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morolf: Gothic
+1 for such an honest review ;)
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morolf: Gothic
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vicklemos: +1 for such an honest review ;)
Thanks. I've now been playing a bit of Gothic 2 though and so far I've been pleasantly surprised...it seems to be a much better game than its predecessor. So maybe the Gothic series can still redeem itself in my judgment :-)
Post edited March 27, 2017 by morolf
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morolf: Gothic 1
[...]story is badly told with extremely silly dialogue
Although it's one of my favourite games, I can understand most of your points, but I've only ever heard the one in your quote from people playing the English translation instead of the German original.
Seeing that you're from Germany I don't expect you to have played the translation, so what do you mean with silly and badly told?
I thought it was great fun and refreshingly cheeky in an "old Berlin" kind of way.
Post edited March 28, 2017 by Klumpen0815
<span class="bold">Wizorb</span>

One of the longest-standing members of my backlog fell from the list during this last weekend. I wanted something uncomplicated to kill a few hours so I decided to undust Wizorb. Now, Arkanoid is by far the game I played the most on my first computer (a good ol' Amstrad CPC 464), so I have a soft spot for brick breakers. And Wizorb is basically that: a 16bit-era-looking Breakout clone with a semblance of an underlying story and a couple of interesting mechanics.

Contrary to the canon of this genre, bricks don't release power-ups when destroyed. Instead they will sometimes give you money, mana, keys or extra lives (which you'll want to collect), and sometimes they will let loose a curse (which of course you'll want to avoid at all costs). Both money and mana are needed for the aforementioned power-ups: the former for buying them in shops (that you can access during a level by spending one of your previously acquired keys), and the latter for being able to cast the ones that come inbuilt in your magic wand/paddle: a fireball and the ability to slightly deflect the trajectory of the orb/ball from a distance.

There are 5 different worlds with 12 levels each, plus a boss fight at the end of each one, for a total of 65 levels. With a minimum ability controlling the wand and a wise use of the two main spells/power-ups the game can be beaten in just a few hours, at least in the nomal difficulty (didn't try it on hard). There is some extra content in the form of a bunch of secret levels in some of the worlds. These levels can only be accessed with a rune that the corresponding world's boss drops after being slain. With said rune in your power, you just have to restart the first level in that world and go through a previously locked door that leads to the secret levels. Being secret, you'd expect them to be quite cool or special, right? Wrong, they are among the most simple and uninspired levels in the game. The only incentive for going through all the trouble is that at the end of each these secret sections you get to rescue a magical child of sorts. There are four of them, and you are told that once they are all reunited they will grant you a super-mega-ultra-definitive special attack. I completed the game, but I never got this ultimate attack. Turned out I first had to help rebuild the whole village/hub, which costs you money, and I just happened to be 25 bloody coins short of what I needed to rebuild everything. So I had to replay the whole first 12 levels of the game, because if you quit a world without finishing it you don't get to keep your gains. When I was finally deemed worthy of the infamous super-attack... I was disappointed again. You only get one of these attacks per level and it's just like a regular fireball, only a little wider and with the ability to go through unbreakable blocks. I'll concede it may be useful for dealing with those last elusive bricks which are difficult to reach with your orb, but after all that build-up I honestly expected something more spectacular than that.

But with the exception of the 'ultimate attack letdown', the rest of the game fit my expectations pretty well. It's a nice-looking and nice-sounding enough brick breaker with tight controls, and it managed to keep me entertained for a while.


My list of finished games in 2017
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morolf: Gothic 1
[...]story is badly told with extremely silly dialogue
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Klumpen0815: Although it's one of my favourite games, I can understand most of your points, but I've only ever heard the one in your quote from people playing the English translation instead of the German original.
Seeing that you're from Germany I don't expect you to have played the translation, so what do you mean with silly and badly told?
I thought it was great fun and refreshingly cheeky in an "old Berlin" kind of way.
I played the German version of Gothic 1, and found some of the voiceacting to be pretty bad (the protagonist's voice is ok, but some of the others...). And some of the dialogues are really silly. I enjoyed a few of them (e.g. when you beat up Mud in the old camp, and the protagonist states "Ich schlag Dich gleich nochmal...Ich steh auf Schlagen!"...that made me laugh :-), but some are really too much. And the story in general is really bad. It starts out promising, the basic concept of that penal colony and its different factions is really cool. But imo nothing much came of this...instead you get this lame story about some archdemon which is told in a sleep-inducing manner.
Gothic 2 seems to be better in this regard, there seems to be much more world-building, lore etc.
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vicklemos: +1 for such an honest review ;)
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morolf: Thanks. I've now been playing a bit of Gothic 2 though and so far I've been pleasantly surprised...it seems to be a much better game than its predecessor. So maybe the Gothic series can still redeem itself in my judgment :-)
Go straight to Arcania, then! :P
Ha!
Megaman. Like my run through Castlevania, it wasn't pretty and I had to continue numerous times, but I finally beat it. Yes, I did use the pause trick to beat the yellow devil. I think the hardest fight in the whole game is actually when you go up against Fireman in the boss rush at the end. What a spaz that guy is.

This is a great run and gun game, but my biggest problem with it is that the controls are quite slippery. Megaman literally slides a very short distance when you stop running. I'd also be very curious to see a technical analysis of the game because I could almost swear the game's got a pretty bad case of input lag. Going back to playing it as a kid, I remember it was one of those classic "Dammit I pushed the button in time!" games and I was doing the same thing last night.
* Dark Souls 2 Original Version : New Game Solo/Offline *

I had finished the "Scholar of The First Sin" version of DS2 last year but after having played DS 1&3 so much in offline mode, I thought it would have been interesting to redo it without resorting to co-op (which inevitably ends up in gang-banging the bosses and making the game too much easier).

At first, I retried playing the SotFS version but after a dozen hours, I thought there were too much design choices which made the game artifically harder than DS 1&3 when playing it solo so I switched back to the original version for a more vanilla flavour.

Naturally, as I already knew the game and what to expect, it was an easy ride but which was still very enjoyable as I could profit more of the mechanics like using the "one million soul" threshold which skips the first half of the game, using some tricks on enemies, completing NPC's questlines, upgrading my stuff in an informed and optimal way, etc. I appreciated all the little stuff which enhanced the experience comparing to DS1 (like the item box management, the multiple slots equipment, etc.) while it's clear than in solo/offline the choice of the hollowing system (health decreasing and non-farmable items to reverse the process) is really bad for inexperienced Dark Souls beginners if they don't do some online co-op to counter it.

I'm currently in NG+ (also on NG+ in DS1) so I'll make a new review when I'm done as the qualities/flaws are different.
Post edited March 28, 2017 by catpower1980
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morolf: Thanks. I've now been playing a bit of Gothic 2 though and so far I've been pleasantly surprised...it seems to be a much better game than its predecessor. So maybe the Gothic series can still redeem itself in my judgment :-)
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vicklemos: Go straight to Arcania, then! :P
Ha!
That's where it really goes bad, isn't it?
I'll probably limit myself to just the first two Gothic games, Gothic 3 already seems to be controversial even among fans, and Arcania is supposedly really bad. I'm too old to waste time on bad games :-)
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morolf: That's where it really goes bad, isn't it?
I'll probably limit myself to just the first two Gothic games, Gothic 3 already seems to be controversial even among fans, and Arcania is supposedly really bad. I'm too old to waste time on bad games :-)
I've played them and personally think the reports of how bad they are have been inflated with a bit of hyperbole. They're not excellent games by any means, and Gothic 2 is probably the best of the bunch (IMO), but after playing the others I found myself pleasantly surprised that they weren't nearly as bad as people report
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morolf: That's where it really goes bad, isn't it?
I'll probably limit myself to just the first two Gothic games, Gothic 3 already seems to be controversial even among fans, and Arcania is supposedly really bad. I'm too old to waste time on bad games :-)
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GR00T: I've played them and personally think the reports of how bad they are have been inflated with a bit of hyperbole. They're not excellent games by any means, and Gothic 2 is probably the best of the bunch (IMO), but after playing the others I found myself pleasantly surprised that they weren't nearly as bad as people report
Being from Europe they are just different from American and Japanese RPGs and people are always rather sceptical when it comes to different approaches and of course the budget is mostly small too so there isn't as much polishing.
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morolf: I'm too old to waste time on bad games :-)
Same here but I'm like a sucker for these. Can't help them crappy ones from time to time!
Beyond good and evil

Good:
Graphics are colorful and nice to look at even after all those years.
The music is good.
Many gameplay elements keep the game from getting stale.
The main character is likable and relatable.

Evil:
Way too short.
Way too easy.
Collectibles required to proceed with the game. (pearls)
Your companions suffer from chronic 'CantShutUpUlosis' and will talk about everything, tell you what you are seeing, where you should go, what you had for breakfast two days ago and even spoil puzzles for you.
Some plot-twists are, and I'm not afraid to say it, stupid and create plot-holes. The final area is the worst in this regard.

Beyond:
The many gameplay elements are nice, but none of them is good enough to carry the game. They are all just mediocre.
The camera sometimes refuses to behave itself.
Most characters are underdeveloped and two dimensional.
The world is interesting, but you won't get to know much about it.

7/10
Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale

Actually pretty nice little game that I enjoyed a lot despites it flaws. But before I started enjoying it I had to change two things. First, I had to turn off the sounds. I still don’t know why but I can’t stand this weird "anime girl sound". At all. Second, I had to stop thinking about the game as a light-hearted trading simulator. Why? Because the game is more like light-hearted relationship simulator which has trading as a core mechanics to increase your relation with various people. Trust me, the game is all about having good relation with people, especially adventurers. You can’t progress if they don’t like you. So yeah, as long as I thought about it as a trading simulator I didn’t really enjoy it because trading was too simplistic. But when I changed my attitude I had a lot of fun even though, as mentioned before, the game is flawed. First of all trading is way too simple. Crafting is much better then haggling. And my second complain is that exploring various dungeons is too boring. You just go around, kill random enemies and take loot. Only the boss battles are somewhat interesting. Still, nice little game.


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Apotheon

A very solid 2D fighting game with a few intense platforming sections (blasted Phlegethon river!). I must admit that the art style is very unique. Sadly, everything else is just good enough. Nothing extremely frustrating (blasted Phlegethon river!) but nothing really special. Combat is manageable but a bit messy. Boss battles are rather dull. The very last one was insultingly easy which is probably something the devs overlooked (your enemy is extra vulnerable against one type of attack). The only boss battle I truly enjoyed was Artemis. Athena and Hades (blasted Phlegethon river!) were above the average too. All in all I got some fun but I doubt I’ll play it ever again. Still, I recommend it for its unique art style.


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