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Elderborn. A first-person melee combat game that takes after Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, with the now standard Dark Souls influence. You control a barbarian tribemember who's entering a decadent city full of zombie-like enemies, all of whom you're going to be killing.

It doesn't have the physics angle of Dark Messiah. You mainly kick enemies to break through their shield-blocking, not to knock them into beds of spikes placed everywhere (although kicking them off high surfaces is good), and you don't have any magic. You can activate respawn points here and there - if you use one to recharge your health, all the enemies resurrect, just as in Dark Souls, but unlike Dark Souls you don't have to worry about a stamina meter and can just hack away at stuff, although heavier weapons take longer to swing. At its best, the game manages to sort of feel like Dark Souls but a lot faster. You have a good ability to dodge or just run away from enemies, but getting good at the combat mostly comes down to mastering the block/parry system to stun enemies and nail them before they recover.

It's a decent game but for something that claims to be "metal AF" it's weirdly dry. The soundtrack is decent but I wouldn't say it particularly stands out in terms of getting the blood pumping, and it's not very colorful. The first level, the catacombs, is mostly blue, and the second level, the city, is a lot of brown/beige. It also doesn't help that the game is really short. It's surprising to get through the second level and then realize you're in the Epilogue, which is quite short in comparison. It's like playing the original shareware episode of Doom and then realizing there's no more game coming after it. It's worth playing if you've already played stuff like Dark Messiah and want something similar but cheap, but I wouldn't say it's essential or anything like that.
Alpha Mission from SNK 40th Anniversary Collection. Playe don Easy difficulty, cheated with unlimited rewinds every time I died, still hard as fuck.
Sir Whoopass™: Immortal Death

An unapologetically stupid action RPG filled with weird humor, nonsense and 4th wall breaks. The devs are perfectly conscious of their limitations, and they turn them all in absurd jokes bound to snatch at least a grin from you.
If you're not searching for a mechanically solid game but you want to have some fun time just to see what oddity comes up next, this is the game for you.

Tick Tock: A Tale For Two

Very short puzzle game with one peculiarity: the two players (this game cannot be played alone) are in parallel worlds, and they're meant to cross reference the clues they see. You're asked to solve puzzles by putting together the two sides of the same story, interesting concept that works quite well.

The downside of such a brief game is of course the complete lack of replayability- once you know the solutions, there's no point in coming back to it. Still, definitely worth a play.
Quantum Break, May 15 (Xbox Game Pass)-They should call this Quantum Broken at least on Game Pass (PC). The game is gorgeous except when it isn't which is during most of the cutscenes and about half the combat and occasionally during regular gameplay. There is a ton of stuttering and glitchy lighting effects that result in the entire screen turning white, red, purple, green you name it. It makes the combat more difficult that it should be because you literally can't even see the enemies. The combat itself isn't great. Also not great were the couple of platformy/puzzley sections with their instance death if you got hit or fell. The final boss fight is also rather annoying.

Where the game really shines is the plot. I'm a sucker for a good time travel story and this one delivers. I liked the idea of the junctions at the end of each Act. I do think there were some missed narrative opportunities with some of the junction choices to set up more of a dilemma and support more of the internal conspiracy. The feel of the plot with the conspiracies, and paranoia, and misinformation reminded me of System Shock 2 and to a lesser extent Dead Space. I'm not sure how I feel about the live action episodes between Acts. When rewatching them to see the choices you didn't make, you do see certain comments and actions in a different light so I think I did like them. Regardless the story was quite good. Voice acting was also excellent, especially the late Lance Reddick

With the rather bleh gunplay and terrible graphic glitches I wish it was more of a walking sim but maybe that would change with a stable version. 6/10 for the version I played and probably 7.5/10 for a stable version.

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Post edited May 16, 2023 by muddysneakers
Crop Busters

This is a match-3 game that I got on a bundle disc with a bunch of other games. The cat initially walks around on the farm screen (shown in above screen shot) that you build as you earn coins to unlock more stuff. When you unlock the pond for your farm, the cat also becomes a power-up during the match-3 gameplay itself that allows you to destroy all of a specific token of your choice.

This game is extremely casual in that there's no time limits, turn limits, and running out of moves only causes the remaining tokens to automatically reshuffle.
The Lunar Shard (NWN:EE)

The Witcher adventure game

It’s a board game. I found it difficult to get into. It’s kinda meh if you ask me. There isn’t much to it. That’s all I can say about it.

Gwent: Rogue mage

It’s like Thronebreaker, if you remove the characters, and the villains, and the story, and the dialogue, and the exploration, and the resource management, and the camp upgrades, and the choice/consequence outcomes, and the variety of card-battle modes, and most of the deck-building.

So what is left? Randomness, copious amounts of randomness. It’s a rogue-like after all. Just too bad it’s a repetitive and bland one. There is no story or characters to speak of, and the deck building is bare bones: you always start with one of four preset decks (3 of the 4 must be unlocked) and the rest of the deck-building is pure randomness.

I was fine with Thronebreaker, Rogue mage just bored me. I gave it 14 hours of my time to win me over, but everything passed the four hour mark was nothing but one repetitive run after another.
Star Wars: Rebel Assault. The game is an early CD-ROM rail shooter in which you blast stuff over smudgy, low-resolution, pre-rendered backgrounds, and the story is a mangled re-telling of the original trilogy that doesn't involve any of the original cast except Darth Vader. You start out on Tattooine, move to Hoth and the Asteroid belt from Empire, then finish up with the Death Star attack from the first movie. No speeder bike racing, curiously enough.

I had this when it was new and always found it disappointing, mainly because the controls are so touchy. So much so that I used to wonder if I hadn't calibrated the controls correctly, but playing it now I realize that really is just how the game is. To get through it, you have to just sort of nudge the controls in the right direction and have good timing on the fire button to score hits while you're locked on.

GOG's version as usual runs off DOSBox and it's decent enough, but for the Death Star levels I switched over to the DREAMM emulator ( and it seemed to smooth out some of the rougher edges and made the firing controls just a tad more responsive, I think. Still a very mediocre and frustrating game, though, and something that I was really just playing so I could scratch off something I'd never completed.
After a ton of hours, playing most of the way through then starting over again with a new build, I finally finished my first game of 2023, Pathfinder: Kingmaker. Was not familiar with the Pathfinder universe before, it was very detailed and similar to my recollection of D&D (circa 2nd Edition). A fun but challenging game, it was also my first experience playing a game with this extensive of a kingdom management component, which was more fun than I thought it would be. Definitely a worthwhile CRPG experience, especially if you're not adverse to save-scumming to achieve maximum outcomes. Looking forward to playing WotR sometime in the near future.
Post edited May 20, 2023 by GoldenCavalier
Tales of Arise
This BANDAI NAMCO JRPG centers around a pair of planets where the natives of one planet enslave the natives of the other. You play as Iron Mask, a slave who doesn't feel pain. The story unfolds very nicely but combat starts to get repetitive later on in the game. It is an action style JRPG with location maps, and combat screens when you run into enemies. I spent MANY hours in the game and still haven't finished the post game content. The twists at the end are somewhat predictable, but the character relationships and interactions are great. For people who love JRPGs and don't mind if the game indulges itself in its story a little bit, I can't help but to recommend this title.
Post edited May 20, 2023 by paladin181
Finished Broken Sword 3: The Sleeping Dragon

I´m playing the saga in order. About 16 hours, very good graphics and puzles are not so terrible as i read. In a couple of days i will start with the fourth game.
The Lunar Shard (NWN:EE)

Death Stranding- Directors Cut (PS5 PS Plus)

Keep on keeping on. I played the standard version on my PC last year using Game Pass and really enjoyed it, the game being like Spintires Mudrunner with a philosophical story about extinction. Can you save humanity by connecting them?

The Directors Cut. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of listening to fanboys on this one. Never listen to fanboys! When the regular version came to Game Pass last year, half the diehard Playstation fanboys had meltdowns whilst the other half laughed and claimed how their Directors Cut (even though it's on Steam as well) was game changing and vastly superior. Well, I've now played both and the Directors Cut is pretty much the same game. You can build a racetrack, which I didn't bother with and a couple of extra road sections which weren't that useful. Plus a few extra items that weren't essential in any way. If you have the standard version on PC and wondering if it's worth upgrading- I'd say probably not.

An excellent experience still. A game I always planned to play again, as it probably just sneaks into my top 10 games list. I really do like games where a major part of game play is simply getting from point A to point B. I still think the combat is the games weakest point and there is too much of it without any progression- what you fight in the first hour is pretty much what you're still fighting after 50 hours. The human MULES aren't so bad, but the BT's get really old, really quick. Honestly, I don't say this often, but I advise people to put the combat down to easy right from the start and concentrate on what makes the game quite unique.

The unique part of Death Stranding is the online multiplayer aspect and how you actually co-operate with people that you never even see- building the roads together or finding that safe house that someone built in a remote area that means you can rest and repair your truck there when it was almost destroyed. All of this is part of the story in a way as well. It's what the game is about. Trying to play Death Stranding offline would be like playing Journey offline, you would lose the developers intended experience.

The PS5 version ran perfectly and looks great. Better than it looked on my old PC that's for sure. It reinforces my belief that all the great Playstation owned games are made by third party developers and not in house- like Bloodborne and Death Stranding. All PS developers seem to make these days, are reskinned Assassin's Creed and variations on a theme of Uncharted.
Return to Monkey Island, May 21 (Xbox Game Pass)-I had more fun than I was expecting considering I'm not a huge Monkey Island fan. In fact I think the game is pretty good for new/causal fans of the series. Puzzles were all pretty good with the exception of the Challenge of Intelligence which was pretty awful. Voice acting was pretty good for the main characters but I wasn't too impressed with some of the scheming pirates. I quite liked the framing story and the ending wasn't terrible. Overall a pretty fun and funny experience.

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Agent A: A puzzle in disguise
available on GOG:

The game features one cat, who despite being the pet of your enemy, becomes quite friendly towards you over the course of the game. If you have the game on GOG and play your games through Galaxy, there is a misable achievement involving the cat. When you get the fish, put it through the cat flap door. You'll be able to earn a second fish for the bird and once the bird has his fish, you won't be able to get anymore fish regardless of if you gave one to the cat or not.

Donut County
available on GOG:

This game features two cats. One of which is Chef, who also appears during his level and can talk. The other is an ordinary pet cat that shows up in one of the levels.

You pretty much start out as a villain in this game as you're the racoon BK, who is going around destroying everyone's stuff using a remote control hole in the ground.