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Another huge patch for XCOM 2 was released, of all the patches so far, this is the one I noticed the least differences with. They got rid of that empty slider in the options though.

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Like most other bigger patches, it came along with a DLC, this time the last one from the season pass, Shen’s Last Gift.

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I liked the dynamics the battles against the new boss enemies offered in the last DLC a lot, even if some of the armors you got out of it might have looked a little silly. There is no such thing this time. Pretty much all this DLC does, is add robots. While I usually like robots in such settings, I’d call the sparks: a liability.

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Even fully leveled, they hardly ever hit anything, which makes me feel like I wasted a spot on the team. Especially late game, I can’t afford it anymore, to bring people who won’t perform well. If other soldiers suck, I can always equip them with a superior scope and/or a superior perception PCS (pretty much everyone in my a-team has a 100 aim or even more). After that treatment every soldier becomes a great shot. Sparks however, can use neither. So what good is my big dumb robot, if it doesn’t hit anything?
I just finished my first campaign with this latest DLC and of course I wouldn’t bring a spark on the last mission. This is why I think the last DLC was much better, because it doesn’t just offer some interesting boss fights, but also supplies the player with some useful items one can keep using throughout the whole game.

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So this basically means, that with the end of the one story mission, you are done with this DLC and there aren’t any other gifts it has to offer.

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Am I using sparks wrong? Does anyone find them actually useful/prefers them to other soldiers/classes?

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This game is just great. It isn’t just one of the best adventures of the last few years, but one of the best overall, since I started playing them 25 years ago. It’s already one of my favorites and I’ll never forget it. I already spoke a little bit about, how especially new adventures usually regressed, in comparison with really old adventures, when I wrote a few lines concerning the Day of Tentacle Remaster. This isn’t the case here. It’s so weird how it’s now necessary to play the low budget indie adventures, to get some features that were normal 25 years ago, but then were dropped from almost all adventures released in the last 15 years. Somebody explain that to me.
Technobabylon is also the best kind of adventure in another very important arena. I’m currently trying to force myself to finish Deponia and those 2 games are polar opposites. Technobabylon has this immersive story and great, interesting characters and there are some puzzles to solve, but these puzzles always serve the story and are always tied to the story. They are not an end in itself. This is exactly how these games should be designed. IMHO, of course. Deponia on the other hand (and in comparison), throws the player on screens that have, what feels like 50 puzzles to solve. And even then there is only a little bit of story happening. The game hardly has any story and every screen is not about discovery or fun or story, it’s about removing all those obstacles on each screen, that then will only thrust the player into the next round of puzzles. Thus it starts to feel like a tedious chore.
Technobabylon never does that, it remained interesting until the end, I never wanted to stop playing because I lost interest, so I guess they also got the length just right.
It’s really these wadjet eye games, that offer the most fun for people who once liked LucasArts adventures. Just like those, these games are often extremely original and vastly different from each other. It’s already a little adventure to learn what the next game is going to be about.
Since this game offers some choices to players here and there, I might even play it again. At the very least I’m asking myself, what would have happened, if I had acted differently. That too, is a very good thing.
I still have tons of these indie adventures ahead of me (claiming that there wouldn’t be adventures anymore is the biggest BS, btw), so I guess I’ll never finish Deponia. :)

Ever since Firefox 47 Beta… 7? Firefox keeps throwing these errors:

Failure Log
(#0) Error Detected rendering device reset on refresh
(#1) Error Detected rendering device reset on refresh
(#2) Assert [D2D1.1] 3CreateBitmap failure Size(76,76) Code: 0x8899000c format 0
(#3) Assert Failed to create DrawTarget, Type: 7 Size: Size(76,76)
(#4) Assert [D2D1.1] 1CreateBitmap failure Size(30,30) Code: 0x8899000c format 7
(#5) Error Detected rendering device reset on refresh
(#6) Error Detected rendering device reset on refresh

I hoped it would vanish in the final, but (shocker) it didn’t. Firefox 48 Beta 3 shows the same behavior. Another horrible thing about it is, no crash reports are created. Nothing that can be reported. Long-term I’ll have to switch to Chrome, because this is unacceptable. The windows keeps flashing during these events and it can crash too – as I said without a report…

I frequently like to complain about XCOM and its story (because it is one of my favorite games), this is basically where Valkyria Chronicles comes in, because it could roughly be described as XCOM with a more fleshed out story and characters. I know right? Why isn’t everyone playing this right now?!? Lack of marketing?
Anyway, I myself discovered it by accident and quickly fell in love with it. Music, story, characters and gameplay are mixed into something that makes a quite solid game. The PC version also comes with all of the DLC.
I liked this setting so much, that after finishing the game, I watched the anime too. It’s roughly the same story with the same people, but with lots of small and some bigger differences. Although I preferred the story version of the game, I still enjoyed the anime quite a bit, it was a good way to “let go” after finishing the game.

One of the few ways how they could have spiced things up even more, would have been to also introduce different outcomes for story and characters (this is supposed to say how good it already is). Pretty much everything else, that is fun in such games, was already there. One unusual and innovative feature the game did include, was a list of all the soldiers names at the end, showing whether they had survived the war or not – reflecting the player’s current playthrough of course…
I also can’t say I encountered any bug in all my time with this game. This is so rare…

So, uhm… go play it, I guess.

Also:

Wot I Think: Valkyria Chronicles

In one single characteristic this game reminds me of StarCraft II – Dreamfall Chapters Book Five actually managed to resolve a story that was also begun 17 years ago. While this alone obviously is so unusual and so crazy, Dreamfall even tops that, because StarCraft’s story was never this complex anyway (and hardly the focus of that game).
It goes without saying that I’m very happy that they decided to give this a real ending and not drag things out even further, I mean SEVENTEEN YEARS. :D Let’s all go completely nuts now! :P

While I’m not necessarily even this impressed by many of the reveals and/or twists themselves (this ending offered), I’m completely blown away by the sheer amount of questions and story threads they answered and gave (at the very least some) closure to. Merely remembering all these bits is an accomplishment by itself. But they really went all out here, they jumped back to stuff, I was sure they would never touch again. This extreme amount of effort towards NOT sweeping stuff under the rug alone, makes this ending unforgettable to me. In a (gaming) world all too often dominated by not having any endings or only typical lackluster ones, this could count as a singular event. I mean, 17 years! Holy *beeeeep* – if there was a hall of fame for such things, this game would now be easily in it.

I was really happy playing this yesterday (directly after its release) and all the many details (if you go look for them) made this ending truly matter to me; it intrigued me enough to make me want to play it again, to experience it in a slightly different manner. I was definitely asking myself what would have happened, if some characters would have had a different fate. I don’t (however) think anyone, who just picked up this game and didn’t play all the previous games in the series, could have had the same experience and reaction to all of this. There is a recap, of course, but watching a short recap is hardly a perfect substitute for playing all the games yourself, over such a long period of time no less.
Thus, this game is yet another positive outcome in my book, among the games I backed on KS. So far I can still honestly say I never regretted using KS.

Also:

Dreamfall Chapters Closed, The Longest Journey Ended

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