Game of the Month - October 2017


#2

Grim Dawn takes top prize for me. Two new classes? Are you kidding me? There hasn’t been an RPG expansion this big… ever. Diablo 2’s expansion introduced 2 new classes too, but these two new classes can be combined in Grim Dawn with all the existing classes, creating so many more permutations. So the wealth of content in just the new characters is so generous. (I haven’t gotten to any new in-game Act yet, so I can’t comment on that).

Runners Up (all equal):
Destiny 2 was good, not great. Unlike Destiny 1, where I really enjoyed the single player campaign, the campaign in this one was just okay. It had a story that actually made sense, but that was unimportant compared to the lack of challenge in the story campaign. The best moment, for me, was playing a couple of Nightfalls with @Don_Quixote. I have to admit, when this game does push back and actually tries to prevent you from accomplishing your objective, it can be a thing of beauty. It’s too bad they didn’t extend that to the single player campaign.

Cuphead was really scrumptious. I can just eat up the visuals and audio in that one all day. But progress is slow, and I kind of suck at it. I’ve still never been completely stopped though, so I haven’t switched to easy difficulty yet. I keep going.

Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst has a really slow start. They start you off in a really boring story, in a boring part of the city, but eventually if you keep playing through the story missions, you finally get to unlock more interesting missions and also more interesting parts of the city with buildings that are under construction, buildings that are more interesting to navigate than the boring office buildings in the starting section of the game. It’s still not as good as the original game, but I’m kind of hooked now, finally.

Rayman: Legends - I got to the part of the game with the 8-bit musical levels. Oh my god, this are so awesome. Even my 6-month old son is completely transfixed by them, and he’s not transfixed by anything at this age, because he doesn’t even know what he’s seeing. But something about the combination of the music and the visuals in Rayman really draw his eye and I can distract him for minutes! Minutes!


#3

Haha, every month ;-)

Cuphead for me. As I keep saying ‘a joy to behold, a bastard to play’. Nearing the end of world 2 co-op.


#4

I am on track for 300 hours of Antihero this year, its so good. I am sad Qt3ers didn’t stick with it.


#5

What is Antihero? Some kind of roguelike or something?


#6

Cranked through every campaign in Ashes of the Singularity, with an honorable mention to Doom, which I finally finished after sitting on it for over a year. Not sure what gets to be next.


#7

It’s a digital boardgame. There’s a single-player campaign and AI skirmishes but for me the joy is in multiplayer which can be played live or asynchronously (which is almost exclusively how I play).

You play a master thief running a guild of miscreants and you have to reach a certain number of victory points before your opponent. These can won by bribing officials, taking out assassination contracts, blackmailing churches and stealing jewels from a masked ball or cargo from a docked ship–different maps allow for different opportunities. While each map has the same structure, the placement of businesses is randomised and the city is initially shrouded by fog.

To do all these things you scout the city burgling buildings, hiring urchins to infiltrate different businesses to secure certain resources and perks. Thugs block off streets and buff your gangs up (which in turn bully their way around the streets), truancy officers evict urchins, assassins take down gangs and contracts, and saboteurs trap buildings. You’ve two resources: lanterns and gold. Gold is used for hiring, lanterns are used for improving your thief and guild and unlocking new characters to hire.

It’s not a sprawling or complicated game, but it’s tight and cleverly designed to make your few moves per turn really matter. It’s been a lovely bit of bite-sized strategy throughout the year for me and @lordkosc.

Official thread here!


#8

The undisputed champ for October is the latecomer Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus. Sure the action isn’t anything special (but it’s still good), but the sometimes serious, sometimes insane story gives that fighting more context. There are some serious wtf moments where if things were more purple I’d think I was playing a Saints Row game. Having some story elements be relevant with the today’s real world helps pull me in.

Runners Up (in order)

The Golf Club 2: I haven’t had so much fun in computer golf ever. Some poor hole placement can mar otherwise enjoyable courses as you can feel like you’re putting on a pitched roof. Slowly rolling balls can also decide to continue for another 20 yards, only to be stopped by the fringe or rough. Fortunately not all courses are like this. It can also be difficult to pull that controller stick straight back and push it forward, but the game feels so good. Playing friend’s ghosts ratchets the tension up too. Practice makes perfect as I’ve seen my scores drop from the +20s down to -7.

Cuphead: My thoughts are similar to @Rock8man. Such great art and style. I’m stuck on island 2 and haven’t played much lately. Hopefully I’ll be able to get over the hump so I can see what else the game has in store. There have been some areas I have had to try a ton of times (like an Ornstein and Smough amount) but finally got through. It only keeps getting harder.

Big Pharma: I didn’t play a lot of it this month, but it was enough to remind me that I really do need to beat all of the scenarios. So rewarding building an efficient production line, combining and shaking up ingredients.

Pinball FX 3: The new release and a couple tournaments prompted me to come back for some pinball. It’s too easy for me to get fixated on beating scores, so I need to take a more moderate approach to playing this game. Also, after having a long game at a particular table it’s hard to want to come back and try it again.

Mixed Feelings - but still worthwhile.

Battle Chasers: Nightwar: I enjoyed my first 15 hours quite a bit. The artwork is great. There are enough choices in the combat to stay interesting. The player needs to manage the mana / overcharge used to power some abilities, consider how long abilities take, combine attacks that have synergy. On the other hand, some abilities seem clearly more useful to steer the player down familiar roads. Also, the game seems tuned to encourage some replaying of dungeons to level up your characters enough. It hasn’t been as bad as some comments on Steam led me to believe, but I rather have the designers tune the game so any grinding isn’t necessary. Also, the dungeons have cool looking traps, but they don’t really play a big part as they are typically avoided very easily.

Bottom of the 9th: This game has made be swear more times then The Gold Club 2 did. I doubt the dice are loaded against the player, but sometimes I failed enough die roles running the bases so the more irrational side of me started to consider that the dice were fixed. There is too much luck for me to really put this game in the upper tier, but I had a good time beating the different challenges the game sets up. Still, it captured some of the feel of baseball. Working over the pitchers to the point of knowing what they were going to pitch was satisfying.

A Boy and His Blob: A pretty simple platformer that I am playing with my son. Not sure it would hold my attention if I were playing it on my own. The blob mechanic of transforming it into useful things is kinda cute.

Zafehouse Diaries: This was close. It had great atmosphere and I liked the feeling of managing the survivors, but things seemed too arbitrary. I really could have skipped this one, but it almost pulls things off so I upgraded it to this tier.

The Deadly Tower of Monsters: This is only worth playing for a couple hours to enjoy the zany campiness of the story. The actual gameplay is pretty boring but experiencing some of the humor makes putting up with it for a short time worth while.

Familiar Standby

Solar Settlers: Still play several games a month of this, trying to unlock all of the races. I think it was a poor choice by the dev to require the player to play more and more games to unlock the later races. Winning 10 times with the prior race to unlock the next one would be reasonable, but not the ever increasing requirements the game has.

Shoulda coulda Skipped

Tales of Maj’ Eyal: I just find the combat system fairly dull. It’s not like the story is engaging enough to pull me along for more.

Spellforce 2: Finally got around to trying out this series. I may have liked it back in my Age of Empire days, but these days I prefer something slower and that encourages better use of tactics more strongly. Needing to use the hero abilities while keeping an eye on the troops can be a bit annoying.


#9

So how many times have you payed this, or have you just been chipping away at it slowly? It will be a fun game to play with your son in 6 years.


#10

Maybe it’s because you keep beating the crap out of us! Just kidding, I don’t mind losing to you. I’ll probably return to it. I think playing 1 game of Antihero at a time is enough for me. I played too many and got burned out.


#11

The quicker way to unlock them is to ace a placement match for that race (taking you to level 25), then win one more match. This is far easier said than done, of course. :)


#12

What the heck is a placement match?


#13

Yep. I’ve been chipping away at it since it launched on the Xbox One. Rayman: Origins was something I devoured quickly, but Rayman: Legends I’ve been playing on and off for the last 4 years. Having it on the hard drive on the Xbox instead of having to put in a disc really helps with that regard. If I want to watch live TV like the Good Place or The Orville, but I want to give enough room for a buffer so that I can skip commercials, this is a perfect game to switch to, so I can play a level for a few minutes.


#14

It’s a way to jump through the early levels to avoid having to play well below your level. It’s tucked away in Options or somewhere like that. Note that you need to select the race you want a placement match for before you click it.


#15

OK, thanks. I’ll have to look into that.


#16

Grim Dawn, with a smattering of Telengard.


#17

Spits out his coffee.

Commodore 64? Doing research for Derpspace?


#18

Ha, no, just a nostalgia trip.

Telengard is funny. It’s basically a big slot machine decked out as a dungeon. Still pretty fun to play, though.


#19

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is the clear winner for me. I loved the first game, and this is pretty much everything I wanted from a sequel to that. It amazes me how the game can pull off the hairpin shifts in tone from grim horror to downright wackiness while managing to feel cohesive and heartfelt. Tonal inconsistency is something that will throw me pretty quickly from a game or movie, so it’s particularly impressive that it works so well here.


Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus - The man in the high castle gets shooty
#20

I haven’t gotten that far into it yet, but Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is still my pick. The shooting sequences kinda play like last year’s Doom in that you have to be moving all the time, but I like the setting and story better in this one. My only negative so far is the cumbersome health and ammo pickup system, but otherwise I’m looking forward to diving deeper into it this weekend.


#21

Well this month it seems Book of Demons has been my most enjoyed game. I picked it up recently and love the way you can customize the level play length. Also enjoying trying out the ironman mode to get on my friends high score boards.