29 December 2014: What video games did you play this past week?
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HAPPY HOLIDAYS!


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 December 2014
Videogames Beaten by VGGers in 2014
Video Games Ambivalently Continued 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: Assassin's Creed: Rogue [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:1630]
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Dividing my holiday gaming time between Assassin's Creed: Rogue and The Legend of Dragoon. My travel game of choice is The Room Two, which I'm about half-way through.

AC: Rogue is sort of like AC: Black Flag with Alzheimer's.

Black Flag was the best of the series (following AC3, which was the worst) - Rogue is mechanically identical in a lot of ways, which is at least a good start, but all of its tinkering is for the worse, it's half as long as every other AC game (literally: six sequences), the plot is downright skeletal, and, most disappointingly, the 'play as a Templar' hook is wasted. Shay Patrick Cormac may actually go down in AC history as even less interesting than Connor or Altair.

It's not as bad as AC3 or AC1, and it's not bad in the same ways, but I'd rank it 5th of the seven AC games I've played (all of them except Unity).

I finished "Disc 1" of Legend of the Dragoon. I like it, but any section not spent in a dungeon feels oddly bogged down. It's also one of those jRPGs where 90% of experience is gained in bossfights, and each one is nearly always a full party level up. I like that in some games, but LoD's random encounters, though sparse, take too long to load and resolve, given how utterly pointless they seem to be. The game also seems to suffer from a severe case of "sunk cost" party development, where your early game choices are very expensive to deviate from (those three characters leave everyone else far behind... and there's no way to catch them up outside of boss battles).

Rogue is so short I may finish it later today. Legend of the Dragoon may be a slower, steadier affair.

The Room 2 is very good (I absolutely loved the first game) but feels a bit looser in its overall design. Makes me want to replay the original soon.
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2. Video Game: Wasteland 2 [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:724]
Video Game: Wasteland 2
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Continuing my adventures in the Rail Yard, land of people who change their mind about me awfully quick. You may remember our previous episode, where
Spoiler (click to reveal)
I acquired a party member who two minutes later attacked me just because I dug up his wife's grave, so I had to shoot him


Well, the past sessions I've fully explored the Rail Yard, talking to all sorts of interesting characters, and with some effort, some smart-assery, a whole lot of walking back and forth, and a little sacrifice, I managed to broker a peace between the two factions. Celebration was the word of the day, and the entire town regardless of their previous allegiances praised me as a hero. The Rangers of Echo Squad had cemented their place in history as the saviors of this town, their names to be praised for the rest of time.

And then immediately upon exiting the town...
Spoiler (click to reveal)
An announcement from Kekkebah went out over the loudspeaker that he learned we had desecrated a grave or two, that we were to be considered enemies of the state, and henceforth the Rangers of Echo Squad were to be shot on sight.


Even though I find I have to be in the right mindset and have enough time to really sink my teeth in, when I am in the mood to play this game I am continuing to really enjoy it.
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3. Video Game: Terraria [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:351]
Video Game: Terraria
Osirus
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Oh man. Rudy gathered all the troops and set up a big server for a VGG festival of this game on Tuesday, and it was pretty cool. It might be faster to list the people who didn't play, but at least two of them weren't named Seth, and my character was named "NotRudy".

This was a lot of fun, and I encourage everyone reading this who owns Terraria to join us for subsequent sessions. Actually, if you don't own this, it's on SuperSteamSale for only $2 for the next 40 hours. Take a look, and if it seems at all appealing to you, you should totally buy it because not only is it a neat non-FPS/MMO multiplayer game that accomodates tons of people at once, but it's also great to explore single player and they have added tons of neat stuff to the game.
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4. Video Game: Starbound [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:1616]
Video Game: Starbound
Luke Stirling
Norway
Trondheim
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I've gone all procedural world gaming for the past week. In addition to playing the winter update content for Starbound (via the unstable build), I've also been playing Don't Starve Together as well as soloing Don't Starve: Reign of Giants, which I've had for ages but haven't played with until recently.

There's lots to like in the changes that have been made in Starbound. The combat works a whole lot better, the quest system creates a nice set of adjunct goals to work towards while working one's way up the tiers, and various systems such as fuel make a whole lot more sense. The upgradeable matter manipulator rather than digging with picks makes it much more science fiction-y and less Terraria with spaceships. I'd still like it if they added a bit more friction to arrest jumping inertia, and it definitely is unstable. While I've only had one CTD so far (which I was forewarned about as a documented crash bug in this build), there are moments of brief freezing and lag which don't occur on the older stable build.

Don't Starve Together by contrast is seemingly rock solid. As with Starbound, I've been playing it exclusively on my LAN, so I have no idea how it copes with slow pings over large distances. But in my particular use case, its one solid beta experience. Klei do good beta. I'm looking forward to the rollout of the rest of the game content that is currently in the solo version, as well as the Together specific content the devs have been teasing.

Add to that the substantial session of Terraria that Rudy set up and it's starting to feel like I might be suffering procedural content generation overdose. It's almost a disappointment to step outside and find all the streets and buildings in the real world in the same place every day.
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5. Video Game: LEGO City: Undercover [Average Rating:8.45 Overall Rank:1677]
Video Game: LEGO City: Undercover
Simon Woodward
New Zealand
Hamilton
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Having finished the main story (20%) I decided to push on with collecting everything else in the game. Some areas are easier than others, depending on how open they are for using the scanner. Also, there are red brick scanner upgrades which are helpful (I eventually used a guide to locate all the red bricks). There always seems to be one last item that's impossible to find in each area. I have used a guide a couple of times. Anyway I've got to 66% so far. Most of the additional content is really just busywork, nothing that's not already there in the main story, just more of the same. I do like the vehicle time trials though. The platforming time trials are okay, except when they involve dangling from the roof (I always fall off those sections). I think I'm going to take a break and complete it in the new year (then maybe I can post it again to next year's beaten list )
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6. Video Game: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:1787]
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Andrew Hodkinson
Canada
Owen Sound
Ontario
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My family is playing this Civ V Sequel. I'm not sold on it yet, but we are having fun playing in the attic and saving various games in progress to accomodate the permutations of 4-6 people.

For breaks we;ve played Team Fortress 2 and I've sent around copies of the Orion Prelude hoping to get a game of it in. There is loose talk about Smash Bros.

I guess I'll have to upload some screenshots for the game.
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7. Video Game: The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:795]
Video Game: The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
Twinge
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Colorado
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Plenty more Rebirth. Got one of my Lost runs completed - only two more to go. Started practicing for racing - I've seen a lot of races but never tried it myself.
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8. Video Game: Destiny [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:1034]
Video Game: Destiny
Ian Kelly
United States
Longmont
Colorado
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I got to level 8 in Destiny and away from the Russian cosmodrome for the first time. Now I'm doing missions on the moon...which unfortunately leads to a couple of WTFs.

What's the first thing you try when you find yourself standing on the surface of the moon? You try jumping, of course. Unfortunately at this point in the far future it seems that the moon's gravity must have been altered to be identical to Earth gravity. My jump is no different than it was on Earth. Plah.

So after being disappointed by jumping I look up at the sky. There's Earth. There's the Milky Way. Even Mars is quite distinctive. Wait, what the hell is that? There's some giant mass of debris that looks like the ruins of the ISS or something just hovering what looks to be a few hundred meters up. Not orbiting. Hovering.

So why is it now that I'm annoyingly restrained by the moon's gravity and that thing up there apparently isn't? angry

Despite my issues with the moon, still having fun with the game.
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9. Video Game: Jade Empire [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:325]
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The perfect game for Christmas Eve. Finally beat this one, although the last hour was a bit of a slog. It didn't help that for reasons I couldn't figure out (and which didn't disappear even after restarting and closing all my open browser windows and whatnot), everything got really stuttery. I figured I was at the end of the game anyway and would just power through, but the ending dragged. So, thumbs down for the last hour or two of this game. But I enjoyed the first twenty hours quite a bit, so overall I'd still say it's a cool game if you aren't crushed by annoying endings.
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10. Video Game: Terraria [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:351]
Video Game: Terraria
Rudy
United States
No too far from Philly
Pennsylvania
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Terraria

I played this on a server with the following...

Luke Stirling
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Amy
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Phoenix
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Andy
United Kingdom
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Marius Roth
Germany
Wistedt
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Adam
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Tempe
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I was pure chaos and it was great fun! Looking forward to trying this again on Saturday! Please join us if you can!
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11. Video Game: Super Smash Bros. Brawl [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:230]
Video Game: Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Agent J
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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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Wheee! Lots of punching and kicking action with all of my kids, which is awesome because everyone can at least play the game, if not well.
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12. Video Game: Far Cry 4 [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:515]
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Joakim Schön
Sweden
Alingsås
Sverige
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Been playing FC4 on PS4 this week, and completed around 25% of it. The game is ok. But I think I like FC3 better, maybe even FC2 better as well.

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Maybe it is all the mountains that makes is a bit boring, you have to walk around etc so many times. The helicopter is fine, bad does it feel a bit as a game breaker?

It is fine to explore the world. But there is so many collectables.

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13. Video Game: Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:215]
Video Game: Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
Kenneth Stuart
United States
Chantilly
Virginia
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This is my first time adding to one of these geeklists, but I'm looking for some feedback from others that have already played this game. Many have called this the best game in the AC series, but I'm just not seeing it (yet?). I'm halfway through sequence 3 and I'm pretty much ready to quit.

I have glitched the game 3 times already, each requiring me to quit and restart. Controls feel clunky, combat is not nearly as smooth as previous titles, and captaining a ship is significantly less intuitive than it was in AC3. Graphics are out right terrible, on par with the handheld title AC:Liberation, which is atrocious for a 2013 PS3 title. This game has every marking of a failed Ubisoft "hurry and pump out another AC game in less than a year" title.

How long until the game gets better?



This week, I also played and completed Contrast, which was short and simple but enjoyable, and I finished God of Light on iPad. Both of hose are listed on the VG Beaten geeklist. I also started survival mode of Tokyo Jungle, which is interesting, but I have yet to form an opinion on the game.
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14. Video Game: Master of Orion [Average Rating:8.23 Overall Rank:72] [Average Rating:8.23 Unranked]
Video Game: Master of Orion
p55carroll
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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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Still really enjoying this classic game. And now I find I'm still learning more every time I play. I'd been in a rut without realizing it--routinely doing the same kinds of things again and again. Now I'm taking time to work with details I had glossed over before. And I'm even learning rules I didn't know about--like the fact that when you incite a rebellion, you can choose which enemy planet to incite it on (I used to choose the default every time, thinking it was the only choice).

In my most recent game, I worked my way up to where my Psilons owned half the galaxy and the Klackons owned the other half. They were ahead in most every area, and they started coming at me with torpedo ships. I'd been so busy building planetary missile bases that I neglected to build a fleet; and those torp ships were able to knock out my bases sometimes. Much to my chagrin, I lost my home planet--though I got it back right away.

I had to methodically catch up on building industry, doing advanced research, and constructing ships. Luckily the Klackons left me alone enough that I managed it. Once I got some neutronium bombers in my fleet, it was the beginning of the end for them. Their fleet was larger than mine right up to the very end of the game--but mine was better, and I kept taking planets until I had 'em all.
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15. Video Game: Heroes of Might and Magic II: The Price of Loyalty [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:744] [Average Rating:7.73 Unranked]
Video Game: Heroes of Might and Magic II: The Price of Loyalty
p55carroll
United States
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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 had been afraid to play this game for a long while, as I kept getting beaten up by it. But I remembered it as a pleasant game (when it wasn't rubbing my face into the dirt), so I tried again.

Someone had recently said HoM&M2 is the best game in their view, so I reinstalled that to see what it looked like. It's the first game in the series I ever played, back when it was new.

I started a campaign (as Archibald, the evil brother, since I'm sure I never played as him before) and won the first scenario pretty easily. So I was right: it is a pleasant game. I had wanted something to just play at and not have to work hard at, and I got it.

Now that I've played some HoM&M2, though, I want to play HoM&M3 next time. There are some features in that game that I like better.

But then again, now I feel like I've embarked on a campaign. I've got another mission to accomplish.
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16. Video Game: FTL: Faster Than Light [Average Rating:7.87 Overall Rank:105]
Video Game: FTL: Faster Than Light
Andrew Schoonmaker
United States
Long Beach
California
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I've finally started playing FTL. After an initial excursion on Normal, I figured I might as well swap down to Easy to learn the ropes. So far I've played about half a dozen games. I've made it to what I assume is the last phase of the final boss, twice now. The most recent run was after watching the first couple of sectors'-worth of Twinge's tutorial, and the defeat was heartbreaking in that I earlier lost a couple of crew through command stupidity (one of them got burned in the medbay, IIRC, and then I accidentally blew up a ship with one of my boarding team still over there), and it might well have made the difference.

The tutorial, so far, has been an interesting mix of things I would not have thought to try, things that I did figure out on my own, and some confirmation of things I was starting to suspect, with a side order of things that have apparently been rebalanced since the video was made (blast doors now cost $35 and not $20).

I've also put some time into Pinball FX 2 and Creeper World 2, the latter of which seems like a much faster- and smoother-playing game than its predecessor, even though it discards a few of the things that made the first game distinctive.
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17. Video Game: Dragon Age: Inquisition [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:240]
Video Game: Dragon Age: Inquisition
Adam
United States
Tempe
Arizona
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"We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner! I can't think what anybody sees in them."
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I've made a bit more progress on this, recruiting another party member and choosing who to help in the mage / templar war. I'm still really enjoying it, though it is not quite like anything I've ever played. It's sort of like Dragon Age: Origins had a child with an Elder Scrolls game.

I've also spent more time with Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard, and I'm finally at the third strata! The plot in these games unfolds slowly, and things are finally starting to get really interesting. I will certainly be finishing this before moving on to the next one in the series.

Finally, I spent some time playing Terraria with a number of other VVGers on Tuesday night, which was a lot of fun! It's amazing how the right company can make a game you'd never normally play a great experience!
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18. Video Game: Imperialism II [Average Rating:7.88 Overall Rank:2186]
Video Game: Imperialism II
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 myself the strategy-guide book for this game as sort of a Christmas present. I'm only a couple chapters into it, and I really need to go back and read the manual before I go any further. And then I should replay the tutorials. So at this point I'm kinda dabbling rather than playing.

But what I've read so far convinces me that it's best to just skip the original game (which I've played several times, but never to a successful conclusion) and get into Imperialism II instead. Everyone seems to agree it's an improvement. And at least one writer says it's the greatest strategy game ever made. (It has also been called the spiritual predecessor to Europa Universalis, which I've never seen or played.)

We'll see whether I stick with this game. In a couple ways I'm forcing myself: (1) I generally don't like games that require me to run an economy, and (2) I don't usually handle difficult games very well, and this game appears to be very tough indeed.
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19. Video Game: Dragon Age: Inquisition [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:240]
Video Game: Dragon Age: Inquisition
Plenty of DAI, almost done the SP campaign for the 1st run through! I have been playing the goodie goodie side and romanced Cassandra with my Elf Warrior. Next time I am going E-vil as a Human Rogue and who knows who I'll have by my side all game. Fun times!

I have been hitting Company of Heroes 2 pretty hard as well. I got smoked by the OKW on hard level. Hard to compete with King Tigers rolling into your base. cry I had a wall of AT guns, but they can one shot kill them with the King Tigers. The trick is to beat them before the KT's come out. Lesson learned!
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20. Video Game: Limbo [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:224]
Video Game: Limbo
Jan
Belgium
De Haan
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More Limbo as it has been taking over my videogaming since last week. Wow this is a nice little game. I finished it just this evening and loved it a lot! Great thing.
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21. Video Game: Medieval II: Total War [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:225]
Video Game: Medieval II: Total War
Thomas Eager
United States
Portland
Oregon
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cool Finally installed Medieval II: Total War through Steam (owned it for years on disc) and deleted my old install on the main drive. This meant I also lost all my old savegames, so I started a new campaign as Spain. Put about 8 hours in over the past two weeks and have already taken Bordeaux, Morocco and the entire Iberian Penninsula save the two provinces of my ally, Portugal. I included a video of a battle against some scroungy Rebels for those who haven't seen the game in action before. WARNING: my Commander (unbeknownst to me at the time) has the "Profane" trait and starts a speech that would make Patton blush before I stopped him by deploying. Anyway, the battle is a fine example of the old Napoleonic maxim: Win the march to win the battle. My only mistake was getting careless with my cavalry and letting them get embroiled with the opposing Light Horse. I should've piled a Spear unit in from behind, instead I was focused elsewhere and took needless casualties.

Played quite a bit more of HIVE.

Played a few missions of another new acquisition, Stronghold HD. Still not sure how I feel about this one. Minimal Tutorial and intel, and the NPCs are a torrent of personal abuse. Am I paying for this derogation or is it gratis?!

Played a bit more of Assassin's Creed Brotherhood.

And finally knuckled down and cranked through a couple more campaign missions in Company of Heroes 2 as the Russians. Man, I HATE being on the defensive all the time! Hopefully the later missions will see the tide turn a bit... cool

From gallery of cabalzero
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22. Video Game: Last Inua [Average Rating:5.67 Unranked]
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Jan
Belgium
De Haan
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So I'm rather clueless when it comes to Indie games and I'm learning so much these days. To get my copper game a day badge I was looking in Steam for games to upload and came across: Last Inua. I was looking for more information about the game and became intrigued by it.

It's a really nice game where you play with two characters a father and son at the same time, they need to get past the same obstacles as it's a plaformer but they can't do it the same way. The son has access to magic while the father has to do things with brute strenght. It's looking for a way through for them. I'm so glad I got it (thanks to Anthony who gifted it to me). It's very beautifull as well.
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23. Video Game: ArcheAge [Average Rating:5.45 Unranked]
Video Game: ArcheAge
James Lowry
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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Still plugging along here. As before, our future with the game is uncertain, but there are projects we want to finish, if nothing else. Like building a house.

The house has been eating up all of Smudge's labor to make stone packs for it. It needs 15 stone packs, and is finally up to 10 now. After that is metal and wood, which we pretty much have ready to go.

My main struggle is getting Alchemy skill up, and I'm now at about 3200 (I need 10,000 for what I need to do...).

I've been meaning to mention for a while that part of the trading economy are 'farm carts'; vehicles you can build that can carry two of the trade packs (while you wear a third) for improved trade run returns. They're slow, but you need fewer trips (also you can speed them up, but that requires things we can't get at yet).

From gallery of Rindis


We actually have three—one for my main (Eseria), and one for each of Smudge's main characters (Gau and Lingli).

A while ago, they introduced two improved versions into the game, a 4-pack Farm Wagon, and a 6-pack Farm Hauler. Sadly, they require one of the hardest things to get in the game (Thuderstruck Trees). But one of Lingli's guildies has a system all worked out for getting them semi-regularly (involving a spreadsheet and timetable), and we've spent the last day getting the rest of materials made.

There's also a winter celebration going on, that mostly involves getting random items 10 times a day, and includes skimpy outfits for the females.... It also includes some minor labor potions, which have not been translated from Korean. It also involves 'snow' which is done with a lighting filter, and can be kind of painful to look at for a while.
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24. Video Game: Europa Universalis III: Heir to the Throne [Average Rating:8.36 Overall Rank:3581] [Average Rating:8.36 Unranked]
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James Lowry
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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Okay, so I have some spare time... time to get back into one of the fantasy conquest games that have been occupying my mind for the last few months, right?

Um, no. I've found myself back in Europa Universalis III playing as the Ottomans. This also means I've started writing my next review, which is of the third expansion for the game. Here's hoping I stick with it long enough to finish.
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25. Video Game: Panzer Corps [Average Rating:8.33 Overall Rank:1048]
Video Game: Panzer Corps
Ryan
United States
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Got this for Christmas and have played through the first four missions of the tutorial. Having a blast and really enjoying the nearly 100% feel of the old Panzer General series. I can tell this will be a long term favorite.
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