State of the Game: Playing & Watching

Another week down, more stuff played and watched. I mostly have blurbs this time around, because I spent the majority of the week playing League of Legends. I did play some other stuff as well as keeping up on TV shows so let’s jump right in.

League of Legends

I played a shit ton of League as I said. I mostly played ARAM, but did get some team builder matches in as well. As a result, I earned my support icon from the mode. support_iconI did end up buying one new champion, as I hit 4800 IP. Riot has been keeping up with their policy of dropping one champ from the 6300 tier down to the 4800 tier each time a new one releases, so there were some extra options. I was tempted to just continue saving until I hit 6300, but I ended up purchasing Fizz. I haven’t played him a whole lot, but in ARAMs where I got him (due to being in the free rotation) I did fairly well. Plus my end goal is to eventually own them all, so add one more to the pile. I believe at this point I still have 36 to collect. Meaning I own like 70-something. Not bad, but considering the amount of years I’ve played the game you’d think I’d have more. I had a rather good performance with Janna within the last few days, so I’ll just leave this here:


I have been keeping up on the World Championship matches. This weekend I watched Samsung White utterly DESTROY Samsung Blue in the first semi-finals match on Saturday (early – 1 am) morning. Going 3-0, SSW will be representing Korea in the Finals. This morning I watched OMG and Royal Club as well; it was a better series, but RC advance to the finals for their second year in a row after a 3-2 victory. This will be the second year in a row we see a China vs. Korea final, with RC falling to SKT T1 last year. With the performances this week, I’m feeling pretty positive that Korea will take it all in the end, again.

Other PC Games

I gave a rundown of the newest Alpha build for The Forest along with some screens of a recent playthrough in this post.

I played some Starcraft II over the course of the week, finishing up a few more missions. I believe I am nearing the end of the Terran campaign, though it’s interesting the amount of missions you get to play the Protoss. Their missions help to break up the monotony of playing only one race for so long. I like the Terrans quite a bit more in SC2 than I did in the original. I didn’t like the Zerg all that much when I tried them in multiplayer, but I know that when I get to know them again in the campaign I’ll probably be back to loving them. I’m hoping to complete the first campaign within the next week or so.

I hadn’t touched Orcs Must Die in months (since I purchased really), but not so long ago I was gifted a copy of the sequel by Welshtroll and decided it was time I beat the first game so I could move on to the second. I played quite a bit yesterday, completing a handful of missions. I have a handful of levels left to beat, but also have expansion content because I bought the complete pack so I’m not sure how much I really have yet to do. Either way the game is fun for short bursts, or longer sessions. Hopefully by this time next week I’ll be ready for the 2nd game. I’m steadily moving through my backlog, despite not being able to focus on one game at a time 😛 The last mission I completed was pretty straight forward, but the one I’m on now where they introduce “the pounder,” is completely unfair. I failed twice, so I gave it a rest.

Bring on the horde!

The Path of Exile event played out on Saturday. I was a little late to the group so I had to sit out for a little while. I played my Witch solo for a bit, and hit level 23 (I could have sworn she was a bit higher level than that). When I joined in with the group, I played a Ranger I had created previously but hadn’t used much. It worked out as everyone had created new characters and they were about level 6 at that point which was the same level as said Ranger. We played for a couple more hours and I leveled that Ranger from 6 – 14. I got to experience some of the newer content in that the boss battles were more intense, but also had some new instances/events added in from one of the expansions. I didn’t take any screens… I don’t know why I keep forgetting.

The past week’s flash game for Bragtoberfest was called Axon. Initially Doone posted a laughable score, and I beat that rather quickly, posting one around 25k. Next thing I knew Jeromai made a post where she had hit 66k, completely blowing my score out of the water. I commented there that I was done… but then I decided to take another stab at it.

It didn’t take long for Murf to answer back at over 98k, and then Jeromai iced it with 108k. Now, I’m officially done. Next week’s challenge might play out differently.

Playstation Plus

I totally skipped over doing my typical Playstation Plus post. It was mentioned a few times in my circle so I just let it ride. I did dive into the games though, beating Chronicles of Mystara in one sitting. It was ok, but would have cost a fortune in the arcade where it originated. Those games were purposely designed to rob you of your lunch money. I played some Spelunky as well, and though it’s fun it doesn’t seem to have anything going for it as far as using it in Bragtoberfest. Maybe the daily challenges? sort of unsure about that. Giving us Batman Arkham Asylum seemed dumb. They already gave us Arkham City (the sequel, which I never played). Would have made more sense to give us Arkham Origins, but either way I’ve already beaten Asylum so that’s lame.


Hell on Wheels – took a mid season break, not sure why AMC is so fond of doing this. Been good so far, lots of intense scenes between the new governor and the main character. Was shocked that Common’s character was still alive but he was not himself after indians nursed him back to health. Sad that he had to be put down.

Boardwalk Empire – final season has been slow moving, but the weird part is the fact that they keep delving into Nucky’s past.. like why didn’t they care to do that in the first 3 seasons? Watching Capone be an idiot is fun, I love the actor playing him, as he was good ol’ Tommy in Snatch and that’s one of my favs.

The Strain – Season finale just happened, sorry to say that the “master” got away. Crazy that he could withstand direct sunlight, didn’t see that coming. Great show, can’t wait for next season.

Sons of Anarchy – Shit is getting really thick. Not only is there a huge gang war brewing between the bikers, the chinese, the mexicans and the blacks, it seems that Jax has played all ends against the middle. This is typical for SOA, there’s always these backhanded deals going on, but it’s hard to keep up with who is doing what. Then Gemma is “taking Juice out of town to safety” and he catches on that she’s gonna try to kill him. He looked like he might kill her. Sad thing is that he’s in the shitstorm for doing things for Jax and for her… yet they want him dead. No idea where this is going, but oh yes, there will be blood.

American Horror Story – I can already tell that this season is going to be much better than the last. For whatever reason I couldn’t get into Coven, but Freak Show has already started off great. The special effects for all the freaks (though I think some bits of that isn’t special effects) are great (particularly the two headed main character). The creepy factor of the serial killing clown.. man it’s gonna be a good season.

The Walking Dead starts later today. I cannot wait. When we left off, the crew had just made it to Terminus, and the consensus among fans is that they are cannibals. This wouldn’t be the first time the subject had been broached in the walking dead universe (season 1 of the game had a nice little farm with em). With the crew locked up in a train car, who knows how they’re going to bust out. But Rick didn’t look too happy going in there. He’ll be back with a vengeance.

So that’s about all I have for this week’s edition. 1.5k words later, I’m spent.

#stateofthegame #roundup

The State of the Game 10/29-11/4

I’m starting up a new column that will be posted every Tuesday. This column will consist of short stories about the multitudes of games I’ve been playing throughout that week, and various commentary that doesn’t fit into my other themed posts (such as patch notes or the Playstation Plus previews). So welcome to this week’s edition of “The State of the Game.” 

This past week has been a little different because of the fact that my laptop’s power adapter had died, as I had mentioned. As a result I didn’t play as much League of Legends as I normally would have, and played more on my PS3. The majority of my gaming time was spent in another MOBA: Awesomenauts. I also played Dead Island, downloaded and played demos for Terraria and Spelunky, and towards the end of the week got back into playing some League.

I initially started playing Awesomenauts back in 2012 when it first released on the PS3. I earned all of the trophies back then, and played for a bit longer before shelving the game in favor of others. Before that happened, I ended up showing the game to my roommate, and he picked up a copy for Xbox when he still had one. He played the game longer than I did, but eventually sold off his Xbox and picked up a PS3, and probably forgot all about the game. Back in September, we had a conversation about how much fun we had with that game, and I told him that I still owned it, so he would just have to get another copy — which he did. So we’ve been playing pretty regularly for the past couple of months. The game is still a lot of fun regardless of the fact that there really isn’t any incentive to play outside of Prestige and Leaderboards. There isn’t options for skins or anything else to customize your characters, nor are their more characters to buy, so the only reason to play is for fun or to improve your ranking. I suppose this is the reason we are supposed to play games in the first place isn’t it? My major complaint with the game is that it was later released for Steam, and PC players have the advantage of extra characters, and they have the option to pay for skins. These are factors that would make the game that much more fun, but us PS3 players (it released originally on consoles mind you) are assed out. Recently Ronimo Games decided to start a Kickstarter campaign for an expansion that would add maps, characters and game modes (plus more via stretch goals). This is supposed to be available on PS4, so maybe at that point it will become more like its PC counterpart. This game is going to be in my rotation for a while, as I have climbed up to Prestige level 6 (out of 10 I believe) and my Rank on the leaderboards is floating around 3,000 (out of 90,000+). If nothing else I’ll max out my Prestige level before I shelve it again.

Dead Island:
I’ve already mentioned that I’ve been playing Dead Island after picking it up on sale for $5. I have had enough hands on experience with it to know that it’s a great game, if you can embrace its flaws. Despite the patches that went into the GOTY edition, it’s still rather buggy. The combat is weird. There are guns, but they are just now becoming more available that I’ve entered the city portion of the game in Act II. The whole first act you’re swinging baseball bats, shovels, paddles, machetes, kitchen knives and whatever else you can get your hands on. This portion of the game reminds me of Skyrim, as it’s first person hack ‘n’ slash. The fact that the items you find throughout the world are color coded and just about everywhere you look is reminiscent of Borderlands (and other loot-driven games like action RPGs or MMOs). The crafting system is too much like Dead Rising, but I wasn’t as fond of that series. That said it is still very satisfying upgrading/creating new weapons, and seeing how they work in combat. But as most loot-driven games go, you’re constantly upgrading your gear, so getting attached to that spiked baseball bat isn’t advised — just make a new one. The setting is really what gets me going, when you get a moment to just stare into the horizon the game really is beautiful, and the open-world aspect makes you feel like you’re really stranded on an island. Add in flesh-eating zombies, the thick desperation-filled air, and the sense of urgency becomes apparent. I chose to go with the “tank” class, Sam B, otherwise known as the one-hit-wonder-rapper. I’m sitting right at level 30, and have chosen to go down his survival tree first, and then started mixing up where I spend the points since then. Not sure exactly how many points you have to work with by the time the game is over, though it doesn’t seem that there is an option to re-spec. This game is going to be in my rotation until after I beat it at least once, though my roommate picked up a copy as well and we have yet to play any co-op, so that might keep me playing for a while longer.

At some point in the last couple of weeks I read a blog post about someone’s adventures in Terraria. I don’t recall which blog it was, and this writer was speaking of the PC version, but it piqued my interest and I remembered seeing that there was a PS3 version as well. Either way it wasn’t a game I was going to get for free, but I wasn’t sure that I would like it either. Upon inspection of the PS store I found that there was a demo available and picked it up. From what little I played, I’m still not sure that I’m into it. Comparisons can be drawn to Minecraft, though I never played that game either, and the idea of just building things isn’t exactly appealing to me. Exploration and killing things does appeal to me however, and both of those elements are present in this sandbox game. Really though, the console controls are a bit wonky, and it does seem like it would be easier to play on the computer, especially when wanting to play co-op. There is a local multiplayer option on the console, but that requires split-screen and for someone to come to your house specifically to play that. Multiplayer doesn’t seem to work that way very much these days. On the console, there is no option to join a random person’s game. You must have the other player on your friends list. This is not the kind of game most of console friends would want to play, so it seems like I would be playing alone, and I feel like I would get bored too easily. I’m on the fence about purchasing a full version, regardless of the platform.

Another Indie game that released recently, Spelunky is a little more up my alley from a single player point of view. I can tell that I would be able to enjoy it without needing to play co-op, though the option would be there should I choose. It’s a platformer in the vein of metroidvania games, where you must collect as much treasure as possible, avoid traps and kill baddies from level to level. The interesting part is that the levels are completely randomized, so you never play the same one twice. They are so randomized that you actually get a new level every time you die, so you can’t even eventually learn the level and pass it. This scales the difficulty up a bit, and seems to give the game a replay-ability that wouldn’t be there in a standard Mario game. I am not going to spend the money on this game right now, but I may in the future, or perhaps it will be a free offering at some point.

League of Legends:
I only played a handful of games this week, due to the laptop issues. A new patch dropped, the Harrowing started, and Sivir was reworked all while I was gone. Preseason changes are in the works. There will be much to talk about with this game in coming months. On a personal level, I mostly played a few ARAMs and I finally brought myself to play some more ranked last night. I lost the first game while playing Hecarim in the Jungle, but our “support” Shen really bit the bullet with 0 kills and 10 deaths, and I don’t believe he bought a single ward all game. Frustrating, but I still played another game before calling it a night. I was rewarded with a good team, and we actually snowballed enough early on that we caused a 20 minute surrender. My win percentage with Sona is now at 70% in ranked games. This brought me back into a promotional series, so perhaps I will beat the deadline and make it into Silver league after all. More on this later.

That’s all for this week. Tune in next Tuesday when I’ll be discussing Dragon’s Dogma, which is installing as I type this!