Monday, February 20, 2017

Play Log: Surface Gaming

Company of Heroes 2
I tried running this on my Surface a long time ago, and was discouraged by the results.  But I couldn't stay away from it, so I decided to try tweaking the settings some more.  It's... playable.  I had to lower the resolution a ton and most of the quality settings are at low-medium, and I also had to download AutoHotkey because Relic can't be bothered to implement proper key rebinding in-game.  Also it's probably never getting more than 30 frames.  But it works.

Endless Legend
This game was on sale and an alternative to Civ V sounded attractive to me, so I decided to give it a shot.  It's interesting, not sure how I feel about it.  The biggest mechanical difference that jumps out at me is how open-ended the research is.  In Civ, you have a branching, but linear chart of research.  One technology leads to another, and some technologies have prerequisite technologies.  In Endless Legend, it's not like that at all.  The techs are organized into Eras, and you unlock new Eras as you continue your research.  But within each Era, there's no structure.  It's just a giant pool of techs, that you can research in whatever order you want.  You can even opt to pretty much ignore techs if you want, as you only need a fraction of each Era's techs to unlock the next Era.  It's very different from Civ's "no research left behind" approach.

This here's basically SimCity, but for Android.  And not SimCity 4, either.  Something earlier, more basic, like SimCity 2000.  It really does feel like like a SimCity game, through and through, complete with the fact that I basically wasted a whole evening staring at my phone playing it.  It's also completely free, which is cool.

The Legend of the Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel
The more I play this game the more I somewhat wish I had the background of having played the Trails in the Sky games.  Once you get to Heimdallr and later Legram, the references to the older games get more common.  It's not in any way affecting the main story at hand, it's just that sometimes you have scenes or bits of dialogue that I can tell I might have gotten more of a kick out of if I had played the earlier games.

As a side note, Legram's a pretty cool place.  It's the first field study location that I really find myself admiring.

I bought this game a long time ago, back when it was basically in its fund-raising phase.  The promise of a way-expanded Terraria was too enticing to pass up.  I played it briefly a couple years ago and wasn't pulled in by it, and it has since then evidently had a lot of ups, downs, and big changes.  I finally decided to give it another, more serious shot and... I like it.  It kinda does feel like an expanded Terraria, but I've only just scratched the surface, so I don't want to get too into comparing the two.

Yozakura Quartet: Hana no Uta

So, I watched some of the first adaptation this series got back in... 2007, was it?  I remember thinking it was decent, though I never got around to finishing it.  Anyway, the visuals of this one attracted me to it.  It's a fun show, with charming characters, clean animation and colorful designs.  But watching it, it really does feel like I've been dropped right in the middle of a story.  These characters already have established traits, histories and developments, and it's clear that some stuff has already happened before episode 1.  It's like picking up a 50-episode show at episode 25.  Funny enough though, this hasn't really impeded my enjoyment of the show, because I just like watching the characters.

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