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Wolfenstein: The New Order

I just finished the new Wolfenstein game a few minutes ago and figured I should write down some thoughts before I forget most of what happened. Not that it was necessarily a forgettable experience but I don’t always get to choose what information I retain. There were a lot of really cool parts to the game and overall I found it to be a pretty good for a FPS. I never actually played the original Wolfenstein so I imagine that all of the nostalgia and throwbacks are completely lost on someone like me. I should also mention that I played the Xbox One version, which supposedly looks the same as the PS4 game. Just throwing that out there.

wolfenstein-robot-dogPresentation, Story & Visuals, Etc.

The game begins with you on a plane that is under fire. You play as BJ Blazkowicz and are apart of a strike force that is raiding some Nazi-run location and trying to kill Deathshead, I think his name is. I wont go into any further spoilers other than to say that near the end of the first mission you are forced to make a decision that will put you in one of two timelines. So far I’ve only played through the game once so I don’t personally know how big a difference there is. I did search around and it seems that there is really only some minor changes and that the overall story is largely the same which really just makes it feel like a missed opportunity where they could have done something really interesting. [Read more...]

FFX HD, Amazing Spider-Man 2, and Other Stuff

I have been bouncing around a lot of stuff lately and I believe I have covered some of it. Stuff like ESO and Age of Wonder 3. There are several things that I’m not sure I can make an entire post out of but I figured if I mash it all together then it might fill a page, right? Insert official K&G Seal of Quality here, or at least pretend it is.

FFX/X2 HD – VITA

I went with the Vita version of this over the PS3 version mainly for ease of use. It may not look quite as good but I’ll probably never know or care about the difference. When these were originally released on the Playstation 2 I did own both of them but never actually finished them. After playing X for several hours I think I remember why. The game isn’t bad or anything and the combat and sphere grid is actually pretty good. Unfortunately I must have forgotten how cringe-worthy parts of the game were. The dialogue, the way it’s delivered by the VA’s, weird characters… I feel embarrassed even when I have headphones in and nobody can see what I’m doing. That’s actually pretty interesting since I do remember playing this years ago and having people walk by every single time something weird or awkward happened. Though I’m sure everybody has experienced that with some game.

Sad Spider-Man

Yeah, a little like that.

Amazing Spider-Man 2: THE “GAME”

Amazing Spider-Man 2 actually really let me down. I’ve purchased almost every single Spider-Man console game for TEN years now and have really yet to be disappointed or regret a purchase. Sure most of them may be just average titles but there are a few really good ones. Even then just by being a big Spider-Man fan it can bump up the enjoyment factor by quite a bit. So after a decade of satisfaction I made the unfortunate decision to purchase this Spider-Man game without waiting for reviews or doing any research.

There just really isn’t anything good I can say about the game. The swinging mechanics improved in some ways but do way more wrong than they do right. The combat is a shallow Arkham Batman ripoff and remains tedious throughout the entire experience. The city is mostly devoid of anything actually interesting to do except for boring, repetitive tasks that affect your heroic level. Completing said tasks rewards you with essentially nothing while failing to do them will punish you with huge energy barriers blocking swinging paths and drones flying up your ass. I don’t even want to talk about or acknowledge this thing anymore. I told Keen to get it out of my house because the sight of it made me ill. He came back instead with a copy of Mario Golf, which might as well be alchemy since he just turned shit into gold.

COMING SOON: Mario Golf & Kirby Triple Deluxe

I just got these in the mail Friday and I’m loving them both quite a bit. Right now I don’t feel quite ready to share my thoughts but I do plan on doing a write-up for both games or if it comes down to it I’ll just write half a post for each and mash it together.

Other Stuff: Caverna: The Cave Farmers

We ordered this quite a while ago and I think it’s actually due to be delivered anytime now. We haven’t written about board games in a while so this should provide for some interesting content when it eventually gets here.

Other Stuff: Is SPACE ENGINEERS any good?

I see this on Steam every day and it keeps chanting my name and saying “Buy me!” Keen thinks it looks boring but I’m not so sure. Anybody tried it out? What kind of survival do you have to do? An inquiring mind needs to know.

Too many Games, too little time

Sorry for the slow few days around here.  We’ve actually been *gasp* playing games.

The Elder Scrolls Online

ESO launched two days ago, and I’m actually having more fun than I thought I would.  No that’s not an April Fool’s day psych-out.  I think it’s partially how we’re going about things.  Three days in we are still only level 8.  We are going really, really slow.  I long for the days when I could play 10 hours at a time — those are my weekends — but playing slow has helped avoid the burnout.  ESO is quest-heavy leveling.  The quests themselves are 85% boring and “go here do this” lead you by the nose stuff, but you don’t get lead one quest to the next — that’s part is less linear.  If I can actually get to 10, we’ll be able to PvP!  Stay tuned.

Live Streaming

We are making a serious push to stream more of the games we play and even upload to Youtube.  I got Graev a microphone, the new Playstation Gold headset, and a Live Gamer Portable.  He better stream or I’ll kick his butt.

Look for his streams every morning between 9am-12pm pacific time.  He’ll most likely be streaming a lot of Xbox One Plants Vs. Zombies Garden Warfare.  Then look for me to stream in the evenings.  Probably a lot of ESO and EQ Next Landmark.  You can find our stream on Twitch.tv or on our stream page here on the blog.  Be sure to follow us to know when we go live!

Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls

Graev and I picked up RoS and started completely new characters.  We’re now on Act 5 and just (minor spoilers) beat Adra.  So far so good.  I think Diablo 3 has been patched for the better over the past year, especially in loot patch 2.0. The legendary loot drops are pretty sweet now that they have been tuned to give you pretty much a guaranteed drop every 2-3 hours.  Each boss you kill for the first time is also a guaranteed drop.  We’ll write up more formal thoughts once we finish the campaign and run some of the new Rift and Bounties.

It’s still, hard as it tries, not Diablo 2 .  Really fun though, and much improved.  Now that I think about it… D3 is probably awesome on consoles.  More on that in the D3 post to come.

So many games…

Aside from Diablo 3 and Elder Scrolls, I’m also enjoying the heck out of Landmark.  I claimed an awesome bit of open land where I’m going to build a a Harvest Moon style farm (pictures coming soon!).  It’s an awesome piece of property overlooking a lake and the ocean on a flat hilltop.  Man I love Landmark.  I’m also wanting to jump in and play more Albion Online, some original EverQuest, and Assassin’s Creed Black Flag.  Sheesh, there just aren’t enough hours in the day.

inFamous Second Son

infamous-second-son

I just beat inFamous Second Son the other day and overall I enjoyed the experience even if there were some annoyances along the way. For those unfamiliar with the series, you play as a person with special powers in an open city environment. Along the way you make clear-cut moral decisions that give you either good or evil karma which determines how the story plays out and what kind of powers you can utilize.

Presentation

The game looks very good but not quite as good as some of the early footage we’ve seen. I don’t know what the framerate is exactly but it definitely didn’t feel stable. It really only seems to hit the low side during really large battles with a lot going on, especially if you activate your “kill everything on the screen” ability. Other than that I mostly experienced fluctuations on the higher end because I kept noticing sudden bursts of disorienting smoothness. That sounds stupid when I read it back but I don’t know how else to describe it. Personally I find that kind of thing jarring and really prefer a stable framerate.

The story takes place some time after the events of the first two games but doesn’t follow any of those characters. You play as a beanie-wearing and vest enthusiast who also likes to graffiti on the side. Along with having one of the most punchable faces I’ve seen he also sports a curiously stupid name: Delsin. It sounds like a dandruff shampoo and cold-medicine mash-up. I pretty much maintained that sentiment for a while before the game even came out. I later found out it is apparently a Native American name, which the character is, so cue white guilt and all that. At least until the character basically admits in a side conversation that his name is stupid and his mom got it from an old western movie. Now I don’t feel so bad. [Read more...]

Thief Disappointment

I played the original Thief games when I was younger and since then they have been the standard that all other stealth games get measured by. When I heard that a new Thief game was being made I didn’t hold out a lot of hope that it would be as good as the originals, but it looked interesting enough to try anyway. I’m not very far in the game yet, only up to chapter 3, but I have several things that I wanted to talk about.

Garrett the ThiefDifficulty Customization

Originally, I decided to try playing the game as they had designed it. I picked the hardest difficulty and left every other setting at default. I got all the way up to chapter three before I could no longer take such a patronizing experience. For some reason it seems devs think modern gamers are incredibly inept at playing games and require giant waypoint arrows, visual meters that show the alert level of guards, and special vision modes that make everything intractable light up like a Christmas tree. Fortunately the game allows you to customize the difficulty options in an attempt to make the game feel like the originals. You can disable anywhere saving, the aiming reticle, the focus vision mode, etc. So after turning on essentially every limitation and disabling waypoint arrows, and pretty much everything else, I started over. Unfortunately, there’s a lot that is still same about the game. Even though the focus vision mode is turned off you will still see climbable spots glowing with an offensive blue tint and even though the reticle is turned off objects will still highlight when you aim at them, which essentially is the same thing. [Read more...]