5 February - 11 February 2018: What video games are you playing this week?
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1. Video Game: Assassin's Creed: Origins [Average Rating:8.05 Overall Rank:699]
Video Game: Assassin's Creed: Origins
Kevin Brown
United States
Parker
Colorado
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Still playing here and there. Level 23. The star of this show is the setting. I feel like the game is just the same thing over and over and really isn't that exciting. But maybe I'm just in a lull and need to devote more time to doing quests and progressing the storyline instead of just wandering around attacking animals, chariots and enemy camps.
Got a legendary drop which was cool. A sword. So far I've accumulated around 6 legendary weapons. And this sword? Yah, it was a duplicate. You kidding me? Dismantled it for resources.

Still enjoy it, just not as enthusiastically. Still suck at combat.
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2. Video Game: Final Fantasy VII [Average Rating:8.29 Overall Rank:36] [Average Rating:8.29 Unranked]
Video Game: Final Fantasy VII
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Indiana
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Playing the PS4 port.

I don't think I could go back to the PSX disc or the PS3 download. This specific port allows you to turn off random encounters at will, and also to toggle an x3 speed on and off (doesn't affect the music). This is not a game where I have ever really minded the unskippable cutscenes or story scenes, but being able to speed them up a bit is welcome. Also, when you watch the cargo ferry travel at 3x speed from Junon to Costa Del Sol, you will wonder why it was ever programmed to go 3x slower than that.

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Having quite a bit of fun with this one. Just got the buggy. Acquired Big Guard, Aqualung, and Beta right away (also, had a big grin on my face speed-walking from the Gold Saucer all the way to the Midgar Zolom with zero encounters).

Should learn Aeris's level 3 limit breaks shortly and then on with the story!

Also playing a bit of Transistor, but I'm feeling lukewarm about it. Two bosses down.
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3. Video Game: Assassin's Creed: Origins [Average Rating:8.05 Overall Rank:699]
Video Game: Assassin's Creed: Origins
Josh Malbon
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Santa Cruz
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Finished this up last night. One of the better AC's. I enjoyed it.

The wide open areas really fit the AC controls better. Syndicates tight streets made navigating a mess.

Once I reached about level 36, I gave up on the side quests. Just wanted to finish it and move on.

Trying to figure out what to do next.

Kingdom Come: Deliverance is coming out soon, but that one I definitely want to read some reviews first. The medieval simulation premise with no magic sounds wonderful, but I want to make sure it's not too buggy.

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4. Video Game: Assassin's Creed: Origins [Average Rating:8.05 Overall Rank:699]
Video Game: Assassin's Creed: Origins
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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No, I'm not really playing this. We can't all be playing it.

Actually, I just finished a game of Master of Magic. It's been a while since I've played it, and I wanted a pleasant game, so I played on Easy. I don't think I'll ever do that again.

It was fairly pleasant, but it was much too easy. I took Ariel out early, and when a diplomatic marriage gave me a formerly neutral city on Myrror, I scouted around there and found that Sss'ra had next to nothing. So I just had a stack of berserkers charge through a tower to Myrror and beeline for his capital. Defeated him without much of a fight.
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5. Video Game: Civil War II [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:4125]
Video Game: Civil War II
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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Played the Gettysburg scenario a few times--twice as the Confederates (minor defeat each time), once as the Union (minor victory).
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6. Video Game: Horizon Zero Dawn [Average Rating:8.77 Overall Rank:97] [Average Rating:8.77 Unranked]
Video Game: Horizon Zero Dawn
Todd Pytel
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Chicago
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~70 hours, Level 51. Clearly getting close to the end of the main game now - just finished the massive plot dump at the HZD facility in Sunfall. Finished all Bandit Camps, Hunting Grounds, Corrupted Zones, and Tallnecks. Got all the Ancient Vessels and Banuk Figures, still short a few Metal Flowers and Vantages. The map is fully uncovered with just a couple small swaths of territory I haven't passed through.

I guess I'm way overleveled at this point? I've generally only killed machine packs that couldn't be safely bypassed since Meridian or so. But as I noted last week, it doesn't matter too much, at least on Hard. I still get killed in fights occasionally if I'm careless, but I've got a big enough HP buffer that Full Health Potions go a long way. I'm mainly running with the Shadow Hunter Bow, the Sharpshooter Bow, the War Bow, and the Ropecaster. Occasionally I swap in the Tripcaster or Sling. The Ropecaster has really grown on me - it's a versatile tool for shaping combats to work in your favor.

I'm sure I won't finish tonight, but probably this week. Not sure yet whether I'll keep playing in the Frozen Wilds right away or not. I might take a little time off.
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7. 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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My goal is to finish up this game this week so that I can carve out some more time for Fire Emblem Warriors from my hardcore list. I just finished up the investigation leading into the fifth class trial, so I'm just a few hours from completing it. This being my second play through, I've actually enjoyed it quite a bit more than last time simply because I spent more time developing relationships with the characters and maxing out friendships. I made sure to spend all the Monocoins and used a guide to determine what each character's favorite items were. I've also noticed that there's more depth to some of the characters than I initially realized. There are moments in the game where the story is progressing forward and suddenly, dialogue stops, and you're free to choose which characters to talk to, knowing that talking to a specific character will continue to move the story forward. In my previous play through, I would just talk to that character and progress the story; this time I chose to talk to other characters and get their take on the situation before progressing the story. This led to some interesting foreshadowing and some entire conversation segments that would otherwise not have happened.

All in all, this play through has solidified Killing Harmony as my favorite in the Danganronpa series, and it seems my girlfriend (who is watching this play through) shares in that opinion. It helps that the mini games that annoyed me so badly in the previous two entries have either been eliminated or totally reworked.
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8. Video Game: Sniper Elite 4 [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:3405]
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Josh Malbon
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Santa Cruz
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Started the next level. Really glad you can save during levels, because playing a whole 4 hours without a break would be too much for this game.

I thought I had an awesome spleen killing shot, but I only got the kidney. I need some lung shots to upgrade my rifle.

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Using a semi-automatic SVT.

Slowly getting more accustomed to the trinquets, like throwing rocks. I haven't gone full grenade yet. I did kill some Nazis on a boat and then blew the thing up with a shot to the gas tank. That raised quite a commotion.
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9. Video Game: Borderlands [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:174]
Video Game: Borderlands
Andy
United Kingdom
Manchester
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Played this with my brother for a couple of hours on Sunday night. We're level 24 and have just gained access to New Haven. We're both having a lot of fun with the game.
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10. Video Game: Dark Messiah of Might and Magic [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:1742]
Video Game: Dark Messiah of Might and Magic
Osirus
United States
North Adams
Massachusetts
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Very torn on this game. On the one hand, it's a cool first-person RPG where the combat is physics-based -- kicking enemies off cliffs, or into spikes, etc., seems to be the most effective way to dispatch them. On the other hand, it's very on rails, which is a thing I dislike in an RPG. So, I'm enjoying it, but part of me wishes it was more open. Still, the fact that it's on rails makes it breeze by -- already on Chapter 4!
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11. Video Game: Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap [Average Rating:8.78 Overall Rank:2056]
Video Game: Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap
Simon Hammar
Sweden
Täby
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Playing the HD remix of this on Nintendo Switch.

I haven't ever played the original, but I am a big fan of the previous game Wonder Boy in Monster Land. I am very pleasantly surprised at this game. Fantastic small-scale metroidvania, just my style, and the remade graphics and music are amazing!
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12. Video Game: Borderlands 2 [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:91]
Video Game: Borderlands 2
Andy
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Manchester
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Played this on Saturday night with Rudy. Really enjoying it and it's fun to play this alongside playing Borderlands with my brother.. It only twigged today, that the playable characters from the first.. Roland, Lilith etc. are the NPCs in the second. duH!
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13. Video Game: The Escapists 2 [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Franchise: (Unreleased Games - Unavailable)
Bobby F.
United States
Henrico
Virginia
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I escaped my first prison!
I totally did it the wrong way, but it worked! And I'm anxious to jump into another...
Actually I'm going to back in the same and try another escape path, but THEN I'll move onto the stagecoach level.

I almost put this down as my first game beaten in 2018, but then I realized that 1 prison is more like 1 level, and I have a ways to go.

In the meantime:
Golf Story - I'm just finishing the Haunted course.
Horizon Zero Dawn - Continues to be beautiful and fun.
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14. Video Game: Star Ocean: The Second Story [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:1243]
Video Game: Star Ocean: The Second Story
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United States
In the middle of nowhere
New York
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Continuing to lvl up my group in the Field of Power. Healing Star is healing at least 905 now.
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15. Video Game: Tangledeep [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Video Game: Tangledeep
Ryan S
United States
Dallas
Texas
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I've put about 4 hours into this over the weekend in a surprise break from AC:O.

It's a 16-bit pixel art styled roguelike with different job classes and the ability to improve your items through an "Item Dream" world, similar to the Item world from Disgaea.

I don't think I've played a game like this before, but it's turn-based action, where everything moves at the same time, but pauses if you don't hit any buttons.

I was doing pretty well, making it to level 8 without dying a single time, then BAM, lots of death. I died 3 times in the span of about 30 minutes, from 3 different areas in the game. I'm playing on the more casual setting, which has no permadeath, but you lose a ton of your money, JP (job points) and some other things. I lost around 4000 gold on my first death, which felt like a ton at the time.

I think I need to go back and level up some of my items in the Item Dream world.
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16. 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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Yup, still playing this.

I've been doing a lot of grinding (which is unnecessary unless you want to tackle the post-game content, btw) to level up my characters. My highest character is Asagi (who is also my avatar), at level 2167. I got a high level gun item up to level 160+ so Asagi was a good choice for somebody to help level up all my other characters. Most of my monster class characters are now over level 1000, and have reincarnated a few times.

Next I'm going to level up Seraphina and Pleinair, as they're both gun users so it should be easy.

I think I'm at 114 hours on my play time now. Switch version for the curious.
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17. Video Game: Tales of Graces [Average Rating:7.97 Overall Rank:1806]
Video Game: Tales of Graces
Alex
Canada
Saskatoon
Saskatchewan
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Finally got the 999 combo I was working towards! Woo-hoo. I also did the Master combat trials at Warrior's Peak... on Easy (and boy, it sure was!), because I'm not that keen on the challenge any more. Although I went back and beat the game's end boss on the Evil setting (second-hardest), and will probably try Chaos (the hardest) at some point. The last boss, like a few of the game's bosses, gets harder as time goes on, so while I was able to just nail him with lengthy combos at first, the last few moments of the fight were me just desperately rezzing people as he, well, unrezzed them, and trying to get just a few more damage points in. I now have enough Grade to buy ALL the upgrades (well, all the ones I want, and then some), so I'm trying to explore the remaining content in the Zhonecage and then I'm going to bang through the NG+, just to see what that's like, and wrap it up.

I'm also playing Fran Bow, which is an adventure game with a charming aesthetic and an innocent main character. An innocent character in an insane asylum who sees dismembered bodies. This game is creepy. And not a good creepy. A "guard propositions little girls" creepy. I may abandon it. I like how it looks, but I find the writing too unpleasant and immature.
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18. Video Game: 1979 Revolution: Black Friday [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:4392]
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Joerg Schaefer
Germany
Frankfurt
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Started this today. The initial impression is very positive. It's inspired by Telltale Games but the topic is a real world one. It's about the Iranian Revolution in 1979.

I didn't plan it this way but it's the third political game about oppressive regimes I play in the last weeks and I have two more on my to-play list. Here's the complete list:

Papers, Please
Sunset
1979 Revolution: Black Friday
Beholder
Orwell

Potential for a geeklist?
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19. Video Game: Celeste [Average Rating:8.71 Overall Rank:367]
Video Game: Celeste
Chris
United States
Chicago
Illinois
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God messed up and here I am!
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It is my firm belief that little puppy dogs named Mr. Poopytime will bring our country together!
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oh my goodness this is so good, and unlike The End Is Nigh, I feel like I can reasonably complete everything to satisfaction. I mean, I probably won't have every achievement (I won't have any because I'm playing on the Switch) but I will experience all the content I need to experience. I'm probably as far as I'm going to get with The End is Nigh.
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20. Video Game: Strip Poker Three [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked]
Video Game: Strip Poker Three
Jørgen K
Denmark
Copenhagen S
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Microbadge: Herculean Image UploaderMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level VI -  Is six any more shiny? ... Well, it's one shinier isn't it? ... Okay, why don't you just make five a bit more shiny and then that would be the most shiny? ... Because these go to six.Microbadge: Ultimate VGG Uploader - This user has 1000+ entries and is in the VGG Hall of Fame!Microbadge: I was here for VGG's 10th birthday party!Microbadge: Herculean Video Game Collector
I started this one up (DOS release) to see it, and to get some screenshots - only to find out that the game was not added into the database! So I added this and then tonight adding screenshots.

I also found out that Strip Poker II was not added either; so apart from Strip Poker Professional the "Strip Poker" series by Artworx is complete.

Art(founder of Artworx) have retired, and is actually offering to sell the complete Strip Poker library - and I have been interested in revamping the series, but then again... not sure if I have the fund for it at the moment
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21. Video Game: Amphora [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Video Game: Amphora
Jørgen K
Denmark
Copenhagen S
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Microbadge: Herculean Image UploaderMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level VI -  Is six any more shiny? ... Well, it's one shinier isn't it? ... Okay, why don't you just make five a bit more shiny and then that would be the most shiny? ... Because these go to six.Microbadge: Ultimate VGG Uploader - This user has 1000+ entries and is in the VGG Hall of Fame!Microbadge: I was here for VGG's 10th birthday party!Microbadge: Herculean Video Game Collector
Continuing my playing of this beauty! I really enjoy it, but it can also be frustrating sometimes!

Already over two hours playing of this....
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22. Video Game: PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:1928]
From gallery of BoardGameGeek
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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Microbadge: Rolling Stock fan - game end cardMicrobadge: Phineas and Ferb fanMicrobadge: ChristianMicrobadge: I read the Babylon Bee!Microbadge: Rocket League fan
On what should be my last week with this game, I've found that it can take the place of Rocket League. The game doesn't focus on the shooting so I can do things to increase my chance of winning or at least getting into the top 10 without worrying. I have a better and better record at sneaking up on people and gunning them down before they can get me.
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23. Video Game: Final Fantasy X|X-2 HD Remaster [Average Rating:8.47 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.47 Unranked]
Video Game Compilation: Final Fantasy X|X-2 HD Remaster
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
Now in Chapter 2. Supposedly this game is quite easy... if you level up a lot by going to every area in the world other than your current mission location first. I guess I have a different definition of easy than the people frequenting GameFAQs, but at least now I know that my approach needed yet more fine-tuning. Last week it was a better understanding of the garment grid to get me through the tourist trap Zanarkand ruins, now it's the general pace of advancement through the game.

Despite the ups and downs in learning how to properly play the game, I'm enjoying it. The lighthearted tone of the game without the destruction of the world looming over everyone's heads is a nice change, as is not having to listen to Tidus constantly whining. The goofy dialogue is entertaining for the most part, though sometimes it gets to be a little too much. As with Final Fantasy X, the voice acting by itself is decent enough, but sounds strange when combined with the clumsy, robotic motion and minimal lip syncing of the characters outside of battle.

Hopefully soon I'll find boss battles that have a strategy other than "constantly use Darkness Dance with one character, hit stuff with the other two."
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24. Video Game: Duck Game [Average Rating:8.14 Overall Rank:2236]
Video Game: Duck Game
Robert McLaughlin
United States
West Jordan
Utah
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Bacon? Where is it? Where's the bacon??
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Crispy bacon! Tasty Bacon!
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Microbadge: Anime fanMicrobadge: Arcade fanMicrobadge: Bacon loverMicrobadge: You know what they say about guys with big hands... They give big thumbs!Microbadge: I give out citizenship stars
Graham keeps on getting older, though his voice seems to remain that of a teenager. One would think that bearded as he is in Chapter four he would be a bit closer to his 'current' self telling the story. No middle-ground voice actor I guess.

Took a bit of time to play a quick four rounds of Duck Game with my brother as well. It adds just the right amount of chaos. arrrh
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25. 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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Pay it Forward First | The Ancient and Loyal Order of Thrifters
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Click squirrel to proceed.
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Microbadge: CLICK MICROBADGE to see what I have FOR SALEMicrobadge: Wheaton's LawMicrobadge: Spread joy and wear purple for Lexi!Microbadge: I Pay it Forward FirstMicrobadge: Omnis singulus exemplum Declarationem Libertatis fuerit frugalis or Every single extra copy of the Declaration of Independence has been thrifted
Again, Grim Dawn monopolizes my gaming time. My Cabalist is just now getting to the end of the expansion, which will bring me to the end of my binge of this wonderful game. I leaned into the pets completely just to see if it would make the character better or end up making him useless. They are starting to get towards their ability to just swarm and kill everything but my character is never really targeted or threatened. My character's DPS is hovering around 1100 and doesn't really do much in the fights besides debuff and cast a few damage spells now. My pets all have +600% or so DPS and I have 9 of them total now. This has been an interesting experiment that I will continue in higher difficulties just to see how far I can push it. Now I have a ranged damage monster, a melee AoE stomper, a super crowd control character, and a guy who wanders around while his minions shred things in my stable.

My nephew was down with my sister this weekend and we put in 3-4 hours of Rampage Knights, which is getting better the more we play it. It takes the Castle Crashers template for a game but adds much more randomization and is probably aimed at a slightly older audience. I am not much an achievement hunter but this game insists upon it. The rogue-lite style bonuses and unlocks in the game are tied to the achievements. It is fun and you can get some crazy items in it. If you are like me and just completely burned out on Castle Crashers from having to play it due to someone else's choice the improved alternatives I have found are Lost Castle (not in the VGG database) and Rampage Knights. They are nice "next steps" that are very similar to CC.

I am also running through Grim Legends 3: The Dark City that I got off the VGG Pay it Forward a while back. I was kind of burned out on them after playing a bunch in a row but this is one of the better hidden object games I have played and that is already considering the Artifex Mundi games are normally some of the better games in the genre.
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