Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Amuse-bouche: Return from the Great Beyond

So yeah, this Great Beyond thing. So great and beyondy that it's so easy to get lost in a non-blog world of beyondness.

Which is my way of saying I've been a slack bastard and haven't blogged in ages.

I have kept my game stats up to date, and I do have a half written draft for my World Without End review sitting here, and I have been playing lots of games. But yeah, I need to write more.

With that said, today's amuse-bouche concerns the games I've purchased in the last couple of months, and my brief thoughts on them so far.

Firstly we have Red Dead Redemption. Not a board game. I've been playing the hell out of it on my PS3 and loving it. I've played through the story mode once and I'm now playing through again in a bid to get 100% completion. Highly, highly recommended. Riding horses around the Wild West and shooting innocent people and bunnies has never been so much fun.

There's only one little teensy weensy problem with my quest to get 100% completion on Red Dead Redemption. And that is a little timesink game known as Starcraft II. I loved the original, and I'm really loving this one too. I'm 6 or so missions into the single player campaign and can also highly recommend this one, especially for fans of the original.

Starcraft II is pretty much more of the same as the original except with more polish and a lot of new units. And the interface is fantastic. There are extra challenges to teach you more skills than the basic tutorial does, and I've also become somewhat of an achievement whore. There's just something about collecting achievements and getting those extra points that's so damn addictive.

The only negative thing I have to say about Starcraft II is the dialogue. The scripting is pretty average, and the voice acting is quite universally awful. Don't let that put you off, though, because overall it's a very polished and entertaining package, even if it is only one third of the single player game (with two more games due out in coming months to complete the campaign).

So, other than those two non-board games, on a trip to Brisbane last week The Giggling One and I picked up Dixit (her choice) and Fresco (my choice).

We played Dixit at a recent HoGS night and both loved its artistic simplicity. I thought it was a little light to win the Spiel des Jahres, but it's clever and family friendly.

I haven't played Fresco before. I've read (and watched) a few reviews and heard nothing but good things. It sounded like my type of game so I figured I'd take the opportunity to grab it while we were in a city that actually sells decent board games. :-)

Oh, and we also bought the Inns & Cathedrals expansion for Carcassonne. It was a spur of the moment decision, but having taken the basic game to Queensland with us (to have an easy-to-learn game to play with my parents), we wanted to flesh out our Carcassonne experience a little more. We're yet to play it, but hopefully we'll get a chance soon.

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