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Halo Wars (Xbox One)

I'm not really a big RTS fan, but I had some fun with it. In fact it's people like me this game is probably aimed at, I doubt really hardcore RTS fans will find it deep enough...it's great for fans of the franchise to get some simplified RTS fun. The campaign was short but fun. I played a few AI games in the squirmish mode as well. I didn't do any multiplayer because I know for a fact I'll get my ass handed to me by every 8 year old on Xbox Live.

It was my last MS Game Pass game before my free month runs out. All up I got to play Metro Last Light, Resi 6, DmC, Halo Wars, Pharaonic, The Book of Unwritten Tales and tried out a few I was curious about- all for the cost of nothing. It's a pretty good idea and something I'll probably use for a month or two each year just to have a cheap way of trying and playing a lot of "fringe" games that I wouldn't really buy. MS also now bundles a code for one month with all Xbox's which gives new buyers an instant way of being able to play around 120 games when they get home- without having to buy a single game.
Post edited November 06, 2017 by CMOT70
Oxenfree (Xbox One)

This was a GwG game on Xbox a few months back. It's what most people would describe as a narrative driven adventure. And you will see most of it's negative reviews fall into the "but it's not really a game" type of argument. But I thought it was a great example of it's genre. Playing this game gave me the same sort of vibes as "Everybody's Gone to the Rapture"- my favorite walking simulator. Oxenfree has a bit more game play to it than a pure walking sim like Dear Esther, but the experience is still very much about the narrative and that drive you have to see the story through.

I can't say much about the story without spoilers, but suffice to say it's a bit deeper than a lot of people seem to think. I have a suspicion that many of those people saying they blasted through the game in 2.5 hours haven't actually REALLY finished the game- they simply got an ending of a sort. I think you almost need to play the game at least two times to really say you've finished. It's part of the story. The games main mechanic involves using radio to bridge and communicate across to another dimension (using a sort of radio triangulation I think) and how that ties to the history behind the island you're on.

The only thing that got on my nerves was the characters. I liked the player character, but the others just pissed me off. I found myself wishing for a "shut the hell up" dialog option all too often. But it was worth playing. Get it on any platform, including Gog.
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Enebias: Completely agree.

By the way, be sure to check Slain - Back From Hell if you want something similar but more focused on combat. It is fantastic.
Yeah, I beat Slain last month and I definitely thought about it while playing Odallus :) They would make for a good "double feature".
The Fall

A very entertaining short game with great voice acting and a nice story to follow.
In this game you take control of an AI who can operate an armor suit and has a mission to save its pilot who is unconscious. The game is a hybrid and combines action sections (cover based shooting), adventure (pick and use items, solve puzzles) and is story oriented.
Pros:
+ great voice acting
+ very interesting AI personality
+ nice story to follow
+ good atmosphere
Cons:
- Very clunky controls (mouse + keyboard at least)
- Some puzzles are way too much adventureish and it ruins the atmosphere sometimes
- Action sections are boring
- The story is too linear and single-threaded. A good creepy story shouldn’t reveal everything leaving a lot of space for interpretation but the game doesn’t even let you explore the story of a facility you are in. Just a few notes left here or there and they are mostly used as a hint what to do next or as an excuse for a totally ridiculous puzzles.
So in the end the main problem with the game is that it doesn’t mix those three aspects well enough. I can still recommend playing this game as it was fun to play it.


Full list
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Ghorpm: The Fall
(...)
- The story is too linear and single-threaded. A good creepy story shouldn’t reveal everything leaving a lot of space for interpretation but the game doesn’t even let you explore the story of a facility you are in. Just a few notes left here or there and they are mostly used as a hint what to do next or as an excuse for a totally ridiculous puzzles.
So in the end the main problem with the game is that it doesn’t mix those three aspects well enough. I can still recommend playing this game as it was fun to play it.
Are you aware this isn't a finished story, and there's a The Fall: Part 2 in the way? In fact, it's already finished, but they are delaying the launch until next February to avoid competing against the big guns during holiday season.
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Ghorpm: The Fall
(...)
- The story is too linear and single-threaded. A good creepy story shouldn’t reveal everything leaving a lot of space for interpretation but the game doesn’t even let you explore the story of a facility you are in. Just a few notes left here or there and they are mostly used as a hint what to do next or as an excuse for a totally ridiculous puzzles.
So in the end the main problem with the game is that it doesn’t mix those three aspects well enough. I can still recommend playing this game as it was fun to play it.
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muntdefems: Are you aware this isn't a finished story, and there's a The Fall: Part 2 in the way? In fact, it's already finished, but they are delaying the launch until next February to avoid competing against the big guns during holiday season.
I'm aware of this but it doesn't really change anything. Please keep in mind that I'm not complaining about a cliffhanger (I'm fine with it) but the lack of background story. Quite recently I've finished "Whispering Willows" and in that game you can meet a dozen or so ghosts which you can skip completely, because what they say is not important for you to follow the story nor they provide any hints. But their presence builds the atmosphere very well. The Fall has just a few notes scattered here or there but they are always important for you to solve a puzzle (e.g. after reading a note a new hot spot appears). There is almost nothing to make you more curious what has happened in the facility, everything is serving its main purpose - provide clues for puzzles to progress the game. I hope the second episode will be better in this respect but I doesn't change the fact that even episodic game should be completely satisfying on its own and here I see a wasted opportunity.
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muntdefems: Are you aware this isn't a finished story, and there's a The Fall: Part 2 in the way? In fact, it's already finished, but they are delaying the launch until next February to avoid competing against the big guns during holiday season.
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Ghorpm: I'm aware of this but it doesn't really change anything. Please keep in mind that I'm not complaining about a cliffhanger (I'm fine with it) but the lack of background story. Quite recently I've finished "Whispering Willows" and in that game you can meet a dozen or so ghosts which you can skip completely, because what they say is not important for you to follow the story nor they provide any hints. But their presence builds the atmosphere very well. The Fall has just a few notes scattered here or there but they are always important for you to solve a puzzle (e.g. after reading a note a new hot spot appears). There is almost nothing to make you more curious what has happened in the facility, everything is serving its main purpose - provide clues for puzzles to progress the game. I hope the second episode will be better in this respect but I doesn't change the fact that even episodic game should be completely satisfying on its own and here I see a wasted opportunity.
OK, wasn't sure so I had to ask. To be honest, I played this game back in 2014 and I don't remember much about it, other than a big disappointment at the end, as it arrived just when the story seemed to get into gear.
Finished Dishonored, an excellent game. I liked the different possibilies in the levels and ended up killing almost no one. I'll play the DLCs later.

Full list here.
There's an online browser game called Aztec God that I played back in July. It's modeled after one of the early Populous games, of which I'm only familiar with The Beginning. It was a fun little game, but the aggressive AI's frequent use of the "drown" spell made me want to pull my hair out! Even when I tried to cripple the AI's mana supply, it often managed to rebuild on the other side of the map. I found myself replaying levels over and over again until I finally won. After playing through the whole game once, I couldn't be bothered to replay it on a higher difficulty.
Rebuild 2 (Kongregate)

A pretty clever little zombie quasi-/streamlined- 4x game, and fun for 4-5 hours. After that, at least on the first two difficulty settings, you've presumably figured out how to win repeatedly. In theory replaying and continuing to amp up the difficulty level would increase the strategic difficulty, but the gameplay itself isn't quite deep enough to entice me to do that.

I was playing mostly to figure out if I wanted to pick up Rebuild 3 in the current HB. If my backlog weren't so big, and my time to play so low (and budget not broken but stretched), I probably would.
How could I forget? Around the same time I was playing Aztec God, I was also playing M&M4. I didn't finish it, but I did progress a lot farther than I expected to. If I'm not mistaken, I called it quits in that dungeon with all the massive strength requirements.
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lanipcga: (...) M&M4 (...)
May I ask:
• why IV?
• why don't you finish?
• did you played/completed M&M1-3 perhaps?

I'm interested in your opinion, because I'm planning my adventure with the series (probably not before 2018). I know only M&M6 (never completed) and I'd like to go the hard way - the whole series from the very beginning (:
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lanipcga: (...) M&M4 (...)
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ciemnogrodzianin: May I ask:
• why IV?
• why don't you finish?
• did you played/completed M&M1-3 perhaps?

I'm interested in your opinion, because I'm planning my adventure with the series (probably not before 2018). I know only M&M6 (never completed) and I'd like to go the hard way - the whole series from the very beginning (:
Good luck with that first one. Had a go at it, but... no. Due to the saving only at inss part mainly. No mapping would be awful too, but there's a great guide on here with all maps. But the lack of saving, nope, wonder how long it's been since I said I really abandoned a game, not just stopped playing but intend to return someday.

But yeah, good question, why 4 alone and not WoX?

And 6 is awesome. Assuming you have a guide handy with the needed info, so you'll just actually play the game.
I'll join in too since I posted in the thread last year (somewhere!)

I have finished this year:

Cats Are Liquid
(2015)- 6.5/10 (06/01/17)
First game I completed this year.
Good: + Cheap (£0.79)| + Longer than expected (5-6 hours)| + Good use of physics| +Nice aesthetics & story
+ Nice sounds/music + Controls well
Bad: -Not that memorable| - Bit simplistic| -Couple of frustrating stages

Song Of The Deep(2016)- 5.5/10 (12/01/17)
Bought this at the same time as Cats Are Liquid but completed after.
Good: + Decent aesthetics| + Very good narration
Bad: - Frustrating puzzles at times| - Dull music, sounds, characters, story| - Slightly clunky mechanics
- Not that interesting

SOMA(2015) - 6/10 (22/02/17)
Had put off until a sale, because I didn't like Amnesia- but it turned out to be actually pretty good
Good: + Atmospheric in the beginning| +Good aesthetics| + Decent characters
Bad: - Not that scary| - Trails off towards the end| - Dull music/story

Star Fox Zero(2016)- 7/10 (08/03/17)
Pre-ordered this but only got to finish it this year due to studying.
Good: + Kept faithful to Lylat Wars (the original)| + Nice use of gamepad| + Fun environments, combat mechanics
Bad: - Clunky controls| - Graphics could've been better

Mario Galaxy 2 (2010)- 7/10 (17/03/17)
Again, I bought this 2 years ago during a sale for the Wii U, but only completed this year.
Good: + Beautiful aesthetics and graphics| + Some levels and characters were unique and fun| + Pretty responsive
+ Good unlocking mechanic of new areas
Bad: - Motion controls a bit clunky| - Length of the game dragged on a bit| - Not much reason to collect all collectables

Rebuild 3(2015)- 6/10 (11/4/17)
Good: Colourful art style| +Some level of strategy involved| +Some buildings are important for different reasons, gives depth to gameplay| + Customisable characters| + Lengthy gameplay
Bad: - Repetitive| - Too many levels, loses interest after a while because of simplistic mechanics
- Grinding involved at the end of levels to get other factions to like you/wipe out factions| -Forgettable music story etc.

Hotline Miami 2(2015)-4.5/10 (04/05/17)
Good: + Interesting group of mechanics| + Combat mechanics still fairly solid like in the first game
Bad: - Much too OTT| - Too story driven compared to first game| - Uninteresting levels
- Music not that interesting, bit too droney

Assassin's Creed Black Flag(2013)- 5.5/10 (26/05/17)
Good: + Ability to sail/upgrade a ship was interesting and fun for a while| + Initially quite fun to explore different places| + fun freeroaming mechanics (as usual)| + Collectables, upgrades fit in with the game
+ based on real events, interesting events at times
Bad: - Clunky controls (like usual in the series), slow ship movement, empty world in places|- Gets repetitive after a couple of hours, seems like the game is drawn out for the sake of adding hours| - Characters overall aren't that interesting, story is bland, music/sound forgettable| - Some upgrades seem pointless
-Feel like you've accomplished nothing at the end

80 Days(2015)- 6/10 (27/05/17)
Good: + Nice stylisation, good steampunk theme| +World is alive and has interesting cultures
Bad: - Didn't feel like there was logic behind things happen in the game, just seemed to be based on luck whether you progress | - not very memorable story in game, characters a bit dull

Maximum Override(2017)- 6/10 (30/05/17)
Good: + Good concept (physics based destruction fun)| + Quite nice aesthetic| + Couple of goals and areas to do
Bad: - Seems unfinished, lacking sound effects and polish| - Poorly optimised and buggy| - Not too much to do, short

Unbox2016- 6/10 (05/06/17)
Good: + Nice aesthetics| + Collectables quite fun to find| + fun movement, sort of works
Bad: - Has a 'made in unreal' feel to it, seems to lack a bit of polish| - Bit buggy, lacking sound effects, average music, story and characters| - No reason to get all collectables

Steamworld Heist(2016)-5.5/10 (08/06/17)
Good: Art and music/sound design fits in well with the steampunk theme| + Character design is interesting
+ Weapons seem powerful and have good punch|+ Interesting campaign about raiding different ships
Bad: Annoying movement system means you can fail a level from miscalculating a single step with 1 character
- Unlockable characters are useless since they don't level up along with your group, so you stick to the same characters| -Easy to ruin your playthrough by accidentally selling equipment| -Hard to differenciate between weapons

Stardew Valley(2016)- 8/10 (04/07/17)
Started following development before it was released, 110+ hours later, i've finally 'finished' it (to the point that i've done the story in the game).
Good: + Well developed characters, world, art style and environments| + Extremely good music/sound design
+ Many different mechanics| + Controls work smoothly| + Addictive and lots to do
Bad: - Combat mechanic is a bit clunky| - Story could've been a bit more detailed

Human Fall Flat(2016)- 6/10 (05/07/17)
Good: + Incorporates physics into gameplay in fun and interesting ways
+ level design is fun and interesting, some nice puzzles and ways to interact with things
Bad: - Some levels were boring| - Lacks any kind of style, story, characters or interesting music/sound
- Seems like a polished tech demo rather than a full game

Wuppo(2016)- 7.5/10 (07/07/17)
Good: +Cute platformer, nice style to it| + Fun mechanics| + World felt alive and well done, charming style
+ Very good music and sound design| + Couple of collectables| +Story was OK
Bad: - Bit easy to get lost, level design could be better| - Difficulty too high in places| - Too much waiting

Runescape(2001/2004) 8.5/10 (24/10/17)
This is what I spent most of the year on, and quite a lot of my time in gaming overall. Over 2,100 hours later, I've finally finished all of the quests in Oldschool Runescape (pre-2007). That amount of time includes all the time since i started in 2005 over 3-4 different accounts. One of the first games that I started to play on PC.
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Good[/i]: The world is believable, rich in detail and fits well with the lore| + Wide variety of activities to do besides combat| + Range of skills to do, good rewards for training skills| + Wide range of monsters and unique creatures
+Many music tracks which are well done, memorable & add to atmosphere| Many quests, many have an interesting story
Bad: -Graphics looked dated at release in 2001/2004| -Sound effects also dated at release| - The endgame content was very grindy compared to earlier in the game when things flowed smoother| -art assets were a little inconsistent at time of rework| -some content useless and abandoned

Deadlight(2012)- 4.5/10 (25/10/17)
Had heard that this was good at the time, but i thought it was a very average sidescroller.
Good: + Interesting diary mechanic reveals more to the story
Bad: - Clunky controls | - Annoying game breaking glitches | - Level design, music, characters, story etc all dull

Shadowrun Returns(2013) 6.5/10 (29/10/17)
Good: +good aesthetics| +powerful weapons| +turn based combat seems well thought out| +interesting classes and races| +good soundtrack
Bad: -Predictable, dull story| -forgettable characters and dull sound effects| combat doesn't end sometimes, have to move in turn based movement

Resident Evil 7(2017)- 5.5/10 (02/11/17)
I don't think it's worth typing a list for this one. Dissapointing, RE is one of my favourite series', but this was about as good as RE4, in terms of atmosphere. It's supposed to be a return to survival horror, which it did do to some degree. The game got split into the first half being similar to traditional horror, then the second half went on too long and was more akin to an action shooter. Awkward controls, boring music, average aesthetics. Barely any enemy variety. Also the glitchiest triple A title i've played in a while, had to do constant restarts to be able to finish the game. The ending is ridiculous and the game was the shortest in the series, finishing in under 12 hours. Paid over £30 for the full edition but gave up playing the game before I could do the DLC.
Post edited November 10, 2017 by cool4345
I've finished Deus Ex - Mankind Divided on Monday.

I bloody loved it! Except the parts where it threw a cog and crashed, but I can live with those really.
Looking forward to the game that will connect the dots between Mankind Divided and original Deus Ex.

One thing I'd really like to see though is Invisible War, the final game in the universe remade. It's a climax to a great world and universe, it's really a shame it was constrained by hardware limitations of the time. It needs to be remade to be a game dev team really wanted it to be.