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Valiant Hearts -The Great War-

Story - 10/10
Art - 10/10
Voice/Music 10/10

Gameplay...all over the map. Some amazingly fun parts (loved some of the car chases), some meh, and some parts that were annoying beyond belief.

Sadly, two of my least favorite/most frustrating parts came near the end, so my engagement in the story took a hit from being pissed at those sections to the point I just wanted it over. Did I mention it was an amazing story?

So what wasn't fun?
1) All of the "medical" mini-games. It was never fun, but as the difficulty level ramps up, it just becomes annoying.

[Edit - note, the medical mini-games are made even more annoying by the fact that the outcome is scripted and it's often not clear if you've been successful or not. At one early point I quit the game and restarted from the prior section because I thought I "saved" _____ and yet he went into a coma anyway so I thought I'd failed and could try for a better outcome. Nope.]

2) Digging across a wide minefield late in the game with bombs dropping randomly overhead. Made far more annoying by the fact that digging at a diagonal (necessary to complete the section) is intermittently/frequently non-responsive on my keyboard. My keyboard seems fine otherwise, so having checked around a few forums, it wasn't just me having issues with diagonal digging.

Definitely a must-play for anyone who likes history/story/characters, but definitely a few of the sections and puzzles leave something to be desired and ruin the immersion, at least temporarily.
Post edited December 21, 2015 by bler144
Leroux: That's a surprising score for a disappointing RPG with supposedly uninteresting story and repetitive combat ... ;)
Klumpen0815: It's disgusting, I want more!
Mmm. Tomacco.

PaterAlf: but once you understand the mechanics, it really gets interesting and you'll see that there is a lot of strategy involved and that you'll have to think carefully to decide how to build your hero.
Glad to hear this!
Post edited December 21, 2015 by budejovice
Charming game with a weird ending

Just a weird game. Not quite sure what to think of it.
List of all the games I played and completed in 2015 (in order)

Fallout 1
Fallout 2
Wolfenstein: The New Order
Silence of the Sleep
Deus Ex: Invisible War
Mafia II
Shadowrun: Dragonfall
The Witcher
Max Payne
Max Payne 2
The Witcher 2
System Shock 2
The Witcher 3
Far Cry 3
Wolfenstein: The Old Blood
Fallout 3 GOTY edition
The Evil Within
Resident Evil Revelations 2
Dead Space
Shadowrun: Hong Kong
Penumbra: Overture
Penumbra: Black Plague
Penumbra: Requiem
Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs
Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate edition
Dead Space 2
Lone Survivor
Mind: Path to Thalamus
Fallout 4
F.E.A.R 1
F.E.A.R 2
F.E.A.R 3
Aliens vs Predator

For my favourite that was released in 2015, I can't pick between The Witcher 3 and SOMA. They were both excellent!
Post edited December 22, 2015 by ambientsorrow
Tomb Raider Legend (360)

Not too bad for it's time actually. For a game that was on the border between two console generations, it doesn't look as good as later games, but is still decent enough. Gone are the block based worlds of earlier games as well, and that is a good thing.

It's not often i get to the end of a game and think it was a bit short, but in this case i felt that way. But it was okay whilst it lasted- except for that annoying boss battle in the England level...for some reason i just could not work out what the game wanted me to do for that boss and i had to look it up.

Overall, i still feel the very first Tomb Raider was better, but Legend is then better than the Core sequels (TR2 TR3 etc) which deteriorated the longer the series went on IMO. Only Anniversary and Underworld left to play and then I've done everything with "Tomb Raider" in it's name except mobile/portable games which i just don't do.
Book of Unwritten Tales:
A decent game, too bad it decides not to show a lot of things. The ending was very unsatisfying due to that.

A stylish but rather repetitive metroidvania. I really felt it overstayed its welcome.
1954 Alcatraz (GOG)

Hard one to judge in the end. There was nothing about the game that was actually bad, it was just a competent adventure game- but with nothing that really sets it apart and it's not in the same league as my favorites of the genre like Gabriel Knight, The Last Express, Blade Runner etc.

Plus points were that the story was okay, i like the use of two linked player characters approaching the story from two directions, and the puzzles flowed mostly on logic- only one spot where i resorted to the "try everything with everything" technique and in hindsight i probably should have grasped even that one. The game also does not waste your time with pixel hunting.

Overall it's just an average competent example of a point and click adventure, without being great in any area.
I have a terrible memory, but I definitely remember completing Mad Max and Fallout 4.
Also SOMA and The Last Door.
All fun games.
I also remember quitting W3.. but that's more for the games quit in topic.
CMOT70: 1954 Alcatraz (GOG)

Hard one to judge in the end.
I had a similiar experiance. Though I was sad it was ending, the actual climax seemed a bit lackluster. Good game though.


I had my first go at Gabiral Knight. Just awesome. I wish I didn't rush through the end though (FPS mode like I gotta get to the end at all cost and not stop to enjoy the game) because the atmosphere was just amazing.
Fallout: New Vegas

Finished this one last night with a total play time of just under 150 hours. So I more than got my money's worth out of it. I did mod the game with a couple of extra companions (Wendy Gilbert and Willow) and a handful of other mods. This was my main team, although I picked up other companions along the way and did their story lines. My character was female as well, so when I found two of Vera's outfit, I consoled in a third and had my team stylishly appointed in black evening dresses as we explored the rest of the the Nevada wasteland. Good times.

I concentrated mainly on small guns and sniper rifles. With a heavy emphasis on the sniper rifle. I got Christine's COS Silencer rifle quite early on and quickly became a long distance death machine. There's something terribly satisfying about being able to deal critical sneak attacks at over 1000 yards. :D

Anyway, good fun and very enjoyable (I wouldn't put that many hours into something if I wasn't enjoying the hell out of it). I think Obsidian did a really nice job on this one, especially with the various ways you can opt to go on the main quest line. I went for the independent New Vegas and was more than pleased to kick the crap out of the Legion, then tell the NCR to take a hike.

Full List, and probably final as I doubt I'll complete another game before the end of the year (too much going on for the final week of 2015).
I guess I just beat Fallout 4. I don't really know, but I think the ending cinematic just played, and I don't have any new quests. What a terrible ending.

Full List
Puzzle Agent (1)

Art style was charming. Characters/voice are pretty good. Story line was a bit...confusing...if I actually sit back and think about it. Seemingly some of the characters that were seeking the ultimate outcome nonetheless kept trying to stop me from getting there? What?

But if you don't think about it, then sure, the story is somewhat amusing as just a series of disconnected points. The attempts to "locate" the game in MN were pretty mixed - though the "host dish" joke was a nice touch. Though I'm not sure anyone who hasn't lived in that part of the U.S. will get it (aka "casserole") or why it's amusing they had the attention to detail to call it hot dish.

The real issue I thought was that, for a game with 30+ puzzles, about 1/3 were just too easy for an adult, and a handful had really poor instructions. There's a hint system, but it's not particularly useful when it's not even really clear what the point of the puzzle is, or "if I do 'x' how will the game treat it?"

Not a very long game - maybe took 6-7 hours? I wasn't really keeping track. Also really no replay value at all.

All in all, maybe a B-
Dark Chains of Satinav

In my view this is an A game married to a D game, and even the strongest elements of this game were often married directly to the aspects of it that didn't work as well.

As an example the art style was generally quite strong, but all the detail of the environments plus the scale of the screens often made finding necessary objects come down to pixel hunting. It didn't help that I played this game on a laptop with a significant crack in the screen, but even when my screen wasn't at fault, a number of needed items were easy to miss.

Puzzles were a hugely mixed bag. Between the pixel hunting issues and some significantly non-intuitive solutions, and a character who often insists on walking back and forth across wide landscapes, the game was sometimes rewarding but often just frustrating. In conjunction with my own desire to make headway on my backlog, down the stretch I relied on hints for probably about 20% of the puzzles overall.

Of those, I'd say sometimes I would've figured the answer out with just a bit more effort, but other times the solution relied on items I could've spent an hour looking for without finding, and the occasional solution that didn't make sense even when I knew what the solution was. Not just "how would I ever have thought of that" but "why in the hell did THAT work?"

Also, most objects are resolved by left-clicking, but some require right-clicking. The game doesn't really explain that in advance, or reliably give hints as to which you should do, so I ended up right- and left- clicking almost everything.

The strength of the game is really the art (already mentioned) and the story. Two notes on that, though:

1) The protagonist does go through a reasonably interesting transformation and personal quest over the course of the game. The trade-off is that the female companion is, quite literally, a manic [also magic] pixie dream girl, with all the tropes pertaining thereto.

2) Even when the plot succeeds in building dramatic tension, the underlying story is ultimately on rails. Do you lie to your MPDG to sleep with her, tell her the truth, or demure and say nothing? I weighed that decision for several minutes even while ultimately suspecting it wouldn't matter what I chose.

And sure enough, when I chose, it turned out to not have mattered.

On the one hand, this game was great! On the other, "Meh."
Post edited December 26, 2015 by bler144
bler144: Dark Chains of Satinav
As an example the art style was generally quite strong, but all the detail of the environments plus the scale of the screens often made finding necessary objects come down to pixel hunting. It didn't help that I played this game on a laptop with a significant crack in the screen, but even when my screen wasn't at fault, a number of needed items were easy to miss.
Wasn't there anything to show all interaction points like for example holding space?