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Escape Goat 2

I need to differentiate here between the normal levels and the secret rooms.
The normal levels are really fun. More of a puzzle than platforming, only very few level require good platforming skills. The puzzles are interesting and vary enough to not become boring and also were sometimes nicely difficult. I can really recommand this.

Secret Rooms: Yeah these are really secret, there is not really a clue where to find them in all these levels, you have to either really search all the rooms around the empty spaces on the map and jump around at all places to find some invisible keys to open doors that were invisibe before finding the keys or look up the entry levels in a walkthrough. Not so much fun in my opinion.
The secret levels itself were mostly fun, a few required more platforming than before sometimes with extreme time management where jumping at the precise milisecond was needed. Was a bit frustrating after the fun levels before.

All in all. It is a great puzzle platformer. If you want to get 100% not so much. Then it just becomes annoying.

Also: "Press start on your XBox 360 controller"... For real now? Seems like some devs think no other gamepads exist. No thanks, but pressing start on my non microsoft gamepad worked also fine ;-)
Need for Speed: Rivals (PS4)

A fun arcade racer, reminded me a lot of NFS: Hot Pursuit 2 (in a good way), which I owned on the PS2 over 10 years ago.

The main difference is that this game is set in an open world where you drive on interconnected roads rather than set tracks, with many different regions (forest, desert, mountains, freeway, etc.) often reminding me of the old game’s different tracks. It’s also not a completely open world, as although there are many shortcuts and alternate routes, you cannot truly travel off-road wherever you want to go.

The graphics are great, only once did I experience a very brief frame skip for a fraction of a second.

Although you can play with other people on the same map (both cops and racers), I only played single-player with all other cars being AI controlled. I also skipped all the cutscene movies, with no detrimental effect to my enjoyment of the game :D (they are completely surperfluous).

Overall, definitely recommended if you enjoy arcade racers!
Post edited September 26, 2015 by 01kipper
Lost Lands: Four Horsemen (HOG)

Fun story, art
Bonus mission tied in with main campaign
Mostly very good voice acting
Large world map

Logical flow sometimes a bit...wonky, which combined with the large map made me rely on map to figure out where to go next

All in all an enjoyable play, with one of the better stories, though I think this is the HOG I've played where I've relied on the map the most since I couldn't remember where all the random chests/locks/puzzles where without it.
Nightmares From the Deep: The Cursed Heart.

Thanks to a friendly gifter, I finally played and beat the first title in this series. Since the plots aren't that deep, I played them out of order. Its similar to the rest and is decent for fans of the HOG/Adventure hybrid. The sequels are more polished and a bit more professional, but I still enjoyed this one.

With HOG quality all over the spectrum, so far the artifex mundi games have been pretty good.
Pixel Puzzles: Japan

Solid experience for the $1.74 I got it for (on sale at Humble). Definitely relaxing. The all-cherry-blossoms was the only puzzle that sucked. ;)

I think there's plenty of free DLC available (more puzzles), but I was satisfied as is. They may be a Steam thing - I never investigated because my backlog is 4 digits.
Post edited September 28, 2015 by budejovice

An interesting and fun Myst-like adventure game. The locations were beautiful and the puzzles interesting. Some were quite complex but all were logical. There was also a lot of story which could be read in a journal. And while that was nice it is a bit annoying that you need to read it to solve several puzzles. Which lead to situations where you have to read to many pages of journal for solving a puzzle even if you would have prefered to read more background story at another time.
All in all, a nice adventure.
moonshineshadow: Timelapse
The locations were beautiful (...)
Can attest the Easter Island (Rapa Nui) "section" of the game is pretty well detailed and faithful to the real life landscape, and damn good for a 1996 game! :)
Hitman Absolution (360)

This one is game that forms some very divisive opinions. Like many people i love the Hitman series and the first game is one of my favorites of all time. Absolution is not like the earlier games, it follows on from the story in a way (what little story there is to Hitman), but changes up the gameplay. This type of thing does annoy me, when all i want is a new game to the old formula, just with modern tech. That's why i cringe every time i hear some clown say "i hope the next Borderlands game they change up the formula a bit...blah blah" when all i want is for Gearbox to make a new Borderlands game every 2 years to the exact formula used in the earlier ones...people that don't like it can play other games and stop trying to change all games to what they want. There's enough games for everyone to enjoy their thing.

But they did make Absolution, and it's not what i would hope for, for the series. BUT, i played it for what it is, rather than what i hoped it to be, and did enjoy it still- quite a bit in fact. So it is not actually a bad game at all, it's just a different type of game. I gave it a chance and had fun, but i'd still rather the new Hitman game that's coming to go back to the old formula of "here's a map, there's your high profile target, hit them in any way you like to whatever degree of professionalism you like".
Absolution is more like a military stealth game where you mostly hide behind walls and dodge police. Even the targets you need to hit are generally just people that are in your way to your objective rather than being high profile objectives in themselves.

For the type of game it is though, Absolution did work. It was paced well, looked and sounded good, had good tension at times during missions. The levels also tie together. After hitting your targets, you then play out the evasion of the Police or guards seeking you. This time it's not just hit and forget and move onto the next mission.

I'm happy with most of the gameplay except for one aspect: the "Instinct" function. I see what they were trying to do and in one way it works. One issue i've had with Hitman games are disguises and how they play. I mean really, even if you don't know people personally in your workplace, you still know most people by sight. So if an angry looking bald guy with a barcode on the back of his head walks in, dressed like'd take notice and think it's pretty odd. But not in Hitman games.
Absolution on the other hand, assumes other people in your trade group will quickly notice something isn't right unless they're distracted or tricked. The "Instinct" ability works like a short term "bluff your way through a tight spot" ability. If that's all it was then i'd be happy. But it's also a general purpose "superpower vision" used to highlight objects and guard paths. That's what i don't like about the Instinct function...though to be fair i suppose, if you play on the harder difficulty levels the special features are reduced or removed. So it's a choice, but i'd rather they ditched the supervision stuff entirely and just kept it as a very limited short timed "emergency bluff ability" to get your disguise through a tight spot.

Overall it was a very decent stealth based game for me, i don't regret playing it. Though i can understand why people that paid full price thinking they were getting the next Hitman game would feel a bit betrayed. It was a win for me though as it was a Games with Gold title last year, i'm pretty sure it's also been on the PSN Plus games list as well.
Post edited September 29, 2015 by CMOT70
Finished Technobabylon, a really good point'n click. I recommend it for all point'n clickers who like a minimum science fiction. I had to use a walkthrough but each time (except on the final puzzle) I was left wondering why I didn't try the thing that I needed to do in the first place.

Full list here.
The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault On Dark Athena.

I almost want to to tell you to just go re-read my review of The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay as they're very similar but that wouldn't be completely fair to Assault On Dark Athena.

Well actually, the gameplay works exactly the same, so I'm not going to go over that much. The big differences is you'll be facing mostly be facing human drones instead of prison guards, and the mechs return but with an additional human drone type. The guns mostly carry over, there is no chaingun but there is a new gun that allows you to make enemies go boom by way of tagging them. There are mostly new melee weapons but they work the same as the ones in Escape From Butcher Bay.

The level design feels much worse in Assault On Dark Athena compared to its predecessor. Instead of stealth being a big factor overall (sneaking past guards, taking down entire groups without being seen etc), stealth is now mostly used to to sneak up on enemies and to set up a battlefield advantage in the calm before the storm. Sure there are a handful areas that allow you to be a "predator" like in Escape From Butcher Bay, but most fights can best be described as "how quickly can I shotgun the baddies".

The story is a bit weaker as it provides a lot of kinda interesting background information for what it is going but, but it never does anything with that information, and the information itself is pretty shallow. I know, you don't usually play an action game for the story but it's still a bit disappointing.

The new characters are...well..shallow and mostly absent. The big bad herself is about as present as the big bad in Escape From Butcher Bay and with a little less dialogue (or so it felt to me), which is a shame as they could've built up a nice rapport between her and Riddick given the information they did give on her. Every other new character is one dimensional and you know immediately what role they're being used for in the game.

The audio is great here. The movement of the drones sound suitably mechanical, the voice acting is top notch and the music (which carries over tracks from Escape From Butcher Bay) is solid.

I've got to make special mention that Assault On Dark Athena does clearly repeat certain sequences from Escape From Butcher Bay, so it's not the "freshest" game and I wouldn't recommend playing it soon after Escape From Butcher Bay.

Overall I...didn't really enjoy it that much, but (obviously) enjoyed it enough to finish it. I think it's worth a playthrough if you liked Escape From Butcher Bay, but its predecessor is superior in nearly every way.
Valiant Hearts- The Great War (Xbox One)

Yet another GwG game, i seem to be playing a lot of these this year. Valiant Hearts has been around for about a year or so now and it's a really nice side scrolling adventure game. Full marks for the subject matter first of all, there are not too many WW1 adventure games around.

It tells a fine story from the point of view of 5 characters who's paths cross in various ways during the course of the war. The games story feels mostly like one of those old War Comics, and the story takes a few non historical liberties (like shooting down enemy planes with a tank). Supplementing the gameplay, though, are actual historical collectibles and fact footnotes that flesh out the real life setting to a great degree. Whilst the collectibles and the little stories they tell are good, my advice is to not go searching for them during a first playthrough so as to not break up the flow of play. The game isn't all that long, so you can easily get the items in a second run through if you're interested.

The artwork is a nice comic book like style. And the music is awesome as well, in some way it reminds me of the music of Yann Tiersen (who does the soundtracks for French movies like Amelie).

The puzzles are easy enough, though still satisfying to begin with. And each of the player characters has their signature sets of puzzle types. My only criticism of the puzzles (and the entire game really) is that the same handful of puzzle styles and action sequences get used over and over for each of the respective characters. And the Dog gets a bit overused in my opinion as well.

But overall it's a great little adventure game that is well worth the low price it can be bought for, and for me was a great mid-game break from Wizardry 6. Ubisoft seem to be really getting onto a roll with these smaller games like this one and Child of Light, AC Chronicles etc...smaller games priced in the same realms as Indie titles but with production values of full priced products.
Post edited October 02, 2015 by CMOT70
New York Mysteries: Secrets of the Mafia

Not my favorite HOG. Mostly consisted of 'complete this scene' types of puzzles where every item interacts with another until you finally get down to the final item you need.

Start with a key to unlock a box. In the box is a handle to open a crate. In the crate is a knife to cut down a bag. In the bag is a cracker to give the bird. After the bird moves you can pick up the pliers to open the gate. Behind the gate is the meaning of life... etc. And this is just the Hidden Object scene. Puzzles are scattered throughout the game. Most of them ranging from too easy, to very odd and hard to figure out. (not difficult, but require a certain brain type to figure out).

Game was functional and entertaining enough to finish at a casual pace, but not a standout in any area.
Freedom Planet

A platformer in vein of the old Sonic games. Some even say the best Sonic game never made by Sega. I never played the old Sonic games back in the day. I was a Nintendo kid, with Super Mario World and Yoshi's Island as my favorites. With that being said, the fast paced platforming felt a little bit unprecise at times and too bouncy at others. It gave me the feeling of playing against the controls and not against the game. Apart from that, the artwork was very pleasing, not too pixelated and just detailed enough to be a convincing 16-bit game from the 90s. The story was nothing out of the ordinary and the voice-acting was, while not being A-level, just the right combination of well done, campy and compelling. The soundtrack was just as good, but not limited to chiptunes and with more asian synth-pop influences.
Overall a very pleasant playthrough.
Fist Puncher
I've read a lot of bad things about this game, but for me it was impossible to not fun fun with it. Sure, the first boss fights are tedious, but once you have a decent developed character, they are not really hard and more or less each level can be done in a few minutes. Unlocked most of the characters and played with the Beekeeper, Doctor Karate, Officer O'Grady and Kid Justice. But most of the time I stayed with Hella Fistgerald who has some very good attacks and also can convert enemies to help you in your fights.

Music was great, story was funny and entertaing (I hope for a sequel) with lots of references and hidden stuff to find and unlock.

One of the few things that I didn't like was the fact that settings aren't saved and that I had to turn on fullscreen again every single time that I played this game.

Will keep it on my HD for a while to play with some of the other characters as well.

Dominique Pamplemousse in "It's All Over Once the Fat Lady Sings!"
Probably the only offbeat stop motion animated detective adventure game in existence. As an adventure game it doesn't work very well (because the game is very short and there are hardly any puzzles), but when you look at it as an interactive movie or musical, it's great.

The whole setting, the story and the music are hilarious and I absolutely love the art-style (everything is made out of clay and cardboard. And when you keep in mind that everything was made by a single person, I would say the result is pretty amazing.

I would recommend to play the game in one sitting though. Saving didn't work for me, because the game was made in Flash and the save file was deleted when I shut down the computer (the same problem I have with NEO Scavenger).

Complete list of finished games in 2015
Wooooow I just finished Crimson Skies which completes a playthrough I apparently started in 2008!
It's been with me since the days when it used to crash my computer because it couldn't cope right through to modern graphics cards that need all sorts of patches to be hunted down to get the creaky old thing running properly!
It's like a cross between Wing Commander, Red Barron and Pilot Wings as you dog fight in alt-history bi-planes and against cap-ship zeppelins but then have to carry out crazy tight stunts right in the middle of it
In fact this game is more in need of mid-level... at least 'checkpoints' if not full-on 'save points' as you have to fight a bunch of planes, pull off a crazy stunt, fight a bunch MORE planes, do so tight strafing runs and fight yet more planes with the threat of hitting something and instant dying ever present - but it DOES make finishing a level feel extra special when you finally do!
Because of that it didn't make me want to play many levels in a row, which is one of the reasons it took me so long to finish but it will always have a special place in my heart - seems so strange to be ticking it off the list, finally!
Anyway - full list:
Post edited October 03, 2015 by Fever_Discordia