VitoStippkow

Report #39

I’m really slacking with my review posting lately. I have to say, I don’t feel motivated at the moment to write them. I have settled in at work and my free time is at a normal level again. And I’m happy overall. I guess I’m just still exhausted though. This may reflect in my reviews, but I’ll let you be the judge of that. During the last month I have completed 3 games, 2 previously unfinished, one previously beaten. I’m very happy with my progress.


Reviews

Wargame: European Escalation

44.6 hours, 29 of 29 achievements
★★★☆☆

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Release Date: 2012

Wargame: European Escalation is a RTS game set in the time of the Cold War. In several campaigns, you play as either the NATO or the Warsaw Pact. The game tries to be very realistic. Therefore, you do not have to construct buildings or mine ressources. You buy units with points gathered by holding certain strategic points on the map. Your units are persistent throughout a campaign. They collect experience, but they are also gone forever should they be destroyed. This gives the game an interesting additional perspective, since you have only a limited supply of units to start with.

Gameplay is very easy to get, but quite hard to master. It's quite hectic, since there is no pause function during which you could give orderes to your troops. Most of the time you have to fight on several locations at once, which means splitting your attention. It's quite stressful (as a lot of RTS games are). Unfortunately the controls could be better, which makes the hectic gameplay worse. Pair that with a challenging difficulty and you have my main point of criticism concerning the gameplay. There are other, minor concerns I won't discuss here, you can ask about them, if you're really interested.

I had another problem, which might not apply to everyone, but judging from discussion on the internet, I'm neither the only one experiencing it: The ultimate patch killed my performance to a point where the game became unplayable. I had to revert to one patch before that to be able to play the game. This should definitely not happen at all! The game isn't patched anymore, so it really is the ultimate patch, which screws things up. There is no hope of another patch, correcting that mistake.

This technical problem is the reason, you are seeing a 3 star rating instead of a 4 star rating. Because, despite the problems with the controls and the lacking pause feature, I had quite some fun with the game. It was a different take on RTS, it was presented nicely and the fighting was fun. A little bit too hard for my taste, but not so hard that I gave up. I was surprised by having that much fun with it, because I usually don't like modern warfare in RTS games. It's either historic warfare or SciFi that I normally like. Which tells you, that the game made a lot of things right.

Achievements: You get all achievements by playing through the whole game and doing almost every secondary goal. It can be quite challenging, so be prepared to replay some missions several times. But it's not impossible.

Verdict: There is good and bad in the game. I feel like this is only suitable for a small audience, so best do some research on your own.


Fallen Enchantress

18.5 hours, no achievements
★★★☆☆

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Release Date: 2012

Fallen Enchantress is a turn-based strategy game akin to Heroes of Might and Magic. It is set in a fantasy universe, where you play a young noble, setting out to bring peace to the world and wrecking it in the process. While you build up one or several settlements, you roam the map with your hero and fight the enemy or neutral armies.

I feel like this genre is really rare today. It was a welcome change to play such a game. Fallen Enchantress has some interesting ideas, but it feels very unpolished, even unfinished. Important hotkeys are missing, some bugs are happening, and there is not much immersion, though there seems to be some quite lore, unfortunately hidden in the minds of the developers. It was an okay experience playing through the campaign, but in the end, I was glad that it was so short.

Achievements: None.

Verdict: No recommendation, there are better games in the genre.


Orcs Must Die!

31.4 hours, 27 of 27 achievements
★★★★☆

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Release Date: 2011

Orcs Must Die! combines Tower Defense with a Third Person Shooter. A very enjoyable mix. I've beaten the game in 2014 but got less than half the achievements and decided it's time to collect some more.

It's a nice, casual game. OMD goes for a cartoonish look, which has the advantage that the graphics aged quite nicely. Don't expect too much story or lore or deep strategic decision making, just shoot away at orcs and watch them die in your traps. It was fun to play, even on the hardest difficulty. Which was challenging at first, but I got the hang of it quite quickly.

Achievements: Some are a bit hard to get by playing normally. But there is one map, which is a bit bugged and can be exploited for gaining several harder achievements really easily. Other than that you have to play through the game on hardest difficulty, but as I said before, that's manageable.

Verdict: Yes, a fun little game!



Currently playing

I haven’t decided which game I’ll play next yet.


3 games in one month…well at this rate my backlog is going to take forever :D Let’s have a look at my gaming goals for 2019 instead. 2020 is on the horizon, but some 2019 is left for reaching them. I had 3 goals: A) Get my unfinished games down to 80. I rocked that goal, my unfinished games are at 72 already. So, check that goal. B) Get my Steam AGC to 75%. I’m at 73,3% right now. The goal is still achievable, but would require some effort I’m not really sure I’m willing to invest. Maybe I’ll slightly miss this goal, but that’s okay. And C) Beat or finish at least 75% of the games I add in 2019. Well, I only added Dex this year so far, which I completed. So this goal is within reach as well. Well, okay, Destiny 2 got transfered from my Bnet to my Steam, but I refuse to let that count, because that was out of my control. In conclusion: Great year so far! How are your (backlog) goals for 2019 faring?

Happy backlog-clearing to everyone,
Vito

Arbiter Libera

It’s funny because Fallen Enchantress was first Elemental: War of Magic, which was even buggier and patched to death only to have its “updated” version sold separately as a new game. Then they pulled the same thing again with Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes. And arguably Sorcerer King, although that one appears to be a more focused game. Features fluctuated between all these. Main appeal are really scenarios/random maps while campaigns generally seem to exist for glorified tutorial purposes.

How are your (backlog) goals for 2019 faring?

Definitely way less games than I would’ve liked. Looking back just on my 2018 output it seems like fewer updates, but they were more substantial as I dug deeper into the games I covered. Winter holiday season is the upcoming Hail Mary, though. Fingers crossed.

VitoStippkow

Oh yes, I had the same impression, that they pushed out Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes as an updated version of Fallen Enchantress from what I read and saw on the internet. Sounds a bit dubious. I haven’t had the patience to get into the random maps after finishing the campaign. I think there are better games awaiting in my backlog.

Good luck with playing some great games in the holidays!

Traqie

The way you describe Wargame reminds me of another RTS (from Ubisoft), that they sadly pulled off steam - World in Conflict. No base building either, you have point cap and for said points you buy units and dunno if that’s a feature in Wargame, but if you did good in WiC you could use a special weapon on map - napalm strikes, artilery strikes on location and even use a nuke. Though most of what I said applies to MP, but there was no base building in SP, that I remember.

3 games in one month

That sadly is my standard monthly rate lol

How are your (backlog) goals for 2019 faring?

  1. Pretty bad so far. I wanted to beat more games in 2019 than I did in 2018 - to achieve that I need to beat 20 games more before 2019 ends.
  2. Beat Dark Souls - well I haven’t touched it yet since I gave it a break last year. I still have it installed etc. so I just need to find motivation
Arbiter Libera

World in Conflict

Underrated as HELL game that sadly came out as RTS was already underway of fizzling out. I think it’s just that RTS’ set in modern day are exceedingly rare for some reason and have lower appeal if there’s no fictional or historical period to associate with.

VitoStippkow

I haven’t played WiC, but yes, judging from watching some Youtube videos, it seems to go in the same direction. Interesting to know! There is no special weapon in Wargame though :D

3 games is my monthly average for the last years too, if I remember correctly. I mean, it’s not too bad, but it will still take a very long time to finish my backlog. Ah, sucks to hear that your goals are not progressing so great. I hope you still have some time to progress in Dark Souls!