Ok, I’m done with this game. The first episode or two were fun. But the arenas at the end of each episode became tedious and lazy, to be frank. I just end up running out of ammo, remembering enemies appearance patterns and fighting them with the infinite-ammo-rifle. Not fun.
Twin stick shooter where we play as a anthropomorphic snail. At first I thought it’s the size of a human, but then I saw some lighters and plastic straws lying around taller than myself. Strangely enough we accompanied by a firefly so tiny it must be a bacteria of sort. Later you also find a human skull that everyone calls “skull of a giant”. But then when you think you got your scale right, you meet rabbits that are smaller than a lizard.
There are some environmental features: flamethrower being able to thaw some levers, and burn through enemy shields. But most of the time, we just shoot stuff while slowly walking away from it.
Completed Children of Zodiarcs.
The combat system is “meh”. There are options like burning through enemies cards or giving them cursed dice. But just killing them is usually the simplest option.
The part that is actually good is the characters. Not to be confused with the story. Story is just alright. A young band of thieves is tasked by the mob boss to steal a relic. The relic turns out to be a sentient golem that joins the band. For two chapters we carve our way in, then we carve our way out. Standard, if not to say boring.
But the characters actually make that story good. Each has their own motivation, and it’s well fleshed. There’s a girl that was kept by nobles like and exotic animal.
There’s a Noble son that was left by his father in the slums, and now seeks revenge. There’s a noble guard who fell from grace by our own hand, and now seeks to redeem himself. And there’s a boy that thinks that if only he kills the gang leader, the girl he loves will turn back to good. And the finale missions are surprisingly grim and dark: you get to kill all your friends one by one.
There’s a tradeoff between good story and sound gameplay sometimes. Last mission is played without your mage, which I relied heavily on all my game. Luckily, it is still not very difficult.
And the last surprise is a bit of an epilogue during the credits roll.
What attracted me to that game were obvious references to Final Fantasy Tactics and Final Fantasy IX.
You have the basic mechanics from FFT, such as picking the direction each character faces at the end of their turn. The visual style resembles FFIX. You also start as a band of charismatic thieves.
But, the creators added card mechanics on top of that.
So each character has their own hand of random skills that you need to manage. After picking a skill, you also need to roll some dice. You perform this action by shaking your mouse (at least that part can be disabled in game settings). So, when you only want to attack the next guard, you have to deal with two layers of randomness and turns that take forever.
One unexpected feature from that kind of a game is that you can save on any screen, if there are no enemies or hazards on it. This especially helps in some platforming episodes.
There are episodes in mech and submarine. A homage to Metal Slug, maybe? Those aren’t very good, though. And the worst one is the pre-final episode, where you need to rappel down while shooting enemies. I was about to drop the game at that point, because of how random that piece is. Completed it only because I got lucky.
So despite the attempts at retro-vibes and introducing a new mechanic in each zone (sliding, lasers, etc), I can’t say I enjoyed it much. If it wasn’t for the save feature, I would have dropped it somewhere in the middle.
Faithful 8bit metroidvania. With different biomes and all that. I’d say it’s even a bit too faithful, to the point of being boring.
It’s also very hard to figure out what’s going on due to the 8bit style. Is that a platform or the background? Will that projectile pass through the platform or not? Can I shoot down that projectile? The only way to know is to die trying.
The game uses progression system that I remember from some Zelda games: you need to buy a key item or character to progress. But first, you need to find a purse large enough to hold the money.
First boss is an acrobatic one. You can’t shoot it. Instead you need to jump avoiding its attacks and press button that drops a bomb in its mouth at the right moment. The following bosses are standard, though. You just shoot them until they die.
Completed Forgive Me Father.
The third boss, Dagon, is a tricky one. It disappears underwater. And your “rockets” are extremely slow, so they are not effective at all against it. Better stick to hitscan weapons. In its second phase, it starts flooding the valley, and the character can’t swim. So you need to remember in which order the valley if flooded.
The mines are quite tiring, so I ended up running past most enemies, as I was also running out of ammo for everything by that time.
Following two immobile bosses and one partially mobile one, it made sense the introduce a mobile player-sized boss. The only problem with that approach is how the game renders enemies. If you rememeber even Wolfenstein 3D, you start your game facing Nazi soldier back: enemies were drawn from multiple perspectives. But there’s no such thing in Forgive Me Father. Enemies always face you. So, it’s very hard to figure if the boss tries to run away or run towards you. Still, it was one of the easier encounters, and I beat it on the first try.
I felt like they tried too hard to make the final episode too hard. The levels are long, there are so many enemies you run out of ammo all the time, and the final level has some annoying jumping puzzles, that you won’t find anywhere else in the game.
Feeling like I just bruteforced the final boss, Cthulhu. It’s a static boss, like the very first one, no need to aim much. And just like the first boss, it’s a bullet-hell one. Luckily at that point I had fully upgraded Necronomicon that gave me enough invincibility to bear the worst of its attacks.
Enemies are quite brutal. The melee ones are fast and hit hard. The projectile ones react quickly, and I suspect they keep shooting at you even when they can’t see you.
As this is my first (and only) playthrough, I want to try as many weapons as possible. It’s great that you get to use most of your arsenal. Mauser is almost like a battle rifle, fast and accurate. The Tommy Gun upgraded into a laser beam is super powerful.
The only disappointment is the grenade launcher. Indirect fire is often very beneficial, but it’s not very effective here.
Underwater level was a bit of a surprise. Not something I expected in an old-school shooter.
Interesting bit about weapon upgrades is that your choice is between upgrading the standard weapon or changing its ammo type to something more rare and more specialised. Basically, it’s a choice between getting a more powerful machinegun or an energy beam instead.
The first boss is basically a wall throwing mines at you. But I still enjoyed it.
The swamp level was tough. There are a few types of enemies that hide in the water, like in the first Hexen, and those are very hard to see. And with how long the camera is placed in this game, almost Turok-like, it’s hard to spot enemies shooting at you from the grass. But if you know in which direction to go first, it’s not that hard. Still, I died on that level as much as through the entire game before that.
The second boss is a pillar instead of a wall. It’s tricky: the boss shoots homing projectiles, mobs shoot homing projectiles, and during the second phase there’s a laser grinder you need to evade, that also changes direction 🤯
This is certainly not what I expected. It’s a Lovecraftian game in its setting alright. But its a old-school shooter, most similar to Project Warlock.
Monsters popping out of walls, weapons without reload, secrets and all that. Strict level structure. No free saves, but there are some checkpoints. Then there’s the infamous flashlight from Doom 3, though: the one you cannot use with a weapon.
The game does offer some interesting ideas around leveling weapons. Some weapons are unlock by leveling up your character, that hasn’t changes.
But in Cold War, most of the weapons had same set of upgrades which you had to unlock for each. And the way to unlock weapons is that you use weapons from the same category.
In Modern Warfare 2, you unlock weapons by “platform”. AK74 has the same platform as RPK, so you have to level up the former to unlock the later.
Also, leveling up a weapon unlocks attachments that are shared between all weapons. You can add a silencer to your LMG, but only if you unlock it by leveling up a particular sniper rifle.
Most attachments also support tuning, which is a bit mindboggling for me. That means that not only the attachment provides some tradeoffs, like accuracy versus Aim Down Sight speed, but you can also make those tradeoffs more prevalent.
Completed Sinking City.
There’s a funny pice of self-awareness in the dialog with the police officer that explains why he dislikes the protagonist:
In most games, “choices” are about either being an alright guy or a complete asshole. In Sinking City, they are sometimes more subtle, and I like it.
At one point we need to choose between a necromancer that resurrects the dead to torture them and a Mayan vampire. Torturing dead people – bad. Eating people at night – also bad.
In another quest, you can either give away the real killer, a decent guy who committed a crime only because his family was held hostage, or frame a politician that plans to poison his mother. I see clear Witcher influence here.
Speaking of choices, though, what you did throughout the game doesn’t affect the ending. You just pick one of the three available, and that’s it. I’m glad the were some bossfights in the middle of the game:
Something I wish the game would make more fuss about are the weapons. They’re given to you during some key sequences, but you don’t actually get to see the process. A character would say “here’s something”, and you need to go to your inventory to discover that you’ve been awarded a Tommy Gun.
Also, what slightly ruined the experience for me is that all the investigations are basically the same. You find the clues. You recreate the sequence of events, which is almost never challenging. You unlock that secret wall. I wish the “puzzle solving” would somehow ramp up. But it never does.
Me before Modern Warfare 2 (2022) free trial:
– Why nobody likes it?
Me after the free trial:
– Oh, OK, now I see…
The most played Cold War mode is Demolition. It’s fun, because it requires some teamwork: one team needs to blow two bombs, another denies them. In Modern Warfare 2… there’s no Demolition.
Instead, everybody plays on a map called Shipment, which is so tiny that your enemies can spawn on top of you. So it’s a constant bloothbath.
Early in the game you meet a librarian with her mouth sewn. Later, there’s an interesting sidequest related to her, where you need to hunt the witch that did that to her. There’s even a boss fight and a video sequence leading to this, which is not something I’d expect from a sidequest. Leaves an impression.
There are infested areas, where you encounter more monsters and supposed to find more loot. But the mechanics work in such a way that you usually waste more ammo that gain. So I just tend to keep away from those areas.
For half of the game we’re looking for that antropologist that would help us understand the visions. And a few minutes after we find her, she just… drowns. What a disappointment.
I know it would be a delight. And it really is.
The name is an obvious reference to the Sunken City. And the game is full to the brim with those references, not just Lovecraft, but also Poe (of course), Heinlein, and others.
But the actual city is also half flooded with water. So, sometimes we travel on foot, other times – on a boat. Luckily the boat spawns near every harbor.
Bullets act also as currency. I think that was the same for the first Metro.
As a private eye, a most of our time we spend on investigations. Investigations are usually split into two parts. First, you find all the clues in the area. Then you need to recreate the sequence of events. Which isn’t really hard, to be honest, not close to Obra Dinn, as there are usually just 3-4 events. Again, you usually aren’t told where to go. You need to search different archives for clues: police, newspaper, asylum, and others. It’s another minigame, where this time you need to find an article or a profile based on a couple of hints.
Unlocked all SMGs, except the Scorpion. And I’m not even that good of a player. TEC9 is stupidly powerful. As I said, my reaction is bad, I’m not very accurate, but with this SMG, I managed to kill 8 opponents in a row, whereas before that I hardly managed 2. It’s ironic, because in the real world, that SMG is trash.
I continue to play Cold War multiplayer an hour a day.
Meta is heavily dominated by SMGs. That’s a surprise, I was expecting sniper rifles. SMGs also have the widest variety. There are just 4 LMGs, but 12 SMGs.
With the crazy customization the game provides, you can also make an improvised LMG from a SMG:
The story feels extremely boring and generic. A teenage girl wakes up from criosleep on a planet that was due to be terramorphed. She’s looking for her father or other colonists. She also has a companion, a robodog.
It’s a sandbox about a sand planet, which I find quite ironic. There’s a lot of platforming: you immediately get double jumps, air dashes, and also introduced early to air recharges of those. During fights, you lock onto your enemies, and need to jump over their attacks. You get experience from fights, leveling up your basic weapon and your companion.
All enemies are robo-animals. Had to check that this game came a year before very similarly themed Horizon Zero Dawn.
You cannot tinker with your weapon, but you can customize four parts of your companion (head, front legs, back legs and not sure what’s the 4th, don’t care). All those are built from junk and enemy pieces you collect. There’s a lot of junk collection to be had.
The only interesting bit is some sand effects: you and your companion leave tracks in the sand, or a trail when you dash.
Surprisingly, I enjoy Cold War multi-player a lot.
I didn’t enjoy Modern Warfare 2019 multi-player much, though. And I’m not a good player for sure. Not enough reaction, not accurate at all. Not sure if it’s the low skill bar or that most of the people moved to the two newer installations in the series. But I do manage to hit people here and there, and get that gun porn from customizing all the weapons.
It gives that feeling of progression, though. After almost every match you get something, be it a new weapon attachment