The Banner SagaI absolutely love this game. The first thing you'll notice is that the art is absolutely stunning, and it remains so even during game play. Travel in the game is done Oregon Trail style, uncontrolled journey that you interact with through event-driven prompts. They can be morally ambiguous or potentially risky to your caravan. Combat takes place on a grid-based, tactical map. Each character has an ability or two that makes them different and changes how you plan an encounter. Enemies are reasonably difficult, if not particularly varied.
|A meeting of Varl and Men.|
A special note on the combat -- I appreciate that each stat in the game matters. Strength is the most important, as it is your health and damage (which lowers as you take damage, which is an interested translation of battle fatigue/damage), but all of the others have very important roles in character growth.
The few negatives I have are that the actual story is fairly scripted. Most of you choices effect your caravan, but they have very little effect on game play. Also, certain events can happen that are unavoidable if you make certain decisions fairly early in the game, and they seem terribly unfair. The combat itself is interesting, but the maps you fight on, while beautiful, are the unbroken/unaltered grids. There is no terrain or obstacles, and that would have added a huge element to the strategy components. Oh, and the game is a bit short. I've played through almost three times already (I enjoy it that much), but I definitely wanted it to keep going, especially considering the final story elements. No word on when the rest of the trilogy will come out (assuming, of course, they do...).
This game gets a 9/10 from The Nerd, it really did hit a lot of levels I enjoy.
VikingsVerizon has the first season free up until Thursday. It's almost like a historically based Game of Thrones. The action is solid, the tension can ride pretty high, and the history component is pretty damn interesting.
|Ragnar, the most BA Viking you'll meet.|
This is one to watch for the characters above all else, I'd say. I give it an 8/10 because I find some of their story choices to be a touch odd, but it is always engaging.
A Princess of Mars
|New cover, works for me.|
The Green Martians, John Carter, and Dejah Thoris are all notable identities in this novel, and I strongly suggest it. For a rating, I'm comfortable giving it a 10/10, I had zero issues with the novel and look forward to the rest of the series.