Game Journal Ich bin ein Gamer Page 4

Started by Janp January 1st, 2021 10:52 AM
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Janp

Age 25
They/Them
Czech Republic
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 8 Hours Ago
5,073 posts
9.4 Years
Feudal Alloy
I've been eyeing this game pretty much from the moment it was released. I thought the idea of having a robot controlled by a fish set in a medieval era is great. And it really is great. Sadly, it's the only great thing about the game.

After about 2 hours of gameplay, I was strongly considering dropping the game. I've not only seen everything this game has to offer, but that content also started repeating. There are only few enemies and they start repeating way too quickly. There aren't really any special strategies to beat them. You just smash one button. And they respawn with each visit of each room, so they get annoying fast. I like stamina meter - it's a heater. It also came in play in some areas with extreme heat, where it incapacitated you to do anything.

There is pretty wide skill tree. But you will barely touch it, because it takes forever to level up. And even after that, the skills make almost to difference. Same with gear. I tested how much does the gear affect your stats and found out that it doesn't affect them at all. Like I had a sword + full set of armor with damage buff and every enemy still took the same number of hits to beat. Same with stamina meter and health gears. The game doesn't show you any numbers for you to compare two pieces of gear. Plus you can't even view gear you have equiped. And the inventory itself isn't made that well. Because of this, there is no reason to buy new gear. Which means there is no reason to explore the map, because the only rewards for finding treasures is gold and gear. And both are useless.

The game also lacks any kind of story or lore for the world. There is one cutscene at the start and then one at the end and that's it. That's the whole story. There is also no text to build up a world around you and majority of the map is copypasted, so there is nothing that could tell you more about the world. Why does this world have fishes in robots?

Overall, this game is lacking a lot in pretty much every regard. I don't think I would bother with this game if it wasn't made by a Czech developer. 5/10.

Janp

Age 25
They/Them
Czech Republic
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 8 Hours Ago
5,073 posts
9.4 Years
Dead Space
This game was on my to-play list since 2013. I even started it back then and played it for like 60 minutes. What I find strange is that I clearly remember what happened in those 60 minutes for all these years.

I had fun. The atmosphere was perfectly dark and cold, exactly what I would expect from a space horror. Exploring was rewarding and it never felt like I'm going out of my way to explore the ship. It never interfered the main story and the feeling of dread and urge to get to the main objective. I also have to mention a sound design, which was just perfect. It reminded me a lot of Silent Hill, with all the rusty pipes' clinging and sounds of metal going on.

I liked the 3D map, but it was hard to navigate through it sometimes, because of how the HUD was made. HP, stasis meter, inventory and ammo were fine, but I think 3D map needs a way to rotate it to be useful.

I was surprised to see a shop in the game. And while the idea of buying new weapons and having almost infinite amount of healing and ammo was great at first, I quickly found out new weapons are inferior to plasma cutter and I constantly had full inventory of healing and ammo, so there was no reason to buy anything outside armor upgrades. Same with weapon upgrades. They felt way too expensive for what little stats they add, so I often forgot to buy them at benches.

Enemies were horrifying. I loved their design. And each of them had cool introduction to them. On the other hand, a lot of them felt the same and could be defeated with the same strategy of shooting their legs off and then finishing them with a headshot. They also got predictable pretty fast. I don't think I've ever let a bat necromorph resurrect a single corpse after the first one. On the other hand, it took me quite some time to check each dead body to not get ambushed by necromorph hiding inside. I think the enemies were scary only in the first chapter, when I had no idea what can they actually do. By the fourth chapter, it felt more like enemies are locked in the ship with me, instead of me beaing locked with them. So they became more of an annoyance than the actual threat pretty quickly.

The story was ok. It wasn't anything worldbreaking, but I think it worked for most parts. On the other hand, I also feel like it had way too many detours and filler fetch quests. I would say half of the chapters could be cut and the story wouldn't change a bit. It would probably even made the whole experience better.

There was one segment that I hate. A turret minigame. It was so bad. It wasn't hard or anything like that, it was just unnecessary, tedious and not working properly on the controller. Why is this in a survival horror game? And why is it there twice? The first time was more than enough. I literally didn't play the game for a whole week after experiencing this minigame for the first time and was considering just giving it up at that point. I'm glad I didn't do that, but if Dead Space 2 has this kind of minigame in it, I'll never touch it.

Overall, it was extremely good survival horror, that shines more with the environment, atmosphere and sound design, that it does with gameplay. I was getting bored in the second half of the game, because it was getting repetitive. Same enemies attacking in the same hoards at the same moments in almost same rooms. 7.5/10.

And that's it for February. I wasn't really feeling like gaming this month for some reason, yet I was able to finish 3 games. Not sure about what I'll play next. I have As Far As The Eye on my list for March and since it is roguelike game, I think it will take me some time to finish it. But after finishing Dead Space, I feel like playing something more relaxing. So, I'll wait until new theme is revealed for Game Along.

Janp

Age 25
They/Them
Czech Republic
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 8 Hours Ago
5,073 posts
9.4 Years
Gobliiins 4 Platinum
I wasn't sure how to deal with this review, because Gobliiins 4 also include remasters of previous 3 titles. I did play through all of them in the end, so I think it might be worth it to talk abou each of them.

First game was classic 90s P&C adventure. A lot of pixel hunting and just trial and error. It has a cool fable-themed art style and simple story that works well with the overall tone of the game. But I wasn't fan of a HP bar, that went down with each wrong interaction. Plus almost each screen has 2+ copies of one item with only one of them being the right one. But you have no way of knowing which one you need to progress. Overall, it was okay.

The second one was also pretty good. There is an inventory and save system now, which was nice. But puzzles were even more crazier and I had to consult a walkthrough several times, because I got stucked way too often on stupid interactions. Both goblins can now move simultaneously and some puzzles are about timing their interactions correctly. Overall, not as good as the first one, but also pretty good.

The third one was weak. It tried way too hard to be funny and quirky, and puzzles were uninspired. And for some reason, everything in this game had to make an annoying sound all the time. I had to turn off sound because I couldn't stand it any longer. Overall, this one didn't click with me.

And finally, the newest Gobliiins. Long story short, it was bad. It lost all charm of previous games. It took the worst out of them and mashed it into something weird. It played and looked bad. Even for 2009 standards, this game is outdated. I mean it was released the same year as Machinarium and Black Mirror, and only few months earlier than Heavy Rain and Grey Matter.

Overall, I was glad to revisit the first 2 games, since I haven't play them it a while, but the rest of the series was bad. I would give 7.5 to the first one, 7 to the second one, 6 to the third one and 5 to the last one. So 6.5 for the whole collection.

Janp

Age 25
They/Them
Czech Republic
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 8 Hours Ago
5,073 posts
9.4 Years
As Far As The Eye
As Far As The Eye is unique mix of roguelike and turn-based strategy. You take care of nomadic clan fleeing before a flood and your goal is to take them to The Eye, which is a safe haven for nomads.

What I found confusing at the start was the main menu and game modes. There is a campaign, which is also a tutorial, but then there are regular runs, that also have tutorials in them. At first, I though I would finish the campaign and call it a day, but since it was a tutorial, I decided to finish the game with each clan to tick it as completed. Many players had 30+ hours in it and claimed they only finished 1 or 2 runs. You probably noticed by now that I find challenging games intriguing, so I was looking forward this.

Then I started my first non-tutorial run and easily finished it. Well, I had like 2 turns left, but it was a breeze until the final map. Maybe I just got lucky. Then I finished runs with 2nd and 3rd clan on the first try. The final clan had the worst initial conditions and their followers cost more resources per turn. So I had to take some time and find optimal strategy. It also made me apreciate follower's traits and jobs. There is pretty deep system of jobs your followers can improve in like stonecutter, cook, gatherer, builder, druid and so on. They gain various bonuses that can make a difference between winning and losing.

It's surprisingly relaxing, despite the fact that you're constantly put on a timer. You have around 200 turns on each map, but with harvesting/building taking 4 turns, there isn't much time to waste. Yet, it's weirdly soothing to watch your followers work.

What I didn't like that much was RNG. There are positive and negative perks that are randomly rolled on your followers. And I feel like negative perks are extremely negative, while positive perks barely helps. It's similar with map generation. Sometimes, you need one resource to move on the next map, but your current map doesn't have this resource at all. Or, there are magical auras that make it impossible to harvest in their area, unless you spend few turns turning it off for some time. Sometimes, 3 different auras appeared on a small map, practically making it impossible to harvest on a whole map. I also have a feeling runs get harder with each finished run, because you unlock more negative and positive perks. There are also random vagaries, like an earthquake or a tempest that can also quickly end your turn.

I would also point out graphics, that have no reason to be so nice in indie game. It's nice to look at and together with music creates amazing atmosphere.

Overall, this was a pleasant surprise. The game combines both genres into a cool strategy that makes you think ahead and actively avoid any misfortune that can come your way. The RNG is leaning toward unfair territory, but is still manageable. 9/10.

Janp

Age 25
They/Them
Czech Republic
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 8 Hours Ago
5,073 posts
9.4 Years
Baldur's Gate: Enchanted Edition
I'm not sure how to tackle this review, because I feel like I missed 90% of the game. When I look at hltb, the median of the playtime is around 50 hours. I finished it in 16 hours and I've spent about an hour alone on the final encounter. And I didn't rush it or anything. I finished most side quest I could find and pretty much explored all maps I could get on.

I always feared playing CRPGs, because I heard they are hard and complex games that need micromanaging and huge knowledge of the mechanics to be able to leave the starting area. This was pretty much 1:1 conversion of old D&D and it's mindblowing how everything works so well. The character creation options were insane. I spent quite a while making my character and in the end I created Chaotic Neutral character.

And that's when the problems started. The game's story wasn't build for Neutral characters. The beginning was fine and I got all the way to the Friendly Inn. And that was the last time I found the story interesting. The game doesn't really give me a reason to follow up the main story, other than "you have to". And I couldn't even explore and do side quests at this point, because some characters threaten to leave if I don't do the main quest right away. So I did cleared the mine, beat the mage at the end and found out where to go next. At the next location, I cleared the mine, beat the mage at the end and found out where to go next. And basically repeated this until the end of the game.

There were some moments, when what I did and what game said I did contradicted each other. Like there was a moment, where the game said I infiltrated a bandit camp, but I only attacked and destroyed the camp. Or a moment, where I killed few antagonists and got arrested for it. But the game acted like I didn't kill them and instead was framed for it. And the story was full of these inconsistencies. I'm not even talking about the fact that the main villain randomly became my brother without any prior explanations. Well, after talking about it with my friend, there is a letter that basically explains the whole plot, but I never got to it, because I got arrested right before being able to get it.

Combat on the other hand was great. I enjoy trying each new character and figuring out new combos. It was a little dissapointing that almost each boss was a mage, but I usually had different party members on each bossfight, so it didn't get stale. Final bossfight was true test of my skills.

Overall, it was fine game. The story was quite boring and uninteresting, I hate how it acted like I had a choice to affect the story, but these choices did nothing. But combat and other mechanics were excellent and I enjoyed trying new companion combinations. The controls also didn't age that well, but were still manageable. 7/10.

Janp

Age 25
They/Them
Czech Republic
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 8 Hours Ago
5,073 posts
9.4 Years
I've been playing Dark Souls 3 for the better half of this month. I've been enjoying it a lot, but I also put it aside for two nights to play two short unique games I got earlier this month.

The Artful Escape
I almost missed this game and only heard about when it won GOTY awards. Which is weird, because this is exactly the kind of game that I would find interesting.

And I did found it interesting. There was a surprisingly huge amount of platforming. And it had nice difficulty curve too. Some of the late-game chase passages were pretty hard, especially since you had to make preciously-timed jumps. The game was forgiving tho and put you back on track quickly.

Yet, it was still mainly made out of relaxing passages, where you watch colorful fireworks and explosions, listen to great music and just turn your mind off and relax. And I think that's something I needed for a while.

I also enjoy the story. I liked how it tackled the issue of feeling too much pressure from other people and doing something you don't really enjoy. It also manages to create a huge working universe to set the story into. I think dialogues were pretty basic, but served the purpose of pushing the story forward.

Overall, I'm glad I found out about this game. It was cool relaxing game, that managed to be fun with the minimal amount of gameplay features - going forward and playing music. It's really hard to describe why it works so well. 9.5/10.

A Short Hike
Unlike The Artful Escape, this game was on my wishlist for a long time and I finally got around to give it a try.

If you've been reading my updates from this and previous years, you might have notice that I like small compact open areas that are full of content and deep lore. And A Short Hike is one of those games. Literally the first thing I did after the start was to jump in a water and swim towards the camera, expecting an invisible wall to stop me from going too far. To my surprise, I found another island. And another one only few meters away. What seemed like a small one island map turned out to be whole archipelago.

The goal was simple - go to the highest point on the main island. But to get there, you'll need some items that you can get from various NPC living in this world.

I enjoyed traversing the island. Since you play as a bird, you can glide in the air. At first, you can only glide short distances or have to get really high to glide for longer time, but you quickly unlock the ability to climb and flap the wings, which makes gliding even more fun. There are also several shortcuts or other means or transport like a boat, you can also use.

Characters and their problems are basic. Pretty much what you would expect from someone on vacation. You help collect seashells, invent new beach sport, look for treasure, fish... There is surprisingly huge amount of things you can do. This gave me Frog Detective vibes and made me want Frog Detective 3 even more.

The game was extremely short. I finished it in about 90 minutes. But I feel like I missed an NPC or two, because even on my final way up, I found an NPC hidden in a spot I never walked around before. Now that I think about it, I got running shoes and never actually went to characters that wanted to race me. And from what I heard, there are still updates being released from time to time, so more content is on a way.

Overall, this game created astonishing and breathtaking world and let me explore it the way I see fit. No minimap, no question or exclamation marks hinting at where I should go, just a world crafted in a smart way. One of the best games I've played this year. 9.5/10.

So, April is ending with a big bang. I wasn't expecting to give two 9.5 in a row. But it's nice change in comparison with the rest of the year so far.

Janp

Age 25
They/Them
Czech Republic
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 8 Hours Ago
5,073 posts
9.4 Years
Dark Souls 3
If you read my thoughts on previous games in the trilogy last year, you might remember that Dark Souls 1 was one of the best games I've played that year. And Dark Souls 2 was one of the worst. So I was worried about going in the third one. Luckily, it was closer to the first one.

And by closer, I mean it was basically linear Dark Souls 1. The clever level design, awesome music, interesting lore, fun bosses... It's all here. I was a little bit disappointed the game was more linear in a sense that the game only let's you go in one or two locations at once and only one is needed to continue forward. And there were no bosses in the middle of locations, only at the end. On the other hand, I quite enjoy discovering new weapon arts, even tho I've only used Hand Axe in battle.

I had a hard time deciding what build to try. In the end, I went with pyromancer and flavoured him in axe-wielding barbarian full of rage for added challenge. And I think it helped a lot, because (at least) the base game was really a breeze, when it came to difficulty. I also tried to use both the axe and fire magic in boss fights and actually managed to do so until Twin Princes. I had to tweak my strategy there, because the basic axe stopped being useful, so I became full-blown caster. And as tradition, I went against the last boss blind and beat it on my first attempt. I'm currently playing through DLC and Sister Friede is probably the first boss in the whole series, that makes me feel like I won't be able to beat her no matter what. I have a hard time getting past the first phase and when I do and get to the third one, I'm usually out of flasks. And I heard the 2nd DLC bosses are even harder. So I still have some fun challenge in front of me.

Overall, I love this game. It had many things I loved about the first one and few new mechanics. 9.5/10

Nah

Age 30
she/her, they/them
Seen 3 Hours Ago
Posted 5 Hours Ago
15,407 posts
8.9 Years
You'll be able to beat Friede at some point, I'm sure of it. She's usually considered one of the harder bosses in DS3 and the whole trilogy really. I struggled with her at first too, but have beaten her many times since, so if I can do it, you can as well.

And the 2nd DLC features what is FromSoft's best dragon fight and the final boss of The Ringed City makes such a lovely ending for the Dark Souls games (imo anyway).
Nah ンン
“No, I... I have to be strong. Everyone expects me to."

Janp

Age 25
They/Them
Czech Republic
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 8 Hours Ago
5,073 posts
9.4 Years
You'll be able to beat Friede at some point, I'm sure of it. She's usually considered one of the harder bosses in DS3 and the whole trilogy really. I struggled with her at first too, but have beaten her many times since, so if I can do it, you can as well.

And the 2nd DLC features what is FromSoft's best dragon fight and the final boss of The Ringed City makes such a lovely ending for the Dark Souls games (imo anyway).
Thanks, I heard the 2nd DLC is excellent. But I don't think I can beat Friede as pure caster, because I'm running out of flasks in 3rd phase. And my axe is underperforming and is too short for this fight. So I'll try a little bit different build. Onyx Blade looks like a good weapon for pyromancers and it has moveset similar to claymore (which I'm familiar with), so I'll try using it.

Anyway, I took a break from Friede and played SUPERHOT. And I forgot to post about Henry Stickmin collection here, so here are my thoughts on both:

The Henry Stickmin Collection
I remember playing 1st and 2nd episode of this game back when I was younger. I had no idea there were more episodes and that they were re-released in this collection.

I was surprised by how huge and complex some episodes were. Sometimes, they can derail out of the intented way, yet still managed to complete the objective. Episodes are also more interconnected towards the end, with final episode being completely different based on your decisions in previous 2 episodes. Not only does these decisions affect where and when does it take place, but also on whose side you are and what is your objective.

Some choices and fails were fun, but seeing nearly identical fails in each episode wasn't that interesting. And it became quickly apparent which choice will move you on and which will end up in a fail. And usually there will only be one decision to split the path at the start of the episode and the rest of that path was linear.

Overall, I like this game. It has nice story, animations, art style and references. It was an amusing and relaxing experience. Also a nice trip to the past, because each episode had pop-culture references that were relevant back then. 8/10.

SUPERHOT
It took me way too long to get to this game. I remember when first demo/version was released and its Kickstarter campaign. And I always wanted to try it.

While I enjoyed the innovative approach of being always in bullet time, except when moving, I feel like the gameplay was very simplistic. It's fun to throw a pistol at an enemy, knock their pistol out of their hands, catch it mid-air and shoot the enemy with it first few times, it got old quickly. There isn't really anything new done with the gameplay past the tutorial. Levels feel all the same and it's easy to predict, where new enemies will spawn.

The story was passable at best. It was shallow, uninteresting and poorly executed. I liked some metacommentary, but it felt forced a lot of times. It's cool you correctly call the lack of depth in your game once, but once is more than enough. There is no need to do so every few minutes.

Overall, this felt like a good idea, but not as a full game. The basic gameloop is there, but it's never expanded. It could have been cool mix of FPS and puzzle game. 7/10.

Nah

Age 30
she/her, they/them
Seen 3 Hours Ago
Posted 5 Hours Ago
15,407 posts
8.9 Years
Onyx Blade is one of my 2 most favorite weapons in DS3 so I'll shill for it and +1 you considering to use it lol

Though that reminds me that, as great as the dragon fight in Ringed City is imo, you'll want to invest in a lightning infused weapon by the time you get to him (or a pure physical weapon but I presume you don't have the stats for that). He's rather resistant to magic/fire/dark and has a lot of HP so it might make the fight a little miserable using something else. The nice thing about being a pyromancer is that that since you're investing in both Int and Fth, you can also make use of all schools of magic, and so have multiple elemental options at your disposal if you need it.
Nah ンン
“No, I... I have to be strong. Everyone expects me to."

Janp

Age 25
They/Them
Czech Republic
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 8 Hours Ago
5,073 posts
9.4 Years
I know I've been giving high scores lately, but I've been playing a lot of quality games in the past 3 months. I've finally beat Loop Hero to the point I can tick it as completed and played through Before Your Eyes.

Loop Hero
Loop Hero is interesting take on roguelite games. The player doesn't controls the hero directly, but can influence them by forming the world around them through cards. Which was fun and I loved various combinations of cards you could pull out, but on the other hand there weren't that many cards to play with and I got majority of them by the time I got to the second boss. And there were only few combinations that had positive effect, so I haven't even used most of the others after discovering them.

It had beautiful groomy pixel art and character design. It reminded me of the old Castlevania games for some reason. There were several "classic" designs like slimes, skeletons, goblins and vampires (I think vampires especially reminded me of Castlevania), but bosses were where the game really shined. I love The Priestess bossfight, both her design to her mechanics.

The story and lore of the game were surprisingly deep for a roguelite game. It was fun to read through some encyclopedia entries and some theories on the internet. Dialogues weren't anything special, but served their purpose to move the story forward and explain what is going on.

What I didn't like and what made some runs a drag was the game's reliance on RNG over skill. Most roguelikes/roguelites usually have a simple system, in which the player gets constantly better, and RNG is there to make each run feel different. In Loop Hero, the player can't get better at fighting monsters, because they don't control the player. They can only affect the stats of the hero through equipment and cards they aquire through RNG. Because of that, I was able to get to the first boss on my very first run without really knowing what was going on, but then had several runs, where I had level 1 equipment on 10th loop and couldn't do anything about it. My knowledge of the game barely mattered outside the bossfights and all it took to get to them was being lucky enough.

Overall, nice roguelite, but I feel like most of my runs were the same and the only difference was if RNG gave me good stats on items or not. Nonetheless, I had fun with it. 8/10.

I'll talk about Before Your Eyes later, because I think I need more time to put my thoughts about it on paper.

Janp

Age 25
They/Them
Czech Republic
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 8 Hours Ago
5,073 posts
9.4 Years
Phew, this took more time and energy that I thought it would do. I also finished Man of Medan in the meantime, so I also put down my thoughts on that.

Before Your Eyes
Before Your Eyes is a game, where you play using your eyes to blink. And with just that, it breaks and solves one of the biggest problems with modern AAA games - the need to keep playing and to experience everything the game has to offer. For example, most open-world games have towers, shrines, caves or other points of interest that you feel like you need to complete to really get your time and money worth. But oftentimes, these side activities are copypasted of one another or way too easy and will push you more to feeling burned out of the game instead, which can lead to never finishing the game, thus the opposite of what the game aimed to do. And it's not just a problem of open-world games. Battlepasses, timed content and free updates in other games are just as bad at this. That's why I prefer shorter, but unique games, that focus on one concept or one mechanic and really do wonders with it.

Before Your Eyes puts you in shoes of a small kid and will tell you that every time you blink, you'll move ahead in their life. You can move few seconds or whole years. You don't know that until you blink. We all have to blink eventually, which means you won't be able to see everything the game has to offer. The game is well aware of that and loves putting you in situations, where you have to fight your body to see just few more seconds of the story. The game makes you question, whether is hurting your body to see just one more sentence worth it. And yet, the story was structured in a way that I didn't miss anything and got the whole picture.

And this one core mechanic was implemented really well. I had to recalibrate my camera twice, because it was getting darker outside and the game didn't see me blinking our blinked on its own. It costed me some scenes, but got sorted out pretty quickly and as someone, who worked with light-based sensors, I can understand this problem.

Visuals were also nice to look at and there were lots of details on each screen to keep your eyes occupied. But I was sometimes worried to blink and trigger something on the screen in fear of ending the scene.

Overall, this game's main goal was to make you realize that content isn't everything. And it did it perfectly. Easily one of the best games I've played this year. 9.5/10.

The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan
Until Dawn was impressive game that I've always wanted to try by myself. I was happy when Supermassive Games revealed they are working on games like Until Dawn. Sadly, when it was released, I haven't heard much praise towards The Dark Pictures, so it took me a while to try one of them by myself.

On the outside, this is solid B-tier horror movie. The premise is kinda fun, but it was painfully obvious what is happening right from the first few minutes of the tutorial section. And it heavily influenced how I looked at the game and what decisions I've picked. And while I can see the story branching in different directions with some decisions, lots of them had barely any effect at all. For example, when I picked "Say nothing" option, my character still said something. Well, dialogues overall weren't a strong side of the game. Instead of "Say nothing", "option A" and "option B", it felt like I'm often choosing from "Say nothing", "option A" and "option A, but be a dick about it".

Back to the choices. Since I've figured out what was happening right from the start, I tried to let my characters know too. But even though I found all the possible clues I could find and picked the right dialogue options, there was still only one conclusion left and it was the wrong one. Some characters figured out what was happening by the end, but still acted like it was some supernatural entity during the credits.

Characters also felt one-dimensional, but it somehow worked and I even cared a little bit about them. But once again, even though they went through small character developments, they defaulted back to their original personalities during the credits. I think actors really added a lot of positives to how I perceived the characters. Especially The Curator. What a fun character. I loved how he kept appearing in the story in the background.

I really liked the atmosphere of the abandoned ship, but jumpscares were periodically ruining it. But that's maybe just me finding jumpscares boring altogether. Luckily, there weren't that many of them, so
I was able to stomach them.

Finally, the gameplay. It was weak. I was expecting mostly QTE and I'm fine with them, but the passages, where you had to move with a character and explore were horrible. There were only linear paths and because of how was the static camera changing and moving, I often ended up turning in a linear path, because arrow for forward movement suddenly changed to turn to right. But some of the camera placement was great and added to the atmosphere.

Overall, this was okay movie, riddled with awful gameplay on one hand, but cool details and branched story on the other. 6.5/10.

Janp

Age 25
They/Them
Czech Republic
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 8 Hours Ago
5,073 posts
9.4 Years
I'm almost done with both Elden Ring and Hades and I hope to finish them next week. In the meantime, I've finished Opus Magnum in about 3 days, so let's talk about it.

Opus Magnum
I have a love-hate relationship with Zachtronics games. I still have nightmares about playing SpaceChem and Infinifactory. Yet, I keep going back for more, because I love solving these kind of puzzles.

In Opus Magnum, you take on a role of alchemist, who helps royal family with their problems by creating hangover cures, hair-gels, ship fuels, rat poison, waterproof sealants, rockets, grenates, poisoned lipsticks and much more. Yeah, the game's story gets dark pretty fast. But I found it and the whole setting cool, for what it was.

In the main gameplay loop, you have to build machines using various mechanical arms and other components. You usually have limited number of alchemical elements for each puzzle, which can make some puzzle harder than they look. I loved the open-ended approach to the solution. There are basically no other restriction on the solution. You get some metric like the cost or time and can compete with other players. I usually focused on cost-efficiency, because I usually ended up using just regular single arm or pistoc arm, unless it was painfully obvious to use more advanced arms.

I'm not sure if it's because this wasn't my first Zachtronics game, but I found this game fairly easy. I got past first 2 chapters quickly and only started getting stuck on chapter 4. But there wasn't really a moment, when I would see a puzzle and think it's impossible to solve. On the other hand, I feel like some puzzles were way too similar with each other and I've used some similar builds to solve them, just with small tweaks. But I get that's the core part of problem solving and computational thinking.

There was also this weird minigame called Sigmar’s Garden that reminded me of weird mix of solitaire and mahjong and I didn't like it. I don't think I've finished a single game, because it was boring and the main game was so much better.

Overall, I enjoyed this game and will probably play through some optional puzzles later. 8/10.

Janp

Age 25
They/Them
Czech Republic
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 8 Hours Ago
5,073 posts
9.4 Years
Yesterday was a productive day. I beat the final bosses in Hades and Elden Ring, thus finishing both of them. Both games were extremely well done and got in my TOP10 of this year so far. But both of them had few glaring problems. So, let's talk about them.

Elden Ring
Adding open-world mechanics to a series that was build around semi-opened areas never really worked. Recent examples of this are The Witcher series with The Witcher 3 and The Legend of Zelda with Breath of the Wild. In both cases, introducing open-world took a toll on other mechanics and resulted in game with bad open-world and worse overall experience. And sadly, I don't think Elden Ring's open-world was much better.

Let's start with the good. The scope was insane. The game let's you think you've seen it all and then hit you with new locations over and over again. And then, when you think there is no more space for new locations, the game throws underground floors at you. Exploring the world was fun for a long time. But after 2 or 3 locations, you realize there are like 4 different types of points of interest you can find, and all of them feel same. The only exception for this were Legacy Dungeons. Each of them was unique and complex structure reminiscent of the old Dark Souls levels. They usually have both vertical and horizontal sections and the exploring them feel so good. And all thr caves, ruins and catacombs felt like they belong in the world, in comparison with certain futuristic-looking shrines in certain fantasy open-world game.

The open-world formula also influenced bosses. Since there were many dungeons, there had to be many bosses. And this quantity over quality approach had a bad effect on my overall enjoyment of the game. After some time, I could predict what bosses will be waiting for me at the end of some dungeons.

And the absolute worst were duo bosses. They felt like they were taken straight out of Dark Souls 2. Usually, the game took 2 previous bosses with no synergy and just threw them at you. They acted independently on each other and usually ignored each other to the point that they sometimes clipped through themselves.

And yet, when you remove all the open-world stuff and focus only on the main dungeons, this is great Souls-like game. Its dungeons are not nowhere near the clever interconnected level design of the original Dark Souls, they take much safer linear approach like Dark Souls 3, but are great. The battle system is fun and allows for quite a big variety of builds, the music and the lore and phenomenal, the bosses are cool. Exactly what I would expect from Souls-like game.

I think one reason why I had so much fun is my approach towards my build. In the Dark Souls trilogy, I've always played with fast roll with barely any armor, 2H my weapons and roleplayed my character. This time, I wanted to play as a knight in the heaviest armor I could find with the biggest weapon I could find. I switched through few weapons and armors, like Zweihander, Claymore and Lionel's set, but ended up using Bull-Goat armor set and Giant-Crusher. I also experimented with few Ashes of War and in the end sticked with Troll's Roar (while using War Cry before Troll's Roar). And I basically kill everything by shouting at it. It was so stupid and I loved every single moment of it.

Overall, I feel like this game is held down by its biggest innovation. The open-world is better than in other open-world games I've played, but it's still pretty boring. I guess I just don't enjoy open-world games. But the core Souls-like gameplay is great and modernized with loads of quality of life changes. 9/10.


Hades
For a long time, I've been trying to find a roguelike/roguelite game that would grab me as much as The Binding of Isaac. Hades was close at being that game.

I'm usually looking for following things in roguelikes: fun skill-based battle system, the feeling of progression and big variety of usable builds and item combinations. Let's see how Hades fares in these regards.

The battle system is fast-paced and offers quite a selection of weapons, attacks and combos for you to learn. There are also few enemies that have to be beaten by specific attack or in specific way, otherwise you will get punished by taking huge damage. Same with bosses and their movesets. And I also liked that bosses have various variants after you beat them few times. I quickly got a hang of it and found out an unfortunated drawback. No matter what the game threw at me, all I had to do was to spam Special attack with regular sword and occasionally dodge, and I could easily spam my way to the final boss. Especially with right upgrades.

Speaking of upgrades, I liked them. They take a form of ancient Greek gods' boons and you always have a choice of 3 from one god. But I don't think they were balanced well. There are gods that I actively avoided like Artemis and Dionysus, because their upgrades were bad. Anthena or Poseidon upgrades on the other hand usually carried me to the final boss on their own.

Now, there is one huge problem. I've only played 25 runs, before I beat the final boss. Because of that, I barely tried other weapons or got far in the story. There is a true ending, but I'm not sure if I want to pursue it. So my thoughts may not really reflect the WHOLE game.

Overall, I've enjoy this game, but it got repetitive after a while and after beating the final boss, I don't think I have motivation to play it more. 8.5/10.

Janp

Age 25
They/Them
Czech Republic
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 8 Hours Ago
5,073 posts
9.4 Years
Someday You'll Return
Someday You'll Return is another Czech game, so I'm worried my patriotic bias will show in my review. Or it will have the exactly opposite effect and I'll be too harsh. It doesn't help that this game a bag full of mixed mechanics.

And it shows right from the start. The game has top-notch visuals. You can see the care given to the whole map. The forest, the camp, castles and chspels. They look amazing. They are realistic, yet still fun to traverse. Not sure how well-known is this knowledge, but there is complex tourist system called Czech Hiking Markers System, which offers cool way to navigate through wilderness, and this game uses it to its fullest. There are no quest markers, you have to find your way using these markers and what other NPC tell you.

On the other hand, this game is anything but scary. Yes, the locations have this eerie feel to them, but the game usually destroys this feeling with over the top jumpscares and one of the worst bad guy in recent history. He looked like Predator, but bad. When I first saw him, I was laughing for several minutes and couldn't stop. Not sure that's the intended impression. There are also these forced stealth parts, that doesn't really add much to the gameplay.

I think it's a shame the devs decided to go with not that original horror troupes over the exploration of eerie forest. There are cool crafting and potion-making mechanics, but they aren't really used in interesting ways. 99% of potiona are optional and the rest is used once or twice in the whole game. And the worst thing about this is that you'll use a potion to solve a problem, but then the game will force you to solve the same problem in different way later on in the game.

The game is also surprisingly long, but I don't think it's a good thing. The game peaks in chapter 3 (of 12 chapters), where you explore the abandon summer camp. It's interesting location, there are interesting puzzles and the story really peaked my interest here. After that, the game gets quite repetitive and boring. There are few good side quests, but the main game is dull. The story is predictable and none of the characters are captivating.

And finally, my biggest nitpick. None of the main character's name (except for the main character) are Czech or Slavic and it looks so bad, especially when they are put next to other character's names (that are in fact traditional Czech names).

Overall, I think this game is good for the first 3-4 chapters. Then it's just same average stuff over and over again. On the other hand, I think it's insane only 2 people made this game. 7/10.

Janp

Age 25
They/Them
Czech Republic
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 8 Hours Ago
5,073 posts
9.4 Years
Cult of the Lamb
I can't believe I've almost missed this game. I was looking forward to it since it was revealed and almost missed the release. Anyway, this is new rogue-lite game, which took a huge inspiration in The Binding of Isaac and other older rogue-likes and mixes it with Animal Crossing/Stardew Valley-like gameloop. And it works quite well!

You play as a lamb that was saved from being sacrificed to old gods by another old god. And so you start a cult to worship that old god and take revenge on the others. I love this setting and throwing cute animals into this Lovecraftian/Cosmic Horror-themed world. Everyone and everything in this world is serving their own old god and wants to kill each other.

The gameplay is divided in 2 section. First one is the classic rogue-lite gameloop. You go through randomly generated map until you reach the boss. You always get random weapon and curse, which is a supporting spell. I think the balance of those is a little off to be honest. For weapons, there are claws, daggers, swords, axes and hammers, with claws being fast, but weak and short, daggers a little bit slower, but also stronger and longer and so on. And here comes a problem. Some hitboxes are quite off, so you sometimes won't hit the enemy. I noticed claws and daggers having this problem more often than with axes and hammers. And there is also a problem with hammers actually being able to 2-shot a boss, which is a little bit broken. A similar thing goes for curses. Some of them are OP and can basically win you a run on their own and some of them are barely usable. Same goes for tarot cards, which could give you nice bonuses like more health, bigger damage or new attack, but also some not-so-good effects like reveal the map or letting enemies drop fishes (from my own experience, the rate was 2-3 fishes per 100 enemies).

There was nice enemy variety. There was about 2-3 unique enemies per location (bugs in forest, urchins in underwater and so on) and the rest were various versions of cultists. There were basic cultists with daggers that just rush you down, but also healers or summoners that could make a run a lot harder. But I feel like most of their attacks were easily dodgeable. Also bosses were usually just a bigger version of the regular enemies with few more attacks. But I think it was okay.

The second part of the game takes place in your cult. You recruit new followers and take care of them, while also making sure they are following one true religion. You can form your own doctrines that affect the way your followers act or can give you some bonuses on your runs. You can also perform various rituals like throwing a feast, marrying one of your followers or sacrificing them to get stronger. This part of the game was cool way to rest between your runs and I found myself just running around and taking care of my followers from time to time.

I also talked about similarities with The Binding of Isaac, so I think I should list some of them. I should also note that I don't think these similarities are a bad thing and well, in some instances it couldn't be avoided. It hink they also helped me to get into the game faster. There are blue and black hearts that works exactly like in TBoI. Blue ones are temporary health and black ones damage all enemies on screen, when they are depleted. Some boss movesets were also inspired by TBoI bosses, which meant I quickly found a way to counter them.

Overall, when I talked about Hades here, I mentioned that I was looking for a roguelike/roguelite game that would grab me as much as The Binding of Isaac. And this is it. I'm looking forward to play it some more. 9.5/10.

Janp

Age 25
They/Them
Czech Republic
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 8 Hours Ago
5,073 posts
9.4 Years
Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne HD Remaster
There is a thin line between being hard and annoying. Over the years, I found out that I have the these two concepts a slightly shifted than the general gaming audience. Why am I talking about that? Because general consensus about Shin Megami Tensei is that it's hard game. But I found some game design decisions just tedious and time-wasting. On the other hand, it might be just poorly-aged mechanics. Which isn't really an excuse, but I could somewhat understand it.

But let's start with positives. I quite enjoyed the world. It has this unique edgy atmosphere, combined with various demons and creatures from all imaginable religions. I think their designs were overall good. Same goes for their acquisition. Demon fusing is probably my favourite way to aquire new monsters. I've spent countless hours researching how it works and how to get to specific demon. And I got excited every time I've encountered new demon, because it meant more fusing. And then the game introduced Fiends and Full Moon fusing and kept me engaged.

The battle system was the mechanic that constantly kept switching from hard to annoying. The general idea is great. If you exploit enemies weaknesses, you get more turns. But this skill-based system falls flat the moment critical hits also grants you extra turns. Because there is no way to prepare for that. It happened to be several times that I had a perfect strategy for a boss and was winning, only for the boss to land 4 critical hits in a row and completely destroy my team. Which kinda defeats the purpose of preparing and crafting any strategy.

Bosses were also a mixed bag. I loved first few early-game bosses and then everything in the final location. Everything in between had one glaring blunder, that once again made the battle system unnecessary. They had no weaknesses and no interesting gimmick like the end-game bosses. On the other hand, some of the end-game bosses took way too long to beat. I spent around 50 minutes on one attempt of fighting Noah and I figured out his weakness after 3-4 turns. There was no way he could win, because I could outheal his damage, but it still took ungodly amount of time to beat him.

And that's not the only way the game just wastes your time. The grinding in this game is insane. I had to grind only about 3 times in the whole game, but it always took 2-4 hours to grind up and it was one of the worst experience I had with grinding. Everyone needed huge amount of EXP to level up, but each encounter rewarded only a small fraction of a fraction of that. For example, you need about 10k EXP to level up, but each encounter rewards only 50 EXP.

I wasn't also a fan of the story. I feel like there wasn't really a story at the beginning. You're just sent out to go to some location because... reasons. Some random NPC tells you to go somewhere just because and you have to do that. I feel like there wasn't really any motivation to do anything the story asked me to do. And it didn't help that I didn't really like or agree with any of the main philosophies, so I rejected them all. Good thing that the game allowed for that to happen.

Overall, this game scratched my monster-taming itch in a good way. But once I got enough, my enjoyment quickly dipped down. The middle of the game was extremely boring, but the final location and bosses saved it a little bit. 7.5/10.

And I think that wraps up August for me. I started Road 96 yesterday, but I'm more than sure I won't finish it until the end of the month. I also tried Pokémon Shield, but I plan on writing proper journal in Travel Journals and it takes time. I hope I'll eventually get to that. I'll start Digimon Survive on Switch. Not sure what else I would like to play right now.

Janp

Age 25
They/Them
Czech Republic
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 8 Hours Ago
5,073 posts
9.4 Years
I finished Road 96 on 31st and it's still 31st somewhere in the world, so I'll count this one as completed in August.

Road 96
Road 96 is procedurally generated survivor adventure, in which you take a role of teenagers trying to escape totalitarian rergime. I have always found well-crafted procedurally generated worlds amazing and Road 96's world is mindblowing. And not just because it's procedurally generated. The game's approach to the story is also quite interesting.

Even though you are playing as teenagers, I wouldn't say they are the main characters. Your teenagers are no-names with no history, personality or even a in-game model. They are really your lenses to the real main characters. The only differences between them are their HP, money and how far from the border are they. There are 8 characters you can meet along the way and I would say these are the real main characters. They are pretty diverse cast and it's fun to interact with them (except for Jarod, moat of his episodes were boring). What I found jaw-dropping is that each section is randomly selected, yet the story of each character is written in a way that you can start from any point and slowly piece, who the character is and what are their motivations, together. But this also means that while each character have splendid backstory and motivation, there is barely any character development. There are exceptions of course, for example Zoe, who in my game was the MAIN main character and went from someone, who only thinks about herself, to one of the biggest voices of revolution. And all because of my decisions. I even sacrificed one of my characters to let her escape the country so the resistence can continue. I loved how characters' stories are intertwined. For example I helped a kid with a call to his adoptive mother, only to find several teenagers later that his adoptive mother is one of the other characters I've met on my journey. Or helping a gang of criminals figure out, when an assassin will hit on their sister, only to then find the assassin and "accidentally" helping him to get closer to the victim. To then encounter the victim and help her. And the game really never explicitly tells you this is happening. You have to figure it out by yourself.

Which brings me to the next point. During your journey, you can influence the world around you. There are usually 3 choices. You can either pick between violent revolution, fair elections or care just about yourself and your survival. I tried to give each of my character a distinct personality, so one of them was pro-revolution, one of them for elections, one of them did everything to survive, other one didn't steal and so on. It made some runs more fun than the others. I quickly realized that almost every section has a car you can steal, which makes moving on a little easier, since this car doesn't eat up your energy. What I like were the small details you could see changing around you. The more I lean towards the fair elections, more anti-totalitarian posters were seen around the world or more people weren't hesitant to talk about you about their opinion on the government. And not just that, but the world lives and reacts to everything that is happening. You used underground tunnels to escape the country? Next time, the tunnels are closed and heavily guarded. Your character got shot while escaping? Now you can bring it up in future conversations.

But the randomness that is introduced with the procedurally generated world is the double-edged sword. While some characters got really cool stories, some progressions were a little bit weird. My biggest examples of this are Stan & Mitch, who saved their sister from a killer, to trying to figure out, when the killer will attack for the first time. And Fanny, who was switching between a good cop/bad cop each time I've encounter her. Another thing that I really wasn't a fan of were the survivor mechanics. You have to eat and rest to get energy and you usually lose energy while changing scenes. But this had no impact on how I travelled. There was barely a time, where I got low on energy and I usually could refresh it easily in each location. Also for some reason, the upgrades you could find on road, unlocked for each following teenager. And so each teenager could hack, had government ID, knew a super secret recipe for a strength potion... you get the idea. Which made following runs a little bit streamlined, because you didn't have to rely on a RNG to open locks, push rocks and do other things.

Finally, the music in this game is something else. I love the whole soundtrack. It sometimes doesn't really fit the scene, but is great for listening on its own. I discovered few new artists I'll keep my eye on.

Overall, I had fun with this game and it was surprising me with little secrets and interactions all the way to the end. I will definitely return to it one day to see more scenes. 8/10.

Janp

Age 25
They/Them
Czech Republic
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 8 Hours Ago
5,073 posts
9.4 Years
Finished Restless Soul in one sitting. It was fun small game.

Restless Soul
It's fairly rare for me to watch a game from the earliest development to the release. Restless Soul is one of these games. So you can imagine I went in knowing pretty much what I will get.

And to be honest, this is really well done game by a small studio. But it also has some issues that mostly stem from being developed by a small team.

It's a bullet hell type game, which is a genre I was actively avoiding for years. I have to say that difficulty had some pretty huge spikes. First few bosses have almost the same movesets and it really gets noticeable once you have to face more than one at once. My biggest problem with the battle system is that because of camera angles, it was sometimes hard to see, where the bullet is going.

The game was fairly short and linear. There were 8 towers, where you have to solve puzzle and beat enemies. The story is simple, but serves the purpose of moving plot forward, and is okay. Towers (and towns each tower is in) has unique design and theme.

But what dragged the game down for me were dialogues and humour. 99% of the dialogues were just jokes, but barely any of them were funny. They were so painful to read/watch. Especially since some jokes kept recycling themselves over and over again. And since they focus more on jokes than on forwarding player to the next objective, I sometimes had no idea what to do next.

Overall, the game is fine. Worth the wait. Well done first game from unexperienced devs. 7/10.

I'm currently midway through Arx Fatalis. Great game, but is really a product of its time. It has some questionable design choices, when looked at with modern gaming mindset. Also started Digimon Survive, but I'm playing it slowly. I don't mind VN parts. Dialogues can be cringy at times, but the battles are fun so far.

Janp

Age 25
They/Them
Czech Republic
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 8 Hours Ago
5,073 posts
9.4 Years
Arx Fatalis
Arx Fatalis is one of the least known Arkane's "immersive sim" game. Actually, it's their first game. And while it shows the signs of time and smaller budget, it's still fun game that laid basics for Arkane's future work.

Arx Fatalis takes place in fairly unique settings. Arx is a planet, whose sun goes out, forcing humans and other races down under ground. This made exploring the world so much fun. Each race has their personal design and even caves changes depending how deep underground you are. I also like that aside from pretty standard races like dwarfs, trolls or goblins, there are also races like snakewomen and it makes the whole world feel special. That and inclusion of some sci-fi and cosmic horror themes. The world of Arx is something else, when compared with other fantasy RPG.

It's certainly a product of its time. There are several modes you have to shift between like stealth, magic or inventory mode. It took me quite some time to get used to them and even by the end of the game, I sometimes entered the inventory instead of preparing my weapon. But then this modes kidna grew on me. It's a nice change from the modern AAA template. I enjoyed casting spells by drawing them, despite never using this mode in battle, but only to buff myself. On a another note, another pretty archaic mechanic was a parkour. It barely worked well and usually, I had to find one specific pixel on one platform, that would let me jump on the next platform. And it didn't help that Levitate spell could just move you forwards or backwards, so you couldn't really use it anywhere.

The battle system was very basic, but clunky. You have one button to attack and if you hold it longer the attack will be stronger. But the hits sometimes didn't land and I also wasn't big fan of early enemies having exponentially more HP that your average damage, making few fights longer and more goofy than they should have been. The difficulty curve is alright and I felt a little bit overpowered by the end.

As I said in the beginning, this is Arkane's first game, meaning that some animations and voice acting weren't that nice or (in VA case) were straight up missing. I also encountered quite a few game-breaking bugs that would stop me from continuing on, if I didn't have older saves. But for their first game, the world seems alive and to some degree reacts to your actions, which is something that even modern games can't do right.

Overall, it was a fun game. It has some problems that mostly stem from it being old game. It still holds well today. 8/10.

I'll now move on to Thief Gold, but I have a bad feeling that the gameplay will be a lot similar to Arx Fatalis, so I might switch to Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night first. But I think I'll be able to finish both games this month. As for Digimon Survive, I'm slowly getting through it. I have finished about 1/4 of the main story. It's fairly slow game to be honest, but I'm enjoying it.

Janp

Age 25
They/Them
Czech Republic
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 8 Hours Ago
5,073 posts
9.4 Years
Got through Digimon Survive. It was fun game. I'll probably try more Digimon game in the future.

Digimon Survive
This is my first time I've dived into Digimon universe since the original anime aired. And while probably not exactly a representative choice for regular Digimon game (at least from what I heard), I had a great time with it and enjoyed my return to the Digital world.

The game follows a group of teenagers that get sucked up to the Digital world. Main characters feels like counterparts to the kids from original series. Well, there are more things that feel like a love letter to the original series. And since I have barely any knowledge about Digimon fanbase, I can't say if this is the same as in Gen I overuse in Pokémon, but I liked it. I also enjoyed more mature and sinister plot going on. It was so much better than what I'm used to in monster taming games, but wasn't edgy and cringy as SMT3 story. It was nice surprise from what I expected.

The game has 2 different game modes - visual novel and tactical RPG. A weird combination for sure, but it works well. My biggest problem with VN parts was early game. It takes almost half a game for the story to pick a pace and especially first 5 parts (out of 12) suffers because of this. They are slow, mostly uninteresting and has awful dialogues. There were so many times, when the following dialogue trope happened in these parts:

Character 1: Let's do A.
Character 2: I don't know if I can do A.
Character 3: You can do A, Character 2.
Character 2: You are right, I can do A. You are such a good friend.

And it was killing me to read this type of dialogue over and over again. It gets better once the plot gets over the characters introductions and starts moving toward the big climax. I also liked character animations and some of the still frames. Arukenimon's reveal or Lopmon's evolution gave me chills and added a lot to the dark atmosphere of the game. It's a little disappointing that the story loses some of the horror elements in the late game, but that might just be me picking the more action-oriented route.

Speaking of routes, there is quite a few decisions to make, leading to 3 different routes. Sadly, your possible decisions will light up with a colour based on which route they represent, which kinda hinders the fun of guessing which decision will move you to your desired route. I've played blindly and tried to pick answers independently on their route. In the end, I've ended up on Moral route, which is somewhat a good ending on the first playthrough, since you can't get the True ending on it. I'm considering playing through the game again and get the True ending, because it really got me hooked up. I've also like interactions with other characters. I've found way too late that if you interact with them just right, you'll unlock new evolutions for their Digimon. Because of this, I only unlocked 2 Mega evolutions (not including the mandatory Mega evolutions you get as part of the story). But I wasn't really a fan of the main antagonists not being Digimon, but some other monsters. I think they could have made them into Digimon and not much would change.

The second part of the game were tactical RPG battles. I have barely any aexperiences with this genre. I've played UFO games when I was younger and all 3DS Fire Emblems games, but that's pretty much it. And both of these gave me a hard time sometimes. But Digimon Survive has pretty nice difficulty curve. There is one moment, where the game throws Piedmon, a Mega Digimon, at the time you can only use Ultimate Digimon, and it took me few tries to beat it, but otherwise, the curve is okay. I felt a little bit overleveled, despite not really grinding at Free Battles. But there were few times where I had to grind. There are 2 types of Digimon. Partner Digimon that always stays in their Rookie form and can evolve at will to higher forms and "wild" Digimon you can recruit in Free Battles. You can also evolve these Digimon, but they will permanently stay in their new form. I quite liked this. Evolving your Partner Digimon made every battle feel like anime battle. The game kinda forces you to use Partner Digimon, which means they are the ones that get experiences. But then, the game takes Partner Pokémon away sometimes and you are left with underleveled Digimon. Which left me no choice but to grind them up.

Overall, I enjoyed the game, especially after getting through the early parts. I think it was nice way to get reminded about the original series and I'll most likely get back to it to get the True ending. 8.5/10.

Janp

Age 25
They/Them
Czech Republic
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 8 Hours Ago
5,073 posts
9.4 Years
In the end, I've played Thief and Bloodstained simultaneously, because both of them had few boring parts, where I welcomed a chance to go to the other game.

Thief Gold
It was cool game to experience, but its age was showing and it was hard for me to get used to some mechanics. I'm not sure if they worked properly or not, but sometimes felt a little bit random.

In Thief, you play as Garrett, a master thief. Garrett doesn't talk much and is typical grumpy and edgy loner anti-hero with tragic past. And I couldn't really care for him, even when he is betrayed and left for dead. It's the world Garrett lives in that is interesting. I praised Arx Fatalis' world above and I think I love Thief's world even more. It's this weird combination of steampunk, dark fantasy and gothic culture and the way it's presented through small snippets of lore is perfect. It's crazy how well the game slowly constructs the world around you through various details you can miss. This, alongside the art style, music and sound design crafted one of the best worlds I've visited this year.

But the game mechanics didn't age that well in my opinion. The lighting system is really cool, but even with light detector in the HUD, AI sometimes saw me or sometimes didn't see me in bright light. Sometimes I was able to sprint right in front of the guard and sometimes the guards could here me staying still on the other side of the map. I appreciate complex levels and their secret passages and tunnels, optional rooms full of lore and treasures, but some levels are way too huge and empty, with nothing interesting going for them. After I finished the game, I found out that most levels I've criticized of this were added in the Gold edition of the game. These levels really took out most of the excitement I had for the game at the beginning. And sadly, the game failed to get my interest back on the previous level. Some endgame levels felt less like stealth game and more like traditional first person action adventure game. Bad action adventure game, because the melee system was fairly simple and clunky. Which wasn't really a problem until these levels, where you have to face waves of enemies with little to no way of sneaking around them.

Overall, I think it's important to realize that this game is over 20 years old and was one of the first games of its genre. It does a lot of things right and I wish some things like relying on sounds and light would make it to modern games more often. But the the time wasn't kind to some mechanics. 7/10.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
It's not that long since I've talked about games that doesn't respect your time. Bloodstained does everything well. But you can't experience much of it because the game simply won't let you unless you sink your life in it.

I haven't played Castelvania game Bloodstained is homage to, so I can't say if this design choice was intentional, but I hate it. The game is one of the worst case of farming. And it gets in your way so much. There are dozens of possible weapons and magic attacks, but to get them to usable level, you'll have to grind for hours. They need quite a few items dropped from monsters, but drop rates are usually around 5%. And getting coins for weapons and healing is even worse. Monsters barely drop any coins, so you have to destroy your surroundings to get enough money. But everything costs hundreds and thousands of coins and you get 1, 5, 10 or 50 (if you are extremely lucky) from destroying stuff around you. It also didn't help that enemies were just big HP sponges. It was somewhat okay when your enemy was a huge dragon or demon, but a lot less okay when your opponent was a human. And since each weapon type had only one attack, fighting anything got old really fast. Well, that and there being only like 5 types of monsters and some of their variants were really boring. The game basically gives up in the late game and just throws a giant version of absic enemies at you.

And it's a shame, because I quite enjoyed exploring the castle, especially with some new upgrades collected throughout the game. Its areas were cool and all had unique feel to them. The bosses were also fun to fight. Their movesets were somewhat hard to handly at first, but felt rewarding once I cracked their code. The art style was cool and dialogues weren't awful. It's just a bad farming choice drags down somewhat average gameplay.

Overall, I hate to not like this game, because it's not a bad metroidvania game. It's its absurd reliance on boring farming that brought my enjoyment of this game down. 5.5/10.

And with that, I can wrap up my gaming September. I finished more games that I thought I would, but I somewhat expected it, since I had only a little to work on otherwise. Rest of the year won't be so free. Anyway, for October, I only have few goals. Since it's October, I want to play a horror game. I have The Beast Inside on my backlog for a while, so I think it's time for it. I would also like to continue with Silent Hill series, but I heard the rest of the series is bad, so I'm afraid of playing them. But if I find time, I might go for them. Then, I plan on finishing Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. I like it so far and might actually buy the sequel, when it's released. Then, I'll also play a game for Game-Along. I hope the theme is not horror. That would make choosing a game for it pretty hard.