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hucklebarry: Divinity: Original Sin EE.
Wow, that sounds quite terrible ... So far I've only ever heard that the story wasn't all that interesting and that people tend to lose their motivation to complete the game after 30 hours or so, but everything else was always positive. I guess everyone has a different opinion about this, and maybe those are just minor annoyances, so I'll take it with a grain of salt, but I'll be more careful about buying it, too, as I hate losing progress, too much randomness and repetition and running the risk of ending up in a dead end. :/
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hucklebarry: Divinity: Original Sin EE.
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Leroux: Wow, that sounds quite terrible ... So far I've only ever heard that the story wasn't all that interesting and that people tend to lose their motivation to complete the game after 30 hours or so, but everything else was always positive. I guess everyone has a different opinion about this, and maybe those are just minor annoyances, so I'll take it with a grain of salt, but I'll be more careful about buying it, too, as I hate losing progress, too much randomness and repetition and running the risk of ending up in a dead end. :/
Well, as in most things, we tend to complain or oversell the bad. The writing in the game is very good. The side-quests are fun, and the humor is great. There is lots of exploration, and you get rewarded for thinking differently. I really did enjoy the game, but my frustration stems from how silly some of the decisions were ontop of an otherwise fantastic game. So that wasn't meant as a "DONT'T BUY!!!!!", it was more of a warning to give it the patience to stand on its own. Its a slow moving, thoughtful game. My first play through in default difficulty was 130 hours according to Steam. But I was VERY thorough and retried a few situations (including lots of combat scenarios).
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hucklebarry: So that wasn't meant as a "DONT'T BUY!!!!!", it was more of a warning to give it the patience to stand on its own.
I know, it's just that there's a high probability that things like that would frustrate me too, so it can be a factor when deciding at which time to buy it and at what price. I will definitely try it at some point, but another epic length CRPG with tough tactical combat that requires me to spend a lot of time on figuring out how things work by trial and error won't be my top priority at the moment. ;)
Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition

My favorite game from last year recently got a free update, and since I currently didn't have anything else worthwhile to play, I decided to venture into Rivellon once more. It's not easy to fuck up a masterpiece with new features and content, which is exactly what they...didn't do. Quite the contrary, the game is even better now with the update. More voice acting, some spells have been redistributed in a way that makes more sense, some new content, etc. I noticed some areas were definitely altered in some way, but that they had also made some new areas too. It's nothing too major, mind you: it's still very clearly the same old game I loved so much under all that polish, and that's good. No need to fix something that isn't broken. Do yourself a favor and play this game now, if you haven't already.
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DProject: Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition

My favorite game from last year recently got a free update, and since I currently didn't have anything else worthwhile to play, I decided to venture into Rivellon once more. It's not easy to fuck up a masterpiece with new features and content, which is exactly what they...didn't do. Quite the contrary, the game is even better now with the update. More voice acting, some spells have been redistributed in a way that makes more sense, some new content, etc. I noticed some areas were definitely altered in some way, but that they had also made some new areas too. It's nothing too major, mind you: it's still very clearly the same old game I loved so much under all that polish, and that's good. No need to fix something that isn't broken. Do yourself a favor and play this game now, if you haven't already.
So what's your opinion about the design decisions that hucklebarry criticized above? Did they not bother you at all?
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DProject: Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition

My favorite game from last year recently got a free update, and since I currently didn't have anything else worthwhile to play, I decided to venture into Rivellon once more. It's not easy to fuck up a masterpiece with new features and content, which is exactly what they...didn't do. Quite the contrary, the game is even better now with the update. More voice acting, some spells have been redistributed in a way that makes more sense, some new content, etc. I noticed some areas were definitely altered in some way, but that they had also made some new areas too. It's nothing too major, mind you: it's still very clearly the same old game I loved so much under all that polish, and that's good. No need to fix something that isn't broken. Do yourself a favor and play this game now, if you haven't already.
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Leroux: So what's your opinion about the design decisions that hucklebarry criticized above? Did they not bother you at all?
Whaddya know, didn't even realize there was another user right above me who had also just finished the game.

About his first clause...well, I might not be the right person to agree or disagree on the matter, because I played on Classic difficulty, which is one difficulty level lower than Tactician. He also didn't mention which classes / skills he started the game with. I started with a Ranger and a Witch, and didn't have any problems during the first encounter - and later, you just have to steer clear of places that have higher-lever enemies than you. I did, however, save before most encounters like him, apparently, but didn't have to resort to re-loading too often. Again, not sure if it's a bigger issue to handle encounters if you're on Tactician difficulty. Although - and I mean no offense when I say this - without knowing any better, I would first suspect the problem is the user before I would blame the game. The game is very tactic-heavy and it's easy to get killed simply by not paying enough attention to the lay of the land, placement, when to save AP, and what skills to use and when. Feels strange that you'd need a specific combination just to be able to pass the first group of enemies, but like I said, I haven't personally experienced Tactician mode so I can't 100% confirm this.

The second issue he mentioned was skill respeccing. All I can say is that the game does warn you if you want to forget a skill or a spell, so... I'd say it's all on the player if he chooses to forget a certain spell, then pulls his hair out because he's having a hard time locating that spellbook again (although there are plenty of them available in most major areas). Also, if one needs to try every spell in action before they can decide if they're worth keeping, I would say they don't know how to plan things properly.

The third issue he mentions is RPS and with this one I can wholeheartedly agree. It's a game of chance, even with a high charisma and truly one of the cases where saving beforehand is almost always mandatory. I agree that there could have been a different mechanic - if not else, then at least an auto-win option if my charisma is significantly higher than those whoever I'm talking to. Or better yet, if it was a mini-game or something, just so that it wouldn't all come down to luck. I always used auto-resolve to get through faster, and in most cases it actually worked out for me if my speech value was higher, but not every time. So yeah, that could have used more work.

edit: By the way, where did you hear people say the story isn't good? I would argue that it's much more engaging than in many other RPGs, and more easily understandable. For example, one of the more recent RPGs, Pillars of Eternity, pales in comparison - in my opinion. PoE had an overly complex story and I didn't find it that interesting. D:OS has a much, much better main plot. The side quests are interesting too.
Post edited December 15, 2015 by DProject
Braveland Wizard

I completed the first game about a year ago and so I knew what to expect. Braveland Wizard is a very casual TBS game that can be completed in some hours. I think that this game was even easier than the first one though. I played on normal and there was no chance to lose a single battle. In fact one simple stragety worked for every single level. In the end you'll probably will hardly lose any of your own troops (and if you do it doesn't matter anyway, because they get replaced at the end of each battle). I recommend to play it on hard to have a little more fun.

Complete list of finished games in 2015
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DProject: About his first clause...well, I might not be the right person to agree or disagree on the matter, because I played on Classic difficulty, which is one difficulty level lower than Tactician.
Oh, I didn't even realize hucklebarry was talking about an advanced difficulty mode. Since he wrote "middle difficulty" I assumed that would be the equivalent of "normal" or "medium", one step above "easy", but apparantly it's tougher than that ("NPCs get +20% HP. Currently known as Hardcore Mode, this mode gives most creatures in the game additional skills & abilities, including bosses"). I would probably play in "Classic" mode like you.

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DProject: Also, if one needs to try every spell in action before they can decide if they're worth keeping, I would say they don't know how to plan things properly.
I can't really judge this as I haven't played the game yet, but to me there's nothing wrong with trying out different spells and builds in the same playthrough if you don't like to replay games, or correcting your mistakes if they make the game less enjoyable to you. Just like the difficulty modes, it's all a matter of preferences and different player types. Never mind whether someone is able to plan things properly or not, sometimes they just don't enjoy planning ahead too much and prefer experimenting instead. So I'd be all for the option of respeccing without repetition and tedious backtracking as a punishment. That being said, in the other two Divinity games, I just chose whatever skills or spells sounded fun to me and I never felt the need to respec. To me these Larian games were quite good examples of games that give the player freedom in their builds without punishing them for not planning ahead that carefully, so it would be a surprising turn if the devs had deviated from that formula now.

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DProject: edit: By the way, where did you hear people say the story isn't good?
Don't know where exactly but it was stated by more than one reviewer/poster/friend. I think it was before POE came out though and before the Enhanced Edition, and it did neither surprise me nor put me off that much, as IMO Divine Divinity and Divinity 2 didn't have very good stories either and I still enjoyed playing them ("not very good" meaning "not all that interesting", and not "terrible").

Anyway, thanks a lot to both of you for your detailed reviews and replies, they're very helpful! :)
Post edited December 16, 2015 by Leroux
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DProject: Also, if one needs to try every spell in action before they can decide if they're worth keeping, I would say they don't know how to plan things properly.
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Leroux: I can't really judge this as I haven't played the game yet, but to me there's nothing wrong with trying out different spells and builds in the same playthrough if you don't like to replay games, or correcting your mistakes if they make the game less enjoyable to you. Just like the difficulty modes, it's all a matter of preferences and different player types. Never mind whether someone is able to plan things properly or not, sometimes they just don't enjoy planning ahead too much and prefer experimenting instead. So I'd be all for the option of respeccing without repetition and tedious backtracking as a punishment. That being said, in the other two Divinity games, I just chose whatever skills or spells sounded fun to me and I never felt the need to respec. To me these Larian games were quite good examples of games that give the player freedom in their builds without punishing them for not planning ahead that carefully, so it would be a surprising turn if the devs had deviated from that formula now.
Well the thing is, with the inclusion of elements, you really shouldn't experiment too much. I find it incredibly important to paralyze as many mobs as possible throughout a battle, and some combinations thus naturally won't work. For example, an ice shard followed by a big fireball might look and sound cool, but it wouldn't work in the practical sense. First you'd freeze the enemy with the ice shard...and then you would immediately thaw the ice with that fireball. This is mostly what I meant by planning ahead and not simply unleashing every possible spell you find "to see if it fits my playstyle". Furthermore, I really believe you should only specialize in one or two magic schools anyway - thus, you'll be advancing towards mastery a lot faster, and then keeping some spells and forgetting others won't even become an issue. With just 15 skillpoints, you've already maxed out a certain skill and thus can keep (and use) most every spell in that skill, with the exception of master class spells which you can only have two of.

Besides, if you really, really want to experiment, it would make more sense doing those experiments by using one-time-use scrolls, which are much more common than skillbooks.

Finally, once you've collected enough Star Stones, a portal opens in your Homestead, where you can reassign all your current skillpoints. This is for the ultimate case, where you suddenly decide that "I don't want to use fire at all anymore, I now want to utilize only air spells".
Let me clarify on my D:OS EE comments. I did play on the standard difficulty. When I tried tactician with a ranger/knight, I could not get past the first encounter. My ranger could only do one thing each turn. He was getting hit for 30% of his HP each hit. The fight was not winnable. There was no skill or thought process I could use to change the outcome with no skills yet provided, no consumables, etc. The simple math was the AI crushed me. I then went back with different classes and found it much easier. This is a common complaint. Every walkthrough highly encourages you to have a mage as one of your main characters.

THIS is my complaint. There is no way to know this without first trying and dying. And at this point, they already lost some fans. It SHOULD be perfectly reasonable to add a mage to your party after you get to town. Even one of the tooltips during loadscreens is to save and reload to try different things. I think that is a copout when they should have instead explained that this game is exponentially more difficult if you don't have a caster in the very first battle before you get to add to your party. Sure, some encounters are lucky. You can fight a mob and your whole party wipes, reload, and do the exact same thing and you will win without a scratch. I could have probably kept reloading my tactician save and won the first battle with my ranger/knight... but that would not have been fun.

For my play through on standard difficulty, they game still forced lots of reloads. There are lots of gotchas in the game. I was extremely slow, thorough, and detailed in my play through (as I said, this was not my first Larian game). But your party can still be one shot in quite a few places. Its sounds like some who really defend the game have already played it, learned it, and are now playing it again and finding it easy. My mini review/suggestion isn't geared towards them. Its intended for people who haven't yet played the game and don't know what to expect.

I won't argue personal opinion, but mine is that Larian missed the mark on balance. You either have to fail a bit to find out on your own what classes/skill work the best, or you have to read other's findings. I don't find this acceptable that early in the game.

Now, Since I have beat the game on standard difficulty (and I disagree that its easy for any first timer), I am now working on Tactician but even had to start that one over twice to find the "right" caster to start with. Now I find the game easy, but that is due to my efforts on the first time around. I can't imagine this game on honour mode. I'm sure its doable, but there are also some cheap one-shots that have to be well known and planned ahead for before trying. Not sure if I will even bother with that one.
Post edited December 16, 2015 by hucklebarry
Once again, I have a lot of completions to report! I'm up to 129 for the year and I'm going to try and squeeze a few more in before it's over.

Full List + Completion Times

Hello Kitty Kruisers - As you might imagine, this was a very simplistic and easy game. I barely even had to try haha. It was perfect for what I needed at the time, something mindless.
Winter Heat - A rather nice '90s arcade sports game, basically the winter version of Decathlete.
Shining the Holy Ark - FINALLY! I finally finished this game. I wanted to play it so bad in the '90s and missed out on it, eventually tracked down a copy in the early '00s and made a few runs at trying to complete it. All were unsuccessful, except this last one! It's a fantastic game that's held up really well, aside from some minor framerate issues, which luckily don't really matter since it's turn-based.
Street Fighter EX3 - Eh, I hadn't played this one before, so I figured why not. It's just okay. Definitely prefer the 2D Street Fighters.
Kakuto Chojin: Back Alley Brutal - And another meh fighting game. I basically hit one button the whole way through. Pretty cool music though (controversy aside).
Sonic R - This game is super short, but I've always had fun with it. I thought about doing a 100% run again, but decided to move on instead.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time - I played this co-op with a couple of other players and it was a blast, as always.
Dr. Mario 64 - This is such an underrated puzzle game! I don't know how a Mario game can be underrated, but this one is. I did a single run through story mode, though I had sunk countless hours into it unlocking characters before.
Mad Max - I did pretty much everything except most of the Death Runs. I just wasn't into them very much and after 40+ hours, I was done with the game. It was really fun though.
Pokemon Puzzle League - Another cool N64 puzzle game. You can ignore the Pokemon tie-in, it's mostly irrelevant. This is Puzzle League / Panel de Pon and it's awesome.
Dragon Force - Oh hey, look, another Sega Saturn game from the '90s!! Now this one I actually had in the '90s, but I didn't finish it. Much like Shining the Holy Ark, I had made multiple runs at trying to actually finish it. Well, I finally did it. Another fantastic game, such a shame we didn't get the PS2 re-release (or the Saturn sequel).
Blood: Cryptic Passage - Woohoo, I'm done with the Blood expansions! Blood is quite possibly my favorite FPS and I had beaten the main game many times, but had never touched the expansions. Now I have.
The House of the Dead - I definitely should've whipped out my CRT and Stunner for this one, it was tough with a controller.
Resogun - I hadn't played this since the PS4 launch, but it's still a really nice game.
Dead or Alive 5: Last Round - I was torn on this game. I loooove the DOA games and the fights were pretty solid. But I played Story Mode and it was pretty bad. The story was uninteresting and all over the place and had a few difficulty spikes that made me want to chuck my controller.
Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and the Blight Below - I was just excited to see a Dragon Quest game on a console for a change. I have the handheld ones, but I never play them because the only time I game is when I'm at home and I'd rather use a TV / monitor. I wish we could get an actual Dragon Quest RPG, but I'll take this...for now. It was a pretty solid game, but the side quests were VERY grindy and somewhat annoying. The campaign got a little boring by the end, but it's worth playing if you like the series / style.
Until Dawn - This game really surprised me! I didn't realize it was basically an interactive movie and had assumed it was an action-y survival horror game. Boy was I wrong. This game had me hooked from beginning to end. It has some really cool gameplay and a nice story to go along with it.
Off-World Interceptor Extreme - This was one of the first Saturn games I bought back in the '90s and although it's not a particularly good game, it holds a lot of nostalgic value for me. I finally decided to play through the Story Mode and it was okay. I doubt most would enjoy it, unless you have fond memories of it.
Clockwork Knight - This was a pretty neat platformer from Sega. The last boss was rough and that's where I had made it when I played before, but this time I pushed through!
Pretty Girls Mahjong Solitaire - I love mahjong solitaire. You play solitaire and unlock outfits for a few different girls. Whatever, just give me more layouts.
Marvel Super Heroes - I've played most of the mid-90s Capcom fighters, but this one was a straggler. Now I've played it. It's not as good as the other Marvel games, but it's alright.
Diablo III - This was my first time playing this on console (PS4) and I was really impressed. I think they did a great job of translating it to the living room.
Mega Man - Without save states, there's no way I beat this game. But hey, Capcom included them with the game (I'm playing Mega Man Legacy Collection on Steam), so it's not cheating!! Or so I'm going to keep telling myself.
Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy - I had beaten this game on PS2 many years ago, but I wanted to start playing the trilogy on PS3. It's still a great game.
Sickbrick - Eh, this was an indie shooter that was a nice hour-long diversion, but little else.
Splatoon - I didn't care for the controls in this game, but I think Nintendo is onto something here. I just wish the single-player campaign was more than a glorified tutorial.
ToeJam & Earl III: Mission to Earth - I posted my thoughts elsewhere on the forum, but let's just say I enjoyed it :)
Mega Man 2 - This one was a little easier than the first one, but still a tough game. Yes, I used save states again haha.
Battletoads Arcade - I was really disappointed with this one! I didn't even know it existed until I picked up Rare Replay and I guess now I know why. Man, this game is hard...good thing I had unlimited continues.
Kirby's Dream Land - Ah, my childhood ;)
Putt-Putt Joins the Parade - This was the first time I'd ever played a Putt-Putt game. I didn't grow up with the games, so I went in blind. The only reason I played it was because it was a bounty on Completionator. As a kids game (from the early 90s), I was kinda impressed. I could see how many really enjoyed these.
Crimzon Clover WORLD IGNITION - I knew nothing about this game before I played it. Despite being brutally difficult, it was a fantastic shmup!
Revolution Ace - Another shmup I knew nothing about. This one has some grinding aspects to it so you can upgrade your ship. Not quite as good as Crimzon Clover, but fun enough that I managed a 100% completion.
Viscera Cleanup Detail: Santa's Rampage - This was my first time playing this game / series and I really enjoyed it!
Metal Slug - What can I say, these games are great fun!
Magical Tetris Challenge - I was looking for a nice, relaxing puzzle game this past weekend and decided to try this one out. I thought "oh, it's Disney Tetris, surely it'll be easy". WRONG!! This game is no joke! I played the Story Mode and some of the opponents were ruthless. I finally finished it, but I was sweating bullets the whole time. Definitely recommend checking it out for you Tetris nuts.
Alien Storm - An old arcade / Genesis game I had never played before. It took a bit to get used to the mechanics, but it was really fun once I did.
Tiny Troopers - This is a fairly casual mobile port, but it was strangely addictive.
Post edited December 16, 2015 by moho_00
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moho_00: Mega Man - Without save states, there's no way I beat this game. But hey, Capcom included them with the game (I'm playing Mega Man Legacy Collection on Steam), so it's not cheating!! Or so I'm going to keep telling myself.
I've played Mega Man a lot, and I still don't know if I've ever beaten the rock monster without the pause trick. After the first game, when you can bank some e-tanks, I find them all fairly beatable.

Anyway, here's 2015 for me:
Prince of Persia: Sands of Time
Shovel Knight (Haven't done the expansion yet)
Sam & Max Hit the Road
Dragon Age: Inquisition
Mortal Kombat: Komplete Edition (Story mode)
Mortal Kombat X (Story Mode)
Grand Theft Auto V (Not done, but I may be done with it)
Manos: The Hands of Fate
Metroid Prime (Wii)
Spec Ops: The Line
Batman: Arkahm Knight
Life is Strange
Hatoful Boyfriend (Only one path)

And most of the Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth. I'm hoping to wrap up 1001% before new year's day.
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moho_00: Dragon Force - Oh hey, look, another Sega Saturn game from the '90s!! Now this one I actually had in the '90s, but I didn't finish it. Much like Shining the Holy Ark, I had made multiple runs at trying to actually finish it. Well, I finally did it. Another fantastic game, such a shame we didn't get the PS2 re-release (or the Saturn sequel).
Dragon Force is my favorite in Sega games.
I know there are sequel. just for information.
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moho_00: snip
So many nice titles in this list. :)

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moho_00: Mega Man - Without save states, there's no way I beat this game. But hey, Capcom included them with the game (I'm playing Mega Man Legacy Collection on Steam), so it's not cheating!! Or so I'm going to keep telling myself.
[...]
Mega Man 2 - This one was a little easier than the first one, but still a tough game. Yes, I used save states again haha.
Same here, I needed save states for all of them, part 2 was my favourite in the series, but 3-7 are good too. Be prepared, the later games of the Mega Man X series get increasingly hard too and are just as hard as the original series.

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moho_00: Kirby's Dream Land - Ah, my childhood ;)
I love this game, but have you played Kirby's Dream Land 2? It blows part one completely out of the water and is nearer to Kirby's Adventure on NES which is stunningly good although I prefer KDL2 because it's easier to find everything in this one.
Giants: Citizen Kabuto

Finally! Last time I played, years ago, I got stuck on the final mecc mission for some reason.