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New Star Soccer 5

Finished all 20 seasons. Yes, it took a ridiculously long time. I played in Finland, Netherlands, Scotland, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, England, and Portugal. I won all kinds of championships and trophies in each of them, plus the World Cup once and the European Cup thrice.

For the first 10 seasons or so, I really enjoyed the game and it felt good getting gradually better at it. But after around that time, it kinda started to feel repetitive and completely lacking in challenge, since I already knew how to get guaranteed goals. For the last three seasons I avoided matches pretty much entirely, exhausting my character in bullshit activities before every match so that I wouldn't get picked (and thus advancing much faster on the timeline). I felt I had already accomplished everything worthwhile, so my motivation was seriously lacking.

However, even if the game has the same problem as most sports games (being too long and including exploits to score easily), I would still say it's a very good game overall. What I definitely loved most, was the fact that many, many countries and their leagues are represented and you're free to venture onto any of them. Hell: if a soccer game has not only the Finnish Veikkausliiga (our primary league), but Ykkönen (first division) too - that should say something. Being a small indie game, of course it doesn't have real player names and even the team names are shortened, but I didn't mind that all. The game has this cool trick up its sleeve that it derives all the player names from the people who play the game, which is in my opinion pretty clever. It also made the game feel "timeless", because the rosters never really change. It would break immersion, if a Messi or a Ronaldo were still around after 20 years (or even if they had been replaced by a guy with a computer generated random name), but an eternal player/being with a name like Tim Action is an entirely different thing.

So, in short: Anyone looking to try a relatively simple soccer game with tons of clubs available, should definitely check this game out, even if it's much too long if you're actually looking to finish it.
Oh God, I'm a bit late to the party this year, am I not? Anyways, include me!

27.3. - Code 7

Not much I can say about this one as it's quite short and I don't want to spoil the experience, but it's quite good. Absolutely worth playing.
Valdis Story: Abissal City

Looking at the information on the Kickstarter page, this game has been made by three people (an artist, a single developer and a composer) with an incredibly limited amount of budget. Considering the result is probably the best "metroidvania" I have ever played, imo surpassing even the most famous Castlevania titles, I must admit this is nothing short of impressive.
Let me write a little summary of its strongest points (with a few minor critiques along the way):

The narrative
The story takes place in a world ravaged by a total war caused by two twin goddesses, one representing the "angelic" side, the other the "demonic" one. Humans have been trapped in crossfire, and the souls of those who do not choose (or cannot choose) a faction are now fuel to create more angels and demons.
Our heroes (Wyatt and Reina), fighting for their own independence, are taken to a sunken city after a shipwreck following a demon hunt; they need to gather their dispersed crew, survive the hordes of the goddesses' minions, finding out why there is so much "meta-human" activity in the zone and then try to escape.
Given the premises, it might seem that the typical dualism Bioware loves so much is once again shamelessly displayed, yet this statement could not be more distant from the truth: the very well studied narrative unfolds in a dark, gritty, brutal and even quite depressing manner, never leaving space to the usual good vs evil trope.
I will say no more to avoid spoilers. ;)

The Gameplay

The game is built on the typical fundaments of the genre: your characters will need to find their way in a series of connected chambers, unlocking new items and powers that will allow them to deploy new moves, useful both in combat and in progressively navigating the map.
I particularly appreciate the fact that -unlike its most famous cousins- the game does not require a great amount of backtracking, leaving the momentarily unaccessible roads easily detectable and reachable after gaining the means to do so, abandoning the classic escamotage used to artificially boost the average lenght of a playtrough. You will have to sweep again each room carefully only if you want to get all the items, but you can beat the game even without caring too much about them.

Where the game really shines is under the combat system and character developement point of view.
As in almost every title in the genre, after having acquired a fixed amount of experience you will level up, but this time you will actually have to use your brain to build a decent fighter: unlike in other similar games, each level will not increase your power of a certain amount, unlocking instead a single point you will have to manually assign to one of the four main attributes (strenght, intelligence, agility and luck, each one ruling several secondary parameters who directly affect the hero's performance), based on your combat style choices.
After that, you are given another point to spend in the three skill trees (attack, defense and magic, all equally valid) to gain new abilities or further improve those you already chose.
There is a marked difference between the two characters: while each Wyatt build can be effective, resulting only more powerful when well developed, Reina requires a bit more thought, potentially being extremely more threatening than her male counterpart in the hands of a skilled player but also not very vesatile and quite useless if not specialized in a single field.
Another commendable point is that the level cap (20) and a very well done enemy level scaling (definitely different from the awfulness you saw in Oblivion) will never allow you to simply grind your way to victory (see every post-Rondo of Blood Castlevania), always requiring effeort from the player.

The combat flows through a clever, fast and dynamic combo system composed by light attacks, strong blows, timed or "tank-like" parries, a wide array of different upgradable spells (8 exclusive ones for each charater and other 16 in common), compnaion assists, fast dodges and finishing moves, making the "action" section of the game particularly deep and far more complex than the average "hit and move".
All enemies have their own strenghts and weaknesses, and the many bosses are challenging, unique and usually well designed (only three having a "questionable" regeneration ability and only two being "recycled").

Also, the large amount of different craftable items -including weapons, armor and accessories- further increase the strategic depth of the title, adding both advantages and hadicaps more or less suited to different situations and influencing the "alignment" of the characters, useful to modify the special effects of their stats.

The only negative aspect I found is that the high responsiveness of the controls can be troubling during platfroming section: while its fast pace is great in battles, during some (luckily very few) platfroming section it will require surgical precision, leading to some frustrating outcomes.

Art and sountrack
Just by looking at the sreenshots in the store page, everyone could say that the game is visually gorgeous: cararacters are hand drawn in a "cartoonish" style, and environments are many and different, once again never feeling repetitive. My only complaint is that the game is rendered in a very low definition (480p), and even if the upscaling can make it look nice even on 1080p full screens, the most demanding players might find that bit of blurriness annoying.

The sountrack is probably the strongest point of the entire game: it is simply brilliant, probably the best I heard in the last years. Aside from saying that it fits each situation perfectly and it is excellent even when out of its context I cannot describe it, so I invite you to hear and judge for yourself -you won't regret it.


Valdis Story: Abyssal City is imo an absolute must buy for every action platformer fan, a game of incredibly high quality made by a minuscule team with an evident passion for their work, well worth the full price for its great replayability.
Once again, a game deserving the official Enebias' Seal of Approval!
Amazing game, that for sure! I was surprised how much I enjoyed it!
Doom and Destiny
enjoyed every minute playing.
I just managed to finish FREEDOM PLANET!



The game can be quite frustrating, specially the end bosses, I lost count of how many times I shouted out about the developer's mother and her propensity to do certain things for a nickel.

Fortunately you get unlimited continues and it doesn't make you start from the beginning of the stage when you do so. And that's a good thing, otherwise I'd probably have picked up a shotgun.
Ghorpm: Amazing game, that for sure! I was surprised how much I enjoyed it!
Me too! Judging by the few glimpses of the game I saw I was expecting a good metroidvania, but I would have never imagined that such a small team could craft such an impressive game!
By the way, I really hope to see a sequel in the future. The premises are all there, and it would be a real shame to let them slowly be forgotten!
According to Endless Fluff's (they deserved a purchase even for that name :P) site, it seems the devs are now implementing other two playable character (Vladyn and Gilda) and a few other addition to the main game, even if nearly two years have passed sinc ethe release.
Ghorpm: Amazing game, that for sure! I was surprised how much I enjoyed it!
Enebias: Me too! Judging by the few glimpses of the game I saw I was expecting a good metroidvania, but I would have never imagined that such a small team could craft such an impressive game!
By the way, I really hope to see a sequel in the future. The premises are all there, and it would be a real shame to let them slowly be forgotten!
According to Endless Fluff's (they deserved a purchase even for that name :P) site, it seems the devs are now implementing other two playable character (Vladyn and Gilda) and a few other addition to the main game, even if nearly two years have passed sinc ethe release.
Yup, I would insta buy their next game in a heartbeat :)
<span class="bold">Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss</span>. Amazing game. Its a FPP Dungeoncrawler RPG, and has aged incredibly well. My only complaint is that it requires you to take meticulously complete notes of everything you see and hear, unless you have a fantastic memory (which I certainly don't) :). The combat side of the game is quite easy, but figuring out the solutions to all the quests is not. Overall, it's still a very fun game.
What an interesting game. Is it and ARPG mixed with an FPS or is it an FPS with RPG elements? Who know,it's awesome either way.
The loot system is the best part,so many different types of guns with different stats and designs.Love the cel shading,sound design,enemy variety and design and level design.
The intro cutscene is already,in my opinion,a classic.
Unfortunetly,it can be somewhat boring at times due to the lack of story and samey overworld and quests but pick this game up,it's worth it but pick the GOTY edition for all the DLC.
Postal 2: Apocalypse Weekend. I had fun with Apocalypse Weekend but I do feel that it's quite a bit weaker than the base game. My biggest complaints would be the sponge-y enemies and a particular level that is both dull and one of the longest levels in the game. The humor is still good, the scythe is still a scythe, and Apocalypse Weekend is worth a few hours of your time if you liked the base game, just don't expect it to be as good as the base game.
Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas

It was nice enough, as it offered over a dozen hours of Zelda-style gameplay with cute graphics, and that was really fun. I have a few gripes that prevented it from becoming a favorite of mine though.

A minor one is that the game isn't perfectly polished; I experienced some glitching through objects, some dead end situations where I had to die or kill myself to be able to continue, and sometimes it's hard to target an interactive object when another one is very close (e.g. trying to pick up an item when a door is close can result in area transition instead, trying to open a chest when a character stands next to it can result in a chat instead). During my playthrough the game received a new patch but either the patch didn't fix all issues or it didn't affect my savegames. Anyway, none of the above was a real problem, just an occasional slight irritation.

The setting has potential, but the story-telling could have been better, sometimest I even felt it was a bit awkward, as in omissions or plot holes and timing - the game actually ends with a character explaining part of the story that would have been more interesting to learn BEFORE the game was over. Although not really, as the plot certainly wasn't what made the game gripping for me; the game's more about puzzles and exploration.

With regard to the latter, I have a more serious complaint though, as the exploration can get a little frustrating due to the limited camera control, a very basic minimap and the concept of oneways: it's so easy to make a misstep and drop off a low ledge without a quick way to climb up again, forcing you to walk all the way up the snaking path again, sometimes even through several areas. Backtracking already is an integral part of the game, at least if you want to discover all the secrets, so it gets a little tedious if it takes up so much time. I feel like a significant part of the 12-15 hours of my playthrough was spent on just walking the same paths again and again. (But I guess you could direct the same complaint at the Zelda games ...)

It didn't help that the game omitted explaining things like the bloodstones you are meant to collect - you actually need to hit them several times before you can harvest them, but since everything else in the game was destroyed by a single hit and noone gave me a hint, it seemed to me like hitting them was pointless, and that I was still missing something I would receive later on, before I could do anything with these red stones (which wouldn't be unusual, as it works exactly like that with other things in the game). But if you don't collect these bloodstones right away while you're exploring the islands for the first time, you will need to completely re-explore them later on, and that will eat up quite some time and it won't be that much fun anymore. Not that you will have much use for the reward you get for collecting all the bloodstones anyway (and in hindsight, I kind of wish I had skipped all that and saved some time).

The limited unlimited resources didn't make that much sense to me gameplay-wise either, at least not in the context of puzzles that required them. I can accept that it's more challenging if you can run out of arrows, bombs or mana in combat, but if you run out of them while trying to solve a puzzle for which you need them, it's quite annoying, as you just need to smash some vases for loot to refill them, but the loot is random and the vases are finite until you re-enter the area. So you just trash all vases and if that doesn't suffice, you leave the area and re-enter and smash all vases again, rinse and repeat, just to have enough resources for experimenting with a puzzle.

In the end, despite all my nagging, the game is quite a nice Zelda clone that I enjoyed playing, but I would have liked it even better if it wasn't also such a time waster that can get a bit tedious if you aim for actual completion, due to some questionable design decisions.
Post edited March 30, 2015 by Leroux
One down, a crap ton to go.... but hey, it's some progress. :)
(Speaking of progress, I'm coming close to finishing Thief II as well)

Finished Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (PC) today. (light side)

Quite an enjoyable experience. Good open-ended exploration, good combat, impressive storyline, fantastic soundtrack, and more... all set in the unique Star Wars universe. In my opinion the storyline was the best part of the game. Not only was I impressed with its progression and plot twisters, but I also like how you can make the story end how you want to; you can either become a Jedi and save the galaxy, or become a Sith and conquer the galaxy, ruling it with an iron fist.

Honestly I could have dealt without all the annoying minigames* (especially the ****ing hard swoop racing) and it kind of felt like the game was holding my hand a little too much. These are my only major complaints, however, and do not in any way stop me from recommending this game. I highly enjoyed KotOR and can't wait to play the sequel.

I do plan on playing through it again some time, with a different type of character.

*Pazaak is an exception, as I did enjoy that one.
Just beat Binary Domain a few hours ago. Been feeling lonely for Vanquish and CGR's review of this game made me think that despite the cheap case it might be good, and not to mention I've been playing Yakuza Dead Souls and the same devs worked on both. On Saturday a couple mates and myself were hanging out for a couple hours and in between complaining about everything (including the Zelda delay) we stopped at a Gamestop and I picked this and Mad World up for about eleven bucks. I was meaning to beat Klonoa 2 (GBA) and/or Yakuza before this, but I was testing it to make sure the game worked (everything looked pristine, but I always wanna make sure; the PS3 I bought isn't very new) and ended up playing it for a few hours, a few hours later that night, and again this morning/ afternoon. The game had me and didn't let me go. It reminded me right away of Gears of War with its controls, but it only plays more or less similarly. It felt like some combination of Gears, RE Revelations (only tried demo), Vanquish (can't help but be a good thing), and i-Robot (others may be reminded of other films/books, but that is what it reminded me of). First impressions were that it was a little bro-ish, your "bro" is your first squad mate and he likes that word. However, the dialogue throughout the game surprised me as really good, the writing in general actually. Gameplay was very solid at any point, beginning, middle, end and the game does a lot to mix things up. Squad interactions also were fun to play around with as all your team mates were likable (even the unlikable ones) and had fun personalities. Your character is pretty likable, I'd say. Actually, I noticed that one thing the Yakuza devs excel at is character interaction and development. Although, minor spoiler, Dan (your guy) has a recurring flash back that turns out to be pretty lame and is more or less just the same motivation, problem Will Smith had in i-Robot. End spoiler. Overall, I really liked the plot to this game as well as the gameplay, which was rock solid throughout. This game surprised me with how good it was and honestly deserved a better cover.
Post edited March 30, 2015 by AnimalMother117
03-26-15 - Deadlight

Managed to beat this in three sessions. After the first session thought that the game was amazing. After the second session where I played through the Rat's lair started to loose the interest a bit. The controls just too loose for accurate platforming. Then after the last session and beating the game must say that I did not really care for the whole game. It had some interesting things, like the background art and the 80's style which game could even had more. The more annoying things were the controls and the voice acting. Also the pacing was strange. Run, kill zeds(slow), run... throw in some memories.. Nah, didn't do it for me. The ending sort of refreshing, which I actually liked. Horrible no doubt, but I prefer when things don't always end up happily.