Mini Reviews 2

Life has been set to repeat here for the last few weeks. A typical day consists of looking for work, then doing any errands I have, then trying to find some way to occupy myself for the remainder of the evening. That typically leads me to hanging out with friends or playing video games. Today I was all set to get my windshield replaced, because I had a small rock crack that spidered out last summer. I found a friend of a friend that does such replacements for a living, so I visited his house. Taking the old windshield out went smoothly enough, but while putting the new one in something happened with one of the suction cups on one of his tools, and the windshield was damaged. So I got a new cracked windshield in place of an old cracked one. Just my luck. So I’ll be visiting him in the morning at his shop to get a less cracked windshield. Hopefully with none. I felt like I sort of jinxed the whole deal, because as he was picking it up with the suction cup tools, I thought to myself “wow that would suck if it dropped” and sure enough…

I forgot to touch on one of the games I had played in my last post, and have since picked up a couple new games through the sharing system. So here’s a couple more mini-reviews.

Death Spank: Thongs of Virtue:

I forgot to mention this game last time, mainly because I hadn’t really played it yet. I downloaded the demo of the first episode a while back, and enjoyed the gameplay, so picking up this episode was a no brainer when it was available. The game plays like any action-rpg. The different weapons and skills make for some variants, but it’s a typical hack n slash game. Where it really shines is it’s sense of humor, which can be delightfully funny at times. It’s worth a look, but hasn’t grabbed my attention fully. I’d give it a 7/10.

Lead and Gold:

Lead and Gold is an excellent multiplayer only game. It reminds me a lot of Red Dead Redemption, but without the single player missions and whatnot. It’s straight up deathmatch, or other variants, set in the old west. The class system is reminiscent of Team Fortress; each class has its own strengths and weaknesses and balancing a team with all members is optional. The game size is 5 on 5, so making sure everyone is one of the four classes isn’t an issue. Maps are fairly big and are beautifully designed. The 3rd person shooter style is done well, the controls are fluid and responsive. My only complaint with the game is that its population is small, however I haven’t played during peak times. If you have enough friends with the game I suppose making matches would be easier, but during off-peak hours, it was hard to find a full room. 8/10

Alien Breed 3: Descent:

I just got this game yesterday off of Keith, it’s his first contribution to the sharing pool. I will start by saying that the controls are wonky. It’s workable, but having played similar games recently, I’ve preferred other control schemes. This game is like Dead Nation, a top down scrolling shooter. Instead of zombies, the player is confronted with aliens, and at the beginning they look like face huggers ala Aliens. There are some other less familiar aliens a little ways in. I really only tried this game out, so I can’t give a fair assessment, I will say that having enjoyed Dead Nation and other similar games, I will probably enjoy this one overall, but I haven’t put the time in to make that call. Because of this fact, I’m not going to give a flat-out rating.

Civilization V:

I hadn’t mentioned playing any computer games recently, and I realized that I forgot to mention having acquired a copy of this masterpiece. From the moment I started playing this game I was hooked. I remember playing Civilization II years ago, only because my friend Jason picked it up and couldn’t put it down. He also introduced me to Alpha Centauri, a Sid Meier spin-off. Both games turned me off immediately, mainly because at the time I remember being so addicted to Starcraft. But the series has come a very long way, and becoming re-acquainted with it at this point in time was probably for the best. I have since played part IV, because Billy had a copy of it, and it pales in comparison in my eyes. The game play is turn based, the graphics are vastly improved, as is the UI, which is the main reason I find part IV less appealing. It’s almost impossible to not be able to figure out what is going on, due to the helpers and all of the UI bells and whistles. A 12-year-old could pick this game up and be good at it, although figuring out the nuances will take a little while. I started off my first campaign as Germany, and slowly took over the world (although it took 3 nations declaring war all at once to turn me into the war machine I became). Having “beat” that game, I can say that I’ve seen enough to know it’s the best strategy game I’ve played in years. I have since started a new campaign, this time as America, and with a larger map and more opponents. This time around I haven’t conquered as much of the world, and going for a science or social win is on my agenda. There will never be a same game twice, so the replay value is ridiculous. The game also runs great on my laptop, so it has become mobile. I honestly can’t think of anything wrong with this game. Highly recommended. 10/10.