Archives for November 2014

In My Weekend Gaming Hands

endless_legend

With the Steam Sale in full force, I had to pull the trigger and grab Endless Legend (by the time it downloads, I’ll probably have picked up Endless Space and Dungeon of the Endless as well). So along with some Black Friday deal posting (like this one for Diablo III: Reaper of Souls console version) I imagine I’ll be playing some Endless Legend this weekend. And of course a weekend of gaming wouldn’t be complete without a game or two of Dota 2. So my gaming deck is loaded.

What are you going play this holiday weekend?

Unsolicited Mental Objects, Week of 11/23

James
I got a few matches of Smite in last night with Jason before getting in a game of Dota 2 with Tony.

The first match in Smite was an arena game type and we had a disconnect on our team within about 5 minutes from the start and things weren’t looking all that good for us. The lead that the enemy team had built up was dwindling and we were catching up. it was down to the point where one kill either way would determine the victor and….we won! It was definitely a fun match because of how close it was and the effort it took to pull out a win (don’t mind how badly I did).

The game Tony and I played was a train wreck. You can tell from the graph we weren’t making very much headway. Whenever a team fight broke out our teammates would slowly meander over and line up to die one at a time. The worst part was that I denied the Phantom Assassins contract and we could have had a chance to get some sweet drops if we won… =(

I’m sure I’ll get some gaming on Friday while the lady folk are out spending $.

Jason
I’ll admit that I’m humble bundle obsessed. I’ll attribute about 90% of my steam library to little bundle purchases that I’ve grabbed over the past several years. They do a service for the gaming community and the charities that they support.  I’m hard pressed not to pick up every bundle that has a worthwhile game or two within it.

This week brought the Humble Sega Bundle and along with it a NEED for SPEED. For a couple bucks I managed to get myself into a delightful little Mario Kart clone called Sega All Star Racing Transformed. Quite honestly, it’s the best kart-style racing game I’ve played on the PC in a long while.

SASRT has one of the most dynamic and gorgeous set of kart racing maps I’ve had the privilege of playing. Maps are unique and draw inspiration from many Sega titles like Jet Set Radio Future, Space Channel 5, and the Sonic The Hedgehog.

What makes this game so fresh is the way the maps seamlessly transform the game play from a road racer to a hydro thunder style boat racer and then into a high flying air racer. You’ll be battling in your kart and the ground will crumble beneath you transforming your kart into a boat as you splash into the water. After crashing through waves and diving through boost rings you’ll eventually be propelled into the air to blast your opponents out of the sky.

All in all I’m really pleased with this humble pickup. Most of my Humble bundle games just pad my collection and collect digital dust but I can see picking this one up on a regular basis. Replayability is a huge deal for me and this one will be easy to pick up for a few minutes at a time for some fast, frantic, and fabulous fun.

Nick
The Steam Autumn sale is rumored to begin today at 1PM EST. Quick! Everybody go bananas! This news grabs hold of an internal conflict which has been brewing deep inside for several weeks now and thrusts it to the surface. The conflict: Do I purchase Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor or Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag. I could realistically afford to purchase both, but that would be too easy and chafe against my tendency to make mountains out of molehills. And so, the bout continues.

On one side is Shadow of Mordor. I have never played a game in the Middle Earth realm, so I am curious. The combat is universally being compared to Arkham Asylum, and this pleases me – I had a blast in AA. I’m not all that crazy about stealthy/rogue characters but for some reason rolling this kind of character seems appealing, probably because stabbing unsuspecting orcs in the neck looks sweet (this an aspect I loved about Dishonored. Pacifist? Psh. More like Knifeinfist). The only downside that I am ignorantly perceiving is just how big and playable this Middle Earth is. I lose interest pretty fast in an open world like this. I’ve never been one to dally around fulfilling countless side quests, so if, in SOM, I can blaze through the Main Quest line then I may actually sort of care about the game’s story – which is rare in video games – and complete the game!

On the other side is Black Flag. Boats! Pirates! Booty! Thanks to the thoroughness of gaming websites I have learned that BF is basically the Assassin’s Creed series saying, “Let’s set aside the lore for now. Let’s go be pirates!” AC3 is the only other game in the series I have played. It was alright. I didn’t complete the game but did I appreciate and applaud the historical backdrop. Any game that brings history to life receives an automatic nod from me. And I loved, loved, loved the naval battles, which, if I understand correctly, is amplified and embellished and a primary activity in Black Flag. I am a salty dog at heart (when I am not a cowboy or exiled monk) and this speaks to me. But I fear that the naval aspect will grow tiresome and I will be stuck back doing the same types of things that made my experience with AC3 fizzle out.

This is the battle. Only one will emerge the victor and the other shall sulk away – That is, until the winter sale when it will win unchallenged. Of course.

Buttonmashing Deals

I recently took over a Google Plus page for video game deals from fellow Buttonmasher James, rebranded it “Buttonmashing Deals” and have been trying to feed a steady stream of video game deals that may or may not be of interest to you. If you’re still using Google Plus (yes, people do still use it, and yes, it’s better than Facebook), you can follow the page here: Buttonmashing Deals and have the most recent deals show up in your G+ feed.

Since Google Plus allows for embedding, I also plan to embed the occasional deal here at the main Buttonmashing site. I’ll try to keep it at a minimum, but when there’s good stuff to be had, I want to get it to the widest audience I can. Especially with Black Friday/Cyber Monday coming up, there should be a plethora of opportunities to save money on games.

Like on this bundle for Shadow of Mordor and the Lord of the Rings Extended Edition Blu-rays:

Unsolicited Mental Objects, Week of 11/16

Tony – Lately I’ve been able to drag myself out of the Dota Vortex (but with the new update, I’ll be heading back in) and I’ve had a chance to mess around with HEX: Shards of Fate. This is my first foray into a collectible trading card game, having never played Magic the Gathering or its ilk. I’ve previously professed my love for Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer (and its expansions) but that is a deckbuilding card game, where each deck you use is dictating by what cards are available in the center row, not how many booster packs you have. It’s simple and the mechanics are straight forward. But! But it’s also complex and the combination of cards and synergy between them gives it depth and any number of play styles. I have my own and I’ve played others that go their way. It’s enjoyable, quick and rewarding.

Hex, on the other hand, is overwhelming me. There are A LOT of cards to learn and I’m still trying to grok the basics. There are five resource types and two factions (with four races each) with their own strengths and weaknesses. Not to mention the six classes of heroes you can choose from. Each of the races can feed/compliment off each other and each is different in its on way. I am trying to learn them all, trying to wade through the tutorials and beginner decks, but I’ve also got a decent sized pool of cards to build my own deck from (thanks to the Kickstarter rewards) and I seriously have no direction which way to take this game. Are there too many mechanics? Too many cards?

And let’s not even get into how a TCG such as this needs expansion decks and cards to stay relevant and interesting. I can’t even wrap my mind around the cards I already have!

And yet I am excited to learn more. I’ll learn as I go and work on a deck that I enjoy playing (I think I can safely say that Dwarves are not my favorite race). HEX is starting to dig its claws into me but good.

Nick – I was thrown to the wolves this past week. I secured a temporary teaching job in, what I’ve come to learn is an actual classification, an Urban School. It continues to be a tough assignment, still fighting against the current. Taking it day by day. It has been pretty much all-consuming, especially at home where I have to cobble together lesson plans and stress about meeting academic requirements and just getting these students to shut up and actually do some work. Unfortunately, because of this, I have had little desire or motivation to get my game on. I look at my steam library with shameful apathy. I do not have the capacity at the end of the day to play any of them; except for one for title…

Call of Juarez: Gunslinger has been my outlet during all this. It fulfills that very niche requirement I have for the times when all I want to do is be a cowboy and dual-wield my way through streets and saloons and canyons clogged with bandits. My accuracy rate on the arcade missions is abysmally low, but I don’t care. I’ve got two fast-loading revolvers and ammo aplenty; I’m gonna shoot the guns just because they sound great. I’m gonna aim for the sky, twirl in place and fire round after round because, dagnabbit, I am a cowboy, and cowboys do what they want. I also love the sound of lumber, both in this game and IRL. I dunno, there’s something wholly distinct about the sound of cowboy boots on a saloon floor, both in this game and mine IRL.

James – Played some Dota 2 and stayed up too late with Tony trying to win a game against a super fed Huskar. It was a close one though…

I have also been attempting to download HEX to play, but it suuuuuuch a big download that I haven’t just let it finish before turning my laptop or desktop off.

Someday. =)

Weekend Gaming

Desgaste del gamer, Xbox 360There was snow in the air yesterday. SNOW! This is happening too fast. But that means that now, more than ever, is the perfect time to be gaming. In fact, I think I’ll take the whole day off from “Real Life” to get a little gaming in. I’ll probably do some things on my wife’s honey-do list, too. I’ll figure out a way to gamify that, too.

And no, it just won’t be Dota 2. I mean there will be Dota 2 (there’s always Dota 2), but there will be other games, as well. I think for sure I’m going to delve back into Hex: Shards of Fate. I Kickstartered the dang thing, I should probably get to know the game a little more. And I’m feeling like some Nintendo gaming is in my weekend future. Whether that means a little 3DS action (maybe finally getting back to Link to the Past) or some Wii-U with the kids, I expect to do something whimsical.

What are you playing this weekend?