The Mad Reviewer   Italy
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Smalland: Survive the Wilds
Featured Artwork Showcase
Ah yes, me IRL.
19 4
General Information
Index of Contents
1. General Info
2. Frequently Asked Questions
3. Hardware Specifiations

1. General Info
Reviewing since 2011, Gaming since 1999.

Low playtime in last 2 weeks = probably playing something outside of Steam

• Achievements / Trophies are one of the most idiotic concepts ever invented in gaming.

• Currently writing the occasional review for a few places when I'm in the mood. Otherwise it's just for my personal archive.

A. If you add me, I will message you and ask why you did so. Failure to reply within 48 hours will result in removal.

B. I will generally NOT accept people with:

• VAC Ban,
• Game Ban,
• Trade Ban,
• Fully private profiles,
• Level 0,
• Profile not fully set up,
• Allegation to malicious organizations,
• Any other circumstance I deem inappropriate.

C. Repeatedly commenting on my material or messaging me with stuff such as: "please rate my screenshot!" "please like my guide!" or copy-paste messages like "have a wonderful weekend!" "have a good Christmas!", ASCII Art, Emoticons and similar, might result in removal and block, if it gets annoying enough.

2. Frequently Asked Questions
Q: "Are you really Italian as your profile says?"
A: Unfortunately, yes.

Q: "Why 'unfortunately'?"
A: Because I don't identify myself in the cultural heritage and general mindset of most Italians.

Q: "Is writing reviews your job? Do you get paid for them?"
A: No. I don't get paid for my reviews; it's my hobby, not my job.

Q: "How do you manage to make so many reviews?"
A: Autism and caffeine. But mostly autism.

Q: "Why aren't you writing for some professional review website?"
A: I want to stay honest, unbiased and independent with my reviews. Working for such websites wouldn't allow me to do that.

Q: "Can you help me improve my reviews / teach me reviewing?"
A: I don't have the energy for that. I wrote a guide you can find below about this, read it.

Q: "Can you suggest me some new games to buy?"
A: Sure. Add me.

Q: "Can you trade [insert thing here]?"
A: I don't trade. Not interested.

3. Hardware Specifications
Main Laptop (ASUS Strix Scar 18 - 2024)
• Intel i9 13980HX
• 64GB RAM DDR5 4800mhz
• ASUS RTX 4090
• 2048 GB (2TB) NvME SSD
• 3840x2160 IPS HDR External Monitor (ASUS TUF VG289Q)
• Windows 11

Desktop PC (Custom Build - 2019)
• AMD Ryzen 9 3900X (Liquid Cooled)
• ADATA 32GB RAM DDR4 3200mhz
• MSI RTX 2080Ti 11GB
• 1024 GB (1TB) Samsung 970 PRO NvME SSD
• 1024 GB (1TB) Samsung 860 EVO NvME SSD
• Corsair 850W Power Supply Unit
• Windows 10

Backup Gaming Laptop (ASUS TUF F15 - 2023)
• Intel i5 11400H
• 512 GB SSD
• Nvidia RTX 3060 (6GB Version)
• 1920 x 1080 144Hz Display
• Windows 11

Business Laptop (HP 240 G8)
• Intel i5 1035G1
• HP 8GB RAM DDR4 2400mhz
• Intel UHD G1 GPU
• 240GB SSD

Accessories / Peripherals
• Monitor: ASUS TUF VG289Q 3840x2160 IPS HDR10
• Headset: SteelSeries Arctis Prime (Cabled)
• Mouse: SteelSeries Sensei 310 (Cabled)
• Keyboard: Corsair K70 Mk.2 MX RED (Cabled)
• Mousepad: SteelSeries QCK
• Gamepad: Dualshock 4 (Cabled)
Favorite Guide
Created by - Tamaster
157 ratings
This guide covers the practical, theoretical and ethical aspects of game reviewing. It's not aimed to Steam reviews in particular, but instead to a broader target that encompasses written reviews of all sorts. I hope it will be useful to people that would
Favorite Game
Hours played
Artwork Showcase
Review Rating Chart v2.0
174 15 41
Review Showcase
33 Hours played
In-depth analysis further down.

🟩 Pros
🟥 Cons
• Truly exceptional art direction; it melds together quality voice acting, superb visuals and a banger musical score, to create superior narrative pathos.

• One memorable, masterfully-written character after another - each surrounded by compelling events, descriptions and stories for you to delve into.

• Fabulously-deep role-playing experience: a staggering amount of options, choices and interactions to discover, engage into, with concrete actions and consequences.

• High replay value, due to the impossibility of creating a character that’s successful at everything in the same playthrough.

• Huge quantity of collectibles, usable items and trinkets to find. Many of them lead to unique interactions, quests, special dialogues and weird situations.
• Bizarre view of what constitutes “fascist” or “communist” behavior, on more than a few occasions. Getting (mis)labeled by NPCs as a consequence, is fastidiously tragicomical.

• Some dialogues suffer from over-exposure and excessive verbosity, even for the standards of narrative-driven RPGs.

🟨 Bugs & Issues
🔧 Specs
• Fast travel stops working randomly.

• Some UI elements have inaccurate interaction areas.

• No option to rebind keys.

• Occasional pathfinding errors in navigation.
• i5 11400H
• 512 GB SSD
• RTX 3060 6GB
• 1080p

Content & Replay Value:
It took me 33 hours to complete Disco Elysium (DE), taking considerable extra time to complete all the side-activities I could find. As said before, replay value is high.
Is it worth buying?
Absolutely. The price of 40€ is more than fair for this content amount, even more so when considering the excellent quality delivered. I’d suggest to buy even without discounts, to any fan of RPGs that doesn’t mind reading-heavy titles.
Verdict: Excellent
Rating Chart Here
An exceptional investigative RPG with very few issues, that delivers a fresh experience, and an original story, without making compromises. A true gem you don’t want to miss.


Writing & Worldbuilding
Only a shade of your former self, neurons annihilated in an ethanol holocaust, thoughts irradiated by the fallout of sorrows and what-ifs. That’s the sorry state of your yet-unnamed protagonist, a police officer tasked to investigate murder in a post-revolution banlièue called Martinaise.

With melancholy being the centerpiece of its entire leitmotif – hell, it’s the entire leitmotif - you’re resuscitated into a world that is just as crumbling as your own self. If the demons of your past weren’t enough, you also have a case on your hands. With this premise in mind, Disco Elysium builds a world that couldn't be farther from its ‘Elysian’ namesake, and doesn’t pull any punches in depicting the true-and-gritty nature of it. You’ll come across the worst of human nature, and have a choice whether to improve or indulge even deeper in your own self destruction. Or both, as the writing is flexible and farseeing enough to have middle-grounds.

The painted-canvas like art style is subtly-entwined with modern graphics tech, as it does deliver some splendid light effects and impressive visuals, but only at the right times. It’s not a game that doesn’t look good because it can’t, but more a title that knows exactly how it wants to look, and doesn’t care about flashiness in order to pursue a style that integrates with its mood. And that’s great.

Exploration & Secrets
The Martinaise district and its environs trade extension with saturation, as far as content is concerned. Jam-packed with interactions, NPCs with endless dialogue options and thought-provoking caricatures of cityscapes at every corner, you’ll likely take hours to get to the bottom of each building, street and locale. Of course, you may even revisit already-explored locations once you have the skills or the specific tools to access previously-unlikely or downright impossible areas, interactions and skill checks. It’s a rewarding exploration system that works organically and intelligently, but at the same time doesn’t give second chances in many cases (unless you reload, but where’s the fun in that?).

There’s a metric ton of optional locations, secret items and unique interactions for you to be discovered -admittedly, some exceptionally obscure and nigh-impossible to figure out, unless you stumble onto them perchance. The lack of a detailed map and inconsistent fast travel that just doesn’t always work are minor issues, as the sense of direction and uniqueness of each environment are strong enough for you to not get lost.


Dialogues & Roleplaying
Crown jewel and core of the experience, the dialogue system, and generally the interaction framework with the environment as a whole - including yourself - is a highly-advanced one. As in any RPG, you’ll be presented with skill checks at every turn, testing one of the dozens of attributes you may invest into. Dodge a bullet with Reaction Speed, avoid blacking out from pain with Pain Threshold, formulate logical conclusions with Logic, become a (quasi)human trivia machine with Encyclopedia - these are just a few of the many skills, each governed by an attribute.

The checks are both active and passive, some can be retried after a day passed or after you leveled up, while others have only one chance of success. The system deciding the outcome is RNG-based, however in many cases, such chances can be boosted by performing other actions that give that specific check a boost. For example, knowing as much as possible about someone, before questioning them or their motives, will give you a better chance at understanding them and tell if they’re lying. Works in the same way for everything else, in a system that is contextually-plausible and realistic (most of the time).

Character Progression
Despite the world and your own mind saying anything but, you -can- actually improve, and become a smarter, faster, stronger, savvier alcoholic wreck with each XP-based level up. Passive and active checks award experience, needing 100 each time to gain a Skill Point that you can use to improve your skills - or, invest them to unlock Thought Slots that, when filled with more-or-less insane metaphysical, social or philosophical digressions, award a great variety of passive bonuses (and maluses).

Other than that, being Martinaise adequately-filled of abandoned junk as any post-revolution liberal dystopia should be, you may appropriate such junk in the shape of clothes, accessories and consumables that might as well boost your stats, or even have more special effects - changing your apparel frequently based on the task ahead isn’t only smart - it’s suggested and implied in the gameplay design. Lastly, fun-based consumables like drugs and alcohol can boost your core stats and give great bonuses, especially when stacked, but there -will- be consequences for fueling your self-annihilation.

Lastly, you can get various archetypes stuck to your sorry sketch of a human being; some of them political, based on the opinions you voice about social issues and circumstances, while the others strictly archetypal, classifying you as one of several “copotypes” that express the kind of cop you have become. While none of these massively influence the experience, they do unlock interesting stuff.

Review Showcase
32 Hours played
In-depth analysis further down.

🟩 Pros
🟥 Cons
• Compelling exploration that rewards attentive players with great advantages and resources.

• Zero hand-holding will have you rely on wits and data to understand what to do next.

• Terrifying, oppressive setting where danger lurks at every corner and combat is brutal.

• Huge quantity of secrets, Easter eggs and hidden areas to find.

• Exciting progression, with enough devices, weapons and augments variety to stay fresh.
• A few weapons and consumable combos are massively OP and can make even bosses (comparatively) trivial.

• Excessive backtracking for some objectives.

🟨 Bugs & Issues
🔧 Specs
• Steam Cloud-enabled savegames don’t transfer correctly between devices.
• 3900X
• 2080Ti
• 32GB RAM
• 1440p

Content & Replay Value:
It took me around 32 hours to reach the end of System Shock on Hard combat difficulty, taking considerable extra time to explore every recess of the station I could access. The content is linear; there’s no reason to replay once finished.
Is it worth buying?
Absolutely. The price of 40€ is in-line for this amount of content and production value, while the quality is superb. I can recommend getting it even without a discount.
Verdict: Masterpiece
Rating Chart Here
A stellar remake that preserves the atmosphere, feel and gameplay of the original masterpiece, while introducing much-needed, modern quality-of-life features.

Follow our Curator page, Summit Reviews, to see more high-quality reviews regularly.


Writing & Worldbuilding
In terms of story, System Shock won’t present you with intricate mysteries or 300-IQ plots; Tri-Optimum’s brand-new AI, SHODAN, went rogue (or rather, was made…) - in consequence, the corporate station orbiting Saturn quickly morphs into a nightmarish prison filled with mutants, scrambled robots and other horrors, all ruled by their cybernetic god(des).

Playing as the nameless, silent and experienced Hacker, you’ll have to find a way to stop this madness. Throughout the station you’ll reveal, either by log files or environmental storytelling, the fate of its crew members - many of which branch into sub-plots of sorts that may give you useful hints, and are interesting to follow. The writing of all characters is crowned, of course, by SHODAN; each power-tripping rant and email is more terrifying (not to mention actual, nowadays) than the previous.

The setting spans throughout a dozen levels, masterfully crafted to be as faithful to the original as possible. The world-building makes the station feel like a cramped, dark, dangerous hell you have to progressively conquer and cleanse, while each level has enough features to feel unique and apart from the others. Combined with the great soundtrack and creepy sound effects, immersion is assured.

Exploration & Secrets
Citadel Station is nothing short of massive, divided between twelve levels and the command bridge. You’ll explore it on foot, with a handy automap updating itself as you go. Some upgrades and tools will also allow you to highlight loot and perceive the unseen, but normally you’ll have to rely on your own perception to find items, supplies or secrets - the latter of which are abundant, and hold valuable resources or even unique items. Many areas will initially be locked-out behind security keys, codes or hazards that you might only overcome with specific items or actions.

Other than the recordings you’ll find or receive, there won’t be any further hint on what to do or where to go - except if you play on Easy mission difficulty, that is. But don’t do that, as figuring things out is part of the experience, and the game is designed well enough so that you won’t need to google stuff all the time, if you pay attention.


Combat System & Bosses
Fights in SS are slowly-paced, tactical and high-stakes most of the time. From deranged cyborgs to genetic abominations, all enemies will move and attack at a moderate pacing, but so do you (unless you pump yourself full of drugs and become a superhuman demigod for half a minute…). Your ranged foes will be dead-accurate and lethal, while melee enemies can tear you to shreds in just a couple of hits on Hard. Baiting shots to then peek from cover and shoot, taking your time to advance without rushing, paying attention to sounds are all critical components of a system that punishes recklessness.

Most weapons will have different types of ammo, best-suited for diverse foes, such as piercing ammo being perfect for dealing with armored robots. Ammo is finite, enemies are not - the respawn rate will be oppressive at first, until you destroy enough security cameras and computers - that will slow and eventually stop the respawns entirely in each level. Boss fights are few, but quite unique and significant; these formidable foes won’t only be durable and have a distinct armament, but also capable of one-shotting you if you’re not careful with positioning and cover. That being said, if you save up enough consumables and ‘good’ items for them, like EMP grenades capable of stunning even bosses, they will be much more manageable.

The physics and modern touches added to combat really enhance the action, with enemies being beautifully mutilated, decapitated and torn to pieces on a regular basis, emphasizing the power of your shots. In general, there’s a good weight, stagger and realism behind how guns are handled - it’s a shame, though, that the aiming dot can’t be disabled and that you can't ADS either - those would have been good modern additions, as well.

Your fights won't end in reality, as cyberspace is another battleground where you'll fend off SHODAN's formidable virtual defenses, and breach security, in a 6DOF shooter fashion, developing throughout labyrinthine cyberscapes.

Character Progression
There won’t be any XP or levels to be gained; your only form of progression will be the items you’ll find around the Station. Between better implants to enhance your cybernetic functions, like night vision or energy shields, and weapon upgrades sold at automated machines in exchange for credits, you’ll increasingly become more powerful and have a better variety of options at your disposal. You’ll quickly run out of space, so finding a place somewhere relatively safe is a very good idea for storage purposes - or, you can just leave behind what you can’t carry, but I wouldn’t recommend that, as you’ll really need every bullet and medkit on the higher settings.


Quests & Objectives
Your main objective is simple: stopping SHODAN. As to how you accomplish that, you’ll have to figure it out on your own. There will be optional sub-objectives of sorts, derived from the info you’ll find in documents and recordings, like, for example, a secret stash to locate. These optional tasks will lead you to secondary parts of the station over various levels, and are worth doing for the sake of exploring and obtaining better gear. The lack of hand-holding in a game needs to be well-designed, and in this case it indeed is, as there won’t be anything too obscure, provided you spend time reading the files you find. If you don't like reading and just want a quest marker to show you the way, play on Easy mission difficulty.
Screenshot Showcase
135 hours. DOMINATING difficulty run (+ DLC) completed. It is finally done. What a ride this was.
34 7
Recent Activity
24 hrs on record
Currently In-Game
31 hrs on record
last played on May 28
2.2 hrs on record
last played on May 23
Tamaster May 13 @ 1:17am 
Thanks guys. But thats just the average italian experience. Actually no, worse than average. Haha.
Q09066930 May 13 @ 12:51am 
"20 secs on your profile and I find myself overall disagreeing with your existence on this planet" - dude, WTF is wrong with people. Sheesh. Sending you some love to balance things out. :oxinablanket:
WelshyXpro May 9 @ 4:11am 
I've just read this discussion and it seems that someone is mad at someone else for having the "wrong opinion". I say just leave it be and let everyone get on with their days. I originally came here to say hi and leave a comment to Tamaster for all the great reviews but found myself reading this discussion. I agree with some aspects that both Mr.Neon and Tamaster both state such as not really liking the people within your country / nation but we have to remember that there is good and bad everywhere. As far as achievements go they are both a bit silly and not at the same time. I have developed a need to achieve whenever I play a game and sometimes that ruins the experience but it also gives me something to do when I do play a game. But like I said its an opinion and we are all entitled to have one. One thing (Not taking sides or anything) Mr.Neon, you did decide to comment and proceed to argue.

Anyways. Hello :)
Tamaster May 6 @ 2:09pm 

For accusing people to be narcissists and having a sense of superiority, you seem to be the worst offender in that field.

You come here unsolicited, without knowing me, talk down to me to prove how good and superior "modern" italians are, compared to the out-of-touch views of an old-gen guy like myself, make assumptions on my character when I'm a complete stranger, then proceed to behave like a zealot to defend the "holy sermon of the Achievement Cult" you so fervently belong to, while at the same time also classifying my own hobbies as "B-grade" compared to yours.

Yeah, people like you are exactly what's wrong with this country.

Get lost.
Mr. Neon May 6 @ 1:52pm 
If you're refering to me finding out that a member has "completed all Halo games on LASO", something that you will literally never be able to do in a 100 years and telling the guy he's a beast, sending him support and inviting him to every hunter Discord from now on? Yeah.
That's a thing. Those "bragging rights" exist. The guy's a human legend, I want him in my team.

People cheat Speed-runs, people cheat no-hit runs, people cheat battle royales, trading card matches. Your argument makes no sense.
The difference between me and you resides in the fact that even if I would never speed run or no-hit run games, I respect the heck out of them, because whaty they do is absolutely insane and requires enormous skill, lots of time and effort.
Mr. Neon May 6 @ 1:48pm 
Factually wrong.
There are at least three services out there we use to immediately check other users achievements with 100% accuracy on spotting cheats.
Not that it matters, because less than 3% players do that and once one is busted his profile will be made into a festival of pure shame by the community if he tries to apply for anything.

Almost nobody, literally less than 1% of the people I've met in thousands of encounters on Steam and xBox Live and being part of the largest community of Hunters in the world was "doing it for bragging rights".
You get way more bragging rights (and free keys) writing essays on Steam than for Platinum/Perfecting Games.