Monday, November 18, 2013

The Playlist - November 12-18, 2013

As always, I have a few things going up everywhere and have been trying my best to squeeze in some gaming time. I managed to complete Batman: Arkham City and showed it off a bit on my Twitch stream. Also, I got hooked on Might & Magic: Duel of Champions and played a bit of the Mortal Kombat Kollection which totally hasn't withstood the test of time.

What's Coming Up
Last week, I did my first two pod casts for Geek Binge. The first covers the Most Memorable Moments of the Last Generation, and features all the game writers weighing in with a short piece (I shared a story about a red-ring). The second, which will go up in a day or two, was the regular ScreenBytes show and touched on Bioshock DLC, games as art, and the term 'hardcore' versus 'casual'. Writing wise, the piece on Blizzcon I mentioned last week went up. Also, I extended a piece I wrote for StudentCom  and further elaborated why I am backing the PlayStation 4 this generation. I am currently working on an extension to my ideas about why we should be excited for next gen. I'm taking a different approach this time around and am aiming to give a bit more detail on those groups who aren't hyped. Finally, I am writing a review for Might & Magic: Duel of Champions but am unsure when this will go live.

For StudentCom, I promoted HumbleBundle. Also, the piece on Nintendo I mentioned last week should be up in the next day or two. Additionally, I completed a holiday buyer's guide for gamers which will probably be delayed before going up. It's the first guide like this that I have written and I feel pretty good about it (I definitely enjoyed research and writing). I am currently writing a bit on "cheating in games" which will probably be stretched to next week before publishing.

Finally, for this blog, the usual recurring stuff and a Sofa Story should be done for this week.

What I've Been Playing

Batman: Arkham City
As predicted, I played this a ton last week and managed to push my way through the main campaign. I gave a bit of my feelings towards this and Arkham Asylum in a special post for this blog and decided to give the game a whirl on my Saturday stream. After digesting my feelings on both games, I have come to the conclusion that I prefer Arkham City even though it wasn't as true to the Batman comics. But don't let that opinion mislead you, they are both great games and even though excessive use of the grappling hook may not be true to Batman it is a hell of a lot of fun! Beyond the main story, I dipped into the Robin DLC and played a couple of the challenge missions. I was pretty disappointed that I couldn't bring Robin into the main overworld and was confined to a very small section of the map. I really don't know what the harm would have been here in allowing this.

Outlook: I am done pretending to be Batman for now. Back to back Arkham games was great but was starting to wear thin. As stated before, I refuse to pick up Arkham Origins unless it is on a blockbuster sale.

Might & Magic: Duel of Champions
This game came out of left field when it popped up on my steam recommendations. I knew nothing about it but figured Ubisoft playing with the M&M license couldn't be all that bad. I have loved what little time I have had with this title... so much so that I am not even that frustrated by the obvious bugs. It's been a while since I've played a collectible card game and this one is deftly crafted. While the temptation to pay-to-win is definitely there, almost every faq I read states unequivocally that decks made for free can be just as competitive has outright bought decks (especially considering the awesome skill-based match making). I'll save my other opinions for the review I am working on but would suggest to CCG fans to give this a try.

Outlook: Provided the servers are stable, I'll be playing.

Mortal Kombat Kollection
This was an unexpected bonus with my recent Humble Bundle purchase so I guess I really shouldn't complain. Still, the original Mortal Kombat games have not withstood the test of time. Clunky animations, woeful imbalance, and ridiculously cheap AI all spoil any nostalgia that could be wrung out of this one. It's strange because Street Fighter II still feels solid after all these years (if not as tight as the latest iterations). Maybe it's because I have always preferred SF over MK. In any case, I would warn gamers away from the 9.99 price tag which puts the first three games together with few frills.

Outlook: Probably won't fire this up ever again. The first MK's hyper violence secured a franchise legacy but isn't worth revisiting.