Saturday, December 31, 2016

Just Cause 3

I was seriously considering of getting a refund for Just Cause 3 while I was still under 2 hours of playtime. I bought the XL Edition during Steam's Autumn sale at a pretty steep discount but still, even at 75% off I felt the game's many problems made it not worth its price. In the end I decided to continue playing, however, and beat the game at 100% completion after 70 hours. Time often simply flies while screwing around in Medici -- provided the game lets you actually play it.

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon

Ubisoft has been giving out one of their games on Uplay for free every month since June as part of their 30th anniversary celebration. Most of the titles are not something I would like to play but I have claimed them to my library anyway. Beyond Good & Evil actually seems interesting but apparently it is not guaranteed to play ball with Win10. I would rather try GOG's version.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

BioShocks Remastered

I managed to beat my games backlog around late summer and got a chance to replay some stuff I had wanted to for some time. The BioShock Collection's release on September coincided with the lack of new titles in my game libraries, and I decided to replay the first two BioShocks even though that was not in my plans originally.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Lady of the Lake

I took my sweet time reading The Lady of the Lake (Pani Jeziora / Järven neito). Knowing it was the final book and there would be no continuation, I did not want to end it too quickly. The book also turned out to be pretty good, probably the best one in the five volume saga. Even with the odd tone the Finnish translation by Tapani Kärkkäinen adds to the Witcher novels (the English one is not coming out until March), I quite enjoyed this one.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Dishonored: Dunwall City Trials

The release of Dishonored 2 made me reinstall the first game and go for the remaining Steam achievements of the Dunwall City Trials DLC again to get that sweet 100% completion. This time I decided to play the trials until I had unlocked everything even if it would take me forever.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified

I managed to beat my game backlog and got to search for something yet untouched in my steam library. The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, a third person shooter I got with the Humble 2K Bundle in 2014, is what I ended up on. It had actually been on my backlog list earlier but I had removed it because of its mixed reception.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

RAGE

I am not sure why I bought RAGE. I guess I wanted to play another first person shooter. I had even already watched a playthrough of the game when it came out in 2011 though by now I had forgotten pretty much all of it with the exception of recalling the ending being anti-climactic.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

Being hesitant with buying Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor during Steam summer sale turned out to mean couple euros saved as Warner Bros. decided to suddenly drop the base price of the game, making the sale price in turn go even lower. The reduction was actually applied incorrectly at first and some people quick enough got the game for mere 2.50 currency. But even at 10 such a well-received title is a rather good deal.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Dark Messiah of Might and Magic

Dark Messiah is one of the many spin-offs from the Might and Magic series. It is more action-oriented in nature and was developed by Arkane Studios. The developer is the reason I bought the game as people recommended it for having similarities to Dishonored.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Styx: Master of Shadows

I had been aware of Styx: Master of Shadows for quite some time before purchasing it. For some reason I had been put off by the protagonist's looks; I did not want to play an ugly goblin. But people do recommend it as a good stealth game. It is also a prequel to one of Cyanide Studio's previous titles, Of Orcs And Men, which seems to feature the very same creature as this one although the game is of different genre.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Herald

The Herald finishes The Sundering -- both the novel series and the actual event. Abeir and Toril finally separate and all is good in the Realms again. First the Shadovar, the offspring of ancient Netheril, need to be stopped, however. The Shades serve Shar and are her last hope to bring her reign onto Toril by draining the Mythals protecting Candlekeep and Myth Drannor to bring down the Weave and power up Shar's own shadowy version of it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Sentinel

The fifth book of The Sundering series, The Sentinel, is written by Troy Denning. His name seemed oddly familiar but after checking his bibliography, I do not seem to have ever read any of his work before. Nonetheless, Denning is the author of many older Forgotten Realms novels though he has not written any in the recent years besides this one.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Singularity

Singularity is a first person shooter developed by Raven Software and published by Activision in 2010. It failed to find its audience for some reason, selling under 400k copies. I do not think that was because of its quality as I found the game to be a solid and enjoyable experience even if rather short at below 8 hours.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

DARK

If anything, Dark (or DARK as it is stylized) sure has the most generic name of all time that also makes googling anything related to it incredibly hard as the results are from every game ever to have the word dark in their title. I bought Dark with Blood Knights as they were both on sale at the time (probably thanks to same publisher). By chance Dark also happens to have vampires, as well as the unfortunate merit of having received not-so-great reviews.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Blood Knights

I knew that I would not be getting the best game experience ever from Blood Knights. Its reception is mixed at best but I bought it anyway for few reasons. I like hack & slash and vampires are always cool. The developer, Deck13 Interactive, was also already familiar from Venetica. And lastly, the game was dirt cheap on sale at Humble store.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Alien: Isolation

In Alien: Isolation you step into the shoes of Amanda Ripley who is looking for traces of her mother, Ellen, 15 years after the events of the first Alien movie. Amanda's investigation leads her to a run-down space station called Sevastopol where the flight recorder of Nostromo has ended up. Since the second movie exists, we already know what is the result of her search. That does not mean there is a lack of excitement in this title, however.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Lord of the Rings: War in the North

Evidently War in the North was not a commercial success for Warner Bros. Releasing it a week before Skyrim (and on the same day as Uncharted 3) probably did not help but the game itself also lacks in about every aspect to have even hoped to sell millions of copies. It is still an enjoyable little action RPG that has some added value from the well-established setting it used.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Darksiders II

Darksiders II's events take place concurrently with the first game. You play as Death who has taken as his task to redeem his brother horseman War by restoring the Third Kingdom (ie. humans). He does not know how exactly is he supposed to do that, though, and the quest takes him across many realms. Thus you are not stuck on the overgrown ruins of Earth like in the previous one.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Darksiders

Vigil Games sure did they best to put the least possible effort into the PC port of Darksiders, which is a third person hack and slash game released in 2010. One should probably go into it with a controller ready in hand and just start playing. Well, after changing the resolution. But that is all the customization graphics-wise you are going to get from this title. At least I did not experience any major bugs or stability issues.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Victor Vran

Victor Vran is an action RPG made by Haemimont Games. I think it would be safe to assume that Bastion was a big source of inspiration for the developers as the game shares a lot of features with it. The game mechanics are largely similar but do make an attempt to have bit more depth and variation.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Diablo 3 Season 5 & 6 Musings

In my last year's Diablo III post I mentioned that I might continue playing the game when season 2 hits. I did -- as crusader of course. I did not look up any guides or builds better players had made, and just rolled with my own. I had some success but hit the impassable wall quite soon. I continued playing in season 3 -- as crusader again -- but ended up only leveling to 70 for the transmogs and then quitting. During season 4 I did not touch the game at all and missed the introduction of the Kanai's Cube, which is bit like the Horadric Cube in D2.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Solarix

It would seem that Solarix is the 20th Unreal Engine 3 game I have played. And for once -- maybe even for the first time -- I got to play an Unreal Engine game that was not ported to PC from a console version. Unfortunately it was made by a small Turkish-based developer called Pulsetense Games. The lack of resources shows and I would have refunded it within minutes if I had not bought the Steam key from Humble. (I think getting a refund from a third party provider is bit more complicated than from Valve.)

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Hunted: The Demon's Forge

I suppose I bought Hunted: The Demon's Forge for the same reason as Blades of Time -- for fun third-person hack and slash. It did not turn out quite as fun as BoT, however -- melee combat seemed to involve being stagger-locked a lot. And so I played through the game using E'lara (an apostrophe because fantasy) who focuses on ranged combat. As the elf, the game is more of a third-person cover-based shooter.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Aarklash: Legacy

Nearly every new game that is part of the so-called CRPG renaissance has turn-based combat. To me that is disappointing because all the good old Infinity Engine D&D titles (and the Neverwinter Nights games, too) had real-time combat with active pause. And that is a much more interesting way of doing things, in my opinion. I guess it might be more difficult to balance, and even though the IE games had their problems in that regard, it did not make them any less fun.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Alpha Protocol

Alpha Protocol is the first non-sequel game by Obsidian Entertainment I have played thus far. It is interesting in that regard because it came out while Obsidian was still continuing to make sequels to existing franchises. I wonder if was the developer or the publisher, Sega, who was behind the idea to create the game.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Velvet Assassin

For having mixed user reviews, Velvet Assassin is definitely from the dodgier end of the games I have bought after coming upon them in my Steam discovery queue. But since the game was nearly free on sale, I decided to buy it regardless of its reception and having been made by a little-known German developer, called Replay Studios.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Blades of Time

Blades of Time begins a series of less-known games in my shortening backlog. It also got rather close to breaking my rule of not buying or playing Japanese games. While the developer, Gaijin Entertainment, is Russian, the game has a very Asian-inspired thing going on with its visuals. Which is the reason I almost skipped it. But it is not quite there.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel

Making a sequel to a game as huge as Borderlands 2 can be difficult. It would need to have massive amounts of new stuff and innovation to justify its existence as an actual new game rather than a lazy recycle of old assets. Thus a third game in the series remains to be seen yet -- at least one with a 3 in its title.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Borderlands 2

Borderlands 2 succeeds at being what a game sequel should be. It retains the familiar gameplay but refines it to a better experience. Old features were improved and new ones were added. Maybe there could have been more additions, though, and maybe some features could have used more work -- like the skill trees not being again filled with somewhat dull passives. But overall BL2 is simply a better experience than the first one in every aspect.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Borderlands

The Borderlands series had never seemed too interesting in the past but I decided to buy the Humble Borderlands Bundle last summer regardless. I even paid for the full package because I like my games complete. The bundle did not include the third game, however -- only a coupon for it with a pretty short expiration date. I decided not to use it as The Pre-Sequel! will probably be on sale later on and I should play the two games first to see how much I even like them.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Retribution

I happened to notice an oddity in Dawn of War II - Chaos Rising's Steam global achievement stats as only 7% of people have the most unlocked one. I wonder if they were added later when Games For Windows Live got ditched because that is a really low percentage. Usually at least 40% of people have the first achievement of any given game on Steam from what I have seen.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Chaos Rising

It has been some time since I last played a Warhammer 40,000 game, and even longer since I played Dawn of War II. Thus I decided to replay the original campaign the standalone expansion Chaos Rising comes with as well. To remind myself how it was and also because you can import your save into CR's campaign and have maybe slightly better equipment at the beginning.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Fallout: New Vegas

Fallout: New Vegas is yet another case of Obsidian Entertainment being commissioned to make a sequel to a game. It is also bit special in that because several of Obsidian's founders had worked on the original Fallout games. And maybe because of that, FNV is a whole lot better than Bethesda-developed Fallout 3 -- at least in my opinion.