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*bump*


Yay, I’m playing games again! Tongue


Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask - 3/5


The fifth installment in the Professor Layton series delivers what you should expect by now: an over-the-top story that’s slowly revealed to you, one puzzle at a time.

Alas, after four games of basically the same formula over and over again, the series is now starting to run thin. The gameplay could really use an overhaul, and I thought the transition to the 3DS would be perfect for that. Unfortunately it was not to be.

While there are advantages to the 3DS switch (more quality cutscenes, more voiced lines, a couple of puzzles with added flair), there are also a few pitfalls that they didn’t avoid. Changing the wonderful 2D character animations to 3D ones isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, for one. While they tried to make the 3D models resemble the 2D ones closely through cel-shading, somehow in the process they lost some of the charm inherent in the artwork, and it hurts the game (especially in contrast with the beautiful and top notch 2D cutscenes). And it also feels like they didn’t take full advantage of the new capabilities the 3DS has to offer. Either the console was still too new when this game was in production, or the developers were too rusted in their old ways. Whatever it was, I feel that they left a lot of potential untapped and while this may improve the odds for the sixth game (Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy), I’m not that sure this team will go for it…

I’m not overly happy with the story’s resolution either. It lacked a good twist (as the main twist was more or less phoned in from the very beginning), and they kind of shoehorned a certain villain in, just to fit this game into a trilogy. Several of the main characters have really silly motivations as well, so you’d better not think too hard about it (but this holds true for the other Layton games as well).

In the end, though, I got a game with (once again) high production values, a great deal of puzzles (150 + minigames), and a staggering 365 daily downloadable puzzles. All these combined netted me about a 60-hour puzzle fix, so while this installment may be the weakest of the Layton series so far, it’s by no means a bad one. I just hope the devs step up their game somewhat in the conclusion to this prequel trilogy…

     

Now playing: Blade Runner (post-CPT) | The Witcher: Enhance Edition (on hold) | Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc (on hold) | Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy (3DS)
Recently finished: Whispers of a Machine (CPT) - 4/5 | Beneath a Steel Sky (CPT) - 3/5 | 3 in Three - 3.5/5 | Puzzle Gallery: At the Carnival - 2.5/5 | The Fool’s Errand (replay) - 3.5/5 | The Dig (replay) - 4.5/5 | Return of the Obra Dinn (CPT) - 4/5 | Beavis and Butt-Head in Virtual Stupidity - 3.5/5 | League of Light: The Game (CCPT) - 3/5 | realMyst: Masterpiece Edition - 2.5/5 | Contradiction - 3/5 | Tex Murphy: Mean Streets - 2/5 | The Last Express - 3.5/5 | South Park: The Fractured But Whole - 4/5 | Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (replay, CPT) - 5/5

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Joined 2013-08-16

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Probably obvious one but I’d need to answer Wolf among us Smile

For me the experience with the game was solid 9.5/10. The only reason I dropped half a point was the setting that I didn’t care so much at first, but it kinda grew on me.

     
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James Noir’s Hollywood Crimes - 2.5/5


Hollywood in the ‘60s. You get selected to participate in a popular TV show called “The Puzzle Masters”. Unfortunately, during your run on the show, a serial killer starts targeting past winners. The FBI agent that’s assigned to the case is an old friend of yours, and he enlists your help to take down the killer (who keeps leaving clues in the form of puzzles). Can you stop the killer before you become his next target?

A pretty sound premise for a puzzle-heavy adventure game, and the game really does start good. For instance, as part of your audition for the TV show, the game takes your actual picture, and that gets used in newspaper clippings and other moments throughout the game. This kind of involvement gets enhanced when the 3DS camera films you whenever you’re in front of a mirror in-game. Small touches that add to the game and your immersion in it.

Unfortunately, James Noir (a person who never once gets mentioned in the game nor in the manual) his “Hollywood Crimes” drop the ball at several opportunities. First of all, the graphics are lacklustre and mediocre (the background during the TV show is bland and generic, and the crowd is static). The puzzles also get repetitive fast, especially during the TV show sequences. And this is where the game falters most, the serial killer chase is pretty interesting, but the TV show is little more than a barrage of increasingly repetitive (not to mention easy) puzzles.

At least the investigation into the killer manages to mix things up more. It even surprises by making you, the player character, into a believable suspect as the serial killer. Sadly, this part takes up only less than half of the game, and even then it goes a bit too fast and is focused too much on puzzles and too little on plot.

All in all it’s not a bad game, but it had more potential than it finally ended up showing. It’s far too puzzle-centric for its own good (and the puzzles are not diverse enough), and its promise of “over 150 puzzles” only holds true for completionist players like myself. You’ll do less than half if you just play through the story once, without redoing any of the TV-show sections or solving the puzzles you get in the in-game fan mail.
Coupled with the weak production values, I feel this game is simply a missed opportunity that could have been a lot better with a bit more attention to detail, a bit more fleshing out of the story and a bit more use of the 3DS functionality. As it is, it looks more like a DS game than a 3DS game…

     

Now playing: Blade Runner (post-CPT) | The Witcher: Enhance Edition (on hold) | Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc (on hold) | Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy (3DS)
Recently finished: Whispers of a Machine (CPT) - 4/5 | Beneath a Steel Sky (CPT) - 3/5 | 3 in Three - 3.5/5 | Puzzle Gallery: At the Carnival - 2.5/5 | The Fool’s Errand (replay) - 3.5/5 | The Dig (replay) - 4.5/5 | Return of the Obra Dinn (CPT) - 4/5 | Beavis and Butt-Head in Virtual Stupidity - 3.5/5 | League of Light: The Game (CCPT) - 3/5 | realMyst: Masterpiece Edition - 2.5/5 | Contradiction - 3/5 | Tex Murphy: Mean Streets - 2/5 | The Last Express - 3.5/5 | South Park: The Fractured But Whole - 4/5 | Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (replay, CPT) - 5/5

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The missus got me some casual hidden object games for the DS (well, one for the DS and one for the 3DS) for my birthday, thinking they were “my genre”. She’s obviously oblivious to the vastness of adventure games, bless her heart. Tongue

Well, I finally got to see what these dreaded HOG games are all about… Grin


Real Crimes: The Unicorn Killer - 1.5/5

Real Crimes: The Unicorn Killer is a game centering around the long hunt for Ira Einhorn (the real-life Unicorn killer), where you visit places he (and his victim) frequented. You basically solve 22 screens with hidden objects and 6 minigames (consisting of recognizing 5 finger prints amongst a dozen, reforming an image by swapping tiles, and what boils down to a game of Memory), and get a few lines of dialogue in between, relating to Ira Einhorn’s history. Extra challenge is added to the HOG screens by having a 10-minute timer (only in “detective mode”, “rookie mode” loses the timer), subtracting 45 seconds if you click 3 wrong items in a row, and by having one “double item” per screen (for instance “stir the pot” means you need to find a spoon and then find a pot and use the spoon on the pot). But it also helps you by adding 30 seconds to your timer if you find three items within a 10 second time frame, and you gain hints (that can blatantly show you one of your missing items) every time you complete a screen or solve a mini-game. Some screens have a Go-board in them, where you get an additional hint if you solve one of the world’s easiest Go-moves, and all screens have multiple nonsensical objects or object locations in them (like the outlines of a fish drawn in the sky).
The dialogue you get is just an excuse to change the scenery and go to a new screen with items to find, and even then do they manage to have multiple spelling errors in what amasses to less than 100 lines of text…
The game poses little to no challenge, the graphics are run-of-the-mill, the music is repetitive and the story is practically non-existant. I finished this in 2 hours and was glad when it was over…



Secret Mysteries in London - 2/5

Secret Mysteries in London (or Amsterdam, Paris or Berlin depending on your system’s language setting) is a 1920’s hunt for a serial killer by a forensic investigator, told in flashbacks through a journal found in present-day. The game features a bunch of hidden object screens in 3D, so instead of a static picture, you can explore an area in 360 degrees (but movement is limited to a rail-like trajectory). Graphics are decent, but the inability to zoom in makes you just click everything that *might* be one of the needed objects because you’re seldom totally sure. You can get help by the use of a flashlight that sparkles at the location where one of the needed objects can be found, but the flashlight needs “recharging” before you can use it again (meaning you have to wait about 30 seconds). The items you need to find are actual items that are lying around (so no drawn fish in the sky), but sometimes their location doesn’t make any real-life sense (like having a key standing upright on top of a lamp post). After every few hidden object screens you get a small minigame to play, and luckily these are at least somewhat diverse. The game is really easy, though, since you’re never penalized for clicking a wrong item or failing a minigame (and there’s no timer for additional ‘challenge’ either).
The snippets of the journal that come between each hidden object screen (or minigame) give some validity to the location change, but unfortunately, while you visit a few interesting cities (London, Washington, Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin), you never get to see any actual real-life spots there, just a few generic parks, alleys or houses. The game could basically have taken place (and stayed in) any 1920s city and no-one would notice the difference.
The present-day imagery of a journalist reading the above-mentioned journal has a nice cinematic quality to it, and the music that goes with it does indeed invoke a 1920s feel, so it’s not like the developers didn’t at least try to make it worthwhile. Sadly, the game itself isn’t overly fun (it’s mostly just hidden object screens after all) and the story has an unsatisfying resolution.
The text you get also has a number of spelling errors (especially near the end), but during the ending credits I noticed the game’s designers all had Dutch names, so I really played it in the wrong language - I should have played Secret Mysteries in Amsterdam instead. Maybe that version’s free of spelling mistakes?
I finished the game in a little over 3 hours.

     

Now playing: Blade Runner (post-CPT) | The Witcher: Enhance Edition (on hold) | Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc (on hold) | Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy (3DS)
Recently finished: Whispers of a Machine (CPT) - 4/5 | Beneath a Steel Sky (CPT) - 3/5 | 3 in Three - 3.5/5 | Puzzle Gallery: At the Carnival - 2.5/5 | The Fool’s Errand (replay) - 3.5/5 | The Dig (replay) - 4.5/5 | Return of the Obra Dinn (CPT) - 4/5 | Beavis and Butt-Head in Virtual Stupidity - 3.5/5 | League of Light: The Game (CCPT) - 3/5 | realMyst: Masterpiece Edition - 2.5/5 | Contradiction - 3/5 | Tex Murphy: Mean Streets - 2/5 | The Last Express - 3.5/5 | South Park: The Fractured But Whole - 4/5 | Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (replay, CPT) - 5/5

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Lucien21 - 02 June 2014 05:57 PM

I just finished the PS4 version.

I wouldn’t rate it as highly as you,but it was a surprise. I was totally expecting the standard wolfenstein corridor shooter.  what I got was a lot more interesting. I didn’t expect as much sneaking in a run and gunner, dual welding every weapon was fun as hell, and a branching story….ok that last one was a tad generous.

However it was a well made fun ride with a bonkers plot and even better gameplay.

I would probably give it a solid 7 or 8.

I just finished this game and although the story and setting are extremely enjoyable, the gameplay was hit or miss. I found parts of it really difficult for my shooter skillset on normal difficulty. I usually beat shooters at normal difficulty no problem, but in this game, I kept dying over and over again. I’m either getting rusty or this game is ruthless. Also the AI is retarded and just zerg rushes you every time. The only problem is that some of the latter enemies take way too much damage to go down.

 

     

Ignorance + Poverty = Crime, Ignorance + Wealth = Corruption, Ignorance + Freedom = Chaos, Ignorance + Authority = Tyranny, Ignorance + Religion = Terrorism
Replace Ignorance with Knowledge:
Knowledge + Poverty = Satisfaction, Knowledge + Wealth = Civilization, Knowledge + Freedom = Creativity, Knowledge + Authority = Justice, Knowledge + Religion = Integrity

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SoccerDude28 - 03 August 2014 03:36 PM

gameplay was hit or miss. I found parts of it really difficult for my shooter skillset on normal difficulty. I usually beat shooters at normal difficulty no problem, but in this game, I kept dying over and over again. I’m either getting rusty or this game is ruthless.


This aspect is really divisive among players, old school fans are loving it, some
even calling it best FPS since Halflife2, even Cliffyb said the same(though he is douchebag imo).

MachineGames got enough attention already and this game is serving as blueprint for
upcoming DOOM, i hope Id get that old feeling back.

Dual wielding ftw.

     
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nomadsoul - 03 August 2014 05:24 PM
SoccerDude28 - 03 August 2014 03:36 PM

gameplay was hit or miss. I found parts of it really difficult for my shooter skillset on normal difficulty. I usually beat shooters at normal difficulty no problem, but in this game, I kept dying over and over again. I’m either getting rusty or this game is ruthless.


This aspect is really divisive among players, old school fans are loving it, some
even calling it best FPS since Halflife2, even Cliffyb said the same(though he is douchebag imo).

MachineGames got enough attention already and this game is serving as blueprint for
upcoming DOOM, i hope Id get that old feeling back.

Dual wielding ftw.

Even back then DOOM had quick save which made it much less frustrating. I think I am just spoiled by the difficulty level of most games today.

     

Ignorance + Poverty = Crime, Ignorance + Wealth = Corruption, Ignorance + Freedom = Chaos, Ignorance + Authority = Tyranny, Ignorance + Religion = Terrorism
Replace Ignorance with Knowledge:
Knowledge + Poverty = Satisfaction, Knowledge + Wealth = Civilization, Knowledge + Freedom = Creativity, Knowledge + Authority = Justice, Knowledge + Religion = Integrity

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Total Posts: 7110

Joined 2005-09-29

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SoccerDude28 - 03 August 2014 08:47 PM

Even back then DOOM had quick save which made it much less frustrating. I think I am just spoiled by the difficulty level of most games today.

Yup thats true, oldschool even done right is put up along frustration.
I love the armour/health mechanic, and no health regeneration.


Funfact, Demons’Souls was inititially blamed for hard setup,till Atlus took
the charge and started marketing its strength(difficulty).

Evilwithin will fare similarly i guess, same ratings average and same
complains. Atleast you guys didn’t shit on Idtech5 Smile

 

 

     
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nomadsoul - 03 August 2014 09:37 PM

Atleast you guys didn’t shit on Idtech5 Smile

The game looked gorgeous on my very fast PC at 1080p so there are no complaints from the looks department. If I have one small complaint, it’s that I noticed some tearing every now and then, which is very distracting when the rest of the game looks as nice as it does.

     

Ignorance + Poverty = Crime, Ignorance + Wealth = Corruption, Ignorance + Freedom = Chaos, Ignorance + Authority = Tyranny, Ignorance + Religion = Terrorism
Replace Ignorance with Knowledge:
Knowledge + Poverty = Satisfaction, Knowledge + Wealth = Civilization, Knowledge + Freedom = Creativity, Knowledge + Authority = Justice, Knowledge + Religion = Integrity

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Total Posts: 167

Joined 2013-11-12

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Finished Yuuzai X Muzai (Guilty X Innocent) (DS), a courtroom game (see trailer). And very different from the Ace Attorney series. Ace Attorney is a Columbo-style mystery game that takes the form of a courtroom drama, but Yuuzai X Muzai is more like a courtroom simulator. You take on the role of a lay judge and have to make the right choice: is the defendant guilty or innocent? So no protecting your client or finding the true criminal or anything like that. Just examine all the evidence and testimonies, discuss the essential factors of each case with your fellow judges and decide whether you think the prosecution’s claim is proven (and sometimes, it’s indeed the defendant who is guilty). The game is interesting as a fairly realistic simulation of the Japanese lay judge system, but… it’s a bit too dry and realistic at times. During the actual trial, you just listen to the stories of prosecution and defense and occasionally ask some questions, so it’s just A LOT of reading until you get to the discussions. These play out like Ace Attorney/Danganronpa (discuss with other people, agree/object to statements and back up with evidence), and they can be quite fun because there usually is some hidden truth behind each case, but still… the presentation is very bland.

     

“Rationality, that was it. No esoteric mumbo jumbo could fool that fellow. Lord, no! His two feet were planted solidly on God’s good earth” - Ellery Queen, The Lamp of God

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SoccerDude28 - 04 August 2014 11:15 AM
nomadsoul - 03 August 2014 09:37 PM

Atleast you guys didn’t shit on Idtech5 Smile

The game looked gorgeous on my very fast PC at 1080p so there are no complaints from the looks department. If I have one small complaint, it’s that I noticed some tearing every now and then, which is very distracting when the rest of the game looks as nice as it does.


I played Rage fine but I’m trying to play Wolfenstein and it’s laughing at my computer (or my AMD card), it has some years, Farcry 3 and Metro Last Light also gave a hard time… Guess it’s time for an upgrade…

     
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wilco - 04 August 2014 01:20 PM
SoccerDude28 - 04 August 2014 11:15 AM
nomadsoul - 03 August 2014 09:37 PM

Atleast you guys didn’t shit on Idtech5 Smile

The game looked gorgeous on my very fast PC at 1080p so there are no complaints from the looks department. If I have one small complaint, it’s that I noticed some tearing every now and then, which is very distracting when the rest of the game looks as nice as it does.


I played Rage fine but I’m trying to play Wolfenstein and it’s laughing at my computer (or my AMD card), it has some years, Farcry 3 and Metro Last Light also gave a hard time… Guess it’s time for an upgrade…

And dont bother for AMD cards, i heard Nvidia is gonna be better supported in future
and all Radeons will be shafted. Not to mention the PC ports themselves by Ubisoft Kiev Wink

     
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Played MGSV: Ground Zeroes

Great intro and last cutscene, dark themes Kojima style but not very over-the-top or padded out. The open-world base playground is was the like the evolution of best parts of previous MGS games, I hope it’s an indication of good things to come in MGSV.
Thought the game is very short but with high replay value trying all the different stuff. I can see myself playing a lot more times until MGS5 comes out, also the game looks amazing on the PS4, so smooth!

     
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Civilization 3. I keep playing it for years now, and I’m still not fed up with it. I almost ashamed to admit it, haven’t tried neither the 4 or the 5 Confused.

     
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nickherc - 09 October 2014 05:56 AM

Civilization 3. I keep playing it for years now, and I’m still not fed up with it. I almost ashamed to admit it, haven’t tried neither the 4 or the 5 Confused.

You should give Civ4 a chance. It’s the one I go back to on occasion. Most balanced Civilization game ever, imo. Trumps Civ3 on all accounts, imo.
I didn’t much care for Civ5. My preferred order is: 4 >>> 2 >>> 3 >>>>> 1 > 5

Are you playing vanilla, or with Play the World and/or Conquests ?
For Civ4, I would recommend “The Complete Edition” (which has the Warlords and Beyond the Sword expansions as well as the standalone game Colonization). You’ll have to say goodbye to your personal life, though. Grin

     

Now playing: Blade Runner (post-CPT) | The Witcher: Enhance Edition (on hold) | Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc (on hold) | Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy (3DS)
Recently finished: Whispers of a Machine (CPT) - 4/5 | Beneath a Steel Sky (CPT) - 3/5 | 3 in Three - 3.5/5 | Puzzle Gallery: At the Carnival - 2.5/5 | The Fool’s Errand (replay) - 3.5/5 | The Dig (replay) - 4.5/5 | Return of the Obra Dinn (CPT) - 4/5 | Beavis and Butt-Head in Virtual Stupidity - 3.5/5 | League of Light: The Game (CCPT) - 3/5 | realMyst: Masterpiece Edition - 2.5/5 | Contradiction - 3/5 | Tex Murphy: Mean Streets - 2/5 | The Last Express - 3.5/5 | South Park: The Fractured But Whole - 4/5 | Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (replay, CPT) - 5/5

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