Michal Draker   Burnley, Lancashire, United Kingdom (Great Britain)
R.I.P. TotalBiscuit & iNcontrol - my heart is absolutely shattered by these two legends leaving us so soon :heavyheart:

Ultimate Movie Lover; Wannabe Gamer; (Comic) Book & Wrestling Enthusiast; Occasional Writer; Chelsea Fan; living vicariously thru other people; fueled by Music. Born and raised in Slovakia.

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To each and every one of you with hopes you had amazing Chrismas holidays and you are going to have the best possible and imaginable icoming 2020!
Review Showcase
108 Hours played
Hades wasn't really on my radar during its Early Access run, and I only got hooked into the hype for this game after its release. I would consider myself a fan of Supergiant Games. Their style, their eye for visuals, their ear for music, their sensibilities to bring mechanics and gameplay I can thoroughly enjoy, are all in the wheelhouse of things I adore and gravitate towards when I'm choosing what to play next. Hades packs all of that and so much more! So much so, it is easily my favourite game of 2020, but it might as well be my all-time favourite game.

I absolutely and unabashedly enjoy every single aspect of Hades. I believe there isn't a single thing I wouldn't enjoy in one way or another. This game makes me crave for more. One more run. One more interaction with the colourful denizens of Underworld and Olympus alike. One more punch, one for thrust, one more shot through the wretched souls of the underworld. Hades brings out the very best in terms of telling stories, combining it with gameplay, enhancing it with beautiful audio-visual queues to provide an experience worth every penny, every cent you spend on this game.

The gameplay is addicting in the best ways possible. I've seen some people getting bored by the lack of variety of environments or enemies, but I certainly can not relate to that. Each level brings its troubles and despite the fact I play with God Mode on, I still find myself struggle and be challenged in the best possible ways, especially thanks to a mechanic introduced later. The way how this game works is so clever. All enemies you face show you mechanics which you will face in each boss fight at the end, and it took me many hours until I realised this. It is so seamless, yet so effective, without talking down to you and holding your hand. Fast-paced combat is one of the many highlights and after almost 100hrs I still feel my heart racing during later fights, especially when it comes to the final boss. In terms of gameplay, I would only request one thing and one thing only - give me Stardew Valley-like farm in a need of care at the end, instead of the wonderful narrator with his wonderful lines of monologue - you know, to unwind and relax after gruelling battles. This request doesn't make any sense to you? That's ok, but I desperately want it!

As I mentioned above, visually, this game is an absolute gem. Everywhere you look, everything you see is just so damn gorgeous and so pleasing for eyes. Character designs especially are absolutely fantabulous and you fell in love with all of them, on the basis of looks alone. The attention to details in every frame, the details big and so small are so damn impressive. Now, combine this with sounds, music and impeccable voice-acting you are in for a true audio-visual treat, a masterpiece if I can be so bold with such claims.

But, if there's one thing I can't get enough of, it's stories. Storytelling and stories of any kind are something that brings me true joy in life. Let me tell you, writers of Hades definitely made me feel that joy, made me ride that high of a great, intriguing, fresh approach to tell stories as old as time. Being in gaming space as we are now, we all probably encountered a game with Greek mythology in some way or another, but I believe it was never done quite like this. Stories well know, and those maybe not so much, presented in a really gripping way, feeding you with kernels of information, which either sparks the joy of "Wait a minute, I know this!" or "I have to know more!". The writing, in general, is incredibly charming, funny, you feel the various range of emotions coming out of the dialogues on screen, which is, of course, elevated to Olympus via aforementioned astonishing voice-acting. Can't stress enough how tightly and smartly written this games is, even in the silliest moments - and yes, I mean the justification why are we still continuing the effort to escape, which is so silly and yet really clever, well, at least in my eyes.

I LOVE Hades with all my heart, I adore it beyond bounds and I will be gushing about this game for an eternity to come. This is a full package experience which simply hits me into all of my sensibilities, strokes everything that I like and enjoy, while provides a gripping experience during which you won't find one dull or boring moment and only brings excitement.

Hades is an amazing game... Hades is a perfect game!

Grade: A+

P.S. If you feel like you want more and you crave for more of Greek mythology, let me be your guide into the church of Hadestown [open.spotify.com] - a wonderful musical, which gives you more of the story of Orpheus and Eurydice in a different, fresh, incredibly catchy way.
Review Showcase
64 Hours played
The Outer Worlds was on my radar, in my wishlist, in my library, in my mind for a very long time before I actually installed the game, and even longer before I actually hit the play button. For the past several years I find it really hard to commit to big-scale games, games whose main story can be concluded after 64 hours as I did with The Outer Worlds. Because I know myself. I have to read everything I find, listen to every dialogue, do every quest possible, load previous saves to find better options of resolving situations or just to discover those other options for curiosity (achievement) sake. Playing games that I can just pop in and dip out after a run or few, games that perhaps require clicking my mouse at most, games that don't necessarily require my full focus, or story games that take maybe a few hours to complete are always my preference these days, so committing to The Outer Worlds was a big "F YOU" to my ADHD.

But since the announcement, the release of The Outer Worlds, there was always something about this game that always drawn me in, intrigued me and I wanted to experience myself. It wasn't my non-existent fandom towards Obsidian - I never *really* played Fallout: New Vegas and only now I come to realise they made South Park™: The Stick of Truth™ (which is a game I adore), as well some other games I own and never played. Again, I'm not really sure where the inception of unquenching desire to play this game was born, but after spending 64 hours in the world of Halcyon, I'm so glad this unrelenting thought was in my head, pestering my mind every time I launched Steam.

I'm not a hardcore gamer, I always describe myself as a filthy casual (in most things I enjoy), so I feel like I find it easier to enjoy games, and I can get more out of them just by not having expectations, as I don't necessarily follow the scene (as much), or I never actually played all of the all-time great games released in the past 30+ years. I think to some degree that is an advantage, but also, I consider myself to have an open mind, not set unfair expectations on games, studios who make them, or kicking off because the political views of a game are going against mine, especially when it doesn't hurt anybody or those views aren't bad takes against society. If a game doesn't bore me, is fun to play, has something for me to chew on, has something that grabs me and takes me into new exciting worlds meeting great characters all supported with great writing, I'm all in. The Outer Worlds had all those things, some perhaps a tad underwhelming, but a whole lot that was fun and awesome to experience, and I enjoyed it immensely ❤️

This isn't the kind of a game I tend to play a lot these days, trying to get used to the FPS view, lots of loot, distractions left, right and centre was a bit overwhelming to my senses at the start - like the first hour after my character descended to Emerald Vale was a lot of fiddling with FOV sliders, key bindings, monitor colour settings etc. It took me a while to get comfortable with the game, as weird as it sound. But once I did, I was IN! I was HOOKED!

I start with is the one thing I didn't care much about, as The Outer Worlds doesn't have anything I particularly disliked. Combat, I did not really care that much for it. Sure, it's a large part of the game, but for me, it was just there - a necessity, I guess. I played on normal, once I found a good gear I don't think I switched anything in the last 25 hours of playing the game - practically since I levelled up to level 36 after buying both DLCs. That of course did not stop me from hoarding all the stuff I could pick up, and until the very end I would still rabidly collect everything from the bins, floors, and corpses like my life was depending on it (it wasn't, for the record). Like the combat was enjoyable for what it was, but nothing that would blow my mind, or give me goosebumps, delivered moments of suspense, especially because I felt I was too OP during most of my playthrough. I was just vaporising people and creatures alike on the spot - which was kinda fun, and allowed me to get to the story beats quicker.

Oh yes, the story... the dialogues... the characters... the best things about The Outer Worlds hands down. I've read through some discussion, comments, about how "woke" the game is, how the characters are underwhelming, how there are only short-haired ugly women, and I definitely don't subscribe to those sentiments in the slightest. I would agree that not every quest is great, some are certainly underwhelming especially when it came to Felix's & Ellie's companion quests which felt short and underwhelming. What also was incredibly underwhelming, almost disappointing, were the villain reveals in the DLCs - as it was 1. predictable 2. literally the same thing, so the imagination was quite lacklustre on that front. But overall, I really enjoyed the story, the story beats across the main storyline, as well as the side quests, the different approaches you could do (said the guy who only has one gaming speed, and that is being annoying goody-two-shoes). I absolutely adored Parvati as a character and her companion quest was SO freaking good, cute, and wholesome, and that was the point I genuinely fell in Love with this game. Not to mention the small interactions between characters either on the ship or off the ship when they walked with me - again Parvati was the absolute best, and having her innocence & hope around, most of the times combined with Ellie's pessimism was a delightful experience when travelling through the planets of Halcyon and interacting with NPCs. Literally, if the story wasn't strong enough for my sensibilities, I would not spend 64 hours trying to get to the bottom of things, hopefully saving Hope as well as bringing some sort of peace to Halcyon at least some of its planets, trying my best trying to get rid of The Board. I was engaged the whole way throughout, and when the final moments of the game began to roll, I was just sitting on my chair all delighted, basking in the decisions I've made that shaped Halcyon, only wishing there would be more to do in this world. As I don't see myself replaying the game, I feel that would be jarring and not so satisfying anymore (because as I've mentioned I have only one speed of playing games), I guess all I can do is to sit patiently and wait for The Outer Worlds 2. My biggest hope is the second one will also bring great, witty, humorous writing, which will support intriguing quests as well as delightful, evil and grey characters alike, set in a colourfully dangerous world worth exploring and hopefully worth saving, the similar, if not the same or even better way than this game did. The writing was truly on point (most of the time), and if there was one thing I would choose to highlight and sell people on, that would be it. Music is also astonishing, and my workdays will be definitely filled with the sounds provided by Justin E. Bell.

The Outer Worlds get a big recommendation from me - the lows are minuscule, the highs are high, and for me and my sensibilities it was a gratifying and captivating playthrough.

Grade: A-
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nomad1199 May 15 @ 9:54am 
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