The State of the Game 11/12-11/18

I’ve had a more social week, I didn’t do quite as much gaming as usual, mainly due to my birthday landing on the 14th and a few other occasions where I had company or went out. Still, I managed to play my regular standby games, and tried out a few new ones. Too many sales have been going on lately, and as such I’m always finding games that are super cheap and worth playing, or at least super cheap. This isn’t good for my backlog though, and it’s been a couple of months since I played a game to completion. My playlist this week was: Awesomenauts, League of Legends, Beyond Good & Evil, Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, Cloudberry Kingdom, Faster than Light, Civilization Revolution, Kingdoms and Lords and Pocket Army.

Mobile

As I mentioned in my last post, the “Bux Bug” in Tiny Death Star killed the game for me. As of patch 1.0.0.18 that came out a few days ago, the bug isn’t fixed so I’m not playing. I ended up downloading some more mobile games trying to find a replacement, and this was no easy task. Most mobile games on the Windows Marketplace are pretty bad. There are Xbox games that actually have achievements and whatnot, but as a pretty anti-xbox gamer, that really doesn’t interest me. I’m mainly looking for something that I can play for a few minutes and feel like I’ve made some progress, and then come back to it later. TDS was awesome for this, as when I came back a couple of hours later, my game had progressed without me. These types of games are in short supply. I downloaded Civilization Revolution which is a port of the console game of the same name. This wasn’t free though, only a free trial. From what I played I enjoyed, but it really didn’t sell me. I don’t want to spend money on a game on my phone… it just doesn’t feel worth it. Next, I downloaded another strategy game called Kingdoms and Lords. This game plays more like a social game, but also similar to the Heroes of Might & Magic games. You have a plot of land and must build various structures to accumulate resources. When you enter combat with your soldiers, it becomes turn based and sort of whack-a-mole-ish. Social features include visiting your friend’s plots of land, and fighting other players. It seemed interesting enough, but felt as if it would be better played on a tablet, as the menus are a bit on the small side on my HTC 8x. Lastly, I tried out another game called Pocket Army. This one seems to be the winner. It’s a series of battles that play our like Swords & Soldiers type games, except you also control a main avatar. Your trained soldiers (clubmen, swordsmen, archers, etc) run straight at the opposing army and hack at each other til someone dies. You control your avatar in the same fashion, but also gain abilities that you can use to turn the tide in your favor. Experience and loot is rewarded after each battle. In between, you can get side quest battles done, or upgrade/purchase more troops/spells/etc. This game is simple enough that I can play for a few minutes and accomplish something. It is also fun enough that you get into the “just one more battle” state of mind after playing for a while. Out of all of these games, Pocket Army is the one I would recommend checking out.

PS3

Awesomenauts:
Awesomenauts has stayed in my steady rotation since I got back into it a couple of months ago. I am still trying to run through all of the prestige levels, and am currently on my 7th. I have had some recent success, where I have climbed the leaderboards from the high 3000s to the low 2000s. My rating has also creeped over 15k. I’m in 2nd place overall on my friend list (Built4Sin82). My roommate (kaznski) had been ahead of me at some point, but I have leap-frogged him even though I’ve played quite a few less games. Proof is in the pudding:

WP_20131119_002

Sales:
Last week’s Playstation Plus sale saw me spending $8.75 on three games. 2 out of the 3 games were released earlier this year, and the other is a classic PS2 HD remake that I finally got around to buying. The games: Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, Cloudberry Kingdom and Beyond Good & Evil.

Gunslinger is an arcade-y FPS that is set in the Wild West. I haven’t played too many FPS games in this setting, and as such it makes for a slightly different experience — even if it’s in atmosphere alone. I only played through the first couple of missions, but it was fun to just run around and blast people… I haven’t been playing any FPS games for quite a while. Feels like a game that will be easy to finish.

Cloudberry Kingdom is a rogue-like platformer. This seems to be a bit of a trend recently. Like Spelunky (the most similar game I have played recently) you run through a series of random levels in an attempt to grab up treasure (in this game it’s gems) and not die. The levels aren’t randomly changed when you die, but are supposed to be randomly generated each time you play through the game. I completed 60+ levels and they are short and sweet, but the difficultly ramps up as you play. Variables that can be added in affect how your character controls. Sometimes you’ll get a double-jump, sometimes a rocketpack, other times you’re tiny. Still, the game breaks down to running and jumping — good timing is key. It’s fun to play here and there, but there’s no lasting appeal. I will probably play through the game and uninstall.

Beyond Good & Evil is a PS2 game that I owned and loved. I’ve always looked at the HD update and wanted to buy it, but never did. This sale gave me a reason to, and I remember now why I loved the game in the first place. It’s a 3D adventure game, and it really stands on it’s own. With it being such a long-standing game I’m not going to say anything else about it, if you don’t know what it is I’m sure there’s plenty of stuff written about it elsewhere. Worth owning for sure!

PC

League of Legends:
I earned enough IP to purchase a 4800-tier champion this week. I decided on picking up Vayne, as she is the only ADC from that tier that I don’t own, and because she just seems so damn good. I don’t play her regularly, but I think with some practice I could do pretty well with her. I also had some RP lying around, and picked up one of the Harrowing ward skins permanently (now I own 3 ward skins) and another skin for a champion I have fallen in love with as of late: Shen. Here’s the splash art:

The Doctor has arrived
The Doctor has arrived

Faster than Light:
I absolutely love this game. I have heard commentary around the web, but it really doesn’t hook you until you play it yourself. I was gifted a copy of this game via GoG.com (Good Old Games), and as such also opened up an account there. This account also came with some free games, though I haven’t really played any of them. I was really paying attention to their DRM-Free Fall sale, but each time I checked in on it, the game on offer was one that I wasn’t interested in. I have a rather large wish list through the site, and will probably throw money at that in the future. Playing all of the old Black Isle and Bioware games is on my to-do list. All of that aside, FTL is a great game. The randomness of each encounter and the ability to die and have to start over again without feeling upset about it is what makes it a gem. My first run ended in the first sector due to oxygen systems failure (and door systems failure). My second run ended in combat with some alien race that really kicked my ass… this time I made it to the 2nd sector, but getting all the way to the end of the game feels like it will be a challenge. I’m sure I’ll have more on this game to come.

That’s all for this week.

Tiny Death Star: The Bux Bug and more

Update: As of 12/17/13 version 1.0.1.4 has been released and the negative Bux bug has been fixed. 30 bitizens bug is still active on my phone however.

As I previously mentioned, I had been playing Star Wars: Tiny Death Star religiously. It’s the first game I actually played more than for just a few minutes on my phone. Nothing ever really caught my attention, and despite really being a game about nothing, SW:TDS was keeping me hooked. Until I ran into a problem.

I had been keeping my levels fairly balanced, but was currently wanting to build a new imperial level. When you add levels, the game randomly picks one of that classification for you, if you want to unlock a specific level, you can do so at the cost of 1 “bux.” Due to the fact that the imperial levels are for crafting items, there was a side quest (not a mission from the Emperor, rather one of the crafting quests from Vader) to build a communications level. As such, I wanted to utilize the level selector, pay my bux and get the level I wanted so I could craft a new item and gain more coin for completing the quest. I had just saved up for a long period of time to buy the first upgraded elevator, and that was making the game less monotonous. The game had other plans however, and after having created that new communications level, I suddenly had -29 bux:

What is this??
What is this??

I did some searching around the web, and apparently this isn’t something that is a bug only on windows phones, or my particular model of phone, it’s apparently affect the game as a whole. Most people triggered the bug in the same fashion as me, but others reported it happening in other instances. I assume that Disney is aware of this fact, as just yesterday I had to patch the game, but the bug hasn’t been cleared yet. I have a feeling that even if they were to clear up this bug, that I will have to restart my game anyway, but if I can do so without fear of losing everything all over again, I just might do it. The game really is that addictive.

There’s a secondary potential bug, in that it feels like a bug to me, but some people are saying that it’s working as intended. There is a mission from the Emperor that asks you to move in 30 bitizens. I hit the 30 bitizen mark even before the negative bux bug hit me, but I thought that maybe it was because I didn’t have them all employed. Once all 30 were employed and the quest was still not giving me my reward, I looked around and found that I was not the only person with this problem either.

This is fishy...

From what some people were saying, the quest starts the count once you receive it, meaning if you had 25, you would have to hit 55 bitizens before the quest would clear. Other people are stating it’s a bug. Whatever the case, I can’t skip the mission as it requires bux, and earning more bux takes away from the negative, but who wants to earn up 29 bux that do absolutely nothing for you? And to hell with buying something that a little patience will get me. So until the game is fixed, I’m not playing it anymore. What a shame!

Because of  these unfortunate events, I decided to see if I could find some other games that were worth playing. I ended up downloading a trial version of Civilization Revolution, which is a watered-down version of the Civilization series most of us know and love. I also downloaded Kingdoms and Lords, which is being advertised as semi-new, and appears to be a similar civ-type concept. I haven’t tried either game just yet, but I will be reporting on those by Tuesday.

I should also mention that my birthday recently passed, and I was gifted a copy of Faster than Light, via Good Old Games. More to come on that title as well.