Traqie’s profile

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

AStats profile
Backloggery profile

LISTS:

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

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

Times taken from HowLongToBeat.com


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
8/10
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

7/10
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

7/10
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

7/10
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

OLD BUILD:
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

NEW BUILD:
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
7/10
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

7/10
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.


Masyaf

Half-Life 2

12 is Better Than 6

6/10
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

3/10
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.

March 21st 2022

Hey hey hey people,

I hope you are all doing well & are safe, that’s all. As for my backlog…

  • The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth

    1217.6 hours playtime

    629 of 637 achievements

  • The Witcher: Enhanced Edition

    58.8 hours playtime

    no achievements

  • Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition

    2.0 hours playtime

    10 of 57 achievements

AAAAAAAHHHHH I AM SO CLOSE TO 100%-ing ISAAC!!!!!!!!!!! It drives me crazy when I have a good run and I die, I’m so close and every death is so frustrating now! I only have to beat Greedier Mode and The Beast as tainted lost, and I’m halfway done with Tainted Jacob. After that it’s easy mode, just find and pickup once the items I unlocked. Maybe when my next raport is done? Nah unlikely, as I also beated The Witcher but I want to spend more time writing about it, probably will write a single raport just about Witcher next. It’s a good game and I’m glad I started the series, it’s just big and there’s lot to cover. Maybe I’ll squeeze Ori in too if I beat it in time.

Anyway here are the games I beated after Witcher:

17.2 hours
8/10
Played on Steam

Beaten 1st time on difficulty – Furi (Normal)
Mods/fixes used: None
Favorite OST –
02 – 6.24 (by Danger)
12 – You’re Mine (by Carpenter Brut)
15 – A monster (by Waveshaper)


“The jailer is the key. Kill them and you’ll be free.”

You are a prisoner. You are tortured everyday by a sadistic jailer. You can’t be killed and so the jailer keeps torturing you and eventually killing you, you wake up and the process repeats. But one day a strange person in a oversized bunny hat wakes you up, frees you, gives you a sword and tells you to fight for your freedom. “The jailer is the key. Kill him and you’ll be free”. And the game starts. We slowly make our way towards an exit when the jailer comes back up and promises us that we’ll regret every step we’ve taken out of our cell. Our first fight begins and not even 5 minute passed since pressing “New game”.

Furi is all about killing jailers, each jailer has multiple phases and different mechanics that you need to learn to beat them. There are no minor enemies in-between, only nine jailers that you need to beat + one extra boss depending on what ending you pick in the end. You have a sword and a pistol, you can charge both weapons by holding their respective buttons for couple seconds to deal more damage. You can dodge projectiles or AoE attacks, some projectiles can be parried back at the enemy, and you have to parry melee attacks to not take damage, successful parry of a melee attack also heals you a little.

Furi is not completely unforgiving as you start with 3 lives before you have to try the boss again. The game calls them KO’s as technically your character can’t die but in game it functions as extra life. Say you reach 2nd phase of a boss, but they beat you. Boss stays in 2nd phase but they heal back to full, so you do but have one life less. If they beat you two more times, it’s back to phase one. However if you beat them, you get your life back (but it can’t go over 3). So yeah if boss has 7 phases for example, it’s possible to beat them even if you were knocked 7 times as long as you pushed them to next phase after getting beat once.

The game may seem very difficult at first, as first boss is pretty quick and the only warm-up you get are his special 3 phases at start that serve as a tutorial on how to attack, charge your attacks, parry etc. and then the hand holding is over. I got really frustrated at first as I couldn’t parry fast enough even in training and got beat three times at the first, non-training phase. But you get used to the pace the game throws at you, and near end you’ll know you can dodge or parry any attack the game throws at you. When I did a 2nd playthrough the first boss felt like a pushover. Same for 2nd boss which I thought was insanely hard at first. But if that doesn’t sound like your kind of game, don’t worry as there is a special difficulty that was added later, that’s meant for players who just want to know the story and see the end with no frustration or trying over and over. Looking at gameplays from that mode, it looks like some attacks are missing, bosses are slower and you have more time to react. And everything deals very little damage. If you’re that type of player that wants to experience a story and not spend time learning the game, it’s for you. As for story sure there is some, but the main focus of this game is combat. Sure, I had some questions, like who my character is, why this huge, complex prison was built just for him, who the bunny man is and why is he helping me escape. But it’s all about combat and you’re robbing yourself from true Furi experience by playing on story mode.

OST is absolutely fantastic and fits each boss. It was composed by different electro and synthwave music artists specifically for this game and music gives you that extra kick to keep trying. However I have two complaints about sound in this game, one – it’s too quiet. Normally, on headphones I have if I set my volume to 30-32% and usually it’s good, in this game I had to set it to like 46-50% in windows mixer, IDK why the entire game is so quiet, I had everything on max in options, in windows mixer the game wasn’t set lower than other apps either. Second – sometimes sound would randomly cut off for a second, usually it happened when walking from one arena to another when bunny man talks to you, but both of these are small complaints.

It’s also pretty clear that anime/manga was huge inspiration for this game’s combat design, your character runs like Naruto characters, uses a katana, game has some cool cutscenes that could be in anime, I think, sorry I only watched Naruto and JoJo so maybe I’m wrong lmao. The characters were also designed by a Takashi Okazaki, who did illustrations for “Afro Samurai” manga and it shows they were designed by manga illustrator. The Game Bakers is a French studio and on top of having English and French VO you can also play with Japanese VO.

When I first beated Furi I felt like giving it 7/10 but the more I played the more I liked this game and its combat system. So yeah, 8/10 it is, my 3rd beaten game this year and so far it’s the best! Easy recommendation.


Half-Life 2

Day of the Tentacle Remastered

3/10
9.3 hours
58 of 58 achievements

Beaten 1st time on difficulty – N/A
Mods/fixes used: None


I’m confident people that hype up this game and claim to be one of the best LucasArta games out there are speaking 100% out of nostalgia. If you’re 12 years old you might like this game, but if you’re an adult it’s hard to find something good in this game, it’s like a very average cartoon.

We have three characters that we can switch between – Bernard, Hoagie and Laverne. We visit a crazy Dr. Fred in his motel and we have to help him stop a purple tentacle that grew hands after drinking a toxic sludge and is on its way to conquer the world. To do that we have to go back in time to yesterday and turn off the sewage with the sludge. But of course something goes wrong, Hoagie gets sent 200 years in past, Laverne 200 years into future and Bernard stays in current day. So before we tackle the tentacle problem, we need to get the team back. At first we only have access to Bernard, shortly after we unlock Hoagie but before we can play as Laverne we need to rescue her from a tree that she got stuck on. How do we free her? By cutting down that tree in the past, so it never grows there in the first place. Of course neither Bern or Hoagie can do that themselves, but I won’t spoil the puzzle. There’s more puzzle like this, some of them are clever and you can figure them out, others not so much. But I’ll be honest, I played most of this game with a guide. I was just bored most of time, I wanted to finish it quickly. It’s too cartoonish & childish for me, most jokes don’t land, it’s full of stock sounds, everyone acts like a goof. Ehh.

I think this remaster could’ve been better too. It comes with new visuals and improved UI – in original you had a huge bar at bottom left with various actions, like “talk”, “use”, “open” etc. Now you have an option to use a wheel, you just right click on person or object and you get available options. I tried playing with a bar instead and it was really annoying to use, wheel is much better. New visuals are ok, but animations are as jerky as original game. Characters move and do stuff at like 20fps meanwhile when game scrolls to the side it’s in nice 60fps. It looks bad and I don’t know why they decided to keep it like this. You also have a tiny black bars at top and bottom of the screen, I’m not sure why? You can switch to old pixel visuals at any time with F1, and your screen also shrinks to 4:3 ratio. Voice acting is poor too, I’m sure it was good in 90’s but now it sounds bad, like actors didn’t try at all, except the guy who voice Hoagie. Also game crashed twice for my when I tried to exit. And it wasn’t a normal crash – my entire screen froze, I couldn’t alt-tab or force the game to close. I had to alt-ctrl-delete and log off from my windows account lol. And going back to visuals, if you can switch at any time to old graphics, why are the new animations so poorly done?

But even if they did that I don’t think it would improve my experience that much. Good luck finding any kids that will try to play this in 2022, they’re either busy playing Fortnite or playing some better and new adventure games. If you want a good, old LucasArts game, play Grim Fandango Remastered, that game is great and I played if for the first time few years ago. Or something newer, but from same writers, I would recommend even Broken Age over this.

Not recommended.

12th January report & 2021 recap

Hey hey hey people,

late as usual!

  • The Witcher: Enhanced Edition

    19.8 hours playtime

    no achievements

  • The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth

    1143.6 hours playtime

    613 of 637 achievements

2021 turned out to be a better year for me than 2020 in every regard EXCEPT my backlog. Sadly this year I only beated 19 games vs 27 games in 2020. Maybe one upside to it is that I beated and 100% one very long game, that is Mad Max. And in 2021 I started the first Witcher game and I’m currently in middle of chapter 2 out of four chapters. A couple un-ending games kept me busy too, that is latest DLC to The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth which I will definitely finish this year and Forza Horizon 4, I did most story missions in the base game but I don’t consider it beaten yet, so it’s still Unfinished on my list AND I haven’t touched the DLCs yet! So, maybe this year wasn’t that bad considering in 2020 I mostly played shorter games?

For the first time, I made a list of games to beat in 2021. I would say it was pretty ambitious considering there are 5 very long games and I only just started The Witcher! I ditched Yakuza after trying to play with K+M, I decided it’s finally time to buy myself a controller so I bought Wireless Xbox Series X Controller sometime during summer and I still haven’t tested it lol. As for B2, Dragon’s Dogma, Digimon and other unfinished games – I will move them soon to 2022 list which is even bigger and more ambitious. Will I succeed? Probably not XD

Some definitively good news – I read more books this year than last year, yay for the book backlog! I also worked a lot more this year and tried different jobs. And just before 2021 ended, I got a job in game industry! Well for now, my contract ends at the end of this month, hopefully they decide to extend my contract. I work in LQA (Localization Quality Assurance) and so far it’s been… very boring. I got no horror stories to tell (yet?) and apparently work in QA is not so bad too, at least here where I work. Might be because I live in EU, not in US where there are almost no labor protections or at least it feels like there’s none. But I only worked for 3 weeks there, so who knows, maybe I’ll end up hating this job and entire industry. And don’t worry, I don’t actually make translations, just look at translations of actual translators and make sure they make sense, it fits the context etc etc.

Covid remains a huge issue here, with only 48,8% of population vaccinated with 2nd dose (as of 6th January 2022), despite vaccines being free and recently allowing kids to get vaccinated. This country is fucked. As much as I want to I don’t think we’re going to see the end of it this year, with new, more resistant variants popping up it’s going to be at least one more year IMO. I hope more and more politicians take a stance like Macron and make lives of unvaccinated as annoying as possible.

But enough covid, here are my last 2 beaten games in 2021, top 5 games I played in 2021 and enjoyed the most!

See ya later this year!

8 hours
+8/10
Played on Steam

Beaten 1st time on difficulty – Cero Miedo (Hard)
Mods/fixes used: N/A
Favorite Tracks:
04 - Alienation Akimbo
07 - Handgun Harmony
24 - Sacrifice
26 - Beautiful Blasphemy
27 - Occultivated
37 - Reflections of Violence


DUSK is one of the best boomer shooters that I played so far. It takes inspiration and best parts from most well-known, old FPS games. Quake, Blood, Half-life, DOOM, Hexen/Heretic etc.

But I’ll start with OST – it’s absolutely fucking amazing. When you’re not fighting, it’s usually a dark ambient music that perfectly captures the atmosphere of the level, and during fight, full on industrial metal, a music closer to Quake 1 than DOOM. I strongly recommend to listen to all tracks I listed above when you read this. Picking just 6 was really hard and I usually try to pick just 3 tracks when I make these reviews 😭

DUSK is split into 3 episodes, each consisting of 10 levels + 1 secret level for each episode, so 33 in total. Episode 1 consists of levels set at farms, old caves, abandoned industrial sites and cities. Generally most enemies appear in every episode, but some stay in the episode they were introduced in, so in episode 1 we have demonic goats and live scarecrows with shotguns that don’t come back until more twisted levels of episode 3. Episode 2 is even more industrial, with giant factories and machines, with one level that’s basically Black Mesa from Half-life and near end it goes in a strange direction, like E2M7 where we are on an industrial site that appears to be in some kind of void and it gets weirder the further we go like in E2M9 where industrial meshes with some ancient castle or fortification set underground. Episode 3 aims for more Hexen/Heretic vibes as we start in a gothic, underground cathedral and we descent further to what turns out to be an entire city and then down the crypt where stone seems to merge with flesh… And then, halfway into the episode, we start on a floating island with a big church in the middle with dark and red blood sky above. After we gain access to the church and destroy a corrupted altar, a giant, bloody tornado comes, destroying the church but also revealing entrance to the underground.

DUSK has a story, that’s stretched through all three episodes. Through episode 1 and 2 it’s barely there, sometimes game reminds you that maybe there is something more to this, with a deep, demonic voice that occasionally talks to you or a blood written message on a wall. It starts to unfold in episode 3, giving us some idea who we are, what we’re going through and what’s the purpose to all this. It’s nothing amazing, though there is a little more to it than “big demon boss is behind all this and you have to destroy it!!”. There’s some Lovecraftian elements too, because of course there is.

But now it’s time to talk about most important thing in an FPS – gunplay. DUSK gives us 11 weapons, or more if you consider double-wielded variants. We start with sickles, which you will mostly use for first 2 minutes and then only switch to destroy a vent entrance or a box. But they have one secret power that game never mentions to you – if you time it, you can deflect any attack, including bullets. Sadly, I discovered this after I 100% DUSK so I never had a chance to play around with it. Later, we get a sword that can be charged up if we have 100 morale, to deal one powerful blow and it will kill instantly most enemies. If you have 50 morale or more it can be also used to block & deflect attacks like sickles, but you don’t need to time it and each block consumes 1 morale point. 2nd slot – pistols. Another weapon that you might use at start and dump, but even that has its use. Generally DUSK likes to throw in some cannon fodder with tougher enemies, often that’s Klansman or Soldiers, so instead of wasting ammo of more powerful weapons, use pistols. 3rd – a shotgun. It does decent damage and in this game has good range for a shotgun, excellent for one-shoting some smaller enemies, and you can dual-wield if you find another shotgun! 4th slot is reserved for an absolute classic – super shotgun! It feels and sounds powerful and can take down most end-level enemies in a couple shots. Downside being that it obviously shares ammo with normal shotgun and you can only have 50 shells and it firing both barrels, you can only fire it 25 times before running out of ammo. 5th – Assault Rifle. Fast firing, decent damage, great for spraying or finishing off some tougher enemies. 6th – hunting rifle, DUSK’s sniper rifle, has big zoom, will one-shot some tougher enemies. 7th – crossbow, this one can be really powerful if you utilize it well. It can fire through anything, literally. Any wall, any enemy, it pierces everything, get in a position and with one bolt you’ll kill several weaker enemies. Game even sometimes likes to throw you into a long corridor filled with klansmen to give you some fun with crossbow. It has a slight knockback too and can be used to jump to reach secrets. Downside being it has kinda meh damage. 8th slot is for grenade launcher, fun to use and turn enemies into pile of guts, grenade explodes on impact with enemy and if you miss it will bounce around and explode few seconds later. But with right-click you can detonate all grenades. Last but not least, a riveter, this game version of rocket launcher. You shoot rockets, enemies go boom, you can rocket jump with it, it’s a boss killer, it’s good. It doesn’t have a huge splash damage so you can’t just fire at the ground to clear a room, but landing a rivet right next to their feet is usually good enough. Every weapon has its purpose, you will use most of them (at least on higher difficulty), they all sound good too. Except maybe standard shotgun, it could use a little more audio punch, but it’s a minor critique.




I mentioned how you can deflect any attack with sickles, that’s because there are no hitscan enemies in this game, anything can be dodged or reflected, including soldiers shooting at you with their assault rifles. In hardest difficulty you die from one hit and so it's possible to complete enitre game without getting hit, but it is also possible to do like 90% levels without killing anything. I’m not sure about some boss fights, some are definitely possible to do skip. If you beat it with no killing you get Pacifist award. There’s few more, a Speedrun award for beating dev time, Completionist for killing everything and finding all secrets. Of course there are secrets and I would say most of them are pretty easy to find, maybe even too easy, but most of them just give you some ammo and health, nothing game breaking but can be lifesaving on higher difficulties. Some are harder to find and they give you big rewards. In E1M2 there is a secret that gives you a sword, riveter, crossbow and something else, but you have to complete few steps to open it.

DUSK has some horror elements too, like this game can be genuinely scary sometimes. First time when you encounter this enemy, you can only hear them through walls as you explore dark crypt. They make this horrific, breathing noise like every breath is their last. And when you finally meet your first one, they run insanely fast at you, making noise like they are sucking in all the air on their way towards you. Another horror enemy, the wendigo. It’s invisible until you hit it and there are only two ways to tell it’s nearby – a small drops of blood it leaves on the ground as it approaches you or heavy animal like breathing. Well there’s third way too, when it hits you. And a couple levels fully utilize the scary nature of this enemy, where it throws you into dark corridors or underground passages, where you only have your flashlight (or not! it can break too).

DUSK can be beaten in 7-9 hours, depending on the difficulty and how dedicated you are to finding secrets. Standard play time for games it’s based upon. Don’t worry if you don’t play a lot of FPS games, as easy difficulty is perfect for people that never played one or very little, normal offers some challenge but enemies are slowed down and most don’t hit too hard. Cero Miedo is difficulty I played on and it was great – enemies and projectiles are 50% faster than those on normal difficulty and you have to keep a tab on your health. DUSKmare is for masochists, you get hit once and you die.

I struggle to find any critique for this game, to me it’s excellent. I wish it had one or two “crazy” weapons, something very fun to use but not necessarily always useful, like bee launcher in Turok 2, devs played it very, very safe with weapons. Enemy AI sometimes got stuck, but that’s it. I’m not giving it a 10 or 9 because I didn’t enjoy it THAT MUCH, it’s super solid in everything it does and I might return to it someday but it doesn’t have that something that really stands out, that will make me remember this game for a loooong time. I also wanted to try multiplayer, but I think it’s dead now. There’s only few servers and most of them are empty, with one or two players in them. But you don’t really miss much, from what I saw on YT it’s a simple arena deathmatch.

Oh and there’s a soap bar you can find on every level. It kills every enemy with one throw. Highly recommended!


Half-Life 2

Donut County

7/10
2.1 hours
20 of 20 achievements

Beaten 1st time on difficulty – N/A
Mods/fixes used: N/A
Favorite Tracks:
04 – Holes
14 – Bird of Paradise
29 – Racoon House Music


Donut County is about holes in the ground, donuts, flat hollow earth and racoon conspiracy.

We are a racoon that delivers donuts to clients that order them via app. But for some reason the donuts are holes in the ground that grow bigger the more stuff falls into them. Gameplay reminds me of another game that I played long time ago, but in that game you started as some kind creature or force, that grew bigger the more stuff you absorbed. So, you would start taking small objects like scraps of paper or candy and end up eating furniture. Donut County is that but you control a hole. You start with single bricks or cups, move to bigger objects like tables and end up eating entire buildings. There is some variation of course, halfway we get a catapult upgrade for our hole, that lets us shoot certain objects out. Depending on the level, that might be frog to shoot it up high and get those bees that block a certain character from moving or a chicken that needs to get upstairs. On one level we even need to make a soup inside a hole, while avoiding cockroaches that would spoil the soup. After we finish a level we get new entry to “trashopedia” and how much exp we got.

The name of our racoon is BK and he’s kind of an asshole. We don’t consume just objects, but animals that live there and everyone, including us, ends up at exactly 999ft below the earth. Obviously everyone is pissed at him, but he doesn’t take any blame and even suggests we helped most animals that ended down there. I don’t like how sometimes characters talk to each other, for example they talk face to face but one of them will literally say “LOL!” in middle of convo, it’s annoying. Fun detail, on every level where we control the hole, there is a small round screen in the corner of monitor, that shows BK staring at his tablet while we control the hole. Every character in this game is an animal, except Mira who is the only human and who is our friend (and she’s pissed at us too). We jump from present time (when we are stuck underground) to past and getting everyone there.

Donut County has low poly graphics with a very pastel like colors and it looks pretty. On top of that we have a very nice OST that fits the game and it’s long, in fact a full OST with 3 bonus, ~1,5 minute tracks is 1 hour 42 minutes long. That’s almost as long as the game itself. And there’s some good tracks there, I might get it in the future.

Overall a nice game that doesn’t overstay its welcome. Disclaimer, I got this for free as a gift, but I don’t think I would recommend spending $13/11,49€ on this. When it goes on sale it’s around $4,50/4,50€ and that feels like a good price.


Raccoons studying trash, very important! You can also see the hole in bottom-center.

--- Top 5 games I enjoyed the most this year! ---

5. Samorost 3

5.6 hours, 30 of 30 achievements


Pretty good adventure game from Czech Republic, inspired by Czech filmmakers. Our gnome protagonist lives in an organic and very beautiful world, this is accompanied by even more beautiful soundtrack. I recommend the entire trilogy. My review

4. Mad Max

68.9 hours, 48 of 49 achievements


I didn’t expected to enjoy this one as much as I did. Open world with awesome vehicular battles, insane desert storms, psychedelic trips with Griffa and a cast of other, weird characters turned this game into a fun trip. My review

3. DUSK

18.3 hours, 30 of 30 achievements


My favorite boomer shooter that tries to capture what was best in that era. Fucking amazing soundtrack, good set of guns, of levels filled with occultic and some very scary enemies. My review… just scroll up!

2. The Walking Dead: The Final Season

18.4 hours, 48 of 48 achievements


The Final Season recaptures some of the magic from Season 1, but doesn’t try to fully copy it. A closing on Clementine’s and AJ’s story, with standard Telltale gameplay with some small twists here and there. My review

1. Finding Paradise

4.9 hours, 1 of 1 achievements


Very moving story that I related to way more than one in “To The Moon”. It’s difficult for me to say more without spoiling the story. My short review

24th November, 2021

Hey hey hey people,
Well well, I managed to squeeze in a few more completions before end of this year. Since I started tracking how many games I beated each year, 2019 was the worst year and currently I’m sitting at 17 - exactly the same number of games I beated in 2019. But this year is not over yet and I think I can beat a few more, so it’s not going to be a complete failure! I’m close to 100% The Binding of Isaac Repentance DLC too and this game keeps stealing time from other games. And Forza Horizon 4 is not helping either. For December I want to beat DUSK, a game I got from secret santa event last year and it’s about time I give it a shot. I’m hoping to 100% Isaac and Forza before the end of this year.

See ya in december or january!

Half-Life 2

Return to Castle Wolfenstein

6/10
8.0 hours
no achievements

Beaten 1st time on difficulty – “Bring ‘em on!” (Medium?)
Mods/fixes used:
ioRtCW Source Port


Gotta say, although I give this game a positive score, I was disappointed. A WWII game with nazis & supernatural elements sounds like an awesome idea, but I enjoyed the game most during stealth missions and when there was no supernatural. And for an FPS the guns here are disappointing for most part.

On surface RTCW has plenty, but even in endgame you’ll end up using same 2-3 guns if you want to stay alive. Let’s start with grenades – they’re useless for most part. The area of damage is tiny, you can land one meter from someone and it might take half of their health, throwing is awful too, it’s like they weigh 10kg. I found them to be good against zombies that use shields, but there are like 2 levels where those guys show up… Colt pistol shows up late in game where you don’t use pistols anymore, you can dual wield them which is cool, but useless. And both colt and Thompson use .45 ACP ammo, which is very scarce. However I felt like Thompson is more accurate than MP40, so it had its use but rarely. Tesla gun – it sounds awesome, should be a super powerful gun in the endgame right? Not really and it’s useless for 99% of time you have it. It has super low range, which is weird, because ubersoldiers that use it have unlimited range! And on top of that it doesn’t stun lock more common enemies like SS paratroopers, so you’ll just end up killing yourself if you try to use. Sten gun is silenced but it overheats very quickly, it’s ok at first against weaker enemies but is less desirable to better FG 42 or not overheating MP40. Venom gun and panzerfaust were situational, but pretty powerful. But each has their problems, panzerfaust – no matter if you stand still, the missile can go in slightly different direction than where you were aiming. Wanna kill ubersoldier slowly approaching you with panzerfaust? Take a shot, oops the missile went slightly to the right and completely missed the target. Venom gun is awesome but has insane spread so it was only good in close range and on later levels you are in more open spaces. There’s also flamethrower but it was very situational, however burning nazis alive was fun, though they scream so horribly that you might feel a little bad.

So I only stucked to 3 weapons for most part – FG 42 for most fights, MP40 when I was out of ammo for FG 42 and scoped mauser for long range, occasionally using Venom gun or panzerfaust against enemies like Ubersoldiers or Lopers. It’s been years since I played old CoD or MoH but I have to give a plus to this game for using FG 42, I have never seen this weapon in any WW2 game except Red Orchestra. Most games would just use StG 44.

Bosses are just bullet sponges. First boss is a walking abomination that occasionally attacks you with undead spirits (projectile), shoot, keep your distance and it’ll die. Similar with final boss, though minor enemies spawn constantly but they all use melee attacks and I was mostly ignoring them when shooting at boss. It was also the only boss where I used my tesla gun because he only has melee attacks. Somewhere in middle there is an improved ubersoldier with huge HP and it zaps you to death or spams his venom gun. But in the fight room there is an open room, hide behind a wall, as he approaches and turns towards you, shoot, repeat until it’s dead.

Story is interesting at first. Sometime in middle ages, a sorcerer unable to kill dark knight Heinrich I, traps and buries him underground with a spell. Fast forward to WWII and nazis somehow learned about this and want to free him to win the war. A paranormal SS division is created, led by SS High Priestess Marianna Blavatsky. We don’t learn about her or more about the division until later. We play as Cpt. Blazkowicz (obviously) under OSA command and game starts in Castle Wolfenstein, where we try to escape after being captured and nearly tortured by nazis. Before every mission we get a cutscene from OSA debriefing and our objectives during the loading screen. At first OSA only knows about existence of paranormal division but nothing else, we go after it to learn more, we later learn about X-creatures and different experiments nazis do.

Campaign starts like a normal WWII nazi shooting game. We escape the castle, enter the nearby village, killing many soldiers and officers. Soon we enter underground crypt where undead warriors from medieval times are waking up and killing everybody they meet, nazis included. Shortly after leaving the crypts behind, we stumble into all-female SS Paranormal division. Although this is a 2001 game, their design is very 90’s imo. They all wear leather suits, either covering their entire body, or leaving some space to show cleavage and belly button. And of course they’re all young and sexy. They also use only silenced sten guns and reminded me of female black ops assassins from Half-life. They’re very quick, agile, use silenced weapons and wear heals. Next, after this weird encounter with paranormal and with no further clues, we go to stop launch of V2 missile with some new chemical warhead. This starts as a stealth mission, we need to get inside the base without triggering the alarm. Honestly I really enjoyed this part. Near end of this mission we are introduced to another new enemy – SS Paratroopers. They use exclusively FG-42 and are tougher than standard SS Soldiers. They also get a pretty cool intro, literally parachuting into the base we’re attacking and having a unique track played in background. After that it’s finally time to investigate Secret Weapons Facility runned by a scientist dubbed “Deathshead”. This mission is more of a human-made horror, with nazis experimenting on people with genetics and attaching weird machinery. This is where we get Venom gun, which is really fun to use here because the underground labs are full of tight spaces. And of course, a new enemy – Loper. A deformed human torso with stretched, muscular arms and no legs, instead it has some kind of tesla generator, it's very quick and jumpy, and will use its generator to deal a lot of damage if it gets close to you. When we meet them, they get out of their cells by accident and they kill everyone. Sadly we only get to fight them on this mission and one more later, they are deadly but fun to fight. After that and only just witnessing Deathshead escape via his submarine, we go after him to X-labs. We’ll meet more lopers near end and a new enemy – Ubersoldier. They use venom guns too and panzerfausts, later on they also use tesla guns. This is where we fight a second boss, improved Ubersoldier with tesla gun, which I mentioned before. We leave the labs and back to chasing paranormal. After breaching a dam, we get to a village that’s near chateau and where a meeting of key SS commanders is supposed to take place. We have to go quietly through village without triggering the alarm and killing 5 SS commanders on our way. I think this is the first mission without introducing a new enemy or weapon. However, you’ll notice something after entering the chateau – enemies like female SS soldiers or SS paratroopers got their health doubled. You can pretty much feel that as at this point you killed so many before that you know you need around 10-15 bullets from MP40 to kill a paratrooper, for example. So this is a weird difficulty bump and I admit game got pretty tough from there. I had to quicksave a lot. Last mission is getting to the dig site where Heinrich I is buried, you know, the guy I mentioned at start and stop him. Undead return, as well as Ubersoldiers with tesla guns. Our tesla gun is useful in this mission against undead.


Meet one of the members of all-female SS division.

Loper.



This whole journey might sound exciting, but it had its ups and downs. The aforementioned bullet spongy bosses aside, fighting hordes of soldiers with subpar AI gets boring over time. On some missions it's easy to get lost and it's not clear where are you supposed to go next, X-labs were the worst in that regard. You have no limit to how many weapons you can carry, yet you’ll default to 3 weapons because others are not useful most of times. This game has also weird balance when it comes to realism and consistency. I get it that ammo for Thompson is scarce, because nazis used 9mm for their MP40, not .45 ACP, but why not just add random parachute drops over maps? Or when we go to Secret Weapons Facility, we go through city recently bombed by Allies and meet resistance fighters there, couldn’t they use Thompson as a source for us to get more ammo? The all-female SS use silenced sten and what’s really cool, their stens get overheated too and they will hide while it cools down, just like our sten. But then we meet ubersoldiers and their tesla guns are overpowered, meanwhile our is kinda shit. The best bits for me were the stealth missions and mission in bombed city. No paranormal bullshit or weird latex SS assassins. I once got a flashback to either first CoD or MoH, in a submarine dock as I’m pretty sure one of those game had a mission with submarine docks. Like Wolf3D this game has secrets and gold to find. But gold is useless, as there’s no life system in place and no scoreboard of any kind. Sure, there is a summary at the end of how many secrets you found, but to find a secret you need to be in that room, you don’t need to pick any items there for it to count. Feels like a throwback to first game and nothing else.

Soundtrack is surprisingly high value, we have a very cinematic orchestral soundtrack. It’s pretty good within the game and works for what is happening on the screen, but not something I would listen to in my free time. Visually it’s pretty good for 2001 game and it runs on Quake III engine. I would even say it looks better than first MoH and that came year after RTCW. AFAIK ioRtCW doesn’t change the visuals of this game, just expands the engine, adds some modern features for modders to use and adds support for widescreen, multiple speakers etc. And I would highly recommend you to play it with ioRTCW, worth it just for widescreen support alone. And if you decide to install mods, most popular mods work with ioRTCW so you can install them on top of that. I’m playing one right now called RealRTCW and it works great.

Honestly I don’t know if I would recommend this. It definitely aged better than Wolf3D, but unless you are really curious what you missed from that area, I wouldn’t recommend buying this today. If you already have it and want to try, ioRTCW is a must.

Hey, if you decide to browse my screenshots from TWD games, just know that I posted my choices from each episode, so there are spoilers! For some reason spoiler tag on steam is on for only 4 weeks so :/

Half-Life 2

The Walking Dead: Michonne

5/10
4.3 hours
21 of 21 achievements

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


I started this right after replaying Season 2. If it’s not obvious enough from the title, we play as Michonne from main comic/TV series “The Walking Dead” who at some point in show leaves Rick and others to deal with her personal issues. Despite being tied to the show, you don’t need to see it to play this, as this mini story is constructed in such a way that it might as well be a story of some random survivor. I encountered almost no mention of Michonne being in previous group and out of few I did, they came from one of dialogue options I choose. The friends, enemies, groups etc. are all new and Michonne is the only character from show.

However this game being a short story for a telltale game (only 3 episodes) it was difficult for me to get invested in this story and Michonne as it’s been years since I watched the show. Uninteresting and cliché characters didn’t help.

During her lone journey Michonne finds a new, small group that lives on a boat and they take her in. We start properly few weeks later, during the first 15-20 minutes we get introduced to the group and to game mechanics. If you played previous TWD games, you’ll find no new gameplay changes, it plays exactly the same. So it consists of QTE’s, picking dialogue options and sometimes you get a more impactful choice. One new and a very small thing you’ll notice is when killing walker the game likes to sometimes go into slow motion as Michonne hacks the walkers. If fits, as in the show she was a kind of badass and was very skilled with her katana, though in here she uses a machete. If I remember correctly from show, she gave her katana to Rick until she comes back.

The story pattern is the same as previous games. You meet a new group, you run into problems or other people, shit happens, you need to make choice that have an actual impact or just give you illusion that maybe you could have done something differently. This is fine as long as there are interesting characters and someone for you to care for, like Clementine was in S1 or AJ in Final Season. Here the characters are very generic and uninteresting. The leader of your new group is a positive guy with faith that everyone can be good and violence is usually unnecessary, there’s an evil tough guy who enjoys violence and few others boring characters. Like I mentioned above, the story is the same reused pattern from the show and previous TWD games. And because it’s condensed into a 4 hour game, shit happens fast and some characters die or disappear as soon as you meet them. Not much else to say.

I don’t know the backstory of how this game was made. I imagine someone from AMC or Kirkman himself approached Telltale if they could make this game. Who would say no to that? But they either had no idea what to do with already existing character or this was made by B team, because it’s pretty average.

Honestly, I wouldn’t recommend buying this, skip this one. Unless you happen to just started watching the TV show or comic, then maybe wait for a part where Michonne leaves and start this game. I know I said you don’t need to see main series to play this, but honestly it might be more enjoyable if you play this between episodes. Just don’t expect this to be as good as S1 or have same emotional impact.

Half-Life 2

The Walking Dead: A New Frontier

7/10
9.9 hours
30 of 30 achievements

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


Although it wasn’t as emotional to me as S1, it’s a solid season. This is a sort of continuation of Clementine’s story but mostly from perspective of a new character, Javi. I’m not sure about when it happens, but if I had to guess it’s set like a year or two after end of S2. Regardless of your ending in S2, Clementine gets separated from her group and later in time from AJ, who she tries to get back. In flashback scenes we get to play as Clementine and some choices impact what certain characters think about us in current time (or so it seems our choices had an impact – if you played and researched just a little bit of previous games you know how much illusion of choice is in previous TWD Telltale games). But most of our game is from Javi’s perspective. Javi is another survivor with his small group. They have a small van and they constantly move, never staying in one place for too long. Along with Javi there’s Kate, wife of his brother and her two kids – Gabriel and Mariana. Since David (brother) is not with them, Javi takes the role of father and Kate has feelings for Javi since they’ve been together on road for so long. Naturally it’s up to you what kind of relationship you want to have with Kate and her kids.

As expected, it doesn’t take long when shit hits the fan and you have to make choices to survive. You’re not going to make everyone happy and people will die. It doesn’t take long until we meet Clementine, it actually happens in episode 1 and we slowly learn what happened between now and end of S2 via flashbacks or what she tells us. She’s a little more grown up and tougher. But we will have flashback scenes for Javi too. We’ll learn about his past, what his brother and his relationship with Kate was, we get to choose how we treat him etc. Good stuff, we get to meet Javi before apocalypse. Other characters who we meet are no less interesting and having Clementine around, even if she’s no longer dependent on you like in S1, is nice and it’s interesting to see how she behaves and sometimes is even more mature than other adults. I’m not sure if her behavior is dependent on your choices from previous seasons, if you imported saves.

This TWD finally has some visual improvements. Cell shading is still present, but textures and models are of much better quality compared to S2. Big change, since S1 and S2 looked more or less the same. However facial animations while good, are still the same as in previous seasons. Characters sometimes snap from one facial expression to another in an instant. Another issue I had is lack of walker variation, I felt like I too often killed the walkers that looked the same in previous episodes. Since I just replayed S1 and S2, it happened there too but not as often as here. It’s a little annoying when you see the same walker being just fine when you stabbed him in the head 1 hour ago…

Gameplay is again, unchanged. QTE’s, dialogue choices, sometimes you get to wander in a location and get to talk to people or look at/pick up objects with a fixed camera hovering in corner. Since I replayed S1 and S2 before this and played Michonne before this, it was starting to get tiresome.

Another issue I noticed is that sometimes dialogue option turned out to be different, my character said something way different than I thought. Now it’s not that uncommon with games that give you a shortened response option, like Fallout 4 or Mass Effect, and even S1 and S2 had them too but I could them on a single hand in previous seasons, here I felt like it happened more often. Thankfully it didn’t happen during choices that really mattered but it was annoying regardless.

While solid, there’s no magic in here from S1. I liked it and wanted to see how story will unfold, but I didn’t had emotional attachment like I did in first season. While there are kids depending on Javi, they’re not later on and one of them well, I don’t want to spoil what happens.

Last addition to this mini-review, I looked up some choices and it is actually possible to have one character survive from ep1 to ep5! It’s a neat change, because usually characters are destined to die in specific episodes and scene. Or like in S1, you had a choice in first episode 1 who to choose and that character would stay until episode 3, but then regardless of your actions they would die in the same spot. Unfortunately for me, in this game I killed the character on first occasion lol. But here I need to complain again, because at one point in the game you are forced to pick who to kill. But then, 10-15 minutes later into the game, that character will die regardless of your actions or relationship with them. Makes the whole drama of “why did you choose me?!” completely pointless.

Definitely recommended if you liked previous seasons. It can be played without playing previous seasons, but I would also recommend playing them before this. There’s now a TWD: Definitive Series edition, which includes all Telltale TWD games, and S1 and S2 got visual upgrade, it looks worth buying if you want to play them and don’t own any games separately.

18.4 hours
9/10
Played on Steam

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

This was awesome! Excellent season that closes the book on Clementine’s story.

This is set few years after S3, Clementine is 17 or 18 years old and she managed to rescue AJ, who looks like he could be 5 or 6 years old. They’ve been on the road for a long time now, having a working car and just going forward, trying to survive. AJ is our responsibility, like Clementine was in S1 for Lee. He looks up to us for guidance and learns from us. Or so the game tells us. Game likes to remind us that but through most of the game he doesn’t really make his own choices, but what we tell him. Most of our “guidance” boils down to what he’s gonna say in some parts of the game, but it didn’t felt like I had any significant impact on him besides some dialogue scenes. He doesn’t really become independent until episode 4, which in this game is the last episode. It does make some sense that he is still dependent on us through most of game, because he’s own decision kicks the story onto “shit goes down” in episode 1 and I at least made it clear what he did was wrong, so in my story it made sense he became more reserved. Regardless, it’s nice to have him around, I think he’s very likeable and for a small kid, not annoying.

Game kicks off with us searching an old train station looking for supplies. Unsurprisingly, things go wrong, we get swarmed with walkers and have to run, we destroy our car in accident and get saved in the last second by someone, before we fade out. We wake up in “Ericson school for troubled youth” that’s runned by kids who lived there before the apocalypse and were left alone after all adults left them when everything started. We meet Marlon, leader of group, and soon get introduced to other kids. Most of them are Clementine’s age, but there’s two closer to AJ’s age. Ericson school is big, has solid concrete walls and fence, it’s in middle of forest so far from strangers and full of animals to hunt, with nearby river being another source of food (fish). Clementine figures it would be a great place for AJ and he likes it too, so we decide to make it into the group and be useful. But as some secrets from inside school are becoming known to everyone, we soon learn about new danger from outside. In S3 we get to meet The New Frontier and one other small town, but as it’s been almost decade since the start of apocalypse, more groups formed and walkers are no longer the main enemy, but other groups. It’s an all-out war out there, apparently, because we never actually see it, and the community that found our school wants us to help them and they don’t take “no” for an answer.


New 3rd person perspective.

Pupper :) Yes, you can pet her!



Gameplay is mostly unchanged, however! Sometimes you get to play in 3rd person and you can move freely in the area. During that you can also fight walkers with one or two button presses, but it’s a nice change, I only wish they gave you more situations like that. There are collectibles too that you can find when you can move freely and at the end of episode you can place them in your room. Couple of them are miss able, like you can’t get them if you don’t make right choices, rest of them is miss able if you don’t pay attention to your surroundings.

Visuals got some improvement too, not as big jump as it was between S2 and S3, but noticeable. I encountered no crashes or bugs.

One complain I had with S3 was that the models for walkers were re-used a little too much, but this game really likes to re-use walkers. I think I killed the same walker like 30 times in entire game, they use the same models several times in just one episode and it’s really hard to not notice. When this was developed Telltale was on a brink of bankruptcy and AFAIK only skeleton crew remained and finished this game. With that in mind, it’s pretty impressive what they did and re-used models is not that bad.

In summary I really enjoyed this season. The illusion of choice is great in this one, it almost took me back to S1 where I was constantly guessing what I could have done or said differently. I liked the school and AJ, and I might even call this an adventure, if not for the horrible things that happen on the way. AJ also plays a huge part in this story, he’s not a baby that we just have to look after. He even disregards what we till him in one important moment, changing the ending and at same time becoming more independent. Not everyone can like this, as you could view this as a reason for Telltale to shoe-in a better ending, but I didn’t mind and was happy it turned out how it did. Definitively recommended!


September 1st, 2021

Hey hey hey people,
it’s been a while.

I had pretty grand plans for this year, gaming wise, but a new DLC for Isaac made them impossible. I clocked another 100 hours in this game and I feel like I’m gonna need another 100 to get back my 100%.

I even managed to start Yakuza Kiwami few days before release of Repentance DLC for Isaac but later I completely abandoned it.

And to make things worse I started Forza Horizon 4 which is probably gonna take at least 100 hours to complete. Yeah, I might as well make a list for 2022 already and just copy paste games from 2021 list!

Below is what I managed to beat between today and my last march post, before Isaac and Forza consumed me…


NOTE: I beated Samorost 1 before it got a steam re-release. I played the old flash version using BlueMaxima Flashpoint. If for whatever reason you want to play old flash version, below is how to make it run, if you gonna play steam version, just go straight to review.

This used to be hosted on a website and it used Flash, but as we all know Flash is no longer supported so to play this one requires small effort. You’ll need BlueMaxima’s Flashpoint preservation software. I recommend downloading Infinity version as you most likely just want to play this one game. The ultimate version contains all games and their assets and you only need to download that and then can play instantly any game. But it weighs almost 500gb. Infinity is 500mb download, but this contains just a launcher. When running any game for first time you’ll have to download it via launcher (for me, Samorost launched instantly). But after than can be played without internet connection. Is Samorost 1 even worth all this effort?

Half-Life 2

Samorost 1

6/10
0.2 hours
no achievements

Beaten 1st time on difficulty – N/A
Mods/fixes used – Read above the review

Samorost 1 is an introduction to our little gnome(?) character in white pajamas that we’ll play as through the trilogy. I’ll do something different and go more into details about world etc. in Samorost 2 review. But back then Amanita Design had visuals and feel nailed and not much changed in 2 & 3 (this is good).

In this part a “planet” is on collision with our home, so we go there to try and change its path. It’s very short, which makes the whole effort of installing a soft and etc. questionable. If you don’t feel like it, just watch a walkthrough on YT. You don’t really have to play it, as the planet we visit re-appears in S3 but we don’t go to the same locations. Also a character from this part re-appears in S2. But the story is not connected in any way to S2 and S3, just a small one time adventure for our little gnome, you don’t need to play this one.

It’s very basic even for point’n’click adventure. There’s no inventory system, no dialogues, all you do is click on objects. Puzzles are easy here.

I had one technical issue and that was whenever I transitioned to another screen, the game would go back to windowed mode. That’s an issue with the launcher ofc, but still it was a little annoying.

Half-Life 2

Samorost 2

7/10
0.8 hours
13 of 13 achievements

08 – Planina
09 – Jezevec
Beaten 1st time on difficulty – N/A

We once more return to our little gnome. This time when chilling on our planet/spaceship, some ugly looking aliens land next to our house and steal our dachshund. Naturally, we go after them to rescue our dog.

Gameplay is mostly unchanged, however we sometimes have to combine items to do something. But you will mostly do everything through clicking, no dialogues etc.


I absolutely love the design of pretty much everything in this game. It’s mostly unchanged from first game, just with better visual quality. It’s very organic, planets/spaceships are these giant mushroom looking things, or like if you would cut out a part of forest with the ground underneath it and throw it into the space, but everything still lives there, air is present etc. It’s as it retained the atmosphere and was shielded from horrors of space despite being a tiny object. But technology is present in this world, albeit it’s very simple. It’s honestly very difficult for me to describe this, screenshots from this and S3 will do better job than me.

Do you need to play the first game? Nah.

It’s longer than 1st game, but you can finish it in one sitting. If you have it, don’t skip this one. It’s not necessary to play this part if you’re interested in 3rd game, but I think it’s worth it anyways.

Half-Life 2

Samorost 3

7/10
5.6 hours
30 of 30 achievements

01 – Samorost 3 Theme
03 – Mushroom Picker Dance
04 – Behind the Cosmic Curtain
Beaten 1st time on difficulty – N/A

The last game in the series, at least for now… This is the biggest and longest adventure for our little gnome yet. Samorost 3 is much prettier and much more expanded than the last two games.

It starts very innocent. A magical instrument (Wikipedia calls it a flute, but to me it’s closer to mix of trumpet and saxophone based on the sounds it makes) suddenly drops from the sky onto our property, waking our hero from his sleep. This is also where we have short tutorial for the instrument, movement etc. The instrument is the key tool in this game, as our hero quickly finds out we can use to listen to spirits but also communicate with them by playing. And what spirits you may ask, well spirits of nature – trees, mushrooms etc. Not all puzzles involve our instrument, but a lot of flute puzzles reward with beautiful tunes and often spirits will join too making their own sounds creating this awesome concert of saxophone and different sounds. The songs are often composed of instruments and people making weird noises, here’s a sample of what I’m talking about. The OST is fantastic and different mini concerts you hear are awesome. Another game where I had troubles picking the few favorite tracks!


Mushroom spirits.

Monke.



To be honest I’m writing this months after finishing, so I don’t remember exactly how the story is told and when you learn about the instrument, but at some point you learn there is another person that has not one, but three instruments like you and they use it to control a 3-head mechanical dragon that can consume every spirit. Naturally, your mission is to stop him but you can’t do it alone but I won’t spoil further. So you travel to different planets or beings, trying to piece story together and so on. There’s plenty of puzzles in every area, not all of them make complete sense which is normal for these type of games. I would get stuck few times and had to use a guide, because I could not see the solution. It’s why I give it a rating like that, I had way too many moments where I got bored, despite this game being much better than the last two.

World design is the same, but it looks even more HD than S2. Every screen is so beautiful and every animal, insect, plant fits perfectly into this strange world. Only our little gnome and some human characters stand out a little.

Something I noticed in S2 is that this game feels very Czech. I don’t know how to describe it, but the creature design + the sound design of pretty much everything feels like something from a Czech cartoon. My feeling was correct as the devs are indeed from Czech Republic. I’m not sure how I made that connection tho, when I was little you could sometimes watch Czech cartoons and maybe that’s why I felt that? Regardless, sound and overall design is great.

Definitely recommended to all adventure fans and/or fans of previous games in the series. You don’t need to play previous games if you haven’t, but I would recommend playing S2 at the very least. The dog you rescue in that game is back in this one and yes you can pet it :)

Half-Life 2

INSIDE

6/10
4.4 hours
14 of 14 achievements

Beaten 1st time on difficulty – N/A

“What the hell did I just played” will be the last impression this game will leave you with, whether you enjoyed the game, because of a really weird turn near the end. Ahem, but back to beginning!

INSIDE is a very interesting and fascinating game thanks to the world devs created here and all weird things you see, but at the same time it’s quite boring at times because of unchanged gameplay from LIMBO. Although it looks 3d, it’s more of a 2.5D game, backgrounds are fully 3D but you move from left to right like 80% of game. We play yet again as a young boy, but I’m not sure if this is set in the same world as LIMBO. There’s one element that “returns” from Limbo ( the mind controlling worm ) for just one scene and the overall feel and world of the game reminds me of LIMBO. I could see this being a prequel to LIMBO, but I’m not entirely sure.

It even starts like LIMBO. After you launch the game, you are instantly dropped in the game. As a young boy in red shirt, we start in a forest and the only way is forward (or, the right side :P). We quickly stumble onto people dressed in black and in white masks catching and taking people that look like they’re drugged. Shortly after you’ll run into them again and this time they will notice. Don’t get caught or they will kill you. If they catch they will strangle you to death, yeah this game is brutal. We play a boy who looks like he’s 10-12 years old, but you will get strangled or shot by adults, or if the dogs catch you they will cut your throat and feast on your body.


Underwater section.



While the world looked completely deserted in LIMBO, there are some signs of civilization here. After surviving the chase in forest and a walk through abandoned farm, we make it to heavily guarded city. More questions arise though than answers. After that there’s a underwater section where we use small submarine to move and sometimes we have to leave it to solve puzzles, it’s also where we can move vertically as we are underwater. There’s more of course but I’ll stop here.

OST is way less noticeable than in LIMBO. I actually have LIMBO OST on my PC because I like some of the tracks there but here not a single track was noticeable. Sadge.

Lastly I want to talk about story. Again comparing it to LIMBO, it’s very strange and you’re not told much. There’s never any dialogue or texts to read, you mostly learn through environments and watching what happens on screen. The world seems to falling apart, majority of population is under some kind of mind control and there are few cities/communities where people are in control of themselves. But at least one city seems to be using mind controlled population for their own purpose. Another one has a huge section with laboratories but you’ll stumble into controlled slaves too. And they’ll all very hostile to outsiders, including you. Everything else seems to be abandoned and left to rot. You could view this game through political glasses and it would make sense as sometimes it’s a little too on the nose as to what devs are trying to say, at least that was my impression, but I won’t get into that. There’s also this guide that tries to explain what exactly is happening, in what country is the game set etc. pretty impressive work and it makes sense. But it’s all spoilers so don’t read it before playing.

I think I can recommend this, especially if you liked LIMBO, but man I hope devs try to do something different for their next game.

Half-Life 2

The Witness

2/10
14.0 hours
2 of 2 achievements

Beaten 1st time on difficulty – N/A

Not a game for me. In The Witness we are stuck on an island that despite its small size, is very varied – it has a small desert, a jungle, some signs of civilization from different ages like a castle, modern greenhouse, lumbermill and few more. And looming over everything and the final goal of this game – a mountain with the final puzzle inside.

The puzzles in this game – I find them extremely boring. They are super simple at start – just think of those “escape the labyrinth” puzzles you maybe saw in newspapers if you’re old enough. You draw a line from start to exit. Simple enough. But as you wander around the island you’ll see puzzles with new icons, shapes etc. You are free to move around the island after leaving the first area, but if you stick to main road you’ll wander into puzzles with two new rules. One, black & white blocks – to solve that you need to draw a line that separates all black from white, it sounds simple but they obviously get more complicated over time. Oh and the line you draw, it stays so you can’t loop so you have to solve it and don’t cut your way to exit. Next, dots – you need to draw a line that cuts through all the dots before going for exit. Again, simple at start, gets harder later. There’s more of course – puzzles where you need to draw tetris blocks with your line, multiple colors of blocks, stars that liked to be paired together etc. A lot of puzzles also require you to use the environment. For example a shadow may be casted on puzzle panel and you need to reach the exit without touching it. Or you’ll need to use nearby branches that will show the correct path for a puzzle that seems to have no rules.

I have to admit, a lot of care and work has been put into the game and puzzles. There’s A LOT of them and no duplicates, I had over 400 solved when I reached the end and there was more left somewhere. There are also a lot of hidden puzzles right in the environment. But the score is based on my personal enjoyment and solving all that was just boring to me, so hence the low score. Not gonna lie, I finished like 20% on my own and I just speedrunned with a guide open to be done with this game.

Another positive I can say is that this game is gorgeous. I don’t think I took so many screenshots in a game that I didn’t enjoy. I even played with that Nvidia photo mode a little.

Story – well I’m not sure if there is any. There are audiologs scattered all over island, usually with a woman or a man reading a quote or passage. I don’t know if this all somehow connects, because I was too bored to pay attention. There are also stone statues of people all over. Most of them frozen as doing normal activities – talking, painting, admiring something etc.

As I understand, this was inspired by Myst, series of games I haven’t played but have vague idea what they’re about. I believe you’re also stuck on an island but the puzzles are more familiar to other games of that genre. If playing Myst with “escape the labyrinth” type puzzles sounds exciting to you, you will really enjoy this. If not, stay away.

25th March 2021

Hey hey hey people,

8 games beaten so far in year 2021. And if you remember from my last post, I made a list of games I want to beat this year. Well, shortly after that post I added three new games there, Wolfenstein 3D, Spear of Destiny and Return to Castle Wolfenstein. I beated first two (reviews below), and I almost 100% Mad Max a >50 hour game, so I think my progress ain’t that bad so far. Next, I plan to beat Samorost 2 & 3 as they are short and it will be my first “Animata Design” games. After that I’m starting another big one - Yakuza Kiwami. Between Yakuza, which I’m guessing will take me at least over 100 hours to 100% it, I will start Noita and either RTCW or DUSK. After that, we’ll see.

Thanks for reading and stay safe! ^-^

68.9 hours
Played on Steam

09 - Eareaters
11 – Rage
15 – Deep
Beaten 1st time on difficulty – N/A

This was 50 hours of fun. Out of 18,5 hours left, around 6,5h was idling for cards years ago and 12h was spent finishing boring achievements. But I don’t regret it because Mad Max is one of the good ones when it comes to games based on a movie.

I don’t know the lore very well, but Max is on search for “Plains of silence” which is some mystical place that Max is searching for, he runs into war boys and Scrotus, a son of Immortan Joe. Max is in his iconic Interceptor with V8 engine when that happens and after watching a short cutscene Max fighting for his car and heavily damaging Scrotus, we get dumped in the desert. After an introduction to Chumbucket, a hunchbacked mechanic weirdo and a pet dog of Scrotus who he dumped after failing to kill Max, we go through a short training segment and after that we are free to roam the wasteland.

When this came out it got mixed reviews. This was because after Shadow of Mordor, Batman Arkham City/Knight, The Witcher 3 and some other games came out before, MM looked pale and outdated compared to those and I think gaming “journalists” got tired of that kind of game. Well I’m not one and I haven’t played every open world game out there so I don’t feel any oversaturation from open world games. And I played Shadow of Mordor and I happened to enjoy Mad Max more actually. Mad Max doesn’t do some of the critical mistakes that SoM (review here) did, like we actually have a two stage boss fight, not a quick time event.

Being a 2015 open world game there is a looooot to do here. Similar to SoM or even Far Cry 3, we have camps to liberate that give you free scrap, balloon outpost (essentially radio towers from FarCry) that uncover whatever activities are around if you haven’t discovered them yet, small camps and outposts (there are hundreds of those) that usually contain few enemies and some scrap. You have entire regions to liberate and around 4 allied forts to upgrade. There are also convoy runs, which are unique to this game. Smaller objectives to do like destroying structures of War Boys and sniper towers. Death runs, which are races either against opponents or you vs everyone else as you try to reach finish line before they kill you. Parts to unlock. There’s a lot, so if you’ll like the gameplay loop here, this game will last you for tens of hours.


Griffa



You can’t completely ignore that too, because sometimes to progress the main story you need to do some of the above. Be it, reduce threat in the region or unlock some parts which sometimes you do by reducing threat or doing missions for fort leader.

Story becomes pretty dark near the end, don’t expect a happy ending here. I’m not complaining, it fits the world and I’m happy they went there. Max is very grumpy and pushy with everyone but at the same time he doesn’t strike me as someone completely crazy or demoralized like every other character in this game. The world is exactly like the characters you meet – cruel, ugly, demoralized.

When you’re not in a car and not looting you will fist fight a lot of dudes. This game uses Arkham style fighting, so it’s simple and has relatively low skill ceiling, but can be fun. You spam light attacks with LMB, holding LMB will do power attack, if an enemy attacks you, pressing RMB at right blocks and if you time it right before it’s too late, you can do a powerful counter attack. There’s a quite a lot of different power attacks and finishers but you need to unlock those by upgrading Max. Sometimes enemies charge at you or do something that can’t be blocked, you have a dodge button for this. You can also use your saw-off but even on maximum upgrade you can have only like 7 shells, so I would only use it as a last resort. Melee weapons are present too and it’s fun to use them. Generally all the sounds during fights are excellent, even basic punches sound have weight behind them and hearing bones cracking is very satisfying. As you unlock new moves Max will start to fight more like an MMA fighter.

Scrap is currency used for everything – upgrading Max, upgrading your car, fixing and upgrading the allied Forts. And if you want to unlock it all you will need A LOT of scrap. I highly recommend liberating as many camps as you can at start, for easy scrap flow. I didn’t do that and had to sometimes just go exploring for scrap. It’s the only decent source of scrap. Everywhere you look, small or big camps, random finds like car wreckages in ground and so on give you so little scrap it’s not even funny. You will have to grind a lot without liberating camps. There’s one more good source but that’s only available during storms and I’ll get to that.

Ok but what about cars?! And driving, this is what Mad Max video game is supposed to be about right? It’s… ok. Despite the world being one giant desert, there are “roads” which is just sand with tire marks and driving is obviously easier and there’s less resistance when driving and steering. It’s not the best driving I experience in a game, but it is a little disappointing considering you will drive a lot in this game. Your main car through the game will be a custom built car that’s called Angel, and there are unique setups that are called Archangels.

At first your car will obviously suck. It’s not going to be very fast, will have weak defenses and driving will be pretty bad. Steering is definitely the worst part of that because there will be a delay after you try to turn, after pressing left for example, your car will start to turn but after like 1 second. It’s possible to overdo steering and so your car will take very sharp turns every time. So before you unlock enough parts where you can really start playing around, there’s something you will always have to take into consideration when driving. You can upgrade your defense too with better armor, but it makes your car heavier so in effect – slower. You also don’t want to just grab everything at far right end, the best equipment. Want to be the fastest? Then you gonna have to go easy on armor and so on. Some parts don’t have effect on your car driving, like border spikes that have chance to kill enemies trying to board your car. You have few ways to fight back enemy cars or convoys. The simplest one is just ramming other cars. You can also use your saw-off to shoot at their fuel tanks and destroy them instantly. You also have a harpoon that you will use often, for harpooning enemy drivers and pulling them out, attaching yourself to their back grill and boosting right into them for high dmg. Later on you get a thunderstick, which is basically a panzerfaust. Harpoon and thundersticks are operated by Chumbucket who is always with your Angel, he uses weapons after you point him where to shoot. He fixes your car when you’re not driving it. With fully upgraded thunderstick the game becomes pretty easy as even heavily armored vehicles get easily destroyed. But I don’t think you get there until end game. You will use harpoon very often. You can easily destroy sniper towers and scarecrows with it. With it you can tear apart gate’s leading to camps, but like everything else it needs to be upgraded, as you move into more dangerous regions gates and scarecrows are more fortified so you gonna have to upgrade. Also you can literally pull the wheels off cars, but you need to get it to level 4.


This underground section was amazing.

The storms are really something in this game

Out for blood



Max can be upgraded too, in two ways. First, you can upgrade his equipment and combo moves – armor, knuckles, shotgun and so on, with scrap. Secondly, you can upgrade his health, how much fuel he uses during driving, how long melee weapons lasts before they break etc. It’s helpful, but it’s mostly boring stat upgrades. But to get that kind of upgrade you need to visit a special NPC Griffa who appears only when you have tokens. You get those by doing special moves in game. Don’t worry, you’ll get plenty just by playing, because a lot of them require stuff like “destroy 10 vehicles by ramming into them” etc. Most of those are NOT repeatable, but few are like getting to x25 combo during fist fight will always get you a token. Getting to him…well the Avalanche studio took some inspiration from Far Cry with upgrading your abilities while taking drugs. Griffa seems to know Max and talks about his struggles, his character and the dialogue he blows some kind of drug right into his face and we get a menu to upgrade. When you get closer to him the screen becomes more blurry, a strange music plays and the place around is covered in strange tribal paintings. After you’re done upgrading, it’s all gone. Makes you wonder if Griffa is even real or is Max just becoming more crazy.

Every now and then, a sandstorm will descent onto the wasteland. If you spot it before it hits your area, you’ll see a giant sand cloud silently approaching you, it looks spectacular. Then it hits you, breaks the silence with a roar, visibility quickly diminishes, and pieces of metal and car parts are flying everywhere, they’ll sometimes send you flying if you get hit by them. The only safe place is a set of 4 walls. Your car is semi-safe, but flying piece can damage it. But it’s also an opportunity to get some scrap. Trapped inside a sandstorm are boxes of scrap, that give you 150 scrap each if I remember correctly. I never found more than 3 boxes, but it is still worth the risk as 450 scrap doesn’t come easily in this game.

Ok to wrap this up, I enjoyed this game a lot in the first 30-40 hours. Fighting is easy and enjoyable, car combat too but having shitty steering at start can be a bigger challenge then your enemies. Story is ok, voice actors of Max and Chumbucket did an excellent job, I only wish more voices had Australian accents, there were fat too many unimportant npcs with americanized voices. Upgrading your Angel, it’s weapons and giving it different looks at whim with different colors and chassis is fun. Soundtrack is meh, but works within game. If you listened to links at start, first two are car combat music. Highly recommended, unless you’re sick of open world games :) Achievement hunters beware as the last achievement requires online functionality and it was killed in Dec 2020 :/ I'm marking this as completed.


Half-Life 2

Finding Paradise

9/10
4.9 hours
1 of 1 achievements

07 – Bestest Detectives in the World
31 – Time is a Place
54 – Wish My Life Away
Beaten 1st time on difficulty – N/A
Mods/fixes used = Beta setting "alternative" to fix stuttering (via Steam settings)

I liked this more than To The Moon. This story, really moved me and there were tears near end. And if you own it, play “A Bird Story” before playing this, it’s a prequel to this game and it will make a little more sense. Even though “A Bird Story” is quite boring on its own, please give it a shot first.

If you played To The Moon you’ll feel right at home. It plays exactly the same, made in RPGMaker and you mostly walk, talk with people and solve some puzzles every now and then.

We play again as Dr. Eva Rosalene and Dr. Neil Watts from previous game, trying to fulfil a wish of a dying man, Colin Reeds (who we play as little boy in “A Bird Story”, seriously play it first!). As in first game after setting everything up, we start in a most recent memory and through finding different clues around said memory, we progress further down into the past of the client. It’s our job to fulfil his wish. Actually I lied a little about everything, because this game jumps a little differently in time than in To The Moon, but I won’t spoil you the story.

There’s little I can say without spoiling! But once again, I think it’s better than To The Moon. I also really like how game tone changes as you go on. It’s silly at time, sad, depressing, funny, sometimes even scary and creepy. But don’t worry, it never turns into horror, you can safely play it if you don’t like horror games.

Highly recommended, it’s a must play for anyone who played To The Moon before. And if you didn’t, it’s ok there’s almost no reference to previous game from what I remember. If you like good story and mystery I highly recommend it too.

Half-Life 2

Battle Chef Brigade

7/10
27.4 hours
23 of 25 achievements

04 – The Field
17 – Boss Battle
24 - Brigade Town (Belchior's Workshop)
Beaten 1st time on difficulty = Normal

This was almost a complete blind playthrough, I knew this was about cooking but I didn’t know this was a match-3 cooking sim! Topped with anime aesthetics, wholesome characters and world.

Battle Chef Brigade is a story of Mina, a young girl from Windy Village who helps her parents run a local restaurant and who aspires to join the titular Battle Chef Brigade. To join the brigade, one must attend and win 7 matches in a tournament that attracts chefs from all over the realm. But loose three times and you out.

Making a dish is split into two parts – one, fighting monsters to gather the ingredients and two, actual cooking by mixing the ingredients, that is matching the gems and increasing the rating of your meal.

There’s a good variety in how you can destroy monsters for a cooking game, you can melee attack and you have various attacks. Standard hitting by just mashing W, power attack that sends enemies flying, kick upwards that you can also use to reach areas up faster. You have magic too and Mina can throw her cooking knives or cast a tornado that stun locks most enemies and deals some damage. There are different tiers of monsters too, for example forest arena has little birds that are harmless and like to steal any ingredients from ground and eat them, man-eater plants that attack when you’re close or buffalo’s that charge at you and can knock you quite far. Forest and Underground have boss monsters too, that only spawn once and are tough to kill, that’s Dragon and Hydra respectively. But you’re not restricted to just meat, there are usually some kinds of plants, fruits or mushrooms in each arena! There’s even an item that gives you bonus points if you make your dish vegan.

And yes there is an inventory system. You have 3 slots for combat phase, 3 slots for items related to cooking and 3 slots for different pans and pots. For combat items I liked to always have one that increases your pouch size, so you can pick up more ingredients before returning to kitchen. Rest of combat items are pretty boring, they increase your mana or health, boost your magic abilities which sounds good on paper but I didn’t used them much. Items for cooking include stuff like ready level 3 gem of a specific color, 4x level 1 gems of color etc. But more useful are expertise books that give you bonus points for doing something specific with a dish. Tasks like making it vegan, using same ingredient 5 times, having 4x fire level 3 gems in a dish. They can give you quite a lot of bonus points and sometimes can win you a game, but each book gives different amount of points and you have to figure out how much.


Cute pupper. You can talk to it but no petting :(



Lastly, your choice of pans and pots. You start with a standard cooking pan, that matches 3 gems of the same color. There are fire, earth and water gems. Later on you’ll be introduced to bone gems, that when matched, create a rainbow gem which can match with any color. And poison, which create an upgrade point on your board and after some time gem in that place will level up by one (but you can’t level a gem beyond level 3, so don’t waste it.) But if you shuffle poison more than twice it’ll explode, weakening gems around it and they’ll shatter if you move them too much. Level 1 will be destroyed completely, level 2 & 3 will be de-leveled by one and won’t be broken anymore. To help you cook with all that, you have pans that for example match 2 gems, but only of one color. You can take your dish to a different pan/pot at any time, so you could throw ingredients with a lot of red gems, turn them quickly into easy level 3 gems, switch back to standard match 3 pan and continue with more varied gems. There pots that safely trigger poison or bone, but can only match that. Or pans that match 4 a specific color, but turn it instantly into level 3. My favorite one is slow cooking pot, that slowly upgrades all gems in a meal over time, so you can just leave it on and work on other dishes or hunt more. There’s also a cutting board to cut off any unwanted gems or if you want to mess with poison and bone.

Every cooking match has at least one judge, up to 3 and they all have different preferences. So one judge really like water gems, so you want to prepare a meal for them with at least one level 3 water gem to get extra points, other might really like fire & earth, so make sure to have at least one lvl 3 earth & fire, but if a judge has two preferences and it’s unbalanced you won’t get bonus points. There’s always a theme monster or plant too, so every meal you prepare should have at least one ingredient from that theme or prepare to loose half of points right away.

Between matches you can hang out in the town and do some optional jobs to earn gold, that you can spend in the shop for new items and pots/pans.

As I mentioned, the characters and the overall aesthetic is very anime and wholesome :) All voice actors have very pleasant voices, there’s no swearing and everyone is very friendly most of time. Everything Is hand-drawn and colorful, even the Underground arena. I liked the game, but it was starting to drag on after some time. Also there’s waaaay too many cutscenes and talking. I think I can recommend this to anyone, even if you never played match-3 games before. If you’re match-3 veteran I don’t know if you’ll like it, I don’t have enough experience with this genre to know.

Half-Life 2

Husk

2/10
4.3 hours
14 of 14 achievements

Beaten 1st time on difficulty – N/A

Well I heard it was a garbage before I played it and it… really is.

Included in Humble Monthly on the same as its release day, HUSK is a FPS horror that some may say copies a lot from Silent Hill, but I think it has very strong Alan Wake influence. Story has very familiar bits, the town feels very familiar and I would even say it uses the same color pallet as Alan Wake.

Game opens up on a train, where our protagonist travels with his wife and daughter to visit his dying father, who’s last wish was to see his son and family. When our daughter, who looks 12 years old, decides to go to a bathroom and for some reason asks mommy to escort her (???) and they don’t come back after a while, our dude decides to look for them. The train opening is way too long as for what felt like 5 minutes of just walking through empty carts with nothing happening. We get it, the train is suddenly empty, very strange! Then one spooky thing happens, train is derailed and we slowly make our way towards town Shivercliff.

This short segment with no enemies and before you get a gun in your hand is actually not that bad. The atmosphere is not bad, it’s dark, you are defenseless and there are glimpses that something is wrong. You walk through gas station, train station and wander around completely empty town for a while until game throws the first enemy at you in a small stealth section. We have a pipe to stun enemies and this is where the jank starts.

Besides few enemy animations, all other animations in this game are horrible. Items sometimes clip into walls or are spawned right inside them, volume on few voice lines was too low, voice actors do a mixed job, the delivery of protagonist VA is sometimes laughable, sometimes it was pretty good. Game is horribly optimized and I often experienced FPS drops. There are even typos in documents you pick up, yes really. Story is actually similar to something I finished recently, that is it’s all an illusion for something else.

It has a really nice street art and creepy art on walls in some places. Whoever did this, or whoever they bought them off from, deserves a bonus. When there’s nothing happening on screen the game does look pretty good. The sad part is, if they spent like 6 months more on just fixing and polishing what’s already included, this could be an ok game, at least it wouldn’t have mostly negative reviews on steam and the studio could make something better in the future. But as it is now, I can’t recommend this to anyone. Farm your cards, delete this from your steam account.

One piece of art you'll see throughout the game.

Half-Life 2

Poi

5/10
13.6 hours
25 of 25 achievements

04 – Cozy Canyon
14 – Snowland
Beaten 1st time on difficulty – Normal

A very average 3d platformer. Poi was in early access for almost 2 years (!!!), yet it’s a very bland game. It’s an obvious homage to games like Super Mario 64.

Let’s start with positives. I love the hub world in this game. You are on an airship and to choose a world you need to steer it into the direction of the world you want to travel to. As you pick up more medallions, new islands and airships pop around in the sky. The visuals are nice, the game is very family friendly, you could probably play it with your kid (but I can’t promise they’ll have fun). Some music tracks are nice…but that’s really it. The game is not full of bad stuff, it’s just like I said at start, most of stuff here is very average.

I played on K+M and it was fine. You move around with WASD (you can’t change bindings via menu), you can double jump and if jump right after landing you jump a little higher and on third time you can jump really high! However I feel like perspective is a little off. Sometimes I felt like I was closer to a platform than I actually was and other times it was opposite, I jumped way too forward than I actually had to. I’m not sure what’s the reason for this. You can ofc always set your camera right above the character, but it’s not always possible or ideal. There is also a simple inventory system and you buy items from a guy in a hub world. Usefulness of items varies from completely useless to somewhat useful in unlocking more medallions. For example we have telescope which you only use once to unlock a secret medallion but it’s pretty much useless besides that. I never felt the need to use it. There’s also shovel which you use to dig up fossils. There are sets of fossils to find in each world and if you finish one set you get a medallion and an extra island pops up with showcase of what you dug. You can buy a bag to carry extra coins. Also there is a compass, but for some reason you need to activate it like other items. It’s really easy to forget you bought this lol. But it is useful, shows you the direction to your objective as pointing you to some extras like fossil dig sites or undiscovered locations.

I mentioned medallions before and they’re key to finishing the game. Each world has around 6-8 medallions. You can get around 3 from each world by doing specific story mission, you pick those after choosing a world. There are also optional objectives on each world that reward you with a medallion and you do them at any time. There are two that are always there regardless of the world. One is to get 100 coins and buy it from a local shop. Another one is a key-minigame, find 7 keys and that will spawn a medallion. There are around 120 medallions total in the whole game. Besides doing things I already mentioned, there are two extra worlds, a set of different challenges you do from islands in hub world and so on. There’s A LOT to do. But like everything in this game none of it is very exciting.

This game lacks personality. Humor. Interesting or funny story. Enemies. A lot.
To me, it feels like devs wanted to create a next hit platformer like A Hat in Time or classic SM64, but they lacked ideas and good designers to make it happen. I cannot recommend this, unless you’re STARVED for a platformer that you haven’t played before.

Half-Life 2

I am Bread

4/10
3.6 hours
9 of 35 achievements

02 – Bedroom Music
04 – Garage Music
05 – Garden Music
Beaten 1st on difficulty – Easy (I used magic marmalade on most levels)

A meme game where your main enemy are supposed to be controls, but for me it was the camera. Though that could be because I played on keyboard? On keyboard you move bread into a certain direction with arrow keys. But to do so you need to “tense your muscles” if bread had muscles. You do that with 1,2, 3 and 4 on your keyboard. So you place one hand on arrow keys, another one on numbers keys under your F1-F12. How do you move the camera? With your mouse. But humans usually don’t have three hands, so you can see the problem already. But it’s actually not a big issue. You can compensate for having static camera during movement if you just look around before moving and remembering your surroundings. That’s not the issue I have with camera. The issue is it like to move around or even jump around on it’s own and completely ruining your moves. It’s so fucking frustrating. It loves to do that especially during wall climbing and I can’t take my hand off, because I either have to drop to floor or stop moving and waste time. I could understand why they recommend the controller, because you can just adjust camera on fly. But it shouldn’t happen in the first place.

There are more reasons why I think this game is unfinished. First one you’ll see when you get to main menu, a welcome screen says “Welcome to the early access of I am Bread!”, yeeeep it looks like it got rushed from EA. Second – I experience random FPS drops and crash to desktop twice, where nothing was happening, no weird collision with objects or anything like that. And few times I got thrown into air by just touching some objects.

It’s a shame because this game could actually be fun! You play as a slice of bread and to complete a level you need to toast yourself on both sides, but you need to be careful not to overdo it. You want to be 100% toasted on both sides, no more no less. You need to avoid dirty surfaces, so that’s floor generally and places with bugs. If your edibility level reaches 0% it’s game over. On first level you can toast yourself by using the electric oven that’s on. But later levels have less obvious ways to get toasted and sometimes there’s more than one way. For example in the bathroom level you need to turn on hairdryer and heat yourself that way. On garden level you can turn on the car by rotating the keys in ignition and laying flat on the mask of the car. But none of it is easy, and to get A++ rating is on a level is very, very challenging. You need to beat it in par time and stay at 100% edibility. Oh and if you find it too difficult, just try dying 2-3 times and a magic marmalade will spawn next to you and give you invincibility, however doing so will always give you E rating, no matter how good you do.

The music is very catchy, it fits and I really enjoy it, might grab the OST actually. Story is quite hilarious. At the start of each level, you can read a note from psychiatrist of the guy who lives in the house we live in. As you complete the levels, you can read from psychiatrist how our guy is becoming more and more insane and starts talking that the bread is alive and it leaves a mess in the house and how he tries to fight it by setting traps or locking the bread in different places, but it always finds a way out. I won’t spoil the ending but I thought it was hilarious. AND while I haven’t played it yet, I think this is actually a prequel to Surgeon Simulator 2013, the game from same developers.

I would enjoy this more with better camera. No, I don’t care it recommends a controller, don’t release your games on PC if you can’t support K+M.

Half-Life 2

Wolfenstein 3D

5/10
9.1 hours
no achievements

07 – The March to War
13 – Into the Dungeons
18 – The Ultimate Challenge
Beaten 1st time on difficulty = “Bring ‘em on!” (Hard?)
Mods/fixes used – ECWolf Source Port

I played this out of curiosity to see what I missed from my childhood. And after beating First 3 episodes + 3 Nocturnal Missions, I have to say – not much.

This game really didn’t aged well. I don’t mind the graphics, I really don’t. Also the fact you can only aim horizontally doesn’t bother me, as through the whole game you stay on the same level, there are no structures or buildings with different floors like in Doom or Duke Nukem where you have to aim at the direction of the enemy that is up/below you, everyone is on the same level in Wolfenstein.

Wolfenstein 3D is an FPS distilled to its most basic elements. You run around and shoot nazis. There’s almost no story at all, no puzzles, cutscenes etc. But it is a little too basic for me.

GUTEN TAG!

Your enemies are german shepherds which I hate because they’re just good boys used by bad guys. And nazis, lots of nazis, every single one of them use hitscan weapons. Worse, they can shoot through eachother and when they do it only hits you, so you ideally want to face them 1v1 or quickly wipe the room with a chain gun or bottleneck them in door frames. And your arsenal is very small too. You have a knife, which you’ll almost never use, a Luger pistol, MP 40 SMG and a chain gun, they all share the ammo. You might think there’s no reason to use for other guns after you get a chain gun and you’ll be wrong. Chain gun shoots REALLY FAST and it’ll eat your bullets like crazy, so SMG still is useful for killing single enemies or small groups to conserve ammo. Hell I even used pistol too sometimes for single guards or dogs, since they can die in one shot. You’ll see the same enemies through all six episodes. Guards with pistol, SS guards who use MP 40 and officers, who are faster and a little tougher version of normal guards. Only episode 2 has a unique enemy and that’s a nazi mutant, that has a gun sticking out of its stomach and they pull a trigger by doing a “sieg heil!” lol. But they are the most annoying enemies in the game. When you hit an enemy with a pistol or SMG, it breaks their animation for a half a second, effectively stunning them. The nazi mutants can shoot between your SMG shots and kill you really easily, only a chain gun stops them. At the end of each episode is a boss fight. Most episodes have a big guy with one or two chain guns. Go for cover when they shoot, peek and shoot back at them, repeat. Only Hitler has two phases, first you need to break his armor, then finish him off. Ah, also on episode where you kill Hitler there is a special enemy, a wizard that looks like Hitler too and he casts fire orbs at you, a lot of fire orbs, it’s better not to dodge them but hide.

For some reason this game has a lives system. You can have up to 9 lives, the floor you’re on resets when you die and you spawn with pistol and 8 bullets. Perhaps original version had no save system or something? ECWolf introduces modern save system, you can save at any time and have up to 10 saves. If you happen to die on boss level and you didn’t saved and don’t want to come back, I found there is always a secret with a chain gun and lots of ammo. That’s not always the case on different levels but every SS Guard drops their SMG if you don’t have one, so it’s not a big issue.

And besides seeing same enemies, get used to seeing same damn wall textures through all 6 episodes. And episodes 4-6 and 2 really like to throw in floors that are fucking mazes and really hard to navigate without a minimap. Luckily ECWolf adds a minimap that you can customize and it saves a lot of your time.

I don’t think I can recommend this, it didn’t age well and it’s more of a historical curiosity at this point.

Fuck you Hitler

Half-Life 2

Wolfenstein 3D: Spear of Destiny

4/10
10.6 hours
no achievements

Beaten 1st time on difficulty = “Bring ‘em on!” (Hard?)
Mods/fixes used – ECWolf Source Port

Spear of Destiny is a prequel to Wolfenstein 3D. The nocturnal missions I mentioned in W3D review are also prequels, but what comes first I’m not sure. What I’m sure about is that SoD and it’s extra mission packs that are included in steam version are for veterans of first game only. ESPECIALLY the mission packs, in those named “Mission 2: Return to Danger” and “Mission 3: Ultimate Challenge” the devs use maze-like level design a ton, hide enemies in various corners and on some floors make sure that if you shoot one enemy, half of the map hears it and they all start charging at you. All of it was present in base game, but it was not a standard. Here it is. And sometimes to progress, you need to find keys that are inside secrets.

On the plus side, mission 2 & 3 come with completely new textures for literally everything – enemies, walls, treasure, guns, even new sounds for all the nazis and guns! It’s a nice change.

Finally some new textures.

In all 3 missions you have to retrieve the titular Spear of Destiny, which is a religious artifact of sorts. In first mission, after picking the spear you are transported into hell to kill Angel of Death. On next two you are again transported somewhere but you fight some kind of Lovecraftian looking creature that speaks german. Each version of hell has some kind ghosts that slowly follow you and dmg you really fast if you let them touch you. You can make them disappear for few seconds if you shoot at them, but they will respawn. And each boss in hell uses fast projectile attack, but is avoidable. It makes them a little too easy, but you need to keep an eye on ghosts because they will slowly surround you. Some of nazi bosses used rocket launchers too, a bad choice to take a projectile weapon to a hitscan fight.

Again, this is for veterans only. Some levels gave me a hard time, but jumping from nocturnal missions straight into this helped a lot, I think. I would definitely NOT recommend this if you haven’t played W3D before, because you’ll have a hard time. And gameplay wise this is still W3D but with more bullshit, so I enjoyed it less.

18th January 2021

2020 Wrap up

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

17.1 hours
RATING - 7/10
Played on Steam

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

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

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

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

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




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

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


The Final Station - The Only Traitor

The Final Station - The Only Traitor DLC

6/10
1 hours
23 of 23 achievements

01 – Gridlines
22 - Dead End

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

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

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

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

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

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

Half-Life 2

Stories Untold

+7/10
2.7 hours
13 of 13 achievements

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

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

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

Half-Life 2

Maize

+1/10
3.0 hours
no achievements

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

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

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

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

Plus for being short.


HAHAHAHAHA XDDD

Half-Life 2

Project Warlock

7/10
7.6 hours
20 of 20 achievements

Decent boomer shooter. Though I had slightly higher expectations.

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

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

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


D: They crucified Duke!



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

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

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

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

Half-Life 2

Volume

7/10
11.2 hours
24 of 24 achievements

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

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

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

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

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

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

Half-Life 2

GRIS

7/10
8.6 hours
17 of 17 achievements

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

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

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

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

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

Half-Life 2

Lightmatter

6/10
6.3 hours
23 of 23 achievements

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

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

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

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

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

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

2020 Balance - Have I made progress this year?

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

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

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

+321

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

Alright but now onto more positive things

Top 5 games I played in 2020

5. Hotline Miami

17.4 hours, 35 of 35 achievements



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

4. 11-11 Memories Retold

13.8 hours, 50 of 50 achievements



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

3. Dishonored 2

28.9 hours, 28 of 50 achievements



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

2. Turok 2: Seeds of Evil

13.9 hours, 14 of 14 achievements



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

1. Black Mesa

43.1 hours, 50 of 50 achievements


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

2021

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3rd December 2020

Hey hey people,

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

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

13.9 hours
+8/10
Played on Steam

04 – Totem 1
05 – River of Souls

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

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

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


Everything bleeds so nicely in this game...



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

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

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


Half-Life 2

MO:Astray

7/10
9.7 hours
26 of 26 achievements

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

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

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


You'll walk...

You'll swim...

You'll float...

and ride a giant mech!



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

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

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

Half-Life 2

My Friend Pedro

7/10
5.0 hours
27 of 30 achievements

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Half-Life 2

The Wolf Among Us

7/10
9.5 hours
35 of 35 achievements

07 – Opening Credits

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

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

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

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

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary

Halo: Combat Evolved

+7/10
22.2 hours
46 of 700 achievements

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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


The new visuals of covenant ships...

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

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

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



Half-Life 2

Layers of Fear

6/10
5.5 hours
27 of 27 achievements

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

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

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

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




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

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

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


Those eyes can pierce a man's soul

Layers of Fear: Inheritance

Layers of Fear: Inheritance

5/10
1 hours
27 of 27 achievements

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

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

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

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

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

6.4 hours
None
+7/10
Played on Steam

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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


26th October 2020

Hey hey people,

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

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

Anyway onto reviews:

2.0 hours
None
8/10
Played on Steam

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

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

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





Half-Life 2

Turok

7/10
9.2 hours
10 of 10 achievements

07 – Water
04 – Ancient City
14 – Final Level

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

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

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

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




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

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


Run Turok, run!

Half-Life 2

The Stillness of the Wind

5/10
3.2 hours
no achievements

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

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

This is pretty much the whole game.

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

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

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

Half-Life 2

Eliza

7/10
7.2 hours
1 of 1 achievements

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

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

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




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

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

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


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

Half-Life 2

Bad North

8/10
21.9 hours
11 of 11 achievements

01 – Morning Mist
02 – Waves of Ships

FTL-like rogue-like strategy-lite litelikelitleliktelike.

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

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

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

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

Half-Life 2

Almost There: The Platformer

6/10
11.5 hours
24 of 24 achievements

Super meat boy wanna-be.

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

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

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

Half-Life 2

DuckTales Remastered

6/10
15.8 hours
20 of 20 achievements

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

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

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

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


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


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

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