13 February - 19 February 2017: What video games are you playing this week?
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1. Video Game: Myst III: Exile [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:806]
Video Game: Myst III: Exile
Joakim Schön
Sweden
Alingsås
Sverige
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Hope to beat this during the week. Has been quite easy so far. Only had to look up 1 thing so far. Really nice settings in those games.
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2. Video Game: Project C.A.R.S. [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:2701]
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Darren Martin
United Kingdom
Lincoln
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Got this game cheap in a Humble Bundle so thought I'd give it a go. I get the feeling it really needs a steering wheel and pedals combo, but I'm managing to chimp along with an Xbox 360 pad fairly well so far. The game has no built in soundtrack to drive along to, so I had to create one on Spotify to keep me going.
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3. Video Game: Space Hulk Ascension - Dark Angels [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Video Game: Space Hulk Ascension - Dark Angels
Andrew Hodkinson
Canada
Owen Sound
Ontario
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Hoping to finish up the Dark Angels campaign this week. The last mission was ridiculously hard, taking about 5 hours; but it was quite fun as well.

Still dabbling in games while I idle them for cards; I don't expect any of them to be worth playing for more than 5 minutes. My card collecting was made secondary last week to the awesome font I found for my Steam Profile, especially the use of globes for the O's in my name.
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4. Video Game: For Honor [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:3537]
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Kevin J
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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I played some of the For Honor beta at work. We had an 8-team tournament, and I entered with the other finance guys under the team Accounts Slayable. We won our first match against the communications team, only because they were slightly more clueless about how to play as we were. We got absolutely destroyed in the second game against the QC team who I'm pretty sure actually tested the game during development and had a leg up over us since they had, you know, actually played the game before the tournament. It was the first time in a long time that I actually felt really upset by losing a game -- it reminded me why I had to stop playing competitive multiplayer games for a while.

I really don't enjoy the game; I can see how it could be enjoyable once you're twenty hours deep into the mechanics, but for now nothing seems intuitive. Everything is a struggle against the UI, and when I'm doing poorly I have no idea what I'm doing wrong, what the other guy is doing right, or sometimes even what is happening.

Last night I played some Orcs Must Die 2 with Matt. He had never played before, but he seems sold on the game now. I really enjoyed OMD2 back when I was into it. There are some elements of the UI that seem a little clunky now, but the game is still a blast to play.

Besides that I haven't played much...it's been a really long week at work with a lot of late nights. I played a bit of FF7 and Mass Effect, but no real progress to speak of. I played Fire Emblem Heroes on mobile, but it seems kind of shallow and isn't grabbing me.
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5. Video Game: Orcs Must Die! 2 [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:700]
Video Game: Orcs Must Die! 2
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Plenty of Warframe with Seth and Rudy, as always. Marius also got involved on Saturday.

Saturday was a day of returning to old favorites and trying out some new stuff. First there were a few of the new missions in Payday 2 with Andy, which took some getting used to after an 11 month hiatus. Then there was the hysterical Obliteracers with Ken and Rudy. Ken's description of it as a halfway point between Speenrunners and Sonic Racing seems very apt. Finally, Kevin eventually tricked his microphone into working properly long enough to show me the ropes in Orcs Must Die! 2. Hitting orcs and goblins with a bazooka is one of life's simple joys.

Sunday, I played Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, which was... okay. It looks fantastic and the soundtrack suits the haunting mood of the setting, but while the story is decent enough, it's possible to miss the majority of it. When the story is the main focus of the game, skipping any of it is a big drawback.

Continuing to practice in Guilty Gear Xrd -REVELATOR- and try to get used to fighting the new characters. I finished the training and the non-interactive Story mode on Thursday.

I'm up to Chapter 10 in Final Fantasy XV.
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6. Video Game: Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:2947]
Video Game: Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes
Ronster Zero
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California
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They just keep adding stuff and I think I'll quit, but I find my way and then keep on. My fleet is finally getting respectable.
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7. Video Game: Far Cry: Primal [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:1536]
Video Game: Far Cry: Primal
Kevin Brown
United States
Parker
Colorado
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Only a few hours played and I'm getting much the same vibe as I did with early game Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, living in constant fear. Creep around world using hunter vision and get comfortable then wander across a pack of wolves that attack, a party of cannibal bad guy cave men, or some such and end up with some combination of panicked running and kiting to survive.

Entertaining enough so far. Big open world with a bunch to do and a bunch of ways to die. haven't really gotten it entirely figured out yet, except one thing I have learned for sure: bears are humorless beasts. Shooting them with arrows works out fairly poorly. Bears will chase you relentlessly. And when you think you are super clever by jumping into the water and swimming away from the angry bear pin cushioned with your limited supply of arrows, just remember that bears swim. And when you get out of the river they are much faster than you. And did I mention they are humorless?
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8. Video Game: Mount & Blade: Warband [Average Rating:8.09 Overall Rank:272]
Video Game: Mount & Blade: Warband
Josh Malbon
United States
Santa Cruz
California
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This is becoming a true favorite for me.

I started hitting on a princess, she digs me too, but she is betrothed to someone else. So we started meeting in secret. I told her a couple rhymes and... well we haven't got that far. But things are looking good.

Also, built an Oil Press in Velcuna, which was attacked by the Syrians almost instantly. So, I didn't make any profits on the oil press for about a week, until the Swadians returned control.

Currently, I'm looking to build an iron works with my 12,000+ denaris. But the guild there doesn't trust me enough, yet. So, I'm working on doing some jobs for them.

I'm dreaming of the day when my warband alone can face off against another noble's army.
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9. Video Game: Talisman: Digital Edition [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:1683] [Average Rating:6.86 Unranked]
Video Game: Talisman: Digital Edition
Josh Malbon
United States
Santa Cruz
California
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Played using the Warlock vs Prophetess vs Gypsy.

The game really dragged with the Gypsy always looking at discarded spells that she couldn't pick up.

But the Prophetess finally cast a spell that KILLED the GYPSY! Yay, she became the Amazon.

My Warlock popped into the dungeon. The first space was the Secret Passage, which took me to the treasure room. Battle Axe, +Psionic Blast, +Mercenary made short work of the Dark Lord for the victory.
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10. Video Game: Payday 2 [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:1723]
Video Game: Payday 2
Rudy
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No too far from Philly
Pennsylvania
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Payday 2 - It strange to get back into this after burning out and coming to really dislike the game and the direction of the devs. It's been about a year now and I am back and enjoying this with Andy, Ken and Jan. I know Matt has played it recently as well. Were getting the band back together!

Warframe - Passed mastery rank 10 and now on to bigger and better things. The more I play this the more impressed I am, especially for a free game. It is not without its bugs but none of them are game breaking or off-putting. Also played more with Seth, Luis, Matt and Marius.

Talisman - Played with Jan and Decker.

Vermintide - Played with Andy.

Obliteracers - I am sure this will be played this week.

Path Of Exile - This too.

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11. Video Game: Kitty in the Box [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Video Game: Kitty in the Box
Jørgen K
Denmark
Copenhagen S
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Playing a bit of the Kitty a few hours ago - and once again there will most likely be wasted about a half or so during the week on sliding cats through boxes to eat fruit cubes

Another thing I am "playing" is a little game called Adding legacy games to VGG that I have purchased - got a nice bulk order of Commodore 64 games that I am vaiting for: Luckily most of them were already in the database.
And three of the games was some that I actually really wanted - so I had another excuse to get myself a light gun for the C64

For the price of the 100+ games I could remove around 10 games from my "wishlist" at my pushers - but still got way too much on the list.

Issue is to also get an Atari compatible cassette player as one of the "Commodore" games is actually for a 16k Atari 8-bit - perfect to break out my Atari 800XL.

Well, still missing a few games (~30) to add...
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12. Video Game: Gladius [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:875]
Video Game: Gladius
A. Power
United States
Mount Airy
Maryland
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After months of not having time to do much more than play some sporadic rounds of Words With Friends and Marvel Future Fight on the phone, I finally got around to this long lost PS2 classic. Turn-based gladiatorial combat? Sign me up! The game is a little slow to start, but I'm starting to figure things out. I'm really digging the ability to recruit the wide range of gladiator classes: Bandits, Barbarians, Berserkers, Satyrs? Just too cool. The strategy is fun, as you have to make sure you put the right class (heavy, medium, light) against the class they have an advantage against, while at the same time, ensuring you can flank an enemy (backstabbing advantage). I've won the first couple of league matches, and have learned most of the mechanics. Now, I just need to upgrade to some better equipment and higher the right classes of gladiators to meet the requirements for some of these matches. Really a well done title.
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13. Video Game: Talisman: Digital Edition [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:1683] [Average Rating:6.86 Unranked]
Video Game: Talisman: Digital Edition
Andy
United Kingdom
Manchester
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Sunday night I was able to get a game of Talisman in with

Jan
Belgium
De Haan
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Marius Roth
Germany
Wistedt
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Marius was relatively new to the game, so we played just the base game, and with no Runestones, and, despite that, we were able to finish in under an hour.

I made a foolish error on a visit to the witch, I was dissatisfied with my result of lose a strength, so I re-rolled only to be turned into a toad instead. That was the first of 3 toadifications for myself. Meanwhile Marius had managed to become a toad at least twice as well. Jan was the only one not to be turned into a toad, and no surprises that he went on to win the game.
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14. 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
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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Civilization has got to be the most compelling video game ever. It's far from the most satisfying; I'm bored with it half the time. Yet I can't stop coming back around to it and playing it for hours on end.

Having just finished a standard-map, king-level game as Polynesia--and managing to win even though several times I was sure I had lost--I'm now into a game (same size and difficulty level) as Assyria.

I was expecting to be a bad-ass this time, as Assyria gets a special benefit for capturing enemy cities. So I got all psyched up to play the opposite of my usual kind of game--to be aggressive for a change. But then it turned out I had a continent all to myself.

With no one around to fight or even trade with, all I could do was peacefully expand and develop. I'm up to the year AD 1930 or so, and I'm still just building and developing cities and bribing city-states. I'm in second place on the scoreboard, though, behind Rome, and nobody is bothering me.

The only setback I had was putting down a home rebellion after I chose the Freedom ideology (several other powers chose Order, and my people wanted that); I had almost no military units, so I chose Volunteer Army from the ideology tree and fought rebels with free Foreign Legion troops.

Weird game. Not at all how I had expected it to go.
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15. Video Game: EVE Online [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:624]
Video Game: EVE Online
Agent J
United States
Coldwater
Michigan
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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Still playing this. Mined a bit early this morning while filling out boring paperwork for something else. Somehow came up with plagioclase instead of the normal scordite, so perhaps it was most profitable than normal, especially since some of it was Azure. Most likely I'll sell it to a local corp that owns all the stations in my home system, as they pay great for ore.

Gas mining is more profitable, and trading is often more profitable than that, but as far as active income it's the one that's the most passive. Which is weird but whatever.
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16. Video Game: Uncharted 4: A Thief's End [Average Rating:8.44 Overall Rank:146]
Video Game: Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
Brandon
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St. Paul
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Just finished this game this week after starting it... last Wednesday or Thursday. I dunno, it was kind of a blur. Anyway, I typed up a small review of it in the Videogames Beaten by VGGers in 2017 Geeklist.

To me I felt like it was weaker than 3 in gunplay but a huge step up in hand-to-hand and had the best stealth of all 4.

Storywise I think it had the best character aspect but the overarching plot felt a bit weaker in terms of mystery and suspense that the others had.

Everyone loves rating the games so I'll rate them in a few categories.

Gameplay:
1) 3 was the smoothest.
2) 1 was the worst. It also had copious amounts of enemies that was beyond reasonable and often broke immersion. For example, you enter an ancient building and they are already there. Every. Fricken. Time.
3) 2 & 4 are about even except that 4 had the best stealth.

Story: ALL were excellent on story.
1) 2 & 3 are tied imho with 1 right behind them.
2) 4 had a weaker overall plot, not by much, but when compared to the others, I felt that it was a lesser of the 3. It did however, have the best character story moments.

Soundtrack: Toughest category because I feel that the first 3 have excellent scores and all can be interchangeable.
1) Drake's Deception - Best and most memorable score of the lot imho.
2) Among Thieves - Really brings out the epic feel of this game and brings you into the atmosphere in an amazing way.
3) Drake's Fortune - One of my all-time favorite aspects of this game.
4) A Thief's End - Not really that memorable to be honest. It had this one violin/string instrument piece that played a lot but it never brought out the tension, excitement, nor emotional impact that the music from the previous 3 games did.

Characters: Easy, ALL. Never once did I feel like a character was weak or pointless. My only gripe is that I felt that Cutter was not used more. He was a pleasant surprise in Drake's Deception and I wish he had more screen time. From the opening scene in Drake's Fortune to the closing scene in A Thief's End, the characters were absorbing, great and fun. Villains were real jerks and the heroes were your average people caught up in some crazy scenario and doing the best they can to overcome all obstacles with grit and wit.

AI: I feel that I have to comment on this because there were two aspects to the AI. Tactics and ability. I played all games on normal (4 called it moderate).

Let me say that in the Nathan Drake Collection, it was relatively even. The AI was challenging and would often try to flank you, pin you down and move up, toss grenades when you were in an advantageous position but, were not impossible. In 4, moderate felt like the AI couldn't miss and I often died in combat encounters that I would have been able to fight my way through with no blood and little sweat. I figured that would have been the hard and crushing experience levels but not on normal. Sadly, enemy AI felt way more polished than friendly AI but that is a minor quibble... except with your allies didn't cover your flank properly or ran in front of you while aiming.

I plan to write a larger review using the above at some point.
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17. Video Game: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:171] [Average Rating:7.82 Unranked]
Video Game: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
Jørgen K
Denmark
Copenhagen S
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Continuing my adventure with Geralt of Rivia the Witcher who is also known under the name The White Wolf.

I am still humming around the small trade post Flotsam doing a bit of things here and there, including slaying some elfs. I saved a she-elf from being executed as she was thought to be a spy and had lured some soldiers into a trap - and the soldiers in the cave was indeed pierced by Elven arrows, so it might had been true, however I lied to the guards (I don't owe the town commander anything, and being trusted by the Elves might let me get closer to the Kingslayer they are hiding). I met her again not far from the burned down hostipal where she confessed she was a spy and did lure them into a trap - and I knew too much; she ran away and a group of Scoi'rtel guerillas assaulted me... they never learn. Waltzing around in the forest, slaying a few monsters let me to the burned down hostipal where I found a man who's friend was attacked. I did not see his friend (but I saw some pretty nasty Wraiths, but after realizing they were still too strong I left the ruin) - and I found my old friend, the Elven spy... I had three choices: deliver the She-elf to the town guard, kill her myself, or let her go. I chose the latter, as I think this might gain me some more respect among the Elves which might help me getting to their leader - and their hired blade, The Kingslayer!

Level 8 - and I am wondering if I am ready to fight the Kayran! The monster boss of the first Chapter. She really do seem like a tough one!
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18. Video Game: Fire Emblem: Hero of Light and Shadow [Average Rating:9.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:9.00 Unranked]
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Fire Emblem: Heroes

So I'm still playing this. They have thrown a lot of bonus currencies at players so I have been able to do more than I thought I would.

I seem to have gotten stuck around level 30. Exp grows at a much slower rate here. Also, the impact of stat growth tiering by star rank is more pronounced at this point. 3 star and under characters underperform and lead to losses. Even 4 star characters seem to fall off a little.

The stamina system: you get 50, fighting battles costs a varying amount and it regrows 1 point every 5 mins. This becomes a real drag when high level battles cost 15 or more stamina. It leads to playing less and progressing less as you get closer to endgame. I think this is a bad idea as it causes people to lose interest in continuing on. You can buy stamina potions to restore to 50 with real money. But I can also spend real money on a full game with lots more content...

I don't know that I would ever call this game fun. It is definitely an addictive grind, but I always felt like I was just short of this or that. Or, that's an interesting battle that I could adapt to if I had any magic users, but I haven't rolled any yet. (and don't tell me I get one to start with, because he is 2 stars and fails to have a high enough attack to matter.)

The randomness of your stable of heroes undermines the potential strategic depth and counterplay the game has.

Probably stop playing completely once Epic Digital Alpha is out.

Edited to add pictures of my latest mini paint, hero quest chaos warrior:
From gallery of chris4games
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19. Video Game: Dark Souls III [Average Rating:8.59 Overall Rank:180] [Average Rating:8.59 Unranked]
Video Game: Dark Souls III
Bobby F.
United States
Henrico
Virginia
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The adventure continues. A little less than 2 hours last night running around the Ilysium Dungeon. SO MUCH HATE for the guards.
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20. Video Game: Dark Souls [Average Rating:8.17 Overall Rank:111] [Average Rating:8.17 Unranked]
Video Game: Dark Souls
Chris
United States
Chicago
Illinois
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I started a new game of Dark Souls because I never finished the original DLC (or started it) and I need to go back and do so. I'm going the long way around to explore everything I can. Just grabbed the Rusted Iron Ring and am heading to the Depths/Blighttown. (I actually, amazingly, have STILL not died to the Capra demon, which is the one everyone else I know seems to have the most trouble with. It was a tense fight this time though, the dogs almost destroyed me but I got up on the ledge before I could get finished off.)
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21. Video Game: Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny [Average Rating:6.08 Overall Rank:6201]
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Alex
Canada
Saskatoon
Saskatchewan
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Played some more of this. I'm getting close to the end of it, although there is some post-game content. At around ninety hours in, there isn't much left to do that isn't main plot, so it shouldn't be too much longer now (as in, no more than a couple weeks). I'm outside the last shrine, resting and fighting the same sea monster over and over to increase my golem fighting based skills, but there's not much point to that really - time to get back to being focused on the plot and to race through the last stretch.
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22. Video Game: Diablo III: Reaper of Souls [Average Rating:7.96 Overall Rank:289] [Average Rating:7.96 Unranked]
Video Game: Diablo III: Reaper of Souls
I picked up the expansion pack as I wanted to play the Crusader. Great fun ARPG shield-bashing and hammering everything in sight. I've always liked the Diablo games, and 3 is better since they got rid of that stupid auction system that made loot drops completely useless.
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23. Video Game: Tales of Berseria [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:3479]
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Enjoy some homing fireballs!
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Arlington
Texas
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More Berseria. Still the same impressions -- reasonably entertaining, but the systems just don't seem to be as interesting as Zesteria's. "Ride the risk/reward curve to extend your combos to insane levels" just isn't as interesting as juggling multiple interlocked systems.
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24. Video Game: Dragon Age: Inquisition [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:240]
Video Game: Dragon Age: Inquisition
Brandon
United States
St. Paul
Minnesota
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Starting this game up on the PS4. I am really looking forward to playing this game having been watching someone else play it off and on over the past couple of years I'm excited to finally delve into this game and a modern Bioware game at that!

I'm actually quite unfamiliar with it if it had expansions or not but other than that, I'm looking forward to my first dive into Dragon Age. I hope to one day play the first game.
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25. Video Game: Samurai Warriors 4 [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:4789]
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Andrew Schoonmaker
United States
Long Beach
California
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Actually Samurai Warriors 4-II, which I picked up in the sale over the weekend.

So controller support is essentially nonexistent in this during battle, which is kind of surprising given that the PC version of Dynasty Warriors 8 is fine. Playing with the keyboard isn't terrible, but some stuff (in particular camera rotation) is a bit awkward.

That aside, this seems like a strong follow-up to the original Samurai Warriors. Not that Samurai Warriors 2 was bad, but the original had a little more character to it with the in-battle mission objectives and sometimes-goofy storylines. There's also some flavor of Dynasty Warriors: Gundam with enemy-controlled areas giving enemies in them noticeable stat boosts, which encourages whittling down defenses rather than charging straight for the boss.

Good signs so far:
* There are 49 playable characters, each with expansive skill trees.
* Because the battle designers wanted to focus on having battles with objective sets that wouldn't be trivial with two players (I guess), in one-player mode you designate a "secondary character", can give them general orders, and then you can switch between characters at any time (!). I am unsure whether you game-over if the character you're not playing dies -- if so, that could be annoying down the line.
* There are only twelve story modes, but these days I don't have the time to really chew through 30+, and having the secondary characters means most (or all?) of the notables get to show up in at least a battle or two. I know Goemon and Okuni are playable (IIRC Okuni was free-mode-only in SW2 and I don't think Goemon was around at all, though to be fair his moveset wasn't wonderful); not sure if they'll show up in battles.
* Even at low levels, characters seem to have roughly double the number of combos that they would've had in previous games (or maybe these got added in SW3?), since they've added a set of anti-crowd moves that combo in the opposite of the usual way.

Some downers:
* I'm unsure whether all controllers are busted in battle or just the gamepad I have, but either way....
* No English voice option. Kunoichi's snark just isn't quite the same if I have to read it.
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