adam1224’s profile

Plan for bigger games for times I don’t know what to play - I’m open for extra suggestions, as I tend to forget about my games.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
The Witcher 2 and 3
Dragon Age Origins
Jedi: Fallen Order
Mass Effect Trilogy
Dead Island + Riptide
Dying Light
Divinity: Original Sin
Doom + Doom Eternal
Arkham City and Arkham Knight
Persona 4
Sunless Sea and Sunless Skies
Sea of Solitude
Submerged 2nd part
Final Fantasy 7-8-9
Dead Rising 2 Off the Record
Darksiders 2-3
Shadow of Mordor, Shadow of War

FAR: Lone Sails
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

LEGO® Batman™: The Videogame

21.5 hours, no achievements

LEGO Batman wasn't my first lego game, but despite the rich story and setting it could have used it felt very formulaic and just flat. Though it was a lego game, so it's still at least tolerable, I had luck and didn't have to endure the bugs people reported around me.
Good things about the game: it's lego . Fun, beat everything up, get lego studs, unlock stuff, replay level with unlocked stuffs to unlock EEEEEVERYTHIIING.

The bad part is that they made a Batman game where you spend literally half of the game playing Batman and Robin, who are the most boring characters in the campaigns, has the least smooth gameplay and barely add any personality to the game, other than the well-known face/mask. Why?
The story is 3 chapters, each of the chapters having a gang of supervillains escape and setting up an intricate plan, organized by a super-supervillain. With B&R you go after them in 5 missions and foil their plan. Then in the another 5, you play as the supervillains and play almost the same levels, but your evil plan succeeds. This leads to an important consequence: you play half of the game (15 levels) with B&R, and the much more interesting, fun and viable villains get like 2? 3? levels on average.

For one, the game is so formulaic that there's a vehicle level (twice, as it's from both sides) in every chapter, those levels have no identity, you don't even see your character. Second, Batman and Robin doesn't have superpowers. They have a shitty "wind-up" batarang attack, while supervillains have instantenously firing guns / superpowers. You need to build, then use power-up platforms to change your suit so you can hover, have magnet boots, glass-shattering sonic gun, etc. But after you use them, or after the level ends, your suit just resets to the simple, boring one. Only so you can later unlock and use it again, then cast aside again.

To emphasize how flat they are, the very first level in the villain campaign you start with Clayface you has double jump AND superpower so can throw away blockades AND does double damage to enemies. It was a joy to play with him, only to then go back to boring old bats in the next chapter.
And Clayface isn't the sole enemy with double damage. Poison Ivy, Dr Freeze, Cat Woman and technically the Joker all have either double damage, attacking a lot faster than the heroes, or in case of the Joker having two guns = double the damage. And you need this damage because the game SWARMS you with copy-pasted henchmen, lackeys, thugs and goons. Most of them have guns, and it's really not that fun to play against guns with mostly melee characters. At points I was fighting 10-10+ enemies who barely add anything to the game. And playing with the double damaging villains is what makes the tempo really enjoyable, imo.

Overall it's one of the most meh lego games, but it's still kinda fine if you get to avoid the bugs. I think the main issue is that it was the first game, maybe was underfunded, but definitely did not try to be creative with the story, at least Batman's side is extremely repetitive other than the bossfights. You don't get to play Bruce Wayne, Gordon, Batgirl, Nightwing, where difference of their personality and role / job would have made a real variety - but they are available for characters to buy. Maybe I missed something, maybe they were planning ahead? I don't know.

The CrabJesus (Cjcomplex) special - he forced me to do this D:

Jokes aside, both games are wins from CJ, and in both cases I’m thankful for the opportunity and the game. Even if I consist of 85% regrets, 14% confusion and 1% unspecified PTSD regarding Everhood. In a nutshell, it’s a lazily low-graphics game with a story that is badly paced, a rhythm game combat system that is actually a reflex game that doesn’t follow the music as it’s delayed, some Im14andthisisdeep philosphy and psychedelic visuals every now and then. I didn’t know about these when I went in because it really looked like Undertale, and I liked that. Welllllllllllllll… also the game has 95% positive reviews so maybe I am the backwards trashmonkey who can’t appreciate “mudern” games. I think I never will understand / “underfeel” what they tried to convey, so better start working on trying to forget it.


11.6 hours, 17 of 72 achievements
I have no idea what people like about this game

My review seems to be the 2366th on Steam, and the 98th negative one, as the game sits at a whopping 96% positive review rate. As far as math and meme reviews go, it should be outstanding. And for whatever reason I really, really doesn’t feel like that. And I feel so weird about this that I have to write it out of myself. So please, treat this as a very subjective, very personal rambling of “wtf and why”, not a proper review.
Everhood is a game where you walk around and talk to people/monsters, and if it’s needed, fight them by defeating them in reverse-guitarhero.
I have two things of note about the combat: why there are no rebindable controls? The game uses 4 directions, E and escape on the map, and the 4 directions in fight. Even the classic NES had 4+2+2 buttons, why are we stuck to hardcoded 4 in combat? It’s so weird to dodge/attack with movement buttons in a quite chaotic manner.
Second: what is up with the pacing? At the beginning you have no idea where you are, who you are, you are thrown into 2-3 fights in mere minutes, then barely anything follows it up throughout the game, until the point where the game turns into almost only constan fighting.

With that aside - I liked the story, but it felt so little and so insignificant in the hours that I spent playing the game. The characters are flat and one-dimensional, there is no real time to build them up, which makes the ending feel incredibly flat. I liked the storyline, but I genuinely dislike how badly and ineffectively everything led up to it. From the goal that you get when you get your arm back to the endgame “plot twist” all I could think about was “I understand the implications, but why should I care?”. I don’t want to spoil much about the story as at least as an idea it’s pretty neat. Let’s just say how should I feel the weight of changing something that was unchanged for eons, if I’m just thrown into it and a few hours later I’m told to do it, with no other options? I can understand it, but I can’t sympathize, especially that the game made it pretty clear at many points that this world does not think the same as we do.
So I just pushed through the game, then the big reveal was that X is actually Y that was mentioned maybe twice in the whole game.
I genuinely don’t know what to think of this game. It may be the biggest rouse about emotions fading from an eons-old world, and making every character flat every reveal weightless and me not caring is the biggest meta-achievement a game ever done, or it just sucks and was made to be pseudo-deep for a demographic… I’m not sure. It has stuff like achievements for superhard no-hit fights, grind like 150 000 jump rolls or “troll” achievements for walking for hours in a corridor. I don’t think a game is focusing on multi-level hidden messages with such arbitrary goals that are exactly the other way as thinking about the message would be.
I frankly disliked the game and felt relieved to finally finish it. Can’t think of it as maybe two paragraph’s worth of fortune cookie-wisdom, with lots of subpar and unfun gameplay slapped to it, but judging from the reviews I’m in vast minority with it. So go, look around a bit, read more reviews because there are a lot of people who liked the game a lot more than I did.

On the other hand Stardewfarer was a nice mix of build your home - talk with NPCs - collect resources - buildyourbase game. While trying itself in a completely different angle, Spiritvalley has lacked the intensity of another game that I think you can guess at this point.
It was beautiful at points, it had pretty nice minigames, but while the game improved a lot since its first few hours, it never really went into “full focus game” mode. It’s a game where you watch a series in one eye, or listen to a podcast, because there are SO MUCH DOWNTIME. And I don’t even know what is the uptime at this point, because there are travelling between islands, there are nights while travelling when you can’t move (or look at the map, for whatever reason), and you can get a new, relevant line from your spirit passengers every few days on average. And while waiting, you can cook that can take even a day to finish (you can cook multiples of the same food, so blame only yourself for that) or tend your gardens, which consists of running around and watering them, then waiting them to grow.
It was legit not a bad game, but it’s like me in my worst moments of stress and ADHD when I can’t keep my attention on anything for more than 5 minutes. It has lots of fragments of individually good stuff. Like if you force two differently coloured combs together so the teeth fill up the wholes. I know that they are entirely different games, but I feel like Stardew Valley got each of the social connections, the “do stuff every day”, and the building of your farm better. Or maybe it was the devs goal to do a little this and the little that and as you look up, your time is down, the story ends. Like how life is often portrayed. Or I’m just making stuff up at this point, I don’t know… everything can be explained :D
The movement and the platforming was outstanding - I think it was mostly what made the game a lot better for me at the end. I would LOVE to have a proper metroidvania with the same movement system
I wrote so much extra other than the review that I posted on Steam as well, because I guess here I don’t have to deal with fanboys and -girls defending their favourite game by shittalking others. Spiritfarer is a really nice game that is a little too relaxed for me, as it always had the little nudge in my mind that they could have done better. But I can see why people love it a lot more than I did - a more personal connection to characters, or simply just loving going around and building 20 orchards and be a fruit mogul or I don’t know. It has a lot of options :)


48.2 hours, 39 of 39 achievements
Slow start and weird pacing

Spiritfarer is a huge game - howlongtobeat lists it as 23-36 hours long depending on completion, but can be a lot more. For me it was 48 hours spent with the game running, and likely 43ish hours playing it. And at some points during that 43 hours, I would have written a different review. It surely has its ups and downs.
For starters, the game begins extremely fast. You’re dropped into an unknown world and get your “job” in maybe 3 minutes. Then you’re gradually presented more options, more locations, more resources, more upgrades, new spirits, as the game goes on, in a loop, until the end.
Some things I wish I knew sooner:
Progress: The game is only as big as the currently unlocked map if you don’t follow the spirits quests. There are three milestones to get past: ice, rocks and fog. Game gets really nice after the ice, and stunning after the rocks, with many options and goals.
“Economy” don’t try to “break the economy” by pushing yourself farming resources or money at the beginning, the game will only give you more as it progresses, and it’s vastly better to collect whatever you can compared to buying.

With those out of the picture: I was miserable at the beginning of the game. So little to do, so few places to go, the ship stops at night. You see, I love my game mechanics, and there were barely anything to do. And while the spirits have stories, they only drop 4-5 blocks of story after progressing their quests, outside of it they are mostly there to demand food.

Then after I started focusing on the character stories, the game started opening up, which made it a lot better in many ways. New abilities are granted quite rarely (also linked to spirits’ stories) but new resources, buildings, resource-collecting minigames get unlocked. The game starts acting like a game with stuff to do, and I started to enjoy it a LOT more.

But as the game progressed, it became clear that it has some issues with storytelling. It’s not entirely sure if you have some adventuring done between story “segments”, or you get some story between adventuring. Many, if not most spirits don’t have a personality, they only have things that they say.. They still have a quite well laid out character, but they don’t really act it, because they have so few non-storydump dialogues. And what they have, most of that is linked to food.
Also an interesting issue of mine - the game’s narrative is like a reverse Murdered: Soul Suspect. In M:S.S. you are collecting info and memories that the main character knows but you don’t, and it breaks immersion. In Spiritfarer everyone treats Stella as they know her, which builds connection, but you have no idea who they are, and it comes off like you’re amnesiac and it’s kind of weird, it surely made me distanced from many characters. I want to like them for what they do now, not what they tell me about what they did. Game is pretty lacking in the “show, don’t tell” thing.
Overall, after the bad start and getting the game known better, it became quite a solid one, I ended up enjoying the second half a lot better than I expected from the start. Would give it a 7 or 7.5 / 10. It was great looking and pleasant -I liked to sit down and continue the game, but wasn’t thrilled to do so.

The Typing of The Dead: Overkill

14.7 hours, 15 of 33 achievements
Typing good, shooting bad

On-rails arcade game, where you type in word and phrase prompts to kill zombies. 9 levels, with cutscenes about 5-6 hours long. There are additional DLCs for word packs, but the game supports custom dictionaries as well - add your own set of words, or import some from the workshop.

The story is grindhouse trash, the good kind. Samuel L Jackson levels of motherf**kers dropped, with weird, ugly, obscene, disgusting imaginary or all of them. Not counting the animation style, because that's also pretty horrible. But it works so, so well.
It's trash, but it's made to be a trash story of an imaginary 80s horror action flick with BBC (Badass Black Cop), the smoothtalking white newbie cop who goes by the book. A stripper who has personal motivation in the story, and obviously picks up a motorcycle, some big guns and a bad swearing habit and a sister-in-trouble whom we like for her looks, not her brains. All chasing the Big Evil Papa Caesar who is so evil that he doesn't even need a motivation at the start of the game.
It's like a mix of Pulp Fiction, Sin City, Planet Terror and Grindhouse. Pulpy, sweary, innuendo-y, but self-aware.

The sub-game House of the Dead is a classic rail-shooter that I can't really recommend. There are no settings in the game whatsoever, and it became clean in just minutes, how inaccurate and unwieldy the mouse controls are. One could play it with a controller as well, but I rather not try that. Some people mentioned lightgun support on the forums, if that is your jam, you may need to delve deep to find info, but for other than that niche, I don't recommend buying the game only for the "shooter" mode. (But check out Blue Estate, it's an excellent rail-shooter for mouse)

Been a while since I wrote here, and in the past months I played some really memorable games that I wanted to share my thoughts about :)

(If someone could help me out: can I make a collapsible picture like on SG, instead of a link, or full picture showing?)

Assassin's Creed II

58.6 hours, no achievements

Assassin's Creed 2 is not an easy game to review 12 years after its release, but to be really upfront: it's a genuinely interesting game. Has a few hiccups in various departments, the faces aged…not super well, but there is so much fun and awe to be had. Great point to start the series, and one of the best games of the series, according to the many.

I'll start with the bad, because there's only a few, mostly annoying little things. The game is really easy - people around me thought it's super hard or something, because it's one of the most "gamery" game series and apparently everyone heard about it. But the game gives you tons of upgrade options, buries you under money and helps you out with the side of borderline braindead AI.
The bad thing is, that the real enemy in the game is the controls. In Crypts and challenge maps sometimes the rotateable camera turns into tank controls and you have to jump without watching, where you jump; along with this, rooftop ropes were my bane. There is just such a middleground-angle that you're not jumping on them from the side, not hoping on and walking from a 90° angle, just jump down like there is no tomorrow. Super small, but very consistently annoying thing, but I think that is the biggest recurring issue I found.

Kinda neutral points:
-As I mentioned in the beginning, many / most character faces are just ugly, likely weren't too pretty in 2009 either.
-Starting phase of the Ubisoft collectathlon. Not too bad, not super overbearing, but back in 2009-2010 I quit the game because I was so obsessed with chests, having enough money to get everything, going for the races that I barely played the story. And it was horrible. Don't do that with yourself, just pace the chests between the story missions ;)

The good:
Oh lord, there are so, so many.

I was very hesitant about the game, for me it's essential to play a game in peace, and raving fanboys and fangirls can really make an impact of my enjoyment. So the game being that old left me in the bubble of "why u play old gaem lol" and that was so good.

The game - weirdly - is a lighthearted adventure game. The one with a great treasure to be had, climbing mountains, buildings, outwitting your enemies, being cheeky like a swashbuckler. And the easy to abuse AI, repetitive combat and the lovely Florence does that.
And suddenly renaissance history combined with alternate history comes crashing down, with treasons, assassinations and plotting and politics. The game has beautiful, bustling streets, as you unlock cities and travel around, the music, the building style, the cleaniness of the streets change city by city. At points you just catch yourself sightseeing - it's such a weird feeling in an game about assassins :)

The music is incredible - never annoying, but it's always present, a treat to listen to. And the same is true for characters too - they have great voice actors that bring a lot of style and personality to each character. I was really happy each time when I could hear Mario or Leonardo, both such enthusiastic support characters. Huge, huge bonus points for leaving so much Italian in the game - and I guess the Italian accent was also well done? It felt really natural, and not comically overdone.

One other point I want to mention, that I didn't really expect: as the game goes on and plays through years and years, Ezio, the protagonist really goes though a change in personality. A bold, careless and hasty character turns into a more tuned back version of himself, who still appreciates his allies and is genuinely thankful for their help. This sounds weird when written down, but when dozens of hour of gameplay separates start from the end, and the change is gradual, it's interesting to think back and realize, what a change happened.

At this point I don't really know what else to write. I loved cllimbing buildings and getting ancient treasure. Enjoyed upgrading the villa to have then mostly useless mountains of gold. Adored Leonardo's and Ezio's talks with the accents. It was great reading the history logs of the badasses and the pests of the era. Loved Caterina Sforza's portrayal, and maybe the best moment of the game for me was returning to Florence, and out of nowhere the theme music blasting as the memory getting build.

Murdered: Soul Suspect

29.0 hours, 48 of 48 achievements

They okayest okay game that ever okayed, and it took me 29 disappointing hours in two gos (played once and stopped halfway because of boredom). I'm kind of upset that they made it only okay, with the great ideas they were working with.
Jokes aside, it's a lukewarm game made out of a great idea, but it misses the mark in basically every single aspect so much that it's a perfect 6/10 game.
The basic issue with the game that they try to do everything with collectibles (There are 242 collectibles). To tell you creepypasta/camp fire stories, to solve investigations, to uncover ghost graffities because ghost kids gonna be ghost kids, and also to get information about your beloved past wife, the love of your life…wait what?
Jokes aside the game really is tone-deaf. Opens up with a super badass intro about the past literally scarring a person, then constantly talks about redemption (of a past criminal, to a detective), the love of Julie that made it possible. One of the main goals of the game is to get closure, so you can move to the afterlife and reunite with her. And while you're doing that, you have to collect 50-something "notes" to get memories of her. Talk about ludo narrative dissonance, the game is actively breaking immersion as the troubled Ronan collects stuff so the Player could know the stories. And you also need to stop playing and go to a menu to check them out.

The whole game cries "B studio". There are great ideas in the game, and the cutscenes look and play good, but everything else is just not so good. There are NPCs walking around with rigid backs, acting if they were humans. People straight out of the Uncanny Valley are hugging each other with dead faces, looping in animation. 90% of the NPCs don't move from their spot, and all of them have 2 thoughts. Do you feel lucky to have mindreading instead of talking? Are you happy that the protagonist being a ghost is how actively being used to deliver unique presentation and narrative?
The NPCs are blatantly copypasted, like out of three cops two are clones of each other, having the same thoughts. At least 5 random passerby has the same quotes. Did they run out of money? Couldn't get 5 more people, or just 10-15 new lines with the actors slightly changing their voices? You can poltergeist electronic items to lead/distract NPCs, but they only react to that when the game tells you to do so. You can cover the police HQ in printer paper, they won't notice until you need to do that to cover up a jailbreak.

And it gets weirder. They made a fridge to be unique by having kid drawings and photos on it. Then copypasted in the Apartmans location's every flat. They made special post-it notes to hide small jokes and ideas - then copied it over the police HQ, the museum, and a few other places. They made genuinely funny books instead of just coloured blocks to show on a bookshelf - then copied the same group of 4-5 books THREE TIMES ON THE SAME SHELF.
I just don't get this game, it's… just baffling. Such a mix of attention to detail, and cutting corners to an incredible level at the same time. And I think there are unfinished content too - you can use ghost residue solely to hide from demons, and half of the game is filled with the ghost-spots, but no demons. And as there are 2D pictures(???) of ghosts being around and disappearing as you get closer (and a few real ghosts) you wouldn't need the ghost residue to show you that you aren't the only one "alive". Also in the Quarantine Hospital area there is a super talkative ghost, someone who needs help, and a lot of items to examine - as with the other ghost quests, but this one is just there… both of these smells like abruptly cut content.

All in all, I guess hurried release / development hell / lack of funds is the culprit here. It's a pity, genuinely.
So many things could have been used - if the game sticks with the use of many NPCs, they could have just have interesting or funny thoughts, like normal people have (Like the little notes of random people in Watch Dogs). What to eat, oh-so-hating Jeff, wondering if they left the oven on… not 5 people thinking in the same 2 sentences, and 3 asylum patients sharing the same ideas.
Or just have fewer, but more interesting NPCs (VtM Bloodlines did it really well).
FFS, you can walk through cars, walls and closed doors - call me shallow, but nowhere a funny easter egg, an interesting world detail, just collectibles and copy-pasted assets. Such a lack of creativity, nothing to do with the ghost powers but follow the script and collect collectibles.
Oh, and the ending has a fucking amazing plot twist that should have happened at least an hour earlier. Then it could have any effect on the player, not just finishing the game in a cutscene and maybe in a QTE-like sequence, not even really leaving them time to process it.

It's a game not made to be interesting, but to have X amounts of hours for the player. It's serviceable, it works well, but it could have been so, so much more.
(Posted on Steam as a positive review. There aren't really things in the game that are objectively horrible. I liked it well enough to feel disappointed about it, and I don't regret playing it)

Binary Domain

28.6 hours, 26 of 49 achievements

This game was a blast!
If you happened to be on the officially unofficial discord around the time when I played / finished it, I barely could stop talking about the game. It's "Japanese-crazy" with all of its ups and downs.
Slightly tone-deaf in some parts, going into Bioware-buttshot levels of ogling on the eyecandy sniper girl.
Having huge bossfights with crazy designs and action pieces that are up in the MGS WTF levels. Like giant snake-like transformer road robot that shoots missiles at you while you're escaping with a futuristic garbage truck.
Again, Bioware-level of awkward romance/sex scene
Again-again, Bioware-like "who comes with me" missions where you can earn your teammates trust to unlock scenes, story options and make them perform better.
Joke aside, the game really smells like what if Bioware made a shooter that is barely an RPG (use nanomachines (son!) and upgrade your gun) and it works weirdly - really well.

It's weird to see in a shooter, but the team members actually have personality. Some a bit too overtuned and meme-worthy, but everyone likes Big Bo. But the game also has recurring jokes, and making jokes of the jokes, like how a character is usually grumpy about "only I know what a covert operation means?" then blows up a manhole in the middle of a café when escaping the sewers, and then suddenly nobody cares. I don't know if this is deliberately written in this way, or just gets awkward, but makes the game have super strong Alpha Protocol vibes. It may contribute to the over-the-top-iness (hehe..piness) that the studio absolutely understands the importance of making a cutscene good. Camera setting, movement, close ups, team-ups - everything is highly cinematic, effective and suggestive and print-worthy.

The characters just doesn't care and go full absurd - and this was another huge surprise, that the game is absolutely outstanding and setting up, and delivering timing based comedy, along with some crazy dialogues. (Sadly it went Fallout 4 before Fallout 4, you communicate through picking short prompts and then saying nothing, just waiting for the reply. It's weird as the protagonist is super talkative in the cutscenes)

Attention to detail is remarkable: the manhole gets cordoned off after you exit it, the lights light up when you stand to a urinal that is not even on the main path, the location uses Japanese and/or English text at various locations, depending on the location's function - Café for foreigners, international labs, or local undercity.

The combat felt great as well. By blowing up limbs of the robots you can disarm them, make them crawl around, or by removing their heads they shoot eachother. The last one is great, as you can "flank" robots who carry riot shields with this trick, opening them up for an attack.
This feature, coupled with the special personal weapon of yours with a stun/shockwave option, the ability to fire from cover, and commanding your team makes a pretty tactical, and proactive shooter.
DAAAAAAAAMN meme as the pretty chinese sniper appears
Kain, the best boy and baddest ass french ever
Just one thing the gang has to put up with

Grand Theft Auto III

35.5 hours, no achievements

TBH I didn't even write a review about this on Steam, I don't really know what to say, and it's not helpful for people.
I played this game as a teenager, maybe 12-13. Or something like that, because I barely understood English, and repeatedly got surprised that the pink blob I needed to reach is a car once, another time a guy who should be taken into a car, or that they just shot me. So I was stuck on the first island, mostly driving around, and using panzer + guns cheats to murder people and yeah, that was the game. Also couldn't drive for shit because always went 100 on gas.
Now I understand the story, every word. I was driving as I should, I remembered the location of respawning weapons and boosts, and (with a guide) collected enough mystery packages to have a few weapons + body armor on my base, +2 bribe stars.
And suddenly the game is easy. With preparation and/or using the obviously bad AI it's an easy game for the most part, which let me appreciate the storyline more.

It's a very well made game with some really, really ugly and dated character models. While it was a huge thing on its own when it got released, I don't think it has a lot of things for someone today, if they never played it. It's likely the subject of the "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny phenomena. I enjoyed playing it, but compared to the joy of remembering AC2 as I wrote its review, thinking about GTA 3 fills me with only closure, but I think that's fine.

Iron Marines

8.1 hours, 30 of 76 achievements
Abandon game!

I maybe should have looked better into Iron Marines. It's a big disappointment, even if I bought it in a bundle deal for about 3€, as the game is just absolutely not fun.

The game only have a campaign that is usually extremely limiting in terms of strategy and even build options. Many if not all of them are script-heavy, which includes spontaneously spawning enemies at random locations or unmarked instakill environmental dangers (the later one broke the camel's back for me). The game expects you to go in, and either succeed, or fail to see what you should have done. And this is not like transitioning from Age of Mythology to Cossacks and learning balance, strategy or build order - this is getting to know the actual map's script to counter it.

What makes this "learning experience" especially painful that while your hero units can be strong, they still can get killed relatively easily thanks to these lovely events. And the lack of their power can make you easily lose the map, which just leads to more repetition. Also the game is amateur, and absolutely untrustworthy when it comes to actual RTS stuff. Half of the time you can't even click on enemies because the game won't register it. And there is no attackmove to counteract this. No minimap. The game uses arrows to scroll but qwertz/qwerty for powerups and hero powers. Also a mouse.

And as a good old mobile port, the game has heroes that you need to level up by grinding and repeating levels, along with buying one-use powers and permanent upgrades to units and building. At least these upgrades can be quite impactful and absolutely not just % bonuses, but that makes it even weirder that you should grind missions to upgrade your mechs. Actually inside the game you have handful of "upgrades" - I've only seen them (excatly two) on the central building. Other than that turrets have two extra firing mode.

"Energy-money" generates slowly (unless you use money-giving power), there is a set number of squads you can recruit limits your options. It creates an extremely unfun experience because you have to be careful with the few squads you have, which makes the game slow. There is no useful micro, almost no macro - so much of the game is spent with waiting for energy, waiting for HP to get restored, it almost feels like it's a tower defense game. (On the second planet they literally made tower defense levels, gotta do what you have experience in I guess)

The Heroes can level up their powers. The game is so half-baked even today that in you're in game you have no tooltip to even know what your skills do (and there are 12? heroes, so you expected to bring someone new in at a point). Also while the devs claim that level-ups give extra power to heroes, there is not even mention in game about HP, stats, if leveling up powers between milestones give any extra to it.
When asked by the community about the stats, the dev told them that "creating an in-game encyclopedia is no minor task and takes months of work and dedicated manpower" - which is understandable. But they did this after adding stats to a SINGLE character on the game's wikipedia page, calling it a day. This happened mid-2019, one and a half years ago. Not even the other starter (on mobile, free) characters' stats got uploaded to the wiki, which shows both how extremely lackluster the game's features are, and that judging from their actions, the have no intention to make any work related to it - not even as much as creating a few tables and copy-pasting values into them.

The units, and the overall the design very obviously copies Starcraft, but it could be a pleasant little game with its own story. But the combination of strictness and handholdiness of what's expected from the player, coupled with the sub-par controls required for an RTS makes it so much more frustrating than it should be. I really wish I could like it more.

I gave another go for Before the Echo, but it was not convincing.

Before the Echo

4.2 hours, 0 of 21 achievements

Gave the game another try after years left it on the backburner, but it did not got better.

The game is a rhythm-based RPG which mixes a puzzle-like rhythm game and a very generic and base RPG system with loot, equips and stats, and the oh-so mandatory crafting system.

The game offers you a safe room from which you can explore The Tower and fight enemies of your choice to grind resources, to craft equipment and spells (Generic attack also comes from a spell) and then make a key to open a door and get to a higher level.

The combat is spent on a 3-window screen, you change between them with the Q and E buttons. Directional arrows fall from the windows, each doing different things - defense window's arrows damage you if not pressed at the proper time, mana window's arrows recharge mana on hit, and you cast your spells by pressing all the correct arrows of the selected spell in the spell window.

One of my main problems was that the game tries to be "hip". Or "radical". By being so clever and sleek that it plays the self-awareness card, the "lame hero who got transported into world, and who has a woman sidekick who constantly mocks him". Conveniently, she is the narrator as well, who has a varied amount of knowledge, based on what the tutorial or plot requires. Talks through only an intercom? I wouldn't be surprised if there's a reveal-surprise-twist. Anyway, it was a bit jarring how many times various drugs were mentioned even before the tutorial, at one point the protagonist accusing the narrator of being a date rapist, which is a very, very weird tone one wants to set in a rhythm RPG with colourful and silly characters.

The final nail in the coffin was how tediously stupid menus are, and how often button presses do not get recognised in battles. Not super often, more like 1/10-20 times, but it adds up, and makes the game feel really sloppy.

Likely there's an okay, tolerable game under the surface, but it's just not fun to play for me.

One Finger Death Punch 2

1.0 hours, 2 of 63 achievements
No no no no no no no no no

Holy mother of everything, I was not prepared for this. Your experience may be different, and it is still a game with 97% positive review rate.

A friend gifted me One Finger Death Punch 2, and I thought I'll give it a go… in a nutshell, it's one of the worst experiences I had the misfortune to take part in.
The game's general direction is still the two-button fighter, but it's an overinflated mess of ideas coupled with a graphics direction that is more, but not necessarily better.

I played one hour, and requested a refund for it. That's the main point, the issues were:

  • 1st game had a "deflect weapons that are thrown at you by attacking them" thing. Now it has weapons that are deflected, caught (you can throw), dodged (will hit behind you) and it has shurikens, bows, pistols and guns (!) - catching a bullet will spawn a gun in your hand to shoot once and throw the gun again. And these are all differently coloured.
  • Then there are the brawling enemies that instead of having a crown on top of them, have a red bandana. Not a huge issues, until considering the fact that almost everything has added blood effects to it.
  • The game added a lot of new moves so sometimes there are action-scenes when you hit multiple enemies in one direction, scissor-kick two, or make fancier attacks but this causes the game to have a wildly different timescale, and the transitioning from slowdowns to proper speed just throws the control away, often resulting in missed hits or being hit.
  • Then there are "medic" and "extra speed" enemies that are bright like a christmas tree, which takes away from the clarity of their colour (times and ways of strikes needed)
  • Many attacks leave white "strikes" afterwards to signal power or speed, or even "background cool looking wtf characters hitting shit" (you can see it on store screenshots) further adding to the visual cacophony
  • And one of the top reasons - there is barely any contrast or colour difference between the enemies and the background. Everything got bolder and more colourful, and it just became a hard to read mess.
  • One Finger Death Punch

    19.1 hours, 84 of 152 achievements

    "Can be played one handed, 10/10"

    Jokes aside, the game is simple but great.
    Attack with direction buttons, attack range is shown, you can pick up different types of weapons to use them. There are QTE-y like brawlers that take multiple, unique combos to take down, but still can be one-hit killed with certain weapons which feels awesome.

    It also should be mentioned: the game progressively gets harder by enemy design, and has a "floor" difficulty of 100%. No matter how many times you die at 100%, the difficulty can't and won't decrease. The game is not super hard, but definitely challenging and tense. Keep that in mind when considering a purchase.

    The game takes place over an - IMO a bit unnecessarily - big map. The game claims to have more than 250 levels and that is very likely true - there are insane amounts of stages, the game gets quite samey by the end. The scaling challenge which is based on player performance helps a lot to keep the player on their toes, so there is no real downtime. So it does not feel stretched, just long; many of the sameish thing.

    Though on the aforementioned map there are I think 11? types of levels, not counting the boss levels. They are mostly unique - while there are spins on the same thing ( beat down X, beat down enemies to knock them into Y items, beat down Z in storm and W while using a filter) they still offer some relatively nuanced thing to them, making different skills useful.

    The skills- you unlock them by beating certain levels, and then you are free to mix and match them, as you can use 3 at the same time. All skills are passive, but most has an active effect - while there are true passives that give longer weapon use time on pickup, most get charged up by getting kills, then being used along/instead of a normal attack. They work well and are useful, though if you really want to fight flawlessly, some skills can really mess up your rhythm unless you pay extreme attention - same can happen with one-shot kill weapons, like dagger, bow and bomb, killing a multihit enemy in a single strike, then hitting a miss where they stood.

    Certain levels are surely harder than other by design, but I guess it depends on the player and their preferences too. The game is far from being impossible to beat, but with the scaling difficulty that is impossible to turn off, I think everyone can expect a quite consistent and unavoidable challenge.
    (I hated the last bomb level, took 10+, maybe 20 times because I constantly messed up at two points. I feel like I needed to get this out of my system)

    I’m not mad, i’m just disappointed. And confused a bit.

    Eternal Senia

    5.7 hours, no achievements
    Listening to 97% of the players saying it's great was as useful, as listening to 97% of ants telling me that leftover crumbs are awesome

    It feels bad to be among the 3-4% of players who vote this game negatively, but this is what the personal review system is for, right?
    I was playing the game because it got recommended me in the discovery queue at a point, and at a point I added it to my library; and because I am participating in an event where you're supposed to play the top rated games of your library - and Eternal Senia was in the top few unplayed ones with its 97% longterm review-rate. So I needed to finish it.

    As a forerunner - the game is not bad. Has ups and downs, and a lot of lukewarm mish-mash …filler-quality stuff to it. Knowing what the game is I'd never have added it to my library. I wouldn't recommend it to my friends because it lacks a solid backbone to enjoy, it's more like a timesink. Maybe you have more time, different taste, or - very likely - different friends, you may like it.

    So, about the game:
    I liked the music. Despite being super short and looping, the menu theme is pretty cool. Again, sorry - but a tune this catchy would deserve a game with more content. Other music during the game were quite distinct (especially the ones played during boss fights) and the sound effects were pretty good as well. Combat sounds effects OK.

    Graphics is a bit of mixed bag, feels better than standard RPG-Maker sprites, but nothing really outstanding. I don't know if the spell and lightning effects were original, but they were used pretty well for the most time. Environments were varied (3 different chapters) but really barren at many points, and there is just nothing much going on. It's an ARPG with 2-3 characters that you don't fight with, and it was made with RPG-Maker as the dev's first game project,

    And for that, they did a pretty good job, with the tools they've got. The combat is a real YMMV thing - it's grindy but easy, so it's either laidback and chill (I felt this way) or repetitive and meaningless, as others felt. The item system was sadly pretty horrible, upgrading a worn item can require up to 30-40 button presses because it needs to be unequipped, then in a submenu of a submenu of a menu you need to scroll though a list of all possible recipes to upgrade it, then go back and re-equip it.

    As I said, it feels weird to criticise someone's first attempt, but as the game is on Steam and in public, it can't get a universal pass. My main issue with the game is that it's - feels like admittedly, based on its description - a fanfiction-game of some characters from an MMO, and even ignoring the grammatical problems (It was painful to read "sis" a few hundred times, like a reminder if you'd ever forget who is the girl the protagonist nonstop talks about, despite never being present), it's a repetitive, cringey, anime-tropey story. There are barely any dialogue to be found, only monologues.
    There are I guess multiple pages worth ramblings about " I relied on you, but I want to help, I'm independent, where are you" from a character who's avatar is constantly blushing and/or crying.
    [spoiler] And in the true ending she does her best to convince her sister Magaleta - from not sacrificing herself - that she needs her because not mature or independent enough[/spoiler] I… feel like the dev wanted to make a damsel in distress waifu-character from the MMO the strong protagonist of the game, but also keeping her timid and mouse-like because that's the original character. I may be very wrong about this, but the representation and the personality that is "presented" is jarringly different.

    So, all in all I am quite baffled how this game has 97% review rates, and in a way I feel super cheated by the premise of this game being that good. It's okay, but it's a far, far cry in quality from the 95+ % games that people actually paid for.
    Looks like it being free really gives a lot to it review score, I think it's in league with other games that are in the "mixed" review category. If you're on verge, treat it like so.

    Intrusion 2

    7.4 hours, 7 of 14 achievements

    Intrusion 2 is a product of a different age, and partially should be judged according to that. And partially based on current age, as I played it now, and you'll buy it now.
    The game is a huge zero in terms of story, people kept mentioning chapter names in the forums, but I haven't even got a single title, spoken or written word in the whole playthrough. Also the game has the weird mix of creepy-cool mechanic enemies, 3 different mechs that you can even drive for a bit, rideable giant wolf and kickass bossfights. It's well made nonsense, but that stems from the game series' origins.

    The original, first Intrusion was released online on Kongregate, on Newgrounds, and on other sites - in 2008. Intrusion 2 is far from being a carbon-copy of the first, but it's very similar in lot of aspects - gameplay, character, climbing mechanics, general look and setting, and some huge bosses.

    What is new, is a gorgeously made world, with greatly detailed sprites and enemy design, varied type of enemies and some bonkers physics and "AI" for some enemies.
    The "AI" really matters in some cases, as uniquely made enemies move around almost in an underwater style and catch you with their tentacles, or weird 3-legged bone-robot-skeleton-cat things jump and wriggle around… it has some solid, otherworldly feeling to it.

    I also mentioned the physics - it's both good, and bad. You can push around rocks to squish enemy soldiers, but for this the price is tripping over in every possible body and item in the word. Having to shoot cases that blocked the door so you can progress, eating a handful of attacks because a destroyed robot's arm blocks you movement. Jumping and bouncing works in a weird way that item shape, and I think velocity together decides how and when can you jump. Which can result either 5m long, or 3-4 meter high jumps. Or just a little springy walk that barely lifts you because you weren't connected to the ground properly beforehand. Which can be debilitating, as one bossfight involves jumping on rocks floating in lava, later levels grappling mechas use the clutter, that is blocking you, as a weapon and it's a real pain. So in short, while the physics system is quite well done, it's great when the stakes are low, while annoying and risky other situations.

    It was an okay game - it reminded me of Plazma Burst, and while the boss design was hands-down amazing here, the core game could have used a little more meat on its bones.
    It's repetitive and limited. The player has 5 weapons, of which 2 slightly different machineguns, 1 pistol that won't get used, a railgun and a slow granade launcher.
    There is a great, over the top and fun ragdoll effect in the game, and it's so hard to properly trigger. A good, powerful shotgun or some similar weapon would have been a great variety. Also, if it could be possible, the harpoon mecha's harpoon would be exceptional for a different game mode - grabbing enemies and throwing them away, or killing them by smashing shipping containers to them is a joy with this phyics engine, and we got so, sooo little of it.

    Music - it's super repetitive and uninteresting for the bigger part. I'm fairly sure that something went wrong on the penultimate level as music is 3-4 times louder than game sounds. On the other hand, the second boss' music was outstanding, and worked really well with the mechanics, which made it the most enjoyable bossfight of the game.

    Overall it's a solid OK game of I guess a single person? who likely wanted to make a proper version/sequel to their game, and they absolutely nailed it. I think this game is a 6 or 7 our of 10, well above average - epending on your enjoyment and how it aligns up with your expectations. Not really higher, but because - I think - this game doesn't want to be more than fun, and that is perfectly okay.