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supplementscene: How do you rate the story and characterisation?
morolf: 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.
I'm not surprised when you look at how blacks were treated in America at the time.

I'm currently reading a book that discusses books and attitudes at the turn of 1900 by English authors. A book about eugenics was highly received where he cited unsuccessful people shouldn't be able to 'breed'. Another well reveived author/researchr built on it and derided Jewish people and said it would be best if black and asian people were exterminated. Apparently this was acceptable writing in England around the turn of 1900. This is all forgoten now and people assume Nazi Germany happened in isolation and the American who persecuted blacks and the British who commited their own crimes were morally superior.

On the other side of the spectrum you had an industrist (Rowntree - the chocolate maker) that noted all the masses of poverty and the problems these people had. He exposed the problems the poor to the masses and suggested it was these and not moral failure that led to their predicament.

And such is the right and left wings of the world. And I will pick up Golden Wake on sale, I like the music in the trailor.
Post edited April 11, 2017 by supplementscene
<span class="bold">Adventures of Poco Eco - Lost Sounds</span> (Android)

As it turns out, since Android 6.0 one can at last decide which permissions to allow to each app installed on the device. This means that I'm finally able to play a lot of games I had 'blacklisted' for requiring unjustified shady permissions.

One of such games was Adventures of Poco Eco, a colorful puzzle-ish game with a great soundtrack. The premise is pretty simple: Poco Eco must recover some ancestral sounds that have been lost. With the help of three totem spirits and a firefly-like bug, he'll have to go through 12 different zones all the while solving some puzzles. Now, the puzzles are pretty easy in and of themselves, but the fact that the aforementioned bug is at all times showing you the way makes the game even easier and, as a result, way shorter.

Which is a pity, because the experience is quite nice while it lasts. The art style isn't impressive by any means (think something between the PSX and the PS2 era) but as I said it's very colorful and the settings are pretty and varied enough, at least after the first 2 or 3 levels which are arguably less inspired than the rest.

This game's best asset is its audio, though. After all, it's all about looking for and recovering those Lost Sounds, remember? Virtually every background element in each level emits a sound if you tap on it, and then there's the soundtrack which is really good (check it out for yourself). Speaking of which, the game provides you with a link for downloading the OST: unfortunately, it leads to a page that requires you to input an email address for sending you an actual download link. I tried it with a couple of throwaway email addresses but I didn't receive anything after a couple of hours, so I'm not sure whether it's still possible to get a downloadable copy of the soundtrack.

To sum it up: good-looking and 'good-sounding' puzzle-adventure game that doesn't pose much of a challenge and doesn't last for very long. Recommended if you dig the former and don't mind the latter.

My list of finished games in 2017
Turtix: Rescue Adventures

It was a free game on "Game Giveaway of the Day" some weeks ago and so I thought I could give it a try. Have to say that I'm surprised how much I liked it. Sure, it's a casual game and not a hardcore platformer, but the level design is very good and when you play on "Hardcore" mode (which is still quite easy), you probably will have a hard time to get a gold medal (save all turtles, get all diamonds and find all secrets within the time limit) on each level. I also liked that the game adds new stuff and elements throughout the whole game.

Graphics are colourful and cute and game is pretty much non-violent, so it might be a very good game to introduce younger children to the platform genre. Controls are not completely tight though and because of that you will miss a jump from time to time (but that's not too annoying).

Complete list of finished games in 2017
Mad Max</span> (PS4)

This is an open-world game set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

The open-world portion of this game is very fun, even though it does include a lot of melee combat and some mini-boss fights (neither of which I enjoy). Thankfully the melee combat was quite simple and easy; that is to say I didn’t have too hard of a problem with it and I’m generally not very good at that type of combat, so it from a “normal” perspective I’m sure it would qualify as easy.

The vehicle combat however is quite fun, I enjoyed it a lot.

The story is meh and the weakest part of the game, but that’s pretty standard for open-world games and to be expected. I didn’t mind at all because I don’t play these games for the story.

Overall I’d certainly recommend it if you’re a fan of Mad Max or open-world games.
<span class="bold">Bik - A Space Adventure</span>

Wow, I went into this game not expecting very much and it totally blew me away.

This is a point-and-click adventure game, and it hits everything which counts: humour, likeable characters, engaging plot, logical puzzles, many ways to die, and no dead ends. The puzzles are fairly easy, but still fun.

The art style is a bit… eclectic. It’s mostly crude pixel art with some crude 3D models, and doesn’t always work.

Don’t be fooled by the graphics though, this is a good game which seems to be very under-appreciated. Highly recommended if you enjoy point-and-click games!
Layers of Fear

This was a pretty but short walking simulator and total Jump Scare City. Story was quite nice, game ran well once I turned off 'mirrors' but I'm certainly glad I didn't pay full price for 3 hours of 'jumping' every 3 minutes. But those 'scares' soon became the same as all Hollywood rubbish: not scary at all. I mean, if you ran up behind Chuck Norris and went 'AAAAH!', he may well jump., but he absolutely would not be scared.

Makers of these games need to go back to Amnesia, Penumbra, Sanitarium and Limbo to find out what makes the mind 'tick'.

SteamWorld Heist

What a lovely '2D Xcom'. Compulsive turn-based combat and fun ways of upgrading your funny characters. Took me 19.3 hours to complete this bad boy and I straight away started thinking about the DLC or a NG+, and I almost never do either.
Post edited April 13, 2017 by psadler
Jade Empire. I'd originally played this on the Xbox, but it's nice to get the higher resolution on the PC version. I have mixed feelings about this one. Obviously I like it enough to own it and replay it, but it's got some real problems.

I love the concept. Bioware really did their homework on the genre and although the story has some of their usual tics, you can tell they were really going for it on this one. Too bad it didn't resonate with enough people. I wanted a sequel with hopping vampires and stuff. The cast is probably my all around favorite in a Bioware game. Being a big fan of Bridge of Birds, it's always nice to see Henpecked Ho. I'm not fond of the selections for the player character, though, because they're very boring. Whenever I play this, I never feel enthusiastic about my choice and there's no customization at all. I just sort of give up and say, "Guy with tattoos will have to do...."

The game still looks quite nice, although Bioware's patented "mid-shot/close-up" conversation system was already becoming sleep-inducing, especially considering how long-winded Bioware's scripting is. There seems to be less running back and forth compared to KOTOR and some other games of that time, which is nice.

The combat is really not good. I understand they wanted something more action-based for their kung fu game, but however they should have done it, it shouldn't have been like this. The fights just don't draw me in and they don't effectively evoke martial arts battles, either. You basically just run/flip at your target, hit the punch button, and then block or dodge/roll away and repeat. Some of the harder fights you'll want to change up styles but that's not very often. Enemies have an irritating knack for floating out of your melee range before you finish a combo. The sounds are really low-impact, too. Were they too proud to just swipe the sound effects from Shaw Bros. movies?

My other big disappointment with the game is the morality system. Coming off KOTOR Bioware probably wanted something similar, but I feel that there was an opportunity with the Open Palm vs. Closed Fist spectrum to do something that had some philosophical weight to it. It should have been two competing ways of doing good, and in a rare number of instances it is, but mostly Bioware just lazily recycles Jedi vs. Sith, Perfect Saint vs. Heartless Monster. The bad guys even all look like Sith with their gray, veiny skin. In general, I find that the game's writing is weakest is when it apes KOTOR a bit too much. When it leaves that behind and draws more on wuxia, it gets more interesting.

I've played Hexcells Plus during my last two nightshifts and thought that I maybe should give the first one in the series a try before I complete the second one. Unfortunately it was far too easy after I've already completed most of the more difficult puzzles in Hexcells Plus (think it took me only two hours to finish with perfect score). Besides that it's also not a polished as the second game and some of the useful features (e.g. mark lines as completed) are missing. More or less a more complex Mine Sweeper. Not a bad puzzle game (some of the levels are well designed and the ambient background music is great), but also not something special.

Complete list of finished games in 2017
Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment

Very fun game. Specter Knight is amazing at killing bosses: with the scythe's huge reach and the lateral dash, it's much easier to stick to a boss and keep dealing damage than with Shovel Knight's precision downward thrust. Offhand items are "balanced" against the OP scythe, but since the normal game is designed to be winnable with the main weapon only, they're a huge raw boost. Most interactions I've noticed and dreaded to see used in hardcore obstacles in the campaign appear only in standalone challenges. The absolutely best item is the purple cloak which turns pits and spikes from instakills to manageable health/mana sinks. I've died about 80 times total.

The only drawback is the plot. Most of it is telegraphed, and what isn't doesn't quite fit with the plot of the original game, the tone is wrong and never quite hits the balance of absurd whimsy and epic sincerity of the original, the cast design premise was thrown out, I'm expected to give a damn about a kickstarter backer comic relief character and I obviously don't, and finally, the protagonists of the plot arc who make an appearance here (Shield, Black, Enchantress, and Specter himself) all behave like petty assholes.
None ATM still playing through fallout IV survival mode gltiching out and crashes galore Bethsoft WON'T fix their own games on release DLC's have stuffed up trade routes on traders like Kelly and her Cows for sale! hangs around that Drumlin Diner
I finished NieR:Automata, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End and The Last of Us Remastered. I'm currently also playing Horizon Zero Dawn, GTA V and Fallout IV on PS4.

I want to finish VA11 Hall-A. So little time left now though.
Post edited April 16, 2017 by BTNLegend
Aaaaand Shovel Knight: Shovel of Hope, aka the main campaign.

Not much to add to common knowledge: it's a platformer so well-designed it's worth getting good at in 2017. Not that I'm any good -- by the game's count, I died over 300 times, including 80 in the flying machine (I could really use some spike+pit insurance) but not including another ~200 in the final levels (the game only saves stats from successful stage runs).
Noctropolis. I had played this when it first came out because I was curious about its superhero theme, I got most of the way through it but hit a wall (I wasn't on the internet yet, so I couldn't look up a walkthrough), and then my attention drifted elsewhere. I still have my disc, though, so I figured maybe I should finally get around to beating it. This time I was able to beat it with a walkthrough because I got lazy at a particular puzzle involving rotating colored dots into positions around a locked door. There was also one part that stuck me because I didn't realize that there was an object I could pick up blending into the scenery. There's always at least one of those :)

My original feelings about the game were that it was okay but nothing special, and I still feel that way. It has some really striking graphics inspired by the Tim Burton Batman movies, and it uses live actors on top of the backgrounds, which is an effect that was maybe more impressive back then when CDs were a big deal but just looks awkward now. The interface is kind of weird, but I got along with it better after it got through my head to think of the "move" command as the equivalent to "use" in most other adventure games. The puzzle design is sometimes okay, sometimes weird. Pretty well in line with a lot of point and clicks, especially back then.

The story isn't very good. It's pretty much a Batman riff with some metaphysical elements added in (Liquid Dark!). Like a lot of superhero games made back then, it feels like it was made by people who maybe wanted to cash in on a trend without really getting what it was about, and even then, it came out during the mid-90s, the darkest age ever for American comics. I suppose on the bright side you could spin it and say that it's a pretty good approximation of crappy old Image comics or something? On the plus side, I thought some of the villains were actually pretty cool. Top Hat and Greenthumb would fit right in to Batman's rogues gallery, derivative though they are.

Adventure games are an odd fit for action-based characters like superheroes anyway, unless you're careful to create puzzles that could slow them down without breaking immersion (e.g., Lucasarts knew how to do this). This game doesn't really bother with that, so our two-fisted dark avenger gets stymied by such overpowering threats as a snooty city librarian, out of shape security guards and utility workers, and business people just sitting at their desks.

The game is at its best in sections when you're directly up against the supervillains, because in those areas you have to escape some trap, foil the bad guy, and then make it back to your lair for healing within a usually generous time limit. In those sections it does feel more like you're playing a comic book.
Finally got back into and finished Saints Row 4.

I really enjoyed it, though I find its activities distributed throughout the city a bit boring. Still, the gameplay was solid (best Matrix game I've ever played), the story had its moments even if the campaign was rather formulaic, and the parodies were mostly good and funny.

I also had a glitch during the ending where Zinyak's head got stuck into my character's hands for the whole ending.

Next, I'll go through the DLC missions (the dominatrix thing and the xmas one).
Fallout 2. Finally. It was a really long, good and bad game at the same time. Good secondary quests, really good rpg, but really bad copy&paste main quest.

Alan Wake and american nightmare... just ok, but it was a short and fun game. A little repetitive (alan wake).

Now I'm playing Nox... almost done.

Next I will play Dragon Age Origins or Planescape Torment (for planescape I want to wait the official fanmade italian translation to be integrated in the EE... But I still don't know if I'm interested in buying planescape).