I’m Kinglink and it’s the beginning of February so it’s time for Humble Choice February 2023 Review.
So we have 8 or 9 games to talk about this month with a minor bonus game. A lot of these games have been seen in bundles before, but before we get into that, let’s take a look at the titles first.
I’ve played each game on stream for an hour, and now can tell you how the game plays, what problems there are, and who probably will enjoy each game. With that said, let’s get on to the lineup with this title.
Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous. A massive RPG and story.
Pathfinder is back again on Humble Choice, and just like Pathfinder: Kingmaker this is another meaty adventure. Already in the first hour, we have a huge demon horde attack a town we’re recuperating in, finding a heavenly blade, and a woman who turns into a giant dragon as you are seeing. This just feels like a large epic world, and I love this. You feel like you’re playing a tabletop campaign instead of a video game. The fact most of the main story is voice-acted adds to that feeling.
On the other hand, this is real roleplaying, which means a lot of dialogue, and that’s not going to appeal to everyone. The combat so far is pretty easy, but maybe I’m still in a long tutorial. I did see some morality here, but it’s really obvious when you’re making an alignment choice, though it does look like it supports both evil and chaotic characters as well as lawful good. Also, there are a lot of menus and inventories, but again that’s kind of the point of a CRPG.
Pick this up if you like anything from D&D, Balder’s gate, Neverwinter nights, or tabletop RPGs. This is still a CRPG, but this also is really fun, deep, and massive. Howlongtobeat.com says just the main story is 50 hours, and full playthroughs are closer to 130 hours, so this is not a quick game.
Fallout 76. This makes me want to play a different Fallout
Fallout 76 might as well be called Fallout Online, or Fallout Multiplayer because that’s what it is. I’m sure some people were excited about this and I hope it lived up to their imagination. From the reaction during the launch, I doubt it. As a Fallout game, this isn’t a Fallout game. Yes, the backdrop of the vaults is here, but ultimately this has as much to do with the franchise with the same name as Banjo Kazooie Nuts and Bolts have with the original platformers.
The thing is nothing works here. The world is far too beautiful and vibrant to work with the downtrodden themes. Characters talk entirely too plainly to be interesting. Dialogue choices for the player are fine, except the game can’t do anything interesting with them and almost ignores what the player says. Just the concept of multiplayer ruins the idea of being a vault hunter exploring a vast wasteland and breaks immersion, especially when finding a location to explore and then seeing someone else just walk out of the area. Also, VATS now works in real-time and there’s no way to pause in the game, both useful features previously, not to mention a lack of mods.
I wouldn’t pick this up. It’s in the choice, give it a shot especially if someone wants to play with you, but if you’re like me, you’ll feel a nagging desire to go play Fallout 3, New Vegas, 4, and even the originals instead of this. It’s five years since release and in a completely controlled single-character location, there are somehow animation issues. What are we even doing here? And that’s before we talk expansions, cash shops and the entire buggy launch, the game as it is today is still not as good as the previous title.
You also get Fallout 1, which is a great game, but you can often pick it up for three bucks. And I also say it’s better than this.
Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales. A full story-based Gwent game.
So after Witcher 3 supposedly had an RPG going on outside of the Gwent card game, and Gwent had a stand-alone multiplayer game, Thronebreaker came around to make a full RPG experience completely based on Gwent, and it works. You play as a Mere, a queen of Lyria and Rivia, yes that Rivia, and will battle your way through the land with your group of soldiers. Of course, each soldier is a card, and each battle is a game of Gwent.
There’s quite a bit here beyond just another game of Gwent. There are also puzzle battles and a large story. The writing here feels solid, at least if you’re a fan of the Witcher games, and Mere is quite a badass, she’s not here to play nice, and even starts threatening people with torture. But this is also the problem, because at the end of the day, the core elements in this game are Gwent, and the writing while good, isn’t going to be far away from what’s already been done in Witcher 3. Not necessarily a bad thing, but if you want more than a card game, it’s not this.
Pick this up if you spent entirely too much time playing Gwent in Witcher 3 already. You know you did, everyone did. Honestly, this is a nice change, and while it’s going to be a bit different, it also adds a lot of new cards, abilities, and changes to the formula to give players an interesting single-player experience. I’m not sure why it took me so long to pick this up.
Othercide. X-Com Rogue-lite with vampires
Players in Othercide play as the Mother, who is defeated by The Child, and then births Daughters to fight the Suffering… No symbolism here. In Othercide, players lead parties of created and customized characters in tactical battles against an evil force with randomized maps and enemies pulled from horror designs. This is a rogue-lite with X-com influences, and it works well.
The one big issue I have with the game is that outside of the red, grey, and black, this game lacks color. Some people love this, but after an hour I just wanted some color or more definition in the art design. There’s a strange system where players need to sacrifice characters to get health back for others, and with the need to fail multiple runs to build up resources to unlock parts of the game, some players might not love the slower pace.
Pick this up if you like X-Com or tactical games, I keep mentioning that because that’s really what this is. The combat is more melee-based, but ultimately you’ll be taking the Daughters into combat multiple times to put down enemies and stand strong against nebulous forces.
Shady Part of Me. A shadow-based platformer.
Shady Part of Me has players taking on the role of a shadowy girl and a potentially nameless child. The entire game is progressing through several platforming levels, with each showing a few short words or voice lines to a large overarching story. The Platforming mostly deals with using shadows as platforming or avoiding the light depending on the character, and players will have to switch back and forth between them. There’s also a Time rewind mechanic similar to Braid.
This seems like an easy game to like but I found myself getting tired while playing it. Nothing really interesting happens and while there’s a mystery about the story after a full hour and nothing has been explained yet. A few of the levels have clever concepts to them, but you’re mostly just walking or jumping through rather common type levels, and while the interactions between the two characters can be good, they also are often mundane.
Pick this up if you like platformers, especially if you ever played a game called Contrast. There are a few interesting art designs and levels, but also a lot of levels that didn’t stand out as much. A shame because conceptually this is cool, it just wasn’t that exciting to play.
Scourgebringer. A rogue-lite with a little Celeste in it.
Scourgebringer is intense. Players will get the ability to dash through the area, shoot, smash, and slash enemies over and over, and then do it again and again while fighting their way through a dangerous maze. This is a fast-paced rogue-lite, where players have to survive to discover more about an alien artifact. With the ability to stay airborne nearly forever, and dash up walls this feels unique, and the combat is intense but requires a lot of practice as multiple useful skills need to be combined.
Sourgebringer’s one main issue is that it’s rather hard, and becomes extremely so. Of course, some players will be able to overcome almost anything that the game throws at them. There’s also the ability to use accessibility settings to make the game easier. Also with this being a brutal rRogue-lite, it’s sometimes hard to feel that any real progress is being made, but even still it has a great opening hour and while I have struggled, it’s not put me off just yet.
Pick this up if you like a real challenge, and the rogue-lite formula or you just want to play something interesting for a couple of hours. Scourgebringer feels great for a while, but that difficulty rears its head quickly and players are going to have to master a lot of different abilities all at once to make significant progress, but I’m probably going to return and try to get farther either way.
Fobia – St. Dinfna Hotel. A PS2-era horror game, right down to the graphics.
Fobia isn’t your typical horror game, it doesn’t seem like it’s trying to jump out and scare you, at least not in what I saw, and I’ll be honest, I probably didn’t see as much as I should have. I got stuck three times in this game in the first hour and needed to use a guide twice because I couldn’t make progress. In all three situations, I didn’t notice something that probably should have been obvious. Make sure you look low to the ground, I’ll just say that.
The thing is Fobia though feels like a key hunting simulator. Much of the game is hunting for items. There are puzzles, inventory management, and eventually combat apparently, but the first section is a couple of puzzles where there are not a lot of hints. There is a great mechanic where you use a camera to somehow transfer between two time periods, but also… well I mean I’m showing this scene because my god, the character models look straight out of the PS2 era.
Pick this up if you’re a die-hard Silent Hill or early Resident Evil fan and want to pretend this came out back then. It came out last year, but man it feels so dated. Honestly, the graphics and gameplay here are really what makes me not enjoy this game, it’s not really that scary or horrific. There are so many key hunts, it feels like a really bad version of an Escape room game, but instead of a short experience that’s only the first section of it.
Five Dates. An FMV during the lockdowns, did we mention the lockdowns?
Five Dates is a Full Motion Video game where players have to navigate online dating with choices between five different and unique women. Players are limited to choosing three of the five women at the beginning of the game and then have to choose between them as the game progresses. Throughout the dates, players will choose a few responses on how the main character should speak or react.
I don’t blame Five Dates for its story. It was released late in 2020, likely filmed during the lockdowns, and makes multiple references to them. But that already heavily dates the game. In addition, the main character that the player is supposed to have some control over does some dumb things. Sometimes you have the choice between two equally reasonable options but after 30 seconds to a minute of dialogue, he’ll do something dumb that there’s no control over. Finally, there’s not a lot of interactivity so it’s mostly watching a movie.
Pick this up if you want something novel and different. This only lasts about two hours. However the footage, especially the editing, is extremely solid, the acting is relatively good for what it’s trying to do, and it’s at least an interesting and unique idea. However this normally goes for 13 bucks, and I’m not sure I’d recommend anyone pick it up outside of the bundle.
And that’s the Humble Choice selection for February 2023. Since there’s no new Humble Collection I don’t have anything to talk about there, but I will mention A Hat in Time, a truly great 3D Platformer, and The Wild at Heart will be leaving the service on March 15th.
As for the games in the bundle, let’s take a look at the prices to start with. Now of course the biggest thing is these games usually go for cheap in sales. Five Dates retails for less than 15 dollars as does a Shady Part of Me. But also the only game that hasn’t hit 12 dollars on sale is Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous.
At the same time, the more worrying part to me is the right column, where we see these games have been bundled before including Yogscast 2019, Fanatical deals, and Thronebreaker was in a mega deal that GOG had. But the worst is Pathfinder, which was in a humble bundle only three months ago with Balder’s gate and Neverwinter nights. That’s actually where I picked it up originally.
It’d be so much better to get fresher titles, but I realize Humble is trying to make the best deals they can, and they can only do so much.
While I am calling out this bundle, I also have to say, if you like rRogue-lites, or RPGs, this is a pretty solid month, and honestly, I like both of those.
With that said let’s move on to the Tier list, we have the four categories we’ve come to know as Misses, Average, Strong Contender, and Full Bundle, for if these are worth buying the bundle for.
We start at the bottom and I thought a lot about this, but I struggle to call Fobia worth a purchase looking as it does. It wants that Ps2 style but the graphics and writing also feel straight from them, but I think Maid of Skar was better, as is Signalis. Though maybe I’m just an idiot because I got stuck in the game.
And above that, we have the Average Tier, and at the bottom of that tier is Five Dates. I’m going to finish this game because I only have an hour left, but I doubt I’d recommend this title to most people. It’s the directing, acting, and unique style that makes it stand out, but it’s extremely short too.
In the middle of the Average Tier, we have Fallout 76., I know there are going to be people who love this game, but it goes for so cheap you probably could have grabbed it if you were dying for it. I’ve never felt a game make me want to go running back to a previous title in the franchise in a long time, well maybe Dynasty Warriors 9.
At the top of the Average Tier is the Shady Part of Me. God this game was so dull, but maybe I needed some caffeine when I played it. It’s a chill relaxed game, even with the horror motif, but overall, this should have been a game that easily grabbed me and honestly, it failed to. I’m more than a little disappointed with that.
So here’s where we stand after two tiers, with four games left to go. Let’s see what remains…
First in the Strong Contenders is Othercide. This is going to be a long meaty campaign with a ton to do, but also equally requires playing through some runs that you know are going to fail. It understands the target audience of X-COM fans and people who like rRogue-lites, but it’s also quite a niche market for it.
And the other game in the Strong Contenders is Scourgebringer. I’m sure this game does get brutally hard, in fact, it already is a bit, but I had ten minutes before streaming and I knew exactly what I wanted to play. More Scourgebringer. It’s still a lot of fun, and I like the feeling that I’m able to completely avoid touching the floor almost permanently.
And this is what it looks like with only two games to go in the Full Bundle let’s see which order they are in….
The bottom of the games worth the full bundle price is Thronebreaker. It’s a single-player Gwent campaign, that’s going to appeal to a lot of people, and at over 20 hours to beat, that’s a lot of value too. If you enjoy card games, enjoy Gwent, or are a fan of the witcher in some way, this feels like an easy match for a huge audience and it’s one I’ll be trying to fit on my Steam deck for a trip later this month.
The strongest of the month and easily the one worth the whole bundle is Pathfinder: Wraith of the Righteous. Simple statistics. It will likely take you at least 50 hours to beat, and probably over a hundred. That’s a huge bang for your buck. It’s a great RPG and will take you a few hours to just decide if it’s right for you. There’s a good style to the world, interesting design, and rich lore. There are not many solid Tabletop RPG adaptations out there that stay true to the original experience’s mechanics, so Pathfinder is a good choice, especially if you are trying to find something different than D&D due to current situations, which I’m going to avoid going into here.
So this is what the final tier list looks like and honestly, it looks weaker, but those two top games are pretty high up at least in my book.
But what if you aren’t feeling these games, well maybe it’s almost Valentine’s day, and you’re single and you want some romance… I just need to point this out. There’s a new Humble Bundle called Love is in the Air. And it made me chuckle. It has 8 games, but included in them is the ability to date business gentlemen, Eldritch horrors, old-time ladies and gents, struggling millennials, old people, and of course, if none of that works out, you can just try to sleep with a couple of Kaijus. It’s just such a silly bundle. I love the idea of it, and hopefully, you get a laugh out of it too or find some new games.
With that said, it’s time to wrap this up. As for the channel, I have a few irons in the fire, working on at least one or two videos to come so, stay tuned. Remember to subscribe if you haven’t done so already, and ring the bell to be notified when I post another video. Like, comment, and share this video if you want to help out, it means a lot.
I’ll be popping up two more videos if you want to check something new out and a link to my discord if you just want to hang out.
See you next time.