Category Archives: PC Games

XCOM2 first impressions: Good luck, Commander. You’ll need it!

This entry is part 11 of 11 in the series XCOM: Enemy Unknown/XCOM 2

This entry is part 11 of 11 in the series XCOM: Enemy Unknown/XCOM 2I did it! I finally did it! At the start of my third campaign, I finally beat the aliens with no fatalities — on ironman “Commander” difficulty, … Continue reading

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Nobunaga’s Ambition: late-game observations (and reflections on AI automation)

Surprisingly satisfying. Now that I’ve finished my campaign, I thought I’d comment on the late game of Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence, a topic on which I initially reserved judgment. Strategy endgames are plagued with two problems, (1) snowballing and … Continue reading

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Shining in the darkness: playing the Eastern Romans in Attila

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Total War: Attila

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Total War: AttilaThe East endures. I closed out 2015 by returning to the grand campaign of Total War: Attila, this time as the Eastern Roman Empire. Like its Western sibling, … Continue reading

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Age of Charlemagne – a worthy complement to Attila

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Total War: Attila

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Total War: AttilaAge of Charlemagne offers the basics, done right. If Rome II was about conquering a huge empire, and Attila was about defending it, Age of Charlemagne offers a … Continue reading

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Fallout 4: Early impressions

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Fallout 4

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Fallout 4The deal was done. The merchant would trade me a stimpak; I would trade junk and a handful of cash. We agreed. The goods changed hands. And moments later, … Continue reading

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A Return to Adventure: Thoughts on Conquest of Elysium 4

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Conquest of Elysium

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Conquest of ElysiumWhen the giant demon attacked my fortress, I cursed. The fort was my newest and proudest conquest, wrested from a nearby computer player. I left a small garrison, … Continue reading

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From the archives: Tactics X-COM: Jagged Ogre Chronicles, or a guide to squad-level strategy/tactics/RPGs

I originally wrote this post in 2012 during the lead-up to Firaxis’ XCOM: Enemy Unknown, proposing a classification system for squad-based games and tactical RPGs across PC and consoles. Since then, to my delight, the genre has gone from strength … Continue reading

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Friends in Need: Diplomacy in Nobunaga’s Ambition

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Nobunaga's Ambition: Sphere of Influence

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence Akechi Mitsuhide did not have long to gloat. After he betrayed and killed Oda Nobunaga – per historical event – I rallied a coalition of … Continue reading

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Nobunaga’s Ambition: Strong First Impressions

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Nobunaga's Ambition: Sphere of Influence

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of InfluenceIn Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence, opportunity comes in many forms. When my Tokugawa clan was small and insignificant, sandwiched between the rival Imagawa clan and … Continue reading

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Crisis of the Confederation Q&A, with Gregory Hayes

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Crusader Kings II

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Crusader Kings III am pleased to present an interview with Gregory “Galle” Hayes, project lead for Crisis of the Confederation – the “Crusader Kings II in space” mod I recently … Continue reading

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The OTHER space grand strategy game: Crisis of the Confederation

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Crusader Kings II

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Crusader Kings II Grand Admiral Wei Luo is about to betray everything for which he’s fought. For the last fifteen years, the Admiral has headed Confederate Space Command – the … Continue reading

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Point, Click, Solve Puzzle: Reflections on the Adventure Game

Traditionally, adventure games have been defined by two elements: (1) reliance on narrative; and (2) solving puzzles in order to progress. While the former has always been the genre’s strong suit, I would argue that puzzles have been a mixed … Continue reading

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Quick Impressions: Vietnam ’65

Vietnam ’65 is an iPad/PC strategy game with a deceptively simple concept: patrol villages on a randomly generated map (above) and prevent the Viet Cong & North Vietnamese Army from doing the same. It’s simple, short, and sweet; after two … Continue reading

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Let’s Play EU4: Common Sense! Pt 2: East Meets West

This entry is part 12 of 12 in the series Europa Universalis IV

This entry is part 12 of 12 in the series Europa Universalis IVReport of the Spanish ambassador to Meiguo, 1600 In the three months since I departed Your Majesty’s presence, I have travelled first to our colony of New Spain, … Continue reading

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Oriental Empires Q&A, with Bob Smith

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Oriental Empires

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Oriental Empires Oriental Empires is an upcoming 4X strategy game that will cover most of Chinese history, from 1500 BC to 1500 AD. My interest piqued, I conducted an email … Continue reading

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Let’s Play EU4: Common Sense! Part 1: Welcome to Meiguo

This entry is part 11 of 12 in the series Europa Universalis IV

This entry is part 11 of 12 in the series Europa Universalis IVIn 1402, the Ming Emperor’s uncle usurped the throne. The imperial palace burned. According to one legend, the Emperor survived, and fled overseas; Zheng He’s fleets were dispatched … Continue reading

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Very Early Impressions: Battle Academy

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Battle Academy

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Battle AcademySo far1, I’m impressed by Battle Academy, the 2010-vintage World War 2 TBS. The vibrant, comic-book aesthetic charmed me straight away, while the game mechanics present tactical concepts in … Continue reading

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Endless Legend & Age of Wonders 3: One Year On

The two expansions to Age of Wonders 3 have brought new races, a new character class, and (together with patches), assorted features and balance tweaks. They have also addressed my single biggest complaint with the game: the victory conditions (and … Continue reading

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The Roman Experience in Total War: Attila

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Total War: Attila

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Total War: AttilaAfter 100 turns, I threw in the towel on my attempt to save the Western Roman Empire. The legions, and my treasury, had finally reached their limit. The … Continue reading

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Thoughts on Cities: Skylines

This entry is part of 1 in the series Cities: Skylines

This entry is part of 1 in the series Cities: Skylines My first city made as much sense as a noodle-bowl. At one point, I went nuts building high-rise apartments without ensuring adequate road access. The result was a mess. … Continue reading

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Only a Flesh Wound! Total War: Attila impressions

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Total War: Attila

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Total War: Attila War has come to Rome. Lands that were Roman for centuries are now desolate or in enemy hands. Northern Spain and the tip of Italy are smoking … Continue reading

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Let’s reunify Japan in Total War: Shogun 2! Part 3 (Final): Ride Forth Victoriously

This entry is part 10 of 10 in the series Total War: Shogun 2

This entry is part 10 of 10 in the series Total War: Shogun 2Welcome to the final instalment of my Let’s Play of Shogun 2. Previously, I stood on the verge of Shogun 2’s endgame — “realm divide”, in which … Continue reading

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Total War Rome II DLC Campaigns: The Buyer’s Guide

Matchsticks for my Eyes is pleased to present the latest guest post by Rachel “frogbeastegg” McFadden, author of Frogbeastegg’s Guides to Total War. Rome II has smartened up considerably since its release; the article below discusses its add-on campaigns. I … Continue reading

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Let’s reunify Japan in Total War: Shogun 2! Part 2: Patience and Preparation

This entry is part 9 of 10 in the series Total War: Shogun 2

This entry is part 9 of 10 in the series Total War: Shogun 2Welcome back to my Let’s Play of Shogun 2. When we left off, my Takeda clan controlled a modest slice of Japan, to the north and west … Continue reading

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Let’s reunify Japan in Total War: Shogun 2! Part 1: Awakening the Tiger

This entry is part 8 of 10 in the series Total War: Shogun 2

This entry is part 8 of 10 in the series Total War: Shogun 2Introduction Hello, and welcome to my Let’s Play of Total War: Shogun 2. Shogun 2 casts players as a daimyo, one of the regional warlords of sixteenth-century … Continue reading

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Star Wars: Empire at War — Quick Impressions

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Star Wars franchise

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Star Wars franchiseEvery so often, I play a game that’s more fun than its mediocre mechanics would suggest. Ni no Kuni was one such. Star Wars: Empire at War is … Continue reading

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Endless Legend: a better toy than game

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Endless Legend

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Endless LegendBack when I wrote about Tearaway last January, I quoted Jesse Schell’s distinction between a toy (something that’s fun to play with) and a game (a problem-solving activity approached … Continue reading

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The Qing in the North: Reflections on Europa Universalis IV: Art of War

This entry is part 10 of 12 in the series Europa Universalis IV

This entry is part 10 of 12 in the series Europa Universalis IVThe Manchu conquest of Ming China, in which a much smaller, younger state managed to overthrow the greatest empire in the world, is one of those episodes in … Continue reading

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The Lantern Bearer: revisiting Crusader Kings II

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Crusader Kings II

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Crusader Kings II I thought I’d cracked it. Over and over again, I attempted one of the greatest challenges in Crusader Kings II – play a Zoroastrian and restore the … Continue reading

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Observations on Xenonauts

Xenonauts is a generally inspired homage to the Gollop Brothers’ X-COM, let down by repetitive ground combat. After six or seven hours back in September, I loaded up Firaxis’ XCOM: Enemy Within… and since then, I’ve haven’t looked back. Comparing … Continue reading

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