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    Dec 1st, 2012 at 15:45:16     -    Metro 2033 (PC)

    I picked up this game by purchasing the Humble Bundle, a promotional package where a portion of the proceeds go to charity. I would not have bought this game if it had not been in a package, because I usually don't like horror shooters. However this game was fairly fun. It did succeed in being scary most of the time, and the story was pretty engaging. A lot was left unexplained, which didn't really bother me, because that was part of the mystery to the game. This game was very cinematic, and it reminded me a bit of Call of Duty 3. It is not necessarily a game that focuses on skill, but rather uses difficult situations to raise dramatic tension. The game was sort of old-styled in that it included a variety of levels: stealth, vehicle chase, defense, action, and some elements of platforming. I'm playing the game on hard mode, and while I am not struggling too much to complete levels on this difficulty, I would recommend normal difficulty. It's too difficult to earn money on the hardest difficulty, which doesn't really affect the cinematic experience, but rather results in not having ammo, not having a silenced weapon on a stealth level, having to use your knife, and enemies inexplicably dropping only one or two bullets when they are killed. I'd much rather be able to use guns, because it's simply more fun. The game's mechanics are pretty interesting, in that while they are very common among games the execution of these mechanics is creative. The flashlight has a limited battery which can be charged to increase it's brightness, but never goes out completely. because the flashlight is very important to this game, the player will be forced to charge their battery during combat, resulting in frantic panicked combat. The levels in which you had a teammate were much more fun than the levels where you had to work alone, mostly because the NPC acted as a guide through the level. It was a bit annoying to aimlessly wander though a level, hitting dead ends and being unsure which enemies the game "wants" you to engage. Overall the game's convincing and engaging setting and style was the game's best feature, and what makes it worth playing. I would recommend this game to anybody who wants a cinematic, linear experience reminiscent of games before the era of online multiplayer games.

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    Nov 27th, 2012 at 10:31:09     -    Awesomenauts (PC)

    This game is a 2D platforming multiplayer shooter. It is a MOBA style game, meaning it is the same style as League of Legends or DoTA. However this game has a much faster pace, with the average game lasting from 5 to 20 minutes. The game is very combat oriented, and which team of three wins the match is almost always tied to which team has more kills. The fact that teams are comprised of teams of three is a boon to teamwork, and makes the game easier to play with friends. However, there is a strange balance issue to the game. The seemingly obvious combination of Tank/Healer very nearly breaks game balance completely. I have never lost using the Tank/Healer combination without the other team using the same strategy. This strategy is so easy to master, and so powerful, that without really any experience in the game (I had played three rounds previously), I was able to rise 200,000 ranks in the leaderboards in one day. To put this into perspective, there are approximately 266,000 places on the leaderboard total. So while this was a lot of fun for me, to without much skill in the game to be able to dominate far more skilled opponents, this was very frustrating for my opponents(hah). But putting balance issues aside, the game is in a very good position to expand the MOBA genre at the low regular price of $10, and the current sale price of $5.
    The game's style is cartoonish, and while I didn't find it very appealing, it has the effect of making the game seem more casual or less serious. This is important as many MOBA style games can be frustrating, taking away for the entertainment value of the game. The shorter game times relates to this as well by making the player less invested in the game. While some might see this as a bad thing, I personally was still invested enough for the victories to be rewarding. I enjoyed that whether you commit a large amount of time or a small amount of time to the game you still have a shot at the leaderboards. I haven't ever been able to enjoy the global competition of online leaderboards before, usually because those leaderboards are largely based on time commitment. This is because of high mobility in the leaderboards. If you win a large number of consecutive games, you WILL rise a large amount on the leaderboards. While the number one player may have played hundreds of games, number 9 in the world may have played 50.

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    Nov 19th, 2012 at 15:14:06     -    Natural Selection 2 (PC)

    Well, let me start off by saying it's a lot easier to tell how much I've been playing this game by counting the hours since I got this game that I haven't been playing it. This game, which claims "it seamlessly combines shooter and RTS/strategy gameplay." What this actually means, rather than a player taking on the role of commanding troops in first person, is that one player takes the role of commander, and builds structures, researches upgrades, and orders troops around. However the "basic unit" of the commander is you, the player. What this entails is that you will unquestioningly obey his orders. While this may scare many, the truth is that you have no obligation to do what the commander says. However players will soon learn that quick and effective action based on orders will often lead to victory. This is usually enough incentive that players will listen to their commander. Now, while the concept of an RTS combined with a shooter may bring images of Starcraft as well as tears to the eyes of many RTS fans, the truth is that the game plays out much more like a shooter. While building elements are very important, combat and tactics are what really makes the difference in a battle. Often times, in the case of the commander either not being effective commanding troops, not having a microphone, or being too busy building to focus on combat, the troops take command, sometimes as one almost taking over as a sort of Field Commander, or other times as a more classic collaboration as seen in better matches of counterstrike. This is where the true value of Natural Selection 2 is revealed. Unlike many multiplayer games focused around teamwork, Natural Selection 2 actually succeeds in forcing players to work together in the majority of matches. I cannot emphasize enough how unique this is among online games today. Nearly all the players on each team will work collaboratively in forming strategies, scouting, and fighting.

    Also, it's cheap, even though to me it could be the best team based shooter to date. Buy this game. Do it, you won't regret it.

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    Nov 4th, 2012 at 16:03:18     -    Super Fighters Deluxe (PC)

    This game is still in pre-alpha build, but it is a very playable build. This game is a 2D fighting game in which players must move around the map to pick up weapons(all of which have a very limited amount of ammo, usually two magazines) and eliminate the enemy players. The game is based around it's movement mechanics and destructible environment. The movement mechanics are jumping, rolling, diving, sprinting, and taking cover. To aim a player must be standing still and holding down the aim key, allowing them to then aim up and down as opposed to shooting while moving, which only fires parallel to the ground. Diving into an enemy causes you to tackle them. These simple mechanics in combination create a unique fighting game that is equally fun to play with two players or eight. The game levels are not flat, but rather composed of many rooms, some of which are vulnerable to gunfire, others are not. This allows some strategic positioning on the part of the individual. While there are still many flaws in this game, I don't think i should focus on these too much as the game is still early in it's development. The combination of destructible environment, great 8-bit style, and slow motion powerups(as well as slow motion whenever a player is killed) results in plenty of spectacular moments. While currently the first game, Super Fighters, is more fun to play due to it's completeness, when this game is fully released it could very well become a hugely played free multiplayer game. I would recommend anyone to try out the current build of this game, but be aware that it is still a work in progress, and that the unique controls require a steep learning curve.

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