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6

Star Trek Bridge Crew

[su_youtube url=”https://youtu.be/romB8e5nMp8″ width=”700″]

You’ve probably seen my skepticism over this VR craze these past few months. I’m not a believer. I’m not sold on it. I think the price points and the gimmick levels are high—real high. BUT… how awesome is it that you can be on the bridge of a Star Trek ship?!

Seeing LeVar and the crew able to all play together like that made me want for nothing more than to throw on one of those gimmicky headsets and start looking around the room like a doofus too.  The nostalgia and the setting would drive me to buy one if nothing else.

star-trek-bridge-crew

Where I’m concerned about Star Trek Bridge Crew is in the details. Is it more than a button pressing simulator? Is it more than FTL with $600 goggles? I want more than simply simulating a few mini-games here. I want that experience of navigating a sandbox galaxy. I want to run into the Borg while delivering aid to a race of people on a planet I’ve never seen while trying not to violate the Prime Directive.

I can’t get my hopes up. I have to come back to reality. For this to really work you have to have four people in a room all with $600 goggles (AI playing ruins the experience). Totally unrealistic of me to expect more, but perhaps a fun social experience (for the 1% elite) nonetheless.

2

Ubisoft E3 2016 Conference: Cringe

Ubi kicked things off with an uber-cringe dance number, and the usual host is back with her cringe-worthy moments. So things are business at usual at Ubi this year.

Ghost Recon Wild Lands – Although heavily, heavily scripted, I think there’s some promise here. Playing co-op could be fun. Otherwise it looks a little generic and I haven’t yet found the reason why I should care about this one.

South Park – Picks up after Stick of Truth (which was pretty good) where you’re still the King, but since the kids are all playing a “different game” now that means you’re back to being the new kid and no one likes you. The superhero motif is neat (who wouldn’t super powers like farts ripping the fabric of time?). Probably won’t pick this one up though as I don’t see the draw beyond the gimmick of South Park. Fun once, but I don’t need it twice.

The Division Underground – The original wasn’t great—okay, but not great—so I’m not really psyched about Underground.

Eagle Flight – Reminds me of when the Wii was first announced or Kinect and we saw all these “games” that were nothing more than tech demos. Neat concept. I’m sure it’s glorious in VR. They looked so funny on stage with their headsets on looking everywhere while the guy announced their match like an esport game. Sadly the game doesn’t translate to the audience at all.

Star Trek Bridge Crew – That’s it. We’re done. We can go home. Star Trek wins E3. This single-handedly guarantees I will get VR. I am a bit worried about how much of this is legit gameplay and how much of it is minigame and demo. I want this to be the FULL game where we explore galaxies from our bridge. I want to spend an entire Saturday on the bridge of a ship with Graev exploring the galaxy and fighting Romulans. This better not be a game where one guy puts out fires and another guy “flies” the ship. What was that game on Steam? This warrants another post.

For Honor – It’s like that old game Pirates, Vikings, and Knights but it’s Vikings, Knights, and Samurais. Huh. Gory as heck but looks interesting. I’ll have to check this out more.

[Some weird games not worth mentioning]

Watch Dogs 2 – The first one was a huge disappointment. Fool me once.

Okay so Ubisoft was really weird as usual, but not as bad as it could have been. I’d say they score a C+ where EA scored a D+. Both kinda sucked but Ubi sucked less.  Really lackluster offering this year save for Star Trek Bridge Crew. That has me sold on at least giving VR a shot. Yep, I’m shallow.

 

4

Assassin’s Creed Unity Review

Assassin's Creed Unity

My original plan was to forgo an Assassin’s Creed Unity review, but after finally completing the game I feel like I need to write up some of my thoughts.

My wife was a major contributing factor to my enjoyment of Assassins’ Creed Unity because, for the first time ever, she sat next to me for every single minute of gampeplay. Although she’ll play the modest card and deny it, she’s fluent in French and an encyclopedia of French history. Throughout my play-through I would turn to her with guidance with what the heck is going on in this thing called the French Revolution. Having been to France and loving the city of Paris, she was a great tour guide helping me figure out puzzles and helping me to understand the nonsensical mumblings of the French language.

Story

Assassin’s Creed is one of my favorite gaming franchises because I love how Ubisoft plays with the facts of history to twist our world into one big shadow game of Templars vs. Assassins. Unity does not disappoint in terms of history — especially if you’re into the French history like my wife — but doesn’t keep up with previous AC titles’ ability to create a story bigger than life.

Almost all (like 99%) of the “real life” story has been cut out of the game, leaving the player in control of Arno Dorian. The actual story of Arno is rather dull. He’s the son of an assassin who is killed within the first minutes of the game leaving him to be adopted by a prominent Templar family. Revenge drives Arno’s decisions through life as does his love for the daughter of the man who adopted him.

The player is (ready for this?) only known as “the player” of Helix, a game by Abstergo (Templars in modern day) once again using genetic memories for entertainment and their nefarious purposes. (Obtaining artifacts and pieces of Eden, etc.) Your gameplay feed is hijacked by Assassin’s and you’re asked to join the order as an initiate. It’s actually weaker and even less cool than I’ve made it sound here.

One of the more intriguing sides of the story in Unity is how the Templars and Assassins were trying to broker piece, and how such an act caused rifts within both organizations. How that plays out drives a great deal of story. Continue reading

12

Keen’s Game of the Year 2013

AC4 Edward Kenway and CrewAssassin’s Creed 4 Black Flag is my absolute favorite game of 2013.  I had never played a single Assassin’s Creed game until Black Flag launched, and I wasn’t even looking forward to its release.  I picked it up on a whim as one of the few launch titles for the Playstation 4 that looked interesting.  I’ve always had a predilection for pirates, the 18th century, open-world settings, and secret orders like the Templars and Assassins.  AC4 and I are a match made in heaven.

Continue reading

9

Why we’re excited for the Wii U launch

The Wii U launches on the 18th of this month!  You all know by now that we enjoy console games, and we’re fans of Nintendo consoles.  Some of you have expressed skepticism over what the Wii U will offer gamers.  Back during E3 of this year we wrote at length about the console, some of the games coming out, and how we felt that Nintendo and the Wii U had the best overall showing of games this year.

Here are some of the games coming out for the Wii U (at launch) that really convinced us that the Wii U was a must-buy.

ZombiU for the Wii U

What really got us excited about ZombiU were the parallels we could see between ZombiU and games like Dark Souls.  We’ve read that the game will be brutally hard, and filled with the same trial and error gameplay experienced in Dark Souls.  A game about surviving against zombies should be difficult, unforgiving, and provide that sense of complete danger.

Some of the features look great.   When you die, your character turns into a zombie that you will encounter while you play the role of a different survivor.  You can actually kill your zombie-self and take back your gear.   Integrating other players in their own single-player games, like Dark Souls did, is something we’ll probably see a lot of on the Wii U and in ZombiU.  For example, when you die your friends will get alerted and get to come hunt you down.

The Wii U GamePad is going to really make the experience unique.  If there’s anything that ZombiU will have that other Zombie survival games can’t have, it’s the integration of these controls and what they allow the player to do.  The video below highlights them nicely.

More after the break. Continue reading

1

E3 2011: Ubisoft Conference Commentary

Ubisoft’s conference is finally over. We didn’t think it could get much worse than Microsoft but it did. We’re both in agreement on this one: They opened very, VERY, strong with Rayman Origins. It’s a platforming game that reminds us of Donkey Kong with what looks to be extremely fun coop play and stylized humor-laden fun. They sold us immediately on this title. It went downhill quickly.

For five minutes of monotonous jungle fighting, bad dialog, and cutscenes we were dragged along until finally they revealed Far Cry 3. From the way they presented this title alone we’re tempted to skip it. Nothing about that presentation made us want to go near the game or get excited. How they went from making Rayman a must buy to ruining Far Cry for us is a mystery.

Ghost Recon is going to flop. It looks dated, the gameplay looks boring, and they didn’t present it well at all. Compared to MW3 and BF3 this one won’t stand. We both thought that there’s a chance it might provide some coop play on the Army of 2 level, but at this point it looks too generic even with the futuristic toys. We’re passing on this title.

The rest of the conference was absolute garbage, with jokes like “Want to come over and play with my Wii” and shovelware, until Assassin’s Creed Revelations. It looks nice visually and carries with it the exact same Assassin’s Creed style. That’s good or bad depending on what you want, but for us it’s a step too far on the “more of the same” for our liking.

Original: At the last second we decided we’ll be liveblogging the Ubisoft conference. As we did with the EA conference, check back a few minutes after the conference ends for our written impressions.

You can access the live blog by clicking: Continue reading

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