Last Week’s Gaming – March 9th, 2020

Kung Fu Panda Feature

A week of weird milestones

Another game light week, and a lot of sleep required to get through it. But a lot of fun was still had, and that’s the main thing, right?

Enough of what I have had to do – on to what I have been playing!

Another Alpal Kickstarter, Kung Fu Panda surprised me in a lot of different ways.

The minis all come with a light wash on them. Not enough to say they are painted, but plenty to show off the amazing detail on all of the pieces. When I looked at the Kickstarter, I thought it would be a simplified Zombicide type of game.

I was kind of right, but wrong in all the best ways. Playing simultaneously, you progress through varioius missions and fight your way through hordes of enemies. It only took about 20-25 minutes to power through two missions, and was a blast to play.

When my games nights start soon, I hope to convince Alpal to bring this along and have a solid run through many missions.

Kung Fu Panda
Heaps of enemies, but incredibly fast and fun gameplay!

Alpal got a copy of this recently, and we had a great time. Dragon Market is a strange game to describe. Basically you have to collect three orders of different items. Sounds simple.

The catch is that the items are all on floating boats, and you need to move the boats in such a way to let you collect what you need.

The rules are very simple, and then you need to solve a shifting puzzle as you play. Dragon Market is engaging enough to keep you satisified gameplay wise, while not taking a long time to learn.

I hope to have a few more rounds of this so I can do a proper review soon.

Dragon Market
It's hard to quickly sum up Dragon Market, but if you like puzzles, this is a great game

Time to jump back into an old favourite. Alpal had even gotten an expansion that allows more options (for a cost) during your play.

And I got my butt handed to me again ๐Ÿ™‚ I am just too kind with monster placement on Alpal’s map. I keep putting them against the sides, blocking penalties to her score.

Ah well, one day I will learn ๐Ÿ™‚

One day I will grab a copy of Cartographers for my library and enjoy a few solo rounds, similar to One Deck Dungeon. But until then, the occasional thrashing from Alpal is always worth looking forwared to.

Cartographers: A Roll Player Tale
Played on the mat with the new expansion cards. So pretty!

Halo – Xbox

Finally got around to finishing this classic. Oh man, that last level drove me nuts!

The latest update came through this week, also allowing me to play the first Halo on PC! They did seem to fix my main complaint of the music being louder than the action, but that may be just the last level anyway.

Overall I enjoyed this bit of catch up to a past classic, but I have no real urge to play through it again. Not even for some achievements. I played it, and I am happy I did.

What else do I have to say about Halo? Well you will have to wait until Friday and my review ๐Ÿ™‚

Halo
That's another game finished!

Halo 2 – Xbox

So I am not very far into the second chapter of the Halo series. Well, third if you consider Reach the first game, but I am playing them in release order.

I will tell you something though – the cutscenes in the Anniversery edition are amazing! Rabbit walked in and thought I was watching a movie!

The first update from Halo I am really enjoying is dual wielding weapons. A covenant weapon in one hand, SMG in the other, ripping through elites is awesome!

It might be a couple of weeks before I jump back into Halo 2. I am thinking of starting a bigger RPG again, and using Halo as a regular palette cleanse seems appropriate. Expect to hear more in spurts.

Halo 2
The cut scenes in the Master Chief Collection are amazing. But dual wielding wins!

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

Until tomorrow,

JohnHQLD

Last Week’s Gaming – February 24th, 2019

Homebrewers

So guess how many games you can play with a night on the couch?

So Friday night I came home and basically crashed on the couch. It had been a week. The upside of this though is I basically slept for a bit after work, then played quite a few games on Xbox! Yay different gaming experiences!

What did I play? Well, that is kind of the point of Last Week’s Gaming :p

Alpal showed me Homebrewers this week. Initally I had it mixed up with Brew Crafters, but the only similarity is making beer.

It’s an interesting engine builder/dice action management game with variable player powers. Each game has different objectives, and you improve the quality of your beers by brewing them.

The best part of Homebrewers was when I lost the second game. It wasn’t the loss that was great, but that it had me thinking about what I could have done better with what I had. A game that makes you think like that is great, and I am hoping for more games of Homebrewers in the future.

Homebrewers
Homebrewers is a game that even when I lost, scratched that part of my brain as to why

One Deck Dungeon – Physical and Steam

The way this game has grabbed me is just insane. I had to force myself not to keep playing this week!

I am having fun with the progression, but I am rying the ‘Gauntlet’ mode on the Steam version at the moment. Gauntlet is like a mini-campaign that has you running all five dungeons in a row, but without any of the progression bonuses.

I am not doing too well at the moment – I think I will go back to playing two characters for this mode and starting again ๐Ÿ™‚

Don’t know One Deck Dungeon? Luckily I reviewed it last week, so check out my review here!

One Deck Dungeon
I am determined to do a Gauntlet run - basically a run on all five bosses from base stats

Ticket To Ride – Xbox

Ticket to Ride. I have the ‘special’ version – the 10th Anniversary USA and the Marklin editions physically. But when it’s close to 1am trying to get players to come over for a game is a bit rude :p

Luckily, Ticket to Ride is on Xbox Game Pass, so I didn’t even need to boot up my PC! The AI can be tweaked for different play styles, and I got owned on the first game basically because I forgot how to play :p

Ticket to Ride is a great game, and I still enjoy playing it now and then. I probably won’t play it again for a while. But it was a fun hour while I messed around ๐Ÿ™‚

Ticket to Ride
Picking routes is fiddly on Xbox, but I still got three games played with different AI in about 45 minutes

Elder Sign: Omens – Android

I was looking to kill about 20 minutes this week, and I hadn’t played Elder Sign for a while. Once again, the digital version on my phone came to solo playing rescue!

Elder Sign is kind of Cthulhy Yahtzee. You have to complete different missions, which is accomplished with different combinations of dice rolls. You can also take advantage of different skills based on the investigators you choose.

The digital version is a faithful recreation of the physical version, and is a great way to play solo as the app takes care of the more time consuming tasks like shuffling and setup.

If you don’t know Elder Sign (physical or digital), I have it on my list of games to review. Expect to see that in the near future ๐Ÿ™‚

Elder Sign Omens
I am still on the base game on my phone, but if I want to play a round or two playing Elder Sign Omens is great

Ring Fit Adventure – Switch

So this week I took the plunge and bought Ring Fit Adventure. I have been particularly sedentary of late, and I need to start moving again.

I started watching some reviews not that Ring Fit Adventure has been out for a while, and I was heartened to see the amount of people sticking with it after a few months. So, I took the plunge!

Compared to the workouts I used to do, Ring Fit Adventure is a light one, especially as I started on Casual. But I have run over a kilometer in both sessions – more than I have run in a single session in more than two decades!

At the moment, I did two days on, two off, and I will be doing another session after writing this. I am enjoying it, and I intend to play at least 5 times a week, so expect to see more on this one going forward.

Ring Fit Adventure
I told you I was unfit :p

Halo – Xbox

Slow and steady is my take on Halo. I only played a couple of sessions, but both times I got through a main mission, so I think I am only a couple of hours from finishing it.

There is one thing that is really starting to bug me with the Master Chief Collection version though. The music is awesome, but there is no way to lower the music volume in the game!

Why is this important? Because the music can be louder than all of the other sounds, and when I am trying to hear Cortana’s directions she is being drowned out by the music! It is REALLY annoying that I had to turn the subtitles on just to know what I was supposed to do.

Either way, this time next week, I should have this on my ‘finished’ list ๐Ÿ™‚

Halo
Slowly making my way through the campaign. Getting ready to blow up Halo

Halo: Spartan Assault – Xbox

More Halo when I had enough of Halo ๐Ÿ™‚ Not a new release, Halo Spartan Assault is what is commonly called a twin stick shooter. One stick controls where you move, and the other the direction you face/aim.

Spartan Assault isn’t the deepest gameplay I have ever experienced, but it is good for short burts of gameplay. The first time I played this was on my Surface Pro 3 because I didn’t believe you could play it on that machine!

The story takes place between Halo 3 and Halo 4, so technically I am playing this out of order. The story follows Spartans Davis and Palmer, which you alternate between on different missions solo but can play either in coop mode.

I don’t know if I will play this through in any particular fashion, but I am willing to keep it on my Xbox for quick arcade type gaming.

Halo Spartan Assault
While not a AAA title, Spartan Assault is fun for an arcade romp

Portal: Still Alive – Xbox

Looking through Game Pass, I was looking through the collection when I saw the Xbox version of Portal. Hardly a cutting edge game today, I thought a quick play to see how much I remembered was worth it.

And wasn’t it. Lying on the couch at a ridiculously late hour, I made it through 3/4 of the game before accidently standing in front of an electric ball.

If you have never played Portal, don’t be put off by the age of the title. It’s a fun and challenging physics puzzle game that is standing up well today. Portal 2 is more fun and has a deeper story, but I didn’t see that on Game Pass :p

Portal Still Alive
Do I need to really play Portal again? No. But it is still a lot of fun!

Tembo the Badass Elephant – Xbox

I was surprised when I saw this on my installed apps list. I didn’t see it on Game Pass, but maybe it was a Games with Gold freebie?

The premise is suitably silly ๐Ÿ™‚ You play Tembo, a special forces elephant called in to rescue Shell City from the forces of Phantom. Yes, you read that right.

Tembo is basically a silly platformer that has you collecting peanuts for extra lives, defeating the forces of Phantom, and rescuing civilians as a side quest.

It’s not good enough to have me dropping everything to continue playing it, but I can see myself picking up Tembo now and then during the year for a bit of fun ๐Ÿ™‚

Tembo the Badass Elephant
Ridiculous name, ridiculous game. It doesn't stop Tembo being a fun platformer though.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night – Xbox

I recently bought the Castlevania collection on the Switch, but I haven’t given it a go yet. In browsing Game Pass, I saw this Kickstarter game come up, so I thought I would give it a go.

Only clearing the first area, I am a far way from being able to say I am making progress. From all accounts, I have much left to go as well as multiple paths to explore.

I can say I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. I might go back to playing Bloodstained regularly as a side Xbox game after finishing Halo. I am worried about genre fatigue playing them all back to back, and Bloodstained is definitely not an FPS!

Bloodstained Ritual of the Night
I have heard lots of good things about Bloodstained. It has potential for sucking me in more.

Untitled Goose Game – Xbox

Untitled Goose Game. Do I need to say more?

While waiting for some other Game Pass games to load, I thought I would grab this is it’s a small download and just have fun until something else finished loading.

If you haven’t played Untitled Goose Game, do it. It’s a great puzzler, very relaxing and just silly fun all rolled into one title. There are some timing challenges, but overall it’s very forgiving with it’s controls. Seriously, it’s free on Game Pass – check it out.

Untitled Goose Game
Untitled Goose Game is silly fun. And it's free on Game Pass. So why not?

198X – Switch

So going to bed early, I took my Switch with me to still chill out and then pass out when I felt tired. I decided to pick up 198X again, as I hadn’t played it for a while.

And I finished it. No, I didn’t pull an all night gaming session, I just didn’t realise how short the game was! Now that I have finished it and know all the game mechanics, I think I can finish it from start to end in about an hour.

While a beautiful pixel art game with amazing retro game love, it is episode one in an episodic arc. The asking price I think is a little high, but if you grab it on sale it’s a great experience. Becuase of the length I also can’t bring myself to put it on my ‘finished’ list ๐Ÿ™

I will talk about it more in this weeks review.

198X
The final boss had me thinking of Shodan from System Shock

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

Until tomorrow,

JohnHQLD

Last Week’s Gaming – February 17th, 2020

One Deck Dungeon Game Start

Well one game got me really suckered in this week

It looks like another Video Game heavy week, but I played about 9-10 hours of One Deck Dungeon this week! It definitely helped with my ‘Play 250 games’ progress this week! Just look to the right for how that is tracking ๐Ÿ™‚

Enough of all that though, on to what I have been playing!

One Deck Dungeon

I have been meaning to get to One Deck Dungeon for a long time. A lot of people have told me how great a solo game it is, but I always had something else to play. Well I fixed that this week, and I played it a lot. Fifteen times, to be exact.

It’s a solo dungeon crawl experience that plays with some tokens and a deck of cards. I played a few times with the physical version, and a few times on the Steam copy I have had for a while.

Now that I know how to play it properly, I will probably solo it on PC. There is a lot of shuffling and turn order things to keep straight, and the digital version handles all that. But beware – the first few run throughs are tough. Expect a full review soon.

One Deck Dungeon - Dragon run complete!
This was a hard slog, but my two adventurers won through

Onitama – Android

As usual, I played some Onitama again when I had a bit of downtime during the day at work. Against the hard AI, I usually win about one third of the time. Last week I was dreaming for a win at all.

This week went much smoother – three games, two wins. Vindication!

I love Onitama as a game. You will see this pop-up in games played pretty consistantly because of this. Onirim is another favourite, but I didn’t get around to it this week.

Why do I love Onitama? Check out my review for more info!

Onitama
VINDICATION! After last week's whooping, getting a couple of wins was great

Halo – Xbox

I am running a bit of a tight rope this week. One of the reason I have trouble finishing video games is switching between games. And this week, I started two other games!

That didn’t stop me from making some progress in Halo this week, but I need to keep old habits in mind. I have gotten up to the Flood, so I’m in the ‘real’ game now I guess?

One thing that did strike me is how little Bungie level design has changed. Halo is almost 20 years old now, and yet I saw a lot of empty areas for loading like I did in Destiny 2. That’s not a bad thing as such, but it’s interesting to see how much some developers stick to what they know.

Halo
I didn't get much further in this week, but I am aiming to finish Halo before any of the other games I started

Marvel’s Spider-Man – PS4

So this week I picked up my DualShock 4 back button attachment. I was going to test it with Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order. I didn’t, as I was worried about getting sucked into it and ignoring Halo.

Ooops. Instead, I got sucked into Spider-Man. The first thing that hit me is that the official Marvel games are not using any of the MCU actors faces. It’s not a deal breaker, but it does ruin some of the immersion for me. I don’t feel like I am playing in the Marvel universe at all.

Another thing that works for Spider-Man but also against it for me is that combat. It plays like the Batman Arkham games, and I spent way too long hitting triangle to counter. This is not a move in Spider-Man!

I think I can finish Halo in a dedicated weekend, so once that is done I will be returning to Spider-Man straight away.

Marvel's Spider-Man
The photo mode is a lot of fun. How could I resist?

Resident Evil 0 – Switch

With the various eShop sales, I have been slowly building my Resident Evil collection on my Switch. Obviously it will be missing the new remakes, but for historical plays I like the idea of taking the collection with me.

Story wise, it takes place before the original Resident Evil, hence the 0 numbering. I have heard lots of mixed reviews about the game, and wanted to check it out for myself.

It has a lot of game innovations that I already appreciate, such as controlling two characters at once. That said, I am early into the game so that may be a negative later.

I don’t intend to hit Resident Evil 0 hard, but it’s a different enough game to the others that I shouldn’t get genre burn out. A couple of hours a week means this will take a long time to get through, but the puzzles so far have been challenging enough that should be enough.

Resident Evil 0
So I beat the first boss. And I did it with a knife! Out of necessity, not skill ๐Ÿ˜›

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

Until tomorrow,

JohnHQLD

Last Week’s Gaming – February 10th, 2020

Blight Chronicles Agent Decker

You know those weeks you feel like you got nothing done, then you look back?

That was me this week. A couple of work projects just hammered me. I am still tired almost all the time, but at least it’s just tired not sick.

And then I looked at my plays for the week. I got a lot more games in than I thought! What did I play? Well thank you for asking ๐Ÿ™‚

I backed this solo narrative deck builder on Kickstarter, and it finally arrived a couple of weeks ago.

My first experience was a rulebook that seemed straightforward but ended up being a little too vague on the finer points. A couple of ‘how to play’ videos later, and I felt ready to play.

And while close, I lost. A bit of bad planning and not understanding the end game timing on my part. But that has been corrected now, so time to start again and play through all 7 stages before the review!

Blight Chronicles Agent Decker
It was close, but the first run through beat me in the end. Time to try again!

I have played Villainous before, and spoken about how I enjoyed it. This week I got to play another round, which is always fun. But Alpal and I got to play three players!

Playing with a new player, it was part teaching game but mostly just a social afternoon. I played Prince John for the first time, and some of his cards revealed we had been playing it wrong. It happens to the best of us. ๐Ÿ™‚

Alpal and I had been keeping our Allies when ‘vanquishing’ heroes. This is wrong – we should have been removing all cards involved in the scuffle. At least we know going into future games!

Villainous
I was so close to a win! But it was a great afternoon playing this quick favorite

Alpal showed me another new game this week. Similo is a series of games with each version focusing on a different theme. We played Similo: History.

Similo is basically a cooperative Guess Who. The clue giver randomly draws a card for the others to guess. They then lay out 11 random cards with the target, and draw 5 other cards as their hand.

Each round, they will lay out a card which will be ‘different’ or ‘similar’ to the target card, and the guessers try and remove cards that aren’t the target.

Now this description sounds pretty dry, but I am describing it this way because I didn’t take any pictures of the game. This means I have to describe the game more than normal. What I can say is in about 10 minutes we knocked over two games, and next time we catch up I can’t wait to give it another go or three!

Similo History
This is why I should never leave my phone in the car! At least you can see the cover ๐Ÿ™‚

Luigi’s Mansion 3 – Switch

Another game finished! I decided to play Luigi’s Mansion 3 after the RPG grind of Final Fantasy XV, and I was glad I did.

I have only played the first one on DS, with plans to go and play the second at some point. What I can say is that the third instalment is everything I remember, and then some!

Puzzles were great, but not too stressful. I collected all of the gems and boos, but I am not going to try and Complete it. It was fun, and that is what counts. Expect a full review soon!

Luigi's Mansion 3
Can't complain with a run like that ๐Ÿ™‚

Onirim – Android

Last week I decided to try the score mode. It took me most of the week, but I finally got around to trying it out.

And just as I feared, playing for points put me in sub-optimal play mode as I chased points. It’s not that I think the score mode is terrible, it’s a flaw in how I approach the game.

I only played it a couple of times, but I still enjoyed them! A close loss followed two wins is still a reasonable ratio. ๐Ÿ™‚

Again, if you want a great mobile implementation of a solo board game, check out my review and give Onirim a try.

Onirim
There are plenty of people that scored better, but I still had a blast

Onitama – Android

I love playing Onitima. The elegant simplicity, the quick gameplay, and always needing to adapt to new play conditions make compelling challenges.

Regular playing on my phone is against hard AI. I am yet to win more than about 30% of the time. This was demonstrated beautifully this week when I lost every single game.

Is playing against the AI as fun as playing the board game version? Not quite. There is none of the banter and socialising you do in person. But it is better than not playing at all! I have tried playing online, but the opponents tend to drift off at strange times. This makes sense when playing on mobile, but when you are on the other end with no idea what is happening, it’s frustrating.

Speaking of playing against the AI…

Onitama
It didn't matter what I did this week, I kept being blindsided by obvious plays

Splendor – Steam

If you follow me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook you would have seen a couple of ‘What do I do now?’ results during the week. To help with this downtime, I have moved to my gaming laptop for work as it can just handle more.

But I still have downtime, and lunchtime is always a thing. I took advantage of this during the week with a quick round of Splendor!

Playing at lunch was a bit distracting, as I was interrupted with work conversations that kept derailing my concentration. But I went down swinging, and was a welcome distraction during the day!

I have to avoid making it a habit while I am work, but the quick play against the AI made for an excellent mental refresh. Never played Splendor? Check out my review!

Splendor
I could have made a lot better plays, but the chance to stop and change to non-work thoughts was great

Doom – Xbox

I struggled if I should include Doom in this weeks summary. After fixing some internet issues at home, I jumped on the Xbox for the first time in ages. And what was showing on Game Pass? Good old Doom!

When it was released in 2016, I finished Doom in record time. The remake was just as fun as when I played the original back in the day. One level of quick demon shooting action was enough for the time I had, and that is part of Doom’s beauty. Want to play for hours? Please do! Want a quick round? Just as satisfying.

I am not going to play Doom as one of my ‘To Finish’ games of 2019, but the quick round did make me think about finally getting around to Halo…

Doom
How you going there little guy?

Halo – Xbox

A late Saturday night work night coupled with a few hours waiting for propogation meant I got to start one of the games I bought the Xbox for.

I finally started playing Halo.

Even non-gamers know about this series. I know a fair bit of the lore already, and back in the day someone actually gave me their Xbox to play it. I didn’t really get the chance though, as it died on me not long after.

I have put in a few hours and gotten a fair way into the campaign. If you are curious, I have completed The Silent Cartographer. The most annoying thing so far is I have died more from other Marines driving into me than Covenant forces!

Halo is the next of my games to finish. Eventually, I hope to finish all five games. Just not at once. Expect to see this one come up for a couple of weeks.

Halo
It's really hard not to make a "All hail the chief" joke right now

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

Until tomorrow,

JohnHQLD