Saturday, February 06, 2010

Jan 2010: What I'm Playing/What I'm Paying

Welcome to the first What I'm Playing and What I'm Paying post for 2010.  In the future I will attempt to have these posts ready for the first of each month, but Heartless_ Jr is teething and when I finally had free time this past week all I wanted to do was own face in Battlefield: Bad Company 2.

I have embedded the new What I'm Playing/What I'm Paying spreadsheet for January below.  The overall spreadsheet can be found here.

Game of the Month 

Mirror's EdgeMirror's Edge
Cost: $4.99 (Steam Holiday Sale)
Played: 7 hours
3-words: Fun action puzzler.

My game of the month was Mirror's Edge.  Unfortunately, the fun for Mirror's Edge ended after 7 hours when I completed the game.  I tried to move onto the time trials, but became bored trying to shave another second off my runs.

Early in January, I compared the game to Portal in a post and it really sums up my thoughts: 
Mirror's Edge is a racing puzzle game, not an action FPS.  The sooner that is understood, the sooner the game can be enjoyed.  Forget that there is gun-play, this game is all about getting from point A to B in the fastest time and most efficient manner.

The only game I can compare Mirror's Edge to is Portal.
At 7 hours played, I feel the price tag of $4.99 was worth it.  I enjoyed the game.

February's Game of the Month: Mass Effect


In the /Played section, I will cover the other games I've played during the month.

Civilization 4 (Civ4)
Civ4 caught me off guard.  I didn't anticipate liking it as much as I have.  While it is a simple game to pick up and play, there is a wide variety of things to understand and master in the game.  Even after 22 hours of play, I feel like a fish out of water.  I agonize over every little decision, wondering if it was the right one.  As it is with most involved strategy games, its impossible to tell in most cases whether you made the right decision or not (outside of military conflict that is, its pretty easy when your army is eating dirt and the enemy's is not).  However, I am learning how my decisions will affect each game and therefore making better decisions because of it.


Trine is a great platform puzzle game.  Also, its a gorgeous quasi-3D game.  It took me about 6 hours to finish and was another $4.99 winner from the Steam Holiday Sale.

Mass Effect

Sure, Mass Effect 2 just launched, but I'm old school and am just catching up on Mass Effect 1.  I've warmed my hands up with a couple hours of play this month and will dive into it hardcore in February. 

Defense Grid: The Awakening
A great tower-defense game which I purchased solely to play on my underpowered laptop when I'm away from home.  Two hours of mindless fun enjoyed so far.

This is a puzzle game caught between crazyland and Super Mario World.  All I can say is that I'm lazy and routinely have to look at cheats... for level 1!  However, that is due to some basic things not being explained in-game (like moving the puzzles around to create platforms to jump on).  Even knowing how to do something does not make it any easier to pull off.  Also, watching the cheats gives a good overview of some of the "basics" that any Braid player will need to survive.  I feel a lot less frustrated after having watched some cheat videos and am confident I can tackle the rest of the game cheat-free (or not).

S.T.A.L.K.E.R Shadow of Chernobyl
A lot of people love this game, but after roughly an hour with the game I have mixed feelings.  I'm not sure if I have the time or motivation to keep playing.  There are a lot of nuances and "omg its like real life" things I need to figure out about the game.  And I keep forgetting to save my progress.

Allods Online
I enjoyed a few hours of Allods Online and look forward to the launch.  This will be my main MMOG for 2010.

Rome: Total War

Sorry, Civ4 won my strategy side over and not sure I will play Rome: Total War past the one hour I invested.


Total spent this Month: $55.17
My Value Rating: Excellent

It is rare for me to spend money on a game that I am not going to play immediately, but the Steam Holiday Sale was insane.  I had to stock up!  Plus, it will only take a few hours of play to get my money's worth out of each game.

NOTE: This report includes data from a short period of time from Dec 2009 as well as all of January 2010.

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