Weekend Gaming – Europa Univeralis IV

Europa Universails IV continues to morph into quite the juggernaut. First released in 2013, EU4 now hosts additional content which includes nine expansion packs (with #10, ‘Mandate of Heaven’, set to be released in two weeks) and a bevy, a hoard, a throng, a cacophony of cosmetic and music DLCs.

Want a good jolt? Go to the game’s Steam page and see how much all this crap costs. Here – I’ll link it for you. Europa Universalis IV.

Luckily. Thankfully. Paradox titles often go on sale. And given the base game’s age, these discounts are often steep and attractive. And not just on Steam, either. The Humble Bundle Store often hosts developer discounts – of which I recently (like, last weekend) bought the remaining EU4 expansions that had not already owned… and played.

The tenth expansion for Europa Unviersalis IV

Indeed. I’ve been stewing on EU4 for a while. Turning it down outright during sales and other opportunities to buy at discounted price. As shocking as the summation monetary figure is in the steam link above, price was and has never really been an impediment for picking up Paradox titles – although sales are definitely a huge motivating factor, of course.

No. The timing just never felt right for me to take the Europa plunge (And, to an extent, the timing never felt right for most games this past winter season). But, I’ve crawled out of the hole. I’m feeling increasingly rejuvenated and interested in playing video games again — not just playing, but also learning how to play. What better way to experience both at the same time than with EU4?

Yes. I feel like I’ve come full circle. I feel like my hero’s journey has brought me home. It feels great to be up to my friggin eyeballs in a Paradox game. Where once all the EU4 expansions and content scared me off, I now embrace it tightly, smooshing my face in and motorboating the game’s generous offerings.

What are you motorboating this weekend?

[2 Minute Review] Time Hollow

What do you get if you lock Phoenix Wright, Hotel Dusk and Trace Memory in a room with a Barry White CD playing?

This kid will have a lot of questions when he’s older…

DO: A lot of reading, cause time paradoxes and get really confused… in a good way.

TYPE: Point & Click adventure game.

PLATFORM: DS

PRICE: $29.99

MEAT: If you’ve played an Ace Attorney game or Hotel Dusk: Room 215, you’ll be right at home with Time Hollow. The game plays like a combination of an interactive novel and an old Lucasarts/Sierra point & click adventure, with inventory management and conversation trees galore. Thankfully, it’s all done in a clean, simple way with minimal backtracking and plenty of hooks to move the story along.

Time Hollow deals with your character, Ethan Kairos, who wakes the day of his 17th birthday to find that everything in his life doesn’t seem right. His parents, who were just having dinner with him the night before, have now been missing for 12 years. Friends go missing for days despite Ethan having just talked to them moments earlier. Am I hurting your brain? Don’t worry. It all makes a lot more sense in the game proper and a large part of the game’s plot involves trying to unravel the cause of these paradoxes.

That’s where the Hollow Pen comes into play. Ethan uses this device to ‘dig’ into the past and find clues to the unraveling chronosphere around him.

PERKS: The production values on Time Hollow are VERY impressive for a DS game and that, plus the excellent translation from the original Japanese, make it a must-own game for fans of the waning point & click adventure genre. I was quite impressed with the number of animated (and fully voiced) cutscenes in the game as well.

VERDICT: Buy. If you’ve enjoyed the Ace Attorney games and want something with a little more actual gameplay and a more serious storyline (and time travel!) or are a fan of point & click adventure games in general, run, don’t walk, to the store to get this game. You won’t be sorry…