RikkiUW’s profile

Despite attempting to work on my backlog, it was still growing faster than it was decreasing so I’m now only entering for SG games I really want, and only keeping bundle games I genuinely want to play. And I’m determined not to let my VR backlog grow much, despite seeing so many good games.

As you can see from my favourites list (which is in no particular order) my taste is varied. I tend to like games with story. I also like games that are unique in some way. I tend to play more short/medium games than long games as I get bored easily (which explains my large ‘unfinished’ list :P). I will stick with a game if it’s good enough though. I’ve never been into massively multiplayer games. Actually I play single player almost exclusively, but I’m usually willing to try multiplayer/co-op for games I like.

My intention is to create a post for every 3-4 games beaten, including a review on steam. I find other people’s reviews helpful, so why not help other people.


January '21 Play Log I

Yep, it’s still strange writing the year 2021.

Finally got around to setting up my VR stuff on my new laptop, except for reasons unknown it only works using integrated graphics, which of course gets maybe 5FPS. It’s been a week now and Oculus support hasn’t managed to figure out what’s going on. I’m really hoping they manage to, but I’m also beginning to realize the 1660ti in it isn’t as great as I thought, so it remains to be seen how many of my VR games it’ll be able to handle anyway. Turns out a laptop that would be good with VR would be close to $3500 though. I could build a desktop that’s better still for $1k less. I’m resisting the urge to do that for now (not that I have the money) but it means I’m stuck with a play area that’s small enough to cause me problems. For example I won’t be able to play Skyrim VR until I find a way to play in a larger area :(.


Project Warlock

Project Warlock

8/10
10 hours playtime
More

Decent FPS that’s very retro. If you enjoy FPSs or want to relive some of the older ones this is worth playing.

Pros:

  • Really great music
  • Good weapon, level, and enemy variety
  • If you find most/all of the secrets you’re unlikely to run out of lives
  • The pause menu shows you how many secrets you still have to find on the current stage
  • As long as you don’t accidentally go to the next stage it’s generally not too difficult to find all of the secrets
  • I liked the choice of weapon upgrades, allowing for different play styles

Cons:

  • As much as it is faithful to the era, I’m not a fan of limited lives since it means you have to start the game from the beginning if you run out. Even if it’s unlikely I don’t enjoy the added pressure.
  • It’s easy to accidentally go to the next stage before you’re ready (i.e. before you finish finding the secrets)
  • If you proceed to the next stage without getting all of the secrets, your only option is to return to the workshop at the cost of one life, since levels can’t be replayed
  • On some levels the secrets are next to impossible to notice, leaving you no option but to run around trying to interact with all of the walls

Verdict: 8/10

SG win for PAGYWOSG. Pretty good overall. I’m really not a fan of secrets/collectibles/etc in games though.


The Town of Light

The Town of Light

7/10
6 hours playtime
More

Partially Experienced on Oculus Rift

First things first, don’t play this on VR. VR mode has been abandoned in beta. It mostly works, but there are parts when you have to make a selection but cannot choose. Additionally, there are some parts that don’t work well in VR, or which make much more sense playing the game flat.

The game itself is depressing and very disturbing. Be aware of that, and if it’s not your thing give this game a pass.

Pros:

  • Good sound effects
  • Good voice acting
  • The graphics are pretty good
  • They did a very good job of making the hospital feel abandoned and decaying
  • The story keeps you trying to figure out what’s going on
  • Collectable diary entries are easy to find as long as you visit every room

Cons:

  • The walking speed is frustratingly slow, and there’s no running
  • VR abandoned in beta
  • In one chapter you are in a more violent ward and are hearing screaming, but if you go to other parts of the hospital that should be quiet, the screaming continues.
  • Even after playing through all of the routes, I’m still not entirely sure what actually happened Renée, though to be fair this is probably by design
  • It’s never made clear who you are playing as. This is actually referenced in the story so is probably also on purpose, but personally I would have preferred it to at least be a bit more obvious.

Verdict: 7/10

I attempted to play this in VR but gave up. It’s still in beta and didn’t entirely work. Overall it’s an interesting look at how asylums used to work, but the ending is seriously disturbing.


Aragami: Nightfall

Aragami

8/10
10 hours playtime
More

Clearly designed for co-op, but works well solo. Definitely worth buying if you enjoyed the base game.

Pros:

  • Adds 4 new prequel chapters to play that explains some more of the backstory
  • Adds some new weapons/techniques
  • I expect this would be great to play co-op
  • works well solo, and you can call in the other assassin in solo as well

Cons:

  • If you finish a chapter and quit, then next time you start the game press ‘continue’ it will default to normal difficulty, even if you were on a different difficulty when you played the previous chapter. NOT EFFING COOL!

Verdict: 8/10

Picked up this DLC in the winter sale and thoroughly enjoyed it. Definitely looking forward to the sequel.


The Blackwell Legacy

The Blackwell Legacy

6/10
5 hours playtime
More

This game doesn’t start out well, but it does get better and the story seems promising enough that I think I’ll try the next game.

Pros:

  • Pretty good voice acting
  • Promising start to the story

Cons:

  • Default resolution is awful, and it’s not clear how to change it (go to the install folder, there an exe there, change it to 4x)
  • Feels short, more like an introduction to a story. Thankfully the price reflects the length.
  • Crashed a few times, and opening the steam overlay breaks the dialogue
  • The first puzzle followed by an info dump was bad. In fact I almost refunded it because of this. Thankfully it gets better, and even the developer has said it wasn’t a good start.
  • Why is there an achievement for listening to developer commentary?! Thankfully it can be skipped as it comes up. On the plus side, some of it was interesting and has convinced me to try the next game since he’s clearly learned from mistakes made in this game.

Verdict: 6/10

Also picked up during the sale. It wasn’t as good as it could have been but it does show promise. One advantage of being forced to listen to the developer commentary (for an achievement) is that the developer has clearly learned from the mistakes in this game, so I think I’ll pick up the other 3 in the series during the next sale and give them a try.


That’s it for now. I won “Root Double -Before Crime * After Days- Xtend Edition” from Zlia via Playing Matters, so that’s up next. I also started watching a Let’s Play for Subnautica in VR. Turns out I got it from Epic at some point so I’m seriously tempted to give that a try. Hope everyone’s having a good start to 2021!

December '20 Play Log III: New Years Edition

Happy New Year everyone! Hopefully this one will be better than last year.
Overall backlog progress is in the right direction. Unfortunately the number of unplayed games went up. I had it just below last years total, but the sale put an end to that.

December 2020 Overall:

16% (107/653)
26% (170/653)
6% (40/653)
39% (252/653)
13% (84/653)

December 2019 Overall:

15%
22%
9%
44%
10%

December 2020 SG:

26% (35/137)
50% (68/137)
1% (1/137)
7% (9/137)
18% (24/137)

December 2019 SG:

23%
47%
2%
13%
16%

Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter

Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter

6/10
20 hours playtime
More

Decent over the top shooter. My biggest complaints revolve around the achievements and not being able to change the difficulty mid-game.

Pros:

  • Great weapon variety
  • Some good one-liners
  • Great music
  • Can select all levels of all chapters right from the start
  • Good enemy variety

Cons:

  • Can’t change the difficulty mid-game
  • First story achievement is broken
  • If you select any level other than the first (e.g. if you want to change the difficulty) you are locked out of all story related achievements and the collect all the secrets achievement
  • Several extremely grindy achievements
  • Most of the achievements require multiplayer
  • Some of the enemies seem designed to be annoying
  • Some points try to overwhelm you with waves of enemies. I frequently found these parts got boring due to dragging on too long.
  • HUGE number of secrets, many of which are very well hidden. There’s no way you’ll find them all without a guide unless you plan to spend a lot amount of time playing.

Verdict: 6/10

Another one off of my unfinished (i.e. abandoned) list. This one pisses me off. I found normal too difficult, but in order to reduce the difficulty I had to start a new campaign. Thankfully I was able to select the level I left off at. Later I missed a secret and didn’t have a good save, so I did the same again. This caused me to miss the ‘complete the game’ and ‘collect all the secrets’ achievements. Plus another achievement was broken. The game itself was pretty good though once I reduced the difficulty.


Alchemy Garden

Alchemy Garden

6/10
5 hours playtime
no achievements
More

First, note that this game is in very early access - there’s not much content. It definitely shows some promise, but has a long way to go. I’ll try and update this review as the game is updated.

Pros:

  • Good graphics
  • Has the potential to be very interesting if things like relationships, story, more areas, quests, etc are added
  • Still being actively developed
  • Having to actually man you shop is a really good idea

Cons:

  • Very little content
  • No background music
  • Purchasable houses, shop rating don’t appear to have any use

Verdict: 6/10 (not enough content to give it a higher rating)

I saw a lets play of this on youtube and it looked good so I got it in the Fanatical build a bundle, and was then confused why it was totally different. Turns out I actually wanted to buy Alchemy Story, not Alchemy Garden. Oops. On the plus side, this could be a good game if the developer keeps going. Unfortunately it has a long way to go and the pace of development seems slow, so I think the chances of it being abandoned before it reaches it’s full potential are pretty high.


CONSORTIUM

CONSORTIUM

6/10
12 hours playtime
More

Overall this is a decent game, but a few bad choices hold it back from being good. This is very unfortunate since the game definitely has potential. The good thing is that a lot of it could potentially be fixed if the developer were willing to fix it.

Pros:

  • Plenty of replayability
  • Decent voice acting for an Indy title. No cringe-worthy acting, but some parts could have been better
  • I enjoyed never having to reload weapons
  • Choices actually do affect the story
  • Lots of autosaves, so even if you don’t save you’ll likely be able to find relevant parts if you want to go back later to see what would happen if you made a different choice without a full replay, or for achievements
  • If you select a particular save it will show you the results of your choices so far. I found this to be a really nice touch.

Cons:

  • It’s actually a sequel to ARG. You don’t need to have played that game, but I think it would have been more enjoyable if I’d have played it first.
  • Impressively bad load times, and the loading screen frequently froze. There are load screens between significant story points, and being a choices-matter game if you’re trying for a particular outcome, or aren’t terribly good at combat, there will be a lot of loading. This by itself almost prevented me from doing a replay.
  • The load game screen only shows timestamps, not the save name, unless you click on it. Given the number of autosaves, and the number of saves you’ll likely want to make, this makes searching for particular saves a bit of a nightmare.
  • Chances are you’ll want to replay this. It’s not really intended to be played only once. It’s also dialogue heavy. So in subsequent runs there will be lots of dialogue you’ve already heard. Unfortunately there’s no way to skip through it, which also makes replaying it off-putting.
  • There’s a lot of reading (logs, news reports, etc), some of which is fairly necessary to read. This in itself isn’t a bad thing, but IMO the game doesn’t build the world up enough to make me want to spend much time reading.
  • I prefer to use subtitles for games. This game supports them, but rather than only showing one or two lines, this will scroll them half way up the screen so I can’t properly see what’s going on.
  • I found using non-fatal weapons much more challenging. For normal/easy difficulties I don’t think this is a good design choice.

Verdict: 6/10

SG win for PAGYWOSG. That’s 3 this month, I think that’s a record for me. This could have been very good, but a few unfortunate choices left me a bit too frustrated to enjoy it as much as I could have.


Recent Wins & Gifts

The first 5 are SG wins, which makes this the best month on SG in a while. Watch Dogs 2 was a gift from Just Ducky for Ninglor’s Stealthy Santa.

Sale Purchases

Some of these were in the Steam Sale, but the Fanatical Winter build a bundle also had a few games I’d like to play so I ended up getting 4 from that too. I also picked up the My Time At Portia DLC and Aragmi Nightfall DLC, but they don’t show up in the generator I’m far too lazy to do it manually :P.

Goal Review

I didn’t have any formal goals this year, but I think I’ll do it this year, though less lofty than the ones I chose for 2018.
SG Wins: I currently have 10 unbeaten wins. As long as this number doesn’t go up I’m happy
Unfinished: Way too many abandoned games here. Currently 40. I’d love to reduce it by one a month, but given that most of them are long that’s probably not realistic. Towards the end of this year I decided to try and reduce it by 12, and just barely made it. I’ll aim for 32 this year, but would like to beat that.
Wishlist Unplayed: Currently at 59. I’d like to focus on reducing this. As much as 40 seems reasonable, I didn’t come close last time so I’ll set my goal as 45, but hopefully it’ll end up being way lower.
Unplayed: I’d love for this number to actually go down this year. I suspect the average play time will still be increasing, but one step at a time.

December '20 Play Log II

Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays to everyone celebrating! I took two weeks off so I had more time than usual to play. I’m hoping to get another game or two finished before the end of the year, but for now here’s what I’ve been playing.


Shadow Warrior

Shadow Warrior

7/10
21 hours playtime
More

Funny FPS that’s well worth playing.

Pros:

  • Funny
  • Story is decent enough to carry the game
  • Good weapon variety
  • Good skills, weapon upgrades, and powers
  • Well voice acted
  • Graphics hold up well

Cons:

  • Instead of the more typical story based achievements + achievement per difficulty, this has one achievement per difficulty for each of the story based achievements and several non-story related ones, artificially inflating achievement numbers and punishing players who don’t play on the hardest difficulty
  • Some bugs. I fell through the floor a few times.
  • If you switch difficulties part way through, make sure you save. I reduced the difficulty and was still having a lot of trouble before finally realizing it had gone back up again.

Verdict: 7/10

Started playing this years ago and abandoned it for unknown reason. Started it again and thoroughly enjoyed it. The achievements were a pain though. I hate games where every achievement has a variant for each difficulty.


Frog Detective 2: The Case of the Invisible Wizard

Frog Detective 2: The Case of the Invisible Wizard

6/10
1 hour playtime
More

Similar to the first game. Fairly easy, has some funny moments, probably meant for kids, very short.

SG win. Could have used more content, but not bad.


The Haunted Island, a Frog Detective Game

The Haunted Island, a Frog Detective Game

6/10
34 minutes playtime
More

Quite funny but very short. The music and visuals are both pretty good. The story is very simple. I suspect it may actually be intended for kids.

Gift from a generous user on the GMG forums. Same as the sequel it’s decent and has some funny moments but could have been longer.


Arizona Sunshine

Arizona Sunshine

8/10
6 hours playtime
More

Experienced on Oculus Rift

One of the older VR shooters, but still worth playing.

Pros:

  • Good range of difficulties
  • Good graphics
  • The commentary by the PC is really funny
  • Good range of difficulties
  • Decent weapon and level variety
  • I liked having to aim down the sights

Cons:

  • Somewhat buggy. I had a zombie get crippled and start crawling towards me over some train tracks, but it was phased into the tracks. It ended up killing me because I couldn’t shoot it inside the train tracks.
  • Grenades are broken. I’d get some, get to a new area (in the same level) and go to use one and they’d be gone. They only seem to work if you use them in the same area you found them, after that they disappear.
  • Be warned that while this is supposedly cross platform, that doesn’t seem to apply to the Quest/Quest 2
  • Using the sniper rifle was fun but a bit finicky. It seemed like it was attached, but it was at a really uncomfortable height

Verdict: 8/10

A friend & I picked this up intending to play it together since it supports cross platform multiplayer. Unfortunately said friend has a Quest 2 (I have a Rift). It turns out that Quests are the exception to it being cross-platform, so we couldn’t play it together after all. I thoroughly enjoyed playing it by myself and definitely think it would have been great with a friend.


That’s it for now. I definitely may have gotten too many games in the sale, but I’ll list them in my end of year post. In the meantime enjoy the holidays everyone, and an early Happy New Year!

December '20 Play Log I

Continuing to actually make progress on my backlog. For a while Steam had 70 hours played in the last 2 weeks, which is a record for me. It’s usually more like 30-40.
Hope everyone has something to look forward to for the holidays. I’ll be spending it with my parents. I got the gaming laptop on Cyber Monday, so that means I’ll be able to continue making progress over the break. Happy Holidays all!


Budget Cuts 2: Mission Insolvency

Budget Cuts 2: Mission Insolvency

5/10
10 hours playtime

Experienced on Oculus Rift

This comes very close to being a worthy successor to the original Budget Cuts, which is one of my favourite VR games. However a number of unfortunate decisions on the part of the developer have turned have been an amazing game into a frustrating experience. Also worth noting, this isn’t a good game to play for anyone afraid of heights.

Pros:

  • The bow is a great addition to the game
  • I love that you can shoot any weapon with the bow, not just arrows
  • Mutators allow a much wider variety of difficulties, and some entertainment as well
  • The end credits were quite entertaining
  • Weapons are relatively plentiful for the most part, though that doesn’t mean you won’t have to backtrack a bit if you run out
  • The end credits are pretty great

Cons:

  • It’s not made clear that you can shoot things besides arrows from the bow until the boss fight
  • Where the original game had a relatively easy normal mode and a hardcore mode for people who wanted more of a challenge, the default for this game is the same as hardcore was on the previous game
  • The increase in difficulty wouldn’t be a problem given that you can turn it down, except that if you modify the difficulty in any way achievements are disabled, effectively punishing players who prefer a more casual experience
  • If you hit a bot anywhere but the head, chances are they’ll get back up. If you hit them in a limb (which happened to me very often) you can either waste another knife/arrow, or hide and wait 2-3 minutes for them to finally bleed/oil out. Again, this wouldn’t be a problem if you could turn the difficulty down without disabling achievements
  • The last two levels are incredibly difficult. I ended up having to look for advice on the discussion forums and still had a hard time with them
  • Why do collectibles even exist in games?

Verdict: 5/10

VR game picked this up in the sale last month. I’ve been looking forward to it ever since I played the first game, but was really disappointed. I have no idea what the developer was thinking forcing people to play on a higher difficulty. Personally I don’t like frustrating games, and that’s exactly what the increase in difficulty did. I can see why some people would prefer it, but it’s not for me. If there’s another game in the series I’ll probably pick it up as I do enjoy them, but with less expectation.


Journey For Elysium

Journey For Elysium

8/10
2 hours playtime

An interesting story, if not necessarily a happy one. I’d recommend this to people who enjoy story based games. It does have puzzles, but they’re quite simple.

Pros:

  • Unusual graphics that work surprisingly well
  • Rowing the boat works quite well, and is really fun
  • Well voice acted
  • Interesting story

Cons:

  • The first part of the final boss battle was extremely frustrating
  • The presentation of the story could have evoked more emotion. I think it would have been improved if I was more emotionally invested in the character I was playing.

Verdict: 8/10

Another VR game picked up in last months sale. Fairly easy puzzle game, but with a very well done atmosphere. I quite enjoyed it and recommend it for anyone with a VR set.


Clam Man

Clam Man

7/10
2 hours playtime

Definitely one of the more bizarre games I’ve played. It definitely has some funny moments. If you like unusual games I’d say this one’s worth getting on sale.

Pros:

  • Good music
  • Some funny moments
  • Bizarre
  • None of the puzzles are too difficult

Cons:

  • Short

Verdict: 7/10

SG win. I like unusual games and this definitely fit the bill.


Sakura Nova

Sakura Nova

7/10
3 hours playtime

One of the better Sakura games IMO. As usual the story is mediocre but the graphics are great ;)

Pros:

  • Good graphics
  • There’s a patch
  • Choices that have some effect in how the story ends. It mostly affects how the story ends, but there’s some additional story that changes based on your choices as well

Cons:

  • I thought the… ‘action’ started unreasonably quickly
  • I had to get used to the way the characters spoke. I suspect this is due to the fact that it’s translated - phrases presumably that sound normal in Japanese seem overly formal or a little strange in English
  • As with other Sakura titles the characters randomly move side to side when talking, which was distracting at first and generally pointless.

Verdict: 7/10

Yep, another one. Probably the last one I’ll play until they’re bundled again.

November '20 Play Log II


HIVESWAP: ACT 2

HIVESWAP: ACT 2

2/10
6 hours playtime

First things first, this is not a point & click game, it’s a visual novel (and not a good one). I bought this without paying much attention to reviews because I thoroughly enjoyed the first game. I won’t be making that mistake again. They’re nothing alike.

Pros:

  • Great music. I loved how well it suited the different areas you were in. This is definitely the game’s biggest strength.
  • Good graphics
  • Trying to use Byers the pigeon with various things continues to be entertaining

Cons:

  • For the most part it lacks the humour or the first game
  • A huge number of achievements that require repeated playthroughs despite adding no value
  • Early decisions lock you out of some later achievements
  • There’s an achievement that requires an autoclicker
  • The vast majority of the game involves talking to characters; there’s very little interaction with the environment or your inventory.
  • There’s a huge amount of reading in the game, and an equally large number of text/reading related issues:
  • Poor font choice. They’ve used a font with serifs. Serifs improve reading on books/newspapers/etc, but hamper it when reading on a screen. Sans serif fonts should be used for this purpose. I found it very tiring to read.
  • For some reason different characters have different ways the text is displayed. Some of this attempts to reflect the way they speak, but many do not. For example, one character uses / instead of l. Anoth3r charact3r’s dialogu3 is writt3n lik3 this for appar3nt no r3ason. These changes consistently make reading more tiring and frustrating.
  • I found a lot of the dialogue boring, repetitive, or pointless
  • A huge amount of infuriating back and forth travel.
  • A lot of the ‘puzzles’ simply involved figuring out which of the dozens of characters on the train can/will advance the story. Once you find the character that’s helpful, start at the top and talk to everyone again.
  • A lot of trial and error, which can be annoying. This is made worse by a huge number of bad endings that almost seem to discourage trial and error despite it frequently being the only option.
  • Due to the above, the best way to play the game is pretty much just to keep using the hint button and doing what it says
  • Most of the train section felt like filler. This is a problem considering it makes up about 80% of the game. It should have been a single puzzle in a larger story.
  • What passes for story really isn’t very interesting, and largely fails to evoke emotion
  • Xerfros’s constant self deprecation ‘I’m an idiot’ comments get tired very quickly

Verdict: 2/10

Picked up in the sale. Bad idea, it’s a huge disappointment compared to the first. This is the second time now I’ve made the mistake of immediately buying a sequel without actually checking reviews to see if it’s any good. Hopefully there won’t be a third time.


I Expect You To Die

I Expect You To Die

9.5/10
5 hours playtime

One of the best VR games I’ve played. I really hope there’s a sequel (or DLC with more missions). I’d buy it in a heartbeat. It’s a heavily James Bond inspired spy puzzle game with a touch of Austin Powers thrown in that doesn’t take itself seriously.

Pros:

  • Good graphics
  • Good voice acting
  • Funny commentary, especially from your handler after you do something silly
  • For the most part missions are challenging without becoming frustrating
  • Plenty of ‘souvenirs’ to collect, often done by doing silly things on a mission
  • Collected souvenirs are added to your office for you to play with
  • Speedruns are challenging but generally doable without having to repeat the level a frustrating number of times

Cons:

  • Nitpick, but I found pointing to be a tiny bit finicky. Basically I had to touch the trigger after any scene changes before it would detect me pointing again.
  • I found the last mission to be a bit too challenging for my liking, and ended up looking up a walkthrough before I got frustrated

Verdict: 9.5/10

Another game picked up in the sale. I’ve had my eye on it for a while and I’m really glad I finally played it, it was every bit as amazing as it looked. If you have VR I’d highly recommend it. I really hope there’s a sequel, DLC, or more levels. I’d love to get more of this.


No Man's Sky

No Man's Sky

8.5/10
209 hours playtime

Absolutely brilliant game that is well worth the full price.

Pros:

  • Still actively developed with regular updates that add new content
  • Devs consistently listen to the community and deliver requested new content, even when it’s challenging
  • After over 200 hours exploring there’s still new and interesting things to discover
  • Very open ended. Once you’ve been through the first part of the story (which is really just an extended tutorial) there’s so much you can do, and it’s entirely up to you what you focus on.
  • Amazing, friendly, generous player base

Cons:

  • The biggest issue is quality. There are numerous fairly significant (albeit not game breaking) bugs that have continued to exist across numerous update cycles with no attempt made to fix them. I’d love it if the next update or two focused entirely on bug fixes and QoL updates.
  • Updates could use more QA. I often wait for at least one patch to come out before jumping in post-update because otherwise you’re likely to run into bugs.
  • Not well optimized. This isn’t surprising given the scope of the game and the fact that it’s developed by a very small team, but it is frustrating that in VR my 1080ti can only play the game at medium graphics settings.
  • The thing that adds the most ‘challenge’ to permadeath/survival isn’t increased damage etc, it’s the tiny stack sizes that make inventory management (already challenging early game in normal mode) a nightmare

Verdict: 8.5/10

I’m quite sure I’ll go back to this game at some point. It’s one I’ll randomly pick up, play a lot for a few days, then leave again. Especially if it’s been updated. I’ve gotten as many achievements as I’m going to though. I started a permadeath run to get the last 2, but I just wasn’t enjoying it. Inventory is much more limited in permadeath, which makes things much more annoying. This is definitely one of my favourite games. If it appeals to you and you haven’t played it, I highly recommend it.


Recent Acquisitions

The first 5 I picked up in the sale. I also picked up a bunch of DLC for Car Mechanic Simulator 2015 when I was playing it earlier this month. I’m hoping to have the rest of the sale purchases finished in time for the Christmas sale so I can justify picking up a few more. There are so many good games on my wishlist I’d love to get to.

November '20 Play Log I

I gave up trying to play it over Steam Link, the whole ironing board idea didn’t work. So I’ve decided to buy a gaming laptop on Cyber Monday. That should let me play a wider variety of games again without going crazy spending all day in one room.


The Suicide of Rachel Foster

The Suicide of Rachel Foster

8/10
4 hours playtime

First things first, this game gets very dark. If the subject matter bothers you, don’t play this game.

Overall I think this is a well made game and, above exception aside, I would recommend it to fans of story heavy games. It’s one of those games where there is some room for debate/interpretation as to what exactly happened, it’s not overly open ended though.

Pros:

  • It does have a spooky atmosphere. I imagine it would be extremely tense playing it in a dark room with headphones. Which is why I played it in my living room with the lights on :).
  • The voice acting is very good
  • The sound effects are done well. There are no jumpscares, but the occasional creaks and bumps that one expects in an old and poorly maintained building. The type of things that may make you think “I’m alone, so what made that sound?”
  • Personally I didn’t find the story predictable, but then I don’t generally put too much effort into trying to predict stories. I could definitely see others disagreeing on this point.
  • The graphics are very good. Even the less important areas of the hotel were well done.
  • The map you have is a sketch of the building layout, not a minimap with your location shown. I really like this since it avoids skipping a map for atmospheric purposes, and even adds to the atmosphere. Be warned though, the hotel can be a bit maze like, so you’ll have to work to figure out where you are and where you’re trying to get to.

Cons:

  • The story is broken down into days, but some of them feel pointless, as if the developers wanted the character to spend a certain amount of time at the hotel, but didn’t really have anything to fill the day with so they skipped it.
  • The story sometimes feels rushed. There’s this huge hotel, but beyond curiosity most areas end up being pointless. I think the game could have been made longer by having more information/backstory scattered about for the character to comment on.
  • You can pick up certain objects to examine, but as far as I could tell there was never any reason for this.
  • You can zoom in on some things, but not certain papers that looked like they could be interesting.
  • Throughout the story you’re on the phone with a guy who’s helping you. But the way it worked was sometimes a little weird. Like one sequence: “push the button”, “Ok”, hangs up phone, pushes button, calls back again. Why ever hang up? Granted, in some cases this was probably necessary to avoid the conversation getting ahead of what’s happening because the player could have gotten sidetracked.

Verdict: 8/10

SG win played for PAGYWOSG. I really enjoyed it even though the walking speed was abysmal.


Assassin's Creed Liberation

Assassin's Creed Liberation

2/10
13 hours playtime
  no achievements

The worst AC game I’ve played so far. The entire thing felt disjointed. Like you got to play a few sequences of missions from a much larger game, with no more than a sentence (if that) to summarize what you’ve missed. Sometimes it was whole story segments, other times a crucial cutscene.

Pros:

  • No pointless out of animus sessions. I enjoyed the Desmond out of animus sessions, but in Rogue they were little more than filler.
  • No pointless ship grinding

Cons:

  • Disjointed story that seemed to skip huge portions, and left questions unanswered.
  • What story there is is entirely underwhelming. Once again it hurries too much without getting you emotionally invested in the character or her cause. It makes me wonder if Ubisoft even have any idea why AC2 & Brotherhood were so successful.
  • The 3 personas thing seems promising, but is rendered more or less useless by the fact that only a single story mission gives you any choice at all in which one you use. But just because you’re forced to use the slave persona with no armour and limited weapons doesn’t mean you won’t also be forced for fight a dozen enemies.
  • The CitezenE sections were pointless. They seemed to serve no purpose beyond the developer saying ‘we haven’t forgotten this is supposed to be a simulation’. Though you’ll be very thankful it exists when you get to the ending.
  • Buggy. I had to restart missions numerous times after they bugged.
  • The infamous ‘I tried to climb so why the h*ll are you jumping the opposite direction’ type issues are as bad as ever
  • Very few side quests, and they don’t appear until more than half way through the story. You could be forgiven for beating the game without realizing they even exist.
  • Surprisingly some of the voice acting was quite bad, though not much

Verdict: 2/10

Another game off my unfinished/abandoned list. I was really disappointment with this one. It makes me wonder if there’s even any point in playing Unity since Rogue was also really disappointed. On the upside it did give me an Assassin’s Creed fix (kind of).


Car Mechanic Simulator 2015

Car Mechanic Simulator 2015

7/10
23 hours playtime
  no achievements

I found this game surprisingly addictive. It has some flaws, but a lot of these appear to be improved on in the 2018 version.

Pros:

  • You don’t need to know a lot about cars
  • Great for playing while listing to music/podcast/etc

Cons:

  • I have no issue with DLC adding more cars, as long as the base game has a reasonable variety. Unfortunately it has very little variety
  • The parts you can repair vs the ones you can’t seems unrealistic to me, but I could be wrong here
  • No garage management aspect, you just pick jobs and get paid
  • Money serves very little purpose until you can buy cars at auction. By the time you unlock something you’ll have more than enough money to use it
  • When you replace body parts they come in the correct colour, which makes painting seem a bit pointless

Verdict: 7/10

I had a random urge to try this game. It was repetitive but somehow also addictive. I really enjoyed it, and ended up picking up a bunch of DLC at nearly full price, which isn’t like me. I’d like to get the 2018 version at some point.


Wolfenstein: The New Order

Wolfenstein: The New Order

9/10
22 hours playtime

Very good FPS that is definitely worth playing. The letter collectables were interesting, but after reading a few I found them far too depressing to keep reading.

Pros:

  • I really enjoyed the story
  • Alternate timelines can change some surprising things, it was interesting to see how
  • Good weapon variety
  • Good graphics
  • Excellent voice acting

Cons:

  • In terms of missions, goals, and how you achieve them, both timelines are identical. This seems like a missed opportunity.
  • The gold collectables seemed entirely pointless

Verdict: 9/10

Got this for last year’s Stealthy Santa from JaffaCaffa if memory serves. Glad I finally played it, it was absolutely amazing. I’ll probably be picking up others in the series eventually. So thanks again for finally introducing me to this series.


That’s it for now, but there’ll be more this month. I bought a bunch of games in the sale. I’ll list them next time after I’ve (hopefully) played most of them.

October '20 Play Log II

Welp, October is at and end. More or less. Not gonna get anymore games done anyhow. Since covid is gearing back up I’ve been trying to find a way to comfortably play FPSs with KB+M on my couch via Steam Link. I’ve been avoiding spending time at my computer after work, since 16 hours/day in the same room was not-so-slowly driving me mad. Turns out the type of couch trays big enough for a keyboard and mouse are expensive and hard to find, so I’m going to try and use my ironing table. A little goofy, but if it works I’ll finally be able to play some FPSs I’ve been looking forward to.


Agent A: A puzzle in disguise

Agent A: A puzzle in disguise

9/10
5 hours playtime

I thoroughly enjoyed this game. The puzzles were relatively straight forward but not too easy. The dialogue an comments when looking at some items was really funny. I highly recommend it to P&C fans.

Pros:

  • Good art style
  • Great music
  • Good voice acting
  • Hilarious
  • Puzzles weren’t too difficult for the most part. There were only a few moments when I couldn’t figure out what to do, and it was usually my own fault for overlooking or forgetting about something.

Cons:

  • There were a few moments where I could have used a hint, but this was not nearly as big of a deal as I find with most P&C puzzle games
  • Given the amount of times you go from room to room, the animations could have been a touch faster. After a while it got frustrating. This is a very minor complaint though.

Verdict: 9/10

Got in a recent HB. I don’t usually play non-wishlisted/SG win games promptly since I have so many of the former, but randomly decided to play this one. I’m really glad I did and highly recommend it. The overwhelmingly positive reviews are entirely deserved. It’s one of the few games I wish I’d paid full price for.


Costume Quest

Costume Quest

9/10
8 hours playtime

Adorable combat/adventure game. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Pros:

  • Cute enjoyable graphics
  • Entertaining dialogue
  • Some of the costumes and powers for the costumes are amazing, especially the ones you least expect to be good
  • General combat is straightforward and not overly difficult
  • Boss battles are more difficult but not excessively so, which I find with a lot of games
  • Hints are provided automatically in certain areas where they could be needed
  • The length felt good - the game was enjoyable but didn’t overstay its welcome

Cons:

  • You can’t use all of your costumes in the Grubbins on Ice expansion. However, this complaint was completely forgotten once I unlocked the costumes for the expansion.
  • There are a few hidden/hard to access areas where I had to look up how to get there. If these were just bonus chests I think this would be fine, but one contained a costume part so I think it should have been made slightly more obvious how to access it.

Verdict: 9/10

Recentish SG win for PAGYWOSG. I loved it! Glad the sequel was free on Epic recently. Very cute and really funny.


Weird Park Trilogy

Weird Park Trilogy

3/10
11 hours playtime
  no achievements

Old SG win played for PAGYWOSG. There’s 11 hours of my life I won’t get back. I was going to quit after the first game but some people on the forums said they get better, and the last one is the best. They lied.


Sakura Space

Sakura Space

7/10
2 hours playtime
  no achievements

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this game, and would recommend it to anyone who has enjoyed other Sakura titles.

Pros:

  • Good graphics ;)
  • The story is pretty decent
  • The detective score at the end was a nice touch

Cons:

  • The characters in scenes randomly move from side to side as dialogue progresses, which I found this a bit distracting
  • The choices only contribute to your investigation score and some dialogue, not to the story itself. Personally I don’t think this is a big deal.

Verdict: 7/10

I actually played this at the beginning of the month but missed it in my last update. Enjoyed it well enough. The Sakura games aren’t exactly great writing but the visuals are nice and the story is good enough. I’ve been quite enjoying them.

October '20 Play Log I

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve beaten enough games to have more than one update in a month!


Mad Games Tycoon

Mad Games Tycoon

6/10
38 hours playtime

I was highly intrigued by the idea for this game. Whether or not you use guides is extremely important for this game. If you do, it takes out most of the challenge, but if you don’t it becomes somewhat unrealistic in hard mode. The game is enjoyable overall but has some critical weaknesses:

  • Without using guides, which game topics match genres, what aspects to spend more time developing in a game, etc, are a complete mystery. In order to figure this out you need a QA report which tells you why your game did or didn’t do well. It’s not available right away though. It becomes available relatively quickly, but it takes a huge amount of resources to do, which isn’t realistic early game. Of course, you need the information to improve so your company survives, so it’s a catch-22. In hard mode, whether your company survives long enough to get over the hump comes down to whether or not your random configuration choices when developing a game are good ones. Perhaps this is realistic, and it certainly adds challenge, but IMO it adds challenge in a way that isn’t enjoyable.
  • Later in the game once you’re established and have researched most things, it ceases to become a challenge even on hard. You’re just waiting for the remaining years until everything unlocks doing more of the same: hiring and training staff, releasing 95%+ rated games, and updating them. Very occasionally something becomes available to be researched. The last third of the game until all technology is unlocked lacks any challenge or change and simply becomes a grind to finish.

Verdict: 6/10

I restarted this game for PAGYWOSG a few months ago but it took longer than I expected. Technically I didn’t beat it in so far as there are still research things that won’t unlock until future (in game) years. However, since it would take me about 50% as long again to get to that point, and there was no longer any challenge whatsoever and nothing that would change that, I opted not to bother just for the sake of a handful more achievements.


Forager

Forager

6/10
32 hours playtime

I have mixed feelings about this game. It’s quite addictive, but very grindy. The fact that you have to wait a while for things to be crafted is frustrating. It’s fine at the beginning, but once you’re a little way through you end up needing a significant amount of a resource, and it takes >10 minutes to do each one. There are some things that you can get to reduce the time, but in the end I ended up using a mod to decrease all crafting to 1 second and found the game much more enjoyable that way. The alternative would have been idling it regularly. Overall it’s cute and addictive, but if you’re not a fan of grindy/repetitive games, I’d suggest giving it a pass.

From a recent HB Monthly IIRC. One of these days I’ll figure out which games I should keep and which I shouldn’t. Waaay to grindy for me, which I should have known right from the start.


Bulb Boy

Bulb Boy

6/10
2 hours playtime

This game is… different. Not scary per se, but definitely a dark (but also cute) atmosphere.

Pros:

  • Good graphics and sound effects
  • Bulb boy and his dog(?) are pretty adorable
  • The bathroom scene is quite funny (if you appreciate toilet humour)

Cons:

  • There are certain parts where you roll around that would have been much easier with keyboard controls
  • Extremely short

Verdict: 6/10

SG win for PAGYWOSG. Cute, but it didn’t really do much for me.


Recent Acquisitions

September '20 Play Log

Actually beat some games this month, which is good. Got many more though, which is less good. I rarely buy bundles but this month was unusual. I ended up getting 2 weeklies and the monthly.


Aragami

Aragami

8/10
17 hours playtime

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this game. The story was quite good.

Pros:

  • Good story
  • Enjoyable graphics and atmosphere
  • Most of the powers you get are quite useful, and you can choose which ones to get to suit your play style
  • The medals to play without being seen, without killing anyone, etc, can increase the challenge
  • If you go back and replay earlier chapters you still have access to powers unlocked later

Cons:

  • I predicted the ending fairly early in the game
  • The end chapters were exceptionally difficult
  • Playing on medium difficulty, chapter 2 felt overly difficult, like they just throw you in the deep end without ramping up the difficulty slowly
  • I had trouble figuring out how to go back and replay chapters

Verdict: 8/10

Played for PoP. I really enjoyed this and have wishlisted the DLC. I highly recommend it.


Grim Legends 2: Song of the Dark Swan

Grim Legends 2: Song of the Dark Swan

6/10
5 hours playtime

For the most part a typical Artifex Mundi HOG, though the story was entirely predictable.

Pros:

  • Most of the minigames aren’t too bad
  • Most of the HOG scenes involve trying to find parts for something that will be useful, rather than the ‘find this specific junk in a pile of junk in order to get a completely unrelated item’ type of scenes

Cons:

  • For the most part the voice acting is amaturish
  • Predictable ending
  • Some of the minigames boil down to trail and error
  • Collectible achievement, but you can’t go back to all areas. I missed 2 in the castle, and was really glad you end up going back later in the story. For no obvious reason though, you can’t go to places in the castle from the beginning, so I still missed the achievement.

Verdict: 6/10

SG win played for PAGYWOSG. Fairly standard AF HOG. It was also the only one in the series I was missing.


Whispers of a Machine

Whispers of a Machine

8/10
9 hours playtime

Overall a very good P&C game with a surprising amount of replayability. I highly recommend avoiding walkthroughs.

Pros:

  • Very well voice acted
  • When talking you see the characters face zoomed in. It’s well animated and conveys the characters emotion very well.
  • Different conversation choices change your personality alignment, which changes how your character is perceived. This can subtly change the story. Of course most of it’s still the same so if you’re like me chances are you’ll click past it before realizing it had changed.
  • Different personality alignments change which power gets unlocked. This in turn changes how puzzles have to be solved, adding replayability.

Cons:

  • There was one puzzle where I never would have found the answer without a walkthrough. Even after knowing which hint is supposed to give the answer, it still doesn’t make sense.
  • No manual saves. If you’re trying for a different overall personality and realize you’re going to miss it, you have to start the game again.
  • No choices after day 2, so after that point you can no longer affect which your personality to change which achievement you get.
  • There was at least one aspect of the story that didn’t make much sense/wasn’t explained, though it was relatively minor.

Verdict: 8/10

Played for PoP. It was quite good, but I definitely used a walkthrough more than I should have.


Lost Grimoires 2: Shard of Mystery

Lost Grimoires 2: Shard of Mystery

3/10
3 hours playtime

The weakest Artifex Mundi game I’ve played so far.

Cons:

  • I really wasn’t a fan of the story
  • Badly written dialogue
  • Voice acting was even poorer than usual, especially the main character

Verdict: 3/10

PA win played for PAGYWOSG. Definitely not AF’s best work.


Hob

Hob

8/10
16 hours playtime

Brilliant game. It’s one of the few games with platforming elements I’ve enjoyed. It reminds me of RiME. Its biggest weakness is the fixed camera which often has poor camera angles.

Pros:

  • Gorgeous graphics
  • There are spots in the game you can interact with to just enjoy the scenery; great for screenshots
  • The combat is straightforward, neither too challenging nor too easy (at least until you get the 3rd sword upgrade)
  • The puzzles are challenging without being frustrating

Cons:

  • A not insignificant amount of the challenge comes from battling unfortunate camera angles
  • There is supposed to be a story, complete with lore rooms, but I didn’t really get what was going on beyond the very basics. I’m not sure if that’ intentional, or if I just couldn’t interpret the symbols in the lore rooms the way they were intended.

Verdict: 8/10

Another PA win played for PAGYWOSG. 3 in one month! That’s a record for me. I’m glad I finally won this, I really enjoyed it. I highly recommend it for anyone who likes games with good scenery. It reminded me a lot of RiME, so if you liked that give this a try.


Recent Acquisitions

So in one month I’ve erased all of my backlog progress this year and then some. The first 2 are form August since I forgot to mention them last time. Also 5 SG wins in one month, the most in a long while. I have no idea when I got Destiny 2. I think it’s free? It was imported from Bethesda. I wonder if that means Microsoft is killing their launcher? I also noticed the store labels them as ‘Bethesdasoft’ now. Am I the only one who thinks that sounds ridiculous?

August '20 Play Log

Not much progress. I haven’t been in the mood for games for the last few weeks. I’ve been reading a lot instead. I finished the entire Enchanting Enquiries collection by Sam Cheever. They were absolutely hilarious and I highly recommend them. Recently started the Ministry of Curiosities series.


Depopulation

Depopulation

3/10
56 minutes playtime
  no achievements

I think the goal of the game - to show that we have to live in harmony with the environment - is a noble one. I also thing this this game falls far short of that. Your goal is to take over the world before pollution reaches certain limits. These limits appear to be arbitrary. On easy mode this game quickly turns into little more than a clicker. The interface is also very bad. Trying to find the few tiny countries you haven’t taken over is like looking for a needle in a haystack. The ‘happiness’ requirements also don’t really make much sense.

SG win played for PAGYWOSG. Pretty bad. The only game I beat this month.


Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin

6 hours playtime,  3 of 38 achievements (7.89%)


Unfinished and abandoned ages go. I liked the idea of this game, but I dislike frustrating games which was exactly what this was. It wouldn’t have been so bad except that enemies/bosses in the game have been changed since released, which as far as I’m concerned is a huge no-no. Sometimes it felt less like skill and more like luck. Either way, I wasn’t enjoying it so I dropped it.


The Walking Dead: Season Two

3 hours playtime,  0 of 40 achievements (0%)


Started for PoP. I think this is the 4th time it’s been selected. Yes, I dropped it despite everyone loving it, and before even getting any achievements. It was sitting in my to-play-soon pile for weeks before I finally forced myself to start it. The very opening scene is like ‘hurray, things are looking up a tiny bit… NOT’. I dislike depressing games. I realized I just really didn’t want to play it. So despite it supposedly being good, into the won’t play pile it goes.


Moved to Won't Play

I also went through my Never Played list and marked a bunch I knew I was unlikely to enjoy as Won’t Play. There’s no way I’ll ever be able to finish all of my unplayed games anyway, so no point wasting time on those.


That’s pretty much it. I got the last achievements I had missed in Life is Strange: Before the Storm and Rusty Lake Roots. I’m still playing Mad Games Tycoon and Aragami. Hopefully I can beat them both this month, but TBH I’m not holding my breath.