Humble Choice December 2019 Review – Let’s get this thing started

The following is a Youtube Script for the Humble Choice of December 2019 Review video, found below.

Hello and welcome to the Humble Choice review.

Humble Choice is now here and with it, we have ten games plus one bonus game. The last being an add-in, that comes free with the Choice, but why not look at it as well. The fact is there’s a ton here and I’d probably spend most of my month, if not a couple, just to cover each of them, so I’m going to go through these games with a couple of simple rules.

I’m going to play 1 hour of each game, give a quick synopsis for what type of game it is, who might like it, and if I want to go on.

After talking about each game, I’ll also give you my top five picks of the month, and my bottom three. This is because you can pick up 3 games for fifteen bucks if you aren’t already a classic subscriber, so out of my top five, there should be something to pick up. The bottom three because the top tier gives you a choice of 9 out of the ten games, So you’re going to have to skip one and, hopefully, I can help you with that decision. A small note, you can’t just double up to give friends the same five games as you.

With all that said, I will be giving a full review to one game this month, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, I’ve just finished playing it, having gotten it before Humble Choice, and figured it might be timely to review it so if you do want a full review, stick around, that’s coming out next.

Finally, you know consider subscribing. I love doing this, I don’t get paid for these reviews, all I ask is a Subscription. I’m closing into 500, help push me over, I’d appreciate and it’d help spread the news. Let’s make this video the one that does that.

Let’s begin with the Shadow of The Tomb Raider, which has already been on the screen. This is the third game in the series and I honestly don’t remember much of the second game, which it seems this game quickly dismisses as well. It’s an adventure game with Lara Croft exploring tombs and getting into action.

But I’ll be honest, the first hour has a few issues. There’s gunplay that doesn’t feel great yet, there’s a scene where you’re flowing down the waterway that doesn’t look great. It kind of reminds me of Uncharted in a few ways, but it seems to be lacking a LOT of polish that Uncharted makes players take for granted.

The biggest thing though is I’m unsure why I’m playing this one instead of the first two, other than I already beat those two. It feels like more of the same, but I don’t know if that’s good enough, I’ll have a full review eventually but while this is a big-budget title. I’m not sure who’s going to be excited about this one.

Will I play more, I just finished the game as I record this, but Shadow of the Tomb Raider shocked me in the first hour, and I wasn’t sure where it’s going to go quality-wise.

Next up, Blasphemous and I’m sad about this one because I can’t show much in this video but Blasphemous looks great. I didn’t think much of it at first but wow this is the first enemy you fight, granted it’s a boss, but the style works here.

At the same time, well… I’ll be honest, I don’t like Blasphemous. It’s a great game, but it is VERY much a dark souls game. I recommend for anyone looking for a 2d Metroidvania, or dark souls. If you liked Hollow Knight, Blasphemous will probably do it for you. It absolutely should be checked out and the fact it’s here after only two months of being out is a little sad because it’s so well done.

Still, will I be playing more? No. I think I’m ready to say no to all Dark Souls type games from now on just on principle. This is one and I was done after 30 minutes but played the hour. It’s not bad, just not what I like. However, this is an excellent game, it’d probably get at least a 4 or a 4.5 out of five from me. It’s that good.

Next up we have Ancestors legacy, and I kind of wish I wasn’t just going off the order on Humble Choice, I have similar thoughts between this and Blasphemous.

Ancestors Legacy is an RTS with more of a focus on squad management. It’s themed after Vikings so if you loved Northgard from earlier this year, you might like this, though it’s focused on Squad Management reminds me more of Dawn of War.

The graphics are fine but only look good when you zoom in and at that point, you lose the ability to control the units. Really strange choice there.

At the same time, if you like RTS, it’s not awful. It’s more tactical than anything, with the ability to hidade in bushes and ambush units, but that doesn’t feel as effective as it sounds.

There are five factions and each appear to have two-story modes a piece, but RTSes are slow. Truthfully, I’m not a huge RTS fan, unless it’s something else, and this is bland. It feels like what I would expect when I said the name RTS, and I want better, but I also am pretty harsh on RTSes.

No surprise, I’m not going to play more of this one, in general, but if you like RTSes, this one seems like it has a LOT of content so it might be for you.

Next up we have Phantom Doctrine.

The easiest way to explain this game is to think of XCOM meets James Bond. This is a cold war era turn-based tactical game. It does play a lot like XCOM, more like XCOM 2 with the stealth phase. Here you can play through a game and complete missions while fully undercover. I beat one mission without getting into true combat, though I did take down some enemies.

If you like XCOM, if you like spy movies, intel gathering this game is for you. Outside of the main gameplay here, there’s a map where you move agents around, investigate different enemies and use a pinboard to figure out topics. It appears you can use slow methodical intelligence gathering outside of the assault missions.

There’s a ton of stuff I didn’t even get to. It seems like brainwashing is a thing, as is questioning the loyalty of your agents. I’m sure there’s more complex stuff here, and man it looks really interesting, and a great theme.

The first hour only got me excited. This feels like a really solid and unique game. You can replay the game multiple times it seems, including a different version of pieces for starting with a KGB vs CIA agent. This is worth a look if you enjoy this style of game.

We’re going back to the Vikings once more with Dead in Vinland. Similar theme as Ancestors Legacy but a vastly different game.

Dead in Vinland is focused on resource management. There are several materials you are going to need. Fire is critical, but lighting a fire is very expensive, so you need to keep getting wood to feed it. Water needs to be heated by the fire to be drinkable. You want to explore the island and build new stations to work.

Each of these pieces needs to be done but there’s also support for the character, Hunger, Sickness, Fatigue, and Depression all will matter. If they get too high your characters might die, but you will also find new characters.

There are relationship systems about how friendly people are, many, many upgrades, and an imposing force who demands tribute each week and more, exploration, multi-choice adventures, and challenging gameplay. There’s even a turn-based combat system.

I killed off my first game on purpose to see what happened, but I want to play more, This first hour made me impressed with the game, and I want to see how deep this rabbit hole goes.

Next up we have Horizon Chase Turbo, which is a racing game as I’m sure you can see.

This is a more arcade racer. The courses in the first chapters a bit simple, teaching you how to corner, and having mostly straight roads. Hitting the side of the track will spin you out and you’ll have to regain speed, you always start at the back of 20 cars, which only makes it more challenging.

The locations kind of stink, I’m driving in LA but that doesn’t feel like LA. Going to Death Valley felt good, but almost every other course is just a name on the screen.

It’s a fun little game, but it is a bit simplistic. The courses will get more challenging and races only take a handful of minutes, but the art doesn’t stand out. If you like arcade racers, I see someone getting into this.

For me, I could take it or leave it. It’s an interesting idea for a game, and I had a good hour with it, but after an hour if I never played it again that would have been fine too, as average as a game can be.

Dark Future: Blood Red State. The only thing that kept us from annihilation was Kennedy winning over Nixon, at least that’s the history this game has.

However yikes, this is based on a board game, so it’s going to be a tactical combat car game. I can only imagine how that elevator pitch went, but they made the game. Though maybe they shouldn’t have.

I never played Dark Future, It’s a Games Workshop entity, so it’s going to be complex, these are the guys who made Warhammer after all. But at the same time, I like Warhammer games, this one is hard to love.

It’s not really a car game, it’s a tactical shooter while on rails, though you can change your speed and have several tasks and… Listen, this is an overly complex version of Mad Max on roads. It is a tactical Mad Max… Too bad it doesn’t play as it sounds.

This isn’t the worst game I ever played, but there’s not many worse I’ve played since reviewing games.

Will I be playing more? Haha… No. I’m not a fan, If you are, let me know why, but I just couldn’t get into this after an hour played. I can understand why Blasphemous and Ancestors Legacy will be enjoyed by some, but this one… I just don’t get it.

Next up we have Desert Child.

This is just an odd game. It talks about being a racing game, which it is, but it misses a few of the niceties that you really should have. There’s no information on the length of the track or anything. You shoot “terrorists” and use Freedom candy… I mean social commentary I guess?

Still, for a game that looks like this, It’s entertaining. There’s a lot of little features that make this game work. There’s a pizza delivery job and robbing a bank using the same system but slightly different looks. Nothing that elevates the game over this but still nice touches.

The one thing I will say is it’s not long, the full playthrough can take 2-3 hours according to How Long to beat, I think it might be 2 hours if you play efficiently. Not necessarily a bad thing, but this is probably the shortest game in the choice, so if you only care about length, drop this one.

As for playing more. Truthfully I might just finish this game off and review it. But it’s short which will probably be a big negative, though it’s not a bad game as part of this. I’m glad to have played it in this choice but with it being 2 hours, I don’t expect to replay it multiple times. Just an opinion.

Next up we have Aegis Defenders, I tried to play this with Steam’s Play Anywhere functionality… short review, the Play Anywhere sucked. But Aegis Defenders on its own is pretty good.

You play as two characters, Clu and Bart, and they explore the world. Each level usually involves small puzzles, usually requiring both players. If you have a partner, this is better, but a single player can switch between characters. The style is a little 2d platformer, one character has a gun, the other has melee attacks, but the melee guy also can repair devices you set up.

The end of each level turns into a base defense mode. There’s usually a single object which you have to protect from hordes of enemies who attack from different directions. This is where your structures have the most use, usually dropping turrets, bombs, spike traps and more.

I had a pretty good time with my hour here, I’ll be honest, I’m not sure, the base defense is a little boring after a while, the story is strange, but what is happening with the game has me interested. I’d love to play more of this one. It’s interesting.

Finally, we have X-Morph Defense.

This is a twin-stick shooter with aliens invading earth. But wait, there’s one good twist. You play the aliens, fighting off the humans who bring planes, helicopters, humvees, tanks and bigger tanks at least in the first hour.

On-screen, I’m showing the boss battle for the first stage, and I honestly like this spider creature. It’s an interesting battle. At the same time, not every stage has a boss, but this one was fun to fight.

This is like a tactical game, very similar to the Anomaly series, though, still different. It’s of the same variety. More combat is in this one and it can get intense. Though I did perfect both levels I played, I also got only Bronze on those Levels. I don’t know what I did wrong but, I think this game wants perfection.

That being said, I had a lot of fun with X-Morph Defense, it’s a very solid game, and I think it’s enjoyable, though I imagine it’s going to get a lot more frustrating and harder. But it’s easily worth checking out.

So that’s the ten games that are on Humble Choice. However, I did get a bonus game I think this is the standard. Basically, by buying the Humble Choice, you get a copy of Arrog without using a choice. As such, let’s take a look at it.

I mean… that’s the game. It’s one of those games where you only use a mouse and you click around to try to understand what the game wants you to do. It reminds me of Gorogoa, though I’m a huge fan of Gorogoa for those visuals. While there’s nothing awful about Arrog, it’s not as nice.

It also is short, I stopped recording after 28 minutes because I beat it already. A DECENT sum of that is also waiting for the game to allow me to input. Side note, I did a laundry wash at that time, just the wash. Just to give you a length.

Admittedly, it is free as part of this deal, it was entertaining and it has a capybara. All of these are good reasons to play it, but it’s not going to rank on my lists due to the length and the fact it is not a choice.

So eleven games. Like I said I want to give you the top five for those who only want to get three games, and bottom three for those who have to choose 9 out of the ten. I’m going to give reasons that might speak to you.

This isn’t intended to be MY personal favorites as you’ll see, but which games I recommend.

Starting from the game I most recommend. It’s Blasphemous. Yeah, I don’t like Dark Souls much, but this one is really solid, good graphics, good style, the controls work well. I think people will love this one.

Second up. Phantom Doctrine. This is a very solid game. Xcom with real stealth is an interesting idea, the cold war motif works well, and there’s a great style here.

Third up. Yeah, I’m not a huge fan, but Shadow of the Tomb Raider is the Big Budget game here, and it’s worthy of being here. If you want the highest MSRP, grab this one.

Fourth, we have X-Morph Defense. I think this is one of the best of the month, personally but it’s a little on the weaker side graphically, and I can’t guarantee the length of it. Still, it’s fun

Finally, we have Dead in Vinland. I was torn between this and Aegis Defenders, but I think this will have more replayability and a more interesting story. It does have me interested quite a bit.

So that’s my top five. Let’s move on to the bottom.

There was no question in my mind. Number one of the bottom. Dark Future Blood: Red State. I don’t get this, I don’t like it, I think it’s flawed as a design, and it’s repetitive. I’ve heard the campaigns are short, and that… that might be the only good thing.

Second on my list. It’s Desert Child. I think this is an interesting and different game. But you’ve seen a good amount of the gameplay already. You walk around and do the same race you’ve seen me already do. It’s so short. If you buy because of Value, that’s going to be a problem.

And third, we have Ancestors legacy. Now before you freak out, I don’t like RTSes I think most people won’t go crazy for this one. If you’re not a huge RTS fan, this might be the one to skip. But it’s third because I think the other two are worse.

So there you have it. Those are my thoughts on The Humble Choice. Quick Note, I did bash Jingle Jam in the December 2019 Humble Monthly Review, I am going to admit, I was wrong. They do have a LOT of games this year, I don’t know if it’s worth 30 bucks, but it’s not a bad line up so far. So I want to say this year is looking better than the past.

Finally, thanks for listening to all that. What do you guys think about the Humble Choice, has the first month made you a believer or are you holding off. And let me know if the top five and bottom three lists help, I’m still trying to figure out the best format.

As always consider subscribing, I’d appreciate that, let’s break 500 and move on to 1000.

And with that, I’ll just pop up the generic recommendations, and I’ll get out of here.

Until next time, I’m Kinglink and Thanks for watching.