Sunday, January 12, 2014

2014 Pick-Up

I've started the year off right, having tied up a number of loose ends, and dabbling in a nice array of games.

Putting the cherry on top of the AC IV sundae, I completed both the Adewale and Aveline DLC/bonus content. That about polishes off Blag Flag for me, though I might dip into the multi-player modes some. Liberation HD is coming out very soon, too. I'm very curious to get into that, but I'm not sure how much of an investment it will be, and I'm not sure how ready I am to hurl myself into another AC just yet. I'd hate to burn out; there's sure to be another on the say this fall.

Speaking of burnout, I have been perilously close with Hearthstone. Sometimes you just feel like nothing but a fool of the random number generator with this game. It's gotten to the point where I will play a match, maybe two, and probably be done with it for the day after one loss. I gave up on completing dailies weeks ago, and I question my reasons for playing it at all other than just to kill some time here and there. Mia likes to watch it, too, so there is that.

I thought it was time for another attempt to familiarize myself with Paradox grand strategy, but rather than try Crusader Kings II again or Europa Universalis IV, I thought I would give Sengoku another go. Anyone who knows me would naturally figure the Japanese history angle would make me bite, and they would be right, of course. I just find these games to be nigh on impenetrable, though. I can't say I've done much more than poke around at EU III, Sengoku, and CK II, but I just don't get it. I literally could not figure out how to go to war as Oda Nobunaga. I levied my armies, I recruited some ronin, I clicked the "Declare War" button, and I ordered my army over to the target province, and nothing seemed to happen. I even R'd TFM, albeit after uninstalling, and couldn't see what my war was lacking such that no one showed up. I'll give CK II another go next time.

I finished up Uncharted 3, but I don't really have anything to add on top of what I wrote last post. I'll say that I do enjoy the series, and I'll play the next, and I would especially be interested in it were it about Francis Drake as opposed to Nathan Drake, as one more out there rumor seems to suggest. While I'm on Naughty Dog, I began The Last of Us, thanks to Call Of Podcast listener volt1up, who game-shared me his PSN copy of the game. I've gotten Joel and Ellie out of Boston and just met up with Bill of Bill's Town. I'm going to call this a functional improvement on Uncharted's mix of story and play. It's a different type of story, of course, more gritty survival story than adventure romp. The addition of stealth, and thereby the making of combat avoidable, makes me happy. As does the addition of systems like skill evolution and tool crafting. I still feel like the game side of the equation is a little shallow, but these are steps in the right direction. Already I am amazed by the quality of the writing and characterization on display, too. Naughty Dog really are at the pinnacle of that stuff in games.

Chocolate Castle is a light little puzzle game by Lexaloffle, a small independent developer apparently made up of foreigners in Tokyo, I just learned. I picked it up in the Humble Voxatron Debut ages ago, and ran across it a few days ago as one of my non-Steam games on the Humble site, and decided to give it a go. It's a great little game that involves sliding blocks of colored chocolate around and then having the appropriate cartoon animal character eat all of the chocolate of one color at once, clearing space on the board. The level is complete when all the chocolate has been eaten. If that sounds like your cup of tea, look it up. This is another Mia favorite. There is a balloon festival at the end of each level, which she enjoys.

My attempt to do more reading has me pushing further into Clancy's Red Storm Rising, his tale of the Cold War going hot in the mid-'80s. It's fast-paced and enjoyable so far, which is good, because I've got almost 600 pages left to go.

No comments: