Prep for E3, followed by E3, followed by recovering from post E3 trip left me a little drained. But hey, always time for the 500 games you said you would play, right?
What is it about late spring/early summer that puts me in the mood to play every single game that crosses my desk? I mean, it’s a cavalcade of riches right now and I have to find time to play them all because this, if not my job anymore, is who I am.
Gratuitous Tank Battles: Despite the title, it isn’t a lot like its brilliant cousin Gratuitous Space Battles. I’ve already dabbled with this tower defense/offense game from Positech, and I’ll write more about it soon. There are a lot of tower defense games out there, and it’s hard to make a really fresh impression. I like a lot of what is going on in GTB, but have some reservations about others – some related to the genre, some to the presentation. Expect a blog by Thursday.
Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion: There will be a podcast about this game, and I am sure it will be glowing. The more I play and think about SoaSE, the more I am convinced it is the best harvesting RTS since Rise of Nations, but it also moves in a very unique space because of its glacial speed. There aren’t many ‘mine and murder’ RTSes that evoke the word ‘majesty’ – maybe Total Annihilation/Supreme Commander – but it’s really the only word that sums up Sins easily. This expansion changes a lot of stuff that I am still getting a grip on from reading reviews and documentation. But I will be playing it a lot very soon.
Civilization V: Gods and Kings: This downloaded over night and I’ve been waiting for this day to end so I can play it. Reviews have been mostly glowing, but we all know Civ 5 had some AI issues on release, and adding two new systems (religion and espionage) as well as changing some mini-systems (new units, melee naval combat, naval stacking) could push the computer opponents pretty hard – and just when patches had made the AI not pathetic. But I won’t lie. I am really excited to be playing this tonight. Maria Theresa in the house! And yeah, expect a podcast and a year’s worth of posts.
Autumn Dynasty: What a strangely beautiful RTS for my iPad. The story is blah blah blah, and there is a slight puzzle thing going on in the game itself. But it looks really nice, I like the sound and the movement of units can be a thing of beauty when you swing your cavalry behind an archer or ambush from the forest. I will write about this one soon, too.
Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear: Frankly, they should do away with the main title and just call this Awakening the Bear. Downloaded, installed and ready to go. Bruce seems to like it, Rob is on the bubble. Tiebreaker!
Pokemon Conquest: Remember Nobunaga’s Ambition from the early days of strategy gaming? Now it’s back and it has Pokemons in it. This came out yesterday for the DS/3DS and I am actually kind of curious about it. Now, most of what I know about Sengoku Japan is based on a survey of the main leaders and events, plus a healthy dose of games about the era. I need to read more. The very smart Matthew Burns told me last night that the match ups between the Pokemons and the historical characters are quite appropriate given the popular cultural roles these heroes and warlords have taken on in Japanese historical fiction. So that will be cool. (I know nothing about Pokemons. But I will show you them. Later.)
Plus video stuff and X-Com and God knows what else for the evenings and weekend. When I was a writer, I’d stare at a list like this and smile at the bounty. Now I look at it and a little bit of fear creeps in.
I need longer nights and shorter mornings.
(Oh, and congrats to Tom Chick and Bruce Geryk for hitting their Kickstarter target. Still a week left to help them meet their next goal!)