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Where have I been? Summer 2012 Edition

Summer was an ugly dry-spell for gaming as my interests are highly focused.  I played a significant amount of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning after the parent studio closed shop.  It was in the news, you can google the closure and read all about it.

I saw the closure as an opportunity to strike early and fast.  And so I bought a copy of KoA: Reckoning at barely under release price new.  I bought all of the extra quest DLC, hoping to avoid any future cutoff on account of the studio closure.

And then I played for nearly a week straight.  My girlfriend went out of town to visit family and so I spent more time focused on it than I might have normally.  Anyone who liked Fable but had some second thoughts I will heartily recommend to this game.  It’s great, it’s that single person quest game in a style similar to Fable but without some of the naggling mechanical breakdowns.  And sweet mother of god.. it’s long.  40 odd hours in and i’m only maybe 2/3 through the main plot and some of the side quests.  I wholly expect another 10 or more hours out of clearing all the major milestones.  This is a great game with crafting, questing and boss-style fights.  An Xbox exclusive, definitely worth checking out.

Late August saw the release of Guild Wars 2 which I already talked about.  I’ll just take this time to say it’s worth it.  If you like MMO’s, are tired of the classic quest grind but still want that fantasy ‘save the world’ experience, then this is for you.  I’ve invited a number of my friends to play and all my mmo-centric fans are enjoying it.  It’s a highly social game, rewarding you for helping players from a defeated state and for assisting them in combat.  Nobody’s penalized for partying, no xp share fractionalization for joining up with your four chums.  I’m still up to my eyeballs in thrill for the game even after three weeks of exposure.

Mid September saw the release of Borderlands 2 which is challenging FTL for what scraps of attention Guild Wars 2 is leaving behind.  Borderlands 2 is a FPSRPG.  That is, you shoot guns and do quests and get xp from the First-Person perspective.  And boy howdy does it have guns.  The first game had a randomization system proving that no two guns will ever be exactly the same.  Story tells that the sequel only does it better with refinements to this and other systems streamlining an otherwise well-structured system.  More of the adolescent humor dotted with quality plot development. This is the B-Movie Action Flick you’re going to go see with your friends even though you know it’s just going to have big muscles, guns and explosions.  You know what you’re getting in Borderlands 2 and dammit, I want to play.  But I’m holding out, Borderlands 2 is a co-op game and there’s no good reason to play alone if you don’t have to.

FTL is a space strategy game in the likeness of Rogue and Rogue-clones.  You have a ship, a crew and a series of random events based on where you send your ship.  At a measly 10 bucks I tried it out on a whim since I passed on the Kickstarter they ran several months ago.  I’m amazed and pleased.  Simple gameplay with a structured plot you can replay to experience random events every time.  A game I can pick up for five minutes and not spend 2 1/2 minutes just loading.  More of an rpg than really a space game, your crew gains xp, fights off boarding pirates and aliens and douses fires when necessary.  I recommend checking youtube as the screenshots don’t really do it justice.  And for my strategy/rpg fans surely you should give this an extra close look.

And that, was Summer 2012.  If nothing catches up to me in the interim, we’ll be talking again near the end of Fall.