May 01 2013

Towns vs Gnomoria: There Can Only Be One!

Welcome ladies and gentlemen! We’ve got a blockbuster fight for you this evening for the title of best Dwarf Fortress clone. Dwarf Fortress is an amazing game, but it’s weirdly difficult user interface, ever expanding complexity, and hilariously bad graphics make it difficult for some to get into.

Our two competitors tonight are both actively trying to bring the Dwarf Fortress model to a larger audience. Both games are about developing a society by bossing little worker people around. Both games have better graphics than Dwarf Fortress and are less complex

In this corner. It has pretty graphics and a unique idea. It’s about building a town on top of a dungeon and waiting for heroes to come by and pillage said dungeon of treasure. It’s Towns!

And in this corner. It’s pretty much just like Dwarf Fortress but less complex. And with gnomes! It’s Gnomoria!

Let’s get ready to RUMBLE!!!

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Mar 19 2013

The Best Game of 2012

In my last post I mentioned that I was late to the Paradox Interactive party. Well, I was even later to the X-Com party.

The original X-Com came out in 1994, but I didn’t play it until it came out on Steam about a year ago. I absolutely loved it despite the terrible interface and the bad hair-dos. You have to micromanage every little thing. It can be a pain, but it also gives you a sense of control that most games don’t.

You really do feel like you’re running your very own elite task force of alien killers. It reminded me of Jagged Alliance, and they just don’t make games that give you that much control anymore. Losing is a very real possibility, and the game is extremely scary as your soldiers slowly comb a field looking for aliens waiting in ambush.

My game of the year was nothing like X-Com, yet I absolutely loved it anyway. This is number 1, the best game of 2012.

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Mar 15 2013

Elite Eight of 2012: Number Two

I was tragically late to the Paradox Interactive party. My first Paradox game was Europa Universalis 3, which I played for the first time in college. It’s an insane game that let’s you play as any country in the world from 1453 to 1789, and expansions extended it further.

As Portugal I colonized more of the Americas than any other country and rewrote history. It was a game with no goals, a game where you had to make your own fun. It was the game that taught me how much I love simulations.

I’ve been hooked on Paradox’s brand of realistic historical sims ever since then. Victoria 2. Hearts of Iron 2 and 3. Europa Universales Rome. But none of them topped that initial thrill I had with Europa Universalis 3. Until recently.

If you’re a fan of Paradox games you probably know what game I’m referring to. For everyone else, this is number 2.

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Mar 05 2013

Elite Eight of 2012: Number Three

This is my favorite games of 2012.

The price of a game certainly impacts my opinion of it. I bought Dishonored for half price ($30) on a Steam sale and I was happy with that, but I don’t know that I’d recommend paying 60 bucks for it. If I can’t recommend it without a sale I can’t call it a game of 2012.

Dishonored was fantastic as far as gameplay goes. It reminds me of Arkham City with the awesome abilities and the combination of stealth and bone crunching combat. With that said I have trouble recommending it because of the hefty price tag. At $60 you only get about 15 hours of gameplay with no real reason to play again. I had most of the powers by the end of the game so there were no new combinations to try.

To make matters worse, the story was awful with a pointless character who gives you your powers and then proceeds to do nothing all game, and a twist that everyone saw coming within the first twenty minutes. It commits an even worse sin by letting the story interfere with the gameplay: the further into the game you go the more the story limits what you’re allowed to do.

My third favorite game of 2012 is similar to Dishonored but more focused on stealth. It’s just as fun but much, much cheaper.

This is number 3.

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Feb 19 2013

Elite Eight of 2012: Number Four

I used to be a big wrestling fan. Ah, to hell with that. I’m still a big wrestling fan, even if I quit watching WWE years ago on account of its quality going to shit.

I’m also a big fan of simulations. I think simulations are my favorite genre. They combine escapism and realism in a way that most games can’t. You get to be anything you want in a simulation, yet the management aspect keeps you grounded in reality. The following game combines both of these passions: wrestling and simulation.

This is number four.

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Feb 16 2013

Elite Eight of 2012: Number Five

Haha, no. Modern Warfare 3 isn’t my fifth favorite game of 2012. My loathing of the Modern Warfare franchise is the stuff of another article. I don’t really like most multiplayer games. I prefer the immersion and full control of single player. I’m also just not a very competitive person so that probably has something to do with it.

In any case, my typical dislike of multiplayer makes my fifth favorite game of 2012 all the more special.

This is number 5.

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Feb 13 2013

Elite Eight of 2012: Number Six

This is the best games of 2012.

Unreal World is the best survival game available. It’s been out for years, but still gets updated now and then. It’s a highly realistic simulation where you play as a single person in a fictional area based off of late iron age Finland. The man who made it says it’s his life’s work, and it shows. You can do just about anything in Unreal World. You have to find food and water. You can build different types of shelters, which is important because there are weather effects and winter is difficult to survive. You can build crafts or tan skins and trade with villages.

Until I discovered Unreal World I’d been looking for a great survival game. Now I’m looking for a great survival game with better graphics and a much less tedious UI. My next best game of 2012 isn’t quite there yet, but it’s in development now and it’s on its way to greatness.

This is number 6.

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Feb 12 2013

Elite Eight of 2012: Number Seven

This is my countdown of the top 8 games of 2012.

There is a saying in Dwarf Fortress that says ‘losing is fun’. In the wikis for Dwarf Fortress, fun is often used as a synonym for losing. Something might say, the lava might rush through your entire fortress, resulting in more fun. My seventh favorite game of 2012 reminds me of this philosophy. Losing is fun.

This is number 7.

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Feb 11 2013

Elite Eight of 2012!

This is the first of eight articles on the best games of 2012.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking… “Um, why is there a picture from Fallout 2 up there? That game didn’t come out in 2012.” Right you are! But it’s a picture from an awesome game and I this is a celebration of awesome games. You’re also thinking, “Um, a best of 2012 article in mid February? You’re stupid.” Stop thinking that because it isn’t very nice! Now if you’re done asking me annoying questions we can get started.

Besides, an important article such as this requires extensive, round the clock research that only I can provide. I needed an extra month or so to finish playing lots of games from 2012 and now I’m ready to deliver my hotly anticipated best of 2012 series. Instead of picking an arbitrary number like 5 or 10, I decided to recognize every game that I thought was worth mentioning. After hours and weeks of intense debates with myself I’ve compiled a list of 8, count ‘em, 8 games of 2012 that I thought were amazing. Oh yes. Let’s relive the wonderful memories together.

This is number 8.

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Jan 06 2013

Don’t Starve

Don’t starve.

That’s good advice. Do you like chopping wood all day? How about breaking rocks? How about being attacked by unknown creatures in the dead of the night? Me too! Then you’ll love the indie survival game Don’t Starve.

This is a story about… um… chopping wood all day and breaking rocks. And getting attacked by unknown creatures in the night. And trying not to starve.

This is Don’t Starve!

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