Recent Gaming Roundup

So I noticed that I haven’t posted in almost a month.  You know why?  I’ve been gaming!

My most recent love is Mercenaries 2, a open-world blow-em-up.  Think Grand Theft Auto in a war zone.  I absolutely love this game.  Anyone who knows me should buy it so we can play co-op.

Some of the things I like about it:

Everything is destructable.  Everything.  You might need a bigger gun/rocket/air strike, but everything can be blown up.

There are Factions which is something relevant to my D&D game and something I’m pondering for another design.  Basically the Oil Company wants you to fight the Communist Guerrillas and vice versa- do you pick a side, or play them off of each other?  It can be very easy to pick one side, but it’s harder to try to manage the whole field and keep everyone happy.  There’s also tons of stuff to do- sidequests galore.

I want to run a Shadowrun game loosely based on this game.

Another videogame for the xBox I recommend is indie puzzle-platformer Braid, an xBox arcade download.  It’s well worth the purchase price, and guaranteed to stretch your mind.  It’s best going into it with an open mind, but it’s basically a 2D platformer where you can alter the flow of time.  It has some fascinating puzzles, an interesting story, and many ‘aha!’ moments.

As for the rest of my gaming, I’ve been mostly running D&D, which continues to be enjoyable.  The last two sessions were pretty hard core hack and slash, which was less enjoyable all at once, but there were some cool combats.  The fights seem to be best when they are interspersed with other stuff- I don’t think hack and slash is enough to carry the game.  Social interactions are expected tonight, which I look forward to.

I played Beowulf, Joshua “Ace” Newman’s Anthology engine ashcan, and I think my tolerance for the Anthology engine is wearing thin- people don’t know how to play it, and don’t seem to be willing to do what it takes to run it properly.  I got very frustrated with another player hogging the spotlight, and the GM being unwilling to moderate.  I end up having to wield the grown-up stick, and looking like an asshole.  I don’t think this is all the fault of the game, but it’s something I’ve noticed in games with a weak-GM model.

Other recent games played include the Maid RPG, a bizarre comedy rpg, the excellent Battlestar Gallactica boardgame, and Tony LB’s Misery Bubblegum, which I understand the mechanics of, but I’m still fuzzy on the overall point of play.  Why this game?


One thought on “Recent Gaming Roundup

  1. Linnaeus says:

    I just wanted to chime in with a hearty agreement about D&D needing more than combat to sustain its momentum. I just decided to reboot my campaign because There wasn’t enough there to keep my interest as a DM. Designing cool combats (and playing them) is fun, but one-dimensional.

    And I think this is something thatdoesn’t get enough attention in indie circles. Gamism still needs strong colour, and ideally should have at least a veneer of plot. When you reduce it to a purely systemic exercise, you just end up with a clunky miniatures or semi-cooperative boardgame. I have far better options to scratch those itches.

    I haven’t seen the game, but from bits and pieces I’ve overheard, it seems like 3:16 may succeed so well in part because it makes that extra layer of colour very easy to get into.

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