Traqie’s profile

I’ll play almost anything. Achievement hunter. Favorite genres: FPS, RTS, Horror games.

AStats profile
Backloggery profile

LISTS:

Currently playing - self-explanatory
On hold - Games that I took a break from OR I haven’t 100% yet due to lack of partner, date specific achievs or for some other reason.
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Dear PoP picker - Ignore “to complete” lists and just look at “to beat”. Some games didn’t had times on HLTB so I assigned them based on astats polls or just feeling ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Short = 0-8 hours to beat (main story) or complete (100% achievements)
Medium = 8-15 hours to beat (main story) or complete (100% achievements)
Long = 15-25 hours to beat (main story) and complete (100% achievements)
Very Long = >25 hours to beat (main story) and complete (100% achievements)

Times taken from HowLongToBeat.com


18th January 2021

2020 Wrap up

Hey hey hey people,
Here are the reviews and below, summary of my 2020 gaming and plans for 2021. This year already started horribly but I hope things will improve soon… But whatever

17.1 hours
RATING - 7/10
Played on Steam

02 – A New Day
05 – Live Station
09 – End of the Road

Weird game. I think this game won’t give you a lot of answers as to what’s happening or what a lot of NPCs talk about unless you read one specific book by Strugacki brothers. And the game only references these two late in-game, there’s no mention of them on store page or anywhere else. I wasn’t really sure what was going on until I reached one city with a giant statue of Strugacki and then it kinda clicked with me that this set in a world of “Roadside Picnic”, at least that’s my interpretation, keep in mind I only read 3 books by them, one of them being Roadside Picnic. But it fits in my mind. What happens here is there is a second visitation but this time it’s gonna wipe out humanity.

The game starts with your guy fully equipped, quickly teaching you all mechanics of surviving outside the train and making you jump into a hole filled with so many enemies it’s impossible to survive. You wake up. Ahh, just another sunny day, time to go to work. We play as a train driver and we are assigned to a new, experimental locomotive. With us is a co-worker and your first passenger in the game. This is an element of game that I really like but I feel is really underdeveloped :( As you travel through the country in your locomotive, you’ll meet survivors and they’ll join you on train if you talk to them. Moving between cities and other locations, you will need to maintain your train which means doing small mini-games. If something that requires your attention happens in passengers cart, you’ll get to hear the people you took discuss recent events, their theories, learn a bit about the story that way. Unfortunately if you leave passenger cart you can’t see what they’re saying. This is on purpose I guess, the devs aren’t very open about the story as you may have guessed from the beginning.

Passengers require your attention too. They’ll get hungry and if they start starving, they’ll lose health. You’ll also pick up few passengers in bad health and they will constantly need medkits, luckily you can craft those on your train, you can also craft ammo for your pistol and shotgun. Food on other hand, you need to look for it when scavenging and for cash and crafting materials. You get to spend cash in some of the cities that are still safe to buy medkits, food, ammo, upgrades for your guns. Upgrades are barely helpful, like I bought laser pointer for my pistol but it’s barely visible during the day and it was useless like half of time. In those cities you also drop off the passengers and you get rewards for every passenger, some give you cash, some ammo & cash, one got me an upgrade for my shotgun and some ammo. It’s the only reason to keep them alive because otherwise they’re just leeching supplies. I really wish there was more to this system, like maybe let us take them on scavenging, turn the train into a more complex hub? You even get information what profession someone had but it doesn’t matter in the end, it feels to me like devs had same idea but maybe no time to do it?

Scavenging happens between all that and as I mentioned, you need to look for food, medkits and money. Also, everytime you arrive to new location you are locked in and need a code to unlock your train, so you can’t leave until you find it. Codes are usually located somewhere at the end of level. Usually you go left or right and return to direction you arrived from, but the game makes you take path underground, so you don’t see the same stuff.




Enemies are zombified humans, very basic and they all have a single attack. Standard enemy is slow and you can outrun them, sometimes you’ll meet zombified police or soldier, they have riot helmets that need to be knocked off and then you can shoot them, they’re the only enemy variant that can’t be killed with melee. Zombified children are very fast and I think they hit you harder. Big guys are slightly tougher, but that’s it. Last one is a standard zombie on fire, but if you hit it, it starts to run really fast and explodes after few seconds. Weirdly the DLC adds two types of enemies that are not present here, even though DLC happens at almost exactly same time as main game. And btw, except the zombies in riot gear, you can pretty much stun-lock any enemy by using melee, it’s possible to finish almost every level with never firing a single bullet (there’s an achievement for finishing one). Even the riot gear zombie can be killed without bullets, but you need an object to throw at them, sometimes you find TV’s etc to throw, there also explosive barrels, but obviously don’t stand too close to enemy when you throw them.

I really like atmosphere in this game, soundtrack really sells it. There are also strange things happening, weird visions and characters, the ending is very strange too. Simplistic gameplay and underdeveloped passenger system drag it down though :( I think this could have been so much better!


The Final Station - The Only Traitor

The Final Station - The Only Traitor DLC

6/10
1 hours
23 of 23 achievements

01 – Gridlines
22 - Dead End

This is 1 hour long if you beat it once and ignore the achievements mind you. I spent like 10 hours on this DLC to 100%. That’s because in this DLC, we drive a car between scavenging and you only have one passenger and you will meet a lot of different survivors but can always take one with you. To 100% you need to reach last level with each survivor and once completely alone. My rating is also based on just one playthrough. If you are about to play it, I recommend this guide to save yourself some time.

We play as seemingly another survivor we met in base game, but our guy was little paranoid and expected another visitation. We have a sports car in a good condition, we just need to gather food, water and medkit from our apartment block and ready to go. You only have a baseball bat and find a gun later on (it’s revealed in base game via passenger that guns were banned nation-wide, hence our paranoid guy only has a baseball bat). Scavenging is almost identical, but this time you cannot leave until you find bottled water, food and a medkit. But on some levels they are found pretty early on, on some you need to traverse like 90% of the level. You only get to spend your money at two spots and you can only buy more medkits or ammo, no weapon upgrades this time. Also your passenger is responsible for crafting and when you find someone you get information about their crafting and healing skills. Yeah they can also heal you while traveling so you save a medkit. Depending on their skill, it can be 20hp to a whooping 80hp, almost a full heal.

Each passenger gives you some information, more or less useful. So if you want to find out about story as much as possible, you will want to play it with having every passenger at least once. But prepare for boredom because you will see same level +10 times. I would recommend a youtube video instead if you don’t care about achievements.

You will find out a little more about story and the world regardless of what passenger you find. It answers some small questions, but I think it also raises more than it answers. And you will only find out about why “The Only Traitor” is a traitor if you take a specific passenger who seems to have some inside information.

There are two more enemy types never seen in base game. One that spits green goo at you, has no melee attack so will run away from you if you get close and if you time it, you can block his spit with your baseball swing. Another one that seems to have a small head, big body but once you hit him he enlarges and attacks really fast. I also feel like they changed something and you cannot stun-lock enemies so easily as in base game, I would sometimes die because they somehow broke from it. Oh and now there are human enemies too! They are members of some cult that was sometimes mentioned in base game but we never saw them, but turns out they play a pretty big role in all of this.

Ok DLC, but achievement hunters prepare some podcasts or albums to listen while you 100% this.

Half-Life 2

Stories Untold

+7/10
2.7 hours
13 of 13 achievements

A short, episodic genre mashup that was the biggest surprise in this batch.

“Stories Untold” consists of 4 episodes, at first seemingly unrelated, and each plays very differently. In the first episode you play a text adventure game similar to something like Zork. Second stars you in some kind of experiment, where a scientist tells you what to do via speaker and you have to look up manual on the terminal to fulfil his instructions. Third episode, my favorite, again puts in you in a desk in front of a terminal in some kind of arctic station. You are again given instructions via speaker but this time you’re putting on coordinates into the terminal. The last episode combines all previous episodes to reveal how all of it is connected and what’s the story about.

Sounds kinda boring huh, just sitting and staring at terminals? But this game has great atmosphere, some genuinely spooky moments. The first episode Is set what looks like an abandoned house and in the adventure game you visit an old family house. Second has some kind of alien artifact and later on it turns into text adventure again but this time it’s not really a game. Episode 3 has you typing coordinates for perhaps? maybe? nuclear strikes, there is something or someone outside and you crew mates in other stations start to disappear one by one. It seems to pull a little from different horror/thriller genres. Spooky houses, aliens, secret military facilities, but the true meaning behind it is just a sad human story. I enjoyed this one quite a lot despite simple gameplay.

Half-Life 2

Maize

+1/10
3.0 hours
no achievements

Easily the worst game I played this year. This “comedic” adventure is an unoptimized garbage walking sim with very simple puzzles thrown for the player to do something else than constantly walking.

I don’t have the newest PC but I am close to recommended specs and way above the minimum. Yet everytime the game took me outside, it was impossible to have 60fps even on minimum settings. It’s not as bad when It takes you underground, there I could switch to high settings and have it run decently for the most part. It also launches very slowly, I had it installed on my SSD and yet it takes 12-15 seconds before I got to main menu, this is IMO pretty slow for an SSD, comparing it to Destiny 2 or CS:GO where they take 5-7 seconds for me to launch.

The gameplay – you walk, you sometimes listen to characters or watch cutscenes that progress the story and sometimes a game throws a simple puzzle at you. The puzzles don’t make the most sense (it’s part of the humor, you see!) but they generally require you to find some items that are near you.

Gameplay is very simple and this game is all about the humor and the setting. As you can guess, I hated it, the only satisfaction I got was from ending because it was finally over and something funny actually happened, but I won’t spoil it. I highly recommend you find some no commentary gameplay or let’s play on YT, watch the first 20-30 minutes and decide if you like this type of humor. I hated it. But someone on my friend list reviewed it and gave it 10/10 and said this is the most hilarious game they have played and it has very positive reviews on steam, so you really have to see for yourself if this is your type of game.

Plus for being short.


HAHAHAHAHA XDDD

Half-Life 2

Project Warlock

7/10
7.6 hours
20 of 20 achievements

Decent boomer shooter. Though I had slightly higher expectations.

This game is a love letter to old FPS-es like Heretic, Hexen, Blood, DOOM etc. There are plenty references to each game mentioned and more, from weapons to enemies and so on. There are good references to movies and books too, like Antarctica level that has enemies from H.P. Lovecraft “In the mountains of madness” and one enemy that’s similar to alien from John Carpenter’s “The Thing”.

Game is split into 5 worlds, each different thematically and enemy wise. Enemies generally serve one role and you’re supposed to prioritize which to kill first but I find that even on hard difficulty (my first playthrough) it didn’t really matter. You want to kill enemies that charge at you first and then it didn’t matter. There are no hit-scan enemies here except the industrial level if I remember correctly, so just focus on moving around and shooting and you’ll be good.

Even on hard difficulty game starts to be pretty easy somewhere near the end of 2nd world. At least to me, if you pick a certain perk, which gives you HP boost and reduces all dmg received by 30%, it’s pretty difficult to die. And it seems like a very good idea to get it, since the game is actually hard at start. I had to be really good with dodging and keeping enemies at bay, because it was easy to die. But you level, get more points in HP and that one perk and it really changes.


D: They crucified Duke!



I do like the weapons and various upgrades that are available. There are over 12 weapons or so, and each can be upgraded once and you get two choices. For most it’s either “change its look and make it more powerful” or change it into something else. So for example you can turn pistol into either a magnum gun or a flare gun (like Caleb from Blood). Turn your uzi into akimbo uzi’s (Lo-Wang style) or into a nail-gun and the nails can ricochet of the walls. Change your axe into a bloodthirsty axe that heals you slightly when you kill something or soulstealer that gives you mana. Oh and speaking about mana, you can have spells that do various things, do massive damage, give defense boost, freeze enemies etc. The problem is you only start with a weak spell that gives you a magic torch for dark areas (but it’s useless, since everything is pretty well lit) and you only start getting interesting spells somewhere in 3nd world. And to add to that, you use upgrade points to unlock them after you find a spellbook, but you also need upgrade points for weapons. And so early in the game you have just two spells that don’t do much and I ask myself what’s the point in getting them. Later on you get better weapons and when finally some interesting and more expensive spells are on the table, I had dilemma whether to go for weapons or spells and I went all in on weapons. Was it a good choice? Well after I beated the game, I played around with them after enabling cheats and 2-3 of them are really fun and useful, the rest not so much. I would probably go for weapons again and 2 spells if I had to play again. So that whole system feels like a wasted opportunity to me.

Soundtrack is pretty good. It’s free on steam and it has OVER 100 TRACKS! Achievements are easy for most part, using cheats actually doesn’t block you from getting them, so you can easily get anything you missed on first run. Level design is ok, nothing spectacular. There’s some typical stuff happening from the era this game copies. E.g. there’s a pickup in middle with lots of pillars, you pick it up, pillars descend with enemies inside. If you never played these old FPSes you’ll learn pretty quickly where to expect a trap. There are key cards to be found and several buttons to press to progress further. And secrets, tons of secrets! If you just stick to walls and keep mashing “Use” key you’ll find like 90% of them. You can also see if there is a secret behind, walls with secrets have a slightly different look to them, different on every world.

Game is horribly optimized or something else is going on. For a pixel art game I had to set almost everything to low to get +60 FPS. Also if you watch the clip, it doesn’t look very smooth, like there are mini-stutters every now and then. That’s how it plays sometimes, especially on later levels it loved to do that, I don’t know why. Looking at steam discussion it seems a lot of people experience that and more often than me.

But in the end I enjoyed the game. It’s a good game but never goes beyond that. It often got me into the zone where I just mindlessly pushed forward, dodging and shooting and I like this type of experience. It was smooth for most time and problem less. I think I only got stuck two times.

Half-Life 2

Volume

7/10
11.2 hours
24 of 24 achievements

A second game by Mike Bithell, the mind behind “Thomas Was Alone”. This is a pretty big switch from his last game. For a start, we’re no longer in 2D, we are now playing in 3D! Secondly this isn’t a heartwarming story about overcoming obstacles and self-acceptance, but a stealth game set in a corrupted and fascist England.

The monarchy and the government are in pocket of one rich guy with kingly ambitions, everyone is corrupt and everything seems hopeless. This is where our guy steps in, a hacker who only has 2 hours or so left before police track him down. Using some kind of VR setup, we hack into various locations and steal information or currency? I’m not entirely what exactly I saw this whole time, but as you can tell by the rating, this game is quite enjoyable.

There are over 100 levels and half dozen gadgets to play with. When starting a level you don’t start with gadgets, you find them and each level is built with that gadgets in mind and you can always hold one. If a situation requires a different gadget, it’s always nearby waiting for you, so you always have the right tools in hand and it’s up to you to do things right.

There are also different type of enemies to deal with. Since this is a stealth game, you will obviously try to avoid them and the most damage you can do to them is stun them for few seconds with one gadget. Each type of enemy has its own vision cone and range. The basic enemy has a short cone around 45 degrees wide and runs as fast as you, so you can’t outrun it. Sniper can see ridiculously far but their vision is very very narrow and they move slow. If you get caught you have few seconds to save yourself, like I do in clip below.

When new gadget, enemy or mechanic is introduced it’s either in a safe environment or it’s filled with enemies/gadgets and/or familiar layout so you it’s something you know with that new element stacked on top of it. Gadgets include stuff like mimic, blackjack to stun enemies, something you throw and it makes a noise when you press LMB, disguise. You can also whistle at any moment to get enemy attention, it has small range but they can hear it through walls. Generally I found it to be pretty easy to learn and the whole game didn’t give me a lot of trouble. There was ONE level I wish I wrote down its name, but the ending was so utterly broken and frustrating I almost closed the game.

I went through 95% of the game with ease and it was fun stealth/puzzle game. Difficulty curve is great, level design is pretty good and every now and then they throw a little more challenging level at you but nothing too hard. Soundtrack is very good too, sometimes too dramatic or orchestral for a game like this in my opinion, but great nonetheless (I wanted to put some tracks at top, but there’s only one video on YT without timestamps and for some reason the creator doesn’t have it listed on his bandcamp, so no samples sorry :/). I mentioned at start our hero has 2 hours before he is found, when inside simulation the time runs slower in real world, so the 2 hours is just for story, there is no time limit on the levels or anything like that. There are par times and leaderboards, if you’re into that.

Half-Life 2

GRIS

7/10
8.6 hours
17 of 17 achievements

02 – Gris, pt. 1
15 – Karasu
25 – Gris, pt. 2

Very pretty platformer! The whole game is visually almost stunning, everything seems hand-drawn yet all animations are very fluid for most of time, it reminds me of Hollow Knight in this regard (apart from cutscenes, they play more like standard animations in ~30 fps). Soundtrack is very beautiful too, something I’ll definitely grab later :)

GRIS is a story of depression and coping of losing someone very close to you. One might even describe it as a video game form of “5 stages of grief”, as game hints at that with its achievement descriptions, but I’m not sure if it fits, some stages in game definitively give me that feel like the desert level for “denial” or underwater level for “depression” but forest level doesn’t fit at all.

As you progress in the game you gain new abilities, you start with just basic movement and jump. First you learn to transform your coat into a cube that protects you from desert storm but later the game shows you that you can use it to break weak floors or weight objects down. Though this is the only ability that I found to have such a wide range of use, later you get double jump but well, It’s just a jump. Late game you learn to sing to bring life back around you, but this has singular use too. Basically it’s a pretty simple platformer, puzzles are present and they’re not too hard.

Still I liked it, presentation is great and carries this game a lot. It has a lot of cool and small moments, like a forest friend you meet and help him grow or these little sentient rocks on tiny legs in desert level. Later levels have a gimmick where gravity changes when you cross a certain line, I liked that too. I think this game relies heavily on emotional response and since I personally never lost someone this close to me like the heroine, I can’t fully relate.

Half-Life 2

Lightmatter

6/10
6.3 hours
23 of 23 achievements

Debut game of Danish indie studio. A game heavily inspired by Portal 1 & 2 and the devs aren’t shy about it, thanking Valve and main writers of Portal 2 in credits, and the game’s equivalent of Cave Johnson even jokes how terrible Aperture Science is.

But the twist here is instead of portals, we use lights. Some experiment has gone wrong and shadows can dematerialize any living being. You just happened to be on a tourist tour in facility when the entire underground facility was shaken and quickly evacuated and you missed the last train. So now stuck here, you are guided by the CEO of Lightmatter company who only helps because he wants to fix the whole mess and thinks you will only cause trouble. If he already sounds mean, he is and will really start hating you over time as he starts to think you’re someone, that I’m not sure if we actually are or if he made it up? Anyway he is an asshole. Another element borrowed from Portal 2 where you’ll have a voice constantly patronizing you, but I found GlaDOS to be kinda funny despite insulting you over time, whereas this guy not so much. GlaDOS also had a backstory and she has a human side to her in Portal 2, here this guy has almost no redemption.

Back to lights – to stay alive you need to be constantly in light. If you stand in shadow for just a second it will kill you. You don’t have any flashlight or torch, but there are limited number of lamps that you can move around. Later on you’ll find lamps that are powered by crystals and as long as they have a line of sight with another lamp like this or a huge crystal that powers them, they’ll give a small light around and the beam that connects to other lamps/crystals gives light too, so they create a path for you.

Most puzzles are pretty clever and some of them made me feel dumb, but I think the difficulty curve was weird sometimes. There were puzzles that I had no problems with, then something much harder, then again it would sometimes jump to hard, back to easy. There was one chapter, or maybe two, where the harder puzzles were at the beginning, easier in middle and ending with something again hard. But your experience may differ, maybe I’m just dumb in a different way.

This game is GORGEUS! I love how this game looks, it’s really beautiful and I would often stop and just look around at pretty environments. Everything that’s cowered in shadows has this nice, greyish outline and all light sources cast this pleasant white light. For a game all about dark & light they really nailed the look of it.

I wish it had better story and characters. Better difficulty curve and puzzles would be plus too. They are very open about Portal 2 as their inspiration but unfortunately it is nowhere as good. But whether you’re undecided, interested or not interested, there’s a free demo you can try.

2020 Balance - Have I made progress this year?

FUCK NO!
I beated more games this year than last but I also added so much more LMAO. See for yourself below.

MONTH BEATEN THIS MONTH ADDED THIS MONTH
JANUARY 0 +21
FEBRUARY -2 +9
MARCH -1 +31
APRIL -1 +23
MAY -1 +40
JUNE -2 +55
JULY -5 +41
AUGUST -4 +3
SEPTEMBER -2 +41
OCTOBER -1 +35
NOVEMBER -6 +16
DECEMBER -3 +34
TOTAL -28 +349
+349
-28

=============

+321

😭😭😭
Here’s hoping this year every month will be like August for games added and like November for games beaten.

Alright but now onto more positive things

Top 5 games I played in 2020

5. Hotline Miami

17.4 hours, 35 of 35 achievements



Another known indie I finally catched up to. Fun, fast, brutal game that’s also difficult. FULL REVIEW

4. 11-11 Memories Retold

13.8 hours, 50 of 50 achievements



Beautiful story-adventure set in WWI with fictional protagonists, focused on telling the story rather than teaching you about WWI. FULL REVIEW

3. Dishonored 2

28.9 hours, 28 of 50 achievements



Excellent sequel, improves every aspect of the original. FULL REVIEW

2. Turok 2: Seeds of Evil

13.9 hours, 14 of 14 achievements



Biggest surprise of the year. Like D2, it improves almost every aspect of the first Turok game and is insanely fun to play. Best boomer shooter I played in a long time. FULL REVIEW

1. Black Mesa

43.1 hours, 50 of 50 achievements


Absolutely amazing what Crowbar Collective pulled here. A modern re-make of original Half-life 1 on the latest version of Source (1) engine, with blessing from Valve themselves. A re-make fits the part of game happening on Earth, but Xen got greatly expanded and re-imagined into something stunning and Half-Life 1 finally got a proper final boss fight. And that’s based on older version of the game :) They polished it even more and turned into Definitive Edition, which I haven’t played yet. FULL REVIEW

2021

This year I decided to make a list of games I want to play. Here they are and short explanation why:


Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete Edition because it’s an expensive whitelist SG win and I feel like I owe it to creator to give it a try

Borderlands 2 because I promised my friend some time ago we’ll play it. It’s also supposed to be much better than first game, I hope it is.

Noita and Celeste both gifts from a long time friend who I had falling out near end of 2020. I was hyped for Noita and I would get it during winter sale anyway. Celeste because I feel like it’s gonna be a closing of sort.

The Witcher: Enhanced Edition because it’s so well known and witcher series are almost a national treasure, so its time I give it a try. Who knows maybe I’ll play second game this year too

DUSK because its a gift from my BLAEO secret santa :) Thank you again Leo!

Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen because it’s a series that is often recommended by one gaming “journalist” that I have some respect for. It looks good too. And it gets its own anime, this year I think?

Into the Breach because I feel like it’s something I want to play. That’s it!

The Walking Dead because I bought The Final Season this winter sale and it’s time I finish this story. I still have my old saves from first and second season, but I think I’ll replay them. It’s been almost a decade since I played first game and I am a different person then I was back then, I might make radically different choices in both seasons.

Yakuza because Yakuza games look hilarious and I feel it’s a series I will really enjoy. Perfect time too since remastered collection is coming to PC this year. Still no steam page though, I hope it won’t be Epic exclusive :/

Samorost 2 and Samorost 3 last minute addition. I was talking with a friend about adventure games and I actually never played any Amanita Design games and I have few others in library and on wishlist. They’re short too - Samorost 1 is a browser game that’s 10 minute long. Samorost 2 is just one hour long. Samorost 3 is few hours long.
———————————–
That’s a pretty decent list I would say! Even if I don’t beat more than this, at least I’ll knock off a few big ones.
Thanks for reading if you made it this far :)

3rd December 2020

Hey hey people,

Not much has changed here, I’m still playing Destiny 2 :D I bought an expansion “Forsaken” and been playing around with new talent trees in pvp and pve since then. I also got access to Forsaken campaign and some other stuff. There was recently new expansion Beyond Light and I’m probably gonna get it soon, we’ll see ;)
There’s still a partial lockdown going on here, but hopefuly the corona virus will be over by the summer, as you may have heard there’s not one vaccine, but three on the horizon!

If this is really over in summer 2021 or earlier, what are you plans for that part of the year?

13.9 hours
+8/10
Played on Steam

04 – Totem 1
05 – River of Souls

This is my favorite game, after Black Mesa and Dishonored 2, that I beated this year. It’s an improvement in every regard over the first Turok game. My main complaints with the first game were – boring & same looking levels for most part, stupidly buffy enemies on harder difficulty and console-feel.

Let’s start with difficulty. Since I like to 100% games, I started the game on hardcore difficulty, prepared to be very frustrated. It did felt at start like enemies are very buffy and they are, if you don’t aim for the head. Enemies can take shitload of bullets but if you headshot them they die pretty quickly. It’s a small but a really neat change, it encourages player to actually aim instead of shooting into enemy’s direction. But what about explosives? They are still very effective, it feels like choosing hardcore difficulty has no effect on dmg from explosives because most enemies die from one or two shots from grenade launcher or rocket launcher. So in a way the game can be actually too easy! But I like it because it’s done in a way where skill is rewarded, because you have to actually aim.

Next, the world. In first Turok you mostly explored different flavors of jungle. Here we start in something that looks like ancient South American city, on to Death Marshes, into underground cave system that’s very confusing (even devs acknowledge this by giving achievement called “We don’t need no stinkin’ strategy guide!”), next a spaceship of mantis-like aliens, it looks organic from inside, kinda like Aliens lair in the “Aliens” movie. The last level is another spaceship, this one more metallic and filled with robot enemies, kinda boring but the whole package is so much better than in previous game. Oh and we still have hub, but this time it’s a set of small islands floating in space.


Everything bleeds so nicely in this game...



The whole game is less consol-y just by changing the aim system from first game.

The story is a little more fleshed out this time, when entering a new area for the first time we get a short cutscene explaining what happened, what we need to do and glimpses of the level. The turok from the first game is our ancestor and we basically are a warrior trying to stop evil forces from conquering the universe, that’s my understanding of it. In each level there’s also a teleporter that once activated, takes us to some weird factory/spaceship that’s filled with unique enemies that you don’t see anywhere else. They are some new kind, possibly what we are really trying to stop and my guess is they are the main baddies of Turok 3. That one is still sadly not on PC, I wish Nightdive would bring it on steam too, even if it’s just more Turok 2 I would gladly play it. Oh and also the one explaining our mission is a weird alien lady. Besides teleporters to the oblivion monsters, there are also teleporters to her, where you can manually save and get free health and ammo from her. Weird addition, but I sometimes would find myself running out of ammo, even if I looked for secrets and searched every corner, so she was very helpful.

I really recommend this one, tbh even if Turok 1 is not that bad, you could skip it and play this right away. Oh and it would be a crime not to mention one specific weapon in Turok 2 – A bee launcher that attaches itself to enemy head, drills into it and then explodes :D


Half-Life 2

MO:Astray

7/10
9.7 hours
26 of 26 achievements

12 – Monsters
18 – System
23 – Dylan
27 - Extremergy Life Form

Waaaah I feel like I would enjoy this so much more if not for horrible K+M controls! I gotta warn you right now, if you plan to play it, do so with a controller as aiming where to jump with a mouse is horrible and you will do a lot of jumping, more than walking. It’s a platformer where you play as a blue blob named MO that can stick to any solid surface, but it will drop or slide down after a few seconds. You jump by holding LMB and arrow shows a direction where you will jump, release it and you jump. For some reason the game recommend using inverted controls for jumping if playing K+M, I don’t know why the hell they think it’s a better option, I personally find it less annoying by playing normal controls. And you may be surprised why I gave this a good rating but I just got used to the controls and it felt more or less natural, but it took me HOURS to get used to it.

Ok but controls aside, this is a first game by this Chinese dev team Archpray Inc. And for a first game it is pretty impressive what they pulled off. The game has a very beautiful art style, it looks just slightly pixelized up close and has really pretty background art but I don’t know if it has any name. Just look at the screenshots! The game is in full 2D and once I got used to controls, I feel like it’s really well balanced and constantly challenging. Everytime something new is introduced it slightly ramps up platforming difficulty and I don’t remember it going too hard or too easy. There are puzzles too and there were few that got me stuck for a while but nothing brain-breaking. Music is ok, the first half works well withing the game but I find it average outside the game. Later on it has much better tracks.


You'll walk...

You'll swim...

You'll float...

and ride a giant mech!



Game is set on some alien planet where the ship in which we were born crashed. The first levels are inside the ship and later on we get to the surface. We are guided by a female voice who, without spoiling the story, is somehow connected to us. She “talks” to us and by talking I mean making various sounds like “oh!” “ah!” “aww” (I promise it doesn’t sound sexual in actual game lol) and by looking at subtitles you can see what she is saying. It’s fine for most part but I don’t like the fact she does it in middle of boss fights, I can’t be asked to dodging attacks and reading subtitles at the bottom of the screen at the same time. After finishing every chapter we get a short comic telling us some backstory. There are also memories to collect, while giving some story too, if you collect 5 of them you get extra health point to total health pool. At one point you gain the ability to attach yourself to head of a monster and you can read some of their memories that give you little more backstory. Overall the story is ok.

I think this could be said about every aspect of the game but the execution of platforming and boss fights is excellent. It didn’t felt like the devs were trying to innovate here, just make a good game. There are multiple boss fights and every single one is different and challenging. At one point you even get to ride a giant mech and kill hundreds of enemies.

I’d recommend this one but play with the controller, otherwise be ready to spend few hours getting used to controls XD

Half-Life 2

My Friend Pedro

7/10
5.0 hours
27 of 30 achievements

03 - Nounverber - V A P E
12 - Battlejuice - Low Life On The Highway
21 - Noisecream - Mist Of Rage

What a meme game. It’s basically a 2d platformer focused on shooting bad guys in style, while skateboarding, double wielding Uzi’s and shooting in slow-mo, that sort of stuff, all while dubstep plays in background. There’s dumb humor too and your companion is a talking banana that lives inside your head :V

But it is a fun to play game once you get handle of the controls. You can have unlimited slow-mo as long as you keep killing, you can make it look really stylish with various flips, wall-jumps etc. There’s not much weapon variety and frankly this game doesn’t need it, I had the most fun with my double-wielded pistols and Uzis. On later levels you kinda have to use sniper rifle and AR as enemies get tough or are very far away and they have sniper rifles.

And it’s on those levels where MFP loses steam :/ The last level is full of commando-style enemies that are tough, half of them use sniper rifles and gameplay changes from charging ahead, killing in style to taking cover, killing them one by one. Boss battle before the last, is really bad too as you pretty much fight your clone, she moves like you and has same abilities. The bosses are mixed bag in this anyway, some are silly and fun like where you drive on a highway and shoot shitload of cars and bad guys on motorcycles as they chase you.

Story is non-existent, it feels like devs made it up as they built the game lol. You wake up with amnesia in a basement, banana tells you he’s your friend and you need to make revenge on people who put you here yada yada.

Levels are more or less varied and fun for most part. Devs also insert their dumb humor into them, so like the first set of levels is a neighborhood that consists of retired gangsters, so you just shoot elderly people in sportswear, second set is a building site where it just happens that bounty hunters decided to throw their Christmas party, so you shoot bounty hunters wearing ugly Christmas sweaters. My favorite one is a sewer set (and don’t worry, they do poke fun at this with “oh wow sewer level how original XDDD” not direct quote btw) and it’s filled with GAMERS that try to kill you for fun, some of them LARP as knights so you’ll have to worry about getting shot AND getting sliced by a fat NEET.

But it’s all ruined by the last set of levels that completely change the pace of game :/ Such a shame, because it’s really a fun game. I should mention it’s also score-attack game, you get scored for every kill, how you did and of course you have a multiplier that vanished over time. At the time of writing I haven’t yet 100% this game which requires getting S rank on all levels, but as far as I can tell if you want to S-rank all levels, just be fast and don’t let your multiplier reset, it doesn’t matter how you kill people in the end.

Would I recommend this? Yeah, but expect last hour of the game to be bad.

Half-Life 2

The Wolf Among Us

7/10
9.5 hours
35 of 35 achievements

07 – Opening Credits

Woooow how I wish HBO would make a show based on Fables comics! This Telltale game is set in New York, in modern times but no idea what exact time period it is. Anyway for those that don’t know, Fables is a world where all characters, monsters, creatures etc. from fairy tales and legends live in real world in hiding and we play Bigby, the big bad wolf from Little Red Riding Hood and who is a sheriff and who is feared in his community because of his past.

We can change the opinion of the community if we make right actions but as it is with Telltale games we often get thrown into situations where it’s hard to not say or act as a big wolf or we may not the get outcome we want. I played previously The Walking Dead S1 and S2 and so far gameplay wise this feels very similar. You have a simple item system where you hold onto items and sometimes can use them on other items or show to people. There are short QTE’s every now and then, and sometimes you get thrown into a dialogue that may have an impact on the story. But as it is with Telltale games, most of it is just an illusion and very few actions have an actual impact.

I haven’t read the comics but I really like this world and characters, they’re excellent! It’s so bizarre no one tried to turn this into a TV show, according to Wikipedia there were some attempts by ABC and NBC but they never went past writing script. Aaaaand as it is with all Telltale games I played, the characters and world is the only thing carrying this game. Let’s be real, gameplay wise this is very shallow and not at all innovative from older adventure games. The first Walking Dead worked so well because of Clementine and rest of the team but also it really felt like every dialog had an impact on story, there was this great illusion that literally every action had an impact. But it takes one look behind the curtains to see that’s not the case (and it would just be really hard and time consuming to make so many branching paths lol). So I hope the later Telltale games try to innovate a little because next time great characters and setting might not be enough. But I enjoyed The Wolf Among Us and I recommend this to everyone. Heck, check out the comic if you don’t feel like playing Telltale game.

A note on Halo. I read this book (the 2019 edition) before playing it for the first time. The book actually came out BEFORE the game and it tells the story of how Master Chief was made who he is in the game, the first contact with the Covenant and who they are and of course the fall of Reach battle, which is main story of “Halo: Reach” game. The game picks up exactly where the book ended and it kinda assumes you read it, but you don’t have to really. As for the book itself, it’s a pretty decent military Sci-Fi, though they could really develop Master Chief himself more in this and his squadmates. They’re kinda shallow even in the book. If I had to rate the book based on my enjoyment I would give it 7/10

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary

Halo: Combat Evolved

+7/10
22.2 hours
46 of 700 achievements

CD1 –
04 – An End of Dying
09 – Flotsam, Jetsam
17 – Strung
CD2 –
02 - Lions and Tigers and…
11 – First Step
14 – Cloaked in Blackness

Dope classic that’s still fun to play, I’m really happy MS brought this whole collection to steam. Mind you I haven’t plated MP yet so this will be strictly about SP.

I played blind for the first time and on legendary difficulty, hence so much playtime for just SP D: It’s really tough as your shield depletes really quickly and your health doesn’t regenerate. Everything hurts really badly and while common enemies are not that tough themselves if you use covenant weapons, it’s hard to get a good shot as there are always multiple enemies. Through like 60% of game you will fight covenant, an alien empire? or some kind of religious alliance that has multiple alien species in its rank. A group of covenant enemies consists almost always of 3 types of aliens – grunts, small and weak cannon fodder that likes to throw grenades and uses plasma pistols or a kind of nail gun that instead of nails uses small crystals and they can track enemies. Jackals, that have head of a vulture and carry small shields that block damage. And elites that are the toughest and have plasma rifle or blades and will try to melee you. Even the ones with plasma rifles sometimes tried to rush me when I was behind cover. They have their own shield similar to Master Chief so you have to break them first before you can kill them and they do regenerate like yours. But if you manage to attach plasma grenade to them it’s no problem :) They are also higher rank and if you kill them before grunts or jackals, those two will be disoriented for a while and run in fear.

And these three will be your main enemies through not just the game, but AFAIK they also appear in all the other Halo games and I wonder how are they made it not boring in next games lol. Having same enemies in a game is fine as long as the gameplay loop is fun. But I’m not sure if I could stand these same enemies through 5 games. The AI is rather basic. You quickly learn to either clean grunts and jackals fast and leave elites for last or other way around, you’ll do this a lot through the game. But for now I had fun and the loop here didn’t bore me for most of the time.

Luckily you’ll be thrown into different and fun scenarios every now and then. You’ll get to storm the beach with USMC marines, drive a tank and take part in a huge assault where there will be enemy tanks, hover light vehicles, banshees (covenant planes), assault a facility in Warthog (armored vehicles with mounted turret) with the marines. There were plenty of these situations and I really love when the game throws you into mini-wars like this where there’s lots of enemy and friendly AI and they fight with each other. The Marines are not bad fighters either as long as it’s just grunts and jackals 😅

But like I said that’s just 60% of enemies. The rest is called The Flood and it’s a type of a parasite that consumes every biological thing, zombifies anything that can be used and tries to turn everything into its own homeworld. When fighting them you’ll fight against fellow zombified marines that charge at you shooting whatever gun they had and then attacking from melee. Same with zombified Covenant Elites. There’s an entire chapter dedicated to fighting just waves of waves these guys and it’s long and gets boring really quickly imo. They just charge you mindlessly and it’s easy to die. On mentioned chapter you only get few useless drones that try to help you but they die after like two shots. The very last fight is also you vs them, though sometimes a small distraction is thrown between you and them.




You can only carry two weapons at the same time and you have two types of grenades for your disposal, standard frag grenade that explodes exactly when it stops and a plasma grenade that explodes after a few seconds, but it can stick to enemies. Funny thing with these nades is that if one explodes near the other uncooked grenades that enemies drop, you can start a chain reaction and a shitload of them will explode. I died few times from this :D From human weapons you start with AR that’s pretty good on short range against grunts but is terrible against anything tougher, at least on legendary diff. Later on you get a shotgun, rocket launcher, sniper rifle, pretty standard stuff. Of course there’s the famous pistol and yes it is one of the best and deadliest weapons in this game. It’s very precise and does lots of damage. Covenant weapons consists of plasma pistol that can be charged for one powerful shot, great for breaking jackal and elite shields. Needler, the weapon I mentioned earlier is kinda poopy IMO, maybe its because of the difficulty. And plasma rifle, IMO one of the best weapons against covenant, not so much against the flood. But it’s great overall.

The story focuses on Halo and The Flood rather than Covenant. I don’t remember the game explaining who covenant are or why are you fighting them, it assumes you read the book. Hell the game starts EXACTLY where the book ended. It’s pretty bare bones without the book, not much to talk about.

You also have option to switch to old graphics on fly and the implementation is not great. Visually it looks ok but the new models don’t always match the old. For example a tree is much more wider on new graphics but it’s not as much on old and the way enemies “see” is with old graphics, so you thought that tree covers you when in reality it does not. Hell you can shoot through parts of it. They also planted more foliage that you think would hide you but it’s not there when you switch to old graphics so it’s just a cosmetic change. Covenant ships received a really bad redesign, on old graphics they have a completely different color palette and it does look kinda alien, on new graphics they turned covenant ships into these shiny, white-grey rooms that look nothing like the old. But even the old graphics are not properly implemented! It’s because they used port made by Gearbox years ago and from my understanding, they’re not the highest quality that was available at the original release. So your Halo with old graphics will look worse than Halo on original Xbox.

But overall I had fun with this for most part, still gotta try that MP tho!


The new visuals of covenant ships...

...and the old one. Personally, in this instance I prefer old one.

Another example of IMO botched implementation of new visuals. See the next screenshot

Same level, same time of day, it's so much darker and IMO this has better feel.



Half-Life 2

Layers of Fear

6/10
5.5 hours
27 of 27 achievements

To paraphrase LeoTurambar’s summary, this whole game consists of “open door - good build up to nowhere – repeat”. Which is a shame because I was hoping for more.

We play as a struggling painter trying to make his last masterpiece. He also has schizophrenia or something else that makes him mental and is the source of his horror. We start at the entrance to our house and we are free to explore it, not much happens at first and the game really starts after we find the key to the painting room and start working on our last masterpiece.

After touching the painting a scary noise plays and nothing else happens. No one or nothing appears, nothing changes in the room and you think to yourself “well maybe something in the house changed?” – So you open the door and find a completely different hallway. You keep going and you find completely new rooms and hallways and so on. And now you know it started.

There’s no way to go but forward through most of the game, every time you enter new room the door behind you closes and is locked. You will revisit some rooms more than twice but usually they’ll be a little different in some way, there are letters and mementos to pick up that give you some background on our guy, his relationship with his wife and kid. Three endings and your actions determine which one you get but it’s very very difficult to tell when you are presented with a choice that impacts the ending. I got the “self-portrait” on my first, blind playthrough.




To 100% this I had to get all three endings and I had to find out how game determines the ending so I don’t replay it just to get the same one. So this game uses points system, there are many actions and small choices that you can make that add score to certain ending and at the very end you get the one with most points. Actions like picking certain mementos, small actions in room like looking at something or ignoring something. Hell there are rooms where you get points just for NOPE-ing out of the room.

But back to the beginning of my text, this sounds great and this game has some great build-up at times but it always ends with a disappointment :( It’s just not that scary. It is sometimes even hilarious (to me at least) when it tries to be scary, especially in the chapter with your child. Maybe some of you saw that AngryJoe clip yeah that’s not scary to me either, I laughed too when I saw it. I have to give props to dev to at least not using jumpscares to create fear, there were few but most of the game was without them. It’s surprising to me this game has over 90% positive reviews on steam, it wouldn’t surprise me tho if a lot of these are positive because the game is not that bad to give it a negative review, but when presented with just a binary choice a lot of people picked positive because it’s closer to what they feel about this game. That’s the case with me for sure, if I had to make it a steam review.

But maybe I’m wrong and some of you will love this one. Mild recommendation


Those eyes can pierce a man's soul

Layers of Fear: Inheritance

Layers of Fear: Inheritance

5/10
1 hours
27 of 27 achievements

In this DLC we play as daughter of the protagonist. Like in base game there are three endings and our choices impact which one we get, though in this DLC it was more obvious to me when we are presented with a choice that will have an impact. It’s short, took me around one hour to complete on my first playthrough, which helps this DLC because it is more of the same, but less scary.

It’s set in the same house but our heroine doesn’t seem to have same mental problems as our father, we can safely wonder around and other than our flashlight malfunctioning every now and then, not much happens. Instead what happens when you approach certain objects in the house, it triggers a memory where we get to hear our parents. Hear, because we never actually see them.

There are three memories and once you complete them, the door that was never accessible in the main game (before shenanigans started happening) opens up for us and our heroine makes a judgement on her father. There you’ll get ending 1 or 2, but to get the ending 3 you’ll gonna have to explore the house a little more carefully AND make proper decisions inside memories to form a map to a hidden room where you can discover your true inheritance OOooOOoOO!

The memories are quite varied at least, one is very similar to what happens in base game, you loop around the house, but you see it from a perspective of a small child, like 5 year old child. For that reason the devs decided to change the way you see, everything feels gigantic when you’re close but zoomed out when far away. The other one you have a painting lesson with your papa and if you make more childish decisions, you are transported into a world where everything is made of cardboards and crayons, if you follow your father it’s more Layers of Fear. Last one is short and very simple and I’m not gonna spoil it.

If this DLC is canon then it’s not even clear which ending you got in the base game is canon, IMO “the wife” ending is most likely canon after playing this DLC, but “self-portrait” could work too. Not recommended if you found base game average or worse, you won’t find anything interesting here. Unless you want to 100% LoF then I’m afraid you need to finish it at least 3 times :(

6.4 hours
None
+7/10
Played on Steam

04 - 20,000 Tits Under The Sea
08 - A Dark Forest Where My Heart Used To Be
12 - Steve's Been Sitting At This Desk For Years And Years
15 - My Highest Nature

I went completely blind into this (no pun intended :V) not even sure what game genre this is. This is a pretty standard point’n’click adventure game, although a little simplified and it borrows a little from other game genres in some sections.

Most dialogues are straight forward, you don’t get to choose what you say and you just click on, watching it play out. Even when you can approach someone and talk to them there’s at most 3 things you can ask them about and you don’t unlock any new dialogues after that. Puzzles are rather easy and it’s impossible to screw yourself, when you need to solve something the game locks you in 2-3 panels and everything you need is somewhere nearby. Puzzles are usually easy, but you often can’t pick something until you do a specific thing or listen to someone and ta-da, suddenly the object you could only look at now can be picked.

We play as Bartholomeus, an Apostle of God who is sent to the town of Rotbork that seems to be corrupted by several powerful demons and each feed off different vices of the city folk. Our dude is 2000 years old and when he is sent to the town, he arrives in a small boat laying on his back like he’s in a coffin or something. He was awoken yet again to fight another demon infestation. When the game starts we literally save a girl from getting raped by a huge bearded guy who is under demonic influence, we cut his hand off and he escapes and we begin the game by trying to find him and find out more about the town. The girl we saved will also assist as later on and we even get to play as her later on.




The game has a really great, dark atmosphere and the town really looks like it’s going to shit. It’s dark and you only find some color in whore house and local bars with it’s neon lights. Music really sells it to, from more ambient and dark tracks that play in darker parts of town to my favorite that plays in a whore house – a mix of electronic music with yells straight from porno with some demonic layers on top of it :D I LOVE IT! Please even if you ignore the tracks I put at start, give this one a listen.

This game like’s to switch genres for a few minutes in some sections. One time I had to play arcade shooter where I had to shoot down incoming projectiles and I could manually reload my gun by aiming at reload button. Once on shooting range where I had to prove myself to a gang the game became FPS for 2 minutes. On final battle you’ll see something else too. It’s a nice change and I enjoyed these little sections.

Oh and this game is a little edgy too and VERY stylish. The “cutscenes” are made like comic panels and you’ll see those panels during dialogue too. It tries to be funny too at times but sometimes it didn’t work for me.

The only issues I had with this game is once it got stuck on a cutscene and I had to alt-tab and close it manually. Luckily I lost no progress. The English translation has some typos too and there were few sentences that didn’t make full sense to me, felt like something that was missed during fixes.

I highly recommend this to any Point’n’click fans and anyone who plays them from time to time like me. It’s a hidden gem IMO and I hope more people give it a shot.


26th October 2020

Hey hey people,

Been a long time since the last post, but I’m quite happy with my progress. I at least managed to beat more games this year than my last year and last yeat was horrible, so this year is a little less horrible! yay! If you look at my list, imagine Halo: CE is there too, I can’t add it as it counts as a DLC and adding the whole MC Collection feels unfair with just 1/5 of package beaten.
And I did beated more games that those below, I’ll try to write about those too before december. My progress would be even better if not for my new addiction…

Destiny 2 is my new time sink. Yesterday I beated my first raid, Leviathan and I really enjoyed it. I was just starting to get bored with this game because recently I was just farming gear mostly and doing daily bounties and it was starting to get repetitive and this raid was a well needed breath of fresh air. I’m playing on F2P content for now, I really want to get Forsaken expansion as it is pretty cheap (I could get it for 10€) but I’m gonna wait for Beyong Light first (the upcoming exp) and maybe the price will drop. Or I might buy Beyond Light and explore the new content like everyone else. Who knows!

Anyway onto reviews:

2.0 hours
None
8/10
Played on Steam

A short and great experience. Scanner Sombre is a first-person, walking sim with some light horror elements. You are spelunking underground cave system for a search of some long gone underground ancient civilization, you learn about it and as well about your own character via small pop up text as you go on, there’s no voice acting at all. The game is mostly silent, no OST and from the beginning you get hints that maybe you’re not alone here after all. Imagine this – you enter a huge chamber, in a shape of U, you can see the exit but it’s too long of a jump to make it to the other way, you walk along the wall, at one point a part of rock cracks under your feet and falls down into the void below you. As you get closer and reach the point with the falling rock, but on other side, the same thing happens where you just were 2 minutes ago, making you freak out a little wondering if something follows you. Worse, it wouldn’t be possible to see if anything passed there unless you were really quick because of how game shows you the environment which is also its main appeal.

At the start, your character picks a VR headset and a tool that shoots a lot of laser beams and whatever they hit, you can see it via your headset. You use this tool to map your environment, if you watched Prometheus think those small drones that used to map the cave system. It’s really fucking cool and later on you get an upgrade that shoots a huge burst and gives you a clear image of whatever ahead of you. Later on you get some other upgrades, but I honestly can’t remember what they do, the first one is so cool and useful, rest not so much.

My only criticism would be of the last 30 minutes, it’s less interesting, IMO loses lite horror element and the environment is not that interesting either. There were moments also when I wasn’t sure where to go. But I would highly recommend this game, it’s short, no achievements, easy -1 to backlog and I had great time with it.





Half-Life 2

Turok

7/10
9.2 hours
10 of 10 achievements

07 – Water
04 – Ancient City
14 – Final Level

A blast from the past…well not exactly, but Turok is still a decent FPS.

This was a N64 exclusive for six months before it got a Windows release and it shows from the start that it was developed with console in mind and not PC and K+M combo. Guys from Nightdive studios who brought this game to Steam and updated for modern systems didn’t seem to touch that console-like aspect. For example you can kill pretty much any enemy by aiming in their direction but you don’t have to place crosshair exactly on their body. It feels like instead of having auto-aim on console they did that to compensate for pad aim and Nightdive left it like that. Enemies are not very challenging either, most of them shoot projectiles or try to melee you, so it’s fairly easy to not take damage most of the time, you can out run pretty much everyone by strafe running. But I hate how they did harder difficulty settings in this, they went with the most lazy solution ever, which is just give everything HUGE health buff to the point it takes fifty magazines to kill one of the first enemy humans and dino’s you encounter. I hate that kind of solution, so I just went with normal difficulty. Nothing else changes as far as I noticed, they still behave the same and do maybe more dmg, but it’s not challenging in any way when every enemy is dumb and tough like a brick wall at the same time. They handled it much better in Turok 2, but that’s for a next review.

I really like the visuals. They have a certain charm to them. OST is pretty decent too, I especially love that track that plays when you swim underwater, it sounds like something out of Mario game lol. There were some weird sound glitches at few points, where every sound was slightly muted and if something shoot or made other sound it was scratchy, not sure why it happened, but I feel like I had that happen in some other old games.

After clearing first level instead of having loading screen to next one, you discover your hub world with a circle of teleporters and key slots required to open the next one. Interesting thing, you can even do world 3 first instead of world 2 for example, if you choose to slot keys there, but you can never really go straight to the last world, as there are different key types and you won’t find the late game keys in early levels obviously. And it’s a little stretch to call it a hub as you can’t really do anything there, there’s no ammo pick up or anything to help you prepare, no fun or dumb stuff to do, not even an NPC.




Levels are sadly not very varied, it’s all slightly different flavors of jungle with one level being entirely in underground temple that’s also my least favorite as I got lost there many times. The last level takes place on some kind of alien underground facility that experiments on dinosaurs and before you reach that it’s more jungle set close to volcano so you get to jump around some lava. Another disappointment are boss fights, all of them play exactly the same, run backwards strafing and shooting the boss until it dies. Your arsenal consists of alien weapons such as Fusion Cannon and Pulse Rifles, to Grenade launchers, quad rocket launchers and ending on more classic weapons like Shotgun and Pistol. Pro-tip, if you kill something with a knife there’s a chance they drop a permanent HP boost, you can go up to 150hp if I remember correctly. There’s also an achievement for doing that. Oh I and would also recommend playing tutorial – it’s short (~10 minutes) and it teaches you strafe jumping, something that’s not around anymore and it’ll help you reach secrets most of time :) And for a “dinosaur hunter” there’s not that many dinosaurs, I killed way more humans, robots and aliens then dinosaurs. A minor complaint. But you do get to fight T-Rex with cybernetic parts.

I realize I maybe complained too much about the game but in the end I enjoyed it because I often had these moments where I immersed myself and mindlessly moved ahead shooting stuff and that’s a good thing and I like it when an FPS does that to me. The rating is after all just my personal enjoyment. There’s also a lot of secrets to discover and a secret weapon to assemble. I recommend this to boomers or people who grew up playing older FPSes.


Run Turok, run!

Half-Life 2

The Stillness of the Wind

5/10
3.2 hours
no achievements

02 – Gently Into The Nights
09 – The Desert Calls
12 – The Morning Sun

Weird game which starts as a sort of boring farming sim, where you play as a granny who lives in middle of nowhere and her only contact with outside world is through her traveling friend who serves as mailman and trader at the same time. You start with some chickens, a couple of goats and some seeds. You’ll quickly learn that goats are your gold mine as you can buy a lot for just one wheel of cheese, you can buy quite a lot of seeds and a couple stacks of hay. You need hay to keep your goats fed, you’ll grow food from seeds but some seeds just turn into a decorative plants, so be careful not to waste time on growing these. Chickens don’t need any maintenance from what I noticed, they just give you eggs every couple of days. Your time is limited and ideally you’ll want to get milk from goats, start making cheese, pick some edible mushrooms from around your farm, plant seeds or upkeep the ones you already planted in a single day and top it off with a hot meal at evening. But you never have enough time for that, best to just take care of goats on day 1, do rest on other days till goats can give you milk again, though I noticed sometimes days are randomly shorter than usual.

This is pretty much the whole game.

But if you want story you should try find some time to read letters brought to you by your childhood friend. You’ll learn what goes on in outside world from your family members as well as what they are up to. It’s kinda boring at first but at the end something changes and it’s when the game got really interesting for me. Your family starts talking about people disappearing, some of them seemingly losing their minds, cities becoming empty. Your brother or cousin (don’t remember now) in his last letter says he’s trapped in his office and when looking through keyhole he sees a strange figure with two black goats at its side just waiting outside. It seems it happens all over the planet. You connect it with the fact you learn at the start that apparently we finally colonized the moon and it makes you think what the hell did we discovered there and unleashed on ourselves. But shortly after the game ends in a strange way. I guess whatever was spreading through the planet finally reached you.

I should mention that through the game you’ll also have few strange dreams and nightmares. One day your friend brings a black goat with him and asks if you would take care of it for him, just one day. That night I had a dream that showed my farm abandoned with I think ash filling the air and something covering the sun and that goat just standing outside my house. I absolutely loved moments like that and near the end. It just sucks that the first 2 hours felt like 4 hours to me. I kinda fear that games like Stardew Valley might not be for me after playing this lol. I hope the farming is just bad in this specific game, if not that means I’m gonna have to remove a couple games from my library…

Anyway do I recommend this? Not really. It is short, but it felt like I spent more that 3 hours playing this. The story gets interesting near the end, I loved the mix of satanic and Lovecraftian feel near the end. At least it has no achievements and is just 3 hours, so it’s an easy -1 from backlog.

Half-Life 2

Eliza

7/10
7.2 hours
1 of 1 achievements

Visual novel developed by Zachtronics. Yep, the same people that did Space, Opus Magnum and other mind-bending games.

Eliza tries to tackle a lot of topics that are IMO very important today – privacy, use of AI, technology advancements, mental health in today’s society.

We play as Evelyn, a software dev who quit her job years ago after a burnout and who worked on a new app that aims to help people with mental health. The program – Eliza – uses human proxies that read generated script based on clients responses. It is in practice, a chat bot that uses human proxies to make it feel less so like a chat bot and more like an actual conversation. The proxy must stay on script but we don’t get the choice to read off-script until later on. It’s a bizarre app where after hearing someone’s problems, just pretending to be mental health counselor, you get rated like an uber driver where clients give you 5 out of 5 stars, a leveling system and a tip if they so desire. If necessary the app can prescribe drugs to the clients, you wish them the best and “hope to see you soon!”. It’s so ridiculous but it wouldn’t surprise me if it happens one day for real.




Evelyn after not doing anything for the last 3 years decides to get a job as a proxy to see it working in the field and finds out it changed since she left the company. She keeps working and starts feeling that it really doesn’t solve anything, that it’s missing something. It’s also where we meet our first potential friend, our supervisor Rae who worked there for years and while she knows it doesn’t fully work now, she believes it can be better if they could actually track if people take their medicine and if they follow advices given by Eliza. We later get contacted by an old friend who worked with Evelyn on Eliza and who wants to catch up with her, we also run into our old employers, who are very happy to see her and want to recruit us. One of them still leads Eliza, a narcistic boss that uses Eliza as a foundation for something bigger, the other who left the team and started his own project and wants Evelyn too for his grand project. They also both want fuck Evelyn and that’s perhaps one sub-topic that’s touched in this game is the sexism in tech industry, but it is not the main topic like the ones I included at start.

I don’t think I played any serious visual novel before, but I would say the gameplay is very standard. You mostly keep going, listening to conversation, sometimes you can make a choice who to trust or what decision to make, both have consequences later on. Story is pretty good, the people you meet during your proxy work are varied and some interesting, some were really annoying to me, but I think you can relate to all of their problems. I ended up choosing friendship over all this mess.

There’s only one achievement and it’s to win solitaire game on an expert difficulty. To unlock this you need to beat it on easy, medium and hard. The easy/medium/hard weren’t that difficult, but I think spent like an hour trying to beat in on expert lol. So take that into account when looking at my time playing this.


The only achievement - beat this on expert difficulty. Took me an hour!

Half-Life 2

Bad North

8/10
21.9 hours
11 of 11 achievements

01 – Morning Mist
02 – Waves of Ships

FTL-like rogue-like strategy-lite litelikelitleliktelike.

Bad north starts you with two commanders that need to run away from Viking horde that is pillaging every nearby island and leaving just ashes behind. You need to make it to the last island which will be your last stand and toughest island to defend. On your very first run you’ll only can pick the portrait of your commanders, but it is just an icon as in game all your troops look like blue blobs with tiny hands and legs. Later on you’ll unlock starting items and traits, but at start you don’t get anything.
The islands and enemy types and their group size that will attack are randomized. You pick an island from a map, you defend it, get gold depending on how many houses you save and you spend it on your troops, their abilities or their items if a commander has one. It’s quite similar to FTL where you have to run away from rebel fleet Viking horde, you take turns on map but on island it’s real time passage. However unlike FTL, if full might of Viking horde catches up with you it’s game over, whereas in FTL you could still fight and maybe outrun the fleet, but the fight was always tough and rewards very small. But unlike FTL you can visit more than one location per turn if you split your commanders. It’s risky at the start when you only have few of them, but you can have up to 10 later on so it’s possible to do 3 islands in one turn, get ton of resources and ahead of the horde. And you can only send up to 4 commanders to defend one island. There are three classes you can upgrade your militia to – archers, pike man and sword & shield. It’s all very simple and each class is a counter to some enemy type, but you learn their weaknesses and strengths through playing, you never get any pop up what is good against what.

As you hop from island to island you’ll meet new commanders and they’ll join you if you defend their home. It’s also the only opportunity to unlock starting traits. Every commander carries a banner that also tells you what trait their group has. If it’s just plain color then they have no trait. Traits vary from stuff like “weapons do more damage”, “upgrading skill/item is 50% cheaper” to “resistance to stun/knockback”. And some work better for one class, others less so. Archers on level 2 can knock most units off the boat with increased knockback trait instead of needing to be upgraded to level 3. Pikeman with sharp weapons at lvl 3 can stop pretty much any charging group at them.

The game is pretty tough at start when you try figure it out and you have no advantages at start. It reminds me of Rogue Legacy where you start with nothing, but over time build your castle, but here you unlock starting traits and items. I have to admit, I was very very very lucky because the first item I unlocked was philosophers stone, which gives you one extra gold if commander carrying it survives the island. Upgrade it to level 3 and you get 3 extra coins. And add to that trait that makes item upgrades 50% cheaper and I could have level 3 artifact on turn 3. After unlocking this combo, it made first 2/3 of every run a little too easy.

Sorry, I didn’t took any screenshots or clips here, and there’s no interesting tracks in the OST =/

Half-Life 2

Almost There: The Platformer

6/10
11.5 hours
24 of 24 achievements

Super meat boy wanna-be.

AT:TP is a tough platformer to the likes of SMB and The End is Nigh. It has a slight mobile game feel to it as you get rated in stars with one to three stars and it’s the type of game you just pick and go. It is on android, but honestly I can’t imagine playing this on the phone, unless you’re okay with getting one star on every level lol. There are 3 worlds, each having over 50 levels that you can beat in 10-20 seconds if you know the mechanics and layout. Of course the game is not easy, so you’ll spend a lot more on each level. First world focuses mainly on teaching you how to jump and it gets harder and requires more precision as you go. You can endlessly wall jump as long as you have wall to jump on and you can even bounce just before you hit the wall again, you’ll need to learn it for later levels as sometimes you need to get up really fast or just for the sake of getting 3 stars. And you jump around obstacles like spikes, sometimes spikes move and sometimes they are stationary until you get close and they charge at you as a “nice” surprise. Second world introduces platforms that fall off if you stand on them, jumping platforms and sawblades, one more thing from SMB. Not just that but I’m pretty sure some parts of SMB levels are copy-pasted in here. And sawblades get their own variations too, moving sawblades, stationary sawblades, saw blades that are shot from turret.

Third world is all that but we are introduced to turrets – rocket turrets, homing rocket turrets and laser turrets. So generally more fuckery. And it can get really frustrating at times to the point I sometimes wanted to smash my fucking keyboard.
There’s no story at all, the visuals are very minimalistic. It is one-man game after all, so taking that into account it’s not a bad game. Ignoring the levels that are just copied from SMB, the level design is not that bad, some even have slightly two different paths you can take, though I’m not sure if that’s by design or dev just didn’t think you could do something different. I just wish the music was better. It’s one song per world that just loops, ok fine SMB was the same in that regard but IMO the soundtrack there was much better and it fitted thematically with every world. Here it’s just a weak electronic music, I got bored of it very quickly and just turned the sound off and played my own music in the background. Music on world 3 is pretty decent and fast but it gets tiresome too after hours of listening.

Overall when I played with my own music and wasn’t trying to beat absurdly hard levels, I had some fun with it. It’s pretty good at times and found myself immersing in this game trying to push on. But would I recommend it? Eh, that’s difficult considering SMB and TEiN exist, but if you already beaten everything else and looking for something new, then you could give it a shot.
Lastly, I mentioned mobile version. Looks like it’s free, but it is flagged with “in-game purchases” on Play Store, so just mind that. What exactly you buy in this version I’m not sure, on PC you just pay for the game and that’s it, there’s no in-game stuff to buy.

Half-Life 2

DuckTales Remastered

6/10
15.8 hours
20 of 20 achievements

02 – Intro
09 - Scrooge McDuck's Office
15 – Transylvania
19 – The Moon

Well that’s one more “blast from the past” but slightly worse than Turok.

I hope the audio-visual department got a nice bonus for this game, because this is the strongest aspect of this game. Characters look awesome and the soundtrack is absolutely amazing, what’s neat is you can change it to it’s 8-bit version and hear the original, switch back and hear their recreation. Background visuals look good too when they are drawn, but everything at front and not so far in the back is 3D and quality varies. Most of you will see through the level looks ok, but some models have pretty bad textures.

I haven’t played original NES game, but it feels the remaster left gameplay mostly untouched. Enemies are very basic, do one thing, are easy to kill but sometimes game likes to throw many of them at once and it’s easy to get hit. Bosses are easy too, tbh I find the levels themselves harder than all of the bosses. You kill everything by jumping on their heads using pogo jump, which you also use to jump on floor that would normally damage you or to reach secrets. There’s one really annoying thing about this pogo jump though… It has it’s own hitbox and it’s a pretty small cane. And it’s possible to not hit someone as you fall down on them, but your character will touch the enemy and get hit. You can also miss the floor, say you land on the edge, the cane landed outside the edge but part of your character did not, so it breaks your pogo jump and you just stand there. It was a cause of a lot of frustration for me with this game at start as I didn’t understood why it was behaving like that.


Example of what you can unlock with the money you collect.


100%-ing this is a small chore, you need to beat this pretty much 3-times and grind a little to unlock all the stuff in vault, but I like some of stuff you unlock. Things like art pieces, drawings, original TV series art and sketches, new and old character models. But like I said unlocking all this is a chore.

The game is overall ok, it’s simple and when the frustrating parts don’t get in the way it can be fun. But I played better and I can only recommend buying this on discount. If you already have this and want to play a platformer, give it a try but don’t expect anything big.

5th July 2020

Hey hey people,

Boy, it’s been 4 months since my last update and I only bring this…I did beat three more games actually, but I’m saving those for next report as I expect to beat at least 6 more by the end of July as part of Cjcomplex “Monthly in a monthly” games. Next one is gonna be a big one!

And I hope everyone is doing ok. In my country restrictions are pretty much off, except having to wear masks in closed spaces but half of people don’t do that already and among those that do, a lot of them wear it without covering their nose… which to me is more frustrating to see than someone without a mask… why, why is it so hard for some people?

Also big thank you to Arbiter Libera, I stole borrowed the template for screenshot showcase from him, like the one you see in my A Hat in time review, I also used it in my Black Mesa review but I completely forgot to mention that back then 😰

Anyway back to games

  • The Void

    7.9 hours playtime

    no achievements

  • I tried but honestly this game really bores me… I even started using the walkthrough from GameFAQs but I kind forgot about this game. I should probably finish this as I think I’m 2/3 done but man I’m gonna rate it pretty low if things don’t change :S It’s from the team that did Pathologic, I really hope at least that game is better than this as I often hear nothing but praises for Pathologic games.

    Played cyrano back in april

    Half-Life 2

    Cyrano Story

    3/10
    0.9 hours
    13 of 13 achievements

    I played it for free game like everyone else. Sadly I was too late and didn’t get anything :/ Played with guide after trying to figure it out myself, some answers make sense and I think I would figure it out with time, some don’t (to me at least). Not really worth playing it now…

    Half-Life 2

    A Hat in Time - Nyakuza Metro + Online Party

    7/10
    3 hours
    8 of 8 achievements

    I wasn’t very interested in the online mode for this, but honestly even I am a little disappointed by the implementation of this mode. You’ll see a new machine in your spaceship which lets you join a party game. Simply put a name and any other players that have typed the same name for lobby will be connected. You can hang out together on the spaceship and do chapters together. But everything is the same, you progress on your own, nothing is synced, not even enemies. It’s basically like having a ghost that you can emote with. If you start a chapter at similar time you can compete who gathers more gems and the person to first pick up the time piece gets a lot of bonus gems, but that’s it. Really weak co-op implementation. But it’s quite impressive you can have 50 other people at the same time.

    The Nyakuza metro is pretty awesome tho. A big city with colorful neon signs and metro system where HUGE cats server as a locomotive. And it’s runned by big black sphinx cat lady and her mafia (not the same as Mafia in base game). The new outfits and color schemes are pretty awesome. To move around the city you need metro passes, you get your first one from boss lady and over time find new ones and the whole area is similar to Alpine Skies where you can access every time piece from the get go, you don’t really need to pick a chapter from the book (at least that’s how I remember alpine sky worked…). Story is kinda lackluster tho, the boss lady wants the timepieces for herself and you work for her at the start, you give them back to her after finding them only to steal them all near the end. But you won’t know anything about the city or the boss lady herself. The base game and the first DLC were a little more fleshed out than this.




    Overall it’s an ok DLC but could be a little better. IMO wait for it to go on a sale.

    Half-Life 2

    11-11 Memories Retold

    8/10
    13.8 hours
    50 of 50 achievements

    03 – The German Engineer
    11 – The Battle of Vimy Ridge
    16 – An Unmarked Grave
    23 – Confrontation

    I did not expect to like this one as much as I did. A narrative-adventure game (or in other words, a walking sim with some easy puzzles and simple gameplay here and there) set in The Great War/WWI. Though set during actual historical event, the two characters you play as and their history is completely fictional AFAIK. You play as Harry the photographer on the Canadian side and Kurt the engineer on the German side, so you get to experience the war from both sides. Eventually both characters get to meet and their stories connect.

    You may notice from screenshots that the game has some strange artsy visuals. This is because the engine tries to “paint” everything in impressionist style, which was a dominant painting style back in this era. For me it’s a mixed result, sometimes it looks pretty and everything Is more or less visible, sometimes it’s just a visual mess and I couldn’t tell what’s in the room. But I appreciate that they at least went with something that has connection to time when The Great War is set and not picking something random just to look different and artsy. But the game is not focused on teaching you history, it’s main focus is to tell a story. Through the game you’ll stumble unto photographs and if you gather all the pieces you unlock a small memorabilia that tells you about a small fact from the war. This ranges from tactics, logistics and life in trenches to civilian life, newspapers etc. a little bit of everything. But it’s easy to miss most of these pieces if you don’t look for them so it’s possible to miss them all and learn nothing new. And some of them can only be found via Harry’s camera, which brings me to our protagonists.


    Small piece of history. You unlock these after finding enough pieces of photos in level.


    Harry is the first character that’s introduced. He’s a young Canadian, working with his best friend Julia in her father’s photography shop and Julia is ofc his love interest. One day Major Barret comes in looking for a photographer for the war and Harry signs up to get that uniform and find glory and heroism in the war and ultimately to impress Juliet. He’s young and stupid and maybe my biggest gripe with him is that he never grows, he seems to stay the same regardless of the ending. At one point Kurt even says “he is a coward with a camera who believes he is some kind of hero” and frankly I kinda agree. He’s voiced by Elijah Wood (Frodo from LOTR) and he does really great, not so much on some sad parts of the game, tho I feel like the director is there to blame, not him. Since he is a photographer you get the camera as him and sometimes have to take pictures the game tells you too to progress, but you can also photograph anything you want and keep them, there also optional objectives you can photograph and sometimes you get pieces to unlock memorabilia. When photographing you have some freedom how to take a photo, you can stand anywhere you want, pick different zoom and angle. At one point one of the characters shows you your photos and I think they were just the way I took them :)

    Kurt is the opposite of Harry, he joins the army to find his son who is MIA and believes he is still alive. He’s more of a tragic character and it’s really just downhill for his story, how bad it ends, depends on you. Instead of photographing you will solve very simple puzzles and sometimes do some eavesdropping on enemies with stethoscope, in practice it’s just moving your mouse on the right spot and pressing E. He is somewhere in his 40’s and is not interested in glory and heroism and is very determined to find his son. Although I am not a father so I cannot really empathize with him, he’s the one I really cared most through the whole story.

    When you don’t do any of the above you usually just walk around, doing simple tasks, there are few moments when you can die but most of the game is without consequences. Still, I found myself to really enjoy the story. There’s also a twist near the end that I absolutely did not see coming, but I honestly wasn’t that hooked up into the game at the start so I’m not sure if it surprised me because I didn’t paid much attention at start.

    Also huge props to Olivier Deriviere and London Philharmonia Orchestra for the OST, it’s phenomenal! Up there with ABZU OST, definitely something I’m gonna get.



    Half-Life 2

    Space Run

    7/10
    28.5 hours
    30 of 30 achievements

    I wasn’t sure what to expect, I only remember watching TotalBiscuit showing this years ago on his “WTF is…” series and I remember it looked interesting. I was kinda expecting some rogue-like in space but I was wrong. There’s almost zero randomness as far as I can tell, the levels, enemy placement, timings etc are not random which was a pleasant surprise!

    You are a space scumbag smuggler, a cheap rip-off of Han Solo with IMO a pretty bad voice actor. You work for various corporations that want you to move cargo and you have to protect it from pirates and asteroids of varying size. You don’t control your ship, it moves in a straight line from point A to B and you can only control your speed i.e. how many engines you build. Your ship consists of hexagonal pieces where you place cargo at start, one engine and after that all the defenses and extra engines you need.

    You can build laser turrets, rocket launchers, engines, generators and defenses. Every type of building has 3 tiers which you unlock with money you get from missions and each building has it’s own 3 tier tree. So for example tier 1 turret has a tier 2 ability that allows it to fire ridiculously fast for 30 sec and it also has tier 3 passive permanent +30% dmg boost if it’s powered by generator. Or a tier 3 generator can make everything immune from dmg for a short time. And so on, each building has quite a lot of options and you build that or use special abilities with scrap. You start with some and generate more slowly over time. Each destroyed ship, drone or asteroid drops more and the bigger the better. You don’t carry any extra scrap to the next mission, so if you have loads of it there’s no point in saving it, unless you know something big is coming and you want spam a lot of special abilities in short time.


    Why yes it is a screenshot from the store! I somehow never took one myself during battle


    But during that you also need to get the cargo on time. You fail either by getting it all destroyed or if you don’t deliver it on time. At the end of the mission you get rated based on how much cargo you delivered and how fast. The faster and the more cargo you deliver, the more money you get so you can upgrade your ship and building faster. And if you don’t do well every time the game can become pretty grindy near the end, I had to repeat few missions quite a lot just to get the latest upgrades as most of them are pretty essential near end. During the actual run you also need to balance your defenses vs your speed. It’s possible to not make it on time because you spent too much on turrets and forgot to buy extra engines. This gets extra tricky on levels with bosses as they can stop your ship completely until you destroy them. The cargo is also different for every corpo. One for example specializes in nuclear cargo and on few missions you get to carry a nuclear warhead that you can use, but if you do it’s counted as cargo lost. Or one specializes in alien technology that consumes energy from nearby buildings, so everything around it needs extra +1 power to work properly.

    It’s a fun game that involves some planning and smart placement of the turrets and generators, so you can get the maximum effect. It’s also quite an impressive game considering it’s from a 1-man team.
    But the music in this game, oh my gods it’s so dull. I just turned it off at some point and listened to my own in the background. The writing is not so good either and at times really cringy. Audio-visually it’s ok, not bad looking for a 2013 indie game. But I did enjoyed it overall, at some points I really got immersed and fully focused on defending my ship, the battles can look amazing at times. If it only was less grindy near end and had better writing and story I would enjoy it more.

    9th March 2020

    Hey,

    I hope everyone is doing well during the pandemic, I was fine for a while, it’s sad but my life didn’t changed much after the lockdown lol. I only miss going to gym and taking my dog on a long walks to local park, it’s closed now and neither me nor my dog enjoy walking around the neighborhood for a long time. The peak here is supposed to happen somewhere in may, which is gonna put a lot of stress on a lot of folk here and our government just keeps coming up with new restrictions and rules while at the same time trying to push for presidential elections to happen because our current president has a high approval rating and polls highly, I guess somehow people think this moron is handling the pandemic well even tho he has little to do with that.

    Anyway despite the lockdown it was still a slow month for me when it comes to games.

  • Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45

    46.5 hours playtime

    44 of 44 achievements

  • I did 100% in this and it wasn’t fun. Someone at Tripwire thought it would be a great idea if achievements only counted when there are 16 or more players on the server. Sixteen. And bots don’t count, but a fellow achievement hunter managed to gather a group so we could all do it. If you don’t care about achievements, don’t bother starting it, delete it, this game is dead. And if you do care but have 0% or don’t want to look for 15 other people delete it as well. I did it because 15 years ago or so I did one achievement and this game was already counting into my completion percent on steam.

  • The Void

    3.6 hours playtime

    no achievements

  • I started it before Black Mesa came out of EA. Weird game, but I’ll try to finish it. It’s an FPS without shooting part and it has some crazy character design when it comes to “male demigods” lol. Very abstract, hopefuly it’ll make more sense to me.

    And I also completed these two gems:

    Half-Life 2

    Hotline Miami

    8/10
    14.4 hours
    35 of 35 achievements

    04 - M O O N – Crystals
    10 - Perturbator - Miami Disco
    17 - El Huervo - Turf Main
    19 - Perturbator - Electric Dreams

    Another one of these, that one could name indie “classic”. It’s 7 years old and I remember hearing a lot of praises for it when it came out in 2013. For those few that don’t know what this game is, it’s fast paced and skill based (although with some randomness, more on that later), top down, pixel art and a very brutal shooter/slasher.

    Game usually goes like this – you start a level, pick rubber animal mask that gives you some kind of buff (the starting out being the only exception, it does nothing) and your goal is to brutally murder everyone. You have good melee weapon variety as well as firearms. Melee weapons include knife’s, baseball bats, golf club, machete, fire axe, a pot and so on. Firearms arms are less varied – revolver, silenced pistol, uzi/scorpion, mp5, assault rifle and a couple of shotguns – pump and double barreled. The one complain is that it’s really hard to tell apart uzi from scorpion once you pick it up. I don’t even remember picking scorpion ever but I had to since I got an achievement for killing with every gun. If MP-5 was smaller in this game I probably wouldn’t be able to tell it apart from uzi either. But if you don’t like guns of any kind you can always use your fists. Though you can only knock someone on ground with them and have to finish them off by banging their head on the floor.


    And oh yeah, this game is very brutal and graphic, even if it’s all pixel art. Each enemy leaves a big pool of blood, you can crack their skulls open with various melee weapons or turn their heads into tiny pieces with a close shotgun blast. If you knock someone on the ground, you can finish them with any melee weapon. Sit on them and crush their head with a sledgehammer, cut their throat open with a knife or crack open their skull with few, swift crowbar hits. There also dogs that you have to kill, even if you wear a mask that makes them friendly.

    Camera is placed right above you and you can see through walls, but your view is not big enough to see the whole level. You can move camera independently if you press shift and look further, you can also lock on target to for example quickly jump from around a corner and shoot somebody but I never used it to be honest. The game also recommends controller when you launch it but it is playable with K+M, I did every level on “A+” for achievement like that. And AFAIK there is no S ranking in this game, so this was the highest possible.

    The game rewards recklessness and speed, the faster and more dangerous your approach, the better your combo will get. There’s a very short time after one kill to rack up a combo and killing with melee weapons nets you more points than firearms. The enemies are also very fast, their aim is pretty good mostly and they swarm you if they either spot you or hear your gun. Though that doesn’t always happen, here comes the randomness. Because you will often die in this game, it’s normal you will replay the same level many times just to beat it. I would often see enemies in the same spot either reacting to my gunshot or not. Sometimes every enemy on the level hears it and rushes to you. Sometimes only the guy in the next room will hear it, sometimes he won’t but two guys at the end of the level will and they will rush you instead. The weapons they get is also random, although from what I noticed the type of weapon they get is always the same. So for example one guy in this room always gets melee weapon and the other two a gun.

    [Clip] How your average Hotline Miami level plays like after you start getting grip on the game

    The music is a highlight of this game, most of music is from different artists and it wasn’t commissioned for this game, there’s some reggae in more chill moments of the game and electronic, synthwave and club music during combat levels. I honestly didn’t know most of these artists except Perturbartor. It fits the game great.

    The story is a little vague and there are 3 endings, one perhaps the “true” ending requires you to find a password to a computer. But it’s not the focus of the game and at one point devs break the 4th wall and just tell you it’s a game (and maybe they also say “fuck the story, gameplay is what is more important” but that’s just my interpretation). If you haven’t yet, give this game a try! If you don’t care about achievements you can finish this one in 5-8 hours.

    Half-Life 2

    Black Mesa

    +9/10
    43.4 hours
    50 of 50 achievements

    Xen 02 – Internal Conflict
    Xen 13 – Ascension
    Earth 12 – Forget About Freeman
    Earth 27 – Surface Tension 3

    Absolutely amazing recreation of the original. It tries to make an OG Half-life more modern while also trying to stay faithful to the original and I think it succeeded for the most part. There are some level design changes or specific encounters where it is a small downgrade from original, but I could count these on just one hand.

    I remember majority of levels but throughout the whole game I was positively surprised in almost every corner. Old and familiar levels were recreated with much more detail while retaining the layout and paths. And some were drastically changed but most of that happened in levels that either had no combat or very little of it. Thankfully they kept most pieces where combat happens the same, and the few that got changed (or added completely new) are better for most part 😊 Xen has received the biggest changes and it’s what we’ve been waiting for since the free mod release in 2012 which lacked these last levels. Xen is now much, much bigger and longer. And much, much better. You can pretty much forget what you remember from original Xen. Most of areas have been scrapped or redesigned to the point where they don’t look like the OG Xen, it’s also more varied. There parts with strange fauna where most of Xen wildlife resides like hound eye’s and bullsquids, it’s where Black Mesa set it’s Xen HQ to study the area until it was overtaken, Gonarch Lair is not a 5 minute fight anymore but a tough boss fight that only ends with you wounding Gonarch, a long chase after her until she starts chasing you again and ends with a final stand where this banger plays in the background. Build up to final boss is so amazing, it felt like Xen forces start throwing everything at you to stop you. Final boss got a great redesign and is now a multi-phase battle. And the whole Xen is so beautiful now, especially the first part with its lush environment and cosmic sky above you. Overall there’s a lot more exploring too and solving puzzles. Platforming is still here but not as much and now you have something called “landing jets” which completely negate falling damage and it was a frustrating part of OG Xen, you could easily kill yourself there. No more in this remake…well unless you fall into the void ;p



    Human AI has been improved from what I can tell. It used combine soldier AI in free mod from what I can tell which was dumber than human grunts AI in OG Half-life, combine soldiers would just stand like dummies or rush straight into your face and occasionally throw a grenade, but here on improved AI, soldiers try to flank you, suppress fire on your last position and throw grenades more often, even more than in original but since they are an actual physical objects you can pick up and throw back it’s not a big issue.

    Gunplay is great for a source engine game. The one thing that in my opinion was a downgrade in HL2 from HL were guns. Thankfully the guns feel, sound and shoot more like those in original than a reskin of those from Half-life 2. I can only wish shotgun in HL2 felt so powerful and impactful like the one in Black Mesa. MP-5 feels quite powerful for a SMG and has nice and controllable recoil, Gluon gun feels more like a devastating Ghostbuster gun and has its own special moment in Interloper level, something similar to how gravity gun got a power up in HL2 Citadel near the end. .357 is exactly the same like in HL2 from what I can tell, which is the only gun that didn’t need any changes, so that’s good they left it as it was, but you can use iron sights now with it. Glock doesn’t feel like a toy gun (looking at you, HL2 pistol). Each weapon has a special pick up animation when you get it for first time.

    [Clip] Nothing to say only how I wish I could just embed these into post without getting potato quality or injecting half of streamable site with the clip into the post

    Soundtrack is different and sounds nothing like original Kelly Bailey OST. Every track that plays on Xen is excellent and fits really nicely with that they made. The “earth” part on its own is not that bad but I don’t think it always fitted what happened on screen. For example when you are on your way back to control room in rocket engine test pit where green tentacles spawned, this “epic” rock music starts blasting in your ears while you try to slowly sneak up the room like you’re doing something amazing. And instead of industrial and electric music the whole “earth” OST feels more “rock” like if it makes any sense lol, but it is very atmospheric at times.

    This and few other minor annoyances prevent this me to feel like a 10/10 game. Xen could use a lot of optimization in certain levels. Certain small encounters got questionable changes and it felt like they had no idea what they were doing. They also recreated multiplayer from original but I haven’t touched, its probably something you can ignore anyways, in original it was basically a worse version of Quake II/Quake MP.



    Hey hey hey people,

    Here’s my supa late 2019 recap, a catch-up from my last post and since we recently entered a new decade, I decided to list ten games I played and enjoyed the most that came out between January 1st 2010 and December 31th 2019.

    Alright, let’s start with a short catch-up…

  • The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
    The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth

    600.0 hours playtime

    399 of 403 achievements

  • Since my last post, majority of my time was consumed by IRL and The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth. I’m soooooo close to 100% this game and I’m certain I can pull it off before the next and hopefuly this time REALLY the last expansion comes out in summer this year. I’m stuck on beating Mega Satan as The Keeper, trying to get the right build + get lucky with angel rooms and not messing up my chances is really difficult… Having perma 2 heart containers and no flying, garbage stats across the board from start makes it the most difficult character, The Lost is pretty easy in comparisment…

    But between Isaac I managed to beat something else.

    Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor - Bright Lord

    Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor - Bright Lord

    8/10
    3 hours
    10 of 10 achievements

    A prequel and last DLC for SoM, The Bright Lord is a short but very fun DLC that fixes one of the biggest mistakes that happened in the base game, that being the last boss fight. In this DLC you fight against Sauron himself while YOU hold the one ring and only thanks to it you stand a chance as Sauron is pretty big and powerful even without it.

    You play as Celebrimbor who is the wraith that inhabits your body in base game. It’s basically his short story how he got turned into a wraith and how Sauron tricked him into making the ring.

    Gameplay wise this DLC is similar but it’s much more focused on truly using the one ring and swaying uruks to your side. Your HP pool is the same as Talion at the start, but the perks that increase that are gone, which makes it easier to die. You can now use your AOE attack (after charging combos) to brand uruks and at any time you can summon a group of five uruks to fight for you. Before you fight Sauron, you have to retake his land from him by branding or killing uruks controlling territory and building your tower there. After that, your territory is dominated by uruks friendly to you, but some survivors roam on. Oh and you do have the one ring through the whole game and can use it like Talion could use his sword ultimate to have never ending combo, but the one ring in addition to never ending combo also slows down time. It’s crucial on the last fight as that happens in the middle of the stronghold, with Sauron, five warchiefs and dozens of uruks and archers above you, all trying to kill you. This where you have to utilize the one ring to damage Sauron but you also need crowd control by massively branding uruks so you don’t get swarmed. It’s pretty simple but difficult fight and I really liked. Sauron is well recreated from the first movie, he towers over everybody and any uruk that happens to be in it’s way gets thrown like a doll and dies.

    This is the most enjoyment I got from this game and I wish it had a final fight like this in the base game. I highly recommend this DLC.

    Also does anyone know why BLAEO thinks I’m missing one achievement in Costume Quest? I changed it from “20 of 21” to “21 of 21” when making the panel, but on my game list it shows I’m still missing one. Shows correctly on AStats and my steam profile.

    Costume Quest

    Costume Quest

    6/10
    12.4 hours
    21 of 21 achievements

    Centered around Halloween and costumes (duh!), this one is a small and short game from Double Fine. I went completely blind into this one and had no idea what to expect. It turned out to be a casual adventure game with turn-based combat and Double Fine writing, which to me means well written dialogue, similar to LucasArts adventure games and a slightly to very cartoonish tone.

    The story – you and your twin sister/brother are new in neighborhood and Halloween just began. You pick whether you want to play as a girl or boy, and off you go to trick or treating, but just as you are about to go your twin, dressed as a giant candy, is kidnapped by a monster. You soon find out that the neighborhood is swarmed with these monsters, plundering the houses from all the candy and serving an evil witch that also has your twin. Through the game you’ll be chasing the evil witch and clearing hub areas you’re in, such as your neighborhood. The story is serviceable and writing is ok, but more childish than other double fine games I played since you play as a kid. And I don’t use childish here as insult to writing, I just can’t express it in any other way lol.

    When you enter a combat the world transforms in , what I think is, a imaginary fight of your kids where if you wear a robot costume, you transform into a giant transformer that launches its fist like a weapon and uses a rocket barrage, wear a knight costume and you are a giant knight that can shield others and so on. Kids imaginary representation of fight instead of what really happened, them bashing monsters with candy bags or something. You meet a new friend very quickly and he joins your team, later on you meet a nerdy girl who joins you too and it’s just you three through the whole game. Some of the more interesting costumes include a unicorn, a black cat and a GIANT CRAB MADE OUT OF FRENCH FRIES. Costumes essentially serve as a class in your typical RPG and each one has an ultimate ability. A knight has a pretty decent attack but it’s ultimate gives a friendly shield that. A small variation to make combat a little more interactive is that every time you attack or get attacked you get a button prompt and if you either press it at right time or fast enough you get a bonus to your attack or defense.

    When not fighting you roam the area collecting candy’s, looting chests, doing side quests or killing patrols of monsters, but that is mostly optional. You can spend candy to buy battle stamps, which effectively are buffs you can apply to one of your teammates. These vary from straight stat boost to giving you new abilities such as stuns, applying poison etc. Not bad but nothing amazing.

    There’s not much else to say, there are also collectibles like creepy cards but I don’t think these served any purpose other than achievement hunting. You can upgrade your bag to carry more candy, which is useful as you don’t always have a shop nearby to spend it and you don’t want to waste it. You can beat the whole game in 2 hours or so it’s worth to give it a shot.

    Access Denied

    Access Denied

    6/10
    2.3 hours
    7 of 7 achievements

    Straight forward puzzle game. You need to open boxes (loot boxes?) by solving puzzles imprinted on said box. Puzzles vary from trying to balance fluids, typing in right number combination to playing sort of mini-game.

    I found difficulty odd as sometimes in middle of game I would get easy puzzle, followed by something much more harder and ending with again, pretty easy.

    Game is super short, you can beat it in less than hour, if you struggle too long with solving a puzzle you can skip to next one, but if you want 100% you need to solve them all eventually.

    It’s an easy -1 to backlog at very least and the fact it’s so short makes it more appealing to me. It’s not something I would want to spent long hours on.

    My review of the first Dishonored and it’s DLC’s is HERE

    Dishonored 2

    Dishonored 2

    8/10
    28.9 hours
    28 of 50 achievements

    Dishonored 2 is a perfect sequel. It expands on every aspect of the original and does so well without breaking anything or overwhelming you (at least for those that played previous game, like me). The areas are much bigger and full of life, civilians appear a lot more now, unlike previous game where it felt like only guards lived in the cities. There are tons of optional rooms and arenas but also keeping with last game, options to approach each mission differently. New tools, new powers and bonecharms, new enemies, new locations and lore and some returning characters.

    This time you get to choose who you play as, either Corvo from the first game or Empress Emily, Corvo’s daughter who you helped save in the first game. Continuing from the first game and it’s DLC’s, each person get’s affected by the outsider powers a little differently, e.g. Corvo and Daud in 1st game. That means Emily get’s it’s own set of unique abilities that no other character has like ability to turn into a shadow figure that can quickly assassinate someone and is very difficult to spot or ability to spawn a clone of yourself to serve as distraction. Corvo has the same abilities which makes him the boring choice for first time playthrough. But one thing that changed is that Corvo now has a voice. He was a mute character in first game but looks like devs decided to give him some more personality for this game, which will make second playthrough less boring as you’ll hear now what he thinks about current situation or character. Though I should add if you want, you can play as Corvo for the first time.

    Another choice you can make is accept The Outsider powers or not. I haven’t done this playthrough yet, but I imagine besides no powers this also makes bonecharms useless, which will make the game much harder, especially if you plan to do a stealth playthrough!

    Combat wasn’t the best element of the first game, but I have to say it feels a lot more fluid here. I’m not sure what they changed or if it’s just me still remembering how to play after first game.

    This time your hub area is a ship you use to travel around the empire, but unlike the Pub from first game, there’s no shop or upgrade guy for you. This time if you want to buy stuff or upgrade equipment you need to find Black Market’s that are on every level. Blueprints are again present and you need them to unlock new upgrades.

    You’ll see some really unique levels here. A clockwork manor that switches entire rooms with a push of a lever, time-travel shenanigans where you jump from one time to another and you can affect the future with your actions (though changing events seems to affect just one specific issue, but I guess they didn’t want to bother and predicting how things would go for the whole world :P), city divided by two factions. The devs really stepped up their game on this part. There’s a different plague going on in background again, this time it’s bloodflies and the more aggressive playstyle will result in more apartments and even entire buildings being infested with bloodflies.


    According to HowLongToBeat this game can be beaten in 12,5 hours, it took me 2x longer to beat this game because there’s so much to explore and loot in this game, you’ll spend hours just exploring. But you do get rewarded with a lots of money and blueprints you may have missed otherwise ;) It’s hard to find any complaints about this game, it also looks a lot better if you can play on high settings and runs really well even on my 660ti and FX-6350. One big complain I have is that there is a save limit. I hitted it somewhere ¾ in the game and had to replace some old saves. Quick saves and auto-saves are not affected by this.

    So yeah, overall excellent sequel, it’s not very different from the last game in terms of gameplay, but it is better. Buy it if you liked the first game, or not :P

    2019 recap and the top 5 games I played in 2019

    Well, progress this year was much worse compared to my 2018 recap…
    I beat only 17 games in 2019 vs 35 in 2018.
    The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth is largely to blame for that as I started new save, first time going through Afterbirth+ expansion and sinking a couple hundred hours more since the second half of 2019… Other than that I just couldn’t find as much time for games due to IRL stuff. I’m not sure if I’m gonna be less busy with IRL stuff but when I finally 100% Isaac then I won’t have a familiar game to come back to, meaning I’ll have to play something else :P

    Oh I also had some new year resolutions but fuck them! No more new year resolutions this time.

    This year balance:

    --- 17 games beaten

    +++ 285 games added to the backlog

    ===============

    +268

    Oops… :/

    But hey, I did play some great games this year besides Isaac, so this year wasn’t a complete waste! One of these even made it to my top 10 games of the decade!

    Five games I beated this year and enjoyed the most:

    5. The Sexy Brutale (2017) (My review)

    4. Apex Legends (2019) (My review)

    3. Dishonored (2012) (My review)

    2. RUINER (2017) (My review)

    1. Spec Ops: The Line (2012) (My review)

    And to recap my time with video games in 2010’s, here are the best ten games I played and that came out this decade!

    10. Dishonored 2



    Well, I already given my thoughts above. Dishonored 2 is one of the most fun stealthy games out there with compelling story and visuals.

    9. Grand Theft Auto V


    I have yet to play a game developed or published by Rockstar that disappointed me. GTA V is no exception, with excellent writing, more adult-focused humor and fun, open-world gameplay. Although I feel like driving and gunplay took a small step back from GTA IV, this is still such a joy to play slaughter with the cops or just cruising through the city.

    8. Amnesia: The Dark Descent



    Still one of my favorite horror games and really scary to this day, as I recently replayed it for new achievement. Lovecraftian and injects a lot of story from “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward” onto Daniel, game protagonist, and borrows a little from other mythos and stories.

    7. Spec Ops: The Line



    Solid game with some of the best use of foreshadowing in games I have seen. It begins so boring with you, Delta Force operator somewhere in middle east gunning down brown people with AK’s to end with hundreds of American marines killed by you and a twist that I didn’t see coming. Great game and the biggest surprise of this decade.

    6. The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth



    Oh boy, how could I not put BoI on this list? Even as I type this I still struggle to get the last four achievements. If there’s one game to blame for my poor progress in 2019 it’s this one. This is game is such a time sink, with it’s addicting gameplay, hundreds of different items and combinations and a unique run everytime you start a new one. Great improvement from flash version that I also sinked over 150 hours in :D

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



    Aka. Slav simulator, CoP is the most defined entry in the series. Although it cuts off a lot of Zone from previous games, it introduces two new huge areas and some different parts of Pripyat city not seen in SoC. It’s a series divided by those that either hate or love the game. CoP also has a massive modding scene, with tons of different mods from small changed to complete overhauls.

    4. SOMA



    I did not expect it to be better than Amnesia, but I’m happy that Frictional Games proved me wrong. Moving from Amnesia old castle into SOMA’s abandoned underwater facility, SOMA is just as scary as Amnesia while also asking you moral and philosophical questions. It could be even higher on list if not for your protagonist who is a complete dumbass and sometimes so annoying you just want to yell at him to shut the fuck up.

    3. Hollow Knight



    Indie gem of the decade, the most beautiful and most challenging (after Dark Souls) game I played that I can remember. Memorable encounters, beautiful visuals and music, good controls and a huge map with mostly visual story telling makes this game one of my all time favorites. Looking forward to Silksong!

    2. Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice



    Loved almost every second of it. A story of a celtic warrior who attempts to enter Nordic Hel to get back her lost love, while constantly fighting with her psychosis. Great sound design with voices whispering constantly to your ear. I also really loved devs vision of Nordic warriors and creatures.

    1. Portal 2



    The last single player game by Valve and their greatest achievement 😊 It’s fun from start to beginning, pacing is perfect, greatly expands Aperture Science complex, GLaDOS is excellent with her sarcastic humor and a slightly different, less robotic personality, which I liked!
    And I only hope that HL: Alyx is going to make it to number one place of my future 2020’s list 😉 I have high hope in Valve that they can pull it off, but first I need to get myself a VR headset D:

    Thanks for making it to the end! And hopefuly next year I can finish my yearly recap a little faster XD

    Hello fellow backloggers,

    I would like to know your opinion on something… Recently I was thinking of including webm’s in my reviews to better show what the game is about. These would be short, raw gameplay clips, no music or effects added. I probably won’t include them for every game and a number of clips will vary, but I try to don’t go over three clips per review.

    I would upload them to something like streamable or something similar and embed them in between the lines (though I haven’t tried it yet, maybe I will be too dumb to do it lol).

    What do you think? Great idea? Or should BLAEO remain text only?

    Let me know in comments and vote here - StrawPoll

    July & August Report

    Heyo,
    Another slow month for me, Shadow of Mordor consumed a lot of my time and I still have one DLC to beat and some achievements to do. I also had 2 week vacation in August without my PC so that obviously didn’t help with the backlog 😅

    In next month I’m gonna tackle another big game - Dishonored 2 and maybe Death of the Outsider, too. After that, who knows.

    Question to those that read my reviews - should I include my favorite tracks from game OST at the beginning, so you can listen to them while reading, or not? Or it doesn’t matter, it’s not like I’m writing 30 minute reviews. :p

    And something else - what games are you most hyped right now? For me it would be a new game from Edmund McMillen, The Legend of Bum-bo and a game from studio that made The Swapper and Baba is You - Noita. A rogue-lite where every pixel is simulated and every world is procedurally generated. It looks and sounds fucking amazing and will be in EA soon, I might buy it just to support it and wait for it to leave EA.

    Braid

    Braid

    7/10
    4.2 hours
    11 of 12 achievements

    One of the old, big indie hits back in 2009, this is a platformer developed mostly by Jonathan Blow, now I guess one of the indie scene legends along with Edmund McMillen, Phil Fish and Tommy Refenes.

    A platformer with focus on time manipulation that does it in a pretty unique way (for a game, at least). You can pause, rewind and fast forward at any time and as much as you like. Though the FF can be only done to the furthest point in time you moved to.

    Each world has some kind of twist, starting with second world where time immune elements are introduced that aren’t affected by your manipulation, so for example once you open time immune door it will stay open forever, until you start the level again. It’s also the only element that shows up in other worlds, other “twists” don’t show up in worlds where they’re not introduced.

    In next world time moves only when you move and maybe I’m just easily impressed, but this is where level design really surprised me, how excellently everything is lined up and thought out. I won’t spoil next worlds.

    You could finish this game in ~30 minutes or so, just by moving to the right and finish all 5 worlds as the path is mostly straight forward and easy, except two bosses on the way, however to reach the ending you need to pick up puzzle pieces scattered through levels and this is the real goal of the game, as well where the challenge lies. The puzzles get more challenging as you go and require you to utilize time manipulation and tools you get to pick the pieces.

    The story is surprisingly good and ends with a twist. It’s about finding love, self-improvement and personal, honest reflection on yourself. It’s told mostly via little books you can read at the entrance to the world and its levels, but there’s more if you pay attention. I’m guessing it’s personal to Mr Blow, but I haven’t read on it yet to know.

    I could give it a higher rating, but in the end it’s mostly based on my personal enjoyment and there were times when I got stuck and had to use a guide to get the last puzzle pieces. And sometimes I just felt bored with the game. Maybe just a bad day…

    Favorite tracks (same video, different timestamps):
    05 - Jami Sieber – Maenam
    07 - Jami Sieber – Undercurrent
    08 - Jami Sieber - Tell It By Heart

    Middle-earth™: Shadow of Mordor™

    Middle-earth™: Shadow of Mordor™

    7/10
    39.8 hours
    63 of 74 achievements

    I was excited starting this one as I heard a lot of good things about it and it’s nemesis system, it’s also from Monolith Productions which did one of my favorite FPS-es of all time – F.E.A.R.

    Set in Middle-earth and before LoTR, this game has a very different feeling and atmosphere than the movies. It’s dark and grim for 90% of the game with some humor in some cutscenes from the uruk traitor that helps you in the game and a dwarf you meet later on, and the whole story is pretty much a revenge story on the lieutenants of Sauron and their warchiefs. There’s no Shire or innocent characters like Hobbits to contrast with the world, just your grimy ass and elfish wraith that inhabited your body.

    Not a huge spoiler since it’s at the very beginning, but you are Talion captain of Gondor defending The Black Gate where for some reason your family is also, the Gondor pretty much loses and your family, including you is murdered in some kind of ritual, performed by Black Hand who responds only to Sauron. After somehow not dying, you wake up to find you have been bound to wraith of an elf, who doesn’t remember who he is, but will help you in your mission.

    Talion is a really good fighter on his own and with wraith you can use bow like Legolas himself, interrogate people by literally reading their mind and other cool abilities you unlock later on. Melee fights are Arkham style, meaning you mostly press left button and counter the attacks with right button. The fights don’t require skill for most part, it’s very difficult to die in this game, it’s all about spectacle and making you feel like a badass, occasionally you’ll run into a warchief or even a captain who has a ridiculous set of buffs that make him hard to kill. Later in game you often will meet shield-bearers that you need to attack from behind or berserkers that can counter your front attacks. As you build your combo streak by left-clicking you can instantly execute normal uruks or deal a lot of damage to a captain, as long as they’re not immune to combat finishers. Skill trees are also present and broken into tiers, you unlock tier by gaining more “Power” and you gain that by killing captains/warchiefs and finishing side quests related to them. Skill points you get by leveling up and to do that just kill stuff and complete missions. If you want to see combat in action and how easy it is, I recommend this video by my favorite streamer, though he shits on it pretty hard, but it does look cool :p Key ability you get later on is to brand uruks and thus swaying them to your side. With branded captains and warchiefs you can command them to attack a different captain or warchief and build your own army over time.

    Game world is broken into two huge areas and boy is there stuff to do in each. Side missions that never end, lore pickups, legends to unlock ultimate’s for your weapons and challenges related to hunting and gathering herbs. Almost like a Ubisoft game, but not as bad. The first area is similar to the one in the movies, the second is a very lush and green (for a Mordor), its before Sauron is as powerful as in movies I guess and the shadow hasn’t completely killed the life around the mountain.

    Uh and about that nemesis system? I feel like once I transfer my saves to Shadow of War, I’m not going to recognize my closest ally and biggest nemesis lol. Honestly if it wasn’t for an achievement to make one normal uruk into a warchief, I wouldn’t have a strong feeling or memories of any uruks you meet. Any “normal” uruk that kills you gets automatically promoted to a captain, the achievement was to help that captain become warchief and then kill him, so I died to him a few times but he got so lucky with certain buffs as he leveled up that he actually become really powerful and difficult. None of that would have happened if I didn’t set that up. Like I mentioned, it’s pretty difficult to die in this game and thus create any kind of “relationship” with a captain or warchief. Sure, I died a few times and the captains mocked me for that which is cool, if they manage to run or somehow survive your attack they call you out on that. I guess when it came out it made a really good impression on people, but to me after seeing it on YT before and playing so late maybe I expected it to be little more than that?

    The biggest fuck up of this game is the final boss. It’s just a quick time event. Yep. That’s all you get after +30 hours of gameplay.

    To summarize, don’t expect a difficult game and I think you’ll enjoy the game. Executions are always fun to watch and combat is easy to learn and it’s easy to turn yourself into a killing machine. Mordor is pretty well recreated, soundtrack is ok but nowhere near good as Howard Shore OST for LoTR.
    Favorite tracks:
    01 – The Gravewalker
    06 – Ioreth
    09 - Family Killings / Banished From Deaths
    44 – The Black Hand’s Gift

    Middle-earth™: Shadow of Mordor™ - Lord of the Hunt DLC

    Middle-earth™: Shadow of Mordor™ - Lord of the Hunt DLC

    7/10
    4 hours
    12 of 13 achievements

    Remember the dwarf I mentioned in my review of the base game? Well his name is Torvin and you will help him stop a group of beastmaster warchiefs that are trying to tame some of the most dangerous beasts in Mordor for Sauron’s army and overall cause mayhem to the Mordor’s ecosystem by burning land and chasing beasts. It takes place only in the second, greenly area.

    It’s pretty much more of the same, with some new beasts and skills for you to use. A new breed of Caragors for you to ride and a new Graug that can spit toxic poison. You also can finally brand Ghuls.

    Warchiefs in this DLC are not randomized AFAIK, not sure about their bodyguards, so don’t expect some weird combinations. The last warchief is pretty hard and different from most you’ll see in this DLC or base game, so that’s nice.

    This DLC also comes with superb skin that makes Talion look a little like Khal Drogo. I imagine most people who already own it or will buy it, have GOTY edition, but if you don’t, wait for a discount, it’s an ok DLC but not worth the 10€ they ask for.

    Secrets of Rætikon

    Secrets of Rætikon

    5/10
    6.8 hours
    19 of 19 achievements

    Another short game, this one is a rather boring 2d bird adventure.

    You’re dropped right into the world and after short tutorial where you learn how to move etc. and how to get the objects that unlock the ending, you’re free to move between the worlds and explore. The objective is to unlock 7 or so seals that unlock some kind of machinery in the middle of forest and do…something? Blood sacrifice ?

    I have never played 2d game where you control a bird, so I have nothing to compare it to, but controls were ok, you can move in any direction, dive, flap your wings to speed up. I have never felt like I was held back in any way by the controls. The birdy you control has some strength as you can pick any object, including moving huge boulders if you flap your wings hard enough or root out small trees for health.

    Besides you the forest is a pretty lively place, other birds and mammals are around like squirrels, magpies, lynxes, jackdaws, buzzards etc. Magpies and squirrels are not gonna bother you unless you carry one of the seal breakers which are black-gold, they’ll try to steal it from you. Buzzards and lynxes are aggressive and will try to hunt you, you can kill them by using the environment to make them jump/fly into spiky bushes or use a spiky branch to hit them. But you can also finish the whole game without killing any animal.

    So that’s the game pretty much, get all the pieces and you win. It gets boring pretty quickly and at time very annoying when you have to fight with magpies for the items. The story is very barebones, there’s more hidden in tablets scattered in the world, but all of them are in foreign alphabet. You can find individual letters to decode the messages. However, finding individual pieces or even whole alphabet is not going to automatically translate the texts. You’re only given letters side by side and have to translate them on your own, have fun with that… Maybe if the game was more fun and got me interested in the world, I would have do that…

    It’s pretty difficult to die, unless you try to do dumb achievements like me. And it’s short, so if you don’t care about 100% it’s an easy -1 to the backlog.

    Favorite tracks:
    02 – Canyon
    06 – Deep Forest Hunting
    07 - Isadoras Lair

    May & June Report

    Heyo,

    Well, this has been pretty horrible 2 months when it comes to beating my backlog 😬 During Steam Spring cleaning event I made a huge mistake… I started playing The Binding of Isaac again! All because Steam told me so. Well I only had to launch it but I decided to play one run but it didn’t stopped there…

    This game is such a time sucker and so addicting I added another 100 hours of playtime in a month and week or two! I decided I might as well stick to it and 100% before the new and hopefully the last expansion (this time for real, please Edmund?) comes out sometime in december…

    For this month I plan to play and beat at least four games to make up for the last two… Hopefully I can make it as I’m leaving for two weeks in August and ain’t gonna have access to my games.

    Here are few games I played before Isaac sucked me in.
    Careful as my screenshots from Sakura Nova are NSFW (+18 patch)

    Sakura Nova

    Sakura Nova

    3/10
    2.9 hours
    15 of 15 achievements

    At this point everyone should know what Sakura games are about, right?

    Sakura Nova is yet another dumb VN from Winged Cloud where you, the young, handsome guy has to deal with pretty and horny girls that want to have sex with you.

    This one is set in some kind of medieval fantasy, you live in a beautiful, white walled city guarded by an elite force of something that you really want to join.

    And it just happens that you two classmates are hot babes with huge boobs and skimpy outfits that serve as their armor. Your teacher also has one of those and also is a hot babe, but she has an eyepatch which makes her a badass, wow!

    Yeah this one is as dumb as the rest. Later on you train in school dungeons filled with monsters and girls always manage themselves to get caught and raped by tentacles. You save them, they start to like you and want to have sex with you. At one point out of blue the girl just says “Let’s have sex here!” and that’s exactly what happens.

    I played with +18 patch and I really can’t understand what people see in those games? The uncensored art is pretty good I guess, but staring at it for 5 minutes while reading what noises characters make gets boring really fast. The writing is really bad, the characters are shallow, story is very simplistic, I think I saw better hentai’s than what’s shown in this. People really get off to this? I guess there is a specific demographic that is into this stuff, in this specific game your character is a dude who dual-wields katanas or something lol. The only thing that’s missing is a fedora on his head.

    But hey, the cards are worth something. I got A LOT of these Sakura games in a very cheap bundle, I probably should get rest of them for next steam sale.

    The Sexy Brutale

    The Sexy Brutale

    +7/10
    9.8 hours
    18 of 18 achievements

    Stuck in a beautiful mansion on an exquisite party, you have to rescue your friends from staff conspiring to kill you all. However, you have an ability to reset the day and try as many times as you want in case you fail. But, you also cannot be seen by anyone, your friends or the staff. So you have to be a little helpful ghost that spies and plans how to save everybody without interacting with them.

    That’s the whole game and I think it was executed pretty well. Each character has it’s own unique personality and outfit and you have to learn their daily routine, what or who kills them and how to stop it. The mansion is huge and pretty diverse and beside saving people you have to find out how exactly all of this started and why are you stuck in here. It’s fun and interesting as you progress until the very ending which is, well, pretty disappointing.

    You don’t get to choose who you save first and as you save people you unlock some of their abilities that let’s you access areas or containers previously unreachable. There are also collectibles to find and some are hard to find and can only be found at specific hour.

    It could be an 8/10 game for me but unfortunately despite having above minimum requirements I would often get FPS drops below 30fps, sometimes even single digit FPS :| That’s just unacceptable for me, especially since the game doesn’t look that good. Maybe it could be fixed if the game offered proper video options menu, instead all you can do is change resolution and pick windowed/borderless.

    Lastly OST, which is amazing. A mix of Jazz, classical and…electro-swing, which in this game sounds pretty good?! That’s a first time I can say that, as everything else I heard from that genre is just fucking horrible.

    Favorite tracks:
    The Sexy Brutale Theme
    Tequila At Noon
    Shattered Hope (Tequila's Theme)

    Shower With Your Dad Simulator 2015: Do You Still Shower With Your Dad

    Shower With Your Dad Simulator 2015: Do You Still Shower With Your Dad

    5/10
    3.1 hours
    18 of 22 achievements

    Meme game.

    Well I only launched this during Steam Spring Cleaning event to complete a task and it gave me an achievement for launching this game… And since I didn’t liked the idea of leaving this with just one achievement completed, I kept playing.

    It’s a dumb game where you choose one of the three kids, white kid, black kid or Australian kid? Anyway after that you have to travel to a dad that matches your skin color and that’s most of the game lol. There are few secret modes you can unlock, like a flappy bird mode where you are in a bath tube and have to rescue your dad(s), a detective game with dad with no pants and a broken shower and a copy of frog fractions but with dad’s to catch. It’s dumb and between game modes you get to read dad jokes.

    I’ll give them that this game has a lot more content than I expected. I play it now for achievements but I keep unlocking new stuff O_O Most people will probably turn it off after 15 minutes, but there’s quite a lot of different pick-ups you can unlock. Also every time you go to wrong dad you get a big red text “WRONG DAD” and this keeps making me chuckle every time this happens for whatever reason.

    Achievement hunters just be aware that this game might have some achievements that are impossible to unlock…I did some reading and I’m not entirely sure, as some people seem to find solutions but they don’t seem to work for everybody, so be careful with this one. Might want to delete this if you grabbed it just because it was cheap and you have no interest in this game.

    April Report

    Heyo,

    Here I am 1/3rd of May behind us with my April report! :D
    I didn’t started Ancestors Legacy yet as I had planned last month. I may have to shelve it for another month as I will probably start Distant World: Universe. It’s gonna be my first 4x game, I hope it will be good :X

    Soon I’m gonna start Borderlands 2. I keep hearing it’s better in almost every way than the first game, which is ok in co-op and you can read my review of it below.

    Oh and one Sakura game just after I find +18 patch since I imagine that’s the way its meant to be played :V It’s one of my current PoP games and I might as well do this one since it’s short.

    Borderlands GOTY Enhanced

    Borderlands GOTY Enhanced

    6/10 Solo, 7/10 in co-op
    36.8 hours
    63 of 80 achievements

    Everyone is playing this right now so I decided to jump the train too. I played like 90% of base game with a friend.
    FPS Loot-shooter with millions of randomized guns, four different characters to choose from that each have different abilities and personalities, a dull set of bosses, a world filled with pop culture references and Claptraps is how I would summarize this game.

    For an FPS, the gunplay is pretty weak. Even strongest weapons feel weak, lack any sort of kick to them and are overall pretty boring to shoot. Explosions from grenades and rocket launchers are laughable, revolvers feel more like standard pistols and combat rifles are meh. Shotguns sound pretty good and are fun to shoot, at least they didn’t messed that up. Each weapons is randomized (with few exceptions) and not just their stats but their looks and parts. You can get sniper rifles with revolver cylinders and instead of bolt-action to remove shells, it has pump like a shotgun. Or a pistol with a bayonet and huge scope. Neat

    Weapons can have elemental damage – Shock, fire, toxic, blast. Shock does a lot of damage to shields, but I found it pretty useless beyond that, most enemies have a lot of health and pretty weak shields. Fire does dmg over time and is probably the most useful overall from all four, but there are some enemies that are completely immune to it. Toxic works like fire with less dmg but can spread and ignores armor. Blast seems to ignore most of armor but then I can’t remember any armored enemies except skags (pandora dogos) in base game. But it does leave a nice red mess and gibs if you kill someone with it :P

    Storyline is ok I guess, although I didn’t bothered to read quest descriptions or written dialogue as in game like this and you really don’t have to. The story is easy to follow and understand if you just listen to what characters say in cutscenes or radio. You’re on Pandora, looking for vault that opens every 200 years and you just happen to be right on time! :p

    You can spawn vehicles pretty early on with mounted gun, but once you get fast travel they become obsolete pretty fast.

    I wouldn’t recommend playing this in solo. While it can be pretty enjoyable and easy to let the game flow with its repetitiveness, there are just better games to play. It’s a pretty basic FPS with some basic and mostly boring talent trees. And the boss battles…oh dear…

    The “Bosses” in this game are mostly just tougher enemies with big health and slightly different models. I can recount only two unique looking bosses, each part of storyline quests. Any mechanics are either bare bones or non-existent. I honestly expected a lot more. You mostly just stand still and shoot them and that’s it. Hide every now and then to regen your shield. Repeat. Even the last boss, the supposed guardian of Vault is a joke, there are tentacles you have to shoot that pop up every now and then and that’s it lol. Maybe it’s not a very fair comparison but even the most basic bosses in WoW in low level dungeons had more depth to them than any BL1 boss 🙄

    Lots of pop culture references are present, from movies, tv shows, some games too, probably a hundreds more I missed or didn’t knew. I can just imagine Randy’s Pitchford happy baby face laughing after seeing every single one and saying “oh that’s from that movie/comic/game haha!” as he forces his employees to add even more.

    I completed two playthrough as Roland (Soldier class) and if I can give you some advice, pick either Brick or Lilith, they’re much more fun from what I can tell during my short playthrough with them. Roland’s ultimate is that he can spawn Scorpio turret, which is pretty useful but it disappears after a short time and cooldown on this thing is very long one. Each class has three sets of talent tree and to reduce turret cooldown you have to get at least to level 20…His other talents aren’t that great either, mostly it’s just bonus to dmg, bonus to turret damage, regen bonus etc. Boring stuff. Brick’s ultimate is by far my favorite, you go into berserk mode and do absurd amounts of damage with your fists, it was really fun.

    OST – I played most of game with low volume due to playing with my friend and he has a pretty quiet mic so I didn’t really had a good listen. Wasn’t anything worth sharing from what I could hear during my short solo playthroughs.

    The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned

    The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned

    5/10
    5 hours
    5 of 5 achievements

    Zombie DLC, yaaay…

    A new area filled with zombies, midget zombies, thriller outfit wearing zombies etc. Out of two DLCs I played so far this is the worst one. It takes place on an island (Dead Island hahaha…) where the less successful brother of Dr. Zed, Dr. Ned failed an experiment and infected everybody and by that messed the business of Jakobs corporation for whom he worked for. So now it’s up to you to get him and maybe find a cure.

    It’s just most of the same. Some areas are literally copy-pasted from base game with slightly different textures and rubbish.

    The last boss fight takes place in a huge and open cave, but the boss got stuck for me in the entrance so I just stood in place with my turret and killed him.

    If you don’t care about achievements, skip this one.

    The Secret Armory of General Knoxx

    The Secret Armory of General Knoxx

    6/10
    10 hours
    8 of 10 achievements

    Could be a 7/10, but for a lack of fast travel, which this DLC could really use, I have to lower this by one for wasting player’s time.

    In this one you get new vehicles to travel and the new areas are huge. Long highways but just straight forward highways and big open areas with huge bugs popping out of sand. There’s a lot of new quests here compared to Island of Dr. Ned, some of them are secret and they don’t show on minimap.

    There’s no fast travel because the devs wanted you to travel with new vehicle and that’s an issue to me. The hub area is where you will return most of completed quests, but often the quests to do are on one of the ends of map and traveling one way from hub to objective can take even 10 minutes. And on the road there’s usually nothing but some enemies that you can ignore. It’s always faster to just leave the game after completing the quest and re-making the lobby as you just spawn back in hub area. Traveling is just a huge time-waster in this game. It’s the worst at the beginning when on one of the highways there’s a huge blockade and you had to travel on foot quite a distance too.

    The last boss, General Knoxx, is a bit better than anything I saw in base game, but with two people it’s still very easy. Some mobs and medics spawn to help him, but once you kill them you can stun lock Knoxx by just doing headshots.

    Overall ok DLC and a lot more interesting than zombie island, but the repeated boring travels between areas makes it 6/10 for me instead of 7.

    Castle Crashers

    Castle Crashers

    6/10
    11.9 hours
    7 of 12 achievements

    Played solo.

    Cute little action adventure game in 2D. Although the game recommend controller to play, I didn’t had any problems completing the game on keyboard.

    Not really sure what to say about this one. Pretty simple hack’n’slash with different melee combos and magic system. Magic depends on the knight you pick at start, I chosen poison knight and his magic does dmg over time.

    Tons of stuff to unlock in base game and Insane mode (NG+). You start with 4 knights but can have like over 50 from what I saw. Different weapons, over dozen of pet companions, the game definitely encourages replaying.

    It’s easy to pick up and play, the combat is easy to learn and you can use different melee or magic combos to deal with enemies. It’s pretty well balanced in solo as I rarely had to go back to previous areas to level up, I was on par with most enemies through the whole game. There are four stats that you can level, Strength just boost your damage with melee, Magic does the same for spells and unlocks new combos, Defense boosts HP and Agility your running speed, how fast you fire your bow and how much damage it does. I mostly just leveled up Magic and STR with some defense every now and then and did fine.

    You also have companion pets that give you bonuses or help you in different ways. Like with everything else there is a ton of pets to find and unlock.

    Almost every boss encounters is unique and fun. Borderlands 1 could use those 😂 At one point you even have to play beach volleyball against enemies to beat the level, but that was a pain in the ass in solo.

    Since I played this solo I missed on the chaos that is co-op, I watched some LP’s and sometimes it’s difficult what is going on. I can imagine it’s even worse if you pick one of the unlocked knights that look exactly like one of enemies. Also the XP is gained by doing dmg and in co-op this is obviously going to spread among your team, so you’ll deal less damage on your own and actually gonna have to try work together somehow in this chaos :D

    It can also be a little boring on your own after playing for a while. It’s ok on it’s own but I can imagine it’s a lot better with friend/s, so I would recommend playing it with at least one friend.

    Story is very simple, evil wizard stole a magic crystal from your king and a few of his princesses and you have to rescue them and defeat the wizard and his lieutenants.

    Favorite tracks:
    07 – War Machine
    08 – Factory
    15 – Dark Skies