Weekend Recap: Legos, Steam, Valiant Hearts

Between the craziness of my day job, the baby, and the World Cup, I’m somewhat surprised I was able to fit in any game time at all last week.  As it is, I didn’t do all that much, and what I did wasn’t particularly fulfilling.

I did finish The Lego Movie Game.  I’d have liked to keep playing it and try to get 100%, but there are some near-game-breaking bugs that make it a lot more difficult (and a lot less enjoyable).  The game came out early this year alongside the movie, if I recall correctly, and I must say that I’m awfully surprised that some of these bugs haven’t been addressed in the meantime.  No game is ever bug free, of course, but some of these are pretty hard to miss.  Case in point:  the very first hub world, Bricksburg?  If one of my characters got in a car, they were stuck inside there forever.  Another case in point – the bonus level that unlocks after you finish the game?  In order to get the 10th golden brick, you must get 1,000,000 studs without any multipliers.  I got more than 1,000,000 studs without any multipliers and the golden brick never appeared.  So.  Whatever.  I had fun with it, as I tend to do with all Lego games, but it’s also in rather shoddy shape.

I suppose the stress from work ended up influencing my Steam Sale binging.  I’d laid out some easy to follow ground rules before it started; I’d only get stuff from my wishlist, and only if it was at least 50% off.  Still, I didn’t mean to get as much as I did, and although I’m still pretty sure I never spent more than $10 on any one thing, I still ended up with more than I expected.

The grand haul (I think I mentioned the first 4 pickups last week):

  1. Baldur’s Gate II (Enhanced Edition)
  2. Jade Empire
  3. Sudeki
  4. Vertiginous Golf
  5. The Banner Saga
  6. Resident Evil 4 HD
  7. Resident Evil 6
  8. Goat Simulator
  9. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (Complete)
  10. Memoria
  11. Typing of the Dead (Deluxe)
  12. Spacebase DF-9
  13. A Story About My Uncle
  14. Escape Goat 2

Of the last 10, I dabbled in a few.

The Banner Saga is a turn-based strategy RPG, reminding me of Fire Emblem but subtracting the cute anime and replacing it with downtrodden misery.  I’d read really interesting things about it when it came out earlier this year, which is why I picked it up; I’m just really terrible at those sorts of games, though.  And now it looks like it’s coming to iPad?  Shit.

I picked up Resident Evil 6 primarily because I wanted to play the Ada Wong chapter, which had still been locked away when I’d tried playing the game on the 360; shortly after I sent the game back to Gamefly, Capcom announced they were patching the game and unlocking all chapters from the get-go.  I’m not sure that patching the game will fix what was wrong with it, but I’d heard that the Ada chapter was by far the best one, so I’ll get around to it when I can.

Goat Simulator is delightfully silly and goofy and stupid and exactly what I needed when I picked it up.

I’d already played the hell out of Kingdoms of Amalur, and there were still hundreds of side quests I’d never gotten around to.  Obviously I can’t import my 360 save file, but I still remember liking it quite a bit.  It runs a little janky on my PC, though; might have to tinker with some settings.

Typing of the Dead is probably my big winner of the haul.  I’d played the Wii version with my wife a million years ago, and while we didn’t get that far we did appreciate the over-the-top grindhouse/schlock-horror insanity.  This tone is multiplied exponentially for the better when you replace shooting with typing.  And I am a very good typist.

Finally, I played the first few levels of Escape Goat 2, and it’s a really smart and interesting puzzle platformer, and I have a rather nice appetite for those sorts of experiences.

This week I’m hoping to take a look at A Story About My Uncle.  Patrick Klepek put up a video essay on it last week that more or less sold me in 5 minutes.

Also this week – I hope to spend some more time with Valiant Hearts, which I picked up for the PS4.  It’s using that gorgeous UbiArt engine (the one that the recent 2D Rayman games and Child of Light use), and it’s set in WW1 and is very, very dark in tone; but the gameplay is also a little goofy?  Or silly?  It feels somewhat at odds with the story they’re trying to tell.

I’m pretty sure I’ve played more Ubisoft games this year than I can count.  And I’m sure I’ll be picking up ACU in the fall.

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