Mar 1st: The Temple of Elemental Evil. I played this with the Circle of Eight Modpack. I really wanted to like this game: the graphics were nice, the character customization possibilities were very diverse, and the combat system was probably the best I've ever seen in a turn-based game. The music was pretty good too, in my opinion. There was just one huge problem: the game difficulty is all over the place. At times it was just right and felt really good and enticing, but more often it felt impossible. Well, for me at least; I recently watched a video where a guy finished the game with a single cleric, and boy did he make my party look completely shitty. You wouldn't believe the amount of quicksaving/quickloading I had to do in order to get anywhere in this game. Oh well... maybe these D&D games just aren't for me, because I don't seem to be able to make a fully functioning party in nearly any of the games I've played and always end up having huge problems near the end-game, if not before. The difficulty problem aside, the game felt quite short as well: there are only two major hubs besides the Temple itself, which was a big letdown. I would've loved to do some real adventuring for a long time before heading to the Temple. Speaking of which, the plot was pretty crappy too; I felt there was no real reason for the party to go the Temple, other than "hey, what shall we do today? Wait, I know, there's this EEEEEVIL temple somewhere around here, let's go raid it!" Lots of potential in this game, but sadly for me the experience was made worse a huge amount because of the problems I explained. A D&D expert might enjoy this game a lot, but I don't think I could ever recommend this to an average gamer such as myself.
Mar 4th: Ghost Master. A terrible, terrible game. Objectives for releasing some of the ghosts were often too vague and complex, the AI was crap (they'd get stuck to walls; not stay still when I want them to and therefor have to pursuit them all over the place; wander around somewhere completely opposite where they are needed, etc.), graphics were poor and glitched a lot and overall the game was just really boring - I played through it by sheer willpower. Also, the last two missions were really aggravating and not fun at all. I'd say so far this is in my personal bottom 5 of games finished this year. Shame, since I liked the idea of the game. Too bad the execution was this horrible.
Mar 9th: Ninja Blade. A solid action title. The game was very QTE-heavy, but I didn't mind that so much: at least the action scenes looked very cool that way, albeit very unrealistic (ever seen a guy rebound a building that's flying towards him, with nothing but a huge ass sword? I have now.) To my surprise the game even had some customization options, though sadly no face mask, which in my opinion is a must. Ninjas have never looked so pretty in pink, however. The game borrowed elements heavily from Ninja Gaiden, even to the point of having a ridiculous story too, but it wasn't as good as NG. Ken, the protagonist, wasn't a very memorable character and the combat, while fun, was mainly button mashing. The bosses were HUGE, but not very challenging. Still an enjoyable ride while it lasted - nothing great, but still okay. One last thing I should mention though: I had some technical difficulties with the game; for example it would freeze every time I quit the game, and I even got a BSOD once....during the final boss. While the game has checkpoints, every mission needed to be finished in one sitting or it would start from the beginning. This made the random crashes more irritating.
Mar 19th: Dishonored. Amazing. I really liked the setting and the scenery - it actually somewhat reminded me of Bioshock. The different super powers were fun to use, and I really felt like a true assassin while I cleansed the streets. There were some things I didn't like, though: the player can perform all kinds of gruesome fatalities, send bodies flying with a windblast, has access to numerous weapons etc., but the game punishes you if you use them too much by giving a bad ending. Why have so many ways to kill people if it's not encouraged? Well, I wanted the better ending so I mostly knocked people out, but I might play this again sometime later and going all-in with the violence. Also, the game got a little repetitive near the end, plus collecting Bone Charms wasn't rewarding in the sense that most of them weren't very useful. I guess the plot was a little predictable as well. However, all the negatives are quite minor and didn't manage to ruin the overall awesomeness. I really, really recommend this to fans of games such as Hitman, Mirror's Edge and Assassin's Creed. It took all the great things of those three games and mixed them together to form a solid stealth action title. I loved it.
Mar 27th: Zafehouse: Diaries. FINALLY, after dozens of tries, I beat the Classic mode, with two completely unharmed survivors (a gay male surgeon, aged 26 from a wealthy background and a straight female cleaner, aged 23 from a poor background). I had previously lost a member to a lynch mob, and two I intentionally left behind in order to make a last minute distraction; the other one was infected and the other had major injuries, so I didn't want to risk my healthy party members. Funny thing, the two survivors were probably the least useful ones; the surgeon was pretty much only good for modifying items, while the cleaner wasn't particularly useful for anything, so I mainly investigated with her and put her on the lookout for zombies. Anyway, about the game itself: the gameplay was really addicting, but there were some problems too. Mostly, it felt like the game was too much based on luck whether I even had a fighting chance, and not so much on actual tactics. Everything went great often, only for all my efforts to be completely diminished by a bad random encounter, such as the lynching mobs. Some items also felt a little buggy (ever heard of a modified carving knife that's good for sniping?) I'm still happy I got through the game: there's a lot of tweaking that needs to be done via patches, but even as it is, the game held up to my expectations.
Mar 30th: Total Overdose: A Gunslinger's Tale in Mexico. Crazy game. I think the best way to describe it, is "Saints Row meets Max Payne". While the game is definitely very dated (for example, AI, graphics and car physics resembling those of a Shockwave Flash browser game), I still had a good time with this one. One thing that bothered me a little, is that while the game is kinda open-world, it's mostly an illusion: the actual missions take place in disguised tubes, and even the city has lots of dead-ends and loading zones. The characters were quite cardboard as well. But like I said, I still had fun with this. The combat borrowed heavily from Max Payne, and since the Max Payne series is one of my favs, I liked the combat here as well.
The April list is here.