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I hadn't actually completed a game since Insomnia loaded up my backlog (though I'm close on several!), but last night I finally finished Pixel Puzzles: Japan.

It was on sale yesterday for $0.69, and that's about what I'd say it's worth given the free puzzling alternatives out there. With just a bit more work it could have been great, and there are a few neat features, but on the whole I think the negatives outweigh the positives.

A few design bugs needed fixing: piece fishing was a frustration on larger puzzles due to haphazard mouse selection, settings resetting on exit meant being greeted by blaring music every time I launched it.

I also think there were a few design flaws to make it worth anything near the base price of $7: more control on settings, such as the ability to scale puzzles smaller/larger (even if that were something that unlocks) and it definitely needed the ability to zoom. Playing on a laptop, even a 17", I ended up leaning forward constantly just to see the tiny pieces floating in the pool.

While the game allows playing in a window, the reality is that for any puzzle beyond the first tier I needed full screen just to maximize being able to see the pieces. So as a puzzle lover I'm happy to have beaten all the achievements, but I can't really recommend it.
Finished Shatter, a pong-clone (you have a bar, you have a ball and you break bricks). Except that it was extremely well polished with great music and even bosses. I really liked it.

Full list here.
tinyE: Is that the first one in that series you've played?
Sorry, I've missed your reply, because GOG notification system is broken again.

Yes, it was the first game in that series that I've played.
Just topped off Killzone 2. I played it in the trilogy collection. I thought it'd be pretty good since I played a demo of 3 on an uncle's system. Playing this one, I question my memories of the 3rd. The first one I admit for two reasons not playing, one it looked the least exciting and two my brother is worried that I'd ruin his file so I postponed it. Another reason is that I knew this one was going to be short.

Alright, this game leaves me with more to say than usual. I went in to this game with the impression it was going to be a popcorn shooter, you know a game that's fun in short bursts or over a weekend. Like an action movie, sort of.

Anyway, first thing: the game looks more or less good. Many moments where the game looks pretty and I liked looking at it, mostly I thought it had some weird tunnel vision that prevented me from seeing much. Next, it uses a bunch of tricks and techniques I find annoying, like the lighting effects, the particles looked ugly to me, faces looked odd, I swear there's something like SSAO in it. Characters have decent amounts of polys in them and on their uniforms and gear, but aside from that they look terrible. Helghast actually are designed well, albeit incredibly generic but well designed. The guns were not a lot of fun to look at nor were they very good. The ISA rifle is the best, my brother preferred the hig rifle though. The pistol felt neat and powerful for a while, but eventually I hated it. It didn't have a good sound, it had bad recoil, didn't do enough damage, and looked goofy. Almost all the other guns except the hig MG were mediocre to bad. I heard people talk about realism, intensity, and stuff like that in this game but I guess they were joking.

Your character, first off has one decent moment in this game but I frankly can't recall it, but I know it's there. There is one other moment where I thought it was decently written and provided a good character moment, but at that point, spoiler, two of your more main characters are dead. The game is stupid in many ways. First, it's stupidly written. The relationship between your squad is not very well developed and feels more like frat boys on a road trip more than even just the Aliens squad interactions. Next, like I said, the script is dumb. Rico is a terribly written character and is unlikable, Sev is unlikable, Templar is not really there in this game so based off of it alone he just didn't really exist. Also, what makes these guys special forces? They don't do anything particularly special except maybe that escapade into that desert area, but that felt like something almost anyone could have done. Also, that one scene, spoiler, where Garza gets shot feels really forced.

I'm willing to suspend my disbelief a little, but those things on top of which we ride into battle like bros in the back of a pickup always rubs me the wrong way. We should fall off of these things all the time. They offer no protection and from what I could tell we're supposed to sit on top of them. In Vietnam Americans sat on top of their APCs because they were safer on top than if they were inside where bullets come in one side and rattle around on the inside. A lot of the scenes that are supposed to drive home the intensity of the situation feel forced, like the opening scene.

There were some good moments in the game, they were mostly early on and I cannot really recall them too well. The last three missions were no fun at all and I beat them because a. I was waiting for the good part critics and fans raved about, and b. I knew the game was short. And back to the gameplay, your character feels clunky, floaty, and imprecise and even just a bit heavyish whilst being floaty, once again. The game controls alright, not tightly but mostly functionally. Like I probably complained, guns provide mediocre feedback and only alright spectacle. I am taking into consideration that I played a game from 20009, but I loved Resistance, Quake 4, and Wolfenstein was good except that I played it on my Xbox. The game always feels like you're waiting for the good part and the good part was the relatively fun moments, not whole levels. And, as I said, there are whole levels that are no fun and the game isn't that long.

I sound like I hated the game, but I think it's a good game for some reason. And that bothers me that I liked the game more than I feel it deserves. This doesn't leave me awake at night or anything, I mean I only played it occasionally and only beat it because I knew it was short and that I should beat it. If I was giving a star rating I would give it 3/5 and say it really deserves 2.5/5. With an out of 10 I'd give it 7 and feel it deserved 6. It's weird, I can't explain it. If you see the collection I'd recommend getting it, and if this game is about five bucks (wouldn't know a nice equivalent for anyone else) I'd say by itself it might be worth it if it's black label and decent shape. The warzone mode is decent and I don't play multiplayer online, and I just remembered the music as I was writing this. I think that probably says it all. In summary, it is one of the dumbest (not the good kind) games I have ever played and it isn't a very satisfying popcorn shooter (Resistance is a good example of this).

As a comparison, games I liked more include: Halo: Reach (I want to say I liked Halo 2 more, but I can't), FEAR 3 (better in just about every way), Resistance: Fall of Man, and CoD: Black Ops 2 (sometimes, K2 just comes in under it some moments).

Here's hoping Killzone 3 is better. (Man, that was long, I usually just say I beat it and it was good.)

Been playing Killzone 3 for a few hours. Withholding final judgment until later but so far the game is better in every single way imaginable from its predecessor.
Post edited May 22, 2015 by AnimalMother117
tinyE: Is that the first one in that series you've played?
PaterAlf: Sorry, I've missed your reply, because GOG notification system is broken again.

Yes, it was the first game in that series that I've played.
XD It's not working here either.

Anyway the others beat me to it, but this series gets exponentially better with every title. By the time you hit Jedi Academy you'll be shitting yourself during the intro alone. :D
Finished Uncharted 3 last weekend. Not as good as 2, not even as good as 1. Too many stuff that doesn't make sense. So one of your team gets drugged and turns over to the bad guy his gun and some notebook with information, then he tries to kill Drake and you're going to give him the second half of an important seal??? Yeah, no.

And then the villains, when cornering on a rooftop the formerly drugged guy, they go all Bond and instead of putting a bullet in him they decide to spread some gasoline around him and light that and then leave. So the guy jumps off the roof, breaks his legs but survives.

Oh, and a big issue for me. When I'm running away from something I WANT TO SEE WHERE THE FUCK I'M GOING!!! Don't lock the camera and force me to see what I'm running from! I fucking know already there's bad shit behind me and I need to get away.
The Evil WIthin

After a long break (my ps4 needed to be repaired and i trusted the cloud save, when it return, the cloud save was 2 chapters behind meaning that i've lost 2~3 of progress, i couldn't find any streght in me to pass those 2 hours for a while) i decided to give it another try....

The game is like a rollercoaster in terms of level design, it's ok > good > ok > good > bad > terrible, i can only remember 2 levels that were memorable, the village and the mansion. The problem is that it's one of those games that you really want to love but it gives you soo much hate, while you can see that worked hard on it (the details on the map, the sound, the atmosphere, etc) the game fails in so many other aspects...

The framerate and graphics can be terrible at some points but i blame their engine change (aka i blame Zenimax/Bethesda); they give you stealth but it's broken since the camera is so close to you that you can't really see in some corners, not to say that you barely use it and it's hard to kill enemies using it, they want you to search the map for items (and those statues) but the fov is so low and those black bars doesn't help; the scarce ammunition doesn't create the fear element that they were aiming for, no, it leads to frustration, especially considering that they make this game as a shooter, the enemies are bullet sponges and you can't escape from them.

And it's hard to be immersed in this game, especially with the whole deus ex machina going on, the game kind of tells you what's happening and yet the characters are in awe with some situations, the villain is this super powerfull being that is trying to kill the protagonist and had PLENTY of opportunities but fails to do so, the characters are all bland, etc.
I find the back story that is told in the newspappers, missing people posters and the detective books way more interesting and that was what i wanted to know more about, not what is actually told in the game...

Dunno, i played Resident Evil HD Remake recently and that was such better game, from the level design (this small area and still so much to explore), the pacing of the game, even if the combat is simplistic at least the whole ammo management is done better, etc, it's just hard for me to see that survival horror games nowadays are just walking simulators or some dumb shooter game, there's no middle ground (well, i really enjoyed DS 1 and 2)...

What can i say, i want to know more about the story of TEW but honestly i don't want to play TEW2, i rather that they make a new game without that deus ex machina shenanigans and the scarce ammo stuff.
PixelJunk Shooter (Linux)

I was pleasantly surprised by this title, it's really good!
The graphics are nicely scalable to any resolution, the controls are customizable between keyboard, mouse and any (also non-Xbox!) gamepad, it has a very nice local co-op multiplayer, the level design is good, the shooting not too excessive, the physics puzzles somewhat relaxing and the difficulty curve just right.
I've missed a few jewels but found most of the stuff.
The only annoying thing is the sometimes buggy physics engine, causing a tiny single drop of lava or oil to kill you instantly while sometimes you barely survive a whole flood for a second (without shield) and two times I hid behind a large indestructible rock but died because of hazardous fluids on the other side.

Hopefully I'll find another player for co-op someday.

Into the list it goes:
Post edited May 23, 2015 by Klumpen0815
Forgot to mention it timely, but better late than never.

Final Doom

Final Doom consists of two modifications of Doom II; The Plutonia Experiment and TNT: Evilution, and each of them consists of 30 levels+2 secret ones (accessible once again via the 15th level). It's more of the same (Doom II, that is), without much in the way of differences. Sure, Plutonia Experiment does offer some new kinds of environments, reminiscent of jungles and such, while TNT: Evilution does offer some nice new music tracks but, really, the whole game is nothing more than two large mission packs, with harder stages than the main game. Thus, if you liked Doom II and wanted more of it, Final Doom should do the trick. Otherwise, there is nothing to see here.

List has been updated.
Just finished Ys: Oath of Felghana. Great game and I definitely prefer that combat system over the "bump" system of the original two.
sebarnolds: Shatter
Now you've got me into playing it :o
sebarnolds: Shatter
Austrobogulator: Now you've got me into playing it :o
Hope you'll like it. I didn't know the game and got it in a Humble Bundle. I didn't expect anything when I started it and I must say that I was quite pleasantly surprised :)

Technobabylon has as much atmosphere as Gemini Rue and Primordia, as much story as the Blackwell series and gameplay on par with Resonance. If you liked Beneath a Steel Sky, this game is definitely for you. This is the longest Wadjet game so far, took me well over 12 hours at a very leisurely pace including replaying several scenes and being held up by fair and logical but never frustrating puzzles. The difficulty is a bit higher than Gemini Rue, about the same as Resonance and a bit easier than Primordia.

The signature gameplay element is switching between “meatspace” (RL) and “Trance” (cyberspace) and it’s interesting to manipulate the same room on two different levels of reality. Backtracking is near non-existent and you can only die in a few select scenes that are entirely stress-free. Most puzzles are item based, there is a ton of dialogue but it isn’t a major puzzle element in this game.

In some instances, you can choose between more than one solution for a puzzle such as opening a door by brute force or via hacking, not quite Deus Ex but it’s refreshing to see even minor choices in an adventure game. The result is the same in the end but it adds a little bit of replay value and searching for various possibilities did add notably to my total gaming time.

The story is very linear, you can occasionally make choices but regardless of how you decide, the story continues the same way for the most part.

Voice acting is decent, main character Regis’s voice isn’t too convincing but all in all it doesn’t get in the way of enjoying the game. The music is agreeable as well and contributes nicely to the cyberpunk atmosphere. The Deluxe edition extras aren’t a must, if money is an issue go for the standard version. There is enough gameplay here to warrant the $15 price tag.

If the game interests you, there is a giveaway going on right now for the deluxe version over here:

Full list
Post edited May 23, 2015 by awalterj
awalterj: Technobabylon
Thank you for the review!
Having played all WadjetEye's games (except for "A Golden Wake"), I liked your comparison to the other ones, as it gives a clear idea of what to expect.
This game was on my must-buy list already -I just need to replenish my coffers a bit, first- yet it is always good to hear some opinions before purchasing.
I admit the giveaway is very tempting... I will need to pass a tough will check to resist this one! :P
Austrobogulator: Now you've got me into playing it :o
sebarnolds: Hope you'll like it. I didn't know the game and got it in a Humble Bundle. I didn't expect anything when I started it and I must say that I was quite pleasantly surprised :)
I'm enjoying it so far - it's definitely bringing the score-attack obsession in me.

Also, I just finished Realms of Chaos.

A solid three star game. It's a short and sweet action platformer, but the level quality is very hit or miss. Some levels are great fun to play though, but then there are some levels that are complete shit - particularly the penultimate level, where it's very easy to get into an unwinnable state.

Also, the graphics are pretty clumsy, a lot of the tiles just don't align properly. It's horribly jarring, but there's still some nice art direction here or there - particularly the mushroomy areas and the underground river area.