I Am So Ready for Breath of the Wild

Breath of the Wild

In the words of Reggie, my body is ready.

Nintendo showed off some new gameplay in an awkward/fake “Let’s Play” during the VGA.

Despite the awkwardness, Breath of the Wild continues to look great.

Nintendo is continually pumping out amiibo to go along with Zelda, including a few new 30th anniversary ones that will include goodies in-game. The goodies aren’t enough to entice me to hunt for the amiibo or drop the cash on them, but I like Nintendo’s idea of implementing them. I’m torn between being a fan of the toy addons gimmick and being annoyed by them. But my love for them, and even further my love for the toys-to-life genre in general, keeps my internal strife going.

Zelda games have turned into a great gaming activity for me and Bri. We just finished up Twilight Princess HD for Wii U this month. It was awesome. As usual for us, I played and she was my co-pilot. When I would get stuck or have no clue where to go, she would have the walkthrough ready to guide us to the next adventure. Now we’re probably going to try and beat Windwaker before Breath of the Wild comes out.

We’re definitely getting Breath of the Wild of the Nintendo Switch. Fingers crossed it’s a launch title. Nintendo needs it to be.

Gears of War 4 Review

Gears of War Campaign Review

Gears of War 4 came out last month, and naturally it’s taken Graev and I a little bit of time to finish up the campaign. I’m going to review the story campaign of GoW 4, but not the competitive versus modes on the multiplayer side.

Overall Story

If you haven’t played the original Gears trilogy, stop and go pick it up on Amazon for $30. It’s the original game with remastered graphics + backwards compatible versions of GoW 1, 2, 3, and judgement. You can play on PC or Xbox One depending on the version you buy.

Gears 4 is the first in what will become a new Gears trilogy. GoW4 picks up 25 years after the events of the third game when the characters are all much older and mostly grey.

You play as Marcus’ son, J.D., who abandoned the controlling and martial law enforcing COG to join the Outsiders who refuse to live under COG rule inside walled-off cities. Teh game starts off with J.D. and crew fighting back against the oppressive COG by stealing their power systems and supplies.

While trying to be a rebel and mess with the COG’s plans, J.D. and his friends make a discovery: The Locust are back!

The Locust have evolved and are now looking to capture humans to evolve. Along the way we meet up with a few familiar faces to help take down the baddies.

I’ll leave the story spoilers there.

There’s an interesting revelation at the end that I think is a little bit of a reach, but overall the story is at least more interesting than the confusing story from the first trilogy.

Gameplay

For the most part, we’re looking at a continuation of the same gameplay from previous gears games. There’s lots of cover mechanics, grenades into emergence holes, and shooting.

The game takes place mostly above-ground in the wilds and ruins of Sera, with only a few missions taking place in warehouses or mine tunnels.

A few new guns introduce a few extra things to watch for, but this is still 100% GoW at heart.

Play Anywhere

I purchased the digital copy of Gears of War 4, so that means I can play it on Xbox One AND/OR PC! In fact, I can play on PC and Graev on Xbox One, and we can play TOGETHER. We played the entire campaign with Graev hosting our game on Xbox One. Windows 10’s Xbox experience is phenomenal.

Since it works so well, I wish Microsoft would expand this beyond just first-party titles.

Conclusion

Gears of War 4 is great. Graev and I both enjoyed the campaign, and enjoyed playing it co-op together cross-platform.

I’m excited to see where the trilogy goes.

Conglomoblog Update: Civ, Gears, WoW, Business

I’m sorry for the record slowdown around here. This past week was crazy with a few game launches and RL stuff.

Civilization VI

Graev and I both picked up Civ 6. I’ll be the very first to admit that I’m not as familiar with Civ as I thought I was from playing Civ 4. I get the general idea of how to play, how to take a turn, the general ideas, etc. What I don’t have down at all are the strategies or “best practices” of how to play.

My games are always SO DANG LONG. Is that normal? Right now I chalk it up to not having a strategy, therefore spending hours going in multiple directions when I should be focusing on one solid victory.

Gears of War 4

I think Graev and I are making good progress in Gear 4. We’ve come across a few major reveals in the story, and I can tell they’ve definitely set themselves up for a new trilogy.

This is one I still plan to more formally write my thoughts on, but for now I’m happy to say it’s fun and I recommend it for fans of the previous games.

WoW

KGC is still progressing in raids. We’ve moved into Heroics now, and plan to pick up the pace now that 7.1 is coming out tomorrow. I’m actually going to write another post on 7.1 here this morning.

Nintendo’s New Console: ‘Nintendo Switch’

Nintendo Switch Console

Nintendo announced their new console this morning! Previous codenamed “NX”, the ‘Nintendo Switch’ releases March 17, 2017.

As many of us predicted, the new system will be a combo handheld/traditional console. The Nintendo Switch features removable handles or “Joy-cons” which can connect to an optional Pro Controller (of sorts) for use during couch play.

 

When on the go, the handles of the Nintendo Switch disconnect and can slide onto to tablet resting in the “Nintendo Switch Dock”. This takes the entire system on the go.

Players can use the “joy-cons” in many different ways: Connected onto the tablet for mobile play, on a Pro Controller, one in each hand akin to the wiimote and nunchuck, or split them apart for even further multiplayer

Nintendo is once again going the route of “different” over simply sticking with what has traditionally been … well… successful and fun. Looking at the joy-cons, and the system as a hole, it almost looks cheap. I haven’t held the Switch in my hands, but I don’t get a sense of quality from all these moving parts. I sincerely hope I am wrong.

Nintendo's New Console: Nintendo Switch

The graphics capabilities in the Nintendo Switch are powered by a custom NVIDIA Tegra processor.  “The high-efficiency scalable processor includes an NVIDIA GPU based on the same architecture as the world’s top-performing GeForce gaming graphics cards,” said NVIDIA when they made the announcement. Just how “based on” we’re talking here, or what that truly means in terms of power, remains to be seen.

I noticed no mention of a touch screen. I’m betting there isn’t one. I’m okay with that, though, as I felt like it would be one gimmick too many.

I like the idea of taking my little tablet-console-thing on-the-go to Graev’s house and playing local multiplayer with both consoles. I think there’s opportunity for expanded software growth beyond the Wii and Wii U now that motion and touch are likely out of the picture. Good old fashion gaming… with a mobile twist? Maybe?

I confess myself slightly disappointed by their lack of traditional console, but will keep an open mind.

Gears of War 4 – Cross Play is here!

Graev and I picked up Gears of War 4 and are currently working our way through the campaign. It’s really, really good. I don’t want to focus on any of the gameplay itself. What I want to focus on here is more of the cross play experience.

When Microsoft announced their big push toward “play anywhere,” I was extremely pleased. For the past 10 years I have been wanting PC and Console players to merge. Some games have tried, almost all have not. Developers of hardware and software alike have cited a litany of reasons. Now, I hope that’s over.

Gears of War 4 allows for co-op campaign and Horde mode cross play. It works flawlessly.

At first we couldn’t figure out how to make it work. Graev was on his Xbox One and I was on PC, but I wasn’t getting his invites. Then I found an Xbox app on my computer and suddenly the experience was merged. His invites came in like they do when you’re on Xbox and someone invites you. From there, the entire experience was utterly seamless.

Taking things a step further, if I use the Xbox app on my computer I can essentially communicate and interact in every way I can if I was on an Xbox instead. It’s great.

Here’s the one downside: You can’t play competitive multiplayer modes where PC players would be fighting against console players. Microsoft has said this is currently “temporary,” but I won’t hold my breath. I think they’ve left it out of Gears on purpose — to have no ‘negative’ perceptions of cross play among the early impressions.

Whether or not PC is truly the master race doesn’t matter to me right now. I’m just glad that I can play games with Graev on my PC if I choose, and he can be on his Xbox if he chooses. It’s time for Sony and Nintendo to start moving in that direction.

Our thoughts on Gears 4 coming soon…