Reviews by Mandemon
Great grand strategyMandemon | July 25, 2013 | Review of Crusader Kings II
Games like this do not really exist. It's Role-Playing Game and Grand Strategy Game rolled all in one, with dash of Sims in. Sounds like a recipe for a disaster, but somehow Paradox has managed to create an awesome mix.
Game has great amount of details in it and it can sometimes be confusing, but overall, game is easy to get in. Even after player fails, he will go "So THAT'S how it works", rather than "THIS IS BS!" which is always good.
Graphics wise, the game is nothing big. Most of the time, player won't even look at the beautifully rendered map, but rather a color map showing counties, religions, nations, dynasties etc. However, this is good in sense that the game won't be GPU intense.
Now, major downside for the game is that it does not really shine without all the major DLCs, these being Sword of Islam, The Republic and The Old Gods which make the entire map (sans theocracies) playable. There are also lots of optional graphics and music DLCs, which while not vital, are kinda immersion important.
Game is very addicting. You can find yourself pouring hundreds of ours trying to build eternal dynasty and while technically succeeding, finding that the branch of the dynasty you were playing has lost all it's power. Game also offers, thanks to it's random nature, some of the best laughs that rise from the game.
Such as British Isles, belonging to Egypt or some minor duke rising to control of massive empire.
Game is good and great introduction to Paradox style grand strategy games. It focus on smaller portion, but offers the same scale as their other tittles.
Very weird game.Mandemon | May 11, 2013 | Review of The Binding of Isaac
Binding of Isaac is a weird game. It is both charming and gross. The art style is relatively simple, yet manages to convey a lot.
The gameplay itself is rogue-like, with randomly generated levels and perma-death. Death forces you to restart the game. Levels themselves operate similarly to the first Zelda games dungeons, in fact, the entire game seems like one.
Numerous power-ups can be found and applies and here is where the randomness can hurt the player. Sometimes, the game showers the player with all kinds of power-ups, making the game very easy. Yet, other times, it teases player by showing obvious "secret" location, but denies player access because the level or previous ones lack certain items needed to access the secret area.
On the other hand, random(technically pseudo-random) map generation also keeps the each playthrough interesting and unique.
The games story is rather weird, just like the game itself and is not really told traditionally. Rather, you are shown flashes of the story and player needs to try to figure out what they mean.
In the end, game is very good, the controls are precise, the gameplay is interesting and the map generation is generally very good. Recommended.
A fun little gameMandemon | May 11, 2013 | Review of DLC Quest
A game is nice jab at modern "Sell the game in pieces" mentality, seen too often. Graphics are rather charming, reming of 32-bit graphics with 8-bit style.
Game is not very long, perhaps an hour or two if you drag it by doing 100% completion. However, the price tag reflects this.
Games' controls are very good and precise. Personally, I played the game with a pad, as such I can not comment of keyboard controls, but with a gamepad the game feels good. Humor is little bit hit-or-miss, either you get a chuckle or you don't. Level design is little bit bland, it does not really offer anything special.
The main gameplay revolves around getting enough coins to buy for the DLCs that either speed up the gameplay or are essential for victory. However, it does feel little bit boring after a while, since the game lacks anything else, apart from casual murder of sheep. Once again, games length works for itself, since the shortness makes sure you do not quit the game because you grew too bored.
The game is very short and very cheap quick run. The price paid is something that feels more like supporting the makers, rather than making any profit. Still, game does feel like it should be a freeware game, rather than commercial due to it's size.
Excellent revival of the seriesMandemon | May 8, 2013 | Review of XCOM: Enemy Unknown dns
Finally X-Com series has gained a worthy sequel. This game is a long waited modernization of the old classic and it does its job well.
Combat has been streamlined, but not dumbed down. 2 action system allowed room for tactical thinking and action, but does not bog down the gameplay. The action remains fast, yet forces the player to actually think about his actions. Numerous special abilities increase the range of possible tactics player can take, yet at the same time, limit the choices in a good fashion.
This, paradoxically, makes the game better. As the player is no longer able to do whatever he wants, but needs to choose from limited tools to solve wide variety of problems. This leads to different kinds of tactics, especially when your favorite solution is not available.
Graphics are nothing special, but they do their job. However, personally, I do not need big flashy graphics. Indeed, the games graphic style is something that will most likely stand the test of time longer than photo-realistic attempts.
Game presents player constantly with hard choices. Whenever it's where to use resources, where to intercept aliens, what technologies he should prioritize, what squad composition, there is always a trade off. Player is not able to just do everything, but must choose constantly what he considers most important. Yet, the game does not offer these in binary either/or format, but as a natural part of the economy. Resources are finite and there simply isn't enough for everything.
There is nice variety of aliens and each of them acts differently. Their own special abilities make sure that no encounter plays the same. AI is pretty smart and most importantly, does not cheat.
Game is not without flaws, however. It still has lots of graphical glitches. Games difficult curve rises fast, but after reaching it's peak, drops fast. Geoscape portion of the game would need more content on itself, as it's present form, it's too easy to "win".
Maps are all handmade and do present nice variety, each requiring it's own tactics. However, there is only limited amount of them and thus will soon start to recycle.
What brings the score down most, are two bugs: Teleport Bug, which causes the aliens to suddenly teleport to your location. Other bug is Flanking Bug, which is not as severe, but is still something that can hamper you.
However, despite these flaws, the game is very enjoyable and offers lots of fun. Personally, I have already sank more than 100 hours into the game and I have enjoyed every moment of it.
Stupid, Silly and Absolutely FunMandemon | May 3, 2013 | Review of Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon
This game is stupid and it knows it. Rather than trying to pretend to be anything, it takes the stupidity in it's arms and marries it, turning stupidity into awesome. The game is full of cliches and shouts and they are mercilessly both mocked and respected.
Game is, gameplay wise, your standard Far Cry game. It's an open world filled with all kinds of crazy cyber-creatures and cyber-soldiers wanting to horribly, horribly kill you and eat you, not necessarily in that order.
Game is rather short, only 7 story missions and a handful of side-missions, which come in two flavors: Rescue someone or kill something in specific way. There are also garrisons you can liberate and three types of colletables.
Weapons wise, game has limited weaponry, but it offers lots of customization.
Writing is near perfect, filled with jabs at 80's and even towards the game itself. The story is a cliche fest just like you would expect from something made in 80's.
In a longer game, the graphics style and writing would get eventually boring, but the games length and price are perfect. Game is just short enough to make you sit back and think "That was AWESOME!" and the price reflects this.
All in all, I warmly recommend this game to everyone. If you want to try what sort of games Far Cry games are, this is a perfect, "lite" version filled with ham and cheese. If you are a fan of Far Cry games, then this is perfect addition to your library.
Also, 5 extra points solely for the last mission. It just so ridiculously stupid and awesome that I was positively giggling like a school girl.