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Codename: Panzers Phase Two

Been playing this a bit since I managed to make a somewhat crappy computer play games like Company of Heroes and Men of War. Wasn't a very long game, but it was quite a good game. About the same as the previous one with very slightly improved graphics. I thought that the last game had better level design as this one was pretty short and a lot of missions had "Wut?" moments, like how the Partisan missions ended kind of suddenly. Not quite as bad with the frustration occasionally experienced in the previous game with overall fewer pathfinding issues, although it is hard to say which one was the harder game. The early Allies missions were pretty tough and they were never easy easy but they were not that hard after a while (possible exception being Anzio). Axis had it kind of hard on occasion but as a general rule their campaign was easier. The partisan campaign was overall fairly... well, not easy, not hard. Kind of interesting, very short. Felt more like bonus missions. As usual tanks were awesome, but the segment of the war covered was probably the worst for tank battles (North Africa with the underwhelming to disappointing British and Italian tanks). The Crusader was a weird tank, occasionally formidable, mostly pathetic against anything but the Italian tanks. Another weird thing is that for Anzio you can buy M26s, which were just not available at that time (heck, I don't know if they were even finalized yet). The addition of the Italians and Partisans was interesting. They offered some new, interesting units but were not really huge additions (I got rid of my Italian tanks when Panzer III and IVs came around).

Gameplay was pretty much the same as Phase One. Explosive, fun, reasonably deep and fast paced, and just a lot of fun. I had a couple of looking blankly at the screen as my mouth wanted to shout obscenities moments but nothing nearly as bad as the near constant barrage of profanity that comes about when I play Company of Heroes (which I have been replaying a little also, on a lower difficulty so as to be more fun). It makes me wish they could have released a Phase Three to see what other parts of the war they could cover, but alas it wasn't meant to be.

Now, I need to wait for Rush for Berlin to release here (or Codename: Panzers Cold War), and while I'm dreaming Sudden Strike and Company of Heroes (the rest apart from the first entry).
kalirion: Clive Barker's Undying
Or if the "dispel" spell spell had some uses I didn't think of - it seemed virtually useless to me, acting as a key to a single door, and maybe a way to dispel the shields on the very few enemies who had them.
psadler: You can kill the skeleton with it.
Invoke (that's what the raise dead/force suicide spell was, right?) seemed to work on skeletons just fine.
Post edited May 21, 2016 by kalirion
psadler: You can kill the skeleton with it.
kalirion: Invoke (that's what the raise dead/force suicide spell was, right?) seemed to work on skeletons just fine.
Hmm. Maybe I'm miss-remembering?

Great game though.
Undead Nightmare (360)

Red Dead Redemption single player DLC expansion. Basically it's a standalone story based expansion that feels a bit like a high school reunion, in that you catch up with all the oddball characters from the base game- some of them are the same and some are a bit... different.

It was better than I expected actually. It started out pretty funny and felt fresh after finishing the base game again. Though towards the end the formula did get a bit stale, but at 8 hours long at least the game knew when to end.

It now comes up on sales for $2 and is definitely worth such a low price, especially if you played the base game some time ago and want to catch up with all the old characters and see all the locations again without playing through the full length campaign.
Post edited May 21, 2016 by CMOT70
<span class="bold">Braveland Pirate</span>

After beating Braveland Wizard I jumped straight into the third (and until now, the last) chapter of the series. After a warrior and a wizard, this time around you'll play the part of a pirate-wannabe in search of adventure and riches. And you'll play it actively indeed, as one of the main novelties in this instalment is the presence of the main hero in the battlefield. The wizard's spells are now pirate tricks, and they feed off your party's courage. You can increase courage by attacking enemies and, as long as you can afford it, you can perform up to one trick per turn. The main drawback of this new system is that your hero needs to be still alive for the tricks to be performed.

Apart from that, there were two further changes that I welcomed. The first one is the addition of a "big eye" button to the battle screen that let's you see at all times how damaged is an enemy unit, as well as the whole turn sequence (i.e. the order in which all units will spring into action), so you can carefully plan your strategy without the need to inspect the initiative of all the units in the battlefield. The second one is the new world map: thanks to the pirate theme, you're no longer limited to a single, massive, and above all extremely linear map. Instead, there are up to 7 different islands and you can more or less move freely between them (especially in the later part of the game).

As I said in my last post, I beat Wizard on normal difficulty and I found it rather easy, so I started this game on Hard. And a hard time I certainly had, winning my battles by a hair's breadth most of the time, and always feeling quite underpowered (most probably because I was forced to spend lots of gold replenishing my ranks instead of increasing them). And then, near the end of the second island, I hit a difficulty wall: I just couldn't get past the boss or mini-boss of that area. So in the end I had to swallow my pride and I switched to Normal. Only then I was able to make progress again, and for a good while I felt the game was pretty well balanced. But eventually (and even though I distributed my talent points too evenly between the three branches of the talent tree, so I could never acquire any of the cool top abilities), I became too OP. And the most interesting thing is that I got there without ever using my high-level units, the Cannoneers and the Thugs. Individually they are clearly superior to any other ranged or mêlée unit in my roster, but their higher cost in stars and, above all, their lower quantities available rendered them useless to me: I went all the way with Possessed, Pirates, the Hero, Daredevils, and Cooks.

The cutscene after you defeat the final boss left me a little perplexed: in it you seem to find a new treasure map, so I initially thought the game was not over yet, or that the endless mode from the first game in the series was making a comeback. But no, after clicking the mouse I was led to the main menu screen with no new options in sight, so I finally concluded that thing about the new map was just a hook for an eventual Braveland Pirate 2, or something.

My list of finished games in 2016
Slingshot Puzzle

A very casual puzzle game. Most of the time it felt like a tutorial for the real game. But unfortunately the real game never starts and things stay extremely easy all the time (there was just one level for which I couldn't get a perfect score). Good thing is that the game introduces a lot of new elements over the 144 levels and so it doesn't get too boring.

Graphics and music are very nice and whole game is very relaxing and so I would say that I had a good time even if it wasn't the most exciting thing ever.

Complete list of finished games in 2016
Post edited May 21, 2016 by PaterAlf
Just went through Call of Duty: World at War. On the one hand I liked it more than I thought I would but it could have been better.

For one firearms lacked kick. At least M1s and Tommy Guns. I liked the weapon variety but there should have been more opportunities to use obscure guns like the MP 3008 and PPS. I liked that the game covered some of the overlooked areas in video games but it should have been longer, I think four more missions would have worked nicely. The characters were kind of non characters and not very memorable, at least for the Americans. Sgt. Reznov is slightly more memorable at least because he gives your guy new praises every five seconds. For some reason all the characters are atrociously ugly.

I liked the game more than I liked CoD 4 and what I played of BOII. Kind of disappointed with the direction the series took seeing as how this game was pretty good and used the (occasionally ridiculous) gore and gibs to good effect. At the time of its release the language also seemed a little much, anymore that stands for the BlOPs games but this one wasn't bad at all really. I thought that the mood of the game was pretty good in general and would have been nice to see continued as opposed to the pseudo high octane, Mission Impossible style plots in the next game on to MW3 at least. This game in gameplay felt somewhere between CoD 3 and 4 with some of the gore and dismemberment of Wolfenstein or Soldier of Fortune 2. I wish I could have played it on PC instead of PS3, but them's the breaks.

Final thought, if anyone likes the Pacific Theatre like I do then play MoH Pacific Assault first since the American campaign feels like a sequel to that game's with different characters.
Post edited May 22, 2016 by AnimalMother117

I found this game quite likable and at the same time also deserving of some of the criticsm directed at it and the rather lukewarm reviews. First and foremost, it isn't a game for everyone, it's rather niche. And niche not in the sense of "this game is too complicated for everyone but me" but quite the opposite. It's an open world game without missions, mini-games, or actual challenges, it's all about exploration and hunting collectibles, but even the implementation of these things is very simple and minimalist. Still, in general I approve of this concept, just quietly exploring a submerged city by boat, mapping out the territory, marveling at the view, listening to a peaceful soundtrack, observing other creatures, with no need to harm them or defend myself in combat. I just think, in part it could have been made a bit more fun with regards to the game mechanics that were chosen.

One of the predominant aspects of the gameplay, the climbing, is actually pretty boring when you think about it. It's like climbing in e.g. the Tomb Raider games, but it's mostly automatic, you just push directions to climb or jump up, down, left or right, there is no jump button, no chance to miss a jump or fall down, the only challenge is to find out where to go. But even that isn't very interesting, as the paths you can climb are mostly linear, with just a few branches and very few shortcuts. You can't just try to jump and climb wherever you want to, with several possibilities of how to reach where you want to go. When you climb a building, you just follow the paths that were laid out for you, and you can only decide on the order in which you tread them. Each building has one main item you have to find, and several smaller collectibles. The 'trick' is to find and pick up the other collectibles first, because as soon as you find the main item, you're transported back to your hub. Which is both a good and a bad thing, good because this means you don't have to backtrack all the way you climbed up, bad because you'll have to backtrack to that building and climb all the way up again for any smaller collectibles if you missed them. And then climb all the way down again, because you can't just jump or teleport. All in all, this felt a bit tedious and more of a chore than actual fun.

Also, the collectibles aren't that exciting and motivating in itself, they could have been all about the numbers only ("you've found x of y"), and it wouldn't have changed that much. Either you're motivated to collect them all just to collect them all or you're not. In theory, they should be more exciting to find because they are pieces of a story 'comic', but that comic is also very simplistic and most of the pictures aren't much to look at or read into (imagine a simple rain cloud as one picture, and a lightning bolt as another etc.). Most of the story-telling eschews words, by the way, it's relying on images, pictures, speechless cutscenes and environment, and on the few occasions when the main character talks, it's in a made-up language. So it could be considered as a bit inconsistent, that this speech is subtitled in English, even when what is said isn't really essential either (e.g. "I need to find medicine" but it's just another collectible looking like the rest, and since the rest of the game is working with pictures there would have been ways to convey that message without words, too ). But I guess that's a bit nitpicky.

To me the style of the overall environment felt a bit similar to Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, maybe due to the greenish/blue color schemes and the not too impressive quality of objects and textures. Because if you take a close look, Submerged graphics aren't that great. But here the good things about Submerged begin to show, because even those seemingly average to below average graphics can form surprising scenes of beauty, when combined with good lighting, weather effects, day and night cyles and nice colors. And Submerged has an awesome Postcard Mode that I wish every game would offer, allowing you to (almost) freeze a scene, toggle off the UI and play around with the camera until everything's perfect for a screenshot. I actually thought this a more interesting feature than the climbing, exploring the small world of Submerged with the self-imposed goal of finding the right spots to take beautiful postcard photos. Another neat feature was using the telescope to scout for interesting spots and collectibles in the vicinity.

Others have criticized the lack of a story or that they couldn't care less about the characters, but in that regard I had no complaints. The story is short and simple, but I thought it was nice enough for such a short and small open world game. And there was some pretty neat story-telling without words or cutscenes, as well as attention to small details and a good atmosphere. The characters don't really allow you to get to know them much, but I was able to relate to them all the same, just because they looked nice and were in a situation I found touching. Not sure if that makes me empathetic or superficial, and frankly I don't care, in any case these parts of the game, while unintrusive, worked well enough for me.

So all in all, I quite enjoyed my time with Submerged (which was about 5 hours); I liked the concept and it offered me some moments of awe and wonder, it even gave me some delightful shivers on occasion, and tinkering with the photo feature was a lot of fun. I just wish they could have made other aspects of the game like the climbing and collectibles a little more exciting as well. There's definitely a place for games like this, but also quite a bit of room for improvement.
Post edited May 23, 2016 by Leroux

Bought this point&click adventure game on release, so figured I better beat it now or feel bad when it shows up on summer sale or, worse, in a bundle. Neat game, great voice acting (except for one small line which was literally recorded on a phone while the VA had a cold), decent story - I will admit I wasn't completely in love with it. I never needed to consult a guide, which means it was probably way too easy. I did get stuck for a while on one part, but that was my fault for missing something relatively obvious.

Game has 3 endings determined by your last action, and one of them is so off-putting that I decided to skip it even if it means forgoing the achievement (big loss, right?)


A fun but often frustrating action/platformer with a great variety of abilities (even though it's not a metroidvania) and a sometimes questionable level design. Beat it on Normal (glad I abandoned the harder difficulty level early on) but did not come close to 100%ing it. Maybe someday I'll try to get the "True Ending" and "Evil Ending", etc, but not today.
Post edited May 23, 2016 by kalirion
Broken Sword 2.5: Baphomets Fluch

This is a fan made sequel to the original Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars and very loyal to its legacy. As George Stobbart, you revisit most of the locations of the first game and follow a somewhat connected story. For a fan-made game I have found the graphics very charming and the voice-overs very professional (I played this one in German language which I have found better than the English dubbed version). Interestingly, even the dialogues and jokes were better than Broken Sword 2, a game that was developed by the same team who made the Shadow of the Templars. The only problem is that the game is way too easy and I have beaten it in probably less than 3 hours. That said, this is a free game so no complaints here :)

To conclude, if you are into the Broken Sword series, do not miss this one. This is a really special fan-made awesomeness. You can either play it before or after Broken Sword 2.
And when you beat the game, don't forget to take note of the special code which gives access to bonus material. I wish GOG could get a deal with Revolution Software to at least add this as a bonus goodie to the catalague. It definitely deserves a wider audience.

damien score: 8/10

List of all games finished in the last years with best and worst games played in each year
Medal Of honor Airborne (23:06am 23rd may)

This is a weird one. As someone who skydives wouldn't you want to get the ground in the fastest seed possible? To me this is just a another Medal of Honor game. Gameplay meh, a story looks good (for the time)

I lied the open areas which is something I would of wanted in the last game like this I played (cod2)
System Shock 2

I have managed to beat the game this morning. I liked it very much because it's a pretty complex game and it reminded
me somehow of Deus Ex. Also there is so much stuff to do, for exemple you can research, upgrade wapons(there is a large variety of weapons from standard, heavy to exotic and energy weapons), modify weapons, you can be a hacker, solder or focus on Psi powers. Also no matter what character you choose, you can focus on what skils you like.

Another geme System Shock 2 reminded me of is Bioshock, wich I liked very much, but now that I played this game , Bioshock seems dumbed down.

I would give this game a 9.5/10
I beaten Shadwen last Saturday. It was ok stealth based game, but have rather poor execution in many aspects.

Currently on the last scenario (Heaven's Feel) of Fate/Stay Night VN. Damn so long this VN.
Costume Quest 2 (Xbox One)

I have a love/hate relationship with JRPG's. On the one hand I love the traditional turn based mechanics of the old FF style games. But then I hate the Japanese weirdness, the teen melodrama and characters, and the lovey dovey stories that most of them have. So no surprise that my favorites of the genre tend to be westernized JRPG's- games that use the mechanics but with western type stories and cultural influences. Games like South Park SOT and Child of Light being good examples.

Costume Quest 2 falls into the same category, just not as good as the two mentioned above. It was good fun and the addition of the timed responses during your own turn adds something positive to the gameplay in my opinion- rather than just sitting there watching an animation. The story is quirky, but not quite as funny as I think it wishes to be. Basically you have to save the world from the evil dentist trying to establish a dental utopia.

Overall it was a decent 8 hours or so of fun. It's biggest problem is that it is pretty much pummeled in every way by the superb Child of Light by Ubisoft. But it doesn't cost much, especially when it's a GwG game this month, and I'm glad I gave it a play through.
Post edited May 23, 2016 by CMOT70
Finished Winter Voices prologue. It was slow as hell, fights are tedious and boring (but can be mostly skipped) and story and dialogues are complicated. Not interested in playing the other episodes...

Full list here.