Wolfenstein: The New Order Complete

Finished my playthrough of Wolfenstein: The New Order. What a ride. Crazy encounters, memorable characters, and a strangely touching story. A little unexpected for the franchise.

The mechanics of the game were pretty solid. All the weapons were a lot of fun, and because ammo wasn’t always plentiful to needed to swap around to different ones. And, you really wanted to, since different weapons were better against certain enemies, so you got to use all of them depending on the situation.

The story was pretty solid, actually. Some of the gore and creepy stuff I could have done without, but I guess it fit into the story. The alternate-history stuff, and all the characters really drew you in and made you want to find out what happened next. Fun to watch things unfold.

Some parts of the game were a little frustrating. The checkpoint system sometimes worked a little against an enjoyable experience. The checkpoints can be spaced out a little too far apart, making you have to replay quite a bit if you die just before the next checkpoint. A particular bridge section took me nine or ten tries to complete, and I had to replay the entire thing every time because I couldn’t get the hang of the very end. Kind of frustrating.

All in all a lot of fun. Definitely worth picking up.

Zoom Zoom Goooaaaal

I have been having a ton of fun with Rocket League. I only got the game a couple days ago but I’ve been playing several matches a day since then.

Matchmaking is very quick. Usually only takes about a minute or less to get into a game. Sometimes you even catch a game in progress, so you drop right into play without any wait time. For a multiplayer game it’s still very convenient and easy to get into play really quickly.

Sometimes I’m a little afraid to play multiplayer games, especially online multiplayer games, because of the community. But so far I’ve been very pleased. Maybe only one match out of the 50 or so I’ve played in the last three days has anyone been the least bit salty or abusive in chat. So it’s been really fun win or lose, everyone has a good time.

The gameplay itself is really fun. The game itself is basically soccer with cars and you have rockets on them. What’s not to like about that? The controls are great, and pretty intuitive. You are driving a car, this isn’t rocket science. Or is it?

I also really like the arenas with matches take place. They’re well designed with nicely rounded walls that prevent the ball from being trapped and allow for great bank shots. There’s really only one arena shape, but with several texture and style swaps so everything is still interesting when you’re driving around.

There’s an aerial aspect of the game since a lot of times you can pop balls up in the air. The developers took that into account and allow you to jump your car up into the air and then boost using your rockets to kind of do headers as they would be in soccer.

These kinds of systems really allow for some skillful play. Very good players can anticipate the movement of the ball control their car very precisely and hit ball just the right moment to make a pretty spectacular goal. The game itself is an awesome moment generator where dynamic play really gives rise to these fantastic moments when you pull something off.

Because it’s an online multiplayer game of course there are progression systems. You unlock new things to decorate your cars things like hats, paint, decals. All of these things are purely cosmetic and that’s where some of the monetization comes in. It is a pretty good system though since everything is only cosmetic and doesn’t affect gameplay. So they can sell new paint colors and whatever and let people who care about those things pay real money but everybody else doesn’t have to compete with them.

Rocket league is a ton of fun and so far there isn’t anything that I haven’t liked. If you like action games you owe it to yourself to pick this one up!

Prison Architect

I’ve been playing Prison Architect lately. It came out of early access in the later part of 2015, and I picked it up when it came out, but really only got serious with it in the last month. It’s… Interesting. Hard to call a game about incarceration fun. But the systems and designs possible are a great challenge, and the way things emerge within the systems make for an interesting experience.

I first started playing through the story campaign, which is a great intro to the various systems in the game. When I finally was turned loose into the sandbox mode, I was a little overwhelmed. There are so many things to choose from. Turns out designing a prison isn’t easy! I gave up on my first one since too many prisoners walked out open holes in my perimeter.

In subsequent play-throughs I learned a lot. I came up with an economical and easily reproducible cell block (there is a clone feature). I learned how to properly place structures so staff and inmates spent less time walking and more time doing productive things (your inmates make license plates and furniture you can sell). And I learned how to keep everyone just happy enough that they wouldn’t riot or quit.

The over arching theme of the game is money. You make money per prisoner, money for selling what prisoners make, money for executing prisoners on death row. Your prison is rated by how much you can sell the entire business for, which is the end game goal. You can eve reduce your tax rate for more income.

It’s here that the scathing social commentary comes in. You are running a business based on holding people captive. It feels a little icky. It probably should. That’s why I said before it’s not exactly a fun game. You aren’t a hero. You are the CEO of a prison maximizing shareholder profit. In today’s world, is there a greater villain?

The game is well made. It is challenging. It makes you think. It’s well worth playing. But it is not any fun.

Magical Legacy for the New Year

It’s been like eight months since I played magic! It was nice to get out and I had a lot of fun. Hoping to get back into playing more. Here’s my results from last night.

Round 1 vs. Miracles

Game 1: Had a quick start with DRS into Goyf into Shardless Agent. Get a few beats in before he rips a Terminus. He’s at 6, and I find a couple more threats. Two more Goyf plus Baleful Strix overwhelms his Snapcaster and big Jace.

Game 2: He mulls to 6, and I lead with a DRS, into Hymn, which wrecks him. I follow up with Garruk Relentless, which resolves, and proceed to beat him down with wolves. Liliana joins the party, and although Jace gets countered, Garruk’s wolf pack finishes him off.

Round 2 vs. Omnishow

Game 1: Abrupt Decay is bad, but I resolve two Hymns in three turns, and Goyf him to death.

Game 2: Hymn turn 2, Force his Show and Tell, and next turn Duress his Show and tell with hand also containing Omniscience and Emrakuhl. Had three Goyf on the table at the end. Felt good.

Round 3 vs. Miracles

Game 1: I get the Goyf beats going quick, which grow to 5/6 after I force his Jace. Game only lasts about 5 turns, which is good for me.

Game 2: I am ahead on board, Shardless out that found Brainstorm, hand full of gas but get shut down by Blood Moon and scoop. In hind sight, instead of casting Jace (which got forced), I should have cast Liliana followed by DRS. Maybe a safer play if I was thinking of Blood Moon.

Game 3: No threats, he’s at 16 and resolves Jace and I don’t have any creatures and my hand is like Abrupt Decay and two Ancestral Vision, so I scoop.

Kind of a sad end, I played poorly in the second game allowing myself to get locked out by Blood Moon, but overall happy with the deck. Superfriends in Liliana and Jace are great if the games goes long, Goyf is still a beating, and sometimes you just Hymn people out of the game.

XCOM Complete, Again, for Like the Fourth Time

After watching the most recent trailer for XCOM 2, I started yet another play-through of XCOM: Enemy Within. I’m pretty stoked for XCOM 2, and a refresher of XCOM was just what I needed.

I’ve written about both the base game and expansion previously, and returning to the game was just as enjoyable as the previous sessions. You certainly can be much more efficient on subsequent play-throughs, as I finished the game in about two thirds of the average time (less than 200 in-game days). Once you figure out the order of things to research and build, plus how to prioritize and use satellites, you never really hurt for money or resources. With soldiers properly equipped, the game goes much more smoothly.

Now, I feel like I’m much more prepared and excited for XCOM 2. As of today, the release date is less than a month away!

Undertale Complete

Thanks to my good friend Alex, I made it all the way through Undertale and achieved the pacifist ending. The game has a lot of charm, with cute and quirky characters and pleasing musical scores. I can see why much of the Internet latched on to the game, filling the memeverse with many an reference to the characters and events. The game itself seems tailor-made as a viral hit, with its retro-modern visuals, and borrowing from classic RPG games like Earthbound, even going so far as to incorporate popular memes into the game itself. That’s not to say the game is purely derivative; in fact, I think it’s one of the most original games I’ve played in a while. But the inspirations to the game are clear. I did not enjoy some of the “boss fights” such as they were, with some frustrating mechanics that, I suspect, are artificially difficult, since you can’t actually fail them. But aside from those fights, which really seemed like a totally different game, Undertale was fun and an experience well worth having.