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December 6th, 2019, 12:48
Risen 2. Tasty (with a spicy aroma and delicate aftertaste) and I crave for more. Unfortunately, Risen 3 is not on sale at the moment. Elex is (for 14 euro at gamesplanet) but I don't want to skip ahead.

I feel like an oddball as the series I like the most nowadays (or probably will like) all score pretty bad on metacritic:
Gothic - 81
Gothic 2 - 79
Gothic 3 - 63
Risen - 77
Risen 2 - 69
<i am here>
Risen 3 - 65
Arcania - 63 (might skip this one)
Outward - 67

I admit the games are not perfect, unpolished in places, and some mechanics are downright irritating, but the core gameplay is just very good.

Edit: I was surprised at the score for outward. I thought it was received very well. Apparantly not.
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December 6th, 2019, 13:50
Outward IIRC is coop game unrelated to Gothic/Risen/Elex.
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December 7th, 2019, 10:18
Originally Posted by ilm View Post
Edit: I was surprised at the score for outward. I thought it was received very well. Apparantly not.
If you're expecting Outward to have the same vibe as PB's games, you'll be disappointed.
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December 7th, 2019, 11:09
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
If you're expecting Outward to have the same vibe as PB's games, you'll be disappointed.
I think it was right after release everybody started comparing to Gothic. Unfortunately, these opinions indeed seem to have disappeared now. Still, I'm intrigued by the survival mechanics, even if the world is more empty.
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December 8th, 2019, 01:02
I played about 10 hours of Outward and thought it was just OK. Should you buy? I'd say save your money and wait until a sale, if that game is what REALLY your thing. I'd give it a pass.
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December 15th, 2019, 02:53
Dragons dogma: Dark Arisen. At least I finished the base game. The first couple of hours it takes some effort to see past the empty and generic world, as well as the arcade combat. However, underneath there is an interesting world and some cool dungeons if you ignore the tedious aspects. Although, it is more told through atmosphere like the souls games than any interesting characters or dialogue. I can see why it has become a cult hit for some.

In fact, I had enough fun I might do some levels on the bitterblack isle. Here is hoping for some fun dungeon romping with puzzles, instead of bullet sponge bosses. Most people seem into it for the leveling, grinding, etc.
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December 15th, 2019, 02:57
Originally Posted by Beholder View Post
I played about 10 hours of Outward and thought it was just OK. Should you buy? I'd say save your money and wait until a sale, if that game is what REALLY your thing. I'd give it a pass.
I am/was very interested in Outward, until I read that the world is very empty. Is there a good main quest to hold your attention? Are the faction quests in-depth and interesting?
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December 15th, 2019, 05:24
Originally Posted by ilm View Post
I am/was very interested in Outward, until I read that the world is very empty. Is there a good main quest to hold your attention? Are the faction quests in-depth and interesting?
The main quest was OK. The main point the game tries to make: You are not "The Chosen One" or someone with god-like powers. You are the average joe and must build yourself up to survive in the world. That sounds cool and all, but there are also problems with some quality-of-life things. First, there's no map. Second, be prepared to RUN EVERYWHERE. Good thing there's autorun.
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December 16th, 2019, 22:04
RE: Outward.

Hmmm. I guess it was a good thing it did not come out on Steam right away. We might get a better version. . . one year from now.
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December 17th, 2019, 01:16
You're thinking of other world; outward is on steam and gog.

Originally Posted by Dajjer View Post
RE: Outward.

Hmmm. I guess it was a good thing it did not come out on Steam right away. We might get a better version. . . one year from now.
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December 17th, 2019, 03:12
Originally Posted by you View Post
You're thinking of other world; outward is on steam and gog.
Okay, I just went on Steam to check it out. The game is on my wish list but I have been holding off for a deep discount. . . . To me, the game never gave me a Gothic feeling, so I can wait.

Right now, I am about 4/5 of the way through a complete replay of Talos Principle.
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December 17th, 2019, 19:17
I bought a couple of the adventure/hogs you recommended earlier in this thread @Dajjer from gog's winter sale, I'll let you know how I got on with them down the line sometime.
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December 19th, 2019, 23:17
Finally finished Pathfinder: Kingmaker. Without a doubt, the best RPG since Baldur's Gate (and even better if comparing apples to apples); it really captured PnP's freeform exploration and growth. Glad that I waited so long, as I did not encounter any glaring bugs that the game was known for on launch. 250 hours playtime, give or take

My only complaints would have to be the hidden timers scattered throughout the storyline and the grind encountered in the last 10-15% of the game. Also, the all-too-real lack of a manual (especially with regard to Kingdom Management).

I want to play again with a lawful evil spellcaster main character. But I really need to decompress first. That was one LONG game!

Question for @purpleblob
Spoiler
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December 19th, 2019, 23:24
@Drithius - possibly but I can't answer for sure since I never played Evil character :/

I know a few people have been reporting alignment do have some impact like:

Spoiler
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December 27th, 2019, 10:00
Legends of Heroes: Trails in the Sky: SC (Second Chapter) (2006, English Windows PC port 2015).

I really struggled to complete this game. Which is a shame as I was really impressed by the first game. It was only all this built-up goodwill that carried me ever forwards towards the end, no matter how bored or fed-up I got. And it's this same goodwill that prevents me hating the game, I still have no sense of hatred towards it, just a sense of eye rolling tedium. As such I'm also quite bored by the idea of writing about it, I finished it quite a few days ago now and am still quite demotivated to talk about it.

It's basically the same as the first game but with more padding, more extra-curricula non-game activities and an altogether much more time-wasting sense of pacing. I clocked up 112.5 hours according to my last save file, which I think is much longer than my time in the first game even though in this game I rushed quite a lot of it (by not bothering to speak to every available NPC and by avoiding monsters sometimes), though I still did all the quests I could find.

Chapter 8 in particular feels like a gigantic time-waste and gluttonous padding as this chapter makes you re-walk every inch of the game for no other reason that a couple of marginally interesting set-pieces and grinding out a few generic monster-boss battles, of which the most notorious of these generic boss battles, the Abyss Worms, is just an exercise in obnoxiousness, a perfect metaphor for the game as a whole.

The Abyss Worms of chapter 8 have just two ways to defeat them, either you use three area of effect S-Crafts in the first turn to kill half of them and basically one-turn the encounter, or you fail in this attempt and the Abyss Worms kill you in their first turn, or, alternatively, you attack each one individually over a very, very, very long time, heal, bash, bash, bash, take loads of damage, heal, bash, bash for about 5-10 rounds per worm, of which there about 8-10 worms.

I, trying to get the game over as quick as possible, went the 1st turn route. And wouldn't you know it, me doing my three AoE S-Crafts only managed to get them down to 10% of their health left, no matter what equipment I wore and no matter how I tweaked my orbments to maximise Strength and therefore value of my hits. So I just cheesed it and reloaded the battle until one of my characters was given a Critical Strike on one of their hits and the battle was over.

The first game never felt like this. I never had a situation in the first game where I felt I needed to cheese anything and the first game never had a combat encounter that couldn't be solved quickly by using a different approach or different gear.

Likewise, the dialogue breaks in this game seem to have been given maximum priority over the gameplay sections, with none of the combat feeling like it had been properly worked on beyond simply repainting the first game's monsters and bumping their stats up. Meanwhile the dialogue has about half the originality of the first game but comes at you in ever larger doses and in ever larger examples of lazy predictable stereotype.

Instead of the one-hour theatre break from the first game we get one hour of bad guys telling us they're bad, what they're plans are and the outraged reaction of our heroes followed by their plans and "you won't get away with this" etcetera that wouldn't be out of place in cheap afternoon children's cartoon. Over and over again. Also, where the first game has complex character arcs that twist and turn as you progress, this one is just 'a girl pining for missing boy and then the boy turns up (many chapters before the end) and they kiss' without any sense of mystery or unexpected outcomes.

The biggest 'new addition' to this game is an optional fishing mini-game that is so boring its beyond description. The Orbments are made 'newer' by making you waste time upgrading all your slots and for all the effort involved you don't really get any new and exciting abilities, just the same old ones with a few new ones that most of the big-bads will be immune to anyway.

I'm quite thankful that I did push on to bother completing the game though as this game has quite completely destroyed my enthusiasm for continuing to play any more games from this series. I have absolutely zero desire to bother with part three. I feel fully complete with regards to my experience with this series. Done and dusted.

Generally ok with large long patches of utter tedium, a massive come-down from the first game. Any sane developer would have completely removed chapter 8 and possibly a few others for no change in the impact of the game other than improving it's time-wasting problem:

6/10
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December 27th, 2019, 10:04
Nice review though I'm not surprised as the last two games are the best ones in the series.
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December 27th, 2019, 17:27
Those Abyss worms are the literal stuff of nightmares. I do love the games and the series as a whole, but man, they made a few choices with this particular game that still bewilder me.
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December 29th, 2019, 17:25
Elex

I originally didn't care for this game, because I found the balance poor and the difficulty scaling too binary.

Thankfully, I found a very good mod called Elex Overhaul - which fixed more or less all my issues with imbalance - and made the game much more enjoyable.

It probably helped that I knew exactly what to expect too

Anyway, I planned on taking my time and doing a full 80-100 hour playthrough - but I sort of lost steam after the 30 hour mark, and rushed through the ending.

It still has a bunch of pacing issues - and the main story doesn't fit very well into the open world structure, I found.

But it was more interesting than expected - and the actual gameplay was much improved, and in such a way that I felt it was nearly perfect in terms of the power curve.

I picked Clerics once again - but made sure to play on Ultra difficulty so as to not make it a pushover, and that was the correct choice.

The game was tough in the beginning, as it should be - but I didn't have to wait until level 25 to be able to do anything, and then - because of the binary nature - destroy everything soon after.

Instead, the game became explorable without too much hassle around level 10-15 - where most of the mid-level enemies could be defeated, and it helped to understand that the game expects you to run away for a very big part of the game.

Also, it wasn't until the very end that I felt properly powerful (around level 30) - and that's perfect for me.

Originally, I completely broke the game by using the Redeemer plasma rifle - by cheesing the Elex potion mechanics.

I avoided that here, and the weapons have been rebalanced - as has the Elex potion cost.

So, it was much better - and I'm happy to have completed it.

Can't wait for Elex 2 - and I'm not firmly back as a Piranha Bytes fanboi - even though I needed a mod to enjoy myself.

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December 31st, 2019, 07:49
GreedFall

I finished the game after 32 hours. It was fun enough but I don't think I will ever replay the game as there are just too much railroading and backtracking.

I couldn't play this game initially due to my motion sickness but I was able to get around it by turning off all camera effects, increasing FoV to max, and running the game on lowest graphics setting to prevent it running like a slideshow on my PC.

Even in the lowest graphics setting, I think the game looked nice enough and I loved the outfit designs and art style in general.

GreedFall's main strength is the plot/story presentation. The story was really engaging for the most part but sadly it started to fall apart near the end. Most of the side quests are interwoven with the main quests, to a point you won't get a full picture of the plot if you choose not to finish all side quests. In some cases, you won't be able to progress the main quest without finishing certain side quests and vice versa. The game has a number of big twists/reveals along the way but some of these are hinted perhaps too much for those who pay attention to dialogues and side quests. Even so, I thought the reveals were handled very well, bringing out all those tender emotions through excellent cut scenes and voice overs.

Unfortunately, I was rather unimpressed with the companions. There are 5 available in game, each representing different factions - Kurt is a member of Coin Guards, Vasco is a member of Nauts, Petrus from Theleme, Aphra from the Bridge Alliance, and Siora is one of the Natives of the new land (the main protagonist, De Sardet, represents Merchant Congregation, and that's all 6 factions in GreedFall). While I found all of companions' personal quests excellent, outside of these quests, they were just… there. Not saying a word, without any personality. The romance in particular was extremely disappointing - you finish their personal quests to earn their "friendship" and have a few chit chat where you must pick the "correct" answer to impress them and suddenly, they want to sleep with you. After that one night, you never hear a peep from them again. Until the final battle. Well, at least that was my De Sardet's experience with Vasco. I'm not sure if other romance options are more lively than he was.

All 6 faction stories were also very well-written and I was very eager to find out more about…. their evil deeds. I'm not sure which faction I despise the most - which made it very difficult to make the "final choice" for the end game.

The major downside of the game is that there's just too much railroading. Often, the dialogues are presented as cut scenes where the whole thing just plays out on its own where you have absolutely no input. De Sardet would say things that doesn't fit the version of De Sardet I had in mind. Basically, I felt like I was playing more-or-less defined protagonist, barring few choices here and there. I had to sit there gritting my teeth, while De Sardet was throwing her charming smile or kissing ass in attempt to maintain good relationship with everyone. In addition, the game is structured so rigidly, you can't leave the building/area unless you have ticked off all your objectives or the whole area is completely empty or inaccessible until you have relevant quest available to you - this also made the exploration extremely unrewarding.

There is also a lot of backtracking throughout the whole game which really frustrated me - most of the quests basically make you to go to A, then to B, then back to A, then back to B etc. Thankfully, most of the maps are tiny and you can fast travel to various locations providing you set up the camp during your initial visit to the new areas.

I played the game on lowest difficulty as I didn't find the combat mechanic enjoyable and I just wanted to experience the story with minimal interruption.

Overall, I rate GreedFall 6.5/10.
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December 31st, 2019, 10:23
Thanks for all the reviews, sounds like I should pick up Elex and give Greedfall a pass.

I recently finished Mage's Initiation: Reign of the elements and I would give it a 6/10. Good for quest for glory fans or hard core adventure game fans but probably a pass for most others.

I also finished Full Throttle remastered and it gets a solid 8/10, as good as it was back in the day but just too short.

Also finished a run of Freespace 2 for the first time and it was as good as I thought it would be 9/10. I ran it with all the texture mods and the game mechanics and missions were top notch. Highly recommended for all space game enthusiasts.
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