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xa_chan: I remember I did, but it was almost useless for the story arcs of TWD 2...
muddysneakers: I haven't yet. I will play it soon though. I was under the semi false impression that it was a standalone expansion. I know some characters in 400 Days make appearances in TWD Season 2 but I think the impact is minimal. You can certainly play and enjoy Season 2 with no knowledge of 400 Days. No need to replay unless you want to.
Ok, thanks!
Grand Theft Auto 1

I recently bought GTA 5 so it is obvious I played GTA 1 instead.

Well, it was mistake. The game have not aged well. It controls badly, it's hard to aim, driving is twitchy, thanks to close zoom-in it is also very hard and obnoxious, it doesn't look too good and absence of save, inability to repeat mission and ease with how one gets killed makes it big chore to play. I don't think I would be able to finish it without looking at maps and hints online.

It had some technical issues but there weren't that many of them. Except the fact it can't be run more than once without using external programs to fix it.

I don't think there is a reason why it should be played anymore nowadays.
To me I would say it took some 15 hours of suffering to beat.

Full list of pain.
Post edited July 03, 2018 by Vitek
Mark of the ninja

Completely this time, the base campaign as well as the dlc level in both normal and the much harder new game + modes.
It's just an excellent and extremely well polished game all-round. It's also unexpectedly lengthy with some very good replay value due to the surprising variety of different viable play styles : complete stealth approach with no kills, silent assassin type killing everything on the level without being seen, or one in which you make a point of scaring the wits out of the guards so they start to freak out and kill each other. Or a combination of all three of course. The game has several unlockable outfits and abilities to supplement each of these modes of play, e.g. an outfit that makes no noise but with no lethal capabilities, one with only lethal capabilities etc.
Looks like I got about 31 hours out of it, and it was well worth it!
XCOM: UFO Defence (beginner difficulty)

Wow after just over 100 (Steam reckoned) hours and about 5 years I finally finished the original XCOM (aka UFO: Enemy Unknown)... on beginner difficulty!
Wow, yeah utterly unforgiving and a triumph for it's time but my GOD is it a GRIND!
Cool, emergent narrative feel though as your lads go from scared Joe Smoes in t-shirt and shorts to sc-fi alien killing commandos looking just like flying Brotherhood of Steel elites!
I made some rookie mistakes too like not stockpiling Elerium and getting the Psi-lab VERY late game so I was sitting around waiting to see who had high enough Ps-defence to go to Cydonia and who would just be a liability
I may have a look at the source port at a normal difficulty level at some point...

Full List:
Post edited July 05, 2018 by Fever_Discordia
Highway Blossoms (VN)

Overall, I quite enjoyed this game/story. Though to be clear, at least in the first playthrough, it is entirely linear - there are no 'actions' you control, it's akin to watching a move.

The things you can control are things like text display speed, pausing, etc. And...that's really it. Though having completed the game I am now able to turn on "goofball" mode, and it's asking me about difficulty settings for this playthrough, so...I'm confused.

The good:
-Despite some flaws, it's a pretty good story on the whole. Both the treasure hunt storyline and the love story generally hold together.
-Amber (main character) is relatively well done, and a pretty good depiction of a character that has herself together in certain respects, and is really immature/unprepared in others.
-The artwork is really well done
-The sense of place (the American SW) is also very well done, beyond just the artwork
-Complete voicework

The so-so:
-The actual voice work is mostly good, but...not entirely.
-Until the later stages,the main protagonist is really the only three dimensional character.
-If you don't muck with the speed settings at all, it probably would take you 9+ hours to get through.

The bad:
-You could skip the game and watch "Blue is the warmest color" three or four times in the time it takes to play this game, even speeding the settings up a bit. That film, despite also having some flaws, is almost certainly a superior work overall, certainly in terms of overall realism and more fleshed out characters, though I think the game gets a few elements better.
-Both characters spend the entire 2 weeks or so of the story wearing the same exact clothes every day while tromping about the desert, and yet they are still clean and somehow not smelling like death at trip's end. There are a few issues like this that don't break the story, but certainly undercut the realism significantly.

If you just hate VNs, this probably won't be the one to change your mind, but if you've been tempted, there is a pretty good story here.

Edit: 'EZ-Mode' plus 'Goofball mode' is the entire story condensed down to 1 minute (aside from the standard opening credits and a shortened end credits/soundtrack), but to pretty humorous effect. Well played.
Post edited July 05, 2018 by bler144
State of Decay 2 (XB1X)

Rule #1: Cardio

Really it is, cardio is one of the most important skills in the game. All jokes, and movie references aside. And if you don't get it, then you haven't watched the first few minutes of Zombieland. You should go and watch it now, it's good. Don't read this, go watch the movie.

Anyway, the first State of Decay was something of a cult hit on Xbox 360. The highest selling XBLA title. It took me three tries to get to grips with the original and make it stick, it had some different ideas and plays totally differently to how it looks on the surface. One It clicked I loved it and ended up paying it three times, and still have my final Truck Depot community from the last play through. It was a unique but rough around the edges game made by a small team that punched way above its weight.

State of Decay 2 isn't a revolution, yet still improves in every way and introduced a few new concepts to the game play. It's still a bit rough and leaves a lot of it's deeper and more subtle things up to you to find out for yourself.
It looks like an open world RPG, but it isn't at all, and that is what trips up most people when they start out. It's an open world survival and base building game with permadeath and the clock always ticking. It's all about time management, threat assessment, risk avoidance. It gets stressful and tense. You get attached to your survivors and getting one of them killed by bad decisions really hurts.

I got through the campaign with my little core group of 6 people intact. But there were some scary moments where things turned bad and I only just pulled through. Of course the campaign is optional. You don't have to finish it and can just continue playing it as a building and survival game until you exhaust the map of resources and then move to one of the other two maps and so on. But the campaign revolves around building the reputation of one of your survivors and selecting them as leader. The leaders traits will then steer the course of the group, as a warlord, sheriff, builder, trader. The aim is to finish with a legacy to leave behind...that's it- no boss fights, just survive and achieve something great.

The games mechanics are far deeper than they appear. Just as one example, to get power to your base can be done in many ways (or not at all and just go low tech), you can use a portable generator for each individual facility that you want power on (uses your fuel supplies each day), you can move into a base that has a dedicated generator, you can set up an outpost at a power substation, you can recruit a survivor with electrical expertise and set up solar power (after finding the parts), you can even get an exercise bike hooked up to a small generator and have a survivor pedal power (which lowers there morale). The same goes for every type of facility, and even the largest of bases cannot have close to everything, so you decide what you want. Add in countless weapons and facility mods. Three different maps you can play on, each one as large as the first games only map.

The main changes from the first game are balance changes. Good strong vehicles are not as common and one the games most precious items. In the first game if you wrote one vehicle off you jumped in another, no problems. In this game I found myself going out on missions just to find vehicles or to recover one that I rolled.
The other main change is the balance of the outposts. In the original they were too overpowered and eventually made things too easy. This time you have far less outpost slots and they benefit you much less. It all works better.

The game still has its rough edges, but it's important to remember it's not a $100 AAA game. It's a half price AA game from a smallish developer (that just got bought by Microsoft). I had no game breaking bugs, but twice got stuck on terrain, for which the game even has a special tab on your radio commands page to teleport you to a safe space. It worked. But things do give away the more budget nature of the game. It looks nice and sharp at 4K and has great lighting, but animations, textures etc are not quite up to AAA standards. Similarly, when you start running up a hill that is too steep in something like Skyrim you go up a small way and slide down. Here you just run up against an invisible wall. Lots of small things like that could be fixed with a bigger budget and team.

But I loved the game and I'd say there's a pretty good chance it will even end up being my best game of this year. Other people seem to be agreeing with me, despite terrible reviews (from people that clearly don't understand the game) it has slowly been rising up and selling pretty well- best selling game the USA in May, outselling Detroit, God of War 4 and Far Cry 5 no less. Amazing for a game that launched in game pass and I played for A$1. And despite the doomsayers, game pas has not killed sales...quite the opposite, many times more people try the game on game pass and apparently like the game and buy. Try, like, buy...fair sales model if you ask me. Eventually I'll buy it myself, on sale. I will definitely playing this game several more times at later dates, just like I did with the first one.
Post edited July 05, 2018 by CMOT70
Fever_Discordia: XCOM: UFO Defence (beginner difficulty)

Wow after just over 100 (Steam reckoned) hours and about 5 years I finally finished the original XCOM (aka UFO: Enemy Unknown)... on beginner difficulty!
Wow, yeah utterly unforgiving and a triumph for it's time but my GOD is it a GRIND!
Cool, emergent narrative feel though as your lads go from scared Joe Smoes in t-shirt and shorts to sc-fi alien killing commandos looking just like flying Brotherhood of Steel elites!
I made some rookie mistakes too like not stockpiling Elerium and getting the Psi-lab VERY late game so I was sitting around waiting to see who had high enough Ps-defence to go to Cydonia and who would just be a liability
I may have a look at the source port at a normal difficulty level at some point...

Full List:
Next, Terror From the Deep!!
using OpenXcom naturally :)
Feist (Linux)

The similarities to Limbo are just superficial.
In the end, it is a mix of 2D walking simulator, rudimentary physics playground and fighting game with next to no puzzles.
Even if you know what you are supposed to do, it is a tedious chore and you can fail (or win) out of sheer (bad) luck. What irks me the most are the unavoidable fights, especially the final boss which is just tedious and not fun at all. Having to face that monster head one without a possibility to really use the environment against him is bad design in this kind of game.
There are long passages where nothing happens to artificially make the game a bit longer and it is still very short. The good things about this game are the graphics, the audio designs, technical stability (judging by the Linux port) and the fact, that you can use any game-pad out of the box without having to deal with modern xinput restrictions.

I'd give it 4/10 if you only pay a few bucks in a sale, not worth full price imho.
Galak-Z. I reached the end of the game wondering how it could really be the end when I still had one faction I hadn't dealt with yet. A cliffhanger to tease a sequel? As it turns out, the studio apparently ran out of money and decided to just tack on an endless survival mode and call that the ending instead of investing more money in finishing the campaign mode. Ah well.

I did enjoy the game for the most part. The combat works a bit like Asteroids in that you can thrust in a certain direction and the spin around and shoot while you're still in motion. You can transform between spaceship and mech form, which gives advantages against certain enemies, you can lure enemies into environmental hazards or turn different factions against each other. The combat is consistently exciting once you get the hang of the controls.

What probably hurts the game the most is that it's a Rogue-like-like, so you have randomized maps and encounter placement, and you have to pick up stuff to improve your ship, or in some cases just buy more health to keep going. Every level has a shop hidden somewhere in it, because all these games have shops. I don't terribly mind that the game was designed like this, but I don't think it really helped, either. A totally handcrafted experience would have worked fine, too, and it probably would have broadened the game's appeal. The developer made the decision to can the final level after they saw that only a few hundred players had actually won the game at the time. They made a difficult game and were apparently shocked that people weren't beating it quickly?

The game looks very nice and the classic anime thing they were going for, with the randomized episode titles and writers, was amusing, although I stopped paying attention to it after a bit because it doesn't really affect the gameplay at all.
The Path

Having thoroughly enjoyed To the Moon and it's sequel, I thought I would have a go at some other 'walking simulator' style games. The path is a walking simulator / horror game that plays on the story of Red Riding Hood, you play as one of 7 character, and are told to head to 'grandma's house', you start on the path leading to the house, and are explicitly told to 'keep to the path', but of course you might be tempted to head off to the woods instead, inside the woods is a 'wolf' a npc who aims to lead you astray, as well as various items you can examine and play with scattered throughout. Now despite the fact you are told not to leave the path, you get branded a failure if you reach the house without leaving the path, so the developers obviously want you to leave it. If you do stray from the path and find your 'wolf' then grandma's house will become distorted and creepy looking and ends with your death, this part is obviously a metaphor with the house decorations subtly representing the events which lead to the girls demise, some imagery is more clearer than others.

While this makes for an interesting story, the gameplay is rather lacklustre. The woods surrounding the path is coded to have the items and locations randomly placed so you can't know where you need to head straight away, the characters walk incredibly slowly but sprinting forces the camera to move and also makes collectibles invisible. Lag is another issue, and it can be incredibly frustrating to actually make your character interact with something. My least favourite thing is the music, which seems like various 10 seconds pieces of music and sound effects plastered over each other in a random order. While it is a good game, it is essentially a predecessor to the higher quality 'walking simulators' that we have nowadays, which means it isn't as polished as newer games. I'd recommend it if you're looking for something unique to pass a few hours, but otherwise, forget it.
I have just finished Dark Souls on PS3.

After defeating Crossbreed Priscilla, I have finally decided to go against the Gwyn. Man, was I surprised how fast he killed me :( I changed in middle of the game into Vit/Dex build and I thought, that I have finally learned how to be better at the game. It helped me a lot against all other bosses, but after 10 or more tries, I was just unable to make more than 25% damage to him, before he completely destroyed me :( My Soul Level at the time was 85 and I have even upgraded my crimson armor to +4, and still no luck.

I have then again decided to try my luck and restored human form, and search for a summon sign. I was lucky and found one guy, right at the start of the Kiln. Two people against Gwyn was just short execution. I burned him with pyromancy, while he was tanking him. As my first end, I have decided to choose Dark Lord ending. Gwyn needed to be replaced :P

Amazing game. All in all this run took me almost 78 hours :O

List of my games finished in 2018 is >>HERE<<
Stonekeep, Jul 6 (GOG)-This one started off slow with awkward combat and inventory and then turned into something fun that I had never experienced before with the need to annotate the maps and shortly after that overstayed its welcome with a big shift in focus to puzzles that was minimal in the early game. The early levels were a lot of fun as you slowly progressed and explored each map frequently retreating to a healing fountain or mana circle on a prior level due to difficult combats. Then somewhere around the Faerie Realm (which was terribly obnoxious) the game started introducing more and more puzzles and less and less combat. I'm not sure if I just wasn't in the right mood but I found the puzzles to be rather annoying and I didn't have much patience for them, especially the find the hidden button among endless corridors of the same texture variety. The game was a bit of a hybrid of RPG and adventure game but didn't seem to do either very well.

Full List
Titan Quest + Immortal Throne (Gold Edition)

I played on Normal difficulty, the character I picked was a level 8 Evoker (Earth and Dream Mastery) from one of my previous attempts at a playthrough, and at the end of Immortal Throne I reached level 40. That’s after completing all the side quests and fully exploring all maps, fighting every enemy at least once. I didn’t grind and I tried to avoid having to fight my way through the same areas again though (monsters respawn the next time you load the game, just like in Diablo).

What I liked:
+ The graphics still hold up today, even in the legacy version; I found the game very nice to look at.
+ Sounds and music are great as well.
+ There's a very good quantity and variety of landscapes and opponents all throughout the game and its expansion, some variety even in the nature of quests.
+ As long as you don't teleport, there are no loading screens, everything connects seamlessly, in-door and outdoor, and there are several levels of terrain which is nice (e.g. you can walk on and under bridges).
+ Areas are not procedurally generated or otherwise randomized huge bland dungeons, but beautifully designed and distinctive with interesting landmarks. To me, as someone who cares more for exploration than loot hunting and grinding and such, it was more fun than the Diablo games (even though the layout of the areas is very linear most of the times, so don't expect huge open world exploration).
+ Classes being replaced by a combination of two freely chosen Masteries is an interesting concept. I only tested Earth and Dream, but at least these two had enough interesting skills to choose from. I never really needed to reskill, but that the game allows you to do it, is another plus.
+ During the credits, random monster models are shown in a close-up view, which is great since you never really have the chance to take a good look at them in-game because zoomed out you can more or less recognize what kind of creature you're fighting but not e.g. how their faces look, close-up view is counterproductive in combat and there is no button for pausing the action except the one that obscures the screen with the menu window. So I appreciated this belated chance to finally learn what exactly I had actually fought all the time. ;)

What I'm conflicted about:
~ Despite the good looks, handcrafted feel, interesting skills etc. it's still a Diablo clone featuring most of the aspects I don't really care for in the genre (simplistic and repetitve gameplay, curious savegame system, respawning enemies, complicated item comparisons, random loot hunting, trash mobs etc. etc.). But recently I was in the mood for a RPG that's slightly addictive but not enough to really draw me in and distract me too much from work, just something to play in short bursts during breaks, without requiring me to think much. Titan Quest fit the bill, and I knew what I was getting into, so I can't complain.
~ I actually found the first act in Greece a bit slow and more boring than later parts, but that might be a matter of taste, and it's probably also due to the low level characters having fewer skills and options, making the gameplay seem even more repetitive (I had already started the game twice before but both times I never reached level 10 before losing interest).

What I didn't like:
- Most boss fights were alright, but a few were no fun at all. There was one boss with constant dangerous magic attacks who'd also keep conjuring groups of melee fighters AND heal himself. And the end boss of Titan Quest was quite terrible as well, huge difficulty spike there, if difficulty actually translates to you slowly having to chip away at this HP sponge while he can kill you with one or two attacks if you stop moving. I could only beat those two with the help of exploits and longer kiting sessions, which made these encounters seem all the more cheap and broken.
- Immortal Throne has a known bug that occurs if you die in a specific boss fight. The door to the boss area is not clickable anymore and can't be opened again to reach him; it can be fixed by just using a portal and returning shortly after, so luckily it's not game-breaking even if it looked like it was at first.
- I also had issues with two places in Immortal Throne that caused my game to lag until it was quit and reloaded.
The problem is that the second place is right before the final boss fight, and this boss fight also has terrible checkpoint placement, so I had to fight the boss with the game lagging, and since I'm somewhat allergic to longer boss fights in general, it was no fun at all.
- There was one other boss with terrible checkpoint placement which added tedium to the frustration when I died on him. What's the point of making the player run all the way back to the boss through cleared levels by just holding down the mouse button for like a minute or more?
- A few areas were much too big and tedious, especially one huge dungeon in Immortal Throne which is one of the least interesting areas in the game. Everything looks the same, the opponents are the same groups over and over again as well, but quality was replaced with quantity, and you have to endure this over several floors.
- When I quit and returned to Windows, the game had always set my keyboard from German to English without reverting it again.
- When I picked up my old character, I didn't consider that I had also gotten the Anniversary Edition for free, I just continued the game already installed on my PC without thinking about it. And that means I will probably never get to see the Ragnarök expansion, since I don't feel like playing through the whole game again first because my character isn't compatible with the Anniversary Edition. Oh well.

I'm not really sure what my verdict is. At times it was fun, other times it was frustrating and tedious. But I guess the fun parts were predominant, after all I was motivated enough to play through the whole thing, and I didn't manage to actually complete many games in this genre yet (not even Diablo 2), since I tend to lose interest at some point. So maybe my verdict could be that Titan Quest is an interesting game in a somewhat boring genre, which makes it both great and not that great? :/
Post edited November 06, 2018 by Leroux
Just finished Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy on PS4, 100% and Platinum Trophy.

First off, I somehow totally forgot that there had been an HD remaster of the original trilogy on PS3 already while these PS4 "versions" of these games are apparently emulated PS2 versions, just with a higher widescreen resolution and added trophies. The HD remaster had some more refinements like improved textures and motion blur. But unlike what some sources on the web suggest, the PS4 emulation actually runs at 60 FPS with only the occasional slowdown. Given a choice I would have probably gone with the HD collection, I guess, but oh well, the PS2 ports for PS4 just happened to be on sale on PSN recently and that's what I ended up playing. At least this way I ended up playing Naughty Dog's original game rather than a third-party remaster.

Anyway, like Banjo-Kazooie and Spyro it follows the Mario 64 structure: a kinda open world with collectables you need to get ahead, many of which you get by fulfilling a variety of tasks or "quests" if you will (although that's a bit of an overstatement). In the end everything you do is so you get more collectables of which there is A LOT. 101 "power cores" which work like the stars in Mario and are needed to unlock new areas. Additionally there's some "precursor orbs" of which there are 2000, a few of which can be traded for power cores but past a certain point collecting these is sheer masochism. Finally there's seven "scout flies" in each area, collecting all flies in one area gets you one power core.

So the formula is pretty straight-forward. Travel through the worlds, do tons of platforming, beat the crap out of enemies and collect stuff. Most of the time it's just platforming action, once in a while you have to defeat a tougher boss, there's a few vehicle sections and some situations border on puzzles but aren't really complicated. It's really just a nice and simple action game. It's helluva lot less convoluted than Banjo-Kazooie and also easier than Spyro the Dragon (if you went for 100% or rather 120% in the latter, that is).

While the graphics don't hold up well, one thing that really stands out is the animations: they are pretty much perfect to this day and Naughty Dog certainly knew it. Whenever you talk to an NPC (which sadly barely happens in the game's second half) you get a close-up of that person, showcasing the ridiculously good animations as well as top-notch voice acting. Most importantly, though, your sidekick Daxter is a very fun and charming "lovable rascal" kind of character. If it weren't for Max Casella's great performance, the game would really lack character because other than Daxter, nothing about the game world or plot is particularly interesting or developed and there's just too few other characters. For some reason Jak, the character you actually control, is a silent protagonist and as bland as it gets.

Now, the gameplay is a weird thing.There are many little things that were botched, in my opinion, but curiously that didn't keep me from enjoying the game greatly from start to finish. Jak's moveset is extremely limited compared to some other platformers and, surprisingly, it isn't extended over the course of the game. There's just two attacks, which can be combined with jumps, there's obviously jumping and there's finally rolling. There's a few more maneuvers if you jump or attack after rolls and such but most of the time I wasn't even aware of them. And once in a while you can shoot from your fist. I'm absolutely okay with that limited moveset and it was a refreshing change after Banjo-Tooie which is almost too complex for my taste. What's not quite okay is that, in my opinion, they totally botched Jak's speed. He just moves so damn slowly, especially compared to how high he jumps. Until the very end of the game I was frustrated by this and had trouble aiming jumps due to how unnatural the ratio between these two is. Something's just really wrong when your jumps are noticeably higher than long. To make matters worse, double jumps and using the spin attack (which slows down your fall) also further reduces your horizontal speed which is just really really weird. Speaking of which: the double jumps are atrocious because there's just a tiny window during which you can do a second jump. I don't recall a single other game where pulling off a double jump requires this much precision. And what's funny: once in a while you can charge yourself up with blue "eco", which makes Jak move much faster and it's only at those times that movement begins feeling right.

Then there's the pretty absurd health system. You have just three hit points, get hit thrice and you respawn. That's okay, what's dumb is how you replenish those: you need to collect fifty (50!) green orbs to recover one hit point. The thing is that collecting these orbs is pretty slow and tiresome and dying and respawning with full health is MUCH less of a hassle than replenishing just one HP. Thank God there's an abundance of checkpoints.

Anyway, in-spite of these really weird issues with the movement and health I enjoyed the heck out of the game. It was a bit short, it was a tad too easy, there could have been more boss fights or generally more cutscenes and more fleshed-out villains and a few more interesting tasks but I had a very good time while playing and finishing this game. I'm really looking forward to the second game now which I've already downloaded. And I certainly enjoyed this game more than any other Naughty Dog title I've played (yes, including The Last of Us).

Oh yeah, the reward for getting 100 orbs (only 72 are necessary to finish the game) is utterly pathetic. It just adds a cutscene during which basically nothing happens, just a very obscure teaser for the sequel, I guess. Additionally I got punished by having to sit through the credits a second time, sigh.
Post edited July 08, 2018 by F4LL0UT

A very good game. Great level design and very clever puzzles (two of them were to clever for me and I had to look at a Let's Play video to figure out the solution).

I would recommend a controller for playing this game (seems to be easier to choose the different liquids and fluros with one), but it probably also works fine with keyboard and mouse).

I wonder why this game isn't on GOG. It would be a good fit in my eyes.

Complete list of finished games in 2018