My progress for this month: Fnord’s profile

Because I’m terrible with keeping things like “currently playing” and my future plans consistent and up to date, I’ll just simplify things and make a list of my progress for the month, until I can come up with a good system.

If anyone is curious about my complete backlog, it can be found here

Games beaten
Fates of Ort
Celestian Tales: Old North
The Haunted Island, a Frog Detective Game
Contrast
Star Trek 25th Anniversary

Games dropped
Final Fantasy XIII-2


Not too long since last time, but there’s been a lot of just staying at home as of late…

Fates of Ort

12.2 hours, 5 of 8 achievements

I reviewed this. It's very good, you should give it a try!


Celestian Tales: Old North

6.5 hours, no achievements

Celestian Tales: Old North is a JRPG that shows some potential, but ultimately falls flat. At the start of the game, you get to pick which of the different characters is your "main", and that one will constantly be in your party, while the rest can be switched in and out at will. Depending on your main character, you'll also get a slightly different start, and the ending will (supposedly) be slightly different, but otherwise the story is the same.

You're playing as a group of squires, who are training to become knights. But then one day an enemy force appears, a group of giants known as world enders are invading your kingdom, and the army has to stop them. And your group does of course get dragged into all of this. There are some hints at great ideas here, the party often talks about their place in society, with the different characters having different views on the roles of nobles, religion and so on, but this ultimately does not lead anywhere. Actually, not leading anywhere is pretty much how I would sum up this game, it starts a lot of things, and hints at a great and interesting world, but it's not there, and then the game abruptly ends in a very anti-climatic way. The DLC is a bit better here in this regard, as it actually has a proper ending, but it's on the other hand a lot less interesting. You kind of need to play the DLC though to understand why a specific thing happened right at the end of the main game though.


The Haunted Island, a Frog Detective Game

0.6 hours, 6 of 6 achievements

You're a detective who's also a frog, who need to find out why people think there's a ghost living on/under an island. That's the story of this game. The frog detective games are super short, but charming, P&C adventure games that are almost entirely devoid of any challenge. You walk around in a small space, solve very simple puzzles, and then you eventually win. I enjoyed this, but some people will take umbrage with the short length.


Contrast

3 hours, 16 of 2 achievements

Another short one. Contrast is a puzzle platformer with a neat gimmick. You can turn into a shadow, and walk on any other shadows. Light sources and objects can sometimes be moved to change where the shadows are, and this is where the puzzle element comes in. For the most part this works really well, but there were times when the game struggled, particularly with shadows cast on curved surfaces, and sometimes the physics bugged out. This was nothing game breaking, but it's a blemish on an otherwise good game.

I think anyone who enjoys analyzing game stories will have fun with this one, as it's one that does not spoon feed you the answer, but instead hints at a lot of things, but lets you, the player, draw your own conclusions. My conclusion on the story makes it kind of generic for an indie 2D platformer, but you might come to another conclusion. I won't say any more about it though, in case someone wants to play the game.


Star Trek: 25th Anniversary

5.2 hours, no achievements

I'm by no means a Trekkie. I've seen most (but not all) the movies, and my opinion on the original series is kind of lukewarm. I don't dislike it, but I also don't particularly like it. But this game was a pleasant surprise. It's a P&C adventure game along the line of Monkey Island, but with a few twists. The game is basically structured like a series of episodes from the old TV show, with each new "episode" starting on board the Enterprise, where you get informed about something happening somewhere, and you having to go there. Once there you're sometimes dragged into a space battle, and this plays like a simplistic, but not bad, space combat sim (think X-wing or Wing Commander, minus a lot of features). Then you get to talk to the crew on board the bridge, voiced by the original actors from the series, to find out more information, and once that's done you beam down to the planet/space craft and the P&C part begins. Find items, solve puzzles, talk to people, all the familiar stuff. But as this is Star Trek, you also have some crew members with you, including a person wearing a red shirt, who have skills that will help you solve some puzzles. Most puzzles only seem to have one solution, but there are also a few that have multiple, and the game will reward you if you find peaceful, diplomatic solutions, and will scold you if you just shoot the "bad guys".

This game was really good. While some Star Trek fans might be disappointed by the lack of green women to seduce, there's just so much good about this game that I don't get why it's not being talked about more often. This is clearly one of the best P&C games of the early 90's, easily rivaling those of Lucas Arts.


Fates of Ort review

A few more games beaten. Actually beaten one more steam game, but I can’t give my thoughts on that one just yet :P Links to the proper reviews for some of these games at the bottom of the post

Warlords III: Darklords rising

0 hours, no achievements

I wrote a review for this one!


Disgaea

44 hours, 13 of 30 achievements

Disgaea is a classic SPRG that I had never actually played before. And if I would find a way to sum up my feelings on this game, it's probably "too much".
What I mean with that is that there's just too much in the game, too many small systems that you need to worry about. The core tactical part, moving your units around the map, choosing what skills to use and all that, that's pretty solid, and usually quite fun (at least for the hand crafted levels). But there are so many things you can level up, all of which gives you small bonuses that really end up adding up, that the game can get a bit tedious. Basically, main campaign: Good. Other stuff: Not so good. The PC port also seems a bit questionable.


Fantasy General II: Onslaught

0 hours, no achievements

And I wrote a review for this one as well


Terra Incognito - Antarctica 1911

2.2 hours, no achievements

And a review for this one as well!


Book of Demons

9 hours, 69 of 202 achievements

Truth to be told, I was a bit disappointed in this one. Book of Demons is not a bad game, but it gets kind of repetitive after a while, and once you've figured out how to safely fight enemies. This game is clearly an homage to the first Diablo, sharing many locations, bosses and to a lesser degree, enemies, but it's not a hack & slash, instead if you move using pre-determined paths and try to click on enemies to attack them, while also attempting to dodge their attacks. Actually, that sounds a lot like Diablo :P


Warlords III: Darklords Rising Review
Fantasy General II: Onslaught Review
Terra Incognita - Antarctica 1911 Review

I apparently did not beat all that many games last month. Heck, one from this post is from January. Link to my reviews at the bottom of the post.

Praetorians - HD Remaster

17 hours, 10 of 21 achievements

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Praetorians HD Remaster is Praetorians, but with a higher resolution and nicer textures. I wrote a review for this one!


Battles for Spain

6 hours, 2 of 16 achievements

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Achievements were a bit buggy in this one, I "should" have got more than I did. Anyway, wrote a review for this one as well.


Battlestar Galactica Deadlock: Ghost Fleet Offensive

8 hours, no achievements

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A new DLC for Battlestar Galactica: Deadlock, and a pretty good one at that. Also, review!


Reviews:
Review: Praetorians - HD Remaster
Review: Battles for Spain
Review: Battlestar Galactica: Ghost Fleet Offensive
Review: Hearts of Iron IV: La Résistance

DOOM

11.2 hours, 18 of 54 achievements

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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

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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

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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.


Borderlands 2

80 hours, 36 of 75 achievements

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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

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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.


Blasphemous

9.9 hours, 15 of 45 achievements

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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
SG win

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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.


Two posts in a month? What is this madness!?

Paranoia: Happiness is Mandatory

11 hours, no achievements

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This is another game I got to review! Sadly it did not live up to expectations :(


Warhammer 40,000: Sanctus Reach - Legacy of the Weirdboy

13.4 hours, no achievements

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A year or so ago, I beat the base game, Sanctus reach, and I really enjoyed it. It depicted a war between the Space Marines of the Space Wolf chapter, and the savage Orks, form the side of the Space Wolves. Now you get to see it from the side of the orks. This is considerably shorter than the base game, that took me nearly 40h to beat, but it's still very good. The orks feel different to play. You're not controlling a force of elite warriors here, but rather more of a horde, with plenty of cheap, expendable units, backed up by some heavy hitters, and with most of your units being strong in close combat. So with the orks, the trick is to use your cheap units to draw fire from your units that can actually fight well.

The campaign here was great, easily on par with what the base game had. And there are still two more DLCs to look forward to! (I've not got either of them yet though).


LEGO Jurassic World

12.6 hours, 30 of 49 achievements
SG Win

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My co-op partner bailed on me, so I had to complete this on my own :(

LEGO Jurassic World is yet another LEGO world, this time it's focused on Jurassic Park, and its sequels. While it's named LEGO Jurassic world, it actually deals with the first 4 movies. If you've played any other LEGO games based on a movie, you know what to expect. You play through the events of the movies, in a slightly condensed form, and with LEGO characters and logic. And nobody ever dies. Someone might have got eaten by a raptor in the movie, but in the game, they're fine. This is a kids game after all.
And I thought it was surprisingly fun. It feels weird to say this, but the puzzles in this game are actually harder than those in most games aimed at adults. That's not to say that the puzzles are in any way shape or form hard, but you still have to think more about how to progress than you do in most other games.

The game looks nice, but the sound quality is sometimes downright terrible. A lot of the dialogue are taken from the movies. These are no studio recordings, they've just been ripped straight from the films, so you often get background noise. Sometimes they've tried to clean up the audio, and sometimes they've not. A few lines seems to have been re-recorded for the game, but not all. And it's distracting, when you suddenly hear completely different background noise when a character speaks compared to when they don't. Still, overall this is a pretty good game. Completionists beware though, there's a silly amount of things to collect.


Paranoia: Happiness is Mandatory review

Wasn’t that long ago since I made my last post… And I spent a worrying amount of time over the course of 3 days playing Rome 2….

South Park: The Fractured but Whole

0 hours, no achievements
Non-steam

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I got this one a while back, when it was 92% off on Uplay, and I beat most of it last month.

South Park The Fracture But Whole is the second game in the South Park RPG series. Where in the first game, you had the kids pretend to be fantasy characters, now they're super heroes. I was never a huge fan of the South park TV series, finding it to rely a bit too much on shock grossout humor, but I did enjoy the last game. While it did have its fare share of poop jokes, I enjoyed how the game played with the idea of your characters pretending to be in a fantasy land, and how they interacted with the real world. Fractured but Whole continues this tradition, and it's often unclear where the line between the kid's imagination and reality goes. Why exactly does a made up super power work against an armed cop? The game never says.

Here we do have a case of "it should have been a bit shorter" though. For an RPG, The Fractured But Whole is relatively short, but it still manages to outstay its welcome a little bit. It's not as bad as some other games, but shaving a few hours of the game time, making it roughly as long as the first, would have been for the better. The game is also a bit buggy. It mostly works well, but there were a few moments when it displayed some weird behaviour. Most commonly this happened during combat, when it was rather easy for a character to end up just outside where it was supposed to be, which confused the game, and you could get half a minute of the a character trying to figure out how to walk one step in one direction.

It's good fun though, and at 5€ off, the price was pretty good


Total War: Rome 2

32.7 hours, 25 of 188 achievements

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Rome: Total War 2 is a game I've had in my library for ages now, and I finally actually beat a full campaign (I've played it for a bit before in the past, but got bored). It's a Total War game, and it does not deviate much from the established formula. Pick a nation, lead it to victory by conquering nearby nations, and try to keep your people happy.

The Total War series has always had issues with their AI, and sadly Rome 2 is no real exception, the AI is kind of bad. This is the reason why I got bored last time, the AI ends up being too predictable. But poor AI aside, there's still quite a lot to like about this one. The large scale battles look really good, and the different nations work (somewhat) differently, with different focuses. Don't use this game as a history lesson though, or you run the risk of learning a lot of weird things. It's representing, rather than simulating its time period. Which is still closer to historical accuracy than Rome 1 :P


Frog Detective 2: The Case of the Invisible Wizard

1 hours, no achievements

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Did anyone say review? Link at the bottom of the post!


Shovel Knight: King of Cards

0 hours, no achievements
GOG version

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Shovel Knight got yet another campaign, and this time it's focused on King Knight. King Knight wants to be king, and luck has it that there's a card game competition that might let him take the crown! Story was never Shovel Knight's main selling point, but it's still told with a surprising degree of charm here.

What was, and still is Shovel Knight's main selling point is the excellent platforming and level design. King Knight, much like the previous knights, has his own moves, and in this case it's a shoulder dash, similar to that which Wario uses in Wario Land. All the levels are built around this move, and you often need to shoulder dash in order to get to hard to reach spots.

This is just yet another excellent addition to the Shovel Knight family. I'm so glad I bought the game back when it was just Shovel Knight, on one of its earliest sales over at GOG. Because Shovel Knight has been the game that keeps on giving!


DarkEnd

3.1 hours, 2 of 26 achievements
SG win

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This was kind of bad. The store page talks about ever changing dungeons, but what that seems to mean is that every time you progress to a new floor, the game randomly picks between a few different pre-made floor layouts of a dungeon, which can result in you playing the exact same floor several times. The rather bog standard JRPG mechanics does not do the game any favours either. It's not the worst, but none of the elements stick out in a good way.


Frog Detective review

It’s been a bit over a month since last update. Playing longer games makes it hard to reach 4 games beaten in a month…

Avernum 3: Ruined World

44.2 hours, 22 of 35 achievements

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Avernum 3 is not only the 3rd entry in the Avernum series, but the third version (or second remake) of Exile 3: Ruined World.

If you've played either of the last two Avernum games, you know how this one works, because it once again changes very little. There's of course a new story, new characters and for once you're not spending all your time underground. But being above ground is not really all that different from being in a cave, not with this game engine.

The story and writing is, as always, quite good, but somehow I felt that the exploration bit felt a bit less rewarding in this game, compared to the previous ones. I guess that might have been because the setting felt a bit less alien. It also felt a bit easier, although this might be because I've previously played 2 very very similar games.


Castle Crashers

9.0 hours, 5 of 12 achievements
SG Win

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I won this game on Steamgifts ages ago, played it for a bit, and then got bored. It really felt like a game built for co-op first and foremost, and I did not know anyone who had it and wanted to play it. Now with the Remote Play Together feature, the barrier to entry for a co-op match was a lot lower.

In co-op, Castle Crashers is pretty nice. It's a 2D brawler, similar to the likes of Golden Axe, Final Fight or Streets of Rage, but with a light RPG element (your character levels up and gets stronger). There's also the humor element, which was very hit or miss, leaning more on "miss" for me, particularly early on where there was a lot of poop jokes. But the gameplay was still very solid it least.


Armored Brigade

9.0 hours, no achievements

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I wrote a review for this! This was actually a surprisingly hard game to review, because there's very little story (it's a basic cold war gone hot game), and most of what makes this game special lies in its game mechanics, which are great!


STAR WARS Galactic Battlegrounds Saga

30.7 hours, no achievements

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Star Wars Galactic battlegrounds is basically Age of Empires 2, but with a Star Wars skin. It really is incredibly similar, down to how most mechanics work. All the resources have direct equivalents, most of the buildings are the same, you've even got trebuchet counterparts that seems to work exactly the same.

The differences between Galactic Battlegrounds and AoE 2 are minor. You've got buildings that powers nearby buildings and make them work a bit faster, you've got flying units (which fly at very low altitude, can ignore terrain, and can only be hit with special anti-flyer weapons and there are shields, which adds a self-regenerating HP bar to buildings. And units are also shuffled around a bit, with more of a focus on ranged units than melee units. The other differences are really just details, like you can't put units in rams, and monks can actually fight in close combat (because they're Jedi) and so on.

One big issue is that the pathfinding seems to have taken a serious blow to the head. I don't know if they made the pathfinding better in the HD version, and that this one shares the same pathfinding AI with the original, or if they actually made it worse, but it can be really wonky. Units can also seemingly forget about orders, or do weird things, like I might tell 3 trebuchets to attack a castle, and then two will do that, and the third will unpack in some other weird place. That bit is kind of frustrating.

The campaigns are okay. Just okay. I would say that they're still marginally better than the ones in the base game for AoE 2, but worse than any of the expansions, but on the whole Galactic Battlegrounds just feels like a slightly worse AoE 2 with a Star Wars skin. It's still AoE 2 though, and AoE 2 is a good game.


Armored brigade review

Plenty of red this time around :(

Heroes Chronicles Chapter 7-8

18.7 hours, no achievements
GOG version

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So, done with the Heroes Chronicles series.

For you who missed, or don't remember my old post on the topic, Heroes Chronicles was a series of standalone episodes released between Heroes of Might and Magic 3 & 4, and which used the Heroes 3 engine, and assets. It's basically a bunch more campaigns, with no skirmish mode, meant both as an introduction to this kind of strategy games for new players (as each episode was relatively cheap), and as a way to bridge the gap between Heroes 3 and 4. The Heroes Chronicles series follows the immortal hero Tarnam, as he does different things, with each chapter detailing a specific series of events. And the final two chapters are more of the same. Chapter 8 is actually the only time you get to play an evil faction, so despite there being 8 chapters in total, and 9 factions, there are repeats between the chapters in regards to which faction you play.

Overall, if you like Heroes of Might and Magic 3, you'll like these, it's more of the same. There's a lot of nice flavourful text in this game, which adds a lot to the experience. But sadly there's no skirmish mode, so the main mode that people tend to enjoy for the Heroes series is not here.


Roombo: First Blood

0.8 hours, 12 of 16 achievements

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Roombo: First Blood is a short, and very simple game where you play a robot vacuum cleaner who needs to stop burglars who try to break into your home. This is done by activating different "traps" in the house, like making electric outlets zap enemies, or making doors slam in on them. According to the store page, this is a stealth game, but I found the most efficient way to play it was not to try and stealth things, but rather just run in, attract the attention of the burglars and then run in circles while activating traps and trying to hit as many burglars at once. Short, cute, and probably not worth the price. There's only one map, and the difference between the levels is that one extra burglar appears with each new level.


Aveyond 3-1: Lord of Twilight

7.7 hours, 1 of 1 achievements

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I was giving up hope on ever finding another good RPG maker game, but this one was actually pretty good. You can tell that this was not made by a professional team of game developers, as the writing is a bit spotty, but the game was fun enough. My main gripe with it is that this game does not have a proper ending, it's just the first part of the story, and I guess I need to play through the other parts to actually see the end, and I only have one more part in the series! But if they're cheap enough, I'll probably get them, because there is enough to like here to make it worth playing.


Alone in the Dark

0.0 hours, 1 of 1 achievements

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Well, this game just crashes when I try to start it. It's notoriously bad though, so I guess my computer wants to protect me from it


DOOM 3

0.8 hours, 0 of 65 achievements

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I thought I knew what to expect here. Instead of a fast paced shooter, like DOOM 1 & 2, this would be a more slow and methodical game, that attempts some light horror. And having heard a lot of people more recently saying that DOOM 3 is not so bad, people just did not like it because it was not what they expected.

Well, now I can say that it's actually a pretty bad game. The tech is still quite impressive, the lighting effects look good and there's a fare bit to like about it form this point of view, but good grief, the enemy placement. You open a door, and suddenly an enemy with a hitscan weapon spawns in a positions where it could impossibly have got to in any other way than appearing out of thin air behind you, and shoots you in the back. Rinse and repeat. When I voiced my complaints about the game in another place, I was told that the right way to play this game, at least on higher difficulties, is to always go through doors with your back turned towards it, so you can shoot the enemy that's supposed to spawn behind you before it can shoot you. Yeah, I don't agree with this design, at all. I played on medium difficulty, and on this difficulty level, that hitscanner that appears behind you is not actually a threat, you're really tanky, and health refills are plentiful, it's just annoying.


Goosebumps: The Game

1.3 hours, 9 of 40 achievements

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I've never read a Goosebumps novel, nor seen the TV series, but I found this game to be quite alright when I played it, right up until the point where I put myself into a "walking dead" state, that is I managed to lose an item I had to use for another thing, and could not progress with the game anymore. There was of course no notification of this, but after running in circles for a while I looked up several guides, and all made references to me using an item that I no longer had.


Warhammer 40,000: Gladius - Relics of War

17 hours, 33 of 69 achievements

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Warhammer 40,000: Gladius - Relics of War is a rather streamlined 4X game. 4 races from 40k fight over a planet, and as this is the 40k universe there is only war. The goal is simply to wipe the other people off the planet.

As a war-focused 4X game, Gladius is really fun. It does a good job representing its source material, and it's a generally quite enjoyable experience. but it is a bit lacking in content. With so much less to do than in Civ, or even the developer's previous game, Pandora, having only 4 races does not quite feel enough. But still, fans of 4X games should check this out. Maybe wait for a sale though?

(Also, orks are the best)


Heroes Chronicles Chapter 4-6

21 hours, no achievements

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I've previously reviewed earlier parts of Heroes Chronicles. Everything said there is still true, these are just more Heroes of Might and Magic 3. If you decide to play these, beware of the second level of Chapter 5, it's really tough.


Her Majesty's SPIFFING

1.6 hours, 14 of 25 achievements

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I was, truth to be told, a bit disappointed with this one. The idea is charming. You've got a very British crew of two on board of a space ship, who have been sent out to spread the British empire. Expect a fare few jokes about British people, and their habits. Sadly I thought the game had a real over-reliance on breaking the 3rd wall. A really large portion of the jokes in here were 3rd wall breaking, and it did get old. The game also has very few locations, and while the locations are detailed with a fare few things to interact with, it really could have used at least double the locations. I get that they were making this one a shoe-string budget, but calling attention to the fact, repeatedly, does not make it any less of a problem.


Close Combat: The Bloody First

9 hours, no achievements

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This is another game I wrote a review for, so link at the bottom of the post! Finally Close Combat has entered the 3rd dimension!


Millennium - A New Hope

3 hours, 11 of 52 achievements

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So the girl wants to change the world because squirrels are nice to each other. Yep, that's the story.

Millennium actually started out well enough, even if it was a bit cliche. Your father has been hurt, and you need to run an errand for him. And this results in adventure!
The first few areas of the game are actually rather good. They don't overstay their welcome, and while the game errs on the side of easy, it's actually a pleasant little JPRG. And then the girl sees some squirrels, who are nice to each other, and decides that tyranny needs to be overthrown by removing democracy and invoking martial law. Yep, not making that up. Martial law according to this game is when a few skilled fighters step up and challenge each other for the throne, which makes everyone think that voting is a bad idea because fighting is cool. And that is how you beat tyranny!

And directly following this idea to overthrow tyranny by getting rid of democracy you have to cross a mountain, and here the level design goes from passable to awful. I checked a guide to see if it's just this area that's designed in such a way, and nope, the quality of the game just takes a nose dive and never recovers, so I'll not force myself to play any further, and thus I've not just marked this game as "won't play", but also the rest of the series. That's -5 games for my backlog for the price of one!


Review for Close Combat: The Bloody First

What an interesting month. I got approached by a review site to write some actual reviews for them. It’s a small site, so I’m mostly just getting paid in games, but hey, I don’t mind! I get free games, that are still rather expensive, and in exchange I must write 2-4 pages, which is not a problem, as I’m a fast typer.

Slay the Spire

30.2 hours, 19 of 44 achievements

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Slay the Spire is a rogue-lite deckbuilding game. Yep, you can make anything rogue-lite these days! Actually, this is a pretty good fit as deckbuilding games tend to be at their best when you don't have to live with your bad choices for too long.

Slay the Spire is amazingly addictive. Really, it nails that "just one more try" feel, and it's just a blast to play. Encounters are varied, and you've got a good selection of cards and relics to build around. It can be rather random though, early on you might get a few cards that works well for a specific strategy, so you'll get them, but then you never find what's needed to complete it. But the rounds are short, and it's easy to just jump back into the game after a failed run.


Heroes Chronicles Chapter 3: Master of the Elements

10 hours, 19 of 44 achievements

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So another Heroes Chronicles down. You can scroll down to my previous post and read what I had to say about that chapter, because this is just more of the same. That's not a terrible thing, but I would just repeat myself at this point


Battlestar Galactica Deadlock

13 hours, 21 of 26 achievements

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I wrote a more serious review for this game here:
https://saveorquit.com/2019/09/22/review-battlestar-galactica-deadlock/

It got a bit rambly, but it has pretty pictures, so please check it out!


Battlestar Galactica Deadlock: Resurrection

8 hours, no achievements

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And for this one as well, it's a bit shorter than the previous one, on account of this being a DLC:

https://saveorquit.com/2019/09/22/review-battlestar-galactica-deadlock-resurrection/


Dishonored - The Knife Of Dunwall

3.4 hours, no achievements

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It was 3 years ago that I played Dishonored, and now I finally got around to playing the DLC.

Good level design really carries this one. You've got several ways to approach every situation, predictable yet not simplistic enemy patterns and the locations feel like places where people could live and work. If you liked the original Dishonored, then this is a must play, it's very good!


Dishonored - The Brigmore Witches

3.4 hours, no achievements

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Slightly shorter, and frankly, slightly worse than the previous one, but still not bad. The locations feel a bit more linear this time around, and don't offer you quite as much in the way of interesting choices. If you have Dishonored, this one is still well worth getting, but something tells me this one was a bit more rushed than the previous DLC.


Hm, for some reason the links don’t seem to be working. Going to try to post them outside:
Review for Battlestar Galactica Deadlock
Review for Battlestar Galactica Deadlock: Resurrection