26 December 2016 - 1 January 2017: What video games are you playing this week?
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1. Video Game: The Witness (2016) [Average Rating:7.87 Overall Rank:532]
Video Game: The Witness (2016)
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I've been sitting on this one until the holidays, as I knew it would be a good choice with family around (20 years ago, my step-dad and I played through Myst together, and later Riven, so I knew he would be into this).

As far as major progress points, I've made headway in this order:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
1. Symmetry laser activated. Going by trophy data this is the path of least resistance for most players
2. Marsh laser activated. Looks like a lot of folks struggle with this area but the tetris rules-set made a lot of sense to me
3. Desert Ruin laser activated. Really enjoyed this one. Really once you understand the very first lesson (reflective paint) it all goes more or less smoothly


I have assorted progress around the Island, with about 236 panels under my belt.

The Witness follows in the footsteps of games like Braid (same designer) and Fez. It is totally hands-off, and very much encourages you to 'graze' on puzzles, wandering off to a different location if you get stumped.

At this point I'm not a fanatic or anything but I'm enjoying it for sure. More later.
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2. Video Game: Warframe [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:1940]
Video Game: Warframe
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Been using the recruitment chat and playing with many folks online. This is a really friendly community. I've had several friend requests and people offering to give me mods that I don't have. It's been a very pleasant and enjoyable experience. I still rather play with VGGers but it is nice to know I can play with random folks and still have a good time.
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3. Video Game: Battlefield 1 [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:1334]
Video Game: Battlefield 1
Josh Malbon
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Santa Cruz
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Had a couple more rounds of BF1, then promptly deleted the game.
Currently downloading BF4 hoping it still has a community.

BF1 is such a waste of time. It is all camping and sniping. I've got in the top 6 out of 64 many matches, but there is no joy in it.

Wow! I spawned behind 2 enemies. Shoot them.
Wow! I spawned with my back to 2 enemies. Died.

Totally catering to the skilless. Snipers or shotgunners only need to hit you once, anywhere on your body. If you are carrying a LMG or SMG, you need 6 hits.

I could go on, but I will not. This game is a real bummer.
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4. Video Game: League of Legends [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:443]
Video Game: League of Legends
Joakim Schön
Sweden
Alingsås
Sverige
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More plays, more victories.
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5. Video Game: Thea: The Awakening [Average Rating:5.25 Overall Rank:7048]
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It's technically too early to post here, but I'll be playing it tomorrow for sure so whatever.

This is my fourth game from my Secret Santa loot (the first three have been awesome, I hope the remaining three continue the trend. I'm quite confident ).

Thea the awakening is a survival + craft + roguelike + mythology 4x turn-by-turn game. It's hard to get into but I've watched the tutorial videos which make a decent job easing me into the game. There are elements of Banished (basic resource gathering) and A Dark Room (craft equipment + explore world), two games I disliked in spite of their basic principles. So far, Thea looks like a much better game than these two. But it's a complex game and the graphics don't make it any more welcoming. They're not especially bad, but they're dreary and depressing. It's intentional, but maybe I should have picked something else to play on December 25. laugh
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6. Video Game: Planescape: Torment [Average Rating:8.63 Overall Rank:12]
Video Game: Planescape: Torment
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I began the last week of this year by getting up to the last chapter of Planescape. Been playing all year, off and on, and now the end is in sight.

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7. Video Game: Super Princess Peach [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:3012]
Video Game: Super Princess Peach
Raymond Haaken
Netherlands
Maastricht
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Dug up my old Nintendo DSi XL, and decided to play this. Turns out it's a solid Mario platformer with a few fun puzzles. Great fun!

Got me back into the handheld nintendo nostalgia, and now I've ordered the New 3DS xl, so I can finally play Super Mario 3D Land and New SMB 2. Can't wait to see what that 3D gimmick will look like.
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8. Video Game: Creeper World 2 [Average Rating:8.50 Unranked]
Video Game: Creeper World 2
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Baton Rouge
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I liked the third game a lot. Since the whole series is now on Steam, I decided to pick up the second one in the holiday sale.

Creeper World 2 takes a side view (with digging mechanics), in contrast with the top-down view of the third game.
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9. Video Game: Let It Die [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:5386]
Video Game: Let It Die
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Still playing this a lot. I was nervous about facing the tenth-floor boss, but I think I was actually stronger than needed when I finally did. I didn't have any trouble at all.

And I like how things change starting with floor eleven.

My only real complaint about this game is that some of the vulgar language gets a little old.
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10. Video Game: S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat [Average Rating:8.28 Overall Rank:330]
Video Game: S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat
Aaron Tubb
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Fuquay Varina
NC
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Been playing more of the freeplay Call of Chernobyl mod.

I'm a loner trying to get better stuff and kind of doing some of the main quest-type stuff from Shadow of Chernobyl.

Some highlights:
-Duty paid me some pretty good money to stay at one of their camps in the Wild Territory for a night to defend it from enemies or something. About 8000 rubbles; sidequests pay much better in Call of Chernobyl than normally, which is nice.
-I found a nice shotgun that holds 12 shells in a barrel and has pretty good accuracy at range. I fully upgraded it at the Duty mechanic near the Rostok bar.
-The arena has been expanded compared to the original game's arena. I won a lot of money and used it on upgrades for my armor and weapons.
-I got a job to kill some bandit inside the bandit base in the Dark Valley. A blowout hit just as I entered the base and I ended up killing a ton of bandits and raiding their storeroom.
-I went ahead and went through lab X-18 in the Dark Valley and got the research documents. Not sure if they are needed for anything in this mod, though.
-A couple of times, I have been asked to save a prisoner or hostage that has been inside a bandit base, and both times I have found the target, asked him to follow me, and then watched him charge suicidally into battle with bandit reinforcements.


Fun times, and I usually don't like freeplay mods. I think this one works for me because there are a couple overarching missions that I am working towards.

Here's the trailer for anyone interested. A well done trailer for a mod:
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11. Video Game: Dishonored Definitive Edition [Average Rating:7.90 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.90 Unranked]
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Kevin Brown
United States
Parker
Colorado
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Just finished Dishonored - The Knife of Dunwall DLC that is included in DDE and am now onto to Dishonored - The Brigmore Witches DLC. I hadn't played either of them previously so it's fun playing new to me Dishonored stuff. Knife of Dunwall was quality and added some good behind the scenes information to the story of Dishonored. My initial reluctance to play as Daud disappeared mostly because the core Dishonored mechanics are so much fun. Michael Madsen's voice acting as Daud continues to be terrible. From his voice it's clear that he has some acting chops, but the way he reads the lines just sounds so disjointed. It sounds like he just read stuff from a list and Arkane compiled it into dialog. Fortunately his dialog is minimal.

Have been playing Daud low chaos. Figure the difference between being a murderer and an assassin is that an assassin kills the people they are paid to kill and the people they need to kill, otherwise wanton slaughter would be bad for business. Didn't kill a whole lot in the first two chapters of Knife and then pretty much slaughtered all the Overseers in the third chapter. It was their own fault really, invading the belly of the beast like they did. I did spare some they could live to relay the message that you don't mess with the Whalers.

Fun stuff so far.
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12. Video Game: Risen 3: Titan Lords [Average Rating:5.60 Overall Rank:6753]
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North Adams
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The downside of being a completionist and preferring epic-length RPGs, is that when I get into a game I'm not loving (such as this one), I feel compelled to finish it before starting another epic RPG, even if it means dozens more hours plodding through a land that isn't terribly inspiring. It's not bad, per se, just a bit bland. But I like my epic RPGs to really grab and excite me, and this is doing neither.

Still, my plan is to power through and beat this so I can start a really exciting game -- which will probably either be Shadow of Mordor, or if I can stop the errors on startup, ideally Mass Effect 2.
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13. Video Game: Desktop Dungeons [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:852]
Video Game: Desktop Dungeons
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I needed to play something different this week, so I went back to this game. I'd forgotten how good it is - it's really good! The graphics are whatever, but the sound is good and the gameplay pretty much perfect for what it is.
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14. Video Game: Watch_Dogs 2 [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:2972]
Video Game: Watch_Dogs 2
Josh Malbon
United States
Santa Cruz
California
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Got this for Christmas from my dad.

Pretty fun game. I'm enjoying the little puzzles and stealth gameplay.
The cars feel pretty good. Most of the music is new to me, but there are some old favorites in there. DK!

San Francisco though...wow!
Nice trip down memory lane. I used to live there back at the turn of the century. Many of the landmarks are there. The Tenderloin is a little too close to Chinatown, but yeah, it's pretty cool.

The characters in this have a lot more personality than WD1.
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15. Video Game: Super Mario Run [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:4619]
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George Buss
United States
Muncie
Indiana
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I'm enjoying getting some old school Mario in with my kids. Anyone else willing to admit some light light gaming?
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16. Video Game: Civilization VI [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:287] [Average Rating:7.76 Unranked]
Video Game: Civilization VI
Still going on my Tomyris game in Civ VI. Busy time with friends and family. Not working for 10 days helps!

I also fit a game or 5 of Star Realms when I get the chance.
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17. Video Game: Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII [Average Rating:6.31 Overall Rank:2834]
Video Game: Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII
It's V-Y not V-R
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Alabama
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I completed the main quest for the second major area, Yusnaan. Since I focused on side quests for so long, I didn't get to the fight until Day 7, which significantly raised the difficulty of the boss battle ("Snow Villiers+"). It took many tries with several different schema combinations to get the job done, and even then, I completed it with 24 of my more than 4000+ HP left.

I moved on to the Wildlands next, currently on the second part of the main quest.
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18. Video Game: Warframe [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:1940]
Video Game: Warframe
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Repeated Infested missions to get through the last leg of the Sands of Inaros quest with Rudy, Sortie missions with Seth and Luis, and other assorted farming with the whole crew.
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19. Video Game: Hook (2014) [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:3794]
Video Game: Hook (2014)
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I played through the Steam version of this formerly web-only game. It's not difficult, but it gets the brain working a little, it's quick (50 levels in a little over an hour), and it's cheap (66 cents, on sale from $1).

I'd like to see the developer make a longer, more challenging game.
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20. Video Game: Spectromancer [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:2103]
Video Game: Spectromancer
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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Just can't get enough of this game. It's very compelling and has the right amount of randomness along with opportunity to develop skill. I still have a lot to learn, and I'm enjoying the process.

It's also a familiar game to me, as I used to play its predecessor, Astral Tournament, quite a lot.
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21. Video Game: Qvadriga [Average Rating:6.39 Overall Rank:5538]
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Thomas Eager
United States
Portland
Oregon
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"A Book should serve as the Ax for the frozen sea within us."-- KAFKA
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Microbadge: Heavy Metal fanMicrobadge: Black Sabbath fanMicrobadge: SubmarineMicrobadge: I am amongst the dangerous elite!Microbadge: Alien Abductee
Been playing quite a lot of this turn-based chariot-racing game. So much so, that I somehow completed the campaign. Not sure exactly what the threshold was, since I'd been "Worshipped" status for quite a while. Fans of the boardgames Circus Maximus or Circus Imperium will find a lot to love here.

Also still living the Elite: Dangerous life. Those curious should jump on the Winter Steam Sale, as it's currently 33% off.
And a couple games of Starcraft and Company of Heroes 2.

From gallery of cabalzero
From gallery of cabalzero


From gallery of cabalzero
From gallery of cabalzero
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22. Video Game: Warhammer 40,000: Deathwatch - Tyranid Invasion [Average Rating:8.42 Unranked]
Video Game: Warhammer 40,000: Deathwatch - Tyranid Invasion
Nigel Wright
United Kingdom
Nottingham
England
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Herge's Adventures of Tintin!
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Just started playing this on my iPad. Excellent cross between Warhammer Quest and and Hunters 2 also by Rodeo Games. I've just finished the prolog of 4 missions and loving it!
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23. Video Game: Warhammer Quest [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:1186] [Average Rating:7.24 Unranked]
Video Game: Warhammer Quest
Nigel Wright
United Kingdom
Nottingham
England
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Herge's Adventures of Tintin!
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Microbadge: Tuxedo cat loverMicrobadge: Scoundrels! Parasites! Vegetarians! Troglodytes!Microbadge: Apple userMicrobadge: The Prisoner fanMicrobadge: Tea Bag
What with playing Deathwatch this weekend I thought I'd play some other Rodeo games as well.

Since it's been a while, there was quite a bit of extra content (monsters, warriors, regions, items) for me to spend my Xmas gift cards on, which I happily did. I somehow can't see myself spending anything like as much on Deathwatch, which 18 months in still only has card packs of one space marine and two bits of wargear available for in-game or real world cash - not a chance...

Still, I enjoyed playing the game and got the Heroes of Stirland and Reikland trophies for finishing off the last main quest missions in those areas and have moved into the newly purchased region of Averland which is just the right challenge for may Level 6/7 party. I also started a new party with my new Bright Wizard, Shadow Warrior, Ogre Irongut and Witch Hunter warriors.
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24. Video Game: Hunters: Episode One [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:4019]
Video Game: Hunters: Episode One
Nigel Wright
United Kingdom
Nottingham
England
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On a roll, I thought I'd give this one a go as well, which I preferred to it's sequel Hunters 2 as there are more options to configure and customise your team.

Well, it was there a couple of days ago, but it's now dead on my iPad and gone from iTunes soblue
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25. Video Game: Icewind Dale [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:427]
Video Game: Icewind Dale
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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Microbadge: CaliforniaMicrobadge: I love solo gaming!Microbadge: Master of Orion fanMicrobadge: VGG: Turn Based Games fanMicrobadge: Minnesota
For a long while I had IWD and Planescape: Torment going at the same time, and I kept stalling out on both. Finally, in exasperation, I uninstalled IWD and even got rid of all my saves. That cleared the way for me to finish P:T. But now that I've done that, I find myself still in a cRPG mood, so I'm back to IWD again.

Starting over hasn't been as bad as I feared it might be. Yeah, some of it was familiar and felt like a rerun, but it's nice that I know what I'm doing this time around and can play more competently.

I didn't want to spring for the enhanced edition. The original is OK, but it could use some graphic enhancements.

My party has a long road ahead of it. Hope I make it all the way.
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