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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Sorry...

So I've been having strange health issues and symptoms the past several months and and still trying to figure out exactly what is wrong with me. However, I need to do something with myself so I need to kick my own ass into gear and start writing again. Don't worry, I am not dying (at least not so far) but the issues have really slowed me down. Anyway, on to better things.

While I (im)patiently wait for Fallout 4 to launch next week, I've decided to tackle some of my gaming backlog. My 360 has been getting a workout. I've managed to finish a few games on a more than one console.

EtherOne: This game is amazing. I purchased it on the PS4 because getting my hands on my laptop has been a real chore lately. One of my sons is always on it. This game is an exploration game with a few puzzles thrown in but the story is engrossing. The whole premise deals with dementia (lewy body, if I recall correctly) and the quest to repair the mind of someone suffering.

Everybody's Gone to the Rapture: Another amazing exploration game. The art and graphics will take your breath away. Basically, you wake up in a town in England, alone. You must explore the area to try to piece together what happened to everyone plus you'll get a glimpse into the different relationships between people as you explore.



Borderlands Pre-Sequel: Finally finished this one. While it was fun to play, it wasn't my favorite in the series. The environment felt really small and the gameplay just felt, well dull in comparison with the other two titles.

Dead Island Riptide: I have had this one since launch and had started a game with a character imported from Dead Island. I truly had a Gandalf moment when I loaded the save. It took me a few minutes to piece together what I had been doing. I had a good time playing it and you can tell it's a definite launching off point for Techland's other title, Dying Light (another awesome game with zombies and parkour). I have seen the teaser videos for Dead Island 2 and had been wondering how California came into the story but after seeing the end of Riptide, I think I know.

Valiant Hearts: This game is a wonderful blend of historical facts with sidescrolling adventure. It's not a long game but you'll learn a lot about World War 2 playing it, more little known facts than the major stuff everyone already knows.

Tomb Raider: Okay, I had a blast with this. It's nice to see Lara Croft's origin story and see her less than invincible. As much as I love the old platformer/puzzler Tomb Raiders, having a full story campaign was so fantastic, I am looking forward to the next one. That being said, it'll have to wait since it launches the same day as Fallout 4 and I just don't have the time, or money, for 2 games at the same time.

Currently I am playing Until Dawn (OMGOMGOMG so suspenseful). This is a "must buy" for PS4 owners that love thriller/horror games. Plus, I have finally decided to finish playing the Assassin's Creed games. I have them all up to Unity. I have only played halfway through the first one. Loving the history so far but hating the repetition.

That's it for now. I am going to try to be good and post something daily, even if it's just a bullshit thing. I need to get back into practice.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Battlefield: Hardline is NOT a Battlefield game but....



So I finished the Battlefield: Hardline campaign the other day and, yes, I played it on veteran because I am a glutton for punishment. While I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, let's be honest...it's not a Battlefield game.

Hardline was only given the Battlefield moniker to sell the game but it should have been it's own entity. It should not have been tagged on the to Battlefield franchise like an unwanted stepchild. It was a fun game and a new experience so it should have been a new IP but I digress.

Battlefield games are military-based experiences. Sorry but setting up a police television series campaign about drug runners does not fall into that category. It made me feel that DICE was scared to attempt a new IP. It's like if a GTA game was released that was about saving orphans from dictators. It just doesn't work. People expect certain experiences when they play titles from a franchise. They like small changes, not totally new directions and canon. I heard many voices complaining about Hardline, and I found very few justifications for those complaints. I think people were stymied by the lack of military experience. It didn't fulfill their expectations, what they wanted, from a typical Battlefield game.

The story was intense because of the stealth aspect. Sure, you could go in guns blazing but rewards are higher if you took your time and tried not killing everyone. By the way, the Taser is totally fun. Trying to be stealthy also slows the game down and not everyone likes taking things slow. Those people would find the experience plodding and boring. I found it one part challenging and two parts frustrating. The enemies could detect me, crouched, through walls. I know it was the veteran difficulty but come on! It's not like I was stalking Superman. X-ray vision is unacceptable.

There is fairly high replayability if you are a completionist. There are quite a few collectibles plus the achievement/trophy for arresting all the criminals with warrants. Only a few achievements/trophies are for multiplayer, which is a nice change. So many games have now gone MP heavy with the rewards and honestly, some are near impossible to get unless you play on doing the same thing over and over ad nauseum.

Multiplayer offers up the typical game modes; team deathmatch, conquest, etc. There are some new additions, my favorite being Hotwired. I mean, it's keep-away with cars. How awesome is that? I was not a big fan of Rescue and Crosshair. The handful of times I tried these "objective" based games were a disaster. The teams were unbalanced (think 5 vs 2) and since all you really need to do is eliminate the other team, since there are no respawns, there really isn't any objective to try for. No need to complete, or even attempt, the objective to win so why bother? The unbalanced teams are a HUGE factor when there isn't a respawn. I was dropped into a game that was previously 5 vs 1 so I brought my team to 2. I was swiftly killed before I even gained control of my character after the load screen. Several experiences like this has left my unwilling to even play these modes. No desire whatsoever.

I think the thing that has stood out to my the most about Hardline....it's almost a Bad Company. No I am not saying it's as good, or even close to as much fun, What I am saying is that Hardline has given me some insight into why fans love Bad Company so much. It comes down to the story. Bad Company was not your typical military game. The story had misfit characters that everyone could relate to and enjoy. It was a new direction. Same with Hardline. It is a new direction and NOT the cookie cutter, generic military-esque story with one-dimensional characters that leave little or no impression. DICE has stated they have been unable to figure out why people love the Bad Company series so much. Well, this is it. Bad Company was full of imperfect and unique characters punctuated with honest humor.

So that's it. That's my opinion. Love it or hate it. I enjoyed Battlefield: Hardline but I do think it needed to be treated to it's own IP.

Friday, March 20, 2015

So I Was On a Podcast....Again....




A couple weekends ago, I was at PAX East. I was there on a media badge for Structure Network and having a wonderful, though exhausting, time checking out all the games. Of course going to a gathering of the nerds has the added bonus of bumping into people (friends) you know in the industry. 

I managed ot bump into Aaron over at GameEnthus, a couple times in fact, and after PAX was over he asked me to come on their podcast. I had been on once before but that was ages ago. Needless to say, I had a great time...as always. Tiny (@Tiny415), Mike (@AssaultSuit), and Aaron (@Ind1fference) are awesome. They are the type of guys I could sit at a bar with, drink beer, and just shoot the shit for hours. 

Oh wait, I kind of did. You should have a listen at the shenanigans. 



Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Variables of Friendship



Friendship: Noun - 1. the state of being a friend; association as friends (to value one's friendship)

I consider myself to be a sensitive, friendly, comforting, honest individual. I like to help people and I enjoy the good feeling I get from knowing that I helped someone in need. I'd share anything of mine with someone I considered a friend. I'd bend over backwards to make them happy. However, sometimes the people that need me use me under the guise of friendship.

I consider myself a good friend. I step up to the plate without being asked and am willing to fade into the background when needed. I never make demands of my friends. I don't demand attention, or phone calls/texts within a certain said time period. I do like to be acknowledged though and all I do ask is that you are at least half the friend to me that I am willing to be to you.

My close friends are my family. I'd do anything for them. I don't expect that same dedication but I do at least expect them to inquire as to my health and well being from time to time. I do not expect to be relegated to being a tool to further your life and once my usefullness has worn off, to be discarded until you're bored or needy again.

Over the past few years I have learned that friendship has many definitions. Friendship is varible, fragile, strong, and fleeting. A friend can be someone you care about for your whole life, but that same person can decide you're inconvenient to have around so will only be your friend when they need you. That need for someone reliable is what drives their "friendship", otherwise you're just someone they know. Once they don't have that driving need, you're just "so-and-so" that I used to hang out with.  But when something comes up that you can't handle or you need someone super reliable, I'll the first person you call. You're not there when I need you though...and that's just selfish.

Honestly, I have spent my life trying to look past most of humanity's flaws in thie regard and I have tried to be above it but this shit is getting old. I am so tired of being someone's closest friend until one of their other close friends has reverted to middle school and won't allow for more than one friend. I am sick of being used by people that profess their affection for me, but dump me when I finish out my required "duty" to them.

Maybe this next year, I need to get mean. Maybe I need to start acting like those people around me. Maybe I should stifle my "goodwill towards man" and start being a user and abuser to those half-assed friends around me. Maybe it's time for me to stop answering their calls. I don't expect my friends to be there at my beck and call, but I do expect them to answer the call/text when it arrives. I do expect a friendly "hi" every month or so. I do expect them to let me need them as much as they need me.  I don't want to be the center of a friend's universe; I'd like to be at least part of the damn asteroid belt.

Is that so much to ask?

Friday, January 9, 2015

Changing Things Up

I usually talk about video games but I think it's time for my blog to change a little. I stopped blogging because I got caught up in other things, personal things, family things, life in general.

Last night I couldn't sleep and thought that maybe it was time for me to start writing again but instead of just sticking to video games, start getting more personal. So many of us out never really open up to anyone, not even those that are supposed to be the closest to us. We are afraid of judgment or maybe we think no one else would understand. I think its time to be brave and possibly give someone confidence through the knowledge that maybe they aren't alone.

Not sure where I am going to start or exactly what I am going to say. This isn't going to be planned thing. I will write when the mood strikes me but I will try to write something daily, even if it's just a "hi" or to talk about what I am currently playing (I have an Xbox One and PS4 now, by the way).

Bear with me while I adjust to being a more open book and pushing myself to write. Hopefully I will, at the very least, amuse you. My life is fairly mundane, full of housekeeping and kids, but I do have some interesting ideas and thoughts. I have issues just like any other person. Sometimes those issues are hilarious and sometimes they are sad.

Hey I might even toss in an opinion about a beer too....stay tuned!