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WildStar (F2P MMO)

Technically I didn't "win" so much as play through the PVE content to max level (50). There are still an array of dungeons, solo dungeons, raids, and level 50 zones. But I did what I set out to do.

I'd played and enjoyed the beta of this game, but buying full price out of the box and paying the sub was never going to be in the cards, both for lack of budget and lack of time when the game launched. So I was glad F2P gave me a chance to mess around with it.

The Good:
Fair amount of PVE content
Good F2P model, from a player perspective in that nothing you need is behind a paywall
Enough quests that you don't really have to do any model
Challenges add a nice bit of surprise and variety at times
Pretty helpful community
Combat is above-average
Game "classes" (typical warrior/rogue/caster) have pretty wide build flexibility for playstyle/preference, and of the 4 classes I spent any serious time with I quite liked 3.
In addition to class you can pick a "path" that gives you extra things to do in each zone
Explorer path is fun for those who like to explore every zone (frustrating for those who don't I imagine), settler is pretty creative, and the combat path is quick and easy XP.

The meh:
A lot of the quests are pretty forgettable.
There's a lot of lore, but it's easily ignored - and if you do ignore it, the world feels a bit flat
The most fun path is explorer (imo) but it has the least useful path bonuses for anything other than exploring, and it can suck up a lot of time. Still, some of the explorer tasks feel more rewarding to solve/complete than actually questing/combating.
Dungeons don't hold your hand, even at low level. Which is great if you and everyone in the party know the fights and what they're doing; hard if not. Especially compared to "that other" MMO. Though the community as a whole seems pretty patient.

The bad:
Game security makes you go through several extra steps to login if you try to login from a new IP. Which is great unless you're an F2P account and don't care about security and your internet provider uses dynamic IP assignments.
A lot of the quests are forgettable
Player base, at least on U.S. server (yes, only one U.S. server) seems pretty small. While the F2P is great from a player perspective, I'm very curious if they're breaking even on this thing at this point. I'd be personally hesitant to sink money into it even if I had any money and wanted to.
"Scientist" path was pretty frustrating.

On the whole, for a game I put 100 hours into, I'm left feeling both satisfied and ambivalent. I could easily spent another 100 hours with alts, and crafting, and max-level content, etc., but I'm not sure how much I want to. There's so much more content than the last game I put 100 hours into (GemCraft) it's also not quite as tight and ultimately not as consistently fun either.

I guess I give it a 'B'. But I also kinda suspect the world of Nexus is not long for this world.
Rush for Gold: California

A simple time management game. By far not the best one in the genre. The (nearly non-existent) story is boring, there's a very limited number of structures to build (and many of them can't be upgraded) and the missions are all very similar and once you get the freeze-time-ability also very easy.

I can't really recommend this game.

Complete list of finished games in 2016

On the one hand, I can see why some people liked this game.

On the other hand, I REALLY didn't like this game.

Atmosphere was good, the "story" such as it was, was somewhat interesting with a nice twist at the end.

But the puzzles were mostly trial and error to meh. I very rarely thought "Oh, that was neat!" or "That was a clever solution!" The first third is mind-numbingly easy. The rest is...mixed.

Moreover, the physics are quite inconsistent. Sometimes a 20 foot fall will kill you; sometimes it's a necessary part of the solution. Sometimes a 10 foot jump is well out of reach, and other times it works...for some reason. You might figure out the solution and then still need 2-3 minutes to figure out the exact mechanics to make the game do the thing that obviously needs doing.

The game is mostly won by just trying shit until something works until you figure out what the creator specifically had in mind in terms of logic and timing.

It's complicated more by the fact the controls aren't very good. It's certainly playable on KB, but sometimes it feels like the controls are unresponsive, and other times on a hair trigger. I can't count the times I mashed the keyboard to get it to register a diagonal jump up onto a ladder only for the game to decide I really wanted to continue with a second jump off the other side, occasionally into a pit.

And in many cases the puzzles require a very specific timing, which is easily thrown off. While the game makes ample use of auto-save, and conveniently loads the game (most of the time) to a convenient interim point in the puzzle, there are times when it explicably makes you replay the same 30 second sequence, or sit there knowing you missed a jump and just waiting for the game to catch up and kill you.

It's made worse by the number of times the game wants to change the orientation/gravity. That was creative and smooth in Portal, but here it's clunky as the game rotates through.

Clean up the physics, tighten the controls and this might be a 'B' game for me, but as is it was more of a D+/C- that occasionally made me want to put my fist through the screen.

Not epicly bad, but a solid thumbs down. But there is a neat game hiding in there somewhere, and if none of these cons turn you off, you might enjoy it.
+Ys Chronicles I

I saw the game countless times that it was basically about time. I snagged it from a Humble Bundle not long ago. It was then that I learnt that the game is very...quirky.

Imagine you're playing a Legend of Zelda game, only instead of attacking or opening chests or talking to people with buttons, you have to BUMP into any of these to get anywhere. That's what the BUMP system is for. BUMP people to talk. BUMP chests to open. BUMP monsters from the sides or back to attack, BUMP from the front to attack and be attacked, BE BUMPED to be attacked.

On top of equipping your armor, shield and weapon, you also have a level up system which only takes you 10 levels and is irrelevant mid-game UNLESS you try hard.

While most of the enemies are cake, the bosses are another league since they take the BUMPing mechanic and mess with it. Expect to die a lot from them, as their difficulty is often imbalanced. And since this the Android version, I'm surprised I made it out with the touch controls, which for this game weren't helpful (floating analog stick that materializes once you hold the screen somewhere, I prefer static analog sticks), given the current in-game implementation of the controls was less than still took me through the entire game somehow.

Overall, the gameplay is interesting and unconventional, and the music is just pure goodness. One fatal flaw however is the translation. It seems as if NOBODY played through the game to proofread the English. Errors like "almos" (almost) or "bandits'lair" plague the game, and more, so if you want to play this version, be prepared to translate.

Quirky fun time.

You need to read this list of finished games this year to advance.
Papers, Please

Papers, Please is one of the indie masterpieces of recent years. You are an immigration officer responsible for passport control, in a dystopian 1984esque state called Arstotzka. The game consists of 31 days. At each day, you are checking/validating/crosschecking passports and each of your decision seals the fate of yourself, passport holder and your family. Each days gets more challenging, but at the same time, you are learning and getting better&faster each and every day.

This is in a way also an RPG game where your decision really have an impact on the ending. Are you going to refuse a forged passport holder and deprive her of the only chance to survive an execution at her own state? Are you willing to help someone out only to see him blow himself up right after the passport control? Should you keep your family hungry for one day only to save the lives of others? Papers, Please masterfully puts you in the shoes of an officer to make tough calls in difficult situations. Yes, you can be the "I only follow the rules guy" and reach one of the specific endings. You have only followed the rules and fed your family. Does this makes you the good guy? Think about it again, does it? Really?

There are around 20 endings and therefore the game has a lot of replay value. Music and visuals are beautiful enough to make retro gamers happy. The only shortcoming I can think of is that the game is actually a bit too scripted. Quit and replay a day, you will most of the time see the same problems/dialogues. But play continuously, you will not even notice this.

Papers, Please is easily one of the best games I have played this year. It is quite thought provoking, something most people of today's world needs.

PS: Don't forget to check out the bonus flash game "The Republia Times". Quite awesome for 10 minutes.

damien score: 9/10

List of all games finished in the last years with best and worst games played in each year
damien: Papers, Please
Jorji Costava was easily my favorite thing about that game. :P
damien: Papers, Please
Fantasysci5: Jorji Costava was easily my favorite thing about that game. :P
hilarious guy :p
Wild West Quest

A pretty bad Hidden Object game with a lame story and ugly graphics. Fortunately it wasn't very long.

Complete list of finished games in 2016
Post edited August 31, 2016 by PaterAlf
Thieves Guild Tycoon

The game has some nice ideas, but the execution is not very good.

First of all you have no idea about your goal. When I first played, I got a "Game Over" after some minutes and didn't know why. Probably because I lost the unexplained tower-defense part of the game. On my second try I spent more attention on the tower-defense. But unfortunately that wasn't very interesting and you can make your vault impregnable in just a few minutes. After that all you can do is level up your criminal abilities, get new abilities and hire master thieves to automatically execute the crimes.

After about one hour I finally got the message that I've saved the guild. Once again I have no idea what triggered the message. Maybe I earned a certain ammount of money, maybe I rescued a certain number of thieves? I simply don't know.

Artstyle of the game is very inconsistent too. Some of the graphics are ok (the guild), some are ugly (the tower defense game) and some are just weird (the cell). I don't even know why there are different screens. Except for the tower defense game they don't show something important and so there is no real need for them.

Positive thing about the game is that it wasn't boring (even if I wrote a lot of negative stuff in this review). I probably won't play it again, but I don't regret the two hours I've spent with it.

Complete list of finished games in 2016
+Giga Girl

With my return to MS Land, I quickly installed and played a game that Wine failed me on (unfortunately) back during my time at Linux Mountains. That game was Giga Girl, a game that's inspired from the Mega Man titles. What inspired me and pushed me to play it was apparently the infamy of Mighty No 9, with its mostly imbalanced difficulty and unfair bosses.

Giga Girl relies on a simple 16-bit artstyle along with chiptune music to deliver the atmosphere of the game, along with a story not unfaithful to Mega Man stories: robots revolt, X leads them, Giga Girl must fight. The difficulty is dare I say, balanced. Some enemies will always get you off guard with their attacks, but they are still feasible to defeat no doubt. As for Giga Girl herself, she relies on a boomerang as her basic weapon, which is a nice break from Buster-likes. Her health is composed of six hearts, and any hit decreases her health by one, which also adds a bit of realistic challenge in the deal.

The bosses were quite enjoyable and of the Megaman caliber, where the more you encountered them, the more you learnt their patterns and the more you adapted to them.

That said, the game is not without flaws. Mainly the ending and the simplistic plot which can be expanded upon, and most importantly, the stage length was between short and okay. However, the game still proved to be more entertaining than Mighty No. 9

In 20XX, Pook posted a list of the games he finished...
Nothing. I haven't finished a single game this year that I haven't played before, except for the System Shock Demo. Okay, maybe I did, YS IV and V. I've just been so damn lazy for the past few years with beating games.
Post edited August 31, 2016 by eksasol
Darwinia - A solid game with lots of room for player freedom. The levels are pretty straightforward, you're just given some objectives to accomplish and released to perform those as you wish. There's not scripted moments in the game, which is refreshing; however, the enemy is never that responsive to what you're doing unless you're actively attacking. It's a good as a palette cleanser between larger, story-driven games.

FEAR 2: Project Origin - I played this for the first time last year, and enjoyed it quite a bit. It's quite different from its predecessor, as it goes more towards the action side of action-horror; however, I liked the intensity of the combat. Bullet time is extremely helpful due to the pace of the combat, it's almost too fast to process. The horror is mostly absent, but the elementary school level is the highlight of that department. Overall, a decent follow-up to the first FEAR game.

Rainbow Six Vegas 2 - I really enjoyed the first Vegas game when I played it earlier this year, it surprised with its stripped down nature - not much story fluff, just moving from room to room in Sin City. This one is mostly the same, and that's good. It maintains the focus on tactical combat, albeit without the mission planner of the originals. The story plays a larger role unfortunately, and one of the levels foregoes the squad and you're force to go a series of rather challenging (almost cheap) encounters. There is a traditional boss fight to cap it all off. It's good, but it doesn't quite reach the heights of the first.
Edna and Harvey - The breakout
An enjoyable adventure following the escape attempt of a girl named Edna from an insane asylum, where she doesn't belong. Or does she?
She is aided on her quest by her stuffed rabbit Harvey as they try to uncover Edna's past and the secret of what happened to her father.
The graphics are odd, but nice to look at and very "cartoony". The music is also nice but I'm afraid unmemorable. The story is simple but interesting and filled with unique characters. The difficulty of the puzzles is not always easy, but there are enough hints. The presentation, story and humor have that "German" vibe to them and the game reminds me of an old German animated movie named Das kleine arschloch.
Technically the game has a few "kinks", like the often slow screen transitions and the far from perfect movement implementation. The game also crashed for me once.
A very nice and unique comedic gem in the rough.
Post edited August 31, 2016 by benmar
benmar: Edna and Harvey - The breakout
Judging by your recent contributions to this thread I think we've got quite similar gaming interests, even though we don't necessarily always agree in our appreciations (e.g. I love all of Double Fine games, Stacking included :P).

Regarding Edna and Harvey - The breakout, I started playing it a couple of months ago but I eventually left it, as the story wasn't grasping me. The humor was alright, but the crude and simple graphics and, above all, the horrible animations did finally turn me off. :\

It's still sitting in my hard drive though, so I'll probably force myself to finish it sometime soon, but I'm afraid I won't be giving it an 8/10. :P
benmar: Edna and Harvey - The breakout
muntdefems: Judging by your recent contributions to this thread I think we've got quite similar gaming interests, even though we don't necessarily always agree in our appreciations (e.g. I love all of Double Fine games, Stacking included :P).

Regarding Edna and Harvey - The breakout, I started playing it a couple of months ago but I eventually left it, as the story wasn't grasping me. The humor was alright, but the crude and simple graphics and, above all, the horrible animations did finally turn me off. :\

It's still sitting in my hard drive though, so I'll probably force myself to finish it sometime soon, but I'm afraid I won't be giving it an 8/10. :P
I am a point'n click fan (loved all the Blackwell games) and I liked all the Double Fine games. In my case, I finished Edna & Harvey with a walkthrough as I quickly found the puzzles obscure / difficult / crazy. I'm still on the fence about playing its sequel.