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 nice 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 #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
★★★★☆

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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
★★★☆☆

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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

Report #31

One of my goals for the entire year of 2019 was to get my unfinished games list down to 80 titles. With completing DoW Soulstorm I achieved this goal much much earlier than I anticipated. I was pretty sure in January, that this would be a realistic goal to take about one year! However, with starting a new game in AC III, the number increased to 81 unfinished games again, though only temporary. I browsed my unfinished games list and counted the truly endless games (e.g. Civ or Paradox games) to be around 40. That means in theory I should be able to cross off another 40 titles from my unfinished list over time. That’s a long way to go!
As a reward for achieving my goal, I’ll be a bit more lenient on (or with?) starting new games.


Reviews

DiRT 3 Complete Edition

19.9 hours, 28 of 60 achievements
★☆☆☆☆

More

There is only one saveslot. Shortly before the final race, my savegame inexplicably broke about 20 hours into the game. There was so much salt…


Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Winter Assault

8.8 hours, no achievements
★★★☆☆

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Release Date: 2006

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Winter Assault is a RTS game set in the world of W40k. It is a standalone expansion to W40k: Dawn of War which adds the Imperial Guard as a playable faction.

The iceplanet Lorn V harbors a forgotten Titan, the mightiest warmachine the Imperium of Man has ever produced. All major powers of the galaxy arrive on the planet after they all magically remember at the same time that the Titan is there to claim the Titan for themselves. In a campaign of 5 missions you play either the side of Order (Imperial Guard, Eldar) or Disorder (Chaos, Orks) to lead them to victory.

While Dawn of War was able to deliver a great story, Winter Assault feels very lackluster in comparison. It's not bad, the missions offer great variety and are well designed, but after playing the original campaign only a few weeks ago, I was dissappointed in the overarching story.

The gameplay is solid and the new faction is fun to play (also, you know, I sympathize with them -- being lowly simple humans, while most other factions are fielding supersoldiers…).

Achievements: None.

Personal Verdict: Not a bad game, but falters in comparison to the base game.


Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Soulstorm

26.3 hours, no achievements
★★★☆☆

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Release Date: 2008

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Soulstorm is a RTS game set in the world of W40k. It is a standalone expansion to W40k: Dawn of War which adds the Sisters of Battle and the Dark Eldar as playable factions.

A warpstorm appears in the Kaurava system. As usual, the major powers of the galaxy arrive to fight over the 4 inhabited planets of the system. You choose one of the factions and play on a campaign map representing Kaurava, where you can attack and defend provinces. The game changes to RTS segments for battles (like in the Total War series).

The gameplay is identical to Dark Crusade, see here for a short reminder. It is fun, but becomes a bit repetitive after some time. I am at a loss to give a real explanation why some RTS games become stale and repetitive quicker than others, Soulstorm being an average game in that regard. Some of the battles towards the end of my campaign felt really unnecessary, as it was clear I would win, but I still had to play out the battle in full. Don't get me wrong, overall I enjoyed the game, but not nearly as much as the base game.

Achievements: None.

Personal Verdict: Not a bad game, but falters in comparison to the base game.



Currently playing

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

    0.0 hours playtime

    no achievements

Factorio got abandoned, I’m not feeling it at the moment. I know that it is me, not the game, so I’ll rather play it sometime else, when I’m more in the mood for it.

Assassins Creed III is just installing, as I type this. I saw some AC posts over the last couple of days and decided to continue with the series, AC III being the next entry in the series, that I haven’t played. I heard mixed things about it, so I’m definitely looking forward to see how I will like the game :)


With that I finished all 4 parts of W40k: Dawn of War. Although the expansions were not as great as the base game, I still think it’s a solid RTS game, which aged relatively well. I have DoW II in my backlog as well, but won’t jump into it that soon, as I think I need a break from RTS for a moment. While fun, RTS games are definitely very hectic and require a good amount of concentration to play.

Happy backlog-clearing to everyone,
Vito

Report #30

Time flies and there is another Vito post. I completed Just Cause 2 and while I enjoyed it, I don’t think I’ll get the third part soon. It was enjoyable, but not breathtakingly so. After completing it, I started Factorio, a practically endless game, which is the first quasi-permanent addition to my unfinished list in a very long time.


Reviews

Just Cause 2

71.2 hours, 50 of 50 achievements
★★★★☆

More

Release Date: 2010

Just Cause 2 is an open world third person shooter. You play as CIA-agent Rico Rodriguez, who is sent to the asian island nation of Panau to investigate the whereabouts of missing agent and topple the government while he is already there.

Just Cause is not a very serious game. Forget stealth. Forget playing careful. Get the biggest gun you find and shoot, shoot, shoot. The open world is huge and filled with an absurd amount of collectibles. Completing the story is only a matter of hours, but exploring the island(s) and searching for collectibles can give you work/fun for weeks. In addition to blowing up stuff and collecting things you can take part in various races (land, air and sea) or do some side missions.

The most important item you own is the iconic grappling hook. It's great fun, though a bit overrated I think. Apart from that I mainly switched between two weapons, using the second when the first is out of ammo. There is not much depth to anything, so if you're looking for that, you better look otherwise.

The game is a lot of fun, even the grinding necessary for some achievements. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but the mindless action is not enough to warrant a five star rating.

Achievements: I really like the way this games handles achievements. You are not forced to collect every single collectible or do every single activity, only about 75% of them. Which is a great decision. You still see almost everything of the game, but it doesn't matter if there is a few activites you're having a hard time with. You don't have to turn every nook and cranny in this gigantic open world, since you do not need to collect everything. The game is rather easy, so playing (and finishing) the game on the highest difficulty level is not too hard. Still, getting all the achievements takes a lot of time.

Verdict: Recommended


I played the first part about a year ago in case you want to read my thoughts about it.



Currently playing

I started Factorio after buying it about a year ago. It is not as captivating yet, as I imagined, I’ll give it some more time though.
DiRT 3 is so far not my favourite either.


Apart from that I watched “Love, Death & Robots” on Netflix. I think it has phenomenal production value and (apart from one episode) I really enjoyed the different art styles. Some of the worlds/universes you get to peek I would definitely watch a series about. Did you watch it? How did you like it?

Happy backlog-clearing to everyone,
Vito

Report #29

Not much to see here. I had a little bit of trouble concentrating on gaming the last weeks, watching streams or aimlessly surfing Youtube instead. It’s awful! Hope that improves in April :)


Reviews

Fallout

10.3 hours, no achievements
★☆☆☆☆

Release Date: 1997

Fallout is an open-world RPG set in a post-apocalyptic USA, in the aftermath of a global nuclear war in an alternate history timeline mid-22nd century. The protagonist of Fallout is an inhabitant of a Vault, long-term shelters, who is tasked to find a replacement Water Chip and save their Vault.

This is going to be a different kind of review, with a more personal note: When put into historical context, I understand why this game got so much praise. The graphics, though completely outdated, are still nice to look at, and the open possibilites to roam the land and search for quests and their solutions are still impressive. Most of the time, you are able to solve quests either peacefully or with brutal force, mostly depending on the character build you pick at the start. It has a lot of different places to visit and a lot of people to talk to. It's baffeling that this is a game that is more than 20 years old. A milestone.

However! We're not living in 1997 anymore. And computer games evolved a lot since then, particularly in accessability and Quality-of-Life-improvements. Fallout gives you absolutely no clues what to do next and is unforgivingly hard if you don't know what to do. And while some may take that as a challenge, I took it as mere nuisances. I used a guide from almost start to finish, because the old-fashioned controls and constant struggle to stay alive made me want to go through the game as quickly as possible. I'm glad it is that short, I think I would've stopped playing it otherwise. I had no nostalgia, since I never played it when it came out, so that wasn't a factor for me either.

That leaves me with an interesting peek in the past, the realization how astonishing Fallout must've been at its time and the joy that I don't have to deal with this kind of game anymore. I have no problem with diving deeper into unaccessible games (like Dwarf Fortress or Aurora 4X), but only if they give me a unique gaming experience, something Fallout doesn't offer for me. Like the original Deus Ex, FarCry or Just Cause, it was interesting to see how games played like back then, but I prefer modern gaming. After all, I like going by car more than going by a horse carriage and nobody complains about that either, do they?

Achievements: None, thankfully.

Verdict: Unless you want to know what gaming was like in 1997, I don't recommend getting this game in 2019.



Currently playing

So. Many. Collectibles.


I feel bad for giving Fallout such a bad rating, since I really really see why this game was great once. But there it is, this little word once, which is the downfall of many great games. They simply cannot hold up to modern gaming experiences anymore, when you don’t factor in nostalgia. I’m still glad that we have the possibility to play them and see how video games have evolved.

Happy backlog-clearing to everyone,
Vito

Report #28

What a weird two weeks! They were super-stressful workwise, but the backlog battle was successful as almost never. Some games I’ve been playing in parallel aligned perfectly, so that I managed to finish 4 games. Without further ado, on to the reviews:


Reviews

Dungeon Siege

107 hours, no achievements
★★★☆☆

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Release Date: 2002

Dungeon Siege is an action role-playing game from more than 15 years ago. It's a classic RPG, where you manage a party of up to 8 people on a journey to save the continent of Aranna from ancient dangers.

It just happened that I played the Dungeon Siege games in reverse order, finishing III then II and now the first. Going backwards in time was very noticeable when switching from DS II to DS I. The mechanics of DS I are just inferior to those of DS II in my opinion. So much, that it really bothered me. Therefore, instead of putting up with them, I installed the Legendary Mod for DS II, which is great work and recreates the DS I maps for DS II, and played that instead.

You are, again, an unknown hero, setting out to save the Kingdom of Ehb from dangers rooting in the past. Starting as a lowely farmhand you forge a group of warriors into an unstoppable force to save your home. Once that is done, there are 2 additional big campaigns to play. The second one, Legends of Aranna, is especially noteworthy, since it combines typical Sci-Fi tropes with Fantasy. Mad scientists' gene-experiments went wrong and you have to clean up the mess. Only that the gene-tailoring was done with magic and all is set in a typical fantasy setting. I absolutely loved this almost genre-crossing concept.

While the bigger pictures was great, it lacked in execution. Uninspired, blatant story-telling, unimportant, absolutetly boring side-quests, liveless companions. While DS II is not much better in that regard, it still had that little bit of additional details in the story to get me hooked. DS I on the other hand? Not so much. I played it solely for the gameplay (keep in mind: which actually is DS II's gameplay).

Therefore, my opinion of DS I itself is not so great. The mechanics are outdated, the superficial storytelling wastes the great potential the plot offers. I had a lot of fun, but most of the fun is to be attributed to the DS II mechanics. So would I recommend the game? Not really. Unless you play it for strictly nostalgic reasons, get aforementioned mod for DS II instead.

Achievements: None.

Verdict: Unless for nostalgia I don't really recommend the game.


Titan Quest

35 hours, no achievements
★★☆☆☆

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Release Date: 2007

Titan Quest is an action role-playing game comparable to Diablo. Ancient Greece is plagued by an invasion of mythical creatures. You set out on a journey through Greece, Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia and China to destroy the source of this invasion.

Please note, that this is a review for the original version, neither with the Immortal Throne expansion installed nor the remastered one and this reflects heavily on the score.

There is not much to add in respect to the story. It is rather unimportant. Gameplay is the core-strength and main focus of the game. Which, unfortunately, is its downfall. From what I gather, the Immortal Thrones expansion already improves heavily on the gameplay with some QoL improvements, but the base version aged poorly. I miss highlighting of items on the ground and auto-attack options for your character. It's tiresome to play and becomes dull quickly.

While there may be more to the game when starting NG+s, I wasn't motivated to start another playthrough after finishing the first one.

The remastered Anniversary Edition should improve on the main downsides, but I haven't played it.

Achievements: None.

Verdict: No recommendation.


Gnomoria

7.0 hours, no achievements
★★☆☆☆

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Release Date: Early Access 2012(?), Full 2016.

Gnomoria is a Dwarf Fortress clone. And by clone I really mean clone. Gnomoria adds better graphics and controls, calls dwarfs gnomes and does everything else almost identical to Dwarf Fortress.
You start out with a group of gnomes and build up a city/fortress/settlement from scratch, which includes gathering ressources on the map, starting farming or herding livestock, mining for ores.

Does it really achieve it's goals of improving graphics and controls? Well, it adds a third dimension, which looks okay, but confused me a lot when placing orders for your gnomes. And it tries to simplify controls, but though they may be less confusing than in DF, I think they are still far from great.

I don't really want to say the game itself is actually bad, but I vastely prefer the original Dwarf Fortress. So much, in fact, that when I heard, that DF comes to Steam (though the reasons may not be glad ones), I immediately dropped Gnomoria. I've seen its alternative approach, but it wasn't enough to convince me to continue playing.

Achievements: None.

Verdict: I prefer Dwarf Fortress.


Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War

10.8 hours, no achievements
★★★★★

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Release Date: 2004

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War is a RTS game set in the universe of W40k (doh!). In the campaign you play as Space Marines, trying to defend the planet Tartarus against an Orc and Chaos invasion.

I recently reviewed the Dark Crusade expansion of DoW. The gameplay is virtually identical. However, the base game features a campaign with great story, better than almost any other RTS title. Though the graphics are definitely not the best anymore, the cutscenes paint a great picture of the what's happening and why we need to fight Orc and Chaos alike. In my eyes, this is the biggest strength of the game: Providing an interesting story.

Actually, if you want to play a classical RTS for both story and gameplay, this may be the best game to look at.

Achievements: None.

Verdict: Absolutely recommended.



Currently playing

  • Fallout
    Fallout

    10.3 hours playtime

    no achievements

I started this absolute classic from 1997. It’s a bumpy yet interesting journey so far.


Though the games were not all great, W40k really made up for the slightly disappointing TQ and Gnomoria. With the 4 games finished, the number of completed games finally exceeds my number of unfinished games. That’s really great. I was expecting it to happen sometime over the course of the year, but not so early on. I will definitely try to keep it that way. On another note, I think the Dungeon Siege games are the first game franchise I finished in its entirety, which I am pretty happy about as well.

Happy backlog-clearing to everyone,
Vito