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Recent reviews by Bami

Showing 1-5 of 5 entries
No one has rated this review as helpful yet
106.1 hrs on record (105.8 hrs at review time)
Cities: Skylines a very nice citybuilder, lots of vanilla content and DLC prices are reasonable, workshop is full of good stuff. Traffic simulation can be a bit dodgy and original map size can feel a bit cramped (but nowhere near the level of that EA release), but with mods none of it is any problem.

If you like building cities, you'll like Cities: Skylines
Posted November 1, 2019.
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44 people found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
58.6 hrs on record
So I bought this somewhere beginning of februari 2017 (just after the EA release), as the initial concept seemed good but the execution was still a bit rough. I was hoping those things would be fixed being as it being early access and the developer was actively working on it.

Over the months, I've seen many great improvements and bugfixes, but it seems it actually released two years after that (march of 2019), which I didn't even notice because there were still a lot of bugs, including some that just crashed the game to desktop.

Since it was early access and an indie title, it had time to grow so I didn't want to post a negative review at the time, but since cliffski's response to criticism is to block you on twitter, I guess now is the time.

Simply put, the core gameplay loop is just not fun.

Every time you start a new game, you're building the exact same setup over and over again. You're supposed to build a factory that assembles cars, researching new slots and upgrading parts of the production line so you can incorporate more features. But the game actively punishes you for experimenting, as any error will either cost you a lot of money destroying half your factory and getting a partial refund (even if you placed it just then with the game paused), or you don't notice, the factory stalls and before you know it you have to take out loans to stay afloat and end up in a debt spiral very fast.

There is no tweaking to get everything as efficient as possible, you just need to place all the different parts in correct ratios. One of the goals is to place all the parts as efficient and close-together as possible, so you get as much production from every m² in the factory, yet if miscalculate and end up with 1 tile too few to place that final slot, guess you're going to have to demolish half the factory to get it to fit.

You can upgrade slots to increase speed or add certain features, but those are non-reversible. So you're tweaking with these speed upgrades to just get that tiny bit more efficient, but that upgrade makes it go too fast? Well, guess what, you're going to have to delete and rebuild it.

There is no creativity involved, in the end there is just one layout that produces cars without efficiency losses from assembly stages waiting on each other, and you'll just multiply that to get more cars per hour.

In the background there is a whole competition with other factories, customer modelling, and market for parts, but in the end it's just like looking at an excel sheet and it doesn't really matter once you start selling many cars.

So now there's the scissor door DLC out and a second DLC coming, but the conveyor laying is still a mess (delete a part and want it to look nice? guess you'll have to demolish half your route and lay it again because it will just look jank with ends of conveyors going nowhere), same with the resource conveyors, there's plenty of depth rendering issues resulting in MC Escher like factories. I've had 3 or 4 crashes to desktop in about the 20 hours I played post "launch".

But most annoyingly, when your factory isn't running optimally while you calculated that everything should, good chance that it's being held up by things out of your control. At the start of the game there is a slot that installs the seats and windows, but the conveyors even at maximum upgrades and perfectly setup resource storage buffers, can't supply the stage fast enough without the production line stalling.

And then there's just so many features that really don't add anything:

* There is a finance screen so you can monitor your income and expenses, but the current month display is always broken (since it doesn't extrapolate) and the numbers it makes up (like pricing for cars so you break even on infrastructure costs) make no sense.

* The achievements are incredibly bland and are not really worth pursuing.

* The rarity for feature system is interesting but feels completely random, mostly because the AI companies just research stuff and spams popups saying your cars are now worth less.

* The market system is another thing that should be interesting, but again it's fed by the input of the AI that make it just arbitrary and there is no planning for market trends.

* Research should be something designed to pace the game progress and to keep the player busy, yet with the above mentioned refund system you want to just research a whole lot before changing the production line, which makes it feel artificially limiting.

And then there's just some boneheaded decisions. Have multiple monitors and edge scroll doesn't work right? Thankfully there is dragscroll, but it's bound to the left mouse button, the same button you select things with, so if you're zoomed in and want to scroll, you're just constantly selecting stuff. Researching allows you to upgrade all relevant slots, but close that window accidentally (because it pops up just as you're clicking on something) and now you'll have to upgrade it all manually. Want to get some overview of the factory? Well when you zoom out everything just becomes colored blocks as it apparently can't handle drawing so much stuff, but there is no option to set the zoom level at which stuff becomes simplified.

Now it's not all doom and gloom: the graphics are pretty, the game runs well (most of the time anyways), I did enjoy playing it for a while and the developer is still actively working on fixing bugs and adding features, but I can't justify recommending this game when there's games like Factorio, Factory Town, Satisfactory or Little Big Workshop available that cost less and will give you way more fun in the long term. Just take a look at the number of hours played for people reviewing this title, you won't find that many over 60.

It's sad because this game had so much potential, but instead cliffski decided to work on addon features like the customers, marketing, competition and other frivolous nonsense without making the core gameplay as great and fun as possible. And now with the focus on making DLC, I don't think any massive changes will happen anymore.

And with that, it's just another indie conveyor belt game that gives you a couple of weeks of fun, only to abandon it and left to rot in your steam library after that.

**edit** I just checked my posts regarding most of these issues on the Positech forums, seems I bought it earlier then I originally wrote down in the review. Updated to reflect this new information.
Posted October 15, 2019. Last edited October 18, 2019.
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17 people found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
100.5 hrs on record (94.5 hrs at review time)
This is an absolutely perfect remake of the 1997 original aside from these points:

1) Bad support for aspect ratios other then 16:9: either stretched, black borders or windowed mode
2) A couple of very small things that annoy me (like a crying soundeffect if a tenant dies, or a pause added to the hippy select animation that feels disjointed)

But if you can overlook this, played the original constructor or are interested in trying at what I can best describe as a cross-over between simcity and starcraft, give this a try! If you've been burned at the rushedness of the HD remake, Plus fixes literally every shortcoming and make sure to look around for the bundle that will give you a proper discount.

In Constructor, you command foremen, workers, repairmen, undesirables and gangsters to build/take over the city and become the ultimate landlord. Construct factories to provide you with the materials required to build, maintain and let houses to tenants that will provide you with rent, new tenants or workers. Undesirables and gangsters provide you with means to directly influence rival landlords. Manage tenant complaints before you get fired from accumulating too many black marks.

Taken from the original game, the game atmosphere is funny and very british, the gameplay has quite a bit of depth to it and can get very hectic. It can also be very unforgiving and it doesn't take many mistakes to fail. For this the original was quite frustrating, along with control issues and very specific kind of humour probably made this game not get the acclaim it truly deserved.

The improvements of Plus includes a complete campaign with narration, another campaign of separate missions as well as the classic modes with different win goals, as well as a complete "off-world" reskin of the game. Some major interface fixes and the ability to slow the game down at half speed or even pause allow it to be played at your own pace, features desperately missing from the HD remaster.

I can't recommend this game enough. It's not perfect, but it's very close.
Posted August 24, 2019. Last edited August 25, 2019.
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1 person found this review helpful
81.6 hrs on record (47.7 hrs at review time)
This is a modern doom clone in the truest sense of the word.

If you're a fan of the 1993 original, you will probably like this.
Posted December 3, 2016.
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1 person found this review helpful
15.8 hrs on record
For a review of the game itself, there are plenty of other proper reviews out there. It's an amazing game, 9.5/10 would recommend to everyone.

However the "remaster" itself is pretty lackluster. On the positive side it has a re-recorded score, polished up graphics, the collision detection is smoother and the game works on all resolutions. The developers commentary and concept art is good fan service but honestly, I expected more on the technical side.

I played the original Grim Fandango about a year after release, so when I started my remastered playthough I set the graphics to classic and used tank controls almost exclusively. In this mode, the remaster has about the same graphical glitches (characters getting stuck in poses, characters vibrating/flickering on the screen, missing subtitles text, objects attaching at wrong angles) compared to the original release and overall it's very playable and not game-breaking: it just feels more like a port than a proper remaster. It might be nostalgia talking and the controls are pretty horrible, but if you want the best experience: use this mode.

For a second run (I missed a lot of the dialogue the first time through), I enabled all the "remaster" options. Almost all of these graphical glitches also exist in this mode.

Now next to that:

The upgraded graphics make the characters pop out of the original background renders. This, along with the cursor highlights and manny's head turning make finding objects very easy. A bit too easy maybe.

Although the point&click mode works well, sometimes the pathfinding makes weird choices and some objects don't behave like they should (try to interact with glottis on the last puzzle of year 3).

Maximised window mode gave me strange texture filtering/scaling issues, but running this with Borderless Gaming fixed those.

Although the background renders are fine, the video and some of the animations are really showing their age. Especially with the crisp 3D models it becomes a lot more obvious.

And finally, although the tank controls were clunky, you felt you were manny calavera. The point&click interface makes it feel a bit more distant. Controller support is excellent though and both supports tank as well as camera-relative controls.

As conclusion: this remaster is not worse, but also not that much better than the original release. It's still the excellent game it always was so I can really recommend this to anyone. The puzzles can be a bit obtuse at times, but the story makes it worth it.

Posted November 15, 2016.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 entries