Insert catchy title here VitoStippkow’s profile

Hi!
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 2019
  • Get the games in the 'unfinished' category down to 80.
  • Get my Steam AGC up to 75%.
  • Beat or finish at least 75% of the games I add in 2019.


Sounds all fine and dandy, but alas -- some issues hold me back:
  • Skillwise, I am not very good at playing games considering how much I play. I think I just lack the patience to play something again and again to really improve in a game. This is especially hindering when playing platformers and similar games.
  • Multiplayer...oh, multiplayer... I have a list of games I'm looking for partners. If you're interested, I would be happy to hear from you :)
I'll try to give a short little review for each game I beat or complete.

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.


Report #41

A personal remark: I’ve already mentioned in the past that I have less time and (maybe more importantly) less motivation to post reviews and even to just write comments. I still lurk and read a lot of the posts, but I feel like taking a step back for the moment. I don’t want to stop posting here completely though, since I’m pretty sure that once I stop, I would probably not start again. And that would be very sad, since we have such a lovely and interesting community here. So behold my lower(ed) effort reviews:


Reviews

  • Imperium Romanum: Gold Edition
    Imperium Romanum: Gold Edition

    18.4 hours playtime

    no achievements

Rating: ★★★★☆

A city-builder from 2008. A blast from the past. I had a lot of fun. Got a bit repetitive after some time though, the campaign was finished exactly at the right time! Games like this were popular once, but have fallen out of fashion since.

Rating: ★★★★☆

A quite simplistic game of ship battles. Surprising amount of fun for such a small game. I played most of the hours in 2017, always wanted to go back to get a few more achievements. Started it up, played for a bit, but the achievements would be too grindy.

  • Titan Quest: Immortal Throne
    Titan Quest: Immortal Throne

    13.7 hours playtime

    no achievements

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Although listed as a separate game on Steam, it’s not a standalone but an expansion to Titan Quest. It picks right off after the TQ main campaign and adds another chapter. It’s an okay Hack’n’slash. I should have played it right after TQ, I wasn’t really able to get immersed in the game. Still, not a bad game.


Currently playing

  • Fallout Tactics
    Fallout Tactics

    36.4 hours playtime

    no achievements

Fallout Tactics is a cRPG set in the Fallout universe. It’s quite fun, but a bit exhausting to play due to its age. I need breaks in between sessions :D


I hope you have a nice time, enjoying your games and RL! See you next time :)

Happy backlog-clearing to everyone,
Vito

Report #40

Three whole games in only two weeks, I’m on a roll! None of the games were superduper, but all three were solid fun. What more can you ask for?


Reviews

Stronghold HD

16.1 hours, no achievements
★★★★☆

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Release Date: 2001 (HD later)

Stronghold is a timeless RTS classic. Set in medieval times you manage a castle and defend it against attackers, while occasionally storming a enemy castle yourself. You have to keep morale up while expanding your economy and military at the same time.

Everybody played and loved Stronghold back in the day. But I never actually finished it, when I was younger. Going into the game I was overwhelmed by nostalgia and had a really great couple of initial hours. It is fun to build defensive fortifications and find ways to cleverly use the terrain to your advantage. The Economy is somewhat basic, but in this case I think less is more. It's diverse enough so that you can vary a bit what you are building and producing, but not so complicated, that it took too much attention away from the military aspects of the game.

About halfway through the campaign, I got a bit tired though. The game has aged quite well, but of course it shows its age. I think the controls could have been better. The maps were a bit small and some of the mission a bit short. In most missions I never got the chance to get to higher tier troops, because I ran out of time. That was a bit anticlimactic. Why have knights in the game when you barely get to use them? Still, all minor complaints.

Achievements: None.

Verdict: Definitely recommended for nostalgia reasons.


Cities XL 2012

31.3 hours, no achievements
★★★☆☆

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Release Date: 2011

Cities XL 2012 is one of the last installments of a series of city builders by Focus Interactive. Besides the usual aspects it features a trading system, that let's you trade between cities to combat ressource deficits and surpluses.

The unique trading system is very interesting, which I'll explain with an example. Each map houses one city as usual. Now, you could for instance play one map and build a city with lots of agricultural industry, which will produce a great food surplus. Then you start a new city on another map, which focuses on heavy industry. It lacks food, which you can import from your first city and in return export heavy industry. Which makes following different development with your cities actually useful.

Unfortunately the game has severe downsides. Though a later installment in a whole series of games, it is still full of bugs, mainly in the UI. The font size is often times so small that you can barely read it, text is wrongly aligned in buttons or boxes and sometimes text is even completely missing and only a dummy text shows up. And that's not because it was a small indie project which ran out of money and never got finished, no, it was just a cash grab. It got released almost unaltered later on as City XXL, still having the same problems. That's just bad business. Therefore: Don't buy it!

Sidenote: I read that a lot of people have performance problems with the game, I encountered none though.

Achievements: None.

Verdict: Fun, but not recommended for bad business practices.


World to the West

14.3 hours, 36 of 36 achievements
★★★☆☆

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Release Date: 2017

World to the West is a 3-D platformer. It's loosely connected to Teslagrad. It is not necessary to know Teslagrad to play the game though. You play four different characters with different abilities and try to stop a villain from activating a weather control machine.

The game is lovely. Nice art and (mostly) nice music. 3 of the 4 characters are really great (one is a bit pale in comparison). The puzzles are rather easy, more experienced platformers might get bored quickly.

I did not like the heavy amount of backtracking though. There is a fast travel system, but it works separately for each character. Upon reaching a fast travel location, it activates only for the active character and you have to reach it with each character to activate it for everyone. That's just…exhausting.

Achievements: Collectibles, which take a lot of backtracking. Not really my cup of tea.

Verdict: I liked it, slight recommendation.



Currently playing

I haven’t decided which game I’ll play next yet.


I’m not into platformers and I think World to the West was the first such game I quite liked. It’s rather easy, which made it enjoyable for me. Also the characters were really heart-warmingly made. I don’t have any plans on what to tackle next, but with the weekend coming up I’ll make sure to pick the next game soon :)

Happy backlog-clearing to everyone,
Vito

Report #39

I’m really slacking with my review posting lately. I have to say, I don’t feel motivated at the moment to write them. I have settled in at work and my free time is at a normal level again. And I’m happy overall. I guess I’m just still exhausted though. This may reflect in my reviews, but I’ll let you be the judge of that. During the last month I have completed 3 games, 2 previously unfinished, one previously beaten. I’m very happy with my progress.


Reviews

Wargame: European Escalation

44.6 hours, 29 of 29 achievements
★★★☆☆

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Release Date: 2012

Wargame: European Escalation is a RTS game set in the time of the Cold War. In several campaigns, you play as either the NATO or the Warsaw Pact. The game tries to be very realistic. Therefore, you do not have to construct buildings or mine ressources. You buy units with points gathered by holding certain strategic points on the map. Your units are persistent throughout a campaign. They collect experience, but they are also gone forever should they be destroyed. This gives the game an interesting additional perspective, since you have only a limited supply of units to start with.

Gameplay is very easy to get, but quite hard to master. It's quite hectic, since there is no pause function during which you could give orderes to your troops. Most of the time you have to fight on several locations at once, which means splitting your attention. It's quite stressful (as a lot of RTS games are). Unfortunately the controls could be better, which makes the hectic gameplay worse. Pair that with a challenging difficulty and you have my main point of criticism concerning the gameplay. There are other, minor concerns I won't discuss here, you can ask about them, if you're really interested.

I had another problem, which might not apply to everyone, but judging from discussion on the internet, I'm neither the only one experiencing it: The ultimate patch killed my performance to a point where the game became unplayable. I had to revert to one patch before that to be able to play the game. This should definitely not happen at all! The game isn't patched anymore, so it really is the ultimate patch, which screws things up. There is no hope of another patch, correcting that mistake.

This technical problem is the reason, you are seeing a 3 star rating instead of a 4 star rating. Because, despite the problems with the controls and the lacking pause feature, I had quite some fun with the game. It was a different take on RTS, it was presented nicely and the fighting was fun. A little bit too hard for my taste, but not so hard that I gave up. I was surprised by having that much fun with it, because I usually don't like modern warfare in RTS games. It's either historic warfare or SciFi that I normally like. Which tells you, that the game made a lot of things right.

Achievements: You get all achievements by playing through the whole game and doing almost every secondary goal. It can be quite challenging, so be prepared to replay some missions several times. But it's not impossible.

Verdict: There is good and bad in the game. I feel like this is only suitable for a small audience, so best do some research on your own.


Fallen Enchantress

18.5 hours, no achievements
★★★☆☆

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Release Date: 2012

Fallen Enchantress is a turn-based strategy game akin to Heroes of Might and Magic. It is set in a fantasy universe, where you play a young noble, setting out to bring peace to the world and wrecking it in the process. While you build up one or several settlements, you roam the map with your hero and fight the enemy or neutral armies.

I feel like this genre is really rare today. It was a welcome change to play such a game. Fallen Enchantress has some interesting ideas, but it feels very unpolished, even unfinished. Important hotkeys are missing, some bugs are happening, and there is not much immersion, though there seems to be some quite lore, unfortunately hidden in the minds of the developers. It was an okay experience playing through the campaign, but in the end, I was glad that it was so short.

Achievements: None.

Verdict: No recommendation, there are better games in the genre.


Orcs Must Die!

31.4 hours, 27 of 27 achievements
★★★★☆

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Release Date: 2011

Orcs Must Die! combines Tower Defense with a Third Person Shooter. A very enjoyable mix. I've beaten the game in 2014 but got less than half the achievements and decided it's time to collect some more.

It's a nice, casual game. OMD goes for a cartoonish look, which has the advantage that the graphics aged quite nicely. Don't expect too much story or lore or deep strategic decision making, just shoot away at orcs and watch them die in your traps. It was fun to play, even on the hardest difficulty. Which was challenging at first, but I got the hang of it quite quickly.

Achievements: Some are a bit hard to get by playing normally. But there is one map, which is a bit bugged and can be exploited for gaining several harder achievements really easily. Other than that you have to play through the game on hardest difficulty, but as I said before, that's manageable.

Verdict: Yes, a fun little game!



Currently playing

I haven’t decided which game I’ll play next yet.


3 games in one month…well at this rate my backlog is going to take forever :D Let’s have a look at my gaming goals for 2019 instead. 2020 is on the horizon, but some 2019 is left for reaching them. I had 3 goals: A) Get my unfinished games down to 80. I rocked that goal, my unfinished games are at 72 already. So, check that goal. B) Get my Steam AGC to 75%. I’m at 73,3% right now. The goal is still achievable, but would require some effort I’m not really sure I’m willing to invest. Maybe I’ll slightly miss this goal, but that’s okay. And C) Beat or finish at least 75% of the games I add in 2019. Well, I only added Dex this year so far, which I completed. So this goal is within reach as well. Well, okay, Destiny 2 got transfered from my Bnet to my Steam, but I refuse to let that count, because that was out of my control. In conclusion: Great year so far! How are your (backlog) goals for 2019 faring?

Happy backlog-clearing to everyone,
Vito

Report #38

Short post, as I finished only one game in the last month.


Reviews

Wasteland 2: Director's Cut

66.4 hours, 46 of 46 achievements
★★★☆☆

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Release Date: 2014

Wasteland 2 is a cRPG set in a postapocalyptic world. A nuclear war has devastated most of the earth and people struggle to survive in small communities. You play as a squad of rookies in an organization known as the Desert Rangers, guarding the peace in your territory. As it always happens, some enemies appear and you got to defend your home against them, before going on a road trip to find out where they come from and how to stop them at the source.

The whole game is very akin to Fallout (1&2), which isn't surprising, seeing how Brian Fargo was one of the developers of this game. It is also full of references to the original Wasteland from the late 80s, which went mostly over my head, because I did not play the original game. The gameplay is pretty straightforward. You travel around the map, talk to people, solve quests, kill bandits and other enemies and skill up your squad. There are a couple of companions available, which add some flavour.

My main criticism is a very personal one: The postapocalyptic wasteland setting just doesn't do it for me. This is not game specific, the setting is just not very interesting for me. In case you are a fan of this specific setting, add another star to my review. The game itself is not perfect, but quite good otherwise.

Achievements: With careful planning you can get all of them in a single playthrough. You get some minor spoilers though, when you do so. None of the achievements require luck or skill, they're all connected to specific choices.

Verdict: Definitely recommended for fans of the postapocalyptic wasteland setting, still a solid cRPG otherwise.



Currently playing

This game is soso.


I started a new job, my gaming time is a bit limited atm. May the next post be somewhat longer and more interesting again ;)

Happy backlog-clearing to everyone,
Vito

Report #37

Three quick games, one of them for the monthly theme. I played the other two before as well, but 911 Operator was already in the “beaten” category and Time of Shadows was under 30 minutes playtime, so they don’t count for the theme. Which I don’t mind too much, since I still took the theme as an inducement to play those games. I previously completed 911 Operator in 2017, however they added new achievements, so I had to downgrade it to beaten. When I saw Ninglors recent post, I decided to give this game another spin, which was very enjoyable. So: Thank you Ninglor :)


Reviews

Planetary Annihilation

26.8 hours, 19 of 19 achievements
★★★☆☆

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Release Date: 2014

Planetary Annihilation is a RTS game set in an universe where mankind has perished and the only remaining inhabitants are giant robots waging an endless war against each other. The maps in this game represent whole star systems, ranging from 1 planet to serveral planets and moons. In contrast to your typical RTS game, you play on a 3-dimensional map as each planet is represented by a sphere. While this is an interesting idea, it suffers from confusing changes in perspective when moving the camera and especially from terrible pathfinding. Like, really really terrible pathfinding for a modern game. The gameplay is quite hectic and it's quite hard to keep track of things, since there is no real minimap, but still fun.

Achievements: Rather easy to get. No MP needed.

Verdict: Not recommended on account of being re-released as a newer version called Planetary Annihilation: TITANS.


Time of Shadows (a.k.a. Dawn of Magic 2)

9.2 hours, no achievements
★☆☆☆☆

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Release Date: 2009

Dawn of Magic 2 is an all-around awful Action-RPG. The graphics are ugly, the voice acting is very bugged, the gameplay is boring and most of all the story is totally bizarre.

Achievements: None.

Verdict: Nope, nope, nope.


911 Operator

24 hours in 2017, 13 hours in 2019, 18 of 18 achievements
★★★★☆

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Release Date: 2017

911 Operator is an emergency service simulator. You act as a 911 operator and send a bunch of different police, ambulance and firefighters units to various emergencies. You have to choose the correct response teams for each emergency and (at least on higher difficulties) carefully prioritize them. Managing the different services and expanding your inventory of available units and personnel is very rewarding. Apart from standard emergencies, there are a number of scripted ones, which heavily rely on the way you react on them. My only criticism is a sometimes unhandy UI and missing some useful shortcuts.

Achievements: Finishing the game in expert mode is really hard, apart from that, the achievements are a bit time-consuming, but okay.

Verdict: Absolutely. The DLCs add further variety and enhance the replayability of the game.



Currently playing

  • Wasteland 2: Director's Cut

    6 hours playtime

    1 of 46 achievements

Evilblacksheep suggested the game to me in Discord and since it also fits the monthly theme I’ll give this a try.


I already knew beforehand that Time of Shadows would almost certainly suck, so I’m actually really satisfied with my progress nonetheless. 911 Operator is the first game I was able to move from beaten to completed, which was a great feeling! In RL I had this week off from work, which gave me a lot of time for gaming, but unfortunately not all the regenereation I was hoping for. Well, at least there is still a weekend up ahead!

Happy backlog-clearing to everyone,
Vito

Report #36

I usually try not to post exactly at the end of a month, but I can’t decide what I want to play next, so let’s make some reviews instead!


Reviews

Far Cry 2

22.9 hours, no achievements
★★★☆☆

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Release Date: 2008

Far Cry 2 is a FPS set in an unknown African nation, which is currently torn apart by a civil war. First the bad: Enemies respawn really quickly, so when you clear out an enemy checkpoint and revisit it 5 minutes later, the checkpoint is guarded again. Which is really pesky in an open world game, where you need to go from A to B and back to A again a lot (-★). Another thing that got on my nerves was the vocalization of the NPCs. They talked without any regard of punctuation marks or natural pauses in a sentence. It's so different from the natural prosody that it sound laughably/awfully fake. Immersion = Zero! (-★) On the other hand, there was much fun to be had with different weapons: After some acclimatization the gunplay was immensely enjoyable. Since the jungle is really dense you're often having a hard time spotting the enemies. Getting shot at and not knowing where the shooter is was frustrating at first, but after some time I enjoyed the challenge. I would say, this is my biggest pro for the game.

Achievements: None.

Verdict: Recommended.


Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance

12.9 hours, no achievements
★★☆☆☆

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Release Date: 2007

SC: Forged Alliance is an expansion to Supreme Commander from back in the day, when expansion were real expansions, not just some kind of cosmetic DLC. It immensly improves on the main game in points of UI and general smoothness of the game. I still don't like the game's main concepts (hence the low rating, see my last post), but it is definitely a worthwhile expansion to the main game.

Achievements: None.

Verdict: If you enjoyed Supreme Commander this expansion is a must. Otherwise no recommendation.


Silence

10.2 hours, 46 of 46 achievements
★★★☆☆

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Release Date: 2016

Silence is the sequel to The Whispered World, though only loosely connected to it. Silence not only looks gorgeous but is also lovely written and dubbed. I addition it has one of the strongest intros I've recently seen in any game. I enjoyed it much more than The Whispered World. This is not to a small part due to the lovely main characters Renie, Noah and Spot, as opposed to the first game's MC Sadwick, which I hated. So when Sadwick reappeared I was naturally appalled again. I can't point my finger on why it's specifically this character, but I find Sadwick absolutely unbearable. Things I did not like about the game include the achievements (-★) and that you cannot skip most of the cutscenes and text during the second playthrough (-★).

Achievements: Enervating, since you have to play through the game at least twice and on top of that they are kind of bugged. I was lucky enough to get them all, but definitely read up on the achievements beforehand, if you're a completionist!

Verdict: Yes.



Currently playing

I’m currently between games.


I tried to tie up some already started series of games this month, which included some average choices, hence the low ratings this time. While I own the second Supreme Commander game at least the first one is finished. Silence concludes the Whispered World games and Far Cry 2 is the last Far Cry game I own that I hadn’t played.

I tried to make my rating more transparent, i.e. to better point at the reason why a game lost one or more stars, by adding (-★)’s where applicable. Let me know what you think of it. Does it help the review or do you think it’s redundant?

Happy backlog-clearing to everyone,
Vito

Report #35

I’m late with my report, I had a lot to do at work. And, to be honest, writing reviews for BLAEO felt more like a chore than a joy lately. Maybe both are connected, maybe not. For now I think I’ll shorten my reviews drastically. It would be bummer to stop writing reviews completey, so let’s see how this plays out. Hopefully for the best :)


Reviews

Dex

13.5 hours, 32 of 32 achievements
★★★★☆

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Release Date: 2015

Dex is a typical Cyberpunk-RPG, reminding me of Deus Ex and Shadowrun Returns. While adding nothing new, it is a solid game with interesting mechanics and an enjoyable story. Leveling was rewarding as well. The fighting system takes some time getting used to, at least for me. It was hard in the beginning, okay in the middle and a bit too easy in the end. Spoiler: I didn't like the ending: It felt too extraordinary for the rest of the game.

Achievements: Easy to get in one playthrough, almost no missables.

Verdict: Definitely recommended.


Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse

13 hours, no achievements
★★★☆☆

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Release Date: 2010

Sam & Max: Season Three aka The Devil's Playhouse is a Point'n'Click game, finishing the first two seasons of Sam & Max. The puzzles are quirky, the whole game even funkier than the previous ones. Telltale Game used a new engine for the game: It is beautiful, but the controls are weird. Spoiler: Yeah again about the ending: It was really exceptional for one moment, when you actually thought Max had sacrificed himself to save the world… the actual ending (Max returns) is surely more fitting to the rest of the series, but less dramatic on its own.

Achievements: None.

Verdict: Recommended for those who played (and enjoyed) the previous seasons.


Supreme Commander

25 hours, no achievements
★★☆☆☆

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Release Date: 2007

Supreme Commander is a RTS game in a Sci-Fi setting. It focuses heavily on the macro aspects of RTS games, while micro is secondary. The game does something truly unique: It utilizes any second monitor as sort of a (zoomable) mini-map, so that you are able to pay attention to two places at the same time. I can't think of another game which actually uses a second monitor. I really like it, it's a pity that's so rare!

However, I didn't like the rest of the game. There is not much tactics involved, it's only about outproducing your enemy and throwing wave after wave at them for small ground gains. Kind of like WW I. I don't enjoy this approach to RTS. On top of that it gets really hard fast and I didn't have the passion/patience to 'git gud' at the game.

Achievements: None.

Verdict: No, sorry.


Currently playing

  • Offworld Trading Company
    Offworld Trading Company

    35.3 hours playtime

    74 of 256 achievements

  • Far Cry 2
    Far Cry 2

    18.4 hours playtime

    no achievements

Offworld Trading Company is a simple (ok, that may be debatable) economy simulation set on Mars. It’s definitely not without flaws but fun to kill some time between other games.

I started Far Cry 2 to finish the Far Cry games I own. It took some time to get used to the gameplay, but it’s enjoyable now.


Big thanks to kubikill for Dex, I liked this game quite a lot. Sam & Max was enjoyable, plus I finished the series. While Supreme Commander was a letdown, I still don’t feel too bad about it, for it gave me another take on RTS. I did not fancy it, but at least I tried it. Also, the utilization of my second monitor was interesting to see.

Happy backlog-clearing to everyone,
Vito

Report #34

Wow, I really managed to finish quite some games this time. I’ll try to give somewhat shorter reviews as compensation.


Reviews

Assassin's Creed Liberation

16.0 hours, no achievements
★★★★☆

More

Release Date: 2014

Assassin's Creed Liberation is part of the AC3 saga. It is a typical Assassin's Creed game in most of its gameplay, but much shorter. You play as Aveline de Grandpré, the daughter of a wealthy merchant and a black slave living in New Orleans in the 1770s. New Orleans is first a french, later a spanish, colony at this time. You investigate the disappearance of slaves in several episodes spanning more than 15 years.

ACL adds to the usual AC formula a new gameplay element: changing personas. The assassin persona is good in fighting, but guards notice you immediately. The lady persona cannot fight or climb, but is very inconspicuous. And lastly, the slave persona is a compromise of the other two. Depending on the persona you choose for a mission, different paths are necessary to achieve your goal. Which adds a lot of variety to the usual gameplay. I liked this new feature.

ACL has only 56% positive reviews on Steam -- as we all know, that is really really bad. And I totally disagree. I cannot see what makes this game so bad in comparison. E.g.: I've seen quite a few complaining that the game is so short. Yeah, maybe that's because the game is meant to be short? It's not full-priced for a reason?? People can be so dense…

On a sidenote: I normally don't get involved in the diversity-in-video-games debate, but it was nice to play a coloured AND female protagonist for a change.

Achievements: None

Verdict: If you go by popular opinion: No recommendation. If you go by Vito: Recommendation.


Sam & Max: Season Two

12 hours, no achievements
★★★☆☆

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Release Date: 2007

Sam & Max: Season Two is a point'n'click adventure, following two private investigators, Sam (a dog) and Max (a bunny-like creature). In 5 episodes, the two uncover a devilish plan to overtake the world.

First: The game has a ton of references to Sam & Max: Season One and even the 90s Sam & Max game. So I would advise to play at least Season One beforehand. Though I got to admit, I played Season One about 1.5 years ago and a lot of the references went over my head. It would probably best to play them in rather quick succession.

The five episodes each feature a case, all of which are connected. The gameplay is typical for your adventures games: Clicking on objects, trying to combine them, talking to NPCs. The dialogues are sometimes witty, more than once the humour falls a bit flat though. The puzzles are really weird at times and I wouldn't have gotten them all by myself. The world is full of funny ideas, but in the end a bit too crazy for my taste. This became very apparent for me with the two main characters: I enjoyed Sam, but Max felt too much over the top.

I think this is a solid adventure game, but nothing spectacular.

Achievements: None

Verdict: Recommended.


Dungeons

16 hours, no achievements
★★★☆☆

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Release Date: 2011

Dungeons is a Dungeon Keeper clone. You are a Dark Lord and manage your dungeon to appease adventuring heroes. This means: placing treasures, ancient tomes or other loot, putting enemies for the heroes to fight into your dungeon, and in the end slay the satisfied heroes to collect their soul energy which is needed to buy better equipment.

I tried the game twice several years ago and was quickly leaving it alone again, because I didn't like it. In my current backlog clearing effort, I decided to give the game another chance: Boy, was I surprised! I liked the game! The concept is fun: Planning out your dungeon, where you put the treasures and enemies so that the "visiting" heroes have a fun time, but are ultimately slain in the end. Because when the heroes are completely satisfied, they leave your dungeon and once the left, all your effort was in vain. So better get them, before they're gone!

Still, there are several flaws: The story is really lame. The gameplay lacks variety. The graphics are not bad per se, but cannot hold up to other 2011 games. The game felt too hectic for me and most importantly, I found the UI and controls confusing. While it was not enough, to make me lose fun, I'm still glad, that it is a rather short game. I don't think I could stomach 50 hours of this.

From what I've seen glancing at their reviews, the sequels improve greatly on this game, so if you're interested in the concept, maybe have a look at them. I don't own them and have enough other stuff in my backlog, so I won't be playing them soon. But they are definitely on my radar from now on and should I ever run out of games to play...

Achievements: None.

Verdict: Unless you care about playing games chronologically, the sequels seem to be the better choice.



Currently playing

I traded games with fellow BLAEO member kubikill and got Dex out of it. He recommended it as a hidden gem, I’m very much looking forward to it.


I feel like I’m mostly dishing out 3/5 ratings lately. It may give you the expression that I play a lot of bad games, but I got to say, I mostly enjoy my time playing them. It seems like 3/5 is bad, but for me that means a game is average. And average it not bad, it’s the normal case. I don’t mind playing a lot of average games. I think we’re just so used to expecting something special and extraordinary out of everything that we equal average with bad. Which can be quite dangerous, when you transfer that attitude to real life and especially evaluating oneself. But enough of this non-gaming related nonesense ;)

Happy backlog-clearing to everyone,
Vito

Report #33

It’s already time for another report again, time flies o.O I managed to finally beat AC3 and write a review for it. After beating it, I wasn’t sure what the next title in the series was, so I looked it up and saw that AC Liberation only takes a couple of hours to beat and furthermore also belongs to the AC3 subpart of the AC universe. I decided to play it right away, with AC3 still being fresh in my mind, so that I’m able to wrap up the AC3 storyline.


Reviews

Assassin's Creed® III

59.8 hours, no achievements
★★★☆☆

More

Release Date: 2012

Assassin's Creed III is … well, an Assassin's Creed game. It very much takes up the usual formula of climbing, sneaking, collecting stuff, lockpicking and of course assassinating enemies. The game is set in the beginning American Revolution. You play as a young half-native assassin, trying to minimize the influence of the templars in the new world.

I don't regret spending 60 hours on the game, as I had fun most of the time, but I understand why people have a negative opinion on the game. For an AAA title, there is an inexcusable amount of bugs in it. Thankfully I never encountered a gamebreaking one, but a ton of minor bugs still appeard. Be it, that your character changes his appearance mid-cutscene (all the time), a NPC (or horse) walks through the cutscene when they shouldn't (sometimes) or you clip through the world, falling to death (rare). This shouldn't happen in a newly released game, but even less so in a game which is several years old, with enough time to patch these things…

There is really a lot to say to this game. For every enjoyable aspect, there is truly awful one. While I think the graphics improved compared to earlier titles, they still aren't great compared to other games from 2012. Hunting for treasures on the map is fun as always, but lockpicking them is totally random bs. Personally I felt the controls are better than in AC2, but sometimes it is still impossible to get you character to do what you want. It is great fun to build up your own little settlement in the frontier, but managing the economic part is a nightmare. There is a whole part of the game which involves sailing a whole damn warship yourself, which I found probably the most fun in the whole game … but it's almost of no consequence overall. There are several little scenes which really make you (or at least me) care for the members of your small community, but the overarching mainstory did not manage to reel me in.

And that's maybe my main complaint. The important moments of the game felt really badly orchestrated. Especially in the music compartment. The music always seems to set in late and is never as epic as the cutscenes needs it to be. Combine that with one of aforementioned graphical glitches and the whole cutscene is a prime example of how NOT to do cutscenes in a game. The game tries to do everything at once and ends up doing nothing really well.

That is a lot of negatives, isn't it? So why do I still award a 3 star rating (i.e. the game is average)? Despite all that, there is a ton of fun stuff to do in the game. I think the underlying gameplay of the whole AC franchise is just really fun. Climbing around in the cities, learning a bit about historical stuff, fighting guards and trying to escape afterwards… I like it. And I had a lot of fun with the game. Especially building up your frontier settlement and steering your own ship is very rewarding. Trying to reach the last feather in an area or saving for the next weapon upgrade always gives you something to do besides the rather underwhelming main-story. I liked Ezio (a lot!) more than Connor, though, so after all, I think this is one of the worse ACs I've played so far. But as long as you can look past some of the flaws, I still think it's okay.

Achievements: None

Verdict: Recommended. As long as you do not expect too much.



Currently playing

  • Assassin's Creed Liberation
    Assassin's Creed Liberation

    8.0 hours playtime

    no achievements

Playing this for a week now and hoping to finish it next week!


Unfortunately my own plans again interfere with the monthly theme… I was so sure that I’ll play at least one game fitting the theme this time :D Well, there is always another theme coming. Sometime I’ll manage to participate in the (greatly appreciated) monthly themes, I promise!

Happy backlog-clearing to everyone,
Vito

Report #32

Sadly my rl is a bit stressful at the moment (well, it has been for quite a while, but it’s really getting to me the last 2 weeks), and there is not much to report. I played AC3 and made some good progress with it. I was searching which games would fit for the monthly theme — they are really few, but 2 came up and maybe I’ll try them after I’m done with AC3. Or maybe some other game got my attention by then, lets see :)


Reviews

None


Currently playing

  • Assassin's Creed® III
    Assassin's Creed® III

    45.6 hours playtime

    no achievements

As I said, I only played AC3 and I already have a pretty good idea what the review will look like once I’m finished with the game. There is much good, but also much bad in the game.


Short update this time, but I promised myself to do biweekly updates and I want to stick to the plan even when there is not much to talk about. I hope you all have/had a nice weekend, which is not as cold and rainy as this sorry excuse for a mid-May weekend here ;D

Happy backlog-clearing to everyone,
Vito