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Games completed in 2017:
1. Titan Quest Anniversary Edition - Sept 25, 2017 (Normal: Warfare+Hunter build)
2. Max Payne - Oct 10, 2017
3. Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne - Oct 14, 2017

Previous years:
Games finished in 2016
Post edited October 14, 2017 by skeletonbow
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GR00T: Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - finished this one early in January, but never got around to putting it on the list. Overall a great game and one that, IMO, deserves the high praise it gets.

Did have a couple issues with quests that wouldn't fire or just plain glitched out (ran into the widely reported invulnerable witcher from the cat school). Managed to work around that one, but another would not start no matter what solution I tried, and I didn't get to see the 'epilog' scenes with Geralt's love of choice at the end (had to look it up on youtube to see it). Other than that, no real issues. Had the settings cranked way up and it looked gorgeous on the new rig.

One thing I do find odd is how there are many people that decry other games for fetch and/or fetch-and-kill quests, yet this game has a ton of them. Oh sure, they're categorized as 'witcher contracts' but they're still there. And how many bloody smugglers are there in Spikeroog? I eventually gave up investingating all the markers in the water, as they were almost invariably the 3 smuggler chests guarded by the same limited group of monsters. One of my few gripes with the game.

Other quests (many of the secondary, and the main quests) were very well done though, and CDProjekt deserves many kudos for those ones.

Gwent was fun, but I couldn't be arsed finding all the cards or trying to defeat the players in each area to get better/more cards.

Anyway, haven't got the ambition to get into a long detailed breakdown of the game. Just thought I'd post a couple of observations.

Trying out a few games right now to see what grabs my attention, but I've been playing W3 so long that I'm not sure what I'm in the mood for now.
I absolutely loved this game and for myself it is the best game ever made and most of what I have to say about it is total praise and fanboying however I was never shy to point out the few things I disliked about it either. Fortunately a great many of the things I disliked were improved or resolved in patches that came out over time, some of which were after I completed the game so I never got to really experience the changes yet but will some day in the future.

Of the remaining issues in the game that I'd consider weaknesses or flaws I would have to agree with you about the smugglers of Spikeroog however. :) When I play games like this I do so as a completionist and I want to walk over every square inch of the game and see every possible location there is to see, find every secret, every location, every enemy, etc. As a result I had to visit every ? on the maps of which the majority on the Skellige map were smuggler's caches spread out in the water roughly equidistant from each other which made them look totally fake and forced, but the process of visiting each one and fighting the same flying attack monsters over and over to then jump in the water for the loot to get mostly mediocre junk only worthy of being sold to gain more money I didn't actually need for anything became a low point in the game for me which was essentially a boring grindfest just to be able to say I did it and saw everything and could cross it off the list. I wish they had made that part a lot more exciting.

When measured up against the entire rest of the game however, that flaw becomes extremely minor overall and since they are all optional non-essential parts of the game they can safely and silently be ignored without consequence really. Aside from that, any other gripes I had with the game were all relatively minor and most of them were subsequently either patched by CDPR in future patches (such as adding stashes, changing the weight of ingredients and other similar things), or were worked around via community based mods to the game (disabling sword auto-sheath/unsheath, preventing the game from auto-centering view when steering the boat or on horseback, some map view enhancements, etc.)

I'm looking forward to a future playthrough of the game+expansions where I get to experience it in its final glory finally, although it'd be nice to wait it out until I justify buying a new better GPU to experience the game at full native resolution and framerate.
Puzzle Agent 2

By far not as good as the first one. While that game was well written, had a good story, quirky characters and a certain "Twin Peaks" vibe, none of it can be said about Puzzle Agent 2.
Instead the game feels rushed, completely forgets about characters that were introduced just a few minutes ago and the story gets more and more illogical and ends with a "Deus Ex Machina" effect.

It seems Telltale originally planned more episodes, but decided to bring it to an early end when the game was already in production.

Even the puzzles are lazy. They are either even easier than in the first game or trolling the player (am I really supposed to know the first ten numbers of Pi by heart?) and there isn't he same variety as in the first game.

I'm disappointed. Would have hoped for a better sequel.

Complete list of finished games in 2017
I just completed the Space Marine campaign on easy in Dark Crusade. I had to pick easy mode since I was out of practice.

I plan to play it again in the near future as the Imperial Guard.

I will also say I still love the statements made by the librarian units. They are so true especially about criticizing the concept of the open mind.

Edit: I will say the game was made needlessly more difficult with random involuntary minimizations of the screen. This keeps happening with a lot of PC games that I play in fullscreen mode. I tried some modifications on my personal settings and using "Crap Cleaner" but all it does is reduce it at first but then it piles on with more minimizations later.
Post edited January 29, 2017 by infinite9
Clive Barker's Undying
Gameplay:
Quite good actually. The ability to wield both, weapons and magic, at the same time as well as a lot of supplementary items, gives you great variety. The game is far from being the most challenging shooter I've played, but it did feel almost unfair in certain levels. The game has got a nasty habit of spawning enemies behind you or letting them spawn infinitely in a few cases. And I still question the hit detection for those damned Howlers.

Level design:
The levels themselves tend to be rather linear, but offer detours, secrets and collectibles that can make you're character stronger, or offer additional story rewards, such as diaries and notes. Unfortunately, the wast variety of locations and themes makes the game feel disjointed, as if it was stitched together from several different concepts (Haunted mansion, ancient ruins, pirate hideout, a poor-man's R'lyeh, and … cavemen land? Seriously? They went with cavemen in a game that features Hellraiser-like imagery and lovecraftian monsters?)
Oh well, this is what you get if the designers put together a game and only afterwards call in a writer to figure out how it's supposed to make sense.

Story and Characters:
Read all the optional in game materials!
The story is not bad at all and some of the characters are also interesting.
Lizbeth and Aaron get a few nice scenes and spend a good chunk of they're chapters annoying you. On the other hand, Ambrose and Bethany just drop in for they're respective boss battles with little to no prior interaction.
Read all the optional in game materials!
The story feels rushed though. The most voluminous amount of it is dumped on you in the first third of the game (which is not a good way to do it) and the last couple of areas have hardly any at all.
Read all the optional in game materials!

Overall:
An interesting game, for sure, but hampered with almost unfair difficulty at times(I played on normal difficulty), disjointed level design and a story that was clearly added at the last stages of development(but a good one).
In my humble opinion, the good outweighs the bad.
8/10
Post edited January 29, 2017 by benmar
Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star is part-visual novel (like the original Fate/Stay Night) and part-Dynasty Warriors. On the one hand, you have characters monologuing and chatting with each other and on the other hand, you are in control of a badass who is mowing down hordes and hordes of enemies without breaking a single drop of sweat. But, do they mix well? No. Why? Because not only does each part get in the way of the other, but also because none of the two parts are compelling on their own.

The visual novel part is a bit too player-pandering (yes, we get it, the main character is awesome. Anything else you want to add?), a bit too verbose ("Hey guys, we gotta hurry, but before we do that, let's stop and chat for 5 minutes."), a bit too repetitive (also ties to the player-pandering) and annoying at times. Familiarity with the source material will definitely help (I'd argue it's mandatory, even if it's just the animation), but even then, there were times I was scratching my head, trying to figure out what the hell did each thing mean. There were some laughs to be found here and there, but overall, I wasn't impressed by the visual novel part, especially when it interrupted the combat.

Speaking of the combat, it plays like a typical Warriors/Musou game. You control a single character (out of a total 17) and must do battle against hundreds of quasi-mechanical, quasi-digital enemies, who come in various forms like soldiers, archers, bats, commanders and giants. In your disposal you have light and heavy attacks, which can be combined into combos, the abilities to jump, dash and block, as well as the Extella Maneuver, which acts as the game wide-area super attack/musou. You also have access to a rage mode that will grant you increased damage and defense for a short period of time. To further enhance your character, you can equip them beforehands with skills that increase their offense/defense/speed/elemental resistance, etc. and can also cast spells that can heal them, remove a status element, increase their offense, etc.

Your goal in each stage (or at least, in most of them) is to take over a sufficient amount of sectors and then defeat the stage's boss. To take over a sector, you must eliminate all the sector's agressors (commanders or more powerful monsters). Initially, not all of the agressors are present and you must lure them out by defeating enough mooks. While you're busy taking over sectors, the enemy will also be doing the same and you must prioritize which sector to help, as not all of them will offer the same points that are necessary for the completion of a stage. Allowing the strongest sectors to fall into the enemy's hands will lead to a defeat, similarly to your character running out of HP.

The problem with the combat mode of the game is that it gets pretty repetitive. While similar criticism could be levelled against games like Dynasty Warriors or Samurai Warriors, at least those games have a load of characters and stages and they also feature multiplayer. No such luck here, as the game is pretty content-lite on that department, with few characters and stages. Add to that the fact that you will almost never get the chance to use the other characters in the main story and they will be pretty much confined in the side stories and the free battle mode. While the side stories could in theory add some variety to the game, in practice, they end up feeling like nothing more than rehashes of the main story mode.

In the end, Fate/Extella's idea of putting you in the shoes of a servant fighting hundreds of mooks is not a bad idea, but it could do with more variety and more interesting and less convoluted dialog/plot.

Complete list

Link to the official site:
http://fateextella.com/

P.S.: On the plus side, the game's Vita port is a good one, without any horrible visuals, terribly uneven framerate, or ridiculously long loading times that seem to plague your typical Vita port™.
Post edited February 16, 2017 by Grargar
Jan 29 - Dreamfall Chapters
Feb 26 - Owlboy
Post edited February 26, 2017 by Xerafex
Postal Redux

You know, I could just link up my impressions of the original game, point out the differences and call it a day. In fact, I'll do just that:
https://www.gog.com/forum/general/games_finished_in_2015/post1264

Postal Redux is very similar to the original game. It's still an isometric shooter. You're still the Postal dude going on a rampage across 20+ levels that will take you across various locales. You must still kill a specific percentage of hostiles per stage, using your trusty weapons like an assault rifle, shotgun, grenade launcher, rocket launcher and flamethrower. The number of hostiles is still higher than the number of non-hostiles (in most stages, anyway). Hell, even the backgrounds look pretty much the same. So, what has changed?

For starters, the game's visuals have received a makeover. The nice-looking backgrounds from the original still retain their niceness in higher resolution, but I can't say the same for the character models. Whereas they were old and ugly in the original, here they are just plain ugly, like they jumped from a PS2 game or something and it still doesn't feel particularly satisfying shooting them. One of the two complaints I had with the original, the transparency, has been partially fixed by having the shades of the hostiles being visible behind buildings. It's not the most optimal solution, but it's still better than the original. The second complaint, the game's controls, have been completely fixed, as the game now sports proper mouse and keyboard controls. No longer will you have to struggle with the controls to move and shoot properly.

Having said that, the game has become noticeably easier as a result. One way that the game attempts to compensate for it is by imposing range limits to your weapons, something that doesn't work too well, as the shotgun is now strong even from a distance. Another way that it attempts to make it more difficult you is by having enemies see you and react to you before you are even able to see them and by making the grenade throwers more accurate. Despite those, there will be times the game's dumb AI will have enemies just standing there doing nothing or running away from you instead of shooting. They have also become more homicidal and suicidal and they have taken it upon themselves to aid the Postal dude into eliminating civilians, other hostiles and even themselves. Thus, I was able to complete the game on hard mode, without breaking a sweat, whereas I had some significant opposition on the original's normal difficulty.

Some other differences include different animations for the execution moves (rather than just defaulting to the SMG one) having to go the level's exit by foot, instead of pressing F1, a new level, the addition of the Japanese-only Super Postal levels, a remix of the main campaign called Rampage mode and the addition of online co-op for the campaign mode. All of them nice additions, but I can't shake the feeling that Postal Redux feels more like an improved, albeit easier, version of the original, instead of a fully-fledged remake.

Full list.

Link to the official site:
http://runningwithscissors.com/?page_id=1242
Post edited January 30, 2017 by Grargar
PC:
+Ys - The Oath in Felghana

That's a Ys game that I managed to beat without consulting a FAQ. That is delicious! It cranks up the difficulty, and while you don't have to bump from behind or the sides anymore (instead you can swing and use a moveset, which to be honest a half of it doesn't find a good use while the rest is what you're going to rely on, and yes, the game now relies on buttons), you have to be smarter than that or die.

The story itself will keep you hooked to try your best against the bosses too. Political issues, monsters appearing...you do want to learn what the heck is going on, right? The music doesn't step down from the typical Ys feel either!

Overall, you're going to enjoy it. Just don't expect the bosses to be as easy as in the first two Chronicles games. They damn well are harder. They're faster to react, some will shoot bullets and create bullet hells (remember Touhou?) and you're going to make better use of your arsenal than before. Are you up to the challenge?

It may not have the BUMP system which I enjoyed from the Chronicles, and yet it is an enjoyable game. I hope you too get to enjoy it.

The year has only just started.
Bookworm Adventures Vol 2

I've had this game forever and a day, and still every time I start it new I have forgotten how much I love it. It's essentially just another typical word game: you have a pool of random letter tiles and you try to make the best words. But, there's dungeon crawler-like status effects and bonuses built in, so the highest point word is not always the longest. Also, you battle an opponent, so tactical play matters, as you can't afford to blow all your good letters when his/her big move is coming up unless you win.

Anyway, it's a game my wife and I played years ago, and for whatever reason she started playing again and got me into it. It's cute, it's engaging, it's easy to play for a half hour a session.
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benmar: An interesting game, for sure, but hampered with almost unfair difficulty at times(I played on normal difficulty)
With that knowledge, would you recommend playing it on easy difficuty instead?
Ori and the Blind Forest. I really like Metroid-like games and this is a pretty good one. Obviously the thing that really hits you in the face is how good-looking it is. The graphics are probably the best I've seen for a 2D game of this genre. The game reminded me most of Aquaria, which isn't a platformer but it just has a similar vibe. I beat the game first and then realized I hadn't gone to the bonus area added for the special edition, so I went back and mostly cleared that part (I rarely bother with 100 percent of the items in these games).

In terms of gameplay, it doesn't do much that's all that original but it's mostly satisfying to play. Your character runs pretty fast and is quite agile, so it's fun to really cut loose and race through the settings. There are a couple of places in the game in which you're required to move at a slower pace, and it did feel a bit tedious compared to the bulk of the game.

The platforming is challenging but it's nothing that can't be overcome with practice. I do have a criticism in that the game can be very trial-and-error in spots, causing you to die because you couldn't see what lay beyond the screen you're on. I guess you could get through it in one shot but you'd have to have remarkable reflexes and instincts to do so.

Another thing is that during what passes for boss battles, these sequences in which you're being chased through the environment by something really big like rushing water or lava, or a giant owl, the game decides to start shaking the screen. I've seen some other modern games do this and...it's bad enough in action movies and seeing game developers do it is just disheartening. Seeing that I'm about to be swallowed up by the water is tense enough; shaking everything around is more likely to give me a headache than enhance the atmosphere or the player's emotions or whatever.
Finished Act of War: Direct Action last week, after having played it on and off for more than a year. I didn't even know I was playing the final mission until the credits rolled after yet another cutscene. There wasn't even any music over the credits (that I could hear). It was rather anticlimactic. :P Very good RTS game, if you can ignore or enjoy the clichéd plot and the godawful acting of the low-rent cutscenes.

Technically, one could also count Zombie Trailer Park, since I randomly started playing it again, and finally managed to get through the final stage. Whee.

Knowing me, that'll probably be it for "games beaten" for the next few months or more. :P
PC:
+Rayman 2: The Great Escape

I had this game on the PlayStation 1 as a child. I still have its disc but I wonder if it still works. I got it on GOG sometime ago, and I finished nearly a half of it when I got it and the other half today.

The camera is somewhat workable, but may be problematic at times. That however doesn't degrade from it's old school feel. Simple gameplay with engaging mechanics and differing gameplay styles with the most predominant being that of the platformer, and charmful graphics to back up the gameplay and make an excellent blend.

Slide levels however were difficult as heck and some parts could've been...less frustrating, the final boss included. However, I was able to get hooked and play it through, and I can safely say I like it and I don't regret continuing it as an adult. After all, I played through a game involving limbless heroes escaping and fighting back robot pirates.

See my other beaten games here
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benmar: An interesting game, for sure, but hampered with almost unfair difficulty at times(I played on normal difficulty)
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Leroux: With that knowledge, would you recommend playing it on easy difficuty instead?
If you have some history with games like Duke Nukem 3D, Quake or Doom, you should be fine. The game is not 'that' difficult. The unfair bits are situational due to enemy placement, enemy spawning etc.
Some of the encounters felt a bit excessive to me. But if I got through them, everybody should be able to as well.
The game autosaves quite often(most of the time) and you can save and quicksave as often as you feel comfortable.
But, easy difficulty can't be as challenging I suppose. (I only played on normal)
p.s.
I still recommend the game.