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GamerCentral

My favorite video games and board games, alongside games that I want to try out.

Transistor: Thoughts after First Playthrough

Transistor keeps tugging at my thoughts and heart strings!  This game is very intense, unlike its predecessor Bastion.  While Bastion was more lighthearted and humorous, Transistor is more dark and mysterious.  The theme, music, narration, and even the battles have hardly any lightness to them.  However, does this make it an inferior game to Bastion?

Gorgeous art through the whole game. Gorgeous art through the whole game.

About halfway through the game I almost didn’t even want to continue on.  The stress it was giving me plus the more difficult battles were steering me away.  However, I’m so pleased that I kept playing!  The last two hours of gameplay were stunning.  You got to battle more interesting enemies, plus get to wield some epic weapon functions.  I loved doing Void() then Cull() to do some serious damage to enemies.  I highly recommend playing through the whole game before making any serious observations about it.  Now I can’t wait to play again on Recursion mode (New Game Plus).  What makes Transistor great?

Can't get enough of the art style. Can’t get enough of the art style.

Theme: The theme is cool!  It’s like Cyberpunk meets Film Noir.  You have this awesome Transistor weapon in which you load Functions as you level up in the game.  At the same time, the main character is Red, who looks like a singer from the 1920s.  I love this unique take on Cyberpunk/Coding theme. While the Narrator (the unnamed man in the Transistor) doesn’t have quite as cool lines as in Bastion, he does lay out the mystery of the game well.  There is much to uncover after all.

Music: Once again, Darren Korb with Ashley Barrett doing the vocals do a stunning job as they did in Bastion. Without the music, this game wouldn’t have been nearly as good.  I even purchased the soundtrack, as I did with Bastion.  Nothing like the haunting vocals of Ashley Barrett as you go through the Processed Cloudbank.

Story: The story is a bit like a murder mystery.  You (Red) and your unnamed friend in the Transistor are trying to uncover what has happened to the Cloudbank and why the Process is attacking you on site.  The story does start to unfold, however, I did feel like I had more questions at the end than I did at the beginning.  I’d say the story is the main weak point of the game, but that may change with more playthroughs.

Combat: At first, I really hated the combat.  I typically don’t like difficult action RPGs, and this was beginning to look like one.  However, once I utilized Jaunt(), I was able to dodge the enemies while my turn based planning sequence charged up.  By the last hour of the game, I was breezing through the combat without too much difficulty.  I think I’ll especially like the Recursion playthrough, with all my strong weapon functions.

I have the sense that Transistor may become one of my favorite games.  I did not expect to like it this much midway through, and didn’t even think I would playthrough a second time.  The last half of the game captured my attention and gave me the confidence to truly enjoy Transistor.  Gamers may not like how quick it is to beat the game, however, given the difficulty and darker theme, the gameplay time felt just about right.  Plus, there’s a New Game Plus, and the challenges in Backdoor to accomplish as well.

 

Gaming Journal Weeks 29 and 30

Wow, it’s been a busy summer!  Lots of game playing, reviewing games on Board Game Duel, as well as doing some preview Kickstarter games.  Because of this, I’ve had less time to update this journal with every game.  So here’s a good overview of what we’ve been playing the past few weeks!

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Star Wars: X Wing Miniatures Game

  • We finally decided to pull the trigger on this one
  • Absolutely great decision, we love this game and already bought a few of the expansions
  • My favorite part is how they include Expanded Universe characters in the expansions
  • The mechanics are great, love the movement.  Not a fan of the dice rolls as it adds a fair amount of randomness, but still a good game.

 

Sushi Go!

  • New favorite filler game, 2-3 players, 10 min game sessions
  • Basically a simplified version of 7 Wonders with a cute sushi theme
  • Card drafting mechcanic at its finest

 

GEM and TAJ

  • Kickstarter preview games for Pack O Games
  • GEM is a bidding game similar to Medici
  • TAJ is a voting game in which you try and get your rug in the Taj Mahal
  • These games are the size of a pack of gum, very unique and fun.
  • Launches August 4th

 

Lift Off!

  • Kickstarter preview game by Ed Baraf.
  • Modular board game where you try to get your aliens off the planet before they explode
  • Great family game and introduction into mechanics such as worker placement
  • Launches July 30th

 

Space Hulk: Death Angel

  • Bought this mainly to play solo, but also enjoy it 2P
  • Co-op card game where you are trying to defeat the gene stealers and get through all the locations
  • Inspired by Space Hulk

Gaming Journal Weeks 27 and 28 of 52

Tons of gaming to be had these past two weeks!  Highlights include bringing my brother, his wife, and daughter to Guardian Games, one of the biggest board game shops around.  Also, playing games on the 4th of July and with family visiting has been awesome.Viva Java Dice

Viva Java: The Dice Game

  • 1st time playing, 4 player, 30 min game sessions
  • So excited that my friend finally got his Kickstarter copy.
  • Absolutely love this game and wish I had a copy for myself, especially with the solo rules included
  • Will play again and will purchase as soon as it becomes available

 

Love Letter

  • 2 player, 15 min play session
  • Played Love Letter on our anniversary at a Hawaiian restaurant.
  • Was fun, and the waitress was amazed we were playing a game at a restaurant

 

Krosmaster Arena

  • 1st time playing full game, 2 player, 1 hour play session
  • Finally purchased the game after playing the tutorial a couple months ago
  • My love of tactical turn based games made me really enjoy this game as I already knew the mechanics.
  • Will play again and want to try with teams in the future.

 

Bang! The Dice Game

  • 6 player, Multiple sessions over an hour
  • Introduced this to my nieces and brother who LOVED the game and did quite well at it
  • My niece hated getting the outlaw every game, but it was pretty hilarious regardless
  • Hands down one of the best party games around.  Also played it on the 4th with friends

 

Timeline: Inventions

  • 1st time playing, 4 player, 20 min game session
  • Very impressed with Timeline, more than I thought I would
  • I love how you have to use logic as the game gets harder
  • Surprised my gaming group liked this, even thought it’s a lighter game.
  • Will definitely use it in my homeschool logic games class in the future.

 

Hanabi

  • 3 player, 30 min game session
  • Obligatory 4th of July game!
  • Got a high score of 22, really enjoyed it this time
  • Definitely a great game to play sitting around on 4th of July (or any holiday for that matter!)

 

Stone Age

  • 4 player, 1.5 hour game session
  • Medium level worker placement
  • Hadn’t played in awhile, but it was great to get it back out
  • It’s not my favorite worker placement, but it’s a solid game