What I've Been Playing This Week (aka Pile of Shame Sunday)

The crew of the Tempest enjoying a movie right before they head off to save the Heleus Cluster

The following post is part of a series of posts that are published every Sunday to update readers on what Mark G has been up to with respect to finishing off games on his "Pile of Shame". The games to target are picked by Choicest Games contributors Choona, Luke and Lanna. As I'll be talking about my progress through these games, there may be spoilers ahead, especially for games containing a narrative. Consider yourself warned.

Mass Effect: Andromeda

  • Picked by Lanna
  • Percentage Complete = 100%

It's been a whirlwind week with respect to Mass Effect: Andromeda as after playing it for 58 hours total, I've finished my first playthrough of the game! After managing to find Meridian and a big boss battle against the Archon, I managed to save the Heleus Cluster (for now). I'm hoping to get a review completed for next week so watch this space!

Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars

  • Picked by Lanna
  • Percentage Complete = 70%

After completing Mass Effect: Andromeda, I decided to go back to another game I was in the midst of playing for the purposes of reviewing: Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars. I've actually finished the game at least once but I wanted to finish the game a second time before investing time in a review.

I started a new game playing as Elerians on Easy difficulty (the second easiest level). As they're a DLC race and I originally completed the game prior to the DLC races coming out, I've never played as them before. In my current game, I'm stuck with four colonies for the time being and I somehow managed to survive two attacks by the Antarans – the first attack I survived simply by good luck since they destroyed a Missile Base and attempted to bomb the colony but somehow missed. After their first and only attempt at bombing the colony, they fled back to their dimension (weird). During their second attack though, I was prepared for them with quite a formidable fleet, winning the battle and only losing two frigates in the process.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to get rid of a space amoeba so I can investigate some Antaran ruins. The first time I engaged the creature it said my fleet had a clear chance of winning, however it seems these odds are deceptive since at close range, the amoeba decimates ships (and that's exactly what happened to my fleet). I guess I need to shoot from range. So, to combat it in the future, I've developed a new Slayer Class Frigate especially designed for attacking these things. We shall see how it goes next time I play.

Also, the Klackons, my only accessible neighbour, are always angry at me since they keep asking for Star Charts and I keep refusing to share (Elerians start with the entire map revealed). War with the ant-like race could be on the horizon but that might not be a bad thing considering the Elerians have a combat advantage with +25 Beam Offense and Defense...

Doctor Kvorak's Obliteration Game

  • Picked by Lanna
  • Percentage Complete = 20%

I placed playing Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars on hold because I've actually received a review copy of an interesting indie game called Doctor Kvorak's Obliteration Game: the developers told me it's a mix of "The Running Man" and "Portal" and I tend to agree with them (although I don't think it has as many Ahnold one-liners though). They also told me they hoped the game wouldn't feature on Pile of Shame Sunday, so seems like I've gone against their wishes in that respect (sorry!) – but this way I at least get to tell you about how I'm going with respect to the game.

I've so far played four levels or "zones" in this 3D adventure-puzzle game. Despite its indie pedigree (i.e. a polite way of saying it has low production values since it doesn't have the multi-million budget of a AAA), I'm really enjoying the game. It probably helps that I like games like Portal perhaps since in general, I'm not actually a big fan of puzzle games. The game also reminds me of an older game called Chip's Challenge (or at least I think that's what it was called – basically a top-down puzzle game where you had to complete various levels by solving puzzles moving boxes).

Company of Heroes 2

  • Picked by Luke
  • Percentage Complete = 60%

I didn't manage to play any of the single player campaign this week but I did play a compstomp with Luke and another mate that goes by the handle DarkMoose. I had no idea what I was doing and I probably provided minimal support despite bringing along a couple of mortar teams, Guards, engineers, an SU-76, conscripts and a half-track. I did hold some of the flanks though and the mortars ended up being the MVPs (on my team); they even managed to sink a couple of tanks which resulted in me giggling like a school girl at their demise. It was a fun way to spend 45 minutes.

World of Goo

  • Picked by Choona
  • Percentage Complete = 40%

I've finished Chapter 2 and have moved onto Chapter 3. I struggled on one puzzle since it involved applying enough weight on a pressure plate but it gave no indication earlier on whether placing extra goo balls on the plate was actually working or not. Only once you reached a critical mass did the plate finally depress all the way down; the puzzle was rather easy to figure out after that.

Two more chapters and an epilogue and the game will be finished.

[ The Pile of Shame ]