August 12 – August 18

It took me a long time to get on board with the "Grand Strategy Game" genre, that has been essentially created and fostered exclusively by developer and publisher Paradox Interactive. To be fair, it's not exactly been an easy barrier to punch through. To start a game like Hearts of Iron, Victoria or Europa Universalis for the first time has historically been to look into the heart of the abyss and see the open maw of eternity in the obsidian black.

Let's just say that these games can seem pretty complicated.

To be fair, Paradox has gotten better about this, and the recent Crusader Kings II, which I've come to adore, retains every inch of depth while doing an admirable job of presenting itself in a more approachable way. It's no surprise to me, having played the game a reasonable amount of time, that CKII has taken up a position as a sort of gateway into the languages and dialects you will need to be able to play something like Europa Universalis. Having watched an outstanding series of Let's Play videos from user Quill18 — the videos can be found here — I find myself hopeful that EUIV is carrying on that trend of being both extraordinarily deep without immediately running new players off.

I love the core concept of these games. They fit nicely into a surging niche we've talked about before, one where players are given extraordinary tools to play in a virtual environment without clear, preconceived goals. Giving you all of the Early Modern world as your playground to rewrite history, EUIV is my pick for game of the week.

Which, by the way, was a harder pick than I might have expected for a mid-August Week Ahead. There's a lot of stuff that's sort of snuck up on us, or at least on me. Not the least of which being the cornerstone of Disney's new videogame strategy, Disney Infinity, which can be found on pretty much everything that's not the PC. Along with Infinity, the oddly hyped Duck Tales (which I'm pretty sure everyone is excited about primarily because the Duck Tales theme song was so cool), also hits this week.

On a more violent note, a PC version of Space Hulk, which I must admit is at least intriguing, comes to a download near everyone, and Payday 2 has sort of come out of nowhere to be something it seems like people are interested in.

Finally, if I could travel back in time and make myself pick Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons as last week's game of the week, I would do so. The XBLA game skyrocketed in the span of two days from a game I knew nothing about to a Game of the Year contender in my book.

PC
- DuckTales: Remastered (download - $15)
- Europa Universalis IV
- Gone Home (download - $20)
- Hammerwatch (download)
- Payday 2 (download - $30)
- Postmortem (download - free)
- Space Hulk (download - $30)
- Unholy Heights (download - $4)
- Worms Clan Wars (download - $25)

Xbox 360
- Charlie Murder (XBLA - $10)
- Disney Infinity
- Payday 2
- Phineas and Ferb: Quest for Cool Stuff

PS3
- Disney Infinity
- DuckTales: Remastered (PSN)
- Mars: War Logs (PSN)
- Payday 2
- Thunder Wolves (PSN)

Wii U
- Angry Birds Trilogy
- Disney Infinity
- DuckTales: Remastered (eShop)
- Phineas and Ferb: Quest for Cool Stuff

Wii
- Angry Birds Trilogy
- Disney Infinity
- Phineas and Ferb: Quest for Cool Stuff

3DS
- Disney Infinity
- Donkey Kong (eShop - $5)
- Heavy Fire: Black Arms 3D (eShop - $5)
- Phineas and Ferb: Quest for Cool Stuff

DS
- Phineas and Ferb: Quest for Cool Stuff

Comments

I'm curious to hear impressions of Space Hulk. This was a "wait and see" title for me.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
Along with Infinity, the oddly hyped Duck Tales, which I'm pretty sure everyone is excited about primarily because the Duck Tales theme song was so cool, also hits this week.

People are excited because Duck Tales was one of the best-regarded platformers of the 8-bit era, and the remake seems to be a lovingly produced HD version from a studio well-suited to that kind of thing. WayForward has built their reputation on classically designed platformers that use hand-drawn sprite assets. They were the studio responsible for the gorgeous Wii remake of A Boy and His Blob, for example.

It's one of those rare times when a beloved video game is getting updated for modern platforms in a way that seems to be respectful of the original rather than being a cash grab that disregards what drew players in to begin with.

Sure, but the music for that moon level was pretty sweet, too.

Still playing Pikmin 3 and then back to SMT IV. Nothing for me this week it looks although I'm sure I'll be seeing/hearing plenty of Ducktales and Mario & Luigi Dream Team.

Wembley wrote:

Sure, but the music for that moon level was pretty sweet, too.

Scrooge McDuck, you're on the moon!

EDIT: Don't feel too bad about Brothers, Sean. Apparently a bunch of the games press were completely caught off-guard by it as there's been next to no promotion of the title. Maybe when the PC version arrives you can make that the Pick of the Week?

It looks like August is Downloadables month. I'm curious about Space Hulk, but I want to get both Brothers and Charlie Murder on Xbox Live. I just need to find my damned flash drive so I have space on my 360 for them.

Along with Infinity, the oddly hyped Duck Tales, which I'm pretty sure everyone is excited about primarily because the Duck Tales theme song was so cool, also hits this week.

People are excited because Duck Tales was one of the best-regarded platformers of the 8-bit era, and the remake seems to be a lovingly produced HD version from a studio well-suited to that kind of thing. WayForward has built their reputation on classically designed platformers that use hand-drawn sprite assets. They were the studio responsible for the gorgeous Wii remake of A Boy and His Blob, for example.

It's one of those rare times when a beloved video game is getting updated for modern platforms in a way that seems to be respectful of the original rather than being a cash grab that disregards what drew players in to begin with.

Spoiler:

I have been informed that this post makes me look like a plant. I am not affiliated with WayForward Technologies or Capcom and have received no compensation for this post. This post is not valid for a refund except were required by law. Void where prohibited. See store for details.

stevenmack wrote:

Stay a while and listen...

Already got Space Hulk and Duck Tales (never played the original) ready to download but I'm REALLY intrigued to see Gone Home.

Everyone's favorite jam:

ClockworkHouse wrote:
Spoiler:

I have been informed that this post makes me look like a plant. I am not affiliated with WayForward Technologies or Capcom and have received no compensation for this post. This post is not valid for a refund except were required by law. Void where prohibited. See store for details.

Spoiler:

But will your post cause erectile disfunction? Can I read it if I'm pregnant? Must I consult a doctor if I've been allergic to your posts in the past?

What, no Vita section?

On PSN there's 4 new Vita games out.

Open Me!
Fruit Ninja
BreakQuest: Extra Evolution
A-Men

Apparently Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is coming to Steam Aug 28. So not that long to wait if it's that good.

I have bought every EU along with all the expansions/DLC each time hoping that *this* time will be the charm. Never has been. No quite sure why as it ticks all the right boxes for me.

I have no doubt that I'll do the same with this version as well. If anybody can suggest a good country/time to start with as a novice, please do.

Also count me in as one of the looky-loos for Space Hulk. I remember playing (and enjoying) the original board game way, way, way back.

Well, it's DuckTales and Charlie Murder for me... trying my best to keep away from Disney Infinity, though I cannot say for how long I can hold out.

My first playthrough of EUIII was massive and I loved it. Since then every attempt to start another game has ended in me getting bored or giving up after a few hours. For some reason I just haven't been able to get back into it. Hopefully EUIV will change that but I might wait a month or two first to hear what others say first.

crimsonbinome22 wrote:

My first playthrough of EUIII was massive and I loved it. Since then every attempt to start another game has ended in me getting bored or giving up after a few hours. For some reason I just haven't been able to get back into it. Hopefully EUIV will change that but I might wait a month or two first to hear what others say first.

Play the demo. Preorder it. Profit!

Dont remember when was the last time I preordered a PC game(or any kind of game), but could not resist after mavericks posted a 25% deal on Ducktales and hearing the song.... bet you can't either... (dont know if the deal is still active on GreenMan Gaming-activates on Steam).

Moggy, follow the EUIV thread and we'll be happy to guide you over the threshold. We've helped many people become... experienced... in the ways of Paradox, and after you spend a relaxing evening in your smoking jacket with the PC and a glass of Madeira and... us... You'll find yourself initiated gently into the world of adult strategy gaming.

We're such givers...

Yessssss.

Robear wrote:

Moggy, follow the EUIV thread and we'll be happy to guide you over the threshold. We've helped many people become... experienced... in the ways of Paradox, and after you spend a relaxing evening in your smoking jacket with the PC and a glass of Madeira and... us... You'll find yourself initiated gently into the world of adult strategy gaming.

We're such givers...

It's not like I'm a novice when it comes to "adult strategy gaming" - I've been playing them since the old SPI days. That being said, EU tickled my fancy but then never managed to scracth the itch.

OK. "Favoriting" the thread. "Once more unto the breach..."

No mention of Dishonored: The Brigmore Witches being out today? Or do we not mention DLC?

tanstaafl wrote:

No mention of Dishonored: The Brigmore Witches being out today? Or do we not mention DLC?

Generally not. If someone wants to put in the time to track all that for us, then they're more than welcome.

Totally missed that Gone Home is coming out. I expect great things.

Space Hulk released today. I'm definitely going to have to check that out.