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<span class="bold">Leaving Lyndow</span>

Gorgeously looking first-person exploration/adventure game (a.k.a. walking simulator). It's basically a proof of concept for their upcoming, full feature game <i>Eastshade</i>. As such, it's very short: it took me less than one hour to complete it, even taking things quite slow. It tells the story of young Clara's last evening in her home village before joining the Guild of Maritime Exploration on a dangerous scientific mission. Clara will visit all the places in town that are special to her, and will meet all the important people in her life. Some of them will encourage her while others will express their concerns and fears that she might not be returning alive from the expedition. The locations to explore are few and rather small but also astoundingly beautiful and detailed: you can examine many objects that will help you peer into Clara's story and past.

I bought it on itch.io briefly before the devs dropped Linux support as a recent update had broken something in the Linux build. Fortunately they were nice enough as to provide me with a download link for a previous build that did work, so I gladly refused the refund they offered me. Nice guys.



<span class="bold">Haven Moon</span>

Another first-person adventure game, made by a single guy as a love letter to the Myst games of yore. In contrast with Leaving Lyndow, this one is mainly focused on mechanical puzzles rather than on storytelling. Indeed, the story is pretty minimal: for some reason you arrive at Seleos, the moon of the devastated planet Menra. You're alone in this moon as its former inhabitant, who communicates with you via some notes he has left behind, is nowhere to be found. You goal will be to get everything in the several islands of Seleos in working order again so you can escape.

The buildings and environments in Haven Moon are nearly as beautiful and well made as those in Leaving Lyndow, but they feel much emptier and soulless since you cannot interact with any objects other than buttons and levers. And that's a real pity, because the story of the former inhabitant of Seleos could have been delivered via some of his personal objects instead of the typical and somewhat contrived mechanic of paper notes.

The puzzles are for the most part challenging but fair, even though sometimes it's better not to overthink them. I'm particularly thinking about the teleporters and their coordinate system, which makes no sense. But other than that Haven Moon is a nice game that complements quite well with Leaving Lyndow, as it offers most of what is lacking in the latter.



My list of finished games in 2017
Tales from the Borderlands. Oh man this was so, so good. For some reason I kept putting off picking this up even though I'm a big fan of the Borderlands game. I'm not quite sure what was stopping me, maybe I doubted that they could make a good enough story out of it or something but oh boy was I wrong. The characters in this are so endearing and the story was really cool - this is hands down my favourite Tell Tale game to date and I implore anyone who likes this type of game to give it a shot even if you don't know or like the borderlands games. What an adventure.
Post edited July 13, 2017 by heartburnron
<span class="bold">Yellow</span> (Android)

Nice little game with a very precise goal: find out a way to turn the screen completely yellow. And that's all, for 50 different levels. Of course no two levels are the same, though some of them are pretty similar to previous ones, only turned up a notch. Others, on the other hand, are quite unique and original. All in all, a worthy time waster.

If you don't own a mobile device, or don't care for mobile gaming, there's also a browser version (with only 25 levels, though) on Kongregate.


My list of finished games in 2017
Post edited July 14, 2017 by muntdefems
Highschool possession

A very bland VN. Too short (1 hour for a full run, only two possible endings). Art is subpar for me. Tries to deal with important matters (bullying, depression, suicidal thoughts) but fails to be anything else than gloomy and a bit unsettling. For me, a bad VN.

So far in 2017: https://www.gog.com/forum/general/games_finished_in_2017/post15
<span class="bold">Eschalon: Book I</span>

Just as I thought <i>Leaving Lyndow</i> and <i>Haven Moon</i> kind of complemented each other, in the sense that each one excelled at what the other lacked the most, I arrived at a similar conclusion with <i>Avadon: The Black Fortress</i> and Eschalon: Book I. They are both 'old school' RPGs with pretty simple graphics, but the list of their similarities ends here. Eschalon I differs from Avadon I in the following aspects:

· The story is much simpler, more formulaic, and quite predictable.
· You only control a single character all the time.
· You get to build the starting character, and the stats are more numerous and complex.
· You can easily end up with a useless character build that prevents you to make progress.
· Almost the entire world map is open to you right from the start, so you can choose to follow the main quest line or to explore as you see fit.
· There's a day/night cycle which affects some of your abilities.
· There's an alchemical crafting system for making potions and bombs.
· The inventory is limited.
· The animations are way better.
· There is ambient music, something that was totally absent in Avadon.


After two false starts (i.e. unbalanced builds) I completed the main story and almost all the side quests with a magick user specialized in fire spells. I still probably did something wrong, because I could never face more than 2 or 3 enemies at once, so I had to resort to kiting a lot. Plus, even though my mana regeneration rate was quite high I had to rest too often and for too long for my taste (e.g. fighting during a couple of in-game hours, then resting during a day and a half). At one point all this fighting-resting routine became rather tedious.

In the end, the excessive need for resting notwithstanding, I enjoyed this one quite a bit. There are different endings, so I'm not sure whether Book II features a different character and story, or it goes full Avadon, assumes you made a particular choice, and continues the story from there. Be as it may, I'll be finding out pretty soon as I'm looking forward to continuing the Eschalon saga.


My list of finished games in 2017
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muntdefems: <span class="bold">Eschalon: Book I</span>
(...)
After two false starts (i.e. unbalanced builds) (...)
That's exactly where I am. Except it was three approaches, as far as I remember (one was just to add cartography and activate automapping). Any tips? Lack of which abilities may become a blockage further in the game?
Decided to play neighbours from hell 1, pretty funny,played all the tricks on the neighbour but don't know if i really need 100% everything to see something new.
Playing each stage and doing all tricks is enough for me here
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ciemnogrodzianin: Any tips? Lack of which abilities may become a blockage further in the game?
From my limited experience, and as a general rule, I'd say you need to specialize. Jack-of-all-trades builds don't work in this game.

In my case, as a magick user, I put as many points as I could into stats and abilities that increased mana regeneration speed. That's what made the difference for me (even though, as I said in my review, I still felt like I had to rest too often).
avatar
muntdefems: <span class="bold">Eschalon: Book I</span>
(...)
After two false starts (i.e. unbalanced builds) (...)
avatar
ciemnogrodzianin: That's exactly where I am. Except it was three approaches, as far as I remember (one was just to add cartography and activate automapping). Any tips? Lack of which abilities may become a blockage further in the game?
Oddly, had no issues despite the waste of points early on. Had a glance at some guides at first, divine seemed the clear choice, went with it, but the early points in meditation ended up quite a waste, those in lock picking pretty much completely so, and that's a few levels right there alone, and also ended up putting a bit too many in divination, as you see I ended up past the max you can use (and I don't even have level 3 spells, so the practical max usable for me would be way lower). Now was just doing elemental too, as far up as it'd go. The rest, other than the dodge taken at creation, is just books and trainers (for anything but your starting/primary combat skill, see what trainers are available, find them, use them to get to 5 (trainers will not train you past 5, so using anything else to get to there wastes theoretical points), then use a book to get to 7, then if you want to train further, train from 7... and for what no trainer is available, if you can find a book, use it to get the first point, as it spares you the cost of 3 points for an unlearned skill).
Cleared just about everything I could find, just didn't go into the goblin fortress yet. Minotaurs are rather a pain, takes a lot of running, but they're not an issue, just run and cast when you can. Those eye things despite giving the most exp (from what I met so far) are rather a joke, with my magic resist.
As for attributes, for a spellcaster, perception, perception, perception. Seriously. Gather gear to boost int and wis just when learning spells.
So long since my mana regen was maxed when outdoors, being druid, 1/turn. Sure wish it'd could go over that, but ah well. I wander around a bit when needed.
Here are shots (edited to have full lists in one of course). So now with the spells I have I do mostly act as a warrior (most things resist the divine damage too easily anyway). Have healing, bless, leatherskin (didn't bother learning stone yet), ogre strength, those are staples. Ogre strength always on even just to carry stuff (and not have the weight in hands issue too), bless and leatherskin on for fights, heal as needed. When possible, fight in the dark and cast cat's eyes, this makes a huge difference! Entangle when relevant, some things hit hard, but depends on resistance, if they resist too much, the MP is better spent elsewhere. And when things get tricky, haste (brief as it is, has quite an impact).
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Thanks for your advice, muntdefems and Cavalary. I hope it'll help to beat the game. I loved the atmosphere (camping at night is great!) and liked the gameplay, so it would be a shame to give up ;)

<span class="bold">The Blackwell Legacy</span>

The first in the series (and still the only one owned by me). Short and simple point&click adventure game strongly based on dialogues (no puzzles and only a few items to interact with). Since I know there is more games in Blackwell series, it's clear that this one introduces you to the plot and characters and it's easy to predict the next storylines. I wonder if the next games are still intriguing enough when most of the mistery is already solved.

List of all games completed in 2017.
L.A. Noire (360)

I played the "Complete Edition", which has 5 extra cases. Initially this game felt like a counter to the first 2 Mafia games- a linear story told within an open world setting from the other side of the law. A good premise. But it failed for me. Whilst Mafia knows it's place and keeps things simple by telling a movie style gangster tale, L.A. Noire lost it's way quite badly....I think from trying to do too much. It starts off well, telling how an ex Marine starts out his career in the LAPD and tells of his rise. But the game tries to tell too many stories. From beat cop to traffic detective and so on, each desk brings a new set of cases, story and a new partner. Plus there's an overall meta story. Maybe I'm just too stupid, but it became too much effort for me to follow and in the end I didn't care.

Okay so I didn't like the story, the game could still have been okay with good gameplay. The driving is on par with GTA games, but everything else is actually pretty crappy. The shootouts are not great. Too many (most) cases end up in scripted chase scenes, where no matter how well you drive the enemy are going to get to their script points, so why even bother trying? The tailing sequences were common and rubbish.
Worst of all is the games selling point, the interrogation of suspects. It isn't well done. And it makes no difference. You can fail all the interrogations, falsely accuse people all you like (in fact part of the story involves knowingly doing this) get unbecoming ratings in cases and it makes no difference, the game moves forward like nothing happened.
In one memorable mission I got bored, backed over my partner in the carpark, caused three traffic accidents, ran over two pedestrians on the way to the crime scene. I then backed over my partner again and drove off without him whilst stealing the Coroners car from the crime scene and later accused the wrong suspect after failing every question in the interrogation. I got an unbecoming rating for the case, chewed out by the superior officer and went onto the next mission like nothing happened. WTF? It's meant to be a serious game.

The game has no real side missions apart from very simple beat cop callouts to intercept crimes. So nothing there to rescue the game either.

Far too many clues tying locations together, felt way to big a jump in logic for me as well. Almost bordering on fantasy land sometimes.

So yeah, by the end, that's all I wanted- the game to end. Unfortunately the game pulled me in too far initially, before I realized the game was crap- otherwise I would have cut my losses and quit early.
Post edited July 15, 2017 by CMOT70
avatar
muntdefems: <span class="bold">Eschalon: Book I</span>
(...)
After two false starts (i.e. unbalanced builds) (...)
avatar
ciemnogrodzianin: That's exactly where I am. Except it was three approaches, as far as I remember (one was just to add cartography and activate automapping). Any tips? Lack of which abilities may become a blockage further in the game?
I've completed all three Eschalon games and really enjoyed them, but unfortunately it was a number of years ago and I can't remember enough specifics to provide much advice. However, I remember getting some excellent character building advice from the forums at Basilisk Games. This thread is an excellent place to start:

http://basiliskgames.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&amp;t=4259

Hope you enjoy the games as much as I did!
Finally finished my way to the Platinum Trophy in Tales of Xillia 2! It took me little bit more than 302 hours, more than double the time for Tales of Xillia 1 Platinum, but 30 hours less than Tales of Graces f Platinum :P

The Last trophy, which I was missing was the cameo coliseum fight Trophy for Cameo Ending, where, instead of my group, Elle and the world was rescued by party made of characters from Tales of Phantasia and Tales of Destiny :P Cress, Stahn, Rutee and Mint.

Despite getting to level 200 was little bit longer than expected, I have really had a lot of fun doing various task for getting some of the harder trophies, but now I am just without an idea, what game to play next. I am still missing few trophies in Project CARS GOTY, but they are the most grindy one, and I am kind of to tired of racing in last few months :/

Well, one of the options would be go for the Final Fantasy XII Zodiac Age, because it was really long time, when I have played it last time, but there are still some PS3 games, in which I really want to find out some secrets including Dark Souls games. And also my GOG backlog is still not getting any smaller :(

My list of games finished in 2017
Post edited July 15, 2017 by MMLN
Had no internet the last few days but finished a few games in that time.

Soul Calibur 2 (PS2)

First time playing a Soul Calibur game, and it was good to know the general strategy for these types of games works in this one as well. Mash every button and pray. The main story mode see's you on a quest to find the sword Soul Edge, a weapon of awesome power, and along the way you get into many situations that see you fighting someone, usually going along the lines of "For some reason I decided to go off the path and go into an abandoned prison, surprise surprise I ended up getting attacked by a former prisoner". Some missions have certain parameters such as requiring you to knock your opponent against a wall (It doesn't tell you what combo's will knock an opponent into a wall so I had to use a walkthrough to find out). It wasn't particularly difficult, except for a few missions, one of which involves you having to fight 5 enemies in a row with almost no health regen between rounds. I don't play many of these types of games, and while I think it is good, I liked Def Jam: Fight for NY better.

Alone in the Dark

Very similar to Resident Evil except you fight things other than zombies based on Lovecraft's work such as: Some kind of bird thing, a giant worm, a backflipping pirate and a fire breathing tree with a face. The game is short, and features many insta-death scenario's. You play one of two characters, one who will end the game happily ever after, and one who will get dragged into further situations in the sequels. The game relies on you having to solve puzzles to defeat enemies, as a decent amount of them can only be killed a certain way, this often requires you finding some notes saying "X is defeated by Y", then looking for Y whilst avoiding X, then killing X. There are some bugs, the bow is essentially useless as you can throw arrows to achieve the same effect, and there is a lot of backtracking, especially at the end. It's an example of one of the first survival horror games... but the first of a genre is rarely the best, but at least they're still enjoyable years later. I'd recommend this game and it's available on GOG.

Aliens vs Predator Classic 2000

This game is a FPS with 3 separate campaigns: Colonial Marine, Alien, Predator. This boils down to 3 types of playstyle: Frantic Survival Horror, Stealth/Action, Godmode. The colonial marine campaign is definitely the hardest, for some reason whenever a station gets invaded by predators or aliens they only ever send 1 person in to deal with it, that poor sap is you. Every enemy you face is perfectly capable of killing you in under a second, the AI of the aliens is basically 'run frantically towards you screaming' which in most other games would be terrible but works well in this, you're equipped with a motion detector which will give you half a second's warning of any enemies appearing. It's probably one of the best survival horrors I've played.

The Alien campaign is different, you're capable of one shot kills and climbing any surface, but you also have barely any health. This campaign relies on you sneaking around through vents, avoiding those frustratingly annoying flame throwers and trying to position yourself to rip through an enemies throat which is the only way to restore health. It's the longest campaign and your ability to climb any surface makes it hard to know where you're meant to be going. But other than that it was also a good campaign.

The Predator campaign is the easiest by far, where as I spent a few hours on the other 2, this one took around an hour to complete. The strategy is either go invisible and slash everything to pieces, then healing yourself, or just spearing everyone to death. You have a huge amount of health, Aliens are no longer scary, just annoying. Humans are pathetic and easy. The only real difficulty comes with in the 5th level, and once you've gotten past the difficult point, it's incredibly easy.

Overall this was a great game, I never got the chance to do the multiplayer but the campaigns were great, I'd highly recommend it and it's on GOG.

Super Mario Bros 3

Ah, a huge improvement from the 1st one. You can go left, there are no levels with invisible blocks or castles where you have to take a specific route otherwise it resets. There is a map screen this time round, which allows you to power up before a level or to avoid certain levels altogether. While you do have to fight the same boss about 15 times in each mini castle, the final level in each world has a unique boss. My only complaint is about the last world, World 8, the dark world, is called that because the background of the levels is plain black, however half the levels see you having to dodge Bob-Ombs, Cannon Balls, Bullet Bills and Wrenches, all of which are also black, it is incredibly difficult and frustrating. I'd recommend this if you wanted to play the original Mario Games, but Super Mario World is still the best in the series imo.
Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss game that change next 20 years of game evolution.

Timeless extremely good game which is relatively difficult, since you can do some things which will prevent you finishing the game. I can recommend this game to everybody, but please be careful and play with some walktrough (if it will be your first time). I had problems with jumping and levitation, sometimes game did not accept input from keyboard - I do not know why.

Warning, this game contain bug which can prevent you from successful finish -> if you put too much things to single level, then game can broke!!!
Post edited July 15, 2017 by IXOXI