Still working from home, as I imagine most people are. I messed my back up and ended up in hospital for 5 days during November which wasn’t fun but thankfully it’s nothing that won’t heal. I’m on the mend and am basically back to normal movement but it’ll be a while before I feel like I can do any exercise or put any stress on those muscles. Fingers crossed for a full recovery in December. Anyway, onto the games. Mostly finishing old games this month, feels good to clear some of these from the backlog!
Xbox Game Pass
Night in the Woods
I didn't know much about this, but I'd seen good review scores and liked the visuals of the game. It was on my wish list in a lowish position but I was waiting for a big sale to take the plunge. An appearance on game pass meant I could play it without buying it (taking advantage of the cheap trial months I've amassed and rarely use). It's very, very good. The gameplay itself isn't anything particularly new or novel, but it was very well put together. The game isn't really something you play though, it's more an experience. Hard to describe. The story is basically about a 20 year old who quits college and goes back to her hometown. Everyone is familiar, but things have changed. It's like things have moved on without you. The story is mainly about that experience and the relationship between the characters. There is a 'plot' in the background too, but when you finish it's more the experience of the characters and any parallels that you may feel with your own life. A lot is covered, so I'm sure there'll be something that you can relate to a little! If you play, it's best to go in without knowing anything about it and just enjoy.
I've had this a long time and had played a little but didn't want to really try to beat it until I had finished the first in the series. I did that in August last year and felt like something simple to play so this was the month for BL2.
I know this series is held in high regard by many, but playing the first in the series, I didn't really get it. I liked the visual style and the combat, but I guess some of the negative points for me were things that appeal to other people. I didn't think much of the story in the first one, I felt like the missions were very repetitive, and I disliked the massive range of weapons (I guess the 'loot' from 'looter shooters').
I enjoyed this one far more than the first. The story and missions were better and it didn't feel as much of a grind. There are still, of course, thousands of weapons but I dealt with them by ignoring the stats for the most part and just judging them by value. Once I had a set to hand that I felt dealt with most types of enemy I didn't really bother picking any more up.
I picked up quite a lot of the DLC when it was super cheap a year or two ago. I'm not sure why I do this as I can't really remember ever playing any DLC! By the time I've finished a game, I've normally had enough of it and don't want any extra missions. I made an exception with BL2 and actually played and beat 2 of the DLC packages - Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty and Tiny Tina's Assault On Dragon Keep. Both good as they had very different styles to the main story, pretty funny too. I was pleasantly surprised. There is still more DLC to play and there may be a time that I actually come back to this, but as I also have The Pre-sequel in my backlog, I'm marking it as beaten and moving on.
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
Check the BL2 comments, I guess as it was more of the same really. Slightly different setting, some different characters, but aside from that there wasn't much difference to the actual gameplay.
Consequently, I don't have much to say. I didn't like it as much as BL2. The slam technique and jetpacks were fun, the story was ok, wasn't keen on the very stereotypical Australian (and one British) accents and characters.
Dishonored: Death of the Outsider
I picked this up in 2018 and played most of it in 2019, getting to the last level. I'm not sure why I stopped, maybe I didn't realize how close to the end I was or got stuck. I wasn't really into the game that much either, if I remember correctly. I liked the first game, and guess this is more of the same but I just didn't take to it.
As I mentioned with other games, like the Hitman series, I'm not great at stealth and didn't really bother with this. Most of the time I just killed everyone I came across. I needed to use it a bit more in the final mission though, then went back to get a few more achievements and completed one level without killing anyone. I enjoyed it a bit more on this playthrough and glad I went back to it. I think I have dishonored 2 waiting for me in the backlog!
Dust: An Elysian Tail
Another old game I returned to in order to finish. Bought in 2014 and last played in 2017. At a certain point I decided I'd branch out into some different kind of games that I don't usually play, this was one of those. It's looks very RPG-ish and I think that's why I bought it. At a similar time I bought Ys I and II, as well as Recettear (both still in the backlog!). However, this is a little different as it's a hack and slash too, which I'm not sure I knew about when I bought it. A little exploration and lots of button mashing! I got close to the end in 2017 but got stuck.
Quite a lot of achievements for me! I could probably grind out 2-3 more, but I can't get anywhere near the 1,000 hit combo and I won't do another run through at a higher difficulty so I'll never reach that elusive 100%. I'm happy with the 76% and this is going in my beaten pile. Although at times the animation looks a little dated, this is a beautiful game and I really liked the artwork. It's unlikely I'll come back to it but I enjoyed playing it and am pretty happy I beat the main story.
Nothing this month. I didn’t see anything in the sales that I really wanted, The winter sale may be more tempting but I guess we’ll see soon enough! :)
Fallout 3 - Game of the Year Edition
The Bureau: XCOM Declassified
Toki Tori 2+
One Finger Death Punch
SteamWorld Dig 2
So, looks like I forgot to post my September games, which makes this longer than normal. Work has been busy and I doubt I’ll assassinate any more games in the next week, so I’m posting a little before the end of the month to make sure I don’t forget again! . I haven’t been very active in October because of work, which also helps to limit the length of this post a little.
I traded most of the ‘desirable’ games I had left in my key collection this month and picked up HYPERCHARGE: Unboxed, Bright Memory, Breathedge, Among Us, and a I bought a rare non-Steam game that I’m actually playing Red Dead Redemption 2. I rarely mention games from other platforms in my posts here as they’ve largely sat unplayed and I haven’t counted them in my backlog!
Really liked this, it's a fun game. Basic pixel graphics, but a lot of work went into the gameplay and story. There's a lot of content here. There were 100 different endings in the original game (slightly more now because of additional content). I got 40-50 of them just by exploring, but then started to get a bit stuck and needed hints. So, the next stage was checking online hints, which got me another 20 or so. I had to resort to guides after that, but even following guides it wasn't easy. Took me hours to get the last few! It's very rare for me to complete a game. If the developer adds more content, there may be more achievements and I'll drop down from 100%, so here's a screenshot to prove I did it!
I played this years ago, in pre-Steam days, and I think I completed it then, but I'm not entirely sure. Some parts of the main story were familiar, I'd think I was into a new part that I hadn't seen before, then suddenly a certain scene would trigger memories. I remembered far less than I did of Fallout: NV which I replayed not long ago. That was my first Fallout experience. I think I spent longer in that world and the stories were more memorable. It's still a great game though. The graphics are a little rough around the edges, but I really enjoy the Fallout world and gameplay. It's a little strange that NV has achievements on Steam and Fallout 3 doesn't. It does mean, however, that I can mark this as 'completed'. I didn't clear every quest in the game, but I beat the main story and there are no achievements so I class that as 100%. Unlike most other games, this is one that I can see myself coming back to. Whether that will be possible in the future, I'm not sure. Getting this to work and run fairly reliably on a modern-ish machine took some work. Will it be possible in the next generation of CPUs and GPUS? I guess I'll just have to make do with Fallout 4 or 76 if I ever take the plunge with that mess!
The Bureau: XCOM Declassified
I picked this up in 2014 and think I first played it in 2016. Hadn't touched it since then, so made an effort to get into it this month. I quite liked the story and the concept of real time combat combined with managing a team. I wasn't keen on the 3rd person perspective camera position and didn't find a way to adjust it. I got used to it a little as the game went on, but I guess that's just personal preference. I prefer first person or the camera much further out in 3rd person. Some parts of the game seemed a little badly designed. The sections of the game in the headquarters seemed a bit pointless. There was no real research and development like the main XCOM games and the multitude of rooms seemed a bit pointless. There are extra missions to discover, but I didn't do a lot of them as it felt like I was running around a lot in a poorly designed area just to advance the main story through dialogue. Also, there seem to be a couple of different endings to the game at least but one of them basically skips a whole mission. Not sure why. In that case, the game ends very abruptly. Overall, it was okay. Felt a bit rough around the edges and as if it could have been a good game instead of an average one. I got a decent number of achievements and as there are a lot that come from DLC, I won't be going back to try and get more. Marked as beaten, and I'm moving on :)
Toki Tori 2+
This was a difficult game, for me at least. It looks like a cute, simple game, but it's pretty devious. One small issue is that there isn't really an explanation of what you're doing. Some aspects are clear – making your way through levels and collecting things. However, the use of your bird call, how you interact with things and animals around you, and even what the main aim of the game are all more difficult to work out. Even after beating the main story of the game (I think!) I still have no idea why I needed to do that. There are a lot of achievements. I got a decent amount, came close to others, and nowhere near some! To beat the main quest, I did need to refer to some guides, but even then it took me hours! The timing and precision needed in some parts...wowzer! Anyway, it's beaten and another game I bought a long time ago (2014) has been assassinated.
I had this in the 'beaten' section of BLAEO and thought I remembered playing it through but I was checking games and noticed that there were achievements and I had 0%. Initially, I thought they were added after I played and decided to go through it again and get them. Playing through again, I don't think I could have finished the story before unless it was an early access game or something. Anyway, good story and fairly enjoyable for a point and click. A genre that I was into as a teen, but don't really play any more. I used a guide to get the 100%. Wouldn't normally rely on a guide so much but as I thought I'd already beaten it I wanted to make sure I got them all. I can now legitimately say it has been assassinated and can even mark it 'completed' and not just 'beaten'.
One Finger Death Punch
Bought in 2014, I'm guessing from a bundle. From the achievements it looks like I last played this back in 2015. It's a very simple game and looks like it could be a mobile port or even a flash game. It's pretty addictive though. You use the left and right mouse to attack people as they come close to you. It's basically a rhythm game. I actually got pretty far back in 2015 but the game progress was lost, maybe when I uninstalled. After about 7-8 hours of play this month, I finally started to get new achievements! I played on the easiest difficulty and still struggled a bit. Eventually beat the game, then got a couple more achievements in the survival mode. Marked as beaten and moving on!
Bought in 2017, I didn't touch this until this month. I enjoyed the originals (both the real old school original as a teen, and the XCOM remake more recently). I tried the game on normal difficulty, but didn't get very far. I think I had more patience when I was younger, but after 2-3 starts at that level I dropped down to easy mode. To be honest, I think something between would be ideal. Either that, or I just needed to adopt a different tactic to start off and develop tech quickly.
Steamworld Dig 2
Pretty recent addition. I enjoyed the first game and this was more of the same core gameplay with a new story and different tools/weapons. Fun game with lots of replayability to get achievements. There are areas of the map that you need upgrades to access too (is that what a Metroidvania game is? Always unsure about that) which adds replayability too. I'm doing my usual trick and just beating it for now though. May come back to it and try to get more achievements, but it's unlikely while I have a backlog :).
I really enjoyed Yakuza 0. There were some repetitive elements, but as a whole it had quite varied gameplay and the story was fun. I played for 65 hours to get 56% of achievements. That’s a lot more than I play in most games, but it only started to feel boring towards the end of that play time.
Yakuza Kiwami is a much shorter game, 33 hours to get 56% of achievements, but the repetitiveness meant it felt much longer than the first game. The first was set in two cities and you controlled two different characters, the property and hostess bars were fun mini management games within the main story. These elements helped to keep it interesting. Kiwami was based in one city, didn’t have these management elements, and it was pretty much the same map from the first game. There were a lot of the same characters, and some of the fetch quests were very repetitive - “Get me some tissues, thanks. Get me some more tissues, thanks. Oh, can I have some more tissues? Best get me two packs”. There were 2-3 moments like this, no reason for them at all and they were very frustrating.
I’m complaining, but I did like it enough to beat the main story and poured a lot of time into it. It was okay in short bursts and I could just play for an hour beating people up and didn’t really have to think. So, it’s off my backlog and I’ve removed Yakuza Kiwami 2 from my wishlist as I’ve had enough of the series!
Darksiders / Darksiders Warmastered Edition
An old Steam Gifts win from 2012. I won the basic version of the game and the Warmastered edition was a free upgrade in 2016. I guess I didn’t play it at all before that upgrade, 4 years without playing a win, terrible behaviour!
I put most of the time into this game last month, but did the last few hours to finish the main story this month. Hack and slash game with a decent story. Pretty difficult at parts, but I had most trouble with bosses before the final 2-3. The basic controls were fine but secondary weapon aiming with the analogue stick was difficult. Not the sort of game I’d normally get, but this win was from back in my early days of SG when I entered for a lot of games without thinking too much about it (16 of my 20 wins were in 2012-2013).
It’s a little annoying that the achievements only appear on one version of the game, but there’s not much I can do about it and I won’t be sinking another 20+ hours into the other version of the game. Another two games marked as beaten.
I’d tried this a few times before, but struggled as I couldn’t get my controller to work with it. This time, I abandoned the game settings and used Joy2Key instead.
A puzzle-platformer. It was one of those games where you get stuck on a level for what feels like forever, but then realise it’s only been 10 minutes because each run is so short. There are 100 basic levels, I got through them pretty steadily and only needed to get hints for about 5-10 of them. There are ‘bonus’ levels, but they require you to beat regular levels within set times. I only managed a handful on my first run and fewer than 2% of people have managed to beat these bonus levels, so I’m not gonna try! Despite the low number of achievements, the main game has been finished and it’s ‘beaten’.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Bought this on the strength of Tomb Raider, which I picked up for free and really enjoyed. This didn’t disappoint. Mainly more of the same, but it was all good stuff. I don’t have much to add on top of the last review. Pretty good story, nice variety of missions without a reliance on fetch and retrieve (take notes Yakuza!). There’s something about the game design that makes it quite involving. Perhaps it’s the voice acting and little extra sounds as you move around, I’m not sure. No other game series has given the feeling of claustrophobia or a sense of urgency as I swim and possibly run out of air, so whatever it is it works well with me. I didn’t really go out of my way to get achievements, so there are a few more I could probably get without trying too hard but 40% is respectable and above my average so I’m gonna leave it at that for now.
Fall Guys and Embr. Probably shouldn’t have got these as they will distract me from other single player games with achievements and my backlog in general. I usually try to avoid games that are mainly based on multiplayer as eventually the servers will dry up and they take up a lot of time if I get into them. Fun at the moment though! :)
Short post this month. I’ve been playing quite a lot, but jumping between games a little so I haven’t finished many. Still working at home and it seems like restrictions may be reimposed in my area, so looks like this year may be a good one for backlog clearing if the pandemic continues!
Men of War
I tried to like this. Put 4 hours into the game, but didn’t get very far. Only managed a couple of levels. I could look beyond the slightly dated graphics and the bad voice acting, but the controls really threw me. Little things like not being able to move the screen around with keys like you can in most RTS games. The tutorial was pretty lacking too. I knew how to do all the basic moves by the end of it, but a lot was missed and nothing felt very intuitive when playing. This was a game I picked up in 2011, so probably partly my fault for not trying it earlier! I’ve lots of half finished RTS games that are a lot more enjoyable, so can’t justify spending any more time on this.
Bioshock 2/Bioshock 2 Remastered
After beating Bioshock in February, I thought I’d continue with the series. I have two versions of the game and both have achievements, but they don’t sync. I chose to play the remastered version despite reading about stability issues because there are no multiplayer achievements in that version. The game did crash quite a lot, but I just saved often.
Seemed slightly less creepy than the original and playing through it in one go meant I could follow the story more easily (picked up on a saved game years later with the original). I enjoyed it more than the original, but still not one of my favourites despite the cult following. Both marked as beaten and off the backlog.
By far my favourite in the series. I think the games improved as the series went on. The story was a lot more engaging and the feeling wasn’t as creepy (aside from the madhouse in the Comstock House stage). The auto save function was a little strange and it seems to make it impossible to dip back into different levels to get extra achievements. As far as I can tell, if I go back to the middle of the game I’ll have to play through from that point and later saves will be removed. I probably should have varied my weapons and attack style a little!
This is one of the few games that I would consider going back and playing through again. It was a lot easier than the previous 2 - I played on medium and although I died, it was never more than once in one part of the game, unlike the previous games. I’m not going to dive straight back in though, lots more to deal with in the backlog!
Anomoly Warzone Earth
Simple tower defence game that looks like it was made for smartphones. It was okay. I already had a few hours in the game, so picked up from there to finish the main story mode and the two additional challenges with waves of enemies to ‘beat’ the game.
Quite a few this month. Yuppie Psycho, Skater XL, The friends of Ringo Ishikawa, SteamWorld Dig 2, Yakuza Kiwami, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Baba Is You.
I actually bought one more game, Karma City Police, but it wasn’t what I expected. it had pretty good reviews and looked interesting from the screenshots but I probably should have read the reviews a bit more closely. It’s basically a demo at the moment. Early access with a limited area to play, a few small bugs, and a lot of spelling errors. What was functional wasn’t very enjoyable, so after finishing it in 40 mins I got my second ever (?) Steam refund.
Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad - Single Player
Retro City Rampage™ DX
Ultra Street Fighter IV
Orcs Must Die! 2
Wings of Prey
Busy month on Steam and I could clear quite a few games. If you’ve seen any of my earlier posts, you’ll know I’m not one to chase 100%. In fact, if it’s a game I’m not keen on I’ll keep it on easy difficulty to clear the main story and knock it off the backlog. So, a lot of ‘beaten’ and very few ‘completed’ is the norm.
So, let’s start with the removal of Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45. A pretty dated game, but could still be fun so I attempted to play it and looked into the multiplayer servers a little. It’s a multiplayer only game and all the achievements require 15+ real players, so no way to use bots to activate them. Unfortunately, the servers are pretty dead. There is one Polish group that holds regular online events every week called ‘Red Orchestra All Nations Group’ but the time difference means I can’t get involved in this. The regular ‘FightNights’ are on Fridays 20:00 CET, which is 3am for me, so not really practical. Also, the regular events are not on an achievement server and so the chance to get the achievements are even rarer. I also got the community made mods of Darkest Hour: Europe ‘44-‘45 and Mare Nostrum in the pack that I bought back in 2012, so I’ve removed those too.
None! I added a few demos during the Steam event, but no new games. I’ve resisted the sale so far too, as I want to see what’s in the Humble Choice bundle before I get anything.
Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad - Single Player
After trying and removing Ostfront after finding empty servers, I moved onto RO:2. I'd put a fair bit of time into the multiplayer version of the game, but hadn't really tried the single player game. It holds up very well for an old game (released in 2011) and was a lot of fun. I really like WWII and WWI based shooters. You play as the Nazis first and work through 8 campaigns, then switch over to the Soviet side and do the 8 campaigns from the opposing side. Pretty interesting idea and although the levels had the same layout, the different style of mission for each side kept it interesting. I played on the lowest difficulty and still had a lot of problems with some levels. I found the defending levels the hardest, and the Rail yard level on the Soviet side in particular. I don't know how many times I tried, but I think it was just luck in the end that got me through. There were a couple more Soviet defending levels that were tough and needed a few replays, but nothing that bad. Maybe it's to do with my play style. I wasn't very good at the commander role ordering people around and calling in air strikes, I preferred to just go alone. The game is beaten, but I can't do it on higher difficulties so no chance to get 'complete'. Pretty happy with the 89% completion for this one though.
Retro City Rampage
Pretty fun game, a kind of retro GTA with lots of references to old movies, TV shows and games. One example is the main bad guy is called 'Buttnick'. There are lots more though and it's fun to find them as you play through. I completed the main story and got a fair few achievements too.
Well, that was pretty disturbing! I didn't know much about the game aside from the critical praise. I think I picked it up in 2019, but hadn't played it at all. Interesting, but that last section and the inconclusive ending was very weird. Didn't like that at all! I used a guide after finishing it to get all the achievements and see the alternative ending, so it's a rare 'completed' game.
Tough game, but I managed to get through it. The visual style reminded me of Downwell. Very enjoyable and I'd recommend it to anyone into platformers. It was just the right level of difficulty for me, there were parts that I had to try multiple times, but I felt I was getting closer and could eventually do it without getting too frustrated. I wouldn't be able to do it without picking up health packs (one of the achievements), so I'll be leaving this at 'beaten' rather than going back to try again.
I'd got pretty far in this before, just over halfway. Picked the game up in 2014, so I imagine the last time I played was around 2015-6. I had to relearn the controls, but once I had the hang of them it wasn't too tough. There were a few stages with a ton of demons (especially those charging bull type ones) that were tough and I had to retry a lot, but got through them eventually. The final boss was much easier in comparison. It was okay, as far as FPS go, but nothing outstanding. I didn't play the original, but the 'humour' in this 2013 version reminded me of the original Duke Nukem a little.
Ultra Street Fighter IV
I'm very bad at fighting games, so I'm not sure why I picked this up! I have Skullgirls to work through as well. The online element of this game is dead, which is most of the achievements. I've beaten the single player game (although not with all characters!), and I found a sneaky way to get some of the other more difficult achievements through some handy guides (basically keep accessing the menu mid-game and changing character options instead of grinding through the game for hours). No way I can complete this, so it's 'beaten' with a very low completion rate and onto the next game.
Got this back in 2013, from one of the old Humble Bundles. Pretty good game. I completed the single player campaign. There's an achievement for completing Act 1 and Act 2, but actually there are two other sets of levels, 'Origins' and 'Fin'. I guess they were added at a later date and no extra achievements were added. Like Hitman last month, this is another game where I'd try to do things sneakily and get caught so just ended up running through to find the exit!
Orcs must Die
Fairly well known tower defence game that visually looks a lot like Dungeon Defenders. It was okay, not a great game for me though. I guess I got this before I realised I wasn't a fan of tower defence games. I'd got through about half the levels, and so this month just continued and finished the story. I did the lowest difficult level for a lot of them just to get through it and didn't try multiplayer. Had a quick go on endless to get one extra achievement, but the remaining achievements need grinding or multiplayer, so it's staying at a pretty disappointing 25% and goes into the 'beaten' pile.
Wings of Prey
This was a very old Steamgifts win, from a group I was in. I won this in 2013 and played 1-2 hours, but found it very difficult to control. I got past that this time by using my controller, but there were other problems. The game is linked to a client called Yuplay but either the servers for this game have been closed or the service has been stopped entirely. This means you can't access multiplayer and even launching from Steam doesn't always work. I was able to find help in the Steam forums and got the game running, but it only registered one achievement from the first mission, even though I finished the single player game. It does seem to register playtime. I've tried syncing local files, restarting the game etc. but can't get the achievements to register. So, here's a screenshot of my score for the final mission.
I thought an SG user had given me this randomly, but after checking I realised it was a giveaway. Terrible memory! There's a lot of love for this game. I understand why. It was interesting and I enjoyed it, but wasn't crazy about it. I'd played a few hours before, and picked up from that point. Didn't remember the start of the story that well, but remembered bits as I went along (that bad memory again!). I didn't do the specialist runthroughs - killing nobody or killing everybody and won't complete it again, but as there are no Steam achievements it doesn't matter. A rare 'completed' and another game off the backlog. Here's a screenshot of one of the last scenes in the game.
A fair few games beaten this month, although I use that word a little loosely. I don’t think any of the real achievement hunters out there would consider any of these games beaten, particularly the first in the list….
Technically, this isn’t ‘beaten’ but I have beaten each of the levels in one way, and I’m sure I will never be able to beat this game in the other mode. I’m probably mostly to do with the type of game (difficult, rhythm platformer) but I think it’s also partly my age! I just don’t have the reactions and rhythm to beat this game.
There are basically two game modes. Practice and regular. Practice is like having unlimited lives and save points throughout the level, and normal is like having one life with no save points. Two extremes. I managed to beat the first level on normal mode, but could only complete the others on practice mode. Even on practice mode, I died 200+ times on these levels! So, technically this should probably be a ‘won’t play’ after putting in my 5 hours of hell, or I should remove it from my account, but at the moment I’m interpreting ‘beaten’ a little loosely and the ‘practice mode’ as equivalent to ‘easy’ in other game types. :)
Stealth Bastard Deluxe
Enjoyed this much more than I thought I would. Bought this in 2013, I’d put a few hours into it back then, but guess I somehow deleted my progress as I started from scratch this time. I made decent progress through this. There were a few points when I needed a bit of help online, but most of the time it was trial and error. I think that’s where the enjoyment came from. It was difficult enough to be a challenge, but not so difficult that I got stuck. I beat all the levels. I think most other achievements are for collecting equipment through multiple playthroughs. Leaving it as a simple beaten game for now.
Out There Somewhere
I guess I was pretty far along in this game, despite the short play time. I think I stopped playing as I was stuck. Think I only had one achievement too, but with just an hour or two extra play time I beat the game and got to 13 achievements. More of a puzzle game than anything. It’s alright, but I’m not that big a fan so gonna stop at this point, despite the fact I’ve only got 3.5 hours on record.
Risk of Rain
I remembered this being very difficult. I think I had only played it on standard difficulty using the keyboard. Switched to an Xbox controller this month and was a bit more persistent. Still pretty difficult in the later levels and I could only really get anywhere with the Commando character. Eventually managed to beat the game on easy mode. There doesn’t seem to be an achievement for beating the game and the screenshot function didn’t work (maybe because I was in windowed mode?). Anyway, completing the game unlocked a Sniper character so I know I did actually do it and it wasn’t all a dream!
Picked this up this month and dove straight into it. A lot shorter than I anticipated in terms of the number of levels. It’s basically half a game and Hitman 2 continues the story. I’m not very good at the stealth element of the missions, so often I’d start stealthily and end up shooting loudly and running away by the end of the mission. I have a decent number of achievements at 40%, but none of the really difficult ones or higher difficulty level completions. Lots more potential playtime here, but I’m doing my usual trick of marking it as beaten and moving on!
Picked this up in March when it was given away for free. Great game, I really enjoyed it. A friend recommended it to me a few years ago actually, but I was put off by the 1996 original and more generally the 3rd person perspective. As a teenager, I didn’t like the original at all and found that the camera angle made manoeuvring, lining up jumps, and combat all very difficult. I’m not sure what’s different with this one, I guess the cross-hairs were a big help with combat and maybe the camera angle was better? Anyway, no major annoyances with gameplay in general. It felt pretty tense at times, the small swimming areas made me feel claustrophobic and something about the game made it very immersive, it might have been the sounds. The only criticism I have is the timed button pressing. Granted, it wasn’t throughout the game (like Dragon’s Lair, a game I hated as a kid!) but I thought it would have been better missed completely. Got most of the single player achievements but a long way from 100% on Steam.
There weren’t enough games i was interested in to pick up the Humble Choice May bundle (I’ve skipped every month so far!) but MO:Astray was on my wishlist, so I traded for that. I also picked up the aforementioned Hitman. One more game I added is Project Genesis. I got an early access key, which may carry over to the full game. Not sure about it even before playing, but it interests me enough to get the key while it was free. I’ll just keep it in the library for now and decide whether to give it a shot or not at a later date.
Working from home and most places are closed because of the pandemic, so I spent a lot of time gaming this month.
Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood
Following on from Assassin’s Creed 2 last month, I moved straight onto the next game, and the only other Assassin’s Creed that I have in my Steam collection. More of the same really. Not much difference in terms of graphics or controls. Enjoyed it. Got through the main story and got a few other Uplay achievements on the way. Far from 100% with those, but no Steam achievements, so I get to mark this as Completed. Another game bought in 2012 crossed off the list :)
Payday: The Heist
I actually quite like this game. Reminds me of LFD2, which I played a LOT for about 6 months straight a few years ago. I felt the only bad thing about this game, was the grinding for new perks and weapons. I guess it’s an incentive to keep playing. The online community isn’t very active either.
This was a SG win back in 2012! (shame on me for not beating this sooner). I think extra levels and maybe other things have been added since then. Maybe they were once DLC and became free after Payday 2 was released? There are a LOT of achievements in this game, and I’m not good enough at it or willing to play long enough to get them all. As I can’t ‘Complete it’ I’m classing it as ‘Beaten’ as I managed to clear all the levels. Might not sound like a difficult task, but it took me longer than you’d expect! The multiplayer was pretty dead, so I did a few levels single player but got stuck on 3 on the levels where the I teammates weren’t helping much. Luckily I found a couple of populated online games and got through them.
There was a lot of controversy over this game when it came out regarding microtransactions. I think there have been a lot of changes since then and the majority that remain are aesthetic. I got the game for free on Steam in 2017, but didn’t start playing until this month. I actually ended up buying a DLC pack that included some extra levels just because I was playing so much and had got the original game for free.
Quite a few differences to the original. There are a lot more levels and you can choose to play most levels stealthily or loudly. There are obviously more active players than the original. Some are obviously cheating (hovering around the level, teleporting to different spots etc.), but I don’t think this is really a big issue to most people because you’re not playing against each other. It looks a lot better than the original and there is a lot more replay value. It does feel a bit bloated at times, there are a lot of weapons and mods available for those weapons.
Even more achievements than the original (1196 at the moment!), so no chance of me getting them all! I classed ‘beating’ this game as becoming ‘infamous’ by reaching the reputation level of 100. I think this was the original max level of the game. These days, this isn’t the end of levelling up. There are 25 levels of infamy available at the moment! Anyway, I poured 70+ hours into this game over 2-3 weeks and feel like I’ve experienced pretty much everything available.
I bought Fibbage XL to play with friends and family during isolation, Gato Roboto which was on sale (should have waited as it’s free with Alienware as I write this), and Gris which I traded for.
I had another cull. I looked through games I tried and just couldn’t get into or actively disliked. I’m a lot more careful about choosing games these days, so I don’t often get games I dislike any more but these are all games from bundles or ‘classics’ that I bought based on name alone without looking into them carefully.
Morrowind - I installed this, got a couple of mods for bugs and graphics then booted it up. Gave up after about 20 minutes. Very dated graphics, and far too much reading for me! I’m sure it’s a great game and loved by those who got it when it came out, but 18 years is a long time in the gaming world and I think it’s dated too much for me to enjoy.
Space Pirates and Zombies - is a game I tried a while back, but had absolutely no interest in. In the past, I was going to remove it from my Steam library but as I got it with Humble Bundle 6 it was linked to other games and these would be deleted too (Rochard, Shatter, Torchlight, and Vessel). I’ve completed the only game that I was really interested in from that set (Rochard) and while it’s annoying I’ll lose the game from my library, I think it’s a relatively small price to pay for getting rid of the others!
Hitman 2 Silent assassin - another game that I’m sure I would have liked if I bought it 18 years ago, but today it just feels too clunky and looks bad.
Lead and Gold - Gangs of the Wild West – I think this was the first game I bought through the Steam store. I was a bit suspicious about the process and got what I thought was a cheap, low risk game to try it out. I have 23 hours in it and some of the rarest achievements I own (mainly because nobody plays it!). However, the servers are dead now and it’s a multiplayer only game. It was fun in its time, but now it’s time to say farewell, Lead and Gold.
Half Life Deathmatch and Half Life Deathmatch Source are linked to other games in the Orange Box, so I can’t delete them but I’m never going to play them. Hidden on Steam and categorized in ‘Won’t play’ on BLAEO.
Got this at the end of 2011. I’ve played it a couple of times before but never got very far. I think in the past I didn’t really pay much attention to the mission instructions and just practised shooting people from afar. As a result, I got stuck a couple of missions in and stopped playing. Years later, I came back and played a bit more carefully. Pretty fun overall. The graphics are dated and I’m sure the 4 or so sequels have improved on the initial idea. Glad to be able to cross this one off my backlog. It’s always nice to get rid of an older game and, as a bonus, as there were no achievements I get to mark it as complete :)
异常 | Exception
Fairly new, for me. Through playing this game I realised I will never be able to program!
It’s a pretty interesting game and at the start I could get through the levels without too much of a problem. The difficulty came when I had an idea of how to beat a level and couldn’t get it to work through the coding. I didn’t have the patience to sit and work out how to get my idea to work and I wasn’t invested enough in the outcome to stick at it. I guess if it was a labour of love, like a program I’d been working on and was committed to making I would work harder. Similarly, if I felt like making the code work would give me something back, like money or creating something that improved my life, I’d work harder. As it was, I just got frustrated and searched for solutions. Most of these were not the way I planned on beating the level, so even checking the answer didn’t help with my own initial coding attempt.
Sooo….probably a pretty good game for anyone who is interested in coding, can think logically or is patient and likes to work at puzzles.
Assassin’s Creed 2
Another old game to knock off the backlog. I got this in 2012. I have another in the series on Steam and possibly a couple more on the Ubisoft platform. As with other games, I felt like I shouldn’t try the newer ones until I beat this. I think the last time I played was 2015. I’d made a fair bit of progress but had either got tired or stuck. Picked it up again and played a lot in one weekend to finish it.
I had a few problems mapping my Xbox controller (didn’t have these in the past, so not sure why it suddenly happened) but once I’d fixed these and re-learned the controls it was pretty smooth sailing. Good game and the graphics still look pretty good. I’m sure everyone is already familiar with it. No Steam achievements, so I can mark this as complete even though I didn’t get all the collectables :)
Why Am I Dead At Sea
Picked this up this month. Looked interesting and was 80% off, matching a record low. I dived straight in and beat it :). Reminded me a bit of Emily is Away Too, Undertale, The Hex, Silent Age - short-ish games, story driven and a bit unusual. Beat it without any help, then checked a guide to get a few more achievements. I should really be able to 100% this, but I’m struggling a bit with the different endings so gonna leave it at 97% complete for now.
Adding to my backlog
Aside from Why Am I Dead At Sea, which I instantly knocked off. The only other game I got was Tomb Raider. There were lots of other freebies around, but I wasn’t really interested in them.
I went to Chiang Mai for a week. Not the greatest timing, as the Coronavirus really picked up as I left. Unfortunately, I couldn’t cancel without losing everything I paid for the flight and hotel, so I risked it. Thailand had a lower number of infections than Japan, so I guess there was less risk to my health (statistically), but it was the threat of getting stuck in another country that worried me more than getting sick. In the end, I could get there and get back (just in time, couldn’t do it now!) but it was pretty nerve racking seeing so many countries close their borders and airlines stop flying as I was away. A day or two before my flight, Thailand cancelled all sporting events and closed bars and massage places. The day before my flight there was a confusing notice about visas and entry to Japan too, which worried me a little.
Aside from that worry lurking in the back of my mind, it was a very nice trip. There were far fewer tourists than normal, so fewer crowds. I got an upgrade to a nicer room in my hotel and I got to eat a lot of very cheap delicious food. I probably could’ve spent a day or two less there, but it wasn’t a big deal and I found things to do for the full trip. I’m not very good at editing images or setting them out neatly, so won’t try and upload a lot of photos.
A decent amount of progress this month. I was mainly going back into older games and trying to clear them from the backlog. In addition to the games below, I’ve put about 18 hours into Company of Heroes. I like it, but it sure sucks up time! I think my style of play is too slow and careful. Anyway, a bit stuck on that and I think I’m still a couple of missions away from the end of the main campaign. I have DLC content after that! (-.-;)
No achievements in the original. I beat the remastered version, so checking both off my backlog. I bought Bioshock in 2011, purely based on the positive reviews and reputation. I subsequently bought Bioshock 2 and Infinite without really playing the original, again just based on their positive reviews. I did try it but got a bit stuck and, to be honest, was a bit creeped out by it! The little sisters, art style, dark appearance, creepy voices and what I saw as a pretty disturbing story. I dipped back into the game (I noticed save games from 2017 when I played this time) but never really got into it. Last month, I started playing again and made more of an effort. Got into the story a little more and am I happy I completed it. Still have two more to play in the series!
I’m pretty bad at this game. I’ve managed to clear all the amateur levels on career mode, but doubt I can get much further. The achievements are very tough! I could get most of the goals on the lower levels, but can’t get close on the higher ones. Took me a LOT of tries to get through the levels on stage 4.
I’ve played this before and got stuck. Played it a few times, but hadn’t been back into it for a few years. During this session, I resorted to using a guide a few times when I got stuck rather than get frustrated and leave it for a few more years! No achievements in this game. The ending was a bit of an anticlimax too, I was going to take a screenshot but kept waiting for the spectacular end, or some kind of congratulations that never came!
I thought the average time to beat must be about 1 hour, as I dipped into this several times before sitting down to finish it in this session. Not sure how I beat it in about 2 hours when the average time is about double that. Maybe the times I played before were very short sessions.
Yoku’s Island Express
One of my newer games. I think I added it this month, actually. Pretty fun, I beat the game and got a decent number of achievements. Has a bit of a kids game feeling about it,but challenging enough to get a few hours play. There’s a pinball aspect too, something that I hadn’t seen in games until I played Creature in the Well earlier this year - strange that I hadn’t seen this in a game before, then see it in two in quick succession.
Adding to my backlog
I got a free key for Misbits, but will probably delete it unless there is a lot of improvement. Doesn’t seem very fun, incomplete, no single player, and the servers in my area aren’t very busy. Also added 异常 | Exception as it was on offer. Pretty difficult, but I like it.
Real World News
Not much going on aside from work, really. The Coronavirus is news everywhere, I guess. It seems to have kicked up a gear here in Japan. Yesterday the government recommended that schools close for a month, and for some reason people have been panic buying toilet paper today. I’m not sure why really, it’s not like when there’s a big earthquake and people expect deliveries to stop. No change for me at work yet, and my company have never allowed us to work from home so I doubt that will happen. I think people with kids might get the option if things continue like this, but that doesn’t affect me.
I have a holiday to Thailand booked in a couple of weeks. Seems like I can go at the moment, but who knows what will change between now and then. I can deal with it getting cancelled. I’d probably lose a bit of money, but should get some back. I guess the worst case scenario would me that I can go but then there’s an outbreak and I can’t fly back!
I played a lot this month and beat quite a few games, a lot of my time was on Xbox Live though so my stats aren’t going to improve much. I have about 4 weeks left of my cheap subscription (didn’t stack codes as much as I could have when they were available) and so I’m trying to play a few games that are on my wishlist. I don’t really replay games once I beat them (as you can probably tell from the tone of most of my posts!), so playing the game on Xbox Live is a way for me to remove the game from my steam wishlist, either by beating it or sometimes trying the game and deciding I don’t really like it.
Saints Row the Third
I haven’t actually played this game this month, but I realized it was categorized incorrectly. I finished the main story back in 2013 but it was on BLAEO as ‘won’t play’. So. I’ve changed it and instantly improved my statistics! :)
I had played about 6 hours in this game but didn’t have any achievements. I think it may not have had any Steam achievements when I first picked it up. It definitely didn’t have cards, as these started dropping as I was playing this month. It also took me a while to realize that achievements don’t trigger when you play offline! All that aside, I don’t really like this. It’s kind of a grindy tower defense game.
I played the main story on easy to ‘beat’ it and get an achievement and picked up a few other achievements on the way. I then started to work through on Medium difficulty to get a couple more achievements, but then I looked more closely at the achievements. There are a lot. 118 to be precise, and a lot of them are connected to DLC. Most of the others involve playing through the game on Hard or Insane difficulty or levelling up characters. I’m not going to spend that much time in a game I don’t enjoy, so this is going in the ‘beaten’ pile (despite the measly 7% of achievements) and I’ll move onto something I want to play! :)
Fallout New Vegas
This was the first Fallout game I played, I guess it was around the release date of 2010. This was back before I used Steam. Really enjoyed it and put 70+ hours into it and completed the game. I’m not sure which faction I chose for the final battle, I think I went with ‘Yes Man’. I’ve had the game on Steam since 2012, but had never played it before this month.
I don’t remember any bugs when I played it back in the day, I guess compatibility with newer hardware and Windows is one factor but maybe I was just lucky too. This time around there were quite a few random crashes even after installing mods to fix the bigger problems, which was a little frustrating at times. I felt like I could play the game faster that the first time, but initially went through a bit too quickly was hadn’t levelled up enough for the final battle. Another 10 hours or so and 10 levels and I completed it with Caesar.
Managed to pick up a few achievements along the way, but (as usualy for me!) there are a lot left to get. I haven’t dipped into the DLC either. However, 41 hours of play in a week is pretty heavy going for me (I was on holiday and blitzed it!) so I’m a bit New Vegas-ed out for now. I’ll mark it as beaten and plan to come back for more, hopefully not in another 8 years though (-.-;).
Actually, the game is Halo: Master Chief Collection but Reach is the only game in the collection available at the moment. I played the original Halo back in the day on a friend’s Xbox and focused on multiplayer, but didn’t really try the campaign and haven’t played any other games from the franchise. Reach was pretty good. The story was decent, the levels a nice length, and a level of difficulty that kept me interested but never got too frustrating (I played on normal difficulty). Graphically, it looked good, and the game ran smoothly for most of the time (in one or two of the larger, later levels there was a bit of slowdown). I beat the game in just under 8 hours. I didn’t try the multiplayer side of the game. I’m sure it’s great, but it’s not something I really want to get into. I have plenty of multiplayer only games. They’re fun, but a huge time-sink and can have a bit of toxic atmosphere. I usually play them a lot when I first get them, then move onto other games and they’re dead by the time I come back! Here’s a screenshot from the game ending sequence…
Creature in the Well
Another game on Windows Xbox Live. I had it on my Steam wishlist, but had the chance to play it for free :)
I really liked this. One of my favourite games of recent months. It looks good and the gameplay is kind of new and interesting. It was a little strange at first. You’re thrown straight into controlling the character from when the game starts in the menu system but there’s no indication of this. This feeling of not really knowing what was going on continued for a while, but it was more intriguing than frustrating. Some pretty difficult sections, but nothing too bad. Took me about 5 hours to get through it and I have 99% of achievements. Another plus in my book – the achievements don’t require a lot of grinding play. Here’s a screenshot from the game ending sequence…
Another game wishlisted on Steam that I played on Xbox. In terms of graphics, control and combat, it’s more of the same if you’ve played the earlier Wolfenstein games. The story was pretty bad in this one though. I’m not sure if I’m remembering the previous games incorrectly, but I thought they were better. There are some pretty ridiculous moments in this one. Decent game, but I rushed through it a little just to finish. No idea about the achievements and I’m not gonna check! :)
Here’s a screenshot from the closing sequence of the game.
Adding to my backlog
I bought Session an early development skateboarding game. After 5 hours of play I can finally do a few things without falling flat on my face! Very fun and looking forward to seeing how it improves in the future. Buying this put me close to enough points for a discount voucher during the Winter sale. I didn’t need any more games, but as these vouchers are few and far between I added enough to my Steam wallet to get the voucher and then picked up a couple of cheap games - Reventure and Super Blood Hockey. Reventure was on my wishlist, but Super Blood Hockey was more of an impulse buy to use the rest of the voucher.
I hope 2020 has started well for everyone :)