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Path of Exile

I had very high expectations for this game as it was always referred to as the game Diablo sequels should have been. Path of Exile managed to lived up to my expectations, it is, however, hot as good as the original Diablo. Dinosaurs of gaming have fond memories of Diablo, regardless of what they think of the ARPGs of modern gaming. What made Diablo special was the atmosphere, not really the looting system. Blizzard back then was a very respected developer and it was almost for granted that each Blizzard game will become a masterpiece. Blizzard chose a different path later on and imho became a company focused on how they can make profit from gamers.

Leaving Blizzard aside, Path of Exile adopts the atmosphere of Diablo 1 rather well. It is not as scary, you also don't feel the despair as you go deeper into dungeons but it does have a pretty good atmosphere regardless. PoE does miracles in the department of sound/voice and the graphics are pretty good also. It has arguably the most impressive skill tree in the history of pc gaming and adding the fact that you can unlock new game modes and continue with your character, you can easily spend hundreds of hours on Path of Exile. And the game is for free... This alone makes me respect the developers enormously. Here is a superb Action RPG, with hundreds of hours of possible gameplay time and not even remotely pay-to-play. So if we talk about value, Path of Exile beats the shit out of almost every game, including the entire GOG catalog.

On the negative side, firstly, the genre itself :) I am not a fan of looting&grinding based ARPGs and for me boredom after a period is inevitable. and [url=]Darkstone (aside from Diablo and Path of Exile) are the only games from this genre that I really like, both of which being very underrated. Also, although the writing for the NPCs is pretty good, the story not so much.

In short, if you are into Action RPGs, do not miss Path of Exile. If you are not into this genre that much, give it a go anyway. Perhaps it will teach you to think twice next time you pre-order a game on full price and waste your hard earned cash.

damien score: 8.5/10

List of all games finished in the last years with best and worst games played in each year
Alien Attack in Space

A neat little score attack twin stick shooter without actual stick support - gotta use keyboard and mouse. Even though it's score attack, I count it as "Finished" because I got all the achievements (in like 20 minutes.)

Grim Dawn

A game I bought not on a deep discount or a bundle! Actually it was in celebration of reaching 3k Games on Steam, something I probably shouldn't celebrate.

Anyway, fun ARPG, very reminiscent of Titan Quest (as it should be, it was made by the same people), but ... grimmer. I beat it on all 3 difficulties, and by the end I gotta say I was kinda tired of it, so I don't think I'm starting a new character any soon.

I never did manage to craft a Mythic Relic. Who the hell thought it was a good idea for most Mythic Relics to have other Mythic Relics as their crafting ingredients?
Dungeon of Elements

Tetris (or Dr. Mario) with some RPG elements and a fantasy story. It's not really a bad game, but the mixture doesn't work very well. Your character levels up, but it doesn't affect the gameplay and the stuff you find and can craft is hardly ever needed (some of it is even completely useless).

So in the end it is a casual game that plays well when you have just a few minutes left. Could have been better, a mixture between the two genres still sounds interesting to me.

Complete list of finished games in 2016
damien: In short, if you are into Action RPGs, do not miss Path of Exile. If you are not into this genre that much, give it a go anyway. Perhaps it will teach you to think twice next time you pre-order a game on full price and waste your hard earned cash.
I agree with this. Played through the original quest line. Wasn't compelled enough to go back for the expansions or play through bonus-bonus levels (diminishing returns), but in terms of sinking 20-30 hours or whatever it was into a solid ARPG with pretty good mechanics and customization it was a good value of play enjoyment and obviously $$.
Crash of the Titans (PSP)

I remember playing Crash Bandicoot games on PS1 as I was growing up so one of first thoughts when I finally got my PSP running was - is there a Crash game for this? Some minutes later I found this game and em....yeah. Most fun I had with it was until I ran into the first titan. It feels like they made an entire mechanics, spin, jump, skate, whatever, and started making a game. Then, midway through development someone woke up and said - I know what the game we're making needs - TITANS and forced the team to base the game around it. Tossing everything else out of the window obviously. The entire jacking mechanism is a bit off as far as I'm concerned, as you never actually get to use Crash other than to jack a Titan. Good luck if you fall off one of those, it's gonna take quite a while to get back - of you don't get killed in the process that is.
Some concepts are introduced than tossed of the balcony the moment you're done with them. Skating is forced in sections, and don't even get me started on combo king thing. Boss fights...are..well...em...not really good. You find what works, use it, jack the boss, break whatever needs to be broken, automatically fall off and do it again until there's nothing left to break. Oh and, humor is not funny.
I really have hoped that it'll get better as the game progresses but it really didn't. I'm really sad because of it, as I hoped it'll have the charm of the first 3 games. Boy, I was wrong.


P.S. f you Sludges.
Bulb Boy

A very short, but interesting point'n click adventure. One day Bulb Boy wakes up to find out that his house is overrun with weird monsters and his beloved grandfather is gone. It's up to him to find and rescue him.

Bulb Boy's world is very bizarre and grotesque and the humor might not apply to everybody (some monsters are really gross), but I liked it. Puzzles consist of a number of escape-the-room situations that were never really hard, but always fun. From time to time there's an action sequence which doesn't really make sense and might be annoying to some players.

All in all it's a good game, maybe similar to Gomo (from the story and the concept), but much more dark and in my eyes also much better.

Complete list of finished games in 2016
Post edited August 19, 2016 by PaterAlf
Sniper Elite 3: Save Churchill DLC (PS4)

This is an additional mission for Sniper Elite 3 and is exactly what you’d expect, more of the same from the main game. It’s comprised of three maps (one of which is a repeat from the main game with different enemies), I especially enjoyed the third map which was very fun with a lot of interesting areas and good sniper positions, although for some bizarre reason this level had no wind.

While it’s fun, there is no way it’s worth the full asking price. I got it as part of the “Ultimate Edition”, which is worth it for a few dollars more than the base game.
South Park: The Stick of Truth. This is the third time I've beaten this, I think? I used the mage this time around. As a game, this is a pretty basic and easygoing RPG that takes after the Mario RPG series. I think the hardest fight in the game is the optional battle against Al Gore. Otherwise it's kind of a cakewalk unless you're really bad at blocking attacks, maybe.

As a representation of South Park, however, this is one of the very best you can find. It's built out of the same graphics the show uses, so you're almost literally playing the cartoon, and it's consistently hilarious, up there with the movie and the best episodes (my favorite section of this game is the abortion clinic).
Post edited August 20, 2016 by andysheets1975
Simcity 3000

This was a fantasitc run. I managed to build a 537,699 population city that I am very satisfied with. After managing to 'glue' together some big screenshots I feel like I can now retire the game for a long time.
Overall it's a really good simcity title that vastly improves on the formula of 2000. And even compared to 4 it manages to stand out with its interesting neighbour majors mechanic, a more lighthearted atmosphere, different building themes, excellent music and of course its more reasonable hardware requirements. However on most technical fronts (excluding performance for one), I think that 4 is a clear improvement.

There are many hours of entertainment in sc3000, and it's perfect if you only want to play in small bursts over several days. To create a good sized well functioning city can take many hours, and the game constantly keeps it interesting with a whole slew of reward buildings that you unlock as you go (eg, a casino, a huge mall, a city hall, a personal house, a military base, a theme park, and many, many more all the way up to a space port). To give your city some extra character you can choose any number from a frighteningly extensive collection of beautifully rendered landmarks (empire state building, Eiffel tower etc...). Or you can try your hand at the building architect and design anything from your own townhouse to your own skyscraper.

Overall a highly recommended title for any city builder fan.
Post edited August 20, 2016 by Matewis
Left 4 Dead 2 (advanced difficulty)

I finally decided to finish the campaigns that were long overdue and I'm glad I have. I won't spend much time describing the game as I'm sure everyone is familiar with this one. Technically speaking, Left 4 Dead 2 is better than the original game. More weapons, more zombie types, some very nice maps. However, as a Horror fan, I personally liked Left 4 Dead better than the sequel. Everything has been improved in Left 4 Dead 2 at the expense of the horror element. The first game was pretty scary, this one for some reason is not.

If you plan to play Left 4 Dead 2, there were 2 peaks of the game for me and you should not miss it. Firstly, The Dark Carnival campaign with its amazing final mission (I won't spoil it, just play it). And secondly, the Scavenge Mode where one team plays as the survivors trying to fuel up a generator in a limited amount of time and the other team as the infected. Probably one of the most entertaining multiplayer experiences.

damien score: 8/10

List of all games finished in the last years with best and worst games played in each year
The Unfinished Swan (PS4)

This game starts out as a relaxing first-person exploration game with some easy puzzle elements and a light sprinkling of fairy tale story. However, towards the end it adds a time limit in some areas to keep you rushing forward, which completely ruined the part of the game which I enjoyed the most (pleasant and relaxing exploration).

It’s fairly short (can be completed in several hours). Whether I would recommend it or not is hard to say, if you’re into this kind of game then it’s definitely worth a play, but if you’re just looking for a pleasant and relaxing experience then probably not.
Matewis: After managing to 'glue' together some big screenshots I feel like I can now retire the game for a long time.
Your city looks really nice.
Good job.
Matewis: After managing to 'glue' together some big screenshots I feel like I can now retire the game for a long time.
Vitek: Your city looks really nice.
Good job.
Thanks, it makes all the cutting and pasting seem worthwhile :) Greenshot + gimp works like a dream to capture large landscapes like this in a game. I've used it to capture entire Caesar 3 cities as well.
Tiny and Big: Grandpa's leftovers
For a moment, a brief moment, I had a beautiful dream. I dreamed of mountains which I climbed, of rocks I slit in half with a strange, yet familiar power and of giant pillars I pulled with hand and rope. I crossed the land using my powers to reach a goal, chasing a madman with a magical crown. The natives of that land are shy, but curious. They often observed me from their hiding spots but never allowed me to share a few thoughtful words with them. Their history, both provocative and damnable.
After that brief moment of wonder and dream, I awoke. Realizing that all was but an illusion, I became saddened with thoughts of what could have been. The dream was very brief and, now that I think about it, simple. As if a mind could not go beyond simple concepts and understanding beyond basic ideas. Repetition was the word that snuck into my mind the most often when I tried to remember more of my journeys. I was performing great feats, but always the same way, with the same thought behind each and every one.
I was left with a brief and simple experience that felt like an attempt, rather than a fully realized journey. And at the end, I don't think I will ever journey into that wondrous land again.
Thief Gold - This game just oozes atmosphere from the get-go, the weird steampunk setting is quite unique. There's a lot of world building done without just dumping exposition on the player, which is refreshing. The missions with the undead are definitely less enjoyable than the ones where you're tasked with sneaking into a mansion and pilfering some valuables. I played The Metal Age several years ago, and this one is similar. Both of these games generally have excellent and intricate design, with numerous paths to explore. However, it can be easy to get lost at times wandering about for your objective. Overall, a highly recommended game with a good amount of player freedom.