April 2015 IGC

It’s that time of the month again, and this time the information is nice and early, unlike last month where the official post didn’t come out until the day of the releases. This time around the last day of the month fell on Tuesday (today) so we’re going to have to wait until next week to jump into these titles. Overall, it’s a so-so month for me. I really need to bite the bullet soonish and get a PS4 and a Vita, because I’d be getting so much more value out of this plus membership had I all the hardware to run the games. It’s okay, because I know I’ll be able to play these games eventually when I do get the systems, but it’s a bummer when the PS3 games are ones I have already played or own on another platform. Anyway, let’s start with the video and then I’ll go over the titles individually.

So for PS4 owners, you’ll be getting what I think is a pretty cool game in Tower of Guns, along with a couple of indie platformers. A few of the titles this month are cross buy, so I know that Tower of Guns is going to be available on PS3 as well, which is cool, but I’ve owned the game on my PC for months. It’s a really hectic bullet-hell FPS that has cartoon graphics and ran great despite all of the stuff exploding on screen. It’s also a rogue-like, so there’s permadeath and procedural generation along with various unlockables that will ease further progress. I can say if you’re a fan of any of the genres mentioned, you should enjoy this one. I’ll be trying it out when I can to see how it holds up on the PS3. I have a feeling it will be fine either way as the graphics weren’t amazing anyway, but sometimes the PS3 can be sluggish.

The second PS4 title is called Never Alone, and stars a main character with a wolf pet, and I assume there are various puzzles and other platformer elements that you’re used to, so it really doesn’t need much other description. I will say that it doesn’t really look like something I would normally play, but it could be a pleasant surprise, right? Lastly, one of the PS3 games is cross buy on PS4 as well, and it’s called Aaru’s Awakening. This one is still another platformer type game, but it has a more appealing art style and seems similar to The Swapper game we got a couple of months ago. I’ll give this one a spin and report back when I have a chance.

The other PS3 game this month is Dishonored, and my verdict is “meh.” I owned the game when it first released and though it was fun for a couple of hours, it ended up frustrating me. At the time I was deep in a trophy addiction, and the trophies in that game were insane, where you would essentially beat the game without killing anyone, and things of that nature. I’ve written before about how stealth games generally annoy me, because they force you into that role, whereas I love stealth classes in RPGs because you can pick and choose when to go in guns blazing, or play it safe. Anyway, I don’t believe I finished this one, and I did enjoy the story/setting, so perhaps I’ll give it another whirl. We’ll see.

Finally, for the PSVita there’s Killzone Mercenary and Monsterbag. The former is the Vita exclusive Killzone game, and I’m sure it’s just fine. I enjoyed Killzone when I’ve played it in the past but was never a huge fan of the series. It’s pretty straightforward FPS stuff. The latter game is another puzzler, and looks rather boring, but you’ll have to see for yourself.

That’s all for another month of Plus freebies. Til next time.

#playstationplus #instantgamecollection #freegames

State of the Game: I have a Problem

Don’t worry, it’s not a new problem, and most gamers have it:  “the new shiny.” The ever expanding free to play market doesn’t help things much. That means even a gamer on a budget cannot escape their problem. Maybe that’s why people sell their children to traffickers… but I digress.

This week I played more Hearthstone than anything. The Curse of Naxxramas released last Tuesday, as you all know, and with it came numerous challenges. Then it was back to the quest grind for gold for the upcoming wings. I’m pushing 2k gold, so I’m not far off from owning them all. I’m sure I’ll have enough gold saved with each release. You can read about my playthrough of the first wing here.

As I mentioned, I did do quite a bit of dailies throughout the week, so I had time to experiment with some of the cards. I have since modified my zoo deck, and thought I’d talk about that. Here’s the cards:

Click to enlarge

This is still basically the same deck I’ve been using for months, with some tweaks. I added in four new cards from the expansion, x2 Haunted Creeper, and x2 Nerubian Egg. These cards synergize well with the elements of this deck, because a 1/2 that pops out two 1/1’s on death is great, and probably not worth wasting a silence on. Not to mention if a Knife Juggler is already on the board, that’s two free damage. The Egg has great synergy for similar reasons, but it’s a 0/2 and will draw silence, because the 4/4 that pops is a greater threat early on. I also like to throw buffs on it from the Cleric or Argus, and use it for some damage, gaining the 4/4 in the process. I also added in a hellfire for mirror matches, and a molten for those oh shit moments when I need to turn the tide. I will probably change things around again as new cards become available, so expect more discussion about decks in the future.

I rejoined an old friend a couple of nights ago. I hadn’t played League of Legends for a month. We’ve had that kind of relationship — off and on — for a few years now. The new featured game mode drew my attention. It’s called “Doom Bots of Doom” (creative I know), and it’s a pain in the ass. Basically it’s a co-op vs. AI match on Summoner’s Rift with a twist. They did seem to “skin” the level like they used to do around the holidays, but just to give it a darker tone. It looked really nice, but nothing compared to the remake that’s coming. The bots have significantly increased abilities, to the point of being unfair. I made a recent similar comparison with Naxxramas Heroics. Annie’s ultimate creates a Tibbers that is 3x his normal size. Chogath shoots up spikes in multiple places. Galio can taunt long range, and doesn’t get stunned in the process. It’s insane. The group that I was in was fairly well balanced, and we had a fantastic Rengar in the jungle, but my lane was the only one able to hold its outer turret for long. I was playing as Caitlyn on bottom with Taric, and we were pit against Galio and Wukong. It was a nightmare, but I got an early kill. We made a push on the turret, but met resistance, and were consistently pushed back/killed. The whole team was folding upon itself. We couldn’t pull ahead, and we fed hard. Finally we started making headway (I got farmed up and started doing some damage). They were in our base when we killed a couple bots, and I split push on bottom. For whatever reason, they killed all of my team mates and never came after me. I took out their Nexus towers by myself, and they totally forgot about me. I’m not sure we would have won otherwise. It’s gnarly to say the least, but the mode ended as of Sunday.

I ended up with a new-ish game on Steam, another Rogue-like. This time around it’s a FPS, but not like Delver, an actual sci-fi type FPS. It’s called Tower of Guns, and it’s made by a developer who obviously has a AAA pedigree, because it’s well done. For a single developer that is. It’s not without it’s limitations, but overall I love the art style and the twitch gameplay. It also has the procedural generation, loads of guns and imaginative enemies. It’s Serious Sam (bullet hell) meets The Binding of Issac (each room presents new challenges and there’s random power ups). You might have heard me talk about it on the Podcast, so I won’t go into it too much more. To give you an idea what it looks like, here’s some shots from my adventures:

2014-07-23_00003 2014-07-24_00001 2014-07-24_00007

Lastly, I downloaded yet another MMO, but it was mainly for research. I made a statement about Wildstar, saying that it’s combat seemed similar to TERA’s, but I hadn’t ever played TERA. I figured I should rectify that, and with the game being free to play I could do just that. I ended up trying out a Sorcerer, Warrior and Slayer. I can’t decide which I like better. They all seem to control fairly the same, at least in the early game. I’m sure there’s a lot more to the game than the sample I’ve had thus far, but I’m honestly not sure that I’ll play much more. The same goes for SWTOR. I wanted to try the games that are out there so that I can say I have, and to compare mechanics, markets, and ideas. I still haven’t found a game that hooks me to the point I want to play it an nothing else. That hasn’t happened since I first fell in love with Everquest II, and most people would laugh at that remark. If WoW wasn’t your first love, there’s something wrong with you… I can hear it now. But seriously, I’ve been looking for a long time for something to fill that MMO void, and I’ve played a lot of games. Some people might say “the game doesn’t start til you hit the cap” or other such nonsense, but I can’t be bothered with that logic. I feel like a game should sink it’s claws into you and not let go. If it doesn’t do that, it hasn’t succeeded. None of the games I’ve played recently, despite positive or negative commentary, have hooked me. But there’s more games on the horizon (Firefall will be live on Tuesday and the Archeage beta I was invited to starts Wednesday), so who knows, maybe one of them will do the trick. If not, there’s always H1Z1 or something else I haven’t heard about yet. Time will tell, but for now the hunt for a new MMO home continues. I might still dabble in some of these regardless. No promises though. I will say TERA was a hell of a lot better looking than Wildstar.

That’s about it for this week. Until next episode.

#stateofthegame #gaming #roundup