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[Board Games] Pandemic in a Pandemic

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  • Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular
    edited March 30
    simonwolf wrote: »
    In a rare turn of events, being in Australia actually meant I got a game before the rest of the world. So I managed to get a game of Oath: Chronicles of Empire and Exile in with a group over the weekend at a real-life table, and boy howdy! It’s a hell of a game!

    It was only one game, and the Teach was lengthy with two and a half new players (one player who had played once already teamed up with their partner), but it has definitely already got its claws into me and I am v eager to play again, ideally with my own copy.

    Australia gets games before other countries in literally all my Kickstarters, usually several months earlier. They only got them last back when KS first started up

    Magic Pink on
  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo We are only now beginning to understand the full power and ramifications of sexual intercourse Registered User regular
    2 John 2 Company is up on Kickstarter

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • VyolynceVyolynce Registered User regular
    Mojo_Jojo wrote: »
    2 John 2 Company is up on Kickstarter

    As is the Definitive Edition of Sentinels of the Multiverse if anyone was sitting on that particular fence.

    nedhf8b6a4rj.jpgsig.gif
    (Former) Gaming Unplugged columnist and video game reviewer at Snackbar Games
    AC:NH Chris from Glosta SW-5173-3598-2899 DA-4749-1014-4697
  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    Vyolynce wrote: »
    Mojo_Jojo wrote: »
    2 John 2 Company is up on Kickstarter

    As is the Definitive Edition of Sentinels of the Multiverse if anyone was sitting on that particular fence.

    I like the idea of a new ground floor to get into Sentinels with, but that non US shipping is a killer. Hopefully it’ll hit retail in the UK.

    MhCw7nZ.gif
  • initiatefailureinitiatefailure Registered User regular
    was that giant box from a year or two ago NOT the definitive edition?!

    I Do Design | I PSN- Subtle_Ties | 3DS: 3840-5210-2008 (Subtle)
    Magic Pink
  • Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular
    was that giant box from a year or two ago NOT the definitive edition?!

    i think that was the ultimate edition that had all the stuff

    this is a reboot

    Ah_PookHahnsoo1
  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    edited March 30
    Magic Pink wrote: »
    was that giant box from a year or two ago NOT the definitive edition?!

    i think that was the ultimate edition that had all the stuff

    this is a reboot
    Yeah, they cleaned up the mechanics and made it a smoother game, similar to the way Magic: the Gathering underwent some changes to clean up the phases. Now, all cards with an Ongoing effect are Ongoing cards (no One Shots like Hypersonic Assault, which were trashed but still affected the table state), for example. Environment cards are now all Environment cards and when damage comes from an Environment card, it's from an explicit target. There's also the concept of "Fixed Damage", which is neither buffed nor nerfed by the table state and just deals X damage (useful for self-damaging effects, which became prohibitive to play when global damage buffs hit the table). Apparently, they also fixed Bunker to not suck.

    EDIT: Also, what sold me is that all the older cards still work in the Definitive Edition game. You don't have to throw away your old content to play this. You may have to mentally rename your Environment cards in play to "Ongoings" (and they are targeted like Ongoings now, which also boosts the power of things that used to only affect the Environment before). It's like when Magic: the Gathering got rid of Interrupt cards... they still work like they did before, but Interrupts are now Instants and go on the stack like other Instants.

    Hahnsoo1 on
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    PSN: Hahnsoo | MH Rise: Hahnsoo, Switch FC: SW-0085-2679-5212
    Vyolynce
  • FryFry Registered User regular
    Sentinels was pretty sweet when it came out, but nowadays I have Marvel Champions to fill the niche and IMO it's like 1000x as fun.

    Viking
  • admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Mojo_Jojo wrote: »
    2 John 2 Company is up on Kickstarter

    Cole is an insta-back from me so this wasn't a decision I mulled over.

    Raw ConcreteBigPointyTeethMojo_Jojo
  • VyolynceVyolynce Registered User regular
    was that giant box from a year or two ago NOT the definitive edition?!

    Technically that was just a storage device for all the releases.

    nedhf8b6a4rj.jpgsig.gif
    (Former) Gaming Unplugged columnist and video game reviewer at Snackbar Games
    AC:NH Chris from Glosta SW-5173-3598-2899 DA-4749-1014-4697
  • simonwolfsimonwolf i can feel a difference today, a differenceRegistered User regular
    Magic Pink wrote: »
    simonwolf wrote: »
    In a rare turn of events, being in Australia actually meant I got a game before the rest of the world. So I managed to get a game of Oath: Chronicles of Empire and Exile in with a group over the weekend at a real-life table, and boy howdy! It’s a hell of a game!

    It was only one game, and the Teach was lengthy with two and a half new players (one player who had played once already teamed up with their partner), but it has definitely already got its claws into me and I am v eager to play again, ideally with my own copy.

    Australia gets games before other countries in literally all my Kickstarters, usually several months earlier. They only got them last back when KS first started up

    Definitely hasn’t been my experience in general, but good to know that I might be an outlier then!

    Magic Pink
  • ArcSynArcSyn Registered User regular
    SUSD posted their Stardew Valley review, and based on the gushing here I expected a very different review than what I just watched. I know Quinns can be a bit polarizing here, and this will likely also cause that? So I apologize in advance.

    VvG2Mux.png
    ArcticLancer
  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    Mostly what I got out of that was, "I don't really care much for Stardew Valley and I really dislike randomness".

    It sounds like a fairly accurate recreation of the video game with the proviso that you're playing the game trying to get (Stardew Valley the video game spoilers)
    the maximum score when Grandpa's ghost judges your progress. You do get 2 years for that but if a one-year cycle takes 2 hours I can see why they didn't make it two for the boardgame.

    The degree of luck involved does sound unfortunate but if it's that unfair I'd think he'd have said it's a bad boardgame instead of explicitly saying it's not a bad boardgame? I don't watch SUSD so I dunno.

    PSN,Steam,Live | CptHamiltonian
    Magic Pink
  • Ah_PookAh_Pook Registered User regular
    ArcSyn wrote: »
    SUSD posted their Stardew Valley review, and based on the gushing here I expected a very different review than what I just watched.

    Have people been gushing about SV? I've heard extremely mixed things everywhere I've seen people talking about it, mainly centered around the omnipresent unmitigatable randomness.

    Maclay
  • RiemannLivesRiemannLives Registered User regular
    Quinns and SU&SD in general has been getting so much better over the last few months. Now that he's forced to actually confront how well (or poorly) games are designed he doesn't just automatically give top marks to every "game about talking" because of course extroverts love social deduction games. When not just overwhelmed by the endorphin rush of having fun socializing with friends they have been really engaging with the game design.

    EG: look at their recent reviews of Hansa Teutonica (he even admits he was wrong about the classic euro style board game art they used to shit on!), Rococo Deluxe, Eclipse 2nd Dawn and especially City of Big Shoulders.

    DEFUND THE POLICE
    ArcticLancerMrBody
  • DashuiDashui Registered User regular
    Ah_Pook wrote: »
    ArcSyn wrote: »
    SUSD posted their Stardew Valley review, and based on the gushing here I expected a very different review than what I just watched.

    Have people been gushing about SV? I've heard extremely mixed things everywhere I've seen people talking about it, mainly centered around the omnipresent unmitigatable randomness.

    The entire community is basically trying to houserule the game into something manageable.

    He mentioned Robinson Crusoe in the review, which funnily enough I just bought! It was had for $37, which was a perfect impulse buy price to try out a game I've been terrified of so that I could see if it was worth getting the upgrade pack on Gamefound. I'm glad I did, because my goodness this is an amazing game. It's full of tension, theme, story, and aching decisions. And while the rulebook is a staggering 50 pages long, the actual core isn't all that complicated. In fact, I found it surprisingly easy to teach. The mechanics match well with the theme, especially the first scenario, so it was easy to understand and explain actions in those terms. "If you were stranded, what are the things you would do?" This might go in my top ten with how often I've raced it to the table.

    Xbox Live, PSN & Origin: Vacorsis 3DS: 2638-0037-166
    DoctorArchAuralynxChiselphane
  • BloodySlothBloodySloth Registered User regular
    My group honestly hasn't had very much trouble mitigating the randomness in Stardew Valley. I will say the heart economy is almost unbearably tight at times. I'll also say that it's just a pretty laid back game where you just do farm stuff and that mood is what i go to the game for, so maybe I'm a bit more lenient on it for things that would make a generally tighter and more competitive game suffer.

  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo We are only now beginning to understand the full power and ramifications of sexual intercourse Registered User regular
    edited April 2
    All I've heard after the initial excitement of the Stawdew Valley IP was comments on the staggeringly poor component quality

    Mojo_Jojo on
    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
    ArcticLancerMagic Pink
  • BloodySlothBloodySloth Registered User regular
    edited April 2
    It's a little cheaply made for what you may expect, yeah, but "staggeringly poor" is way overstating it, I think. Dungeon Degenerates' components feel at least as cheaply made to me, but you just roll with it there because, if anything, that sort of reinforces the game's punk sensibilities.

    BloodySloth on
    Magic Pink
  • Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular
    i didn't even notice the randomness

  • RiemannLivesRiemannLives Registered User regular
    wow and I thought the randomness of the occupation cards made Agricola (otherwise an excellent game) pretty much totally unplayable once people had learned the game. For new players not such an issue but once everyone knows the system you might as well just show your initial hand of occupations and call the game cause someone already won.

    DEFUND THE POLICE
  • Ah_PookAh_Pook Registered User regular
    wow and I thought the randomness of the occupation cards made Agricola (otherwise an excellent game) pretty much totally unplayable once people had learned the game. For new players not such an issue but once everyone knows the system you might as well just show your initial hand of occupations and call the game cause someone already won.

    That's why you draft those cards in Agricola once you're at that level.

    Magic PinkVyolynce
  • RiemannLivesRiemannLives Registered User regular
    Ah_Pook wrote: »
    wow and I thought the randomness of the occupation cards made Agricola (otherwise an excellent game) pretty much totally unplayable once people had learned the game. For new players not such an issue but once everyone knows the system you might as well just show your initial hand of occupations and call the game cause someone already won.

    That's why you draft those cards in Agricola once you're at that level.

    Ideally yeah. Though that does add a lot of length to a game thats already too long for what it is. But I was more just shocked at the problems in Stardew Valley after watching the review of it. That's terrible.

    DEFUND THE POLICE
  • Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular
    Ah_Pook wrote: »
    wow and I thought the randomness of the occupation cards made Agricola (otherwise an excellent game) pretty much totally unplayable once people had learned the game. For new players not such an issue but once everyone knows the system you might as well just show your initial hand of occupations and call the game cause someone already won.

    That's why you draft those cards in Agricola once you're at that level.

    Ideally yeah. Though that does add a lot of length to a game thats already too long for what it is. But I was more just shocked at the problems in Stardew Valley after watching the review of it. That's terrible.

    Except they're wrong. SV is no more random then Nemesis; the difference is the game is built around mitigating randomness as you attempt to achieve your goals. Stating the randomness is an issue is straight up ridiculous The game is incredibly fun and extremely playable.

    BloodySlothElvenshae
  • VyolynceVyolynce Registered User regular
    Ah_Pook wrote: »
    wow and I thought the randomness of the occupation cards made Agricola (otherwise an excellent game) pretty much totally unplayable once people had learned the game. For new players not such an issue but once everyone knows the system you might as well just show your initial hand of occupations and call the game cause someone already won.

    That's why you draft those cards in Agricola once you're at that level.

    And on the level after that you just draft and then show your hands anyway...

    nedhf8b6a4rj.jpgsig.gif
    (Former) Gaming Unplugged columnist and video game reviewer at Snackbar Games
    AC:NH Chris from Glosta SW-5173-3598-2899 DA-4749-1014-4697
  • Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular
    Dashui wrote: »
    Ah_Pook wrote: »
    ArcSyn wrote: »
    SUSD posted their Stardew Valley review, and based on the gushing here I expected a very different review than what I just watched.

    Have people been gushing about SV? I've heard extremely mixed things everywhere I've seen people talking about it, mainly centered around the omnipresent unmitigatable randomness.

    The entire community is basically trying to houserule the game into something manageable.

    Again, not true. People are house ruling it because it's very easy to house rule and they like the gameplay it to fit their gaming preferences, we did the same thing. And if anyone is saying the randomness is unmitigable then they haven't played it and you can ignore them.

  • BloodySlothBloodySloth Registered User regular
    Magic Pink wrote: »
    Ah_Pook wrote: »
    wow and I thought the randomness of the occupation cards made Agricola (otherwise an excellent game) pretty much totally unplayable once people had learned the game. For new players not such an issue but once everyone knows the system you might as well just show your initial hand of occupations and call the game cause someone already won.

    That's why you draft those cards in Agricola once you're at that level.

    Ideally yeah. Though that does add a lot of length to a game thats already too long for what it is. But I was more just shocked at the problems in Stardew Valley after watching the review of it. That's terrible.

    Except they're wrong. SV is no more random then Nemesis; the difference is the game is built around mitigating randomness as you attempt to achieve your goals. Stating the randomness is an issue is straight up ridiculous The game is incredibly fun and extremely playable.

    It is a criticism that sort of struck me unprepared, because there are plenty of very highly regarded co-op games that can literally be rendered impossible due to the random set up of the "bad guy" decks: Pandemic and Eldritch Horror spring to mind, even though EH in particular tries a little bit to mitigate that by splitting up the Mythos deck into thirds. And I love those games, too.

  • ArcticLancerArcticLancer Best served chilled. Registered User regular
    That isn't even true though? You would need to have both decks in Pandemic in a "bad way" at game start, and would need terrible luck on the reshuffles when Pandemics actually hit. It is hardly common for Pandemic on non-insane difficulty levels to be completely unmanagable. You're also working with guaranteed action outcomes and can make risk assessments accordingly.

    I had/have very little stake in the gameplay of Stardew, but the SU&SD review is one of their best videos in years, so I can be very thankful the game gave us that at least. :P

  • BloodySlothBloodySloth Registered User regular
    That isn't even true though? You would need to have both decks in Pandemic in a "bad way" at game start, and would need terrible luck on the reshuffles when Pandemics actually hit. It is hardly common for Pandemic on non-insane difficulty levels to be completely unmanagable. You're also working with guaranteed action outcomes and can make risk assessments accordingly.

    I had/have very little stake in the gameplay of Stardew, but the SU&SD review is one of their best videos in years, so I can be very thankful the game gave us that at least. :P

    I mean, I can testify that this happens, though.

    I don't mean to drag Pandemic, because it is a great game. I just wanted to underline my surprise at people being frustrated with Stardew Valley's randomized aspects, which also have ways to be mitigated.

  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo We are only now beginning to understand the full power and ramifications of sexual intercourse Registered User regular
    The Stellaris Kickstarter finally put up a rulebook. It's a far from complete first draft. The speculation is that the license mandated a time to launch the KS and that is why it's so half cocked

    It's a shame but hopefully it won't be a complete disaster and they can do a better second edition or something down the line

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • ArcticLancerArcticLancer Best served chilled. Registered User regular
    That isn't even true though? You would need to have both decks in Pandemic in a "bad way" at game start, and would need terrible luck on the reshuffles when Pandemics actually hit. It is hardly common for Pandemic on non-insane difficulty levels to be completely unmanagable. You're also working with guaranteed action outcomes and can make risk assessments accordingly.

    I had/have very little stake in the gameplay of Stardew, but the SU&SD review is one of their best videos in years, so I can be very thankful the game gave us that at least. :P

    I mean, I can testify that this happens, though.

    I don't mean to drag Pandemic, because it is a great game. I just wanted to underline my surprise at people being frustrated with Stardew Valley's randomized aspects, which also have ways to be mitigated.
    Can you give some examples of this, because I see almost nobody citing ways to mitigate the randomness besides you and MP? I also wouldn't take your comment as "dragging down Pandemic" so much as it seems to make an unfair equivalence at the amount of luck in it, but that's why I'm curious what Stardew actually lets you do.

  • Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular
    woo Cursed City on the way!

    Had to get it off Ebay because it sold out before I woke up but still got like a 90$ discount

    BloodySlothElvenshae
  • Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular
    That isn't even true though? You would need to have both decks in Pandemic in a "bad way" at game start, and would need terrible luck on the reshuffles when Pandemics actually hit. It is hardly common for Pandemic on non-insane difficulty levels to be completely unmanagable. You're also working with guaranteed action outcomes and can make risk assessments accordingly.

    I had/have very little stake in the gameplay of Stardew, but the SU&SD review is one of their best videos in years, so I can be very thankful the game gave us that at least. :P

    I mean, I can testify that this happens, though.

    I don't mean to drag Pandemic, because it is a great game. I just wanted to underline my surprise at people being frustrated with Stardew Valley's randomized aspects, which also have ways to be mitigated.
    Can you give some examples of this, because I see almost nobody citing ways to mitigate the randomness besides you and MP? I also wouldn't take your comment as "dragging down Pandemic" so much as it seems to make an unfair equivalence at the amount of luck in it, but that's why I'm curious what Stardew actually lets you do.

    Literally every player controlled thing in the game mitigates randomness: two of the starter tools once you start leveling them up, and the abilities you get after every season. I played a miner which is a random dice roll but the pickaxe let me reroll some dice and I had abilities to move the result i rolled in several directions, for example.

  • BloodySlothBloodySloth Registered User regular
    edited April 3
    Magic Pink wrote: »
    That isn't even true though? You would need to have both decks in Pandemic in a "bad way" at game start, and would need terrible luck on the reshuffles when Pandemics actually hit. It is hardly common for Pandemic on non-insane difficulty levels to be completely unmanagable. You're also working with guaranteed action outcomes and can make risk assessments accordingly.

    I had/have very little stake in the gameplay of Stardew, but the SU&SD review is one of their best videos in years, so I can be very thankful the game gave us that at least. :P

    I mean, I can testify that this happens, though.

    I don't mean to drag Pandemic, because it is a great game. I just wanted to underline my surprise at people being frustrated with Stardew Valley's randomized aspects, which also have ways to be mitigated.
    Can you give some examples of this, because I see almost nobody citing ways to mitigate the randomness besides you and MP? I also wouldn't take your comment as "dragging down Pandemic" so much as it seems to make an unfair equivalence at the amount of luck in it, but that's why I'm curious what Stardew actually lets you do.

    Literally every player controlled thing in the game mitigates randomness: two of the starter tools once you start leveling them up, and the abilities you get after every season. I played a miner which is a random dice roll but the pickaxe let me reroll some dice and I had abilities to move the result i rolled in several directions, for example.

    Just to add to this, you get 10 different objectives in the game that need to be fulfilled, and 6 of them (the community center rooms that need to be rebuilt) can be redrawn by spending hearts (one of the resources in the game) as an action. The profession upgrades you get during the game are something you end up drawing way more than you can possibly use at a time, so you'll end up able to discard ones you don't like from your character to replace them with new ones. Many, if not most, of these abilities deal with peeking at decks to see what you'll draw, or checking tiles to see what's under them, or mitigating die rolls in some fashion, etc. The tools do similar things; the miner's pickaxe that MP mentioned, when fully upgraded, almost makes the die roll you need to make moot, because it lets you change its result to such an extent.

    There's still random chance that can work against you... but I haven't played a co-op game where this isn't the case.

    Edit: I do wanna say I don't think it's an absolutely flawless gem of a game, and I don't particularly want to die on this hill. It is a game that I find very charming and pretty fun, and also happens to be able to draw the sort of audience that would typically be more interested in a much lighter weight game. In that way I think it might be an even better "gateway game" than other popular titles that are mechanically simpler.

    BloodySloth on
    Magic Pink
  • NipsNips Luxuriating in existential crisis.Registered User regular
    Mojo_Jojo wrote: »
    The Stellaris Kickstarter finally put up a rulebook. It's a far from complete first draft. The speculation is that the license mandated a time to launch the KS and that is why it's so half cocked

    It's a shame but hopefully it won't be a complete disaster and they can do a better second edition or something down the line

    I've been reading the first draft rulebook this morning, and aside from the fact that they launched the kickstarter without having completed the rules, it seems fine? So far on my read, it seems to be trying very hard to imitate or straight copy the core resource collection/allocation and upgrade mechanics from the PC game, which seems perfectly fine to me. I will say I've not finished reading though, and not kept up on updates.

    Where I'm curious is how well it holds up to the "4x game in two hours" goal. If it hits that, and it's reasonably satisfying to play, I'll end up keeping my copy. If not, I'll have first played with a buddy's copy, and then I'll know to send it unopened into the Great Secondary Market Beyond.

    JXUBxMxP0QndjQUEnTwTxOkfKmx8kWNvuc-FUtbSz_23_DAhGKe7W9spFKLXAtkpTBqM8Dt6kQrv-rS69Hi3FheL3fays2xTeVUvWR7g5UyLHnFA0frGk1BC12GYdOSRn9lbaJB-uH0htiLPJMrc9cSRsIgk5Dx7jg9K8rJVfG43lkeAWxTgcolNscW9KO2UZjKT8GMbYAFgFvu2TaMoLH8LBA5p2pm6VNYRsQK3QGjCsze1TOv2yIbCazmDwCHmjiQxNDf6LHP35msyiXo3CxuWs9Y8DQvJjvj10kWaspRNlWHKjS5w9Y0KLuIkhQKOxgaDziG290v4zBmTi-i7OfDz-foqIqKzC9wTbn9i_uU87GRitmrNAJdzRRsaTW5VQu_XX_5gCN8XCoNyu5RWWVGTsjJuyezz1_NpFa903Uj2TnFqnL1wJ-RZiFAAd2Bdut-G1pdQtdQihsq2dx_BjtmtGC3KZRyylO1t2c12dhfb0rStq4v8pg46ciOcdtT_1qm85IgUmGd7AmgLxCFPb0xnxWZvr26G-oXSqrQdjKA1zNIInSowiHcbUO2O8S5LRJVR6vQiEg0fbGXw4vqJYEn917tnzHMh8r0xom8BLKMvoFDelk6wbEeNq8w8Eyu2ouGjEMIvvJcb2az2AKQ1uE_7gdatfKG2QdvfdSBRSc35MQ=w498-h80-no
    Elvenshae
  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    wow and I thought the randomness of the occupation cards made Agricola (otherwise an excellent game) pretty much totally unplayable once people had learned the game. For new players not such an issue but once everyone knows the system you might as well just show your initial hand of occupations and call the game cause someone already won.

    I always thought the same of Cosmic Encounter. Look at who has the most overpowered races, show the strength values of your cards, and you can call the winner right at the start within 90% accuracy.

  • RiemannLivesRiemannLives Registered User regular
    MrBody wrote: »
    wow and I thought the randomness of the occupation cards made Agricola (otherwise an excellent game) pretty much totally unplayable once people had learned the game. For new players not such an issue but once everyone knows the system you might as well just show your initial hand of occupations and call the game cause someone already won.

    I always thought the same of Cosmic Encounter. Look at who has the most overpowered races, show the strength values of your cards, and you can call the winner right at the start within 90% accuracy.

    Yeah. At least Cosmic has the excuse of being a 1970s design and there is the potential for ganging on up a leader if everyone is paying attention. Really hard to do in Agricola. Still not a big fan of Cosmic myself.

    DEFUND THE POLICE
  • Ah_PookAh_Pook Registered User regular
    i just got done sleeving my copy of Marvel Champions: Galaxy's Most Wanted, and holy HELL it looks BRUUUUUTAL. the step up from everything that has come before looks absolutely insane. love it, can't wait to get into this stuff.

    FryElvenshae
  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    So we tried The Volcanic Island, Kosmos' 3rd entry in the Adventure Games line. We really liked Monochrome Inc and The Dungeon.

    We hated Volcanic Island.

    The other two games dumped you in an interesting setting right off the bat. Waking up in an abandoned prison with no memory of what happened? Cool! Breaking into a secure corporate research lab? Cool! VI starts you off being sent on a hike by your professor, but maybe keep a lookout for possible animal smuggling? okay???

    There are frequent events that are so incoherent, for a while we started to think the game was taking place inside a Matrix simulation. But it didn't. THAT'S how non-nonsensical it was getting.

    They tried to make it non-linear by having 2 1/2 major branches, but it feels more like they had 1 story path, then cobbled together a 2nd at the last minute. One of them feels complete and actually explains things. The other, nothing much happens and doesn't answer anything in the main story and just ends.

    One super annoying aspect is there's one item card, and every...other...encounter in the game will ask you "Do you have X item card? If so, read this entry. If not, read this." We never got it. It started getting annoying that we were missing out on so much, and we figured maybe it was something you got in a 2nd playthrough for replayability. Nope. It was an item you found during the "correct" story branch and not the broken last minute one we ended up with.

    Just a really lame, confusing letdown after the previous 2 games. The series used to be an instant buy, but now I'm going to cautiously check reviews first.

    BloodySloth
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