Monthly Report - August/September/October 2021
Didn’t play that much lately, so this will be a quarter report :)
- Won : -
- Free : Portal Reloaded
- From bundles/gifts/sales : SpaceChem
Batman: Arkham Origins - beaten
I really liked the previous Batman I played (Arkham Asylum), so I was really interested in playing this one.
It was… interesting. Overall I liked it, but less than Arkham Asylum. So I’ll probably be a bit too over-critical here (my notes are only criticism ^^).
I’ll start with the bad and with some technical issues : first I noticed that the game is clearly designed to be played with a controller. This is not a problem, as long as you keep a good keyboard/mouse experience. And this is not the case here (for instance the map is really hard to use with a mouse, while it should be the easiest thing to do ! Or you cannot remap menu keys, so with an azerty keyboard you end up with a really weird mapping - while you can remap the “character control” keys !). Some annoying camera issues also.
Unskippable cutscenes (especially annoying on NG+) while some scene are… In my notes, I wrote twice that the checkpoint locations are bad… So they are really bad :). For instance you may have unskippable cutscenes just after them (yes unskippable cutscenes are also twice in my notes, I was very very annoyed by that ^^).
For the gameplay, at first I liked the open world aspect but the issue is that you quickly lose the focus on the main story. 2 months after that I barely remember it, while I still remember quite well Arkham Asylum’s story. So… I had a good time, but I mostly remember some specific fights & locations, some side quests, but not a lot of what I was REALLY doing there. But I really liked going around the city with the grappling hook, I liked that so much that I barely used the quick travel feature.
But… I felt quite overwhelmed by the combat mechanics. On paper this is good to have that many options and moves. But in practice, they are hard to keep track, there are a lot of keys / combinaison of keys to remember, so you end up using mostly the same ones. And when you decide to try something new, you usually break your combo and don’t try again :). This is one thing I noticed : with this game it is really hard to keep your combo. I think I’m handling well Batman’s freeflow combat (I completed the previous game few months ago, with all combat challenges), but this one is really harder : there’s more enemies that are unblockable (and they are less easy to spot), I feel that the game slows down less, there are more techniques to keep in mind, you can trigger the shock gloves which changes a few mechanics (which could also break your combo) and I feel that the “freeflow” part doesn’t work as good as Arkham Asylum. Several times Batman didn’t jump on a nearby enemy as I requested, and broke the combo.
I’m not saying all of this is bad… But it can make the experience a little bit frustrating. Especially that I felt that the game has faster combats but is less responsive than Arkham Asylum. A lot of times I was pretty sure that I’ve hit the counter button before being hit, but got hit anyway. Even with a lot of practice, I felt that I still couldn’t counter reliably (while I don’t remember it being an issue before).
And a last complain : the bosses. Except the issues mentioned above, the combat is okay, feels quite good, the missions are nice, predator sections were really good (and I loved all the new tools you have) - although maybe there’s not enough of them. But bosses fights are mostly annoying. It is not very clear what you are supposed to do, in hard mode this is VERY hard as the patterns are very specific and you cannot really practice (as you encountered them only once ^^), I don’t really like QTE, and this game maybe has too many of them, and most of those boss fights are just annoying and not fun.
So, after all that negativity… I finished it, and replayed it on hard, so I guess it’s not that bad :).
Seriously, this is a good game. A little less than Arkham Asylum, but still better that a lot of games, and really enjoyable.
Achievements : As usual, a lot of achievements related to the story. There are a few challenging achievements that you can easily miss (not being hit by some specific characters for instance). The “tracks” (a series of challenges that you need to do in order) can be hard, especially the Shadow one, as you don’t have a lot of opportunities to complete them (they often require a Predator section, and some specific setup / items on the map). I think I completed that one on NG+.
Sorry, some more negativity :) : this time I don’t think I will complete the game. First because, as I mentioned, I find the combat less reliable than the previous game, so I started to be annoyed by the combat challenges. I think I got 2 medals on most of them, but struggled to get that last medal. maybe I’ll try again later.
I don’t have a lot of “normal” achievements missing :
- the last “shadow vigilante” challenge (as mentioned before, my problem is the 15 variations AND keeping a combo… I can do 15 variations, I can do 50+ combo, but not both, too many things to keep in mind, and you need to find the right enemy group : without complicated enemies to handle, but with enough crowd that you don’t eliminate them too fast… The best I got was 14 variations which was infuriating ^^)
- The last medals on a few combat challenges
- ‘I am the night” mode (= you die, you die). Which I won’t even consider. I can handle all the “normal” fights without dying but I “died” too often due to missed/unclear QTE and I would hate having to restart for that. This, and the unskippable cutscenes (did I mention them ? ^^). Maybe later, I don’t know.
All the other achievements are multiplayer (which I’m not interested in), or DLC (which I read are not that good).
So I don’t think my achievement counter will change a lot :).
Transistor - completed
I bought this game on sale in 2017 ! I had good memories of Bastion, and was very interested by the “turn” aspect of the game.
This game is surprising… Its style, its gameplay, its storytelling. This is… different.
But it didn’t really start well, I had a few technical issues (no cursor, I couldn’t find a fix, I had to play in windowed mode).
Once the issues worked around, I liked it. The story is very intriguing, and even after finishing it twice, it has several unanswered questions (I’ve read a few theories which were interesting). It keeps a few things to the players interpretation. So this is good, not as good as Bastion, but good. really good.
And the music is fantastic, as Bastion’s :).
As expected I liked the “turn”/planning system and especially liked the customizability: each power can be used by itself, as a booster for another power, or as a passive. This generates a huge amount of possibilities… And the game “forces” you to try, as you need to play with each power in each position to unlock all story elements.
Which showed the only real issue I had with the game. You can create a lot of great builds, it is very easy to change and test a build… But the UI is not great, it lacks information (the description of what does the power in each situation is often unclear, or very very inaccurate, I had to take notes - this may be intended, but a bit annoying), and when you found a great build, you cannot save it. A way to save a few builds would have been nice.
Especially since the game resets your build a few times during the story. So I had a folder with a few screenshots of my favorite builds :).
So… Good game !
Achievements : A few hard ones to get, for instance playing with all limiters enabled is VERY hard, and you have to choose your moment to try that ;), I usually played with ~5 carefully selected ones :). All the other achievements are not really hard, I suggest that you wait for the NG+ to really try to get them, as you’ll have more powers unlocked. I don’t think there is anything really missable. Just a few that you need to choose your moment.
Monthly Report - July 2021
- Won : -
- Free : -
- From bundles/gifts/sales : -
Far Cry 3 - beaten
I was pleasantly surprised by this one. It seems that they fixed a lot of issues I had with FC2 : much more colorful and more interesting environments, a bit more interesting story, no weapon jamming, no constant repop (although they went a bit too far on the other side, as clearing a camp removes all enemies in the area), still a bit repetitive but far less with more variation, fast travel…
So overall I liked the game.
But as usual, there will be a big list of complaints, even if I liked it :).
First, although the story was okay, I hated my character, his behavior and the behavior of the other NPCs. A lot of them are not logical (or even stupid), I won’t go into spoilers but the choice they give you at the end is stupid, around the end of the game you killed thousands of enemies and liberated almost the full island by yourself, and people are still talking to you as if you were a newbie, a little gratitude would have been nice. You are “surprised” several times by enemies in cutscenes but it was obvious this was coming, you follow orders of some bad guy when you could just have killed them, even Vaas, the “main” bad guy, you had several opportunities to kill him.
Ok ok, we need to have a story… But couldn’t we justify things with better events ? Real surprises ? Even the “end” twist. Several scenes before that, you have material proofs that the twist will happen. So… you understand that I was complaining a lot during the cutscenes of this game :). It’s ok but a bit annoying.
The other pain point is the UI : crafting, inventory and skills is a bit painful to access and handle, the map is very slow to appear and moving the map is quite buggy.
I was a bit sad to notice that I couldn’t use both controller (for driving) and keyboard/mouse (for walking/shooting), which I could with FC2, and some other FPS games (Mafia…), and I like doing that. Here you have to choose.
But my big, main complaint is that the island is great, the world they created is great. There are a lot of things to explore, a lot of details and small stories everywhere, this is a pleasure to explore… But this world is empty. You find a lot of villages, isolated houses, or camps, they even bothered to put varied furniture in them. But there is no-one, nowhere, except on roads and main camps. There are a few full villages with a lot of details, some of them are used in the Rakyat trials, but not in the main world.
At first I was approaching each house carefully, just in case. Until I understood that everything was empty, always. I would have loved some random enemies (just one or two, nothing crazy) in some houses, just to add some surprise.
Which results in a game a little bit too easy (I quickly set the game to hard, because I felt there was no challenge). Money is never a problem (well… it becomes a problem because you have too much of it and constantly have messages that your wallet is full ^^). As a challenge, I forced myself to capture camps without raising alarms and if possible without being detected (playing stealthy works quite well and is fun, except a few issues with the takedown button - you expect a takedown and it does a “normal” hit, which is not silent - this is not a bug, just an annoying behavior caused by the fact that the same button does both depending on your position/target).
On the good side, I was also pleasantly surprised that the co-op community was still active. I almost played all chapters in one night, didn’t have to wait more than a couple of minutes to assemble a team (I crossed a few cheaters though, I don’t see the point in a co-op game). This was a good news. Although it seems that there are a few servers issues (servers were down for more than a week, and I got server errors several times when I played the main game).
A note about Ubisoft Connect (ex UPlay… Why did they change, the new name is even worse !) : it sucks; it slows the startup of the game a lot; each time I start the game it sends me a code by email, even when I didn’t need to login; it asks me to login way too often, with a magical “We’ve detected a change in your access pattern”; you constantly have errors messages during your gameplay when the servers are down (and it happens quite often); achievements are not tracked in Steam but in this shit and it doesn’t seem to be public (if there is a public profile, it’s not easy to find), what’s the point of achievements if you can’t show them ? :)…
What a joke.
So, a lot of complaints, but overall a nice game and, I think, a huge improvement over the previous game.
Achievements : No achievements on Steam. But I got all of them on Ubisoft Connect (still a shitty name) except one. As mentioned earlier, the multiplayer servers were down for more than a week and I didn’t have the opportunity the finish the last co-op mission. It should happen soon.
Besides that, I was pleasantly surprised that the relics achievement was triggered when I got half of them. There’s a bit too many of them !
“Rock always wins” was a bit annoying because usually I distract the enemies in order to kill them, which doesn’t count (you need to distract them AND they have to return to their position which doesn’t happen a lot with me ^^).
And I had to search on Internet for “Say Hi to the Internet”, as it is quite hard to find.
Hacknet - completed
Nice game. There are a few issues, but overall this was really nice. The game manages to make you feel a bit like a hacker. I know, I know, this is absolutely not how hacking works but I don’t know how, a few times you really feel like one. Even a few times it feels like REAL hacking, when you need to search computers and documents to find information in order to gain access to other machines (some kind of social engineering).
The game is quite easy, a bit repetitive sometimes, but I think they managed to give you varied tasks and new tools often enough to keep it interesting.
So I don’t have a lot of issues with it, just a couple times, it didn’t want to validate my mission although I did exactly what was asked (sometimes it was a bug, sometimes because I didn’t understand well what was expected ^^), a few times I would have liked that the system handled some multitasking (while doing a job, I forgot what I had to do or needed an additional information, and opening your email or connecting to another machine disconnects you from the current one).
I complain, but the game is quite nice to you: for most machines, once you hacked it, you keep an access to it so you don’t have to hack it again, and once you found a password, the game remembers it for you. Nice touch.
There is a story. Not very important but it’s nice and explains a few things (and one objection I had with the game ^^). You also find some bits of unrelated stories on the computers you hack if you take the time to read the documents.
Achievements : You’ll need to replay it at least once, as there is 2 possible paths, but when you finish the game once, it gives you some shortcut, and a few tips about what you may have missed. If you read everything carefully, you should have all information to unlock all achievement (except maybe “Rude”… I wasn’t sure what the game expected, and the moment to get it is quite specific). So the second playthrough can be very fast.
Monthly Report - June 2021
- Won : -
- Free : -
- From bundles/gifts/sales : -
Batman: Arkham Asylum GOTY Edition - completed
Awesome game. I won it a long time ago with SteamGifts, I don’t know why I didn’t play that earlier !
I don’t have a lot of original things to say. This game was as great as I expected it. It feels great to play, you are never bored, the story is quite basic but does the job, you encounter a lot of classical characters. For a game that old, it holds up very well, some moments are a bit blurry but it still looks very good.
The famous free flow combat mechanics feel really great although I felt it wasn’t really well explained, so I really understood it and got the right rhythm only near the end of my first playthrough.
I also liked the small cutscenes you have when you die (although they start to be annoying in the challenges ^^), and I liked that during that scene, they give you a hint about why you died and how to avoid it, in case you didn’t understand a specific combat or mechanic. It helped a few times.
The checkpoints are quite frequent, so when you die you don’t lose a lot of progress, that’s great. Moving through levels with the grappling hook feels also really nice. The infiltration challenges are enjoyable and the variety of movements you can do (during combat, or while sneaking) is nice.
I only have a few critics : the free flow combat can be a little frustrating sometimes as you may take a hit although you clearly countered it, or you break your combo without knowing really why, and this combat mode makes it quite difficult to move exactly where you want in some situation (some enemies/boss require you to move out of the way). But those are really minor issues for a great combat mechanic.
Also the sewer level is really annoying and a bit too long.
Achievements : A lot of them are unlocked by the story, for the others, this is a great game for completionists, only a few achievements are missable, all the collectibles can be collected after you finished the game, and at some point you get the tools to easily find them. The hard mode is quite hard but doable (I even felt that the last boss was easier - the penultimate one was a real pain though), but the really hard achievement to get is “FreeFlow gold” (get all medals for the combat challenges). You really need to be good with the free flow combat.
Space Engineers - unfinished
We wanted to play some creative game with some friends, and we all had this one. This is a game we bought years ago when it was first released and we quite liked it then (I had 70h of gameplay).
So we played it again and… I’m not a big fan. I really like the idea, but not really the execution, it feels like a lot of basic quality of life improvements are missing. Coming from Satisfactory, I feel that there are a few improvements that could be made that would allow building things way easier, I often feel that I’m fighting the game when I’m trying to do something. Moreover the game still has a lot of bugs.
We’ll continue to play it, because my friends like it, but my enjoyment will depend a lot of the bugs I’ll encounter and the task of the day (exploration is fun, building is not)
Achievements : Didn’t really check them, they seem related to the story mode, I didn’t play that.
Monthly Report - April/May 2021
- Won : -
- Free : Little Nightmares, Samorost, Quiplash
- From bundles/gifts/sales : Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?!, Metro Exodus, Darksiders Genesis, Fury Unleashed, Relicta
Victor Vran - beaten
Won this one on SteamGifts years ago. I played a lot of Diablo 3 so I might compare this game with it a lot. Because it looks like it and a lot of enemy skills and mechanics are similar. So what’s interesting is what is different. There are good ideas: there are no classes, your character depend only on the outfit, weapon and demon powers you choose. And I like that, it allows you to switch whenever you want.
I also like the destiny card system, which also allows you to really customize according to your gameplay or immediate needs.
So… The game is ok, but it has a lot of annoying flaws. The big one is the enemy difficulty system. The enemies level/difficulty increase as you level, but your items power don’t usually follow (yes there are weapons that level with you, but not with the same curve), which mean that you feel weaker and weaker as you progress…
At some point, without changing the difficulty, levels that I could do easily before became almost impossible. Ok, it could be interesting as a challenge, but it’s not always fun. Sometimes you just want to feel powerful and kill enemies by hundreds, not fight enemy sponges.
Also, but this is probably me, I feel that ranged weapons are the only viable option. Each time I tried to use melee weapons (even the sword which is supposed to be the best), even with a defensive build (heal on hit, …) I don’t survive very long, almost all enemies do heavy damages in melee or have AoE damages. So I use the shotgun and grenade launcher a lot, any attempt to use something else means that I die A LOT. Not fun. But again, probably my fault.
Let’s be honest, the crafting / upgrading system sucks. I dont like to have to flip through pages of a (virtual) book to know what components I need to upgrade an item. Just let me select what I want in a list and tell me ! Also, I know that the inventory is unlimited (a blessing and a curse !) but please, automatically take components required from the storage, I’m tired of doing the round trip.
So. I had fun to play the game, I completed a lot of challenges and finished the story, reached max level, I’m currently progressing on hard, but farming doesn’t feel very fun. In Diablo, if you want fun farming, you play in a lower Torment difficulty. Yes items will be less interesting, but you can have a few fun runs and feel powerful.
In Victor Vran, even on hard with loot bonuses, I never find weapons that are better, so I don’t feel any progress… The endgame feels boring and everything is tedious, as you never feel powerful and all enemies take way too much time to kill. And the bounty & treasure hunts are boring (and not that well rewarded), having to look for codes on the Internet is not a great idea.
I may try a few build guides to see if I missed something or if I could improve my character, but I’m not sure I’ll continue to play it.
Achievements : Surprisingly for this kind of game, there are not so many “farming” achievements, and it looks like I’m not far from unlocking all “normal” achievement so I might play a little more to finish that.
But a bunch of them are related to DLCs and reviews says that one of them is not great (although, as a metalhead, I might buy the Motorhead one…), so I doubt I’ll complete the game.
Metro 2033 Redux - completed
As I liked a lot Metro Last Light, I bought this one when it was on sale. Yes I played them out of order, but I don’t feel that this is a issue.
Obviously, I knew where the story was going, as Metro Last Light is a direct sequel, but the journey is important :). And I think that you find it equally cool to see how some level evolved between the two games (in Last Light, you go back to a few levels that you visited in 2033, but… different).
I don’t have much to say though. This is pretty much the same as Last Light.
What surprised me is that there is also a “moral” mechanic, but it doesn’t seem to have any impact. In Last Light, the ending depends on it, but in 2033 it seems that you can still have both endings, whatever your behavior during the game. So it is a bit strange to have it there.
As Last Light, the game is not really hard, and I never had any resources issues even in survival mode (even filters).
So the gameplay feels good, the story is nice, this one is maybe playing a little less on the sound design to set a creepy mood, Last Light improved a bit on that side. But it is still very good. Check my Last Light review, I would probably repeat myself here !
Achievements : Most of them are pretty straightforward, you can replay levels so most achievements can be done after finishing the game, the only real annoying one is “Weaponsmith” (kill with every weapon in the game), or achievements “Kill X enemies with Y weapon”. Those are not easy to keep track of :).
Starbound - beaten
Looking for a game to play in co-op with my friends, we went back to Starbound. I played it when it was first released (in early access I think) and it really feels like a different game ! Now there is a tutorial, hub area, quests… !
I don’t have much to say, but I liked the improvements they made. I marked the game as beaten as we completed the storyline, but this is not really the kind of game that you finish :). There are always things to explore, base to build, resources to collect…
Although a good game, a few improvements would still be welcome. For instance, building is a bit tedious, being able to quickly select an elements by clicking on existing one (you want a specific kind of wall ? Search through dozens of similar looking small icons to find the right one…), I really liked that feature in Satisfactory (middleclick on anything, it will select it and you can now build it), all sandbox/building games should have that.
Achievements : Besides the ones you get by following the story, a lot of them are very very VERY grindy. I won’t even try :). But there are a few that I can still unlock easily, I’ll work on that. I don’t know why they made all of them hidden, not many spoilers there…
LEGO® Star Wars™: The Complete Saga - unfinished
This will be quick : it’s a Lego game. But the camera really sucks in this one. Usually it’s not great but still ok. Here it just sucks. The graphics look very old, so I guess this is one of the firsts (checking Wikipedia… Yes, this is one of the first using this formula).
I played that on co-op with Remote Play (which didn’t work very well, several playing session started with 10 minutes of trying to make it work).
There are better Lego games ;).
Achievements : No achievements.
Monthly Report - February/March 2021
- Won : -
- Free : Delores: A Thimbleweed Park Mini-Adventure, Simutrans
- From bundles/gifts/sales : Metro 2033 Redux
Legend of Grimrock 2 - completed
I won that one on SteamGifts a very long time ago, I’m not sure why I didn’t play it since, because I loved it.
Its gameplay is very different, I was a bit surprised (it took me several minutes to just get out of the cage ^^), and the movement system require some time to get used to (your movement only follow a grid pattern, and you can only move and fight on the x & y axes).
This is mostly an exploration and puzzle game, and most of them are nice and diverse enough (some, especially near the end, are a little bit stupid though), and the world is quite big, with a lot to explore, a lot of secrets hidden everywhere. As I love exploring worlds this was great for me.
I also liked a lot the magic system, where you draw your spells over runes (kind of Magicka but a bit easier), so you cannot just click on an icon, and you still need to concentrate when you’re in panic mode ;). This also means that you really learn spells, all spells can be casted as soon as you have the right magic level, you just have to know how. Same for alchemy. I like this system.
Enemies are quite diverse, with each their behavior, skills and weaknesses, some very annoying (the frogs !) but it makes combat quite fun. The game can be quite hard though, especially on your first playthrough, when you don’t know the enemies, and the traps, when you don’t know where to use your lockpicks and gold keys to avoid wasting them…
I don’t have a lot of issues with the game, but there are still a few things that annoyed me : it feels a bit unfair sometimes (you can easily be stuck between monsters, and if this happens, it is very hard to get out of that), as I said, a few puzzles feel more like a guess than clever, and the damage system is not reliable. You can have a very powerful character that will hit with 100 normal damage, and next hit will be a 10 critical damage (on the same monster), so some fights can be very long and frustrating, just because of that randomness.
But overall it was very fun, I liked it a lot, and I’ll probably take a look on the first one.
Achievements : As usual, a lot of achievements are unlocked just by playing, some of them are a bit grindy though. And at the end of my first playthrough I had found most of the secrets (with something like 5-6 missing… the issue is that once you are at the end, it is hard to find the missing ones, it is easier to restart a game and look for them harder ^^)
For me completing all achievements required five complete playthroughs : the first “normal” one without checking the achievements, a partial one for the “Gluttony” achievement. I first wanted to try to do the “Insane Ironman” (you can only save at crystals, and each crystal can be used once) and “Hard boiled” (hard mode) on the same playthrough, but hard mode was really hard, and I got fed up of losing so much progress. So I did one in hard mode, and one on normal difficulty for the Insane Ironman (which sound scary but is not that hard in normal mode, when you know the game, plan your saves and choose the right time for hard combats).
As for “Doin’ it old school” (complete the game without map), at first I though that I would never do that :). But after all those playthroughs, I knew the maps pretty well so it wasn’t really hard (and I didn’t do it on paper, I’m not crazy ! There are too many teleport situations to be able to keep track !), the only real difficulty is water : without map, if you go in the water, you better know where the ladders are !
So this game achievements require quite some work, but if you like the game, replaying it with a different build is a pleasure ;)
Hitman: Sniper Challenge - completed
I think this one was free, it looks like a promotional game for the Hitman reboot.
But there is “sniper” in its name, so I’m interested :). And it’s a nice little game, it took me a couple of hours to complete all challenges and I enjoyed it.
Achievements : There are no achievements, but as in the main Hitman game, there are some challenges. I completed all of them, although a few took me some time to find, and one required a look on the Internet (the flying bird one, and even knowing it, it was quite hard to get).
Monthly Report - January 2021
- Won : -
- Free : Ultimate Epic Battle Simulator
- From bundles/gifts/sales : -
Owlboy - completed
This game has very good ratings and seems to be praised a lot. I found it… okay.
The gameplay is nice, and controls are ok, but I often got confused between the different buttons (am I starting to be too old ? ^^) which resulted into failing to have the right companion active, or performing the action I wanted.
Maybe there a little too much backtracking / getting lost in levels / having to travel for a long time just to go to a specific location, a quick travel would have been nice.
Also the “stealth” part suck. The stealth elements are not reliable, and on some levels failing stealth generally means death or backtracking a lot.
On the good idea side : flying character in a platformer is original, and having to switch companions to perform some action is quite nice (although again, controls issue).
I found the story is forgettable (I already forgot most of it…). Strange thing is that you care for it during the game and want to know more, but I think that the end is a bit disappointing.
Achievements : A lot unlock by playing, a few can be missed but are in the starting zone so it should be easy to quickly restart to complete achievements. My main issue was with the coin collection. In one of the first levels, there is a mechanic that shows you were are the hidden rooms if you pay attention. But it is only used there… For all the other levels you need to lick all walls to find them. Too bad.
Besides that, the cannon challenge was the hardest one for me. But after a lot (A LOT !!) of tries, I finally managed to get it (note : there is a shortcut to quickly restart but it doesn’t work reliably and the game doesn’t tell you, another miss that could have been easily fixed).
Far Cry 2 - beaten
I already did a preliminary review in my July report, and after finishing it, I still agree with most of what I wrote then.
Note that I played a modded version which is supposed to improve the experience (you can save anywhere, FOV, smarter enemies…) and fix bugs without changing too much of the original gameplay. And indeed I experienced way less bugs and the game was slightly better.
But the same issues remain : malaria mechanism is annoying and useless, still quite ugly (compared to FC1), weapon jamming is also annoying, enemy repop is the worst thing… at some point you don’t even bother, you just go straight through the camp and heal after, but it’s still annoying (especially in the last third of the game, when enemies that can one-shot you appear).
But the worst thing is that it is atrociously repetitive, every main mission is : mission briefing - destroy this / kill that person (usually very far), your buddy call you to suggest an alternative way to perform mission, you do that, you finish the mission, the buddy gets stuck in a shooting, you save (or fail to save) them, and loop. If you decide to do a side mission to change thing, they are also all the same : destroy that truck / kill that person, the malaria quests are : deliver those papers to X to get your pills, etc.
And the story is uninteresting.
The sad thing is that I enjoyed those main missions, because the location is (usually) new, with a little more complexity than a camp, with more enemies, and different possible ways to carry the mission. It is everything around it that suck : the long travel to the location, with all the repop on the way (there is a quick travel with bus stations, but it is barely usable, as their location usually suck. So going to the station, travel, and going to the location can be longer than driving), finding a weapon store because if you don’t renew your weapon, it’ll jam, random enemy cars that you can cross when driving (which is more annoying than dangerous)…
I also almost liked the last part of the game, but it is a few good moments separated by A LOT of running/walking (your character is tired if he runs for more than 5 seconds…). Why ???
On the good side, I liked the weapons gameplay (except rocket launcher, it seems completely unreliable) and the shooting is quite satisfying, which is probably the reason that I finished it in spite of all the issues that annoyed me.
I understand that this is a quite old game and our standards may have changed, but I don’t understand some of the choices that were made, it feels like they are artificially making the game longer, but by annoying the player on the way ? It seems to work as a lot of people seem to like it.
Achievements : None. I usually complete games, but here the side missions and diamonds collection are so annoying that I won’t :).
Monthly Report - December 2020
- Won : Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince
- Free : -
- From bundles/gifts/sales : -
Metro: Last Light Redux - completed
I won that one on SteamGifts, I didn’t play 2033, nor the original version of Last Light, so I don’t know what they did improve.
I liked the game, although I felt that the last third (before the “finale”) is a bit strange storywise. Not an issue but surprising.
The game feels very good, shooting is nice, the sound design is great, exploring dark places is a bit stressful, well done. The story could probably be better (it is quite generic) but you are not bored as the gameplay is good. I just felt a bit frustrated on some “outside” levels. I like to explore and the filter limitation can be quite frustrating, but hey, it’s part of the game.
The only real annoying thing about that was a checkpoint just before a boss when I had around 1 minute of filters left… I couldn’t manage to finish the boss (well I did… but the animation after that is so long that I constantly died a few seconds before the end of the level ^^). I had to restart that one.
There’s a few things I noticed, that I guess were from the original game : even in survival mode (which is supposed to have scarce resources) I never had to buy any weapon (barely a few upgrades) or ammo, so I never had ammo issues and I ended the game with a LOT of bullets (=money), even after using them to kill bosses. I guess the original game was more difficult ? I’m curious, I might play the original to compare :).
DLCs : there are a few additional levels that come as DLCs. Most of them are nice, and add a few stories around secondary characters. I liked the ones where you see an alternative point of view of the main story (Anna, Pavel)
A few special mentions :
- Kshatriya : awesome level. The gameplay is very different (you have to explore the level to find “old world” items, you start with pretty much nothing, earn money which allows you to buy ammo and filters, which allows you to explore the level further), and probably closer to what the game is supposed to be (you really have to keep an eye on your ammo, and filter remaining time was quite stressful: you have to plan for your return time ^^). I really enjoyed that one.
- Tower pack : I hated it… The principle is simple : you just fight waves. This is quite hard but with some training, it can be completed. But… On some waves there is one enemy that spit on you, which slows you… Why not. But it also plays a very high pitch ring (to simulate tinnitus). But I already suffer from very serious tinnitus, and each time this sound plays it was just physically painful, and triggered my tinnitus for hours… As you can’t disable it and playing with no sound is VERY hard, I had to skip those levels when those monsters appeared.
Achievements : If you thoroughly explore the levels like me, you’ll unlock a lot of them just by playing, but two playthroughs will be required (kill / no kill, spartan / survival modes, “bad” / “good” ending), make sure you choose your path before starting :). There is no achievement based on difficulty, and there is an achievement for each additional level. You can replay any level which is great when chasing achievements !
As mentioned, I cheated for the Tower achievement (“Test Complete”), but with in-game features (there is a combinaison of keys that immediatly mark the level as completed), I finished all the levels & waves I could though.
Monthly Report - November 2020
- Won : Metro Last Light Redux
- Free : -
- From bundles/gifts/sales : -
Action Henk - unfinished
I had this game for a while and had played it a couple of hours, I felt like revisiting it again.
I liked this game, although this is haaaaard ! Well, the medals are ok (although I generally needed a bunch of tries - which is expected), but the rainbow medal feels impossible.
I checked a bunch of guides about “advanced” techniques but I can’t pull them off consistently (or at all ^^). I might keep trying but I doubt I’ll be able to grab any medal above gold :).
I don’t have a lot to say about it. It was fun :).
Achievements : I doubt I can get all bronze (city levels are very hard, I can’t even finish some), and I’m sure I can’t get all rainbow… So some of those are REAL achievements :). And the “The 1%” achievement is crazy (the best I got is 97% so… maybe ?)
Staxel - unfinished
I won this one on SteamGift.
This is interesting but I’m a bit disappointed. This was released years after Minecraft, and although it takes a lot from it, it manages to have less than ideal controls.
Building things (the heart of the game) is often a pain (can’t build quickly, targeting system is not great and fixing a mistake is slow, which happens a lot).
The crafting system is powerful but a bit annoying (you have to put the items on a bench instead of what does most games : select a recipe and it takes components in your inventory).
I didn’t play that much so far, but I explored a bit the world and so far it feels a bit empty (not a lot of interesting things found), but it still can change.
So : the basic idea is nice, but the implementation is not great, but it’s not that far ! The annoying this is that they keep releasing content without having changed that, so it probably will never change :).
Anyway, I’ll keep playing that one, at least a bit.
Achievements : Looks like a lot of things that will unlock just by playing, maybe grinding a bit, but nothing seems impossible. We’ll see.
Automachef - unfinished
I love this kind of game, I love cooking games, and I love “factory” game. Mixing them, awesome !
I didn’t play a lot, but I’m really liking it. My only real complaint is that the UI could be greatly improved : more keyboard shortcuts, less scrolling…
This should be easy to fix, as the mechanics are great, only the UI needs some change, but I see that the last release was almost a year ago so I doubt it’ll change, too bad.
I’ll keep playing this one too though and probably finish it.
Achievements : Nothing crazy, but I hate those “publish something to the workshop” achievement. This is best way to have a workshop full of shitty levels…
Monthly Report - September / October 2020
- Won : Staxel
- Free : -
- From bundles/gifts/sales : Automachef
Thomas Was Alone - completed
Not a lot of gaming this last couple of months so I was looking for a nice short game. And here it was !
I heard a lot of good things about it, so not sure why I hadn’t already played it.
So, overall it is a nice game, the narrative is interesting and quite fun, although I didn’t find it as extraordinary as some comments sounded :).
This is a pleasing game, quite easy, but with enough different mechanics (way more than I expected !) that you are never bored and none of the level feel tedious.
I don’t have much more to say about it… Good game, play it :).
Achievements : If you pay attention, you get all of them in one playthrough. If not, you can replay the levels to grab the ones you missed. Easy !
Natural Selection 2 - unfinished
So. I browsed through my games generating cards and decided that instead of idling to get the cards, I’ll give a chance to the games and play them at least until I get all the free cards. First one was this. This is a asymmetric competitive multiplayer-only game, with an alien team & a human team fighting to destroy to opponent.
Usually competitive multiplayer games are not my thing. And this game didn’t grab me either.
It started well, the tutorials seemed quite good and seemed detailed, and the idea of having FPS mixed with a kind of strategy game was appealing.
But it really lacks of a training mode. The game mechanics are not all easy, you have a lot of things to handle (especially when you take the “leader”/strategy role).
FPS as humans, ok no worries, it is pretty much like most games, but FPS as aliens is… confusing. You have a lot of options, most of them you don’t know what they do and, as you are a noob, you usually don’t have the time to see what each weapon/skill does, because you die before.
I didn’t even try the “leader” role. The tutorial seemed nice as a first entry, but you can only do the actions they want, you can’t experiment, try things, have the time to read the tooltips…
I feel that a practice mode, with at least a dumb A.I. would have been really useful.
Also, my first game wasn’t the best situation. I clicked on a button expecting the game to load a room or a server list, but got directly matched with an already ongoing game, with russian people, all yelling in russian… I wasn’t prepared for that :) (we lost, so more yelling).
Next game I’ve been more cautious and chose my server, one speaking english, and noob friendly. Yay ! We won, but as I said, it was really frustrating because I kept dying before being able to test the abilities, and felt that even when I hit, it didn’t do any damage, and constantly felt bad because choosing interesting / powerful evolutions meant consuming a lot of points, that I wasted by dying quickly. Again, I really wanted a practice mode, with dummies on which I could try the weapons (like any good RPG does)… This is why I don’t like multiplayer games with people I don’t know :).
So, I played a few games, won and lost and didn’t felt I was in control most of the time :). Could be a fun game, but really lacks a practice mode. Not for me.
Achievements : I was surprised that I got so many (1/3 !). Being a competitive multiplayer game I expected them to be mostly grinding. Looks like there is nothing too crazy, and playing quite a bit should be enough to complete them. I won’t, but good for them !
Sanctum 2 - unfinished
Second game in my “get the cards while giving it a chance”. This one is a tower defense combined with a FPS point of view. I wasn’t convinced at first, as tower defense is not my kind of games. But I think the FPS aspect helped a lot.
I played the first few maps, and liked it. I’m interested to see what options will be available and had a lot of fun so far.
So I’ll probably keep my review for later, as I’ll probably replay this one.
Moreover I see that it has online coop, so I’ll try to grab a friend !
Achievements : Hard to say. It feels that most of them will unlock just by playing. Right now, finishing a game with all feats of strength enabled is VERY hard, but I barely unlocked a few things, so it is probably not the right time to try that :).
Monthly Report - August 2020
- Won : We Were Here Together
- Free : F1 2018
- From bundles/gifts/sales : American Fugitive, Little Big Workshop, Genesis Alpha One, Hello Neighbor, Hello Neighbor: Hide and Seek, Call of Cthulhu, Through The Darkest of Times, Vampyr
Graveyard Keeper - completed
I loved the game and got the Stranger Sins DLC during the last sale, so I loaded my save again and continued managing my graveyard… Well to be honest I did not do much graveyard things… I mostly created a few zombies to automate things, I probably didn’t even enter the graveyard :).
It’s a little sad, but was really graveyard keeper about graveyard keeping ? :). In the DLC, you start managing a tavern ! So it is a lot more focused on farming and producing food.
I liked that because in the “main” game, I felt that although you could produce a lot of different dishes, you weren’t really doing it. I had a few dishes that I was producing a lot to restore my energy and that’s it, usually nothing really complicated. So this DLC pushes you to diversify and try things.
Besides the tavern, you are given a lot of fetch quests to gather components that allows you to discover the History of this world and information about several key characters. This is interesting, but maybe a little too “fetchy”. You sometimes have to cross the map several times for not really interesting reasons. I would have liked to explore the dungeon again for instance, instead of just running around.
Not the best DLC, but overall a nice addition and a good reason to play the game again..
Achievements : Most achievements are linked to the story progression, but a few are linked to achieving organizing a “perfect” event (by serving the right dishes). To be honest, after a few testing, I had to look at the wiki. It would have been nice to a have a few clues about which dishes fit which event, I didn’t felt it was always very logical, and it can be a lot of work to organize an event, so it is a bit annoying to “waste” it trying to find the right dishes (at some point money isn’t really a factor)…
We Were Here Together - completed
I won this one on SteamGift, and as it was on Humble Monthly, I got a copy for a friend with whom I enjoyed a lot the previous games (We Were Here & We Were Here Two).
Like the other ones, this is a asymmetric puzzle game and as expected this one was nice too. A few puzzles forced us to take notes, that’s always good :).
This is very similar to the other games, a few puzzles are similar to the previous ones, but often with a setup different enough that you don’t feel they just repeat their puzzles, and a couple of them are more challenging.
We also liked that this time you spent a good amount of time together, and you are only separated later. But this time, you don’t have the same story depending on the path you are, which makes replaying it even more interesting.
A very good game to play with a friend !
Achievements : You just have to play the game twice, once for each side (which you would have probably done anyway, right? ^^), and the final chapter twice too. Thanksfully, you can choose your chapter so it is quite quick to do.
Algotica Iterations - completed
This game sucks. Avoid it.
Ok. I won this on SteamGift and was quite interested by the concept. As a computer programmer, I love games that “gamify” programming, and like to see how people can make it more friendly. So I liked the idea.
I think I played it right away, I played it until a part where the game opens up to some sort of open world, it wasn’t really finished but was promising, I feel that I still had a few things to do. As the developer said he was working on a remaster, I decided to wait for it and stopped there.
I forgot this game for a few years and as I was looking for a small game to play on holidays, I decided to replay it.
And well… The game is still very buggy (I’m pretty sure more), some graphics change are strange, I think several levels were removed, and the open world part disappeared. A “story” has been added, but it’s uninteresting and useless. And I’m pretty sure it is easier.
What annoyed me the most is a bug when you try to manipulate the instructions and the game just delete / overwrite / reorder instructions. This is the core loop. One wrong instruction and you sometimes have to reset the whole program because the drag & drop didn’t work properly and messed up the program. Without this, maybe the game would get a “meh” comment from me. But it annoyed me so much, than it gets the “it sucks” :).
So, as a remaster, you have a worse game, shorter, with less content, and the developer is still selling it… I’m happy that I didn’t pay for that.
Achievements : This kind of game can have interesting & hard achievements (like Human Resource Machine does), pushing you to find optimized/smart solutions. This one doesn’t. You try to optimize on the first few levels, and then you see it is useless. Just play the game, complete the few levels there is, and it’s done.
Don't Starve Together - unfinished
I started to play this one with a friend. Neither of us played the single player so we were both discovering the game…
And boy this is hard. After a few tries, I went reading a few guides to understand what we were doing wrong. And it was really helpful ! That and a few utility mods.
The game is still hard, and it is impressive how much you can do in it. I’m not the kind of gamer that invest a lot of time getting good at one specific game, so I don’t think I’ll become good at this one, but the few hours we played were quite fun, and we’ll probably play it again in the future.
I’ll write a more complete review then.
Achievements : No achievements.