Tropico is one of my favourite simulation/city-building game series of all time. I remember playing the first Tropico until the wee hours of the morning, looking to finish that last hotel or banana plantation before sleep gripped me. The series has that “one more turn” feeling to it, despite the fact that it’s all real-time and not turn-based at all.

I’m really looking forward to Tropico 5’s release this week. I wasn’t planning on picking up the game right away, but a friend of mine gifted me a copy, so now I’m in the thick of it! Also out this week is Wolfenstein: New Order, so it seems like what was once old is new again for a couple different franchises.

What edicts will you be enacting this week?

Wednesday, 6:14 pm – Albert

Hey you. Watch this UFC trailer.

Tuesday, 3:31 pm – Albert

“A wild Albert appears!”

I am looking forward to Tropico 5 too! I agree with Ricky that this is definitely the best city simulator … much better than Sim…whatever. Tropico and it’s predecessors always have an additive quality that always grips you. Its hard for me to pinpoint exactly what it is at the moment but i’ll have more to say once we get it this week! I’m looking forward to trying the multiplayer with Ricky someday… someday.

Here is a video from quill18 on a pre-release video of Tropico 5

Speaking of addictive quality I have to say that Kairosoft has done it again. The latest in Android releases is: Magazine Mogul! It’s like Game Dev Story (their debut hit) but with a magazine setting and a much larger scale. I’m on my third playthrough (they unlock a speed increase after you beat it the first time) and I have to say they did a great job. The same number chasing, get the grand prize at the end of the year goodness is all there. Couple that with the added feature of being able to influence town progress and merging and you have quite a lot on your hands. I’ll just link it for peeps to check out (the quality is potato).

Tuesday, 10:34 am – Gavin

Unfortunately, my house is a hotel for family members this week, so it’s going to be difficult to get any gaming time in.  I did play the most recent episode of The Walking Dead, S2E3 last week, as did Ricky.

Episodic gaming is a difficult beast.  It’s really hard to maintain momentum going forward, even if you episode ends on a wicked cliffhanger, as did TWDS2E3.  I shouldn’t claim to be any sort of expert on what episodic gaming should and shouldn’t be, nor should I put unreal expectations on a company to produce two hours of entertainment every three months, but I’m not as immersed in S2 as I was with S1.  I definitely felt closer with Lee in S1 than I do with Clem in S2.  I think it’s all to do with the level of character interaction that we saw in season 1 – there was a lot of it.  A lot of it was meaningless, but you still got a sense for the other characters’ personalities, their motivations, and their positions on things.  Character interaction is largely taken out of your hands in season 2, so it feels significantly more like a movie than a game.  That’s fine – it’s still a very enjoyable movie – but Telltale should remember that they are a games developer first and foremost.  Give us interactivity, help us feel like we have some say in what actually happens.  To my knowledge, only two of my decisions in the past two episodes have had much in the way of an actual plot outcome, regarding the deaths of characters.  Everything else just feels like I’m along for the ride, not that I’m driving the car.  For a game with the limited amount of gameplay that it has, you still need to give the player some sort of control, as if their agency actually matters.

Do not take away from any of this that TWDS2 is bad.  It’s the exact opposite – it is incredible.  However, compared to the lightning-in-a-bottle that was season 1, it does fall a bit short.  The things that I loved about season 1 are not accurately reflected in season 2.  There is still character development, a plot that isn’t video-games-stupid, terrific characterization and voice acting, and enough twists and turns to last a lifetime.  It’s just that in the first season, I was playing a game.  This time, I’m watching a movie.  There are still choices to be made, but there’s just too much happening out of my control.

Tuesday, 7:50 am – Ricky

Yep, a full day late. I still made the title for May19th, because screw calendars, they don’t own me!

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