November 2020: Final Report
This was my first full month here on BALEO (I joined mid-way through October) and I am pretty happy with the progress that I made this month, although it was less than I was hoping to make. I beat/completed every game that I planned to except for Borderlands 2 where I made no progress at all. Hopefully, since I’ve added it to my PAGYWOSG list, I’ll actually get that beaten this month.
This is a controversial game which I know a lot of longtime RE fans were dissatisfied with. If you're a fan of the series, you've undoubtedly heard them all already. If you're new to the franchise, however, I'd urge you not to be discouraged by these complaints and give the game a try anyway. Even after 100% completing it (which took 5 replays), I still wanted to go back and play some more.
Here are the main fan complaints that I heard when reading reviews of RE3 Remake: (1) it wasn't faithful to the original RE3, (2) it wasn't faithful to the spirit of the RE franchise, and (3) it was short. To the first complaint, I admit that it certainly diverged more sharply from its original than the RE2 Remake or REmake did from their original games although the basic story and characters were the same. As to the second complaint, I've always interpreted this as a dissatisfaction with the change of focus in game play. The original games were very puzzle oriented which is not the experience you'll get with this game. RE3 plays much more like a traditional survival horror, an FPS with resource management following a linear storyline. It is a different play style than most RE games but still enjoyable. Finally, yes, the game is quite short. Speedruns can be easily done in around an hour and even a completionist run where you grab all the collectibles will only take a couple hours. But, it is also very re-playable. Personally, I did 5 runs (one on each of the 5 difficulty levels) and never got bored with the game. In fact, after getting that final achievement, I was left wanting to play some more. Once you hit nightmare mode, the locations of items and enemies change which adds some variety to the game even as the maps remain the same.
RE3 is probably not GOTY material but it is a fun and satisfying zombie-shooter that will entertain you for a fair few hours. Give it a try, especially if it is on sale.
I wanted to like this game, I really did. I love games that emphasis the story and atmosphere rather than just the mechanics and this one seemed like it was a short and sweet narrative adventure, focused on the interpersonal relationship between characters. However, the mechanics of the game were overwhelmingly frustrating, the characters were too flat, and the imagery and music simply couldn't compensate for them.
Most glaringly, the controls were a nightmare. You are meant to control 2 brothers simultaneously but getting them to actually do what you want is an exercise in patience. Frequently, I had to make minute adjustments in order to get one of the brothers to realize they were standing in front of an interactible and, well, interact. They couldn't get far apart from one another, so even in situations where you only needed one or were trying to scope out a location, you always had to bring the second brother along.
Secondly, there is no dialogue in this game. Normally, that wouldn't be an issue. You don't need dialogue to create a compelling story. The characters speak in a made up language, however, and there are lengthy cut-scenes where you watch them speak nonsense at each other for WAY. TOO. LONG. For such a short game, even these couple minute long cut scenes seem agonizingly lengthy. I kept trying to figure out if there was a way to skip through them and return to gameplay as most of them weren't even effective at adding emotional depth to the story.
Overall, I'd skip it. There are no surprises in this game's story and most of the game alternates between being frustrating and being boring.
Honestly, I have very little to say about this game. It is a short, simple game that mostly revolves around solving simple puzzles to advance a storyline about a robot society. It's not particularly challenging but keeps the player engaged through its short runtime. It ends on a cliffhanger, meant to set up the next chapter, which is intriguing enough that I wouldn't mind playing the sequel. Overall, not a bad way to spend a couple of hours. If you get it in a bundle, it's worth playing but I wouldn't go out of my way to try it.
I was disappointed in this game. It wasn't bad by any means, but the synopsis had me a lot more intrigued than was warranted. Essentially, the game tells the story of a young woman struggling with mental health issues during a time period where asylums were not a place you wanted to be sent (lobotomies, shock treatments, etc). It is basically a walking simulator where most of the environment looks identical and isn't worth interacting with. The story is fine, but no big twists or dramatic moments that get the player invested. I….don't think that it is supposed to be a scary game (or, if it was, it failed utterly) but the atmosphere was somewhat immersive at the beginning of gameplay (although it quickly became repetitive). It's games like this one that made me wish that Steam had a ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ emoji instead of just thumbs up or down.
Back to the wacky, Lovecraftian, steampunk world of Fallen London =D This is the second full game based upon Failbetter Games' browser game "Fallen London," following up on Sunless Seas. If you're familiar with either of Failbetter's previous entries into the series, then Sunless Skies will be no surprise. The same basic game mechanics, the same unusual world and cast of characters, a similar set of stories. Skies, however, is a marked improvement over its immediate predecessor. Rather than one enormous map, Skies is divided into 4 smaller ones of increasing difficulty. This makes your early trips where you are gathering resources, port reports, and quests much less likely to end in your captain's brutal death. Skies also eases in newcomers to the series more gently with variable difficulty settings (e.g. how fast you consume supplies, how well you/your enemies aim their weapons, whether you can reload your last autosave if you die or whether it automatically passes on to the next captain of your lineage).
All this isn't to say there aren't deadly dull moments. Skies does still suffer from the same problem Seas did-- lengthy sailing between where you are and where you need to get with nothing to break up the monotony. Fortunately, this usually only occurs when you've nearly completed an entire map and are ready to unlock the next area. Once you're in the new area, new questlines might have you retrace your steps but the purpose behind these trips keep them much more interesting. The other main issue only applies to newcomers: Skies is not particularly friendly to people unfamiliar with the lore. If you've never played the browser game in particular, you'll likely be confused as to who this odd cast of characters is and where on earth you actually are. This doesn't prevent the game from being enjoyable (I wouldn't think) but may send you to the wiki to look up some lore =D
I'm still planning to keep playing this game until I 100% complete it. Since that requires completing all 4 ambitions, however, it will likely take me a while yet. Looking forward to it though!
This game was so much better than I was anticipating. The voice acting is astonishingly good considering how small a production it was to make it. The graphics were striking, unusual, and accompanied by a very fitting soundtrack. Overall, this was an example of excellent storytelling, even if the story itself doesn't actually break any new ground.
One problem: the achievements are buggy. This should be marked "complete" but several of the achievements just wouldn't pop for some reason. Some I could get to register by verifying my game files. Others popped soon after starting a new game. But several just refused to ever register. If you love achievement hunting, you might want to give this game a pass until it gets sorted.
Plan for December
I’m not entirely sure what I want to complete for December, outside of my PAGYWOSG picks and continuing to make progress on 100% Sunless Skies. I’ll probably post an updated goal in a few days or a week from now. In the meantime, however, here’s my current goals: