The Witcher is a flawed but ultimately satisfying role playing game that puts you in the role of monster killing mutant named Geralt. In some aspects the game is a bit more hardcore than other recent RPGs. You need to pay close attention to dialogue as clues are not spoon-fed to you and the almighty quest arrow is somewhat deceiving.
My primary gaming device these days. Technically any computer can be called a "PC" but this category is specifically for Windows/MS-DOS based games.
Not much to say about this one other that it's a joke game. The gag is that in order to gain required abilities you need to purchase downloadable content. These abilities include moving to the left (as seen in the above screen grab) and colored text.
Brothers is a surprisingly excellent game that's filled with beautiful visual storytelling and a unique game-play mechanic that has the player controlling two characters on screen at the same time. This game requires a dual-stick controller. Each stick independently controls the movements of each the two titular brothers while the L/R triggers serve as the interact/action buttons for boys. This sounds like it would be impossible to control, but it doesn't take all that much getting used to. What it does is open up the game to all sorts of puzzle solving where the left side of your body needs to cooperate with the right to get everything working on screen.
Torchlight is a game that has been resting on my back-burner for a long, long time. I got it for something like three dollars during a Steam sale many years ago and played it off and on since. It's basically an updated version of Diablo, a game which I played through once and thought was just okay. The whole concept of hack-and-slash with the goal of loot collection just doesn't appeal to me. Without a decent story it's just mindless clicking and inventory management.
Oh sweet Shatner, this game is brutal! The Nintendo DS Giana Sisters game was a cute, simplistic and moderately challenging throwback platformer. Twisted Dreams is a relentless, brain twisting modernized update.
Saints Row IV is an obvious rip-off of Grand Theft Auto all the way down from the open-world mechanics to the gangster themed plot. In realizing this, the makers of Saints Row opted to differentiate themselves by completely disregarding the gritty realism of GTA for an insane sci-fi fantasy plot twist in IV. Aliens have destroyed Earth and the last remaining humans are the Saints gang leaders, all of whom are trapped in a Matrix-style virtual world. The game never takes itself seriously and is filled with amusing quips and plot moments. As the game progresses you begin to overcome the simulation, causing it to glitch and pixelate and giving you unstoppable super powers.
Man, this game was a bit of a mess. I guess I wanted it to be a Baldur's Gate style tactical role playing game with all the characters and story of Bioware's other big RPG, Mass Effect. Well, despite the zoomed-out tactical battle mode, this is not an Infinity-Engine style game. Most of the game is played in a stilted third-person view with super-wonky controls. You can zoom out, but you aren't allowed to pan around the battlefield much. Eventually I got the hang of it, but I had to put the game aside for a while out of sheer frustration.
Gemini Rue is another enjoyable point-and-click adventure from Wadjet Eye that has a sci-fi noir theme. Having gotten used to the click for any action mechanism of other Wadjet games, I was a little thrown off by the strange "actions" pop-up interface. You click on a hot-spot and then have to chose whether to use your eyes, hands, mouth or foot. I eventually got used to it, but the few times I was stuck in the game, it was because I forgot I had a "foot" action that I could use.
Primordia is an absolutely beautiful point and click adventure from Wadjet Eye Games. Besides the graphics, it has a lot going for it: a unique sci-fi setting, fun and interesting characters, great ambient music and a some nice voice acting performances.
The story is essentially an object quest that slowly reveals the back story of the world and the main character. This one is a bit more puzzle-centric than other Wadjet games I have played. That's mostly a good thing, but there are a few moments that didn't seem fair.
Having finished the wonderful Blackwell series, I wanted to try some of Wadjet Eye's other offerings. The Shivah was the company's first foray into commercial games, but this isn't the original version. This graphical overhaul was from 2013 and it visually matches the quality of the final Blackwell games.
The Shivah is most noteworthy for its unusual subject matter. How many other games have the player assuming the role of a mystery solving rabbi? Well, besides Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortext Strikes Back.
The original Geometry Wars was one of the purest, most exhilarating gaming experiences of the post-arcade era. It combined the visuals of Tempest with the frantic, twin-stick shooting of Robotron 2084 to form a thoroughly modern point-driven shooter. The Wii exclusive sequel Galaxies added level variety and the great risk/reward mechanic of collecting geoms to increase your point multiplier. It's still the game that I play the most on my Wii.
The third game in the series builds on the Galaxies formula but with the mind-blowing twist of moving the game grid onto curving non-euclidean surfaces. The result is nothing short of spectacular.
This was a rare case in which I finished a game that I had started years ago. I really enjoyed the Tomb Raider reboot that Crystal Dynamics did back in 2006 with Legend. I played that game as a freebie back when Game Tap was in its hey day and started Anniversary shortly thereafter but only got about 2/3rds the way through before it was taken off the free list. I only recently got it as a $1.99 game on Steam with the goal of finally finishing it.
The fifth and final Blackwell game continues in the series' tradition of thoughtful and interesting adventures that are light on the puzzles and big on character interactions. Technically, the games have come a long way. The graphics are top-notch and the voice acting is much improved. The games still are running on the freeware AGS (Adventure Game Studio) platform, which has its limitations. But, for the most part, these last few games in the series have been on par with the Lucasarts games of old.
Soon after I plunked down a few Kickstarter bucks for Broken Age, Wasteland 2's campaign popped up. Back in my Apple ][ days I knew about, but never played, Wasteland. If I was going to commit time and effort to an RPG, it was going to be Ultima. However, after my migration to Windows, the game's "spiritual successor" Fallout was one of the first big games I played (it was also the first thing I ever bought on eBay back in 1998. The box smelled like cigars). I really liked the more recent Fallout 3 / New Vegas games, but, like many old-timers, I longed for the deep, turn based combat of the first two games of the series. Brian Fargo's Kickstarter video promised to bring party-based, turn-based, post-nuclear-based gaming back... to base. To have. I was sold.
In terms of overall game-play, Skyrim stays pretty close to the system Oblivion used. You roam a giant open-world map, revealing new locations to explore as go. Along the way you receive quests that you can complete at your own leisure. Therein lies the danger of this game: it is easy to get distracted and veer off from your goals and before you know it you've wasted twenty hours just trying to level up your blacksmithing or collect ingredients. I have already sunk 126 hours into this game, completing most of the main quests, and there's still the urge to keep playing. I think I "only" managed to log about 95 hours in Oblivion.