17 August - 23 August 2020: What video games are you playing this week?
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Tell us what you're playing, how much progress you've made, what you like, and what you dislike this week.

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What Videogames did you play this week: WVGDYPTW subscription thread

Check out these other VGG geeklists to show off your accomplishments or frustrations.

Videogames Beaten by VGGers in 2020
Video Games Abandoned by VGGers in 2020

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1. Video Game: Final Fantasy IX [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:101] [Average Rating:7.90 Unranked]
Video Game: Final Fantasy IX
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I got caught up in the chocobo treasure hunt side quest, so I probably won't progress through the story again for a bit. Currently up to red, so I can cross shallow waters and run across mountains.

I do have the airship, but now Dagger and Eiko need to be caught up to the rest of the team, so it's more grinding before the story progresses.
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2. Video Game: Centipede (1980) [Average Rating:5.75 Overall Rank:5312] [Average Rating:5.75 Unranked]
Video Game: Centipede (1980)
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I've been playing the Atari 7800 version with my friend on two player mode. Even though I liked this game in the past, this is so much more fun than I remember. Things get chaotic extremely quickly, and there's is definitely a feeling of massive cooperation that comes from narrowly avoiding death as the centipede scurries closer.
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3. Video Game: Robotron: 2084 [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:2135]
Video Game: Robotron: 2084
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My friend introduced me to the Atari Lynx version one, and I've been playing it on and off. In a similar manner to Centipede, this game gets very chaotic very fast, but it's been really satisfying to see myself get better and better at this one.
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4. Video Game: Krazy Kreatures [Average Rating:7.25 Unranked]
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The last of the retro games that my friends and I have been playing lately. This is one of my all time favorite games (and by far my favorite NES game).
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5. Video Game: Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:5329]
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Kevin J
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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I've played a bit of Fall Guys with friends since it's free on PS Plus. It's good and certainly unique -- it's the sort of idea where you can't help but think "why didn't someone think of this sooner??". Mario Party meet Battle Royale.

I would like to see some more variety in the games and the setpieces -- there's so much nonsense from Mario Party that they could adapt. And everything is just the same bright neon pastiche -- I want to get chased by a T-Rex or throw hamburgers at targets or some other nonsense!

So far I've somehow gotten two crowns -- one felt very undeserved since the final game was the one where the person who has the tail at the end of the timer wins, and I just got lucky with grabbing it in a big dogpile right at the end. The second win was the Hex-A-Gone final which I enjoy the most of all the games -- it feels like one of the few games where you can try to make a plan and react to the changing map. So many of the others feel completely random (like Door Dash).

I've been playing Persona 5 Royal as well -- I'm done the first palace and I have my midterm tomorrow! My partner is requesting me to play since she is enjoying the story and the characters.
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6. Video Game: Shenmue I & II [Average Rating:8.10 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.10 Unranked]
Video Game Compilation: Shenmue I & II
Joerg Schaefer
Germany
Frankfurt
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I made good progress in my playthrough of Shenmue I. Currently, I'm grinding my way through the infamous harbour. I think I worked for four or five days now as a forklift driver. Not sure, how many more are needed. I fully understand any criticism this game gets for lengthy passages like this one but it's such a unique experience that I can forgive the grind. About the only game where you really have to work for your money instead of killing monsters or looting houses. Now, where is this Terry? I guess I have to ask a dozen more random passerbys.
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7. Video Game: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:137]
Video Game: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
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Currently digging into a stack of freebies that I've piled up from Playstation Plus. This is the PS4 remaster of the campaign.

I remember when this game came out. Call of Duty was already a big deal, but the WW2 shooter craze was (finally) ending and it was unclear whether Call of Duty would end with it or not. Then Modern Warfare hit and CoD became what it is today - an unimaginably popular evergreen mass-market franchise. I did see a bit of this at the time hanging out with friends, but that was about it.

I'm not interested in CoD multiplayer, but Modern Warfare probably has the most 'famous' or liked or talked about single player campaign for the whole CoD franchise. So I decided to take a look.

I'm having a hard time relating to this game. Partly that is because the narrative, both in terms of substance but also in terms of zeitgeist, is so closely tied to its moment in time. Late Bush era, Iraq war still in the forefront of US politics, post 9-11 but pre-08-crash, '24' nearing the end of its pop-culture dominance, etc. This is not a moment in time I feel nostalgic for. It also feels surprisingly unrecognizable looked at from 2020, but not in a way that makes me curious or prompts me to explore or reflect.

As a game, CoD in general and Modern Warfare in particular were famous for "scripting." Sometimes we talk about games being "scripted" and we are using the term loosely, rather than technically, but at a fine-grained technical level, Modern Warfare is extensively scripted.

I'm finding that a bit dull. The game desperately wants to give the appearance of life, the feeling that there are fluid and dynamic events that you are merely a part of. Mostly, it does that by having you follow around your squad and listen to them bark out cliches like "tango down!" and "hallway clear!" If you try to play the game more on your own, it doesn't work, because the action will grind to a halt all the time and you'll have to go find whatever door your squad mates are stacked up on so that the script can proceed.

Played 3-4 levels of the main campaign. I could not believe that, between level 1 and level 2, there is a completely non-interactive cutscene that goes on for like 5 minutes, and seems like it might turn into an actual level at any moment but never does. Might finish this, might not. Obviously the multiplayer was the reason this game was so big.
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8. Video Game: Clash Royale [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:3555]
Video Game: Clash Royale
Joakim Schön
Sweden
Alingsås
Sverige
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Leveling Mega Knight to max level.
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9. Video Game: Pokémon GO [Average Rating:6.18 Overall Rank:2606]
Video Game: Pokémon GO
Joakim Schön
Sweden
Alingsås
Sverige
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Another shiny.
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10. Video Game: Generation Zero [Average Rating:6.75 Unranked]
Video Game: Generation Zero
Joakim Schön
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Alingsås
Sverige
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Checking out this game a bit.
Video Game: Generation Zero
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11. Video Game: Ghost of Tsushima [Average Rating:8.56 Overall Rank:2985]
Video Game: Ghost of Tsushima
Josh Malbon
United States
Santa Cruz
California
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Near the end of the second of the three islands. One mongol site left, but I have a couple more side quests to do. Really enjoying the feelings from love and honor in the game.

The fighting really lets you get artistic in the dance.

Definitely have gotten better at it. The duels that were kicking my but before, have become a lot more manageable.
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12. Video Game: Master of Orion [Average Rating:8.23 Overall Rank:72] [Average Rating:8.23 Unranked]
Video Game: Master of Orion
p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
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Though I have three other games in progress, I was in the mood for something simple and familiar today. So I started my usual medium-map, average-level game against three opponents. To handicap myself a bit, I chose to play as the Bulrathis--a pretty weak race, in my experience.

I got off to a great start and had room to expand freely, so I was able to grab the lion's share of planets. But then I stalled.

My opponents turned out to be the Psilons, Meklars, and Mrrshans. The latter were aggressive, as always, but ineffectual. The Psilons had terrible luck; they never got off their home planet, Mentar, and its star soon went supernova, leaving the place a radiated wreck. The Meklars, however, expanded and developed and are now giving me quite a challenge.

I'm ahead in planets but behind in everything else. I desperately want to steal Meklar technology (I miss playing as the Darloks), but they keep it well guarded. Now and then I persuade the Mrrshans to attack the Meklars, just to buy time, but the Mrrshans are down to two planets and are too weak to be useful. I grabbed the radiated Psilon planet, Mentar, some time ago when they foolishly declared war, so that race is gone.

Guess I'll have to build bombers again and look for a Meklar planet I can take. I had bombers but lost them. Trouble is, I only have mid-tier antimatter bombs, and I'm not sure they'll do enough damage.

With their enhanced production and tech advantage, I'd say the Meklars should win. The only thing that can save me is being smarter than the AI. I've got to hope to spot a weakness somewhere and exploit it.
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13. Video Game: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:171] [Average Rating:7.82 Unranked]
Video Game: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
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United States
North Adams
Massachusetts
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Having finally pushed through and beaten the original Witcher game, I started the sequel.

And wow, it is a huge leap improvement. Combat is slightly more difficult in terms of having to aim and enemies parrying and so forth, but the graphics are a huge leap forward and the game feels so much smoother, it's very much a modern WRPG with all the trimmings, and so far is much more enjoyable to play than Witcher 1 was. Just did the prologue so far, but can already tell this one will be much more enjoyable to play.
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14. Video Game: Uciana [Average Rating:8.90 Unranked]
Video Game: Uciana
Aaron Tubb
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Fuquay Varina
NC
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I've been playing this on my phone, lately. It's basically a mix between Master of Orion and Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares, streamlined for touchscreens. It has multi-planet systems and tactical combat with individual ships, like MoO II, but planets use percentage sliders for production/food/science and there are a lot less weapon types and diplomacy options, and ship direction/facing in combat isn't a factor, similar to MoO I. Technology is like MoO II, except you can go back and research tech from any tier in a category that you already researched, instead of having to miss out on techs in each tier. You build individual buildings for bonuses on each planet, like MoO II.

Overall, I like it. It seems like a nice little phone-screen friendly MoO-clone. Colony management gets tedious with all the various buildings to build later in the game, though, just like MoO II. And the art isn't terrible, but isn't particularly great. I feel like the game plays at a much faster pace than MoO II, but not as quickly as the original MoO.

This game does make me appreciate the alien race names used in MoO. The alien race names in this game seem pretty random and don't evoke much sense of what the race is supposed to be (e.g. Bylon, Sothren Tarlish, and Ameoli), unlike the race names in MoO, which serve as unique names that also hint at the unique traits of the race (e.g. Meklar, Silicoids, Bulrathi, Darlocks, and Psilons). Also, unlike MoO, the various races aren't actually very different, with the race traits just being bonuses to one thing or another (+farming, +production, or +ground combat).
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15. Video Game: Tales of Berseria [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:3483]
Video Game: Tales of Berseria
♬ 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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Yep, something odd is definitely going on in Aball. Just waiting for the ball to drop.
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16. Video Game: Phantasy Star II [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:1524]
Video Game: Phantasy Star II
Alex
Canada
Saskatoon
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Made some solid progress last night, completing the red, blue, and yellow dams. I had the hardest time with yellow. Also, I'd like to have a chat with the architect who designed these dams. Why would you make a layout that required dozens of elevators, including multiples per floor, rooms on a floor that can only be accessed by an elevator from another floor (lots of those), and a central computer you can only get to by jumping down a hole? The whole thing seems really poorly thought out. It's going well overall, though, and having picked up some items that cast spells in combat, I'm having to make more decisions in combat, which is a good thing. I've got Kain using the Storm Gear every combat (it does almost as much damage as the Laser Shot, but it hits all the bad guys), so after finishing the blue dam, I picked up a pair of shields for him. He doesn't need a gun when he can shoot lightning from his head, I guess.

I'm also still playing Europa Universalis IV, which is such a fascinating game. But very deep. I've read the suggestion that anyone with under 100 hours in the game is still a new player, which actually kind of makes sense. I keep restarting my game, thinking about what I could do better as Castile. Pick a fight with Morocco, or sit tight and wait for my truce with Granada to run out? So far I think I prefer the former, just as a way to try and kill off my own heir (make him a general and have him lead from the front). The starting heir for Castile has the worst stats imaginable, and I don't want that guy leading my nation right into the ground for forty years or so.
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17. Video Game: Mothergunship [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Video Game: Mothergunship
It's V-Y not V-R
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Alabama
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A successor to Tower of Guns, this is what that game should have been. Rather than just dodging the insane number of projectiles in each level and countering with a few of your own weapons, here, you can earn parts to put together insane monster guns of your own. Fairly often I was using weapons with two or three barrels and multiple upgrade add-ons, so I'd have a railgun and chaingun in one hand while the other was launching rockets that bounced off walls.
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18. Video Game: Blair Witch [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Kevin Brown
United States
Parker
Colorado
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XB1X via GamePass.

A few hours played, a few hours of my life I will never see again.
Moving on to something else.
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19. Video Game: Spiritfarer [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
Video Game: Spiritfarer
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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Microbadge: Hahahahahahaha!Microbadge: Call me QueenMicrobadge: Love and Peace!Microbadge: I'm the main character?Microbadge: Dood!
I've been eagerly awaiting this game releasing, and it surprise released today for pretty much everything.

https://www.gematsu.com/2020/08/spiritfarer-now-available
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PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC via Steam, the Epic Games Store, and GOG for $29.99, as well as Xbox Game Pass for PC
I decided it was time to sign back up for Xbox Game Pass for PC so I'm firing it up now. There was a $1 for a month special going on, even though I had previously been signed up for the pass.

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20. Video Game: Monster Hunter: World [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:1116]
Video Game: Monster Hunter: World
John Middleton
United States
Washington
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my Hobbes is a Madcat
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Getting back to gaming and was finally able to spend some time with a buddy hunting some pesky dinosaurs. Over the weekend I was able to work my way up to the 3rd tier thunder and water bow along with crafting a pretty dapper set of threads. I think most people here know this already, but this game is rad.
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21. Video Game: Civilization VI [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:287] [Average Rating:7.76 Unranked]
Video Game: Civilization VI
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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"‘But what did the Dormouse say?’ one of the jury asked. ‘That I can’t remember,’ said the Hatter."
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Microbadge: CaliforniaMicrobadge: I love solo gaming!Microbadge: Master of Orion fanMicrobadge: VGG: Turn Based Games fanMicrobadge: Minnesota
I'm well into a game that I almost regret starting. Playing as Arabia (Saladin) this time, on a "tiny" map, against the Ottomans (Suleiman), Gran Colombia (Bolivar), and Phoenicia (Dido).

Got off to a bad start and didn't expand as much as the others, and since then it has been touch and go. I was ahead in religion and diplomacy for a while, but I've lost those leads. Now the Ottomans have launched a surprise war against me again.

I'd neglected to recruit apostles for a while, then found I couldn't for some reason. Turned out Bolivar had practically converted my whole civ to Catholicism. I hastily enhanced a holy site in a coastal city, produced Islamic missionaries, and started taking everything back. Now I've got half of Colombia converted to Islam too. But my progress against the Buddhist Ottomans stalled and reversed, and Phoenicia is too far away.

The setbacks are not my reason for regretting having begun the game, though. I'm starting to find I just don't like it that much. I got used to the laid-back vibe of Civilization V and learned how to play it casually just to while away time. In Civ VI I'm having to juggle and calculate too many things: how to expand cities into districts, where to establish trade routes, which social policies to keep, how to deal with the constant religious competition, etc. I suppose it's all an interestingly complex puzzle for those who are into it, but I'd rather put that kind of thought into some other game. I want Civ to be my fallback game for evenings when I'm practically brain-dead but still want to enjoy seeking world domination.

Civ VI may be the better game; I don't know. But I'm thinking of reinstalling Civ V and sticking to that instead.
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22. Video Game: Dominions 5: Warriors of the Faith [Average Rating:9.33 Unranked]
Video Game: Dominions 5: Warriors of the Faith
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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"‘But what did the Dormouse say?’ one of the jury asked. ‘That I can’t remember,’ said the Hatter."
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Microbadge: CaliforniaMicrobadge: I love solo gaming!Microbadge: Master of Orion fanMicrobadge: VGG: Turn Based Games fanMicrobadge: Minnesota
Got a small game of this going too. Playing as late-age Erytheia, and war just broke out between me and my only rival.

Great game, but fiddly. Lots of manual work in building and moving armies, assigning leaders, hiring mercenaries, and so on. Keyboard shortcuts help.

It speaks well of the game that I'm still loving it in spite of all the work.
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23. Video Game: Age of Wonders III: Eternal Lords [Average Rating:8.50 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.50 Unranked]
Video Game: Age of Wonders III: Eternal Lords
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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"‘But what did the Dormouse say?’ one of the jury asked. ‘That I can’t remember,’ said the Hatter."
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Microbadge: CaliforniaMicrobadge: I love solo gaming!Microbadge: Master of Orion fanMicrobadge: VGG: Turn Based Games fanMicrobadge: Minnesota
And I'm also in the middle of a game of AoW3. This time I'm playing as a halfling warlord. I'm at war with my only rival, and there has been some serious back-and-forth already. Be interesting to see how it goes.
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24. Video Game: Middle-earth: Shadow of War [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:2460]
Video Game: Middle-earth: Shadow of War
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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STILL playing this game.

I'm currently in the Epilogue phase of Fort Sieges. Unfortunately, I haven't leveled up my forts like I should have, so have to spend all my coin raising them up in level. And since I dont have any coin now, now I have to grind either leveling the Captains/Warchiefs. Or destroying gear.

Still a lot of fun, though.

(Tried to go after one guy: I'm lvl60, he was 64. Couldn't recruit him. So Shamed him to lower his level. He goes bananas and RAISES to 81! AND, he happens to be the bodyguard of the overlord!)
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25. Video Game: The Talos Principle [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:577]
Video Game: The Talos Principle
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
Platform: Playstation 4

Have been going with this for a while now. I think I'm up to 30 hours of play. My wife's little brother said something of "7 to 8 hours, but that was just because I wanted to get ALL stars", but considering my wife thought Dragon Age: Origins was a 20 hour game, I don't think he's lightning fast as much as simply he misjudged the time. That said, I'm very slow at these things. I don't like feeling I'm dumb, and I don't think I am, but I AM very unattentive, and I can sometimes miss things for 30 minutes, or simply blanking out.

For one thing, I was sitting with one puzzle where I had to direct a light ray from emitter to a receiver, and I had one light re-emitter that I could get up to a high position and could connect to the emitter. For 30–45 minutes I struggled to find out how to get my other re-emitter out of a locked position, so that it could take the ray from the high-up re-emitter and re-transmit it to the goal… until I realized that the high-up re-emitter could send the light ray to the goal directly. for 45 minutes I'd struggled to get an object out of a locked position when I didn't need it at all!

Anyway, for those who know the game: I've solved the main puzzles in Areas A, B and C, and am hunting for stars. I had discovered 17 of all of them and was back in Area A1 to find one star there. Finally I gave up and asked my wife to give portions of a play-through. Turns out (again) that I was just un-attentive and had missed finding one thing. In another A area (the one with numbered pillars) I just got the solution and I still don't know how one's supposed to figure that one out.

I'm now up to 22 stars, and have only a few in Area C left until I can tackle the 3 that aren't in the hub areas. It'll take me ages. But I don't have much time to play anyway, and I'm in no hurry.
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