28 September - 4 October 2015 : What video games are you playing this week?
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What video games are you playing this week? Inquiring minds want to know!

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Videogames Beaten by VGGers in 2015
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1. Video Game: Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (Wii) [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Video Game Compilation: Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (Wii)
Simon Woodward
New Zealand
Hamilton
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I've been meaning to replay this for a while, it was my first PoP game and I quite liked it. I really do like the environments, and it is pretty relaxing to run through. The story makes more sense the second time too. My other two favourite PoP games are Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and Prince of Persia (2008).
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2. Video Game: Final Fantasy X [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:124] [Average Rating:7.78 Unranked]
Video Game: Final Fantasy X
Simon Woodward
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Hamilton
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As well as the above action game, I am continuing with this story game. I have arrived at Kilika. I am quite liking it so far, it is very colourful and breezy. I am not a FF expert, but the battle system seems straightforward so far, I like the lack of time pressure. The sphere grid (leveling system) seems obtuse at this stage.
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3. Video Game: Professor Layton and the Unwound Future [Average Rating:7.86 Overall Rank:560]
Video Game: Professor Layton and the Unwound Future
Chris McDermott
United Kingdom
Belfast
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Found my DS Lite recently so restarted this. It has been a year since I last played it and I was 5 hours in but I'd forgotten all the story so best to begin fresh.

Some of the puzzles are still as tough as anything, even the ones I must have done before.... shake
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4. Video Game: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt [Average Rating:8.93 Overall Rank:6] [Average Rating:8.93 Unranked]
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Joakim Schön
Sweden
Alingsås
Sverige
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Now I have made it to Skellige. I could have gone there before, but made a great couple of secondary quests on the main land first.

From gallery of joakim589


Think the quests that have been down in different dungeons have been the best. They can sometimes have some puzzles, and there can also be some bigger monsters to fight.

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This week I will play the main missions on Skellige. Read that there is 5-6 missions there, in the main quest. Will see how long they will be. And will see how many secondary quests I will be doing. Until now I have done all of them that I have encountered. Now let's do Skellige.

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5. Video Game: Energy Balance [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Video Game: Energy Balance
Andrew Hodkinson
Canada
Owen Sound
Ontario
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Played some interesting math puzzlers, maybe influenced by playing the Blueline Games digital versions of Reversi and Hive.

Energy Balance has been called a combination of sudoku and crossword puzzles and that's pretty accurate. Its storyline is about some alien and his cat having engine problems, with a resulting Katamari-like feel. The main game was pretty simple but the bonus levels are quite challenging.

A better game was Divide by Sheep with good polish and a wider variety of puzzles. It also dresses up math puzzles in a cutesy theme. The math puzzle is to get a certain number of items on a raft it groups from islands. But the theme is that the island contains sheep or wolves (or pigs so I;ve heard) and the combination can be changed by having animals drown if the island is too small or have wolves eat sheep which negates both. There is even some strangely gory bits with lasers that divide sheep in half to fulfill the equations.

Video Game: Divide by Sheep
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6. Video Game: Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition [Average Rating:7.93 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.93 Unranked]
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Ronster Zero
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Finally put down World of Tanks for a bit.

Another free game from XBox Live. I did enjoy my play and like the mix of puzzles, shooting, and story line. The only thing I don't really like is the placing of objects all over the map so you have to hunt for every little piece of information. Still, having fun for what it is.
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7. Video Game: Cities: Skylines [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:555] [Average Rating:7.66 Unranked]
Video Game: Cities: Skylines
Mike
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Cicero
New York
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Colossal Order just realized the After Dark expansion which introduces a few minor features. So I'm back into the swing of things, adding a few commercial specializations and improving my overall mass transit.

My city was suffering from lack of goods, which I've realized is a problem with my train cargo system. It was sharing the same tracks as the passenger trains, so by separating them out it improved throughput for both needs.

Cities look amazing at night. More pics! http://imgur.com/a/FxxVy

External image
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8. Video Game: Portal (2007) [Average Rating:8.61 Overall Rank:5] [Average Rating:8.61 Unranked]
Video Game: Portal (2007)
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Minneapolis
Minnesota
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Trying to make my way through this, as I have time.

So far I have enjoyed it quite a bit.
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9. Video Game: Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:1161]
Video Game: Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes
Josh Malbon
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Santa Cruz
California
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Tried playing this again.
Got mad at the game again, after I got caught sneaking around.

Glad I didn't delete it again.

Thought about it all day and realized, I just need to get good at it.
That's my favorite part with Metal Gears and Hitman games, when you understand the AI and moves, and can then punish the AI mercilously. devil

EDIT: Finished the main mission in 5 hours or so. Real fun!
Looking forward to taking on the side missions and starting Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, once my copy gets here.
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10. Video Game: Civilization V [Average Rating:8.01 Overall Rank:69]
Video Game: Civilization V
wayne r
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Just got my hand on the GOTY version and have gone through it on the Settler level of difficulty. I enjoyed playing King Saejong (Korea) and liked the overall feel of the game but not sure yet if it trumps Civ IV in my book.
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11. Video Game: NHL 16 [Average Rating:7.12 Unranked]
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Josh Malbon
United States
Santa Cruz
California
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Yay! Someone added NHL 16 to The Geek.
Thanks, if it was any of you.


I've been fighting with this game for a couple weeks.
The stock game played terrible. After making adjustments to about 20 of the sliders to alter the gameplay and AI, it now feels like the old NHL games.

The new atmosphere and the new presentation are AWESOME!
But the physics steal the show.

Having the puck bounce realistically around. Ricocheting off sticks and stuff is great!

It's strange that 6 minute periods feel right. I usually played 10 minute periods in previous NHL's, but this one, the players are a bit quicker, so it works out. And the speed makes it more exciting.
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12. Video Game: Cities: Skylines [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:555] [Average Rating:7.66 Unranked]
Video Game: Cities: Skylines
Aaron Tubb
United States
Fuquay Varina
NC
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Still playing this game, which in spite of the flaws and oddities, is still the best city building sandbox that there is right now, IMO. They just added day/night transitions, and the night time looks pretty cool.

My city in the night
From gallery of Aarontu


An office park
From gallery of Aarontu


The coal power plant complex
From gallery of Aarontu


An apartment complex (made by setting a high density residential area to the "European" style)
From gallery of Aarontu


My airport during the day:
From gallery of Aarontu

And at night:
From gallery of Aarontu


A night time view of the city, so far:
From gallery of Aarontu
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13. Video Game: Payday 2 [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:1723]
Video Game: Payday 2
Andy
United Kingdom
Manchester
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Monday Night I played some Payday 2 with Amy, Jonna and Rudy. Jonna was trying to get the achievement for 8 bags in the garage escape, so we were trying a ton of missions that would lead to that escape, but never once had an escape!! We did however also manage to do Framing Frame on OK difficulty and trade 9 paintings on day 2... which Amy and I needed for achievements.

A bit later on Rudy, Amy and I tried Cook Off on Overkill and we managed to cook and escape with 7 bags... however we had a really bad encounter with Captain Winter and his unending assault, which cost us a lot of grenades, ammo and downs... without that, we would have been able to cook longer. (lets not mention the miscommunication, where Amy started cooking before I'd finished my batch, and so I ended up blowing up the lab)
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14. Video Game: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt [Average Rating:8.93 Overall Rank:6] [Average Rating:8.93 Unranked]
Video Game: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
It's V-Y not V-R
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Alabama
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After finishing the second game on Sunday, last night I moved on to the final installment of the Witcher series. I played for about an hour, getting used to the new systems and different controls.

-----

Two more hours into the game on Friday. I'm really enjoying the open world exploration (as I usually do in games). I'll need some more practice with the modifications to the combat. I took quite a few screenshots that I hope to add to the gallery soon.
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15. Video Game: Sword Coast Legends [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
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I pre-ordered this one and played some player-made adventures. Very Baldur's Gate-ish but better interface - and fully 3D. Unfortunately there is a a bug with Nvidia video cards overheating so my system would crash after about an hour of play.

I also played a fair bit of Company of Heroes 2. Getting much better at the Brits now and able to consistently beat the Germans down much faster. I'm still not nearly as good with them as I am with US of Wehrmarcht forces.
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16. Video Game: LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga (DS) [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Video Game Compilation: LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga (DS)
Andy
United Kingdom
Manchester
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Trying to finish off this game... I completed episode V and just have 3 more levels of episode VI.

My eldest (5) has now beaten every level on story mode except the last level of Episode VI. I've had to play a couple of the spaceship levels for him as he seems to struggle with those, which I can understand because some of them are not very clear as to what you have to do. Hoth battle in particular, we had to look up online how to take down the AT-ATs with the tow cable (once hooked with the tow cable, you basically have to draw loops on the touch screen until it falls down).
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17. Video Game: Guild Wars 2 [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:468]
Video Game: Guild Wars 2
Osirus
United States
North Adams
Massachusetts
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Tooled around with folks a little bit and mostly managed inventory and tried to do more crafting. Indramir was kind enough to help me out with some of that, so I'm now a lvl 200 chef. Also, it's very easy to lose track of the time while crafting (or doing anything) in this game. I was cooking foods, wanted to just do one more thing, blinked, and it was 6am. Addictive.
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18. Video Game: Mass Effect 2 [Average Rating:8.59 Overall Rank:9] [Average Rating:8.59 Unranked]
Video Game: Mass Effect 2
Alex
Canada
Saskatoon
Saskatchewan
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Great game. I have been going through the process of recruiting team members. I find the DLC members much less exciting than the main game team members. Zaeed and Kasumi don't have actual dialogue - they only talk at the player, rather than with. Despite what seems to be an attempt to flesh out Kasumi, particularly, a little bit, they both feel hollow to me. Consequently, I avoid using them as a general rule. They're not my friends! There's no back and forth. They're just people who spout comments when I press buttons.
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19. Video Game: Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:1161]
Video Game: Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes
Josh Malbon
United States
Santa Cruz
California
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Had a fun go with the first side-mission.
The job was to execute two evil soldiers guilty of war crimes.
But I had to find them first.

Snake snuck into the outside of the base and took out two soldiers on the exterior. He hid them behind a roadblock and snuck up the hill to look for the two he needed to exterminate.

After spotting one, quite a distance away, he thought he might need a sniper rifle, but there was a giant artillery gun right near his hiding spot. While he was considering his options, a Jeep drove up and the passenger spotted the two bodies!

While the passenger was checking them out, Snake threw a grenade down the hill and BOOM! took care of Him. The victim ended up being one of the targets! Some luck there.

Then Snake fled and waited for things to calm back down. When he got back, rather than look for a sniper rifle, he turned the Triple A gun on the other target!

That got their attention. He blew up some fuel tanks for further diversion, and got the heck outta there.

Mission Completed. laugh
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20. Video Game: Guild Wars 2 [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:468]
Video Game: Guild Wars 2
James Lowry
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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Yep. Still going on this.

Had a small disaster on Monday: We started Act 4 of the personal story (which is all Order based). No matter which Order you're in, you get the exact same scene (there is some interaction that I would think depends on your race), which looks to happen shortly before the intro to the first dungeon (despite the levels saying it should be the other way around).

Since it was obviously going to be the same scene, we were happy that the 'accept these decisions' (there aren't any) dialog came up for Ghyllan, despite him being in a different order, on a different path.

Well, no longer. By doing so, he changed from the Vigil to the Durmand Priory. By the devs, the 'irrevocable decision' can be changed in this one place. Smudge is very character and story driven, so this was a bit upsetting. Though Durmond Priory was her thought for him before we decided on who got what path so we could see separate stories.

She's filed a ticket, which we expect will do nothing, but we're giving them a few days to respond. So we've mostly spent time on our Norn pair, and finally got them up to 10, and to the main bank/crafting center on the first map. (They're actually our first characters from our first trial weekend.)

Meanwhile, Wildstar went free-to-play this week. We've been very interested in it for some time, but the initial release was buggy, including around billing, so we avoided it. Right now, they're obviously getting hammered. Smudge can only get on at 1 AM, and I don't even know if character create went through with me or not (Smudge had a similar problem). So, GW2 is just fine....
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21. Video Game: Front Mission 3 [Average Rating:8.13 Overall Rank:748]
Video Game: Front Mission 3
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United States
Indiana
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This week I've been playing a fair amount of Front Mission 3.

I got my fourth squadmate and have been wracking up quite a few victories in battle. So far I haven't done any training outside of the plot, and have had no problem keeping an edge in mechs/equipment/skills etc.

Sometime around the 12th battle or so, my understanding of the system hit that level where you figure out how/why to mix-and-match parts from different mechs. This began with what I assume to be the classic Kasel M2 Shield Arm. The arm is high-HP and low weight, but low accuracy, which makes it a poor choice for most guns. Bu it's awesome if you're using a shield to block-counter. I'm also using Kasel M2 legs on 3/4 of my units, giving me a huge movement advantage. I'm not sure this will last, if the next set of armaments cuts too far into my weight allowance.

The game's hilarious "browse the internet" (ooooo, novelty, 1999!) component is honestly kind of tedious and a UI nightmare, but I've taken a break from the campaign to just plow through all of the available websites and make sure I'm not missing anything. The overall tone of the game has veered further into overwrought conspiracy that I expected, and there are entire battles that seem to be dropped in as random jokes, but there's a confidence of presentation that holds it all together.

The one aspect of the gameplay that seems half-baked is the relationship between distance and enemy aggression. I guess it's not much different than Disgaea (or parts of Disgaea), but it's weird knowing that the enemy never presses their numerical advantage (if an enemy can't move-and-fire, they almost never move at all).
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22. Video Game: The Swapper [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:1148]
Video Game: The Swapper
Simon Hammar
Sweden
Täby
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Played through this little gem. It was slightly better than I expected, and I had a lot of fun with it.

I posted a little review that is currently pneding.
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23. Video Game: Mad Max (2015) [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:847]
Video Game: Mad Max (2015)
A. Power
United States
Mount Airy
Maryland
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Haven't had much time for gaming lately. I finally got some more time in Mad Max. Hunted down a couple side quest objectives and just sort of free roamed looking for some random trouble to deal with. I'm still enjoying this game immensely!
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24. Video Game: Portal Stories: Mel [Average Rating:7.12 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.12 Unranked]
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Pieter
Netherlands
Tilburg
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Good intentions are no substitute for a good education.
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Still playing Portal Stories: Mel.

I went through the game once, in Story Mode. Now I am doing it in Advanced Mode, which makes the puzzles a tad harder. I have no problems with them, but that is probably because I already did them in Story Mode and so I know more or less which things to do in which order. The main problem is that they have added some force fields in places, removed many portable panels, and occasionally restricted access to a handy feature. It definitely IS harder -- I have had to come up with some tricky maneuvers to deal with problematic situations -- but it is still all fair, though touching the borderline to "unfair" pretty often.

It's a great mod, and well worth playing. However, on my second playthrough I found I do have some issues with it. In particular, I have the feeling that the designers heavily restricted themselves to one particular kind of puzzle, which is: "you will need two cubes to open the exit door, and we give you those cubes, but we hide them behind force fields and now you should juggle buttons, funnels, and jumps to get them out."

They leave so many Portal features virtually untouched. They never use water or white gel, and very rarely use orange or blue gel. They rarely use heights. They rarely use lifts. They never use panels on rails. They rarely use force bridges. They rarely use turrets. It's all buttons, cubes, lasers, funnels, deadly goo, and force fields. The puzzles are well designed, but I miss variety. You enter a new room and you think "again I start behind a force field and again I see four buttons and a funnel and three more force fields and a pool of goo and two cube droppers and a laser and an exit with several X's around it -- this is getting a bit tiresome."

This complaint holds particularly for chapter 3 and 4, which are the "standard testing facility rooms". The other chapters seem more entertaining -- even if the puzzles are a bit samey, the environments have a lot of variety which at least integrates them in the story.

But whatever, the mod is free and is overall a great experience to play through.
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25. Video Game: Wildstar [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:5460]
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Osirus
United States
North Adams
Massachusetts
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EDIT to mention: This is now Free to Play.

After a day or two of 7-hour queues and failed loading screens, finally got into this to try it out. It's got a very Saturday morning cartoon feel, which I enjoy but may or may not be everyone's taste. I'm playing as an Exile on the Entity server, although it's not clear it will be easy for me to play with folks, since this does not appear to have Guild Wars 2's easy grouping benefits.

And I think that's what's going to keep GW2 as my main MMO over the long haul. Wildstar gets shiny points for being new to me, and it's definitely a more "actiony" combat style, which is neat. But after playing so much Guild Wars 2, I'm spoiled. I love how GW2 avoids the tedium common to so many MMOs, the having to fight your way through a dozen Wolves to get to the quest-giver who says "Find 5 wolf pelts", and then you go slaughter another few dozen, walk back to complete the quest, and then find the next quest giver who says "Kill me 25 wolves!". This is doubly important when teaming up and someone on your team has or has not started a quest. And from what I can tell, there doesn't seem to be level/quest auto-scaling in play, which means if I get my guy to lv20, and you're at lv10, we're not going to be able to fruitfully group together and do quests useful for both of us. And that's sad, because what's awesome about MMOs is multiplayer.

So, since I know Jythier was wondering, I'll say that I think GW2 (also now Free to Play!) is still going to be the easiest place for VGGers to jump in, join our guild, and play together. That being said, Wildstar is shiny and new and I'll probably play it for a bit. It's just one of those games where level-matching is likely to be a problem, so it might be hard to play as usefully without a dedicated group.
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