Anime #2 has been watched this year, first was Dagashi Kashi and now Kristen and I just wrapped up watching Gamers!. So I’m well on my goal of getting five animes watched this year, I’ll probably double it realistically, but five seemed safe in case […]
Tag: video games
One last post for 2018 before we hit the new year, and this time it’s my top 5 video games. I will say that while I do enjoy video games, sometimes it takes me a while to get through them and I don’t play a plethora of them, though I have been playing more classic NES/SNES games, which you can see in the Cartridge Capers post.
1 Dragon Age
I’m assuming this was my previous #1, and I mean the first two, not Dragon Age Inquisition. The third one is just too open world and there’s something about the point of view that is slightly motion sickness inducing for myself. The first two are a lot of fun though, I like the character progression, I like the random conversations that happen, and I like how you can effect the story but the story is still tightly written and you don’t wander around with nothing to do.
2 Borderlands 1, 2, Pre-Sequel
I really considered this for #1 as well. I’m generally not a shoot-em-up fan but Borderlands does a good job of having a fun enough story and the art work in the game is just amazing. The game doesn’t take itself seriously, and the skill trees that you unlock make it feel like an RPG while having a more tightly directed story than most RPG’s do. Overall it’s just a lot of good and silly fun with a great smack talking robot.
3 Myst/Riven/Return to Zork/Labyrinth of Time
This was on last years list as well as a huge group. These classic games from the 90’s were all about solving absurd puzzles. Some of them have more story than others, but most of them had the basic premise. You are dropped into this crazy world and you have no idea what is going on or where you are, now figure out how to get out of there. I just like a game that really stretches your brain, and I might have to go back and play some of them as I do own a couple of them, Myst and Riven on Steam. Too many things to do, and too little time.
4 Tales from the Borderlands
I didn’t include this with Borderlands, because Tales from the Borderlands is a 100% different game. It’s basically a choice making game where you watch a story unfold and then as you hit certain points your story can branch out into other areas and go different ways. It has a mechanic that I really love that Oxenfree and Life is Strange does as well, where it shows you your choice versus the choices of other people, so you can see how you differ and can start to see how that shapes your game. And it keeps the humor of Borderlands and the story feels like Borderlands, you just aren’t shooting everything.
5 Heroes of Might and Magic
This is another game that I think I could just sit back down and play. There is something about turn based games that I really like, and while Alpha Centauri is off the list this year, Heroes of Might and Magic stays strong. The combination of troops you can have, and building up your forces and spreading out in what is basically an area control game is a lot of fun. It helps having memories of massive games of it in college with a couple of roommates.
Of course, there are going to be some honorable mentions as well. One that won’t make that list that I’ve already mentioned is Life is Strange. While Life is Strange is an amazingly well done game, it’s very tough to play through because of the heavy subject matter. There is depth in that game that makes is an addictive and tough experience to play, and while it was thought provoking
Super Mario Bros
What are some of your favorite video games? Are there any that you think would match the type of games that I like?
As you all likely know by now, I am the master of checking out nerdy things only after they’ve already been out in the world for a few years. And my latest nerdy exploits are no different–I recently started playing Dragon Age: Origins. And boy, […]
As of last week, Peder and I are the proud owners of a brand-new (well, refurbished) Xbox One. We’ve been wanting one for a little while, as we’ve seen more and more awesome-looking games come out, and we’ve been breaking it in with style by playing it as much as we can find time to (which, naturally, is not nearly as often as we’d like)!
We’ve gotten our hands on a few shiny-looking games we’ve been eyeing, like Dragon Age: Inquisition and Shadows of Mordor (which I’ve been dying to play since the second I heard about it), but so far, we’ve actually been spending most of our game-playing time on the free games we’ve downloaded.
Again and again, I’ve found myself extremely pleasantly surprised by these games. My experience with free video games is limited mostly to the demos that came with PC games I had as a kid, or at best, halfway-decent mobile games I’ve run across. However, times have thankfully changed, and to my delight, we’ve found that there are all kinds of free games out there for the Xbox One that are just as good as the ones we’ve paid cold, hard cash for.
I’ll be talking about at least one more of these games in the coming weeks, but today, I want to focus on the one we most recently added to our collection — Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge.
The moment I saw this game on the list, I knew we had to download it. When I was in high school, my brother, two of our good friends, and I played the first iteration of this game — The Secret of Monkey Island. To this day, playing that game is honestly one of my favorite memories from teenagerhood; it was worth the price of admission just for the sheer amount of inside jokes it generated. The game was originally released for PC in 1990, and was later remastered a couple of times (the version we played was probably one of those). It comes straight out of the glory days of 32-bit gaming, and was an adventure/logic/point-and-click game.
The mechanics were deceptively simple–you played as Guybrush Threepwood (which is clearly best name ever), a young would-be pirate trying to save his lady love from the evil undead pirate captain LeChuck. You navigate through various Caribbean-esque islands, completing quests and picking up clues along the way.
To choose what to do next, you move your cursor around the screen to interact with objects — typically, you have the option to look at them, push or pull them, open or close them, or pick them up. You can then either keep them, use them, combine them with other items, or give them to someone, depending on what the game allows for the particular item. Through interacting with objects, you eventually get the characters around you to do what you need them to do, or find ways to travel to where you need to go. You can also interact with most of the people (and often animals) that populate the game in order to accomplish your tasks. And more often than not, the characters around you will have funny — or surprising — reactions.
To complete the various tasks needed to eventually make your way to the final confrontation with LeChuck, you’ll have to use all your puzzle-solving skills (and a fair bit of guesswork). The challenges can primarily be beaten through witty reasoning, but much of the time, they require you to think like Guybrush would — namely, according to an extremely offbeat and unexpected form of…”logic.” Many of the solutions aren’t what you’d expect at first. Often, actions that you would never think would work end up being the key to solving a puzzle and moving forward, and things that seem like they should be obvious end up having little to no effect other than making Guybrush say a silly one-liner.
Satisfyingly, Monkey Island 2 is every bit as quirky, goofy, mind-bending, and fourth-wall-breaking as the original. Its aesthetic and gameplay style are also wonderfully reminiscent of the first game. When Peder and I started playing this game, I dared to hope that it would gratify my desire to relive playing the original, while still offering plenty of new adventures and a more polished gameplaying experience. To my delight, this hope was fulfilled every bit as well as I could wish!
One of the great things about this game is that it’s a really fun one to play collaboratively. It may only allow for one player to control the game at a time, but since there are so many puzzles along the way, many of which force you to think well outside of the box to solve, having a friend or three beside you to help think of what to do next or what series of steps might be needed to complete the next challenge can be really handy — and can keep you from getting hopelessly stuck. However, it’ll still be plenty tricky — I remember getting stuck plenty of times while playing the original game, even though there were always several of us working together, and Peder and I have already had to look up a couple of hints while playing the new one. But because the difficulty (and goofiness) level is so high, playing this game with friends ends up making for a well-balanced, well-paced gaming experience.
Monkey Island 2 is a great game for those who, like me, loved the original installment, but it’s also a fun choice for just about any type of gamer, from young to old, experienced player or newbie. It’s a good one for serious gamers who want something lighthearted, or casual gamers who want something with a good balance of challenge and fun. I’ll admit that I’m extremely biased toward this game no matter what, but for me, it’s been spot-on from the beginning, and I can’t recommend it highly enough!
Have you played The Secret of Monkey Island or Monkey Island 2? Would you give this one a try? What great free games have you found for your favorite console?
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