Last Week’s Gaming – March 4th, 2019

20190304 Jessie Jaws

Chronicles of the World Championship Kung Fu Zoo leads Sherlock to call Cahoots between the 1643 Galaxies involved

Yep, that intro stretched the board game title gag, but wow apparently I made up for last weeks lack of board games with a vengeance!

So there are a lot of games to get through, so let’s get started!

Chronicles of Crime

Another case in and this one was advertised as a hard one.

It did not disappoint.  We mostly got to where we needed to be, but there was some time critical elements that we missed and got let astray on.

Lesson learned – do not let just Harls read out the crime scene :p

Just from the base game experience (I have not pulled out any Kickstarter specific items or expansions yet), this is getting a great run – a couple more games and I will be ready for the review!

20190304 Chronicles of Crime
The new mechanics and possibilities of this system are amazing!

World Championship Russian Roulette

This was a fun little filler experience between Chronicles of Crime and Tiny Epic Galaxies.  Hadn’t played it for ages, so it was fun to pull off the shelf.

Yes, the theme of the game is dark and not something that should be joked about lightly, but if playing with people with a dark sense of humour can be a fun game experience still.

We played three players which worked fine, but it did bring home really wanting the higher player counts still.

20190304 World Championship Russian Roulette
Still a fun simple game to pass a little while. Three was fun, but want more players.

Tiny Epic Galaxies w/ Beyond the Black expansion

Talking about games that haven’t come off the shelf for a while, we ended games night with Tiny Epic Galaxies: Beyond the Black.

There was a forgotten lesson relearned – if you don’t remember the flow of the game, it goes for a long time.  A really long time.  A 45-minute game went for the better part of 2 hours!

But even with this and a couple of initial rule missteps, we still had a lot of fun.  And that’s what playing games is all about, isn’t it?

20190304 Tiny Epic Galaxies Beyond The Black
It may take a lot of table room, but Tiny Epic Galaxies was the first Tiny Epic game that clicked with me

Sherlock: Last Call

You heard about this not long after we played it in yesterday’s Ramblings.

A novel yet brilliantly simple premise, you have a bunch of cards and you need to play out the important clues to solve a case.  It’s like playing Bridge but instead of playing for points, you play for much higher stakes – information.

After Alpal showed this one to me, I will be looking out for more in the series as I am sure she will.  For around $15 on the pricey side, how wrong can you go?

20190304 Sherlock Last Call
It's hard enough putting the clues together without making a game of bridge out of it!

Kung Fu Zoo

Another Alpal special, and a game I wouldn’t have looked at twice.  Kung Fu Zoo is a king of simplified Strike if you know the game.

Players have a number of dice that get flicked into the ‘arena’.  You can flick dice in from the centre point of any side, but it must be in the centre.  You are trying to be the last player with dice outside the cage (i.e. now knocked down the corner holes) or with their dice paws up.

I can see this being more fun with 4 players, but playing just with Alpal and I was still a fun and interesting experience.  You try to knock dice onto different sides while pulling off billiards shots – definitely something to get the crowds coming for a look!

20190304 Kung Fu Zoo
This lot was living on the edge, but mixing dexterity with dice values made for a fun experience

Cahoots

So I have enjoyed games like The Game and The Mind.  Having a relatively simple task before you to be completed with the limitation of not being able to freely communicate is an interesting experience on multiple levels.

Cahoots keeps this kind of experience alive but adds a kind of quick progression system to the game.  In The Game, it’s not until the end you know how well you went.  In The Mind, you go up levels and have a goal with the previous successes behind you.

In Cahoots, you have a number of objectives that must be met in order to ‘win’, so you always feel like you are accomplishing something.  It was a lot of fun, but I wish the colours had suits on them as well as I had trouble with a couple of the colours.

20190304 Cahoots
Quick, challenging, and gives you a sense of progress as you play.

Claustrophobia 1643

A fine example of two-player dungeon-crawling done right.  Claustrophobia 1643 is a reprint and refinement on the game Claustrophobia, a highly regarded and sought after game for many years.

The catch with the initial run though?  Only a few thousand copies were being produced, and they were limited even further by region.  Alpal got in first with the Oceania pledge, and I lucked out when a few more were allocated.

It’s a great, fun and hectic experience that has been incredibly streamlined.  But I won’t go too much further into it here, because the last 2,500 copies are going up on Kickstarter on March 12th! If you missed out, here is your chance.

20190304 Claustrophobia 1643
I want to talk about this game, but it's REALLY hard to get. Look on Kickstarter March 12th!

Kingdom Hearts 3

Yes, I platinumed Kingdom Hearts 3 the week before, but I haven’t finished the game.  Not yet.  Not the way I want to.

Even though I played through on a lower difficulty, I kept flying around in my Gummy Ship and picked the first galaxy as clean as I can of combat, items and challenges.

One down, two to go.  Finding these blueprint crystals is hard, even with the radar!

20190218 Kingdom Hearts 3 Black Pearl
Captaining the Black Pearl in Kingdom Hearts 3 😀

Resident Evil 2

So now that I ‘finished’ Kingdom Hearts, it was time to go back to another game that I was looking forward to playing – the Resident Evil 2 remake!

I had finished the Leon A campaign before Kingdom Hearts 3 was released, but yesterday I got to smash out the Claire B campaign in one hit.  Well, a few deaths and reloads because of some “Come On!” moments, but all was done on Sunday.

Now that I have finished the story as such I can start with The 4th Survivor modes as well as some of the free what-if Ghost Survivors scenarios.  Even before I begin trying for those S+ rankings, I have a lot more game to play!

20190304 Resident Evil 2
Wow. And this was the shorter chapter. I did clear out the police station this time though 🙂

What about you?  I hope you got some great games in.  Or are you looking forward to a new one?  Let me know!  Shout out on Facebook or @JohnHQLD me on Twitter!

Until tomorrow,

JohnHQLD

Last Week’s Gaming February 25th, 2019

20190225 Chronicles of Crime

You know when you think it’s Tuesday, but the week has already gone?

Yep, no trying to make a joke from the game titles this week.  I looked up from lunch on Monday, and it was Friday.  It was one of those weeks.

So while I didn’t get to play much, what I did get to play was amazing!

Chronicles of Crime

So this one is a little bit of a cheat this week.  I was fully intending to play along on games night, but I stopped.

I was teaching Harls to play for the first time, and giving Alpal a recap as it had been a while.  As for most games like this, I taught the basics and let them play through the tutorial.

Watching them play, I realised just how much I remembered from my only playthrough of the tutorial, so I withdrew from the game.  Everyone else enjoyed which is what you really want, but I can’t wait for the next time we play so I can join in again 😀

20190225 Chronicles of Crime
Starting to hit retail stores, I can't wait to share more Chronicles of Crime with everyone!

Super Mario Odyssey

I was worried about picking up Super Mario Odyssey again, as it has been about a month since I picked it up.  And I had never played it in handheld mode.  But it was something to play while Rabbit and I were relaxing on the couch, and I figured worst case I just don’t save.

These concerns turned out to be unfounded.  I knew what I was doing objective wise, a quick perusal of the controls reminded me how to play, and I was collecting moons again within a few minutes.

I didn’t make too much headway, but I collected enough moons to leave the Luncheon Kingdom, but I will beat the bird boss first 🙂

20190225 Super Mario Odyssey
To leave a game alone for a month and then almost clear a world is just what you want in a game like this

Kingdom Hearts 3

Well, I don’t know how much longer I will be including Kingdom Hearts 3 on the last week’s gaming news.  After 57:09 according to my save, I have attained the Platinum trophy 😀

For trophy hunters, the Platinum has been made easier in this version compared to the re-released 1.5 and 2.5 versions.  There is still a grind, but you no longer have to finish the game on proud mode for example.  You also don’t have to completely 100% everything about the game.  I have only completed about 75% of the gummi ship challenges for example.

20190225 Kingdom Hearts 3
One of the post game activities was completing recipes with Little Chef

But the story has been explored.  I have seen all of the endings, read all of the notes, and now the gameplay challenge is before me.  I will probably put that off though, as I need to do a Proud Mode run of Kingdom Hearts 1.5 and 2.5.  I think for all three games, a single run through the entire numbered series on proud will be a suitable goodbye 🙂

What about you?  I hope you got some great games in.  Or are you looking forward to a new one?  Let me know!  Shout out on Facebook or @JohnHQLD me on Twitter!

Until tomorrow,

JohnHQLD

Ramblings 013 – Chronicles of Crime

20190107 Chronicles of Crime

Unlucky for some, welcome to the 13th Ramblings!

To keep up with the lucky/unlucky theme, something you usually need a bit of luck in is solving a case. So what better game to talk about than Chronicles of Crime? This is a Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective killer indeed and takes the place of T.I.M.E. Stories for me as the next game system that adapts to the adventure.

Have a great weekend!

JohnHQLD

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Last Week’s Gaming – January 7th, 2019

20190107 Shadows Amsterdam

Shadows of Crime spun by Spinderella start with a Thief!

Oh, the holidays.  There was so much I wanted to do, but the only real thing I got done was wipe 99{dfca638b9dbdbc1caf156b9b6679a983a965572ca56a786c9cf360ad3783820c} of sleep debt.  Still, worth it!

I didn’t replay a lot of games, but I did knock over some video games which was fun.  Even the old favourite Stop Thief! was a new twist, trying out the cooperative mode 🙂

Spinderella

This was an Alpal special, and it was a surprising amount of fun!

Basically a kids game, your goal is to move all three of your bugs from one end of a path to the other.  But there are also some spiders working together to nab your bugs, and bits of log falling on you as well!

Heavy use of magnets makes Spinderella younger child friendly, as it will be hard to break the string because of moving the topmost spiders too far apart.  Roll and move gameplay with a twist – give it a go if you get the chance!

20190107 Spinderella
Don't let the fact it's a 'Kids game stop you from having a great time

Chronicles of Crime

I had been hankering to play this since my Kickstarter copy arrived a few weeks ago, and I finally got the chance!

A higher tech version of games like Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, Chronicles of Crime requires you to use an app to play.  All ‘cards’ have information from a QR code, allowing different scenarios and corrections to be rolled out with app updates.

You can also ‘investigate’ a crime scene – one person has the device/VR kit, and describes the area while actively looking around.  It’s deeper than I expected, and much quicker to play than I expected as well.

Investigating is fun, and the ability to actually question subjects on individual items without prompting is amazing.  For example, if you want to ask the waiter about drinks, you scan the waiter, then the drinks evidence – done!  But you can ask literally anyone about the drinks, and there is no ‘If you have the drinks, go to page xx’ prompts, so it’s also more challenging as you work out what needs to go where.

I can’t wait to provide a formal review soon!

20190107 Chronicles of Crime
You answer like you play - by scanning the cards to give the answer. No spoilers here though!

Stop Thief!

Finally had a chance to kick back and enjoy the first Restoration Games classic in my collection.

Stop Thief! is normally played competitively, with individual players trying to work out where the thief is from the provided sound clues.  This round though I got to play cooperatively with Rabbit, and it was an intriguing round indeed!

Having never played Stop Thief, it was good to lay out my thinking to teach Rabbit how to play without having to step back from ‘winning the game’.  The game is very similar, but instead of the most money being won, everyone has a single stack of money that can run out as robberies happen.

Now to put aside some time for Solo Mode…

20190107 Stop Thief
It looks like a lot is happening, but Stop Thief! is simple and straightforward and a blast to play

Shadows: Amsterdam

Another Alpal special, and one that knocked off an item for ‘most anticipated game to play in 2019’ (You knew the lists were coming, right?)

Imagine Codenames and Dixit had an affair – Shadows: Amsterdam would be the result.

Playing in two teams, one player is in charge of giving their team clues in the form of picture cards.  Players then need to interpret which picture to move to on the board.  There are three ‘clues’ that need to be collected before a final client is to be found.  First team to find the client without getting caught by the police three times wins!

Shadows: Amsterdam is fun, fast, and a heap of fun to play.  Formal review coming soon!

20190107 Shadows Amsterdam
If you enjoy Codenames, Shadows: Amsterdam is a no-brainer selection for you!

Pokemon Let’s Go

And I have finished!  The story at least, but the journey is done 🙂

As very much a Pokemon ‘casual’, and someone that was flat out at the end of the year, Pokemon Let’s Go was a great game for me.  As I had already played Pokemon Yellow (years ago, but yeah) having an idea of the game meant I could pick it up and put it down with ease.

And it was a little too much ease.  Honestly, I skipped two gyms and a secret technique that lets you fast travel to towns you have visited, and I still beat the game (with a lot of walking and backtracking).  And beat I MewTwo.  Yep, I have a MewTwo now 🙂

There is a bunch of extra stuff to do that I may or may not do, but you can hear about all that tomorrow with the Let’s Go review 😀

20190107 MewTwo
Wandering into the cave with 3 mid-level 60 and high level 50 Pokemon made this a tough fight, but I have MewTwo now 🙂

Detective Pikachu

So I started Detective Pikachu AGES ago, and the linear story was/is fun and a new Pokemon take was interesting.

The main problem I had was I put it down as the music was putting me to sleep (I was playing bit by bit at the end of the day), and didn’t pick up the DS to play for weeks.  Even at PAX Aus, where I was grabbing StreetPasses left and right, I didn’t even fire up Detective Pikachu.

I was determined to finish Detective Pikachu this year though, and now, it’s done.  I was about 2 hours from finishing, and that was taking my time.  So close!  But I also wanted to start another game on the DS, but more on that soon.

But you can hear my final thoughts on Detective Pikachu next Tuesday if you would like to know more.

20190107 Detective Pikachu
Detective Pikachu is a whole lot of fun 🙂 Not an overly complicated, but still enjoyable.

Luigi’s Mansion

I remember years ago buying a copy of Luigi’s Mansion and a Game Cube for a friend.  I must have watched many hours of their kids and my nephew play it, but I never got around to it.

Last year, Luigi’s Mansion 3 was announced for the Switch.  Now these days, if you want a game to get my attention, announce it on the Switch.  And memories of the first game came flooding up…

Thanks to the EB Games Boxing Day sales, I now have the first two in the series on DS.  I have only really played the tutorial and the first few rooms, but it’s already proving itself to be a fun diversion that needs just that bit of attention to finish it.

20190107 Luigis Mansion
It may be an old game, but Luigi's Mansion is still a bit of fun on the 2DS.

Astro Bot Rescue Mission

This fun little gem has taken the gaming awards by storm.  According to Metacritic, it’s the #7 PS4 game released in 2018, and #1 if you look at PSVR only!

With the January sales, I had to have a look at it.  It was being universally praised, and I can see why.  It’s adorable, immersive, challenging, and most importantly (for a VR game) completely immersive.

I only played for about 8 hours I think in total, but I have 100{dfca638b9dbdbc1caf156b9b6679a983a965572ca56a786c9cf360ad3783820c} completed 3 of the five worlds and I am on the final world now.

Short version – if you like Mario Bros style games, and are interested in VR, get Astro Bot Rescue Mission.  You will hear much on this game over the coming weeks, so be ready 🙂

20190107 AstroBot Gameplay
Find your bot friends, collect coins for mini-games, and enjoy the most Nintendo platformer on PlayStation

Beat Saber

In my opinion, Beat Saber got robbed by Astro Bot on Metacritic.  As I said, Astro Bot is a great game, and I am enjoying it thoroughly, but Beat Saber I have kept coming back to all year.  No other VR game has been able to do this, and that was before the new content.

A recent update added a couple of very fun new songs, and Rabbit has discovered with me the fun of playing some songs on Faster – it somehow makes them more fun and easier while making you move even more at the same time!

I need to move more, so I am going to try and get back into playing Beat Saber daily.  Let’s see if my score goes up…

Beat Saber Hitting the Cubes
You can watch people playing, but nothing compares to the feel of cutting cubes yourself

Kingdom Hearts

YES.  It has begun.  The Kingdom Hearts run is beginning.

I am a little torn though.  Do I just run through the games?  I can do this, and may even be able to finish Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2 if I do this.

But.

I love this series, and I kind of want to platinum them – including the games I missed as I didn’t have a DS at the time.

Thinking, thinking.  Decisions to be made.  I will let you know what I decide, but if you are a fan grab the Final Mixes if you haven’t already.  The worst of the PS2 controls have been smoothed – they aren’t gone, but I am not as frustrated playing.  And it’s as fun as ever 🙂

20190107 Kingdom Hearts
There's a lot of cutscenes, but once you are into the game there isn't much time to laze about.

What about you?  What have you been up to?  Have you been getting more games in?  Let me know!  Shout out on Facebook or @JohnHQLD me on Twitter!

Until tomorrow,

JohnHQLD