Tiajma’s profile

I’m not sure what sort of information most backlog assassins put here but here’s my attempt.

My backlog isn’t that substantial because–if SG is any indication of average game ownership rates– I don’t actually own that many games. Despite that, I still have a pretty pathetic percentage of my games played (and even fewer completed!) because my favorite game genre has the unfortunate habit of also being extremely re-playable. Rather than get to new games, therefore, I keep returning to old gems that I loved.

While SG has some groups to help tackle SG wins (like PA and PM), that’s not the area I need help with; I tend to play games I’ve won from other people pretty quickly because otherwise it feels like I am wasting someone else’s hard earned money. However, games which I have purchased often languish in my steam library, completely forgotten, for years. Hopefully, this lovely site will help motivate me to make progress on them all!


November 2020: Final Report

This was my first full month here on BALEO (I joined mid-way through October) and I am pretty happy with the progress that I made this month, although it was less than I was hoping to make. I beat/completed every game that I planned to except for Borderlands 2 where I made no progress at all. Hopefully, since I’ve added it to my PAGYWOSG list, I’ll actually get that beaten this month.

Resident Evil 3

27.2 hours, 32 of 32 achievements

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This is a controversial game which I know a lot of longtime RE fans were dissatisfied with. If you're a fan of the series, you've undoubtedly heard them all already. If you're new to the franchise, however, I'd urge you not to be discouraged by these complaints and give the game a try anyway. Even after 100% completing it (which took 5 replays), I still wanted to go back and play some more.

Here are the main fan complaints that I heard when reading reviews of RE3 Remake: (1) it wasn't faithful to the original RE3, (2) it wasn't faithful to the spirit of the RE franchise, and (3) it was short. To the first complaint, I admit that it certainly diverged more sharply from its original than the RE2 Remake or REmake did from their original games although the basic story and characters were the same. As to the second complaint, I've always interpreted this as a dissatisfaction with the change of focus in game play. The original games were very puzzle oriented which is not the experience you'll get with this game. RE3 plays much more like a traditional survival horror, an FPS with resource management following a linear storyline. It is a different play style than most RE games but still enjoyable. Finally, yes, the game is quite short. Speedruns can be easily done in around an hour and even a completionist run where you grab all the collectibles will only take a couple hours. But, it is also very re-playable. Personally, I did 5 runs (one on each of the 5 difficulty levels) and never got bored with the game. In fact, after getting that final achievement, I was left wanting to play some more. Once you hit nightmare mode, the locations of items and enemies change which adds some variety to the game even as the maps remain the same.

RE3 is probably not GOTY material but it is a fun and satisfying zombie-shooter that will entertain you for a fair few hours. Give it a try, especially if it is on sale.


Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons

3.7 hours, 12 of 12 achievements

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I wanted to like this game, I really did. I love games that emphasis the story and atmosphere rather than just the mechanics and this one seemed like it was a short and sweet narrative adventure, focused on the interpersonal relationship between characters. However, the mechanics of the game were overwhelmingly frustrating, the characters were too flat, and the imagery and music simply couldn't compensate for them.

Most glaringly, the controls were a nightmare. You are meant to control 2 brothers simultaneously but getting them to actually do what you want is an exercise in patience. Frequently, I had to make minute adjustments in order to get one of the brothers to realize they were standing in front of an interactible and, well, interact. They couldn't get far apart from one another, so even in situations where you only needed one or were trying to scope out a location, you always had to bring the second brother along.

Secondly, there is no dialogue in this game. Normally, that wouldn't be an issue. You don't need dialogue to create a compelling story. The characters speak in a made up language, however, and there are lengthy cut-scenes where you watch them speak nonsense at each other for WAY. TOO. LONG. For such a short game, even these couple minute long cut scenes seem agonizingly lengthy. I kept trying to figure out if there was a way to skip through them and return to gameplay as most of them weren't even effective at adding emotional depth to the story.

Overall, I'd skip it. There are no surprises in this game's story and most of the game alternates between being frustrating and being boring.


The Uncertain: Last Quiet Day

2.8 hours, 32 of 32 achievements

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Honestly, I have very little to say about this game. It is a short, simple game that mostly revolves around solving simple puzzles to advance a storyline about a robot society. It's not particularly challenging but keeps the player engaged through its short runtime. It ends on a cliffhanger, meant to set up the next chapter, which is intriguing enough that I wouldn't mind playing the sequel. Overall, not a bad way to spend a couple of hours. If you get it in a bundle, it's worth playing but I wouldn't go out of my way to try it.


The Town of Light

4.1 hours, 20 of 20 achievements

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I was disappointed in this game. It wasn't bad by any means, but the synopsis had me a lot more intrigued than was warranted. Essentially, the game tells the story of a young woman struggling with mental health issues during a time period where asylums were not a place you wanted to be sent (lobotomies, shock treatments, etc). It is basically a walking simulator where most of the environment looks identical and isn't worth interacting with. The story is fine, but no big twists or dramatic moments that get the player invested. I….don't think that it is supposed to be a scary game (or, if it was, it failed utterly) but the atmosphere was somewhat immersive at the beginning of gameplay (although it quickly became repetitive). It's games like this one that made me wish that Steam had a ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ emoji instead of just thumbs up or down.


Sunless Skies

64.0 hours, 20 of 31 achievements

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Back to the wacky, Lovecraftian, steampunk world of Fallen London =D This is the second full game based upon Failbetter Games' browser game "Fallen London," following up on Sunless Seas. If you're familiar with either of Failbetter's previous entries into the series, then Sunless Skies will be no surprise. The same basic game mechanics, the same unusual world and cast of characters, a similar set of stories. Skies, however, is a marked improvement over its immediate predecessor. Rather than one enormous map, Skies is divided into 4 smaller ones of increasing difficulty. This makes your early trips where you are gathering resources, port reports, and quests much less likely to end in your captain's brutal death. Skies also eases in newcomers to the series more gently with variable difficulty settings (e.g. how fast you consume supplies, how well you/your enemies aim their weapons, whether you can reload your last autosave if you die or whether it automatically passes on to the next captain of your lineage).

All this isn't to say there aren't deadly dull moments. Skies does still suffer from the same problem Seas did-- lengthy sailing between where you are and where you need to get with nothing to break up the monotony. Fortunately, this usually only occurs when you've nearly completed an entire map and are ready to unlock the next area. Once you're in the new area, new questlines might have you retrace your steps but the purpose behind these trips keep them much more interesting. The other main issue only applies to newcomers: Skies is not particularly friendly to people unfamiliar with the lore. If you've never played the browser game in particular, you'll likely be confused as to who this odd cast of characters is and where on earth you actually are. This doesn't prevent the game from being enjoyable (I wouldn't think) but may send you to the wiki to look up some lore =D

I'm still planning to keep playing this game until I 100% complete it. Since that requires completing all 4 ambitions, however, it will likely take me a while yet. Looking forward to it though!


Pinstripe

5.2 hours, 7 of 12 achievements

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This game was so much better than I was anticipating. The voice acting is astonishingly good considering how small a production it was to make it. The graphics were striking, unusual, and accompanied by a very fitting soundtrack. Overall, this was an example of excellent storytelling, even if the story itself doesn't actually break any new ground.

One problem: the achievements are buggy. This should be marked "complete" but several of the achievements just wouldn't pop for some reason. Some I could get to register by verifying my game files. Others popped soon after starting a new game. But several just refused to ever register. If you love achievement hunting, you might want to give this game a pass until it gets sorted.


Plan for December

I’m not entirely sure what I want to complete for December, outside of my PAGYWOSG picks and continuing to make progress on 100% Sunless Skies. I’ll probably post an updated goal in a few days or a week from now. In the meantime, however, here’s my current goals:

Final October Report

So my first month (well, half a month) on BLAEO has come to a close, and I am pretty happy with the progress that I made. I played 10 games on Steam since joining this site midway through the month: 6 completed, 2 beaten, and 2 still unfinished. Of the two unfinished games, RE3 I intend to continue to play in November and hopefully complete. Styx, on the other hand, is still taxing my patience. I really only enjoy playing it for 30 minutes to an hour at a time which is not particuarly conducive to finishing it. My current goal there is to complete it by the end of 2020.

Games Completed Since Last Post

Republique

22.0 hours, 26 of 26 achievements

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I really enjoyed this game, much more than I was expecting to since I knew it was a port from a mobile game. But it was an excellent take on the stealth genre. Interestingly, the player controls both a disembodied hacker (capable of manipulating cameras, hacking doors, etc) and the main character who you must direct about the map. Despite how strange that may sound, the gameplay flows easily. The story was quite robust with an interesting cast of characters (of which the PC is likely the weakest link) and the voice acting was top notch with some very prominent voice actors lending their talent to the project.

There was some glitchiness when the game (likely trying to help people playing on a mobile device) would automatically jump cameras at inopportune moments. Otherwise, the game ran smoothly and adapted well to PC controls. My only other main complaint was the ending (isn't that so often the case?) which I felt was underwhelming.


Deadlight

5.8 hours, 30 of 31 achievements

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My overall impression of this zombie-platformer is "meh." It was short and sweet, with a platforming system that wasn't overly difficult but on the occasions that it challenged me, it didn't feel unfair. I got better at timing jumps and transitioning between motions as the game went on, so any early hiccups were down to my failures and not level design. The graphics were fine and collectibles weren't overly difficult to collect for the avid achievement hunters out there.

Now onto the negatives. The story was utterly forgettable. Admittedly, I clicked through most of the later cutscenes, but that was because I was bored with the story line within minutes of the game beginning. There are zombies trying to kill you and I think your family is missing? Wouldn't swear to it but that was my general impression. I also experienced some problems with the audio; the sound cut in and out so I was frequently playing in dead silence. Eventually, I removed my headphones and played on without any music or sound effects.

A decent game to waste a few hours with, but nothing spectacular. I'll likely reinstall it at some point for the final achievement but it requires playing the game without autosaves (the only type of saves this game permits) which means perma-death. I tried it once and died after I'd made a significant amount of progress and didn't feel up to replaying that all over again so this is being added to my "come back and complete for achievements later" list here on BLAEO =D


Stories: The Path of Destinies

21.4 hours, 37 of 37 achievements

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This is a game that I had won on SG and mostly completed except for the last few pesky achievements. I went back this month to 100% it.

Overall, I really enjoyed this game. It's a quirky choose-your-own adventure type action game in a colorful world inhabited by anthropomorphic animals. The controls are easy to grasp since you mostly rely on your mouse for movement and attacks. There were only 2 keys I remember pressing regularly on the keyboard: CTRL and Alt. The gameplay mostly consists of your beating up hordes of enemies with your sword and getting XP based on how well you do so which are then spent in traditional RPG fashion to gain skills for your character.

There are two main gimmicks: 1) the narrator and 2) the replayability. The narrator is a wry and witty individual who is narrating all the actions you take. The humor of this voiceover provides a lot of the enjoyment as he mocks you for your actions and poor decisions. The game's second gimmick centers on the fact your character obtained a book which can plot out all potential futures. You keep replaying the game (i.e. rereading the book) and try to take different actions to uncover 4 "truths" and then reach the "true" ending.

If you aren't an achievement hunter, I readily recommend this game. It is a lot of fun to play for 5-6 hours; the humor stays fresh and--depending on your choices-- you can still be seeing a lot of new content. It is totally possible to beat the game and get the true ending in that amount of time. However, there are 24 possible stories to uncover + 1 true ending. And finding every single story isn't enough to max your XP and get the final achievement, so you have to grind after the game is completed if you want to 100% the game. Unfortunately, while a lot of the cutscenes can be skipped once you've watched them once, there's a fair amount of dialogue that is unskippable. This is very dull as you repeat basically the same storyline with a minor variation to get the different ending.


Games Previously Reviewed

Plan for November

I have fairly lofty goals for November; let's see how well I actually get to them! At the end of October, I started playing the RE:3 Remake which I hope to complete this month. I have 5 other games I want to beat and I'd like to make more progress with Borderlands 2. Here's my game plan for November then:

First Post on Backlog Assassin!

Hello, my fellow assassins! I’ve been planning to join you fine people for quite some time now, but somehow just kept putting it off. I’m sure that bodes well for my success here ;-)

Question for longtime members

Before I get to the state of my backlog, I had a quick question for any more experienced member of this site. I recently won a game bundle on SG with two games included. I already owned the first game and therefore got permission from the giveaway creator to enter only for the sequel. Naturally, SG registers me as having won both the first and second games since they are both included in the bundle, and this site likewise categorizes both as a win. Normally, this wouldn’t bother me since I liked and played both games. However, I first played the original game on a friend’s account and then purchased a copy on my own account to play fan made mods, rather than replay the main story. I therefore have no achievements and my playtime is low. Because I try to at least beat all my SG wins (and complete them if possible), it bothers me that this “unbeaten” game is showing up automatically under my SG wins category here. It’s not a big deal and I suppose I could just replay it, but if there is anything the site allows to deal with this type of situation, I’d appreciate the head’s up!

October’s Status Update

I have completed 3 games this month, beaten 2, and am working on 1 more.

Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs

5.6 hours, 7 of 7 achievements

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I won this game on SG a couple of days ago and promptly completed it. It is the sequel to the cult classic "Amnesia: the Dark Descent." While it is recognizably an Amnesia game, they have changed a lot of the gameplay elements. They've removed the sanity meter and your light source is no longer limited. Monsters are much more scarce than in the original, and many of the ones you see are purely for the atmosphere and pose no danger to the player character. That being said, I still really enjoyed it. It still manged to create that quintessential Amnesia dread, as you explore through various notes and messages to uncover the story. The plot is fairly predictable but that doesn't detract from the ambiance.

It may not have been as well reviewed as the original, but in some ways I actually enjoyed "A Machine for Pigs" more.


Moons of Madness

7.1 hours, 23 of 23 achievements

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I got this game for free from the developer by playing one of their other games "Cyrano Story." It's a relatively short walking simulator that concerns Cthulhu lore. There was nothing groundbreaking here: the story was enjoyable but predictable, the music and graphics were fine but not spectacular, the game play was easy to master but not innovative. The main weak spot was the dialogue--both the voice acting which was occasionally weak and the dialogue which was repetitive and often misjudged. I'd recommend it on sale as a pleasant way to spend a few hours, but have no interest in revisiting it. For horror fans hoping to get some scares, Moons of Madness will disappoint. It was at best suspenseful but honestly rarely reached even that.

Plus side: achievements were virtually unmissable.


Kathy Rain

3.8 hours, 20 of 20 achievements

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I no longer remember when or where I got this game (except it wasn't from SG or any other giveaway site), but I found it in my backlog and decided to give it a try. It is a fairly simple point-and-click mystery adventure, with some supernatural elements introduced part way through. The voice acting was surprisingly good and while the graphics style isn't my personal favorite, it has a kind of pleasing charm. Easy to get 100% achievements, and the story was intriguing enough to keep players engaged. The ending was a bit weak, but nothing that ruined the game for me.


Overlord II

24.2 hours, no achievements

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I won this game on SG recently. It doesn't have any achievements on the PC version, but I tried to play as complete a run as possible (upgrading all my equipment, exploring all areas, etc). I had played the original game, so I was eager to try this sequel. It plays very much like its predecessor, similar combat mechanics and likewise very little plot. It's a bit of mindless fun although the repetitive nature of the gameplay makes completing it in multiple sessions a necessity.


Batman: Arkham Asylum GOTY Edition

28.0 hours, 34 of 47 achievements

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I won this game on SG a few months ago and was playing it until my personal life temporarily got in the way. I cam back to it this month and beat it. I really enjoyed it, despite having little more than passing knowledge of the IP its based upon. I want to come back and 100% it some day, but as it would require an entire new playthrough in addition to several challenge mode maps, I don't anticipate coming back to it in the near future.


Styx: Master of Shadows

7.8 hours, 10 of 33 achievements

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Still working on completing this game. I am set on 100% completing it, but it has been a bit of a slog to get through. I really like stealth games in general (I played both Dishonored games with very few breaks) but for some reason this one just isn't clicking the same way. It is enjoyable in small bursts but becomes overly repetitive quickly.

I am aiming to complete this game before the end of the month, but that may be overly optimistic.