The State of the Game #22

I’m not really in the writing mood today, so I’m going to keep this short and sweet.

I’ve been playing the shit out of Awesomenauts on Steam. The game is simply far better than the console counterpart, although I’m sure the PS4 version is at least semi-decent. I have found that my favorite characters are now Ayla, Gnaw and Raelynn. I win almost every game I play with them. I’m at level 60 something of 100 something, so I’m progressing well enough, but this version of the game with it’s longer progression (plus prestige levels) is going to keep me busy for a long time. Especially since Starstorm is supposed to bring something like 4 more nauts and another map to the game.

I beat The Banner Saga. Apparently there’s more than one ending though, so I’m interested to do another play through, but not right at the moment. My ending saw Rook’s daughter getting killed by Bellower, and us sending her off on a raft in a Viking-appropriate burial at sea. The abrupt ending didn’t really have much of an explanation, though I read somewhere that this is the first in a series, so perhaps more will make sense later. Either way, it was a fun game and I’d recommend it.

I’ve played Luftrausers in between other bits of more serious gaming, and have found it to be quite enjoyable. Despite it’s dated graphical look, it’s still a lot of fun to see how long you can last, how high you can get your score and what challenges you can complete. Earning points gets you upgrades, so just grind away at it. Each combination of weapon, body and engine comes complete with it’s own name, along with strengths and weaknesses. There’s a ‘fat’ body and an engine that propels you by firing bullets, A ‘melee’ body that allows you to just charge into anything without taking damage (except for bullets, of course), and all kinds of other combinations to be had. For a game that you can easily play for 5 minutes and then move on to something else, this was worth the money.

Steam is a huge MF though. A daily deal, weekend deals, mid-week madness, week-long deals… I mean, why even own a wallet? All my monies are belong to them. The deal of the day a couple of days ago was for Orcs Must Die!, the GOTY was $3 and change so I got it. The game plays a lot like Dungeon Defenders, but is single player only, and rather than using turrets, you use traps that do various things. They are identical in that you can jump into the fray as well, but this game is single player only. Still, I ran through the first 5 or 6 levels in an hour, and it was frantic fun. Apparently the sequel has co-op, so perhaps I’ll get that one later on down the road as well. Just yesterday I saw a list of the deals for this week and there are a couple of titles I’m interested in. Damn them.

Hearthstone has been taking up a chunk of every day still, and I have been steadily working to improve my decks. I feel very confident with my Hunter, Pirate Rogue, and my newly minted Murlock (Warlock with Murlocs — I see wat you did there!) deck. All I need is a few more legendaries, and things are going to be very difficult for my opponents. As an added benefit, having purchased ROS netted me a free pack of cards:

Hearthstone_Screenshot_3.20.2014.18.27.53

Apparently it would have been two packs if I bought a collector’s edition or some nonsense. Still, can’t complain about free.

Lastly, I started playing Reaper of Souls last night, as it launched at 9 p.m. my time. I ran through some of the new stuff and then jumped on a freshly made Crusader, but the game was being laggy, presumably with people checking out the expansion. So I jumped onto Steam, but Steam was having issues last night too. I kept getting messages about losing connection to Steam while trying to play Awesomenauts, so I jumped back to Hearthstone, then gave up on everything for a while. Then I went back to Diablo for the rest of the night. But I digress…

ROS is looking to be more of the same, but still cool. The Crusader had some interesting abilities and all, but playing through the beginning again so soon just didn’t sit right. So I went back to my Wizard and leveled him to 63, getting through the first few quests and the first major boss of the act, Urzael. A new enchanting merchant was added, and I leveled her up to ten almost instantaneously. It seems to upgrade any of the merchants further I have to dump demonic essences, and most of what I’d want to craft uses those as well, and so far I’ve seen 3. So I’m not sure how much of a bitch it is to farm them later on, but we shall see. I’m assuming that finishing the last Act opens up the Adventure mode and/or Torment levels, but I’m not entirely sure how that works. I’m guessing beating Act V on Hard (which is my current difficulty setting) will open up further difficulties, but again, I’m just speaking off the top of my head. One way or the other, the expansion feels “worth it” so far. Here’s a pic of what my Wizard looks like at the moment:

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Rubik’s Cube, anyone?

Bite-sized

I’ve done bullet point posts in the past, mainly when I wanted to express things about multiple subjects or just felt the need to jot something down without dedicating a whole post to it. You’ve probably gathered by now that I’m not the short-post writing type, most of the time I top 1000 words per post. Sometimes I do share a video/graphic with little to no commentary, but sometimes those videos/graphics are self-explanatory — no comment needed. What I’m getting at is that I feel lazy today but want to cover a bunch of different topics, so here’s some bite-sized commentary on various things:

  • I mentioned having some interest in the newly released indie game Luftrausers, and that it had a slight discount on its release day. (Un?)Fortunately there was another sale going on that day that forced my hand into buying not only Luftrausers, but also Galaxy on Fire 2 HD and Expeditions: Conquistador. Luftrausers is a sepia-toned 2-D schmup that reminds me of simpler days when public domain games were freely distributed if you knew how to get them (my Dad did). GoF2 is a port of a mobile game, but it’s a 3-D space shooter that’s accessible enough to have some fun with. Expeditions is a game about the Spain’s conquering of South America, and you get to have a hand in that. A Heroes of Might and Magic style game, the tactical battles are fun and so far it seems to have a lot of depth for an indie game.
  • I played some Hearthstone the other night with J3w3l of Healing the Masses. We started out with our “A-game” decks, and I was surprised to have my ass handed to me in the first match. Her Shaman was set up well, but my Hunter proved victorious the next round. We played a couple more games afterwards, both wining one. An evenly played evening, it was fun to interact with a fellow blogger outside of comments.
  • Syp has an interesting post on the personality of video games. I can really get on board with the concept, and the best example of a game whose personality clashed with my own that I couldn’t explain was Lord of the Rings Online. I love the IP. I’ve read most of Tolkien’s work. I’ve watched all of the movies several times in the theater and own all of the extended editions that are out at this point. I’ve played many LotR games over the years. This game was a no-brainer, I would love it. I bought the game and never subscribed outside of the first month. I played for about another month when the game went free to play. It just never clicked, and I can’t explain why.
  • Player Versus Developer has an interesting viewpoint on how there may be a MOBA crash like there has been a MMO crash as of late. I can say that I would agree that the worst of the bunch will probably taper off and shut down, but I don’t see games like League of Legends failing anytime soon, and others like Smite, Heroes of the Storm, and Awesomenauts seem to be chugging along just fine. Blizzard’s HotS is in development right now of course, but I don’t see them necessarily dethroning Riot from MOBA throne. MOBAs are more accessible than MMOs though, in that they are almost always free to play, take less time invested to make progress, and are very much drop-in drop-out types of games. Also if you consider deathmatch titles like Hawken or even Battlefield/COD as MOBAs (cause in actuality, they basically are) then the genre isn’t declining but rather growing.
  • The ESO/Wildstar controversy continues, and Keen is one of the first to admit that he doesn’t know which he’ll be playing, if any, or if maybe he’ll just play both. I’m with him in the fact that I was really looking forwards to ESO, until I started hearing about it. I’ll probably still be on the fence by the time it releases and I imagine that unless the initial reviews are wholly awesome, I’ll pass altogether. Wildstar is another themepark and I’m sick of those, so I’m pretty much set to pass it altogether.
  • Want to know what the new abilities for Diablo III’s characters will look like? Here’s some videos.
  • The new Meta Report is out, and it seems that the Warlock is keeping his crown for now. The top three now consists of Warlock, Warrior and Hunter, and I’m happy to say that I primarily play Hunter, so I must be smart! Cause the meta tells me so! Seriously though, the Hunter is awesome.
  • Here’s two separate posts that have to do with some of the issues surrounding the gaming community. I feel like I have some commentary to add, but will save that for another post. Still, read this, and this one here.
  • The Occulus Rift has some competition coming… introducing Project Morpheus. VR is still one of those things that’s either going to be ridiculously awesome and change gaming forever, or it’s going to be like the Nintendo Wii/PS Move/Xbox Kinect where it’s just another annoying peripheral fad. I’m interested to see for myself, though I’m sure that’s a way off.
  • Lastly, an Angry Birds RPG. No, seriously.