(No) Limits: The Development of Limit Theory

The truth is that sincerity in art is not an affair of will, of a moral choice between honesty and dishonesty. It is mainly an affair of talent.

– Aldous Huxley

Josh Parnell is the sole creator/developer of the upcoming procedural universe realm Limit Theory, to be released sometime before 2015 is half concluded. Successfully Kickstarted, Parnell has been chugging away on the game now for nearly two years. And he is really on to something…

Part of his development routine this past year involves recording monthly dev updates and uploading them to his Youtube channel. These updates serve many functions. They are evidence of progression for that past month, which Parnell is almost skittish to provide to his backers, always hoping it is sufficient for them (which it always is). They are also a fascinating look into not only the evolution of the game but into Parnell’s thought processes as well. Each update provides the details, glimpses, modifications, restructurings of a game that is sure to be a work of art – and the most recent one is a whopper.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with LT, this latest update, update #20, is the perfect crash course. Update #20 includes two months worth of work (Parnell had to skip a September update) so naturally it is bursting with juicy details. Not only that but it is adopting a new format for presenting the game’s progress. As in previous updates, just about every angle is covered: Grahpics, UI philosophy, game theory, and, most importantly, the code.

Indeed. The code. The heart and soul – a term I am not using frivolously here – of Limit Theory is Parnell’s own Limit Theory Script Language (LTSL). Much of his efforts continue to be placed on perfecting this language and its utility. Now, I am not a programmer – my language ability takes on a more traditional function (although the structure of both code and written word can achieve similar effects of subtlety and beauty. A comparison that interests me greatly, and a possible ButtonMashing post later on). But in my ignorance I can still identify Parnell’s confidence in the motivations of creating LTSL, and of creating a procedurally generated universe game.

I can likewise sense and understand the trepidations of other Limit Theory followers. The main concern being this: Is there a game here? Parnell’s intense focus on LTSL is creating a fantastic and vast exoskeleton, one that will support easy modabilty. But, come release date, will there be anything of substance inside? I have pondered, and hoped against, the possibility of Parnell burning himself out on LTSL and then being forced to cobble together some form of rickety gameplay. This concern is legitimate and sound…

…But also incredibly short-sighted.

I trust Parnell. I trust that he will deliver because he knows the risks. But he is confident in the code he is creating. His confidence, and mine in him, rests in the very name of his game. Limit Theory is a philosophy which adheres to overcoming just that: limits. Intellectual limits. As a developer, LTSL is his way of overcoming the limits of game creation and grasping on to the ideas that spark as a result. This is how the development of Limit Theory has felt organic, personal and compelling. Parnell is riding high on the freedoms his work has created.

And his enthusiasm is contagious! I want to see just what I can do, what self-imposed limits I can overcome. I trust that the gameplay will mirror its own development in that same sense of freedom, space and creativity – a sort of call and response to a randomly generated virtual universe.

As can be gleaned from update #20, the technical foundations of Limit Theory are now fairly secure. Now is when the floodgates burst open. “Everything in time… as always,” he says. Now Parnell can focus his efforts on the creation of a game. No. Not merely a game. Something… higher…

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.)

Weekend Gaming: Reus, Crusader Kings 2

Amongst other activities which I have going on this weekend one of the highlights is that I will be sans family Saturday night into Sunday afternoon. And though I will miss them ever so dearly (yes, yes, of course) I am anxious – nay, revel – in the opportunity to be a bachelor even if it is just for one 18-hour period. There was a time some years ago when I would have made plans to use this time to go be, yknow, social, or looked up to see what bands are playing live in various watering holes around town. But I am old and fat now, and the motivation to do any of these things is equivalent to that of zero (0). Instead, I shall take advantage of being childless, having zero (0) expectation of being woken up early Sunday, and stay up until one million o’clock playing video games.

Two games are currently occupying my thoughts. Their genres are very befitting for my intention of playing for the long haul this weekend. Or, at the very least, the time enough to become actively engaged in a campaign that will carry on after Sunday.

Out from left field, the first is the God/Sim game Reus. I picked this up during the Steam Summer Sale of ’14. I’ve dabbled in it here and there since then, earned some achievements, unlocked additional resources, learned the ropes. The ‘ropes’ in Reus are many, and they crisscross and thatch and weave.Reus Reus doesn’t have a learning curve so much as the new player has a sort of… methodology curve. The other day I was studying the game’s wiki when my wife happened into the room, glanced over my shoulder at the screen and ultimately declared: “That looks like homework. Why would you want to play a game where you have to look stuff up like that? (No you’re not getting a second monitor…)” I asked myself the same thing. Reus at times does make me feel a bit stressed; there are always so many things to consider, so many well-balanced ecosystems at stake. But a weird ember of logical masochism deep inside me keeps me from turning my back on the game altogether. Mostly this is because I recognize that the game has a very, very cool concept at its foundation and, despite my struggles, it presents that concept well. Part of my weekend gaming activities is to fan this ember by honing my own methodology for achieving objectives in Reus.

The other game is a more familiar one but with some new branches of DLC I have yet to explore. Just around the time that I was finishing up the Iron Fisticle review I was feeling a hankering for some Crusader Kings 2. And then, as if reading my thoughts, Steam rolls out a weekend sale. Between Oct. 2 and Oct. 6 Crusader Kings 2 and the rest of the Paradox Publisher catalog is heavily discounted. Heavily discounted. Like, whoa, kind of discounted. Various bundles are now available and game collections are updated. For CK2 I picked up the Rajas of India expansion and a few character portrait DLCs. So, it is safe to assume that my weekend gaming regimen will include some medieval duplicity and zealotry.

It is worth noting for anyone equipped and interested that Crusader Kings 2 is free to play all weekend. The game is a refreshing departure from the standard top-down map domination strategy game. It takes strategy, yes, but if you can incorporate just a tiny bit of imagination – just a titch of role-playing – the game will wisk you away. Such crusades. Very Dynasties. Wow.

What are you playing this weekend?

Iron Fisticle, review of.

Iron Fisticle asks the question ‘How well can you keep it together with your back against the wall?’ Developed by Confused Pelican this game is a dual-stick top-down carnage fest whose gameplay and visual style hearkens back to the glory days of blowing two weeks’ worth of allowance money in a single afternoon at the video arcade. It is claustrophobic, tense, bombastic, and worthy of a critical look. Button Mashing turns the table and now asks the question: How well can Iron Fisticle keep it together with its back against the wall?

Mechanically, the game is straight forward and familiar. The player controls an armored knight and uses his default battle axe and other various weapon power-ups to carve his way through waves of ever-pursuing enemies, enduring and maneuvering through the levels of the game.

The level design, though modest, is deliberate. The game map consists of only four floors. Each floor contains battle chambers, increasing in total number with each higher floor, wherein the main carnage occurs. Each chamber is a single screen, no panning or roaming around, and has its own structural obstacles which can help or hinder your gameplay: make one false move and you will yelp with horror as you find yourself suddenly cornered; make one smart move and you will mow down your enemies without mercy. Between the patchwork of chambers are different types of connectors which host either a ‘bonus stage’ or a shop for power-ups or nothing at all and you just move right on to the next chamber.

Come at me, Bro!

Come at me, Bro!

Know this: Iron Fisticle is not a dungeon crawler. Exploration has no place here. Literally. There simply isn’t room for it. The arrangement of chambers is clustered instead of labyrinthine. Your end goal – the boss – is clearly labeled on the map of every floor. The game will even stymie your attempts to wander through each floor (no back tracking!) as if to flush you out into the presence of the floor’s boss. Chambers are not grand arenas nor do they house hidden nooks with super sweet loot. This choking sense of immediacy smothers out any need or desire or thought for exploration.

Iron Fisticle’s narrow, claustrophobic scope is its greatest strength. It doesn’t try to be more than it is, washing out the potency and crunch of the gameplay. It doesn’t try to be anything else, though some extra effort into the presentation would help the game stand out – more on this later.

Indeed, part of the challenge of battling in such a claustrophobic space is trying to maintain both a microscopic and macroscopic view simultaneously. Each chamber quickly becomes clogged with enemies. So, while you are hacking away at the immediate threats you must at the same time keep an eye out for minute openings and empty pockets which you can use to maneuver the mindless mob, and position yourself to best utilize your timed powerups.

There is also just the right amount of types of enemies. The game balances quantity and differentiation very well, prompting you to make realtime decisions in movement based on how much of what is coming at you. Enemies are not in a frenzied rage but are still persistent, so persistent.

Focus fire these little pricks ASAP

Focus fire these little pricks ASAP

Most of the time the safest place to be, whatever the situation, is with your back against the wall, skirting the perimeter. Overtime a satisfying momentum is established; once you get rolling it’s hard to call it a night.

A major speed bump to this momentum is the ‘bonus level’. The bonus level switches gears from top-down slaughterfest to sidescrolling jumper. The obstacles and loot are randomly generated and the controls are laggy. These levels are not only pointless but botches up your mojo, your tempo, your pulse. They kill the momentum. They are not very bonus-like: You will see 5X more coinage in a regular slaughter chamber than in the entire run of the bonus level, and the rewards for completing it are also rather piddly. There is very little motivation to take the bonus levels seriously. More often than not, as my veins are still pumping neon adrenaline from playing a previous chamber, I take the first opportunity to perish in a bonus level just so I can move on to the next chamber.

Though the claustrophobia is practically palpable while in the chambers, the game gives the player a gratifying amount of elbow room when it comes to the metagame – another one of the game’s strong points. Once you beat a boss and enter a new floor, that new floor is now available for you to jump to from the title screen – a design that is sure to make any roguelike purist scream to the heavens. Likewise, some of the connectors between chambers are shops where, from four randomly generated items, you can purchase ability upgrades or health. Some of these ability upgrades are permanent, carrying over into the next game. These options – these freedoms – provide an opportunity for players to tailor their experience with Iron Fisticle.

The most important freedom the game gives you is the option to erase all progress data. Because, admittedly, once you’ve maxed out your avatar the game quickly looses steam. You are so tremendously OP that there is little challenge left. So, reset that sucker back to level zero and experiment with your own self-imposed restrictions during another playthrough. Yes. The replay value is subtle but quite tremendous.

Aside from the lame-duck presence of the bonus levels, the only other area of improvement involves the lack of attention to details in the rest of the presentation. Particularly, more love could have been given to the audio which could bolster stronger, more confident gameplay and add character to the game overall. There are times when the game gets delightfully chaotic, a mishmash of activity. During these moments I’d like to hear more from my avatar, something other than the indiscernible grunts when taking damage and disgust when you pick up certain loot. The ‘taking damage’ soundbyte needs to be more pronounced, so I can hear just how much heat I’m taking and can try to GTFO. Hoots and hollars, taunts and jabs, praises to GabeN. Something! The same goes for footsteps. It is just this robotic clunk-clunk-clunk, regardless of the frothy viscera that is smeared all over the floor. Let’s hear some sqishyness!

This may seem nitpicky, but attention to little details like audio and health bar and bonus bank placement can really go a long way. It can ultimately help raise Iron Fisticle above the din and come into the focus of many more perspective gamers – a place where the game belongs.

Held up against the wall, Iron Fisticle does indeed keep itself together. It is unadulterated arcade action but could have been more outstanding with just a little more attention to details in the presentation. It recognizes the focused scope it which it operates and does not overextend itself. Solo or co-op the game is an absolute blast to play, just as were the arcade boxes of old.

(Couldn't resist)

(Couldn’t resist)

Weekend Gaming

Fall is here, which means earlier sunsets, cooler nights and MORE TIME FOR GAMING!

This weekend looks like it’s going to be heavy on the Dota for me. The new patch has come out and every Dota fan is out there, analyzing all the changes. This includes comparing patches and game changes to the Fashion Industry and the idea of a giant snowball of death.

I love it all. I’m particularly interested in trying a couple of things. They gave Timbersaw (#3 on my personal list of favorite Heroes) A SECOND CHAKRAM. (For you Dota Newbies, Timbersaw throws out a whirling blade that spins in place, damaging heroes caught in it and slowing them). In my mind, I see a Venn Diagram of two Chakrams, with Riki or Sniper caught in the intersection.

I also would like to try the newly re-worked Phantom Lancer. Phantom Lancer was fun to play before and the new changes make his strategy completely different. He looks fun, too.

And finally, three games have come out recently that are getting good reviews and I want to try: Gauntlet, Shadow of Mordor and Defense Grid 2. It will be very hard to resist picking one of them up very soon.

So it’s Dota and whatever else tickles my fancy this weekend. How about you?

What are you playing?

Weekend Gaming

So having finally finished Halo 4 (a post or two should be forthcoming [he says trepidatiously]), it’s time to move on to another old triple-A title i purchased at full price over a year ago and am just now getting around to giving it the time of day: Bioshock Infinite. I started BI when it first came out, but lost interest for reasons that elude me now. I was enjoying it and I like the Bioshock Universe but something distracted me and I never went back.

Speaking of going back, I am now in the thick of a horrendous losing streak. I’m afraid to look to see how many it is, as I stopped counting after 8 or 9. I’d like to chalk it up to playing so many games of the new mode, All Random Death Match (another topic for another post), but it’s not that easy, as I was losing games before the ARDM game mode became available. That being said, I anticipate playing at least a match or two this weekend, to see if I can finally get off the shnide.

So it’s Bioshock Infinite and Dota 2 for me. What will you be playing?

September Releases

We’re starting to roll into holiday season, which means we’re approaching Peak Video Games. September is still not flush with games like October and November usually are, but it’s shaping up to be solid. With that said, on to this month’s releases:

Xbox One

Week of September 2nd
WARRIORS OROCHI 3 Ultimate

Week of September 9th
Destiny – September might as well be Destinytember, it’s launching on all platforms and it’s going to be the most played game for a while. I am debating on the PC version or the 360 version, but I think I’ll be giving Destiny a try, for sure.
NHL 15

Week of September 23rd
FIFA 15

Week of September 30th
Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor – Assassin’s Creed: Middle Earth was showing really well earlier, but the news about this game has slowed to a trickle. Not sure that’s exactly a good thing.
Forza Horizon 2
Crimes and Punishments: Sherlock Holmes


Week of September 9th
NHL 15

Week of September 16th
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution: Day 1 Edition

Week of September 23rd
FIFA 15

Week of September 30th
Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
Persona 4 Arena Ultimax
Forza Horizon 2
Crimes and Punishments: Sherlock Holmes


Week of September 23rd
Hyrule Warriors – Not a great month for Nintendo this month, but I’ve read a lot of positive buzz coming out about Hyrule Warriors. I don’t think it will be a game for me, but will it be a boon for Nintendo?


Week of September 16th
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call
Cooking Mama 5: Bon Appetit!

Week of September 23rd
FIFA 15


Week of September 2nd
Planetary Annihilation Collectors Edition
Gauntlet
The Sims 4

Week of September 16th
How to Survive

Week of September 23rd
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
FIFA 15
Stronghold Crusader 2 – This font and title look dangerously close to Crusader King’s logo. Like “let’s see who we can trick into buying our game because they thought they were getting something associated with Crusader Kings” dangerous.

Week of September 30th
Crimes & Punishments – Sherlock Holmes


PS4 Banner

Week of September 2nd
WARRIORS OROCHI 3 Ultimate

Week of September 9th
Destiny
NHL 15

Week of September 16th
Air Conflicts: Vietnam

Week of September 23rd
FIFA 15
NAtURAL DOCtRINE

Week of September 30th
Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
Crimes and Punishments: Sherlock Holmes


Week of September 2nd
Darksiders II

Week of September 9th
NHL 15
Destiny

Week of September 16th
Fairy Fencer F
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution: Day 1 Edition

Week of September 23rd
NAtURAL DOCtRINE
Ar Nosurge: Ode to an Unborn Star
FIFA 15

Week of September 30th
Persona 4 Arena Ultimax
Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
Crimes and Punishments: Sherlock Holmes


Week of September 2nd
Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair

Week of September 23rd
FIFA 15
Arcana Heart 3: LOVE MAX!!!!!

Week of September 30th
NAtURAL DOCtRINE

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: Hearthstone, Anathem, not Divinity: Original Sin

For this weekend I foresee myself giving a disproportionate amount of attention between Hearthstone and Neal Stephenson’s tome Anathem.

Not a video game.

Not a video game.

Somewhere around the time when my tooth pain (as can be read in the previous WG post) was getting the better me and when I was growing weary of Divinity:Original Sin I decided that I needed an upheaval – or, a restructuring, if you will – of my leisure time activities. I was in a gaming slump. And when things get like that I take it as an indication that I am in need of some Analog Time. I’m not going full-on Luddite; this is not a post decrying technology. But every now and then I need to tip the scale in favor of the printed word. Anathem continues to be just the book for the job. The book’s length and subject matter demand a heady dedication if there is any hope of making it through to the end. Which means that, on many evenings, this requires me to power down the computer and burrow in with my reading lamp.

Although the Gaming & Book scale has been tipped, do note, as indicated, that the whole contraption has not toppled. Hearthstone is the perfect game for filling in those semi-brief blocks of time when I’m not reading Anathem. Currently, I’m not so much concerned about the ladder climb than become better acquainted with the classes I’ve yet to play, namely Paladin, Warlock and Warrior. I eased into the Druid pretty well this past week, and I still hate opposing Mages. Hunters are all the rage now but I’ve been able to manage and tame the majority I’ve come up against. I still have to give Arena a serious try – Maybe this weekend, maybe not. I’m amassing a decent chunk of gold so maybe I’ll buy into a Naaxramas wing. What to do. What to do. So many possibilities.

Concerning Divinity: Original Sin… Too often I would think, Man, this game really makes me want to play XCOM. Indeed. I enjoy the tactics, even the inventory management. But I am not all that invested in the story (I rarely am in video games). This apathy combined with the game’s lack-of-hand-holding (which I do not bemoan) does not sync well over time. I’m not quite sure where to go next, and the thought of fishing through lines of dialog with NPCs to trigger a quest that points me in the right direction makes me grunt. So, Divinity and I are in a stalemate right now. Man, this game really makes me want to play XCOM. And wouldn’t you know it: XCOM along with select other 2K games are on sale this weekend on Steam.

What are you playing this weekend?

P.S. The cause of my tooth pain was never really identified. I heard three different answers from three different dental professionals. And yet, the pain originating from my second molar persisted. The dentist subscribed an antibiotic and a pain killer, which was completely ineffective. We tried a root canal, which was a bumbling failure. At my wits end and contrary to professional advice I decided to just have the stupid thing pulled. The process was Medieval and awesome and horrible and brief. And now, three days later, this is the most comfortable I have felt in a month.

Not a video game.

Not a video game.

August Releases

August is traditionally the last month before the glut of game releases begins in earnest. It’s usually when Madden is released and a whole bunch of shovelware that studios want to get out the door before they start launching their heavy hitters in anticipation of the Fall and Holiday seasons. This year, August actually has a few games that aren’t Madden that are still worth a look or two.

With that said, on to this month’s releases:

Xbox One

Week of August 19th
Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition – I’m still not sure why Diablo III didn’t do it for me the way Diablo II did. I also wonder if the console version is worth the time. Either way, Diablo III has a faithful fanbase and they love them some console Diablo.

Week of August 26th
Madden NFL 15 – With everything that EA is dealing with concerning the Ed O’Bannon case, this year marked the first time in over a decade that they didn’t release an NCAA version of their football game. Even though it was Madden’s neglected younger cousin, it was a fan favorite among college football fans, myself included. And since last year’s cover was graced by Denard Robinson, a former University of Meatchicken Skunk Weasel, I guess my run with EA’s NCAA ended two years ago. That’s all to say I loved NCAA Football and never cared for Madden. I don’t think I’ll care this year, either.
Metro Redux


Week of August 5th
Darksiders – Collection
Ultra Street Fighter IV – One thing Capcom can never be accused of is being unoriginal with their iterative titles.
Sacred 3 – Sacred 3 is intriguing to me. Way back in the day, (five years ago, to be exact), we were provided a copy of Sacred 2 for review. James reviewed and gave it a solid “BUY” rating back then. I’ve played it, and while it was rough around the edges, it had its moments. With the eminent release of Sacred 3, I am intrigued. I don’t think it will have the tactical depth of Divinity: Original Sin, but I think it could be a fun hack-and-slash romp. I’m putting this on my “definitely maybe” list. (But I’ll probably pick up the already released PC version)

Week of August 12th
Risen 3: Titan Lords
World of Tanks

Week of August 19th
Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition

Week of August 26th
Madden NFL 15


No new releases for the Nintendo Wii U for the month of August. (not a good sign)


Week of August 5th
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Week of August 26th
Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney


Week of August 5th
Ultra Street Fighter IV
MX vs. ATV: Alive + Supercross
Red Faction – Collection
Darksiders – Collection
Weather Lord: In Pursuit of the Shaman – (Included for completeness sake, and a totally bonkers name of a game. Weather Lord? Seriously?)

Week of August 12th
Risen 3 – Titan Lords

Week of August 19th
Week of August 26th
Metro 2033 Redux
Metro: Last Light Redux
Metro Redux


PS4 Banner

Week of August 19th
Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition
Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare

Week of August 26th
Madden NFL 15
Metro Redux
inFAMOUS First Light


Week of August 5th
Darksiders – Collection
Red Faction – Collection
Ultra Street Fighter IV
Sacred 3

Week of August 12th
AKIBA’S TRIP: Undead & Undressed
Risen 3: Titan Lords

Week of August 19th
Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition
Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare

Week of August 26th
Madden NFL 15
Tales of Xillia 2


Week of August 12th
Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited
AKIBA’S TRIP: Undead & Undressed

Week of August 26th
Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1

(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: Monday Report – Hearthstone, Divinity: Original Sin

I am going to just go ahead and break convention by doing a Weekend Gaming post on Monday. Look at me. I am so defiant. You can’t control me, patriarch!

Friday was an awesome non-gaming day. I’m glad that Demolition Derbies have pretty much become an annual family tradition. But , it was Saturday evening before I the opportunity to load any games, and even then the circumstances and motivations were quite unique. Indeed. So, long story short: I have some dental discomfort going on for a couple weeks now. The one tooth in the bottom left hand side is chipped and may have a partially exposed nerve or infection or something. But like a dummy I had just kind of ignored the discomfort (and the phone number of the Endodonist). That is, until Saturday afternoon while our family was at the zoo when the discomfort jolted into pain. We were able to get hold of our family dentist, and she called in some meds. Therefore, my Saturday evening was spent playing Hearthstone while feeling all droopy on pain killers. Likewise, I also needed to do something to keep my mind occupied, away from the abated pain and frustration at myself for waiting to get this problem resolved.

Perhaps it was this slightly altered state of mind but I decided to finally begin climbing the Hearthstone ranked play ladder, one of the modes of competitive play. Again, I do not know why I had waited so long to do this (Clearly I have an issue with dilly dallying) because this has been the most consistent fun I’ve had. For the first time I feel like the game has evenly matched me with other players, as opposed to the ‘Casual’ mode where the match-ups feel very hit and miss.

Perhaps because of this slightly altered state of mind, this weekend also witnessed other changes in my Hearthstone routine. I decided that I need to play the game in 3-match clumps with some downtime inbetween. This way I don’t get all tilted and can think constructively about my losses, which is much-needed while building a Shaman deck. Another change I made concerns the music.  Quaint as the in-game music is, this weekend was also when I decided to drop that options bar all the way to zero (0) and then stream in some righteous stoner jams from my favorite Youtube channel. This keeps me in the zone, keeps me from getting upset, keeps me on top of what is current in the scene, and it doubly kept me from singling out the excruciating pain in my tooth. I love win-win-win-win-win situations. Overall, during the course of Saturday and Sunday, I managed to climb seven positions in the ladder without too many embarrassing losses.  Now I just need to work up the minerals to try the Arena. I might need stronger pain killers for that.

On other fronts: After an awful and near-sleepless Saturday night, I was able to poke around for a little bit in Divinity: Original Sin on Sunday morning. I was not in the mindset for battle or exploration, which was well-timed because my characters’ inventory was out.of.control. and needed addressed. So, when I learned that you can place empty treasure chests in your inventory (did you know you can place empty treasure chests in your inventory!?), I made haste to the church yard in north eastern Cyseal. Scattered there amid the toxin seeping ground are maybe half dozen chests.  I plucked those up and took them and the rest of my inventory-loaded/pack mule party members to the one empty house in town. There, I set up a base of operations which now includes a stock room of treasure chests stuffed with items for future use or – more likely – to be sold. Good stuff. One of my favorite aspects of this game is discovering little quirks and conveniences in the mechanics. I’m sure Tony has thoughts about the game as well. Wouldn’t it be nice to hear from him?