Parallax Tovstonoh’s profile

I am a huge fan of turn-based strategies and turn-based tactics games since Heroes of Might and Magic III (1999) and Space Rangers (2002). I am also an avid Rocket League player, though it is the only multiplayer game I enjoy. My other points of interest in gaming include action/RPGs, Metroidvanias (like Hollow Knight, Ori and the Blind Forest etc), roguelikes, top-down shooters, and games with compelling stories.

When I don’t play games in my free time, I am probably birdwatching or traveling with my wife & daughter.


Merry Christmas! Backlog assassination report - Dec 2020

First of all, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, guys! This month, I was mostly busy with Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. It is such a great antistress game - I was practically chilling while playing it. Also, I am stoked with the 2020 Steam Winter Sale. Not because of the sale itself, though. As a birdwatcher and a bird photographer, I can’t tell you enough how I appreciate the new stickers - my face immediately lit up when I opened my first sticker and saw this beautiful woodpecker in its place. For what it’s worth, I also look out for games related to birds in my Steam group called The Birdwatchers’ Cabin, but there’s no one there except me, my wife’s brother, and my friend.

Anyway, my accomplishments:

Half-Life 2

Headlander

5/5
10.2 hours
31 of 31 achievements

It's a wonderful little Metroidvania from Double Fine with lots of silly moments and weird mechanics. I enjoyed its art style and humor more than anything else; the gameplay was fluid too. Additional likes for easy collectibles and not including stupidly hard achievements with speedrun or no damage requirements. In my opinion, there is simply nothing to dislike about this game. Maybe the generic story, if you are picky about it.

My Headlander review on Steam.

Half-Life 2
Challenge me event

The First Tree

3/5
3.4 hours
14 of 14 achievements

Simply beautiful! I didn't like the collectibles and the save system, though. Played it with a walkthrough to enjoy the story (it's a good one) and not investing too much time walking around to gather some stars.

Half-Life 2
Challenge me event

Scribblenauts Unlimited

4/5
14.2 hours
25 of 25 achievements

I played this game with my 3 y.o. daughter for two weeks. She liked the idea behind the game very much, so she was waiting patiently to play it together in the evenings. I really appreciate family-friendly games like this - there are too few of them.

Half-Life 2

Middle-earth™: Shadow of Mordor™

5/5
47.8 hours
74 of 74 achievements

Middle-earth has been my guilty pleasure this month. To clarify, I haven't read Tolkien's books and haven't watched Peter Jackson films to this day - I can't even say why. I didn't like fantasy when I was younger, and I don't have enough courage to start investing myself in this huge world now. Anyhow, I liked the game very much! Slaying orcs gave me the opportunity to vent my accumulated anger in a peaceful manner. I even managed to complete some rare achievements before the game's server shutdown planned for December 31, 2020.

Just look at this screenshot - I was literally screaming when I looked at the final time.

Half-Life 2

140

2/5
3.5 hours
5 of 8 achievements

I couldn't appreciate this rhythm platformer with very positive reviews despite the fact that I actually like rhythm games (Crypt of the NecroDancer, for one.) It's overly contrast, simplistic, and unforgivable if you're not a musician with an internal metronome. I struggled with bosses and mirror levels way more than I enjoyed it.

Concluding this post, I am currently at 45% games never played - there were several additions to my library, so no overall progress. Thanks for reading. Wish you all peaceful holidays.

23% (37/159)
6% (9/159)
13% (21/159)
45% (71/159)
13% (21/159)

Being productive. Backlog assassination report - Nov 2020

Last month, I said it will take me year to climb down from 67% games never played to 50%. As a matter of fact, I have done it in a month, although I have cheated a little by deleting some games that I consider as not worth keeping; I have also marked some others as won’t play, because they have no story (these are mostly grand strategies by Paradox Interactive and tabletop games by Asmodee Digital that I would like to keep). Lastly, I have played and completed a great bunch of games, so it safe to say that this month has already been very productive for me.

My accomplishments:

Half-Life 2
SG win

AVICII Invector

5/5
8.4 hours
24 of 24 achievements

Awesome rhythm game! I didn't know much about AVICII before it, as I listen mostly metal, but I have to say that his songs are very sweet. The game itself is flawless, with multiple levels of difficulty, reasonable controls, and beautiful visuals.

Half-Life 2

GRIS

5/5
6.7 hours
17 of 17 achievements

This game is something else. The art, the music, the story…so much passion here. I think GRIS deserves a place in a museum of modern art instead of those weird things they usually showcase.

My GRIS review on Steam.

Half-Life 2

Kathy Rain

3/5
4.9 hours
20 of 20 achievements

Amusing take on old-school point-and-clicks and David Lynch. Straightforward, imitative, but still an interesting game to click through the whole story.

My Kathy Rain review on Steam.

Half-Life 2

Toybox Turbos

3/5
5 hours
16 of 16 achievements

I remember the days when Micro Machines, R.C. Pro-Am, Eliminator Boat Duel where my favorite games to play. I thought Toybox Turbos might give me some nostalgia but…it failed. It's too short, easy and generic to be something more than a snack for one evening. Codemasters release these racing games like they are selling hot dogs, without putting much love into it.

Half-Life 2

Life is Strange: Before the Storm

5/5
14.1 hours
34 of 34 achievements

I love the first game in the series very much. I knew I should play this one as it might add more depth to the characters, and I was not disappointed. The backtalk challenges were a lot of fun! Overall, this is a pretty neat prequel for an already beautiful story.

Half-Life 2

RiME

4/5
9.0 hours
31 of 31 achievements

Wow, such a beautiful yet harrowing game! I wasn't ready for this. Visuals are stunning, puzzles are okay, collectibles are all over the place, and the plot twist…well, I should have known.

Half-Life 2
SG win

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat

4/5
21.8 hours
no achievements

I have played it a couple times before, but I have decided to play it again as I have won it on SG this month. I speak Russian, so I played it in Russian, which is the best way to experience it (it has a very good voice acting in Russian). This game is strange. It has this mystic atmosphere that draws you in despite all the clunkiness. There are many weird places to explore and clever quests to complete. However, there are no women in it, no old people, no kids, no diversity at all. I didn't think about it much back when it was released, and now I understand how it speaks volumes about my home country - Ukraine - in general. Anyway, the game is fun to play and it has aged incredibly well (minus the lags when you enter areas with multiple NPCs).

Half-Life 2

Neo Cab

5/5
8.7 hours
18 of 18 achievements

Our fellow assassin Lengray gifted it to me so I could try some decent visual novel, and it happened to be a very pleasant experience! I'm stunned by how good the story is, filled with many topics that I find interesting and thought-provoking. Very memorable game.

My Neo Cab review on Steam.

Concluding this post, I am currently at 46% games never played. Thanks for reading.

21% (33/154)
5% (8/154)
14% (22/154)
46% (71/154)
13% (20/154)

Oct 2020 Encore (Halloween Edition)

Happy Halloween! I managed to beat one more game this month. It is Raw Fury’s Uurnog Uurnlimited, a bizarre puzzle-platformer that reminds me of Starbound for some reason. I loved it! And a bonus point for not having any achievements at all - I almost forgot the feeling of simply beating a game without the necessity of making weird or ‘smart’ decisions in the process, speed runs, new games+ etc.

7.0 hours
None
Played on Steam


Hey, guys! First post here. Backlog assassination report - Oct 2020

I do not know how do you do all those beautiful infographic posts with simple markdown syntax, and I cannot find any guide on the site or in the Steam group, so I will be making it old-school.

In my first month at BLAEO and PAGYWOSG, I completed 3 games in total: INSIDE, Mother Russia Bleeds, and Vampire: The Masquerade - Coteries of New York (a recent win on SG). One game, Vampyr, is in progress, but I have doubts I will complete it in time. I tend to play FPS & action games reaaaally slow, and, to be honest, I do not like them much.

INSIDE

INSIDE

5/5
5.3 hours
14 of 14 achievements

INSIDE is a masterpiece. I played it before on a tablet, and this time I went purposefully for all achievements. There is so much story told without a single word! The 'true ending' is deep and satisfying. All in all, I enjoyed this game a lot.

Mother Russia Bleeds

Mother Russia Bleeds

4/5
21.7 hours
33 of 33 achievements

Mother Russia Bleeds is a straightforward beat 'em up with cool art and a strong soundtrack (well, as always with Devolver Digital). Requires skill and a second player to get some achievements (my wife's brother helped me). It was fun but somewhat tedious to beat the same levels, again and again, just to get some of those ridiculous achievements. Sigh.

Vampire: The Masquerade - Coteries of New York
SG win

Vampire: The Masquerade - Coteries of New York

4/5
15.5 hours
28 of 28 achievements

I do not like visual novels at all (I even have them filtered out on Steam, lol) but as an old fan of Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines I had to try my luck with Vampire: The Masquerade - Coteries of New York. To my surprise, I enjoyed the experience quite a lot - it stays true to the World of Darkness and has a decent story overall. Yet another great game made in Poland!

Concluding this post, I am currently at 67% games never played, and with my crawling pace and completionism, it will surely take me years to reach the 50% mark even with my relatively small number of games. Long road ahead.

16% (26/159)
3% (5/159)
14% (22/159)
67% (106/159)