11.2 hours, 18 of 54 achievements
DOOM is a game I've heard a lot of good about. People have praised it as a return to the classic (non DOOM 3) DOOM, one of the best shooters in decades and so on.
I went in expecting DOOM, but with more melee, and my first reaction was disappointment. This was not at all what I expected, and as people had repeated the same praise over and over again, it was hard to not have that influence my expectations. But once I realized that in terms of gameplay, this is more of a successor to Quake 2/4 than DOOM, it clicked for me. My initial first impressions were also hurt by the bad interface design, particularly in the main menu.
DOOM is a fast paced FPS (though not as fast as DOOM 1 or Quake 1), where large amounts of daemons wants to rip your face off, and you need to kill them before they can do so. Rinse and repeat. And combat in DOOM feels very satisfying, particularly after you get the Super Shotgun (I'm so glad they did not mess that one up. The super shotgun from DOOM 2 is considered one of the best shotguns in gaming, if not the best).
While the combat is great in DOOM, there are some parts I thought detracted from the game. The main one being looking for upgrades. You're encouraged to look for different collectibles, and do some side quests, because those earn you permanent upgrades, which really make a huge difference. But looking for these upgrades really kills the pacing of the game, and I feel like the game would have been better without this scavenger hunt.
Overall, I quite liked DOOM, but I don't view it as a flawless masterpiece. It's a great game hindered by some major design flaws, an interface that feels worse than most AAA interfaces released since the early 90's
The Room Three
5.5 hours, 10 of 10 achievements
The Room series is a series of first person puzzle games, a bit along the line of MYST (the later entries more so than the first). In The Room Three you need to solve a lot of different (mostly) logical puzzles in order to open up new paths and progress through the game. And unlike the previous two entries in the series, this one is not super short. In fact, it's as long as the previous two games combined (if you go for all endings)!
The Room is a simple, but very enjoyable game. I generally found the puzzles to be a bit on the easy side, compared to those in similar games, like MYST or Schizm, but they still felt satisfying and rewarding to solve, which is the hallmark of good puzzle design. Other than that, there's not much to say. Like to solve puzzles, and want a light story to contextualize things? Then this series is great!
Horizon Chase Turbo
12 hours, 22 of 37 achievements
I never knew I needed an spiritual successor to games like Top Gear in my life, but apparently I did. Horizon chase is an outstanding arcadey racing game that borrows heavily from the Top Gear SNES series (a series I have just dipped my toes into). Racing is fast and fun, and it gets even better when you bring a friend along. They've also done something interesting with the perspective. While everything in the game world are 3D models, they seem to scale them in a way based on distance that's supposed to emulate the look of the sprite scaling that was used in games like Top Gear and Outrun, which gives Horizon Chase a very unique look to it.
Overall, Horizon Chase was a very pleasant surprise, and I really enjoyed my time with it. It's been ages since a racing game managed to sink its teeth into me like this, usually I get bored after a few hours, but I will return to this one.
80 hours, 36 of 75 achievements
This is my third time starting a Borderlands 2 playthrough in co-op, and the first time I've seen the ending.
Borderlands 2 is at this point a relatively old looter shooter. That is an FPS that also has elements borrowed from games like Diablo (mostly randomized loot). Borderlands 2 is probably one of the better looter shooters out there, with relatively satisfying combat, and some interesting guns, and unlike the first Borderlands, it does not end up feeling repetitive after the first few hours.
That said, the game is by no means perfect. The humor often feels forced, and far too much of it is reliant on getting laughs out of you by being obnoxious. The main villain is quite entertaining, but most of the side characters are not.
This is the kind of game that I would probably not beat in SP, but in co-op it works quite well. There's enough to do here to keep it entertaining, and some enemies do feel like they were made for having a second player around, as their weak spot can otherwise be hard to hit.
LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean The Video Game
9.4 hours, no achievements
It's a LEGO game. Really, what more can be said about it other than that? If you've played one LEGO game you've played them all. This time there are pirates in it.
You might remember that I talked about LEGO Jurassic World in my last post. Well, most things said there remain true here as well, but where Jurassic World had raptors, here you have pirates. Almost all mechanics are nigh identical in these two games, the only thing that's really different is that Jurassic World had big dinos that you could control at a few points, and here one of the characters has a compass that lets you find buried treasures.
This game also kind of highlighted how forgettable most of the Pirates of the Caribbean moves actually were. The game follows the story of the first 4 movies, but I found myself struggling to remember most of the scenes from movies 2 & 3, so some of the jokes were lost on me. Only the first movie seems to have left much of an impression on me (I've not seen the 4th).
Also, for some reason this game got very crash prone in the final quarter (the bits dealing with the 4th movie). And for some reason, characters had a tendency of getting stuck in places, which was really annoying, as it meant that events would not trigger properly. I sometimes had to spent up to 10 min trying to push a character out of a stuck position, so I could progress with the game
If you like LEGO games, and Pirates of the Caribbean, then this game will probably be worth it, despite the bugs. If you don't love Pirates of the Caribbean, you might as well go with any of the other LEGO games, they're all pretty much the same, only this one is a big buggier than most.
9.9 hours, 15 of 45 achievements
Blasphemous is a gorgeous Metroidvania with outstanding pixel art. Set in an alternative reality Spain that's been consumed by ideas of "Catholic sin", Blasphemous has you fight through a world where people are obsessed with being punished for their sins, and viewing the suffering they feel as a divine gift. It's really dark.
Blasphemous feels like a very post-Dark Souls metroidvania. It borrows quite a few mechanics from the DS series (although it's not a souls like), including rather punishing combat, and the need to pick up your corpse if you die. Combine it with an ever expanding game world, that opens up as you progress further into it, and you have Blasphemous.
I really enjoyed this game. It's great. It's not "Hollow Knight" great, but then again, Hollow Knight is the best game in the genre, so that might be an unfair comparison. A special mention goes to the bosses in Blasphemous, which are really creepy looking, and for the most part fun and challenging to beat.
Ruzar - The Life Stone
0.5 hours, 0 of 40 achievements
This is my second attempt at this game, and the second time I almost instantly got a headache so bad I had to turn off my computer and dim all the lights. There's something about the icey "border" around the screen in this one that just makes my eyes not focus right, and that results in a headache so bad I can't keep on playing it. There's an option in the options menu that seems to indicate that it should remove this effect, but it does not. I simply can't play this, which is a shame, as I have a soft spot for these kinds of tile-based first person RPGs.