That feeling of Dread Formidolosus’ profile

Oh my gosh, you’re here! I can’t believe it’s really you. Please take a seat, and make yourself comfortable. Tea? Crumpets? I made them fresh this morning. So what brings you here today? You’re just browsing. By all means, we all do it. Oh… what can I tell you about myself? Well, let’s see… I like finishing games. I mean really finishing them. Not just ‘hooray we saw the end credits, the games is over’, but really sinking my teeth into those things until they are bled of content. Of course there’s some games that want me to play them for the rest of my life and I just can’t make that kind of commitment, so I resolve myself to just doing what I can for them. For the others I will keep them installed on my hard drives until they are done. So far the longest has been around 6 years from start to finish. 6 years sitting eating up space on my computer while I play everything else. But we get there eventually. And it feels good, so we keep doing it.

I’ve arranged all my games into lists, as one does. Over here, in the folders labelled ‘Beaten in’ are records of all the games I’ve beaten in any one year. I sometimes go back to those lists and think about all the good games I’ve played and enjoyed. And of course as each year progresses, I add the games as I’m beating them, so it’s nice to watch that list grow.

As we continue, you’ll also see the ‘Playing in XXXX’ list. Which I set up at the beginning of a year, with games I would like to at least try in a year. I probably won’t beat most of them, but the list serves as a reminder of some cool games I’ve got waiting, in the hopes I don’t let them slip through the cracks.

Then on our left, we have the “Big Game hunting” list, which is a list of mostly “AAA” games that I’ve beaten or am trying to beat. I guess the best way to describe this would be games that everyone should know. Of course the irony is that these are not usually the biggest games in terms of ‘time to beat’, ‘difficulty’ or much of anything apart from ‘popularity’ I guess. But it’s a fun list for me to track and make sure I’m getting my money’s worth on my ‘big’ games.

Up ahead, is a list entitled ‘the Almosts’. These are games I’ve started a while back and got quite far, but never quite finished. So I guess this list is just a way of reminding myself to give them another try one day. And so far it’s worked quite well. All the games I added were incomplete, but I’ve done half of them already. And I’ll continue to add to it as I finish more and more games lapse into ‘abandoned’ territory.

And over there is the ‘Long game’ list, which keeps track of all the games that I’m taking my time to beat. Usually games I got ages ago, played for a bit and then abandoned and now it’s been years and they are still on my hard drive, waiting to be beaten. The list is arranged by more or less length taken so far, and it’s helped add motivation. When the list was created, most were incomplete, but we’re now over halfway complete. Feels good to uninstall a game after that length of time.

So that’s the end of the tour. Oh of course, I also have my ‘won on steamgifts’ list, which shows my rather sad efforts at leeching, but at least shows that I have also played the games I won, so that’s something. And the almost ‘obligatory’ abc list, showcases my attempt at having a full alphabet set of completed games. Nearly there.

I generally only post once a month just to make my progress and comment on the games I played. I don’t expect any one to read an comment, but it’s always welcome.


A late ode to January

AKA Where did the first month of the year go???

Beaten in January 7 games

    SteamWorld Dig 2

    SteamWorld Dig 2

    4.5/5
    30 hours playtime
    34 of 34 achievements

    I love this universe that the devs have built. The way they can take an idea of a steam powered robot world and move it between genres keeps the games fresh but familiar. I first played steamworld dig on my 3ds when it came out, and loved the metroidvanian style of it. So it was great to get back to those roots with this game. As usual however, there are some insane achievements, specifically to do with how you finish up. Certain tasks done in the game give you stars at the end. Each star on it own is easy enough, but then the final one wants you to do all 4 in one run. So finish in less than 4 hours, earn a certain amount of money, don’t die and find all the secrets. I had one run where I needed only a few secrets and then to wrap it up with the final boss, but the secrets I needed were so far spread out I could never do it in time, with the clock sitting on 3.52. So I went back to an older save and worked on my efficiency in getting the secrets on my way to other places, rather than getting all the equipment first. And I did it! Nice tough game to start off my year

    Airstrike HD

    Airstrike HD

    2/5
    7 hours playtime
    12 of 12 achievements

    Ok so I’ll admit that after the rather slow start to my month, thanks to grinding on some longer games, I sought out some ‘quick and easy’s just to keep things going. This was a very one note game developed no doubt as a ‘my first game’ project from some bedroom dev. Plane flies, you click mouse, bombs drop and the city is razed. Repeat 25 times with no real progression or variety. But hey it was easy, so there was that.

    Pinball 2018

    Pinball 2018

    1/5
    19 minutes playtime
    27 of 27 achievements

    As part of my little quest to get ‘the numbers up’. I picked a couple of Bullid games. I’ve played a few before and they were pretty quick and ‘casual’. This and the other game I picked were just silly. Super glitchy and very little by way of challenge to get the achievements.

    Dr. Pills

    Dr. Pills

    1/5
    41 minutes playtime
    21 of 21 achievements

    This one wins the prize for the glitchiest game I’ve played in a long time. It’s a bit of a doctor mario type game, but the pills glitch and disappear so often. And the level counter doesn’t reset when you die, so you can just reset until you find an easy layout to get to the next ‘level’

    Ironclad Tactics

    Ironclad Tactics

    3/5
    2 hours playtime
    1 of 1 achievements

    SO yeah this was also a bit cheeky. I have played this game a lot on my phone, thanks to an early humble android and PC bundle, but never installed it on my computer. But I saw it only had one achievement and it was a quick one, so doubled down on my ‘cheap shots’ day, and added this to the list, for a total of 3 in one day.
    The actual game is a fairly decent card based strategy game, and it was a great game to play on the phone. Don’t think I’ll spend more time replaying it on the PC for now though, as there are plenty of other games to kill.

    Glass Masquerade 2: Illusions

    Glass Masquerade 2: Illusions

    3.5/5
    23 hours playtime
    39 of 39 achievements

    I loved the first game with it’s unique looking puzzles and interesting designs, so I picked this up on the sale. I think they dropped the ball a bit. All the puzzles are the same shape now, and the choice of puzzle images seemed to be mostly grotesque fairy tale type images. So I preferred the first one definitely, but it’s still a decent enough puzzle game, and me and my wife sat and played it together.

    Alphabear: Hardcover Edition

    Alphabear: Hardcover Edition

    4/5
    25 hours playtime
    10 of 10 achievements

    This game is a really ‘make a word’ puzzle game. The dictionary is good and the bears add a nice element of strategy with their different modifiers. It alternates between timed levels, where any word will do, and the standard boards, which encourage thought about how to maximise your points and keep an eye on which tiles are expiring. Again, this is one I sat and played with my wife. We haven’t actually got to the end of it yet, but a random lucky unlock of a legendary bear meant we got all the achievements, so it goes on the list for this month.
    The funniest part is the little ‘madlibs’ type card they show at the end of the level where they use some of the words you made in random sentences. Some of our results made us laugh out loud. We’ll probably still keep playing this one for a while, and it gets a thumbs up.

Wow January certainly came and went before I could even catch my breath. It started out with the last week of my holiday, which was great. I can't remember the last time I actually took 3 weeks off and just spending time with my family and doing things around the house really refreshed the old body and mind. And then of course work started again and everyone was keen to get things going, so I got loaded up with more work. As such, I spent less time gaming than I would have normally. I also spent a lot of time working on Hitman 2 and to a lesser degree 'Rise of the tomb raider', so there wasn't a lot of game completing action happening, but I have been enjoying the games I played, which is what we all want after all.

7 games done then for the month, although 3 of them were so quick, I don't really know if I should count them on my goal towards 90 for the year, but we'll see how desperate I get as the year winds down. So I guess we'll see how February pans out, but things may well get worse before I get ahead on my various projects and find myself with more free time again.

Other stats

Achievements Gained 235
Most difficult (according to TSA) 'Spiritualized' in Joe Danger 2
Games added 20
Number of different games played19
Achievement streak 1344 days
Average Game completion 76%
Total number of completed games 454
Games completed in 2020 7

A farewell to 2019

So as expected 2019 was a quieter year for me on the gaming front. It was a fairly big year for me and my family personally, between having a new baby and buying a house, which meant less free time. And it has been fantastic watching my daughter grow in her first year, and putting in the hours working on my house. So yes, on the games side of things I always knew there'd be less time, which is why I set my goal for 90 games completed in the year, and I finished up on 93. So still not too bad, but it's the first year I finished less than the previous year, and I also earned 800 less achievements. I also had a list of 25 games I wanted to play this year and only got to 15 of them. Which is probably the biggest failure of the year for me.

In order to keep the BLAEO home page free of clutter, I shall hide the rest of my ramblings, behind this big button, press it at your own risk

November Roundup

9 in 11

Beaten in November 9 games

    Zenge

    Zenge

    3/5
    3 hours playtime
    1 of 1 achievements

    This was a little puzzle game that took a simple concept and slowly added to the complexity. Never got too frustrating and I think most people can probably figure it out without a guide. Recommended as a nice little time waster

    Art Of Gravity

    Art Of Gravity

    3.5/5
    10 hours playtime
    9 of 9 achievements

    Another little puzzler that came in a pack with Zenge. The concept was simple, just shoot balls blocks until they all crumble. Again not too difficult, but the achievements require you save balls on some of the puzzles, and those were a bit trickier. Not bad if you have a bit of wallet money and want to kill an hour or two.

    Through Abandoned: The Underground City

    Through Abandoned: The Underground City

    3/5
    7 hours playtime
    5 of 5 achievements

    A point and clicky sort of game where you move between different scenes and do some basic puzzling. Feels very much like a ‘my first game’ attempt. But I’m grateful that the puzzles are generally pretty straightforward, no ridiculous ‘adventure game’ nonsense. Another quick game to play if you have an afternoon free.

    Finding Paradise

    Finding Paradise

    4.5/5
    12 hours playtime
    1 of 1 achievements

    Played “to the moon” a few years ago with my wife, and we enjoyed it immensely. So it was great to finally get to play the full sequel. I know they kind of throw some ‘gameify’ things in there so it feels more like a game, but let’s be honest, it’s all about the story and once again Ken Gao shows a deft hand in his pacing and exposition. I loved that often a character would say something random and my wife or I would react a certain way, and then the other characters would react in exactly the same way. It showed a real thought to how real people would react instead of the usual game character writing where often they’ll just go along with it, because that’s what the game demands.
    I think the story was probably on a par with ‘To the moon’, but perhaps less emotionally charged. Still made the eyes a little moist. Can’t wait to one day play a sequel to this and hopefully get answers to some of the lingering questions.

    Rise of Nations: Extended Edition

    Rise of Nations: Extended Edition

    4/5
    68 hours playtime
    38 of 38 achievements

    I know Age of Empires gets a lot of praise as possibly the pinnacle of real time strategy gaming. But I also loved this one back in the day. In many ways I enjoyed it more because there was less micromanaging resources, and more building up a supply base and then just heading out to conquer. I know that probably meant it was less balanced, but it’s still a lot of fun.
    I was looking back on games I’d started and never completed and was shocked to see I’d never finished this, only to remember the reason I got put off was because of the ridiculous ‘build X unit’ achievements. Luckily the game supports mods and custom maps, so I found a few that could just be run on auto mode to help buff those stats, and I could then play the campaigns happy in the knowledge that I would be able to get all the achievements.
    Glad to finally have this classic ‘in the bag’

    Pirate Pop Plus

    Pirate Pop Plus

    2.5/5
    16 hours playtime
    12 of 12 achievements

    I guess they were going for style over substance with this one. It’s a very slickly presented little game, obviously trying to give the ‘vibe’ of being a lost gameboy cartridge, complete with customisable game console body and buttons. But at it’s core the game is just a little too boring to sustain the kind of long play time it demands in order to unlock all the achievements. I mean, yes the game gets more complex, but there comes a point where it stops escalating and you just keep doing the same thing until you die. It’s fine if the thing you’re doing is lots of fun, but this is just shooting a chain at bubbles to pop them, without getting hit. Maybe I’m not the target audience, but it’s just not that fun

    The Signal From Tölva

    The Signal From Tölva

    3.5/5
    18 hours playtime
    42 of 42 achievements

    This is a hard one to pin down exactly. Basically you are taking over drone robots on a hostile planet mining for data and exploring the map. There’s shooting and points of interest to capture as well as a bit of progression as you need to unlock hazard suit upgrades to get further. It’s fun enough to play through, but it felt like there could have been more of everything, and it feels a bit like a bite sized chunk of a bigger game. Still worth checking out if it looks like something you’d be interested in.

    PUSH

    PUSH

    3.5/5
    63 minutes playtime
    1 of 1 achievements

    Another day, another little puzzle game to waste away my life. As per the usual puzzle game design 101 we start simple and add more concepts to get to the end where we are doing much more complex things. I did enjoy this one overall so if you have a few cents during a sale and like little puzzle games, do look at this one.

    Mr Shifty

    Mr Shifty

    4/5
    15 hours playtime
    14 of 14 achievements

    Saw this when it released and it piqued my interest as a quick thinking top down action game and after playing hotline miami last month I felt a need to finish this one as well. It’s fast and a bit frustrating at times, especially if you’re going for the no deaths achievement, but it’s pretty well balanced. And like all ‘twitch’ games it’s quite satisfying to beat it and get it off your backlog, so all the imaginary people who care about your achievements can be impressed.

And just like that we are staring down the barrel of another year. November was a bit of a strange month for me. Started out in a burst of activity but then I had to go to hospital for a couple of tests and some minor surgery and things really slowed down towards the end of the month. The upshot is that I only need to beat 4 game in December to get my 90 for the year, which should be easy enough. Getting to 77% completion might be a little harder as I've recently started a lot of new games that brought me down again, but we'll see. I will take leave over the last couple of weeks, so maybe I'll find inspiration to play a lot during that time.

Asides from what I beat, I also started a few new games, the biggest of which was Hitman 2. Wow, it's really a great game. The level of detail and thought that went into every level is outstanding. The series always seemed like it had the potential to become a murder sandbox and I'm glad technology finally got to the point where a game like this is possible. So many approaches to every problem. I'll be playing this a while as it's got a lot of content, and I also don't want to burn out on it, but it was definitely worth the purchase.

I succumbed to a few purchases on the sales, mostly smaller games, but I will probably get a 'big' game in the winter sale later this month. I really want to try Just cause 4, and maybe AC odyssey, but I'll need to do a deeper cost/benefit analysis... haha

Other stats

Achievements Gained 264
Most difficult (according to TSA) 'Squid God' in Slime-San
Games added 13
Number of different games played23
Achievement streak 1314 days
Average Game completion 76%
Total number of completed games 447
Games completed in 2019 86

October Roundup

Lucky number 7

Beaten in October 7 games

    A Short Hike

    A Short Hike

    4/5
    4 hours playtime
    8 of 8 achievements

    Well I guess they didn’t lie. The ‘short’ was right in the title. This was a humble original that they expanded on a bit for a full release and it feels like despite the short size there was a lot they squeezed in and at the same time there existed the potential for a lot more. It’s a bit like animal crossing in some ways, but with a definite end goal. There’s fish to catch, feathers to find and a few races to win as well as a few little side quests/ activities. Any one of these could have been filled out with more of the same to make a longer game, but the developers stuck to their goal and the result is a little 4 hour slice of fun.
    My assessment is based on the fact I got it for free essentially, so I’m not sure how the value would hold up if you bought it, but it’s a decent little game for what it is.

    PAC-MAN 256

    PAC-MAN 256

    3/5
    21 hours playtime
    10 of 10 achievements

    Last month I guess I was in a bit of a pac-man mode. I beat the championship DX version then but this one was also started then. And so I just mopped the last few achievements up.
    It’s a very one note experience. It’s fun to play with a friend or two, but eventually the perpetual score chase will get boring and you’re left to grind for money to upgrade all the power ups to maximum. So it’s fine to a point, but only the most die-hard pac-fans will keep going for too long.

    Deponia

    Deponia

    3.5/5
    16 hours playtime
    19 of 19 achievements

    Since the demise of lucasarts classic adventure games, Daedelic have been trying for years to fill that gap and I think this is accepted as the first time they started getting it right. I started the game a few years back and forgot about it, only to return this month. It has it’s fair share of illogical puzzles, and the main character is a bit of an unlikeable dolt, but it’s enjoyable enough.
    Oh yeah, apart from the stupid droggeljug achievement. Here, play through the entire game you just beat again, this time with no actual words included apart from droggeljug. Wonder which genius thought that was a great idea.
    Anyway, that aside, it’s a worthy enough entry into the genre and has some fun moments and puzzles. I’ve got the sequel installed for next time I feel a need to play a point and click adventure

    Tropico 5

    Tropico 5

    4/5
    52 hours playtime
    70 of 70 achievements

    I played the 4th tropico game a few years back and I loved it. I enjoyed sim city 2000 as a kid but always found the mechanics could be a bit unforgiving. Tropico 4 is a much kinder city building sim. It wouldn’t penalize you too harshly for doing the wrong thing and there was generally a way to fix your mistakes. And this carries through in 5 as well. The features they added didn’t really change the dynamic too much, although it’s nice to be able to tweak individual buildings with a manager as you need.
    They added forced multiplayer achievements on this one, but luckily I had a spare copy which I could activate on my wife’s computer, and the achievements were pretty easy to get with a few games.
    I will pick up tropico 6 some time I’m sure and hopefully it will maintain its status as my favourite city building simulator.

    The Adventure Pals

    The Adventure Pals

    4.5/5
    15 hours playtime
    31 of 31 achievements

    This was a game I’d wishlisted and forgot about until it was included in the humble monthly and it certainly was unexpectedly fun. It’s got a fun sense of humour and design and it’s a great game to play with kids as well, as the platforming and combat aren’t difficult and the array of colourful characters and silly story have a certain childish appeal.
    In terms of longevity, there are cupcakes and stickers to find but none of them are too well hidden and once those are done the game is pretty much over, but it’s a fun ride while it lasts, so if it looks like something you might enjoy, I can confirm that it lives up to the promise shown ‘on the box’

    Hotline Miami

    Hotline Miami

    3/5
    26 hours playtime
    35 of 35 achievements

    I played ‘12 is better than 6’ years ago and was informed at the time that it was a ‘hotline miami’ rip off. But when I played hotline miami, I found the game was just too brutal for my liking. But I’d earned an achievement or two by that point so it stayed installed. Then as I was exploring my games breakdown on completionist to see which games were bringing down my completion percentage, I saw this sitting there and thought I should have another crack at it.
    It’s still pretty violent and I’m not going to pretend I enjoyed every minute, but it does what it does well and there’s a certain art in doing a level over and over again until you get the perfect run. The story can be difficult to follow as it involves dream sequences and hallucinations, but I guess they felt like such brutality needed a motivation.
    The one thing I did really enjoy was the soundtrack, so there was that.
    I have the sequel as well, maybe one day I’ll install it, but for now I got my fill of hyper violence thanks

    The Haunted Island, a Frog Detective Game

    The Haunted Island, a Frog Detective Game

    2/5
    34 minutes playtime
    6 of 6 achievements

    Wow this was a short game. I mean I got it, knowing it was a short game and I was still surprised. And maybe I’m too old now to understand the humour but it really wasn’t as funny as it seemed to think it was. It felt like one of those art pieces where every psuedo-intellectual praises it for being very clever and every one else just looks at it and “doesn’t get it”. And yes, I ‘got’ the jokes, they just weren’t funny.
    In a nutshell the game is probably about 15 minutes of adventure game fetch quests, where you find a thing to give to someone to get another thing and listen to their random conversations. Then you do the thing you needed to do, find the ‘big surprise ending’ and spend another 15 minutes watching credits and random character dancing. I mean if the game had been a bit longer and allowed you to explore the characters and world a bit more it would probably have been a middle of the road adventure game. But like this, it’s hard to recommend.
    If it wasn’t so short I probably wouldn’t have finished it though, so I guess that’s a plus.

Well just like that we are staring down the end of another year. It always seems like the last 3 months of the year hit the gas in a big way and next thing you know it's Christmas and another year. This month I made a concerted effort to revisit some games I'd started years ago and abandoned with a completion percentage of 20% or less. It resulted in a few completions and also a few upgrades to a higher completion percentage. I figure even if I can't beat them all, just moving them up a few notches will help fix my graph break down on completionist, where there's a big number of games stuck in that zone. Asides from that I didn't really play any 'big' games this month. I've been a bit tired in the evenings and so loading up something that requires my full attention is not always an appealing option. So thank goodness for the smaller games doing their part to keep me entertained.

And so with 2 months to go, my average completion is up to 76 percent and my total for the year is 77 games done. So I think the goal of 77% AGC and 90 games total is still very much on track. In terms of adding to the backlog however, this month was terrible. Fanatical had a couple of decent bundles and then the humble monthly had good games, and the hydra grew far more heads than I wanted. But when I take leave at the end of this year I will get brutal with the library and remove anything I'm probably never going to play, and see if I can't shave the library back down to less than 2500.

Other stats

Achievements Gained 302
Most difficult (according to TSA) 'Even Heavy Armor Cannot Withstand Fire of this Magnitude' in Company of heroes 2
Games added 37
Number of different games played25
Achievement streak 1285 days
Average Game completion 76%
Total number of completed games 438
Games completed in 2019 77

September Roundup

10 out of 10

Beaten in September 10 games

    PEG

    PEG

    3/5
    15 hours playtime
    34 of 34 achievements

    Another day another little puzzle game in the bag. This one was made by the same guy who made ‘Knights’, that I beat last month and it shares many similarities in UI and general design. Puzzles are pretty much the same thing throughout, jump over pegs to remove the one you jumped over. Boards change shape and the layout of the pegs can lead to varying degrees of challenge, but it never throws in new ideas, which leads to a pretty one note game. This one also has a daily levels mode to extend the game play. It’s ok, but don’t expect anything great

    Call of Duty: WWII

    Call of Duty: WWII

    4/5
    19 hours playtime
    35 of 35 achievements

    I know Call of duty games are frowned upon by the gaming elite, and I get it. They are the poster boy for style over substance, which each year bringing a new ‘flashy’ entry to the franchise that does very little to innovate or push boundaries of gaming. And of course the MP mode is where all the serious hard core players go to hang out.
    However, I still love playing the single player campaigns of these games. They usually have great motion capture and even if the story is usually pretty ‘hoorah for the US’, it’s still an enjoyable cinematic ride. And generally the gameplay is pretty easy, even on the hardest setting, so it’s a nice relaxing ride. I enjoyed WWII’s return to the classic setting, although I wish we could have spent more time with the other characters instead of the brief cameos. I could have played a whole game based around the french spy. Anyhow, overall, a pretty fun experience that got to the point without overstaying its welcome.

    Wuppo

    Wuppo

    4.5/5
    28 hours playtime
    23 of 23 achievements

    What a fun little game. It’s listed in various places as a hidden gem, and I can see why. It has very good ratings on steam, but it’s not a game a lot of people talk about. I gave a spare copy to my nephew and the younger couldn’t stop talking about it and asking me about things, and being as I hadn’t really played much, I got more into it and ended up finishing it all.
    Look it’s not the easiest game to get into initially. The goals aren’t extremely clear and there’s actually a lot of things that aren’t necessary to the plot so it can be confusing if all you want to do is finish the game. But when you get into the world a bit more, the level of detail put into this by the very small team can be appreciated. Oh and getting all the achievements is a proper challenge if that’s what you enjoy. Doing the boss run with no extra healing items? Insane!
    But yes, if you have this game sitting in your backlog and you like nintendo style adventure games, you might find you enjoy this as well.

    Dreaming Sarah

    Dreaming Sarah

    3/5
    2 hours playtime
    22 of 22 achievements

    So with the introduction of the new steam library function, I found myself searching through a lot of different tags and discovering games I had forgotten about. I had a bit of spare time and so ran a search on games tagged as ‘short’ and this popped up, so I thought why not.
    It’s an esoteric story taking place in the head of a girl who is presumably recovering from an accident or something. It plays as a series of fetch quests essentially, like a metroidvania-lite, in a way. And yes, it’s pretty quick, but I guess it was fine.

    Circuits

    Circuits

    3.5/5
    6 hours playtime
    15 of 15 achievements

    During another quick browse through my library using the new tools, I rediscovered a few games I’d nearly beaten but never got around to finishing up. This was the first one. It is an interesting concept. Using your ears you have to recreate the song you’re given, using a few sound samples and things like repetitions. It’s not that difficult if you have any kind of musical ear, but a few of the achievements require you to do not do specific things like using hints or switching layers, so I had to go through them all again to do this. My only criticism would be that the actual songs could have been more creative, but I guess the creator went with what they knew.

    Castle of Illusion

    Castle of Illusion

    4.5/5
    17 hours playtime
    12 of 12 achievements

    Another game that cropped up which I’d never beaten. I saw I’d never even beaten the final boss when I played this game first time round. It was because I played it with the kids, and they were a bit scared about the witch, so I stopped playing. Anyway, realising there wasn’t that much left to go, I sat all by myself and beat the boss then went through and collected all the missing collectibles to finish this game up.
    It’s a charming throw back to the classic 2d style platform games Disney used to make. I know it’s very much 3d in actual design, but the perspective gives it that same feeling. The challenge is aimed at younger players, but it’s still fun and I can’t really think of anything I didn’t enjoy about the game.

    Scrap Garden

    Scrap Garden

    3/5
    16 hours playtime
    42 of 42 achievements

    And another game that I rediscovered in my library searches.
    This game feels like one that could be a lot better with the help of a director or someone, taking a more objective look at the gameplay and streamlining it a bit more. The voice acting needs attention definitely, but other aspects could do with a little tweak. With just a little bit of change I think the game could have been much better. It’s not horrible to play through now, but it lacks the polish of a lot it’s competitors.

    Flat Heroes

    Flat Heroes

    4.5/5
    32 hours playtime
    44 of 44 achievements

    I am a sucker for punishment, so it’s pretty much a given that at any time I’ll have a few different brutal platformers on the go. This one is definitely one of the more punishing I’ve had the pleasure of playing. Look the standard level set I think most people could get through easily enough. Yes some of the boss fights are frustrating, but you keep trying and you get there. But then they’ve also got a ‘heroes’ mode. With another set of levels tweaked with new difficulty, and those will leave you wanting to throw out the controller. If that wasn’t enough, getting all the achievements also means hitting certain goals on the survival mode. Mercifully, you can play local co-op and revive each other in this mode, otherwise I don’t know how I would have done it. My wife might not be as good at these games as me, but there were still enough times that she could revive me and keep it going.
    So yeah, don’t let the simplistic presentation fool you, this is a tough one! Right up there with some of the hardest games I’ve beaten. But as a result, having it done and dusted feels really good!

    PAC-MAN Championship Edition DX+

    PAC-MAN Championship Edition DX+

    3.5/5
    2 hours playtime
    12 of 12 achievements

    So it’s pac man. I guess there’s not much else to say. If you don’t know the classic gameplay, then you’ve probably been living in a nuclear bunker for the last 40 years. This game adds a more ‘pix the cat’ type twist to the game play, where you’re going for a score attack and trying to perfect your route through the courses. Thankfully the achievements are pretty generous in terms of what they require, so I didn’t have to spend hours perfecting my technique to wrap this one up.

    GNOG

    GNOG

    4/5
    4 hours playtime
    20 of 20 achievements

    Saw this on gamivo going for really cheap, so picked it up. It’s a short little point and click type puzzle game with robot heads that have to be manipulated and ‘solved’. It’s got bright colours and cute animations so even though the puzzles are not too hard, it’s fun to play through. My baby enjoyed it very much too, thanks to the aforementioned bright colours, and fun sound design. So it will stay installed for a while, as a means of distracting when mommy needs a break.

Well that month certainly recovered. About halfway through I'd only managed to beat 2 games. And then the steam library update came and I started exploring my library in all sorts of different way. And it highlighted a few games I needed to get back to and finally did. So there was a sudden flurry of shorter games and returns to older ones that resulted in September being one of my best months this year. 3 months left to go and I think we're well on track to hit 90 by the end of the year.

Apart from what I finished, I played some co-op games with the kids and wife, and I'm sure a few of those will be done before too long. I didn't really spend a lot of time playing 'bigger' games, just because I wasn't in the mood really, guess it just goes like that sometimes. With spring in full effect there was of course also a lot to do in the garden, so that was where I spent a lot of my weekends.

That's a wrap for September, I think October will probably be spent more on longer games, so less completions, but you never know, moods change. Have a great October everyone

Other stats

Achievements Gained 232
Most difficult (according to TSA) 'Boss Run: Impossible' in Wuppo
Games added 22
Number of different games played25
Achievement streak 1254 days
Average Game completion 75%
Total number of completed games 431
Games completed in 2019 70

August Roundup

A gust of wind

Beaten in August 5 games

    LineWay

    LineWay

    3/5
    30 minutes playtime
    1 of 1 achievements

    Another of my short puzzle games I picked up in the steam sale. This one is particularly short as well. Simple enough concept, just move through all the squares to reach the end. It has some nice twists as you go along, but none of the puzzles were particularly challenging and it was pretty forgettable.

    Borderlands 2

    Borderlands 2

    5/5
    120 hours playtime
    75 of 75 achievements

    I played the original game last year, and must say I didn’t really get why people were so excited about the series. It felt like a very grindy attempt at blending RPG and shooting and it felt a bit like I would rather be playing one or the other. But then I started playing this one through with my brother and his fiance. And it was such an improvement. The characters were so much more fleshed out, the humour was great and both the gunplay and skill trees felt much better. I did my main playthrough with them as Zer0 built as a glass cannon. But I also respecced and tried as other builds, and they all felt very different.
    Mercifully the achievements were made a lot less grindy with the release of the fight for sanctuary DLC as I could start a new level 30 character and get the other character specific achievements a lot easier.
    The worst one is of course the level 1 challenges achievement, and the stupid Jimmy robot one. I farmed 2 chests, loading and reloading about 100 times before finally meeting the little guy.
    Anyway, it felt good to finish such a long game and I’ll certainly look forward to playing Borderlands 3 some time after it releases next year.

    Stick Fight: The Game

    Stick Fight: The Game

    3/5
    9 hours playtime
    28 of 28 achievements

    Looking for games to play with my younger son, I installed a bunch of co-op, local MP games. This one apparently resonated with him the most as we were forced to play it every night for about 3 weeks. Look it’s fun enough for a while, but there’s no progression or unlocks or anything to motivate continued play. I had to remember to pull my punches a bit otherwise he would get frustrated. So he thinks his really good at this game at my expense. But hey some things are worth more than being the best.

    KNIGHTS

    KNIGHTS

    3.5/5
    11 hours playtime
    20 of 20 achievements

    Another of the short puzzle games of course. This one takes the concept of knights moving on a chess board as the basis for a whole game of puzzles. It has a theoretically endless mode using the daily levels. But being as it’s pretty one note, I don’t imagine there are many people who would sit and play the game forever. Still it’s not unpleasant to play and a good ‘coffee time’ game.

    Sniper Elite 4

    Sniper Elite 4

    5/5
    75 hours playtime
    85 of 85 achievements

    I have always enjoyed the sniper elite series, and I’m glad we seem to have reach the point in the series where our technology finally allows the promise of the earlier games to come to completion. In the earlier games, the lack of hugely open areas pointed to the limitation of the gaming consoles to load more than so many enemies at a time. And so there were only a few ‘fixed’ opportunities for really impressive shots. But finally here, we have maps where just about all the enemies can be loaded in and so the maps can open up to much more impressive landscapes. So on many of the maps you can set up camp on a high tower and sit just marking and picking off enemies for ages before needing to move. Great fun!
    Of course it has a few rather tough achievements to earn as well. Thankfully I had a buddy to help me out with the co-op missions. Then for the hardest mode, ‘no save’ challenge, I had a few false starts, try to be hidden, as is my normal play style, before I realised it was more efficient to find a good spot, and make a racket, then let the enemies come to me. Turn it into a more conventional shooter. Once they were all dead, the objectives became a lot easier.
    Anyway, the series continues to impress, and I will look forward to the 5th one when it comes out.

So a little less progress this month. But there's a good reason. I spent a lot of time playing 'big' games. Asides from borderlands 2 and Sniper Elite 4, I also 'beat' Assassin's creed origins, Deus Ex mankind and spent a lot of time playing Borderlands: the Pre-sequel. So that was where most of my evening game time was going. I also started a whole bunch of games with my sons. I'm not sure if I'll ever finish all of them, and they dragged me down in the completion ratio, but we found some good ones to play, so I guess that was a win.

My progress towards my year goals is still on track, although a slower month meant I erased the 'buffer' I had built up. But I will no doubt have some busier months at the end of the year, as my work slows down and I take leave

Other stats

Achievements Gained 264
Most difficult (according to TSA) 'The Collector' in Sniper Elite 4
Games added 0
Number of different games played20
Achievement streak 1224 days
Average Game completion 75%
Total number of completed games 421
Games completed in 2019 60

July Roundup

Bored on the 4th of July

Games I beat this month:

Beaten in July 8 games

100% completed
  • The Room Three

    8 hours playtime

    10 of 10 achievements

  • Snail Trek - Chapter 4: The Final Fondue

    67 minutes playtime

    9 of 9 achievements

  • 7 Billion Humans

    12 hours playtime

    19 of 19 achievements

  • Cube Link

    6 hours playtime

    8 of 8 achievements

  • Delete

    3 hours playtime

    8 of 8 achievements

  • Quell

    3 hours playtime

    35 of 35 achievements

  • Super Lucky's Tale

    36 hours playtime

    58 of 58 achievements

  • Swapperoo

    11 hours playtime

    23 of 23 achievements

So of course July was the tail end of the Steam sale, and as I usually tend to do, I went through my wishlist and picked up a bunch of really cheap little games for a few cents each. Some of them were in bundles with other games so all told I gathered another 15 puzzle/casual games for about $9. A lot of them are perfect 'coffee break' games. Little brain teasers I can do during a work break. So most of my completions this month were those, being as the 'main' games I have been playing are all longer and likely to take a bit longer to finish.

Asides from these that I beat, I also played a lot of Borderlands 2 with my brother and his girlfriend. It has been a lot of fun and I'm very close to beating it now. I did not get the appeal of the series after playing the first game, but everything improved so much with the second game, I get why people like it now. I'll definitely pick up the third one when it's on steam and has a GOTY version.

In real life, things have been busy with work and the kids and the gardening. Feels a bit like spinning wheels some time, but it's good mostly. I mostly finished clearing the jungle around our mini orchard that the previous owners had allowed to grow unchecked, so the fruit trees will hopefully have a better chance of survival. By my count, we have 3 lemon trees, 2 peach trees, 2 guava trees, 2 avocado trees and something that seems to produce some form of tangerine or easy peel orange. There's also a grape vine and several goosebury bushes, that I had to cut right back as they were interfering with other plans. Hopefully the vine can recover when spring arrives, but the grapes were so sour, it's no great loss, but I guess the birds liked them.

Happy August to everyone. Hope it's a good one

Other stats

Achievements Gained 256
Most difficult (according to TSA) 'All-Pro Warrior' in Wolfenstein II
Games added 20
Number of different games played 16
Achievement streak 1192 days
Average Game completion 75%
Total number of completed games 416
Games completed in 2019 55




June Roundup

How you Ju`ne?

Games I beat this month:

Beaten in June 11 games

100% completed
  • Woof Blaster

    3 hours playtime

    14 of 14 achievements

  • Replica

    6 hours playtime

    8 of 8 achievements

  • Saints Row: The Third

    93 hours playtime

    83 of 83 achievements

  • Among the Innocent: A Stricken Tale

    6 hours playtime

    13 of 13 achievements

  • She Remembered Caterpillars

    21 hours playtime

    13 of 13 achievements

  • Figment

    12 hours playtime

    23 of 23 achievements

  • Cheap Golf

    3 hours playtime

    4 of 4 achievements

  • Flat Kingdom Paper's Cut Edition

    27 hours playtime

    48 of 48 achievements

  • The Franz Kafka Videogame

    9 hours playtime

    12 of 12 achievements

  • Playing History 2 - Slave Trade

    38 minutes playtime

    8 of 8 achievements

  • Snail Trek - Chapter 3: Lettuce Be

    37 minutes playtime

    8 of 8 achievements

Ahhh once again I'm late with the monthly update, but I've been feeling rather under the weather the last few weeks, so posting the monthly update didn't really take priority. Half a year done already, I can't believe it! This year is just racing past. My baby is already 6 months old, and a very busy little person.

June is the month of my birth, so it means usually getting a few games in the steam sale and sometimes some PC upgrades. This year I decided to buy a new controller, being as between my kids and my own button mashing, my faithful companion of the last few years has slowed down a lot, making twitch games an excercise in frustration. So a new controller was bought, as well as a 512 gb SSD to finally have enough space to install a few big games on. Then during the steam sale, I was stuck between buying Hitman 2, Shadow of War, Kingdom come, and Wolfenstein II, I concluded that kingdom come was the most likely to be in a humble bundle soon, followed by shadow of war, and so I went for hitman and wolfenstein. What do you know the very next month, what should appear in the monthly? So glad I made the right call. I also got the usual array of little cheap games and DLC for games I want to beat. True to my word, I also deleted a whole bunch of games I know I'll never be playing.

In terms of gaming, I did a fair amount of co-op gaming, which is rare for me. To start with, I joined burnedstriker in playing through Saint's row : the third and finally put that to bed, 6 and a half years after starting. I also teamed up with my sniper elite buddy to knock out the multiplayer requirements for Sniper Elite IV, as well as finishing the 'authentic plus' mode achievements. So there's no difficult achievements standing in my way to finish that anymore. And then finally, I got the handsome jack collection on special, to add all the borderlands DLC I didn't have, and my brother and his GF also got them, so I've been playing with them a lot in the evenings. I don't know if they'll have the staying power to finish all of the achievements, but I think I've gone far enough to be able to finish myself at a later stage if they get bored. So all in all, it's been fun to play with some other people again, when you play solo for so long you can forget that sometimes teaming up creates great new experiences.

Apart from those, I played a lot of smaller games, and with 11 games done this month, my yearly goals are back on track with a bit of wiggle room if I need to take a slow month again.

Have a good month everyone!

Other stats

Achievements Gained 222
Most difficult (according to TSA) 'Trial of the Champion' in Next Up Hero
Games added 21
Number of different games played 20
Achievement streak 1162 days
Average Game completion 75%
Total number of completed games 409
Games completed in 2019 47




May Roundup

May be I will, May be I won't

Games I beat this month:

Beaten in May 7 games

100% completed
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum GOTY Edition

    37 hours playtime

    47 of 47 achievements

  • The Zwuggels - Beach Holidays

    6 hours playtime

    32 of 32 achievements

  • World of Goo

    28 hours playtime

    8 of 8 achievements

  • simian.interface++

    34 minutes playtime

    8 of 8 achievements

  • Time Mysteries: Inheritance - Remastered

    6 hours playtime

    10 of 10 achievements

  • MIND CUBES - Inside the Twisted Gravity Puzzle

    8 hours playtime

    315 of 315 achievements

  • The LEGO® Movie 2 - Videogame

    31 hours playtime

    50 of 50 achievements

Wow, that month seemed to go by really quickly. And here we are in June already. It felt like I spent a lot of my gaming time doing longer / grindier achievements, with little to show for it, but I guess 7 games down was better than nothing. I'm still off of my yearly goal by about a game and a half, but I guess that's what casual games are for. Highlights of the month: Finishing Arkham asylum (completing my 'rocksteady' trilogy), starting Yakuza Zero and coming really close to finishing Saint's row the Third, after I found a co-op buddy here on BLAEO. Saints row the third will go to the top of my list for longest completion times, as it was one of the first legit games I got on steam, and languished there on my hard drive for nearly 7 years, as I could never find someone willing to grind through all the activities. Just a few more story missions and we're done.

Oh and going back to Yakuza Zero, it's certainly a wild ride. Think it may be a slow burn for me though, rather than a 'sit down and complete', so much to go through. It's very Japanese in it's sensibilities and plotlines, and as a result, a few of the sidequests have been eyebrow raising, but I do like the overall plot and the action. Can see why it comes strongly recommended.

On the home front, winter is setting in with a vengeance. My efforts to undo years of neglect in the garden continue, and are definitely paying off. We've got 5 of these huge cycads plants in the one section, and I was trying to clear the ground under them on Saturday and got poked by their spikey leaves all over for my efforts. So yeah I'm all covered with cuts today, but guess that comes with the territory. The dog is also much happier, as we have now fenced off an area of the garden for him to run around in. The bordering fence with the neighbours is very climbable for our 'mountain goat', and we had a few times of him disappearing. So for months he's been restricted to going out on the lead only, which lead to a sad beagle. But now he's got a nice big area to mess around in and seems much happier for it. He's 5 this year, but still acts like such a puppy, chasing bubbles and teasing you to chase him as he runs away with random things he finds.

This month's gaming will probably be punctuated by adding too much to the backlog, courtesy of the steam sale. But I've made a resolution to delete 1 game I will never play, for every one I add. I will try and finish the maind storylines of AC origins, and Deus Ex: Mankind divided, and hopefully finish Sniper elite V2 remastered and Saint's row the third to 100%

As for the sale, I have my eyes on a few games, hoping they hit the right price point, but top on the wishlist are Wolfenstein II, Hitman 2, AC odyssey, Just cause 4 (reviews be damned) and Kingdom come deliverance.

Have a good month everyone!

Other stats

Achievements Gained 532
Most difficult (according to TSA) '500 Objects Smashed' in One finger Death Punch
Games added 12
Number of different games played 221
Achievement streak 1132 days
Average Game completion 74%
Total number of completed games 398
Games completed in 2019 36




April Roundup

I pity the fool

Games I beat this month:

Beaten in April 10 games

100% completed
  • Cypher

    5 hours playtime

    7 of 7 achievements

  • Cat Quest

    17 hours playtime

    12 of 12 achievements

  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Director's Cut

    50 hours playtime

    59 of 59 achievements

  • Minit

    6 hours playtime

    27 of 27 achievements

  • Arma Tactics

    20 hours playtime

    22 of 22 achievements

  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered

    17 hours playtime

    50 of 50 achievements

  • LYNE

    23 hours playtime

    33 of 33 achievements

  • The Fidelio Incident

    7 hours playtime

    14 of 14 achievements

  • Cefore

    43 minutes playtime

    12 of 12 achievements

  • Go Home - Rage incoming

    2 hours playtime

    13 of 13 achievements

Right a bit late again, but here we are. Another month gone, and one third of the way through the year already. But this is a bit more like it. I am still behind on my target for finishing 90 games this year, but with this month my total for the year goes to 29, so it's only off by one game. Not bad considering the painfully slow start to the year. Also significant about this month is the fact I passed the anniversary date of my achievement streak and it's now been 3 years where I've earned at least one achievement every day. Not bad considering during that time, we've moved house, gone on holiday, had a baby and a few power cuts that lasted 12 hours or more.

Apart from the games I beat, I also added some more achievements to Sniper Elite 4 and started playing Staxel with my middle child. A nice little minecraft/animal cross/ harvest moon hybrid, even if a bit shallow. The kid likes it though.

On a personal front, the weather is definitely changing for Winter and Easter weekend was very rainy and quite cold. And my lawn finally seems to be slowing down the growth, which is good, because I've been having to mow it every weekend for months, so I'm looking forward to a break, to do some other things.

Other stats

Achievements Gained 210
Most difficult (according to TSA) ' Role: Griefer' in Guncraft
Games added 21
Number of different games played 21
Achievement streak 1101 days
Average Game completion 74%
Total number of completed games 389
Games completed in 2019 29