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LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 (2010) (Linux/Wine)

What a great surprise! This game is simply awesome. I expected some kind of an interactive advertising, but this game is really well-made 3D platformer packed with thousands of achievements and side quests. I've played the game with my little son and he also loved the game, especially that it's atmosphere is much more kids-friendly than the later and darker parts of Potter's story. I can't wait to play the next ones :)

It works perfect under Linux/Wine.

List of all games completed in 2023.
Just Cause 4 - Base Game

I've been a fan of the series since 2, though I have played through the first one as well. This one took me quite a while to get to, for some reason. The story isn't anything special, just keeps with the theme of exploring Rico's past while he causes massive chaos and destruction in a new island nation.

The graphics engine is now heavier than ever, so it looks quite bad in my machine due to everything running on low. Very strange coming from a company that did the exquisitely optimized Mad Max. It's even weirder when you notice that the world simulation is sorta chaotic and cars and helicopters often crash in one another or the scenery even if you're not directly influencing them.

Gameplay wise, I like the redesigns of most systems. Completing settlements this time around revolves around stunts, which I absolutely hate, but the stunts have been greatly simplified from what they were before so they're sorta more tolerable overall. Weirdly enough, the game doesn't keep track of destroyed objects anymore, so they respawn after you leave an area. Most of the mobility options from earlier games have been kept, and they still work well and are there from the get go.

Enemies are still excessively aggressive and pile up on you too quickly and they never really let go until you escape, per usual for the series, but I would have liked to see it a bit toned down and made slightly more realistic, maybe. I also wish they had added back the option to expand Rico's now invisible auto regenerating health bar. Whenever the game wants to be hard, it spawns so many enemies that you end up dying quickly.

Like always, main campaign is short, this time around with a whimper of a final mission, but there are a multitude of side missions. There's a good variety of them, but they get repetitive after a while anyway.

I'm still working my way through the DLC, playing the third one first, it adds a nice hoverboard and a few bases to destroy in the style of the older games. But I'm still enjoying it overall.

EDIT: Finished DLC 3 and it's quite fun overall. The animated cutscenes are leagues better than the cutscenes in the base game.
Post edited January 19, 2023 by Falci
Just beat Halo 4. I've been crawling through the Halo games in the Master Chief Collection, really only to get achievements just to fill out the weekly Rewards card, but this was the roughest Halo experience I've had. The only game I have to beat in the MCC is ODST now, though I did start that a while back, with some co-op and the roughest skulls thrown on for laughs, and that's hard, but I haven't beaten that (aside from when I beat it originally) and that's not what I'm going to talk about.

Halo 4 isn't bad per se, but I feel like a good Halo game was buried under a lot of gimmicks and same-y environments. The first half of the game is decent, but it drags on the second half. You can only use so much Forerunner architecture before it gets stale, and it got reeeeaaal stale. I swear a lot of the game is the same few assets over and over again. The natural environments are great, but I swear there's like three levels dedicated to the same UNSC level pieces and even more Forerunner, and there's like 8 playable missions total, 2 of which are just cutscenes. There are plenty of different things that make 4 feel like a series of checklists. Switch between fighting Covenant and Forerunner, have not one but two flyable vehicle sections. The Forerunner weapons also suck because it's just reskins of the basic UNSC weapons archetypes. Covenant weapons differed even if they had counterparts because they played differently.

I should also say that the ending was really disappointing, because instead of a boss fight, it was just a playable cutscene. Like, I was expecting another mission and then it went straight to the epilogue. Lame. I could only think of the jokes about Cortana jerking Chief off in his suit during the next-to-last cutscene. And also I didn't like the soundtrack. I know it's a different composer, but the music was noticeably bad. 4 isn't terrible, but it's not great, and feels watered down compared to previous entries. Maybe 5 rectifies this to an extent, but I'll see when I get around to it.
Warloch_Ahead: Maybe 5 rectifies this to an extent, but I'll see when I get around to it.
Well, the popular consensus is that 5 pretty much broke the franchise...
Prodeus (XSX Game Pass)

Really good old retro styled shooter. The campaign is about 30 levels or so and most of it was really well done. I especially liked the earlier levels and their encounter design. The levels near the end changed into mass spawn, survive the arena sort of levels, which I didn't find as fun. But overall, nothing much bad to say about the game. It has about 7 or 8 difficulty levels too, so anyone should be able to find a balance for the way they want to play. I found normal difficulty to be about right for a fast-paced run and gun sort of game.
Brutal Legend. I've played through this one a few times and just had an itch to do so again, although I didn't 100 percent it this time. It's one of my favorite games, although I'm not blind to its flaws. The side-missions are very repetitive and the campaign feels like it was heavily edited down (because it was) and is little more than an extended tutorial for a multiplayer mode that never really took off.

I still maintain, however, that it's a very misunderstood game. The common rhetoric about it is that it starts as a hack-and-slash action game that "suddenly" turns into an RTS, thereby betraying fans who wanted the action game. If you play it as a pure RTS, though, you'll find it rather difficult. The way you win it is by continuing to play it as an action game that simply has a few RTS elements on the periphery. You survey the battlefield, call up a few units and tell them where to go, then you jump down to ground level and start kicking ass with your guys, using your combos and double-team moves just like the campaign taught you to do. Do that a few more times until you get to the enemy's stage and blow it up, and you win. It's really a very easy game even on highest difficulty.

It still has the best soundtrack ever and it's still a very nice-looking game thanks to great art design.
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (PS5 PS Plus)

A really decent "walking simulator". Initially it didn't click with me due to not knowing what the game wanted, it didn't even explain any of the basic mechanics- leaving it up to the player to work out. Once I did work it out though, it was a really interesting little game. There are two basic ways to interpret the ending I think, the most likely interpretation I pretty much suspected about halfway through the story.

On PS5 it's the PS4 game of course, but at least the graphics menu gives the option of removing the frame cap, so it runs at a locked 60fps. I was hoping to play the Xbox version as it has higher graphics settings and 4K resolution as well as 60fps...but it never goes on sale and has never come to Game Pass- so I took the opportunity to play this version.
Just Cause 4 - Daredevils and Los Demonios DLCs

The rest of the game, basically.

Daredevils is a bunch of Carmageddon like races, with literal cardboard people instead of pedestrians for some reason, wrapped up in a poor excuse for a story. It's kinda challenging, but at the same time isn't, because the game let's you use whatever car you want, not just the immediately available ones, so you just phone in a giant mech and be done with it. For real. :P There's a also a bunch of new cars with weapons attached to them.

Los Demonios is, at the same time, more standard JC fare and completely new for the series. A bunch of giant insects and monster tentacles spreads through a few locations in the map and you have a bunch of things to destroy in each to end the infestation. The balance could be better, but it's fun. There's a new demon ballista weapon as well.

Overall I enjoyed my time with JC4, but I also noticed that I spent a little over half the time I spent with 2 and 3. 2 is the game I spent the most time meddling with its systems, but I doubt I'm going to give 4 that much more time just to blow stuff up.
A Short - available on GOG
The cat in this game lost his camping permit and needs you to help him recover it.

Doodle God is one of those games where you combine two things to create something else. If you like these types of games, the one that I would actually recommend playing is Little Alchemy 2 (which can be played online through a browser or iOS.) Technically what I have is Doodle God 2, which was being given away free on IndieGala as just Doodle God.

The important thing is that in the world of Doodle God, there are cats.... and they don't serve us:
In the Egypt mini game, there's some more cat goodness:

The cat group header is also used in Doodle Devil, but I'd recommend not playing that one at all. Even if it's being given away for free, don't bother. The issue I have with it is that it really does feel like a port of a mobile game that was centered around in-app purchases. If you're lacking for something to play and need more cat time, check out the next game on the list instead....

Rebound is a short (less than thirty minutes) game about cleaning and rebinding books that can be either downloaded for free or played online. If you click on the coffee cup to "take a break," you see that there's a cat sleeping in the room. Unfortunately, you cannot interact with the cat but still... there's a cat.

Self-Checkout Unlimited doesn't have any cats that are actually walking around that you can interact with. The game has more interactivity and puzzles than a walking simulator but less than a full blown adventure game. There are some rules about cats being permitted, and there's a picture of a cat on a poster:

The light sensitivity warnings on this game are serious business though as I did get nausea playing it.

Echoes of Sorrow 1 and Echoes of Sorrow 2 are short hidden object games that are completely unrelated in terms of plot. The only thing they have in common is that in both cases, the player character's husband is a got away with murder by framing someone else and a stalker too because why not. Both games feel like script rejects from the Lifetime Channel. Anyway, there are a few cats in hidden object screens, but I wouldn't recommend looking for either game specifically. Because of the interface, the second game manages to feel like its older than the first even though it is technically newer.
Echoes of Sorrow 1: -
Echoes of Sorrow 2: - -

Hidden Folks is a hidden object game where you find both objects and folks in animated scenes. While I wouldn't recommend this game specifically for the cats as there's only two of them total in the entire game, I would recommend it highly if you like hidden object games. The only negative about this one is that when people have asked the developer about releasing the game on GOG, he points them to Steam. >.> I got it through one of those big charity bundles on itch without DRM, so the developer get a big WTF from me for directing people to Steam.
1. Desperados 3 +DLCs
2. Warhammker 40000: Boltgun
Post edited 20 hours ago by cosminm
Alan Wake (GOG).

It was alright. I thought it was way too padded. Control is much more my speed, so far.
Delta Force. A game that would like to be a more realistic FPS but falls a bit short. The issue is that bullets effectively have unlimited range, so if you can see someone on the map, you can shoot them and they can shoot you, no matter how much distance separates you. So the game collapses into an absurd state where everyone is a sniper. There are a range of weapons you can choose, but I found the M16 with scope to be the best because the M16 can unload 3-shot bursts at a time, unlike regular sniper rifles that have a much slower firing rate, and the scope helps you aim well enough over those long distances.

The firing range issue also means that stealthing your way through a mission (which I imagine is a significant part of real life Delta Force stuff) isn't very practical. The enemies have vision just like you do, so they're going to see you and start screaming and shooting even though you're on the other side of the map and they might not even have binoculars to identify you first. So you end up in the same place as regular FPSs where you're Rambo-ing your way through the game, except you can only take one, maybe two hits and you're doing most of your shooting at long distance.

Despite this, I actually did enjoy the game. It does present a challenge in how to accomplish the missions (usually by killing everyone) without taking a hit, and it plays well enough once you get used to it. I also love voxel graphics and Novalogic were like the kings of voxels in the 90s.
Im back at gaming again. Detroit How to become Human, Dying Light 2 and Ghostwire, all great games.
Donut County Jan 24 (Xbox Game Pass)-A strange little puzzly game about dropping everything down a hole. Fun for a few hours and a bit funny as well. The little raccoon reminded me of Bender.

Full List
Catventurer: (...)
Hidden Folks is a hidden object game where you find both objects and folks in animated scenes. While I wouldn't recommend this game specifically for the cats as there's only two of them total in the entire game, I would recommend it highly if you like hidden object games. (...)
Hello Catventurer!

I am not sure, but maybe the tiny fan project "Hidden Cats" (by Anwilc) might be of interest to you. It is heavily inspired by "Hidden Folks", and full of cats--which actually are the objective of the player to find.
The only downside, it does not feature enough content. Nonetheless, it is a passion project from a cat lover!

Kind regards,

P.S.: Instead of "Hidden Folks", we have the following two similar games here on GOG.COM:
Hidden Through Time - very cute, and lots of additional content (dlc), plus a built-in editor function.
Looking for Aliens (unfortunately, bit on the short side)