Weekly Update- 7/11/15

Behold, a surefire way to ensure I have content at least weekly: random blatherings about video games that I’m playing! And shit! Whatever, it’s something, okay? Hopefully it won’t die like everything else I try to do here. Positive thoughts, folks. Anyway, let’s get down to business to defeat the Huns.

Definitely the game that’s sucked up the most of my time this week is XCOM: Enemy Unknown, which I just reviewed! It’s very good. There’s something about XCOM that manages to suck me in without fail every time I start to play it, and not only have I been hitting it pretty hard on PC, it’s been getting a lot of love on my iPad, as well. XCOM’s iPad version was on sale for 4th of July weekend, and it’s quite frankly the best mobile port of any game I’ve ever played. It’s not flawless, but the entire game translated pretty well to the smaller hardware, and a lot of the tweaks made in Enemy Within (which is the expansion I got with the iPad version but have yet to buy for PC) are really solid. It controls great, and the loading times aren’t too severe either. If you don’t have this game yet and you consider yourself a fan of the strategy genre, you’d be remiss not to pick this one up. It’s really drawing stuff.

Of course, I couldn’t play a tactical strategy game without being reminded of my absolute favorite 3DS game and favorite game in the genre, Fire Emblem Awakening. I’m currently smack-dab in the middle of a harrowing playthrough on Lunatic difficulty, or, as I like to call it, “Frederick Difficulty“. As the name suggests, Lunatic difficulty is insanely hard, and frustrating as all hell, and most of my time spent playing this game this week was trying the same level over and over again with different characters and strategies. It’s tough stuff, but this game deserves all the time in the world. It’s seriously fantastic, and I highly recommend that every 3DS owner pick it up. It’s the reason I bought the console, and I haven’t regretted it for one second.

Also on the handheld front this week I tried a couple of games for my neglected PS Vita, first of which was Killzone Mercenary. I’d never played another game in the Killzone series before, and I wasn’t too impressed with the only other FPS I’d played on the system (the rather shoddy port of a much beloved game of mine, Borderlands 2), but it was free for PS+ subscribers so I figured I’d give it a shot. I only played the first level, but I was seriously impressed with not only its tight, cover-based FPS gameplay, but also the visual integrity and nearly unnoticeable loading times. It’s got a great system of earning money for nearly everything, as its title would imply, and the campaign level I played was just at the right length of time and toughness to make it a great on-the-go FPS. I hope to play more of this one.

A slightly less impressive PS Vita game I picked up this week was Freedom Wars. I really only bought this one because I was looking for more games to play on the thing, and it’s not … bad, per se. I might even go so far as to say it’s good but not .. good. It’s okay. It’s pretty much a Monster Hunter ripoff with pretty cool grappling hooks an Orwellian storyline that, as someone who wrote his senior thesis on dystopian fiction, I can appreciate. It looks great and runs well, but what I’ve played of it so far is pretty repetitive and not that exciting. Things could always change, of course, and I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt, but right now it’s not really doing anything for me.

Back on the PC front, I spent a couple more hours in The Witcher 3 after putting it down for about a month. It’s still spectacular and one of the best-looking, most expansive, and most fun RPGs I’ve ever played, and I can pretty much leave it at that.

Last on the list this week, and undoubtedly the game I spent the most time in this week besides XCOM is my old standby, Team Fortress 2. There’s just something alluring about this 8-year veteran multiplayer FPS that just … gets it. Valve has always had a way to keep this game interesting, and lately it’s a tie between returning to Mann vs Machine with a few friends and the recently-added Gun Mettle Update. While this update does require a $6 participation fee, it more than makes up for it by giving you two contracts a week to complete, based on doing particular things as certain classes or achieving particular goals on certain maps. Completing these contracts will net you new items, many of which can be sold on the Steam Community Market to actually make you profit from buying the entry ticket. I’ve already made back all of my six bucks, and then some, and others have been far luckier than I. That said, it’s all over in September, so the sooner you get in on it, the better.

 

That about wraps that up. Let me know what you thought of this post and I’ll most likely completely ignore you, since I’m going to keep making them anyway. But seriously, talk to me, people. It’s so lonely here.

 

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