Gaming With GADD

Week ending 12/18/14

Last Week I played some Xillia and remembered that I actually liked it, but got real worried at the lack of a world map, and then got surprised by unexpectedly really liking what I played of The Bridge. I figure those two will continue to get played this week, and I might keep trying to penetrate the armor of Shadow of Mordor and see if I can finally get into it.

Friday

The Bridge
This game that I played yesterday/last week completely by random actually has a few of it’s claws in me. I went back in and played through the end of chapter 2, and finally hit a level that’s stumping me in chapter 3. I really like this game, but I know there’s eventually gonna be a part that will make me feel incredibly stupid and I’ll be unable to get by it, so I’m not holding out any hopes for actually beating it.

Tales of Xillia
Oh man, today was a really productive day in Xillia. First the plot was finally kicked into gear with more evil shadowy villains, AND I was introduced to the next main (but as of now unplayable) character…and her talking stuffed animal. But but but BUT forget all of that BECAUSE WE HAVE OURSELVES A WORLD MAP! FINALLY! Granted, it’s not *actually* a world map in the sense that I can go anywhere and explore starting at any point, as much as it’s a fast travel map, but it’s still something, right?

Saturday

Tales of Xillia
Played a little bit more today before I decided I just wasn’t in the mood for Xillia. However in the little bit that I did play I did get told a tale of some super strong enemies that I should avoid, which I assume is this game’s version of the Emerald and Ruby Weapons.

Papers, Please
It has been a LONG time since I played Papers, Please, all the way back to some of the early GADDs. For those who weren’t reading GADD back then and don’t know what PP is, it is an immigration checkpoint simulator. No really. You are selected to work in a border checkpoint for Arstotzka and must check to make sure everyone wanting to come into your country has all the proper paperwork needed to get in. As the days go on, the rule sets get more and more complicated and you have to check more paperwork to make sure the person is allowed to enter. But you still have to do it fast, as you get $5 for each person you correctly process at the checkpoint, and you need to spend that money to keep your family healthy and fed. I knew that if I tried to start from where I left off months ago, I would be slow as crap and my family would soon be dead, so I started over from the beginning. I only played up through the first four days, and while rule-sets are still relatively simple, I already messed up a few times due to trying to rush through people to maximize pay. Of course if you make too many mistakes you get money taken away from you, so that’s not a good thing either. My family is so fucked.

Sunday

Football and (shitty) Rasslin PPV. You know the drill by now.

Monday

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor
This game just continues to fail to grab me. I did a few more story missions today with the hope that it would finally click and I would see what everyone else sees when they talk about this game but I. Just. Don’t. Get It. It’s clearly a well made game and almost everybody seems to love it, but I just can’t bring myself to play it in ANY kind of extended stretch. Maybe it’s because I’m a casual (at best) fan of Tolkien, maybe it’s open world fatigue, or maybe it’s something entirely else? I REALLY want to like this game, and maybe I’ll keep giving it shots, but every time I stop playing this game I just feel like the odds of playing it again keep getting worse and worse.

Papers, Please
Played up to day 8 today, which apparently is as far as I ever got (not counting the beta where I did the full 10 days) and based on the amount of money I have left, I appear to be doing much better this time. Things are starting to get extra complicated as I get more and more rule-sets to follow and more paperwork to check. My family is still fine for now, but I know it will eventually go south.

Tuesday

Papers, Please
Up through day 13 now and my family is still nowhere close to dead! I feel pretty proud about that, even if I can’t come anywhere close to affording the section 7 housing that just became available to me. I’ve reached the point of the game where the storyline is actually kicking in and I’m getting to make choices which will likely affect me later. However I still haven’t reached the point where you’re in control of the Arstotzkan newspaper, and you try to secretly put in anti-government messages like in the beta, so obviously they spread that process up. …Unless of course that doesn’t happen in this game and I’m confusing it with another Lucas Pope game which is entirely possible, but I’m about 75% sure the newspaper management is in this game. However this really isn’t a game you can play for long periods at a time, because it really does feel like a job at times. It’s still a game I like playing, but I don’t know if I ENJOY playing it, because you’re not really supposed to, if that makes any sense.

Wednesday

Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble!
Yes, that is ACTUALLY a name of a video game. I saw it as I was browsing the list of games available in the Steam gems auction and knew I HAD to have it for GADD, despite knowing absolutely nothing about it other than it’s incredible title. I played a little under an hour of DHSGiT (is it just me or does that acronym look a bit too similar to Dogshit?) and I can tell you that even though I had no clue what the game actually was, I sure wasn’t expecting this! It’s…a virtual board game set in the roaring 20s, along with mini games mixed in. But despite how that description makes it sound like it, it’s actually not Mario Party at all. The board game is very much the focus and the mini-games are just solutions to problems you find on the board. But the biggest problem is that I just have no idea what I’m actually supposed to be DOING here. I go around and talk to the various pieces on the board, and the top of the screen gives me some hints to advance, but it really just feels like I’m aimlessly wanderoung around with no knowledge of what will actually happen when I go into the rooms or interact with the characters in there. Maybe this is the type of knowledge that comes with time, but with it being a free game, I’m not really sure that I’ll invest that time. Still, I regret NOTHING as far as spending my gems on this game, because seriously, look at that title! It’s worth it just to have that title show up in your Steam library!

Thursday

Papers, Please
Day 16 and looking in on the next day I see that I now have a WEAPON to worry about? Holy shit what is this game? This game has so many fucking things I have to keep track of now, I don’t know how I haven’t blown up the entire country. I still have a whopping $5 in my savings account, but soon that number is going to go into the negatives and I’ll have to decide between food and heat, and then my family will get sick and I’ll have to somehow buy medicine and then I won’t be able to afford anything and then they’ll all die and OH MY GOD I’M SERIOUSLY GETTING SO STRESSED OUT THINKING ABOUT IT!  I actually think that me continuing to play this game might hurt GADD because it legitimately stresses me out every time I play it, and kinda ruins my drive for the rest of the night.

I feel like Transistor is quickly becoming my new XBox 360, in that every week I talk about how I really want to start playing it this week, and continually failing to do so at every possible opportunity. It’s just starting to become a running joke at this point. The Steam winter sale has also started in full, so there may be new PC games coming to GADD next week, although I didn’t buy anything in the last sale so there’s a good chance I might not buy anything this time either.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK:

As I’ve written about for the last few weeks, I just can’t manage to get into Shadow of Mordor despite my best efforts. Are there any big beloved games/franchises that you’ve legitimately tried to like but were just unable? In addition to Mordor, I also have repeatedly tried to like the Metal Gear Solid franchise with no luck. I played the first 3 games because I kept getting sucked into the hype every time before finally learning my lesson and not even looking at 4 because I know that the series just isn’t for me.

Written by Matthew Przybysz

Matt has suddenly become a bit of a Sony fanboy without even realizing it. Also he occasionally streams via his PS4 on twitch at http://www.twitch.tv/gadd_live

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