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Deadlight Director's Cut, Nov 23 (GOG)-Ugh this game was trying way too hard. The story was pretty awful and predictable. The platforming elements were not great and the somewhat unresponsive controls didn't help any. Thankfully it was pretty short.

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Hamlet, or the Last Game without MMORPG Features, Shaders or Product Placement

Although, to be honest, I used a walkthrough for every second or third screen. It takes little more than an hour to play through and I wanted to never have to wonder about whether it might be worth playing again. So I played through it just to see how bad it really it is. And yeah, it's terrible. Graphics and general idea are nice, but the gameplay is nuts. A lot of trial and error, wildly clicking everywhere on the screen just to see where there are hotspots you can interact with, and then find out what to do with them in what order and why. Another problem is that the trial and error gameplay often means you have to watch the same slow animations again and again before you can try another time, and sometimes you need a good eye to spot the tiny differences on the screen. And it is first and foremost a mobile game, which means that there are puzzles which require quick tapping on various hotspots that is easier to do with touch controls than with the mouse. Few of what you do actually makes sense, and there are "puzzles" where the solution is watching the same animation for 7 times until something changes, or being patient and hopeful enough to click on the same hotspot for 50 times - the very definition of Insanity™. This might have been one of the best mobile games during its time of release, but that just shows the lack of competition. Good graphic design and a decently funny idea don't make for an enjoyable game yet.
Post edited November 24, 2018 by Leroux
Full Throttle - a bit of a thumbs down actually or meh.....

I started it about 20 years ago and enjoyed the early characterisation and story and I've finally finished it. So the story was pretty good but the mimi-games for me were too difficult and ruined the. The puzzles ranged from too easy to 90s impossible and trial and error puzzles, so I can't say I enjoyed them. It was a bit on the short side too.

It's still probably essential play for any adventure fans. But I definitely much more in Revolution and Sierra camps over Lucas Arts.
Burly Men At Sea

This is a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure game that feels like a stylized picture book. It's alright, but I can't relate to the very positive reviews. I have to guess it's because it's a mobile game, again. And just like several other acclaimed mobile games I've tried, it's art style over gameplay. The gameplay mostly just consists of clicking, holding and moving the mouse to the right or left to show the burly men where to go. And sometimes there are situations where you're expected to click somewhere to resolve the problem, but it's not really clear where and why, you have to find out by wildly clicking around. One playthrough takes 10-20 minutes, and then you can try to find other paths. I think there are about 12, but I stopped after the third one, because even though the game helpfully speeds up scenes you've already experienced by cutting down the dialogue a bit, it still leaves a lot of slow repetition and tedious walking. And the new adventures you can find are nice enough, but not really all that exciting and worth putting up with the repetition, IMO. Yes, it has nice and relaxing sound design and music, but that just increases the likelihood of players getting sleepy while playing it. There are much better CYOA games on the PC.
Post edited November 24, 2018 by Leroux
Secrets of Rætikon

This one was actually fun despite the lukewarm reviews I've seen. I found it interesting enough to finish it in one sitting (well, with a short break in between to do some last minute shopping, but anyway, in one evening), and it took me about 3-4 hours. It might be a bit more exciting if you don't really know what it's about yet, so read on at your own risk.

You get thrown into the game without much information, there are a few unintrusive tutorial prompts in the background explaining controls, but there is no mission briefing, no backstory, everything is told via environmental storytelling or shorter, somewhat mysterious stone inscriptions written in runes you have to decipher if you want to know the meaning. Runes are secret collectibles, and once you've found a few of them, you can either try to find all or figure out the rest by deduction. However, deciphering the messages is completely optional and only for the player. You have to do it on your own and the meaning is your only reward. I thought this pretty cool, it just clicked with me because it's something I enjoy. The graphic and sound design also helped to create a sense of mystery and wonder.

The goal of the game is to find seven artifacts and insert them into a machine, to get the artifacts you need to collect some kind of magical currency. The unique side to it is that you're a woodpecker creature of sorts who can only fly and grab things. There are several predators obstructing your mission, and you can't attack them directly, you have to avoid them, lure or throw them into environmental hazards like thorns, or drop rocks on them etc. There are also magpies and other thievish critters trying to steal your artifact when you're on your way back to the machine. All of these creatures can be a great annoyance, but it's part of the challenge. There's quite a bit of backtracking involved, but it wasn't too bad. I liked the secrets and simple puzzles (pulling rocks, putting statues back together), and that the game was so obscure and at the same time easy to understand, and that it was both cute and evil. I didn't bother to find the last three runes before finishing it, but in the end I was able to read the rune alphabet without looking at the sheet and I also found the secret power.

All in all, it was a nice surprise. When I started to play it, I only did so to confirm that it's not worth my time, but it turned out that it was.
Post edited November 25, 2018 by Leroux
Had a lot of fun with Project Warlock.

It's still updating, so it should improve in a lot of areas. For a game that mimics the classic 90 degree wall limitations and floor flatness of early FPS games, it actually does interesting things with most of its levels. Weapons are fun, but the whole spells and mana system could use a little re-imagination. Most enemies are great fun, but most bosses felt underdeveloped (the first and the last are somewhat memorable, the rest are passable)

Also, between yesterday and today, I forgot myself again in Adelpha thanks to Humble Bundle's weird free temporary download of Outcast Second Contact.

Outcast, of course, still is an amazing game, but the remake reutilizes so much from the original that it ends up feeling unnecessary. The character animations are the worst offender, since they were not really made for such detailed characters, so they end up feeling awful a lot of the time. And the damned thing is SO BUGGY.

The updated environments were lovely. I don't hate Cutter's dudebro's makeover, but I'll forever miss mistaking him for a black man, since he was so tanned in the original.

On a side note, this is my third or fourth play through this game and I still haven't learned to properly use and abuse the teleporters.
Just finished Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception on PS4. I still loathe this series. Graphically the games sure have improved and it's crazy how good this game looks, considering it's just an upscaled PS3 title. Also the sound and music are as good as it gets. Alas, with everything else they stuck with what I've loathed about the series since the original game.

First off: I fundamentally hate the nature of these games. I like these adventure kinds of games, visiting exotic locations, uncovering ancient mysteries and such. I even like the characters and some of their dialogue. However, I absolutely loathe that these characters and their adventures are used as the background for a game that is like 90% combat, utterly mediocre combat at that. I enjoy even the most brutal and minimalist shooters but God dammit, I don't want the adventures of the lovable Nathan Drake to revolve around killing people and little more. It especially hurts how oblivious the heroes are to all the violence. It just doesn't work. At all. "Ha ha, sully, donkeys are stupid." *breaks some guys neck* "Right you are, Nate!" *shoots a random guy in the face* But when it comes to killing the big villains they suddenly have qualms. What the fuck.

The one thing that the games really have going for them is how spectacularly they are staged. Lots of unreal over-the-top moments that often offer jaw-dropping visuals. The problem: I FEEL that it is staged. I don't give a shit about anything going on in these games because the most absurd situation is plausible according to these games' rules, no matter how dangerous a moment seems, I know that things are happening the way they are supposed to and the game will provide the most unlikely solution in a moment, I literally never get excited while playing these games. It doesn't help that the action presented in the cutscenes is in utter dissonance with the action happening during the gameplay.

And this fakeness is not limited to the action and cutscenes and whatnot, it's the exact same with the platforming and riddles. In a good platforming game you learn the rules: you get a feel for your character's abilities, you learn to look out for certain objects in the environment and you master that. In Uncharted there's nothing to master, there's not even consistency in the distances Drake is able to overcome. You just press X and hold the stick in the direction that the level art guides you and he will make that jump. What's funny, sometimes the game glitched out on me and Drake literally floated through the air to the closest ledge or platform. That's how shitty the platforming is in this game. It's as absurd in case of riddles. There are a few okay riddles in this game, albeit easy ones. But often you enter a room, you look around for important details but then one of the NPCs goes "look here, Drake" and suddenly the action button becomes available in a spot you had already checked. That's just so dumb.

Anyway, so the combat is mediocre and for me personally often highly frustrating, so much that I got close to rage quitting a few times. It blows my mind that with a hero whose main talent is parkour shit is not able to really use that to his advantage during combat. You can't outrun or dodge gunfire, switching positions even for a moment will often result in almost instant death. The game really forces you to stay in cover most of the time and just keep shooting until everyone is dead. But then there's sequences where you will get overrun or bombarded by grenades, which forces you to get out of cover, and then it's up to the gods whether you will get shred to pieces or not. It doesn't help that the health recovery is super slow in this game. And curiously Uncharted 3 was even less diverse than the previous games combat-wise. Even when you finally encounter some supernatural elements it's still the regular gun combat, whereas the previous two games used this stuff to really shake things up a bit. The game also fails to provide fun new weapons or anything of that sort. And the "stealth" mechanics are as crappy as ever.

Anyway, the game did provide some beautiful vistas, there were a few visally super impressive sequences that I truly enjoyed, the story was interesting at times, if painfully cliched and often utterly stupid. So it's not all bad. However, I sure wish it were more like the new Tomb Raider games which suffer from none of the issues I have with Uncharted. There the platforming is real, there's a lot of really good puzzles, the combat and stealth mechanics are much better, I get to actually explore exotic locations and the games actually acknowledge all the violence and cruelty. How Uncharted has been getting away without any of these things is beyond me.

Oh yeah, also, from what I understand the PS3 version had some sort of splitscreen coop which apparently has been removed in the PS4 remaster. Well shit.

Anyway, still looking forward to Uncharted 4, if only for the amazing views and to get some more time with the (during cutscenes) lovable characters.
The Suffering (PC)

Another of my 'horror games to play at Halloween' that got delayed to November. This is a survival Horror/Action game that see's you star as Torque (Great Name), a man convicted of murdering his ex-wife and children. Sentenced to death on a prison, which is on an island on which also sits a witch burning site, an old asylum and a Slave Trader ship wreck, of course it all goes to sh*t and the island is invaded by horrible demons. You have to escape, fighting your way through hordes of monsters and trying to survive. You also have a special ability to turn into a monster, an ability that looks cool, but because it prevents dodging, is relatively useless compared with normal weapons.

One unique part of the game is that your past is determined by what moral choices you make, the more bad choices, the more evil a person you were in the past. Now, bad choices make the game easier, because it removes any escort missions, which is one of the more annoying parts of the game. Friendly Fire is a thing, if a stray bullet hits the escort in the head, he dies and the game counts as if you killed them on purpose. They don't cower either, they run all over the place shooting like crazy, and sometimes they'll be throwing dynamite at an enemy your next to, accidentally killing you. With the exception of one person, the escorts often do more harm than good. The game is pretty long, and allows saving at any point, however there's an issue with sound files that causes the game to randomly crash at certain point, reloading and going past the same point usually fixes it, or there's an unofficial patch. Overall it's a good game, though the constant attempts at jumpscares by flashing images up on the screen every minute is annoying. I'd recommend it.
King's Bounty Crossworlds GOTY, Nov 26 (GOG)-If you liked the first one and want more of the same, you'll love this. If you're like me, after about 10-15 hours you'll get tired of the repetitive battles and you'll know there's another 50-60 hours to go still. There were probably a couple new units and spells but I honestly didn't notice. The two mini expansions were definitely something different than the main game but ultimately too short (2 hours each or so) and too easy. Warning the longer campaign is integrated into the base game, not a standalone. So if you want to play it without playing the base game twice go straight to the expansion campaign. I dreaded the thought of starting a brand new 60+ hour campaign for such a grindy game.

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muddysneakers: Warning the longer campaign is integrated into the base game, not a standalone. So if you want to play it without playing the base game twice go straight to the expansion campaign.
You mean there are 2 options but both essentially start the same campaign, just that the expansion one has some additions at some point through it, so it'd basically be a more complete version, while the first option would just be for those who for some reason want to stick to the vanilla game?
muddysneakers: Warning the longer campaign is integrated into the base game, not a standalone. So if you want to play it without playing the base game twice go straight to the expansion campaign.
Cavalary: You mean there are 2 options but both essentially start the same campaign, just that the expansion one has some additions at some point through it, so it'd basically be a more complete version, while the first option would just be for those who for some reason want to stick to the vanilla game?
Yes and they don't make it clear on the main menu that that's what the expansion is.
Cavalary: You mean there are 2 options but both essentially start the same campaign, just that the expansion one has some additions at some point through it, so it'd basically be a more complete version, while the first option would just be for those who for some reason want to stick to the vanilla game?
muddysneakers: Yes and they don't make it clear on the main menu that that's what the expansion is.
Good to know. Bought this back in... Jan 2014, one of the first purchases really, had found the first awesome back when I played it, but didn't even install it yet :/
Project Warlock - 3/5

Pretty much the epitome of mid-90s FPS nostalgia pandering.

For the most part, I enjoyed the game a lot. I waited until the first major patch to really dive into it, but even then, I still encountered a lot of glaring issues, from completely game-breaking bugs to graphical glitches to baffling design decisions. Thankfully, it seems like the game is still actively being worked on. In its current state though, I can only really half-heartedly recommend it.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Got it on release day but finished it just now, in normal difficulty and with almost no side tomb or crypt.

A solid game, very "Hollywood" in that Lara should be dead or a member of the Justice League when you see what she does. But that's the way we like her, right? Less fights than the last installment, but in my opinion they were handled better in the previous game. I played with a gamepad, but frankly aiming with anything else than the bow was a pain in the ass - so sloooow!

Visually stunning, one of the best-looking games I've ever played, hands down. The story is... what it is, not bad but not especially good. At least it is here and makes the junction with the precedent game and brings this story arc a proper ending. Which is good.

Puzzles and enigmas are not-too-easy-not-too-difficult, so pretty perfect for me. And after all, that's what I'm expecting from a Tomb Raider game, so it makes up for the sometimes bad aiming mechanics.

To sum up, a very pleasant game, with a few quirks here and there (damn camera moving just whem I'm making a difficult jump!) but I really enjoyed it a lot!

So far in 2018:
Deep Space Waifu Fantasy

Third installment of that "strip action" hentai bullet-hell shooter. More of the same, in a more "fantasy" setting. What to say? It's just one of those guilty pleasures you can have. Can be challenging but with lots of difficulty settings, everybody can enjoy at his/her own level. I'm not a specialist, not at all, at the default setting was perfect.

2h tops to complete and maybe 3 to 100% achievements, it's not a long game, but that's not the kind of game you want to overstay its welcome, anyway.

So, nice! There will be a new sequel next year, on the catgirls theme, anyway.

So far in 2018: