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I've been trying not to bump this thread to the top every time I beat a game, so here's a roundup of what I've completed since I last posted.

Loren - The Amazon Princess
RPG by Winterwolves, better known for dating sim-style games. Their lack of experience shows in the combat, which becomes quite dull after a while, and in the plot, which is deeply formulaic. The dialog was OK, but all the "narrative" writing was stilted and mediocre. I thought I got this as part of the Winter Wolves bundle, but Google claims that it wasn't included in that bundle, meaning I probably got it from Steam during a half-off sale, for about ten bucks. That's fine; but I would be reluctant to pay full price for the sequel, when it comes out.

Victim of Xen
Weird little RPG Maker thing. The male protagonist is changed into a woman by a malicious and whimsical witch named Xen, and tries to get turned back. It's in better taste than some attempts to use that plot, but is terribly disjointed, without any real central plot--there's the sex change thing, and there's a war, and a price who needs to reclaim his throne, and seven or so mystical orbs that must be collected, and nothing really seems to have anything to do with anything else. Also, the store that sells the best weapon in the game is available almost immediately. It's supposed to be priced out of the player's reach at the time, but a sufficiently bored player (i.e. me, at the time of playing) can grind for them surprisingly quickly.

Whatever. I thought it was cute enough at the time, and it was cheap. I wouldn't actually recommend it to anyone, but I don't regret it.

Neverending Nightmare
Steam (via Kickstarter reward)
I'll just copy-and-paste the review I posted.

Neverending Nightmare is an indie surrealism/horror game developed by Matt Gilgenbach.

This game might be best described as "exploration horror"; you wander around various creepy environments, drinking in the visuals and the music as the tension mounts, punctuated by the occasional (generally well-timed and well-done) jump scare. There are monsters, which have to be avoided, and they are appropriately creepy, but this isn't Amnesia or Clock Tower; the game is easy by design (on the theory, I think, that having to do the same section over and over isn't so so much scary as annoying). The music is excellent, instilling a real sense of unease (this is one of relatively few games where I'd actually listen to the soundtrack, if only one were included), and the art style is interesting, unique (well, it's clearly mimicking Edward Gorey, so in a sense that's the opposite of unique, but at least you don't see many other games using it), and generally effective. The story branches, with different levels and endings.


But but but.

Your character moves frustratingly slowly, and the movement animations are horribly amateurish. There is a run function, which will cause him to do a regrettable and hilarious slow-jog ... thing ... for about ten feet while making exaggerated panting noises. There's no animation for walking straight downward, so if you do that, your character will sort of float in that direction while his legs move as if he's walking forward. And while the art style works in general, I just can't get over the character model for the protagonist; he looks ridiculous.

To get the different endings, you have to replay levels. Silent Hill and Amnesia, which have strong game-play elements, can get away with this better than Neverending Nightmare, which relies so heavily on pure atmosphere.
The game is short, maybe two hours. This is intentional (a longer game would need a stronger central gameplay mechanic), but some gamers might want more for the price.

GOG (you'd think this was the Steam forums from the way we've been going so far. A consequence of Steam having a client that makes it really easy, when I don't have something to play, to glance through my Steam backlog and pick something, as opposed to GOG, who's slow-loading library doesn't lend itself well to such a thing. Well, that and Neverending Nightmare being most easily redeemable for backers as a Steam key.)

I think the "plot" of this game is basically a put-upon, of the "You know this game is deep because it's incomprehensible" sort; you're trying to collect cards for ... some reason so you can ... something about a "Briar." I don't know. The gameplay is Zelda-esque, although only having one weapon and one ability (jumping) means a fairly straight-forward experience--although the platforming can be frustrating at times. It manages a fairly solid, unsettling atmosphere, so points for that.

A JRPG-maker game of much higher quality than Victim of Xen. Its limited resource design--monsters are finite and do not respawn, so gold and money are both finite--drove me crazy, although ultimately there's so much gold available that my economy was unnecessary. Pretty standard plot and characters, but solidly put together.
Post edited October 10, 2014 by BadDecissions
I just finished Hacker Evolution a few minutes ago. It was a pleasant little hacking game.
One major problem - lack of information. I was dropped into the game with almost no idea how to play it. There is a tutorial, but it only covers basic commands, and leaves out a lot of really important stuff. If you ever play it, I *highly* recommend reading through this guide first. It really helped me understand everything better.
A couple of times I felt like mission objectives were a bit vague, and I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing. I had to consult a walkthrough a couple of times to point me in the right direction.

Aside from that, I had a ton of fun. I was stuck to my chair for hours at a time. When a carefully planned strategy comes together just right... It feels good. The soundtrack is trippy and fits the game well, and the command line interface is fun to use and makes me feel like a hacker in the movies.
The in-game timer says it took me about 5 hours to finish. But if you include initial confusion and failed levels that I restarted, I'd guess my total would be closer to 9 hours.

I thought it was an all-around pretty decent hacking puzzle game. I think I'll get started on the expansion tomorrow.

My full list.
Post edited October 10, 2014 by AdamR
Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl beaten.

I've beaten it few days ago but only two endings. third one canon just now. fun game. and the last mission when you fight across the powerplant was fun as well. hated the bugs. I don't think I'll ever replay the game. Call of Pripyat maybe I'll play some day. but not this year.

my humble list
Post edited October 10, 2014 by lukaszthegreat
Neverending Nightmares

Not great. The game is really short (unless you're willing to replay levels when the path starts to branch) and the gameplay mostly consists of navigating through hallways, checking rooms which most of the time contained absolutely fucking nothing, and waiting for the next jump scare. I guess the atmosphere is a little bit creepy, but I never found the game to be actually genuinely scary, which is a totally different thing. I only unlocked one ending, "Destroyed Dreams", but since the game is so goddamn boring, I don't think I'm gonna bother replaying a level / levels just so I could unlock more of this bore-fest. I mean, I guess I could: but the last straw for me was the completely pathetic stamina of the protagonist. I haven't ran since 2005 and I'm slightly overweight, but I think even I could outrun the bastard. Seriously, the guy can't run from one end of a corridor to the other without running out of breath, even if there's a homicidal maniac right behind him. So, when you have a really boring game, and you can't even blaze through it because you have to wait for the guy to gain breath every three seconds, there's not much motivation to keep playing. Nothing in this game makes sense either, thus: avoid. It's a complete waste of money in my book.
PaterAlf: Superfrog HD
Some might call "Blasphemy!", but I think this remake is much better than the original game (which was great at it's time, but didn't age very well). Major improvement is the zoom function when you jump which helps you a lot to see what is going on. You no longer die, because of enemies that suddenly come out of nowhere or spikes you couldn't see beforehand (ok, sometimes it still happens, but it's rare).
BLASPHEMY! You're lucky I lost the inquisition's number or else they would be burning your little blue butt.
Midnight Mysteries 2: Salem Witch Trials.

This game was surprisingly decent. It was 50/50 hidden object and point and click with puzzles and a hint of story. you actually have an inventory, combine items, find easter eggs, meta-objectives, etc. I rather enjoyed it.

Big complaint is the broken achievements since they patched it back in April and neither the devs nor Steam seem to care about fixing them :(
Zax - The Alien Hunter (via WINE)

Although from 2001, it's like a reminiscence on 90s PC gaming with all its pros and cons.
The graphics are nice prerendered sprite art comparable to Diablo1 quality but in up to 800x600 resolution, the controls are simple mouse aiming + keyboard walking, gameplay is straight forward and a bit linear and repetitive, yet it has a certain charme.
It took me about 8.5 hours and I don't think it has a replay value for me, but for the prize it's available today (because it's simply forgotten), I got enough out of it.
Just like most 32bit 2d games from this era it doesn cause any technical problems in WINE, runs perfect and stable.

Somebody on GoG mentioned this game to me because I like games with isometric perspective.

Full list:
A Golden Wake (8:40pm 10th oct)

I was hoping it would be better. Chapter 3 just goes on forever and I didn't find it all that interesting. The start is good and the ending is a bit sad. Puzzle are ok some of them are poorly designed and the plane moment makes no sense.
A fair long time back, I played Syberia. I don't think I finished it, but I really don't recall whether I made it to the end, or where I left off. I still own the box and disks, but of course life is so much easier when GOG takes care of the fidgety part of gaming, so in the early part of September I downloaded and installed it, and buckled in for another trip on the game's strange clockwork train.

As it happens, I remembered almost nothing about the story, so it was like coming to it anew. It's a placid and beautiful game, doling out its chapters in small steps against a lovely canvas. Benoit Sokal's gorgeous painted scenes are still and empty, faded outposts of a world of former glory and yesteryear majesty. As in his prior game, Amerzone, the action here takes place in settings that are dim shadows of what they once were.

American attorney Kate Walker arrives in the small French village of Valadilene to broker the sale of the local toy factory to the Universal Toy Company. The town is filled with odd automata, stately creaky robots that perform all sorts of menial duties. One thing leads to another, and soon enough Kate is collecting the pieces of ephemera she'll need for a journey to points unknown.

The best way to ruin Syberia is to bring expectations to it; the best way to enjoy it is to let it rest on its strengths. This is not a Sierra game, or a LucasArts game, or a Wadjet Eye game, or a Myst game, or a Broken Sword game. It is - by design, not mistake - a graphic novel more than it is an action story; you're there to turn the pages, and move events from one place to another. You can't die as Kate Walker, and you can't blunder into dead ends that require a restored game. If you get stuck, you'll meander back and forth for a time in the lovely scenery, searching for what you missed. I played this without ever consulting a walkthrough, and I generally suck at games, so let that be your difficulty guide.

Just as the settings are deserted, so the screens are generally bare. There's little of the descriptive chit-chat that point and click adventures often use to fill the space. Kate can only talk to people on a few subjects, and they tend to answer her at length, and apart from that Syberia is spare and austere, full of the sounds of quiet rooms and windswept landscapes.

The voicing is inconsistent, and the characters all take an irritating pause before they speak, at least on my aging system; also, for a game with so many foreign place names, there was little effort spent helping the actors pronounce the names the same way. That always makes me a little crazy. Attempts at humor and dialect often fall afoul of translation, but not terribly much; also, quality control on the scripting clearly unravels the longer the game goes on. The animations are adorable, too - Kate can walk on flat ground, but whenever she goes up or down stairs or ladders she needs to shuffle around to place herself at the starting position of the pre-rendered stair animation. She goes up steps forward, and down stairs backward. Ah, the creaky strains of 2002 tech.

Still and all, Syberia is a unique experience. It's consciously intended, I think, as a playable art piece, and Sokal's art is what makes it so special. It's a glimpse into a clockwork-driven steampunk (springpunk?) world, with a slightly regretful air; it's a long walk down a path generally not taken. That alone makes it an interesting game, and the quality of the artwork makes it truly special.

Incidentally, it's not necessary to play Amerzone before tackling Syberia, but those who do will be rewarded with a flash of recognition at references to Amerzone plants and animals being studied and cultivated by learned scientists.

My small list of finished games.
Post edited October 12, 2014 by LinustheBold
I completed the Love+ game as well as the additional Love+ Custom levels. It's a very short platform game with a nice soundtrack and well designed levels. Good fun, but nothing special.

Complete list of finished games in 2014
<span class="bold">1nsane</span> Lots of fun but a few events in the extreme class with the rock crawlers were quite a challenge (Colorado Pathfinder humbled me), to say the least. But I persevered, got 10 points in every event and unlocked the excellent terrain/location generator, so it was worth it!
Beat the Longest Journey about 9 hours ago. It was such an excellent adventure game, and I might even play through it all over again before Dreamfall chapters comes out.
Nightmares From the Deep: The Siren’s Call - Collector’s Edition

A rather good hidden object / adventure game hybrid. Great art, music, and atmosphere. Good voice acting (for the most part) & story.
Post edited October 12, 2014 by kalirion
Oct 12 - Empress Of The Deep

Least favorite hidden object game so far. Some objects were were nearly impossible to find because they were mostly covered. Some of the puzzles felt overly tedious, so much so that this is the first game where we actually skipped one or two of them.

Voice acting was particularly bad in this one, and that says a lot.

Also had to use Task Manager to close the game because the menu didn't work after completing the game.

One positive thing was the "Area Cleared" star that would appear in the corner of the screen. That was very helpful.
Post edited October 12, 2014 by adambiser
9 Clues: The Secret of Serpent Creek

I like hidden object games and i enjoyed playing through this one although it's quite easy. It was fun to follow the corny story. :D