Monday, December 16, 2013

The Playlist - December 10-16, 2013

I managed to get a few things sorted out this past week and to met all of my deadlines to boot! Gaming wise, my playtime was dominated by the Hearthstone closed beta (which I played on stream last Saturday). I think it's a highly polished game if not the most complex. Also, I started up a new game of Chrono Trigger. I haven't made much progress but will hopefully get some extra time over the upcoming holidays.

What's Coming Up
For GeekBinge, my latest Danny's Descant went live where I use Jared Russo's review of the Stanley Parable as a springboard to discuss the concept of review scores in general. It was a hard going write that wasn't helped by two blue-screens resulting in lost work. Ultimately, I felt the conclusion was a bit weak but was scrambling to get it done so Jared could see it before it went live. I'm glad he got a chance because he added his own points in a box at the bottom and I think the article is overall better for it (I can live with the conclusion in this case). Suffice it to say, I'm not a big fan of box scores on reviews but appreciate that it is an industry staple. Also on GeekBinge, the podcast I recorded earlier went live and can be heard here! I think it's pretty decent and felt that there was a good vibe during the recording. I haven't decided what to write yet this week as Jared beat me to the punch with his Hearthstone impressions but have agreed to contribute to an end of year awards ceremony (with a twist!) that I will probably lay groundwork for this week for publication next.

For StudentCom, I finally managed to talk to my new editor and sent her fresh copies of the backlog of articles I have written for them. It's expected that they should probably all go live this week so expect a ton of holiday reading! I will also contribute another piece (likely my Hearthstone impressions) that will hopefully go live by Thursday. StudentCom is shutting down during the holidays and if my piece doesn't go live I will post it specially on The Sofa. I normally don't like to have the same stuff go up in different places but will make an exception in this case. Last week, on this blog, I finally managed to get another Sofa Story up where I justify the time I called in sick to raid. This week, I am planning on an end of year wrap up/update on the state of the blog and highlight a few things I am hoping to get going in January. This will probably go live on Friday and be my last post of 2013 (though I will still stream on Saturday)!

What I've Been Playing

Hearthstone
Blizzard opened up the closed beta of their digital card game Hearthstone to a big batch of players and I was fortunate enough to get a code! You can get a pretty good idea of my impressions of the game from my most recent stream and I am also intending on doing a full written preview at some point this week. I think the game is pretty fun if a bit simplistic and I image that a lot of people who are only on the fringes collectible card games will be sucked in (especially fans of Warcraft lore). 

Outlook: I'll be playing it a bit next week but I am starting to get burnt out on the CCG scene given all the time I've recently sunk into Duel of Champions.

Duel of Champions
What little I played of this game last week was mostly for comparison to Hearthstone. There is no question that Duel of Champions is a lot more complex (whether this is good or bad will depend entirely on the person). Personally, I see this game as doing a lot better of a job of embracing the digital medium through mechanics that would be virtually impossible to pull off in a physical setting.

Outlook: This one has run its course. Unless I need to get some screenshots, I'm done with it.

Chrono Trigger
Following the recording of my second Passion for Pixels podcast (to be released in January) I spoke with my partner and we had the idea to play through a retro game and devote an episode to our then and now impressions of it. I haven't pushed too far into the story but am lamenting modern conveniences such as ergonomic menus. I'm hoping the story holds up because I, like many, have fond memories of this game.

Outlook: Slowly but surely I intend to work through this game. Expect small play sessions over the next few weeks.

The Old Republic
Still vaguely on my radar but I have pretty much seen and done everything I intended to do with this MMO. Not much more to say that I haven't said over the past few weeks.

Outlook: I have a few days left until my subscription runs out. Not sure if I will make the most of them or not.

Marvel Versus Series
Just practicing for the stream this Saturday. Not much else to say, you can see how not awesome I am later this week!

Outlook: Probably out of my main rotation after the stream.