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bad_fur_day1: Loved the game, loved the music. Collected all the letters and most of the masks. Waiting for Wrong Number, the dial tone trailer blew my mind. Blam Blam Pow!

It was a tough challenge to beat.
I've got all letters and most masks now too and solved the puzzle, is there any reward for solving the word? I couldn't find any.

Just realized, that you meant Hotline Miami 2 with "Wrong Number", I didn't even know there will be a successor, hooray.
It was one of the best games from the last years ihmo and although a tough challenge indeed, it was doable even for me.
Ys Origin

It's been a while ever since a game got me hooked and YS Origin succeeded at doing so. Having said that, the game is far from flawless.

Ys Origin plays similarly to dungeon crawlers (including YS I+II). You explore floors, fight monsters in real-time and try to find your way to the next floor. Unlike dungeon crawlers, it doesn't feature any kind of puzzle-solving, but it does include platforming. You don't have access to any map, but it's not necessary as each floor is quite linear (almost frustatingly so at some cases where you end up with obvious paths and invisible walls). The lack of a map also extends to the complete lack of an overworld; the whole game takes place in the tower, similar to how Diablo 1 and Torchlight 1 take place almost exclusively in the dungeons, so those of you expecting an overworld similar to other RPGs, sorry, but there is none.

You have a choice of two characters; an axewoman and a mage. I decided to go for the mage, who is different than your typical character in a melee weapon-based game, in that you are mostly ranged (in a way reminiscent of shoot-em-ups. The mage even has 2 drones that fire alongside him), but at times, you'll have to get close and personal. One thing that I wish they would have added is an auto-fire button to minimize the pain caused by the constant button-spamming... or at least increased your damage (or decreased your opponent's health), because there can be some serious sponge at work here. As it stands, the game is not particularly challenging (on normal), but it can be a pain. Instead of making the enemies sponges, they could have instead increased the damage of the monsters and make the health drops rarer. Sure, monsters deal more damage and health drops do actually get rarer on hard, but the monsters also have more health, while you gain less XP and deal less damage; not exactly my idea of a fun challenge. Only the bosses proved to be a challenge, at least till you figure out their patterns. I enjoyed the game despite the issues (killing monsters never gets old, especially when you get stronger and can kill them easier) but, alas, there is one more problem...

... the crashes. It's very telling that the game keeps a backup data in the case of crashes, which is useful, because the game contains no autosave or checkpoints and relies completely on save points (The good part is that you can just use an item to instantly teleport back to said save point. But if you forgot or got cocky...). The function is not very useful, though, because it saves before cutscenes and, you guessed it, there were crashes during cutscenes, which means that the backup function will force you to watch the cutscene again. It's too bad that the game contains no way to skip cutscenes (which, while not long, can be annoying during those circumstances), something that would be very useful during the confrontation with the final boss, as I ended beating the crap out him 5 times, before the game decided to not crash (hint: disable movie playback and just watch the damn video on youtube). I'm not sure if it has been fixed on GOG/Steam, but the Humble DRM-Free build was certainly not fixed. It's certainly the most crash-happy game that I have played in a while. Now, to buy Oath in Felghana or not? It's pretty expensive, so I'll have to think about it. Hmmm....

For the time being, let's update the list.
Post edited June 04, 2015 by Grargar
So far in 2015:

- Cadenza: Music, Betrayal and Death CE
A pretty nice "Hidden Object Adventure" game with some great music.

- Dreamweb (via ScummVM)
Had (at least for me) a very unsatisfying ending.
That game can be downloaded for free from the ScummVM-website.

- Final Cut: Encore CE
Hidden Object Adventure - Nice

- Skweek (emulated Amiga 500 (via Amiga Forever/WinUAE))
From 1989 and a lot of fun. Sometimes I had the feeling that the game was too easy (I had 40+ lives at level 60) but in the later levels (80+) it became harder and harder. At the end I was able to finish the game after 99 levels with 6 lives left ;)

- Rite of Passage: Hide and Seek CE
Pretty good Hidden Object Adventure

- Witch's Prank
Weird and funny Hidden Object Adventure

- Nevertales: Beauty Within CE
Pretty good Hidden Object Adventure from the developers of "Rite of Passage". The game has a bug, though, which makes it impossible to get all achievements.

- Nevertales: Shattered Image CE
Not as good as the first one but far from being bad either.

- Nevertales: Smoke and Mirrors CE
Third part of the Nevertales-series with some interesting plot twists - but a bit on the easy side.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -

currently playing:

- Manifest (RPG Maker Game)
- Blaz Blue Calamity Trigger (Story Mode)
- Euro Truck Simulator 2

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- Shank
at first the game was pretty good but later in the game it became too stupid for my taste. Hordes of bad guys, no chance to fight tactical, many unfair situations. No thanks. Uninstalled and de-archived.
Post edited March 17, 2015 by andhar
Murdered: Soul Suspect

I've seen some people complain about its short gamelength, but I don't share this criticism. On the contrary, even though I enjoyed parts of it, I'm kind of glad it's over now. In my opinion there isn't enough interesting gameplay to even fill these 6-10 hours with. The saddest thing about this game is that it had potential and mostly just squandered it. It could have been great, but ended up rather average and flawed.

So let me start by listing what I liked about it. It has a gripping setting and premise, and it's full of great ideas: in theory your ghost detective can freely explore his surroundings by walking through walls, possessing cats, teleporting himself across gaps, reading and influencing people's mind, playing poltergeist etc. And the game is very cinematic, has a small but great atmospheric soundtrack and good sound design, I like the style, the graphics and color choice, and I found the animations and voiceovers for the main characters nice enough. The plot is not groundbreaking, but quite alright, interesting enough for me to complete the game. I especially appreciated the human touch in the storytelling, the realistic love story in the background, the empathy with the deceased, the sad ghost stories that manage to be creepy without resorting to cheap sensationalism. In general I find it praiseworthy that they pulled it off to give the game a creepy atmosphere even without having to use jump scares, death threats towards the player and explicitly shown cruelty.

Which brings me to the completely unnecessary introduction of those badly implemented pseudo action and stealth sequences with 'scary' demons that distract you from your adventure game investigation and exploration by threatening to reset you to your last checkpoint if you don't manage to beat them all in a row. Beating them consists of getting behind them without being seen by any of them, and then playing a little Simon-Says-QTE with them. And you had better be good at that game, because if not they will discover and hunt you, and your chances of escaping them are slim.

And that is also due to another flaw in the game design: The hotspots for objects you can interact with (such as hiding places from the demons) are rather small for a game played with a gamepad, especially considering that you don't have a cursor or crosshair or whatever on screen to indicate what you're currently targeting. That way searching for collectables and evidence can become a tedious pixel hunt despite the visual clues you get sometimes (and other times not; the close camera in small rooms doesn't help much with the pixel hunting either). But even worse is that it requires great precision and nerves in the 'action' sequences - the finicky controls and small hotspots can really ruin your attempts at sneaking and hiding, especially when it gets hectic. I tried to deal with this issue by using mouse and keyboard, at least for the 'action' sequences, and it was a slight improvement - until it came to the QTEs and I was asked to quickly press Q, E, R or T in addition to a random mouse button, with no option to reconfigure the controls. For the second half of the game, when it got worse and worse, I just found myself a cheat for avoiding this action/stealth/QTE nonsense, so that I could at least try and complete the adventure game without further distraction and hindrances and without having a fit.

Now, when I said there isn't enough interesting gameplay in Murdered, let me clarify that I also enjoy adventure games with even less interaction than this title has to offer. I don't mind playing 'walking simulators', visual or interactive novels or casual games, I also like hunting for collectables when it's done right. So in the beginning I was ready to adapt to the casual gameplay and overlook that Murdered artificially fences off the small areas it allows you to explore freely (rendering your awesome ghost abilities almost useless except for those cases where they are the only solution to a problem), and also that the puzzles were either just related to pixel hunting or presented in a way that seemed more suited for kindergartners than adults ("match this clattering sound with a relevant item: a random fork, a random spoon, or that important key you were looking for all the time"). But it quickly gets repetitive, doing the same casual things over and over again in each new area. Even the silly demon jump scares got pretty predictable.

And while it's cool to read the minds of most NPCs, most of them repeat themselves after the first two comments, but since a few of them also have three comments or just one, you will only know that you've heard it all now, when they start repeating themselves (which you can't abort then, so you have to listen to it again). And if you read their mind while they're engaged in a conversation, the conflicting voiceovers will overlap or replace each other, so that you'll miss half of them. But then again, most of the NPCs don't have any interesting thoughts anyway. Some even share the same lines, the same faces, the same voices. I also ran into a glitch once where I had to possess an invisible NPC and solve a puzzle for her without knowing who she is and why she is (not) there - the model was only displayed correctly after I solved it.

It's not a truly bad game, all production values considered, and it was nice enough to play through for the story and cinematics, with the help of my anti-demon cheat. It also features many great ideas, but unfortunately their execution is mostly average at best and frustrating at worst. So it's just not that good either, and that's a shame because it could have been so much better with just a little more effort. All in all, despite its attractive appearance, I wouldn't really recommend it to anyone unless they are mostly in it for the storytelling and cinematics and are patient enough to endure the casual, restricted and somewhat tedious and repetitive gameplay.
Post edited February 25, 2015 by Leroux
Klumpen0815: I've got all letters and most masks now too and solved the puzzle, is there any reward for solving the word? I couldn't find any.

Just realized, that you meant Hotline Miami 2 with "Wrong Number", I didn't even know there will be a successor, hooray.
If I remember right I think if you solve the puzzle they will give you more information on the very last level about what happened and about the "Majestic 33" or whatever it's called, replay it.

Check out the Hotline Miami 2 trailer sometime, it made my day, really.
Klumpen0815: I've got all letters and most masks now too and solved the puzzle, is there any reward for solving the word? I couldn't find any.

Just realized, that you meant Hotline Miami 2 with "Wrong Number", I didn't even know there will be a successor, hooray.
bad_fur_day1: If I remember right I think if you solve the puzzle they will give you more information on the very last level about what happened and about the "Majestic 33" or whatever it's called, replay it.

Check out the Hotline Miami 2 trailer sometime, it made my day, really.
Last level = the Endboss or the level of the helmet guy with the phone guys?

I've seen different trailers and one was blocked in Youtube, but I guess you mean this one:

And the best thing is, that it will get an editor which will most likely give us a lot of mods:


Edit: I got the information from the conspiracy guys with the password and yet another mask. :)
Post edited February 25, 2015 by Klumpen0815
Leisure Suit Larry VII: Love for Sail! - perhaps the best game of the series, a bit more silly than LSL6 and also a bit more easy. One word of warning though, I encountered a bug (also found [url=]others) where the autosave becomes corrupted. (This bug happened for me in the Employee Lounge and Dewmi's room). I had to restore manually-saved games quite a few times in these areas until I finished with Dewmi. So make sure you keep some manually-saved games (from the in-game File > Save menu) and don't rely solely on the autosave!

Not on GOG anymore. To be continued, but no sequel. Bad save system. Weird checkpoint placement. Slightly annoying stealth missions. Rather predictable story.

Apart from that, a lot of fun. Short levels, fast gameplay, great comic book style, perfectly translated into the videogame medium. And last but not least, smashing soundtrack that greatly conveyed urgency, excitement and spy movie vibe. The game reminded me a bit of Outlaws, too, probably because that one did a very similar thing with the Spaghetti Western genre, comic style and fitting musical score of high quality. I'm really glad I got my hands on XIII before it was removed from the catalogue and that I found time to play through it now.

Even sadder for those who weren't so lucky: I just discovered that the soundtrack included with the GOG version is not the in-game soundtrack but a groovy funky bonus album that's also fun to listen to.
Post edited February 26, 2015 by Leroux
Grargar: YS Origin
Wow... That's a lot of frustration! You enjoyed the game enough to keep playing, right? I have Origin; just haven't started it yet.
genkicolleen: Wow... That's a lot of frustration! You enjoyed the game enough to keep playing, right? I have Origin; just haven't started it yet.
Oh yes, I did enjoy it. As I said above in the opening paragraph, it hooked me alright. I will give you two pieces of advice:

1) Don't choose a higher than normal difficulty, unless you relish the idea of finger pain. :P
2) When you arrive at the final boss, disable the movie playback through the config executable, to avoid having to replay the boss battle again and again. Sure, you won't see the ending movie, but that's what we have youtube for.
Blades of Time w/Dismal Swamp DLC

This turned out to be a pretty fun action game, though it took a while to get going and I didn't like it as much as, say, Marlow Briggs.

Ayumi has, unfortunately, only one basic melee attack that you just keep spamming to work up your "rage meter", which then lets you fire off spells. There's also a Dash move for dodging and closing the distance, and you can switch to a ranged weapon which significantly slows you down and makes you unable to Dash. Once an enemy is at low health, you have the option to perform a finishing move - or just keep wailing on them until they go down. There is also "kick" to break blocks that you rarely need to use. All in all, it's pretty uninspiring until you get enough spells to spice up the combat, and really start using the Rewind Time ability.

Rewind Time is actually pretty interesting - it rewinds the world around you, while leaving your character alone. Your character's position and any damage you've taken still stays, so you can't "undo" fatal mistakes like you could in the Prince of Persia games. Rewinding Time creates a "time clone" of you, that then proceeds to go through all the actions you've taken during those "rewound" seconds. So you could unload half a rifle clip at a charging enemy, rewind time as they get close, and then continue shooting. Their health will be back to where it was at the beginning, but they'll start taking double damage because there will now be two of you shooting! This is actually required for some enemies who are surrounded by magical force fields that can only be broken by extremely concentrated hails of bullets. Rewind Time is also used for some basic puzzles, such as when multiple pressure plates/switches must be triggered at the same time

Most bosses require some strategy to defeat, but it's usually not hard to figure out, and serves as a nice change of pace.

You start with the double-jump, which is always appreciated. As you proceed in the plot, you unlock new spells & abilities, find new equipment (a magical compass pointing the direction of any nearby equipment chest is very useful), and demolish boatloads of enemies. All in all, it's a good time.

The Dismal Swamp DLC, on the other hand, while having some interesting sequences, has you play a character that has no spells and rewind time ability! What this means is that the combat is very very bland - hit-hit-hit-hit-dash-shoot-hit-hit-hit-finishing-move-hit-hit-hit-hit-hit-hit-dash... etc. Bleh.
Post edited February 26, 2015 by kalirion
Monument (demo). Monument is an upcoming FPS heavily based on games like Serious Sam. Heavily based on games like Serious Sam. HEAVILY. Right down to monsters spawning right in front of you...and the fact that at least one monsters seems to be nothing more than a very slightly altered enemy ripped right out of Serious Sam. The demo has about twenty minutes of gameplay and it's actually not that bad, it's not great or even above average but it's not terrible.

Like I mentioned, it's very similar to Serious Sam, pick up floating weapons/ammo, shoot monsters that spawn, find hidden switches to open a door to the next area/level and repeat until you roll back around to the main menu. Graphically it's extremely basic and the game chugs as much as a game featuring 2010s era max setting AAA graphics, I had to turn it down to the second lowest graphics setting to get it to a playable framerate. The enemies are varied decently considering the length of the demo (five enemy types in the demo) and the designs are okay, if really silly, especially what appears to be enemy vegetables. Soundwise the guns don't sound particularly good but the background music is done in the vein of early Van Halen and that is always a plus.

The developer is trying to get it on Steam via Greenlight and honestly...I wouldn't vote for it or buy it if it was on Steam. It's not terrible but it's not very good either, it's just an amateur-ish attempt at making a Serious Sam clone. It's certainly playable but after finishing the demo I don't feel the urge to go out of my way to play more Monument. The best thing about the demo for me was the great background music.
She Who Fights Monsters.

She Who Fights Monsters is a short adventure game with very light RPG elements that deals with mature subjects. You are Jenny, a young girl with an alcoholic and abusive father and a mentally checked out mother, and all you really want is a normal childhood. Your gameplay goal? Just make it through the week and do whatever it is that Jenny wants to do. Despite how bleak that sounds it's not as black and white as the premise might hint, there are indeed some dark and disturbing moments but there are also some happy and genuinely mood lifting moments too.

The gameplay itself is very basic, it's an RPG Maker adventure game and most of the "gameplay" involves exploring the limited environments and doing what Jenny wants each day, usually involving going somewhere in the house and finding the correct item to interact with. You'll have a few battles (including those in a fun mini-RPG game that Jenny plays) but they're very brief and easy (some are seemingly completely unwinnable).

To continue on about the gameplay, as you go about helping Jenny do whatever it is she is wanting to do you you'll discover memories that you can unlock in her sanctuary, memories that show that things weren't always so bad. You'll also spend some time in her imagination, as well as time in her fears and a dark realm that represents her interactions and general relationship with her father.

The writing is very well done, both for characters and for setting the mood and the tone. It also handled the mature aspects of the story in a very respectable manner and it never felt like anything was being glossed over for the sake of being polite. The characters did their part in invoking the emotions and reactions that they were intended to, as did each situation and event. The dark moments were dark and the happy moments were happy and both were believable.

Graphically everything looked good and each environment perfectly fit as a set piece in the story. Sure it's graphically "basic" in some sense (in that it looks like an RPG Maker Game), but that's more of a engine limitation than a design one, as the use and design of each area, character etc was done as well as could be.

Musically each song fit each mood but I won't be remembering any of the tunes, I finished the game a few hours ago and I've already forgotten the sound of everything but the sound of the doors opening.

Overall I highly enjoyed She Who Fights Monsters and would recommend it to anybody who is willing to play games that tackles topics other than "you are the hero, go save the world please". It's not a long game (maybe an hour in length) but I finished it in one sitting and plan on going back and trying the couple of alternative paths (there are three, potentially four endings) it offers.
Remnants of a Beautiful Day. Nature walk simulator turned psychedelic walking simulator turned psychedelic fleeing for your life simulator sums up Remnants of a Beautiful Day. Fun game, incredibly short (maybe ten minutes long). No story to speak of, graphically it has a nice art direction all around, albeit an inconsistent one. I don't remember any of the sounds save for a minute's worth of generic nature sounds, so I'll just say it's forgettable.

Shootmephrenia. A FPS puzzle game where you have one goal: Kill yourself! Keeping with the theme of one, it has one mechanic: stand on a platform, aim and fire at one of two (sometimes three) mirrors in a way that the bullet will bounce off the first one onto the second and then into you. Each puzzle changes the placement of the mirrors and the shape of the platform and occasionally adds a gimmick (such as forcing you to jump in order to be hit). As it stands in its current form Shootmephrenia is short and is unpolished (there is an engine error message that won't go away) but darn if it isn't fun, I'd love to see a full length/extended version of it.
Samaritan Paradox

I put this game "on hold," for some reason, almost 4 months ago. Decided to get back to it - only to find out that I had stopped literally 5 minutes from the end!

Anyway, this was a nice AGS point & click adventure game, but rather unpolished. While some puzzles were pretty cool, at least one was maddening because even knowing the solution you had to stand on just the right pixel for it to work... Had to look that one up in a walkthrough because I didn't know where that pixel was... And a few more trips to the walkthrough from failing to pixelhunt a required item or two, and a couple times where I was honestly stumped by a puzzle.

Another evidence of the lack of polish were computer-generated descriptions - trying to examine a passage way may give you the insightful text of "I see nothing special about To the Church", and attempting to combine many items didn't give any messages at all, not even the ubiquitous "I can't do that."

The story was all right, though the ending was a bit anticlimactic. Voice acting was decent, and graphics were nice, though not to Wadget Eye standards.