Reviews by Daniel Steven Oles

Medieval Battlefields - Black Edition Icon
Deceptively Simple, Quite a Lot of Strategy!
by Daniel Steven Oles, USA - Nov 25th 2017

The trailer doesn't do this game justice. It's a simple game on the surface but with a lot of little details to make your strategy. Part Turn Based Strategy game, part chess it's an intriguing tug-of-war between sides choosing to build tons of trash units or expending wealth to improve battlefield tactics such as weapons/armor or gathering more gold.
The animations are charming. The voice acting is unobtrusive and said with enough conviciton to support the atmosphere. If you don't mind a slower paced game with customizable tactics this is a fine choice.

No feedback given on this review.Was this helpful? Yes No

In Exilium Icon
by Daniel Steven Oles, USA - Nov 24th 2017

It wears its influences on its sleeve (Diablo/Fate/Titan Quest...etc) but there's something here you can't find as easily in those games: atmosphere. There's a beautiful and melencholy score which really makes the worlds you visit and even generic enemies seem that much more interesting and there's some puzzles to solve as well as exploration and crafting. A handsome, intriguing game!
A few translation errors though.

No feedback given on this review.Was this helpful? Yes No

Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy Icon
Need A Gamepad
by Daniel Steven Oles, USA - Nov 13th 2017

This is a competent port of a decent game with one is COMPLETEY unoptomized for keyboards. You can't adjust the controls or even figure out what they are without outside research because everything comes up as gamepad symbols.
It's still a pretty game, runs smooth, and takes some puzzling as well as fighting to play which is lovely, but it doesn't mention this big issue so it's a difficult to reccomend nostalgia trip.

1 shopper found this helpful.Was this helpful? Yes No

Earth 2140 Icon
Utterly Charming
by Daniel Steven Oles, USA - Nov 1st 2017

It's a little on the primative side (you can't select groups of units by double clicking one of them) but the graphics are so nostalgic and there's been a lot of care put into this game including the menus and breifings where the backgrounds scroll with your mouse so even then you have something to do. Voice acting is minimal and music is BIZARRE (a lot of upbeat techno for a darker toned game) but it's always catched. Reminded me of Total Anhilation but a little less polished, however no less destructive and fun.

No feedback given on this review.Was this helpful? Yes No

Ancient Rome 2 Icon
Simple, Casual and Charming!
by Daniel Steven Oles, USA - Oct 22nd 2017

Sometimes I just want to sit down and build a city and this works out fine! Tasks to complete, a little villa to build between missions, charming graphics and animation and surprisingly epic music all makes this perfect for a pick up and play type game and it doesn't make you feel stressed out with time limits.
I loved Ceaser 3 but it was undeniably stressful at times with wolves eating citizens and random collapses and plauges destroying everything. There ARE random events but they're more like obstacles to think around.
It's cute, it's leisurely, and I found no real issues. Just a nice click-a-thon city builder.

No feedback given on this review.Was this helpful? Yes No

Battle Chasers: Nightwar Icon
Old School RPG With Beautiful Artistry
by Daniel Steven Oles, USA - Oct 20th 2017

I remember the Battle Chaser comic and always thought it would work as a game. I wasn't expecting an homage to JRPGs like classic Final Fantasy mixed with dungeon exploration.
This is a leisurely paced game in many ways but I appreciate that: turn based combat with gorgeous graphical touches that do justice to the stylized world the comic created.
You will grind but if you don't mind and enjoy the skillful animation you will enjoy this as much as I did. A few glitches are being patched but nothing game breaking.
Fine music, gameplay with a sense of progression, lots of characters to play with. Just a fine new game which remembers its roots!

1 shopper found this helpful.Was this helpful? Yes No

Doodle Kingdom Icon
An Amusing Clickathon!
by Daniel Steven Oles, USA - Oct 4th 2017

This reminded me of classic DOS game compilations with several mini-games in one.
In this one you get a slightly truncated but no less fun combine and create game similar to Doodle God (you combine two elements to make new elements which in turn create new elements). It ranges from obvious (human and beast equals domesticated animal) to obscure (to make a dragon takes a leap of logic). You unlock three types of combining quests as you complete the main 'genesis' mode. In one you're a prince trying to fix your kingdom, in another an evil warlock, and in another a dragon.
Then there's also the surprisingly addictive if simple My Hero mode where you have a little knight running along a path and auto-fighting anything he runs into while you click hidden chest to get gold. He has a ton of upgrades to improve him over time. VERY simple game, but it runs in the background so you can always come back and see how your knight is doing.
At the price it's a lot of casual gameplay and it runs fine in windowed mode so it works great as a light distraction when you're waiting for a phone call or just have a few minutes to kill. Your progress also saves to your different devices which is a nice touch.
Overall VERY simple as stated but sometimes that's what I want. It's charming, it's speedy, it works very nicely.

No feedback given on this review.Was this helpful? Yes No

Joe Dever's Lone Wolf HD Remastered Icon
A Fatihful Sequel to The Game Book Series
by Daniel Steven Oles, USA - Sep 27th 2017

It's a beautifully made game book experience! Seriously: the menus, the art, the music and the animation is gorgeous. I was suprised this story took place after the Joe Dever game book series but it does pretty well informing newcomers about the plot and characters.
The game functions like a virtual novel in many aspects but in the case of certain events you tackle challenges with mouse movement based quick time events. It's not exactly Skyrim levels of interaction but you do get to make a lot of choices and when you have to jiggle a lock open yourself you feel more attatched to the events occuring.
There's a narrator but nothing in the way of additional dialogue, but the writing of the novel itself is interesting.
If you like classic game books, Lone Wolf in particualr, or virtual novels this is well worth it!

No feedback given on this review.Was this helpful? Yes No

realMyst: Masterpiece Edition Icon
GREAT to Return!
by Daniel Steven Oles, USA - Sep 27th 2017

I played the original Myst decades ago and remembered it as a kid frustrating. As an adult and with Real Myst however I can tell you this is a MUCH better experience. Even at in its most classic form Myst wove a world of wonder and Real Myst really alliows you to explore it now in real time with beautiful weather effects (the rain is epseically stunning).
As far as I could tell all the puzzles and story beats were the same but as an adult I can now appreciate the puzzles and logic behind them much more as well as the zen like landscapes and atmosphere. Get lost in Myst again with high quality graphics, freedom to explore, and modern mechanics.

2 shoppers found this helpful.Was this helpful? Yes No

Lords of Xulima Icon
A Charming, Old School Dungeon Crawler
by Daniel Steven Oles, USA - Feb 20th 2017

I love games like this! Highly customizable characters with varying abiltiies, rewarding battle with feedback, plenty of exploration and loot: this kind of RPG is what I live for. The progression is slow but that's kind of appreciated. You feel like with each battle you're improving, you're gathering materials and gear. It's a fairly simple system to get into but has a lot of depth and with more classes than you can play at a time it has replay value.
It is NOT easy. Enemy's don't scale with you but are instead fixed difficulties so you need to grind a bit or take your chances. There's a food mechanic which is required to rest and heal outdoors, you need to buy torches. You spend a fair amount of time running back and forth between dungeons and town, but that's really how it should be. There ARE shortcuts available for a price. You can hold shift and run. This game is practically designed by lovers of the genre and feels like a love letter to classics old and new.
One hint: wait for at least two minutes for the game to start at first. I thought the game was frozen but the first load takes a LONG time to run. Still, now it works fine (there was one crash but autosaves made this no problem) framerate is fine, music and sound is great.
If you like turn based combat, exploration, gathering resources from the environment, and a nice old school feel to things this comes highly reccomended!

No feedback given on this review.Was this helpful? Yes No

Retroism Classic Adventure Pack Icon
Great Combination Platter!
by Daniel Steven Oles, USA - Dec 27th 2016

There's a lot of classics here, and by 'classic' I do mean to indicate both in terms of charm, complexity and difficulty. Bloodnet, Darklands, Dragonspehere, Rex Nebular, and Sword of the Samurai work fine and have a lot of tweaks to at least the general interface to make it easier to access and play. There's a lot of pixelated graphics on display but masterfully made examples of the artform and the roleplaying options in most examples (not Rex which is a status-less adventure game) are VERY involved: you will need to talk as much as you will need to fight. Another thing to keep in mind is that these games require a dip into the manuels to understand their intricacies but luckily Steam provides these along with purchase. If you enjoy old school games optomized for a new generation pick this up!

No feedback given on this review.Was this helpful? Yes No

Strike Suit Zero Icon
Probably a Bad Idea to Play Without a Joystick
by Daniel Steven Oles, USA - Dec 27th 2016

This game requires VERY intense speeds to maintain a lock on the darting enemies. I didn't find any way of manually locking onto targets so a lot of this game for me was flying through beauitful space locations but soon being blown to pieces by speedy fighters I could not track or hit. This game works fine, looks great, sound fantastic, but without a joystick I can see this being much more irritating than it needs to be. Turning into a robot is a plus but getting zapped from fifty different directions was a bit annoying.

No feedback given on this review.Was this helpful? Yes No

Divinity: Original Sin Icon
Ambitious In The Extreme
by Daniel Steven Oles, USA - Dec 25th 2016

This is a brand new engine with an old school heart to it. Despite really beautiful graphics and a streamlined interface this still feels like a VERY classic RPG in terms of how much freedom you have to go and do whatever you feel like. Want to move crates for the heck of it? Done! Cast spells that compliment like an oil slick you set on fire with a fireball or use a rain spell to douse a burning ship. It's all possible and more even than this is the system which allows you to determine the characterization of your two companions by choosing their conversation options and actively improving their skills.
Fun voice acting, great music, flashy spell and combat effects! The story is a little convoluted but again feels very much like a 80s/90s era roleplaying game with it's far flung concepts of alternate dimensions. Great fun if requiring a LOT of time to get the most out of it.

No feedback given on this review.Was this helpful? Yes No

Mount & Blade: Warband - Napoleonic Wars Icon
It Just Doesn't Work
by Daniel Steven Oles, USA - Dec 20th 2016

This looks fantastic but it will not load. Mount and Blade is a fantastic game and adding this time period to it (one of my favorite) sounds great, but right now this is a broken mod, at least for me. I'd love to hear if someone manages to fix this.

2 shoppers found this helpful.Was this helpful? Yes No

Tempest Icon
A Charming Piratical Adventure!
by Daniel Steven Oles, USA - Dec 20th 2016

The interface is a little bizarre and unwieldly at times but for an independant game this is fantastic! My favorite aspect of the Total War games in the naval combat and this game is a lot like that expanded into an open world game, complete with different ammo types to cripple ships for boarding and crew you can improve over time. The graphics looks nice and it runs relatively smoothly. It's clearly a work in progress in many ways but what's here is enjoyable as you sail around trading cargo, blasting bandits and improving your standing with the various factions. Fine music, sound effects, and just a fine piratical expeirence all told.

1 shopper found this helpful.Was this helpful? Yes No

Crowntakers Icon
My Friend Got Hooked
by Daniel Steven Oles, USA - Dec 20th 2016

I enjoyed this game quite a bit by myself but although it isn't multiplayer it was also fun to see how deeply my friend got into it. While playing this game by yourself you can't quite picture what it must be like to witness from without, but while watching him you realize how very involved this game can be. There's so many choices, so many tactical manuverings, so many things you miss in one playthrough thanks to that everpresent and merciless time limit. This game is unforgiving but feels so satisfying when you spring a trap or tackle a superior force and win out. We exchanged a lot of high fives and no matter how frustating things could be we were always up for just one more playthrough, just one more upgrade: the sign of a game that's harsh by fun and fair.

No feedback given on this review.Was this helpful? Yes No

Mount & Blade: Warband - Viking Conquest Reforged Edition Icon
Open World at its most Open!
by Daniel Steven Oles, USA - Dec 20th 2016

This is not so much a game as an experience you build yourself: like a Universalis game except with more action packed battles. There are quests to do and factions to please but like Minecraft this is a game where you set your own goals and strike out to achieve them, sinking hours into becoming the best warrior, ranking up to be a noble, pleasing a king enough to be a vassal, trading until you become rich. Everything you do reflects in someway on your character in surprising detail. Armor and weapon types effect your speed and effectiveness and you can use your own ensign to designate your eventual warband. The graphics are minimal but realistic and work great on practically any system. It's a rare game where you feel like you're living the medieval life and I at least can't get enough!

No feedback given on this review.Was this helpful? Yes No

The Dwarves Icon
A Role-Playing Game About Roleplaying!
by Daniel Steven Oles, USA - Dec 6th 2016

The modernday requirement of all RPGs to be about making proxy characters has the downside of those characters not really existing in the framework of a story. Every player character is Dragon Age or Skyrim or even Tyranny feels pretty interchangable because they're fully customizable and therefore cannot have much of a footing in the world except as a generic 'chosen one'.

But The Dwarves does something different I've been hoping for: you play as a character who already has a backstory, already has a voice and attitude and skillset. Some might argue this makes the game predicatable but as a fan of story I GREATLY enjoy discovering by degrees how my character and the other characters as well fit into the grander scheme. I also like how the character is not intrinsically a masterful warrior or hallowed chosen one...he's a blacksmith. Most of the time he has few allies and is more tollerated than cheered for his efforts, and it's a unique experience!

As to the game itself it's quite an enjoyable pause-and-play system although at times it seems a bit chaotic. Still for all the massive amount of units on screen it handles fine, the music is epic, the acting fantastic.

This game makes me want to read the book the game is based on but as good as that might be it won't quite match the experience of unraveling the story from the inside by actually looking at things, talking to people, and making decisions.

I do hope that there's still a market for strong storydriven experiences centered on as well written characters as these. It's highly enjoyable!

4 shoppers found this helpful.Was this helpful? Yes No

Hard West Icon
The Most Visceral Turn-Based Game Out There
by Daniel Steven Oles, USA - Dec 2nd 2016

The only major issue I take with this game is how difficult it is, but the title makes it clear this game is HARD. And it is: often unfair in randomness, unforgiving in it's tactical necessisity to survive superior odds.

But everything is great: the story, the artstyle, the music, the gameplay...all fantastic!

You cannot save between missions which gives an 'all or nothing' feel to things some might not like, but at least for me I found myself going back to the same missions over and over to use new abilites, take different approaches, try and beat my time or solve optional objectives.

This is the meatiest and grittiest turn-based game I've ever played. Shadowrun and XCom are comparisons, but nothing compares to how brutal this game feels with bullets zipping zig-zags of smoke and punching through walls. Enemies struck stagger and bleed and blood is a big gameplay feature such as stalking retreating wounded enemies or even canibalizing the dead.

If you like the wierd west genre, satisfying as hell battle, and light roleplaying this is your game. It's hard but it's so much fun you'll barely notice!

No feedback given on this review.Was this helpful? Yes No

Total War: ROME II: Emperor Edition Icon
Crashes and Poorly Optimized
by Daniel Steven Oles, USA - Nov 29th 2016

I'm warning people to regard closely the 'no return' policy on this game.

Despite my Mac meeting minimum requirements the game looks terrible and crashes almost immediately even on lowest settings.

Looks like fun if it would work, but right now I'm poorer and that's about it.

2 out of 3 shoppers found this helpful.Was this helpful? Yes No