Endless Space – Spaceships Lite

I’ve had Endless Space (ES) on my list of games to check out for a while now. Unfortunately the early releases weren’t very good, but now there’s a much better tutorial and seems much better overall- didn’t crash once this time! At this point Sid Meier’s Starships is a much better version of this game; I’m not sure how much ES influenced Starships, but someone learned their lesson well (assuming they had even played this one and weren’t just taking cues from the large wealth of 4X games that came before this).

2016 Gaming Backlog

I needed a third because I’m bad at getting to all of these. Then again, according to most list of how long games should take it’s going to take something like a decade to get through all of my games anyway…so maybe I shouldn’t be too hard on myself.

  • Grim Dawn
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Shadowrun: Hong Kong
  • Pokemon: Sun/Moon
  • Final Fantasy XV
  • Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition
  • Evoland
  • Wayward

2015 Gaming Backlog

I’m not going to replace anything since I’m still working on the last one. I will be adding to it though!

  • Pokemon Omega Ruby (Complete 2016-01-01)
  • Pokemon Alpha Sapphire (Complete 2016-01-01)
  • Wasteland 2
  • World of WarCraft – 10th Anniversary Achievements (Complete 2015-01-02)
  • Marvel Heroes – Prestige back to 60 & 3 Geared Characters (Complete 2015-01-31)
  • Xenoblade
  • Mario Kart 8
  • New Super Luigi U
  • New Super Mario Bros U
  • LEGO Batman 3
  • LEGO Marvel Superheroes
  • Defense Grid 2 (complete 2015-03-09)
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Civilization: Beyond Earth – Complete Achievements (complete 2015-02-20)
  • Planetary Annihilation
  • Space Run
  • Magika Expansions
  • Transistor

FTL: Fastest To Lose?

FTL has a cool RNG based nature; it’s also its downfall I feel. Many people have been playing, streaming, praising, and damning this game for months. I finished it a few months ago but forgot to note it, so I picked it up again while recovering from surgery. Easy went down fast, it’s amazing how much those asteroid fields help with shield! At that point, around 2am, it was time to start Normal. 2am, on recovery drugs, stuck on my back, starting Normal FTL. What could go  be better and less frustrating? Knowing the pain I was getting myself in to really just made it more hilarious; had to keep quiet a few times to not wake up my wife from laughter at how ridiculous things were. After a few false starts I got through it again at about 4am blissfully happy to have had something to keep my attention off the pain for two hours. Thanks FTL!

Scribblenauts Limited

The original Scribblenauts was amazing; couldn’t put it down! I had decent hopes for Unlimited, but knew better than tot expect the same game with new levels even if its what I really wanted. What I ended up staring at on load wasn’t what I was expecting at all though. Instead of “levels” it was small issues to deal with everywhere on the map. While I understand the idea they were going for it was rather jarring and detracted from the general sense of accomplishment the previous game had. No longer could it be the game I picked up for 90 seconds between compiles, or the game in the background I tabbed to on occasion; now it was something with a very real time commitment. Which brings me to the (oddly) limiting factor: there’s too many things to do all at once. What sounds like a great idea ends up being such a distraction that I wasn’t fully able to enjoy the game. Thats said, the increased dictionary and larger scale of what you can do once you get over the screen shock is pretty awesome. So if you have the time, and the patience, check it out.

And yet it moves…boringly…

I got through “And Yet It Moves…” (AYIM) while I’ve been stuck unable to move post surgery. The game starts pretty creative, but the novelty wears off pretty quick. Unlike Portal which changes things up and keeps you in with the narrative AYIM just gets more and more convoluted with every passing level. I don’t know why but I just couldn’t quite get in to this game; I know a lot of people that love it and I’m glad they do, it takes these types of games to keep the industry fresh and moving! Will I play again? Probably not. Do I think everyone should at least check it out if they have the chance? Yes.

Dungeons of Dreadmore

It’s like Rogue with graphics! And music. And pseudo-talent trees. Most importantly though, it’s Rogue with graphics. That really does sum this game up. It has some humor and the crafting part is a bit entertaining. The crafting is what really sets it apart for me though and is what will bring me back to playing some day.

All in all, a fun game to play for a few hours! 

Gish

What a fun little gem! This game of yore has some pretty “simple” elements that the level designers put to great use. I don’t really have a whole lot to say other than it’s something to try out for a few minutes and may get you hooked, but it’s certainly not everyone’s cup of tea. It’s a game of a bye-gone era of gameplay mechanics over graphics and story, when HD didn’t matter and it was ok to lose.

Defense Grid: Containment

I’ve made no secret to my friends that Defense Grid is my favorite tower defense game at this point.  The story and the game play both are pretty solid, amazing, and even fun. Sadly I hadn’t gotten around to playing all the expansion story lines, but at this point I have and am very grateful. The twists over the eight maps of this one were pretty good, I actually kept playing more for the story this time around than the game play. Though, as mentioned, the new maps and stuff are really cool and I quite enjoyed them (apparently it’s feast or famine for me on these: bronze or blow gold out of the water).

All in all it’s an awesome part of the franchise and I can’t wait for a Defense Grid 2; but heck I’d even throw funds into a Kickstarter to get another map pack like this one!

Defense Grid – You Monster

Expansion usually lack a bit in story, at least compared to their base version. Cross over games usually fair even worse. Thankfully, “Defense Grid – You Monster” doesn’t fall to either of these. I won’t say it’s better than the base story, but I will say it’s a great addition to not only the story but to game play as well.

GLaDOS is as hilarious as ever, and hearing her “conversations” with the Grid AI make for some great tension. This doesn’t work without amazing voice acting, so my hats off to those involved there. The tone of the story is a bit different in that it’s not just about betting aliens to save humanity, it’s about stopping a crazy program who wants to invite the aliens you already stopped back, going as far as to re-open the portal that you closed last time! The tension is kept high until the very last map, creating a very nice resolve and sense of completion to the whole thing.

There’s no new towers, but there are levels where the towers available change throughout; placement of things is pretty standard, until you realize you have to let them steal the “power” first only to get it back to the other receptacle. The minion combinations are something very different while retaining some of the same characteristics; though I did find there to be less aerial assaults than previous map sets. While challenging nothing ever seemed impossible, which is a very difficult balancing act for a game like this.

All in all this is a great addition to the tower defense genre than many other developers should take notice of.