Finished Any Games Lately?

Finished Half-Life: Alyx via Quest 3. Pretty fantastic VR game from start to finish. It's unfortunate there are so few AAA VR games, as those last few levels are just jaw dropping in their set pieces. But even though the game is 4 years old at this point its still one of the best looking, and one of the best experiences in VR out there.

The level "Jeff" is one of my favorite of the bunch. The game goes from shooter to horror. You make your way through an old Vodka bottling factory where a "monster" is in there with you. He can't see but he can hear and there are just glass bottles all over the place to be knocked over. The level designers get so creative setting up situations where you're going to make noise if you're not careful or can't help but make noise. Its high tension throughout that whole level.

But yeah this is a great VR experience. I'm hopeful they have another VR game coming out with whenever the next Index release is.

But right now going through Return to Rapture mod for Alyx which takes you in the Bioshock universe. So far pretty impressive but looks like Chapter 2 of this mod is even more impressive. So will be checking out both.

Ooh, didn't know about that mod. Will check it out

Veloxi wrote:

Credits rolled on Robocop: Rogue City.

f*ck, that was sooooo good. FUUUUCK. So good. As a massive, massive Robocop fan...they just got it all right. I didn't mind they used the same map repeatedly for day, night, and day stuff with different quests and scenes. It just worked. All of it. The story, the voice acting, the gunplay, the violence. Just perfect.

Yeah, this is a game I will definitely buy and finish one day. Being a compulsive deal hunter, I just can't stomach spending more than 20-odd Canabucks on any single game. There are extremely few exceptions to this rule, probably still in a single-hand digit count range in my entire Steam library/Pile of Shame(TM).

Thing is, I have that much stuff to play that I'll probably never be pressed to buy any game as long as I'm alive, so I can wait for the "good enough" deal indefinitely.

So, Pacific Drive

What a refreshing experience it is to play something that you've not really played before. Although the game does take from many established genres, it packages it all together in a manner that is certainly unique in my experience, and does so extremely well for the limited game set of mechanics it uses.

It's not quite "bestest best" - in the end, the limited nature of the mechanics just draws everything out a little too far, and the middle of the game suffers a significant slump where you are out scavenging resources rather than progressing the story for just a little too long. There are also far too many improvements that you don't get the opportunity to unlock until very late, which does feel like a real shame. It just makes finding and then being able to harvest enough of the late game resources too protracted and subject to the RNG gods.

The other "issue" - although I understand their design choice in doing so - is not being able to save when you are in the middle of scavenging in a zone. Life just gets in the way sometimes, and more than once I lost 20-30 minutes of scavenging because I needed to go and do something and needed to turn my PC off. Ultimately it didn't matter - just some time lost, and it has zero impact on the game unless you want it to - but it was occasionally frustrating.

But like I said, there is so much here to admire I really hope we see some "further adventures in the zone" DLC, or a new game + added soon. Highly recommended.

I watched credits roll on 2024's Alone in the Dark. Goodness. What a mess that was. I really tried to go in with open eyes after seeing so many poor reviews. And the first hour or two was just fine--it was reminiscent of a janky, early 2000s adventure-horror game. I was actually having a great time with it and figured the reviews were just cranky. But it goes downhill with some really esoteric puzzles, absolutely atrocious voice-acting and writing, a story I couldn't follow for the life of me, and glitchy environments which I was constantly fighting a battle against. It will eventually be on a subscription game service if you have your heart set on playing it--but I can't recommend that you do that.

Just finished up my 1st play through of Detroit:Become Human. I will give it another go some time later to possibly get another ending.

Just finished a quick little chill game called Coffee Talk. You basically own a coffee shop in Seattle with the exception that the city has vampires, werewolves, elves, orcs, and so on living alongside humans.

Don't overthink it. It was basically a visual novel broken up by occasionally clicking 3 ingredients to make someone a beverage that they ordered. Great game when you just want to chill out in the evening, and it's over pretty quickly, but some nice character arcs.

Up next, I guess I'll play episode 2 of this, and there are some hells that need diving, and of course a steady drip of Baldur's Gate 3.

I kinda finished Cyberpunk 2077? I say kinda because I really wasn't happy with the ending I got, so instead of starting a New Game+ I went back to just before the Arasaka point of no return. I realized I didn't do any of the dating options (and didn't even know that Kerry was even a character let alone a romanceable one until I googled "same sex dating in cyberpunk") so now I'm maxing out all my friendship quests and side quests before going back to the endgame portion

I saw two sets of credits on Dragon's Dogma 1
BBI 1st run and the normal ending of the game.

I came VERY late to this game, and it was thanks to t his form and the hype for the second game that made me give it a "try". I had not been hooked by a game like this for a long long time. It was an absolute enjoyment. While the game is FAR from perfect, and with its many issues -most of them mentioned here- the overall funfactor of the game was very rewarding for me.

I really suggest this game for any RPG fan

I am STRONGLY considering leveling up another vocation and on a more relaxed note, try to see the final boss from BBI. FF16 awaits me

The Return of the Obra Dinn

I can't be the only person ever to make this connection, but here goes: It's appropriate that the central mechanic of Obra Dinn revolves around a pocket watch, because this entire game fits together and runs like clockwork.

Sorry.

What an experience, though. The moment you load in, Obra Dinn makes a covenant with you. It says, "You will be taken on a journey in which 60 people die or go missing. Each one of those is a compelling whodunnit. And also a 'whoisit', since you have to figure out who everyone is. All these deaths will be revealed to you as part of an unfolding narrative, with believable motivations, that will make perfect sense by the end."

Frankly, I was skeptical that any game could even remotely live up to this promise. Yet here we are.

Aside from the artistry and the sheer craftsmanship of the thing, Obra Dinn is one of those games that makes you feel like a genius for noticing clues and figuring out fates and identities. When I started the game, I thought there was no way I was going to be able to keep all these characters straight, let alone solve mysteries and put the story together. It happens, though. Slowly, at first. I'd played for eight or nine hours and had only solved 18 of 60 fates and was beginning to doubt my intellect. But then there comes a tipping point, where you suddenly have enough information to start filling in the gaps - and when that happens, the rest of the fates fall like dominos.

Managed to get through it all by myself and without a guide, although I did turn to Mr Google a couple of times toward the end for a nudge in the right directions. Whenever I was stuck, there was always some clue I'd overlooked; the game really gives you everything you need if you are paying attention.

2024 is still young, but I'd be surprised if anything supplants this as my GOTY.

Yeah, Obra Dinn is in my top 10 of all time.

Finished a bunch of adventure game adjacent stuff:

Alone in the Dark

The new remake. Despite the presence of David Harbour and Jodie Comer as the playable leads, it's very much a AA experience, primarily in the janky combat. Which I would've either liked to have seen wither less of, or more so you get some of that real survival horror route planning and resource cooking. As is, I think it's in a reverse goldilocks zone.

I also would've liked to have seen more differences between the protagonists, aside from dialogue.

Still, I liked it overall despite that. It's great location, the writing's good, and I'm a sucker for anything set in the 1920:s Lousiana/New Orleans, especially if elder gods get involved.

The Tartarus Key

You wake up in a mansion with no idea how you got there, and everything in the room looks fake. There's a camera tracking your movements. It's basically a series of escape rooms, with a dash of Saw when you stumble on other people stuck in there as well.

The puzzles are generally pretty good, and I'm a sucker for retro PS1 horror aesthetics.

The writing on the other hand...the setup's fine, but as it gets closer towards the ending, it tries for big emotional moments and it's all so awkward an unearned. Or as the kids would call it: cringe.

There's some branching depending on whether you let the other people die or not, and I think I would've been happier if they'd all died.

This Bed We Made
You're a hotel maid who entertains herself with snooping a bit too much into the guests' lives in 50:s Montreal. But oh sh*t, you go to return something to a guest and find a lot of kinda incriminating photos. Of you. So you've got to become an amateur sleuth and figure out what's going on with the guests on your floor who all seem to be up in each other's (and your) business.

Superficially, it looks like a Telltale game, but it's more am adventure game with involved puzzles, and while there's some dialogue branching, the actual branching is less obvious and more about how you do your job and what you do with the stuff you find.

Good puzzles, solid enough writing, and all over in 3-4 hours, which is pretty much the perfect length for the story it's telling.

Recently, I finished Classified France '44, a turn-based strategy game set during World War II. The game focuses on espionage and sabotage behind enemy lines to pave the way for the Normandy landings. Studio Absolutely Games, new to the scene, has crafted a game that, while reminiscent of classics like XCOM 2, stands out for its attention to historical detail and strategic depth.

Though strategy games have seen their heyday, Classified France '44 proves the genre still has much to offer. The gameplay is engaging, requiring thoughtful planning and execution, much like the covert operations it simulates. For those interested in a blend of historical accuracy and strategic gameplay, this Game Review worth checking out.

Finished The Invincible couple weeks ago.

I remembered many details from the book I read some 35 years ago, how the crew of The Invincible were trying to figure out what happened to its sister ship, Condor. I recall the descriptions of the clash... You have a similar task here.

The Invincible is basically an interactive story on rails in which you walk from location to location, have limited interactions with the environment and make time limited dialogue choices.

That may not sound too appealing but it works like a charm, at least for me. The game looks phenomenal: the equipment, vehicles, furniture and interior design are absolutely spot on, 70's style retro-futuristic. People in cut scenes are smoking. Pretty much all equipment and gauges are analogue, there are panels with individual signal bulbs, flip switches and CRT screens. Vistas are gorgeous.

Voice acting is phenomenal, characters are great, the dialogue is intelligent. There are several choices that can make the story go in a few different directions and there is probably a dozen endings, some derivative, some divergent. The game does try to steer you in the direction of the conclusions made by book author Stanislaw Lem, but you can do your own thing (at your own peril, like the Condor crew did in the book). You will not be aware of this subtle nudge unless you read the book, though.

Anyhow, 11 hours very well spent. Highly recommended if you like interactive stories.

Rolled credits on Final Fantasy 5, one of those games I've started a dozen times but never finished until now.

Story and presentation were pretty basic, mechanics were satisfyingly crunchy. The endgame was a little on the easy side, though: the way it works is that you can only use one "off-class" ability at a time, so there's only so much multi class synergizing you can do... until the very end, when you switch everyone to Freelancer or Mime, which inherit every passive you've unlocked across every class you've trained, at which point every synergy applies all at once and your dudes are gods. The final boss got maybe two turns of getting nuked in the face and crumbled, the expected second phase lasted maybe three... and then there was no actually-challenging third phase, that was just it.

Glad I finally rolled credits on it, well worth the playthrough, but I don't think it quite cracks the 6/7/Tactics/X upper echelons of FF.

Yeah, it's definitely worth it to see the origins of the FF jobs system, at least.

I finished Sifu. The combat never quite clicked for me and I found myself losing over and over again to the second boss, so I dropped it down to easy, which made it pretty trivial to finish. It was a somewhat janky, unpolished experience, but the death mechanic, skills system and level layouts were really interesting and innovative. I think the studio could make something really great with more experience and a bigger budget.

Infernarl wrote:

Recently, I finished Classified France '44, a turn-based strategy game set during World War II. The game focuses on espionage and sabotage behind enemy lines to pave the way for the Normandy landings. Studio Absolutely Games, new to the scene, has crafted a game that, while reminiscent of classics like XCOM 2, stands out for its attention to historical detail and strategic depth.

Though strategy games have seen their heyday, Classified France '44 proves the genre still has much to offer. The gameplay is engaging, requiring thoughtful planning and execution, much like the covert operations it simulates. For those interested in a blend of historical accuracy and strategic gameplay, this Game Review worth checking out.

Oh, it’s actually on PS5. I’m interested. I’ll check out the review.

That is a spammer who somehow took over a GWJer’s old account. Please don’t give that site any traffic. Report the post so it gets nuked.

If you're interested in a review that is not spam, Mortismal reviewed Classified: France 44:

Just finished Immortals of Aveum. In many ways it deserves more (positive) attention. Like Staygold mentioned in his GotY post, I found myself drawn into the world they built. Not so much the level design, which failed to capitalize on the fact that it could very easily been an interconnected layout that looped back on itself and opened up more areas other than just a few extra treasure troves based on abilities. I enjoyed the fast paced combat, but it missed elevating itself by making encounters into obvious arenas, but this felt like a function of the design they chose to make it work. What I found myself loving was bits of story progression, and a couple of characters you meet in the back half of the game, being (with no story spoiler, just names you do not hear before the character shows up):

Spoiler:

Rook, and to a lesser extent Thaddeus. I just had a smile on my face every time Rook interacted with Jack

I actually ended up enjoying the dialog way more than I thought I would, and actually laughed some. It was weird in the beginning, especially with Luna, but the later characters really started to work, even though there was always a bit of an uncommon for games quality to it all. The more I read the logs about characters and talked to everyone, the more things and every odd sounding word made sense.
I've never been so willing to forgive so much gameplay for the sake of the rest. This is definitely a game that is greater than the sum of its parts, and upon rolling credits I wanted to play again.
This is going on my game of the year list, and anyone reading this should give it a test run via the demo if they are at all interested. You can keep playing from the end of the demo if you buy the full game. Just be warned, I felt drowned in all the names and terms the game threw at me until well after the demo was over.

Tasty Pudding wrote:

If you're interested in a review that is not spam, Mortismal reviewed Classified: France 44:

Thanks. I’m definitely going to get it at some stage.

mrtomaytohead wrote:

Just finished Immortals of Aveum....

The other gaming podcast I listen to raved about this game when it came out, and said it was downright criminal that no one played it.

But, good news for some, it is one of the free PlayStation Plus games this month for the base Essential tier.

Just put the final, final, final touches into my Octopath Traveler playthrough. Beat the big ultimate baddie after the 8 boss gauntlet - no saving in between, mind! - and it only took me a couple of attempts. Managed to use a strategy that requires the character one chooses to be a Warmaster (I think that's what the job is called) to equip certain passive skills and go into the fights always with very low HP and act as a glass cannon of sorts. This, as well as some extremely careful planning for every move, eventually got me through to the end. It took me around 3 hours, just under. About an hour for the first attempt, and then two for the second, successful attempt.

I don't think I'll ever play this again, fun though it was. It was quite the time sink, so I'm glad there aren't multiple endings, just the various character chapter endings and, well, a nice scene after beating the super secret baddie that, quite honestly, wasn't worth the trouble. It would have been nice to get more out of that challenge, a greater payoff. There was some lore text unlocked after each boss beaten in the gauntlet, but that alone wasn't really enough.

If you're into the challenge of the combat, getting to the secret boss might be worth it. Otherwise, just watch a let's play of the post-game stuff and call it a day.

Hope the sequel handles this sort of thing better. I've heard that it does, but I'll reserve judgement and manage my expectations.

Technically I didn't 'finish' it because I only did a little after the end of the story, but to me I finished Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. From my Steam review...I wasn't really considering getting the game until Tom Chick at Quarter To Three expressed how much he liked it. I really enjoy story heavy games with a fun set of characters like this - snarky, great delivery of one liners and longer set ups, some physical gags. This is so packed with humor. It takes what should be monsters, and turns them into a lovable bunch.

I loved the Guardians of the Galaxy game for the story and characters, but that game play was on the bland side. I was playing despite the action, not because of it. While I think the action in this is pretty good, for me it isn’t the show stealer - the characters are, but it definitely doesn’t get in the way. I don’t really get into loot with a lot of attributes / skills, which will probably limit how far I’ll have success - I’m already running into trouble in some post ending content. I just don’t have the patience to sift through comparing stuff and changing my loadout as the situation requires. It’s probably one reason I get bored of games like Diablo so easily.

I didn't run into many technical issues. At one point my AI bot teammates wouldn't revive me at all in missions until I restarted the game. I had one performance slowdown in a mission, but other than that it was fine. I have a GTX 3080.

If you are looking to play a game with good action, a good story, great dialog and set of characters with a lot of humor you might want to give this a shot. I actually played a bit more post story content than I expected to because the action was better than I expected. I only played solo and am probably done playing, but this was still money well spent. I got it on sale for what it's worth.

It was such a nice surprise how good it was.