Steam Recommendations – Portal 2

This is the cover art!

It took me awhile, but I finally finished the second game on my massive Steam Recommendations list.  Portal 2 was recommended to me by quite a few people, including barrel, blindly, Chronoja, Pongsifu, and zero110100.  That’s a lot of recommendations!

Portal 2 has a lot it has to live up to.  The original Portal is considered a modern classic,  and it was also pretty self-contained; there isn’t much room for expansion.  However, Portal 2 managed to not only expand on the gameplay of the original, but the story as well.  It’s an impressive and somewhat risky feat, and the developers managed to do it flawlessly.


It’s was a joy to plWhat a lovely little heart!

ay through Portal 2’s single player mode.  The puzzles were just the right amount of challenging, but they never become so difficult they’re hard to beat.  Also, the story took a turn for the interesting.  Talking about most of it would be spoilers, but it certainly was interesting to see the beginnings of Aperture Science.  Even better, finding your actual way around these ruins really adds a new element to the puzzles, as instead of doing in a bunch of white rooms, you have to figure out how to get across rusty bridges and oceans of acid.  The change in scenery really adds a great new element to portal-puzzle-solving.

Honestly, it’s really hard to talk about the game while holding back spoilers, so I’ll stop here.  I will state, though, that it’s an absolutely fantastic game–great recommendation, everyone!

Marathons – Costume Quest

Box art, whoo~

Costume Quest is a game that I played for two of my marathons:  It’s letter C for the A-Z Marathon, and also the first game that came up for my Steam Recommendations, recommended to me back Backloggery users Parkingtigers and Slayn_Bacon.

Costume Quest is a game best played during Halloween.  It’s not a scary game in the least… but obviously, the game is simply just the spirit of Halloween, at least from the mind of a possibly deranged child.  The main character’s twin brother/sister (you pick which one you play as at the beginning of the game) was kidnapped by an odd troll… ogre… thing for looking like a piece of oversized candy, and it’s up to you and the friends you make on the hallowed night to save them.  It’s simple, it’s cute, and it gets the job as a motivator done.

Yeah, this is the same game.  Stuff gets real in battles.

Double Fine’s costume filled game is an RPG; you run into the various monsters, and fight them in turn based combat.  The combat is over the top (have you seen the transformations?) and is command based in the sense of trying to preform an action for increased damage, or tapping the button at the right time to lessen a hit.  To be honest, it feels unbalanced, if only because of how you get your party members.  You start with just yourself, and when you’re fighting more than one enemy, you can feel yourself getting overwhelmed quickly.  When you get your second party member, things feel more balanced, but some enemy formations can easily wreck you.  However, when you get the final member, all normal battles become far too easy, with only the boss battle at the end of the game able to provide a challenge.  This imbalance makes battles either a chore or a bore after a while.

However, what the game lacks in refinement with the battle system it makes up for with its presentation and atmosphere.  You never doubt that this is a Halloween game, and going around trick-or-treating and collecting candy to trade in for battle badges is pretty neat.  The few sidequests on offer fit the mood of either Halloween or the general playfulness of being a kid, too.  The game itself doesn’t last too long, either:  I finished everything but the DLC in seven hours, and the experience stayed just long enough without getting stale.

Safety is for wimps.

So, like I said, Costume Quest is best played when you’re in the Halloween spirit; it’s simply a perfect non-horror game for the time.  Even without playing it during the end of October, though, it’s still a solid game, even if some things can grate the nerves.  It’s not the next Psychonauts, mind you, but still a good game from Double Fine.

Steam Rollin’

So, fellow Backloggery member LordoftheReDead started a ‘Recommendation Rotation’ and asked people to recommend games for him to play… and I decided to steal his idea!

…Well, kind of.  When I look at my hulking backlog, I see one section that stands out as uncontrollably bad… and that’s my Steam games.  At the moment, I have one hundred and twenty one unbeaten games in the category… that’s a fourth of my backlog right there!  So, I had people from around the internet pick up to three unfinished, beatable games from my Steam list, and the list below is the result of that list.  I’ll throw them all in a randomizer (the games with more than recommendation get an extra number/tally), and I’ll play whatever game the program gives me!

Because of the games chosen, I’ve decided to allow myself two rules:

  • The long RPG rule – for any game longer than twenty-five hours (that’s probably only RPGs), if I feel I need a break, I can run the randomizer again and have another game under the twenty-five hour threshold to play alongside it.  I must beat both before moving on.
  • The rougelike rule – Rougelikes are a genre I’m pretty much terrible at, and a genre that can frustrate me easily.  As such, when one of the rougelikes come up on the randomizer, I can play another game of my choice alongside it.  I must beat both before moving on.

Finally, here’s the game recommendations!

Cave Story + [Info]
“Something Something you should play Cave Story because it’s a classic something something.”
Portal 2 [Info] [Post]
“But yeah, Portal 2 is a recommendation without hesitation. I wasn’t as awe-inspired as most were by the original but I think 2 was great.”
NyxQuest [Info]
“NyxQuest I’d recommend if you could possibly emulate the Wii control scheme (if that’s possible? I don’t know PC nowadays) otherwise the slow-pace may not be as engaging, but it’s a good relaxing puzzle game.”

Portal 2 [see above; +1]
“I’ll go on and politely demand that you include Portal 2. It is very funny, has good puzzles with a difficulty that isn’t too easy or too hard so that you feel like a genius just often enough, mechanics are a lot of fun to play with. Also, co-op is a good time.”
Neverwinter Nights 2: Platinum [Info]
“I’m a huge fan of the DnD video games. This one offers excellent DnD role-playing, lots of adventure and treasure, intriguing storyline, likeable sidekicks. If you liked the first NWN, this one is even better.”
The Witcher [Info]
“It is wonderfully gritty, has a really cool and developed world, thanks to the novels its based on. I remember you have to deal with some gray moral choices, and the game does a good job of not being all ‘good vs. evil’ on you. There were also a handful of parts where you could change some story outcomes. I really liked the story too.”

Ys Origin [Info]
Half Minute Hero: Super Mega Neo Climax Ultimate Boy [Info]
Awesomenauts [Info]

Portal 2 [see above; +2]
Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale [Info]
“Judging from the picture on the backloggery site you like anime, so I assume you’d get a kick out of this fine little game”
The Binding of Issac [Info]
“It’s such an addicting game. A single completion may only take you a few hours, but multiple completions expand the game and there’s so much random variety it never feels the same.”

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City [Info]
Torchlight [Info] [First Impressions]
Crysis [Info]

The Longest Journey [Info]
“An adventure that features very interesting story and characters. I very easily felt in love with this game.”
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic [Info]
“Seriously, finish the game. What’s wrong with you? And me?!”
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City [see above; +1]
“Ah, such a good game. For me this is the best GTA to date. It had the best feeling and setting of them all. And the story is not bad. Very Scarface influential, if you have seen the movie and like it, you will enjoy the game also.”

Legend of Grimrock [Info]
Magicka [Info]
The Longest Journey [see above; +1]

Cave Story + [See above; +1]
“OH YES YES YES. I have had this game for the longest time now, and over the summer my internet was out one day. I happened to have Steam already on, so I glanced through my library for something to play. I had heard that Cave Story was pretty awesome, so I picked this and started playing. A few days later, and I was done, exhausted, but in love. There’s probably nothing to dislike about this game, truly. The story is dark (and kinda sad actually), the characters are amusing and very likeable, the pixel art is glorious, and the music…….oh, the music! So good! ^_^”
Dungeons of Dredmor [Info]
“Woo! The most punishing and yet amazing game ever. You will die. A lot. Make sure to play on Dwarven Moderation or higher (WITH PERMADEATH) for some fun times. Lots of references to all sorts of things (with probably the funniest one being to A Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire), some crazy items, and just overall very enjoyable dungeon crawling goodness. If you can stand Dredmor (the guy, not the game’s endless supply of diggles being thrown at you) you’ll probably like this game a lot like I did. Just be warned that it’s hard if I hadn’t already said that. ;D”
Q.U.B.E. [Info] [NOTE: Because this game causes me motion sickness, I’m unable to play it. Sorry!]
“A weird game, with no story whatsoever (besides a strange and yet cool ending), but some really cool puzzles. A bit like Portal but also not like Portal. It’s based on manipulating different colored tiles if I were to describe it somehow. Really great progression of difficulty too! :)”

FTL: Faster Than Light [Info]
“Bah, reasons…pfft! :p”

Hotline Miami [Info]
“Saw thread title, quickly ran down your list in search of Hotline Miami … Now insisting you play Hotline Miami.”

Half Minute Hero: Super Mega Neo Climax Ultimate Boy [see above; +1]
Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet [Info]
“I thought this was going to be tough, but then I saw these gems on your unfinished list.  All three of these games are excellent and completely different from each other gameplay-wise.”

Legend of Grimlock [see above; +1]
“ROCKS!!! :)”
Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee [Info]
Binding of Issac [see above; +1]

Jason Clement
Cave Story + [see above; +2]
“That was one of my favorite (originally) Wiiware titles, and I highly recommend it if you like Metroidvania games. :)”

BIT.TRIP RUNNER [see above; +1]
“Just because its a blast to play…not a major challenge or anything though.”
Jade Empire [Info]
“One of my all-time favorite games from BioWare.  If you have any interest in ancient China, you will love this game.  It’s a lot like Knights of the Old Republic, but maybe even better.”
Sacred 2: Fallen Angel [Info]
“I played several hundred hours of this game and it was enjoyable.  If you don’t have a ton of time, skip this game for now because it takes a lot of time to get places in the game.  It’s a great time killing game…very addictive.”

Shadowgrounds: Survivor [Info]
“It’s a top down shooter that’s pretty fun. It’s got a somewhat horror vibe going for it and tons of things to shoot. Should take you 5-6 hours to beat.
Crysis [see above; +1]
“Pretty, and the game play has a lot of freedom. Switching between the different modes on the nanosuit opens so many fun options. Shouldn’t take you longer then 10 hours to beat.”
Hard Reset [Info]
“If you’re familiar with Painkiller it’s in the same style of gameplay, though more story driven. Kiwi doesn’t know how long it is (a dog broke the hard drive it was installed on and Kiwi never got back ’round to going through it again)”

Stars Wars: Knights of the Old Republic [see above; +1]
Jade Empire [see above; +1]
“Because BioWare”
Torchlight [see above; +1]
“Because it’s the best Diablo-like game in a long time.”

The Longest Journey [see above; +2]
Machinarium [Info]

Marcus Estrada
The Longest Journey [see above; +3]
“Because it’s good :). Well, I think it is a really nice modern point and click adventure game and for the most part it doesn’t make you grasp at straws to figure out what to do.”

The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition [Info]
Machinarium [see above; +1]
Ys Origin [see above; +1]
“Two great adventure games and a super fun action RPG. ;)”

Cave Story + [see above; +3]
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City [see above; +2]
The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition [see above; +1]

Costume Quest [Info] [Post]
“Play Costume Quest, as you can complete it in a single evening.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City [see above; +3]
“Play GTA Vice City in celebration of its 10 year anniversary which is happening RIGHT NOW.”

Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD [Info]
Torchlight [see above; +2]
“Fun Diablo/Bastion style game….if you’ve played D3 or Bastion and are tired of those kind of games its skip-able but should def go back and play sometime.”

Legend of Grimlock [see above; +2]
“This game came out of nowhere for me but it is fantastic. I’m a big RPG fan, but I’d never played one of this type (the dungeon master-esc type) and I loved it. I’m eagerly awaiting a sequel or expansion, really ANYTHING more. This is, no kidding, my GOTY for 2012. Can’t really recommend this enough to fellow RPG fans (and your completed list leads me to believe you are one).”
Portal 2 [see above; +3]
“Expands on everything that made portal great. One of the few series that actually make me laugh.”
Worms Reloaded [Info]
“This depends on a few things. If you’ve already played Worms before, then there isn’t much of a rush (it is still worms) and whether you have others to play with or not. But Worms is a fun party game or for just playing with one other person.”

Capsized [Info]
“A pretty 2D platformer game with cool weapons and enemies and harder levels the deeper in you go.”
Aquaria [Info]
“A very pretty 2D open world game with beautiful visuals and music plus an amazing story narrator that pulls you into the story and world. This is a massive world to explore so it could take you a while to beat.”

Vampire: the Masquerade – Bloodlines [Info]
“The story’s amazing, and the choices you can make are the stuff that Mass Effect wants to be; they really make an impact on the world. Speaking of, the atmosphere is great… you’ll fall in love with the world and its inhabitants.”
Costume Quest [see above; +1]
“I know you like Double Fine, from how much you like Psychonauts, so this is a good choice to play. It’s a dark game, but the candy-coated atmosphere plays off it well. And hey, it has a class system too!”
Just Cause 2 [Info]
“JUST CUZ’ B) (two)”

Hack, Slash, Loot [Info]
“Hack Slash Loot sucks, so play that for like… 20 minutes, hate it, and call it complete. That’s a quick game down.”
A Valley Without Wind [Info]
“A Valley Without Wind is… kinda dull, but if you start it up, give me a yell. I’ll play with you. It’s perfectly playable at the very least.”
The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition [see above; +2]
“They’ll be quick simple games that’ll be worth a laugh.

Machinarium [see above; +2]
Portal 2 [see above; +4]

Of course, since I need to write more, I’ll write a post about them when I beat them.  Keep an eye out!