Humble Choice July 2022 – Rock and Stone and more!

I’m Kinglink and it’s time for the Humble Choice July 2022 Review. 

Once again there are eight titles for us to look through but I think there are only two that really need to be considered.  I’ll still go through them all and give you a little bonus game as well. 

The rules are the same as always, I play each game on Twitch for an hour, and now can talk about who will enjoy the games, who should check them out, and if they’re any good. 

This month though I’m making some changes to the video, I’m sure you’ll notice some of them, and let me know what you think. I’m both nervous and excited about these changes. 

With that said let’s get started with the game already on screen.  Take it away…

Deep Rock Galactic.  Mining, I mean what else are dwarves going to do. 

Deep Rock Galactic is not new to me, I’ve already spent over 30 hours on this game.  This is an excellent game, and I’m glad to see it in the bundle.  In it, you can play solo, with friends, or with random people, but either way, players will tackle one of seven different types of missions in various locations and with various dangers and sizes.  There’s enough variety that players will have reasons to come back. 

There’s also a very solid progression system and a great design to the game.  The developers have continually added to the title to expand it, and include even more content over the four years since this has been released, and don’t seem to be slowing down. While you will be familiar with the mission types, each time you enter the level you will tackle a new area, which will give you a unique experience.  This is also a game that’s “Better with Friends”, a topic I’ve tackled before about this game. 

Pick this up if you want to go mining or have a solid group of friends you want to play with.  You can instead play this solo, or with random players as well, and it’s almost as good.  I will say this is one of the best gaming communities no matter if you are on their subreddit, Discord, or just meeting random players.   The community is extremely welcoming, friendly, and willing to get a green beard up and running.  Rock and Stone Brothers. 

Necromunda: Hired Gun.  If you are waiting for a single-player FPS, here we are. 

Necromunda: Hired Gun is based on a Game Workshop game called Necromunda, in the Warhammer 40k universe.  You’re on a mechanized planet, and the locations here do not disappoint, whether it’s the furnace locations during the first level, or an epic train that passes in the second, there’s a huge sense of scale and discovery here, that’s impressive. 

It’s too bad the rest of the game just doesn’t work as well as the levels and locations.  There’s a particularly bad character model that I’ll try to show here of a big brute, but it was a bad enough model that it made me start realizing it’s more visual trickery and filters that made the other enemies acceptable, at least I think so.  The gunplay in the first hour is average at best, and there are some weird control choices, such as combining the use, melee, and reload all on a single button, which is awkward for the melee takedowns. Then again some moments reminded me of Ghostrunner for the wall-running that’s rather good, and a few moments were visceral like Doom Eternal, but a weaker form of both if I’m honest.

Pick this up if you love First Person shooters, I liked the environments here and would love to see more, but this is a Games Workshop game that tends to have a decent amount of Jank.  As always when it comes to these types of games, I recommend people check out Mandelore’s reviews if they want a more in-depth look at the game, which ultimately is positive though it does mention a lack of polish at launch.   Though one last point, there’s a dog you can summon by squeaking a toy and letting him go after enemies.  Who’s a good boy?

Legion TD 2.  An Autobattler that feels accessible. 

Legion TD 2 seems like a solid game, it’s called a Multiplayer Tower Defense game and I think it’s also commonly called an Autobattler.  I got through a lengthy tutorial and some of the campaign mode and found it to be a relatively welcoming experience.  There are a lot of helpful tips and tricks, and even a recent upgrade improved what they call the Game Coach. 

Placing units and trying to use strategy was a good move, but a big piece here is resource management.  You have resources to attack the enemy, and a different resource to defend yourself, but using each resource can increase the rate you gain the opposite resource.  If that sounds confusing, it’s well explained in the tutorial.  After the first few levels of the campaign I was getting a solid handle on the gameplay. 

Pick this up if you want to play multiplayer.  There’s a campaign, tutorial, and more, but this game is intended to be played online and competitively, and there are some interesting gameplay elements there.  There are also a lot of interesting choices such as the ability to reroll your characters, and eight factions as well as a special faction that will hopefully keep the game fresh. 

Legend of Keepers.  Be a dungeon master, kind of. 

Legend of Keepers involves the player being employed at Dungeon Company and having to hire minions, level them up, and deploy them against invading adventurers.  The idea of working at a dungeon company doesn’t come through on the experience.  Though, I do understand the concept.  

The issue is how mundane the experience is.  After an hour I felt like I understood what the game was trying to do and just didn’t feel like I wanted to keep playing.  The concept of being a dungeon master doesn’t feel new or fresh here.  But what’s worse is you’re just selecting monsters, and not designing a dungeon.  Each room is pre-laid out for what will appear there, so you have limited agency.  There are choices to be made, but you’re still limited in what you can choose. 

Pick this up if you want to be a dungeon master, or as the first character is titled Slaveholder. Ooh, boy.  But this is a grindy experience, and I find this hard to recommend.  I didn’t even finish my first mission in the game in that hour, but I also don’t feel a compelling reason to return.  Maybe this one isn’t for me. 

Also, there are three playable characters, with three more locked behind DLC which feels a bit greedy.  But the game itself did enough to turn me off, so this is a minor footnote. 

Lawn Mowing Simulator.  It’s better than watching the grass grow. 

I’ll start by saying I love Lawn Mowing Simulator, and I’m not saying that as a joke.  There’s something zen-like about this game where it’s just mowing lawns.  I played a decent amount of the title on Game Pass, and now that I own it on Steam I might do the same.  The whole game involves mowing people’s lawns and eventually running a company and getting other people to mow lawns.

To me, it’s somewhere in between an incremental and the typical simulator game.  Watching the progress bar slowly tick up, trying to perfect each lawn and avoid damaging the grass, or flowers, and watching the lawn slowly get cut by each subsequent pass entertains me.  This isn’t going to be ultra-competitive, but if you just want to sit back and relax for twenty to thirty minutes, this will easily satisfy you.  

Pick this up if you want something extremely chill and relaxed.  It’s not going to be for everyone but it’s a game I fully enjoy.  I mean ultimately it’s in the name, it’s a simulator game about mowing lawns, if you expect more than that, I don’t know why. 

I know you guys expect me to give something negative about the game, there are no push mowers in the game.   Maybe that’s something for Lawn Mowing Simulator 2 .

Banners of Ruin. Slay the Spire in the Animal kingdom.

Banners of Ruin has players choose two starting characters, with only the Mouse and Bear available, but four others promised.  From there, players have three lanes on screen at any time and have to choose one of the lanes to advance the cards and tackle different events.  Normal battles are challenging but there are also elite battles that consistently wrecked me. 

The entire game involves building your deck, and equipping items onto your characters, then tackling events to see what happens next.  In battle, you’ll draw cards, and each of your characters can use them.  Character placement can matter, as does the items characters have equipped.  The experience here is both challenging but interesting and will entertain players of deck builders. 

Pick this up if you already enjoy Slay the Spire.  There are enough changes to the formula, from the party system to the equipment that will greet fans of the genre with something fresh.   But I’m not sold on where it will place in the pantheons of deck builders.  Still, it’s unique in some of the elements it tries. 

Yes, Your Grace.  It’s good to be the king.

Yes, Your Grace has petitioners who constantly greet you and ask for your favors, which means money and supplies and unless you give them, the entire kingdom loses happiness.  While this sounds like a decision-making game, it’s much more about resource management and trying to manage a kingdom while making your family and guests happy. 

The problem is I didn’t like the story here.  Yes, Your Grace had this unfortunate habit of allowing players to make choices and then telling the player backstory that would have been useful to know before.  Like when you execute a raider, you then find out that the raider was from a faction you promised a daughter to.  The story just didn’t excite me, and the art style worked in a few scenes, but also pixel art feels almost tired by this point.  

Pick this up if you want more of a visual novel with some resource management.  I know people who swear by this game, but I didn’t find it that engaging and I’ll probably be giving it up.   I came into the month hopeful for this one and am leaving it a little disappointed.

Atom RPG Trudograd.  This got me nostalgic for Fallout, the original Fallouts.

Atom RPG: Trudograd is the second in a series, in it, the player is exploring a large city called Trudograd for an organization to find a weapon.  The player will spend most of his time talking to people, getting to know them, or helping them with whatever needs doing.  Or finding prostitutes and sleeping with them.   Not that I would do that…   

Trudograd is inspired by the original Fallout games and does a good job to live up to that inspiration.  There are quite a few memes at times, and the language is odd.  Not bad, but it’s been a while since I’ve seen writing like this, and will take some time to get used to.  However, there are also incredibly good voiced sections. My real complaint is I want the entire game voiced like that because the acting there felt great, and would have been welcomed, but probably would have cost way too much to do the entire game in that style. 

Pick this up if you’re nostalgic for the CRPG, especially Fallout.  It also has some similarities to Disco Elysium in the amount of writing here, though there is some combat as well.  It’s a style of game that has grown out of style but shouldn’t have, and Trudograd is refreshing to see once again. 

And so that’s what I have for the games this month, but hold up, I like to check out what’s in the Humble Games Collection, and this month I have an odd one.  Let’s check out…

Chinatown Detective Agency.  A game that tells you to google it. 

Chinatown Detective Agency tells a story about a brand new Private Eye who gets hired to help out numerous clients and has to find information, solve puzzles and discover the origins of quotes, stamps, coins, and more.  What’s particularly odd though is this is all real-world information.  Whether it’s a quote from a mysterious book or a rare stamp that someone wishes to return to the country of origin, these are real-world objects, and the game tells players to search for information on these topics on the Web.   

It’s a unique experience that reminds me a bit of playing Carmen Sandiego, only with a search engine instead of a large reference book. Players might have to figure out what the term Ludstown means, and then go to that location to discover their suspects.  There are several in-game puzzles as well, but the search mechanics are what is really unique.  Though the search does often turn up people giving hints or walkthroughs about the game, adding a negative sign and then the word Chinatown does avoid those pitfalls. 

Pick this up if you want a one-of-a-kind game.  Searching answers on google might not appeal to everyone but this is not a game you’ve seen before, and that’s what stands out about it.  It’s a fresh experience in an industry that rarely comes up with new ideas, and for that, it’s worth checking out. 

As always you can check out Chinatown Detective Agency in the Humble Game Collection that’s available to subscribers, so if you pass on this month’s bundle, and buy next month you can check it out then. 

As for this month’s bundle.  I had a lot of fun playing the games, but I struggle with an important point.  This bundle was designed for Deep Rock Galactic and Necromunda.  The other games are good and enjoyable but I don’t know if I’d recommend the choice if buyer already own these two games, or don’t want either game. 

And yes, Deep Rock was at ten dollars in the Steam Sale, but I’m sure the other seven games will likely make up that two dollars difference, Necromunda has never been under 18 dollars, well, 17.99, so there it’s a good value. 

Though I will also mention if you wanted to share the Deep Rock Galactic experience, this is a great way to get a second key, which is what I did with it. 

On the other hand, I want to applaud Humble, there’s no Epic Games, GOG, or Origin key this month and it was beginning to feel like that was a permanent change.  So if you are a Steam fan, you’re getting all the games on the right launcher. 

The bundle itself is also quite fresh, the only game that has been bundled before was Legend of Keepers.  I also don’t believe any of these games have been given away on Amazon, or Epic, which is also quite a bit rare.

There’s one other issue that has nagged at me.  Humble and the creator of Atom RPG: Trudograd both state players should play the first game before Trudograd.  I appreciate getting the second game in the series, which is the better title, but it would have been nice to get both titles here, so players can experience the whole story.    It’s likely Humble just copied the text from Steam, but come on. 

With all that said, let’s grade the titles. We’ll get our trusty Tier list out using the American grading system and once again I think we’ll skip the F tier.  It feels like it’s becoming useless, and that’s exactly where I like to keep it, much like the grading scale, a failing grade is the last resort.  

As for the D-Tier, there are two titles here.  The bottom of the D-Tier is Legend of Keepers.  I usually enjoy games where you manage minions and I like the idea of being the bad guy, but after an hour I was glad to put it aside.  There’s not enough player agency to make the experience worthwhile. 

The other side of D-Tier is Yes your Grace.  This was almost a C but I don’t know if I can recommend this game, and normally I’m a fan of visual novels.  There were a few moments of great animation such as this sword fight, but a very long section of decisions which I started to realize had limited purpose.   The story felt like it was on rails, and while the game implies choices will matter, I always question how true that is.

So that’s where we stand after the D-Tier, there are six games left, so let’s get to the biggest category, the C-Tier. 

The bottom of the C-Tier is Atom RPG: Trudograd.  I enjoyed this experience and may return due to my love of Fallout, I still have to comment that that’s a style of game that was popular 20 years ago, and the lack of the first game does hurt here.  It’s still an interesting title, but not one I can recommend to anyone other than a gamer longing for a specific experience.

The middle of C-Tier is Banner of Ruin.  I honestly don’t know this title.  The elite bosses here felt extremely difficult, yet I enjoyed the gameplay and am curious to see if it can live up to the promise of the gameplay.  But I’d also put several other deck builders above it right now, though it’s still worth checking out. 

The top of the C-Tier is Legion TD 2.  I’ll admit this one isn’t for me, so I’m not sure I can recommend it, but the player base is active, the gameplay seems good, and the style is welcoming to new fans.  It’s worth giving it a shot and spending a few hours learning the game and playing online to make your own opinion.  Maybe this should have been a low B-Tier.

And after the C-Tier this is how the list looks, with three games remaining we have two tiers, and the B-Tier has two games, so let’s see how I’m about to lose my credibility. 

The bottom of the B-Tier is … Ok It’s Lawn Mowing Simulator.  I said it before, I like this game and I don’t feel bad about it.  It does what it says on the tin, and it is a great way to unwind.  It’s my list, let me put a game I enjoy this much on B-Tier, and if you get this bundle give it a shot, you never know. 

The Top of the B-Tier is Necromunda: Hired Gun.  I have issues with this one, but it’s a high-value game, and I did enjoy myself, even with the weaker gameplay, I might return just to see the rest of the levels.  The level design was that good, and hopefully, once the player gets more guns, the experience will improve. 

Which leaves only one game in the A-Tier.  Unsurprisingly, it’s Deep Rock Galactic.  I already spent over thirty hours playing this game.  It’s from a fantastic developer who has kept improving on this title for four years now and the experience is great, made even better when playing with people you know.  AKA “better with friends”.  But again I want to call out the community that has helped make this game something special and for all those reasons, it deserves the A-Tier. 

And with that, we have the final tier list.  What do you think, which games are you picking up the bundle for, or are you passing this month?  I know a lot of people have been waiting for two genres to pop up, both FPS games and RPGs, this month we got two FPS games and hopefully, we’ll see an RPG before very long. 

I mentioned before some changes to the video, let me know what you think about them, or if you didn’t notice them at all.  Perhaps I chickened out and didn’t include them, I’m mysterious like that. 

If you’ve watched this far though, hopefully, you enjoyed yourself, and if you haven’t already done so, consider subscribing and ringing that bell.  If you did enjoy this video, remember to like, comment, and share this video to help out the channel, I know it’s annoying but I have to ask because it’s the only way Youtube knows to keep sharing this with others. 

I’m going to link my video on Better with Friends here because it’s more Deep Rock Galactic and everyone can use that.  I’m also considering a bonus video this month, but I’ll have more on that next video. 

See you next time. 

Best games of “My” 2020 – A year in review

I’m Kinglink and…. Well, 2020 sucks, doesn’t it? Let’s just talk about some games?

So for my final video each year, I like to talk about what games I played in a year, and which games were the best that I would recommend to everyone. This year I made a database of every game I played and it’s something I’m trying to do going forward. I ended up with 115 games played outside of games I covered for Humble Bundle, a total of over 250 games.

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Titanfall 2 Review – Why did I miss out on this one?

Titanfall 2 is the second game from Respawn Entertainment. The original Titanfall planned to have a single-player mode but it was cut for a focus on multiplayer, so with its sequel, Respawn wanted to give players the full experience.

This time around Titanfall 2 contains the same impressive multiplayer but also a single-player campaign focused on a green pilot and his Titan. With this being their first single-player experience since the team left Infinity Ward, a question would be if they still have the same magic.

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Titanfall 2 – How level design can defines a game

I’m Kinglink and today we’re going to talk about Titanfall 2.

I knew I wanted to talk about Titanfall 2 when I started to play the game. It’s a very tight and excellent experience. So to prepare I decided to grab footage for the game and started with a level called Effect and Cause. I chose it because I remembered it as a great level, but after replaying it for this video, I think this level is even better than that. This might be one of the best levels an FPS ever contained, and I think it shows why Titanfall 2 is worthy of a lot more praise.

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SUPERHOT: Mind Control Delete Design Review – What SUPERHOT should have been, a great rogue lite.

I’m Kinglink and this week we’re doing a design review of SUPERHOT Mind Control Delete, with the bonus of being able to talk about the entire family of games here.

If you already own SUPERHOT before the release of SUPERHOT Mind Control Delete, on July 16, 2020, you already own a copy of Mind Control Delete, and you should check it out after this video.

SUPERHOT was a pretty good game from 2016. I enjoyed it quite a bit but if I had to give one complaint, it’s that it was a bit short. I liked it but I wanted more at the end of SUPERHOT. and yet at 25 dollars for the entire experience, I have to admit I felt it probably should have been longer. The good news was that a promise of free DLC, Mind Control Delete was made. This would be a rogue-lite mode with the same gameplay of the original. I was interested but it slipped off my radar.

 

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How Doom Eternal Works: The Tale of Two Versions of Hell

Hello, I’m Kinglink and well, I think it’s time we look at a more recent game. How Doom Eternal Works?

I think Doom Eternal needs no introduction, but let’s give it one anyway. This is the newest game from id Software, and once again id Software has released a new first-person shooter that has made people stand up again and take notice. With their recent release of Doom in 2016, they have made a resurgence as one of the major names in the FPS market.

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Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus Review – Killing Nazis, but not much more

Played on Windows
Also available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Switch.

Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus is the 2017’s follow up to Wolfenstein: The New Order. It’s a fresh new look at the alternate history that the New Order started us on with a version of post World War II where the Nazis won. Players want to know about further adventures of BJ Blaskowiski and the many Nazi’s he was intending to kill.

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