22 May - 28 May 2017: What video games are you playing this week?
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1. Video Game: New Super Mario Bros. Wii [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:108]
Video Game: New Super Mario Bros. Wii
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Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future. H.G. Wells
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Making progress.

I have all Star Coins from World 1 through World 4, and a some from World 5.
I may be missing some cannons. Should go back through and check. I have not uncovered World 7 as of yet, but two cannons have taken me to World 6.

I have all Star Coins up to World 5-4 (the log level), and even a few after that from World 5-5 and World 5 Ghost Secret House.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Don't tell me if I am wrong or right but apparently I am mean to make it to the end of the level as Mini Mari. And I guess Mini Mario can only run on blue water and not pink water. I suppose that would have been too easy,
but it sure would have been fun!

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2. Video Game: Advanced Tactics: Gold [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked]
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Michael Hopcroft
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Portland
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I had owned the earlier edition of this wargame, which fits into a niche that is somewhat uncomfortable and was apparently a commercial failure (even by niche game standards). There are very few fan scenarios for it (as opposed to the plethora of scenarios for the older Operational Art of War).

I can see why it didn;t catch on, but it still has its pleasures. It's just that the timing or the purchase turned out to be awkward.
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3. Video Game: Dishonored 2 [Average Rating:8.19 Overall Rank:768]
Video Game: Dishonored 2
Kevin Brown
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Parker
Colorado
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Just wrapped up mission 7 and thought it was brilliant. Loved the switch in powers and play style. The mechanic certainly isn't enough to carry an entire game, but as a change-of-pace level I loved it.
Doesn't hurt that it reminded me very much of plane shifting in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, but done it in a more interactive way. Really makes me want a LoK: SR reboot but, alas, Squeenix is all tied up with MCU stuff.

Missed a bone charm on this level and don't want to go back and try and find it. Sucks, but I'll live. All paintings collected so far and about half way through mission 7 I uncorked the Well Funded achievement by collecting 60% of the available loot in the game, so I know I'm playing fairly thoroughly. Still annoyed about missing a bone charm, just like I'm annoyed at being detected in a couple early missions last 5 missions (I think) have been ghosted.

Have more money than I need, but not more than I can spend. Guess I will start buying upgrades that just don't matter for a stealth play through.

My favorite game I've played in 2017? Maybe. I'll have to see how it finishes up. But it is in the top 2 so far.

On to mission 8!
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4. Video Game: Mario & Luigi: Dream Team [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:3554]
Video Game: Mario & Luigi: Dream Team
Kevin J
Canada
Toronto
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I've started my professional accounting course which takes about 15-20 hours of work each week, so a lot of my discretionary time has disappeared.

I've been getting re-acquainted with my 3DS; I put a few hours into Mario & Luigi: Dream Team. It's a little slow to start, but I'm getting out of it pretty much what I expected -- some quirky characters, pattern-based combat, and cute animations.

My girlfriend got me Yoshi's Woolly World for 3DS, and I cleared the first three levels. Yoshi's Island was one of my favorite games growing up, so I'm having fun playing YWW.

I spent some time a while ago trying to get my old PC set up so I could play multiplayer games locally with a friend. Yesterday he came over and we started playing Borderlands 2. We got two hours into it, and he's already hooked. He's a sucker for loot and leveling up, so I knew this game would be up his alley! I'm playing Maya, the Siren, and he's playing Zero. I'm using this game as my first game to try to get acquainted with my new Steam Controller, and there is a definitely a learning curve. I'm going to switch a few inputs around, since using the right track pad and right trigger to aim and shoot doesn't feel comfortable since my thumb is further up the front of the controller than it would be if I were using a second analog stick; I'm going to switch the rear paddles to act as the right/left triggers instead to aim and shoot.
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5. Video Game: Castlevania (1986) [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:763] [Average Rating:7.03 Unranked]
Video Game: Castlevania (1986)
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Georgetown
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Continuing my play through of this. Still have not been able to kill Death lol.

Update: Have made it to Dracula, and found a strategy to beat his first form. I'm very thankful that when you die, the game let's you keep on continuing from the hallway to Dracula.
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6. Video Game: Wonder Boy [Average Rating:5.86 Overall Rank:5615]
Video Game: Wonder Boy
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Also continuing my play of this. After some more playing, I've decided this is not a bad game, but the food mechanic drives me nuts sometimes lol.

Update: Just beat the sixth incarnation of the boss. Quite an average platformer with decent but not great NES graphics. The food mechanic makes it quite unforgiving at many times.
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7. Video Game: Mount & Blade: Warband [Average Rating:8.09 Overall Rank:272]
Video Game: Mount & Blade: Warband
Josh Malbon
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Santa Cruz
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Jeanne of Arc has still been refused by the other kings for vassalage. So she took on helping Arwa, a queen regain her throne from the Syrians. She used to be their queen but when her husband was killed in battle, his nephew stole the throne.

Jeanne took two castles away from the Syrians in a humongous battle. Her knights were blessed by the good Lord. Being outnumbered 5-1 they still overcame the threat.

But then the Rhodoks being their miserable selves tried to take those castles from Jeanne. She captured one of their lords and then the Rhodok king himself besieged her other castle.

Jeanne offered him peace, but he refused. Now the king is Jeanne's captive. That should pay a good ransom. devil

UPDATE 1: Dang. Got stuck. My land is under constant attack between the Rhodoks and the Syrians. The problem is even if I kill all 360 plus from one side, the other than attacks with 300 more soldiers versus my 80.

Even though Jeanne is killing them all, they get new armies to max way too quick. So, I can't progress.

I went through this same series of events about 4 times. My only option is to forfeit my city and hope to take another of the Syrians. But their armies recover way too quick.

UPDATE 2: Totally hopeless and a bit bugged. Something is going on where enemies can get more troops than possible. I gave up on the city I had and took control of two others.

While I took those two cities, someone took the one I had back. So, gained two lost one. But then one of my new cities went under siege. I killed all the enemies there. After I left, it instantly converted to the enemy. Some sort of bug, if they can freely take a city without an army. So, I've given up on Jeanne of Arc's impossible quest for Arwa.
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8. Video Game: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Legendary Edition [Average Rating:8.96 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.96 Unranked]
Video Game Compilation: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Legendary Edition
Amy O'Neal
United States
Mechanicsville
Virginia
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Finished the Mage's Guild questline and starting on the Dawnguard expansion...

5/24 - Finished Dimhollow Crypt and tracked down the two people for the Dawnguard... Now, I either find the Priest or go track down some schematics for Sarine... Or both... Decided to track down the schematics for Satine first, then find the Priest... After learning how to make Steel Bolts... My favorite weapon in the game is the Crossbow...

5/25 - Got both of them done yesterday... Now, three more Dawnguard related quests... Find the last person, find another schematic and find the two other items... Which means doing my least favorite area of the game... Person and schematic first, most definitely...

5/28 - Almost finished the entire Dawnguard expansion... Did at least one other (small) quest while I was waiting to finish one of the Dawnguard related quests... Right now, my character is waiting in front of Castle Volkihar ready to go in and finish the quest...
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9. Video Game: Far Cry 4 [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:515]
Video Game: Far Cry 4
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Had a chance to try this one out, and been playing quite a bit of it since finishing Dishonored 2 last week.

Not amazing, but easy to dive into, with lots of freedom to set goals and build up your character. Pretty early on I took care of all of my hunting needs, and for a while now I've been carrying around the Recurve Bow, Predator (unique silenced sniper rifle), Shredder (unique silenced SMG with crazy accuracy and fire rate) and the M12 grenade launcher (think: Terminator 2). I've done a little over half of the outposts, and have gotten every one of them without being detected.

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The stealth isn't what I'd call deep, but it still pushes those buttons for me. I feel like, rather than rewarding the player with a more robust stealth toolkit, they made the AI really dumb. Like, guards never sound the alarm if they don't see you, even if someone else right in front of them takes an arrow to the face.

While it's obvious that this is one of Ubisoft's kitchen sink AAA games (climb towers to remove fog of war from the map, etc), the biggest influence in its overall 'feel,' by far, is Skyrim. Didn't expect that going in.

The game doesn't have the popular "berserk darts" from Assassins Creed (the ones that make enemies hallucinate and turn on each other), but in a way it might as well, as you can get wild bears/tigers/wolves to attack enemies.

It's a very exploitable game, which makes it entertaining for me. I've "climbed" more than half the broadcast towers by landing the buzzer mini-copter right next to the hijack switch...
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10. Video Game: Hitman: The Complete First Season [Average Rating:7.79 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.79 Unranked]
Video Game: Hitman (2016)  - Season 1: Episode 1: The Showstopper
Aaron Tubb
United States
Fuquay Varina
NC
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I decided to go back and finish off one of the escalation contracts in Sapienza. Last week I wrote of it:

One of them required me to hack a laptop in the biolab while a bunch of other scientists were standing around. I finally did it by starting the mission with the big explosive pack and detonating it in the corner of the room to scare everyone away. The biolab security came in while I was on the laptop (it takes an uninterrupted 20 seconds to hack) but did not think I was suspicious. (Though they did look at me and say "Hey, who are you? Are you sure you're supposed to be here?" and then after looking at me for a few moments, they said "Yeah, you're OK." and they went on their way.)

The last two levels kept it interesting. The two biolab security guards went from "kill via any method" to requiring the explosive golf ball for one and the amputation knife from the plague doctor display for the other. I learned that the golf ball is pretty handy and can be used like a concealable grenade that explodes on contact. The last level changed the requirements again so that you have to wear the plague doctor costume the whole time that you have to sneak into the mansion attic to grab a katana and then use the katana to kill both targets. It was actually pretty interesting and I learned about and used alternate routes and hiding spots that I have never used before to complete this escalation.



Also, I wrote a review for this game, which is currently sitting in geekmod, in case anyone is interested.

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11. Video Game: Orcs Must Die! Unchained [Average Rating:2.90 Unranked]
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United States
North Adams
Massachusetts
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Finally getting back into some gaming after a long hiatus.

Still playing Mobius Final Fantasy as my brain-dead grind game. I'm about done with the basic single-player content map, which means either

Warframe I played a mission or two with Matt, but mostly I've just been doing daily logins.

A bit more Victor Vran with Andy and Rudy. We found the endless monsters mode, but unfortunately when one player dies they're eliminated for a while, so that's not optimal multi-player.

Tried going back to Valdis Story, but most of the treasure chests seem locked behind difficult 15-second timed platforming sections which require perfect dash leap stomp etc. timing which I can't seem to do fast enough. And this in turn seems to leave me underpowered for the bosses... not sure whether to start this one over on an easier difficulty or just give up.

Looking for something easy and fun I picked up Wizard's Lizard, which ends up being not entirely dissimilar from Binding of Isaac. Twinstick zelda-dungeon Roguelike with unlocks. I'm digging it, will likely play more.

And Matt and I after a single level and plenty of fighting with voice chat in Orcs Must Die 2, tried Orcs Must Die Unchained -- or more accurately, TRIED to try it, but it's yet another example of a multiplayer game that won't just let you play a game with your friends without making you slog through 5 levels of tutorial, and I understand wanting people to play a game first before they join a random MP lobby, but if you just want to play a game with a friend it would be nice to be able to jump right into playing together. Anyway, I finished the tutorial, so maybe we'll actually play it at some point.

Finally, I just got Morphblade off the free list from seneca, and it's exactly what I wanted. Addictive game with simple rules but complicated.
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12. Video Game: Burnout Paradise [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:461]
Video Game: Burnout Paradise
Aaron Tubb
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Fuquay Varina
NC
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I noticed I still had a number of racing games installed and I loaded them back up and played them a bit to see if I should keep them installed or not.

The Crew
- The huge explorable map is pretty much the only draw for this game. I've driven only a fraction of the total area, and I already feel like I've seen enough, though. This is an MMO, and features standard MMO aspects that I hate, like the practice of gating actually fun stuff (e.g. good handling at higher speeds in this game) behind time/money/level requirements. Also, if you are playing by yourself, the only interaction you have with other players is when one of them decides to troll you by ramming you.

Uplay said it had a big update to install for The Crew, but I could play offline instead of updating if I wanted to. After waiting through the unreasonably long load time at the game's start, the game let me know it cannot be played offline, so that was annoying.

Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012) - I remember being impressed with this when I first started playing it, and then I just kind of stopped and never touched it again, so I played it some more to see if it was still worth playing. I don't think it is. It's really similar to Burnout Paradise, but all the unlockable DLC cars are shoved in your face constantly, just parked around the game disguised as normal unlocks, as advertisements for the overpriced DLC, which is annoying. The police chases are a cool addition to the Burnout Paradise formula, but they can also be annoying if you are trying to do/find/unlock something outside of a race. Each car has its own parts and upgrades, which is something I really don't care for; it makes this game feel a lot more tedious than games like Burnout Paradise since you need to do various races to get parts just for one car that you will not be driving all the time. The marked routes during a race are nice, as is the ability to switch cars at any time, but it still isn't enough to make up for the annoyances.

Burnout Paradise - I started to wonder if I was remembering Burnout Paradise more fondly than it deserved, so I went back and played it. It was fun. There wasn't any filler or blatant wastes of my time. Crashes and takedowns are visceral and fun to watch. This game is still the gold standard for fun arcade racers as far as I'm concerned.
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13. Video Game: Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:433] [Average Rating:7.40 Unranked]
Video Game: Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
Chris McDermott
United Kingdom
Belfast
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I recently started play Hearthstone again after I received an email about some packs of cards waiting for me. Turns out there were 8 or 9! I've been out quite a while it seems as people keep playing cards I've never seen before, and which are much better than mine. Still I got to rank 20 and earned enough gold from the daily tasks to unlock the first wing of the one of the single-player adventures. I think I'll keep doing that until my decks are in better condition.

I've also been playing:

Alan Wake - I've had this for a while only recently got around to playing it. The controls feel a bit clunky but it's very atmospheric with quite a few jumps. Though playing it along in the dark helps with that!

Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst - A hidden object game I've been playing on the 3DS. It's not up to the standard of Artifex Mundi HO games but it is 11 years old so I'll cut it some slack. Also it was 90p.


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14. Video Game: Super Mario Galaxy 2 [Average Rating:8.41 Overall Rank:47]
Video Game: Super Mario Galaxy 2
For Wii

.

session 1 | 1hr 15
Went from 106 stars to 111 112 (actually) stars.
I did a quick-count from the list.. it looks like I'm missing 9 stars? That would take me to an even, 120 total stars.

Stars/Levels completed:
Shiverburn Galaxy - regular level
Shiverburn Galaxy - Octo Arms Rainbow thing (where you use 3 stars to kill all Octo enemies on the platform

Flight Guide galaxy - regular level (just getting to the end)
Flight Guide galaxy - 2nd star (racing against that other Fluuzzard bird.

110-star/2000 star bit access
Flip Flop Galaxy - Quite a fun, and not so difficult level for a Nintendo game's "final level" cool

I'm sure there's a secret in the Boo Mansion level of the later world, but damned if I can figure it out for now, so I skipped that.

.

I'd say we have 2 to 5 more sessions left till we get all stars. Lower end since it can be 5 stars per session. More if some of them end up being more difficult than triggered.



session 2 | 1hr 1
112 to 114 stars
World 5 Boo Mansion galaxy hidden star
Flip Flop galaxy prankster comet
1 comet coin obtained in that "Time galaxy"

Interesting roadblock I'm at... the only paths or progress I can take are:
A) get 2 missing comet coins, and hope that a new prankster comet triggers a new level
B) Try to finish up that challenge of destroying all boxes within a time limit. And it IS short, so I'll need to work at this to win, as the margin of error is tiny! Also, hope that getting this star opens up new things to progress

If I end up "getting stuck", as painful as it is (at least for me and Mario games), I may have to look up a FAQ or strategy guide here.
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15. Video Game: Fantasy General [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:853]
Video Game: Fantasy General
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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"‘But what did the Dormouse say?’ one of the jury asked. ‘That I can’t remember,’ said the Hatter."
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I guess I'm back to playing this 1996 classic again this week.

I took a detour into The Battle for Wesnoth, and maybe I'm still playing that too. But I started to get frustrated with it. The scenarios started seeming harder than they should have been--or maybe I needed to pay closer attention to the individual units and their skills or something. I replayed the tutorial and won that, and then I started a campaign that was supposedly designed for beginners--but I opted to play on Normal instead of Beginner or Easy. I won the first couple scenarios of that campaign easily, and then I encountered one that so far looks impossible. I lost it yesterday and then switched back to Fantasy General.

I haven't played much as Archmage Krell in FG, so I started a "minicampaign" on Easy, just to get the feel of this mage's fragile army. It's astounding: even on Easy, I'm losing more units than I think I should. Somehow I won the first two scenarios, though. Last night I was about to win the third, but I had neglected to garrison a captured city. The enemy slipped a unit into it and built more units there, and time ran out before I could go back and clear it out. So, I'm having to replay that one. And this time I'm using the FastSave button periodically.

I keep meaning to get back into AI War: Fleet Command, as the game was growing on me last time I played (a couple weeks ago). But I need to be in the mood for some serious learning, as it's not an easy or intuitive game. Lately I've only been up for familiar games I can play at casually.
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16. Video Game: Salt and Sanctuary [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:1886]
Video Game: Salt and Sanctuary
Adam
United States
Tempe
Arizona
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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 ran into a game breaking bug about 75% of the way through Deadly Premonition, and the only cure is a complete restart. I'll be able to avoid it, next time, but I was in the mood for a break prior to that, so I moved on to Salt and Sanctuary.

If you've looked into this game at all, I can affirm what everyone else is saying, this game is the lovechild of Dark Souls and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, though a bit more the former than the later. I've started several different builds just to experiment a bit with the various classes and creeds, but for the time being I'm focusing the most on my Dex based Hunter, and having a ton of fun in the process!

I normally hate platformers, but this game is proving to be the rare exception. I hope I'm able to see it all the way to the end; the platforming has me more concerned than the combat, and has halted me on games in the past; yes, I'm looking at you, El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron!
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17. Video Game: Horizon Zero Dawn [Average Rating:8.77 Overall Rank:97] [Average Rating:8.77 Unranked]
Video Game: Horizon Zero Dawn
Ian Kelly
United States
Longmont
Colorado
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Allow me to introduce myself. I am Hexachlorophene J. Goodfortune, Kidnapper-At-Large, and Devourer of Tortoises par Excellence, at your service.
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Killed a Thunderjaw and a Stormbird for the Hunting Lodge quest line, then killed Redmaw, which actually seemed easier than the first Thunderjaw since I had an NPC to distract it with.

Completed all the Tallnecks, collected all the ancient vessels and Banuk figures, visited all the vantage points. The last one I visited was #10 which surprised me with a cutscene ambush by a Stormbird as I was climbing up to it. Apparently the Stormbird is guarding some ruins that I'll visit later for the story. I hope I won't have to fight it again.

Completed Cauldron Xi, just have Cauldron Zeta to go now. Did the main story quest leading up to going to Sunfall. Reached level 40.
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18. Video Game: Gothic 3 [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:2578]
Video Game: Gothic 3
Jørgen K
Denmark
Copenhagen S
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Last year I played Gothic (2001) and Gothic II (including Night Raven expansion) - but I did not feel up for the many hours of Gothic 3 - but... I wanted to play something different than endless runners like ETS2 and ATS - and I thought it was about time to give Gothic 3 a try: My friend, who was a big fan of Gothic II talked very good about Gothic 3 which have a bigger playground and a good story. The game also have some different mechanics; Reputation with various factions; In Gothic (1) you would befriend an Orc shaman - but in Gothic 3 you can befriend an entire Orc clan in order to gain certain knowledge and/or equipment... same goes for other factions in the game.

This makes this a game where I need to step carefully and not piss off too many people.

So far I have just started: 45-ish minutes; a lot of it have been the intro video. Right now I am at a calm place; we killed the first batch of orcs in the village we arrived to, and I now need to find my good friend, Lester and he game can begin.




As a side note, I spent a lot of the night with the computer on, downloading and installing a lot of my Steam library so I have something to play. I still need to finish Aladdin, and one more game on my Hardcore list...
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19. Video Game: Tropico 5 [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:2283]
Video Game: Tropico 5
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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He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
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Did you know there's a war on? In Tropico, that is. We're in the Great War period and I've allied myself with the Allies, well, not quite, but I've ALIGNED myself with the Allies. I found that my religious and medical buildings weren't up to the task of providing all my Tropicans with care, so I've built some more of each. Also put in some more entertainment venues. The power plant is going up soon. I've got a pretty sizeable island but we are using maybe 20% of it at the moment.

My economy is mostly export-based, so we make rum, cigars, and planks. Soon we'll start working on canned goods, I think. Export communism!

We're not actually a communist island, but we're getting more communists in all the time. I've started building tenements to house people, as it holds three times the people at the same cost of a country house. Country house people feed themselves, though.

I'm not sure what I'm going to put into the cans at this point. I have bad fishing and it's not consistent, and I have not found a good spot for pineapples yet.

Due to the war, I've built up 3 barracks. I set them to fill up after the other jobs, though, because factories are much more important than military at the moment. Shut down the factories, and Tropico shuts down.
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20. Video Game: Cannon Fodder [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:569]
Video Game: Cannon Fodder
Jørgen K
Denmark
Copenhagen S
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Giving the DOS version of Cannon Fodder a go, started out last night with a few missions, but there is still a long way to go!

I have before had problems with this game on GOG, but it seems like they have fixed it!
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21. Video Game: Dead Cells [Average Rating:8.26 Overall Rank:907]
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Chris
United States
Chicago
Illinois
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God messed up and here I am!
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Started playing this because some friends were talking about it and then discovered it was made by a developer who made one of my favorite flash games (not just good for a flash game, it is a well made old-school nintendo style game, The Caverns of Hammerfest at http://www.hfest.net/ ) so I grabbed it and gave it a whirl.

Dead Cells is a castlevania-esque rogue-lite that focuses on combat with a variety of different weapons and styles - various melee weapons and ranged weapons and shields are your main attacks, and you can pick which you want as main attack and alternate attack (I think technically you could even have two shields but that's silly), and there are several different types of secondary weapons like traps and bombs that you an have as well. It has a pixelated style that is not unpleasant and is probably meant to be reminiscent of those older games with a few more bits available.

Initial thoughts: The level design is kinda clunky, but the visuals are good. The animations are smooth and interesting, and the character design is pretty evocative. The combat is quick but I have seen very little in the way of really interesting enemy attacks. Enemies are extremely predictable, though elite enemies can be a bit quicker and trickier. I haven't gotten very far either though, but I could see it not being hard to add variety in the early stages? *shrug*

The controls are not something you have to wrestle with, but they are different. It's hard to describe, but every action feels very distinct, so like, there's a roll that doesn't quite do what you might expect at first, but once you get used to it it makes sense, and other actions like the double jump or the plunging attack are maybe just a little different than you would expect if you come into it expecting the same thing that other games do? I guess? this is hard to explain. Anyway, they're smooth but different.

As mentioned, I haven't gotten very far. I'm not sure if the game will hold up or if it will just feel grindy after a while, but at least now the newness of it is engaging and I don't find any major failings.
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22. Video Game: Batman: Arkham Asylum [Average Rating:8.23 Overall Rank:33]
Video Game: Batman: Arkham Asylum
Jason W
United States
Tampa
Florida
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I'm giving this game another go after quitting five or six years ago, this time on Easy (shrug).

So far so good, just rescued three doctors that were being held hostage by some goons. I'm definitely not skilled in combat, usually just pressing 'hit' over and over again, with some counters and take downs. I think I'll try timing things a bit more as I'm getting comfortable with the controls (playing on console).

I generally like the story. Joker is nutty, though he had one or two chances to kill Batman and didn't. I mean, I know for one to exist the other has to exist as well, but, isn't that the end goal for the Joker here? A big, bad, trap for the big, bad, bat?

The Riddler challenges are going ok. The menu tells me when the riddles are for the specific room I'm in (maybe this is on easy mode only?), and I actually found a map of trophy/riddle locations in one area. I'm not a completionist, so this won't hold up my progress of the game. I like collecting the background info on all the characters, though this time I have little patience for the recordings. Maybe it's cuz I just don't have the time I did 6 years ago.

Special shout out to the voice actors for Batman, the Joker, and Harley, who are the same as Batman The Animated Series.
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23. Video Game: Bus Driver [Average Rating:5.95 Unranked]
Video Game: Bus Driver
Jørgen K
Denmark
Copenhagen S
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By the same company who later gave us Euro Truck Simulator and American Truck Simulator, I revisited Bus Driver - I am still not impressed with it; the busses are hard to steer, but you can actually get used to it, however the two views that there are, are not really useful all alone, and I often have to change between 1st and 3rd person view to be able to steer the bus precisely.

I do like that the game have a sort of end goal: Finish all tiers and I assume the game is completed. I have just completed Tier 1 (which is... six busses/missions?) and is missing the last... maybe five tiers

Edit: It is six tiers with six missions each, and I have finished Tier 2 Mission 3.
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24. Video Game: Torment: Tides of Numenera [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:1691]
Video Game: Torment: Tides of Numenera
It's V-Y not V-R
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Alabama
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I completed some more quests in the Valley of Dead Heroes. The Necropolis and the lore around it was a little confusing. I also found out that my preferred approach - to avoid combat - is essential now, as Rhin can't survive being attacked. Maybe taking her along with me on my quest across the Ninth World wasn't the best way to keep the kid safe.
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25. Video Game: Magic: The Gathering Puzzle Quest [Average Rating:6.33 Unranked]
Video Game: Magic: The Gathering Puzzle Quest
Alex
Canada
Saskatoon
Saskatchewan
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I had an excellent game of this, beating a level 100 foe in a coalition event using my level 43 Jace. It was a heck of a tight game where I was fortunately able to steal one of his guys, that I was able to use to repeatedly kill his other guys as he played them. I also used the synergies of my deck to pump one of my guys up to around 43/44 by the end of the match. My deck revolves around energizing gems, and in particular a 3/4 flying dude who energizes a number of gems equal to his power when damaging a planeswalker. Other key cards include a spell that add +X/+X to a creature where X equals the number of energized gems on the board (which combos ridiculously well with the flying dude when cast repeatedly on him), a card that allows me to steal a creature from an enemy planeswalker when there are energized gems on the board, and a 6/6 for 12 that gets temporary pumps from matching energized gems. All those cards are expensive, mana-wise, so the rest of the cards either provide light control elements to buy time, or help fix mana. My decks don't do too well overall, but I'm really happy with that deck.

I've also been playing a lot of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II – The Sith Lords with the restored content mod - I've played through Nar Shadaa and Dantooine. Playing extended sections without my main character has made me realize that my main character is way stronger than any two of the other characters in my party combined. The other party members seem underpowered, although maybe I should spend a little more time upgrading their equipment - see if that helps.

And I've been playing more Ultima VII: The Black Gate, albeit sporadically, as my priority really is Kotor II. I'm out of Trisnic and am kicking around Paws. I love how well developed the world of Britannia is - everything has its place. It's one of my favourite games, and I think one of the better RPGs in the history of video gaming. It feels so well crafted.
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