Unsolicited Mental Objects, Week of 11/30

Tony
I haven’t delved into a strategy game or a civ/sim game in quite some time. But I couldn’t resist the allure of giving Endless Legend a try, and I’m glad I did. I hope to write some more in-depth initial impressions soon, but suffice it to say that it has its hooks in me. It has a Civilization-esque “just one more turn” coupled with skill and tech trees to give variety and complexity to each game. I went into the game (after the tutorial) completely green and let the defaults reign as I tried my first world. I went with the elf-like Wild Walkers as my race. I’m 30 turns in and even as I type this I wonder what the next 30 turns hold. I’ve pacified a minor faction of Minotaurs, expanded my first city and am well on my way to founding my second.

I worry that “just one more turn” is going to turn into “just one more hour”.

Nick
Blizzard yesterday revealed an additional 61 Hearthstone cards that will be included in the new Goblins vs. Gnomes expansion to be released sometime this month. Prior to this unveiling I was under the impression that the expansion is just going to be an unfavorable hodge podge of RNG and incessant Priestcraft trickery – which, during the first weeks of release, Hearthstone shall still be. But now, after seeing these new cards, I am starting to feel that spark of yielding to the hype, the willingness to jump into the cyclone giddy and clueless.

Where some of the initial expansion card reveals had me scoffing and chuckling with irony, Blizzard is, as I am now perceiving it, methodically expanding the playing field. It’s good to see Silver Hand Recruits get some love, as well as counters to secrets, the misfire mechanic of the ogre cards, Hunter’s Feign Death (Battlecry: Trigger all deathrattles on your minons… so evil). Tokens. Murlocs. Mechs. So many disgusting combinations…

To date, I have spent an approximate $0.00 on Hearthstone. This figure is not shared here as a badge of honor, to be a snoot about it. Nor has it ever been an act of principle or guiding light during gametime. I simply have never felt compelled enough to pay USD for boosters because earning gold in-game is a joy and a journey. At times I admit to wondering just how long I can and will go before coughing up the funds. But with this impending onslaught of cards both fresh and wily… Dagnabbit, Blizzard. You may have caught me on this one.

*enter evil laugh here*

James

I got maybe one or two matches of Dota 2 in with Tony during the holiday break, I think we lost both matches. It’s getting harder and harder to win when your “teammates” are either going AFK or just downright horrible. =/

Played a few matches of Smite in last night with Jason and we won a few and lost a few. I think I’ve been away from Smite for a while/I wasn’t playing very well. Thankfully you can surrender after the 10 minute mark if your team is being destroyed. This way you can end a match and hop into another one and roll the dice for a chance at a good team.

December Releases

With the bulk of gaming releases already out in November, December doesn’t usually bring along a huge slate of games. This December is no different, with a couple games that might hold your interest but otherwise aren’t all that great. With that said, on to this month’s releases:

Xbox One

Week of December 2nd
Terraria – I’m surprised to see this out on next-gen consoles, but Terraria is a great game so why not?
The Crew


Week of December 2nd
The Crew


Week of December 2nd
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker – If ever there was a game that screamed “THIS IS NINTENDO”, Captain Toad is that game. Look at those bright colors. LOOK AT THEM. My goodness, the colors. So bright.
NES Remix Pack – Nintendo going hard, tugging at the nostalgic heart strings. /Purchases NES Remix Pack


Week of December 2nd
Ultimate NES Remix


Week of December 2nd
Skullgirls
Titanfall Deluxe
Battlefield 4: FINAL STAND
The Crew

Week of December 9th
FINAL FANTASY XIII-2
Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris

Week of December 16th
Divinity: Original Sin


PS4 Banner

Week of December 2nd
Terraria
The Crew

Week of December 9th
Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris

Week of December 16th
Guilty Gear Xrd – SIGN – “Xrd”?! It’s like they’re not even trying anymore with these names. Xrd, indeed.


Week of December 2nd
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX


No releases this month for the Sony Playstation Vita.

What are you picking up this month?
(Note: As always, all Amazon.com links have our affiliate code embedded in them. If you purchase something through our link, we get a little commission. It’s appreciated.)

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?

November Releases

It’s my least favorite month to do the monthly release list — NOVEMBER! It’s the “let’s release all the games so we can get in on that sweet, sweet Christmas Cash on Black Friday!” month of releases. It’s all here — a Halo release, YACOD (yet another Call of Duty), shooters galore, sports games, and Nintendo’s big Marque Release. It wouldn’t be November without ‘em! With that said, on to this month’s releases:

Xbox One

Week of November 4th
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
The Wolf Among Us
Rocksmith 2014

Week of November 11th
Pro Evolution Soccer 2015
Shape Up
LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham
Assassin’s Creed Unity
Halo: The Master Chief Collection – And here it is, the first salvo in the “should Tony get a PS4 or Xbox One” debate. Halo. Sure, I’ve played all of these games before. Yes, my online skills have atrophied to the point of embarrassment. I still want to get some of that Halo Haloness and I can’t get it anywhere else. Decisions, decisions.

Week of November 18th
Rabbids Invasion
WWE 2K15
Far Cry 4
Grand Theft Auto V
Dragon Age Inquisition

Week of November 25th
Minecraft Xbox One Edition – Here is salvo #2. The kids go cuckoo for Minecraft and moving over their worlds from the 360 seems like a no-brainer.


Week of November 4th
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
Bioshock Infinite: The Complete Edition
The Wolf Among Us
MotoGP 14

Week of November 11th
Payday 2: Safecracker
Pro Evolution Soccer 2015
LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham
Assassin’s Creed Rogue

Week of November 18th
Rabbids Invasion
Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom
Escape Dead Island
MXGP 14: The Official Motocross Videogame
Dragon Age Inquisition – Xbox 360 Standard Edition
Far Cry 4
Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor


Week of November 11th
LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham
Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric

Week of November 18th
Watch Dogs
Super Smash Bros. – At least we have the Wii U and can play something next gen!


Week of November 4th
Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley – When there’s a new Harvest Moon, you should know the drill by now: Wherein a new Harvest Moon is released, I am bound by tradition to link to one of my favorite posts: my Harvest Moon review.

Week of November 11th
Tetris Ultimate
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Danger of the OOZE – Is there a reason ooze is in all caps? That must be some really serious OOZE…
LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham
Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal

Week of November 18th
Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom
Pokémon Omega Ruby – I have a feeling the buttonmashing household will be procuring between one and three copies of Pokemon this month.
Pokémon Alpha Sapphire

Week of November 25th
Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth


Week of November 4th
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

Week of November 11th
LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham
Assassin’s Creed Unity
Shadows: Heretic Kingdoms

Week of November 18th
Escape Dead Island
Company of Heroes 2: Ardennes Assault
Dragon Age Inquisition
Far Cry 4
Construction Simulator 2015

Week of November 25th
Geometry Wars 3 – Salvo #3 — who needs an Xbox when I can get Geometry Wars on the PC?!


PS4 Banner

Week of November 4th
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
MotoGP 14
The Wolf Among Us

Week of November 11th
LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham
Assassin’s Creed Unity

Week of November 18th
Rabbids Invasion
MXGP 14: The Official Motocross Videogame
Dragon Age Inquisition
WWE 2K15
Far Cry 4
Grand Theft Auto V
Little Big Planet 3 – Salvo #4 — I really think the kids would love Little Big Planet. Like love love it. Tell me I’m wrong.

Week of November 25th
Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed – Salvo #5 — you can’t find this kind of high-quality entertainment on that big green box.


Week of November 4th
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition
Bioshock Infinite: The Complete Edition
The Wolf Among Us
MotoGP 14

Week of November 11th
Payday 2: Safecracker
Pro Evolution Soccer 2015
LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham

Week of November 18th
MXGP 14: The Official Motocross Videogame
WRC 4: FIA World Rally Championship
Escape Dead Island
Dragon Age Inquisition
Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd
Little Big Planet 3
Far Cry 4
Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor

Week of November 25th


Week of November 4th
The Wolf Among Us
The Walking Dead Season 2

Week of November 11th
LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham
Minecraft

Week of November 18th
Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd

I’m sure I’ll be picking something up this month. What are you picking up this month?
(Note: As always, all Amazon.com links have our affiliate code embedded in them. If you purchase something through our link, we get a little commission. It’s appreciated.)

Weekend Gaming

IMG_03201024x768.jpgThe nights are getting longer and the weather is getting cooler, which means it’s another weekend of gaming without the guilt of, “man, I really should be outside doing something else”. Or maybe you don’t suffer from that guilt. You’re one of the lucky ones.

This weekend is quite possibly the busiest non-holiday weekend for us. We have family in town, activities going on all day Friday, Saturday and most of Sunday, and of course Buckeye Football Saturday Night and Browns Football Sunday afternoon. I’m really not sure when I’ll get some gaming in, but it will happen.

I was recently challenged by our occasional resident Frugal Gamer, Jason, to participate in something he’s calling NoMOBAvember. He knows that my gaming time is dominated primarily by Dota 2 and is therefore challenging me to branch out, to dig into the Steam library and play something new. And I’m not going to lie, I’m intrigued by the challenge. I’m not sure yet if I’m going to commit to a whole month of no Dota, but I may consider a NotjustMOBAvember. We’ll see!

In the meantime, I imagine I’ll get a match of Dota 2 in this weekend. I’m also really interested in checking out Neo Scavenger and the Endless series (Space/Legend/Dungeon). Lots of games, not a whole lot of time.

What will you be playing this weekend?

October Releases

Now we’re getting into the thick of release season — publishers stocking shelves with games before the holidays — sports games, Game of the Year Editions, etc. Surprisingly, I don’t see too many games that interest me (with the exception of one day-one purchase). With that said, on to this month’s releases:

Xbox One

Week of October 7th
Forza 5: Game of the Year Edition
Dead Rising 3: Apocalypse Edition – I still don’t know if/when I am going to get a Xbox One, but a new version of Dead Rising is as tempting as anything.
Ryse: Legendary Edition
Project Spark

Week of October 14th
The Evil Within – Bethesda’s new horror game is intriguing, but it’s also coming out on PC which means I’ll be grabbing it during the Steam Christmas Sale, which means I’ll be playing it sometime in 2016.
Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition: Limited Edition – If at first you don’t succeed…
The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season – If you haven’t already played it, you need to. YOU NEED TO.

Week of October 21st
The Walking Dead: Season 2
Need for Speed Rivals Complete Edition
Shadow Warrior – Mortal Kombat called, they want their logo back.

Week of October 28th
Sunset Overdrive Day One Edition
Lords of the Fallen
NBA Live 15


Week of October 7th
NBA 2K15
Alien: Isolation

Week of October 14th
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel – This is Day One for me (unless reviews universally pan it). Borderlands is the only game my buddy Jeremiah and play anymore, so I will be picking this up for an excuse to make him fire up his 360 and join me. Plus Borderlands is the bee’s knees.
The Evil Within
The Walking Dead: Season 2
PAC-MAN and the Ghostly Adventures 2

Week of October 21st
Just Dance 2015
Need for Speed Rivals Complete Edition

Week of October 28th
WWE 2K15
Mx vs. ATV: Supercross
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Danger of the OOZE
Assassin’s Creed: The Americas Collection


Week of October 21st
Bayonetta 2
Just Dance 2015 – Not a lot for Nintendo this month, but by all accounts Bayonetta is going to be a heck of a game. With three kids under the age of twelve, I don’t know if I’m the target audience, but I would like to give the game a try.


Week of October 7th
Tenkai Knights: Brave Battle

Week of October 14th
PAC-MAN and the Ghostly Adventures 2


Week of October 7th
NBA 2K15
Styx: Master of Shadows
Alien Isolation

Week of October 14th
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
The Evil Within

Week of October 21st
Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth
Spellforce Tactics
Blood Knights
Need for Speed Rivals Complete Edition

Week of October 28th
Farming Simulator ’15
MX vs. ATV: Supercross Encore Edition


PS4 Banner

Week of October 7th
NBA 2K15
Alien: Isolation
DriveClub
Minecraft – How long will Minecraft be available on a Sony console?

Week of October 14th
The Evil Within

Week of October 21st
Samurai Warriors 4
Just Dance 2015
Need for Speed Rivals Complete Edition
Shadow Warrior

Week of October 28th
NBA Live 15
The Walking Dead: Season 2


Week of October 7th
NBA 2K15
Alien: Isolation

Week of October 14th
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
The Walking Dead: Season 2
PAC-MAN and the Ghostly Adventures 2

Week of October 21st
F1 2014 (Formula 1)
Just Dance 2015
Need for Speed Rivals Complete Edition

Week of October 28th
WWE 2K15
Mx vs. ATV: Supercross
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Danger of the OOZE
Assassin’s Creed: The Americas Collection


Week of October 7th

Week of October 14th
SENRAN KAGURA SHINOVI VERSUS – ‘Let’s Get Physical’ Limited Edition

Week of October 21st
Week of October 28th
Freedom Wars

What are you picking up this month?
(Note: As always, all Amazon.com links have our affiliate code embedded in them. If you purchase something through our link, we get a little commission. It’s appreciated.)