Backloggin' Fool BigBlueWolf’s profile
I haven’t been playing new games lately so much as revisiting older ones. My last update was going back to the Arkham games. This update only has Pillars 2 as my first new game in awhile.
Hope everyone’s summer is off to a good start!
Borderlands 2 Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary DLC
7.2 hours, 8/10
5 of 6 achievements
Briefly Back to Arkham
I finished the main story line for both of these several years ago, but after playing the hot mess that was Batman: Arkham Knight last year, I got to yearning for a simpler and better game in the series. It was then that I realized I had skipped the Harley Quinn’s Revenge and Cold, Cold Heart DLCs for these titles. The latter one is the best of the two, and I personally love Mr. Freeze in these games.
Boy, it brought back good memories. I got the platinum trophy for AC on my PS3, having done all the original challenge maps. Not my intention to repeat that here as it would take a lot of practice to get good again. But I still managed to throw in a few combat challenges here and there.
Playing also got me in the frame of mind to try to pick off some of the left over achievements that were within reach without an entire play-through. It was during this I realized that Origins was a much better game that I remembered. Yeah it’s a little flaky around the edges, but in retrospect it’s a solid Arkham experience, great boss fights, and a superior story to Knight. Not to mention the blessed absence of the Batmobile. It’s a shame it got so much flack. One thing it probably could have done without is the online multi-player. I never heard much good about it and the servers shut down a few years ago.
Eventually I want to go back to Arkham Knight and play its DLC too.
Batch 26 is done!
Backlog Update - Batch 25
I finally got the itch to delve into my library again and hauled out several titles that I’ve owned for many years and well as a few recent purchases.
Happy Spring, everyone!
Batch 24 Complete!
Batch 23 and Spooktober Update
Hey hey! Finished all my monthly challenge games a little early. Might squeak in one more before Halloween. Hope everyone is having a great month! :D
Batch 22 Completed and September Wrap-Up!
I managed to knock out four games in the monthly challenge “Otterly Cute” and two of those were SG Wins!
Click the down arrows for my thoughts and reviews of these games. Hope everyone’s had a great month :D
This is the first dating sim/visual novel since I played Hatoful Boyfriend back in mid-2016 (Batch 6). While the tone of both appear light -- human girl in a high school for pigeons versus young woman caring for guys who suffer from turning into animals -- Animal Lover takes itself much more seriously. This was a bit unexpected, and the tone worked really well in some places, but it ultimately couldn't overcome the fantastical silliness of its situation and resolution.
The non-spoiler setup: as a young female veterinary intern (pick your name) you accidentally release a guy from his cursed animal form. After tracking down a few others like him, you have five guys in desperate need of your help because they periodically change back and (for a variety of reasons) can't go back to living their normal lives. Lots of dialogue, hanging out and some "crushing" commences as the game puts you on the path to making sure the curse is really broken and you end up with one of the guys (or none). BTW, the plot has nothing to do with "furries".
A big part of the reason the game falters is because it's REALLY long doing a single play-through during which very little actually happens. I finished the game in just under 6 hours, and that was speed reading through most of the last half of the game.
A huge amount of the dialogue contributes to drawn-out character moments of little value to the overall story. There's a lot of filler text that is either hearing "your" thoughts and mental reaction in monologue-like detail before responding, or the audible reactions of others where there's a lot of "hmm", "uhs", and other interjections that cause the plot to stall while we wait for the "realistic dialogue" to play out. I got so impatient having to read this that I just kept hitting the spacebar as fast as I could through many scenes and don't think I missed much as a result. I also used an achievement guide so I could find the canonical ending and be able to backtrack to pick the guy I liked best. That being said there were some really GOOD scenes sprinkled pretty evenly throughout the story, and that's what kept me intrigued enough to play through the entire thing.
This is not a genre I usually play, but I'm trying it out simply because it seems like it could have a cool premise if a talented writing team was behind it. I'd say this story was between fair and good and could have benefited from being about one-third shorter in length to bump that rating a little higher.
If you are trying to choose between this and Hatoful Boyfriend, go with the latter if you want shorter and funnier!
The most charming game of this batch, Botanicula is a point-and-click adventure that sets five companions on a quest to defeat an invading force of life-sucking spider-like creatures that are encroaching on their idyllic biome that is teaming with other critters. Great visual humor, wonderful sound effects, and not-terribly-hard puzzles encourage exploration and rooting for the little group on their journey. A good portion of game is discovering all the different local wildlife. There are 123 cards to unlock throughout the game, and while the cards themselves are not achievements, getting the first, second and final third will unlock some bonus animation content after the credits. Only a few places where controls felt a little wonky, and it would have been great to have true full screen play area. But lots of smiles and several laugh-out-loud moments playing this one. Fun for all ages without being strictly for kids.
Epistory is a typing game where you adventure through a pop-up paper mache world on a quest to figure out who you are and what has happened to the familiar world. It's got a cool aesthetic and can be genuinely fun. However the repetitive nature of the challenges gets a bit boring at times. Fortunately the game isn't overly long. The story is pretty thin, too. But the game is still worth playing because it's gorgeous to behold and stands out because it's game play is challenging (adapts to your typing speed) and so different from anything else.
A short, but fun puzzler! Untangle your way through 50 levels of interlocking pins, routers, circuits and release buttons. There are no hidden tricks or strategy, just the ability to follow paths and deduce the order needed to solve the puzzle. Very enjoyable with low/medium challenge. A easy 100% for achievement hunters. Just finish the game.
This is my fourth LEGO game, and so far I have to say it was the most fun. The variety to the levels and the amount of things you get to do is pretty cool and the story is cute. There were a lot of fun characters, but Unikitty was awesome playing in rage mode. On the downside the controls were annoyingly imprecise and the camera control pretty flaky in a lot of spots. The game also has a lot of lag problems where the screen would repeatedly freeze for a few seconds. It didn't cause any missions to fail, but it was super annoying. Given that my system has a GTX 1080 in it, I chalk this up to bad optimization when porting the game to PC.
I almost decided not to play this game. I got it shortly after finishing Pillars of Eternity so I wanted to try other kinds of games. But life happened and I kept putting off playing it. So around the beginning of summer with PoE2: Deadfire coming out and a new relationship starting up, I initially moved Tyranny into the "maybe some day" pile.
Then a few weeks ago I said screw it and plunged in. I'm glad I did!
First and foremost, Tyranny is a great game because a) you get to play the bad guy, and b) there's a ton of world-building in this game that completely immerses you in the role. As one of Kyros' Fatebinders, it's your job to enforce the law and keep his top lieutenants (called Archons) on task. The effect you have on The Tiers -- Kyros' last area to conquer on the continent -- can be just as monstrous as the others who hold power, but even if you try to do good there's still a lot of bloodshed and disturbing decisions to be made. The game is fairly unique in that regard. The recruitable NPCs are also varied and quite fun with a lot of background to delve into and multiple skill-trees to specialize according to your wants or needs. I don't think there's a weak link among them, though admittedly I stuck mostly with the first three you meet in-game. There's a loyalty/fear system that plays heavily into how people react to you, but that's not the same as morality. In fact, inspiring loyalty sometimes means doing awful things, and fear can occasionally be the result of trying to do the right thing. Tyranny forces you to think like a ruler who applies power rather than appealing to peoples' better angels. You're not even really an anti-hero; the moral grays are too thick to be the villain people can't help but love. It makes the game a phenomenal departure from all the "I'm here to save the world" tropes.
The true strength of this game comes out in its player choices. There are four possible major endings -- but those are arcs and not nearly as dramatic as the tons of small decisions that make one player's experience very different from the next. Choices really do matter here, making re-playability a huge bonus. It's largely about the flavor and tone of each situation and person and how you interact with them that carries forward in the evolution of the major plot fork that you've chosen.
But it's far from perfect. There are still bugs in the game that are quite maddening (lost saves) or frustrating (really quirky AI) in combat. But as a game that is built on the same engine as Pillars of Eternity it is definitely worth playing if CRPGs and wanting to give Sauron's style of rule a chance sounds like your kind of thing. And since it's around 60% of the run-length of PoE, a second or third playthough is do-able in a reasonable amount of time. I'm going to give it another go myself at some point. :)
The folks at Giant Sparrow have created a marvelous game that certainly wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea, but as far as walking simulators go this one is among the very best, offering an intimate if morbid short story about the Finch family and it's tendency to find death early. Since the game's focus is completely on the story I'm not going to discuss the plot because it clocks in at 2-3 hours, so it's not terribly long. But the ingenuity of the designers to take different chapters and present them in a variety of narrative and mini-game formats is the stuff of masterful design. There's also a great bit toward the end that canonically ties WRoEF with another game Giant Sparrow made for the Playstation. I was completely delighted by the inclusion! From a purely aesthetic point of view, the Finch house is so wonderfully detailed that it's cool to just wander around and look all the things in it's rooms, halls and hidden places. The audio narration and sound ties it all together. If you are a fan of this type of game, it's a must play!
Batch 21 and August Wrap-Up
An underwater exploration game. Strictly speaking there's really not much game play here. Swimming simulator? But it's crazy beautiful nonetheless. And a tad weird because I didn't understand the machine aspect of the story. Anyway this was made by the people who made Journey for the Playstation, and it's a relaxing cross between mystical ocean meditation and a trip to the Monterrey Bay Aquarium (where I visited two weekends ago :D). Worth playing because it's short and just amazing to look at.
Despite the fact that this is a "prelude" to Life Is Strange 2, the story is firmly rooted in an all-too-ordinary Saturday morning in Beaver Creek, OR, where Chris -- all 9-year old with an active imagination -- keeps himself entertained playing superheroes while his alcoholic dad watches TV. There's not much in terms of a game element here besides finding things for Chris to do, but the script is top-notch and the voice-acting utterly convincing as you learn in bits and pieces what family life is like under this roof. I won't say much more because the experience is quite short, but if you are a fan of this series it's a great teaser for the next game.
The end has finally come for this series. Let me start of by saying that I absolutely adored parts 1 & 2. That makes this final game a small let-down because in wrapping things up the writers seem to have undercut a lot of the story elements. This is the number one complaint among the game's fans on the forums, and I have to agree. Even though there is a range of endings depending on your choices, they are so many threads left hanging without even an epilogue to provide the kind of closure needed after struggling and suffering with this incredible cast of characters in this fascinating world. There's a call for this in a game patch, and I'm likely going to wait and see what the devs say about it before attempting my next playthrough.
The combat is still the same turn-based alternating strategy, except for a really nice touch to the wave battles that allow you to trade out for fresh units from your character pool if you successfully clean the board before enemy reinforcements are called in. Unfortunately you have to be really careful at leveling characters to 9 and 10 because it costs a lot of Renown to do so. And despite being able to go to level 15, the key is level 11 where you can apply a Title to a character that has 5 levels on it's own and confers some pretty amazing attack/defense/support buffs that end up being critical as enemies get tougher. In the end, however, my characters still felt tremendously under-leveled for what was being thrown at them. Doubtless this is also a matter of finding the best combos of characters, leveling, and items to use.
All in all this was a good game that needed more attention to the story element, which has always been the series' strong point. Here it felt a little lackluster.
A very cute game with a fun story behind it. However I have to agree with many other reviewers in that the balance between the two halves is very uneven. The first part focused mostly on story with light puzzle-solving, whereas the last part the kept up with the story but delivered hard puzzles that often had no context from which to figure out what needed to be done and in what order. I had to use a guide to finish. Otherwise I found it very enjoyable and the humor even had my other half chuckling at times. :)
This was a quick return trip to the world of Deus Ex after buying the DLC pack during the summer Steam Sale. A Criminal Past is a good story focusing on Adam going undercover in a prison to retrieve another deep cover agent. Of course, things start going sideways almost from the get-go as there are shady things going on in the prison that complicate Adam's objective. Definitely worth a play-through if you have this add-on!
I really wanted to like this game. But while the game-play was solid, the story felt dumbed-down and predictable to a fault. It didn't help that the world was populated by low-budget cartoon characters that looked like they were CGI'd into the beautiful scenery. Fidget was the only character I liked because she had a great personality and all the good lines. Everyone else I wanted to skip past their dialogue after the first couple of sessions. This is definitely worthwhile to fans of platformers because it has some cool combat mechanics in it, although it's no Ori and the Blind Forest. Guess it just wasn't my thing. But high marks for play-ability and the fact that it was mostly designed and programmed by a single guy.
[Sad trombone...] The comedic setup sounds good -- an isolated farm when sentient corn has been created. Unfortunately, the game fails to deliver much in the way of game-play or an engaging story. With only two mini-game exceptions you pick up objects in an area and combine/use them, but nothing about this is remotely challenging. A good story could have made up for this shortfall, but it never got past cute, missed a lot of potential, and many jokes (like the teddy bear, Vladdy) got tiresomely repetitive. Thankfully it was short because it couldn't have gone on much longer without becoming tedious. Still, it's bound to leave many people feeling unsatisfied like myself. Unless you are really motivated by the premise your time is better spent on something more entertaining.
Since C:S can go on indefinitely, I had to set a goal for myself. Yesterday I reached the "Metropolis" achievement (100K population) and today unlocked all but one monument (didn't get the Medical Center). As it turns out the remaining four achievements from the base game would require me to start a new city anyway based on the posts I was reading about how to approach them. That finalized it in my head. I've completed a single play-through and beaten C:S!
Of course there's tons of stuff in the game I haven't really tried yet, and I'm a pretty casual player who will nonetheless spend a lot of time fussing over little details instead of advancing my city. Take the 95 hours with a grain of salt because I've been playing it off-and-on since November 2015. It's such a well-done city simulator that I will pick it up again eventually. I have all the DLC except for Park Life. There's also a ton of options to play with in the Steam workshop. A mayor's job in never really done! ;-)
My last game for the next month or so… this one is definitely a high recommendation if you own a PS4!
This game's reputation as one of the best of the current console generation is well-deserved. Everything about it: the deep story, amazing art direction, high-level graphics and entertaining game play have been polished like glistening metal! Although it doesn't beat The Witcher 3's sheer size, ambition, and level of detail, HZD manages to craft a mesmerizing and beautiful world of its own. And while many a game has been set in a post-apocalyptic setting, HZD immediately establishes a unique, fractured world of primitive human civilization that exists alongside amazing working technology in the form of robotic animals that roam the countryside. Machines are dangerous, feared, respected, and hunted. Scrap metal and pieces of machines are valuable commodities for building materials, clothing, armor and trade. You play as Aloy, a young outcast girl from a highly religious tribe. The primary quest is tracking down a group of cultists who are responsible for a deadly attack on the tribe's lands, but this task takes on much larger dimensions that leads to the discovery of what destroyed Earth's civilization and why robots are everywhere in the world now. (Minor spoiler: thankfully, aliens have no role this time.) If you enjoy open-world games this is a must-play!