I have been warped. Things about me have changed. There are certain pursuits that I no longer enjoy because of other things I have been exposed to. Dark souls is the culprit of one of these things. I am, at long last, playing the capstone of the trilogy, and it is reminding me of things I once thought were fun, but no longer are.

 

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I’ve taken a short break (about 3-5 weeks) from my D&D articles, and I’m going to write a few thoughts about the games I’ve played so far this year. I don’t think its going to be anything groundbreaking or amazing, but it’ll be fun. Follow me now into the first of the series: Thea: The Awakening. This game, something that will have been our for 2 years this November, is easily among the favorites I’ve ever played. It took me a little bit of time to figure out why, but man, I am hooked. 

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Some times, It takes me a long time to get around to a video game, and then finish it. I grabbed Dark Souls way after release. Valkyria Chronicles took years to beat. I’m still looking with longing at Thea: The Awakening.

Thus is is with Assassins Creed: Black Flag.

Now, I don’t play stealth games. Never really have. I made it approximately 20 minutes of gameplay into Metal Gear Solid (yes, the first one) before I gave up. Assassins Creed, however, had a certain appeal to it. Not one would break the hesitation, mind you, but something that made me think that if I gave it long enough, one might come around that I did want to play. Some three years ago, they did.

Assassins Creed: Black Flag was just the right angle to get me intrigued. Age of Sail Naval battles have fascinated me for a while now, and this gave me the opportunity to jump in and maybe be a pirate during that time for a little while. Its not going to be historically accurate, but it’ll be interesting to see the setting, explore their version of the world, and maybe get some good hooks that pique my interest to go look further into the time period and the history – Much like Vikings, Amon Amarth and Dynasty Warriors had all done in their time. What did I think about the first few hours? Come with me and we’ll take a peak!

As always, spoilers about this game. It is, by now near 3 years old, but.. caution. 

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Tuesday, I was so excited about finishing an amazing game that I might have gone a bit off the rails. I don’t know that I made a cohesive whole out of my experince with the game, and instead spent a lot of words speaking only about the mechanics and portions of cool behind the game, instead of trying to really express my joy with it.

I’m going to try again. Cryx can take a rest for a little bit. its been in the spotlight long enough.

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Well, Its been a long time since I’ve talked about anything other than Cryx and Warmachine here. I figured, with me finally, after almost 7 years of on and off play, beating Valkyria Chronicles, it would be a good break to talk about something different.

Released in 2008, Valkyria Chronicles is the first in a series of turn based strategy games released by Sega set in an eerily similar world to ours in early WWII.  Its 1935, and the Empire is at war with the Atlantic Alliance.

Gallia, highlighted in blue, is where all the action takes place. A Small and neutral country, but rich in the fuel stores of this world, it is invaded by the Imperial alliance. You follow along as Welkin Gunther, son of the famous General Gunther of the First Eurpoan war and co-creator of the Edelweiss, a tank extremely ahead of its time with many,  leads Squad 7 of the Gallian Militia on increasingly dangerous missions.

Spoilers follow, so if you want to play blind, stop here. Otherwise, both mechanical and Storyline spoilers abound.

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On the top of the attributes that makes XCOM the pinnacle of my gaming joy, is its unforgiving, relentless, mercilessness. Those who have been reading a bit will get this as a simple truism about how my gaming career went, but games like Megaman, Dark Souls, and XCOM are exactly where I like the punishment scale to lie – maybe a little rough. I say that as I head into starting my seventh C/I Game in XCOM2, still playing a month after purchase, give or take a few days. I have yet to see the end of the game and it has been glorious!

And I am learning, becoming more deadly and more confident each time. Each game I start and play to the end I absorb a little more, I see more cracks appear in the alien infrastructure. It may not be this day, It may not be this week, but the aliens, their days are numbered.

Warning – Extremely Likely Spoiler Content

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Its not often that I feel like the game is starting to favor me, and each time It does, I get gently smashed into bits for my arrogance. Its starting to come back to me, though, and I can only guess the retribution that will be laid upon me. I’ve made it into May. My operatives have new weapons, new armors, and powerful technology. I have a core of experienced soldiers who are gritty, dirty and veterans of a half dozen or more combats.The Avenger is becoming a flying fortress, equipped with the strongest facilities that enable a lively resistance.

As I said before, though, I fear it will not be enough.

As always: Likely spoilers ahead, though I am not far into the story, there are many game play options explored. 

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This second go-round in XCOM 2 is progressing remarkably better.  I have no faith that I will be able to beat my second run, because the game can’t be that easy, but during this session I am making better choices, building a better Avenger than last go round and taking down enemies more efficiently in missions.  More than anything, though, I am learning how the game actually functions and how to set op the game for the results I need, especially with the Tactical Missions.

Remember – Gamplay and a few story spoilers beyond the break

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I’ve not talked about it much, but there is another massive drain on my free time. on that has been the boogyman to my Fallout gameplay, my hobby time and my sleep for a long while now. Its also going to be one of the few games I ever break my rules with.

Because its XCOM, and there is little like it in the world of video games.

*there are possible Story and Mechanic spoilers. You are warned. I will not mention it again this article* 

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