14 May - 20 May 2018: What video games are you playing this week?
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1. Video Game: God of War (2018) [Average Rating:8.61 Overall Rank:222]
Video Game: God of War (2018)
Simon Woodward
New Zealand
Hamilton
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Progressing slowly on this. It's quite a good game! The graphics are lovely, Kratos moves smoothly, the story is not bad, voice acting is excellent. It is more linear than I expected thus far, quite story focused. I just got to
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Alfheim

Combat takes some getting used to, the controls are unorthodox but begin to make sense after a while. It feels like a 3rd person shooter at times. It's also one of those games where you can acquire new attacks over time, which require learning a new button combo for each. You really need to use your different attacks and not just button mash, or you will get smoked. Playing on Normal.

Kratos can only jump or climb at designated places, which makes the world feel a little static, but his movement otherwise is pretty nimble, and he can sprint. It reminds me of Darksiders II, although the puzzles here are a bit more simplistic.

I haven't played previous GOW games, there are a few references I think. Kratos here is a decent character, gruff exterior but you can sense an inner struggle/development that I guess will be revealed as time goes by.
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2. Video Game: Pokémon GO [Average Rating:6.18 Overall Rank:2606]
Video Game: Pokémon GO
Joakim Schön
Sweden
Alingsås
Sverige
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Level 24.
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3. Video Game: Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 5 [Average Rating:9.26 Overall Rank:128] [Average Rating:9.26 Unranked]
Video Game: Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 5
Josh Malbon
United States
Santa Cruz
California
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The combat in this game got really boring. It has less depth in the beginning than South Park: The Stick of Truth .

I like the story and characters though, so I'm probably going to drop down into Safety mode to just enjoy chilling with the characters.
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4. Video Game: Assassin's Creed Syndicate [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:1189]
Video Game: Assassin's Creed Syndicate
Josh Malbon
United States
Santa Cruz
California
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In search for some combat, I reinstalled AC.

Got fed up with it before, probably because I wasn't using the guns enough. When on carriages and land, shooting enemies keeps them from shooting you.

Jacob Frye is a clown, but Evie, his sister is fun to play.

Reached Level 6. I think the problem I might have had before, besides not shooting, was fighting above my level. Now, that I'm in areas around my level, rather than +2 higher, things are going better.

The 1868 time period is alright. I like saving the kids.
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5. Video Game: Plants Vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:2505]
Video Game: Plants Vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time
For Ipod Touch, ios7

Yes, I did delete this game about last month... with 'fanfare' to boot. So why do we still have this? Previously, I deleted the updated version I had for ios8. This older version is as far as this'll go on this device, before ios8 became a requirement to get the latest updates.


One thing off the bat is I sort of regret turning wifi on prior to loading this game, as I wanted to see how much of the stuff on my Ipad would transfer over. Dropped the ball on that one. It so turns out, plant levels transferred over, but since there are no other mechanics to level them up in this version, I can't see how much "XP"/seed packets they have, and I'm not getting ANY of the seed packets (via IAP, or for free through regular play).


I've played a few levels for fun, do the Premium Plant quest that appears daily (try out a premium plant for free), and am doing stuff no longer possible on the newer version, such as Mummy Memory levels (got replaced), and the Spring Bean + Blover trick (where you use a former with plant food, all zombies get bumped up, and the blover can now blow them all away since they're now considered air enemies).


No daily Pinata levels, and no more grinding (except for coins, but I won't really do the levels that make use of them anyways), it's like we're back to a traditional, premium version of that game (instead of freemium). Playing even less than I did. It's less fun and variety, but it just doesn't feel as awful, if that even makes sense
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6. Video Game: Mass Effect 2 [Average Rating:8.59 Overall Rank:9] [Average Rating:8.59 Unranked]
Video Game: Mass Effect 2
Kevin J
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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I made more progress in Mass Effect 2 -- I did all the loyalty quests available to me and now will be heading on to the IFF mission which I understand to be the mission that starts the end-game process. STILL NO SPACE SEX which is annoying. C'mon guys, German Shephard needs to unwind after all these tense battles.

I witnessed my girlfriend finish off LoZ: BotW and hooked her up with her next game, Golf Story. I think that means that I won't be using my switch for yet another while, but she's enjoying the game and I have tons of games to play on my PC in the meantime.

I've played a bit more of Into the Breach; I've now done a run with every squad except the ice-based ones and the random squad. My next one will be a "random" squad that I hope to lean heavily on Prime-type mechs, because giant bipedal mechs are clearly the coolest. They also seem relatively versatile, but lacking good ranged and movement powers, so we'll see how that goes.

I've played some matches of a game called Kopanito Soccer with some people at work. They're really into it, and I'm enjoying it because it's a shared experience, but I get very frustrated with the controls. Some other people convinced me to install Fortnite at work to play at lunch, and between the Overwatch and SMash 4 that I play at the studio, I think I'll be pulling some late nights at work to catch up after all the gaming I need to do!
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7. Video Game: Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal [Average Rating:8.30 Overall Rank:49] [Average Rating:8.30 Unranked]
Video Game: Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal
p55carroll
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Minnesota
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In the middle of chapter 8. Defeated Gromnir and am now out in the world again.

However, I've gotten distracted by Watcher's Keep. Figured I'd better tackle it sometime to complete my BG experience.
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8. Video Game: Little Nightmares [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:2824]
Video Game: Little Nightmares
Kevin Brown
United States
Parker
Colorado
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Most nightmarish thing about this game is the save system.

Snark aside, this is an interesting Inside style game. Not as minimalist as Inside and more overtly horrorish but with the same paucity of narrative and abundance of atmosphere.
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9. Video Game: Punch Club [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:5231]
Video Game: Punch Club
Joerg Schaefer
Germany
Frankfurt
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The start was great. I proceeded quickly, won many fights, met most people and got half of the achievements within 6 hours. But the last hour I hit a wall. I suddenly lose most battles, in the ladder I don't progress past place 3 and I'm always losing in Ultimate Fight. For a short time, I got money from collecting protection money for Bobo but after three or four runs he refered me to The Don and now I can't work for Bobo anymore and again have to spend much time earning money which I would need for improving my fighting skills. As it is, I the remaining free time is barely enough to compensate the daily skill loss. So I'm stuck.

It seems that I have made mistakes in developing my fighter. Wrong combination of skills, wrong abilities. I focused on agility but my stupid fighter doesn't dodge attacks, has medium strength which isn't enough to hit really hard but enough to suffer additional exhaustion and at the same time doesn't have enough stamina to survive a drawn-out battle. But I don't want to start all over and lose the progress of 7 hours. Gameplay was very enjoyable so far. I have a few ideas how to get out of the hole. Hopefully, they work and I'll be able to complete Punch Club.
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10. Video Game: Gems of War [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:5191]
Video Game: Gems of War
Monica Elida Forssell
Norway
Sandnes
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I mostly held to this one as it is my favorite these days. It`s relaxing, and still a bit exhiting. I was working to get stones to Upgrade, and also to get prizes I get for battling troops using blue mana.

I also dabbled a little in Hiragana wars, and Onirim.
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11. Video Game: Grand Theft Auto III [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:337]
Video Game: Grand Theft Auto III
Dave B
Scotland
Glasgow
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Ah, nostalgia...

I tell you what, it's annoying to have to play every mission twice because I always make a f**kup first time round.

Poor Lazlow, getting stuck with all those idiots and weirdos.

Oh, damn, Lazlow and Reed Tucker are real people! surprise

Got to the second island, starting to help Asuka.
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12. Video Game: Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked]
Video Game: Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia
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I got Seymour on my team in his event and got his 5-star armor. I finally got Zell from chapter 7 in the story. I'm up to 41 characters to choose from to put together my team of 3, but still none up to level cap.

Hopefully I get Vincent to join sooner rather than later. Kind of tired of chasing him around the entire chapter.
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13. Video Game: BATTLETECH [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:1387] [Average Rating:7.65 Unranked]
Video Game: BATTLETECH
Luke Stirling
Norway
Trondheim
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Battletech - So far I like the game, both the tactical and strategic layer. So I have to give it a thumbs up in that regard. But blow me down if Harebrained Schemes approach to writing doesn't drive me up the wall. I had the same problem with Shadowrun Returns. I have no problem with a choiceless story where it's all cutscene and no player input, but I really get irked by being asked to make meaningless choices that don't affect anything at all. I feel like it's just wasting my time, and that really diminishes my respect for the game. Fortunately I've managed to still extract satisfaction from the parts of the game that don't annoy me, so I recommend with caveats.

Into the Breach - I've played this a couple of times now. I like it, but I'm still waiting for it to click with me. Not quite the insta-hit with me that FTL was, but I remain hopeful.

Battlefleet Gothic Leviathan - Not Armada, the RTS that is BFG themed, but an Android game that is based very closely on the tabletop rules. I tried to play it last year but it crashed constantly on my ageing Nexus 9 tablet. But I tried again on the weekend and got through the first tutorial without a total CTD. So I'm cautiously optimistic I will be able to play this through all the way. The weird thing is that it looks like it was pulled from the store shortly after I first played it, which is a huge shame.
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14. Video Game: Dragon Quest Builders: To Revive Alefgard [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:3764]
Video Game: Dragon Quest Builders: To Revive Alefgard
Ian Kelly
United States
Longmont
Colorado
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I tried out the demo on Switch and enjoyed it enough that I went ahead and bought the full game. Annoyingly, my save didn't transfer, so I had to redo the demo portion of the game which is essentially the tutorial.

The game is essentially Minecraft but with DQ-themed monsters and an actual plot. At some point in the past, the Dragonlord robbed humanity of its ability to build things, but now the Goddess has sent the Builder to, well, build, and explicitly not to be a hero. Yeah, we'll see how that plays out.

I haven't really played any DQ games other than the first one on NES, so I'm pleased to see how much of the lore in game hearkens all the way back to the beginning of the series. Dragonlord, Erdrick, Cantlin, yes I recognize all of those. The game also borrows from the original's recognizable 8-bit music.

My base is up to level 4, although it's still unclear to me what that actually means. I've built two teleportals but haven't been through the red one yet.
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15. Video Game: Total War: Rome II [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:2641]
Video Game: Total War: Rome II
I loaded up TW - Rome 2 over the weekend and played late last night, so I guess it qualifies for May 14-20. I wanted to do something different so I took Britannia as my starting province in the Grand Campaign. Its now about 250 BC and Athens and Sparta have been conquered by...?? I can't see that part of the map. Germania as well by the Belgae? I have no idea if the Punic Wars are happening and to what extent. I figure that someone will come North looking to take over my Island. So far, I have managed to unify Britannia and take Eborakon from the Caledones. My Iceni faction has a firm hold on the government and all the best political posts. Its fun to have Druids as my diplomats etc. I had a terrible attack on the Ebdani (Ireland) and my now allies to the North were useless. I plan to have a unified pair of Islands to launch my attack on the Gaulish Celts. We'll see if the Romans come in. Its still 200 years before Caesar so I have some time to prepare!
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16. Video Game: Final Fantasy II [Average Rating:6.00 Overall Rank:4019] [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Video Game: Final Fantasy II
♬ Stephanie ♩♪♩♪♩ ♩♪♩♪♫♪
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In the middle of nowhere
New York
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Got Ultima and now on to the Cyclone. I find Osmosis to be so very useful. I tried for a while to get another tome in random drops back when I was at the Arena, but quickly got bored of it. I got another copy of Swap to put on my other caster instead and grabbed a bunch of Ethers and Elixirs.
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17. Video Game: Mega Man X [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:199]
Video Game: Mega Man X
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United States
Indiana
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Frumpish got me excited about this one with his playthrough.

Didn't have any time to play over the weekend, but excited to jump back in tonight. I've already beaten all of the Robot Masters so it's time for Sigma's Fortress. I may see if I can obtain the Hadoken before that, though.

Not sure I'll get any use of out of it, but it's so funny when you land a hit on a boss.

Think I should start an RPG this week. Hmmmmmm...

Poll
Which RPG should I dive into this week?
      14 answers
Poll created by JohnRayJr
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18. Video Game: God of War (2018) [Average Rating:8.61 Overall Rank:222]
Video Game: God of War (2018)
Ryan S
United States
Dallas
Texas
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What!? I finally get my very own video game, but it's a mobile game?!
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Still playing through this. I made some pretty good progress over the weekend.

I also realized that I'm an idiot and haven't spent any of my XP points to upgrade skills. I had tens of thousands of XP points just waiting to be spent, so I went through and bought about 20 skill upgrades.

The equipment and skill menus of this game are surprisingly overwhelming. I haven't spent much time in those menus because I feel like they're too complicated for a God of War game. I almost wish I just had a couple options of some weapon types like the old games. Some armor gives cooldown bonuses, some give strength, some have sockets, some don't.

I'm playing on Easy mode now, so I guess those things don't come into play too much. I started the game on normal by got frustrated by some of the fights and dialed it down.

Last night I actually died for the first time because I opened a dark portal where some really high level dudes came out. They knocked away a 3rd of my health with every hit, and I only got them down to about 80% of their life bars before dying. Brutal.
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19. Video Game: Torment: Tides of Numenera [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:1691]
Video Game: Torment: Tides of Numenera
Osirus
United States
North Adams
Massachusetts
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(cross-post from Beaten Games list)

Planescape is one of my favorite games of all time, so I was excited to play Numenera -- and conveniently, it was recently added to Origin Access (which I still have until tomorrow thanks to my playthrough of the Mass Effect series) -- and tonight I beat it in the nick of time.

I'd say Numenera is a worthy successor to Planescape. It manages to thread the needle of being an engaging RPG without much combat or any sense of grind. You're still exploring a world, there are towns, shopping, equipment, levelling up, occasional combat... all the usual RPG trappings. But the combat really is rare and often avoidable through conversation, which means unlike most games in this turn-based isometric style with a Pillars/Baldurs/etc. engine, the game is not primarily a series of long tactical combats, but rather is about exploring a world, making choices, and conversing with characters.

In less skilled hands, that could easily devolve the game into a turn-based walking simulator slash isometric visual novel slash giant waste of time where you just run back and forth between NPCs until everyone is happy and you win. But the hands at work here are very skilled indeed. The writing is phenomenal, up to the level of Planescape, with even random vendor trash items having fascinating descriptions that draw you into the world.

Skill checks keep things interesting, at least until you have so many points that most of them are a foregone conclusion. And the Crisis system means that turn-based tactical Crises aren't necessarily combats; some may be heists, high-pressure conversations, or combats but ones where attacking your foes is not the only path to victory.

Mechanics of the game encourage you to explore things. Cypher sickness means those "too good to use" one-use items actually hurt you if too many build up in your inventory unused, so it encourages you to use them. The five Tides of the game don't have manichean morality tied to them, so you can follow what you will without there being an obvious path. That's true of most everyone in the game - this is not a paint-by-numbers RPG with Good guys and Bad guys. This is a complex CRPG where everyone has their own motivations that have reasons behind them, and it's up to you to decide what's good and what's evil. And the fact that you can't die -- and that failure is interesting and doesn't harm you -- means that you'll be more focused on making decisions and playing in the game world and never even consider checking a walkthrough or reloading to do better (A thing I admittedly end up doing in Elder Scrolls games, which breaks immersion quite a bit.)

Of course, the game isn't perfect. I didn't find my companions as interesting as the first game. Sure, nobody can live up to Morte, but aside from the multi-dimensional woman you meet at the very beginning, none of my other companions were people I ended up caring about as much as I'd have liked. The game felt a big fragmented sometimes, which I'm led to believe is partially due to the way it was made. And because my first combat came so late in the game, I got annihilated because I had done nothing to prepare my team for combat, focusing instead on other skills.

But I'd still heartily recommend Torment: Numenera to anyone who appreciates good writing - really good writing - nestled in a CRPG that doesn't overstay its welcome and doesn't bog down in long turn-based battles.
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20. Video Game: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:246]
Video Game: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
♬ Stephanie ♩♪♩♪♩ ♩♪♩♪♫♪
United States
In the middle of nowhere
New York
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Got a nifty new sword, and I'm about 1/2 way through the game.
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21. Video Game: LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:3773]
Character: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Ryan S
United States
Dallas
Texas
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Fanatical.com had the deluxe version of this game for $13, and I couldn't pass that up. The Season Pass alone is worth more than that if purchased normally, and it's included in the deluxe edition.

After maybe 30 minutes of frustration trying to get 2 wireless controllers to work on my Steam link, I played the game for about an hour with my wife. She's not a gamer, but she likes flying around in Lego games.

I'm not really sure what's going on, but the game does not run well on my Steam link. I first had it set to high textures and quality, and the game was stuttering pretty terribly. When I set the textures to low, it still stutters, so it must be something else. I can max out most other PC games, so I don't think it's an issue with my hardware. This is the first game I've tried playing on Steam link in a while, so it could be something related to that.

The next time I try it, I need to fix the stuttering issue, and make sure I use an Xbox controller for my wife. She was getting frustrated by the on-screen prompts saying to press X, A, and B, when she was holding a Playstation 4 controller.

edit: the game is still on sale if anybody is interested.
https://www.fanatical.com/en/game/lego-marvel-super-heroes-2...
You can also get the regular (non deluxe) version for $9 if you so prefer.
edit2: I just read online that lots of other people are experiencing similar problems with Steam Link, but most people say exiting big picture mode fixes the stuttering issues.
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22. Video Game: Deus Ex: Mankind Divided [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:1014]
Video Game: Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Alex
Canada
Saskatoon
Saskatchewan
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I've finished the 7th mission and last night did three sidequests. I'm guessing I'm maybe (maybe) half-way through the game. I've been playing the game for thirty-two hours, now, and when I started I thought it would take me about thirty-five. ...Guess not. That being said, I've become a lot more focused (hence, three sidequests in just over two hours), because I don't need more than what I have right now. I've got no shortage of praxis, tranq darts, or EMP ammo for the pistol (and those are the only guns I use). And I feel like I've been through most of Prague.

Anyways, I'm really impressed with this game. Lots to explore and do, here. The story is so-so (on the one hand, it's intriguing, but on the other, I know the answer to all the mysteries is likely going to be something like "because Illuminati", which I don't like). But the amount of player flexibility and immersion is great.

I've also started up Divinity: Dragon Commander. It's a weird RTS/ epic strategy/ 3rd-person-perspective-MOBA-as-a-dragon(?) hybrid. I'm playing it on a laptop with a touchpad, which doesn't strike me as the optimal setup for an RTS. Also, from what I understand, they try to compensate for lackluster RTS components by upping the difficulty, mostly through quantity of dudes. Luckily, they have a difficulty below 'easy' that I'm using. It is super easy! They call it 'casual', but 'catatonic' would be a better fit. I may up things a little, just to see if more challenge increases the fun. Right now I'm just getting a hang of things, though, so it works.
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23. Video Game: Hearts of Iron IV [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:1293]
Video Game: Hearts of Iron IV
Liam
Scotland
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The Soviet Union are just messing with everyone.

Republican Spain triumphed. Japan has largely failed in mainland China... irritatingly Communist China allied with Japan! Brazil is having a civil war, as is Greece and Iran. France has been the benefactor of heavy military gifts... it's 1939 and something has to give. whistle

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24. Video Game: Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:2646]
Video Game: Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey
Ryan S
United States
Dallas
Texas
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Today an enhanced remaster of this game was released on the 3DS called Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux. Mine arrived in the mail not long ago so I fired it up.

I've never played the original on the DS, so this will be an entirely new experience for me. I do have some experience with other SMT games though, so I'm not going in completely blind.
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25. Video Game: Warframe [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:1939]
Video Game: Warframe
Adam
United States
Tempe
Arizona
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I've made it to Neptune and Mastery Rank 10. Unfortunately, I just don't have the twitch skills for the Mastery Rank 11 test, so it looks as though I'll be stuck at 10 for a while.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
By which I mean as long as it takes me to complete Titania's quest and then fly through the darn thing!


I'm still enjoying the game immensely in spite of that, and I'm about to start one of the fan favorite quests within the game, The Second Dream.

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