currently playing: parcel, slay the spire, the adventure pals (co-op with my 6-year-old), and lovers in a dangerous space time (co-op with my wife and 2 kids)
i have my unplayed steam library categorized by which bundle they came from plus a general unplayed category for games i acquired by themselves. for the most part i choose my new games from the oldest bundles with steamgifts wins sprinkled in but i let some i’m more excited about skip ahead.
a quick little game making fun of already-ridiculous dlc practices, but actually presented as a reasonably fun game! you probably have a better chance of appreciating the jokes if you’re into gamer culture, which probably most of us here are. it only took me 2 hours to beat it, and if it was much longer it probably would have overstayed its welcome.
what a weird game. there’s this whole crazy world where a fairly simple story is set. i’d like to see more of that world, which is why i played all the way through. it doesn’t actually make use of much of it though — i still have so many questions. that kept me going for the 4 hours it took me to play through it, even though the ending didn’t really provide much like where the the human torso but inky dark blue head and limbs came from.
the fighting was sometimes frustrating. i never really managed to get block counter to work, and often what was happening in the combat wasn’t making sense to me. for example i could totally lose a fight barely able to land a punch, then load the latest autosave and run the same strategy and get through with barely a scratch. maybe that was just me never making sense of it — i don’t particularly enjoy fighting games, especially first-person. i guess if you have this in your backlog it’s quite a different sort of story experience so maybe give it a shot!
i heard minecraft story mode had come to netflix and my kids love minecraft so i started playing this to see if it’d be a good fit for them. it’s definitely scarier and more intense than minecraft itself . . . so i think i’ll keep it to myself until the kids are older.
i quickly switched to playing with my controller since it doesn’t support remapping keys and i use dvorak. i was able to use the arrow keys instead of WASD for movement, but needing to possibly hit an arrow key in any direction or q or e, or even move the mouse for the QTEs just isn’t feasible. would have preferred the mouse for times i needed to quickly move the cursor, but i did okay with the right stick on the controller.
my other minor frustration was that i couldn’t look at something else while listening to dialog because it might have a timed choice or a QTE pop up that i’d risk missing. i generally dislike QTEs and this wasn’t limited to cases when i could know when to expect them. i’d also prefer it to wait for me to make a dialog choice instead of just continuing with no choice to keep the story moving if i’m not fast enough. i expect this is how all telltale games work (this is the first one i’ve played) but they say choices matter and i’d like more time to consider my choice.
it wanted me to log in to a telltale account and i created one but was unable to log in. looks like back in the day before telltale went away it may have shown a list of what i chose and what percentage of players made the same choice? it didn’t come as a big surprise to me that this part didn’t work, and it was easy enough to just not attempt to log in and still play the game. 47 of the 50 achievements you definitely get playing through the story once, and you can go back to chapters of the episodes to pick up the remaining 3 if you don’t want to re-play the whole game. you can’t get all in the same playthrough because 2 are opposing choices.
as expected, i enjoyed the story and the choices. out of 8 episodes it felt like the first 4 fit together and were a complete story, then the last 4 are a mostly separate story with the same characters and more variety. being familiar with minecraft i always knew what to do when it had me craft something, and there are definitely references to popular minecraft streamers and servers, but i think it shows you how to craft if you need it and you could just miss the references and be fine. if you can get your hands on this considering it’s no longer for sale on steam, i recommend it!
played most of this on single player and it was okay. then i got to a point where it seemed to require another player so that some of the enemies shoot in a different direction. i used my controller and it worked well, which i’d expect for a twin-stick shooter.
maybe i’ll try co-op with a friend someday, but i won’t be sad if i don’t get back to it. while there’s nothing really wrong with this game, it doesn’t really stand out in a good way either.
i found this satisfying in the way that papers, please is satisfying — the more you play the faster you can do it. i played with the keyboard and changed a couple of ingredient keys that i was getting wrong. it also supports controller or touch, but i have to assume that would be considerably slower! i got sick of the music about halfway to my fully-upgraded restaurant so turned it off but the sounds were very satisfying, especially as i hit the keys quickly to prepare an order.
many of the achievements are grindy but i picked up a couple just on my way to fully upgrading my restaurant. you’ll probably have favorite menu items too which could get you one of the “pin” achievements like it did for me. i played a little beyond fully upgrading but quickly got to the point where i kept getting more money but there wasn’t really anything to spend it on. there are still upgrades that randomly come into my email i could wait for as well as more dates that also randomly show up in email, but i decided to move on. if i didn’t also have cook, serve, delicious 2 i may have kept going with this one longer.
i think i got this from a developer giveaway on steamgifts, but i also have it through the groupees be mine anniversary bundle. i guess my groupees key might still be active, but this game is terrible so whoever might have won it if i gave it away isn’t missing much.
i made two attempts at playing the campaign. for the first i was bored and slightly frustrated, and the second just plain frustrated. here’s some of the things that bothered me: the campaign gives you missions in a way that feels like a tutorial. i think i got as far as maybe 26 of 86, which made it seem like the whole campaign was going to be driven that way. the game’s main flaw is that it doesn’t present the information you need in a way you can use it. the mission text is hard to read because it just renders the text on top of the map with no background. plus it doesn’t pause when it’s time to read something and there appear to be very few places where you can be sure enemies won’t spawn and wander in. the graphics aren’t distinctive and my ship always points toward the top of the screen even as i moved sideways. it says it has a system to let you evolve weapons to however you like to play, but that also suffered from not presenting information adequately so i don’t even know what my options were there.
my second attempt at playing this game saw me not progressing at all in terms of missions. it took me a long time to reach the objective and then i died before i could even see it because it kept putting out such a dense a sea of high-damage particles (i could only take 3 or maybe 4 hits). maybe i was meant to grind levels and upgrades, but the fact that i couldn’t even get close enough to see the thing (often whatever was shooting at me wasn’t even on the screen) just felt unfair. maybe someone into bullet hell games would have felt different, but for me this was bad user interface paired with unsatisfying gameplay. i don’t think i’m going to touch this again.
when i bought the groupees be mine bundle the art style of sideway intrigued me, but i don’t think i knew much about it going into it. had a little trouble getting started because the keyboard controls were strange (played with a controller instead and that worked much better), and then the first boss fight was almost impossible because my character was moving slow until i locked the framerate to 30. from then on it was a nice progression of gaining new abilities and finding my path through the levels.
it features an interesting mechanic when you’re on the flat rooftop of a building in that the way you enter the roof from a wall determines which way is down while on the roof. you can often change it by exiting and re-entering the roof from a different side. i think that’s what it means by “puzzles” so i wouldn’t expect a puzzle game here.
even with my controller, jumps often felt like they were slightly too high and i could barely make them. it felt a little sluggish in general but for the most part i didn’t have to be precise anyway. it supports a second player in local co-op that i didn’t try and probably won’t. if you also have this game hanging out in your library it’s probably worth the few hours it takes to play through it once. it said “to be continued” at the end but i don’t think they ever continued it…
that . . . took me a while. which works because once it got going i certainly enjoyed it! i’ve been playing through the fallout series starting with the original and each has really worked out for me. seems pretty common that i struggle a bit at the beginning, but after leveling up a couple times i get into the stride of taking down enemies and helping people throughout the wasteland.
while i made it through most of fallout 3 without any companions, this time around i met multiple people where there were clear dialogue options to ask them to join me. not sure if there weren’t many companions in 3 or if i just didn’t notice them. either way i appreciate that new vegas made it clear, though i didn’t realize there were two types of companions and i could have one of each type until i came across that in the wiki.
new vegas has everything i’d expect from a fallout game: interesting story, random game crashes, choices that affect the ending, and more. i bought the ultimate edition with all the dlc. the 4 mission dlc were excellent (though i found some parts of dead money annoying) but i barely used the other 2 and could have gone without them, but it’s probably a better deal to get all of it, especially with a discount. a fun bonus of this game was recognizing dave foley (one of the kids in the hall) as the voice of one of the characters.
Leisure Suit Larry 1 - In the Land of the Lounge Lizards
Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards: Reloaded
played the original leisure suit larry and then followed it up with the reloaded version. one of my troubles with the older adventure games where you type commands like “talk girl” is that it’s difficult to know if i need to try different words for my command or if i need to try something different. the remake doesn’t have that, plus it adds voice acting and other modernization along with lengthening the story a little. i don’t think anyone would feel like they missed anything playing just reloaded and skipping the original.
the achievements in reloaded include one that looks very annoying to get (jackpot on a slot machine if i’m remembering correctly) but i did play a second time through to attempt to get most of them. pretty sure i did the whole lotta shakin one correctly but it didn’t unlock so i decided to move on with two remaining achievements i could reasonably get and one i don’t want to spend time on.
i suspect the humor style and subject matter of the larry series could turn some people away (you could easily argue that it devalues women, and its humor is certainly crude), but i had fun with it. this game is also pretty short if you know what you need to do (which you mostly will in reloaded if you play the original first like i did). i definitely have a bit of nostalgia toward leisure suit larry since i knew about it while it was still somewhat new and wanted to play it but didn’t have money and wasn’t old enough. if you don’t have the nostalgia you might want to play more modern adventure games instead.
this definitely has a portal feel, which it seems to recognize with its “companionless cube” achievement. it’s simpler, shorter, and a bit less polished. i ran into a problem with jumping that i eventually decided to look up in steam discussions . . . turns out if the frame rate is above 60 then pressing jump often just makes the sound. worked fine once i set max frame rate to 60. the problem i wasn’t able to solve was the controls. i use dvorak and like many games it defaults to wasd but those keys are actually spread out for me. i remapped what i could in the launcher, but not everything was there. this meant my strafe right key (labeled D but actually types E in dvorak) was also still mapped to switch polarity because that has a nonconfigurable mapping for the E key. i fell through color-coded bridges a LOT due to that. it also needs you to select between keyboard or controller, so when i originally skipped the config options in the launcher and then found i couldn’t change controls in-game, i needed to quit back to the game menu to switch to controller and try that. i’m pretty bad at using a controller for first-person so then quit back to my desktop and changed controls in the launcher.
the puzzles had some interesting components, but most of it was pretty obvious for me. it’s also not very long — i finished it in less than 2 hours even with having to redo a lot of jumping sections before i had limited the frame rate.
i read there’s also a also co-op campaign, which was awesome in portal 2, but here it’s local only which means somebody needs to use a controller. i don’t think i’m going to try the co-op campaign unless they let it work non-locally so we can both use keyboard and mouse. overall i’m glad this is a thing but i could have really recommended it if they had kept going with it, fixed the bugs, and made the map spaces more interesting.