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Weekly Update #23 - May 11, 2016

Other than "briefly" (about 8 or so hours) dipping back into Dark Souls III to start a second playthrough, I've played a bunch of other games this week. They were all pretty good!

Overwatch

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A considerable amount of my time this week was spent playing the Overwatch beta, and I'm feeling kind of bummed out about it. Not that I don't think the game is any good - quite the contrary - but I feel like I'm never going to play this game again. Over time, I've grown to like a certain type of game; a game that ends or that provides me with a check list of stuff to do. Usually that comes in form of a story mode, or in the case of more open-ended games like World of Warcraft and Hearthstone, I set short-term goals for myself and feel like I accomplished something or made some progress during that session, whether it be plugging away at an achievement in World of Warcraft for some reward or other, or slowly completing my collection in Hearthstone.

At the same time, it feels like a really weird stance to take - as if games and gameplay aren't inherently their own reward. Regardless, no matter how fun I had with Overwatch for the first 10 or so hours, I fell off pretty hard without an in-game incentive to keep playing. Unlocking skins doesn't do it for me in a game where I never see my own character, and I felt like there was a real lack of variety in stuff to do, which is the same thing that felled Star Wars: Battlefront last year.

I really wish Blizzard would have made some story content, 'cause the characters and world are really cool but as it stands are nothing more than a (albeit nice-looking) backdrop for the gameplay. Which is fine for what it is, it's just not for me. Sorry, Overwatch, it's not you.

The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition & Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck's Revenge

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After last week, I didn't realize how close I was to completing the first Monkey Island game. It was good enough I thought, with good writing but some really head-scratchy (in a bad way) puzzles, but what I didn't think abut was how bad the interface was until I started playing the second game. In the first one, I resorted to playing with a controller because having to use keyboard shortcuts all the time was a hassle, and I could never remember what the right keys were for the right verb.

The second game (or rather, the remaster of the second game) does away with the dated verb menu system and instead opts for a more modern radial wheel of verbs, all controlled with a mouse. Aside from that, the remaster of the second game feels more superior in almost every way imaginable; most notably in the animation which looks way nicer than the first one. That aside, I also thought the second game was better from a strict puzzle sense. Most of them made sense!

I also really enjoyed the more heavy voodoo themes, and the overall look and feel of the game.

A Boy and His Blob

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Having never played this 2009 game on the Wii where it originally came out, I was thrilled to see that it was released on PC a few months ago, and even more thrilled to see that it was part of a Humble Bundle! So I picked it up and started playing it, and I really like it so far.

A platformer only in the loosest sense of the word, this game focuses way more on traversal puzzles, where you feed your blob friend differently colored jelly beans and turn it into an object to help get you from point A to point B. It starts off simple enough, but before long you have to plot out a long sequence of transformations to complete a section. It feels pretty satisfying when you pull it off, and the one boss fight I've had so far felt really good, figuring out how to use the blob in combat under duress was really fun.

I haven't played too much, but I expect to be playing more of it next week.

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