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

Screenshot from Wasteland 2
General Vargas from Wasteland 2

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.

Star Trek: Bridge Crew

  • Picked by Me
  • Percentage Complete = 100%
I've given up on Star Trek: Bridge Crew. Expect to see a review in the coming weeks 😊. I've now started playing Wasteland 2 in its stead…

Wasteland 2: Director's Cut

  • Picked by Me
  • Percentage Complete = 8%
So I decided to give Wasteland 2 a crack since it's getting a bit old now (it was originally released in 2014!) and it's one of the games I have that I purchased a retail copy of (yes, such things exist, although I suspect not for much longer). Sadly, despite me purchasing a disk to install the game from, it still required gigs of data to be downloaded via Steam and it ended up taking 3 hours total to install the game (although 3 of those hours were probably due to downloading patches). To make matters worse, after activating the key on Steam it seems that there is in fact a Director's Cut version of the game which is meant to be better than the original, so I had to wait for that to download too!

Anyway, after Wasteland 2: Director's Cut was installed I finally got some time to try the game out and so far, so good! The game has a lot I liked about gaming in the 90s such as FMV intros! Text parsers (although, it's redundant in this game since you can still converse by selecting buttons)! More stats than you can poke a radioactive stick at (including a perks system like the original Fallout, as you'd expect, since Fallout was in fact inspired by the original Wasteland)!

I love the soundtrack in this game and you can immediately tell that Mark Morgan is the game's composer since it has that Fallout 1 feel to it. I also love the many different decisions you have to make which is great at increasing replay value for an RPG and is also pretty much the reason we play RPGs, right? We want to be given tough choices and want the narrative to change depending on the choices we make: Wasteland 2 definitely gives you lots of choices, like which towns to save first, which people to recruit in your party not to mention you can invest skill points in different conversational styles which open up different dialogue options based on either intimidation, charisma or intelligence.

There have been some issues I've noticed though, usually revolving around music not playing or audio playing at the wrong time (e.g. characters introducing you to a new location when you've already visited it). I also think the character appearance customisation options are a bit naff, especially considering you have different ethnicities yet only Anglo-Saxon faces being available.

But at least the game has Computer Science as a legit skill choice. You read that right: COMPUTER SCIENCE!

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

  • Picked by Luke
  • Percentage Complete = 86%
I played more of the Kenway's Fleet mini-game (I somehow really enjoy this aspect of Black Flag) and "acquired" another frigate for use with the fleet, although the new frigate seems to have more cargo space than my existing frigates (so I guess there are slight differences within ship classes, then?)!

I also progressed the campaign a bit further where you finally get to remove Hornigold from the picture. I felt a bit sorry for him as it seems like he's conflicted between his loyalty to the crown and to the concept of freedom in general (which is why he became a pirate in the first place). I guess that's why he ends up siding with the Templars as he finally figures he prefers Order over Chaos.

Space Quest I

  • Picked by Choona
  • Percentage Complete = 22%
So, I started playing Space Quest I and am finding this game much easier than the AGI King's Quest games. Sure, I did finish Space Quest I a long time back but I found escaping the Arcada quite straight forward, and I think it's easy regardless of whether you've played the game before or not. I did get stuck however when I was about 1/5 through the game after crash landing on a desert planet: I ended up lost in some caves, not knowing how to get past a laser fence. The solution? I was supposed to pick up a survival kit and reflective glass that is never mentioned anywhere in the game, even when you're looking around the vicinity of the crash site…. ARGH! I hate it when games don't tell you that important items are nearby… it's worse than Interactive Fiction! At least in those games, looking around usually reveals everything you're able to acquire and use.

[ The Pile of Shame ]