Forget Flowers, Give the Gift of Pile

Well, Dawn of War II and Chaos Rising are done.

The last mission of Chaos Rising was a pain, but that's mostly because I missed the last boss with both of my orbital bombardments, and had to play the "attack a little bit, retreat, come back and attack some more" game. Eventually, I wore him down, but man, did that take a long time. The last mission clocked in at 72 minutes, and that was my second attempt.

I'm tempted to add Crysis for this month, but I'm going to see how much I play today before committing.

Having trouble with CivCity: Rome. Initially, it had a lot of similarities to Caesar IV. As the game progressed though, I keep running into frustration with the housing upgrades and their importance in achieving mission objectives.

At first it is very easy to get houses upgraded. Some meat, well water, tunics. Each mission adds new building types and it gets tricky to plan city layouts that make all of those resources available to your residences, because each are vital to get houses to upgrade. What's worse is that the same city will span 2 or 3 missions, so as new building types are added, you have to figure out a way to incorporate them into your existing city layout.

And then you get the situation where a house needs something (like a visit to a Bathhouse) in order to upgrade, but the residents simply won't go. Or you have a lot of an item (like olive oil) that accumulates in 1 warehouse/granary, and you have to play a game of Twister in order to spread the resources evenly across your city.

I didn't announce it earlier, but I just finished LittleBigPlanet. I wasn't terribly impressed frankly. I like what they were trying to do (the art style is charming as hell, among other things), but actually playing it felt like a chore in some spots. It wouldn't have been so bad if they hadn't implemented a lives system. There are too many cheap spots, the platforming isn't good enough to support it, and it is an outmoded game mechanic anyway. Decent game, but I am no longer much interested in the sequel.

Put me down for Just Cause 2. What a awesome game, just plain F.U.N.

Progress has been slow, buy steady on Overlord II and X-men Origins: Wolverine. I doubt I'll finish before the end of the month, but I have been making progress, which is the important part. Just so everyone knows, my big distraction for the last 3 weeks has been mostly this:

IMAGE(http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad227/mrtomaytohead/subssidebyside.jpg)

It's a subwoofer box for the living room- which will actually be a first for me, and I'm honestly worried it's too big for my space. Mine is on the left, and measures at 36"x36"x24.5" (6" less than the one on the right for my buddy).

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is done and dusted.

A few quick thoughts about it:

* The re-imagining of the 1500's story was fantastic. Although it did not remain as true to the story as many purists would have liked it captured much of the essence of the story (imo).

* Monkey and Trip were really fun characters to spend 7-10 hours with. Pigsy too had some hilarious dialogue, especially the scene where all the are crammed into a tight space ;p

* The ending went somewhere I did not expect it to. Whilst not the most original ending in history, it certainly deviated from where I feared it would. Also, it gave enough closure that it didn't feel like it was meant to leave you hanging for a sequel. There is a LOT of room for a sequel or spin off but if they don't eventuate then I won't feel cheated out of an ending.

* The combat is a bit clunky. It was the worst part of an otherwise polished game. The story, platforming and puzzle solving was great. In fact I would like to highlight the puzzles in this game, at no point were they so obtuse or confusing that I felt stupid. If at any stage I was confused it was my own doing NOT the game being overly complex.

* This game was for me almost perfect length at about 7-10 hours. The pacing of a chapter per half hour was spot on and at no point did it feel like I was in "filler" content to pad out the hours.

Highly recommended.

ps - how come I am marked in red against Mirror's Edge? Did I do a bad?

Wuppie wrote:

ps - how come I am marked in red against Mirror's Edge? Did I do a bad?

I'm guessing it's this:

Wuppie wrote:

So I have finished Mirror's Edge. I unfortunately had to succumb to using YouTube just to get it over and done with.

Hemidal's probably taking that as you didn't finish the game, so much as looked at the last few bits on YouTube. That counts as having "giving up" on the game/not played through to completion, I guess. I think that's what he usually does when someone declares they're giving up/not going back to it/done with it but haven't seen the end-credits.

So, a technical foul, maybe?

Glad to hear good things about Enslaved. I've been sans 360 since the middle of the month, but I succumbed to the lull of a Slim today, so I may be able to get that one done this weekend. I'm at Chapter 3, so I imagine it's about seven-odd hours left...?

RSPaulette wrote:
Wuppie wrote:

ps - how come I am marked in red against Mirror's Edge? Did I do a bad?

I'm guessing it's this:

Wuppie wrote:

So I have finished Mirror's Edge. I unfortunately had to succumb to using YouTube just to get it over and done with.

My bad, what i meant was that I finished Mirror's Edge and succumbed to using youtube for a few of the bits where I got lost or cbf thinking too hard.

RSPaulette wrote:

So, a technical foul, maybe?

So, I'm an Aussie and I have nfi what a technical foul is? Baseball I would guess?

RSPaulette wrote:

Glad to hear good things about Enslaved. I've been sans 360 since the middle of the month, but I succumbed to the lull of a Slim today, so I may be able to get that one done this weekend. I'm at Chapter 3, so I imagine it's about seven-odd hours left...?

Give or take a bit. For memory each chapter averaged around 30mins, with some lasting 15mins, others 45. The last chapter is just epilogue so you are about a quarter of the way through it.

Wuppie wrote:

My bad, what i meant was that I finished Mirror's Edge and succumbed to using youtube for a few of the bits where I got lost or cbf thinking too hard.

I'm sure Hemi'll update it as appropriate.

Wuppie wrote:
RSPaulette wrote:

So, a technical foul, maybe?

So, I'm an Aussie and I have nfi what a technical foul is? Baseball I would guess?

Well, I'm an effete English/Drama teacher, so I think it's football...

Wuppie wrote:

Give or take a bit. For memory each chapter averaged around 30mins, with some lasting 15mins, others 45. The last chapter is just epilogue so you are about a quarter of the way through it.

Right on. It's funny because I had remembered, dimly, to have the game on my radar, and it wasn't until I played the demo back in December -- super-impressed by it, too -- that I looked into it again and saw Alex Garland's involvement -- a favorite writer of mine, too.

Been nothing but pleased as I've fiddled/made-progress-by-inches since buying it around the New Year.

Wuppie wrote:
RSPaulette wrote:

So, a technical foul, maybe?

So, I'm an Aussie and I have nfi what a technical foul is? Baseball I would guess?

It's kind of like hands in the ruck.

Oh wait, you're an Aussie, probably don't follow Union either.

MrDeVil909 wrote:
Wuppie wrote:
RSPaulette wrote:

So, a technical foul, maybe?

So, I'm an Aussie and I have nfi what a technical foul is? Baseball I would guess?

It's kind of like hands in the ruck.

Oh wait, you're an Aussie, probably don't follow Union either. ;)

Union vs League is a whole other bag of chickens.

Technical foul - closest I can think of is the awarded free kick and 50m if they stuff up the interchange.

m0nk3yboy wrote:
MrDeVil909 wrote:
Wuppie wrote:
RSPaulette wrote:

So, a technical foul, maybe?

So, I'm an Aussie and I have nfi what a technical foul is? Baseball I would guess?

It's kind of like hands in the ruck.

Oh wait, you're an Aussie, probably don't follow Union either. ;)

Union vs League is a whole other bag of chickens.

Technical foul - closest I can think of is the awarded free kick and 50m if they stuff up the interchange.

Only sports I follow are Tennis, Formula 1, Cricket and a little bit of AFL (I support Melbourne and am the cliche of a Demons supporter!)

Here's an example of a technical foul.

I did take it as giving up on Mirror's Edge, Wuppie. I've corrected the original post.

Looks like I'll be going to the wire with Uncharted. The fact that I'm not allowed to play without my wife watching AND the fact that the game gives her motion sickness after about an hour has really limited my progress. I'm on chapter 13 (of 22) so there's still a chance that I can beat it by the end of next Monday. We'll see.

Just finished up Mass Effect 2...absolutely awesome game. The time (30-ish) hours flew by and I loved virtually every minute of it. Can't wait till part 3.... Importantly, this also brings my console game backlog down to 3 games (FF13, Valkyria Chronicles, and Red Dead Redemption). I don't count non-story games (fighting games, etc), and I've got a few on DS, but those take a back seat because I really only play the DS on trips and they don't really take up shelf space.

Next up, Red Dead, with FF13 playing rhythm guitar off to the side by getting a little play here and there.

To my surprise, I finished CivCity: Rome, both the civilian and military campaigns. As city builders go, it's nothing all that special, but I kept having fun, so I kept playing it. I found it a little more chaotic than Caesar IV, which honestly made it a little more interesting to me. It's still not as good as something like Children of the Nile in my book, but still enjoyable. And honestly, CotN felt a bit more like a job, for all that I loved it.

Poppinfresh wrote:

To my surprise, I finished CivCity: Rome, both the civilian and military campaigns. As city builders go, it's nothing all that special, but I kept having fun, so I kept playing it. I found it a little more chaotic than Caesar IV, which honestly made it a little more interesting to me. It's still not as good as something like Children of the Nile in my book, but still enjoyable. And honestly, CotN felt a bit more like a job, for all that I loved it.

Any tips for getting my houses to upgrade to their full potential? Doing so has been an objective of every civilian mission I've played so far.

Quintin_Stone wrote:
Poppinfresh wrote:

To my surprise, I finished CivCity: Rome, both the civilian and military campaigns. As city builders go, it's nothing all that special, but I kept having fun, so I kept playing it. I found it a little more chaotic than Caesar IV, which honestly made it a little more interesting to me. It's still not as good as something like Children of the Nile in my book, but still enjoyable. And honestly, CotN felt a bit more like a job, for all that I loved it.

Any tips for getting my houses to upgrade to their full potential? Doing so has been an objective of every civilian mission I've played so far.

Sure. If you click on a house, on the right it tells you what they have, and on the left it's what they want. First they want water, so you make a well nearby. Then they want meat, so you make a goat farm or fishing wharf, and put the appropriate vendor around.

The way I did it successfully is to make a block of six shacks. Around that, you create one each of the necessary vendors. As requests get more complicated, you need more space, so I try to keep some empty space around the block to fit the temple, bath, and so on.

IMAGE(http://cloud.steampowered.com/ugc/576664115039721916/F9351ADFDCA3EBEEDE0609F6FB91C0599570841D/)

Here's a block of six with access to water (from a cistern offscreen,) meat, linen, and olive oil. Ignore the other stuff around, as this is actually from late in the game. You can see a goat farm over to the right, though. At this point, they start making good money. Two blocks of six like this, and your money needs are pretty well taken care of.

hmm..failed on Fallout NV (i just can't seem to get into the main storyline of that game at all for some reason.) and the Alan Wake DLC (i think i'll have to go back and play through the rest of the game first, I jumped into the DLC and couldn't remember a damned thing about controlling the thing). At least I got through Venetica this month.

Okay...Half Life is only half done at month end. Not enough game time, not enough interest in finishing it. Haven't decided if I want to roll it over or not.

Poppinfresh wrote:

The way I did it successfully is to make a block of six shacks. Around that, you create one each of the necessary vendors. As requests get more complicated, you need more space, so I try to keep some empty space around the block to fit the temple, bath, and so on.

Yes, I decided to restructure my city this morning before I read your post. It bugged me that I could relocate houses but not any other building. However, I'd built up a huge cash reserve by that point so I had no problem at all running a large-scale demo on all my commercial & services buildings. So I moved the houses into a 2x8 or 2x10 packs and then built the needed commerce & service buildings around them, leaving space between the rows for the length required by some of the more advanced, two story residences. Houses started upgrading to max in no time.

So I reached the halfway point of Sam & Max: Season 1 today -- my repaired Elite is in the mail, but I succumbed to my tax refund and picked up a Slim/Kinect bundle. I may be able to get that finished, but I'm thinking Enslaved'll carry over into March.

Quintin_Stone wrote:
Poppinfresh wrote:

The way I did it successfully is to make a block of six shacks. Around that, you create one each of the necessary vendors. As requests get more complicated, you need more space, so I try to keep some empty space around the block to fit the temple, bath, and so on.

Yes, I decided to restructure my city this morning before I read your post. It bugged me that I could relocate houses but not any other building. However, I'd built up a huge cash reserve by that point so I had no problem at all running a large-scale demo on all my commercial & services buildings. So I moved the houses into a 2x8 or 2x10 packs and then built the needed commerce & service buildings around them, leaving space between the rows for the length required by some of the more advanced, two story residences. Houses started upgrading to max in no time.

Grumble. Now the game keeps crashing on this civilian mission where you first get a dock. In fact, I think the crashing is somehow related to the trade dock or boatyard.

Quintin_Stone wrote:
Quintin_Stone wrote:
Poppinfresh wrote:

The way I did it successfully is to make a block of six shacks. Around that, you create one each of the necessary vendors. As requests get more complicated, you need more space, so I try to keep some empty space around the block to fit the temple, bath, and so on.

Yes, I decided to restructure my city this morning before I read your post. It bugged me that I could relocate houses but not any other building. However, I'd built up a huge cash reserve by that point so I had no problem at all running a large-scale demo on all my commercial & services buildings. So I moved the houses into a 2x8 or 2x10 packs and then built the needed commerce & service buildings around them, leaving space between the rows for the length required by some of the more advanced, two story residences. Houses started upgrading to max in no time.

Grumble. Now the game keeps crashing on this civilian mission where you first get a dock. In fact, I think the crashing is somehow related to the trade dock or boatyard.

That's too bad. Sounds like the 1.0 version was fairly buggy, but 1.1 seemed to fix most of the problems. I did have a problem in one scenario where the boatyard encroached on the trade dock so that the boat never left, but one destroyed boatyard later, I was back in business. Never had a crash, though.

Poppinfresh wrote:

That's too bad. Sounds like the 1.0 version was fairly buggy, but 1.1 seemed to fix most of the problems. I did have a problem in one scenario where the boatyard encroached on the trade dock so that the boat never left, but one destroyed boatyard later, I was back in business. Never had a crash, though.

I set the core affinity to just 1 and now it seems to actually be stable.

So affinity got me through that level and then I started getting crashes on the next one.

AndrewA wrote:

Looks like I'll be going to the wire with Uncharted. The fact that I'm not allowed toplay without my wife watching

Exactly the way I had to play. Starting to wonder if every married goodjer had to play Uncharted this way, I've heard it so many times.

I finally went back and played Mirror's Edge to completion this month. My previous attempt stalled in the later missions where every room is packed full of gun-wielding baddies.

Bayonetta was completed and is being replayed... and it looks like it'll be in my gaming rotation for a while.

I ended up spending less than an hour on the DMC Collection. It's being shelved for the time being. I got hung up on the first couple bosses in DMC1. Having to replay bits of the level to make another attempt got old quickly compared to being able to continue at the boss in DMC4/Bayonetta. I'm going to try to jump into DMC3 this coming month and see if that's a tad bit more approachable before returning to the earlier games.

I am not quite halfway through Fable 3 - but I am glad that I at least started it! I did great on other pile games for the month, so I am not unhappy with my progress.