WNG – What Was New in January?

I need a brief breather after Coop Month, so, let’s give some ultra quick impressions of all the new and “new” things that I had time to sample in January between some of my more regular gaming. For a change of pace (and to  prove I do still do play some!), some video games as well! Keep in mind, I likely haven’t played much/finished these things due to my hectic (and erratic) schedule.

Space Cadets

Spiffy game that I see why it received so much notice. Idea of a bunch of little mental/physical minigames is fairly novel (I know, it has been done, but you don’t see it often) and the intense time constraints and dependency on other players adds a pretty awesome wrinkle to it. Unfortunately, we got creamed on our first attempt but I’m pretty eager to give it another shot. Seems more players = more fun, but 4 was still plenty enjoyable. Will do a more thorough first impression/review at some point. Soon, hopefully.

Lord of the Rings LCG

Surprise of the month for me. Friend picked it up and we tried it out. Cooperative LCG kinda had me quirking an eyebrow and I’m not really a huge LotR buff  (I’m in that heinous category of people who liked the movies, enjoyed the animated Hobbit from Rankin Bass, etc), but holy hell. My first impressions are really positive. Great game dynamic and seems like an amazing solo game. Does seem to have some scaling issues (we trounced the second quest with 4), but I hear these clear up? Definitely digging this and looking forward to playing more. Want to review it, but I’d like some more time with it.

BattleCon: War of Indines (iOS)

Heard about this from Tom Vasal of Dice Tower. I enjoyed Yomi as a surprisingly cool take on fighting games. My opinion of the actual game (that is to say War of Indines itself) is initially fairly positive, but the app is feeling kind of garbage. I have not been able to finish Arcade mode (a mere 4 matches) without the blasted thing crashing. Glad the app was free, because I’d be kind of annoyed if I’d paid. Definitely interesting in checking out the real game and will likely do a first impressions of the PnP components for Devastation of Indines. Because those can’t crash.

Seriously, fix the app.

Kill the Overlord

Kickstarter project! Meant to back this one, forgot about it until it came out. Fun little hot potato game. Bought it as a possible replacement for Bang! (that is to say, a decent, component light, inbeetweener game) and it is performing admirably. Elimination and reintegration is pretty fast, which is pleasant, and there does seem to be some actual strategy to the game. Art is great too. Components seem a bit flimsy (cards got damaged pretty quick), which is a bit of a disappointment. Don’t think I’ll do much more than this. It is a fun, 45 minute game.

BRAWL (iOS)

Realtime card game about stacking colors and a discard. It wastes 45 seconds at a time pretty well. Playing it with real cards seems like it’d be doomed to making a mess of the cards real quick. Technically the oldest thing on the list, the originary game being from the 90s.

Battlestar Galactica

Playing this over a forum and honestly not really enjoying it. Not going to pass judgement since it my be a game that plays better face to face, but, as someone who has played a lot of Mafia/Werewolf online, it hasn’t really made a good impression with me. General turn actions feel exceptionally week if you aren’t President and playing into skillchecks feels kinda like a crapshoot. Just… not really enjoying it. Much prefer Resistance, Mafia/Werewolf, or Bang! I think.

Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition (PC)

Not quite fair, since I technically started this back in November, but that playthrough got held up due to busy. So my playthrough really took off in January. On the whole, kinda reminding me why I only really ever bother to replay BG2: low level D&D is really, really irritating. What’s that? You ate a random crit? Please reload. What’s that, the entire party can’t hit the broadside of a barn and most fights are a solid minute of dudes swinging swords at each other and nothing else? Still, the game is enjoyable. The writing is still pretty good, the VA work remains awesome, etc. The Enhanced Edition changes are nice (I for one enjoy not needing to mod the hell out my game to play) and the new NPCs seem pretty rocking. Still, I miss the generally superior BG2 NPCs and banter. Definitely looking forward to BG2:EE.

Kinda wish I had an iPad to play it on, though.

Theatryhthm Final Fantasy (iOS)

I was a bit skeptical, but the rhythm game is solid. I do feel the RPG elements are kind of wasted, but the core rhythm game is super solid and the FF soundtracks produce some surprisingly good tracks for rhythm gaming! Best Final Fantasy since… Tactics, I guess?

Bayonetta (PS3)

Definitely trying to be DMC3. Succeeding? Somewhat. Gameplay is quite good, although the game’s QTEs are annoying and the camera can be a spiteful, spiteful thing. Despite the issues, I’d prolly give it a nod over DMC3 in that department? Plot/Cutscene/Style-wise? The game goes for some exceedingly silly and over the top stuff, yet hasn’t managed to really top DMC3 anywhere. The game just… isn’t as funny or stylish. Oh, and the serious plot ALSO seems inferior. Still worth playing if you even vaguely like spectacle fighters, though.

Tales of Maj’eyal (PC)

Up and coming Roguelike with some streamlined appeal for folks who aren’t normally into Roguelikes because of severely outdated interfacing and design. I got through character creation before being annoyed that I had no idea what was going on, because of how much shit character creation throws at you. Game info is immensely front loaded. I’ll give it a fair chance later, Sage. Promise!

Ni No Kuni (PS3 Demo)

Pretty, but I loathed gameplay. Not quite true RPG/not quite ARPG + AI allies does not a happy Andrew make.

Tentacles (iOS)

No strong opinions yet. Game is based around moving around using your tentacles. Nifty (and pretty) but hasn’t really swayed me one way or another. Controls feel imprecise sometime, but that might just be me not fully understanding exactly how a tentacle grab will change my position.

Fantasy Run (iOS)

It is a running game. It is okay? Prolly not worth the 99 cents I paid, but vaguely amusing.

SvZ Def (iOS)

I honestly don’t know why I’m enjoying this. Wave defense sort of game. I suppose I just like defense style games.

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