Gotta Beat' Em All! Lengray’s profile
Another month, another few games beaten and … twice as many added to the Backlog of Doom! For a change, I played through two great titles and two disappointing ones. I guess I just expected more from games with high ratings.
My first experience with the DotHack universe, I really liked this RPG and tried to play it like when it was originally released, leaving a few months between episodes 1, 2 and 3. For those who are not familiar with series, it mostly takes place in a fictional MMORPG called The World. You log in and out of it when you're logged off, you can access ingame emails, news, forums and a card game. The story revolves around a virus spreading in The World which puts people in a coma in real life. While the combat felt repetitive and easy, there is no grind required and it's very simple to play. I can't compare this HD version to the original PS2 one but it all felt very sharp and smooth. Episode 4, new in this version, is much shorter than the other ones but serves as a nice epilogue.
This was the first game I got on Origin a few years ago and it was high time I played it. I had quite a few jump scares and the camera, placed very close, forces you to constantly look around. The guns felt powerful and varied but it took me a while to realise the ammo drops you get depend on which guns you own. I really enjoyed the enemies' designs and how they move through air ducts to get to you from above. However, I didn't really like the fact that the hero, Isaac, is mute and just gets to do what he's told. And there's a puzzle I got stuck on mid-game and that broke the rhythm. Didn't like that either.
I generally like VNs but this one I had a hard time getting into. The core Narcissu trilogy was alright but the other stories just felt like more of the same. This game tries too hard to be sentimental and while I’m as compationate as the next guy, I felt something was off in the way the characters behave and how it all ends. It didn’t help that just before, I had finished reading Flowers For Algernon, which did make me cry. One annoying technical issue is that this game uses a launcher to start the different stories and the settings are not carried over from one story to the next. And finally, the art is very minimalistic: a tiny window and lots of reused assets.
The store pages says "a third-person exploration game ... a poignant and beautiful journey that crescendos at the source of life, and perhaps result in an understanding of death." Quite pretentious isn't it? In fact, there's not that much exploration. You play as a vixen, listen to a guy and his wife talk about his memories of his dad, and collect stars placed in the different levels because ... I don't know. The fox is looking for her missing kit but spends her time looking for collectibles. Another thing that completely broke the immersion for me: the fox can double jump! On the plus side, the game is quite pretty but was made in Unity, an engine I don't really like.
PC Euro Truck Simulator 2 • The Elder Scrolls Online • Tokyo Xanadu eX+
3DS Pokémon X • Project X Zone
I'm posting my report a little late this month as I'm just back from my holiday. I hope everyone had some nice gaming time and maybe managed to score good deals during the summer sale. I was weak and spent a little too much. It's bad for the backlog but ... well ... you know ... :)
If you're looking to play a relaxing game for half an hour a day, this game could be right up your alley. As mayor, you spend your time doing activities like picking up fruit, fishing, catching various bugs, digging up fossils and very slowly improving your town. They are lots of items to collect through purchases and trades and a few different activities done on a separate island but after 40+ hours spread over 5 months, I feel burned out. While it was fun to find new species of fish and bugs and donate them to the museum or do some house design, the pace of the game is way too slow and everything gets very repetitive. So, I've decided to shelve it as there are just not enough varied activities to keep me playing.
Since the HD version was released last year, I kept reading how "unusual" this game was. I like games that like to take their time and are centred more on the story than combat so I picked it up and boy what a good decision that was! You play the role Ryo whose father gets killed by a strong fighter over a rare relic. Obviously, you decide to track this guy down and avenge your father. Most of the game is spent asking dozens of NPCs for clues and directions. There are few combat and QTE sequences you have to complete to continue the story but what shines in this game is the sense of immersion in 1980s Japan. NPCs have their own routine and every single one is voiced. There are also fun mini-games to waste time on. The game is capped at 30 FPS but my biggest gripe is the controls which I had a hard time getting used to.
Yet another good game which was taken off the store for licensing reasons and a real shame in this particular case as this game is excellent for the most part. It's a blatant Zelda clone where almost every mechanic is ripped off A Link to the Past. That didn't bother me much as it was still fun to play. The controls are tight, the dungeons are very well designed and left me scratching my head more than once. The game can be quite challening at times, especially for the bosses or for the long sections before you open shortcuts. There is little dialogue but it's quite funny. The only big problem I have with this game is that there are a few moments where you are left clueless about what to do next and have to waste hours finding that character which will unlock the rest of the story.
I'm not usually fond of survival games but having this one in my library from some bundle, I decided to have a go at it. While the mechanics are quite basic, the game is still very fun to play. The 8 main characters this game features are all different enough to weave interesting relationships between them. Every day is spent doing activites like fishing, hunting and gathering around the camp while one or more characters are sent to explore the island you're stranded on. The story revolves around a prophecy and mystical NPCs spread over the island. it's not excellent but serves its purpose of breaking the repetitiveness of the daily activities. And finally, this game has made me want to watch Lost again.
PC Euro Truck Simulator 2 • Redout: Enhanced Edition • The Elder Scrolls Online
3DS Project X Zone
I hope everyone's month has been pleasant. For me, it was kind of special because I turned 40 and believe me, none of my friends who are 40 or older still play video games. At work, I still get funny looks when I open my 3DS at lunch time but I just don't care. Anyway, enough rambling.
In May and June, I was completely hooked to Watch_Dogs. I'd read many times the game was meh but I guess it just clicked with me, enough to drive me to complete the main story and all the side missions I could find. I haven't started the DLC though so I can't really comment on it.
Unrelated to gaming, I've seriously taken up the guitar (been a keyboardist for over 25 years) and meditation. That will leave me with even less time for video games but I'm perfectly fine with that. Hope you have nice July and see you in August!
I love this game and I think the mixed reviews are unfair. The main character is not very interesting but that doesn't stop the game from being fun. Taking place in a very detailed Chicago, your job is to find who ordered your car gunned down, an act that ended up killing your niece and leaving you unharmed. The balance between the hacking and gun play is fine even though the hacking works a little like magic. There are many side activities to do (my favourite was the QR code ones) and the story is alright. The controls are tight and intuitieve and driving around Chicago is fun if you have a controller for that (I played the rest of the game using M+K). But what I loved the most about this game is how immersive it was.
Probably the most over-the-top game I've ever played. It's pure action from beginning to end and the combat system is simple and direct. As the story unfolds you unlock new weapons but unfortulately, they replace the one you had just before. The story itself is quite weak and, while the level design is full of details, the pace of the game doesn't give them justice as you ended up blazing through each.
Simple in its concept, this game tells a very nice and unusual post-apocalyptic story. There is a real sense of loneliness while exploring and love/hate relationship between the two characters works well. There are plenty of artefacts to uncover, each tied to a small story, giving insights about what was life was like before everything disappeared.
As good as the previous game in the series, this one scratched my itch for a decent HOG. While the story is far-fetched, you can't be too iffy with these games.
Slightly better than the one I review above. The story and the puzzles are nothing to write home about but it's a cohesive whole.
PC Euro Truck Simulator 2 • Redout: Enhanced Edition • Shenmue • The Elder Scrolls Online
3DS Animal Crossing: New Leaf • Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate • Project X Zone
First, I hope everyone has had a good month. I don't have much to show in terms of beaten/completed games as most of my time was spent in Steep, .hack//G.U. Last Recode, Watch_Dogs and Animal Crossing New Leaf. Anyway, here is what I have to say about those I played through.
Superior to the first game (which I loved), the story has a better pace, there's more action and the graphics and music are great.
The classic recipe still works very well.
A very funny second part, I really liked the story. The graphics, however, seem to be from 15 years ago.
PC .hack//G.U. Last Recode • The Elder Scrolls Online • Watch_Dogs
3DS Animal Crossing: New Leaf • Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
This time, I'm posting my monthly update a day early since I'm not going to beat any new games. April has been pretty great and I've bought more 3DS games. Last month I wrote that I only wanted to add a few more games to my collection. I've bought ... 16 more, to my wife's dismay. Now the only one I've left to get is Metroid: Samus Returns but it's still expensive in the second-hand market. I've also spent about 10 hours playing through Steep's X-Games and Olympic DLCs.
As a not-so-good conclusion, I was playing with my kids two days ago when I fell on a large concrete slab and broke a rib. It's not serious if I rest but it's damn painful. I was off work this week anyway but I wanted to be out and about and now I have to be careful of my every move.
What else can I say that hasn't already been said? A truely great game which has aged very well (except for the Mako controls).
I really liked its puzzles and story, even though it drags on a bit in the last part. The end is heart-wrenching!
A superb entry in the series and the 3D effect really shines in it. It's a little short, not very difficult but it has great level design.
Played it in one sitting, the game slowly grew on me. The story is the standard emotional one but the "puzzle" gameplay felt original.
PC .hack//G.U. Last Recode • The Elder Scrolls Online
3DS Animal Crossing: New Leaf • Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
In March, I went completely crazy. I bought 30 Nintendo 3DS games! Over the previous months, I had sold stuff I didn't need and decided, since the 3DS is almost at the end of its life, to buy the best games the system has to offer. So I made a big list and started to look for them on the second-hand market. I spent countless hours browsing sites, contacting people, negociating, sometimes meeting the sellers and it became an addiction. I just had to get one more from the list. I even bought a second SNES Edition New 3DS XL that I found in mint condition for cheap. So that's where I am, with still a few games I'd like to get. On the upside, the whole thing has rekindled my love for physical console games (I hate the eShop) and they just look damn nice together! I got a 3DS last year but I hadn't found serious time for it, except when I borrowed Pokémon Sun from my son for a while. But I've realised I absolutely adore this system. At the moment, I'm playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. If you are curious about the games I got, here is a pic of the collection.
Being a Nintendo fan, I've also started playing old emulated games from the DS and GameCube and set up my Wii controllers on my computer so I can play the Wii games I don't own. I barely touched Steam in March and my backlog has once again exploded but I don't regret what I've done.
A phenomenal winter sports game. Plenty of events to do and places to discover, great physics and free roam is spectacular.
A game I'd bought for my son which I ended up playing myself. It's nice for a while but too slow and shallow ;) for my taste.
A great Mario Kart game. Two-person karts are refreshing but winning on higher difficulties still relies too much on luck.
PC The Elder Scrolls Online
3DS Animal Crossing: New Leaf • Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate