petbastard’s profile

I just wanna play videogames.


Report 40: The first of the year

I’ve bought too many stuff on this year’s sale. I’m never gonna learn. Meanwhile, here’s three timesinkers I played around with during the holidays.

    OMORI

    OMORI

    9/10
    64 hours playtime

    It’s been worth waiting for 6 years. While being not as funny as Undertale, not as surreal as off, not as scary as [insert one of a million horror RPG Maker titles here], and - debatably - not as comfy as Earthbound can be most of the time, this game still managed to captivate me and make me fall in love with it. Not without its flaws, but still a real gem that will certainly go down as a cult classic RPG Maker title.
    I honestly don’t want to talk about it much and spoil anything, I’ll just warn you that the game gets pretty dark early on and even darker later, even though it balances things well with the humour/seriousness, the storyflow seemed natural to me.
    Love the artstyle, LOVE the music. It’s been a pain in the ass to replay it two more times though, this game would really benefit from the scene/dialogue skip function, since they can be pretty lenghty, but I don’t think that’s possible for the RPG Maker title.
    If you’re a fan of similar titles, go for it.

    HITMAN™ 2

    HITMAN™ 2

    8,5/10
    13 hours playtime

    This is a weird one. I’ve decided to put this game on-hold, since it’s just too good. I want to explore it, to complete it, to fully immerse myself in it - but I can’t do that while thinking about some dumb release schedules.
    So I’m putting a lid on it until 2022 when Hitman 3 will (hopefully) come out on Steam (yes, I’m not going to buy anything from Epic). This will hurt quite a bit, but I hope I’ll handle it, because playing it while it’s incomplete and there’s more coming is just painful. I guess I’m lucky that I even started it this late.
    I’ve beaten the first game’s campaign and a prologue for the second, and all of the missions are pretty damn good. Just turn off the hints or turn it down to “minimum”, it’s just weird how much handholding there is in the game.

    Runefall

    Runefall

    5/10
    21 hours playtime

    Good lord am I tired of this.
    This is a neat-looking match-3 with upgrades, powers to use and lots, lots of grind.
    It really overstayed its’ welcome after a while and became incredibly boring.
    There are puzzles that you have to solve mid-levels, and they range from mindnumbingly dumb and quick to mindnumbingly dull and long. The chest unlocking gears puzzle is probably the worst offender, since it can go on way too long depending on your luck.
    I finished all the sub-quests and to see the ending, you have to gather 20.000 of each resource. No. Just no. I’ve spent more than 10 hours in this just grinding stuff and I can’t take it anymore.
    Overall, the game itself isn’t that bad, but the novelty wears off too quick and the game has little to entertain you in the meantime.

Backlog progress status:

12% (267/2218)
4% (92/2218)
7% (157/2218)
74% (1633/2218)
3% (69/2218)

Report 39: And one more for the road

    Wonderful Everyday Down the Rabbit-Hole

    Wonderful Everyday Down the Rabbit-Hole

    9/10
    33 hours playtime
      no achievements

    That was… wow.
    It’s really, really hard to talk about this VN without spoiling it, trust me. Even by writing this review, I can’t help but think I’m doing the game a disservice by even hinting what it’s about. Nothing beats going in blind - well, maybe it’s worth noting that it’s fully playable only if you apply the 18+ patch, that adds some really graphic uncensored stuff. It’s nowhere near the levels of something like Euphoria, but it still can be pretty disturbing or unsettling. I mean, it would be pretty disturbing or unsettling even without those scenes. In fact, it’s actually a shame that some of the porn in it is somewhat integral to the narrative. For example, there’s a pretty disturbing h-scene that gets told from another perspective much later on, and it comes off as brillianly bizarre and absurd. Again, it’s REALLY hard to try to explain it without spoiling it.
    I’ve read someone saying about it that “they liked it better before finishing it”. And they turned out to be quite right - not that any of the endings were bad - they’re all great, actually - but the pure confusion and schizophrenic narrative/imagery were too entertaining. The pay-off was worth it though, it was pretty dramatic and emotional.
    I’ve also seen quite a few people comparing Doki Doki Literature Club to this (yeah, not vice versa), and lemme tell ya, this is a total meme. SubaHibi only uses text in unorthodox fashion and has some really freaky imagery, but that’s about it, it never resorts to full-on horror in any way. SubaHibi is also a billion times more cleverly (and simply better) written. Like, I’m gettin offtopic here, but every time I hear about “realistic depiction of Sayori’s depression” makes me irrationally angry to no end, because to me if felt like it’s the laziest fucking “depiction” out there. Jeez.
    Probably should’ve deleted this random rant, but what the hell. I have opinions too and it’s probably the last chance for me to get it out of my system. Don’t mind me.
    Where was I? I dunno already.
    So yeah, besides being pretty unsettling by itself, this novel includes some graphic h-scenes and there’s also a chapter with, like, 50 instances of a certain homosexuality-related slur used (in a tsundere-not-actually-mean-spirited-or-at-least-I-think-so-way, but still), so here’s that. If you don’t like that stuff, you’re better off thinking twice before trying it.
    The soundtrack is amazing.
    Overall, it was great.

    Mega Man Legacy Collection

    Mega Man Legacy Collection | Mega Man 3

    7,5/10
    5 hours playtime (12 overall)

    I actually started to really enjoy these. Even though I still suck at it and use rewind pretty often, it’s really starting to grow on me and the fact that I use rewind not as often as before comforts me a lot, since I didn’t turn out to be completely hopeless.

    Kona

    Kona

    8/10
    7 hours playtime

    This is an open-world walksim with light survival mechanics. Yup.
    The plot is pretty interesting, and managing your stats is easy enough. The main dish of the game is the exploration - after a short tutorial-like segment, you’re free to go almost anywhere. While it may not look that ambitious with only a dozens of houses out there, it’s really cool to put the puzzle pieces together at your own pace, and since it’s still pretty easy to do, it never becomes too overwhelming.
    I guess the game would’ve been over sooner if I didn’t go for all the achievements at once, since the achievements include no transport run, no shooting run, etc. - but I actually still had fun either way.
    Overall, it was really good.

    Gato Roboto

    Gato Roboto

    8/10
    6 hours playtime

    And another metroid clone done. This one was neatly stylised and was very comfortable to play. It was pretty hard at times, but the difficulty always felt just right. The soundtrack was a banger. Even the plot was simple, yet interesting.
    One-hour-speedrun achievement? No health upgrades achievement? Nnnnnnnnno thanks!
    Overall, it’s a great little game.

Backlog progress status:

12% (266/2166)
4% (91/2166)
7% (157/2166)
73% (1585/2166)
3% (67/2166)

Report 38: Lightning round
I’ve been wanting to do this for a while now, essentially taking some shorter titles off my backlog. Here goes nothing.

    ART SQOOL

    ART SQOOL

    2/10
    2 hours playtime
      no achievements

    Well, that was… pointless. You find drawing tools, you “draw” stuff you’re demanded to, you get randomized grades… and then it’s just over. It’s one of those “i’m trying to be weird” game, but it doesn’t do much interesting with its’ weirdness and just abruptly “ends”, and you’re left in the game world which feels even less empty than your average Yume Nikki map. Nothing particularly funny, strange or interesting about it.
    Meh.

    Burly Men at Sea

    Burly Men at Sea

    4/10
    2 hours playtime

    It’s a… choose-your-own-adventure-game? I wouldn’t call it bad, but it also wasn’t particularly funny or interesting, it didn’t look good, and, as a matter of fact, it was miiiiiindnuuuuuuumbiiiiinglyyyyyy boring. While the secret payoff was kinda cute, these 2 hours felt like eternity.

    Caster

    Caster

    6/10
    2 hours playtime
      no achievements

    It’s a surprisingly fun (for what it’s worth) indie action game. You fight enemies, collect energy orbs and upgrade your skills. Most of your weapons possess terraforming ability, changing the landscape of the level. While it can be clunky and really cheap at times, it still was unexpectedly interesting. Too bad it’s one of those games that weren’t finished and abandoned by the dev for some reason.

    Dogolrax

    Dogolrax

    6,5/10
    2 hours playtime

    This game is uuh… bonkers. At the first few seconds I thought it would be something along the line of Another World/Flashback tributes, but boy was I mistaken for the most part. It felt like few unfinished games were slapped together into this bizarre mix. Anime girls (which are drawn pretty nicely), arcade-y parts (tons of them), black humour (pretty weird, just like I love it), arkanoid segments (huh?)… And it’s all presented in a such a fast-paced fashion you rarely get bored (only if you’re not achievement hunting, there’s a couple of difficulty spikes to ruin the fun). Not to mention that the game can be kinda hard at times - although not merciless enough to completely stop you dead in your tracks.
    Overall, it’s sometimes crude, but still pretty insane and fun ride to get through. The ending was kinda abrupt, but whatever.

    Earthworms

    Earthworms

    6/10
    3 hours playtime
      no achievements

    This is a pretty good-looking indie point’n’click with surrealism vibes that kinda go nowhere in the end sadly.
    I’m not sure if it’s designed good. MC refuses to do some of the actions at random, items dissapear from your inventory at random (this is mostly the final parts of the game). But the progression here is kinda weird - I never got to use some of the items I found. And according to hints I found on Steam discussions, it’s not that I missed a big chunk of gameplay by locking myself on the negative/neutral ending only. There’s three endings, and you can get a good one if you don’t do the thing I did (and of course, my most recent saves were waaaay before I did it and waaay after it happened). I’m not really upset about it, since all the endings are kinda meh.
    Overall, it was okay, but could’ve been a lot better.

    Forward to the Sky

    Forward to the Sky

    6,5/10
    2 hours playtime

    This is an anime-styled action platformer with puzzles (and some of them are somewhat decent). It’s very short (6 short levels), it has nice artstyle and uuh… cute voice acting? I swear most of the phrases sounded like they were translated to english from the other language, and I think that it actually is the case.
    The game feels janky sometimes, but it was never bad enough to turn me off completely.
    It’s a short and pleasant indie title. I don’t think it’s worth the full price though.

    GAUGE

    GAUGE

    6/10
    62 minutes playtime

    It’s a really trippy rhythm (I guess?) game. The soundtrack and the game’s design look very fitting.
    Don’t even try it if you suffer from epilepsy or similar condition.
    It’s not really “completeable” besides the high score achievements, and while I was nowhere near getting them, I think that was enough of that game for me.

    Home is Where One Starts...

    Home is Where One Starts...

    5/10
    ~40 minutes playtime

    Another walking simulator that is done by the numbers. It’s not bad, but it definitely doesn’t stand out in any way. The story is just the usual sentimental plot and it’s barely there.
    Well, at least I got it for free and it’s really short, so who am I to complain.

    I (DON'T) HATE HENTAI PUZZLES

    I (DON'T) HATE HENTAI PUZZLES

    6/10
    33 minutes playtime

    This is a short VN/puzzle game from the russian developer. It’s a satire on the recent Steam’s hentai puzzle games boom. Ironically, I was ignoring this title for a while because I was thinking it’s just another hentai puzzle.
    It’s somewhat fun, but way too short and ends too abruptly for no reason.
    It has an uncensored patch on the dev’s Discord.

    Just Ignore Them

    Just Ignore Them

    7/10
    3 hours playtime

    It was a bit amateurish, but surprisingly engaging horror-ish adventure. It has a “remake” version, but I played the original since the achievements weren’t working in the remake - so the typos, bugs and some other things I’ve encountered may not be present in the remake. The puzzles were never too hard, it’s mostly story-driven (but you’ll have to solve some of them that are easily missable and make the not-really-obvious-in-your-first-playthrough decisions to reach the game’s good ending). As I’ve said, the plot kept me interested enough and went some weird places before the ending.
    Overall it was pretty fun, but I wish I could play the remake version, which is - presumably - better.

    Kio's Adventure

    Kio's Adventure

    7,5/10
    4 hours playtime

    SG win!
    It’s a horror adventure game that gets dangerously close to being a straight-up ryona game in the spirit of Demonophobia and such. It’d be kinda weird to say I actually really liked it..?
    The “plot” is just there. This game never takes itself too seriously, and that really shows at the final parts. The art is great - and not only the gallery unlocks, but the pixel art too. There’s a bit of (not very detailed) nudity and TONS of gore.
    The english translation is hilariously bad and only adds to the charm.
    Overall, it’s short, fun (if you like this very specific kind of “fun”), and I really enjoyed it.

    Last Inua

    Last Inua

    6/10
    2 hours playtime

    It’s a somewhat decent platformer with easy puzzles. The art is pretty good and disturbing at times. The game itself can be pretty hard and annoying at some segments but never to the point of being frustrating. There’s a weird delay when you’re turning around, and that sure takes time to get used to.
    I’m not doing the no-death-achievements, since I hate them. Overall, I had more fun with the game than I expected to.

    Maidens of a Hollow Dream

    Maidens of a Hollow Dream

    7/10
    2 hours playtime
      no achievements

    This is a short (and pervy) bullethell-sidescrolling-shoot’em-up (phew that’s a mouthful). The plot is… there. It’s mostly just some magic school nonsense with girls being… really friendly to each other. Like, being REALLY close.
    Without going into details, the pervy stuff is pretty open about itself, and thankfully, the game art isn’t detailed enough for it to be censored in one way or another. Just three words: girls in loincloths (although it’s barely a loincloth imo).
    The art is cute, the music is pretty good too, and the overall indie feel to it is quite nice too.
    The gameplay isn’t especially hard if you have any experience with bullethell. Though it’s challenging enough - at least for the fourth, last level to be a hurdle.
    Overall, it was pretty good.

    A Normal Lost Phone

    A Normal Lost Phone

    5/10
    2 hours playtime

    Another one of these “found phone”-type games. The writing felt somewhat forced and fake, didn’t bother with music and turned it off (it’s honestly distracting), the puzzles were mostly password-based (I mean, there’s not much to chew on with the phone theme anyway).
    The plot is one of those where you see it all from a mile away as soon as you read the disclaimer before starting the game. Empowering and discussing touchy subjects is great and all, but man, was that even duller than Gone Home. And it’s not like I can’t stand slice-of-life-plots, I really enjoyed Shimanami Tasogare manga that deals with somewhat similar topics without being too heavy on the plot, so that can’t be the case. Either way, it was pretty boring.
    Overall, it’s not really bad, but be prepared to read a lot and don’t expect anything sudden or interesting to happen - you’re better off playing Simulacra or something if you do.

    On Earth As It Is In Heaven - A Kinetic Novel

    On Earth As It Is In Heaven - A Kinetic Novel

    4,5/10
    2 hours playtime
      no achievements

    You’ve heard it folks, it’s a kinetic visual novel. It has a pretty sappy (and a pretty predictable, in my opinion) story. Despite its’ short length, I was pretty bored most of the time. I’ve got it for free at some giveaway (not SG) and it wouldn’t end up in my library any other way, so it’s safe to say it’s just not my kind of story.
    The writing is somewhat decent - I guess? I’m not exactly an ENL to judge. There were some interesting moments spread throughout. I still feel the love story was kinda clumsily inserted.
    It could’ve been done a bit better technically - there are some moments when character sprites should be removed from the screen at this point, but they’re not. It was somewhat distracting. Although the backgrounds are okay too, they clearly could use some simple changes - there are some scenes that are supposed to take place during night time, and it’s clearly still a day depicted on some of the backgrounds.
    Overall, it’d be an easiest skip for me if it wasn’t free and in my library already.

    Pony Island

    Pony Island

    7,5/10
    5 hours playtime

    Really liked that one. It’s really hard to boil genre down to one word, but the closest thing would be puzzle game with side-scroller elements, even if it’s much more than that. It’s not very long, but there’s quite a few things to explore and find. I’m really glad I decided to stick with the game and complete it after I beat it initially. It sure didn’t turn out to be as short as I thought it would, but I enjoyed it too much to care about that.

    Quake

    Quake

    7/10
    5 hours playtime
      no achievements

    Welp, that was Quake!
    I have mixed feelings about it. Running around and shooting stuff was fun, but I don’t think I like game’s colour palette that much.
    Really enjoyed the soundtrack. Too bad I found out that it exists after I beat the Steam version (which is dead silent).
    It only had two bosses, and both of them kinda sucked. I mean, the game’s finale is basically a meme at this point.
    I also had a nasty bug that deletes the runes you found at random. Turns out you can put the runes in your inventory with console commands and play GLQuake version so this won’t happen in the first place.
    Overall, it turned out pretty much exactly how I imagined it to be.

    Richard & Alice

    Richard & Alice

    7/10
    3 hours playtime

    It’s a fairly interesting point’n’click which shares common themes and mood with McCormick’s The Road (and even references it, I think). Let’s just say it was pretty bleak.
    The plot and the dialogues are pretty good written. There’s not much going on in the terms of puzzles.
    There’s five endings and they’re really convoluted to get - even with a guide, I couldn’t reach the last three. I also found all the notes (which is required for some endings) - at least I think I did, because the game never recognized it. So I’m kinda stuck there.
    Either way, it was a pretty good story.

    Scheming Through The Zombie Apocalypse: The Beginning

    Scheming Through The Zombie Apocalypse: The Beginning

    8/10
    3 hours playtime

    This is, essentially, an interactive cartoon with light resource gathering & management mechanics. And boy, was I surprised by that one.
    The plot’s concept was really fun, and the game turned out to be pretty hilarious (at least, in my opinion). It doesn’t shy away from being kinda offensive, though, but the characters being antropomorphic animals do smooth things out a bit.
    It’s really short since it’s one of those episodic games. Turns out this first episode came out a while back, and a new one is coming on February 2021. What a time to find this gem, huh.
    If I had to point out something negative… First of all, the inventory stuff works kinda weird and can leave you with no items if you quit the game and then continue, so it would be best if you try to do it in one go and also don’t try to savescam your way out of gambling minigame. I really burned myself here. Though it’s not like your loot actually matters all that much beyond the achievement hunting, since the story seems to progress either way. Second of all, the game desperately needs the function of skipping dialogues. You can’t pause and neither can you skip them. So if you want to replay the game (like I do), you’ll have to suffer through the whole dialogues all over again. And that’s a shame, since many of the achievements demand contradicting things, rendering most of the achivements impossible for the single playthrough.
    Also some additional animation could really help.
    Overall, it was a really fun experience.

    Tacoma

    Tacoma

    7,5/10
    4 hours playtime

    These guys really stepped up their game since Gone Home. This one provides a narrative that is way better structured and it feels more natural and interesting overall. I also happen to like sci-fi and space themes more, so here’s that.
    Essentially it has the same feel as Gone Home, but the game is more linear. The exploration is somewhat limited, but there’s still stuff that you can miss (although it’s pretty hard to miss it - with few exceptions).
    I liked the story, even though in the process it became pretty evident it’s not going to include any of the darker elements that I tend to like - as in SOMA, Dead Space, Alien Isolation, you know the stuff.
    Overall, a very solid short game.

    UBERMOSH

    UBERMOSH

    7/10
    3 hours playtime

    It’s a fast-pace twin-stick shooter/cutter. This turned out to be way more addicting than I was expecting. Once I got a little better, it turned out to be really fun. Cutting the bullets of your enemies and repel them back is extremely satisfying and cool.
    The soundtrack is great and energetic, just as it needs to be.

    Verdict Guilty - 유죄 평결

    Verdict Guilty - 유죄 평결

    6,5/10
    3 hours playtime

    It’s a pretty fun fighting game with cheesy story and the bare minimum of required features. The characters feel pretty unique for the most part. I wish it wasn’t so goddamn easy to accidentaly exit the game during story mode - maybe I would’ve completed it.

    Wrack

    Wrack

    6,5/10
    6 hours playtime

    That took me much longer than I thought it would, but then again, it was pretty fun, actually. It’s a fast-paced quake/doom/dukenukem/whatever-ish fps.
    While it was refreshing to finally see a shooter where you move and jump extremely fast, shooting enemies sometimes feels kinda… stiff? like in Borderlands, and the sword weapon feels especially clunky to use.
    The level design could be a bit more interesting, since all of the levels are really barebones. The game was also supposed to be expanded further, but was abandoned for whatever reason. Either way, Episode 1 is long enough to get a feel for the game.
    Even though it looks like I’m shitting on the game all the time, the main core - gameplay - was really hard and fun.

    Xeodrifter™

    Xeodrifter™

    7/10
    5 hours playtime

    That was a neat little metroid clone (I guess?). It has unlockable abilities which help you get to the previously unreachable places, you know the deal.
    Essentially there’s only one boss, but it’s colored differently and gets new abilities every time you fight a new one. The difficulty curve is not that steep as you learn to deal with his new attacks one by one.
    Speedrun achievement? Take-no-damage-during-the-final-boss-fight achievement? Yeeeaaahh, I’ll skip these, thank you very much.
    Overall, it was a pretty good game.

    Yomawari: Night Alone

    Yomawari: Night Alone

    8,5/10
    51 hours playtime (10 hours of actual gameplay)

    Shorter title my ass.
    This is a spooky surival-ish horror. You wander through the town at night trying to find your sister and encountering a buttload of spirits instead.
    The exploration aspect really shines here. It feels like some sort of a way more coherent Yume Nikki experience mixed with simplistic action and puzzle-solving. The feeling of discovery is really great, since the game barely tells you how to play it, and you just rely upon trial and error most of the time. You’ll learn how to avoid monsters and to use the items to your advantage, and even then, the game will throw some curveballs at you with its’ unique spirits’ encounters. It can be a little frustrating in some action parts, and replaying these segments over and over definitely bring down the spook factor a bit. Well, either way, it’s really entertaining to play either way.
    The map isn’t very large, but it’s big enough and filled to the brim with little discoveries behind pretty much every corner.
    There are downsides, still. The game isn’t really good at technical level and I’ve seen a lot of comments from people who struggle to even start the game. I’ve had issues with crashes after 10-15 minutes in, but it went away after I’ve set Win95 compatibility.
    The second downside is the achievement hunt part. While all but one achievements are really fun and not that hard to get, the last one wants you to play the game for… 50 hours. Just in case, you’re gonna need 10-14 hours MAX to get every item in the game, and even less (6-7 hours) to complete the main storyline. It’s just like with the first Lucius game, where it wants you to play for 20 and 40 hours while clearly not having enough game content to justify it. You’re gonna have to idle the game whether you want to or not, if you want to complete it.
    There’s also an occurence that made me miss one of the items in the game due to bug (it didn’t show up in my collection), and I felt pretty pissed about it, but when I found the last item from the collection, the achievement still popped up as if I’ve had it (you do pick up this item during the game, but you “drop it” if you fail to do the required task and you’ll have to try again next time). Either way, phew.
    Overall, a really great game to scratch the spooky itch with some japanese folklore and urban legends-themed vibe.

    Zombo Buster Rising

    Zombo Buster Rising

    6,5/10
    3 hours playtime

    Extremely simple and straightforward zombie defense game. It’s short, dumb and fun for what it’s worth. Truly a junk food of videogames.

Backlog progress status:

12% (265/2165)
4% (90/2165)
7% (158/2165)
73% (1585/2165)
3% (67/2165)

Report 37: Shooty bang bang and more of the same

    Grand Theft Auto IV: The Complete Edition

    Grand Theft Auto IV: The Complete Edition

    8/10
    79 hours playtime

    This is probably the most down-to-earth GTA out of all. It’s still pretty fun and shines with its satire and characters. The crazy parts still show up (mostly in The Ballad of Gay Tony) from time to time.
    The collectibles were annoying as hell and there’s too many of them. It’s my fault for even going for it, I guess. I was getting pretty tired of GTA already by the time I got to Gay Tony episode.
    Gay Tony’s mission objectives/results that you have to perfect to get the achievement were quite a buzzkill. I didn’t want to be reminded how bad I was every time, and it’s the only reason the Complete Edition isn’t complete (pun not intended), but beaten. I might’ve stuck around to get the rest of the achievements, but I’m NEVER going to be as good as the game wants me too.
    I also wish the games weren’t as bugged as they are. I’ve had quite a few crashes, softlocks and various audio issues.
    Overall, a solid GTA entry, but I think I would’ve enjoyed it more if it wasn’t for my OCD about the achievements and if the technical perfrmance was a bit better.

    Hard Reset

    Hard Reset

    7,5/10
    16 hours playtime

    It’s a pretty hard action game. For some reason I decided to crank up my suffering and choose the Hard Difficulty from the get-go. Needless to say, the experience was downright frustrating at times. But when I got somewhat good at the game, I actually liked it enough to try the Insane difficulty (try is the keyword here, I don’t think I want to go through this again all the way, but even harder this time).
    The game actually looks pretty decent. Even though it’s pretty much Serious Sam structure all over again, it’s not even noticeable.
    There’s only two weapons that you can switch modes on to do different kind of damage, that was pretty interesting.
    The plot kinda… went nowhere, and I don’t know if it was some sort of sequel-cliffhanger or did they want to make another DLC, but it’s fine. The plot was decent enough for that kind of game anyway.
    Overall, a surprisingly fun (and really fricking hard) game.

    XIII - Classic

    XIII - Classic

    7,5/10
    7 hours playtime
      no achievements

    Since the remake turned out to be the hottest garbage out there, it’s as good time as any to sweep the dust off the original.
    I honestly struggle to find any reason who thought such remake would be a good idea, since, even if they get rid of all the technical issues, the core of the game would be ultimately the same - the graphics are worse, the gameplay is pretty much the same but worse in some aspects, and the plot is the same - you can just play the original game that still holds up to this day and is practically superior in every aspect possible.
    So, the original. The plot is pretty interesting, the game itself is fairly fast-paced - except the stealth sections, I guess, they do drag the tempo down a bit. Although the stealth part here is broken (still serviceable though) and it works pretty weird. The enemies can be downright blind and - especially - deaf, so you can pretty much run through some of the stealth segments if you want to.
    I don’t know if I’m missing something, but the final twist before the cliffhanger kinda… doesn’t make any sence to me. Like, what was the masterplan here? It’s one of those twists that are delightfully cheesy, but still, I’m confused.
    Overall, it’s a pretty solid and short shooter with occasional stealth that could’ve been handled a bit better.

    Hero of the Kingdom: The Lost Tales 1

    Hero of the Kingdom: The Lost Tales 1

    7/10
    3 hours playtime

    It’s literally the same game all over again. I only have myself to blame, because I keep buying it; there’s still something that I like about it, I guess.
    It’s a simplistic resource management all over again. The resources’… sources don’t respawn in this one, so you’re probably going to need to learn the getting-money-fast-trick just like in the previous games.
    As you might’ve noticed, it’s much shorter than the other entries. I’m perfectly fine with that, playing through HotK 3 was a pain in the ass sometimes.
    Overall, more of the same with minimal changes.

12% (253/2140)
4% (87/2140)
7% (158/2140)
74% (1576/2140)
3% (66/2140)

Report 36: Things that are not Skyrim

    Hades

    Hades

    8,5/10
    68 hours playtime
      no achievements

    “Oof, I want to play something less lenghty”, he said, launching Hades. How little did he know.
    Hades is the newest game by Supergiant games that ticks almost all the usual boxes. The artstyle is similar, the gameplay is (somewhat) similar, the soundtrack is similar. Thankfully, all the “similar” here means equally great quality, as with the previous games.
    This is a roguelike that involves dying many, many times. Supergiant Games actually managed to fit in the death/rebirth mechanic pretty nicely, and when you lose, it doesn’t feel like losing most of the time, since you’re making progress every time you die.
    Now, don’t get me wrong. The characters are fantastic and entertaining (also, as Zero Punctuation said, “all the voice acting sounds like it’s coming from very sexy people), the amount of variables in dialogues with bosses and netherworld residents is mindblowing… but the plot is easily the weakest part of the game. Even if the lore is good, it’s mostly picked from greek mythology and the whole thing just looks like some fanfiction. But it’s not that bad, actually, before you get to the ending… and then to the epilogue… and realise there’s not much to it besides that. The ending is so underwhelming it feels like a joke (the epilogue is probably even more pathetic). The amount of effort you have to put in the game to see them is not comparable to what you get at all.
    And don’t get me started on the sub-quests. It’s not even grind at this point, it’s just repetition. Every time you return to the hub, you pray to god that you’re gonna trigger the needed conversation with the person of interest. But that’s if you lucky and your person of interest doesn’t talk to someone else/just straight up dissapears, so you have to go for a new run to reset the hub. Patroclus quest was pure pain, and even after getting all the achievements, 65+ hours in, I STILL didn’t trigger Hypnos’ loyalty quest.
    Despite all that, the game was really good (well, maybe besides the last few hours where I just grinded the hell out of it to get to the ending).

    Sine Mora EX

    Sine Mora EX

    7/10
    4 hours playtime

    This is a pretty hard side-scroller shoot-em-up with a surprisingly dark plot and lore. It is very dinamic and almost all the bosses feel entirely different from each other.
    It is frustratingly hard even on normal (at least for me) and there’s a ton of replayablity involved, but even getting through it was hard enough for me.
    Funnily enough, there’s no achievement for beating the game.

    The Henry Stickmin Collection

    The Henry Stickmin Collection

    8,5/10
    6 hours playtime

    There are things that transcend time. Such is a humor of this game, at least for me. It’s pretty much a choose-your-own-adventure cartoon with the extremely simple premise and story.
    There’s no rules and barely any sense in most of the stuff happening, and there’s barely any jokes with a strong punchline, it’s mostly using physical comedy and videogames references. But it overflows with the kind of humor it DOES have, and it always reminds me of simpler Newgrounds times and stuff.
    I actually laughed at the MLG noscope montage joke in 2020.
    The newest, final chapter made specifically for Steam release is amazing, just as the previous ones.
    It’s an absolute treat filled with nonstop-fun.

    Red Comrades 2: For the Great Justice. Reloaded

    Red Comrades 2: For the Great Justice. Reloaded

    6,5/10
    4 hours playtime

    It’s a pretty weird sequel to the first point’n’click game. It’s way shorter (2 hours versus 7 for the first one), uses a lot of assets from the previous game, and the plot makes little to no sense whatsoever now.
    At least it’s still filled with dumb (the kind I like) jokes to the brim.

Backlog progress status:

12% (251/2107)
4% (85/2107)
7% (158/2107)
74% (1549/2107)
3% (64/2107)

Report 35: Big Boys Time VIII: Climbing ALL the mountains

    The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition

    The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition

    8/10
    114 hours playtime

    Well… that took a while. But then again, why wouldn’t it be? Skyrim is a pretty big game.
    For the past two months, this game was pretty much all I’ve been doing.
    Essentially, it’s power fantasy galore, and pretty much every fart player does makes every NPC around him applaude. It’s really obvious that sometimes the game tries too hard praising the player’s achievements, but still it’s very fun to listen what guards at cities have to say about you. Almost every major quest makes them say unique lines during your playthrough, so you always hear something new.
    While being extremely simplified and player-friendly, this game still plays Bethesda’s strongest part as confident as it can - and that is envinromental storytelling. While this game has a LOT of really awkward diaries with clumsy exposition dumps, there are still many little moments of strictly visual storytelling to appreciate about it. It’s nothing too mindblowing, but just connecting the dots on the spot is pretty entertaining.
    There’s a HUGE power gap achievement-wise. There’s “that one” achievement that requires you to slay the Legendary dragon, and they only spawn after your character hits level 78. You can see why this is a problem when I finished most of the quests barely hitting 50. Thankfully there was still a list of things to do, so I wasn’t exactly wandering aimlessly. Despite that, I did have to abuse the game leveling up system a bit, mostly Pickpocket skill (which is ridiculously easy to level up) and Smithing (getting gold with Transfusion spell and making golden jewelry out of it), getting it to 100, making it a legendary skill, rinse and repeat.
    DLC: Dragonborn (unique and fresh setting to relax a bit after constant snowy/autumn-y scenery, quite a few interesting quests) > Dawnguard (the plot seems weirdly written in places, and it’s basically more Skyrim. Crossbows are awesome though) > Hearthfire (why? I see there’s some effort put inside it, but why?)
    Quests: Thief’s Guild/Dark Brotherhood > Main > College > Civil War > The Companions
    And now it’s time to finally play something that’s NOT Skyrim.

Backlog progress status:

12% (248/2079)
4% (84/2079)
8% (158/2079)
73% (1526/2079)
3% (63/2079)

Report 34: Hodgepodge 2

    DeadCore

    DeadCore

    6,5/10
    5 hours playtime

    It’s a pretty hard action platformer. While it looks somewhat bland, nothing really distracts you from the gameplay, which can be really frustrating at times. There’s a lot of speedrun and collectables achievements, and I’ve suffered enough through these levels already to come back for more and complete the game. It actually feels pretty good to jump around and freefall in this thing, though.
    Overall, a decent game if you want to practice precise jumping and shooting.

    Mega Man Legacy Collection

    Mega Man Legacy Collection | Mega Man 2

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

    The second installment was deceivingly easy at the beginning and got pretty much as hard as the first one. But it was still somewhat easier:
    1) I played the “normal” mode, which logically is easier than “difficult”
    2) (I think) the levels were much shorter.
    3) Energy tanks.
    4) The game is far more lenient with item drops. At least because of the first point, I guess.
    5) This game introduced items that are essentially floating platforms which you can use while you have energy for it. It was pretty cool.
    6) There’s no Yellow Devil here.
    At the end the game still got pretty tricky and even though I avoided using the rewind and savestates, the game just broke me, as usual. I guess I just suck at this kinda games and I’ll have to cheat if I want to ever “beat” one. Oh well.
    Overall, it’s really improved upon the first game.

    Kingdom Rush

    Kingdom Rush

    24 hours playtime

    It’s a colourful tower defense game. It was pretty entertaining, but there’s a few things I don’t really like:
    1) this game desperately needs the fast forward button. I mean, why not?
    2) the game won’t let you build the better towers you’ve unlocked since then.
    3) I still kinda suck at it.
    I barely finished two of the extra missions you get after beating the campaign, and I think I would’ve strived to beat it, but it’s just so slow without the fast-forward. I want to see how my strategy is as fast as I can, I don’t really want to spend ten minutes just to fail and restart.
    Overall, it’s actually fun and I might want to revisit it some time later (but I’ll probably just check the new games out).

    Hidden Folks

    Hidden Folks

    6,5/10
    6 hours playtime

    Essentially, it’s a “Where’s Waldo” game. Sometimes you have to perform some sort of action or solve a little puzzle to find the thing or a person you need. It can be really difficult at times, since some levels are just HUGE.
    Trying to complete it all in one sitting was a bad idea. I had to take breaks from time to time.
    The sound effects choice is… interesting, but can be slightly annoying.
    Overall, the game is just what I expected her to be.

Backlog progress status:

12% (247/2040)
4% (84/2040)
8% (159/2040)
73% (1489/2040)
3% (61/2040)

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)