Monthly: Moscow to Boston

The first months of 2018 were pretty monotonous. Radiation. Mutated dogs. Gas masks. Mutated mosquitoes. Digging through a pile of junk in search of spare parts. More mutants. In other words, I’ve been tasting two different types of post-apocalyptic fiction.


The Metro series has been on my list since I watched a full Let’s Play YT video of the second game a few years ago. After all, a game made by a Russian and Ukrainian team always picks my interest and I really loved S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl. Now, not only I managed to buy both parts of the series for a very reasonable price on Steam but also bought the original novel written by Dmitry Glukhovsky. What a refreshing and interesting experience to read a chapter, close the book, launch the game and play the same part of the story (with slight alterations). Obviously, the game is far from perfection even in its revamped Redux version and there’s a lot of wasted potential due to the absolutely linear character of the plot, but I’ve enjoyed it so far.

Sadly, I had to interrupt my adventure in the depths of Moscow’s underground system. I blame you, Bethesda.


For someone who’s been playing the series since the release of Fallout 1 in 1997, I was late to join the party. The steep price was one reason, the sad experience with freshly released Bethesda games being technical disasters was another. Most importantly, most reviews I was reading were far from favourable.  “It’s not a real Fallout game”, they said, “it’s too much an FPS and not much an RPG”. And, of course, the greatest accusation: “This is not New Vegas, so it sucks!”.

When Fallout 4 became available for a free weekend in early February, I was prepared to play it for a few hours, write down my impressions as a First Hour exercise, get bored, disappointed, and go back to Nevada. Well, I was wrong. After spending most of my weekend in the post-apocalyptic Boston, I finally paid for the game. The Fallout magic still works.

All right, the reviewers were right about one thing. It really isn’t New Vegas. I can understand that dedicated fans were disappointed by many changes, especially the ridiculous dialogue system (“yes/no/need more info/tell a stupid joke”), but the game is still more than decent. Especially when you go for the Survival mode which, unlike the previous installation, is seriously challenging and makes you doped on adrenaline every time you encounter a band of raiders or supermutants. Yeah, I’ll have to write more about it.

Just in case you played Fallout 4 before I did, I’d really appreciate hints about the DLC’s and interesting mods, since I’m still playing the vanilla version. Thanks!


Monthly: November Blood

Just writing a note to myself like the good emperor Marcvs Avrelivs.

Well, maybe October wasn’t that bad, because at least I was able to keep my Weekly post schedule, but it’s still far from enough. So just let make me a to-do-list and hope I can make at least 50% of the plan.

First, I’ll need to finally start publishing Just Finished posts. There are a few games that I completed some time ago and it feels like a burden that I didn’t even mention them here.

  • The Final Station
  • Firewatch
  • Another World

The next step should be finishing the current playthroughs, especially when I’ve left them at the embarrassing ‘too lazy to beat the final boss’ stage.

  • Sunless Sea
  • Space Marine
  • Völgarr the Viking

Finally, there are games I should write about even if, technically, they can’t be finished, but I’ve played them for long that I have a word or two to say about them.

  • Verdun
  • Jalopy

On a side note, I really need to change my way of playing. Less focus on getting achievements and finishing it on the hardest difficulty level, a more playful approach and maybe some experimenting with playing style, classes, custom challenges, etc. We’ll see what happens.

Monthly: Burnout

New month, new hope, new struggle. There’s a couple of games I’m very close to finishing but, as always when I reach the final stage, it’s hard to find motivation.

Sometimes I imagine playing a game is similar to sailing ocean. It’s all fun and danger on the way, but eventually you must reach you destination, right? That’s why this month my main goal will be to finish the three games I abandoned.

Space Marine – alright, maybe I finished it two times on highest difficulty, but it’s not enough until I get all single-player achievements. After all, it’s a WH40k game and I treat playing it (almost literally) religiously.

Volgarr the Viking – there’s just one boss between me and Valhalla, and I really want to see that rainbow bridge; besides, Heimdall is an old buddy of mine from the Amiga days.

Sunless Sea – 700 hours of playing seems to be more than enough, and I really want to focus on Sunless Skies.

But wait, just watching the end credits rolling on my screen is not enough. I’m a serious blogger, after all. Let’s mark the secondary target: publish at least two texts about the games I already finished. The said posts are still dwelling in form of sketches in my blog’s little pocket limbo and it’s time to give them salvation.

And then there’s the question of aesthetics. Let’s be honest, my little WordPress corner looks simply ugly. This time I should find a nice skin for it, hopefully matching the blog’s theme.

Back with a Bang (or rather a whimper)





My WordPress dashboard tells me that I published the last post more than half a year ago, shortly after I bought my brand new, shining gaming rig. A very long period of silence followed. How to explain that? An abyss of confusion.

Playing on my old laptop gave me a very limited choice. Oldies or indies. Getting a PC more suitable for my favourite hobby made me think really hard about the concept of choice cost. Suddenly, a whole new galaxy was opened before me – and Steam sales certainly don’t help you to focus on a single target. Yeah, time to change my approach and avoid hoarding unfinished games in my library — which is, by the way, the most disgusting form of consumerism.

Mad Max

The best mediocre game I’ve ever played.

Sure, just like I mentioned in that post, all the reviews I’ve read before and during playing Mad Max were right. It’s flawed. A disappointment. And yet I consider it to be one of the best experiences in my lifetime of a vidya fan.

Sure, I can see the flaws mentioned by other reviewers. Gameplay is repetitive. There are no dialogue options and the text is scarce. Difficulty threshold is way too low and you ascend to the position of a wasteland demigod too soon. Maybe there are many other minor details which would make me criticise this game if I only were a professional reviewer?

Too bad I’m just myself. Someone who finds the weakest points of this game really appealing.

There is no such thing as repetitiveness when you’re impersonating Max Rockatansky in the middle of a wasteland. Everything, driving, fighting, exploration, is hypnotising — which would be hardly possible in another setting.


Just a few heartbeats and shell explosions after I’ve entered my first battle, I meet a small team of professional and extremely polite German players who are ready to guide me, a complete Grünschnabel. Out of sudden, I have just found my regiment, the local equivalent of a standard multiplayer clan. The battle is finished and immediately after the new map loads, one of my new trench friends quotes a very gloomy German poem about dying in the trenches. Just a few seconds later I find myself lying on the bottom of a trench, covering from artillery barrage and looking at the uncanny depiction of a hole in human skull and a pulsating brain beneath it. Shivers.

Yeah, maybe I found a FPS shooter which I can enjoy playing online after all.

Goals for this month

Verdun: Reach player level 100

…and stop being such an embarrassment to my dear Kameraden. Seriously, some of them have reset their rank to plain zero since I’ve started playing the game in December.

Space Marine: win it for the Librarius

…finishing the game shouldn’t be a problem even on the hardest difficulty level. What really makes me excited is collecting the missing floating skulls – just because it made me leave the playthrough in the past. Funny, searching for them is far more frustrating than repeatedly dying after a close encounter with a Traitor Marine who still remembers the Heresy Era.

Sunless Sea: Finish it!

According to my Steam counter, it’s almost 700 hours spent on the Unterzee. No wonder I’m so lousy at finishing games. Besides, maybe Sunless Sky is still in development, but there is a fan-made spin-off to give a try to. Hurry up, Captain!


This Blog: Summaries.

Amazing! Extraordinary! I’ve actually managed to finish some games since the December. It’s only polite to write about it and feed my Just Finished category.

Constant Feature: Your weekly report

What I need is some discipline. Writing a report about my progress every week seems to be a good start. Of course, it should include noting down my thoughts and posting screenshots which are to brief or irrelevant to make an entire post. Since I do most of my playing on weekends, Monday is the best choice for such reports.

May Apathy

Things were going well for the first days of the merry month of May until that one evening, when I was simply too tired to even write a few lines and failed the goal to spend at least thirty minutes daily with my blog. After that, my motivation flew away and I couldn’t bring myself to make new posts for the rest of the month. Well, so much for Kaizen.

I won’t even bother to paste the previous goal list here. It all remains the same, with one exception: I won’t force myself to write at least half an hour each day, because I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s simply too stressing, maybe even paralysing. Instead, I will just try to publish at least 15 quality posts and concentrate on finishing playthroughs.

On a positive note, thanks to the distinguished game journalists from the RPS I’ve found another great distraction: In Search of Paradise, a perfect game for hot Polish summer. What can be better than driving through an alternative version of the U.S. American desert with Kyuss and Earth songs playing in the background? Yes, I’ll definitely have to write more about it.


Goals: May

Sunless Sea has ruined my life, or at least my gaming plans for April. Although I promised myself to complete at least three unfinished playthroughs, the Failbetter’s game proved to be too much a temptation and I didn’t find enough time for the rest of my collection. My conscience hurts again, but at least I managed to get a look at the two Early Access games, Soviet City and Jalopy.

My second goal for April was to review the old posts, correct all mistakes and rewrite when necessary, but it’s obvious that I’m still lacking the necessary self-discipline and motivation.

As for the third and final goal… The ancient Japanese wisdom actually works! I set myself a task to write daily, adding one minute of time each day, and publish at least 15 finished posts. Working according to the Kaizen philosophy of continuous improvement seems a proper method for a such a chaotic soul as mine. I will continue the experiment for the next month without raising the bar.

All this means that I just should copy and paste my April list here:

Things to do in April May:

  • Write daily. Each day, add one minute to the minimum time (starting with two minutes today)
  • Publish at least 15 posts
  • Complete at least three unfinished games
  • General blog maintenance (review and rewrite old posts, add a ‘Completed’ section, etc.)

Tennōheika Banzai! Thank you, Kaizen!