Fnord

2 months since last post? Dang, I’ve not been keeping up with these update posts.

Anyway here goes

Imperiums: Greek Wars

8.4 hours, 12 of 100 achievements

I wrote a review for this. Head over to https://saveorquit.com/ to see it!


A Plague Tale: Innocence

0 hours, no achievements

Well this was an uplifting game.

A Plague Tale sees you follow a young girl, and her brother, in a world that's on the brink of destruction. Rats are swarming all over the place, spreading disease and devouring everything they can get hold of. The inquisition thinks that your brother has something to do with the rat plague, and in the games opening storms your family's home, killing everyone in their path.

As you escape the inquisition you're met by terrible sight after terrible sight. The rats are starting to appear in greater and greater numbers, disease is spreading, and as more people die, more rats starts to appear.

I really liked this game, although it suffers from a problem that's so common both for stealth games, and this is a stealth/puzzle game at heart, as well as narratives focusing on the relationship between a few people. How do you escalate things? And sadly I do think the game wend a bit off the rails towards the last parts, but up until that point, it was really good.

Also, on a side note, the studio who made this game must have one of the most diverse portfolios out there. They made this, the new Microsoft Flight Simulator, WALL-E (the game based on the movie) and Monopoly Plus (as well as a bunch of other games).


Iconoclasts

10.1 hours, 6 of 11 achievements
SG win

This is my most recent SG win, and it was a good one!

Iconoclasts is a 2D metroidvania (although it does not have the strongest metroidvania elements) with great pixel art and satisfying combat. Actually, satisfying is a good way to describe how this game feels to play, because the game does a great job with its audiovisual feedback, making your actions feel very satisfying to do. The story has some serious real world parallels that I was not really expecting, although in retrospect, with a name like this, I should have seen it coming.


Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus

22.4 hours, 24 of 34 achievements

Mechanicus was a refreshing take on the X-com style of games. In it you play as a group of tech priests, basically the only ones who are allowed to operate and fully understand advanced technology in the imperium of man in the 40k universe, as they try to stop the Necrons (evil egyptian space robots with a hint of lovecraftian cosmic horror).

As a fan of 40k, I liked the story, but I don't think someone unfamiliar with the setting would get much out of it. But this is the kind of game that's fun even without the story. And this game has one thing that really sets it apart from other X-com style tactics games, and that's its action resource system. In most games of this type all your characters will have their own action points, and every turn they get to do a limited number of things. Not in mechanicus, here you're using a global pool of action resources. Every character can move once during your turn, and use any free actions they have access to (depending on their skills and equipment), but to use any of your more powerful attacks, or use your more impactfull abilities you need to spend this resource. The only limit on how you spend this is that all abilities and attacks have a cooldown of at least one turn, but some abilities let you get more of this action resource, and you can move again by spending it. This means that one of your guys can move from one end of the map, and use all of their abilities in a single turn if you want to, but then you'll end up using up all your action resources, that is unless you can find some way to gain more. If you can keep generating this resource, you can keep doing things, and once you get the hang of the system, you can end up doing some downright broken combos. The game gets trivially easy at this point, but it's also quite satisfying to find new and inventive ways of breaking the game, and kill foes that look like they were intended take several turns to beat in a single turn.


Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone

4.5 hours, no achievements

I'll use Daggerdale as a placeholder for this, as both are really not all that great.

Demon Stone is an action RPG set in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting. The same setting as Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights, Icewind Dale, Pool of Radiance and a bunch of other games is set in. You're playing as a band of 3 heroes, a warrior, a rogue and a sorcerer, as they battle their way across the world, in an attempt to save it from a great evil. The story is not exactly what I would call great in this one, despite it being written by the prolific fantasy author R. A. Salvatore, who's books has helped shape the setting (he's the guy who came up with Drizzt Do'Urden).

The concept of the game is not too bad, have an action RPG where you can switch between characters on the fly, all of which has their own unique strengths and weaknesses, but sadly the execution is really lacking. Combat feels fine, and when all you're doing is killing enemies, it's even fun, with the three characters having access to quite different abilities. The issue starts popping up whenever you need to do something that's not hitting enemies, and there are enemies trying to hit you. Two of the characters have special abilities that needs to be charged up before being used, and if an enemy hits you will you're charging your move they'll interrupt it. So you need to rely on the AI to keep the enemies away from you. An AI that's so dumb that it will often be found running into walls for no reason. And killing the enemies that keep interrupting you is not an option, because they respawn, and they respawn fast. How fast you ask? Faster than you can charge up your move. This became painfully obvious in a later part of the game where you need to break down an ice wall with the warrior. There are two spawn points for enemies pretty far away from you, and you have access to a "kill all enemies" move (that needs to be charged up by using all your characters). I used it, killed all enemies, and then started charging up my wall breaking attack, and before the attack was fully charged I was already getting swarmed by enemies again.

Had this game been longer, and had it not had Patrick Stewart voicing the character who also acts as the games narrator, I would not have beaten it.

Also, why are the characters using rules terms when talking to each other? While it's not as bad as them saying D20, or roll for initiative, they do things like use their classes in casual conversation, rather than names,


Woolfe - The Red Hood Diaries

0.8 hours, 4 of 20 achievements

This game was a disappointment. Woolfe is a really good looking platformer with a nice atmosphere, and lackluster gameplay. Controls feel floaty and imprecise, combat feels rather shallow, and the game is simply not very fun to play.


VitoStippkow

How clever of you to not directly link the reviews, but the site instead ;) I just wanted to read the Imperiums: Greek Wars review but ended up looking at about 10 reviews total instead :D Well written review, as always!

After reading the title list of the Forgotten Realms RPGs BG, NWN and so on I realized how many different games are set in this world. And a lot of them are really great. I’d really like to (re)play one of them sometime, but they all take so long to finish, it’s really a bit daunting.

Fnord

Yeah, I know. I’ve got a bunch of unplayed D&D games on GOG, set in the Forgotten Realms and otherwise (for an example, I’ve got all the godlbox games there!). But actually sitting down and playing them is quite daunting.

Py

That mechanicus review made me even more curious about the game. I guess i’ll def have to pick it up on a sale.

Fnord

It’s well worth it! The DLC is also nice, it introduces a brand new category of enemies, and the added variety is welcome. It’s not a must have, and you only see those new enemies in the 5 or 6 (trying to remember which) DLC levels, but they were pleasantly different to fight.