Kingdoms and Castles (Game Review)

I absolutely love city builders, so when I got the opportunity to play this game I was quite excited to try it out. I went in blind, not knowing anything about the game, and had a good time playing it.

Pros:

Beautiful voxel graphics and good music. Graphics in this title are top-tier, I have no complaints with this style and thought that it fit the genre quite well. The music is good too, nothing fantastic, but it works well for this game.

The advisers. The advisers in the castle are constantly giving you advice on what to do or, in my case, what was going wrong. These advisers are useful if you are just getting into the game, as they give you an idea of what you should be doing. They can be quite annoying, but if something needs to be built, changed, etc. in your kingdom, then they will absolutely let you know. The military adviser even lets you know when a raid is coming, giving you some time to prepare.

The controls. The controls and the camera in general are really nice. It’s easy to see the kingdom at a glance and find out what’s going on. When vikings or a dragon appear, a visual indicator pops up with the option to jump the camera to it, useful when you need to find out where the raid is coming from.

Optimization and flow of gameplay. The game runs really well. Even with a huge city and people running about the game never really faltered. I only ran into issues when it rains, but even then I never dropped below 40 fps. On the topic of gameplay flow, I am very happy with the inclusion of speed controls. I find them to be a necessity in this type of game, and having them already mapped to the number keys made it even better.

Kingdoms and Castles (1)

Cons:

The early game. The early game is brutal. There is so much going on at any given time early on that it is pretty hard to keep up. Constantly having advisers telling me that we need more food, that we need more homes, that the vikings are coming to kill us, and all of that was very overwhelming. While I was busy attending to the needs of my people, I made the mistake of not building enough defenses and ended up having half of my town razed by the vikings. This happened a few times before I was actually ready for viking raids. If you manage to make it through the early game, it does get easier, but until then it’s just a matter of hoping that you don’t get attacked at an inconvenient time.

The late game. Once you’ve managed to make it through the early game, the mid-game is just a clown fiesta of constantly having to rebuild buildings that burned down to vikings and/or dragons. However, once you’re past this phase, the game simply becomes easy. Viking attacks are dealt with quickly and buildings don’t need to be replaced as often. This stark contrast between the early game and late game was surprising. The difficulty definitely needs to be balanced out a bit. There’s never a middleground.

Generals and soldiers. The whole generals and soldiers mechanic sounds nice and all, but they end up being absolutely useless. They have to be manually controlled to move towards the enemy and barely do anything once there. Their sole purpose in my kingdom was to slow down the enemy so my archers and ballista towers could take care of them. I just stopped producing them after a certain point because it simply was a waste of time.

Lack of content. There simply isn’t enough content to keep this game interesting for more than a few hours. I could only see myself playing this in short bursts of maybe three hours at a time, as that is all the time it takes to get a decent kingdom and castle setup. Past that point it’s just mindless building until the map is covered. More buildings, different types of raids, or even more random events would have been nice.

Kingdoms and Castles (3)

Overall I can say I recommend the game, especially if you’re looking for a few hours of city building fun every now and then. It doesn’t take more than a few hours to max out a kingdom’s potential, but those few hours are enjoyable. I can see myself coming back to this in the future to maybe try out a new kingdom layout or challenge myself with a harder difficulty. You can buy Kingdoms and Castles here on Steam.

4- Pretty k

Fall 2015 Anime Ranked

I may be almost two months late, but who cares? Wasn’t that great of a season anyways.

And here’s the list in text form:
55. Rainy Cocoa 2
54. Starmyu
53. Brave Beats
52. Dance with Devils
51. Monster Strike
50. Aquarion Logos
49. DD Fist of the North Star 2: Strawberry Flavor Plus
48. Owarimonogatari
47. Fafner Exodus 2nd Season
46. Kamisama Minarai
45. Diabolik Lovers More, Blood
44. K: Return of Kings
43. Bottom Biting Bug 4
42. Garo: Crimson Moon
41. Teekyuu 6
40. Is the order a rabbit??
39. Concrete Revolutio
38. JK-Meshi!
37. Lance N’ Masques
36. Hakone-chan
35. Magical Somera-chan
34. Miss Monochrome: The Animation 3
33. Hacka Doll the Animation
32. Comet Lucifer
31. Utawarerumono: The False Faces
30. Attack on Titan: Junior High
29. Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note
28. The Asterisk War
27. The Testament of Sister New Devil Burst
26. AntiMagic Academy 35th Test Platoon
25. Aria the Scarlet Ammo AA
24. Komori-san Can’t Decline!
23. Anitore! EX
22. Peeping Life TV: Season 1??
21. Lovely Muuuuuuuco!
20. Kowabon
19. Shin Atashin’chi
18. Seraph of the End: Battle in Nagoya
17. Heavy Object
16. The Perfect Insider
15. Ushio to Tora (TV)
14. Chivalry of a Failed Knight
13. Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid
12. Kagewani
11. Yuru Yuri San☆Hai!
10. Shomin Sample
9. Lupin III: Part IV
8. Young Black Jack
7. Osomatsu-san
6. Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans
5. Kindaichi Case Files R 2
4. Beautiful Bones -Sakurako’s Investigation-
3. Noragami Aragoto
2. One-Punch Man
1. Haikyuu!! Second Season

Summer 2015 Anime Ranked

This season was pretty good.

Here’s the list for you text people:
53. Ninja Slayer
52. World Trigger
51. Hetalia: The World Twinkle
50. Denpa Kyoushi (TV)
49. Aquarion Logos
48. Chaos Dragon
47. Tribe Cool Crew
46. Classroom☆Crisis
45. Venus Project
44. Million Doll
43. Teekyuu 5
42. Kyoukai no Rinne (TV)
41. Bikini Warriors
40. God Eater
39. Sky Wizards Academy
38. Wakako-zake
37. Symphogear GX
36. Aoharu x Machinegun
35. Danchigai
34. Durarara!!x2 Ten
33. Miss Monochrome: The Animation 2
32. Castle Town Dandelion
31. Baby Steps 2nd Season
30. Makura no Danshi
29. Junjou Romantica 3
28. Gatchaman Crowds Insight
27. Dragon Ball Super
26. Sore ga Seiyuu!
25. Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace
24. Wooser’s Hand-to-Mouth Life 3
23. Working!!!
22. Wakaba*Girl
21. Shokugeki no Souma
20. The iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls 2nd Season
19. Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 2wei Herz!
18. Arslan Senki (TV)
17. Gangsta.
16. Ushio and Tora
15. My Wife is the Student Council President
14. Himouto! Umaru-chan
13. To LOVE-Ru Darkness 2nd
12. Actually, I Am
11. Ore Monogatari!!
10. Monster Musume
09. Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers
08. SHIMONETA
07. Overlord
06. Charlotte
05. Non Non Biyori Repeat
04. Snow White with the Red Hair
03. Prison School
02. School-Live!
01. GATE

Spring 2015 Anime Ranked

I don’t know why I continue to make these.

Here’s the list for you text people:
50. Vampire Holmes
49. Ninja Slayer
48. Ameiro Cocoa
47. Bar Kiraware Yasai
46. Saint Seiya: Soul of Gold
45. Urawa no Usagi-chan
44. Re-Kan!
43. Denpa Kyoushi
42. Gunslinger Stratos: The Animation
41. Kekkai Sensen
40. Show By Rock!!
39. Jewelpet: Magical Change
38. Kaitou Joker 2nd Season
37. Uta no☆Prince-sama♪: Maji Love Revolutions
36. Teekyuu 4
35. Takamiya Nasuno Desu!
34. Triage X
33. Ghost in the Shell Arise: Alternative Architecture
32. Baby Steps 2nd Season
31. RIN-NE
30. Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid
29. Etotama
28. Mikagura School Suite
27. Robot Girls Z Plus
26. Punch Line
25. Arslan Senki (TV)
24. Tesagure! Bukatsumono Spin-off
23. Afterschool Pleiades (TV)
22. Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works (TV) 2
21. Gintama°
20. Oregairu 2
19. Comical Psychosomatic Medicine
18. I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying 2
17. Hello!! Kiniro Mosaic
16. Plastic Memories
15. The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan
14. The Eden of Grisaia
13. Ace of Diamond: Second Season
12. Seraph of the End
11. High School DxD BorN
10. DanMachi
9. Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches
8. Shokugeki no Souma
7. Hibike! Euphonium
6. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders 2nd Season
5. Assassination Classroom
4. Ore Monogatari!!
3. Kuroko’s Basketball 3
2. Knights of Sidonia: Battle for Planet Nine
1. Nisekoi:

Tabletop Simulator (Game Review)

Tabletop Simulator, the game where I’m able to flip the table in rage when I lose at playing a card game I created.

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The game in which I spent most of my time

Tabletop Simulator is basically a physics simulator specializing in the playing of board and card games. I’ve already played countless games (mostly chess) against my friends, and I can really vouch for the amount of fun had. We all had a blast playing the variety of games provided out of the box and the countless games provided by the Steam Workshop.

The game provides countless different customization options, both visual and mechanical. For instance, I’m able to disable the gravity and play checkers like I would up in space (which was quite entertaining, might I add). The table and background can also be changed. I can even have a custom table, with a custom image.

Yes, this is an in-game tablet that actually works
Yes, this is an in-game tablet that actually works

Each individual game piece can be maneuvered and modified with ease. The size, color, material, etc. The amount of customization given to the player is quite astounding. The actual controls of the game are quite simple. There’s keys that can rotate pieces and flip them (handy when dealing with cards). Decks can be shuffled and dice can be played with a simple shake of the mouse. The controls are very intuitive.

The game does feature Workshop integration, a fantastic feature especially for a game like this. With such integration, we were able to play Eels and Escalators, Uno, Sorry!, 3-man chess, etc. I’d go so far as to say that this feature is the game’s best feature, well, aside from the fact that you can flip the entire table in rage if you were to lose, which is also a key feature.

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This, ladies and gentlemen, is Eels and Escalators

One of the largest features I haven’t explored yet would be the fact that the game provides an “RPG kit”, so you’re able to build and play your own RPGs. There are even some on the workshop, which is quite the amazing feat for what seems to just be a simple game. One could make quite the D&D experience with such a kit.

The most glaring downside to the game would be the fact that if you don’t have friends to play the game with, there really is not a whole lot of fun to be had. Sure, you can play with some Internet stranger, but it’s nowhere near as fun as playing with your buds.

Anyone remember this game? So much fun as a kid!
Anyone remember this game? So much fun as a kid!

Overall, Tabletop Simulator is what I would consider a “must-have” game on Steam. There’s really nothing else like it and the amount of fun that can be had with friends is limitless, especially with the inclusion of Workshop support. Now, back to creating my own card game!

5- Highly k

Cities: Skylines (Game Review)

The last time I played a city simulator was back in the Sim City 4 days. I never played the newer Sim City, purely because of the complaints it received. I will not be comparing the two due to this fact.

It’s actually been quite some time since I’ve been so hooked on a new sim game. I usually just stuck to the classics, like Sim City 4, RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, or the original Zoo Tycoon. Cities: Skylines has changed that for the better. Not only does the game encompass all of the features of those “classics”, it also adds plenty of its own mechanics to enhance that experience.

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The game has many features expected of city sims: zoning, traffic, pollution, etc. On top of that, the game already has an active modding community. It is plenty fun standing on its own, but with the addition of mods, that experience is extended furthermore. I’ve already installed quite a few mods, including some maps and buildings as well as some mechanic-changing mods, such as one that automatically destroys abandoned buildings, which is quite annoying to do manually.

The biggest problem I have with the game would be the traffic aspect of the game, which I’m not very good at managing. I can do fine in every other department, but when it comes to traffic, I’m just no good. This is partly due to how traffic in the game works. It is a bit wonky, but I found some minor success by using lots of one-way roads and such. Although it does sound strange, the less traffic lights in your city, the better.

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I also found it very impressive that EVERYTHING in the game can be renamed. Every citizen, building, district, etc. The attention to detail with features like that really brings out the micromanaging beast within me.

I do have a few other complaints, however. For one, I’m under the impression that the game is simply too easy. Once I got around 30k citizens, money was never an issue. That and I feel as if the lategame is severely lacking in content. Sure there are “monuments” and such, but nothing really exciting enough to make me want to stay with a given city for too long. On the other hand, the modding component of the game allows modders to remedy these faults.

Overall, there’s really nothing to lose when picking up Cities: Skylines. It provides hours of fun and the modding component of the game just keeps that coming. Be warned though, once you start, it is hard to stop, something I learned myself one night morning at around 5am.

5- Highly k

Winter 2015 Anime Ranked

I made another one of these things because I don’t have a life.

Here’s the list for you text people:

44. Shounen Hollywood: Holly Stage for 50
43. Sengoku Musou
42. Gundam: G no Reconguista
41. Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Love!
40. Tsukimonogatari: Yotsugi Doll
39. Kamisama Hajimemashita◎
38. Akatsuki no Yona
37. Garo: Honoo no Kokuin
36. Tantei Kageki Milky Holmes TD
35. Soukyuu no Fafner: Dead Aggressor – Exodus
34. Rolling☆Girls
33. Sanzoku no Musume Ronja
32. Go! Princess Precure
31. Log Horizon 2nd Season
30. Military!
29. Isuca
28. Yuri Kuma Arashi
27. Nanatsu no Taizai
26. Seiken Tsukai no World Break
25. Junketsu no Maria
24. Tokyo Ghoul √A
23. Shirobako
22. Juuou Mujin no Fafnir
21. Yoru no Yatterman
20. Shinmai Maou no Testament
19. Absolute Duo
18. Dog Days″
17. Durarara!!×2 Shou
16. Gundam Build Fighters Try
15. Koufuku Graffiti
14. Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo
13. Kantai Collection: KanColle
12. Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata
11. The IDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls
10. Ace of Diamond
9. Aldnoah.Zero 2nd Season
8. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders 2nd Season
7. Ansatsu Kyoushitsu
6. Yowamushi Pedal: Grande Road
5. Magic Kaito 1412
4. Kuroko no Basket 3rd Season
3. Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso
2. Death Parade
1. Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu

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