Traqie’s profile

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

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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.

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

February 25th, 2024

I’ve been so busy I missed the 2023 summary, oh well. Below all the text is the last batch of games I finished in 2023, next post will be about games I beated this year. This year I hope to beat 24 games, two games per month (on average at least).

I already beaten The Crew before the shut down and I took my sweet time with leveling cars and doing online races before finally finishing the main story line. Perhaps I’ll go into more detail in the next post, but in short it sucks they’re shutting it down. It’s not the level of Forza Horizon but it’s not a bad game and can be easily played solo, just driving all over America and I found the AI drivers to be OK (but they do have a noticeable rubber-band if your car lvl is close to theirs). The driving is fun too and there’s over 100 cars to choose from + 10 or so bikes. If you want to try it out, you have time until 31st March. Not even console versions are safe as they will stop working too, after 31st your only option to play it is… well, you know…

See ya in the next post!

Half-Life 2

Mirror's Edge

3.9 hours
no achievements

Beaten 1st time on difficulty – Normal
Mods/fixes used: Mirror’s Edge Tweaks
Favorite OST track:
Still Alive (Instrumental)

DICE made this? That is incredible in itself.

I don’t mind the guns. That’s my only opinion about this game that is not ‘mainstream’ or so I think based on videos I watched about this game.

It’s beautiful, different, parkour in first person works really well. Good soundtrack and I think voice actor performances were good too, but story is meh.

Sucks though that PC port is kinda bad. Game is locked to 60fps, PhysX objects are locked to 50fps and they stand out for that reason… “Mirror’s Edge Tweaks” mod fixes most of that though, along with removing some technical limitations. I still experienced some stutters though… Also I stuck to 60fps because the game likes to break even more when playing at higher framerate, so I only upped the FPS of PhysX objects to 60 to match everything else.

I normally finish games slower than average person according to HLTB but somehow I finished ME in 4 hours instead of 6 hour average O_o

Highly recommend giving this little game a try if you have it.

Half-Life 2

DOOM (1993)

7.5 hours
no achievements

Beaten 1st time on difficulty – Ultra Violence

First time playthrough. I don’t have any nostalgia for this and I have to admit, this game is still good. I wasn’t sure what to expect after Wolfenstein 3D (also first playthrough) as it was average and sometimes frustrating, but DOOM really does hold up.

I played on GZDoom source port but I disabled jumping, vertical aim and couple other modern mechanics to play as close to original as possible. I basically wanted wide-screen support and nothing else.

Simple enemy design with each foe serving a specific role, good weapon variety, map design varies from being great to so-so. First episode was too easy even on Ultra Violence but the next three episodes provided me with some challenge. I also played John Romero’s SIGIL I and II, there’s a lot of bullshit levels and platforming (which is not uncommon for Romero or so I heard) but fun overall, out of the two I enjoyed the first SIGIL more.

Enjoyed the game and I’m looking forward to DOOM II :)

29.9 hours
Played on Steam

Beaten 1st time on difficulty – N/A

What a disappointment…

Switching to open world was a huge mistake in this case, I think. For start, the city roofs are poorly designed, with corners and surfaces where you can get stuck if you look hard for collectibles. Some buildings have a single, tiny bridge connecting to other buildings, making runner’s vision mandatory to reach the objective. More areas closer to street level would be welcome too, in first game it was a nice change to run so close to the ground for a change. There is one big area on ground but it is an empty construction area :/ The city is filled with collectibles/interactables that give you XP and if you try to grab them all you will stop constantly, killing the momentum. You kinda need them because DICE introduced a talent tree and many useful skills are locked behind it, including few that you had from the beginning in the previous game.

Combat is atrocious and I would like my guns back.

For some reason this is a reboot so although there are many elements and story bits that made it from first game to this, this game is not connected to the previous one. I personally liked the first ME better with its setting somewhere between today or very near future. Catalyst is more futuristic compared to first game, futuristic looking cars speeding on the ground and drones speeding over the roofs, animated billboards everywhere. By the way, some of them are put in ridiculous places where you could only see and hear the commercial if you stood on the roof in a specific place, where you probably shouldn’t be if you were just a normal citizen. And that’s just one example for poor open world design.

The game shines during its closed story missions, with areas designed specifically for player to speed through and do cool parkour shit. Occasionally you are interrupted to do a combat section. The running and parkour-ing(?) is still fun and without the 60fps lock it feels better than first game. Running in free mode can be fun too in some sections and when you know the way. It is also a pretty game to look at. It is supposed to be a capitalist dystopia but idk, I feel like DICE failed at that again, it often doesn’t really feel like it. The first game had the same issue and the only hint that it isn’t was other characters telling you so and cops being too trigger-happy. Perhaps that’s the point that it looks like that at first glance, but under the surface it isn’t. I think DICE just found a cool aesthetic and they stuck to it. Besides the two ME I also played Battlefield 3 campaign and let’s be real, DICE is not capable of writing deep, meaningful stories or worlds lol.

There is a story but like first game, it is forgettable. However in the first game I didn’t find any of the characters obnoxious. Here we have Plastic, a teenage hacker who I found incredibly annoying and Rebecca, a wanna-be revolutionary who tries to sway Faith that killing all of middle-class and upper-class is the best way to fix the world.

Game worked fine 99% of time, I had couple crashes to desktop for no reason, but overall it works much better than the first game. Raising the FPS cap is a great improvement too, running and doing parkour at 165fps was amazing.

But it’s hard to recommend. Introducing talent trees and turning this game into full open world was a mistake, combat is even worse than first game. At least if you didn’t like the melee combat in first game you could just take the gun from one of enemies and shoot them and DICE knows how to make guns feel good to shoot.

Half-Life 2

The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe

3.4 hours
9 of 11 achievements
Half-Life 2


1.8 hours
10 of 10 achievements

December 3rd, 2023

Quick post about games I beaten since the last post. Don’t really feel like writing anymore, so from now on I might stick to writing short reviews. Or not, we’ll see! I wrote down my thoughts on Screamer and AOE:DE long time ago, just never posted them on BLAEO until now.

Half-Life 2


12.6 hours
15 of 15 achievements

Beaten 1st time on difficulty – Normal

Disturbing, weird and interesting little horror game with story I haven't seen like in a game. What if I told you that at the beginning it seems like you are going after a pedophile ring? And then it gets worse. And children are still involved.

Pretty simple to play, you can try and be sneaky, and kill only when necessary or go on a killing spree. Feels unpolished in some places. Interesting save system where you save by smoking a cigarette, but smoking too much causes you to cough really loudly and makes you easy to find in the dark. So save, but not too much!

Most of "horror" comes from the story and the disgusting characters that live in that world.

I enjoyed it because I have never seen a game with story and setting like this. But obviously it's not for everyone, especially if you don't like seeing children getting harmed in video games.

Half-Life 2

Age of Empires: Definitive Edition

101.3 hours
44 of 44 achievements

Beaten 1st time on difficulty – Moderate
Favorite Tracks:
03 - Cradle of Civilization
07 - Whirling Dulcimer
13 - Mountain Temple

Strange remaster because the visuals are completely overhauled, some missions slightly changed and they implemented a small yet a very important change – your units can walk over farms! They no longer count as a building that units have to walk around! But at the same time, they left the original pathfinding – which is horrible. Units often get stuck on each other, it takes a few seconds for the game to calculate a new path if something just obstructed the way. On one hand it’s cool – you get the OG experience, but on other it sucks because it’s not very good. I don’t like this mixed game preservation. Would much prefer more changes or just make sure the game launches on modern OS with support for >1080p and leave the rest.

And I wish I played this AoE before the second game, because AoE II is first game with improvements to everything – pathfinding, units, civilization variety, better campaigns and goddamn gates!

But there’s a good game in here when everything works. When pathfinding doesn’t cause issues and you’re free to play however you want in skirmishes/late campaign missions. I often would fall into that automatic mode where I just gather resources, build my army, hold my base, all without much thinking and time just flies. That’s a mark of a good RTS.

If you, like me, want to see how series started I guess it’s not a bad remaster. With untouched pathfinding you’ll definitely experience the same frustration like people did in 90’s. But if you just want a good RTS, start with the second game.

Half-Life 2


2.5 hours
no achievements

Beaten 1st time on difficulty – N/A
Favorite OST:
07 - Screamer Soundtrack 7

Average. Championship can be finished in 2 hours and after that you can play Time Attack, normal single races and Cone Attack, where you are on timer and hitting cones extends your time. I put N/A in difficulty because the AI plays better with each league. In rookie league (easy) and amateur league (normal) the AI was pretty easy to beat. In Pro League they start to be trouble and I had to really pay attention and play well to stay in lead.

Tracks have different settings but most of them feel the same. The last track is the exception, with long highways that throw you into valley of corners. It also happens to have the best music track.

Driving is fast and fun when you’re on straights or soft corners where cars go into this wild drift, with the body of your car barely holding on. Entering harsh corners is frustrating because you absolutely cannot do them with drift and whenever you brake at high speed your car becomes unstable and hard to control, but it’s necessary to learn how to drive in this state if you want to win in Pro League.

AI cheats because they’re not affected by this, they can drive 300km/h and suddenly brake with no trouble, I also noticed they get slightly pushed if they are about to screw up the corner. And driving on gravel/grass has no effect on them. But at least they don’t rubber band from what I noticed, it’s possible to lap them even on Pro difficulty and if you don’t screw up they won’t magically reduce the distance between you and them.

There are 5 tracks, 5 cars, reverse versions of tracks are available after you beat the last league. Interestingly, each car has automatic and manual option and cars with manual transmission have a slightly higher top speed. But we’re talking 5-7km/h faster and I noticed AI in automatic variants were always ahead of their manual variant which shouldn’t happen, unless the AI is not good at switching gears. And frankly the difference is barely noticeable, you’re just handicapping yourself. Key bindings are horrible for playing manual and there’s no option to change key binds in options. You drive with arrow keys, to switch gear up you press right Alt button, to switch gear down, left Control aaaand to play like this my right thumb was uncomfortably extended to reach the Alt while I used other fingers for arrow keys. But it is an interesting design choice that in theory rewards those who pick cars that require more control to drive, it’s just not worth it in this case.

This game also crashes a lot. Steam version, GOG version, retail version, no exceptions and there’s no fix for this other than playing in 320x200 256 color mode. I decided to stick to 640x480 and just shrug off the crashes. The game looks stretched even in 480p at 4:3 ratio on a 1080p monitor, can’t imagine what it looks like in 200p. I also had minor visual glitches, but nothing that hinders the gameplay. In my 2,5 hours with this I had around 8-10 crashes to desktop.

I don’t recommend this one given crashes and not the best gameplay. I am looking forward to play the second game as it doesn’t appear to have many technical difficulties and has higher User score on metacritic.

Half-Life 2

Outer Wilds

31.0 hours
15 of 31 achievements
Half-Life 2

Remnant: From the Ashes

74.2 hours
50 of 50 achievements
Half-Life 2

Lumber Island - That Special Place

1.8 hours
no achievements

You can tell from the get-go it's a one man project and there are way worse games on Steam. It's pretty average and the story is incoherent, I don't really see the connection with everything that happened on the island and in the flashbacks. It did got few screams out of me (but some were just cheap jumpscares).

Half-Life 2

Orcs Must Die!

15.5 hours
27 of 27 achievements
Half-Life 2

Assassin's Creed II

30.4 hours
no achievements

August 8th, 2023

Been busy with work for the last few months. I played more games but I will post about them after I finish writing about 2Dark. I played it right after two “Alice” games and it was yet another game about children and abuse, I didn’t expect to play three games in a row like that.

Also another PC upgrade - I wasn’t really happy with RTX 3060Ti so I bought RTX 4070 couple months ago :^) And it is so much better, I don’t regret it. I only regret buying it so late because RTX 4060/4060Ti turned out to be crap and prices dropped drastically for 3060ti :S Fkin Nvidia, I already overpaid for 3060ti because back then prices didn’t dropped fully after the crypto currency fiasco and now I have to sell it cheap.

Anyway, have fun, stay safe and another post coming soon hopefuly.

7.7 hours
RATING --- 7/10

Beaten 1st time on difficulty – Normal
Favorite OST:
02 – Village of the Doomed
05 – Wonderland Woods
06 – Time to Die

Before starting “Alice: Madness Returns” I wanted to play the OG game and luckily there’s an easy way to play it through “Madness Returns”. I won’t link the steam guide for it as I’m pretty sure it’s not legal, but it’s easy to find via game’s community hub. The version I played is a remastered version that was bundled with special edition of A:MR, comes with widescreen support and other improvements for modern systems, but AFAIK gameplay and story is unchanged.

I never read the book but it’s pretty obvious from start that wonderland is a reflection of Alice’s psyche. From bits I saw, the original wonderland is nothing like this new Wonderland. When Alice lands in wonderland it’s dark, twisted. And first native we meet is a cat with very skinny body, tail with pointy end and big paws and head, with an evil smile. Although he doesn’t look very trustworthy, he’s our only guide sticking with us through the entire game and one of few allies in this new dangerous Wonderland. Going a bit further we find ourselves in a village that’s under rule of Queen of Hearts. In fact the whole Wonderland is ruled by the Queen with Jacks of Spades/Hearts/Diamonds/Clubs being the common enemy and enforcers of her rule.

This game drips with atmosphere!

Atmosphere and the world carry this game a lot IMO because the combat is pretty basic and platforming is easy. Sometimes they throw a unique puzzle in, like that one in Chess Kingdom where you are turned into a chess piece and you can only move like that chess piece on board. There are some platforming sections, sometimes with enemies throwed in that spawn only when you reach a tight spot 😵 You have 8 weapons, with knife being your starting weapon. Besides health you also have Mana or Will or whatever it’s called in this game. Most weapons have alternate fire mode which is nice. Besides slicing with the knife you can also throw it and it will reappear in Alice hand after 3-4 seconds. This and left-click attack of Croque Mallet are only weapons that don’t use mana. Everything else use one shared pool of mana.

Design of every creature and location is incredible in this game and it running on Quake III engine adds extra atmosphere as you can make some really dark and gothic looking levels. Music is composed by Chris Vrenna, drummer from Nine Inch Nails and using various kind of child instruments mixed with standard instruments, it sounds incredible.

Story in a nutshell is Alice trying to overcome her depression and grief after her entire family dies in a fire and she’s the only survivor. As mentioned before, the wonderland is a reflection of her psyche, which now is a twisted and dark place. It seems hopeless the further you go but maybe there is hope for Alice?

It sucks that with time you won’t be able to get this game anymore. There is only one legit way to get it nowadays - buy an old boxed version. EA used to sell “Alice: Madness Returns” Special Edition but stopped selling it for some reason and you can only buy standard version (that doesn’t have this game) so your only hope is finding a working key somewhere. Humble Bundle used to sell Origin keys for $30 but no more :/ It’s a game worth saving in my opinion, even if gameplay is a bit lackluster. EA sells some of their old games on GOG, so maybe one day we’ll get a proper re-release? For now, you can use that steam guide I mentioned. I can at least confirm it works and my game didn’t turned into bitcoin farming machine, I launched it via “Alice: Madness Returns” but it should work stand-alone, in theory.

But overall I recommend it, I enjoy games with atmosphere like this and as I found out it’s not the darkest Alice game out of two that we got so far!

15.0 hours
RATING --- 7/10
Played on Steam

Beaten 1st time on difficulty – Normal
Favorite OST:
11 – Card Castles in the Sky

Alice is now 19 years old. She’s stuck in orphanage in London, two places that are not very good for your mental health. She’s under the care of Dr. Bumby, a psychiatrist who specializes in using hypnosis to help his patients, the children in the orphanage and of course our Alice. His advices are questionable as he insists that the best solution is to just forget which is not how you deal with mental health problems. While doing some errand for the Doctor and going through streets of London in some poor district full of shady men, whores and grim looking policemen, we get our first hallucination. Alice finds herself in Wonderland. It’s different, it’s still really strange but this time it’s beautiful, idyllic almost. And our old friend the Cheshire Cat is back!

We get few peaceful moments in this beautiful Wonderland learning how to move etc. before we run into enemies made out of black sludge. This black sludge, as we later find out, infested all of the Wonderland and along with Infernal Train that is riding through the Wonderland is causing it to slowly fall apart, threating the only safe haven Alice has from the outside world.

The biggest improvement is probably the combat system and weapons. We only have 4 weapons and each for specific purpose. Knife returns and is the main melee weapon. It’s fast, deals decent damage and the combat in general is way more spectacular but knife especially where Alice cuts and cuts with knife producing flashes of blue and red lights and time slows down just for a split second with each cut. You can now lock onto a specific enemy, useful especially for ranged kills because there’s some weird mouse acceleration when you try to target manually with ranged weapons. Pepper grinder is our main ranged weapon, it can overheat and is unusable for few seconds if that happens. Hobby Horse is the heavy melee weapon for enemies with armor or other protection that needs breaking. And lastly teapot cannon, which is a ranged weapon that is good for groups of enemies and can be charged for more powerful shot. It’s a good change because although previous game had 8 weapons with alternative fire, I only used like three or four 95% of time. And combat feels much more focused and more thoughtful.

My old friend...

The Infernal Train.

The biggest downgrade is the Soundtrack. It’s simply forgettable, a background music so the game is never completely silent. The only exception is “Card Castles in the Sky” and you hear it on your way to the castle of the Queen of Hearts, the main enemy of the last game. It fits the location so well and is sad and beautiful at the same time. But that’s it out of over 30 tracks!

And another downside… The game is just too damn long. Every chapter is unnecessarily long with mostly the same combat situations and repeatable puzzles and platforming. The game just drags on and on. This is a common criticism towards this game, which I found out after I beated it and was curious what others say. This game could easily be 4-5 hours shorter and it would make much better experience. It’s such a shame because I feel like I would enjoy it much, much more and overall the game would be better.

Unique puzzles/minigames return, some I enjoyed like when Alice is turned into a giant and she has to smash the defenses of Red Castle, some I hated like in the Fine China chapter where game turns into 2D platformer.

Your outfit and even some weapons change depending on the chapter, which is a cool detail! I especially love the outfit Alice has in the Red Queen's castle.

The story and themes are even darker than the first game. The Infernal train and black sludge are outside forces that are there to destroy a secret Alice knows and is buried somewhere deep within her mind. First game dealt with feelings of guilt and depression, but this game goes further and touches subject like abuse (in many different forms). The game looks less grim on the outside but the looks are deceptive. The ending brings some resolution but the fate of Alice is… uncertain. And if you read the news, it will stay like this as “Alice: Asylum” will never come out. Shame!

It's worth playing despite its issues and like previous game, I recommend this. It tackles topics that are never touched in AAA games and sometimes in indie games. Great combat, just unnecessary long. And this one you can still buy, but beware it sometimes is removed from store only to return after a year, idk what EA is smoking. Grab it on nearest sale before EA decides to remove it permanently.


Well well, looks like another person has decided to steal Daerphen’s idea >:) I didn’t had any special rules for this list, just wanted to make it varied. I wish I had more than 3 games to choose from for 2023, but turns out I don’t have many games released this year, so Dread Templar had to do. I don’t expect to beat everything on this list this year (or not even in the next). Just another selection for me to choose from :)

Life of Traqie Challenge

Year Game Status
1995 Screamer Beaten
1996 Strife: Veteran Edition -
1997 Disney: Hercules -
1998 Sanitarium -
1999 Urban Chaos -
2000 Deus Ex: Game of the Year Edition -
2001 Summoner -
2002 Mafia -
2003 Armed and Dangerous -
2004 Gish -
2005 Judge Dredd: Dredd vs Death -
2006 Condemned: Criminal Origins -
2007 Jade Empire: Special Edition -
2008 GRID -
2009 Mirror’s Edge -
2010 Split/Second -
2011 Orcs Must Die! -
2012 Hard Reset -
2013 Remember Me -
2014 OlliOlli -
2015 Dex -
2016 Batman: Telltale Series -
2017 Middle-Earth: Shadow of War -
2018 Wandersong -
2019 Baba Is You -
2020 Creaks -
2021 Maneater -
2022 Rollerdrome -
2023 Dread Templar -

February 19th, 2023

Hey hey hey people,

How’s 2023 for you so far? I myself am gonna start looking for a new job soon as currently I work whenever there’s a project happening and this time of year there are very few… I love this job and people working there, it’s paid well when I actually get to work but I just cannot afford to work only 6-8 months in a year if I want to move out or start living my life… I think I have an idea in what industry I want to work, I’m just not sure if I have enough experience to land a job there, but we’ll see.

Finally 100% Prey (2017). Second big Arkane game 100% now only Dishonored 2 remains… I also started American’s McGee Alice from 2000, if you own Special Edition of “Alice: Madness Returns” you also have that old game that you can launch from main menu in “Madness Returns”, but of course us Steam users never had option to purchase special edition 🙄 But there’s a guide on steam to get it for “free” and you can launch it through “Madness Returns” which is what I did. So far it’s ok, when I’m done with it I will start “Madness Returns”.

So far in 2023 I managed to beat 3 games and by the end of the month I’m hoping to have 4 by beating American McGee’s Alice, maybe I can beat “Madness Returns” before March and 5 games beaten in 2 months is pretty good I think.

15 hours
Played on Steam

Beaten 1st time on difficulty – Legendary
Favorite OST:
06 – Heretic, Hero
24 – Mombasa Suite
30 – Reclaimer

Enjoyed this sequel very much and I’m hyped to play Halo 3 soon! I’m only sad it ended when it did, I thought that at least the prophet arc would be over, but it seems before we deal with Gravemind in 3 we gotta start with the Prophet.

There’s some changes in gameplay, health is gone and you only have shields now. Dual wielding is introduced for some weapons like new SMG and Covenant weapons like plasma pistols, you can mix them too, but I avoided SMGs as they are basically like Assault Rifle from first game, insane spread, medium damage, pretty useless on legendary difficulty. And about that AR, it’s gone and replaced by Battle Rifle, 3 fire burst, 2x scope, decent damage against shield-less Covenant, pretty good!

This game is just evil on Legendary difficulty! Like in 1st game there are a lot more enemies and you are very squishy, but now added into mix are jackal snipers that one shot you even at 100% shields and often land a hit on first shot :| They are introduced in 2nd mission I think and pop up pretty consistently throughout the Master Chief campaign. I don’t mind the challenge but getting one shot by enemy sniper the second they spot you is just frustrating and sometimes I had to kill half a dozen of them before getting next checkpoint.

Getting to play as one of the Covenant was a surprise, but a welcome one :) I feel like Bungie could just gotten away with more Master Chief + all the gameplay additions/changes that are present and this game would be a success, but having this new covenant angle was an excellent addition! Getting to see how Covenant function was interesting, lots of good story pieces and missions.

Halo: CE felt a little dated but I think Halo 2 is better and holds up. I played mostly on classic graphics because I feel like new graphics don’t retain the same atmosphere of old visuals + they have the same issue where some pieces of environment are bigger and think they give you cover, but in fact enemies see & shoot right through it, meanwhile old visuals don’t have that issue.

Soundtrack is mostly composed of remixes from first game but there’s few new, awesome tracks.

Next – Halo 3. I’m excited for it!

Half-Life 2

Vampire Survivors

46.8 hours
162 of 162 achievements

Beaten 1st time on difficulty – N/A

“Become the bullet hell!”

I swear I saw that quote somewhere within the game, but now I cannot find it. Anyway this quote perfectly encapsulates this game. Your task is pretty simple – survive 30 minutes while leveling up your character to the point it spits out so many projectiles or other means of attack that your enemies have to go through bullet hell to reach you.

Pick your character, kill enemies with starting weapon and around half of enemies drop gems that give you exp. Lvl up, get new weapons from lvl up and new passive skills and repeat that for 30 minutes. That’s how long you have to survive on most of maps. Very simple game.

There’s so much to unblock. There are like 30 characters at least, each one with different starting weapon and quirk. And each one has at least one achievements tied to them. At least 10 different maps with its own achievements and relics to collect. There are also weapon evolutions and unions. It’s also a game where you can turn off all sounds as you don’t need them to play. Perfect game for listening to podcasts or your own music in the background. Although the game has its own OST and it’s not bad from few tracks I heard, I got bored to listening to same tracks over and over on earlier levels.

Game doesn’t look like much but it is a mindless fun once you get the hang of it. It’s cheap and it will run on a potato. It also has soooooo many copies, people quickly tried to copy it once they saw what a success this game was. Nowadays you have clones with mechs in Sci-Fi settings, clones with zombies instead of medieval/gothic creatures, clones with big anime titty girls as your heroine… in 2d, 2.5d or 3d… It’s insane how many copy cats are out there and all of them have very positive reviews from what I saw. But I have no idea what they do differently in terms of gameplay. At the moment Vampire Survivors is the safest pick I think.

But the fact it’s a perfect game for listening music/podcasts carries this game a lot. I started to get bored at around 15h mark and now only start it to keep my hands busy while I listen to something in background. Before that I played it also because I wanted to play it and unlock new stuff but that ended pretty quickly.

Half-Life 2

Rock of Ages

8.1 hours
19 of 19 achievements

Beaten 1st time on difficulty – N/A

You could describe RoA as a mix of marble game and tower defense where enemy AI is actively building defenses to stop you. Your task is to destroy enemy castle gate where enemy commander is hiding and roll over them! The thing is your enemy also has a boulder and you need to defend against their boulder and get them before they get you. You have towers, machines like catapults and trebuchets, armored animals, even air strikes lol. Boulders start with 3 layers, more layers make you slower but deal more damage, less layers make you more nimble but deal less damage to enemy gate and potentially forcing you to do more runs.

Campaign is short and took me 3,5 hours to beat which is a good time because if RoA was longer I would start to get bored. While the levels try to be different, they usually play the same, you roll 3-4 times on the same path smashing or avoiding enemy defenses and hitting the gate until you bust it open. The AI sometimes makes tough defenses and if it does smashing through is usually the best solution. If it doesn’t well just keep rolling. I noticed it wasn’t always building in the same spots when I was replaying levels for extras.

Stopping the enemy is even easier once you figure out what works and especially once you get access to more units. Halfway through the game I was always ahead and only time AI got ahead was because I tried to find keys at the same time. There are three keys in every level and you need like 18 out of 53 I think, to have access to all levels. Getting 18 is very easy, getting all requires some patience and it’s only for completionists like me.

I have mixed feelings about the story, mostly the way it’s portrayed. We play as Sisyphus who had enough of pushing that same boulder every day and decides to use it as a weapon to break the gates of underworld and escape. And so we go through different history periods from ancient Greece to 18th century. We fight and eventually roll over King Leonidas, Napoleon, Maria Antoinette, even the goat from Francisco’s Goya “Witches Sabbath” painting. Between levels we get cutscenes where aforementioned characters get a short intro and are given girly voices, doing silly things, sometimes farting or screaming… Sometimes they are funny, like with annoying Leonardo Da Vinci who breaks the 4th wall, but overall it’s not my type of humor. I saw some people describe it as monty python type of humor. I never saw any Monty Python movies or skits but if that’s their type of humor then it’s pretty lame.

I also happened onto comments stating that this game is much more fun in MP. Well I can't say anything about that because MP is dead, as you could expect from old & unpopular game. I got MP achievements with some random guy but we agreed to do it ASAP and we didn't really play as intended.

I like the idea ACE Team had here, but it feels like it could be much better. Perhaps 2 & 3 improve a lot in that regard? As for this game, I would recommend this on sale and if you like marble games and are open to play one with a twist. Get it on a sale too. I wouldn’t recommend this if you like tower defense though. It’s very basic in that regard and focus is more on attacking.

2022 Recap, top 5 played and 2023 plans!

1\ The Recap.

I think 2022 was a good year for me. I got a better idea in what industry I want to work in, I finally upgraded my 10 year old PC and monitor, and I got to play some dope games.

However as year after year I didn’t put a big dent in my backlog. I don’t need to count to know I added more games than I beat this year. But you know what? I don’t really care anymore about that. BLAEO nowadays serves as a sort of personal journal of what I played and thought about games, and to read what other people played. Plus the lists are a great feature of this site.

2\ TOP 5 of 2022.

This year I played mostly indie games, but only three made it to top 5. Here they are:

5. The Witcher: Enhanced Edition

58.8 hours, no achievements

I had plans to write big review for this and was around 1/3 done, but never finished it and never will. The first Witcher demands some patience and effort to make it run smoothly on modern hardware, especially if you have an AMD CPU. I never got it to run perfectly smooth, but it was playable.
The Witcher 1 was a really impressive game, with great and varied characters, immersive world and interesting choices throughout the story. I was especially surprised how the conflict between Scoia’tael and Order of the Flaming Rose was handled. I’m very excited to try W2 this year and eventually W3. I feel like this could’ve been the best game I played this year if not for technical problems, jank in some areas and so-so combat system.

4. Dead Cells

79.2 hours, 64 of 108 achievements

Fun and fast-paced rogue-like with lots of weapon options. I’m getting close to 100 hour playtime and so far I’m not bored with it. My full thoughts on the game.

3. Into the Breach: Advanced Edition

86.3 hours, 70 of 70 achievements

Second game from “FTL: Faster Than Light” creators and another excellent game. Turn based strategy game with a lot of different mechs teams to choose from. Like FTL, it got free “Advanced Edition” update which added a lot of new content. Fun, and once you get the hand of the gameplay, it’s that type of game you can play while listening to podcast in the background. My full thoughts on the game.

2. Prey (2017)

52.3 hours, 33 of 58 achievements

If there’s a year where I play an Arkane game, it seems to always make it to my top 5 at the end! At this point I’m impressed how consistent Arkane games are in terms of quality. Excellent world design, story, great characters, a bit repeatable combat though! My full thoughts on the game.


17.2 hours, 33 of 33 achievements

FURI is all about bosses. Nine unique bosses, each offering a challenge, with amazing electronic OST blasting as you fight them. FURI has some really cool aesthetics too inspired by anime. I still listen to its OST and sometimes have an itch to play it again. This game deserves to be more popular than it is! My full thoughts on the game.

3\ Plans for 2023.

Last year I made a list and I managed to beat some games of it. This year I made another list and as you can see some games that I wanted to try in 2022 were moved to 2023.

DOOM’s and Wolfenstein’s are staying because I want to see how these series started and evolved (I beated Wolf 3D and RtCW in 2021).

Witcher 2 is a must play for me this year because I really want to see the continuation from fantastic Witcher 1.

I bought Days Gone and Outer Wilds this winter sale and they seem really good.

I beated Kingdoms: Classic, first Zwei game and for the first time on steam, Assassin’s Creed so I picked their respective sequels. I also beated Costume Quest 1 in 2019 and it’s time to tackle the sequel.

Arkane games have been really good so far. So for this year I intend to beat their first game ever – Arx Fatalis – and their latest game – Deathloop. I’m especially interested in Deathloop because this is first Arkane game where Raphaël Colantonio was not present on development and he was one of the main brains behind Arkane games. Maybe I will find time for their other less known game, Dark Messiah of Might & Magic, but it’s not a priority for me this year.

Gemini Rue and Satisfactory are both gifts from a good steam friend so I should probably check them out asap!

I want to continue with Halo MCC. I’m hoping to beat this year Halo 2 & 3 + ODST expansion, which is half of collection.

Quantum Break is another Remedy game and I want to play it first before I even attempt their latest game Control.

Helltakers because I need that one 10 minute game I can finish to get that -1 to my backlog :D

The Stanley Parable Ultra Deluxe is here because I loved the first game and this one comes it’s own “Go outside” achievement… but this time it’s 10 years, not 5! The sooner I start it, the better :D

As for other games, various reasons but I won’t go into them as this post is too long already.

Hope you all have great 2023 and see ya soon in next post ;)

December 31st 2022

Hey hey people,

This is going to be my last post of 2022. I’m going to do 2022 summary soon, in year 2023!

Happy New Year!

Half-Life 2

Prey - Mooncrash

26.0 hours
10 of 10 achievements

Beaten 1st time on difficulty – N/A
Mods/fixes used: N/A

Great DLC that puts you in a simulation where you are stuck on Pytheas moon base. It has a rogue-like spin on it where you can do multiple runs and your goal is to finish all objectives given to you by your employer. The levels are mostly NOT randomized, but item spawns, enemy spawns, conditions etc are randomized. So one run Crew Annex section might be perfectly functional, and on next run power might be out and there might be fires spreading that make it harder to navigate without GLOO gun. There can be smaller changes too, like a door to a room with safe with goodies will be locked with keycard that you can find on one of the bodies, on the next run the door is broken and you can’t access it without either fixing it or typhon mimic power. Sometimes that one staircase could be broken and you have to find a different way up.

Mooncrash offers 5 different characters, each with their own story mission that gives us more background about them and what was going on the station. Unlike Morgan from main game, each one of them has access only to portions of powers. So one lady is an engineer and she can fix stuff around the base, can spawn her own turret and is really good with wrench. Other guy has access to a lot of Psi powers but is very weak and squishy. Every neuromod upgrade though is permanent, so your characters will become more powerful as you go on. Same goes for blueprints for Fabricator.

You can reset the simulation at any time, if for example you don’t like how you run went with first character. Also, besides levels mostly staying the same, aforementioned elements like broken doors can be fixed with the engineer and they stay fixed when you run with next character, same with doors unlocked with keycards or hacking. But reset the simulation and it’s all in the hands of RNG again.

There’s no difficulty selection like in main game, but as you progress with objectives, corruption levels will be introduced and simulation gets harder as time goes on.

It was pretty challenging at times, especially when none of my characters were upgraded and I didn’t knew the layout that well. Learning the best routes and spots with best loot was fun, I also finally got to play with Typhon powers that I didn’t get the chance in main game because I wanted to stay human. I honestly enjoyed it a bit more than the main game, but I wouldn’t recommend playing it first. Also you can probably beat this in ~15 hours, I was grinding some achievements hence over 20 hours on my playtime with this DLC. Highly recommended you get this if you liked the main game.

Half-Life 2

Zwei: The Arges Adventure

37.6 hours
7 of 22 achievements

Beaten 1st time on difficulty – N/A
Mods/fixes used: Some launch commands added via launch options
Favorite OST:
02 - An Eternal Dream, Memories of the Heavens - Zwei!! A Great Adventure Together
14 - Hippolyta Hill
16 - Pneuma's Estate

Weird game that had an interesting idea. You don’t lvl up by killing enemies, you lvl up by eating food. But you can exchange a stack of 10 for a much better food, thus leveling up faster. But you also heal with food! My guess is the idea was to create some kind of conflict for player where they have to carefully manage their food inventory. But once I got the hang of the controls, I didn’t get hit that often so I was mostly stacking. Boss fights were a different story, their fights are quite challenging and I was eating almost everything I could bring. But there’s like 5-6 boss fights that you have to fight to progress, and another 5-6 optional. And on top of that, every boss drops plenty of food when you defeat them.

Story is simple and mostly predictable. Beautiful idyllic world with cute and varied characters, even some enemies are super cute! But something goes wrong, an old legend has something to do with it zzz… But damn, the OST is BEAUTIFUL! The game has some grind and repeating dungeons but I didn’t mind that much because it was another opportunity to listen to this awesome OST. We play as twins Pipiro and Pokkle, I love Pipiro and I hate Pokkle with his dumb jokes. Bro is a melee character, sis is a ranged magic character. I preferred Pipiro in combat too. Twins share all experience so it doesn’t matter who you have currently selected when eating.

I don’t think my playtime reflects actual time it takes to beat this, I took the food hoarding way too seriously and just slowed myself down. Plus some AFK, I think you could subtract 7-10 hours from my playtime and you get the idea how long it takes to beat it. Just don’t go crazy with hoarding and eat more powerful food that drops from dungeons right away.

Combat is pretty brain dead and my biggest foe at start were the controls. Super-fast moving characters with little visibility around you made it so I got hit very often at beginning. Took some time to get used to. I honestly expected turn-based combat but it’s real time.

You can also have a pet (dog or cat), it has its own mini game and mini dungeons but no matter how much food I found I could not lvl it up. But it was really useful in dungeons as it also can attack and once you unlock triple play you can do a really powerful attack.

It’s overall a weird game. Cute characters in idyllic world with beautiful OST, super simple and (at start) frustrating combat, some grind on top of that. Predictable story. Although in the end the positives outweighed the negatives for me, I don’t know if I would recommend this. But I would recommend OST! :D

Half-Life 2

missed messages.

0.4 hours
2 of 4 achievements

Mods/fixes used: N/A
Beaten 1st time on difficulty – N/A

Short Visual Novel about friendship and… well, I don’t want to spoil it. But it has a very pretty art with chill music playing in the background. It can be very, very dark but it depends on your choices I guess.

Honestly there’s no point saying more about this game. It’s free, weighs ~50MBs and you can beat it in 15 minutes. And it’s super easy to 100%. Go try it yourself!

December 8th, 2022

Hey hey hey people,

Winter sale soon! What are you going to buy, any plans? I’m definitely buying the rest of Dead Cells DLC and “Days Gone” if it’s discounted by 60% or more. And probably a lot more :D

As for the games, jeez this year is going badly for me, I might beat a couple more games before 2023 but probably no more. At least I beated a few very long games this year (Witcher 1, AC 1, Prey, Zwei: The Arges Adventure) and some medium long games, so it’s not as bad as year 2019…

Also I think from next year I’ll compress my “reviews” to just few sentences. I too often find myself not starting the next game because I still have not written down my thoughts about recently beaten game and I often just don’t feel like writing all this down, even if it’s not that much text.

Anyway here’s what I played since last post, minus “Zwei: The Arges Adventure”, that I’ll talk about in next post.


26.9 hours
Played on Steam

Beaten 1st time on difficulty – Hard
Mods/fixes used: Tweaking visual settings in .ini file
Favorite OST:
02 – Everything Is Going To Be Ok
09 – Alex Theme
14 – Mind Game

Another Arkane game. While Dishonored was an immersive sim heavily inspired by games like Thief, Prey is more similar to System Shock, where player is stuck on one giant station where they can roam freely. Some sections are closed off at start, for story reasons obviously. The Talos I station is massive and so is its exterior that we can use to travel faster between sections, after we get equipment to survive in space.

Prey is set in alternative future, where the soviets first discovered an alien called Typhon after one of their satellites orbiting the moon stopped responding. They sent an investigation team, after it looked undamaged from outside, they tried to breach it and got wiped by aliens. Couple years later they contact US and explain the situation and ask for help, which results in joint program called "Kletka" (cage) where they build a station around the abandoned satellite to contain the aliens and maybe learn something from them. That same year, Harvey Lee Oswald attempts to assassinate President Kennedy. He fails, after which Kennedy's administration decides to take full control of the station and focus on researching Typhon for military and commercial purposes. It didn't took long for Typhon to breach the research station. They killed entire US research personnel and since no major discoveries were made the US decides to abandon the station and let it orbit the moon. In year 2030 the TranStar corporation takes control of the abandoned station, transforms it into a gigantic Talos I station and makes major discoveries, one of the results of that is production of Neuromods. That's our backstory. The year is 2035 and we play as Morgan Yu, vice president and Director of Research of TranStar Industries, and after picking either female or male Morgan, we go through a very impressive intro/tutorial. It’s one of the more memorable parts of the game and quite weird at first, but it makes more sense as you learn about the world and Yu’s past.

Calling it FPS is weird as while there are firearms and you do play for first person perspective, you don’t have to solve every problem with a gun or by killing something. There’s almost always an alternative path for sneaking or a spot to hide in rooms with one entry/exit. Though sometimes the game forces you to kill something, which is different from Dishonored where you could finish the mission without killing anyone, you can be stealthy most of time. But when you have to kill something, it’s Typhon, not human. But if you want to kill every human you meet, you can and this game takes that into account.

Prey has similar character look to Dishonored characters, but they are a bit more grounded in this game – no more guards with oversized shoulders and hands for example! As for station, living quarters and sections meant for guests and visitors have this very luxurious look and something called “art deco”. From rooms to normal items like lamps and chairs, they all have a very strong art deco look. As for more industrial sections and sections focused on science, they have the looks you’d expect. One section that stands out is Arboretum built at the very top of the station, an artificial park with lush greenery and where most food is grown for station inhabitants. The only thing separating this section from outer space is a giant transparent dome.

But even with this art direction the game does not look good at maximum settings. Draw distance is very low and you can see slight texture popping, the Lobby is a perfect example as it is a big and open space and you can see some exterior through its giant window. Texture quality on its own is just not good, like from first Dishonored game but Prey is from 2017, not 2012… Anti-aliasing doesn’t work and you have to force it via text edits. This was a game I wanted to play for a long time and I thought it would be a great test for my new GPU but honestly I could probably run this easily on my old 660Ti, very disappointing in this regard. I know screenshots on store page are usually made to look slightly better but this is criminal what Arkane/Bethesda did, the game does not look at all like it does on official screenshots.

This is what game looks like after I did some .ini tweaks

Yu family. What a friendly looking bunch!

Besides picking if we want to fight every enemy or sneak around them, we also get to pick what kind of Morgan we want to be. A good Morgan who helps people, even if it’s something insignificant that will only make one guy feel better, or a selfish Morgan who only focuses on more important goals and doing perhaps morally questionable things? It may not be an easy choice as we learn more about Typhon and get mixed messages from past Morgan who tells us one thing but then a different thing via video messages and robots with his/her voice. After all, as Vice President and Director of Research, Morgan is one of the people “in the know” so maybe we should listen to past ourselves even if it may seem like a bad idea from our point of view? Oh and did I mention Morgan has amnesia when we get to play him/her? A cliché, but not the worst sin this game commits, but I won’t spoil the game’s story further 😊

And back to choices, I made a choice to not inject myself with Neuromods that give you Typhon powers. In general I decided to stay human through my playthrough, saving every human I can and staying “clean” but I still used Neuromods that give you more human powers. This however resulted in me missing out on some very cool combat powers and made fights less fun and more repeatable over time. I don’t think most players will do that on their 1st playthrough and the punishment of acquiring Typhon powers is that deployable turrets will think you’re a Typhon. Sounds bad but turrets deal so little damage and are easily destroyed or disabled that it’s a small trade-off.

There’s a good dose of horror/dread in this game, not enough to call this a horror but couple jump scares and situations that made me feel uneasy. Typhon themselves can give you few scares by just their natural behavior, especially mimics who are spider-like creatures that can turn into anything smaller or slightly bigger than them. You get a tool to detect them later on (which I hate because it ruins that enemy imo) but before it you have to either check everything with wrench or pay attention to your surroundings. Maybe it’s that second chair next to the desk or extra cup… their AI makes decision what to pick and it’s never the same, but sometimes they make dumb decision like turning into a garbage can on top of a desk, but it’s rare. Phantoms are tough humanoid creatures and even late in game having to fight two at the same time was a bit stressful, at least on hard difficulty and with my choices. And they come in different flavors, fire Phantom that can burn you, electric Phantom that disables everything in close vicinity (some of your weapons included), ethereal Phantom that can make a perfect copy of itself… Telepath and Technopath are just giant floating blocks of Typhon matter, former can mind control humans and will send them at you, latter can hack any AI and likes to attach hacked turrets to itself while also spawning balls of lightning near you.

I won’t spoil the ending but it is disappointing… Like I said before, it’s another cliché, it is not as bad as it could be in other games given the context and some implications buuuuut it is still disappointing. And you have to wait for credits to end before you get to see it, I wonder how many players have missed that xD

Best Arkane game? Nah, I think I liked Dishonored 2 a bit more. But overall I had fun with this, great world, great characters, great level design, okay-ish combat. Recommended!


Half-Life 2

Kingdom: Classic

31.6 hours
34 of 34 achievements

Beaten 1st time on difficulty – N/A
Mods/fixes used: N/A

Another indie gem according to steam, with 90% positive reviews. Somewhat surprising considering this “Classic” version was not always F2P and costed $5.

Honestly this game feels like a demo or early access version. After around 2 hours you will see most of what the game has to offer and will be stuck with gameplay loop of defending your base from enemies, recruiting new peasants to refill your losses and occasionally attacking the enemy.

Kingdom offers a simple tutorial on how to build stuff and recruit new subjects and then lets you figure out the rest by yourself. If you don’t skip tutorial I believe you don’t get attacked for first few days.

The objective of the game is to build a kingdom and destroy two portals on each side that lead to the world of Greed, weird green guys that are bent on taking anything precious – tools, gold coins and your crown. If you don’t have any money in your pouch and one of them bumps into you, your crown falls on the ground, and if you don’t pick it up before them it’s game over. As game says “No crown, no King/Queen”. You can defend for as long as you wish, but it is possible to destroy all portals before day 25 as there is an achievement for doing that.

Greed has 3 types of unit to attack you with, small trolls with some of them wearing protection that absorbs 1-3 arrows depending what they wear, huge abominations that serve as their siege machines and flying monstrosity that prefers to eat your archers on top of towers before going for ground units. Your arsenal is pretty basic too, builders that build stuff (duh!) and handle the catapults, farmers that generate coins via farming, when you fully upgrade your base you get access to knights and with them you can launch attacks on portals. Lastly archers who honestly do a lot. They will be your primary defense and attack force, and during the day they hunt and sometimes can farm money faster than farmers. In my later playthrough I only hired a few farmers because archers just make more money than farmers.

For the first ~2 hours I was really hooked, building my base, expanding, discovering new things, seeing my kingdom transfer from simple camp with some tents into something that actually started to look like kingdom – that was really fun. Unfortunately Kingdom: Classic runs out of its “steam” really fast as you quickly reach a point of running from one end to the other collecting coins from your subjects and “defending” it from Greed which gets boring pretty fast. Discovery part is fun too, but it ends pretty quickly.

I really liked the game at first and I think it has a solid foundation, but little has been built atop of it. Seems like devs thinked the same as the improved, paid version called “New Lands” offers few more units, new mounts, defense bulding etc. even companion dogs! In Classic edition you can swap your brown horse for a black one that can sprint longer before getting tired.

The game has a really beautiful soundtrack and pixel art, definitely the strongest part of this game that never gets boring to look at/listen to. Soundtrack varies from pretty, chill chiptune music during day and night to spooky music that plays during the blood moon.

Another thing worth mentioning that a lot of the game is automated. Once you recruit a peasant and they pick whichever tool that is available, they will do everything themselves. Farmers will grow crops during the day and rest at night, builders will build everything that’s queued and repair walls when needed, archers farm during the day and defend at night. You don’t control any units directly. Builders maintaining the catapults will push them to the furthest defense point and fire as long as enemies are in range. You have very little direct control, you can control what % of your population does what, because you buy the tools.

To summarize, it’s average. If you already own the new version, please try it instead of Classic. If you don’t well, I would say use it as a demo, but remember I haven’t tried “New Lands” yet and I don’t know how much new stuff is there, you might see most of game in couple hours of “Classic” and then find out “New Lands” doesn’t offer that much new stuff and feel like you wasted your money later.

Half-Life 2

Reveal The Deep

2.3 hours
9 of 9 achievements

Beaten 1st time on difficulty – N/A
Mods/fixes used: Installing Java RE 1.8.0

Huh, well this was much better than I expected! This is a short indie horror set underwater, in wreckage of a steamship that sunk in 1901. With a very short tutorial on movement and interaction, you are left alone, with no objective or backstory. Game is split into 3 chapters and chapter 1 is pretty slow and uneventful. You’ll occasionally go through a spooky looking room and see one disturbing thing but that’s it. Game builds up tension slowly and game gets better as you go.

There’s no soundtrack but it has excellent sound design. This sunken ship feels almost alive, with its creepy sounds of metal bending under pressure and other sounds. The game is very dark and almost entirely pitch black, with your flashlight being the only light source. You can die in this game and there are monsters lurking in chapter 2 & 3, but you can keep them at bay. It’s a pretty easy platformer with simple puzzles, but the atmosphere and sound design really carry this game. You learn more about the ship’s background and its passengers via notes scattered around the ship. Story is serviceable and it has a twist near the end, that is if you locate the last note that you can miss.

This game is made by 2 guys and sometimes it shows, especially on technical level. There is option menu for key bindings but it doesn’t actually work xD Once you pick a binding to change, it asks you to what you want to change but nothing changes when you press anything. That can be an issue as default key-bindings are so-so and at first I would very often confuse flashlight switch (bound to spacebar) with jumping (bound to UP) and I’m just going to say flashlight is pretty important at times, other than lighting the way. And launching this game took me some time too. If you don’t have Java installed, it asks you to install Java Runtime Environment 1.7.0 32-bit and without it the game won’t work. There’s even a steam guide on how to launch it on different Java version and it involves making a batch file or using command prompt to launch it. However I managed to launch it in a different way. I downloaded latest JRE (1.8) and instead of launching it through steam, I used the java file located in MacOS folder --- \SteamApps\common\Reveal The Deep\Reveal the\Contents\MacOS --- I don’t know why a working file for Windows is located in MacOS folder, but oh well it works, achievements work too.

But according to steam forums, for some people neither methods work. Or they can manage to launch it but game is very buggy (no screen, sound only) or very slow. This game costs a dollar, but because of its technical issues it’s difficult for me to recommend, as you may not be able to launch it at all if steam forums are to be believed. But given high review count and most of them positive, I'm guessing it’s unplayable to a small amount of players. So if you don’t mind spending ~20 minutes getting this work, I can definitely recommend this if you like indie horrors.

Half-Life 2

Dead Cells

51.2 hours
55 of 108 achievements

Beaten 1st time on difficulty – Normal (0 boss cells)
Mods/fixes used: N/A
Favorite OST:
13 – Conjoctivius
14 – Prison’s Depths
20 – Clock Tower

Rogue-like metroidvania-like souls-like and probably something else-like, Dead Cells is one of those indie games with insanely high positive ratings on steam and this time I think it’s deserved. It’s a fast paced action game with a huge variety of weapons, good variety of worlds and pretty easy to learn, hard to master. It takes some cues from Rogue Legacy and we have progression that is different for every run and permanent progression that affects every run, in this case it’s having some gold on start, better choice of weapons before starting a run, better forges or weapons that start with some upgrade when we find them and a bigger flash for healing potion. And perhaps more, I still haven’t seen everything this game has to offer.

There is lots to unlock, you use the titular Dead Cells to unlock new stuff and they sometimes drop from enemies and if you can survive to the end of the level you can spend them. Die without spending them and they’re gone. Besides weapons there are also gadgets/skills, mutations, outfits. If you like to unlock everything a game has to offer you will spend a lot of time in it.

I had some moments of frustration as I sometimes died feeling like I got stun-locked with no way of surviving. But honestly sometimes it can get so chaotic it’s hard to react properly. Or maybe I’m just getting old :/

I found some tracks in OST I really, really liked but honestly most of OST is kind of bland, good as a background music but not something I would get.

Overall I really like this, would recommend and will probably spend another 50 hours in it.

Half-Life 2

Dead Cells: The Bad Seed

5 hours
no achievements

Not a bad DLC, I love some new additions, especially the mushroom boi who I like to take for more ranged build, but he can be super annoying if I run full melee build as he keeps knocking enemies back when I’m about to hit them.

I love the outfits included in this DLC, ever since unlocking Sacrificial Tick Outfit it’s been the only outfit I used.

Giant Mama Tick fight is alright, one new area called “Morass of the Banished” has awesome atmosphere, enemies and OST playing in the background. The other new area called “Dilapidated Arboretum” is very annoying to traverse, it feels to me like there’s not enough teleporters and despite rooms being in one giant glasshouse it feels like often one path is one long corridor separated by tiny walls and it’s annoying.

Overall it’s hard not to recommend this DLC as all DLCs for DC are cheap and this one adds good amount of new content that's useful outside new areas.

September 4th 2022

Hey hey hey people,

Few things happened since my last post. The next day my good old 660Ti died when I was about to install windows on my new PC… I had to borrow some money from my parents to buy a new GPU and went for Gigabyte 3060Ti. I’m pretty happy with it overall but when 4xxx series will come out I think I’m going to sell it and buy a 4080 or 4070. I don’t think my recently bought CPU will be a bottleneck. And the next next day something really stupid happened… I dislocated my shoulder :| I couldn’t work for a month and games I could play shrunk to few dozen. This is the reason why I played the games you see below because those were the only one I wanted to play AND that could be played with one hand. As of writing this my shoulder is mostly fine, I can’t go to gym for a month and have to avoid some moves, but I’m fine. I’ve been working again for the last 3 weeks and I think I should have enough to pay my parents back in a month so things are going to be fine.

Prey has been a game I wanted to play for a long time but I’ve been saving it for new PC. And that was unnecessary because the game sadly does not look that good on maximum settings. I know the screenshots are usually prettier than the game itself, but goddamn the difference between what’s shown in store and how the game actually looks is huge. I made it a little better with some ini. tweaking but Bethesda or Arkane pulled some Watch Dogs shit with these screenshots… The game is fun tho. I’m not finished with it yet but gameplay is solid, lurking around the station is fun, it has good dose of horror and I’m very curious to see how it ends and what’s the end goal of some characters in this game. As for Into the Breach… I’m pretty much done, I’m just going for left over achievements and I’m gonna move onto something else. Great game but I played enough. Review of it and few others are below:

80.0 hours
Played on Steam

Beaten 1st time on difficulty – Normal
Mods/fixes used: N/A
Favorite OST:
04 – Old War Machines
11 – Cataclysm
15 – Pinnacle Robotics

ITB is a turn based game where we have a squad consisting of 3 mechs fighting giant bugs called Vek. After you place your units on the map, Vek make their move, setting up attacks on your units or the civilian buildings that you must protect. When Vek are done, you know exactly who or what they’re going to attack, how much damage their attack will do and if it will leave a mark on one of the tiles (like setting nearby forest on fire or covering a tile in pool of acid). Your next turn is to figure out the best counter. You can kill the Vek if you have enough firepower or if the type of enemy is squishy, you can move them to redirect the attack or attack each other, cancel their attacks with smoke, push them to death (they can’t swim, for example :P). You usually have plenty of options and I don’t know if I’m making this up, but the AI almost always sets their units in a way that there’s a solution where you can take no damage, if you can find it. Sometimes it’s obvious, sometimes you need to carefully plan your steps to execute a good turn. However to get the AI to setup in such a way, you need to have 4 or less Vek units on the map. Usually 3 of them will focus on building, the last one on your unit, so in this scenario you simply move the unit that’s targeted and focus on killing or pushing units that are targeting the buildings. If you can’t contain the Vek numbers though, you will quickly find yourself in situation where the best you can do is minimize the damage.

There are 4 islands, each with different environments and unique missions and the final island “The Last Stand” that you can access after clearing at least 2 islands. When you play for the first time, you only have access to island owned by “Archive Inc.” corporation. Secure it once, you get access to RST island, secure RST once and get access to Pinnacle Robotics and secure PR to get Detritus. When you unlock 2nd island it’s up to you which islands you want to clear and in what order. The islands and their respective corporations are:

Archive Inc. – Earth like island, with forests and lots of green. It’s also a sort of museum of Human civilization, before the oceans swallowed most of land. First island you have access to and the easiest. There’s a lot of missions where you have an advantage, like old Earth MLR’s or air support.

R.S.T. Corporation – Desert like island with lots of tiles covered in sand and when hit they create a smoke, smoke cancels attacks of any unit standing on it. Somewhat more fair island, there’s one mission where you get insta-killing terraformer, but others have environmental effects where both sides are affected.

Pinnacle Robotics – Icy island. Runned by AI. And you often get a missions that involve robots. Sometimes you need to protect said robots to get more reputation, even if the robots attack you or do something that makes it harder for both sides to move. If there’s water it’s frozen (duh) but you can break the ice to have option for insta killing Vek.

Detritus Disposal – Waste Island, trash, toxic industrial environment. Somewhat balanced, has unique tiles like teleporters or conveyor belts. And because of that Vek might position themselves in a way that requires you to use them to get the best result. Also lots of tiles with acid on it, units covered in acid take 2x damage and sometimes a perfect position to deal with a Vek is right on top of acid tile… At first may seem like an island where odds are stacked against you slightly, but it’s pretty balanced, just requires some more patience and planning.

The Last Stand – Final. Small volcanic island. Just one, two stage mission and it’s the destruction of Vek hive. On normal and hard difficulties the odds are against and you often have to cheese it to win. If you decide to tackle it early without clearing all islands, you’ll get less alpha versions of Vek but it still can be hard as your mechs don’t have many upgrades.

Example of unique objectives as seen in top right, on Archive Inc. island. Water from Dam will kill any Vek on its way and will make manoeuvre-ing for Vek more difficult. Mechs can't drown :) But they can't attack in water!

Achievements play an important role in this game, they’re not just trophies but your way of obtaining currency to unlock new mech squads. There are global achievements that you can do with any squad and squad achievements tied to specific mech squad. That can be a problem for some people as some achievements can be difficult to pull off unless you get really lucky or setup for them. And without achievements you get less coins to unlock squads, you get less options. Luckily you don’t have to do them all to get all squads. And you can do them on easy difficulty too, so you can always do run on easy to get achievements and continue on higher difficulty if you want.

Mechs are split into squads and they usually specialize in one or two things. For example Rusting Hulks specialize in covering the map tiles in as much smoke as they can and one of the mechs gives you a passive bonus that any enemy unit standing in smoke will get 1 point of dmg at the start of next turn. Flame Behemoths specialize in spreading fire and are immune to it. Blitzkrieg rely heavily on Lightning mech within that unit that has electric whip that can chain attacks to nearby units, but it can hurt your units too. You can make custom squads too, with the mechs from squads you unlocked, or create a random squad. Both custom and random squads have their achievements too.

You can make squads even stronger with special pilots. And after a lost/won game you can keep one pilot, and they keep their bonuses from leveling up. My favorite combo is Rusting Hulks with Camila Vera inside Jet Mech, Camila is immune to smoke and Vek web, so she cannot be immobilized and can attack while standing on smoke tile. It can be a pretty OP combination as it’s possible to get so much smoke on map that Vek AI gets confused and sometimes stuck. Abe Isamu is another favorite as he has “Armored” passive and blocks 1 damage. Superb in early game before Alpha Vek start to appear as most normal Vek deal 1 damage and he can just tank them with no consequence. Morgan Lejuene is another favorite, on every kill she gains “Boosted” which increases Mechs move and damage for next turn, it’s possible to keep the buff for entire mission if you can get kill on every turn with her. All pilots have some personality too, aforementioned Abe Isamu is very cold and determined to destroy the Vek, pilot named Adam is a sort of religious fanatic, Lily Reed is a little childish and sees this war like a video game. Morgan is very curious about Vek and how they communicate, how they function, she constantly wants to gather more samples and data. Even non-unique pilots have some personality to them and by their clothing you can tell from which island they originate.

Special pilots get their unique bonuses from the start, but like normal pilots they can level up and you get a random bonus. Before “Advanced Edition” update the bonuses were very simple, +2 HP or +1 reactor energy, as some examples. Advanced edition introduced bonuses like “Thick Skin” that gives immunity to fire and acid, “Masochist” which gives you +2 move when not at full HP, “Technician” that repairs your Mech by 1 at the start of enemy turn. “Normal” pilots can get any of the mentioned and not mentioned level up bonuses, but unique pilots are obviously better. It is possible to have a full squad with unique pilots as at the start of a mission there is a chance that a time pod will crash on the map and if you recover it during mission or the Vek won’t crush it, there’s a chance a unique pilot will be inside (this is also how you unlock them, as at the start of new game you can pick one unique pilot from the pool).

There’s some RNG in this game. You don’t know at what turn a specific enemy will spawn, but before picking an island you know what types of enemies are going to be present and what boss waits at the end. Missions give you reputation that you spend after clearing an island, but you don’t know what weapons or passive bonuses you will see there. And the “shop” is random as you get weapons for Mech class that you don’t have, you can still use that weapon but it will require one extra power to work. AI is not fully predictable either. While having 4 or less Vek you almost always have tools to deal with it, when you get say 6 Vek their decisions can be weird. Sometimes 4-5 will focus on your units and you can avoid most of attacks by just moving, sometimes all of them will focus on buildings. But if you have this many Vek on screen that means you made mistakes 99% of time. But that’s it I think… Hell, you even get information of attack order for Vek, perhaps a Vek attacking 1st that can be moved, could kill that other Vek attacking 2nd that cannot be moved, you have information to set it up like this. But point is while there is some RNG, I never felt like I got screwed by it.

Buildings have a chance to resist damage, in this run I managed to up my defense to 36%. This is really high and was done on easy difficulty, you start with 15% and usually it stays at this number.

ITB has some interesting story and world, though it’s never in your face, you learn about it via short dialogues that pop up during or between missions, and from dialogues of unique pilots. It also uses the idea of multiple timelines to justify you playing the same game over and over. Once you defeat the Vek or loose trying, you are sent to the next timeline to fight Vek there. Like I said before you can take one pilot with you to the next timeline and there’s no limit into how many timelines you can take them. In my current state I have one pilot with experience from 20 previous timelines :) Aforementioned time pods are obviously from different timelines. You can abandon the timeline at any point in the game, even in middle of the mission.

Overall I really enjoyed this game and after dozens of runs it serves great as a game to run a podcast or YT video in background, as sound is not needed to play this. It is from creators of FTL but it is different, though they are very familiar in some regards (art, font, music by the same guy, some game mechanics). ITB is completely turn based, FTL has pause button to issue commands and your crew carries them out in real-time, combat is in real-time too. FTL was way more tense sometimes, in this game the worst that can happen is you realizing you’re screwed after running all options in your head and just accepting it. I can’t promise you’ll enjoy this one if you enjoyed FTL and vice versa. But I highly recommend both games.

Half-Life 2

Yesterday Origins

10.6 hours
28 of 36 achievements

Beaten 1st time on difficulty – N/A
Mods/fixes used: N/A

This is a prequel and sequel to the first game “Yesterday”. And a warning to anyone who hasn’t played the first game, do not start with this one as it will spoil the big mystery of the first game (who you are, who did this to you etc). And before you go, I highly recommend you give first game a try!

In terms of gameplay it’s a pretty standard adventure game where you collect items, go over as many dialogue choices as you can and if you can’t figure out how to progress, clicking on everything or trying to combine items with everything else will usually push you forward.

This game is a weird and funny trip with strange, sometimes crazy characters, story twists and humor that made me chuckle quite a lot. Just like first game. We play again as John Yesterday. We get to play when John was just a teen and became who he is, and back to present 3 years after the events of the first game. We also get to play Pauline, John’s girlfriend from 1st game and who shares destiny with John, often we switch between them and Pauline has her tasks to do, John has his and you need to trade information or items to push the story forward. Boris returns too and he and Pauline don’t like each other very much. We get to see many pretty drawn backgrounds, John and other characters are 3d models and occasionally we get a 3d cutscene.

Every item and clickable hotspot usually has more to offer than on first glance. If we click on say, a bookshelf, a comic panel opens with a zoomed view of said bookshelf and we can rotate our view at all clickable items etc. We can inspect each item in a 3D view and sometimes we can find more information through that. Besides items we have information that we gather from hotspots or talking to characters. Usually if you want to do something big, you need several items and information like “why do you want to do this? What about this person?”.

For some reason devs strongly recommend controller for this game, which is odd as it is perfectly playable with mouse. 90% of what you do is clicking on stuff or picking a dialogue option, I suppose 3d rotating an item could be more comfortable with controller but regardless controller is not a must have for this game.

Game is buggy though. Twice I got stuck on a comic panel of an item and game stopped reacting, I couldn’t even pause and reload, I had to alt-tab and shut it down. There’s a button that shows all clickable hotspots but it doesn’t show them all, and sometimes the dot is displayed in wrong place and you have to find it yourself. When you double click on something the character is supposed to teleport to the place instead of us watching them walking, but it never works 100% of times. I had to use a walkthrough few times because the solution was not always obvious to me and trying to combine everything with every item can be very time consuming. Lots of hotspots and sometimes you have a lot of items/information.

Still I very much enjoyed the story, it’s a great continuation of previous game and leaves the door open for 3rd game and I would love what story they come up with if they decide to do it. Recommended.

Half-Life 2

Peggle Deluxe

3.1 hours
no achievements

Beaten 1st time on difficulty – N/A
Mods/fixes used: N/A

This is a replay. Previously beat on pirated copy, 2nd time on Origin.

Very cool and easy to learn casual game where the objective is to hit all orange “pegs” with your “balls”. Adventure is split into 55 levels, each level with a different board and every 5 levels you get a different Peggle master who gives you a different ability if you hit one of 2 green pegs. There are also blue pegs that give you small points if you hit them but they mostly serve as an obstacle. Which peg is turned into orange one or green one is random at the start of every level, so while the placement of every peg on the specific board is the same, which ones are blue, orange or green is random. You can save your ball if it falls into a bucket at the bottom of the screen and the bucket moves from left to right. If you earn 25000 points in one shot, you get an extra ball.

Masters – there are 10 of them, each board is usually built around their special ability, however some powers are more universal and will work on most boards, but you won’t have to worry about that except when it comes to challenges and the last 5 adventure levels where you can pick your master to assist you. Our first master, unicorn Bjorn, gives you “Super Guide” which shows the trajectory of your ball after it bounces of peg or a wall (only the first bounce tho). It’s great for giving you better feel on how the ball bounces around, but if like me, you’ll tackle challenge levels after beating adventure first, you should know exactly where the ball will land after a first bounce, so it’s a great tutorial power, pretty useless later on. My favorites are “Spooky ball” which reappears at the top of the level when it hits the bottom and “Zen ball” which readjusts your shot just slightly for better shot.

Some levels have unique elements like physical objects that can block your ball, sometimes these objects move and make your shots harder to calculate but I wish base game had more of those levels because they make them more interesting. And sometimes pegs move too!

However, I have questions to the person responsible for the visuals. This game for some reason is locked to… 800x600 resolution. Yep, a 2007 game. On full screen 1080p it’s displayed in 4:3 ratio and everything is stretched and little blurry. There’s no widescreen patch as far I know. Interestingly the console version looks good even on big TVs (according to what I read online) so it’s only the PC version that gets low resolution…

It does have a banger soundtrack though, but I didn’t notice it when playing, maybe I had the music volume lowered or something, but now that I listen to it on YT, I really like it.

Adventure took me 2,5 hours to beat but as I said at start, this is a replay. If you end up reaaaally liking the game you’ll get a lot more out of it with challenges. I would highly recommend trying Peggle Deluxe Demo if you don’t own Peggle already to see the game for yourself. Full game weighs like 20mb’s so this demo should be even smaller. It’s fun, very simple, costs almost nothing on sale, weighs like a game from early 90’s and if you’re not convinced, there’s a demo for you to try. Recommended.

Half-Life 2

Peggle Nights

3.0 hours
no achievements

Beaten 1st time on difficulty – N/A
Mods/fixes used: N/A

New adventure with new master near the end. Nothing changed in terms of gameplay, objective is the same etc. So if you enjoyed the base game you will enjoy this one, the adventure is a little longer though as I didn’t touched challenges in this version and it took me 3 hours to beat the Adventure (vs around 2,5 hours in base game).

There’s more levels with moving and still objects which I like as they make the game more interesting.

The new master is Marina with her “Electrobolt” ability. When the ball hits a first peg it creates a lightning bolt that goes from that peg to the bucket at bottom, hitting all pegs between. I haven’t touched the challenges but it felt like another situational ability that works mostly on levels that were built for levels where you have to use Marina. But overall it’s more Peggle with new adventure and totally worth the $1 it costs during the sale. Recommended!

9th July 2022

Hey hey hey people,

I’m so happy because I finally got a new PC!!! Ok almost, I still need to replace the GPU and I need to save a little more for it, but everything else is new (except storage). I should have it running in a day or two after this post, I assembled most parts, now I just need to update the BIOS, I also want to run MEMTEST before I get to installing Windows 10 and everything else. Below is the list of what I’m replacing

Case - some old Silentium case, I don’t remember the model
MOBO - ASUS M5A97 R2.0
CPU - AMD FX-6300
RAM - 2x8gb DDR3 (forgot the brand, latency and clock speed)
CPU Cooler - Don’t remember 😵
PSU - Corsair 550W
SSD for OS - Samsung 850 EVO 250gb
SSD for games - ADATA SU750 512gb
HDD’s - 2x Seagate 1TB BarraCuda 3’5 7200rpm
GPU - Gigabyte 660Ti 3gb VRAM

Case - be quiet! Pure Base 600 Window
MOBO - MSI X570 A-Pro
CPU - AMD Ryzen 7 5800x
RAM - G.Skill Trident Z Neo 2x16gb ,DDR4 3600mhz, CL16
CPU Cooler - be quiet! Dark Rock 4
PSU - Corsair RM850x 2021 850W
SSD for OS - Samsung M.2 970 EVO Plus 250gb
SSD for games - ADATA SU750 512gb + Samsung 850 EVO 250gb
HDD’s - 2x Seagate 1TB BarraCuda 3’5 7200rpm
GPU - (For now…) Gigabyte 660Ti 3gb VRAM

As for old SSD and other drives, they are all in still good condition so they can stay. If I were to buy new GPU right now, I would most likely go with 3060ti. I would love an 4060 but unfortunately Nvidia likes to release their high-end GPU’s first and afaik 4060 is going to come out Q1 2023 and I don’t want to wait 6 months for new GPU :/ Perhaps I’ll buy a 3060ti in a couple months and sell it when 4060ti comes out, add some cash and buy an 4060ti.

Right, onto the games now!

  • The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth

    1293.0 hours playtime

    637 of 637 achievements

  • The Witcher: Enhanced Edition

    58.8 hours playtime

    no achievements

I thought I already posted how I 100% Isaac but apparently not, so… I DID!!! The grind is over and I’m free :) I honestly thought it might become my most played game ever, but that spot is still held by Team Fortress 2 (1477 hours) :P And since Edmund is busy with Mewgenics and other projects it will stay like this. I’m still not done with writing my thoughts on the Witcher, but frankly I haven’t been writing much since my last post :/ I hope I can find energy to finish it, but if now just know it’s a great game and worth playing.

Here are few games I beated between the last post and this one.

31.9 hours
Played on Steam

Beaten 1st time on difficulty – Advanced
Mods/Fixes used: N/A

This is a reversed tower defense game, or tower offense in other words. YOU are the attacker and have to build a squad of units to destroy or just survive the attacks of towers on your path. It’s an interesting concept, I don’t know if this is the first game of this kind but regardless I liked Anomaly.

The story is pretty simple – some kind of alien ship crashlands in Baghdad. Surrounding area starts to grow in some kind of red mold, towers begin to emerge from ground and attack anything in its range. You, the commander of 14th armored platoon is sent to investigate and it won’t take long for you to find out that aliens are hostile. And so you push on to the center of the crash site to secure the ship and its technology. The red mold thing is weird tho, as the towers are fully mechanical and not organic in any way. One of characters calls it “growth” and then it’s never mentioned again, sometimes you’ll see it on the ground on some levels but that’s it. As you play you’ll find out there is a little more to the story, one more alien race is involved and maybe there is some bigger conflict happening in the background, but I guess this was left for sequel and other parts of series. Anomaly series has 5 games in total, including this one. And besides Baghdad we also get to visit Tokyo where another ship crashed.

Each mission starts with X amount of money at your disposal, you build your squad then you set a path for your squad. For example, you start on a straight street and at its end you can either go left or right. And after you pick either side, it goes straight and along its path there are another turns and so on. You can set your entire path at start and you can also change every turn on fly, you have a free hand most of times how your units go. Sometimes a mission begins with a very long road with no turns, but that mostly happens at the beginning of campaign where you are still being taught how to play. Other times a mission requires you to reach a point in X amount of time, then you have to take the most optimal path. At start you only have access to two unit types – APC and crawlers, the latter is 4-legged robot with rocket launchers and it’s a powerful unit even in the end game. APCs are cheap, have ok armor and deal little damage but I wouldn’t recommend using them in late game. There are shield generators that generate a shield (duh!) for itself, a unit in front of it and for unit in the back. Dragon has twin flamethrowers, I find it great as a front and more tanky unit. Tank, which is actually not the best tanky unit in the game imo! And lastly a Supply truck which spawns extra consumable for your commander once X amount of towers is destroyed. Six unit types and you can have up to six units on field at the same time. And in addition to having units that move on set path, you have a commander that you can move around with, drop various power-ups and even bait towers! That last one is an actual mechanic you can use against towers that turn veeeery slowly. Well, there’s only one tower type where it really works, but say your units are not in range of tower, you run in with commando and stand at the opposite direction from where your units are coming from, it starts shooting at you and when your units are in range attacking it, it takes 3-4 seconds for that tower to turn before it can shoot at your units. It’s a really cool mechanic but it only works on one type of tower, other types turn so fast it makes almost no difference.

"Welcome to the oil fields"

Your commander cannot be killed, but they can be knocked down for few seconds. This can be really serious when your units are entering a street filled with towers and you cannot be there and pop up healing consumables, decoys etc. sometimes it can end in mission reset, so running into every tower cluster is not a very good idea :D

There are 18 missions in campaign + 3 bonus modes, first 2-3 missions are tutorials, then game keeps getting harder and harder. It never stops innovating, the last tower type is introduced somewhere around mission 13 and some missions have unique tasks or quirks about them. 18 missions is not a lot but devs managed to make them varied and keep things interesting. I played the whole game on “Advanced” difficulty which is 2nd difficulty choice out of 3. You have “Casual”, “Advanced” and “Hardcore” and so while 2nd is named “Advanced” in every other game it would be named “Normal”. I never touched Hardcore because I don’t think I’m that good at this game + there’s no achievements tied to this difficulty so… I think there were only 2-3 missions that I really struggled with on “Advanced” and one of them being the final mission.

OST is kind of bland. And idk why they picked Iraq where 2/3 of campaign mission happens, it’s a game from 2011 and I think every military shooter was set in middle east back then? It’s the only reason I can think of and maybe this way they wanted to interest more players? I have no idea.

To end this… Maybe there are better reverse tower defense games, but I liked Anomaly.

Half-Life 2

Assassin's Creed

17.7 hours
no achievements

Beaten 1st time on difficulty – N/A
Mods/fixes used: N/A
Favorite OST:
04 – Trouble in Jerusalem
10 – Meditation of the Assassin

This is a replay, it’s my 3rd time beating this game. First, I beated it back in 2008 when I got boxed copy of it on PC for my birthday :) 2nd time was shortly before release of AC II. And now over decade later I got challenged to beat this via PoP and so I did. This is also your warning that I’m nostalgic for this game.

Back in 2008 (or 2007 if you played it on console) this game was incredible. The cities, the storytelling, the setting, characters like Altair who looked like the coolest characters ever for 13 year old boys like me :V And the story of Assassin’s and Templar’s, the latter that are basically illuminati trying to take over the world.

AC gives us two simultaneous stories – one set in 2012 where Desmond, who grew up with the modern day Assassins who live in small communes, away from big cities, has decided to flee to pursue more interesting life away from isolation. And one set in year 1191 during the Third Crusade led by Richard the Lionheart and in that time we play as Altair, assassin master serving under Al Mualim, leader of the Assassin Brotherhood. Desmond is captured by modern day Templars, who own a mega pharmaceutical corporation named Asbergo. The templars have developed a machine called Animus that can read genetic memories of your ancestors. The idea is that your genes don’t carry just information like traits given to offspring and so on, but also memories of your ancestors and Animus can access those and that’s how we get to play Altair.

After a brief training inside Animus we jump to Altair and his two companions on a mission to retrieve a precious artifact. Altair is not a very relatable character. Right at the start he kills an innocent, old man, just because he saw them enter the Solomon’s temple and is immediately scolded by our companions for breaking the code of Assassin’s, however Altair being the highest ranking assassin amongst them basically tells them to shut up. It doesn’t take long for Altair’s arrogancy to get us into trouble. Soon we reach the treasure, but the templars have already secured it and the leader of Templars, Robert de Sablé, came personally to see it. Altair thinking this is an excellent opportunity to get the treasure and kill their biggest enemy at the same time, decides to climb down from their spot up high, where they were unseen and basically tells Robert “hey I’m here and I’m going to kill you”. Of course things don’t go the way Altair intended them to. Robert quickly bests us, happens to throw us right into a wooden beam supporting the entrance to the chamber we were just in, it collapses cutting us off from our companions, we can hear a fight breaking out and presumably they’re dead. We return to Masyaf, the city where Assassins are based, to our master Al Mualim to inform him that “oops, a lot have happened, my friends are dead and the treasure is gone” but SUDDENLY one of our presumably dead companions arrives, Malik, who managed to get the treasure and tells Al Mualim everything went to shit because of Altair and with Malik came Robert with an army to lay siege on Masyaf to recover the treasure.

Back to Desmond – why did Templars kidnapped him? Well turns out that the treasure has hmmm some kind of powers that are beyond this world. But the templars knew Al Mualim had it, they sent the team to ruins of Masyaf to recover it but it was broken or decayed, I don’t remember now exactly. But beyond its powers, it also contained a map of other treasures very much like its own. So why they won’t just use Animus to jump right exactly to the moment Altair looks at that map? Well because… something something genetic memories work like real memories? Basically imagine if you had a therapy session and you tried to remember something traumatic. You can’t remember what exactly happened and you can’t recall what happened. So you start from a point before it happened and step by step you go to the point of interest, that’s how it works for genetic memories too and the incident at Solomon’s Temple is the closest the Templars could access. There’s one thing that’s very interesting about this story. Between Animus sessions, we talk to a very grumpy and aggressive Warren Vidic, director of this entire Animus program and a Templar, and Lucy who is his assistant and is sympathetic towards Desmond. As we get closer to final memory and Desmond asks more questions, Warren reveals something very interesting… I’m going to jump to the final for a second. We do get to see the map of all other treasures, it even shows few locations in North America and South America and remember this is set in 1191. The way the map is displayed is very weird too… Back to Warren, he’s very open that their plan is World Peace/New World Order and Desmond asks him why do they think they’re so special, why should they specifically be the new rulers, just because they made some important scientific discoveries gives them that right? This is where Warren tells us they’re not discoveries, but gifts from “those who came before” and when I think about that treasure… Is this some kind of Ancient Aliens shit? Because it’s possible given what you witness later. Or there’s another crazy theory out there, that we used to be an even more advanced species than now, but because of some kind nuclear war or other sophisticated weaponry we went back to hunter-gather style with no technology of that time surviving. I’m not sure which direction the AC series went but I am very interested. I played AC 2 but never beated it so I don’t really know what happens there.

So many people...

King Richard the Lionheart.

Duel with a Templar Knight on top of a church.

Ah, the always happy and friendly Doctor Warren waking us up!

Gameplay. It is probably the biggest downside of Assassin’s Creed. It’s not bad at start, the problem is it never evolves and becomes veeeeery repetitive. Let’s start with the combat – you will do a lot of sword fighting. At first you can only mash LMB to do a simple sword attack, your enemies will block it until their invisible stamina bar is depleted and then you kill them. You can block too and later you can counter-attack while blocking, this is your most powerful attack in the game. When countering weaker enemies they will instantly get killed with a very cool animation. Tougher enemies will get knocked on the ground and if you can land quick hits with LMB you can easily kill them or keep countering them to deplete their stamina bar and eventually kill them, you can tell really easily which enemies are tougher as they have more armor and unique look to them, and overall there are three different soldier/guards types. There’s also guard break (self-explanatory), dodge after enemy breaks your block, grab that lets you grab an enemy and throw them (stronger enemies can break it and hit you instead until you weaken them) and last but not least, the attack named… something, I forgot. But after successfully landing a simple LMB attack on enemy sword, if you click LMB again at that moment, you can insta kill weaker enemies or knock them down, but honestly I could never master that move, it felt like the game wasn’t always registering my second click or maybe I was doing it wrong the whole time? No idea. But yeah you will fight like this the whole game. Group of enemies surrounds you. Wait for some of them to attack, kill them with counter. Mash LMB and try to time the second click for fast kill or keep mindlessly mashing until you kill them. Animations are really cool and brutal, but it gets boring after seeing it for 15636th time. It has the same problem like Shadow of Mordor where combat is very simplistic and it tries to make up for it with cool kill animations and spectacle. Also some of them are dumb, because Altair will like kneel over dead enemy for few seconds and other enemies just stand and wait for you to stand up, others are very fast and give very little time for your enemies to react, making them feel like realistic* and something a skilled sword man could pull up (*- but I’m no expert). Later you also get throwing knives, excellent for taking out archers. Dagger - functions exactly the same as sword in sword fights, but comes with different kill animations. And of course the iconic hidden wrist blade, great for silent kills but honestly it was my least used method of killing.

The world in AC is amazing even in this day. City streets are FULL of people walking by, merchants selling their stuff, beggars that will annoy the shit out of you, guards patrolling or just standing and watching. Cities themselves look amazing, Jerusalem is beautiful and colorful, Damascus less so and it has this darker sandy tint color. Akka is very bleak and has a very different color tint, almost feels like it’s set somewhere in Europe, not in the Middle East. Perhaps devs decided for this color because it’s occupied by Crusaders. Masyaf is less impressive and very small compared to other three, it’s more like a village with a nice castle above it. No idea if that’s how it was back then. But all four cities? Real, Jerusalem and Damascus, those two I think everyone known, Akka today is on the territory of Israel, Masyaf today is a city in Northern Syria. The Assassins? Real, they existed back then but the rest about their fight for world peace and against templar is made up, I think. Robert de Sablé, he existed too and was indeed a Grand Master of Templar Order, however in our history he died in Jerusalem in 1193 in battle. We also get to meet King Richard the Lionheart. It’s such a cool concept of placing the player in historic places with real historic figures and twisting the history a little to make a story, all in third person with modern graphics and capabilities.

Things we see in Animus are not exactly as described in “history books” as Desmond says. Warren explains that of course they aren’t, because anyone can write a book and a book telling how world was created in 7 days is a bestseller as an example of bullshit that is out there. And as Lucy explains in other occasion, Templars spread misinformation on purpose to hide themselves. Well I don’t know much about history from that period but the name Templars is misleading. The actual Templars the Assassins are fighting for, are an organization consisting of various members who we get to kill by the order of Al Mualim. We kill a couple templars as we know them from history books, couple members of Hospitallers order, all four officially on the side of King Richard and residing in Akka (except one) that at that time was in control of Crusaders, and few important figures residing in Jerusalem and Damascus, officially on the side of legendary Saladin, who was trying to drive Crusaders off. As we kill them and get to hear their real thoughts in their last moments, we find out they’re all atheists and are united in creating a world with order and free from harm. We see some of it in their actions, like a crazy doctor Hospitaller in Akka who uses some kind of drug to make people more submissive or a guy in Jerusalem who starts book burning in the streets, wanting to eradicate knowledge and his idea being that with so many different books and conflicting ideas, all they do is confuse people and mess with their heads. However some do it for more personal reasons, like one Arab residing in either Damascus or Jerusalem, who loves… power. That’s his only reason, it’s like a drug to him and Templars can give it to him. Last one I’ll mention is another Templar residing in Jerusalem. His reasons are probably one of few that I found somewhat sympathetic, he is fat, likes to wear makeup and it’s strongly implied he is gay, he also likes to throw lavish parties at his palace and share some of his wealth, but despite all this, nobody accepts him and people think he is weird and degenerate. He wants to create a world where people like him will be accepted. In total, nine Templars to kill and identity of the last one is a complete mystery until the very end.

There are also a lot of minor things to do, like killing knights of the Templar Order that are scattered all over the map, or finding all flags of specific cities or factions, but it’s all optional and gives you nothing. Game has some issues, like sometimes dozen NPCs will spawn in front of you. Funny because I don’t remembered this at all, I remember AC Unity having this problem (among many other issues) but I was genuinely surprised to see it happen here. Perhaps game doesn’t fully like a modern OS or hardware? No idea. Or maybe I just forgot it happened back then. Had a couple crashes to desktop too. Also you have a surprising amount of HUD customization, you can pretty much disable all HUD elements for more immersive experience, I only left mini-map on and what weapon I currently had equipped.

I don’t know if this game aged well compared to other entries. If you played newer games this might seem primitive and boring, at least when it comes to gameplay (and maybe presentation too). But I think it aged fine. It’s also a game that started the tower craze in Ubisoft games, so if you see towers that unlock map fragments in Far Cry’s, The Crew’s, Watch Dogs and other AC’s, you can blame this game. Though in this game it makes sense (unlike Far Cry…) and it was new at a time. Overall, I like this game but I don’t know if I would recommend this. Newer AC’s are probably superior to this one in every regard (except setting and maybe story too) but if you’re curious how the series started or like decent action games from late 2000’s this is a game worth checking out.


Half-Life 2

12 is Better Than 6

5.5 hours
46 of 46 achievements

Beaten 1st time on difficulty – N/A
Mods/fixes used: N/A
Favorite OST:
01 – El Tiroteo Loco
05 – Espiritus Del Diablo
08 – Epic Pendejo

I didn’t had high expectations and yet I was slightly disappointed…

“12 is better than 6” is Hotline Miami in the wild west. But the devs either didn’t had time or skill to recreate what made Hotline Miami such a fantastic game. First let’s look at what this game does different.

There’s a loooot of levels that are set outside. No buildings and your only cover or line of sight blockers are some items like barrels and canyon walls. This doesn’t sound bad until you shoot one guy and you find out there’s 5-7 guys with guns running toward you from multiple directions and you can’t always hide in a spot to create a chokepoint to kill them all. And just like in HM you die from 1 hit. I had one issue with HM and that it was after shooting a gun the game was not consistent with how many and which guards exactly would run toward the shot, sometimes it was entire floor, sometimes it was guys from the back etc. and this game has that issue too. In 12ibt6 you also have two guns with you always – a knife for stealth kills (or desperate kills if you run out of ammo) and whatever weapon you have in your 2nd slot. You have access to revolver, double-barreled shotgun, lever action rifle, bow and another melee weapon if you find one. Unlike knife, melee weapon will always 1-hit kill enemy, knife kills in one hit if enemy is unaware of your presence, but melee weapons are scarce in this game. I don’t know why they even included them, there’s 1 level in last Act where you start with one and they pop up in some levels where you don’t have a gun. But you can’t throw them like in HM, so running at a dude with a gun is very stupid because you have no way to knock him out.

12ibt6 puts heavy focus on gunfights and it’s most fun when you have a shootouts inside buildings while enemies try to breach it. In HM you could knock out someone with a door, you can’t do that here but you can shoot through them (and some other wooden obstacles) but the bullet trajectory will change as it passes through. Still, if enemy is right in front of the door it will hit them. Shooting most guns is not as simple as pressing LMB, after you shoot once with revolver you have to press RMB to move the cylinder and then you can shoot again. Similarly for bow and lever rifle action. Bow - hold RMB to draw it and LMB to shot for bows. Lever action - hold LMB to shoot, let it go then press RMB again to load next bullet to the chamber for lever rifle. The double barrel is the only weapon where you just shoot with LMB until both barrels are empty :D At first fights were really intense because remembering to cock the revolver or load the rifle was something I needed to get used to, I would often die because I forgot to do that, but later I had no issues. And another thing this game does different is how you can have extra ammo to reload your guns, in HM once you emptied the magazine that was it (but it worked in that game, it’s not a criticism).

I like the art style, it’s like drawings with blue ballpoint pen and I don’t think I have ever seen a game with art style like this.

Now to talk about the bad. First the performance is awful and inconsistent, for some reason this game requires minimum 2GB’s of RAM and 2.9GHz CPU… that’s the minimum requirements. This game was made on GameMaker engine. So was Hotline Miami and yet its minimum specs are 512MB’s of RAM and 1.2GHz CPU. 12ibt6 would often randomly drop FPS for me from 60 to as low as 20 and it would stay like this. Sometimes it lagged even in menus, sometimes it works pretty well regardless of what’s happening on the screen. It often likes to lag when there’s lots of blood on the screen or if you happen to kill 2-3 dudes at the same time with say, the shotgun.

Levels too often feel like they were copy pasted with loosely connected buildings or small huts placed next to each other. I know, it’s wild west and from few movies I saw I guess that’s how they built back then. But still, there were few scenarios that were really cool, like one time when you had to defend yourself in a barber shop as enemies kept coming. But most levels felt like they changed very little and they were pretty straight forward. The canyon fights were the worst because of being in open space and I’m 99% sure some layouts were used again and again in different parts of the story. Dogs are some enemies you’ll face too, like in HM but they don’t kill you instantly, they are the only enemy that latches to you and kills you like 2 seconds later and they are very rarely used, feels like another idea copy-pasted from HM but they don’t add anything to the game since you barely see them… Story is… ok. You play as a Mexican with amnesia who is a slave in a mine, breaks out and tries to find out who he was and how we ended up as a slave. There’s like dozen different sub plots and you keep going to different locations that sadly don’t differ from each other that much, again the feeling of copy pasting. Near end you meet some new characters and gather a team for a big fight, but you fight alone regardless, story ends suddenly and it feels like they had no idea how to end this game.

There are tons of minor issues too: typo’s, grammar errors, you can get stuck in some locations and have to restart the level, options menu is weird and descriptions blend a little with actual option selections, once the text went outside the text box and off the screen… The more you play the more it feels like this game never had proper testing and lacks some polish.

One extra positive I can give is that the OST has some really good tracks.

Overall I have more positive feelings toward this game than negative, but it’s really difficult to recommend. I often wanted to just launch Hotline Miami and play that instead and if you haven’t tried HM yet, do it and skip 12ibt6.

Half-Life 2

Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition

32.3 hours
57 of 57 achievements

Beaten 1st time on difficulty – Hard
Mods/fixes used: N/A

Ori and the Blind Forest proves that visuals do matter in video games, because despite awful platforming and combat, this game is beloved by many people because it has beautiful visuals, soundtrack and cute creatures.

But I’ll start with the good. I will admit that the intro got me, it starts with Naru, a chubby creature who finds Ori (the creature we play) in the forest and takes Ori as her own child. In this prologue we get to control Ori for few moments and see them bond, we gather fruits together, mark the trees, play, go sleep hugging each other. All this paired with excellent visuals and a beautiful music, the presentation is great in this game, I’ll give them that. I felt invested already in the characters and when eventually things started to go wrong I wanted to restore that beautiful life they had together.

Things go wrong when Naru dies (spoiler ig) because of Ori, well not directly. You see Ori is a guardian spirit that was carried away by a huge storm before he hatched or turned into the creature he is, whatever. The spirit tree of forest Nibel where action takes place, was calling to the missing Ori by casting a light that was seen in most of the forest. It never reached Ori, but something else happened, a huge Owl named Kuro became enraged and decided to destroy the spirit tree by taking out its core and destabilizing the three elements of: water, wind and warmth. Soon the forest started to wither, water became toxic for most creatures, new creatures filled with darkness started to show up. And fruits and other food that Naru lived off stopped growing and she died of starvation. Ori, now alone started to wander the forest until he too collapsed and was on brink of death. But he happened to wander not far from spirit tree and it, with its last remaining strength revived Ori. That’s where the prologue ends and game starts.

Ori’s movement is pretty restricted at start, we can move left and right, and jump. This game being metroidvania you can see right away there’s more than one path, but with our restricted movement you will end up going to one direction and finding Sein, a small spirit that was casted out when Kuro took out the core. It will help us in restoring the forest and help us fight the dark creatures. And right away we get our first combat encounter. Combat in this game is weird with just your basic attack, you don’t actually attack enemies, Sein does by shooting projectiles that never miss if target is in range, all you do is get in range and press LMB and keep pressing it until the enemy dies. Shooting doesn’t restrict your movement so you just have to avoid the attacks while enemy tries to kill you and let Sein kill them. You will have to do this often as even in late game you will have enemies midair attacking you and you don’t really have many options midair other than that or light burst. Light burst is a charged attack that damages everything around Ori, it has limited range tho, it’s also used to destroy weakened walls etc. Next is Slam, which is OP once you upgrade it with ability points. But it’s not a slam as in grabbing the enemy and slamming them on ground, you slam on ground and create a damaging shockwave. Lastly we have a universal skill that can be used offensively and that’s Bash. Ori can launch himself from enemy, most projectiles or lanterns, when used, time stops and an arrow pops up showing which direction Ori will dash to and enemy/projectile will be bashed in opposite direction. Bashing enemy does very little damage, but shooting their own projectiles back at them can be effective and satisfying. And also sections where you need to use Bash to traverse were one of few that I enjoyed. Honestly I would either remove combat entirely or rework it, I hate how you half-control Sein, I feel like I’m partly disconnected from the combat and if it was up to me I would delete Sein and make our Ori in full control of combat or refocus this game on platforming entirely. Slam is fun at but it’s so OP once you upgrade it… I just ended up jumping and pressing S over and over until all enemies are dead, that’s your entire ground combat. And in mid-air it’s Sein time with shooting and light burst, and like I said it’s not fun.

As for platforming it’s super frustrating at times and not necessarily because of the player abilities. The game has this issue where a lot of walls are uneven. Ori will slide down them until you get an ability to crawl on walls (but that requires holding a button) and you may think you’re touching that wall as you slide and Ori is attached to it, but in a split second you don’t and if you try to wall jump you will just fall down. THIS HAPPENS A LOT! And I can’t even tell you how fucking annoying that is, at one point I even started to think that maybe my keyboard was not working as it should, but nope I started reading how this game exactly works and it’s not my keyboard. Now imagine that you have to deal this when there are insta-kill lasers above or below you or you are in middle of a cinematic escape sequence where insta-kill obstacles are common. One of those escape sequences was especially making me furious as some debris that was falling would land and it looked like something you could walk on but nope, it counted as background (even though it can kill if it falls on you). Even devs know this is bad as they made Ori more “sticky” in the sequel or so I read. And maybe I’ll give the sequel a chance since I could see myself enjoy this game if it didn’t had shit walls and so-so combat system. The sequel looks as pretty as this game and I’m sure it has great orchestral music too, so hey maybe it will be enough to make me like it, it worked for this game judging by over 44,000 positive reviews on steam ¯_(ツ)_/¯ I like a challenge but as long as it is fair.

I honestly can’t believe this game is so highly rated. Overwhelmingly positive? Right next to my beloved Hollow Knight and Portal 2? And it’s higher than Furi, game I finished recently? How.

I don’t feel like rating this 1/10 as there were moments when I enjoyed this game. Also if you wonder how I got “Unhinged” achievement, I save scummed and made copies as I progressed, other achievements including speedruns I did legit. But, for the reasons above…

Not recommended.