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.


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.

June & July '20 Play Log

I really couldn’t be bothered to do a June post. My progress has been pretty bad anyway. The lockdown and things going shitty in general is kinda getting to me. Still, beat a few games and retired some others. I spent a lot of time playing Skyrim VR and No Man’s Sky as well which is part of the reason I didn’t beat many games.


Poly Bridge

Poly Bridge

9 hours playtime (1 hour this month)

Personally I find this game too challenging to be enjoyable. If engineering challenges appeal to you and you don’t get frustrated then you may enjoy this game.

Pros:

  • Bridges get more difficult as you go
  • Different materials add having to decide budget vs strength add more difficulty
  • You can see the amount of stress on different areas of the bridge to see where issues are
  • You can slow down the simulation when trying the bridge

Cons:

  • You can’t ‘rewind’ the simulation if you go to far, you have to just start over. This can be annoying for slow cars on long bridges
  • There are no hints, e.g. ‘try this pattern’
  • Moving a joint by the subtlest amount can drastically alter how the bridge holds up, meaning completing a lot of levels just boils down to ‘move random joints until it works/holds up/is under budget’
  • Often, coming in under budge with a bridge that isn’t single use (due to breaking) is next to impossible

I had started this game and abandoned it when it got too hard. It had some potential but was ultimately too frustrating. It also didn’t help that a lot of it was down to random tweaks and not just skill/engineering capability.


Life is Strange 2

5 hours playtime,  11 of 46 achievements (23.91%)

This one was for Play or Pay (by Cece I think). I bought it without looking into it too much because I really enjoyed the first two games. Turns out that was a mistake. When I play games I want a distraction from everyday life. This particular game is about racism and police brutality. Ring any bells? Ultimately it was just depressing me, I wasn’t enjoying it, and was forcing myself to play it. Games should be fun, forcing myself to play them defeats the purpose, so I dropped it.


Train Valley

Train Valley

8/10
18 hours playtime

Thoroughly enjoyable puzzle type game.

Pros:

  • Enjoyable background music and sound effects
  • A variety of trains with different speeds, lengths, and styles
  • Cute, colourful graphics
  • Levels start relatively easy and get progressively more difficult at a good rate, but don’t get too difficult
  • You can pause time in the game, which makes later more hectic levels much more manageable. Similarly, you can speed up time when things are too slow

Cons:

  • The main menu doesn’t show you what the goals for each level are, it just gives you a stamp for each one completed. If you want to see what goal you haven’t done you need to start the level.
  • What’s the point of the annual tax? It seems to exist solely to make bankruptcy possible.
  • The bankruptcy mechanic is infuriating. If you spend most of your money you should be able to wait for the next train to give you more, but if it’s too slow then annual tax will mean you go bankrupt and have to restart the level.
  • Rogue trains. These trains appear and and promptly leave stations with no warning instead of queueing up and waiting for you to start them. It’s accompanied with a special jingle. This can easily mess up an entire level forcing you to start again to achieve the goals. Thankfully they seem to be very rare.

Verdict: 8/10

Another one I started and abandoned at some point. Thoroughly enjoyed it. It was challenging without being overly difficult. I actually ended up buying and beating the DLC as well.


The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR

24 hours playtime,  13 of 75 achievements (17.33%)

This was June’s major timesink. Major impulse purchase, which is doesn’t happen much for me. TBH I regret buying it. Not because it’s a bad game - they’ve done a very good job of porting it complete with motion controls. Ultimately though, it’s the exact same game. I’ve spent over 200hrs on flat Skyrim so I’m very familiar with it. Once the interest in VR stared wearing off I got bored, so I’ve decided to bench it for a while. It doesn’t help that there’s no graphics updates for it at all. Yes I know, ‘but there are mods!’. But when I’m paying $65 (on sale) I shouldn’t have to spend several hours installing over two dozen mods to make it look halfway decent. And I never got them to work entirely right, it still crashes but it’s so infrequent I’ll never find the incompatibility with so many mods.


    Sakura Agent

    Sakura Agent

    7/10
    3 hours playtime

    Overall I quite enjoyed this VN. There aren’t any choices that greatly affect the story so be aware of that. It’s not the most engaging story ever written, it’s not bad though, and the characters are likeable. If you’re looking for something short, mindless, and relaxing (and sexy) you’ll likely enjoy this.

    Pros:

    • Likeable characters
    • Good music
    • Unlike other Sakura games the protagonist isn’t a whiny uptight pain
    • Adult patch ;)

    Cons:

    • There was room for the story to be much deeper and longer, but it wasn’t taken advantage of
    • I noticed a few errors in the writing, it wasn’t bad enough to bother me though
    • The ending wasn’t exactly original, I’m sure I’ve seen it somewhere else :P

    Verdict: 7/10

    Sakura Fantasy Chapter 1

    Sakura Fantasy Chapter 1

    3 hours playtime
      no achievements

    I have somewhat mixed feelings about this game. I think the main flaw is that while there were a number of choices, they don’t make much difference. At least one didn’t even result in a dialogue change. Others simply skip a section depending on your choice. It didn’t feel like it even made a difference to how your character is perceived.

    Pros:

    • Somewhat interesting story that showed promise to be interesting if it had been continued
    • Good music
    • The story isn’t left on an ‘I can’t believe that just happened’ type cliffhanger, so that makes the lack of subsequent chapters a bit more bearable.

    Cons:

    • A lot of pointless choices. I’d prefer fewer choices rather than choices there just for the sake of it.
    • Incomplete. This seems to have been a chicken and egg problem. A lot of people don’t buy incomplete stories. The dev has said it won’t be continued because it didn’t sell well.
    • No voice in the patched version. There is a guide to fix this though

I played both of these for July’s PAGYWOSG. Pretty decent. Thankfully Fantasy didn’t end on a cliffhanger which makes the lack of more chapters bearable. I’d have been curious to see it continued though.


Oxenfree

Oxenfree

8/10
5 hours playtime

I thoroughly enjoyed this game and highly recommend it. Your choices can actually affect the outcome of the story which is neat.

Pros:

  • Interesting story
  • Likeable characters that are very well voice acted
  • Good music
  • Choice affect the ending (though not the core story)
  • The collectibles help explain the story and for the most part aren’t too difficult to find

Cons:

  • Movement both with keyboard or controller is finicky and needs some polish
  • Movement speed isn’t bad, but gets frustrating when you have to go back to areas you’ve been to. It either needs to be increased, or fast travel added
  • Under some instances depending on where you are in the story you may not be able to get to certain areas, though there doesn’t seem to be a valid reason for this. It made me think I had locked myself out of a collectible.
  • I have mixed feelings about the achievements that require multiple playthroughs. Rather than being related to the ending, they’re related to small aspects of the story that can change depending on your choices. To me they aren’t significant enough to warrant one extra playthrough, let alone two. I’m not convinced there’ll be enough change to keep it interesting

Verdict: 8/10

Played for PoP and quite enjoyed it. It was on my wishlist for a while before I got it so I’m glad I finally got around to playing it.


Recent Acquisitions

Also Train Valley - Germany, Cities: Skylines - Industries, and upgraded HITMAN 2 to Gold Edition. All DLC though so the generators don’t work and I’m far to lazy to do it manually.


That’s it for now. Already dropped 2 games in August, so things are pretty much continuing the way they have been. I’m thoroughly enjoying Aragami though so at least that’s something. Hope everyone’s doing well and surviving quarantine!

May '20 Play Log II


Surgeon Simulator

Surgeon Simulator

4 hours playtime

I started this ages ago and got too frustrated with it. I picked it back up and managed to get a few more achievements, but it’s just too difficult. No point playing it if I’m not enjoying it, so I’m dropping it.


The Darkside Detective

The Darkside Detective

9/10
6 hours playtime

One of the best puzzle/P&C games I’ve ever played. Absolutely hilarious, with a well balanced difficulty. I’ll be getting the sequel as soon as it’s released. Worth the full price IMO.

Pros:

  • Really funny
  • For the most part the difficulty was well balanced, there were only a few spots I ended up consulting a walkthrough
  • Good background music
  • The separate cases mean you can play for a little while at a time

Cons:

  • Could use a hint system and some areas

Vedict: 9/10

Great PoP pick from Cece. I absolutely loved it and have wishlisted the sequel. It’s not out yet, but I fully intend to buy it as soon as it is out.


Hard West

Hard West

1/10
10 hours playtime

his could potentially be a good actually/turn based strategy game, except for the game breaking bug at the end of scenario 2. The developers have been aware of it for more than 2 years, and even claim to have a fix, but have not updated it for some reason.
Details here, including a work around for skipping the scenario: https://steamcommunity.com/app/307670/discussions/0/1692662484258253692/?ctp=2

Verdict: 1/10

Started this ages ago and abandoned it for unknown reason. For some reason I really wasn’t feeling it. I had to force myself to play it, but I figured once I got into it I’d enjoy it. Then I hit a game breaking bug. The last mission of the second part is broken. Apparently the developer has known about it for years and claims to have a fix, but for some reason haven’t issued a patch. They have given a workaround to unlock to future parts after deleting the corrupt save, but the whole thing put me right off the game.


SIMULACRA

SIMULACRA

7/10
7 hours playtime

A decent puzzle type game. While there are the occasional mild jump scares and something strange going on, it didn’t really give me a horror or suspense vibe.

Pros:

  • I generally stay away from FMV games, but the actresses & voice actors are actually pretty good
  • The puzzle difficulty is OK for the most part
  • Several other easter eggs and hidden puzzles if you want an extra challenge
  • Has a mode for replaying to make text speed up instead of being at a realistic speed

Cons:

  • Lacking in horror, and didn’t feel that suspenseful
  • Texts and responses when texting are often not quite right - grammatically wrong or just don’t completely make sense. It could have used some more polish.
  • Setting aside the fact that you’re going through a stranger’s phone instead of giving it to the police/family/etc, there are still things you have to do to progress the story that I would never think to do IRL
  • While you frequently have different options for responses to messages, responses to what you say are frequently reused, giving the illusion of more choice than you really have. Good for role playing, but noticeable when replaying
  • Has mutually exclusive achievements and different endings, but lacks replayability. Yes you can choose different dialogue option that can influence people differently, but the puzzles and their solutions are still the same.
  • I wasn’t a big fan of the ending. It didn’t make much sense and wasn’t really explained. That may have been saved for the second game though.

Verdict: 7/10

This wasn’t bad overall, but I disliked that it required multiple playthroughs for different endings without having sufficient replay value.


Goetia

Goetia

7/10
8 hours playtime

Overall one of the better puzzle games I’ve played, but it definitely gets too hard in the later half.

Pros:

  • Intriguing story that kept me interested enough to want to find out what was going on
  • The journal kept track of the story and often gives hints for what to do next
  • For the first half the puzzles fairly well balanced, feeling neither too easy nor too difficult
  • Being able to use the map for fast travel was very useful

Cons:

  • While it’s fairly manageable in the first half or so of the game, it gets too hard. I ended up using a walkthrough fairly often for the second half.
  • Some of the puzzles weren’t simply difficult, but made very little sense even when you look up the solution, which is just frustrating.
  • Why can you only fast travel to some rooms on the map? I don’t see why it wouldn’t let you fast travel to any unlocked room.
  • Achievements don’t unlock until you exit the game
  • Does anyone actually know how to pronounce ‘Goetia’? :P

Verdict: 7/10

PA win. Quite good overall, but had a few nonsensical puzzles.


The Wolf Among Us

The Wolf Among Us

10/10
10 hours playtime

Whew, talk about an intense story. It’s quite dark, but well worth playing for any fans of story based games. Easily one of the best games I’ve ever played, and would love to find more games with such amazing stories.

For anyone not familiar with Telltale games it should be noted that this isn’t a game in the traditional sense. You frequently don’t control your characters movement. Instead gameplay consists of some detective scenes, some quick-time events, but mostly making (time limited) decisions that affect how the story unfolds.

Pros:

  • Excellent story that always kept me guessing. One of (if not the) the best story I’ve ever experienced in a game.
  • Excellently voice acted
  • The characters all felt real, with real problems and emotions that could be empathized with
  • Choices made a significant difference to how you’re perceived by other characters, and the consequences of your actions not always immediately apparent

Cons:

  • Since the whole game is out giving a preview of the next episode is not necessary, but the only way to skip it is to exit to the main menu and then load the game from there. I would have liked an easier option to skip it.
  • The only way to get all Fables is to make certain… unappealing choices
  • Personally I don’t consider it a con, but since some do I’ll mention that the choices you make don’t always have a drastic effect on the direction of the story. The main events will still happen, but some things may be easier or harder or simply different because of your choices. The main difference is in how other characters think of you, which can make a significant difference in the telling of a story.

Verdict: 10/10

PoP pick by Ninglor. Really glad I finally played this, it was amazing. Since Telltale has been partially bought, maybe there is some small hope for a sequel?


Recent Acquisitions


Upcoming

May '20 Play Log I

Hopefully everyone’s doing well in quarantine. The weather is starting to get better here and my new apple trees are starting to bud, so I’m happy about that. On the bad side though, it’s a long weekend here in Canada, which means fireworks. With gatherings limited I’d hoped there wouldn’t be any, but they started early and ended late so my poor dog was terrified all evening. Anyone else have that problem? I’ve been wondering if I should get something from the vet to calm her down next time.

On the gaming side of things I've given up trying to play in my living room via Steam Link since my desktop is wireless. I'm trying to see if I can hardwire it over coaxial using moca adapters, but am having issues seeing if the jack by my desktop is connected to the loose wire in my living room.


Batman: Arkham Asylum GOTY Edition

Batman: Arkham Asylum GOTY Edition

8/10
23 hours playtime (about 21 hours this month)

Overall a thoroughly enjoyable game that’s aged well. A must have for long-time Batman fans, and also enjoyable for fans like me who are only really familiar with the new movies.

Pros:

  • Voice acting for the enemies is very good
  • The various lines joker and the enemies have are quite funny
  • I liked the bits of history and information you get on various Batman characters as you gain collectables
  • Learning the history of Arkham via the Chronicles was neat
  • The Riddler’s riddles were a good balance between not too easy but not frustrating
  • Collectable maps make gaining all collectibles possible without it feeling like a chore as it does in many games
  • There is some back and forth between areas, but the map is small enough that this doesn’t get bothersome. The fact that there are changes as you go through the story helps to prevent it from getting boring. However, the map is also large enough that it’s not overwhelming - you’ll soon become familiar with the whole thing.
  • The predator challenges were quite enjoyable, though the latter ones are very difficult

Cons:

  • Personally I found Batman’s voice acting forced and unnatural. Given that the voice actor has voiced Batman before, Batman fans will probably consider this a pro rather than a con.
  • The combat challenges are very hard
  • If you’re trying to get all medals for the challenges, the Joker’s unskippable intro gets annoying fairly quickly due to the repetition and lack of variety

Verdict: 8/10

I started this game ages ago and abandoned it quickly for unknown reasons. I ended up restarting it to remember what was going on. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I have Arkham Knight, but I'm temped to see if I can get City and Origins as well. My main complaint was the bad voice acting of Batman, but I suspect this will be an unpopular opinion seeing as the actor has voiced Batman in the past. The villains were marvellously written and voiced.
Syberia 2

Syberia 2

5/10
5 hours playtime
  no achievements

Note that I haven’t played the first game, which I would recommend as I think I would have enjoyed this one more. It’s not a bad game, but IMO it’s not good enough to be worth spending time or money on.

Pros:

  • The story in the later half of the game was pretty good
  • The Youki is really cute
  • Voice acting was decent

Cons:

  • The entire first half of the game felt like padding
  • Voice acting was broken. Most of the time sentences were clipped off just before the end when talking to someone.
  • There were some puzzles that I used a walkthrough for and would have had no idea how to solve them without it
  • It felt like some areas were excessively large, or important locations were placed farther apart than necessary
  • Sometimes it wasn’t clear there was another area you could go to unless you walk to the other side of the screen first
  • Being able to press a button to show what you can interact with in a particular scene would have saved me some headaches
  • These sorts of games need a hint feature

Verdict: 5/10

Old SG win played for PAGYWOSG. It started out being a drag. It got better towards the end, but not enough to offset the beginning. I just wasn't invested in the characters. Of course it may have helped a bit if I'd played the first game.

Lovely Planet

2 hours playtime,  0 of 14 achievements (0%)

Old SG win I started for PAGYWOSG but quickly gave up on. I opted not to review it since I really should have known I wouldn't like it. It got difficult very quickly. I kept thinking shots would sail far over my head, but then having them hit me. Either the hitboxes on this game suck, or you're playing as the Kool Aid man.


Assassin's Creed Revelations

Assassin's Creed Revelations

8/10
20 hours playtime (about 4 hours this month)
  no achievements
Another previously abandoned game. Quite good, but not as good as 2 or Brotherhood. I think I may have restarted this from the beginning once before and abandoned it again. I wasn't willing to do that this time, and it turned out I was almost done it anyway. Since I don't recall most of it I opted not to review it. It did make me want to play all of the games from the beginning, but manly because I'm interested in Desmond's story.

Recent Acquisitions


Upcoming

April '20 Play Log II

Spring is finally starting to spring, which is making quarantine marginally more tolerable. I planted some dwarf apple trees in my back yard a almost two weeks ago. So far I don’t see any buds, so I’m a bit nervous. I really hope they survive. If they do I won’t get any apples until at least fall 2021, but I’m really looking forward to that.


Borderlands GOTY Enhanced

Borderlands GOTY Enhanced

7/10
58 hours playtime

Overall a good FPS, but there’s no story at all, which was a bit disappointing.

Pros:

  • Mission descriptions are frequently funny
  • I like the comic book type art style
  • Good weapon variety
  • Ripping around in the vehicles is fun
  • Being able to get a second chance if you kill an enemy after you run out of health is great
  • Mad Moxxi DLC: really great music, very challenging

Cons:

  • The ending sucked
  • No story at all, or background on your characters
  • It’s not obvious when DLC becomes available (I didn’t find them until after I beat the game)
  • DLC: no waypoints within individual DLC
  • Mordecai is a sniper, his skill is sending his pet Bloodwing to kill an enemy, but struggles with medium range, and can’t do long range at all. It also often gets stuck if you’re not careful.
  • Hit boxes on cover/walls/etc are badly done. I often used cover to snipe, and frequently got in situations where I couldn’t figure out why I kept missing, only to eventually realize the I was hitting what I was hiding behind/beside despite actually having a clear view.

Verdict: 7/10

First time playing this game. It’s quite good, but the lack of story was disappointing. I’ve heard the second one is better. I’ll probably pick up The Handsome Collection at some point. I have the Pre-Sequel, but no DLC for it.


Sakura Angels

Sakura Angels

5/10
2 hours playtime
  no achievements

Not nearly as good as other Sakura games. I wouldn’t describe this as bad, but the story didn’t hold my attention enough to recommend it.

Pros:

  • Good graphics ;)
  • Some choices, though they mainly affect who you end up with

Cons:

  • The story is pretty boring
  • The protagonist is an idiot. Surrounded by beautiful women and all he can think of is trying to escape them.

Verdict: 5/10

SG win. I wouldn’t call it bad, but not good either. The protagonist is an idiot. I’d be willing to give more games like this a try. I think they have some potential if the story is decent, though I can’t see myself becoming a ‘fan’ of them per se.


Sakura Spirit

Sakura Spirit

8/10
2 hours playtime
  no achievements

I haven’t played much anime before, and never any VNs, but I actually really enjoyed this. If you’re expecting a choices matter/exist type game though, this isn’t it. There’s only one choice, and it doesn’t affect the story in any way.

Pros:

  • Some nice graphics ;)
  • The story was better than I expected

Cons:

  • The protagonist gets way too flustered around the girls
  • As much as the whole hero bit is done somewhat tongue-in-cheek, it still felt a bit cliched at times

Verdict: 8/10

SG win. I actually quite enjoyed this one. I have 2 more Sakura SG wins, I’m hoping their more like this one as it had a much better story.


Recent Acquisitions


Upcoming

I had intended on focusing on my abandoned backlog. Specifically games with controller support I can play from my living room, since being stuck in my computer room for 12+ hours a day is getting to me. Of course it’s now a new Play or Pay cycle, and Cece and Ninglor went and picked some really good games, so I’ll try to balance them instead.

April '20 Play Log I

Not much changed since my last update, except I’ve already managed to finish enough games for a mid-month post. To be fair though they’re pretty short except for Graveyard Keeper which was almost done, and I’ve more than made up for it with far too many new games.


Fall of the New Age Premium Edition

Fall of the New Age Premium Edition

6/10
4 hours playtime
no achievements

Overall comparable to Artifex Mundi HOGs, but with easier hidden object scenes.

Pros:

  • There’s a reason for the HOGs to exist
  • Most of the puzzles had a reasonable difficulty

Cons:

  • Voice acting isn’t always great, but no worse than Artifex Mundi
  • Storyline is probably slightly weaker than the better Artifex Mundi games, but not awful

Verdict: 6/10

An old SG win played for PAGYWOSG. Comparable to Artifex Mundi games. I was in the mood for something slower and relaxing, and this fit the bill well enough.


Nephise Begins

Nephise Begins

6/10
30 minutes playtime

Overall meh. The scenery was really nice, but there wasn’t really any point to the game, even for a walking simulator. I don’t regret playing it given that I got it for free, but I’m not going to bother buying the other games in the series.

Pros:

  • Really nice relaxing scenery
  • Background music was good for the most part

Cons:

  • No real story, which was it’s biggest weakness IMO

Verdict: 6/10

A meh walking simulator that was free on Steam. Strikes me more as something introducing a larger game than a game by itself. Unfortunately the trading cards seem to be broken, unless they just don’t drop if you get the game for free.


A Mortician's Tale

A Mortician's Tale

4/10
78 minutes playtime

I have pretty much the same complaint as other people. You play through an unnecessarily long tutorial, and then… roll credits.

Pros:

  • There’s a story
  • Has a happy ending (or as happy an ending as you can have in a game about death)
  • The addition of a minesweeper-like minigame was kind of neat

Cons:

  • The entire game is a tutorial with nothing afterwords
  • Expensive for little more than an hour of playtime

Verdict: 4/10

I caved and got the COVID-19 bundle. For some reason I decided to keep this despite the reviews, which turned out to be accurate. It’s basically a tutorial which thinks it’s a complete game.


FarSky

FarSky

6/10
3 hours playtime
no achievements

I haven’t played Subnautica yet, but I imagine this as a poor man’s Subnautica. It’s short, but since there’s not much too it that’s good. It’s not too bad, may be worth it on sale but if you skip it you won’t be missing much.

Pros:

  • Really neat seeing all the life and scenery underwater
  • The different types of fish at different levels are cool

Cons:

  • Had issues starting it, I had to go into the launcher options (which Steam doesn’t seem to like) and make it windowed mode, then boot the game and go to options to fix the resolution and re-enable windowed mode
  • Early game it’s too dangerous to go out at night, but there’s nothing to do inside and no way to pass the time (sleep/wait/etc)
  • Not really much to do beyond explore and find the parts for your sub

Verdict: 6/10

This strikes me as a poor-man’s Subnautica (though I haven’t played that yet). Not much to do, so if you pass on it you’re not missing anything.


Graveyard Keeper

Graveyard Keeper

8/10
53 hours playtime

If you’re into management games like Stardew Valley you’ll probably enjoy this, though it’s not as deep. You don’t really develop relationships with people, beyond them liking you more when you do them quest related favours. Just don’t expect much from the story.

Pros:

  • Unique, tongue-in-cheek concept works well
  • Has some funny/shocking moments
  • There’s always a ton to do

Cons:

  • The ending was disappointing
  • Fishing felt like a chore, especially since I frequently found pressing to reel in a fish didn’t register, resulting in me loosing both fish and bait
  • There’s nothing stopping you from doing things in unfortunate orders, or to suggest looking at something. For example, I unlocked the printing press near the end expecting it to help with writing, instead it only makes flyers I no longer need. Another example is experimenting with combat potions when you’re most of the way to the bottom of the dungeon.

Verdict: 8/10

And now the one you’ve all been waiting for (except probably not), Graveyard Keeper. Got this in a recent HB Monthly, and it was on my wishlist before that. I quite enjoyed it, and fully intend to get the DLC at some point.


Recent Acquisitions

Where my backlog continues to go in very much the wrong direction.

March '20 Play Log

Welp, the world has officially gone to hell in a handbasket. I’m currently working from home, which works wellish. I’m a software engineer, so my job is in front of a computer all day, and when I get home I often spend the evening gaming. This doesn’t generally bother me, but since work and gaming are now in the same room, I’m realizing that the simple change of scenery made a huge difference. I’m not prone to cabin fever as I’m definitely a homebody, but after 2.5 weeks shut in I’m feeling it faster than expected. It doesn’t help that my sister and her boyfriend are recently back in Canada and are staying with me, so I’m ending up quarantined for 3 weeks. Thankfully it’s only 1 week left. I’m looking forward to getting my house back after that, but there’s a possibility they’ll have to stay for the rest of April. Fingers crossed they don’t… How is everyone else coping?

In game related news, way too many activations. I was hoping to beat Graveyard Keeper before the end of the month, but just beat it tonight so you’ll have to wait till next month for that review. Gotta say though, dispointing ending.


BioShock Remastered

BioShock Remastered

8/10
18 hours playtime

To begin with I wasn’t sure about this, but overall I quite enjoyed it. Recommend for anyone who likes story based FPSes and hasn’t played it yet.

Pros:

  • Interesting story
  • Decent graphics
  • Good voice acting
  • The plasmids and tonics mean there are a variety of ways to play
  • The challenge maps add a neat twist, they’re (mostly) not the traditional ‘very tough enemy’ type challenges

Cons:

  • A lot of the story is through collectable diaries, so if you miss a lot you may not know what’s going on
  • There are a lot of collectable diaries, but some of them are irrelevant. I think it would have been better to skip those ones.
  • Crashed once in a challenge map

Verdict: 8/10

Play or Pay. Took me a bit to warm up to this, but in the end I enjoyed it. WAY TOO MANY AUDIO LOGS THOUGH!! Overall I think I liked Infinite more, but that could be the whole rose-coloured-glasses thing. My intention is to play the Burial at Sea DLC next, but we’ll see when that actually happens.


SUPERHOT VR

SUPERHOT VR

8/10
3 hours playtime

A very good game, but awfully short. I haven’t tried the challenges yet though.

Pros:

  • Very similar to the non-VR version, but the levels are different
  • Adds a new weapon compared to the non-VR version
  • Ducking/sidestepping punches, bullets, etc is a lot of fun and works fairly well
  • I didn’t have any issues in my small computer room with 2 trackers

Cons:

  • Very short

Verdict: 8/10

This wasn’t half a bad work out, and a lot of fun. Only thing that sucked was that it was so short. I think I’ll ignore the achievement for playing the whole thing lying down though… I didn’t try the challenges, they sound quite hard. I may take a look at them at some point though.


    Half-Life 2: Episode One

    Half-Life 2: Episode One

    6/10
    5 hours playtime

    Overall I recommend this, but somewhat half-heartedly. Part of the issue is my own fault - I should have turned down the difficulty earlier. Part of it is the game.

    Pros:

    • The ending left me intrigued for what will happen in Episode 2
    • I enjoyed the part where Alex was sniping (but I’d have loved a shot of that myself)
    • Voice acting continues to be good
    • Graphics are quite good considering the age of the game

    Cons:

    • Doesn’t really explain how you end up back at the Citadel after the ending of Half-Life 2
    • Crashed twice
    • Alex drove me nuts. She consistently got in my way. Given that she’s with you almost the whole game this was much more of a problem than in Half-Life 2
    • A few times she also stood facing the opposite direction, leaving me to deal with a wave of enemies alone.
    • The zombie burning achievement requires it to be done in a single playthrough, but doesn’t specify that. I eventually realized after reloading several times because I couldn’t do it in one playthrough without dying.

    Verdict: 6/10

    Half-Life 2

    Half-Life 2

    9/10
    12 hours playtime

    Much better than the first episode. Makes me wonder what possessed Valve to stop making these.

    Pros:

    • Alyx redeems herself in this episode, being much better at staying out of the way
    • Story is fairly good
    • You have a Vortigon follower for a while which is a lot of fun
    • Ripping around in the car is really fun
    • I found the missions more fun in general than in the first episode

    Cons:

    • Some of the achievements are really annoying. Launching a garden gnome into space sounds like fun until you realize it means carrying him around for the entire game and hoping you don’t leave him someplace you won’t be able to go back to/drop him in a hole/etc.
    • While the main story is left at a reasonable spot, it’s not finished, and there’s another open question left at the end. Clearly intended for an episode 3 that was never made.

    Verdict: 9/10

I’m glad I played these, so thanks to Traqie for changing my mind. I wasn’t a big fan of one, but not for the reasons I expected. The ending was good though, and I thoroughly enjoyed episode 2.


Bomber Crew

Bomber Crew

4/10
5 hours playtime

Before you get excited for a WW2 bomber simulator, keep in mind this is primarily an exercise in time management. You have to control all of the most basic things, and it gets extremely difficult fairly quickly to the point that you have to grind to get all the best gear, taking all the fun out of it IMO.

Pros:

  • Good music
  • Animated style graphics unusual for a war type game are a nice change

Cons:

  • Requires you to grind to get money for better gear or you have no chance of surviving the main missions
  • Gets difficult very quickly, requiring you to do 5+ things at once all urgently.
  • Gunners won’t even go get ammo when they’re out unless you tell them. Ammo feed turrets are an option, but they’re heavy, expensive, and slower to unlock, which means yet more grinding.
  • Long despite little real change as the game goes on. Granted I gave up long before the end but it was already getting repetitive

Verdict: 4/10

Play or Pay. Wasn’t a fan of this one. Grindy, unnecessary micromanagement, and excessively long given the lack of variety led me to abandon it far from the end. Gunners can’t even get their own ammo when they run out? I feel more like a baby sitter than anything else.


Blue Estate

Blue Estate

9/10
8 hours playtime

Absolutely loved this game. Don’t expect anything serious here, either gameplay or story-wise. You’ll be disappointed. If you enjoy a casual FPS and want a good laugh though, this game is definitely worth playing. I’ve seen other reviewers disappointing with the ending. As much as I can understand this, a serious resolution would have felt out of place given the content, and personally it gave me a laugh.

Pros:

  • I enjoyed the music
  • Voice acting suited the game well
  • Not overly challenging (which I like, but some others may not)
  • You can fast-forward through story parts, which is great for repeat playthroughs

Cons:

  • I don’t really see the point in a separate arcade mode given that the story isn’t exactly serious. Especially given that they use the same levels, enemies, etc. They do add an additional challenge, but personally I’d have preferred more story levels.
  • Some of the fast-forwarded parts could have fast forwarded a bit more
  • 2 of the achievement seem to be broken

Play or Pay. No idea where I came across this but I’m really glad I did. Hilarious and a lot of fun. I highly recommend it if you enjoy funny shooters and don’t mind the on-rails aspect of it.


Recent Acquisitions

So my bad SG luck streak ended with 3 Sakura games. Never played anything like them before, so here’s hoping they’re my thing.

February '20 Play Log

Between Half-Life being free and spending time in longer/continuous games like No Man’s Sky my backlog progress this month has been in the wrong direction.


Half-Life 2

Half-Life 2

9/10
12 hours playtime

Here you reprise your roll as Gordon Freeman, the Wordless Wonder. This game has a much better plot than the second, and lacks the platforming elements in all but a few places. Overall a much better game and still worth playing today. Aged very well.

Pros:

  • You can ride a boat
  • You can ride a buggy
  • Good story for the most part
  • You meet some really great characters
  • Well voice acted
  • Levels are varied and don’t feel repetative
  • The gravity gun is a lot of fun

Cons:

  • There’s no explanation for what happened (either to you or the world) between the first and second games. Some of it you can infer, but there are still gaps.
  • Some hit box issues, where you throw a grenade just past a wall but it bounces off anyway. To be expected with old games though.

Verdict: 9/10

Played since it was free on Steam. Unlike the first game I quite enjoyed this one. From what I read about episode 1 it didn’t sound like my kind of thing. Between that and not being in the mood for any more Half-Life having played 1 and 2 back to back I opted not to bother. I may buy the episodes in future but I doubt it.


The Invisible Hours

The Invisible Hours

9/10
6 hours playtime

Experienced on Oculus Rift

This is a rather unique game. Well, it’s not a game really, or a movie. It’s a murder mystery, but where you can explore the whole area and watch any of the characters. You are just a casual observer, but you get to see everything that’s going on as well as find clues and information about the characters. The story is quite good as well, including a number of surprises.

Pros:

  • Excellent voice acting
  • You can jump to any part of any chapter, and even see what characters you’ve seen in a chapter and what parts of their time in a chapter you’ve missed
  • The clues, newspapers, diaries, etc, you can collect give you more information about what’s going on. I highly advise searching for them all.
  • You can fast forward and rewind, which is excellent for skipping through the few boring parts where the character you’re following isn’t doing anything and rewinding to follow other characters
  • The story features some surprises and twists that kept me guessing what was going on until the end
  • Despite being fairly large, the house very well done. There aren’t large empty spaces that serve no purpose or duplicated rooms just to fill space.
  • What music there is is well done, adding to the atmosphere when something interesting happens
  • The characters well fairly well fleshed out, feeling like real people whose motivations you can understand once you figure out their backstory.

Cons:

  • There were some parts where the sound stopped working, requiring me to restart the game. This may have had something to do with me alt+tabbing out of it to look at something else.
  • Despite completing the game and and finding everything, there are still one or two minor questions I have that weren’t answered.
  • It felt like the main part of the story just sort of ended, without a satisfactory conclusion.

Verdict: 9/10

Another one I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s a VR game that’s rather unique in that the story goes on with you as an observer who can wonder around and follow various characters, watching and listening to put the story together. I recommend it for VR owners who like story based games.


Half-Life

Half-Life

5/10
12 hours playtime
no achievements

I really struggled with whether or not to recommend this game. Given that I got close to abandoning it near the end, and was very ready for it to be over, I can’t recommend it. Yes, it’s old, but that’s not where my complaints come from. In fact, despite usually not being able to tolerate older, dated games, this one didn’t bother me in the slightest. The problem was it’s secondary genre: despite not being tagged as such, this game has lots of elements of a platformer. I enjoy a good FPS, but I am really bad at platformers, and do not enjoy them. If you do enjoy platformers, chances are you’ll love this game. For everyone else, there are better games out there.

Pros:

  • The terrible old school voice acting is awesome. Complete with nasally scientists and over the top g-men.
  • Good weapon variety with some interesting ones along with the generic.
  • Ammo is plentiful - you’ll never be wondering if you should use your favourite or save it just in case
  • The ammo isn’t ridiculous either though. If you use one weapon exclusively you’ll run out of ammo eventually and be forced to try something else. You can’t rely exclusively on the obscenely powerful ones you get later in the game either.
  • Levels felt unique and varied

Cons:

  • Mixed genres can be interesting, but whoever thought mixing an FPS with a platformer was a good idea should be banned from making games ever again. It almost single-handedly ruined what could otherwise have been an enjoyable game.
  • The story could have used more emphasis. There was potential but it’s largely absent. You’re a scientist in a sketchy facility. Aliens invade. You run around trying to save the day, finding out just how sketch it really is. You beat the final boss. The end. Being old isn’t an excuse for this - if you want an example, check out Perfect Dark (IMO still the best FPS ever made).
  • Some sections (especially the platfomer-heavy ones at the end of the game) felt like they existed solely to pad out the game time and/or make things more difficult without a good reason

Verdict: 5/10

Played since it was free and I figured it made sense to play the first game before the second. Good idea? In a word: NO. I wish someone had told me not to. I’ll let you read the review if you want to know why.
When I review games I try to strike a balance between if it’s a good game in general and whether or not I enjoyed it. Having not enjoyed this, I gave it a negative review. Some other Steam user I don’t know… didn’t take that well. Instead of leaving a comment on my review saying why they disagree they left a rather nasty tirade full of insults, racism, and threats. Has anyone else ever experienced anything like this? Seems like the person has major issues. I reported it to Steam but they’ve yet to do anything about it.


The Bridge

7 hours playtime, 20 of 20 achievements (100%)

Another acquisition that predates me being smart enough to ignore all platformers no matter how interesting they look. I opted not to review it since I should have known I wouldn’t like it. The idea was good, but it got too hard to the point where I was just trying random things until I beat a level by shear coincidence. Or I would have if I hadn’t just used a guide for the rest of the game, which really takes away from it.


Also Playing

I’ve been spending quite a lot of time in No Man’s Sky and some others instead of beating more games. No so good from a backlog perspective, but I’ve been enjoying it. Hopefully more backlog killing this month though.


Recent Acquisitions

Project Warlock: my first SG win since last Halloween! My lucks’ been really negative lately, but since I’ve not really been great at tackling my backlog I’m okay with that.
Also picked up the HB VR bundle and ETS2 essentials for the DLC (High Power Cargo, Going East, Scandinavia).