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Recent reviews by [Lestrades.com] Nao 尚

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2 people found this review helpful
11.1 hrs on record
I played the sequel to this a few months ago, and gave it a negative review because of its ridiculous story which completely detracted from the rest of the game.

I just discovered and finished the original, which actually has no story at all. Nothing. Just a bunch of backgrounds that you gradually fill with objects at your own leisure. The game doesn't even try. What it does try, though, is to make the layouts as interesting as possible. And this time I had a feeling that the game had a relatively proper difficulty curve, _and_ that it also had an algorithm to ensure games are winnable. Unfortunately, there seems to be a bug in it, in that many of the complex layouts aren't winnable per se, so maybe it's a half-arsed solution they implemented, but it's good enough for me, as long as the card order isn't totally random.

One of my favorites, surprisingly.
Also, I only cut off the music after about 7 or 8 hours in. Which is usually a good sign.
Posted May 11.
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89 people found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
7.0 hrs on record (0.1 hrs at review time)
After many years away from video games, I was hyped by TW3's trailer, and bought this game back in May 2015 on GOG.
I ended up playing it for 260 hours and unlocking all achievements.

I subsequently started playing games again. Five years later, I even maintain a website dedicated to game trading and library management. If you're using it, you can thank The Witcher 3 for that.

It is now March 2021 and I'm excited that I got to spend $10 on it again to own the complete edition on Steam.
And I'm gonna 100% it again. I've never done that before.

Long story short: this isn't only my favorite game, it's arguably the best game of all time. I guess I have good taste.
Posted March 27.
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2 people found this review helpful
5.5 hrs on record
Is this really supposed to be the final chapter in the Secret Order series..? Then it's really sad. No proper ending, as usual with Artifex (and Sunward) their endings last less than 10 seconds and are ridiculously cheesy and uninformative. I also had a feeling that the ending used a song from The Witcher 3 without crediting it, although it was at low volume so I may have been mistaken (but considering it wouldn't be the first HOG to steal a song from TW3, I wouldn't be surprised.)
Anyway, the story's basic at best, totally useless, the ending's bad, and then there's a bonus chapter that takes place right after it, cool, and... takes less than 15 minutes to complete! And gives you another opportunity to enjoy their cheesy & short endings.
If you're really going to end the Secret Order this way, then it's a thumbs down.
It may not have been the best HOG series ever, but it had some really good episodes here and there, and even though the developers kept changing what the series was about (time traveling? adventuring? whatsoevering?), it has a special place in my heart.
Such a lazy game. It even reuses a background layout from a previous game of theirs (can't remember if it's Myth Seekers 2 or Persian Nights 2, but it's one of those), as the second background in the bonus chapter.
So disappointed! They really need to do another one, with a proper goodbye.
Posted March 6.
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3 people found this review helpful
6.9 hrs on record
Typical HOG from Sunward. I'm slowly starting to play those games again after some time with AAA games, and it's still fun for me. I want to point out that the story didn't make any sense to me, I probably didn't pay enough attention at the beginning, but in the end it was only about beating a bad gal and saving the world, sorry, Paris from being flooded or something. Doesn't really change any stakes for me, since while I live in Paris, I happen to be at the top of one of its hills, so I'm not too concerned about it. Also, I heard it's just a game. You guys are mean, I was close to being scared for a second.

Anyway, jokes aside, Myth Seekers 2 has my favorite HOG soundtrack in years. I don't know why, but they went for an ambient/synth style that I totally dig, as opposed to the usual blanc cinematographic music they usually put into these games. I certainly hope the music wasn't stolen from elsewhere. Last time I loved a HOG soundtrack, it was because it was directly ripped off from The Witcher 3 (Queen's Quest 2 from Brave Giant, if I'm not mistaken).

That's all, folks. Onto my next HOG.
Posted March 3.
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4 people found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
10.5 hrs on record (8.3 hrs at review time)
I've seen a lot of worse games than this one, but I still don't feel like recommending it. While it's certainly worth its price in terms of time spent per dollar paid, I feel like most of the effort was put into the graphics and animation effects, rather than making the game enjoyable.

The music, for instance, has vocals but gets boring really quickly and it's one of those rare games where I turned off the music forever after about an hour.
Anyway, gameplay wise, there are some interesting levels, many boring ones, and quite a handful of impossible levels where the only way to win is either sheer luck, or buying lots of jokers. Great. I didn't feel like the programmer bothered to sort levels by difficulty, at all. The animations are slow and can't be skipped (especially annoying on the 3-star pop-up), some card designs are confusing and will make you miss a potential match, etc. I can't really say I enjoyed it.

I saved the best for the end, though.

The story is just ador... sorry, laughable. See, you have to help a fairy redecorate her condo or something. By playing cards to get her some magic. Okay. Whatever. These games have long since stopped caring about card playing make sense within their meta. Then you get called for help by a wizard who's in a hurry to get your help, but not before he gets his tea, that's for sure. So you have to get magic to make him some tea. What a lazy fairy, can't even bother gathering wood and water for her place?
So you have to save a village from destruction by fire (which amounts to using magic to stop a fire, when the village is located next to a lake... No villagers bothering to help? The wizard and the fairy will do it all? Sorry, the wizard is just there to tell you what to do.)

Then you have to go fight the dragon who cause the trouble, but before that you need to find its fair, which you can do by rebuilding a complete mill from scratch or whatever, okay, this game doesn't want to make sense at all, I've understood that, but then why bother give us a story at all? Just give us the cards. So at the end you reach the dragon's lair, and... ultimate twist! The dragon isn't a bad guy, he just wanted to recover what the villagers had stolen! Okay! So now we simply need to help him find the last few possessions he wasn't able to find in the village. Without moving back to the village. That's some fairy.

Said possessions include an elegant table complete with tea set (for his human guests? Really, how nice of him), a carpet (okay, so at this point it's likely the 'artists' are trying to say it's a nice old dragon lady), some chains (who wouldn't want those in their boudoir?), and a painting of... itself, I guess? After you're done, the dragon says thanks, probably offers you some tea offscreen, and then for some reason the wizard breaks the fourth wall to tell us, don't worry, more adventures are awaiting her.

Wait, what? That was an adventure?! I felt like putting my pants on this morning was more of an adventure. Maybe I should make a card game, too.
Tight Pants Solitaire, I'll call it.
Posted February 11.
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10 people found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
0.4 hrs on record
There is no review. Just being a droll troll, drôle.
Posted September 25, 2020.
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5 people found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
32.0 hrs on record (24.1 hrs at review time)
One of the better Lego games. Although the Incredibles aren't my favorite Pixar movies (I do have a thing for Helen, mind you), and I was a bit confused at why they would put the story of the first (and arguably better) movie at the end of the campaign as a bonus, I left all of the missions up to my kid who enjoyed them a lot, and we played the hub sidequests together. Some of those are repetitive and I'm not a big fan of having a weather change during 'crime waves', but once these were completed, it struck me that the world map was possibly the biggest out of any Lego game (I'm open to suggestions), and that I enjoyed roaming it a whole lot more than I thought I would. Try not to use the brick detector cheat as soon as you unlock it, it's funnier to find most of the Incredibricks by yourself, and then finish them 100% when you're tired of it.
Also kudos for the celebrity guest voice cast. Bob Odenkirk, Jason Lee and all... Was nice to hear them in a videogame! And the French dub was pretty good, too. These games look like they're lazy promotional items, but TT Games really puts a lot of effort into making the Lego concepts fit into their new universes, and that's nice.
Now if only we could get a PC, toy-free version of Lego Dimensions... I recently watched a video of their Portal mission, and it was love at first sight. (No, Helen, I'm only talking metaphorically!)
Posted August 16, 2020.
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14 people found this review helpful
21.5 hrs on record
Monkey Island defined my teen years, I have many memories associated with the game. When over 10 years ago its creator Ron Gilbert had a dinner with fans, I managed to sneak in. I was too shy to go and talk with him, but I still immortalized the moment with pictures and a blog post. I've been following his career closely, sometimes disappointed by his games (The Cave probably?), sometimes thrilled (DeathSpank was an underrated gem), I even finished his match-3 game back in the day, in a time when I was really, really bored with match-3 games.
Thimbleweed didn't particularly excite me because I've never been too much of a Maniac Mansion fan (although I did enjoy DOTT a lot), but it was much better than I anticipated.

The good :

- This starts as a mix between Monkey Island and Twin Peaks in terms of mood.
- Story-wise it's trying to be thought-provoking... The first few hours were very exciting. Then after the arrest, it was a bit harder for me to keep up.
- Some of the character arcs are very intriguing...
- Dolores is a winner. I love the character. She's obviously an extension of the developers' psyche, and by extension of most of the nostalgic players, and boy do we need more geekettes in our video games. Dolores is not only a good character, she's also devoid of most clichés and isn't seen as an object. I also need to praise the Ransome character. He's more interesting that he looks (and sounds).
- It may very well be the quintessential 2D old-school game in terms of visual effects and minor details that make it feel like a modern game.
- It has a Ron Gilbert cameo, dammit!

The bad stuff:

- Some of the UI is problematic. It's really minor, though, but the team could have use a little more QA testing.
- A few bugs, too. For instance, the Ransome DLC setting is reset every time you relaunch the game. Maybe it was intentional, but it made me miss out on some curses. Rats! Sorry, I mean *bleep*!
- Not a big fan of the jazzy soundtrack. A few songs stand out from the rest, but overall I've heard better. Music is very important to me and oddly, Ron Gilbert games are among the rare ones that get a pass from me. (The better Monkey Island soundtracks are in episodes that he wasn't involved with, sadly.)

- The story, well... It doesn't really go anywhere. The clues are put in it too soon (basically when you're done with the Dolores flashback, I believe you can get a certain journal with them), the murder story isn't really solved (I know what a MacGuffin is, but did we really have to go through this in the prologue when in the end it goes nowhere..? Did they just forget to address it?), and the character arc conclusions are a bit rushed. They had time to record thousands of extra funny lines nobody would probably read entirely, so why not a few more lines from each character? Or is it voluntary? They wanted us to come up with our own conclusions for Ransome and Ray, maybe? But the lack of a Reyes follow-up isn't really indicative of anything, as his story was the most straightforward and not really opened to discussions.

- And boy does Ron like twist endings, but in this case I saw it coming from miles away... It's a trope that's not only a bit of a let-down, but it's been done to death in one form or another. Basically, you can find it in *three* celebrated sci-fi shows that all came to an end in early 2020... As such it didn't really surprise me, so the ending wasn't exactly great for me. I did like the visit through the wireframe world though; as an ex-game developer, I found this to be delightful, although a bit empty.

The ugly:
- Well, I wouldn't call it ugly... Or beautiful... It's not the graphics we wanted, but it's the graphics we needed.

The Morricone:
- I think the authors put so much into this game that it shows everywhere, and despite my reservations about the story, I was here for the funny dialogues, and boy did I get served.

So, when do we get a new Dolores game..? I mean, one that doesn't require Windows 10 to be run? We're getting one, aren't we...? Pretty please?
Posted August 13, 2020.
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2 people found this review helpful
13.4 hrs on record
One of the better solitaire games out there. Although not my favorite, I appreciate that it has a dozen more solitaire games in it, rather than simply the usual stuff. I even found some variations I didn't know, and really liked.

The graphics are nice, but why are the cards so ugly? I settled on the alternative set, but the letters on them are horribly deformed and hard to read. I got used to it in the end, but I was this close to dezipping the graphics file for the card sets and replacing the cards one by one.

I also don't understand why such a simple game can't afford to have smooth animations. It's all jerky and choppy and everything on my MR PC. But the most annoying is probably the fact that when you win a level, you get a terrible animation of the screen bouncing up and down, alongside ugly fireworks. I was always a bit ashamed of my firework winning animations in my own game (which is over 20 years old, mind you), but I guess they could have been worse, or something. But really, not being able to skip the bouncing really annoyed me to no end.

Apart from those details, the game was overall enjoyable and does its job, so, I don't know... If you're reading this, you're probably thinking of buying it, aren't you?
Posted August 13, 2020.
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7 people found this review helpful
121.4 hrs on record (18.2 hrs at review time)
Early Access Review
I'm on the fence with this one... I usually rate idle games negatively because they're simply cash grabs, but this one, while not very original, is at least done better than most famous crappy idle games (Clicker Heroes anyone..?)

It's still far from being as interesting as SPACEPLAN (which is the only idle game you should ever play-- it's not free-to-play, and it has an end!), but among the mobile games of that kind, it's the most tolerable one for me.

Just stop playing after leveling your characters to 1,000 or so. By that time you'll have reached level 150 and noticed that even though you're 'investing' points everywhere and with care, even if you restart the game with x10 more gold earned, you're barely gonna pass an extra level. This really is the reason I'm on the fence: the difficulty curve is very random here, and after a while, it gets way more tedious than fun.
Posted July 14, 2020.
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Showing 1-10 of 230 entries