Insert catchy title here Vito’s profile
I'm another gamer trying to battle his backlog. And I'm looking forward to gain additional motivation by joining this beautiful site and community. I began to work on my backlog "professionally" in February 2017 and joined the site in October 2017.
Goals for 2024:
- Reducing the overall backlog (Unplayed + Unfinished + Beaten) to 170 games. Status: 186/170.
- Complete at least 80% of the games added in 2024. Status: 0/0 (=100%).
I have a list of games that need Multiplayer to complete all achievements. If you're interested in tackling them together with me, I'm happy to hear from you :)
I rank games by this 5 star ranking:
I had no fun playing this.
Not completely bad, but time is better invested otherwise.
An average game. There is nothing wrong with playing it, but don't expect to be blown away.
This is a really good game, play it if you have the chance.
Reserved for the best of the best. This is an amazing experience.
First post for 2024. I hope you all had a great start to the new year. I’ve set two goals for myself this year, and they are fairly straightforward. I am hopeful about reaching them.
- Reducing the overall backlog (Unplayed + Unfinished + Beaten) to 170 games. Status at the start of the year: 186/170. Current status: 183/170
- Complete at least 80% of the games added in 2024. Status: 7/7 (=100%).
RimWorld (2016) is likely a game everyone has heard of. This colony simulator is often regarded as one of the best games ever made. I played the Vanilla version without DLCs and managed to build up a colony far enough to start a spaceship. I enjoyed the many hours of gameplay, but it wasn’t perfect. It became a bit repetitive at some point. Now, with all the DLCs or the plethora of great mods, that might be another story, so I’m only speaking of the vanilla experience. Of course, such a game is never truly completed, but I consider this game completed. I still prefer Dwarf Fortress, though. Rating: 4/5.
Season Match (2007) is a match-3 game released quite a long time ago in 2007. I played it to get a feel for a game from that genre at that time. While not bad, it’s a bit too repetitive, and the best strategy seems to be to click frantically without paying attention to where exactly. Rating: 2/5.
First Class Trouble (2021) is a social deduction game like Among Us. You try to shut down the evil computer that has overtaken your space ship. It’s not really my kind of game, but I liked the artstyle and setting. It was fun to mess around with the game for a few hours, but I don’t see myself returning to it. Rating: 3/5.
Empire of the Gods (2008) feels like the adaption of a board game, where you try to gather enough ressources by playing a set of cards in the right order. I don’t think I optimized my strategy, but it was still easy to beat and nice for in-between some other games. I don’t see any replay value with it though. Rating: 3/5.
Secret Neighbor (2019) is an asymmetrical social horror game set in the Hello Neighbor universe. I did not really like it that much. I was neither fond of the gameplay nor the artstyle. Too dark and cartoonish for my taste. Rating: 1/5.
Bionic Heart (2009) is a visual novel set in a dystopic future in 2099’s London, heavily suffering from the consequences of a (the?) climate catastrophe. It features fully voiced dialogues and a nice, kind of retro, art style. The story starts out interesting, but I feel like some of the endings require too much moon logic to be convincing. Maybe the developer should have opted for 3-4 logical endings instead of 23 (!) endings. Nevertheless, it’s an okay game in my opinion if you don’t mind weird turns in the plot. Rating: 3/5.
SkyDrift was actually super quick to finish, I was just too lazy at the time. Still not my kind of game, but happy to have it completed after almost 10 years. Dirt Showdown “only” took 7 1/2 years and some really boring grinding to get the last multiplayer achievement. I’m glad it’s done and I don’t want to play either of the games again – except maybe to help others get the multiplayer achievements.
The first month is not even over, and I’ve already played a ton of games. The best one – RimWorld – was played over christmas though, so technically mainly in 2023. I managed to complete every addition from 2024 so far and still reduce my backlog by a bit, which is great. I’m especially happy that I managed to clear some multiplayer achievements, because I usually prefer to play alone.
I hope you had similar good starts!
Happy backlog clearing,
2024 goals -> Backlog: 183/170, 2024 additions: 7/7.
Final post for 2023. It’s been a slow few months since my last post in terms of gaming, but I still managed to complete a few games:
Mirror's Edge™ Catalyst
Call of Juarez
Galaxy of Pen & Paper
Mirror’s Edge Catalyst (2016) is the reboot of the original Mirror’s Edge, a genre-defining parkour game. I preferred Catalyst over the original; it plays much smoother and offers phenomenal cinematics with great graphics overall. I completed the game in September because the online achievements were going to shut down. Unfortunately, it turns out that all achievements are broken or bugged now, so achievement hunters, beware! Apart from that, I highly recommend it! Rating: 4/5.
Sprout (2007) is a short, free point & click game with hand-drawn graphics. Unfortunately, it was a bit buggy for me. Rating: 2/5.
Human Guise (2021) is a short point & click game that got removed because the developers had no more time to continue with the game. I grabbed it beforehand and quickly completed it. It had some potential but was a bit clunky overall. Rating: 3/5.
Call of Juarez (2006) is a classic FPS set in Wild West era Texas. I finally got around to playing this classic and much-beloved game. Despite showing its age on a few occasions, I enjoyed it a lot. Gameplay and story were still great, and the graphics are still bearable. Rating: 4/5.
Half-Life (1998) needs no introduction, does it? Yes, yes, shame on me, but I never played it until it was free on its 25th-anniversary. It’s still a great game, and I’m glad I played it. I had a lot of fun with the mix between fighting, jumping, and puzzling. The controls were a bit wonky at times, and I think the difficulty spikes a bit too much occasionally, but overall, an absolute recommendation to play this game. And I don’t say this about every classic – Fallout 1 and Deus Ex both got a 1/5 rating from me. Rating: 4/5.
Radiant One (2018) is a short point-and-click game about lucid dreaming and beating inner demons. Graphically pleasing with an enjoyable soundtrack, it makes for a good overall experience of about an hour of gameplay. The game is by Fntastic, which is closing down after the absolute disaster/scam that was The Day Before. This was their only game I was interested in (and only 1 buck), so I grabbed it before it may become delisted. Rating: 4/5.
I’ve obtained almost all the missing achievements for Dungeon Siege III, but beating the game on the highest difficulty is a bit too much for me. I’ll leave that game beaten for now. I revisited Master of Orion (2014 remake) and had a lot more fun than the last time. There are still tons of achievements to unlock, so I plan to re-revisit it again in a few years :)
That wraps up my gaming adventures for the year 2023. While I didn’t set any specific goals for the year, I’m pleased to have completed almost every game I acquired during 2023. I hope to continue in this fashion, completing new games and beating some I already own…and in about 15 years my backlog should be cleared ;)
Wishing you joyful festivities, stay safe, and remain positive as we head into 2024!
Happy backlog clearing,
Overall a good set of games. Played a lot of free games, because I could not decide which backlog game to tackle next. Some free ones did not really convince me, but hey, they are free! So no complaints :)
Beasts of Maravilla Island
Lost girl`s [diary]
Wander No More
Discouraged Workers TEEN
Omerta - City of Gangsters
Beasts of Maravilla Island (2021) is a game where you explore a mysterious island full of cute animals and plants, snapping pictures of all those. Had to play through it twice, because the last achievement would not pop. That was a bit annoying, otherwise a cute little game if slightly bugged. Rating: 3/5.
Carpe Diem (2015) is a free short VN, where the protagonists meets a friend of theirs. It has a little (foreseeable) twist at the end. Rating: 3/5.
Lost girl`s [diary] (2016) is another free short VN where a group of teenagers tell “scary” stories. Rating: 3/5.
Although a coop game, I solo’ed Overcooked (2016). I think it is well known. Some missions were quite challenging, but also I’m pretty bad at those kind of games, so take that with a grain of salt ;) Overall I enjoyed my experience with the game. Rating: 4/5.
Wander No More (2017) is yet another free short VN. I did not enjoy this one however: Neither Voiceover, nor art-style or story. This is just my subjective opinion of course. But: Rating: 1/5.
Even shorter The Plan (2013) is a small game about a fly. It’s nice. Play it. Rating: 4/5.
In Discouraged Workers TEEN (2015) a young woman in South Korea struggles with her unemployment and loneliness. While the VN has some decent CGs, the story was way too cliche and foreseeable for my taste. I bought the game because it was going to be removed from Steam. Rating: 2/5.
Last but not least, Omerta (2013) is a management game set in the underworld of 1920s Atlantic City. You mainly try to build up an underworld empire, in addition sometimes turn based fights occur. Although I can see why the game has mixed reviews, personally I enjoyed it a lot. Great visual style and the soundtrack is really enjoyable. Top level immersion, at least for me. In addition there are not a lot of games with this premise, so it’s something different! I admit however, that it is a bit simplistic and can get repetitive. Achievement hunters be aware that 3 MP achievements are not obtainable anymore. Will remain a 95% completion forever probably :( Rating: 4/5.
Feel free to ask if you’re interested in more details :)
Happy backlog-clearing to everyone,
Some more games from me. I’ll keep the reviews short!
Half-Life 2: Deathmatch
Half-Life 2: Lost Coast
Game of Thrones
SpellForce 2 - Faith in Destiny
Wargame: Red Dragon
Half-Life 2: Deathmatch is a free multiplayer mod for Half-Life 2. It’s okay, but I don’t really care for multiplayer games. Rating: 2/5
Half-Life 2: Lost Coast is a free short one level mission with Gordon Freeman. Rating: 3/5
Game of Thrones is an officially sanctioned RPG set in the universe of … well Game of Thrones. It has an awfully boring fighting system, but I really liked the story! Rating: 3/5
I still remember being blown away by the graphics of Quake 4 in 2004. And it really has great graphics for such an old game. The present me is a bit bored by the bland gameplay though. It really depends on your preference but just running around guns blazing is not enough for me anymore. Rating: 3/5
In my last report I spoke about SpellForce 2 Shadow Wars and Dragon Storm. I played the stand alone expansion SpellForce 2: Faith in Destiny now and enjoyed it quite much. The development game was a bit chaotic and rushed, but I really enjoy the unique mix of RTS and RPG the SpellForce games offer. Rating: 4/5
The last game in Eugen System’s Wargame trilogy, Wargame: Red Dragon features the addition of naval combat and a more refined strategic map & gameplay. I don’t think the game is for everyone, I once again enjoyed the gameplay though. It’s fun to devise strategies to defend against overwhelming amounts of enemies, although it’s a bit sad that you almost never get to use the really good units due to their high cost. I really miss some sandbox campaign though. The free 2nd Korean War DLC adds the most interesting campaign in this regard. Rating: 4/5
Feel free to ask if you want something in more detail :)
Happy backlog-clearing to everyone,
Some more long slow gaming months went by and I finally finished a bunch of games again to report on. Most of them were quite enjoyable:
Mount & Blade: Warband
Mount & Blade: Warband is a game most of you probably heard of. It's a mix between first-person and strategy game and has many fans up until this day.
I very much enjoyed the game. The mix between fighting battles with your character and navigating the world map is an interesting mix between different genres and makes the game diverse and entertaining. However, I must also admit, that I was a bit bored at times, since there are sometimes grindy stretches in the mid game, before you are strong enough to take on most of the enemies by yourself.
There is also a plethora of different mods, which all expand on the gameplay or offer complete conversions for the game. I played the Star Wars mod. It was made with a lot of love and is an impressive conversion of the game. However, it does have some bugs (save often!) and some unfinished things in it.
Overall definitely a recommendation from my side! Achievements are super grindy though, I did not have the patience to go for all of them.
Nova Lands: Emilia's Mission
This is a short demo of the whole game. Nova Lands is a base builder with a cute pixel look. The demo offers the first few steps of gathering resources, doing research and exploring its world.
The game is okay, but I won't get the main game. The controls are a bit clunky and I did not enjoy the overall base building too much. Seems like a lot of unnecessary micro management to me.
Hue was free on Steam a few weeks ago. I grabbed it and started it right away. It is a cute puzzle platformer where you can change the color of the world to overcome obstacles and solve puzzles.
I liked the idea, the graphical representation and the soundtrack. However I did not really enjoy playing the game after the initial ~2 hours. The puzzles were mostly easy and the platforming parts weren't to hard either. But those genres are just not for me it seems. I almost had to force me to finish the game. But not because the game itself was so bad, but because I did not really enjoy the gameplay.
Recommendation? Well, if you are into those genres, then I could see someone having fun with the game. But if you're more like me, I won't recommend the game.
SpellForce 2 - Anniversary Edition
SpellForce 2 is a mix between classical RPG and RTS game. The Anniversary Edition contains the base game, Shadow Wars, and the first expansion, Dragon Storm.
I never played the game before that, nonetheless SpellForce 2 just oozes nostalgia. By mixing two genres, both aspects are a bit less complex than in full fledged RPGs or RTSs. Personally I still think that both aspects shine enough to be fun. There is a nice mix between mission where you focus on your PC and their companions and missions where you build a base, gather resources and fight the enemy in classic RTS manner.
The game is quite old, but it ran good on my system and I think it mostly aged quite okay. Not great maybe, but okay. And for those who regularly read my posts, you know that I play many really old games, so I don't have too much problems with that anyways.
Thankfully this wasn't the 150 hours slugfest the first SpellForce was, but at the end I still grew a bit bored. Therefore I would only recommend the game if you're a fan of titles like that. But then you can have quite some fun with it :)
In addition I completed two previously beaten games. Shrouded Isle, which was grueling, and Clash of Heroes, which was quite fast once I found a partner for the MP achievements.
It took me exactly 1 month to beat SpellForce 2. There are two more standalone expansions to it, but I’m not sure if it’s a good idea to play them right away…once again I’m having trouble to decide which game to play next T_T
Happy backlog-clearing to everyone,
Quite some time went by since my last post. I was mainly playing Fallout 3. It was actually the first game I played on Epic – since I don’t own it on Steam and got it there for free at some point. In between Fallout 3 I snuck some free games. Some of those I enjoyed, some I did not enjoy. Let’s have a look:
Resonance of the Ocean
A small free game about matching sounds with different objects. Made with a lot of love, really nice little game.
Deluge: Threnody of Crashing Waves
A free VN about a small village in the Netherlands and its dark past. Soundtrack is great, the story is okay, but some smaller things bugged me. I think the language was way too convoluted or as a Steam review put it: "The author should have put the thesaurus down from time to time."
Entropic Float: This World Will Decay And Disappear
Another free VN. 14 people are trapped in a time anomaly, doomed to relive the same day again and again. You try to break the circle by solving smaller riddles and interacting with the different characters.
Unfortunately I did not enjoy the game at all. Neither the graphical nor the musical representation were to my liking. The background stories of the different characters were really fleshed out, alas to a point where I did not bother reading everything anymore. And it takes forever. I can see some people enjoying this game, I did not however.
Age of Mythology: Extended Edition
Age of Mythology is the last of the classic Microsoft RTS games I had not finished (not counting remasters and stuff). It's basically an Age of Empires with mythical units added to it. Think Minotaurs, Centaurs and so on. Those added an interesting new side to the gameplay and I greatly enjoyed the variety of different units. Every faction plays much more different in Age of Mythology than in the classic Age of Empires, another nice change of pace. And last but not least, the campaigns…those were really really good, had a lot of different ideas incorporated and told a rich and convincing story (well at least for an RTS!). Whilst Age of Mythology cannot hide the fact that it's an old game missing some Quality of Life features, I had a great time with it and really enjoyed playing it. In case you care about achievements: Those are really grindy and boring, but doable.
Fallout 3 changed a lot compared to previous Fallout games. Some people hated it, some loved it. I'm in the middle. Fallout 3 is a mix between Shooter and RPG. It offers a great open world with tons of stuff to discover, a lot of quests to solve and colorful characters in typical Fallout fashion. Adding in the expansions, this is even more true. Overall I enjoyed the game, but it has its flaws. I'm sure a lot of people have written about it better than I could, so to keep it brief: Mixing Shooter and RPG leads to some unsatisfying results. Gunplay is not good enough for a Shooter, the story is not good enough for a RPG.
But the real kicker in my eyes? Fallout 3 was released around the same time as the first Mass Effect and Dragon Age. And compared to those two games, Fallout 3 looses out in every aspect -- technical, visually, soundtrack, story, gameplay, you name it. Hence only an average rating for Fallout 3 in my book.
Figment was free as a promotion for the sequel. Cheap as I am, I of course could not resist getting the game despite it not looking like something I usually enjoy playing. Boy, was I in for a pleasant surprise! The game is great! The artistic realization is stunning. The graphical art style is really cute and has great ideas incorporated in the world building. The soundtrack is even better and each enemy has kind of an own theme song. The gameplay itself is nice as well. I was really impressed by the game. I can only recommend playing it.
Normally I choose goals for each year, but this year I’m blank. Maybe I’ll just play games and see what happens :)
Happy backlog-clearing to everyone,
Welcome to my last report for the year 2022. There is still a bit of time left in the year, but I won’t have time to write a report during the holidays so here we go. I’m pretty burned out by the year, my reviews are therefore a bit shorter. Also there are more than the usual 3 games, but I couldn’t get myself to write a post in time. I finished the following games since the last report:
Rome: Total War
Rome: Total War is one of the oldest Total War games. I'm reviewing the original game, not the quite recent remaster of the game. Rome Total War is set in classical antiquity right around the time before the first Punic War. You can play as one of the classical empires like Rome or Carthage, or a number of "barbarians" like the Gauls. The Steam edition also includes the Barbarian Invasion expansion, but not the Alexander expansion (see the following review for this expansion).
Sometimes games just instantly click with you. Rome was such a case. Loading in the main menu, I was sure I would enjoy the game. And it was more than true. There is no question on my mind, that this is one of the best Total War games. I liked the old fashioned graphics of the strategic map, I like the epoch the game is set in and I like the fact that you can finish a campaign in 15-20 hours -- at least a short one.
The Barbarian Invasion expansion plays at the time of the migration period of the germanic tribes and the subsequent fall of West Rome. I like this historical setting a lot less than the rise of the Roman Empire and played only one single campaign. It introduces a new Horde mechanic to model the migration, which changes the gameplay for the barbaric factions drastically. I prefer the classical gameplay by far though.
There are some highly praised mods for Rome, the most prominent are probably Roma Surrectum and Europa Barbarorum. Those add more depths and historical accuracy to the game. I tried Europa Barbarorum and like it very much. It does take forever to finish a campaign however (I'm about 50 hours into a campaign and far far far from finishing it...)
Rome: Total War - Alexander
Alexander is a standalone expansion for Rome Total War. It is basically a special scenario for the game. Playing as Alexander the Great, you have to recreate his conquests in 100 ingame turns. There is no variation, no choosing factions, nothing. It's not a super hard task but forces you to concentrate on conquering provinces all the time and focuses less on developing your empire. Since I like the empire building parts of Total War games, I wasn't really happy with this way of playing. Also there is almost no replay value. I did not enjoy the game as I did the vanilla version.
When the original Mafia was free on Steam in September I immediately grabbed it. Mafia is a third person action game set in America's 1930s where you follow the rise of a cab driver to the right hand of a mafia boss.
It is one of those must-play-games, that I never played before and with the giveaway I finally got a good reason to start it up. It runs surprisingly well on a modern machine, I only had 2-3 crashes and no other problems with the game on Windows 10. For a 20 year old game? Pretty great! Of course the game is ancient, the 3d-models are awful compared to more modern standards. But apart from the optics, it plays like most modern games.
I really liked the different types of cars and the different characters in the story. I think that the story could've been a bit more fleshed out at times, but overall I was invested in it and a bit sad because of the ending…getting out of crime does not pay off it seems. I liked the missions and apart from the infamous race they weren't that hard, although I had to look up a guide two times because I wasn't sure where I had to go. Overall I really enjoyed my time with the game and I'm definitely going to check out the remakes and sequels at some point. I can definitely recommend classic Mafia, as long as you don't mind playing old games.
planetarian ~the reverie of a little planet~
I'm not a VN expert like many of you are. The genre is kinda hit and miss for me. However, I'm open to broaden my horizon in respect to VNs. So when I read the announcement that planetarian was going to be retired from Steam because there is a HD version available, I was curious. As you might know, I play a ton of old games, so playing an old VN is right up my alley. I was specifically interested in the original version, to not only see how one of the first VNs (correct me if I'm wrong) was, but also to see the technical side of the original game.
It was very interesting to play (or read) planetarian. I think the story takes quite some time to pick up, but in the end it delivers. The game is really simple from the gameplay and UI perspective. I would not want to play such a game all the time, but it was a cool peak in the past and I would recommend the game if you're interested in the history of video games like me. Of course the original version is not available in the Steam store anymore…
Kingdom: Classic was free on Steam a few years ago and I finally got around to playing it. From what I hear it offers a much more basic experience than its sequels and people advise to skip the Classic version altogether.
That being said, I still enjoyed the game. It has cute graphics (the reflections in the water are great!) and a simple concept, which is still entertaining. Basically you run around with your main character, collecting gold coins for recruiting people which help you defend your home and destroy 4 portals from which enemies spawn. One run takes about 2-3 hours. After that, there is not much replay value. Most of my hours were spent working on achievements. They are not specifically hard, but take some time and many restarts.
So if you're not stubborn like me and don't care about the achievements it's a nice little game for a few hours. Otherwise it gets a bit boring with time, but I still liked playing it.
I’m still playing a bit of Rome, currently the Europa Barbarorum mod.
So, 2022 on BLAEO is done with this post. I had two goals for the year. I got my unfinished games down to 50, but I missed my goal to get my never played games down to 100. There are still 103 games left. And the moment I start a never played game, my unfinished games will go up to 51 again :D But hey, close enough, I’m fine with this. I might even finish another game in the few days left in 2022, but completing 3 whole games would be too stressful. Looking back at the year, I played a lot of good games. I tackled some long time goals of mine, like finally playing Fallout 2 and finishing Fallout Tactics. There was quite some variety in genres: RPG, Strategy, Racing, Walking Simulator, VN. I’m a bit unhappy though that I only finished 20 games this year, I wish it were some more games. Well, there is always next year. I have no goals for 2023 set yet, that’ll be a topic for my first post in the new year.
2022 was another really stressful year with all the bad things happening in the world. I’m sure some of us wish Covid was still the biggest problem in the world…Let’s hope for a better 2023. I wish all of you (and your families) happy holidays and may you get to the new year safely.
See you next year,
2022 goals: 103/100 never played games – 50/50 unfinished games
I finally managed to beat all the “classic” fallout games. And by beating Fallout Tactics, which has been in my unfinished pile for years, I reached my 2022 goal of 50 unfinished games. Well, at least until I start a new game, which I need to do in order to get down to 100 never played games :D
I hope you are all doing well, I’ve seen some great backlog slaying all over the place since my last post. Keep up the inspiring work :)
Fallout 2 is a isometric RPG placed in the Fallout universe. You start as a tribal setting out to the wastelands to get help for their starving village. On the way you get entangled in much bigger events, as always seems to happen to characters in video games…
I know the first Fallout game has a strong fanbase, I however did not enjoy the game. Fallout 2 in the other hand is a big stepup in all regards in my opinion. The world feels very alive, the story had several interesting quest lines and (biggest plus) the UI and controls are way better than in the first game. Add to that the great feeling of playing an absolute classic of video game history and you have a nice gaming experience.
What I didn't like: Although Fallout 2 has improved considerably over Fallout 1, it's still an ancient game. Without nostalgia (never played it before) I was frustrated at times by the gameplay and tedious controls. I miss QOL improvements of more modern games. In addition I found the difficulty to vary a lot. Sometimes you can easily overpower your enemies, sometimes you have to save/reload a lot in order to avoid defeat. Not ideal in my eyes, but maybe something which can be attributed to the time?
A debatable point: The game gives you very few hints and guidance. More than Fallout 1 (again), but I still relied on a guide on several occasions, both on deciding the overall strategy and for hints in some smaller quests I could not solve on my own. I depends on a person whether that's good or bad though.
In conclusion: I can recommend the game, but you should be aware of what you get yourself into. I can easily picture a lot of people disliking the game, which I myself did at times as well.
Company of Heroes
Company of Heroes is a RTS game set in World War 2. You follow a unit of US soldiers' campaign from D-Day to beating back Nazi Germany from France.
I've already played the "Legacy" version of the game and talked about it in report #46 back in 2020. See there for a proper review.
The "normal" version is the same as the legacy version, they just switched to a different mp system, hence the change. I wasn't as impressed by the game as the first time (well…I already knew everything…) but still enjoyed my time with it. This time I had an easier time beating the game, maybe I do get better at playing video games after all? :D
Fallout Tactics is a squad-based, turn-based strategy game akin to XCOM set in the Fallout universe, happening after Fallout 2. You play through a set of missions, starting as an initiate of the Brotherhood of Steel facing different new enemies spawning from the depths of the wasteland. As far as I understand it's not canon anymore? But I'm no Fallout buff, so someone else surely knows better.
The game basically takes Fallout 2 and throws away everything but fighting. Overall the game was enjoyable but too long for my taste. Without any RPG or management aspects, the missions get a bit repetitive and dull after a couple of them. There is just not enough variety for a game that took me about 60 hours to beat (I started my run on 36 hours which stem from previous attempts to beat the game). Very similar to Fallout 2 the game further improves the UI and adds a few QoL additions. Also very similar to Fallout 2 I had some issues with the harshly varying difficulty. At several points of the game new classes of enemies are introduced, which can easily one-shot your characters at the beginning, but are slaughtered with ease after you upgrade you weapons a bit (hint: energy weapons are good!).
While there is not much story telling, the small bits are at times humorous, at times grim: You have no control over the way the game plays out, but it soon gets pretty clear that you are fighting for a quite fascist supremacist organization…surely no coincidence.
Would I recommend the game? Again, as with Fallout 2, I can only recommend the game if you know what you're getting into. Despite rating both games 3/5 I think Fallout 2 is the better game though and Fallout Tactics can be ignored unless you want to play everything Fallout related.
Little progress was made on Shogun 2. Finally! It’s hard to find grind partners for Dirt Showdown though…oh well, maybe next report.
That’s it for now…back to work for me and some backlog slaying in the evening :)
Happy backlog-clearing to everyone,
2022 goals: 105/100 never played games – 50/50 unfinished games
I finished two new free games and one from my backlog, so not that much overall progress…but as long as I finish new games right away, everything’s fine, isn’t it?
Tell Me Why
Tell Me Why is a story focused adventure game, reminding me of Life is Strange in many ways. It was free during the Pride Month. I got it and started playing right away. The first scenes of the game immediately captured me. Beautiful graphics! The game is set in rural Alaska and the landscapes and scenery is just impressive. The soundtrack is well done as well, but pales in comparison to the aesthetics. The gameplay was fine as well, but nothing too special -- which isn't necessary since the game focuses on the story. And the story was interesting and captivating as well. I don't have a lot of points of contact with transsexuality in RL, so it was interesting to take a peek into this and its own set of problems. It was educating to see the insecurities but also prejudices on both sides.
In the end though, I think the game tries to be too many things at once. Is it about transsexuality and the coming out of one of the MCs? Is it a crime story? A family drama? A love story? Choosing to be all of that is a bit detrimental to the game as a whole in my opinion, at least for the medium playtime of about 13 hours.
All in all I can recommend the game, the beautiful Alaskan landscapes are reason enough.
Wargame: AirLand Battle
AirLand Battle is not only the name of a NATO doctrine from the 80s but also the name of a military RTS set in the same time. It is the second part of the Wargame trilogy by Eugen Systems. You command a set of armies during a fictional military culmination of the cold war, where the Soviet Union invades Scandinavia. [Disclaimer: Yeah, I thought about whether it's appropriate to play this game during Putin's invasion of the Ukraine…but after all we play games about war all the time, so I think it's hypocritical to stop now -- it's not like there were no wars before.]
It adds to the first part in several ways while remaining the same game at the core. Newly added is a strategic map, where you can move your armies and deploy strategic strikes like air reconnaissance or naval strikes, before attacking an enemy, leading to a tactical skirmish. The tactical skirmishes are largely the same as in European Escalation with the addition of fighter jets. Funnily enough that's the aspect of the game I wasn't able to really get to work for me… The game offers quite a challenge and it took me a while to get used to the gameplay again. It's incredibly hectic and it's super easy to miss a crucial development on some part on the map while you are focused elsewhere. Combined with the often steep difficulty it lead me to rage quit the game on a few occasions.
I don't think this game appeals to everyone, but I can recommend the game, if you know what you are getting into. It depicts very well how the different parts of an army have to work together to achieve victory -- at least if you try to minimize your losses. Tanks are great, but there are many situations where they are useless without infantry support and vice versa. And so on. It also offers a huge variety of different troops and enough different skirmish maps to give you a new challenge again and again. Just be prepared to rage a bit from time to time ;)
Ballads at Midnight
Ballads at Midnight is a free VN. I don't have a lot of experience with the genre, so it would be interesting to hear what a VN connoisseur thinks about the game.
I enjoyed the art style of the game and I was intrigued how the story would progress. The protagonists are likeable and the (few) choices really make you think.
However, I have several complaints about the game as well. I did not enjoy the female voice actor, especially her singing. But mainly I had some problems with the writing: Good writing is not achieved just by using pompous words and injecting a descriptive adjective wherever possible. It bothered me greatly. In fact, I'm hesitant to recommend the game. I only give it an average rating because it's free. And somewhat short.
Yeah, no progress here for months now…but I’m not willing to concede defeat yet :D
That’s it for now…back to work for me and some backlog slaying in the evening :)
Happy backlog-clearing to everyone,
2022 goals: 105/100 never played games – 52/50 unfinished games
Long time no see! I have a lot going on in RL right now and don’t have a lot of time for gaming. I’m almost inactive on BLAEO as well, I mainly use it for bookkeeping atm, it’s just so damn handy :)
After months I finally managed to finish a couple of games again. I’m only going to give some quick impressions this time. So here we go:
Might & Magic: Heroes VI
I very much enjoyed the previous HoMM V. Especially the Dwarves expansion was really enjoyable. But there were a couple of gameplay factors that I did not like, e.g. the way you recruit your troops from everywhere and the enemy constantly conquers your mines. Together with some other improvements these two points were vastly improved in the 6th Heroes. Overall, a lot of gameplay improvements were noticeable, some smaller, some bigger.
However, there were some downsides as well. It takes forever and some people don't have that much time. The difficulty varies too much between campaign scenarios for my taste. Some were incredibly hard, some were super easy. The biggest disappointment were the expansions though: I could not run them on my PC because I got an unsupported graphics card! Imagine that! You can run the main game (thankfully!) but not the expansions? The reason being that some specific graphics cards are not supported? A problem that's been known for years afaik but not remedied by Ubisoft?? I feel scammed!!
Conclusion: The basic gameplay is very enjoyable, but due to unacceptable technical problems I'm going to give this game a bad rating.
Pole Position 2012
This game had the worst Steam ratings of all the unplayed games in my library, so naturally I was curious. And wow, those were deserved! It crashed about every 20 minutes (no autosave feature ofc), the UI was beyond terrible and the gameplay was boring as hell. Never ever get this game!
Total War: SHOGUN 2
Shogun 2 features all the typical Total War gameplay elements, which makes it an overall enjoyable experience to me. I enjoy the mix of strategic and tactical gameplay. Shogun 2 is set in Japan and features several different phases of turmoil in the japanese history, ranging from the first matchlock guns to mid-19-century warfare.
The main drawback is that the factions feel almost identical due to the nature of the setting. I miss trying different playstyles depending on the unit roster of a faction. In my opinion this seriously hampers the replay value.
Another drawback are the achievements. Achievement hunters and completionists: Stay out of this one. The Singleplayer achievements are a bit grindy but fine. The MP however is awful. It's almost dead and the achievements are not only super grindy for the main part, but some are borderline impossible. One requires you to get the #1 spot in the MP ladder worldwide…which is…well… I've marked the game as beaten because I got all SP achievements by now. Any MP I can still get is a bonus and completion is more or less out of question.
All in all a decent game, but it has some flaws and I think it's my least favourite Total War game so far.
I’m still grinding for the MP Achievement in DiRT Showdown, but made no real progress. In addition I’ll try to get some MP achievements in Shogun 2, which will take forever as well unfortunately.
Sorry for not reading most of your posts and commenting on barely anything. Maybe it gets better again, maybe not. Anyhow, I hope all of you are doing well. See you some time in the future :)
Happy backlog-clearing to everyone,
2022 goals: 107/100 never played games – 52/50 unfinished games