, the main negative is really that I didn't find the story and characters interesting at all. However, a big plus for the dev for implementing skippable cutscenes and fast text reading. Lots of different quality of life features for this snes-inspired RPG.

Score: 8/10
 

spiel

Junior Member
Apr 17, 2019
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Completed The Case of the Golden Idol
  • Finicky UI (-1)
  • Vulgar art (-1)
  • Sometimes a bit of guesswork which is probably my own fault anyway for missing a clue (-1)
  • The best detective game since Obra Dinn (+10 points)
  • The in-built hint system (+0.5)
  • The art style works for the fantastical story it's trying to tell (+1)
  • Making you feel super smart for deducing something correctly (+1)

Score: 9.5/10
 
Reason: lol wrong title

spiel

Junior Member
Apr 17, 2019
104
348
63
Completed Do Not Feed the Monkeys 2099
  • The core gameplay of time management/light investigative elements is still as compelling as ever, even if the novelty has worn off
  • The clue hunting feels slightly more obtuse this time
  • New quality of life features were added at the cost of some variety in content
  • I prefer the more grounded setting from the first game
Score: 8/10

P.S. I got this and The Case of the Golden Idol from this bundle
 

Mivey

MetaMember
Sep 20, 2018
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Finished A Plague's Tale Innocence


Took me 18 hours, according to Steam.

On the surface, this is basically "medieval The Last of Us". The little kid that you have to protect, the dangerous world, the stealth focused combat, and even many environmental puzzles that require pushing around boxes to move around. Admittedly, the latter thing does not occur half as often as in Naughty Dogs game. Overall, I liked this one a lot. Despite being inspired by a game that I don't like, APT was actually really nice. It helped that the world isn't portrayed as grimly, with signs of hope and other people who are just normal. The developer also isn't obsessed with the portrayal of violence as a never ending cycle.
In many ways, this is also a more conventional video game, including boss fights. Level design is neat, with a focus on light and dark that you need to manage.



The game looks stunning for a title from 2019. Was surprised that this is a custom engine from Asobo. seems in many ways competitive with Unreal Engine and the like and ran like a dream. Looking forward to what the team achieved when not held back by PS4/XONE hardware.



The story is maybe a little bit rushed, but generally pretty interesting. It quickly becomes clear that the game isn't exactly a historical documentary, and rather takes the premise of the Black Death as a basis to tell a gripping fantasy story, with quite few magical elements. Despite being nearly 20 hours, it felt a lot shorter, in a good sense.



Overall, a great title, and will definitely play the sequel at some point.
 

Joe Spangle

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COD Blops Cold War..


Continuing my playthroughs of various COD games i finished the campaign for Cold War today.

It was alright, pretty average to be honest, not one of the top CODs. Was cheap so i feel i just about got my moneys worth but i wouldn't have felt it was worth more than the £16 it is at the mo.
Looks good, plays fine, just not that memorable. I think that there are a few alternate game paths you can take on a second playthrough so i might do that to see how it changes things. Steam says it took about 4 hours to finish so its pretty short.

6 / 10
 

Virtual Ruminant

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May 21, 2020
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Completed Lara Croft GO (Square Enix Montreal / Crystal Dynamics, 2015)

Played on PC.

Tomb Raider as a puzzle game works surprisingly well, but really there's two games here.

One is Lara Croft GO, which has 5 chapters that give you a very smooth difficulty curve and a really good casual puzzling experience.

Then there's the two extra chapters, which I like to call Lara Croft GO HARD. Those were originally released as free updates for the mobile game and are an order of magnitude harder than the main game and no fun at all. Many solutions in these are tedious procedural move-patterns (think of sliding tile puzzles). Combined with the lack of an undo-function, I couldn't be bothered to solve these on my own and just used the built-in hint function to go through the levels and just hunted for the hidden collectibles instead.

Mouse-haters will hate the fact that you have to use the mouse (with a click-and-drag motion) to move Lara instead of using the keyboard.

So:

Lara Croft GO - 4/5
Lara Croft GO HARD - 2/5

Make that a 3.5 /5 then
 

LEANIJA

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May 5, 2019
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Austria
Completed Lara Croft GO (Square Enix Montreal / Crystal Dynamics, 2015)

Played on PC.

Tomb Raider as a puzzle game works surprisingly well, but really there's two games here.

One is Lara Croft GO, which has 5 chapters that give you a very smooth difficulty curve and a really good casual puzzling experience.

Then there's the two extra chapters, which I like to call Lara Croft GO HARD. Those were originally released as free updates for the mobile game and are an order of magnitude harder than the main game and no fun at all. Many solutions in these are tedious procedural move-patterns (think of sliding tile puzzles). Combined with the lack of an undo-function, I couldn't be bothered to solve these on my own and just used the built-in hint function to go through the levels and just hunted for the hidden collectibles instead.

Mouse-haters will hate the fact that you have to use the mouse (with a click-and-drag motion) to move Lara instead of using the keyboard.

So:

Lara Croft GO - 4/5
Lara Croft GO HARD - 2/5

Make that a 3.5 /5 then
I quite liked that game, played it in mobile and later replayed it on PC
Totally agree with you on the difficulty of the extra levels, they just went nuts

Here's a steam link, it's currently on sale


Shame that deus ex go never made it to steam :/
 

didamangi

Who do you think you are? I am!
Nov 16, 2018
1,087
3,172
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Jakarta, Indonesia
steamcommunity.com
Finished A Plague's Tale Innocence
Overall, a great title, and will definitely play the sequel at some point.
I like how they really go off the rails on the last part of the game. That final boss fight was just so surreal and hilarious at the same time. I loved it. One of the more memorable final boss fight for me.
 
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Mivey

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Sep 20, 2018
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Finished System Shock (2023)


Was looking forward to this game ever since its Kickstarter annoucement, even if I chose not to back it at that time. Nightdive had made a name for itself for reviving old games, but this was on a wholly different level and I was a bit sceptical whether they could pull it off. Given the troubled history of this game, with like 3 different engine switches and 2 do-overs, it seems my caution was well rewarded. Of course, they did eventually release the game, and that is what counts.



Nightdive chose to stick incredibly closely to the original game in terms of level design and mechanics, often to this game's detriment. It's still fun and gives an interesting look into the first immersive sim. Being the first game of this type, there's a ton of dumb ideas and things that don't work. Cyberspace sucks, and should have either been removed or completely overhauled. The most annoying part is surely the big fight against Shodan, which falls completely flat and feels incredibly annoying. Again, I understand Nightdive not wanting to piss of their fans more, whom they had promised a faithful remake, but it turns out not every design choice from 30 years ago holds up today. Similarly, the boss fights are just terrible. You'll probably die if you aren't expecting them, since you are often starved for resources. Vice-versa, if you expect them, it's incredibly easy to cheese most bosses by carefully preparing the map via booby traps and other tricks. It's just a bad idea for immersive sims, you gotta do something better. Of course, one cannot blame the game from 1994 for this. It was practically avant garde at that point, giving the player complete freedom how to tackle any given problem.



The overall story is not super interesting, AI bad, taking over the world, you gotta stop it, yada yada. It was still fun to listen to Shodan throughout the game. The VA really killed it with her performance of over the top AI with a god complex. Great stuff.




As for the game itself, I think System Shock 2, which I played earlier, is in every way the superior game. System Shock 1 is just a bit too barebones and simplistic, combined with a few dumb design choices I mentioned above. Still enjoyed my time exploring this classic and I think historically important game.

Also, a bit random but, how the hell has Nightdive managed to mess up cloud saving? The game literally does not upload any files, and the Steam forums are littered with people complaining about it since release. It's been a month and they still can't be arsed to set up Steam Auto Cloud, which literally takes 5 minutes? Godawful QA of some of the most basic features. I'm complaining since i would have loved to play this on my Deck, switching between PC and it as I do. But nope, couldn't do it with this one.
 

fantomena

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Dec 17, 2018
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Played through these the last 4 days.

Finished


Very good sequel, interesting story, great environments, good gameplay, the gunplay still isn't the best, feels mostly the same as the first game. Lots of variations in environments and cool twists. Could have used even more interactivity in the environments and some places are straight up not looking graphically good. Also, sometimes the level design is quite confusing in regards to where to actually go, especially in the more open levels.

Score: 8.5/10

Finished


It's decent fun and actually does feel like Sniper Elite games in VR, so that's good. Story is okay, you are being narrated by your older self about why you went to war and why you did the things you did in the levels. There's a bunch of levels taking 6-7 hours to complete them all. Each level grants to max 3 stars, 1 for completing it, 1 for reaching a certain amount of score (you get points for killing enemies in specific ways and such) and 1 for a certain things to do (like killing x amount of enemies with a certain weapon). The worst part of is that in order to access the 3 last levels you need a certain amount of stairs, which the game doesn't tell you at the start, so I had to use some time to replay levels to get more stars and the levels doesn't have any replayability, so it was boring, but I did it.

Graphics are okay, sound is okay, gunplay is mediocre, super janky to reload, switch weapon, throw grandes and such, I often got killed when my hand was "glued" to a weapon when I was suppose to take it away. This ruined my time with the game. But when the game did work, it was decent fun. Little to no interactivity in the environments and the environments and level design is boring. Also a lot of bugs.

Score: 6.8/10

Finished


Didn't enjoy it as much as the first game, but it is a gorgeus looking game with pretty good level design for the most part. Story wasn't as interesting as in the first game, which is a problem, as the games are heavily story and narrative driven. Gameplay is pretty good with some confusing puzzle/level design parts. The shooting however felt awful (not much of it, but there is some).

Score: 8/10

Finished


Decent fun game, doesn't do anything new, but I liked the art style and the arcade-like combat. The bullet sponge enemy however was really frustrating and it wasn't really explained how to kill them. Very short game, like 3 hours short. Could have used a bit more time in development, was some bugs and the level design is quite linear with no environment interactivity.

Score: 7/10
 

Virtual Ruminant

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May 21, 2020
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Retired Fabric (Torreng Labs, 2016)

A minimalist first person puzzle game built around voxel graphics and a game mechanic to fold / unfold space (i.e. make certain parts of the level disappear and reappear). The goal is navigating your way to the exit.

As with many minimalist puzzle games built around a single neat mechanic, it's up to the level design and difficulty progression to make or break it and unfortunately this game could only hold my attention to level 20 out of 59.


(No score)
 
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Virtual Ruminant

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May 21, 2020
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Completed Impostor Factory (Freebird Games, 2021)

The third main entry to the game series that started with 2012's "To the Moon".

Like the first two games, it's a speculative fiction tragicomedy visual novel centered around existential themes that will vigorously massage the player's tear ducts - all presented in a minimalist RPGMaker look&feel.

Knowledge of the previous games in the series is a prerequisite to being able to understand the ending.


4/5


Previously reviewed in this thread here.
 
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Virtual Ruminant

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May 21, 2020
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Completed Back to Bed (Bedtime Digital Games, 2014)

A casual puzzle game with levels designed to look like classic surrealist artwork (Salvador Dali specifically). The goal is to guide a sleep-walker through the levels towards the exit by strategically blocking his way with objects to get him to change direction, and building the occasional bridge. There are 30 levels, but you play them twice: First, the objective is just to get to the exit. The second time (called "Nightmare Mode"), the game requires you to also walk across specific points in the level and collect an item there, then make it to exit.

The difficulty curve is very smooth and even the most difficult levels are still comfortably in the casual realm. Completing every level in both modes took me between 4-5 hours.

The mouse controls get a bit awkward sometimes, but I'm not sure if that's a shortcoming or an intentional challenge. The game itself does recommend playing with a controller (I haven't tried however).


3.5/5
 
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spiel

Junior Member
Apr 17, 2019
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Completed Back to Bed (Bedtime Digital Games, 2014)

A casual puzzle game with levels designed to look like classic surrealist artwork (Salvador Dali specifically). The goal is to guide a sleep-walker through the levels towards the exit by strategically blocking his way with objects to get him to change direction, and building the occasional bridge. There are 30 levels, but you play them twice: First, the objective is just to get to the exit. The second time (called "Nightmare Mode"), the game requires you to also walk across specific points in the level and collect an item there, then make it to exit.
The premise of this one reminds me of an old flash game called Good Night Mr Snoozleberg
 
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Joe Spangle

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Apr 17, 2019
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Completed campaigns for BLOPS I, II and III




More good shooty bang fun. I enjoyed these campaigns.

I - You play a guy called Mason who is being interrogated and you re-live missions as he's talking about them. Has some good levels, plot is ok, pretty standard COD stuff but the swerve from the traditional military stuff was enjoyable. 7/10

II - Play as Masons son a few years in the future to I. I liked this one, has some futurey weapons and some decent levels. Plot is a bit all over the place but still reasonable to get through. 8/10

III - Set in 2050 odd. More future stuff, robots and cyber tech. Missions are good, you have to unlock certain perks and stuff which to be honest im not really interested in with a COD game. You also have to pick your loadout before a mission but without knowing what sort of level/enimies there will be it felt a bit stupid to me. I just stuck with the same gun. You also have to unlock a perk to be able to pick up guns in the mission which i missed for a while. 7/10

Playing Ghosts now. That might be the end of my COD run.
 

Virtual Ruminant

MetaMember
May 21, 2020
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Completed Cats in Time (Pine Studio, 2021)

A hidden-object/casual puzzle hybrid. The professor's cats have absconded all over history due to finding his time machine (which looks suspiciously like a washing machine). Now you need to find them all. The levels are little picture-book-style dioramas in the style of the period you're currently in and you rotate and zoom to find the 10 cats and the three pieces of a postcard in each level. The game currently has 32 levels.

Some cats are just hanging out, others are hidden behind little puzzles - nothing too serious, the difficulty stays casual all the way. But if the puzzles are still a problem, there's a hint-button that will give away the solution without a penalty for using it, and if the puzzles STILL are a problem, you can turn on "Kids Mode", which disables them altogether and the game turns into a 100% hidden object affair.

Cute game with cute graphics that I've been using to relax during work breaks. The level music is a bit on the short side and gets quite samey when it loops too often, but if you turn it down you'll find that the ambient soundscapes in each level are quite well done and very relaxing.


3.5/5
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
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Finished


Great game, great graphics, but some ugly areas (especially the dark areas), good gameplay, good music and sound. Not much to say about it really, it is Resident Evil 4, but looks and plays better.

Score: 8.7/10

Finished


A more "open" walking simulator. By that I mean, you follow a story and narrative, but there are these interactive scenes with "mini-games" you need to do and you can do them in any order. Story is very interesting, but gameplay feels often a bit janky, not as polished and good looking as some other walking sims, but had a good time with it. Took me 1 hour.

Score: 7.9/10

Finished


Like a "dream" walking sim where your character narrates in her apartment and reminisching of older memories. A bit too slow pace and slow walk, but still very nicely made with a good art style. Took me 40 min to finish.

Score: 7.5/10

Finished


In the same vein of Little Nightmares, but a bit mroe janky and unpolished gameplay, especially the plattforming parts and hiding parts (from enemies), really liked the art style and the story was pretty cute/curious. Only took me a bit over 1 hour to finish.

Score: 7/10
 

Joe Spangle

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Finished Uncharted 4: A Thief's End...


Pretty good. I've not played Uncharted before but obviously know about the series. I enjoyed this one, didn't feel like I needed to have played any of the others, its a fairly complete story game in itself. I guess there is probably a load of nods to the other games in it but for me it was a fun adventure on its own. Game looks great, very pretty in places. Liked the exploration side of it, I didn't really like the gun play, felt floaty and just not much fun. I dreaded getting to a shooty section and much preferred the environmental exploration bits. Characters were good enough, very much a story driven linear game. Whilst it was fun I dont really feel like it did anything amazing. I've heard about Uncharted being top tier AAA and whilst it was good looking it was fairly bland on gameplay. Also it crashed about 6 times through the 14 or so hours it took me to play so that's not particularly great. Haven't had another game crash on me for a long time.

Overall liked it, 7/10.

Also just finished COD:Ghosts campaign...


Actually really liked this one, I always thought that it wasn't well received when it came out so never really gave it a look but it has a solid campaign. Not quite up there with the best one but good fun none the less. Typical COD shooty fun, good looking, ran well except for an audio bug in the cut scenes which made the narrator sound like he had the hiccups.

7/10
 

fantomena

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Dec 17, 2018
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Finished Diablo 4 (PC)



Overall I liked the game a lot, mainly did the campaign. Story wasn't particularly interesting, but I've never found these type of stories interesting, as in, storiees involving satan, diablo, hell and such. Gameplay is fun and great, lots of things to do and ways to improve your character, played as a Sorcerer, was alot of fun to find the best skill combos with ice, flames, electricity etc. Great graphics, gorgeus environments, great sound. My main negative is that the last 2 acts required quite a bit of boring level grinding and certain chapters were too long for their own good, which made things a bit repetive. I did some dungeons and side missions when I was grinding and it was decent fun. Haven't done any post-game content yet and considering the massive amount of negative criticism the endgame content has received, I might as well wait.

Overall, a great fun game with some flaws in the last portion of the campaign.

Score: 8.7/10
 

Virtual Ruminant

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May 21, 2020
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Retired Filament (Beard Envy / Kasedo Games, 2020)

Maybe I have been playing too many casual and very casual puzzle games lately, but I bounced off this abstract puzzle game game so hard, I can't even be bothered to describe the mechanics, because to me, they all boiled down to brute-force trial and error. I've had to give up on hard puzzle games before (The Witness for example) and usually, I have no problem admitting that it's on me - but with this one, I strongly feel it's on the game.

There is a hint system and it's so useless, it might as well not be there, and using it disables an achievement just to add insult to injury.

I'm a little extra miffed because I'm going to miss out on what seems to be a pretty interesting sci-fi story that's handed out to the player little by little as puzzles are getting solved, but solving these puzzles was so little fun for me, even using a guide to just cheat my way through the game to get the story seems like too much effort.


No Score.
 

Virtual Ruminant

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May 21, 2020
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Finished Watch Dogs 2 (Ubisoft, 2016)

Played on PC.

Ubisoft's second attempt at an open-world action-adventure in the style of Grand Theft Auto looks and plays a lot nicer than the first game, but 2 years of development time were not enough to get rid of every bad quality of the engine: The enemy AI is still somewhat dodgy and particularly the cops are much too aggressive, often ruining the fun of police chases. The virtual San Francisco is beautifully done, full of detail and with a weather and lighting system that comes very close to (but still does not surpass) the intricacy and great looks of Grand Theft Auto V.

All the graphical fireworks come at a price, I once again wasn't able to make it work at a smooth 60 FPS and had to settle for 30, which thanks to subtle motion blur and tight frame-pacing looked and played well enough though.

There are a couple of new mechanics compared to the first game, most importantly a little remote-controlled car and a quad-copter drone, which give the player a lot more options on how to tackle objectives and increased my fun with the game significantly.

The story and characters overcompensate somewhat to make up for the bland character of the first game's protagonist and by-the-numbers plot and it's all a little too zany and hip, but in summary I enjoyed them quite a lot.

My edition included all released DLC, which is very good - a real surprise given Ubisoft's usual shoddy standards for DLC.

By the time the end-credits rolled, I had spent 76 hours in game and got to 96% completion, which makes this the most enjoyable recent Ubisoft open-world game I played in a long, long time.


4/5
 
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Joe Spangle

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Finished Viewfinder....


Nice little puzzle game with an interesting mechanic where you find/take pictures and then can place them into the environment to solve physical puzzles.
Overall I liked it, at first I thought it was a little limited - a one trick pony but as the levels progressed there was a bit more to it than the same thing over and over again. It has a bit of a background story which to be honest i didn't really get and ended up not paying attention to.
It looks nice enough, some nice graphic style. Its fairly minimal which fits the theme of the game.
Found it mostly fairly easy except for a few levels which had me scratching my head. There are usually a few ways to get to the exit of a level with a bit of trial and error.
There was a moment early in the game where something happens and I thought it was going to open up into something very special but it didn't really go that way. What was left was good but not great, maybe in hindsight i'd have waited for a sale on this but it was interesting enough to take a punt on it.

6/10
 

Virtual Ruminant

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May 21, 2020
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Finished Emily is Away Too (Kyle Seeley, 2017)

The spiritual successor to Emily is Away, is another choose-your-own-adventure, once again presented as conversations in a 2000s-style instant messenger application. The game is now set in the mid-2000s and everything is a bit bigger - it is about five times as long as the first game, has a plethora of possible endings and features nifty things such as fake early YouTube and Facebook (called YouToob and Facenook) websites, which open in your actual browser when you click a link in-game. The fake YouToob then embeds real YouTube and you can listen to some genuine 2005-2007 music while chatting about it with the NPCs.

The theme is once again friendships / relationships between high-school seniors over the course of their final years and, once again, players in the right age-bracket will probably find all sorts of emotions and memories triggered.


4/5
 
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Joe Spangle

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Haven't finished nor retired but played enough of Motorsport Manager to give it a review...


An absolute surprise hit for me. I'm not massively into F1 but i do watch the GPs when i can. This game is a manager sim where you take control for a racing team and guide it from low ranks to No1. Its got a surprising amount of depth to it, you manage drivers, staff, car parts, set up, factory buildings etc and then when its race weekend you give driver orders on a cute little race circuit, manage pit stops, driving style etc. I found myself putting quite a few hours into it and enjoying the flow of develop team and then race.
There are a few technical issues, it wouldn't load at first, a check of the Steam forums shows that this is an ongoing issue but there was a post saying to update the launcher command line and that worked for me. It also crashed 100% when i'd saved in between a qualifying session and the race day, had to roll back a save. Other than that thought its fun, got depth and i got it for about £2 in the last sale so well worth the price.

8/10
 

FunnyJay

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I forgot to write about this back in June...

Finished
The System Shock remake made me want to restart and finally finish System Shock 2. I've attempted to finish this so many times before, always tapping out around the Ops level. And honestly, the Von Braun is definitely the greatest part of the game.
The final levels on the Rickenbacker is various amounts of frustration.
And don't get me started with the Body of the Many.

In the end, I actually resorted to spawning more ammo in the final fight against the Many, since endlessly respawning enemies that continously rush you while you are trying to hit moving targets where not fun at all.
The final fight with SHODAN was a bit rubbish as well... As a marine, I had not levelled my hacking abilities, so it was pure chance that I had those instant hacking devices saved.

But the game as a whole is still a classic, where you can see how some design principles have reverberated throughout gaming history. I would absolutely recommend it to anyone else.
 

Virtual Ruminant

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May 21, 2020
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93
Finished Titan Station (Joakim Larsen, 2022)

Another entry in the growing genre of space-station based indie exploration/mystery games. Extremely indie in fact, this game was made by a solo developer, and it holds up well compared with the efforts of bigger teams, such as "Tacoma" and "The Station". It also has the typical limitations of such a project, voice acted conversations on intercoms replace face-to-face interactions with NPCs and you get to look at a whole lot of sci-fi corridors, but the things you do get to look at do look quite well - the game has a 1970s retro-sci-fi look that the developer leaned into quite heavily - look forward to hexagonal rooms, sunken floors, orange carpets and lots of littered cigarette butts.

There's some optional RTX eyecandy to play around with, too, but the effects are quite subtle and nothing mind-blowing (or gpu-blowing for that matter, I could enable everything on an RTX2070 and still play in 60FPS without issues).

The story didn't blow my mind, but it's pretty alright - there's enough twists and turns so that I was only able to guess the very general outline of the story early-on, but the details kept a couple of surprises. What did surprise me is that eventually there's some actual mild first-person puzzling in this game, so it's in fact not a pure walking-simulator, which really helps with keeping the latter half of the game interesting.


3/5


Retired Frame of Mind ([SAMPLE TEXT] Studios ltd, 2021)

A very short surreal first-person puzzling/exploration student-made game (available for free) heavily inspired by Antichamber. Unlike Antichamber, this game is strictly linear and thus, if you get stuck, you are stuck. The mouse/keyboard-only controls are also somewhat finicky in a way that you cannot really fix with the sensitivity slider.

Perhaps this game just had the bad fortune of being played with my patience at low tide, but there was nothing there to keep me going after getting stuck for the first time.


No Score
 
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AHA-Lambda

MetaMember
Oct 9, 2018
2,804
7,224
113
Completed Final Fantasy 16 (3/5)



ok… I gave some initial impressions in the Steam thread and not much has changed since beating it.
It’s an unfortunate game of two halves imo: the first 20ish hours I really enjoyed, but the second 20ish hours were pretty exhausting and if it wasn’t for my investment in the story I’d probably have dropped it.

To summarise some key points from my end:
1) fwiw I don’t have a lot of experience with FF, I’ve only played 8 (too young to appreciate the genre tbh) and 15 (complete meh) before this

2) is it or isn’t it an RPG? Tbh I’m not fussed given point number 1 above, I knew going in it was more action focused and linear. That’s fine.
That being said, as an RPG it’s a very shallow one, but if you do want to make a action game, well…

3) someone more eloquent than me can phrase this better I’m sure but the combat is bad.
Is it completely brain dead? No not at all but is there enough depth to carry a 30-40hr game? No, and I think that’s the real problem

The point I stopped enjoying the game was when something clicked that I realised every combat encounter was basically the same, handled in the same way, and was very easy.

There are no elemental weaknesses, no extra weapons, the only variety is more Eikons add more powers. All those powers are basically your spells/magic and are on a simple cooldown so much of combat simply becomes using the next power that has had the cooldown wear off and become available to you until you win.
And enemies rarely even use the buffs they have available, and will frequently stand back as you wail on one of their mates with a sword if they're cornered.
There's just not a lot here and over such a long game it becomes a real chore.
to detail, I played with no assists on normal difficulty throughout the game up until only the last two bosses and I’m not good at DMC type games.

But one confession, I changed to story difficulty at the end of the game as I felt I found I was essentially under equipped because I didn't do the side quests to get the extra healing potion upgrades. I didn't do the side quests cos they're crap (i'll talk more on that) and wasn't aware I was even missing out on anything until I did some googling by the point of the end of the game. So yes I admit there is a small caveat of "this game is too easy" only for me to lower difficulty, but we're talking the last 2 hours out of a 40hr game that is otherwise very easy

Most of the “hate” this game is getting is focused on point 2 but I think point 3 is a far bigger issue.
I think it simply needs a far better difficulty curve.

4) Side quests are rubbish and (from those I had done before stopping bothering) were all very short and simple "go here, find x, deliver y, kill z" type affairs that rewarded gold/xp/ability points I didn't really need beyond the critical path anyway.
But per caveat above I hadn't realised some quests later on in the game gave out more meaningful upgrades as I had stopped bothering by then and wasn't feeling any absence of anything until the last bosses.

5) The one thing I'll grant it though is I really liked the story. It's stronger in the first half as everything is being set up and explored, but I was invested throughout.
Really liked the mix of warring intra nation geo politics, the clear climate change analogy that is the blight and eco terrorism in destroying the crystals (7 has done it before sure but still good stuff), and the setup of mystery of Clive and his powers.

6) I feel it’s almost not worth mentioning at times, pretty graphics are taken for granted a lot and at times arguably aren’t so important but I feel it has to be mentioned the game is a stunner. The spectacle on display in near enough every Eikon fight is utterly nuts. Those same fights are admittedly basic as hell but they feel a more graphics showcase anyway.

So yeah, very mixed bag unfortunately. It pips just ahead of FFXV for me but it's probably my disappointment of the year very sadly.
(wow this was long...)
 
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FunnyJay

Powered by the Cloud
Apr 6, 2019
1,455
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Sweden
Finished Ace Combat 4 - Distant Thunder through PCSX2 on Steam Deck.

Last year I played a bit of AC7 and really liked what I saw, so I hunted down some of the older games as well.
A couple of days ago I started AC4 and played it all through. You can really see how the series was formed here.

The game didn't really feel as epic in scale as AC7 but that is probably just its age showing.

The story vignettes between missions were wonderfully drawn and the story felt somber and interesting and in stark contrast to the bombastic missions.

I was surprised to see that you took on Stonehenge as early as about half the game through. I thought that would be more of an endgame thing.

It was really cool to see how the legend of Moebius 1 grew and how in the final levels, people called out over the radio when you arrived.

And then when you have an entire Moebius squadron in the final level. Nice.

I missed having more named characters as in AC7, but I guess that might show up in AC5 Squadron Leader.
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
9,602
25,745
113
Finished


Liked it more than I expected, especially based on thee negative comments I've read. The story and the world was interesting and I liked the art style. Didn't find it difficulty to navigate where to go as I've read many others did. Gameplay is somewhat janky and far from as polished as for example Inside, but still found it good.

Score: 7.7/10

Finished


Super gorgeus game, took many screenshots, very polished gameplay, interesting story and world. My main issue is the really slow paced gameplay, the start was very uninteresting and the gameplay mechanics and puzzles are very basic.

Score: 8.2/10
 

Virtual Ruminant

MetaMember
May 21, 2020
511
1,761
93
Finished Embracelet (Mattis Folkestad / machineboy, 2020)

Point-and-click (with action-adventure controls) adventure game with a magical realist plot set in Norway. Quite impressive for a single developer effort, the graphics are quite low-fidelity, but still manage to make an impression, due to good virtual camera work and fine animation in key moments and places. The music is very good and really makes the atmosphere of the game. There is no voice acting.

As far as mechanics to, it's a perfect modern point and click that I'd like to see more of - no moon logic, no red herrings, an object highlight button and an objective list. I didn't get stuck once.

The story and characters are okay, but I doubt I'll remember much about them a year from now. Playtime is pretty short (I took it slow and was finished in 5 hours).


3/5

Previously reviewed in this thread here and here
 
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fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
9,602
25,745
113
Finished


Super cute game. Gorgeus looking game with a lovely art style. Great interesting story with lots of interesting characters. Nice music and interesting well-executed gameplay. Main negative is the backtracking which makes it repetive at times.

Score: 9/10

Finished


Enjoyed it a lot more than I thought. Good art style, good sound, interesting, but sad story, weird open-ended ending. Gameplay felt a bit too janky often and could have used more polish, very little interactive, control with joystiq and press the button for the dialogue you want. Sort of like a visual novel.

Score: 8/10

Finished


Very fun Donkey Kong Country-like game, very short though. 3 worlds with 4-6 levels in each. You collect coins to gain more life i ncase you you die, some secrets in each level. There is a hidden world, but didn't bother with it as I didn't find the level to be as interesting and fun as the main levels. Good looking game too.

Score: 8/10
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
9,602
25,745
113
Finished


Another limbo/inside style-game. Great art style, decent music, interesting world building, gameplay is quite janky and the plattforming was mediocre. I wish the devs did more with the world itself, it was interesting, but they could have gone more in-depth with the story, game only lasts like 1.5-2 hours.

Score: 7/10

Finished


Game is like Little Nightmares, but weirdly enough built into episodes, could just have been a regular game without episodes as each episode feels too long for it's own good. Gameplay is very basic and not really interesting. Graphics are quite good in many parts of the game and each episode has it's own enironment (snow, dinosaur, lava, like that). Story is corny and doesn't fit the overall game.

Score: 6.8/10

Finished


Great art style, interesting story, a bit basic gameplay with some annoying "fetch-quest" puzzles that are the same each time where you have to find certain objects and place them somewhere to open a door, some objects you need to find are quite difficulty as they are very smal, but many nice moments. Didn't feel scary much at all.

Score: 8.2/10
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
9,602
25,745
113
Finished


I never played the original, so can't say if the game looks or plays better or worse than the original, but aside from the technical issue where the game freezes if I alt-tab out of the game when using fullscreen, I had fun and didn't find much issues with the game other than some plattforming sections being really frustrating and annoying.

Score: 7/10

Finished


Fun game, reminded me off Doom (2016) a lot, great music, good graphics, fun weapons except for the crossbow which I didn't care about. You shoot to the rhythm and the better you do, the more damage you do. However the calibration tool didn't work well for me for some reason, so I failed shooting to the rhythm too many times which lead to frustation often. Overall, I still enjoyed it a lot and will consider buying the DLCs onsale.

Score: 8/10

Finished


Great game that reminds me of Night in the Woods. The game is heavily story driven so Im not gonna write anything about it, just read the Steam page. Graphics are great, loved the art style used, gameplay feels good, but is somewhat basic, especially the combat (thanksfully not much combat in the game), great sound. The space dive story mechanic is really cool and well used here, you have to play the game to understand it, but it sorta like an Inception-dream sort of thing (I think).

Score: 8.7/10
 

spiel

Junior Member
Apr 17, 2019
104
348
63
Roadwarden completed

No need for flashy graphics. just a satisfying gameplay loop and words on a page. It's one of the most immersive games I've played. I think it would been even better with more ambient sounds.

It feels like an evolution of the interactive fiction genre, with some light tabletop RPG systems. It's about time management too, because actions take time and there are only 40 days to achieve your goals. So you have to figure out how to work efficiently, while juggling many side quests. But I never felt constrained by the time limit, and I accepted that my first playthrough would only scratch the surface of the game's secrets. It had that "just one more day" effect; I couldn't stop playing because I wanted to see how the quests would progress.

I'm still digesting the game really, itching to start a second playthrough to discover even more secrets, but it's definitely a top 3 for the year.
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
9,602
25,745
113
Finished


Enjoyed the gameplay, level design and graphics, but not the beacon mechanic. It's a metroidvania with different zones, each zone has a beacon that unlocks the map for the zone, problem is that finding the beacon is often really annoying and takes a long time because you have no clue where you are due to no map or where the beacon is. The only think you have are these crystal savepoints that saves your position if you die, where you also upgrade your character (health, strength etc.), upgrade weapons (available near the end of the game and such. Felt the beacon mechanic ruined the game for as the the rest of the game is pretty good and fun

Score: 7.5/10

Finished


Really great game, very intriguing and captivating. Good pixel graphics, good sound, fascinating and interesting story that does get quite confusing and complicated. It's a callback to retro survival horror with lots of "rooms" to explore, finding items/key, solving puzzles, like Resident Evil. It did feel overwhelming at times, especially when there was no map for the area, but still had a good time with it.

Score: 8.6/10

Finished


Pretty good horror, but doesn't really do anything new for the series of the horror genre. Pretty decent graphics, good sound, gameplay that is pretty much like the previous games with holding to interact with doors, move around things and such. The game items like codes and such is randomly generated, so every playthrough is different, didn't manage to explore or the areas this time, so I wanna get back to the game in the future. The story itself was somewhat a letdown, so was the enemy, wanted something else, something deeper.

Score: 8/10
 
OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
3,964
13,738
113
Belgium
Finished Disco Elysium


Initially, I found it difficult to get into the game because of the VERY long dialogs and the huge amount of fictional information this game is giving you, but I ended up enjoying it a lot. The characters are amazing and the story and dialogs are exceptionally well written. I'm not a fan of the ending, but it all makes sense when you can finally put all pieces of the puzzle together.

The RPG mechanics are also very unique. You can level up many different aspects of your personality, which allows you to solve problems in several ways. I found it hard to build a character to embrace a certain play style tho; I ended up saving my points and spending them when a situation required it. I also found it difficult to predict the outcome of the thoughts system.

This said, I enjoyed the game a lot and I 'll be happy to replay it later to do things different.

Score: 8.0/10
 

Virtual Ruminant

MetaMember
May 21, 2020
511
1,761
93
Finished Stonefly (Flight School Studio / MWM Interactive , 2021)

I got this game on the strength of having liked Creature in the Well (the developer's previous game) a lot, then stuck it out through the awkward and annoying combat, the boring resource grinding and getting punished for trying to explore the levels by constantly glitching outside the map and having to return to camp, only to be eventually treated to an absolutely horrendous final mission, a pointless boss-fight and a daft conclusion to the story.

All of the artwork, animation, character design are great, the music (made by Natureboy Flako) is fantastic, too, but the game part is just terrible.

Anybody remember Cryo Interactive games in the 90s? It's that sort of deal. So, there's still some appeal here, but not for anybody who just wants to have a fun time with an interesting-looking game.


2/5
 

Durante

I <3 Pixels
Oct 21, 2018
3,800
18,178
113
I finished Trails from Zero.


There are a lot of things to like about this game. Like most Trails games, it has interesting world building, uniquely detailed NPC sidestories, a solid battle system with decent encounter variety, and some really likeable main characters.

What Zero has going for it above and beyond the later games, in my opinion, is focus. Because you are following the same small and tight-knit group throughout the whole game, everyone matters and it keeps you engaged throughout. This can, to me, sometimes be more of an issue in e.g. some of the Cold Steel games (though I still like those).

My only issue with the game is that the pacing might be a bit too slow in the first few chapters, though I think that's more of an issue when you have a very thorough playstyle like I do. Turbo mode generally helps a whole lot with keeping the playtime manageable, and the later chapter have comparatively rapid story pacing.

I'd rank this in the top 10 JRPGs I ever played.

The PC version is pretty good too.
 

Mivey

MetaMember
Sep 20, 2018
3,933
11,195
113
Finished Elex
Overall, this game very closely follows the usual Piranha Bytes formula, basically the same one they had since Gothic 1. You start at your weakest point, need to find ways to survive, find some group of people to give you equipment and teach you skills, join a faction and go on with the story from there. What made the past games especially strong was the strong atmosphere, held by the amazing music, sound design and also the small and unique locations.
I feel especially that last point is not really present in Elex. Sure, the world is maybe 10 times larger than Gothic 2, maybe even more, but god does it feel far less intereting and empty. Another thing that ruins the game for me is the reliance on quest markers. There's so many critical quests where you need to find a random item in the middle of nowhere, but of course the magic quest marker tells you exactly where you need to go. Half the time Piranha Bytes at least bothers to explain how your magic map knows those locations, but just as often, they don't bother. It makes traversing the world such a boring experience, robbing this type of game of much of its charm.

One novelty here for Piranha Bytes is the introduction of a morality system, of sorts. Except it's really just flavour about being more "emotional" or more "rational". It's often easy to understand which options raise which meter, but in quite a number of instances, it raises things in ways you wouldn't expect. Telling the player whether a dialogue choice will increase or reduce the meter would have helped, but the one-dimensional nature of this thing juts makes it feel so pointless. I guess they wanted to imitate Mass Effect?

Your main character Jax is incredibly bland, even by Piranha standards. Even the nameless hero of the Gothic game gets more characterisation than this dude. I really don't understand why Piranha can't just hire actual writers. It's 2023, just have some self-respect.

Overall, a middling RPG and it left me mostly disappointed. It's sad to see a studio making basically the same type of game for 20 years, and getting so much worse at it too.
 
OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
3,964
13,738
113
Belgium
Finished The town of Light


Excellent exploration game from the makers of Martha is Dead, about the torments of a young girl in a mental health institute during the 2nd world war. The story is based on true events and is extremely shocking, sometimes even sickening, but also very well translated into a game. I can definitely recommend this unforgettable experience.

Score: 8.1/10