I found YouTube’s recommended videos when watching Marcus Beer’s channel quite hilarious. You can feel the burn.

I found YouTube’s recommended videos when watching Marcus Beer’s channel quite hilarious. You can feel the burn.

Best Indie Game of 2013: Gone Home

Gone Home was a game that I had heard people buzzing over. I made a conscious choice of not listening to anything people said about it. When I played Gone Home, I played it not knowing what to expect at all, I only knew people were excited about it.

I was scared, cautious, thrilled and happy when playing Gone Home. Finishing the game left me with a warm feeling inside and I was really glad I had played the whole game through. It is nothing revolutionary, but it is different. If you know nothing about it, chances are it’s not what one might expect from a video game.

The game oozes atmosphere. Especially if you’ve grown up in the early 90s, this will be a fun and a weird nostalgia trip. The house, the music, sounds and voice acting all come together in a way that completes the package neatly. I can’t recommend this game more. Even people who usually don’t play video games should try this out. Though you might need a bit more mature mindset to enjoy the game to the full.

Runner up: Papers, Please

I never knew a monotonous paperwork in an oppressive government could be so much fun. Especially in Papers, Please the game ramps up the difficulty slowly enough that you never get to relax and yet never feel like there is too much to handle. While stamping with the red and green stamps you will also learn a thing or two about yourself when the game gives you moral choices. Will you only look out for yourself and play it safe to keep your job and feed your family, or are you willing to sometimes bend the rules a bit if it benefited you or someone else, but also contained some risks?

These choices and the varied people you meet while sitting in your lone booth made me question my choice for the best indie game. Even though Gone Home won, Papers, Please is indeed worth the time of any open-minded individual. Don’t let the unorthodox gameplay or setting steer you away from the glory of Arstotzka!

Year 2013 is ending and I’m trying to remember what games I actually enjoyed and played a lot this year. During the next few days I’m going to post my top games of the year. My list will completely be based on what I played and enjoyed the most. Games that made me laugh, moved me or just wouldn’t let me stop playing them.
All in all the year 2013 seems a rather quiet one, but still the few games that came were very good. Here’s hoping that 2014 will have the same quality as 2013 and same quantity as 2012.
Anyways, first off, my choice for the indie game of the year!

Year 2013 is ending and I’m trying to remember what games I actually enjoyed and played a lot this year. During the next few days I’m going to post my top games of the year. My list will completely be based on what I played and enjoyed the most. Games that made me laugh, moved me or just wouldn’t let me stop playing them.

All in all the year 2013 seems a rather quiet one, but still the few games that came were very good. Here’s hoping that 2014 will have the same quality as 2013 and same quantity as 2012.

Anyways, first off, my choice for the indie game of the year!

Steam Holiday Sales

Woo, it’s that time of the year, folks.

Get crazy or something!

Hearthstone: Priests are dicks

Today I was finally able to log in to Hearthstone after a few days of mysterious server issues. I had three quests, yay. Two were easy peasy: win 3 matches, win 5 with paladin/priest. I thought the third would be easy too: win 5 with warlock/mage.

I had a really good luck with every game and pretty much won all 5 paladin games in a row. Then I won 4 warlock games in a row. “Heh, I’ll just play one more and go play some Diablo 3 on PS3.”

So, so wrong… My warlock met 5 priests in a row - my deck suffers greatly from holy novas and those word removal spells. And if I still had something good to play, it was turn 10 and time to mind control any remaining minions I have - that or let him pummel me without playing anything. So, I’m brushing my teeth and being bitter about priests.

I’ve come to the conclusion that only dicks play priests and mages, by far the most annoying classes. Priest maybe even more with mind control and the ability to pull cards from your deck, effectively increasing his deck size considerably. Hnngh, tomorrow I’m gonna use my rogue’s anti-priest deck and get my vengeance.

VGX Awards 2013

I’m a little late with this, but OH BOY that show sucked. Pretty much all three hours of it. Sure, trailers and awards were pretty nice, but the retro style videos were just ugly and Joel was just a douche who didn’t care about games or the show he was on. The GTA music guys were completely forgettable and annoying.

Oh it wasn’t completely horrible. I liked the award videos where the studio received the awards, especially the game characters receiving the awards. Maybe next year the awards will be more about the games and fun instead of what ever it was this time…

I can hardly believe it, but I miss the old Spike VGAs with the hosts that don’t even play games, but actually do their job well. Also less trying to be serious and grown ups, you can let loose AND not be completely immature.

*sigh* next year, Geoff Keighley, fix it.

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag - opinion #2

Another small AC4 related update. First with the negatives, then the awesome positives!

Hate: Those god forsaken trailing mission. Or “Let us talk, Kenway, walk with me” because actually animating a real cutscene would take more effort than what you can do with yearly releases. And a bonus hate for the unskippable cutscenes every time you sink a boat, capture it or let it go. I’m kinda tired of my crew carrying around sail cloth and always checking just that one cannon with creepily wide eyes - or the two bros congratulating each other when they join my fleet.

Love: Everything else. Pretty much. Despite those few things that make me cringe a bit this game is still ranked #1 on my current games that I’m addicted to list. It doesn’t help that I’m getting an ego boost when the game tells me I’m ranked within the top 5-10 in regional leaderboards (I’m not cut out for the global ones, those are nuts - who has time to rack up those scores?).

I’ve got to hand it to the Ubi coding monkeys this time, they did a damn fine job. Got to mention this before I forget: the assassination contracts are very simple, yet very fun. Best part is that they reward you if you can reach your target without getting into combat. Makes it that much more satisfying to leap through the air to stab his back. Robbing warehouses whilst sabotaging the alarm bells and quickly disposing of the marksmen is a lot of fun to boot. You do get to plan very fun ways to kill a lot of people (sure you can use just sleep darts if you’re boring, but ehh, it’s an assassin game).

Can’t wait to get back home from work and gather enough money to build that bordello on my own private island!

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

I never finished AC: Revelations and completely skipped AC III, but I thought the new interesting setting and naval mechanics etc. deserved a glance. So I bought the game. I must say it was the best 45 euros I’ve spent in a while. I’m not sure if the reason is that I hadn’t played Assassin’s Creed games in a while or if the game really is as awesome as my brains are telling me it is.

First of all, the game is extremely pretty. The setting allows for a much more colorful surroundings, and the water behavior done so, so very well.  Sailing in the night, listening to your crew singing, listening to the ocean waves and looking through your spyglass at other ships filled with the promise of loot, or seeing a huge strom coming at your way. During these sea voyages the game is very immersive - at least until you start the naval combats, because then you’re throwing realism into the bin. It does serve the fun in gameplay and keeps up the pace of the game.

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Opinions on CoD: Ghosts MP
I’ve been meaning to write about this since the day after Ghosts’ launch. I haven’t been a hardcore FPS gamer for a few years now, but I’ve always bought new CoDs to enjoy some hundred hours of trading bullets on the battlefield. I wasn’t really having any expectations, but I admit I had grown used to the way Black Ops II did things - Black Ops II MP was just amazing. Let’s get into the business though.
The first thing I noticed in Ghosts was that somehow I felt more clumsy. Whether it was tied to the movement itself or the weird feeling I had with the mouse controls, I do not know. I kind of grew used to it and after a while the weird feeling of mouse acceleration was just another thing to keep in mind when spinning around. Oh, I almost forgot, for the first time you could play as a male or female, pretty neat - even if the women didn’t actually look that different from the men, they all look big in armor.
After gaining some levels and tokens to unlock new gear I noticed everything costs A LOT. Plus leveling in the regular ways is very slow in comparison to previous titles. The weekly challenges will boost your progress somewhat however. Luckily you can buy whatever you want in any order you want. This is a great feature and being able to choose more perks by sacrificing other gear is always good. My best loadout just had an assault rifle, grenade and bunch of perks.
Some of the levels were very good, such as the huge castle level, very nice. Most of the levels however rub me the wrong way. Some of them are too open and don’t offer enough variation and the others somehow make spawn deaths very frequent. The weapons are okay, and the idea of default silencers on the guns is a neat idea, but I’m really missing camos for secondary and some guns from Black Ops II. Finally… oh how I hate the killstreaks in the Infinity Wards’ versions of the games. This time the biggest annoyance is the Maniac (10 kills). It turns the player into armored and incredibly quick knife runner. Currently maniac is just way too powerful. This isn’t what broke the experience for me however. Black Ops II was just more polished all around, had better maps, tighter feel and more balanced pace to the combat.
Then again it’s just me…but my opinion is that this is the perfect time to buy Black Ops II and the season pass for it. I actually forgot to mention Ghosts’ fun horde mode with aliens, but again zombies from Black Ops II offer a more deep and varied experience. From what I’ve seen while playing Black Ops is that it’s still extremely popular online and new players are still finding their way into the game, so you won’t run out of people to play with any time soon (plus most of the hackers usually run for the newest game, since more players means more trolling or ego boosting).
I hope I will meet you on the field of battle in Black Ops II!

Opinions on CoD: Ghosts MP

I’ve been meaning to write about this since the day after Ghosts’ launch. I haven’t been a hardcore FPS gamer for a few years now, but I’ve always bought new CoDs to enjoy some hundred hours of trading bullets on the battlefield. I wasn’t really having any expectations, but I admit I had grown used to the way Black Ops II did things - Black Ops II MP was just amazing. Let’s get into the business though.

The first thing I noticed in Ghosts was that somehow I felt more clumsy. Whether it was tied to the movement itself or the weird feeling I had with the mouse controls, I do not know. I kind of grew used to it and after a while the weird feeling of mouse acceleration was just another thing to keep in mind when spinning around. Oh, I almost forgot, for the first time you could play as a male or female, pretty neat - even if the women didn’t actually look that different from the men, they all look big in armor.

After gaining some levels and tokens to unlock new gear I noticed everything costs A LOT. Plus leveling in the regular ways is very slow in comparison to previous titles. The weekly challenges will boost your progress somewhat however. Luckily you can buy whatever you want in any order you want. This is a great feature and being able to choose more perks by sacrificing other gear is always good. My best loadout just had an assault rifle, grenade and bunch of perks.

Some of the levels were very good, such as the huge castle level, very nice. Most of the levels however rub me the wrong way. Some of them are too open and don’t offer enough variation and the others somehow make spawn deaths very frequent. The weapons are okay, and the idea of default silencers on the guns is a neat idea, but I’m really missing camos for secondary and some guns from Black Ops II. Finally… oh how I hate the killstreaks in the Infinity Wards’ versions of the games. This time the biggest annoyance is the Maniac (10 kills). It turns the player into armored and incredibly quick knife runner. Currently maniac is just way too powerful. This isn’t what broke the experience for me however. Black Ops II was just more polished all around, had better maps, tighter feel and more balanced pace to the combat.

Then again it’s just me…but my opinion is that this is the perfect time to buy Black Ops II and the season pass for it. I actually forgot to mention Ghosts’ fun horde mode with aliens, but again zombies from Black Ops II offer a more deep and varied experience. From what I’ve seen while playing Black Ops is that it’s still extremely popular online and new players are still finding their way into the game, so you won’t run out of people to play with any time soon (plus most of the hackers usually run for the newest game, since more players means more trolling or ego boosting).

I hope I will meet you on the field of battle in Black Ops II!

'True Evening' by Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney from the album: Will Rock - OC Remix.org
Hearthstone - concede phenomenon

First of all, yeah, I’m in the beta and the game is indeed pretty fun to play.

But onwards! 

image

Psychological win maybe?

I’ve noticed something peculiar in every game I’ve been winning. During the last turn the opponent takes his sweet time to plan his moves, usually uses all his cards and deals all the damage he has. After everything possible is done, they concede.

So, instead of just valuing their own time the players choose to delay the loss they know is coming next turn if they don’t concede. In the end they choose to waste time they could use to maybe find a next match or rework on their deck just to get that few damage through. I’ve been thinking why this is. It’s certainly a bit annoying see the opponent slowly make his moves before he concedes, but in the end I still win, so it’s more of a loss for him anyways. I think I know at least some reasons as to why they do this. (Worst games are those where the opponent does nothing on any turn, but you can see his mouse hovering over his cards and buttons, but they’re another breed entirely.)

What do they get out of it?

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Judgement AKA Bullshit Mode
“Scrolls’ Judgement is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get." - Forrest Mojang
As much as I love Scrolls and as much as I liked Judgement’s idea when I heard of it, I must say it’s just horrible. Building random decks and using them against other people with random decks sounds like a blast. And it is, if you manage to get even moderately lucky. I did get lucky a few times, and made it to four wins and enjoyed it. Oh, but it didn’t last long.
The more I played, the more I started noticing how much luck is a factor in this game mode. Doubly so than in normal game modes, though one can always argue that some luck is involved in card draws. In judgement you basically draw twice. First you draw to choose your deck - better bring out those lucky charms to get a decent mono- or bi-resource deck. Then you draw in the game praying to get some of the few good cards you picked.
More often than not, however, I found myself in a situation where I had picked half of my cards building a mono deck only to find myself in a situation where I only have a few cards that can be actually useful in combination. Here I had to consider going bi-resource or cross my fingers and keep going mono (well, fingers need to be crossed anyways). Usually I just ended up with a deck full of weak creatures with only one or two buffs.
Still some people manage to get very good decks. I’ve seen very many good decay decks that just faceroll over me (and one growth deck with 4 brother of the wolf). I saw so many good decay decks that I thought I’d give it a shot. Nope. I got zero languid, zero brain lice, zero searing shackles, zero infectious blight. Basically I missed out on all the good enchantments and lost five games in a row even though I managed to get double card draws from a Scavenger Construct with double Animovere. I usually drew 3-4 cards per turn, but I still couldn’t do anything since the other players just had gotten some really good creatures to counter my weak ones.
Bottom line is that I wish Judgement was more like Hearthstones Arena mode. In Hearthstone first you get to pick one out of three random classes, then you are given random cards to pick from a pool consisting of your class’ cards and neutral cards. You can not make a too broken deck unless you don’t think at all. Scrolls just mixes up 4 different resources and you get to pick from all of them. Which means there are plenty of rows with nothing to pick, since every card might be useless to you if you didn’t pick any of the same resource before.
As an added bonus the rewards are laughable. In five games I will make 250-2000 gold depending on how I perform, and I get to choose cards from my deck to keep if I did well. Generally I make 1,3k in five matches, especially after they upgraded loss gold, so I don’t see why should I first invest 1000 gold to just maybe win that amount back and get to choose a card or two from a pile of awful to great cards.
Sigh, enough ranting. I’ll just go play quick matches and ranked now while I wait for my beta key for Hearthstone. Blizzard, I’m still waiting!

Judgement AKA Bullshit Mode

Scrolls’ Judgement is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get." - Forrest Mojang

As much as I love Scrolls and as much as I liked Judgement’s idea when I heard of it, I must say it’s just horrible. Building random decks and using them against other people with random decks sounds like a blast. And it is, if you manage to get even moderately lucky. I did get lucky a few times, and made it to four wins and enjoyed it. Oh, but it didn’t last long.

The more I played, the more I started noticing how much luck is a factor in this game mode. Doubly so than in normal game modes, though one can always argue that some luck is involved in card draws. In judgement you basically draw twice. First you draw to choose your deck - better bring out those lucky charms to get a decent mono- or bi-resource deck. Then you draw in the game praying to get some of the few good cards you picked.

More often than not, however, I found myself in a situation where I had picked half of my cards building a mono deck only to find myself in a situation where I only have a few cards that can be actually useful in combination. Here I had to consider going bi-resource or cross my fingers and keep going mono (well, fingers need to be crossed anyways). Usually I just ended up with a deck full of weak creatures with only one or two buffs.

Still some people manage to get very good decks. I’ve seen very many good decay decks that just faceroll over me (and one growth deck with 4 brother of the wolf). I saw so many good decay decks that I thought I’d give it a shot. Nope. I got zero languid, zero brain lice, zero searing shackles, zero infectious blight. Basically I missed out on all the good enchantments and lost five games in a row even though I managed to get double card draws from a Scavenger Construct with double Animovere. I usually drew 3-4 cards per turn, but I still couldn’t do anything since the other players just had gotten some really good creatures to counter my weak ones.

Bottom line is that I wish Judgement was more like Hearthstones Arena mode. In Hearthstone first you get to pick one out of three random classes, then you are given random cards to pick from a pool consisting of your class’ cards and neutral cards. You can not make a too broken deck unless you don’t think at all. Scrolls just mixes up 4 different resources and you get to pick from all of them. Which means there are plenty of rows with nothing to pick, since every card might be useless to you if you didn’t pick any of the same resource before.

As an added bonus the rewards are laughable. In five games I will make 250-2000 gold depending on how I perform, and I get to choose cards from my deck to keep if I did well. Generally I make 1,3k in five matches, especially after they upgraded loss gold, so I don’t see why should I first invest 1000 gold to just maybe win that amount back and get to choose a card or two from a pile of awful to great cards.

Sigh, enough ranting. I’ll just go play quick matches and ranked now while I wait for my beta key for Hearthstone. Blizzard, I’m still waiting!