‘Member when I said I was going to try getting my review for Civilization VI: Gathering Storm out within a week or two of launch? Yeah, that…obviously didn’t happen. Going back to the “I can play Civ VI for three or four games and then I get turned off it for a while” thing I’ve mentioned before, my latest turn off partway through my first Gathering Storm game. I haven’t played in over two months, and as such, I don’t feel super confident in doing a full-fledged review. I do want to (finally) get it out and get on to new business though, so I’m going to play a little bit and get out a quicker review than I’d normally do. Continue reading “Civ VI: Gathering Storm Quick Review”
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”
Last year saw some very important games for a lot of people, including us here at Novus. Whether it was a big hit of the year, a small indie launch not many people were aware of or even an older game we just discovered, each of us has something that will go down as #1 from 2018. As we see in the first few big releases of 2019, we’re taking a look back at our personally significant games of last year. Continue reading “Novus’ Top Games of 2018”
Imperator: Rome, the latest game from grand strategy producers Paradox Interactive, was recently announced as launching on April 25th of this year. A sequel to 2008’s Europa Universalis: Rome, Imperator will pull us back earlier than the other historical strategy games from Paradox, to, you guessed it, the time of Rome’s rise to power. Continue reading “Imperator: Rome launches in April”
I’m not what you would call a “party animal”. I am, however, a very keen hunter of party games to add to my collection. I like to always have at least one new game at any time, so if we’re ever having a “what do we do next” moment, I’ve always got something new to pull out. Continue reading “Games for Your Next House Party”
As long as games have existed there has been the looming potential for loss. Whether it’s letting one too many pixels slip by, tripping on a wayward koopa shell, playing against a button spamming Raiden, or taking a few too many bullets to the sponge – you die, you fail, you lose, game over. Most games don’t really address losing or dying – you simply reset, respawn, and move on; this I feel is a missed opportunity and designers could find ways to embrace loss in their games. Continue reading “Losing Should be an Option”
I was…less than impressed with Rise & Fall, the first expansion for Civilization VI. I’ll probably get into it more later, but long story short, it did too much to take you down from the path you wanted to go down. I may even turn it off the next time I play Civ VI, I haven’t decided yet. Continue reading “The Things I’m Most Excited For in Civilization VI: Gathering Storm”
I should preface this by being very clear about the fact that I have loved the Xbox One controller since day one. It has such a natural feel that is both true to what made its predecessors special but still finds ways to improve – the ultimate hardware “sequel”, if you will.
This may be my first article for Novus, but if you know me from RUL, there’s probably something you know about me: I absolutely love historical strategy games. The Civilization series is the big one, but I’m also partial to the games produced by Paradox Interactive, like Europa Universalis IV, Crusader Kings II, and Stellaris. Okay, that last one’s not really historical per se, but whatever. Thing is…I’m not super great at some of them. Continue reading “The Fun of Playing Through Failure”
MTG Arena is Wizards of the Coast’s most recent digital adaptation of their popular collectible card game, Magic: The Gathering. Arena aims to replace many of their previous forays into the world of digital gaming while maintaining the core tabletop experience and it takes great strides in doing so. Having been in closed beta for some time to balance and test the various features Wizards has wiped all of the accounts and thrown the gates wide open with the beginning of the MTG Arena Open Beta.
Fans of the table top version and the previous Magic: Duels titles will enjoy MTG Arena as it has a similar feel and flow of play, but with a more polished finish and fully automated mechanics. Though the standard format is primarily being supported we have seen some unique game types, from pauper to singleton, slide into the closed beta that show promise for the future of the title. Coupled with the DCI support and physical code redemption we can also expect the ability to turn some of our physical table top play time into something valuable for our Arena play as well, which is huge for the longevity of the game.
Despite the hype, some push back has been felt from the Magic the Gathering online community as Arena will not support player to player card trading or selling which was a major aspect of its direct predecessor MTGO. An online exchange and marketplace had formed around this feature but without it the once notorious trading card game becomes solely a collectable card game. This decision has its pros and cons, but the general rumblings of dissatisfaction seem to be slowly fading and conceding to all of the things that Arena seems to be able to bring to the table.
As a free-to-play title Arena hosts an economy of both earned in game coins and purchased gems that can currently be spent on six card booster packs to increase your collection or structured tournament entry fees to play against other players for potential prizes. However, players can invest little or no money to progress with an fair in game reward structure for meeting various goals to earn packs, new decks, and coins to spend. As of this writing the balancing of the currency doesn’t seem to overly favor either earned or purchased. Though, with promises of additional cosmetic s and options becoming available we don’t yet know what will become of the market.
Overall, the direction and focus Wizards has taken with MTG Arena shows great promise for long time fans and newcomers alike. With tournaments, challenges, regularly scheduled events, and integrated support with their table top giant Arena has some great potential to be the digital CCG we all have wanted for quite a long time. I have played the closed beta for a few months and it really holds true to the table top experience as designed. It comes with all of the fun of deck building, even my janky builds, and the glory of playing. I’ve had almost as much fun playing MTG Arena as I have sitting in my local game store playing with friends; the biggest difference is that now I can do so without pants and still avoid all of the odd glances. So, don’t just take my word for it – the open beta is live now – go give it a shot and see how much fun Magic: the Gathering can be!