Armagon Live

Mass Effect 3 – Completed

Posted in Completed, Games by Armagon on March 20, 2017

Finally made it! (Only a few days before Andromeda is released and which I have not preordered, but still)

After 29-30h of playtime I finished Mass Effect 3 (Digital Deluxe Edition) as an Infiltrator FemShep (with pink armor, which looked totally rad). TLDR: I liked it a lot. Maybe not as good as ME2, maybe roughly as good. Scanning was worse and I had to set down the difficulty from Normal to Casual in the last damn fight. Everything else worked fine with a few deaths here and there (not as many as in ME1 by far).

The DLCs I have are: Reckoning, Retaliation, Earth, Extended Cut, Rebellion, Resurgence, From Ashes, Digital Books, Collector’s Edition Materials and the Soundtrack. Didn’t touch Multiplayer, so I guess half of that was useless. It was recommended I get the Citadel DLC, but so far I haven’t.

Apparently I have either 35 or 36 of 50 Achievements, Origin shows both numbers. /slowclap

This time I managed to do all side quests (besides the one that stays in your mission log if you fail to do it 100% on the planet) and I mostly enjoyed them. The Citadel ones were kinda meh, as it involved mostly scanning the exact planet – which would have been fun without the Reaper alertness mechanic which made any straight-on approach infeasible and killed my enjoyment. Get quest, look up exact location in wiki, scan, done, hand in. Meh. Everything else was ok, good, or really good. I think I got stuck not finding the way on one mission and had to look up the way to go. I did most missions with Liara and James. Liara died all the time, but when I tried Javik or Tali, they also died all the time. I was not very happy with the loadout screen before the missions. More than once I misclicked and started the mission early because the buttons are not clearly labelled. But that didn’t really matter, just a small nitpick.

So that’s 3 BioWare RPGs down (and I liked all of them), now I’m unsure if I will start Dragon Age: Origins (which I own, think I got it for free from Origin) or if I will buy Mass Effect: Andromeda. I’m kind of not in the mood for fantasy stuff right now, but maybe playing something else than an RPG *now* would also be a good idea.

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Completed: Pony Island

Posted in Completed by Armagon on December 30, 2016

I saw the trailer for Pony Island quite some time ago. It looked quite interesting, but not enough to instantly buy it. Thanks to the Winter Sale it was cheap enough that I got it. (Yes, I do feel a little bad for buying things only on sale, but looking at my games buying history of the last years.. I wouldn’t have bought it, really. So this is kind of the only way the creators get some money. :/)

I just “finished” it after 2.6 hours (12/20 achievements) and I could’ve probably shaved off 5 minutes by sucking less at jumping 😛 I’ll probably continue looking for the missing nooks and crannies, but the game told me I beat it, hence this post 🙂

TLDR: It’s awesome. And quirky. And weird.  Go buy and play it.

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Completed: The Nonomancer: Graybeard’s Revenge

Posted in Completed by Armagon on April 4, 2016

It’s only a small game, but a very good one. David Brevik (of Diablo and Marvel Heroes fame) apparently went indie after stepping down as Gazillion CEO and already delivered.

If you remember Mario’s Picross from the original Game Boy days, Nonomancer is basically this, reimagined. Not very creative, but it still works and kept me busy for around 6-8 hours (for 50 levels).

nonomancer

The key difference are that there’s no time limit, and you don’t get penalized for mistakes – which kind of makes it easier, but you can’t take a small hit to get a hint like in Picross. E.g. decide a 50/50 chance by just guessing and get either a correct field or some info plus an error…

The only downsides are that you don’t have a helper to draw straight lines (shift-click like in Photoshop might work) or play it with a controller.
Unlike Picross on most difficulties not all of the puzzles can be solved without guessing, but you get to choose one of a variety of power-ups to get you a headstart – in the picture above a 7×7 field was uncovered on game start.

Completed: Mass Effect 2

Posted in Completed, RPG by Armagon on January 23, 2016

As I wrote already, I am catching up on the Mass Effect universe.

I’ve started ME2 not long after I had finished ME1. I imported my original character (would have loved to fix the nose, but it’s not so bad that I have to) and continued there.

normandy

The Steam version of ME2 works a lot better than the ME1 one – I’ve had no problems at all (Win7) with Fullscreen and a 2nd screen connected. Either I grew accomodated or they even fixed the horrible menu PING sound. I am not sure I found any of the Digital Deluxe Edition ingame items – if so, they were unexciting.

Warning: Mild spoilers – it’s been long enough, even I have played it now after 5 years.

I didn’t love the combat in the beginning, but I liked it better than when starting ME1. The whole game feels more like a shooter, but also easier (again on “Casual” setting, I’m not fond of shooters anymore, sorry).

I don’t get why they changed all the keybindings. Space is LShift, E is Space. Quicksave went from F6 to F5. WHY? Not as bad as with AC2 -> Brotherhood, but still.

I do like the Paragon/Renegade system, but it would be cool to see if I *really* am at 100% Paragon already. It looks like it, so I’m chasing some more Renegade points, but whatever.

I do like my companions, but I find it odd that they would add Personal Assistant that only sometimes correctly tells me about my mails (mostly correct, but sometimes too late, when I already read them) and rarely ever about other companions who want to talk – but maybe I was diligent enough that no one felt left out because I’ve been visiting them pretty regularly.

The new scanning mechanics are very good – the old one was ok, but with the probes and the graph it made for an enjoyable 1-2 hours of acquiring resources without having to go on a trip in the Mako – which I didn’t like at all in ME1. Also the research system to use up those resources is awesome, although I didn’t really get why it would sometimes show 2-3 greyed out weapons or armor research items. Apparently I had them, as I couldn’t buy them, but others vanished once I had bought them – weird, but not a big deal.

The dialog menu is still fine, dito the galactic travel. The fuel mechanic is useless so far, and I doubt that will change as I finish it up.

The ingame soundtrack is awesome again, so is the voice acting. I only have one slight complaint – when the characters are looking neutral, everything is fine, but if Shepard or Jacob smile… ugh, bad modelling work.

 

While writing all of the above I’ve been 24h in and finished every single side quest this time. I have all companions, and all are loyal to me – just my love interest in ME1 left me feeling bit ignored.

Update after 27.5 hours: Done. Apparently the “No one left behind” achievement is a bit too hard without reading up, so I lost people.

In general I have 43 Achievements and am missing 9 of them, but there should be 63. I see 12 for the DLC, kind of add up, I guess.

Summary: Awesome game! Can’t wait for ME3 now. Downloading all the DLC for this one right as I’m writing this.

Apparently I should’ve downloaded the DLC earlier, but this is the first game I’ve ever played that kind of did it like this. And last time I didn’t even find anything on that BioWare social site. Too bad, but I’ll just have a look what’s there now. New companion, yay.

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Completed: Memoria

Posted in Adventure, Completed, Uncategorized by Armagon on January 22, 2016

On to the second adventure in the Daedalic Bundle I mentioned – The Dark Eye: Memoria (Wikipedia/on Steam).

This was completed in a bit less than 10 hours, I think it was 8 or 9 – but I could ask for help and thus sometimes did not spend ages trying to figure out a puzzle.

It handles just as Chains of Satinav does, that means you need a mouse to click and the space bar to highlight items you can interact with – if you prefer to have this hint. 🙂

From a story point of view, it’s clearly better than Chains of Satinav – even more interesting main characters (and also not so many not-good voice actors for less important characters), but from a gameplay point of view I liked Chains of Satinav a bit more – but the story was more generic.

The puzzles were mostly doable (had to look up a few times again, but I think only 4 or 5 times. What I didn’t like were seemingly illogical solutions to some things – where I had the correct idea but didn’t use the correct item from my inventory – and I mean… not using a belt when you need a torch, more like having to try all 3 “long” objects to try to reach something high above. Apparently the developers thought you must use this 120cm long staff to reach up and the 100cm long sword will not do, even if they look just about the correct length, stuff like that – not a huge problem.

Summary: Really good game again, and also a nice continuation of Chains of Satinav, but it can be played on its own. But if you plan to play both, do it in the correct order, as this will spoil at least 2 or 3 things in the first game.

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Completed: Chains of Satinav

Posted in Adventure, Completed by Armagon on January 15, 2016

There was this enormous Daedalic Entertainment bundle on Steam lately, and I finished the first adventure, The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav (Wikipedia/on Steam).

This was the first point & click adventure I’ve played since Broken Sword. My memory is hazy, I had already pinned that one down as best adventure ever (sorry Indy, Zak, DOTT, and Guybrush) – but I’m not so sure anymore. I think I should replay some of them and ignore some of the pixels.

First something about the The Dark Eye, as you probably never heard of it. It’s the German D&D (and/or AD&D) – created in 1984 and still going strong (although I personally only started with the pen & paper RPG in the early 90s and stopped a few years ago) – but people who do or did fantasy role playing in German-speaking countries probably played this and not (A)D&D. This game also has a lot of references, but I think only one single puzzle that was really easy if you knew stuff from the world and maybe hard otherwise, everything else was explained or didn’t matter anyway.

There’s not much to say, I loved this game – and probably not because of the setting, (because while it did have some in-jokes it wasn’t that good of a world-of-The-Dark-Eye experience for the most part) but because I really liked it as an adventure game.

Many of the puzzles were on the easy side and most were just fine in difficulty, but we (played it as a duo) still had to look up roughly 4 solutions. One was a UI thing, where the correct thing was in the inventory already, but we managed to miss a right-click to examine it further and the 3 others were classic “I’ve no clue how to continue”.

This was also the first game I played via Steam Streaming (to the laptop in bed), and besides a few sound glitches and a weird resolution (black borders) it was totally fine.

I think the total time /played was 10 hours – which is pretty much a length I like. Managed to get through in roughly 3 evenings without having to spend every waking moment to continue if you want to finish it. Right after that, I started with the sequel, Memoria (Wikipedia).

Summary: Really good game, only criticism was some of the voice acting (played it in German, probably the original language, as Daedalic is a German company) – the main actors were all fine to good, but some of the NPCs were kind of horrible. Need to quickly check the English version if possible.

Mass Effect

Posted in Completed, RPG by Armagon on January 10, 2016

I bought Mass Effect 1+2 when they were on sale because some people had told me repeatedly that I simply had to play it.

shepard.jpg

First of all, the Steam version of ME1 sucks. Badly. It doesn’t launch from Steam at all, then via finding the .exe, giving it Administrator privileges and compatibility mode kind of works.

Then I was greeted by the most atrocious “select menu item” sound I’ve ever heard. Seriously, this made me reconsider even creating a character for a minute.

Character creation was ok, but I didn’t notice in there that my character’s nose is totally awkward. 4h in this is still annoying me, but I sure as hell won’t restart now.

The controls might be ok, but not for me. R is autorun in all my MMOs, so I keep on flinging grenades left and right. Mousewheel should zoom in and not draw weapons. Gladly nobody minds getting a Sniper Rifle in their face on any planet.

I hate the combat system. I’m playing on the lowest difficulty setting (“Casual”, haha) and I keep on dying left and right. It feels like playing Quake with my hands tied behind my back. QuickSave (F6) is my new best friend.

But the story and real RPG elements are nice. I like the dialogue system and the voice actors. Not sure yet about all the NPCs. Sometimes a line gets repeated too often, but that’s ok.

That was the “first 5h review”, played in 3 chunks of ~1.5h each.

8 hours in, I’ve managed to finish the two combat encounters I ranted about above successfully. Level 15 now, cleared some pirate outpost, got better weapons. Still not sure what the pause function via spacebar is good for, maybe I should use more biotics? But it’s a lot more fun right now

12 hours in, I’ve spent a lot of time on the Citadel, did a lot of quests and less shooting and I’m enjoying it. Now off to Feros and/or Noveria and continue with the story, although the Geth are the least fun part of the game as of now…

15 hours in, I’ve completed Feros (for the main storyline) and generally been destroying everything in combat now. Some things still feel a bit clunky, and as I’m maxed on Sniper Rifles, packs of enemies in melee range aren’t so easy, but overall it works. My combat team is Wrex and Ashley or Kaidan. I’ve also advanced with the romancing… I guess. Still very happy with this game, although now it already told me to hurry up and advance the main plot instead of doing every other quest.

And I finished after 21 hours with Level 42. Too bad I couldn’t continue with my unfinished random assignments after the main plot ended. 😦
I had been doing mostly side quests until after Feros, then I started pushing through to the end.

In the end I managed to get 16/45 achievements, although the wiki tells me there should be 49, not 45. The romance stuff was ok, but I liked the SWTOR one better.

In summary: Nearly a perfect role-playing game besides the first few fights. Awesome story, some of the crew members are a bit meh and I expected to have more dialog options with them, but overall… pretty cool.

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Shadowrun: Dragonfall completed

Posted in Completed by Armagon on June 4, 2015

Thanks to the public holiday I stayed up until 3 am and continued after getting up, so I’m finally done with Shadowrun: Dragonfall. It’s so good! I finished it in ~18h according to Steam, which is more than twice the time than Shadowrun Returns – but I think I didn’t skip any side quest this time.

My main character was (again) a Ranged Street Samurai (this time Female Troll named Tar instead of Male Orc named Zip) and I used only Rifles (Assault and Sniper) and a Shotgun near the end. I mostly played with Dietrich (Shaman) on Support, Eiger (Sniper) and Glory (Melee) but sometimes took Blitz (Decker) over Glory. I totally didn’t see the Cyberware menu for the first ~10 hours, so only used the active stuff in the end.

There are two things I didn’t like, first of all the loading times when starting the game. At times it took 2-3 minutes to get into, this is a bit weird (but it wasn’t on my SSD, so ok). When moving from zone to zone (which doesn’t happen that often, maybe twice per hour max) it was a lot quicker, but still a bit slow. And the grand finale was just too easy. Or maybe I minmaxed a little too much, but in the middle of the game I sometimes struggled with fights (had to abandon and reload once), and in the end I was just waltzing through. Didn’t even use my medkits anymore and hardly a heal. Also only used one summon out of three I had.

Everything else was basically perfect, I am so much looking forward to Hong Kong now.

I might even try to get a few more achievements out of this game and play as a non-Samurai, we’ll see.

 

But now I can finally listen to that AggroChat episode without being spoilered 🙂

Shadowrun Returns completed

Posted in Completed by Armagon on May 24, 2015

I remember buying Shadowrun Returns quite a while ago and promptly started to play. For about 30 minutes and then somehow I never came back.
Now I know that was a huge mistake. Shadowrun: Dragonfall was marked down quite a bit on Steam and I pondered buying it, in the knowledge that the predecessor still sat there unfinished. So I set out to give it another chance (because I actually love the Shadowrun world and played the pen & paper for quite a bit). This resulted in me spending most of Saturday (nearly 9 hours to be exact) playing through from 30min in till the end credits. And I can only say: WOW, it’s so good and so much fun. I think at around the 4 hour mark I alt-tabbed to quickly buy Dragonfall (which I started to play just now, it looks equally well done so far)

It’s not revolutionary, but it’s a solid single player role-playing game with turn-based tactical combat. (Queue memories of Syndicate in the 90s) I think I played on normal and only had to reload once because I lost a fight and I needed to peek into a walkthrough three times. One of those was genuine (at the UB), the other too I could blame on the game itself. First I didn’t know where to go because I didn’t get that “Sure you want to leave the scene?” in combat mode is not a bad thing, just the way to the next zone. And then nothing happened where something should happen, but I should’ve just walked around a bit for a turn or two. So I don’t call those two cheating, only the first thing I mentioned (at the UB).

So yeah – no crashes, perfect difficulty level, it was just a bit short. According to some research it should’ve been around 10-12h and not 9, but maybe I forgot a few side quests. I am quite happy it’s not 20+ because I love to finish a game once in a while.

Still undecided if I grab the preorder for Hong Kong on Steam or if playing Dragonfall is now enough in the near future.. We’ll see.

Completed: Game Dev Tycoon

Posted in Completed by Armagon on June 22, 2014

At today’s Steam Summer Sale I grabbed Game Dev Tycoon for around 4 EUR. I started to play around noon and just now, after 6h I am finished.

Small intermission: There’s only a handful of games I really ever completed, on the SNES I just remember one Clay Fighter title, for example – I usually give up somewhere midway, and this week I already completed 2, yay me.

So, the game is about running a small game studio from one man in a garage to being a multi-million (I didn’t manage billions) company with employees.

gdt_final

I like the art style, it’s basic, but absolutely good enough. The music is nice and did not annoy me even after 6h despite being a little repetitive. I never worked in games development, but it’s a pretty damn accurate portrayal of software development in general, just enough details to not be wrong, without needless stuff players are probably not interested in (imho).

Apparently I unlocked 15/33 (45% of Achievements).

  • I got surprisingly few things to criticize:
  • The “selected features” when creating a new game are somewhat like a tech tree, i.e. you replace “Stereo Sound” with “Surround Sound”, but the UI does not group them. So either you throw the old ones out in your new game engine (which is kind of final and you might not always want to do that) or you click around a little too much. Cheap win for UX. (nice to have)
  • Events that occur to you can’t be postponed. No problem for donation calls or something, but just at the end (without spoilering) I would have liked to send my whole team on vacation for a month before they undertook this massive event that popped up and I could just accept or decline. (Surprisingly, the only non-exhausted developer came ahead. I snickered.) (The game doesn’t punish you, but would be nice and would add depth to your decisions)
  • Game Conventions should need planning. This one G3 (hehe) is announced to be “in 4 weeks” – but I have no timetable, if I can ship my game just before. Then again the game apparently does not care if I announce Vaporware or have a fresh title. (nice to have)
  • You can speed up most info dialogs by clicking, just not the 2 of them: visitor numbers from game conventions and reviews for your game. Why, why, why? “Click for instant text and dismiss the animation after the 10th time” – this was really annoying in the end. But to be fair it made me get up every hour and fetch a drink or something. Maybe educational 🙂
  • After playing for some hours you have just too many games and they are presented badly in the Game History. Bonus points for allowing arrow keys, but next playthrough I will open an Excel sheet on the second screen or have some pen and paper handy. I don’t miss that from the 90s games – but I think it could help, unless the Game History would be presented better (gets tedious after your first 20-30 games) for games to be grouped, filtered or sorted.
  • That’s it – not much that was not super fun.

Oh, and here are my final stats:

gdt2gdt1

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