The last game you completed

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Ok part 2 of shovel knight treasure trove

Spectre of torment - See the (tragic) backstory of the undead spectre knight and how he became undead and his part in the order of no quarter. Again fills in a few more bits of the story with various characters and how they all fit in the world of shovel knight.

A massive improvement over plague of shadows and a worth a play i say.. For starters there is a lot of "new" content; the layout of the maps are heavily modified and different to the main game, an all new remixed soundtrack making the originals even better and to top it off it plays much much better. I can attack straight ahead for one thing. On the flip side, no side areas, you head to the mirror of fate and jump straight into main levels.

There are a few limitations of the specter knight he can't jump long distances so he has to wall jump around or slash attack his away around the level. The latter is especially tricky as you can only determine whether you slash up or down based on whether you're above or below a target. keep calm, level headed and you'll be fine. slash wildly and you're going to suffer. The only downside to spectre knights attacks is that he can't attack directly below him easily and the last boss has a horrible habit of of hiding under the floors for most of the fight. Hell, even plague knight (despite how awful the game mechanics were) made it easier to attack targets below you (standard flasks and homing proximity fuses helps a lot)

The good news is that its a lot more friendlier in that bottomless pits aren't instant death provided you get the right gear and its one of the first pieces you can buy so my death count was much much lower. So thank god for small favors. The only tricky part is probably collecting the red skulls as this is how you get special abilities/ attacks. Again, not too difficult near the end and in fact to get the best stuff you don't need them all. Even the prize for collecting all of them is a cosmetic swap which is worthless because how late in the game you get it. But once you get the ability to hover/fly and combined with the Cloak of Clemency life is a lot easier.

Since players can't go to the hall of champions area, the tower of fate does have a sort of challenge map as you climb the top of the tower as the screen scrolls up. Nothing difficult but besides earning some money as a rewards there's little reason to complete it more then once. Again once you beat the game, new game+, sound mode and challenges are unlocked.


King of cards - the last and probably the best of the DLC. my personal fav and definite recommendation to play. Prologue to the main game as the King knight sets to become the champion of joustus and become a king of the land.

Again the devs have improved/changed things significantly, new soundtracks, the world view is back with new levels/bosses to fight. The biggest change is the size of the levels, essentially the core levels have been broken down into bitesize chunks with a theme/locale to them making playing the game much more manageable.

The good news is that King knight isn't horrible to play. Think wario with his dash attack and being able to follow it up with a stomp attack and you have a good idea of what he's capable of. Again plenty of QOL improvements such as being able to collect cash easily, a free heal ability and of course falling into bottomless pits isn't guaranteed death with the right armor set.

The biggest addition of course is the joustus card game. its simple stuff and can get quite compelling, getting cards is fairly easy and its fairly forgiving if you lose. yes, you lose a card, but you can either win it back or just buy the card back. Failing that you do have cheat cards to help you. Don't worry, the top players have their own cheat cards so there's no shame. Thankfully, none of the main boss fights are you're expected to play joustus to defeat them. Its a straight up fight. Although Cardia before you face her, you have to play one final game. But that's end game stuff when should have beaten all the Joustus houses and acquired a whole load of top tier cards.


But wait... There's more! Shovel Knight showdown is packed with this game. A sort of Party smash bro melee style game. there is a story mode that's set in the story of the spectre knight story where everyone gets sucked into the mirror and all duke it out to be the first out of the mirror. Honestly didn't play much of this. I just picked Spectre knight and breezed through it once. I'll probably play more of it and might do an updated opinion on it.

So... Shovel knight treasure trovel edition. Was it good? i say yes. I got some entertainment and enjoyed the story and its characters and kept me playing even after i had beaten the main game. The amount of bang for your buck makes it worth the asking price.
 

McStabStab

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X-Com 2 - I bought this game 5 and a half years ago and put it down after being completely turned off by the timed objectives and ruler battles. I went back to it this week and finished the game. I really wished they would have found different ways to innovate the gameplay because I love the original X-Com games as well as the first remake. I hope X-Com 3’s focus is more Terror From the Deep inspired.

Scorn - I’ve done things human hands should never do, seen things human eyes should never see, and experienced combat mechanics human gamers should never be subjected to. An absolutely unique experience that has you saying WTF more and more throughout your descent into layers of disturbing imagery and experiences. The combat is so frustrating, though. By the end of the game you just want to skip the awkward boss battles so you can find out how the story ends. Either way, worth the journey.
 
Aug 31, 2022
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I've just finished Lost Horizon... Thanks @Brian Boru for pointing the game out to me, it was a very nostalgic experience and I loved every second of it. :) I will definitely try out the second part of it as well. Probably right after I had a look into:
These Nights in Cairo
Since the story is about Egypt, Egyptology and especially Egyptology from a hundred years ago... I just had to move this title to the very top of the list. :LOL:

But first things first: What's my conclusion after finishing Lost Horizon?
I have to admit: Because the Secret File Series have a very special place in my gamer heart and Lost Horizon is from the same developer and it spreads the same "charme"... I am unable to judge neutrally about this game. For me, the developer achieves to combine everything I love about Point'n'Click: A thrilling story, funny and humorous characters as well as exactly the right amount of: "How on earth should this combination of things work?!" puzzles. The only thing I have to critisize a little about is, that there were too many or too long cutscenes in comparison to the parts where the player had to interact with things/people and to solve puzzles.
The bonus area which you can enter after finishing the game for the first time was also a pleasant surprise. The possibility to play the start of the prototype version is great and I secretly hope that they would work parts of the alternate version into the second game of the series... I will find it out soon!
 
Ok so a few more games completed on the raspberry Pi:

Rocket knight adventures by konami on the mega drive/genesis Honestly not a bad game. pretty original stuff for the time and the action was varied and relatively decent. There were a few bits that made my seethe near the end and felt a bit irksome control wise (slightly slippery movement and trying to bounce off walls to get higher is horrible) but a solid effort for the time and something i would have enjoyed.

Sparkster: Rocket knight adventure 2 this time on the snes. Similar story except rather then evil (germanic?) pigs, its evil Lions/tigers with a russian/middle eastern motif. Not as memorable as the first game and has its fair share of irratating/naff bits like the submarine flooding section and the battle bot section near the end. Buts a retread of the original right down to the fact you're back in space again fighting a robotic emperor. Still, I've played worse back in the day and still a solid effort, it just didn't up its game for the sequel. All well and good delivering a similar solid experience but expected familiar retread.

next time i write about 2 other games: Soulblazer and SkyBlazer (unrelated games that share Blazer in its name).
 
A bit unexpected, but i've finished GTA liberty City Stories on the psp/ps vita.

Considering this is a PSP game its an impressive technical achievement with GTA 3 liberty city pretty much there. Admittedly the draw distance can be a bit on the lowside, the low pedestrian count and occasional muddy textures are black marks, but i'll let it slide. Lets face it graphics were like that back in the 00s and yes whilst its laughable to see the polygonal landscapes etc, GTA3 on the main consoles weren't any better. Little has been lost, we still get essentially the GTA 3 experience with radio stations and fully voiced sequences etc. if anything Liberty stories does one better by giving us bikes which the original didn't until they released the game onto the ps2.

Gameplay wise its a mixed bag by today's standards. Controls are its very much limited by the PSP itself and the solution implemented does work but its still very clunky. Whilst fun, there are some serious design limitations that stick out like an eyesore with hindsight. My biggest gripes probably the amount of prep time to restarting a mission. There's no instant restart/ checkpoints to speed things up so its just a hassle to load, drive and attempt the mission again. Mess up and usually means losing all your gear so loading is a better alternative.

Side missions are even worse , want to go into a race you need the right vehicle so you need to drive around looking for the right one and also a good one if you want to win the race. So more searching etc. if the side missions just provided everything i needed it would be fine but sadly it doesn't.


Speaking of Side missions and activities. DON'T MAKE ME SEARCH FOR THEM. i would be more receptive to playing them if i:

a: know they were there in the first place.
b. Where to play them.

i finished only 48% of the game as i didn't do any of the side missions except the collecting cars for love media. Speaking of collecting cars, the side job isn't even marked on the bloody map so unless you knew from the start you'll easily miss it. If you want me to play your content, don't make me comb through the world looking for it. i have better things to do.

The game isn't difficult but the controls and woeful companion ai did make things harder then they should have been. Too often i would try to do something only to fail because the ai companion gets themselves killed. That said there were points that were BS like chasing down a target who seems to run faster then cars. Doing drive by attacks is a thankless chore and a mess of finger gymnastics to get it to work.

So would i recommend it? For a PSP game i say it wasn't bad, but age has not done it any favours. probably not worth it by todays standards unless you play on an emulator with free mouse look or save states.
 
Another game finished, this time its axiom verge. For a single person developing the game i have to say it was pretty decent metroid-style shooter. Not the longest game to complete. I was able to explore 90% of the game map (collecting only 70%) of the goodies in under 10 hours. I got it through epic so no achievements to keep me going sadly.

The game is competently made with an interesting gimmick whereby you can corrupt the world around you to your advantage. A plant spewing toxic waste or killer worms? Convert it so that it shoots out health instead. Killer bug thing with a wide laser? corrupt it so that it becomes an ally and is rendered harmless.

Gameplay wise the shooting is pretty tight you get a wide range of weapons that does have its uses even, if its slightly situational. For the most part you're either killing animals, bugs and robots but the highlight are probably the mutant bosses which dwarf you in scale.

Criticisms that quickly come to mind is a lack of direction sometimes. Several hours were spent just me wandering around trying to figure out where to go and what to do. The solution frequently felt like i was trying to break the game sometimes as some of the areas to reach to progress are hard to reach. Its not helped by the lack of narrative to tell you where to go next (sure it gives you an objective but would be nice to tell me where i should head towards and whether i've done the job).

Speaking of narrative, i didn't really pay too much attention to it and felt a bit inconclusive. Then again i think that was intentional as your character is pretty much at the end with more questions then answers with feelings that his entire existence is now in question. But hey theres a sequel out so....

Do i recommend it? yeah its alright. I can't complain for the free price tag i got the game on epic. I'll give it a 7/10.
 

McStabStab

Community Contributor
Jan 13, 2020
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Rolled the credits on Horizon: Zero Dawn. I liked the game well enough, the ending was pretty decent. The best part about it was the environment and machine designs, but holy cow I thought the tribal / human designs were kind of comical. And some of the voice acting from the periphery characters was a little goofy.

Happy I played it, doubt I'll try Forbidden West but you never know.
 

McStabStab

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Jan 13, 2020
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On my wishlist. Is there much platforming or melee involved? They give me indigestion.
There’s platforming but it’s more like Assassin’s Creed / Dying Light style “hey there’s yellow paint on these things in the wilderness so I know they’re climbable” type platforming.

Melee combat is like 30% to ranged combat depending on how you do the skill tree.
 
Monday night, I finished up A Plague Tale: Requiem. It was a very awesome game. The overall flow of the entire game was a lot different than the first one, even though most of the game mechanics are similar. I did like that they added things like the crossbow, though.

At first, I thought I wasn't going to like it anywhere near as much as the first game. But boy was I wrong. And certain parts are really challenging. But the game was balanced really well, and very rewarding to play. Without giving anything away, I'm really interested to see if they make a third one. The developer said they're going to wait and see what the response is to this one to decide if they're making another one. It was an excellent game, though.

On my wishlist. Is there much platforming or melee involved? They give me indigestion.
The combat is all according to your playstyle. You can use ranged combat more if that's what you like. Personally, I upgraded and used melee the majority of the time. But you don't have to. There will be some that you can't get around, though.
 

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