6 April 2015: 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 Beaten by VGGers in 2015
Video Games Ambivalently Continued by VGGers in 2015
Video Games Abandoned by VGGers in 2015

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1. Video Game: Payday 2 [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:1724]
Video Game: Payday 2
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Jay, Tyler and I are waiting for a drill on a Stealth mission in this game and I decided to take this time to post the geeklist!
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2. Video Game: WWE 2K15 [Average Rating:4.78 Overall Rank:7246]
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A new DLC was released recently which was covered by the season pass I got when I bought the game, so I figured I would try out some of the new characters.

I played one match. The game is still sub-par even with Randy Savage and the classic version of the Undertaker in it. Back on the virtual shelf it goes.
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3. Video Game: inFAMOUS Second Son [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:799]
Video Game: inFAMOUS Second Son
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After finishing my run through the game with good karma, I restarted with the intention of playing on Expert difficulty and going for evil karma instead. After playing for about two hours last night, I opened the menu to save and noticed that the game, already about 10 hours in, was set to Normal difficulty. Either I accidentally changed the difficulty at some point or didn't even begin my goal to acquire the Expert Completion trophy as intended. So, I might as well restart.
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4. Video Game: Kingdom Rush [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:859]
Video Game: Kingdom Rush
Andrew Hodkinson
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Finished up the Steam version of this with Castle Blackburn and also The Stanley Parable.

I tried out a few leftover racing games, DiRT 3, MX vs ATV Reflex that I downloaded for last month's challenge but they still didnt intrigue me much --maybe if I wasnt using a keyboard.

I still have to try out Burnout Paradise but will soon start the other and even better tower defence game Defense Grid 2 that I bought recently.
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5. Video Game: Brütal Legend [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:1591]
Video Game: Brütal Legend
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6. Video Game: Dark Souls [Average Rating:8.17 Overall Rank:111] [Average Rating:8.17 Unranked]
Video Game: Dark Souls
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Nothing but Dark Souls. zombie

Currently Soul Level 56. Started as a Pyromancer, but am playing a pure sorcerer at this point, with the aid of the Power Within pyromancy. I have a Magic Longsword +5, 40 Intelligence, Estus +3, five spell slots (soon to be six), and am working on leveling up the Moonlight Butterfly Horn as an alternative weapon, since I already had the STR/DEX required.

I've reached Arno Londo and am at the Giant Blacksmith, which means I'm in striking distance of the boss door. I didn't kindle the bonfire inside with all of the knights... although I leveled up in there a couple of times, since it was great parry practice. Now that I've unlocked the left gate, I'm thinking I may rush through with a summoned white phantom and head straight to the main hall with the two royal sentinels. Saves me a humanity point, I guess.

I'm enjoying this game a lot. I'm not sure it has quite matched my affection for Demon's Souls (2009), but they're both excellent. Dark Souls is a little more beginner-friendly at first, but then goes crazy with the environmental hazards (I'm looking at you, Sen's Fortress / Arno Londo archers). I haven't 100% embraced that particular evolution of the design. In Demon's Souls, I could reasonably expect to make it to a boss without dying during my first foray into a level. Dying to enemies could happen, but was unlikely if you were alert - including enemies placed to surprise or ambush you. Can't say the same of Dark Souls. Now and then, it seems to cross a line where all you learn from a death is, "you die there your first time though." Hmmm.

Boss difficulty also seems a bit inconsistent. Some even struck me as easy /gasp (Queelag, Iron Golem). I've noticed that the game usually includes a semi-secret option for NPC help, whereas that was done a single time in Demon's Souls. It's an interesting tension for a mage, as the extra help gives you more freedom to move around without the same level of intense maneuvering, but your spell damage is less impressive since co-op inflates boss HP.

Part of me wishes I had played this as a melee oriented character, saving sorcery/pyromancy for a second run. The strategic game (where you go when, equipment/spell access, stats) felt more interesting in Demon's Souls, and you also didn't need detailed location knowledge for much of it (you did need to know what each boss soul was used for). Mages are slower starters in Dark Souls as well.

Obviously Dark Souls is MUCH bigger. Still a joy to explore and the Metroidvania style world is quite satisfying. Not finding the implicit lore as intriguing, though. Wish there were a character as cool as the Maiden in Black.

Alright, back to it. Need to find the Lordvessel and also track down that ungrateful wretch, Lautrec.

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This guy. I tell ya.


Update:

After getting the Lordvessel, the newfound freedom to teleport to 'major' hubs is daunting (some bonfires are warpable destinations, some can only be used as exit-warps). I did some equipment upgrading, so now I am outfitted with the Spider Shield +10, Crown of Dusk, Black Leather Armor +8, Black Leather Gloves +7, and Crimson Waistcloth +2. Ever since deciding to mix the red and black color scheme, I've been very pleased with the way the Spider Shield's aesthetics fit in with this. I look a little ridiculous with the crown of dusk if I'm human. If I'm hollowed it is totally badass.

True story: I had no idea where the entrance to the Catacombs was at level 62. Somewhat astonishing given that I'd already been back to Undead Asylum and cleared out the graveyard treasure. I only discovered it because I was browsing Dark Souls clips on Youtube, and watched the "Overpowered in 10 minutes" video that has over a million views.

So, I've cleared that out (very treacherous area - glad i was high level). Also a great 'introduction' to traps and shortcuts. I managed to spook myself even further by exploring New Londo Ruins. Those Ghosts mean business, but at least I could OHOK them with a single forward thrust (magic longsword +5). Was pleased to see where it connects with the Valley of Drakes and meet the guy wearing the Crimson Set. I didn't have the ring required to enter The Abyss, though.

I debated whether or not to explore the Great Hollow, Demon Ruins, or Painted World, all of which I know how to enter. But as a sorcerer, I really want the last couple of spells, so I pushed on into the Duke's Archives. Tough area. First area where I've appreciated having the Rite of Kindling.

This game sure is big. I almost feel that it needs a little more NPC dialog, when there are so many optional places to go. I actually like that I finished Demon's Souls (2009) 3 times in 70 hours.
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7. Video Game: Bloodborne [Average Rating:8.47 Overall Rank:202] [Average Rating:8.47 Unranked]
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I missed last week's list because I've been absolutely ankle deep in Bloodborne.

I'm wrapping a few things up now before the final bosses and its been a pretty great ride. I think it's unquestionably better than Dark Souls 2, although I'm not certain I'm ready to rank it higher than DS1.

I've been messing with the chalice dungeon stuff and I'm also a little disappointed in that. It adds a bunch more (mostly) procedurally generated content that's pretty boring since they start looking same-y. Some enemies and bosses you don't find anywhere else are a nice inclusion, but overall they're outnumbered by recycled and reused bosses.

Even with those minor qualms, it's still great.

Edit: Oh yeah, with one or two exceptions, the bosses are way easier than past games, as well.
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8. Video Game: Payday 2 [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:1724]
Video Game: Payday 2
Andy
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Manchester
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I did a lot of solo stealthing on Friday night.. mostly shadow raid on either Hard or Very Hard... one time I made it out with 15 bags of loot, however I could not find any gold whatsoever... so I still don't have the achievement for 1 of each type of loot!

I did also do a jewelery store stealth heist, so that I could get the achievement for taking bags to the van before it leaves.
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9. Video Game: Payday 2 [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:1724]
Video Game: Payday 2
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I can barely keep up with all the heists that I do in a week now. Jay and I did try some stealth heists, and I attempted to get a side mission with Rudy, Tyler and Andy last night.
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10. Video Game: Shadow Warrior (2013) [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:3242]
Video Game: Shadow Warrior (2013)
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I felt like trying out some shoot-and-slash on PS4 last night, so I got around to trying the new Shadow Warrior game. It has a mix of old-school and relatively newer ideas that is fun enough, though not groundbreaking, and occasionally seems a little too antiquated.

The melee combat isn't revolutionary, but hell if it isn't entertaining to chop up zombies and Yakuza in between pistol shots, so I'm happy with it. If this had been a PS4-exclusive, I would have liked to see the touchpad used to control the swordplay, but the fact that it's an option for powers is a nice addition. I was surprised by the inclusion of light RPG elements, with the upgrades for weapons, ki powers, and fighting abilities, so there are more decisions to make than I expected.

The map layouts bring both a pleasant throwback to old-school FPS games and one that is incredibly disappointing to still see used. Searching for the frequent secret areas, some of which actually use the graphics from the original Shadow Warrior, is a nice change of pace from the bloodshed, and is used sparingly enough to not leave you bored. However, as soon as I saw a door that needed a green keycard to open, I groaned. Yes, the new Shadow Warrior game includes everyone's favorite speed bump in games, arbitrary blockades with colored keys. Fortunately, some of those doors are actually magically sealed and are opened by destroying a source of power, which I guess makes enough sense to at least excuse the system.

The sense of humor of the original appears to also be intact, and I'm not sure what to think of that. On one hand, it's so over-the-top with the cracks at the main character's name and silly exploitation action movie humor that it should be my kind of thing, but on the other, a lot of the jokes seem to be played completely straight, as if the developers are genuinely entertained by a racist name rather than amused by the absurdity of all of this. Time will tell.
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11. Video Game: Pinball Arcade [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:1332]
Video Game: Pinball Arcade
Joakim Schön
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Alingsås
Sverige
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Have now got The Addams Family table for the PS4. Played some of this table this week. One of the best tables ever made, I think.

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12. Video Game: Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:571]
Video Game: Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
Michael Conti
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I finished moving and hooked the TV up. The Vita was out of power and I couldn't find the cable so I started this and put Persona 3 on the back burner.

Old school Final Fantasy meets Pokémón.
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13. Video Game: Risk of Rain [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:1997]
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I had a long weekend, and it turned out being a really odd mish-mash of games for me.

I finished Mark of the Ninja early this weekend, doing every level with (almost) no kills and (almost) no detection using the Path of Silence outfit where possible. I also did a few very bloody runs through some levels to get some more collectibles.

I also "beat" Payday 2 by going infamous for the first time. It's really tough playing without my high-level builds, but I guess I have some cool sunglasses now. Working on making a few new-to-me builds, but I will eventually return to the Tanknician.

I also did my usual session or two of Guild Wars 2 with Seth. I'm starting to get a little bored with the game (shh, don't tell him!). There's a lot to do, but every reward seems to be something that either isn't useful (items or crafting materials I can't use), isn't interesting (another armor that has slightly better numbers than my other armor, or a small experience boost), or is beyond my interest (laurels, crafting stuff, stuff I can't use til I hit max level, etc.). We're coming up on level 40, and a comment I made to Seth is that with 2 people, there is not a lot of downtime. By the time we finish both of our level 30 personal stories, we're probably close to unlocking our level 40 personal stories. And if we're not, we definitely have enough free level-ups from daily login rewards to get there.

I was at a loss for what to start playing this weekend. I was torn between buying Shadow of Mordor (on sale this weekend in the Humble Bundle store) and playing Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, since it is a long weekend and I felt like binging on something that might interest my girlfriend as a spectator. I realized that the prior would likely take over an hour to download and install after purchase, so I went with the latter.

I remember Metroid Prime fondly, and also remember having fun with MP3's motion controls. Unfortunately, I don't think it holds up as well in play as it did in my memory. Going back to Wii motion controls feels alien to me, and the intro to the game, with lots of man-made architecture and talking NPCs just don't hold a candle to the natural, lonely environment of Metroid Prime. I put an hour or so into the game, but I'm not sure I'll play it again.

I wound up putting a few hours into Risk of Rain, after hearing (and watching) Scott of Experience Points speak so highly of it. I do enjoy 2D platform-style games, but the complete lack of in-game progression (as compared to, say, Rogue Legacy) makes for a frustrating experience.

The game has lots of distinct upgrades, but they all sort of feel samey. There are basically three types; navigation boosts (double jump, lower gravity), damage increase (bleed on hit, damaging aura), and damage mitigation/recovery (healing outside of combat, slowing enemies on hit). Beyond that, I also find that the game doesn't elegraph informatoin very well. I still don't really know what different enemies do, particularly because the majority of the time they are all clumped up when I'm fighting them. I've only gotten to the final level once out of about two dozen attempts, and I'm not sure I'll keep trying.

I also played another third of Jolly Rover. Besides a few shortcomings, I think it's a great little adventure game with entertaining dialogue.

My girlfriend also clocked a few hours of Earthbound this weekend, so I've been playing it vicariously through her.
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14. Video Game: Pillars of Eternity [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:324]
Video Game: Pillars of Eternity
Luis
Spain
Madrid
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This week I've mostly been playing Pillars of Eternity, for around 17 hours. I just reached level 9 with my party. I've ignored adventurers until now (custom companions), but if I hit the level cap soon I may begin experimenting with them. I'm swimming in gold too, as I'm not very sure on what to spend it, stronghold improvements aside. Guess I should buy a bunch of magical items, but I don't feel like I need them.

Something I didn't truly notice during my first week is how reputation works, and I must say I love it. When it comes to factions, you get measured by good and bad actions, but on two separate scales, New Vegas style. It's a good system, so I'm not surprised they're using it for Pillars too. What's novel is the personal reputation system: you gain reputation based on ten different personality traits (benevolent, cruel, stoic, diplomatic...), and people react based on them. How these two systems gel together shapes the best morality/reputation system I've seen in a video game, hands down.

During my first hours I also thought the game was heavy on combat, but I was wrong. First of all, because I had spent most of the time at rural areas and dungeons, which are the combat-heavy sections. When at cities, you spend less time in combat sequences. Secondly, I like exploring areas thoroughly, which means fighting every monster at every map. While the explorer in me won't bulge, you don't need to do so, experience wise. I've almost reached the level cap, and have yet to come close to the second big city, though I must say I've also completed almost every quest I've come across. And I'm rolling over most of my opponents. The game seems to be designed so as the player reaches level 12, the maximum level, soonish and without needing to be a completionist. I've also noticed travel areas act as level gates, so if you can reach a town or village, you should be able to complete most encounters from that area, if not all.

Story wise, the setting is growing on me, but I still think the game would be better if processing the information was easier. I also feel there's a wee bit too much deus ex machina going on, as a lot of the important events regarding the main plot happen because there's a magic force, old as time itself, which has never been stopped. I get the impression I'm being dragged from one place to another, and things will happen because they're supposed to happen. Up until the very end, where the unstoppable force will be stopped because, you know, epicness. But this last part may be just me: my threshold of tolerance for epic narrative is extremely low, and I soon grow tired of it.

But main story aside, I'm liking the secondary plots and quests. They're autoconclusive, unconvoluted and, even when there's a powerful force behind them, such as at the Endless Paths (the massive dungeon), it feels mysterious, not epic and unstoppable-but-not-really. I also like the companions a lot, and I'm looking forward to meeting the two I haven't found yet. My favourites are, hands down, Edér and Sagani, and my least favourite Durance. But I don't feel indifferent about him: I can't stand him. And that's good! It means he has personality. A personality I can't stand, true enough, but an interesting one.

And now, a couple of spoilerish comments regarding the bottom floor of the massive dungeon.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
I got completely wrecked by the Master Below, who one-shotted all but one of my party members with a single attack. Being an optional final boss, I guess she's impossible to beat unless you have a maxed party, equipped with very powerful items. I had to fool her into thinking I was going to help her just to get out of there alive. Well, I could've reloaded a previous save and turn around, but it didn't felt thematic, so I confronted her again and followed the same path as I did before, except I didn't snapped right at the end. Previous time I went all "I won't help you! You're dangerous and evil!" and, well, you already know how that ended.

As I have finished almost every side quest at Defiance Bay, the next thing I'll do will be travelling east. With any luck, I'll cross paths with the other two companions more sooner than later.
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15. Video Game: BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:1372]
Video Game: BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger
It's V-Y not V-R
United States
Alabama
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I completed the Arcade Mode playing as Jin, one of the more straightforward characters to play. I tried to follow the time-loop story, but it's pretty wacky, so I still have no idea what's going on. Even after looking up stuff on wiki pages and GameFAQs, it's pretty difficult to follow. I don't see this as a series I will get as invested in as Guilty Gear, though I like the style.
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16. Video Game: VVVVVV [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:609]
Video Game: VVVVVV
It's V-Y not V-R
United States
Alabama
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While waiting for a spot in Payday 2 to open up last night, I decided to try out VVVVVV, since I figured it would be easy to jump out of when the opportunity came up. I ended up playing for about 45 minutes, but I have complaints with that - this game is surprisingly fun. It really makes the most out of its simplicity, with the little direct control you have (moving left or right and changing gravity so you fall up or down) getting a ton of mileage based on varying hazards in the world. Because of the old-school/indie visual style, those hazards are always easy to identify, and very little in the game actually needs explanation.

Also, the soundtrack is awesome.
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17. Video Game: The Sims 3 [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:710]
Video Game: The Sims 3
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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Keep on Simmin' it up. I got my sim a lot of promotions, and the other sim is having babies, 2 so far, and basically being super mom. My sim got an opportunity to get some extra dough by playing in the park for tips and reporting back to his boss. I now have to learn performances, which I have no idea how to do but can't wait to find out. Probably by performing. I bought a bunch of instruments so we can have band practice in the house, and I think I'll have everyone learn an instrument. Unfortunately, kids can't use the instruments. So the family band will have to wait.

I left the computer for a minute while it was saving, when I came back my real daughter had done something and gotten me 9k simoleons, I still have no idea what she did. She's 4 so maybe it was nothing, maybe there's just a button that gives you money, but I used that to add an addition, a TV, a new table, and a room for the first kid. That's the music room. Eventually I'll build a separate music room.

I like the quest system in it because it often felt grindy and samey to Buy stuff to improve your skills so you can get more money to buy more stuff... in this one the quest is often to have a baby, and the goal is to have that baby grow up well WHILE balancing the work/skills/everything else. It really adds that tension that was missing.
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18. Video Game: SolForge [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:1741]
Video Game: SolForge
On a Break
United States
Eden Prairie
Minnesota
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Spoilers!
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Good times here.

Picked up 5 of easter egg packs - drew and an AA echowisp, traded for 4 legends.

Started a casual draft and this is what my deck included:
Wegu, The Ancient
Lifeblood Dryad
Cultivate
Master of Elements
Frostfang Maiden
Zarox the Raging
Gemhide Ravager
3x Umbruk Lasher
9 heroics and a legendary! I have 3 of most of that stuff, but that's ~60K silver for 3 tickets. That's like the 4-0 reward of the old casual draft, but now I don't even have to play to win! Could not believe the number of heroics that kept popping up. I saw a 4th Umbruk lasher in the same pack as gemhide ravager, but sadly could not take both.
The deck itself will kinda suck, but it does not matter with all the rich cards.
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19. Video Game: Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:6385]
From gallery of BoardGameGeek
Michael Jordal
United States
Austin
Minnesota
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Ike Clanton painted by me for Wild West Exodus
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Microbadge: Chaos in the Old World fanMicrobadge: Warhammer 40,000 fan - Space Wolves - For Russ and the Allfather!Microbadge: Black Labrador Retriever loverMicrobadge: Golden Turtleback Painted Miniature Monthly Contest winnerMicrobadge: WFRP - Nurgle fan
Tried out a couple of weapons I had just unlocked on a new level, turns out they weren't that good, at least not for that level and have since restarted with a new team and weapons
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20. Video Game: You Don't Know Jack (2011) [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:1493]
Video Game: You Don't Know Jack (2011)
Michael Jordal
United States
Austin
Minnesota
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Microbadge: Chaos in the Old World fanMicrobadge: Warhammer 40,000 fan - Space Wolves - For Russ and the Allfather!Microbadge: Black Labrador Retriever loverMicrobadge: Golden Turtleback Painted Miniature Monthly Contest winnerMicrobadge: WFRP - Nurgle fan
Played two games of this on my PS3 with my wife and brother over the holiday weekend.
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21. Video Game: Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:433] [Average Rating:7.40 Unranked]
Video Game: Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
Michael Jordal
United States
Austin
Minnesota
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Microbadge: Chaos in the Old World fanMicrobadge: Warhammer 40,000 fan - Space Wolves - For Russ and the Allfather!Microbadge: Black Labrador Retriever loverMicrobadge: Golden Turtleback Painted Miniature Monthly Contest winnerMicrobadge: WFRP - Nurgle fan
Just completed a couple of quests. Haven't beat any of the new heroics yet and still need to clean up some of the Naxx heroics.
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22. Video Game: Marvel Puzzle Quest [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:2863]
Video Game: Marvel Puzzle Quest
Michael Jordal
United States
Austin
Minnesota
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Microbadge: Chaos in the Old World fanMicrobadge: Warhammer 40,000 fan - Space Wolves - For Russ and the Allfather!Microbadge: Black Labrador Retriever loverMicrobadge: Golden Turtleback Painted Miniature Monthly Contest winnerMicrobadge: WFRP - Nurgle fan
Had a really tough time with the Heavy Metal tourney. I think I must have been in a super hard bracket
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23. Video Game: Star Realms [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:436] [Average Rating:7.58 Unranked]
Video Game: Star Realms
Michael Jordal
United States
Austin
Minnesota
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Microbadge: Chaos in the Old World fanMicrobadge: Warhammer 40,000 fan - Space Wolves - For Russ and the Allfather!Microbadge: Black Labrador Retriever loverMicrobadge: Golden Turtleback Painted Miniature Monthly Contest winnerMicrobadge: WFRP - Nurgle fan
Won a league game this weekend and was 5 and 1 total over the weekend!
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24. Video Game: The Last of Us [Average Rating:8.73 Overall Rank:17]
Video Game: The Last of Us
Todd Pytel
United States
Chicago
Illinois
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I'm on break this week and finally feel I have the time to dive into this properly. I played a few hours today and will go back for a few more. I can only seem to play about an hour at a stretch between the oppressive atmosphere and how freaking bad I am at shooters. Despite not being a fan of either zombies or shooters, this is clearly an impressive game.
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25. Video Game: Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition [Average Rating:8.14 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.14 Unranked]
Video Game Compilation: Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition
Josh Malbon
United States
Santa Cruz
California
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Been playing a lot of DIII waiting for Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin to finally come out. Tomorrow is the day, with a week off to test my meddle. Never touched any of the Souls Series before, so looking forward to it.

In Diablo, I leveled up my Mage and Crusader to level 70. My barbarian had some tough challenges of going without finding a good weapon for so many sessions, I had to lower the difficulty, because killing minions was taking forever, specially compared to the mage.

Last night, finally scored a great axe/sword combo.
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