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Venture Forth (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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We traded for this game at Gen Con 2014. We were trading a game that we had previously gotten in a trade but did not enjoy, so the bar was kind of low. This game looked in the very least to be unique, so it was worth taking a risk on. Now that we finally got the game played does this game reach the next level or does it stagnate?

Game Overview
In this game players helm a party of adventurers to score points by adventuring around a board. Players begin with one adventurer at level one and a hand of cards. On a player's turn they can take one of of several actions.

They can play a card from their hand on to a space on the board. There are two types of cards monsters and adventurers. There are some rules that define how cards can be placed. When a card is placed the player will get a resource corresponding to that space. The resources are either will or money. Some spaces also allow players to place an exploration token. These can give treasure cards and they are also the timer that determines the end of the game.

The other major action a player can take is to venture forth. To do so they will travel from one temple space to another, encountering every card along the path. They can only travel along a path full of cards. Each adventurer encountered can be recruited using money. Monsters have to be fought. The combined strength of the player's party has to be higher than the monster total. If it is not then the player will have to pay a penalty.

Each adventurer in a player's party has an ambition. For example, it might be to encounter a sea monster. If that ambition is met, then the player can spend will that has assigned to that adventurer for points. If enough will is used, the adventurer goes up a level. The max level is three, and the third level provides unique abilities. Using will when completing ambitions is the primary way to score points.

The other actions are use a temple. These allow the players to spend money for certain things such as will or even more turns. The final action is a player can dump their hand and get a new one.

Play continues until the final explorer token is placed and then all players get one more turn. There are some end game points from extra experience, money, and treasures. The player with the most points wins.

Our Thoughts
As a reminder we rate games on our own 5 point scale. When our scores are added together, it is where we as a couple theoretically rate the game on the BGG 10 point scale.

My Rating: 2.5 (do not care for)
My Thoughts: This game has some clever ideas. I especially like how the ambitions create goals to reach. The game is a but puzzley at time. The biggest problem is that this game is kind of boring. The ramp up is kind of engaging, but by the mid point game it turns into a rinse and repeat race. I also was not a big fan of the thematic implementation. It is suppose to be an adventure game with euro sensibilities, it is mostly just euro sensibilities cube pushing. The theme and excitement is lost in the complete abstraction. The blah card art and really ugly board do not help that at all.

Her Rating: 3 (It's OK)
Her Thoughts: I had some fun playing this game. I especially like how the ambitions created mini goals and it was easy to make a strategy around those. When I was able to set up something where I completed multiple ambitions in a row, it was especially satisfying. Despite that this game was boring. There was too many turns of not doing anything worthwhile other than collect a single resource. There was also just too much of repeating the same thing. I would play this game again, but it is not something I want to hold on to.

Verdict
Combined Rating: 5.5
We appreciate some of the mechanisms in this game, but in the end this game just did not deliver a very compelling or fun experience for us. We will be looking to trade it.
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Fri Feb 13, 2015 3:59 am
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Game Cup: Hold the Line vs. Copycat

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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For the Game Cup we are using a world cup format. We started with 32 games in eight different categories. Those games were rated on various criteria and pitted against each other to see which games rose to the top. The top two from each group made it to this knock out round. This is the second round of the elimination stage. Since these games are so diverse we are comparing them against each other on how fun that specific play was. We will rate each game on a "fun scale". "1" will be " most boring/worst game experience ever" and "10" will be "Legendary! most fun I have had playing a game". Our individual scores will be added together, and the highest scoring game will win. In the event of a tie, the winner will be which ever game got a higher score when we wrote about. If there is still a tie we will default to BGG average rating. The idea is that the game that is most consistently the most fun will be the one that emerges as the victor.

Hold the Line
Quick Description
Hold the Line is a scenario based game about the American Revolution. An action die determines how many units a player can order each turn, and hits cause step losses until a unit breaks and flees.

The Game We Played
We broke out the French and Indian war expansion for the first time and played the Montmorency Falls scenarios. I played the French defenders and my wife played the attacking British. This scenario had the British making a two prong attack which included an amphibious assault. There was fighting bout on the beaches below the waterfall and in the woods above of the falls. The fighting in the woods very quickly went my way, as every attempted attack was very quickly beat back. On the beach there was much more intense fighting, I was getting a lot more hits than my wife and it looked like it would be a blowout. However, she punched an opening through my defense and the game suddenly shifted. She now had access to the VP objectives on the other side of the ridge I occupied. What was looking like a blowout quickly became a one point game. For a couple of turns the game balanced on the edge of a knife, and one set of decisive dice rolls could have swung the game either way. We both watched the dice with baited breath. I forced a retreat with a close assault and managed to get a full strength unit between my weakened units and my wife's most forward unit. This gave me the advantage I needed, and I was able to reach the required seven points I needed. I won 7 to 5 (she only needed six to win!)

Fun Rating
My Rating: 9
My comment: That was just about the perfect game of Hold the Line. It was a neat set up, it was exciting, it was tense, the fighting felt heavy, and I could really feel the history. I really had a lot of fun.

Her Rating: 7
Her Comment: This scenario started off really frustrating, but it quickly become exciting and I got caught up in it a bit.

Total for Hold the Line: 16


Copycat
Quick Description
This game combines the best mechanisms of other games into one game. It has the deck building of Dominion, the worker placement of Agricola, and the card drafting of Through the Ages. This all combines to make a solid euro game where players compete to get the most victory points.

The Game We Played
We both took a strategy where we converted to just collecting points early in the game. This means that we did not do much to set ourselves up to buy the bigger more powerful cards that came late game. By the midpoint both of us were mostly done buying new cards. My wife focused on a worker heavy strategy, I focused on card draw. My wife had a trasher card in her deck, so she thinned it out a bit better than I did. This allowed her more powerful cards to come out a couple more times than mine, and that made the difference. She won 102 to 88.

Fun Rating
My Rating: 5
My Comment: I like how this game plays, but this is really not a game that lends itself well to repeated plays in a short time period. Each play does not stand out enough from the others.

Her Rating: 5
Her Comment: I am ready for a long break from this game. I still like it, but I think I will like it more if it sits on the shelf for a bit more time between plays.

Total for Copycat: 10


Results
Hold the Line blasts the competition away and it joins Trains, Glory to Rome, and Dice Masters in the final four.
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Thu Feb 12, 2015 4:07 am
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Invaders

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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Back in November our combined game group did it's second charity game day which included a silent auction. Of the games up for grabs this is the one that looked the most interesting to me. I knew nothing about it, but it had aliens, cards, and it is a 2 player game. Since it was all for a good cause, I thought it was worth taking a risk on. It took a couple of months, but we finally got to play this game. So does this game rise victorious or should it be blasted by a death ray?

Game Overview
This is an asymmetrical card game where one player take the deck of aliens invading earth, and the other side takes the role of the human defenders.

On a turn, the player begins by drawing two cards. Then they can play cards or activate abilities on already played cards. Many cards have a cost, and the cost is paid in either discarding cards from the hand, discarding the top card of the deck, or both. Some cards are instants but others have power and are played to one of the three zones. The human player will be playing cards here to defend earth, and the alien will be playing cards here to destroy it.

Players also have built in special abilities that one time uses and are printed on the board. With one exception, these can only be used once per turn. The alien player has an additional ability where they can draw an extra card or reduce the cost of a card, but doing so moves a counter on a track closer to human victory

If it is the aliens turn they will attack. This happens every turn unless a card prevents it. In each zone the strength of the alien cards is compared to the strength of the human cards (plus the innate strength of the region). If the humans win, nothing happens. If the aliens win, the human player has to discard a number of cards equal to the difference from the top of their deck. If the human player did not have to discard any cards then the time track moves one step closer to human victory.

This continues until one side wins. For the aliens to win they have to drain the human deck so they have no cards left, kill all 11 special heroes, or eliminate all units from the zones (either all from the center or all from both sides). For the humans to win, the alien deck has to be completely discarded or the timer counter reaches zero.

Our Thoughts
As a reminder we rate games on our own 5 point scale. When our scores are added together, it is where we as a couple theoretically rate the game on the BGG 10 point scale.

My Rating: 3 (it's OK)
My Thoughts: This game reminds me a bit of a sentimental favorite, Star Wars Customizable Card Game , because both games tie a player's life to their deck. This game has a lot of back and forth attrition. While this is interesting, it can drag on a bit. I do not think this is a bad game, but it just is not the game for us. We already have several two player duel style games. While this one is more asymmetrical than others we have, I just think it will get passed up too much in favor of other games.

Her Rating: 1 (do not want to play again)
Her Thoughts: I was not a huge fan of the back and forth in this game. It was a lot of two steps forward, one step back. My biggest issue is that I do not want to learn the cards. I feel like to be good enough and really enjoy this game being familiar with the cards is important, and I did not like the game to invest that much in it. I am also worried that since the decks never change by time I learned the cards enough, the game would feel played out.

Verdict
Combined Rating: 4
This turned out not to be a good game for us, but I think it could have its audience. For someone who liked the asymmetry of Android: Netrunner, but wanted a fully self contained package this is a good fit. Also, if there is someone who has been holding out hope for a CCG style game about X-COM, well then there ship has finally come in.
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Mon Feb 9, 2015 7:50 pm
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Takenoko (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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For the past couple of years this game has floated around the bottom of our Secret Santa list. My wife tends to like games that get classified as good gateway games, and she also likes games that have great components. For that reason it seemed like Takenoko would be a good pick. We were very fortunate to get a copy of the game from this thread: Sam's "Santa Screwed-up" Sweepstakes.... Now that we have played is this a game that will grow on us or will we rain on it's parade?

Game Overview
This game has a very quirky theme of a panda living in a garden that is cared for by a gardener. In this games players are trying to get the most points by completing objectives. There are three different types of objectives. There are panda objectives (completed by eating bamboo), gardener objectives (completed by growing bamboo), and garden objectives (completed with tile layouts).

On a player's turn they will first roll a die that determines a random effect. These can be things like the players getting special tokens to use later, taking extra actions, or moving the panda. Then the player gets to take to actions. There are multiple actions a player can take, but they must take two different ones.

First, a player can expand the garden by taking three garden tiles, choosing one and placing it. Second, the player can irrigate. For bamboo to grow the tile must be irrigated so irrigation streams will expand out of the central starting pond tile. Third the player can move the panda. The panda moves in a straight line and it will eat a piece of bamboo where it stops. The player who moved the panda gets the bamboo and will turn it in to complete panda objectives. The player can also move the gardener. The gardener also moves in straight lines, and if he is stopped on an irrigated place he grows bamboo. Any adjacent tiles of the same color that are irrigated will also grow bamboo. Finally, a player can draw a new objective card but can only hold five.

When ever a player completes an objective card they can lay it down as completed. The game will end when a set number of objectives is met. Whoever ever does this first gets 2 bonus points, one more round is played and the player with the most points wins.

Our Thoughts
As a reminder we rate games on our own 5 point scale. When our scores are added together, it is where we as a couple theoretically rate the game on the BGG 10 point scale.

My Rating: 2.5 (do not care for)
My Thoughts: I wanted to like this game. It is easily one of the most visually appealing games I have played. Towards the end when the garden is big and there are stalks of bamboo every where it looks like something special. However, I just did not find this game much fun. There was no tension in trying to complete objectives. Every turn it was possible to make progress on goals so it really just felt like the winner had more to do with who got the better cards. This really fell flat for me.

Her Rating: 2.5 (do not care for)
Her Thoughts: I just did not find this game very fun. I enjoy how great the components are, but I was just not feeling this game. It was really just boring.

Verdict
Combined Rating: 5
This game just did not connect with us and we did not like it all. We can see how this could be a good family game, but by time our little ones are at an age they can play this game there will be dozens of other good family games. We do not see the need to keep this game, and will be moving it along.
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Mon Feb 9, 2015 4:16 am
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P500 Possibilities (AKA the post my wife says "no" too)

sean johnson
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Edinburgh
Indiana
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I have a working theory that for a lot of people who are active on BGG there main hobby is playing board games, but there second primary hobby is looking for board games to buy in the future! I suppose that I am no different, and I have been looking at the GMT Games P500 games lately. I really like the idea of the P500, where I pledge for a game and do not get charged until it is ready to ship. I also like that pledging delivers it at a discount AND for the past several years getting a game off the P500 also makes one eligible for an annual 50% off sale. I do not back games on the list often. In fact since 2010, I have only backed four games on the P500. However, of those four I would say three of them have been extremely big successes. That is a really good track record. There are several games on the list right now that I am seriously considering. They are all "combat themed", so I know they already have an uphill battle making it to the table but I think a couple of these could be a success.

These are the top 5 games I am most strongly considering backing, in descending order for dramatic effect.

5. Time of Crisis
This game has several things in its favor. First, I do not have any ancient games so as I try to build a small but mighty group of wargames this will feel a niche. It sounds like the game has a nice build up, and it is always fun to watch my stuff grow. I also like that the game has deck building and hand management aspects. However from the official game description, this sentence is troubling: "Time of Crisis is easy to learn and playable in about 2-3 hours." Three hours really pushes the limits of what we can get played, so I fear it will rarely see the table.

4. A Distant Plain

This game is already out, but the reprint is on the P500. Getting this game would achieve two major objectives. I really want to try a game from the COIN series, and I really want to play a serious topic on this game (The US war on terror). This is a part of history that I have lived through and experienced observing through the TV. I would really like to play this game to get a better understanding of that history. This is still a bit of a tough sell though, because I know that I will most likely be playing this game solo (which it supports). I already do not play solo war games like I want to, so I am not sure if adding another one is a good idea. However, if I get the experiential learning I want out of this game then it would be worth the price of admission to play once.

3. Thunder Alley: New Track Pack
So I lied, these are not all conflict base games (though I guess that is a matter of opinion since rubbing is racing). I really like Thunder Alley, and my wife is OK with it under certain circumstances (four or more players). The reason for wanting this track pack is really simple. It is clear from the illustrations on GMT's website that one of the tracks is very much inspired/loosely emulating the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I have been to every Brickyard 400, save two, so it would be a lot of fun to play Thunder Alley on that track.

2. Hitler's Reich
This sounds like a game that both my wife and I could really enjoy. It has the operational world war II theme that will really draw me, but the base mechanics are simple and card based. This game appears to be a hand management game at it's core which always leads to great decisions. The game reports to have easy to learn rules and a quick play time. I really get a good vibe from this game that it fits the mold of the style of games that really appeal to us.

1. Wing Leader: Victories 1940-1942

I love the look of this game. I really like that it takes a theme that interest me (tactical aerial combat) and does something new with it. The horizontal perspective instead of the top down perspective really changes things up. Based off the track record with similar type of games, games 2-4 on this list have a better chance of being played and enjoyed by my wife. However, this is the game that I am most excited about, and the game that I most would like to play. I do not live close enough to GMT's warehouse and I will probably never make it to something like the WBC, so the only way I can play it is to buy it.


A couple of these items do have tentative production slots this year, but it is all a bit off still. This means I have some time to make decisions, but I feel like the chances of me backing at least one of these titles is fairly high.
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Wed Feb 4, 2015 4:35 am
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Game Cup: Dice Masters vs. Zeppelin Attack

sean johnson
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Edinburgh
Indiana
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For the Game Cup we are using a world cup format. We started with 32 games in eight different categories. Those games were rated on various criteria and pitted against each other to see which games rose to the top. The top two from each group made it to this knock out round. This is the second round of the elimination stage. Since these games are so diverse we are comparing them against each other on how fun that specific play was. We will rate each game on a "fun scale". "1" will be " most boring/worst game experience ever" and "10" will be "Legendary! most fun I have had playing a game". Our individual scores will be added together, and the highest scoring game will win. In the event of a tie, the winner will be which ever game got a higher score when we wrote about. If there is still a tie we will default to BGG average rating. The idea is that the game that is most consistently the most fun will be the one that emerges as the victor.

Dice Masters
Quick Description
Dice Masters is a head to head duel game where both players customize their team that consists of eight character, 20 dice, and two basic action cards. These players then roll these dice, use energy to deploy and buy new dice into their pool, and attack with deployed characters to reduce the opponent to zero life.

The Game We Played
My wife played an X-Men Team that she has been taking a liking to. It uses a bunch of lower cost X-Men Characters so she gets a lot of dice out quickly. Then she uses Teamwork to just huge attacks. The use of The Super rare Scarlet Witch gives her extra rerolls which really helped get her characters out. I played fist based team, that had multiple options. It had the Super Rare wolverine that could be unblockable, but it also had several characters that could manipulate defenders like Deadpool so other dice could get through.

For me, She Hulk and Falcon were the stars. One of my basic action cards had the global ability to make it so a character could not block. A couple of times I did this so that my wife only had one blocker, which effectively made She Hulk unblockable (she has to be blocked by two characters). Falcon's ability made it so that sidekicks were unblockable. We both had a couple of big attacks, my wife got off to the early lead with a couple of one-two Quicksilver/Storm combos that cleared my fielded zone and hit me good. However, She Hulk did damage of her own. Towards the end we both had a very built up fielded zone and it was a bit of a stalemate. I had 9 life and my wife had 2. However, I was able to use Falcon dice to allow sidekicks to slip through and I pinged her to death over a couple of turns.

Fun Rating
My Rating: 8
My Comment: It is because of plays like this that I really like this game. Both teams worked well, lots of dice were out and it was really close.

Her Rating: 6
Her Comment: This was fun, but I really thought I had that game won and it was frustrating to lose it.

Total for Dice Masters: 14


Zeppelin Attack
Quick Description: This is a deck building game where players control an armada of zeppelins in a steampunk setting, and attack each other to earn the most glory.

The Game We Played
We both went with a slightly different strategy in this game. My wife went Zeppelin heavy which gave her a lot of options each turn. I really focused on cycling through my deck as much as possible. Instead of saving defense cards for instance, I opted to play them on my turn just to use the always ability (usually draw or draw and discard). This allowed me to optimize my turns and gather up fate cards quicker. I ended up buying a lot more cards than normal.

The trade off is that I ended up with less battle points I got a bit of a lucky break at tend because I had one more fate point in my deck than my wife, so I got the three bonus points. This ended up not mattering though because I won with a final score of 33 to 28.

Fun Rating
My Rating: 7
My Comment: We have played this game several times now, and even though it has such a small card pool I am impressed with how consistently fun this game is.

Her Rating: 7
Her Comment: Even though I lost this game is a lot of fun to play.

Total for Zeppelin Attack: 14

Results
For the second time in the elimination stage we have a tie!
First tie breaker
The first tie breaker is what we rated the games when we reviewed the games. When we reviewed Dice Masters we gave it a total of 8. For Zeppelin Attack, we gave it an 8 as well. So they are still tied!

Second Tie Breaker
The second tie breaker are the BGG ratings. Dice Masters (using the avengers vs. Xmen ratings) has a rating of 7.68. Zeppelin Attack has a rating of 7.62. This means that Dice Masters just edges out Zeppelin Attack to advance to the final four.
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Tue Feb 3, 2015 2:00 am
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End of the Month Recap

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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I am not sure why, but this month my wife and I played more games together than we have in a very, very long time. It might have been because she was fired up about the 10x10 challenge, but whatever the reason was it was glorious!

Game Play Statistics
Number of Recorded Plays: 84
Most Played Game: Roll for the Galaxy (10 plays)
Best New to Me Game: Star Wars: Imperial Assault

New Games to Play
New Games Reviewed in December: 4
New Game Reviews in Progress: 1
Highest Rated Game this Month: Roll for the Galaxy
New Games Left Unplayed: 11

State of the Collection
New Games Added: 6
Games Removed: 2
Total Number of Games: 192
We finally received our Secret Santa gift, we bought Imperial Assault, we were mysteriously given Clash of the lightsabers, and we won Takenoko from a giveaway that Sam Healey did in the Dice Tower guild. I also participated twice this month in the wargame generosity chain, so I got two games and shipped two games.

10x10 Challenge Update
Marvel Dice Masters
Suburbia
Among the Stars
Star Realms
Trains
My First Carcassonne
Federation Commander
King of Tokyo
Memoir '44
Ticket to Ride
Race for the Galaxy

I know every month will not be this good, but we hit the ground running getting about 1/3 of the required plays done in January.
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Sun Feb 1, 2015 2:39 am
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Clash of the Lightsabers (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
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Back in 1999, I bought this game when it was released with the tidal wave of Episode I merchandise. I enjoyed it at the time, but at some point during my college career a couple of the cards went missing, and so I parted ways with the game. Fast forward, to this past Sunday. As the Sunday morning worship service is minutes from beginning, I walk up to the pulpit to write down an announcement someone asked me to make. Sitting on the podium shelf was this game, new in shrink! I still have no idea what parishioner this is from or where they found it. It has easily been 12-13 years since I last played this game, and we have played hundreds of games since then. So how did it hold up?

Game Overview
The goal of this game is to advance to the end of the player's respective five step track which represents them winning a lightsaber fight. The game is played over a series of rounds. Each round both players will draw seven cards, and of those cards put three of them down across from their opponent's selections.

One at a time these cards are turned face up. Most of the cards will have a power of 1-5. Once the first card is turned over the player with the lowest power must choose to play a card or concede. If they play a card which gives them a higher power, then the other player must make the same choice. This process is repeated for the other two cards initially played face down.

If there is ever a tie, both players will have to play a card at the same time. There are several cards that have no power but a special effect. If two of these are ever played at the same time they are canceled. Since both players have a limited number of cards in hand they will have to concede at some point. Whoever wins 2 out of 3 for the round advances one step on their track. If they win 3 for 3 they advance two steps. In the uncommon instance of a tie no one moves.

A new round begins and the process continues until someone makes it to card five on their track.

Our Thoughts
As a reminder we rate games on our own 5 point scale. When our scores are added together, it is where we as a couple theoretically rate the game on the BGG 10 point scale.

My Rating: 3 (It's OK)
My Thoughts: This is probably a "low" 3. I feel like there is the basis of a good game here, but it just does not quite work together to be great. The issue is that usually a round is decided with the opening card draw. Some hands are dramatically better than others, and there is no way for one side to win. When the hands come out even, then it can be exciting.

Her Rating: 3 (It's OK)
Her Thoughts: I am not sure how much skill there is to this game. It kind of feels like advance war, but the game plays quick and has a "let's play again" quality.

Verdict
Combined Rating: 6
Had I written a review of this game in 1999, it probably would have been a lot more glowing than this one (In fairness, if I had written a review of Star Wars Episode I in May of 1999 it also would have been more glowing). This game is not bad, and for a mass market movie tie in is actually surprisingly competent. My wife thinks this will be an excellent game to play with our son, and she is probably right about that.
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Fri Jan 30, 2015 3:48 am
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My Favorite Fighting Games

sean johnson
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One more video game post. The game I have been playing for the past couple of weeks is Soulcalibur V. I passed on this game back in 2012, but a couple of months ago it was on sale for download at less than $5, so I got it then.

Fighting games are one of my favorite video game genres, but I am not that great at them. I can usually figure out how to button mash effectively, and when I work at it I get good at stringing together a few combos. However, I have never been able to really master the hand/eye mastery it takes to play these games at a high level. I just can not keep all of those button inputs straight in my head and be able to enter them in an almost instinctive way. This is one of the reasons why I like Yomi so much. It captures the feel of a fighting game in cardboard form.

Even though I have never been super at these games I have fun playing them, and my single most favorite way to play video games is on a couch with a group of people passing the controller while playing a fighting game of some sort.

These are my top ten favorite fighting games from over the years. The list is in descending order for dramatic effect.

10. World Heroes
This is not much more than a Street Fighter knock off, but it was MY Street Fighter knock off. My dad is big into bowling (me not so much). This means I spent a good deal of my time in bowling alleys. One specific bowling alley that I spent a lot of time in had a SNK multi-game machine that included this game. It was common for my dad to give me $5 to get quarters and play arcade games while he bowled. I put a lot of those quarters into this game, and I still remember proudly beating the game.

9. Xena: Warrior Princess - The Talisman of Fate
I know up front and objectively that this Nintendo 64 game is not a very good game. The controls were sluggish in their response and the hit detection was a bit off sometimes. However, this game was silly fun. It features rare four way free for all fights, and in college we had a ton of fun doing that. Caesar with his special move that called in catapult shots was especially hilarious.

8. Mortal Kombat 3

When I was a freshmen in high school this game was released for the Super Nintendo. I saved for months for it, and the day it was released my parents took me to Best Buy so I could buy it (and the strategy guide of course). Even though the AI in this game is infamous for it's near cheating perfection after a couple of matches I played the snot out of it. I mained Kabal and I got really good with him. This is probably the closest I ever got to perfecting a game. I could pull off his combos and fatalities really well. This is also the game I have purchased the most. I bought it for the Playstation 2 and then again for the Xbox 360.

7. Tekken Tag Tournament
In 2003 when we got a Playstation 2 this was one of the first games we got with the system, and I played it a good deal. I think I beat the arcade mode with every character, and I know I spent too much time playing the bowling mini-game.

6. Marvel vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds
Honestly, I was a little disappointed with this game. The production was extremely barebones and I do not think it really justified its $60 price tag. However, this game is a blast to play on the couch with people. I have given my copy to the church, and it gets a lot of use before and after youth group each Sunday night.

5. BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger

What really stood out about this game is how beautiful it was to play. The game was a 2D fighting game that used an anime style, and the animations were cartoon quality. Watching it play was like watching a real animated show. The game offered a lot of depth in combos and skills. I played online some and I think my overall record was close to 50/50, but I was never great at the game.

4. Mortal Kombat: Deception
I really liked this version of Mortal Kombat for a couple of reasons. First I liked the large roster of characters (but it did not get over the top like Armageddon did). I also really appreciated the extra modes. The game had an OK but not great story mode, and I loved the chess mode. This was a fun way to play against the computer that added an extra level over just climbing an arcade ladder of opponents.

3. SoulCalibur IV
Of all of the games on this list this is the one that I was most serious about playing competitively. Amy is the character that I really focused on, and I found a really good opening move that combined a pop up attack with a juggling combo, and then a ground combo. I spent a lot of time in the training mode in this game with her practicing. I do not remember what my online record was, but I think I won more than I lost.

2. SoulCalibur III
What I really, really loved about this game was the Chronicles of the Sword mode. This weird mode combined RPG party building elements with some RTS elements and a loose story. I liked this for the same reason I liked the chess mode in Mortal Kombat Deception. It made a game of the game. The added little extra game on top of of the fighting really made this a memorable experience for me.

1. Injustice: Gods Among Us

The reason why this is my absolute favorite fighting game is for two reasons. First, it is super heroes, and that makes it awesome. Second, in every other fighting game I have ever played the story mode (if it has one) is thrown on has a barely there or half baked extra. Not so in this game. It really felt like the story mode was the main game, and the multiplayer versus was the added on feature. This game tells a good story for a video game. It is compelling in an interesting world. I was truly impressed by how good it was, and when Injustice 2 comes out it will be an instant purchase for me.
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Thu Jan 29, 2015 1:01 pm
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Most Played Xbox 360 Games

sean johnson
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Now for something completely different! I went to Gen Con in 2008 for the first time, and that was the catalyst that really started us in board games being our primary hobby. Before that though, I played video games. I got an Xbox 360 in the summer of 2006 and that very same day I signed it up at the website 360voice which gave my console a blog. More importantly though it tracked my activity and recorded how many days I play each game. On January 12th the website stopped working and reporting data. Before the website goes completely dark, I wanted to record the list of the games I have played the most. This is not by time played, but by the number of unique days that the game was played. We will be upgrading to an Xbox One at some point this year, so this list will probably not change much. As always the list is in descending order for dramatic effect.

20. Galaga (50 Days)
Before we had kids I would regularly spend very, very late on Friday nights listening to video game podcasts while playing video games. For a while this is one of the games that I spent a good deal of time playing. I hunted down all of the achievements for this game.

19. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (55 Days)
This is probably one of my absolute favorite games of all time. I really love the aesthetic design of the world. I really enjoyed just riding around the world and looking over the landscape.

18. Left 4 Dead (56 Days)
This (and its sequel) is probably the best zombie game that there is. It is a lot of fun, and I do not know how many times I have played the same levels. This game is most fun though in the versus mode with a group of friends. It is a lot of fun to take turns being the zombies.

17. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (62 Days)
While I probably enjoy Skyrim more, I played this one more. This game amazed me when I played it, and it was like nothing I had ever played before. This is one of those watershed games that really stand out for how incredible of an experience video games can be.

16. Minecraft (63 Days)
I initially got this game because it was so popular with the teens and pre-teens I worked with, but it go so much play because my son enjoyed it. We spent hours of building together.

15. Geometry Wars (71 Days)
Because of its popularity this is one of the first Xbox Live Arcade games I downloaded. I played it quite a bit as one of my "podcast" games.

14. Zuma (74 Days)
All 74 days of this game are my wife. She played it a lot for the first year we had the Xbox and then she kind of forgot about it.

13. Call of Duty: Black Ops (76 Days)
This is the first of several Call of Duty games on this list. I enjoyed this one quite a bit. Like several of the Call of Duty games I played this online quite a bit. I think this had one of the better stories of a Call of Duty games.

12. Call of Duty 2 (79 Days)
My absolute favorite way to play this game was as sniper duels. My brother and I have spent a great deal of time doing that over Xbox Live.

11. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas (83 Days)
I am always surprised I played this game as much as I did. I got the game when it came out, and I played it a lot in the first couple of months it was out. I played online both competitively and cooperatively with the terrorist hunts.

10. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (95 Days)
When this game came out it was a huge deal, and I played it like everyone else. For the better part of the year this was the main game I played in online matches over Xbox live.

9. Rock Band 2 (95 Days)
This might be cheating slightly, because I am combining the days for Rock Band and Rock Band 2 together. They are essentially the same game, especially since all of the songs from Rock Band could be transferred and played in Rock Band 2. This is a game my wife and I enjoyed playing together, and I have many great memories of spending hours side by side playing our plastic guitars.

8. FIFA 14 (96 Days)
I played several different soccer games over the years, but for some reason this one really connected. In the last part of 2013 and all of 2014 this has been the primary video game I have played.

7. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 2 (98 Days)
This is the game my brother and I have probably played the most together. This is because the game is extremely customizable in its game options and has a huge amount of maps available.

6. Pac-Man Championship Edition (102 Days)
I spent a lot of time playing this game. It became my primary "podcast" game for a long time, and I was very competitive in this game.

5. Call of Duty: World at War (121 Days)
Of all of the Call of Duty games this is my absolute favorite. I prefer the WWII weaponry and the multiplayer maps in this game are some of the best I have played.

4. Halo 3 (128 Days)
I obviously played this game a good deal. It is most fun with friends playing custom game types. I am especially fond of the incredible fun Rocket Race. I also spent a decent amount of time messing aorudn with the map customization making my own forge levels and modifying other map and game types.

3. Pinball FX 2 (150 Days)
This is another example of combining the numbers of the first and second game. Like Rock Band they are essentially the same game and all of the Pinball FX games are playable in the second game. I especially like the more recent Star Wars and Marvel tables.

2. Gears of War (193 Days)
This is my most played Xbox 360 game. Before having kids, I was involved with an adult clan called Allied Oddballs and this was our game. We played it a lot and of all the video games I have ever played this is probably the one I was most competitive in and could play at the highest level. I have no clue how many hours I put in this game (and I probably do not want to know), but I enjoyed it a lot.

1. Catan (209 Days)
It is extremely fitting that our most played Xbox 360 is a board game adaptation. I played it a good deal, but I know that the vast majority of those days were actually my wife. She played it online a good deal. While I was in seminary, it was not uncommon for me to spend a night writing a paper while she sat in the same room and played game after game of Catan against online opponents.
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Thu Jan 29, 2015 2:42 am
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