Pile of Shame Sunday - 4th October 2020

Screenshot of a base being attacked in 8-Bit Armies
Overwhelming numbers seems to be a valid tactic in 8-Bit Armies

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.

8-Bit Armies

  • Picked by Me
  • Percentage Complete = 6%

I didn't quite have enough space to install Far Cry 4 so instead I tried playing a smaller game called 8-Bit Armies, another game I believe my brother purchased for my birthday a while back.

It's a retro-style RTS developed by Petroglyph Games, a development studio founded by ex-Westwood Studios developers Joe Bostic, Michael Legg and Steve Tall. The game does feel a bit like early C&C games with cute graphics and a chiptune soundtrack (by Frank Klepacki no less). The game has a mix of modern audio (e.g. the unit voices) and old school 8-bit audio (the gunfire noises sound straight out of something like Contra).

The game does feel a bit barebones so far, although I'll have to play it a bit more to see if it gets any better. There's no unit veterancy which means you might as well just spam units and there doesn't appear to be any strategy in the earlier campaign levels except overwhelming the enemy with lots of units. The game also doesn't have any cinematics for its single player campaign and has hardly any story either.

My final gripe with the game is that it seems like nobody is playing multiplayer at the moment, although I guess that's pretty normal for games that are a few years old (unless they're insanely popular).

XCOM: Chimera Squad

  • Picked by Luke
  • Percentage Complete = 5%

I started playing XCOM: Chimera Squad this week and it's quite addictive in the same way the XCOM games are. I've so far done the tutorial missions along with a couple of other storyline missions and things get difficult pretty quick. You definitely have to be cognisant of the turn order which is similar to games such as The Banner Saga and Omerta: City of Gangsters. In fact, turn order is so important in this that there are actual abilities to push your squad mates earlier in the sequence.

Another couple of down-sides with this game is that it feels much more small scale than the previous XCOM games and with good reason I suppose, since you're only focused around 9 districts in one city instead of overseeing the defence of the entire globe.

There are some aspects of the game I like though: A lot of focus is placed on performing a successful breach and this reminds me of police games such as Door Kickers or even Rainbow Six: Siege. Also, since the game is more small-scale and intimate, with agents that have well fleshed out backgrounds, the post-war world seems more convincing and I just love the banter between different agents. You can even unlock extra dialogue depending on which agents you recruit: for example, I recruited an ex-police officer called "Blueblood" which resulted in him chatting with his former boss the Police Commissioner during a mission briefing. This helps give the game some replay value as you'll want to play it again with different agents to ensure you don't miss out on any other extra dialogue.

Finally, I do enjoy the fact you can subdue suspects in this and the game rewards the non-lethal approach by giving your team more intel.

Quest for Glory II

  • Picked by Choona
  • Percentage Complete = 38%

I'm now playing as a wizard and have purchased a couple of new spells: Levitate and Force Bolt. I've also talked to everyone about finding the Wizard's Institute of Technocery (WIT). I had memorised where the secret entrance was from previous playthroughs so it wasn't too hard to find where it was situated. However, performing the trial was another matter entirely.

I attempted the trial a couple of times but both times I ran out of magic points and you don't get an opportunity to restore them at any stage by using magic pills. Once you've exhausted your "reservoir" of mana you're kicked out of WIT by the wizards and told to come back again once you're powerful enough. However, the only way to become powerful enough is to raise your magic points and the only way to do that is to cast spells. To my knowledge, the best way in order to practice spells is by performing the challenge, which is why I keep returning to WIT to try it. Magic Pills are expensive though, four bottles cost 15 Dinars!

LINK: [ The Pile of Shame ]