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Broforce. I had played the Expendabros version that came out a while back, so I pretty much already knew what this was all about, but it's nice to get the whole game. It's fun. Mostly it's just you running across the level until you reach the end, rescuing and transforming into other bros. The fully destructible levels opens up a lot of possibilities, such as allowing you to tunnel beneath a group of enemies and hit them from behind or just plain bypass them. And there's explosive stuff everywhere, so it's fun when you set off some crazy chain reaction that wipes out a bunch of guys while totally deforming the environment.

The gameplay is occasionally hampered by the tiny characters and the screen shaking, making it easy to lose track of where you are while stuff is blowing up, and (as so often seems the case with indy action games) the controls are a little floaty for my tastes but nothing that isn't manageable. Some bros are easier to use than others, and I found that sometimes beating a boss simply meant getting killed repeatedly until I lucked into getting a bro better suited to the job. I'm sure a very skilled player can totally kick ass with a melee character, but I found them more difficult for the most part.

Looking at the game wiki, it seems I got most of the bros but not all of them. One nice touch is that the James Bond character gets a portrait that changes to resemble a different actor each time you get him. Some of the choices strike me as a bit peculiar. There's not a single Steven Seagal figure, nor Dolph Lundgren (unless you count Expendabros). No John Wayne. No Chow Yun Fat. Some of the bros are drawn from movies that were either forgettable or just not really action movies, such as Tank Girl, Rocketeer, or Men in Black. Surprisingly no Sarah Connor, which seems to be a really big omission from the female side. A Michelle Yeoh character would have fit in there, too. I'm assuming part of the choices they made had to do with finding distinct gameplay angles, such as Cherry Darling's machine gun leg allowing her to fly to some degree, but even so most of the characters are just variations on "guy with a gun" types.
Thimbleweed Park

The most important things to know about this game:

a. It looks and plays just like the classic LucasArts adventures.
b. It's full of fan service.
c. It constantly breaks the fourth wall.
d. It has a pretty absurd story.

I was quite happy with the first point; for the most part the gameplay was great and evoked the same kind of fun I had with the classics almost 25 years ago. I also relived those times by exchanging impressions and ideas with a sibling who played through the game at the same time, the two of us helping each other out and solving some puzzles together, just like back in the days. And the pixel art looked great even on modern LCD monitors, because the game actually uses a higher resolution than it makes you believe, so while the graphics are retro and pixel-y, they aren't upscaled from a low resolution. Because of all that it really felt like discovering a lost LucasArts adventure and experiencing it with the same awe, just like back in the 90's, even though it's 2017.

On the other hand, this isn't the 90's anymore, and whenever the game was breaking the fourth wall, joking about adventure games or referencing pop culture, or when it was rehashing ideas from the classics, supposedly as homage for the fans, I was reminded of that. Because what really made the old LucasArts adventures classics to me was their originality and timelessness. They didn't need to remind you of any games that came before them or poke fun at their competition, and when they did, it was more subtle and still relatively fresh. In the two decades since the 'Golden Age' of point-and-click though, I've seen so many adventures trying to bathe in the glory of the classics by imitating or spoofing them that I was really hoping for something more original, timeless and self-contained again. I thought all the in-your-face comments about adventure game conventions, LucasArts and Sierra games more awkward than funny and the extensive content from Kickstarter backers in the form of book titles or voicemail messages rather distracting, especially the kind that was e.g. referencing the likes of 50 Cent and Jay-Z in a setting that officially takes place in 1987. It's a minor dissonance that can be (and probably is) easily overlooked, but it kind of bothered me nevertheless. Admittedly, at some point the game offered a simple explanation for all this, but I didn't think it was very convincing, due to the rather clumsy way these things were implemented before.

I didn't perceive the humor in the game as laugh-out-loud funny and the story doesn't make a lot of sense, but I thought the characters and the absurdity of it all were still a lot of fun. I also loved how the characters were introduced. Nevertheless, I would have enjoyed it more, if there had been a little more consistency in the story-telling. You control several characters and often have them cooperate by exchanging items from their inventory and such, even though they have no reason to help each other, apart from the fact that they're being controlled by the same player who knows that they need to cooperate to solve a puzzle. The characters sometimes react differently to different persons or situations, according to their personality, and that's hilarious, but just as often they each repeat the same line, even if it doesn't fit their personality, and that's disappointing and boring. Maybe due to the low budget, limited resource and small dev team, but if they paid to have each voice actor record this line anyway, why not change it a bit for each of them?

As for the difficulty, for the most part I was able to solve the puzzles without a walkthrough. Sometimes, as mentioned above, I'd accept hints from my 'fellow' player if they had already solved something I was stuck on. But we only looked up a walkthrough once. And when I was stuck, the reasons were hardly ever the puzzles themselves, which were fun to figure out, but me having overlooked a few smaller hotspots or thinking I had already tried everything when I actually hadn't. One time it was because I tried to 'use' a book instead of trying to 'open' it. After overcoming that 'puzzle', I momentarily wondered whether bringing back the old verb menu was really such a great idea if it leads to this kind of hair-splitting ... There are two connected aspects of the design that increase the risk of getting stuck and that seriously prolonged my playthrough, making me waste a lot of time with wandering around aimlessly, searching the same locations again and again: The game is split into several chapters that mostly use the same locations, and some tasks you are given earlier in the game can only be solved in later chapters, so you might think you're stuck on a puzzle even though you have a pretty good idea how to solve it already, you're just in the right place at the wrong time and you have no way of knowing that, which can be pretty frustrating. And when you move on to another chapter, things might change all of a sudden, and the game relies on you finding out which locations and situations have changed all by yourself, which can be a bit tedious considering how many locations there are and how much walking this involves despite the quick travel map. Personally, I also tend to get more and more impatient in these situations and more likely to forget or overlook stuff because I don't feel like examining the same locations with close scrutinity a second time.

Anyway, despite some frustrations and disappointments with the game I also had a great deal of fun with it (don't disregard the first paragraph of this seemingly very critical review!). To me it's not quite the classic the old LucasArts games were, because it spends too much time reminiscing over them, but it's still a good choice for fans of those, at least for the current lack of more ambitious games with the same kind of classic gameplay and puzzles. I've read in an interview that Ron Gilbert said the next time he'd like to do something more risky and experimental - and I think I'm looking forward to that.
Post edited August 30, 2017 by Leroux
My first entry in this thread.

As of 11/16/2017

1. A Golden Wake - It's been a while since I played an AGS game, and it's always a pleasure to do so from WadjetEye. This one is really different in that it's based on real life history (although I didn't know that until I completed it). Strangely it gets some poor reviews on this site, but because real life history doesn't compare to supernatural occult crime drama? Well, duh.

2. Her Story - Oh the dreadful wind and rain. I didn't know anything about this game before playing it, and I admit that I didn't really get it until I learned via googling that you can have all the videos in the archive, and that you could reposition them so they're linear. That completely changed how I felt about it, and I found it quite enjoyable.

3. Technobabylon - I don't know if people enjoyed this one, but it's probably one of my favorites from WadgetEye! I mean, I love them all, but this was particularly cool with the setting, and the things you could do.

4. Stories Untold - Again, didn't know what to expect, but this was also very clever and quite intriguing the whole way through. It's mostly lite puzzling, and the creepiness factor kept going up the more I played. Would love to see what these devs do next.

5. Driftmoon - Decent cRPG. Nothing outstanding, but it combines a lot of the better things about RPGs (quests, puzzles, collectables) and puts it into a package that doesn't overstay its welcome.

6. The Last Door Season 2 - Kept up the creepy atmosphere of Season 1, which is really what I was after. But not sure if I really understood what the story was.

7. Tender Loving Care - Odd FMV game. I thought it was a retro indie game, but apparently it really is a 90s adult game with horrible freezing issues, and repetitive point-and-click gameplay. It is pleasantly bizarre in some ways but is forgettable.
Post edited November 17, 2017 by thuey
Found a lot I can agree with, esp. about the writing. I can totally understand why Dragonfall is considered a far superior game, but I ended up liking them both about the same (I have yet to play Hongkong).
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thuey: My first entry in this thread.

As of 4/8/2017

1. A Golden Wake - It's been a while since I played an AGS game, and it's always a pleasure to do so from WadjetEye. This one is really different in that it's based on real life history (although I didn't know that until I completed it). Strangely it gets some poor reviews on this site, but because real life history doesn't compare to supernatural occult crime drama? Well, duh.
How do you rate the story and characterisation?
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thuey: My first entry in this thread.

As of 4/8/2017

1. A Golden Wake - It's been a while since I played an AGS game, and it's always a pleasure to do so from WadjetEye. This one is really different in that it's based on real life history (although I didn't know that until I completed it). Strangely it gets some poor reviews on this site, but because real life history doesn't compare to supernatural occult crime drama? Well, duh.
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supplementscene: How do you rate the story and characterisation?
I played it a while ago...the story is interesting and unusual (the protagonist is some sort of anti-hero imo, in a way it's quite a sad and mature story, fitting for Depresssion era America). The references to real historical persons and events are also quite nice and well done (e.g. you meet famous American populist William Jennings Bryan at one point). Only thing I found a bit funny was that one of the real historical persons, the developer of Coral Gables, who is portrayed quite positively in the game, was - at least according to Wikipedia - some kind of racist who didn't want black people in his town...
Weak point of the game imo are the puzzles which are fairly easy; not much replayability either. I'd recommend getting it on a sale since full price is a bit much. But on the whole it's quite a nice experience.
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thuey: My first entry in this thread.

As of 4/8/2017

1. A Golden Wake - It's been a while since I played an AGS game, and it's always a pleasure to do so from WadjetEye. This one is really different in that it's based on real life history (although I didn't know that until I completed it). Strangely it gets some poor reviews on this site, but because real life history doesn't compare to supernatural occult crime drama? Well, duh.
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supplementscene: How do you rate the story and characterisation?
I wrote a longer reply to you, but it seems to have been eaten by the forum...anyway, I played A golden wake some time ago and liked the story, it's actually quite sad and mature, it tells a story about a person's development that seemd fairly believable to me. The historical references (aftermath of WW1, the roaring Twenties, then Depression era America) are well done...even if one of the main themes (development of the city of Coral Gables which is now part of Miami iirc) isn't that interesting.
The game's weak points are its puzzles which are fairly easy (much weaker and more simplistic than other Wadjeteye games), also not much replayability. I'd recommend getting it on a sale, full price is a bit much imo. But nice game on the whole.

EDIT: Oops, now my former reply did turn up...sorry for double posting.
Post edited April 09, 2017 by morolf
WARNING! POTENTIALLY CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS FOR GOTHIC 2!

Gothic 2

Just finished my playthrough of Gothic 2 after 70 hours. Final boss (some undead dragon) was a bit anticlimactic...supposedly that dragon (and others before him) are really difficult opponents for some characters, but my archer had no problem at all, I just shot a few times at the dragon, took hardly any damage myself and that was it. There were also some hints at a deeper meaning of the story (supposedly there was some link between the dragon and the hero character) I didn't quite understand...but then the story wasn't Gothic 2's strength anyway.

After I had been rather disappointed by Gothic 1, I was quite pleasantly surprised by Gothic 2. This is a MUCH better game than its predecessor. A lot of annoying issues were removed; e.g. in Gothic 1 my character fell to his death dozens of times because of the strange level design (and my clumsiness), and ladders were a pain to use - in Gothic 2 somehow falling to death is much less of an issue, and there aren't any ladders anymore.
The gameworld is also much richer and more varied. Gothic1 imo ultimately failed at creating an immersive world and became a tedious monster-slaying fest. Gothic 2 succeeds much better in creating a believable world, you've got many more quests than in the first game, and not all of them are combat-based. I still found some skills like sneaking to be rather useless, but on the whole it's much better than in the first game.
Visually the game is rather nice, makes exploring the world even more fun.
The main focus of the game is still its combat. From what I've seen of the melee combat, it's still somewhat frustrating...I certainly never got the hang of it. Fortunately it's quite possible to play the game as an archer which I did (and which probably is the easiest way to play Gothic 2). It's fairly simplistic on the whole, but was fun.
Story is pretty weak, there are some loose threads where I would have expected more...but I liked the general atmosphere. Also some pretty funny dialogues.

While I wouldn't say it's perfect and imo it still has some of the same basic flaws as Gothic 1, I really had a lot of fun with Gothic 2, if you want to play an action rpg in an open world setting, it's not a bad choice. My rating: 4/5.

EDIT: Games I've finished in 2017:
https://www.gog.com/forum/general/games_finished_in_2017/post77
Post edited April 10, 2017 by morolf
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morolf: A lot of annoying issues were removed; e.g. in Gothic 1 my character fell to his death dozens of times because of the strange level design (and my clumsiness), and ladders were a pain to use - in Gothic 2 somehow falling to death is much less of an issue, and there aren't any ladders anymore.
The gameworld is also much richer and more varied. Gothic1 imo ultimately failed at creating an immersive world and became a tedious monster-slaying fest.[...]
Keep in mind that Gothic 1 is from 2001. There weren't many 3D RPGs around at the time and imho it was a leap forward for the whole genre. Maybe you shouldn't apply the same standards to it like to later games that wouldn't even have happened without it.
Post edited April 09, 2017 by Klumpen0815
First of all - please mind spoilers, just post a warning ahead :-)

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morolf: Gothic 2
... but my archer had no problem at all, ...
I love Gothic 1+2 (1 a bit more) and the archer thing is something they really messed up. Gothic 1 was impossible as archer (unwinnable at the end) and Gothic 2 made archers ridiculously overpowered... I don't blame you - I like playing archers myself - although mostly in 1st person games like TES.

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morolf: The gameworld is also much richer and more varied. Gothic1 imo ultimately failed at creating an immersive world and became a tedious monster-slaying fest.
This is where I disagree - I always found the mine colony split into different factions with different approaches to escape a lot more plausible (and "cosy" and "charming") than Korinis which kind of didn't make sense in many places. Still, as I said, I like both games a lot.
CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE GOTHIC GAMES

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toxicTom: First of all - please mind spoilers, just post a warning ahead :-)

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morolf: Gothic 2
... but my archer had no problem at all, ...
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toxicTom: I love Gothic 1+2 (1 a bit more) and the archer thing is something they really messed up. Gothic 1 was impossible as archer (unwinnable at the end) and Gothic 2 made archers ridiculously overpowered... I don't blame you - I like playing archers myself - although mostly in 1st person games like TES.

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morolf: The gameworld is also much richer and more varied. Gothic1 imo ultimately failed at creating an immersive world and became a tedious monster-slaying fest.
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toxicTom: This is where I disagree - I always found the mine colony split into different factions with different approaches to escape a lot more plausible (and "cosy" and "charming") than Korinis which kind of didn't make sense in many places. Still, as I said, I like both games a lot.
You're right, I added a spoiler warning.
Gothic 1's basic premise with the penal colony and its different factions had a lot of potential, but I felt they did too little with it...it just fizzled out and suddenly you had to deal with some huge evil threat ("look, there's an archdemon...you've got to kill it!" "Umm, ok"). It also didn't have enough quests imo...Gothic 2 did much better in making you feel a connection to some persons because you encountered them again and again in the game throughout several quests.
I didn't really enjoy melee combat in Gothic 1 that much, so I'm glad archer is possible in Gothic 2. But why is Gothic 1 unwinnable with an archer at the end? Yes, you get that magic sword, but my impression was you only have to use it for some specific actions...and with all those stat-enhancing potions you get at the end, it should be possible even for an archer to build up some melee skills anyway.
CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE GOTHIC GAMES
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morolf: Gothic 1's basic premise with the penal colony and its different factions had a lot of potential, but I felt they did too little with it...it just fizzled out and suddenly you had to deal with some huge evil threat ("look, there's an archdemon...you've got to kill it!" "Umm, ok"). It also didn't have enough quests imo...
I found the number of quests sufficient, esp when you do all possible quests for all factions before you join one. And I actually liked the Sleeper story...

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morolf: I didn't really enjoy melee combat in Gothic 1 that much, so I'm glad archer is possible in Gothic 2. But why is Gothic 1 unwinnable with an archer at the end? Yes, you get that magic sword, but my impression was you only have to use it for some specific actions...and with all those stat-enhancing potions you get at the end, it should be possible even for an archer to build up some melee skills anyway.
I actually liked melee, once I got a hang of it. Nowadays I would probably use some tool to map the keys to the controller though. I used the "classic" control scheme in Gothic 2 too.
IIRC you were pretty fucked as archer in the end, because the game simply assumed you would either cast the rune, or put it into the sword. And even with some melee skill through potions it's not really comparable to a real melee character with tons of strength.
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toxicTom: CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE GOTHIC GAMES
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morolf: Gothic 1's basic premise with the penal colony and its different factions had a lot of potential, but I felt they did too little with it...it just fizzled out and suddenly you had to deal with some huge evil threat ("look, there's an archdemon...you've got to kill it!" "Umm, ok"). It also didn't have enough quests imo...
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toxicTom: I found the number of quests sufficient, esp when you do all possible quests for all factions before you join one. And I actually liked the Sleeper story...

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morolf: I didn't really enjoy melee combat in Gothic 1 that much, so I'm glad archer is possible in Gothic 2. But why is Gothic 1 unwinnable with an archer at the end? Yes, you get that magic sword, but my impression was you only have to use it for some specific actions...and with all those stat-enhancing potions you get at the end, it should be possible even for an archer to build up some melee skills anyway.
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toxicTom: I actually liked melee, once I got a hang of it. Nowadays I would probably use some tool to map the keys to the controller though. I used the "classic" control scheme in Gothic 2 too.
IIRC you were pretty fucked as archer in the end, because the game simply assumed you would either cast the rune, or put it into the sword. And even with some melee skill through potions it's not really comparable to a real melee character with tons of strength.
Well, I just never really got the hang of the combat system...probably my reactions are just too slow :-) Basically I just made left- and right-swings and made copious use of healing potions...
I thought the sleeper story wasn't built up that well...and I found the last third or so of Gothic 1 really quite tedious (though parts of the final temple were still fun, despite all the running around).
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morolf: Well, I just never really got the hang of the combat system...probably my reactions are just too slow :-) Basically I just made left- and right-swings and made copious use of healing potions...
I thought the sleeper story wasn't built up that well...and I found the last third or so of Gothic 1 really quite tedious (though parts of the final temple were still fun, despite all the running around).
Ah, just left and right won't get you far, you keep going back and lower reach too I think. You need to chain them right.
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morolf: Well, I just never really got the hang of the combat system...probably my reactions are just too slow :-) Basically I just made left- and right-swings and made copious use of healing potions...
I thought the sleeper story wasn't built up that well...and I found the last third or so of Gothic 1 really quite tedious (though parts of the final temple were still fun, despite all the running around).
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Cavalary: Ah, just left and right won't get you far, you keep going back and lower reach too I think. You need to chain them right.
Well, I did finish the game, so it kind of worked...but yeah, I definitely got the impression that I might not be doing this totally right :-) Found the controls hard to get used to and still think they're problematic.
Post edited April 10, 2017 by morolf