9 June 2014: What video games did you play this past week(end)?
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It is time again to share with us all what video games you played this past week! What video games have you been playing?

Subscription thread for this list:

What Videogames did you play this weekend: WVGDYPTW subscription thread

Check out these other great VGG geeklists!

Videogames New To You May 2014
Videogames New To You June 2014
Videogames Beaten by VGGers in 2014
Video Games Abandoned by VGGers in 2014

RPG tabletop players, how did your sessions go this past week?
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1. Video Game: Transistor [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:466]
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Luke Stirling
Norway
Trondheim
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I played one monster session (for me at least) of this on Thursday, but other commitments have kept me away from putting in the time I need to finish it. With any luck I can get some time in tomorrow. After that I'm stuck either in airports or planes for the subsequent day and a half. It's doubtful I'll be getting play time on anything other than 3DS puzzle games for most of that.


Earlier in the week I got my first two legendaries in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. I was additionally lucky that both of them are flexible utility creatures that I can put in all sorts of decks.
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2. Video Game: Alpha Protocol [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:1451]
Video Game: Alpha Protocol
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Indiana
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Been playing this all day. Just hit level 9. My current skill-set: 12 Stealth, 12 Sabotage, 3 Pistols.

On the one hand, this game is WAY better than I expected it to be. On the other hand, I can see why it received a harsh critical reception.

The odd thing about Alpha Protocol is that much of the underlying *design* is really good. The skill trees, equipment options and customization, intel markets, and especially the open-ended ripple-effects associated with dialog - it's all quite impressive. Anyone who enjoys games like Deus Ex: Human Revolution should give this one a look.

The game can be buggy, but nothing so far that rises above the level of 'minor annoyance' and can't be managed by hoarding save files (20 save files for this game take up less memory than a new-game save for Skyrim). It's the actual stealth / shooting gameplay that is... functional, but often shakey, and with really questionable enemy AI. There are also a couple of places that try to force you out into open combat - not a huge inconvenience but definitely unwelcome.

Narratively, I could see this having a lot of replayability. I'm increasingly less convinced that the skill trees can deliver a range of enjoyable playstyles. I'm playing as an Operative "class" agent, specializing in Pistols, Stealth, and Sabotage. It's a fun skill-set that seems to soften the game's rough edges. I suspect that if I were focusing on CQC or a guns-blazing approach, the gameplay would be quite poor.

As long as I don't hit any mission-breaking bugs, this is at least a 7.5/10. It has some goofy tonal inconsistencies... for example two of the women NPCs seem like they dropped in from a jRPG or maybe from Metal Gear Solid... but it doesn't take itself too seriously.

I was very cautious going in, and the opening missions are probably the least enjoyable since your character is low-level and you're left at the mercy of the game's lack of polish, but the way things are going I think I'll end up as part of the cult following. Obsidian Studios does interesting work.
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3. Video Game: Dungeonland [Average Rating:5.12 Overall Rank:7180]
Video Game: Dungeonland
Osirus
United States
North Adams
Massachusetts
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We finally got multiplayer to work with this again -- apparently the trick was searching/joining servers directly in-game rather than using steam invites, but we played a few games with
Alex
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Yellow Springs
Ohio
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No too far from Philly
Pennsylvania
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Amy
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,

Who, I should mention, although she was the only one who had never played before, took to the role of evil Dungeon Maestro with a preternatural ability and glee. By the last game, she was kicking all of our butts with trap combinations and appropriately hammering on the evil laugh button.

This game is pretty fun, and it's free. VGG Game Night approved!

---
Other brief multiplayer gaming:
Starbound, where Rudy's choice of a long sentence for a character name was perfect when Alex angered whole avian colonies and then led them guns-a-blazin' towards us.

Orcs Must Die 2, where Rudy dragged me through the final level by holding a door himself with no traps, while I covered the opposite door assisted by 10,000 gold worth of trap backup. Still the best game of its genre.
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4. Video Game: HλLF-LIFE² [Average Rating:8.26 Overall Rank:35]
Video Game: HλLF-LIFE²
Twinge
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Colorado
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First time playing Half-life 2. Enjoyable enough, but I'm not really seeing 'greatest game of all time' material.

Highlights:
A GUN
Ravenholm, Land of Puns
Over Here Dr. *moan*

(There are more good highlights I haven't had a chance to get to yet. They'll be available on my Twitch page later.)

Full playthrough:
Day 1: http://www.twitch.tv/darktwinge/c/4417572
Day 2: http://www.twitch.tv/darktwinge/c/4417605
Day 3: http://www.twitch.tv/darktwinge/c/4417624
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5. Video Game: Tales of Symphonia [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:495]
Video Game: Tales of Symphonia
Simon Woodward
New Zealand
Hamilton
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Had a relatively free weekend, so made a big push to finish Tales of Symphonia. My mini review is here and submitted to Geekmod.

I enjoyed this game well enough to finish it, although it didn't wow me particularly, but the likeable (to me) characters, the generally well written (if verbose) dialogue, and occasional hilarious interactions between the characters kept me smiling. The voice acting was good, but dialogue that wasn't voice acted felt a bit flat, especially the optional "skits", which were painfully slow (although I dutifully watched them).

The battle system was pretty fun, although I got overleveled (in order to pass the fire dungeon) and basically button mashed through most of the game after that. As such it wasn't as challenging as the similar battle system in Xenoblade Chronicles, where you actually needed some skill (and for me, luck) to beat certain bosses. It's one of those games where there is so much going on (items, side quests, skill trees, collectables) that you only end up using about half of it and ignoring the rest.
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6. Video Game: Sid Meier's Pirates! (2004) [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:391]
Video Game: Sid Meier's Pirates! (2004)
David
Switzerland
Buchs
St. Gallen
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I think I got this a while back in a GG lottery. After hearing sooooo many good things about I was eager to try it. And.....


After an initial WTF is going on period it's pretty fun. Started and finished my first game this weekend:
From gallery of Kempeth


I've had some problems learning how to block in fencing. Luckily you can easily get by with just the middle thrust. It's faster than the other attacks and the worst that can happen is you get blocked or you get that fencing animation that wastes time (and pirate lives).

Also for some reason people on steam only came online when I was trying to dance...

There are some frustrating or just boring aspects like when the quests send you to the opposite end of the map and figuring out in what direction to sail in order to make any speed (???), or hunting down the guy who stole your girl. That's pretty nice thematically but when you have to visit dozens of taverns in the hope that someone will eventually give you a update on the position it gets frustrating. Also I quit at two lost cities because finding daughters to dance with was getting way to difficult.

But still, I enjoyed myself enough that I'd like to try again with all that I've learned.

PS: What happens if I just keep on sailing. Will I eventually die?
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7. Video Game: Metro 2033 [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:784]
Video Game: Metro 2033
Joakim Schön
Sweden
Alingsås
Sverige
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Platform: Windows/Steam

Started this today. I like the setting and the life at the station. But the tunnels are not as dark as they should. Also it feel like playing a couple of minigames that plays you, you have to do exactly like the gamedesigner wants you to or else you die. See if I play this thru. I have Metro: Last Light for PS3, I maybe play that one instead.
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8. Video Game: Team Fortress 2 [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:186]
Video Game: Team Fortress 2
Rudy
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Pennsylvania
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TF2 - Played with Matt, Alex, Nick, Amy, and Andrew.

The highlight of Friday night by far was the boxing heavy epidemic. Alex was laughing at this awful heavy on the opposing team that would crouch walk slowly with his boxing gloves out. He then mentioned we should do it. A few minutes later he and I did. Soon Nick and Matt joined suit. Next thing you know most of the game was boxing heavies. At one point someone entered in the game chat that everyone should go boxing heavies. Later Amy joined us in our madness. It was a blast.

I was wearing the holiday cheer gloves, or whatever they are called, that have a chance to force you to laugh when hit. Being a boxing heavy had some wonderful moments, which include being ubercharged by a medic, dominating an opponent, having a scout stun me with his baseball, then shoot me up close, and I still was able to kill him.

On Saturday we played Mann vs Machine and won two games. In one of the games, some random guy started typing an encouraging speech in game chat. It worked, we held the line!

We also played on a melee sever and tried a payload map. Great fun.

On Sunday, Andy, Andrew, Matt, Jonathan, and myself played some MvM. Amy and Adam joined us later.

Starbound - Played with Seth and Alex briefly.

OMD2 - Played the last story level with Seth. We got one skull before other people connected to Steam chat.

Dungeonland - I don't recall any of this, so I don't believe we played it.

Rouge Legacy - I was able to beat all of the four bosses to unlock the door to the final boss. I threw a few lives at him and probably averaged about 7 seconds per life, so I am back to grinding for a while. EDIT: OK, I just beat the game. I decided to change all my gear and runes to see what I could do, and I beat on that try.
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9. Video Game: Team Fortress 2 [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:186]
Video Game: Team Fortress 2
It's V-Y not V-R
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Boxing Heavy is best Heavy.
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10. Video Game: Audiosurf [Average Rating:6.39 Overall Rank:1925]
Video Game: Audiosurf
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Actually Audiosurf 2, which is still Early Access and has a lot of kinks to work out. It took 20 minutes for me to start the game, play two 4 minute songs, and shut the game down. They need to work on that before anything else.
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11. Video Game: The King of Fighters XIII [Average Rating:7.68 Overall Rank:1887]
Video Game: The King of Fighters XIII
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I managed to finish Arcade mode a few times, since that mode fortunately does not include an "SNK boss." The special moves beyond the most simple ones are still difficult with the Xbox 360 controller, and I doubt will ever get easier, so I'm content to just screw around with the game rather than try to be great at it.
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12. Video Game: Borderlands 2 [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:91]
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I think at this point in BL2 I'm just kind of keeping the wheels spinning, but I do have the rest of today to try and see if I can get anywhere in UVHM with the loot I have right now. After finishing Assault on Dragon Keep again for the sole purpose of being able to farm the boss, I realized that because all of the loot was limited to being level 50, I wouldn't ever find anything comparable to what I already had even if I did manage to get a legendary. It's still an incredibly fun game, so I don't want to just call it quits, but at the same time, progress has slowed to a crawl.
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13. Video Game: Awesomenauts [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:2750]
Video Game: Awesomenauts
Kevin J
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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I had a friend come over the other day. He's pretty into DOTA (but mostly only plays against bots). I played a few games of DOTA with him a while ago, and as thanks, he said I could make him play one of my games with me some time! So, when he came over I thought it would be fun to play some co-op Awesomenauts. We just played against bots, and by the first match he was already doing better than me! We even played a few matches with my girlfriend (they used my two controllers and I used my keyboard and mouse, which was not too difficult to use), but I'm not sure she really understands the game...she would often just rush towers and had no kills and a lot of deaths.

I also just finished A Link to the Past this afternoon, so I hope to soon start Transistor, perhaps even later tonight.


And I have high hopes that I will be signing a lease for an apartment soon, which means I can stop looking for a place! That would free up an awful lot of leisure time, at least until it turns into time spent packing things up.
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14. Video Game: Magic 2014: Duels of the Planeswalkers [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:1792] [Average Rating:7.10 Unranked]
Video Game: Magic 2014: Duels of the Planeswalkers
Andy
United Kingdom
Manchester
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having been into M:TG a long time ago when the card game first became popular, I started playing this as part of the Free Weekend and decided for the princely sum of £1.74 it was worth picking up! I also picked up a couple of Blue deck for £0.19 each. I've completed the first two regions in the single-player campaign and beat the first level of the 3rd region.
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15. Video Game: Portal 2 [Average Rating:8.80 Overall Rank:1] [Average Rating:8.80 Unranked]
Video Game: Portal 2
Andy
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Manchester
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I played about an hour of co-op mode with my 3 year old and we had a blast! He was playing on my desktop computer, while I was sat beside him using my wife's laptop. We only managed to complete about 4 levels of the first region, and spent a lot of time doing gestures... Joe especially delighted in ripping my head off every chance he got!
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16. Video Game: Anno 2070 [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:1288]
Video Game: Anno 2070
Krzysztof Zięba
Poland
Kraków
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I've played a decent amount of this game over the weekend. As its predecessor, Anno 1404, its a very nice looking casual experience. I find it quite relaxing, though I'll have to revisit the game in the future because I really want to run it smoothly on Max settings (I'm getting ok performance with Medium right now). Also, I'm not sure how I feel about the fact that, apart from a few mechanical changes and an interesting way of including meta-game into the title (you vote for stuff along with other players, and there are world-wide events etc.), this game feels like a re-theme of 1404. This may influence my long-term enjoyment of it, but for now I'm hoping to at least get through the campaign and maybe a scenario or two... I'll see what happens then.

I'm also playing Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space. I'm at Episode 2, and I'm enjoying it a bit more than I did the first one, which I found very lackluster.

I've also played a bit of Mortal Kombat (2011) - I'm keeping it installed so I can have something to play when I don't have much time. I doubt I'll improve at the game in any significant way, but I might get a hold of how my controller works in this one (right now I'm having massive issues with the D-Pad/Left Thumbstick, as they don't provide me with enough precision to control the characters well).
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17. Video Game: Team Fortress 2 [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:186]
Video Game: Team Fortress 2
Andy
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Just managed to get in a game of TF2 Sunday night, with:


Rudy
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No too far from Philly
Pennsylvania
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SPOOOOON!!!
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It's V-Y not V-R
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オーケー・ブーマ
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Andrew Schoonmaker
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Long Beach
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Jonathan Tullsen
United States
Tigard
Oregon
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The Road goes ever on and on Down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone, And I must follow, if I can, Pursuing it with eager feet, Until it joins some larger way Where many paths and errands meet.
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Ash nazg durbatulûk, ash nazg gimbatul, ash nazg thrakatulûk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul.
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We played some Mann Vs Machine and some King of the Hill... initially I stuck to my usual Medic, but later tried the Heavy and the Sniper.

Good times!
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18. Video Game: Mario Kart 8 [Average Rating:8.33 Overall Rank:78]
From gallery of BoardGameGeek
Todd Pytel
United States
Chicago
Illinois
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Mario Kart 8 has taken over our household. I'm practicing specific races in hopes of eventually not sucking. My son runs in the door after school and starts his homework before dinner so that he has time to play afterwards. My daughter gets in every now and then and wanders aimlessly around the track. After the kids go to bed, my wife and I race. I'll be bringing the WiiU to a party this week to do some karting with my co-workers - the trash talk is already well underway.

Yeah... this is what the console has been waiting for. Despite my continuing disappointment at the lack of meaningful GamePad use, the game is extremely polished and fun.

I also wrapped up my Classic campaign of XCOM: Enemy Unknown early in the week. I've made a few half-hearted attempts to get an EW run underway, but I think I need a break for a little while after playing EU hard for a month.
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19. Video Game: Doom II: Hell on Earth [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:220]
Video Game: Doom II: Hell on Earth
Enjoy some homing fireballs!
United States
Arlington
Texas
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I played some other stuff too, but the notable thing I did was recorded a speedrun on SteveD's upcoming map titled "Amiga Demo Party"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQY-6MnKJRs&feature=youtu.be
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20. Video Game: Team Fortress 2 [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:186]
Video Game: Team Fortress 2
Andrew Schoonmaker
United States
Long Beach
California
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As the weekend opened, I thought I'd have a bunch of time to sit down and try to finish off Assassin's Creed II, but as it happened I wound up engaged in a lot of Team Fortress 2 with Amy, Rudy, Matt, Nick (?), Jonathan, Alex, and Andy. Much of this was Mann vs. Machine. I also played a few rounds of this alone.

With an "organized" group of 4-6, this is an excellent game mode. Well, except for when things happen like getting run over by super scouts because nobody on the team can both stay alive and lay down the damage needed to deal with it (seriously, Mannworks and giant scouts ...)

By myself it was more of a mixed bag. Even when we had a party of four, we seemed to be averaging one player who was interested in playing a whole match and one player who would (if we were lucky) play a couple of rounds before idling at spawn (although we did have the one guy who gave the inspirational "for Gondor!" speech at one point, which was hilarious). It seemed like there were a couple of people doing various silly things on most of the maps I wound up on by myself (to be fair, I made at least one attempt at sniper, myself, and I'm not particularly good at it; maybe my teammates would have viewed that in a similar light). This leaves me wondering about harder difficulties ... on Normal, and to a greater extent than I would have thought possible, Intermediate, the team can get by with one member being completely ineffective. But ... do the players who attempt the harder difficulties self-select for gumption, or is any attempt to tackle them with a team of randoms doomed to endless (effective) trolling?

That having been said, on the whole the TF2 this weekend was a lot of fun, even if I am terrible at melee-only. And I got a Rainblower

I did also squeeze in an hour of AC2. I've now done everything there is to do in Venice, and in the three parts of Florence that I can get to. I'm missing two feathers in Romagna/Forli, and one statuette in Monteriggioni, and then everything else I should be able to pick up with a map; the Codex is done, the Truth is done, and I have Altaïr's Armor. Plot-wise, I believe I'm in sequence ... 13? I am told that this is part of the DLC, although it flows relatively smoothly from the end of the previous sequence. Hopefully I'll be able to wrap this up this week.
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21. Video Game: Master of Magic [Average Rating:8.63 Overall Rank:42]
Video Game: Master of Magic
p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
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‘Well, at any rate, the Dormouse said—’ the Hatter went on, looking anxiously round to see if he would deny it too: but the Dormouse denied nothing, being fast asleep. ‘After that,’ continued the Hatter, ‘I cut some more bread-and-butter—’"
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"‘But what did the Dormouse say?’ one of the jury asked. ‘That I can’t remember,’ said the Hatter."
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Started another game of MOM but had to save and go mow the lawn and stuff.

Also played a couple Age of Wonders scenarios. I'm still conflicted over this game (and all games). If I set the difficulty too high (especially in one of the tougher scenarios), it ends up being a miserable, frustrating experience--and yet I feel it's making me a stronger player, which ought to be good. If I keep the difficulty low, it's a very pleasant and enjoyable game--until it gets to where I've got overwhelming strength and know I'll eventually win; then it's kind of a drag having to play through to the anticlimactic end.

Speaking of becoming a stronger player, I also played several games of The Many Faces of Go. Sometimes I lose so badly that I feel like a perpetual beginner. But on the whole I'm at least holding my own at 17 kyu or so.
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22. Video Game: Company of Heroes [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:148]
Video Game: Company of Heroes
Agent J
United States
Coldwater
Michigan
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
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So, I've figured out the problem with multiplayer gaming on the same team.

It's that awkward moment after you've lost a match and you're discussing how it went and what you can do to improve, and your partner keeps saying "I'm not blaming you" as if I should think he's blaming me.

One, I know I'm not as good as you - I can tell. It's okay for you to give me ideas and strategies for the next time - trust me, it'll help, and I'll work on them.

But when I say "I'll work on that, yeah, I know how this mistake really helped the opponents" remember that I don't care who lost us the match, I only care about getting better so we can win next time.

I think I just don't mesh with this particular partner the same way I do with, say, Brian.

That's a credit to you Brian, as the way you communicate to me before (clear expectations) and after (we both discuss what could have gone better and how) matches show cognizance of good management skills, leadership skills, and just people skills. I appreciate that, even if you did play DOTA all weekend.

For those who have played with me, I'm talking about Nihm, not Hula or Cabal. Nihm's a great player, I just don't think he's a good fit for me, whereas I'd love to take on the 2v2 arranged team world with Brian.

Though I do think Brian & Nihm would take all comers and actually win.

In the world of arranged teams, you're playing against people who are actually good at working together and assisting each other, and have decided to become a team. The quality of opponent is going to be higher. I think I'll stick to my 1v1 matchups.

Speaking of which, I am still getting defeated by cheese.

One time, the Wehrmacht wired off my base on one side of the map, another time they took that closest strategic point and built a bunker behind it, and then wired it off.

I don't really know what to do about it yet, though technically I had a poor start on that one anyway because I hit the button to build an engineer but it never built the engineer. So my start was delayed by 30 seconds which meant against an opponent of similar skill I was already doomed.

Any thoughts on dealing with wire in the pre-vehicle stage?
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23. Video Game: LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:962]
Video Game: LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game
Ian S.
Canada
Saskatoon
Saskatchewan
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Hadn't really planned on starting up another LEGO game so soon...but whatever. Starting playing this on PS3 on Wednesday or so and have completed all of the story missions. Think I finished out the weekend with 68% completion or so. Should be able to finish it up by next weekend.

Played a bit more of The Witch and The Hundred Knight. Started the third area and got stomped. Everything I had read about the game before I bought it said that the third area will stomp on you and make you go and grind and find some better weapons...they were right. Considering enemies respawn within the level with the regularity of a Megaman game, it is foolish to go too far into a level that's giving you a hard time. Stay close to the entrance or to a spawn point and bug out when it gets too hairy.

In the spare moments I was playing Pokémon Diamond and Pearl (Pearl) and got my first gym badge (yay!?). I've been finding the most fun with this game in naming my Pokemon. I only regret that the Wifi service has been disabled so that people around the world can't experience a battle with my Geodude named Lebowski...

I did not play Card Hunter this weekend, but I did play it in the days leading up to the weekend. Gloriously simple and addictive.
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24. Video Game: Castlevania: Harmony of Despair [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:3594]
Video Game: Castlevania: Harmony of Despair
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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This 2D platformer consists of short levels focused on getting to a boss fight, and a lot of grinding to level up. Despite the grindiness, I find it a bit addictive. I've got a strange fondness for the Castlevania games. It would be even cooler if I could actually play the co-op mode.

However, I've been pretty stuck on this for a while; just couldn't beat Dracula's final form. I gave up actively playing quite a while ago, and just occasionally fire it up when I've got 15 minutes to kill to give it another try.

Well, this weekend I did a few quick plays and finally beat Drac! Yes! This unlocks the Hard mode, and also unlocks a bunch of items that are much more powerful, so it should improve my other character's chances.

My first victory was using Shanoa, who I think is the easiest to play character with a bunch of strong magical attacks.
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25. Video Game: King's Bounty: Armored Princess [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:1029]
Video Game: King's Bounty: Armored Princess
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Slowly progressing through this primarily turn based mix of army game and RPG. It is similar to the Heroes of Might and Magic games, but you only control a single hero that you build up an army for, and you don't control castles. You build up an army and go on various quests, engaging in lots of battles. I really enjoy the gameplay, though both of the King's Bounty games that I have played have been sickeningly sexist.
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