Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Few Games in Brief

A Few Games in Brief

...or in briefs, if you put underwear on them. These weren't terrible games, but none of them appealed to me.

System Shock 2

I successfully played through the tutorial and class-choosing parts of this game. After that, the game crashed every one to two minutes. I tried a few fixes to no avail. I have heard that this is a fantastic game, but it's not playable for me on modern hardware and Windows 8.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

I am not stealthy. I quickly found that the gameplay of Human Revolution insists on sneaking. Direct combat is suicide. I was rather looking forward to this, and felt let down. Some might enjoy being a ninja, but it's not something I excel at, and the original game left it open to the player to go about as they wanted.

Red Orchestra 2

It was off to a bad start when a bug in the tutorial left me unable to move and I had to start over. After a successful second attempt and the first campaign map (with bots), I knew this wasn't for me. I'm not accurate. In most games, I rock the shotgun. In Red Orchestra 2, accuracy is realistic. All weapons have built-in inaccuracy, bullet drop, and incorporate not only aiming down the barrel/scope, but also breathing. I found myself constantly being sniped from who-knows-where.

I'm not a fan of realistic shooters because I am not, have never been, and will never excel at sniping in shooters. This may appeal to gamers that are into WW2 weapons, history, and so on.

Happy new year!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Price of Glory Pygmy Hippo Deck

I don't think this is going to be competitive deck, but it might be amusing.  Price of Glory pairs really well with Drain Power, but now that manaburn is gone I have to keep their lands untapped.  Thus, Awakening and Turnabout.  Pygmy Hippo is the only thing like Drain Power (Piracy doesn't work), but is a wimp and has to be unblockable to be useful.  Thus six auras to make it so.  This deck is three colors, and I think it will prove to be too complicated to win any multiplayer game.  I built it because it looks funny (hippos?  really?) and I couldn't come up with a more effective way to abuse Price of Glory.

Price of Glory Pygmy Hippo
Blue, Green, Red
60-card format

4 Price of glory
4 Rhystic study

4 Awakening
4 Turnabout

4 Pygmy Hippo
4 Drain Power

4 Aqueous Form
2 Cloak of Mists
4 Terravore

2 Pendrell Mists
1 Fade Away
3 Propaganda


2 Maze of Ith
4 Rhystic Cave
Multicolor lands

Games I Liked 2013

Games I Liked 2013

I continue my annual posting, late but maybe still in time for the holidays, listing games I've first played in the last year (they may have come out at any time) that I would recommend.

Alan Wake

Sam Lake and Remedy Entertainment (creators of Max Payne 1 and 2) bring us a much-inspired game. Alan Wake is a horror-themed shooter with a really cool story that keeps the player guessing. Tongue-in-cheek references are made to The Twilight Zone, Stephen King, and other notable horror works. Note: while Alan Wake is great, the DLC, and American Nightmare pseudo-sequel are not.

Dead Island

Zombies! On an island! Dead Island is an open world hack-'n-slash game, with several different characters and level-up/upgrade options. With side quests, the game has a decent length. The Ryder White DLC takes the story told in the core game and adds a lot of twists that both clarify events and make them far more interesting. This is a good one as far as game time, and it can also be played cooperatively.


Dishonored is set in a steam punk world, and I like steam punk. The player can kill enemies outright, leading to a more difficult game and a darker ending. The player can also sneak, run, hide, and incapacitate foes for a much more rewarding story. Dishonored did a great job of leaving it up to the player, and overall was something a little different than most shooters, and more assecible than most stealthy games.

Honorable Mentions


BRINK has a few different game types, marginally different classes, and a crap-ton of weaopn specialization. I saw things I liked, but the single player campaign didn't quite do enough to encourage me to tell my friends to buy it.

Hard Reset

Hard Reset is the first game by Flying Wild Hog. It's all about old-school shooter gameplay, with hordes of enemies and big bosses. Weapon options are wide, and the proprietary engine looked about the same as anything else out there. My only complaints were that the plot didn't make much sense and running wasn't an option. I said in a review that I would look forward to their next game, and now it's out. Shadow Warrior, a remake of a 90's game by 3D Realms, looks right up my alley.

Quantum Conundrum

People buy this game because of Kim Swift. She was behind the first Portal, she was on a group that worked on a demo that inspired Portal, and that's a good track record. Quantum Conundrum is a kid-friendly puzzle game with an emphasis on platforming. The puzzle are usually easy, but are at times made frustrating by difficult timing and jumping elements. Quantum Conundrum isn't a bad game at all, but if you're expecting it to be Portal 3 you're going to be disappointed.