A blurring of focus…
It’s my aim to focus on only one good game at a time, and I often play smaller titles in between. But right now I’m straying into multiple large titles, an old habit that left many games unfinished in years past. Dark Souls is on a slow burn for me, as I haven’t fired it up for a month now after a second visit to Ornstein and Smough to show my girlfriend how hard my face can be bashed against the floor. The Witcher is a bit slow, but mostly because it plays a lot like Skyrim (also unfinished) with a number of side quests piling up. Still, I’ve got steady progress with the White Wolf and will be on Act III soon – I’ve mostly cleared my Act II quests. But now I’ve also (re-)started playing Dishonored, and I’m liking it enough that it’s definitely pulling my attention from either The Witcher or Dark Souls. It doesn’t help that I’m playing as stealthily as I can manage, and non-lethally, which is taking a greater amount of time. So, as a result, I have no big titles from my 26 beaten for this update. But I did manage to beat these other three instead, two of which are even SG wins!…
HunieCam Studio (2016) / In Between (2015) / Human Fall Flat (2016)
HunieCam Studio: I haven’t played HuniePop yet (from the same developers), but if it’s similar to HunieCam Studio, I expect it to have an equally openly-sexual presentation while also remaining a light-hearted title. The subject matter is without a doubt definitely very adult, and the developers obviously aren’t going off of second-hand reports of what a cam show is. The true naughty bits are hidden though, which is fine – I was more curious about how Tycoon-y this game was. And it’s not. You have a limited number of turns to gain as many cam show fans as you can, catering to their fetishes and making your girls attract more fans through photo shoots. Most of this just happens with button clicks and no real fanfare. The challenge is definitely in the achievements, and I might go back to try a few more, but as a game, in spite of the cute sex-positive art, this one’s just a bit above “meh.”
In Between: Mostly, this game reminds me of Braid. If you liked Braid, you very well might like In Between. However, be forewarned that the subject matter of In Between is more morose. The basic gameplay is simple – press a button on one directional stick (I played with a controller), and gravity shifts to that direction. From there, like Braid, the developer expands on the concept. In Between will take you through five stages (evoking the stages of grief), with thirteen levels per stage, although only ten are required. It’s quite a nice game, and so a bit of a shame that the storyline isn’t really a happy one. (Also, it reminds me a lot of VVVVVV, since your main cause of death will be from all those dastardly little spikes on the walls!)
Human: Fall Flat: Nearly twelve hours in two days… not something I expected my girlfriend to put up with, but we had a really good time playing this one completely through in split-screen co-op mode. She had trouble for a while with some of the movement (she’s used to Mario and the basic D-pad in a 2D world), but did better once she switched to the PlayStation/X-Box style Logitech controller while I took the NES/SNES styled one. While you can “cheat” a lot in this game (finding alternate solutions by dragging things from other locations or climbing over walls and such), I found that to be part of the fun, and we mostly tried to solve everything legitimately anyway, keeping in mind that all of the puzzles are also meant to be solvable by a single player. Waddling around like toddlers grabbing onto whatever seems useful, we passed through a really nice variety of low-detail environments. We didn’t enjoy the boat stage so much, but it was a good challenge. Even if you’re not trying to sabotage each other (but more when you are…), it’s great fun, and it was also really nice to have two people trying to come up with solutions for things. Recommended!
Press Start to Continue…
Also, I made a new list for myself. It’s comprised of games that I’ve already beaten, but I’m still fairly interested in going back to. From that list, I re-played through Machinarium since I hadn’t beaten it since they added achievements. I like Amanita Design’s games in general, and I definitely still like Machinarium, especially since you get every single achievement just by finishing it. And so it gets to travel from Beaten back into Completed again!
Update One Hundred and Forty-Two: 17 March 2018
Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger, and The Terribly Cursed Emerald: A Whirlwind Heist
1.2 hours, 6 of 6 achievements
A fifteen-minute freebie made by one half of the team that made the Stanley Parable, it’s a little gem that takes some of the more meta-game notions explored in good ol the S. P. and goes a bit deeper in on them. While I don’t want to compare it to the Beginner’s Guide, because they’re just very different experiences, I liked how I got to see how the two creators of one very unique went and did their own things in completely different ways that still had their origin at the same point. It’s cool!
Dr. Langeskov and the Short Game Long Name brings my worst fever dreams to life, marriyng game development and the tension of live theatre. It imagines the game - Dr. Langeskov - as a theatre production for one, and you, hapless player, meander around the backstage areas while the ‘real’ game is being played by someone else. The rest is up to the plaiyng.
It takes a couple run throughs to pick up all the achievements, and I liked looking around at everything. A very nice walking sim, and another addition to the ‘meta is betta!’ stable of statement pieces. Give it a shot!
Next up: Now would be a great time for a little hidden object pick me up c:
See you soon!
March 2018 - 2nd Week
Guess what! I have a girlfriend now! me iz happy Since then I couldn’t continue killing my backlog for a lot of days (girlfriends need a lot of time) and she got some problems and needs my help solving them. But she’s absolutely adorable and we recently started playing FFXV so we can do cute cosplay together >w< I also got a Nintendo Switch now so my backlog is growwwing… So yup! That was my week :’D
Well, peeps, I fell off the wagon and bought the Bob Ross bundle for Corel Painter and Passpartout. I started Passpartout last night, and it’s extremely good therapy for the drawing-blocked. I began the long-backlogged Yesterday Origins, and found it an interesting setting though one I’ll have to be in the mood for. I’m also still getting enjoyment from The Long Dark.
One thing this post lacks is a lot of ‘finished’ ;P I have a few thoughts about how to push onwards with the backlog, so let’s see how it goes…
Lotheneil vs. The Backlog Hydra, Ep. #6
ABC Challenge project is coming along nicely, elimination of targets E, F and G confirmed. And I’ve even managed to finish one more unrelated title.
A little indie game that aspires to classic isometric cRPGs like Baldur’s Gate or Divinity series. Unfortunately, and completely understandably, it’s nowhere near that league. It offers pleasant, a bit cartoony graphics, diverse locations, simple, but coherent story and interesting (and humoristic at time) dialogues.
On the other hand, the title was, at least to me, very simplistic. There is next to no character development - every level you get two points to add to 4 statistics (strength, dexterity, intellect and vitality) - and that’s all. Majority of character power comes from equipment - it gives access to three active and two passive skills. Due to that system there is no feel of development and empowerment, but at the same time inexperienced players can delve into the story without the risk of making poor character build decisions - everything is reversible. The title is a mobile port, which results in quite clunky controls with a lot of drag and drop mechanics. Inventory UI could use an overhaul as well, as currently you have a long list of items to scroll through.
This title may serve as an introduction to RPG genre, or something to pick up to catch a break between more challenging and complex games. It is not extraordinary in any aspect - predictable story, decent, but not breathtaking visuals, next to non-existent character development, poor UI and mobile-like controls and fluid, but devoid of any advanced tactics combat. One mechanics worth mentioning is crafting - you can find various ingredients scattered around the world (from ores to herbs), then use them to create food, potions, as well as several types of weapons and armours. Recipes can either be found or bought, or just discovered through experiments. Nothing you haven’t seen in other titles, but still stands out of the overall simplicity.
Verdict: neutral leaning positive The game definitely has its shortcomings, but still is a charming little indie gem worth considering - especially for the price requested.
Status: completed. All subquests finished. The title has easy achievement set - just playing the game nets you all but two, and there are no dreaded grindy ones.
I was looking forward to playing this game as it reminded me of good old Master of Magic I spent a ton of time like 20 years ago (really? geez, how does the time fly). Civilisation-like mechanics in fantasy setting where magic played a large role was a really pleasant experience - or so does my nostalgia tell me. Fallen Enchantress, while offering similar gameplay, throwing in some quests, hero development and equipment system for a good measure, did not appeal to me though.
The title offers two fabularised scenarios (one with honest plot and cutscenes, the other just with some conversation popups) as well as freeplay mode, where you can select your race, create a character and set map details (size, number of quests and monsters on map, opponents etc.). And while the story is what I tend to look for in games the most, the latter mode was much more enjoyable.
Scenarios are just awful. One takes place on a series of small areas, where you move your team from point to point doing quests and fighting monsters and the city development part is very limited. The other offers one large map with several allies and enemies as well as some kind of a main quest you need to complete in order to finish it. Apparently - as the map bugged for me and nothing decided to trigger - so I’ve just beaten all hostile races and called it a day.
Verdict: neutral leaning negative For me the title is just mediocre. Bland maps, uninspired combat mechanics offering few tactical options, that makes battles get boring really fast (fortunately there is an autobattle option), clunky equipment system and terrible scenarios. Freeplay does give quite a lot of fun, but without anything to drag the player in and keep him interested, only the most hardcore fans of this type of games stay with it for longer.
Status: beaten. First scenario completed, the second would be if not for the bug I’ve mentioned, two maps finished. Enough for me.
I thought I had a full game, guess the free first chapter got into my backlog somehow. Oh well, it was still fun, if short.
In general the title is a simple platformer. We play as Grimm, a short, ugly, disgusting being, that is strongly opposed to the cuddly and sweet worlds of fairy tales. So he walks through the scenery, transforming everything into dark and twisted versions of themselves.
And that’s what generally the game is about - walk through every corner, paint it grey, change inhabitants into zombies or other bloodthirsty beings, do some easy platforming and move on. Full version consists of 23 well known fairy tales to mess with, the first free episode features “The Story of a Boy Who Went Forth to Learn Fear”
Verdict: neutral leaning positive This game is odd. Some may argue it is more of a walking simulator than platformer, as no skill whatsoever is needed. What stands out in this title is an idea, setting and unusual, cartoony graphics. Worth playing the demo, though I’ll pass buying the full version, at least until it gets heavily discounted or bundled.
Status: complete It was really short and there is nothing much to do. I didn’t even have to explore too much to find all the collectibles.
Small casual time management game, in which you control your own restaurant - buying equipment and composing menu, but above all - serving your customers. Cooking each dish requires inputting a specific key (or gamepad) combination, proper timing (to take the pan from the fire before whatever is on it burns to cinders) - or a combination of both. As the customers are not the most patient around, the game requires both precision and speed.
What stands out is the fact, that game difficulty is highly scaled - not only the dishes wary in difficulty (and you can compose the menu as you see fit), but depending on your accuracy the number of customers arriving next day will change.
This is one of the ‘easy to learn, hard to master’ games, and it definitely has something addicting to it. Gameplay is fast and fluid, muscle memory kicks in really fast - so you learn proper combination by heart really fast and stop thinking about controls altogether. I really hate grinding and grindy achievements, yet I’ve obtained 100% of them - including ‘Serve 15k customers’ one. Recommended to all not opposed to the genre.
And no, 44h logged here were not spent this week only - I’ve been playing the game in and out for the last couple of months :)
Verdict: positive It is a specific type of game not everyone finds entertaining, but if you’ve played and liked some (mostly flash based, like ‘Papa’s’ series) games of the genre, definitely give this one a try.
Status: completed. 100% finished. This game just has something addicting to it, that invokes the famous ‘one more turn’ (here: day) syndrome.
- Small Town Terrors: Livingston
- Small Town Terrors Pilgrim's Hook
- Aviary Attorney
- Last Day of June
- Holy Potatoes! We're in Space?!
- Alter Ego
- Midnight Mysteries: Witches of Abraham
- Gold Rush! Anniversary
- Black Sails - The Ghost Ship
- Beyond Eyes
A Challenge Me! game. Also fits the monthly theme I think for being in the 3rd person. It was fun overall, and the older graphics for past time traveling/better graphics for future was a really good idea. Lots of different gameplay styles are used for different dungeons/areas of the game, including the gameplay styles of Castlevania, strategy RPG, and even Bejeweled and Guitar Hero. I didn't always like the genre, but at least the game doesn't keep the same thing for very long. On the other hand, none of those gameplay systems or battle styles are developed throughout the game in any way. I loved the time traveling and the vehicles on the overworld map like in classic JRPGs. The story was also pretty weird and different (even surprisingly serious at some points) where it could have been generic.
I didn't like this as much as the first game, The Whispered World (which I wrote about here. I won it on Steam Gifts from a Playing Appreciated giveaway. I think it also counts as a game with 3 characters you can play as/switch between for the monthly theme. It's also 3rd person.
I played through it a second time to get all of the achievements and liked it more that time, though the story still felt incomplete. I noticed the Sadwick parts of Noah a little more. The background story to the game (an orphaned boy and his younger sister hiding out from the sustained bombing of their city) reminded me of a great (and serious) anime film animated by Studio Ghibli called Grave of the Fireflies. Anyway, this is a lazier update than warranted because I have to work in the morning and want to work on Pillars of Eternity a little before bed.
Update One Hundred and Forty-One: 16 March 2018
A nice, calming, aesthetic as hell game, Glass Masquerade has you putting together Art Deco (and Art Nouveau) mosaic clocks from around the world. It’s incredibly niche and incredibly lovely - I wish my whole life looked like this game. The UI is crisp, and the soundtrack is easy on the ears.
There’s 25 puzzles, 26 with the free DLC, and they’re all gorgeous. For most of them, though, I had no idea what the hell I was putting together until the very end, but I think that’s a me problem more than anything else. If you care even a little bit about jigsaw puzzle-like games, this is a must-buy.
Life update: Did my first full round of dog walking today, shadowing. One more round of shadowing on Monday. And then: money time. Knees a little testy by the end of the day, but I have a doctor’s apptmnt scheduled for Monday morning. Knee pads have been shipped. They, of course, are blue.
Next up: I suddenly have so much stuff on my plate, but it’s important for me to make time for this hobby that does nothing but enrich me.
See you soon!
Mar 16 2018
March Mid Report
During the first 2 weeks of March I beat 3 sgwins and all of them are really good games.
Grow Home - sgwin. A really interesting non violent videogame. You play as BUD, a robot that is deployed on a planet and is tasked with making a star plant grow past the stratosphere, where it blooms. You have to climb the tree, latch onto branches and guide them to several floating islands that feed the tree. It is a fairly simple game with some exploration for good measure. The robot’s movement is a little awkward but really works well with the theme and the setting. The experience of climbing to high altitudes and traversing the branches is very rewarding. It is a fun short game that I will probably play some more and show it to my daughter when she grows up. Recommended.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice - sgwin. One of the strongest experiences I’ve had in a long time playing videogames. This game is beautifully crafted. Graphically it is gorgeous (even playing it on low), the world building is phenomenal, the sound fidelity is even better, and the story is well researched and engaging. Gameplay works really well but I can understand it is not for everyone, especially not for people that like fast experiences or that are easily upset.
Hellblade is basically a walking simulator, with some environmental puzzles and some sections of hack & slash fighting. You play as a woman warrior entering the land of the dead to recover the soul of her beloved. Everything in the game is made to elicit an emotional response. Psychosis, schizophrenia, OCD, phobias, they all play a major role here. Combat, for instance, uses a closed camera angle, a disquieting color palette and doesn’t give you many cues, although it is very robust… this works well but feels strange. Even things I assume were not on purpose (difficulty to interact with doors and objects, obtuse movement at times) further enhance the experience.
It is a beautifully crafted experience with a lot of work and love put into it. However, it is a slow, intense, and stressing experience. Movement is slow, you spend a lot of time outside of combat, there are many environmental puzzles, combat feels strange, and levels are very linear (with slight detours for the only type of collectible in the game). I totally recommend it.
Mr. Shifty - sgwin. This was a blast to play. It is a top-down action game, with some similarities to Hotline Miami, featuring a teleportation power and exclusive melee combat. You play as Mr. Shifty, a special agent infiltrating the skyscraper of a very rich and dangerous man to extract his mega plutonium. Each level consists of a different floor that you must traverse from elevator to elevator, eliminating all threats (sometimes you can also avoid them) by any means necessary, on a mostly destructible environment. The story is fairly standard, you character does not speak and is not particularly original, the setting is OK, and the levels, enemies and hazards are competently done but in what the game really shines is on its gameplay. Teleporting around the levels, punching enemies, and making them shoot each other never gets old. It makes you feel like you were Nightcrawler, a member of the X-Men (the character colors and the smoke as you teleport are almost identical). Would love it if they actually made a Nightcrawler game. Totally recommended.
See you next time and happy backlog assassination :)
Searching for people to play co-op/MP with :)
I am someone who likes to complete their games to a 100% if possible and I got a bunch of games where I am missing some co-op/multiplayer achievements. So if anyone is interested trying to get any of them together please let me know! I will keep this updated with the games I am currently interested in playing and put link it in my weekly posts.
- Borderlands 2
- Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
- Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
- PAYDAY 2 - Haven’t payed in a while. 6th level of infamy.
- PAYDAY™ The Heist - Only ever did the overdrill thingy in it.
- Portal 2
- Saints Row IV
- Saints Row: Gat out of Hell
- We Were Here - I already beaten it, only need the finish the game without dying one.
Random games that I don’t necessarily need anyone to play with to complete them but I wouldn’t mind to have someone to play with anyways :)
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - Haven’t played it since the middle of the last operation, last rank LEM.
- Counter-Strike: Source - Haven’t played since 2012 :D
- Killing Floor
- Killing Floor 2
- Left 4 Dead 2 - Played once in my life while really really drunk.
- Team Fortress 2
Town of Salem - I knew the ins and outs of this game way back in 2014/2015. Would probably have to relearn it.
- Overwatch - EU server, currently plat support main.