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Finished a few games since last time:
- Plantes vs Zombies: It was ok.
- We should talk.: A very short that I got on Not very interesting...
- Eternia: Pet Whisperer: A very short that I got on Not very interesting...
- Lego Harry Potter Years 5-7: Same as the other Lego games. It was ok.
- Last Day of June: Walking simulator with some puzzles. I liked it.
- Escape Machine City: Airborne: A short puzzle game. It was average...
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Same as the other with the story lacking a bit compared to the previous ones. Gameplay is good and the DLC tombs are great. I really liked it.

Full list here

For all the praise I have been hearing about it, I don’t think it lives up to the hype.
It’s not a bad shooter by any means, but I found many things on it to be rather disappointing.
It has the same weapon and enemy types as most other shooters and I found the enemies to be rather annoying, especially the ones that move so very erratically.
Some levels have nice design and a good dose of atmosphere, while others are rather standard for a fps.
There are a lot of weird things in this game, especially the bosses; but I can’t decide if it’s the good or pointless type of weirdness.

All in all, it’s a good game with a few things that I personally didn’t like very much.
Post edited May 24, 2023 by KruhLatry

This is a rare overlooked FPS from 2005 published by 1C Games. I enjoyed my time with it. I love these old school FPS where you can save anywhere and each level is uniquely crafted. This was just before the open world design took over most of gaming. Its no longer sold anywhere. I bought mine back in 2011 from GamersGate in a 1C bundle. It ran great on my A10-7800 APU with integrated graphics.

I just started my next 1C FPS game called HELLFORCES released back in 2004. Started off slow with only melee weapons for first few levels. I almost gave up, but so glad i stuck with it becausing it getting really fun now with guns. Lots of shooting and the AI is really good.
Psychonauts 2, May 25 (Xbox Game Pass)-I was pleasantly surprised with this because I haven't liked many Tim Schafer games and while I did enjoy the first game I wasn't a superfan by any means. But this game just clicked with me. The exploration and platforming were fun. Gathering collectibles wasn't a big chore and actually contributed to leveling up the character. The abilities and puzzles were varied enough. All of the levels felt unique. The voice acting was good and the humor was pretty entertaining. Combat was a bit of a weak point but while the boss fights were very easy they were still fun. Can't really complain.

Full List
Dark Souls 2 Scholar of the First Sin

Played it after hearing that it was made by the King's Field team and not pressured by Souls mastermind to do their own thing.
It sticks out from the series, for sure. World feel abandoned, but not apocalyptic like DS1 or DS3 or even Bloodbourne. It's kinda cozy tbh.

Some rooms and places are really barebone. Like primal bonfire (major objects) being in simple, untextured? rooms with nothing else?
Or wooden staircase that ends with another (stone) stairs because the first one was badly placed.

We all know Souls games are about rolling, even in full plate armor, so what they did in DS2?
They made invincibllity frames in rolls affected by stats! For a fresh characters you have to be really precise, like you were trying to parry with medium shield.
And that was with Xbox controller, which got parrying set to Trigger, which takes longer to press. Quite annoying when requires quick reaction. They should go with upper buttons like they did in Gears of War and quick reload mechanic.
Combines that with enemy attacks literally glued to the player (with re-tracking mid attack) you can imagine how horrible it sounds.

You lie down, the animation didn't even finish and you get hit again. Get hit in combat and you get staggered for a long time. No reaction to my buttons, no hiding behind the shield, which was pretty annoying.
Majula - best hub, full stop. Music and slow repopulation is really neat.
No sidestepping. Literally running around. In some cases provoking attacks, if enemy have little reach - otherwise it's free hit. For them.

Bonfire aestethics for farming in places you want (without waiting for New Game Plus and beyond when enemies are gone forever) is cool,

And what's with the fire breath hitting you behind the obstacles? In DS1 there's this early moment on the bridge, where random dragon fries undeads while you hide behind the wall.
If that happened in the DS2 or DS3 it would burn me every time. Weird inconsistency...

Hitboxes are either brilliant of garbage. Animation can also have problems - when you hit enemies who raised their weapons they will still take away your HP despite them not hitting you due to staggering hit.
And there are moments when you're close to the enemy, he's hitting you but deals 0 damage, not even staggering animation?
It creates really confusing situations in a game requiring precision and punishing for mistakes.

Then there are final credits - when you play SotFS you get both for original and SotFS played, with mostly the same names? And they're unskippable. In a game about multiple playthrough. UGH

Frigrid Outskir - just push through the snow storm while not seeing a thing and get jumped by demonic horses out of the blue.
And that comes from someon who played old FROM games, with it's own hard location like the one covered in fog, with invisible enemies (at the same time) while taking them down from a distance with very limited ammo.
Post edited May 27, 2023 by SpecShadow
Today, after 1 and half year long break from the game, I have finally decided to finish off the requisites for Torpedo Buster achievement in GOG copy of Rebel Galaxy, which was the last missing achievement to 100% the game. It took me only about half hour to shoot down last 180 torpedoes, so I am now kind of wondering, why I have not finished it long time ago :D .

List of all my finished games can be found HERE :)
Post edited May 27, 2023 by MMLN
Snark Busters is a series of hidden object games. There isn't any cats in the first game, but there are cats in the second and third game.

One cat shows up early on in All Revved Up. Initially the cat is shown sleeping on the stack of tires.

There's two cats that show up in High Society. The first cat sitting on the barrel is part of an easy puzzle where you give him a fish, then he leaves. The second is waiting for the cat furniture to be repaired. Additionally there is a cat-themed jewerly box in the same room as the second cat that I didn't screen capture.
After almost 50 hours I finally finished Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity last night. That is, all story content of the base game and DLC - though I wouldn't be surprised if there's at least one more secret story battle left. It was quite surreal to play this one exactly when the whole world was going crazy over Tears of the Kingdom.

Last year its predecessor, Hyrule Warriors, got me hooked from the very first moment and I literally couldn't stop playing it. It was one of those games which just instantly put a smile on my face and keep doing it for dozens of hours. Its mix of colourfulness and power metal and extreme Zelda fanservice had this pure raw positive energy that just put me in a happy place, like Tony Hawk's Pro Skater of Crazy Taxi. And the Warriors series gameplay, with its mild strategic elements where you constantly have to react to developments on the battlefield, kept me engaged.

Age of Calamity has none of that.

Already Hyrule Warriors was quite "casualized" compared to the Warriors games I've played before but it kept the spirit of the series intact. With AoC the developers took no prisoners in their pursuit of accessibility and mass appeal and, in my opinion, the result is by comparison a very unfun, shallow and repetitive game. Several big things happened here:

1. Where the first game was an obvious crossover between two very different franchises and felt like the work of Zelda fans, here they did everything they could to make it feel like the Breath of the Wild developers themselves created a Warriors game. The look, the feel, the sound, the story - all of it just oozes BotW. It's honestly impressive how much AoC feels like an actual prequel to BotW. But: it viscerally made the game just far less fun to me than any other Warriors game. I never got "pumped", slashing away at the hordes of enemies just wasn't as satisfying. The game also feels much smaller and more repetitive as it only resorts to characters and enemy types from BotW.

2. Superficially the Warriors games are very dumb and monotonous slasher games but what you actually do in those games is control the battlefield - I've compared the games to classic space combat sims like Wing Commander in the past and I stand by that. You can't just mindlessly slash away, in order to win you need to prioritize, constantly make decisions whom to attack in what order and where. Remove that aspect and the Warriors games would be just as dumb as they seem. And that's exactly what they did here.

Pretty much the entire systemic aspect of the Warriors games is gone and (unlike in Hyrule Warriors 1) not even objectives are used to put any pressure on you. The battlefield isn't alive in any way, for the most part enemies are just waiting for you to come to them. All you do in this game is to push forward and attack the same pathetically small set of "leader" enemies over and over again and even fighting those is very monotonous and shallow. Fighting these tanks really just boils down to performing camouflaged QTEs by performing dodges and using Sheikah Slate powers at just the right moments which will allow you to deliver devastating "weak-point smashes". Even the rating system is gone and so there isn't anything left here that would require you to even fight effectively - and staying alive is for the most part trivial. I literally didn't die a single time (though one time I admittedly got close).

So yeah, it's not a battle simulator anymore in any way, it's just an incredibly mediocre slasher game where even the best story levels aren't remotely as fun as the average level in Hyrule Warriors 1. Crazily the story battles are far more narrative-driven and scripted than before and still end up being samey because none of that is used in favour of any gameplay diversity. All Warriors games I've played had some custom mechanics throughout their levels, e.g. areas covered by artillery and whatnot, and for some crazy reason you will find practically none of that here.

3. Finally, and this really pissed me off, they integrated all the optional battles and auxiliary systems into the main campaign. Between battles you get a bloated world map that looks like something from a Ubi game, with millions of markers with optional battles and "quests" - all of this is designed to cheaply turn the game into a time sink and highly encourage you to play dozens of tiny optional battles over and over again by hunting down crafting components and farming rupees and XP. Many idiots have praised the game for its amount of content but all I see is a very dirty scheme to generate a ton of "playtime" with cheap content. I really just wanted to get it over with and beat the story levels but no, I constantly had to level up my characters and unlock attacks for them by playing crappy mini battles where you have to quickly kill a few bosses or several hundred mobs. So actually there is a portion of the game here where you need to fight effectively in order to win but sadly you will only find it in shitty challenges that always feel like they were slapped together by an intern in a few minutes each and only reuse locations from the story levels.

Oh, and finally: it has shitty performance and suffers from more camera problems than any other game in the series I've played. Jesus.

In summary: I'm pissed. They finally made a Warriors game that's exactly as stupid as most people think the series is and ironically it's the best-selling and highest reviewed game in the series. I don't want to live on this planet anymore.
Post edited May 28, 2023 by F4LL0UT
Eschalon: book 1

I wasn’t having much fun at first. I made my go-to character, a melee focused swordsman with buff-spell support and a little skill in bows for variety. At first the game felt unbalanced to me, I was missing way more attacks during combat than expected and my character moved so slowly across the areas. Later, after finding a few good pieces of armor, a better sword and buying a few spells, the game felt much better and I was beginning to have some fun.

The game has good exploration and a few nice puzzles here and there, but the rest is noticeably lacking.
The movement is slow and the areas are rather large, leading to a lot of running around if you want to explore everything.
The combat is heavily luck based, especially at the beginning. Maybe this is supposed to be like D&D? Anyway, I often had to spend a whole in game day resting after no more than one encounter.
Most loot is randomized. More often than not, I went through some trouble to get to a chest, getting poisoned, or worse – diseased, by a trap(there is an annoyingly high amount of these by the way), only to open the chest to find some low value junk; unless you want to save-scum.
The story is mediocre and there are no real characters to speak of, more like background-info and quest dispensers. The quests are mostly as basic as you can imagine and the ending was also a huge letdown for me.
It’s also a technically flawed game. I found a few bugs, graphical errors and the game even crashed once.

As a whole, I did enjoy Eschalon: book 1, but it took some time and there were a few annoyances along the way. The story isn’t worth much, but there’s some decent exploration to be found here.
Somerville, May 28 (Xbox Game Pass)-I was underwhelmed by this but its not really my type of game. I wasn't crazy about Limbo, Inside, or Little Nightmares either. Puzzles were rather easy and the entire game took less than 3.5 hours. It was a little buggy. Frequently when walking or crawling the character would clip through walls and objects. Objectively probably not as good of a game as those other three but still fun if you like that style.

Full List
Okay, almost three years after I ordered the Turrican Anthology Ultra Collector's Edition from Strictly Limited Games I finally got... the PS5 versions which I ordered recently while I'm still waiting for my PS4 collector's edition, welp.

Anyway, today I fired up Vol. 1 of the collection and instantly checked out all games on this disc and I couldn't help myself: I beat Turrican II: The Final Fight on my first attempt in challenge mode (no rewinds, no save states etc.).

Here's a few words about the Anthology first: it's mostly in line with what you'd expect from a modern collection of retro games with many customization options for controls and display options, manual scans, a jukebox and aids in the form of save states and rewinding (though you can't get trophies if you use those). It's mostly just solid work but they did go the extra mile by adjusting the original Amiga games' 1-button controls for modern gamepads with dedicated buttons for actions that originally required more complicated inputs. But most importantly: you can play the games with Chris Huelsbeck's own 2013 cover versions of the soundtracks which is a dream come true for me personally. Supposedly there's also an automap feature but it glitched out on me when I tried it and also trophies haven't unlocked properly for me. Yikes.

What really sucks is the distribution model of the anthology, though. For some inexplicable reason the Anthology was split into two separate volumes containing 5 "games" each, 5 of which are just alternate versions of other games in the anthology. Each volume costs $35 and the games were separated in a bizarre fashion between the two. I refuse to believe that it was necessary to split the anthology into two products and having to spend $70 for the whole package is ridiculous and I'm saying that as someone who genuinely loves the series. It's barely acceptable for the limited physical editions and it's pathetic for the digital ones. Oh well.

Going back to Turrican 2 specifically, though: it's widely regarded as the best and "definitive" Turrican game and I do feel that it does hold up very well. It's more polished and prettier than T1, it's riddled with fun little details and while the level sequence is linear, the levels do have the open-ended design that the series is known for and which rewards exploration with many power ups and extra lives. It does inherit some awkward stuff from T1 like too little visibility, giving you only a split second to react to new enemies, and the lack of invincibility upon receiving damage - sometimes you will barely receive any damage, at other times your health will get fully drained because you got stuck inside an enemy or moved in the same direction. I do feel that you can absolutely get used to it, though, and then it's one of the best run and gun games of its era (if not ever). IMO the enemy and level designs are very imaginative and you get a very cool toolset to deal with them, with three firing modes with stacking levels, the ability to turn into a "wheel" (Turrican's clone of Metroid's morph ball) and some limited super attacks. And most importantly, a beam that can be freely rotated and allows you to get enemies at otherwise unreachable angles.

Admittedly the design of the first two Turrican games isn't always fair, once in a while there's actual trolling in the level design and a few bosses aren't well-designed at all, but especially Turrican 2 totally evens that out with frequent healing and ample 1-ups which are scattered throughout the levels. During my playthrough I usually ran around with a dozen extra lives and still had a few left when I performed very badly during the final boss and still won. If anything the game might actually be a bit too easy, being genuinely winnable on your first approach (and this was the first time I played the game in ages) and I encourage anyone to play the games without resorting to save states or rewinds. These games are a rare instance of old arcade-style games that don't want to torture the player and just offer a solid but fair challenge.

Finally: Turrican 2 is known to have one of the best soundtracks on the Amiga and personally I believe that it's one of the best game soundtracks ever composed. Any fan of old game soundtracks owes it to themselves to at least check out the music.

One game down.
Post edited May 30, 2023 by F4LL0UT
Hidden Through Time - available on GOG

This is a cute hidden object game that is available on GOG. The base game has a bunch of cats even though I only took screen captures of a few of them. Legends of Japan was the section that didn't have any cats at all but if you get this game, it's still worth picking up this DLC.

Base Game:
Base Game:
Viking Tales:
Road to Rome:
Road to Rome:
Aztec Ruins:

Thimbleweed Park - available on GOG

While there are no cats that you can actually interact with, there is a show called I Love My Cat that can be seen if you turn on the television then use it a second time to change the channel. This can be seen in any hotel room. There's no cats in the mini adventure Delores, but they are referenced in relation to playing with toilet paper.
Just beat the next Turrican game, this time Mega Turrican: Director's Cut which is part of Vol. 2 of the Anthology.

The thing about Mega Turrican is that it's basically the same game as Turrican 3 on Amiga which I used to play a ton as a kid. I never played Mega Turrican much, though, and this marked my first playthrough of this version. That I easily beat it on my first try just shows how small the differences between these versions are, I even instantly found a number of secrets which I haven't seen in almost thirty years. Backgrounds are different, the sounds and music sound very differently (though the compositions are the same) and a few level elements behave in a fancier fashion on the Mega Drive but that seems to be it.

I was mostly curious what the "Director's Cut" has to offer but sadly it's virtually nothing. It seems that it only unlocks a short secret level by default which you could also reach in the original version if you scored high enough and which (unless I'm mistaken) was a standard level in Turrican 3. Sigh. Supposedly the Director's Cut also restores sprites of Mario and Sonic stuck in some test tubes but I didn't notice them.

Either way, IMO it's a fantastic oldschool run and gun game and easily one of the best of its era. I think I still prefer Turrican 2 but not by much. Mega Turrican (and also Turrican 3) is just a lot more "professional" than the first two games. While the first two games have a bit of that jankiness that you can expect from an Amiga game, Mega Turrican has that level of quality that normally only Japanese developers delivered at the time. It's super smooth, there's knockback and brief invincibility upon receiving damage, the power ups are more sensible and also the art style is kinda juicier and more coherent than in T2. I wouldn't say that it objectively looks better than T2 but it's definitely more in line with how other 16-bit platform games looked. For anyone who didn't grow up with the first two games, Mega Turrican would probably be the best entry in the entire series.

The game does have a few notable differences over its predecessors, though. The most striking one is that the series' trademark beam, which allowed to hit enemies at almost any angle, was replaced with a grappling hook here, which can be attached to walls and allows Turrican to swing around. It was quite fancy back in the day but in retrospect it feels like an unnecessary feature to me that is too clunky and slow to be truly enjoyable. The beam in T1 and 2 was far more useful but an argument could be made that removing the beam weapon only makes Mega Turrican a better run and gun game. Also the "power line" was replaced with a traditional smart bomb that just hits everyone on screen and the wheel mode is finally kinda sensibly balanced in that it has a limited duration rather than being usable infinitely (like in T2) or just three times per life (like in T1).

I also really enjoy the levels and bosses here. Some of the levels sacrifice a lot of the series' traditional open-endedness but it's a welcome change and other levels totally retain it - either way, there's again a ton of secret areas with power ups and extra lives. And the bosses are just much better designed, with clearer and more sensible patterns than the ones in the previous games. Enemy and visual level diversity is also very strong in this one. In this pursuit of higher quality the developers seemingly did sacrifice a bit of the playfulness, though, that T1 and especially T2 had.

So generally it's a highly enjoyable and also surprisingly accessible game all around but I must admit: I think the game might actually be a tad too easy. You won't find all that many extra lives here but still, if you keep looking you will find enough of them so that you will easily beat almost every single level and boss without even performing particularly well. I suppose the biggest problem is that with every death you regain three smart bombs and spamming those will quickly defeat almost every boss without having to actually learn his pattern. That frankly sucks a little bit but oh well, I guess I do prefer this over a torturously difficult game. Maybe one of these days I will try beating the game on hard difficulty.

Anyway, it's honestly still as great as ever and any fan of old-school run and gun games should check this one out.

And of course Huelsbeck again delivered great music. Personally I prefer the music in the previous games but these tunes also are undeniably catchy.
Post edited May 30, 2023 by F4LL0UT
F4LL0UT: Finally: Turrican 2 is known to have one of the best soundtracks on the Amiga and personally I believe that it's one of the best game soundtracks ever composed.
Scanning statement for accuracy....................accuracy verified at 100%. Sadly I never played Turrican 3; somehow I missed it when it came out.
While True: Learn() - available on GOG
The game can be purchased either on its own or as part of the Catisifaction Bundle that includes Learning Factory (in development) plus the DLCs for both games.

This is a puzzle game inspired by machine learning plus cats. After having your cat fix your code for you, the player goes on a quest to become a better programmer and use programming to translate what cats are saying.

There's promo codes that you can enter, which unlock a lot of different cats that will just hang out on the shelf above your monitor.