Not sure if I’ve done one of these ever, but figured I might as well talk a little bit about what I’ve been playing recently. I never seem to have enough free time to really play much these days and I tend to feel guilty about it when I do (shouldn’t I be doing something productive?) so it’s rare I get hours of uninterrupted time.
That being said, my attention span for games is not what it used to be and I find myself often getting bored pretty quickly.
(The above pictured art is by the lovely Aimo, as always.)
So, what have I been playing?
Well, I’ll start with the October time frame and work my way forward:
1) Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers, 20th anniversary edition – this is a remake/reboot of the original. I played this way back on my Pentium 60 with its 400 meg hard drive and 4 megs of RAM and it was just the shit. Great story, great voice acting, and a solid New Orleans flare. (Good enough that I actually recognized places from the game when I went to New Orleans a few years ago, so that’s something.) The story is the same in the remake, but they’ve revamped the graphics a little so they look better. It does lack something without Tim Curry’s over the top voice acting though – his replacement was okay, but I really missed the original drawl. “Just tell me…anything at allllllll.”
2) Dragon Age: Inquisition – Well, of course I played this. And I’ll play it again, but since my original playthrough clocked in at about 123 hours, I really don’t have time to run through it again just yet – at this point, I’m going to wait until all the rest of the DLC comes out and I’ll do a final master playthrough and hit as many of the achievements as I can. (I had a number of bugs on my original playthrough, including that awful banter bug, so definitely waiting until all the patches and things are done.) And yes, Solas. Elves. Solas. Stupid egg cliffhanger. MMMph.
3) Grim Fandango Remastered – another remake of sorts. I have very fond memories of this one, since the DH and I used to play it together when we first started dating. Great music and atmosphere. And just like GK, some of the puzzles make sense and some feel like they’re really stretching – definitely way more of a challenge than a lot of the games created today.
4) Alien Isolation – I honestly haven’t had time to play for more than a few hours on this one. A major shame since I adore the Alien franchise and I love the idea of being able to play Ripley’s daughter. (And I have this one for XBONE, which has been commandeered by other family members, mostly in a heavy rotation of Call of Duty, Far Cry 4 and Dying of the Light.)
5) Never Alone – Also for XBONE – but I bought this one so Lucy and I could play together. Plus, you know. Foxes. We both enjoyed it very much and I definitely appreciated how different the game was culturally. (And hey, girl protag. With her spirit fox. Now WHERE have I see that before??? *cough*)
6) The Witcher/Witcher 2 – I only started playing these because Witcher 3 is coming out and looks gorgeous, but I’m also a completion freak. I like to know the whole story – and to be honest, the games are good, but feel a bit like a slog sometimes. I’m going to skip over Geralt’s horndog tendencies to bang anything that moves (player’s choice to do that, I guess) and some of the clunky game controls to focus on the story which is definitely interesting. I did finish Witcher in Feb and I’m through Act I of Witcher II, but got distracted by DA: I and just haven’t gotten back to it. Thank the gods for walkthroughs…
7) Pillars of Eternity – I was a backer for this during the Kickstarter a few years ago and I’m super happy at the way it’s turned out. Definitely a throwback to the Baldur’s Gate days, but with a bit of an upscale flare for today’s audience. (And to be honest, I’ve gone back and tried to replay the BG remasters, and I end up getting bored way more quickly than I should have, since I really enjoyed them 10 years ago.) I was a little afraid I would be bored with PoE, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised. There’s no romances this time around and I have to admit that’s pretty refreshing. I’m usually a fan of romance in RPGs, but not always the mechanics behind them, so it’s nice to be able to get to know my companions without worrying about if I’m going to either accidentally hop into bed with them or insult them with some off the cuff remark that destroys any chance of love later on.
8) Ori and the Blind Forest – XBONE – I’ve only played a few levels of this – again, it was supposed to be for Lucy and I – all I can say is that it is drop dead gorgeous. The music, the lighting, all of it. Beautiful environment. I’m not overly fond of the scrolling arcade type games, but the graphics alone make it worth a shot.
I picked up the soundtrack after about 30 seconds of playing the game and it’s been on heavy rotation this past week. 🙂
9) Life is Strange – I’ve played the two chapters that have been released so far (sort of the new thing with indie games, I guess. Instead of releasing an entire game, it becomes a serial, where you get a bit at a time. It seems to work though, especially since choices you make in previous chapters can have a definite effect in later ones, so there’s room for replay. Lots of indie music in this one and even though it’s a mature game, Lucy has been playing it with me. Admittedly there are some pretty grown up themes here – bullying, drugs, references to sex, but I’ve been using these scenarios as teaching moments and it’s actually pretty fascinating to let Lucy take control and see what choices she makes. (She’s got a wicked sense of what’s fair and honorable, which serves her well in this game, but not so much in RPGs where she refuses to loot houses since that is stealing. LOL My girl, the paladin.) Plus again – good female protags are so hard to find in games.
10) South Park: The Stick of Truth – picked this up on a Steam sale for like $13. Also mature, but in a completely different way. Lucy won’t be playing it with me, let’s put it that way. I’ve only played it for a few hours so far, but it’s fairly amusing. Obviously, it’s for South Park fans, and even though I haven’t really watched the show in years, they got the RPG elements done right, albeit in South Park fashion.
I *think* that’s about it for the last few months. I’ve dipped back into Guild Wars 2 once or twice and I still update. WoW, but I just do not have the time to get into MMOs in any meaningful way at this point. I seem to have a ton of other games I’ve either bought on sale or have started but just haven’t quite finished for some reason. I need to go back and finish my Dishonored: The Brigmore Witches playthrough, I’ve got nearly all the Assassin’s Creed games but haven’t touched any of them. I’ve messed around with Endless Legend for about an hour but it hasn’t really captured me (I don’t know why because I love Civ, and this is just like that.) I’ve got the latest Dreamfall Chapters as well since I backed that Kickstarter too and I haven’t even launched it.
Sort of frustrating, but it’s a bit like books – hard to pass up the good sales, even though it may be a while before I’ll get around to playing them, eventually it will happen.