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Videogames Beaten by VGGers in 2015
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Welcome to the sure-to-be-massive, soon-to-be-out-of-control Geeklist where VGGers rejoice in beating games large and small, new and old. Here's how this works:

Whenever you finish a game, add it to the list and share your thoughts. Use your best judgement for exactly WHEN a game is 'beaten:' 'final boss defeated,''saw the credits,' 'completed the main storyline,' '100%' etc. Whatever seems reasonable and is the end for you.

These lists have been running since 2011 and tend to draw a lot of conversation. Feel free to offer whatever commentary you like on the game and your experience playing it. Be brief or thorough, broad or narrow - its up to you.

To get started, tell us what platform you played the game on and whether or not you've beaten it before.

There are always some "power-users" on this list who play a lot of games and have a lot to say about them. Don't feel like you have to contribute as much or as often somebody else - we like to hear from new folks and nobody really cares if you're "keeping up with the Joneses."

To all new users: the more the merrier. We try to keep it lively and friendly. There is no need to read through every page before jumping in (though you are encouraged to do that at your leisure.) Be sure to subscribe to this list so you can see what everyone else is playing!

Also head on over to Video Games Abandoned by VGGers in 2015 if a game is driving you nuts or just isn't any good! If you're just not sure about a game, embrace your ambivalence. If you want to see what VGGers were up to in years past, look here.

And if you want to challenge yourself, check out The 2015 Videogame Challenge!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Should I add a game to this list if it has already been added by somebody else?
A: Of course!

Q: Should I add a game to list more than once if I beat it more than once?
A: No, but feel free to update your original item or add a new comment beneath it.

Q: I wrote something for this list that seems review-ish. Should I cross-post it as a review?
A: If you are so inclined, cross-post away.

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Sorting:

VGGer extraordinaire Grimwold hosts a useful sorting mechanism for these lists through his own site (oh, it seems weird now, just wait until there are 1000+ items). This lets you see what individual users have beaten (sort by user) and also how many times a game has been beaten, and by whom (sort by game).

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The admins are awarding 2015 badges to everyone who posts a game to this list! For the others, you can purchase them by following this link:

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Stats - Updated December 1st

Most Popular Games:

10 Portal 2
9 Batman: Arkham Asylum
9 Child of Light
8 Portal
8 Transistor
7 Payday 2
7 Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
7 Broken Age
7 Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
7 Frog Fractions

Most... "Dedicated" Gamers:

151 Legolas_Katarn
56 seneca29
53 Aarontu
48 Fozan
47 burnstar
47 UnknownParkerBrother
46 Lebotin
44 JohnRayJr
44 GeneSteeler
37 Eldritch
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1. Video Game: Talisman: Digital Edition [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:1785] [Average Rating:6.77 Unranked]
Adam
United States
Tempe
Arizona
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"We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner! I can't think what anybody sees in them."
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Platform: PC / Steam
Time: About four hours
First time beaten? No.

A man of my profession knows to take care. When I heard Death himself had become manifest, I knew that it was important to keep moving, and to keep Old Bones busy. I had heard rumors, of course, of the land beyond the Valley of Fire. It was a place where wishes might come true, or where certain death awaited the foolish. Circumstances being what they were, I calculated that it was worth the risk.

I soon discovered I was not alone in what I was seeking. Others sought the same place, one of them, a fop and bravo from the local tavern, I quickly dismissed. Calling himself a "Swashbuckler", the fool thought himself a hero! In my line of work, we recognize that appellation for the illusion that it is. The other two gave me more concern. The Sage knew enough to be very dangerous, indeed, he probably knew a great deal more than I did; pride is another luxury for those not on my path. The last of them was certainly the most dangerous though. The Troll. The brute probably sensed the change in the world through some instinct, and I knew he would be my greatest rival.

I am accustomed by long experience to making very careful preparations when on the job. Still, it was just as important to recognize opportunities. The Swashbuckler had decided to throw himself a going away party at the local tavern. It was quite easy to blend in with the crowd long enough to put a knife in his ribs, then escape in the resulting confusion.

I knew I would never be able to enter the Valley of Fire without one of the Archmage's talismans, and I spent a great deal of time searching for one. That time was not ill spent. I found a pool of strength, which I managed to visit several times. I also discovered a trainer, a centaur who taught the arts of combat with no questions asked; just the sort of help I needed in readying for what I was about to face. My rivals mainly fought among each other, including the Swashbuckler, who had survived my attack. I heard he was quite fond of offering to show the scar to anyone who had the time to listen to him blather about it.

The Reaper stalked the land all the while, and I saw him watching me from a distance a time or two. Finally, in spite of all my cunning and all my stealth, he caught me. Try to envision my surprise at discovery that Death was, contrary to all I had heard and thought, a Lady! "One so dedicated to me need to fear.", she told me, and I felt my strength increase even beyond what magic pools, private training, and even my years of battles had given me. I was now even stronger than the Troll! Let the brute face me! Yet, for all my strength, I shivered as she left me, saying "I may not be so kind, when next we meet. I am fond of my games.". Her smile with those words was at once the most beautiful and horrifying thing I have ever seen; and that after a life of horrors.

Eventually, I felt I was ready. I had heard of yet another would-be competitor, a warrior who called himself "The Glory Seeker". I sought him out and showed him how little dreams of glory mattered when there were twelve inches of steel in your spine.

His title was not all bluster, though. In his pouch I found a map to the Warlock's cave. One of the Archmage's apprentices, it was said that the Warlock had a store of talismans, and that he was willing to give them as payment for tasks whose value was known only to him. I quickly sought him out. I suppose I should not have been surprised when he asked me to kill the Sage. Is there any enmity so bitter as an academic rivalry? It was certainly a fitting task for me, who had traded in death for hire for so long. I found the old man outside the Dungeon. He was so certain that there was something he absolutely had to have in those perilous vaults. As my blade opened his throat, he learned too late that not all danger lies below ground. I was only somewhat startled when I felt a sudden weight in my pouch, and opened it to find a talisman.

Still, the warning the Lady of the Grave had given me weighed heavily on me, I knew I needed an edge. I have survived as long as I have by making absolutely sure I am never in a "fair" contest. At last, I had what I needed. All that remained was to cross the river.

It was one of fate's little ironies that the next day, I encountered an imp who teleported me to the Hidden Grove, on the other side of the river, for a prank! The little trickster had no idea what a favor he'd done me! Better still, the Troll was sleeping there when I arrived. I hamstrung the brute and cut him to pieces. He would survive, of course. I had no means of setting the mess on fire; I only hoped he would be at least weakened by the experience.

A few days later, I forced open the portal into the heart of what had once been the Arch Mage's realm. The gate of his tomb was also no match for my new found strength, and it was there that I next met She of the Last Rest. She sat on the other side of his tomb, with a pair of bone dice and a cup of leather; I felt it better not to think too deeply about what type of hide it might be. Again melting my knees and nearly emptying my bladder with that smile, she said "It is time.". The smile only widened when she saw the clover I held. "Of course. You would be prepared.". The dice game ended in the only way it could, and the ashes of the clover joined the dust on the floor, consumed in granting me the luck I knew I would need. I saluted her in parting, and then, compelled by instincts nearly as old as time, fled the tomb, running deeper into the ruins of the Arch Mage's kingdom.

A werewolf's den blocked the entrance to the Valley of Fire along the route I had taken. This was not unexpected, and the silver dagger I had acquired proved that even lycanthropes are prey for a well prepared assassin.

The talisman saw me through the Valley of Fire, a place of remarkable peace for one who comes to it prepared. Trembling with anticipation, I ascended the thousand stairs to the site of the Arch Mage's tower. What awaited me there shocked me, even after a life time of surprises and encounters of every sort. Her. Again.

She smiled at me, and I no longer felt any fear. "The Arch Mage imprisoned me here long ago, hoping to make himself immortal. Now you are one of the very few who know what became of him and his realm. Over the centuries, I gradually wore away the strength of my prison. Now that you are here, bearing with you the talisman that was your key in and my key out, I am well and truly free. I may even reward you, who have served me so well, who shall I visit first?". I laughed then, and taking her hand in mine, I waltzed about the room with her, shouting madly, "Let the Dance Macabre Begin!", and with a whisper in her ear, I set her on my foes. The Sage fell quickly, though I think, not sadly, happy in his own way to finally have the answers to the ultimate questions. The Troll, though, proved mighty, even when faced with she who cannot be denied, he clung to life with a strength and determination that awed even one as jaded as I. In time, in spite of all I could do, sending her to him again and again, he too came to the Tower.

I laughed bitterly as I saw her lead him in. "You did say you were fond of your games, and I should have known. You never meant to prevent him from coming here, did you?". She grinned and shook her head as the Troll, dimly recognizing what had to be done, charged at me with a roar that shook the stones of the tower.

We fought for days, and I believe I understand, at least in part, why that battle was something she wished to see. I was the ultimate contest of precision, skill, and planning against raw, brute force. I was more grateful than ever before that I had prepared so carefully. The axe and the armor I had acquired proved invaluable, and without them, the outcome might have been very different. In the end, the hulking behemoth lay at my feet, even his astonishing vitality finally overcome in this place of death.

The Lady was pleased with her sport, and once again agreed to support me. The Swashbuckler, who had never been a serious threat, was the last of my rivals to pass, though from what I understand it was in a manner he would have wanted, and I did not begrudge him it.

That, my friends, is how a new Arch Mage arose, on good terms with Death herself. I am not fool enough to try to imprison her! She will come for me in time. While I have many years before that day, I only hope they are enough that the good I can yet do can make up for all else I have done. Many sneer at this idea, but none dare now do so to my face, yet another of life's ironies, as I would be unlikely to harm them for it. For you see, She has told me she is not the end, but a guide to places beyond, and that has convinced me that it is vital that when I next see her, I might meet her as a friend.

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2. Video Game: Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition [Average Rating:8.14 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.14 Unranked]
Kenneth Stuart
United States
Hawthorne
California
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Platform: PS3
First time? Yes
Playtime: 100+ hours
Playtime this year: 10 hours, but more to come!
Enjoyment: very high

Completion stats:
Played 2 player with my wife, Crusader (a new class in Reaper of Souls expansion) and Wizard classes. Expert difficulty through Act III, then Master for Act IV, and Torture 1 for Act V. Killed Diablo with level 64 characters. Cleared every possible dungeon through Act IV and most of them in Act V. Completed Act V (the Reaper of Souls expansion) at level 70 with 11 paragon levels added.


Diablo III is the multiplayer, dungeon-crawler, RPG, fantasy action adventure game that everyone needs to play (assuming you like dungeon crawling, of course)! The game is held together by an inconsequential story that progresses as you vanquish demons and other foes. Supposedly the story continues with the lore shortly after the time where Diablo II left off, but I felt no loss having not played either of the preceding titles.

Combat is extremely repetitive throughout the game, so I must admit that I did start to feel diminishing returns during Act IV. I was level 64 when we defeated Diablo, which means my gear and skill set was pretty much maxed out and unchanging, removing from me that vicious cycle of killing for better loot; now I was just killing because the game said I had to.

Although I haven't tried them yet, the Reaper of Souls expansion has added a new Adventure Mode, bounties, and mini dungeons. The Ultimate Evil edition also adds Apprentice mode. I'm sure these will add countless more hours of playtime, as if the 100+ I've already sunk into the game weren't enough. As for technical aspects, I suffered no lag or framerate issues even with 50 monsters in the fray. Cinematics in the game were absolutely gorgeous, and voice acting was superb even if it was for a poor script. You do hear enemy taunts repeated in longer boss battles, but that's just a minor annoyance.

Diablo III could shine simply for its nonstop action adventure: brutal combat, relentless monsters, the excitement of new item drops; all provide instant gratification that continues throughout the game. Diablo III's real beauty lies in its simplicity: a perfect combination of endless combat and glorious loot. The fact that Diablo III, Reaper of Souls, and now the Ultimate Evil edition all add even more content for enjoyment is icing on the cake. Blizzard clearly knows what players want, and they deliver beyond expectations.


I'll likely be writing a full review for this game.
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3. Video Game: Trainyard [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:1484]
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Platform: iOS

Clocktime: Hmmm... maybe six hours or so?

Completion: All puzzles complete (449 stars). That's a lotta puzzles!

Commentary: I did very little mobile gaming last year. Trainyard is something that I installed quite a while ago and never got around to, so I don't really remember how it got on my radar.

The most surprising thing about it is that it's a "first wave" app store title - dating all the back from 2010. In context, it might as well be from the stone age. I think I've only played two other iOS titles that goes that far back and were any good (iBlast Moki and Space Miner: Space Ore Bust).

And Trainyard is very good. Excellent, even.

It's a single screen puzzle game with a very smooth learning curve and a huge amount of content, along the lines of Where's My Water?. Visually, it's clean, low-tech, abstract. At it's core, it's a route-building game, with each stage feating some number of outputs and inputs. But it quickly introduces mechanics thst require careful timing and branching as you merge, collide, split, etc. The first few stages in a set are usually pretty straightforward, with the last handful yielding a pleasant degree of 'brain-burn.' Any stage with a difficulty rating of 7 or higher is a treat (the maximum rating is 11).

Trainyard never feels like quantity over quality (a rarity for this genre on mobile devices). It's very engrossing ("just one more!"), and puzzles that look difficult at first glance usually yield to a few minutes of thought and tinkering. Quite a few times, I was amazed that I had come up with another crazy-looking solution. Trainyard definitely excels at producing the flattering "I must be a genius" reaction as you play. Only the last two puzzles in the game felt ludicrously brain-melty, relying a little too much on sequencing several layers of branching paths.

Anyway, I enjoyed Trainyard quite a bit, and found it absorbing enough to play for a couple of hours straight even after I had finished traveling. It's not the most amazing thing you'll ever play, but it's a delightful, accessible, pure abstract puzzle game. A no-brainer download for iOS / Android.

8/10
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4. Video Game: A Virus Named TOM [Average Rating:6.06 Overall Rank:5304]
Dario Delfino
Italy
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Platform: pc
1st time: yes
Time needed: 11 hours total

This skill puzzle game was really nice. I started playing it with my girlfriend, then we split up... so after some months I started all over again playing the singleplayer mode. Multiplayer is much better. The main charachter is cute and the game is nice and cool. The only problem is the skill level required becomes too high in last levels... I had to use skip tokens :\

If you like puzzle games AND skill games you will love this one. But if you like only puzzle games or only skill game you will have a lot of trouble after a while
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5. Video Game: Batman: Arkham Origins [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:1077]
James Smith
Australia
Ashburton
Victoria
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Platform: PC
First time? Yes
Playtime: 25 hours

Good old Batman, this is more of the same of what is served up in Asylum and City, it is cool to have a few different villains in play, although Deathstroke was by far the hardest fight I had in the game and it was really early on. Overall I can't really recommend or pan it compared to the other two batman games.
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6. Video Game: The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth [Average Rating:7.91 Overall Rank:952]
Chris
United States
Chicago
Illinois
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It is my firm belief that little puppy dogs named Mr. Poopytime will bring our country together!
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Platform: PC
Time Spent: 166 hours and counting
Time beaten: Who knows at this point? (stats in game say 99 kills - but is that JUST the early stages? Does that include the later areas? It is not clear.)

EDIT: Hahaha, whoops, looks like I feel asleep and accidentally submitted this

Anyhow.

As I've mentioned before, I've played way too much of this game. I've completed the game with all characters in all ways (except for a few characters have not yet beaten Mega Satan yet. This game was one of a typical run in which I was pretty powerful, made it to The Chest and cleared every room to get even more overpowered, then went and fought Mega Satan with Lazarus. I feel like I find the Wafer way more often than I used to, despite there being so many more items.

Anyway, with all this stuff done, it's time to figure out what it is that I need to do to get the super secret stuff. I probably should just give in and look it up since my friend was telling me it's meant to be crowd-sourced but I at least want to see if I can figure out the first part of it.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
I'm sure it's related to the missing poster. the missing poster has a ??? attribute and I recall the sort of secret thing from the previous game which was a hint on what to do with the bible - now there's probably a similar hint in this game but I don't really know what to do with it. It looks like mom is standing on a hill outside - is she looking for me? Is there a place I can hide?

I did once find a room with a stone that can be bombed that was sort of outside of the boundaries of the actual room, but never did anything with it and never found it while holding the poster.


Anyway, we'll see what happens, maybe I'll get it, maybe not. Until I do one or the other thing, just going to keep playing.
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7. Video Game: Sproggiwood [Average Rating:5.80 Overall Rank:6201]
Jonna
Finland
Helsinki
Uusimaa
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"Live your truth. Express your love. Share your enthusiasm. Take action towards your dreams. Walk your talk. Dance and sing to your music. Embrace your blessings. Make today worth remembering." ― Steve Maraboli
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नमस्ते (Namaste) – I honor the place in you in which the entire universe dwells. I honor the place in you which is of love, of truth, of light and of peace. When you are in that place in you and I am in that place in me, we are one.
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Platform: PC
Time: 8.2 hours
Time Beaten: First

This was a very cute and fun little game. I finished it in the easy mode, the normal mode was proving to be a bit too challenging and frustrating for me. I might go back and try to beat the game in the normal mode, if for nothing else, to get some of the Steam Achievements.
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8. Video Game: Resident Evil - Code: Veronica [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:927]
B
United States
Kittanning
Pennsylvania
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Platform: Dreamcast
Time: ~12 Hours
First time beaten

Coming back to the PS1 RE games last year took some determination. The control is clunky- you move your character like it's a tank. And combined with the static camera angles, it takes a lot of effort to competently play the games. By the time I got to this one though, I was good enough that the control wasn't an issue. Another huge help in Code Veronica is the fully 3D environments, which not only look better but allow the camera to track along with your character. It makes the game feel more cinematic and immersive and greatly improves control by eliminating some of the jarring transitions between static camera angles.

Otherwise, it is very very similar to the RE games from the PS1. It has a couple nice big areas to explore and solve puzzles and kill zombies- think the mansion in RE1 or the police station in RE2 but bigger and there are two of them. Difficulty is pretty much exactly right for me. And the story, although still a bit cheesy especially by modern standards, is more genuinely creepy and is better executed than in the previous games. Plus we learn a lot about the origins of the T-Virus.

If you haven't played RE1-3 and become accustomed to them, you'd be forgiven for starting this, struggling with the controls for an hour, quitting and giving it a low rating. In fact I was recently talking to a friend about the original RE games who basically dismissed them as unplayable because of the controls. But if you stick with them enough to get good at them they are very rewarding. And to me, this is the best of the original (tank-control) RE games.
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9. Video Game: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves [Average Rating:8.55 Overall Rank:18]
Kevin J
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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Time: 10 hours
Difficulty: Easy through most of the game, Very Easy at choice moments of frustration
Body Count: 866

I played Uncharted 3 while at home during the previous holiday and was blown away by the game (both figuratively and literally during many of the game's lengthy gunfights). Recently, a friend brought his PS3 to my place and I've taken the liberty to pick up a few exclusives (Uncharted 2 and God of War 3) during post-Christmas sales. I've long heard that Uncharted 2 is pretty well the high point in both the series and of PS3 games in general.

The game started out quite well, with the really good opening set piece and a pretty good natural way to explain the game mechanics to the player, like learning how to shoot by shooting off a lock before any enemies arrive.

The game is as fantastic as people say for the reasons they say it; the writing and voice acting are very enjoyable to listen to, the graphics and attention to detail will make your brain melt, and the characters are all animated flawlessly.

I found the story and the locations were a bit of a letdown after playing Uncharted 3. I went in expecting over-the-top locations, but I got a jungle followed by a city followed by a mountain. There were interesting levels to be sure, but I felt like there were many more unmemorable levels in comparison. I also felt like there were just too many "boy that was too close for comfort" moments in the climbing sections, or I never felt like I was in danger because I knew things wouldn't fall until after I jumped from them. It happens frequently enough to lose its surprise and effect, though there were occasional moments where I would be caught off guard by something and had my blood racing.

I also found myself getting frustrated by some of the standard video-game tropes.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
If I'm doing death-defying leaps to get somewhere, how are there dozens of soldiers ahead of or just behind me? How can this bridge collapse under the weight of two people when I just saw a dozen people walk across it at once? Why can't I just put a bullet in Lazarovic's head in any of the numerous times where I have a clear shot during cut scenes? Why aren't people doing helicopter sweeps nearby these areas where there is a suspected lost city?


The game could have cut the number of enemies entirely in half and it would have felt good; instead, I saw Nathan Drake mow down two dozen soldiers at a time, and often found myself frustrated by gunfights. I couldn't believe how difficult, tedious, or unfair some of the scenes were on Easy mode.

Uncharted 2 is a fantastic action movie on a PS3 disc with some alright video game mechanics grafted on to it. I imagine I might play Uncharted 3 again in the future, but I don't think I'd play this again.
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10. Video Game: To the Moon [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:818]
Steve Duff
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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Platform: PC
Time: 6 hours
Times completed: First

I had hoped this game would be my 50th for 2014, but alas, it's my first for 2015.

Yet another entry in the 'indie story game' category, I thought the game was good, but not great. The story was ok, but not quite the tear jerker I was expecting.

The gameplay was serviceable, really just busywork to move the story forward (which is fine with me, I enjoy these). Mostly you're just hitting space bar to move the dialogue forward. But there was one point late when it turned into a silly arcade game, and I got stuck in a corner unable to do anything for several minutes, which was very annoying. Moving around was irritating the entire game actually, with having to move orthogonally, and getting caught on things like furniture, trees etc. I don't know if it was the pathing, the clicking, the lores screen, or what.

Graphically, there were glimpses of how gorgeous this game could have been, but the (in my opinion silly) choice to go with retro pixel graphics prevented us from seeing it. I'll never understand intentionally making your product ugly, no matter what it is.

The soundtrack to the game was amazing, probably my favourite part of the experience.
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11. Video Game: The Marvellous Miss Take [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:4751]
Bob Flaherty
United States
Loves Park
Illinois
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Platform: PC
Time: 14 hours
Completion: Sophia - beat all par times, collected all masterpieces; Harry - beat all levels ghost; Daisy - completed all levels, beat par time on 16 out of 24 levels
Enjoyment: Very High (along with being frustrated many times)

** This is the first game of my video game challenge for 2015 **

The Marvelous Miss Take is what the developers call an action stealth game. I would say this is about right. The story is that Sophia Take has had her family's art collection stolen from her by what she suspects is a forged will. Thus, she goes out to "repatriate" her collection. Along the way, she finds Harry Carver who is a well-known art thief and Daisy a young pick-pocket. They help Sophia uncover the plot and recover the art.

Yeah, it is cliche, but the game is fun. It is played through 25 levels (the first is a tutorial only Sophia can do). Each level is a multi-story building owned by Ralph Blackstock the wealthy magnate who took the art. Sophia must avoid the guards and the cameras as shown by a sight envelope. If spotted, the guards will come and investigate. The cameras, they just emit a screeching alarm that attracts all the guards that can hear it. Along the way Sophia can use gadgets (a noise maker - used to create localized noise; a smoke bomb - to hide your movement; a teleporter - to, well, teleport; and a glue bomb - to slow guards and dogs). As you collect loot the gadgets will recharge. Dogs, they have a scent envelope along with the sight cone.

If you are in their scent envelope they will become attracted to you and start following your smelly foot prints (there are actually smelly foot prints you leave behind). Get far enough ahead and you can loose the dogs. If not, they will bark and bark and bark until the guards come. In addition, Sophia can collect masterpieces. There is one on each level. However, when the bystanders see you break the case they will go get a guard.


Each of the other two characters play differently. They building floorplans are the same; however, there may be gates blocking ways you were able to go with Sophia. Harry, known as the fox, has a bum knee so he can't run. To compensate, he has a bouncer gadget that has unlimited charges. When he throws it at an object it will make a noise. But Harry will never leave a level without it. If you can get through the entire level without a guard or a camera seeing you (the bounce and your cane tap is allowable) you are the ghost and receive and extra bonus. Harry also only operates at night.

Daisy is a pickpocket. She first must take keys from the guards, then open up safes to relieve them of their documents and money. Problem is once the safe is open a loud alarm attracts the guards who can hear. She, like Sophia, also has a par time to beat for an extra bonus.

What are these extra bonuses? They are more pieces of art that ordain the walls of Sophia's gallery. As she takes the main pieces and displays them, each of the bonuses will put a little picture (or two in Sophia's case) above the main portrait. This is a nice little touch by the developers. The gallery is also the level select menu.


So, how does it play? I used an XBox controller. The developers originally didn't have controller support - this was added in an update. Other than me confusing buttons occasionally, the control scheme worked well. I don't know how it plays using the keyboard and mouse. As you can see from the photos, the graphics are stylized like comics and it does work well. Occasionally, there is an issue with the camera and not being able to see if you truly are out of the sight cone. But this doesn't happen often. The camera can be moved with the second analog stick (if you remember to do that).

One of the biggest challenges is that the guards do not have set routes. They have random movement. This may make the levels seem to be based on luck. While sometimes it seems the guards are attracted to you, other times they do turn the other way. If they see you, you start the floor over, no other penalty. Notice, I said floor. If you have cleared the first floor with an awesome time and get caught right before the exit, you only have to start the second floor over. Your time, masterpiece count, ghost all remain as they were. Nice touch to prevent unnecessary travels through a level. I had a hard time with Daisy. I did complete all her levels and was working on the par times. However, this became increasingly frustrating for me and I didn't make that the focus. Some of her levels took me a clock time of over five minutes and probably real time close to twenty. There are eight levels I didn't par with Daisy and I don't see myself going back.

I had the most fun with Harry's levels because these were true stealth - no time limit and not be seen by the guards. Sophia's stealth is where the "action" comes in, especially trying to beat the par time. You are moving as quickly as you can grabbing the treasure and avoiding detection. It is fun, but in its own way. All-in-all a very fun experience.

9/10

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12. Video Game: Saints Row: The Third [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:315]
Krzysztof Zięba
Poland
Kraków
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I played this game on the PC, using a mouse and keyboard. Normal difficulty I think. Took me around 20 hours to complete the main campaign. I did a bunch of additional stuff, including all three DLC mini-campaigns, but not a lot of it.

Enjoyment: High to Very High

Summary: With Saints Row: The Third, the series finally finds its voice... an unhinged, ridiculous and nonsensical voice. In a good way though.

Saints Row 2 was held back, in my mind, by feeling too constrained by its "modern gang theme" trappings. For each step it took in a less serious direction, it took one back into grim, uncomfortable territory. SR3 leaves that behind, for the most part, and focuses on providing entertaining scenarios without hesitating to go into straight pastishe or science-fiction territory. While it suffers a bit because of it (if only because in a world where anything goes, not a lot of consistency can be achieved), some of the game's most memorable scenarios and missions are the ones which would have never been designed if the creators limited themselves. Some of these include:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
- an old-school-cyberpunky rendition of a data system with a TRON-inspired colour palette in which you walk around as a... toiler, and a blow-up doll, before you can get a proper avatar
- taking part in a deadly reality show inspired by japanese shows
- filming a science-fiction movie while listening to the protagonist's (purposefully) terrible acting


In general, SR3 never really leaves the "GTA-like open world game" safe spot that it made for itself, and that's a little bit of a shame - but the sheer variety of stuff you can do within the world makes up for it. There's a bunch of interesting side activities - each one more ridiculous than the last - and doing each gets you cash. You can spend that on upgrades to your weapons (useful!) and cars (not especially useful in comparison) and, perhaps most importantly for this game, your character's customisation. Thanks to several clothing shops you can try out many different outfits, and there's also the Image as Designed studios where you can change anything and everything about your character. While not as varied as in Saints Row 2, these options give you a lot of stuff to work with - though I could never find a few which I would love to get.

I played the game with all the DLC, and it pretty much unbalances the entire game, but mostly its first few hours. Is this an issue? No... and yes, a bit. While this isn't a game that you should play for sheer difficulty (there's just not that many mechanics here to provide enough depth to make an actual challenge interesting), and it works very well as a silly romp through a ridiculous world, I felt like the amount of choice you get from the start might discourage you to spend more time with some of the game's side activities. Why hunt for unique cars, if I have 5 unique rides in my garage the moment I start the game? Why try out different weapons if my ridiculous ones seem to be doing a good job? In its variety - both with and without the DLC by the way - Saints Row: The Third never really stops and asks you to try out a new gadget for longer than a single mission. In the end, I spent 90% of the game using a choice of two or three weapons and vehicles, and that was that.

For an open world game, this one is mostly devoid of frustrations. The game auto-saves often while in missions, doesn't penalize you for dying in any serious way, doesn't require you to do oddly specific tasks in a particular way, and is generally a good sport. Once you get your cash going, getting a bunch of character upgrades makes your character nigh-invulnerable (though there is a bunch of missions where its easy to die regardless), and I found that to be perfect.

Saints Row: The Third might just be the best game of its type that I played. Like Vice City (my favourite GTA game) it has a character to it; unlike it, it doesn't include hair-pullingly-frustrating missions. It has about the size and scope of Saints Row 2, but knows what it is far better than that game did. It offers quite a lot of openness, but isn't overwhelming with how much there is to do - it gives you options, not chores to do. Travel is quick and painless, unlike the thematic, but boring methods of travelsal in Red Dead Redemption. It helps that it has a fairly enjoyable combat system and good vehicle physics (not necessarily "realistic", mind you, but ones that strike a good balance between being fun and not being frustrating in any way), something that I can't say about, for example, Just Cause 2. So yeah, to me, this was sort of the best of all sandbox-like action games I played.

The only thing I found lacking was a good soundtrack, as the selection of tracks for this game is surprisingly poor. I only found a few tracks here and there which were fun to listen to. Even compared to Saints Row 2, the tracklist isn't all that impressive. This obviously comes down to personal taste.

If you're not easily offended (this game includes rather sexist portrayals of women, morally dubious activities presented in a positive light, many, many, many swear words and, obviously, heaps of violence - though most of it surprisingly mild, as in: little to no gibs), then there's really no reason not to check out this game. It's ridiculous, it's fun, it's tongue-in-cheek, the writing is pretty good and you can also play an idiotically dressed character and bash people with a purple dildo, so... yeah, that's sort of unique, to say the least.
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13. Video Game: Lord of the Rings: War in the North [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:2114]
James Lowry
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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Platform: PC
Time: ...Steam lists 31 hours, but that includes an earlier bugged attempt. Maybe 25.
First time, normal difficulty.

Well, Smudge and I beat this last night. It wasn't expected, as we figured there'd be a couple of levels more to go.

Overall, it's a good game, and I'm happy to have spent money on it. At the same time, I'm glad I got it on sale.

Mechanically, the game works, though the UI has some problems (managing items, especially when choosing a reward) requires too much futzing around, and we kept ending up with things other than what we intended). The story is not that complicated, but it is an action game first.

There's plenty of conversations to be had, and they all have pretty good dialog trees, and all the voice actors did a good job. However, the motions for the conversations are all automatically generated, and with a very limited range, so all the people move like animatronics. Also, they went way too heavy with the shading on them, which ends up beating them with an ugly stick (Elrond and Arwen are especially bad in this respect).

On the other hand, all the non-humanoids (mostly great eagles) are very well animated, and really come across as characters.

The look of the game is very faithful to the movies, but at one point Frodo refers to going through the Barrow Downs, which only happens in the book; so that was unexpected. The game has a nice travel map with plenty of locations picked out that never appear in the game, it's just a vehicle for lore. Someone was certainly in love with Middle-Earth.

I remember seeing some high-profile ads for a year or two before the game came out, and it looked like a high-budget game. The ending credits has a lot of people in it. But the game looks and feels like a budget game.

The combat is good though, and never really bogged down. You're mostly fighting orcs and goblins, and they come in a few types, but they generally mix those up in different fights, so it's not just waves of the same thing either. And then there's Mirkwood....

There was one encounter that gave us some trouble, and I'm not sure how you'd manage it in single player.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
A couple trolls dash off to break the main gate into Nordinbad, and if they do, it's game over/restart. Since they can knock you down/stun you, it was very hard to keep them from succeeding with the both of us. Considering the NPC was getting bogged down with orcs, I have to assume you'll end up trying to stop them both alone in single player.


We're probably going to play again, or at least start to. Smudge wants to fiddle around and see if we can figure out just what causes save games to break at least.
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14. Video Game: Risk of Rain [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:2133]
Dario Delfino
Italy
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1st time: yes
Platform: pc
Time: 13 hours

This game was great. I had a lot of fun playing it. Risk of rain is a rouguelike game with retro style graphic. Each class looks like a new challenge and they are all fun (except one that I cannot play at all XD).

I beat the game with the Loader.

Risk of rain is so good I think I'll play it again. Highly suggested!
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15. Video Game: The Last of Us Remastered [Average Rating:9.16 Unranked] [Average Rating:9.16 Unranked]
Ian Kelly
United States
Longmont
Colorado
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Platform: PS4
Difficulty: Hard
First time beateon? No

I had previously played this game on PS3 but since it came bundled with my PS4 I found myself getting into it again, and I ended up finishing it on New Year's Day. I started on the Survivor difficulty but very early in the game (like, in the prologue) had to reduce it to Hard because I didn't remember the controls all that well and was getting killed in a cutscene where I didn't know which button to press to not die.

After finishing the game, I apparently hadn't had enough yet, because I went on to play the Left Behind DLC, which was new to me, and then a New Game Plus. I was hoping that by the end of the New Game Plus I could have everything upgraded, but I didn't quite make it. While I have all of Joel's skills fully mastered, there are a few upgrades for the hunting rifle and one for El Diablo that I didn't quite get to. If it were just the rifle then I would probably start another New Game Plus just to finish it off, but I don't really want to play all the way up to Jackson County again to get El Diablo in order to buy one upgrade for it. Maybe at some point in the future I'll do that, except that if I start another game I'll probably want to play at a higher difficulty level.

Playing the New Game Plus was not too different from the normal game. It was apparent that my weapons were better, and it was definitely nice to get three uses out of each shiv from the start. I also felt like experience made me better at the game the second time through. I found some new collectibles, heard some new dialogue, but the gameplay was basically the same. I'd still play it again, though -- just not now.
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16. Video Game: The Last of Us: Left Behind [Average Rating:8.70 Overall Rank:1204] [Average Rating:8.70 Unranked]
Ian Kelly
United States
Longmont
Colorado
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Platform: PS4
Difficulty: Hard
First time beaten? Yes

After recompleting the main game content I played through the DLC, which I hadn't experienced before. This DLC was a good length, packing in a lot of emotion while taking only a single session to complete. The game focuses on Ellie, alternating between her adventures in two different run-down malls -- one a prequel to the main game in Boston, the other taking place shortly after the in-game events at the University of Eastern Colorado. Although there is little action in the Boston segments, they're definitely the more interesting story-wise. I really liked getting to meet Riley, who is only briefly mentioned in the main game, and the arcade segment in particular was one of the most inventive gaming experiences I've had in a while. Meanwhile the Colorado segments provide a contextual sense of urgency to the gameplay that is implied in Boston but not really felt there. The two settings complement each other well.

Overall, this DLC was excellent and I would recommend it to anybody who enjoyed the main game.

Footnote. Since the game places the fictional University of Eastern Colorado near the city of Boulder (where the real-life University of Colorado is), it seems logical to assume that the mall is supposed to be in Boulder as well. However, Boulder doesn't have an indoor mall like the one seen in the DLC. Then again, we're talking about the same game universe where Pittsburgh is a coastal city, so... shake
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17. Video Game: Batman: Arkham Origins [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:1077]
Jason Birzer
United States
Burke
Virginia
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Platform: PC

Time: 19 Hours

I'm now mostly caught up with the Arkham series, with just the Batman: Arkham City: Harley Quinn's Revenge DLC to finish. Course, we've heard the criticism of Arkham Oranges, that it was written by the B team, that it was a buggy mess, and generally an uninspired game.

First, I'll speak to bugs. I don't know what it was like when it was released, but at least now there is nothing game breaking. Most of the problems I had mostly had to do with respawning. On one mission I had failed, respawned in the same area, but had to go back to a previous area to trigger the event, but when I went back the snipers immediately targeted me. It was also a problem that snipers, once they had a view of you, would follow you wherever you go. Also had a problem with about 3-4 enemies that were "stuck" and weren't moving around the level as they should.

In general, tho, there does seem to be a feeling of a lack of polish about the game. It looks nice enough (well, at least until you got to the cut scenes. Surprisingly, they look pretty murky.), but gameplay isn't as tight as it should be, level design doesn't show much imagination and often there were problems about where you should go next.

There also isn't a lot new about this game. The only things really new here is the crime scene analysis (which is really just find all the hot spots to move forward, tho moving time forwards and back was kinda neat.), the shock gloves and the glue bomb (Which is functionally similar to the freeze grenade from Arkham City.) It is still basically the same fighting system, same moves, and it is starting to get a bit stale. As the game scales up (We now have the area which will become Arkham City, plus an additional area connected by a bridge.) the conceit that everything happens in one night gets stretched to the breaking point here.

Also, leaning on the combat system is starting to look silly. In Arkham Asylum, there were (rather clumsy) stealth areas where you had to navigate the environment without being seen. Problem is, that really isn't an option here, when you are forced to defeat all enemies to move onto the next room. Given that at times you are going to be fighting cops (who are treated the same as thugs), it seems a different approach should have been warranted. It also bugs me that in upping the threat (at times fighting dozens of enemies at once) that Batman isn't being very smart in dealing with enemies. I guess one can explain it away by this being a young Batman, but it seems an aspect they don't otherwise take advantage of. In many cases, this is a missed opportunity to do something different with Batman. In any case, this gives me pause about Batman: Arkham Knight, because the new game needs more than being able to drive the batmobile to be good. Some of the ideas need an overhaul.

The plot is decent enough, tho the whole Black Mask/Assassins plot is really a maguffin for what you'd expect a Batman Origins story to contain. In fact, I managed to avoid many of them, because they become optional quests. I do have to say that the fights verses Bane are probably the most satisfying of the three games, tho I wish the control options were better at times.

Don't get me wrong, this isn't bad for what it is. But, I could see that this could have been more. The series needs a shot in the arm.
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18. Video Game: Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:3400]
Adam
United States
Tempe
Arizona
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"We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner! I can't think what anybody sees in them."
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Platform: PC / Steam
Time: 10 hours
First time beaten? Yes!

This is the first game beaten for my 2015 10x10 challenge! It's a fun little squad based tactical RPG, using many of the mechanics from Chaosium's Call of Cthulhu (2nd - 6th Edition). It's set on the battle fields of WWI, where a British unit runs across an occultist who is stealing the work of the Infamous Dr. West to create an army of the living dead, and that is just the least and most innocent of his schemes...

If you like the genre or tactical RPGs, I'd say this is one for you! From what I've read, the interface was terrible at first release, but has since been patched. Even with that done, it remains more than a little clunky, and takes some getting used to, worse, there appears to be no way to take back moves / spent action points. This wouldn't be so bad except that the clunky interface can make it easy to accidentally move units to places you didn't wish, or along paths you didn't want (wasting APs).

It's also more Lovecraftian pulp than pure Lovecraft, which may offend the sensibilities of some. For me, it just added to the fun.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Particularly when my band won by killing the Star Spawn end boss by having my melee specialist beat it to death with a shovel!
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19. Video Game: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:1655]
Simon Lundström
Sweden
Täby
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Now who are these five?
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Come, come, all children who love fairy tales.
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Platform: Wii U (Japanese)
Time: Can't be arsed to check. 10–16 hours, maybe?
Completion degree: All diamonds and extra achievement on all normal stages. Or put in other words: What is NOT done? The final extra stages in the bonus level, and the time challenges on the normal stages (can't be arsed).

Comments:
I have a review of the game here.

I "beat" this game a few days ago, but have waited to enter it, because I wanted to beat AAAAAAAALL stages, even the extra ones. But I stumbled upon an extra stage that I don't think I will bother to try to clear; it was annoying, long and well… everything behind it is locked. But once I had got all diamonds and achievements on all stages, I did get a "Congratulations! Now you get some final extra stages!" so I guess that counts as "beating" the game.

I liked this game, it surprised me a bit, but not much. It was nice and short. Cool ideas. I liked the style. And Kinopiko (Toadette) is really cute.
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20. Video Game: Abyss: The Wraiths of Eden [Average Rating:6.31 Overall Rank:5091]
Alex
Canada
Saskatoon
Saskatchewan
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Name of game: Abyss: The Wraiths of Eden
Play time: 5 hours
Platform: Steam
First time beaten?: Yes

Some comments: This was an enjoyable hidden object game. Most of the puzzles were pretty straightforward, but not so easy that they were pointless or uninteresting (for me, anyways). The story was odd. It had a certain camp charm to it. Sometimes the game would be all, "Oh noes! A corpse!", which was kind of overdone and really ridiculous. And the inclusion of a demon seemed kind of ad hoc. But really, the game was about the puzzles. Everything else was there to tell you which puzzle to do and why you were doing it. I skipped an annoying puzzle involving rotating gems in a grate that seemed more trial-and-error than anything, and was getting tedious, but I did everything else and, from the standpoint of someone who virtually never plays this sort of stuff, I thought it was fun.
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21. Video Game: Braveland [Average Rating:5.36 Overall Rank:6520]
 
Phil
Germany
Bremen
Bremen
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Platform: PC
When: Last weekend
What: main story, not all achievements though

It is a simple turn based tactical combat game without a real challenge (at least at the "normal" difficulty level). Played it when I had to get up at night because my son thought he wanted to play with his toys...

Still cute though. Took something like 4 sleepless nights (~4 hours).
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22. Video Game: Cut the Rope: Time Travel [Average Rating:7.23 Unranked]
Aaron Tubb
United States
Fuquay Varina
NC
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On Android. Beat all levels (expect the bonus 'future' levels)

Cut the Rope is one of the few types of games I think are really well suited to touch screens. It's a kind of game where you move and slice things with finger swipes to solve simple one-screen physics puzzles. This iteration in the series has a lot of variety in weird little mechanics introduced in each word/era. Nice little time waster, but not very deep.
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23. Video Game: Braid [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:149]
Jonna
Finland
Helsinki
Uusimaa
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"Live your truth. Express your love. Share your enthusiasm. Take action towards your dreams. Walk your talk. Dance and sing to your music. Embrace your blessings. Make today worth remembering." ― Steve Maraboli
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नमस्ते (Namaste) – I honor the place in you in which the entire universe dwells. I honor the place in you which is of love, of truth, of light and of peace. When you are in that place in you and I am in that place in me, we are one.
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Platform: PC
Time: 10.2 hours
Time Beaten: First

This game was hard. There were times when I felt really dumb. I would not have been able to solve some of those puzzles without a walkthrough. I seriously applaud anyone who has beaten this one without any help or hints.

I loved the story, the game was pretty and there were some very interesting mechanics in the game. Some of the puzzles were super frustrating, even with knowing what I was suppose to do, I had to try several dozens of times before getting it right. So despite this being such an awesome game, I found it partially very frustrating too. I'm glad I played it though, it's a good game with an interesting and mind-boggling puzzles and story.
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24. Video Game: Deadlight [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:1897]
Dario Delfino
Italy
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1st time: yes
Platform: yes. Er... I mean... pc
Time: 4 hours

Awesome graphic and very nice gameplay for this suggested 2.5 platform game.
I loved the setting and how they used zombies and enemies. Dialogues and acting was not that great and the it was disappointing how the story ended.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Why didn't he go on the boat with the girl?


Anyway I'll suggest you to play this game for his graphic, gameplay and atmosphere. If you love zombies (like I do) you will like dealight.
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25. Video Game: Civilization V: Brave New World [Average Rating:8.45 Overall Rank:70] [Average Rating:8.45 Unranked]
Greg Maynard
Australia
Melbourne
Victoria
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Platform: PC / Steam
First Time? Yes
Play Time total: 40 hours
Play Time 2015: 10 hours?

I have always loved the Civ games. I played Civ I many, many times years ago. I always enjoyed watching the animation at the end that showed the ebb and flow of nations and mine gradually taking over the world. Then in the late 90's I started playing Civ II and that was even better. Then I started playing the scenarios (Not mods. Scenarios, as well as including different units, graphics and tech tree, also included rules and events that made the game change direction at various points.) I played heaps and heaps of these and even spent many hours working on my own scenario. A great resource was the Scenario League which had heaps of excellent scenarios as well as guides on making them. I played pirates, star trek and star wars, historical, fantasy etc. It seems that the Scenario League is still alive and strong http://forums.civfanatics.com/forumdisplay.php?f=428.

Then life changed, OS changed, and somehow although I kept playing computer games, I never picked up Civ III or IV. I eventually bought V on sale and finally dived into it over the holidays.

WHY DIDN'T I DO THIS SOONER?!

Civ V is different to the older versions but not in the fundamentals. Culture is new and adds a new dimension to the game. In fact my first win here was a Cultural Victory since my random starting civ was France which has some definite advantages in going that direction. Still the gameplay was very familiar, only some of the mechanics a little different.

I've heard some comments that Civ IV is perhaps the best version so I will have to give that a try, but I am very happy with my play of Civ V and will definitely play again, probably fairly soon.
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