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Pandemonium (1997)

2.5D platformer. It's very creative but has that old-school difficulty. I only beat it using cheats and I'd recommend you do too, unless you like a challenge (which is perfectly fine).

Also note that the music is bugged unfortunately, but it wasn't hard to just press ESC, then under "File" select "Resume Game" to restart the music.

If you have plenty o' money than 5.99 ain't asking too much, but if you're strapped I'd say wait for a sale. The game uses nGlide, so consider buying it through the affiliate link (click the button than buy it) -

The title says it all, you play the leader of a SWAT team tasked with taking down the various criminals holed up in the building. This is a tactical FPS which authentically recreates the SWAT experience, including the panicked civilians, the enemy ambushes and constantly shouting "GET DOWN!". The game can get fairly difficult, you can be taken down by a single shotgun blast and you automatically fail if any civilian is killed. At the end you get given a score out of 100, you need to achieve a certain score to move onto the next level which is dependant on difficulty, you lose points for any number of reasons: Getting Injured, letting your squad get injured, injuring a civilian, not reporting the status of every civilian, not reporting the status of every enemy, not reporting downed allies, not picking up every enemy weapon, not shouting GET DOWN! before incapacitating/killing an enemy and injuring an enemy instead of having him surrender also causes you to lose points. The game unfortunately doesn't tell you if your score has dropped below the pass mark, so at the end of a difficult mission you find that you've actually failed and have to start from the beginning.

The AI, as with most teammate AI tactical FPS's from this era like this, Freedom Fighters and Rainbow Six, can sometimes prove frustrating. Although I had much less trouble with the AI in this game then Rainbow Six Vegas, it can get frustrating when they see an enemy, the enemy turns and runs into a room full of hostages, and they just stand there while he fumbles to unlock the door. It also appears to be random whether they get injured or not, I've had times where they've cleared a room full of heavily armoured people with shotguns, and others where they all line up and get taken out by 1 guy with an uzi. The game randomizes enemy and hostage positions each playthrough, meaning you can't learn where the enemies are going to be, the game is probably 80% skill 20% luck, though I'm sure a very skilled player could negate the luck part entirely. Overall it's a good game, and I'd give it a recommend.
Demon's Souls on PS3 for the second time.

I wanted to play DS again even though the servers are now offline. But you can still play the game in SP mode. The game was much shorter this time around on also easier because I have played other From Software games. The game is still very good if you enjoy the Souls-type of gameplay. Also the final level that I remember as a huge slog and pain in the ass what not as bad as I thought it would be. The final boss is a pain though.

All in all I highly recommend this game if you have a PS3 - sadly no remaster of this.
Tacoma (2017) (Linux)

I didn't like it. At first I was impressed how nice it simulates spaceship environment (it does, indeed! that's the only reasson I've finished the game). But then it quickly became:

⧨ just another walking simulator
⧨ torture, because of terrible loading times - 10 minutes to start the game?! last time I saw something like that when I used Windows on my old PC 10y ago
⧨ significant part of the game is waiting (again!) for data transfers, which is quite strange considering the game should be entertainment, I suppose
⧨ Steam counter shows 4,6 to finish the game, but this time includes (believe me or not): a few naps (!), reading books and other activities being more interesting than walking around in game and awaiting some processes to finish...

Gameplay-wise it's just misunderstanding. I'm not even sure it fulfills criteria of being a game.

List of all games completed in 2018.
Max Payne 2: The fall of Max Payne

It has been 14 years since i last played it and it is still a great game. Frustrating at times as you are very easy to kill. but the story, the conclusion of to first game.

amazing classic. It is short though. Only took me seven hours. Shorter than MP1 which shows 11 hours on steam (single playthrough)

List for 2018
Post edited April 21, 2018 by lukaszthegreat
Slipways project, with a planned commercial version later. Every game you start on a new map, and have to discover planets and colonize. Each colony type takes a set of inputs and produces a set of outputs, and each type of planet is limited to the types of colonies it can support. There are also space stations that can be built. Then, you connect the planets and stations and they trade based on resources needed and produced. You also have science points as a resource that can be spent on the tech tree. Goal is self driven; have the largest network, have the most money, have the most happiness, etc. and there is a turn limit.

I enjoy these kinds of games, and Slipways reminds me of an old browser game where you built trade routes and managed production. There are not a ton of moving parts, and looking to build efficient chains of production is very fun and stress free. There are some minor issues that detract from it overall. First, the view is tiny, and is one of the promised improvements for the commercial version. Next, the lack of an undo button or a way to change any decision in the game is tough to swallow. The connections between planets cannot cross, output of planets is fixed upon selection, and one misclick can kill a whole group.

Overall it is a really great proof-of-concept, it can be played to the end of turns in under an hour (more if you take breaks or are really careful). I dropped some change on it, but it is free if you want to try before you buy. I will check out the commercial version when it is done.
I brought Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 and finished both games on it.

Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance HD

Originally released for the 3DS, this has been remade for the PS4. This game follows the 2 protagonists Sora and Riku as they go through the dream world attempting to wake up worlds from slumber... of course this does the typical Kingdom Hearts thing where each new game makes the world increasingly complicated, this time by introducing time travel to the mix. The game itself seems to be more of a prequel to Kingdom Hearts 3, with recaps of everything that occurred in the past games, to help people who didn't own the 6 consoles needed to play through the series up to that point. It's got me excited for Kingdom Hearts 3 at least.

Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep

This is essentially a demo of Kingdom Hearts 3, it's fairly short but it introduces the new combat system, graphics and at the ends set up the story for the next game. A lot of people who are a fan of the series would probably get this collection just to play this demo, in the same way Metal Gear fans brought Zone of the Enders for the added MGS2 demo.

I would only recommend getting this collection 2nd hand, because Square are very tight when it comes to the price on the online store, their still selling the other FF games at full price.

Simple twin stick arena shooter that doesn't look like much but is actually pretty fun and addictive due to the short levels and the varied amount of randomized weapons and pick ups. I'm no expert of the genre, but I also feel it might be a bit slower than the average game of its kind, which means your reflexes don't really need to be that fast, it's more about tactics, not getting yourself cornered or surrounded. Graphics are basic, but fine; sound effects are nice, music is just two or three tracks I think, but they're quite good.

I had this in my collection for quite some time and always thought that this was no game of interest to me, but when I gave it a try last week, I just couldn't stop playing, and then I came back to it every evening for a couple of levels. It's easy to pick up, a level usually just takes 2 minutes or so to play through, and even if you happen to fail a level again and again, you just want to give it one more try, until you finally beat it. Since the pick ups are randomized, every new try is different, and often getting a good weapon can make all the difference, which is a bit cheap but still kind of satisfying.

The game also has a good amount of content for what it is. "Quest mode" has 6 chapters with 10 levels each and can be played in three different difficulty variations, Normal, Hardcore and ??? (you have to unlock the latter two, and I only played through Normal, so I don't know what difficulty mode is unlocked by beating Hardcore). Apart from that there are challenge modes like Survival, which is all about getting a good score which wouldn't normally interest me, but it also features a 'level up' gimmick which lets you choose between four different perks each time, and that makes it kind of like a rogue-like-lite whatever mode and quite enjoyable. If I'm not mistaken, opponents also start very slow in this mode and get faster the further you come. Weapons and perks in the challenge modes have to be unlocked by playing quest mode levels.

I might come back to this occasionally for coffee-break entertainment, for now I consider it finished.
Post edited April 23, 2018 by Leroux
ofthenexus: Guards
muntdefems: I presume you've got this game on Steam, as I don't think it's available elsewhere for PC. Could you confirm whether it is actually DRM-free or not (i.e. whether it can be played without an internet connection nor the Steam client running), please?
This site has a great variety of opinion regarding what is and is not DRM free. You can play without an internet connection. It is made with Unity, so the (potential) telemetry list would add it. Beyond that, I do not know.
ofthenexus: This site has a great variety of opinion regarding what is and is not DRM free. You can play without an internet connection. It is made with Unity, so the (potential) telemetry list would add it. Beyond that, I do not know.
Thanks for checking. :)

As per what is and what isn't DRM-free, the two conditions I asked between brackets in my post are enough for me (plus, if it works without an internet connection, the telemetry issue doesn't matter after all). So I'd still appreciate if you could check whether the game works without the Steeam client. That is:

· If you close the Steam client and run the game executable (.exe on Windows, .x86 or .x86_64 on Linux, dunno the equivalent on macOS) directly, does it work? Or it automatically starts Steam?

· If it does not work, try renaming the Steam executable to something else (e.g. SteamMODIFIED.exe) so the game cannot find it, and try again.

· If it still doesn't work, and in case there isn't already a file called 'steam_appid.txt' in the game folder, create that file and just put the game's Steam ID (460340) in it.

If nothing above works, the game probably cannot work without Steam and is thus DRMed under my definition. :P
Leroux: Crimsonland
I had pretty much the same feelings about it. Crimsonland's devs have since put out a few other top down rogue-like twin stick shoot 'em ups but with a bit more depth, if you'd like more of the same general style gameplay. I think the most recent are Jydge and Neon Chrome.
Post edited April 23, 2018 by NoNewTaleToTell
Crusaders of Might&Magic
What a horrid mistake this game is. It deserve more criticism than M&M IX who have some (lost) potential and it's ugly like sin but it's way more playable and fun than CoM&M. Lot of old games make playthroughs longer with increased to absurd level difficulty. CoM&M on the other hand force you to travel long distances through the same locations (3 times through the Catacombs? I had enough after first time).
Easy to miss best weapon in the game (Holy Avenger), combat is bland and simple - cover yourself with a shield, let enemy hit it and attack right after his action. Repeat 1000 times. Final boss is either impossible or trivial, need you to backtrack way back to where you were captured at the begining to and other places to grind 1-2 additional levels for more badassery.

Tomb Raider 1
Resumed my playthrough, finished with pleasure despite more than noticable dated look and gameplay.
Used max 1 medpack per level or never, then eat them like candies during boss fights. These final level with skinned alive ETs would be a proper nightmare fuel if I play that thing on my first PC (why my old self ignored them back then, it remain unknown). Today it's just plain disturbing thanks to the dated animations. Doesn't change the fact that fighting with them is pain in the butt - they jump around like a rabid maniacs.
Skipped Unfinished Business expansion (thanks to publisher 1C/Cenega who still sell them for peanuts), I need a break.

Tomb Raider - Chronicles
Just like CoM&M - what a mistake of a game. I can deal with obsolete engine and gameplay but this game is plain weak. Then you reach final levels. You get some cool impression of "something fresh and new" and then you're left with bitter taste in your mouth and disappointment. And anger. A lot of anger when you have to do things that are way more difficult thanks to the tanky control and terrible combat.

You know why I love old games? Because they play well with their limits and offer great gameplay made as a side effect of workarounds around their limits.
But in TR Chronicles they did something opposite -

From what I remember TR Angel of Darkness is coll concept with technical issues and deadlines that make it the way it is. At least they tried and that's why I rate AoD higher than Chronicles.

I see some resemblence between CoM&M/Chronicles and M&M IX/TR AoD in terms of "results under massive pressure and deadlines", weird.
Post edited April 23, 2018 by SpecShadow
NoNewTaleToTell: I had pretty much the same feelings about it. Crimsonland's devs have since put out a few other top down rogue-like twin stick shoot 'em ups but with a bit more depth, if you'd like more of the same general style gameplay. I think the most recent are Jydge and Neon Chrome.
Ah. I didn't realize those were the same developers. I already have Neon Chrome and played it for a bit. It was nice, but not as addictive as Crimsonland.
Unreal. Finally finished this after picking at it off and on for months :) I liked it, but I also found it a tad long for an FPS and the levels to be kind of exhausting because of the encounter design.

Most FPSs involve you running through a ton of easily dispatched enemies and get complicated by adding more enemies and mixing up the variety in certain ways. Unreal's approach is that most of your enemies are essentially bots with a fair amount of health that run, strafe, and hop a lot like a human player would, so you need to concentrate harder on your aiming/leading the shots while constantly dodging yourself. Just personal preference but I find the Doom/Quake method just a bit more fun.

Unreal is also sort of midway between the "screw storytelling!" perspective of the classic id shooters and Half-Life's approach. The story in Unreal is pretty much optional in that you have to equip your translator and click on things to get short text messages indicating what's been happening. None of the enemies or friendly NPCs speak your language, so no one is going to exposit to you, but the game does stress internal consistency in the level design. You start out in a crashed spaceship and then make your way into an alien countryside, travelling through native temples and villages, and eventually to the bad guys' own spaceship and if you wanted to you could trace a clear line through the entire game. I liked the little mini-story that emerges of the natives confusing another female officer from your ship for a messiah figure and the other officers' attempt to find her.

Graphically it holds up really well. Being a tech demo they were obviously bent on showing off as many neat tricks of the Unreal engine as possible and when you compare it to other games of the era, it's very striking with stuff like the colored lighting and reflective surfaces. I love Quake but it's definitely a bit lacking in color next to this one.
I feel that they have concentrated a lot on the history and ahn neglected other details