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

Wildstar (2nd character to level cap)

After putting it off for a while, finished leveling 2nd character to 50. Also a mini-review of lvl 50 content.

Without an active guild or group of friends, there's just not enough going on to keep this interesting. Too bad as there is a core here that works, but there's just too little to do, especially solo, at cap. And of the two factions on the U.S. server, one (dominion) is basically dead.

Whatever the other faction is called has a slightly higher population, and global cross-faction chat is moderately active without too much trolling and not much hostility at all, but...meh.

Had some fun for a bit, invested no actual $$, and will now delete it with no regrets for the time spent but no serious interest in coming back to it either.

They are offering "double xp" through Oct 17 (not a good sign, probably), but if someone were wanting to check it out and blow through early levels, it's not a bad time to try it.
Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages, GBC

This one has been in my backlog for probably literally more than a decade; started it as a kid (teenager) but abandoned it, finally got around to beating it. I didn't abandon it because it was a bad game, but because I'd just played its sister game, Oracle of Seasons, and was pretty done in with Zelda at that point. Anyway, I beat Oracle of Seasons again on the 3DS, and had basically the same experience; except that this time, thanks to the 3DS's save state feature, I was able to pick Ages back up again a few months later.

It's good; I think I liked the season-switching mechanic in Seasons more than the time-switching mechanic in Ages, but it was fine. I will say though, that I was ready for this game to be over when it was; three boss fights in a row was just tiring, and then because I was playing a linked game there were three more boss fights, and I just felt like, "Ugh." Sometimes less is more. Another weakness would be the items from the last few dungeons; I guess this is probably a weakness of a lot of Zelda games, but in the last two dungeons you get an upgraded hookshot and upgraded power glove, and I literally never used either of them for anything outside of the dungeons they were introduced in. Something more could have been done in the overworld to make it seem like those treasures were actually worth something; it seemed like the devs had kind of run out of steam by that point.
Goodbye Deponia

Even Rufus sometimes realizes that he does something wrong. Of course he immediately justifies his actions and then forgets all about it. Overall, it's more in the line of the first two games, so if you didn't like Deponia 1 & 2, you're not going to like this third installment. I thought it was all right myself.
Hard West

I love this game and enjoyed (nearly) every second I've spent with it.

The Wild West atmosphere is very dark and gets darker and darker with each scenario. I wouldn't have thought that I could play a cannibalistic mass murderer and still feel for him (because in the end he's still the good guy or at least not as bad as the others).
The art-style is fitting the theme, music is awesome and the voice-acting of the narrator is among the best that I've ever heard in a video game.

The turn-based battles are extremely well made. You have to use cover, keep on moving so the enemies can't flank you and the "luck" factor adds an interesting element to it. Some of the cards (kind of power-ups) some weapons and cards were overpowered while others were quite useless. I also think that it's a good thing that you can't save during the combat, because otherwise it would be too easy.

I even liked the fact that you don't stay with a single character for the whole campaign, but experience the world and the story from different angles and through the eyes of various characters (even opposing ones). The scenarios are just losely connected, but it still feels like a consistent world and all the characters so far (at least the playable ones) are quite interesting and ambivalent.

There are also some flaws like the tiny text and buffs and debuffs after a fight that are shown on the right side of the screen for a short moment, but then vanish very fast without a log to see it again (which means you miss important information when you don't read fast enough).
And sometimes the writing wasn't the best one and I had the feeling that some basic story informations are missing.

I'm tempted to play the game again on hard or with iron man mode on, but I guess I will play something else first.

Complete list of finished games in 2016
Post edited October 10, 2016 by PaterAlf
Shadowrun Hongkong

The storyline is good, as a book. But on a game, it suffers because everything important in main storyline is packed at the beginning and the end, leaving the middle part of the game feels like a loose filler. When they introduce vampire I almost bang my head to the wall. Luckily we never saw that vampire again for the rest of the game. The last mission is one of the best I've ever played in any rpg. Walking through a place of chaos to fight a demon god so scary, I am very impressed. The ending is on par with Dragonfall, although the journey feels a bit lackluster.

On gameplay, everything is just a little improvement from Shadowrun Returns. Except this time 'Catch a grenade' become important, and hacking is a combination of boring enter number sequence and interesting guess the correct sign. To my surprised the default team is very strong. Granted, I only played on normal. Still, after Is0bel (the hacker) reach 3 ap per turn, she and her grenade launcher turns from a weak useless hacker into demon killing machine.

Last I would like to say that this is a great work of writing. I make a big mistake by making a "happy go lucky" main character, it almost break my immersion when playing because he doesn't blend well with his gloomy surrounding world. To my surprise, every time I get to pick a line to say, I always found an option suitable for this "happy go lucky". Yes, from beginning to the very end. Even at epilogue. This writing is a work of art

I didn't get this problem, but a little googling shows me the game sometimes refer a female character as 'he'. So if any of you are interested in playing, you should probably avoid making female character.

Overall, it's good to great, but with a flaw. Can recommend it for people who likes good story and cyperpunk

took fifteen hours based on steam which is a lot to be honest. a lot of time was wasted as i didn't understand the hacking.

that you can change to different powers. that would cut at least 2 hours of my gameplay.

but about game

nice little rpg. cyberpunk done nicely. interesting world, a bit cliche at times but its not like we have lots of cyberpunk games.

do recommend it especially if its on sale.
PookaMustard: +The Beginner's Guide
It's a quirky narrative-based game that is based off a series of games made by a person named Coda and narrated by David Wreden who wrote The Stanley Parable. (is there a Humble Bundle release of it yet?!).
You know what? There is one now, and DRM-free! And it's 50% off until next Friday, so anyone who had been waiting for it should go get it now. I bought it myself last Friday and I spent most of Saturday playing it, so here's what I think of it:

<span class="bold">The Stanley Parable</span>

Is it a game? Is it not? Who cares?! I spent several hours interacting with my PC and having a blast of a time, and this is all that counts in my book. If played with mouse & keyboard, you can point at things and click them, and while that doesn't really make it a point-n-click adventure, I'll take The Stanely Parable over a proper game like e.g. Moebius every day of the week.

This game began as a Half-Life 2 mod in 2011, and was re-made and commercially released with enhanced visuals and some new content later in 2013, so chances are most of you played it in one form or another a long time ago and have since forgotten it. But it didn't get a Linux version until late 2015, and a DRM-free one until now, so it feels like a new release to me. Having played The Beginner's Guide quite recently, I thought I had a good idea what Stanley could offer, but it turned out to be much better than expected. It's direct but thought-provoking, and above all extremely meta. Sometimes it seems like the game is playing with you instead of the other way around, and makes you question things about games that most of the time you take for granted, or don't even realize are there. A parable about videogames indeed.

It's got a good dose of sarcasm and irony too, and I don't only say it for Kevan Brighting's stellar work as the narrator. For instance, how paradoxical is it that in order to achieve "The Freedom Ending" (the one in which Stanley breaks out from his Orwellian existence and becomes truly free) you have to obey every single instruction given to you?

Although there are several different endings and many secrets/Easter eggs to be found, one can experience everything in a relatively short time. It all depends on one's patience and the ability to think outside the box. I kept playing it for a good while until it seemed to me I had exhausted all of its possibilities, and then I consulted a guide: turned out I still had missed a few things. After finally 'completing' it, I might have spent about 4-5 hours with it. And although its replayability value is certainly low after that, I still think what I paid for it was money well spent.

My list of finished games in 2016
Post edited October 10, 2016 by muntdefems
Urban Trial Freestyle

Just finished Urban Trial Freestyle and by 'finished' I mean unlocked and achieved at least 3 stars on all the courses - I may potter about and see if I can pick up some more stars or look into where I've missed money bags for those final upgrades but I doubt it

It's a 2.5D trials bike thing and it feels weird trying to say much about this one because it's blatantly Tate Media (whoever THEY are) making a Ubisoft 'Trials' series clone with a VERY similar name, except I haven't PLAYED the Ubisoft titles, in fact I haven't played anything like this since Kikstart and Kikstart 2 on the C64 in the 80s! (which, themselves were the C64's answer to Excite Bike, I guess)

I can't imagine it being much worse though because it really is a fun little timewaster with crazy, over the top trials biking situations and amusing 'deaths'

If you somehow have it in your library already you could do worse that giving it a go for something different especially if you have Kikstart / Excite Bike based nostalgia, I wouldn't pay much for it though - a bit of a 'sorbet to clean the pallet' game
Post edited October 10, 2016 by Fever_Discordia
<span class="bold">Crime Secrets: Crimson Lily</span> (Android)

I finally finished all the HOPA games from that Artifex Mundi bundle! The one I played before (Grim Legends 3) had been so good that it was unreasonable to expect this one to be able to compare to it. It doesn't, but I could still find a couple of good things about it:

· Just like in Grim Legends 3, here you can interact with objects in the inventory as well as combine them, like in a regular point-n-click adventure.

· It includes a new (at least for me) kind of hidden object scene: sometimes the main character has to stop and start searching for clues in the current location. While it falls a little flat gameplay-wise (you don't really know what are you looking for), I thought it went very well with this game's overall detective/crime investigation theme.

· Finally, and most importantly: for once, the story contains no trace of occult and supernatural stuff! This alone increased my appreciation for this game by a great deal.

Overall, an unexpected nice way to end my HOPA frenzy of the last couple of weeks with a good taste in my mouth. The only small disappointment came after finishing it, when I discovered it didn't include any bonus chapter. Upon further inspection I think it's because, in contrast with the other 7 games in the same bundle, this one was provided as the regular game and not as a "Collector's Edition".

My list of finished games in 2016
Gunman Clive, 3DS

Between this and Zelda, it appears to be a week for finishing off mostly-completed games. Unlike Zelda, where it was pretty obvious, I hadn't realized how close to the end of Gunman Clive I was; there are only twenty levels, counting the boss stages.

It was apparently an Android game initially, which I wouldn't have suspected, and which shows how good the much-maligned "mobile games" (and the even more-maligned "mobile ports") can be. It's now on Steam as well. Basically, it's a platformer/shooter, about comparable to the Mega Man games; run, jump, shoot, climb ladders. It's a little slower than you might expect, in terms of how has characters, bullets, etc move, but I liked it; gave it a sort of methodical feel that I enjoyed. The stages aren't terribly long, but there are no checkpoints; on normal difficulty, it was mildly challenging, but I never got to the point of thinking I might just not be able to get any further.

I beat the game as "Clive." There are two other characters, one available from the beginning, the other unlocked. They apparently have different play styles (and the unlocked character has a very different style). I might come back to it on the exercise bike or while listening to a podcast; probably won't dedicate time specifically to playing those characters in the near future (because different styles or not, it's the same twenty levels, three times in a row), but it was two bucks and I enjoyed it.

edit: I should mention that although it is very short, this game is also very cheap, about two bucks American
Post edited October 11, 2016 by BadDecissions

Didn't care for the levels too much - endlessly respawning enemies were my least favorite part of Terminal Velocity. The bosses were kinda interesting, and required different strategies with the different ships. Still not quite sure what the plot was about. Overall, I can't say I really liked this game, but I didn't dislike it enough to drop it (though I did take a 1.5 year break towards the end.)
<span class="bold">Kingpin: Life of Crime</span> (GOG)

This FPS game is somewhat crude in graphics (fairly blocky, basic, and repetitive) and in tone (there is a lot of swearing and bloody violence). It’s also quite hard, simply running around guns blazing will likely get you killed very quickly (especially in the beginning). The gameplay is also somewhat linear and repetitive… but somehow it has got its own charm and really draws you in. There are some unique mechanics, such as hiring thugs to help you out in combat (which I found to be essential to survival).

Overall I quite enjoyed it and would recommend it.
Broken sword: Shadow of the Templars (Director's cut)
I had played the original a long time ago and the director's cut when I joined GOG. My personal opinion on the dc is that it does many good things, but also has a few "missteps".
The good things about the dc:
It added a lot of new content and expanded the story.
It allowed us to play as Nico and has shed light on her backstory.
The added puzzles are quite good, if a bit easy.
The missteps are:
It altered a few cutscenes, even if only slightly.
It simplified many puzzles, including the infamous "goat puzzle".
Deaths were removed completely (Yes. I consider that to be a negative. Sometimes, it simply doesn't make sense not to be punished.)
Not playing as Nico during the museum robbery scene is a huge missed opportunity.
The added content has a noticeably better sound quality than the old parts the game, which can be a bit distracting.
All in all, I like the director's cut and all the added content, but I would prefer if they hadn't screwed around with the original parts as much.
Original: 8.5/10
Director's cut: 7.5/10

Broken sword 2: The smoking mirror Remastered
The remaster doesn't seem to add much, unlike BS:Sott(DC), mostly graphical upgrades and a few little things here and there.
The original of the game had much better and more detailed graphics than the first Broken sword. The animations are also much more detailed.
Out of the three BS games I had played years ago, The smoking mirror is my least favorite. It has something to do with the characters displaying a staggering lack of urgency when it comes to anything. They walk slowly, they act slowly, they are very slow in general. The animations are longer and more detailed, but that comes with the downside of having to wait for them to finish before one can do anything. The game is much more linear and shorter than Sott, but the slow speed and constant waiting for animations to finish is the primarily reason why it takes as long to finish as it does.
Original: 8/10

Broken sword 3: The sleeping dragon
The black sheep of the franchise that went full on console. And it suffered for it.
The camera has a Jekyll and Hyde complex, sometime scrolling smooth and cinematic, other times switching angles wildly. You know it's a problem when even the AI controlled character is seen running head first into a wall after a camera switch.
The controls are awkward and unwieldy.
The inventory puzzles are toned down and almost all of them easy, but logical.
The stealth sections are for the most part just a formality and the block pushing puzzles are far too many and all of them far too easy. The tomb raider styled climbing is also just something for you to do, I don't recall if one can actually fail them.
All in all, the game tried to be everything from adventure to stealth and it failed at every single one of those gameplay elements.
The characters, story and jokes are mostly ok, but the game has a nasty habit of exposition dumps. The story has a few cringe worthy moments, a few glaring plot holes and an end-game sequence that leaves a lot to be desired.
I think it's an ok game with a lot of relatively harmless flaws, but it can't measure up to the first two games. I liked it overall, but I can't ignore it's numerous flaws.
objective rating: 6/10
personal rating: 7.5/10
<span class="bold">Ronin</span>

Many times I've seen Ronin being described as "the bastard son of Mark of the Ninja and Gunpoint". Even though I haven't played any of those for more than a few minutes, it certainly seems to me that Ronin incorporates elements from both, like the ninja sword action and some stealth elements of the former, and the graphical style of the latter. However I'd also say it's quite different from both of them mechanically: it starts out in real time, but as soon as an enemy spots you it switches to turn-based combat, the real meat of this game. As such, it's highly tactical, almost bordering into puzzle territory: if you choose a wrong move, you're dead.

The game is well aware of its own nature, and right away it tries to dispel any pre-conception the player might have: some of the first hints that pop up in-game include "This is not Gunpoint" and "This is not a stealth game: just kill everybody". Well, that is, everybody who's not a civilian: those you must spare, otherwise you'll fail one of the 3 objectives of each mission (the other ones being killing all the non-civilians, and not letting the alarm to be raised). If you do achieve all 3 objectives you obtain skills points that help you acquire additional (and much needed) abilities, like teleporting, sword throwing, or decoys to confuse the enemies.

Pity that the introductory levels do a much poorer job at explaining the 'rules'. E.g. surely you would expect to be detected if you get into someone's line of sight, right? Wrong: enemies (or civilians, for that matter) will only notice you if you step into a brightly lit area. Otherwise you can stand right before their face and they won't even bat an eye. It took me a good while to realize this and, should it had been taught to me explicitly, it would have made some previous levels quite easier.

Speaking of things being easier or harder, I appear to be in the minority about which control method works best: the general consensus seems to favour a gamepad over keyboard and mouse, as some actions are allegedly more difficult to perform with the latter. But for me k&b is the way to go hands down, for a very simple reason: as counter-intuitive as it may sound, when playing with a gamepad jumps are performed by pointing the right thumbstick in the desired direction and releasing it. Now, maybe it's because the controller I own is too crappy, but everytime I released the right thumbstick the jump arc changed at the last moment and the character leaped in a totally different direction to the one I wanted her to go. So I dropped the gamepad and started using the mouse: my jumping woes were gone for good and I was happy again.

Another thing that seems to annoy many people is the last level. In it, all of a sudden (and again without warning), the rules of the game change:
· No checkpoints (that's bad)
· But getting hit no longer means instant death (that's good)
· Upon getting hit, a 10-second countdown is started, after which you die (that's bad)
· The countdown gets restarted every time you kill somebody (that's good)
· But even if you manage to kill everybody in the level, including the final boss, you won't be able to escape and you'll die (that's bad)
· "...can I go now?"

But what I think many people don't realize is that the usual 3 objectives don't apply to the final level either, so you don't have to worry about the alarm being raised or, more importantly, you don't need to kill everybody. After understanding this, the level becomes easier (much more than the 2 previous ones) as you can breeze past the different rooms without worrying about the enemies you leave behind. Depending on whether you are hit along the way or not, you'll get a different ending: the so-called 'happy' and 'sad' endings. Not that it makes a big difference, though: just as in the rest of the game, there are no ending cutscenes and the only thing that changes between one ending and the other one is the background photograph.

About that photograph: assuming the main character is the little girl that appears in it, and that the man next to her is the father she's avenging in her killing spree, there are many other people in it who look like potential villains to be slain, but you only get to kill 5 of them. Is that a hook for a potential sequel? Or do they maybe appear in the Game+ mode that unlocks after beating the game for the first time? I don't really think they do, but I'll try to beat the game again in the increased difficulty mode nonetheless to see for myself. It looks like it'll be a tough undertaking, though, so in the meantime I will probably give Gunpoint or Mark of the Ninja a try. :)

My list of finished games in 2016
Post edited October 14, 2016 by muntdefems
Finished Serious Sam: The Second Encounter. The first one was funnier. In this one I quickly became bored with the same pattern over and over (one arena after the other). Level design was quite good.

Full list here.