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Finished L.A. Noire, which I was lucky to win from Cyberevil.

In short the game has a gimmick and it dedicates every resource to said gimmick. And it's not a very well done gimmick.

Long version:
The game revolves around the interrogations where you get to "read" your suspects and decide if they are telling the "Truth", "Doubt" what they are saying, or accuse them of "Lying". Not everybody is good at "reading" people, especially since these are actors pretending to tell the truth or lie, some better than others. Anyway, for the most part you will see an exaggerated facial tick to give it away but I still have a problem because Doubt/Lie are basically the same thing. The suspects are not telling the truth. The only difference is if you think you have the evidence to accuse them of lying or not. And what you think is evidence and what the game thinks is evidence are often not the same. Frankly, many times it makes no sense. Sooooo.... walkthrough! I played all the game with a walkthrough in the second monitor.

Another problem I have with the game is a double problem. For one thing the game is heavily narrative driven. Meaning even if you figured out what's going on, even if your character figured out what's going on, the game will force you to put people, that you know are innocent, in prison. Just so it can go after a few cases with a big reveal, like it surprises anyone... The worse offender for this are the Murder cases. At the second case I was already sure it was all done by a serial killer and people were being framed. I got the worst ratting in that case because I saw it was bullshit. The big reveal at the end is also disappointing. Chase around town, do some "platforming" and ta da! Thankfully if you fail the "platforming" three times you get an option to skip it.
The second part of the problem is that the narrative also must subject to the gimmick. Many times it makes zero sense that a subject is holding out on the truth. It's only done so you can use the stupid Truth/Doubt/Lie system. No other reason.

It's also an ugly game. All the graphic budget has gone into the characters, mainly their faces. Like I said, it's all about the gimmick. All other textures are horrible. Hey, I'm on GOG, I can play older games with bad graphics, if it was a limitation of the times. It's not the case with this game, here it's a choice. A choice I don't like.

I had a lot of crashes, textures not loading, character stuck, stuck during loading... It's a very unstable game.

Now, reading so far you might thing I hated the game. That's actually not the case. There are redeeming qualities. For one thing I like the setting of the game. I wish more games would be set in that period. The characters are well done for what we expect (from movies mostly), the music is good. The overall story is ok. I would have just added a touch of "The Departed" to the ending.

And while the Murder cases made me want to quit, after them the game gets a lot better. The Vice cases are better, even if I did not like the resolutions, and the Arson cases I really liked (apart from putting a couple of innocents in jail). The situations where the answers/evidence don't make sense are fewer.

Overall I would give 3/5, maybe 3.5/5 if it would have been more stable. The game could have been a lot better if they insisted less with their gimmick, or simply done it better. Being able to redo some sections, especially interrogations, without restarting the whole case would have helped. Being able to skip the cut scenes/dialogue would have helped. As it stands right now only some are skipable. This game does not like you skipping stuff, even if you do the same thing for the 2nd or 10th time. The final touch was not being able to skip the credits at the end. So I went "haha Alt+F4!".
Post edited April 06, 2015 by Aningan
Enebias: Freedom Planet is clearly inspired by Sonic, but how much of the actual game resembles the older Mega Drive/Genesis titles (which, btw, were the first games I played "seriously", despite having started with Doom, Wolfenstein and Raptor, back then a bit too complex for the younger me) and how much brings innovation?
I would say it very strongly parallels Sonic in gameplay. For folks like me who have muscle memory of the Sonic controls, it takes very little adjustment to master the Freedom Planet controls.

The levels in FP also parallel the levels in Sonic. Some are sprawling outdoor levels with multiple paths through them, and some are more linear interior levels. In all of them there are a number of items hidden, either down side paths or behind scenery.

Enebias: If I was to ask you "what can clearly separate this game from its predecessor", what element would stand out in particular, in your opinion?
The main gameplay difference between Sonic and FP is how life points are managed. Whereas in Sonic you can take a non-fatal hit as long as you have rings, in FP you have a somewhat more traditional life meter portrayed by flames. These are usually replenished by enemy drops. There are separate items, crystals, which you accumulate in a manner similar to rings and which grant extra lives at certain quantities.

There are no hidden challenges in FP similar to the Chaos Emeralds in Sonic, or if there are then I did not discover them. And there are no signposts which indicate where you have saved your progress within a level, though generally those recovery points are intelligently placed.

I enjoyed the characters and storyline as well as the gameplay. And upon completing the game, I felt emotionally transported back to the glory days of the Sega Genesis. If you have such memories yourself, then I recommend this game even more strongly.
Finally finished The Blackwell Epiphany. Bought it at GOG buy played it on my Galaxy Tab S. I enjoyed the story a lot, even though I was a bit disappointed with a couple of things. I reviewed the game on GOG without spoilers, but if you wanted to know what disappointed me, here are some vague spoilers (next paragraph only):

First of all, the antagonist wasn't that satisfactory. Not only was it the early suspect, the crime was also not premeditated, and so the story arc ended a little weak compared to Deception. Also what happened at the very end didn't feel consistent with anything, and although it was an interesting resolution, I don't think it was necessarily the strongest one.

The only other niggle is the lower res text. Deception had decent text, but Epiphany degenerate to 320x200 style text.

Still, these niggles weren't enough to mar what is one of the best adult text adventures around.
damien: Half-Life 2

I have found this one overrated. I know I have played it more than 10 years after the release date, but I still enjoy FPS classics such as Unreal, Duke Nukem 3D, whereas Half-Life 2 was a "not bad" experience at best. I don't get why the story is found so spectecular, which in my opinion is not. Yes, the graphics are good, gravity gun is interesting but the game gave me the feeling of "hey, now we are using the gravity in our games and this is very innovative. so you should appreciate it as a classic". No... Half-Life 2 is not the best game ever made, it is not even a classic. It is, however, a fairly good game with good sound and atmosphere, average story and shooting physics and some spectacular graphics for its time. There are some chapters that are too long, such as the ones where you use an airboat, in which the game feels more like a tech demo where the devs are trying to impress. And the worst thing about the game, a huge minus, is that Half-Life 2 will likely give you nausea. In some chapters I felt sick and my face went pale. I have been playing shooters forever, never have I suffered a nausea in a game, which I believe indicates some serious design mistakes.
Fortunately I did not experience nausea, but otherwise this just about echoes my thoughts on it. It's okay but the tedious sections are really tedious. I also felt that the characters were really bland despite all the praise they got for being so realistic or easy to relate to or something.

This morning I finished Ikachan, a pre-Cave Story game by Daisuke Amaya. You control a squid and explore a subaquatic cavern, talking to fish people, fighting mean fish and such. It's really cute and very short - like you can beat it in an hour or so, or maybe even less if you're faster on the uptake than I am. I wouldn't mind seeing Pixel go back and either expand this into a "real game" or maybe do a sequel at some point.
Updated my "Currently Playing" list. I plan on starting Icewind Dale tonight.

Still debating on what other game I'll be playing after I finish Thief II.
IAmSinistar: (...) upon completing the game, I felt emotionally transported back to the glory days of the Sega Genesis. If you have such memories yourself, then I recommend this game even more strongly.
Thank you! :)
I will definitely get it in the future!
BioShock Infinite

Really enjoyed the story to this one, so much so I rushed through it on Easy. [well sort of 16 hours]. The graphics are nice, also enjoyed using the sky-rail [even though I didn't know where I was going, which made it even more fun]

My mum and dad were Irish, I was born / found! in england, and I didn't find this game racist at all, was tongue-in-cheek to me. overall a great game, not as good as the first two.

I would say more, but don't want to give spoilers

The only Negative thing I can say about this game, is the checkpoint system for saving, I was really tired and wanted to stop, but played on until the next checkpoint [then had a 15 hour sleep]

I did have a problem with this game, after playing for 12 hours the game would just freeze, sometimes freezing my whole computer. I had a look at the windows event log, and saw there was a Kernalbase.dll error. I had a read about on forums, but couldn't find an answer. But I had a stroke of luck, Via the bioshock game properties on steam, I clicked on the check game files button. and well there was a file missing, so it downloaded it, and all was fine afterwards.

Will have to play again, this time exploring everywhere.

Great Game.

All the best

PS No I don't work for a computer games mag!
Post edited April 07, 2015 by Cavenagh
Secret Files: Tunguska

Read the large wall of text below to find out why I find this game more fun than Syberia and The Longest Journey and why I think the average 3,5 stars rating it gets across the internet aren’t nearly enough.


As with all the games from Animation Arts, the backgrounds are very detailed, crisp and easy on the eyes. The animations are rather stiff but that’s an issue with almost all 3D adventure games so no real detriment. Music and sound effects are solid and the voice acting is decent in both German and English, just the American accents seem awkwardly out of place. I didn’t know the game was originally in German so I played it in English and later compared the voices on Youtube. Played the other 3 games of the series in German but the English voice acting is acceptable in all parts of the series so it’s no deal breaker if you don’t understand German.

Story & characters

The story is a basic missing person mystery setup with some Indiana Jones and sci-fi stuff thrown in. Occasionally, some James Bond moments. The entire Secret Files series has a lighthearted feel to it but that isn’t bad at all, it’s relaxing to play and it doesn’t require full immersion and identification with the characters. Your main character is Nina, a Russian motorcycle mechanic living in Germany. And then there’s Max, who mainly seems to exist so Nina can throw mysandric comments at him. You also get to play as Max in some chapters and in some instances you have to collaborate and switch between both characters - a nice gameplay dynamic that was introduced with Maniac Mansion but isn’t used all too often in linear adventures.
The misandry in Tunguska seems at least partially ironic so you can enjoy Nina’s lame jokes regardless of whether you’re a man, a woman or a feminist. Also, there’s a character named Sergei who makes sleazy misogynist comments (mostly about Nina’s well shaped butt) to balance things out a bit. The humor falls rather flat throughout the game with atrociously bad puns and 4th wall breaking comments but thanks to the casual and self-aware atmosphere of the game this doesn’t harm the experience much, on the contrary it’s kind of endearing.
I only had to laugh once when I was inside an asylum and overheard two patients from neighboring cells holding a completely wacky conversation that lasted about 10-15 minutes before it went into a loop. The conversation is in German even in the English version because the two people are riffing off on one bad pun after the other. It’s the most braindead yet strangely lucid conversation I ever witnessed in a game. It’s like listening to the guards from NOLF after a lobotomy, a couple beers and lots of prescribed meds.
Aside from that isolated incident, the dialogue in Tunguska is rather basic and unmemorable without dialogue trees so you don’t need to worry about saying the wrong thing or missing out anything. There also isn’t as much superfluous talking as in The Longest Journey where some dialogues are excessively long and in the case of the first chapter, gratuitously boring. Tunguska isn’t as sensitively written as Syberia but in Tunguska you get vastly more puzzles to occupy yourself with so you most likely won’t mind too much.


First off, there are no timed puzzles, no dead ends and you can’t die. It’s a full length adventure which according to takes 10 hours to complete but in order to preserve basic self-esteem I think that’s BS as usual because it took me almost 15 hours total - including reloading here and there to see if one can do things differently or find dead ends and break the game (didn’t find anything though). Either way, this game is chock full of content and more than worth its full price.
There is hotspot highlighting via space bar which I used for convenience –after- searching a scene manually. That way, you get the fun of sharpening your observation skills but none of the frustration resulting from unfair or boring pixel hunting. Some scenes have only 2-3 hotspots but due to the many inventory puzzles, interactivity is much higher than in Syberia and you won’t spend nearly as much time wandering around doing nothing.
Since the backgrounds in Tunguska are very detailed but well defined it’s not hard to identify objects, the difficulty lies in guessing what the designers allow you to interact with. There are tons of scenes in the game but due to intelligent design you never have to backtrack more than a handful screens and since you can double click to instantly exit each screen, there is no annoying idle time and no having to painfully watch your character crawl up/down an entire flight of stairs just because you accidentally clicked in the vicinity - a common occurrence in Sanitarium. Or not being able to skip long animations as in the Runaway series. At times I wanted to complain about Tunguska not having enough budget to hire more animators and show more animations in-game but in instances like the aforementioned you can actually be glad about that.

The puzzles themselves are mostly item based, meaning you either combine items with each other or with a hotspot in the scene. There are several “mini game” style puzzles of the same old type you encounter in just about every adventure game but in Tunguska they don’t feel awkwardly placed since the game focuses heavily on incessant puzzle solving and not so much on mood, dialogue and deep story immersion, so as a result you won’t feel disrupted in your flow. In Tunguska, puzzles aren’t there to slow you down from progressing the story. The puzzles pretty much -are- the story here and the actual story is more of a fun backdrop that gives a bit of cohesion and purpose to everything.

There aren’t any overly memorable puzzles that made me feel like I’m super smart but there aren’t any overly frustrating puzzles, either. I only got badly stuck once and didn’t play for a couple months, in hindsight it was an easy puzzle but I made one little mistake that still makes me facepalm because I managed to completely overcomplicate what was intended to be very simple.
None of the puzzles are illogical per se and are mostly grounded in reality but quite a few are very contrived – occasionally to the point of downright silliness - so you might find yourself randomly combining items in a select few situations. It’s a pitfall almost all linear adventure games share but if you’re experienced with classic adventure gaming, you know the drill and might as well enjoy the silliness. If you want a game that functions with pure logic instead of adventure game logic, play Spacechem or similar purist puzzle games.
If you hated the rubber ducky puzzle in The Longest Journey, Tunguska probably isn’t for you because Tunguska has way more puzzles of this type. Most of them range from easy to moderate but you never need moon logic, just a very basic understanding of physics, chemistry and some minor suspension of disbelief inherent to adventure game logic which abstracts and accelerates the laws of nature. I assume that you know what salt does to ice, how temperature affects the state of aggregation of water and simple stuff like that. Other than such basics, there is no outside knowledge required.
The silliness of some of the puzzles didn’t bother me because Tunguska is a rather lighthearted adventure with a slightly casual atmosphere. Action happens in the cutscenes but not in the gameplay and the mood is never overly serious – the main character’s dry attempts at humor will see to that.

All in all, I highly recommend this game to anyone who enjoys item based puzzles, wants loads of them in ever changing scenery and doesn’t mind having to figure out an occasional wacky solution that might be contrived but not to the point of unfairness. In my opinion, Tunguska is one of the best point & click adventures in that category because the difficulty is agreeable for most players, the puzzle density is high and the game keeps things interesting right to the end. The sequels aren’t quite as good but if you enjoyed Tunguska, you’ll want more. I didn’t stop until I played all 4 games of the series.

Full list
Post edited April 08, 2015 by awalterj
Hitman: Codename 47:

I'm not sure if this is more of a puzzle game than a stealth shooter:P

I hated the inability to save when I wanted to, but it forced me to concentrate on understanding the levels better than I would have - and as a consequence I appreciated the level design a lot more than I would have.

The amazing thing about this game is that you start a level having no clue what to do, then after a while you think you're never going to beat it, and then you figure out a strategy and ultimately end up being able to breeze through most missions as if they were a walk in the park. Once you understand the AI behaviour (which can differ between levels), the game becomes very easy.

The toughest one for me was the "Say Hello to my Little Friend" level in the jungle, but I chose to go the sniper route rather than the guns blazing route, and the thing that caught me out the most was when I kept dying from falling out the guard towers because I could never quite master how to climb down the ladders. I eventually resorted to just slowly stepping off the edges and that did the trick!
Dark Forces:

I'm in two minds about this one.

I played Jedi Knight before this one (although that was a number of years ago), so admittedly, the graphics weren't in the same league, but I am a Star Wars fan so I had to give it a go.

It shares one thing in common with Jedi Knight (and Daikatana for that matter): the early levels aren't that great, and you need to persevere a bit to get to the good stuff,

Lack of ingame saves is a pain, so I had to replay a couple of levels a couple of times to improve the number of lives I could carry over to the next level - and consulting a FAQ is critical if you want to find all the secret areas - and even then I gave up on a couple.

There were a couple of levels that required precise jumping skills which I clearly don't have, so I had to resort to using cheat codes at one point where I had to get from one end of a room to the other by jumping between moving platforms on either side of the room, with a moving ceiling in the middle guaranteed to crush you for a bit if you missed the jumps.

But the later levels are definitely more enjoyable as the jumping puzzles become much easier. There was still one tough part in the final level with a crushing ceiling guaranteed to cost me at least one life, but that was just to access an optional secret area. The final level becomes a lot easier if you skip the optional stuff, including battles with the Dark Troopers near the beginning of the level. So if you're low on lives, try get through the level as quickly as possible instead of trying to kill everything, and you should have enough life left to handle the Boss fight at the end.

I played this on medium difficulty - sadly I'm not One with the Force :(
awalterj: Secret Files: Tunguska
Good to hear, I just picked the game up recently.

In fact, I was actually going to ask your opinion about the game, since I saw it on your list, but I just went ahead and bought it anyway :P
Apr 7 - Akalabeth (1989 Windows port)

An interesting look at gaming around 1980, but there's not that much depth here and not much to say about it. If one doesn't mind the primitive graphics, the game is fairly decent. Once you learn a trick, it becomes pretty simple to beat. I only finished the main quest of the game on level 1, but I might try 10 for fun later.
Post edited April 08, 2015 by adambiser
Batman: Arkham City: Harley Quinn's Revenge.

Ever finish a game, go around declaring it one your favorites, then play it again and wonder why you liked it so much? That's sort of how I feel about this one.

When I first completed Harley Quinn's Revenge some time ago I fell in love with it, it was challenging, had a great story and an excellent premise. The premise and story is still solid and enjoyable to me, but the challenge was just frustrating this time around, thanks to its tendency to stick you in room after room of armed and armored thugs as an very underpowered boy blunder (Robin) or as the B-man who is missing one essential gadget from the base game.

I did still enjoy Harley Quinn's Revenge, but this while likely be the last time I give it a run through, unless I decide to give the entire Arkham series another playthrough before playing Batman: Arkham Knight.
agogfan: The toughest one for me was the "Say Hello to my Little Friend" level in the jungle, but I chose to go the sniper route rather than the guns blazing route, and the thing that caught me out the most was when I kept dying from falling out the guard towers because I could never quite master how to climb down the ladders. I eventually resorted to just slowly stepping off the edges and that did the trick!
I found that mission more annoying than hard. The map is just too big, and the massacre you need to do is not very professional, assassin-wise speaking! :P
Despite being one of my favourite games, the first Hitman is imo the weakest in the series, displaying a very questionable desing in several missions, the first two ones in the jungle being the best example.
The most difficult mission for me -but also my favourite for the same reasons- was "The Lee Hong Assassination". The map was huge and the goals numerous and different... I think I needed something like 4 days to figure out how to complete every objective in a functional manner, and when I finally accomplished the mission I felt like a real master!
If you liked Codename 47, I warmly recommend you to play <span class="bold">Silent Assassin</span>: it corrects each weak point of the first while significantly improving over the good ones and adding an incredible amount of variety. A real masterpiece of epic proportions, and imo both the absolute best in the series and among the greatest in the whole genre.

Edit: If you like this kind of game, you should also give a look to "<span class="bold">Death to Spies</span>". I'm playing it right now, and I'm having a blast! Silent Assassin still remains unreachable in my poinion, yet DtS is a more than worthy game (it reminds me a lot of Codename 47 and it is probably just as hard, but this time you have infinite saves).
Post edited April 08, 2015 by Enebias
<span class="bold">Syndicate</span>

(This is for the first game, I have not played American Revolt yet).

I'd describe this game as a third person perspective, team based, action shooter game. Overall it was fun, with an awesome Bladerunner/Cyberpunk aesthetic. I enjoyed upgrading and equipping my cyborgs and sending them out on various missions. The downside is that the gameplay of the missions are almost all quite similar and require the same tactics, so it's not a very tactical game and does become somewhat repetitive. The missions are also almost all very easy (however, I did play this game extensively back in the day and although I didn't remember any of the levels specifically I did remember some good tricks and tactics). But occasionally, a difficult or different type of mission is thrown in, and those are the ones I enjoyed the most.

ETA: Just tried American Revolt, and it's going on my "Games Quit" list.
Post edited April 08, 2015 by 01kipper