Like fabulous roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars (aka It's all under control) polsdestrella’s profile

images


Monthly Stats #3: October 2020




This is the first year that I actually stick to playing "Halloween themed" games during October. This is not really hard for me, as usually Mystery/Horror games are my favorite genre, and I also adore cute little games featuring monsters, zombies, ghosts, and other similar adorable (and not so adorable) creatures.

I didn't finish as many games as I'd have liked to finish, but I've played a decent amount of hours and I actually managed to keep Tropico 6 away from my screen for a whole month... and that got replaced by the huge amount of hours I spent playing Graveyard Keeper, all being said.

October general stats:

Played Finished Completed Added Achievements
9 5 2 3 62





Finished Status Rating (1-5)
Completed
Beaten
Beaten (13/14 achievements)
Completed (7/7 achievements)
Beaten (23/29 achievements)

All reviews are free of spoilers



THE SUPPER



I discovered this cute indie (and free!) little game thanks to EvilblackSheep, and I'm glad she told me about it. I say "cute", but let's not forget that this is a cartoon gore game, so the word "cute" is very relative in this context (for me, all pixel art tends to be labelled as cute, so I'm not the most objective).

In the game, you're the owner of a tavern, in which different sort of monsters come to ask you to prepare them the "special" dishes they request. The game is about going around the different scenes, and finding the ingredients necessary to be able to create the dish. It's a point and click, not hard, but not too obvious either (actually I got stuck at one point and had to check what to do next), and for being a free game, it's really creative and fun to play. Plus, it's one of those games that provides a pretty satisfying end, leaving you with the feeling that you experienced something both sad and horrific, and you totally enjoyed it.

It's rich when it comes to characters, fun, creative, satisfying, and short enough to kill an empty hour in between your daily duties. There's no reason not to play this game!

Aprox. gameplay time:40 minutes.
The best: The pixel art
The worse: The feeling of emptyness when you're done with it (even if that would be part of "the best", maybe). But really, I can't think of anything negative, so just play it!
Rating: 5/5 stars



MONSTER PROM 2: MONSTER CAMP



This is a super great continuation to the first game, Monster Prom - but even funnier, wittier and sexier. The game mechanics are pretty similar than in the first one, but this time instead of trying to find a date to the prom, you're trying to hook up with one of the other monsters of the camp.

The game gives you the chance to choose between three different lenghts of gameplay: 30 minutes , 60 minutes or 90 minutes (in the first one they were only giving you the first two possibilities), and you can still pick between beating the game by yourself, or going the multiplayer way. I went multiplayer, and we choose the 90 minutes version, to have a "full game experience". That's the only time I've played the game so far, so my review is based on those 90 minutes.

The dialogues are super fun, with a lot of actual references to a bunch of pop culture elements, and they get very deep into the different storylines, merging both old familiar faces with very fun and interesting new characters. Actually, they get so deep into the storylines and dialogues, that you even wonder how you ended up in such awkward nonsense... and still enjoy every second of its brilliantly, absurd craziness. They also introduce the concept of potions (which is the equivalent of what in the first game would be the object shop), with the thrill that each potion has a different effect on you, and for what we saw, they can be pretty extreme and unexpected. Compared to the first one, it can be a lot more complicated to guess the right answer, but that is something I consider positive, as it adds to the thrill (and sexiness) of the game.

You can totally sense the love they put into it by how well developed the characters are (even the NPCs), how fresh (and pervy) the jokes feel, and how the graphics embrace the storylines in such a sweet and fun way. It worths the money it costs (and all the waiting it took before it was ready).

Aprox. gameplay time:2 h.
The best:The dark humor and the witty characters
The worse:As a Polly fan, it made me sad that she's not a character in the game (even if they announced that future games will be centered on her).
Rating: 5/5 stars



HIGURASHI WHEN THEY CRY HOU - CH. 8 MATSURIBAYASHI (And final!)



Some months ago, when I reviewed chapter 7, I stated how I am a worshiper of the whole series and not a bad word would scape my mouth about anything related with Higurashi. Again, the final chapter is not an exception, yet this is the first time I'm giving the game 4 stars instead of 5.

It's not that I didn't like the chapter (I loved it, 4 starts is still a good rating), but I somehow found myself missing the clever writing, and the plot twists that make you wonder what comes next. In part, it's obvious that once you start, you see where the story is going, but the way it's writen makes the chapter feel repetitive in some points. This is something I wouldn't really mind, I love the series so much that I'd have put 5 starts to it despite of it, if it wasn't because at some point the mood of the VN gets killed when you're forced to play some sort of mini game within the story, that has nothing of "mini", because ends up being VERY long and time consuming, with very little answers provided throuhg it, and very little value added to the general story, so it ends up being a mood killer, somehow.

I don't want to go further because I don't want to give spoilers, so basically I'm just going to say that I give it 4 starrs because it's not the destination of the story that matters, but the whole journey... but definitely this is not the best chapter of the series, in my opinion.Obviously, if you loved the whole series like I did, you're going to like this one. But if this had been chapter 1 instead of chapter 8, I probably wouldb't have been interested in reading chapter 2.

Aprox. gameplay time of the DCL: 14 h.
The best: The conclusion to the whole journey, and the feeling of sweet nostalgia you get when you reach the end.
The worse: The "mini (maxi) game" introduced within the VN, a huge mood killer
Rating: 4/5 stars



LUCID DREAM



Another free horror game I played this month, and again, a very pleasant surprise.

Lucid Dream is an interesting and spooky point and click game, in which you're a girl trapped in a dream (or is not a dream?), with a mystery to solve. The game and the scenarios are both pretty simple, yet it also includes some (pretty simple) puzzle solving dynamics that make it very decent for a free game. The scenarios are a bit creepy and the music is very atmospheric and helps you get into the mood of the game, but don't expect any jumpscares because those are always pretty predictable. The visuals are very decent

Overall, the game has a "scape room" feeling, in which you have to find clues to advance and figure out what is going on. The backstory is kind of weak, but the game is fun for what it is, and it worth your time.

Aprox. gameplay time: 1 h.
The best: The atmospheric feeling of it
The worse: It doesn't allow you to save at any point! Once you start, you have to finish it in one go
Rating: 4/5 stars



NIGHTMARES FROM THE DEEP 2: THE SIREN'S CALL



Second part of Nightmare's From the Deep series of Artifex Mundi, and compared to the first one, I enjoyed the pace of the story in this one. Not that I didn't like the first, but I found this one less tedious and more agile on the storytelling.

I like to play Artifex Mundi games because they're very pleasant visually, there's always so many details, and I enjoy trying to spot all the hidden collectibles in them. The hidden object games are filled with details, and the puzzles are never too complicated, which makes them entertaining for somebody like me, who I tend to get frustrated a lot. It's one of those games that I like to play because it's a good time killer, it entertains, and it relaxes me. Plus, there's something with the sounds on those games that is svery relaxing, too, a bit like ASMR (call me weird).

Nothing new compared to the old Artifex Mundi games, but really, sometimes I'm just not up for surprises, and if somerthing works I guess is not necessary to change it. Except, they keep going with that sort of annoying dynamic that you cannot get all the achivements in one go (you can solve the hidden object games on themselves, or play a mahjong game instead, and there's achivements for each), but it's not a game I play to get a 100% achivemens rate, in any case (that, and the fact that it has zero replaying interest). But that's something I already knew before getting into the game. I knew what to expect, and Artifex Mundi provided.

Aprox. gameplay: 4.5 h.
The best: The detail in the graphics, and its vibrant colors
The worse: Being forced to reply the game if you want a 100% completion rate
Rating: 4/5 stars



Monthly Stats #2: September 2020




Summer has been slow when it comes to videogames, because home improvements stepped on the way, and somehow I ended up installing wood floors and painting the walls (Terraria meets real life). I don't know what happens with Summer, that every year I say that I'm going to play a lot to catch up on my backlog, and then I never get to do it. Well, being realistic, I played a lot - but a lot of the same game (Tropico 6). Hours in that game keep piling up, and that makes me neglect other games.

In September I tried to leave Tropico aside and play other games I had been wanting to play for a while, and I even managed to cross a few games off my list. 4 games finished/4 games added to my library. Not advancing, but not stepping back, either. That's a good balance.

September general stats:

Played Finished Completed Added Achievements
6 4 2 4 61






Finished Status Rating (1-5)
Completed (1/1 achievements)
Beaten (34/55 achievement)
Completed (37/37 achievements)
Beaten (50/99 achievements)

All reviews are free of spoilers



TO THE MOON



There's very little games that make me cry, and this was one of them.
More than a game, this is a beautiful visual novel about life, death, and everything that goes in between. It's a game about fate, about wishes, about crushed dreams, about the darkest side of life, but also about the beautiful part of it. Like life, this is a game to enjoy slow paced (with how short the game is, you better don't rush it), unwrapping it as if it were a gift, only to feel totally crushed and empty when it's over. Because that's the worse part of this whole story - that it ends.
The fact that the pixel art is pretty low on the resolution and kind of blurry (it could also have been my teary eyes) is never a problem, as even the graphics get eclipsed by the beauty of this story. The soundtrack is perfect, and you can feel the music wrapping you up during the whole story, as if it were a soft blanket.
I wish I had played this earlier

Aprox. gameplay time: 4.5 h.
The best: The rich storytelling
The worse: The resolution is pretty low, which makes the pixel art a bit blurry
Rating: 5/5 stars



THIS WAR OF MINE: FINAL CUT



I finished This War of Mine last year, but I had never played the Stories DLC until now. I have to start by saying that This War of Mine is one of my favorite games ever, I really enjoy it, and I've spent a lot of hours in the different scenarios and with the different characters, so I'm not sure why I kept delaying the moment to play the DLC. But I'm glad I finally did, as these last three stories still do what the game does best - they make you feel.
I graded it with 4 stars, because out of the 3 three stories, I found the first one (Father's Promise) kind of boring and weak, while the other two (The Last Broadcast and Fading Ambers) were really good, and gave a new perspective on how the war can affect the civilians, with not only new scenarios, but also with stories that push your morals to the limit. I especially liked the fact that even if the story is more scripted than the base game, you still have to work hard to survive and you still have to make choices, leaving the game kind of open despite the script. In that sense, I especially like the fact that the fate of the characters gets directly afected by the choices you make, which at times can be terrifying and sad, but it also adds more interest to the game than if it was just following a script.

At the end, these three stories keep showing us that there is nothing good in war, except its ending.

Aprox. gameplay time of the DCL: 12 h.
The best: How will make you question your moral and push it to the limit.
The worse: It can get very frustrating at times, especially when some actions and materials become unavailable to adapt to the script of the story.
Rating: 4/5 stars



MUSHROOM CATS 2



Cute as a button, and short like a flash.
If you ever played the first (free) version of it, then this one is going to surprise you positively, as it's an improved version of that one, with more features, and actually an attempt to make the gameplay more interesting (it hides the hats better than the first one, which mostly was spotting them on the screen). I wouldn't call it a problem solver or a puzzle game because it's easy, but still it has some interesting dynamics that are introduced in comparision to the first one.

Aprox. gameplay time: 20 mins.
The best: The cute graphics
The worse: The "difficulty" (to call it something) is not really gradual, the last levels are easier than the first ones (and shorter). It's like all the effort was put at the first level, and the other ones were left aside
Rating: 4/5 stars



SHADOW OF THE TOMB RAIDER



I've played every Tomb Raider since the original one came out in 1996, and to me, this is one of the best. When playing it, it becomes obvious that they've tried to fix all the issues that were frustrating in past games (especially the ones related with jumps that ended up being random and failing, or time secuences that were too complicated to execute at points), and made a very polished game that becomes a pleasure to play. I also liked the fact that it focuses more on stealth that on gunplay, but that's a very personal opinion, as I prefer to play it like that.
In terms of gameplay, this one is very similar to The Rise of the Tomb Raider, but graphics are even better (and saying that they're better it's really an understatement). It's easy to get immersed in the landscapes and tombs, and the music really help to create a beautiful and thrilling experience.
Despite on how much I loved this game, I also have to say that I found the story weaker than the two previous games, especially if we consider that this one represents the culmination of them.

Aprox. gameplay: 20 h.
The best: The amazing graphics.
The worse: The story feels kind of weak.
Rating: 5/5 stars



ARIDA: BACKLAND'S AWAKENING



Let me start the review by saying I couldn't finish the game. Not because I didn't want to, but because a bug at the very last final mission (a character that wasn't appearing) made it impossible for me to finish it (and I was too frustrated to repeat it and see if the thing wold get fixed, especially because I read about other people with the same issue who never got to fix it, even after retrying to whole game). Still, I played almost it all, so I have a pretty good idea of the whole game, despite not having experienced the end.
This is a game I really wanted to like, based on true historical events about the brasilian backlands on the 19th century, and a tribute to natural environment, and to those who survived a harsh draugh in very poor conditions. It's rich in narrative and beautiful when it comes to graphic, but the gameplay makes it too tedious to enjoy, to the point that it becomes frustrating very fast (nobody needs to eat every single minute of their day to stay alive!). Characters are very well presented, the story is emotive, and the fact that it adds elements of survival make the gameplay interesting. Sadly, it becomes repetitive very fast, and having to constantly be looking for food and water in a permanent (almost obsessive) way, really kills the narrative of the story. Not to mention how short it is for the price it has (gameplay last about 90-100 minutes). I wouldn't recommend buying it full price.

Aprox. gameplay: 1,5 h.
The best: How gentle it is presenting the character and the historical facts
The worse: The tedious gameplay to survive
Rating: 3/5 stars



Monthly Stats #1: June 2020




June. The calm before the storm. The month that will be remembered in the history of months as the one that my - for now - baby library passed the 200 items. Trying to keep things under control (ah, that sweet - and fake - illusion of control). If we focus on the positive, then the good thing about June is that I finished more games than the ones I added to the library this month, so in theory I'm not chewing more than I can bite (in contrast of what will happen in July, after I go wild at the sales... but that will make for a different story).

June general stats:

Played Finished Completed Added Achievements
10 3 3 2 66





Finished Status Rating (1-5)
Completed (13/13 achievements)
Completed (14/14 achievement)
Completed (4/4 achievements)

All reviews are free of spoilers



A CREEPY TALE



It's kind of sad to think about what this game could have been, but it's not. Visually, the game offers an atmospheric environment that really works when it comes to build up the creepiness that the title promises, and the soundtrack that goes with it also helps as a goosebumps provider. But all the potential mystery gets spoiled with a pretty tedious gameplay that quickly gets more frustrating than challenging.

The story is pretty simple - two brothers go to pick mushrooms, and end up experiencing the true dangers of the forest. You advance through the scenarios with a pretty simple point and click mechanic, that lacks of intuitive elements at some points, and in others gets frustrating because you need to click at the exact right spot if you want an object to respond. Because of this, you're going to die - a lot. The positive side about it is that when you die, you're going to restart at the exact same place where you finished, so you can keep trying without falling into desperation, at least if the game is being cooperative and you happen to be lucky enough to click on the 1mm space where the object is supposed to react. Sometimes it happens, but a lot of times, it does not.

That being said, is not a bad game. It's frustrating at parts, it's a bit dull and illogical in others, but if you're into creepy atmospheric stories, you're going to enjoy it. Overall, I did. My only recommendation is to buy it on sales, because you're going to be done in two hours. Yes, that fast. Basically, it's one of those games that it will take you the same time to finish it, that to forget about it.

Aprox. gameplay time: 2 h.
The best: The atmospheric and creepy environment
The worse: The point and click tedious dynamics
Rating: 3/5 stars



HIGURASHI WHEN THEY CRY HOU - CH. 7 MINAGOROSHI



First, a warning. This review will lack of any kind of objectivity, as I am a worshiper of the whole series and not a bad word would scape my mouth about anything related with Higurashi. And chapter 7 is not an exception.

While - in my humble opinion - this is not the best chapter of the series, is the most emotional, and also the one that answers some of the most vital questions we've all been asking ourselves, so for both of these things, I loved it. As usual, the pace is good, starting pretty peaceful and then falling into a hole of craziness and wtfuckery all together. You might need psych help after finishing with it, but at this point, if you survived the previous six chapters, you're probably used (and also kind of addicted) to any disturbing content the story will bring. I know I am.

Aprox. gameplay time: 8,5h.
The best: How the story unveils with the answers we get
The worse: It's Higurashi, there's not such a thing as "the worse" :p
Rating: 5/5 stars



MISSED MESSAGES



A beautiful and sad short visual novel about communication - about what we communicate, but also about what we miss when we're communicating.

I'm always positively surprised when a free game provides such a deep insight into a story. Maybe because nothing is really free anymore, or maybe because free stuff always come with a price to pay. In this case, the price to pay is the intensity of the story, and the pressure that comes with the four different ends that you can get, according to the choices you make. Because that's what life is about - choices. Depending on the choices you make along the story, your friend is going to open up to you, or she won't.

The art style of the game is gorgeous and the graphics are full of tiny details that help you getting into what is going on. Actually, the illustrations look so sweet and are colored in such a cheerful way, that if it wasn't for the content warning at the beginning of the game you would think that the whole game is going to be a walk in the fields on a sunny day. But quickly it gets clear that this is a game about mental health, and if that is a trigger for you, then this is a game you should stay away from. Dialogues feel natural and real, and so does your bedroom, which for a few minutes, while laying there on that cozy illustrated bed, it makes you feel at home.

A love/horror story in times of technology, when we can get so absorved about the information that we've available online, that we're missing what we have around.

Aprox gameplay time: 25 mins.
The best: The graphics, and then symbolic meaning behind the story.
The worse: The feeling of emptiness at the end of it.
Rating: 4/5 stars


Statistics
220 games (+1 not categorized yet)
26% never played
15% unfinished
29% beaten
20% completed
10% won't play