Hello. Zelrune’s profile

I have one aquarium with a very large fish in it. I didn’t expect him to get so big… Or live so long. Sheeshh. (50g Brackish - Violet Goby, 5 years old.)


January 2021 report!!

My 2021 goals are:

  • 100% my SG wins. (Which is more difficult than you would expect despite there being only 11 of them.)
  • to complete more games every month than I add to my backlog.

I’ve had some reasonably good trades this month and added 4 to by backlog, and finished 6 games.
I’ve also kept a promise to myself that if I hit 100 game reviews I would make my own curator group, and I would like if you considered joining. For every holiday and 100 followers, I’ll be giving away HB monthly games or ones I really enjoyed.
Thank you and please stay safe!

31.6 hours
Pretty much all of it is grinding. I recommend skipping.

The year is 20XX, and Gamindustri is held tightly in ASIC’s evil grasp! The world is against you, the CPU’s have vanished. It’s up to Nepgear, Uni, Rom and Ram to bring everyone back home! Not all is as easy as it seems though, as strange shadows watch from a distance.

I thought long and hard about recommending this game or not and I can’t.
After playing this game, I can say with confidence that it’s 20% story and 80% grinding. I didn’t enjoy Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth2: Sisters Generation as much as the first one and it felt like a bad copy. A lot of the enemies, outfits, materials, and dungeons were recycled and the multiple endings were rather difficult to grind and get.

I originally felt like I was cheating, I paid for the DLC “Histy’s Rescue Plans” for the 6x exp booster and the DLC for an overpowered weapon, but looking at others playtimes the DLC shaved off about 50 hours of my total time and now I can’t recommend playing the game without them.
If 10 hours of story and 70+ hours of grinding mats and levels sounds like your game, go for it.
Also it’s super weird how you start off playing the bad end route from hyperdimension Re;Birth1 where you fail to save Gamindustri.


Half-Life 2
Restored my faith in humanity for puzzles. An excellent game.

Manifold Garden

10/10
12.6 hours
25 of 25 achievements

Manifold Garden is a truly brilliant game about screwing physics and defying gravity.

The puzzles are deceptively simple and will have you questioning if you are capable of critical thinking. While there is not much story, the utter skill it must have taken to create this game and all the rooms and puzzles are masterful.
Even though I was mostly wandering around confused like a lost pet, I absolutely enjoyed my time in the Manifold Garden. $20 is a steal for this kind of content!

Half-Life 2
Incredibly wholesome, I recommend playing Finding Paradise first for a better emotional impact.

A Bird Story

10/10
1.4 hours
1 of 1 achievements

Another excellent and heartwarming game by Freebird Games, I recommend you play Finding Paradise before playing A Bird Story so it will make more sense and have a bigger emotional impact, but you do you.

You play as a young boy named Colin, who struggles with his loneliness in his day-to-day life. That all changes when he finds an injured bird, becomes friends, and nurses it back to health.
Takes about 1 hour to complete. Very satisfying to finish.

Half-Life 2
A very well made short game with a unique and enjoyable storyline.

Divination

10/10
1.1 hours
1 of 1 achievements

In Divination, you divine the future of three humans and one robot. Will you make the fate of this city one of CHAOS, or peace?

Divination is a very short game, in one hour you can discover every ending. I was very pleased with the layout, theme, and the choices and consequences of those choices, good or bad they may have been. The art was very well done and I hope to find a longer, similar game like this in the future! It was very fun!

Half-Life 2
I don't typically enjoy RPG-maker games but this one is pretty solid.

Ladra

8/10
6.8 hours
22 of 22 achievements

In Ladra you play as the thief Estella, who's main goal is to relieve noblemen and women of their burden of wealth, and occasionally dabble in information gathering.
When a friend of a friend hears an unsettling rumor, Estella, the best thief in the city is hired to look into it. After eavesdropping and uncovering vital information of an unsettling plot, you must do everything you can to prevent a war from ever happening.

Coming into this I had pretty low expectations, I don’t typically enjoy RPG maker games but I was pretty happy with this one. The stealth mechanics were pretty neat and I enjoyed the plot more than I thought I would. The music was pretty standard and I did have a slight issue with the achievements. The "Social Link" Master didn’t pop for me the first playthrough but it did the second, I’m not sure what I did differently, others in the discussions have reported it’s bugged.
To fullscreen the game, open the game and right click on the white bar on the top where you can close out the game (X), click properties and then “fullscreen.” Restart the game and enjoy!

Half-Life 2
A unique survival game.

Shelter 1

9/10
1.5 hours
no achievements

You are a mother badger with 5 young, the area you made your den in no longer has enough food to support you and your family, and so you must move on to find another home.

This game is about survival, you need to feed your kids so they don’t die of starvation and avoid larger predators and threats from the sky. Natural disasters, crossing raging rivers, forest fires, it’s not easy to get your family to safety.
Lost one of my children to the river, and another to the Eagle. My fattest child has somehow survived despite my expectations.
1hr 20 min to beat, I was pretty impressed by the gameplay and mechanics. When your children are close to starvation, they slowly turn grey; but when you get food they circle around you, so you choose who gets to eat. Not a very wholesome game and pretty short, I recommend getting it on sale.

40% (151/378)
21% (80/378)
23% (88/378)
15% (55/378)
1% (4/378)

December 2020 report!!!

This month I got a bit done, stopped halfway with Hyperdimension Neptunia 2, I just had no motivation to finish it for some reason. Maybe next month.
I did Cjcomplex’s SG event, which helped me move along my backlog.

Finished - 6 games.
Bought - 6 games.

In other words, I’ve gotten nothing done this month. Nice.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year everyone!!

Half-Life 2
I can't love this as much as I wanted to.

STEINS;GATE

5/10
33.8 hours
42 of 42 achievements

In STEINS;GATE you play as Okabe Rintaro, a self-proclaimed mad scientist who is eccentric enough to create a time machine with a microwave and a banana. He can now also send text messages into the past, creating different timelines. This, naturally, has consequences, some more severe than others. Unfortunately, by the time Okabe has figured that out, he has sent quite a few and needs to travel to alternate timelines to fix his mistakes.

While I didn’t particularly like or even enjoy STEINS;GATE, I will acknowledge it’s probably one of the most well made VN’s I’ve ever played. Okarin was too eccentric, and his personality is so difficult it got to the point where playing STEINS;GATE became too painful to play and I needed to set it aside for about a year.
Despite that, STEINS;GATE is incredibly well made. Despite the time travel theme, I didn’t notice any missed plot holes, and a lot of the science behind the game is really fleshed out. If time travel is your thing, go for it.

Half-Life 2
I liked the theme, not much the romance.

This World Unknown

6/10
10.1 hours
6 of 6 achievements

You play as Rhea, an incredibly normal girl born in a small, secluded village in the country of Aslande, who has been at war for centuries. Fortunately, your little village is far away enough from the fighting for it not to bother you much, unfortunately, most of the men in the village were called to fight, including one of your childhood friends. All you can do is your job as a nurse, help people get back up on their feet, worry, and pray for your friend to come back home and for a successful harvest come autumn.

While I did enjoy This World Unknown, I liked it more for its unusual point-of-view you don’t usually read about, rather than its romance. (Being an uneducated girl who can’t read or write, and themes such as PTSD, war, famine, disease, death, prostitution, religion, abuse, dismemberment without being gory.) Speaking of romance, I wasn’t particularly impressed with the four options you have available - Asa, Luca, Valerian, and “Garrett” - but considering the time period and the disappointing life expectancy I guess I shouldn’t ask for too much.

Half-Life 2
It was funny, but not hilarious. Still, a solid game that holds up well for it's age.

Day of the Tentacle Remastered

7/10
4.6 hours
58 of 58 achievements

In Day of the Tentacle you play as three characters, Bernard, Hoagie, and Laverne. You must time-travel back to yesterday to stop Purple Tentacle from gaining arms via drinking contaminated water and attempting world domination! This, naturally, is more difficult than you would expect. Especially when the crystal breaks mid-transportation and sends Hoagie 200 years into the past, and Laverne 200 years into the future. Also, why is the IRS at the door? Doctor Fred? Doctor- HEY!

I very much enjoyed playing Day of the Tentacle Remastered. While a lot of people seem to be playing for the nostalgia factor, I don’t actually remember how this showed up in my library nor have I played it before. While I didn’t particularly like the music, the humor, some of the puzzles, and the whole situation you get yourself into is pretty funny. I can see why it has positive rating and I recommend you give it a go.

Half-Life 2
Excellent story, music and gameplay, truly impressed!

Finding Paradise

10/10
5.5 hours
1 of 1 achievements

In Finding Paradise you play and swap between two characters, Dr. Rosalene and Dr. Watts. You work for Sigmund Corp. A company that grants dying wishes. Imagine in your last breath, your biggest regret disappears, your wildest dream realized, your life completely re-lived and re-written, or just partially enough that you can rest in peace.
It’s time for you to meet your next patient, Colin. What story will you tell?

I am so impressed with Finding Paradise, I went in nearly blind and I was just blown away by the sheer quality. The music was heartfelt, the scenes were stunning, and the story was brilliant! Finding Paradise is actually a sequel of To The Moon, but both stories can be read alone. I also want to mention that this game is definitely meant to be played in one sitting, and takes about 5-6 hours to finish.

Half-Life 2
Heartwarming and Heartwrenching, loved every moment!

Rakuen

10/10
8.8 hours
15 of 15 achievements

Rakuen is the story of a little hero living in a hospital ward with his mother and many other patients. His goal is to help as many people as possible, and awaken the guardian of the forest Morizora to grant his wish and go to Rakuen, a magical paradise. To do this, the boy must traverse to a parallel fantasy world with his mother and search for lost people and items, and take on quests to bring everyone together again.

Rakuen is a heartwarming and heartwrenching story and I genuinely enjoy and recommend it. Tragedies told through the perspective of a child who got dealt with a bad hand by fate, it’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. The music is memorable and the story is interesting and charming. I didn’t experience any bugs. A lot of work and love was put into Rakuen and it shows. Alt + enter to fullscreen! The window is very small!

Half-Life 2
Was a good break from the longer games.

Frog Detective 2: The Case of the Invisible Wizard

10/10
1.3 hours
6 of 6 achievements

You are Detective Frog, called out onto another case because Detective Lobster is once again busy. Anyhow, you head out to Warlock Woods to find the Invisible Wizard and the culprit of who destroyed the parade and made a mess of the town!

Frog Detective 2: The Case of the Invisible Wizard is very kid friendly and rather funny, also pretty short as it can be completed within an hour. For 100% achievements, two playthroughs must be completed. As an adult, I honestly find these Frog Detective games a rather nice break in between games, and I definitely recommend it.

39.0% (146/374)
21.1% (79/374)
23.5% (88/374)
15.2% (57/374)
1.1% (4/374)

November 2020 report!

Y’all this month kinda sucked for me, I got a bad streak, but at least I finished Hyperdimension Neptunia 1.

55.4 hours
I understand the Hype now.
Played on Steam

In Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 you play as Neptune, an amnesiac protagonist with a penchant for pudding! Follow Nep as she makes new friends and saves Gamindustri from destruction!

I definitely enjoyed Hyperdimension Neptunia and I look forward to playing the second one. While the grind in the game was a bit rough in the beginning, there are a lot of guides and tips you can utilize to speed things up a bit. (Example: if you kill this guy, in this area, he gives you 100k exp compared to the 2k mob exp.)
The story line was pretty appealing and the characters were unique and felt like actual people rather than just a game sprite on a screen. I particularly enjoyed all the 4th wall breaks, references to other games, and jokes. Also noteworthy, the sheer amount of stuff to do, enemies, dungeons, and music tracks.

I haven’t played a Hyperdimension game before, this was my first, but I think I can really get into this game series, and I recommend it for anyone that wants to give it a go.


Half-Life 2
I enjoyed it but I can't recommend it.

Titan Souls

6/10
24.3 hours
27 of 27 achievements

Titan Souls is an incredibly difficult game with a very steep learning curve. There is no tutorial, the only way you learn the mechanics is to get killed over and over and over again until you finally get it.

While I understand and enjoyed finishing the game, I can’t recommend it due to the fact it deliberately turns players away. The first boss, the slime, is one of the most difficult bosses that you must defeat and that’s the boss most people interact with first. A game is meant to be enjoyed, one way or another, but making the first boss so frustrating to kill is incredibly harsh considering the rest of the bosses are simpler in comparison.
If you are looking for a harder game though, Titan Souls is pretty good - the story is basically non-existent however. If you are only looking for a tough challenge, this is the right game for you.

Half-Life 2
All the beauty in this game cannot stop my *seething* hatred of it.

The Witness

0/10
20.5 hours
2 of 2 achievements

The Witness a game where you must uncover puzzles, use the environment for hints, and solve them. The more puzzles you solve, the closer you get to the endings, and there are two. You can do one ending by doing half the puzzles, and the other by either sheer luck in the beginning or by completing all the puzzles excluding obelisk and environmental.

I absolutely cannot recommend anyone to play this. The only type of person who can enjoy The Witness is someone who loves puzzles enough to do them in their spare time. It’s fun for the first couple hours but as you get further and further along, the puzzles build up on each other to the point where looking at a guide become necessary. And while there was a joy at discovering secrets and unlocking doors, as someone who has 100%, experienced all puzzles and endings, I was shocked at how every single finale fell flat.

There are no books to read, no narrators, nothing to piece together any part of whatever story is going on. The only voices are audio logs you can occasionally find that are purely philosophical babbling. On average, this game has a playtime of 30 hours. Only 18% of anyone who has started the game has completed half of the puzzles to see the first ending, and only 4% of that have actually beaten the challenge room.
If you enjoy a small puzzle occasionally in the real world and decide to go for 100%, you will absolutely hate every single one by the time you are finished with this game.

Half-Life 2
Enjoyable, but the ending is literal trash and ruined the whole story.

Weeping Willow

2/10
0.9 hours
no achievements

Weeping Willow is a kinetic novel where Sophie needs to find her husband, who left the house after an argument during quarantine. The investigator has shown up, a guard, a nun… and her husband?!?!?

While I did enjoy Weeping Willow - the plot and story was unique and interesting - I can’t recommend it because the terrible ending ruined the whole novel for me. If that something you are willing to look past though, you can get a good solid 50 minutes of entertainment.

Half-Life 2
I hated this game more than The Witness and I would rather shoot myself in the foot then play another game by Cherrymochi.

Tokyo Dark

-10/10
15.3 hours
44 of 44 achievements

Warning: Photosensitivity and Seizure warning. Jump scares, blood and gore, violence, liquor.
I recommend going through the bug report forum before buying or even playing the game, and then note that despite the numerous bugs there has been no updates or technical support for any issues since it came out in September 2017.
I had an easier time with bugs playing Fallout 4 than Tokyo Dark. Game not loading, character not moving, getting stuck in areas, unable to interact with objects, getting the wrong ending on your playthrough, achievements not popping up correctly, and serious flickering that has given me multiple migraines.
“But Zelrune, you must have enjoyed the story at least! You did get all the achievements!” No. No I absolutely did not. I do not know why this game has so many positive reviews, but unfortunately it was too late to refund the game for me because I set it aside for too long and as an achievement hunter, I’m not letting this leave a blemish on my record.

Actual gameplay:
https://i.imgur.com/N30R2Nj.mp4

I can run AC Odyssey on max graphics with no lag, I have played this in compatibility mode, windowed and full screen, and messed with the settings. I have also sent two emails, a FB message, posted in Tech support and general discussions and have been ignored since Nov 2. If you have any issues playing this game, You. Will. Not. Get. Any. Help.

Half-Life 2
Short and fun. Good if you need a 10 min stress break.

Feesh

8/10
3.3 hours
13 of 13 achievements

Feesh is an enjoyable offline multiplayer game that’s very minimalistic and yet colorful in its design. Each “evolution” lasts about 3 min and you keep evolving your creature until you run out of lives and the game ends.

For only $0.99, it’s a pretty good game you can play with other household members, or just play a short game or two by yourself.

October 2020 Report!

This month was kind of crazy for me. I don’t typically add a bunch of games to my backlog, heck, in the past three months (excluding October.) I’ve only added two games, but this month, I actually added 8. Humble bundle is disappointing me lately, but Fanatical is on a roll! I bought Safe In Our World bundle twice (second time was for another copy of GRIS) and the Anime Tales bundle. I also completed two trades for Moonlighter and Everything!
I try to stay ahead of my intake, so this month was a bit hectic for me. I was only planning on finishing 3 games, I was going for a dragon theme, but I managed 10. I didn’t see anything off the Halloween Steam sale that I wanted enough to buy, but If you have any suggestions/recommendations, I would love to check it out.
I got tired of writing reviews, so while Everything and Hero of Many are complete, I opted not to add them down below because it’s already pretty long. I don’t recommend Everything because It lost any interest I had in it after 20 min of playtime. For Hero of Many, I actually finished it in 2016 but got 100% this month, and I do recommend it. It’s incredibly wholesome and enjoyable.

Half-Life 2
An unpolished gem for players who thrive in the fantasy genre.

Elmarion: Dragon time

7/10
13.3 hours
6 of 6 achievements

Elmarion: Dragon time, one of the few games you can be a dragon in, and there are many to pick from. Help or hurt humans as a Fire, Ice, Earth, or Electric dragon, each with their own unique perks and abilities. Go on quests, or just explore secrets and dungeons hidden throughout the maps. This world is yours!

Elmarion is a gem, an unpolished gem, but definitely a game worth checking out and playing, even during Early Access. Frequent updates, bug fixes, new maps and stuff added on, this is absolutely a labor of love. The worst part of this game is the first 10 - 20 minutes, getting used to the controls and flying. I am thrilled to announce this game has not given me motion sickness.

Half-Life 2
A short, fun cute game but I despise the saving system.

Dragon's Wake

8/10
5.4 hours
24 of 24 achievements

Once, the world was ruled by dragons. Now, they are hunted until their last breath. In a sheltered cave one of the last remaining eggs tremble and hatch. This is their tale.

Dragon’s Wake is a unique 2D platformer that features no dialog. The decisions you make are important and a single playthrough can be done in an hour or two. Aside from the awesome fact you are an actual dragon, your character physically grows as it collects power ups, and is relatively easy to play and understand the controls.

However, it has a huge glaring flaw that I almost didn’t want to recommend this game, the save system. Most games feature a save system where you can save the game at anytime and re-visit the location later, Dragon’s Wake is autosave only and you have no warning when it saves. This can cause some difficulties if you do not top off your health bar frequently, as it is entirely possible to get stuck in a death-loop. As you cannot reload from another location, there is some understandable frustration at needing to restart the game. However, there was clearly a lot of work and love going into Dragon’s Wake and It is enjoyable if you are careful with your gameplay.

Half-Life 2
Felt like a bad romance movie, and not in the fun way.

How to Take Off Your Mask

0/10
2.4 hours
27 of 27 achievements

This story follows a baker named Lila! Her parents went missing long ago, and she only has her grandmother and childhood friend, Ronan, to look after her. When Lila goes to bed, she wakes up as a cat-human creature called a Luccretia! Can she hide this from her family and her friend? Luccretias are being exiled from the kingdom, will she be able to stay and find out the reason why?

While I did not enjoy How to Take Off Your Mask, I didn’t strongly hate it either. HTTOYM is very unremarkable, and both Lila and Ronan act like they are in a middle school bad romance. The plot had no real reason to exist, as the “bad guys” only purpose was to seemingly create friction between Lila and Ronan, and to lock them in a room together for “sexual tension.”
This whole VN was silly in an unfunny way, the “shocked” sound effect was overused and went off every 30 seconds or so, the mc got jealous of herself, and had plot twists you could see coming in chapter one. There is absolutely nothing to do with baking despite Lila being a baker, and I have no idea who was running the shop while her and Ronan were running around. I recommend skipping this one.

Half-Life 2
A difficult management system and an unusual ending, but I had quite a bit of fun.

How To Date A Magical Girl!

8/10
11.3 hours
30 of 30 achievements

Warning: Gore, dismemberment, blood, death, cursing, violence, 18+.
Upon awakening your own magical powers, you enter the Magical Girl Academy with your childhood friend Hikari! Meet Miyu, Kaori, Yui, and Rei! Your singular goal is to get a girlfriend before New Year’s Eve! Game start!

The longer you play How To Date A Magical Girl! You start to realize, “This isn’t about dating anymore, is it?” as it starts to get remarkably dark. Gore, dismemberment, bruises, disfigurement, and an extreme amount of violence with a rather unique ending. Although the management part of the game is rather difficult if you want to get all the girls affection percentages up in one playthrough, there is an incredible guide available if you want to do just that. One playthrough takes about 10 hours. Can you figure out who the killer is before your time is up?

Half-Life 2
I wish I could un-play this.

Forgotten Trace: Thanatos in Nostalgia - Chapter 1 Complete Edition

-10/10
7.1 hours
14 of 14 achievements

Warning: vulgar language, blood, violence, nudity, death and suicide.
Forgotten Trace: Thanatos in Nostalgia was a rather big disappointment for me. While I’m sure it does have an interesting story, I genuinely do not know what it was.
What I do know, however, is that it’s poorly executed. The VN tries to be dark but the scenes last so long it was hard to hold any shock value, or any interest in the story besides “getting it over with.” The text is also incredibly slow, as you can read the same sentences five times before a new one appears on screen. I mean this literally. (Alternatively, spend the entire 7 – 10 hours clicking.)
Another thing that absolutely does not help, is how much of this story is dragged out. I can easily see this being three hours long, but too much extra text was added in to make it much longer than it should have been. “We kissed; I was embarrassed.” “The sensation of that woman’s lips.” “I can still feel the heat of her lips.” “The enchanting heat of that kiss.” “My body is getting all hot thinking about that kiss.” These are snippets of text that are one after another, after the opening scene. This is how the entire VN plays out.

A warning to achievement hunters, while it’s easy to 100%, it’s very tedious. You must replay the game from a certain point a guide explains this. and watch the ending a total of three times for three achievements. It’s also unskippable and 7 minutes long. That I timed. Total, 21 extra minutes.

TL;DR - If this review was too long you are going to hate this VN.

Half-Life 2
I love this VN, but it came out in 2016 and part 2 doesn't look like it's coming.

Magical Eyes - Red is for Anguish

9/10
9.1 hours
13 of 13 achievements

In Magical Eyes - Red is for Anguish, The Disobeyers are a organization of people that protect their individual area from Variants. Variants are people who died leaving a fervent wish unfulfilled, or a material object that was so strongly influenced by emotions that it became supernatural. You play as Yuu, a member of The Disobeyers. Strange things are occurring and a stranger incident has happened in your area. Every day there seems to be a new body, gather the clues and find the killer!

Magical Eyes - Red is for Anguish can take anywhere from 8 to 11 hours to finish, and quite frankly I was very impressed by the music, characters, backgrounds, and the story. Definitely a murder mystery novel, but other than the occasional bloodstain, doesn’t depict any scenes of gore or violence. The only thing I would warn you about, is that this is part one of a two-episode VN. The second chapter is Magical Eyes – Blue Indigo Heaven. I spoke to a publisher in Fruitbat Factory about it and it was stated, “it hasn't been cancelled, but the circle doesn't seem to be active atm, so… stalled?” I would not expect part two anytime soon.

Half-Life 2
If you haven't played this, you absolutely need to. I struggled to explain how impressed I was.

GRIS

10/10
6.3 hours
17 of 17 achievements

GRIS, or “Grey”, is “Overwhelmingly Positive” and it’s easy to see why. Not only are the visuals breathtaking, so is the story. Despite having no dialog, GRIS easily manages to convey the story of a girl named Gris as she deals with tragedy and goes through the five stages of grief; Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.
This 2D exploration platformer is completely flawless, and it’s fun and easy to play. The music is enchanting, and the puzzles are simple and enjoyable, the entire game is gorgeous. Collecting all the mementos gets you an additional story piece and I highly recommend doing some extra puzzles to seek them out.

From my experiences playing GRIS, it’s definitely meant to be played in one run, which takes about 4 hours. Getting 100%, or every achievement, will take around 6. Overall, I cannot recommend this game enough, and even someone completely new to videogames will find themselves wanting to play again.

Half-Life 2
I was going to skip over it, but tsupertsundere's review convinced me otherwise and I'm glad I took it to heart. Excellent!

Dear Esther: Landmark Edition

10/10
5.3 hours
10 of 10 achievements

Dear Esther is THE first Walking Simulator, and in an age where there are thousands of games to play, it holds up really well. Originally a Half-Life 2 mod, the developers sought to expand upon it due to its popularity, and after years of progress it was able and ready to be released as a fully-fledged game.
Dear Esther, despite its age, is still pretty unique. While it does leave a lot of the story up to the players imagination, every replay has different randomly generated items. Playing it once might leave you with some confusion about the story, playing it twice nets you new dialog and information as the narrator gets more unhinged, and re-playing it three times… Do it.

However, it does have a couple issues although it’s not game breaking. This game has achievements for finding all the voice overs and 4 urns. In my playthrough, one voice over for some reason was skipped and I got it in my second playthrough, and sometimes the Urns did not count. (When you touch them, the ashes scatter, which is the trigger for marking it as found. I had to do two, twice.)
I really, really enjoyed playing Dear Esther, although if you are not a patient person or interested in exploring, you probably won’t enjoy this. It’s pretty linear and the first playthrough took me an hour, and 45 min each afterwards. I recommend doing the directors commentary first.

38% (136/360)
21% (77/360)
25% (89/360)
14% (52/360)
2% (6/360)

September 2020 report!
A day late but I don’t think anyone really cares lol. Anyway, all the puppies I fostered last time were all adopted out and are at their new homes, and now I’m fostering a mostly blind and completely deaf double Merle girl, although she has quite a few adoption requests so I don’t think I will have her for long. My rescue is very picky with adopters though, which I love. She is very sweet!
I haven’t gotten a lot done this month, most of it was finished within 2 days of the month ending. I only added one game to my backlog which I’m actually working on now because it looks so interesting, Elmarion dragon time! I am excited and ready for the Steam October Sales!

Half-Life 2
Pretty fun, but the more routes you play the less interesting it gets. A lot of cut content.

If My Heart Had Wings

7/10
20.9 hours
20 of 20 achievements

If My Heart Had Wings is all about Gliders, romance, and perseverance!
You play as Aoi, a boy recovering from a bicycle accident that left him running back defeated to his hometown. Back home, he meets Kotori, Amane, Ageha, Asa and Yoru! Together they join the Soaring club! Fix the glider and give your heart wings! Onward! The Morning Glory awaits!

First of all, I like this but I’m not quite sure I recommend it. Looking at a lot of other comments, “quite a bit of content was cut” is an understatement. The translation could be better. While I thoroughly enjoyed the first route, it went downhill from there. All the routes are incredibly similar, with some minor differences. It’s also a bit pesky because you can’t unlock some routes without finishing another, and the routes are very long. That being said, there is definitely an order you should read them in, and I’m thankful there is already a guide pointing that out. (Recommended Route Order by Capt. Pottypie. Korori – Ageha – Amane – Asa – Yoru.)

TL;DR It’s a great game that get’s less interesting the more routes you play, and by the end I was just happy it was over. I am very thankful of the “Skip all seen text” option in the settings.

Half-Life 2
I love this VN but it's unfinished. Part two is having an incredibly long delay.

Memory's Dogma CODE:01

8/10
8.3 hours
no achievements

Warning: gore, violence, partial forced amputation, suicide attempts and depression.
In Memory's Dogma CODE:01, memories of the dead can be digitized and stored online for 49 days, so people can speak with their loved ones once or a few more times before being permanently archived. You play as Hiroki, a loner with two friends, Kakeru a skilled hacker and Sorano. However, after Sorano dies of mysterious and suspicious circumstances, you and Kakeru visit the connect center where memories are stored to ask her exactly what happened. Strange darkness is lurking about, will you be alive long enough to find out?

I really do love and recommend this VN, however it is not without its own issues. Namely, the incredibly open-ended ending and the increasingly long delay of Memory’s Dogma CODE:02. I personally was looking for more information, reading through Kickstarter posts and in 2016, the scenario was 20% done, in 2018, the scenario was 100% done and was suggested to be twice as long as CODE:01. Either CODE:02 is going to be released tomorrow or sometime in the next three years.

August 2020 report
I beat another huge game in my library, which was pretty awesome. In the past two months I’ve only added one new game to my library and I finally hit 300 games, so I’m pretty pleased with myself. Currently fostering a litter of great dane puppies and their mom, I’ve only had them for two days but man they are vicious with each other. It’s hard to wean the puppies off the mom (They are 6 weeks old!) and keep them separated because she keeps jumping over the play pen to feed them and check up on them. I hope she gets adopted soon!
One of the puppies unfortunately is a Double Merle - if you don’t know what that is, you should read up on them - So I was really worried about her, but she’s not blind or deaf so I’m pretty happy. She is the smallest of the litter though, one of her siblings is twice her weight. She makes me anxious when she starts to wrestle with her littermates!

378.3 hours

Fallout 4 is an amazing game… made by a shitty, greedy company.

It’s 220 years, give or take, after the bombs dropped and life as you once knew it has ended. You are the only survivor of Vault 111, the goal of the game is to find your spouse’s killer, your son’s kidnapper, and hunt everything down that stands in your way while doing it. You will make enemies, friends, and allies. Betrayal is a given.

This game is absolutely huge, and so very rarely are two playthroughs alike. Every named character you meet is interesting, has their own quirks, personalities, personal quests, and you can have so many of them follow you throughout the wasteland, the Commonwealth.

The biggest drawback of the game is the company, Bethesda. Bugs run absolutely rampant in this game despite it being released 5 years ago. Crashes and game breaking errors such as the pip-boy suddenly being unavailable, meaning no weapon swaps unless it’s on your favorites bar, no V.A.T.S, no quest details, no map. Enemies flinging themselves up 100 feet into the air, killing themselves via fall damage. Vital quest items falling through the floor under the map, and companions, vanishing into air. Sometimes, you are unable to turn in a quest, you get stuck indoors and the only way to fix is to reload your last save. Frequently making new save files is essential for playing this game.

Bethesda is also incredibly greedy. The base game typically goes on sale quite a lot, but the DLC’s do not have impressive discounts, leading you to buy the GOTY edition instead. The prices of the DLC’s, Far Harbor and Nuka-World, are almost as expensive as the base game itself. Then there is creation club.
Creation Club, or mods you need to pay for, is Bethesda’s response to people releasing free mods for Fallout 4. If something is made for the game for free, Bethesda will try and find a way to monetize it. Typically, the free mods were available on Nexus mods. You just needed a script extender to play hundreds at a time, but creation club updates kept breaking the script so it disabled a lot of mods, and many older ones needed an update to get around it.

And finally, I want to note that this is the second review I have made for this game, the last one in 2017 was just the base game review and with this one posted, I have officially played all the DLC’s and have 100% achievements. I still hate Preston.

Half-Life 2

Mad Father

8/10
5.3 hours
27 of 27 achievements

You play as Aya. Your mother passed away a year ago and on the night of the anniversary of her death, you wake up startled to your father screaming! Aya must navigate her way through her childhood manor filled with her father’s evil experiments to rescue him!

Mad Father is a light horror game with a few jump-scares. Explore and collect/use items to further your progress. I’m not much of a fan of horror games but I did enjoy Mad Father and I recommend it to anyone who is just getting into horror games or to someone who plays the genre often. I didn’t have any difficulties playing and there are plenty of guides if you get lost or can’t figure out how to get that one achievement.

Half-Life 2

The Crown of Leaves

10/10
6.1 hours
19 of 19 achievements

Roui left his homeland, Latori, to become a respected jeweler, but fell in love with cyphers and the mysticism of the world Instead. In the ten years he left his country, he became a recognized and popular author, and wrote articles for the Paranormal Patrolman’s Papers. After he got in some hot water with the Mafia, he returned home to his country and got a commission from The Baron to carve a wedding gift for his fiancé, a bracelet made of sacred wood. Strange things start happening after that.

The Crown of Leaves is a rather impressive kinetic novel/point and click adventure made by only two people. The updates are not frequent and as of now the game is unfinished, (should be an update late 2020 with chapter 2/3!!!) But I am very impressed with all the characters, art, and the storyline is intriguing. Absolutely recommend!

Half-Life 2

Sakura MMO

6/10
3.9 hours
15 of 15 achievements

In a land far, far away - in a mmorpg, and to be more specific, Asaph Online - Viole the dark witch is the strongest, most fearsome and terrifying foe in all the lands. Offline however, she’s Kotone, a hard-working Lawyer who just wants a vacation from the mundane. Her wish granted by an unknown power, she falls asleep, and awakens inside the world of Asaph! Meet and flirt with Neve, the Darkling Maid! Fion, the puppy thief! Eleri, the righteous (and surprisingly cruel) knight!

I give Sakura MMO a solid “Meh.” The cutscenes are nice and I think it’s well written, even if whoever wrote this does seem to have a limited vocabulary. The MC Viole is a sadistic person but whenever she acts on it, she immediately regrets which is a bit silly for a personality. Neve is really cute and I like her dark character, Fion was a bit too soft and innocent for a thief, and I honestly just hate Eleri. Eleri is the morally good character who is a bit too stuck on her high horse and fancy’s herself as the Judge and Jury.
Although something tells me you don’t want to play this for the plot. Yes, there is a R18+ patch.)


Hopefully Sakura MMO 2 and 3 will be better!
Half-Life 2

Sakura MMO 2

1/10
3.3 hours
15 of 15 achievements

You play as Kotone, a Lawyer from modern day Japan who wakes up as her character Viola, a dark and powerful witch from Asaph Online! It’s been a couple months since a mysterious otherworldly power transferred you over to this new world, and now that you’ve had your fun exploring, it’s time to get serious and find some answers! Your Darkling Maid Neve, puppy thief Fion, and surprisingly-cruel-knight-that-also-came-from-Japan guard dog Eleri, come with you to help shine a light on this mystery. Can you make it back home? Do you even want to?

Compared to the first MMO Violas personality has come a long way, and she’s not as apologetic which shows character growth. What really made me mad about this though was that whoever you romanced in the first game completely forgets in the second one. Why?!?! Should have had an option in the beginning where you picked who you romanced, Neve, Fion, Eleri, or all instead of dismissing it and making everyone forget it happened.
On another note… This VN was completely irrelevant plot wise and ends in a weird spot. Viola and Eleri try to find out who transported them into Asaph online by… taking a bunch of useless side quests? What do they honestly expect to learn from a gathering quest or “go kill x of these.” Quests? This whole VN was them taking a quest to find a missing diamond necklace for a wedding, but they took it on the assumption that “maybe they would find out why they came here.” When they could have done something productive like “go ask another witch.” (which is what they end up doing in the last 5 min of this which finally advanced the main quest.)

I would honestly skip Sakura MMO 2 because this whole thing was essentially a side quest.
Yes, there is an 18+ patch you weirdos.
Half-Life 2

Sakura MMO 3

8/10
1.8 hours
25 of 25 achievements

The Dark Witch Viola and Eleri finally figured out why and how they came from modern day Japan to Asaph Online! The reason it however, is not a good one. Due to some unfortunate circumstances, the world is now ending in two weeks and only those not from Asaph have a chance of saving it! No chance to back out now!

I LOVED this ending to Sakura MMO! A surprising twist and a satisfying ending that I was happy with! The translations are better and the characters showed a lot of growth compared to 1 and 2. Viola is no longer as shy and apologetic and Eleri, the-actually-noble-and-more-respectable-now knight has gotten stronger and shows more confidence in herself! Fion, the-puppy-thief, is still laid back, but she pays more attention now to the important stuff. An overall excellent way to end the series!! Yes, there is an 18+ patch.

AAAAAAAA I MARRIED NEVE!!!

35% (125/355)
20% (72/355)
26% (92/355)
17% (59/355)
2% (7/355)

July 2020 report!
This month had been very hard on me and my family and honestly i’m not doing too good. Lot’s of free time lately and tried my best to get my mind off things, which resulted in these VN’s being completed. This year has been pretty bad.
EDIT: At least I didn’t increase my backlog at all this month. Small things.

Half-Life 2
I would like to say, "Avoid like the plague." but we clearly don't do that. <3

The Men of Yoshiwara: Kikuya

0/10
8.4 hours
17 of 17 achievements

Warning: Violence
The Men of Yoshiwara: Kikuya has pretty cutscenes and characters, but that’s all it has going for it. The backgrounds are horribly drawn and there is only about 5 of them between all the characters, and the music tracks are few and forgettable.
The storyline is a mess, and unlikely scenarios happen one after the other, Misao, the girl you play as, her personality changes with every route and the writing is cringy. It honestly feels like one person wrote all the text because all the characters, aside from when you first meet them, act the same - aggressive and crude.

Hayabusa – Your childhood friend, starts off well and likely is the best route in the game. Which is saying something.
Kagerou – A Tsundere who’s not actually cute.
Tokiwa – A handsome man who is remarkably childish and self- centered.
Kagura - Cool and collected when you first interact with him, but halfway through his personality flips and he becomes reckless, aggressive, and crude.
Takao – The most bipolar man I’ve ever seen in a VN.
Iroha – Starts off unromantic and cringy, somehow ends worse.

I spent $8 on Kikuya and it was not worth it. I also purchased the second season, Ohgiya and despite being past the two week purchase date, I actually got a refund. THANK YOU, DEREK! WHOEVER YOU ARE!

Half-Life 2
Incredibly long, very detailed, and yet - pretty enjoyable.

Tricolour Lovestory

9/10
62.9 hours
70 of 70 achievements

Warning: Violence and light cursing.
You play as Ashley Chu, a high school student who just wants to be a successful Digital Artist so he can break away from his abusive parents and find his own freedom! He may need the help of his childhood sweetheart, Daisy, and maybe his beautiful and mysterious new classmate??

The backgrounds and characters are absolutely gorgeous, although the English translation probably came off Google translate. It’s approximately 30 hours per route. Unlike what I did, I recommend picking whoever you fancy first, finishing her route, then restarting and set the skip to “skip all text you have already seen." And then do the last route.

Also, I can’t believe that this VN is $2, it typically goes on sale for $0.79 and that is an absolute steal for this kind of content. Also, to give you exactly how amazing this VN is, I want to mention again, it's about 30 hours per route, 1 million words, and each character has about 450 different expressions, and 35 music tracks. Also, you can mute all voices or just specific ones if they get on your last nerve.

Half-Life 2
Heads up: After you "finish" the game, the extras are a 1-2 hour continuation of the "finale."

Lucy -The Eternity She Wished For-

8/10
5.3 hours
no achievements

You are the MC. While taking a shortcut home you stumble upon a broken and rather High-Tec Android about to be demolished. So, what do you do? You take her home and try to re-activate her, of course.

Lucy -The Eternity She Wished For- is a rather emotional VN that features Lucy, an Android with emotions in a human society hellbent on destroying her. This VN also features voice acting, for Lucy only, in Korean and Japanese. While playing, I couldn’t help but be reminded of The Turing Test, a test to see if a human could tell the difference between another human and a machine. If the human could not tell the difference, then it is said that the machine could think. That it was intelligent. If Lucy didn’t have the aspects of her that showed she was an Android, she could have passed as a human, perfectly.
There are 2 routes in this game chosen by your final choice, a True Route and an Alternate Route. After the True Route more extras are unlocked. This VN can take anywhere from 3-5 hours to finish.

If you liked this game, you may also like TACOMA and The Turing Test on Steam.

Half-Life 2
A few unanswered questions and surprisingly dark twists. Feels unfinished.

Fluffy Store

8/10
6.4 hours
13 of 13 achievements

You are Lin Yang, you finished college and you finally have that degree that you worked so hard for! Except one thing. You can’t get a job. At all. It really sucks. Practically broke, you decide to head back to your small hometown and take over your late grandfather’s convenience store. Digging through your grandfathers’ things, you discover a mystical wind chime! You ring it, and three animal girls appear before you! Meet Cherry the fox, Purin the Rabbit, and Puff the Bear! You decide to hire them as employees in your shop! Except one problem, the girls are bound to the wind chime and can’t stray too far from it, and they have no recollection as to who they are! You decide to be a good example of the human race, and help them out.

This VN is very cute and well written! Also, a surprisingly dark story? I noticed that during the gameplay, Cherry’s and Purin’s backstory is revealed and they get their memories back, but Puff doesn’t so it feels unfinished.

Half-Life 2
Enjoyable characters, backgrounds, gameplay, music! Very easy to love!

Pastry Lovers

10/10
8.8 hours
7 of 7 achievements

Pastry Lovers is a sweet and wholesome game about a girl, Sakura, who was abandoned by her family and raised at an orphanage in the West Isle. Her former family left nothing to her except a note with her name on it and a notebook filled with pastry recipes that was her fathers. Using this book, she aspires to be a famous pastry chef! She will have to go to the main continent of Carseland Kingdom and enroll in the prestigious St. Patras College to pursue her dream! During her time there, will she find clues to her hidden past?

While in the College, she meets Prince William, Christopher DM, Henry Yin, and Hannan Ye! Will she find her fated partner?!? There is another character you can date, Henin the art teacher, he is a hidden character.

This was a surprisingly enjoyable stat management VN, and for the $5 price tag is an absolute steal. It took me about 9 hours to do everything the game has to offer. I want to note that while some people complain about needing to repeat the game to get the other routes, if you get everyone’s affection to 110 and get your status up (and with 9999 gold, you better.) All of their routes are available to you if you simply save on THE DAY BEFORE (To lower/increase your “Blackening” stat via eating at the restaurant.) when you need to pick which route you want to complete.

JUNE REPORT!

Haha I’ve added 11 games from the steam sale onto my backlog, I’m now at 299 games. I forgot the summer sale was a thing and I was completely blindsided!!! ahhh more stuff to do. ;w;

Half-Life 2
Pretty enjoyable. Some achievements were headaches though. Also there were a few bugs.

Flower

9/10
6.1 hours
14 of 14 achievements

Flower is a relaxing and peaceful experience in which you play as the wind. You collect petals and bring beauty into an otherwise bleak and grey world. Playtime ranges from 2–6 hours and there are some bugs to be noted but nothing game-breaking.

Bugs:
When entering another dream (level.) Sound may be unavailable. This is fixed with a simple restart. Sometimes when you are flying you get stuck after interacting with things, this can be fixed by accelerating or changing directions.

All in all this is a very wholesome and tranquil game and I do recommend it.

Half-Life 2
The English translation was terrible! You could still understand it though.

Our world has not decayed

8/10
3.1 hours
no achievements

“Our world has not decayed” Is a surprisingly wholesome game that’s very bittersweet. You are Coru! An Adventurer who somehow survived the end of the world. While looking for more people and trying to figure out what happened exactly to make the world end, you find Nasu instead! She has amnesia! She is also a zombie! Both of you set off together to find more people and bring Nasu home!

Having Chinese voice acting instead of Japanese is a bit unusual for me but it quickly grew on me. This VN is more like a story than anything, seeing as you only really have 2-3 choices in the entire game. This story can be finished in 2.5-5 hours.

Warning:
The English translation is truly terrible! However, if you are a native English speaker or you feel confident in your skills, it’s not really any trouble. Some confusion here or there but you have a general understanding of what’s going on.

Half-Life 2
Haha WOW is it dark in here! Really though, where is the lightswitch? At the end? ok!

The Orchard of Stray Sheep

10/10
4.4 hours
no achievements

You play as the protagonist Ichirou! You are hired as a teacher to teach at an amazing Island academy with only 4 students! You work with the beautiful principle Matsuri and two other teachers, Liang and Tsuji, to keep the students happy at all costs!
The four students are Peeler, Mincer, Oros zester and your own assigned student, Casserole! It is your duty to make sure that Casserole is ready for her ‘graduation’ from the academy! Will you really be able to do it, though?

The Orchard of Stray Sheep is a surprisingly dark and yet incredibly interesting kinetic novel. I say Kinetic, but there are only 3 choices that lead to 3 endings, 2 bad endings and 1 true ending, and it’s kind of obvious what the bad choices are. The art style is phenomenal and the music is just exceptional! The only downside is that there is no sequel!

Half-Life 2
The only good thing in here is Mori and Ruri. MC is very creepy. Run, Mori! RUUNN!

Fox Hime Zero

2/10
5.7 hours
8 of 8 achievements

Fox Hime Zero is the story of a boy named Yan who is sent into the forest to live there for a year and collect data and specimens on the flora and fauna in the mountain. On his first week, he finds and rescues a fox who has fallen into the river. Later the fox returns, but instead of being a fox she has transformed into a beautiful and mysterious girl named Mori!

As lovely as the art is, I can’t really recommend it. It’s cute, but there is no real plot, no story, and the MC Yan is kind of creepy. He keeps “accidently” touching her and he kisses her on accident which leads to an incredibly uncomfortable make out session. As the story goes on, he get’s incredibly obsessive of her and abandons his work to be with her.

No story, no plot, just two cute characters and a creepy MC. I recommend you skip.

My May report~
Finished one of my biggest games in my backlog, which i’m pretty pleased with myself about. I need to reorganize what games I need to do next though because I looked at my list and quite frankly I kinda feel overwhelmed.

Half-Life 2

Assassin's Creed Odyssey

10/10
382.5 hours
93 of 93 achievements

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is one of the longest games I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing. Plenty of things to do, an interactive storyline, choices matter, and just in general a lot of fun.

You are Kassandra The Eagle Bearer! Travel around the Ancient Greece world with your best friend Ikaros and discover your legacy!

Half-Life 2

Paperbark

7/10
2.1 hours
25 of 25 achievements

Paperbark is a lovely point and click adventure that takes you through 5 Chapters. Enjoy Australian flora and fauna in a short 1 to 2 hour watercolor adventure.

As cute as it is though, it’s only fun when you’re not looking for all the achievements. At the bare minimum, you need to replay this three times for the three endings, (doghouse, house, and basket.) and one of those endings needs to be a 18 min speed run. (took me 16 min.) Also, I want to note I’ve had issues where I was looking for cicadas and just because I was near something the wombat would automatically start interacting with it, even if I’ve tried to avoid it. This is especially annoying when you’re trying to speed run and you get stuck eating flowers or something.
Regardless, it’s very cute and I do recommend it.

Welp, I say I did pretty bad this April. Added a bunch of fun looking games to my game list (rip, backlog?) and only finished 2.
I did managed to edit that massive fanfic though I mentioned in my previous post. Pleased to announce I kept a log of all my edits that I made, and it turned out to be 31 pages long. and took me a month. Nailed it.

ANYWAY, here is the thing you came to read!

Crystalline

11.2 hours, no achievements
Only one romanceable character and she is a major airhead. Lovely story though. The ending(s) ruined everything.

Click to expand

Crystalline is a beautiful and wonderful VN that has stunning scenes, memorable music, and interesting characters! Also features full voice-overs, multiple endings, and an engaging storyline!
You, the protagonist finds himself transported to a fantastical fantasy world called Terra, a parallel world to Earth, that features Magic and Spirits! You quickly make friends with Leanna, Amelia, Zack, Kara, and most importantly – Pango!

While I did enjoy the VN, how funny it was and how long it took me to finish everything, (11 hours!) I was disappointed with a few things. First of all, the only romanceable character is Leanna, and personally she was a bit too… slow… for my tastes. Regarding that, the endings left much to be desired. I wont spoil anything, but the “True Ending” was a solid 3/10 and was incredibly vague and its implications are pretty disappointing.
Another ending was being in a platonic relationship with her, and quite frankly going back to Earth despite how awesome Terra was is likely the better option, which sucks for reasons I’m not going to spoil.
All in all, it’s a great VN with some pretty undesirable and vague endings.

If I had to rate this? 6/10.
(Also, what the heck? They have hover trains, guns, magic, a universal currency, multiple countries, treaties with said countries, but no way of communicating long distances aside from couriers?? Why???)


Freud Gate

2 hours, 10 of 10 achievements
Some puzzles are confusing. I figured it out and made the first horrible English guide though.

Click to expand

Freud Gate’s theme is depression, and follows Sigmund Freud’s model of the psyche, the Id, Ego, and Super Ego. Freud Gate shows you how there may be people around you that are depressed, and shows you it’s not as obvious as “being sad.” You follow and help a young girl as she finds another road.

Freud Gate is a lovely walking sim with a few puzzles and interactions. The music goes well with the scenes and the ending was beautiful and satisfying. There were a few problems though I found as I was playing.

The controls of the game gave me a slight motion sickness, this may vary with individuals but I think that should be fixed. The second issue I discovered was at the very last scene, you could run through some of the rocks as if they were not there, and if you run along the walls there are very obvious gaps, places you can see through the rocks, and places you can fall off the map.

Overall, I had an enjoyable experience! Thank you!


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