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Just finished KOTOR 1 on Dark Side. That was just way too depressing! :P I think I'm getting soft in my old age. I was going to go right into #2 Dark Side but I don't think my psyche can take it. XD
The Island Castaway

First of all, many thanks to siulebuo who donated this game to TBBBBoB. I had had my eyes on it for a bit, either through another giveaway or I had seen it at shinyloot. So thanks for gifting!

To sum up my experience post-win: meh.

It was actually pretty compelling to me for most of the game. I'm not totally sure why. Very easy to get into, a bit of a story (though lackluster), plus picking up and using items, mostly food.

Picking up items lasts for much of the game, but once you have traded enough to get the best equipment, there is no need to stop for items. Which was really the only thing that made tromping endlessly across that island tolerable. The tromping just didn't stop. To advance the story you talk to various characters. And they are always at the other end of the island. This goes on and on and on.

When I got to the end and realized I was still missing 2 statues I nearly gave up, since I had to endlessly tromp across the island even more to find them. When I finally did, I had to tromp endlessly to finally close the story.

The writing was bad. The voice acting was the worst I have experienced, though I haven't played as many games as some of you. Just, wow.

But for 3/4 of the game I had a lot of fun. :)

full list
Post edited February 27, 2015 by budejovice
The Detail Episode 1 - Where the Dead Lie

It was alright. It's basically an interactive comic book, with a nod to The Walking Dead, so the gameplay is all about reading and making choices. And I liked that. There's still room for a little more choices, but you get to make quite a few. I've only played through it once so far, so I can't say how much difference they actually make, but in any case it feels like you're taking part in the fate of the characters and the course of the story, which is good. It's fun to read a comic book with these Choose-Your-Own-Adventure mechanics.

My only criticism in that regard would be that the difference between exclusive choices and general dialogue options is not distinctive enough. Sometimes you get to - or even have to - click through all the dialogue options like in any other adventure game, and then when you get used to it, in the next dialogue you might automatically click on the first option, thinking about going through all of them in a row again, only to realize it was an exclusive choice. They do actually use slightly different box styles to differentiate between the two, but it can be easily overlooked.

And the story was just so so. Interesting enough for reading off and on, but nothing that special and gripping that I would play for longer than 20 minutes in one sitting (all in all I spent 2 hours with it). It also ends with a cliffhanger, like a weekly or monthly comic book in an ongoing series, there is no real conclusion. While playing, I had hoped the series would be about the same characters getting involved in different stories/cases in each episode, but it really seems to be just one story split into episodes, and that's what I didn't like about it. I doubt I will play through the whole series, and I definitely wouldn't pay 6 Euro per episode if it's not even a full story.
Post edited February 27, 2015 by Leroux
Anomaly 2

I go away for a few minutes to get some coffee, come back and not only is it years later, but the humans have let the entire planet turn into a frozen hellhole...

Yes, it's still more Anomaly.

It looks a fair bit prettier than previous games in the series, but the story's still dumb, the sound's still repetitive, and the ending is still so flimsy that when presented with the final choice for the last mission, I cleared one, got ten seconds of voice acting over a still image, said to myself there's no way in hell I'm redoing the entire level again from scratch, and looked up the other ending on Youtube.

Good call on that, since the other ending also had a whopping ten seconds of voice acting over still images, then cut to credits.

The commander is back at least, but while I was out for coffee, they magically forgot that the boost or airstrike abilities ever existed, instead leaving me with EMP bursts that work until you shoot the enemy, and a powerup to roughly control how my units shoot at enemies.

I can't help feeling a bit screwed by that change...

The voice acting is back up to the level of "We're trying. It might not be great, but at least we're trying.", but it's used to further a story that's still paper-thin.

Why are the machines there? Why was Earth chosen for the events to occur? Why didn't the machines go to another planet?

Reasons, that's why. Don't ask, just shoot things.

Speaking of shooting, the only real upgrade is that you've got units that can morph into other units.
But even this isn't any vast improvement.
The differences between units' morphed forms is typically minor at best, so you'll find which ones work best for your play style and use them most of the time.

When your biggest question is "do I leave my supply unit in that form to pump out powerups, or morph it into an invisibility dispenser?", tactical choices are pretty easy and options do not abound.

Also, not sure if it's my computer or not, but while I can play things like Borderlands 2 with no problem, Anomaly 2's pursuit of prettier, flashier looking combat occasionally made the entire game lock up, usually when I was in severe danger of getting killed.

I'd advise anyone playing to keep a finger near the Ctrl key just in case. A few seconds of sitting on the map screen would fix the problem. Otherwise, the commander would lock up but the turrets would keep firing, sending me to the "revert to last checkpoint" button in a hurry.

This one's been a bit of a slog, honestly. The designers had an idea, but once they had it they weren't willing to go further with it.
Four games in, their innovative idea has been run into the ground since nothing of real value has been added to improve upon it, refresh the concept.
They were willing to turn tower defense on its head, but then they refused to expand upon it after they turned something new into the status quo.

My advice? If you really want the series, stick with 1 and 2. 2 will probably feel better to you if you haven't gone through the mobile-based crap in the middle.
Trust me, you won't be missing anything storywise.

Only one game left, and I can finally be done with the series...
Post edited February 28, 2015 by CarrionCrow
Faerie Solitaire
A simple solitaire game with polished graphics and nice music. I enjoyed it, but in the end I was a little disappointed that the story (yes, there is a story) ended with a cliffhanger.

I'm also a little sad that the pets you can collect doesn't do anything. Would have been cool, if you could have used them to enhance the gameplay (like some kind of power-up). The way it is now, they are only there to prolong the game time and to motivate you to go on and collect them all.

Complete list of finished games in 2015
Senran Kagura Dekamori (Bon Appetit) on PS Vita (played in japanese)

I'm quite a fan of Senran Kagura series, actually, having all the games on 3DS and Vita. I haven't played all of them, but decided to give a try to the Dekamori spin-off, since it's a rythm game, like the Final Fantasy game on 3DS.

The result was... meh.

The art is still beautiful (wink wink) and some interactions with the girls in the dressing room are so overly over the top that they become really funny.

Basically, you follow the 20-some girls from the 4 ninja academies. There's a cooking tournament in town and as a reward, you can ask what you want to the secret scroll of ninjutsu, so each girl has its story arc.

A story arc is composed of 5 stages, 3 of them being linked to the story arc (the first one and the last two ones) and 2 being random opponents (or so I think, since I haven't played twice a story arc).

Of course, the stories border to non-sense, sometimes from the other side of the border. But frankly, who cares? You're here to peep at girls, right? And that's what you do. Each stage is divided in 3 parts. In the two first parts, if you're good enough, you can collect two halves of a heart and if you succeed at the last part of the song, you'll have a nice reward (if you see what I mean...).

But hold your horses!! Of course everything is censored!! First because it's a japanese game, secod because some girls are underage, I think (yes, thank you Japan, frankly you couldn't come up with a better idea than that???) and there's no way to decensor anything (at least in the japanese edition).

So, why is that game meh?
- the songs range from "just funny" to "borderline awful". Which is not good when you play a rythm game...
- the difficulty : in "easy mode", everything is so easy that it's quite boring, actually, there's no challenge... except when you encounter Daidouji senpai or the teacher (two DLC characters)! Even in easy mode, I had some trouble to finish them. And then, you try "normal mode"... And I swear that if it's their idea of "normal", then I won't ever complete "normal" and "hard" modes!! I'm not an octopus!!
- the trophies : you can unlock clothes, underwear and accessories when you win. But frankly, after having tuned 5-6 girls, I never cared about it anymore, since most of things are the same recolored.

Yes, I'm disappointed by this game. I think that maybe I expected more than that. At least, I'm glad I haven't paid full price for it (got it in a two-pack with another Senran Kagura game I didn't have). Completing all the girls in easy mode turned into a chore and I think I'll never get all the trophies, especially since I'm going to uninstall it as soon as I will have posted this!

So far in 2015:
Post edited February 28, 2015 by xa_chan
iBomber Attack

Yet another top-down shooter, with the difference this time around, that you control a tank instead of a person. This was what drew me most to the game but, unfortunately, it feels less spectacular than games like Alien/Zombie Shooter, Shadowgrounds, Splatter, etc.

Yes, you are controlling a freaking tank, but it could also be a motorbike by the way it handles. While you can run over infantry, it never feels particularly satisfying and none of the weapons feel like you are really making significant damage to the enemies. You just hit them and either they unimpressively explode (if they are vehicles) or they unimpressively turn into bloodpaste (if they are infantry). Other than that, the game is playable, but average. You have 24 stages in which you mostly blow up enemies, with little variation in between (such as some timed missions), you collect gold to acquire powerups (such as different weapons) and you gain points (the more havoc you wreak in each stage, the more points you earn), in order to upgrade your tank's damage/speed/armor/etc. The game is pretty easy, even on the "Not so Easy" difficulty, which means that you can plow through the whole game in some hours, if you so wish. Overall, nothing exciting to be found here. Oh well, I'll keep on looking for a more satisfying tank action game.

Full list.
Post edited March 14, 2015 by Grargar
Blade of Darkness

Blade of Darkness is an action game developed by the Spanish team "Rebel Act Studios".
In the precise moment I started the game, I had the feeling I had already seen something similar to it, yet I couldn't remember where. A quick search on the internet made me aware that many of the employees of the now deceased studios formed MercurySteam, the developer behind Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. The two games share designer, director and composer, and I must say it shows.

Anyway, back to the substance: this excellent hack'n'slash game combines the fast-paced and brutal combat with slight RPG elements and a breat'em up-like combo system, crafting a perfecly working hybrid that, despite needing a few time to get used to, will be surely capable of giving satisfaction even to the most hard to please warriors among you.
Intilally, your inexperienced character will just rely on basic hits (targeted to a specific part of the eniy's body based on your commands) but with the progression of levels, the gathering of new equipment and -most of all- the apearance of more dangerous enemies he (or she) will unlock new moves, each more or less suitable against diffrent opponents. Learning and using them is a real pleasure, and they will transform your stile from a defensive "hit and run" to a devastating arms master technique capable of terminating several enemies in one action.
I particularly liked the fact that each of the many weapons has its own unique use, and despite the wide difference in basic damage between the early and the late ones none can be really classified as useless, allowing palyers to build their own style.

Regardless of what people may say, the controls are good and perfectly responsive. Imo, the complaints of recent players come from the fact that BoD strays from the usual control outline, changing the use of certain specific keys that are almost always binded to a certain command (like the Spacebar, not used for jumping but for locating items).
The only questionable choice is that strafing is allowed only when locking on a target: while perfectly reasonable in one-on-one fights, it can be annoying against groups of monsters.
Also, to change your target you have to press Tab to cycle them like on a console; I would have certainly preferred to be able to switch directly to the one I was pointing with the movement keys, yet this is not an option.
Same goes for items, weapons and shields: you have to cycle tought them and confirm the one you want to use. Not very convenient.
Another critic I have to made is about the combat on stairs. While luckily they are very few, the AI is incapable of letting hits connect if the characters moving them are separated by a certain hight, making combat in those occasions a real pain and basically granting victory to the "lowest" contender (against basic logic, since the one above should always be advantaged).

Before starting the game, you can choose one among four characters:
-The Knight, master of one-handed weapons and shields, has the best defense in the game due to his armour and can deploy a vast array of deadly combos;
-The Barbarian (my choice) is faster and more agile than the others, his long weapons (two-handed swords and axes) allow him to hit enemies from a great distance and his combos are by far the most powerful in the game, almost always allowing a one-hit-kill. The downside is that his defense is abysmal, has not many hit points and the best attacks are slow and hard to execute;
-The Dwarf has very high attack, defense and hit points... yet he is agile as a stone and his short height make him an easy pray for bigger monsters. He uses high-damaging axes and hammers, can use good armour and he is proficient with shields.
-The Amazon is the fastest and most agile character, she can use polearms and staves and has some seriously dangerous combos... yet her pathetic HP will be very problematic during crowded situations.

Each character has a personal, different first level, yet the rest of the game will be identical for all of them.

In total, considering the four starting levels as one, there are 14 areas to explore: they are always vast, well designed and full of traps, simple pauzzles and small secrets. I cannot really enter in details, as the quality of a map design cannot be described – to decide if you agree or not, you should see it with your own eyes- so you'll have to ake my word on that.

Unlike in Dark Souls (which based on what I have heard seems to have taken inspiration from here, though I cannot confirm since I have not played it) you are allowed to save anytime you want, yet if you do that too often... the game will start mocking you, adding its judgement near you save, spanning from a respectful "Awesome!" or "heroic" to a deriding "lame". If my calculations are correct, you should lose a rank each three saves per level.
Personally, I managed to score an "awesome" rating with 28 saves, 6 of which spent just for the last, insanely difficult level.
It is possible to finish it with no saves: if you are tired, just save and restart the level later, so the couner will not add it to the number.

Graphically the game now shows its age, yet considering that it was made in 2001 I have been impressed by the good quality of models and -most of all- the incredibly well made dynamic lighting.
Also, it natively runs at high resolutions! I recommend you to use a 4:3 one, since the others tend to be stretched.
I run it using OpenGL, at 1024x768, yet I needed this mod to fix a few lighting effects and had to reset the in-game colur options each time I started to have decent contrast and saturation. d3dfx offers a much better quality in that regards, but forces you to play on an awful 800x600 resolution.
The soundtrack is also very good, yet it tends to suffer for the small amount of tracks, falling easily into repetition.

To sum up: Blade of Darkness is an excellent and extremely rewarding action game with several minor flaws. I can warmly recommend it, but only to those committed players who seek a real challenge (as the game is really unforgiving and there are no diffculty settings, which is probably a reason for its little success on the market).
Let's hope that it will come back on GOG soon! This is a true classic!
<span class="bold">Rex Nebular and the Cosmic Gender Bender</span>

A sci-fi/comedy point-and-click adventure. This is a game I enjoyed back in the day, and I still enjoyed it today. Although it’s a bit linear at times, it was still a lot of fun and very funny. I personally enjoyed trying to find all the multitude of hilariously gory ways in which to die :D! The main downsides are the delays when the game loads a new screen, and un-skippable animations (particularly every time you drive the car you have to watch the driving animation). But overall, highly recommended!
Post edited February 28, 2015 by 01kipper
xa_chan: Senran Kagura Dekamori (Bon Appetit) on PS Vita (played in japanese)
I thought the problem with this game, in addition to the ones you mention, is that it exists for you to look at scantily clad women (fine, I'm not pretending to be above that) but you have to keep your eyes glued on the button prompts to have any chance of succeeding, so you can't even really do that.

(And yes, "normal" mode is ridiculous.)
Grargar: iBomber Attack
I put in some time on this one after the FireFlower winter sale. Agreed that it's slightly underwhelming (though I do enjoy killing Nazis), but I do need to get back and finish it. Have you played the Defense titles yet? I have them as well, but have played several TDs recently and probably won't try them for a few months.
Anomaly Defenders

Ya know....sometimes, quitting isn't a bad thing.

Some people might say, "If you quit, you'll never know if you could have succeeded."

But in some cases, the phrase "quit while you're ahead" is very apt. Like this game, for instance.

The developers should have quit while they were ahead.
Because this game? Oh man.

The Anomaly series had one thing going for it - the tower offense style of gameplay.

The story is almost nonexistent, the sound and voices aren't great by any means, the missions aren't especially inspired, the tactics are extremely simple, and in the midst of all that the designers occasionally try to screw up that one good thing by including annoying gimmicky bullshit (when they're not putting out lazy mobile ports, which might be some of the most gimmicky bullshit of all, really).

This game is interesting for one reason, and one reason only.

It's a demonstration of what happens when developers don't quit while they're ahead.
It's an example of what happens when the creative well runs so dry, there's nothing left but dust.

Because you see, this really isn't an Anomaly game any more.

I know it says Anomaly, right there in the fucking title. But it's not.

This is not an Anomaly game because every single godsdamned thing the developers came up with, every single thing that made the Anomaly series good in that one way, is now gone.

This is pure, unadulterated, 100 percent fresh from the reeking orifice, pig shit.
This is what happens when people should just pack it in, but instead they throw away every single shred of creativity and originality in order to put something out to hopefully make more money.

I know I'm beating around the bush a bit, so I'll get to the point.

Anomaly Defenders is not an Anomaly game. It is a fucking tower defense game.

It is everything I imagine the developers initially wanted to get away from.

It is dull, it is boring, it is repetitive, and it sure as hell isn't fun.

I could get into the specifics, but I'm pretty damned sure most people know what a tower defense game is.

You put down towers, get resources to put down more towers, then put down more towers to protect the super-important whatever against waves and waves and waves and waves AND WAVES of super generic, boring as all hell enemies.

That's it.

The story is now so pointless that I felt like I was running through an assortment of disjointed skirmish maps, the towers aren't interesting, and there's never a mission objective other than survival aside from the very last stage, which I beat by putting a cluster of five towers together, holding down the shift key to speed up the enemies' advance, then blowing them up again and again for 21 waves, then putting down more turrets to kill the boss.

Does that sound exciting? It doesn't, does it?

That's okay. If you're not excited, that means you haven't lost your mind.

What in the holy hell the developers were thinking, I can only guess.

Maybe they all developed massive drug addictions and the need for expensive prostitutes, so they had to put something out to get more income, despite evidently not having a single fucking original idea left in their collective heads.

This is, hands-down, the absolute worst of the Anomaly bunch, and you have to get up pretty damned early in the morning to beat out some shitty mobile ports for the gold medal in the International All-Pro Sphincter Sucking Competition.

And just as a final fuck you, what did I get at the end? More text, a moving picture, and cut to credits.

This developer is now on my shit list. If I see anything with their name on it, I am running the other direction as hard as I can.

Okay, deep recap - the first game in the series is the best by far. If possible, play that, then tell yourself that was it.
One good game, a pleasant surprise from out of the blue.

If you really fall in love with that one, try 2.

Everything else is the experience of witnessing people taking a good, interesting idea and running it into the ground so hard that every bit of customer patience or confidence in their company is completely destroyed.
Post edited February 28, 2015 by CarrionCrow
Bought it day one and I'm glad that I did. Funny, enjoyable, competent game from the old times.
(and there is a pattern I noticed about myself... I don't have much to write about the games I liked but I have a lot to comment about the ones I didn't like :))
Majesty HD. Well, not completely. I finished all scenarios belonging to the original base game, haven't beaten all the expansion scenarios yet. Not the first time I played Majesty but the first time I beat all scenarios including the finale, Day of Reckoning or something. I still think that it's a fantastic game but it's certainly not as deep and challenging as I thought it was.
budejovice: I put in some time on this one after the FireFlower winter sale. Agreed that it's slightly underwhelming (though I do enjoy killing Nazis), but I do need to get back and finish it. Have you played the Defense titles yet? I have them as well, but have played several TDs recently and probably won't try them for a few months.
Nah, I didn't happen to play them, mostly because they didn't really catch my attention. I'm picky about Tower Defense games when I'm playing on the PC (less so on the tablet).
Post edited February 28, 2015 by Grargar