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.

My ratings explained

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

Leaving Lyndow
Released in 2017

1 hour - 7 of 7 achievements
Adventure Walking Simulator

A short and simple walking simulator with a great work on lighting.

As a sort or prototype/prequel for Eastshade, this game is a nice introduction to the setting. It only features a few locations but each is carefully designed. You get to say goodbye to the few important people in your life and while the conversations are short, they leave the impression that nothing more needs to be said. Just like Eastshade, it's a gorgeous game. Not all elements are stunning but the soft music, delicate lighting and overall art direction make it a work of beauty.

The replay value is very low. You could play through it a second time if you've missed achievements the first time round but any more than that and it could become boring.

This review on Steam if you want to mark it as helpful.
LoveKami -Divinity Stage-
Released in 2016

5 hours - 20 of 20 achievements
Visual Novel Anime

This game has a good premise and nice graphics but the story and dialogues are very shallow.

The idea of having goddesses come to earth to become idols is original (but underdeveloped). I quite liked the first half of the story as you learn a bit about the whole idol thing and the pacing is fine. Graphics-wise, this game is pretty to look at and I don't mean the boobs that take a quarter of the screen. The backgrounds and goddesses' clothes designs are of high quality. The voice acting is alright too and so is the music, especially the ending theme.

Being goddesses, I expected the three girls to be quite wise about life of earth. Boy, was I wrong! In the second half of the game, where the story splits, you figure out they are clueless about pretty much everything, fall in love with a smile and the romance part is absolutely ridiculous. And do I need to mention the oversized boobs again? Keeping their balance while dancing with those is a challenge in itself.

This review on Steam if you want to mark it as helpful.
Forgotton Anne
Released in 2018

9 hours - 17 of 33 achievements
Adventure Platformer

A classic tale of authoritarian upbringing and teenage rebellion, this game is gorgeous but marred by fiddly controls.

Let's be honest, for the first couple of hours I was totally in awe. Not only is the main character's animation spectacular (it reminded me of Studio Ghibli releases) but so are the rest of the visuals and the world-building. The idea of making forgotten objects have a life and world of their own is simple but very clever. I also really enjoyed the puzzles as they were pretty easy to solve and never stalled the progression. The story itself is okay but it's nothing we haven't seen before.

For a platformer, I expected the controls to be a little tighter. It could be due to the limited number of animation frames. The volume of the voice acting is also inconsistent at times, especially Anne's voice which tends to be too low to make out clearly. Why is some characters' talking louder than Anne's screaming?

This review on Steam if you want to mark it as helpful.
Super Mario Kart
Released in 1992

3 hours
Super Nintendo Racing Multiplayer

Another classic of the 90s, this game is fun with a friend, at least for a while. The single-player experience, however, is lacking.

I remember when I first played this game in the 90s. I thought it was very good-looking and made great use of the (in)famous Mode 7. I had previously seen it in action in F-Zero but the latter was single-player only. Anyway, I played it at a friend's and we had good fun together. The number of tracks is decent for the time, limited power-ups are fine (the dreaded homing blue shell didn't exist back then) and the handling is very good, which is essential for a game like this. That being said, Street Racer is better in every way in my humble opinion.

Playing this game again literally gave me a headache. That blurry ocean of pixels in the distance, which looks like coloured TV noise, is a challenge for the eyes. But the worst is the cheating AI. In 100cc and above, opponents never hit any walls, drive through obstacles and always catch up when you're too far ahead (rubber band AI). A great example of unfair gameplay.

Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders
Released in 1994

11 hours - no achievements
FPS Fantasy

A very good game if you want to experience an old-school FPS and even better with a bit of modding.

Heretic is one of the best games built on the Doom engine. It features the same fast-paced shooting as Doom and also has the same level system with coloured keys, items, secret places and even secret levels to find. If you've enjoyed playing the original Doom, you will definitely have a good time with this one. The weapons are very fun to use and, thanks to a special item, can have secondary attacks/effects. Since the Steam version runs on DOSBox, I highly recommend using a more modern frontend like GZDoom along with the great HD graphics pack released some time ago on Nexus which both make it really pleasant to play, even in 2021.

The enemy roster is rather limited and becomes repetitive quite quickly. Besides, while I really enjoyed the main game, I didn't really like what I saw of the expansion. I thought the level-design was a bit lazy and didn't have the maze-like feeling of the main game.

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

2020 Stats

Well, it's that time again when you look at what you've achieved and failed in the past year. And considering my stats and the name of this group, it's pretty much a failure, but a fun one. I'd be hard-pressed to pick one favourite game or even three but I've had many interesting experiences. I've discovered great VNs, played through peaceful games and not-so-peaceful ones but, surprisingly, not many RPGs which is my favourite genre. I guess 2020 was a strange year in that way too. Additionally, I started to play on Switch and also got into writing reviews which has been fun and hopefully helpful.
Despite the huge number of games I've added and the horrible backlog increase, I'm still pretty happy about how I spent my gaming time and money this year and I don't feel I've wasted any. The stats below don't include the Epic Game Store since I only get the free games and as all I got was that out-of-this-world June bundle.
I have a plan for 2021 and it's a tricky promise to keep: not to buy any new game outside of my Humble Choice sub. And to help me keep it, I've made a bet with my two kids: if I don't buy any games, they each must give me 1€ (which I won't take, of course) but if I do, I have to give them 1€ each for each game I buy! They agreed as they expect to get a lot of extra pocket money but I'll prove them wrong!
Anyway, I wish you all the best for the coming year :)

Platform Beaten Dropped Added Backlog evolution
Steam 47 1 132 +84
Origin 2 0 7 +5
Ubisoft Connect 0 0 5 +5 0 0 0 -0
Switch 0 0 9 +9
Wii 0 0 0 -0
SNES Mini 2 1 - -3
3DS 5 0 3 -2
TOTAL 56 2 156 +98
Emulated games beaten GameCube1 SNES2 Game Boy3

The Eden of Grisaia
Released in 2017

23 hours - no achievements
Visual Novel Action

Final chapter in the Grisaia series, this game is a fine conclusion and slightly better than part two.

While it doesn’t have the epic proportions of the first game, The Eden of Grisaia is much more focused than the second one. The story presented is quite long, consistent, well-paced, and no character is left aside. In this game, Yuuji is not in the limelight until the last third, which leaves room for the girls to show they have talents of their own. The backgrounds, dialogues and music are of the same great quality as the other two games. In my opinion, the ending was fine as it really brings closure to the whole arc while still leaving things open-ended.

There are only two things that bothered me a bit: the two incongruous CGI movies that felt out of place and the fact that some of the girls pull off ridiculous supermoves out of nowhere, just to give the story an action-oriented edge.

This review on Steam if you want to mark it as helpful.
One Day In London
Released in 2016

22 hours - 83 of 107 achievements
Visual Novel Adventure

Behind this uninspired title hides a good and lengthy VN with many branching paths but which unfortunately tends to drag on a bit.

First off, I really liked the setting (London, 1888), the character design and the beautiful backdrops. The animations, music and sound effects reminded me of hidden object games and are nice enough. The story, about demons and possession, kept me interested except for the very last part (more about that below) but where this VN really shines is in how your decisions affect the story across the episodes. I played through it twice and really liked the variations. There are also a few simple and fun mini-games to enjoy.

Episode 1 to 3 are fine but episode 4 and 5 should have been condensed into one. The game also lacks a little quality control as I encountered a few typos, sometimes strange translation choices (Russian is the original language) and text formatting problems. Finally, why call the game One Day in London when it actually takes place over one month?

The Council
Released in 2018

15 hours - 33 of 42 achievements
Adventure Choices Matter

Despite a few things that bothered me a bit, The Council is a fine example of an investigation game done right.

First, I really enjoyed the setting. Taking place on a secluded island at the end of the eighteenth century, you very quickly get the feeling of walking into a trap. Wandering about the manor, I often stopped to look at the detailed furniture, statues and various paintings. The inclusion of historical characters is definitely a good idea (and a necessary one for the story) and Bonaparte's voice acting is a delight to listen to. I also really enjoyed the weight of the choices knowing you must live with the consequences. The inclusion of RPG mechanics was very welcome, giving the game even more replayability.

The story was great until episode 4 where a major plot twist left me a bit underwhelmed and that feeling lasted until the end (I got a good ending though). On a technical level, performance was uneven, the animations are sometimes stiff and the characters tend to have difficulties focusing on each other's eyes.

Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Heart of the Forest
Released in 2020

5 hours - 21 of 38 achievements
Visual Novel Werewolves

Latest release in the recent World of Darkness series of visual novels, this one is a very good read yet a tad too short and focused.

The writing is really good and your choices affect the story in a flowing manner. The story takes place in a Polish forest which is an excellent settting (the devs are Polish). The scope is limited (5 days and one area) but the outcomes are different enough to replay it a few times (I only did two playthroughs, though). The UI is neat and the art style is beautiful even though the backdrops are evocative rather than accurate. I also really enjoyed the "mood/health" system which makes the main character evolve throughout the story and affects NPCs' reactions and available choices.

The game is short and making the most of it requires at least two playthroughs. Besides, the story is a bit too slow in the beginning and a bit too fast at the end. Finally, while the lore is important in a game like this, the way it's presented felt a bit forced at times.