War of the Chosen (5)

On my new computer, I finally had a chance to sit down and play XCOM 2 War of the Chosen by Firaxis, without the technical issues plaguing my old PC and see the game in its full light. I’ve said many times over that Firaxis’s take on the venerable franchise comes close to being my perfect game, but the issues I have with it keep it from that lofty position.

This year, I’ve been able to play a variety of tactical strategy games, and I can finally put into words why I feel XCOM and XCOM 2 just don’t work for me from a design perspective.

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Frostpunk

Frostpunk has been a game that I’ve been wanting to put my thoughts into words about for some time, and with the hottest summer to date winding down, what better time to talk about a game dealing with the brutal cold. While it may look like a city builder, this is a survival game first and foremost, and a deconstruction of the genre.

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advance wars youtube

Intelligent Systems has been one of Nintendo’s secret weapons when it comes to innovative and underrated franchises. Despite being over 30 years old, the company’s best franchises stayed in Japan until the early 00’s. During this time, Nintendo used the popularity of their Game Boy Advance line as a way of testing out franchises and designs in the US that may not have succeeded on the console. One of those franchises was Fire Emblem, which has become a massive success along with a very popular mobile game.

But for today, I want to talk about their other franchise, and how fans of turn-based strategy might have missed one of the best sleeper hits.

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WarGroove (3)

Wargroove from the outside looks like a dream for strategy fans on the PC — a spiritual successor to the underrated Advance Wars franchise by Intelligent Systems — from the UI to the lovingly-crafted pixel graphics. In trying to appeal to that design, Wargroove sadly just misses a few key details that keep it from going over the top.

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