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Finished Broken Age (Act 1). Took me 3 and a half hours to finish it and well, I was a bit disappointed really. Puzzles were so easy they might as well not exist. Also, not a fan of the "stool sample" humor. I will be playing Act 2 at some point when it's released, simply because I hope they'll get their act together and make something decent in the end, and not because I'm curious about the story... it wasn't good enough that I'd care about it.

2014 list:
- Splinter Cell Blacklist
- Borderlands DLC campaigns
- Aliens - Colonial Marines
- Borderlands 2
- Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag
- Broken Age - Act 1
Post edited February 08, 2014 by Aningan

The Witcher 2 - Always thought I had finished this one ages ago, but as it turned out I didn't. Likely put it away because of the fov, which was a tad too narrow for my taste. Good thing, by now there is a mod on Redkit to change it. Apart from the fov, the game is a double edged sword imo. Some things are done really well, like the stunning graphics, the good voiceovers, the music and the main story. Other things are quite bad, like the toned down skilltree, combat, the menu/interface and the typical juvenile take on sex. Basically it's an obvious console port of a typical action-rpg with it's strong point being that it's very pretty and that it has an interesting main storyline.

Complete list:
Post edited February 08, 2014 by K_1269
Finished Rayman Origins (including Land of the Livid Dead)

Just a spectacular platformer. I initially thought the controls were a little slippery, but after finding the right config (WASD to move, Right Alt to sprint, P to jump, L to fight) it all came together beautifully. Great artistic design, music and imagination in this game. The gradual increase in difficulty was very fair, but damn, the last two Ruby Teeth chase levels were quite challenging...and Land of the Livid Dead, well...a great, big FUCK YOU to that level. Will definitely be picking up Rayman Legends during a Steam sale.
Finished Faerie Solitaire. It was awesome. Best card game that includes fairies and a narrative voice over.

(I really did enjoy it.)
The RPG Maker Horror-thon continues! This time with Killer Bear and Paranormal Syndrome!

First, Killer Bear - a party is thrown at some kid's house and a bunch of his friends come over, when *DUN DUN DUN* a mysterious caller, the titular "Killer Bear" interrupts the fun threatening to kill off every one of you one by one. No, it is not an actual bear, as kooky and awesome that would be, but just a dude in a stupid bear mask with a machete or something. Not much to say about this one, it's alright, but nothing special. There are seven different endings you can get, and I will say they all are interesting in their own way. I also should note that we never see the "Killer Bear" in question at any point during the game until you arrive at one of the endings in the game. Surprisingly, no real jumpscares or an actual sense of personal danger of any kind, since you yourself never can actually die save during a few of the endings. The real tension comes from trying to save others from being killed, and yes it is possible to get an ending where nobody dies though it does take a bit of trial and error and knowing that you can actually move at certain points where you never thought you could. A brief bit of entertainment but nothing essential.
2.5 / 5

Next up, Paranormal Syndrome. I should preface that this was a bit of pain to get running at first. Even though the game is (mostly) translated in English you still need a Japanese locale running, and Japanese language drivers downloaded and installed otherwise everything in your game's folder will look like a bunch of garbled symbols and won't run. I ran into the same problem when testing Yume 2kki and Yume Nisshi to see if they'd start up. But that's out of the way and now my Windows folders and menus have been invaded by Japanese characters everywhere! Anyway this game would seem to be among the more obscure RPG Maker horror games, with no reviews on any website I could find, no main page for the game, just a page with someone's translation and a mediafire link to download. I honestly was actually surprised to find a walkthrough of the game (which I needed to use for a few points). It definitely deserves more attention since it's really good 'n' stuff. The most prominent attention I've seen it get is ManlyBadassHero's LP of the game (actually had to use his video to figure one part of the game when the guide started being vague in its directions).

Anyway, to sum up, if you love horror games that involve a LOT of chase sequences, then this is definitely the game for you! Of course if you hate that sort of thing then you might find this annoying or stressful. The story divided into 4 chapters involves a young girl caught up in a series of nasty supernatural events that she may have some mysterious connection to, and must get to the bottom of it with the help of some, er, supernatural detectives (Ghostbusters? The SCP Foundation? The Lone Gunmen? Will go with the last one since it's pretty much just three nerdy dudes, though the policeman character is a bit more dapper), one of them who's a police officer and so has convenient connections when you get in trouble. So yes, each chapter will consist of a new monster that you must deal with and occasionally must run away from. The evasion mechanics are interesting, they run somewhere along the lines of a blend of Ao Oni, The Crooked Man and Paranoiac. Sometimes there'll be rooms with scripted events that you can trigger a chase, a lot of other times they'll pop out at random points. At the beginning you must find rooms which contain bouncing objects (just roll with it). These are objects you can interact with which your character can either momentarily disappear, smash something over your antagonist's head or cause some other sort of ruckus which will temporarily stun them which then you can gather your bearings and go back to whatever you were doing until you run into them somewhere else again. The last half of the game introduces hiding mechanics where if you enter a room a timer will start where you'll need to find a place to hide before the entity walks in on you (almost always five seconds). Most of the time they'll look around, not find you and run off, other times they'll find you, which the game decides randomly (one room I was found, I died, restarted, hid in the same room and the monster walked away, so, eh).

As with most RPG Maker horror games you spend your time when not evading monsters finding hidden keys and objects, unlocking doors and solving basic puzzles. It is quite tense since you don't know when you'll run into a monster, even if they aren't particularly fast and get themselves caught on scenery quite easily. Also the chase music, which differs chapter to chapter, is always a bit on the goofy side, sometimes sounding more appropriate for Scooby Doo or something. What's neat though is that each chapter is very different from the other while still maintaining a smooth progression of the story. The first chapter is heavy on the blood 'n' guts but that's completely abandoned for the second chapter. The third chapter I'd say is the scariest one by far. I'll just say it's a nightmare realm, and it definitely feels like one. The music, environments, the length of it, all add to something really spooky. And if that weren't enough this one features probably the most persistently vicious of all the monster encounters. They pop out of fucking EVERYWHERE, and take a solid beating too. The fourth chapter may easily be the most relaxed of the bunch, funny enough, with a very pleasant environment, atmosphere and music. The monster here though is definitely the creepiest looking one in the game but also is somehow the least threatening. It seems slower and clumsier than the others, doesn't appear QUITE as often and seems to be slightly weaker than the last chapter's creature. This all culminates in a boss battle and goddamn did I hate this. Instead of a traditional JRPG type battle you essentially play a sequence memorization game which like most gets tougher as it progresses. Up, down, left, right and shift are the keys you will use (there will be many people who'll see a big "S" pop up and probably have no idea what to press, but it's shift, a key that is never once used in the game except for this battle making things all the more confusing; the guy who translated the game admitted he didn't quite know how to translate this section, good thing I read it so I knew what to press). I normally hate these kinds of games, but what makes this one frustrating is, the boss has a life bar of sorts. Not a big one, but for every successful memorization you execute a kanji will fill up on the right side of the screen. You have to make, I dunno, like ten successful strikes in a row before one bit of his health bar depletes and the next phase starts. The problem is, if you get one wrong, not only do you lose a bit of health (you have five points of health) but also the sequence resets entirely, so if you got like 8 successful hits in a row, getting the next one wrong will erase all of that effort. I lost so many times I was getting more than a bit peeved. I just kept trying, naming the directions on screen out loud seemed to help me remember the patterns better so I kept at it until yay! Ending.

One other contention I have is the translation. It's very clear that the intent was to translate it to English while remaining as "Japanese" as possible. I had a small struggle keeping track of names from the times when someone was referred to by their name to the continual "Kijuro-san"s and "Obaa-chan"s especially since it seems to change a lot to keep with customs of different formalities of Japanese greetings. And while retaining the actual Japanese names for most objects and folkloric things with usually a helpful English description in parentheses next to it, all of which was nice and interesting, there were other times I was just confused. Like there was one area with a particularly large map where I had a ladder to use somewhere but whose description only read "I can use this to reach high places, like a kamidana." I'm sorry I have no idea what the hell a kamidana actually is, I didn't until the other day that is, and had to Google pictures of it to get some sort of visual reference so I would know what to look for (I did find it, but then another problem, the ladder didn't work and so got stuck until I found out in earlier mentioned walkthrough that that was the right solution this whole time, so I tried it again and THEN it worked after that, somehow. This happens to me in games all the time and it's really annoying when it does). Of course these are minor compared to the grammatical issues and the really clumsy manner in which some characters speak. When it doesn't feel stilted or "off" in some way it just reads very poorly. Now it wasn't so bad that I couldn't follow the story or get a sense of each character's personality, and there were plenty of times where it read just fine, but I'm just saying it could have been done a helluva lot better. If only vgperson got a hold of it to translate it, her RPG Maker game translations are superb.

All that aside I would recommend it to anyone who likes these kinds of games like I do. A solid, well-told story with great level design and some decent atmosphere and scares to go along with it, without ever feeling cheap. Just brace yourself for that final boss battle, yikes.
3.5 / 5
Post edited February 08, 2014 by cannard
Finished Sleeping Dogs. This game is a great example of how NOT to port to PC. It was okay for one completion. The fighting was fun for me though.
The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind
Tribunal Expansion pack
Bloodmoon Expansion pack

Really good game, definitely got my moneys worth.
Sounds like I need to get in on this RPG Maker awesomeness. How much is it?

Also, so far I believe that I've finished:

Postal 2/Apocalypse Weekend
Dungeon Keeper Gold (but not Deeper Dungeons)
The Bard's Tale (the new one, probably won't have enough time in recent times until I can figure out bloody Grid Cartographer)
UFO Aftermath
UFO Aftershock
UFO Afterlight (just loved this series)
Sin/Wages of Sin (hell yes)

Was not able to get through Entomorph (that game is mad hard for me), and I'm currently working on Eschalon Book II (since III is supposed to come out next week?).
Finished "Midnight Mysteries 4: Haunted Houdini" there was one puzzle in there that I would say was completely unsolvable without using a hint. Very bad. The rest of the game wasn't too bad though. About like the previous 3.
Total Annihilation: Kingdoms + The Iron Plague expansion

A very unique game, extremely story-driven. In this aspect TA:K beats even games like Warcraft III where you have to play campaigns of different fractions in chronological, story-determined order. Here everything is mixed together. It basically comes to this: The story is about a war between 4 (5 in expansion) different fractions. It's divided into 48 (25 - expansion) chapters that describe some important events of this war. Most of those events are obviously epic battles but there are different tasks too like assassination attempt, scouting, smuggling an artifact out of the battlefield and so one.

Uniqueness of the game consist in that you are always leading a side which is supposed to win this event. You may expect a funny coincidence because of it. For example: you are leading Veruna armies. Your task is to land on a beach, repel Zhon's beasts and establish a base. In the next chapter you take command of Zhon's army and your mission is to regroup, create a decent army and destroy Veruna's base. The very same base that you helped building in the previous chapter! You must admit, it's unique!

While most RTS games put you in a role of general leading your chosen fraction to ultimate success,Total Annihilation: Kingdoms gives you an opportunity to experience a very different role: a strategist storyteller. At the beginning of each mission you can hear a narrator describing the current state of the war. She outlines the movement of troops, describes the plans of monarchs and concludes that those actions led to a battle/other event. Then she allows you to take her place a storyteller and it's up to you to describe in details how this battle/event was resolved.

The drawback is fairly obvious: not only you cannot choose your side but your role as a commander is rather artificial. You cannot identify yourself with any fraction because you can always expect that you will be soon destroying what you've achieved earlier. It would be pretty bad if that was a widespread standard but as a one time experience it was absolutely awesome!

I think it's worth mentioning that all fractions are nicely diverse. Each of them has a strong point and a winning strategy usually requires exploitation of your advantage. Aramon has superior defense and siege structures, Veruna is a ruler of the sea, Zhon is the most mobile nation (they don't need buildings to produce their units, they are summoned by other units), Taros has many units with special abilities (more micromanagement required!) and Creon has superior armies but they are slow to produce.

My only major complain is a completely unbalanced difficulty of the game (it especially concerns the expansion). From time to time you will encounter either extremely easy (and thus boring) or incredibly difficult mission. And it's not like that those difficult missions are close to the end of the game, no, no, far from that. IMHO the most difficult mission in #8 in the expansion (and there 25 missions in total).

Believe it or not but it took me almost two years to complete the game along with its expansion. Usually after beating an extremely difficult and frustrating mission I took ~2 months break. In general I had a lot of fun with this game but I'm also very glad that I've finally finished it.

Full list
Finished The Wolf Among Us - Episode 2. Still really good. Less action than in the first one but I liked that. Length is ok for me (2h).

Full list here.
I just finished Quake: Dissolution of Eternity, the second and last (official) expansion for Quake.

While this add-on wasn't as good as the first one or even the main game it was still fun using the new ammunition to kill the new enemies and bosses. The level design was still mostly good and there where a few new traps.
The worst thing was the music, it was unfitting and not to my taste and the best thing was the dragon. Yes, there's a dragon in this game. ^^
Overall it was a nice 4,5h journey.

Here's my list.
ShadowWulfe: Sounds like I need to get in on this RPG Maker awesomeness. How much is it?
Oh, every RPG Maker horror game I've talked about so far is free (as will be any upcoming ones I talk about). I actually should have provided links to those above games, my bad there.

EDIT: If this post wasn't the response you were looking for look down two posts below.

If you want to try out Killer Bear (though I wouldn't start with this one, it's really not as good as many of the others out there), go here: (just download both the game and the RPG Maker 2000 RTP also provided in the link there and it should run)

Paranormal Syndrome:

Like I said with Paranormal Syndrome, it's a bit more complicated to run than most, but not a big deal if you follow the instructions posted there. Just to highlight it in quotes:

You will need to set the locale of your computer to Japanese, and run this game with the Japanese RPG Maker 2000 RTP (downloadable from here, just scroll down and click on where you see .zip, use ctrl+f for convenience). You will also need to set the locale to Japanese before installing the Japanese RPG Maker 2000 RTP. For instructions on setting locale, see here for how to do so in Windows 7/8. Note that you should download the RTP and the game AFTER you set the locale to Japanese - if you’ve done so beforehand, you’ll need to do so again after setting your locale to Japanese.
Important part bolded there. Heed its words!

How to change the locale in case you didn't know how:

Like I said, it's more complicated than most games which usually just requires downloading a certain RTP, but really not as complicated as it may look. Just follow the instructions word-for-word and you should be good to go there.

For the other games I've played (all also free of course) (and decidedly less complicated to run):

Most recommended:
The Crooked Man - (as I've said before, easily my favorite one of these games thus far)
The God of Crawling Eyes - (I talk about this game in more detail here)
Ib - (it really is worth it to play this multiple times to see how certain choices will make certain events play out differently and give you different endings - also a second playthrough will open up an entire new area to explore at the end for extra awesomeness!)
Mad Father -
The Witch's House - (I mean it when I say you should go into this one knowing as absolute little as possible - the number of ridiculous and often gruesome ways you can get yourself killed without expecting it rivals a Sierra adventure game) (one more thing, in one of the rooms in the beginning you might find a chest of drawers that says upon examination "don't open until house returns to normal" or something along those lines - DEFINITELY run for that room at the very end of the game and collect what's in there before exiting to get the "real" ending to the game, which I tell you is an amazing sucker punch of a conclusion)
Yume Nikki - (you most likely have heard of this one if any of them, but if you're unfamiliar, I also highly recommend going into this game knowing as absolute little as possible, albeit for different reasons than The Witch's House - just trust me on this one)

.flow - (a fan-made spin-off of Yume Nikki so the link to the game is on the same page as above - I'd play Yume Nikki first, but this one is also not bad)
Ao Oni -

Least recommended, though you might find some enjoyment from them:
Clock of Atonement - (link is in German but the game you'll download is in fact the English translation) (and no for some reason I could not get this game to run in full-screen at all, but it makes little difference since the game is so short and simple in its mechanics anyway)
Hello? Hell...o? - (one thing I must mention is that there's 37 different endings to the game[!]; no, this isn't a ridiculously complex or convoluted game, it's just that each possible playthrough is so short, often less than a minute or even less than 30 seconds to get to an "ending" that they can get away with cramming in so many different ones. Also the entire game takes place in one apartment room so that helps. If you keep playing after you get an ending and try different things though you'll notice many changes start to occur - also there's a point where you may get a "happy" ending, that or a certain kind of "bad" ending - in either case the game won't let you continue and you'll have to close out, but that's actually not the real end of it! Boot the game back up and you'll notice yet another change, this time more significant than previous times - this will allow you to work towards the "true" best ending of the game)
Skinwalker -

If a game won't run it's most likely you're missing its respective RTP, as I said before. There are really only a few that all of these games use out there, and in most of the links above it'll tell you which one you need, but just for a little extra convenience I'll provide a link which has the three most prominent ones used here (and with Killer Bear and/or Paranormal Syndrome you should already have the RPG Maker 2000 RTP which some of these games also use, but I'll provide a link to that one also for convenience anyway): (RTPs for RPG Maker VX Ace, RPG Maker VX and RPG Maker XP) (for RPG Maker 2000 games, and also 2003 games, which one or two of these games might also be but I can't remember)

And no, you don't actually need to own any of the RPG Maker programs themselves to run these games, just their completely freely available run time packages. Anyway, have fun! (also technically some of these games aren't RPG Maker games at all but rather Wolf RPG Editor games, a program like RPG Maker but completely free with a few features not found in some RPG Maker editions, and doesn't require any RTPs to play a game made in it; sadly it's currently in Japanese only, and current efforts to translate it to English are only partially complete and a long ways off from full completion)

P.S. Just want to remark that none of these games are really RPGs at all, more like adventure games that control like old 16-bit JRPGs. There are some upcoming games I plan to play which do have traditional RPG elements like battles and leveling, but just wanted to let you know ahead of time so you don't go into these with the wrong expectations.
Post edited February 09, 2014 by cannard
Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened - Remastered Edition

I think the Cthulhu Mythos is interesting, but didn't really find this game that engaging. The plot took a really long time to get going; without the in-game walkthrough I don't think anyone could solve the whole game because of its near-impossible puzzles and the fact that you gotta notice EVERY detail and object near your vicinity ; the graphics department was quite shite - Holmes and Watson had their faces modeled quite well, but everything else was really low-res and the animations were pretty bad; voice acting was really horrible (besides Holmes and Watson, although whenever they sited R'lyehian sentences, I nearly burst out laughing); and in order to push the plot forward, you had to be absolutely sure you had done everything there is to be done at the current location. Who knew picking a rotten ham with your finger would be that necessary, even though it does nothing? Or that you examine just a random painting that has no meaning with anything? And finally, I expected to see some stuff from other dimensions, but no... you see a Cthulhu statue a couple of times, and some slugs, but that is it. Nevertheless, I plowed through the game with enough interest to see what would happen next. But if it hadn't had the Lovecraftian theme, I probably would have left the game long before the end.
Orrrrr... if you were talking about the program itself, all I know is there are a couple of choices on Steam:

As you can see RPG Maker VX Ace is the most expensive of the two, with a bunch of extra resource packs adding on to the cost. It's not uncommon for it to go on sale for a much more reasonable price though so I'd wait until that happens to get it (though alternatively there's RPG Maker VX Ace Lite which is a more stripped-down version but completely free - I don't know what features are in the main version not in the Lite version but that would seem to be a good starting point to mess around with to see if it's something you'd want to do before fully committing with your wallet for one of the programs).

Alternatively, you'll also notice RPG Maker XP which is much more reasonably priced and, while not quite as robust as VX Ace is still supposed to be really good too and with even a few features not found in VX Ace apparently (I forget what they were, I think one of them was the games on XP feature in a higher resolution). That one, despite being an older edition of RPG Maker was a more recent addition to Steam than VX Ace, so I don't know about sales for that, but it's more than likely that that will go on sale too eventually if you were considering holding out.

And of course there's the completely free Wolf RPG Editor if you can read Japanese but if not, then it'll be a while if ever before the program becomes fully translated to English. :/
Post edited February 09, 2014 by cannard