petbastard’s profile

I just wanna play videogames.


Report 33: Colorful

    Hue

    Hue

    7/10
    6 hours playtime

    That was a surprisingly entertaining puzzle platformer. I don’t have much to say about it. It’s not too long, not too hard and not too easy. The only thing I didn’t like is that you have to replay the whole areas just to get missed collectibles, and it’s not even backtracking at this point, it’s straight up replaying.
    Overall, a solid indie title.

    Katamari Damacy REROLL

    Katamari Damacy REROLL

    9/10
    6 hours playtime

    It’s an incredibly odd game to say the least and the one of those I had the most fun with. Played the original back on Playstation, but never finished it. It was great to finally do it.
    It’s a pretty easy game and it feels satisfying as hell rolling all the stuff over with your katamari. It’s pretty short too, if you don’t bother with the final achievements (just like me).
    The soundtrack is amazing.
    Overall, it’s a must-play if you want something fun and japanese kind of crazy.

    SEGA Mega Drive & Genesis Classics

    SEGA Mega Drive & Genesis Classics | Sonic the Hedgehog

    7/10
    6 hours playtime

    I haven’t really beaten it, since only in the end I realized that you were supposed to collect Emeralds by finishing levels with 50 rings and entering bonus levels. To do that, you are supposed to play much better than I did (I’ve only seen giant ring at the end of the level once, and I didn’t react in time).
    No wonder the final boss seemed like a joke. I think I’ll try it again sometime, but not now. Bad ending is still an ending, right?
    Overall, it’s a really fun game, even though it’s a bit hard for my taste.

The corner of shame:

    Taimanin Collection: Asagi Battle Arena

    Taimanin Collection: Asagi Battle Arena

    3/10
    89 minutes playtime
      no achievements

    This is probably the most barebones gacha out there, straight-up hentai puzzle game tier. It’s the most basic match-up game without any interesting features that gets you a limited amount of gems you can spend on gacha that serves no purpose beside being a gacha and unlocking h-scenes (if you installed the 18+ patch) that are tend to be too fetish-y for my taste. Well, at least the artstyle is… good?..

Backlog progress status:

12% (246/2038)
4% (82/2038)
8% (159/2038)
73% (1490/2038)
3% (61/2038)

Report 32: Flashbacks and replays

    SUPERHOT

    SUPERHOT

    8,5/10
    9 hours playtime

    It’s the most innovative shooter I’ve played in years. I mean, ha-ha, epic meme, but really.
    It just feels too good to play. You completely forget that there’s no weapon, enemies and many more types of varieties while gunning down red guys and planning your next move. I’d say it’s easy to learn and easy to master.
    The “plot” was pretty well done, I enjoyed it fully to the end.
    It’s short, but it has endless mode and challenges if you decide to stick around. Speedrun challenges are STILL glitched (you get the achievement for beating the best score on ONE of the levels), but the no-death challenge seemed too stressful for me (while looking possible, to be fair), so I didn’t try it out.
    Overall, definitely recommend this one.

    SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE

    SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE

    8/10
    13 hours playtime

    This is basically an expansion pack for Superhot that plays somewhat roguelike-ish and is literally centered around the theme of wanting more. I’d call it more of a new game mode with a bunch of new features, but essentially it’s [more] of the same.
    While it took me some time to beat it, I thought the game length was just right.
    Overall, it was pretty entertaining.

    Flashback

    Flashback

    8/10
    12 hours playtime

    Pheeeew. I felt kinda bad for completing so many retro games by basically cheating, so now I’m more than proud to announce that I’ve beaten Flashback’s Classic version on Expert difficulty fair and square.
    It’s an action-adventure game with heavy platformer elements. The controls are really hard to get used to at first, and by the end of the game I still couldn’t figure out how exactly did I do a long jump to the higher platform, and neither can I count how many times did I accidentally rolled myself right off the cliff because the command to get up didn’t register quick enough.
    The plot is basically a mash-up of ideas from bunch of classic movies - “They Live”, “Running Man”, “Total Recall”, some bits of “Blade Runner”, “Alien”. Fun fact: I’ve checked the Wikipedia article after writing this and turns out I guessed right 5 out 5 times, lol. It’s somewhat cheesy and very charming.
    Oh, by the way, did I mention that this game can be HARD AS BALLS? I admit, it’s not as unforgiving and cruel as japanese retro games usually are, but damn, did that one had some moments. First of all, the distance between save points can sometimes be unbearably long. There’s no thing as heartbreaking as screwing up and dying on the screen before the save station. And getting there the second time is no easy task: enemies are ferocious, and if you’re attacked by more than one guy, you are most likely screwed if you can’t handle the situation like a pro (or be extremely lucky). The first enemies you’ll encounter are pretty timid, but oh boy, wait ‘till you get to the aliens.
    This game often forces you to think, and to think fast. I really enjoyed the “tactical” feel to it.
    Overall, it’s a really great (and hard) game - it’s not that easy to be just as enjoyable as it was almost 30 years ago.

    Castlevania Anniversary Collection

    Castlevania Anniversary Collection | Kid Dracula

    7,5/10
    2 hours playtime (8 overall)

    It’s a very light-hearted and cutesy Castlevania spin-off. Even though it seemed much easier at first, it got really hard later on, almost reaching the main games’ heights of frustration. There are minigames between stages that let you earn some lives if you collected enough money on the level before, which is a huge help. Also all of the special abilites are free to use now and you don’t have to worry about stocking up resourses before boss fights.
    Overall, it was really fun, but might be a bit too hard for the game that looks (deceptively) harmless.

Backlog progress status:

12% (245/2030)
4% (81/2030)
8% (160/2030)
73% (1485/2030)
3% (59/2030)

Report 31: Japanese retro + etherane

    Contra Anniversary Collection

    Contra Anniversary Collection | Contra (Arcade)

    7/10
    78 minutes playtime

    This is a very short (but still legendary) run’n’gun game, the original arcade version. It’s tolerably hard and no death felt like the game was being cheap to me. It’s very fast paced and enjoyable. Although I find it weird you can only shoot diagonally up while moving, and you can’t shoot straight down at all.
    While Anniversary Collection provides savestates feature, I didn’t abuse it as hard as I thought I would.
    Overall, it was very fun.

    Castlevania Anniversary Collection

    Castlevania Anniversary Collection | Castlevania

    7/10
    2,5 hours playtime (6 overall)

    The game that started it all, I believe it needs no introduction whatsoever.
    It’s a really hard action-platformer with lots of pits doom, lots of flying enemies, and lots of you getting knockbacked into oblivion. My favorite kind.
    It’s pretty fair difficulty-wise and I don’t remember any losses that felt too cheap.
    I was really confused about the sub-weapon system and hearts at first, and it took me two levels to figure it out by complete accident.
    Just like Contra Collection, this one features savestates too, and boy did I needed it, especially in the boss battles. Welp, at least I’ve completed the first levels earnestly (because I forgot about it).
    Hated that you can just fall through the stairs if you’re not on walking down on it.
    Overall, it turned out to be surprisingly fun.

    Castlevania Anniversary Collection

    Castlevania Anniversary Collection | Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse

    7,5/10
    3,5 hours playtime (6 overall)

    I skipped the second one since I realized I’m not gonna like it 10 minutes in and went straight for the third one.
    This game strongly reminds the first one, but somewhat improved. Enemies’ AI isn’t that annoying (btw the game reuses most of the first one’s arsenal), there’s quite a few new mechanics and a branching path for you to take. You can meet three additional characters during your playthrough and you can switch between them anytime you want. I’ve encountered Grant (didn’t use him at all) and Alucard (used him in a couple moments during the boss fight for his projectile attack).
    Just like the first one, I would probably never finished it without savestates.
    Overall, a really solid retro game.

    tomorrow won't come for those without ██████

    tomorrow won't come for those without ██████

    8/10
    2 hours playtime
      no achievements

    It’s another game by etherane, the Hello Charlotte series’ creator. It is certainly in the same vein, but much less humorous. It is very short and the only gameplay consists of wandering around doing easy puzzles. Just as usual, it features quite a unique story and lore. As always, really liked the artstyle and sound design, even if it was, uh… thematically limited on purpose. There are two endings.
    Overall, just what I expected from etherane, for better or worse. If you’re liked Hello Charlotte, I’d say give it a try.

Backlog progress status:

12% (243/2029)
4% (80/2029)
8% (158/2029)
73% (1489/2029)
3% (59/2029)

I was confident about all of these games, since I played the first two a long time ago already, and I had confidence in the second pair.

Report 30: Credibility Batch

    Mafia

    Mafia

    8/10
    12 hours playtime
      no achievements

    Since the remake is coming pretty soon, I thought it’s a good time to revisit the original.
    Like many others, I really like this game despite its’ occasional clunkiness and frustratingly hard difficulty at times.
    The plot is a really engaging homage to all of the mafia-related fiction. While some parts of the gameplay can feel a bit tedious, I think that kind of routine actually helps you immerse. The game is obviously limited technologically, but it’s still one damn atmospheric experience.
    I find the shooting parts somewhat questionable in quality, since it made me feel like the game is forcing me to cheese through them to win. It was pretty apparent in the last mission, which was pretty hard to get through with almost no checkpoints and the last boss that was unbelievably precise with his aiming.
    Overall, despite its’ flaws, I consider this a great game that was fun to play even all these years later.

    Call of Juarez

    Call of Juarez

    8,5/10
    5 hours playtime
      no achievements

    Had a blast going through it once again many years later. As you could’ve guessed, it’s a western action-adventure game. It was pretty cinematographic for its time and is still entertaining now.
    The game switches between two protagonists, and their segments bring a very interesting (and well done, imo) balance in the gameplay. The parts where you play as Billy are more stealth-like and involve many jumping/climbing segments, and the parts where you play as Ray are very action-heavy - you’ll be leaving a triple digit bodycount behind you by the end of the game. You can also quote Bible by taking it out of your inventory while shooting, which, while useless, is cool as hell (no pun intended..?).
    You can dual weild weapons, and it’s just as fun as you think. There’s also rifles, dynamite (I think I picked it up at some point but never used it), stationary machineguns, and, the most overpowered weapon of them all, a bow. It slows down time every time you’re aiming, and that makes Billy’s later stages a lot easier than they could’ve been.
    I really liked the levels in the wilderness and their scope. The game really feels like some kind of adventure or a journey with them. There’s also quite a few horse chases that are really fast and engaging.
    If I had to pick something I didn’t like, it’s three things.
    1) The duel mechanic works in a very strange way - and by that, I mean sometimes it didn’t work at all. Maybe I was doing something wrong, but still it felt very clunky and I never felt I survived the duel due to my skills and not just luck.
    2) There’s a midboss near the finale that moves very fast between four rooms. The fight was very annoying and just looked ridiculous.
    3) At the finale, there’s a moment that uses a duel mechanic, but the game never hints you at that. I had to replay the segment and watch the supposedly dramatic cutscene before I finally figured out how am I supposed to do the thing I needed to. It left a somewhat bad taste in my mouth.
    Overall, it’s still a great, even if a bit janky game, and on a surprisingly short side too - I could’ve sworn it took me more time than that before.

    Mega Man Legacy Collection

    Mega Man Legacy Collection | Mega Man 1

    7/10
    2 hours playtime

    Mega Man is a classic platformer and the first retro game I’ve tried in a while because I got hooked on Game Center CX recently.
    Well… I guess you could say that was not the most fortunate choice. This game turned out to be pretty hard (I mean, I know Mega Man is hard in general, but still). The rewind feature is pretty much the only thing that allowed me to finish this game. I suck at hardcore platformers.
    I’m not a fan of the fact that you have to return to one of the stages for the special weapon to complete one of the final ones, especially since I used the weapon on two of the screens I was having problems with and never again.
    Overall, it’s still fun, but very, very hard. I’ve heard the second installment is better.

    The MISSING: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories

    The MISSING: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories

    8/10
    8 hours playtime

    It’s another game directed by SWERY. I am a fan of this guy - I loved Deadly Premonition, had a good time with D4 (even though it’s not finished), so when the new SWERY game came out, it was a no-brainer.
    It’s a puzzle platformer with very unusual mechanic of dismemberment and inflicting self harm to solve various puzzles in your way. There are few of them being not that obvious, but the majority of them are pretty simple to get through. But man, the sound effects and voice acting during these scenes… ugh.
    I can’t describe the actual plot without going into spoilers territory, so yeah. Let’s just say it touches upon, uuuh… touchy subjects.
    The dialogues and line delivery are just as cheesy and weird as in SWERY’s previous works.
    This game is unusually stable technically-wise. It only kinda froze a few times near the end and during the credits (bravo, SWERY).
    Overall, it’s a very good (and pretty short) game. I’d say check it out.

Backlog progress status: feels good to play something good for a change

12% (241/2020)
4% (80/2020)
8% (158/2020)
73% (1482/2020)
3% (59/2020)

Report 29: Arts Wars

    LEGO® Star Wars™: The Complete Saga

    LEGO® Star Wars™: The Complete Saga

    8/10
    23 hours playtime
      no achievements

    It’s your classic Traveller’s Tales’ Lego game. I only played the second part before, so it was nice to finally play episodes 1-3. Episodes 4-6 still turned out to be designed better.
    I’ve pushed through 90% completion mark and I was getting pretty tired of it, so I stopped. The rewards for getting the 100 completion are meh anyway.
    It’s a pretty solid game, but it can be overwhelming to play it all the way to the end and to try to complete it as I did, since it’s somewhat long.

    Half-Life: Blue Shift

    Half-Life: Blue Shift

    6/10
    2 hours playtime
      no achievements

    This was MUCH shorter than Opposing Force and way more boring. There were nothing original about it, besides the fact that you can’t use “armor refuel” stations, since you’re wearing just a regular armor. Overall it wasn’t bad, but extremely “meh”.

    Hello Charlotte: Childhood's End

    Hello Charlotte: Childhood's End

    8/10
    4 hours playtime

    The final part of Hello Charlotte story manages to keep things fresh, interesting and unsettling, maybe even more successfully than its predecessors. It is as unpredictable as it gets, and it always finds new ways to entertain.
    I don’t think it’s even possible to describe the plot in a coherent way without spoiling it, but even if it could be done, you’ll need to play the first games anyway.
    Although I liked it a bit less than Requiem Aeternam Deo, I still really enjoyed the plot. The artstyle is great as usual.
    Either way, that was one hell of a ride that ended on a perfectly morbid note. I’m feeling sad that I have to let go of these series, but I still have a Heaven’s Gate DLC to go through.

    Vandals

    Vandals

    6,5/10
    3 hours playtime

    It’s a Hitman GO clone about a street artist avoiding police. It even has the same broken achievements “feature”.
    You can draw pretty much anything you want on the walls, and that’s cool, I guess. It also features bonus collectibles that provide you info about street art culture.
    Wasn’t anything amazing, but still a pretty good puzzle game.

Backlog progress status: who cares there’s a Steam Sale coming tomorrow and I’m going to ruin it

12% (235/1976)
4% (77/1976)
8% (160/1976)
73% (1447/1976)
3% (57/1976)

Report 28: Good Riddance Neighbor

    Hello Neighbor

    Hello Neighbor

    3,5/10
    10 hours playtime

    Kinda hated this clunky mess. Controlling your character is ass, stealth part is ass, physics are ass, the AI is ass, being able to softlock yourself in the situation you can’t progress in is, in fact, ass too. It has more ass than your local strip bar. I almost gave up on Act 3 since it seems like putting a thing in the shopping cart is a NASA engineer-tier task now.
    I also really disliked that most of the solutions for the game’s puzzles were from the “no, this can’t be right. I don’t think they intended me to do it like this” category.
    Escaping from the Neighbour (if you’re not just crossing the road back to your house) is really hard, and at the same time - pointless. When he catches you, it just sends you off to the beginning of the stage with all your items intact, but with windows repaired/boarded shut and new traps set up. I mean, I’m thankful they did it this way, since it would be even more frustrating, but it’s still weird.
    Such a shame that a concept this interesting had to be buried under the gameplay this abysmal. My experience with it was horrible, and I hated almost every annoying second of it. How this got popular is beyond me. I had a slight bit of fun in the latter part of Act 3, but only because I turned on Friendly mod and the titular Neighbour was mostly out of the picture on upper floors and didn’t annoy me further. (a.k.a. I had fun with the game by shutting off the cornerstone part of the game)
    Though I’d rather play Neighbours from Hell or something, at least it’s fun in its’ entirety.

    Helltaker

    Helltaker

    8/10
    89 minutes playtime

    This is a very short puzzle game.
    It’s some sort of a sokoban with limited moves. The game isn’t too hard but not easy at times. The boss stage made me rage quite a bit, but I still had fun at the end.
    Despite its’ short length, it features a ton of cute girls and tongue-in-cheek humour, and was a very enjoyable experience overall.

    A Date in the Park

    A Date in the Park

    7/10
    31 minutes playtime

    It’s a pretty short point’n’click game that uses heavily pixelated photographs as its artstyle. Although the story isn’t anything mind-blowing, it was delivered in a pleasant and brief way, kept me interested all the way through and gave me a chuckle at the end (I mean, this was just a bit of dark humor and I was supposed to laugh at this, right?
    There are barely any puzzles to speak about, so you’ll probably beat it in 20 minutes or so.
    The “Collector’s Edition” on Steam also features devs’ other small game made for a jam, Aerinde. It’s even shorter than the “Date”, just as simple, and the plot goes weird places.
    Even if there is some cons about “Date” worth pointing out, it all means little, since the game is free.
    I’ve beaten it back in 2019, but postponed posting the review since I wanted to post it along with A Dump in the Dark because it sounded funny. Why yes, I am a child.

    Football Game

    Football Game

    7,5/10
    71 minutes playtime

    It’s a short point’n’click by the same devs behind A Date in the Park. While still being fairly small in scope, it has a lot more going for.
    The main menu seemed kinda unflattering and really poorly chosen in my opinion, but the artdesign turned out to be pretty cool. There’s not much of a music, but when there is soundtrack, it’s also good.
    All of the puzzles made sense enough for the game to be simple and straightforward.
    I thought I was 100% sure where the plot is heading, but the ending turned out to be not what I expected at all.
    Overall, another good short point’n’click under Cloak and Dagger Games’ belt. I’ll be sure to check their other games as well.

Backlog progress status: no seriously why does hello neighbor has like three games already

12% (229/1970)
4% (74/1970)
8% (161/1970)
74% (1451/1970)
3% (55/1970)

Yep, I’m not finishing Baba Is You anytime soon. I’ll take it slow. These words will age pretty badly when I’ll quote them next year or something.

Report 27: A bit puzzled (2/2)

    Samsara Room

    Samsara Room

    7/10
    2 hours playtime

    This is yet another game from the devs of Rusty Lake series (there’s so many it’s getting ridiculous, i’ve played maybe half of them, and there’s a remake of older flash games coming to Steam, I think?), it’s a remake of the game that precedes Rusty Lake and Cube Escape, but honestly, I couldn’t give a damn about the chronology at this point, the plot is still gonna be confusing and vague.
    It’s your - almost - typical room escape point’n’click, with heavy surrealism touches.
    The puzzles are pretty good - not too hard, but tricky sometimes.
    Not much to say about this. If you played any of the Rusty Lake games, this is pretty much the same stuff.

    Space Quest Collection

    Space Quest Collection | Space Quest III: The Pirates of Pestulon

    7,5/10
    3 hours playtime (9 overall)
      no achievements

    This is the third entry of the famous Sierra point’n’click series.
    This part is probably the weakest in its’ plot department. You’re pretty much solving the conundrum of staying alive in the face of immediate danger in the first half, and just stumble upon your main task in the second half and decide to take your chance going against the bad guys of the game for whatever reason.
    While the puzzles can sometimes be unintuitive as ever (how was I supposed to guess I can just take the ladder that is located in a non-visible part of the screen after climbing it?) and you can still die a lot, it’s far more forgiving and logical than Space Quest II. Or, perhaps, I learned my way with Sierra’s cruel game design already.
    This one is also pretty short if you’re not getting stuck often, and it also has three full-fledged mini-games built in, so there are times even guides can’t help you. They’re not that hard though.
    Overall, even if there’s almost no plot, it was actually pretty fun.

And now, it’s time for yet another non-puzzle games in my report.

    Beyond Eyes

    Beyond Eyes

    6,5/10
    4 hours playtime

    This is a slow walksim about blind girl on the quest to find her missing cat friend.
    Although you can see the ending from a mile away (even right at the beginning), it still comes off as some sort of a downer.
    The gameplay is mostly walking around, uncovering your surroundings as you come near, somewhat like you do with fog of war in RTS games. The thing is… you walk… soooooooooo sloooooooooooooooow… You will need A LOT of patience, but thanks to me being in the right mood, I’ve somehow managed to finish it in one sitting. It was still pretty gruelling at times, especially when you realize you walked the wrong way and you have to go aaaaal the waaaaay baaaaaaack reaaaaaaaal sloooooooow. I mean, I get why it is that way, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s kinda unbearably boring. At least the spirit of a little adventure that you can only experience as a child is there.
    Overall, it’s alright, but don’t expect too much and go in with a lot of time on your hands.

    Raging Loop

    Raging Loop

    8/10
    33 hours playtime
      no achievements

    It’s a mystery VN by KEMCO heavily based on Werewolf (or Mafia, if you prefer) party game. It was only recently officially translated to English.
    Besides the great and engaging mind game plot, it features one of the most entertaining protagonists I’ve seen yet.
    This game features a Scenario Chart and and Keys system, which allow you to remember things upon reaching Bad Ending and go back to try different things with routes unlocking, much like Uchikoshi’s stuff.
    Its’ low budget really shows. It could’ve been so much better if it added just a couple dozens more backgrounds. This game really likes to use downright placeholders instead of actual backgrounds, like some classical black screen and, my personal favourite, black screen with a shiny circle in its’ center. I didn’t mind am as much as I may appear to here, but it would definitely improve the vn quite a bit.
    What I do mind is how confusing and straight-up incomprehensible this vn gets in the final stretch. There’s just too much of a poorly explained concepts that make little to no sense. The werewolf game part and the final almost feel like two different novels.
    After you complete the vn (~30h long), you unlock Revelation mode and some extra stories. Revelation mode delves deeper into characters’ motivations, providing extended thoughts for MC and thoughts of other characters/scenes you couldn’t see from MC perspective. This is a really interesting idea, but it’s not that comfortable to read sometimes on your second playthrough if you’re skipping previously read text, since most of the thoughts are direct reaction to the previous lines that are hard to put in context if you don’t read the entire thing.

Backlog progress status: my head still hurts

12% (227/1965)
4% (73/1965)
8% (161/1965)
74% (1450/1965)
3% (54/1965)

Report 26: A bit puzzled (1/2)

    Puzzle Agent

    Puzzle Agent

    7,5/10
    4 hours playtime
      no achievements

    This is a short adventure game, puzzles being the main focus (who would’ve seen that one coming?)
    I liked the artstyle and the plot, even though it ended so abruptly - I’m still thinking about whether it was a part of the joke or the sequel is going to be a direct continuation.
    The puzzles were neat - not too hard, but still not easy.
    Overall, I really liked that one and I’m looking forward to play the sequel.

    The 7th Guest

    The 7th Guest

    5,5/10
    5 hours playtime
      no achievements

    It’s a first-person point’n’click puzzle game.
    If I had to describe this game with one word, i’d say it is adorable. Over-the-top performances, hilariously cheesy FMV and all that stuff.
    But the only downside is that there’s a limit to my patience, and this game tried my patience way too hard. It is unbearably slow, all the mid-puzzle voiceovers are unskippable, navigating your character through the mansion is a pain the ass - and don’t forget the actual puzzles, that are not easy at all at times, which is not a problem by itself, but it kinda makes things even worse when you’re annoyed by the game quite a bit already. Trust me, these 5 hours I spent on the game felt like ages, and the game couldn’t end quick enough for me.
    It didn’t age very well and can be enjoyed as a relic of its’ time, rather than an actual playable game. I enjoyed some of the challenging puzzles, but the experience was really unpleasant overall. I haven’t (and most definitely won’t) played the remastered version that came out not so long ago, so I don’t know if it’s any better.

I should’ve reviewed Baba is You and Space Quest III here, but let’s be fair, I’m nowhere near beating them yet. So here’s…

    The First Tree

    The First Tree

    6/10
    4 hours playtime

    It’s a walking sim with the focus on finding and collecting stuff.
    The plot is just what you’d expect by the first ten minutes of the game. Somewhat sappy, not mindblowing, but not bad, actually.
    What I absolutely hated is the collectibles part. If you want to complete the game 100%, you absolutely can’t do that without a guide, since you’ll be going through points of all return all the time. And I STILL managed to screw up and skip literally the last collectibles in the game - so while I was watching an emotionally climactic ending, all I could think about was “holy shit, did I really waste so much time to f it all up right at the end?”. The levels are pretty empty and big, and there’s no way I’m gonna play it again for the achievements, but it still grinds my gears.
    Overall, it’s an okay game that would’ve been a much more calming and meditative experience if it gave player some slack, something like having the level select function with progress autosave.

    Bucket Detective

    Bucket Detective

    7,5/10
    61 minutes playtime

    This is a walking sim by the same dev who did “the static speaks my name”. It’s a bit more lighthearted than the previous game, but it’s still filled with very dark humor and disturbing imagery. It’s very short and conveniently designed to replay the specific parts (wasn’t so hard, huh, The First Tree?). The puzzles present are extremely simple and won’t take much of your time.
    Overall, it’s a pretty good experience if you’re into weird and dark themes.

Backlog progress status: my head hurts

11% (224/1953)
4% (73/1953)
8% (162/1953)
74% (1448/1953)
2% (46/1953)

Report 25: I like (?) it hard

    Enemy Mind

    Enemy Mind

    6,5/10
    5 hours playtime

    It’s gonna be a weird one, since I kinda liked it, hated it, and dropped it at the same time.
    It’s a space shmup with a twist - you get to transport yourself into enemy ships and use their abilities. You get to do that quite often, since your ammo is limited and ships can usually take on or two hits before going down. I actually really liked it.
    The part that I hated is that it’s annoyingly, frustratingly hard - as in, being hard for the wrong reasons. The levels are painfully long, and if you get to
    the boss and die, it’s time to start the level all over again.
    I got absolutely FILTERED by level 3 boss, and judging by the dev’s comments, it’s just going to be much worse later on. I really don’t want to struggle this much. I officially give up.
    So, not a bad game at all. I just suck too much at it.

    Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition

    Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition

    9/10
    14 hours playtime

    It’s a gorgeous looking metroidvania platformer.
    It fell in the sweet spot between being not as easy as I thought it would be and not as hard as some people told me. While it was pretty hard at times, even frustrating, you get the gist of what you’re supposed to do pretty fast.
    The plot is just as fairytale-ish as it needs to. Doesn’t blow your mind, but still tugs all the right heartstrings.
    It’s really pleasant to play with Ori’s variety of fluidly combinated movements and attacks.
    As I’ve already said, the art part of the game is great. The soundtrack is also beatiful.
    Overall, it’s a really good game, even if it can be hard at times. Died 878 times. Dunno if it’s average or I was playing it really leisurely.
    I am NOT going to do the no-death run, this is impossible for a mere mortal and you can’t persuade me it’s not.

And then I tried to do the NG+ in Rogue Legacy. “I actually really like this game, but it’s getting somewhat repetitive and it’s certainly gonna take a while”.
And then I tried to play Hatred. “I actually wanted to like this game, but it’s way clunkier and dull than I remember”.
And then I tried Infectonator 3. “Okay, I loved the flash games way back on Newgrounds, but the difficulty spikes in that one are just too much for me”.
So I switched to something easy instead.

    The Haunted Island, a Frog Detective Game

    The Haunted Island, a Frog Detective Game

    6/10
    50 minutes playtime

    Aah, just what I needed. Extremely simple, cutesy, short and filled with silly humor.
    The only downsides is that the game softlocked on me quite a few times and deleted my save altogether one time.
    I don’t want to sound dissapointed with the game (I’m really not), but it felt somewhat lackluster. It certainly won’t be able to justify its full price.

    Pikuniku

    Pikuniku

    7/10
    6 hours playtime

    This is a game with a similar cute-silly-simple style, but its’ execution is way more polished and solid.
    While being really simple overall, it can surely throw a couple of curveballs at you sometimes. Some of the achievements are pretty challenging and even made me give up on them.
    Overall, a very fun experience.

Backlog progress status: hard to tell

11% (221/1934)
4% (70/1934)
8% (161/1934)
74% (1436/1934)
2% (46/1934)

Report 24: Big Boys Time VII: Killing spree

    Hitman: Contracts

    Hitman: Contracts

    7,5/10
    10 hours playtime
    no achievements

    This is the third entry in the Hitman franchise and it feels like the most solid one out of the first three.
    The gameplay is even more fleshed out now. Besides the new levels, half of the game consists of remade levels from Codename 47. Said levels’ design (except for Traditions of the Trade, which is pretty much the same in that game) was pretty awful for stealthing it, and Contracts did them a great favor by making them easier and adding new ways to finish it.
    The plot is on the weaker side in this one (although you can say it barely exists), but the good gameplay balances things out nicely, like always.
    Overall, it’s a pretty good (and fairly short) Hitman game.

    Hitman: Blood Money

    Hitman: Blood Money

    8,5/10
    10 hours playtime
    no achievements

    Now this one is a truly refined experience with a whole variety of ways of completing the task at hand.
    There are quite a few new mechanics in the game. The most obvious one is a notoriety effect, that should’ve ramped up the difficulty if you’re doing poorly, but since I was almost always going for Silent Assassin or at least Professional rating, I barely had any trouble with it, and even with I did, you can lower it for a pretty cheap (even if you go Rambo with all the guns upgrade), so that felt pretty pointless. Yet you can always constrict yourself to avoid using bribes, and that can spice things up. While we’re at it, witnesses mechanic, accidents mechanic and the newspaper statistic at the end of the level are pretty interesting and fresh, even if they don’t change much.
    Pushing is a fun and very convenient way of disposing of your enemies, even if it doesn’t work as intended at times (47 can just go for the headbutt instead of pushing the victim if you position yourself way too close, I guess).
    Human shield mechanic felt pretty pointless and I haven’t used it once since the tutorial level for obvious (doing things the stealth way) reasons. I guess it’s been introduced to help in the situations where you are cornered and there’s no other choice than to go gun blazing; or to use during your gun blazing-only walkthroughs.
    Coin tossing seemed like a no-brainer function to me, but I was surprised to realize I never actually used it during my playthrough. I guess my old Hitman habits die hard (pun intended?).
    While being nothing to write home about, the plot is decently made and has an incredibly satisfying ending.
    Overall it’s a great game and a great Hitman entry to start with if Silent Assassin is too old for you and you want something less dark and gritty than Contracts.

    Hitman: Absolution

    Hitman: Absolution

    7/10
    25 hours playtime

    This game felt like a Thief 3 moment for the franchise. The game was heavily casualised, and it’s a pretty drastic departure from the way series used to be played.
    My biggest complaint would be how linear most of the levels have become. Instead of a big multilayered levels, you move through levels from one small area segment to another (which also reminded me of Thief 3). There are way too many forced stealth segments, some of which were really annoying if you’re going for no kills or no detection. Also, devs really went all-out with the crowdy levels in this one.
    It mostly feels like a completely different game with some of the Hitman game design slapped on it for whatever reason. It is also the most (and unusualy so) plot-heavy game in the franchise, the plot in question being unbelievably corny, especially when it comes to bad guys. You’re gonna hate it if you try to take it seriously (which is almost impossible), and it can be somewhat fun if you treat it like some b-movie trash (which it kinda is).
    Even if you’re able to distance yourself from comparing it to the previous games, it does hold up on its own, but not very well. It’s okay, but nothing exceptional.
    While being extremely simplified, it uses 100%-completion-hunting to create a perception of being bloated.
    A classic thing I hate: the Contracts mode is unplayable now because its’ servers were shut down, so I’m not able to do its’ achievements and even take a look what it was about.
    In the end, that wasn’t as bad as I thought it was and suprisingly pleasant to play at times, but it’s still not that good for a Hitman game.

Backlog progress status: far from assassinated

11% (220/1919)
4% (68/1919)
8% (161/1919)
75% (1430/1919)
2% (40/1919)