It seems that you're using an outdated browser. Some things may not work as they should (or don't work at all).
We suggest you upgrade newer and better browser like: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer or Opera

Dear Esther

A melancholic, poetic journey where pain, insanity, grief, despair & freedom merge together. Things you can't understand.... for now. But as the story unfolds, emotions set ablaze. What happened? Come back...

Dear Esther has some of the best level design I've seen in a videogame. Some of the best vistas ever designed. One of the most hauntingly beautiful soundtracks I've ever heard. The sound effects, from the sea that hits the rocks to the howling of the wind are top-notch. The narration is simply fantastic. Technically, it is a masterpiece. Gameplay as we know it is nonexistent. You can just walk around without being able to interact with anything but that's not the purpose of the game. It tells a story and if you let it, it immerses you in it's world completely. It was well worth of my time.

Completed games 2016
Post edited July 05, 2016 by Vythonaut
The Banner Saga

It's a bit like a Choose Your Own Adventure story with little turn based tactical battles at appropriate points. It's also like Game of Thrones, in that you better not get too attached to any characters.

The artwork is really nice and, combined with the music, really gives the game a great feel that fits in with the story. Those are what elevated the game overall to being quite enjoyable.

There's no overworld or strategic map as such. You have your little traveling caravan made up of non fighters, some combatants, plus your special band of heroes (the ones you control on the battle maps). Along the way you have to make decisions. Lots of them. They range from settling squabbles in the camp to strategic and tactical decisions- like when to take a stand and battle or when to avoid combat. The thing is though, it all does feel very scripted. Whilst decisions have repercussions that can surprise you well into the game, to be honest, I got the feeling that nothing at all really deflected the game off a very linear preset's really all smoke and mirrors. You're going where and when the game means you to go, I think all that changes is who you may be doing it with. Even running out of supplies (like I did constantly) and slowly bleeding away your force seems to have no repercussions.

The tactical combat is pretty decent after you get used to a few odd game mechanics. If you're used to turn based tactical games, well this is similar but with some differences. You need to get the hang of actually NOT killing enemies as fast as possible. This is because of the way the turn ordering works, it's much better to have lots of weakened enemies rather than just a couple of full strength ones. It's hard to explain, but play for a few minutes and anyone will see why. But accept the mechanics and the battle system works okay.

The worst part of the game was the final battle. It's what I class as cheap. Whenever a developer has no idea how to do a final boss, they almost always fall back on the tried and true trick of endless ridiculous regeneration or cheap spawning. Up until the final battle the game was doing so well in that regard as well.

So none of the parts that made up the game were outstanding, except the art and eventual story- though in that regard be aware it's not finished and is part of a planned trilogy. But I am intrigued by the story and all the parts came together to make a game that I actually really liked overall. So I'll go onto part 2...but will be moving to Xbox, since It's this months GwG game.
Post edited July 05, 2016 by CMOT70
Back to Bed

It's a puzzle game where you have to guide a sleepwalker to a bed in his dream by manipulating his path with objects. The game's quite short, it only has 30 small puzzles. Well, double if you count Nightmare mode, but that's just the same levels again with the twist that you'd also need to collect keys - and I'm not gonna bother with that.

I guess I didn't really like the game because it's a little bit too simple. The puzzles really aren't very hard and there's only two different objects you can use to manipulate the sleepwalker's path: an apple ( = a wall) or a fish ( = a bridge). A few times you need to mind not to let wandering dogs or open manholes get him, but those are pretty easy to avoid. I don't really have anything more to say. Such a forgettable game.
To the Moon

Slept on this because on first finishing I really wasn't sure what to say.

This game definitely made me cry, though sometimes that was the story/music (good), and other times it was the UI/gameplay (less good).

The game is split into 3 acts, and the first imo is the strongest, second the weakest, and the finale somewhere in between. It's an interesting delve into how we live within time, and how our selves in the present are an accretion of choices we made in the past, but also the things that happened to us.

Purely as story/philosophy, I'd give the game an 'A,' and the soundtrack is also very effective. There were times I would be frustrated in the game in one second only to feel that turned on its head, in part because of what happened in the story, but also the shift in music. At one point a character (several?) makes a joke about the main theme being repetitive, and yet it's touching nonetheless, imo.

The art is all over the map, with some sequences that are really effective, but also a lot that's instantly forgettable.

As for the gameplay it's generally a negative. That's not even a judgment on how little "game" there really is here (a few fetch quests, etc.) as I was prepared for that. I think what bothered me more is the game often required my input for no reason at all (clicking space to move through dialogue). Perhaps there was a setting to undo that and just let the dialogue flow, but there were times I wanted to sit back and watch the story during dialogue, and couldn't because it would not move on without my acknowledgment.

The read-tap-read-tap-read-tap became monotonous quickly and pulled me out of the story.

Overall I guess I'd give it a 'B' with some real strengths but also some elements I would go so far to describe as weak to annoying. Perhaps my expectations coming into this game were just too high, IDK.
Rayman 2: The Great Escape - I was sooo glad to finally play through this one! I've had issues with the GOG version (I seem to recall it having issues with multi-monitor setups, but I could be wrong), so I went with the Dreamcast version. It was a very good game and it's help up really well. I highly recommend this to all platformer fans.
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards - I played through this one around when it first came out and haven't touched it since. It was a nice nostalgic trip.
Puzzle Station - This is one of those "okay, what is this random game in my Steam library" games that I seem to have a lot of. But it had "Puzzle" in the title, so I checked it out...and boy am I glad I did! I enjoyed this one quite a bit.
Dark Savior - I had assumed I would never play through this one, but I buckled down and played it. It's a really fun game and sadly, has never been ported from the Saturn.
Nitro+ Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel - Pretty cool 2D anime fighting game on the PS4.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project - Nostalgia overload!! I had this as a kid and recently picked up a copy on the NES.
Dungeon of Zolthan - Another game I had never heard of, but tried it out and was pleasantly surprised.
Metal Slug X - What can I say, it's Metal Slug!
My Name Is Mayo - I can't believe I played this...wait, yes I can.
Muppet Monster Adventure - This was a surprisingly really fun old school platformer on the PS1. I enjoyed it so much that I had to write about it haha!
Expendable - I've always enjoyed Rage Software games and this was an okay game. It had some annoying level design, but it's non-stop blasting. It will never happen, but I'd love to see a twin-stick shooter version of this :D
StarCraft - HOORAY!! I finally finished all three campaigns in this game. I suppose Brood War is next...
Dead Bits - Eh, this was okay, for what it was.
Zombie Revenge - This was a very disappointing Dreamcast game :( I didn't expect much, but man, the controls were really dodgy.
Cannon Spike - Now THIS is a great Dreamcast arcade game! Did Capcom forget this (and most of their older titles) exists?
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist - I hadn't played this before, but it was a nice Genesis version of Turtles in Time (which still reigns supreme, in my opinion).

Full list + completion times
Post edited July 05, 2016 by moho_00
moho_00: ...
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project - Nostalgia overload!! I had this as a kid and recently picked up a copy on the NES.
Damn, really? Congratulations! That's a tough one. I also had it as a kid, but I couldn't get further than the bridge level. A few years ago I enlisted the help of a friend so that we can attempt a coop playthrough. He died a few levels from the end, but I managed to make it to Shredder and beat him with with only few life bars remaining on my final turtle!
<span class="bold">Dynamite Jack</span>

Continuing my crusade to finish off games that I started playing a long time ago, next in line was Dyamite Jack (which, by serendipity, I happened to get in the same bundle as my previous beaten game).

While its graphics look way cruder today that when I first laid my eyes on it more than 3 years ago, they don't detract from an overall positive experience. The meat of this title is its gameplay: it's basically a top-down stealth game... with bombs. Said bombs serve the double purpose of noisily eliminating enemies and opening new paths through the bare rock. The first introductory levels pose a very low level of challenge, but thinks ramp up steadily with the introduction of new enemies (up to 4 different types), as well as traps and environmental hazards. However, the difficulty never gets out of scale... at least during the regular 28 levels that form the main campaign. Then there's a whole bunch of user-created levels, and I'm sure crazier things await there. I'll probably keep the game in my hard drive in order to give these additional levels a spin sometime, but in the meantime I'll mark it as done.

As a plus, I'll mention the in-game achievement system. Each level has 3 associated challenges, which usually involve not using the torchlight, not dying even once, getting all the crystals in the level... but also killing all the enemies, or not killing a single one. These last two can eventually lead you to change your favourite play style in order to get them: if left alone, I usually tended to methodically eliminate the baddies one by one, so being forced to go through a section full of sentries was a higher challenge indeed, and it even felt like a different level altogether, so more the fun! Definitely recommended to anyone looking for a not overly complicated stealth game.

My list of finished games in 2016
System Shock: Enhanced Edition - 4/5

Finally got around to playing this, and I'm really glad I did. It does a lot of amazing things - it's especially incredible that it was originally released in 1994.

I definitely wouldn't recommend playing it though, unless you have a really high threshold for clunky gameplay and UI.
Post edited July 06, 2016 by Austrobogulator
Flight of the Amazon Queen
It's cheesy, silly and fun. Think of it as an Indiana Jones B comedy movie wannabe.
The plot, the dialogues and the characters are fun. Cheesy and silly, but still fun.
The puzzles are simple and fair most of the time and although the temple level tends to slow it down and introduce a lot of backtracking, I will still say it's fun.
If you crave a bit of Indiana Jones but want a touch of comedy and silliness as well, The flight of the Amazon Queen is just the right game for you. It may not be a flawless masterpiece, but it is fun.
Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition (Xbox One)

A pretty good GTA-clone, with a interesting story. You are a undercover cop in the triads, so you get the best of both worlds. Some missions are focused on joining your fellow gangsters in criminal activities, and you also do cop-missions and investigations throughout the main story. There are also lots of side-activities to do (races, favors, hijacking armored vans, collectibles, and so on).

The combat is mostly melee, though there are a few missions where guns are available. Melee-combat is similar to that of Batman and Shadow of Mordor. Aside from normal punching, you can press a button to counter when enemies flash red. There are also a few combos you can learn, melee weapons can be picked up, and you can grapple enemies and kill them with the enviroment. All in all, combat-gameplay for both melee and guns are quite nice. There is also some freerunning in the game, classic running, climbing, vaulting, and so on. Driving is also sound (though you drive on the left side of the road, argh! :P).
Post edited July 06, 2016 by Random_Coffee
<span class="bold">Borderlands</span>

This is the third time I've finished Borderlands, recently I've purchased the second game and so I wanted to go back, way back. Also not to long ago I've finished Tales from the Borderlands which became one of my favorite games and got me more interested in the series.
Borderlands is a great first-person shooter with role-playing character progression, it can be played solo or up to 4 player co-op online. The original title used GameSpy servers for multiplayer modes. As a result of GameSpy's shutdown in 2013, 2K Games patched the game and moved the servers to Steam, as well as providing Steam-versions of the game for those that purchased the title through retail channels.
The art style still looks good: , [url=]#2, . Also the [url=]soundtrack is great, just listen for a while.
Next up for me is the DLC from the first game, somehow I never played any of them.

Complete list of games finished in 2016.
Reverse Crawl

Similar thoughts to PaterAlf's recent review.

It's not at all what it advertises itself as, but as a combat-based RPG it's a fun little gem with lots of options to customize, fairly charming dialogue and art, and esp. impressive as a solo production.

The array of enemies, boons/curses, and units of your own to choose from made for some really interesting combat choices.

While I'm not sure I will unlock the "New Game+" feature, it was definitely worth the one playthrough. Even the choice not to continue on has more to do with the huge backlog of games (and probably won't get any playtime again til Sunday) than a sense that I've wrung every drop of enjoyment out of it.

Strong recommendation from me - very glad I picked it up in a bundlestars bundle.
Post edited July 07, 2016 by bler144
<span class="bold">Borderlands: The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned</span>

Borderlands: The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned is a great short experience, it's just more Borderlands, but with zombies. And of course there are the obvious additions: new areas to explore, more missions for the new campaign and new enemies.

Complete list of games finished in 2016.
I'll add some more games. Won't go into detail for them, but I have a review for the first game (accessible as a link)

+Shantae and the Pirate's Curse
+Sakura Spirit
+Sakura Beach

Check the rest of the games I finished here
The Banner Saga 2 (Xbox One)

This second part pretty much improved on every aspect of the first game. The battles in particular this time were much more varied with a wider variety of enemies and heroes. Plus sometimes battles had objectives beyond just killing everything.

The caravan trek part of the game was similar, but also improved- not as much as the combat though. At least this time the useless clansmen, that did nothing but eat food in the first game, could actually forage for supplies as you moved along. Not enough, but at least it was something. Essentially it's still the same type of linear story with choices you make that effect how some scenarios play out.

Also, like the first game, there is a choice at the end that effects how you will go into the next game. That was the only thing that initially concerned me about playing the first part on PC and the second on Xbox- obviously I wasn't able to import my game 1 save. But it didn't really matter - if you start a normal game the first choice you make basically reflects the final one you make in the first game. So not importing a save is no big deal, it doesn't effect the story.

So it was pretty good, and I'll definitely be getting the third part when it comes out. It was a great Games With Gold game for this month too, since it's a pre-day-one release, it's not even released on Xbox until later this month.
Post edited July 08, 2016 by CMOT70