Fantasy General Gift Code

I don’t know what to do with this GOG gift code for Fantasy General. So here is the link for anyone to claim the code.

Fantasy General Gift Code

In the words from GOG, “Redeem this code to add Fantasy General to your library. Act fast, it will expire on 17 January, 2019 at 23:59:59 UTC. “

While I am at it, here are two other gift codes that no one seems to want.

System Shock 2

The Witcher: Enhanced Edition

The King of Fighters 2002

The King of Fighters 2002 is a 2D versus fighting game from a lesser known franchise. It is no SF or MK, but it does have plenty of fighting action.

Pros

There are 39 characters to choose from. I have enough trouble getting my head around 3, so I have not tried them all. As opponents though, they do behave different enough to be their own characters.

If you lose a match and elect to continue, you get to choose an advantageous adjustment for the next match. You can choose to drop the difficulty level of the AI, lower the health of the opposition or give yourself an energy gauge boost. This continue option is on by default but can be changed in the game options of the starting menu before selecting “launch”.

The default match setting is 3 vs 3 fighting. Each player picks 3 different characters and selects what order they fight in. Each character fights until their health reaches zero or win the whole match. There is no tagging different characters to enter the fight, but it still makes for an interesting match with skills required for different characters and also varying strategies depending on who the opponent is.

Cons

The keyboard control is one massive con point for The King of Fighters 2002. The keys cannot be remapped. This by itself would not be that big a deal except the keys shown in the options are partially wrong. ‘Q’ and ‘W’ do not work. ‘Z’ and ‘A’ are used instead. This makes the game buttons A,B,C,D map to the keys Z,X,C,A, which makes this con point even worse. Who on earth uses Z,X,C,A as fighting buttons? Z,X,A,S, OK. Or Z,X,C,V all in one line also makes sense, but not what they have.

The game does not support my old generic digital USB 2-Axis 8-Button Gamepad. Windows 10 detects it fine, but the game just says bugger off.

Once the game has “launched”, the game options settings cannot be accessed. So, settings like continue options, number of rounds per match and difficulty level cannot be changed after the game has launched.

The audio sounds washed out to me. I wonder if all direct arcade emulation games sound like this or whether this game just sounds like that to begin with.

Other Points

Moving backwards automatically activates block, so more like Street Fighter and less like Mortal Kombat.

The graphics are low resolution, but the game still looks OK with smooth animations. When playing in windowed mode there is no way to resize the window, so the only view choices are full screen or small window.

Biases

I have only played The King of Fighters 2002 against the CPU.

I am not good at versus fighting games with Mortal Kombat (1992) being the only game that I completed and only with one character.

The only other versus fighting games I have played are Mortal Kombat 2, Street Fighter 2/Turbo/Alpha/Zero/Too/Many/Names/Cannot/Remember, Tekken 3, Soul Blade/Edge and Budokan. I enjoyed all of them despite not being good at versus fighting games.

I got KOF 2002 as a freebie when GOG was giving it away.

On the easiest difficulty level I managed to reach the boss (I think it’s the boss) but could never defeat him.

The King of Fighters 2002 is available DRM-free from GOG.com.

GameSessions

GameSessions is a digital distribution platform that encourages trying before buying. Their platform allows you to download and play full games for a limited time trial. If you are happy with the games, you can buy Steam keys from them.

The best thing about GameSessions is they seem to have regular game giveaways. Be wary as it is not as simple as getting a DRM-free download or a Steam Key. Here is what you need to know.

A GameSessions giveaway allows you to play a game without a time limit. However, the game is tied to your GameSessions account and it is a GameSessions version of the game.

Being a GameSessions version means two things:
1) Multiplayer systems that uses Steam or other platforms does not work in a GameSessions game.
2) A special game launcher is used to start the game and this launcher requires an “always-on” connection to the GameSessions servers. If the server connection is severed, the game stops. Note, I did manage to play for a couple of minutes after an Internet connection drop-out.

A special installer must downloaded to download the game. The installer cannot resume downloads if it is closed. So, if you need to reboot or the PC crashes, the download will have to start from scratch. The installer can pause and resume downloads if it is kept open.

A GameSessions tray applet/icon/thing loads when Windows boots and there is no option to stop this. If you don’t want it taking up space unnecessarily, you must disable the startup manually in the Task Manager. Regardless of the tray thing, there is always a GameSessions Hub Service that loads. I think this is required for installed games to run. To start a game without the tray icon, just run the shortcut installed on the Desktop or the Start Menu.

When playing a game, sometimes a little message pops-up in the bottom right corner. So far, I have only seen GameSessions messages, but I guess it could display ads too.

When you exit a game, a window pops-up advertising for GameSessions.

Recording videos or taking screen shots may be a problem as GameSessions games crash when utilities like Fraps or Bandicam are running. Luckily, I have not had any problems with GeForce Experience recording video.

If you can tolerate all of the above, then GameSessions makes for another fine way to acquire free games.

Trying out games is not bad either, but it is not all pros and no cons over having a demo version of a game. Some games cannot be trialled properly within the given time limit and some demos are smaller to download. It is still an option though and can be handy.

HITMAN 2

Assassinate targets around the world in any way you see fit. Then try to do better by completing challenges, escalations and contracts involving different objectives and methods. HITMAN 2 is like a playground for the wannabe assassin inside your soul.

Pros

The main reason this review is titled HITMAN 2 and not HITMAN is because you can play all the story missions you own in HITMAN with HITMAN 2. This means you get to use some nifty new stuff that was not in HITMAN.

HITMAN 2’s “try before you buy” incentive is even better than HITMAN’s. The first mission, Hawke’s Bay can now be played for free in HITMAN 2. A full tutorial plus one complete mission! There is no reason not to try HITMAN 2 for free… Alright there is one reason. Not a good idea if your PC is not powerful enough to run it.

Each mission outside of the prologue takes place in a big open-world map. HITMAN 2 is as much about exploring as it is about stealth and assassinations. There are so many places to explore, which opens up numerous paths to follow and allowing many different actions to be performed. It is up to you to figure out how to string together all you have learnt, to reach and assassinate your targets. Difficult? yes, but also great fun with lots to discover.

If the game is not difficult enough, there is a whole range of gameplay options for turning off hints/guides/aides. Turning them off gives a more immersive experience, so I am sure some people will like having these options. Make sure to set the gameplay options to default before playing the tutorial or else you may not be able to perform some of the actions they tell you to.

HITMAN’s graphics were excellent. HITMAN 2 looks even better. The world is incredibly detailed and everything and everyone in it looks great. I cannot run the game at full specs on my PC, but it still looks excellent.

There is a lot of replayability in the form of bonus missions, challenges, escalations and contracts. Bonus missions are self explanatory. Challenges are basically guides for different tasks to do during story missions. As you complete them you get rewarded, sometimes with experience points and sometimes with equipment. Escalations are missions that increase in difficulty each time you complete them. The difficulty increase is in the form of more conditions to fulfill. Contracts are missions made by other people. The contract creator determines who the targets are and what conditions must be met to complete the mission. They all use the same maps as the story mission, but they are different enough to make things very interesting.

Since HITMAN, they have added an easier casual difficulty. As they say in the description, “You experiment and have fun. Toy with targets, blow things up and take chances. This is about making a general mess, running and hiding to see what happens. And then doing it all over again.”. Wonderful for people like me who are more like Agent 86 than Agent 47.

The AI is very believable. Security guards act like security guards and will try to find you and flank your position if they know where you are. Ordinary people will sometimes be stunned in their place and other times panic and run off.

The audio is top-notch. The dynamic music mixes together very well and adds to the atmosphere of your current situation. All the sound effects sound realistic. The speech for everyone I have heard so far, sound natural.

Cons

An “always-on” connection is required to play the game properly, even for single-player. There is a privacy policy that must be agreed to for this always-on connection. Without a connection the score leaderboards and the mission mastery lists cannot be seen, and the challenges cannot be accessed or completed if you do continue playing. They say that this always-on connection is for a whole host of reasons including the prevention of cheating. You want to stop people from cheating to get a high score, fine. But why prevent challenges and mastery from being available offline? They could have made an independent clone of the challenges and mastery for offline mode. For most people, I guess this is not that big an issue. Alas! My Internet connection is too flaky and it makes me annoyed every time the message pops-up saying I was disconnected and should not continue. Just like any multiplayer game I guess.

Other Points

To get the HITMAN Legacy stuff in HITMAN 2, you must play HITMAN 2 in online mode then exit the game to let Steam install the Legacy stuff DLCs.

HITMAN 2 is a points game. Although the game does not restrict you on who you can kill or how you go about assassinating the main targets, you do lose points for killing non-targets. The cleaner you are at doing the job, the higher points you are awarded. Kill too many people and your score will be zero. I do wish they went into the negative just to see how badly I performed.

There is a story in there somewhere. I have been having so much fun just messing around that I have only completed two story missions. Not enough to figure out what is going on.

There is some content that is in HITMAN but is missing from HITMAN 2. The good news is, the developers appear to be converting the extra content to HITMAN 2.  I do hope all the extras get converted.  If not, I’ll just have to return to HITMAN.

Biases

I was playing HITMAN when HITMAN 2 was released. I was messing around so much that I only just completed Mission One – The Showstopper, Paris when my download for HITMAN 2 – Prologue finished. After trying out HITMAN 2, it was clear that I might as well play the HITMAN missions in HITMAN 2.

This is more of a “HITMAN 2 with HITMAN content” review rather than of HITMAN 2 good and proper. I do not have any HITMAN 2 content outside of the prologue missions, so I don’t know what the new content is really like.

HITMAN was the first Hitman game I played, followed very closely by HITMAN 2. Or should I say HITMAN 1.5?

The only stealth games I have played before HITMAN were Metal Gear Solid 2 and The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena. So far, I have thoroughly enjoyed all the mentioned stealth games.

Residency Calculator

News

Residency Calculator 1.3 Released - February 11, 2019

Can now export and import locations. Duplicate location names are allowed, but they are treated as different locations. Requires new permissions to read and write to external storage. Modified the Residency Calculator page change date picker title to be Change “to date”. Added blank line separation before Australian Citizenship calculation result. Updated help for changing … Continue reading “Residency Calculator 1.3 Released”


Calendar Cannot Pick Max Limit Date - February 6, 2019

Known issue with Residency Calculator. This issue seems to be a problem only with Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. If you change an entry/exit date that is not the last date, there is a maximum date limit that you can change the entry/exit date to. This maximum date limit is the day just before the next entry/exit … Continue reading “Calendar Cannot Pick Max Limit Date”


Get it on Google Play

About the App

Given entry and exit dates, calculates how long you have stayed at a place.

Add a location giving it any name you like.  It can be anything from Anthony’s attic to Zambia or even Alpha Centauri if you so desire.  Add entry and exit dates for that location and hit calculate to see how long you have stayed at that place.  You can also have multiple locations to keep track of different residencies.

There are also two optional special condition calculators:

  1. Check if the residency requirement has been satisfied for applying for Australian Citizenship.
  2. Check if the residency requirement has been satisfied to apply for an Australian Resident Return visa subclass 155.

For those who are interested, here is a page of the help files from the app.

Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google LLC.

LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures

Play as Indiana Jones through Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Temple of Doom and The Last Crusade in one of the most fun ways possible, with LEGO! Build, destroy and whip your way through the scenes from the movies and have a good laugh at the funny LEGO antics.

Pros

Most of the iconic scenes from the movies are in the game. They have been modified to make the game fun to play and funnier, but they are still easily recognisable.

Hear the music from the movies! The quality is not as good as the movies, but good enough for LEGO Indiana Jones to run around. I am not sure whether all the music is taken from the movies or whether there are some original compositions as well. It does not matter though, as all of it sounds great.

There is a lot of different things you can do. There is the usual LEGO building and destroying as well as collecting studs to unlock stuff. Then there is the fighting, digging, driving, fixing, screaming, blowing up stuff, solving simple puzzles, throwing all sorts of objects and of course using Indy’s famous whip. Everything you would expect from Indy and company.

For the intrepid explorer, there are plenty of hidden areas, artefacts to find and more things to unlock.

It is not Monkey Island, but LEGO Indy makes me laugh every time I play, even when I know what is going to happen.

Feeling stuck? Vent your frustration by breaking everything. More often than not, this will reveal the solution to progress the game. Satisfaction and progression at the same time.

Cons

The cutscenes cannot be skipped. Even though they are entertaining, I have had to repeat levels a few times and watching the same cutscene over and over is just a waste of time. Cutscenes only play in story mode, so repeating a level in free roam mode is not an issue.

Sometimes the camera angle makes it difficult to judge how to jump or get over certain obstacles. Or maybe it is just me since I am bad at platformers.

The Last Crusade starts off in Venice where Indy searches for the tomb of Sir Richard. I am disappointed that the scene where young Indy goes after the Cross of Coronado is not present. I hope it is a secret level that needs to be unlocked, but in the meantime, this is a con point.

I encountered one progress killing bug in the last level of Temple of Doom. On the bridge fighting Mr Heart-Extractor, some guards are supposed to appear with swords for you to take to chop the ropes. I played for 30 minutes and quit because no swords appeared. A quick search revealed that this is indeed a bug and one way to work around it is to change the game’s screen resolution to 800×600. A big thank you to BrickRaiders for the solution. Note that I would not consider my machine as a “less powerful PC”, but I still encountered this bug.

Other Points

The game is very simple to pick up and play. The difficulty is also quite easy, probably helped by the fact that you cannot die as such. Overall, this makes for an easy platformer that even I can reach the end. After that, there is still quite a challenge for those that seek to find and unlock all the secrets.

Biases

A decade ago, I played LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy alongside LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures on the PlayStation 2. Both games were fun, but I enjoyed LEGO Indy just a bit more.

I have completed the story mode for all three movies. Time to find all the secrets.

I never got to try out the drop in/out co-op mode.

I like all the Indiana Jones movies.

I enjoy platformers but I am not good at them.

LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures is available DRM-free from GOG.com.

My Win10 PC

Windows 10 Home 64-bit

8GB RAM

Intel Core i7-6700HQ @ 2.6GHz

Intel HD Graphics 530 / nVidia GeForce GTX 960M 2GB VRAM

Conexant SmartAudio HD / Logitech G35

This is my current PC.  Just need a post where all the info is in one place for other articles to refer to.  I wonder how many times I will say “this is my current PC” as time passes.

Here is a list of all the games that I have played (which means it works) on this Windows 10 PC.

Euro Truck Simulator 2

Fighting Fantasy Legends

HITMAN 2

LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures

Medal of Honor Pacific Assault

Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition

Payday 2

Sacred

Space Hulk: Deathwing

The Fall of the Dungeon Guardians

The King of Fighters 2002

The Warlock of Firetop Mountain

Torchlight

VR Soccer ’96

The Warlock of Firetop Mountain

Lifted from the pages of an ancient tome penned by the heroes Jackson and Livingstone, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain is a role-playing reading journey of monsters, magic and traps. Choose your hero, enter the mountain and may your stamina never fail.

Pros

Where the book only has dice rolling combat, this game adds an extra layer of strategy with a grid and turn-based combat system. The battleground varies depending on location and the character you have chosen determines how you can attack on the grid. Different opponents have different attack types as well, so you must figure out the best way to attack. The enemy AI is not the best, but the fights are difficult enough.

For those that love the fights, there is gauntlet mode where the reading text is reduced to allow the player to focus on fighting. The characters allowed in gauntlet mode are not the same as story mode so that takes a bit of fun and variety out of it.

The game looks very nice. It does not have state of the art graphics, but the whole figurine hopping around a toylike play area looks very nice to me.

The music is good. Nothing spectacular, but does add nicely to the game’s atmosphere and it sounds better than the music of Fighting Fantasy Legends.

Despite the short main quest, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain has different characters to choose from. Each character has different statistics, skills and sub-quests. All this combined with the multiple pathways through the mountain gives the game a good amount of variety.

Cons

Only ONE game can be played at ONE time. I hated this in Fighting Fantasy Legends and I hate this now in The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. Why must they prevent players from playing multiple games simultaneously?

There are not enough shortcut keys! Sometimes the space bar can be used to continue, but that is it. Everything else must be clicked on with the mouse.

There are a few bugs in the game that rears their ugly heads randomly. In the eleven hours I have played so far, I have encountered one blank screen that required the task manager to kill the process and two instances of no options appearing to progress the game. When the options failed to appear, the only thing I could do was start a new game. Quitting and resuming the game would just continue the game at the point of having no options.

Other Points

There is a lot of reading, much like reading a book which is not surprising. There is a lot more reading in this than in Fighting Fantasy Legends.

The Warlock of Firetop Mountain has some plot points which are identical to the Firetop section of Fighting Fantasy Legends. The rest of the game, I can only guess, are greater details taken directly from the book.

The game has four starting characters to choose from. As you win battles in the game, souls are gained to be used to unlock other playable characters. At the time of writing, there is a total of fifteen characters in the main game and another three in a DLC.

For people that want to cheat there is a free read mode. This mode allows you to automatically win battles, choose options that are usually locked for your given situation and resurrect unlimited times. The downside of free read mode is souls are not gained from winning battles.

This may or may not be considered to be cheating, but during dice rolling it is possible to press ‘space’ to shake the dice some more.  There is a time limit of about one second before the dice stops where you cannot shake them, so it is a bit tricky to try and rig the numbers.

There are artworks that look like they were taken directly from the pages of the book The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. They can be clicked on to display between full colour and outline versions.

Biases

I have read one Fighting Fantasy book many years ago. Cannot remember which one or even what the story was about. I do remember losing every try and eventually just skipped the dice rolling and read through to the end. It was clear I could not finish it properly before requiring to return the book. The journey was enjoyable, despite the losing.

Eleven hours of game time and out of the four characters I have tried, I have only managed to complete the main quest with one character. The game is hard, like a certain book I read many years ago.

I like Fighting Fantasy Legends and have completed it on the easiest difficulty. I have not completed all the side quests though.

10% Humble Store Discount

Here is a link for 10% Humble Store discount.  I don’t know the specific conditions, but the words from Humble are “enjoy 10% off for 30 days” and “One giftee per month”.   So, first in, best dressed and I hope someone finds this useful.

If anyone would like to be generous and wants to subscribe to the Humble Monthly, following this referral link will put $8 in my Humble wallet. Thank you.