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June & July Update!

Hey friends! Time for super late June/July update. I’ve got mini reviews for Wolfenstein: The New Order, Transistor, and Watch_Dogs. I finally wrapped up Final Fantasy 6 and I’m about 4 hours into Final Fantasy 7. I’ve started playing through Dragon Age: Origins with the intention to beat it. I’ve gotten a PS4 and Wii U. I’ve played a ton of the Destiny Beta as a result and a little bit of Mario Kart 8. And I’VE MOVED! To a different state even!

So we’ll start with the paragraph mini reviews:

Wolfenstein: The New Order was pretty much everything I wanted from a modernized take on a classic FPS franchise and more. While there are some story loop holes they’re not massive and overall the story is actually fairly well written and designed. It is pretty basic vengeance/save the world but I won’t fault it for that. There was a lot of interesting character development for the main character, William “B.J.” Blazkowicz. They did a good job in portraying him as an actual human instead of some gun toting meat-head most of the time.

I’m pretty sure the game ran on the same engine that RAGE did because both games feel very similar as far as gameplay flow. Very smooth shooting and movement, but Wolfenstein has some added stealth mechanics that are actually really good, and I hate stealth. The level design and stealth mechanic were done in such a way that it was just an option you could use in one battle to the next. AND if you fucked up, you just had to fight it out (very similar to Dishonored). None of the forced stealth bullshit you’ll hear me bitch about shortly. I should also mention the game is very brutal and pretty dark, though I think that is expected it actually surprised me in a couple of places. Overall the game was really good. It played great, had a great story, and was just a great job in bringing a classic franchise into more modern gaming. If you’re looking for something to play and haven’t picked this up yet, definitely give it a shot. It is still $60 on steam, but I’ve seen it go on sale several times for much cheaper.

Transistor has everything in it I should love from a video game. Great art direction, amazing sound track, combat that sounds unique, and it was made by the guys that made the phenomenal Bastion. Unfortunately, I ended up finding the entire experience rather dull. It played fine, but for some reason the game felt lifeless and the gameplay wasn’t really all that interesting after playing it a couple of hours. The world, while pretty at first, got pretty bland pretty quickly. I can’t help but compare it to Bastion, who had a beautiful world with lots of variety and colors. That statement alone, may be part of my reason for being disappointed. I couldn’t help but compare Transistor to Bastion. Transistor had a lot to live up to due to that, and I think it wasn’t quite at that level. The story was really good, the pace was questionable but forgivable, but really the gameplay was just too much of a turn off for me. I wanted to like it, but I just couldn’t quite. It was just alright, not the brilliant follow up to Bastion I was hoping for.

Now, to Watch_Dogs. I was pretty excited about this game. I played it a lot the first week I bought it, despite UPlay really not wanting me to. I ran around and did a lot of stuff, because there is a lot of stuff to do. Notice how vague that is? Well honestly that is because there wasn’t much to remember. Everything was mostly stuff we’ve already done before in similar games (Grand Theft Auto being the obvious example, but so does other Ubisoft titles like Assassin’s Creed and FarCry) and so none of it was very exciting or memorable. It was more like a jack-of-all-trades Ubisoft title that mashed in a lot of stuff from Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed, threw it into a more modern setting, and then slapped a ‘hacker’ theme over it. By hacking I mean that you’re solving some tube puzzles but rotating some tubes (think Bioshock if the tubes were already placed you just had to make stuff line up right) or just pressing the hack button. I will admit that I didn’t even finish the game. Somewhere around the halfway mark there was a forced stealth section that required you to march through the middle of an enemy camp without making so much as a stick crack. If you did anything fun you’d get Mission Failed. So I failed it 10 or so times and uninstalled the game. Forced stealth sections in games are one of my pet peeves with game design. No one finds it fun in these types of games. Forced stealth is fine for Hitman, Splinter Cell, and Thief. Games where you expect to be running around in stealth all the time. However, in a game that is mostly run and gun with the occasionally puzzle these stealth sections are just tedious and annoying. Why can’t more games do stealth like Wolfenstein did? Add some stealth sections to the game, sure! But when the player fucks up, punish him for it by having to fight out of the situation. Don’t just show a fucking game over screen, it is frustrating and not fun. This game was very meh, I wouldn’t really recommend it unless you like GTA a lot but are bored of it and need something new to play.

With that done, let’s talk about Destiny. I put a solid 20 or so hours into the beta and I must say it is a blast. I played a Warlock to max level, and I’m likely to stick with that on release. It fits my playstyle pretty well. I like the whole Borderlands meets Halo feel to the game, and the mix of PVE and PVP with both being equally meaningful is awesome. Items in PVE carry over to PVP and vice versa, and rewards earned by your character apply everywhere. This is probably the best design for this type of game. There will obviously be the ‘best’ weapon for each weapon type, and eventually people will figure out what stats to min/max for PVE and PVP. Still I think it is great that both types of gameplay are pretty much equal in terms of meaningful rewards. I think the only exception being that you get better experience in PVE (I’m honestly not sure if you get experience in PVP. As I’m writing this I cannot remember), but you get different rewards in PVP, such as reputation and certain tokens for loot. The beta only let you level up to 8 and do a handful of missions, so after 2 days I had already knocked out most of that stuff and spent a bunch of time on the PVP. The PVP was pretty well balanced from what I saw. Nothing in particular seemed OP or anything to me. Shotguns are probably the strongest weapons on some of the smaller maps, maybe borderline OP but that is pretty expected from Bungie. I like how they dish out ammo in the Multiplayer. Instead of having heavy weapons spawn somewhere on the map, heavy ammo spawns in certain time intervals on two different sides of the map. This creates a mini-objective on top of the objectives you’re already going for, which I liked. The heavy ammo felt appropriately powerful too. From the beta I don’t really have any complaints. I’ve already pre-ordered the game and look forward to playing a ton of it. Here is a VOD of a full multiplayer game from the Beta (I’m only talking to myself because the PS4 streaming thing doesn’t capture party voice).

I haven’t really gotten much time to play Mario Kart 8. I’ve spent a few hours on it, enough to know that I’m terrible at it. I haven’t really sat down and just played it for an evening though. I honestly don’t enjoy playing certain multiplayer things without playing it with friends and I almost exclusively bought the Wii U to play games with friends (Mario Kart, Monster Hunter, Smash Bros, etc) and the occasional JRPG or something (HELLO XENOBLADE CHRONICLES X). Once I dive more into that I’ll probably talk more about it. Feel free to add me on there, I was able to get Klokworkk.

In streaming news I finally wrapped up Final Fantasy 6. You can see a VOD of me beating Angelic Kefka and the ending here. Feel free to make fun of me chewing gum and then trying to get chicken out of my teeth with my tongue. Lesson learned to not chew gum while streaming and get some damn toothpicks, otherwise I’ll look like a dumbass. I’ve started Final Fantasy 7. I’m not too far in though, about to get to Shinra building part. I’ll be starting the stream up as soon as I’m done typing this. I’m also going to be periodically playing through Dragon Age: Origins but I have no timeline on trying to beat that.

Only other thing of note is that I’ve moved! I no longer live in Alabama, I have moved back to Texas. I still have my own place though, I didn’t move back in with anyone. That wouldn’t be fun. I live about 45 minutes north of Austin now, which is a great location. Austin is such an awesome city too. If you’re ever in the area make sure you check out Pinballz and Dragon’s Lair, as well as the plethora of game shops. Tons of cool shit to be found.

Alrighty, I’m wrapping it up here. In August I’ll try to beat FF7 and Tales of Xillia 2. I also plan on writing a post about recently released, upcoming, or popular MMOs and my thoughts on them (spoiler: most of it isn’t too great). Expect that before PAX. I’ll probably also ACTUALLY make a PAX post this year, so I’ll probably take a bunch of notes and/or pictures during that. That’ll technically be an early September update though so I’m getting ahead of myself so I’ll stop now.

Cya!

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Posted by on August 4, 2014 in Misc.

 

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April and May Update! Final Fantasy, WoW, Streaming Stuff, review backlog, and more!

Hello friends!

I’ve got a good bit of updates to make for this post.  A couple of mini reviews, Final Fantasy progress, some changes to the stream schedule  including future FF marathon plans, and info on a new endeavor I’ve started. So this might be a bit of a long one. We’ll see where I end up 🙂

Reviews first: Titanfall and South Park: Stick of Truth. Going with my traditional single paragraph reviews.

My first impression of Titanfall was that it is a breath of fresh air in the competitive FPS genre. The first week it was out I played it a ton. The second week I played it less. After the third week I basically stopped playing. The game is great and really fun, but after three weeks I had gotten my fun with it. I couldn’t quite put my finger on why. There is definitely a bit  a lack in variety in the game types and available weapons, but I don’t quite think that is it. Ultimately, I decided it is because after the novelty of the mechs wears off it is just another military shooter. It doesn’t really have anything going for it past that. So I really enjoyed what I played but eventually I just got bored. If you’re looking for a military shooter you can’t do much better than Titanfall. If you’re looking for a lasting multiplayer experience you may want to look elsewhere.

So when I first heard that South Park: Stick of Truth was going to be a thing I assumed it was going to be a dumb game with a lot of annoying TV show references. Then I heard it was going to have JRPG style gameplay. I was a little more on board after that. Then I watched some trailers and became really excited. To put it shortly, South Park: Stick of Truth is basically everything you’d imagine playing through an episode of South Park would be like. The game has a unique narrative and doesn’t steal from any of the existing shows. It plays very well. They don’t force the references, but there are a ton of them and they flow in naturally. There was a boatload of side quests as well, all of which were very entertaining. Overall if you like JRPGs and/or South Park you will enjoy this game. Definitely worth it.

So next up is Final Fantasy progress. This runs into my plans for streaming a bit, but we’ll focus on how the FF marathon is going here. So we’ve beaten FF1 – 5 and we’re about halfway through FF6. I haven’t really made any progress in a few weeks though for various reasons. Burn out contributing a little as well. As a result I plan on changing up some of my streaming schedule to be a bit more flexible. So let’s get into that.

I still plan on streaming at least 4 nights a week. I’m just not going to designate a specific game for any of my schedule. So instead of saying I’ll be playing FF6 on whatever day, I’ll just say I’m streaming that day. So to make it simple: my set in stone stream times are Tuesday – Friday from 6PM CST to at least 10PM CST. Sat – Mon will be extra streams with unspecified times, but I’ll post on Twitter and Facebook about them. Monday would also be 6 – 10 if that occurs. Additionally, at least one night a week I’ll be streaming a Final Fantasy game and continuing the FF marathon project. My goal is to complete one a month.

The only other major thing I’ve got going on is my recent return to World of Warcraft as my main MMO. I have decided against playing anymore Wildstar. Long story short I wasn’t a big fan of the gameplay. So instead I’ve decided to take another serious crack at WoW. I’ve made a guild with a couple of old friends, with the intention of creating a hardcore 10 man raid team to clear all the current high-end content and then move into the next expansion. This has been taking up a lot of my gaming time (as MMOs tend to do) as I attempt to get my old Shadow Priest back into a raid ready state. I’ve already streamed some Raid Finder stuff, and I intend to continue to stream raids for my guild. This sort of progress is very slow though if you want to do it right, so once I get to a point where I don’t need to do a ton of stuff for my character I’ll probably play less until the guild is raid ready. I’m pretty excited about this though, mostly because I miss raiding and playing a Shadow Priest. Shadow Priest has easily been one of the most fun characters I’ve played in an MMO.

In other random gaming news:

  • I now have a Wii and a copy of Xenoblade Chronicles. I’ll try to stream that once I start it.
  • I’ve bought a Vita, Persona 4 Golden, and DanganRonpa. I don’t have the capabilities to stream games from my 3DS/PSVita right now unfortunately. So I’ll have to play those during stream downtimes, which is fine :). You can expect some blog reviews about handheld games that I finish. I still need to finish Bravely Default too.
  • I’ve already secured copies of Wolfenstein: The New Order, Transistor, and Watch_Dogs. I’ll probably stream Wolfenstein a lot next week until I beat it. Transistor I want to take my time with, so I’ll probably play it AFTER I play through Watch_Dogs on stream.
  • I plan to do something for E3. I haven’t really decided what yet. I’ll take better notes this year though and actually make a post.
  • I’ve started playing League again a little bit. Probably won’t get into it as much as I was previously. Mostly just wanna play with friends.

So with all of that, here are things you can expect from me now (kind of a TL;DR).

  • Streaming at least 4 days a week starting this coming Tuesday.
  • Continuation of the Final Fantasy Marathon, but taking it slower so I don’t burn out. Finishing FF6 in May.
  • More WoW/MMO talk on stream and in the blog.
  • Simple Paragraph Reviews for (at least): Wolfenstein: The New Order, Transistor, and Watch_Dogs. Hopefully Bravely Default or Persona 4 Golden too.
  • E3 Post and a ‘Games I’m looking forward to’ post.

That is about it for now. I’ve got a few posts I want to make that aren’t update posts too. I might do one of those soon, we’ll see. Most of them are focused on MMOs, but I’ve also got some stuff in mind for Nintendo, FPS genre, and more! Thanks for reading, and check out my stream this week 🙂

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2014 in Gaming, Misc., Review

 

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