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The first of a few narrative/exploration first-person games I recently bought. The others being Stories Untold and What Remains of Edith Finch. I'm curious to see how they'll compare to each other.

Virginia features very little gameplay and interaction, even for the genre. It's clearly meant to be judged on the merits of its story almost entirely. In that regard Virginia sets itself apart from its contemporaries by eschewing not only narration, but any dialogue whatsoever. It adds a bit of a puzzle element to the story for the curious player, requiring you to pay more attention to little details in the interactions between characters and in the environment to gleam what's happening. However, it's shame that it falls back on a few tropes, like the "red herring" or the "liar revealed". Tropes by themselves aren't bad, but being able to predict where the story is going way in advance undermines the sense of mystery that the atmosphere is trying to foster.

The game's two biggest influences are "Thirty Flights of Loving" and "Twin Peaks". Thirty Flights even gets a shout out in the credits. Its contribution goes to the format at play here, as well as the usage of movie style "edits" to jump from one situation to another, which are definitely a welcomed thing, as so many other games in the genre are enamored with endlessly walking from place to place. The Twin Peaks side goes to it being a story about a FBI investigation, but even more so to its surrealist nature and the focus on dreams. The game heavily leans on this towards the ending, with dubious results, some of which feeling like the metaphorical dangling of keys to distract from what is really a not very complicated story.
CMOT70: Torment: Tides of Numenera (Xbox One)

A very difficult game to evaluate....
groundhog42: Thanks for the excellent review.

I agree with you about people who back a Kickstarter and then moan when it doesn't turn out to be exactly what they wanted.
I'll just caveat this thought with the observation that sometimes the game promised is not even remotely similar to the game released. In that instance, there are certainly grounds for complaint. (I actually think even moreso when the devs start to listen to the backers and change things because of a vocal minority on their website, but I digress...)

That being said, I backed both this game and Pillars of Eternity. I haven't yet gotten around to playing this one, but I did play through PoE on release and wasn't all that impressed. I, however, did not give it a bad review. There's a good game there, but it just didn't resonate with me. I'm hoping TToN will strike a better chord with me, but if it doesn't, c'est la vie. As noted, you're taking a chance when you donate to a kickstarter.
ciemnogrodzianin: Gobliiins

Let's say it's ambivalent experience. Quite fun and satisfying mix of point&click and puzzle game.
The second game in the series is much better, and so is the third one. I hope you can play and enjoy them all.
Headlander. Whenever I play a Double Fine game outside of Psychonauts or Brutal Legend, I feel like I have the same basic reaction - it looks very nice, very stylish, has a lot of charm, and it has some good basic gameplay, but it seems to be lacking an extra wrinkle to the gameplay that would really take it up a notch.

In this case, it's a 2D Metroid-style game in which you control a disembodied human head that can fly around, yank a robot's head off, and then take over its body. Some robots are just useful for walking about, or fitting into a tight space, but the main ones you want are armed security robots that you can use for combat and to get security clearances to different areas of the ship. You can bounce your shots off of walls to hit enemies out of your direct line of sight, but the bad guys can do the same to you. The aiming is easy but it can take a little bit to line up a shot, which is tough against the harder enemies, and the combat always feels a little clunky. There are also some big rooms in which the camera zooms out, making it easy to lose track of your head when things get hectic and the screen fills with exploding stuff and particle effects.

Late in the game, you do get introduced to some non-humanoid robots but they're really only a minor part of the game. I was thinking that most of the games in this genre I like tend to emphasize movement more than combat (e.g., getting an item that lets you jump higher to a previously unreachable ledge), but Headlander doesn't do much of this, maybe because your detached head can already fly most anywhere. I kept thinking some more variety in body types, bodies with different abilities, would appear but not so much.

The presentation is very good, though. The game has this late-60s/70s sci-fi aesthetic, with lava lamps and shag carpets everywhere, and the technology has that clean, pre-Stars Wars look.

The game is relatively short, so it doesn't wear out its welcome before it ends, but the fundamental gameplay doesn't evolve very much from the beginning to the end. I sometimes think the ideal Double Fine game would be one that marries its strengths in story and presentation with the gameplay mechanics you might find from a Japanese studio like Platinum.
ciemnogrodzianin: Gobliiins

Let's say it's ambivalent experience. Quite fun and satisfying mix of point&click and puzzle game.
igrok: The second game in the series is much better, and so is the third one. I hope you can play and enjoy them all.
Sure. I've got the whole trilogy bought here, on GOG, as one package. After finishing first one I'm planning to play also the rest, for sure. Especially that you're not the only one who told me that sequels are even better. Thanks! (:
Post edited July 03, 2017 by ciemnogrodzianin
Super Mario Bros 2

The first thing I did upon playing the game was see an enemy, jump on it's head, and instead of killing it I ended up just riding it. Super Mario Bros 2, was a reskin of a non Mario game, released instead of the lost levels because Nintendo thought it would be too hard for a western audience, I've played the lost levels, having a chasm that can only be crossed by standing on invisible blocks that are far apart is not hard, it's unfair, so I think we may have gotten the sweeter deal. Basically you defeat enemies by picking up turnips and throwing them, or picking up the enemies and throwing them. There are no Koopa's or Goombas, but the game did introduce shy guys, bob-ombs and Birdo. There are 7 worlds with 3 stages, in each one you have to fight Birdo at the end, which becomes extremely repetitive, there are also other bosses and their all beaten by throwing vegetables, eggs or blocks at them. The game also has the innovation of being able to move left, and the ability to be able to take 4 hits instead of 2. Also people complain about the ending, but you know it's a dream as soon as you start the game so I don't know what they were expecting. It's a good game, though I'd recommend any other Mario game over this... except maybe lost levels.

NiGHTS into Dreams

I never read the instructions so I'll have a guess at explaining what happens. These 2 children go to sleep and arrive in this magical world, they have all these bright orbs but some enemies take them, so you go up to some flying purple dandy who flies around collecting these blue orbs to destroy the enemies (Who ended up turning into UFO's) and then defeating a final boss at the end of the stage. There are only 7 stages, 1 is used twice and for an early 3D game it's pretty good. The music is very good and the bosses tend to all require different mechanics to beat. If I had one complaint, it's the name. It has a lowercase 'i' in the middle of an entirely uppercase name!
Gears of War 4
The Order: 1886
Far Cry 4
Ryse: Son of Rome
Dogfight 1942 (360)

Like usual after finishing a longish involved game I always feel like something quick and fun whilst deciding on what to play next. This game fit the bill perfectly. I impulse bought it 6 months ago on sale for under A$2 and it was worth the tiny price.

It feels a lot like the arcade air combat in the Battlestations series, with all the RTS part removed (speaking of which, I wish they'd make a new Battlestations). Very simple physics, very little historical accuracy. Just fast paced shoot em down action. Left stick controls roll and pitch. Right stick is throttle. Don't worry about ammo, shoot as much as want.

It's short, about 3 hours to play all missions. But I had fun. Of course you can replay missions to improve your scores. You can get it on sales for 360 and PS3 for under $2 and Steam have it on sale right now as well. The only thing about PC is I'd research to make sure you can use a dual stick pad...I don't think it would be as fun with KB. I may even get the 2 DLC's some time for some more.
Witcher 3 - Wild Hunt GotY Edition with Heart of Stone and Blood & Wine add-ons, almost 88h, lvl 53.

Played for 2 (almost 3) months non-stop with some pause for my diploma work. Way too big for his own good. Still got plenty of cash and skillpoints.
Lot of quests but most of them are designed in „breadcrumb" feat. Light it up and follow trail. Bad thing is - objects are not interactive until you turn Witcher senses on. Such terrible quest desing I dropped most of them beside treasure hunt and witcher contract, still managed to end overpowered. Concusion? Side quests are waster of time here.

Game interface is terrible. Especially crafting. It would be doable if there were only witcher schools gears, but with other options? It's a MESS.

Almost got paranoid with references to Polish culture (books, movies and else), wondering "what did I miss?" cause you know - it's bad when you don't know them (movies/books and else).
Post edited July 04, 2017 by SpecShadow
<span class="bold">Portal 2</span>

This game is a first person puzzle game, fairly similar to the first game but with added mechanics, more story, and it is about twice as long.

Overall, I did not enjoy this game nearly as much as the first. I preferred how in the first game the story is very minimal and you pick it up yourself as you play, in the sequel the story is very much more in your face and it felt more linear as a result. I also felt that that game was too long, it had really worn out its welcome by the end.

It’s still an OK game, it’s just not nearly as good as the first one.
Finished The Perils of Man. A nice point'n click. It has flaws (stiff animations, some nonsense puzzles) but I enjoyed it. Second half was much better in terms of puzzles.

Full list here.
Neon Chrome

An awesome rogue-like twin-stick/top-down shooter from the developers of Crimsonland.
Loved the 80's vibe and the soundtrack. Tight controls and plenty of beautiful destruction.
Different classes and a cool perks system, combined with plenty of primary and secondary weapons to choose from gave me plenty of build customization. Highly replayable.
Hope GOG gets this game soon.

I was very impressed. A few bugs and rough edges (esp. if you choose a character other than melee as your avatar, you'll semi-frequently be juggling basic movement commands at the start of combat encounters against packs), but a much deeper and quality game than I expected for $10, much less the $2.50 sale price during the summer sale.

-A few bugs (including one in the main quest that almost made me quit, but it self-resolved after quitting the game completely and reloading)
-Pathing / party movement is ...interesting
-Crafting is really not that useful til late in the game
-A bit too much running around - some environments could have been scaled down a tad, like City of Lights.

Other than the quirks above, this was a lot of fun to play through - about 25 hours give or take. Enjoyed the majority of the time I put into it, and the devs clearly have put time into a range of aspects of the game, environments, lore, quests, books, etc. Most of the boss fights were well considered, though the fight against the prince suffered a bit from the movement issues. I had to completely craft up and re-gear all my abilities for the fight against the sword-keeper at the end.

I think my favorite moment was meeting a flirtatious woman in the town square trying to pick up my very dense avatar. I thought it was pretty funny.

After losing my party for one sequence, it was also interesting to shift gears and have a double-archer setup sacrificing one as the meatshield.
Saints Row IV. This was fun. It sometimes reveals its origins as an expansion to #3, mainly in that it uses the same map and a lot of the same side activities (you suck, Insurance Fraud!), but even as a parody and glorified expansion it's probably one of the best superhero games I've played, at least in the sense that it gets how superpowers should feel in an action game. Any developers making a serious superhero game (or a Matrix game) should take notes.

It's pure fun to run around at super-speed, leap and glide over buildings, jump into a bunch of aliens guarding a hub, and slaughter them with your bare hands, still at super-speed. It's so much fun that whenever a mission forces you to do normal Saints Row stuff like drive around in a car and kill people in normal speed with guns, it just becomes a drag. I wanted to keep on being Superman.

The third one is probably a more well-rounded game in the sense that it was more carefully designed (i.e., designed specifically for street-level crime stuff, not Crackdown-like orb hunting), but as an experiment in "let's drop superpowers in our sandbox game and make a story about it", yeah, I had a good time.
Diablo 2 - Lord of Destrucion 1.14D

Hoo boy, I know I'm in danger for saying it but... it did not holds up.
Last time I played with patch that introduce "players 8" command that everyone abuse.
Back then I played all classes with Druid being my favorite. But never managed to beat the game with Barbarian. Somehow voice actors in ENG and POL versions are two different people. One have grim voice while POL one went full Minsc from BG2. Such cheese much silliness...
No idea why but I did not managed to get decent resistances, any of them. Only boosted ICE res to 15, Fire res to 10 and Poison res to 35. And that's it.
Two handed vs one handed... I don't see any reason to use anything beside dual wielding. Damage boos with two handed arms is barely higher. Just don't get it.

And somehow it's harder than Path of Exile (still waiting for PoE 3.0 in September).

Managed to beat the Diablo but dropped after reaching ActV, had enough of this crap...