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Cavalary: Somehow, I expected you to have finished that years and years ago.
I had about 10y gap in my gaming career and it was released during that period ;) Now I'm trying to play all the games I've missed and all the classics I wasn't able to beat/understand when I was a kid. This one is from the first category.

Cavalary: Saw that complaint before, and I still look oddly at it. Yes, there's not that much to DO, not many different skills (usually in my case about as much use of Aard stamina allowed, plus occasional Igni, and then yeah, click when the cursor changed and keep up the swings), but to me it seemed to just... flow, just feel right (unless surrounded and group style not being the best idea and having a hard time clicking on the right enemy, since I stuck to OTS camera). After all, it's not a RTwP party-based game to expect lots of stuff to juggle.
I agree that there is nothing wrong with the game, it's again just a matter of expectations. From books I know that witchers used many different methods and tactics to fight the monsters, which are hard to beat without special skills or elixirs. I can easily imagine amazing gameplay with turn-based fight requiring different strategies for different monsters; or just fights strongly based on different elixirs being obligatory to win. What I've got here is only clicking with some alchemy, which is intriguing, but in general not even necessary if you're good enough in clicking. It's somehow dissapointing, but you're right, I must admit that I was never bored or frustrated with Witcher's fights and in general it works fine as a casual, relaxing gameplay style.

Have you played the sequel? And what do you think about the series? :)
ciemnogrodzianin: Have you played the sequel? And what do you think about the series? :)
Sequel, nope. Old computer could just barely handle it, and that had a dedicated video card, this one doesn't. I mean, could throw that one in it, but for what purpose? So not happening anytime soon.
Series, you mean the books? Really nice. Though... wary of reading the last one now. Knowing how it ends, it's... eh, don't exactly want to go there. Quick reviews: , [url=]2, , [url=]5, 6.

For some reason it won't accept the ToC review. I even tried to just post the ID, as in number at the end of link, not form a link or paste it, so you could replace yourself, and it still won't save.
May work if I link to it on blog? here
Post edited August 15, 2017 by Cavalary
<span class="bold">Dropsy</span>

I didn't like it. I don't like how it looks, how it works and I didn't like the whole idea of the game. The protagonist is extremely lumpish and I find his mission childish and irritating. The only asset of the game is great music.

List of all games completed in 2017.
Finished Quest for Glory 4. Never beaten it before. Pretty damn good. Especially the last half of the game.

the combat really sucked though. 8/10.
<span class="bold">Sproggiwood</span> (Android)

I bought this game for PC a long time ago, but I never got down to playing it until I got its Android version in the recent Humble Mobile Bundle: Roguelikes. This one has got some actual rogue-like elements, like being turn-based, having randomized dungeons, or having a permadeath of sorts: every time you die, you start the next run back at level 1. But it also has some permanent progress mechanics (i.e. you keep the loot from every dungeon run), making it thus a rogue-lite.

You start the game as a Farmer with no special equipment, but as you make some progress you'll unlock up to 5 other classes: Warrior, Archer, Thief, Vampire and Wizard, each one with 4 unique abilities. Also, as noted before, you'll be able to spend your loot in order to unlock equipment (weapons, consumables, and passive buffs) for your PCs.

Its cheerful, cartoony graphics, combined with the almost non-existent difficulty of the first couple of dungeons, can trick you into thinking this is a trivial and too easy game. It's not: you can make do with 'full frontal assault' tactics for a good while, but you'll eventually reach a point (for me it was the 'Floating Isles' dungeon) where you'll be inevitably slaughtered every time. That's when it will pay to carefully study and exploit the abilities of each class, particularly in order to find a way to kill some late game monsters that at first sight may seem impossible or very difficult to eliminate.

It took me a while, but I finally managed to beat the game with all 6 classes. That was with normal difficulty, mind you, so beating it in Savage mode must require quite a lot of dedication. I don't think I'll ever try it, but I still got a fair amount of fun and entertainment out of it as it is, and I can recommend it to any rogue-lite enthusiast out there.

My list of finished games in 2017
<span class="bold">9 Clues 2: The Ward</span>

Once again - really nice HOPA game published by Artifex Mundi. Typical hidden-object gameplay, about 3 hours to complete the whole story, nice hand-drawn graphics, schematic storyline trying to be spooky. Nice as a casual game to be completed between more serious adventures. I like these games, because they don't demand a lot of effort/focus and may be finished in 1-2 evenings.

I don't like that you cannot take all Steam achievements during one gameplay (different achievements exclude each other). I'm not completionist, but in case of these simple games they give you some additional challenge and should not force you to complete the game twice to get all of them :/

List of all games completed in 2017
(temporarily the list cannot be updated due to some technical reasons on GOG forum's side).
Nightmares of the Deep 3: Davy Jones wasn't terrible. But definitely felt like a step down from the 2nd part of the trilogy in just about every way.

Puzzles: often either way too easy (there is literally a requirement to complete a 3-piece puzzle near the end of the game) or just annoying. Rarely felt like it hit the sweet spot

Hidden-object: some of the 'build an item' searches weren't bad, but a few times I switched to the poorly designed mahjong alternative b/c I just wanted to move along. Not the worst, but pretty forgettable.

Plot: Big ol' mess.

Voice acting: On the one hand, there's a guy doing a very excited skeleton pirate who's really all in. On the other hand, there's a character you wait all game to hear speak who's supposed to be a 15 year old girl, and when she finally does, it sounds like a bored 57 year old woman who's phoning it in to boot.

Conclusion: passable. Probably better to leave the trilogy unfinished and imagine your own ending instead.
bler144: ...
Hm, it wasn't that bad in my opinion :) However I must agree that it would be better to skip the sequels. The first game in the series was really good (using the genre's scale, of course) - with great marine theme, spooky atmosphere and amazing artwork - but the sequels, well - nothing but disappointment...
Forza Horizon 2 (Xbox One)

In my experience, more than any gaming franchise, you can always rely on a Forza game to do what it says on the label. Whether it is a regular Motorsport game from Turn 10, or the open world Horizon spinoffs by Playground, you can always rely on a racer that looks and runs as well as possible on the hardware. I see the Horizon games as the logical evolution of Microsoft's original Midtown Madness games from back in the 90's.

I played through what counts as story mode several times, a series of championships linked by road trips in your choice of vehicle class. I also found all the barn cars and drove some ridiculous number of km's overall. Compared to the original Horizon which wasn't a true open world- in that you were restricted to the roads and limited off road fenced areas, number 2 is truly open. You can set a point off in the distance and drive in a straight line over fields and through orchards etc. It's a great world to drive around in just to explore and enter the championships.

Horizon 2 looks stunning, though not as good as Forza 6. Likewise the car handling is more forgiving and arcade like. It's all great fun though, well for people that like driving it's fun.

The only initial downside is the 30fps. The game is perfectly smooth, but after playing Forza 6 so much for the past 12 months (at least 100 hours) at locked 60's takes a bit to adjust back down to 30. But honestly...the Xbox cannot hope to run an open world version of the engine at 60, Forza 6 only has to render a tunnel after all, so can easily maintain the higher frame rate.

Overall I still prefer the regular Motorsport series, but the Horizon games are a great diversion. I'm holding off on the superb Horizon 3 for now...I'm upgrading to the world of 4k later this year and I'm planning that to be my first 4k experience.
bler144: ...
ciemnogrodzianin: Hm, it wasn't that bad in my opinion :) However I must agree that it would be better to skip the sequels. The first game in the series was really good (using the genre's scale, of course) - with great marine theme, spooky atmosphere and amazing artwork - but the sequels, well - nothing but disappointment...
I actually liked both of the first two, so found this one a bit disappointing in comparison. ;)
HITMAN (2016) (PS4)

(*I’ve previously played Hitman 2 and Hitman Contracts, but not Blood Money or Absolution*)

This is fun 3rd-person stealth game. Each mission (or “Episode”) is a single map, you’re given a list of targets to kill and it’s up to you how you wish to go about doing so by exploring around the level and discovering things for yourself.

The levels feel quite alive, there are a lot of people each with their own routines and quirks, some of which can be exploited to help you in your mission.

My main complaint about the game is that it’s too easy, even playing with *all* helpers/hints/HUDs/etc. turned OFF (as I did from the start). I also added some of my own self-imposed restrictions to make the game more fun for me (such as: no using firearms and no stunning/subduing anyone). Things that make the game too easy (even with all the in-game helpers turned off):
- The AI is not nearly suspicious enough of borderline activities. They usually only react if they see you in an area where you’re not supposed to be, but they don’t react if they see you running around or tailing someone in an area where you’re allowed.
- There are way too many “body disposal” locations around the maps, and bodies put in these locations will NEVER be found (the game tells you this explicitly).
- You can now choke everyone with your bare hands, to render them unconscious or to snap their neck. This makes weapons like the garrotte or sedative syringes completely superfluous.
- There are perhaps too *many* different ways to complete your objective. This also makes the levels tend to blend together a bit, since there is not a lot to set each one apart from the others.

There is a harder difficulty level, but I have two major problems with it:
(1) You must play each mission first on Normal difficulty to unlock it for that mission; and
(2) It also restricts you to only saving once during the mission.
I do not enjoy playing the same area/section over and over and over again after I’ve already figured it out, and both of these restrictions would force me to do just that. Similarly, I didn’t play the “Escalation Contracts” (which are replaying the same map but with different targets and adding more restrictions as to weapon used, disguise worn, etc.) because they do not allow saves, failure requiring you to restart the level from the beginning.

The voice acting also made the levels also felt somewhat “same-y” to me (eg. the guards in entirely different regions of the world use the same voice actor and the same lines).

I also have to mention the online component of the game: in order to get a rating at the end of the mission and to unlock different starting areas and different starting equipment, and in order to do “Escalation Contracts”, you *must* to be connected to the HITMAN server for the entire game. The game can be played offline (for the main missions only), but these saves are not compatible with online saves, and as I said above you won’t get rated or earn XP points for offline missions.

However, as far as the base game goes, and despite everything I’ve said above, it is still fun and I’d still recommend it to fans of the genre.
So, a few weeks ago I finished Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell and now also Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow. I finished the PC versions of both games two times in the past, now I played through the HD remakes on PS3. What I really wanted to do was to finally finish Chaos Theory which I barely played back in the day but I thought I'd first replay the first two games.

My relationship with the Splinter Cell games has always been kinda complicated. I kinda hated them when the hype was huge, I kinda liked them when I played them some time later. But now I can say with all certainty: the first two Splinter Cell games are utter crap. I mean, the setting and story are okay, and they certainly managed to create a charismatic and recognisable hero there but God dammit, the gameplay in these first two games just utterly sucks. I've really played A LOT of stealth games over the years and out of all the big ones Splinter Cell just is the worst.

The split jump kinda captures the essence of the games - they are entirely driven by gimmicks that used to impress people back in the day but now that that effect has worn off it's just painfully visible how they utterly lack any substance. I guess the biggest problem is just how badly you can predict anything. The shadows you see barely translate to visibility according to the game mechanics, noise is an even bigger mess and AI behaviour is just utterly chaotic and stupid. And to make it worse they enforce stealth by making Sam Fisher the shittiest operative of all time. Weapons are ridiculously imprecise and Sam is as light-footed as an elephant, often just completely unable to reach a patrolling guard for a stealthy takedown. Finally add utterly crappy level design that is also totally driven by gimmicks but fails to make any good use of the games' core mechanics. All these issues are something I'd expect from some amateurish clone by a small studio but not from entries in one of the biggest stealth franchises of all time. I used to think that the early Hitman games have aged badly but oh boy, Splinter Cell really takes the cake.

And I'm really not just blindly hating on the series here, I've finally started playing Chaos Theory and that one is very promising thus far and seems to have taken care of the biggest issues from the earlier games. The only beef I have with the game so far is that Sam looks like a monkey.
Post edited August 20, 2017 by F4LL0UT
<span class="bold">Gunbrick</span> (Android)

This is a game in which you ride a cubic contraption that's got a shield on one side and a gun on the opposite one. Under this silly premise one can find a damn good puzzle platformer.

The 'gunbrick' can rotate one space to either side, or be propelled to the left/right/upwards by shooting the gun. Because of the discrete nature of its movement it leans more towards being a puzzler rather than a pure platformer. There are a few action-based sections (most notably the boss fights), but you'll often be required to stop for a moment and think about how to overcome the next level section.

I played it on my tablet with a Bluetooth gamepad, but I guess it can be easily controlled with on-screen buttons (AFAIK it's only available for Android and iOS devices).

I had lots of fun with it, and my biggest complain would be about its length. I certainly wouldn't have minded a bunch of more levels. There's an earlier (and way cruder) online flash version you can try for free, if you want to get a taste of what's it about.

My list of finished games in 2017
<span class="bold">The Whispered World: Special Edition</span>

Beautiful point'n'click adventure with great graphics and soundtrack, like most of Daedalic's. The voice acting for the main character, the unwilling clown Sadwick, is not the greatest ever but I didn't find it as insufferable as many claim either. I was way more annoyed by the realization that the Linux version seemed based on a mobile build (the tutorial literally asks you to "tap the tablet screen" at one point), by several untranslated descriptors ("baum", "stein"), or by some erroneous subtitles (there were many referring to a "ladder" when talking about another object), to cite a few.

Despite the aforementioned annoyances, I loved the story, the characters, and most of the puzzles, particularly those involving Spot and its different shapes. On the other hand, I stumbled with a couple of them that relied on using the mouth icon in the UI for something other than talking.

The biggest letdown was right at the end, though. I'm not referring to the fact that the ending can come as totally unexpected and seem a little cheap (though the more I think about it the more sense it makes to me and the more inescapable it seems), but to the choice illusion they give you at the end. I don't think I'm spoiling anything as it's literally the last thing you do in the game: be presented with a choice that isn't actually a choice, as they won't let you choose one of the options, and will force you to opt for the other one. I felt particularly tricked since I made the 'good decision', but I saved the game just before that in order to reload it afterwards and see the other outcome... which wasn't there. What a bummer.

I'm no longer mad at the game as I was right after finishing my playthrough, but I still think it's a dick move by the devs. However, I also don't think my overall positive impression should be tarnished by a single bad design decision. I'd still recommend this game, but with some reservations.

My list of finished games in 2017
A pair of Android puzzle games I've recently enjoyed (and beaten):

<span class="bold">klocki</span> (Android)

The recent Humble Mobile Bundle: Puzzles (Critical Hits)! included two games by the same developer: HOOK, which I had already played long ago, and klocki, which was new for me.

klocki is, much like HOOK was, a relaxed and slow-paced puzzle game. Its only goal: to form continuous lines. Its only mechanic: to exchange (and later on, to slide and to rotate) pieces in order to achieve said goal. It's got 82 levels of more or less increasing difficulty, although they all can be solved without too much trouble. Sometimes it's only a matter of experimenting a bit, and the solution comes to you almost all by itself.

Besides Android and iOS, it's also available for PC (Windows, Mac, and Linux), though only on Steam.

<span class="bold">Zenge</span> (Android)

I also got this one with the same Humble Mobile Bundle. Like klocki, it's a relaxed puzzle game with a simple goal for each level. In this case, bringing some geometric shapes to their designated places by sliding, rotating, reflecting, and resizing them. The first couple of levels give a false impression that it's all going to be a walk in the park, but the later third or so of its 70 levels can leave you scratching your head for a good while before you find the solution.

This one is also available for PC (Windows, Mac, and Linux again) on Steam.

My list of finished games in 2017