Thursday, December 31, 2015

Games I Finished in 2015

Finally, with great difficulty, I managed to beat the post backlog I've struggled through the passing year. I spent a good portion of December writing all those posts. Maybe not having one again would be a good new year's resolution, eh?

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Fallout 3

The setting of Fallout 3 is definitely not something that is to my liking -- a post-apocalypse nuclear wasteland does not sound particularly compelling. I have seen the game be praised on multiple occassions, however, and I ended up buying it myself -- about a year ago, it would seem. My previous and short-lived experience with the series was Fallout 2 where I got far enough to kill some scorpions (I think) before quiting because the game was not like Infinity Engine games I so love.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Divinity II: Developer's Cut

This one was another case of a sale bugging me many times until I finally decided to buy the Divinity bundle from GOG. What actually made the purchase decision was probably the chance to get some insight to the Divinity universe for Divinity: Original Sin that I will likely buy at some point.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Far Cry 3

I had eyed up Far Cry 3 multiple times on Steam sales in the past but had not bought it due to not having a computer that could run it properly. It is not exactly my type of game either. Eventually I did buy it, though, to see how the Ubisoft radio tower climbing experience actually is.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Venetica

I am quite sceptical of games made by small companies with little reputation. With known developers and large publishers, the large amount of money spent shows in some way even if the title is bad. But when an unknown company makes a bad game, it tends to be shit through and through. Regardless, I decided to give Venetica a go for it being a fantasy-themed RPG and having a female protagonist

Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Swallow's Tower

The fourth volume of the Witcher Saga, The Swallow's Tower, was a fairly interesting experience. Not only because the viewpoint wanders around in the neat way it did in the previous novel, but also because much of the book is told in flashbacks.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider (2013) was bit of an odd purchase for me as I had not ever played any game from the franchise. I guess the decision to buy it had something to do with me having the assumption it was developed by Eidos Montreal. As it turned out, the game was made by Crystal Dynamics, and only the publisher, Square Enix, was the same. But I did play through the game, and I did not totally hate it.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Reaver

After Salvatore's The Companions, The Reaver has definitely been the most entertaining read from The Sundering series for me. It is written by Richard Lee Byers, who is also the author of Dissolution, the first volume of the War of the Spider Queen.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Vengeance of the Iron Dwarf

And so the Companions Codex comes to its rushed and unexciting conclusion with Vengeance of the Iron Dwarf. It is as if the whole trilogy was a mere prologue for an actual story, happening somewhere in future. Like the plot points were necessary and had to be told, but someone decided they also had to be spread over three books, regardless if they had the potential to be interesting enough for it or not.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Thief

I remember seeing a bunch of different controversies before the fourth Thief game even saw its release. The first one was small (and bit silly) in how the title was stylized as THI4F, which to me reads as thiaf. They of course ditched that later on to call it simply Thief.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Crysis 3

Crysis 3 was apparently a commercial failure for EA as it did not manage to meet the company's sales expectations. The same happened to Dead Space 3, released in the same month. The latter failing to sell enough copies I can sort of understand due to the micro-transaction debacle. But Crysis 3 I liked quite a bit. I think it is a very entertaining sci-fi first person shooter.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy

Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy is the first Star Wars game I have played where you get a lightsaber right away. A refreshing change, I would say. Later on you even get to choose staff or dual sabers instead of the boring single one. And their colors can be customized too.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast

I saw TotalBiscuit streaming Jedi Academy for his esports team's sponsor deal with GOG.com. I thought it looked quite fun and wanted to play the game myself. Thus I bought the Jedi Knight bundle, although not from GOG but from Steam as it was cheaper there.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Transistor

I bought Transistor, the second title from Supergiant Games, before I had actually played Bastion, which I had purchased earlier. If I had played it beforehand, I probably would have skipped this one. Many things are slightly different but at its core, Transistor uses the same formula as Bastion. I guess the developers did not try to fix something that was not broken.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Bastion

Bastion has received an overwhelmingly positive reception and sold over three million copies after its release in 2011 which is quite well for an indie game. But there are also more mixed reviews – the game's Wikipedia page summarizes some of them. I largely agree with them and, in my opinion, the reasons for the mixed opinions make Bastion maybe not quite as good a game as it is considered to be.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Rise of the King

Getting to Mithral Hall takes its time. Only at the end of Rise of the King the companions finally arrive to the dwarf city. The reason for the delay is of course the orc army that has taken over the Silver Marches region pretty much uncontested. Admittedly they got help from the drow and the two dragons, but still, you would think at least the dwarves would put up more of a fight.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Night of the Hunter

Apparently rebooting the companions was not enough, and an old adversary had to be sort of resurrected as well to bring a worthy villain to oppose the good guys. I do not mind, though – the drow are always interesting. I do mind that Salvatore does not want to get rid of some of the boring characters in Night of the Hunter, however.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Adversary

At 500 pages, the third book of The Sundering series, The Adversary, is thicker than the usual Forgotten Realms novel. Maybe it had the same deal as The Godborn of having a longer plot stuffed into a single book. I could not find any information indicating that, though.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

BioShock Infinite

I finally got to the third installation of the BioShock series, BioShock Infinite, of which Dan Bull has also made an excellent rap. I recall the reception for the game being hugely positive, but later on I have seen dislike for it as well. My own impression was pretty mixed as a whole, too.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

BioShock 2

I have seen plenty of comments saying they liked the first but not the second BioShock. After having played both, I cannot see why. There are small changes to many things but mostly BioShock 2 follows the same paths as the previous one. I do not understand what would make it worse.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

BioShock

Had I known how similar to System Shock 2 BioShock is, I probably would have never played the former. BioShock has almost all the exact same features, just wrapped into more modern graphics and game design. The main difference is probably the setting – instead of a spaceship, BioShock takes place in an underwater city in 1960. It is definitely worthy of being called a spiritual successor to SS2.

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Godborn

The Sundering is a six-part, multi-author set of standalone novels that concerns the Forgotten Realms moving to the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons. The Companions was the first book and I thought reading also the rest of the series might be an excellent way of acquiring more Realmslore.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Dishonored

Dishonored woke up the completionist in me and I played through the main game thrice and the story DLCs twice in a row to get all the Steam achievements. However, getting every single one proved to be difficult in the end as many of the Dunwall City Trials DLC's achievements are actually truly challenging. Eventually I decided I would rather move to the next game on my backlog instead of wasting time in retrying Back Alley Brawl ad infinitum.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Spec Ops: The Line

Spec Ops: The Line is not quite the type of game I would buy based on its genre. But after having heard about its exceptional narrative, I did pick it from a Steam sale. I went into it quite skeptical, though. I tend to be wary of the popular opinion.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Blackguards

Blackguards is one of the many Unity-using RPGs that have come out in the past two or so years. I would dare to say it is not one of the best ones, although it was successful enough for Daedalic Entertainment to put out a sequel already. I will not be buying that one, though. Not with the experience I got from this one.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Shadowrun: Dragonfall

First a DLC to Shadowrun Returns and later a standalone Director's Cut, Shadowrun: Dragonfall is a second Shadowrun game from Harebrained Schemes. It is not a sequel to the first game, which is maybe a bit shame. Instead you make a new character for this adventure that takes place in Berlin, Germany.

Friday, July 31, 2015

World War Z

I was somewhat hesitant when my sister handed me (a Finnish translation of) World War Z to read as I recalled the movie being rather dull. Usually the book is better than the movie made from it but just how much better it could be this time. However, she assured me that the novel has little to do with the movie. And that indeed turned out to be the case.

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Witcher Adventure Game

I do not generally like board games. Or rather, the enjoyment I get from playing them comes mostly from the company I am playing with and rarely from the game itself. Over the years I have given some thought to why this is, and I think it comes down to how little – for me – most board games tend to live outside themselves.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Remember Me

I recall seeing a trailer for Remember Me before the game's release and thinking that it looked pretty interesting – a more combat-oriented mirror's edgesque game with a cool futuristic setting. Then the game came out and the reviews were not overly positive. Even so, I eventually bought it myself from a Steam sale.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Oh, boy did I want to play Hearthstone when it was in closed beta. I took part in all kinds of Twitter and YouTube raffles in hopes of getting a beta key. In the end, I was finally given one by Blizzard itself a week before Christmas, on the same day the game's servers were down and no one could play...

Diablo III (and Reaper of Souls)

Diablo III and its expansion were 50% off sometime last fall, and I decided to finally buy and play the latest iteration of the genre-defining action roleplaying game series by Blizzard Entertainment.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Baptism of Fire

It is as if the plot set for the saga turned out to be too short and the series needed a fillerish volume. Baptism of Fire takes Geralt and his fellowship of the witcher into a long journey to find Ciri but they never reach their destination, partly because of the distance and the difficulty of navigating between armies, and partly because they are not even sure where exactly they need to go. (I wish there was a map in the book.)

Saturday, January 3, 2015

System Shock 2

What I learned from playing System Shock 2 is that I cannot appreciate the old classics if I have not played them years ago. I guess I sort of got it from Deus Ex already but this one definitely confirmed it. I just miss all the features the progress in game design and technology has brought.

The Backlog

I thought I would be able to avoid the unfortunate fate so many have met thanks to Steam sales and such. And for quite some time I did, as I am fairly particular of games I am interested in. But now – somehow – I, too, have gathered a stupid number of unplayed games to go through. I have not yet even played all the games I bought last summer!

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Time of Contempt

The Witcher Saga saw a new translator, as for the second book, The Time of Contempt, David French replaced Danusia Stok. Either because of that, or because the source material was better, I liked this volume more than the first.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Shadowrun Returns

I had not realized Shadowrun Returns was a tablet port until I got into the game and noticed the barely existent interface. Touch controls fit this kind of an "isometric" RPG superbly, though -- way better than, let us say, a first person shooter. Thus it being designed for tablets did not really lessen the experience too much. Still, more hotkeys, tooltips, and a more expansive GUI in general would have been nice to have on the PC version.