18 July - 24 July 2016 : What video games are you playing this week?
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1. Video Game: Fallout 3 [Average Rating:8.10 Overall Rank:51] [Average Rating:8.10 Unranked]
Video Game: Fallout 3
This was a very frustrating weekend.

Even though they're right up my alley, I never actually finished any of the Fallout games. Oh, I know how the first one ends. I've always kind of had this thing where I work my way through all four games and say that I got them beat.

Easier said than done.

I think, going back to my difficulties with the D&D Gold Box games, where I wasn't all that wild about or familiar with D&D in the first place, I have always shied away from difficulty blocks where it feels like I've reached a point that I can't progress beyond; where it feels like maybe my character build was wrong, and I have to start over. That usually causes me to put down a game for a while and go back to it much, much later, like maybe months or years later.

So, okay, earlier last week I decided to give Fallout 3 a shot again. Mind you, I also have a restarted run of the original game sitting around.

This time, the initial hours of the game are going well. Except... it keeps crashing. A lot. And that's frustrating and time consuming. So, I check out the Steam forums, figure out how to scrap GFWL and fix the most common causes of crashes, and seem to get back on track.

Except it's 85 degrees and up in my house now, and I can't take heat like that. So I don't get in much game time. And I lost time to those crashes.

So, I thought - maybe I'll play something a bit more flighty for a while...
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2. Video Game: Spec Ops: The Line [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:874]
Video Game: Spec Ops: The Line
So I went back to this instead on Sunday. I never finished this one either. Yes, I've seen most of the spoilers, but I still want to finish it. So I thought "You know what, it's not that hot out today, I've got all afternoon ahead of me, I'll play this one start to finish!"

Except, whoops, there's no dialogue in any of the cut scenes.

Okay, looked up the Steam forums, fixed that.

Except, whoops, I'm back at that part where I keep getting killed by cheap one-shots while under cover. Well f#$k you too, AI.

Except, whoops, now the game crashed twice after clearing said part.

That was the point where I called it a weekend and retired to the only air conditioned room in the house.

When's No Man's Sky coming out, again?
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3. Video Game: Portal 2 [Average Rating:8.80 Overall Rank:1] [Average Rating:8.80 Unranked]
Video Game: Portal 2
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Just reached the beginning of Chapter 8. Really enjoying this replay.

Dealing with an annoying PS3 glitch where the game gets stuck in an infinite loop saving your profile. Seems to be related to Steam/PSN communicating with each other. Can work around it if you play offline but I'm not looking forward to trouble-shooting it once I start the co-op campaign.
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4. Video Game: Grim Legends 2: Song of the Dark Swan [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:3825]
Video Game: Grim Legends 2: Song of the Dark Swan
Andy
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Manchester
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I started this last week and continued playing on my lunch break today.. I completed the main story and earnt 24/29 achievements. There's a bonus episode to play which should get me a couple more achievements. Of the rest, two are for collectibles, and the third is for completing an expert play through, so I won't earn those.
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5. Video Game: Marvel Heroes [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:4856]
Video Game: Marvel Heroes
Osirus
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North Adams
Massachusetts
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Slowly replacing SolForge as my default timekiller du jour. Just started playing as Mr. Fantastic, whose animations are all delightfully stretchy. In what will come as a shock to everyone who knows me, in spite of having decided to support the game and purchase a few additional stash slots, I am already out of inventory space again.
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6. Video Game: Puzzle Agent 2 [Average Rating:5.75 Overall Rank:6134]
Video Game: Puzzle Agent 2
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Needed something light and fluffy the other day, so I started this cute little game. I'd enjoyed the first one, and so far this one isn't bad either... although it's frustrating that occasionally the rules of a puzzle (like the very first one!) aren't clear until you read the solution.
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7. Video Game: Civilization V: Brave New World [Average Rating:8.39 Overall Rank:79] [Average Rating:8.39 Unranked]
Video Game: Civilization V: Brave New World
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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 was well into a game last night (tiny map, King level, as the Americans) and thinking it was about time to save and go to bed. Just then the game ended.

I was stunned; I thought another player had somehow won. But I won--somehow.

Then I remembered that I had previously used the advanced settings to cap the game at 180 turns or so. I won a time victory but only did as well as Ivan the Terrible.
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8. Video Game: Super Mario Galaxy 2 [Average Rating:8.41 Overall Rank:47]
Video Game: Super Mario Galaxy 2
First boss level... "the fortress", akin to the fortress levels in Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES). Not very fortress-y, lacking stone walls and bricks, but it was still captured via higher tech sci-fi stuff, as is the theme for the game. Plenty of obstacles like the fire rods blocking one's path. Even got a visit from Bowser Jr.


I sort of "skipped ahead" to check this out. However, trying not to get too far ahead of ourselves, I'll play a new level in world 2 (the puzzle level), and then go back to world 1 to get the rest of the stars.

Also, I'm amused how the "zones" in this game are called "worlds", when that's what nearly each of the level really is from a thematic standpoint. However, "world" has been in use since the original SMB... probably even in Mario games before that, like "Mario Bros" (where you disable enemies by knocking them from below, and then running into them to defeat them), so keeping things familiar has its charms and uses.


I finally looked up what getting coins does...
Spoiler (click to reveal)
it's more so of a high score mechanism. Otherwise, there are levels that have Lumas that are fed with coins (NOT star bits!), so that's the direct, in game reason to hoard those. However, there's no reason to do this for other levels.

They do give you 1-ups, but the game resets you to 4 lives every time you resume from turning it off, and there are simply better and quicker ways to get 1-ups that it's not worth it. I'll see if I have the gumption to come back to this. Oh, the game also keeps track of your fastest time to complete a star
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9. Video Game: Jagged Alliance [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:732]
Video Game: Jagged Alliance
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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Sometimes I have to force myself to play a game that's new to me; otherwise I get in a rut and just play old, familiar ones over and over.

I had been trying to learn this one, so I made myself play. I also made a mess of things, but it turned out OK.

I had finished Day 1 before, so I thought I was playing Day 2, but I wasn't. I must've reverted to QuickSave instead of Save, so I continued with Day 1 and moved into a new area.

There we got into a firefight, of course. And I'm still getting used to the controls, so my guys got all shot up, and it took forever to off the bad guys. Somehow I got my almost-dead mercs bandaged well enough to move, so I took the advice of one of 'em and headed for the exit.

Back at base, we were rewarded for our effort. Now I'll have to decide who to leave behind and let rest on Day 2. Then I can practice being more careful next time.
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10. Video Game: StarCraft [Average Rating:8.07 Overall Rank:62] [Average Rating:8.07 Unranked]
Video Game: StarCraft
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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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Another game I made myself play so as not to get any rustier than I already have.

I'm just replaying the first several scenarios of the first Terran campaign. Won this one easily (defense of Mar Sara until drop ships could arrive and rescue us). And I must've learned a little something, because I remember this scenario being a bit harder last time.
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11. Video Game: Final Fantasy IV: The After Years [Average Rating:4.80 Overall Rank:7234]
Video Game: Final Fantasy IV: The After Years
I'm reminded by myself how I'm stuck on the iOS version of Final Fantasy IV (hard mode ). I may need to level up, do more research, whatever. However, that shouldn't stop me from moving on, even if FF IV is on hiatus.

Interesting that there's no difficulty level here, so it should be doable (and at this point, I'd rather have something on the easier side. We'll be sure to level up sufficiently just in case).



Another choice I had was before I even started the game....
I could play this on my iPod Touch 5 which only has several hundred MB of space left (so I'd want to clear out around 800MB of space just in case for save data and misc. OS usage... probably transferring a whole mess of photos/screenshots off of it); not a very great processor (the A5...) not ancient, but can still get the job done even if there are devices with better resources out there; and a small screen.

The small screen does mean the game's much more portable, but my battery's running on 2.5 years, and will die out in 0.5 to 1 year, depending on how much usage I put on it (including if I do this).

Or, I could play this on my Ipad Air (1), which is much less portable, but does have battery life, larger screen (even though they did a good job of porting this for the 4" screen... things are sharper, but smaller, and only a few things are "cut off", better processor, and more internal storage. I probably shouldn't be spending TOO much time on this game in situations where I could whip out the IpT anyways :x

I'm going with the Ipad for now, and will likely stick with it. The scary thing is, I'm less than an hour into this, so I'm still giving myself the option to switch, even though the Ipad Air should be perfectly fine blush




Starting off with Ceodore of Baron. Son of Cecil the Paladin and Rosa the white mage... both characters playable characters in FFIV. The game makes it sound like that he's a fighter who can use white magic on the basis that he's the son of the 2 characters above when I always though characters can do what they do due to training. IOW, he was free by choice to become say, a black mage if he wanted to, as opposed to this being something dictated more so by his genetics.

And the moon cycles remind me of Secret Of Mana 2 (never made it to the US, so you'll have to emulate this), where there were 8 days of a cycle. Each day, an elemental would be more powerful, with the 8th day being "mana holy day" where nothing gets a boost. Here, there are 4c-cyles to the moon, where (physical) attack, white magic, and black magic are either unaffected, halved, or boosted. Really good on them to have a help menu, and include this info in there as to not have to memorize or reference it some other way cool



I ended up going through the list of tales, and it is very "prerequisite"/"tech tree" based, but in the end, you'd need to finish all the tales anyways.

His tale is required for the next 6 tales, and all of those, including Ceodore are required for the next one. Then that and everything before that is required for the next one, and so on. It feels odd to be "limited" in such a way, even though I was going to do everything anyways [shrug]
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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
Joakim Schön
Sweden
Alingsås
Sverige
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Still working on to do the last two Alchemy Recipes where you need Evil Eyes. Think I still only have 2/10. They are rare.
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13. Video Game: The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:1867]
Video Game: The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited
Joakim Schön
Sweden
Alingsås
Sverige
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Doing quests in a new area, Bankorai. Also try to beat some Dolmen.
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14. Video Game: Rayman Legends [Average Rating:8.11 Overall Rank:212]
Video Game: Rayman Legends
Twinge
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Colorado
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First time playing this. Very similar to Rayman Origins; seems like less BS on the level gating which is good. Same generally strong controls that are very frustrating in specific ways (the game punishes me for holding down run all the time - I just wanna go fast!) The song levels are a fun touch.
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15. Video Game: Star Wars: The Old Republic [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:457]
Video Game: Star Wars: The Old Republic
My wife is having a baby any day now and I am taking a month off of work. In my spare time which will be limited I resubbed to SWTOR for a couple months. The level cap is 65 and my old main character only level 50.. or was, now she is level 52.
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16. Video Game: Pokémon GO [Average Rating:6.18 Overall Rank:2606]
Video Game: Pokémon GO
Simon Hammar
Sweden
Täby
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Been playing this to and fro since early friday. The game was released in Europe on saturday, at which point all servers just crashed, and were pretty much dead the whole weekend, except for very late saturday night.

I don't know where to look for stats, but I've been walking 34 kilometers (or so) since friday. Level 12. Can't even start to compete with the other guys in this little tiny village; they have 1500 Vaporeons set on their bases. All I can muster is a 600 Golbat, put together by the gadzillion Zubats I keep finding (them, and Rats and Pidgeons are the only things I find…)
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17. Video Game: NieR [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:1537]
Video Game: NieR
Simon Woodward
New Zealand
Hamilton
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Got back into this last night. Game is starting to open up and give me some sidequests. Some nice design decision compared with other JRPGs. The combat is very un-JRPG, combines real time sword slashing with shooting spells, that are aimed kinda like a third person shooter. Just beat the first boss. Awesome music, nice story, some nice graphics (similar to Ico style).
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18. Video Game: The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:2560]
Video Game: The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky
Ryan Gatti
United States
Portland
Oregon
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I'm on to chapter 3! Still enjoying this (even though Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII is tempting me... to be distracted).
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19. Video Game: Tropico 5 [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:2283]
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Josh Malbon
United States
Santa Cruz
California
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Started and finished up the tutorial.
Was some good fun, so I moved on to the campaign. Sadly, after completing the first part of the campaign it goes to a different island. I was starting to like my island.

----actually doing some hunting, It might end up returning to my earlier island in the 3rd chapter of the campaign. Cool. meeple
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20. Video Game: Age of Empires II (Gold Edition) [Average Rating:7.97 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.97 Unranked]
Video Game Compilation: Age of Empires II (Gold Edition)
Chris McDermott
United Kingdom
Belfast
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Microbadge: "Target acquired. Citizenship Star has been launched!"Microbadge: I give out citizenship starsMicrobadge: The Geek Citizenship Recognition Program Rolls On!Microbadge: One does not simply recognize great geeks. Not with 10,000 stars could you do this...Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level VI -  Is six any more shiny? ... Well, it's one shinier isn't it? ... Okay, why don't you just make five a bit more shiny and then that would be the most shiny? ... Because these go to six.
Completed the Scottish teaching campaign and now working through Joan of Arc. I'd forgotten it could be tough if you get off to a bad start. Unfortunately I'm too stubborn to restart. whistle
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21. Video Game: Day of the Tentacle Remastered [Average Rating:8.02 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.02 Unranked]
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Ghislain LEVEQUE
France
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Me and one of my coworkers have been waiting for the linux release of this remaster. We've started to play during lunch break and after two hours we have reach more than 60% of the game whistle

Good memories, this is a Proust's "Madeleine" for us !
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22. Video Game: Overwatch [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:288] [Average Rating:7.98 Unranked]
Video Game: Overwatch
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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नमस्ते (Namaste) – I honor the place in you in which the entire universe dwells. I honor the place in you which is of love, of truth, of light and of peace. When you are in that place in you and I am in that place in me, we are one.
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Still playing this game and enjoying it a lot. I've made some new gaming friends over Overwatch, which is pretty cool!

Reached level 106 just before the new character got out today.
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23. Video Game: Darkest Dungeon [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:463] [Average Rating:7.84 Unranked]
Video Game: Darkest Dungeon
Adam
United States
Tempe
Arizona
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AaAaAaAaAaAaA! Oh no! You shanked my Jenga ship!
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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 recently discovered that I hadn't gotten the full experience of this title by starting my game in the pre-release version. With that in mind, I started all over again, to see all the content this time. My restart had to be restarted yet again when I lost one of my starting pair of characters, which locked me out of an achievement I'd been trying to earn. Back down the old road once more...

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24. Video Game: Borderlands [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:174]
Video Game: Borderlands
Todd Pytel
United States
Chicago
Illinois
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Diablo 3 didn't go very far with me and my son - he still plays occasionally, but I just find the combat too boring. So we were kicking around last weekend and I think... why not Borderlands? Now, we can all think of at least a few reasons why a 9 year old should not play Borderlands. But he's already watched me play it before, right? And his mom plays it too! How bad could it be? (...echoes of the old 80's drug commercial... "I learned it by watching you, Dad!"...) So we had the talk about how under no circumstances do we walk around school or even summer camp talking like Borderlands characters and pretending to blow people's heads off. Real revolvers are scary, real doctors don't use axes, yadda, yadda, yadda. And then we got down to business blowing away some bandits and collecting better guns. He picked Roland and I went with a new Mordecai to back him up. We haven't had much time to play this week while he's been busy with soccer camp so we've only made it through Sledge's Safe House. But he acquitted himself admirably against the Roid Rage Mutant there.

Of course, now that I'm thinking about Borderlands, I just had to get back into it with my other characters. I had a Siren that had just finished Playthrough 1, so I jumped back in with her and finished Playthrough 2 and Knoxx in the last few days. She just hit 60 running Road's End for loot and still has the Zombie and Claptrap DLC's along with a bunch of sidequests I skipped, so she should easily hit the cap at 69. JRJ and I might take a run at Crawmerax later this week, which should be suicidally entertaining. If anyone's on PS3 and wants to join in, let me know.
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25. Video Game: Evolve [Average Rating:6.09 Overall Rank:5292]
Video Game: Evolve
Andy
United Kingdom
Manchester
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I keep plugging away at evolve now and then. I'm getting my daily reward each day, and playing a few matches.
The matching system has been changed a bit so that you are more likely to get your preferred role... that's a nice touch, except that you often get a monster player who's very good. Both matches I played last night we lost to the monster... one guy was even on a 47 game winning streak (The game publishes that info just before the match starts).

There's a great game in here. I know it... and often the matches are tense and a lot of fun. Competitive multiplayer is a very difficult beast though.. especially with players of such varying abilities and experience.
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