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Added by Nosoki on 9 Mar 2014 06:45
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Played in 2014

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Rating: List Type:
Status: Platinum Trophy acquired
Playing Time: About 7 hours

Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection is basically a Mega Drive emulator for the Playstation 3 with some in-built games. I wanted it because it has Bonanza Bros, possibly the best game ever released for the console. It also has some nice side scrolling beat 'em ups with co-op play for the times when your friends come over.

The collection has some legendary Sega titles like Sonic the Hedgehog and Altered Beast. Some of the games are very good, some of them are horrible diarrhea-vomit from the depths of hell. Getting the platinum trophy required playing almost all of the games for a short while and doing some easy task on them. I only did the challenges because I'm a trophy whore. Nothing was too hard, except for a trophy where you had to complete the game Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine. Luckily you can skip to the final level with a code, so I did that. The final level was ridiculously hard and I believe I wouldn't have been able to beat it without save states.

I'm not going to write about every game separately, but I'll be writing about the ones that I really play for a longer time in the next edition of my gaming diary. The game has a rating system, where you can give a game a star rating from 0 to 5 without the possibility to give half stars. I don't use 0 stars as a rating personally, so I'll list the rating I've given the games here to give you an idea what I liked and what I hated:

5 Stars: Bonanza Bros

4 Stars: Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 3, Sonic & Knuckles

3 Stars: Altered Beast, Decap Attack, Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine, Gain Ground, Golden Axe III, Shinobi III, Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island, Sonic Spinball, Streets of Rage, Streets of Rage 2, Streets of Rage 3

2 Stars: Columns, Comix Zone, Dynamite Headdy, Ecco the Dolphin, Ecco: The Tides of Time, Flicky, Golden Axe II, Kid Chameleon, Ristar

1 Star: Alex Kidd, Alien Storm, E-SWAT, Fatal Labyrinth, Golden Axe, Super Thunder Blade, The Story of Thor, VectorMan, VectorMan 2

I didn't play the time-taking RPGs from Phantasy Star or Shining Force series, because they didn't have a trophy related to them. These are games that I'm actually interested in, so if I'll play them sometime, I'll write about them. For now, I can't say if they are any good or not. I did start Shining in the Darkness and it seemed to be an ok dungeon crawler that required a hell of a lot of grinding. However, I'm not sure if I'll have the patience to complete it.

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Forge - PC Games
Status: Hundreds of games played
Playing Time: Tens of hours

I used to collect and play with Magic the Gathering cards when I was in grade school. The game itself was very much fun, and the fact that you can build your own decks from so many combinations was appealing to a 12-year-old. However, I stopped playing when the first modern block (I believe it was Mirrodin) was released. A while ago I dug up my old cards and wanted to buy new sleeves and cool deck protectors for them. Of course I became a bit interested in the game after such a long while. I did not start playing Cock Magic again, and to be honest, I'm not even interested in the modern sets of the game. I just wanted to play with the decks that I already had constructed years ago. This is where Forge comes in to play.

Forge is a fan-made open source program that lets you play MtG as you like. It has almost all the cards from every set and it works pretty damn well. It plays with the newest edition of the rules of the game, but you can turn on old game mechanics like mana burn or ante if you like. The most important thing for me was that I can play with and against the decks that I like, so I can kind of live my youth again without having to learn MtG all over again. I'm not saying that all the new sets and rules are bad or anything (actually removing mana burn is a nice change), but I just don't want to learn the economy of the game etc. again, at least for now. I'm just an old fart in this aspect.

The AI in Forge isn't anything superb, but given a deck that is good enough it can give you some challenge. The game mechanics themselves are good enough as the game goes pretty much the way a normal game with real cards would. The only real problem for me was the assign blockers phase, were sometimes you couldn't tap a card that you should be able to. The game doesn't have every card ever printed, because some cards have such tricky rulings that they can't be made into the code of the program. Luckily I don't use cards like Sorrow's Path in my deck so this wasn't a real problem for me.

Of course playing against an AI opponent isn't as fun as it is to play against real people. I really like Magic the Gathering as a party game, and Forge is more like Solitaire, a way to kill off some time. It is also a nice way to try out some new deck ideas without having to buy the cards in real life. I actually ended up updating my decks a bit with pre-modern cards that I had wanted to buy back in like 2001, but couldn't because they were too expensive back then. Now the old cards are ridiculously cheap if you don't want the super cards that are usable in today's decks, or collectible stuff like Alpha cards. Playing Forge also made me host an MtG party where we played 2 on 2 with the friends I played with over 10 years ago for several hours straight. It proved how much fun the game can be.

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Mirror's Edge - PlayStation 3
Status: Completed
Playing Time: About 8 hours

I never played Mirror's Edge when it was released, because I wasn't really interested in it, even though I liked the idea of avoiding combat as much as possible. The game was offered for free on the PSN to commemorate 20 years of Playstation so I finally gave it a try.

Back in 2008 parkour was a big phenomenon, and this was one of the first games to use it as the main element of gameplay, and sure as hell it was the first one to try it in first person. The game mechanics may have been revolutionary in 2008, but now they seemed a bit flawed. It is nice that your character does not do everything automatically, so you'll have to do something more than just jump at certain points, but too many times I ended up falling because the girl just decided that it is time to die, even though the ledge she was supposed to grab was well within reach - sometimes I just slowly fell down a wall and she would not grab a ledge that was in the wall, under her.

When you get the game to work like it's supposed to and run full speed for like a minute, the game is rather fun, and you kind of forget everything that you don't like about it. The free-flowing combos can give you a nice bit of an adrenaline rush, but as soon as you stop, the game becomes kind of boring. The plot advances very fast, but it's just a very plain and uninteresting conspiracy piece that has been seen about a million times already. The graphic style in the cut scenes is somewhat beautiful, but when you play the game, it looks boring, because the game is just plain whiteness everywhere. The Apple-like static cleanliness is just too much of a turn-off for me. Now the game almost looks like they forgot the textures from everything. The dystopic world order of the game could be blamed for this, but I just didn't buy it to the full extent.

The game is very short and doesn't give you too many problems to complete if you are not going for the time attack challenges. I'm sure that I would suck ass at them, because I rarely had those nice free run combos at full speed, so perhaps that's why I didn't like the game as much as those who are actually good at it do. The other reason why I didn't try the time attacks is that they require you to be online, and the EA servers were down 95% of the time I used to play Mirror's Edge, which goes to show just how much EA values their players.

I hated the combat of the game. Console FPS games are a cancer, and somehow shooting felt very horrible in this one. You couldn't aim for shit, the weapons seemed very weak, and sometimes it felt like it doesn't even matter if you shoot the enemies in the head or the armor. I like it when you have the option to not fight in a game, but it should be that because you choose to or that the enemy is overwhelmingly powerful. In Mirror's Edge you could pretty easily kill every enemy you come to on the normal difficulty, but stupid errors like the girl grabbing onto something that you don't want her to etc. make it very hard.

Oh, and the tattoos of every character in the game have the word DOUCHEBAG written all over them.

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People who added this item 388 Average listal rating (192 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 0
Assassin's Creed II - PlayStation 3
Status: Completed
Playing Time: About 40 hours

The second installment in the Assassin's Creed series proved out to be slightly better than the first one. This is mainly because the game doesn't just consist of a couple of different mini games you do over and over again before killing the target. Now the plot advances somehow smoother because of this and makes the game more fun to play.

Italy is a good environment for the game and the scenery is once again very beautiful. On the second hand, adding Leonardo Da Vinci in the game as an inventor with no limits is just plain stupid. The in-game Leonardo feels more like Gyro Gearloose than an actual person. Oh and the DNA memory plot is just awful crap, as is the Illuminati shit of the memory sections itself. There is a limit to how far you can go with a conspiracy plot and that limit is exceeded in Assassin's Creed II. It just gets ridiculously stupid when you are searching Illuminati connections from the pictures of Gandhi. The final boss of the game is The Super Pope. This is a horrible decision from the designers.

They have added some new combat elements in the game, but it is still mostly just standing in the middle of the guards with the block button down and doing counter attacks. The game is also ridiculously easy, because you can hold up to 15 instant use medical items in your inventory. I think there was one situation in the game where I needed even one. This is how easy Assassin's Creed II really is.

And then there are those stupid things like a super armor inside your uncle's castle, kept behind some bars. You can actually see the armor at all times, but to reach it you'll need six seals from challenge tombs. Why doesn't the main character just fucking saw off the bars or destroy the wall around the armor and get it immediately? In one mission you escort a gondola and have to kill all the archers before they kill the people in the boat. This is understandable when in tight canals inside the city, but the retard driver keeps right next to the shore when the boat hits OPEN SEA. I mean, you could like, get off the range of the archers instead of dying, but no, this is how we do things in an Italian row boat.

After complaining this much I'll go and say that Assassin's Creed II is a good game. It looks very nice, and the adrenaline rush after a well timed assassination followed a pitch-perfect parkour run through the city to get rid of your pursuers is just amazing. The collectibles are done very well, because there are only 100 feathers that you need to collect for a big reward. After 50 or so you get a nice weapon that is actually very good at the point you can get it, so it gives you a reason to collect the feathers. Thankfully the amount isn't a horrible one. There are also collectible chests that give you money, but you can buy maps for them to make getting them very easy and often connected with your crazy parkour jumping around the city. This is a VERY healthy improvement to the first game, where you had like a thousand collectibles that would not give you anything as a reward for collecting them.

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Status: Not Completed
Playing Time: About 15 hours

Honestly, I hate almost everything involving zombies. They just aren't my thing. That's why I hate the fad where everything has to be about zombies. This is why Dead Island didn't interest me the slightest bit when it was released. However, when three of my friends decided to buy this, a chance to play something co-op opened and I gave the game a try.

I was pretty happy that the game isn't about cheap jump scares, but it's just about whacking the zombies in the head with whatever you can find. It proved out to be quite fun. The setting where you whack an island full of douchebags in the head was something I could live with, be they zombies or not.

I played through the Act I several times to get a trophy that required it, because I was going to plat the game since we had a gang of four to play it with. The game became boring and repetitive during those runs, but I still wanted to play the game co-op very much so I waited for everyone to have time for a gaming session.

After many unsuccessful attempts to get our schedules to match we finally started. The four-player co-op proved out to be very much fun. I especially enjoyed the batshit crazy car rides where it always seemed that the driver was DRUNK. It never stopped being funny. Whacking the zombies with everyone ganging up on one zombie at a time and just kicking them while they were in the ground was very fun despite the obvious douchebaggery of the situation.

It is a shame that we never had the time to really play the game with all of us on board. Then one of us stopped playing completely because he didn't like the game. When the tree of us tried to continue, the game servers were against us. The multiplayer would just be too laggy and buggy to play and we had to stop. It's just as simple as that. I would have liked to continue the game co-op, but it wasn't possible anymore. That's why I don't believe we will be continuing the game at any point. As I don't give two shits about the single player experience of the game, I'm not planning on returning to it ever again. This is why I can't say that Dead Island is a good game or a bad game. Single player isn't worth it and multiplayer is very much fun if it works. This time it didn't.

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Clicker Heroes - PC Games
Status: Level 115 Completed
Playing Time: About a week

Clicker Heroes is a flash-based idle-game, where most of the time you don't do anything at all, but just leave the game run on the background when you are doing something else. The idea is to upgrade your damage-per-second so that you'll kill monsters. You can click on the monsters for extra damage and kill them faster or you can leave the game running and let it kill them that way. One level has 10 monsters you'll need to kill before entering the next level, and every 5 levels comes a boss fight, where you have 30 seconds to kill the boss or the fight starts again.

I was really surprised that I was hooked on this for a couple of days. Most of the game is just waiting so that you'll get money to buy upgrades and new heroes that give you skills or more DPS. The first few days go on waiting for you to get a hero named Midas at a high enough level to get his skill that gives you a "money combo". After that you don't make most of your money by waiting to get the kill rewards from the monsters, but clicking as many times as possible on the hardest boss you can get to. This is possible once every hour and you'll make ridiculous amounts of money and you'll finally be able to buy the most expensive heroes.

This goes smoothly all the way up to level 110. Then the game just stops. The enemies start having so much health that it takes hours to kill enough to advance a level. Then you'll notice that you have all the heroes and their upgrades don't do anything to your massive DPS amount. However, you can't even scratch the boss at level 115, because he has so much health. This is where you'll have to start using a skill that upgrades your DPS by 10% every eight hours. Then the game is just opening your browser every eight hours (the cooldown timers go down even if the browser is closed) and clicking the skill. You'll have to do this like 20 times to be able to kill the boss and this is all that you get from the game at this point. I decided that after I've killed the boss at level 115, I'd stop playing as the game had nothing more to offer. Even the monster types and terrains were those that had been used in the game earlier.

So, I did not like Clicker Heroes at all. The way it just ends, but actually it doesn't, annoys me, and gameplay-wise it isn't anything but waiting. Why on Earth did I play this? Well, you can try the game and tell me that you can stop after just one level. It is deceivingly addictive, yet unrewarding.

On a side note: there is a hero whose final skill resets the game and you can start with a bonus that gives you more money when you play. I don't really see the point in this, because money becomes completely obsolete at the point you can even get the upgrade.

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People who added this item 198 Average listal rating (58 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 0
Status: Completed
Playing Time: About 98 hours

The Ghibli game for the PS3 was on sale for 4,95€ so I just had to buy it. I really wasn't sure what to expect, because I have liked Ghibli's films quite a lot, but somehow I didn't think they'd fit in a game format very well.

Ni no Kuni is a JRPG where the battles are fought in real time by a combination of using your characters and their captured monsters. The whole monster thing is very similar to Pokémon and one of the basic ideas of the game is to collect as many of the creatures as possible and evolve them to be better fighters. The creatures have different kinds of uses from damage absorbing tanks to healers and in theory the game should offer a fair amount of different playing styles. However, this isn't completely true.

The battle system relies heavily on power-leveling. Even normal battles can be unbearably annoying, because you have three characters in real time, and you can control only one of them at a time. The two others just faff about and use abilities that have NO USE IN THAT PARTICULAR BATTLE AT ALL. I mean if you put them at "do whatever you want", they'll start by using up all their mana on spells that don't boost your stats or do any damage to the enemy. You can put them on "don't use any abilities", but even then they'll sometimes use an ability. Putting them all on "don't do anything" is the best option, but then you'll have to scroll through them all the time, and that isn't very smooth in real time. An option to give them orders while the gameplay is paused like in, say, Mass Effect would have saved a lot and made the game a hell of a lot better.

The game has an optional super boss that has a one hit KO attack. The boss charges it for a long time, and it is piss easy to avoid, but your team mates just can't do anything about it, because they are so stupid that they don't avoid it but rather run strictly in it. This is why the battle has to be soloed pretty much all the time. Luckily, there are only a handful of really hard battles in the game, so most of the time the retarded team mates don't ruin your game. The hardest part of the game is a combat arena, where you'll have to fight 3-5 battles in a row without using healing items. When your team mates use up all your mana or get themselves killed in the first battle, the rest are a drag.

Another annoying thing about the game is that it treats you like a retard. 20 hours in the game it still gives you advice like "MOVE THE LEFT ANALOG STICK TO WALK". The game just holds your hand and you can't skip the tutorial scenes. It is like being forced to call Master Miller from Metal Gear Solid but without any irony or fun. This ruins the replay value of the game completely. I remember fighting an ice based boss and having it reveal its weak spot. I charged up my most powerful fire spell and just before I got to use it, the game popped up a box saying "USE FIRE BASED ATTACKS YOU FUCKING NIMWIT". Then it cancelled my fire spell and left me with a cooldown counter as if I had just used the spell.

Oh but Ni no Kuni isn't all shit and pain. The Pokémon style creature collecting is very addicting, the world looks nice and the graphics are like the best that I've seen on the PS3. I liked the leveling up and the optional side quests when they aren't one particular style where you need to "give heart" to others. Looking for different kinds of monsters and making the best super group out of them was very fun, and I noticed my inner child revealing himself when all of my creatures had very mature names like Ballsack. I also liked some mini games and gathering ingredients so I could feed my creatures stat boosting treats.

I had very much fun with Ni no Kuni when it was about collecting creatures or doing side quests. The main quest's plot starts out with a tale of a young boy losing his mother, but the plot is somewhat of a letdown, because Ghibli has dealt with the subject of absent parents a lot better in their films. The poor battle system didn't ruin the experience and in the end it only made the hardest battles of the game annoying in a completely wrong way. As a JRPG, Ni no Kuni is ok, but I'd still recommend Ghibli films over this.

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Tombi (PS) - PlayStation
Status: Completed
Playing Time: About 7 hours

Tombi! (or Tomba! on the US market) is a 2½D platformer with RPG elements. It is a game that was included on the demo disc of the Playstation 1, and everyone knew the game, yet nobody bought it. One of the best decisions of my life game-wise was to buy it used for 150 marks (roughly 25€) at the end of the 1990s. The game became a cult artifact, costing around 100 pounds on internet auctions before it was released on the PSN. During the years, I have completed the game around 30 times or so, and it still remains my favorite game of the PSone. I still play the game from the original disc, because the PSN version is the US release, and it runs on a different frame rate, making the game a tiny bit slower. It does not affect the actual gameplay, but as I have completed the game so many times, the music sounds a bit weird. Yet, the PSN version is very cheap and highly recommended, I'll bet that a person who has never played the game before won't know the difference.

It is always a pleasure to return to the bizarre world of pig hunting. Basically the plot of the game is that evil pigs steal your golden bracelet, and you go out for revenge. Then you'll realize that the evil pigs are going to conquer the world. The world itself is obscurely psychedelic. Places like The Mushroom Forest, where you eat mushrooms that make you laugh or cry, and the whole forest laughs or cries with you, leave and everlasting impression. The whole game has heavy drug abuse marked all over it, and it is at its best when played intoxicated. This time my choice was 10 cans of beer.

The game is very easy to complete, and it only gives you a fair amount of grey hair in a motocross race course, where you have to beat the best time to get a gold medal that is used in another quest. The mini game is insanely hard when compared to the rest of the game, and this time it took me two hours to complete it. The fact that the car farts all the time does not make the mini game more pleasant.

Other than that, Tombi! is just awesome. The platforming isn't the best there is, but it is very manageable. Nowadays it takes a bit of getting used to, because the game doesn't support analog sticks, so you'll have to play it with the d-pad of the controller. The graphics are a bit rough on the edges, but for a PSone game Tombi! has aged very well considering that most of the PSone games look like pure gore nowadays. The colorful and psychedelic visuals are fun to watch and the jolly theme tunes are very nice and catchy. The game has around 130 quests of which about half are mandatory and the rest are optional. Most of the quests are very simple, but some require a lot of back tracking and out-of-the-box thinking. As you can see, 100% completion took me around seven hours this time, so Tombi! is a perfect choice for one day's drunken fun. To me, it remains one of the best games of all time.

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Status: Rebel Flagship destroyed several times
Playing Time: About 45 hours

Again, it is Gog.com, a great sale and an interesting indie game. Shortly after the release of the Advanced Edition, FTL: Faster than Light was on sale for $3,39. Having wanted to try out the game for quite a some time it didn't take me long to throw my money at Gog.com.

One word that could describe FTL is HARD. The goal of the game is to advance through 8 sectors of space and destroy the Rebel Flagship three times before it destroys your base. The enemies are quite easy at the first few sectors, but soon you'll be facing enemies that you can't even scratch with your default weapons. You'll have to upgrade your ship to be able to deal with multiple layers of shielding, defense drones, boarding crews, solar flares, etc. Every time you die, it is final, no second tries.

This makes FTL the kind of game where after your death you'll be saying to yourself "One more go, the next time I'll complete it", only to be butt-fucked by the first ship you'll come across. I have had game overs after one jump because the enemy's missile would hit my only crew member and ignite the ship around him. The game can be brutally unfair at some points, but once you get the hang of it, you'll see that you are advancing slowly but steadily.

Basically there are a few ways to upgrade your ship that almost guarantee a victory. Fully upgraded cloaking system, Flak Cannons, a hacking system and a Pike Beam almost guarantee a victory. However, the randomness of the game doesn't spoil you by giving these every time you play. Managing and saving your scrap to be able to buy these is the key, but if you only have one layer of shields, you are a sitting duck. Do you sacrifice the opportunity to get the upgrades from the next store to be able to stay alive for just a little longer or burst through space with your ship and crew on fire?

One time I had two pairs of Flak Cannon mk. II, a weapon pre-igniter, a Pike Beam and Pike Drones - a combo that could fire around 14 shots and two superior laser beams at the enemy before they could even react. I destroyed most of the enemies in under ten seconds, thinking that the last boss fight would be a breeze. However, when the final stage of fight started, the enemy would send a boarding party that killed all my crew in an instant. A certain victory was swept away from my hands in mere seconds.

When I finally destroyed the Rebel Flagship, I had learned its attack patterns and weaknesses. After the first victory the game started to become easier as I unlocked some different styles of other spacecraft. After a long and tedious process of trial and error and countless game overs I felt like I had actually done something right. Now when I play, I can complete the game about 50% of the time, but it hasn't become boring or anything, because now the goal is to unlock every type of spacecraft.

The game has quite a few ships and their style of play is very different from each other. The starting ship depends heavily on Laser Cannons while another ship relies on drones to act as crew members. Some ships have their own special weapons whereas some rely on sending your crew to board the ships you encounter. Mastering each and every one of the ships will take me a long time, and I'm willing to try my best to do so, because FTL is one of the best games in ages.

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Status: Final Fantasy X Completed
Playing Time: About 135 hours

The HD remaster of Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2 was perhaps the most anticipated game of the recent years for me. It was announced somewhere around 2010 or so, and I've been putting off my re-play of FFX ever since, because I wanted to play it on the PS3. I pre-ordered the game in early 2013, and the release date was pushed back constantly. Finally, it was released on 21st of March.

The plot of FFX is complete and utter shit. I mean, it's ridiculously childish crap about a whiny kid crying how much he hates his dad while entering a contest for the most messed up haircut. Most of the characters and the voice acting are poorly done. This is why Final Fantasy X becomes a good game only after you have beaten most of the plot. That's when the grind for the super boss Penance begins.

The optional Monster Arena and other side quests offer around 100 hours of great fun. The battle system of Final Fantasy X is perhaps the most refined in the whole series after Final Fantasy Tactics. The game has so many items, equipment and possible strategies that it is always awesome when you are fighting a battle. This is why even the plot battles are great and the crappy plot itself doesn't ruin the game. The turn-based battles are much better than the active time bar battles seen before, where you are in a terrible rush to do things. It is also nice that most of the bosses in the game are actually weak against status attacks - something that seems almost unheard of in other Final Fantasy games.

I'm also probably the only person in the world who just absolutely LOVES the blitzball minigame. Almost everyone I know always complain how much ass it sucks, but to me it is one of the best things in the whole game. That's why it's never a problem for me to grind Wakka's ultimate weapon parts through the minigame - one of the most hated things in the game for the majority.

I could have lived without having to dodge 200 lightning bolts in Thunder Plains, because in the PS3 version they have messed up the timing. I could do perhaps 35-40 without help. Then I read that the messed up timing is corrected if you connect your PS3 to the TV via a scart cable instead of a HDMI cable. I tested this out and completed the dodging minigame on my second attempt.

The HD remaster looks a lot better than the original. Some of the graphics have been remade completely, and that shows in character faces and some environments. The world of Spira looks nice and somehow I have always liked it, even though I don't like the plot or the characters. The sphere grid leveling system is great, because it gives the illusion of complete freedom, even though it is fairly limited for the most of the game. When it actually does give you the freedom to choose what to do, it gives you a lot of different options to plan your stats to suit your style of play.

Final Fantasy X offered a lot of great memories. It is a game from my childhood, and I like it a bit more because of its nostalgia value. Defeating Penance is always a thing that feels like an achievement, and the addition of trophies alone made the long wait worth it. To me, Final Fantasy X is the last great Final Fantasy game, and the HD remaster is a worthy face-lift for it. Final Fantasy X-2 is completely a different case... It has some nice things, but the plot is even more horrible, and the minigames are about as much fun as killing yourself. I'm not in a hurry to start playing its HD version, because they have made it even harder than on the PS2. Actually, I could have lived without its HD remaster completely. However, because I'm an idiot, I'll probably have to beat it 100% at some point. It takes forever to do, it's very easy to screw up completely, and it is NEVER even remotely fun.

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People who added this item 33 Average listal rating (17 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 0
Status: Completed
Playing Time: About 10 (the game) + 5 (the iDroid app) hours

Ok, I'm a Metal Gear Solid fanboy to the bone. This is why I was a bit surprised that I pre-ordered Ground Zeroes only a week before the release. Maybe it was because it cost 30€ and everyone said it is SHORT. I've always liked the story of Big Boss and the MSF more than Solid Snake, so Ground Zeroes was promising in that aspect.

When I finally started playing, the mechanics proved out to be absolutely superb when compared to every other Metal Gear Solid game. Everything is just so smooth and fun gameplay-wise. I had so much fun with the main mission, because interrogating people and murdering everyone little by little was so intriguing. After three hours I had killed every single person on the map without alarms or shots fired. I think that this is the ABSOLUTE maximum time you can spend on the mission, because it is very very short if you play it like Metal Gear Solid games are played. When just completing the objectives, the game is about 20 minutes long.

It is a shame that Ground Zeroes doesn't really add anything to the story of the Big Boss. I wasn't expecting anything like Metal Gear Solid 3 (to me, the best game in the world) story-wise, but I was expecting at least something. Then again, the game mechanics are so much fun that I immediately started waiting for The Phantom Pain, so I guess that Ground Zeroes has fulfilled its purpose as far as Konami cares.

The side missions are on the same map as the main mission, which was a letdown. They are some fun on their own, but you really don't want to play them all in a row, because they offer so little variety. The main mission is by far the best of the bunch, so there isn't really a reason to play the others, except for the Playstation exclusive Deja Vu mission, which was so different from the others that it was a fun curiosity.

Konami also released a Ground Zeroes app for smart phones and tablets. It allows you to connect your mobile device to the game and use its screen as a radar that is on at all times. You can also call for helicopters and read the mission briefings this way. It is a nice addon, but honestly, I couldn't keep my eyes on both the game and the tablet, so it has no real use without a docking station put next to the TV screen. The app also allows you to listen to the cassette tapes you've found in the game and it has a mother base building simulator mini game. For some reason the cassettes didn't update when I found more of them, so sadly I can't listen to all of them with my tablet.

The mother base simulator of the app is simple but fun. I loved Peace Walker very much because of the mother base aspect, where you actually felt like you were building Outer Heaven (and the great multiplayer, of course). The mini game allows you to do that and send your troops on missions. It isn't something I'd use hours and hours on non-stop, but it is a good way to kill some time when traveling on a bus or visiting my parents or something boring like that.

Overall, Ground Zeroes is very good as far as the game mechanics go. Too bad that the goodness doesn't last for very long. My game time includes lots and lots of re-plays, and if you want to complete the game just once, it offers you 30-60 minutes of game time. Very fun 30-60 minutes nevertheless. Despite the length, the only real flaw is Kiefer Sutherland. Everyone who has ever played a Metal Gear Solid game knows why replacing David Hayter is a bad idea.

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Paper Sorcerer - PC Games
Status: Completed
Playing Time: About 12 hours

A friend of mine told me that an interesting-looking indie game was part of one of those "pay what you want" bundles with some other games I can't even remember. After looking at one gameplay video of Paper Sorcerer and noticing that I liked the visual style of the game very much, I decided to pay the minimum £1 required and started playing.

Paper Sorcerer is an old school style first person dungeon crawler. I have never gotten familiar with the genre because it was pretty much dead when I started playing RPGs, so to me the biggest thing are the isometric style games. Luckily, the visual style of Paper Sorcerer is very different from those old school dungeon crawlers, mainly because the game takes place within a book where you have been imprisoned. The paper-style black and white graphics look very nice and during my 12 hours of playing they never got old. A truly great low tempo electronic soundtrack stays with you for a long time and is a very nice change to those generic orchestral fantasy soundtracks that you hear in every RPG.

Basically you just crawl your way through 10 cellblocks in the prison that is also a book. You encounter your enemies in a JRPG way and as I like the battle systems in games like Final Fantasy, I felt at home with Paper Sorcerer immediately. The game offers you a good deal of challenge which is good, because now you really have to plan your team and use their abilities. For example, one of the last bosses in the game had such a ridiculous amount of defence that I couldn't do any damage to him with my regular attacks. I then poisoned and cursed him and focused on staying alive for just enough for him to succumb to the poison. The feeling of victory was far bigger than it would have been if I had just killed someone by using my sword attacks.

Even though I really liked Paper Sorcerer, there are some flaws in the game. The gameplay becomes pretty repetitive quickly. This is why I kept long breaks after every cellblock so the game wouldn't feel like a boring grind. The puzzles in the game aren't that challenging - mainly just finding a key and using it in that one keyhole on the floor. The game has one big puzzle which involves backtracking to previously beaten cellblocks, but with it came the biggest disappointment of the whole game: The door you are supposed to be able to open when completing the long and tedious sidequest did NOT open. I had the key in my inventory, but I couldn't use it on the door. What a pity, because I would have liked to get the ultimate reward from that quest. There was supposed to be a patch for this bug, but it hasn't been released yet.

When you learn the battle mechanics and start using your team to its full potential, Paper Sorcerer is great fun. For such a cheap price it offered surprisingly much to play. The game looks very nice and as I mentioned before, the soundtrack is just frickin' awesome. The ending is a one joke gimmick, but hilarious nevertheless. I strongly recommend you pick this one up as its regular price isn't too much to pay for such a great game either.

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Evoland - PC Games
Status: Completed
Playing Time: About 5 hours

Evoland is an indie game that guides you through the evolution of video games like Zelda and Final Fantasy. As you progress, you unlock new graphics, gameplay mechanics, et cetera. This is a nice idea and it works very well. It is just too bad that you have unlocked pretty much everything after one hour of playing. Then it is just a 3D adventure game, which is a shame, because the 16-bit sections were a lot nicer than the 3D ones.

The game has three styles of gameplay. One of them is a Zelda style four direction swordplay game in real time. It was the most fun of the three. The other is a turn-based Final Fantasy homage, which is ok, but too easy as you don't have enough variety in it (you can actually win every fight in the game by just using attack and heal every turn). The third one is a cheap Diablo style hack 'n slash section, which is poorly done and where you just spam an area damage combo.

The game also tries to reference a lot of other games in a funny way. The non-useful items of the Diablo grind didn't make me smile. The biggest problem of Evoland is that it tries too hard to be funny. Characters that are named like Kaeris (who dies, of course, didn't see that coming...) aren't enough for the game to be a good homage to the original games it tries to imitate.

It is also a shame that Evoland has a lot of different mechanics, but they are used for only like 10 minutes. For example, it has a great simple card minigame, but there is only one character to play it with in the game. You don't even win anything by playing it so what's the point? The game has an inventory system, but it only has two sets of armor, which you both need if you plan to complete the game. Even though Evoland is supposed to be a short game, it just feels like it gives you a lot of different things, but you don't get to do anything with them. The time traveling puzzles are great fun, but there are only two places in the whole game where there are those.

Evoland is fun for one evening, but I would have liked it to be more. It kind of forgets the whole "evo" part of its name too soon and after that it is just an ordinary little indie game. I wouldn't pay the 10 bucks it costs. I got it from a sale for $2,49, and I'd say that it is the maximum amount of money you should pay for it.

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Mass Effect 2 - PlayStation 3
Status: The game and Arrival DLC completed
Playing Time: About 40 hours

I played this last year and I have nothing to add to what I said about the core game in my 2013 gaming diary. The new thing for me was the Arrival DLC which I played for the first time.

The DLC starts with a stealth section. I love stealth action games, but Mass Effect 2 has absolutely zero stealth elements gameplay-wise. This is why the section sucked balls heavily. Then it was time to shoot the bad guys. For some reason the baddies in the DLC don't take any cover and they just rush at you with the speed of Usain Bolt. This makes the shooting feel like the online multiplayer of Mass Effect 3 which was just running around with fire under your ass. I hated it in Mass Effect 3, so I hated it in this one also. Oh, and you have to solo most of the DLC. So Arrival is a stealth action solo run and gun shooter within a game that is designed for cover-based tactical squad action. The game mechanics were always against the DLC and it ended up being very poor and definitely not worth the 6,95€ it costs.
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Status: Not Completed
Playing Time: About 30 hours

This was once again a steal from Gog.com. $2,99 for such a great game was an offer I couldn't refuse. The turn-based tactical gameplay of Silent Storm is absolutely brilliant. The game is brutal if you screw up, but when you do, you'll just say to yourself that it was I who played badly, not the game who cheated.

The destroyable environments are so much fun. The enemy has you cornered with no way out? Well blast a hole in the wall and run away from it. Ten enemies rushing at you at once? Blow up the floor from underneath them and watch as their dead bodies lay in the cellar. The battle always has something like this going on and I had so much fun and so many good memories from the game... until I had only two more missions to go.

Then the game corrupted my save files. After that I just couldn't save the game anymore, because every time I'd try to load a save game, the game would just crash. Trying the normal solutions that some forums give for this problem didn't help, so I just couldn't complete the game. Such a shame.

Of course there are some things I didn't like about Silent Storm. The enemy turns take tediously long (there is a mod that makes them shorter, but it screws up the aiming percentages when trying to shoot the enemies in the head). The plot is actually quite bad, but I liked how it evolves based on the things you actually do in the missions. The voice acting is really horrible and insultingly racist.

I would definitely give Silent Storm more stars if it wasn't for the game-crashing bug.

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NHL 14 - PlayStation 3
Status: Two seasons of Be a GM played
Playing Time: About 50 hours

Okay, the Olympic rush got to me and I felt like playing some ice hockey. Because I'm EA's bitch I just keep on throwing my money at their direction even though I mainly have complaints about their games. NHL 14 is fun, but not without horrible flaws.

I'm not an online player, so I only played the offline Be a GM Mode with the New York Islanders. It felt good to make some really great GM decisions for the Isles as we sure as hell haven't seen any of those from that fucking dickwad Garth Snow this year. The most fun in the GM mode is to trade players and scheme a lot. I noticed that I used almost three hours to trade all my prospects from the rounds 4-7 for new draft picks which I ended up trading for a first round pick. I also started laughing when I traded Eric Boulton to the Boston Bruins for a draft pick, then picked him up from the waivers the same day and traded him back to the Bruins for another draft pick. For some reason this scheming cost me a lot of my GM reputation even though I consider myself a genius.

Then the horrible flaws: Your goalies are really, really, REALLY retarded. They can't catch any pucks from any angles. Hockey is a game where you have to rely on your goalie, so it would be nice to be able to do so. Every time the computer shoots a puck from like the sides from a really bad angle, I would just watch my goaltender suck it up. The goaltender animations are tediously long, and they don't have any ability to react after they start one. They would just stand there and watch as someone skates to the goal, not even trying to do anything. Also I really got sick of the goaltenders just going behind the net to get the puck, skate past it and STAY BEHIND THE NET, because their work seemingly has been done. This alone pretty much ruined the game for me.

Also it would be nice to see some other animations in like Stanley Cup celebrations than those that they have been using for the past five years.

Otherwise NHL 14 is a good game. Too bad that this also focuses too much on the Ultimate Team mode, which sucks more than in Fifa, because, let's face it, ice hockey is a marginal sport that is played in only a handful of countries, so there is not even a real community in HUT. The best thing about HUT is that you get coins for it by just logging in the game every day. The longer the streak, the more coins you get. This allowed me to get most of the HUT trophies by playing the mode as little as possible. Too bad that the game has just nullified my logging in streak twice even though I have not taken any days off from logging in.

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Also played:

These are the games that I've played a bit this year, but I don't have anything new to say about them since I also played them last year and have written about them in my 2013 gaming diary.
Okay, I wasn't going to keep a gaming diary this year, but after giving it some thought I decided to anyway. The problem with my gaming seems to be that I mainly play the same games every year, so a list telling about every one of them seems a bit stupid. I'll only write about re-plays if I have something new to say about the game or if I have played something like a DLC which I haven't played before. Otherwise the game goes to the bottom of the list where I keep a list of the games I've played this year that I've also played and written about before.

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