Monday, November 25, 2013

The Playlist - November 19-25, 2013

This week saw only a few pieces of mine published as the sites I write for are spacing out content. There is a lot of stuff in the pipe so expect a flurry soon. Gaming-wise, I fell in love with Duel of Champions. While my review does the best to remove my clear bias, I heartily recommend giving this game a try! Also, I played some Skyrim on stream and fired up a lightsaber in The Old Republic in anticipation of the space battles patch launching in a few weeks.

Out and In
Just a few short notes to start the post. I have decided to no longer make condensed highlight packages for my weekly Twitch Stream. I find that they take a ton of time and just don't get a lot of exposure. No changes to the weekly stream otherwise, and I will still be uploading the full broadcasts to my YouTube channel. If anyone is really heartbroken about this let me know and I might reconsider but the time that I am freeing up here is being applied to a new podcast I am working on! The plan is to have a first broadcast go up in early January but I won't give away too many details yet (mostly because it's all still in the works). Expect more info in the coming weeks.

What's Coming Up
Writing wise, it was a bit of a lighter week in terms of publication if not content creation. My next Danny's Descant (Why you Should Be Excited for Next-Gen) went up on GeekBinge. I feel really good about the content and am especially happy with my intro and conclusion where I consciously tried to stretch out of my comfort zone (it may not be perfect but it represents a bit of experimentation). I have also written a review for Duel of Champions which has been stuck in editing limbo for a few days but is finally scheduled to go up in the next 24 hours. I really like this game but had to temper my review knowing that it won't be for everyone.

For StudentCom, my piece, PC Gaming: Alive and Thriving went up where I talk about... really, if you can't figure what the article is about from the title you should go back to picture books. This content of this piece is right in my wheelhouse and I feel the flow reflects this. The pieces I mentioned last week,(Nintendo Woes and Holiday Buyer's Guide), are ready for publication but are being delayed to space out content on the site. No idea when they will go live. Also, I have scrapped the piece on 'cheating' (it just wasn't working) and am working on a 'top games you can play on a netbook' instead. This week I am planning just the two regular articles for this blog as I aim to catch up on my content commitments for StudentCom.

What I've Been Playing

Duel of Champions
The review I've written for Geek Binge is separated from my bias towards collectible card games and subsequently the score (7/10) is a bit lower than my personal joy for this game. I have been having an absolute blast with this game that seems to know the right balance between using established genre mechanics while maximizing the digital format. In just over a week, I have managed to assemble a pretty decent deck but am always astounded by just how important strategy and skill matter. Even when I'm losing badly, the fast-paced matches never last longer than a few minutes and are generally a good opportunity for learning. If you are like me and love collectible card games, pick this one up!

Outlook: It probably won't be the game I play the most this week but I am anticipating at least a few games.

Skyrim
For my Twitch stream I decided to plow through the opening of Skyrim. I intentionally went with a mod-free experience (the first time I have played like this in a while) and was a bit disappointed in the graphics. I will definitely be re-installing some lighting and texture mods to make everything look pretty again. I really enjoyed playing as an Orc and screwing around with a big 2-handed mace (a no-no setup for min-maxers) and totally forgot just how brutal the kill animations look.

Outlook: This one drifts in when a mod I hear about catches my attention. Probably won't play any more this week.

The Old Republic
After reading more and more about the upcoming space battles to this game, I have been lured back in to get myself ready for some epic combat. I decided to start an Alliance character (all my previous toons were Imperials) and am enjoying the new story perspective. Still going Dark Side though as I just can't abide being a holier than thou Jedi. Highlight thus far: flipping off all my Jedi-instructors who chalk it up to "overconfidence", little do they know what evils I will commit.

Outlook: No doubt I will be playing this more than anything for the next two weeks. Once the space battle patch hits look out for my written impressions.