Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I played a little AoC, FE, NHL 10 and DoD. Got all that?

This was a pretty weird weekend for me gaming wise. I was all over the place in terms of MMO's, one console game, and a ton of strategy games which is what I wanted to get back into since I am no longer that "one MMO only" guy. Since I work at a bank, I had President's day off and oddly enough I did nothing early on in the day Monday and did not start playing anything until late in the afternoon. Friday night, Saturday and Sunday during the day were a different story however.

So since cutting back on my MMO time I have branched out and discovered a wealth of games that had long been abandoned on my hard drive or in my Steam profile. The major problem with strategy games is, like an MMO in levels 1-20, if it does not grab you after the tutorial and first few turns chances are you will not return to it. Case in point for me lately was the clunkiness of the Empire Total War turn based aspect, the over micromanagement of CIV 4 city building, and the plodding speed of Sins of a Solar Empire. I just attacked two of the more popular strategy games of our time but to be honest I really just did not like Sins of a Solar Empire. Despite repeated attempts to get into it I still reverted back to GalCiv 2. I guess it is just the turn based lover in me that prefers that type of gameplay. MORE AFTER THE BREAK

This weekend I FINALLY gave Dawn of Discovery the old college try and stuck with it through the entire first campaign scenario and ended up falling in love with it. The atmosphere and the way it plays suits me much more than other city building games like Tropico 3 or The Settlers 6. Plus it has some really cool features that hook you and take hold of you early. One of these is just exploring and meeting other people on islands or maybe coming across that rare wreckage far out to sea. At any rate once I got the hang of it I ended up playing it over 4 hours between some time on Saturday and Sunday.I love the quests that are given to you and even though they pile up fast you have to take them one at a time and it helps to cut down on the urgency of the game. When I first played I felt overwhelmed but i took my time and knocked them out one by one and it all started to click with me. So far managing my small city has been easy and i only really had one incident of an angry populace when I accidentally shut off their spiced cider supply. There was a minor revolt and some buildings were burned but I managed to recover. I have just discovered a Middle East themed island and this has unlocked more building options for me through the use of Honor in game which I can build up through trade. I do want to see how the military aspects play out however.

Friday night saw my return to my XBOX 360 once my NHL 10 came in from the EBAY buy I made. I ended up playing hockey for a solid 2 or so hours Friday taking my beloved Blackhawks to 10-0-1 before losing 3 straight. Most of my time Friday was spent BOILING the disc in water as detailed in the post I made before this one but once I got it working I was having a blast. Unfortunately it is the only console game I play.The game itself is great and features a great season mode full of injuries and coaching options. Heck I even unlocked the Self Sacrifice achievement by scoring with an injured player who was on the rink. Injuries that are not really severe won't keep a player out, but it will reduce their stats. The fighting feature in game now is a simple right stick pull back and punch method but you can also pull the jersey over a player's head and land some nasty haymakers. The Be A Pro mode is basically NHL 10's RPG mode. This year BAP kicks off with your participation in a prospect game. How you perform in the game will help determine where you are selected in the NHL draft. Once drafted, you’ll have a chance to perform with the big club before they decide to keep you or send you down to the AHL for some seasoning.

Relating to that I pre-ordered Chaos Rising, the expansion to Dawn of War 2 and with it got a free copy of Saints Row 2 for the PC. That means of course that is just one more XBOX 360 title I can now sell since the PC version is more playable for me.

Back to the whole MMO thing which people seem to be really fixated on lately I have found myself abandoning my starship in Star Trek Online this week and heading into Age of Conan since the latest patch went live. Moving servers I started over and rerolled my Conqueror only to find some nice new changes at lower level that were not there months ago when I played. I now have banners earlier which I can plant to provide a nice AOE fire damage and this has allowed me to time to experiment with them and the technique feature I didn't have before when I played. Seemingly Conquerors were revamped and given some more lower level abilities but I am not sure when this went into place. At any rate it is a nice new touch and one I was not expecting.

In Fallen Earth I have settled down and finally gone forward with my character as a crafter and rifle user and started to spend AP's more confidently. The upcoming new town starter area revamps have me glad that I put off the game a bit over the past 3 weeks because now when I hit all the towns I can expect to get the new content. Currently my character Desicus is working around the quarry and doing quests in the Burbs. I got pretty far Saturday before logging out and then Sunday I devoted most of my time to Dawn of Discovery. If you want to know the skinny on the latest Fallen Earth vehicle patch take a look at this knowledge base info:

http://kb.fallenearth.com/index.php?View=entry&EntryID=452

Well it is a pretty short update.I have been so busy playing so many things that honestly my tales would take up tons of blog space and bore the average non strategy gamer so I just steer clear. In short Age of Conan still continues to impress while Fallen Earth is addictive and Star Trek Online is good in small chunks. The STO dev crew finally patched some cosmetic issues I was having with the game so I can at least use my TOS uniforms on my bridge officers now.

In the upcoming week I plan to dive into Europa Universalis 3 which I picked up for $8.99 (plus expansions) and you can read some good play by play stuff on that over on Werit's blog.

Oh and lastly Game Industry News has posted their nominees for Game of the Year awards. Go check it out

http://www.gameindustry.com/goty/voting.asp