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

Screenshot from XCOM 2
Another successful mission, but will I have the same luck on the final mission?

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 myself. 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.

Megarace 2

  • Picked by Me
  • Percentage Complete = 66%
As part of my Choicest VGM posts, I've featured the soundtrack to Megarace 2 which means I'm also revisiting the game proper. I must have had a lot of patience when I first played this game many years ago since as soon as I came up to the fourth level in the game ("Moonbase 9") I struggled: in Megarace 2 you have to complete three races (on the same track) before you get a chance to save your progress and if you don't get first place on the final race, it's game over!

After multiple tries though, I finally made it to the fifth level in the game called "Bayou" and this one's even worse than the previous track!

Oh, another thing that is annoying about the game (besides the intentionally annoying game show host, Lance Boyle) is that it's hard to tell the stats of the cars besides its maximum speed (i.e. there's no indication of whether there is a difference in armour, weight, handling, acceleration, etc.) so despite me having the fastest car in the game (the Vipper at 125 mph top speed) it might be really poor at handling or not able to withstand much punishment.

Also, in terms of stability, the game seems to frequently freeze up when quitting the GOG version of the game (which I believe runs through DOSBOX). Fortunately, alt+tabbing out seems to resolve the issue, although it's not an exactly graceful exit.

Hand of Fate

  • Picked by Me
  • Percentage Complete = 91%
On hold while I'm playing other games. 😊

Stardew Valley

  • Picked by Me
  • Percentage Complete = 20%
On hold while I'm playing other games. 😊

The Testament of Sherlock Holmes

  • Picked by Me
  • Percentage Complete = 25%
I haven't made any further progress on this – it's now on hold while I am distracted by… well… a lot of other games 😊.

Battlefield 1

  • Picked by Me
  • Percentage Complete = 10%
I haven't made any further progress on this – it's now on hold while I am distracted by… well… a lot of other games 😊.


  • Picked by Luke
  • Percentage Complete = 80%
I think I'm completing the final mission in the game now, but I'm still being a bit cautious about the percentage complete (since you never know with XCOM 2 - the game tends to spring nasty surprises on you all the time!)

Anyway, I completed the penultimate mission which takes place on top of a broadcast tower and you're only allowed three soldiers in the squad! Amazingly, hacking the station didn't result in any nasty surprises (which goes against what I just said before about XCOM 2 tending to do so; as you can imagine, I was shocked but relieved at the same time). My most senior operative, "Doc", my Scottish sniper, "Braveheart", and my Magus Psi-Op, "Baba Yaga", were the three chosen for the mission. Unfortunately, Doc was slightly wounded on the mission which meant for the ultimate mission that follows right after, Doc had no time to heal (they allow you to bring wounded soldiers on the final mission because the best soldiers are required for the mission, no matter what state they're in).

The final mission has a whopping 29 enemies as the opposing force (that's 3 times more than I'm used to) and they apparently have Avatars too – no idea how I'm going to pull it off…

Town of Salem

  • Picked by Choona
  • Percentage Complete = 40%
I've tended to lose more games than I've won in Town of Salem but I guess that's what you get for being a total beginner at the game not to mention I'm not terribly good at deduction games. While the game does have tutorials at the beginning, they only really cover the basics and even then don't really give you a full idea of what is available: for example, there is mention of whispering to other players but you're expected to know that "/w [player name] [insert message here]" is how you go about it… which is fine if you're accustomed to using chat clients since you can take an educated guess but not so good to the uninitiated. In fact, the game is basically a chat client with a game tacked onto it, albeit a very entertaining and addictive game, especially if you can bring friends along (I've already spent a few hours on it, so far).

Speaking of bringing your friends along, there is the potential for cheating or what Town of Salem fans call "gamethrowing" since you'll already know one or more of the roles (if you're communicating with your friends) – otherwise, playing with your friends is going to be pretty pointless, except that you're all sharing a common experience which isn't a bad thing; makes for good anecdotes.

[ The Pile of Shame ]