22 January - 28 January 2018: What video games are you playing this week?
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1. Video Game: Horizon Zero Dawn [Average Rating:8.77 Overall Rank:97] [Average Rating:8.77 Unranked]
Video Game: Horizon Zero Dawn
Todd Pytel
United States
Chicago
Illinois
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Still loving this one, though I'm still not that deep in - I just reached the Carja border but am going to double back to pick up the Revenge quest and check out that region. Just got the Shadow Hunter Bow, which looks to be pretty awesome.

This is by far the best open world game I've played. The writing for the sidequests is exemplary. Mechanically, they're still mostly fetch or kill quests in the end. But every questgiver has a solid backstory and connection to the game world. Their dialogs are substantial and they're voice acted beautifully, unlike many games that just lean on a couple of questgivers and recycle the same recorded snippets. Combat is fun and diverse too. I've done well being stealthy most of the time, but there are occasions where you just have to slug it out. And those firefights vary significantly based on the number and type of enemies you're facing. I thought it was cool that the second Bandit Camp I cleared required a completely different approach than the first, one based on environmental bottlenecks more than pure stealth.

Really terrific - the most fun I've had with a AAA game in the last couple years.
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2. Video Game: Civil War II [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:4121]
Video Game: Civil War II
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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So many VGGeeks are involved in challenges this month or working on New Year's resolutions! I was inspired by the wave of dedication and decided to try something similar myself.

I'm not usually that good at setting goals and seeing them through, though, so I figured I'd start with just one game. I've dabbled at it in the past; now I'm setting out to fully learn it and play a proper campaign game.

And to chronicle my effort, I started this forum thread about the game.
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3. Video Game: Assassin's Creed: Origins [Average Rating:8.05 Overall Rank:699]
Video Game: Assassin's Creed: Origins
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Indiana
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Had a chance to try this one out.

So far, it's pretty good. Not amazing, at least not yet, but much better than AC: Rogue or AC: Syndicate. I'm level 11, and about to sail into Alexandria. I'm focusing on stealth for the most part, which so far has meant doing everything I can to boost my concealed headshot damage. I've got it pretty high and can easily dispatch level-appropriate enemies. I've also got a rare two-handed spear that is pretty good in some situations on the ground (like when I got ambushed by a den of crocodiles) and very useful on horseback if I'm robbing convoys.

The hilarious thing about AC: Origins is that it abandons the series awkward flirtation with Arkham-style combat, and instead just flat-out steals all of the basic mechanics from Dark Souls. Of course it makes sure that the underlying math and health regeneration are more forgiving, but otherwise it's the same.

Ubisoft in 2010: hey, this combat from last year's hit, Arkham Asylum is great. Let's use it, not in this year's game, or the one in development for next year, but for the one after that (AC3).

Ubisoft in 2014: hey, we really suck at this Arkham combat, but we've already used it in four games with another on the way. Let's try something else for our 2017 project that is just starting. Well, everyone has been copying another 2009 classic lately (Demon's Souls), let's do that.

laughlaughlaugh

Corporate "quality assurance" at its finest.
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4. Video Game: Civilization VI [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:287] [Average Rating:7.76 Unranked]
Video Game: Civilization VI
Michael Hopcroft
United States
Portland
Oregon
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I'm about a year and half behind the curve, and would not have been able to get this game at all save for a really good bundle deal. Settler difficult seems much harder than I remember it being in previous versions. Anything higher and I'm pretty sure the AI would annihilate me with tanks while I'm still using bronze spears.
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5. Video Game: The Sexy Brutale [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:2915]
Video Game: The Sexy Brutale
Kevin J
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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I've been playing this over the weekend for the VGG game club event. Howlongtobeat.com puts it at around 6 hours, and based on the in-game UI I'm about 2/3rds of the way through the game. I'm enjoying the game but I think my expectations were high going in, so I'm having a hard time not comparing it to other games in the genre that are a bit more "clever". Everything so far seems pretty straightforward, although I guess if it was any more complicated I might have had to resort to online guides by now.

And of course, I'm still addicted to Overwatch. With my new league tokens, I bought a Seoul Dynasty skin for Zarya, as well as a golden weapon for her (the gold weapons look great with the black-and-gold Dynasty skins). I'm not really interested in the Overwatch League, but my friend like Dynasty so I figured I'd get the same skin so we can roll out in the same colors.
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6. Video Game: LEGO Marvel Super Heroes [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:501]
Video Game: LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
Joerg Schaefer
Germany
Frankfurt
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As part of the hardcore challenge I chose a few games outside my comfort zone (indie games, turn-based strategy, visual novels, adventures, RPGs). Action games are a genre I don't play. The closest it gets are battles in RPGs.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is a good start to this genre as it's a casual game. It's about getting used to the controls, not mastering difficulty. The first game I'm playing with my newly bought gamepad. The last time I played with something else than keyboard and mouse was at the end of the 80's on the Amiga.

So far I'm through the first two chapters and I'm really enjoying it. The colorful graphics are great. For someone used to playing games with 8-bit graphics, this game is a quantum leap.
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7. Video Game: Horizon Zero Dawn [Average Rating:8.77 Overall Rank:97] [Average Rating:8.77 Unranked]
Video Game: Horizon Zero Dawn
Bobby F.
United States
Henrico
Virginia
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Think this is going to take up some serious time this week. Last night I got past the 'intro' area right before stopping, so lots to see and do.

Due to its release time, it gets a lot of comparison to BotW, but short of them both being action/adventure/RPG games there's not much else there.
This is more like what if someone took Tomb Raider and made it an open world RPG.

I do think this game would've been helped by a bit more stuff being spoiled. Not plot points but just whole mechanics. Example, I didn't know
Spoiler (click to reveal)
You could ride some of the robots!


Also will be playing more:
Oxygen Not Included as I see how far I can press my luck before I suffocate all my replicants.
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8. Video Game: Grim Dawn - Ashes of Malmouth [Average Rating:9.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:9.00 Unranked]
Video Game: Grim Dawn - Ashes of Malmouth
Jim Arpin
United States
Baltic
Connecticut
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I am still on my Grim Dawn - Ashes of Malmouth binge. I finished out my Warder, ending the game and expansion around lvl 61. He was incredibly overpowered once I got his build sorted out, leaning on 2h melee and massive lightning damage, with some life steal and retribution damage to round him out. I moved onto a pets and poison Cabalist (Necromancer/Occultist) and a gunslinging dual pistol ice Infiltrator (Nightblade/Inquisitor) but I don't think either of them will be as good as my first two characters. I have them both in the lvl 25 range now and will probably play the Infiltrator the rest of the way then go back to finish with the Cabalist.

I played through 12 Labours of Hercules VI: Race for Olympus that I was given as part of a pack of games by
Bob Flaherty
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from the Annual VGG Videogame Christmas Giveaway. Here is the geeklist item from the giveaway. There are a bunch of good inexpensive game recommendations in it. I like using casual games like this to wind down while watching some Celtics or Bruins games at night. This one didn't add much to the mix for the series but was a welcome "more of the same" for me.

EDIT:
Also, I ended up getting a nice gaming chair this past week as my old office chair had seen better days and I have been considering and holding off on a upgrade for ages. I went with a Respawn 120 over something super expensive (DXRacer) and now I really wish I hadn't waited as long as I did. Anyone considering the jump to a racing style chair should give them a look, what an incredible improvement in comfort while relaxing playing games.
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9. Video Game: Farming Simulator 17 [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:3778]
Video Game: Farming Simulator 17
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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My love for farming is unabated by the absence from playing, or the restarting on the map thing. So much to do! I have to get my score up so I can buy the concrete factory again, and of course I have to build it. I've started in making digestate even though I am not going to use it until I get my pig farm going, which won't be until I finish growing the hemp I have put down on every field I own. This should let me get to work on the trees, which are really fun to cut down with the Scorpion King. Of course, it's also one of the few things on the map which doesn't fit on the low loader under all the bridges, so it is unfortunately hard to get around with it. I have a couple trees that are in the way of paths I'm trying to make, so those need to go first. And then I can clear all the trees around my fields.

I guess my main goals are to get my rating up and get money for more equipment, animal-related stuff mostly. I'm going to grow corn, canola, sugar beets, and wheat for the pigs, and they'll make manure that, when mixed with digestate, will make fertilizer. The stock game allows you to buy fertilizer at a lower price than the lime sells for, and lower than the silt you dig up would sell for. So it's a no-brainer to just buy the stuff and never mind the production of it. But, with the cheapo fertilizer, I will save significant money and also be able to deal with the quantities necessary to run the farms long-term.
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10. Video Game: Final Fantasy [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:475] [Average Rating:7.23 Unranked]
Video Game: Final Fantasy
Luke Jaconetti
United States
Simpsonville
South Carolina
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Still working my way through Final Fantasy, about 22 hours on the save file. The party got promoted recently, so now my group consists of Knight, Ninja, White Wizard, and Black Wizard. As it currently stands, we have defeated 3 of the four fiends, having taken down Fire and Water dungeons over the weekend. My general technique has been to read over the walkthrough, but then go through on my own and figure out the dungeon. I have done pretty well with that approach so far.

Up next is the Mirage Tower and then the Flying Fortress!
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11. Video Game: Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance [Average Rating:8.64 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.64 Unranked]
Video Game Compilation: Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance
Ryan S
United States
Dallas
Texas
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I think I'm at 87 hours now on my game clock. The last 5 or 6 hours has been spent in the item and character world, so I haven't made any progress in the story chapters in a little while. I'm working through a legendary monster weapon at the moment, and I think I have it at level 60+. I also have my enemy strength at rank 12 or 13, so the enemies are way stronger than they need to be at this stage, but I'm still able to keep going. I think the enemies are around level 800 right now, and most of my characters are around level 350-400.
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12. Video Game: Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director's Cut [Average Rating:8.07 Overall Rank:410]
Video Game: Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director's Cut
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United States
In the middle of nowhere
New York
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Well, time to do a bunch of runs to raise that 50k Alice wants for that info whistle
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13. Video Game: The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles [Average Rating:7.97 Overall Rank:278] [Average Rating:7.97 Unranked]
Video Game: The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles
Simon Woodward
New Zealand
Hamilton
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I've been meaning to play this, and it's on the Community Challenge and I also put it on my Hardcore list.

It's more of the same Oblivion, in some ways I prefer the vanilla Oblvision as this one goes for a little bit wacky, which is fine but not so relatable for me.

It's such a peaceful game, wandering around, sweet music, lovely vistas. It rarely gets frantic.

Combat is pretty bad of course and side quests can involve a lot of busy work. I had to unearth a conspiracy and it involved an incredible amount of trekking back and forth.

I like the dungeons, they feel scary and claustrophobic. I never feel safe except in town, even though I am a bad ass, it's still possible to die.
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14. Video Game: Dragon Age: Origins [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:77]
Video Game: Dragon Age: Origins
Kristopher
United States
Allentown
Pennsylvania
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Still playing DA:O and suspect I will be for the foreseeable future. Though I've been playing less and less video games lately. Don't know if it's a sign of depression or apathy or what, but tend to go to bed early and/or watch something on AmazonPrime.
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15. Video Game: NASCAR '15 [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
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Gabe Hawkins
United States
Virginia
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Still playing this almost every day. Started a new season last week doing 30% races, x1 fuel and tire wear, 100% difficulty, no assists, cockpit view only. Through the first five races, I've won twice, qualified on the pole twice, and have 4 top 10s. I DNF'd after a crash at Phoenix, but I'm currently leading the points headed into race 6.
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16. Video Game: Assassin's Creed: Origins [Average Rating:8.05 Overall Rank:699]
Video Game: Assassin's Creed: Origins
Gabe Hawkins
United States
Virginia
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Getting back on track with Origins this week. Haven't had much time to play it for 4 or 5 days now, but I'm looking forward to getting back at it. I just made it to Alexandria, and I've focused largely on side quests at the moment. Having not played any of the more recent entries in the series, I've been enjoying this game quite a bit. Some of the load times are a bit long, and I don't necessarily find the story all that interesting, but it's pretty to look at, the combat and exploration are fun, and I think the people populating the towns and cities make the world pretty interesting.
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17. Video Game: Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:3981]
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Gabe Hawkins
United States
Virginia
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Prepare for the future!
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Ouch! Watch it!
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Microbadge: Ameritrash fanMicrobadge: I was here for VGG's 10th birthday party!Microbadge: PlayStation fanMicrobadge: Doctor of PhilosophyMicrobadge: Virginia
I'm about 24 hours into my second playthrough of this game. Normally I don't enjoy replaying games this soon after beating them, but I've picked up on aspects of the plot and subplots that I missed on my first go, and I've also been able to fully develop more of the character relationships. I'm currently about halfway through the fourth class trial, which happens to be one of my favorites.
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18. Video Game: Sniper Elite 4 [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:3079]
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Josh Malbon
United States
Santa Cruz
California
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Started up a game of this. Pretty good Nazi head-popping fun.

The brutal x-ray graphics on some attacks are about as graphic as it gets. robot


Gameplay-wise it's feeling pretty good sneaking around an Italian island and sniping. I wish you could pick your character before completing a level. Would prefer being a female sniper. The male main character doesn't have a lot of personality.


The Save system is great for playing a bit at at time. Also for experimenting with the mechanics.
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19. Video Game: Auto Age: Standoff [Average Rating:6.80 Unranked]
Video Game: Auto Age: Standoff
Aaron Tubb
United States
Fuquay Varina
NC
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Microbadge: Nuclear power professionalMicrobadge: Kai LordMicrobadge: Ameritrash fanMicrobadge: PC BuilderMicrobadge: Latter-day Saint
First, thanks to VGG user Blammo for gifting me this game!

I've played through the single player tutorial mission and played it a bit with my boys. This is a multiplayer vehicle combat game with an aesthetic and sounds done in the style of 80's cartoons (e.g. MASK, Transformers), set in a high tech postapocalyptic America. It's pretty fun, but the multiplayer is long dead, and the only thing you can do is play with bots or just against your friends (the game features up to 4 player splitscreen, which is nice).

Video Game: Auto Age: Standoff


You can customize and save car loadouts, which my boys thought was fun, putting different weapons on different cars and trying them out in battle. One of my sons actually saved a couple cars with no weapons at all, simply named "car", in case he wanted to just drive around in a normal car.

The actual driving feels a bit clunky and not polished, so I don't see it as something we will be coming back to regularly, but we did have fun playing it together.
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20. Video Game: Star Ocean: The Second Story [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:1243]
Video Game: Star Ocean: The Second Story
♬ Stephanie ♩♪♩♪♩ ♩♪♩♪♫♪
United States
In the middle of nowhere
New York
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Honey + Yeast + Time = Nectar of the Gods
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Microbadge: Tea drinkerMicrobadge: I'm part of the 2020 Mindful Spending ChallengeMicrobadge: Lost in Subscription!Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level V - My God! It's Full of Stars!Microbadge: "I'm a really good liar." —Jester Lavorre
So went and played hide and seek with Precis (renamed Phoebe) in Giveaway (weird town name), then headed over to do the Field of Intellegence. Wizards are annoying. I was trying to level my lower level chars (Noel (48) and Chisato (41)), but they kept dying. The rest of my party is 51-53 whistle I used like 4 revives getting through the place, saved, and then attempted the boss, but that stupid beam kept on killing my 2 melee people. Donno if I should be higher level or am forgetting how to efficiently do combat, since it's been who knows how long since I've played (probably longer than with Kingdom Hearts)

It's weird playing this on a 48'' screen now lol all pixely
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21. Video Game: Dance Dance Revolution 2nd ReMIX [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked]
Video Game: Dance Dance Revolution 2nd ReMIX
Simon Hammar
Sweden
Täby
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Now who are these five?
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Come, come, all children who love fairy tales.
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Microbadge: I speak JapaneseMicrobadge: Wii U fanMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level V - My God! It's Full of Stars!Microbadge: ShintoistMicrobadge: Manifest Destiny fan
Yep, believe it or not.

Like two weeks or so ago, I learned that I have a high blood pressure, at the same time learning that the best remedy is regular exercise, every day. I am generally quite healthy, so I didn't get too worried, but then it struck me that I'd be so pissed if this would unnecessarily become a real problem when I know what to do, and the remedy is the most obvious thing you should do anyway.

But I hate going out for a run, so it struck me that ffs, I'll bring out DDR and have a DDR session for half an hour or two each day for the rest of my life. That's not too bad.

So I pulled this out and seriously intend to play this for at least 30 minutes a day bar the weekends.

The 2nd ReMIX has an interesting play mode called "Endless", where the songs just pour on. Managed 10 songs in a row on difficulty "Another" (which is 3 out of 4 in difficulty). Was a bit hazed at my record from, say 98 or thereabouts: I have made 39 songs in a row. That's a whooping 100 minutesof non-stop hopping on the dance mat!
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22. Video Game: Pool of Radiance [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:598]
Video Game: Pool of Radiance
Kristopher
United States
Allentown
Pennsylvania
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Hey, buddy, can you spare a role?
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I jotted it down in my Risk campaign book. I always used to do that so I could replay my moments of glory over a glass of brandy in the sleeping quarters. --Arnold J. Rimmer--
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Microbadge: Theodore Roosevelt fan - Bully!Microbadge: Ray Bradbury fanMicrobadge: I have a crush on the girl in HamsterOfFury's avatarMicrobadge: Shakespeare fanMicrobadge: Ludwig van Beethoven fan
Just for the heck of it, I started up Pool of Radiance on an NES emulator yesterday at work. I had forgotten that I HAD this game for my NES. I don't remember finishing it, though.

Maybe I'll continue playing it at work. Not like I don't have enough things to do than start yet another long RPG game.
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23. Video Game: Final Fantasy VIII [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:405] [Average Rating:7.27 Unranked]
Video Game: Final Fantasy VIII
It's V-Y not V-R
United States
Alabama
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オーケー・ブーマ
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Microbadge: Who cut the cheese?Microbadge: Golden GeeklisterMicrobadge: Final Fantasy VII fanMicrobadge: Feeling lousyMicrobadge: Alien fan
I'm now at the beginning of "Disc 3." I'm enjoying the further complications in the story, but still waiting for the real insanity to start. I have a vague idea of where it goes.

Have a remix of the boss theme by a metal band including the original composer. Microbadge: Rock on!

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24. Video Game: Chronology [Average Rating:6.67 Unranked]
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Hedgepig
United States
Oregon
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Microbadge: Ghost fanMicrobadge: 2019 VGG Halloween avatar dress up participantMicrobadge: Nightmare Before Christmas fanMicrobadge: Bewitched fanMicrobadge: Halloween fan
My daughter and I have been taking turns playing this before bed this week. Very cute storyline and graphics. We're both enjoying it. (My husband has been staying up way too late to play Fallout New Vegas after the kids are asleep).
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25. Video Game: Age of Mythology [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:440]
Video Game: Age of Mythology
I played a couple games of the enhanced HD edition last night with my 18 month old son sitting on my lap. He likes it too!
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