Reviews Rate the game you finished/retired

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Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
2,759
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113
Belgium
Finished Smile for Me


This is definitely the most creative and funny game I've played this year. You're playing as a florist who ends up in some kind of psychiatric institution, and your goal is to make the other residents smile by solving their problems and grieves. If you succeed, this person gives you an object that you need to make another person smile. Most of the puzzles are clever and make perfectly sense, and the characters you meet are incredibly funny and charming. Very, very recommended!

Score: 9.0/10
 

Mivey

MeatMember
Sep 20, 2018
1,544
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I finished Gris



As someone who has started to develop a bit of a negative opinion towards indie sidescrollers, I was unsure whether I would like this game as much as the hype around would suggest. Gotta say there is no worry of Gris being an unimaginative 2D sidescroller. In fact, it's easily the most stylish game I have ever played. Every single frame in this game feels like a complex hand-drawn painting, with superb composition, incredible details and great use of contrasts.
I really liked how as you progress you don't just unlock the usual abilities of a 2D sidescrolling, like double jumps, but you also unlock colours: the world starts as a purely grey one, and slowly you add the basic colours and see the world transform around you, with trees and rain and water appearing as you progress through the game.


I really liked how Gris tells its "story": purely visually, with no dialogue or clearly understandable actions, even. It's trying to visualise the inner feelings of the protagonist, how they are struggling with their negative emotions. I'm still not completely sure what the game is about. My best hint comes from the achievements, some of which reference the five stages of grief. So the protagonist is grieving over some loss, perhaps? This is all ultimately very subjective, though.


I also really liked the dynamic use of music in this game. It kinda reminds me of the iMuse system in some older Lucasarts games, like Monkey Island 2, where the tune can suddenly get more epic or downbeat, depending on what you are doing, how close you are to some interesting spot for example. I again love how the game manages to naturally go from moments of relative silence, to effectively using a score to highlight what's happening on screen.




Loved my time with this gem, and looking forward to what the developer Nomada will do with their next project.

I rate this game 3 out of 3 primary colours
 

Virtual Ruminant

Junior Member
May 21, 2020
229
548
93
Finished Beckett (The Secret Experiment. 2018).

I learned about this game the other day after reading this review in this thread and thought it sounded interesting enough to squeeze in before the year (and Steam's Winter Sale) is over. It's an interactive fiction game that combines the fundamental mechanics of point-and-click adventure games with a pretty unique, collage-heavy art style.

Pro:
  • The game is a mood-piece and it worked quite well on me. I had to pause and wash up at one point because playing it made me feel dirty.
  • Looks and sounds like nothing else I've ever played, at least outside of really obscure itch.io finds.
Con:
  • That said, for people who have read a book or watched a film or two beyond their high-school curriculum, nothing in this game's words or visuals will be unfamiliar or particularly surprising. There's your Terry Gilliam, there's your David Cronenberg, there's your David Lynch. And a hint of Ken Loach, too. The game opens with a screen announcing that you're about to play a literary work of fiction. Ok, sure. Even considering that nothing's really new under the sun, this felt more like a remix of works of cult classic film.
  • The interactivity-level is pretty low. The game lets you skip things here and there, in some places your choices influence the order in which you get shown stuff. In terms of actual story developments, you can literally count the number of actual differences your choices make on one hand: Two. And yes, an achievement is tied to each. Feels wrong for a game with "literary" ambitions.

This is a deliberately dark, brooding and occasionally disturbing game, but unlike certain other games of that nature this one doesn't frustrate its player. If you were considering re-watching Eraserhead or Naked Lunch or perhaps even Dark City this winter, you're in the right mood to try this game.

4/5
 
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fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
5,861
13,777
113
Finished


Making my 111th finished game this year, won't keep track next year though.

It was quite frankly overall a very lovely, chill and calm game. Cute graphic, story, great narrative and voice acting, nice gameplay. Overall a very enjoyable, cute, calm and chill game that I definetly will recommend. It's pretty much the antithesis of action and intense. No deadline, no timer, no game over, no death, no shooting, just a chill, calm, cute game. I even collected every collectible I found which I rarely do in games these days. Took me a little big over 5 hours to finish. Only negative is that the gameplay got a bit repetive at times.

Score: 8/10.
 
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mssq

lurker
Apr 22, 2019
66
208
33
Managed to finish my 57th game this year!


Game is worthy to being called spiritual successor to first two Paper Mario games. It is lacking some of that Nintendo charm and a bigger budget wouldn't hurt. But it does surpass those two in some aspects like with the more in-depth combat system and the story actually evolves during the game and is well paced. Oh and the game has some pretty catchy tunes as well!

8/10
 
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fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
5,861
13,777
113
Finished


Somewhat rough around the edges and the timeline system confused me somewhat. Still had quite a lot of fun with it as I liked the gameplay the difficulty made the game more fun for me. Quite short though, but a good fun game noneless..

Score: 7.5/10
 

Virtual Ruminant

Junior Member
May 21, 2020
229
548
93
Happy New Year,

this is your quarterly reminder that there is a Google Docs Spreadsheet with links to every review for every game posted in this thread:



At the time of this post, there are 287 reviews for 230 games listed!

The most reviewed game is still Death Stranding with 6 reviews, followed by Carrion with 5, followed by Horizon Zero Dawn / Doom Eternal / Tell Me Why with 4 reviews each.

Keep on playing & posting!
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
5,861
13,777
113
Finished


Took me exactly 1 hour including all the achievements. Loved the game, lovely story, great gameplay, amazing music, fantastic images, overall a fantastic game that I will heavily recommend, felt really grounded and "humane" too. I only wish it was much longer.

Score: 9/10
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
5,861
13,777
113
Finished


Another short, but beautiful game. There are 13 chapters where you repair an object by dissasembling, replacign parts and assembling the object. It's about a girl traveling to a new town away from her parents meeting new people, fixing their stuff and discovering new thoughts about life, people and herself. Lovely gameplay, lovely story, great art style, great images, great animations, great voice acting, overall a gret chill game.

Score: 9/10
 

Javetus

Junior Member™
Sep 17, 2019
468
1,415
93
Finished


Fun game for a while, if you like to paint or are good at it you can do really beautiful paintings. Now, if you are like me, with no painting skills then the gimmick can get old fast since you are very limited by your own skills.

Otherwise a fun and relaxing experience.

6.5/10


Finished



Look, my last Call of Juarez game was that absolute garbage called The Cartel, this tries a more arcade-y approach and it does wonders. Just don't come searching for a deep plot or a serious game, just 4-5 hours of shooting.

7/10


Finished



This is a hard one, the enviroments and sound are great, and you have a lot of freedom on how to approach missions in this cyberpunk dystopia.

The bad things tho, almost no plot, most of the missions don't progress the story at all so it can get really repetitive. You can play however you want, but it shows that stealth is the developers choice since cloacking is op and gunfights are really hard to win.

I really enjoyed the world but I started getting bored towards the end, so take it as you like.
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
5,861
13,777
113
You've been on fire lately, so many finished games! Don't forget to eat, sleep and take a walk outside now and then 😊
Well I have a lot of spare time so far (but not for long, school and studies starts soon) and the games I have finished so far are short, 1-4 hours.

My problem is that whenever I start on a game that takes 10+ hours I use A LOT of time. A game taking 15 hours to finish can take me 2-3 weeks.

I simply suck at finishing games longer than 10 hours, that's why I like to play shorter games often.
 

Virtual Ruminant

Junior Member
May 21, 2020
229
548
93
My problem is that whenever I start on a game that takes 10+ hours I use A LOT of time. A game taking 15 hours to finish can take me 2-3 weeks.

I simply suck at finishing games longer than 10 hours, that's why I like to play shorter games often.
Same.
 
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bobnowhere

Careful Icarus
Sep 20, 2018
1,268
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75. Dead Space 3 - Replaces the suffocating claustrophobia of the 1st with shoot/bang jump scares and a weirdly encouraged co-op system. There is this other character that hangs around, not helping in fights, reappearing and disappearing like a fart in the wind at the most inconvenient times and generally making a nuisance of himself. He really should have been AI controlled as some content is gated off as co-op only and the game still uses origin to find partners. There is a new highly detailed gun customisation system but, let's face it, it's not dead space if you are using anything other than the Plasma cutter. ★★★ 1/2

76. Dead Space Awakened - Short and not particularly interesting coda to Dead Space 3. Reuses a lot of locations and for the price is an insult. ★ 1/2
 
OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
2,759
8,599
113
Belgium
Retired Age of Wonders: Planetfall


I did my very best to like this game because it looks and sounds great, but it can't keep me interested at all. I've finished the (half-baked) tutorial and 3 of the campaign missions, but the story and exploring the world map are so boring and didn't excite me at all. The turn-based combat isn't very good either, so I ended up auto-resolving most of the battles. This game obviously isn't for me

Score: 5.5/10
 

Bonfires Down

Junior Member
Nov 18, 2019
197
466
63


Little Nightmares

It's a lot like INSIDE. And likewise, the gameplay here is pretty simple. I would have liked if there was a bit more to it, but I understand
if the devs didn't want any roadblocks in what is primarily a cinematic type game.

The art and the setting is fucking amazing, even better than INSIDE to me. It's a children's horror book come to life in the best way possible. Overall I really enjoyed Little Nightmares. Please be aware that I'm using something close to the EDGE scale, so this score is not by any means bad.

7.5/10





Hexen

The combat feels good, and the level design is fun and creative. But, even in the second level I've had my fair share of frustration pulling a switch and then having to search the whole level again to find what's changed. And these levels are pretty maze-like. I'd consider playing it with a walkthrough, but the ones I've found are either pure text or just video and I don't think either is ideal. I might have to drop this, which sucks as I enjoyed most of it. Doesn't seem like the sequel is any better at showing you the way forward either.

Doesn't want to be played/10
 

Mivey

MeatMember
Sep 20, 2018
1,544
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I recently finished Wattam.


This feels like a spiritual sequel to Katamari Damashi. The same idea of taking every day objects and trying to look at them through new eyes. In Katamari Damashi it was about exploring things from the smallest scales and increasing it until you could interact easily with skyscrapers.
In Wattam, the focus is on actions and relations between objects. The mouth eats fruit, and produces .. well .. poop. The story itself is functional enough, and I liked the idea of focusing on the impermanence of things, of the understanding how valuable something is which you often only get after losing it.

Great and very short experience. Absolutely loved it.


Also finished The Unfinished Swan.

It's nice to see Giant Sparrow's first game, after What Remains of Edith Finch was released earlier this year. I must say I enjoyed this one a lot of more. It has the same incredibly creative spark as What Remains, but the tone is much more enjoyable and not needlessly grim-dark and bleak. What Remains is probably the better game, but Unfinished Swan is the more enjoyable one.
Really looking forward what this team comes up with in the future.
 

Javetus

Junior Member™
Sep 17, 2019
468
1,415
93
Finished


This was a Youtube darling some years ago, it's ok, music and sound are great aswell as the environment and the creepy feeling. The horror... not so much, too many jumpscares and sometimes it feels like the developers were just checking a list of horror clichés: ghosts? check creepy doll? check jumpscare opening a door? check.

I still feel like it's worth to try if you are a horror fan but not worth that much that you have to do all the endings since the game doesn't change that much.

The DLC is ok, like 1 hour long and the horror stuff it's really toned down, it relies more on the overall creepy and surreal feeling.


Finished


Ok so the only experience I had in the Half-Life franchise was Half-Life 1 back in the day. Black Mesa is a difficult game for me, the visual and sound design are superb, it really feels like a huge step forward and it's great to see so many memories in a more modern presentation.

But the game has some pacing issues for me, there are some sections that feel too long and Xen... well I'm again in a difficult position, Xen was the worst part for me in the Original Half Life and Xen in Black Mesa is just beautiful, great feeling of an alien world but it drags soooo loooong.

Again despite its flaws this is a classic and honestly I recommend just playing this instead of the ancient first one.
 
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Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
2,759
8,599
113
Belgium
Finished Zwei: The Arges Adventure


Zwei: The Arges Adventure is a very charming RPG that does many things right: a charming story and characters, exciting combat, excellent graphics and great dungeon design. Unique in this game is that you earn XP by using healing items, which works remarkably well.

On the other hand, this is a game from the PS2 era, and some design decisions didn't age very well. I can live with the unskippable cutscenes and clunky interface. But constantly having to run around figuring what to do becomes extremely annoying after a while. Be prepared to search the same area's over and over again to find a certain object or a new passage you can open.

I rarely use guides when playing games, but for this game is was mandatory for me to enjoy it.

Score: 6.9/10
 

Mivey

MeatMember
Sep 20, 2018
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I rarely use guides when playing games, but for this game is was mandatory for me to enjoy it.
I didn't use a guide, but I actually ended up using a notebook to list all the dungeons and their levels.
That's literally the only way to keep in your head where you need to go next. So, very old school I guess :p
 
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Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
2,759
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Belgium
I didn't use a guide, but I actually ended up using a notebook to list all the dungeons and their levels.
That's literally the only way to keep in your head where you need to go next. So, very old school I guess :p
Respect for finishing this game without a guide! I started using a guide when I had to find that missing kid "somewhere in the forest", meaning I had to go through every f*cking dungeon in the forest again. I know that's how games were 20 years ago, but it feels like a waste of time nowadays.
 

FunnyJay

Powered by the Cloud
Apr 6, 2019
676
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Sweden


Finished XCOM 2: War of the Chosen on easy (ain't got time for anything harder than that).

This is an extreme improvement on an already excellent game. The changes made to the strategic layer gives you a lot more options in how you play type campaign.

Just like XCOM: Enemy Within, with this expansion, there's really not much reason to play the base game anymore.

The Templars (my starting unit in the campaign) are extremely useful if you know how to use them. Rend combined with Reaper creates a total killing machine.

The Reapers are good for stealth but not much else.
And I personally did not find much use for the Skirmishers.

Managed to kill all the Chosen way before the campaign neared its end and I actually missed their appearances in the later parts of the campaign.

Mostly, I'm glad that I managed to start and complete my campaign during my parental leave, since my gaming time is quite limited at the moment. Playing a mission or even a few turns here and there has been really great.

What I liked:
• The new hero classes, especially the Templar
• The Chosen encounters
• The addition of the Lost on certain missions.
• The new changes to the strategic layer

What I didn't like:
• The campaign can drag on a bit in the later half, when you're waiting for the final research projects to finish and in the meantime are forced to go on random missions that interrupt your flow.
• Almost too many facilities to build, so you almost don't have enough slots in the Avenger to fit them all.
• It's very easy to build the Psi Lab too late and not getting very far with your Psi operatives

Score: 9/10
 

Avern

Junior Member
May 14, 2020
109
326
63
Finished The Outer Worlds. I knew going in that I shouldn't expect Obsidian's best work, but I'm honestly shocked at how much I disliked the game by the end.

The beginning was really strong. Meeting the guard who prioritizes repeating his company slogan over asking for help for his bullet wound (inflicted by his own company's gun misfiring) was great, and the initial trip through Edgewater kept the ultra-bleak black comedy flowing. Then the storytelling fell apart.

It seemed like in just about every quest, the game tries to pair off two conflicting groups, usually a corporation vs an independent. And each time, the game comes up with a way to make it so that rejecting the corporation outright is a terrible idea, and proposes that the best solution is always compromise. The first time it happened was irritating, because I hadn't spotted the pattern yet. I supported Adelaide's group over Edgewater, and when the game revealed that Adelaide was going to let most of the Cannery workers starve instead of integrating them into her community, it felt like a gotcha more than a natural consequence. Maybe it's because her camp had so few NPCs, but I didn't encounter any sort of telegraph that Adelaide was going to behave so coldly. Even if she did, I reasoned that it was better in the long run, so whatever. Later, a similar thing plays out on Monarch, with the MSI and the Iconoclasts. Except on Monarch, the Iconoclast leader is painted as a completely irresponsible buffoon, compared to the nice widdle CEO who doesn't tweat his workers as badwy as the other Corpos.

The game felt like it needed to propose multiple different approaches to dealing with the Board, where no solution was perfect, but instead it always posed the situations as The Board vs some asshole conjured from thin air to be comparably bad to the board. The game often seemed confused that I was trying to reject the corporations outright. One quest in Roseway straight up didn't give me a sensible option to engage with the bandits, because the game thought it was a choice between supporting Auntie Cleo's or being a lawless thief, seemingly forgetting that stealing the information to help the Groundbreaker was even on the table.

The game seems to genuinely think that letting the corporations continue to run amok would be the best option, as long as you could insert slightly more compassionate middle-managers into the process. It's infuriating, and it undercuts the game's own lore, given that the corporations are responding to the food shortage they caused by literally murdering people en masse.

But my problems don't end with the plot, because the gameplay was miserable too. The game works so hard to copy the mechanical loop of Fallout New Vegas, so you spend a massive amount of the time scavenging and looting for supplies. Now I don't want to call Fallout 4 a good game, but the decision in that game to make the junk you collect contribute towards base-building and crafting meant that a very scavenging-focused gameplay loop made sense. In The Outer Worlds, 99% of the shit you pick up is meaningless, but vacuuming up mountains of food and drink you'll never consume is the core of the game. It took me just shy of 25 hours to finish my playthrough, and it felt like half of that was dealing with my inventory.

The game also thinks shooting is way more critical than it is, so the worlds have combat encounters placed with comical density. Animals and marauders and rogue robots will be sitting within spitting distance of each other. It feels like they settled on smaller environments, and decided they needed more density to compensate for the lack of scale. But there's not that many types of enemies and the combat isn't particularly satisfying, so it just results in endless tedium, repeating the same encounters over and over. Bizarrely, the game seems to recognize that it's combat might be best skipped right at the end, where you get multiple locations you can just waltz through for free if you have even halfway decent dialog skills. In the final area, I literally skipped every single encounter other than the final fight, and without even hitting any terribly hard dialog checks along the way.

Now part of my gameplay gripes are my own fault, since I played on Supernova, which might be the worst implementation of an extra-hard difficulty I have ever experienced. To be fair to me, everything it promised sounded good. I like a challenge, I hate fast travel, and the survival elements could've made things a bit more interesting. In practice, the game's constant looting means you never want for food/water, so the survival elements are pointless. The game constantly respawning its boring enemies along the roads means the lack of fast travel gets really frustrating really fast. The saving system is a disaster, since it functionally means the optimal strategy is to constantly walk back to the nearest loading zone to trigger an autosave: pure tedium. Permadeath companions is a nightmare since they love wandering into danger. And the actual difficulty of combat seems to come from the enemies having gigantic damage output, but in a kind of random way. Most of the time when I died or lost a companion, it felt like bad luck more than any real mistake on my part.

So uhhh, bad plot, bad politics, bad gameplay, bad optional difficulty mode... but it wasn't all bad. The writing was good, even if the story wasn't. I really liked Parvati. The science weapons were fun. The art direction was excellent too. It's not completely devoid of value, but the downsides were just too much for me. I feel like people were being awfully generous in their takes on this game, possibly because Fallout 76 was happening around then.
 

Mivey

MeatMember
Sep 20, 2018
1,544
4,547
113
Finished The Outer Worlds. I knew going in that I shouldn't expect Obsidian's best work, but I'm honestly shocked at how much I disliked the game by the end.

The beginning was really strong. Meeting the guard who prioritizes repeating his company slogan over asking for help for his bullet wound (inflicted by his own company's gun misfiring) was great, and the initial trip through Edgewater kept the ultra-bleak black comedy flowing. Then the storytelling fell apart.

It seemed like in just about every quest, the game tries to pair off two conflicting groups, usually a corporation vs an independent. And each time, the game comes up with a way to make it so that rejecting the corporation outright is a terrible idea, and proposes that the best solution is always compromise. The first time it happened was irritating, because I hadn't spotted the pattern yet. I supported Adelaide's group over Edgewater, and when the game revealed that Adelaide was going to let most of the Cannery workers starve instead of integrating them into her community, it felt like a gotcha more than a natural consequence. Maybe it's because her camp had so few NPCs, but I didn't encounter any sort of telegraph that Adelaide was going to behave so coldly. Even if she did, I reasoned that it was better in the long run, so whatever. Later, a similar thing plays out on Monarch, with the MSI and the Iconoclasts. Except on Monarch, the Iconoclast leader is painted as a completely irresponsible buffoon, compared to the nice widdle CEO who doesn't tweat his workers as badwy as the other Corpos.

The game felt like it needed to propose multiple different approaches to dealing with the Board, where no solution was perfect, but instead it always posed the situations as The Board vs some asshole conjured from thin air to be comparably bad to the board. The game often seemed confused that I was trying to reject the corporations outright. One quest in Roseway straight up didn't give me a sensible option to engage with the bandits, because the game thought it was a choice between supporting Auntie Cleo's or being a lawless thief, seemingly forgetting that stealing the information to help the Groundbreaker was even on the table.

The game seems to genuinely think that letting the corporations continue to run amok would be the best option, as long as you could insert slightly more compassionate middle-managers into the process. It's infuriating, and it undercuts the game's own lore, given that the corporations are responding to the food shortage they caused by literally murdering people en masse.

But my problems don't end with the plot, because the gameplay was miserable too. The game works so hard to copy the mechanical loop of Fallout New Vegas, so you spend a massive amount of the time scavenging and looting for supplies. Now I don't want to call Fallout 4 a good game, but the decision in that game to make the junk you collect contribute towards base-building and crafting meant that a very scavenging-focused gameplay loop made sense. In The Outer Worlds, 99% of the shit you pick up is meaningless, but vacuuming up mountains of food and drink you'll never consume is the core of the game. It took me just shy of 25 hours to finish my playthrough, and it felt like half of that was dealing with my inventory.

The game also thinks shooting is way more critical than it is, so the worlds have combat encounters placed with comical density. Animals and marauders and rogue robots will be sitting within spitting distance of each other. It feels like they settled on smaller environments, and decided they needed more density to compensate for the lack of scale. But there's not that many types of enemies and the combat isn't particularly satisfying, so it just results in endless tedium, repeating the same encounters over and over. Bizarrely, the game seems to recognize that it's combat might be best skipped right at the end, where you get multiple locations you can just waltz through for free if you have even halfway decent dialog skills. In the final area, I literally skipped every single encounter other than the final fight, and without even hitting any terribly hard dialog checks along the way.

Now part of my gameplay gripes are my own fault, since I played on Supernova, which might be the worst implementation of an extra-hard difficulty I have ever experienced. To be fair to me, everything it promised sounded good. I like a challenge, I hate fast travel, and the survival elements could've made things a bit more interesting. In practice, the game's constant looting means you never want for food/water, so the survival elements are pointless. The game constantly respawning its boring enemies along the roads means the lack of fast travel gets really frustrating really fast. The saving system is a disaster, since it functionally means the optimal strategy is to constantly walk back to the nearest loading zone to trigger an autosave: pure tedium. Permadeath companions is a nightmare since they love wandering into danger. And the actual difficulty of combat seems to come from the enemies having gigantic damage output, but in a kind of random way. Most of the time when I died or lost a companion, it felt like bad luck more than any real mistake on my part.

So uhhh, bad plot, bad politics, bad gameplay, bad optional difficulty mode... but it wasn't all bad. The writing was good, even if the story wasn't. I really liked Parvati. The science weapons were fun. The art direction was excellent too. It's not completely devoid of value, but the downsides were just too much for me. I feel like people were being awfully generous in their takes on this game, possibly because Fallout 76 was happening around then.
That's a good catch on the plot points.
I think this is mostly due to the limited scope of the game, where being a true anti-corporatist anarchist just wasn't an option they had the time and money to properly flesh out.
I think most issues you listed, while absolutely valid points, are all due to that one aspect: lack of scope. Taking the formula of New Vegas, which frankly this game is absolutely trying to do, it desperately wants to look like a spiritual sequel to that game, and scaling it down like this is just an exercise in frustration.
 
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Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
2,759
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113
Belgium
Finished Overcooked 2


Very decent cooking game, where you need to cook burgers, pastas and burritos within a strict time limit. There's plenty of variation in the story campaign, with different kitchens and various hazards and moving furniture. The game is designed to play in co-op, but can be played solo as well as it allows you to switch between the two cooks. Very enjoyable!

Score: 8.0/10
 

C-Dub

Makoto Niijima Fan Club President
Dec 23, 2018
1,267
3,778
113
33
Cardiff, Wales
www.playedthat.com
Cyberpunk 2077

So I put 80 hours into this. Not often I can say that about a game.

At first I was a little unsure about this game. The systems felt a little obscure or under-explained, and the gunplay felt a little off, but I quickly got a feel for its systems and how it plays.

And you know what? It doesn't do anything remarkable. It's pretty much a Deus Ex/GTA hybrid, and it does nothing new that either of those games hasn't already done, but my god it is an incredible facsimile of both in all the right ways. This is something I've dreamed of for so long, and to see CDPR, despite all the justified negativity, still pull this off is outstanding.

I wish this game didn't have transphobic imagery, and I wish developers didn't crunch to get this game over the line (and frankly, the console versions aren't even that far yet), but what was produced at the end is a ambitious-yet-safe triumph. It's ambitious in how its merged immersive sims with a GTA-style open world, and safe in in how each of those individual gameplay genres do literally nothing to push it forward in any meaningful way.

Maybe my expectations are lowered because most open world AAA games have fallen into the live service trap and are predominantly shite, and Cyberpunk winds the clock back to GTA IV - when always-online microtransaction live service shit was a vague and undefined fantasy in Yves Guillimot's dreams - but Cyberpunk is the first big budget open world game in a long time that was the complete package, and actually good.

Quests are fun, but mostly samey. They involve driving somewhere, getting out of your car and doing the immersive sim thing. I'd have quite liked to have seen a bit more variety, but not at the expense of working CDPR's staff to death. And what we have is still very engaging and replayable, and I never got bored of it at all.

The writing in the side quests are good, too, if a bit basic. I like that each one has its own story, and you can read about these people's lives on their computers before you go kill them or sneak past them, and then they become a figment on the wind and don't matter any further. That sort of things creates the sense of a living, breathing world.

I also like that side-quests feed into each other. There were a few moments in the game where a choice I made earlier on comes back to bite me on the ass, or work to my benefit, and that interweaving gives you agency even if the path you're on is mostly set in stone.

As for the main story, I've only unlocked one ending, and I'm happy with that. I'm not one of those people who rewinds back and unlocks all the other endings, at least not on the initial run, as my V's story is a one and done thing. And the story was nothing special - it's kind of by-the-numbers lower-case-c cyberpunk fare, and plenty of writers have moved beyond this stuff or done it in more interesting ways since. But it's fine.

And the acting is good - Cherami Leigh as V's female voice is a great performance (to the point that I didn't even realise it was Leigh doing the performance, and I've picked her voice out in a number of things since playing Persona 5), and Keanu Reeves as Johnny Silverhand is obviously the other highlight. Their relationship is solid, and the performance of both actors helps with that. Other than the two stars (I haven't heard male V's voice so I've no idea if that performance is good or not), special props go to Emily Woo Zeller who voiced Panam - it's always great to hear a new voice and looking at her IMDB (no mega huge roles, especially not in games), this is hopefully the start of something good for her.

But now for some negatives.

I'll get the morally bad stuff out of the way first. The transphobia and crunch. I bought Cyberpunk in 2019 - pre-purchased on GOG with an old credit card that I cancelled before 2020 had even begun, and long before any reports of things in this game had come to light. When reading some reports about what was going on, I wanted to cancel my order, but there were a few issues preventing me. Firstly, I couldn't get my money back as the card was long dead, and secondly getting GOG credit is still giving CD Projeckt £50, only I'd be spending it on other games rather than Cyberpunk. I weighed it up and I couldn't see £50 worth of games I wanted on GOG vs playing Cyberpunk, so I kept my order.

That is a super flimsy excuse, and I acknowledge that. But my choices were limited. If I hadn't already pre-purchased I don't think I'd have bought it straight away, or if I'd bought it on Steam rather than GOG I'd have almost certainly got my money back in the form of wallet credit, but since I was stuck with the game I decided to play it. I can't justify the bad things that happened around the game, and I won't. It's inexcusable, and if you feel morally opposed to what CDPR has done I encourage you to not give them any money until they've somehow made it right. At the same time, I'm also not paying £50 for a game I won't play.

Then there's the fact that the game is clearly rushed. I never encountered any game-breaking bugs other than one BSOD that occurred when I started the game up once, but they are immersion breaking and a little annoying. Things like having to save and reload to make your car move, your character glitching in and out of your vehicle and the floor vanished under my feet once or twice were the minor ones. A few slightly more major ones were quests not progressing and character dialogue not loading (i.e. sometimes only hearing V's side of a conversation, or the other way around) Depending on how good your system is, the bugs will be worse, and compounded by poor performance to boot. And if you're planning to play on PS4/Xbox One - don't. Wait until you have a next-gen system, or at least one of the higher-end last gen systems (One X or Pro), before jumping in.

I wish there was just a bit more to the campaign. It feels a little barebones, needing to be padded out by side-stories. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but I felt V's story moved at a little bit of a faster clip than I'd have liked. I think maybe one extra round of missions, maybe a few other side-characters leading to new romances and endings, might've put some flesh on the bones.

As I mentioned above, the game is wanting for some mission variety, too. I wish there were a few more quests that involved driving, or something a bit more high octane and a bit different (in the GTA flavour), which would've given the gameplay a bit more personality and created some memorable moments, which Cyberpunk 2077 is sorely lacking. It is to this game's credit that its gameplay-systems are so well-considered and implemented that you forget the game is lacking some real awesome setpieces until you think about it, but I think having them would've elevated the game to the next level.

Other than that, I don't have much more to say about it. I'll be playing Cyberpunk again once the bugs are ironed out a bit and there's some DLC to enjoy. I enjoyed my time in Night City, and I'm going to genuinely miss V and the characters she associated with. There's a lot of could-haves and should-haves with this game, but the end product is very well made and enjoyable, so other than the moral criticisms (which are very serious), take my negatives for what they are: quibbles.

9/10
 

FunnyJay

Powered by the Cloud
Apr 6, 2019
676
1,340
93
Sweden

XCOM 2: Tactical Legacy Pack

Finished all the legacy operations in the Tactical Legacy Pack!
Got this for free a couple of years ago when it was released. I gotta say, it's really a nice destillation of the core XCOM 2 WOTC combat encounters, with a neat progression of your soldiers throughout the missions.

The story is a bit wacky if you consider what enemies you encounter, even if I can understand why they use the final enemies in the last missions, but lore wise, it feels like Central Officer Bradford is embellishing just a tiny bit... (Avatars deployed on the battlefield long before the events of XCOM 2 where the Avatar project is created?)

Pros:
• Short and sweet
• Gives you a miniaturized XCOM 2 campaign
• Fun ending
• Great 80s/90s inspired soundtrack

Cons:
• Fits weird in the lore

7/10

Hey! Look at that! I already finished the same amount of games I did last year! 🤪
 
OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
2,759
8,599
113
Belgium
Finished Ultimate Doom


Even today, the very first Doom game is still a blast to play thanks to the old-school gameplay and great level design. The ultimate edition contains all 4 episodes and supports modern features like mouse controls, widescreen support and mods. You can use the in-game mod browser to play Romero's recent map pack as well. Wonderfull!

Score: 10/10
 
OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
2,759
8,599
113
Belgium
Finished Crying Suns


I can definitely recommend Crying Suns because it does many things right: great rogue-like mechanics, beautiful pixel art, a very good interface and one of the best stories I've seen in a video game so far. Seriously, the story alone kept me playing until the end, Netflix should make a tv show out of this!

What I didn't like is that the game relies way too much on luck. For the majority of events you encounter, it's impossible to predict how they'll turn out by reasoning. Sometimes the outcome litteraly depends on a 50/50 chance. Most of the money you earn is made by visiting planets, and each visit is nothing more than watching random events turning out good or bad for you. Even while you can choose which crewmember you send on each visit, you have to be lucky to have someone with the right skills in your crew.

The combat is real-time and is very well designed. Sadly it becomes rather repetitive after a while because there are only 3 types of units with a rock-paper-scissor damage system. Also, you can only have 4 units on the battlefield, so many of the battles play out the same. While you can choose out of 6 base ships with different perks, this only has a slight impact on your play style.

Conclusion: Crying Suns is a game with huge potential, that does many things right but can use some improvement for some other things. The good things made it worth it, and I hope we'll see an improved sequel some day.

Score: 7.1/10
 

Joe Spangle

I lurk and I like.
Apr 17, 2019
1,461
4,427
113
Finished Banished... Well, played it a fair bit, its sort of an infinite time game


Charming little city builder. You start as many of these game do - a small band of people with a pile of resources and have to survive and grow your village. It has a nice mechanic in that each villager has a specific roll so management of your population is key. If you want a blacksmith you need someone available to fill the job. You can gain more people by building more houses and hope they have kids. Then once little Timmy comes of age he can be put to work on the farm but what's this?....poor Doris has died at the grand old age of 52 and so now you need someone to cover her work at the herbalist.

I think that's the meat of the game, juggling people as a resource whilst trying to keep enough food and firewood stocked to survive the bleak winters.
It can be a bit slow but if you like city builders then its a pretty good one and can be had for cheap in most sales.

7.5/10
 
OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
2,759
8,599
113
Belgium
Finished Tacoma


Short but exciting narrative adventure game where you're exploring an abandonned space station, using augmented reality logs to find out what happened. Great story, great characters and great graphics. Very recommended!

Score: 8.4/10
 

Avern

Junior Member
May 14, 2020
109
326
63
Got my first win in Meteorfall: Krumit's Tale


Despite being a roguelike deckbuilder, it plays closer to Into the Breach than Slay the Spire. The gimmick here is that instead of your deck vs the enemy, the enemies are shuffled into your deck. So you're encountering the enemies and your tools in a random order, and you have to optimize your sequencing of what cards you buy, which you trash (for a smaller, short-term benefit), what enemies you fight, and what resources you spend on each encounter. It's a lot of options at any moment, and it can feel paralyzing. My runs have been taking well over 2 hours, usually over many play sessions, because I can't maintain the level of focus this game demands for long. Despite that, it's compelling. Recognizing some long sequence of plays that will just barely secure a string of parries and damage break points to clear out some especially tough enemies is satisfying.

The strategic side of the game is less involved. You get a card draft and a perk draft between each level, along with an opportunity to buy and sell cards at a shop if you have the cash (which is rewarded for escaping a level with unused resources). They're not uninteresting decisions, but with only 8 rewards/shops, there's not too much going on there. As a result, I don't expect this game to have the longevity of some other deckbuilders.

My one problem with the game is in the pacing. The first two or three levels of each run are too easy. The enemies and your starting cards just aren't interesting enough. They don't take nearly as long as the later levels, but they feel unnecessary. If the game just gave me a few default cards and perks to take and then tossed me in at stage 4, it would be a pleasant timesaver.

I like it. It's a good time if you think staring at a game and thinking about your options can be as fun as interacting with it.
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
5,861
13,777
113
Finished


Fantastic game, loved it. Great story, great characters, great graphics, great world building, great music fun and exciting combat system. All the different system with skills, upgrade point, source points, crafting etc. are explained very well too which was awesome. Only negatives are that the quest journal doesn't say everything so I had to google a bit around to find what exactly to do and the loot was at times overwhelming. Other than that the game was overall fantastic, loved every minute of it. Larian did an amazing job with this game.

Score: 9/10
 
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Virtual Ruminant

Junior Member
May 21, 2020
229
548
93
Finished Haven (The Game Bakers, 2020).

A very unique genre-blend of a game, with visual-novel style narration and dialog trees, but fully voice-acted, RPG-style exploration and a combat system like active time battle ultra-lite, on speed, and a cozy home base that needs to be managed.

Pro:
  • I think this game has more voice-acted dialog than a 90 minute Disney movie, and it's incredibly good! The characters are nearly always talking to you, in your home-base, during exploration, during combat, and they rarely ever repeat themselves over the course of 15-20 hours of gameplay.
  • This game couldn't have designed a more perfect gameplay loop for me if they had hired me as a play-tester. I had such a hard time putting the controller down and going to sleep (or have a food break) during the whole time I was playing. Come on, let's just finish cleaning up this level, oh I found something, ok let me make them rest and then I can quit - no, hold on, here comes another bit of visual-novel and it's hilarious, okay, now it's the next morning and I can qui- mmh, maybe I should collect a few more fruits for the next meal, in fact, maybe I should cook it so I'll have some when I come back ...
  • Fantastic soundtrack by Danger that kept my head nodding and my foot tapping the entire time I was playing.
  • Charming, confident characters with an endless supply of banter, love for each other and an intriguing situation on their hands, in an interesting and surprisingly deep fictional universe that reveals itself little by little, all through dialogue. Just excellent writing all around.
Con:
  • Although the game saves often, it doesn't always do so when you'd expect it. The general rule is that it saves when you leave a map and enter another (which includes entering or leaving your home base), but it won't save for instance right after having camped out at night.
  • The game is surprisingly hardware-demanding. I played on Gamepass, which gave me access to the Windows 10 and Xbox versions (the game is a true universal platform title on Gamepass, sharing achievements and savegames between console and PC) and my Xbox One X (not Series X!) actually struggled to keep up the 60 FPS, so I played on PC instead. I don't know if the Playstation 4 version is better optimized, but I'd advise general caution if you're thinking about playing this game on last gen consoles.

I've been playing this game concurrently with Spiritfarer, which describes itself as a "cozy management game about death". This game, very unexpectedly, turned out to be somewhat of a mood inversion - a cozy action-RPG about romantic love & life.

When I saw this game for the first time during the summer of 2020, I downloaded the demo more or less as a joke - visual novel interface, JRPG-style influences everywhere, it looked like a game specifically designed to scare me away and make me cringe.

I could not have been more wrong!

This game really brightened my mood, has firmly secured a spot in my all-time favorites and the soundtrack is a keeper, too.

5/5
 
OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
2,759
8,599
113
Belgium
Finished Death's Gambit


Despite a rocky start, I ended up liking Death's Gambit a lot. The game borrows lots of gameplay elements from Dark Souls, but does a great job in turning it into an interesting 2D metroidvania. Unlike Dark Souls, when you die you don't lose your shards (=souls), but rather your plumes (=estus flasks). Fallen plumes never disappear tho and can be bought back at any save point, so this game is definitely more forgiving than Dark Souls.

Most of the levels are very well designed, with lovely pixel art and plenty of secrets and shortcuts to discover. I also enjoyed most of the boss fights, which have a small learning curve but never felt unfair to me.

Score: 7.8/10
 
OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
2,759
8,599
113
Belgium
Finished A Short Hike


Very charming game where you explore a colorful island by hiking, climbing, swimming and flying. There are tons of things to collect, many NPC's to meet and various activities to do. And all of this - please take note Ubisoft - without a map cluttered with icons or blinking markers telling you where to go. This is how open world exploration should be. Wonderful!

Score: 9.1/10
 

AHA-Lambda

MetaMember
Oct 9, 2018
1,621
3,602
113
Finished Chaos;Head (PC)



Let's just say this ain't no Stein's;Gate
I powered through this cos after reading all of Steins Gate I now want to go through the full SciAdv series, but this was a rough frustrating read.

I summarised my thoughts in the PC thread before, but simply:

  • a slow start (a lot of VNs have this problem so I can slightly forgive)
  • a hugely unlikable main character, who doesn't redeem himself until basically the end of the story, and even then has a big questionable moment
  • but the single greatest weak point imo is that it takes far too long to open up and reveal anything substantive of the mystery.
    90%+ of this game's runtime you will be left confused, and to be fair this is deliberately so as the protagonist is too, as the game slowly drips out plot points that are part of a very complex wider framework.
    To its credit the game does deal an atmospheric tension from this mystery very well (and it has some really creepy scenes at times!), but I still think it needed to pace some reveals and progression throughout the story much better than it did.
    After 20+ hours of feeling like "I have no idea what is happening and I'm struggling to keep track of all the things being dropped", it just isn't fun, it's annoying. Even after beating it I had to spend time on a wiki for more info on some of the concepts and character motivations, and still not all my questions are answered.

I really hope this isn't a reflection on Chaos;Child, its sequel, which I've heard nothing but praise for :face-with-cold-sweat:
 
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fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
5,861
13,777
113
Finished


Great detective game, really enjoyed it. Fantastic music, interesting story, great art/graphic design and you really need to take your time and be quite the detective to figure out all the fates of the people on board on the boat. Only negative is that I felt a bit too much backtracking at times having to go back to different people which took some time and maybe it was a bit too difficulty to figure out everyones names. Otherwise, great game.

Score: 8.5/10
 

bobnowhere

Careful Icarus
Sep 20, 2018
1,268
3,092
113
Game #1 - Rover Mechanic Simulator - Pretty cool. My first post-uni job was in mobile robotics, so not sure why I waiting on this. Though I was more test bed analysis, sensor data acquisition and comparative data source. Take apart rovers, find the dud parts, repair and put back together. Not sure if I actually finished it or it's open ended but I got 100% of the achievements. ★★★ 1/2

Game #2 - Call of Duty 2. - The contrast between a game about the horrors of war and the current dude-bro recruitment games is stark. Good tight shooting and a more interesting setting. Play as three factions across the whole war, from the defence of Stalingrad as the Russians to crossing the Rhine as the Americans. ★★★★

Game #3 - Warhammer Chaosbane - Decent ARPG, choose one of 6 classes and off you go. You can play co-op etc... I think I broke it at some point and was so powerful I held down the basic attack button on the final boss and shredded it in 4 seconds or so. Balance seemed to go out the window. Weirdly chapter 1-4 make up the main game, chapter 5 is DLC and chapter 6 is free. ★★★

Game #4 - Green Lantern Rise of the Manhunter - Seems to take place post the movie, even stars the voice of Ryan Reynolds. You're back on Oa and stuff goes wrong. Decent brawler but some of the contructs (powers) are way OP. Become a jet or Mech and just murder everything in sight. Contains both punching and flying levels with the flying ones suffering from a severe case of "diarrhea Christmas lights", you have no idea what is going on, it's just visual noise. ★★★

Probably going to retire The Sojourn, so boring, so little variation.
 
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OP
Ge0force

Ge0force

Excluding exclusives
Jan 12, 2019
2,759
8,599
113
Belgium
Finished Kingdom: Classic


Very basic but well designed strategy game with beautiful pixel art graphics. Kingdom could have used a better tutorial because some of the gameplay elements are hard to discover by yourself, but after reading some tips I had lots of fun with this game.

Oh and by the way, it's a free game so be sure to try it! :)

Score: 7.4/10
 

Mivey

MeatMember
Sep 20, 2018
1,544
4,547
113
I finished Alpha Protocol
(I'd add some screenshots to this, but it's Tuesday, Steam is down, yada yada)

A very interesting game with a very unique setting. An espionage-themed RPG game, very much inspired by James Bond, Jason Bourne and general secret agent trope. To my knowledge this is also the first IP that Obsidian developed on its own, its previous two games, Neverwinter Nights 2 and Kotor 2 being both sequels to existing games. This game is certainly ambitious, making a complex third person game in 2010 for consoles, when you've never done a console game before and on top of that trying to make it work as a full on action game, or stealth game based on the players chosen play style.

Sadly, I don't think it lives up to that ambition. The enemy AI is barely functioning, which just takes the fun out of playing with stealth and makes any attempt at action super easy. Enemies can barely shoot even under normal conditions. On top of that you get crazy powerful abilities that make combat and even stealth super easy.

That's not to say I hated the game, there's moments where you can tell what Obsidian was going for and you really feel like a secret agent, in a complex web of intrigue and lies. I like how Obsidian takes the dialogue wheel idea from BioWare and uses it far more effectively, showing what an actual RPG developer can do with it. Instead of just a "good" or "evil" option, you have four different personality types, and you can use them for two purposes: one is to actually role play, naturally, but being a secret agent, you can also deliberately play "out of character" and throw people off or to get a certain reaction out of them. The game even rewards you for this clever use of the dialogue options. It's crazy how even 10 years later, AAA "RPG" games are still just using dialogue wheels like this:


sigh please give Obsidian another Fallout game Microsoft, pleeeeaasse :confounded-face:

Anyway, back to actual RPG games, Alpha Protocol has a ton of good ideas crammed into it, even if it doesn't manage to execute even half of them well. I'm not sure if this is due to time, or if Obsidian was just not as experienced back then as they were when designing their later games, if the new technology overwhelmed them.
I can recommend this to anyone wanting a very unique take on AAA RPG games might have been, but don't expect a neat and polished experience.

I rate this game 7 vodka martinis, shaken not stirred.
🍸🍸🍸🍸🍸🍸🍸
 

Javetus

Junior Member™
Sep 17, 2019
468
1,415
93
Finished


What can I say? Play this if you haven't, great setting and I enjoyed with the game physics, truly a PC classic!

Finished



More of the same, short and sweet but sadly ends in what could be one of the most famous cliffhangers in the gaming world, if you are ok with not knowing how all will end it's a great journey.


Finished


Mixed bag this one, it's Company of Heroes in a medieval setting, which sounds good but there is just not enough unit variety and in the end the maps are kinda small. It feels like a good idea dragged down by budget constrains. Lots of single player content tho, with 9 campaigns although in the end they feel more or less of the same.


Yes, I'm quarantined, why do you ask? :face-with-tears-of-joy:
 

fantomena

MetaMember
Dec 17, 2018
5,861
13,777
113
Finished


Short (like 2-2.5 hours) music-rhythm game, but has some challenges and stuff you also can do. The gameplay is basic, you cotnrol a blue square and try not to get hit by anything red, but the music and level design is fantastic, really enjoyed my time with the game. Might come back in the future to do some challenges and stuff.

Score: 8/10