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Everything posted by Cbirdsong

  1. Episode 348: Civilization at 25

    This episode was jam-packed enough, but I was curious if Civilization Revolution was excluded intentionally or just slipped through the cracks? It's certainly not the best Civ, but it's a really interesting little experiment that I enjoyed my time with.
  2. Satisfying Party Games

    As established very early in the episode, the operating definition of party game is pretty nebulous. Rob and co. seem to be searching for a great medium weight strategy game that seats 4-5 players. I was really looking forward to a discussion on what makes a great party game, which is not something I see talked about very often. Carcassonne is not a great game when played with a large group. Give it a try with two players - it's a cutthroat knife fight disguised as a pastoral town builder.
  3. iOS Gaming

    I've played the shit out of Card Crawl and am a few thousand diamonds away from buying all the special power cards. Lately I've been trying to complete the "win 10 games without using special powers" objective, and it sure seems like you have to play with near-perfect efficiency, which ultimately relies on a lucky card draw order?
  4. If I hadn't listened to the podcast before, I would have assumed Nick's Stardew Valley impressions were a bit.
  5. My experience with board game rules impatience is sort of the opposite of Jake's. The following has happened more than once, with the same guy in my board game group: He is teaching us a game, and forgets a detail about a rule. He decides to make something up instead of pausing to look it up, and then unbeknownst to everyone else, we play a hastily house ruled game, probably not having as much fun as we should have, and then later (perhaps months later!) someone finds out the rule we've been following is wrong.
  6. iOS Gaming

    A major bump for crazy puzzle game Blackbox: https://bnc.lt/m/Qpg17yJwlr (or, https://appsto.re/us/Q_Bz5.i, if you don't want to give me a referral) I strongly recommend everyone check it out. It's a really unique thing, even if you don't stick with it.
  7. The best way to play Spelunky co-op is the PSN version, which has local LAN play, meaning you don't have to share a screen. This is usually easiest with a Vita and either console version, but I imagine it could also be done between two consoles, and I'm guessing Campo Santo has a couple PS4s laying around?
  8. Man, I have thoughts about Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective and 'playing it wrong'. Rob is correct that going after Holmes' score is not the way to have the best experience, but doesn't jump to my conclusion: the structure of the game is bad. I feel like if trying to play a game optimally causes it to break down, at best it's not properly tuned, and at worst it's broken. I've had a ton of fun with SHCD, but if you try to play the way the rules encourage you to play you will have a far less satisfying experience than if you just luxuriate in exploring and discussing the case. It would be a far better game if you simply removed the whole scoring aspect and was simply a series of interactive mysteries you try to solve. I still really like it. It produces unique experiences you won't find anywhere else in gaming at the same time that the structure as-written totally undermines creating those experiences. It's not always the GM's fault. If a tabletop RPG isn't designed thoughtfully, it can be fairly cumbersome to improvise encounters on the fly. This is absolutely the case with D&D/derivative games, which is likely what Rob was playing since D&D/derivatives are basically the entire tabletop RPG market. Making encounters is extremely time-consuming, encouraging the GM to push the players back on the rails. A good GM can account for it and make it feel like you were never really on rails, but in my opinion the fact that a game isn't improv-friendly is a huge problem when the promise of the format is "go anywhere, do anything! It's totally freeform!"
  9. I feel like an inflection point with the accessibility of first-person controls is Minecraft, which has ensured tons of kids today know how to use WASD/dual analog controls. It would probably be nice if conflict-free first-person games like Gone Home and The Witness included simpler controls when possible, but I'm guessing the next generation is going to intuitively understand first-person movement the way the previous one intuitively understands platform game controls.
  10. You know, once the Kerbal stuff has run its course, the next open-ended insanely complex game for Project BEAST to tackle is obviously Crusader Kings 2.
  11. Edit: I should not leave a tab with a half-written reply open for 20 minutes. Anyway: The version of a recent episode I watched had a part where they pause and take a break, and offhandedly discuss Manley meeting with Drew to record. I feel like I'm crazy because everyone else was surprised?
  12. Firewatch Spoiler Thread | Henry Two Hats

    Mine were like this, and also a shitty picture of a raccoon drinking beer.
  13. Firewatch Spoiler Thread | Henry Two Hats

    It was a bit unnatural in that moment, which seemed like it should be where you see what Henry's day-to-day life will be like. I wish they had broken up the "DAY XX" title cards with more vignettes of Henry doing whatever (like the sandwich), but ending with the ability to explore and that kind of explicit "let's advance the story" choice available to cut to the next title card. Aside: Did anyone else dread the moment when you'd be rappelling and a silhouette would come and cut your rope? Once the paranoid atmosphere was in full effect, I figured this moment was inevitable, which I guess means I was just as gullible as Henry and Delilah.
  14. Realistically, with the way D&D and most D&D-derived settings often characterize goblins, etc, it should be just as gross to indiscriminately murder them and take all their stuff? They almost always boil down to sentient tribal creatures that are trying to eke out an existence somewhere, but are otherized by more established groups in the fiction. You might also get a line or two about how orcs are all vicious and evil and you shouldn't worry about killing them indiscriminately, which is equally uncomfortable once you unpack it. It's just brought into sharper relief when the same dynamic is applied to the real world in The Division. The theming in The Division seems really weird in a lot of ways. The dark zones are a super cool idea mechanically, but are all the other looters that you can betray/be betrayed by supposed to be other Division agents? And the Division is basically a plainclothes government sleeper cell, from what I can tell?
  15. Everything past +6 is super expensive to buy with insight, but there's a LOT to be found in the DLC.
  16. Super Mario Maker

    Has anyone had any levels delisted? http://kotaku.com/nintendo-is-deleting-peoples-mario-maker-stages-without-1753248157
  17. Can anyone tell me how spoilery the Life is Strange chat gets on day 3 and 4? I'm on episode 3, so it looks like I'm almost caught up to the GBEast playthrough.
  18. Between that last Kerbal episode, which was exceptional, and the Fiasco cast, GBeast really brought it last week.
  19. Star Wars VII - Open spoilers

    Yep. Compare it to the first film: The Death Star plans drive the plot the entire time, so the conclusion being about the Death Star absolutely fits. Following that, this movie's entire plot should've been following a series of clues to find Luke, instead of starting that way and wandering off into a different plot halfway through. (The space monster bit didn't really do much for me either, but at least it serves to establish the sort of things Han and Chewie are up to these days.)
  20. Hexcells Hexcells Hexcells Squarecells

    In the third one, saving exists.
  21. Non-video games

    We just finished March. Had a really shaky start with two straight losses in January, but easily won game 1 in February and barely squeaked by game 1 of March. From the tone of chatter on BGG, It seems like it will definitely be best when played with the same group every game. Like vanilla Pandemic, it is ultimately an extremely difficult group puzzle solving exercise, but the long-term consequences from losing means a group with disparate skill levels is even more likely to have unhappy players at the end of the game. Either experienced players will hold their tongue and not instruct newbies on exactly what the best strategies are, resulting in a loss, or they will boss the newbies around, who will wonder why they're even there if they have no agency on what's going on at the table. With that caveat out of the way, I'm far more absorbed in Legacy than I ever was with regular Pandemic. Every game will be a little (or a lot) different than the one that came before it, and when you get a real unlucky streak you can't just throw in the towel and try again - you have to actually deal with it, as well as figure out how to reduce the chances of it happening again. It's so much more harrowing than the standard game.
  22. Super Mario Maker

    The online level browser is up. You can log in with your Nintendo ID and bookmark levels to put them into a play queue on the console. Here are my two best levels, for easy bookmarking: The Chase: https://supermariomakerbookmark.nintendo.net/courses/C8CE-0000-006A-C6DF Super Thwomp Revolt: https://supermariomakerbookmark.nintendo.net/courses/7F75-0000-00A4-C22C Now that I don't have to type in 16 digit codes, I definitely want to fill up my play queue with Thumbs levels.
  23. Non-video games

    Is Imperial Assault any less swingy than Descent 2e? The fact that it uses opposed rolls to resolve combat really rubbed me the wrong way. Most of the advantages and disadvantages you could gain during play were far less significant than the potential swing introduced by the dice. On the subject of board games with persistence: Anybody else playing Pandemic Legacy? I'd highly recommend it.
  24. The Witcher 3: What Geralt Wants

    This happens to an even more absurd degree in the next section of the game. After the pellar's silly goat quest everything immediately begins winding back toward the baron, and things get interesting.