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Alright, so I finished Journal yesterday.

First things first - most people wouldn't consider this a "game". It is an interactive short story. There is not really any "playing" here, and there are no puzzles. It is just storytelling. You will sometimes have options of what to say in conversations, but they don't have major consequences, other than getting a few different responses from who you are talking to.

That said, I found the story to be interesting, and well told. It is about a girl (middle-school age) whose journal is missing several pages of entries. It is known that she is having a difficult time, but the specifics are not clear at the beginning. As the game progresses, you find out why she is having a difficult time, and the journal slowly fills with words.
The way the story is told is unique. I don't know quite how to explain it... At times it feels like I was being deceived (this wasn't necessarily a bad thing.) There are some mysterious events that occur, and the girl knows the truth behind them before the player does. Sometimes it feels like the story is told slightly backwards - some things happen, or are mentioned, but you don't understand the details until later.
Overall, I found the story to be interesting and emotional. It might come across as pretentious to some people, but I didn't really think of it that way.
The artwork is unique and pretty. The game takes place inside the journal, so the art consists of pencil and marker drawings on notebook paper. The music is beautiful, and fits the tone of the game.

I have one complaint - there is a jump button that seems to have no purpose at all.

I thought it was a really great 2-hour interactive story. I'd like to experience it again sometime.
I'd recommend it, but not at full price. The normal price of $10 feels like way too much (even half of that would feel like too much.) It is 85% off on Steam this week, which feels much more appropriate.
Also - I checked myself, and it is DRM-free on Steam.

My full list.
Little bit of a slow start this year because I keep getting distracted by MTG or too many games.

First game I finished was NekoPara Vol. 1. Its hard to put my feelings on this one into words properly. Its the cutest VN that has ever been made and I loved it. Sadly a bit short (3-4), but this looks to be one of those episodic things.

Next is Project Diva F 2nd. I'm still working on bettering scores and passing Extreme difficulty, but I've passed everything on Hard which is my criteria for completing these. Once again its an amazing rhythm game for Vocaloid fans, but in my opinion this is the weakest entry in the series since the first game.
* The song selection is weaker than average, though it is growing on me and is a very subjective thing anyway.
* Difficulty spikes are much more prevalent than any other Diva game.
* There's this new mechanic with stars connected by a line. You'd have to play it to know what I'm talking about. Anyway, I hate these things. The way Diva games have always worked is that the way notes are arranged on screen gives you an idea about their relative timing (spread out icons mean pauses between notes, intuitive). Not so with these connected star things, they're completely impossible to process visually.
* Some songs returning from PSP installments got new videos. This could've been really cool, but all the replacement videos are just Miku on a stage in a concert setting. The old ones were actual music videos - visually interesting and relevant to the song, much better than the new ones. Not only are the new videos inferior in 1-to-1 comparisons, but since there are several of these concert videos it contributes to a sense of visual monotony across the game.

Was actually browsing my hard drive for games to delete to free up some space when found this one and couldn't for the life of me remember where I got it. Google didn't help - the name is way too generic. Only after beating it and googling the names from the Credits did I find the game, and the fact that it was in the only bundlebandits bundle that I ever purchased.

Anyway, nice and short platformer. Not very hard, though you die in one hit and have to restart the level when that happens. Game plays only in a small window, which was kind of annoying.


Very short arcade game with the story told in visual-novel style between-level cutscenes and voice+text dialogue during the actual missions. While the gameplay itself is rather simplistic, the art and the story were great, and the voice acting talent was professional (quite literally)

SigCorp - Holiday Special (To the Moon Free DLC)

Not really a game, but a 20-30 minute quick To the Moon after-story. It was apparently released over a year ago, but I only found out about it now. It was right there in my To the Moon Steam install directory too!

Anyway it was good seeing those characters again, with a nice simple story, and strangely enough the minigame gameplay reminded me of Unhack's :)


Finally got around to playing this one, and it was pretty good. Not at all scary, but somewhat creepy. Rather easy for the most part, even though I played it on Hard - the bullettime was just too much of an advantage. Playing the first expansion now on the hardest difficulty setting and definitely feeling the challenge.

Frederic: Evil Strikes Back

A rhythm game sequel that pales in comparison to it's significantly better predecessor in just about every single way except the gameplay, which is identical. The overall plot is about as silly, but the actual execution seems more stupid, and the music is far worse and doesn't seem to have much to do with the enemies you're dueling.
Oh joy, more games for my already-long wishlist! lol~

The Swapper (Puzzle-Adventure)

You might have noticed that I did not add 'Platformer' to the genre of the game, despite the game being listed as one. I just can't think of this game as a platfomer. There are no death traps, no enemies to avoid, no coins or baubles to collect... it's simply an adventure game that happens to have some platforms in it.

Let me get some of the technical stuff out of the way before I continue.

The game is configured to work with both PS and X-360 controllers, if you wish to use one. You can adjust the sensitivity of both the controller and the mouse, if you're using the keyboard, through the Options menu. There you can also adjust the screen resolution -- from 640x480 up to 1920x1080 -- the volume, Windowed or Full-screen, etc. I highly recommend making sure the subtitles are ON whilst you're there -- There is an aspect of the story that I totally would have missed if I'd not had the subtitles on. If you want to adjust the keyboard settings, it's on the bottom right of the Options screen.

So how does the gameplay work? Well, I can't elaborate on that too much without giving things away, but I will give you what I can without adding spoilers. I do want to mention that there are hidden areas with extra story (via terminals,) which I knew nothing about until I finished the game. Also, please note that you will get to the point that you realize you are going to have to have Godlike reflexes and tracking abilities to be able to progress in the game... Until you realize that there is a way to slow everything down to a crawl, which will allow you the time you need to get things done. Incredibly helpful, not to mention necessary, since I don't think *anyone* can react that quickly!

Back to the topic at hand, which is the gameplay. You hold a "swapping" device in your hands that has two abilities: First is the duplicate function. What this does is create exact replicas of you, and your replica(s) will mimic every move you make. You can have up to four duplicates at any given time. If they "die" you can create another to take its place, and when your duplicates touch you, they disappear, allowing you to make another. Second is the "swapping" beam. Zap any of your replicas with this beam to have your consciousness transferred to that body. The swapping beam has one more function, and I mention it only because I got completely stuck, having NO idea you could do this: If you are in freefall, you can use the beam to "push" yourself through space.

The game progresses through a series of puzzles based upon these abilities. There are obstacles in that the swapping device reacts differently around colored lights. For instance, you can create a duplicate within red light, but your swapping beam is completely blocked by the red. The opposite holds true within blue light, and so on.

There is one puzzle that requires your bodies to be in exactly the right places (only one that is fiddly that way), one puzzle requires really good timing, and just one had me completely stumped to the point I had to come back to it the next day. Solving the rest of the puzzles ranged from deceptively easy to, "YEES! That felt SO good!!"

You might think by reading the above that this is just a puzzle game, but no -- this is a true adventure at heart, and so deeply environmental that it really feels as if you're problem-solving like you would any day in real life. The devs have achieved this immersion through various ways, which I will describe below.

The music sets the tone so beautifully, so perfectly, that you don't really notice it at first. Never distracting, I was more than once surprised to realize that not only was it was there, that it was lovely to listen to, as well. "Lovely?" you ask, "In an atmospheric psychological horror?" To that I say, "Absolutely!" Just go with it, you'll see what I mean when you play. ;) The voices are done incredibly well, never feeling stilted or out-of-place.

And that brings me to the story, that which binds the whole game together in this richly-woven tapestry. The story progresses in multiple ways. You will occasionally hear voices (... no, not that kind of "hearing voices"!) as you progress through the game, and, as mentioned, they are very well done. Next up are the terminals, which give you snippets of conversations and orders from the command of this place you're in. Lastly you have the thoughts of... something(s), which I will not give away.

When I first saw the graphics, I thought they looked blurry... fuzzy, even. It's amazing how differently you perceive things when you're actually playing the game yourself, and not just looking at screenshots or a video. Suffice to say that the graphics contribute to the overall feeling of the game. Somehow, The Swapper reminds me of John Carpenter's The Thing. No, there's no parasitic life form trying to assimilate and/or mutilate you, but those feelings... Cold. Alone. Uneasy. It is all of these and more.

This is truly a must-play game for anyone who enjoys a deeply environmental game with a powerful tale to tell... a tale whose full implications I have yet to digest. Better yet, this is a game that can be enjoyed even more upon subsequent play-throughs... And that is something I will be even more happy to do now that I know I missed some of the content my first time through.

Highly recommended!

Full List
genkicolleen: The Swapper (Puzzle-Adventure)


Highly recommended!
I also wholeheartedly recommend the game! And I also cannot understand why it's labeled as a platformer while it clearly isn't.
Red Faction

Red Faction had a lot of things going for it. Nice environments, a great sense of adventure, sometimes multiple paths to reach your destination, a promising geo-mod feature, cool guns, cool vehicles and enemies that weren't sitting in place waiting to die. This could have easily been one my most favourite FPS games.

Unfortunately, it had to include two stupid stealth sections that severely restricted your options (you get discovered and you have to reload, essentially. You also lose all your weaponry and you don't gain it back; what a load of bullshit!) and the exteremely bad last sections that pitted you against opponents that can be both hard to kill, with some of them able to one-shot you (on normal difficulty, no less) and bringing to mind bad memories from Shogo's "Quick save/load to proceed" modus operandi. It didn't help that the very last part of the game was in essence a large linear path with no deviations, lots of enemies that could very easily kill you and no health or armor to help you with the final boss. Whoever designed that part was an asshole.

On another note, It's too bad that the game didn't expand on its use of the geo-mod feature. It could have been a really cool game if they had succeded in doing so. As it stands, it's only utilised in some specific spots. Oh well... should I reserve hope for the sequel? We shall see...

... but till then, let me summon the list.
Post edited March 08, 2015 by Grargar
I just finished Coμ: Black Dragon in a Gentle Kingdom.

After hearing the song of a ghost girl a group of five random people get connected to a giant monster. They can control it and do whatever they want with it. The catch: If the monster, called avatar, is destroyed the five people connected to it die.
There are more and more of these five people groups, called Coμ (Comyu), and more and more conflicts break out.

This does sound like an interesting setting but sadly this Visual Novel isn't that good. The story, while intense in some moments has a few long stretches where there is only boredom. (Heroine 3 and, to a lesser extend, heroine 1).
But the biggest problem are the characters. There is nearly no character development and the bit that is there is predictable.
Example 1: The character who closed his heart learns about friendship and love and opens his heart again.
Example 2: The character who leads a double life accepts that all of her different personalities are a part of her.

Overall I can't really recommend this game even thou it had its moments. In a few month I'll probably have forgotten about this game, if I don't look at my list. (This one or OpenOffice.)

Here's my list.
NoNewTaleToTell: Words...
Novotnus: I couldn't even launch it :) Went to game's forum and found out that the game is designed for 64 bit systems and that's the standard since 2010 so I'm deprived of this masterpiece if I don't buy a new system (Linux is not good enough for this one it seems).
Trust me, you're not missing anything haha.

The Maker's Eden (Episode One). The Maker's Eden is a episodic point & click game set in a cyberpunk-ish dystopian Orwellian future. It has a pleasing art style, with a hand drawn feel overall. The story is told via comic book style panels, and it's well written for the genre. The gameplay is standard point & click and features the occasional puzzle (I believe I had to solve three puzzles). Its atmosphere is immersive in spite (or perhaps due to) of how simple the game actually is (there is very little actual animation). There is no voice acting and I really can't remember any of the songs despite having finished the game just a couple of hours ago, so I would count the music as forgettable. I did encounter a bit of a glitchy puzzle, and I noticed a couple of typos but nothing major. Overall I enjoyed The Maker's Eden, it was rather short (it took me 99 minutes to finish it) and I'm looking forward to the future episodes.
I'm off to a late start this year :)

1. Quantum Conundrum. It was embarrassing how close to the end I was when I let it sit...
...a long wait...
2. Dark Forces
...another long wait...
3. Jazzpunk
4. A Story About My Uncle

Not having a "productive" year so far
Post edited August 09, 2015 by BoxOfSnoo
Jan 14 - Famaze

A nice short little roguelike. I really enjoyed the pixel art and the music is good. The game mechanics are straightforward. It reminds me of the free version of Desktop Dungeons in many ways, which is a good thing. I've only won the game once, but will keep it installed to play it more in the future.
Jan 15 - Finding Teddy

A wonderful pixel art point-and-click adventure game. Colorful and surreal with a nice ambient soundtrack. The controls are simple, though I do wish accessing the music note menu and inventory had been made a little more obvious. The animation was smooth and the deaths were enjoyable to discover. I got a chuckle out of being eaten on the second screen of the game. I liked the music note messages and how they conveyed the story.
Defender's Quest:
Nice little game. The story connecting the levels was nice. For me the difficulty level was good, but this was only the second tower defence game I played so for more experienced players it could be a bit too easy. And you can put many hours into the game since all levels have three difficulty options and there are also some bonus levels.
Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor

This is my case of how terrible 2015 was for AAA games because this was actually goty for some people, the game is just mediocre.

You start the game and you don't even know what to do, what to upgrade, where's those amazing things promised in the videos, etc. After a process of grinding and learning you start enjoying a little more because you start learning some stuff and the latter unlocks is what really shines in the game but at that point it doesn't really matter because you're almost finished with the game.

The combat has a great feel to it (and i wasn't even fan of the Batman game's combat) but like i said, it's kind of hard at first and later it gets way easier, i dont feel like there's a middle ground.

The story is... ok, i guess. I hate when they want to make a serious story and then proceed to make goofy stuff and forget why you're actually playing for (same thing for the last FC games).

Some gimmicks of the game works and others don't, for example, why does it matter what your target fears or is weak to when you're confined to a mission area and can't get the stuff that you need to beat the boss? Why the missions areas for an open world game? WHY?

At the end of the game i was like, yeah, ok, i finished the game but i honestly can't see what they can do with a sequel and i honestly don't want to play one. Rather, i wish they grab some of the ideas (branding enemies and the captain system) and use them on other games.
Wow. I definitely won't be adding this one to my wishlist!
genkicolleen: Wow. I definitely won't be adding this one to my wishlist!
Hey, you wouldnt happen to know if he's ghostwise?