Videogames New To You January 2013
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What games are you playing for the first time this month, January 2013?

In a break from the traditional format inherited from the BGG lists, I'm going to try posting these lists at the start of each month, so that when we start playing a new videogame, we can post our initial thoughts on it. (Thanks to Ncik for the suggestion to change the format).
These don't have to be games that you've beaten, or abandoned.. just simply games that you picked up and started playing this month.

Please feel free to add a new entry each time you start a new game, as this will be useful for generating statistics.


Videogame New To You Announcement Thread
New To You Metalist 2013
Old Videogame NTY Metalist


(to avoid any gaps in the sequence, this January list is posted late, but the February list should be posted at the beginning of the month in line with the new format).


Be sure to check out the weekly "What Videogames Did You Play This Weekend" lists
What Videogames did you play this weekend: WVGDYPTW subscription thread
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1. Video Game: The Tiny Bang Story [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:2551]
Video Game: The Tiny Bang Story
Andy
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Manchester
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With the demise, last year, of my regular office boardgaming group, I have been playing videogames at lunchtime, and I was looking for a light game that I could play on my work PC (Windows Vista, with a very basic ATI X1550 graphics card).

Tiny Bang looked like it fitted the bill, so I installed from my steam Library and gave it a try...

Video Game: The Tiny Bang Story


It's a cuteish observational puzzle adventure game, with a similar graphics style to games like Machinarium. It might not appeal to everyone... especially those who do not like having to stare at the screen looking for the minutest of details, but I have been having a lot of fun with it.

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2. Video Game: Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:1211] [Average Rating:6.89 Unranked]
Video Game: Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine
Andy
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Having completed the single-player campaign of Torchlight 2, I needed another "big" game to play at night, and I'd been meaning to play Space Marine since it cropped up a few times on last years beaten games list (hence it was already installed in my steam library) so I fired it up at night on Friday 11th.

At first it took me a while to get used to the controls, especially the stun and execution routine that can be done during melee combat, but after I'd played for a bit, I managed to get that down pretty well...

From gallery of Grimwold


I have to say I really like the game... the setting and graphics are great, the combat is really well done, and indeed the melee combat has a feel of the Batman: Arkham series. I can see that I'll be having a lot of fun with this game, and I'm hoping to add it to the beaten games list very soon (which indeed I did!)

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3. Video Game: Path of Exile [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:595]
Video Game: Path of Exile
Rudy
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Pennsylvania
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I just started playing this free game today and I am really having fun with it. For being in open beta it's really smooth and polished so far. If you like hack and slash games, then you should check this out.
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4. Video Game: Vindictus [Average Rating:5.85 Overall Rank:6202]
Video Game: Vindictus
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I've been playing this free-to-play MMO with...
Osirus
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...for a little over a week now. I do enjoy multiplayer quite a bit and free is right around my price range. The game itself isn't bad.
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5. Video Game: Kirby's Dream Land [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:1567]
Video Game: Kirby's Dream Land
United States
Redford
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After finally getting through Dragon Warrior 3, I needed a break from RPGs and decided I would take a trip through some of the Kirby games as I have never played any of them.

I played and beat the original Kirby's Dreamland on Game Boy. I am now working through Kirby's Adventure on the NES.
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6. Video Game: Breath of Death VII: The Beginning [Average Rating:5.89 Overall Rank:6241]
Video Game: Breath of Death VII: The Beginning
Luke Stirling
Norway
Trondheim
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Another shout out to the Egyptian god of computer destruction for giving me the opportunity to play this game. I clocked a couple of hours earlier this month, and really look forward to finishing it when I sit down to do some solo gaming again in the near future.

When it comes to the "I hate/love retro stylings in my indie games" debate, I lean strongly towards the amorous camp. So this game works for me in that regard. It's generally not to challenging, but the first time I died and realised it had been quite some time since I last quick saved was a bit of an awakening experience. The real charm though comes from the writing.
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7. Video Game: Rocksmith [Average Rating:7.85 Overall Rank:1003]
Video Game: Rocksmith
Luke Stirling
Norway
Trondheim
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To be honest I haven't done more than hack and test the ini file to get the lowest possible latency in the game, but from the bits I have actually engaged in properly so far as part of that testing has me very enthused.

It's been about 15 years since I was really into playing my chosen instrument (bass), so rusty would be an understatement.
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8. Video Game: Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:571]
Video Game: Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
Adam
United States
Tempe
Arizona
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Oh my what a gorgeous, wonderful game! I'm only three hours into this, but I'm absolutely thrilled. We got a PS3 late last year partially because the end of the year bundle was an extraordinarly good deal, and partially in anticipation of this title. I'm glad to see that decision was justified! I can't wait to spend more time with this gem!
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9. Video Game: FTL: Faster Than Light [Average Rating:7.87 Overall Rank:105]
Video Game: FTL: Faster Than Light
Alex
Canada
Saskatoon
Saskatchewan
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Wow, this game is great! It reminds me of Star Control II with some 70s design elements... Maybe Star Control II and Star Trek combined and boosted into the here-and-now. It's a great romp through space, with lots to explore, lots of interesting decisions to make, and plenty of nail-biting moments. I have yet to beat it on Normal, but it will happen.
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10. Video Game: Sol Survivor [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:4484]
Video Game: Sol Survivor
Andy
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Manchester
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Having finished Tiny Bang Story in only a few lunchtime sessions, I was left needing something else to play, so I installed this Tower Defence game I'd picked up some time ago in a steam sale and gave it a test drive on my office PC... it seems to run ok, so hopefully I'll be able to play through it, but it's steam cloud enabled, so if I run into trouble I can finish off on my home PC.

From gallery of Grimwold


It's a pretty straight-up Tower Defence game, where so far the aliens path is marked out already and you can only place towers to the sides. In addition to the towers, you also have support weapons that you can call in, which utilise a secondary resource. They are good for last-ditch takedowns and they also score you more points per kill, but obviously take your focus away from building defences too.

It took me a while to get into the game and I struggled to complete even the training missions, until I got a better handle on what the various towers and support attacks, etc. But, having completed half of the campaign missions so far, I am now enjoying it quite a bit.

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11. Video Game: Blood Bowl [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:726] [Average Rating:7.10 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.10 Unranked]
Video Game: Blood Bowl
Alex
Canada
Saskatoon
Saskatchewan
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Received this via the exceptional and awesome Spreading Christmas cheer - Part 3, thanks to Redbeadin84. Violent turn-based fantasy football as a strategy game with RPG elements. I have been playing it and enjoying it... a lot. According to Steam I've logged 47 hours since the beginning of January. So, yeah. And I feel like I've only scratched the surface.
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12. Video Game: The Last Story [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:2302]
Video Game: The Last Story
Alex
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Saskatoon
Saskatchewan
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This has been sitting in my backlog, so I gave it a little go for about half-an-hour, just to see how it plays. Of the little I played, it looks great. After Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light and Torchlight, it'll be up next.
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13. Video Game: The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:561]
Video Game: The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar
Osirus
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North Adams
Massachusetts
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Continuing my quest to be amidst way too many MMOs partnered with VGGers, paralipsis and I last night stepped into the land of Lord of the Rings online. And I have to say, from a few hours play, I was not impressed. I was going to say maybe it was better in 2007, but WOW has been out longer than that and I feel like it had better graphics and smoother combat even then. So far, my least favorite of the four MMOs I am dabbling in.
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14. Video Game: Death Rally [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:1625]
Video Game: Death Rally
Andy
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Manchester
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My brother and I were big fans of the original version of Death Rally from the 1990s, so when this re-imagined version was released on steam last year I was super-excited and picked it up the first time it was discounted (during a "free weekend").. Keen to give it a try I fired it up once I'd finished playing Space Marine, and I was not disappointed!

Death Rally is a top-down racing game where the aim is not only to win, but often just to survive... there are a plethora of different vehicles you can unlock (you start with the basic Vagabond, but move up to Shriekers, Wraiths, Deliverators and such. You can have 1 large weapon mounted, and there are different weapons that you can unlock.. Gatling gun, Flamethrower, Missile Launcher... as well as standard equipment, like Mines, Spiked Ram and Laser Sight.

From gallery of Grimwold
(image from the PC version)

Gameplay is generally a series of short races, usually against 5 other cars kitted out similarly to yours.. races are classified beginner, easy, medium, hard and extreme... where you are pitted against different difficulty opponents, but the rewards are higher... after each race you have a choice of 7 races to choose from, on different tracks and varying in difficulty.

I've spent almost 5 hours playing Death Rally so far this week... Finished a ton of races (usually lasting 1 to 2 mins), reached 76% completion and earnt 41 of the 87 achievements. I've also taken on "The Adversary" 3 times, and lost by a good margin each time.

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15. Video Game: Vindictus [Average Rating:5.85 Overall Rank:6202]
Video Game: Vindictus
Osirus
United States
North Adams
Massachusetts
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As mentioned upthread, tickmanfan and I have been playing Vindictus. It's a free to play MMO run by Nexon, who many people associate with MapleStory and other crappy little games.

Well, this one is pretty dang good.

The graphics are quite good for a free to play, or solid even just for a game in general. The physics engine is really neat. My favorite moment so far in the game is a level where
Spoiler (click to reveal)
You approach a bridge with enemies on the other side. As you start to cross the bridge, the enemies attack the two posts tying the bridge to the other edge, and the bridge (with you on it) plummets to the cavern floor and you take damage.


I mean, that's just cool. Although once you know about it, you can avoid it. Mostly. But there's tons of stuff to smash in the levels, and you can pick up most anything (if you aren't the wussy mage) and whack an enemy with it, and it's just plain fun to play. Two thumbs up on this one from me.

Anyway, this is probably my favorite of the four MMOs I'm amidst, having started Dungeon Fighter Online and Star Wars: Old Republic both in 2012.
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16. Video Game: Path of Exile [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:595]
Video Game: Path of Exile
Osirus
United States
North Adams
Massachusetts
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Microbadge: Pebble of the Community - Always present, only occasionally kicked aroundMicrobadge: Dood!Microbadge: GameChat League - Swedish Meatball DivisionMicrobadge: Fallout fanMicrobadge: 'When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning' - Dr. Reiner Knizia
Apparently I'd signed up for the closed beta a year ago, but had sort of let those reminders go to junkmail, and so my first play of this was the dawn of the open beta.

It's active skills based on the materia system from Final Fantasy VII, with passive skills based on the skill grid from Final Fantasy X (only with non-infinite advancement, so you'll always be missing a vast majority of the MASSIVE grid), and the creepy ambiance of the first Diablo, back when you might actually get scared entering a room because it wasn't so friendly and cartoony.

Anyway, so far I'm a witch who got a summon zombie spell and fire spell early, so I'm adding passive fire damage while slowly making my way along the passive skill tree to +1 Zombie Minion. ("Morpeth", if you want to friend me and randomly play if I'm online when you are.)

Oh, and the coolest thing? There's no gold. Identify scrolls are the basic currency. Vendor trash sells for 1/5 of an identify scroll, and stuff goes up from there.

This game is rough around the edges, but that may be part of its charm. As Diablo clones go, I think it's my favorite one I've played in a while -- and I'm including Diablo III.
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17. Video Game: The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:561]
Video Game: The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar
Luke Stirling
Norway
Trondheim
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Wot Osirus said. This game better get a whole lot more interesting real fast, or else it's not even worth the investment as a free to play title.
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18. Video Game: War Thunder [Average Rating:6.33 Overall Rank:4245]
Video Game: Birds of Steel
A. Power
United States
Mount Airy
Maryland
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What a great title, for being unreleased! I was denied entry into the closed beta, but Gaijin has since lifted the NDA, and opened the beta to all comers. This is a free MMO Flight sim, with some pay features that are not essential to enjoying this game. Lots of multiplayer dogfighting action in this one, with a good mix of arcade and simulation controls. The planes handle like they should and good marksmanship requires patience. The graphics are top notch, and a step up from the Birds of Steel xbox 360 game this is ported from. I haven't been able to spend as much time as I'd like with this one, so I'm still just a newbie in this venue. Of course, getting shot down over and over by some better pilots may not be for everyone, but at least you'll enjoy the cool damage animations as you see your wings rip off and debris flutter to the ground.
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19. Video Game: Magna Carta 2 [Average Rating:7.33 Unranked]
Video Game: Magna Carta 2
Todd Lazure
Canada
Airdrie
Alberta
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(First time adding something to any geeklist, so lets hope I do this right!)

I've had this one on my 360 shelf for some 2 years now, when I bought it at a discount while on a trip. Was drawn to the fact that it was a 'KRPG', something which I had never really tried before. Normally, I try not to play a game within a series unless I've at least tried all the games that have come before it. Since the first Magna Carta was released only in South Korea and I don't plan on learning Korean, I forgave myself for not hunting down Magna Carta: Crimson Stigmata (aka Tears of Blood).

The first thing I noticed in this game was the size of the human heads. At first I couldn't tell what it was at first, they just seemed so terribly off. After quite a bit of pondering, I realized their heads were far too small in proportion to their bodies. Typically, in anime-style games, the opposite is true, and I'm quite used to this. However, this was definitely something new to me. It still throws me off with every session. While it doesn't hurt the game in my mind at all, it's definitely new to me.

On the other hand, the voice acting is terrible. However, it is only fair to note that I have widely hated English voice acting in nearly every JRPG and Anime I've watched, but this game seems especially bad. Characters slow down their speech when they are explaining game functions to you to the point of a long drawl. I find myself skipping these parts, not to get to the action, but so I don't have to hear them talk to me like an elementary school teacher trying to explain the difference between a 'cat' and a 'dog' to an impatient seven year old.

Aside from that, however, the combat and character development mechanics are fresh, and I definitely enjoy them. I particularly like how Attribute Kan (effectively mana for magical spells) is actually generated by the wizard character, and you can see it floating around the field as coloured balls of light. You can even leave the area and return, and it is still hovering there, just waiting to be used as part of a Fireball or somesuch. The plot seems like standard fare, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. The art style is very unique as well, and I love the theme of the world and its lore. I get the feeling that the Lore has already been well established, though so far I haven't gotten deep enough into it yet. Despite its shortcomings, I plan on playing this one more throughout the year.
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20. Video Game: Dungeon Defenders [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:1074]
Video Game: Dungeon Defenders
Kevin J
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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This is the go-to game for VGG multiplayer game night! I'm enjoying it so far, although I still don't know what a lot of stuff does. I don't really care to much about equipment, but luckily the game gives you a general "this is better" or "this is worse" for items, and I don't need to worry about comparing stats. I also don't know the effect of a lot of towers, but perhaps that's just a side effect of playing multiplayer; if I were playing solo, I'd dink around menus and the "tavern" area and read descriptions of things.

The game is getting a bit samey; once you play with a few classes you get to know some pretty good tower setups, and the rest is just running in and doing some clicking. Still, it's a nice mix of tower defense and Diablo-style smackdown.

There are a lot of different classes that play very differently which is a blessing and a curse. There is a lot of variety, but the game doesn't ease you into how to play each class or all the things they can do.

We seem to be stuck on level 4's boss, but hopefully we can make some headway next time.
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21. Video Game: Zeno Clash [Average Rating:6.05 Overall Rank:4387]
Video Game: Zeno Clash
A friend gifted it to me and I started it for the first time yesterday. The tutorials are annoying and the gameplay... well... not intrigued up to now. Haven't played far, just finished my first two combats. Somehow I don't know what is going on and that is why I am not interested in the characters or the world or whatever. It is just so... meaningless. Don't know if I will continue to play it.
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22. Video Game: Red Faction: Armageddon [Average Rating:5.96 Overall Rank:5518]
Video Game: Red Faction: Armageddon
Aaron Tubb
United States
Fuquay Varina
NC
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Played a few hours before getting bored with it. You get these cool weapons of mass destruction, and the game takes place in a largely indestructible cave with scattered structures that you can destroy (many of them are ALREADY destroyed, though). There's tons of the same monsters everywhere, and they are too tough to kill with anything except the magnet gun.
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23. Video Game: Kinect Sports Season Two [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:4256]
Video Game: Kinect Sports Season Two
Gave this a whirl after about a 6 month hiatus. It was quite a bit of fun actually as long as you dont take sports too seriously. It features football, golf, baseball, and more. There are some free downloads as well as DLC for basketball and other sports.

All in all it was pretty fun. If you are looking for a simple and fun Kinect game this one is worth a try.
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24. Video Game: NCAA Football 13 [Average Rating:7.19 Unranked]
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Although not new, I had played this for just one session awhile ago so it was practically new to me this month.

I worked on getting some Heisman challenges which turned out to be much harder than I expected. Meeting or beating records by some of the collegiate greats can be challenging. Funnest challenge was trying to get a punt return for a touchdown with Desmond Howard.

Being a graduate of Oklahoma State University I will definitely be doing the Barry Sanders challenge in the near future.
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