What Are You Playing Wednesday

An FTL battle screen between two ships.

An FTL battle screen between two ships.

It is mid week question time here at the Border House:

  • What games are you playing this week?
  • Would you recommend those games to other Border House readers?
  • What games have you ranting?
  • Are any of those games listed ones that you want to see covered on the site?

This last week I have mostly played FTL: Faster Than Light. I am still learning the best strategies so I have not gotten far in the game, but it is fun to try to get further in this rogue-like.

So, what have you all been playing?

33 thoughts on “What Are You Playing Wednesday”

  1. Plenty of quality PC gaming for me this week… especially since I decided to get Xpadder. Being able to play pretty much anything with my gamepad has been awesome, because I wouldn’t be able to play some of these games, otherwise.

    The games for this week have been: FTL: Faster than Light, Orcs Must Die! 2, HeXen II, Metro 2033, Deadlight, Torchlight II, Nimbus, Mark of the Ninja, Bit.Trip Runner, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Portal 2, and a bit of Defense Grid: The Awakening and Tobe’s Vertical Adventure.

    Just started playing FTL on Monday and I could hardly stop playing. So fun! Looking forward to unlocking some more ships… just have two so far (both with the extra layouts unlocked). Still trying to defeat the final boss one of these playthroughs c:

    Mark of the Ninja and XCOM: Enemy Unknown have been a blast so far, too. They seem like the kinds of games I could easily sink countless hours into, if I’m not careful ^.^

    Ike and I finished the Orcs Must Die! 2 campaign, and are now working on getting five skulls on everything. We also started a new game of Torchlight II (I wanted to try out the Berserker class), which I’m happy to be able to play now with my gamepad.

    HeXen II has been fun–going through it co-op with my brother. We played through the first HeXen game three times when we were younger, and it’s nice to finally get around to playing through the sequel.

    With so many games to play, now, it’s getting more difficult for me to focus much on just a few. I finished Deadlight, at least. Going to try to focus on Metro 2033, Mark of the Ninja, and Portal 2 this week during my solo gaming time.

    1. Be sure to get the HeXen II mission pack Portal Of Praevus too, as that allows you to play as a Demoness (in the original missions too).

      1. Sadly, it’s not available for Steam, and given Activision’s track record on that, likely never will be.

  2. Continuing my quest to fill my lack of knowledge of the older Phantasy Star games, I tried to play Phantasy Star Online. After some wrestling with patches and Wine I got it to run, but after playing it for a bit I ran into my old enemy simulation sickness again. Even if I run it windowed at 640×480, I still get dizzy/nauseous after about half an hour.
    Dangit! :( How can I call myself a hardcore gamer if I can’t even play 3D games on a monitor?

    So I gave up on that for now and turned to Ragnarok Odyssey (Vita). Fortunately I have no problem playing 3D on a handheld :) My first character was a Hunter (archer class), but it turns out that this game is severely unbalanced against this class, with the lowest ATK and DEF, having to get close to make arrows deal even half decent damage, and very common traps forcing you in melee range anyway. Pity because archers are my favorite. A second Cleric (tank w/mace) fared a lot better, and I’m now moderately enjoying the game. I say moderately because this game has no leveling system and instead relies, Monster Hunter-style, on gear to make battles survivable. And since equipment is made from random, rare drops, this means you have to repeat the same missions over and over and over again to get the stuff necessary to survive the next progress-stopping boss battle. I like action-RPG/hack&slash games, but the lack of diversity in environments and over-reliance on rare drops is taxing.

    1. Phantasy Star Zero on DS feels a lot like a portable PSO, if you ever care to try it. PSO was too grindy for my tastes, but I beat Zero over a long weekend and thought it was pretty enjoyable.

      1. I own Phantasy Star 0 and have played it with all three races. I wasn’t trying to play PSO for the gameplay; I know it’s pretty old and limited. I just wanted to experience the story.

  3. Mostly I’ve been playing Final Fantasy Dimensions, where I’m in the fourth chapter (of four) and, from checking the Table of Contents of a walkthrough just to gauge progress, I seem to be about to hit the “okay, now go sidequest and final dungeon” part, so I should be able to finish it soon. I’ve put in a solid 44 hours according to the game clock; this is definitely a full-length game, never mind that it’s mobile. It’s got a fascinating blend of callbacks, nostalgia, and original stuff. (for FF values of ‘original’) I also love that while romances have been hinted at, so far they’re only hints and the female characters act on their own initiative (though my now-favourite took a while to get going.)

    I’ve also been working on Chrono Cross, wherein I have beaten four (of six) of the dragons. I finally gave up on stealing the Red Plate after five efforts that failed, because I was sick of resetting or running away.

    On the PC (or Mac) front, I’ve been playing Fishdom 2 Premium, which is a match-three in which you earn money to build pretty fish tanks. It’s incredibly relaxing if you turn off the timer.

  4. Mostly been playing lots and lots of Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams, with some Harvest Moon: A New Beginning. Been thinking of restarting New Little King’s Story, getting back into Dark Souls and/or Atelier Rorona, and trying out Knightage.

    1. How is Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams? Is the platforming very hard, or could someone who’s really bad at that play and enjoy it as well?

      1. It’s extremely hard, but in the normal Adventure Mode, the only penalty for death is getting sent back to a checkpoint, so… yeah.

  5. Still in mourning over the loss of Glitch, but finally jumped into Minecraft. I keep getting lost and trying new worlds. Oh, well. It’s fun exploring. I’m thankful for the “Peaceful” option. Can someone recommend a good Minecraft “bible” for the iPad? I find the wiki painfully slow to use.

  6. Started Bioshock and just reached Neptune’s Bounty, it’s a tough choice which powers to keep. The hairs on my arms have stood up a few times, it’s no bedtime story! Saving the little sisters and trying to sneak as much as I can; really enjoying the game it’s just super creepy and probably the scariest game I’ve played so far. For lighter moments, still playing Fez and started Clash of the Titans … and I think I have a Carcasonne addiction.

  7. I finished the first act of Kentucky Route Zero (which was great) and also finished Dear Esther, which was beautiful. :)

    Not sure what I’m moving on to next…..

  8. I played through Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward on the PS Vita. I liked it overall, but there were a few scenes that kind of threw me for a loop when the main character starts making disgusting comments to some of the female characters. Apparently this bit of dialogue is supposed to be funny:

    Sigma: Clover, try pulling that lever.

    Clover: Why do I have to do it?

    Sigma: It might be dangerous. I was hoping you could just wrap your hands around it and give it a good jerk. It is kinda big, but I’m sure you can handle it. Just…be gentle.

    Clover: Uh… This doesn’t seem like appropriate workplace behaviour. You’re kinda grossing me out.

    Sigma: I know you probably still think of yourself as just a girl, but you’ve become a woman some-

    Clover: You’re not making it any better! Why don’t you do it?!

    Sigma: If you can’t take it, then maybe Luna can. Have you done this before? You just start at the base and work your way up, then give it a good tug once you get to the top.

    Luna: …Wh-What?

    Clover: What is wrong with you?! If you’re so desperate to give that lever a good time why don’t you do it yourself! Just leave me and Luna out of your sick fantasies, you creep!

    Sigma: Hmph. Fine. But I won’t like it.

    Clover: Oh…

    Luna: One of the doors opened. Hmm, we might as well go through it.

    Sigma: Maybe we should try flipping it one more time, though… I think you could actually manage with just one hand, Clover. Just do it real fast, it’ll only take one second. Just up and down once…

    Clover: Ugh. You are disgusting.

    I’ve also started Persona 4 Golden.

    1. Yes, that conversation is a bit icky. The one when you escape the elevator at the beginning is also anime-cliché eyerolling. The over-the-top innuendo goes somewhat the other way though when you get to the Golem maintenance bay. Overall, there are some rough spots, but also some hilarious exchanges.

    2. That conversation is so disturbing. I am glad that the female characters were calling him out on it, but I wonder if we (as the player) are supposed to be laughing at them during this. What is the intention behind this scene?

  9. Still playing Trendsetters, though I’ve slowed down on it now that I have all the women’s brands unlocked. I’m still amused by how supportive and openly friendly the characters are– if only the real fashion industry were more like that. What a happy game!

    After reading about it here, I also started Kairo. I’m only on the second building, but so far it’s exactly the kind of puzzle game I like. Sort of like the Myst games, but less obtuse. It’s got a very alien, kind of edging on creepy atmosphere. My SO keeps sliding a chair over to watch (and do a little backseat driving) even though he claims not to like this kind of game. ;)

  10. I’ve been playing mostly FTL. I had a ‘moment’ once. I was fighting a rebel ship – as you so often to – and I’d been using fire bombs to teleport through shields and take out their systems from the inside. This time the fire spread before it could be put out. from the Engines to Weapon and Shield systems. The fire eventually killed them all as they tried to put it out without a functional Med Bay.

    So internal view was replaced by the exterior view. But the ship was still on fire, and not all systems had been destroyed. I had level 3 Sensors, so I could see which systems were on fire and how much damage they had taken and ‘watch’ the fire spread to the Life Support, the Teleporter and the Bridge. Slowly, the fire burned through the ship. With the Life Support gone, the oxygen in she ship started to go and slowly each fire was extinguished.

    This ship was now completely empty, just floating through space. I had incinerated the crew. Spaceships look to be quite cramped as it is, and to have a fire raging through it with the heat and smoke that brings – they must have been terrified.

    Why? Well, because they were the Rebels and I was the Federation. So what? I don’t know who the Rebels or the Federation are or what they stand for. The Federation could be Hitler, Stalin and Pol Potts all rolled into one for all I know. Was I Frodo, taking the One Ring to Mount Doom? Or was I Saren, looking for the Conduit and to exterminate all advanced life?

    I have no idea.

    There was another time when I was fighting over a star, and I had vented most of the ship to prevent fires. The pirate ship I was fighting managed to take out the Life Support and the Door Control. Most of my crew were stuck in their various stations – Weapons, Shields and Bridge. I defeated the pirate and jumped to another beacon, but my Door Control was damaged so I couldn’t close the airlocks, and I couldn’t repair the airlocks because there was no oxygen because the Life Support had been damaged. All I could do was watch my crew slowly suffocate.

    1. Why? Well, because they were the Rebels and I was the Federation. So what? I don’t know who the Rebels or the Federation are or what they stand for. The Federation could be Hitler, Stalin and Pol Potts all rolled into one for all I know. Was I Frodo, taking the One Ring to Mount Doom? Or was I Saren, looking for the Conduit and to exterminate all advanced life?

      Most likely it’s the former. Have you ever noticed that the only time Rebel ships have aliens aboard is when they’re repainted in pirate colors? Or how at least one of the new sector texts for rebel sectors is about how the rebel bases are keeping an eye over all the alien worlds? Or how the Engi are hopeful for a new Federation? How there’s an achievement on the Kestrel for having a diverse crew and on the Fed Cruiser for using one to take blue options (in contrast to the rebels human-only crews)?

      Most of these are subtle but they tend to point the same way.

      1. Every time I have doubts that the Federation in FTL are demonstrably better than the Rebels, I remember all those encounters where some Rebel ship is basically acting like a pirate *in their own sector*, the fact that their emblem is an eagle with a shield (a bird of prey with a persecution complex, surely a sign of a benevolent and caring nation :V), and the time that one captain point blank said that any number of alien lives were worth sacrificing to ensure humans “achieve(d) their full potential”.

  11. Playing a lot of WoW. I recently left my old guild, due to the fact it’s been kind of dead when I’ve been playing. I’m still unguilded, because I want to take my time, shop around, and try to find a really good fit. Weirdly, I’m getting more social activity now then I did when I was IN the guild. I’m deliberately seeking out events and walk-up RP hotspots and actively making new friends and connections as part of the guild hunting process, so I’m actually LESS lonely on my own.

    And I’m feeling… a bit more a part of the world? I suppose? Due to hasty hearth being gone, of all things. The fact that my hearthstone is back to a 30 minute cooldown means I’m a LOT stingier about using it, so I’m making much more use of flight paths and zeppelins.

    I do still WANT to be a part of a guild, but the anxiety I felt about gquitting now seems pretty silly. I’m enjoying my time as a free agent a lot more than I expected to be.

    On my fourth playthrough of Winterstrike. I kiiiiiinda sorta maybe *coughcoughdestroyedtheworldcough* on my first run. A little. So I’m seeing all the ways I can save the world to assuage my guilt.

    1. Haha, I got that ending my first playthrough. Whoops.
      I really love Winterstrike. Possibly more than Fallen London, though it’s (obviously) much smaller in scope. The language and setting are right up my alley.

      1. It’s not our fault! The tropes played against us! (ROT13-ed for spoilers:) Jura rirelbar nebhaq lbh cbvagf ng lbhe nqbenoyr nyvra navzny pbzcnavba bs zlfgrevbhf bevtvaf naq fnlf “Gung perngher vf na NOBZVANGVBA! Vg ZHFG OR QRFGEBLRQ,” lbh’er arire npghnyyl fhccbfrq gb ORYVRIR gurz!

  12. I got DmC yesterday, but haven’t played it yet. I want to play Heavenly Sword and Enslaved first.

    Good news is that I am 75% done with the first Borderlands. I finally feel like I have a feel for the game. Is it wrong that I prefer single player instead of co-op?

    Also, is anyone excited for Aliens: Colonial Marines? I hope you can play as a female. The women in the Alien series have always been bad a**.

  13. After a too short winter break from my more rigid academic responsibilities, I’ve returned to my schedule of working, getting frustrated, and then trying to turn my frustration into energy to tackle Trials Evolution tracks.

  14. I’m playing a lot of Civilization V with a friend of mine. It’s very relaxing nuking people’s cities and stomping them with Giant Death Robots.

  15. I’ve been playing Borderlands 2, having recently finished the first game. I liked the first game a lot, but the second game is really so much better in every way! I love that the game uses non-realistic graphics and how they contrast bright colours (like from the elemental effects) with the rest of the environment/enemies.

    I’m playing as a Mechromancer and really love the character. So good to see more than just one playable female character and her skill trees are really fun! I’m using the middle one mostly, but will probably add some abilities from the “Best Friends Forever”-skill tree later. Gaige’s Deathtrap robot is amazing and great to dispatch when you run out of shields/health since he’ll probably get you 2nd wind immediately (unless it’s a boss fight). Good stuff!

    The story has been good so far, though I’ve some issues with how off-handedly one of the female NPCs from the first game was fridged early on in the game. From what I’ve heard there may be other issues later on in the game, but I’ll hold off my opinion until I’ve seen them in-game.

  16. Has anyone had their Borderlands game save get corroupted? Any fixes? I am so close to finishing the game.

  17. I’m dividing most of my current gametime between Borderlands 2 and The Secret World.

    I’m really impressed with TSW. Not so much with the subpar character creation (I’ve run into so many twins by now), but the game itself is great. Especially Solomon Island tickles my Lovecraft-loving fancy (I’m not sure how well done its portrayal of the local Indian nation is, but it seems okay to me?). Also, I never expected to see so many RPers in this kind of game, but in hindsight, it makes sense that people would find RP in a contemporary setting very attractive.

    I’ve been a Borderlands fan since game 1 and am enjoying game 2 immensely (especially because it gives the first Vault Hunters so much more characterization). However, I just started the newest DLC and the first humanoid enemy I ran into were black men with white skullpaint using machine guns and being called ‘Savage Triggerman’, which was just incredibly gross on so many levels. I’m not sure I can stomach continuing.

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