smythe’s profile

  • God's Trigger

    10 hours playtime

    15 of 41 achievements

  • OneShot

    6 hours playtime

    8 of 11 achievements

  • Half-Life 2

    21 hours playtime

    19 of 33 achievements


A good month for me gaming. I beat 4 games, some old and some new.

God’s Trigger
My latest Steamgifts win. It wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be. Decent game, but not great. I can’t really put my finger on what I didn’t like about it, something about the presentation maybe. Anyway, I stuck at it and completed the campaign. Unlikely to play enough to get many more achievements, so marking this as beaten and moving on.

This should have been a game I could easily 100%. I played the first time without following an achievements guide (I did have to get a few hints when I was stuck), then I started again following a guide on the second playthrough to get all the achievements…but I managed to make a mistake…doh! Unfortunately, there is no traditional save system in this game. So, once I messed up, I was past the achievement point. Not keen on starting yet again, so I’m leaving it at 8/11 achievements for now.
Anyway, that long explanation out of the way. Nice game. I can’t say too much without giving spoilers. It’s very much in the vein of The Hex and Pony Island – kind of meta and breaking the fourth wall. Hits you right in the feels too (T.T)

Half-Life 2
Yes, I know, I should have played this a long time ago. Released in 2004, this was one of the first games I bought when I started used Steam in 2011. I think I bought a physical copy of the Orange box actually. I had played it a little, but I guess I either got stuck or just got into the habit of playing newer games that I bought rather than sticking with it and finishing the game. I guess pretty much everyone has played this, so I don’t need to say much. Even thought the graphics have obviously dated in the 15 years since it was released, it’s still a great game.

The Outer Worlds
Played this using the Xbox live gamepass. This took up a lot of my gaming time in November, but I don’t know exactly how much because I find the launcher and website difficult to navigate. I managed to find my achievements on the website after a long search, but no playtime to be seen.

Beating the game won’t reduce my backlog or help my statistics, but it was a very enjoyable game and I’m happy I could play it without having to wait until next year for it to appear on Steam, or pay the $50+ price on Epic now. The similarities to Fallout New Vegas are pretty clear, but I also felt like there were some small similarities to Mass Effect, like the companion selection, the interaction with companions close to the end of the game, and the involvement of other factions. I found it pretty absorbing, but I don’t think I’ve ever done more than one run through in a game, so this is likely to be the only playthrough I do unless I run out of other games to play!
I probably won’t get it on Steam either. Seems silly to get it just to have the name in my collection. I did that in the past with Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas (played them before I got into Steam) and have never played the Steam versions (-.-;).

Here’s a pretty unclear screen capture of the achievement you get for finishing the game.

Adding to my backlog
I did some trading and cheap buying this month, adding SYNTHETIK: Legion Rising and Frostpunk to my backlog. I should have probably resisted those and cleared a few more games, but too late now! I’ll have to try and exercise more control when the winter sales start. These days I’m getting sale emails every day and it’s difficult to resist the urge! Must…stay…strong… :-D

Real World News
I went to Nagoya for a few days (mentioned in my last post). That was good. I spent a lot of the time just wandering around the city, checked out some sights and read a lot in different cafes. Nothing exciting to write about, but it was a nice change to go to another city and the fact I wasn’t at home meant I could relax a lot more (no chance to go to the gym and no housework to do!).

Work has been busy and I’ve done a lot of extra work too. Aside from my main job, I often work in evenings and at weekends. I think this month, there were two days I didn’t work. One Sunday at the start of the month that I didn’t work at all and one Saturday that I only did an hour or so. Every other weekend I have worked, or will work, 6+ hours! Not a good routine for every month, but I don’t mind every now and then, and it means some extra money coming in :)
In my main job, there are management changes coming soon. Hopefully it will lead to improvements rather than more stress!

I’ll go on holiday again in December over Christmas. Five days in Ishigaki, which is an island in Okinawa - the southernmost islands in Japan. It won’t be tropical in December, but should be a little warmer. Japan isn’t very Christmas-y and as I don’t have any family here, I like to do something different. I haven’t really planned what I’m doing, just looking forward to going somewhere new and relaxing.

Hope everyone else had a productive November. Christmas is just around the corner if you celebrate it, and I guess most people will have holidays. Hope you all have fun :)

  • DOOM

    28 hours playtime

    21 of 54 achievements

  • Door Kickers: Action Squad

    12 hours playtime

    24 of 51 achievements


The end of October already! This month flew by. Not a bad month achievement-wise. I got a bit distracted playing The Outer Worlds on Xbox Game Pass for the last week or so. but still managed to ‘beat’ a couple of games this month.

This was one of the first games I bought after building a new PC a couple of years back. Really enjoyed it when I first played it, so I’m not sure why I left it unfinished for so long. Anyway, got back into it and completed the main story. I got a couple of the item/power up collecting achievements too. There are a few left, but the majority of the remaining achievements are multiplayer so I’m unlikely to get 100%. Will leave it as beaten and move on for now.

Door Kickers: Action Squad
There was a voucher stackable with a Steam sale this month but when I went to buy it I realised I already had the game! That was reason enough to start playing. Pretty fun. Very small install, only 59MB! There are currently 7 chapters in the main game and a challenge section. I’ve finished the chapters, so I’m counting that as the ‘story’ and marking it as beaten. There have been quite a few updates, so I’m guessing that more chapters will be added in the future. Beaten for now though.

Real World News
Not too eventful. The Rugby World Cup has been on, so I went out a couple of times to watch rugby in bars with friends. Quite a few people I know have actually been to the rugby World Cup matches (I live in Tokyo), but seeing them on the TV was enough for me.

Other than that….I’ve been getting used to being single again and plodding on with work, which hasn’t been that busy this month. When is was quiet and I was surfing the internet at work, I ended up booking a few holidays.

  • Nagoya for a couple of days at the end of this week (using airmiles)
  • Ishigaki Island (in Okinawa) at Christmas
  • Chiang Mai in March

I get a health check once an academic year with my work health insurance. Normally do it in Autumn, but last year I was late and did it in January. I had this academic year’s check today, and I’m pretty happy with my weight loss. I’m about 6kg lighter than in January :) No detailed results yet, but my eyesight is deteriorating (mainly due to the cataract in my right eye mentioned in a previous post). Hopefully nothing else too serious.

Hope everyone else had a good October. Onward to November!

  • Into the Breach

    13 hours playtime

    26 of 55 achievements


I traveled back home for two weeks this month, so not much gaming going on. Just one assassination…well, more like a maiming!

Into the Breach
There are still a lot of achievements left to get and it’s a nice game to dip into when I don’t have much time, so hopefully I can get more achievements in the future. I finished the main story once and played a bit more to get a few extra achievements. I actually managed to play this a bit before I bought it during a free period on the Windows Xbox account. It’s a nice game. Pretty simple, strategic and I like the graphics style.

Other news
Other good and bad news this month.

  • I continued with the health kick that I mentioned in last month’s post and have continued to lose weight. Pretty happy with how it’s going and I don’t feel like I’m depriving myself too much. I’m about 5kg lighter than I was in May :)
  • I went to a family birthday while I was back in the UK and met a few friends. It was nice to catch up with a lot of people, some of whom I haven’t seen for over 10 years!
  • The relationship I was in ended. Not a complete surprise, it had been on the cards for a while. It’s the longest relationship I’ve been in (over 5 years), so obviously a bit upsetting, but on the positive side it was amicable and we are still in contact.

Hope everyone else had a good September! Onward to October and more assassinations!

  • Road Redemption

    19 hours playtime

    25 of 55 achievements

  • Borderlands GOTY

    27 hours playtime

    27 of 80 achievements

  • Borderlands GOTY Enhanced

    13 hours playtime

    31 of 80 achievements


Not a great month of achievements, but I did beat the main story in a couple of games. A mix of old and new this month.

Road Redemption
I played the original Road Rash as a kid, so was interested in this when it came out. It had decent reviews and I found an ok deal, so I picked it up a month or so ago.
It’s okay, but not great. It seemed a little rough round the edges to me. Everything worked fine but I guess the voice work and graphics or something seemed a bit off.
Easy to dip into and I felt like I was always progressing, so it was easy to keep playing through the month. I’ve no desire to come back to the game though.

Borderlands GOTY / Borderlands GOTY Enhanced
I bought the game back in 2012 and had put a fair few hours in but never finished it. This is another one of the games where a free remastered version is provided without synchronising achievements, like Red Faction Guerrilla in a previous post of mine. I was able to import my character and most of the achievements I had in the original version of the game popped up, but not all of them. Thankfully, I could get quite a few quickly just by visiting different areas of the game I had already discovered.
I finished the main story, but not the DLC. Could probably get a few more achievements, but I’m gonna leave it for now and move onto other games.

Other news
I posted on Steamgifts with a bit of a personal challenge this month. I’ve been on a health kick and cutting back on snacks. Decent process so far and the accountability of posting on the site helps a lot.
Still busy at work, but I’m past caring by now! :) No overtime, I just get what I can done and head home!
I’ll be visiting home for a couple of weeks in September with no access to Steam, so doubt I’ll get many achievements next month.

Hope everyone had a good August, keep chipping away at those backlogs! :)

  • The Hex

    12 hours playtime

    26 of 28 achievements


Not much progress. I bought a few games (Road Redemption, Wreckfest, The Hex, and Hell Let Loose), and only finished one, so my backlog has increased! Aside from these new games, I played some Heat Signature and Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II. Not close to finishing either game though.

The Hex
Fun game, from the same person who made Pony Island. I think I preferred this to Pony Island. Both good though. I don’t want to say too much about it, because I feel like I’d spoil the fun of exploring the game and discovering what it’s about for other people. The game is set like a murder mystery at an inn. There are 6 characters at the inn that you get to control at different points of the game. Each stage has a different game mechanic, like platformer, rpg etc.
I completed the main story, did a few extra achievements myself, then started looking online for hidden ones that I hadn’t found. There are a lot of hidden achievements that I would never have found myself. There are some hidden Easter eggs that you can access by manipulating save files for the game. I stupidly did this without making a backup of the save and managed to lose my progress :(
The achievements are still there, but it stopped me trying to get 100% as I’d need to do a full playthrough to get to the remaining achievements.

Other news
Got back into the gym. Work is still crazy busy and I’ve been doing overtime a few nights a week. Got people leaving at work and hiring new people too, so feels like it will be busy for the foreseeable future. I went out drinking with a friend at the weekend to blow off a little steam (very rare for me to drink). Fun at the time, but the day after reminded me why I don’t drink! Felt rough all day and was very unproductive.

  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution

    25 hours playtime

    32 of 49 achievements

  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution - The Missing Link

    5 hours playtime

    6 of 10 achievements


This month, I took the time to look through my account to pick out the games I bought in the first year of being on Steam and grouped these games in a new category: ‘2011’. I’ve spent a little time revisiting games in this group. Some of them, like ‘Lead and Gold: Gangs of the Wild West’ I’ll probably never get many more achievements on because the servers are pretty empty (I think this was the first game I actually bought on Steam). I’ve already put a lot of time in others, like L4D2, and don’t feel like I need to go back to these. There are some that I can make some progress in though and that’s where my achievements this month come from

Deus Ex: Human Revolution
I had the original Deus Ex but never really got into it. I had a similar problem with Human Revolution. I got to the first boss (very early in the game) and couldn’t get past him. I came back to it a few times and even restarted, thinking if I made different choices I might have better skills/weapons to deal with him, but no luck. Years later, I came back to it. Only took me about 3 attempts to get past him this time. Beyond that guy, it was pretty smooth sailing. Getting stuck so early on in the game, I didn’t really understand all the praise the game got. Finally getting past that, I understand it now. Great story and pretty engrossing game. I actually bought Mankind Divided in a recent sale based on the fun I had with this one.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution - The Missing Link
An early win on Steamgifts (2013) but I never felt I could play it until I got through the main game. Glad I could finally get to the DLC this month. It was decent, but much shorter than I expected. Granted, I didn’t get 100%, but 5 hours is pretty quick. It was decent though. Fit well into the main story, just a little short.

Other games
Aside from these two, I played some Terraria. Also a 2011 buy, but a much more difficult game to amass achievements on. Also some Stardew Valley, which I chose in order to get involved in the Steam Grand Prix, but quickly realised that the event is pretty flawed and it wasn’t really worth it. It’s very easy to sink hours into both these games and they’re fun, but I never really feel like I’m ‘achieving’ much! :). Other 2011 buys I dipped into were, Super Meat Boy (I’m bad at this!), Counter Strike: Source (bad at this too and I don’t find it much fun).

Other news
Quite a lot of gaming this month and it was at the expense of exercise. Working late, I was often tired and didn’t feel like going to the gym or dojo, so I just gamed for an hour or two and went to bed. There was talk of me being sent to the US for a week for a conference but I’m glad it didn’t actually happen, seemed like a complete waste of time and I’d be with a group of my bosses who I would not enjoy spending time with. This would’ve also meant I’d fall behind in other work too. As it is, I’ve been doing quite a lot of overtime trying to stay on top of a project. Aside from my main job, I’ve been working weekends in some part-time jobs too. Should get a bit quieter after this weekend, on the part-time work at least. I actually took a half day off work today and spent 3 hours sleeping! :D

Hope everyone else had a good June :)

  • Yakuza 0

    66 hours playtime

    31 of 55 achievements

  • Cargo Commander

    36 hours playtime

    19 of 19 achievements

  • </li>


Yakuza 0
I picked this up in April and spent pretty much the whole month playing it. When I saw it was in the humble bundle monthly it wasn’t appealing enough for me to subscribe, but I had a decent trade offer so picked it up. I don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much as I did if I didn’t live in Tokyo. I guess people who live in places that are featured in games a lot know this feeling, but this was the first time I’ve played a game set in a place I know well. The two areas the games are set in are modelled on districts of Shinjuku and Osaka that I have visited. The fact that the cut scenes were in Japanese was another appealing point. I could understand a lot of it, and it felt like I was studying a bit while having fun!
I played about 60 hours in April and beat the game, but thought I could get a few more achievements before I posted about it. That didn’t happen though. May has been very busy IRL and so I chose to play a game that was easy to dip into for 30 mins to an hour at a time.

Cargo Commander
Very fun game. Pretty simple game and concept, but very fun. Once I got into it, I thought it was 100 percent-able, so I stuck at it and found a few guides to help me find the rarer cargo items and finally did it! Reminded me of Rochard a little. Nice graphics, likeable character, simple but addictive gameplay and a it was easy to play and pick up for a short time. I don’t get 100% achievements in many games, so pretty happy with this :)

No screenshots this month. I took some, but they weren’t very exciting.

Other news
I’ve been thinking about other ways to approach my backlog recently. I like to play games that I’m interested in or feel like playing, but unless I make a conscious effort they’re always pretty new games. I might try playing one older and one newer game each month. I think it will be a good balance and will mean I can try to check off older games that I might not otherwise be motivated to play and also get to play new games that I’ve spent money on before they get included in bundles or distributed for free!

Work has been busy, particularly in the last couple of weeks. It’s all pretty interesting and I’m learning new things, but I do more than my job entails and I don’t feel that I (and a few coworkers) are really appreciated. Frustrating sometimes and I casually look at job adverts, but that passes when I look at the big picture as there are a lot of positives. I have a fairly steady job, good holidays, I like my co-workers, and the money is decent. I’m sure there are plenty of people who would love any kind of job or are doing jobs that they hate, so I should be grateful. :)


A mini-update as I’ve been playing, but I’m not quite ready to officially post about it yet!
I picked up Yakuza 0 and spent most of the month on that. I’ve completed the main story, but and gonna try and pick up a few more achievements before I officially post about it. Hopefully I’ll have another game or two to add when I write a May post.

  • Max Payne

    9 hours playtime

    no achievements

  • Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne

    6 hours playtime

    no achievements

  • Max Payne 3

    9 hours playtime

    11 of 67 achievements

  • Minit

    2 hours playtime

    18 of 27 achievements

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Max Payne
More very old games. Max Payne released in 2001. I bought it in 2014 along with Max Payne 2 and 3. I had played a little, but didn’t really make an effort to complete it until this month. Very dated graphics, but a pretty fun game. There are some bugs and glitches, I’m guessing because of newer versions of windows. It runs at a ridiculous frame rate most of the time, there are some problems jumping or running in some parts of the game, and there is a risk of getting stuck in certain parts. Whenever this happened, I just did a quick search and found solutions like jumping sideways instead of forwards.
Two screenshots, one from the final scene and the message you get after beating the game. There are no achievements, so after a total of 9 hours play I can mark this as complete.

Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne
Straight onto the second in the series. Slightly better graphics in this one and no glitches (in my experience at least). Pretty fun again. The levels were a bit more varied and you get to control a different character for some levels. Not as dark and disturbing as the first one.
One screenshot this time. There was no message at the end of this one, so just a shot from the final scene. No achievements again, so after 5 hours play I can mark this as complete.

Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne
Onto the last in the series. Released in 2012 and you can tell it’s much later than the others. The graphics look much better. Great graphics considering it’s now 7 years old.
There are a lot more cut scenes in this game. At the start I found it pretty annoying. It reminded me of Dragons Lair, where you just sit and wait for ages until there’s a point where you interact with the game. Nowhere near as bad as those early interactive movies, but a lot more cut scenes than the others in the series and most games I’ve ever played. I got used to this after a while and enjoyed the game, but still think it would have been better with fewer clips.
Right, I’ve moaned about it a bit, now the good parts. It looks great, the voice acting and dialogue is good (I’m no expert on this, but I enjoyed it) and the game seemed tighter. Changes to the controls worked well and I was never searching for keys as I sometimes did in the earlier games. The story was pretty good and it kept me interested.
Unlike the earlier games in the series, there are achievements. A lot of these are multiplayer though, which I’m unlikely to get. Might add a few more to the ones I have, but I’m unlikely to get anywhere near 100%. Marked ‘Beaten’ for now. A couple of images from the final scenes below with Max looking a little like Walter White. Not the most exciting shots, but they don’t spoil the story and show the improvements in graphics.

I actually beat this in January, but didn’t add it to the report. I think I expected to go back and try and get all the other achievements. I played a little more in February, but haven’t really felt the urge to go back to it. Sooo….just marking this as beaten for completing the main story for now. Fun novelty game. Not much else to say! The main appeal is the 60 second limit to each playthrough. The graphics, dialogue, or story aren’t going to win any awards.

Other news
I’ve been playing Dishonored: Death of the Outsider (not as fun I remember the first game being, but maybe I’m looking back with rose tinted glasses) for the last week or so and have just started Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (A Steamgifts win, that I can already tell I’m very bad at!). I went to Thailand for a short break last week. Nice to relax a bit, work has been pretty stressful recently and I’ve been looking around for other jobs but nothing is as secure and/or well paid as the role I have now. I’ve continued the relaxation by not arranging any extra work this weekend and will be watching UFC and One FC fighting events tomorrow. Hope everyone else has had a good March :)

  • Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered

    20 hours playtime

    16 of 57 achievements

  • Red Faction: Guerrilla Steam Edition

    17 hours playtime

    10 of 60 achievements

  • Neon Chrome

    24 hours playtime

    14 of 14 achievements

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Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered

There seems to be a few instances on Steam when publishers give you an updated/remastered version of a game (in addition to the original) that means you have to finish both or have one languishing incomplete in your library. In my library, this is an issue with Darksiders (Darksiders and Darksiders: Warmastered Edition) and Red Faction Guerrilla (Red Faction Guerrilla Steam Edition and Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered).

This month, I completed the main story of Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered. For a while, I was trying to do all the other side missions, but there’s one vehicle delivery mission left that I tried to do A LOT and have given up on. I could probably get a few more achievements if I really tried, but never going to get 100% as there are a lot of multiplayer missions and the servers are empty. The game was pretty fun, mainly due to the fact you can destroy the environment. There’s nothing else that really stands out. Missions aren’t particularly good or varied, there isn’t much of a story, and the physics are a bit screwy (particularly driving). The graphics are dated as it was released in 2009 (there didn’t seem to be much difference in the remastered version to me). I certainly don’t like it enough to go back and finish the main story in the other version of the game I have. So even though I only beat one of the versions, I marked both as beaten on my BLAEO profile.

Neon Chrome
Delayed my February post by a few days to finish this one. Pretty fun game overall. I didn’t really think about the achievements for a long time, then had to grind a little to get all the weapons and complete every secret level. Beating the game wasn’t that difficult. The fact that you can spend money on stats and get new guns after each try makes it easier. Haven’t completed a game fully for a while, so nice to get this 100%.

Mass Effect 3
Continuing the Mass effect marathon, I finished the third in the series on Origin. The initial part of the game felt like it was very limited in choice. The first missions were very guided and involved me just following another character or on-screen prompts. Thankfully this didn’t continue throughout the game and later on it felt more like the other two in the series I’ve played.

The story made it feel different to the other two games in that I was being pushed towards a final aim rather than what seemed like more open exploration in the previous two. I enjoyed it, and it was nice to run into characters from the previous games, but I think I liked Mass Effect 2 better.

When I was very close to the final mission, I started to wonder about Galactic Readiness. No matter what I did in the game, this didn’t seem to be changing. I’m glad that I searched online, as I probably would’ve finished the game and got a less than ideal ending if I didn’t. There was an online element to the game that increased this readiness when the game was first released. It didn’t seem to be an option playing it almost 7 years on, but thankfully they replaced this with a kind of online game. There was no skill to it at all, just clicking and waiting for a few hours then clicking again. It delayws me completing the game for 2 days while I prepared this online aspect of the game. In the end, I think it helped me to get a better ending to the game (there are multiple, I don’t think I got the ‘best’ one).

Overall, a good game and one that was fun to play. In total I put 23 hours into this, but at no point did it feel like a grind. It seemed more difficult than 2 (perhaps I didn’t level up my powers/guns as much) but not unfairly so. The story was interesting and the missions varied.

I actually went straight on to Andromeda after I finished this, but was not impressed at all. The graphical style of the game is completely different and doesn’t seem to fit at all. The characters are uninteresting and some of the voice acting is pretty bad. Even the depart from the story arc was a little disappointing after all the time I spent with the characters from the original 3. I guess I might go back and give it another shot, but I’m not really feeling it at the moment.

One more thing
Almost forgot. I tried the Origin subscription thing this month (Origin access) as it was reduced. It meant I could try a couple of games that had been on my Steam wishlist for a long time without actually buying them - Hyper Light Drifter and Duskers. They were okay, but I wasn’t particularly impressed, so they’ve been knocked off my wishlist. Not exactly reducing my backlog, but it did help me decide not to buy them and so stop me from increasing the backlog!