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include me

Jazzpunk is the only game I have completed this year, although I have started many.
I love its graphical style and humour and there are lots of retro references for those of us who are a bit older to enjoy.

Just one game completed in nearly a quarter of a year, disappointing :(
Mar 15 - 9 Clues: The Secret of Serpent Creek

It's a fun game that only takes two to three hours to finish. The artwork, sounds, and music are all nice.

The storyline is somewhat Lovecraft-light . There are a few little twists and turns along the way as you try to figure out who did what and they did this nicely.

The voice acting is decent, though a little heavy on the cheesy side at times. A few times in the game, your character says "What happened here?" like she just snapped out of a drunken stupor.

The in-game map is not as helpful as it should be. It only takes you to general areas and doesn't show specific locations within those areas like inside buildings along the street. ie: It might say there's an action available at the hotel and clicking the map takes you outside its entrance, but the action is really in one of the rooms upstairs. Other games like this that we've played had every location on the map. There were also a few times where the map said there were no actions left to do, so we had to wander around a bit to find what was needed.

We played on Casual level and it was very easy, one of the easiest we've played so far. The hidden object games were easy, though there were several objects where the clicks didn't register, which led to some temporary confusion.

The game has a "detective mode" which was new to us. I don't know how this would be solvable without the visual cursor hints since basically you have to find objects on the screen without knowing what they are. Granted, they are all crime/clue-related, but still a bit awkward.

Despite this review having a bunch of negatives, there was nothing in it that was a complete deal breaker. The storyline is probably its strongest suit here and it should keep you involved until the end.
Knights of Pen & Paper +1 Edition

A unique little RPG that's fun but a bit too grind-happy. One of the most interesting features is being able to select which and how many monsters to battle at a time - at least for non-"fixed" and non-ambush battles.

Wallace and Gromit's Grand Adventures

Just finished another GOG...well, erm, an ex-GOG. Playing this reminded me how much I used to love Wallace and Gromit...and given how much I enjoyed this game, still do. It reminded me how goofy and over-the-top-British Wallace and Gromit is (I mean this in a good way).

The game has some really enjoyable/clever puzzles as well as a lot of genuinely funny and charming moments. It certainly makes me wish that Telltale still made games with puzzles. I would say that I wish Telltale would make more comedy games, but they are working on Tales from the Borderlands (which I need to get around to starting).

Personally, I'd say the second episode was the best. The third episode's the weakest, containing many examples of 'adventure game logic'. As well as this, all of the episodes had their own array of jankiness and glitchiness (some terrible camera angles, invisible objects, and a section where Wallace gains two mouths...).

Overall though, it's a right cracker of a game. If you are enticed by this game after reading this, I'm sorry. Actually, you can probably find a physical copy of game online somewhere.
Austrobogulator: Personally, I'd say the second episode was the best.
Is there some connection between the episodes or could you also play them in random order, or only selectively, picking out the best?
just finished shadow of mordor. Not quite sure how i felt about it... I think it had the bones of something great, but just didn't quite get there. The combat is visceral and fun, but after a while it becomes a bit samey.. the nemesis system is a wonderful concept, but you dont seem to be able to DO anything really amazing with it because the final battle didnt really seem influenced by it, and the more captains you fight, the more you begin to see that maybe its not as deep or player driven as you first thought... and the story.. functional, even glimpses of amazing story and world usage, that i felt kinda fell a bit flat.

either way, it did well enough that i dont regret buying it, had a fun time playing it, liked the characters and the world, and look forward to the sequel!
Austrobogulator: Personally, I'd say the second episode was the best.
Leroux: Is there some connection between the episodes or could you also play them in random order, or only selectively, picking out the best?
Well, 4 must be played after 3, there's a pretty big plot point that connects those two episodes. There are slight connections otherwise, but nothing too major.

Basically, you probably should still play them in order.
Austrobogulator: Basically, you probably should still play them in order.
Off Peak. Off Peak is a surreal short adventure game, it takes place in a rather unique train station. Your goal is to collect the scattered pieces of a train ticket, which was given to you by a kindly old street musician (who apparently once dated your aunt).

The train station itself is adorned with paintings of old album covers, and includes a modern art gallery, a record store among other similar places. As you wander around these areas you can talk to people (or watch them have a conversation), steal stuff and enjoy some fantastic music.

Graphically it doesn't do any one thing (IE: textures, lighting, etc) in a noteworthy way, yet it's an interesting and good looking game thanks to the overall direction. The writing is solid for the direction the game is going for (everything feels suitably "off", which is what the game requires). Musically it's rather excellent, featuring a bit of a jazzy feel, along with a few tracks that wouldn't sound out of place in a modern art gallery.

It has a nice atmosphere all around, the surreal bits (such as a giant pianist who refuses to play his piano) are well put together and overall it does a wonderful job of being odd without being over the top. The gameplay is incredibly simple (there is no way to lose) and it can be completed in around fifteen minutes (and that's if you're taking your time to take in the atmosphere and explore), less than thirty if you want to try for the second ending (without rushing).

All in all I enjoyed it and would recommend it anybody looking for a short surreal (that's the third time I used that word, do I get an award?) walking simulator with a snazzy soundtrack.
i add another.

Today finished wolfenstein 2009. great shotting mechanics and the power of the veil also is a great addition to the game. The only bad thing i can think of is that there´s no shotgun, but the flamethrower is awesome, I think it could be in my humble opinion the best flamethrower weapon in a game.

i´m going to follow it with metro 2033. Shotting marathon!!
Space Quest VI. Maybe it's because after hearing mixed reactions to this that my expectations were lowered, but I thought this was really good, every bit as good as any of the prior games. It does start slow, with the very first puzzle being a horrible timing-based thing, beyond that the puzzle quality is pretty good, and I think it's hilarious, with the returning Gary Owens doing a great job delivering those withering put-downs to Roger. Graphics are alright - it's that awkward period in which they were trying to mix cartoony 2D with primitive 3D and it doesn't quite mesh.

It's quite buggy, unfortunately, but I was barely able to work around it and finish up.
Hotline Miami 2

Preordered this one, and wishing I didn't. Could've hit a few more sales and ended up with 8 games, at least 1 of which would have probably been good, rather than a single game that isn't.

The story's a mess, with far too many characters and far too little actual character development.
There's supposed to be a story about the U.S. and Russia being at war, but even the most basic plot is mangled to hell and back, then passed out between person after person to the point that trying to look at plot threads in any way beyond the most broad sense becomes a near-impossibility.

The quality music gets dragged down due to the levels being overly large and the songs being too short, leading to you hearing the same song again, and again, and again, and again, until you finally want to mute it.
Also, the whole musical side feels lazily put together since the songs aren't edited to actually loop, so as soon as each song ends, there's a noticeable pause before they start back up again.

The combat has been mangled in multiple ways as well. Not good when most of the game hinges on it.
The old problems from 1 remain - bad targeting, shitty boss fights, inability to select weapons easily, and if that wasn't bad enough, a number of new problems are in play, like inability to see any great distance down corridors due to horrendous visual range, increased difficulty in target acquisition in general due to the color schemes of the levels sometimes turning it all into a muddy mess, enemies shooting you from off-screen, enemies killing you 1 second into new levels, near-total elimination of the mask variety that allowed a person to experiment with different ways to play, inability to change out your empty gun for an enemy's weapon for no other reason than the game saying you can't do that on a certain level, reduced variety of combat overall with an increased emphasis on gunfights, and halfway broken enemy AI in general that causes them to occasionally spin around like something out of Zombie Shooter 1.

It bears mentioning that it pisses me off A LOT to be seeing problems from Zombie Shooter 1 in Hotline Miami 2.
That shouldn't be happening.

And just as a final middle finger to me, right when I was getting really frustrated, everything got hallucinogenic and bizarre, and I thought to myself, "Okay! This is actually cool, let's see some madness, some strangeness! This might turn around!"
It turns out that I was going through the last level.

It was short, it had three shitty boss fights at the end, the graphics were so bad I could barely tell what one of the bosses was supposed to be, and then it ended abruptly after having demonstrated how stuck up its own ass it could be.

And then credits rolled, something that could barely be called a cutscene happened, and finally, it ended on a massive cliche.

One of my biggest video game pet peeves - when something has potential, but manages to fuck it all up.

It could have been great, but instead it turned out to be yet another game to delete the split second I'm done with it.

Reminder to self - Keep any and all hype in check. Don't trust review sites. Don't preorder.
The Cat Lady. I just finished it for the third time, this time with the best ending. I've written at length about it before so I'll avoid doing so here, but I will say that it's an absolutely fantastic game, a modern classic in my opinion.
Blake Stone: Planet Strike

Planet Strike is a case of more of the same compared to Aliens of Gold, keeping most of the stuff intact and altering only some of it. There is now a better variety in the level design, one more devastating weapon, a smaller amount of stages (which is for the best, as Aliens of Gold overstayed its welcome) and a bunch of new enemy types. Oh, you also need to find and destroy the security cube in each stage, before you can use the elevator to proceed to the next one.

Aside from the returning negatives from Aliens of Gold (crappy control, annoyingly-placed enemies, hard to see turrets), Planet Strike's new negative is the changed map. Whereas in Aliens of Gold, the map showed the whole area, here, you can only see one part of a map at a time, with no option to look at a different part of the map. It makes trying to backtrack to the elevator or to some other place harder than necessary. I also question the existence of the zoom function, as during my playthrough I never used it, aside from trying to see how it worked. Another change that I'm not particularly keen on, is the fact that ammo lying around can now be exploded when you use the grenade launcher, both depriving you of ammo and damaging you if you were close to it (despite that, you'll never receive damage if you blast an enemy with your grenade launcher from point blank. Go figure). Finally, while the game did add new enemy types, the developers didn't bother adding new voice samples, which ends up making the new enemies feel like they jumped out of a mod. The old enemies return, still using their old voice samples, which only adds to the confusion as to which enemy you are about to fight.

In conclusion, Planet Strike is somewhat better than Aliens of Gold but, just like it, it hasn't aged particularly well.

One more for the list.
Post edited March 18, 2015 by Grargar
Xcom Enemy Within on normal. Smote the alien menace with the powerful plasma cannon called MANKIND. Gonna try a new game on either classic or hardcore. I've heard the harder difficulties really ratchet up the handicap factor.