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Some games are marked as beaten/completed with no playtime/achievements because other version went out/i beat them outside of steam/achievments were added after the fact.


June backlog tally

June had some long week-end due to covid. And crappy weather. So Backlog cleaning was in order.

Games I enjoyed

  • SUPERHOT

    4 hours playtime

    15 of 26 achievements

  • The Darkness II

    7 hours playtime

    25 of 50 achievements

  • Rock of Ages 2

    5 hours playtime

    7 of 21 achievements

  • Beholder

    7 hours playtime

    20 of 60 achievements

  • Magicka 2

    6 hours playtime

    19 of 47 achievements

  • Minit

    2 hours playtime

    20 of 27 achievements

Two of them are sequels to games I already played Magicka 2 and Rock of Ages 2. As I expected it was more of the same with little change in it. So magicka for the crazy self casting where you spend half the time killing yourself/your friends and laugh about it. And rock of age 2 for the silly history explanation and crashing gates with big boulders.
SUPERHOT Not usually a big fan of FPS, but that take on the genre was really good. The idea that opponents/bullets move ever so slowly except if you move as well was pretty damn good and well executed. And the story/aesthetics of the game were also a solid plus.
The Darkness II A more classic take on the FPS genre. The story was close enough to the source material to keep me in (I love The Darkness as comic books) and the powers/enemy variation were good enough for the length of the game.
Beholder A bit of a reminiscence of Orwell/Paper please with this dystopian world. You monitor your neighbors while trying to help your family. Started to get a bit boring/repetitive toward the end, but the start of the game was really nice and the overall story was really influenced by your choices, so it made up for it.
Minit Starts of like a Zelda clone. And then you realize that 60 seconds have passed and you have to start a new (while keeping your stuff). It was quite the challenge to figure out how to do some of the stuff in the game in those 60 seconds, but it was fun. Gotta love this kind of graphic, because it’s not for everyone I’d say.

Meh games

  • Shelter 2

    2 hours playtime

    3 of 26 achievements

  • Pathway

    Beaten on EGS

Shelter 2 was … weird. Like you start of in a tutorial that learns you everything. And then you’re set and need to survive for the next few hours. But there is no specific goal to guide you outside of keeping your children alive. So while the game looks nice and it’s really cute to play a Lynx, I found it quite boring after a while. Like why would you go explore if you risk losing your cubs because there is no food in this new region.
Pathway was a freeby on EGS. And it fails short of being a good game. It’s FTL meet XCom in a pixel Indiana Jones settings. The animation/design are quite good. But the gameplay loop is a bit lacking. It’s a roguelike that would have been better by not being a roguelike.
You have 5 adventure to do. You unlock stuff by playing (either equipment that you can use instantly or money/characters to change between adventures) and gain some experience to improve your current characters. That progression feels lacking. Better weapons are just the same weapon with better stats. All the stuff that you can unlock at your base camp is almost useless (the only useful one was a new inventory page) and you don’t feel the need to change characters because you’ll lose out on all the progress made by your current characters. And after the 3rd adventure, events/battles you get outside of the fixed ones start to feel like déjà-vu.

Never again games

  • Two Worlds II Castle Defense

    3 hours playtime

    no achievements

  • The Hex

    5 hours playtime

    11 of 28 achievements

Two worlds II Castle Defense Not much to be said, it’s a tower defense with nothing for him. It’s not pretty, the gameplay is not really interesting, it’s really short (but that’s a good point) and the controls aren’t really clear (I only found at like the 3rd map that you could move the screen out of your starting position)
The Hex was rather disappointing. Some called it a masterpiece so I was expecting something good. It’s a meta story/game but nothing close to a masterpiece. The story starts well but twists become obvious and the progression is always the same (do stuff in the tavern, get into a game for the character you have, change character). The idea to have multiples genre in the game could be good, but as a result, none of those gameplay is refined enough to be good. There is one or two good parts here and there but that’s it. Like at one point the game tell you that what you’re doing is starting to get boring. And the answer is yes. Yet it keeps giving you the same kind of stuff. The fact that it told me it was boring does not make it less boring…

Holiday clean-up

So with all the lockdown and the holiday I had in may, there was more than enough time to clear some game from the backlog.

First of, games I had in my backlog for a while:

  • Codex of Victory

    12 hours playtime

    19 of 30 achievements

  • Concrete Jungle

    18 hours playtime

    13 of 13 achievements

  • Legends of Eisenwald

    43 hours playtime

    26 of 45 achievements

  • Volume

    8 hours playtime

    24 of 24 achievements

  • 60 Seconds! Reatomized

    2 hours playtime

    22 of 60 achievements

  • Fortix

    15 hours playtime

    12 of 12 achievements

  • Hidden Folks

    7 hours playtime

    8 of 8 achievements

Codex of victory is an ok turn based strategy game, units are upgraded all campaign long, you keep stocks of units. Game gets a little bit repetitive toward the end because you tend to use the units you have upgraded the most.
Concrete jungle is a really nice take on the city building genre because it combines city building and card management. All in all it was a very fun experience, each character has a really different playstyle and the different game mode (vs, team vs, classic) make for a different approach to the game.
Legend of Eisenwald. I’m a bit torn on this one, on one hand I really liked how your troupes evolve, the story with the multiple choice offered, the light resource management and the overall setting, on the other hand some aspect felt pretty bad. During fights melee can’t really pick their target, transforming some spell on insane turn wasters for some troupes, the achievement system need you to do multiples play through to 100% complete with a replay value almost null from a gameplay PoV.
Volume a stealth game that’s pretty good. Simple design, yet very effective. The different tools and opponents at your disposition make the 100 level of the game all pretty different.
60 seconds reatomized I expected a bit more from the game. It’s just 60 second to pick items and then it’s just a text adventure. Like yeah there are different events/endings but it still felt samey after two play through.
Fortix and Hidden Folks I already had finished those game, just went back to get the last achievements.
Not much to say on fortix, you either like this kind of game or you don’t.
As for Hidden Folks, DLC is now included in the base game, I still really like this one (reminds me of where is waldo books), the design is pretty nice and the sounds are pretty fun.

Then three games that I picked up in a bundle last month/bought on sale

  • Cosmic Star Heroine

    16 hours playtime

    33 of 33 achievements

  • Masquerada: Songs and Shadows

    10 hours playtime

    27 of 27 achievements

  • Westboro

    8 hours playtime

    10 of 17 achievements

Cosmic Star heroine a good turn based RPG, combat felt nice, evolution of character/stuff felt ok, the progression is pretty linear, the story is ok, design was pretty good (if you like pixel art that is). Only real downside are the fact that I had to use AHK to change the shortcuts and the fact that there was no way to check current buff/debuff in combat.
Masquerada: Songs and Shadows I freaking loved the setting of the game. The music is gorgeous, the lore is really good (and a nice change of environment) and the design complements that well. As for the story if felt at the same time good and bad (some stuff that you don’t see coming, other that are way to obvious and make you feel like the hero is a bit dumb). As for the combat (main part of the game play), it felt okay. It had some potential, but never really sucked me in.
Westboro. Sometime you have a bad flair for game. This was one of them. The game had some potential and nice touches (like the opponent falling over each other when you kill the first of a line and munition being scarce at the start) but it had some awful game design issues. Exemplified by the last boss: infinite spawning enemies + being fired upon by stuff that is out of the screen/hard to focus on). And leveling felt pretty bland.

And to top it of, two free games I picked up on steam recently

  • The LEGO® NINJAGO® Movie Video Game

    16 hours playtime

    50 of 50 achievements

  • Total War: SHOGUN 2

    8 hours playtime

    7 of 106 achievements

The LEGO® NINJAGO® Movie Video Game It’s a modern lego game. So normal game done in 7hours, and double that time if you want everything. That’s about it.
Total War: SHOGUN 2 It’s an oldish Total War. After having played a bunch of Total War: Warhammer, this one felt pretty lacking in comparison, so one campaign and done.

Chimera Squad over!

Welp I knew I loved XCom games, chimera squad was no different. Bought it on friday, finished it on sunday. The only thing remaining is hunting for achievements. At least it didn’t stay in the backlog for long.

The pros:

  • The breach mechanism is a nice addition
  • Each character (be it humans or aliens) has unique skills allowing you to test different play styles.
  • Linked to that, the training mechanism (and scar healing) forces you to play different strategy (and not just “I’ll replace sniper A with sniper B for the time being”)
  • It’s an XCom game with more skill usage and less gunfight.
  • The duration is just right for the game (20hours). A bit longer and it’d start to get boring.

The meh

  • Opposing factions strength seems to vary quite widely (one of them being way harder than the two others)
  • Resources are quite unequal in utility (intel is used for everything interesting and you’re always short, cash is needed at the start and then overflowing at the end and elirium is abundant enough that you’re never found lacking)
  • The technology system feels a bit underwhelming (you unlock plenty of items that you will never use/buy)

The cons

  • The plot is mediocre at best (then again, it’s not really the main point of the game)
  • The Aliens personality is a missed opportunity, they’re just classic archetypes with a different skin.

Quarantine backlogging

So after a month of being locked in, here are the results for my backlog.

First off, a game I’ve played on and off for more than one year, Sniper Elite 4. Managed to put myself into finishing it. It’s just a Sniper Elite game, nothing standing out.

Sniper Elite 4

26 hours playtime

27 of 85 achievements

Second one is bionic dues. Purchased it on sale, and I’m glad I didn’t spend to much on it. The gameplay is fine (just a basic turn based exploration/combat with 4 mech with different weapons) but it gets old real fast. The only bright side is that the opponent variety is nice and forces you to think a bit. On the other hand, the maps have different objectives, but it doesn’t change much in term of gameplay, so it gets really repetitive after a bit. The progression during a run is dirt poor (it’s just optimizing your stats increase).
And what the heck are those achievements. Each achievement exists for every difficulty (at least you unlock the one from the difficulty below when doing one at a given difficulty), and a bunch of them are undoable in the same run (a run is 5 to 10hour). No way I’m ever completing them all.

Bionic Dues

13 hours playtime

18 of 220 achievements

After that two game from one bundle Dead Man’s Draw and Sorcerer King: Rivals. I bought them for Sorcerer king. Glad it was only the first tier…
Because what a broken mess this was. The game was good for about one hour. Then everything ended up being bugged.
-Impossible to finish a lot of quests (making alliance impossible)
-When trying to attack some opponents my army would go to another place on the map
-Scaling is all over the place (like my army would crush everything on the map in auto battle and still get easily dispatched by the last boss.

On the other hand Dead man’s Draw was surprisingly decent. The gameplay is easy to get, but you won’t crush every game, the games don’t take long, the different tournament having different effects and your opponent traits makes the game enjoyable enough that I can see myself trying to beat every tournament while doing one match every now and then. It can be frustrating at times with a bad RNG and I can’t see myself spending 12 hours on a row playing it because of that, but at least I get more enjoyment from it than from Sorcerer King.

  • Dead Man's Draw

    7 hours playtime

    14 of 20 achievements

  • Sorcerer King: Rivals

    9 hours playtime

    26 of 46 achievements

And to finish it of Expeditions: Conquistador. Started it long ago then gave up for some reason (can’t remember). So I started anew and finished it. It’s pretty good. The combat are nice (not super easy, not super hard) and the progression makes you unlock more abilities that can make the combat vary quite a lot. The word is quite open ended and you can do whatever you want (mostly on the second part of the game). The theme is quite nice. Some things that bothered me a bit is that some night events seems percent based in what you lose. And the only way to stash your food/valuables to avoid losing a bunch is not easily available. And in combat there is no easy way to tell when you’re behind half cover/full cover.

Expeditions: Conquistador

33 hours playtime

47 of 60 achievements

And onward to Chimera Squad!

So with the lock-down going on over here, time to write a little post about my progress since last time.
First off, I finished (almost) a forgotten circle campaign in gloomhaven. That took a bit of time out of my backlog clearing :D.

First game to be knocked off the backlog:

Templar Battleforce

30 hours playtime

37 of 51 achievements

A good turn based strategy game. Visually it’s meh, but the combat system is really well thought out with you having to balance actions/heat on your mechas. The progression is nice but feels a little bit lackluster at times (like even if you fully upgrade one class, you’ll never get a level high enough to skill everything/use all the stuff you unlock).

Then it was time to clear some SteamGift wins

  • Robothorium

    12 hours playtime

    7 of 16 achievements

  • Dead Age

    16 hours playtime

    67 of 77 achievements

  • Divinity: Dragon Commander

    7 hours playtime

    35 of 100 achievements

  • Hero Defense

    20 hours playtime

    19 of 33 achievements

Two were quite enjoyable
Robothorium was a nice short turn based combat system. The difficulty ramping was good, the leveling on the bots felt impactful.
Divinity dragon commander is a sort of total war in the divinity universe. I quite liked the world map interaction and the decision you had to take to please one race or another. The RTS part of the game was not my kind of thing, but you can beat the campaign without doing any if you’re doing well enough on the world map.
Dead Age was meh. The gameplay is quite nice at first (finding the proper balance between keeping on going and falling back) but it gets old real fast. Like after 3 or 4 hours or gameplay, it’s almost always the same thing.
As for Hero defense, just don’t buy this game. The gameplay is nice (tower defense, but your tower are 5 heroes that can move and level up in the map). But the game must have been coded by people that didn’t test the game stability. Each time you play a map, the game gets slower and slower. And after 4 or 5 map, it’s best to restart the game if you don’t want it to hang for 30 seconds/1 minute when starting a map (all while not using that much CPU/RAM). And the maps after the main game scales really weirdly. Like you breeze through the first levels and then you hit a wall that needs you to grind like crazy to climb.

After that, the lock-down allowed me to start taking on some more games.

Deiland

12 hours playtime

24 of 24 achievements

I grabbed this one for free on steam, it was nice and relaxing. The ending was a bit weird (like you’re waiting for more in the story).

And to finish it off,

Slay the Spire

49 hours playtime

25 of 46 achievements

I think people know enough about it. Don’t know if I’ll ever beat it entirely. The game is at the same time very enticing (the progression, the combat) and rage inducing to me (sometimes RNG can just demoralize you).

So I started here about a month ago. After a bit of organizing, I stared constructing a backlog and since then I finished the following:

  • Dungeons of Dredmor

    62 hours playtime

    47 of 124 achievements

  • Orwell: Ignorance is Strength

    4 hours playtime

    7 of 19 achievements

  • Valiant Hearts: The Great War

    7 hours playtime

    no achievements

  • Farabel

    5 hours playtime

    26 of 55 achievements

First Dredmor, I had it for a long time, but never bothered to reach the end and beat it. Played it by short sessions during the holidays cause I didn’t have much time and managed to beat it (unliving wall is so freaking dumb)
Orwell, Ignorance is Strength that I purchased last year but had forgotten about. As good as the first one.
Finally Valliant Hearts and Farabel, that I purchased during the steam winter sale. Managed to complete Valiant Hearth in uPlay (and damn that is some good writing :’( ). As for farabel, I beat it, might still play a bit more for some more achievements, but one achievement seems to require to play a lot more, I don’t know if I’ll have the patience for it yet.