petbastard’s profile

I just wanna play videogames.


You know what, I don’t feel like doing bimonthly reports. I’ll just write one as soon as I have enough things to say.

REPORT 3: Mostly artsy

First of all, I’ve completed the rest of achievements for Criminal Girls and Simulacra as I’ve set out to do in my previous post, which was pretty easy.
I’ve tried Simulacra: Pipe Dreams, but flappy bird clone-centered gameplay and the requirement of actually gitting gud in it to progress and earn achievements threw me off. I’ll get to it eventually, I guess, but not now.

    Hello Charlotte

    Hello Charlotte

    8,5/10
    3 hours playtime
    no achievements

    (EP2: Requiem Aeternam Deo)
    Okay, now that was the best entry in the series so far. The first episode’s structure felt like a weird one-off parallel world journey and Delirium was clearly filler, but the second one is where the story and characters really start to shine. The plot felt much more personal and started to take form and get just a tiny bit more coherent to really get the enjoyment out of it. The hand-drawn art is great and the world is super-imaginative.
    I’ve yet to play the third episode, but I can already tell that if you like quirky RPGMaker games, these series is a must. You can play the first episode for free on Steam, it’s listed as a demo for Episode 2.

    The Grandfather

    The Grandfather

    5,5/10
    30 minutes playtime
    no achievements

    I’ve tried this one to see if it’s any better than The Lady by the same devs. Surprisingly, it was. This game is a sort of a physics (I’m using this term very loosely here) puzzle, where each puzzle takes place in only one room. It’s not difficult at all, although it does demand some abstract thinking of you. Thus, my biggest problem with The Lady - frustrating gameplay getting in the way of appreciating the game’s artistic merit - is gone now. I wouldn’t call the plot coherent (it’s not like it’s supposed to be), but it’s there. The art is nice. This game is also just right about it’s length and it didn’t bore me while it lasted.
    If I had to choose something I didn’t like, I’d say the narrator’s voiceover could use some better recording quality and mixing, since I couldn’t make out what she was saying sometimes. Maybe it’s my crappy speakers though. Her lines also felt kinda pretentious and cheesy at the same time, but I’ll give it a pass.

    Shipwreck

    Shipwreck

    6,5/10
    2 hours playtime

    Just a small Zelda clone with a pretty simple plot, puzzle-solving, monster-fighting. It’s too short for a player to fully take notice how bare-bones it is. This game could use some variety and have some more personality to it. But it’s pretty good if you want to kill some time by completing it (all of the achievements are pretty easy to get).

    Murder

    Murder

    5/10
    19 minutes playtime
    no achievements

    This is a very small game by the guy who made Stranded, a slow borefest which I hated with a passion. Murder is better than that, but not by a large margin.
    It’s still essentially barely a game, but at least now it’s more like an interactive story that holds your hand all the way through instead of being a sluggish walking simulator pretending to be poin-and-‘click with the gameplay core being visiting points of interest randomly.
    The art is actually pretty nice, but I wouldn’t say the same about the story. The plot manages to jump from being oversimplistic to being confusing, while kinda never going anywhere. Author is a promising artist, but he barely puts anything worthwhile in scriptwriting. “Tolerable” is a key word for this game, since despite it’s shortcomings, it’s still a game that literally points you to the things you’re supposed to click to move the story forward and only lasts for 15 minutes max.
    Overall, it didn’t turn out to be a torturous experience like the previous game, but it’s still far from something I’d call good.

Forgive me backlog, for I have bought.
…I’ve bought a lot.
But I swear, my wishlist’s game count will go below 500 eventually… yeah.

FEBRUARY 2019 (FIRST HALF) LIST
I beat 5 games (+1 non-steam) in the first half of February

    Criminal Girls: Invite Only

    Criminal Girls: Invite Only

    7/10
    37 hours playtime

    Man, that one took a solid chunk of my time. It’s a pretty simplistic JRPG with fanservice at its core. The fanservice is an integral part of the gameplay and it’s also kinda in-your-face at that. Nothing like borderline-h stuff, but it has a few nudge-nudge wink-wink moments. Although if you won’t download the community patch, all the hinting and ero stuff gets even tamer, as I’ve heard. Instead of “”””punishing”””” girls (it’s more like the most harmless and innocent SM you can imagine, and it’s mostly ideas without any actual imagery), you’re “motivating” them. It would’ve made more sense, if it wasn’t for the fact that the girls are delinquents-sinners in hell, and you’re supposed to reform them, so… yeah. Obviously, their “sins” are hilariously inoffensive up to the point where they straight-up don’t even make sense.
    But that to be expected, since you’re supposed to symphatize with the girls’ cast. The cast is pretty solid and cute. Ran’s my favorite girl and, coincidentally, pretty much the most useful girl in the game you’ll find yourself using in most of the combinations. Almost all of her moves are ridiculously great.
    The story is, as expected, nothing to write home about, but there’s quite an interesting combat system based on luck and the bare minimum of strategy. On every turn you can use one item, swap one girl with another if needed, and choose one of the four options suggested by the girls. The options presented are often pretty contextual and based on the fight’s situation, but it has its fair share of randomness once in a while.
    I’ve beaten the post-end content (although it’s more like the second half of the game, to be fair), and now I just have to beat one of the old bosses six times to unlock some girls’ individual endings that happen before you plunge into the second half of the game. I think I’ll get to it later that month, but now I need a break, I’ve wasted pretty much all of my free time on that game already.

    Depths of Fear :: Knossos

    Depths of Fear :: Knossos

    7/10
    5 hours playtime

    Slightly horror-ish roguelike action game in the greek mythology setting, loosely (very much so) based on the labyrinth of the minotaur myth. You guide Theseus through the dark-ass levels, avoiding the monsters roaming around, looking for keys and finding an exit to the next level.
    It’s not as scary when you get used to it and realize that speed is often way more effective than stealth. Levels are always randomly generated. Although they turn out fine for the most part, sometimes you can get stuck in various places or just enter the level right in front of the monster. The game is kinda clunky and rough around the edges, but I had fun, running through those dark tunnels can get your blood pumping.
    Just like with Criminal Girls, I’ll leave the last achievement for later. But much later though, getting through 15 levels in the infinite loop in a row seems like a pain the ass for now.

    The Lady

    The Lady

    4.5/10
    2 hours playtime
    no achievements

    Well, that was… something. Essentially it’s one of those artsy games. Apparent depression, self-harm themes - you know, the usual stuff. The imagery is good and sets the right tone. Gameplay-wise it’s a sidescroller with occasional sort-of-bullethell and straight-up shoot’em up segments. Sounds weird, but that’s just because it is. The game is as far from being straightforward and clear about what you supposed to do as it gets, but that’s to be expected.
    The only problem that spoiled the whole impression about the game (which was not that good already) is that weird decision about making your game crash if you die on the last boss (maybe other bosses do that too, I honestly don’t know). As in “start the game all over again”. Playing through this gruelling slog again just to see a picture of an ending for ten seconds? Which is not even that impressive compared to the previous imagery? Come on. Art and frustration rarely mesh together well, you know.

    They Breathe

    They Breathe

    6/10
    2 hours playtime

    Just a little game that reminds me somewhat of Ecco the Dolphin, being stuck in the middle of adorable-animals-cutesy aesthetic and disturbing one, being neither former or latter in a proper way. The result is pretty good. This game is literally based on a school project and is way too short and competent enough for me to actually criticize it for anything, so I’ll say it was okay and just leave it at that.
    These achievements seem like a pain the ass though, so I’m not going to try getting them anytime soon.

    SIMULACRA

    SIMULACRA

    7,5/10
    4 hours playtime

    “For the best experience, please turn on the volume. Headphones recommended” was like a glaring jumpscare warning for me - and what do you know, I was right.
    But I actually really liked that one a lot. Lately, some games started popping up featuring the concept of using someone else’s phone (akin to found footage movie genre, I guess?) to figure something out. I wouldn’t go as far as calling it some sort of blow-up since there’s not so many of them actually, but: A Normal Lost Phone and Another Lost Phone (haven’t played these yet), Replica (the direction it was going for was way too predictable and as unsubtle as it gets, had it’s moments, but meh overall), and now Simulacra and it’s free-to-play sequel (?) which I’m definitely gonna play.
    This one is well-made, it can be suspenseful and also hilarious, and also (thankfully) doesn’t boil down to just another bland “HURR DURR TECHNOLOGY BAD”, adding an interesting twist to the mix. I somehow managed to get the best ending on the first try. There were parts that felt unnatural/not plausible, some of the acting was kinda bad, almost all jumpscares were as cheap as they get (as they all are, if you ask me), but overall it was a surprisingly fun experience. I’ll definitely get back to it to get the other endings and achievements and I’ll check the next game as well.

I’ve also finished non-Steam Hello Charlotte: Delirium - Second game in the Hello Charlotte (or not) universe. It’s short and mildly psychodelic. The first one was better, but it’s fine since the whole game is pretty much just a little B-Side, so that’s to be expected.

My plans for the second part of February:
1) Get the rest of achievements for Criminal Girls and Simulacra
2) Play Hello Charlotte EP2: Requiem Aeternam Deo
3) Play Bioshock Remastered (pls don’t crash pls pls pls)
4) Maybe try The Grandfather by the same guys who did The Lady, see if it’s any better?
5) Actually try to clean your backlog I mean you’re buying more than you beat every freaking time come on man I’m begging on my knees here

1314 games to go!

So, my first month here. It’s about time to report on my OCD-fueled journey through my backlog for the first time.

JANUARY 2019 LIST
I beat 11 games this month.

    Thief 2

    Thief 2

    9,5/10
    19 hours playtime
    no achievements

    Man. Now when I played all the Thief games except the reboot, I can tell that I liked Metal Age the most. It was a close call between the first one and the second. I loved the first game’s weirdness and creepiness, but I’ve gotta admit I liked the level design for a second one more. It was more open about how you can perform the task and sure as hell less confusing. I swear to god, if I got a cent for every instance I've been walking in circles around the level in the first game, I'd have... like, 20 cents now.

    Thief: Deadly Shadows

    Thief: Deadly Shadows

    8/10
    16 hours playtime
    no achievements

    This modern look on Thief universe feels a little too claustrophobic, and my immersion really suffered from mid-level transition zones. Overall it’s still a fairly solid game, although casualised - thankfully, not insultingly so. The atmosphere is top-notch, it’s really dark and grim. That famous Cradle level was a bit of a let-down (I guess I was too overhyped about it) - but just a tiny bit, it was still really good.

    Pink Heaven

    Pink Heaven

    6,5/10
    49 minutes playtime
    no achievements

    Essentially it’s a free sort-of-teaser for Kero Blaster. The plot was kinda cute. It was pretty fun and short. At least it was fun before I tried Hard Mode. Man, do I suck at precision platforming.

    Pink Hour

    Pink Hour

    6/10
    14 minutes playtime
    no achievements

    Essentially it’s a free sort-of-teaser for Kero Blaster, again. IIRC it precedes Pink Heaven. It was okay. It shows the game mechanics and… stuff. Not as interesting as Pink Heaven, as it’s twice as short and almost doesn’t have any story. I learned from my mistakes and didn’t bother much with Hard Mode.

    Confess My Love

    Confess My Love

    7/10
    2 hours playtime

    It’s a cute little anime-style free game that takes place in a single classroom. It has some puzzle elements to it, and the stuff that might not be that obvious, even though your actions during the playthrough are really limited. I can’t call the twist that original or masterfully executed, but I don’t feel it needed to be either way.

    Transparent Black

    Transparent Black

    6/10
    2 hours playtime

    Sort of sequel for Confess My Love. Didn’t like it as much, as it’s pretty much devoid of occasional humour from the first game, and the colour palette consists of grey and black colours. I know that’s the point, I do, but there’s nothing I can do about it looking dull for me. It’s just not as appealing as the first one, and the fact that it’s not free now is not really justified, in my opinion. It also has a DLC with Yume Nikki (I guess?) vibes, not a fan of this one either.

    Gomo

    Gomo

    6,5/10
    4 hours playtime
    no achievements

    Cute, short and simplistic (very much so) point-and-click game. Essentially it’s a one-puzzle-per-screen game. It only has a few moments that can really make you think, at other times it is really straightforward. Pay no heed to that 4 hours playtime, it’s just one of the many cases where I left the game open and forgot about it. You can beat it in an hour and a half max.

    Princess Remedy In A Heap of Trouble

    Princess Remedy In A Heap of Trouble

    7,5/10
    4 hours playtime
    no achievements

    Sequel to Princess Remedy in a World of Hurt. Although it’s not free anymore, there’s not much difference between this and the first one. I guess the main dish is that it has plenty of bosses now, which do spice things up, and I can imagine how much of a pain in the ass they are on harder difficulties. It’s fairly short and funny, just like the original.

    Penarium

    Penarium

    7/10
    9 hours playtime

    Single-screen platformer, where you should perform various tasks while avoiding traps such as machine guns, rolling giant balls, icicles, lasers, you name it. Is it rage-inducing? It has an achievement for dying 1000 times, so there you have it. Yet it was still fun to play even for me (something about hard platformers just doesn’t click for me), so I managed to get through the main campaign and get somewhat decent in arcade mode.

    Bit Blaster XL

    Bit Blaster XL

    7/10
    8 hours playtime

    It was surprisingly enjoyable for a game I bought on a sudden whim a long time ago. Space arcade-y shooter, sorta like Asteroids, but with ammo and upgrades that can make your life much easier or straight up miserable. There’s not really much to it, but it’s good at what it does.

    You Must Build A Boat

    You Must Build A Boat

    7,5/10
    12 hours playtime

    Spiritual successor to the 10,000,000 game. It’s gameplay is pretty much the same - it’s Match-3 with real-time combat. It has way much more upgradeable stuff, so it can feel kinda grindy at times. I wasn’t up for getting the last achievement for replaying the game for the third time, but I guess I’ll get to it someday, I liked that one.

1288 games to go!