Flash of Steel header image 2

The Week I Play Everything

June 19th, 2012 by Troy Goodfellow · 8 Comments · Blogs, Me

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!)


8 Comments so far ↓

  • Procyon Lotor

    Nobunaga’s Ambition? You just made my day! I can’t believe you referenced that game. That was my first strategy game EVER. In my mind I can still hear all of the 8-bit songs . . .

  • Shahab

    I don’t want to go the other website to make comments about your podcasts. Can’t you leave the comments open here so we can post here or there? Obviously it is as easy as flipping a switch.

    Or is it a matter of generating revenue through ad views?

  • Shahab

    I am not saying that would be a bad thing but I feel like smaller guys like you are the first people who would be honest about it, rather than hiding those reasons from the community like EA would do.

  • Troy Goodfellow

    Hey Shahab:

    It has nothing to do with ad revenue at all. I have ads here.

    The thinking is that I would like to promote a single place for discussion for readers and listeners and hopefully build a larger community. If I see comment numbers drop through the floor, then I’ll reconsider. But since we are part of the IT network, I’d love to take advantage of their forums to get people playing games together, talking about strategy games that we don’t mention on the podcast and forums have the great advantage of enabling conversation with quote tags and a lot of the HTML stuff built in.

    I am sorry if that means you won’t be commenting in the near future, and I understand that some people won’t like going to the forum. But it’s something I want to try.

    Yes, I can easily throw a switch and turn comments on and off.

  • ShadowTiger

    I think its a good idea for all the comments to be in one place so that the conversations don’t get fragmented or repeat the same ideas.

  • Vinraith

    I’ve read some mixed things about the state of Rebellion’s balance, AI, and overall stability. I’m sure the podcast will get into all that, but intial impressions from a reliable source are always nice to have.

  • Shahab

    Thanks for letting us know the why. I don’t feel the same connection to the IT page as I do to this site so I am less inclined to go there and post.

    Either way I still love the podcast and Flash of Steel.

    Whatever happened to the technology article series?

  • Peter S

    #1 (Procyon Lotor): “Nobunaga’s Ambition? You just made my day! I can’t believe you referenced that game. That was my first strategy game EVER. In my mind I can still hear all of the 8-bit songs . . .”

    Fun fact about Nobunaga’s Ambition/Romance of the Three Kingdoms: the music for ROTK 1 and NA2 was composed by Yoko Kanno, aka the most talented composer in anime. She seems to have largely quit composing for video games in the 90s, which was gaming’s loss but the anime industry’s gain (Cowboy Bebop, Escaflowne, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex…).

    It’s a small world we live in!