What are you playing this weekend/these days?

Finally completed LoZ Skyward Sword on Wii. Lovely game. Long and varied. Expertly done. The creators focus on key feelings a player gets like when discovering a secret path or sneaking to avoid being discovered. The feeling of being lost is by design and the story is linear but you’d never know. Zelda was the first game that really intrigued me and still does.

What should I play next? Leaning towards fun ps4 indie titles.
Finished Deponia 1-3. Needed a walkthrough a few times in part three. Not for the full screen puzzles, but for connections I couldn't see because the hints on what to do were dropped hours ago. And a handful of stuff was just moon logic. Oh well. It's a great series nontheless. Beautifully drawn, voiced and scored. And it made me grin and lol a bunch of times. I guess I'll wait for reduced price on part 4 and play some Wrath in the mean time.

What should I play next? Leaning towards fun ps4 indie titles.
Outer Wilds!
Ah good old Deponia, the Studio behind the Games is sadly gone because they wanted to make a Lord of the Rings Game (I think it was called "Gollum" ) which failed quite badly ..
I had whished they had stuck whit 2D Point and Click Advantures as they where fun, and Poki, the Main Developer and One of the Founders of Deadalic Entertainment got now an Singer-Songwriter Band whit Funny German Songs, and is also Streamer..

It's like a fusion between these games:
  • Dungeon Keeper (for dungeon construction and creatures management), but with more stuff
  • Dungeons (2 and 3) because you have an Avatar, and for the ability to attack external villages with your units, but in a wider map
  • Rogue (because you can also play the game as a single character without a Dungeon, but also because it plays exactly the same, the combat is "turn based" as when you move even the enemy moves)
  • Dwarf Fortress (only a bit here and there, just because the former is way more complex than this game)
It works like this, the map is random generated, but it's a little world with different areas, and you start in one of them to build the Dungeon.
The Dungeon creation is similar to Dungeon Keeper, so you have Imps that do all the work of dig and construction, but in this case more resources are required, like wood / iron / etc..., and there are even more rooms with more stuff to add.
At some point you'll have also to defend the Dungeon from external attacks.
To attract creatures you need to have all the rooms required for them.
Creatures are somehow autonomous, so if there are more powerful weapons or spells in the store, them will go get them, but you also can force them to change inventory, make guard zones or even entertaining zones or use creatures directly.
If a group of creature is created, it can be sent to an outside area to destroy villages or other dungeons, to get resources and "evilness".
This last part works almost exactly as Rogue, but with a group.

I started the game with the "Classic" faction, that is very similar to Dungeon Keeper, but there are different factions to choose and the playability could change a lot from one to another, for example I see that with Undeads you'll need bones from dead enemies to make creatures, and there's also the possibility to play the game with a single character as it was just a Rogue-clone.

There is permadeath, if your Avatar dies, the game ends. But you are not forced to send it to missions.

I like it very much, but I hope some day to see it with a little more modern and smooth graphic.


It also seems able to download MODs directly from the game itself, but I don't know from what repository it gets the list.
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Now... I still have to actually start playing the game... but required me a week to just figure out how to make it run...
so this is a report of how EA deals with their products...

The game must be run from the "EA app", but different manual actions must be taken in order to make it run, both on the client and on the files.

0) Install "PhysX-9.13.0604-SystemSoftware-Legacy" from the NVIDIA site

1) Set compatibility of "MassEffect.exe" to "Windows XP (Service Pack 3)"                 (or the game will just not start)
    (DON'T TOUCH ANY OTHER SETTINGS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)                                    (or else the EA app will screw up during launch)
    (DON'T SET IT TO RUN AS ADMINISTRATOR !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)                                (or else the EA app will screw up during launch, because it needs it to run as administrator, but works only if it's the EA app itself that does that setting during launch)

2) Repair the game from the client, just for check
    (i see that in the past different library files had to be substituted, but seems like it's no more the case)

3) Set on the EA app:
    - OVERLAY = ENABLED                 
    - ONLINE mode

4) Launch the game, it most probably will not start and you'll have to terminate "ActivationUI.exe" and "MassEffect.exe", but one ONLINE launch is necessary to make the next step work...

5) Set on the EA app:
    - OVERLAY = ENABLED                   (yes, IT'S REQUIRED, even if the game doesn't support it, the executable will hang on start if its disabled...)
    - OFFLINE mode                               (yes, or else the game will Freeze just before the game menu...)

6) The game starts... BUT most probably it is better to skip the intro logos with ENTER to go directly to the game menu, as sometimes when leaving those play, a Black Screen Freeze happens...

-- As far as I know, there's no way to start the EA app client in OFFLINE mode, so that setting must be turned on manually at every single launch...

These are just some "Funny facts" while I was trying to make the game starts...

-- If compatibility to Windows XP is not set on the executable, it will become unresponsive just after launch.

-- If on the executable is set to launch it as Administrator, it will become unresponsive just after launch.
   (Seems like on the older Origin client this was required, but the new EA app client wants to set it by itself, so only it must launch the game as Administrator, and will not tollerate a flag already set on the file !!!)

-- If on the EA app, the OVERLAY is ENABLED and the client is ONLINE:
    "ActivationUI.exe" and "MassEffect.exe" will hang forever and must be terminated... you can't even see the SPLASH SCREEN, just nothing happens...

-- If on the EA app, the OVERLAY is DISABLED and the client is ONLINE:
   after the SPLASH SCREEN the game starts showing the initial intro logos, and then you get either a Black Screen Freeze OR the "Press a key" with the Earth background that Freezes with the music still running...

-- If on the EA app, the OVERLAY is DISABLED and the client is OFFLINE:
   after the SPLASH SCREEN the game starts showing the initial intro logos, and then you get either a Black Screen Freeze OR the "Press a key" with the Earth background that Freezes with the music still running...

It is incredible how many issues are reported on the PC GAME WIKI about this game... and still my issues weren't listed....

I had another game from EA, "Mirror's Edge Catalyst", that I mistakenly got from STEAM... at the time I didn't know that I had to install the EA's "Origin" client too, so that to run the game I had to launch it from STEAM that had to launch Origin that had to launch the game... and I had a lot of issues at the time too to make both work together ok....

"MASS EFFECT" I preferred to get it directly from EA, to cut some steps... but in the end nothing changed... the EA way in dealing with their products just suck...

I hope to at least enjoy the game, now that seems to start...


I updated the instructions, because... I found out that to start the game OFFLINE you'll have to launch it previously ONLINE, every single time...
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Finished Deponia Doomsday. Managed without a walkthrough, had to come back to it with a fresh mind several times. I missed the full screen puzzles, there wasn't a single one IIRC. The time travel stuff was kind of interesting, but ultimately pretty confusing. I did not like the timed sequences. One of those is so broken that you can't advance past it, unless you know a little trick or skip using a savegame e.g. from the official website. It was pretty funny once again. Would have loved to hear a few more songs though. Those were neat little rewards for finishing a chapter in the earlier episodes.

https://www.gog.com/en/game/lempo is an amazing 1st person exploration game with creepy atmosphere. Find your way in a forest wrapped in perpetual darkness, save lost souls including your own. Navigation, rewarding exploration, light puzzling and a sense of wonder await you in this game of about five hours playtime. Haven't played this myself, but binge watched a let's-play. Shame on me for spoiling myself, I know I would have loved this.

Finished Irony Curtain: From Matryoshka with Love
Good point'n'click adventure, mostly humorous, sometimes a bit sad. Puzzles were enjoyable. There's a bit much walking to and fro in the middle of the game. You can't skip straight to another screen. Your character will run on double click, but it won't work on screen transition icons. So you have to run near those, and then click to change screen. That was a tad annoying. There were a few minor mistakes in the text, and one in the otherwise quite good voice-overs. I enjoyed the secret agent story.
Neat: the hint system is diegetic, properly integrated into the game world. There's phones or radios in every area, with which you can call a fully voiced character and ask for your next steps.
Worth noting: there's five unskippable, dexterity-based minigames. People with an impairment might have problems with those.

Finished AMID EVIL
If you don't mind abstract level design you get colorful and creative surroundings to wield your magical weapons in against a multitude of foes - a different set of enemies for each episode. Most of the wand-like "guns" have a slight delay on them, and the projectiles are somewhat lower speed, which requires some adjustment when coming from regular shooters. And they all have a massively powered up alt fire. To use that you have to gather souls from slain creatures. Then hit alt-fire and use greatly enhanced firepower, on some weapons with additional effects like piercing, depending on the weapon type. The power-up duration can be increased by continuously collecting more souls. Using this mode is often necessary at harder difficulties. There's also a bunch of well-hidden secrets to find in all the levels. At the end of each episode awaits a boss with a certain gimmick. The final one was quite easy though, bit of a let-down. Guess I'll get the DLC one of these days.

Finished Inspector Schmidt - A Bavarian Tale
3rd person whodunit set in a late 19th century Bavarian backwater village. It has RPG elements similar to Disco Elysium and detective vision akin to Witcher 3. There's even some crafting, which I never used. The surroundings and the rough language remind me of the early Gothic games. Graphics and music are beautiful. But you can tell that the team bit off more than they could chew. Under the hood this game pretty complex and sadly riddled with bugs and continuity errors. Save often and bring a bunch of patience. All in all I enjoyed it, mostly for the story - and I'd like to see more like this title, but hopefully in a state quite more polished than this is.
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so this is a report of how EA deals with their products...
I had a similar experience with Alice: Madness Returns. I was ready to try an "unofficial patch" to remove the activation/copy protection when it finally started working correctly.
I had a similar experience with Alice: Madness Returns. I was ready to try an "unofficial patch" to remove the activation/copy protection when it finally started working correctly.
Yeah, I found the recipe to make "MASS EFFECT" to start, but I have to do every time the ONLINE launch + OFFLINE launch to actually play it...
Luckily, at least, the game seems pretty stable once I start to play.

I suppose to be at 1/3 of the game, and I'm a little disappointed, considering all the good reviews I have read in the years.
It has some good cinematic moments, but it is very repetitive... also, you "have" commands to control your squad members, like "move there", "stay in position", etc... but in the end those are working 30% of the time... at least the squad members are somehow autonomous, they keep cover and use their skills in somehow the right way.

The Planets exploration part could have been a cool thing, but in the end is just boring, and consists of:
1) click on a galaxy
2) click on a solar system and goto 3), if it was the last system goto 1)
3) click on a planet and goto 4), if it was the last planet goto 2)
4) if you can land to the planet goto 5) else goto 3)
5) you got the same landing cinematic for every planet, only the background changes, all planets are empty and lifeless, excepts for some rare gigantic worms
6) use your ATV to reach one of the points of interests on the map, then goto 7) or if points of interests are finished goto 3)
7) - if there's a base enter and kill everything (the bases are all copy/pasted in the entire universe)
- if it's something else (a mineral, a relique, some scraps) just do the usual "hacking minigame" to get the content.
then goto 6)

"MASS EFFECT" seems really really similar to "STAR WARS: Knights of the old Republic" under almost every aspect, but I found the latter more entertaining and less repetitive.

I hope that in the next two games it will become better.
BTW a few ex-bioware folks who worked on the original mass effect are now involved in making https://www.exodusgame.com/
I have high hopes for this one
I hope so, surely the trailer is well made, but there's almost nothing for now that shows actual gameplay.
I can't even understand from there if it will be a single player game or an online multiplayer game.
I hope so, surely the trailer is well made, but there's almost nothing for now that shows actual gameplay.
I can't even understand from there if it will be a single player game or an online multiplayer game.
It's single player according to https://www.gaming.net/exodus-everything-we-know/

As the Traveler, players must manage resources, build settlements, lead troops, and make impactful choices that resonate throughout the gameplay. The game features companions, each with unique personalities and roles. Exodus promises a breathtaking experience for sci-fi RPG enthusiasts.
No word of shooting... but it says action-adventure on the developers' site. I do hope very much that 3d person action will be the main game, and the management/strategy aspect will be an in-depth replacement for the very weak exploration side activities of the Mass Effect series.
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There's a lot of padding in the Mass Effects. If I remember correctly it's a bit less obvious in the sequels and the better combat makes it a bit less boring.

Anyway, Mass Effect is still a pretty generic Sci-Fi action-RPG. It's generally decent with a few good moments here and there. Where it shines is in the NPCs (and mostly the crew members). Some of them grow on you with time and transform that "good but bland" experience into something more interesting.
Just an update about "EA Client" and "MASS EFFECT" situation ...

Yesterday, EA Client downloaded a new version of itself... and MASS EFFECT wasn't starting anymore in OFFLINE mode... BUT, now, not only is working in ONLINE more, but also shows the OVERLAY menu that previously was missing.

So the good news is that I don't have to fiddle with ONLINE/OFFLINE modes anymore at every start.

The potentially bad news is that it doesn't run anymore in OFFLINE mode... so... I hope to have always internet coverage until I finished the game...
Just finished WRATH: Aeon of Ruin. Awesome old school FPS. Fun weapons, fun movement with the melee secondary, which is also one of your strongest offences. Huge levels with many secrets to find. Cool items. Satisfying gibs. Definitely get this if you like old school shooters. Civvie11 talks about it in his latest video.

Do *not* get Graven. It's tripe. Looks good but plays like ass.

Finished Dread Templar. This is the best FPS in terms of secret hunting. It gives you a detailed list of the types of things to find in each level - and most importantly - the secrets hold upgrade items for you character and each of the weapons. You can freely mix and match those to cater to the playstile you like best. I wish more games would go down this path as it feels so very rewarding. There's also a super secret in each of the levels, which requires you to solve a little puzzle. And there's quite a bunch of pop culture and gaming references and they all made me smile. Two thumbs up for this one!

Finished Postal Brain Damaged. It's nothing special. Although a better FPS than the Postal games before it. Not my kind of humor though. The German translation is abysmal and reads like it's been done by an AI. A bit annoying that corpses and debris don't despawn and retain their hitbox and ragdoll. So you often propel those ahead of you, wildly flailing, which makes for superfluous visual clutter. Plus points for a few enemy types with jiggly TnA.

Also played through Ashes 2063 for a third time on survivor difficulty. Got complacent and died quite a few times. If you haven't played this, you must give it a go. This free game is better than so many paid ones it's baffling.

Played the starting level of Prodeus. Love the oomph and crunch, the music and graphics style. Do not like the abstract level design at all. If the surroundings were semi-realistic I'd be totally into this. Weird.

Edit: Hot damn Turbo Overkill is awesome XD
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