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kalirion: Rage

First AAA game I finished in a long while. Started kinda slow, but became fun later on. Played with the Sewers DLC which are supposed to dot the open world with sewer entrances to places with danger and loot, but only actually found the first one >_>
I vaguely remember this being hailed as an outstanding mobile game. Wikipedia informs me there was also a console and pc version that was fairly different.
Virginia (played on Wine Staging v2.21)

ciemnogrodzianin's and sebarnolds's recent thoughts on this game prompted me to try it, and I thank them for that as I liked it a lot.

I'm quite partial to narrative-heavy games, even if there's very little gameplay in them. In other words: I don't mind a walking simulator, as long as the story is interesting. And basically a walking simulator is what I was expecting from this game, with the quality of its story determining my final assessment of it. But to my surprise Virginia turned out to be, if anything, the exact opposite of a walking simulator, since: 1) your freedom of movement (and also of action) is severely limited, with you rarely getting to do any long walks, and 2) the amount of exposition, be it in spoken or written form, is completely nonexistant or extremely scarce.

Indeed: in a rather risky but in my opinion highly successful design choice, the creators decided to eliminate any kind of dialog from the game, and to reduce the amount of reading required by the player to a minimum. Instead, the story is told via imagery (either literal or symbolic), the characters' animation and expressions, and the superb musical score. This is a game for which the adjective 'cinematic' is actually fitting, as its presentation resembles more that of a movie than that of a videogame: it makes extensive use of cuts, be it to advance from one scene to another, to accelerate the pace of what would otherwise be a boring long walk, or to insert some relevant flashbacks. At first these unusual narrative tecniques took me a bit by surprise, but after a while I got totally used to them and felt very natural.

Even though there's so few exposition of the story, or perhaps precisely because of that, you've got to pay a lot of attention to every detail of what's happening in the screen (again, much like when you're watching a movie) as it can be extremely easy to miss important parts of the plot. For instance, at first I totally didn't get what the real mission of the protagonist was and I only realized it a good while later. Add to that the fact that the story is, in its creators' own words, "strange and confounding", and chances are you'll need a second playthrough to fully understand the whole thing. It's no biggie though: the first time around it took me barely 2 hours, and the second one less than 1 hour and a half.

I totally understand that a game like Virginia may not be everyone's cup of tea, but if you like narrative interactive experiences and you approach it as is required (i.e. as if it was a movie that needs your interaction only every now and then in order to move the plot forward), I think you'll have a great time with it.


My list of finished games in 2018
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muntdefems: ...
I respect your opinion and I'm impressed you're strong enough to survive the experience twice ;)
Beaten Sniper Elite 4 including killing Hitler. silly game but fun. Terrible AI but anything more advance probably would make it annoying.
Antichamber

My 5th game completed in January. Damn, I am on the roll this year so far. :-)
I liked this one but to be honest, I expected a bit more. I suppose I was overhyped. I was hearing that will melt my brain and what I got was fun puzzle game that plays with space and perception.
I enjoyed it, I just don't think it was that mind blowing that some people told me it is.
I enjoyed most of the puzzles but I have to say I liked those not using gun much more. Those were the ones trying to confuse you and doubt reality of the game. When one gets the gun it turned into figuring out how to use the gun and how to move blocks to some precise location and sometimes how not to fall from them.
I had to use some online hints 2 or 3 times to solve puzzles I didn't have any interest in solving anymore and every time it was something linked to the gun and to its mechanics. Mostly I didn't understand how they work. That was especially true about moving block hidden under glass.
Then I used guides to find in what areas to find remaining pictures, not how to solve them, as I was not keen on running all across the game to find omitted place.
It took me some 7 hours and I mostly enjoyed it.


Complete list.
Gone Home

Walking sim that hit the controversy button a bit back.

Premise of coming home when your family moved and this is the first night in the house. You explore this new home and look at stuff and trigger journal entries, unlock doors and secrets. Nothing revolutionary.

Tech wise this is kind of weak. If you move the mouse too quick you get blur, many objects are poorly detailed, and there's a generous use of flat textures on top of 3D models to convey filled drawers and the like. That said, the house in the storm is conveyed, a new home but lived in, and the setting comes across pretty well.

The three residents of the home are mom, dad, and sis. The story is really about sis, which is a shame, because there's stories for the other two that are perhaps more compelling than the usual coming of age, finding oneself, sexual awakening story sis gets. All three stories do have some resolution though, so at least if you care about the side tales they do come to a close instead of just ending with the game.

It's over in the span of a movie, and it kept my attention in that span. So, if you like walking sims you will probably like this, but it doesn't do anything more with the genre than usual if they are not your cup of tea.
Post edited January 21, 2018 by ofthenexus
Vanquish:

It's a good 3rd Person Cover/Spectacle Shooter, but, like Metal Gear Rising (which I didn't finish so far), it makes me feel like Platinum Games' games aren't really my cup of tea, even though theoretically, they should be.

Gameplay is fun, but the enemies seemed divided between absolute canon fodders and absolute chores with no middle ground. To make matters worse, I never quite felt like I really knew where my health was at, and for a game that actively punishes you for dying (by downgrading your currently equipped weapons) there were A LOT of cheap one hit kill attacks by enemies and bosses.

Morrowind:

I began playing this pretty late last year after re-watching LGR's review of it by chance. Since I had already finished it legitimately ages before, I went for a full on exploitative play-through. I finished the main campaign, both expansion campaigns, the Telvanni campaign and all 8 joinable factions, vampire and werewolf missions as well, clocking in around 86 hours. I abused the hell out of the soul trap glitch for sky-high attributes, and that broke the game in various funny ways (like making practically every NPC enemy who wasn't a creature by the game internal logic be friendly automatically or being completely invisible when sneaking even in front of the other characters). Overall, the Tribunal main quest and Mournhold were the most disappointing parts of it and Bloodmoon's main quest wasn't all that better either.

I actually finished Morrowind last year as well, but that made me move right into...

Oblivion:

I spent another 170+ hours on this one and finished early this year. The only exploit I used and abused was the item duplication through scroll stacks, which made the game less frustrating a lot of the time. And this leads me to another aspect of it: it's impressive how much of Oblivion was designed around preventing Morrowind's exploits and making the game easier for beginners. A lot of the times, it made for better gameplay overall, but it often made for infuriating systems all the same. I did the main campaign, all DLC missions (and most of the DLC seemed to be created around making the player life easier for some reason), all 15 daedra missions, all 60 Oblivion gates (God, those things do repeat A LOT, it's great that at high levels you can basically speed run like hell all of them) and all 5 faction campaigns.

Using online references, it was also very easy to build an ultra powerful character by time I was level 30+, making me practically invincible and I was breezing through most enemies and bosses.

Overall, the campaigns were less interesting than their Morrowind counterparts, but they were enjoyable nonetheless.

Also, for some aedra-forgotten reason, Sheogorath is literally the only non-khajiit character in the game with facial hair.

Finally, thank the heavens for the Unofficial Patches. They made both games, but specially Morrowind, way more playable.
Deep Sapce Waifu

Yeah, I know. Just like Honeypop, that's the kind of game that can't be justified. ^_^ Still, I've had a very good time with it. I'm not at all into bullet-hell manic shooters, but that one could be seen as an "introduction" to the genre. Plus, anime babes, of course.

So, yeah, 2h30 to 100% it, it's not that long, but I was on one of the lowest difficulties, so I guess it could be a little longer on hard mode.

Still, very nicely done and funny. Didn't regret my impulse-buy!

So far in 2018: https://www.gog.com/forum/general/games_finished_in_2018/post12
Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians

It's a pretty good game. Great design, nice difficulty (some parts are tough, but it never gets unfair) and an awesome soundtrack. It's not really a rhythm game, but as a side-scrolling action adventure it works very well.

There are just six levels, but they are quite long. Each of them took me between one and two hours. And I didn't even collect all the crystals. There are some hundred of them in each level and the more you collect, the more extras (some kind of developer diary, artwork and sketches) you will unlock.

Complete list of finished games in 2018
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kalirion: Rage

First AAA game I finished in a long while. Started kinda slow, but became fun later on. Played with the Sewers DLC which are supposed to dot the open world with sewer entrances to places with danger and loot, but only actually found the first one >_>
I really enjoyed it, years ago. It got a lot of flack because people had sky-high expectations because of its association with Carmack. The shooting was super-satisfying. The multiplayer portion was a bit odd, because it was based entirely around the driving portions, which were like Twisted Metal. It's worth playing the co-op missions, as from what I remember, they were exclusive to the co-op mode.
Divinity Original Sin: Enhanced Edition (PS4)

This game is a fairly typical open-world RPG with a main story and multiple side quests, leveling-up, loot/gear, crafting, and tactical turn-based combat. The reason why it’s a good game is because it does it all very well, and it’s very open in its approach. For example: I don’t like crafting, potions, or scrolls, and I completed the game even though I totally ignored those facets. You have two main characters and up to two NPCS, but that game allows each of your main characters to play as a "Lone Wolf" which boosts your main character but then doesn't allow him/her to recruit NPCs... I hate NPCs in my party anyway, so I played two Lone Wolf spellcasters.

The things which I didn’t like are the random loot (which is standard for RPGs though), and the rock-paper-scissors dialogue resolution system (especially when your two main characters disagree, although this part can be turned off) but it can thankfully be skipped in favour of a rolled result.

It’s a very long game, pretty sure it took me well over 150hrs to complete, but it was fun. Definitely recommended if you're into these types of games!
Day of the Tentacle Remastered (2016)
(gift from muntdefems - thank you!!)

How is that possible that I like point&click adventures and never played Tentacles?! Well, now I don't understand either. There is a lot to like here:
* graphics is outstanding and - what is the most interesting - it was also outstanding in original (you can easily check by switching the views; I love remasters with such option!)
* after all these wooden games and jokes made by German developers (sorry, my neighbours!) - finally the game with amazing sense of humour, brilliant ideas and smart dialogues!
* puzzles are abstract, but still fair and logical - just listen carefully and do not afraid to think ;)
* the whole concept with 3 characters operating in different times is awesome and creates a lot of interesting options/puzzles (however it sometimes become really complicated, when you're not sure what to do and has 50 locations + 30 items + 3 characters available...)
* by the way - you can save a lot of time if you are passing the items by drag&drop on character avatars (no need to go to time machine each time); guess how long it took me to discover that ;)
* the story is, well, based on quite classic scheme, but I liked that the game is not strictly linear - usually you can change character and try to push the story forward from some different place; and sometimes you think you made nothing, but cut-scene is trigerred - it gives a great motivating feel of continuous progress

The game deserves the place on my favorite shelf, next to Monkey Island series. Thanks, muntdefems!

List of all games completed in 2018.
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ciemnogrodzianin: The game deserves the place on my favorite shelf, next to Monkey Island series. Thanks, muntdefems!
You're very welcome. :)

Glad you enjoyed it. Being you a point'n'click fan it seemed like a safe bet, but after our disagreement with Virginia I wasn't so sure... They're radically different games, though. :P
Dark forces

Given how old this is (23 years! certainly one of the oldest games I've played), it's actually surprisingly fun. Shooting feels fine and the levels are mostly interesting. Apart from Levels 8 and 14 (the last one) where I had to switch to "easy", I played on "medium" difficulty, and that provided a nice challenge. Biggest flaw of the game is that you can't save during missions (instead you have a limited number of lives), which is somewhat annoying since some of the levels are quite large (can easily take half an hour or more) and feature puzzles and jumping sections.
On the whole though, this is quite a decent shooter...if you're a fan of the later Jedi Knight games (like me) or like archaic shooters, this might be for you.
The Bard's Tale (2004)

Really enjoyed this one, though it made me angry in the earlier chapters. Respawning enemies that can easily stun-lock you had me quite frustrated at times, but once I chose a particular talent after leveling up a few times that all changed. I made use of 10/12 possible summons, which surprised me and kept things fresh throughout the 20 hour journey. Good amount of loot to be found. Very funny game at times, great sing-a-long songs and fantastic voice acting.
Post edited January 24, 2018 by Thiefer