Quasi-let’s plays have breathed new life into my gaming

I wrote a couple of articles for Novus last year about beginnings and endings. One was about RimWorld, and the challenge of saying goodbye to a simulated community you’ve built over many hours. The other was about Europa Universalis IV, and fighting for an achievement. After each article, I started a new run of their respective games. My RimWorld colony at the time was dying a slow death, and I couldn’t get the EU4 achievement I wanted with the country I was playing. And, while starting those new games, I started something else as well: let’s plays.

Continue reading “Quasi-let’s plays have breathed new life into my gaming”

Thanks devs, for hanging around

It wasn’t all that long ago, that when you got a new video game, you got the game as it was, and as it was going to be. If the game was on a disc or especially on a cartridge, you weren’t going to get anything different. If there was a really big problem, a re-release of the game might happen, but patches weren’t a thing. Even as video games started to move into the realm of the internet, updates (which not all that long ago could still be purchacsed on disc) didn’t really do anything. You might get a few more maps for multiplayer, or an expansion, but the base game was still basically the same. But in the past few years, all that’s changed.

Continue reading “Thanks devs, for hanging around”

I’m a difficulty dweeb, and I’m okay with that

Back in the spring, I was planning to do an article documenting my attempt at a more challenging game of Europa Universalis IV. It came about after I got the feeling that all of my EU4 achievements were ones considered either “easy” or “very easy” by the community. And so I thought, “why not try to get a medium level achievement?” An easy medium, of course, because going all-out on my first attempt at a higher level would be, well, hard. And so I picked one I thought I could do: “A Tale of Two Families” Continue reading “I’m a difficulty dweeb, and I’m okay with that”

AI friends are really hard to abandon

I’ve been playing RimWorld since Alpha 15, almost two years before the full game came out. In that time, I’ve seen a lot of things change. I’ve seen a lot of things added, and I’ve seen a lot of things taken away. For example, I have a nostalgic desire to start using the survival rifle again. It still technically exists with a slight accuracy nerf, it’s just call a bolt-action rifle now. Same with deathfall traps. They still exist with a bigger nerf (they were kind of OP before, so I won’t complain about that) under the name “spike traps”. They’re still super useful, I just really want that name back. It’s a cool name.

Continue reading “AI friends are really hard to abandon”

Am I still a “gamer”?

I’ve been sat here for hours thinking about what I want to write. About why I want to write. How can I write about gaming when I haven’t been gaming? Am I still up to date? Do I even like gaming anymore?

Life takes all manner of turns. It’s easy to let things fall by the wayside as something more important in the moment comes along or a looming fear hangs over your every thought. You forget things, your priorities move about and life goes on.

For me, gaming has been that forgotten aspect of my life recently. I’ve barely played a few hours of anything in weeks and, to be honest, I’ve not really missed it. Gaming has been such a central part of my life as long as I can remember and it’s truly unsettling to think on it and unpack why it’s happened. Continue reading “Am I still a “gamer”?”

Slowly learning a new game is a whole lot of fun

The name “Surviving Mars” is a bit of a misnomer. Admittedly you do have to survive Mars, but when you hear a name like that, or at leadt when I first heard a name like that, it sounds super intense. Granted I’ve only played a few hours, with a pretty easy set-up, but it feels to me a lot more like Sim City Red or Cities: Marslines than the hardcore battle for the future of humanity that I was expecting. And you know what? That’s pretty cool.

Continue reading “Slowly learning a new game is a whole lot of fun”

Bad Controls, Bad Game?

One of my first console games as a child was a little-known game from Rare called Banjo-Kazooie, it was also one of the first of many games that I have never finished. When I dove back into it recently I began to remember why I never beat it – it’s really, horribly difficult!

Was it the strength of the enemies? Not even close. Difficulty of the puzzles? They were child’s play (literally). Whenever I found myself messing up a challenge or getting beaten by a grunt, it was because I’d fumbled the controls and mis-stepped. The awkward camera and early platforming design meant that navigation was far harder than we are accustomed to nowadays. Thus I began to wonder – should I persevere and see this as part of the inherent challenge of the game, or should I be angry and brand it a bad game due to poor controls, and stop playing?

The truth is likely somewhere in the middle. Continue reading “Bad Controls, Bad Game?”

The Civilizations I Want to Play First in Civ VI: Gathering Storm

Gathering Storm, the latest expansion to Civilization 6, is out today, and in addition to the new features, I’m looking also forward to the new civs that I get to play. All nine (or I suppose eight and a half, as I’ll get into later) have something that makes them worth trying out, but there are some I want to play first. Now, keep in mind that this isn’t necessarily the best new civilizations, they’re just the one’s I want to give a try before others. I’ll get a review of Gathering Storm out as soon as I can, and you can certainly guess who I’ll be playing first to write that review. Continue reading “The Civilizations I Want to Play First in Civ VI: Gathering Storm”