petbastard’s profile

I just wanna play videogames.


Report 50

Deltarune Chapter 2 was incredible, just like Ch1 and Undertale. I’m kinda stunned by how big of a game it will be with all 7 chapters (at least there are 7 on the chapter select screen) fully playable. It’s gonna be a long road before we get there though.

    Counter-Strike: Condition Zero Deleted Scenes

    Counter-Strike: Condition Zero Deleted Scenes

    7/10
    6 hours playtime
      no achievements

    I knew I wasn’t crazy and I DID play some CS game that was entirely singleplayer back when I was a kid. While the original version is just some weird type of usual CS matches with bots but some special conditions, didn’t bother with that. What interested me was Deleted Scenes, a game compiled out of a single-player campaign missions created for the original game in the first place.
    All of the missions are self-contained plot-wise, so the campaign as a whole looks pretty disjointed. It’s still fun though, and it’s really cute how they tried to make things as cinematic as possible with the tools they were given.
    I found Japanese Kyodai’s missions most fun, especially when I found book stores with recognizable (but changed for the sake of parody, obviously) manga covers lying around.
    manga1
    manga2
    manga3
    I recognized SaiKano, Peridot, Bluer than Indigo, Read Or Die and Azumanga Daioh.
    The enemy AI is pretty dumb. Not to say your allies’ AI is any better, I was stuck in the room because one of those dumbasses just couldn’t get out of the way more than once. Also this is one of those games where you can’t pick up ememies’ weapons or ammo, you have to look for supplies lying around in specific places.
    As you might’ve noticed on the screenshots above, this game doesn’t support widescreen.
    Overall, while being pretty old at this point, there’s still some stuff to appreciate in this game.

    Duke Nukem Forever

    Duke Nukem Forever

    7/10
    8 hours playtime

    Let’s just put this out of the way first - I didn’t find this game exactly terrible. Of course, if I had to wait as long as some people did, maybe I’d have a different opinion about it. It definitely has some flaws, but it’s okay in my book.
    There were some really fun moments (most of what I liked was related to segments where you’re shrunk) and fights, but sometimes game’s lows can be pretty low… low. For example, an unbeatable (if you don’t have vsync on) jump in Ghost Town was really frustrating. Also, the humour here is so juvenile it hurts. I get it, it’s Duke Nukem of all things, but still.
    I really don’t get why the game wasn’t released with four weapon slots available in the first place. You still have to turn them on in the settings, otherwise you’ll have to be dealing with only two (!).
    For some bizarre reason the DLC isn’t available for purchase in my country. Okay then?
    Overall, it wasn’t as bad as people say it is.

    Lucius Demake

    Lucius Demake

    6/10
    2 hours playtime

    I mean, I wouldn’t call this game bad, but… why?
    This is a demake of the first Lucius game and it’s almost exactly the same as the original. So… why?
    The visuals aren’t very pleasant to look at, the sounds and music are pretty annoying. So… Why?
    I mean, at least the achievements are less obnoxious that the original’s. But it still has dumb stuff like “walk 26 miles on feet”. Just why?
    It’s fine, I guess. But… what was the point? Why? It just makes the game more underwhelming on purpose.

    Smoke and Sacrifice

    Smoke and Sacrifice

    7/10
    10 hours playtime

    This game somehow reminds me of Don’t Starve, but simplified and more story-driven. You’ll be spending a lot of time looking for ingredients, crafting and fighting enemies. The artstyle is pretty, the gameplay can be challenging, but nothing too steep - every problem here is manageable with propper planning ahead. It was pretty fun.

Backlog progress status:

13% (299/2365)
4% (102/2365)
6% (148/2365)
74% (1741/2365)
3% (75/2365)

Report 49: Too lazy to write some of these

    Spirits of Xanadu

    Spirits of Xanadu

    6/10
    4 hours playtime

    This is a pretty small horror-ish sci-fi game. It’s barely scary though and the plot isn’t that interesting if you’re familiar with spaceship-themed horror. There were some interesting moments, but for the most part, it was kinda boring and dull. It’s understandable that you can’t do much with a dev team so small, but the results are the same nonetheless.
    Overall, it was okay.

    Yakuza Kiwami

    Yakuza Kiwami

    8/10
    35 hours playtime

    This is a remake of the first game in the series. It’s made to be almost exactly like Zero, but with few changes and missing details/minigames here & there.
    The plot wasn’t as good as Zero and it was choke full of filler content all the way through. To be fair, the whole game was (for understandable reasons, must be said) weaker. The substories might be the weakest part of all, most of which follow the same scenario where someone’s trying to scam Kiryu out of his money. It kinda becomes a joke at some point.
    Majima is everywhere. And I mean, everywhere. The game is designed to throw him at you every time it’s possible. I mean, he’s fun and all, but it becomes mildly annoying pretty quick.
    This game REALLY needs to explain to the player that you need to buy Kiwami techniques first before you can even use them. This turned some early bossfights into a freaking nightmare, and I only figured this stuff out in chapter 6 or maybe even later. And you’re STILL likely to be unable to do a kiwami technique on final boss since the one you need is unlocked by completing Majima Everywhere. This is ridiculous.
    Overall, it feels somewhat weird to play it after 0, but it was still fun.

    South Park™: The Stick of Truth™

    South Park™: The Stick of Truth™

    8/10
    19 hours playtime

    This is a first parody RPG based on the show. It really captures the spirit and look of the series.
    Way too much missable content.
    Trying to find all the weapons and clothing was very boring and tedious, since you should buy most of it. Didn’t bother to complete it because of that.
    Overall, it’s really good though.

    South Park The Fractured But Whole

    South Park The Fractured But Whole

    8/10
    29 hours playtime

    And here’s the second one. Now it has no missable content (at least nothing achievement-relatable is missable), which is a huge plus for me that lets me enjoy the game.
    I enjoy the battle system here more, it finally requires some minimal amount of strategic thinking from you, even if you get pretty overpowered quick. I also really love how they handled interactions between characters during the battle, it’s really hilarious. There’s also many interesting one-off battles with special conditions.
    If I had to point out something negative, this game is way too long. Especially now, with all the DLCs included (which I am yet to play through).
    It would also be nice if one of the achievements wasn’t translated wrong (completing the game on Mastermind difficulty was translated as “hardest difficulty”, but there was another, harder difficulty added in later updates, and it does not count for this achievement) and wasted about 8 hours of my time or so.
    Overall, still great.

Backlog progress status:

13% (297/2361)
4% (100/2361)
6% (150/2361)
74% (1740/2361)
3% (74/2361)

Report 48: Mishmash
Yet to play a bad game this year.

    Beholder

    Beholder

    7,5/10
    15 hours playtime

    This is a game that’s really hard to define by genre. You’re supposed to spy on your apartment complex’ residents and write reports about them - you know, the usual antiutopian/totalitarian stuff. It also has strong resource management elements, communicating with your residents, sneaking inside their apartments for various reasons… While the game was clearly inspired by Papers Please in some ways (there is a quite obvious reference to it near the end), this is a very different kind of game.
    It’s somewhat harsh with the resource management stuff. You’ll never be able to get the better ending while playing it for the first time. But it’s really interesting to play either way, since most of the obstacles this game provides can be overcome in different ways. While you’re supposed to take care of your family to get the best ending possible, losing your family members isn’t punishing at all for the gameplay (quite the opposite, actually). So yeah, Papers Please all over again, I guess. Man, I should replay it sometime, I think I only finished it once years ago.
    Reporting your residents is a weird and somewhat inconvenient (due to interface issues) element that feels kinda underused overall. Maybe it’s just me.
    Didn’t like this game’s attempts at humour.
    I’ve also completed Blissfull Sleep DLC, that was more of the same, but still pretty good overall.

    Aragami

    Aragami

    7,5/10
    18 hours playtime

    This is a neat and small stealth game with japanese setting. There’s no real japanese language involved, so all the characters are just muttering japanese-sounding simlish.
    It’s really easy to learn and master, since the controls are pretty good and damn it feels satisfying to be teleporting back and forth in the shadows.
    I’ve also beaten the Nightfall DLC which consists of 4 harder (but not much) levels.
    Getting the “kill-all” medals was pretty annoying and tedious, ESPECIALLY in the DLC. It’s really not fun to waste the whole hour of your life beating the level and then realizing you missed just one enemy.
    Overall, it was pretty fun.

    Milk inside a bag of milk inside a bag of milk

    Milk inside a bag of milk inside a bag of milk

    7/10
    16 minutes playtime

    This is a very short and surreal visual novel. There’s not much content in it and you can barely call it a quality one, so there’s barely any point in reviewing it. I wouldn’t call the artwork or the plot bad as it is so low-key you can’t even distinguish if it’s lazy or it’s just an intentional artistic desicion. Though I can say some of the dialogues reminded me of Monogatari-tier writing.
    Despite everything, I kinda liked it.

    Puzzle Agent 2

    Puzzle Agent 2

    7,5/10
    3 hours playtime

    It’s a direct sequel for the first game and it’s pretty much the same in every aspect. It’s kinda lacking on its’ own (the sequel is as direct as it gets, you don’t get any re-introductions whatsoever), and most of the puzzles feel way too same-ish, but it was still pleasant and fun to play.

Backlog progress status:

13% (295/2354)
4% (98/2354)
6% (152/2354)
74% (1740/2354)
3% (69/2354)

Report 47: Something calming for a change

Besides completing the new Helltaker update (which was quite the opposite from being something calming, it was pretty hard actually) and playing some Isaac, here are some games I wasted time with since the last report.

    The Talos Principle

    The Talos Principle

    7,5/10
    32 hours playtime

    I haven’t played first-person-puzzles since Portal series, so that was a nice change of pace. The difficulty was just right - it’s neither too hard or too simple, and puzzles are usually small enough for you to figure them out if you think a bit harder. Don’t get me wrong, there’s quite a few mindbenders there, but once you get used to the game’s mechanics and start thinking with porta… energy beams? - things’ll get easier.
    Road to Gehenna DLC was a real challenge, and I think I should’ve waited a bit before playing it. There was a huge amount of reading involved compared to original (even though it’s optional) and I’ve skipped a lot of text because of that. Well, it was definitely worth it for some new puzzles as well, at least.
    Overall, it was a pretty neat puzzle game.

    Train Station Renovation

    Train Station Renovation

    7/10
    12 hours playtime

    This is exactly what it looks and sounds like, and besides an oddly specific premise, you’ll hardly encounter any surprises here. Just like many job sims out there, it tries to recreate the routine while keeping it just tedious enough to not be a complete snoozefest. This one hardly makes you think and it’s more about getting the “dirty spaces get clean” itch scratched. You get various tools you can upgrade, you collect garbage, you know the stuff.
    Besides cleaning out stations, you got to re-furnish them if you want to complete levels up to 100%. I was bored by the concept itself and I found it useless to actually try doing it seriously, so I’ve just spammed the cheapest items all over the rooms like a deranged avantgarde artist.
    It’s really nothing to write home about and basically just a timewaster, but if you like to turn off your brain to do stuff like this, give it a try. Just beware it’s kinda janky.

    Forager

    Forager

    7/10
    50 hours playtime

    This is uhhh… a crafting game? You know, the one where you set up the most efficient production and craft stuff to craft better stuff? Well, that’s Forager.
    I was kinda curious at first, when you were supposed to buy the islands to get lands, dungeons and quests. But it fairly quickly degraded just to crafting stuff for achievements. The problem with Forager is that it barely has any sense of direction. It has no plot and no goal. Yes, it did click with me and I stuck with it until the “"”end””” (as in: trying to get most of the achievements). But underneath the initial adventure-y feel lays the grindfest that takes 90% of game time.
    And even then, it still feels kinda unfinished, or as if there’s always something lacking. For example, I beat the game and I still have no idea why would I need a railroad.
    I wish I could’ve completed it after wasting so much time in it, but I realized that I need to waste much, MUCH more to get the last achievements. Screw that.
    Overall, it’s alright for what it is, but only if you’re into this kind of niche.

    Donut County

    Donut County

    7,5/10
    2 hours playtime

    This is a pretty small and fun game with somewhat satisfying concept. It’s very silly and comedic in nature, but most of its’ gen-z-humor-tier writing fell flat for me.
    It was still pretty fun though.

Backlog progress status:

13% (291/2306)
4% (98/2306)
7% (152/2306)
74% (1696/2306)
3% (69/2306)

Report 46: Edge, Edgy’n’Edgier
It was supposed to be a 4-games-report as usual, but I’ve kinda stopped feeling like playing the fourth one for now. It’s been maybe the worst month of my life for various reasons and I just switched to something more usual (The Binding of Isaac: Repentance DLC) and comfy (I’m playing Talos Principle now) for me.

    Hatred

    Hatred

    7,5/10
    59 hours playtime (~20 hours of actual gameplay)

    This is a spiritual successor of the first Postal game that involves pretty similar gameplay but a much darker tone. It sure made a lot of noise back when it was released.
    And let’s adress the elephant in the room - this game feels so edgy for me I actually consider it hilarious. These dumb one-liners MC spouts on occasions and the ways this game strives to be as gritty as possible is just too much to take seriously. I see Hatred as something more like a statement about violence in videogames, an experiment, rather than an actual game. It’s still fun to play it though.
    Gameplay-wise there’s much more tactic involved. I’ve beaten the game two times - first time on Hard and second on Insane difficulty, and if Hard can be pretty simple to beat, you have to cheese the SHIT out of the game and enemies’ dumb AI in particular. I’ve beaten the hard difficulty in its’ entirety without using crouch and looking ahead with RMB (because I skipped the tutorial and completely forgot about it lol). Crouching is essential and easily the most overpowered technique you’re going to need if you want to tackle Hatred’s higher difficulty settings. The environment is also very destructible and you can use it to your advantage (it may as well screw you over though).
    Grey colour palette took a while to get used to, but playing the fullcolour mode after this felt very weird and wrong.
    The insane difficulty denies you respawns, forcing you to complete the whole level with just one life. It’s really, really hard, but after a few tries you start to realize that it’s not impossible.
    This is yet another game with the achievement for playing it for much longer than you’re supposed to. Hated that, as usual.
    I often encounter opinions about the game being boring, and I can’t say I agree with them. Weird.
    Overall, it’s a rare kind of game with somewhat disturbing concept that is so over-the-top-edgy you can’t take it seriously.

    The Cat Lady

    The Cat Lady

    7,5/10
    5 hours playtime

    This is a second atmosperic point’n’click by Harvester Games, and if you played Downfall or its’ remake, you’ll know what to expect.
    I got to admit, I find the story concept insanely interesting here, and it was really entertaining to play through the horror segments, but this game isn’t without its’ flaws.
    The most glaring part would be voice acting quality. Pretty much all of the actors sound amateurish - some of them more than the others (mc is consistently good, though) - but it’s passable and they’re trying to deliver the lines they’re given (and the lines aren’t always good, mind you, but I’ll talk about that later). The actual - technical - audio quality can be quite bad and jarring, especially when the actors resort to yelling.
    I didn’t mind the artsy-fartsy feel and this game’s take on drama, but boy, was some of the lines kinda cringey. That goes both for oneliners that were trying to be cool and occasional purple prose-tier lines in dialogues.
    Despite all that, devs clearly got their own style and they stick to it. As I also mentioned, I liked the story.
    Overall, it’s a great point’n’click if you’re looking for something dark & disturbing.

    Harvester

    Harvester

    7,5/10
    4 hours playtime
      no achievements

    Harvester is a very gory and satirical take on violence in media with bits of cold war era American culture satire sprinkled throughout. It’s also an old FMV point’n’click with combat mechanic (yep).
    The first half of the game is fairly easy, even if it startles you right off the bat with the sheer amount of places you can visit. It’s all pretty simple, but just exploring might take more time than you’re supposed to spend. There’s plenty of characters to talk with and there’s ton of things that are completely optional and irrelevant for your walkthrough. Conversations use a system of topics (you can choose the one mentioned in the dialogue or type them in. Typing is mostly useless) and sometimes give you dialogue options. It’s clunky, but it (barely) works. Same can be said about the game as a whole. The second half takes a very sudden dive into irrational territory (yeah, even more irrational compared to the first part) and that’s when the combat system truly kicks in with 80% of the game’s gory stuff.
    While there is some cartoonish violence here and there, they really did a… good? job with gory and disturbing scenes - there’s a LOT of this stuff. If you like dark comedy like I do, you’ll love some of the scenes, but then there’s occassional morbid stuff. Playing this sure was a… thrill?
    So yeah, the combat. Just like everything in this game, it functions as clunky as you would’ve thought - I mean, it’s a combat mechanic in a point’n’click. There’s a weirdly wide variety of weapons you can use and you can also restore your health with some of the items. This game doesn’t pull any punches, though - you might want to be conservative about ammo and picky about your weapon of choice if you don’t want to be stuck with the enemy you can’t kill with the weapons you have, you go down pretty quickly.
    I mostly liked the plot, the setting, the characters, and pretty much all of my complaints are about technical stuff. I loved how intentionally cheesy the FMVs are.
    It’s a pretty disturbing game, but it is what it is by design. There’s nothing like it out there.

Backlog progress status:

13% (288/2280)
4% (97/2280)
7% (152/2280)
73% (1674/2280)
3% (69/2280)

Report 45: Going dark places

    The Legend of Bum-Bo

    The Legend of Bum-Bo

    7/10
    53 hours playtime

    Welp, I’ve completed The Lost Update, and now I guess I’m officialy finished with this game for the second time, since there are no more updates planned. This one didn’t change my opinion about the game much. While there’s more strategy involved than I thought at first, it’s still fairly primitive and you got shit luck with items and spells, chances are you’re not gonna save your run, like you could still do in Isaac if you try hard enough.
    Bum-bo The Lost is fairly interesting to play, although your strategy during the game is pretty much just making The Negative a 0-charge item and then just roll with it. Ghost tiles were really fun.
    Although I think I’m being somewhat harsh to the game only because I compare it to Isaac all the time in my head. I still played it for 50 hours and barely noticed that. It’s just sad that it doesn’t have that much replay value for me. Once I was done with the character’s achievements, I never touched that character again.
    Bum-bo The Weird is still the best Bum-boy.

    Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne

    Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne

    8/10
    5 hours playtime
      no achievements

    And yet another great game replayed. It is much more satisfying to shoot enemies in this one, ragdoll physics and all. It’s much shorter than the first one, though. If I didn’t stop to listen to every conversation or TV program I could, I’d probably beat in 3 hours or so. MP2 is also significantly easier than the first one, you have more bullet time, bullet time jumps are much better, and it’s just easier to kill enemies (at least I felt so). Even though both games have a fairly simple plot, I liked the first one’s better.
    But still, daaaaaaamn does the shooting feels good.
    Overall, a good sequel. I’ve yet to replay MP3, and I have no nostalgia goggles on about it, so we’ll see how it goes when I get there.

    A Rose in the Twilight

    A Rose in the Twilight

    7,5/10
    14 hours playtime

    This is yet another NIS game with similar style and atmosphere. I’d like to mention that I liked this one MUCH more than Hotaru no Nikki. It’s also a platformer, but with a heavy emphasis on puzzles this time. Now you have full control over your characters (thank god) and you can switch between them any time. It’s Lost Vikings stuff - different characters with different abilities assist each other to get through the levels.
    The art is pretty good as usual, music is also nice. The plot… I wish it was more coherent, because my monkey brain couldn’t comprehend it properly - I was too focused on puzzles and trying to finish the game itself.
    It can still be pretty frustrating at times, but it was nowhere near as annoying as HnN can be, at least in my opinion. It also had just the kind of speedrun achievements I like - you can speedrun-mode each level separately, cutting off your overall completion time bit by bit.
    Overall, it was pretty good.

    Yomawari: Midnight Shadows

    Yomawari: Midnight Shadows

    8,5/10
    13 hours playtime

    This is a sequel for the first Yomawari game (duh). It’s basically just like the first game, but there’s more content and the plot is slightly more complex (but nothing mind-blowing, obviously, it’s all still pretty simple).
    Just like the first game, this one is very interesting to explore. The ways you should interact with the world to get some of the collectibles can be more creative than before. Now, each chapter has a full-fledged boss battle, which is nice. Pretty much all the boss fights were pretty annoying until you figure out how to deal with them, that’s when they turn out to be fairly simple.
    If I had to point out things that I didn’t like, it’s the fact that this one starts to frequently use jumpscares. I mean, I was fine with it, but the first part was great without them (at least I don’t remember any). Also, some of the backtracking can be really tedious.
    But then again, at least this game doesn’t include the goddamn torture that was returning the chickens quest and “play for 50 hours” achievement from the previous game.
    Overall, it’s a very solid sequel that stands on the same level as the original.

12% (284/2277)
4% (97/2277)
7% (154/2277)
73% (1673/2277)
3% (69/2277)

Report 44: Exploring the unknown (and also Max Payne)

    BarnFinders

    BarnFinders

    7/10
    12 hours playtime

    This is a simplistic pawn shop simulator where you rummage around abandoned properties and garages to find stuff you can sell.
    Even though I don’t usually watch TV and hate almost all reality shows, for a while I had a great time watching Storage Wars as a guilty pleasure. When I heard about this game, I knew this would be just the kind of product my monkey brain will like.
    Sadly, that’s all this game is - it has a really dumbed down gameplay and pretty much no planning ahead or thinking is ever needed. Not to say it was bad, but I would’ve LOVED the serious kind of game with the same concept.
    As I said before, you mostly rummage through various locations looking for items you can sell, but besides that, there’s some occurences where you should first win the auction. Just like the rest of the game, it’s too simple and there’s basically no strategy whatsoever, you just spend money until every AI opponent refuses to raise the bid (and it’s kinda noticeable that the final sum is fixated). The game also has three events just like the TV show, but it was really dissapointing, since there’s really no reason for you not to gather as much money and buy all of the containers without even letting your opponents buy even one, making you win by default. (You really don’t want to risk it if you’re hunting for achievements, since these events are one-off deal, and their car prizes are unique.)
    This game can also be really glitchy. There were even some completionist achievements temporarily removed at the time I was playing for some reason (I guess too many people were complaining about some bugs that prevent them from getting these).
    I spent a lot of time shitting on this game, but even if it’s dumb, it’s still fun. It has a strong humorous tone and never takes itself too seriously, and it’s still enjoyable and easy to play.
    Overall, it’s a great concept that gets somewhat spoiled by the dumbed-down execution. I wish there was a serious, more complex game about it, with randomized levels and stuff.

    htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary

    htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary

    7/10
    11 hours playtime

    or, as normal people would call it, Hotaru no Nikki. It’s a puzzle-adventure with indirect control. And good god was I close to putting it into “Hated it” category.
    This is game is ball-bustingly frustrating. I wouldn’t even call it hard, it’s just designed in a way that often makes playing it really annoying. First of all, this game is pretty slow, so if you want to retry the segment you’ve failed you have to GET there first, and most of the time, it takes so much time that you lose any kind of momentum going. The indirect control takes time to get used to, especially when you’re supposed to push or drag something. Some of the achievements are pure pain.
    But I really liked the artstyle and atmosphere, similar to Yomawari, I… think I liked the plot? It was much more vague than Yomawari’s.
    Overall, it was nice, but a really frustrating experience.

    Max Payne (RU)

    Max Payne

    8/10
    5 hours playtime
      no achievements

    Boy, it was a blast to replay it. It’s a classic 3rd person shooter. If you haven’t played it already, do yourself a favour. It didn’t age all that bad. What other game has so many memorable cool quotes?
    The difficulty is just right. It is pretty easy to die in this one, but since you can save anywhere you want, it’s not much of a problem and you can adjust your save frequency for your comfort.
    Steam version (or maybe it’s modern OS fault?) has some technical difficulties. I had to install the patch to return the sound, and even then, Max kept getting stuck at walls at random and also refused to jump high enough on certain levels (you can bypass it by doing a side jump, but still).
    Overall, a short and fun noire-ish classic.

    Lost in Vivo

    Lost in Vivo

    7,5/10
    6 hours playtime

    It’s a short survival horror heavily inspired by Silent Hill series. Doesn’t rely on jumpscares much and keeps the fear going with the oppressing atmosphere.
    Low-poly visuals work great, and the soundtrack is pretty good. The combat’s clunkiness is just right for creating the balance between uncomfortable helplessness and actual accesible gameplay.
    It can be rough around the edges, but if you want something to scratch that slowburn horror itch - go for it.

Backlog progress status:

12% (280/2272)
4% (95/2272)
7% (156/2272)
74% (1673/2272)
3% (68/2272)

Report 43: Tales of time (and also Far Cry 4)

    The House in Fata Morgana

    The House in Fata Morgana

    9/10
    34 hours playtime

    This is a very thrilling gothic horror/suspense visual novel.
    I’m not going to spoil any story elements, though I’d warn you it’s pretty much suffering porn kind of plot (but a good one), so if you’re not ready for some tragedy, you’re better off skipping this.
    This novel has AMAZING art and soundtrack. If you were looking for something that looks less anime-esque and closer to european artstyles, this is the one. The soundtrack is really weird and consists mostly of actual songs - you know, with singers and stuff. There are some “usual”-visual-novel-type tracks, but most of the soundtrack is so unique to the point it felt somewhat distracting at first. Thankfully, I quickly got used to it.
    That kind of soundtrack could be even more distracting, but another feature this vn… [doesn’t] have is voice acting. I was kinda dissapointed at firtst, but then again, it’s nothing too big to be complaining about, honestly. Every other aspect of the novel is strong enough to deliver pretty strong emotional impacts.
    Overall, it’s an amazing visual novel with stunning visuals (no pun here) and soundtrack. I’d definitely recommend it.

    Far Cry 4

    Far Cry 4

    7/10
    33 hours playtime
      no achievements

    Far Cry franchise and this exact game needs no introduction now, being one of many Ubisoft titles that mostly feel like reskinned versions of previous installments. It is very much true for this one too. Although it’s still fun and entertaining in many ways.
    As usual, the villains are very remarkable and totally steal the show. Pagan Min and the plot surrounding him (including all the endings, even the bad one and especially secret one) are hilarious. Sadly the same can’t be said about the MC - he is such a bland and uninteresting character compared to any other. Even in his most cardboard-like moments, Jason from FC3 was still going through a primitive, but a character arc nonetheless. I don’t expect Dostoevsky-tier character study here, but I’d like at least something, like with game’s villains.
    The core gameplay is pretty much the same as in Far Cry 3/Blood Dragon with bits of novelty sprinkled throughout. Capturing outposts, rewiring the radio towers, side activities, you know the stuff. There’s much more than it was in FC3 and even if side missions are repetitive, they tried to add a bit of flavour to each of it.
    I wanted to 100% it, but then I got so frustrated with race mission that I couldn’t beat because the hovercraft you’re supposed to ride is stuck in the fucking ground and you have to [try] to move, exit the vehicle and then get back on it. Obviously, I didn’t have enough time to finish the race, making this unbeatable. I’m also pretty sure there’s no interesting completion bonuses whatsoever, just like in FC3, so I feel like I’ve just wasted my time here. This one really ruined my impression of the game.
    I played it on the Hard difficulty. It was really frustrating at times, but at the same time it really helps - Far Cry 3 was a walk in the park on Normal, and good lord I don’t even know how easy is “Easy” would be then. At least on Hard I actively use everything the game has to offer.
    Overall, it’s a Far Cry game. If you played one starting with 3, you know how it is.

    Space Quest Collection

    Space Quest Collection | Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers

    7/10
    3 hours playtime (12 overall)
      no achievements

    This is a fourth installment in Space Quest series. It’s pretty nice to finally go back to parserless territory.
    Just like many other Sierra titles, this game is still cruel to the player, but starts to ease off a bit. There weren’t as much deadend situations as it used to be, and almost all the puzzles feel pretty logical and sane. There were a plenty of “action”/arcade-y segments here, but nothing especially frustrating. The plot is okay - even if you’re travelling to some random locations to get the items you need, it is never too obtuse to get stuck without knowing what the hell you’re supposed to do. This game is actually pretty small in scope, and now you have a clear goal set before you (unlike Space Quest 3, see my review for deets).
    It’s a shame you can only choose between textboxes and voiceover, since I’d prefer both at the same time.
    Overall, it’s a solid Space Quest entry that’s worth checking out. Ooh boy, my favorite part is next.

    Minit

    Minit

    7/10
    4 hours playtime

    This is a simplistic metroidvania (I guess) where you only live for 60 seconds and then respawn. The trick to beating the game is creating shortcuts, doing everything as fast as possible and unlocking new houses to respawn in.
    It’s a really interesting idea, although it kinda makes playing it somewhat stressful all the time, especially at New Game + - it was pretty damn hard and I couldn’t bring myself to complete it - at least, for now.
    The graphics are very simple, but cute.
    It’s fairly short if you’re going for one playthrough only, even more so if you don’t collect all the stuff. The Second Run and 25-respawns-max achievements will require quite a bit more time, I think.
    Overall, it was pretty good.

Backlog progress status:

12% (276/2260)
4% (95/2260)
7% (156/2260)
74% (1665/2260)
3% (68/2260)

Report 42: Bad games not allowed?
I kinda noticed that so far all the games I’ve beaten in 2021 were good (I was done with Runefall back in 2020). I wonder if I can keep this up for the whole year (but I really, really doubt it).

    DEATH STRANDING

    DEATH STRANDING

    8/10
    80 hours playtime

    Death Stranding is a long-distance travelling/delivery simulator with occassional action elements from Hideo Kojima. Did it turn out to be overhyped? Hell yeah. Is it bad? Not at all.
    The main part with delivering requires a special kind of mood and patience while travelling through rocky terrains and mountains. You gradually get more tools and structures to work with, and as soon as you get to build ziplines, the delivery part is as good as broken (you’re probably gonna get tired from it anyway at some point. The snowy mountains part almost made me put it onhold, but then I tried to rely on ziplines more - turned out it’s pretty much the only good way to navigate through that area).
    This game has an asynchronous multiplayer with other players signs’, structures and vehicles showing up in your world. This doesn’t feel that unique, though it’s a neat way to further incorporate an idea of connections and helping each other.
    The action part is… okay. It’s there and it’s decent. You won’t exactly be bravely plunging into action most of the time, and when you are, the combat tends to be somewhat short - if you’re dragging it out too much, chances are you’re going to lose. There are plot segments that are combat-only, and it’s a nice change of pace.
    The weakest part of the game, sadly, has to be the plot - at least for me. I don’t think the infodumpy way of storytelling works well with the plot like that, and it barely catched my interest most of the time. The ending parts were somewhat nice at times, but boy, does this plot overstays its’ welcome. This game has climaxes after climaxes, and I was REALLY starting to get tired by the end of it. The plot isn’t really bad, it just feels needlessly convoluted and uninteresting most of the time for me. The main antagonist face-off and epilogue part were pretty good tho.
    Oh yeah, another minor complaint is having no music player function during travels. Why? That should’ve been a no-brainer.
    The actors were all good, Mads is great as ever, Troy Baker was a very enjoyable villain, Reedus… does the usual Reedus.
    Overall, a very unusual game that barely feels like one sometimes. It definitely isn’t that well thought-through as a game for everyone to enjoy, and really seems like some sort of experiment (and it is). Has some obvious cons, but there’s still stuff to appreciate about it.

    Cry of Fear

    Cry of Fear

    8/10
    8 hours playtime
      no achievements

    I finally stopped being a little bitch about this one and actually played through it. Pyrocynical did a 2h review of it, and for some reason there’s nothing that I love more than watching the reviews after I’m done with games being reviewed, so it was a perfect reason to finally pick it up.
    The only thing that stopped me before was the jumpscare right at the beginning of the game, and it’s a shame, really - almost neither of any other jumpscares this game has (and boy does it have many of those) turned out to be as scary as I thought they would. Being a fan of horror themes and having a (mild, but still) heart condition is pure suffering.
    Oh right, about the game. This is clearly a product made with love and care, and it does so much with very little (the engine isn’t exactly AAA-game-tier fuel). The graphics should clearly feel outdated, but it only adds to the creepiness factor instead. The sound design is AMAZING. All this stuff easily makes you feel paranoid and disturbed.
    The game was greatly inspired by horror classics, most prominently Silent Hill series, and it usually takes the best from them.
    The plot is fairly simple when you get the full picture, but it still has a good (and fairly depressing) impact on you. There are 4 ending, and neither of these can be called objectively “good” (in the vein of “and they lived happily ever after”, I didn’t mean to sound they suck, quite the opposite).
    If I had to point something negative about it, it feels very clunky - sometimes with shooting and pretty much every time with platforming or jumping through windows and stuff. There’s also an awful part in the middle of the game where you have to backtrack a lot (and boy do I mean A LOT), and it’s confusing enough on its’ own, but imagine having a terrible sense of direction on top of that - and you’ll have an hour or so of “where the fuck do I go”.
    Overall, I consider this a real horror cult classic with its share of flaws, but the flaws here are overshadowed by the sheer fact of how much effort was put in this thing by a small group of devs.

    Supercharged Robot VULKAISER

    Supercharged Robot VULKAISER

    7,5/10
    5 hours playtime

    This is a super fun side-scrolling shoot’em’up homage to anime mecha genre (the oldschool kind anyway, Mazinger kind of stuff).
    You fly through very short bullet hell stages combining your robot with other pilots’ modules to get a different firing effect and special attack. Nothing too fancy, but it works pretty damn good and it’s really fun.
    This game is also pretty damn hard and challenging, but never cheap or unfair. You can get your robot and modules somewhat repaired between the levels, but if your HP hits 0 during one, that’s it. Same for the modules - if they get destroyed, you can’t use them in later levels. This sounds tough, but the game is REALLY short for me to be even slightly annoyed with losing, which is pretty rare.
    Overall, good old fun. I’ll DEFINITELY play more and try to beat it on higher difficulty levels.

    Alien Shooter 2 Conscription

    Alien Shooter 2 Conscription

    6/10
    2 hours playtime
      no achievements

    This game felt like it was almost breaking my only-good-games-in-2021-streak by being pretty mediocre, but I guessed it’s mostly my fault for playing almost everything Alien Shooter franchise has to offer. I mean, these games definitely do NOT try hard in the slightest, but it’s not like being innovative made a difference in the past. Alien Shooter 2 brought very light RPG elements to the table, and a ton of weapons’ variations, and it still felt pointless most of the time.
    Anyway, Conscription is uhh… a short expansion pack? for the second title. The gameplay and the story were as braindead as usual, but really, who cares about the plot in the game that’s literally called Alien Shooter? I feel dumb even mentioning the plot, like it actually bothers me.
    All that talk about “mediocre” and “as usual”, but there were still some new things sprinkled here and there. I sure as hell wouldn’t be able to recognise a new weapon here since there’s so many, but I’m pretty sure that’s the first time the game featured human enemies, which was a surprise.
    The game is really short, took me about a hour and a half to get through. It’s also was pretty easy, at least on normal difficulty.
    On the technical level, it’s pretty janky to look at, especially when there are many enemies on screen.
    Overall, it’s mostly your usual Alien Shooter game. You’ll know what to expect if you played one (besides the TD one, obviously).

Backlog progress status:

12% (273/2229)
4% (93/2229)
7% (157/2229)
73% (1638/2229)
3% (68/2229)

Report 41: Post-pixelated Hack’n’Stealth

    Thief

    Thief

    7/10
    46 hours playtime

    No wonder everyone was calling this soft-reboot a serious dissapointment. I took notes during my playthrough, so I’m sorry in advance that this review will look like a jumbled mess.
    The plot clearly lacks some points that had to be made for it to make more sense. It’s just there most of the time. Maybe it was better explained through the various notes, but I’m not really a fan of that kind of narrative being essential to comprehend the game’s plot. Erin’s portrayal is really poorly done, making her look like a very annoying character all the time (at least that’s my own impression), which I’m pretty sure is not what they were going for.
    Even though level design doesn’t seem that linear, it’s still essentially just a “choose path 1 or 2 to get from point A to point B”. Multi-layered levels with some room for manoeuvre are rare, and there’s no creativity involved whatsoever. Every possible solution is already presented to you, and you just have to use the right equipment or movements. While the same can be said about every game of Thief franchise, they still made it way less obvious. What I’m trying to say is leveldesign is pretty boring. Also, every puzzle in this game is so dumbed down it’s not funny.
    They decided to further “improve” the idea of The City being a hub between missions, and it’s a pain in the ass to traverse back and forth all the time.
    The way you control Garrett makes the actual “control” part pretty difficult sometimes. I’ve been hugging the corners instead of picking stuff lying nearby up and climbing on stuff instead of doing a swoop numerous times. Even though it’s all scripted pretty heavily, it still feels good to be running and jumping between the city’s rooftops/
    Rope arrows make their comeback… and you can only use them in specific places. What’s the point? I remember how much fun I’ve had and how many crazy plans I came up with while using them in the first two games. Also, “"”choke””” arrows are almost useless now instead of being an instakill tool back then.
    Devs really went out of their way to be as edgy and grimdark as possible. I have NO idea why would they scratch the series’ trademark “taffer” swearword and replaced with actual F-, S- and all the other -bombs. It sounds really weird, if not childish. I also sure wish I didn’t hear the same dialogues about piss, hangings, murders and prostitues over and over, sometimes not even a second after the dialogue was over. By “same” I don’t mean same-sounding dialogues, I mean, literally the SAME dialogues, over and over, when you’re going near some specific places in the city.
    They still did a pretty solid job with the atmosphere here and there, but overall it didn’t leave a good impression. They also tried to do a trademark horror-ish level, but it wasn’t scary at all. Really dissapointed about that.
    Also, the amount of annoying bugs is overwhelming.
    It kinda looks weird that I gave it a 7 after all the rambling, right? The thing is, as a game on it’s own - it’s FINE. It plays good enough, the story and everything is manageable. Half of my criticism is coming from comparing the game to its’ predecessors, and in that case, the game really, really sucks imo. It was nothing completely deal-breaking, but after playing with it for a while I feel mostly dissapointed.

    Fallout

    Fallout

    7,5/10
    11 hours playtime
      no achievements

    I finally got myself to play through the first game of the franchise.
    I was surprised to find out that this game isn’t that big in scope (quests-wise), but that’s for the best I think. I’d have a much harder time exploring it from this new (at least for me) perspective if it was larger than that. Even then, I missed quite a lot of content (some of the quests were too much for me and it was just easier to go finish the game).
    The game design part isn’t that as user-friendly as the later games, which is to be expected. There were a lot of not-so-obvious actions you could take to progress, which is cool, but I’m having mixed feelings about the fact you don’t know the possibility to do something is even there. There’s many things you can miss just because your one of your stats wasn’t high enough and the needed dialogue wouldn’t trigger. Some interface parts could use some improvement too.
    I’ve heart a lot of good things about the second one, so I’m looking forward to try it after some time.
    Overall, it was pretty decent (and pretty damn hard too) RPG.

    Devolver Bootleg

    Devolver Bootleg

    7,5/10
    8 hours playtime

    This is a fun compilation of parody games published by Devolver. It’s just what you’d expect - a downgraded versions of the games mixed with other classic games’ styles. Even in their downgraded form, these are pretty fun to play.
    This is a pretty lax title for achievement hunters, since you don’t have to complete most of the games for the achievements.
    Overall, fun.

    SEGA Mega Drive & Genesis Classics

    SEGA Mega Drive & Genesis Classics | Golden Axe

    7/10
    3 hours playtime (9 overall)

    I just got to embrace the fact that I suck at oldschool games, I have no patience to get good at them, and I’m just examining them to get a feel of what gaming was like. One day I’ll find an old console game that I don’t suck at, but Golden Axe isn’t really that case, as you might’ve guessed already. Savescummed quite a bit and used a level select cheatcode.
    Now with that out of the way, the game was pretty fun and action-packed. It was really annoying that you can’t hit your enemy if you’re not in the same row as him, and while AI knows exactly where to stand to hit, my precision wasn’t as good. I barely learned any special attacks, but it was really satisfying to grab your enemies and throw them off the cliffs.
    Overall, it’s short, fun (if you like your fun hard)… cut’em-up? Blade’em-up?

Backlog progress status:

12% (270/2219)
4% (92/2219)
7% (158/2219)
74% (1631/2219)
3% (68/2219)