Geometry Wars 3 Dimensions
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 9 August 2015, 10:00 am

I loved the original Geometry Wars on Xbox Live Arcade.  I played so much of that game.  Despite the amount of time I put into it I haven't thought about it much since my Xbox 360 died a few years ago.

But then Geometry Wars 3 Dimensions was a PS Plus game for free in July!  I grabbed it for my Vita and have been trying it out.

Besides the stage distortion (the "dimensions") being a little annoying, I like the game.  And it's nice to finally have it portable!

It has a ton of new modes and stages that are three dimensional instead of just flat.  But the core gameplay of the game I loved is here, and that's what counts.  All the classic modes are present and accounted for, which makes me very happy.  Pacifism has always been my favorite Geometry Wars mode and to see it represented is fantastic.

If you don't know, Pacifism mode takes away your weapons and only spawns 2 things; enemies that follow you and gates.  If you pass through a gate it explodes and destroys enemies in it's blast radius.  Pacifism mode becomes a game of kiting a bunch of enemies after you as close as you can while navigating through gates to blow them up.  It's so much fun!

Geometry Wars 3 Dimensions is a great addition to anyone's handheld or mobile gaming library.


Persona 4 Golden: Finding My Way
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 8 August 2015, 2:49 am

I've been dabbling in Persona 4 Golden off and on for a few months now.  It hasn't truly gotten it's hooks into me but I find it an interesting game and I keep revisiting it.  But, it's still not a game that I'm super excited to get back to with every spare minute.

Part of my problem may be that this game was over hyped for me.  I've seen so many people say that this is the best JRPG ever.  Going into the game expecting that has definitely set my expectations at an unreasonably high level.

I really like the core of the game.  The story and characters are interesting.  They're what keep me coming back.  I love the relationships that develop between characters and the social links that I get to form.  The fact that the social link system is so central to the game is really cool.

In my opinion, the battle system and dungeon design are the weak points of this game.  The battle system has some typical elemental oppositions and abilities, but it's not super engaging for me.  Fusing personas and choosing different personas for different situations adds some variety, but it's not enough.  I also think the dungeons get repetitive.  Each setting is unique and interesting for the first floor... but there are many floors... and it just gets tedious.

Luckily for me, most of my time with the game has been spent with the characters and story.  As I said, that's where the game shines.  They are what keep me coming back for more.

And the music!  I can't believe I've written this much and not mentioned the music.  It's amazing!  It's not what I would ever think of as typical JRPG music.  Every track is fantastic and some of them get stuck in my head for days.  This is going in my top JRPG music games right next to the Final Fantasy and Chrono series.  It's not typical JRPG music and that makes it extra good.

As of right now I've done a the first couple major dungeons and I'm in late May on the in-game calendar.  As far as I can tell, the game takes place over the course of an entire year which started in April, so I'm not even 1/6 of the way into this game yet.  That's kinda intimidating since my playtime is over 10 hours already.

At this point the characters have truly started to grow on me, so I plan on continuing to play the game.  I'm not sure if I'm in it for the long haul.  Based on my rough estimate of my current place and time... I would guess this is probably a 60+ hour game.  But as long as I'm having fun I'll keep putting time into it.


Visual Novels and Reading Speed
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 7 August 2015, 10:00 am

I ran into another hang up with visual novels.  I've been trying to play a variety of them lately and I've given up on everything except for Professor Layton vs Pheonix Wright.  But, I'm almost ready to give up on that too.

A big issue I run into with these games is my reading speed.  I read a lot and I've been reading a lot for as long as I can remember.  Because of that, I read really fast.  I read much faster than these games display text.

I basically end up just mashing the A button or tapping the screen as fast as I can to get the text to show up faster.  I wish they would either display more text on the screen at one time or increase the text display speed.

And the worst is when they slow down the text to a crawl for dramatic effect.  It's so infuriating.  Ugh!

I can tell I'm almost done with this venture into the visual novels left in my backlog.  I'm down to just the one last game and I'm either going to power through and finish it soon or simply give up out of frustration.  Either way, it's about time to move onto the last few games in my backlog.


Speed Runs
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 August 2015, 7:07 am

The other week there was a huge event where a group did streaming of game speed runs for almost an entire week straight.

I popped in and out over the week to watch a few games that I like.

I figured out that I really like seeing the basics of every speed run.  It's fun to listen to them talk about how they break the game and which mechanics they abuse.  But after that I would only watch the full run if it was a really cool gimmick, a game I love, or a game that took under 30 minutes.

One of my favorite runs from then was the original Legend of Zelda no sword run.  That was really cool.  I also loved watching the Mega Man X4 run with only the buster gun.

I don't watch a lot of twitch, but apparently a good speed run can suck me in and keep me entertained.

Below I've embbedded my favorite speed run of the event for you.




Ys Memories of Celceta
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 5 August 2015, 10:00 am

I had never played a Ys game before this one and really didn't know what to expect.  I thought it would be a typical JRPG.

When I launched it on my Vita I found out that although it does have many of the generic JRPG trappings it's actually an action RPG.  There's a lot of hack and slashing while turn based combat is nowhere to be seen.  And it works really well!  Sometimes action RPGs just seem to fall flat but I've been having fun with the combat in this game.

At this point I'm not sure if it's a game I'll push through and finish or if it's one that I'm happy to simply sample.  It comes down to whether the story and characters are interesting enough.  I don't have much to go on yet.  There's a generic JRPG protagonist with amnesia and a reluctant sidekick.  I mean, really... amnesia?  That's a horrible storytelling trope to fall into, especially for a JRPG.

But the combat and gameplay are enough to get me to explore the game at least a little bit more.

At the very least I'll know to keep an eye out for any future Ys games that release.  The core of the gameplay is definitely interesting.


The Gamer To-Do List
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 4 August 2015, 1:46 am
I'm inspired by Izlain's post on the first day of this Blaugust event.  He has created a gamer to-do list.  I'm constantly doing this in my own head as I'm working through my backlog, but I never formally write it down.

But since I loved his idea so much, I think I will write it down this time just to try it out.  It might be nice to have a gaming to-do list formally written out.  Izlain did a top 10, but I think mine will be slightly less:
  • Persona 4 Golden - Continue playing until I either beat the game or grow bored of it and decide to retire the game.
  • Hearthstone - Get to at least rank 20 by the end of the month.  Do the Tavern Brawl's every week for card packs.
  • FFXIV Heavensward - Do the daily trial roulette as long as I keep having fun with it. (I'm already bored of the other roulette options)
  • KOTOR II - Finally try the PC version since it got a major official update and has a community content fix patch on Steam.
  • Valkyria Chronicles - Get back to this game and keep playing it.  It was a lot of fun and I haven't beaten it.
  • Dirty Bomb - Try out this game because it's a recommended Blaugust F2P game that a lot of the community is trying.
  • Fire Emblem Awakening - I loved this game and want to go back to play a new game + if available.  Otherwise I want to just play the game again because I'm excited for the new Fire Emblem games.
  • Lightning Returns - I bought this game on super sale for PS3 right before I moved the system to another room and stopped playing it.  I need to get around to trying it
There we go, 8 items.  It's kinda nice to have some immediate goals written down.

I'm sure this list will change and morph as time goes on.  It always works that way in my head when I'm juggling games anyway.  For example, you may have noticed Arkham Knight is off this list.  Since I last wrote about it I've beaten all the side missions and activated the Knightfall protocol at the end of the game.  It was a great game, but I'm basically done with it now.

And I also have a couple games on the backburner that I only play when my friends want to.  Games like Rocket League and Heroes of the Storm.  They're fun with friends and they're good games, but they aren't games I'm inspired to sit down and play single player.

How about all of you, how are your gaming to-do lists looking?



That Didn't Last Long
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 August 2015, 10:00 am

Last week I mentioned that I've finally gotten around to some of the visual novel games I've been meaning to play.  My final thoughts were about how the pacing of Danganronpa seemed to be better than the other games I had tried.

I was very wrong.

The pace of the narrative slowed way down and I got extremely frustrated with it.  The game has murders and trials and I saw the obvious conclusion of the cases almost immediately.  It took forever for the characters to draw the same conclusions.  It was infuriating.

So I stopped playing it.  I'm officially walking away from Danganronpa.  It quickly became too frustrating slow for me.

I tried going back and playing a little bit of Dual Destinies but that has some pacing issues of it's own.

The one game in this vein that I'm still slowly picking away at is Professor Layton vs Pheonix Wright.  The Professor Layton portions of the game are redeeming it enough that I keep coming back for short bursts of play.

I'm starting to think that the visual novel genre just doesn't have enough gameplay for me.  When a game has this much text based narrative I feel like I would rather be reading a book instead.


Prune
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 2 August 2015, 10:00 am

Prune is a simple concept that is a ton of fun!

Your goal is to grow a sapling out of the darkness and into the light where it can flower.  If you manage to get enough flowers on it you complete the level.

The way you grow the sapling is the crux of the game.  You have to prune branches that aren't going the way you want them too.  The plant grows organically and you're only control over it is pruning the plant.

It's a simple mechanic but it's an amazing amount of fun.  This has been my go-to phone game lately and I would encourage all of you to check it out.




Blaugust Kickoff!
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 August 2015, 10:00 am

Blaugust is here!

What is Blaugust you might ask?  Well dear reader, it's a time to try your hand at producing content every day.

I've mostly fallen into a 5 day per week posting schedule, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to do this event with the blogging and gaming community that I love.

There are a ton of participating blogs, most are written but some are vlogs too.  We're all posting every day in August.

Thanks to the amazing Belghast for organizing this event.  Make sure to take a look at his site over at Tales of the Aggronaut.

He even gave us a writing prompt to kick off the event: What are you hoping to get out of Blaugust this year?

Personally, I'm taking Blaugust as a challenge.  I'm right near the end of my video gaming backlog and I know I'm going to need to branch out and talk about other things more often very soon.  This is going to push me there faster.  I always end up touching on movies, books, shows, tabletop games, and life occasionally with this blog but you can expect to see even more of those after I truly hit the end of my backlog.

Thanks Blaugust for propelling me forward into some new content areas!


Nearing the End of my Backlog
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 31 July 2015, 10:00 am
This is really weird.  I'm almost at the end of my game backlog.

Since I got my first job at age 15 (and got my first real buying power) this has never ever ever happened.  I'm 28 and I've had a gaming backlog for 13 years at this point.

What do I do when I finish all the games I intended to play!?

This doesn't mean I'm about to stop playing videogames.  It just means that I've always had games I own that I intend to play but haven't.  That list is dwindling fast.

I've noticed that I'm going through games faster these days.  Since I've been playing videogames for as long as I can remember I'm now really good at analyzing a new game.  I figure out it's systems and what it has to offer, usually within the first 30-60 minutes of play, and then I decide if it's offering enough newness that I want to keep playing.  Usually I don't.  I have enough experience with games that I don't need to retread old ground most of the time.

It doesn't help that we're in the middle of the summer slump.  New game releases will pick up toward the end of September, like they always do.  But it's weird to think I might finally have my backlog cleared out by then.

I may finally get to do a deep dive into one of my evergreen games.  These are games that I'm always playing a bit and always have fun coming back to.  Things like Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone, Team Fortress 2, Destiny, Civ V, Left 4 Dead 2, FTL, Mini Metro, Rocket League, and a bunch of iOS games I own.

We'll see what happens, but don't be surprised to see more thoughts on books, movies, TV, and other stuff on here in the next few months.


Visual Novel Gameplay and Pacing
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 30 July 2015, 10:00 am

I've really been working through my backlog this year and I've finally made it to a few visual novels that I've been meaning to play.  Namely:

  • Phoenix Wright Dual Destinies
  • Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright
  • Danganronpa
I utterly failed to get into Dual Destinies.  The pacing was so unbelievably slow.  I was led to believe that these games had a lot of gameplay mixed into their narratives, but it turns out that Dual Destinies is mostly narrative.  It's much more like reading a book than playing a game.

I moved on to Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright.  I've enjoyed a bunch of the Layton game in the past.  Typically they have a bit of narrative followed by a puzzle followed by a bit of narrative.  And this one is structured similarly.  When I'm in the Layton sections of the game I have a lot of fun and make a lot of progress.  Unfortunately, the Phoenix Wright sections suffer from the same slow pacing as Dual Destinies does.  I really want to like it but it becomes a wall of text with little gameplay input at all.

At which point I booted up Danganronpa.  This game seems to have the most gameplay out of these visual novels that I've tried.  The characters are pulling me into the game and keeping me interested.  I still haven't played enough to know if I like it or not, but the pacing hasn't put me off in the way the other two games have.  I'm hoping this one will be a hit for me.

What have your experiences been with visual novel games?  Do you have any recommendations of games that are narrative driven but paced well?



Arkham Side Missions
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 29 July 2015, 10:00 am

BATMAN!

... um... so... batman.  He's still cool.

That is to say, I'm still having fun with Arkham Knight even though I beat the game.  I basically did a critical path run through of the game and didn't touch any of the side missions.

Now that the game is complete I've moved on to all the various side missions and I'm finding them really fun.

There's a great variety of activities to experience and it feels like there's always something different to jump to if I get bored of an activity.  This has turned into the perfect game to play while I'm exercising on my stationary bike.  I can put on a podcast and just work through side missions while exercising.

Chances are high that I'll beat all the side missions this way.  Well, except for the 100+ Riddler puzzles.  Those are kinda bullshit filler.


Armada
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 July 2015, 10:00 am

My overall take-away from this book is that Armada is a fun read.  It was a fun page-turner and I'm glad I read it, but I don't think it's for everyone.

The main thing this boils down to is that Ernest Cline's first novel, Ready Player One, was better.  It's more accessible and it's much more unpredictable (in a good way).  Armada was completely predictable all the way through.  I still had fun reading it, but it didn't have any surprises for me.

But, Armada might be for you if.....

  • You read Ready Player One and enjoyed it
  • You are really into video games
  • You like VR
  • You're interested in drones and government conspiracy
  • You're a teenage boy
If any of those apply to you then there is something in Armada that will appeal to you.


But in all honesty, if you haven't read either of these books I would definitely suggest picking up Ready Player One.  It's fantastic and feels much more accessible than Armada.  I think it's much easier to relate to the references and events in Ready Player One.  In my opinion it's the better book.


Bloons TD 5
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 27 July 2015, 10:00 am

If you haven't notice by now, I'm playing simple games on my phone a lot more lately.  I was craving them so I downloaded a bunch and have been working my way through them.

Bloons TD 5 is an amazing Tower Defense game.  Before this, my favorite Tower Defense game of all time was Bloons TD 4... so this was a logical extension.

It's just as good as I hoped!

If you aren't familiar with the Tower Defense genre this is how it goes.  Some kind of invading force is coming down a path and if they get to the end of the path bad things happen for you.  Typically if a set number of enemies make it to the end you lose.  You place towers along the path to try to stop the invaders.  The invaders come in waves and between each wave you get some breathing time to build new towers or upgrade existing ones.  That's Tower Defense in a nutshell.

Bloons TD is that, except the invading forces are balloons and the towers are monkeys.  It's amazing.

This is a game I can easily recommend to anyone with a smart phone.  Bloons TD 5 is well worth it.  Or just go try it in your browser right now for free.


Trove
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 July 2015, 10:00 am

I've been playing around a little bit in Trove the last week or so.  It's an interesting game.

At it's core it's like Minecraft, but much more directed, and with combat that is actually fun.  The combat and dungeon exploration is actually a much bigger part of the game than it is in Minecraft.  Trove is more of an open world MMO, but it's still made of voxels and you can construct buildings and a home base.

It's an interesting mash-up of Minecraft and MMO.  It's been fun to get into.

I especially love what they did with your custom plot of land.  You have an area that is personally yours to build on, but you can summon it many places in the world.  This way, your home basically travels with you into different zones and throughout different levels.  It's a really cool way to tackle the player housing problem that many MMOs have.

The combat isn't super complicated but it's more involved than Minecraft.  You pick a class and that class gets equipment and abilities.  It seems like classes only have about 5 abilities, 3 of which are mapped to the mouse and 2 of which are on the keyboard.  It's very manageable.  And that let's the game be more action focused than most MMOs.  It's definitely not your typical hotbar combat.

Since it's free to play and easily available on Steam I would recommend this game to anyone who has ever enjoyed a MMO or Minecraft.  If either of those apply to you, you will probably find something in Trove that's appealing.


Black Mirror Season 1
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 23 July 2015, 10:00 am

I had a bunch of independent sources recommend Black Mirror to me within the space of about a week, so I checked it out.

I like the overall aim of the show.  It's basically set up as a modern day Twilight Zone all about technology.  There are twists and turns and the typical Twilight Zone type of vibe, but it's been updated with technology in mind.

Some of the episodes revolve around social situations that could happen with our current level of technology.  Others take place in a dystopian future (one of my favorite settings).

In the first episode I especially liked Episode 2 which takes place in a dystopian future where everything has been gamified.  I'm sure you can see how that would appeal to me.

It's currently available on Netflix to check out if you're interested.


Her Story
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 July 2015, 10:00 am

I don't know what I was expecting going into this game, but I had heard a lot of positive reviews without a lot of details attached.

I'm so glad this game wasn't spoiled for me.  It's amazing.

It's an experience more than a traditional game.

You are sitting at a computer from the 90s with a backlog of video clips related to a certain police case.  You use words to search through the clips and try to piece together what happened.

There is no traditional end of the game.  Whenever you decide you've found out enough you log out of the computer and it's over.

I want to talk about all the intricacies of this game but it would ruin the experience.  I might do a spoiler post about this one later in the week.


MMOs, Guilds, Endgame.... and Kids
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 21 July 2015, 10:00 am
After hitting level cap and completing the story in Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward I feel like I'm pretty much done with the game until the next story patch hits.

The end game content of MMOs is usually tuned to be really fun with a consistent group of people.  Typically this is called a Guild but it goes by many other names.  In FFXIV it's called a Free Company.

I have a fantastic free company and they're always up for running content with anyone.  They're super inviting, friendly, fun to talk to, and a blast to run content with.

"So", you might ask, "what's the problem?"

Well, I have kids.  2 little kids under the age of 5.  They need things at all hours of the day.  It's better now that they're both out of the baby and toddler stage, but they still consistently need things even after they're all tucked in for the night.  Sometimes it's some water for their water bottles, other times my little one needs help with the potty (yay for potty training), occasionally my 4 year old needs to have a deep philosophical discussion about the stars.

My family will always be my priority, so I will drop whatever I'm doing to help them.  My typical activity after they're in bed is to game and if I'm not playing a game I can pause I just walk away from the keyboard.

Therein lies the problem.  If I'm playing a MMO with people that I actually know and who actually rely on me it means I can't just walk away from the keyboard.  Running that same content with random people through matchmaking is a viable option, but it's just not nearly as fun.

My current position is either run end game content without much fun with random people or run endgame content with my FFXIV free company and run the risk of ruining the experience for everyone else.

I don't like either of these options which is why I'm mostly done with FFXIV until there is more single player content.

I wonder how many other parents out there run into the same type of situation.


Rocket League is Rocket Powered Car Soccer and It's Amazing
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 20 July 2015, 10:00 am
This game should just be called what it is... Rocket Car Soccer.

That's what you need to know.  You are a rocket car and you're playing soccer.  The premise is simple.

I expected nothing from this game, but I found a world of fun.  This is amazing.

The game just launched on PS4 and Steam, but if you're a PS Plus member like me then you got it for free through PSN this month.  It's probably the greatest PS Plus free game that I've gotten.  It's amazing.

I don't think I can do this game justice with words, you need to see it in motion.  But just know, if you have PS Plus you absolutely need to grab this game (it's free!) before the end of the month.




Final Fantasy XIV Heavensward
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 17 July 2015, 10:00 am


Ok, I finally finished the main story of Heavensward.  Let's talk.

This is Final Fantasy XIV's first expansion and for me it's a mixed bag.  There's both good and bad.

First, The Bad.  I hated leveling through this expansion.  Heavensward increased the level cap from 50 to 60.  The first 5 levels weren't too bad, but the xp curve after level 55 drove me crazy.  The story no longer gave enough experience to keep leveling up and I had to do a ton of grinding.  I nearly gave up on this expansion at level 57, 58, and 59.  I would finish literally every quest available to me and still have half a level of experience points left that I needed.  It was infuriating.



But the reason it was so infuriating was because the story was level gated... and the story was fantastic.

So, let's talk The Good.  The story is amazing.  It is easily the best story in an MMO expansion that I've ever experienced.  It builds on the story from Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn.  This may sound like nothing, but it's actually huge.  Most expansions tend to throw away the old plot lines or at least ignore them.  Final Fantasy XIV embraces it's story and continues to build on it masterfully.

The story is the shining highlight of Heavensward.

It would also be horrible of me to skip over the music.  Heavensward has my favorite MMO music of all time.  Hands down.  It's amazing.  I really hope they release a soundtrack for it soon, because I want it.  The music is so good.

I don't know how I feel about this expansion overall.  I'm level 60, I've finished the story, now I'm kinda waiting for the future content patches.  Speaking of those content patches, they should be good if history shows anything with Final Fantasy XIV.  The content patches for A Realm Reborn were great.

I don't know if I would recommend this expansion to people in it's current state.  If you want to see the continuing story of Final Fantasy XIV... it's probably worth it.  But, I can't understate how bad the experience curve is in this game.  Be warned.  But also be warned that the story is fantastic.

Final Fantasy Project Article List





Tavern Brawl is so FUN!
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 16 July 2015, 10:00 am

As I alluded to yesterday, I'm still playing Hearthstone off and on.

The single biggest thing that has pulled me back in is the new Tavern Brawl mode.  It is a mode that is open from Wednesday to Sunday each week and it has a rotating rule set.  Every week is a new and crazy set of parameters.  As soon as you win your first Tavern Brawl game for the week you instantly earn a card pack.

All of this together totally appeals to me.

I highly recommend checking out Tavern Brawl if you've even played Hearthstone.  The rulesets are so fun and varied.  This is the most fun I've ever had with the game.


Random Mobile Gaming
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 15 July 2015, 10:00 am
I've been trying to level up and finish the main story in Final Fantasy XIV Heavensward lately with my core gaming time, but I've also had little spurts of time to play mobile games on my phone.  They're all fun in short bursts and I've talked about most before, but I thought it would be fun to give a quick rundown.

Spider Solitaire
I used to play this for hours on one of my old Windows PCs before I had a gaming rig.  I found a great version on iOS and I've put much more time into it than I thought I would.  Spider Solitaire is my favorite form of classic Solitare out there.

You Must Build a Boat
A fantastic match-3 puzzler that is a follow up to 10 million.  I loved that game and I love this one too.  I've almost beaten it, at which point I'll retire the game.  It's really nice to have a match-3 puzzler with a definite end.  It makes me feel invested all the way through.

Hearthstone
I'm still occasionally playing Hearthstone on my phone.  I'm finding myself wishing more and more for pre-constructed decks and the ability to play single player content.  I don't really like the deck building and I don't enjoy waiting for other players to take their turn.  There's still something at the core of this game that appeals to me, so it hasn't fallen out of my gaming rotation completely.

Puzzle & Dragons
After really getting into the Mario Puzzle and Dragons when I last traveled I thought I would revisit the iOS version.  Now that I understand the game I find it much more enjoyable, but it's still not as good as the version without F2P mechanics.  I've been playing this one off and on but I feel like it might fall out of my rotation soon.


Have you guys found any good iOS or Android games lately?  I'm always looking for more mobile experiences.


Arkham Knight
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 14 July 2015, 10:00 am

I caved in.  There were too many good reviews of Arkham Knight, I loved the other two games in the Arkham series that were done by this developer, and I just couldn't resist.

I picked up Arkham Knight for the PS4.

The real inciting incident was when my brother asked, "Have you played the new Batman yet?"  He had never really played the others, but he knew I liked the series and he had just picked up Arkham Knight.  I would much rather play a game at the same time as him and be able to talk about it.

And I'm so glad I did.  It's a fantastic game.  Every step of the way I feel like the most badass incarnation of Batman ever.  It's amazing.  Everything the developer has built up to in the last two games comes to full fruition here.

All the systems are still in place and more has been added on top of it.  The range of options for everything is staggering.  So many Bat gizmos, attack options, stealth gameplay, driving sections, batmobile battles, and so much more.

The story is well done and all the interactions are so well crafted.  I love this game.  I don't want to talk too much about story because I don't want to ruin it for anyone, but it's really good.

This is the quintessential Batman game.

If you are a fan of Batman you need to play this game.


Revisiting the Wasteland
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 13 July 2015, 10:00 am

I went back to Fallout 3 for the first time since 2008!  The announcement of Fallout 4 got me really excited for the Fallout universe again, so I decided to revisit this game.  I loved it when it first came out in 2008, but I only played it for a few weeks before beating it and moving on.

How does it hold up today?

Well, it's pretty good, but not fantastic.  Everyone is so wordy.  The dialogue system breaks me out of the immersion in the world every single time I enter a conversation.  That's easily my biggest gripe.  But the tone and the world building in Fallout 3 are amazing.  They're still spot on.  The graphics are fine, not as sharp as modern day, but totally acceptable.  The combat is still fun and well done.  The VATS system is a joy.

Really, the game just holds up well, even after 7 years.

This time I played way differently than I normally do.

In a normal game I go down every speech path, try to talk my way out of everything, sneak, lockpick, stealth, and generally avoid conflict while trying to be a good person.

This time I was super evil.  I blew up Megaton.  I killed NPCs when it seemed like the shortest option.  I picked every evil option I could.  And I felt kinda gross doing it.  That's not me at all.  I have to actively force myself to play evil because it goes so against how I am in real life.

But, now I know more about the evil side of Fallout.  It's actually pretty amazing how much freedom you're given to do bad things.  I was honestly surprised.

In the end I played for maybe 4 hours, ended up sequence breaking the game and skipping over half the story, wandered around exploring, and then was done.  I just wanted a taste of the wasteland.  Now I'm happy to wait for Fallout 4 in November.


Tales from the Borderlands Episode 3
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 10 July 2015, 10:00 am

This was another great entry in the Tales from the Borderlands series.  I'm always super excited when new chapters of these Telltale adventure games get released and this one is no exception.

Tales from the Borderlands remains fun, entertaining, and funny.  Emphasis on the funny.

I'm constantly amazed by the ability of this game to make me laugh.  Not many games make me laugh out loud, but this one does.  It's the perfect crazy setting for all kinds of comedy to happen in.  It never takes itself too seriously, and I appreciate that.

This is one I would recommend to any adventure game or story-driven game fan.  Unlike some of the other Telltale games, you don't need to know the other source material this game is based off of.  It's fully playable without previous knowledge.

So, while I would only recommend a Telltale game like Game of Thrones to fans of Game of Thrones... Tales from the Borderlands should be played by anyone who wants to laugh.


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