Monday, August 21, 2017

SOMA

SOMA (as it is stylized) is a clear continuation to the style of titles from Frictional Games. Inventory and resource management are non-existent in this one but narrative and story-telling are greatly improved from Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Soma also looks much better as it runs on a newer, third iteration of the HPL Engine.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Amnesia: The Dark Descent

Another game I bought from this year's Steam summer sale was SOMA. But before diving into it, I decided to first try Frictional Games' previous title, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, which I had gotten couple years back when they were giving it away for free.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Aliens vs. Predator

I had not marked Aliens vs. Predator (2010) as 'Not Interested' on Steam but I had not put it on my wishlist either. So getting it from the summer sale was sort of an impulse purchase. It was cheap, though, and aliens are cool -- usually.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

TimeShift

TimeShift sat on my wishlist over many sales as Activision did not feel like giving the 10 years old game a discount that would satisfy me. Why I wanted the game in the first place is because it appeared to be like Singularity -- a reasonably entertaining first person shooter with time travel. Unfortunately that was too much to expect from TimeShift.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Similarly to Eidos Montreal's previous game, Thief (2014), was Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, too, accompanied by little controversies. While critics' consensus of the game seems to have been quite positive, players' opinions are far more mixed as is apparent from the Steam user review score. I reckon the big reason for that is how egregious many people find the ways the publisher, Square Enix, has tried to make more money off the game.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Season of Storms

I had completely forgotten about the standalone witcher novel, Season of Storms (Sezon burz / Myrskykausi), until I saw its just-published Finnish translation at a local bookstore. The novel originally came out in 2013, which is 14 years after Lady of the Lake. I wonder if The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings in 2012 inspired Andrzej Sapkowski to continue the series.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Mistborn: The Hero of Ages

The first Mistborn trilogy comes to an end with The Hero of Ages. I did not expect it to end like it did -- or at least not at the beginning of the novel. But then it started to seem there simply was no way for the characters to stop the end of the world without a divine intervention. The ending was like a second genesis for the world. It reminded me of Battlestar Galactica's finale.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

The Void

The Void was briefly mentioned on The Co-Optional Podcast and it immediately piqued my interest. Its premise -- colors being your resource -- sounded really interesting to me. The game very much delivered on that regard, I would say. However, I think it would have been a whole lot more enjoyable if there had been some different decisions made on what comes to gameplay.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Mistborn: The Well of Ascension

The Mistborn series continues with The Well of Ascension. Even if the world of Scadrial was already an unhappy place (for most) in the first volume, takes this it into an even darker and more desperate direction. The death of the Lord Ruler has created expected instability in the empire even if the crew's new noble-friend Elend of House Venture has managed to seize the control of the capital city, Luthadel.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing: Final Cut

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing probably could have used a shorter name. It does not even form a nice acronym like the names of many other action RPGs, although I suppose calling it Van Helsing works. The name became even longer when NeocoreGames decided to combine the game trilogy into one title -- the Final Cut.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Mistborn (The Final Empire)

While pondering what I should read next, I came upon the name of Brandon Sanderson, the man who finished The Wheel of Time series. I decided it was time to check his original work and bought the Mistborn trilogy boxed set. The trilogy -- and the following series -- starts with Mistborn: The Final Empire, although this set's print has only 'Mistborn' on its cover. Which kind of makes sense -- it marks it as the first volume.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Archmage

It took Wizards of the Coast almost 1.5 years but the paperback version of Archmage, the first volume of the Homecoming trilogy by R.A. Salvatore, did come out eventually. I am not sure if the novel was worth the wait, though -- it is pretty much the same old stuff.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Half a Year of Cinema

In the past few years, my interest at watching movies has been constantly dropping. However, when I get movie tickets as a present, I aim to use them all. For the last half a year I have had unusually many of them -- I even won one from a scratchy thing on the side of a juice box -- and thus I have been to the movie theater quite a few times lately.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Mass Effect: Andromeda

I found the music choice for Mass Effect: Andromeda's launch trailer -- Human by Rag'n'Bone Man -- to be highly amusing. With early access and review copies having already been around awhile to showcase the game's lack of quality, to me the trailer felt like BioWare Montreal saying they had tried their best and apologizing the state MEA would come out.

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (Game of the Year Edition) was 50% off in February at GOG.com and I decided it was finally time to finish the series. The game and its two expansions turned out to be as good as people had praised them to be, and I truly enjoyed the 175 hours (!) it took me to beat the full package. Witcher 3 has some flaws, but it is, without a doubt, a strong contender for the title of the best game ever made.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Mass Effect: Andromeda -- Multiplayer

I am skipping a bit ahead of my backlog of unwritten blogposts to record my thoughts on Mass Effect: Andromeda's multiplayer. It was the reason I bought the game on release, even pre-ordered since it was 10% off with the Origin Access trial. I wanted to be there right from the beginning to not miss community events and such. However, MEAMP has not exactly turned out to be a continuation of the greatness what Mass Effect 3's multiplayer was (or still is).

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Shadowrun: Hong Kong

Shadowrun: Hong Kong was included in a Humble Bundle and I thought might as well buy it and play the third game too. It pretty much matched my expectations -- it is very much just more of the same.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Mirror's Edge Catalyst

Origin Access can be really great value for money at its low price of 4€ / month or 30€ / year. You get to play many big EA titles for a nominal fee, although I would not quite call the current total of 64 games "tons of titles". Some of them are also not the full experience. The Mass Effect series for instance does not have its infamous BioWare points requiring DLC included and you still need to buy them even with Access.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Ember

I suppose Ember made its way onto my wishlist by appearing to be an isometric RPG with real-time combat with active pause. And I suppose its journey continued into my game library because of a heavy discount. The reason why I played it till the end, I do not know. I probably should have requested a refund but it did not occur to me to do so until many hours into the game.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Wolfenstein: The New Order

Wolfenstein: The New Order is set in alternative history where Nazi Germany has won the Second World War thanks to technological superiority gained from finding a forgotten stash of some secret order of inventors. It is the seventh game in the Wolfenstein franchise, a series of first person shooters that mostly follow the adventures of Captain William "B.J." Blazkowicz. It is also a soft reboot of the series and not having played the earlier titles is not critical to understanding what is going on.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Life Is Strange

The reason I bought Life Is Strange was me being interested in how Dontnod Entertainment's second game had turned out. The overwhelmingly positive user review consensus on Steam suggested that Square Enix had done wisely for deciding to save Dontnod from bankruptcy. Not many titles have so positive a reception among players.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Shadwen

A stealth game that is also essentially one huge escort quest feels like a concept set to fail. It is certainly something I would never buy at full price (not that I do so generally anyway) but I did put it on my wishlist to wait for a better deal. I reckon the game has not sold too well because pretty soon after its release it was almost constantly discounted in some store. During Steam's winter sale, the discount got to 75% and I finally bought Shadwen.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Tyranny

I recall the announcement of Tyranny being a slight surprise in last year's March. Promising the game's release still within the passing year when Pillars of Eternity's last expansion had come out only a month earlier seemed to leave very little time for development. I guess having the tech already worked out in PoE allowed Obsidian Entertainment to finish the project faster. Picking the same date for release as Dishonored 2 (Nov 11th) was an odd choice, though.

I also got to play Tyranny unusually soon after release for a patient gamer as it was gifted to me by a certain Frenchman. (Thanks, Kane!)

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Games I Finished in 2016

I tried hard to clear my game backlog in 2016. And I even succeeded at it for few months. Thanks to that, I beat a handful more titles than in 2015 -- 27 in total if I am counting them right. Sales have brought the backlog back a bit again but such is life.