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    Dungeon Maker (DS)    by   jp       (Feb 17th, 2018 at 11:28:51)

    Another game I picked up for next to nothing. That being said, the premise (from the back of the box) seemed really interesting. In a nutshell you're in charge of creating a dungeon (digging, placing rooms, etc.). The dungeon then attracts monsters (different monsters are attracted to different rooms) which you fight with in order to get money and loot. Loot consists of either equipment or food ingredients. You spend half the game in the dungeon, wandering around fighting monsters, etc. and the other half in the village buying stuff (new rooms,magic items), selling stuff (equipment, etc.) and, most importantly "leveling up".

    The progression system is different - every night you can eat a meal and rest. Resting restores your health and magic. Eating is how you "level up" - different meals (some created with several ingredients) have different permanent effects on your stats. So, you can gain 1 HP, or 1HP and 1 STR point, or some other combination of things. Initially I was pretty excited by the system because you have some flexibility on what you want to increase and such. Also, it means that you always level after a dungeon, no matter what! However, for the meals to work you need the ingredients, that means either buying some of the basic ones OR killing specific monsters and hoping they drop the food item you want. It works on paper but it becomes REALLY grindy after a while. A short while. This is because you have to spend a lot of time fighting monsters you don't really care about anymore (too easy) just for the chance of an item drop AND the progression starts to feel really, really slow. My "fix" for it would be to make certain ingredients easily purchaseable after a while, so that you focus only on getting new/special ingredients from the monsters you're currently equipped to fight.

    As you fill out your dungeon you also learn that each level has a goal - you need to build it out to a certain point (minimum number of monsters and/or enough of a certain type of monster) in order to fight a boos that appears. The bosses are obviously a significant step up in terms of challenge. The boss then leaves a hole and you now have access to a lower dungeon level.

    I played all the way down to level 3 of the dungeon and although the grinding was really grindy and starting to get really boring I do appreciate how the game has started to mix things up. First, I found a slime companion (who can help in fights). And then, a girl who used to cook meals partied up with me as well. It makes for more interesting combat BUT also makes things MORE grindy. You have to cook meals for the girl as well - which means you now need double ingredients. The slime progression is kind of cool though - when you kill a monster there's a chance the slime will try to mimic something of the monster which can provide you with a stat upgrade (or lower!). You can choose not to, but it's the only way to improve the slime, for example by copying the monsters arm it gets more STR or something like that. You have a higher chance of a "mimic opportunity" against solo monsters, which is the complete opposite of the item drops where the chances are higher against groups (up to three).

    In all, it's an interesting game but the grind was too much for me....

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    Shadow Of Mordor (PC)    by   Tevin P.       (Feb 17th, 2018 at 10:30:14)

    The first thing I did when I started the game back up was to start a brawl. I wanted to see how many orcs I could fight at once. It was something like 20.

    After I spent some time doing that I decided to move on to the story again. As I walk towards a mission area an orc called my name. He offered me info on where I could find the black and if i set him free. I found this kind of ironic seeing as orcs had kill Talions family. Talion wasnít really sure that he could trust the orc but ended up setting him free. As I played on the orc told me about a rivalry that he had with an orc captain and that if I helped him kill the captain he would give me more information.

    At this point the game pointed out a few things. If I found the right people it would give me information on the people I was trying to kill. The particular captain I wanted to fight was immune to arrows but scared of a creature called a caragor. I thought it was interesting that the developers gave a character not known to have fear to give it to them. After setting free a caragor and watching it kill the captain, the game gave me another bit of information. The world would change as I played the game. The orc I was helping, ratbag, moved into the orc captains position. I thought this was a very interesting mechanic. It meant that every kill i make someone will fill that slot. Maybe it is supposed to imply some sort of futility.


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    This is the Police (PC)    by   damnlyons       (Feb 17th, 2018 at 00:53:28)

    Iíve now reached Day 17 on this third and final session. As expected, things are picking up with the mafia. Iíve gone from one request a day to now getting two, sometimes three, and they usually want more officers for them. This might just be random chance, but I like to think that itís indicative of the deepening of the relationship between the mafia and Jack Boyd. Though they donít have any huge leverage on him (yet), if he wants to meet his goal of making half a million before he leaves the force, then heís inexorably tied to their desires, as itís only through them is he going to be able to meet his rather lofty goal. Thereís just no legal way to make that much in 180 days as a police chief. Iíd say theyíve got their claws deeper in Jack than heíd care to admit.

    Some interesting new mechanics were introduced since my last session. For instance, I chose to side with Sandís criminal organization because what can I say, heís old-fashioned, Jackís old-fashionedÖ it seemed like the best match. In doing so, Jackís pitted himself against the rival gang leader. Their battle for the city of Freeburg is represented by a scoreboard of sorts. The goal is keep the leader you sided with ahead of the other. Unfortunately, this dooms you to some less than legal tasks in order to keep your dark messiah in the lead. To top it all off, you also have to keep city hall happy while trying to fight this gang war and those pesky civilians always need protecting, so it all makes for a very busy Jack Boyd. Youíre constantly spread too thinly, and many concessions have to be made, and many people die as a result of these concessions, all in the name of making Jack a wealthier man. Itís such an ignoble goal, but it makes for compelling gameplay in my opinion. Not often is a player asked to assume the role of the ďbadĒ guy, so when it does happen, I cherish the experience.

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    This is the Police (PC)    by   JChambers       (Feb 16th, 2018 at 23:03:02)

    I logged on today planning to anger the game's resisdent mob boss by playing the game using a minimum of criminal tactics. I was surprised to find that this wouldn't be an option. I was immediately shot dead by an assassin's bullet while reading the paper. At first, I was a bit upset by this turn of events. After all, how am I supposed to play the game my way, if I am punished for my good acts. That is when I came to a realization: Maybe the game developer wanted me to experience a different take on the material.

    I feel as if the dev wanted to tell a specific story. I use the "Fire All Black Cops" scenario as an example. Personally, I found this scenario to be a bit heavyhanded, but I think that is the kind of commentary that the Weappy is going for. The idea that players should experience the lifestyle of a dirty cop is not something that I am completely against. I think whether This is the Police (TITP) is consdered comentary, fiction, or any combination of the two, it can be enjoyed. It was actually a little shocking when I died violently during what is basically a management sim. I restarted the game and decided to fully embrace the role as a dirty cop, seeing where the twists and turns to would take me.

    I have to say, it really is fun to watch the story unfold, having to deal with the eventual repurcussions of skirting the law that Jack is supposed to uphold.I liked taking a path that I would normally avoid, and trying to deal with issues that I normally would not be presented with in more straight-laced playthroughs. I do, however, think that an argument could be made that the setting and backdrops of racial strife could be seen as exploitative. In the end, I feel that the game dev is actually using exagerated versions of real issues to make a statement, and ask the player to experience something a bit more uncomfortable than standard good/bad guy situations.


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    1979 Revolution: Black Friday (PC)    by   granto       (Feb 16th, 2018 at 19:41:04)

    In my last play through, I got introduced to Ali who exemplifies the violent aspirations of the revolution. He rejects the fact that violence should be avoided, and shows a lot of hate for the people who work for the current regime. While Babak, on the other hand, shows sympathy for the works of the regime calling them oppressed as well. He notes that they have to do whatever they can to support their families. It will be interesting to see how their rivalry and differing viewpoints advance in the story.

    As I said in a previous log, the game leans on the same mechanics as Telltaleís adventure games. This includes the moral side of things, where you are given choices and told that other characters will remember it. One thing I noticed is that a lot of the time these choices have very little short-term effect. For example, dialogue often results in the same response line or action no matter what, giving you the illusion of choice. Iím sure these will cascade in the end though as you get different endings depending on the results of previous chapters. That said, this does kind of feel weird as a player.

    This play through had a lot of focus on violence and its place in revolution. Personally, I think it is good to minimize this as much as possible. Revolutions often criticize those in charge for their cruelty and insensitivity to otherís lives. However, if the revolution resorts to murder and heavy violence, in many ways we just replace one tyrant with another. One who just emphasizes different qualities in his government, but with the same authoritarian flair. I think if a revolution instead relies on changing peopleís minds and hearts, it will do better. This can be seen in the game where some of the military refuse to use lethal force or exert much force at all due to them disagreeing with the government. The government can be overthrown for this, as it only has power in so much as it has support. That said, violence in response to violence from the governmentís military could be required or important as a government lashes out before dying. Iím excited to see how these issues evolve in the story going forward.

    Another portion of the game returns you to the interrogation. Here you are asked what you know about Bibi. She is a character that is part of the revolution working with Raza, who was betrayed in the last section. While interrogated, you watch your brother be tortured in order to force answers out of you. This represents another interesting moral dilemma, as potentially the information could be damning to the revolution if shared, and that could have far-reaching consequences. But in order to not share it you have to watch your brother be tortured, causing him immense pain. This pits the wellbeing of everyone against the wellbeing of those close to you. This is an interesting situation, and would definitely be a difficult choice for many people to make. In my play through I avoided giving as much info as I could, but as a player Iím far removed from having that character actually be my brother.

    This brings my game logs to an end. Overall, I really enjoyed my time with this game. I do plan on putting a lot more time into the game in the next week to prepare for my OPA. I donít feel that I have played enough yet for that, but I do have a good feel for the game and the themes it will explore. I really liked this game so far.

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    4 : granto's 1979 Revolution: Black Friday (PC)
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    Random

    Columbine RPG (PC)    by   hydra-star

    No comment, yet.
    most recent entry:   Thursday 29 October, 2009
    I'd gotten to the point in the game which I assume is the main part. I spent a half hour walking around shooting a bunch of high school kids. The bathrooms were interesting, at least. I managed to save a kid from getting beaten up. Of course, I had to shoot some people to do it. I also set off the fire alarm in the cafeteria (which I had no trouble finding due to my earlier exploits)and caused general mayhem. I must admit, near the end I was counting down the minutes. I did not enjoy this game at all.

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