What game are you playing today?


Is this the version the original designer was critical of? I heard there was a recent rerelease that changed several things and there were complaints, although some of those might have been, “It’s different so it must suck.”


Not sure, apparently the version 2 iterations ago was the best accessory wise. Nice card stock, cool boards etc… this one according to the reviews I read is supposed to be the most balanced. I like it, and the essential game is the same.


I hope to get to play a bit of Dawn of War 3 tonight, but that’ll depend on the two factors of what time I get home and whether or not my WoW guild is raiding tonight.


Now I know what was making it so hard to get a top score in Tradewinds Classic. It’s got a fundamental math error. You start out in January 1861, but the game treats the time elapsed as if it started with 1860. So when 1869 rolls around, it thinks 9 years have passed.


I finished a game over the weekend I’d felt bad about not playing , then spent some time with some older games I had misses, but can now play for next to nothing…

(Side topic: Anyone else get in a mental state where you feel like playing a game (specific or general) is something you “need” to do in a “this is an item on my to-do list” sense? It’s probably not a good thing… It’s a leisure activity, not a job… At least for me. It’s not even like the “Let’s Reads” I do on another site, in which I read and critique old RPG books.)

So I finished “Epic Mickey 2” this weekend, mainly because $Wife was away so i could hog the TV without guilt. Epic Mickey 1 is, I feel, a game that should have been a classic. It’s not without faults: The camera screws you at times. The design is such that some areas get totally ‘walled off’ despite being a game designed with the ‘collector’ mindset in mind. The Wii version relied on the Wii motion stuff, which could be finicky.

But it’s a neat game: It manages to combine a deep respect for the source material (Disney animation history… Sorry, @RRabbit42, no Roger Rabbit material. Maybe if we’d gotten an EM3!) as well as the theme parks themselves. It’s also just subversive enough to be interesting. Part of a corporate decision to give their mascot a tiny bit more ‘edge’ in the early 2000s, the entire plot of Epic Mickey is set in motion by a mistake made by Micky Mouse, and the game world itself is critical: There’s a “Mickeyjunk Mountain” region to explore, which is a landscape built of discarded mouse-related merchandise… Climbing over piles of recognizable junk toys and other merch from decades.

Epic Mickey 2 made some missteps even as it fixed things. There’s a lot less camera-screw, and few if any areas can be only visited once. It keeps the structure that most bosses can only be fought once (as that’s the heart of a Good/Evil system that is actually deeper than most) but you can get a lot of the collectibles through random drops. I think there’s a “New Game+” option, but I don’t know if I’ll ever want to play this again.

However, it’s got several problems. One of the biggest is there was an intent to make it a 2 player co-op game… if you’re playing alone (I can’t get the dog to hold the Wiimote) you have to deal with an AI-run secondary character. Which would be fine, but you have to often guess how he’ll react and have a singe button to tell him to “do something” which might be a generic “Come to me”/“Do a jump move” but could be a range of specific stuff that is sometimes signposted. It’s infuriating when you want your teammate to hit a trigger only he can hit (think the Lego games, and how different characters have different abilities to hit various switches… but only he can hit them, there’s no switching, so you’re at the AI’s mercy.)

There’s a lot of “systems” and they’re introduced in rapid order. If you didn’t play EM1 you’re in trouble, as the learning curve will be harsh.

It’s also just not as memorable. There’s some attempts to make the plot ‘deeper’ in the sense that the ultimate villain is a mystery and maybe a twist (depending on how jaded you are) but they’re marginally successful. The locations are a lot less iconic. They’re supposed to be twisted parodies of the ‘regions’ the Disney parks are divided into, but come off as somewhat generic “swamp level”, “Island level”, “Desert level”, etc. The previous game made many of these much more memorable: You didn’t fight through a generic theme park level and fight a monster, you fought through a theme park level and fought an evil, angry version of the “It’s a Small World” ride. (Some would say calling that attraction evil is redundant.)

And it feels short. On the plus side, the main quest done I can replay and do side quests if I wish, but I’m not sure I’ve got the effort.

In other news, I picked up a couple Jedi Knight games for under $5.00 (total) that I didn’t play when they were new. Using the Quake III engine, it runs pretty well on the average potato these days, so fun for a little diversion. Playing Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy and amazed at how “bite sized” the level design is and how fun the relatively basic addition of force powers and light sabers to basic FPS gameplay is.

(The use of traditional, albeit SW-friendly, guns to a game about Jedi is a little odd, especially as you start nearly every mission with your lightsaber, a blaster, two other guns of your choice and grenades or other ‘throwable’ items. It feels weird, but plays good, and a sniper rifle makes a great accompaniment for a close-ranged lightsaber wielder.)


For the record, depending on your point of view Jedi Academy is either trivially easy or Jedi Outcast is incredibly hard. Some of it is some painful interface annoyances (The earlier Outcase doesn’t change the targeting reticle for objects you can interact with, as one example) but a lot is design. There’s tons of snipers that can practically one-shot your character (even if they’ve got a lightsaber out) and you’re not a Jedi for a long time, especially if you don’t abuse save and reload.

Once you do become a Jedi, there’s a couple ‘automatic’ powers (jump being one major one) but you’re limited to push, pull, and speed for a while.

And the sniper-enemies and the annoying guys that toss grenades liek they’re rice at a wedding make it a bit frustrating at times.


I picked up Zenith on Steam this weekend (it’s on sale). It’s a standard single player RPG but there is a lot of humor in it. Things such as commenting on drinking strange potions you find in a dungeon. You don’t need to even hire guards and just put poison in random red bottles in your dungeon. It’s also fairly simple in terms of stats or abilities. It’s not for a hardcore person just one of those gamers that wonder why no one notices or comments on things during a game.

Also, you have a sarcasm level. Mine is currently 999.


But what about in the game?



Still playing Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast from 2002!

It’s brutal! Compared to the sequel of Jedi Academy, it’s punishing. For Plot Reasons you start with merely a blaster and not much else, and they tried to keep ‘equipment’ valuable and meaningful. Even once you get your lightsaber back (about a third of the way through, I think) they don’t let up… There’s aliens with wookie bowcaster crossbows and guys with sniper rifles that can really ruin your day.

It’s also one of the FPS games where healing is ‘manual’ which adds complexity. The levels are massive and full of stuff, including even more bottomless pits than one would expect from a Star Wars property. Also, as I said earlier there’s no hint a device is usable, so there’s times one runs around rubbing the walls looking for buttons.

On the plus side, for a 2002 game the lightsaber-ing is surprisingly satisfying. Your character has a pretty involved move set and it at least feels like it’s actually tracking the blade for stuff at times: I could’ve sworn I killed a few guys at one point by running into them with an active lightsaber. There’s some fun missions to break things up like a brief ‘investigative’ sequence where your abilities are locked down to keep things discreet.

If nothing else, seeing the tricks used to represent Star Wars-style graceful yet complex space ships in a blocky early-2000s FPS engine is amusing. I did a mission over the weekend where I saved Lando and got to fly on his ship, which was actually modeled with a couple decks. Also, decorated kind of like an old-timey movie theater.


Outcast was a fun one, and a substantial improvement from Jedi Knight, itself much more forgiving than Dark Forces, which I remember playing at my friend Dave’s house in 1996. That one had no manual saves; you had to beat the level. Some of the levels took hours if you didn’t know exactly where to go and what to do (which we certainly didn’t).

I pre-ordered Outcast on Amazon and then it didn’t ship immediately and I got it like a week after the release. If it had arrived on time, I would have been able to play while I was home sick with bronchitis. I may still be bitter about this bad timing.


For anyone who missed it, there is a game on Steam from the makers of Kingdom of Loathing.
West of Loathing


You beat me to it. My son has just bought it and says it’s a lot of fun - the same sort of humour as Kingdom of Loathing


I’ve been playing Crossout, freetoplay paytowin, but entertaining. Post apocalyptic car combat. Build your own car and go at it.


I’ve been playing Don’t Starve Together. It’s a lot of fun even though I die. A lot.

I’ve managed to survive a year now.


My daughter and I play a lot, but we never make it that long.


I’ve restored after death many times…


OK, I’m still playing Elite:Dangerous. My circumnavigation of the (virtual) galaxy is almost complete - about 5000LY to go.


I just finally won a game of Stellaris. Played as robots who just wanted to keep sentients as coddled pets. And did so with superior firepower.


That looks like an interesting game. Does it take a lot of your time?