Playing (and sometimes finishing) the games I own Kel-nage’s profile

I guess I have a game buying habit. After having stopped playing PC games for a number of years (for lack of a good PC and time), I got back into it just over a year ago - and heck, did I get back into it in a big way.

My collection is still growing and whilst I’m usually quite careful about buying things I’ll enjoy - if I see a good value bundle, I sometimes bite and those that don’t end up on SteamGifts go straight into my backlog!

My other bad habit is starting a game and then not finishing it. Sometimes that’s all I want from a particular game - just to experience it for a few hours before putting it away forever - but I do want to finish more. However, I’m very rarely a completionist - so most of the games with “grindy” achievements are going to be staying in beaten for a long time.

I got so close to beating The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky… but with 5 minutes remaining, and at least another dungeon floor to clear, as well as at least one boss fight - I’m done. And with so many achievements barely a sliver from completion too!

Right, lawn mowed, house tidied, Actually Playing Games group member applications dealt with. Time remaining this month: 55 hours. Plenty of time to finish the final chapter (and ensure that I completed all the side quests) of The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky. I can do this! :)

How is this month’s theme going? Not as well as I had hoped, but slightly better than the worst case. The biggest problem is that I use the laptop that I play The Legend of Heroes on for work as well as the odd game. Last week I managed to leave my laptop charger at work, meaning I didn’t have it over the weekend - so sadly I was unable to get any time in this week. All sorted now, but it has set back my plans a little.

However, it did give me the opportunity to finish a couple of shorter games that I have on my gaming PC. Primordia was a fantastic point-and-click adventure game, full of character and intrigue. Really enjoyed it and I’d highly recommend it to anyone who’s a fan of the genre (and perhaps even to a newbie).

Another great point-and-click was Milkmaid of the Milky Way - a game somewhat reminiscent of Bik - A Space Adventure (another great point-and-click, that I would have finished except I lost all my progress after a hard disk failure and haven’t got around to doing it all again!). The most impressive thing about MotMW was that every line of dialog was written as rhyming couplets - not an easy feat!

Oh, one more point-and-click in the form of The Journey Down: Chapter 2, which shows the series going from strength to strength. I love the characters and the setting, which I can only describe as a Afro-Caribbean version of Grim Fandango. Looking forward to the third (and final) chapter that comes out in August.

Then there was NORTH. NORTH was… weird. I enjoyed it, and I’m glad I played it, it made me think and put me in a position that I’ve been fortunate enough (so far) to have never encountered in real life, so I get where they were coming from (lack of directions/instructions, confusing architecture and setting). Perhaps the game did feel a little rough around the edges (lack of save/restore was the most obvious one), but it was still worth trying.

Quick round up of last months theme. In the end I beat 6 of the HOGs from my collection. This was a little smaller than I had hoped (after all, I had 30 available to me), but I quickly found myself getting frustrated by the formulaic/repetitive nature of the Artifex Mundi games. So I moved on to the games made by other developers, but I only had a couple of them to do. But looking at the beaten/completion numbers for the other participants, I’m not that unhappy with my totals.

This months theme is going to be beating The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky, which is actually something I’ve been meaning to do anyway (in fact, I spent a lot of time last month getting half-way through it). It was an Actually Playing Games win, so I’m doubly incentivised to do so. The game has been marred a little by having to repeat certain sections, due to unclear timing windows - I think so far I’ve “re-done” at least 4 hours, probably more. And although I like the main characters, the dialog is often a bit tedious to go through - which of course makes the game longer, but honestly I don’t feel it has added enough “meat” to them. But I will finish it this month - come work or high water!

HOGs! Finally, a monthly theme that really grabs me. It so happens that I have several Artifex Mundi bundles that I’ve never even touched (in total, 30 AM games and 2 Nancy Drew HOGs too) - plus they are great games to play on the sofa with my partner - so I think it’s pretty likely I’ll be getting through at least a couple over the coming month.

I’ve already beat my first HOG, the first Grim Legends - which was very enjoyable, and I’m looking forward to getting stuck into the next two (in fact, we started the second one last night and got over halfway into it). I’m suffering a little from an embarrassment of riches - I have so many more to chose from, but no real idea about their relative quality, so any suggestions for games I shouldn’t miss from the following list would be welcome:

  • 9 Clues (1 & 2)
  • Abyss: The Wraiths of Eden
  • Crime Secrets: Crimson Lily
  • Dark Arcana: The Carnival
  • Dark Heritage: Guardians of Hope
  • The Emerald Maiden: Symphony of Dreams
  • Enigmatis (1 & 2)
  • Eventide: Slavic Fable
  • Fairy Tale Mysteries 2: The Beanstalk
  • The Last Dream
  • Left in the Dark
  • Left in the Dark: No One on Board
  • Lost Civilization
  • Mind Snares: Alice’s Journey
  • Mythic Wonders: The Philosopher’s Stone
  • Nightmares from the Deep (1, 2 & 3)
  • Portal of Evil: Stolen Runes
  • The Secret Order (2 & 3)
  • Tibetan Quest: Beyond the World’s End
  • Time Mysteries (1, 2 & 3)
  • Vampire Legends: The True Story of Kisilova

But yes, generally very excited to get my teeth into all these HOGs - thanks for a great theme!

Apologies for the lack of updates - have been busy with life in general. I’ve been rather lucky of late on Steam Gifts, thanks mostly to the Actually Playing Games group. I not only won Dishonoured 2 but the creator threw in Dishonoured 1 with all of its DLCs too! And just this weekend I won Abzu, which looks amazing.

For Dishonoured 1, my partner started it first, and after some heavy sessions, has finished her first playthrough - and she’s already talking about doing a second. I got started with Dishonoured 2, but made a bit of a foolish error in choosing to do a power-less playthrough first. It seems I severely over estimated my stealth game skills - so I’m finding it hard going - but I think I’m over halfway now, so I am getting there!

Otherwise, I’ve been taking some time to work on my SG wins that I’d made good progress on but then got stuck or beat but not completed. Playing Frozen Synapse Prime on my laptop on the train home and A Boy and his Blob bonus levels when it doesn’t frustrate me too much!

Last month’s theme left me a little cold, honestly - but I’m a huge fan of this months theme! It’s already convinced me to finish the achievements of The ABC Murders and I am re-downloading The Wolf Among Us now to work on the last three achievements there too (edit: done!).

After that, I’d like to complete the “best” ending for IHNMaIMS - I think that’s going to involve closely following a walk-through however, since I remember in previous attempts there are many pitfalls that can prevent it. I’m also going to give a good few hours to Elegy For A Dead World - in theory I believe the achievements can be done very quickly - but I hate that kind of speed running usually. I was talking rubbish - Elegy For A Dead World is nearly impossible to get achievements for it seems. I’ll still give it a good go though.

My only downside was starting the Telltale Jurassic Park game last night. I did not enjoy the majority of the first chapter that I played - far too many stupid button mashing QTEs and generally the story seems very poor compared to The Wolf Among Us. I might put it on the back burner whilst I try out some others (perhaps the Telltale Game of Thrones?).

As for my SG wins, I’m still working my way through the increasingly dull Gyromancer - and occasionally going at A Boy and His Blob - which swings between semi-enjoyable puzzle-platforming to hair-tearing frustration, especially the boss fights. The last boss took me an hour to complete, partly due to a number of weird inconsistencies, as well as my general ineptness of course!

Recently I’ve been mostly concentrating on either games I’ve won on SteamGifts (A Boy and His Blob, Gyromancer) or games that I’m getting closer to 100% achievements on (Costume Quest - ‘tis the season after all, The Talos Principle).

One thing that many of my SG wins have in common is they don’t have achievements. Many of them have clear goals (Odd or Even, Girls Like Robots, and adventure games like Lilly Looking Though) - but I have a few that are pretty open ended, like Galatic Civilization II.

Its the latter I’m currently spending some time thinking about how I will aim to “finish it” (although as you might see from my playtime in it, its not been that high in my priorities yet). My thinking right now is I might steal Civ 5’s general achievement structure and use that (win with every race, at every difficulty, perhaps map configurations too). Any suggestions would be very welcome though!