Monday, July 29, 2013

What I'm Playing - 07/29/2013

I'm going to try to do this once a month, anyway -- I haven't had any major obligations outside of work, so I've been doing quite a bit of gaming in July.  Here are some impressions and notes:

My wife and I completed the main story of Borderlands 2, but fortuitous timing of the Steam Summer Sale allowed us to acquire Gearbox's Season Pass downloadable content package at a reasonable price.  So we'll be exploring the more exotic areas of Pandora for a while yet; Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt is currently on deck.

After a long period of diving in for short bursts, I finally focused on finishing Zeboyd Games' 16-bit-style RPG Cthulhu Saves The World.  I really enjoyed this old-school game -- the writing has a sense of humor, the visual and audio style are in the classic SNES mold, and they've done away with one "classic" mechanic I sorely do not miss, by automatically healing everybody up after a successful battle instead of forcing the player to remember to do it manually.  The same developer's earlier Breath of Death VII is now on my to-play list; they've also taken over the Penny Arcade game series as of episode 3, so if I ever get through the second episode I look forward to Zeboyd's take on the adventures of Gabe and Tycho.

While I was visiting my brother in early July, I helped him get properly accessorized for PC gaming.  So he and I and occasionally my wife have been voice-chatting and playing Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, Castle Crashers and Dungeon Defenders together online.  Steam > Skype in our household.  Now we just need to get his wife on board for a little chatting and kibitzing.

From the ever-growing backlog department, I've started working my way through EA's 2008 survival-horror title Dead Space --but I must be getting old, as my longstanding suspense tolerance circa the original Resident Evil is starting to fail me.  I'm finding that an hour or so of dodging mutated/alien creatures bursting from the floors and walls followed by panicked plasma cannon fire is about all I can take at one go, so this is going to take a while -- I'm currently nearing the end of Chapter 2.

I've also been spending some time with a number of shorter-engagement titles -- Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection, the Gundemonium series of Japanese bullet-hell shooters, and Puzzle Quest.  I also picked up Dragon's Lair during the Steam sale, though some Microsoft video codec problems are currently rendering it only half-playable (the bottom half of the screen, that is) so I won't be taking it seriously just yet.

And I've started up Fallout 3 again -- I played it for a while on the XBox 360 a few years back, but allowed myself to be tempted away by other games, mostly because I was getting frustrated by the (completely appropriate) scarcity of resources.  I'm tackling it again on the PC, with more focus on scavenging skills, so I'll see if I'm more successful this time.  The interface now feels a little clunky and the 3-D models are decidedly low-poly by 2013 standards, but the game's universe is compelling and I'm happy to be spending some time there again.

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