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Posts tagged “Steam

Gloomhaven on PC

You may remember I chatted about this one, and about a year or two before that it was all over the board game social groups. In short it’s a leviathan board game in a box the size of a couple of breeze blocks, it has a foot firmly in the RPG camp in the same way that Diablo and Grim Dawn are RPGs, all the stabbing, easy on the character moments, incidental decision making with pretty direct fallout, but damn it does the hacking and slashing well.

Characters are diverse in appearance and collection of powers building to tactical combinations with the rest of your party, clever but frustrating action economy, and so many possibilities, status conditions, and moving parts that the whole thing is far easier to manage with an app or three on the side. And actually with that electronic assistance Gloomhaven becomes an incredibly fun game, without it you’ve really got to enjoy your bookkeeping.

Borne on its popularity, Gloomhaven now has a video game version, all of the heroes fully animated, the modular board pieces turned into deep, rich scenery, and all of the numbers handled for you from behind the proverbial curtain.

Almost.

The video game version is still in early access stages so that players can help test the hell out of the many features to make sure that every character is ready and waiting to go. Currently the only playable characters are the Brute, Scoundrel, Spellweaver, and Cragheart, and after a recent update, the Tinkerer, which means that of course, my character has to wait until last. It’s almost like the Mindthief’s deck is filled with complex strategies, different mechanics, and like huge swarms of rats are hard to animate! Vermlings will not be sidelined!! Although apparently he gets released some time before the end of the year.

The board game has a mass of other characters who are unlocked over time, and given the pace of updates we might not be waiting all that long for the full release as it’s the characters and their management who are the most intricate part of the game. If their actions can be managed properly then so can all of the creature actions.

Oh, and on the subject of the creatures, the creatures in Gloomhaven always looked pretty in the artwork, but seeing them brought to life is something truly incredible. Demons, elemental undead take on a far more haunting aspect when they float and shamble their way towards you to kill you. “Elite” creatures also take on a better visual aspect, rather than being the same cardstock token inserted into a different colour stand, cultists change robes, bandits gain subtle armour decorations, and while the differences are not dramatic, they do add a little depth to the design that sets it apart from the tabletop version.

The gameplay is practically identical, you have your deck of cards, each of which with two options, in combat you choose two cards per turn, and you execute the top of one card and the bottom of the other, typically the top half will be more offensive, the bottom will be more tactical. For a turn based strategy you can easily take your time mulling over your options, and because you can play alone you’re not rushing to ensure you’re not holding everyone else up. When using those abilities, there is always the extra step of “confirming” your moves, which can be skipped by double-clicking, and there’s also a lot of confirming the end of turn, confirming how you take damage, and while it’s all necessary, it does jar the flow of the gameplay a little. Better I think to have played the board game to appreciate the reason for each feature, or maybe in-game tutorials will help advise new players after the proper release.

Early reports are naturally mixed because this game is early access, but fixes have been swift, broadly successful, and expected features are being released at a respectable pace. Whether you decide to jump on in the early days or wait for the full title, I think it’s safe to say that this will be a worthwhile investment for fans of the original board game. Whether or not it will translate to a broader audience… I’m going to suspend judgement for now.


Melody’s Escape

Throughout my life, I haven’t been the best at rhythm games. I’m able to make a pretty good run at them when I’m in the right frame of mind but even then, my reactions to the on-screen prompts can be a bit off. Which, considering one of my favourite games of all time (The Binding of Isaac) has the potential to train lightning-fast reflexes into you, is a bit odd.

Nonetheless, given a flash sale and some Steam Wallet funds laying around – Thanks Joel – I decided to pick up a game that had caught my eye on visuals alone: Melody’s Escape.

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First Experience of the Discord Games Store

A while back, I wrote about how Discord was taking the fight to Valve; the giants of digital video game distribution. Discord has begun to work on a variety of services which looks to bring the video game launcher experience to a more streamlined routine. Now that we’ve had the Game Store on Discord for around a month, I thought I’d share my experience with the store along with the launcher they’ve built. Finally, I’ll let you know if I think this’ll disrupt the market, or if Steam will sit pretty for quite some time.

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Video Game Review: Two Point Hospital

“Doctor required in GP’s Office!” is a phrase I heard oh too often in my youth, a term the receptionist would often throw out when doctor’s got too tired and would go off to the staff room. Theme Hospital was produced by Bullfrog Productions, all the way back in 1997. I was a young boy back then, but the game would always capture my imaginations. Indeed, we here in the UK have the NHS, but the idea of running my own American styled hospital was always a lot of fun. Fast forward to 2018 and we’ve got a new contender for the Hospital Management genre – A very specific niche indeed. It’s been over twenty years since Theme Hospital, so how does Two Point Hospital compare?

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Five Year Anniversary of Rogue Legacy

Five years ago, Rogue Legacy was just released. The game was amazing, if you ever played it back then. It didn’t change, for many years, before it finally came back in a fifth year anniversary update, surprising many people in the process – Me included. I mention quite frequently how I like to get a game to completion, then to go ahead and mark it as 100%. With the update, Rogue Legacy became one of the titles I was at 100% complete on, to nearly 100%. If you’ve never heard of Rogue Legacy before, read on for a bit of a summary of what the game’s about, as well as some information on the update.

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The Road To 100%: Final Fantasy VIII

Last week, I wrote a review of the Square Enix classic – But those of you who’ve followed this website long enough will know full well that I love to completely beat a game, not just complete the story. Steam achievements are something I go absolutely nuts for, even though there’s barely any reason to do so. This time around, I decided to get my RPG game on, which considering the last big RPG I 100%’d was Skyrim, this would have been a doddle by contrast… Or… Would it?

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Discord vs Valve: Discord’s New Game Library

Hoo boy, it only felt like a few months ago that I reported on the new game’s hub on the Discord app. Sure, that wasn’t such big news, but this time around, Discord are bringing themselves in direct competition with video-game monolith, Valve. They are creating a Game’s Library/Store, akin to that of what Steam users are currently used to. This is all well and good, but what do Discord think they can do differently? This is currently being tested in Canada*, but this is what the rest of the world can expect once it’s moved into more countries around the world. Along with this, today’s article will contain a few of my personal opinions on the matter.

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The Road To 100%: AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! for the Awesome

This year, I seemingly have gotten a bit more serious about my 100% ventures in game. I got so serious, I managed to get 100% of achievements on Skyrim. When I finished Skyrim, I knew I had to get a new game and I wanted to go for a way different genre. I thought about games I say I really like, but hadn’t really committed the time required to get really good at. Then, my mind went back to Owlchemy and Dejobaan Games’ AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! for the Awesome, a title about freefalling from floating buildings whilst flipping off or thanking fans… And tagging buildings.

There truly is a game for every niche…

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Obtaining Excalibur II in Final Fantasy IX for Steam

A challenge should be plausible, not impossible. It should be difficult to achieve, but yet easy to conceive. You should logically be able to visualise how it can be done – and this is a challenge that caused many Final Fantasy players nightmares in the past. 12 hours to get to the end of the game – How hard can that be? Very, when cutscenes were a part of the issue, but Steam helps us achieve this previously nearly impossible task.

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Video Game Review: Planet Coaster

In the midst of the Steam January sale, I spotted a gem that I’d been keeping my eye on, waiting for the day it hit the sale rack. Planet Coaster is an exciting, roller coaster/theme park simulation game. I had been dithering over whether to buy it or not, I absolutely loved Theme Park back in the day, so this was exciting to say the least.

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