14 December - 20 December 2015 : What video games are you playing this week?
Amy
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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: Path of Exile [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:595]
Video Game: Path of Exile
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Eden Prairie
Minnesota
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Respeced some guys on standard to try new builds. Wasted some currency discovering the (non)interaction between rapid decay and righteous fire. Got *burned* by the inadequate skill description

Have been slowing down on this one. Instead, I've spent more time devoted to solforge deck brewing (and trading blows with seth.)

I also fired up DotA 2 after a long ... hiatus? Not sure that was the word I wanted but there it is. Feels very disorienting. So much has changed. All kinds of custom game modes!
I ran a few co-op vs bot matches to get my bearings. Won 2 as Razor and as Shadowfiend (randomed my champ of course.) Lost one as the witch doctor, a teammate abandoned the game, also, hard bots have some good team coordination, third reason for losing, bots had Riki, who is broken, more commas,,,,
Won another as Lion, a good counter to the annoying/tanky bristleback bot.
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2. Video Game: Wolfenstein: The Old Blood [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:1671]
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After a quick palette-cleanser I jumped into this stand-alone prequel campaign for Wolfenstein: The New Order, and it is smashing my expectations.

I think this is the game that the team at Machine (including many former devs from the defunct Starbreeze Studios) wanted to make. The whole experience is more consistent - great level design and atmosphere, and a great stealth-and-action rhythm. For 30 minutes you'll be a meticulous deadly assassin, scouring every inch of Wolfenstein Keep and slaying unsuspecting foes, and then all hell breaks loose and you go on a rampage with a shotgun or M60 minigun. Both of these are done with greater confidence than in the base game.

There's more traditional continuity between levels, and a more traditional FPS premise (escape from Wolfenstein Keep) that allows for context-through-observation rather than direct cutscene-based storytelling and NPC development.

Secrets are tougher to find but more exciting when you do. The revamped perk system doesn't revolutionize the way things worked in The New Order, but it's pretty slick and I think I prefer it overall.

Will finish this before the week is out. We'll see if it can sustain the same level of quality, but so far this is the best FPS I can recall playing in quite some time.
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3. Video Game: The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:1292] [Average Rating:8.12 Unranked]
Video Game: The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth
Chris
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I somehow (with luck) managed to pull off a Lost Greed Mode run, dang a lang that was rough (I had dead cat and died maybe 7 times, fooooof)

Of note, at the final level I had Monstro's Lung, the Laser Eye thing that shoots circular lasers, Protopsis and super high tears. Most levels became essentially a joke in that I didn't even have to be near anything, I'd just fire and things died somewhere. Didn't stop me from dying five times at ultra greed, and twice in levels even.

I'll be back to Fallout soon though, although I might try to finish up Dark Souls 2 as well.
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4. Video Game: Her Story [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:1170]
Video Game: Her Story
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Decided to look into this at Statsig's recommendation.

Cool game. Takes a few minutes to piece together what you're doing (going over interrogation video clips from an old murder case), and then from there it feels like an unstructured dive where you pull out more and more details and begin assembling a kind of mental map - who relates to whom, etc.

Not really sure how to take action within the game but for now I'm just sifting through a mystery.
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5. Video Game: Fallout 4 [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:181] [Average Rating:7.89 Unranked]
Video Game: Fallout 4
Josh Malbon
United States
Santa Cruz
California
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From gallery of sixthecat


Found a Christmas tree!

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And my kid's room, now with Nuka-Cola Quantum!

THANKS AMY for the hint on using the Settlement builder for placing objects!

From gallery of sixthecat


and the rumpus room.


After playing Fallout for over a month straight and no end it sight, I decided to take a break. Really love the game, and I don't want to rush the story, either, but I needed something fresh for awhile.

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6. Video Game: Assassin's Creed: Unity [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:2296]
Video Game: Assassin's Creed: Unity
Josh Malbon
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Santa Cruz
California
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As a break from Fallout 4, I started Assassin's Creed: Unity, after I got it for a steal during a Black Friday sale.

Man, I forgot how much I love/hate Assassin Creed games. Doing the hits (assassinations) can be sooo much fun!

BUT, the controls can be sooo super annoying, like when I am running from guards and then suddenly my character jumps on top of a light pole and just stands there like an idiot?! surprise RUN FOOL RUN!

Also, the set-pieces where they break the controls, and suddenly use a different control scheme that is not explained anywhere is super annoying. angry


Besides that, the game is quite gorgeous!

I went inside a cathedral and kinda stood there dumbfounded a bit looking at all the stained glass and everything. Very much reminded me of when I went to France some 30 years ago.

I love when games can be cheap vacations like that.

Also, I haven't encountered any of the bugs that haunted this game at launch, so it looks like the 7 gigabyte patch really did the job. thumbsup
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7. 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
Joakim Schön
Sweden
Alingsås
Sverige
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Been playing this again after not played it for a year or so. Been doing some postgame missions. I have also collected most of the golden familiars. I like this game, and are looking forward to the second game in the series, Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom.

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Nice to level familiars by fighting Tokotocolds. Once I even meet both a regular and a golden one in the same fight. Would have been cool to have beaten them, but sadly they both run away.

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8. Video Game: Gauntlet (2014) [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:1672]
Video Game: Gauntlet (2014)
Andy
United Kingdom
Manchester
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I've played quite a lot of Gauntlet this week.. mostly with Rudy and Seth, but also with Team A - Amy, Adam and Andrew at the weekend. I still haven't managed to beat the final Boss this time around.
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9. Video Game: Rocket League [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:281]
Video Game: Rocket League
Agent J
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Coldwater
Michigan
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Still having a good time with this one. Having lots of fun attempting to fly now. Doesn't help my team much, though, because I always miss.
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10. Video Game: Cities: Skylines [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:555] [Average Rating:7.66 Unranked]
Video Game: Cities: Skylines
Agent J
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Coldwater
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This is a nice little city builder game. I should get some screenshots of my city to share! I just started playing around with the bus lines. The buses aren't well spaced out and seem to take up a lot of road. Maybe I need fewer stops.

Overview of the whole place so far:

External image


The dirty, smelly ore-processing area:

External image


The clean but noisy tree-harvesting zones:

External image
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11. Video Game: Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:323]
Video Game: Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II
Aaron Tubb
United States
Fuquay Varina
NC
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Started playing the GoG version of Jedi Knight. After downloading the "JK Ultimate patch", it works great and plays in modern resolutions. Fun game, but it hasn't aged as well as I thought it might have.
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12. Video Game: Fallout 4 [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:181] [Average Rating:7.89 Unranked]
Video Game: Fallout 4
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Still going strong.

games is amazing, but the amount to do and side quests are staggering.

I am now working on the main mission with the hopes to finish and try something new.
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13. Video Game: Borderlands 2 [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:91]
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Jonna
Finland
Helsinki
Uusimaa
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"Live your truth. Express your love. Share your enthusiasm. Take action towards your dreams. Walk your talk. Dance and sing to your music. Embrace your blessings. Make today worth remembering." ― Steve Maraboli
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Stil playing this with Rudy, now in the True Vault Hunter mode. We're having so much fun with the game!

I'm enjoying the story and running around, seeing all the details that have been put into this game. It's amazing how much I missed the first time around. I'm also enjoying for once being the one who doesn't die all the time. I've got some nice Siren powers to keep me in good health while killing effectively.

Also, driving! I love driving in this game. It's so much fun to try and park the car on top of things, like other cars.
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14. Video Game: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:442]
Video Game: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
Jonna
Finland
Helsinki
Uusimaa
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"Live your truth. Express your love. Share your enthusiasm. Take action towards your dreams. Walk your talk. Dance and sing to your music. Embrace your blessings. Make today worth remembering." ― Steve Maraboli
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Also still playing this one. I'm about halfway done, but i'm taking my sweet time, doing all the side quests instead of advancing the main story. I've really enjoyed playing this game!
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15. Video Game: Picross 3D [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:637]
Video Game: Picross 3D
Luis
Spain
Madrid
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I've just finished the "easy" set of puzzles, completing all without errors and under the soft time limit. While it's certainly a good puzzle game, there are a few things which rub me the wrong way.

The biggest offender is the time constraint: I strongly dislike having a time limit in logic puzzles. Even if the soft time limit hasn't been a problem so far, as I have completed all puzzles in time, the mere existence of a hard time limit disturbs me.

Secondly, the game revolves around destroying blocks, and there is no way to undo movements. Thus, it automatically tells you when you are wrong. Basically, it's the same issue I had with the "normal" set of puzzles in Picross DS, but knowing there's no way around it, as it would be impossible, mechanically speaking. Thus, I'm avoiding it the only way I can: restarting each level the moment I make a mistake.

Lastly, there are some things in the way levels are designed that I don't like. For instance, some scenarios are non-deterministic, and must be completed making assumptions about the figure. It doesn't happen often, but it happens. Secondly, in order to avoid making puzzles trivial, some rows and columns lack the number of squares to be preserved. One of the things I like about traditional nonograms is that, when designed correctly, they're both deterministic and perfect information puzzles. Picross 3D almost sports both qualities, but not quite.

Nevertheless, it's a good game. I'm enjoying my time with it, and will likely finish all puzzles, but I certainly favour traditional 2D nonograms over this variant.
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16. Video Game: Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:2226]
Video Game: Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard
Adam
United States
Tempe
Arizona
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I had to break out my Dark Hexer again, and farm the gaurdian bots to build up my special attack meter before going after him, but I managed to defeat the Colossus and am now on the 24th strata. Soooo close. Hopefully I can finish this (and my 2015 Hardcore Challenge) before the end of the year!
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17. Video Game: Deathtrap (2014) [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
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Andy
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Manchester
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I felt the need to inject some freshness into my solo videogaming, so I fired up Deathtrap.. the 3rd person, Tower Defense, RPG game from Neocore, the developers of the Van Helsing series. There are 3 character classes to choose from... Mercenary (melee warrior); Marksman (ranged warrior) and Sorceress (Ranged magic) and your character gains experience, skill points and trap points as you complete levels. I started out with a Mercenary as I often like a Melee style of play.

Each level has waves of enemies to defeat and you can place traps in set locations by spending essence, some which you get each wave, but you also earn for kills during the waves. You also fight alongside the traps in a mouse driven top-down RPG style game, like Van Helsing, Torchlight and Diablo. There are also side-quests that are off the main map that you can try to complete... they have to be done during the waves, rather than the trap-building phase!

Overall I had a lot of fun in the 70 minutes I was playing. I completed the first 3 levels on Normal difficulty, but at the lowest tier (you have to beat all levels one tier to gain access to the next highest tier, though I have yet to discover the difference between the tiers obviously).
The game also has Co-operative and Versus modes of play (Versus is only unlocked when your character is level 10 or higher, and I think mine was level 5 when I stopped playing), so I will hopefully get chance to play it with some other VGGers at some point.
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18. Video Game: Galactic Civilizations III [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:3672]
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Canada
Saskatoon
Saskatchewan
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The third game I received from my VGG Secret Santa. I can not get the hang of this game. I've started about three games on some of the easiest settings available and it has not done me a bit of good. I need to read a guide, or (gasp) play the tutorial or something. It seems to have a bit of a tighter design, and the tech tree is better, if a little more difficult to fathom. There's a few things (like a list of uncolonized planets - where did it go?) from Gal Civ II that I miss, but I expect Stardock will be doing updates and so forth to improve the game as time goes on, as they seem to do that sort of thing. The multiple stacking planetary bonuses seem really important, and I expect that's where I'm missing out. I don't quite understand how all that works. Either way, it may take me a while to figure out, but I'm enjoying playing it.
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19. Video Game: StarCraft [Average Rating:8.07 Overall Rank:62] [Average Rating:8.07 Unranked]
Video Game: StarCraft
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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Continuing my experimentation with real-time games. I want to find out if I was justified in mostly ignoring them all these years, or if some of 'em are a lot of fun to play.

I've only played the first three missions in the first (Terran) campaign so far. So, just starting to get a feel for it.

As it happens, I bought Total Annihilation: Commander Pack at the same time, so I've played some of that too. And at this point, it's very similar to SC.

I'm also still playing Stronghold HD--also RTS, but with a very different feel to it. I may end up liking this more than the others. We'll see.

Oh, and I'm in the midst of a game of Icewind Dale too. My poor party is finding the Dragon's Eye area almost too challenging. I may have to look up some tips before long, because it's just too aggravating to beat these trolls to death one at a time. There must be a smarter way to do it.
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20. Video Game: SolForge [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:1739]
Video Game: SolForge
On a Break
United States
Eden Prairie
Minnesota
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Had to add a separate entry for this guy because...
Drafted today. Picked up a dream tree in the draft (legendary card.)
Went 4-0 as NU!
My final game was carried by the runebark guardian with stags of lys. RB level 2 just kept growing thanks to my stags (and twinstrength.) The stags were great all tournament giving me enough life to withstand aggressive play persistent in the current draft pool. I also had one scourge hydra and one Necromoeba which managed to appear together in the same hand every rank in Game 3.

Game 1 and 2 were won with efficient play, don't remember exactly how. 3 was won with grow-wide. 4 with grow-tall.

I think draft is still where solforge shines the most as decks are suboptimized and all kinds of fun, crazy, and frustrating things happen.
I was pretty lucky (drafting a legendary and > 4 heroics) this time around. I have also been unlucky in available picks and card draws - which leads me to the understanding (I hope) that my wins were in part due to opponents whiffing on a draw here or there. But really several of them used ether hounds, which is just a bad choice when you don't have patriarch or a dryad for synergy.

Forged 82k silver too. My rule is to only forge down when I draw an *excess* legendary card.
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21. Video Game: Europa Universalis IV [Average Rating:8.55 Overall Rank:201] [Average Rating:8.55 Unranked]
Video Game: Europa Universalis IV
Mike Sheley
United States
Colorado Springs
Colorado
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"You caught the Mountain Wampus!"
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"He gave you his treasure chest to let him go free again."
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I recently got back into this after a year off playing lots of Dominions 4 (another great game!).

I picked up the Cossacks expansion which adds some neat Diplomacy aspects and a totally revamped "random new world" option which I've decided to try out as well.

In my most recent game, I have been playing Ironman as Castile and trying to gobble up Portugal before they can start colonizing. I had multiple failures due to getting ganged up on by Aragon/England, but then had a breakthrough when I got the event where you can pick up a "commoner" joust champion who has 100 military tradition at the cost of 25 prestige and 25 legitimacy. Well, it was a bit of a steep cost up front, but with him leading my armies I was able to roll up all comers for the next 30-ish years. I did get stuck with the Castillian Civil War due to the low legitimacy where I sided with Aragon because they had an awesome heir (6/5/3) and I eventually ended up getting the Iberian Wedding while Aragon still head a PU over Naples.

It's around 1530 and I'm currently blazing through north and west Africa (feeding Morocco, my vassal), colonizing like crazy (2 Colonial Nations), and working on zooming around the cape of good hope but England just started colonizing near me in the north portion of the random new world. Fortunately after forming Spain, France stopped rivaling me and I was able to get an alliance. With that sweet alliance I am confident we can take all comers. My current king has no heir, however, and is approaching his 40s in age so I'm getting nervous about the PU holding over Naples. I started to integrate them because of that--does anyone know if that will still complete if I lose the PU due to having no legit heir? I started royal marrying random nations in an attempt to get a better chance for an heir--hopefully something comes up soon!

Also, has anyone noticed if there's a bug in the "Search for the Seven Cities of Gold" option with conquistadors in the new version? I've had one searching for awhile now but no cool random events are coming up.
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22. Video Game: Fallout 4 [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:181] [Average Rating:7.89 Unranked]
Video Game: Fallout 4
Still making good progress in this.

I'm into the 30s now, and have equipped myself with some pretty powerful armour and guns, and beginning to feel like a god now.
I still have to take some care [and also starting to have less ammo than I used to] but I can clear out a lot of areas I used to struggle with.

I'm also getting near to the end of the story, if trophies are anything to go by, but I'll be taking a slight break from it to do other missions soon.
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23. Video Game: Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:3060] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Video Game: Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes
wayne r
United States
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Picked this up during the last sale on GOG. I had debated about getting this due to the price (I normally pick up games when they are either below $5 or are about 75% off). After a fairly quick tutorial, tried a sandbox game of it. Made a ton of mistakes causing multiple deaths of my main dude but enjoyed it!

I managed to raise my settlement to a city, successful with enough quests to allow me to attract 4 heroes to my cause. My main dude got to level 7 with my other heroes anywhere between 2 to 6th level. However I was undone when an evil mage started to ransack places in my territory. My main unit that I sent had more attack power than him but he was twice my level. My units had such fear of him that they kept on missing hitting him. He cast some deadly area attack spell and my units fell easily before him. While my main dude did manage some damage, he also fell fairly quickly. Took an early exit after that and have started the main story campaign. So far, had died twice due to misjudging my opponents and some poor strategy on my part.

Also have been dabbling in AI War: Fleet Command. Bought this game on the strength of its gameplay (from reviews) despite crappy graphics and interface. The game visually looks unpolished with how text is all over the screen and the the minimal graphics used to represent ships in space. I've been trudging along the tutorial, only being able to handle one section per day. Finally got to the point where I can try out what I've learned on a practice field (still part of the tutorial).

Finally, also bought and tried Terraria. After a couple false starts, managed to finally keep my guy alive the first night.
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24. 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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Fairly slow week so far....

Holiday events have started in all the MMOs, though I haven't poked into anything but GW2 yet.

Indra and Osirus were on Tuesday, and we did the 'easy' guild task, which was one of the races.

Smudge has seen three of those now, and this is by far the hardest one she's seen (I've only seen one other, and the other was bad enough...). First, it's in a level 80 zone, so anyone lower has trouble getting to the race course. Though we did manage to participate in a boss battle, that gave a high-end crafting material. Except Osirus (who's Slowbeam isn't 80 yet), whose system crashed on him. soblue

Only Indra managed to finish the race course of the four of us. I barely got out of the first cave on a couple of occasions, and usually couldn't get to the first cave. I had one run where I dodged everything, and then got very frustrated when I couldn't do it again.

Thankfully, other people can come up and participate in your guild's event and count towards the 15 completed runs needed. So, the guild got its reward, but only Indra got the personal reward.

After that, we did some of the holiday content together, and got through the Infinirarium event, though it involved a lot of random running around.

Ghylan and Lunysa are two-thirds through the Grawnk, and apparently the Wintersday jump puzzle is usually locked out because too many people are in it. (...why don't they open another instance...?)

We've also been working our way through Mount Maelstrom, which has been a fairly good zone, though we keep getting drawn away from what we're doing.... We've both done the separate paths in our story, and will need to get to the next part soon.

We stumbled into the jump puzzle of the zone on Wednesday. There was a small crowd of people working through it already, with a 'mentor' who was tearing off everywhere and not really clearing things up. It is, in general, a pretty nice place, and it'd make another good guild event to get people through (there's about three hard jumps, and the rest is fairly easy).
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25. Video Game: Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:1647]
Video Game: Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist
Kevin Brown
United States
Parker
Colorado
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Another 360 game that I bought new and never played.
Enjoying it so far. Loved Splinter Cell: Conviction.
Hard to play after finishing Rise of the Tomb Raider because the controller scheme and game logic are different yet the game concepts are somewhat similar and it just confuses and enrages me.
"Damn it Sam Fisher, why the hell can't you jump to that platform!? You should just jump over there, hand over hand around the edge and then drop and kill the bad guy! But NO! You've got to open the window, sneak through the room, to the hallway, down the stairs, to the next door to sneak through, so you can kill the bad guy. Seriously Sam, Lara Croft is soooooo much better at this."
Still and enjoyable game, but I'm only a couple hours in.
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