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
Inexistence Rebirth
Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures - Episode 1: Fright of the Bumblebees
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
Nordic Warriors
The Outer Worlds
Dungeons 3
Wolfenstein: Youngblood

Games dropped


So a month since last post. Not going out much right now, for understandable reasons, so more time for games!

Inexistence Rebirth

3.1 hours, 7 of 13 achievements

Review at the bottom of the post!


Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures - Episode 1: Fright of the Bumblebees

2.1 hours, no achievements

Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures is a series of short episodic games, from before Telltale really struck it big with their Walking Dead series. This one tries to recapture the success of their episodic Sam & Max games, but using the beloved claymation series Wallace & Gromit as its basis. For those not familiar with Wallace & Gromit, then shame on you! It's a charming series of claymation cartoons, following the cheese loving inventor Wallace, and his dog Gromit, which has seen infrequent releases since 1989.

Sadly Telltale's attempt at creating something based on this property is overall rather disappointing. While it captures some of the charm of the cartoon, it's also held back by Telltale's strict adherence to the classic P&C formula, with uninspired, and frankly slightly annoying, puzzles. If this game was larger, it would likely have been a real pain to play, as that would meant that you would have to rub more things against more other things, in order to find which combination works. But it's saved from complete disaster by its brevity.

In this episode, Wallace has managed to ruin Mr. Paneer's cheese shop (yes, Mr. Paneer is Indian, and yes, paneer is a kind of Indian cheese), and offers to repay him with a lot of honey, as Wallace has decided to create his own honey business. Of course, you can't instantly make large quantities of honey from a single hive, particularly not when you don't have any pollen for the bees. And so the adventure begins!


Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

10 hours, no achievements

The term Metroidvania is a portmanteau of two words, Metroid and Castlevania. For anyone who's only played the older Castlevania games, the "vania" part might seem odd, but to anyone who's played any of the games that Igarashi worked on will know why Metroidvanias are called Metroidvanias. Koji Igarashi re-worked the Castlevania formula significantly with his Symphony of the Night, and the result was amazing. Symphony of the Night turned out to to be an absolutely stellar game, and over the following years Igarashi and co. was allowed to make more games in the vein of Symphony of the Night, almost all of them being great, and commercially successful.

But with Konami being Konami, they decided that the good times were not allowed to last, and so they simply decided that Igarashi would not be allowed to make more of his successful and popular games. So in 2014 he left Konami, and formed his own company, together with a Chinese Businessman. Seeing the success that some developers had had with Kickstarter, he then, in 2015, created his own campaign. He wanted to make what Konami had not allowed him to make, another game like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.

And that's this game. It's a Castlevania game in all but name, borrowing almost all of its design from Symphony of the Night, and the games that followed it. And it's frankly outstanding. There's been a bunch of great Metroidvanias in recent years, and Bloodstained is one of the greatest, being just a bit behind Hollow Knight. The only area where I feel like Bloodstained falls a bit short is with the bosses, which are generally too easy, but the exploration feels satisfying, controls are tight and responsive, soundtrack is great, and the game looks decently good as well (although I do think it would have looked even better had they've gone with high quality pixel art instead of 3D models).


Nordic Warriors

6.8 hours, no achievements

Wrote a review for this, link at the bottom!


The Outer Worlds

18 hours, no achievements

Ever played Fallout: New Vegas, and felt like you wanted more?

Outer Worlds is Obsidian's latest game, and it follows closely in the footsteps of Fallout: New Vegas, with first person combat and exploration, and an emphasis on dialogue and skill checks.

Outer Worlds is set in a dark comedic future. You've just been brought out of cryogenic sleep, and find yourself in the company of a slightly unhinged scientist, who tells you about what happened to the colony ship you were on. Something went wrong, and it never reached its destination. Instead of trying to rescue you, they had just abandoned the ship, with its hundreds of thousands of frozen passengers.

What surprised me about Outer Worlds was how small it turned out to be. Compared to the likes of New Vegas, Fallout 4 and so on, Outer Worlds really is tiny, and that's reflected in the playtime. It took me less than 20h to beat it, doing almost all the side quests. It's still a fun game though, and 20h is a respectable length for a game.
One area where the game does fall a bit flat is with its economy. RPGs usually do have rather bad balance when it comes to their economies, but Outer Worlds is one of the worst I've encountered in this regard. The game just showers you with stuff, be it ammo, healing items, lockpicks, hacking tools or just money, making all of this lose its meaning. When you're ending the game with over 10000 bullets, something is off. Also, almost every locked door that you open will give you a few lockpicks in return, making lockpicks a pointless resource. The game also gives you too much experience, so you'll quickly out-level everything, if you do a bunch of sidequests.


Dungeons 3

21.7 hours, 40 of 60 achievements

A review at the bottom of the post for this one as well!


Wolfenstein: Youngblood

0 hours, no achievements

Ah Youngblood, mediocrity is thy name.

Wolfenstein: Youngblood is a cooperative focused FPS, set in the Wolfenstein universe. You're playing as one of two sisters, daughters of the main character from the previous games, as they try to find their father in a Nazi-occupied Paris in the 1980's.
Let's start with the good:
Much like the previous Wolfenstein games from Machine Games, the guns have a nice feel to them. Sound effects feel meaty and they also feel distinct. Also, in the linear areas, the level design is pretty good, with good enemy placement and map design that allows you to approach the larger fights in several different ways, depending on preferred playstyle. The game also runs surprisingly well, even if my graphics card sometimes decided that trying to force a game with a 4GB VRAM requirement to run on a 2GB card was a bit too much for it (a restart of the game solved this).

Sadly, a lot of the games design choices seem to have been informed by its "live service" nature. You've got some (surprisingly small) open-world regions, that you need to traverse repeatedly, and you get a lot of uninspired sidequests, that force you to go to the same area several times, with the difference between two missions sometimes being that you need to interact with different objects in different rooms.
The game also has hyper-aggressive level scaling, so every time you level up, the enemies level up, making levels pretty much useless.
You've got things you can buy with real money to help you along the way, and with how bullet spongey many of the enemies end up being, I can see why someone would be tempted to buy power. The game is overall not hard, but the combination of having to visit the same few areas repeatedly, and having them populated by increasingly bullet spongey enemies might well break the will of some people.

The game has some good points, but it also has some serious bad points, and overall, it's not a great game.


Inexistence Rebirth review
Nordic Warriors review
Dungeons 3 review

Libertad o Muerte!

5.6 hours, no achievements

Wrote a review for this one (link at the bottom)


Path Of Aurora

6.4 hours, no achievements

Wrote a review for this one (link at the bottom)


Carrier Battles 4 Guadalcanal

5.7 hours, no achievements

Wrote a review for this one too! (link at the bottom)


Aeronautica Imperialis: Flight Command

3.9 hours, no achievements

Would you know it, there's a review for this one!


Total War: WARHAMMER II

33.4 hours, 33 of 152 achievements

And there's a re… wait, no, this is a game I bought on my own to play.

If you've ever played a Total War game, you'll have a rough idea of how this game works. You pick one of the available races, which in the base game for Total War Warhammer 2 (why did they not just name it Total Warhammer?) are Lizardmen, High Elves, Dark Elves and Skaven (but if you own the first game, you can play on a huge map with all the races from that game as well), and you need to conquer your way through the world), and then you go out and try to conquer the world!

As in all other Total War games, this game is split up into two separate parts, the Strategic Map, and tactical combat. On the strategic map, you move around your armies, recruit troops, build buildings and so on, and once you run into an enemy, you'll enter into tactical combat, where you need to try and beat the enemy army, by use of clever tactics. The tactical combat in this game is just outstanding, probably the best the series has ever had to offer. While the AI is still a bit lackluster, the variety of troops make it less predictable than it used to be (after all, you did not really have huge dragons or rat mutant abominations in ancient Rome, at best you had elephants).

Total War: Warhammer 2 might well be one of the finest grand strategy games out there. It does not quite have the strategic depth of Paradox's outings, but it's far more accessible, and watching the enemy army getting stomped on by a gigantic dinosaur never stops being satisfying.


The Lord of the Rings: War in the North

15.3 hours, 35 of 46 achievements

Lord of the Rings: War in the North is a co-op focused 3rd person action game. You play as one out of three characters, a dwarf, an elf or a human, who need to battle Sauron's forces. On your way there, you'll meet people like an Ian McKellen knockoff, an Elijah Wood knockoff and of course a Hugo Weaving knockoff. Basically what I'm saying is that the actors who try to portray the actors from the movies were generally not very good.

The gameplay is perfectly fine. The 3rd person combat feels okay, even if the enemies are a bit too damage spongey, and between combat you've also got an excuse to explore, as each character is capable of finding different secrets (the dwarf for an example can spot weak walls and knock them down, to reveal hidden rooms).

While the game is 9 years old at this point, it does have some nice art direction. A lot of it was borrowed from the movies (which in turn borrowed things from the art made for the books), but that does not mean it's bad, the movies were very good looking.

What makes this game worth playing is really its co-op. The different characters have slightly different strengths, but the game does not go overboard with it, making it a somewhat relaxed co-op experience. Had this been a singleplayer only game it would likely have just been a bit dull, but as a co-op game it's fine.


Europa Universalis IV: Emperor

281.7 hours, 53 of 310 achievements

Well, would you look at that? Review at the bottom!


.hack//G.U. Last Recode

5.2 hours, 2 of 52 achievements

Well, this is actually bad.
I'm vaguely familiar with the .hack franchise, but I've never played any of the games, and now I can see why.

This game is basically trying to simulate a futuristic MMO, you're playing as a character who's in this MMO, and who lost their friend to some mysterious entity that made them go into a real life coma. And so you visit different areas, fight monsters and level up. But here's the first issue: The combat is kind of dull. It plays like a second rate Tales of Symphonia, with real time fighting, but you're far less agile here than in ToS, and combat feels button mashy.
Mediocre combat could be overlooked, if the story was great. But the main character has to be one of the most unlikable protagonists ever. He's just being rude to everyone around him for absolutely no reason. And yet for some reason, despite him being really unpleasant to everyone, most people he run into still insists on seeking him out. The character writing is really bad.

It is possible that this game is like Final Fantasy XIII, as in if you're willing to sit through a lot of bad, you might finally get to the good stuff. But I'm not willing to spend that much time on a game where I find the combat to be mediocre and the writing to be terrible.


Libertad o Muerte! review

Path of Aurora review

Carrier Battles 4 Guadalcanal review

Aeronautica Imperialis: Flight Command review

Europa Universais IV: Emperor review

It’s been a month since last time, but there’s some big games this time around. And some not so big ones.

The Flower Collectors

3.1 hours, 7 of 13 achievements

I wrote a review for this one! Link at the bottom of the post


Assassin's Creed: Syndicate

28 hours, no achievements

The forgotten Assassin's Creed, or at least it feels like it. The game came out between the much maligned Unity, and Assassin's Creed Origins, which seemed to re-invent the series. And between those two, Syndicate really does not stand out, for good or bad reasons. Syndicate is basically using the mechanics of Unity, but it's a lot less buggy. That means that you have the standard Assassin's Creed gameplay, of jumping between buildings, Batman Arkham-series-like combat, loads of menial tasks to do, combined with a rudimentary RPG-lite system, where you get skillpoints that you can allocate, and an actual stealth system (a game about sneaky assassins, with a stealth system? Who would have thought that was a good idea?!)

The highlight of this game, like any other AC really, is the setting. Victorian London looks quite impressive, and you've now got trains and steamboats to contend with. Overall, this part is really good, and the main reason to play this game.

As for the story, it's passable. Templars are doing an evil, and you need to stop them. This time you're playing as two characters, twins, who have slightly different skills and of course personalities, and they have their own missions to contend with. In the open world you can pick whichever you want though. And as for the characters, one of them is a bit of an idiot, and I don't get how he could become an assassin. The story is by no means good, but at least it gives you an excuse to climb some tall buildings, and stab some people.

Final verdict: This game is a Ubisoft game.


LEGO® Batman™: The Videogame

10.0 hours, no achievements

Ever played a LEGO game? Well, this is just like that, only you're Batman. Or a Batman villain. This game has two campaigns, one good guy and one bad guy one, and they play pretty much the same, only with the Batman one, you're changing suits mid-mission, which gives you different abilities, while in the villain one, you change characters between levels. This game is nothing special, but like all other LEGO games, still pretty fun.


Mega Man 11 / Rock Man 11

3.6 hours, 22 of 50 achievements

Mega Man is back, in yet another Mega Man game! Well, in all fairness, it's been a few years since the last one. This one is very "standard Mega Man", you get 8 stages to chose from at the start, each stage has an end boss, and if you beat it you get a new weapon. Each boss has a weakness to another weapon, and once all these bosses are down, the final set of levels is revealed. The only new mechanic here is what they call the double gear system, which lets you give yourself a boost, either by slowing down everything around you, or increase your attack power. I found the attack power boost to be far inferior. Other than that, it's like any other main series Mega Man game. Which is to say a solid 2D platformer. I don't think this one will be remembered as the high point of the series, but neither is it a low point.


Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team

4.0 hours, 7 of 12 achievements

Warhammer 40k: Kill team is a perfectly fine twin stick shooter, where you and another player get to play as Space Marines. You need to battle your way through a ship filled to the brim with orks and Tyranids. There's nothing really great about this game, but nor is it awful, it just kind of is yet another co-op twin stick shooter. Co-op works fine, and it is remote play compatible, so that's nice, but it feels a bit slow, and the character balance did not seem great.


Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales

29 hours, 36 of 39 achievements

Remember Gwent from Witcher 3, and how this was a massive success? Well, they made a digital TCG out of it. And then that spun off into a singleplayer game. That's this game.

Thronebreaker takes place a bit before The Witcher series, where you're following Queen Meve, as she defends her country against Nilfgaard. I don't want to spoil the story, because it's actually pretty good, and worth playing this game for.
As you move through the lands, you'll encounter different tricky situations, and these are, of course, solved by a game of Gwent. The card game has been expanded and rebalanced, compared to how it was in The Witcher 3, and is a lot more tactical. Some encounters are regular Gwent games, where you use a deck you've made, to face off against the enemy, and some use a pre-determined deck, and are more like puzzles than regular games of Gwent.

I do have a few criticisms of this game though. It feels like it wants to teach you the basics of Gwent, but it also does a pretty good job at encouraging bad habits for TCGs, like treating larger deck size as a bonus that you need to pay for (in most TCGs you want to keep your deck as small as the rules allow, to increase the likelihood of you drawing the right cards for your combos). The games economy is also a bit busted, and it gives you far too much resources.

But other than that, this game is really good, and the best game of this update.


Flower Collectors review

Three zombie games in a row!

Resident Evil

13.3 hours, 20 of 44 achievements

Resident Evil is a classic, and this remake is a big improvement on it.
For those who have never played one of the earlier Resident Evil games, these are closer to adventure games than action games. You traverse a limited space, trying to solve puzzles, that then open up new areas. These puzzles are usually solved by rubbing items against things, much like in a point & click adventure game.

But unlike (most) point & click adventure games, there's also combat. Zombies roam the hallways, and you need to somehow avoid getting eaten by them. Zombies are slow, stupid and predictable, but but in a narrow hallway they're still potentially dangerous. You're resources are limited, so you can't kill every Zombie in the game, thus you need to be a bit strategic in which zombies you chose to get rid of.

Well, that's the idea at least. I ended the game with about 80 bullets in my pistol, more healing items that I could easily count, and enough ammo in all the more powerful weapons, except for the shotgun, to kill everything in the final area several times over. Resident evil is a surprisingly forgiving game on the middle difficulty.

It's also not particularly scary. There's really only one thing that got me on edge in RE, and that was due to a perceived threat. When I actually ran into this threat, it turned out to be rather easy to deal with, but because of its slight unpredictability and how the game portrays it, it still kept me on edge, despite me knowing that it really was not something worth worrying about.

The RE remake is still a very good game, and I really liked the main manor that you're spending a lot of the game in. I really don't mind backtracking, when handled well, and I think that backtracking in RE was handled exceptionally well. It felt like I was traversing a coherent space, and not something that was just designed as a video game level.


Resident Evil 5

18.3 hours, 28 of 70 achievements

Going from Resident Evil 1 to Resident Evil 5… quite the jump, right?

RE 5 is nothing like RE 1. Where RE 1 tried to be an atmospheric adventure game with zombies, RE5 tries to be an over the top action game with big explosions. Gone are the lovingly created game world that feels like a space you could live in, and instead it's replaced by a linear set of corridors, with no backtracking, and hordes of enemies that you need to kill, rather than avoid. There's only a single point in the game where it kind of remembers that it's a horror franchise, and tries to build an atmosphere, but that's short lived.

RE5 is not bad though, it's just that if it were not for three returning character, and the name Umbrella, you would not recognize it as a Resident Evil game, if you were to go from RE 1 to this.

RE5 is a co-op game at heart, and I did try to play it once prior, in SP, and let's just say that it was not a very fun experience. In co-op it works quite well though. There's enough you can do to help each other in combat and to solve certain (very simple) puzzles, for the co-op element to feel worthwhile. The actual combat is also not all that bad, although the enemy variety does leave a bit to be desired.

The DLC is pretty good. One of the DLC parts feel like a homage to the first RE, and attempts some light horror, and the other tells the story of two characters who are part of the RE5 story, but offscreen for a bit.


Prototype

12.4 hours, no achievements

Prototype… what a mess.

Prototype is an, at this point, 10 year old open world action game, where you play as a superpowered person who runs rampage in a city. A virus has infected you, and it gives you superpoweres, but it also turns regular people into zombies (so 3 out of 3 games in this post will be about zombie games!). The army has been called in to deal with the zombies, and you, so it's a three way battle.

First of all, the port is awful. There are so many things in this port that can make it not run well, or give strange sound glitches, that you have to question if they even had anyone QA test this. There are posts from back when this game was just launched complaining about the very same issues, so this is not an issue with modern computers, it's just an awful port.

The gameplay is pretty solid. You're playing as an extremely powerful person, who can jump high, climb buildings, glide, slice humans in half with a single hit, lift up cars and throw them at people, morph into other people, and hijack tanks & helicopters. Basically you're one of the most powerful videogame protagonists ever.

The story is quite poorly told, but there's some interesting elements to it. At first glance it's your basic military coverup story. Virus gets released, army gets called in to cover things up, you want to find out the truth. But unlike in most of these stories, you're really not a good guy, you're killing hundreds of innocent people in your mad rampage, and they're just inconsequential, you don't get punished for doing so (I actually thought you would, so I tried to avoid killing civilians through the entire game, but that was just making the game harder for me…). The problem is how the story is told. You get very short cutscenes, and then the game just dumps you into the world, it's just jarring, and the short length of the cutscenes means that a lot of information gets left out, information that the main character knows, but you as the player don't. Like how did you escape the military facility where you talked to the important guy? Game won't tell you, it just plays its cutscene ending with important person dying, and then you're standing on top of a building. The first half of the story also feels incredible padded, with boring characters doing boring things to waste your time.

Gameplay is where the game shines, when it wants to cooperate. You have a huge toolbox of powers, some of which are seemingly completely overpowered, like massive AoE effects, the ability to eat enemies (and civilians) for a quick health boost, or the ability to just jump up to a helicopter and hijack it, at which point you now have a heavily armed helicopter. But the opposition is also tough, the army has plenty of tanks & helicopters, the infected as powerful "hunters" that can chase you across the rooftops and are capable of dealing huge damage. And when the game works, it's really fun. Combat feels strategic and challenging, and yet somehow also like a power fantasy. But then the game just throws 4 hunters at you and they stunlock you to death, or the game throws a cheap QTE at you that you were not ready for, and you instantly fail it because you were in the middle of attacking, and hit the wrong button, resulting in you losing half of your health. There was also one lovely boss that had an instant-kill attack combo which it did not telegraph for me (an effect was not playing…). And some of the mission design is just awful. Actually, a lot of the missions were very badly designed, particularly those in the late game. My favourite was the one where I was told that I needed to "eat" a specific person witting in a tank, but if I tried to eat the person before the game wanted me to, there was an instant game over.

Prototype is a game with some real strengths, but also massive weaknesses. Combined with the atrocious PC port, I really can't recommend this game. I get why some people remember this game fondly though.


Mini-rant number 4.

Quick time events, or QTE for short. Don’t you hate them?
Well, I don’t. I don’t actually hate QTEs, I think they can be done well, the issue is that they’re more often than not not handled well at all. And here’s a big no-no when it comes to quick time events:

Don’t make quick time events that you automatically fail, particularly not if the punishments for failing are harsh, if you press the wrong button if it’s during gameplay where you’re expected to press buttons. Getting blind-sided by a QTE when you’re attacking, dodge-rolling or otherwise doing “stuff” and then taking a large chunk of damage is not fun, it just feels cheap and frustrating.
I’ve now played two games in a row that had this problem. Resident Evil 5, and Prototype. RE5 did not have a whole lot of these instances, though it still had some, but Prototype had plenty. It was always fun to try and do a jump attack, only to then be blind-sided by a big soldier, and instantly failing the QTE because I had just hit the attack button, thus getting suplexed into the ground and losing most of my remaining HP.

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

More

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

More

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

More

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

More

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

More

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

More

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

More

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

More

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

More

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

More

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

More

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

More

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

More

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

Statistics