Wizard’s Academy Kickstarter, Humble Paradox Midweek Sale, Boot Hill Heroes Impressions, Girlpool
Man, I can’t think of a week where there have been two AAA titles that I am not just excited about, but constitute real ‘must haves’ in my book. And yet, here we are with the release of both Bloodborne (sitting pretty on a 93 Metacritic score) and Pillars of Eternity (still to be released, but with very strong early buzz). Of course, I will not be buying either of them immediately. My backlog is far too deep, which I am trying to rectify. I am still playing through Inazuma Eleven on my 3DS, and also loaded up Crimson Shroud for the first time. Crimson Shroud is definitely not a game for everyone, but once you figure out what it is, it really does a neat job of getting the vibe of tabletop RPGs correct. I’m also still watching the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, The Last Man on Earth, Lucha Underground, NXT and Community. I probably forgot something, but that is all TV that I am not interested in skipping, which makes it even harder to dig into my backlog. I’ve logged a pretty substantial amount of time playing Cities: Skylines and I think that it is fair to say that it is a very, very good game. It is mechanically super-tight and building a city is flat-out hypnotizing. With that said, I wish that the game had some personality, but that hardly matters when it is impossible to stop playing it. I dropped Divinity: Original Sin somewhere in the middle. I’ve never started Shadowrun Returns: Dragonfall or Dead State. I probably don’t have the worst backlog in the world, but I really do need to make some progress before I start buying a bunch of new games, especially if those games are going to be 40+ hour RPGs. At least with Cities: Skylines, I feel like I have a strong opinion of what the game is at this point. Leaving a game like Divinity just leaves a weird open loop in my mind and I always want to go back and close it out.
Wizard’s Academy Kickstarter
3DTotalGames has launched their Kickstarter campaign for Wizard’s Academy. As described by the Kickstarter page, “Wizard’s Academy is a cooperative game for 2-6 players in which you play as students trying to save their academy with magic that they do not understand. You may need to animate stone statues to fight off rampaging hordes, persuade an inspector that the academy is safe (and only slightly aflame) or tame a book that has learned to cast its own spells and delights in mayhem.” The components include 2 game boards, 17 room tiles, 40 miniatures, 6 character cards, 64 spell cards, and 70 disaster and location cards. The Kickstarter page also includes links to a print-and-play demo (which weighs in at 158 MB), as well as the rulebook. I haven’t gotten a chance to try out the print-and-play version, but I do rather like the graphic direction for the game and it does look neat, with the players moving about the rooms trying to protect the mana crystal by picking up glyphs that allow them to cast spells. The catch? You don’t know which glyphs combine to cast which spells until you try since you are, as described above, merely a student.
Humble Paradox Midweek Sale
The Humble Store has announced a midweek sale featuring Paradox Games, many of which I am rather fond of even if they are completely beyond my faculties. In particular, I think highly of Crusader Kings II ($7.99) and Warlock II ($4.99). Although I have had a lot of fun with CKII, I have never quite been able to get my head around Europa Universalis, which I believe to be more of a belief system than a game, although it certainly has its following.
Oh! Oh! Unrelated to Paradox, I saw that Qvadriga, the chariot racing game with RPG elements, is on sale for $9.99 down from $19.99. This may not seem like news to you, but I have been waiting for a sale on this game for a long time, ever since I played the browser-based version (I think it was, anyway) quite a while ago.
Boot Hill Heroes
I’ve been playing through Boot Hill Heroes Part 1 and, I really have to say, for a pretty traditional JRPG experience, I have found it to be rather solid. It’s also interesting to see the JRPG construct applied to the Wild West in a very straight way without any (to this point, at least) paranormal of steampunk elements. Graphically, it has a very strong Earthbound vibe to it and I really like the combat system. I will be honest and say that, at first, I thought it was just the most basic of combat, but you can only carry a few moves at a time, and waiting to use your moves once your enemy is no longer blocking and making sure you have a block up at all times is vital. I don’t know if it gets any deeper than that, but it does have a very fast, tactical feel that reminds me a little of SanctuaryRPG. There have been one or two parts where it has gone a little heavy on the old timey lingo, but – overall – it has been a very pleasant surprise.
Girlpool – Ideal World
Today’s track is “Ideal World” from Girlpool. As I listened to the song the first time, I was always afraid that it would skew too twee, but it never got there for me.