End of Year stuff - 2014

This year has been a weird year. I've spent more time playing online games than I have story based games and it shows when I've only completed one full length game this year (that came out this year).

  1. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
    I've never really gotten into card games before. I played a tiny bit of Pokémon when that first started and got into the Yu-Gi-Oh video games when they became a thing but beyond that I've never gotten deep into it until this year. I don't want to know the amount of hours I've put into this game. I've played hundreds upon hundreds of matches and had so many amazing moments. The amount of love and care that have gone into this game is incredible and it shows itself all throughout.
  2. The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
    I put 80 hours into the original game. I reached Golden God (100%) before the expansion was released and I loved every single minute of it. In less than 2 months I've already put 44 hours into Rebirth. Rebirth feels almost like a completely new game, with so many new enemies, bosses, items and mechanics that it's so much more than just a remake. The only downside to it is the new music, Danny B's music isn't matched sadly and the new soundtrack doesn't quite have the same atmosphere that the original did, that said It's still pretty good. This is a game that I will finish 100% and I can't wait for the expansion to come out.
  3. World of Warcraft: Warlord of Draenor
    It's taken this expansion to get me back into the game. Throughout Wrath I was hooked, when Cataclysm came out I got to max level in one sitting being one of the first on my server to do so. However after hitting max level in Cataclysm the magic died for me and I stopped playing. I popped back in towards the end of Mists of Pandaria and just couldn't get into in any way. I tried and as part of that trying I preordered WoD to get the extra level 90 character to try and help, it didn't. Prepurchasing this game was the best mistake I've made, if I hadn't done that I imagine I wouldn't have played the expansion. The additions they've made with the expansion are great, the tweaks they've made are smart and it seems almost all aspects of the game have been improved to make the player experience better. Quests are fun, dungeon loot makes sense and there's now multiple ways to gear up at max level so you don't need to grind heroic after heroic to get gear any more. While I don't think I'll get back to Wrath level of addiction I don't see myself stopping any time soon.
  4. Football Manager 2015
    There's not much different in this than 2014 yet for some reason I find myself spending so much more time on that than the previous year. Not a whole lot to say here other than that it's a fantastic game.
  5. Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor
    I've yet to finish this however the time I've spent with it thus far has been incredible. The whole Nemesis system combined with the combat is enough to base an entire game off without even the need for a story or anything else. This game is so incredible smart in design, it's got so many hooks to get you in and keep you there. The first time I saw a revenge mission to kill an orc a friend had died to was incredible. At that point I was feeling a bit down on the game, I'd killed several orcs already and hadn't died once (nor even come close) so I've not had a chance to become "attached" to one or really get what the game is about. I rolled up, thinking it'd be an easy fight, some poor orc with a crossbow all by himself, easy. I attack, do some decent damage before a group of orcs ambush me. Seconds later I'm dead thanks to the orcs Poison Bolts. From that point on I made it my mission to fuck up that orc, it took several attempts but that moment when I finally got the fucker was incredible.
  6. South Park: The Stick of Truth
    This is the only "full" game I've completed this year. I did it in just two sittings over the course of a weekend, something I very rarely do. This game does a great job of feeling like an interactive episode of the TV show and gives you seemingly important choices to make during the game that impact your adventure along the way. I enjoyed every minute of the game however I do feel that the game was a little too easy. There are enough mechanics to make the combat really good, however none of the enemies stayed alive long enough to let you actually use "strategies" to beat them. You'd have stacking poisons etc. but you'd never get to get them fully stacked or exploit that. It was frustrating at times and my gripes are something that wasn't solved by increasing the difficulty unfortunately.
  7. League of Legends
    Yeah, it didn't come out this year but I've still put a hell of a lot of time into this game. I've been on and off it this year and it's certainly using a little bit of its charm but I'm still enjoying myself. I joined a "serious" team in the summer and had some of the best moments I've had in the game. It feels completely different playing as a serious team of 5 people rather than the more casual way I'd been playing before. It's something I want to continue in the new year and most likely will.
  8. Diablo III: Reaper of Souls
    This added a lot to the gameplay of the original. It fixed a bunch of things, added some new stuff and overall just improved the game experience. The inclusion of things such as seasons as well as rifts just makes the end game that much less static which is very welcome after the original.
  9. Marvel Heroes 2015
    Again, technically not a new game but it did get "released" this year as 2015 so why not. Not a whole lot to say about it other than that it's gotten me into Marvel. I've never been into Super Heroes and this game has introduced me to many different characters who I'm learning to love outside of the game as well as inside. Game remains fun and is constantly updated. Events almost every weekend help mix things up and it's another game I'll keep playing next year.
  10. Dark Souls II
    I'm disappointed with this game. I took a couple of days off work to play it when it first came out and ended up not playing it a whole lot during that time. I've not finished it and haven't even played it since April. The game just feels a bit aimless and forgettable which is unfortunate. The gameplay is there and the game isn't bad by any means it's just a fairly big let down considering how amazing Dark Souls was. In the first couple of hours of the game I killed 5 bosses with a crappy broken dagger (because I went the "wrong" way and didn't unlock the blacksmith to fix it) without dying. There's no way that should happen in Souls game.

I've got a whole bunch of games from this year I still want to play, some of which I have and just haven't got around to or things I don't even own yet. It'll be interesting to see if I go further down the route of mostly playing games that you can't "beat" or if I'll swing back the other way.

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GOTY 2011 #13 - Downloadable Games

Downloadable games are getting bigger and better every year and this entry into my top 15 covers all but three of them which will appear separately higher up my list. Those three are Bastion, You Don’t Know Jack and The Binding of Issac. I had so many others I wanted to include on my list I just decided to lump them all together so here goes.

Orcs Must Die, Terraria, Ms. Splosion Man, From Dust, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, Minecraft, Magicka are just a few amongst many more amazing Downloadable games and that’s not even touching PSN games. You can probably find a game that would appear in the top 10 (maybe even top 5) for each Genre within the downloadable games released this year, that’s just how good the quality has been along with the variety of games released.

What’s great about downloadable games right now is that a lot of them are either completely new games or have some innovative ideas in them which we don’t see in full retail releases for a variety of reasons. That’s a trend I hope never stops and something which is getting more and more prominent each and every year.

Downloadable games still have a few issues to resolve, regional availability being a major one of those (although not a problem unique to digital games). With the Trenched/Iron Brigade nonsense and with games such as Apples to Apples and You Don’t Know Jack not being released in Europe is just dividing the community more than what is needed. Microsoft are doing an absolutely terrible job with their regional availability and communicating that to everyone (actually, Microsoft are terrible at all Community Management but that’s another subject). Valve does a better job with Steam although it can sometimes be a bit unclear with release times but it’s usually fine. The Playstation Store has its fair share of issues when it comes to actual releases their communication is top notch, having a dedicated blog for Europe and America as well as a weekly list of all content available on the store for that week along with prices is amazing and something that everyone needs to be doing.

These are issues I’m sure will be resolved in the next generation but until then as long as they’re kept to a minimum I’m happy so I can continue to enjoy all the amazing games that are released on all platforms digitally.

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GOTY 2011 #14 - Pokémon Black/White

Pokémon Black and White are arguably the biggest innovators in the series since probably Gold and Silver back on the GBC. They build off what was left from Diamond and Pearl and add a whole bunch more.

The first change that you’ll probably notice, you’ll encounter none of the old Pokémon during your playthrough of the game (well, they show up at the end, but not before). This means you can get through the game without running into hundreds of god damn zubat with supersonic in every cave. It’s an interesting idea and encourages players to try out some Pokémon they might not otherwise have picked up.

There are now 3 on 3 battles where the position of your Pokémon in the battles themselves is a factor, something not previously seen in the main series. Graphically the battles have changed too, gone are the old static sprites we all love and instead we get animated sprites similar to that introduced in Pokémon Crystal except that they’re constantly moving now in battle. There’s also things such as Critical Captures and other smaller additions which overall add to the experience.

Another place that Game Freak has pushed for this time around is connectivity. The game encourages you to constantly be connected and on the lookout for various ways to interact including Wi-Fi, wireless (DS to DS) and Infrared. Throughout the game you’ll have your bottom screen dedicated almost entirely to this when wondering around the world. Unfortunately, due to the Nintendo DS’s Wi-Fi issues when it comes to the security types it accepts I’ve not actually been able to test the online features myself so can’t comment on them. But there’s a lot more of Pokémon and other misc giveaways from connecting to the service amongst others.

Overall it’s still a Pokémon game so if you don’t like Pokémon games then this isn’t for you but having said that it’s still a bunch of fun to play and you’ll easily be able to put a whole bunch of hours into it.

Previous entries:

#15 - MvC3

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GOTY 2011 #15 - Marvel Vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds

Over the next couple of weeks I will be counting down my top 15 games from 2011 as well as some other categories. I'll be releasing a blog post each day with my choice for that day with a reason as to why it's on my list. There'll probably be a bunch of games missing from this list, that's simply because I've not played them and thus I can't put them on my own personal list, these include games such as MW3 and BF3 amongst many more.

As someone who never really got into fighting games, it’s always nice to find one that I can enjoy. Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds is one of those games. While there is no doubt a crazily high skill ceiling on such a game and I’ll never get anywhere near that it’s the sort of game you can enjoy without being skilled at the game.

It achieves this by just being crazy and making you feel like you’re doing awesome things all the time. My first hands-on experience with the game was when a colleague had brought it into work. I only played a couple of games however towards the end of the first game I was already starting to pick it up and doing things that made me feel like I was playing well and by my second game I was really getting into it and managed to pick up a win. It was at this point that the game had me hooked and I picked it up for myself later that week.

The selection of characters within the game is decent although there are a few notable exceptions, at least from the Capcom side. Being someone who has read exactly zero comics throughout my life there were very few Marvel characters I’d even heard of yet I managed to find myself getting attached to a few of them just based off the game. Capcom did a great job making all the characters have a unique personality and feel which certainly helped with that.

Unfortunately this is where my experience with Marvel Vs Capcom 3 will end. Ultimate looks like a good game with a lot more interesting characters but there’s absolutely no excuse for Capcom not to release all of that as DLC just like they did with Super Street Fighter 4: Arcade Edition. I will support such behaviour from companies who in 2011 should know better yet they continue to stick to archaic models.

Marvel Vs Capcom 3 is a fantastic game and well worth picking up if you haven’t already. You’ll find a lot of fun in offline play with a couple of friends and can always hop online if needed as this game is at its best when played multiplayer.

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Giving away a ticket to The Zelda 25th Anniversary Concert in UK

Hey guys,

I recently won a competition with Nintendo of Europe for a pair of tickets to the Zelda 25th Anniversary Concert in London. Unfortunately I've been unable to find anyone who wants to the spare ticket (friends say things such as "work", blasphemy!). So I'm giving away the ticket to a Giant Bomb user to give back to this awesome community.

The concert takes place on Tuesday 25th October at the Hammersmith Apollo in London. The doors open at 18:30. You'll have to be able to get yourself there for this time.

If you're interested in the ticket then simply post here stating why you'd like the ticket (Are you a huge fan of the Zelda series? Or Perhaps you're just bored with nothing to do on a Tuesday evening!). I'll pick a winner from those who enter themselves on Monday morning.

At the moment I have no details on the tickets themselves as Nintendo have been slow at emailing them out (I was assured they'll be here by Saturday at the absolute latest, so shouldn't be too long before I get them). Once I have them I'll post more details here.

For details on the concert head to http://www.zelda-symphony.com/ and you'll find all the information you need.

Good luck!

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I have too many Steam games... help me!

Hey guys,

Over the last few years the Steam sales have done a lot of damage to my wallet and the result is ~350 steam games, probably about 320 of which I've never played! I'm unfortunately currently employed so have a lot of free time on my hand so why not start ploughing through some of the list?

I'll be documenting my progress along the way, with where I can daily posts saying my thoughts on the games as I play through them, possibility of screenshots and/or videos plus perhaps the opportunity to add some information to Giant Bomb amongst the way by contributing information for the lesser known/documented titles.

I'll be taking suggestions of games to play next from the list as well as any advice to give on those games to help me out.

Unfortunately the steam games list is not in a copy & paste format so I'll just post a link here http://steamcommunity.com/id/mijati/games?tab=all

You can see that I've not played a majority of the games and some of them that I have played has not been for a long period of time. So feel free to suggest anything at all really! I'll probably replay some games that's I've already played through (Portal 2 I want to play through again for example).

I don't have any specific goal in mind for the number of games I want to go through and for a lot of them I won't play them to completion.

So yeah, start suggesting the first game now and I'll probably get in at least an hour or so tonight depending.

Cheers!

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2010 - A new year, a new start

First blog in a while, but as I have somehow rekindled my love for Video games (despite last week making a topic saying I've lost interest in actually playing them) I thought I might as well start again. 
 
In 2010 I hope to keep my blog more up to date here, I will be posting more updates as hopefully there'll be more going on. I hope to review a number of games too and just generally be a lot more active.
 
The god damn steam sales, I can't be the only one here who bought stuff from Steam just because it was cheap? My list jumped from something like 20 games to over 130. Now, as I have a download limit the chance of me ever actually downloading and playing all these games is zero to none, but at least I have them right?
 
Haven't really played too much of what I bought yet, Trine is awesome from what I played and I've done a bit of Torchlight too which I should really get into once I have more time. Got a bunch of other stuff downloaded too, done a bit of Civ 4 which is awesome but everything else is just sitting there waiting to be played. (List of games here: 
http://steamcommunity.com/id/DarkDude98/games)
 
There's a reason for my lack of activity recently, most of it is personal and I don't want to go into it, other parts of it include WoW (in 10 months of playing I have over 40 days of playtime, this includes a month when I was away from home and a month where I was subscribed... so yeah, 40 days played in 8 months).
 
2009 was a horrible year for me, however 2010 is already looking much more promising. Again, not wanting to go into much detail due to most of it being personal but I am in the mood for gaming again, and in the mood for being back to my normal self.
 
I'll update this blog again, most likely within a week once I've played some more games which I should have time to do this weekend although I'm working tomorrow morning.
 
Cheers :)

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My problem with Giant Bomb

The community, no offence to anyone here but the majority of the users on this website are complete and utter... morons? A bunch of "fanboys" who have nothing better to do than troll the boards all day, fail to type coherently and post ignorant and darn right stupid comments.

While these sort of people appear everywhere, they seem to be attracted to this site like a moth to a bright light.

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I'm numberless?!?!?!

This site is bombing, loving  it so far and haven't really explored too much.

Seen a lot of familiar faces so far and am just trying to get myself familiar with the site. The layout is fantastic and other than the site speed problems (Which should hopefully go away shortly) it's probably the "calmest" looking Game site I've seen, fantastic UI.

Now to start writing some proper Blogs!

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