Rad Listed – Three month edition!

Rad Listed – Three month edition!

Wow! Has it been 3 months since my last post!? Too busy playing games, not enough time writing about them. Fortunately, I have a lot of amazing games to talk about, and a ton of great recommendations to make. There’s also a lot of exciting games coming out in the next few months to look forward to as well!

Before I get started, I wanted to mention that the Chats with Rad Teamspeak server is still up and running and we are pretty active on there. Feel free to join us anytime if you’re looking for a group to play PC games with. We’re mostly playing Heroes of the Storm every night, along with a smattering of games on Friday and Saturday nights–currently, Rocket League, Dying light, or GTA: Online. You can find all the information about the server in the above ‘Teamspeak Voice Server’ link.

Prepare yourself: this is going to be a big ol’ Rad Listed!

With so many great games coming out in the coming months, I have been trying to spare my wallet. X-Com 2 just came out this last Friday, and even though I tried my best to resist its call, I eventually caved and bought the game the following Sunday. The game is great, and I’m having a lot of fun with it.
The edition of the custom character pool is brilliant and makes it easy to start a new game and still have your custom-made characters available. I like to make all of my custom characters the names of my friends and family– it adds a whole new depth to the game (It also gives me an excuse to yell at them on occasion for missing crucial shots, and angrily texting them to get their act together).
I’m only a few missions in, but this new iteration seems to be much harder and more unforgiving than the last X-Com. However, this is a difficulty I relish in, and look forward to when I learn how to overcome it. Stay tuned for a potential full write-up on X-Com 2 in the future.

If you ever played Dead Island, think of that game with improved combat mechanics and parkour.  Got it? Now you have Dying Light, a melee-heavy zombie survival parkour game (I can’t make this stuff up!).  I, along with my usual crew, have recently been playing this game cooperatively and having an absolute ball with the combination of first-person platforming and melee-based combat. The fun melee and rag-doll physics occasionally creates hilarious situations that have us rolling on the floor laughing. 

I can’t speak to how good the story-line is, as we just skip all dialogue to get back to the action, but the gameplay is top-notch! As always, fun is multiplied with friends, but I’m sure Dying Light would be a fun single-player experience, if not for different reasons.

We like to yell ‘parkour!’ occasionally while jumping and climbing over buildings.

Yup! Still playing Heroes of the Storm, on an almost-daily basis with a group of friends. While ‘salty’ is a flavor I choose often, I still have a blast playing. The store-wide 50% off sale over the holidays was a blow to my wallet, but I managed to nab myself quite a few heroes. I have unlocked essentially all of the heroes I’m interested in playing, along with some neat skins. While I lament my abandonment of DotA sometimes, I’m quite content with HotS’ shorter game times and less-complicated gameplay, allowing your team to focus more on the intricacies of team fights.

I had been eagerly awaiting Fallout 4’s release for quite a while, and I was not disappointed! I thoroughly enjoyed the new mechanics they introduced, most especially the weapon modification options. While the base-building mechanics weren’t terribly engaging, I did have fun participating in it a little bit– I just wish that, mechanically, it had more impact on the game world. I look forward to the additional content that Bethesda will be inevitably releasing down the road.
Fallout 4’s release may or may not explain my sudden absence. =P
I may have mentioned Divinity: Original Sin in the past. It’s a single player and/or cooperative top-down, turn-based RPG, not dissimilar to the gameplay of Baldur’s Gate. A friend and I have been playing it cooperatively and having quite a bit of fun in the process. The way that elemental effects can impact the battlefield make magic-user classes very enjoyable. Gas clouds explode when fire meets them, wet enemies have a higher chance of being frozen by ice-based attacks, and oil can be lit on fire to slowly burn your enemies. The developer recently released  a free ‘Enhanced Edition’ update for all Original Sin owners, which has added a plethora of new activities and features!

The Shadowrun games are narrative, turn-based, tactical RPGs, similar to the X-Com combat. There is a lot of emphasis on player dialogue, choice, story-telling and character skill progression.
I absolutely love the Shadowrun games that Hare Brained Schemes has revitalized in the last few years! I have played through all of the Shadowrun games they have made so far: Shadowrun Returns, Shadowrun: Dragonfall, and now Shadowrun: Hong Kong. I even joined in on the kickstarter on Hong Kong, which i did not regret in the slightest.  They even recently added a free epilogue campaign to all current owners… I know what I’ll be doing in the near future!
What I like most about the Shadowrun games is the world they’ve created. It’s exceedingly interesting, as the games take place in a fantasy and tech-heavy dystopian future, where dragons rule the leading world corporations, pulling the strings from the shadows.
It took way too dang long, but Batman: Arkham Knight finally became relatively playable near the end of 2015–pretty sad considering it had been out since June! Regardless of my misgivings for the awful PC release of Arkham Knight, I had a ton of fun with the game itself! 
I found the Batmobile combat pretty enjoyable, dodging tank shots and trading fire, with explosions everywhere! As usual, the Batman melee combat is solid, and by the end of the game you find yourself chaining together a ridiculous amount of blows without even getting touched, like the true Batman. In the end though, it feels like more of the same, so if you think you’ve had enough of the Batman combat, puzzle solving, and Riddler trophies, this may be something you’ll want to pass on.

I’ve had my eye on this physics-based multiplayer brawler for awhile. I finally managed to get four willing participants just the other day, and man, did we have a lot of fun! We were laughing uncontrollably the entire duration. The gelatinous movements of your character and the silly rag doll physics, combined with the ridiculous levels really comes together into a very entertaining experience. My favorite level was one with two trucks driving alongside each other, where you must jump across to the other to engage your opponents whilst dodging passing road signs.

I found myself playing an old classic on my Nexys 7 during the Christmas Holiday while I was away from my computer. Knights of the Old Republic is still a fantastically fun RPG, and has actually aged pretty well. While controlling it via the touch screen is a battle sometimes, after a bit of practice, I became pretty proficient with it. Even when I try to build my character as a ranged damage dealer, I always end up switching to melee. There’s something about bashing someone in the face with a Vibro-Blade that is just…so…satisfying.
I finally caved. While I will always primarily be a PC gamer in every way, shape, and form, I determined that the PS4 had enough console exclusives I was interested in to justify the purchase. I will still prioritize PC for all multi-platform releases, but the PS4 has some heavy hitters coming to the console in the future. I’m most excited about the PS4 exclusive; Horizon Zero Dawn.

While Destiny is not a PS4 exclusive, it is a console exclusive. Since Bungie has given no indication in bringing Destiny over to PC, I decided to get the game on my new shiny PS4. I never played Destiny until well after The Taken King’s release, so I missed out on the rocky transition of the original game. However, what I’m playing now is a great first person shooter MMO-ish RPG. I say MMO-ish because it has almost all of the tropes of an MMO, but can’t seem to decide on what it really is.  That’s okay though– the game is quite enjoyable the way it is, despite a feeling of segmentation due to a large number of load screens when transitioning between areas.

One of the primary reasons I wanted a PS4 was so I could get a chance at Bloodborne. While it was not my only reason for purchasing a PS4, it was a big factor in the equation, as it was another game that was seemingly never going to find its way to PC. As a huge Dark Souls fan, I already knew I’d love Bloodborne.  I didn’t expect to be as floored by it as I have been, though. I love the quicker combat that rewards the player with quick dodging and poking attacks. Just don’t over commit to a combo, like I do!

Expect another post next week, where I plan on talking about all the exciting upcoming games in the next couple months!

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