State of the Game: Scattered

This week was like any other week. I got involved in some multiplayer for games I’ve had access to for a long time but never played for whatever reason. I sampled some indie games I hadn’t touched yet. I watched a bunch of League of Legends’ World Championship, along with playing the game a bit. I also played through the remainder of Dead Space 3, which had been sitting in the backlog for a couple months. So all in all, I’ve been sticking to my guns when it comes to clearing out the backlog, but also taking time to play some games with friends. A large portion of my focus this week was on Bragtoberfest though, which meant nailing down the details and getting things ready to go since the 1st in in a few short days. All in all the event is ready to go, and we’ve had a positive response from the community, so I’m looking forward to gaming with my fellow bloggers.

I did a bit of that already, playing a couple of different games with Doone this week. We started off by trying out The Banner Saga Factions, which was the multiplayer component that actually released before the regular game. It’s free to play, and basically just the battle mode, but instead of playing against the computer you play your friends. It seemed sort of buggy in our experience, and we only played one match before calling it quits. It had potential to be a cool game, but the battles would get old after a while, as you don’t have the storyline to go along with it. The Banner Saga was an amazing game, and I loved playing through it, but this multiplayer component was rather lacking.

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After that I suggested that we play some Starcraft II multiplayer, and he agreed. I hadn’t touched the MP yet, having only made it ten or so missions into the solo campaign, so I didn’t really know what to expect. Turns out that the multiplayer introduced some units I hadn’t seen yet, or that functioned differently than they did in the single player missions. This was even more disturbing when I tried out the Zerg, who used to be my favorite race but didn’t make much sense to me in the multiplayer. I assume this means I need to get used to them via the single player, but the Terran still didn’t have the learning curve. We started off in a 1v1 and I claimed victory fairly quickly, though Doone says he forced the fight and was distracted by reading about new units and that sort of thing. Sounds like excuses to me, but he did show more of what he could do when we played co-op vs. the AI. It was a sad showing for a while, we just couldn’t click and kept losing to the AI, but when we played again the next day, things went our way. We ended up finally crushing the AI, though it did take quite a while. We basically had to starve them of minerals without starving ourselves, so it was a delicate matter, but in the end we were victorious. I started to browse the Arcade and it looks to have a lot of cool user-created mods/modes and I look forward to checking that out soon.

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As I mentioned, I’ve been watching the shit out of Worlds this year. I watched last year as well, though only the Summer Split and the tail end of Worlds (I did see SKT1 win it all). This year I missed the Spring and Summer Splits and only started watching during Worlds. I actually missed groups A & B, but I managed to watch almost every game from groups C & D. I’ve been rooting for TSM and Cloud 9 (US teams) because in years past it’s been European (Season 1) or Korean (Seasons 2 & 3) teams who have won it all, and it’s time for the US to show they can compete. So far the brackets are set up for the Quarterfinals, and both of those teams have hung in there, along with Chinese and Korean teams. Europe managed to see itself out after last night. If you’re interested, there’s a lot of coverage over at the official site. In other League news, they released skins for Fnatic (who won season 1), as they somehow hadn’t done that yet, but had for TPA and SKT in the seasons following. There’s also been updates to Viktor and Sion, along with a new champion released, called Azir. The game is most definitely still going strong. Having watched so much of it I was ready to get in game again myself, so I played a handful of ARAMs the other night. Hadn’t touched the game for a month, but first round was a great success:

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Unfortunately I lost every game afterwards. That’s the problem with ARAM, sometimes you get stuck with a champion you love, and other times you don’t. Add in a few other people getting champs they aren’t good with, and say good night.

I played a few other games in my Steam catalog (scored from Humble Bundle), all Indie titles that I either really didn’t know about or hadn’t really been interested in, but thought I needed to try anyway due to some positive reviews and feedback from friends. Papers, Please was highly regarded by anyone I’ve heard of playing it, and I can say that it’s pretty fun, though reminds me a lot of when I worked in security, which was a bit of a turn off. Still, it’s an interesting idea for a game, that turns the mundane into a problem solving nightmare. Overall I’d recommend it for those looking for something completely out of left field to try. Another cool title is Race the Sun, in which you literally try to race the sun as it sets. Your plane is solar powered, so you need the sunlight to keep it going. It’s a simplistic idea, and the graphics are fairly basic, but it’s actually rather fun.

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I also started up Prison Architect, which looks to be rather interesting, but I didn’t get too far along before deciding not to get too involved. It’s still in early access so things are always changing. I hear that this newest build is one of the best so far, so I do want to play more of it, but I just want to keep sticking to my guns with the whole backlog. So for now, I’m just poking my head into titles here and there. The Humble Store freebie this last week was Tropico 3, and though I’ve never played the series I hear that it’s pretty good, and that’s got the whole city builder thing going for it, so I have been avoiding it as well. Don’t want the time sinks until I finish a few more games! The last game I played for about an hour was Steamworld Dig, and it was rather fun as well. I wasn’t expecting much, some of the reviews on the store page were dismissive, but it’s got it’s hooks. Digging for treasure is never a bad thing, and using that treasure to get upgrades and new gadgets is fun as well. It’s basically a Metroidvania, but for the most part it feels pretty fresh. Playing as a steam-powered robot is an interesting twist by itself.

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I have a few games in mind for my next playthrough. I’m going to continue on with the campaign for SC2, and perhaps try and finish another in the meantime. Some of these indies might be easy to beat as well, so I might knock a few off before long. Time will tell. Anyway, that’s all for this week’s edition. Happy Gaming!

#stateofthegame #roundup #gaming

July IGC

last month you may recall that I said that the new format of the Instant Game Collection was changing. It was going to end up being 2 games for each system, and they were all going to release at once, on the first Tuesday of the Month. I read that somewhere, maybe it was in the video, I don’t remember. Whatever the case, that information was incorrect for last month. There were two games for each system, but they were still staggered releases. In a recent Playstation Blog post, it was said that they will all be available at the same time, this month. Here’e the video:

This is the first update in a while where I’ve been excited about a game. I just might have to dust of my Playstation. Dead Space 3 is going to be the game of the month for me, as I own and beat the first two games. When this one released I was distracted, and to be honest I had forgotten all about it. I love Survival horror, and with this series essentially being Resident Evil in space, it’s right up my alley.

Also on PS3 is Vessel, which is an interesting physics-driven platforming indie title. I don’t remember hearing much about this one until now, but upon inspection it seems like a cool game, and another one I’m looking forward to trying. Much better than last month, where I didn’t play a single one of the free games.

On PS4, Towerfall Ascension looks to be the best on offer. It’s a platformer with co-op and pvp modes, and also has the retro indie graphics that have become so popular. Another great game that will have to wait, alas.

Strider is the other free game for next-gen owners, and as I already own it on PS3, I can attest that it’s a fantasic metroidvania. It feels arcade-y too, which is true to the series’ roots.

On Vita, there’s Muramasa Rebirth, which looks like a really cool fighting game, and Doki-Doki Universe, which reminds me of Machinarium. Which could be a very good thing, cause I did enjoy that one. Unfortunately I have yet to see that PS4/Vita bundle on sale anywhere, so more games for the backlog. My head is going to explode when I finally do get on board with next-gen consoles.

Overall it looks like a better month than the last couple (in my opinion).

#instantgamecollection #psplus #playstationplus #sony #deadspace3