SIDEBAR
»
S
I
D
E
B
A
R
«
What I’ve Been Doing 21 Aug 2013 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Aug 21st, 2013 by Dan

009

I spend every day horrified at the knowledge that this book exists.

Whoa, whoops! I’m late again!

Movies

Nope!

TV

Breaking Bad – The cold war between Walter and Skyler is tough to watch. I haven’t had much time to really progress, but I’m intrigued by the way this season is gonna end.

Orange is the New Black – This show remains really awesome. Just excellent acting and stories. Worth checking out.

Music

“Young Fathers” by Typhoon. It’s pretty cool

Books

World War Z – Still pretty good.

Video Games

Civilization V – Our Civ games are moving along rather nicely. I wish Eric had Brave New World too because the game we’re playing with him doesn’t have the fun tourism stuff.

Spelunky – Daily Challenges have reinvigorated my love for this game. I live to beat Lee’s score each day.

Rogue Legacy – Still haven’t beaten the first boss, but I’ve unlocked a lot of neat classes. Gotta upgrade some more, I think.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf – Lost a lot of steam on this game when they stopped selling Nintendo items to sell fireworks.

Pikmin 3 – Found Louie. I really want to see where this game goes. It’s so much fun.

Shin Megami Tensei IV – I wish I had more time to just sit down and play JRPGs. Hopefully I can make some progress and start moving toward the Law, Chaos, or Neutral paths.

Travis Touchdown – What I’ve Been Doing 25 June 2012 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Jun 25th, 2012 by Dan

Travis Touchdown from No More Heroes

No More Heroes is good for some easy cosplay. Travis Touchdown is pretty awesome (Photo by Elliot Trinidad)

Last week felt super long! Thank god it’s all over. At least I enjoyed myself plenty. Week two of the swimming experiment continued as well, reminding me of how woefully out of shape I am. Glad to have seen Kai again too. It’s a bummer that she no longer has work/business in Baltimore.

Movies

Prometheus – I went to see this with Ian last Monday. Despite what some critics might tell you, it’s not aggressively terrible. I think that my lack of prior Alien knowledge is what allows me to enjoy the movie so much. I came in with zero preconceptions and zero expectation and I left having seen the coolest surgical procedure ever and a pretty sweet squid vs. Engineer fight. This is not an A+, high-caliber piece of cinema, but it’s a fun summer film. Oh, before I forget, Michael Fassbender as David was INCREDIBLE.

Rampart – Woody Harrelson plays a dirty cop who is all kinds of damaged. The movie kind of starts in the middle and ends in the middle, but it was interesting, if not fragmented. I think most of you guys wouldn’t really dig it.

TV

Futurama – I’ll admit that the fat robot in the Mars University episode was pretty funny. I’m enjoying pushing through this show a few episodes at a time. I hope to get some more in this week.

The Thick of It – Watched the entire first series (I mean, it’s only three episodes. British television, everybody!). The first episode wasn’t particularly funny at all. It was just a lot of meanness and snarkiness, although it’s situationally hilarious in retrospect. In fact, it’s making me smile quite broadly. This show, in case you didn’t know, was Armando Iannucci’s show about English politics that precedes Veep (although it seems that they’re making a new series for 2012). It’s biting and it’s downright mean most of the time (meaner than Veep), but it’s still quite funny, especially past the first episode.

Music

You can get “Black Sheep” by Metric off of the Scott Pilgrim soundtrack, but if you want the Brie Larson version I recommend searching for it on last.fm where they have a downloadable 128 kbps one you can get. Great song.

Here’s another good Metric song:

Books

1Q84 – I’m in so hard for this book. It has gotten so good. I finally know how Tengo and Aomame relate to each other, but I’m not even 1/3 of the way done with this epic. So far the Little People are the scariest thing I’ve ever heard of. I think Aomame is gonna end up infiltrating Sakigake and maybe Tengo is gonna have to save her and Fuka-Eri. We’ll see.

Video Games

Diablo III – Inferno…yay? As you might expect I’m more interested in playing new or unfinished games so I haven’t logged into D3 in a while. I’ll get more time in this week during Marlins games (unless I end up reading between innings instead).

Civilization V – The Gods and Kings expansion pack came out and I’m really enjoying it. The new Faith system is neat and I enjoyed founding Buddhism, but I have yet to see how it will impact the whole game so far. Haven’t put too much time into it (sometimes I try and rest my arms when I get home since being on the computer all day makes my shoulders hurt), but I expect to win as the Siam empire!

No More Heroes: Heroes Paradise – There’s so much going on in this game that it’s hard to pick out just one thing. It seems that Suda51 is intentionally satirizing the video game fan and his pathetic existence in Travis. He has a lust for blood, is an otaku (he is mocked for this), and he endlessly and pathetically lusts over women. Most of the other assassins are similarly psychopaths and the game pretty heavily breaks the fourth wall. For what you’d think would be a mindless game, this has some hidden depth that I’m thoroughly enjoying.

What I’ve Been Doing 12 Dec 2011 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Dec 12th, 2011 by Dan

Our Idiot Brother Poster

Movies are back! (Photo courtesy adonismens)

My brief movie vacation wasn’t willingly imposed, guys. I was just waiting for Netflix to finally send one of the movies at the top of my queue to me. Let’s see if they can keep this up…

Movies

Our Idiot Brother – Paul Rudd was surprisingly good in this. This movie is not laugh out loud funny, but it’s pretty great in a low key laughs kind of way. Rudd’s three sisters, Emily Mortimer, Zooey Deschanel, and Elizabeth Banks, all play troubled/damaged women who could all use a little folksy advice from their too trusting, semi-naive brother. It’s better than it sounds plus it features Rashida Jones in dorky glasses playing a lesbian in a relationship with Zooey Deschanel. Pretty good stuff! Only nitpick is that Emily Mortimer’s American accent is a little thin. It wouldn’t make sense for her to be English, but it wasn’t as natural as it could be.

TV

Glee – Sectionals! I like that music gets most of the focus for this episode because that’s the only good part about Glee right now. At least we’re done with all of the storylines going into the Christmas episode and the rest of the season in January/February

New Girl – Would this show be half as funny without Schmidt? Gotta admit, I don’t love the stupid way Jess acts around sex. She’s not coming off as “adorkable” (shoot me for typing that), she’s coming off as idiotic.

Up All Night – Best line: “Ga-goosh? Oh, I’m sorry, is that a penis sound?” It may not be the best show on TV or the funniest, but it’s got solid construction and the principals make me laugh when they interact with each other. Sounds like what you want from a comedy, right?

Community – Great skewering of Glee. I mean, the ridiculous focus on regionals? Brilliant. Mr. Rad? HILARIOUS. The best number of the night for sheer ridiculousness was the Annie regressive sexpot role. Just hilarious.

Parks and Recreation – Great episode, but it was pretty unfocused. Upon second watching I actually dug that about it even more. The marshmallow Ron Swanson was the best.

Persona 4: The Animation – Rise and Teddy persona episodes! Not as hilarious as the camping or Kanji episodes, but still good. I guess next week is the DQ homage dungeon, but I wish they’d slow down a bit and do some more social link stuff.

Childrens Hospital
– Party Down AND the return of Dr. Jewy McJewJew! Why isn’t Lizzy Caplan in more things?

Music

So much stupid dubstep this week! If it didn’t have wobble bass I didn’t want to listen to it for the start of the week. I spent the weekend listening to Janelle Monáe and The Root’s new album, Undun.

Undun is quite good and Amazon was selling it for super cheap. Unfortunately it’s a little on the short side, but it’s still worth the money.

Books

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (AKA Men Who Hate Women) – I started this book like a year ago. I pick it up and read a few pages here or there. The Swedish movie was good enough and close enough that I feel like I got the gist of it already, which makes this read a slog because the writing is kind of dull. Dunno if I’ll finish it this year, haha. I’ll definitely see the new movie when it comes out, though.

Video Games

Expect this section to dwindle to OMG THE OLD REPUBLIC! next week because that’ll probably be all I do.

The Binding of Isaac – All I’ve got left to do is beat Sheol game as ??? (and then a few no damage runs that will be near impossible). It’s been a lot of fun and I think this game is spectacular. I don’t think we’ll be getting any more add-ons, but man was it the best $5 I’ve spent in a while.

Civilization V – This game is the most addictive and awesome games out there. I played about 17 hours of it this weekend and I’ve got 40 turns to finish before tomorrow (assuming I get into the early access for TOR tomorrow). Gonna be a long night, folks!

What I’ve Been Doing 5 Dec 2011 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Dec 5th, 2011 by Dan

The Guests at my 15th Birthday Party

Happy Birthday Eric! (Photo courtesy djotaku)

It’s my brother’s birthday today so let’s celebrate by telling you everything I’ve been up to this past week. I didn’t say it would be a good celebration, guys.

Movies

No movies again! I want to get The Muppets in soon. Maybe when I go home for Christmas.

TV

Samurai Champloo – Clip episodes (except for the Community one) are tremendously unsatisfying. The show has entered its “serious about our protagonists backstories” phase. I’m cool with it so far so long as I can keep listening to that ending theme, “Shiki no Uta”.

Chrono Trigger Endurance Run – Giant Bomb has made me a very happy man by returning to the ER. So far Ryan and Patrick have made some hilarious errors, but they’re going strong in the future.

Childrens Hospital – Night Shift was a meh episode. The stuff with the porno was pretty funny. The one about Chet was much funnier.

The Walking Dead – Heavy episode, but really good. I liked it. It’s a good thing that Shane is still around.

Homeland - Poor Dan. Witnessing shit is pretty dangerous. Don’t witness shit.

New Girl – Best line of the night: “Even if they sound like a guy made of bells…falling down stairs…that are also made of bells.” How great is Max Greenfield as Schmidt on this show? Did they know he would be the best part of the show when they cast it, because he totally is.

Glee – That was pretty shitty the way Puck told off Quinn. The story this episode was pretty terrible and not too fun. Musical numbers didn’t really make up for it. This show is so uneven.

The Wire – Got one episode in season 1 left. I’d forgotten about a few of the tiny plot points in this first season that get resolved all the way in S4 or S5.

EDIT: Persona 4: The Animation – The school camping trip episode was AWESOME. Love those setpiece moments in the game and they translate well to the anime. Mixing in the Konishi story was smart too. Can’t wait for the true craziness of Rise’s dungeon to start next episode. Teddy’s insanity is coming too, guys!

Music

So much wobble bass!

Books

So little reading!

Video Games

The Binding of Isaac – Almost died on the first level with ???. He’s tough, but I did finally beat It Lives… with him. Started beating Sheol now. Got it done with Isaac, Maggie, and Cain, but things will be getting harder now. Fetus in a Jar and Brimstone are vital for beating Lucifer.

The Old Republic – Got in a few hours in the beta before they closed it down on Monday. My mind is consumed with excitement for my Sith Inquisitor come ~15 Dec. Can’t wait!

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword – Beat the second temple and moved out to the desert. The time travel thing is suuuuper cool. I love it.

Gears of War 3 – Finally got that four-player achievement. All I was missing was the prologue chapter, but that’s done now!

Civilization V – This game consumes your life. It’s ridiculous. Started a new game yesterday at 2200 and, in what felt like an hour, it was 0240 when I quit this morning. Love this game.

2010 in Video Games [GO]
Jan 5th, 2011 by Dan

The Super Potato Exterior in Akihabara

Super Potato in Akihabara

As is typical of me, I played a ton of video games this year. Here’s a listing of what I played along with a few short (or long) words on each game. For the most part, this list is restricted to games released in 2010 unless I did not play them until this year. It’s also mostly in chronological order, with some skips here and there.

Mother 3: Definitely did not come out in 2010. I reviewed it already, but let me say that there is significant beauty to this game. Affecting and heartwrenching, this is easily among the best games I played this year. Do not play this on an emulator because the music-timing of the battles is deliciously fun and the time lag of emulation makes that impossible to experience.

Mass Effect 2: The first AAA game of the year. My review trended toward disappointing, mostly due to the way that story was handled in this iteration compared to part 1. Still, an undeniably great game whose heist-story mechanics and plot are unique and interesting in the gaming landscape. I can’t wait for part three in November.

Heavy Rain: Almost as exciting as actually doing the chores your imaginary wife forces you to do in real life. The execution just missed with this one and its plot twist was asinine and felt cheap. If you’re allowed to hear the thoughts of the protagonists, but you fail to provide a logical reason as to why that person is lying to us (himself?), you’ve lost me.

Pro Yakyu Spirits 2010 (Professional Baseball Spirits 2010): My baseball game of the year. I love taking the Carp to the Japan Series each year. I spent countless hours developing my franchise. This game was worth every dollar I spent importing it.

Final Fantasy XIII: Thoroughly disappointing. Expect more from me on this (edits from the future!), but SqueEnix really dropped the ball something fierce here. A game that suffered from complete lack of creative direction. Final Fantasy XIII is the head of the snake eating its own tail that has become SqueEnix.

Yakuza (1, 2, )3: Did not put that much time into this one, but I did play its prequels to completion. Fiercely Japanese in design, I just haven’t found the time to get deep into this gem. I’m sure it’s actually pretty great.

Mega Man 10: It lacked some of MM9’s magic (partially by being easier), but still a razor sharp example of why the Blue Bomber captured our hearts in the first place. Pump Man’s power, while heavily reminiscent of Leaf Man, is deliciously fun to play with. Using it again Solar Man was also tons of fun for me.

Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilve: It was fun to go back to the best two games in the series. The Pokewalker was stupid, but I have high hopes for Black & White. These games are easily dismissed as rehashes, but they’re still white-hot proof that JRPG design doesn’t have to be needlessly complex to be addictive and elegant.

Alien Swarm: Valve gave me this game for free. I played it maybe twice. Decent fun, but I’d rather play Left 4 Dead 2.

Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey: Never beat this game. SMT continues to be ridiculously tough and legitimately mature in their presentation of mankind’s eternal struggles against its darker tendencies. Maybe it’s the first-person dungeon crawling, but something about this game prevents me from ever picking it up most days.

Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse: I’m lumping all five episodes into one entity. I find TellTale adventure games to be workmanlike in quality. With the exception of the last two or three episodes of Tales of Monkey Island, they lack the extra oomph that could make them truly great. That said, The Devil’s Playhouse was the most hilarious Sam & Max iteration yet. From Sam & Max’s insistence on pronouncing General Skun’kape as skunk-ape to their episode-wide fight over what to call the menacing Sam clones (Samulacra or Doggleganger?), these games were absolute riots. Now if only TellTale could figure out how to make them great games as well…

Monster Hunter Tri: One gaming session. The sword swipes pack so much friction it’s beautiful. Despite this, never picked it up again. Got a sick black classic controller out of it. Now if only I played Wii more often…

Super Street Fighter IV: Played the hell out of last year’s iteration. Opted to play other games since it was structurally similar to vanilla Street Fighter IV. Kind of wish I’d played it a lot more this year.

Green Day: Rock Band: Played it once, exported the tracks to Rock Band 2/3, never felt the need to boot it up again. Despite only 1 hour of playtime, unlocked an achievement. Fixing the ‘D’ rank that came as a result on Giant Bomb is the only reason I will ever boot this up again.

Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies: Practically perfect in almost every way that a JRPG should be. I understand why the story was left more generic than years past, but the lack of an interesting narrative is what kept me from finishing.

DeathSpank: Played the demo once. Bought it on PC to support Ron Gilbert. Might actually play it one day. It seemed funny.

Comic Jumper: Hilarious in a juvenile way, I slogged through the repetitive, mediocre gameplay just to see more of this game. I think Min “played” this the right way. He watched me beat it and got to enjoy the presentation without having to touch a controller.

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty: Am I the only person who hates what they did at the end of this story? Sure, it has legitimately far-reaching consequences for the sequel, but I think they’re also legitimately less interesting. Still, as perfectly constructed a game as they come. I fell out of playing it, but it definitely feels like I could pick it up at any time and have fun with it.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game: A loving tribute to River City Ransom wrapped up in a franchise that I really enjoy. Sounds like a recipe for success to me. Loads of fun, but, like most middling brawlers, starts to wear on you toward the end as there’s not enough variety introduced in later levels.

Worms: Reloaded: Love Worms. Loaded this up once and never did it again. I’ve hated all Worms interfaces since Worms 2, mostly because they obfuscate and hide customization options more and more as they transition toward console friendliness. I wish they’d put more effort into their PC version.

Dead Rising 2: Case Zero, Dead Rising 2, and Dead Rising 2: Case West: I’ll lump these all together since they are mostly the same game spread out into chunks. The prologue and epilogue (Zero and West, respectively) are just small and feature-gimped enough that they lack the oomph of the full retail release. Dead Rising 2 itself was everything I wanted it to be. A more robust co-op system would be all it needed to be top tier, but I still had loads of fun with it. As a bonus, Min and Dead Rising 2 taught me how to play Texas Hold ‘Em this year.

Civilization V: You probably saw my review where I hated on the terrible AI. I haven’t played since they patched/fixed it, but if they did it right, this game could totally fall back within my good graces. I do sincerely love this game, it’s just not what I hoped it would be and, in its present form, not as good as IV.

Rock Band 3: Harmonix went and made a perfect Rock Band game. Now all I’ve got to do is get my hands on a pro-guitar and I might actually learn something practical from a game that lets me indulge in all my favorite music.

Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale: Ever wanted to run a JRPG item shop? This indie game translated from Japan is charming and fun, but I haven’t had the time to devote myself to it yet in 2010.

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West: So good until the end. Can a stupid ending mar an otherwise good game? Yeah, kinda. I still loved it for the great acting (weird to say, right?), but stupid ending + sub-Uncharted 2 traversal-style gameplay mires this one in the mediocre bin. The fighting system could also have used a little less frame-lock in its animations (is that what this is called?). Can’t count how many times I died because I was stuck in a seconds-long super attack aimed at the air.

Kirby’s Epic Yarn: Unparalleled artistic vision ties this game together. I haven’t put too much time in, but it seems super easy. I want to play with a friend to get the most out of this. What do you say, Min?

Super Meat Boy: Juxtaposing Kirby and Super Meat Boy is wrong on so many levels. One is like chamber music. Beautiful, complex, but not so complex it’s tough to listen to. The other is kick-you-in-the-teeth, bite off a squirrel head, make you a man heavy metal. Super Meat Boy is so deliciously crunchy in every way that it might be the best game game on this list. Where Starcraft II is perfect with a Beatles-type polish, Super Meat Boy is The Clash; unabashedly punk rock. I love this game. It’s so addictive and fun.

Pac-Man Championship Edition DX: Did I say Super Meat Boy was perfect? Pac-Man CE DX (PMCEDX) is video gaming distilled to its primal essence. Eat a whole train of 30 ghosts and I dare you not to feel primitive fun stir deep within you. Words cannot express how great this game is in bite-sized chunks.

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge: Is it cheating to count a re-release? This is probably the greatest adventure game ever now with a commentary track recorded by the big three: Ron Gilbert, Dave Grossman, and Tim Schafer.

Poker Night at the Inventory: Strong Bad is unbelievably annoying, but banter between Max, Heavy Weapons Guy, and Tycho are always a joy. The second half of this year’s poker lessons were learned here. Now if only I could get straight flush and four-of-a-kind hands so that I can 100% the achievements in this game!

Back to the Future: The Game: The voice acting and atmosphere in this game are both spot on. Unfortunately I hit a game breaking bug and had to start over. That sucked.

Limbo: First played this on 31 December, so it still counts. Deeply atmospheric, but darkly disturbing and difficult for me to stomach more than once a day. I want to go more into that in another post. Unfortunately for the game, I think the controls are a touch floaty, which I mostly find frustrating because I need to beat it dying fewer than 5 times for an achievement.

And that was 2010 in video games (for me). I missed some huge ones (Super Mario Galaxy 2, Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, Call of Duty: Black Ops), but I think I got a good spread in there. Here’s to another great year in gaming for 2011.

Civilization V Review [Game Overview]
Oct 29th, 2010 by Dan

This piece was conceived of as yet another Mesa Brothers Experiment (TM) through which we might examine the differing views and approaches we have/take on the same subject. See his take here.

Is it just me getting old and grumpy or does everything seem to be getting dumbed down lately? Apple is trying to tell the world they can’t handle the software on their own devices, subtlety is all but gone in television and movies, and the most popular books in America are coming out of the Young Adult genre. There’s a whole political movement proudly proclaiming anti-intellectualism and pro-ignorance while the other side does its best to maintain power by stooping to the same lows because all of a sudden smart became the new evil in this country.

The most common target audience for a video game sequels nowadays seems to be people who don’t already play your video games because they find them to be too complicated. Wii, Kinect, and Move are all initiatives launched to dumb down video games and capture audiences not within core demographics. PC gaming is “dying” in the face of the simplified console market.

So, too, has Firaxis done its best to appeal to the non-PC, mainstream audience. Before there was a Civ V there was Civilization Revolutions, a highly simplified, quasi-arcade Civilization game. Before the announcement of Civ V there was the Facebook game Civilization Network, the as-of-this-writing unreleased game intended to tap into the obscenely large casual/social network games market. With Civ V they hoped to appease those who are already enslaved to the brand while simultaneously revamping its mechanics to lure in new consumers. What we’re left with is this feeling of innovation for the sake of market share, but not any real progress.

Take the grid system. Every previous Civilization game has taken place on a square grid. Each of these tiles has eight entry points. One for each side and one for each point. Now we have hexes, which allow only six entry points to a tile, a clear attempt to lure Settlers of Catan (and other board game) players into the series. Why? Simple: the hexes discretely remove complexity while appearing to increase it and simultaneously attract more customers. You see, a six-sided object is noticeably more complex than a four-sided object. It’s got two more sides, for Christ’s sake! That’s 150% more sides!

Worse still are the fates of the victory conditions. Some streamlining actually improves the game. Mopping up every teeny city that Gandhi has managed to hide throughout the planet was a pain in the ass before, so requiring players to only capture Delhi for a Domination victory is an admirable change, but to go ahead and completely neuter the Diplomatic victory condition makes me wonder why they even left it in the game. To summarize, in the past the United Nations was a multi-faceted wonder. When constructed it allowed the player and world AIs to make decisions that shaped the world rules. These decisions ranged from rendering slavery illegal to banning the production of nuclear weapons, both huge decisions and policies that can shape global politics and play styles. Additionally, each Civilization has representation proportional to the world population under his/her control.

Civilization V oversimplifies this system. All Civilizations and city-states (another new feature that miraculously feels both oversimplified and interesting (perhaps because it’s a missed opportunity?)) have precisely one vote for the UN Secretary General. Every surviving civilization will naturally vote for his or herself with this one vote, because not doing so is tantamount to forfeiting. The only way to win the diplomatic victory is to liberate a conquered civilization or city-state from another player (thus rendering them REQUIRED to vote for you) or to become allied with surviving city-states, hoping that there are enough surviving states to vote you in as leader.

Worse still, the AI is a jumbled mess. I find myself either frustrated with how stupid it is on the difficulty level that confers an even playing field to both player and AI (not to mention how stupid it is when I’m buffed and the AI is handicapped ) or frustrated with how ineptly played AI civilizations are when difficulty is turned up. You see, AI doesn’t really ramp up in difficulty, it just gets more bonuses. This is par for the course for Civilization, but I feel like the team at Firaxis has been deeply damaged by the departure of famed AI-programmer Soren Johnson. I lost many games of Civ IV on an even playing field with the AI. It’s inconceivable for me to lose to the same level in V.

It doesn’t seem that bad, in principle, but when playing it I can’t help but feel like I’m moving backwards in terms of interesting game mechanics. I find myself torn between the fact that I truly love the game and can’t stop playing once I start and that niggling feeling in the back of my head that this could have been so much more.

Which brings me back to my original point. I don’t think I’m the player that Firaxis is designing for. They know they’ve got me, so why bother doing what I think is best for the series? If they can impress me by throwing me a bone here and there with tiny flourishes like the fact that each civilization speaks in their native language when contacted, why bother trying to actually improve upon systems that seem complicated to the outside player?

I still love this game. It is addictive in ways that I don’t quite understand, considering how frustrated with it I get sometimes. The conceit of the series has been, is, and always will be both irresistible and addictive to me, regardless of how it continues to morph to entice and entertain the many people who are not me.

Civ V Impressions [Game Overview]
Sep 24th, 2010 by Dan

So I’ve been playing Civ V this week. It’s pretty awesome. Here’s what I think so far:

– Unsurprisingly, I don’t miss religion in Civ. While it did legitimately affect the game in important ways that reflect how important religion is in real life, yadda yadda, it just dominated everything about a playthrough. I’m glad to be rid of it.

– Now that units don’t stack and cities have offensive and defensive capabilities of their own, I’m going to have to change my early game build order. Do I really need to defend my cities as hard right away anymore?

– I love the way that all world leaders speak in historically accurate languages. Gandhi has an Indian voice, Bismark speaks German, and Alexander the Great was taunting me in Greek.

– Foreign relations seem more obtuse now that the numbers behind them are more obtuse. Sure, it’s more realistic, but I wish I could tell how much they liked me a little better.

– City specialization remains a strong focus. The quickest way to bankrupt yourself is to build stuff that’s not meant to be in a particular city.

– I like not having to fiddle with tax percentages any more.

– Unit combat is much improved and a welcome change from the way it was handled in Civ IV.

– I like the new wonder reward screens. Better than the lifeless movies of Civ IV and the neat quotes are almost at Civ II levels of awesome.

– New advisers…I guess I like them, but their information seems to be a little less interesting and redundant. Can’t I click “Yes. I know,” and not see that advice again?

– I find information a little harder to find in the new Civilopedia, but that might just be me

– The new social policy system that replaces civics and governments from old games is way cool. I’ll have to fiddle more with the way that I distribute my policies instead of obsessively focusing on each branch until I finish in my next game.

– Puppet states are cool

– City states are a little game-y with the whole friend/ally system. I wish that the benefits lasted longer, but that’s just nitpicking.

– I still haven’t found where all the information lives in the UI, but I’m getting there.

– Great game. Buy it if you even kind of like Civ.

Civil Service: The Road to Civ V [Embedded Reporter/GO]
Aug 9th, 2010 by Dan

Ryan and Vinny take a look at the recent history of the Civilization series and show a little bit of Civ V as well.

Civ V E3 Trailer [GO/ER]
Jun 30th, 2010 by Dan

I want this so much I already pre-ordered it for its September release.

»  Substance:WordPress   »  Style:Ahren Ahimsa