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Highrise Heroes: Word Challenge (Story-word game)

The first thing you see upon entering the game is Story Mode and Chimp Challenges. Once you choose one, you'll be able to access Settings. Options are separate mute buttons for music and sounds, plus Windowed mode or full-screen.

Gameplay consists of chaining together letters to form words, usually with the goal of dropping everyone to the bottom of the screen to "save" them. When you include the characters from the story in a chain, it will give you access to letters you otherwise wouldn't be able to get to, but there's more to it than that. Characters will soon run out of air if you don't use them in a word with an air (blue) tile, there are battery cells that have to be used within a certain number of turns, or they'll explode and everyone will die from toxic gas. There can be fires to put out, debris to clear, and/or glass to break before you can move on, and you only have a certain number of turns to save everyone!

Each character has an ability that will help you out of a tight spot, ranging from instantly breaking a tile that would otherwise take 3 turns to destroy, to swapping letters on the screen, to showing you the longest-possible word on the screen. SUPER-helpful... but use these abilities wisely, as each time you use them, you'll lose a certain number of turns!

Making 5+ letter words will give you a small red bomb, which takes out all of the tiles touching it (8 tiles), and making a 7+ letter word gives you a large gold bomb, which will take out an additional row of tiles surrounding it (24 tiles).

The early levels will give you hints if you stall for too long, but no worries... That doesn't continue once you progress in the game, and neither does the super-easy-to-pass nature of the levels. Every word you make gets you points, and of course longer words give you more points. Chaining together multiple characters in a word will net you some bonus points, and there are also some tiles that include multipliers. If you're an achievement-hunter like me, simply passing a level isn't good enough, as you're going to want to get the most points possible in order to get three stars, and if you're competitive, there are leaderboards for each level, too!

All levels have a hidden timer for the purpose of stats, but there are a good 10 levels (that's a guess) that have a visible timer, and which you have to complete within 2 minutes or less... and a few of those levels have number tiles instead of letters, with challenges such as "Link tlles to add up to 40." GAH!

Every level has a goal that must be met before you can move on, and 64 of the levels include an additional challenge in the form of "banana" challenges. An example of a banana challenge would be, "Make a 6+ letter vowel-heavy word."

There are:
- 36 achievements - If you're having trouble with the Codebreaker achievement, you'll find the secret on [spoiler]level 25[/spoiler]
- 111 story-driven levels
- 64 "banana" challenges
- 12 chimp challenges

The story was surprisingly interesting for the most part, and although I had figured out an important point pretty early on in the game, there were some surprises thrown in, and I found myself rushing through the latter levels just to see how it would end... And there came another surprise! There are two possible endings! :O NICE!

Overall I found Highrise Heroes to be a delightful word game, with an engaging story and nice bonuses. I love the achievements and extra challenges to complete, and the difficulty level -- once you get past the early stages -- was enough to make me re-play over and over again to get my three stars, but (with the exception of the number levels) not enough to make me want to pull out my hair.

Definitely recommended to lovers of word games, the competitive, and those who love achievements (eventually, I'll have them ALL! I WILL defeat those number levels!) Muwahaha! :XD

I'm on holiday away from my main gaming rig and I've only got an old laptop available, so my attention has ben necessarily drawn towards the less demanding games in my backlog. And the first one I've completed is a true gem, a game that to the best of my knowledge is currently discontinued as it was only available on the now defunct Desura and Indievania websites: Dawning (I'm including a link to this game's page on Desura so you can see at least some screenshots, but don't try to purchase it: best case scenario you'll get the game, but the devs won't certainly see a cent, so don't bother).

Unashamedly pixely, it nonetheless manages to create a beautiful and detailed world, in part thanks to its atmospheric sound effects. At the beginning everything is quiet and relaxed... until your first encounter with the antagonist: the screen fills with static and the sound is risen by quite a few decibels. Jumpscare guaranteed. And goosebumps, too: I don't know what primal psychological mechanism the sounds accompanying its appearances resonate with, but even after many of those encounters I still couldn't help but feeling a shiver down my spine.

The rest of the game is significantly more average, though. Well, except for the fact that if you ever touch the bad guy, you'll lose your head. Literally: you'll be able to continue from nearly the same spot, but you won't have anything from the neck up. But apart from that creepy detail, all there is to do is finding keys to open doors, and collecting three objects you need to fix the bridge that will lead you to the end of the game.

What end, you ask? Well, that'll depend on whether you're still keeping your head above your shoulders or not. I managed to get two (a "good" one and a "bad" one), but there seems to be a third one that I couldn't find. I guess two out of three ain't that bad, eh?

My list of finished games in 2016
<span class="bold">Duke Nukem Forever</span>

Duke Nukem Forever is one the worst games I have played this year. I can't say I was not warned, with the most positive response being: it's terrible, but it has a few fun parts. Just play the demo and don't touch the game.
It's a very linear game that throws a puzzle at you from time to time, however these can barely be called puzzles, since they are so simple that even if you're not paying any attention you still pass it with no problem.
I liked a few things about the game: the EGO system, which was increased by doing random activities, such as playing a few mini-games. There were a few interesting weapons, such as the shrink and freeze gun, and that's about it on the positive side. There were quite a few annoying invisible walls that I kept running into, also the worst part of the game for me was the driving and sentry sections. I'm just glad it's over, I'm not gonna play this one probably ever again.

Complete list of games finished in 2016.
Post edited August 01, 2016 by sanfueg
GR00T: I play on Hard, but I don't think that makes an extreme difference in time - my first run through was 89 hours. Managed to cut it down to 77 hours the second time (didn't bother reading the codex entries). I've gone through the game completely 5 times and never had less than 60 hours. I should note though, that I do tend to take longer in RPGs than most players, so that's definitely a factor as well.
Woah! I played on Nightmare, and spent 50-ish hours :P Awakening took me 12 hours. I guess I might have skipped some dialogue.. and I didn't do every sidequest, but I did a fair amount. I'm tempted to replay it though :) I did do absolutely everything in Inquisition, took me over 100 hours. I only played DA2 a few hours before uninstalling.. :P

I also did everything in the first Mass Effect. Did every sidequest, visited every planet. Took me 20 hours :P
Post edited July 31, 2016 by Random_Coffee
Just finished Doom, the new one. I had a blast with it. Awesome combat, great levels and exploration. I can't recommend it enough.

I didn't mind the checkpoint save system because of how the game is structured (secrets and combat objectives are saved separately and instantly) and how fun the combat is. Towards the end of the game the completely upgraded Doomguy feels a bit overpowered as well, but not enough to ruin the fun factor.

I always had this idea that the Doomguy should be some sort of invincible super soldier built and unleashed by mankind to destroy hell, so I found it incredible that they ran along with something so close (he is an invincible super soldier from an ancient civilization).

I usually prefer boss battles that are essentially overpowered normal enemies, like in the original Doom and Duke Nukem 3D, but I must say that I really enjoyed the boss battles in this game.

I had a few nitpicks, very pedestrian ones, though:

- Doomguy has no face this time around (though you can see a part of it through the visor)
- Hell Razer and Summoner are basically Commando and Arch-vile, no reason to rename them (ok, so their design is somewhat different)
- The new boss characters Hell Guards are not particularly interesting.
- The lost souls felt very underused, like they were in the game just because id had a classic monster quota to fill. Their new "suicide bomber" design is awful as well.
- No Pain Elementals or Arachnotrons. Sad. :(
- Some weapons and demons are multiplayer only.
- Almost all classic levels are from Doom 1. Why so little love for Doom 2?
- Boss battles felt a bit poorly distributed, they all happen in the last third of the game.
- Most PT-BR dubs are between 4/5 or even 5/5. Doom's is a 2,5/5 at best. Not so much for errors (of which there are a few), but mostly because of poor choices.
Post edited August 01, 2016 by Falci
What about the dlc though?
The achievements?
Wanna try speedrunning it? :p
Post edited August 01, 2016 by omega64
omega64: What about the dlc though?
The achievements?
Wanna try speedrunning it? :p
Divinity: Original Sin EE (Xbox One)

Got this one for a pretty decent sale price a few weeks back- A$20. My PC falls right on the minimum for this one and I never play a PC game with a minimum spec system. Hence the Xbox version. But nothing to worry about, it looked and ran perfectly and not a single bug or glitch in just over 100 hours of play...yes 100 hours, it was what you would classify as a completionist playthrough- I did everything and saw everything as far as I know.

I see the game as like a Spiderweb Software game with modern 3D graphics and full voice acting. Otherwise it's an open isometric world, with 4 character turn based tactical style combat. Two player made characters, plus your choice of two recruitable characters to fill out the standard fantasy party roles. Combat is not as deep as The Temple of Elemental Evil (which I regard as the best CRPG combat ever), but it's still pretty good. Some big battles can take as much as 30 to 40 minutes to play out, but it's the sort of turn based stuff I love. Plus, like I said, 100 hours without bug or glitch...try playing ToEE for 5 hours without bugs!

The rest of the game play is just how I like as well. Only a few very short and simple cutscenes at milestones in the story. Otherwise it all comes together the old fashioned way, talk to everyone and read everything. Just the way I like it. Go everywhere, explore every square inch, talk to anything that speaks (get pet talk feat, and that includes animals). Kill anything that looks at you funny. Pickup everything, especially what belongs to others. Follow my simple "Fantasy RPG Guide for Idiots" as above and you will eventually reach the end and have a good time doing so, assuming this is the sort of thing you like. The story I suppose is fantasy cliche, but I still really liked it just the same.

Really, I can only come up with a few small nitpicks as negatives. At some points in the game it feels like the designers had a bit of a trap fetish. Go 2 steps, trap, two more steps, trap...those sections were tedious. And some of the big battles fell into a type of thing I don't big bad dude, cross imaginary line on the ground, bad dude tells life story whilst party stand around like morons. Bad dude summons in 10 enemies out of thin still stand around like morons. I loath that sort of scripted "canned" battle- it's why I didn't like Throne of Bhaal as the finale of BG. But, luckily Divinity didn't do the above stuff to anywhere near an amount to negatively affect my enjoyment overall.

I had three practice starts before settling on my eventual party. Just some tips for anyone starting to help make early game characters: select the Pet Talk trait for one of you characters, trust me- you will get a lot of use out of it even early in the game. This is a game where I think it's best to focus on two main skills and attributes per character and not make all rounders. Then choose your companions to balance out what your characters lack.

My main character was a Dexterity melee rogue that was quite handy with a bow too. The other a Pyro/Geo mage for DPS. I went with NPC's Jahan as a Water/Air caster for crowd control and healing. And of course Madora as the tank character. I had no problems with party balance at all with that mix, but I'm sure there's enough flexibility in the system to play how you like.

Highly recommended if this is your type of game. I really need to get around to playing the other Divinity games, though the real time Diable style of combat has never appealed quite as much to me. I believe Divinity OS actually represents the prequel story for the series as well.
Post edited August 01, 2016 by CMOT70
omega64: What about the dlc though?
The achievements?
Wanna try speedrunning it? :p
My greatest feat in gaming is carrying the first pistol you get through the entire game. I did it while you still could carry just two weapons :P I actually liked the game. I would replay it right now if it was made backwards compatible on Xbone :P
silent hill 4: the room

i just finish this game at hard mode and even though it's basically an ass fuckery turned to sin, i would recommend it - but only if you play on easy or use cheats like me. normally i don't cheat in games but this was very hard :-/ everything was ok until fan falls from living room's ceiling - from that moment on, your apartment no longer heals you and you rely on healing items like ampoule, med kit and nutrition drink. also at end of subway station 2nd visit, walter sullivan starts hunting you down and he'll do so for the rest of the game. there's no point in beating him because he soon gets back up in 1-2 minutes and you can't stick obedience sword in his chest like on a normal ghost to calm him down. first he has pipe and pistol, then in forest he use chainsaw and pistol and in water prison he use 2 guns - it's enough to catch a single bullet then he stun-lock you to death :-/ i don't understand how you can explore the game and solve puzzle while this guy is always after you - besides the other ghosts of course. and last battle when i finally kill him i couldn't save eileen - i had to feed ombilical cord to mother, collect 8 spears and stab mother with them and also kill walter - all of these before eileen killed herself so i had no chance... :-(
Diablo 3 + Reaper of Souls (Xbox One)

I finished the base game on Inferno difficulty on launch, but I never played the expansion. I decided to just grab the Ultimate Evil-edition on console when I recently found it at a good price. I played the Demon Hunter class. I have mixed feelings about this game. Tedium and monotony is its biggest problem. A lot of the game is all about traversing through randomly generated caves/dungeons, often 2-3 levels deep, with hordes upon hordes of enemies. Defeating these hordes takes a long time, at least until you start getting good gear late in the game. When it isn't caves, it's huge open plains.

It did get better when I found proper gear. I think a lot of the fun comes from finding gradually better gear, finding a legendary item with completely groundbreaking stats feels great :) There are a lot of combinations of passive/active skills, and runes to choose from. Big battles can be quite spectacular when you activate all your skills and test your legendary weapons :) The game is very technically impressive, at least. The cutscenes are amazing, and the game runs flawlessly at Full HD and 60 FPS on the Xbone. It also feels very natural to play with a controller.

As for Reaper of Souls.. I loved it! What I didn't like about the base game is fixed in the expansion. No more bland 3-level caves! Many of the areas of RoS are set in a city, where you fight through narrow streets and alleys. The dungeons are also miles better. They are also narrower, and it doesn't go crazy with the floors and levels. It seems more focused on action, it gets right to the point. As in the base game, the boss fights are top notch :)
Baldur's Gate 1 (original edition - vanilla, no mods or such)

This was something of a tale of two games for me. Chapters 1-4, I really loved, and 6 was pretty good.

But chapters 5 & 7 were more frustrating than enjoyable. Like "I would never, ever replay this game again and Lord I hope it's over soon" frustrating.

For one, I think the design and just the game engine suffer a bit in the city. In many cases quests will lead you to a building/person with no hint as to which of the 9 city sections to check in. And there are something like 7 different inns, tons of useless houses (some locked, some not).

Even the clever plotline of Chapter 7 really can't get past the basic gameplay problems (imo).

When I played this back in the day, I think all that felt more like exploring, and less like time wasting, but a) the game was "cutting edge" at that point, and b) I had no game backlog much less a supply of infinite hours of free online games. Here much of it just felt like running around killing time, and rather dull-ly at that. The main reason would be to hunt for side quests (as XP is desperately needed), and the very rare powerful item out there.

The same holds true in "The Maze" in chapter 7. It's 2d topdown, so clearly a maze itself is zero challenge. What made it suck, though, was that it was basically an exercise in trap-finding and micro-management of 6 characters who couldn't path their way out of a paper bag. Difficulty level = zero; micromanagey time wasting = high. Even the invisible stalkers scattered through the zone aren't any challenge to a party, they're just there seemingly to pick off any player you send out solo to scout traps.

I encountered at least 3 different quest-breaking bugs over the course of the game, seemingly all related to a broken counter, and using the cheat console was necessary.

The two Sarevok fights are also problematic. In the first, the horde of dopplegangers aren't going for you - they're set on killing the two NPCs. If those two die, game over. And if you aren't in position pretty much instantly when the event ends (and the event will start automatically and freeze you in place before you can anticipate or get set), you'll be on the reloading screen. Which all sounds great - you do have a heads-up that protecting them is your goal, but pre-event there are 20 or so NPCs just milling about randomly, and your own characters, as noted, are not optimal at pathing. So you just kind of have to hope that the Red Sea will part for them, or that they'll go left around an obstacle (toward the goal) rather than opt for circling out around 6-7 milling NPCs getting hopelessly off-track, or just stopping in their tracks, in which case you'll probably be reloading, again.

Likewise, sometimes Sarevok will run over and kill you before porting away, and other times he'll just port without fighting.

In the second fight, at least in vanilla, Sarevok is almost completely immune to magic other than magic missiles. Fireball does 2 damage. Immune to fear/paralyze/slow. But ironically the thing that hurts the guy with magic resistance most is Magic Missile. Of course. Even with a hero buffed to -9 armor class, he just doesn't miss. So the tactic was basically a cheese-fest of peeling off his companions one by one, and then using swarms of summoned animals to pin him in place while I pelted him with arrows/bullets/magic missile.

So...I won. Hooray?

And even though I left a few zones for the end, assuming they were expansion zones (tower of something something, the basilisk area, and the zone north of the city), when you kill Sarevok the game is just over. So...guess I'm done then.

But chapters 1-4 were good. Quests were generally described just well enough to give you direction, and the poor pathfinding is generally less brutal in outdoor zones than indoor zones. The one hitch there is that, while your players try to land in the formation you designate, they don't move in that formation, or any formation at all. It's every party member for themselves. So if your tank gets diverted by a tree, you could end up with your squishy caster running out in front.

It's still a good game (even though I focused on the downsides more than the upsides), and maybe the enhanced/modded/tutu versions are still actually great, but I have to say I really felt the age on this more and more as the game went along.
<span class="bold">You Still Won't Make It</span>

I'm still forced to resort to the bottom of my backlog as I only have access to an old laptop, so this time around I decided to give a go at this rage-inducing, precision platformer. Without any trace of a backstory (which, on the other hand, isn't really needed in a game like this), you're thrown into level after level of deadly traps. At first, the levels are frankly easy, but before you know it the difficulty starts to rise and rise... and so does your death counter.

Admittedly, the differnt kinds of traps and dangers are gently introduced one at a time so you can develop the correct techniques to overcome them. However, one thing is to figure out how to overcome an obstacle, and a very different one is to actually pull the stunt. And once you've passed it, pray that you won't die in that level or else you'll be forced to face it again. Luckily, most of the middle- and late-game levels have one or more checkpoints so you don't ragequit too easily. And if you do ragequit, it won't probably be because of the controls: despite a somewhat floaty jump, which could perfectly be due to my PC running the game slightly slower than it should, I found them tight enough (and I was playing with the keyboard, so I imagine they should be even better with a gamepad).

Finally, a brief comment on the game's name, which is pretty accurate (and doubly so):

· First, even though the level selection menu shows up to 6 different worlds (of 18 levels each), only worlds 1-3 are really there. The other ones are "Coming soon". Considering this game has been out for more than 3 years, I don't really expect these new levels to come any time soon...

· And secondly: Even though Worlds 4-6 are missing (just like the Custom levels), there's a bonus collections of 'classic' levels. You see, this game is a sort of a remake of a previous title by the same devs, and these are the exact same levels from the old game. After having beaten the rest of the game, most of these levels felt quite easy to me... except the last one, which I can only describe it as utterly trollish. If a Youtube video about the old game is to be believed, this is how you're supposed to beat that level: taking advantage of a couple of glitches you haven't seen before, and there's no way you could have discovered on your own. And even knowing how I was supposed to do it, I spent more than 100 lives in this level and I still couldn't make the second jump successfully. Not once. That's where I decided it was not worth the effort.

So yeah, I haven't technically beaten this game, but I'm gonna pretend that last level never existed so I can mark it as completed. :P

My list of finished games in 2016
bler144: In the second fight, at least in vanilla, Sarevok is almost completely immune to magic other than magic missiles. Fireball does 2 damage. Immune to fear/paralyze/slow. But ironically the thing that hurts the guy with magic resistance most is Magic Missile. Of course. Even with a hero buffed to -9 armor class, he just doesn't miss. So the tactic was basically a cheese-fest of peeling off his companions one by one, and then using swarms of summoned animals to pin him in place while I pelted him with arrows/bullets/magic missile.
I think most times I've beaten this game, I've found the best method is to get the boots of speed and put them on your character and have Sarevok chase him around in circles while you have everyone else planted in the corners pelting him with distance attacks. It's efficient but it looks like a Benny Hill skit.
andysheets1975: I think most times I've beaten this game, I've found the best method is to get the boots of speed and put them on your character and have Sarevok chase him around in circles while you have everyone else planted in the corners pelting him with distance attacks. It's efficient but it looks like a Benny Hill skit.
That's funny.

Oddly I did put the boots of speed on my main character (dwarf fighter/cleric dual) for the last chapter and they didn't work. They worked fine on Minsc.
Post edited August 02, 2016 by bler144