Reviews Rate the game you finished/retired

OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
3,960
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Finished Yakuza 3 Remastered


I'm playing all Yakuza games from 0 to 7, and this 3rd installment is my least favorite game in the series so far. Most significant issue is the combat: enemies are blocking the majority of your standaard attacks, causing fights to take way too long to complete. Some of the missions are also rather boring; searching for one of the kids in town becomes really annoying when repeated multiple times.

This said, to story and characters are REALLY good. I loved Rikiya and Mine, and I got goosebumps during the cut scenes several times. This makes Yakuza 3 worth playing after all, but you'll have to tolerate the many flaws.

Score: 7.8/10
 

Virtual Ruminant

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May 21, 2020
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Finished Paradise Lost (PolyAmorous / All In! Games, 2021)

Exploration/narrative game set in a post-apocalyptic alternate post-World War 2 history. Some parts are visually impressive and exceed the expectations you could reasonably have for a game made by such a small team, others not so much. Good ambient sound throughout. The story is a bit of a messy hodgepodge of ideas and neither the events that play out in the game nor the world-building were particularly engaging to me.

This game is as walking simulator as they come, so only fans of the genre should even consider.


2.5/5
 

Virtual Ruminant

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May 21, 2020
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Retired In the Shadows (Colorspace Studio, 2017)

A pixel-art puzzle platformer clearly inspired by FEZ, but bringing its own unique set of mechanics, which are a bit loose (it's easy to softlock yourself and then have to restart the level) and often timing-based, which makes solving some levels really tedious.

There aren't that many levels either, so the difficulty curve gets quite steep - I managed to get to the third (out of four) set of levels before it got too hard for me. Graphics are ok, the music is quite good and adds a lot of atmosphere. Puzzle platforming pros will probably enjoy this one, but Steam's "casual" categorization is plain wrong, this game requires serious skills (and patience) to beat.


No score
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
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Finished


Decent janky fun, nothing particularly amazing, but decent fun. The levels do get overly long sometimes and it feels like a wave shooter due to the enormous amount of enemies coming at you almost all the time. The upgrades, different weapons and characters does give the game some variation, graphics are kind of ugly and sound mediocre, but if you like janky gameplay with PS3/x360 gameplay feel, you are gonna have a decent time like me.

Score: 7.8/10

Finished


This game shines in the combat, combat feels great, is a lot of fun, lots of loot, different weapons, different abilities, different upgrades. The negatives are the weird story and some of the level design, like a lot of the levels are so long based on walking, just walking where nothing happens. Sound is good, graphics are mediocre, not much meat in the game other than story missions, side missions and some "challenge" missions.

Score: 8/10

Finished


Very fun isometric "stealth" cowboy games with lots of different ways to tackle the enemies and complete objectives. Good graphics, good sound. Main negatives was that switching between which characters to play as during a mission (there are multiple characters and each character has it's own ability like pickpocketing) was somewhat cumbersome and some mission objectives could have been better explained. Also, which enemy that can be pickpocketed and not should have been better explained.

Score: 8.4/10
 

Jonas

Junior Member
Nov 18, 2022
10
26
13
Finished Sekiro on steam

it was my 12th consecutive play through and I feel fairly done with the game now. I did it without the kuro charm and with the bell demon. For those that don’t know that means you have to parry perfectly and enemies are even more deadly.
I had started the play through a long time ago but had to beat Isshin too. I think he took me like 10 hours, no joke., it was insane and while frustrating I mostly loved every minute spent.
I never completely learned his move set before but I couldn’t use my cheesing this time since there are attacks that just kill you in one hit.

After I beat him I played through it again without the the modifiers and it was so fucking easy! Beat all bosses, except the real owl fight and Emma who I skipped, on the first try. Died two times at O’rin tho, fuck her.

I don’t know what From could do to improve in a sequel, The fights feels so damn tight and more options than what are presented would just be overwhelming. I guess some better stealth, the soundtrack is fairly meh and I barely have any idea what the story is even though It’s pretty straightforward :/

10/10
(I think my enjoyment of FS games are dependent on if I learn to counter or not)
 

C-Dub

Makoto Niijima Fan Club President
Dec 23, 2018
3,937
11,660
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I finished Viewfinder.


I liked this game a lot.

Viewfinder is a puzzle game where you use images and perception to change the world around you and solve puzzles.

The general conceit is that you have photographs and illustrations, and you use these images to add (or remove) things from the environment that allow you to either progress or send power to the teleporter that allows you to complete the stage.

You can also take photos and use those to manipulate the environment. Sometimes you get a handheld camera, other times you can use a fixed one.

Stages are broken up via hub worlds so you have plenty of opportunity to take pauses, quit the game, or just go do something else for five minutes before you carry on.

Each hub world follows one of the characters, who appear in audio log form. And each hub also has a different twist on the gameplay.

This is both a good and a mildly irksome thing. Sometimes you have to unlearn mechanics in very specific places (only to get them back a few stages later) because the design of the level is not conducive to the mechanic. The main offender is how the game liberally takes away and returns the camera to your inventory for no real reason other than the level was or wasn't designed with it in mind.

In some ways this is good, because it allows for more puzzle variety. But I think it makes the seams between immersiveness and contrivance much more obvious. In the end, the developer made that tradeoff and I think it was probably the right call, but it's worth mentioning because it may bother you a lot.

The story's depressing and a little sad, yet also hopeful. I won't go into it too much, but I enjoyed it. The voice acting was merely okay - I've heard worse, but I've also heard better. But it was adequate. Some people are hating on it a lot and I think in some parts it does get wonky, but on the most part I thought it was fine.

About my only major criticism is the timed segment. It lands differently than the rest of the game. Thankfully, you can disable the timer in the accessibility options. But I'm not a fan of the timer and I recommend you just switch it off because the tension is not necessary, and the timer they give you is incredibly ungenerous.

A small criticism is that I wish there were a few more challenging puzzles. I don't want a whole slate of punishing levels, but I'd love to get a few levels that need a bit more thinking to get through. I never really found any of the puzzles super challenging, and while there were many that were satisfying to solve, I never hit any that really pushed the limits of my ability to solve them. Maybe that's a good thing? But I'd have liked to be tested a bit more.

You're gonna get 5-7 hours out of this game, depending on whether you do the optional puzzles (which are quite fun and worth it), how long it takes to solve the main story puzzles, and how long you spend with the game open just milling about in-between stages.

If you're one of those weirdos who tries to min-max your spend-per-hour of gameplay, you may find the £20 asking price poor value. But if your time is more important than how much you spent on a game, rest assured that Viewfinder doesn't waste your time with filler or stupid nonsense.

In the end, what you get is the game the developers wanted to make - not a product full of garbage to waste your time to inflate the number on How Long to Beat with worthless busywork. And what the developer has made is by and large of very high quality. In my view, easily worth the £20 asking price, and if that's not affordable to you, it'll be even more worth it when it gets a discount.

Whether you buy now or wait for a sale, Viewfinder is a good game well worth paying for.

8/10
 

Virtual Ruminant

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May 21, 2020
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Finished Untitled Goose Game (House House / Panic, 2019)

Hilarious mix of stealth action, puzzling and a pinch of physics sandbox gameplay. The player character is a goose set loose on a small town and up to mischief (or two geese in couch-coop).

The game presents the player(s) with a constantly updating list of objectives on their way through the town. Once all the objectives are completed, the "main story" is finished and the credits have rolled, another list of objectives unlocks which are slightly harder / more obscure, but add a significant chunk of playtime, which is good because otherwise the game would be very short relative to its price. Finally, there's optional timed challenges to complete certain subsets of objectives within a time limit, also unlocked by completing the main objectives.

This game does pretty much everything right, the controls are responsive, the reactive music system that dynamically improvises a piano score to the action on screen adds a literally unique flavor to every playthrough and the graphics and animations have a cute and bright children's book / cartoon charm to them that fit the upbeat mood of this game. Difficulty is mostly casual, but not trivial.

Had a great time from start to finish.


4.5/5
 
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Virtual Ruminant

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May 21, 2020
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Finished Ynglet (Nifflas / Triple Topping. 2021)

Abstract platformer that is at the same time top-down (visually) and side-scrolling (there is gravity pulling the player towards the bottom of the screen). It's also very Danish - the world map is the city map of Copenhagen and every level is an abstract representation of real world locations in Copenhagen. There's also a bonus world which is purely abstract.

The game has a neat generative music system that plays a 1990s-style IDM electronica soundtrack to the gameplay, and a procedural approach to difficulty levels (the levels themselves are designed by hand, but the algorithm fills in extra platforms on lower difficulty settings and it works really well). Completing the main world unlocks an extra difficulty setting.


4/5
 

Virtual Ruminant

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May 21, 2020
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Finished The World After (Burning Sunset, 2021)

A full-motion-video point and click adventure set (at first glance) during the COVID-19 pandemic, somewhere in rural France.

The acting is pretty okay (it's mostly amateur actors, the writer of the game is the player character) and the video quality is good, and that's all the positive things I can say about this game. The game is incredibly short, and the puzzles are so basic that the developers had to resort to pixel hunting (in a video game that only contains video and photo stills!) to pad out the playtime. Finally the story is silly, bordering on stupid.


1/5
 
OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
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Finished/Retired As Far as the Eye


Interesting concept based on 4X games, where you have to gather different resources to move to the next level. But instead of fighting enemies to create a challenge, the game throws random negative perks at you that often ruin the plans you have in mind. Things like suddenly losing 500 skill points without any means to prevent this felt unfair to me and became even frustrating in the longer runs. Not my cup of tea.

Note: I finished the 5 campaign levels and the first rogue-like map, but gave up after that because of the issues described above.
 

Virtual Ruminant

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May 21, 2020
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Finished Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion (Snoozy Kazoo / Graffiti Games, 2021)

A quirky Zelda-lite action adventure in the style of beloved handheld & portable classics of the genre, with a story that starts out with the wacky premise spelled out in the title of the game and then keeps going in the same vein. The controls are tight and responsive (with the exception of the weapon change, which seems to be a little awkward on purpose to inject a bit of a challenge into the mini-bosses) and the difficulty is generally casual until the credits roll - and after that, people looking for a challenge get a boss-rush bonus.

I really enjoyed that this game has zero filler and no grinding whatsoever - resulting in a short playtime that is pure fun. And the post-credits bonus content gives people looking for more something to do, too.

Previously reviewed in this thread here.


4/5


Finished Planet of the Eyes (Cococucumber, 2015)

A minimalist (and also pretty basic), short platformer. There's a story told in voice-overs, but it doesn't really connect in any meaningful way to the action on-screen. The controls feel good, but the level design is too basic to really make use of them. Not a bad game, but not very memorable either.


3/5


Finished Refunct (Dominique Grieshofer, 2015)

A minimalist first-person platforming/parkour game. This game is a little hidden gem - from the screenshots on the Steam store page, you'd think this is somebody's first 3D platfomer, but this game has incredibly smooth controls and superb flow - the roughly 30 to 45 minutes playtime to reach all targets and unlock the whole map just fly by. There are speedrun-achievements for people who want to keep playing, too.


3.5/5


Finished Viewfinder (Sad Owl Studios / Thunderful, 2023)

A first-person puzzle game that brings a new mechanic to the genre: Editing the level geometry as a means of getting to or enabling the exit.

The player finds and picks up photos or drawings in the level, then can aim and "place" these photos and the 3D scene represented by the 2D image will appear in 3D in the level. Later on, the player also gets a camera that lets them take these photos themselves, effectively providing a copy/paste tool (with a limited number of uses).

Combined with mechanics inspired by other greats of the genre such as the forced perspective tricks of Superliminal, time-rewinding, portals to alternative versions of the level, time-delayed switches, sound-activated switches and more, the game feels genuinely fresh even to fans of the genre who have played all of the first-person puzzling hits already.

The difficulty was just right for me, I never had to resort to a guide (or the in-game hint system) and the longest I got stuck at any point must have been 15 minutes. The game rewards and encourages thinking outside the box consistently over trying to understand and following rules. In a way, the whole game feels like one long, patient and forgiving tutorial for the very final level, which takes everything the player has learned over the course of the game and lays it out in a tightly timed challenge - which I beat after less than ten attempts, so the game did a very good job of preparing me.

The graphical presentation is bright and lush and just all around pleasant. The fantastic ambient sound and laid-back, jazzy music score by Jason Taylor, otherwise and possibly better known by his artist alias "Aether" adds a lot of atmosphere on top of the visuals.

The story is the game's weakest point - while there's technically quite a lot of it, spread over readable documents and post-it notes, audio logs from multiple characters and a strange little talking cat that delivers frequent commentary to the actions of the silent protagonist the player inhabits, none of it really goes much of anywhere or makes a whole lot of sense at any point, including the ending of the game. It builds a vary vague world and succeeds at adding a little context and additional flavor to each level, but not much else and generally isn't on the level of the genre superhits like Portal, or The Talos Principle or even more recent titles such as Superliminal.

I took my time with this game and got all collectibles in my first run, which took 14 hours until the credits rolled. This puts the game right between the shorter entries of the genre such as Portal and Superliminal and the big guns such as The Witness and The Talos Principle.


Previously reviewed in this thread here and here


3.5/5
 
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OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
3,960
13,725
113
Belgium
Finished Doom Eternal


Incredible shooter with amazing shooting mechanics and lots of cool features. Using stagger, the chainsaw and the flame weapon to make enemies drop health, munition and armor works really, really well. The level design is also excellent, with great set pieces, plenty of different enemies, good platforming and lots of secrets to discover.

The most significant thing I didn't like is that enemies are bullet sponges if you don't kill them in a certain way with a specific weapon. Let me kill them with my weapon of choice, and use the stagger only when I'm in need of more health. I also don't like enemies spawning out of thin air behind me, especially with so many big enemies that require tons of bullets to kill.

But despite these issues, Doom Eternal is an excellent game that makes your adrenaline rise to unseen levels. Well done id Software!

Score: 8.9/10
 

Virtual Ruminant

MetaMember
May 21, 2020
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Finished Gibbon: Beyond the Trees (Broken Rules, 2022)

Extraordinary take on the endless-runner genre, this game lets you swing through forests as a gibbon, with a unique set of controls that are easy to learn, but take a while to master.

The game features multiple modes:

  • A story adventure with a hand-crafted set of stages where the only objective is to keep swinging and not die by falling into chasms, rivers or forest fires
  • An alternate endless mode with procedurally generated stages and collectibles (free animals from cages, find encyclopedia pages) that unlocks after the story mode is complete
  • A daily runs competitive mode where you go for longest distance and fastest times for a placement on a leaderboard

The hand-painted visuals are great, with great animations, too. Good soundtrack that adjusts dynamically to the environment you're in when running in one of the procedural modes.

The collectibles in the endless mode are somewhat frustrating, the challenge is to not just blast past the cages or encyclopedia pages and there is a certain dissonance between playing one of nature's most accomplished climbing animals and the very restricted movement controls. I shouted at my screen a lot while playing this mode.

I made the apparent mistake of buying this game on itch.io, where it still sits as originally released - lacking the encyclopedia page collectibles and lacking the daily runs mode, which came as updates to the game on the other platforms. I guess I will have to rebuy this on Steam at some point.


3.5/5
 
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FunnyJay

Powered by the Cloud
Apr 6, 2019
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"Finished"/Retired
which was gifted by tetel

What a short, fun game!
Frantically trying to figure out how to synthesize the antidote to save yourself from shrinking was quite fun!
Every run pretty much starts with you frantically searching for all ingredients, and all recipes. After that, you have to figure out what order to mix the different recipes to synthesize the cure.
When everything works, this is a fun puzzler, where you have to be quick since the difficulty rises the shorter you become. I seemed to have a few runs though, where either all the ingredients didn't spawn, or all the recipes didn't spawn, making it impossible to finish. I don't think I just missed finding them, since I scoured the rooms. And if you don't have all the puzzle pieces, it is impossible to finish.

Often, I found that at lower difficulties, if you just managed to find all the pieces, the shrinking aspect didn't play that much part, if you kept a decent pace.

So, a short and sweet game (when it works), but I don't know how much staying power it has.
 

Mivey

MetaMember
Sep 20, 2018
3,918
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Finished SIGNALIS

Played this one together with friends via Steam Remote Play Whatever (an amazing tool I'd recommend for anyone interested in playing co-op or other games with friends online, no clue why Valve is not enabling this feature generally)

Signalis is an interesting beast. It's clearly a strong hommage to classic surival horror, like Resident Evil and surely Silent Hill too, but there also a lot of other inspiration here, like Neon Evangelion and other Anime shows. The story is overall quite captivating, if a bit hard to follow. The visual presentation is really quite strong. Primarly aiming for a PS1 style look, I would say, though with far more modern effects, often complex distortion effects, that range from imitating CRT displays, to other kind of signal errors.

Game can be a bit annoying at times, I would say the hard inventory management aspect is probably the weakest part of this game. I can respect the dedication to sticking close to the original games, but that aspect is really one of the worst things those games had.

Still, definitively a captivating experience.
 

Virtual Ruminant

MetaMember
May 21, 2020
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Retired Snakebird Primer (Noumenon Games, 2019)

"A casual puzzle game for the entire family as well as a primer for the serious challenges of the original game."

The original game is Snakebird from 2015, which I bought in a bundle, then read that it's balls-to-the-wall hard and never even started. Bought Primer later because I thought I might have a chance of beating it and maybe even get trained up a little for the 'real' challenge - couldn't beat that one either. But I got some 55 out of 69 levels and 2 out of 6 star levels, so not a complete failure on my part I guess.

For puzzle purists.


3/5
 
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Stevey

Gromlintroid
Dec 8, 2018
2,663
8,131
113
41
Kingdom 80s


This is a much more streamlined entry of the Kingdom series, but it sucked me in.
It's kind of like a 2D Tower Defense game.
I'd recommend it to anyone.
It's pretty short, but the price reflects that IMO.

9/10 - Couldnt put it down 'til I finished it.
 

Virtual Ruminant

MetaMember
May 21, 2020
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Finished The Spirit and the Mouse (Alblune /Armor Games Studios, 2022)

Very cute and cozy 3D "platformer" (you play a mouse - a four-legged one, not an anthropomorphic cartoon character, and you cannot jump - but you can climb and drop down from ledges). Gameplay is a mix of collectathon, figuring out routes through the levels and little missions with mini-games.

Quite suitable for younger kids, too, since the gameplay is completely non-violent and the player character cannot die either.

I found this game last year during a Steam Next Fest and it turned out just as great as the demo let on. Took me 9 hours to 100%.


4.5/5
 

FunnyJay

Powered by the Cloud
Apr 6, 2019
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Finished
on the Steam Deck. Yes, it is fully playable on the Steam Deck, without any tinkering at all. You just have to memorize what all the different buttons do, since the Steam Input button prompt implementation for the game is broken.

Having played both Mafia back when it originally came out, and Mafia 2 around release as well, I was well acquainted with the series.
I actually bought Mafia III back in 2017, and I have started it like 3 times before, never making it far into the game.

This time, I decided to play it on the Steam Deck, and really go for it.
It actually worked very well, once you learnt the controls, due to the aforementioned button prompt bug (which is the game's fault, not the Deck).

The game is really enjoyable. A bit on the long side, especially when you have to play through a lot of filler content to take on the different rackets.
The story is well told, and the characters are well written. You really get a feel for the racism that was embedded in the 60's.

I also played through the story of the 3 major pieces of DLC which is now included in the Definitive edition (which my copy got upgraded into at some point).

Signs of the Times was an interesting story where you investigated a cult. They actually added some new gameplay features in this DLC with the investigation parts. Like a half-baked L.A. Noire. The story was interesting, but the combat was a bit on the difficult side.

Faster Baby, where you drive out into the countryside, take on a racist sheriff and drive a lot of cars.
This one has an interesting setup with the sheriff, but it's ultimately so short and underbaked that it leaves no lasting impression. If it weren't for the bugs.
Hoo boy, the bugs in this one.
First bug was when I was driving into the countryside. You are ambushed by a police car which is supposed to set off a half-scripted chase scene. All kinds of weird bugs would show up. The car you were driving would slow to a crawl, and it was impossible to accelerate until you got out of the car and back in.
The police officers would not chase you, or even spawn, but the police alert state and radius would not disappear.
It was a major triumph when I finally managed to finish this first mission.

Later on in the DLC, you can get into endless loading screen if you play the mission in an "incorrect" order. This is solvable by leaving the countryside, going back into the city, creating a new autosave there, then going back to to the countryside....

The final DLC I played, Stones Unturned, is an interesting chase together with your CIA pal Donovan to find a rogue agent. A bit off when you compare it to the rest of the story in the main game, but it was really enjoyable.

I fully renovated Sammy's bar thanks to the Signs of the Times DLC, something that the main story completely failed to mention (there's even a cutscene with the priest that says that the area was demolished). Didn't bother at all with the weed minigame from Faster Baby, and did only one bounty hunt from Stones Unturned. A lot of this really felt like more filler in a game that already is filled with it.


So all in all, a really enjoyable experience, though a bit on the long side. I believe it took me about 38 hours to finish.
 

Virtual Ruminant

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May 21, 2020
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Retired Jet Set Radio (Blit Software / SEGA, 2000/2012)

Skill issue I guess ¯\(ツ)/¯.

I couldn't make it past the missions where you need to chase members of other roller-skate gangs and "tag them from behind".

The game really has a timeless look that works just as well now as it did 23 years ago, everything else hasn't aged quite so well.

Multiple people have told me that supposedly Jet Set Radio Future, an Xbox exclusive from 2002 that to this day is trapped on that ancient platform is much nicer to actually play, but I will have to find time to look into Xbox emulation again first ...


No Score
 
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fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
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Finished Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon (Steam Deck)



Finished it some days ago, liked it a lot, more than Bayonetta 3. Very fun "top-down" Bayonetta game where you play as a girl named Cereza and her "demon dog". The gameplay is like Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons where you play each character with their own joystiq on the controller. Throughout the game you will find and learn new abilities for both characters and they have to cooperate to progress in the world. The game is built like a somewhat open world map, but the game is really well designed, good level design and lots of things to collect and discover. You find different things in the game that you can use you upgrade skills and abilities and such. Both characters are really well used and compliments each other very well with their different abilities.

Score: 8.3/10
 
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OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
3,960
13,725
113
Belgium
Finished Deathloop


Another gem from Arkane Studios. In Deathloop, you're stuck into a timeloop where the same events happen every day again and again. It's up to you to figure out what's going on and how you can break the loop.

Like other games from Arkane, you can choose to play stealth or rather blast your way through with a limited arsenal of guns. By killing enemies, you can find trinkets that you can use to improve your weapons and stats. You can also aqcuire 'slabs', which give you special powers like transportation and temporary invisibility. You can change your equipment, trinkets and slabs at any time, motivating you to try every play style.

The level design is brilliant. There are many ways to reach your objective and exploration is often rewarded. The game world also looks incredible, especially using ray tracing. I remember the performance wasn't great initially, but now it seems to be fine; on my RTX4070 using DLSS, I got >100fps with all details and ray tracing at maximum. Very, very recommended!

Score: 8.6/10
 

Virtual Ruminant

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May 21, 2020
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Finished Sable (Shedworks / Raw Fury, 2021)

Distinctively indie take on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild that dispenses with peril, combat and violence altogether and throws everything into exploration instead.

The game's super stylish art direction that references Jean Giraud's science fiction graphic novels in general and occasionally quite specifically is the standout feature of the game. If the style resonates with you, and it really did with me, you're almost guaranteed to have a good time because of that alone, because everything just looks great from every angle, still-image or in motion. The subtly catchy soundtrack by Japanese Breakfast enhances the mood even further and does a generally good job of making you forget that there is no voice-acting in this game.

Gameplay is essentially a loop of exploring (which is mostly done with a hoverbike-style vehicle that is customizable both in looks and performance), finding quest-giving NPCs, completing quests, getting rewards and converting rewards into main quest items. The world map does not fill in automatically, the player needs to find a cartographer NPC for every of the distinct six regions of the map to buy a map reveal. Even with the map revealed, the game only marks some of the discovered locations automatically, which did create some frustration for me towards the end, when I was missing the last location or collectible for a particular quest quite often and had trouble eliminating the places I had already searched. There are several slow-burn collectathons for people who really want to spend a lot of time in the game, such as a (sand-)fishing mini-game and related collection quests as well as a butterfly collection, which can pad out the play time well beyond the 20 hour mark, but are completely optional.

What made playing this game feel quite unique for me is the strong focus on climbing and the player character's floating ability. It really makes the game often feel like an action game, even though there is no traditional video game action (shooting/brawling/fighting) in it at all.

For people who are somewhat less enamored with the art style and a game world that consists of several varieties of desert, the world may on occasion seem a little empty - the game deliberately leaves large chunks of map sections barren (except the starting/tutorial area) to convey an authentic feeling of exploring a desert planet.

Story and world-building were a little too much on the minimalist side for me - the very broad strokes in which characters and the history of the world are painted sometimes gave me the impression of exploring a theme park rather than an actually believable world.

When the game launched in 2021, it had a lot of performance issues and bugs, which is why I let the game sit for almost two years after buying it and with just the starting area completed before I picked it up again this year.

With two years worth of patches and updates, the PC version now has the kind of graphics options you would expect from a PC game, but unless you throw a top-class rig at it, the game still is best enjoyed locked down to 30 FPS, otherwise things get very inconsistent framerate-wise. The bug count has gone down dramatically and I didn't encounter anything game breaking, but it's still not very polished - clearly the world-size vs. dev-team size disparity in this project ultimately just proved too great.


3.5/5

Previously reviewed in this thread here and here
 
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Virtual Ruminant

MetaMember
May 21, 2020
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Finished Neo Cab (Chance Agency / Fellow Traveller, 2019)

The older millennials on this forum will probably remember the year 1998, when by some weird chance there were two disaster action movies about an extinction-level-event-sized asteroid headed for Earth in theaters at the same time.

2019 featured the probably much lesser known indie-game equivalent of that, when two high-production-value visual novel games that put the player in the driver's seat of a taxi cab came out almost simultaneously: Night Call and this one, Neo Cab.

The art direction in this one did not really resonate with me, the game is mainly shades of blue and purple and while that may have been very trendy at the time, I felt it made the game visually uninteresting. I was not a fan of most of the character designs either, to say the least. There are however a couple of standout screens that I thought were fantastic, such as the hotels you have to use for staying the night or the filling stations you have to visit to recharge your EV cab.

There's a soundtrack, but the music is unremarkable and rather generic.

The story and writing on the other hand were quite good - while the main themes (the hardships of gig-working, corporate greed and maintaining emotional balance) are laid on a little thick, the interactions with the individual passengers are much better - not at all life-like, but fun to read, often surprising and sometimes genuinely funny.

There's some variation in the encounters and a few endings for theoretical replay value, but not enough to make replays truly satisfying. A single playthrough took me just over 5 hours, which I though was a very good balance.

For me this game turned out to be the inverse of Night Call then - does not look too great and the music's forgettable, but the writing was good and the game had just about the right length - roughly half of Night Call's. And just like the two late 90s movies, neither will be remembered as classics of the genre, but everyone who knows both will have an opinion on which was the better one. For me, it's Neo Cab.


3/5



Previously reviewed in this thread here.
 

FunnyJay

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Went through a few games yesterday:

Finished:

A short and kinda sweet arcadey game where you simply try to land your moonlander in increasingly difficult stages. Controls were easy and precise. Worked perfectly on the Deck, except that you had to map Escape to one of the unused buttons since you couldn't get out of some menus otherwise.
Got the game for free a few years back.

Retired

Got this in a 1C bundle a year or so back. It's a bit charming, and a novel idea. But it felt really puzzly, where you only had one real way of progressing out of a specific room. And you are supposed to speed read a moving text on some levels, while trying to figure out what to do, and dodging obstacles at the same time.

Retired

From the same game bundle. A top-down stealth game. Had to switch to GE-Proton to get the cutscenes to play, but after that it worked alright.
Story wasn't that interesting, and the gameplay felt a bit sluggish. The cutaway scenes when you take down guards had some really stiff animations. It was also a bit confusing of where the game actually wanted you to go. And this in the tutorial map. Example:
You get to a road block with soldiers, and your handler tells you to use the alleys instead of approacing the road block to avoid the enemies.
So, I turned around, walked a few steps back and into an alley, that was a dead end.
I was instead supposed to walk forward towards the road block, and then turn down on a side road (not an alley) to continue the game.

Ehh..... Pass.
 

Virtual Ruminant

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Finished Alt-Frequencies (Accidental Queens, ARTE France / PID Games, 2019)

An audio-game (there are visuals, but they are optional - the game can in fact be played with the screen completely off and has native screen-reader support as well) take on the point-and-click adventure genre. You listen to several radio stations and record key snippets, then send those snippets on to other radio stations to advance the plot. Getting any more specific would get into heavy spoilers territory.

The game's website (click the link behind the game title in this post) has a free prequel to the game that features the same voice-actors, so it's a pretty good demo of what you're getting in the game. It does not have the record / submit mechanic though and is just a choose-your-own-adventure.

The general concept of the game is great and the production is stellar - lots of voice acting, a couple of original songs, but unfortunately the story is so high-concept that none of it was even slightly believable to me.


2.5/5
 
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FunnyJay

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I continue to try out some of the bundle filler from the last couple of years…

Retired


An interesting concept, where you alternate between playing a "hero" in a dungeon, and the ghosts trying to stop the hero.

Really pixelated graphics, and lots of 8-bit vibes.

Sometimes it becomes hard to see what's going on with the low resolution and all the animated blood exploding across the screen.

But it's not a game I can see myself playing much more than this...

Retired


Here we have a game that is worth discussing a bit.

A cyberpunk RTS with clear nods to Syndicate.

But where to start?
Conceptually interesting, but fails on so many levels.

The story begins by explaining that everyone among the common people are completely brainwashed and don't know that they are being exploited.
Classic cyberpunk but always interesting to see where it leads.

Our protagonist enters, says he left his hometown many years ago, but now returned because he doesn't like how people are taken advantage of.
He says he wants to free the people, and begins by brainwashing an innocent person to follow him.
Then he meets his old pal from the past who introduces him to a woman who claims to be looking for a prophet.
And suddenly everyone has decided that he is the new prophet.

He turns off some kind of brainwashing machine and completely changes his persona and titles himself as the Prophet.

Why the protagonist, his old friend and the woman looking for a prophet, were not brainwashed is never explained.

So this was (just!) the first mission in the game.
In mission 2, the prophet first expressed some concern that this was not how he wanted to help people.
A minute later he brainwashes people again and kills those who oppose him...

The voice acting ranges from mediocre (the prophet) to abysmal (the rest of the characters). It really feels like they grabbed the nearest person in the office to record some lines.

But what about the gameplay? Well…
There is some uniqueness in that you have to recruit civilian NPCs and then convert them to the class of unit you need.
Very reminiscent of the Persuadatron from Syndicate.
In practice, this is the very tedious to manage.
Units don't live long in battles so you have to constantly recruit new people.

Pathfinding in the game isn't very good, and it is hard to tell from the map where you can and can't go.

It feels like they shoved in a lot of features and abilities that in the end don't really lead anywhere.
Of course there is "moral" choices to make (which don't seem to affect anything).

So, by the time I got to the fourth mission (out of nine missions) I felt like I'd witnessed everything I wanted from the game.

Interesting concept for a game. Abysmal execution.
 

Virtual Ruminant

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Finished Tails Noir (formerly known as Backbone) (Eggnut / Raw Fury, 2019)

Successfully crowdfunded and initially published under the name "Backbone", Tails Noir is a visual novel with point-and-click adventure looks and platformer controls.

The game has been somewhat controversial ever since its crowdfunding campaign ended - hardly any of the images that can be seen on the archived Kickstarter page appear in the finished game, some gameplay mechanics such as stealth & action platforming gameplay were omitted in the final game and the voiceover stretch goal was never delivered, leading to lots of negative user reviews by disgruntled Kickstarter backers on release.

What is in the game is still impressive though: Fantastic pixel graphics and animations depicting an imaginary Vancouver, Canada populated by anthropomorphic animals, a substantial original soundtrack that includes original songs and a true noir plot, still a rarity in video games.

While the plot, characters and the world-building are strong, the dialogue-writing is somewhat hit or miss, which is a shame since having conversations is pretty much the whole game and the only means to move the story forward. What's more, a lot of the conversations are optional, so it's easily possible to miss roughly half of the content of the game by only talking to characters required to progress. I took my time to find every interact-able character and have every conversation possible and got to 7.5 hours of playtime that way, but it's easily possible to just breeze through the game in half the time.

I enjoyed this game quite a lot, particularly for its uncompromising noir plot that has irritated a lot of reviewers, including professional games journalists.

It's hard to give warnings or consumer advice without getting into spoiler territory for this game, so I'll try to keep it as abstract as possible: Given the trailer (or the playable demo, which is still available on GeForce Now), it's very easy to assume that the game tells a hardboiled detective story, but it's not - it's a true noir, and knowing the difference is key to not be disappointed or confused by the ending. The other bit of consumer advice I can give is: The game does regularly go on sale for up to 80% off and given its length, it's a good idea to take advantage of such a deal.


3.5/5

Previously reviewed in this thread here.



Also finished There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension (Draw Me A Pixel, 2020)

A puzzle comedy game with a lot of gaming-related meta-humor and satire both in the plot and the actual gameplay mechanics. Best enjoyed unspoiled.

The game works best when the puzzles click quickly, but unfortunately sometimes the solutions are just a bit too much on the absurd side and get dangerously close to point-and-click-adventure moon logic. There is a built-in hint function, but I got stuck twice despite the hint function and had to consult an external walkthrough. Ultimately the gags are so good, the jokes land so well and the voice-acting performances are so spot-on to make me immediately forgive and forget any temporary frustrations.

The soundtrack by Xiaotian Shi deserves a special mention, it consistently goes above and beyond what anybody could reasonably expect for such a small and oddball game and near the game's climax throws in an original song with full orchestral accompaniment that could easily feature in a broadway musical or a James Bond film soundtrack.

Bad news for Steam Deck owners however: No controller support and requires rapid mouse movements in key moments, so mouse-emulating controller profiles will not help.


3.5/5

Previously reviewed in this thread here.



Also finished Valley (Blue Isle Studios. 2016)

Technically a first person shooter, but with such a strong focus on exploration and 3D platforming that the occasional shooting really seems more of a distraction than anything else. The player character controls a kind of exoskeleton that allows for greatly enhanced running speed, jump height and almost no fall damage, which gets further enhanced with upgrades found during the course of the game. There's also a collectathon element with two distinct sets of collectibles - and some suit upgrades can only be claimed if enough of the collectibles have been found.

There is a story that is being told through documents found in the game world and occasional audio-logs that builds an alternate history around World War 2 and allied weapons research such as the Manhattan Project.

At its best moments, this game feels like a promising prototype for a first-person Sonic the Hedgehog game, when you're blasting through tunnels and valleys at full speed. The graphics are a bit dull with little detail in both textures and modelling and often reminded me of late 00s/early 10s Unreal Engine 3 games. There is a whole original soundtrack as well, but it often felt over the top and not particularly well matched to the action on screen to me. The story is also somewhat hit or miss - the world building is good, but the writing that takes itself quite seriously never quite managed to pull me in and suspend my disbelief.

There is also a lot of missed potential in the level design - the game does allow the player to revisit any of the levels at any point (to look for collectibles), but thanks to some additional movement options unlocked through suit upgrades towards the end of the game, there's a huge potential for this game to turn into a true first-person metroidvania where backtracking and re-exploring earlier levels could be really fun and rewarding, but it's left unrealized and that really puts a damper on replay value.


3/5



Also finished Planet Alpha (Planet Alpha / Team17, 2018)

A puzzle platformer with stunning, 1950s-Science Fiction-inspired visuals and a great soundtrack to match.

Unfortunately it is really let down by bad level design - be it stealth sections, action set-pieces or just skill platforming, the game hardly ever gives the player a chance to figure out a course of action beforehand to try and execute and instead is just happy to let players figure it out by dying over and over.

Not only does that get old really quickly, but for me it also really clashed with the mood of the game - I really wanted to explore, take in the amazing presentation and solve puzzles with the game's main unique mechanic that lets the player fast-forward and rewind the game's dynamic day/night cycle, which changes parts of the levels, but instead the game just tried its best to get me killed unfairly every few minutes.

By the time I got to the game's good ending, which is unlocked by finding four missable collectibles, and by itself really quite well made and clever, more than anything else I felt thankful that the ordeal was over.


2.5/5
 

fantomena

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Finished The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Nintendo Switch).



Took me "105 hours of more" according to my Switch while BOTW took me 60 hours or more. Great game overall, interesting and often beautiful world with lots of stuff to discover. The different abilities you get throughout the game (building, ascend etc.) makes the game very flexible and fun to play and changes the game a lot from BOTW.

The negatives are that I found the story to be somewhat mediocre, felt very disconnected from BOTW, the depths are quite ugly and not as interesting as I had hoped and the 4 temples (dungeons) were far from as good as the dungeons in the more "linear" Zelda games.

Otherwise, I actually found the open world to be more interesting and fun to explore than in BOTW. Still dislike that weapons can brake, but liked the fuse mechanic that could make shields and weapons stronger.

Score: 9/10
 
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fantomena

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Finished


The best part about the game is the art style, game looks great, music, sound and I mostly enjoyed the gameplay even though I did find it somewhat basic and repetive. What I did not enjoy is the very uninteresting and boring story, you play through a bunch of different characters, all have their backstories and 4 chapters, but it was never interesting, didn't like that there wasn't an overall story arc to follow and game felt very repetive.

Score: 7.8/10
 
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fantomena

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Finished 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim (Playstation 5)



Alright, on my 3rd attempt on this game I played through it, needed some time to get it to click and become more interesting, the first 40% was quite uninteresting and rather boring, then it became better.

First and foremost, just like other Vanillaware games, 13 Senintels is a gorgeus looking game, great art style. Good sound and good music.

The game is like half visual novel half combat. There are 2 main modes, Rememberance which is the story, there are like 13 characters you have to play through 100% completion on each, new characters to play are unlocked as you play as other characters, it sort of like a point and click game, you have to find clues and such, you have like a word cloud that you use to talk with other people and progress each character. The other mode is called Destruction where you defeat enemies in a sort of wave mode in a matrix-like setup, there are 4 chapters and each chapter has a bunch of waves you have to play through, you also use points you get from completing each wave to upgrade weapons, your mech etc.

Each mode is reliant on the other, you can't play through the whole story mode and then play through the whole combat mode, the game will tell you when you need to switch to one of the modes and continue it.

The story got really interesting and good after completing 40% of the game, but there is a lot of repetive environments and texts that dragged the game down for me.

Score: 8/10
 
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Linkark07

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Apr 18, 2019
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Finally finished Rise of the Triad Ludicrous Edition. All the episodes.



What a blast. Rise of the Triad was one of my favorite games when I was a kid. I'm glad Nightdive remastered it; there weren't many good source ports out there to replay it.

Overall, how well the game aged depends if you liked the original or not. Or if you can stomach facing the same enemies and love exploding them. Personally, it doesn't get old.

Extreme Rise of the Triad has a reputation of being extremely hard. And it is true. But the improvements in the new engine has lowered the difficulty. While I enjoyed it, I would rate it the lowest episode.

Something I have loved of these Nightdive remasters is they are including brand new episodes. The Hunt Continues is a great addition to the series. It is kind of a mix of Dark War and Extreme ROTT: difficult, but still fair. One of my biggest complaints about Dark War was how they didn't mix enemies. Like, when the monks are introduced, the robots disappear and the guards only appear in a few levels of Episode 4. Here, they don't mind mixing them. ROTT has an issue which there isn't too much enemy variety. Episode IV of Dark War turns into a chore because you are only dealing with monks. And in Extreme ROTT, it is usually Enforcers (Eat Lead!) Now you have guards, robots and monks mixed together to make your life hell.

Finally, I found it funny El Oscuro is now fleeing from you. He actually appears in many levels, almost always at the exit, running. What is most funny is that he is the one responsible of his own predicament.

Also a final shoutout to the music: it is still amazing. Lee Jackson did a superb job composing this soundtrack.

Overall, a solid 8/10 for me. As for the episodes, I would rate them: The Hunt Continues > Dark War > The Hunt Begins > Extreme ROTT.
 

Virtual Ruminant

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Finished Broken Pieces (Elseware Experience / Freedom Games, 2022)

An unusual action-adventure with a strong focus on exploration and puzzles.

The default game mode has a throwback fixed-camera system, with two fixed camera angles per scene that the player can freely switch between at any time. A patch added an alternative mode that has an over-the-shoulder follow camera instead (the modes can only be chosen at the start of the game and not changed later) and also a reduced-combat mode.

I played fixed-camera with reduced combat since I was in the mood for a mystery-exploration game, and that's pretty much what I got - the puzzles aren't too hard and they do not interlock, so the gameplay is fairly linear, even though the player can freely roam through the game world as more and more locations are unlocked during the course of the game. Moving between major locations will take a certain fixed in-game time (the player character has a watch that can be used to check the current time of day) and the player has to take care to be back at home before 8 p.m. every day, otherwise bad things will happen.

Combat is fairly basic shooting, spiced up by a restricted supply of "good" ammunition (while basic ammunition is infinitely available), so inventory management and collecting items to craft more ammunition comes into play.

The game has some very striking visual features and a generally great look - the little fictional French coastal town it takes place in is immediately believable and enjoyable to explore.

In general, this game is very French - the location, the characters, the artwork and textures in the game, such as signposts, graffiti and others, it's all French and translated in subtitles or by the narration of the player character. There is also a complete French voice-over dub and it's somewhat better acted than the English one (I switched back and forth quite a lot, my Duolingo French isn't quite on the level yet). And the game's original soundtrack that includes half a dozen original songs with lyrics - yes, some of them are French, too.

This is another indie game with a very small development team taking on a really ambitious project and it does show in places. The player character animation isn't quite on the level of the world it inhabits and there are outright bugs in the game, especially regarding the inventory. I managed to crash to an Unreal Engine stack-trace window five times during my playthrough and every time it was related to my inventory - for instance, the game does not cope well with the player just dumping certain items in a location, going to sleep, then coming back the next day to pick them up. None of the crashes were ultimately game-breaking or required me to sacrifice progress, but they had me worried at some points.

The story is a mystery plot with retro-sci-fi elements (the game takes place in the early 1990s) that is very good at keeping you guessing what is going on - until the very sudden and rather prosaic ending. It is very much about the journey rather than the payoff.

I enjoyed this game a lot, even though it lacks polish in some places and is outright buggy in others - it makes up for it with its unusual scenario, great atmosphere, the combination of features and mechanics and great looks.


3.5/5



Also finished Aspire: Ina's Tale (Wondernaut Studio / Untold Tales, 2021)

It is a quite short (3-5 hours playtime) puzzle platformer with very stylish design and an atmospheric soundtrack. It reminded me of GRIS and many reviewers on Steam seem to have felt the same way.

The key differences to GRIS are that the player character can die and the gameplay never really breaks out from quite basic puzzle platforming (mostly pushing boxes around and carrying an item here and there). Unfortunately the game is also somewhat buggy, I managed to get myself soft-locked in a puzzle section once and one other time the level only loaded in part-way and I ended up falling out of the level into a previous level - took me a few minutes to realize that this was a bug at all and not intentional.

Thanks to the short game length and modest difficulty of the puzzles and mostly non-violent gameplay (the player character doesn't fight anything directly, but can die from falling and to the final boss - beating the boss requires puzzle-platforming within time constraints), I'd say this is probably a good game for younger players or newcomers to the genre.


3/5
 
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fantomena

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Finished Disney Illusion Island (Ryujinx)



A pretty, but very easy and often boring metroidvania. Took me 5 hours to beat, the first 40-50 min is very boring and almost quit it because it was so easy. There is no combat, only plattforming, so any enemies you come across must be jump over or somehow ignored, I like the concept, but the first part of the game also has so easy plattforming due to lack of abilities (you get different abilities later on) that it became boring. The game did get better after getting new abilities, but overall, a mostly easy game. There are also some bosses, but they also felt repetive and boring.

Other than that there are collectibles to find which unlocks extra stuff like gallery to see pictures and art from the game and such. Game is really good looking and some of the level design is pretty good too, especially during the last portion of the game, the game also got a bit more difficulty. Story is okay. Music is nice.

Score: 7/10
 

Mivey

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Sep 20, 2018
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Just finished Yakuza 6: Song of Life



The last game in the "Kiryu Saga", as I would call all previous games, as the series introduces a new mainline protagonist going forward. Coming from Yakuza 5, this is ultimately a much smaller game, which also fits as it focuses on a more personal story around Kiryu and Haruka too. The plot feels like an apt summary of his entire life so far, striving to live a normal happy live, but never being able to achieve it due to the demons of his past. With this one it is made more urgent, as we see how these demons are affecting the closest person he has to a child, Haruka.



Finding out the mystery of what happened to her, and how she came to be in the situation we find her in (not giving details here as I don't want to spoil anything), was a huge draw, and ultimately very rewarding. At least on the personal side. The "Yakuza" side of things feels, usual, pretty chaotic, hard to follow and ultimately very shallow. Powerful people who hunger for more power, doing really dumb things to stay in power and Kiryu always managing to be in the middle of it all and having to beat his way out of it. It's getting a bit old.
The whole nonsense with the Yamato really came out of left-field and the game basically forgets about it after it's been revealed. I hope having a hero who isn't Kiryu and always in the front center due to his title of "4th Chairman of the Tojo Clan" will help making these plots feel a bit more interesting in future games. At this point I'm equally sick of it as Kiryu clearly is.


The substories in this one were really good, tons of memorable stuff here. The Clean Creator minigame is a bit spoilt if you play the games in chronological order, since they revisited the idea in Yakuza Kiwami 2 and it was far more interesting there. The baseball mingame feels really boring as you have only minimal control over things, and the spearfishing minigame is fun initially, but just drags on for far too long. So hit and mostly miss on the minigame part, but overall quality of substories was good, at times reaching the best of Yakuza 0, even if it doesn't have the quantity of high quality substories that it has.


Visually Y6 is really superb. I loved my time in the small fishing village of Onomichi, stunningly beautiful and a great contrast to Kamurocho. Kinda makes Yakuza 5 look bad, I found the non-Kamurocho, non-Dotenbori, maps there felt pretty barebones and tiny. Yakuza 6 shows how this is done.

Overall a great send-off to a great video game hero. Sadly, I doubt Sega will truly let him rest, given what I already glimpsed about newer games. Poor Kiryu
 

spiel

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Apr 17, 2019
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Retired Semblance

Great concept but I found the solutions required too much set up for my liking. I heard a lot of good things about it, but the game just didn't click with me.

Retired Merchant of the Skies

There's a hint of some trade management elements in there but it felt too grindy and I wasn't compelled to invest that amount of time to complete the campaign.
 

Joe Spangle

Playing....
Apr 17, 2019
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Almost finished Baldur's Gate 3...


Great game, lots of fun. Very interesting characters, story and gameplay. I like turn based and this game has loads of options for winning fights. Its nice looking, has a detailed world. Up there with the best crpgs.

Minor negative points were that the inventory management was a bit rubbish using a controller. I had collected so much stuff it was hard to sort through and not very intuitive, although that was because of some bugs which i think have been addressed now.
Also the camera could be a bit annoying, not able to get quite the right position sometimes. Mods probably sort that out though.
I fell into a bit of a pattern with my combat, more my issue than the games, I don't think I was that inventive with spells and stuff so maybe playthrough no2 i need to be more experimental with stuff.
Performance took some hits but maybe thats been upgraded with some patches. At one point it was dropping to singe fps on my 3090 which was disappointing. Restarting the game would sometimes sort it out so maybe some sort of memory leak, I do'nt know.

Overall its a great game though, one of the best this year. I haven't finished it but only because I'm gutting our living room to decorate and had to pack away the PC. I'll probably get back into the game but not for a while.

9/10
 

AHA-Lambda

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Oct 9, 2018
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Finished 13 Sentinels (PS4) 7.5/10



I can see why people really like this game, and there's not much I can say about it that hasn't already been said without going into spoiler territory, so in brief:

  • Indeed it's a very cleverly constructed story, and if you're a story driven player who wants something different I think it absolutely ticks that box
  • On the other hand I was originally close to dropping the game as over the course of ~35 hours , I'd estimate the ~25-40% mark is bit rough frankly, so much is being presented to you and at that stage in the story you won't know (or at least I didn't) enough to start joining the dots. It starts to feel like a lot of stuff is being presented and lots of things are happening but it's difficult to appreciate any of it.
  • Similarly, less of a concern but still notable, as the story is just so god damned dense and with the esoteric way it is told, it can still be hard to appreciate the big picture at times even after completing it. Like I know I have all the jigsaw pieces and have connected it all 90% of the way but there's some last niggling things that remain, that either call for a full read of the in game timeline or a trawl through a wiki (and yes I've done both now)

A very worthwhile and different VN(?) but frustrating at times in how it comes together
 

fantomena

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Finished


A week ago, but forgot to write. I liked it, plays like a classic JRPG, interesting and fun combat system that tries new things, great pixel graphics, writing was mediocre and story was mediocre, but sound and music was great. Big world to explore and quite a few secrets to find. When you progress the story, more combat variations and stuff is unlocked. The pacing was however weird and times and some enemies were quite a bit annoying.

Score: 8.1/10

Finished


Didn't like it as much as Fallen Order, but still a good game. The main negative is that I didn't find the story compelling, felt it lact an overall main arc, lacked focus. Otherwise the planets are fun to explore, it's like a metroidvania-based level design which was great in the game, everything are connected with shortcuts and stuff. Combat is decent, but too many enemies are far too difficulty with this "bullet sponge" stuff where when the enemie has a red glow, you literally cannot block them, too much of that which was very annoying.

You can have 2 "stances" at the time, like 1 with normal wielding of the lightsaber, one with lightsaber in one hand and a blaster in the other (liked this one), another with double-edge lightsaber (like Darth Maul), one with a lightsaber in each hand etc, but you can only have 2 of these active to switch between. There are this white meditations points in the game that acts like a checkpoint to chance stance, upgrade your abilities, skills, fast travel between meditation points etc.

There are collectibles and stuff that you find throughout the levels/planets that allows you to buy cosmetics for Cal, the lightsaber, the blaster and BD-1 (the robot that is always with Cal) and by progressing the story, you unlock more force abilities for Cal.

Overall a fun good game, but the mediocre unfocused story, the somewhat annoying combat system due to the annoying enemies, drags the game down.

Score: 8.3/10
 

Mivey

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Sep 20, 2018
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I retire Ion Fury
The game starts out kinda enjoyable, but there was so far never any one moment that just felt good. Music is lackluster, the maps aren't super interesting and there is also no attempt at any kind of narrative underpinning. I'm not asking for any real story here, just some background. Who is our character, what are we fighting against? I take it it's a bunch of robots, but it's only the pretty mediocre one-liners of our heroine that let me deduce that. No idea why the game couldn't even bother with some basic 2D background and text to just set up a narrative.

But the real reason I'm retiring it, is just how boring the last few levels have become. Way too big, you get lost all the fucking time, and I also run out of ammo super fast. Combine it all, and it's incredibly boring and tedious.
 

LEANIJA

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May 5, 2019
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I retire Ion Fury

there is also no attempt at any kind of narrative underpinning. I'm not asking for any real story here, just some background. Who is our character, what are we fighting against? I take it it's a bunch of robots, but it's only the pretty mediocre one-liners of our heroine that let me deduce that. No idea why the game couldn't even bother with some basic 2D background and text to just set up a narrative.
the game has that; its found under "Read me" in the Main menu, but its very much a 90s-style minimal story (on purpose of course).

For the original game (annoyingly, since the release of Aftershock, you need to start the original campaign first to read the original text):




For Aftershock:

 
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Mivey

MetaMember
Sep 20, 2018
3,918
11,167
113
the game has that; its found under "Read me" in the Main menu, but its very much a 90s-style minimal story (on purpose of course).

For the original game (annoyingly, since the release of Aftershock, you need to start the original campaign first to read the original text):




For Aftershock:

Not sure why they couldn't have a short voiceover that goes over this in a couple lines. Having some actual narrative and wit would have made the game far more enjoyable
 

DrShrapnel

Shuwatch!
Oct 14, 2021
171
393
63
Finished Evil West


Humans versus monsters in a Wild West setting? Sign me up.
It was a fun ride that surprisingly reminded me of God of War. Punchy fisticuffs and a basic assortment of firearms are an ok start. The perks however elevate the whole thing with powerful splashy electrified effects.
You’re free to respec your character for free at respec stations that show up in stages.

Enemy variety is a bit light, so expect to see repeated enemies. Sub bosses also show up repeatedly, with later encounters throwing multiple sub bosses at you at once.

The whole thing is structured like a classic linear action game with cut scenes in between stages. If you’re tired of open world games with things to collect and craft, you might enjoy Evil West.

I was rather lukewarm on it initially, but as I unlocked better offensive attacks the fun ramped up. So much so that instead of uninstalling I’ve started a new game plus, so I can just rip through early enemies.

I wouldn’t drop msrp on it, but on sale for $25 or less? Absolutely.

Score: 7/10
 

spiel

Junior Member
Apr 17, 2019
104
348
63
Completed Bad North

I don't usually play RTS games, but the game basically distills the core of the genre into a very accessible package. Great bite sized experience, took me 9 hours to roll credits. I abandoned two runs midway and finally got the hang of it in the third. It can be very punishing if you don't start off strong, as your failures start snowballing. The later stages only get harder, so there's very little chance for turnaround. The best feature is the instant restart which is basically save-scumming. It helped to reduce the frustration of failure and encouraged experimentation.

Score: 8/10
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
9,588
25,717
113
Finished


An okay soulslike. Good art style and decent music, somewhat interesting world. The gameplay however and the level design was sadly quite mediocre, game felt like a slog to play most of the time and the combat was pretty meh.

Score: 7/10

Finished


Another fun game in the series, 3 zones with 11 levels each plus one boss level (so basically 12 levels), however the devs have remade all the levels from the previous games into this one, so everything from what I can see from the previous games is in here, which I found to be pretty cool. Still, the amount of new levels was very few, wanted more. Also a cool level designer mode what allows you to make your own levels.

Score: 8/10
 

C-Dub

Makoto Niijima Fan Club President
Dec 23, 2018
3,937
11,660
113
Dropped Sea of Stars after 14-ish hours


I really liked the demo of this and I wanted to enjoy the full game. In fact, I did for the first 12-13 hours, but as the stakes of the plot increased, the gameplay did not level up with it. I don't think the narrative was bad, but it wasn't strong enough to drive the game forward on its own, which is what happens sometimes with mechanically shallow games. Sadly, the game's combat and exploration kind of feel one note, barely improving past the 10 hour mark, to the point that the game feels mechanically listless and wanting for a bit more depth. Combined with a basic story, I feel like this just failed to keep my interest.

I think if you're totally new to JRPGs or a kid you might actually find this interesting, but I want something more when I'm being asked to spend 25-30 hours in a game.

I don't think Sea of Stars is bad, but it wasn't respecting my time so I'm saying goodbye.