Gotta Play' Em All! Lengray’s profile

My backlog-killing strategy

Keep up-to-date stats about all the games I own.
Be extremely selective about which games I want to add to my library.
After adding a game to the backlog, play it within 3 months.
Select the lowest difficulty setting on the first playthrough.
Ignore achievements on the first playthrough.
Drop a game if playing has become a chore.

Current backlog challenge

Tag Challenge #1

My ratings explained

★★★★★  I thoroughly enjoyed this title from start to finish!
★★★★  A solid game. Worth a second playthrough or more playtime.
★★★★★  Quite pleasant but has important elements I didn't like.
★★★★★  Didn't enjoy the game much but it might appeal to others.
★★★★  A very poor game. To be forgotten.
★★★★★  A complete disaster in every way. To be deleted.

April 2021

Temporary post. Do not comment.

This is the placeholder for the update.

Story of Seasons

★★★★
35 hours
3DS

A cute and simple game to play. The graphics are very nice despite inexplicable framerate drops in certain areas. There is a lot to do and many customization possibilities but things tend to be very slow and a tad repetitive, especially in the early game. The social components are okay but I expected a little more variety in that department.

Simulacra

★★★★
6 hours - 14 of 24 achievements

An excellent investigation/thriller game that quickly grew on me. The small screen size and the limitations of the simulation don't stand in the way of a very pleasant experience. However, some conversations and story decisions are quite awkward and break the immersion a bit. [Full review]

Sea of Solidude

★★★★
3 hours
Origin - EA Play

A simple and beautiful game. I adore the art style and how water is manipulated.
3 hours may seem quite short but I felt it was the perfect length for an emotional game like this. The platforming sections provide just enough challenge to make your feel how the protagonist struggles without being in the way of the touching narrative.

Eidolon

★★★★★
24 hours - no achievements

Taking place in a post-humanity Washington, Eidolon is very slow and its massive world is devoid of things to do (but not to see). Collecting memory fragments is very interesting but costs long hours of wandering around. Eventually, everywhere starts to look pretty much the same and the survival elements are too light to keep the player engaged.

The Myth Seekers: The Legacy of Vulcan

★★★★★
4 hours - 15 of 18 achievements

The beginning was promising: stylish graphics, nice animations and a cool story. However, things became ridiculous very quickly, just like most HOGs. The mini games are easy and the hidden objects scenes require too many actions to uncover the actual objects. What stood out, though, was the atrocious audio quality of the voice acting.

FreezeME

★★★★★
7 hours - 14 of 18 achievements

I really tried to like this game but the controls are terrible. It's cute and some of the puzzles are interesting but movement is imprecise and the camera used to freeze stuff is very hard to aim right when you need to do it quickly! Take my word and ignore this one. There are much better 3D platformers out there waiting to be played.

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages

★★★★★
18 hours
Game Boy Color

It pains me to drop this game but the puzzles were becoming so convoluted and unintuitive that I just wasn't enjoying it anymore. The game is based on recycled assets from Link's Awakening DX so it's very pretty for the system. However, the adventure is not nearly as compelling or fun and revolves too much around puzzle-solving.

Other games played:

SteamThe Elder Scrolls Online
Ubisoft ConnectSteep
SwitchAnimal Crossing: New Horizons
WiiXenoblade Chronicles
3DSSuper Mario Maker

Additions: Diablo III Eternal Collection - Kirby Star Allies - In Other Waters - Shenmue III - Simulacra 2 - Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore - Wasteland Remastered

Backlog evolution: +2

March 2021

In March, I mostly stuck to my objective to only play with a controller; the only exception was the second DLC for The Outer Worlds which is great! The result is a mix of genres and a few great games off my backlog. The most surprising one was definitely Eastshade. It's such a lovely title! Along with it, I managed to cross out another two games off my Tag Challenge list and for the first time in ages, my backlog has shrunk!
For April, I'm going to continue playing Xenoblade Chronicles, probably a few more unfinished games and whatever else I feel like playing.

BlazBlue: Chronophantasma Extend
★★★★★
52 hours - 27 of 51 achievements

This game is a superb fighter for newbies and veterans alike and is brimming with content! 28 beautifully animated characters, an extensive fully-dubbed VN-style story mode (which took me over 25 hours to complete), an in-game encyclopedia, a very large gallery and much much more. [Full review]

Wanderlust: Transsiberian
★★★★
1 hour - no achievements

Perfect companion to the main Wanderlust game, this story is shorter but a little less linear. It plays exactly the same but I felt my choices had more weight this time around. The writing is still great and so are the music and photos. [Full review]

Eastshade
★★★★
21 hours - of achievements

A phenomenal experience in so many ways but boy do I wish it didn't have immersion-breaking technical issues. I adore the core mechanic of getting inspiration from discoveries or relaxing experiences like tea-drinking and spending it to paint. Exploration is wonderfully done and most often, you're left to discover things by yourself. However, Eastshade is very resource-intensive and unoptimised. [Full review]

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

★★★★
17 hours
Switch

A great evolution but the rubber-banding inherent to the series sometimes spoils the fun. The high track count (48!) and their great design make it the meatiest version so far. I also really like the new items, especially the speaker one as you can finally defend yourself against the homing blue shells.

Call of Cthulhu

★★★★
10 hours - 37 of 49 achievements

This game if very good for anyone interested in the occult, the Cthulhu mythos as well as dark and mysterious places, it's not without a few shortcomings. It does a good job of translating H.P. Lovecraft's cosmic horror but lacks the sense of loneliness in keeping insanity away. I also quite liked the investigation mechanics, through I expected a little more in that department. [Full review]

Blazing Chrome
★★★★
4 hours - 22 of 39 achievements

A very nice throwback to 90s gaming but a little expensive if you're not a fan of the genre. There's much to love about this game: the beautiful pixel graphics, the music, the bosses and level design and the easy difficulty setting (not so easy though) for those, like me, who only enjoy dying over and over for a little while. [Full review]

Prototype
★★★★★
16 hours - no achievements

A game which starts off very well but eventually tries too hard to be badass. I really enjoyed running up walls and jumping from building to building, especially with the diverse set of abilities and moves you unlock throughout the game. However, the game is very uneven in many ways. The difficulty is all over the place and the story felt uninspired. [Full review]

Super Punch-Out!!
★★★★
3 hours
Super Nintendo

A nice evolution from Punch-Out!! on the NES but still very limited in terms of possibilities. The animations and general graphics are really nice but I just feel the game is too unfair to be fun for me. The gameplay ends up being a memory game to avoid opponents' special moves rather than a game based on reactions.

Other games played:

SteamEidolon - FreezeME - The Elder Scrolls Online - The Outer Worlds
WiiXenoblade Chronicles
3DSStory of Seasons
Game Boy ColorThe Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages

Additions: Control - Kingdoms Two Crowns - NBA Playgrounds 2 - Wildfire - WWE 2K Battlegrounds - XCOM: Chimera Squad

Backlog evolution: -2

February 2021

Well, February was a good month but my plans got disrupted pretty quickly. My first intention was to continue playing Xenoblade Chronicles on the Wii but I didn't. The reason is that after catching up with The Expanse, I really wanted to play a space game. I picked The Outer Worlds, the last game I bought in 2020, and it sucked me in for 53 hours. My second objective was to knock at least one game off my Tag Challenge list. I did try but after 41 hours, I'm still not done with BlazBlue: Chronophantasma Extent!
You may be aware of my personal challenge to refrain from buying any game except for Humble Choice and looking at the 14 games I added this month, you may think I've failed. I came quite close but there is a twist to the story. The day the new Artifex Mundi bundle came out, I was really tempted to get it. I told my kids about it (my daughter loves HOGs) and my son said to me: "Look Daddy, I'll give you 5 euros out of my pocket money to get the bundle and I'll trade it to you. I offered him 4 TF2 keys so he could sell them on Steam and make a little profit. He agreed and I activated 8 new games into my account :) The rest are just trades I've made on Steamtrades.
For March, I don't have a definite list of games I want to play but I'm going to make it "Couch March" and exclusively play from my couch. My computer is hooked to my TV so I'll only play Steam games with controller support, my Nintendo consoles (SNES Mini, Wii, Switch, DS, 3DS) and my emulation handheld (Pocket Go).
Stay safe and keep playing. Lengray out :)

Games off the backlog[click on the titles to read my reviews, if available]
Batman: The Enemy Within Endless Fables 2: Frozen Path Star Fox 2 The Outer Worlds + Peril On Gorgon DLC The Secret Order 8: Return to the Buried Kingdom
Additions: 14 Backlog: +9
The Outer Worlds
Released in 2019

★★★★★
53 hours - 36 of 48 achievements
Action RPG Open World

The Outer Worlds is undeniably a superb action RPG. While far from perfect, it suffers the most from the constant (and unfair) comparison with Fallout: New Vegas which it doesn't intend to be a successor to.

This game is exactly what I was looking for: a streamlined Fallout-like experience with a good story, great world-building, gorgeous places to visit, lots of quests to do and interesting characters to meet (and sometimes kill). It's never the most important feature of a game but the graphics are outstanding. Landing on Terra 2 for the first time and looking up will put a smile on your face. The attention to details, from the scientists' consoles to the vegetation is superb. Everything in this game looks just right. The main quest and the side quests are very good too and allow quality role-play as choices really matter. Another remarkable aspect is the humour, especially in the dialogues. Whoever wrote them should get a free shipload of gourmet saltuna as they made me chuckle more than once. I also really liked the companions and their stories, though I tended to team up with the same pair for most of the game. The combat is fine but it's definitely not the core of the game. Finally, exploration is okay too but there is not much to see or find off the beaten paths.

The game is a bit too easy on normal so you might want to crank up the difficulty to hard pretty quickly. There's also a lack balance between weapon wear and ammo. By the end of the game, I had more than 5k rounds for each weapon type (there's ammo literally everywhere, even in the toilets) but I had to repair my weapons whenever I had the chance as they degrade very quickly with use. I was also swimming in money (I never had to save up for anything) and hoarded medical supplies just for the sake of it. Maybe the problem is not so obvious on hard difficulty.

First, I highly advise using the minimal HUD mod from Nexus and tweaking to your liking. I love to immerse myself in games of this genre but the floating quest markers and that compass with enemies shown on it were very distracting. Having to look things up on the map and figuring out where the enemies are is so much better! I also experienced a few CTDs and disabling the Steam overlay fixed the problem. Finally, my opinion above is also valid for Peril on Gorgon which is an excellent expansion. I can't wait to play Murder On Eridanos due for release in a few weeks!


This review on Steam if you want to mark it as helpful.
Star Fox 2
Released in 2017

★★★★★
1 hour
Super Nintendo Multidirectional Shooter Strategy

Finally released on the SNES Classic Mini after being cancelled in 1995, this game is bad and has little to offer.

I really enjoyed playing the original Star Fox back in the day, even with the slideshow-like graphics and low difficulty. It was revolutionary in many ways and a totally new experience for me. The sequel looks the same and piloting this iconic ship again was fun for 5 minutes. That's it.

First, the game is extremely short. There are like 5 or 6 "levels" which don't last more than a few minutes, the bosses die in seconds and the "strategy" element they introduced is very weak and simplistic. After what the first game had offered, I don't know who thought it was a good idea to make a sequel like this.

Batman: The Enemy Within - The Telltale Series
Released in 2017

★★★★
10 hours - 30 of 30 achievements
Adventure Story Rich

A solid sequel that never gets boring but which sometimes has questionable dialogue choices.

The first game in the series felt a tad too conventional and the story dragged on a little at times. This second game is much better in that regard. New things happen all the time and the plot takes unexpected twists and turns to stay interesting. Despite guessing very quickly who the climax will be about, the progressive development of the main villain and the work on the secondary characters is excellent. Being friend or foe is a fine line. The action scenes are not the core of the game but are still very well implemented and feature alternative ways of taking down opponents.

I felt that when you fail, the game sometimes takes you quite far back. Some dialogue choices (and one in particular) felt strange but what bothered me the most is the very end and the choice you have to make.


This review on Steam if you want to mark it as helpful.

January 2021

After deciding to change monthly updates for individual game reviews, I already miss this time of the month so I'm going to do both!
I'm pretty happy how January turned out. First, I managed to stay true to my word and not buy any new games except from Humble Choice (trading is allowed, full details here). I beat 7 games, which is unusual for me outside of summer months, and also started my Tag Challenge which many fellow assassins have found interesting.
So my first objective for February is to start hacking a couple of games off that list. The second one is to finally beat Xenoblade Chronicles (the Wii version) but I'm afraid one month won't be enough for that considering how extensive this game is.
Stay safe and keep playing. Lengray out :)

Additions: 9 Backlog: +2
Wanderlust: Travel Stories
Released in 2019

★★★★★
8 hours - 12 of 12 achievements
Adventure Interactive Fiction

I fell in love with this game! This soothing experience was exactly what I needed.

In these times of stress, uncertainty and limited travels, I recommend this title to anyone with a sensitive soul, in search of answers to the trials of life or simply looking for beautiful personal tales. This game is so heart-warming it's like wrapping yourself up in a blanket and sitting outside on your porch, looking at the clouds and the setting sun. While it's about discovering new places or coming back to meaningful ones, this game is mostly about people. The writing of the different travel stories is fantastic, the descriptions are spot on and the tone is always right. The photos are of the highest quality and are great matches to the text. Finally, the soundtrack is simply the best I've heard in a long time. I like it so much that I've been listening to it on a loop outside the game.

I simply wished I'd had the possibility of visiting the part of Thailand I didn't choose after leaving Bangkok without having to start another playthrough.


This review on Steam if you want to mark it as helpful.
Doom 3: BFG Edition
Released in 2012

★★★★
47 hours - 39 of 65 achievements
FPS Horror

A great package of classics and many hours of fun but Doom 3 itself is the weaker game here.

The amount of shooting fun in this collection is phenomenal. You get (almost) all of Doom and Doom II, a version of Doom 3 with an improved flashlight system, the original expansion for Doom 3 and yet another DLC only available in this package. That's an insane number of levels! The gunplay and enemy variety are excellent in all three games, there are plenty of secrets to find and the general level design is great. While not as feature-laden as dedicated source ports, the included launcher for Doom and Doom II makes those games more fun to play with quality mouse support.

I really enjoyed playing through Doom and Doom II again but Doom 3 is not a game I liked as much as the others. Too many corridors, too many predictable encounters and just too repetitive overall. The gory visuals and jump scares the devs went for is not something every classic Doom fan will enjoy.


This review on Steam if you want to mark it as helpful.
Lengray's Tag Challenge #1

Following the idea of the ABC Challenge, which I didn't get far into, and Elvidur's complex challenge, I had the idea of tackling my backlog in yet a different way.
What I did was first to check my library using Lorenzo Stanco's Steam filter. Then, I clicked on a game tag that interested me and had a look at the generated list. I then looked at games I hadn't played or beaten in that list and selected one. I repeated the process 11 times (because 12 months, you know) and the list below is what I came up with.
I'm not setting myself a time limit (and might replace any of the games if I abandon one) as I want to keep things fun and also play other games but it's a step in the right direction.
As I play through them, I'll link to this post in my reviews so you can check my progress if you're interested. I've also made a game list in my profile for that purpose.

Tag Game title Status Review
2D Fighter BlazBlue: Chronophantasma Extend Beaten here
Action Apotheon Never played
Cyberpunk Binary Domain Never played
Dark Dishonored Never played
Dungeon Crawler The Quest Never played
Exploration Eastshade Lived here
Female Protagonist Ara Fell: Enhanced Edition Never played
FPS Borderlands 2 Never played
Metroidvania Hollow Knight Never played
Pixel Graphics Starbound Never played
RPG Tyranny Never played
Story Rich Call of Cthulhu Beaten here