What I’m Playing This Week

I’ve played a lot of games over the past week or so (surprise). There was a Steam sale on and though I should be saving for Christmas, I gave myself a small budget to knock a few things off my wishlist.

Here’s what I’ve been playing…

Fallout 4

It’s finally over. It started out well, but eventually turned into a real slog. That happens with all the open world games, really. I may write up a real review of this one soon.

Dead in Bermuda

I started playing this game on a Friday night and basically didn’t stop playing until Saturday night, aside from a few hours of sleep. This game has a “just one more turn” factor, like Civ.  You play as a group of 8 people who have crashed on a desert island. While doing the normal resource management stuff – finding food, crafting, gathering materials – you also explore the island and run into some mysterious beings who mention a prophecy that you can fulfill which will grant you the power to escape the island. The goal is to find out more and fulfill the prophecy before you all die from starvation, injury, sickness, or from throwing yourselves off a cliff. The encounters while you explore the island are quite amusing, and each day ends with a discussion among the characters which may have implications on their physical and mental state.

Dead in Bermuda

The game is really attractive with a nice, clean interface. It’s not overly complex once you get the hang of it, and it does save your progress each day do you don’t necessarily have to start over if everyone dies. A big part of the game is leveling up the characters. There are 16 different skills that all impact some element of the game in some way – people with high gathering skills find more materials, people with high constitution get less fatigued.

There’s not a ton of incentive for replay, as it seems very little of the game is randomized aside from exactly where things are located and a few character interactions. Hawever, I had a lot of fun with it. I recommend it to those of you who are looking for a good survival/resource management game that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Jade Empire

After all the Bioware talk last month, I felt the need to play the one game from them I’d never tried – Jade Empire. It’s from the same era at Knights of the Old Republic, and it feels very similar. Rather than a user of the Force, you play as a Spirit Monk. Your village gets attacked at the start of the game, your teacher (who seems to be more than he appeared) disappears and you have to go find him to find out the truth about who you are and why you have strange powers.

As expected, the story and interactions with companions are the highlight of the game and there are a lot of interesting sidequests. The combat in the game is quite different than any of Bioware’s other games though. It’s mainly melee combat and each fight is a balance of weak and strong attacks, blocking and dodging. There are multiple different fighting styles and you can switch between them freely. I’m really enjoying this and it’s making me want to replay KOTOR.

Morningstar: Descent to Deadrock

I’m a sucker for an adventure game (or any game) set in space, so picked this one up not too long ago. It’s an okay point and click adventure. Your aim in the game is to repair your ship which has crash landed on a mysterious planet. The story is decent, as are the controls. It does run into the adventure game problem of having a bit too much inventory to deal with – it seems like it could have been reduced for clarity (i.e. do we need both a steel pipe and a steel rod to solve problems?) This resulted in some mindless attempts at combining objects to get past certain puzzles. Also, the voice acting of the main character wasn’t great. Overall it wasn’t bad, but I don’t really recommend this one.

Banished

Banished is a city building strategy game. While I generally like strategy games, this one made me realize how little patience I have for learning complex new games. There are so many features and things to build, it was overwhelming. After spending 20 minutes doing one tutorial and realizing there were 4 or 5 more to go, I decided this probably wasn’t the game for me.

BRoken Sword: Shadow of the Templars

It doesn’t really feel like it, but this point and click adventure game is 20 years old. It follows George, an American lawyer, and Nico, a French journalist as they solve a mystery that involves intrigue, murder, and Templars. I surprised I hadn’t played any of the Broken Sword games earlier, as I love adventure games and I was playing a lot of them when this first game out.

Broken Sword: The Shadow of the TemplarsThe game has it’s good and bad points. The writing is clever and well done, though occasionally too verbose.The puzzles are hit and miss. I had actually started this earlier in the year but quit after the first series of puzzles, which were particularly bad. It started with a sliding block puzzle – not a bad puzzle, sliding blocks are just my personal kryptonite – followed by a ridiculous inventory puzzle that involved using a bullet casing for pretty much everything and a lot of back and forth in order to get into a secret room.

I’m glad I came back to it, as the rest has been pretty good and there have been different puzzle types, like ciphers, which I’m particularly fond of. I think I bought the whole series at one point, and I’ll likely continue on with them when I’ve finished this.

What have you been playing?

3 responses to “What I’m Playing This Week

  1. I’ve been playing 3 games. The obvious one is WoW for PC, and just recently I purchased a PS3. The other 2 games are for the PS3, Tales of Symphonia Chronicles, which includes both ToS games, and Fifa 16.

    Won’t talk about WoW nor Fifa as they are pretty obvious what those are about. As for Tales of Symphonia Chronicles, I played the first one (Tales of Symphonia) back on the GAmecube days and I fell in love with that game. I must of cleared it an easy 6 or 7 times. Possibly one of the best ‘Tales of’ games in the franchise.

    Then ToS: Dawn of new Age (Tales of Symphonia 2) came out but it was for the Wii, not the GAmecube so I never got a chance to play it until recently that I got my PS3. I had heard quite a few bad reviews over New Age over the years. Now that I finally got a chance to play it, I kinda see why the negative comments about it were.

    The combat system is a bit clunky and sluggish. No where near as fluent as most ‘Tales of’ games tend to be. They took out a lot of the world exploration experience with now having your characters get from point A to point B by walking over a world map instead of you moving them freely around the world.

    Story-wise, no spoilers, it was a bit lackluster and anti-climatic. It felt like they left out half of the story finale out of the game. I still liked it overall, but nowhere near as good as the first ‘Tales of Symphonia’ game.

  2. I don’t have KOTOR, but I do have Jade Empire, so I now have high expectations of this one! And I am glad you ended up enjoying Broken Sword, as I was worried when you slammed it on Twitter. Only have the first three but they will reach the front of the queue. Soon(TM).

    Right now, as I am procrastinating from packing for my house move, I have been dabbling in some small games. Anodyne is the only meaty game I am in, it is a (dark?) homage of early Zelda and I am actually liking it a fair bit. Despite the fact that I still have no idea wtf is going on.

    Also been dipping into Race The Sun, which is great for a 10-15 minute break, and Coin Crypt, a deck-building rogue-lite that is also around 10-15 mins per run. Did a couple of hours in FTL as well, but have dropped that for the time being. It’s good, but soooo frustrating at times because I don’t know whether I made a bad choice or just got unlucky. Or both.

    Once I move, the big game I intend to get into will be The Witcher. Kind of craving some RPG action now that Anodyne has piqued my interest.
    Dahakha recently posted..Steam Challenge Miscellaneous Bits and Bobs

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