17 November 2014: What video games did you play this past week?
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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?

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Check out these other great VGG geeklists!

Videogames New To You November 2014
Videogames Beaten by VGGers in 2014
Video Games Ambivalently Continued by VGGers in 2014
Video Games Abandoned by VGGers in 2014

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1. Video Game: Legend of Grimrock [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:565]
Video Game: Legend of Grimrock
Alan Monroe
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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Restarted on easy mode. I sooooooooo want to like this game, but I just... don't. Something about the expiring torches and slow cooldowns on the attacks just get on my last nerve.
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2. Video Game: Pinball Arcade [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:1331]
Video Game: Pinball Arcade
Alan Monroe
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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My go-to game when I want something light and short. Party Zone came out today, so I had to try that out.
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3. Video Game: World of Warcraft [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:258] [Average Rating:7.49 Unranked]
Video Game: World of Warcraft
Alan Monroe
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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I tried one evening's worth of a WoW demo way back in the mid-2000s and it didn't strike my fancy. I never had any serious interest in it in the meantime, although I tried some other MMOs along the way. A link to an hour-long WoW documentary video on YouTube popped up in my Facebook or G+ feed this week. After watching that, I got in the mood to give it a whirl again. This evening's worth of demo didn't change my mind. It's not un-fun, but... *shrug*. I suppose if I had friends that were into it, it would be kind of fun socially. But I'm about 5 years too late for that.
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4. Video Game: Child of Light [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:730]
Video Game: Child of Light
Todd Pytel
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Chicago
Illinois
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Hard to pick which game to headline with this week...

I started out by finishing my Classic campaign in XCOM: Enemy Within. I can't say there were any stunning developments in that beyond my previous entries - the late game was predictably smooth. I did only get a single psionic, but still had no real trouble with any of the August/September missions. My Sniper Colonel MEC was every bit the killing machine I had hoped he would be, and the psionic turned out to be my Snapshot Sniper with Mimetic Skin, which was very powerful with Low Profile. Part of me wants to jump right back in with a proper Classic Ironman run without the Slingshot/Progeny DLC's making things easier, and with a couple of Second Wave options to mix things up. I think I'd do better on that the sooner I try it, before I forget too many details like I did in my last 6 month vacation from the game. But I made a couple attempts at the first mission and just didn't feel the love. We'll see if I can get back into it...

Next up was a sort of test run of Animal Crossing: New Leaf. I was already planning on getting my son a 2DS for Christmas for Pokemon, but wasn't sure my daughter would be interested enough in a game to merit purchasing a separate console for her. She has an old GBA SP with FireRed, but rarely plays it. I figured Animal Crossing was a good bet, so I bought it on my system early in the week and let everyone play. Well, then... now everyone in the house is taking my 3DS to play Animal Crossing. My wife is the mayor and just spent an hour of her Saturday evening buttering townsfolk up to approve her development projects, and the 3DS was running most of the afternoon with all of us competing in a fishing tournament (the bunny with the mustache is a total cheater, BTW... where did he find a 10.1 inch Crucian Carp??). I guess I know what everyone is getting for Christmas. In many ways, this is an incredibly stupid and pointless game, but we're going to have a blast with everyone in the house playing it and visiting each others' towns.

Moving right along to one of the most beloved RPG's ever, I also played about 6 hours into Chrono Trigger. I've had the DS cart sitting around for months and finally decided to start it up towards the end of my XCOM campaign to play when I needed something a little less intense and analytical. I'm not sure I'm going to love Chrono Trigger the way that some people love Chrono Trigger, but it's certainly a great adventure. It feels to me like the kind of adventure that Final Fantasy IV could have been if it weren't saddled with all the ridiculous melodrama. Or that The Last Story wanted to be if it weren't riddled with design flaws. It's just a fun story with great pacing, an unobtrusive encounter rate, solid characters, and great music. Simply excellent storytelling.

However, my progress in Chrono Trigger was being interrupted due to my 3DS being stolen for Animal Crossing duty. Feeling I needed to keep up the JRPG vibe, I went ahead and purchased Child of Light for my Vita, which I'd been eyeing ever since its release. I've only played about an hour of it so far, but I think I'm going to absolutely love this game. I had read many reviews of it, but I don't feel like any of them did justice to the game's polish and ambiance. I suppose that shouldn't be too surprising, given that the typical JRPG audience seems to prefer buxom anime bombshells over little girls trying to find their fathers. We'll see if my enthusiasm keeps up as I continue playing, but my first impression of this is incredibly positive.
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5. Video Game: HλLF-LIFE² [Average Rating:8.26 Overall Rank:35]
Video Game: HλLF-LIFE²
Steve S
United States
Roscoe
Illinois
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Last week wasted a gosh awful lot of time playing HλLF-LIFE, now continuing the time wasting with HλLF-LIFE².

Fairly cool games though honestly not digging them quite as much as the Portal games I was playing previously.
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6. Video Game: ArcheAge [Average Rating:5.45 Unranked]
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James Lowry
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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A few things this week.

First, server drama continues. (No, really?) The leader of the guild that grabbed most of the new land in Auroria, Blank, got banned by Trion for using illegal software (no mods are allowed at all). The guild is protesting that this is not true, and an investigation is proceeding. Meanwhile, he's created a new account and is trying to reestablish control of his guild. There allegations that he's still using the software that got him in trouble last time. But more to the point, all the guild control rests in the hands of the original account. In about another week, Blank will lose control of all that land, and the land rush will start all over again.

Meanwhile, we're playing merchant, with a number of safe runs (for gold) this week, using The Saucy Vixen to speed them along. APEX is climbing still, and is currently up to ~150g.... Smudge should be getting the first one soon, perhaps at a lower rate. We'll probably try a smuggling run on Monday.

Adventuring-wise, we're at the end of Two Crowns, which ends the central 'racial' plotline. It wrapped up fairly well, with the formalization of the Nuian-Elf alliance, and the intention to go back to Auroria (the image to the left is the end ceremony). There are more general quests, and more questing areas, but this is the last 'safe' area. After this, the quest zones are also PVP zones. We're not sure how that's going to go; a lot of people just avoid those areas for questing.

I also started adventuring with my second character today. Shortly after the release, I recreated Frasissa, my Firan from the beta, and now I've started playing her when I want to be on without Smudge and not crafting.
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7. Video Game: Demon's Souls (2009) [Average Rating:8.14 Overall Rank:146]
Video Game: Demon's Souls
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I have been playing this for several days, and am completely enthralled. Currently it's in striking distance to make my top 5 for the PS3, which is nuts given how far I am into the library for the system and how many truly great games I've played.

I am totally immersed, stalking the ruined lands of Boletaria, climbing the learning curve, and, shockingly, not dying very much. As advertised, the game is "tough but fair," combining a sense of constant threat with an emerging sense of control through guarded, hyper-alert play. So far I've cleared 1-1, 3-1, 4-1, 2-1, 1-2, and 3-2, in that order. For those that haven't played, area 1 is Boletaria Keep, area 2 is Stonefang Mine, area 3 is the Tower of Latreia, and Area 4 is the Shrine of Storms. I have not visited area 5 yet.

I chose the Royalty class and am developing a magic-melee hybrid. So far, I've dispatched tougher enemies at range with Soul Ray or Flame Toss, and have taken two bosses down 100% with magic, two with an even mix, one with melee, and one co-operatively with a Knight keeping the enemy busy while I blasted it into submission with Soul Ray. I've upgraded my Heater Shield and Crescent Falchion quite a bit, and am very impressed with the speed and power of a well timed heavy swing. For Rings, I use some combination of the Ring of Regeneration, Fragrant Ring, Ring of Avarice, Ring of Magical Sharpness, and, of course, the Cling Ring. Although I've now beaten three Archdemons while in human form.

I haven't changed my starting armor (Wizard's clothes, Silver Coronet) and, with the exception of the Silver Bracelets, I'm not sure I will. Up until recently, I was using the Silver Catalyst, but now that I'm relying more on my Crescent Falchion both for combat and mana-regen, I've switched to the Wooden Catalyst in most situations for slightly higher magic damage but a lower max MP.

Currently I'm soul level 48, focusing on three key stats: 20 VIT, 24 INT, and 32 MAG. I assume the final boss will fall somewhere in the 60-70 range as far as Soul Level goes, so I plan to raise my MAG as high as 40 and possibly my INT to 30 and my VIT to 25. Sadly, I put a couple of points into Endurance before I knew what I was doing or how I wanted to play the character, but I can live with a couple of misplaced points.

Not sure which area to clear next. Definitely need a break from the gloom of area 3.

Honestly I think the only things wrong with Demon's Souls, that I can see thus far, are the World Tendency system, which is obtuse, and the excessive grinding that goes into gathering upgrade materials. I may start paying closer attention to WT. It's possible that Ostrava died in 1-1 without me seeing or being aware of the implications.
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8. Video Game: Factorio [Average Rating:8.93 Overall Rank:679]
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Ian Kelly
United States
Longmont
Colorado
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I haven't had much time, but I played some of this game after seeing it gushed over in last week's geeklist. Currently I'm working on the campaign mode, although it feels more like a tutorial so far, so I'm not sure whether I should continue playing that or just start a new game.
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9. Video Game: Massive Chalice [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:3441]
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Ian Kelly
United States
Longmont
Colorado
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I also started a game of Massive Chalice since they recently opened the beta up to all the Kickstarter backers. I was worried that this game could just end up being bad. Fortunately it's not, at least not yet.

The tactical combat is very reminiscent of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, simpler in some ways but more complex in others. A hero's turn basically consists of move and then do something, or sprint to move farther. Cover and flanking don't seem to be a thing in this game, and there are only three hero classes (at least that I've seen so far). Melee combat is quite significant as only one of the three classes has real ranged attacks, which means that movement speed is quite important. The heroes have a variety of stats, and they also have traits and personalities, some positive and some not so positive. Family members and bloodlines are also tracked. I had one hunter who just kept missing shots despite having a 90% predicted probability of hitting, to the point where I became sure the game was lying to me. At some point I happened to look at that character's stats and discovered that he was Optimistic, meaning that he actually thought his accuracy was better than it was.

The humor one would expect from a Double Fine game is definitely there. Entertaining narration is provided by two disembodied voices, one male and one female, that represent the Chalice in some way, although I don't know how well this would hold up on a replay. There are also random events. At one point I had an event where a hero contracted some unknown disease, and I was given three choices. I could quarantine the hero for ten years in the hope of finding a cure before he died, or I could do nothing, considering the hero too vital to lock away for ten years, or I could "throw him into the Chalice and see what happens". Well, I don't know about you, but I see only one choice there. Unfortunately, throwing him into the Chalice turned out to be a really bad idea, as he not only turned into a monster but managed to take out two other heroes with him. Oops.

I'm not terribly far into the game yet, but I think that I'm going to restart when I pick it up again, as I feel like I've already messed up a lot. I've had a lot of hero deaths, including in one case an entire squad wiped out. There is sort of a "use them or lose them" aspect as the heroes will eventually all die of old age anyway, but my numbers are nonetheless getting quite thin, to the point where I can't even fill out a squad right now. I also made the mistake of appointing regents from the same family to both of my keeps, with the result that now virtually all of my heroes are from that family, and it's getting to be difficult to marry anybody off. Although "gay" isn't a character trait that I've seen, I nevertheless had to create a childless gay marriage in one instance because there actually were no potential partners of the opposite sex for the regent I had installed. Adoption is an option, but it cuts into research time. Research can also be used to gain several new heroes at once, but since they all start at level 1 (as opposed to raised heroes who receive actual training), this seems not very effective.
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10. Video Game: Batman: Arkham City [Average Rating:8.20 Overall Rank:48]
Video Game: Batman: Arkham City
Jan
Belgium
De Haan
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Started with this one yesterday and I find myself going there over and over again, like being pulled in with a batclaw. Loving it again. Strange if you just played Asylum that you now have a much bigger world in which it's harder to navigate. At the moment I'm going to make a first visit to Mr. Freeze. But it really is more of what I loved in Arkham Asylum so I'm happy.
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11. Video Game: FTL: Faster Than Light [Average Rating:7.87 Overall Rank:105]
Video Game: FTL: Faster Than Light
Jan
Belgium
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And since I had a couple of minutes in which there was nothing to do I started up FTL as well for a second time. Why do I only need a few minutes because that is how long I survive
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12. Video Game: Sleeping Dogs [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:771]
Video Game: Sleeping Dogs
Kevin J
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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I continued my misadventure in China. I'm about two thirds of the way through the story missions and have been doing most of the non-story content along the way as well. I feel like I'm getting a little tired of the game, but I plan to finish the fight. I really like how the game is sprinkled with mini-games for various tasks; I wish more open world games would do that. I can see how it could go horribly wrong if the games were offensively un-fun, but I much prefer it to "hold X to watch your character do something".

The game put me in the mood to watch some Jackie Chan movies, so I watched Mr. Nice Guy the other day and have Rumble in the Bronx on deck.

I also finished off Final Fantasy Tactics A2 yesterday, after 60 hours of play spread over a few months. The last few battles were not too tough for my pumped up crew!

I played a bit of Yoshi's Island 2 for DS. The first game was one of my favorites when I was younger, but this game is failing to hook me. Whereas getting a score of 100 on a stage felt like a fun challenge in the first, here it feels tedious. Part of it is having to have the right character at the right time on a stage to collect some stuff, part is that the screen just doesn't feel right (too often the dead space between screens contains what would otherwise be pertinent information), though I suspect the nostalgia and familiarity with the original game play a part as well.

I did about an hour of co-op with Rudy on The Darkness 2. It was a rough experience. The co-op levels don't give any sort of tutorialization of game mechanics, so we were having problems. Most importantly , we didn't know that you must stick to the shadows to be effective, so the constant in-game migraine headaches really made the experience unpleasant. After we figured that out, the game was much less horrible.

The gun mechanics also feel primitive after playing FEAR 3, and I don't understand how my character-specific weapon works. I can do a voodoo execution where I float a guy up in the air and twist his upper half off his lower half. It looks really janky, like an animator did it in one afternoon with no sleep and a hangover.

I'm embarrassed to admit that I've still be putting time into Clicker Heroes. The worst part is I can't uninstall it. I might have to forcibly clear by cookies to erase my game, but then all my numbers go away!
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13. Video Game: Beyond Oasis [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:2806]
Video Game: Beyond Oasis
Ian S.
Canada
Saskatoon
Saskatchewan
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(Played via Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection for PS3)
Spent a fair amount of time trying to pick up where I left off in this game. Couldn't really remember where I was going, but just head towards the little flag on the map and you can usually figure out what to do. Managed to get past a couple of bosses and then hit an area where it seems I need a key, but couldn't think of where it could be. The difficulty spiked up noticeably and I am all out of healing items. Yo well.

I always remember seeing this game for rent, but didn't ever pick it up due to the cover and title having nothing to do with the game. IF they had put the Aladdin-ish main character on there with one of his summoned djinn's it would have been a slam dunk. Just took me grabbing this collection to discover it.
Video Game: Beyond Oasis
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14. Video Game: Shining Force [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:694]
Video Game: Shining Force
Ian S.
Canada
Saskatoon
Saskatchewan
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(via Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection for PS3)

Second playthrough of all time...first on the PS3.

Played a handful of battles and enjoyed the nostalgia. I believe I am in Chapter 5 if I remember correctly...so I am in the first chapter of the last half of the game. I still feel that this game is nowhere near as good as the second in the series...they added nice little tweaks to a few things that makes the interface a lot smoother. The first game doesn't allow for any exploration either; Anything you can find or do has to be done within a battle. That's fine...but having played the sequel first I always felt like half of the game had been removed when I played the first.

Just need to hammer my way through so I can move on to one of my favorite games of all time...
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15. Video Game: Phantasy Star IV [Average Rating:8.22 Overall Rank:995]
Video Game: Phantasy Star IV
Ian S.
Canada
Saskatoon
Saskatchewan
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(also via Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection for PS3)

Man...I left this game for toooooo long. Where the heck am I?? I kind of have an idea of where I should be going...but I may have to resort to a walkthrough for guidance. I remember playing this back in the day on my Genesis and getting much farther than I am now...but I also did leave a year long gap in-between play sessions this time around.
I really enjoy this game. It is just similar enough to the Final Fantasy's that you know what to do, but different in so many other ways that make it special in its own way. I enjoy the option to design different combat macros so that you don't have to tell each individual character what to do every turn. You just pick a macro with the attacks/spells/techs/etc that you want and they do it.
I am less enamoured with the excessive encounter rate. Seems like every 5 steps I'm in another battle. That's just par for the course with these games, but it's still annoying.
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16. Video Game: Factorio [Average Rating:8.93 Overall Rank:679]
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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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I started a new game with my son, and another new game with a guy on the internet. Let's talk about the game with my son.

We've got the base surrounded by walls, we have automated wall production and RP1 & 2. Which is pretty good for 2:45. Next we should get RP3 going and work on our military. We have gates in the wall so that we can get out and explore, which my son seems to want to do. We usually go out there and die, it's sad.

Anyway, I'm having a good time building a base with him but I often wonder what he's thinking. We now have a very roundabout stone wall production area, but most everything else is actually pretty cleanly done. We are getting low on power though, so that's probably the next project.

We're researching solar power and that will help, and cut pollution. After that, I'm not really sure where we're going, but I'm sure it'll be an adventure!
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17. Video Game: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:164] [Average Rating:8.03 Unranked]
Video Game: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Simon Woodward
New Zealand
Hamilton
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Although I don't much like the story or the controls or the unskippable dialogue, I remain amazed at the amazing level design of this and other Zelda games. Such a treat. In the Ancient Cistern.
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18. Video Game: Home [Average Rating:5.26 Overall Rank:7205]
Video Game: Home
フィル
Australia
Ashfield
NSW
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I am the wasp / that burrows in! I am the shriek / of twilight din!
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I am easily terrified so I usually don't play horror games. This one didn't sound too scary so I thought I'd give it a try. When you fire it up tells you to put on headphones and turn the lights off, so I did that, and immediately it started piping spooky noises into my earholes.

The game itself is a psychological horror thing where your character is trying to escape from a serial killer's lair and find his way back home. It's pretty short, so you just play through it in one session and get one of the different endings. Unsettling but enjoyable! Quite short, though, so one to get in a bundle or a sale rather than at full price.
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19. Video Game: Creeper World 3: Arc Eternal [Average Rating:8.11 Overall Rank:2465]
Video Game: Creeper World 3: Arc Eternal
フィル
Australia
Ashfield
NSW
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I also played a bunch of this weird and unique game. It's basically a tower defense game, but your towers are attached to a packet-switching network supplying ammo and construction materials. So there's a big network optimisation element in there as well. You could have the right towers in the right places, but fail due to poor network design or ammo lag.

The enemies are also highly unusual. Instead of the individual creeps you find in every other TD, the enemy is a fluid that first fills up canyons and depressions, then overflows onto flats, and so on. So elevation is a big element.

Zoom in on this image to see brown ore packets flowing from mining nodes back to the large base / router, and red and blue ammo packets heading down the network backbone to towers on the front lines.

Video Game: Creeper World 3: Arc Eternal
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20. Video Game: BattleBlock Theater [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:1152]
Video Game: BattleBlock Theater
It's V-Y not V-R
United States
Alabama
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I got through Chapter 5 in Battleblock Theater co-op.

I'm noticing that The Last of Us actually isn't all that punishing when I screw up being stealthy and end up in a bloody skirmish. I may actually put points into shotgun abilities and just assume that I won't be very sneaky in most situations.

Rudy and I played more Speedrunners after I had difficulty getting Bloody Trapland to work.

I completed some more Shadow Ops missions in Beat Hazard, mainly with the community-made ships from Futurama and Star Fox.

I joined in on a heist in Payday 2 with Rudy, Andy and SuperChutney tonight. We ended up getting overwhelmed by the authorities. I did manage to complete a mission solo afterwards.
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21. Video Game: Alien: Isolation [Average Rating:7.86 Overall Rank:549]
Video Game: Alien: Isolation
Joakim Schön
Sweden
Alingsås
Sverige
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Played this on PS4, only have one level left, is at the end of mission 17. Good graphics and atmosphere. But the alien is hard.
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22. Video Game: Payday 2 [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:1723]
Video Game: Payday 2
Andy
United Kingdom
Manchester
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Friday, Saturday and Sunday night I played Payday 2 with various combinations of the following fellow criminal masterminds:

Rudy
United States
No too far from Philly
Pennsylvania
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SPOOOOON!!!
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Too Much Candy
Australia
Melbourne
Victoria
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A friend in need is a friend indeed
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An enemy in need is hilarious
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I've notched up 5.3 hours in the game and got up to level 13 (mostly from a couple of Hard level heists on Sunday where we did more damage than robbery).

I'm really enjoying Payday 2... I like the format a bit better than the original, and I understand the skills section a lot more. I'm currently working up the Mastermind skill tree, partly so I could get the deployable Doctor's bag and the Combat medic and Leadership skills, but also because the others are working on the Enforcer and Technician trees, so we've got a variety of talents!
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23. Video Game: Imperialism [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:2142]
Video Game: Imperialism
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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After reading the manual and breezing through the tutorials, I got into my first game (on Introductory level). I think I must've played for two or three hours, so I'd call it captivating.

My problem with games that are big on economics is that they go against my usual, natural mode of thinking. I can sort of see what needs to be done, but I resist putting my attention there. Then things go awry, and I have trouble figuring out how it happened. That happened so often in Railroad Tycoon II that I finally quit and gave the game away.

But this game went OK for me. I came up short on resources sometimes, but I was able to remedy the problem every time. By the time I saved and went to bed, I had a decent "engine" going and was even able to build an army and conquer a minor country. I haven't done anything with my navy yet, except build one ship, and I hear that's a crucial part of the game--so I'll work on that when I resume play.

On the whole, I like this game. It has more of a financial dimension than I'm used to, but so far that's a nice change of pace.

Since I like to feel I'm in control and know what I'm doing, and since I know I'll probably get lost when I start playing at higher levels, I ordered the strategy guide for this game. I find strategy guides usually inspire me and get me through games I'd give up on if left to my own devices.
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24. Video Game: LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:697]
Video Game: LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures
A. Power
United States
Mount Airy
Maryland
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Pretty lean gaming but I put some time in so I could finish the Temple of Doom levels. I resorted to a youtube walkthru for one particularly frustrating puzzle and was glad I did. It turns out that there's a technique where Indy uses his whip to grab items and pull them across chasms and pits. I don't recall any tip or explanation about this and it's sort of strange to go 11 missions without having done this. Oh well, the Mine Cart chase was fun, and now I can go about the Last Crusade.
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25. Video Game: Civilization V: Brave New World [Average Rating:8.39 Overall Rank:79] [Average Rating:8.39 Unranked]
Video Game: Civilization V: Brave New World
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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I got in a tiny-map game of BNW. Played as the Shoshone--a civ I hadn't yet won with. This time I shared a big continent with Venice, while my other rivals--the Polynesians and Huns--each had a small continent to themselves.

Thanks to the extra territory the Shoshone get, combined with the inability of Venice to build settlers, I soon spread out into a dominant position on my continent. Venice started buying city-states, of course, and had a reasonably strong (if disconnected) position too. Then Venice made the mistake of attacking me.

I fought back and didn't stop until I owned the entire continent. Venice was reduced to living out the game on some invisible ship somewhere.

After that, it was a piece of cake. I just kept developing, made allies of the remaining city-states, and eventually won a diplomatic victory.

* * *
Last night I started another tiny-map game, this time as Sweden (another civ I've had little experience with and never won as). I'm in the middle of a fair-sized continent, with the Celts to my east and the Persians to my west. Expansionist that I am, I've spread out over the continent, so that I have ten or twelve cities, while the Persians and Celts have only two or three. Germany showed up on a nearby, smaller continent; that civ only has about three cities too.

What's weird about this game is religion. Ever since I got the G&K expansion I've been routinely founding a religion in every game, and I usually manage to spread it around the world. But this time, the Celts are proving to be overwhelmingly aggressive, inundating me with missionaries and prophets. At one point all my cities had converted to their religion--even my capital; and that apparently counted as some weird kind of "achievement" on Steam--Indoctrination.

So, I'm ahead in the game and expect to win without much trouble, but I don't know if I'll be able to keep my religion alive anywhere. I made a brief comeback but then immediately started losing ground again.

* * *
I meant to compare Civ V to Imperialism and see which I liked better. But I'm not sure they're similar enough to judge fairly. One is much newer than the other, for one thing. One is also more familiar to me than the other.

They're both good games, I guess. But I need to start playing Civ V on King level or higher, as it's starting to get boring on Prince.
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