Humble Choice: March 2020
Before jumping into the meat and potatoes of the Humble Choice post for this month, a confirmation! Just the other day, I noted that I was very likely to be the owner of a new Electric Vehicle before the weekend was out. This came after discovering that ex-Demo cars are a thing. (I’ve never bought dealer-new (or near new as the case may be, so this is all new to me!)
Well, I did it. The white ex-demo Nissan Leaf came home with me. They wanted to detail it before handing over (or in dealer speak, allowing me to ‘take delivery’) but I wasn’t having a bar of that. I wanted to play with my new toy pronto. So we negotiated bringing it back during the week for a Warrant of Fitness renewal and a grooming to bring it up to showroom shine.
I tell you — never before in my entire life have I been so motivated to clear out and clean up my garage.
But it’s now sparkling clean, freshly waterblasted and for the first time in years can actually accommodate two cars like it was designed for.
I got a slow trickle charge cable unit for use in there at the moment, and I took it out to a shopping centre I wouldn’t normally go to today simply because they had free EV charging spots there. They’re not super fast DC chargers, but they’re at least twice as fast as what I can do at home presently. (6 kWh vs. 3 kWh)
Come Monday, I’ll setup with the Wallbox guys a time to come and install a faster charger in there. Although honestly, at least for top-up charges post my usual daily commute, the trickle charge would probably actually be fine. Just while it’s a new toy that I’m taking out everywhere, like I am at the moment, do I require more charge than I could comfortably get in a shorter period.
In any case! YAY. But also: On to the March Humble Choice games!
It’s another fairly strong line-up frankly. Here’s my picks in order of preference, assuming that I didn’t own any of them for March:
My Picks for March 2020’s Humble Choice
1) Battle Chasers: Nightwar
Official Description: Battle Chasers: Nightwar is an RPG inspired by the classic console greats, featuring deep dungeon diving, turn-based combat presented in a classic JRPG format, and a rich story driven by exploration of the world.
This has been riding the lip between my backlog and ‘things I must play right now’ for some time. I had no knowledge that it was even a thing when it first came out and only discovered it during a Christmas sale (perhaps 2018’s).
This serves as a fantastic reminder that it’s time to jump in and give it a go. Given I’ve not yet started my #MaybeInMarch game or made any further progress on A Plague Tale yet — probably not now. … See? Always right on that cusp! But looking ahead, it’s pretty well filled with Division 2: Warlords of New York, at least in the near term!
2) Planet Coaster
Official Description: Surprise, delight and thrill crowds as you build the theme park of your dreams. Build and design incredible coaster parks with unparalleled attention to detail and manage your park in a truly living world.
While I found Frontier’s take on building out your own Jurassic Park to be rather underwhelming, it’s predecessor — Planet Coaster — was quite another story.
People with far more creativity than I, have been able to do some truly impressive things with Planet Coaster. Not least among them this reimagining of Aliens.
3) My Friend Pedro
Official Description: My Friend Pedro is a violent ballet about friendship, imagination, and one man’s struggle to obliterate anyone in his path at the behest of a sentient banana. The strategic use of split aiming, slow motion, and the ol’ stylish window breach create one sensational action sequence after another in an explosive battle through the violent underworld.
This is the very sort of game where, like I talked about March last year, if I didn’t have Humble Choice (or the then Humble Monthly), I 100% would’ve bought it already.
It looks fantastically fun, but in a pretty light-touch / short-engagement period sort of way. It’s the type of game that looks *awesome* but you know in a matter of days rather than weeks, it’d be put aside, possibly forever. Or at least that’d certainly be the case for me. But when brought into the context of a bundle like this? Yessss — I’m all about that action.
If you’re on a smaller Humble Choice plan, then you may wish to consider pushing this one further down your list for something with a bit more longevity to it… Like:
4) AI War 2
Official Description: Face off against a more advanced version of the original AI, who once again has captured the entire galaxy leaving you only a tiny planet to yourself. Then strike out and find a way to cleverly outwit it nonetheless. All the new capturables, larger fleets, and hacking abilities are sure to help. (You’re going to need it.)
Arcen Games is a bit of an odd bunch when it comes to games. My first encounter with anything of theirs goes back to 2012’s ‘A Valley Without Wind‘. A game which I only really remember the very broad strokes of now. An apocalyptic world styled as a side-scrolling platformer of sorts, wherein you could build up a small slice of civilisation again around you.
I didn’t especially love the game in practice, but I did in concept. It marked Arcen as a game developer whose ideas I wanted to follow into the future.
Nothing quite landed with me (out of the ones I tried), but AI War came very close. Except for how inordinately reliant on micro-management it was. AI War 2 seems to streamline some of the worst of this out, without sacrificing on the concepts. So here we are, with AI War 2 taking a fairly high ranking spot in my list of preferences for the March 2020 Humble Choice pack.
Official Description: Turok is back and no dinosaur is safe! When it was first released in 1997, Turok introduced gamers to a world teeming with cunning enemies, traps, puzzles and deadly weapons all within a vast 3D environment ready to explore. Now the classic game has been restored and enhanced with a new visual engine and exciting new features to sink your teeth into!
I completely missed Turok for it’s first outing. Back in 1997 and being about 14 at the time I had far less disposable income to play around with. Games were few and far between and had to be made to last a very long time. Quake — which came out the year before… Well; I probably put 1000’s of hours into that all up. Possibly more than any MMO even. It carried me well passed Turok’s use-by date. But despite the graphical appearance of this re-release, something about it still looks hyper-amusing. I can’t wait to give it a go now.
Official Description: Welcome to Suburbia, just outside the City, sometime in 198X. This is the journey of Kid, a teenager stuck between the limitations of innocent youth and the obligations of inevitable adulthood. The story unfolds when Kid discovers the local arcade – finding new worlds, and new meaning, in video games. For every visit to the arcade – every game uncovered, every move mastered, every demon defeated – Kid grows stronger. And the lines between game and reality starts to blur…
This is 198X – where a new life is just 1 credit away.
Official Description: Delve into an environmental puzzle platformer built on exploring and understanding gravity-shifting structures. You are a voiceless being that has just been born into a world where a bodyless voice awaits your arrival. Go forth and seek your purpose.
Huh. Another title I had no idea even existed, but looks like a wonderful experience. One that I think is hard to do justice for with an image alone — so take a look at the video instead.
It puts me very much in the frame of mind of Gris or other art-as-game style experiences.
8) Death’s Gambit
Official Description: Death’s Gambit is a challenging 2D action platformer with deep RPG elements. As an agent of Death bound to his service, unravel the mystery of Siradon and discover the true price of immortality.
Looks at first blush to be another Dark Souls-done-as-Platformer game in the vein of Salt and Sanctuary. To be clear — I don’t see this necessarily as a bad thing.
But I do have several on my backlog already, which is why Death’s Gambit sits so far down my preference’s list this month. (Not far enough to knock it off, though!)
9) Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark
Official Description: Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark is a turn-based tactical RPG with a focus on storytelling and strategic battles. Unfold a mature story as you progress through hand-crafted scenarios, controlling your own group of Arbiters, with each character customizable from a wide selection of classes and abilities!
There is potential here, for this title to in actuality to belong way higher on this list.
I sniff hints of Fire Emblem here, albeit with perhaps less open battle terrain. … And probably less of a non-combat game as well. But I’ll have to see. It’s still on my list of picked games, so I’ll have the opportunity to. :)
Official Description: Warriors remain warriors even after death. Set out on the path to the last challenge and prove yourself to the Gods. In life you were never frightened by the cold, darkness and death, and you won’t fear them now. Make sure you have enough provisions, defend yourself and unravel the mysteries of these lands.
My choice of 10th pick may end up changing. It’s very close between this and Exapunks.
The only thing driving my decision in Niffelheim’s direction at this point is we received two of Zachtronics’ games just last month. So my fill of logic-puzzle-maybe-also-with-some-code style game needs are well filled at the moment. Still…
The Drop Outs
Exapunks we talked about under Niffelheim and how those two might be swapped, but why not F1 2019? It’s by far the single most costly title in the entire bundle.
The answer to that is simple: I like my racers arcady. Really, really arcady. If you’re more of a Racing Sim person, that might see F1 2019 pushed way the heck up your list of personal picks!