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May 27th, 2011, 01:07
Puzzle Quest 2

They did a nice job getting back some of the magic they lost with Galactrix, but somehow this one still didn't quite have the addictive quality of the original. I found that I both needed and wanted to spread the game out significantly, doing no more than a handful of rooms per session, unlike my time with the original where I could (and did) play for hours on end. I purchased it thru Steam and the Steam achievements were a nice "side motivator", if utterly meaningless to the game itself. The story was completely forgetable, but that's not really what this sort of game is all about anyway.

I don't know whether I've finally burned out my enthusiasm for match-3 games or whether the series has ultimately lost its way, but one way or another I was ready for the game to be over a while before it was and it will be a good while before I fire it up again.

Still, for all my complaints, PQ2 is a fun game and they've done a nice job adding some variety to gameplay that was missing in PQ1. If you're looking for a casual game with touches of RPG that can be played in small bursts, PQ2 is a fine choice, particularly if it's your first purchase in the series and the whole formula is fresh.

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June 10th, 2011, 00:50
Just finished Borderlands.

Not much to say… it wasn't bad, and it wasn't great. I had to force myself to keep playing at certain points. The story was underwhelming, and so was the ending, although it did have one of the more impressive end bosses I've seen in awhile.

You might enjoy it if you're in the mood for a carefree shooter with light RPG elements and tons of loot. Just don't expect much in the way of story or immersion.
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June 10th, 2011, 01:15
Fantasy Wars (Human campaign): Think Panzer general in a fantasy setting. The game is a hex based turnbased tactical game. What sets it apart, other than its rather retro design, is its high difficulty level, which runs through the entire game. It is darn hard, but also very rewarding, so anyone who is looking for a challenge should look this way (it is never unfair, unlike some other challenging games).

It has a sequel called Elven legacy, which is slightly easier, but still a challenge.
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June 10th, 2011, 05:11
I got both of them sitting on my "unplayed" shelf. The question is "When?"
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June 10th, 2011, 13:53
My recommendation is to play one of those the next time you feel like playing a challenging strategy/tactics game (and not before that, or you will just be frustrated).
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June 10th, 2011, 23:03
I feel like that sort of challenge all of the time, but sometimes I feel more like immersive FPS style games, roleplaying, or exploration.
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June 13th, 2011, 11:37
Mass Effect 2, for the second time. This time around I was a female … while my Fem!Shep wasn't as lawful good as the guy, I couldn't play her as a complete jerk, either. In the end two of my crew weren't loyal (Miranda due to my siding with Jack - never could convince her otherwise - , Zaeed due to my doing the IFF mission a tad to too early), but I still lost neither the 'losable' crew members nor any member of my team.
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June 14th, 2011, 16:07
Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney
The fourth of the Ace Attorney games and the first exclusive for Nintendo DS.

Story
Without giving too many spoilers the story in Apollo Justice is as deep (if not deeper) than the other Ace Attorney games, with plenty of twists and a complex overarching plot. As with earlier games there are five cases to solve, the first acts as a tutorial for the game and the fourth is much longer and ties it all together.

The game is set 7 years after the Phoenix Wright trilogy, with a new main character, the young lawyer Apollo Justice. Even if he is not the main character, Phoenix Wright still plays a (very) important role as Justices mentor. The flimsy Judge returns, looking as ancient as ever. Ema Skye from the 5th trial in the DS remake of Phoenix Wright 1 also makes her return, still dabbling in forensic science.

Among the new characters we see the magician Lucy Wright, Justices younger sidekick.
We are also introduced to a new loveable prosecutor, rock-artist by night, Klavier Gavin, who often respond to Justice with an airguitar.

Engine: Graphics & Sound
Apollo Justice is not a port from Gameboy Advance but made for the DS. This can be seen in several elements in the game. The artwork for example uses alot more color. Character portraits have more frames than earlier games when they move and there are also alot more animated cutscenes. The music and sound is also better than the previous games thanks to the DS superior hardware. Finally most evidence have a 3d model that can be rotatated and searched for clues.

Gameplay
An older Ema Skye returns in Apollo Justice. That means forensics, and alot of it. This means dusting for prints and other new additions to Skyes toolbox. There are also a couple of crimescene reconstruction/reenactments although not as many as I would have liked.

Phoenix Wright had his ability to interrogate (unlock Psyche-Locks). Apollo Justice instead have the ability to "percieve". During cross-examination a character will display habits when they lie, habits Justice percieve with his almost supernatural percieving ability. While a witness is speaking you look around on a zoomed in portrait of the witness to see if they twitch, sweat, swallow or do something suspicious.

The Jury's Verdict
An adventuregame stands and falls on it's story. In the beginning I was a bit ticked off since I would rather like to find out more about Phoenix Wright than the new character. I also would have liked to see what happened to the other characters in the former games such as Maya and Pearl. In hintersight, the new story works well and one shouldn't worry too much about Phoenix missing, trust me.

With that said, if you enjoyed the first three games there is really no reason why you shouldn't grab this game already.

Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind. - John F Kennedy
An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
The world is my country. To do good is my religion. My mind is my own church. This simple creed is all we need to enjoy peace on earth. - Thomas Paine
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June 18th, 2011, 18:14
The Witcher Enhanced Edition

I remember reading abou7t this game way back in 2005-2007. And then, in 2008, I think, I finally bought it. I did play the demo for this game when Witcher 1 came out in 2007. After playing the demo I bought the regular edition. Then later, I bought The Enhanced Edition to support CD Project RED. Then I started playing. And I never looked back - or actually I did. Not at least in terms of combat, and were it for not the help I got from this site and other sites like this, I'd quit playing a long time ago).

The story in the game is worth the game alone, and the story in last two chapters are pure gold, pure gold, I'll tell you. Even if I played with a walkthrough most of the time, I wasn't prepared for the feelings and emotional reactions, this game has given me. For many years, PS: Torment was my favourite rpg of all time; now this place has been challenged a great deal, not to say that I now have two favorite rpgs: Witcher 1 and
PS: Torment.

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June 19th, 2011, 13:37
Foreword on the state of gaming
A few years back I begun to see the decay of the gaming market. The artists wish to produce the "best game ever" was exchanged with the goal of making profit. With this new goal, games began to look more and more similar, always cloning what was seen as "sucessful", trying to feed the market with what the market want, which meant copying previous sucesses instead of trying something new. Instead of spawning new gamestyles, new approaches, genré upon genré fell to obscurity and was forgotten. My interest in games begun to fade. It was useless to look towards the horizon for something new, since all I could see was familiar land.

Instead I wen't back to look for games of the past that built up some reputation. Games that spawned both fans and sequels. Thats when I begun to play series like Final Fantasy, Metal Gear Solid and Resident Evil. Each of these turned to be a goldmines and I loved them. There was one more that I had in mind to play but did not have time for up to now, and that was the Phoenix Wright series. Today, I finished that one as well and I am happy I did. Now I just have to sit back and hope for the sixth game to get an american translation. What follows below is my verdict of the fifth and final game that was released on english.

Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth
A Phoenix Wright spinoff and the fifth title of the "Ace Attorney" series interestingly have very little to do with attorneys at all. Instead it's a detectivegame that presents us with the prosecutors perspective. Can it hold up to the former titles of the series?

Story
Miles Edgeworth was one of the most important NPC's in the Phoenix Wright games, acting as the prosecutor that Phoenix Wright had to face over and over again. Incidently, he also quickly became my personal favorite character of the series. I was thus happy a game was dedicated to him alone. Unlike the first four titles, "Investigations" isn't about defending in court. Instead it's a detective game. Edgeworth keeps ending up in the middle of a crimescene over and over again and each time it happens it's up to him to use his number one weapon for his number one cause. His weapon: logic, his cause: finding the truth.

Miles is not the only character who returns in this game, so do the cop Dick Gumshoe and Franziska von Karma who hold important roles throughout the game. There are also several cameos of characters who appeared in previous titles as defendants or witnesses.

Among the new characters we see the young Kay Faraday who acts as Miles assistant throughout the game. Her virtual-reality device is used for crimescene recreations throughout the game. Then we have Agent Shi-Long Lang, an elite investigator from Interpol. He takes a role similar to the prosecutors of the old titles.

Like previous titles, the story is incredibly complex and take numerous twists and turns and as usual it's incredibly well written. It's also really long, taking several days to complete even if you sit non-stop.

Engine: Graphics & Sound
The previous Ace Attorney titles could only show one portrait at a time, so when multiple people spoke to eachother you saw a portrait of the currently speaking character in the middle, facing you. The same technique was used in all four of the first titles, therefore it was refreshing to see that Investigations take a new approach. During dialogue characters are seen in perspective and sometimes two characters are layered on top of eachother or facing eachother on the screen. In some cases there are even four people speaking to eachother, two on one screen facing right, then the game pans over to the right where there are another two facing left. This might sound trivial but I found it to be a better approach than the former rather confusing 1-character on screen at a time approach.

This is during dialogue. Investigations also add a zoomed out perspective that looks alot like old point-n-click adventures, where you can move a character (Miles) around and investigate the scene.

The music retains it's improvements from Ace Apollo with somewhat better audio than the old GBA titles could handle.

Gameplay
Ah, here's the news. While Investigations keep many basic elements of the former titles, it also packs more news in it than any of the previous sequels. Let's begin with the news.

For one who played plenty of adventuregames in the past, I am kinda surprised no one thought about this before. I am talking about Miles primary weapon; his logic. Logic is a gameplay-mechanic in which Edgeworth combines information to produce new information. For instance, Miles knows that there are a revolver with one bullet left in it. Miles also knows that there are two bulletholes on the crimescene. By using Logic, Miles combines these two facts and produce a new; a gun is missing. Usually in adventuregames we only see characters interacting with the scene by using items on items or items on the landscape, we never see the use of information like this.

The second "new" feature isn't really new. Rebuttals plays exactly the same as cross-examinations in the former games. While speaking to a witness, Miles press vague testimonies for more information or use his already found evidence to poke holes in the witness testimony. Since there are no courts in Investigations, rebuttals happens all the time when Edgeworth have to convince someone of something, extract more information out of flimsy witnesses, overthrow a competing investigator or expose the true murderer.

Then we have investigations. Like I mentioned under Engine above, there is now a zoomed out perspective in which you control Miles like in adventuregame. You walk up to things you wish to examine and examine it. Thus you may actually walk around in the scene, engage in NPC's in dialogue and walk between screens. Those who played old adventuregames should be familiar with how this play out.

Finally Edgeworths assistant Kay Faraday have a device that can display a virtual reality world that Miles can use to reconstruct the events during a crimescene. Long story short, this is how Crime Scene reconstruction/reenactments works in the game.

Deducing the truth
Truth is that I am happy to see a game like this released 2009. This game contains both a strong story and new ideas for what would otherwise just be an adventuregame with a really strong story. Those who have played the former titles shouldn't hesitate to check this one out. The story is great, there are plenty of reoccuring characters and you will learn more about the history of some of the more prominent NPC's of the former titles. But the game also adds a few new twists to the adventuregame formula that I hope to see in other titles.

Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind. - John F Kennedy
An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
The world is my country. To do good is my religion. My mind is my own church. This simple creed is all we need to enjoy peace on earth. - Thomas Paine
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June 19th, 2011, 19:50
Mass Effect 2
Well. Yeah. I can probably say now honestly that I have did what ME2 had to offer and prepared a save to be used for ME3.
I have taken every badge, bought ever item, completed every assignment/mission/dlc on nightmare.
Time to finally erase the game from the harddrive.

Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind. - John F Kennedy
An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
The world is my country. To do good is my religion. My mind is my own church. This simple creed is all we need to enjoy peace on earth. - Thomas Paine
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June 19th, 2011, 23:36
Portal 2

Not Roleplay but honestly one of the funniest games I have played in a long, long time. Not particually challenging but the pace made up for it. Then completed the Co-op Levels with a mate and they were just as good. AGain not particually challenging but funny too. The true test of a good game was that I was sad when it was over. If you liked Portal play this, if you didn't like Portal play it until you do then play this.

Graphics - very clean and crisp amazing that this is the same engine (although heavily updated) that ran Half Life 2.

Sound - Excellent speech (really funny dialogue) and good background music although the ending song was not as good as "Still Alive".

Do you self a favour and pick this up as a distraction (although a bit short) and you won't regret it.

"The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true."
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June 20th, 2011, 04:17
Originally Posted by Kendrik View Post
Portal 2
Not Roleplay but honestly one of the funniest games I have played in a long, long time. Not particually challenging but the pace made up for it. Then completed the Co-op Levels with a mate and they were just as good. AGain not particually challenging but funny too. The true test of a good game was that I was sad when it was over. If you liked Portal play this, if you didn't like Portal play it until you do then play this.
Portal 2 was the biggest surprise of the year so far for me. I thought it was absolutely fantastic. Definitely one of the best non-RPGs I've played recently.
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June 20th, 2011, 09:57
There's definitely something wrong with me
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June 20th, 2011, 20:58
Drakensang: River of time
Overall a really good game. It managed to fix most of the issues that the first Drakensang had, like travel time (fast traveling really helped), the voice acting was better overall, and the game felt better balanced & playtested in general. The difficulty level was overall rather low on normal (only one boss was challenging, and only if you wanted to get the best rewards, otherwise it was rather easy), and it felt both shorter & easier than the first Drakensang (though that might in part be due to the fact that I'm now more familiar with the underlying rule system).
Overall, this was one of the best recent CRPGs, and I'm glad that I finally managed to find a copy of it.
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June 21st, 2011, 06:17
I'll take a crack at this…

BioShock 2

I enjoyed this game quite a lot. As I've come to expect from the xShock series, the game world has atmosphere in spades. The underwater city of Rapture was so well done that I expected to get wrinkly fingers from playing the game!

Gameplay is a first person shooter with an injection of RPG character advancement. Your right hand will hold some sort of gun while your left hand will be used for spells (called plasmids) and you'll fire off each by using the left and right mouse buttons. Weapons and plasmids can all be upgraded with three different special effects and each of the weapons has three different types of ammo. You can also upgrade your character with a host of gene tonics that add special effects like stealth, better hacking skills, and a host of others. This game has a massive array of choices when it's time to dish out the death!

While upgrading weapons is a straightforward upgrade at something that looks like a vending machine, obtaining plasmids and gene tonics isn't. You'll find a few lying around if you're willing to explore but you'll be buying most with adam. This is where BioShock 2 differs quite a bit from BioShock 1: in the first game you could just beat a boss-like critter called a big daddy and either free or harvest his little sister sidekick. In BioShock 2 you ARE a big daddy. You still have to defeat other big daddies to pick up a little sister but you then have the little sister harvest dead bodies (little sisters call them angels) to pick up adam. When they are doing that, a horde of enemies come at you and try to steal her away. You'll need to lay down traps and arrange for some allies if you want to survive these onslaughts. You can then either elect to free the little sister or harvest her, just like the previous game. Freeing her will give you less adam in the short term but will result in gifts later in the game - plus you can sleep better at night knowing you didn't butcher a little virtual girl.

I really liked the freedom of switching through my weapons and plasmids. The levels weren't too linear, either. What did drive me to distraction were the controls. I would have prefered it if my character was left handed so the left mouse button would fire the gun in my left hand instead of the gun in my right hand. What drove me completely nuts, though, was switching between guns and between plasmids. Guns seemed to be in the order I happened to find them with no way to change their order. Want 3 to be your shotgun? Tough. Plasmids did the same thing plus the order would change when the plasmid got upgraded. It was possible to change what key went to what plasmid but a single upgrade could make you go through the laborious process all over again.

The story wasn't quite as good in this game as it was in the first. Ayn… err Andrew Ryan's character was a heck of a lot more interesting than his replacement. His old amusement park ride is one of the best parts of BioShock 2. Still, the story does work and the recorded tape delivery is an excellent way to convey it. If you want to hear the story just hit L. If you don't, skip it. The important tapes will play automatically.

I played the game in hard mode which got mighty hard in the first half but I was gimping myself by not buying increased health or mana. Once I spent some adam on those things instead of the latest and greatest plasmid, the game got a lot easier. There's an option to turn off the instant-respawn game mechanic, too, but I would advise against using that. Not because you need the respawn, really, but because the game will go back to the main screen when you get defeated when you turn that option on. Reloading your last save is MUCH faster if you do it in game instead of on that screen so just ignore that option and do your own reloads when you respawn.

The game does use Games for Windows Live. G4WL gave me no troubles at all (and hasn't since Fallout 3) and it was actually nice to be able to add my BioShock 2 scores to my XBox account. It gave the achievements at least a little bit of meaning.

3D Vision worked fairly well with the game though misty areas were a mess and some of the water only appeared in one eye. I just turned it off when it didn't work and popped it back on when I got to the next room.

(Next on the list… Sword of the Stars Complete. Impulse had it for $6.)
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June 21st, 2011, 08:27
I enjoyed the villain in the second since I am forced to deal with that kind of mindset much more frequently than the Ayn Rand one.

Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind. - John F Kennedy
An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
The world is my country. To do good is my religion. My mind is my own church. This simple creed is all we need to enjoy peace on earth. - Thomas Paine
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June 21st, 2011, 12:46
The original Bioshock has one of the best premises and settings I've ever seen in gaming.

Unfortunately, it managed to squander it with being supbar compared to SS2 in pretty much every single way.

The story didn't hold up - as the characters made increasingly less sense and the entire "twist" was ridiculous in how it was supposed to work.

But - wow - what a premise. I don't think I've ever been as fully engaged and immersed as I was playing the original demo level.
Last edited by DArtagnan; June 21st, 2011 at 13:33.
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June 22nd, 2011, 11:12
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Just finished Borderlands.

Not much to say… it wasn't bad, and it wasn't great. I had to force myself to keep playing at certain points. The story was underwhelming, and so was the ending, although it did have one of the more impressive end bosses I've seen in awhile.

You might enjoy it if you're in the mood for a carefree shooter with light RPG elements and tons of loot. Just don't expect much in the way of story or immersion.
I found it fun in co-op play plus the expansions help (apart from the underdome one which was pants). As you say it's the equivalent of Saturday night TV - a bit of mindless entertainment. Sometimes that's all you need though

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June 25th, 2011, 01:23
Finished Duke Nukem 3D today. It was the first full playthough I've done in about 10 years, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Far better than 90% of the shooters being released now.

I have a copy of Duke Nukem Forever sitting on my desk unopened. I get the feeling that if I play it now my opinion will be even lower with D3D fresh in my mind.
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