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    Aegis of Earth: Protonovus Assault (VITA)    by   jp       (Jul 25th, 2017 at 16:41:30)

    This looked so intriguing that I bought a copy blind...from abroad. This is not usually how I buy games. Especially the blind part. Well, unless they're super cheap....

    I'm a few missions in (and 9 strikes, missions is not the same as strikes..) and I think I'm starting to get the hang of this game. It has required me to go into the menus to read a lot because the tutorial-style text that is meant to explain things is really poor at explaining things. For example, at one point the character's (they're all my assistants, I'm playing the commander of a city) all started talking about how we could now merge units, that we could merge 2 units, that it was a shame we couldn't merge three units yet, but that we could merge 2 units and that it was all a great improvement. I had no idea what merging units meant, how to do it, what it cost, etc. I wasn't able to find any info in the units-related menus... Eventually I discovered a menu with some help/glossary-type text and said something to the effect of "merging units happens automatically when they're next to each other". Oh. I still didn't know what THAT meant, but I was able to figure it out later during a strike.

    There's a lot of things like that in this game - that you sort of realize by having to pay careful attention to things you thought would have been explained either directly or more clearly.

    The game plays as a sort of tower defense game where you place towers in your city. Your city is a set of concentric rings that have empty slots where you can build the towers. You also have to leave room for residential areas, parks, and a power plant. The idea is that you're running a city, and you need to keep your population happy and growing. As expected, you can upgrade all the things you build and as your city grows and you level up (you, the commander character) you get access to new units (towers) and other stuff?

    So, there's base building/development and then strikes - which is when you fight off waves of invading monsters. Here's where the concentric (4 rings) circles that make up your city come in. Enemies come at you from any direction and you can rotate the city's rings such that the towers are in the path of the oncoming enemies. If two towers line up (radius-wise) and they're of the same type, they "merge" into a better version of that tower.

    In the beginning I was REALLY getting annoyed during the strikes, because although there's an indicator of the direction of approaching enemies, I had towers that were fighting off-screen enemies and, due to the camera perspective, you couldn't see any enemies on the bottom of the screen. I though that was a really dumb idea and I was sure there must be some way to change the camera view. I pressed all the buttons. No luck. I pressed all the buttons some more, no luck. I checked menus for configuration options. No luck. Then I tried the second stick (right stick) and there it was - move the camera around! So, now - the strikes are a lot more interesting...and playable.

    I'm not enjoying how chatty the characters are though...and there's unexplored gameplay there for now - each character has a special power or two, which I haven't looked into and I only realized I had more than 6 characters because I got a message before a strike asking if I was sure I wanted to field a character who was very tired. I was able to swap him out for another character...but then I realized I didn't have backups for anyone I'm not sure what happens if they all get tired?

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    Orgarhythm (VITA)    by   jp       (Jul 25th, 2017 at 15:44:47)

    I got to a level I wasn't able to pass and I wasn't really making any progress on it at all. I just couldn't get the beat of the song for my taps to work. So, I decided to sigh and move along...

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    Neon Chrome (PS4)    by   jp       (Jul 19th, 2017 at 19:16:24)

    Played a few hours with my son the other day and I'm really interested in figuring out all the stuff the game has going on. There's an overarching rogue-like/lite structure that I'm intrigued by, and it helps that the base twin-stick shooting is fun.

    The overall structural stuff I'm curious about are:

    a. You spend money to get upgrades that are permanent. Are they really? (we're not sure, but we haven't gotten that far such that early levels SHOULD be really easy)

    b. You can spend money to upgrade weapons - but we think that's only for your next playthrough?

    c. Weapons also level up, but that's only during a play session - we're not sure which is the stronger effect: weapon leveling or the permanent upgrades. It's hard to disentangle them...

    d. After the first boss, you can choose to start from that point - we're not sure yet if that's a good idea, why would you NOT want to do that? We're not sure if starting at the boss means starting at a power-level appropriate for that level? (e.g. with weapons that have levelled up to a point that similar to what you'd get if you'd played all the way to that boss).

    COol beans!

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    Orgarhythm (VITA)    by   jp       (Jul 19th, 2017 at 18:54:34)

    I picked this up because it's weird. And it is. I'm not entirely sure how to describe it - but it the core gameplay is rhythm-action with light-RTS/strategy. You basically tap on the screen to summon soldiers to fight for you which you then "place" by swiping a line on the screen that indicates where you want them to go. So far there are 3 different colors in a classical rock-paper-scissors configuration (thankfully there's a little icon of the relationship on the screen that I'm always referring to so I can figure out what to summon next).

    It's strange and I don't entirely understand how to play it (despite having done all the tutorials made available so far). I've only played 3 (or 4?) missions, and I've unlocked two new unit types beyond the starter "melee": archers and catapults. I don't really understand the strategy yet beyond "tap the best color for the enemies you see on the screen now" and there's been a few missions I lost a lot at (the 2nd one in particular) without really understanding what was going on. I think I understand a bit more now (so I beat the 2nd level), but then I failed a lot at the tutorial level for the catapult unit... So, who knows...

    It's also an interesting looking game - it feels 100% Unity with last-gen textures and weird 90's early web use of fonts and colors. The sort of fancy 3D fonts people would use on their GeoCities webpages in headers and whatnot (as graphics, not text). I'm also not really digging the music, but this might be just because I'm so confused by what I'm doing...I button-mash to the rhythm is how I'd describe what I currently do.

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    Blood Bowl II (PS4)    by   jp       (Jul 17th, 2017 at 16:56:02)

    Ok, it's going on the shelf.

    I decided to play some more of the campaign over the weekend. I'm on match 11 (or maybe it was 10?) and the game crashed after half-time. So I played again, but wasn't able to meet all the goals. So I played again, and it crashed AGAIN, after half-time. So, I'm pretty annoyed now. These matches aren't short, and I'm not sure I really want to risk playing more just to get to the end of the campaign. I have no idea how many matches the campaign has in total (and googling didn't throw anything). So, on the shelf it goes!

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    What is GameLog?

    GameLog hopes to be a site where gamers such as yourself keep track of the games that they are currently playing. A GameLog is basically a record of a game you started playing. If it's open, you still consider yourself to be playing the game. If it's closed, you finished playing the game. (it doesn't matter if you got bored, frustrated,etc.) You can also attach short comments to each of your games or even maintain a diary (with more detailed entries) for that game. Call it a weblog of game playing activity if you will.

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    1 : jp's Aegis of Earth: Protonovus Assault (VITA)
    2 : jp's The Battle of Polytopia (iPd)
    3 : jp's Neon Chrome (PS4)
    4 : jp's Orgarhythm (VITA)
    5 : jp's Missile Cards (iPd)
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    1 : jp at 2017-06-20 09:01:19
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    Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (360)    by   Maelstrom

    Ridiculously large map, ridiculously awesome soundtrack, ridiculously great game.
    most recent entry:   Monday 19 May, 2008
    Playing more and more GTA. This game is really terrific. I haven't gotten that far, but from what I have played it has been excellent. I'm really impressed with how the story has evolved. It no longer feels like they're just a bunch of character models sitting around talking, but they feel like real people with real emotions and such. The graphics go a long way to make the story more believable. I'm impressed with the whole "cell phone" element in the gameplay. This opens up a lot more opportunities to interact with Liberty City and those in it.

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