A Bunch of Topics!
I have a lot of things to say about the games I experienced over the weekend, but most of them either don’t warrant a full post or fall into a special category, which is “Things About Which I Would Like to Make a Video”. I want to make a video discussing the TALOS Principle, but I don’t know when that will come out, because I have never before made a video. Just call it Coming Soon™; I’ll keep writing in the meantime. It’s a scary proposition to try to learn basic video editing and structure, but I feel like the powers of visuals and voice are necessary for the topic. So now, here’s a grab-bag of topics.
Magic the Gathering
MTG recently had a new core set release named Magic Origins. It has some interesting lore that revolves around 5 well-known planeswalkers, chronicling their exploits from before and after they actually became planeswalkers. My friends and I bought a box (36 packs) together and did our own Sealed event. For the uninitiated, this means we each opened 6 packs and made a 40-card deck out of the cards, and then we played them against each other.
I didn’t manage to win at all, but not really because I suck at Magic. It just turned out that all of our decks forced stalemates with both sides having several defensive creatures. The true way to win became a question of who could spam out enough flying Thopter tokens to whittle down their opponent. It’s an interesting set with some cool new mechanics (like Renown and Spell Mastery) and I like the lore, I just wish the games hadn’t turned out like they did. I did happen to unwrap Chandra (the red planeswalker), so at the very least I came out ahead in terms of rare cards.
This War of Mine
TWOM is a sort of survival RTS set in a destroyed city trapped by an ongoing conflict. It attempts to make the player struggle morally and physically to keep their group of 3-4 survivors alive until a ceasefire allows supplies to be shipped into the city. You have to fortify your half-demolished building against looters to protect your meagre food and water safe, and at night you need to scavenge other locations for usable material, weapons, and medicine. The right objects can be crafted into things like traps for small animals or a still to make alcohol.
This game does a decent job of impressing the “war is hell” message onto the player. You’ll constantly be low on supplies (especially food), under attack by raiders, and facing unknown dangers when you scavenge. Characters die very easily and can also suffer psychological breakdown in the form of depression. You won’t even know when the ceasefire is going to happen, if it ever does. I was doing alright at this game until my scavenger tried to go to an undamaged house that contained an elderly couple. I couldn’t bring myself to steal from them or hurt them, so he went home empty-handed. My team starved to death. Video games!
Super Crate Box
SCB is a game made by Vlambeer that is free-to-play on Steam. It doesn’t have a lot of content and presumably will never have more, but what it does have is fast-paced fun. The premise is very simple, you need to pick up the crates that appear on the stage and kill the enemies. One hit kills you, and every time you touch a crate your current weapon is replaced by a random one. If you die, you can get back into the action instantly, so it’s very easy to spend a lot of time playing without realizing it.
It’s hard to really complain about a free game. I had fun with it, and all my frustrations don’t really matter. I played it long enough to unlock all the weapons, but I found that some of them were actually pretty awful. Specifically, the disc launcher is total garbage and I wish I had never unlocked it. There’s only 3 stages and 3 kinds of enemies, but the controls and gameplay are so tight and focused that my enjoyment of the game didn’t need to come from variety, it came purely from playing the game. It’s worth a try, but for most people it will probably get old after an hour or so.
I am Spectacularly Bad at Bloodborne
I recently acquired Bloodborne on the PS4, because I’m a fan of Dark Souls and the game looks fantastic. It is definitely good so far. Turns out, though, it’s a lot harder than Dark Souls, and I haven’t managed to get to the first boss yet. I’ll have a lot of things to say about Bloodborne in the coming weeks, but for now, here’s a truncated list of things I’ve accomplished in video games, to deter you from thinking poorly of my skills.
-Beaten I Wanna Be the Guy (Hard Difficulty)
-Finished Grimrock 1 and 2 on their hardest settings and then wouldn’t shut up about it
-Numerous playthroughs of Dark Souls 1 and 2
-Ran a successful hardcore raiding guild in WoW for many years
-Definitely have a better score at Vasebreaker Endless in Plants vs Zombies than you
The list goes on. I need to do this bragging to offset how terrible I feel about the complete shit job I’m doing at Bloodborne. Hopefully next time I’ll be past the first boss. Thanks for reading!