Fairly fun indie game, though I wish the Princess Rush game mode didn't allow players to steal from each other - it changes the tone a bit. Aside from that it's a surprisingly difficult, yet enjoyable play. Does suffer from some crashing issues.

Minecraft in 2D, but with good combat and bosses. You can make a large variety of weapons and potions, and there are sky islands, dungeons, and the underworld to explore. The 1.1 update adds tons of content and improves the game considerably.

A truly great puzzle platformer! Fun yet relaxing, this game has good graphics and three different characters - each with unique abilities. You can switch characters at any time using number keys, using their abilities to progress through the level

Just Cause 2 [Steam store page]
Something for everyone - a sandbox with over the top violence and stunts, plenty of collectables, challenges, and a story line that appears just often enough to keep you interested in the missions. Steal helicopters and parachute from planes...

A goofy story line and some weird AI (including the ability to shoot through buildings) makes this game a bit annoying to play - the second in the series - Just Cause 2 is much better

Grand Theft Auto III [Steam store page]
The first 3D third person sandbox game in the series. Unfortunately only a hint of a story, so after a few minutes roaming around and a couple missions it lost my interest. I found Just Cause 2 to be a much more compelling sandbox game

Extremely inaccurate guns - worse than Counter Strike: Source - which makes it nearly impossible to kill anything at range without several clips of ammo. At close range it takes 2-3 head-shots from 4ft away, which is ridiculously bad. Decent story though.

Counter-Strike: Source [Steam store page]
More realistic and slower paced than some other shooters. The guns also tend to be less accurate than your normal video game for realism, and shooting while you run is nearly impossible. Still, a reasonably fun multi-player FPS.

The shooter aspect is okay, and the frights are good, but when put together it's an unsatisfactory combination. If you added the fright to something like Half-Life 2 it would be a much better fit.

Movement through water is so terrible that I once backtracked half a level trying to figure out what I was missing because my character wouldn't exit the water onto the appropriate ledge. The flashlight is also the worst I've seen in any game - running out of batteries every 20 seconds.

The audio is also so shockingly bad it's worth mentioning. You can't locate enemies by the direction of their voices - many times the sound comes from the opposite direction. Extremely poor for an FPS.

The slow motion feature makes combat like shooting fish in a barrel, yet when you're at normal speed the AI grenades are way overpowered - one hit kill if it's anywhere near you.

In the end it's entertaining for a couple levels - but after that it feels like a repetitive mess of hallways, ghosts, and soldiers.

Borderlands [Steam store page]
This is a weird mix of MMO leveling and FPS, and in a certain aspect it works okay, but at other times it can be frustrating.

The beginning of this game includes a lot of scripted sequences, which can be a bit annoying if you play through multiple times, as was intended (you reach level 35 or so on the first playthrough, 50+ on the second). The first time playing it seems incredibly smooth and well paced, teaching you all your necessary skills painlessly.

The game itself isn't hard - I was level 13 before I died the first time - but after a while it gets annoying to take headshots and not actually kill the enemy, like a normal FPS. This is due to the level mechanic - killing an enemy one level above you is difficult, and two is nearly impossible. The exception is playing the tank/melee character, who has a special ability that flattens higher levels with ease.

There is also a melee enemy class known as Psycho that has an annoying tendency, when injured, to run full tilt at you holding a hand grenade above their heads. Many times when this happens they are inescapably close, which results in your instant death.

Lastly, the bosses tend to take 3-10 minutes for a solo player to slowly tear through their massive health pools - almost like fighting an MMO raid boss on your own. Almost every boss also has a group of annoying normal enemies to dispatch during the beginning of the fight as well. These encounters are probably much more suited to the co-op gameplay.

Overall a mixed bag, fun in certain aspects, but also one of the few games that makes me feel angry when I play it. That's a sure sign the enemies aren't quite as balanced as they should be.

Age of Empires II HD [Steam store page]
One of my favorite RTS - though it does suffer from the rock/paper/scissors syndrome once you know the game well enough. Age of Empires II: Conquerors Edition was a great expansion to the original game, and it's bundled into this HD remaster.

The main benefits are that this runs nicely on high resolution - the original was locked at something like 1024x768, and this also has a few tweaks like allowing higher unit maximums - raised from 200 in the original to 500 in this remaster.

I'm normally not a huge fan of re-releasing old games, but this one was such a classic, and the small tweaks they made improve the experience without ruining the nostalgia.

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