Humble Choice March 2022 Review – A Major lineup

I’m Kinglink and it’s time for the Humble Choice March 2022 Review.

This month we once again have 8 titles, and shockingly, Humble might actually have a solid month.  Though there is one big asterisk, right below the Mass Effect title, which we will talk about later.  However the lineup is good, so let’s see how the games are. 

As always I play each game for an hour and will tell you what I think of them, if you should check them out and who might enjoy them. 

Desperadoes III.  A tactical stealth game in the old Wild West. 

When I reviewed Partisans 1941 in December 2021, someone mentioned Desperadoes and since then it’s been on my list to look out for.  A couple of months later and sure enough Humble delivers.   Where Partisans was a combat-focused game, Desperadoes feels like a stealth game, where players are more focused on avoiding direct conflict instead of setting up firefights. 

The game also relies on a more movement-based control scheme that works great with a controller rather than an RTS, though it does have a setup if you prefer a control scheme similar to the RTS genre.  I had a few minor issues with the control scheme or camera, but it comes down to something I need to practice with a bit more.  There’s also a great quick save feature, which shows this game believes in trial and error. It also is a lengthy game, apparently lasting over 20 hours and closer to 60 hours if you try to go for a full completion 

Pick this up if you like stealth games or Real-Time Tactical games, apparently that’s a genre I’ve just heard of.  If you want a more active but stealth-based version of Partisans this is it, and I swear I’m going to find some time to return to this one because while it is a long game, I enjoyed myself on this one. 

Mass Effect Legendary Edition.  Let’s get it out of the way, it’s on Origin. 

Mass Effect Legendary Edition is all three Mass Effect games remastered and sold in a single game.  You have three fantastic Bioware RPGs, one of the last great games they made.  A lot of people have criticized the third title here, but in my opinion, all three of these are excellent titles and worth playing as a trilogy.  Just treat the entire final game as the conclusion of the series and you’ll be well rewarded.

At the same time, I have two issues here.  The first is that this isn’t the most amazing remaster.  It looks like Mass Effect 3’s graphics, which came out 9 years previous.  It’s not awful, but it could have been better.  Second and more important, this is an Origin key, which means you’re on EA’s platform.  While the EA app is better than Origin, it’s still not great, slightly below Epic Game Store in my opinion.  This doesn’t hurt the game itself, but a lack of achievements and a unified library is a reasonable complaint.  

Pick this up if you still need to play any or all of the great Mass Effect games, we’re excluding Andromeda there, and if you are willing to own it on Origin.  While I do have issues with the Legendary Edition, there’s no question, this is the current definitive edition and the only one that should be played for the series now. 

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl.  Now this is my nostalgia.

Oh Nicktoons, how I grew up with you and now can have you smash each other’s face in with your own brand of moves.  There are 21 characters including fighters from Spongebob, Avatar The Last Airbender, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and more.  Classic characters like Reptar, Invader Zim, and Danny Phantom bring me back.  The gameplay is very similar to Smash Brothers, but…. Wait no, it’s smash without the items.  

Yet, there’s a lack of content.  21 characters is a lot, but there’s a very standard one on one arcade mode, a local battle mode, and an online mode… that’s pretty dead.  Around a hundred people were playing the game but I matched with a single-player for 30 minutes in casual mode, and they weren’t exactly a major challenge.   The gameplay itself is good, but it’s also exactly the same as Smash, and given the option that’s a better title.  

Pick this up if you’re nostalgic for any of these characters, but also consider why.   I love these characters, and I fanboyed out for this game, but knowing most of these characters, I still don’t see a reason to return now that I’ve played with them.  If there was a guy who also had that same connection I could see popping this in and throwing down, but I also could see doing that with a lot of fighting games and probably would choose one of those. This one doesn’t have a major standout feature for me. 

The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan  (Me dan).   I learned how to say that unless I got it wrong and then I still don’t know. 

Man of Medan is a part of a horror series with a large focus on telling scary stories.  This is made by Supermassive games who also made Until Dawn. If you don’t know those games, think of a better version of what David Cage does though with more jump scares, and that’s probably a pretty accurate representation of this.   While this game is a horror game, it does appear to get that reputation more for jump scares, than anything else. 

This game definitely will not appeal to everyone but I can say the graphics on this game are extremely well done.  There’s also an atmospheric feeling to the parts of the game I played which makes me want to play more even if I hate the jump scares here.   This studio is known for making games where your decisions matter and in this one they have an interesting system where your character traits do that successfully. There are also some couch co-op and online multiplayer options but I didn’t try them out. 

Pick this up if you like a  game that’s more story-based and jump scares.  From what I hear this isn’t the deep horror but more a B movie style horror, but I found it interesting even as I’m not a fan of horror.  With a 4 hour runtime for a single playthrough, I will likely play this before this month is out, potentially this weekend. 

Red Solstice 2: Survivors.  Another Real-Time Tactical game 

Red Solstice didn’t interest me after two missions, they were story-based missions to get players ready for this game and I almost turned off the game due to how boring and lacking these missions were.  I then played another mission, the first randomized mission and I suddenly got it.  This is a game that takes a while to get started, and players will need to stick with this game to get through some rough patches, but when you do, you get a nice randomized multiplayer experience.

The game does have traces of X-com where you build out a squad, and can either play with AI or other players.  This is a game people can put hundreds of hours in but I’d probably find something else.   The UI holds back a lot of the game and there are some bizarre choices, like adding WASD keys to move the character around but the game isn’t designed for that type of twin-stick shooter gameplay and it’s obvious.  Oddly enough there’s also barely any music during the missions either.  It’s barren.

Pick this up if you want more action than Desperadoes, or have a group to play with.  With 8 players, multiplayer is definitely what this game is designed for, but at the same time, I don’t feel like returning to this game.  If you’re a huge fan of real time tactics, you’ll like it, but almost everything I did resulted in a “hold this position for two minutes.  The number of times that was a mission made me wonder if that was all the game came up with. 

Nebuchadnezzar. A challenging resource manager.

There are a lot of games where players take control of a city and have to build it up, generate resources and there are few wrong moves.  You just keep following the whims of the people and avoid making obvious mistakes.  Nebuchadnezzar isn’t that.  While a lot of the game is resource management, this game feels more challenging and often feels like it’s on the edge of a knife.  A wrong move may have a cascading effect destroying your entire city, rather than just being inefficient.

Players will learn how to avoid these wrong moves over time, but a large amount of it is micromanagement of your resources.  If you have too much of A or Not enough of B, suddenly some buildings might regress, but then that will also cause you to have fewer workers, which means even fewer resources, and before long everything is at a standstill.   It’s an interesting but challenging proposition. 

Pick this up if you’re interested in a more challenging city-builder.  If you played Pharaoh or Caesar this is very similar to that, and the graphics are good, but those are also twenty-year-old titles so I’m not sure how many people there are that are familiar with those titles.  God, I’m dating myself on those references. 

Police Stories. A mix between Door Kickers and Hotline Miami. 

Police Stories involves players taking on the role of a police officer and along with a partner they clear rooms and take down criminals.  It sounds simple and will sometimes look like Hotline Miami, especially when you shoot it out with a suspect.  But what differentiates it is a scoring system that pushes players to try to avoid just gunning everyone down and try to arrest everyone when possible. 

Which is also where the challenge comes in.  On normal difficulty, Police Stories can be extremely hard. I struggled on the first level, as the game is heavily focused on snap decisions, only shooting enemies who pull out a gun is a major element but there’s a need for a fast reaction time sometimes.   Some systems felt like they didn’t work well, but the challenge and fact that every encounter with an enemy was dangerous, both to my character and my score, enhances the experience

Pick this game if this interests you.  The fact you need to make a snap decision not once, but every time you do almost anything in Police Stories made it an interesting game.  Police Stories was challenging enough that I wanted to beat the levels.  There is a difficulty option that makes the game very easy, but after one attempt I was back to normal because that was the better of the two difficulties. 

Evan’s Remains.  A solid puzzle game ruined by an overindulgent story. 

I liked the first fifteen minutes of Evan’s Remains. A girl appears on an uninhabited island and solves some interesting platforming puzzles with a couple of clever tricks.  They were solid puzzles and I was looking forward to more. But over the hour I spent with Evan’s Remains, the story kept popping up and rather than hinting at something bigger, the game got stuck in the story, and just had long-winded discussions that weren’t extremely interesting.   

The thing is Evan’s Remains has great puzzles and I might return just to play the puzzles, but I’m at the point with the story that I could easily just skip it and read the synopsis online, in fact, I have and I don’t think the story pays off, or at least I’m not willing to sit through all the scenes to let it take me where it wants to go.  

Pick this up if you want a melodramatic story, with some minor puzzle gameplay in it.  You can skip the story or the puzzles, but skipping either takes away everything the game is trying to do, and it might be better to play something else.   As much as I enjoyed the clever puzzles, I probably won’t return. 

And that’s eight games, and that’s everything in this month’s bundle but before we talk about the bundle itself let’s get a bonus game.  Oh hey, Unsighted.  What’s up?  

Unsighted.  A mix between a top-down Metroidvania and a Zelda title. 

Unsighted looks great and has tight controls.  The story is that the player is an automaton who has to try to gather five Shards from your allies to build an ultimate weapon.  It’s the typical hero-style journey with players adventuring out, though without a feeling that there’s a mandatory path to follow.  Unsighted results in an amazing adventure through an unknown land.

But Unsighted also has a major system that’s a bit divisive.  Each character including the player is running out of power, and time is constantly ticking. Players get items that will restore the time for either themselves or other characters.  The time limit amounts to around 5 hours, but with the items that can be extended far longer.   However, if you don’t like the sound of it, there is a mode that eliminates it, but it is a big piece of the game here

Pick this up if you like Zelda, Metroidvania, or even challenging games like Dark Souls… did I pronounce that right?   Yeah this game can be quite challenging, and you’ll want to practice parrying but it’s still a rather solid title and worth checking out if you’re subscribed.   It is also on Xbox Game Pass. 

There is also Flynn: Son of Crimson now in the Humble Originals, which may be worth a look and maybe I won’t guarantee I’ll check it out next month, maybe something else will pop up I want to cover more.  I did however cover it in the Game Pass October 2021 review Part 1. Also, Wotun is now in the Humble Trove.   If this continues to grow at one game a month, that’s a pretty solid add-on, though Snake Pass and Etherborn are leaving Humble Trove on March 11th, and I recommend checking out Snake Pass.

And with that’s let’s talk about the bundle.  There was a leak that had most of the games listed here, and I didn’t believe it because the list was too good.  Getting Desperadoes, Mass Effect, and Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl Sounds great.   Now that I’ve played it, I get it a bit.  Mass Effect is on Origin, Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is dead online.  Desperadoes III is still exactly what I expected though. 

On the other hand, they still are major titles, as is Man of Medan.  The list is great, I just hope this is the only time we have to talk about Origin keys.  Then again this is the one major title I think everyone can agree on wanting from EA. 

The rest of the bundle was a roller coaster.  There wasn’t a truly awful game, yet again, and the list was good.  Though I would say there are two camps, the fact there were so many major titles makes me wonder if next month we’ll continue to see more great games. 

Let’s just move on to the tier list.  School grading system A to F, and we’ll skip the F tier because I don’t think any games warrant that.  Trust me, I’m waiting for Humble to slip back into their old habits, but not this month. 

We’ll just move up to the D tier and start with Red Solstice 2: Survivors  I started to understand more of this game by the end but I also hated that first boring half hour.  I think there is promise in the title but it’s a promise in the game that is going to have to be dug out and that’s kind of too much work here.  It felt like an Early Access game, but it came out seven months ago. 

The other game in the D-tier is Evan’s Remains and I enjoyed the puzzles here.  But I also just got so bored with the long-winded story, I don’t even know if I’ll return.  There are a lot of great puzzle games out there, so do I need this one?   Someone will enjoy the story, and maybe I just was feeling rushed due to the time constraint but this is not well-paced and that’s always going to be a problem.   I’m a little disappointed. 

And with D-tier out of the way, we’ll just move up to the one game in C-tier,  which might be a controversial pick.  Let’s just talk about it.   It’s the dead game, Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl.  I have thought about it in each slot.   When I started it my nostalgia kicked in so hard, it was an A-tier game, but then I realized that I played the arcade mode and after that, there’s just repeating Arcade mode or playing offline brawl so it drops to B tier.  Then I realized the game is dead online, so normally that gets an F, but there are still offline modes that are playable, so it’s a D.  And that’s what it is.  Except my nostalgia made one last push and it worked, so Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl gets the bottom of C.  Feel free to call out my admitted bias in the comments. 

This is how the tier list looks after the C-tier, honestly not that bad, we still have five games left and two tiers.   Let’s see what is in B. 

The bottom of the B-tier is Nebuchadnezzar.  This is a strange game, and maybe I’ll play it more and get deeper into the micromanaging and strategy, or maybe I’ll play it more and get frustrated when everything goes wrong, but I think this is a solid title and worth a look.  The challenge in that micromanagement is intriguing. 

The next game in B Tier is Police Stories.  I enjoyed my time with this title, and while the difficulty did get the better of me, I never wanted to quit, I kept trying different tactics.  The story probably isn’t as important here, but I started to notice I got the feeling of an adrenaline spike every time I kicked in a door, and there are not many games that can do that so consistently. 

The top of the B-tier is Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan.  This is a shorter title, but it also looks incredible and I want to see where it goes even if I probably also don’t with the horror elements.   Though it focuses far more on the story.  I almost gave this an A tier but I think it falls just short. 

With six titles down there are two left and only one tier remaining but what order will these titles be in.  

We’ll again start with the bottom and yeah… It’s Mass Effect Legendary Edition.  I’m torn here.  I hate the Origin key, but I also can’t deny this is the best way to play three solid titles.   The graphics aren’t that amazing, It’s still worth playing, it’s worth getting the bundle for, but that Origin Key is that huge asterisk. 

And the best game, unsurprisingly it’s Desperadoes III.  This easily wins the top game, before I started I didn’t think I’d enjoy this game as much, but Desperadoes is solid.  I love the gameplay, the stealth style works well.  The quicksave alone probably makes it more of a joy than a chore, and how the game pushes players to use it as necessary with the acceptance that it’s a trial and error game, where most stealth games ignore that’s how players approach them.   It’s also a long title and feels polished, which is exactly why it’s earning the top spot. 

And that’s what I have for Humble Choice March 2022.  It’s been a good month and I’m curious where Humble goes next.  Also right now there’s a Humble Heroine bundle that’s worth checking out.  20 bucks for Celeste, Scarlet Nexus, and Tacoma is pretty good on its own,  and Girls Who Code is a worthy organization.  Maybe this is the beginning of a renaissance for Humble, or maybe it’s just two good releases in the span of as many days. We’ll find out next month. 

If you’re new here, consider throwing me a subscription, I do one of these videos every month, and have a similar video for Game Pass.  Ring that bell to be notified of both, two videos a month, that’s it.   If you want to be even more awesome, comment, like, and share this video, it means a lot, and will help the channel. 

I’m going to pop up some other videos for you to check out, I hope you enjoy them. 

See you next time. 

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