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.


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).

January '20 Play Log

A rather disappointing month for games overall. Still playing Graveyard Keeper from the monthly though and I’m really enjoying it. I’ll probably include it in next month’s report even if I don’t finish it. Looking forward to a new batch of PoP games to play!


Odyssey - The Invention of Science

Odyssey - The Invention of Science

3/10
3 hours playtime

The story isn’t particularly interesting and isn’t even concluded at the end of the game. Most of it isn’t even remotely challenging to anyone remembers high school physics. I’m very much a fan of teaching and learning science, but this felt like a waste of time. It would only be relevant if you were in high school, and there’s not enough interesting content to keep the average teenager’s attention. If the story were done much better and felt urgent the boring/easy puzzles could probably have been forgiven.

Pros:

  • Nice graphics

Cons:

  • 90% reading, 5% solving puzzles, 5% walking to the next one
  • The journal chapters you find along the way have the relevant parts for the next puzzle highlighted, all you have to do is enter it into the puzzle
  • The only puzzles that are challenging are the few where it’s unclear what it wants you to do
  • The story is boring, and seems to have been an afterthought
  • The story doesn’t have any conclusion, but also doesn’t really seem like it’s set up for a sequel
  • Only the intro is voice acted, which is good because it’s not well done

Verdict: 3/10

This one disappointed me. I enjoy learning, especially science, so I assumed I’d enjoy it. Guess I should have payed more attention to reviews.


The Beginner's Guide

The Beginner's Guide

4//10
75 minutes playtime
no achievements

I have to admit I was disappointed by this. At first I wasn’t sure whether to recommend it or not, since it does some things very well. It did start well, but when it comes down to it though I just didn’t enjoy it overall. It felt kind of pointless. There’s a lesson in it with a very roundabout delivery, but it’s just not a lesson that really resonated with me. It didn’t help that I found the ending somewhat depressing. If you don’t like depressing endings/are looking for humour this probably isn’t for you. On the other hand if you like the idea of an artistic sort of experience, you may enjoy this.

Pros:

  • Well voice acted
  • Has a lesson in it

Cons:

  • No challenge
  • The lesson/story didn’t resonate with me
  • I didn’t find any humour in it
  • I found the ending a bit depressing

Verdict: 4/10

Another disappointment. I like unusual games, but this one just felt pointless. The story was partly boring, partly depressing (which I’m not a fan of).


Mages of Mystralia

Mages of Mystralia

8/10
13 hours playtime

Cute, reasonably challenging, and enjoyable. Has some weaknesses but overall I’d recommend it to adventure game lovers. It reminded me a bit of Zelda games personally (though I really don’t play anymore, so Zelda fans may disagree with me). The spell system is pretty unique and the most flexible I’ve ever seen. If you’re a creative type you can make some pretty interesting spells. If you’re more like me, you can find some in guides/online/etc.

Pros:

  • Nice art style
  • When you are behind something there’s an outline of your character so you can still tell where you are
  • The spell system is extremely flexible, letting you invent some pretty awesome spells.
  • Despite having a fixed camera, the angle was usually pretty good

Cons:’

  • The story never caught me emotionally, I never felt invested in it. I think they could have done much better here
  • A certain part of the ending that was supposed to be a surprise was actually pretty predictable
  • Having a map that zoomed in on the local area would be nice

Verdict: 8/10

Got this one in the January HB Monthly and quite enjoyed it. It sort of reminded me of Zelda Majora’s Mask (the last Zelda game I played way back when). Definitely recommend if you like adventure games, though the story is nothing special.


The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit

The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit

7/10
2 hours playtime
no achievements

Overall a well made game, but I found the story depressing. I’m curious how this will tie into LiS2.

Pros:

  • The music fits the feel of the game well
  • Well voice acted
  • Seems realistic from the point of view of a child
  • You find more background information on what’s going on as you explore

Cons:

  • Depressing no matter what you do

Verdict: 7/10

Well made, but again I don’t like depressing games. It worries me for LiS 2, I really hope it’s not only depressing. Guess I’ll find out sometime soon since I picked it up in the winter sale.


Deponia Doomsday

Deponia Doomsday

7/10
7 hours playtime

Similar to the previous 3 games but feels a bit different. If you liked them you’ll like it, but don’t expect any improvements.

Pros:

  • Somewhat interesting story that’s not just a continuation of the original trilogy
  • Humorous parts

Cons:

  • Still no hint system!
  • I found it too difficult to do without a walkthrough (though it’s no more difficult than the original games)
  • There aren’t any songs at the end of each chapter, just at the beginning and end. The chorus guys have been given electronic sound effects which sound ridiculous
  • There’s another pointless collectible achievement. I wouldn’t have noticed a single hat without using a guide.
  • Came across a bug near the end. If you find yourself unable to get across the bridge to the car, exit and restart the game and it’ll work fine

Verdict: 7/10

Goodbye Deponia

Goodbye Deponia

7/10
7 hours playtime

If you liked the first two you’ll like this one. The biggest flaw is that it lacks a hint system. It can be fairly difficult and since there’s a lot of things you can do trial and error isn’t a great option when you’re stuck.

Pros:

  • The songs between acts continue to be marvellous
  • Voice acting continues to be good

Cons:

  • Quite difficult in parts
  • Desperately needs a hint system

Verdict: 7/10

I’m glad I’m done with this series. I picked up Goodbye Deponia last thing in the winter sale. Deponia Doomsday was an early SG win. I entered despite not having the other games because it was only second in the series, and it looked good enough to be worth picking up the first one. Then I won it and it turned out it was the fourth, not the second. I can only assume a crazy wizard waved his hands and reordered the games. Finally got and played the first three though so I could play Doomsday. It also fit for PAGYWOSG which was good.

Not sure if I’m going off P&C games or it was just that these games desperately needed a hint system, but I wasn’t really enjoying them at the end. They were difficult in parts and I don’t find getting frustrated fun, so I kept referring to walkthroughs and ended up using them for large portions of the games.


Recent Acquisitions

Not many games added this month… (oh dear)

December '19 Play Log & 2019 Summary

December 2019 Overall:

15%
22%
9%
44%
10%

December 2018 Overall:

7%
16%
14%
57%
6%

December 2019 SG:

23%
47%
2%
13%
16%

December 2018 SG:

13%
37%
7%
33%
10%

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you’re all enjoying any holidays you may have. Overall I think I’ve made decent progress on my backlog this year.
Sorry in advance for the super long post, I’ve been too busy to do a mid-month post.


Assassin's Creed Rogue

Assassin's Creed Rogue

4/10
15 hours playtime
no achievements

If you enjoyed Black Flag you may like this one as long as you don’t expect much. If you enjoyed Assassin’s Creed 2 & Brotherhood, are looking for an intriguing story of an assassin being seduced/tricked by the bad guys, or at least some new/improved game mechanics stay away, you will be very disappointed. It’s really unfortunate because the game does have at least some potential, but it rushes way too much and the writing is lazy rather than creative.

Pros:

  • Didn’t crash?

Cons:

  • Keeps the grindy naval warfare where you need to engage in naval battles to get enough resources to upgrade before you can proceed with the story
  • Instead of introducing you to an Assassin and telling you how he got there such that you can relate to him it’s just ‘You play as this guy. His name’s Shay’. Minor parts of his backstory are mentioned but you never learn enough to be able to relate to him they way you could with Ezio
  • Areas and characters are reused from Black Flag and III. I’m not inherently opposed to this, but they don’t take the time to explain well enough how it all fits together. For 90% of the game I was convinced it was because they couldn’t possibly fit together properly. It wasn’t until the very end they mentioned something and enough of it fell into place for me to see that it does have some potential to be a good story.
  • It feels like they’re just throwing a bunch of information at you rather than telling a story. Some of it’s relevant, some of it isn’t.
  • The out of Animus parts are a waste of time. There’s nothing interesting, no real story, just a random guy (you) being ordered about. Unlike with Desmond none of the characters are likeable, relatable, or even remotely interesting. It’s more filler than anything else; like they felt obligated to include some out of animus parts.
  • Gameplay wise, most of it is from other games and what little new things there is I didn’t really find useful.
  • There’s no fascinating story of being seduced/fooled by the Templars. As mentioned in other reviews, the assassin’s are jerks, and that’s pretty much all there is to it. Basically, the assassin’s are the bad guys and the Templars save the world, with no valid reason for why they’ve swapped places~.

Verdict: 4/10

Play of Pay pick. Overall I was disappointed with this game. It’s my own fault, I didn’t realize it was so similar to Black Flag. I was intrigued by the story, wondering how they’d go about convincing an Assassin to become a Templar. Lets just say the story writing was very lazy and leave it at that.


Mass Effect

Mass Effect

10/10
27 hours playtime
no achievements

Truly a masterpiece, and I now understand why this game is still played so many years after release. If there’s anyone who’s never played this and is a fan of FPS games, or heavily story based games, give this a try.

Pros:

  • Exceptionally well voice acted, including some recognizable voices
  • Graphics have aged well, and cutscenes are well animated
  • Well animated
  • Your actions/reactions/conversation choices in various situations can genuinely affect the story and how you’re perceived, and even small details such as news heard in elevators is influenced
  • The character customization is very good
  • The various classes allow you to play the game however you want. I chose infiltrator and the stealth/sniper route, but there’s nothing to stop you going in guns blazing. The various fights never felt like any class would be at a disadvantage

Cons:

  • Despite being nearly 30 hours long, it felt short. There’s plenty to explore and many side missions, but it felt like there weren’t too many main missions. That may simply be the ‘time flies when you’re having fun’ effect though.
  • My biggest complaint was driving the Mako. It was hard to control. Once I got used to that it was fun for a while, but it felt way too light and got air and dove off the (wrong) side of a mountain at the slightest bump. Driving it quickly became a chore
  • Again driving the Mako, you know about various signals/some debris on your map, and sometimes come across more that aren’t marked. Once discovered though they’re not always added to your big map, which caused confusion for me at least once.

Verdict: 10/10

Very long Play or Pay pick. Thanks to ninglor03 for making me finally play it. I absolutely loved it and am hoping to start the second one some point soon before I forget about the story too much.


Plantera

Plantera

1/10
20 hours playtime

Why does this game even exist? What’s the point?

Pros:

  • Sort of cute?

Cons:

  • You don’t need to do anything but click - and once you’ve got a few upgrades you don’t even have to do that, the game will play itself
  • No strategy, nothing, just click and wait
  • I highly recommend an auto clicker

Verdict: 1/10

Another PoP pick. Absolute garbage SG win from ages ago that I shouldn’t have entered for.

Farmington Tales

Farmington Tales

2 hours playtime
no achievements

Crappy game that doesn’t even know what it is. Part simple farming sim, part repetitive puzzle game, and part HOG, all wrapped in a boring story that drags on for way too long. If you like HOGs and don’t mind the same scenes over and over than you may be OK with it, but I’d recommend sticking to Artifex Mundi games.

Verdict: 2/10

See previous comment.


The Warlock of Firetop Mountain

The Warlock of Firetop Mountain

7/10
5 hours playtime

I had abandoned this one ages ago and finally got back to it. I’m too lazy to review it :P. It’s decent but figuring out the correct path to get to the Warlock requires redoing it a few times, and while you do have the option to take different paths (and different characters have different missions) I still found it a bit too repetitive for my taste. I ended up using a guide to pick the correct route to the top.


Broken Age

Broken Age

7/10
8 hours playtime

Decent little point and click with a reasonably interesting story. Nothing about it stuck out as particularly bad or good.

Pros:

  • Some cute characters
  • Some funny moments
  • Good voice acting

Cons:

  • I found some of the puzzles more difficult and ended up using a walkthrough for parts
  • Has a speedrun achievement

Verdict: 7/10

Decent point and click that had some laughs. I’ve come to the conclusion I’m getting sick of point and clicks though.


The Room Three

The Room Three

7/10
6 hours playtime

If you enjoyed the first two games you’ll like this well enough.

Pros:

  • It continues to be impressive how many intricately designed puzzles they can fit into one small box
  • Puzzles are a decent for the most part

Cons:

  • The puzzles required for the alternate ending are much more difficult in parts, and lack hints
  • Most of the time the hints appear much too fast, not taking into account the time to get to and explore a new area/part/etc before giving a hint
  • Some of the hints are useless (e.g. when locked in a room, ‘there must be a way out of here’. No ♥♥♥♥ Sherlock)
  • The hints don’t stay on screen long enough to read and process the longer hints
  • Navigating rooms continues to be annoying. A map for quick movement, or at least a way to quick move would be very good. It’s annoying when trying to go through a room but having to wait for the cutscene to finish. This is true of puzzles and backing out as well.

Verdict: 7/10

Picked this up during last years winter sale IIRC and finally played it. Decent, but I don’t think I’ll bother getting the next one. I did enjoy it but there are better games out there. Why buy one that I’ll likely give a 7/10 when there are plenty I’d enjoy more?


Recent Acquisitions


Goals Review

I didn’t manage to do as well on my goals as I’d hoped, but I’m still happy with my progress. I don’t think I’m going to do any specific goals this year as I found they sometimes prevented me from playing other games I wanted to, or doing challenges/themes/etc. I’m still trying to have less abandoned games and fewer wishlisted but unplayed games though.

70% beaten SG wins ratio: Achieved this one exactly! Sadly it’s the only one. Given that I’m winning fewer games these days (owing to only entering for ones I want) and play them for PoP and PAGYWOSG I’m not going to have this as a goal this year.

Max 30 40 Wishlist Unplayed games: So I ended the year with 48 game on this list, around the same number I started with, which is quite unfortunate. Not for lack of trying though, I played about 2 per month from that list. Guess I’ll have to work more on buying less games until I play the ones I have :P.

Much fewer abandoned games: 52 is far too many abandoned games considering most of them are good games, but it’s still better than the 66 I started last year with. I had decided mid-year that 55 was a realistic target, so I’m happy with my progress.

November '19 Play Log

I just added a bunch of people on Steam for Ninglor’s Secret Santa event, so I thought it’d be a good idea to remind everyone I still exist by actually posting an update :P. I may have gotten slightly addicted to No Man’s Sky, so I didn’t get much done in November. I put 61 hours into it last month, pushing it all the way up to my second most played game after Skyrim.


Whispering Willows

Whispering Willows

7/10
3 hours playtime

Pretty enjoyable side scrolling puzzle/adventure with a good story. I had to consult a walkthrough twice, but overall the difficulty is good.

Pros:

  • The story doesn’t whitewash and romanticize history
  • Good story
  • Puzzles are logical, and neither too challenging nor too easy

Cons:

  • The ending was anticlimactic
  • The controls could have been more responsive
  • Not being able to run inside is really annoying considering there is some back and forth (mainly when you’re not sure what to do next)

Verdict: 7/10

SG win played for PAGYWOSG. Pretty decent overall.


Bad Dream: Coma

Bad Dream: Coma

4/10
4 hours playtime

Play or pay pick & SG win. Forgot to review and I don’t remember enough for a proper steam review. Didn’t enjoy this one. The story (and thus achievements) change based on your choices and you can get a bad or good end. I kept getting stuck and having to refer to guides. There were some changes made after it had been out for a while though so the guides weren’t always helpful. I tried to get more of the achievements but ended up getting stuck and giving up since existing guides were not up to date.


Also played a few free games I had been meaning to try. Off-Peak was decent, it’s from the same developer as Norwood Suite. Marie’s Room was okay, nothing special. Blameless was crap.


Recent Acquisitions

October '19 Play Log II

Just managed to finish all of the games on my list for October. I’m getting really close to my goal of 70% beaten SG wins which I’m happy about.


Pony Island

Pony Island

7/10
3 hours playtime

Definitely an unusual game. I’m not good at platforming so I had quite a bit of trouble with the harder sections. They took away from the game for me, but overall I still enjoyed it.

Pros:

  • Unusual concept
  • Music is decent
  • Puzzles are neither too easy nor too hard

Cons:

  • I found the platforming sections quite difficult in the second half
  • Have to replay at least part of the game to get all achievements despite no replay value

Verdict: 7/10

This was on my wishlist for a while before I acquired it somehow. Pretty good but the platforming sections took away from it for me. Another example of an unusual concept that works quite well.


Quantum Break

Quantum Break

9/10
21 hours playtime

I highly recommend this game, particularly for people who enjoy games with story. Really great game both for people who are more interested in story than shooting, and for people who enjoy challenging gameplay. Replayabilitiy is mixed. At the end of each act there’s a choice you get to make that influences the story a bit. Making different choices is not hugely influential though. It has more of an effect on things like cutscenes and collectible emails/notes/etc than it does on gameplay. Doing another playthrough to see the effects was interesting, but ultimately not much different.

Pros:

  • Brilliant voice acting
  • Good actors for the ‘show’ that occurs between acts, including some I recognized
  • Really good story with some twists and emotional moments
  • I found all of the abilities useful in some various circumstances rather than just relying on one or two
  • The choice you get to make at the end of each act is really neat, and sometimes has you choosing between what’s right and what’s easy. Personally I really like those moral choices in games.
  • Finding or not finding some of the ‘ripples’ during the game can affect the show you see between acts, which is a neat addition.
  • I don’t typically play hard difficulty in games, but managed to for this one. It’s definitely a challenge but for the most part you don’t need superhuman reflexes to beat it like I find a lot of games require on the highest difficulty.
  • Potential for a sequel. Sadly there doesn’t seem to be anything in the works.

Cons:

  • Different choices you get to make have next to no effect on gameplay
  • I had one crash on my second playthrough
  • Be very careful around unstable objects. Somehow you can be caught and killed by an unstable sliding door when you’re still 10 feet away from it.
  • Sometimes when transitioning from cutscenes to gameplay you can’t control the character until you’re meant to, which is fine. Sometimes though you can move the camera a few millimetres until it snaps back, resulting in a weird stutter effect.
  • You can find optional collectible information in levels, but you can tell from cutscenes and conversations between characters that they are not aware of the information collected. This seems to be fairly common in games, and is understandable given the potential complexity of adjusting the story based on what was found and what wasn’t. I still find it immersion breaking though.
  • Very occasionally the camera & controls would go weird, almost like it was adjusting my view so that I’d notice something. The result was that I couldn’t control my character properly (both had trouble going straight and couldn’t see where I was going). This resulted in my death more than once.

Verdict: 9/10

Played for PoP. This one was also on my wishlist for a while before it was in a Humble Monthly. Thoroughly l enjoyed it and definitely recommend it to fans of either shooters or story based games. I actually played it through twice to get the remaining junction achievements. I think that’s the first game I’ve actually replayed (I pretty much speedran it though, skipping most of the cutscenes and collectibles). Sadly the different choices have very little impact, which is probably the game’s weakest point.


I am Bread

5 hours playtime, 16 of 35 achievements (45.71%)



I got near the end of this a while back and found it too difficult so I abandoned it. Managed to finish it now. I didn’t review this one because I really didn’t know how. It’s somewhat enjoyable but very difficult. It may seem vaguely similar to Human: Fall Flat in so far as you can grip using 4 corners of bread vs arms and legs. However, this game is much more difficult. Partly that’s because the levels are much more challenging, and partly it’s because you also have grip and cleanliness to worry about. The magic marmalade (which prevents dirtiness if you have too much trouble) is the only reason I managed to finish it. I still like the unusual concept and story snippets though. There’s a free roam mode but IIRC you need to beat the level on story mode first. Rampage and bagel race were much easier. Overall I think this game had potential but was simply too difficult to be enjoyable.


Nevermind

Nevermind

5/10
7 hours playtime

Experienced on Oculus Rift without biofeedback

Overall I had mixed feelings about this. The first two patients were quite interesting, the second two were not. Unfortunately there are too many flaws for me to recommend it. There’s definitely potential here though, and if the developers were willing to address the flaws this could become a very good game.

Pros:

  • Some parts can be scary due to the atmosphere
  • For the first 2 patients, as you go through their mindscape you learn more and more until the end when you can connect the dots. The stories keep you interested without being too obvious.
  • Potential to add new patients, expanding the game (though it doesn’t appear to be in active development anymore)
  • Voice acting was reasonably good
  • The advanced neuromapping collectibles unlock more memories, filling in the details in the remembered memory. Unfortunately this doesn’t add to the cutscene, just gives you a text blurb.

Cons:

  • The second two patients suppressed memories were obvious right from the beginning
  • Default VR graphics are horrible and made reading text difficult. Thankfully they can be improved.
  • The default walking speed is very slow. It made me avoid exploring the way I normally would until I increased it.
  • I wasn’t a fan of the ‘blink’ type effect used when turning
  • The advanced neuromapping shouldn’t require a second playthrough - all the things you need to find can be found on the base playthrough, so there’s no replay value whatsoever.
  • The cutscene had picture and text but did not show it in front of you, instead making it appear at a random point anywhere in 180 degrees, which was weird, confusing, and pointless
  • In menus you cannot point to an option with touch controllers to select it, instead you have to use the control stick. I very nearly dismissed this game as fundamentally broken in VR before I accidentally discovered this.

Verdict: 5/10

Old SG win played for PAGYWOSG. This was very disappointing because it had so much potential to be good, but too many things that took away from it. The first two patients are quite fun to play, and the tutorial isn’t even that bad, but I really didn’t like the last two. They were too predictable right from the beginning.


Recent Acquisitions

October '19 Play Log I

A few theme-fitting games this month for the first time in a while. I’m currently playing Nevermind in VR which fits the theme too. Hope everyone’s enjoying the fall while it lasts. I’m really not looking forward to winter (not that I ever do).


Rusty Lake Paradise

Rusty Lake Paradise

3/10
3 hours playtime

Apparently the Rusty Lake series is quite popular, but I don’t understand why. Personally I found it stupid. The puzzles never felt satisfying and the story fell flat.

Pros:

  • Some puzzles with OK difficulty
  • Easy to get all achievements, and you can reset individual chapters if you miss some in that chapter

Cons:

  • What passes for a story isn’t creepy or suspenseful so much as vaguely nonsensical and somewhat stupid
  • Most puzzles are either too easy or too hard
  • Several puzzles rely simply on trial and error, or memory

Verdict: 3/10

Got this in a Humble Bundle not long ago. Shouldn’t have kept it. Played it for the monthly theme, not that it fits (despite the tag). I really don’t understand why these games are well liked.


Dead Secret

Dead Secret

7/10
3 hours playtime

Experienced on Oculus Rift

First things first, I only recommend this if you’ll be playing it in VR. The atmosphere, while great in VR, doesn’t translate well to non-VR gameplay.
This game is a bit of a mixed bag. It has some flaws, but it does other things very well. There is room for improvement but overall it’s very good and quite scary. It relies mostly on atmosphere, but there are some surprises that’ll make you jump. I wouldn’t describe these as jumpscares though, as they’re not an enemy jumping out from behind a door yelling “BOOO!” type scares, but are more subtle. They wouldn’t make you jump in a non-VR game, but in VR the effect is more intense. For a while I chickened out and played out of VR, but ended up going back in. I don’t consider myself a horror fan, but I have played and enjoyed some games in the genre like Outlast and Rise of Insanity (VR).

Pros:

  • Mirrors actually have reflections in them, complete with accurately reflecting head movement, which is rare even out of VR
  • You actually have a body! Most (all?) first person VR games I play the character has no body when you look down, which I find immersion-breaking. In this game you actually have a body. It’s not done perfectly - I was sitting whereas the character was standing, and there were times when my view started clipping into the character, but it’s still an improvement over the standard invisible body.
  • You find documents, letters, newspaper clippings, etc, as you go that help you figure out what’s going on, give you background, and hint at what to do next.
  • Every so often your character stops to review what she knows, which is a good way of making sure you’re keeping up with what’s going on (which you wouldn’t if you ignore documents found).

Cons:

  • As previously mentioned, there were a few times when my POV was a bit inside of the character. Though this may not have been an issue if I were standing.
  • Poor voice acting. There are only a few voice-acted sections that serve to provide background and motivation for why your character is there, but the voice acting is very flat and lacks feeling.
  • At the very end of the game you can’t open your notes again. This is a particular problem given what you’re supposed to do.
  • After figuring everything out when you really stop and think about the story it starts to unravel a bit, in a ‘why would that person do that though?’ kind of way. Not a big deal since most people play this for the experience, just don’t think too deeply about it.
  • No rotation controls, it must be played in 360 degrees. In my small room sitting on a swivel chair this resulted in frequent wire tangles.
  • Touch controls seem to be designed for Vive. Not a big deal, but they could be improved for Oculus.
  • At the start of the game you can choose normal vs comfort mode, but it’s not clear what the difference is (teleportation based movement apparently) and you can’t change it later.

Verdict: 7/10

Recent SG win that fits the monthly theme. Quite good in VR, but I don’t think it was worth the dev’s time to create a non-VR version. Had some nice features like working mirrors and a body you can see why you look down. Quite scary too, I nearly chickened out. There was one part where I was underground and it emerged into what looked like the bottom of a well, so I looked up and saw a masked figure looking back at me. Really made me jump.


SUPERHOT

SUPERHOT

9/10
4 hours playtime

Very unique and definitely worth playing. Yes the story is short, but if that’s all you play then you’re missing a massive chunk of the game, so ignore the negative reviews that complain about the length.
I’ve beaten the campaign and played a few challenges, but haven’t tried endless mode. I’ll try and remember to update this when I eventually get to it.

Pros:

  • Unique concept that is very interesting, making it as much puzzle as shooter
  • Unique art style that works very well
  • The story is strange and enjoyable, and even extends into the main menu which is neat
  • Many challenges and an endless mode to play through once you’ve finished the story so there should be plenty of playtime
  • You can cut bullets with the Katana, though I find this difficult for some reason. I think I just haven’t gotten the hang of it though.
  • The story isn’t relevant to the gameplay. This could be perceived as a con, but it means if you abandon it for a while you won’t be very confused and tempted to restart when you come back.

Cons:

  • Being able to see the number of shots left in a gun would be very helpful, but I understand why they didn’t in order to keep the interface clean
  • The story mission is very hard. There are so many enemies that, while I managed to find a good pattern for the first half of the last phase, by the time I got to the second half I wasn’t consistent enough to find a pattern. I ended up beating it mostly by luck.

Verdict: 9/10

This one was from my unfinished list. I got it and played most of the way through it nearly 2 years ago, but got stuck on the last level. The story was quite short which resulted in a lot of negative reviews, but they all seem to be missing the fact that there is a huge number of challenges and an endless mode. HLTB time is 20 hours to complete so I really don’t think it’s overpriced by that much. I only finished the story for now, but I intend to come back to it and do more challenges and achievements later.


Prey

Prey

7.5/10
33 hours playtime

Absolutely phenomenal game. Much better than the vast majority of FPS games these days as it has both good combat and a genuinely amazing story. I’m really hoping there will be a sequel to this, and if there is I’ll be first in line to buy it. The biggest weakness is the number of issues - both crashes and glitches - which is unacceptable this long after release. If it wasn’t for that, I’d probably give it a 9/10.

One piece of advice: don’t look a lot into this and learn a lot about the game. If it looks good to you, just buy it. For one thing I somewhat over-hyped myself for it. For another, I suspect this is the sort of game where you’d really benefit enjoyment-wise from going in blind.

Pros:

  • Good weapon variety, and enemies have genuine strengths and weaknesses which are noticeable and will influence which weapon you use
  • I didn’t use stealth much, but from what I can tell the system is quite good
  • Has an actual explanation for upgrading and getting new powers/abilities
  • NPCs have noticeable reactions and feeling when you’re conversing with them
  • NPCs have backgrounds and between talking to them, the occasional side mission for them, and finding audio logs/emails/notes/etc, they have genuine personalities that you get to know
  • Excellent voice acting
  • Wide variety of side missions that can influence the main mission and how you play

Cons:

  • Long load times for transitions between areas, especially considering it was on an SSD
  • Crashes. There was one specific area that crashed when I tried it. Took four tries to get past it.
  • Multiple glitches, including ones that impacted side missions. Getting past one involved playing with the save files to reset an area. Some of these may be ‘you did something to make this side mission/etc impossible’, but I don’t think so. If that was the case it needs to be more obvious why it wasn’t possible.
  • As much as I like the Gloo gun, it could have been better. Specifically, under some circumstances it only formed a tiny gloo ball. I suspect that was due to me being too close to what I was shooting at, not sure though. Maybe if I’d upgraded the handling more it would have been better, but I’m not convinced.

Verdict: 7.5/10

This one was on my list for last month but I didn’t quite get through it. It’s an excellent game, but I couldn’t give it an excellent rating due to the number of bugs/glitches/crashes I came across. Personally I don’t think this is acceptable on release. It’s definitely not acceptable several years down the line. That said, I’d love to see a sequel. I also intend to come back for a typhoon playthrough at some point.


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