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Recent reviews by Vain Vair

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Showing 1-10 of 24 entries
1 person found this review helpful
26.3 hrs on record
In many ways Gothic breaks the norm that most people have come to expect from action RPGs. Rather than starting out as a hero you start as a nobody, a prisoner thrown inside a ruthless mine colony that is filled with every manner of creature and man waiting to bash your face in. Its from this that makes Gothic unique, starting out a wimp who can barely defend himself and ultimately watching your character grow into a badass down the line.

You play as a stranger without a name thrown into a prison colony that is protected by a barrier, making it impossible to leave the lands once you are inside, lest you get zapped by magic lightning. A helpful man named Diego stops someone from caving your head in before you even start playing and tells you what is going on, informing you of three different camps within the colony, each one having their own agendas, desires, leaders, and plans for the future.

When you start playing you'll have to pick which camp you want to join with and work your way up. Each having ways you prove yourself and quests that can get locked out unless you are a part of their camp, and its this first chapter of the game that really makes Gothic's unique systems shine, having you run around from camp to camp, doing tasks that people tell you to do that have actual meaning, no 'Kill x amounts of boars because I told you to' that you get in many other RPGs. The world feels alive, people go about their day, animals and monsters have their own behavior patterns and just like the real world everything everywhere is trying to kill you.

Gameplay is something you have to get use to. Combat can feel clunky even hours in but after a while you start to understand the groove as you have to ready your weapon, get in a combat stance by holding down a button or mouse click, then swing or fire such weapon with your movement keys. It sounds awkward and it is, but in a way it makes combat more enjoyable and deliberate, pressing keys to swing your sword in different ways and learning different combos and moves as you progress your character and level up.

While I praise this game for a number of its systems and the overall story it does have some downsides. Getting it working well on modern hardware requires patches and mods that you can find online rather easily, but even after all of that I experienced numerous bugs throughout my play through, sometimes causing me to lose progress so I do recommended saving in multiple slots just in case.

The game also feels as if its trying to pad itself out at times, having to collect things from all over the game world numerous times making you walk back and forth for a majority of the game. You can get runes that let you teleport to different waypoints on the map but due to story beats and the time you get such things you still have a lot of walking to do.

Overall I give Gothic a solid recommendation. It isn't for everyone but if you can get past the learning curve of combat and the sometimes brutal difficulty you'll find a gem of an RPG to play and immerse yourself in for hours at a time.
Posted April 25.
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3 people found this review helpful
4.6 hrs on record
What do you get when you combine the adventure and puzzle gameplay of Professor Layton with a surreal world heavily inspired by Twin Peaks? You get Puzzle Agent, a Telltale adventure game made in collaboration with Canadian Artist Graham Annable.

You play as Nelson Tethers, FBI Agent in the department of Puzzle Research who is assigned to his first field mission of getting an eraser factory re-opened. Said factory is located in the small town of Scoggins, Minnesota where you very quickly figure out not everything is as it seems. As said before the plot takes heavy influences from David Lynch and Kubrick, creepy surreal happenings mixed with just the right amount of humor make it a very interesting plot, leaving you guessing as to just what is going on.

If you have ever played a Professor Layton game then you will feel right at home here, if not then I shall explain. The main gameplay is divided into two parts, you have your normal point and click adventure gameplay where you talk to locals and learn more to uncover the mystery, and the puzzles where you will be tasked with solving something for someone or just to get past something and rather than the usual point and click style of searching around for items in an inventory it just pops up another screen and gives you a puzzle all laid out for you to solve ranging from putting together pieces of something, rotating blocks to line up pipes, finding differences between pictures, and more.

Now just looking at all of this you would think I could recommend this game wholeheartedly. However, for every nice thing I have to say about it I have just as many problems.

While the story has wonderful setup and great dialogue, including horror elements which I was not at all expecting, it sadly feels incomplete. I won’t spoil the story but very little actually gets explained which leaves you to question just what happened and in some way it feels as if Puzzle Agent 1 and 2 should have just been one full game, but considering this is a Telltale game that does not surprise me.

There are only about thirty puzzles overall in this game which is not a lot and while some are clever and tricky, there will be a few times you are getting a puzzle wrong because the instructions themselves are incredibly vague as to what you need to do sometimes and on the flip side there will be some puzzles that you could complete while being half asleep with nearly no brain function, trust me on that. Because of how few puzzles there are in the game it is also short, my runtime is around three hours and that is with me messing around or leaving the game paused a bit

Overall I wish Steam let me pick a middle ground between recommended and not, because it is a bit of a tossup either way. However in spite of the issues I had with the game and in light of its low price and thinking of it as the first ‘episode’ of the Puzzle Agent series I recommend it to adventure and puzzle game fans, and if you love the likes of Twin Peaks as I do you will greatly enjoy the little nods and references sprinkled throughout.
Posted October 4, 2016.
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2 people found this review helpful
10.8 hrs on record
Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver is the second game in the Legacy of Kain series, changing up the formula from a top down hack and slash to a third person puzzle platformer with heavy Zelda influences. Taking place some fifteen thousand years after Blood Omen you play as Raziel, one of Kain’s lieutenants who started to evolve past the Kain and he did not like that. The plot can be summed up as Raziel growing wings, Kain being jelly that he did not have wings, then deciding to break said wings and toss Raziel into a water vortex to send him into a painful death… there is more to it than that but without spoiling anything that’s the gist of it. Raziel stays dead for about five hundred more years before the Elder God brings him back to life as a wraith because vampires have taken over the world and he’s not getting enough souls to reincarnate which causes the land to decay, so he needs a ‘Soul Reaver’ to help kill off some vampires and what better one to use then one who would have a reason to go to hell and back to kill the vampire lord Kain?

Overall the plot is solid, I enjoy the story and the feel of the gothic world they created and it stands the test of time, delivering great writing and voice acting which considering Amy Hennig of now Uncharted fame was the director, it is not a surprise. On top of that the graphics still somewhat hold up and for its time I am sure it was an amazing looking game. Now it has that PS1-era fabulous polygon look to it but even still I enjoyed the look of the game.

However that being said it is -very- hard for me to recommend this game in this day and age. Combat with vampires is horrible with repetitive button mashing and having to find a way to ‘kill’ the vampire, which means beating him up enough to toss him onto spikes or into sunlight and then eating the soul to make sure it doesn’t come back. Because of this I found myself in the later stages completely avoiding all combat as much as I could, only fighting off creatures in puzzle rooms. The puzzles are the second core part of the game, and for the most part they still hold up at being challenging while never being too frustrating, though near the end they start to feel like busywork as you do pretty much the same puzzle three or four times in a row, sliding blocks around to match up some picture on the floor being the major offender of this.

This all hinges on you knowing where you need to go however and the game does a bad job of telling you. It’s ambitious for its time to make this open world with a realm shifting mechanic allowing you to switch between a material and spectral world with the environment sometimes changing between the two, but when you are actually trying to get from point A to B and move the story along and the Elder God tells you its north of somewhere, you’re going to have a somewhat hard time figuring out just where he mean and how to get there.

The controls are straight up bad and at many times unresponsive, I found myself falling off ledges tiny ledges due to how fast you jump or how hard the gliding is to control and because of this the dungeons become a slog very quickly, when the game asks you to do lots of platforming you’ll want to tear your hair out and smash your keyboard when one little mess-up makes have to walk all the way back to where you were before. And the bosses… oh my how they are horrible. Pretty much all the bosses are puzzle bosses because you can’t really fight them directly, but once you figure out the puzzle they all become incredibly easy, breaking down to smashing a few windows or pulling a few switches at the right time.

Overall I can’t recommend this game. As much as I love the mood, tone, story, and characters, at the end of the day it is still a game you have to play and after about ten hours of tedious platforming and combat just to get an ending that gives you the middle finger and explains nearly nothing I was done. I can sum up the gameplay as ‘Off-brand Zelda’ in that you fight through dungeons, solve puzzles, fight a boss, and get a new power to help you out but it all just feels worse than how Zelda or other platformers of the same ilk do it.
Posted September 16, 2016. Last edited September 16, 2016.
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12 people found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
4.8 hrs on record
Coming from the people who brought you the Driver and Destruction Derby series, at least before they were absorbed by Ubisoft, Reflections brings us this small Unity engine release Grow Home, a physics based platformer where you control a robot named B.U.D. and must grow a small plant large enough to reach your home ship.

Gameplay is really intuitive, left and right triggers on the controller control your left and right arms, when you are near any surface you will latch onto it, allowing you to easily climb, all you must do is grab hold of branches of the Star Plant, named Star Shoots, and grow them into surrounding platforms, causing main plant to grow from the energy inside and get closer to your ship, which all seems quite easy and it is, the game never really becomes difficult or frustrating.

Along the way you will pick up crystals that give you power-ups such as a jet pack to help you get a bit of a boost, and you can find plants to help slow your fall or glide along the sky, making it really easy to get around and even save yourself if you accidentally physics yourself off a platform.

Overall Grow Home doesn't really have a whole lot going for it in terms of content, I got all the achievements and finished the game in just under five hours, but for those five hours I was greatly entertained, the climbing feels natural and fun, there are many caves to explore and things to collect, and the art style of the game feels like candy for the eyes, overall I recommend this game wholeheartedly for anyone looking to lose themselves in a fun little platformer for a while.
Posted June 14, 2015.
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1 person found this review helpful
8.6 hrs on record
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is a standalone companion piece of sorts to Far Cry 3, it reminds me of old DOOM Total Conversion mods, taking the existing engine and creating something new with it, the result is an eighties vision of the far flung future of 2007, where you take control of Sergeant Rex Power Colt, a one-liner spewing Cyber-Commando voiced by Michael Biehn, sent to a remote island in order to investigate the disappearance of Colonel Sloan, and obviously things do not go well as you uncover how far off Sloan has gone, drinking the blood of creatures known as Blood Dragons to supercharge his cybernetics with a plot of throwing the world into chaos

Overall the story invokes the feeling of many eighties films such as Commando, Cobra, RoboCop, and more, and they use this to write self aware jokes and dialogue which can be hit or miss, at times it feels like they are too self aware, but most of the time it does what it sets out to do very well.

As for gameplay, if you have played Far Cry 3 before you know what to expect, its a free-roaming open world set on an island with outpost you can liberate, collectibles to find, and cyber-sharks to blow up with explosives, which leads me to the missions and weapons, there is significantly less things to do in Blood Dragon then there was to do in the base game, you have two mission types for side missions, hunting and rescue, and very few actual story missions, to top that off you only gain about eight weapons throughout the game that is relatively short.

However do keep in mind that this is not a full retail product with a large price attached to it, for the price that it does go for you get quite a lot, and while it is true you can beat the game in a day or a few hours even if you rushed the main story, there are enough side missions and collectibles to keep you entertained.

In the end I believe that if you enjoyed the core concepts of Far Cry 3's gameplay and want a bite-sized version that is an homage to the fabulous eighties, you will enjoy this game despite the lacking replay value.
Posted March 4, 2015.
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11 people found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
6.6 hrs on record
Chicken Shoot Gold is a game in which you shoot chickens for points... and as you can tell by the screenshots up there, it's not very interesting, there are free flash games out there that are a magnitude more complex and interesting then this one, all you do is point and click, reload when you run out of bullets, should say something that I only played this game for ten minutes and could already tell you not to buy it, very few modes or changes to the formula as the game goes on, just shoot chickens and gain points.

Should also be noted this game has some form of DRM which is yet another knock against it, all and all even for the low price of seventy cents when on sale (Lets not even talk about the seven dollars max) you are better off using that money on just about anything else.
Posted February 3, 2015. Last edited November 23, 2016.
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7 people found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.7 hrs on record
Dementium II HD is a PC port of a DS game of the same name, just without the whole HD thing, it claims to be a survival horror game and it succeeds in the horror part by being a clunky horrific mess of a game with very few redeeming qualities, but I am getting ahead of myself.

In Dementium II you play as William Redmoor, who has been locked up in an insane asylum presumably after the events of the first game, the game starts with you entering a nightmare world that looks like the offspring of Hellrazor and Silent Hill, and I will admit some of the designs of enemies and architecture are very well done and creepy.

Soon you meet a doctor who tells you about how they let out something from your mind and he's very sorry in the real world but in the nightmare world he's some insane man who keeps throwing monsters at you or... something... this brings up a major pain of the game's story, if you never played the first Dementium, and lets face it, you haven't, you will have no idea what is going on, why everything is like how it is, and who these people are, nothing is ever explained and even if you did play the first one I doubt the plot of this game would make any sense at all.

Combat is clunky at best, being a port of a DS game you can guess the controls feel weird, they are unresponsive at times and guns just seem to fire oddly, the gun sight is a little off to the right and moves with the gun, which I suppose is not really a negative given that most survival horror games have really bad combat anyway, but it also is not a problem because by the time the more powerful monsters came around I already had twenty or so healing pills, and this was on normal.

Quick side note on the sound design, it is really bad, enemies make the same sounds over and over, annoying chains clanking together or the odd skittering sound or better yet the very poorly done laughing sound the skulls make, and on top of that you will hear the same music for combat every... single... time... and it is really, really bad.

Overall this game took me about three hours to beat on normal and got all the achievements along the way, so is it worth it? No not really, the game is short, easy despite being clunky and a bit buggy, the plot makes no sense, dispite being 'HD' you can still tell it was a DS game, and even if some of the monster designs are alright you could just play one of the Silent Hill games and get the same effects wrapped in a much better package.

I never played Dementium II on the Nintendo DS where it was originally released, but after beating this version I looked up videos of it and that seems like a much better game... doesn't look amazing or anything, but better then this, and worth pointing out the original developers of this game did not make the PC port.
Posted November 1, 2014.
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2 people found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
6180 The Moon is a rather delightful platformer that does a few interesting things, as you jump the screen wraps around, same if you fall, making you think more about how to overcome platforms and spikes, you play as the moon on a quest to find the sun who seems to have gone missing, the story is relatively light and told between worlds, of which there are five, each world with ten levels.

Overall this game is fun and well worth checking out, however there is not that much here in terms of content or replay value, and the game can be beaten in just under an hour, but the mechanics of the gameplay along with the pick up and play ease and stellar music make for a fun platforming adventure.
Posted October 19, 2014.
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48 people found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
7.2 hrs on record
Note: This game was played on a source port called ECWolf[maniacsvault.net] and I wholeheartedly recommend downloading it to better your experience with the game, adding a few modern features, more resolutions, and turning off the Y-axis so moving the mouse forward doesn't make you move forward as well.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume most people have heard of Wolfenstein 3D already, but just in case someone hasn't here is a brief history.

Though not being the absolute first of its kind, Wolfenstein 3D is a game highly regarded as the progenitor of the first-person shooter genre, created by id Software in 1992, no mater what anyone may say about how good the game is or not these days, it at least has to be respected for the creation of one of the most prolific video game genres to date.

You play as William Joseph "B.J." Blazkowicz, a Polish American spy sent on a mission to find out the nazi's plans and stop them, which usually means climbing nine floors and murdering someone at the top or bottom, along the way killing S.S. troops and undead mutants.

As you can tell, the story is not really all that important, as famed programmer for id John Carmack once said, and I quote, "Story in a game is like a story in a porn movie. It's expected to be there, but it's not that important." So given this mentality you can pretty much write off the story as just a means to let you shoot stuff, and this was back before most games even bothered to put effort in their plotlines to start with.

So that means onto the gameplay, ever played a first-person shooter before? Well then you will fit right at home, the game is simple as far as controls and objectives, you walk around and only are able to look left and right, fighting in stages of block shaped rooms and mazes, looking for keys and doors to get you to the final switch, pulling it and moving onto the next level, there are six episodes and each one has nine levels and one hidden map that is gotten to by finding a hidden elevator in one of the stage, totaling sixty levels in all there is actually a lot of game here.

You have three gun types and a knife, though the guns all use the same ammo counter and about the same damage except each one shoots faster then the one before it, levels are sometimes straightforward, and sometimes mazes you must run through, most of the level design is fun and varied up to a point, given they don't have very much to work with other then walls, floors, and sometimes hanging moss.

The big question is if it is worth playing, and actually even today, over twenty years after its creation, it is still fun to play, sure it is simple and chances are not anything you haven't seen before from more modern shooters, but it has that old retro charm to it that is hard to explain, it is bright and colorful, has treasure and arcade-like qualities such as lives and a score, and despite how old and dated it seems, I still believe it is worth taking a look at.
Posted October 15, 2014. Last edited October 15, 2014.
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40 people found this review helpful
2.6 hrs on record
Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae can be easily written off as a Japanese fanservice filled nightmare but never fear, there are plenty of other reasons to write this game off!

In Mitsurugi you play as Misa, a high school student who is also a demon hunter of some kind, who is attempting to slay a demonic blade who has taken her friend Suzuka, when it comes to Japanese B-Movie plots, it's an alright premise if a little paper thin on the actual story and by the end you really learn nothing about Misa, Suzuka, or the sword, as the story fails to go further then just being there so you can have an excuse to hack up people.

Speaking of hacking up people lets talk about gameplay, despite what it may look like in screenshots, this is not Devil May Cry or Bayonetta, you do not have a wide array of moves and attacks, you have sword attacks that drain a meter, kicks that refill said meter, and that is about it, combos don't really exist and in the end you learn that the charge moves do more damage then you could ever need anyway and leave little reason to do much else, and your biggest problem will be fighting with the controls and camera half the time anyway.

If I had to compare this game to something else it would be the Oneechanbara series, but that is not really a complement, this game is dull, short, unimaginative, and repetitive, you fight in six levels that amount to nothing but a single, circular arena with some background changes, fighting the same dull, easy enemies over and over using the same attacks over and over and by the end you gain nothing from the plot or gameplay, even for an independent game this is nothing special, stay away.

Unless you like panty shots or something, perv.
Posted July 6, 2014. Last edited October 15, 2014.
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Showing 1-10 of 24 entries