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Beat Shadowrun Returns on PS5 on normal difficulty. I'll be blunt: it's an atrocious port of a mediocre game.

I first played the PC version of the game when it was still relatively new. At the time I was extremely disappointed. I suppose like many I was expecting a cyberpunk Fallout but instead it's more like a linear isometric visual novel with a bit of combat thrown in. I figured that the recent console port of the trilogy would be a good opportunity to give the game a second chance, alas, at least the PS5 version appears to be even more broken than the PC version ever was. It's the kind of game that makes you feel like an unpaid QA tester. The game is not only riddled with minor issues, I even ran into two serious game-breaking bugs that took way too much effort to get past. This is not just an awful port, it's a product that should not have been released in this state.

Anyway: I don't know the Shadowrun universe well at all but it seems pretty awesome. It might be an ignorant thing to say but to me it basically feels like a cyberpunk version of Vampire: The Masquerade. It's why it pains me that Shadowrun Returns is in my opinion a mediocre game at best. I'm sure that many fans of old-school RPGs aren't particularly bothered by any of this but personally I loathe these walls of unvoiced text which are utterly devoid of any cleverness and humor. There were a few fun or intriguing characters and interesting moments in the story but to me all of it is seriously dragged down by the quality of the writing and the game's very limited production value. The dialogue content hints at a pretty rich and complex world which is not utilized by the game or its story in any meaningful way.

Sadly the gameplay isn't better. As I said before, Shadowrun Returns is extremely linear. You will of course regularly face non-combat challenges, in particular getting into restricted areas, and like in many RPGs and immersive sims there are usually multiple paths meant for different character builds but given the game's format and small scale, this part of the game is utterly trivial. You don't have to search or think, you just have to use different objects or pick different dialogue choices depending on what your PC can do. As an RPG this game honestly downright bad.

Finally, a good chunk of the game is combat of course. At first glance it's from the new school of turn-based tactical games introduced by XCOM's 2012 reboot with the cover and the flanking, many different abilities etc. but actually it's old-school stuff with RNG galore and both sides just bleeding each other to death with pot shots until only one side remains. There are seemingly many options in this game, with the ability to control drones, summon monsters and cast spells, but in the end almost all of it is just mathematical nonsense that usually boils down to sacrificing either hit chances or damage in favour of the other, often for very cryptic gains. Don't get me wrong, the combat works, it just isn't great by any means. What doesn't work, though, is that when combat starts, enemies usually get the first turn, potentially downing a PC before the player can even act. But in spite of that: at least on normal difficulty I found the combat to be very easy. I don't think things ever got serious for me even once.

Anyway, that's Shadowrun Returns. I have heard that the next two games are much better than this one and I'm sure I'm at least gonna try Dragonfall at some point, maybe even soon, since everyone says that it delivered on everything that Returns messed up. I'm not sure I'll dare play the PS5 version, though.
Post edited February 19, 2023 by F4LL0UT
Recently I played reasonably through Final Fantasy XV and Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin.

Firstly, I was not sure what game I was going to play after a period of not being able to. Since I had a 4K tv available where my eyes were not being burned out by an extreme blue tint it developed (thank you LG for discontinuing the line literally the year before the problem developed after owning the TV for two) I wanted to use my brother's Series X or my One X. So I dabbled a little with Stranger of Paradise and Code Vein. I played SoP mostly on the Series X at that time and when that was not available to me I played on the One X either Code Vein and after a while popped FFXV in for a little at a time.

At some point I started to play more FFXV since I noticed I was happening to progress the story and saw there were relatively few chapters left in the game so I put that one as the priority. I ended that game with a certificate of completion (this made me laugh out loud when I saw but it is not a bad idea, I just thought it was funny) saying I played for around thirty hours (thirty hours, eighteen minutes, and thirty one seconds according to the certificate). Therefore, conclude that I did not really do as much as I could. Also, I played the game pretty stupid in a lot of areas (I did not realize the vast majority of items you collect are not intended for a crafting feature I missed but are instead like the valuables in Resident Evil and are meant to be sold, I literally never knew you could fast travel back to the car, I went half way through the playtime before realizing what Ascensions were, etc.). That said, I still have some thoughts on the game I'll give in brief:

The story might be good but you are unfairly not allowed to witness the vast majority of its important beats because it is well past the event occurring and you only see it through a cutscene, it is the stupid movie and to avoid copyright bull or something you only get a glimpse of it, it is DLC. Not only that but a lot of the mood and character is added from trailers you recall seeing but never see the actual scenes in the game itself (any bonding to speak of with your dad, some of the bad guys). The main beats that land are in the literal end of the game.

The game feels disjointed. I swear the first seven chapters were added by the final dev team within the two years prior to release while the last seven were probably all pretty much laid out for finishing touches (and some are missing such as the Leviathan fight having a lot of odd sound and visual flaws in spite of awe inspiring music and epic scope).

The combat is too automated. You either feel helplessly unable to interact and improve things for your dudes or you feel there is nothing for you to do aside from hold the buttons down. Also, in spite of a long and cumbersome tutorial the combat is not well explained almost at all. Actually, this ties into how the tutorial for lots of stuff is not activated until you click on it for the first time, which is annoying since aside from being all "what does this button do" you would not necessarily clock on certain things.

The main dudes are okay. They do grow on you eventually, but I had a hard time caring during the actual meat of the game (one sec before we get to that). I mean, every time I saw the four dudes on screen running in the open world I always was low key snickering since it looked like a perpetual "all my wonderful friends" sunset montage. They are not bad characters but for the majority of the game they are their archetypes and that is it, and you only know what they are because you have seen them in anime/other games before. They do grow a bit but that is mostly in the later parts of the game.

The game should be more clear on "hey, this really is the last time you get to use the open world so for real do everything you want to do here before continuing" in chapter seven I think it is. Before you go to Caem. It did a message basically like the one it had done for the story sections before, it just really was the actual warning this time. If you play this game, know that you basically are expected to play the early sections after the opening section in perpetuity until you are actually done. Even if you can beat the game at level forty but the side quest insists on forty five go do the side quests anyway or you'll just miss them... if you care since many of these side quests were truly boring. Also, no do not hunt for money sell junk for money instead or you'll be cash poor like I was most the game long.

Last word on FFXV: chapter thirteen I wanna say (you'll know it when you get there) takes the game and turns it into magical Resident Evil Lite for some reason and it is no fun at all. You get some awesome abilities but they suck when they are all you can use.

Not a bad game but not a great one. I feel fairly good about it right now so if I had to give a score to it I would say it is a high seven. That said, for an open world RPG it does not have to be very long so it might be worth a try if it looks good to you. That said, you probably should have a good idea what this game is like from all the other people who have talked about it. I would watch this retrospective before playing without the spoiler section of course:
Post edited February 19, 2023 by AnimalMother117
Stranger of Paradise.

So, SoP is comparable to FFXV and Code Vein, but Code Vein is not comparable to FFXV and vice versa. Therefore, it was kind of interesting to play this game around these two. Anyway, the mood is changing and in all likelihood if I do beat Code Vein it will not be any time soon.

So, first, if you have a powerful PC or a Series X/PS5 play it there. If you have a weaker system or a One X/PS4/a normal Xbox One then it will be fine, better on the One X since the frame rate is largely pretty good and the game has a decent resolution with what looks like medium settings. I played about twenty five hours on the Series X and the remainder of my forty hours on a One X. It is totally fine, not a problem with one exception: I had two crashes on the One X and both were at a save point. One time was annoying since it did not save but the other one it did so it is not a deal breaker and they were pretty far apart. That said, this never happened on the Series X at all and that was an excellent way to play the game.

Onto the game itself. I love FF Explorers and Harvestella, the FF takes on Monster Hunter and Rune Factory more or less. This is more or less a take on the Dark Souls sub genre. I have played lots of Nioh and own Nioh 2 but did not play the second and have not beaten the first. However, since I did beat this one we can surmise that it is easier in many ways. Normal enemies do pose a threat and it can be a very hard game to be fair but it gives you more ways to deal with things. Near as I can tell, at least on action difficulty, there is no stamina. The MP gauge does have to be expanded through combat mechanics so it is not quite handing you everything. Enemies have attacks which can be blocked and used against them (it'd be tedious to explain and the tutorials here are much more useful than FFXV) as well as ones which cannot be blocked.

The combat is fast and feels very natural. Very rarely do misread commands kill you off like in Code Vein (where yes there are missed commands and I do not know why this style of game feels predisposed to them) and there are ways to cheese the systems but these do not always benefit you as much as they could. It does reward patience in many situations but likewise may also punish you for being too cautious. The classes or jobs are fun to experiment with and there are quite a few. I liked the Paladin, Dark Knight, Void Knight, and all of the mage classes which is funny since I usually avoid mage classes with extreme prejudice. I have not been as dogmatic on that in recent years, however, and that was a benefit here as it makes a lot of engagements a lot easier, actually I'm just going to say it is a good idea to dedicate one of the two job slots you have with a mage of some kind.

The story and characters... This is a game with a punchline, the story and characters do not make sense until basically the end and even then some of the dialogue and interactions are slightly nonsensical. If you have hear of this game you know about Jack already and he is either hilarious or irritating. In the end he is a decent character but not a particularly good one. The plot also kind of does things to the classic Final Fantasy original's plot that I do not care for but oh well (spoiler: it's kind of a typical semi gnostic RPG plot being done to the original FF setting. I like the conventional Manichaean struggle in old stories and do not need them turned on their head, per se.).

So, just a couple of comparison notes: FFXV looks better on a One X than SoP does, but I would say in a lot of ways SoP looks better than Code Vein on a One X. Fabrics and clothing behave much more naturally, some environments looks better and many of the effects do as well. The art design in SoP is sometimes strong and at other times not. The armour for the knights or some of the mage centric gear is cool to see but some of the people themselves are fairly middlesome and unremarkable. Perhaps that was on purpose. In FFXV the art direction is pretty solid for lots of things (the Imperial uniforms and officers, the summons and other deities) but at other times it is worse than uninspired (I hate the KPop boy band look of the main dudes and I have always said that was what they look like). Just to re-include it, Code Vein has very good art direction for an anime Souls game but sometimes the tech lets it down just a little (the awkward way loose fabrics cling to a space around a character's legs, occasionally blurry assets, and the camera angles working aginst the graphics).

That reminds me: FFXV's camera is the worst lock on mechanic in any game ever. Be glad you just lock on real quick and do not have to hold a bumper button just to target enemies in SoP. In FFXV this lead to situations where to target you need to lock on, but the lock on disables camera control and takes away your right trigger as long as you are holding right bumper. When the auto camera is stuck behind level geometry or foliage or is looking at something other than what you wanted it to then this gets frustrating.

The lock on in SoP is largely no problem at all. It targets what I want it to more often than not, at least batting a little better than Code Vein which is victim to occasionally targeting some farther off thing than I would have wanted.

Overall, between FFXV and SoP I felt much better with my forty hours in SoP than the thirty I did in FFXV. FFXV felt like it was outstaying its welcome with me by the twenty five hour mark where as I was only getting a little anxious to finish SoP off by the end.
Post edited February 19, 2023 by AnimalMother117
Broken Age, Feb 18 (Xbox Game Pass)-Beat this one yesterday. I generally consider Tim Schafer games to be about average on the whole so I was pleasantly surprised by this one. The voice acting was quite good as expected with that cast. The plot and puzzles were serviceable. I liked Vella's character and story much more than Shay's. How the characters swapped locations in the second half of the game although the last hour or so of the puzzles were rather tedious. The ended with a lot of open questions regarding the status of the villains which was a little strange. There were some low points mainly a couple puzzles especially the snake and a couple interface issues especially repeatedly wiring the robots. But I still enjoyed it more than I expected to.

Full List
Just finished Geneforge 1 - Mutagen, which is a remake of Geneforge 1, both are made by Jeff Vogel on the Spiderweb software.
I had beaten the old version and enjoyed it a lot, so I played the remake version too.
It seems like this version adds a skill system to creating (summoning) monsters, which I like quite a bit.
Also, the version is more polished with graphics and the UI and adds new factions, NPCs, and events as usual for his remake.
I have heard that some fans prefer the original (which is understandable), but I feel this version is a better game all in all.

I'm going to play Exile 1, which is also Jeff's old game.

Full List
Post edited February 21, 2023 by HIRO kun
Impulse buying The Samaritan Paradox for a grand price of $0.19 for completion sake as I've owned the other 3 games published by Screen7 here.

Didn't really expecting much but after 30 minutes or so I enjoyed it very much and ended up finished it one sitting. The plot twist quite something.
Post edited February 21, 2023 by zlaywal
Doom (2016). I enjoyed this but found it slightly underwhelming at the same time. I appreciate that the reboot is designed to encourage aggressive play and it handles pretty well, but I'm not an arena shooter fan and there's something kind of sad to me that Doom, which was the leader in defining how classic FPSs play, is now a follower of trends. It's a well-made arena shooter, but I prefer the classic style of just charging down corridors and mowing down enemies as you explore instead of "enter very large room, run around and fight for a few minutes, exit and find the next very large room...."

I also find it a little too red in the graphical designs. Yes, you're on Mars and there's blood and gore everywhere, so that accounts for a lot of it, but even so there were stretches of the game in which I found my eyes glazing over a bit because of the red/brown tint to everything. My favorite levels were the underground labs because they were more black/white/blue. The Martian exteriors and Hell were more of a slog, especially with all the dust blowing around and hazing everything up.

Much like Rage, there's a bit of a story but it's so poorly developed that it might as well not be there, and since it's Doom it probably shouldn't be there. They satirize video game storytelling a bit in how the Doomguy just quietly smashes everything while supporting characters try to talk to him, but I still kept thinking "why are they even bothering?" As the game continues, your menu gets filled up with lore explaining the enemies and setting, but none of it is very interesting and it just demystifies the concept compared to the original.

It's an entertaining but IMO somewhat overrated game. I'll probably play Doom Eternal eventually but I can't say I feel compelled to get to it any time soon.


Stranglehold. It's ostensibly a sequel to Hard Boiled, but aside from Tequlia and the police chief there isn't much that ties it in with the movie. The story is pretty blah. It's just another random case with Tequila with gameplay inspired by Woo's style. And it does that very well. When the game is at its best, you have all sorts of opportunities to perform stunts that feel like they came out of Woo's movies, such as hopping on a push-cart and riding it while you blast guys all over the place. Environments get absolutely wrecked during the gunfights. There's a fun bit where there's a band playing in the middle of a battle and you have to avoid getting the bandmembers killed while they keep playing.

It does feel front-loaded in that the early stages include more ways for you to interact with the environments. I noticed that as the game continues, there are far fewer chances to shoot objects so they'll fall on guys or explode next to them, and you're mostly left just with railings to run up or slide down. I didn't like the standoff mechanic, either - the shootout system in the Red Dead series works better, IMO. It also goes on a bit too much in places, as I kept wanting to move on while the game would insist on keeping me locked in a room while more guys poured out of doors...and then more guys would come out...then more...and more. At least it isn't a very long game on the whole.
Include me

Severed Steel
Resident Evil: Revelations 2*
Metal: Hellsinger
Resident Evil 5
Resident Evil 4 (2023) + Separate Ways DLC
The Coffin of Andy and Leyley (episode 1 and 2)

Yakuza: Like A Dragon
Yakuza 3
Resident Evil 3

Metroid Prime Remastered

*= not my first playthrough
Post edited December 26, 2023 by Random_Coffee
Halo 2 from the Halo Master Chief Collection

Many years ago, I borrowed the original PC Port of Halo from a friend and played it through. I don't remember how I felt exactly, but I think I found it to be ok. Fast forward a few years, I tried a pirate copy of Halo 2 for PC and, after a few minutes playing it, just dropped it.

I've been playing this current version sporadically, taking very long breaks for quite a while now. I like the revamped visuals, and that you can tab between them and the original instantly (though this was added, I think, during one of the longer hiatus I took). Still, I often found them to make things too dark to see properly, where the original allow you to see very well where you are going.

As a fan of Sci-fi and FPS games, I find it hard to like Halo 2 and feel really invested on it. There's an overabundance of copy and pasted rooms and corridors everywhere in the game and, more often than not, whenever the map opened up a bit, I found it hard to locate where I should go next.

Your shield/health also seemed to be too little for the larger battles the game has, the same for the vehicles whenever the game gave you one for traversing certain sections of the levels.

Towards the end, I found myself frequently just running forward and avoiding battles all together, which put me at odds with the game's check point system, that would sometimes trigger when I reached a certain point, but many others it would trigger only after I had killed all enemies in the area.

Finally, it ends on quite a whimper. Specially if you compare it to the end of the first game.

Overall, I'm glad I finished it, though it will be quite a while before I start Halo 3.
Hogwarts Legacy (XSX)

55 hours for all story quests and all side quests and world completion currently at 85%. All that's left is basically collectible stuff that I cannot be bothered with and maybe grinding to level 40. I've actually had an awesome time with it. First of all, it is marketed as an RPG. However, similar to games like The Witcher 3 and Horizon Zero Dawn, I feel it is a poor RPG but a really good action-adventure video game. Also, people call it a Harry Potter game even though there is really no Harry Potter or any other characters from the movies or books, except in reference. It is simply a game set in the Wizarding World with your own character.

I've never read the books, but have seen the movies, I consider them okay movies but I'm also not a super fan either. For a person like me this worked perfectly because the world feels unique for a change, really fun to explore and learn a lore that I'm not overly familiar with. I realize that real dedicated lifelong fans of the world may be able to pick all sorts of holes with the game's lore.

I already said that this is a game for people that like the modern lightweight action RPG's like Horizon Zero Dawn and want something similar set in the Wizarding World. Exploration was the most fun for me and the game rewards you for it. For example, a side quest gives you around 180xp usually. Completing a Merlin Trial gives you 80xp. Just exploring and finding the games lore is a valid method of leveling and progression- something very few games do to this extent.

That's not to say the combat is terrible. Actually, it's quite good and very tactical. Oddly, the combat is closest to the Batman Arkham games, except it is ranged rather than melee. It is just as important to counter enemy attacks than to make your own. So you get into that Arkham sort of rhythm of attack and counter, dodging to avoid attacks that cannot be countered and breaking enemy defenses using your own special attacks. It took me a bit to get a handle on the system because, just like in the Arkham games, I tend to get target fixation and concentrate on one target until I kill it- which just gets me pounded by other enemies that don't just sit around waiting their turn at you. Once I finally overcome my target fixation problem and learnt to play more reactionary, it was a great system.

Like all of these games the open world is also filled with other, entirely optional, activities. It is a lot of fun to fly around on your broom exploring, though I eventually stopped before full 100% world completion as already mentioned- just like The Witcher 3 broke me before I did all of those "?" locations.

Overall, despite not being the world's largest Harry Potter fan, I still really enjoyed my time with the game simply as a video game with a fun and unique world. I purchased a physical disc so that I can play the game and then sell it, which I still plan to do to buy the new Fire Emblem game on Switch, but it is good enough that in a few years I will probably buy the digital GOTY/Complete edition on deep discount for a second playthrough with all DLC. The devs say there are no DLC plans...yeah right, sure.

Edit: Almost forgot, is your name Dick? Do you like to name your characters after yourself? Well, you're shit out of luck because the game doesn't allow the name Dick when you create your character. Apparently, people called Dick are offensive.
Post edited February 23, 2023 by CMOT70
Have recently completed Rogue Lords, thanks to Doc's who has generously granted this good game to me.

Despite the bugs and high difficulty curve the game is very fun to play. And it looks like an early prototype of Darkest Dungeon II.
Include me.

1. Metroid: Zero Mission on the 3DS using Virtual Console (24.02.2023)
2. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle Switch (04.04.23)
3. Metroid Prime Remastered Switch (14.05.2023)
4. Disney Classic - Aladdin Switch (10.06.2023)
5. Scribblenauts 3DS 11.06.2023)
6. Streets Of Rage Sega Genesis (22.07.2023)
7. Streets Of Rage 2 Switch (27.07.2023)
8. Streets Of Rage 3 Sega Mini 2 (04.07.2023)
9. Streets Of Rage 4 Switch
10. Bloodborne + DLC PS5 (10.11.2023)
Post edited November 10, 2023 by Contactu'
Beneath a Steel Sky
Corridor 7: Alien Invasion
Hocus Pocus
ScubaVenture: The Search for Pirate's Treasure
Star Wars: Dark Forces 1
Thief Gold
Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation - 2/5

Well, with that done, I've now beaten all of the Tomb Raider games of the 90s. I feel like I owe people an apology for praising the early Tomb Raider games. Tomb Raider 2 still has a special place in my heart, but I dunno if I can recommend people actually play the original Tomb Raider games.

Sure, this game has its moments, but it's mostly just annoying and frustrating. It's the kind of game I felt like I had to constantly have a walkthrough handy.

Anyway, despite that, I still have the compulsion to play (and quite probably suffer through) Tomb Raider Chronicles - the fifth and final PS1-era Tomb Raider. Thankfully, it seems a little shorter than The Last Revelation.
Post edited February 27, 2023 by Austrobogulator
Austrobogulator: Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation - 2/5

Well, with that done, I've now beaten all of the Tomb Raider games of the 90s. I feel like I owe people an apology for praising the early Tomb Raider games. Tomb Raider 2 still has a special place in my heart, but I dunno if I can recommend people actually play the original Tomb Raider games.
Hmm, well I recommend them and apologize for nothing on that front. Then again I love "tank control" style character movement. I've always seen The Last Revelation get a lot of praise heaped on it so it's interesting to see your low rating. I need to give it more time myself as it never clicked with me the way the first did but I feel it is spiritually closer to my beloved TR1 than TR2 or 3.