Topic: Unplayed games - a backlog adventure.

TLDR: I have stuff to say about games I should've completed earlier and/or wanted to play again. Consider this a blog post. Comment, read if you will.

In early December 2022, I noticed how my ratio of playing games vs buying them was much more in camp "buy" than in camp "play". Completely unrelated I came across this dude on youtube with the same problem, who promptly made a spreadsheet with his unplayed games. He made a list of games that he wanted to finally get around to, and used to figure out how long it'd take him.

I immediately thought I should do the same.

But then I didn't.

For Christmas, I got 4 more games from my Steam wishlist; Final Fantasy 1, 2, 3 and 6 Pixel Remasters.

That settled it. I had to play them. For more reasons than having not completed most of them, but also because my Steam library alone is 262 games, most I haven't even played, as they've been from the odd Humble Bundle, crazy sales, gifts etc. Games that are "nice to have if you need to play them", in the multiplayer category, and games that are "games you should have played" in the single player category.
As such, I figured enough is enough.

I went ahead and made my own spreadsheet. I used to figure out play times, vs completion times(100% completion), and combined it all to find out a complete play of all the games would take me 507 hours of playtime. 1140 hours of completion time.
Alright. I can do that. Aiming for the prior, obviously, and if I play 2 hours per day, I'd have that done by sometime in June. Faster, obviously, if I play more hours per day.

The first title seemed natural. Final Fantasy I. Never did complete that game. I first played it in the EU version of Final Fantasy Origins, a remastered version of the NES classic for PSOne, bundled with FFII. It was redone graphics, had a bestiary, cinematics, and a remastered soundtrack. All the makings of a perfect experience for me at the time. I even got Final Fantasy Anthology at the same time, to play through FFIV and FFV too. Hell, at the time the shop even had FFVI bundled with a demo for FFX, with the same treatment as the former 4 games.

Never did complete the first 2. IV I completed back then. Must've been almost 20 years ago now. V sat a little different, and I was more tempted by VI, which to this date is tied with VII as being my favorite FF game. III Never came in any bundle. It was released in Japan only at the time of release, and never made a europe/NA release, until a 2006 Nintendo DS, 3D remake came around. At the time, I didn't own a DS, and I never got around to playing it either.

Cut to:

January 4th, 2023.


Let's do this.

Right off the bat, I know Final Fantasy. The mechanics are always more or less the same. Fire, Ice, Lightning, etc. Potions to heal, phoenix down to revive, ether to refill magic points. Bla bla bla. All the same. The thing that differentiates the titles are the stories, settings and plots. The first games, albeit barebones compared to some later titles, is no different. Except, of course, that it is. You start the game with a simple prelude; The world is in peril. Something has happened to the governing crystals. Wind, Fire, Ice and Air, respectively. They've gone out, so to speak. So it falls to you, the four heroes of light to restore balance etc. Classic stuff. Your heroes in this first outing are nameless. You can name them, or you can select 4 of 8 or so premade names. I did the latter, and although I've completed the game, I can only remember my main damage dealer Andii.
In this title, our heroes are mute, dumb, silent protagonists, whatever you want to call it. They never utter a word, and being a Legend of Zelda fan, I can respect that. The story starts. You visit a town, and a castle, to learn that the swordsman Garland has betrayed the kingdom and kidnapped the princess. You, being the heroes, are tasked to deal with it. You jump to the overworld to grind some levels, and immediately I start noticing the similarities with the source material that inspired these games; Dungeons & Dragons. There are levels, of course, but having set the classes before playing, namely a warrior, a thief, a white mage(healer, support) and a red mage(offensive AND defensive magic), they have x amount of uses for each magic levels. Healing is level 1, but healing+ (cure, cura, respecticely) is a level 2 spell, and I have less uses before I need to rest. Ok, gotcha. Different from the later series, where you have hit points and magic points.  But magic isn't that important in this game. Only versus a few foes, and if you're not using a guide/walkthrough, you'll soon find out which ones, as physical attacks do no damage. Fair game.
So, we set out to defeat Garland. Job's done. Garland disappears, you return the princess, all is well. Then, it's assumed, as you are the heroes of light, you will also, since you posess some orbs, heal the aforementioned crystals. Fine. Let's do that. We have to visit 4 shrines, kill 4 fiends that protect the corruption, and then return to finish the job against the big bad behind the curtain. No problem, I got my guide. I also pay attention to Steam Achievements, as according to, FFI is about 17 hours to beat, 20ish to complete. Fine. We slay the 4 fiends. We return triumphant. We actiave the main shrine, only to be sent 2000 years into the past, where Garland(SHOCK AND AWE) is waiting for us. He survived our first fight, back at xp level, what, 10? and now that we're all level 50(4 heroes at level 50 achievement? CHECK) we meet again. He explains, like you do, that when we beat him, he went back in time 2000 years to heal and improve, and send 4 fiends to the future to ruin the world. We beat him, which makes sense. As 2000 years from now, he'll still be alive to go back. It's a time loop. The heroes never existed. But they did. And they didn't. It's nice.
For 1987, this is pretty badass. Starting the Final Fantasy franchise. The seeds have been planted. There's Tiamat, Garland, Bahamut, Fire, potions, phoenix downs, etc. The foundations have been laid.

All in all, I spent 12,5 hours on the game. Missed 4 achievements. Might go back later. howlongtobeat said 17 hours. So I've already saved 5 hours of the total 507 hours. Nice. Job well done.

So. Let's say I have to give every game I play a score. Scores are hard to do. Do you do 10, 6, 100 as the top? Who's to say. Let's say I switch it up. I give it a base score out of 10, because it's a nice, round number, and a little "should you play it" at the end.

So, for Final Fantasy I Pixel Remaster, I would give a score of 5/10. Is it bad? no. Is it great? No. But I had fun nonetheless.

Should you play it?
Different beast altogether with this title. It's not a long game. It's not a hard game(unlike the original, which is much harder), and it sets the bar for future titles in the series. I say YES. Play this game. It won't take you long. With a walkthrough(of which there are many, but I recommend "lylat" on Steam's walkthrough. Not spoilery, will take you through all of it, no bullshit.
And, not to forget, although the original doesn't have many different music tracks, what it does have, is downright amazing stuff.

1 game down, 21 to go.

Will post again after the next game, which, unsurprisingly is Final Fantasy II.

For educational purposes, here's a list of all the games I plan to play, in no particular order. Green means completed, Yellow means started.

Final Fantasy I
Final Fantasy II
Final Fantasy III
Final Fantasy IV
Final Fantasy V
Final Fantasy VI
Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VIII
Final Fantasy IX
Final Fantasy X
Final Fantasy X-2
Final Fantasy XII
Final Fantasy XIII
Final Fantasy XIII-2
Final Fantasy XIII-3

Milkmaid of the Milky Way
Outer Wilds
A Plague Tale - Innocence
The Legend of Zelda - Wind Waker
The Legend of Zelda - Twilight Princess
The Legend of Zelda - Skyward Sword
The Legend of Zelda - A Link Between Worlds
To the Moon
The Ascent
Day of the Tentacle
The Secret of Monkey Island
Monkey Island 2 - LeChucks Revenge
The Curse of Monkey Island
Escape from monkey Island
Tales of Monkey Island
Return to Monkey Island
Chrono Trigger

Ratchet and Clank - Rift Apart
Life is Strange
Life is Strange - Before the Storm

If you're finding yourself re-reading this topic and noting there's more games on the list than the last time you read it; there is.
Initially this list was compiled of Steam games I didn't get around to, or wanted to play again, but that list expanded due to several reasons, like my brother recommending me games that happened to be on PS+, or games I own on Nintendo Consoles that I didn't get around to.
It's a work in progress, and sure to keep growing, but as long as my I keep my focus on playing older titles rather than new, there shouldn't be any problems.
As of May 20th 2023, I've completed 8 more titles than when I set out, and some of them were long. Jedi Survivor and Tears of the Kingdom were always in the time equation, as well as Final Fantasy 16. But apart from those(unless Rockstar decides to release GTA6 this year), I'm still well on schedule.

As you were.

-Tom out.

Last edited by Tomahawk (2023-05-20 21:58:23)

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Re: Unplayed games - a backlog adventure.


Right. It's been a few weeks. In some part because I took a week long vacation, in some part that my brother got me absolutely hooked onHades (absolutely brilliant game) again, but I've now completed the somewhat infamous sequel to Final Fantasy.

FF2 starts of very different to the first one. For starters, there's an actual story. The evil emperor is laying down the law by burning cities, and killing folks. You start the game as Firion, Maria, Guy and Leon, four very fresh orphans that go up agains the imperial guard. You lose the fight, and Leon goes missing. FOR THE ENTIRE GAME, I MIGHT ADD. What's interesting here is that the story of rebellion is the core of the entire game, and you recruit people from all over the "world", making acquaintances as you go, with several party members coming and going throughout the story. An interesting take.

What differs this game from the previous, is the leveling system, or rather, the lack thereof. There are no traditional levels. Instead, it's one of those systems that level up your feats and skill as you go. Taking damage? Your HP levels will go up slowly. Hitting hard? Your skill with your current weapon will improve. Using magic to heal or kill? You get the idea. It's leveling up characters based on how you use them, and unlike the first game, you're free to use each character how you want to.  This means more flexibility, and that every character can be the warrior, the mage, the thief etc. All at the same time, depending on how long you want to keep playing the game for.

There has always been some controversy about this being the least liked FF game. Not the most haded, mind you, that'd be FFXIII, and believe me, we'll get to that in a few months, but least liked, definitely.
I don't see it.
FFII is improving so much on the original title. Spells now level up as you use them, instead of being based on your level. You can use spells as much as you like, assuming you have magic points enough to do so. You can change equipment mid-battle, if something isn't working out. You can change the row of the characters(back row means less offensive, but more defensive. Great for mages, for instance), not to mention the mere STACK of spells at your disposal this time around. Sure, you have a set amount you can assign to a character, but it's not a problem.

What I can understand being an issue is the keyword system. See, to progress the story, it's almost like the game is forcing you to pay attention. I'm sure the game would be a lot longer had I not used a guide. Older games like this didn't actively show you where to go all the time, and if you left it for a week without playing, good flippin' luck remembering where you were headed. FFII solves this, while at the same time introducing a nuisance. The keyword system means that some NPC's in the game have a more complex dialogue option that "print: hello world". Instead you can ask them about words you've learned, learn new words, and give them key items. Asking them about the word will usually give some hints as to where you're going next. Yes, it's actually quite helpful if you tend to forget things, but it also complicates things.

Double-edged sword, I suppose.

In any case, back to the story. Ultimately, as is tradition, we defeat the emperor. After about 15 hours of chasing him around, killing his henchmen/henchmonsters etc and traversing the entire world. He's of course upset by this, as one tends to be, but dies nonetheless. We return to the main hub, being a castle with a princess and her knight, and LO AND BEHOLD. A new damn emperor just claimed the throne. And wants to be even more evil than the emperor. Er, the old emperor, that is.

Remember that guy that disappeared for the entire game? You guessed it. Leon is back, with a ...vengeance? There was no implications of that happening, no foreshadowing. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, Leon was pretty much forgotten within the first 2 hours of the game. Sure, he's Maria's brother, and we were also looking for him whilst defeating the empire, but no mention. Nothing. And now he decides to be the emperor.

Fine. We get to, and through, another dungeon to get to him, and he's edgy as can be. This was the late 80s, mind, so I suppose it makes sense. Then, after he taunts our heroes for a little while, a rift opens, and guess who's back from literal Hell? Old emperor. naturally. He laughs in the face of Leon for trying to be edgy, and kicks us all out of the dungeon.
When confronted with what he had done, Leon said nothing. When asked if he would join in another attempt at vanquishing the aforemention emperor, all Leon could muster was "Okay". OKAY.

Okay, the story isn't great. It's much better than FFI, yes, but it leaves a lot to be desired.

All in all, I spent 17,3 hours on this game. Missed 5 achievements. Won't be getting those. Too much of a hassle. Howlongtobeat said 24 hours to beat, and I saved almost 7. In total, that's 12 hours off the 507 hour forecast. Good show.

Scoring time.

So, for Final Fantasy II Pixel remaster, I would give a score of 6/10. Is it bad? no. Is it great? No. But I had fun, and it did improve enough over the original to keep me going. I was considering giving it a 5, but then I'd have to go back and lower the previous one, which I can't do.

should you play it?
Hard to say. I'd say the first title is actually more worth it. For what it is, and if you wanted to go back and see how the series started. FFI is a little over 12 hours, and if you don't like the old 2D style, or the limitations, FFI can be easier to take in. The systems in II are harder to understand, and while the story is better, there's a bunch of easy-to-miss content, and complicated systems that may, or may not, throw you off.
As for the music, it's SO much better than the original. A lot more tracks, but also made with a lot more "love".

2 Games down, 20 to go.

Next up, you probably guessed it; FINAL FANTASY III.

-Tom out. Again.

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Re: Unplayed games - a backlog adventure.



As it turns out, I don't have a third Final Fantasy game in a row in me right now. Roughly 30 hours is what it takes for me to need to play something else for a little while. Will get back into it, but thankfully, there's other games in my list.

So, starting on this little gem from 2017.
Milkmade of the Milky Way is a point and click adventure game. It's pixel art reminiscent of the 80s, done very beautifully.

You're Ruth. A milk maid in a Norwegian fjord in the 1920's. Ruth lives in a cottage up in the mountains, with her cows, making cheese and butter for a living, selling it to the townspeople, through her friend Erlend, who hikes to her home on his horse.
One Night there's a terrible storm, and a rock fell from the sky...

And that's all the information I could give without spoiling this absolute gem of a game. It's roughly 2 hours long, depending on how stuck you get, but like most point and click games, it gives you just enough information to solve all the puzzles, given you pay attention.
The story is short and sweet, but heartfelt and beautiful. The soundtrack is absolutely mesmerizing, and the mood is perfect.

If you've a couple of hours to spare, definitely check this game out!

I can' really give this game a score, and I don't think it's something I can keep doing either. I'm not a video game reviewer.
It's very hard to justify why one game is given a 5, and another a 6, or an 8. Especially considering how vastly different some of these games are.
Instead, I'll stick to the latter part:

should you play it?
That's a hard yes. If you like puzzles, gorgeous art direction, and a solid soundtrack, this game is definitely for you. If not, play it anyway. It's nice.

3 games down, 19 to go.

Next up? Not sure yet, something short and sweet.

-thanks for reading this far:

I like that you keep reading these, and I don't want to seem self-indulgent. I'm only writing these things because I like to write and share my thoughts, and I don't have another outlet to do this where I feel comfortable doing so.
So, seriously, thanks.

(I like you.)

Last edited by Tomahawk (2023-01-31 19:05:55)

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Re: Unplayed games - a backlog adventure.


This wasn't even in my backlog. But after enough recommendations, I decided I had to play this one. I purchased it for my brother, as I was going to his place for the weekend, and although horirble weather stopped those plans dead in their tracks, there's always Discord and screen sharing.
We started it on Saturday, and completed it an hour or so ago.

I have.. Words about this game. Because holy hell.

IMMORTALITY is the third game by Sam Barlow, following critically acclaimed games "Her Story" from 2015, and "Telling Lies" from 2019.

They can't be called games in the traditional sense. As in, they're more akin to watching video clips and piecing together the story yourself. As such, they're more like point and click games than anything else.

However, The premise of IMMORTALITY, is "What happened to Marissa Marcel?".
In 1968, Arthur Fischer(totally not Alfred Hitchcock) made what was supposed to be his magnum opus, a movie called "Ambrosio", about a Spanish priest in 1500s Madrid, and a mysterious young lady played by Marissa Marcel. Her first ever role, supposed to be her big break. It's a movie about sin, redemption and desire.
For some mysterious reason the movie is never released. 

One year later, the same actress is writing another moview with a first time director; John Durick. "Minsky" is a movie about a mysterious murder of the titular character Minsky, a renowned painter in the late 1960s New York.
This movie as well, is never released.

Then, in 1999, The movie "Two of Everything" is being produced and directed by John Durick and Marissa Marcel.

Nobody knows what happened in the 30 years she went missing, why she suddenly comes back, why she hasn't aged a day, or.. what happened to her.

All we have to go by, are about 200 raw files from rehearsals and shoots. And we have to watch, and scrub through to reveal the mystery.

And oh my what a ride it was. 10-12 hours of what started out as pure voyeurism(in some part the sexual way, I guess, there are plenty of "adult" scenes), grew towards intrigue and pure, raw interest as we tried to figure out what the actual fuck was going on in this enchanting game.

It's hard to say much more than that without stepping into spoiler city, but there is much more to this game than meets the eye. The discovery of the title's namesake, and what happened to Marissa Marcel is but the surface, and it's a game I can't recommend enough.

A solid 10/10, there.

Last edited by Tomahawk (2023-03-07 14:16:02)

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Re: Unplayed games - a backlog adventure.


I managed to click "edit" instead of quote for Immortality post, and thus deleted my post about Gris.
This will be more or less the same I wrote a month ago, but with a month to think about the game too.

GRIS is a french 2D platform-puzzle game. But don't let that premise fool you.
Sure, at its core, it *is* a 2D platformer and puzzle game, but it's also a journey through colour, sound and music. It's hard to really write anything about this game, other than it's a 3-4 hour voyage that left me crying tears of joy in the end. Simply because of it's absolute beauty. It's not a hard game at all. I got stuck a few places, but not for longer than I'd get aggravated by, and mostly because I didn't pay enough attention, and had to backtrack a few places.

The premise is pretty straightforwad. Gris, a girl-type-almost-person-thing loses her voice, and colour. You have to venture into the world to restore order, which is represented in sound and colour. The style is an almost hand-drawn/painted style, very water color-y type, and it absolutely works. I think the game is stronger because of its style. As you get further, you access new "powers" that will help you progress, and ultimately, restore balance.

Gris is an absolute masterpiece at what it does. It may not be the greatest platformer, or puzzler, for that matter, but as it's only 3-4 hours long, that never bothered me. Instead, I was in constant awe of what the game did: bedazzle me.

Should you play this game?

Now, moving forward, that's 5 games completed. In a longer time frame than anticipated, yes, but I've had other stuff to do as well.
Such as play the, I guess infamous "Hogwart's Legacy". And while it isn't a bad game at all, I quit after a few hours because there are other games in that genre that does everything HL does, but better. I'm also not that interested in the Harry Potter universe to care enough about the game. I also have absolutely no stance on the Rowling controversy, for what it's worth.

As for my next game, that's also what's been stopping me going forward. I don't know which one to pick. There's a bunch of Final Fantasy games, but I can't play all of them at once. Certainly not the Pixel Remasters, because they're all near identical in terms of art.
But we'll see. My next post shouldn't be too far away, and it will be whatever I choose to complete next.

-Tom out.

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Re: Unplayed games - a backlog adventure.


This game often gets confused with Outer Worlds. But it's not made by the same people who made Fallout: New Vegas, nor is it anything even remotely similar.

Because most of all; it's absolutely stellar. It's actually quite impossible to write a review, or anything similar to this game, because, like most others, you should stay 100% spoiler free for this gem.

I'll do my best to try though.

At its core, Outer Wilds is a first person space puzzle game. It's one long puzzle. But, my what a puzzle it is. At the very start of the game, you wake up. And the game doesn't tell you anything. Not where to go, or what to do, apart from that it's launch day, and you finally get to take your spaceship to, you guessed it: space. That's it. That's all the info the game gives you.

It took me 25 hours to complete, because while I'm usually good at puzzle games, this game had me at a pinch several times. I got severly stuck, but I learned to pay attention to the log more, and just explore, read, explore some more, and slowly, very slowly, start to figure out what's going on, and what the end goal actually is.

Outer Wilds is best left teased. It's a game you shouldn't read reviews for. It's a game you shouldn't watch trailers for, use walkthroughs for, or even read up on. It's a game you should just experience. Having a partner by your side can be helpful though, as my Fiancée did help every now and then for things I'd forgotten.

Should you play this game?
Does the bear shit in the woods?

Stop what you're doing, and play this game.

**Controller highly recommended if you're playing on PC.

-Tom out.

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Re: Unplayed games - a backlog adventure.

It's been on my list but hearing such a rave review for it definitely bumps it up!

Boter, formerly of TF.N as Boter and DarthArjuna. I like making movies and playing games, in one order or another.

Re: Unplayed games - a backlog adventure.


This wasn't on my backlog either, but it popped up on my Playstation, and after my brother couldn't stop recommending it, I figured I'd give it a shot anyways.

Life is Strange is a weird game. Kind of in the title, I guess, but critically acclaimed "choice" indie-ish game from 2015. I say indie ish, because while Dontnod made it on a very limited budget, Square Enix published it, and they are anything but indie.

In any case, Life is Strange follows Max Caulfield. An 18 year old girl who's recently moved from Seattle to Arcadia Bay, her hometown, to pursue an education in photography. Chloe left some years ago, after her best friend Chloe's father was suddenly killed in a car accident, and they hadn't stayed in touch. We come into the story right as Max is in photography class, and after a little "choose your own story" type of tutorial, she heads to the bathroom. As she's in there, a boy named Nathan, clearly not all there, enters the bathroom, followed by a blue-haired girl who he shoots and kills over, what seems to be money. Max is traumatized(as you damn well should be), and is suddenly gifted the power to reverse time. She reverses time to before the gun fires, and hits the fire alarm, which sets of a series of events. It's revealed that the victim was her best friend Chloe, and they reconnect. Max, after a few more events, let's Chloe know about her gift, and we use the aforementioned powers for good or bad, to find out what's happening in this small town, slowly unveiling a mystery of murder, disappearances and love.

Life is Strange isn't a very long game. It's an episodic game with 5 episodes, all at roughly 2 hours each, which means you can complete the whole story in one sitting, or have natural breaks every 2 or so hours.

The story is essentially a coming of age story, with teenage angst and love taking the main stage after awhile. Of course, also including the murder mystery little by little. By the end of Episode 3, I was completely hooked, and figuring out what was actually going on towards the end of episode 5 was beautiful and heartbraking. I got attached to Max, Chloe, Chloe's mother and very trying Stepdad, their friends and problems, and discovering love at a young age.
Life is Strange is definitely a pretty story, wrapped around a bizarre, but engaging plot. I could definitely mentally go back to being 18 and in love, with 18 year old problems and world views. It reminded me of being a teenager, in all the positive ways, and some negative. Could absolutely relate to it, and would heartily recommend it to anyone.
It's also included in Playstation Plus Extra, so it's easy to obtain. There's even a remastered edition of it and the prequel, both of which are recommended. But we'll get to the prequel in the next post.

All in all LiS is a solid game. It explores themes that games usually don't deal with, and instead of gung-ho shooting and mayhem, it's an intimate experience that leaves you mentally not the same after. It's hard to talk too much about it without spoiling too much, and if you want to play it, I'd recommend, like me, having very little knowledge about what it really is before delving in to it.

-Tom Out.

Last edited by Tomahawk (2023-04-15 17:32:32)

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Re: Unplayed games - a backlog adventure.


Life is Strange got a little prequel. And it's one of those prequels you really have to play the original before you play. Because the prequel, although being set 3 years prior to the events of Life Is Strange, has some spoilery things in it.

Before the Storm is set 3 years before the original, and 2 years after Chloe lost her father. Max is still living in Seattle at this point, and doesn't make an appearance. Instead we focus on Chloe. The rebelling 15 year old with step dad issues, a very trying mother, angst-ridden and a very devil-may-care attitude. Chloe is trying to get into a off-the-grid concert when she meets Rachel, a new and intruiging character. Think of her like the person from the big city who suddenly moved to the rural town, and now everybody wants to be her friend because she's cool and exotic. Think of it that way, because that's exactly what it is. Max is in that age where she doesn't know what she is yet, and falls head over heels for Rachel. Rachel is the kind of nomadic person who doesn't *really* comit ot anything, but Chloe doesn't care.

The gimmick in this story is "talkbacks". A sort of battle of wits instead of bending time. As such, you can't go back on any choices this time around, and you have to life with all of them.

Before the Storm is 3 episodes long, all roughly 2 hours, and in my humble opinion, not nearly as strong as it's predecessor. It explores more of Chloe, from her perspective, and we get to meet Rachel, who was a missing person in the original. However, being a love story set, essentially, over 3 days, it falls a little flat. I can definitely relate to the angsty teenage love part of it, and I adore the characters, but 3 days is a little short of a time span for all of these events to take place, and the amount of love they show.
Where the game really shines, however, is the hour long bonus episode "farewell", which explores the final days before Max moves to Seattle. That one got to me. That was just sweet and beautiful, with a heart-wrenching ending that left me in tears.

Is this a recurring theme now? I'm playing sad games so I can cry a lot? Yes. Give me feelings, games. It's so nice to play games that leave me very emotional, over taking an oversized array of guns to kill space-nazis or whatever. Give me the personal stories. Give me choices and tear my soul apart doing so. Give me the feeling of empathy for characters in games that don't even look real. Can pixel art make me cry? Yes.

I am absolutely loving this backlog adventure, and I highly recommend everyone to do the same. Go through the bangers you missed because you were too busy with "new and shiny" games. Take your time and finally play the gems that you said you'd get around to at one point in time, because that point, unless you actually decide to, will never come.
I'm also happy to report my brother is inspired by my journey, and has also started going through his backlog. That's how I happened up Life is Strange, and I'm very happy I did.

Should you play this game?
Hard to say. It expands on the story of the first one, by giving you more of Chloe, and her struggles and dealings, but apart from the end, I didn't feel like it expanded enough of it to improve the first. The first game is still the best, by far.

Now, On to Life Is Strange - True Colors!

-Tom out.

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Re: Unplayed games - a backlog adventure.



First things first: This game was not on my backlog at all. That's just the way things go sometimes. I've been hearing it's a must-play since the launch of PS5, and since I share libraries with a friend who owns it, I figured what the hell. Gives me something to play in the sofa.

I was in that age group that didn't play the original games. Just too old, and a few years to young, I guess. Back in '02, when Ratchet and Clank first came out on the PS2, I was busy playing Final Fantasy X, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, Kingdom Hearts, Tekken 4, GTA Vice City, Tony Hawks' Pro Skater 4, Timesplitters 2, etc. Just in that age where I somehow enjoyed Wind Waker while everyone else didn't edgy enough to play Tony Hawk, and still murder-y enough to play Vice City. Needless to say, Ratchet & Clank didn't even land on my radar. I heard about it later on, but I never knew enough about the franchise to even name any of them. I learned last week that none of them even had numbered titles, and that a lot of them are wordplays on naughty things(Up your Arsenal, Going Commando, Full Frontall Assault, Quest for Booty, etc.)

But enough about that. I assumed as it's a "kids" game, I didn't need to get up to speed on the story, and just started playing it. I wasn't wrong. It's a sequel, by all means, but I didn't feel like I missed much. The evil Dr. Nefarious is apparently still at large. Our titular heroes are being celebrated in a huge parade, in which Clank gifts Ratched the aptly named "Dimensionator", so that he can finally travel through dimensions to find the rest of his kind. Neat. The aforementioned doctor(brilliantly voice acted, I might add) pops up, as is expected, and steals the dimensionator, and starts dimension hopping, in hopes of finding a dimension where he doesn't always lose. Cute! Nice touch. Bad guy being sick of losing, wanting to find a new home. Not bad. I get it.

Of course, everything then goes awry and the dimensions become unstable. It's up to our heroes, and newcomer Rivet, the alternate version of Ratchet( I see what they did there) to retrieve the dimensionator, and fix reality. Good on them.

"Rift apart"(Ripped a fart) is, essentially, a 3d platformer meets 3rd person shooter. No two ways about it. That's all it is. You have an entire arsenal of different weapons, from your pew pew gun to launching angry toads that eat enemies, from a pumped-up shotgun, to a snail that unleashes hellfire. The full monty, there, then.

While the game doesn't do anything revolutionary in the 3rd person shooter genre, it does have some fun elements, such as playing as up to 5 different characters(4 of them are really just 2, but different versions, and 1 is a completely different play style), adding mounts , and some fun traversal methods.
What really sells the game is that, while some would argue(myself somewhat included) that it's merely a beefy tech demo for the PS5, that's also why it shines. The graphics are absolutely solid, the load times don't exists, and it's flashy as hell. Classic "we made a new console someone make a launch game to see what it can do" type of game.

The humor is on point. Everything from the juxtaposition of Dr Nefarious' over the top mustache-twirly kniving evilness, to his alternate, much more serious, but just as great written EMPEROR Nefarious. Ratchet, is a half-serious hero, Clank his logical sidekick, but some of the side characters, and even goons "I'm so ripped, my pecks have pecks, bro", and the hilarious Pirate robot "Pierre", because of course he's french, made me laugh several times.

All in all I spent something close to 12 hours on this game. Story wasn't too hard to finish, and finding collectables and unlocking new stuff is always a hoot to do. Will probably not finish 100%, as it isn't anything GREAT.

Unless you're a fan of the franchise, in which case I suspect you will enjoy this much mor than me, with it's 20 years of games to refer to.

Should you play this game?
If you have a PS5, I highly recommend it. I wouldn't go as far as buying, or even borrowing a console for this title alone, but I'm biased, and God Of War: Ragnarok is why you should buy a PS5. It's a fun title that I wasn't bored at all while playing, a game that isn't too complicated, nor is it too simple. All in all a fun ride.

-Tom out.

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Re: Unplayed games - a backlog adventure.


This is a new one. One of the games I've been looking forward to for about a year now. A game I was hoping would surpass the previous one by a landmile, and don't get me wrong, it did. But this part is different. I've tried to write this thing about 4 times now, and I'm constantly stuck, having to go back to the start. Because it's not that I don't have anything to say about this title; rather that I have too much to say about it, and I don't want to write a doctorate.

JEDI SURVIVOR is set 5 years after its predecessor, and the crew split up, for various, legit reasons. We catch up with Kal Cestis as his band of rebels are infiltrating the luxury ship of a Senator, one that holds intel on rebel cells and incursions.
From there on out, it's sort of "back to the old", but also "in with the new", as Survivor is much, MUCH more than the previous title. There's so much to do in this game, but in a good way. There's caves to explore, walls to scale, planets to find, mounts to ride, romances to be had, music to be played, fish to be caught, beards to be found, mini games to be won. So, so much.

And I can't stop loving every second of it. If you, like me, were a bit on the fence with the first title, Survivor pumps it up to 11, and gets rid of the main issues I had with the previous one. For instance, instead of having one fighting style, Cal now sports 5. Standard Saber, Saber Staff, dual wielding, blaster-and-saber(makashi style, nerds), and the Cross guards(broadsword, if you will). All balanced for different situations, all different enough for you to experiment with, and all with different skill trees, making them all different enough. My playthrough was primarily crossguard/blaster, with the occasional staff/blaster, depending on the situation.
Survivor isn't open world per se, but the new planets feel like they're bigger than the original games, with so much more to do and explore. It also borrows lore and the like from the High Republic series, which is very welcome.

The story actually engaged my much more than the previous game. WAY less fan-service, apart from a very select few moments, one specifically stands out, but that was not part of the story in any way, and a completely optional set of events to get to. Fallen Order was much more about the fan service, and I'm glad they toned it down a smidge or two, and let Cal has his own moment to shine. And boy, does he. It's been 5 years, and Cal, while essentially the same character, is more grizzled, clearly older, more direct, and has a definite goal. And what a story. I'm not gonna spoil anything.

Sigh. It's hard to write about this game without just fanboying. If Fallen Order was a 7/10 (Let me explain, I can't stand souls like games. Never have, never will), Survivor is a solid 10/10. I wouldn't say it falls into Souls lite. Not like. Sure, the combat is heavily inspired by Sekiro. But that's also where it stops being similar. You have 5 distinct styles, force powers up the wazoo, no stamina meter(but there's a block meter), and to top it off, you can change the difficulty to fit your needs. Don't have time for much more than to just enjoy the story, and want to feel like a Jedi cutting through everything? Give Story Mode a go! If you feel particularly masochistic, there's Grand Master mode. Your parry timings are now basically non-existent, you take more damage from enemies, making the basic B1 battle droid an all-nighter, but you CAN.

I've played about 50 hours on PS5, and had about 5 crashes in total. Some frame drops here and there in Quality mode, but all in all an enjoyable experience. I'm aware that a lot of PC players having issues, but it looks like most of the kinks have been ironed out by now, so I highly recommend this title.

Also, Skoova Stev is the best character in the game, and if you don't agree, you're wrong.
Also, fuck rancors. Jaysus, fuck rancors.

Also also; I love Merrin.

Also also also: This is just a really good game.


-Tom out.

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Re: Unplayed games - a backlog adventure.

Tomahawk wrote:

Also, fuck rancors. Jaysus, fuck rancors.

Your advice is duly noted but I wouldn't, I really wouldn't.

Last edited by Saniss (2023-05-16 15:45:21)

Sébastien Fraud
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Re: Unplayed games - a backlog adventure.

you're french. You absolutely would.

And you'd make a fancy risotto of it afterwards.

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Re: Unplayed games - a backlog adventure.

Tomahawk wrote:

And you'd make a fancy risotto of it afterwards.

You know some part of me, deep down, has always known the French were part Praying Mantis.

Re: Unplayed games - a backlog adventure.



-Tom out.

Last edited by Tomahawk (2023-06-04 13:47:14)

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Re: Unplayed games - a backlog adventure.


When I was a kid, I loved The Legend of Zelda. At the time, the only one I knew existed was A Link to the Past, which my cousin and I rented quite a few times for the SNES, ultimately not even returning it. This of course being back in the mid-to-late nineties, I’m pretty sure he still has that game. The rental store closed down in the mid 00’s, so I think either we’re good, or we alone closed that store due to unpaid late fees.

A few years later, I discovered Ocarina of Time. Now, when I say discovered, it wasn’t like that game wasn’t known to me. It was absolutely, 100% very well known to me, as I was eagerly awaiting its release. I never did own a Nintendo 64, because I’m a PS kid through and through, but most of my friends did, and since I was the most advanced at English(Games are very rarely translated to Norwegian), I was usually there to help translating, essentially being the way through the game.
Ocarina of Time definitely stands as one of the major pillars of gaming. Being early 3D, it still managed to knock everything out of the park, basically dwarfing Super Mario 3D’s camera work and platforming, and adding combat and z-targeting(target lock) to the mix. Even ran on more or less the same engine. It’s still a very good game, albeit a bit empty compared to todays titles, it felt enormous and sprawling when we were kids. The story was amazing, the cutscenes epic, and the music, oh my god the fucking music. It’s been 25 years, and I can still hum all of those tunes, or at least identify them within a few seconds.
Suffice to say, Ocarina of Time is one of my all-time favorite games. I ranged it top 3 in a podcast episode we did years ago, and I stand by that. With a Link To the Past a close, VERY close second.

Since then, I’ve played a lot of the titles, but not all of them. Majora’s Mask is omitted from my resume, as I still haven’t owned an N64, and surprisingly few people around me got that game. But Wind Waker, Spirit Tracks, Phantom Hourglass, Twilight Princess, Four Sword Adventures, Oracle of Seasons/Ages, etc. I’ve played most of them. Never owned a Wii, so I skipped out on Skyward Sword, which I do own now on Switch, and it is in my log. Will get to it.

When Breath of the Wild released, I didn’t own a Nintendo, and I mostly didn’t care too much for it. For some reason, I was, I guess, done with the franchise, and Nintendo as a whole. I borrowed a Switch and BotW in May 2019, played it non-stop to completion and returned the system. A few months later, my girlfriend bought a Switch and BotW, and simply watching her play it, made me buy a Switch, and, you guessed it; BotW. I have 150+ hours worth of playtime for that title, and I can definitely say I love it. The one thing that held it back from taking top tier spot, was the story. Or rather, lack thereof. The story in BotW is severely lacking. It’s there, sure, but it’s told in tiny fragments, and unless you go looking for flashback sequences, you can easily clear the game without understanding much other than the fact that you’ve been “sleeping” for a 100 years, and now you defeat the big bad that essentially sent you to sleep. And the game knows that. It’s borrowing its story-telling technique from games like Dark Souls, and even the combat is influenced by FromSoft games. Sure, it may not be as extreme, but it’s a far cry from what Zelda used to be. As well as the gameplay. There’s no more dungeons(although they’ve been replaced by the many, many mini dungeons known as shrines), and no more standard weapons and gadgets we’ve all come to know and love. BotW just throws you out there with minimum explanations, and expects you to use what little you’ve learned to conquer the game.
And it is glorious. No doubt about that.

Which, of course, brings us to its sequel. Tears of the Kingdom.

I joked in my previous post, because of course there’s gonna be a review sort of thing about this game. And while it was indeed a joke, the “tldr” is absolutely 10/10 play this game. Hands down.
Tears of the Kingdom, is without a shadow of doubt top 3 Zelda, if not top 1(It’s hard to not be biased right after playing it for 115 hours), and possibly one of the best games of all time. Let’s just make that clear right up front, because there’s no denying that. TOTK is GOOD. VERY good.

Tears of The Kingdom is a direct sequel to Breath of the Wild. (Not unlike Majoras Mask, Phantom Hourglass/Spirit Tracks and A Link Between Worlds. Yes, you can argue that Twilight Princess is the sequel to Ocarina of Time, but… the timeline is complicated, and I’m not going into that now) It takes place an unmentioned amount of time after the previous game. It’s not explicitly said exactly when, but it’s obvious there has been at least a few years. Gone is the calamity, gone are the Ancient guardians, or any “Ancient” stuff, for that matter, and we’re introduced to what’s referred to as “The Upheaval”. An ancient Evil awoke, and as a defense measure, they land was split, and several large landmasses arose to the sky, forming Sky Islands(Yes, that’s what it’s calling it, because Skylands wouldn’t work, apparently), filled to the brim with Zonai ruins. BotW had Zonai Ruins, so there’s been talk about this ancient rase, but not to this scale. Link must complete this literal iteration of a Tutorial Island, which teaches you the basics of the game, the new abilities and doodads, and even teaches you stuff you will absolutely forget about until about 80 hours in, when you’re looking for ways to improve your stuff. I certainly did, and had to google “tears of the kingdom batteries”, only to find out the game literally told me about it in the opening hours.

So what makes this game special, and does it improve upon an already amazing formula that Nintendo started with its predecessor? There’s a lot to talk about here, but since this game is still not even a month old, I’ll stick to keywords, and not elaborate too much, and shy away from any major spoiler points.
1: Story. There’s a goddamn story here. It’s much bigger, and vastly elaborated since the previous title, and it’s a good one too.
2: Abilities. New abilities, playing on the old ones, and improving gameplay by a parsec. It’s not fundamentally different, but it’s so improved it’s barely recognizable.
3: Hyrule, and more. Hyrule may be more or less the same, but there’s been changes in the years since you saw it last. Firstly, of course, there’s the addition of the sky islands, but also something lurking in the depths.
4: quality of life. So much minor changes from the last game that improve gameplay, and streamlines so much. Things like opening chests now give you the option of discarding an old weapon if your inventory is full, rather than just closing again, forcing you to do it manually.

Tears takes everything from Breath and cranks it up to 11. It does, however, build upon the same foundation. The gameplay loop is primarily identical. Find major dungeons, defeat bosses. Get weapons, break weapons, find new weapons. Farm ingredients, make food, etc. Weapons still break, and are, in fact, much worse than in the previous game, but new this time is the ability to fuse literally anything to your weapons, altering their abilities, or improving their damage output and durability. For instance, fusing a Keese Eye to an arrow makes the arrow a homing arrow. Fusing a leaf to a stick, makes it a very powerful leaf blowe, and fusing a large spring to your shield makes a one-time portable mighty pogo stick. You can also build things now. Combining Zonai tech with whatever, you can make rafts, boats, cars, bikes, hovercraft, mech suits, tanks, automated death machines, or makeshift elevators. It’s limited only to your imagination, and while mine isn’t great, I’ve seen some absolutely bonkers builds online.

This feature, the building, actually took me a little out of the game. Nintendo saw what people did with the last game, and embraced it. Made it much more silly, and removed most limits from what you can do this time around. The beauty of it is that you’re never forced to do any of this. You don’t have to build anything if you don’t want to, and you can still keep it fairly “lore-friendly”.

I finished the main quest line at the 100 hour mark, and while speedrunners have already absolutely abused what they can and cleared it in less than 8 hours, unless you actually play it, you don't even know where to go. It's not like in the previous game where it pushes you off the cliff with a paraglader and direct you towards the castle and main boss. You actually have to figure out what's happened, and where to go.

After about 115 hoursI had to remove temptation, as it were, and hand it over to my significant other, as I thought 115 hours in three weeks is way too excessive, and I need a break. I’ll come back to it and finish all the side quests and what nots in there, but for now, I need to stop.
Not because I’m tired of it. Rather the opposite. Because 115 hours in, and 15 hours after completing the main story, I still couldn’t stop playing it, and it’s affecting my chores, sleep and whatnot. It’s just that good.

At the end of the day, my verdict is as follows:
Tears of the Kingdom may come across as “just more Breath of the Wild”, but it’s so, so much more. And even if it weren’t, isn’t “more BotW” good enough? That game alone was a 9/10 for me, and simply having more of that would probably gauge 9/10 already, which is ONE away from perfection.
However, TotK takes what made BotW great, and improved every aspect, and built on top(and below) that, to create a much larger experience, where there’s never a dull moment, and always something around the next corner to discover.
My only gripe with this game is that because it’s so much more story now, it felt like Link really, REALLY had to open his mouth this time around and actually say something. But at the end of the day, I understand why he doesn’t. He’s not supposed to. YOU are Link. Link is your avatar, and shouldn’t speak on your behalf.

Tears of the Kingdom is an absolute 10/10, and if you played BotW and are on the fence, you absolutely should get around to this one. If you didn’t play BotW, you CAN play this game, but you really should play the first one.

And almost like in "Immortal" I can know say "I know what happened to Princess Zelda", and I can't stop thinking about this game. Play. This. Game.

-Tom Out.

Last edited by Tomahawk (2023-06-07 18:41:06)

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