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Fort Board Game Review

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What VIDEO GAME(s) have you been playing?

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13 Aug 2015 18:14 #208476 by Michael Barnes
When a game like Wing Commander came out, it was the ONLY game anyone was playing. Nobody had a pile of unfinished games or a Steam backlog of literally hundreds of games bought for pennies on the dollar. Your attention was focused on it, and the game was more immersive and all-encompassing as a result. These days you get distracted two days after buying a game by a new IOS title, a Humble Bundle or something on PSN. Then you go online and see conversation about THOUSANDS of other games that you are not playing. It's harder for a game to really be THAT ONE GAME anymore.

It's really the same thing as board games...higher rate of turnover, designs not as rewarding of intense focus, something new every other day.

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13 Aug 2015 20:17 #208480 by Black Barney
Yeah, it's why I mentioned GTA 4 , I remember almost my entire c-note friends list was playing it.

Yet... none of us were talking about it. I think the same was true of Wing Commander. Those huge single player experiences are just meant to be enjoyed immersively, not shared.

I can't remember that ever being true for boardgames tho. Even during the Diplomacy and Catan crazes

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13 Aug 2015 21:29 #208482 by boothwah

Black Barney wrote: Markus, I totally agree. I really miss that feeling I had at games like Wing Commander where I'd think and daydream about it constantly. Games like that almost set off the same intense endorphins that falling in love sets off. I think GTAIV was the last game that came close to that, but not really.


I had that experience when I played with LOTRO - My goodness that game is beautiful and the music is amazing. I just hunkered in and played it like a single player up until mid 30's or so - and those starter areas were pretty bare anyhoo on the server I was on. I spent days just snooping around the Ettenmoors. Moria was freaking scary...like it was supposed to be. I probably got a good 3 months out of "Holy Crap, It's (Tom Bombadil's House/ Rivendell/Bill Freny) - not a bad deal for $30.00.

Eventually My OCD MMORPG tendencies took over and I started trying to race to end cap and raising crap skills like farming and cooking for so that I could raid.
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14 Aug 2015 08:07 - 14 Aug 2015 08:09 #208500 by Erik Twice

Michael Barnes wrote: When a game like Wing Commander came out, it was the ONLY game anyone was playing. Nobody had a pile of unfinished games or a Steam backlog of literally hundreds of games bought for pennies on the dollar. Your attention was focused on it, and the game was more immersive and all-encompassing as a result.

Wow, I thought I was the only one! Some time ago I wrote an article about this topic and most people thought I was crazy. It's very unfocused and may not be great piece of writing but here it is:

The Invisible Hand of Game Design

Basically what I argue in that article is that games used to be longer, more difficult and significantly more complex than games today because they used to be expensive. People simply couldn't afford to have more than a handful of games and so they had to play what they have. A game that took a whole evening was seen as a positive because it meant that a single pucharse covered more ground and drawbacks like the highly complex rules of Squad Leader and Battletech were not particularly important because you were going to get a lot of mileage out of them. As you say, the turnover rate is much higher now and hence games are less rewarding and demanding of intense focus.

I really think that the price of games have been one of the defining factors in the development of the medium yet it's not even considered as a factor by most people I've talked to.

Black Barney wrote: I can't remember that ever being true for boardgames tho. Even during the Diplomacy and Catan crazes

Consider that people used to play these long, sprawling D&D campaigns, that Avalon Hill's Civilization, with its 12 hour-playtime sold over 200.000 copies and that Battletech was one of the most played games of its heyday. People used to be very focused on a handful of games, specially when compared to today.
Last edit: 14 Aug 2015 08:09 by Erik Twice.
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14 Aug 2015 11:18 #208522 by hotseatgames
After logging 52 1/2 hours, I have finally completed every bit of Virtue's Last Reward on the 3DS. I love the way those games work, and while the story is generally wacky, the presentation is intriguing enough to propel me through the game. If there was a third game in this series I'd buy it immediately.

So, I need a new 3DS obsession and am open to suggestions. Here are the parameters:
1. You have to be able to save anywhere you want, or at the very least EXTREMELY generous save points.
2. The game can't hate the player. I don't want anything with punishing difficulty or anything that forces you to grind for hours, or otherwise do things that are simply not fun.
3. It does not have to be 3DS, DS is fine. That said, I have to be able to obtain it without taking out a loan.
4. If it has a nice fat play time, and is interesting enough that I'd want to see it all, that would be appreciated.

How's XenoBlade Chronicles, or whatever it's called?

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14 Aug 2015 11:59 - 14 Aug 2015 12:00 #208528 by jeb
@hotseat: I was going to say, try an ETRIAN ODYSSEY game, but I think there's a ton of grind there. I feel like there would be in XENOBLADE too, for that matter. Ooh ooh, I have one: MIGHT & MAGIC: CLASH OF HEROES . DS game, and amazingly well written! It's sort of a match-3 style combat with really cool spatial gameplay and some leveling, &c. It's a blast.
Last edit: 14 Aug 2015 12:00 by jeb.
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14 Aug 2015 12:06 - 14 Aug 2015 12:10 #208529 by Bull Nakano
I've been getting into some video games lately.

A few weeks ago I played through LA Noire. This was a fun game even though nothing you did mattered. If you failed an action scene, you could bypass it. If you did a bad interrogation, well that didn't matter. If you missed picking up a crucial piece of evidence, the game wouldn't let you advance. This could have been way better, but as it was it was a fun game with a great presentation.

I picked up We Love Golf for Wii, because I'm a sucker for Camelot golf titles. This one isn't the best. It suffers from manditory Wii controls. You have to stand and swing like you're playing golf. I get wanting to use the technology, but a traditional control mode would have been a great option. The design of the courses is great, but I'll stick to Toadstool Tour.

I've been playing a game on steam called Lovely Planet. Imagine it as a low-poly Katamari fps. The stages are speedruns which can be done in just a few seconds once memorized. It's very fun and I've been telling everyone to try it. Reminds me of a DS title I'm tooling around with, Trackmania.

Playing lots of Shiren the Wanderer on DS. This game is just fantastic! It's got a steep learning curve to figure out how to play it, but once you crack the code the gameplay is very addicting in ways I imagine MMOs to be, but I've never played one. Pushing as hard as you can and reaching new depths or finding secrets is great. I'm growing a master sword that will cut down god when it's finished.

Finally, I picked up a PS3 a few weeks back and I'm working my way through Metal Gear Solid 4. I'm really digging the gameplay so far, 3 is an all-time favourite and I think 4 generally has better level design. I'm trying to get through this and Ground Zeroes in time to pick up Phantom Pain on day 1. I haven't picked up a launch day game since GTA San Andres, so it'll be fun to be in that group of early explorers.
Last edit: 14 Aug 2015 12:10 by Bull Nakano.

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14 Aug 2015 12:57 #208531 by hotseatgames

jeb wrote: @hotseat: I was going to say, try an ETRIAN ODYSSEY game, but I think there's a ton of grind there. I feel like there would be in XENOBLADE too, for that matter. Ooh ooh, I have one: MIGHT & MAGIC: CLASH OF HEROES . DS game, and amazingly well written! It's sort of a match-3 style combat with really cool spatial gameplay and some leveling, &c. It's a blast.


Clash of Heroes is a good recommendation... but I have already played that one. Hit me again! :)

As for grind, perhaps I should say that some grind is okay if doing that is actually fun. Most grind isn't, of course.

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14 Aug 2015 13:10 #208534 by jeb
What about the LAYTON games? Have you played those? The one with the little London RPG game is the best one--UNWOUND FUTURE I think. Lots of puzzles, and of course,

EVERY PUZZLE HAS AN ANSWER!

Guide Layton and his dimwitted charge Luke through some admittedly inane adventures while solving little puzzles. The greatest mystery of all--why is he not banging Flora--is still sadly unanswered.
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14 Aug 2015 14:12 #208539 by Michael Barnes
Jeb, that reminds me a of a puzzle that we used to tell back when I worked down at the mill. A man has three foxes and a bucket half full of milk on August 30th...

Mark- if you want RPG, go Fire Emblem: Awakening. It is the best RPG on 3DS. Not grindy, TONS of gameplay, lots of valuable hours.

Xenoblade Chronicles is sort of overrated...there are some REALLY great things about it, but it is super slow to get started and it sort of putters along...I think it's about 80-100 hours if you want something long though...
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14 Aug 2015 14:21 #208541 by jpat
I know Arkham Knight got tongue-bathed in the professional press, but, man, does it feel like a chore to play. I don't remember the first two feeling quite so much like a long string of microactivities, few of which were particular interesting.

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14 Aug 2015 15:09 #208552 by Feelitmon

jpat wrote: I know Arkham Knight got tongue-bathed in the professional press, but, man, does it feel like a chore to play. I don't remember the first two feeling quite so much like a long string of microactivities, few of which were particular interesting.


The Red Letter Media episode on Arkham Knight successfully warned me away from the game. It still looks like a quality game, but I thought that they made at least two crucial points: 1) Rock Steady Games tells stories very well, but the stories they tell are kind of incoherent messes, and 2) the Batmobile stuff is a chore. The whole video is worth a watch because they cover the game pretty well and give thoughtful points, but even their compliments of the game leave me unexcited at the prospect of playing it.

Speaking of Rock Steady's Batman games, I've been slugging my way through Shadow of Mordor. Monolith created a really interesting system in Shadow but I'm not so sure it makes for a fun game. Definitely you feel like a badass playing as Talion, an undead Ranger who is half-possessed by the wraith of a long dead elf (it's a long story), so the game gets that part of the open world beat-em-up right. They also do a fantastic job of giving the orcs some character, with different appearances, armor, equipment, dialog (both event-specific and background), strengths, and weaknesses. But something is lacking. Part of it is the depressingly bleak setting of the game. I mean, I know it's Mordor: how much can you really do with that? But I have to take the game in doses or I start to feel depression coming on from all of the grey and brown textures. Also, while the game always gives you more things to do, in my opinion it gets too close to making the side quests mandatory. Anyway, it's a quality game and I can't look down on anyone for enjoying it, that's for sure. Hell, I'm enjoying it--just a little bit at a time.

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14 Aug 2015 16:20 #208560 by hotseatgames
Thanks for the tips on 3DS games!

I played a good chunk of Shadow of Mordor, and quickly hit "skip" any time the "story" kicked in. There was pretty much no way I was going to care about any motivations, etc. Just bring on the stabby. Still, I got side tracked away from it and there's pretty much no way I'll finish it.

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15 Aug 2015 08:34 #208601 by Chaz
I really dug the hell out of Shadow of Mordor, but that said, it definitely felt like a proof of concept for the Nemesis system. I'm thinking what's going to happen is that they've got the basics locked down and proven to work, so now they can focus on making the next game using it be really good. Kind of like how Assassin's Creed was good, but not great, then Assassin's Creed 2 took the base concepts that worked, refined them, and turned into a much better game.
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16 Aug 2015 17:17 - 16 Aug 2015 17:34 #208649 by Gary Sax
Now that it has had a year to grow and is on steam, I can say that I legitimately love Card Hunter. There are so many different builds now that they've added variety (not just level) to the items. Just try it!

It is also the most perfectly balanced product $$$wise I've seen from free to play. No problem if you want to play single player free, 20 dollar starter package is highly recommended if you just like to pay a given price (for old timers like me), and I'm sure you can bury infinite dollars into the pizza currency if you play multiplayer.

If I had it to do over I'd just put down 20 the first day and do that. I'll see if I want to buy either the jungle or sci fi expansion later (12 dollar package each).

Don't forget, Richard Garfield worked on it too.
Last edit: 16 Aug 2015 17:34 by Gary Sax.

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