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Cavalary: Plus that the tablets mean that plenty of the character development is fixed, and even what you can customize needs to be done while following a guide, to keep track of the fixed bonuses and not waste LP.
I don't remember the details of how things worked exactly in G2 but yeah, I remember that the progression was another thing I didn't like in G2. Back in the day all my friends were brutally min-maxing the game, optimizing at every step to achieve the maximum amount of STR or DEX, it's practically all they talked about in the context of G2 while with G1 all we really talked about was the world. And from what I recall feeling like I'm constantly making mistakes in the progression was another thing that kept me from fully enjoying it. It's something I never had with G1, even when I did waste points on useless stuff and did multiclassing.

Cavalary: In terms of mood and style between G2 and G1 though, G2 always struck me as both more and better, the atmosphere, the game world itself, how "real" and lived in it feels, even more so compared to other games of the period.
Ironically that's exactly the area where I personally feel that G1 did a much better job than G2. The colony in G1 was a very coherent and believable place to me. It was not only an interesting and (seemingly) plausible thought-experiment, it also worked perfectly with the scale and concept of the game world. To this day the original Gothic may be the most perfect open RPG world for me in this regard. Going bigger inevitably made G2 more abstract - with their scale and architecture Khorinis and its surroundings felt more like an abstract representation of a medieval city and landscape than an actual place and thus they sacrificed something that was one G1's biggest strengths in my opinion.

I realize that those are sentiments that most players do not share but yeah, I think that's my single biggest problem with G2 compared to G1. Well, that and the fact that to me the true Gothic experience is a brutal dirty world where the sky is never blue - something that G2 also changed. But oh well, to each their own. And I suppose it is good that they did not make the exact same game twice.
Norco, Mar 20 (Xbox Game Pass)-This was an interesting adventure game set in a strange futuristic Louisiana. The quality and style reminded me a lot of Wadjet Eye games. I was following the plot pretty well up until the last hour or so. Its got a bunch of weird, memorable characters. The puzzles were pretty light. I'm not sure I understood why Kay had a mindmap, did she also have a minddrive?. The combat and boating minigames were bad but not so terrible to stop playing. Its got some good humor in it for at least one scene. And it just didn't quite come together at the end in an enjoyable, coherent way for me.

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Alien vs, Predator 2000
Finished both Marine and Predator campaign, just like in the AvP 2 (still baffled that best game in the series is not available).

Another one that stuck with me for years. Always scared by the insane game speed (or my perception was funky?) that felt like setting FoV above 90, past my comfort zone.
Wristblade worked randomly or was it me being bad?
Weapon accuracy in general was far from perfect despite me keeping crosshair on their heads. I feel like medium distance is perfect.

Last marine level was pure puzzle that can be done in minute, but gettint to that point might take a while...
also that's when I've discovered existence of bunny hopping, making the avoidance much, MUCH easier. It also helps that you finally get some free space for acrobatics.

Second to last level was pure insanity with random waves. Sometimes your headshots lands, sometimes even smartgun can miss... that's life I guess.

It might be possible to finish these campaign in the original (no saves) but no way I'm doing that.
I beat Metroid Prime Remastered on Switch recently. IMO it's very good but not great.

After everything I had been told about the game over the years I was expecting some nigh-perfect masterpiece, the pinnacle of game design where every aspect was executed with surgical precision like, say, Resident Evil 4. Yeah no. Like any other Metroid developed after Super Metroid it's, for better or worse, just another Super Metroid but this one's first-person and what I can say is this: I'm positively surprised by the fact that such a straight first-person adaptation of Super Metroid actually works. I am disappointed by the fact that it's little more than that and I am very disappointed by the execution of... most of it.

The basic metroidvania gameplay is as satisfying and addictive as ever, the Metroid atmosphere and visual design is also great. That, combined with the fact that Prime unlike other Metroids does not need you to shoot and bomb every single centimetre of the game world in pursuit of hidden blocks, makes Prime a deeply enjoyable game. 8/10, no questions asked.


Nintendo has apparently always insisted that Metroid Prime is not a shooter but a first-person action adventure. That's a little bit weird, given the amount of shooting in this game, and one could accuse them of choosing this narrative because they knew that the shooter gameplay in Prime isn't good, which is frankly the case. The shooter gameplay mostly sees you fire your pew pew gun with infinite ammo either at defenseless targets or Space Pirates who just spam mostly unavoidable barrages of projectiles at you which only don't make this game a nightmare to play because like in any other Metroid game you have like a million HP which makes it feel like you're playing in god mode. Eventually you constantly have to switch firing modes mid-combat, because many later enemies are immune to attacks of a different colour than themselves, and doing so is the most awkward thing imaginable as it requires you to take both your thumbs off both sticks and sometimes just isn't possible because of some utterly unnecessary cooldown. Crazy. There's a little bit more to the shooter gameplay, there are a few okay boss fights, but not one element feels even remotely as good or carefully designed as say in Halo or Resident Evil 4 which I did frankly expect from a game that is still collecting 9 and 10 scores left and right 20 years after release.

But okay, it's Metroid, an "adventure". Well, also here I have some serious complaints. They did not adapt platforming into first-person well at all and it suffers from all the common problems that come with it like never knowing when you will reach a ledge and generally, everything is kinda more awkward than it should be. Transforming into and out of the morph ball takes ages for no particular reason, as does "jumping" in this form which again requires you to bomb yourself, the wall collisions are often very bad (and are responsible for one of my only two deaths), later you get a grapple beam which allows you to swing around but also that one has an unnecessary delay which means that you can fall even if you pressed the corresponding button while in range of a hook. Bizarre. Even more so since the Turok series was very popular on the N64 and handled first-person platforming much better.

And it's not really a thinking man's game either. There are maybe two or three genuine environmental puzzles in this game and they are very easy, other than that you just do what you do in any metroidvania game: use tools on the corresponding hurdles. Once in a while you may have to be a bit more clever to reach a certain optional upgrade item but frankly that's disappointingly rare. There's a bit more narrative here than in other Metroid games, which is told through texts that you discover by scanning computers and whatnot but what you get is the most whimsical sci-fi story - I wasn't expecting Shakespeare but I did expect something that doesn't sound like it was written by an eight-year-old. Cute.

And you know, given that it's Metroid there's fair share of backtracking which is normally okay but you know, replaying the same rooms many times tends to work better if the core gameplay is the slightest bit challenging or exciting which I can't really say about Prime. Doing the same platforming challenges which range from trivial to clunky and doing the same boring "fights" (most of them rather target practice) a dozen times is not my idea of a good time and I did get a bit fed up with it by the time the game needed me to revisit half the world in pursuit of keys required to unlock the final boss without any form of fast travel.

As I said, I did enjoy it. For a week or so I was always looking forward to playing some more Prime in the evening. It is a game that was made with love and the first time you reach any room is a joy, there are some fun ideas and a few exciting moments in here like Samus' face getting reflected on her visor from explosions in dark areas or having to defend yourself against invisible enemies with heat vision. Sometimes it feels more like an Alien game than almost any other Alien game. But it is also a far cry from the masterpiece that everyone and their uncle is making it out to be. It's just a good game.
Star Wars: Dark Forces using The Force Engine

You know, back in the 90's, my game from the series was actually SW:DF2, which I bought when released and played through twice, once for each side of the force.

I had played DF1, before, but never further than level 3 or 4. Though I do remember cheating my way straight to the last level and seeing the ending. So this is my first time playing start to finish.

Overall, it's a pretty impressive game for 1995. In fact, the mission unlock coupled with lives system is pretty much the same as Doom Eternal, and there are other elements here and there that seem way more modern than what would be expected for a game this age.

The game is divided into 14 pretty long levels, some of which have aged fairly well all things considered. Difficulty on Medium is about easy up until level 8. From there forwards it gets considerably harder, and it gives a feeling that enemies outside the basic Empire Grunts (stormtroopers, the guys in brown suits and the ones in black suits, and a couple of flying droids from the movies) weren't all that well balanced out.

The Force Engine itself, I used the current 1.09.100 version and it works incredibly well, though I found the shortcut to access the engine's menu not the most intuitive thing. But I still think Lucius work on it is astounding. :)
So far, breath of the wild and The Last of Us 1. My kids lost my BotW box that had the memory card in it. Found it after a few years and started playing again. Got plenty of food and gear to fight Gannon. Probably my favorite open world game and my favorite looking. Can’t wait to play the sequel.

Last of us 1. I’ve tried hard in the past to get into this game. Decided to give it another chance with the show on HBO. And this might be the best game I played on PS4. Loved the game towards the end. Show could have been so much better.

Right now, taking a break trying to get a certification for work. Hope to have it done by the first week of June:
Tribes of Midgard(steam) :
A vibrant blend of survival and action RPG for 1-10 players! Craft legendary items, grow your home base and embark on an epic journey through procedural realms to face towering creatures hel-bent on unleashing Ragnarök. Valhalla can wait, Einherjar!

It was good at first but then failed to keep me in it.. ig the problem is with me playing survival mode and solo, if it was with friends or multi would hv been great. Other than that it got good elements, no story just some quests, building, levelling up and boss battles but after 40-50 hrs you get bored easily and still an EA in a point cause they are still adding seasons.
Would recommend to get it on sale if you are interested.. worth it.
A Memoir Blue, Mar 26 (Xbox Game Pass)-Very short interactive story. Rather touching and poignant.

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Horizon Forbidden West (PS5 PS Plus)

Finally, after 100 hours it's done. I may still persevere to complete the hunting and weapon pit challenges, post-game, since they are all that's needed for the Platinum Trophy.

A lot of reviews, when it came out, mentioned that it felt like a huge stand-alone expansion to the first game. It does feel like that too, not that it bothers me at all. Ultimately though I felt the game just slightly falls short of matching the original in every way. Well, except graphics maybe. The game looks and runs about as good as can be expected with the current level of hardware technology. In particular it has stunning view distance, which is always something I appreciate. Like all third person cinematic games these days, it feels sluggish due to the complicated animations that are needed for everything. For some reason Aloy looks to have aged about 20 years in the 12 months since the first game. She's going to have a walking frame by the third game.

The game gets labelled as an RPG. As far as I'm concerned it is barely an RPG at all. Character progression feels like it makes little difference and I hit the level cap halfway through the game anyway! Your Aloy is going to be exactly the same as my Aloy. There are no choices whatsoever, your experience is going to be identical to my experience. You can only kill the things the game lets you kill. It's an open world action-adventure game.

The story is okay, pretty much the story from the first game again. Second time around the uniqueness of the world is gone though, something that is unavoidable really. The scale also feels wrong somehow. The world is huge but packed too tightly. Everything is generally no more than 100m from the next thing. For example, there is this one quest where a small village (of warriors mind you) are missing a patrol they sent out a week ago to investigate why the stream is poisoned. You walk 150m up the path and climb a cliff and there's the patrol fighting some machines. You mean in one week those villagers never even walked 150m upstream to check? You can literally see the village from the clifftop! The entire game feels exactly like this. Sure, a lot of open world games have this issue, but this game doesn't even try to disguise it. It feels totally ridiculous at time.

Most side quests follow the template from the first game. Go to a spot, use magic batman vision and then follow the glowing path, find who you're looking for, get ambushed by something that didn't show up using your magic batman vision for some reason. Repeat for the next side quest. And that is the games explorer mode- for people that want to play with low hand holding! It makes me wonder what the guided mode is like then.

In every other respect the game is just like the first one. If you enjoyed the combat and exploration and everything else from the first game, you'll love this too. Little has changed unless you count the ability to breath under water.

Overall, it's a solid and fun game, but also one I'll probably soon forget. It's gaming comfort food. It does feel like it's being setup for another Sony TV or movie series as well. Thinking back to last year, this came out one week before Elden Ring and I remember those funny Sony Fanboys saying that Horizon is better than Elden Ring. Well, I put 150 hours into Elden Ring and 100 hours into Forbidden West. I'll remember my Elden Ring experience for ever, I already cannot remember much of Forbidden West- that's all that needs to be said about where I stand on the subject.
Post edited March 27, 2023 by CMOT70
Deathloop, Mar 28 (Xbox Game Pass)-I really liked this. Its one of the best games I've played this year but not without its flaws. It was a lot of fun slowly unraveling the mystery of the island and the characters and yourself. The stealth and combat were mostly fun. I mostly ignored the slabs until the very end when I started using aether to turn invisible. The banter between the characters and the voice acting specifically for Colt and Julianna was excellent. Graphics were good, I liked the retro aesthetic. I was really having a good time with everything until about the 20 hour mark. Then the secrets started drying up, the loops and general gameplay was getting really repetitive, and I was struggling with some of the visionaries. I pushed through for a few more hours and got to a point where I had learned everything I was going to be able to without a walkthru. Then I geared up for a final run and ended the game. I'm not sure if I picked the good ending but I will say that Julianna did not sell her version very well considering the nearly 30 hours of antagonizing she had just put me through.

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Post edited March 29, 2023 by muddysneakers
The supper
Short, simplistic and weird, with good graphics, music and a nice conclusion. It’s free and won’t take more than twenty minutes of your time. There isn’t much to it, but it’s a fun ride. Give it a shot if you haven’t already.

The feast
Short, narrative-driven and rather weird. There are multiple endings, but it makes no sense why those ‘outside’ outcomes would be based on your limited decisions within a single room. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that it came out in 2022 from a Russian developer, but I can’t say I was too impressed with this game, even if it’s free.

Out of these two short games I preferred The supper, it was more fun to me.
Finished Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker on Switch yesterday.

It's a cute little puzzle game where you walk around as Toad and have to reach a star which serves as the level exit, optionally you can also collect gems and complete some other challenges which differ from level to level. The interesting thing is that most levels are these tiny worlds that kinda look like a diorama. You have very limited control over the camera and can really only orbit around the level which is typically utilized by the level design as it's often about discovering and navigating obscured spots and passages. I'm not sure if bad visibility and restricted control over the camera is a good premise for a game but apparently people love it. Weird. Additionally you can tap some stuff on the screen (or point and click with a cursor if you're using a controller). For instance, you can stun enemies this way, reveal hidden coins etc. but frankly this mechanic felt extremely underutilized - it only really felt like a meaningful feature on a handful of levels where you can move platforms by tapping them.

The production value is decent and everything has that Nintendo charm but really, the gameplay feels like something you'd see in a freeware game from the late 90s or early 2000s - heck, the premise doesn't really go beyond maze games from the 1980s in anything other than the fact that it's 3D. For the most part you just walk around, collect coins, pull on some plants which may also yield coins, sometimes a little power up or a key etc.. Usually there are a couple of enemies who just move back and forth, sometimes they walk towards you when they see you. The game is honestly impressively unimaginative for a Nintendo title. And even with the elements that are there the game could have done a lot more. Most of the levels are so ridiculously easy and unoriginal that I was extremely bored throughout most of the game. There were a few individual moments where I had a bit of fun because I actually needed to think about the solution for a moment but those are extremely rare and a shockingly low benchmark for something that is apparently supposed to be a puzzle game. Then there were also moments where a challenge suddenly demanded a lot of dexterity out of nowhere. Sometimes they were refreshing, at other times frustrating - either way they felt out of place because the camera work and character movement are IMO not suited for this kind of gameplay. I mean, even though the vast majority of the levels are built out blocks like in Minecraft you can't even align the camera to an axis and something as trivial as walking along a beam becomes unnecessarily awkward and stressful.

It's not a terrible game by any means, just utterly underwhelming. Speaking of underwhelming: the reason I bought the game was that it has coop and I figured that a cute coop puzzle game would be a good match for my wife and me. Well, nope. Sadly it's one of those Nintendo games where coop was slapped on as cheaply as possible. I've only taken a quick look at the coop mode but from what I've seen you only have the choice between having two Toads walk around levels designed for one Toad or letting the second player control the "touch" stuff only, which, given how little that feature is utilized by the game, sounds like the most boring job imaginable.

I suppose it's an okay choice for kids or for adults who haven't played a video game since Boulder Dash or Dig Dug and consider picking up a key and carrying it to a door an exciting concept. I am old and do not.
Crackdown 3, Mar 31 (Xbox Game Pass)-Its not a great game. Its good for a couple hours of mindless fun but not much more than that. It felt like a game from 14 years ago rather than just 4 years ago. Everything about it felt like other, older games had already done it better. It was fun blowing shit up though. And the voice acting was good although Terry Crews was criminally underutilized.

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Mr. Bommels Teacats - free on itch
This is a short visual novel style game where you visit Mr. Bommels teacat factory, and a personalized teacat is made just for you. While everyone you meet in this game is a cat, the screen shot I've included is of the teacat that I got at the end.

A Building Full of Cats
This is a hidden object game where you have been hired to pet all the cats in the building. There are secrets cats and finding all the secret cats in a level results in a paw print showing up on the number of cats that you still need to find. While this game is short as the total play time is about an hour, you get exactly what this game advertises plus it's not exactly an expensive game. If you like hidden object games and cats, I'd recommend getting it.
Super Mario Land. It's Super Mario on the Gameboy, a very early Gameboy game, so it's basically good but it feels a tad off compared to the NES games. There are random changes, like the turtles exploding after you jump on them instead of their shells zipping along the ground after being kicked, or the fireballs ricocheting everywhere like Breakout balls. I'm guessing this happened because of the small screen. Same with the game's fairly short length - the credits start rolling right as it feels like the game is really getting going. I particularly liked how instead of underwater levels, there are horizontal shoot-em-up levels with Mario in a plane.

Minor Mario (literally) but still worth checking out if you enjoy the series.