April saw me reach the ripe old age of 40. Man, where did the time go! I’ve lived in Tokyo for almost 15 years, the whole of my 30s. I am unmarried, childless, and live away from my home country in rented accommodation. Not what I expected when I was younger to be honest, but 90% of the time I’m happy with my choices and love the freedom I have. Big events and birthdays make me think a bit about the future though - health, whether to buy a place, whether I’ll continue to live here, retirement….but I should just push that out of my head and get back to gaming!
I got a deal with Humble Choice back in December and bought 12 months in one go, despite having only ever activated 2-3 months in the last 3 years. March was the perfect month for me to get the game – Control – a game I was very interested in, and the Xcom game which looked okay. Instead, I skipped and played through Control on Gamepass :)
Xbox Game Pass
So, initially I just planned to try this and then activate the game from the Humble Choice bundle. I got Alan Wake in the past and didn't like it at all, so wanted to check this before buying as it was from the same people. Then, I got into the story and just figured I'd finish it on gamepass. Borderline a bit creepy for me, but loved everything else. The presentation especially. It seemed like a movie to me. The storyline, the choice of shots, and even small things like the way that each chapter name came up at the bottom of the screen. No affect on my steam or BLAEO stats and no easy to see achievements, so here are a couple of slightly-too-small, non-spoiler images from near the end of the game.
Untitled Goose Game
Short, but very fun game. The art style is really nice and the sound effects (something I never really think about) are great. I think the minimalistic style of the game really helps you notice things like the sound of the goose's feet slapping on the floor. Got to the end of the story, then used a guide to get some of the missing achievements. There are more, time based ones but after a quick go I don't think I'm gonna try for those just yet. Not sure I can do them to be honest! So, into the 'beaten' pile it goes.
Got this in 2018, it was actually a price error in a store. The store contacted me afterwards and were supposed to be taking back the key which made me hold on playing it initially. Then, I kind of forgot about it and thought I should play Death of the Outsider first.
So, I finally played it this month. It was buggy. Had to play around a lot with settings just to get the game to run initially, then had control problems throughout and in the final few hours got graphical bugs. The most annoying was connected to the controls. At times my character would kind of get stuck in a defending pose. That meant I couldn't do any other attack actions - takedown, fire, slash. Each time this happened (which was a lot) I had to tab out of the game then tab back for it to unstick.
That took away quite a lot of the enjoyment, to be honest. I played through in low chaos mode (mainly choking people out) and got a fair few other achievements on the way. Most of the remaining achievements require playing through a full level, two levels, or for a small number - a complete playthrough again. If it wasn't for the controls sticking, I think I'd try and get the level specific ones, but I'm sick of the bugs. Beaten with 44% achievements and on to the next game.
There was a big discount on Desperados 3 at the end of March that I skipped thinking that it was a sign that the game would be in Humble Choice in April. It wasn’t and that low price was actually an error that was only available for a few hours. A bit annoying, but I managed to trade some old bundle keys for it.
I also picked up Scavengers. Initially a key drop on Twitch but soon after free to everyone on Steam. I’ve played a couple of hours. Not sure if I’ll keep it on my account, I haven’t made my mind up about it yet. I’ll probably get sick of it soon and remove it.
Uh-oh…..nothing to report. Hmmm…I played games but didn’t finish any.
I was hoping to finish Control on Microsoft Gamepass, but still have a few missions to go so it will have to wait until next month.
Aside from that, I’ve put some hours into Skul: The Hero Slayer and Fall Guys but not much else.
Untitled Goose Game. Short game, but I haven’t finished it yet. Another game for next month’s report maybe!
Not much here this month! Work was pretty busy and I wasn’t really in the mood for gaming. I’ve been jumping between a few games, but just one to report.
Pretty basic. Enjoyable, but not as good as the other skeleton game I got around the same time, Skul: The Hero Slayer. I'm still chipping away at Skul, which is a much longer game. However, back to Bone Appetit. There are still quite a few achievements and areas, but I'm struggling to find them and not that motivated. The controls and movement aren't that responsive and so as well as looking like a retro game it kind of plays like one. It's okay and I may come back to it for a few more achievements when there are some hints as at the moment there are no guides. I did beat the game though, so for now it's going into the beaten pile.
No additions, but I have been playing a bit of Deep Rock Galactic during the free weekend. I tried it on Gamepass a while back too. Will probably pick it up if I enjoy this weekend, although I’ve just been playing solo so far. I should try MP.
No real news. 2021 feels a lot like 2020 so far (-.-;)
A couple of days early with this update as I haven’t played much this week so it’s unlikely I’ll make any more progress.
Still busy at work, but what I’m working on has changed a little so slightly less monotonous. It’s not going to quieten down much in the next few months and I have a lot of holidays to use up before April. Can’t travel anywhere at the moment due to the pandemic, so a lot of random days and afternoons off in February and March.
Hope all your 2021 has started well. Stay safe everyone :)
Strange game. To be honest I lost the storyline a bit towards the end. Got two endings, but I'm sure there are a few more. Lots of other achievements too, but I think they require a few playthroughs or maybe using a guide on your first play. It started off well and was interesting/funny at parts, but the puzzles got a bit obscure and I felt the story went a bit off the rails. Wouldn't recommend it. Beaten.
PixelJunk™ Shooter Ultimate
I liked this one. Fairly simple concept and it reminded me of an old Atari (?) game where you controlled a spaceship and had to pick things up on a line. No idea what it was called and can't find it. Anyway, shooting, navigating caves, searching out people to rescue and gems, fighting bosses, dealing with liquids, gases, magma etc. Lots to do and it gets pretty challenging but I always felt like I was making progress even when stuck on a boss for a long time. Looks good, responsive controls and challenging. No surprises, if you want a video and like the look of it I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
As usual, I stopped after beating the game. Actually, I grabbed a few more smaller achievements but didn't fancy putting in the hours to get some of the more difficult ones. There are 4 multiplayer achievements and nobody seems to be online anymore so I couldn't complete it anyway.
I picked this up while it was still in development as it reminded me of the Playstation 1 game from 1994 - Destruction Derby. Lots of fun, like the older game. I hadn't played it for a while and when I came back to it this month there was a lot more content. Achievements were added and when I started playing, 3-4 popped up at once which was a little strange and made my account look like it had used SAM or something. There were lots more achievements to get though and they needed a lot of work
There are different Championships in the game, each containing a number of races and challenges. You don't need to win all the races, but you do need to score enough points from them to 'complete' the championship. Some achievements were lined to this, while others were for completing the challenges, hitting certain speeds, knocking opponents out of the race etc. The challenges were the most difficult for me. There were two involving trucks that took a lot of attempts. One where you were in a tiny 3-wheeled car (like a robin reliant) and the other where you were in a truck yourself. Both were very hard to control, but I eventually got them. There are two achievements remaining - come 1st in 20 online races, and get wrecked 100 times. I tried online multiplayer - very few servers around that I could connect to. The only ones that were playable were in Australia with what seemed to be very experienced players. I did about 10 races, didn't get wrecked in any of them, but finished last out of those who survived. So, it seems I'm too bad to get the 20 wins and too good (?) to get wrecked 100 times. Well, I've no idea how many times I wrecked my car, but 100 seems a lot so I'm not gonna play just to get that. Beaten with 90% achievements and onto the next game, recommended if you like the look of it though - lots of fun.
Nothing this month, whoop!
Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians
Poker Night 2
Defense Grid: The Awakening
Batman: Arkham City GOTY
Urban Trial Freestyle
Revenge of the Titans
Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale
A successful month. I went back to a lot of old games that I had stopped playing for one reason or another. I was pretty close to the end in a few of them, which helped me assassinate so many games. It’s satisfying to remove these older games too. I’ve kept the notes on each game very short as there area lot and I don’t normally have a lot to say anyway! I feel I’m usually just giving impressions and making excuses for not getting more achievements :)
Bought in 2016, I have no idea when I last played this. I stopped because it's difficult, very difficult.
The good news is I beat the game. The bad news is, it was on 'new school' difficulty rather than 'old school' so I don't get the achievement! It took me over 2 hours to kill the final boss, so there's no way I'm doing that again! If I had known before, I would've taken a screenshot at the end of the game or during the credits. I picked up a very low 16% of achievements, but it seems that the game is not popular or considered difficult by others too as they are very rare with the most common being 10% of players and most are under 5%. So, glad I beat it but a bit annoyed that it's not reflected in the achievements.
Another game that I enjoyed but got stuck on. Bought this in 2017 and hadn't played for a few years. I persevered this time and got past the tricky levels.
This is a bit like a cross between Hotline Miami and Gunpoint. Slower than HTM and faster than GP, I guess the gameplay is more like HTM. A side view puzzle-shooter. You can go in guns blazing or try to do things more quietly. I got stuck on a few levels and had to replay them a lot, but finally got through them all. 70% of achievements, which is pretty good for me, I think I could get 3 more if I stuck at it but no way I can get all of them so I'm marking this as beaten and moving on.
Fairly recent game for me. This was in a Humble Monthly pack in 2018, I didn't really want enough of the games to warrant buying that month, but I managed to pick this up cheap. Visually, it look great both the art and the general style of the game really appealed to me.
It's a twin-stick shooter, a genre I'm not really into. I guess the closest game I've played is something like Nuclear Throne or Enter the Gungeon, both are games I really like but I'm not very good at. How Ruiner differs is there isn't as much freedom and somehow the gameplay isn't as engrossing. A lot of the movement is down corridors and battles are in larger closed off rooms, but even in those battles there didn't feel to be space to move around. The speed of movement in the other games isn't evident in Ruiner but that's not to say it's slow as you have a 'rush' skill. There are a lot of skills that you can unlock as you work through the levels and I guess this is one of the issues I had with the game. There was too much to think about and do at once! This is probably down to my age and I don't imagine most people would have the same issues as me. You can equip a lot of these skills at once, some of them are passive but a lot are active skills mapped to keys/buttons. I got pretty far in the game (maybe 3 boss fights from the end) on medium but had to drop it down to easy at that point. Ultimately, the game just didn't grab me. The setting, story, and atmosphere of the game were great but the gameplay just didn't click with me and I was never really invested in it, rather than persevere at medium I dropped down to easy just to get it finished and wipe it off the backlog.
Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians
Got this in 2014, I'm pretty sure it was in a bundle. It's a rhythm game, but the movement isn't strictly limited by music which is why I was able to complete it (unlike Bit.trip Runner and Crypt of the Necrodancer!). The music helps you time some actions and the enemies movements are often in sync with the music, but for most of the time it's not important. .
It was okay, fairly steady progress, music was fine, enjoyable gameplay, puzzles not too difficult so fairly pleasant overall. It looked a little like a mobile game, but it would be difficult to control on a tablet or mobile, I think. Okay in a bundle, but I wouldn't recommend anyone to but it. Beaten and a fair number of achievements without really trying :).
Poker Night 2
Got this cheap in 2018 as I quite like the odd game of poker. The game is okay, but it's annoying that you can't turn the characters chatter and animations off. You see them all after an hour or two and it gets very repetitive. I got most of the achievements a year or two back, but there were two I struggled with. Total winnings of 1 million and the final prize item. I got the final prize item this week, but I don't think I'm consistent enough to get the 1 million. I hover around 5-600,000 and have never got close in 15 hours of play. It's a shame I can't get the last achievement to make it 100% but I've had enough of it now!
I know the original portal got a lot of love and kind of has a cult status. I played it, thought it was okay but wasn't that impressed. So, this is another game to remind me that I shouldn't just buy things based on good reviews because that's the only reason I bought the sequel! Is it a good game? Yes. Did I enjoy it? No, not really. I mean, it was okay. I finished it. Got through a lot of it by trial and error and checked a few parts towards the end when I got stuck. Feels good to beat another game and knock it off the list. Poor percentage, but never mind.
It's an old one! Bought this in 2012. This is another 'good game that I didn't really like' it's a bit of a theme this month. I didn't really like the art style or the constant narration. The game play was ok, but I think I got stuck and kind of gave up on it. The part I got stuck on was more where to go next rather than a difficult section. Reinstalled this month and worked out what I should do. It didn't take me long to finish actually, just a few hours, so I probably should've come back to this earlier. I did the last section twice to get both ending achievements, but won't be trying for more. A 'not particularly good' 41% achievements and it's going into the Beaten category.
I have most of the Puppygame releases but hadn't finished any of them. This is the oldest in my collection, bought in 2013, it's basically space invaders. Tried and tested game format, nothing too fancy. I got to the final stage but couldn't beat it and stopped playing. You carry through all your powerups, so this time I started the game from scratch and got better powerups to help me. As well as beating the game, I picked up quite a few achievements. I spent a few extra hours to see if I could get to 100% but it's unlikely so it'll stay in the beaten section with a respectable 82% of achievements.
Defense Grid: The Awakening
Another very old game, this one was a SteamGifts win back in 2012. I think I beat the main campaign that year, but quite a lot of DLC has been added since then, so I went back to play through it. I think this was the first tower defence game I bought. I like it a lot more than other games in the genre and put quite a bit of time into it, it does feel like it's aged a bit. I've picked up a decent number of achievements and am adding this to the beaten pile.
Another puppygames title, I picked this up in 2013. I've played it before, but did not remember it at all. Like Titan Attacks, there's a final boss in this game but once you beat him the game starts again from level one with more difficult enemies. So, there isn't really an end to the game. I beat the final boss, so calling it beaten. I'm surprised I managed to do it actually, it was very difficult to see what was going on. It's a twin stick shooter with lots of neon colours and flashes, so difficult to see where your ship is with all the action on screen. Thankfully, there weren't as many levels as in Titan Attacks! I played a little longer to get a few extra achievements after beating the main boss but I'm done now.
Batman: Arkham City GOTY
I had a feeling that I got stuck in this game, so I reinstalled it expecting to be a bit lost. I was, and ran around the city a bit aimlessly at first. It was only after checking a guide and my achievements that I realised I had already beaten the main story. Rather than just recategorizing the game, I played through the Harley Quinn's Revenge DLC mission. Didn't take very long and I picked up a few more achievements. Pretty easy assassination, there are lots more achievements there but 45% is fine for me!
Urban Trial Freestyle
Picked this up with a 2014 Humble Bundle. Simple game, but very difficult. Not one I'd recommend but playable and I'd put enough time in to want to finish it. I got stuck on the game and gave up a few years ago. Took a lot of tries to get through the final two sets of levels but I finally made it! Pretty good at 66% of achievements too. Another one for the beaten category of games.
Revenge of the Titans
A 2013 buy that was just based on the fact that I'd played a few other Puppygame releases and enjoyed them. Coming back to this after a few years, I didn't remember it at all. It's tagged as a tower defence, but the enemies don't stick to definite paths and it felt like a cross between TD and RTS to me. Not my favourite of the games from this developer, but it was decent. I like the style, but prefer the other game genres I played this month. I think I have two more Puppygame titles in my library to beat.
Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale
Another old game. Released in 2010 and I picked it up in 2016. This was when I decided to try some more traditional RPGs and JRPGs (I still have Ys I and Ys II to work through at some point). I played this in windowed mode as the graphics looked pretty bad in full screen. Also, once I started focusing on running the shop rather than dungeons it got repetitive and a bit boring so it was good to have a small window so I could watch something else at the same time as playing. The dungeons were okay and I guess there may be a way to finish the game by focusing on them, but for me it seemed like you got much more profit in a short space of time by focusing on the store. I had played about 7 hours and got stuck in the past as I just couldn't meet the repayments in time when doing dungeons. Spent about 10 hours on it this time, trying different techniques and saving a lot until I worked out the best way to do things. Interesting, a challenge, but a bit dated and repetitive. No achievements, so here are a couple of screenshots from the end of the main story.
I won Doom Eternal on SteamGifts! Whoo-hoo! I enter very few giveaways these days, only ones that I really want. In fact, this is my only win of 2020. I had one win in 2019, and one in 2018. I also got Skul: The Hero Slayer as a gift, and bought myself Bone Apetit as it was very cheap on sale. I’m very picky when it comes to getting games these days, as I’m trying to clear the backlog and have found there are a lot of games I got in the past that I don’t particularly like. So I’m glad the gift was chosen from my wish list and not a random game!
I also bought a new PC. My third build. In my first two builds I moved from ATX to micro-ATX and this time went for an ITX build. Stock of new Nvidia cards aren’t too bad in Japan. It’s difficult to get 3080s, but I didn’t have much problem sourcing a 5600X and a RTX 3070. Not the most powerful and I’m sure the new models coming next year will be even better, but a big improvement on my current PC and enough power for me. I also ended up buying a new desk and rearranging things so I could fit my new set up and the work PC on one desk. Pretty expensive month, but never mind! Only one vacation this year, so it all balances out and the next couple of months should be quiet.
Progress in 2020
I keep a tab of my statistics in my profile page on BLAEO, but I like to post it at the end of every year. Good progress this year, probably helped by working at home and long periods of not being able to go out and do much.
Beginning of 2020 - 261 games
Beginning of 2021 - 276 games
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.