Here’s a look at what games I’ve been playing, ranked roughly from most-played to least-played. This allows me to offer some thoughts on some titles that I may not devote a full review to, plus sound off on some ideas that might not have made it into full reviews of the games I play. Games are listed roughly in order of most- to least-played, with assistance from my Raptr profile.
“Dungeon Siege III” (rated T, $60 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, $50 for PC): I finished Obsidian Entertainments hack-and-slash role-playing game over the weekend. Even though I wouldn’t rate it among the best RPGs I’ve played, I found myself strangely drawn back to it thanks to its fairly mindless gameplay and a story that started to get more intriguing the farther I got into it. I played as Anjali, a flame-spewing not-quite-human warrior from a species of quasi-immortals called archons. What impressed me was the way the game’s plot seemed tailored toward my character. Upon finishing the game, I became pretty curious as to how it’d play out if I picked one of the other three characters. Sadly, there probably aren’t enough hours in my week for me to go back to this game right away when I have other stuff to review. Look for a full review of “Dungeon Siege III” later in the week.
“Trenched” (rated , $15 download for Xbox 360): I bought the latest downloadable game from Sonoma native Tim Schafer and Double Fine Productions when it came out a couple of weeks ago, but I didn’t actually get a chance to try it out until this weekend. My “Trenched” experience went somewhat backward, as I completed the tutorial and jumped right into online multiplayer with Swiller and a couple of other friends of mine. As a result, I probably ended up bypassing a fairly steep learning curve. A couple of people I know who’ve started off playing solo that the game is difficult until you get in a few rounds and start unlocking more powerful weaponry.
Anyway, if you’re not familiar with “Trenched,” it’s a sort of fusion of a third-person shooter and a tower defense game. You walk around the battlefield in a giant, mechanized suit, blasting waves of invading enemies that are trying to destroy your base. In between rounds, you can build automated turrets that shoot or slow enemies, or serve as reusable landmines. “Trenched” really shines in the online co-op, though my crew and I found it to be a little easy. After two nights and about six hours of gameplay, I have at least silver medals on all the levels and gold on most of them. Hopefully we’ll get some more challenges when the inevitable downloadable content hits.
“Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012” (rated T, $10 download for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3): I knocked out the remainder of the slightly more difficult “Revenge” campaign over the week. I’ll probably keep playing this collectible card game in dribs and drabs as I await the inevitable downloadable content packs.
“Infamous 2” (rated T, $60 on PS3): The first minute or two of the original “Infamous” [review] might be my favorite video game opening ever, so the sequel had quite a bit to live up to. While “Infamous 2” didn’t dazzle me from the outset like its predecessor, I found myself quickly settling into playing as Cole McGrath again after a two-year layoff. Because my DualShock 3 battery quickly ran out of juice, I only snuck in a bit of playtime late Saturday night. I’ll be playing this in earnest as it’s probably the next retail game I’ll review.
“You Don’t Know Jack” (rated T, $30 on Wii, Xbox 360 or PS3) [review]: A friend of mine reminded me this game had a 10-point achievement if you played a round on Independence Day, so I fired it up for about 20 minutes before I came into the newsroom for the day. I was surprised that the game had a little bit of special July Fourth-related dialogue from game-show host Cookie Masterson and was delighted that the achievement that I earned read “Turncoat: Play on July 4th instead of celebrating America.” In general, I’m anti-date-specific achievements because I never remember them, but this was kinda fun because the folks at Jellyvision Games took the time to record the extra dialogue. In general, I could use more friends who own this game on the Xbox 360. If you’ve got the game and want to give the multiplayer a go sometime, drop me a line.