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    Altitude (PC)    by   dkirschner       (Jan 28th, 2015 at 15:44:04)

    My friend P has been playing Altitude for a while and insisted I try it one day, so I did. This was months ago, and I've played it some, but am tired of seeing it sitting here in my lists, so I'm going to close it out. It's a free-to-play multiplayer airplane dogfighting game. 95% of the games online are for soccer. There are like 7 planes to a side and they fight for the ball. If you get the ball, you need to try and shoot it in the other team's goal. Of course, since it's a dogfighting game, the other players are all swarming about firing bullets, missiles, and bombs at you. When one of your teammates has the ball, try and protect him by shooting down enemy planes that are gunning for him. If the enemy has the ball, shoot him down!

    You can level up by killing enemies, scoring, etc., and as you level, you unlock new planes with different abilities. I unlocked a few, and they're different enough. One can drop a forcefield, one can shoot backwards, one drops mines, and so on. It's really hectic, easy to pick up, and very enjoyable to play. But unless you want to play airplane soccer over and over, it does get sorta old. There's no progression aside from leveling up and unlocking some new planes. I'll keep it around in case P ever wants to play, but it's off my "now playing" lists!

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    Super Hexagon (PC)    by   dkirschner       (Jan 28th, 2015 at 15:26:50)

    This game is crazy. You just keep a little triangle from falling into a hexagon (or square or another shape sometimes) in the center of the screen. The rest of the level basically collapses in on itself and you avoid all the lines that are falling toward the center. Geez, how do you even describe this? It is fast, the visuals pulse with the music, and it is hard as hell. I've managed to get 46 seconds into Hexagon difficulty. If I beat that difficulty, I'll be happy. I understand that the lines fall in patterns and that doing well in the game is a matter of learning such patterns, recognizing them at a split second's notice, and moving accordingly. But I stick with my first sentence. More than fun, interesting, or whatever, the game is crazy, insane, a speed freak.

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    This war of mine (PC)    by   MasterChief       (Jan 28th, 2015 at 14:56:10)

    Second and Third Plays. 01/27/2015 and 01/28/2015.

    My second time through I ran into more ethical dilemmas. Apparently these are based on real life (and death) situations in war. Do I open the door to do business with people? Do I help an old woman board up her place so people don’t get in and kill her overnight, endangering my own (character’s) life in the process? Tough questions, made easier by this being a game where I can experiment.

    The first time I die reminds me of the ending of The Book Thief, but more final feeling. The real cost of war is life. It costs everyone a piece of their lives, and it haunts what we have left. From some it exhausts the ultimate price. I am grateful it did not cost me the ultimate price.

    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Jan 28th, 2015 at 14:59:16.

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    This war of mine (PC)    by   MasterChief       (Jan 28th, 2015 at 14:55:48)

    This War of Mine
    Jed Merrill

    First play. 01/23/2015

    I played This War of Mine for the first time today. The graphics were stylized and nice to look at, and it took me a while to realize I could play with any or all of the characters simultaneously. Once I did, the game became more meaningful.

    I have been to war as a soldier. I spent a year in Iraq, Qatar, and Kuwait as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

    I am not as experienced as a civilian in a war zone, though I have had one experience similar to what is depicted in the game.

    I was teaching English in Russia with ILP, first in Moscow, then Ufa, Russia’s oil capitol. We were on a one week trip to St. Petersburg when we were told about the Yugoslavia bombing. The embassy told the program I was there with, along with everyone else with a visa that came from America, that we should stay indoors for a few days, as the Russian Orthodox church had been preaching in services that the Americans were attacking their Slavic brothers and that meant we were at war. No one knew if we were going to be in World War III, and I’m sure the US news was not reporting what we were experiencing on the ground. As volunteer teachers/tourists, we were locked for three days in an elementary school, and only left once or twice for food and supplies, nervous that we would be found out for being Americans and killed by Russian “patriots.” We used our best English-Russian accents to order food from kiosks and only said a few words the one or two times that we did go out.

    My first time in This War of Mine venturing out for supplies, I was similarly nervous. Was it worth risking my life to go into a burning building to dig for the kind of buried treasures that sustain life?

    I also think there is a kind of bonding or brotherhood that comes from going through an experience like that. People who were not family before become family through the fires and fears and tremors of war.

    I am looking forward to playing more. I am not looking forward to being in a war zone again.

    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Jan 28th, 2015 at 14:58:38.

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    This war of mine (PC)    by   karthik_narayan       (Jan 28th, 2015 at 13:05:15)

    Well, I have just finished my first complete playthrough and I have to say, I did not believe I would last 40 days, with all my survivors either dying of starvation, depression or getting killed while looking for supplies. I faced a lot of moral dilemmas during this playthrough, but I highly doubt that I would have taken a different stand, despite the circumstances.

    One of the major choices I faced is at what level of hunger and depression I would keep my survivors during the day. In the first couple of weeks, I would try to find enough food, so that they never went hungry. But when things started getting a little tight, I shifted my priorities to keeping them at the "hungry" level, but not letting them get to the "very hungry" or "starving" level. I believe this decision made them last longer, during periods when there was less food to share.

    While I definitely considered stealing from civilians - more precisely, defenseless civilians - a morally abhorrent thing to do, I had to make a choice between choosing the survival of my own people against the lives of an old couple(Kantianism, I suppose, though I still left enough food and meds for the couple).

    At the end of the playthrough, I just got frustrated by managing the survival of 5 survivors, and I started sending each of them on danger runs where there was a better chance of scoring more food and meds, despite the fact that they only had a shovel to defend themselves with. Cveta and Bruno died on a couple of these runs, however, Pavle scored quite a bit of food and meds, though he became lethally wounded. Katia committed suicide after two days of depression, after the deaths of two survivors. Pavle made it through three more days, before finally exhausting the food that he had so bravely collected and dying of starvation on the 41st day.

    I think at this point I just threw my moral compass out the window, since I wanted(or needed) to push people to the limit to get supplies for them to make it through the war.

    All in all, it was a great game to play and it brought up a lot of feelings when I saw the "recap" of my playthrough. I will definitely try out a different strategy for mere curiosity for my next playthrough...

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    Super Mario World (SNES)    by   emilydoom

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