To The Moon Complete

The Steam Summer Sale has begun, and it calls dangerously. I picked up Tropic 5, since I’ve enjoyed the last couple entries in the series. I put it on hold however in favor of something different: To The Moon.

To The Moon is a point and click adventure game sporting retro 16-bit style 90’s era graphics and a stellar soundtrack. The visual design is a delight, with subtle animations and characters that would be at home in a Super Nintendo RPG. The amazing piano tracks alternate between somber and sweet, setting the tone for a story experience that nearly brought me to tears. In a good way.

The events of the game, rather than the gameplay itself, is the heart of the experience. Without giving too much away, the story plays with the ideas of memories of the past and how those memories can be changed given a desire and the impetus to change. Several key points in the story are deeply affecting, especially a few twists near the end that have to be experienced to understand and appreciate, but appreciate them I did. When the credits rolled, my mouth was hanging wide open in shock.

Although it’s a little different than many games out there, if you’re looking for a great interactive experience that tells a good story, To The Moon satisfies.

XCOM: Enemy Within Complete

Finished up my first playthrough of the XCOM expansion Enemy Within. I loved the first game when I played it a couple years ago. New content provided by the expansion created an even more enjoyable experience. I had a ton of fun with a second full playthough, even though the core of the game and story are unchanged.

What is changed are a whole host of new options to modify and improve your soldiers. The main addition are genetic modifications and mechanical augmentations. I focused on the genetic modifications, and being able to give my troopers better eyes to increase their aim, regenerative bone marrow to regain hit points, and protected neural pathways to prevent alien mind control were key to winning many enounters.

There are new aliens and new maps with which to challenge your modified troops. The rooftop maps were interesting, and new consumable items like gas grenades, flashbangs, and sonic distractions opened up even more tactical actions.

A new enemy faction, a group of humans who are alien sympathizers, with a new set of story missions and dynamic missions to undertake, are another interesting addition. These humans have their own genetic modifications, and have different weapons and tactics than aliens, making the battles more interesting.

My time was well spent with XCOM: Enemy Within. If you enjoyed the original like I did, this new expansion is a great excuse to back and enjoy the game with some new twists.