July 2023 Random Game Thoughts Thread

July Sale Dates:

Steam: Summer Sale: Now through July 13, Stealth Fest: July 24 - July 31
Epic: Summer Sale: July 11 - July 27
GoG: Summer Sale: Now through July 3

Coming to Game Pass in July:

Arcade Paradise: July 3
Sword and Fairy 7: July 5
Exoprimal: July 14
Techtonica: July 18
The Wandering Village: July 20
Venba: July 31

Top Game Launches for July (From PC Gamer):

  • July 12 — Oxenfree 2: Lost Signals - Spooky adventure sequel (Steam)
  • July 13 — Gravity Circuit - Not Mega Man, but basically Mega Man (Steam)
  • July 14 -- Exoprimal
  • July 14 -- Jagged Alliance 3
  • July 14 — Invector: Rhythm Galaxy - Cosmic pop music rhythm game (Steam)
  • July 18 — Ember Knights - Four-player 2D roguelike (Steam)
  • July 18 — My Friendly Neighborhood - Sesame Street, but scary (Steam)
  • July 18 — Viewfinder - Brain-twisting game of perspective (Steam)
  • July 18 — Xenonauts 2 - Strategy inspired by classic X-COM (Steam)
  • July 19 — Let's! Revolution! - Minesweeper-inspired roguelite (Steam)
  • July 20 -- Sims 4 Horse Expansion
  • July 20 — Frank and Drake - Supernatural adventure (Steam)
  • July 20 — Homeseek - Post-apocalyptic city-builder (Steam)
  • July 20 — Lakeburg Legacies - Matchmaking sim (Steam)
  • July 20 — Punch Club 2: Fast Forward - Boxing management game (Steam)
  • July 21 — Crime O'Clock - The time for crime (Steam)
  • July 25 -- Remnant 2
  • July 26 -- Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart
  • July 27 -- The Expanse: A Telltale Series
  • July 27 — Arcadian Atlas - Old-school RPG (Steam)
  • July 27 — Deadlink - Cyberpunk FPS (Steam)
  • July 31 — F1 Manager 2023 - Formula 1 management sim (Steam)
  • July 31 — Venba - Narrative cooking game (Steam)

Notable DLC Releasing in July:

Nothing of note other than The Sims Horse thing which was already mentioned above; however, I am having problems with Steam's Summer Sale format, so it's possible I could have missed something.

Notable Games Coming to Early Access in July:​

Additional July Releases Perhaps of Interest:​

(NOTE: Due to Steam's Summer Sale format, this was a near impossible job. I'm very likely, more than usual, to have missed some very good games)

A Selection of Demos Releasing in July:​

(Note: Most demos seem to just be released rather than scheduled, so there will likely be a lot more demos not listed here)

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Jagged Alliance 3 and Xenonauts 2 are my favorites for this month, but I won't buy them on release date. My backlog is so huge and I didn't even finish Diablo 4 yet for the fist time. Besides that there's a Steam sale on which I'll grab a game or two and GOG sale on which I already grabbed a game or two. :p Of course we're also one month from Baldur's Gate 3 release, which I'll be playing probably from day one.

Right now I'm continuing Diablo 4, but the progress is slower than I planned. It's because a few other games draw my attention. Lately I went a little crazy and launched Eye of the Beholder from 1990. I'm using an automapper called All-Seeing Eye because the game doesn't feature an automap. It was intended for the player to make his own map while playing the game. Anyway with ASE the game is really fun, if only someone likes retro vibes.
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From the 'Coming to Early Access' section"
This one is already in EA, and releasing July 14.
I was curious about a HO game being in EA, that's unusual as far as I know.
Ah, it had the EA symbol on it. I didn't scroll down far enough to see it was already on sale. Need to be alert for that in the future. I just watched the trailer and decided to include it.
So now that i've sated my desire for an Anno game, i'm kinda lost as to what i should play next. As a person who has a system when it comes to what to play next i've seen to drawn a blank as to what i really want to play next. its a first world problem to be sure and i have loads of good games to choose from. So why can't i just grab one from the hundreds and just get started? What is holding me back?

i need to take a quick break for tonight or play a doom wad and think about it tomorrow.


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A Plague Tale is starting to tick me off. The game keeps closing off the way back then checkpoint saving. It only has ONE save game so, if you missed something you really wanted, you have to restart the entire chapter! Sometimes it's clear that you aren't going to be able to go back the same way (e.g. when you jump down a ledge), but other times it just isn't. If you duck through a hole in a fence, sometimes you can go back again, sometimes some boards will slide down and block your way. If you climb over a fence, sometimes there will be a prompt to jump back again, sometimes not. With the sudden-checkpoint and single-checkpoint save system, guessing wrong means you miss loot you knew about.

I've been going through a city (ch. 9) and just had two of those in a row.
So far 93 people downloaded my cheat mod for Total War Troy. I think that's pretty solid. And the best part is the game isn't being updated anymore haha.


Still playing vanilla Satisfactory, but thinking about adding a few mods to it. For one thing, there are a couple of mods that add some different power options.

The other thing I really want is a cheat mod: infinite storage mod. If you don't have this, you have to build a ridiculous sized area to store all your nuclear waste, and no matter how ridiculous you make it, it's still going to run out of space eventually

There are also some better splitters and a few others, including one that makes the jetpack better and one that gives you 300 inventory slots.
I think modding is often just an aspect of playing the game for modders. Especially with mods that tweak the game in some way.
That's really all I do at the moment, although I've considered adding a couple of new units to the dwarfs, who have the most boring lineup in TWW3. I researched how to do it, and it isn't too difficult except for character modeling.

I'm going to add a machine to Satisfactory, but I've gotten permission from a modder to borrow one of his models and credit him in my mod.

To me, modeling is the hard part and is what's kept me just tinkering on the edges. In the case of Satisfactory, everything in the game has a very distinct art style that you really don't want to mess up. You would instantly recognize a new Satisfactory machine model before being told what it was.
Finished Palace of Ice, the latest DLC for Crown of the Magister, on Friday (6/30), and had absolutely no bugs or technical errors. Of course, by the time I started it, Tactical Adventures had already released 4 hotfixes/patches, so most issues seemed to have been fixed.

I replayed the main campaign then imported my characters into POL (which is easy to do), and I'd advise anyone thinking about playing it to do the same, as all your gear, potions, gold, and spells transfer with you. And you'll need them, as some of the battles can be brutal. There are also some instances where your party is recognized for some of the deeds they accomplished in the main campaign.

It's a very polished (after patches) adventure and also more linear than the main campaign, with some intense battles and very few "trash" mobs to deal with; even random encounters on the world map can sometimes be brutal. A few items of note:

- I hit the level cap of 16 about halfway through, and could have easily hit 18 or higher. I think they could have extended that cap a bit higher.

- Spells could use some refinement, as I found some to be critical and others to be nearly useless. Also, the descriptions could be a bit more detailed.

- Magic items. There are a lot of them, and at least 80% of them require "attunement" (being useable only by a specific character). Which is kind of a pain, but made worse by the fact that each character can only have 3 attuned items equipped. Each character should be able to have at least 6, if not 8, items that are attuned to them. There are just too many magical items for that design decision.

- You'll need a character that can cast a variety of healing spells, as well as having a good stock of healing potions. I found this to be more critical in POL than in the main campaign or the previous Lost Valley DLC.

- Voice acting went up a couple of notches (though still highly variable), and the brief conversation cutscenes are more polished than the base game. Just don't expect in-depth conversations with huge consequences.
1200 meters in the Satisfactory sky creating an arched train track on a narrow line of foundations.

Guido: This is taking a long time.

Me: Yep (Not only am I being careful, but I'm also experiencing vertigo. Satisfactory is the only game I've played that does that to me)

Guido shoots ahead creating foundations and train tracks at an unbelievable pace.

Guido: Crap!

Me: Let me know when you hit the ground.

Guido: You never gave me that parachute!

Me: Oops.

Ten minutes or so later he's back and, hilariously, falls off again. I still hadn't given him the parachute. :ROFLMAO:


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@mainer's Elvira doesn't look like how I remember her.

I went back into Marvel's Midnight Suns now that the DLC is out and started over again. Unfortunately, the UUU injector I use to try and take screenshots isn't very stable in that game. Ah well, it's still fun.

P.S. I've gotten 7 random cards for the sale so far without getting a single duplicate!
No-One Lives Forever with Cate Archer

Probably the best relatively unknown shooter from 20-25 years ago. Digital Foundry just posted a 50m video featuring side-by-side comparison of PC and PS2.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1jSWEXUi9c

If you were a fan of the 90m soundtrack:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CoV1N_Um1ZA

Or maybe just the 2m theme and Bond-like intro:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7JI1_lKdPc

It's a real shame that no one knows who owns it, so no one can attempt to remake or remaster without getting slapped with lawsuits—aka IP Hell.
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It was good stuff for sure. A remaster would be awesome - or just get the games out of abandonware hell and onto GOG with some support.

I worry a little that it would result in a whole new game, though. Did you see what they did to poor Lara Croft? Do you want to see Kate as a vulnerable young woman, struggling with the terrible violence being perpetrated around her (in the cutscenes, anyway)? I expect Kate Archer herself muddied the ownership to protect her from that fate.
Ah no one lives forever a gem of a game. it was a good FPS and had some humor thrown in for good measure. The good news is that you can download the game(s) for free (its the first link if you type in no one lives forever download).

Sierra published it, but i'm not sure beyond that. The sequel was much rarer (i found mine in a cash converters) and it had some cracking ideas like the killer mime kill squads. or perhaps the fight in a mobile home that's picked up by a tornado.

In other case, both games deserved much more credit and i think more loved by the PC players.

From good games to pretentious ones, i was playing Metal gear solid on my raspberry pi and i only remembered the psycho mantis boss fight and i can't beat it because i can't switch/plug in the controller into another port. Unless i figure it out sharpish, but run with this game is over. Apparently you can also shoot the statues but that's not working...

A quick summery of the game? nice ideas, limited by the console hardware. The plot and ideas balances on a knife edge from being good to bloody cringy (a 13yr olds idea of a serious of a serious story) not as bad as MGS2, but there were points i felt like i was going to facepalm at the cringe. oh and that 4th wall stuff, ingenious ideas or pretentious dick moves? you decide.
No-One Lives Forever

just get the games out of abandonware hell and onto GOG with some support

you can download the game(s) for free

I got NOLF and NOLF2 running on Windows 10 a good few years ago. My notes say you must get to version 1.3 and apply a NoCD patch.
I recall it was tricky, there was some ISO mounting [and/or maybe emulator] involved—which I'm hazy on, didn't bother trying again on current PC.

I could never get Contract Jack running properly without crashing.

Sierra published it, but i'm not sure beyond that

I guess No Game Lives Forever either…
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Lots of Satisfactory today while my wife, who's on vacation, and Guido swam in the pool. I took some heat for not swimming, but like I told them: I'm a pretty princess and the water has to be at least 84 degrees for me to be comfortable. Tomorrow will be in the low 90's, so it should be fine.

I did go sit by the pool for a couple of hours, at least.
I got NOLF and NOLF2 running on Windows 10 a good few years ago. My notes say you must get to version 1.3 and apply a NoCD patch.
I recall it was tricky, there was some ISO mounting [and/or maybe emulator] involved—which I'm hazy on, didn't bother trying again on current PC.

I could never get Contract Jack running properly without crashing.

was this using the NOLFrevival's copy of NOLF? Apparently its all just bundled into one neat package, patches, mods and all and you just have to run and off you go.

I think most emulators would let you switch controllers somewhere in the settings.

the good news is that i managed to get past that bit in MGS by plugging in another joypad and this time it worked. not sure why, that was one of the first things i tried. Oh well, Raspberry pi can be a bit fickle i guess. My reward beating psycho mantis? a dialogue dump that was suppose to make me pity him but just left me rolling my eyes as to how ham fisted the whole thing was. Now forced to face my next boss and i need to go all the way back to the starting area to grab a god damn sniper rifle. of course, i bet there's probably an easier one nearby. Why i couldn't use my Nikita and radio guide a missile into the sniper i don't know. But i'm sure there was a reason.
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