Game of the Month - July 2021

What has been your primary game this past month? It could have been a recent title, a new discovery, or something from your backlog. Or perhaps an old favorite you returned to years later? Honorable mentions are also welcome, these would be other games that you enjoyed this past month, but not the one you spent the most time enjoying.

For July my game of the month is:

  • Cloudpunk , for me this is one of them Zen games where I just absorb it all in and enjoy this relaxing casual walking flying car sim. This game does great justice to pixels. My eyes are constantly pleased.

Honorable mentions:

  • Necromunda: Hired Gun , need to finish this as I see they dropped a new patch that adds some QoL improvements, overall it’s been great and I’d highly recommend it when it hits a sale price.
  • Witcher 3 - I was buying things at an auction and soon about to start a heist, how is the first DLC for this game so damn good? I hope to start Blood and Wine next year.
  • Deep Rock Galactic - Been dancing a lot also drinking beers.
  • Transport Fever 2 - Finally picked this up, only in the tutorials so far, but really enjoying the casual pace that a transport tycoon-like game such as this presents.
  • AC: Valhalla - I finished up in Lunden, and got like a dozen more things to do, I’ll be done with this game by 2025.

What game defined July 2021 for you? What was your Game of the Month?

Dragon Age II.

Final Fantasy XIV Online for me, no question. It’s become my obsession.

Spelunky!

Old World by @SorenJohnson and Mohawk games. I’ve been a 4X junkie since Civ on the Atari ST, but since CivIV, I thought I had just left the genre behind. I’ve put hours into various pretenders (Civ, Endless series, AoW series, Stardock’s offerings, et al), but nothing has hooked me or pulled me away from PDX grand strategy (EU, CK, Vicky) for any length of time until this. Now I do fear I’m starting to burn out on the SP at this point, but its been a great run.

What a month!
I gave up on the final parts of Shin Megami Tensei 3 again, as they are just intended to make you waste time.
I finished Shin Megami Tensei 4. Fun system and somewhat fun setting, with an horrible story. (Side note: it’s actually the only Shin Megami Tensei game I ever finished. I’m very good at giving up on the last dungeon in that series)
I started and promptly stopped Shin Megami Tensei 4 Final: what a disgrace, this was even more stupid and awkward than Persona games. Let’s claim it never happened.
I’m in the middle of Shin Megami Tensei Strange Journey again right now, at the part where I gave up last time.
I have been toying with A-Train Tourism Something in my bed. It’s hard to describe how I space out playing this game. It’s the first time I have such a relation with a game of that genre.

But my game of the month has been X-Plane 11. I totally had forgotten about flight simulations. My brain is very good at forgetting things, and the lack of processing power of my computers for as long as I can remember has mostly led to frustration when I were to attempt anything but nighttime IFRs flights back in editions 5 and 6.
Now, I can play the newest version in all its glory for the first time of my life. I finally can fly general aviation planes and sea planes like I’ve always wanted. It’s been an incredible experience. Incredible for my wallet too, as I have spent over 100$ this month on the game and third party add-ons.

And like everybody else, I’ve been devouring Queen Strummer’s chronicles in some thread.

Early in July it was Storybook Brawl. Early access, but a fun little draft/autobattler. Later, I got sucked into Genshin Impact. Billed as an MMO but it’s basically a single player anime-style open world RPG until you get to the high end (at which point I’ll likely just stop playing anyway).

I finished up Nioh 2 and, bristling with confidence, jumped into Sekiro. I have just reached Lady Butterfly and, well…

I farmed some skill points last night but that was just boss avoidance. I’m gonna have to work on my deflections and mikiri counters.

I’ve been all over the place this month. Have done more gaming in July than I have all year but instead of focusing on one or two games like I have been, I think I’ve been playing through a dozen games.

Of those, the ones I’ve probably put the most time in are Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne, and Ni No Kuni on the Switch and Final Fantasy X and Wasteland III on Xbox.

Also broke out my old DS Lite to play Final Fantasy V (GBA version) which I never finished and started playing Pillars of Eternity on the PC. Had put a couple of hours in the Xbox One version but the load times were just too much; so much better on PC.

Lots of Old World and AI War 2. Nice to return to a proper civ game, been awhile since I played one of those. And AI War 2 never ceases to amaze how strong the AI opponent is.

Morrowind, re-installed using saves from 2012 that use a character first created in 2003. So good to be back. Maybe this time I will actually finish the main quest.

Mini Motorways by some distance. What a fantastic game.

Spread my time around Crosscode, Dragon Quest XI, Octopath Traveler. Finished the Touryst. Enjoyed them all.

I also tried to do the rift (cosmetic battle pass) in Dead by Daylight, but gave up halfway. Too much grinding for my Hillbilly.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD on Switch - missed this on the Wii so it’s awesome to play a fresh, more traditional Zelda game. And of course it is typically brilliantly designed. Even though they implemented eight-directional attacks using an analogue stick, motion controls still seem to be the way to play - though you often need to ‘recenter’ them by pointing at the screen and pressing a button, which is pretty annoying.

Runners up:
Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin on PC, basically a cross between Pokemon and Dragon Quest set in the Monster Hunter universe. The story doesn’t do a lot for me but collecting and training up the familiar monsters is great, as is the turn-based combat.

The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles on Switch, which is a compilation of two previously-untranslated 3DS Phoenix Wright prequels from 2015 and 2017, set in the Victorian period. Very visual novel, I find it quite compelling.

MH Stories 2
Zelda Breath of the Wild
FF14 (I gave up on it)
Black Desert
Dungeon Warfare 2
OMD3

Red Dead Redemption 2. My first playthrough on this stalled when it first came out. Started over again and just taking it easy.

Battlesector. This is the best 40k game since DoW1. That may not be saying much, but with some more support and factions it has the potential to be better than DoW1.

Caster of Magic for Windows

I am obsessed with this game.

I’ll have to get that a try - I didn’t realize it was out.
Loved MOO back when Microprose could do no wrong.

My roommate and I even found a MOO MP hack/mod, which we dutifully copied over to a 3.5" floppy in the computer lab, biked all the way back to our off campus apartment only to discover the file was corrupted and wouldn’t open.

So, back on the bikes for another round trip.

But a few miles later, we finally had it, multiplayer MOO!

The start of the month was Skyrim SE loaded with Lexy’s LotD mod pack. That was an effort in itself to install and run, but better than my own fumbling around the Nexus site deciding which texture pack I wanted etc. It was also a good test for my desktop PC given the only other heavy game I’ve thrown at it is Warhammer 2. Needless to say, everything ran silky smooth at 80FPS. Good days.

The second half of the month has been moving back to student accomodation, a studio unit and only have laptop with me. So I’ve hooked my laptop up to the TV and gaming from my bed playing Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky. I started playing it in 2018, stopped for something else, and I’ve decided I want to play and finish the game. I think my issue last time is the prologue feels like it takes too long, and I don’t really have many fun toys to play with at the start.

I also have a new Dominions game I’m preparing/prepared for!

On the solo board game front, I played through Eldritch Horror, destroying Yog Sothoth in the process. He’s definitely the go-to old one to fight when showing new players the game, not Azathoth.

Arboria - loving this rogue-lite Dark Souls with an injection of weird. The only reason I didn’t just play this all month is because TOO MANY GAMES.

Warhammer 40k: Battlesector - excellent 40k-themed turn-based strategy game. With this and Necromunda: Hired Gun, you could be forgiven for thinking that Warhammer games were all awesome!

The Station - short but sweet exploration of a space station using environmental storytelling to figure out what went wrong. Add in some mild puzzling and a neat conclusion, and I was totally hooked for its entire running time.

Dead Space 2 - Yes, back to The Sprawl! Need to get back to this, but TOO MANY GAMES.

Oh, I nearly forgot… Thumper but in VR. Insane sensory assault in the best possible way.