Friday, January 5, 2018

2017 Review

2017 - What a year for gaming.  So many great games came out this year it was really hard to decide what games to spend your time on. Even though I haven't been posting as much as I'd like, I did finish over 30 games this year so I've been pretty busy at least playing games. 

Games I loved but didn't like the Sequels

  • Shadow of War 
    • A game that actually added too much content which made the game very convoluted and it just couldn't keep my interest. 
    • Way too many Orc bosses to fight, they just keep showing up. 
  • Wolfenstein 2
    • The story was excellent and a very fun ride but the combat didn't live up to the highs of the story.
    • I had to lower the difficulty to easy just to make that part of the game enjoyable.  

Game I thought was overlooked

  • Prey
    • A truly hidden gem.
    • Exploring a vast space station was exhilarating and I loved all the detail they were able to cram into one location.  So much to do and see with many secrets.   
    • They did misstep a bit with the constant combat that you had to partake in but overall I loved the experience and hope for a sequel. 

Game that made me not want to Open doors

  • Resident Evil 7
    • What a great game and a fresh take on a series that had grown a bit stale.
    • Hopefully the VR version will come to PC in January.  Can't not open doors again. 

Game that made me prefer to use Headphones over my Sound System.

  • Hellblade
    • The sound was phenomenal and I think successfully conveyed what it feels like to have mental illness. 
    • With headphones you really believe people are right beside you whispering in your ear.  A good sound system really can't replicate that as well. 

Game I Spent the Most Time Playing

  • Rocket League
    • Over 1250 hours over 2 years.  Wow that number is staggering. ​

​Game I took the most Screenshots ​

  • ​Horizon Zero Dawn
    • So many beautiful scenes throughout the game.
    • A true HDR Showcase.  ​

​Game I Played but Shouldn't Have​

  • ​SouthPark: The Fractured But Whole​
    • The subtitle pretty much sums up that argument

​​G​ame where I had a smile on my face the whole time

  • ​Super Mario Oddysee
    • Every level was a joy to play
    • All the different characters/objects you could play as was staggering.

​Game where I got lost in the world

  • ​Zelda: Breath of the Wild
    • The physics of the world really made the game stand out.​  Rolling down a hill after getting hit by an enemy.​
    • Constantly rewarded for exploring.  Never went looking somewhere and came back empty handed.

​Game that had the best DLC​

  • Witcher 3: Heart of Stone
    • Great excuse to get back into the Witcher Universe
    • A great story that kept me entertained the whole 12 hours.

Game I loved but had to refund it

  • Cuphead
    • Too hard.
    • Please release an easier mode so I can enjoy the game. 

​Game I tried to love but just couldn't​

  • NieR:Automata
    • Tried multiple times but just didn't click.
    • The open world was just so boring and most of the combat just not fun.  

Game I did the stupidest stuff in

  • PlayerUnknowns: Battlgrounds
    • Why why did I jump out of a moving jeep. 
    • Spend 20 minutes picking up guns and equipment then last 3 seconds in an actual gunfight.

Game that made me buy a Fightstick

  • Injustice 2
    • A great fighting game that is easy to get into
    • Perfect single player mode that keeps encouraging you to play everyday.

Games that just won't go away

  • Skyrim
    • Can't believe I bought the Switch version
  • Fallout 4
    • New play through
    • 50 mods and counting.

Games I played most with Friends

  • Divinity Original Sin 2
    • Didn't quite finish but put in over 30 hours.
    • Good times.
  • Rocket League
    • Too many to count.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Quickhits - Super Maion Odyssey, Evil Within 2, South Park, COD WW2, Shadow of War

Super Mario Odyssey

  • I defeated Bowser, sorry for the spoiler, after 8 hours of play but there are tons and tons of stuff still left to do.
  • Really good Mario game that has has huge levels filled with secrets and hidden passages that encourages exploring so you are not just playing through level after level. 
  • You can feel they looked at the design of Zelda and infused it into Mario and it works.  
  • The hat mechanic, where you can transform into just about everything, is really cool.  I'm not sure how they keep finding new ways to improve Mario games, it's pretty amazing.  

The Evil Within 2

  • Finished the game at around 25 hours.
  • A great horror action game from the maker of Resident Evil 4.
  • This has a lot more action than the previous game so it does feel quite a bit different which I'm so-so on.
  • The action is good but I miss some of the horror aspects of the first game.
  • You do see some pretty crazy stuff. 

South Park; The Fractured But Whole

  • ​Nobody should play this game and everyone should play this game.
  • If you are into South Park then it's a no brainier.  It's a 15 hour South Park episode. 
  • They did change the combat from the first game and I really liked it.  It was grid based and had some decent strategy built in that made the fights fun.
  • You are able to mix and match your party and they had dialog for all the different combinations, it's amazing how much content is in the game.  
  • Be prepared to be offended.

​Call of Duty WW2​

  • Rented and beat the campaign in about 6 hours.
  • The WW2 setting didn't feel restrictive and I did like going back to basically guns and grenades.  The last couple of games had a ton of options and gadgets that could be overwhelming.
  • The story was decent but I wish they did a bit more to show the camaraderie of the team to make the story have more of an impact.

Shadow of War

  • Put about 20 hours into the game and not even halfway through.
  • I have mixed feelings.  I really liked the first game and they expanded on every aspect for the sequel, but there is just so much that it's overwhelming and seems to have lost some of it's magic.
  • The Nemesis systems is still great and enjoyable.
  • Loot boxes.  Ugh.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, Uncharted: Lost Legacy, Batman Arkham VR

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice (What is going on?)

  • Overview
    • 3rd Person Action Adventure game with a main character suffering from Psychosis. 
  • Good
    • It's visually stunning.  
    • The facial graphics and animation are the best I've seen.  The camera is always close to the character and there are many moments you just watch her face and an easily see how she her emotions of being tormented by psychosis 
    • The game uses binaural sound and it's amazing hopefully other games start using this technology. 
    • This type of recording mimics how you hear in the real world so even with a pair of cheap headphones you can pinpoint the exact location of the sound being made.  Headphones is a must.  
    • Since the game is about psychosis one of the main symptoms is hearing voices and the game does an awesome job of trying to convey that feeling.  
    • The game is set during the Norse\Viking times and I liked each environment, it did remind me some of the Viking TV show. 
    •  I also like the lore of the time and the game has a ton of interesting stories. 
  • Bad
    • The combat was great at first but near the end it became very repetitive and fights took far too long,  This may have been intentional to showcase her symptoms, but it was bothersome to me.
    • Some of the puzzles were vague and I had to watch a video a couple of times for the solution which was usually something I missed in the environment. 
    • Un-Intuitive beam controls.  Walking across a beam you push the direction you are falling to correct yourself.  I thought opposite which caused 4 deaths.  
  • Cool Experience
    • The whole game is a cool experience.  From the visuals to the sound it's captivating all the way thorugh and unlike any game I've played before.  Recommendation:  High. 

Uncharted: Lost Legacy (Lara Croft who?)

  • Overview
    • If you like the Uncharted series you will like this game. 
  • Good
    • Still feels like Uncharted even without Nathan Drake.
    • Once again the graphics are amazing with some breathtaking views.  I took about 50 photos.
    • The photo mode is insane.  There are so many options that you could spend hours creating the perfect photo. 
    • The mix of exploration and combat felt perfect in this game.  There weren't waves and waves of bullet sponge enemies. 
    • The story and characters are once again top notch with some great voice acting. 
    • Only $40.  
  • Bad
    • A couple of the puzzles can be a bit tricky and I had to look a couple up because I missed something in the environment.  
  • Cool Experiences
    • In Photo mode you can give Chloe different facial animations and the results are hilarious.  
    • Just standing on top of a mountain overlooking the landscape.  Unbelievable. 

Batman Arkham VR (I'm Batman)

  • Overview
    • You are Batman in VR.  Awesome. 
  • Good
    • You are Batman. 
    • The story mode has you doing some detective work which actually worked very well.  I would like a whole VR game of just being a detective. 
    • In some games they have extras where you can see the character models and usually it's lame but in VR it's awesome.   You can get up close and personal with a ton of characters from the Batman lore. The Joker and Killer Croc being highlights. 
    • Available on PS4VR and PC VR headsets. 
  • Bad
    • The game is pretty short with the story mode taking about an hour.   There are Riddler challenges to complete after the story which adds a couple of more hours. 
    • No combat just detective sequences.  
  • Cool Experiences
    • Putting on all the Batman gear and then seeing yourself in the mirror, makes you feel like Batman.....well until you realize you can make gestures with your hands and then it just turns silly.
    • You are Batman

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Quadstick Controller (Amazing)

  • A controller for Paraplegic's
  • This is about the best thing I've ever seen. It's amazing what tech people can come up with. 
  • No real way to describe so here's a video.

The Long Dark (Story Survival?)

  • Overview
    • A survival game but with a story and no zombies.
  • Good
    • The story is keeping me interested as I get bored with just sandbox games where you have to  make your own fun and have no direction.  
    • The story also makes learning the mechanics a bit easier as their are specific goals to complete before moving on and they continually build on one another. 
    • Great voice actors, Lucy Hale(Female Shephard), David Hayter(Snake). 
    • The survival aspects aren't annoying or time consuming.  I don't have to eat or drink every 2 minutes.
  • Bad
    • Can still get lost at times as a couple of goals were not spelled out enough.  Had to use a Wiki.  
    • Wolves are a pain so far as I don't have any way to defend myself yet.  Wolves 2 Me 0.  
  • Cool Experience
    • Throwing a rock at a rabbit to stun it then the look on it's face when you pick it up and break it's neck. 

Redeemer (BAM! POW! WAM! I need a weapon, you don't need 2 arms do you?)

  • Overview 
    • A top down brawler that feels like Final Fight mixed with the Arkham Batman game's combat plus shooting.
  • Good 
    • Combat is fluid, fun and visceral.  
    • The combat feels almost exactly like Batman as you move through enemies and counter their attacks. 
    • Tons of melee weapons and guns, plus environmental kill zones to decimate your opponents.  
    • Sound is great with each punch and gun shot having a resounding bass thud.  
    • Cool close up kill animations. 
  • Bad
    • May get repetitive but so far each location is unique and different type of enemies.  
    • If you roll out of the way there is a slight pause before you can move again.  It's to keep you from endless rolling but it does feel a bit odd. 
  • Cool Experience
    • Actually remembering spending about 10 dollars in quarters to beat Final Fight about 25 years ago, wow that was hard to type.
    • In a level with Zombies and being able to pull off their arm then get a close up kill with it.

The Evil Within (Ever been asked to go swimming in a river of blood?)

  • Overview
    • Survival Horror game from the director of RE4.
  • Good
    • Scary, creepy, and grotesque, everything you want this genre to have. 
    • Story takes place in the mind of a crazy killer so you never know what is going to happen next.  
    • Tons of varied environments to sneak around and be chased in.
    • Interesting enemies that require different tactics.  
    • Sexy Creepy Nurse.
  • Bad
    • Story is a bit hard to follow, but it is interesting.
    • Some combat encounters are a little too tough.  
    • Not enough checkpoints.  Having to replay long sessions because you made a mistake near the end is a bit annoying.
  • Cool Experience
    • In a circular room with a huge knife rotating slowly around and somehow forgetting that and jumping over a wall just in time to have your head cut off.  Then have it happen again 5 minutes later. 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Prye  (Fantasy Sport Team Manager)

  • From SuperGiant, the developers of Bastion and Transistor, two games which I really like.  
  • Both games have a ton of style, great writing, and tremendous music. I listen to the soundtracks regularly. 
  • Pyre is their 3rd game and it's the best one yet. 
  • The story is told much like a visual novel with great visuals, good dialog, and many choices to make that all have various outcomes.  
  • The "combat" is what makes this game truly shine.  
  • The "combat" is a 3v3 fantasy sport that plays a bit like rugby. 
  • Basically, each team has a pyre(goal) that the other team is trying to get a ball into. They can either run into it with the ball or throw it in.  It's real-time and you are controlling all 3 people, one person at a time, switching between them with a button press.  
  • Each person in your team controls differently and has their own perks and skills. 
  • It's very intuitive and simple to learn, but like all great games difficult to master. 
  • This is such a departure from their past games and something that is truly unique that actually works.  
  • Also the music is again phenomenal, another soundtrack bought.
  • It just came out and it's well worth the $20 asking price.

PUBG  - (Fly,  Land, Search, Shoot, Die) Repeat

  • Hopefully everyone has heard of this game.  It's still in early access and has sold over 3 million copies.  
  • I was hesitant at first to buy the game because of my awesome experiences playing DayZ,(really did have fun with the group),  and it looked a lot like it.  
  • Fortunately it's a much better game and is super addicting.
  • Basically it's Hunger Games amplified.  
  • You drop out of an airplane with 100 other people and try to win the Chicken Dinner at the end by being the last to survive by killing all the other players.
  • You have to search houses and building to get guns and other equipment, then hopefully you can find a vehicle to get into the center of a circle that is constantly contracting. 
  • The game is a bit repetitive in the gathering aspects as you are basically looking down at the ground trying to find stuff, but once you have a gun and some armor you are ready to start hunting.  
  • My main tip for new players is get into combat as early and as much as you can so you can get used to the weapons and how to maneuver.  You will die a lot but once you get used to the combat you will be much more ready for the tense endgame than if you just hid out all the time.  
  • Playing in a group is a great time and we have had a blast each time.
  • I haven't got first place yet but I have gotten pretty close and this is one of those times. 

​Infamous: Second Son​ (You wanna be a superhero?)

  • Got on a kick of beating older games that I have never finished and decided on this one.  
  • This was a PS4 launch title which I never got that far into.
  • I really liked the previous 2 Infamous games and finished both, but something about the combat in this one didn't click the first time I played it. 
  • It was better this time, but the game play is just average.  I mainly focused on the main story and did just enough side quests to get by.  
  • The game did get a PS4 Pro upgrade patch and it was well implemented. 
  • HDR is a bigger game changer than 4k and it looks phenomenal, especially when using the Neon powers at night on a OLED TV. AMAZING.  
  • The story is just so so with some pretty bad dialog but an occasional laugh.
  • The graphics is what really compelled me to keep playing till the end.  

​​Uncharted Collection​ (Drake, Drake, Drake)

  • All 3 PS3 Uncharted games on one Disc.
  • Beat all 3 in two months and they are still great games.
  • The 2nd is still the best in the series in my opinion, the combat felt just right.
  • Little disappointed UC3 did not have 3D support like the PS3 Version. ​

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Horizon Zero Dawn, Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Horizon Zero Dawn

  • The game that made me buy a PS4 Pro.  
  • This is the best looking/performing game that I've ever played.  It's truly amazing and gorgeous at 1080P or 4K.   Sometimes I just sit and look at the beautiful landscape in awe.  
  • All of the hype is well warranted and the developers delivered on what they promised.
  • The combat is fun and dynamic, you need to survey your surroundings and decide what is the best way to take down some of the coolest beasts in video games.    Your weapon arsenal is large which gives you multiple ways to attack any situation. 
  • The story is very good as well and I've read it actually has a satisfying ending.
  • The world building is also exceptional as you really want to know what happened to our society that caused this new civilization.  
  • The only issue I have is that it came out the same week as Zelda.   

Zelda;  Breath of the Wild  (This could take some time)

  • If you told me I would be playing a WiiU game at 720P over a new PS4 game at 4K I would think you were crazy. 
  • Apparently I'm crazy.  
  • I'm not sure what magic Nintendo has but the developers had something up there sleeves the whole time. 
  • This is Nintendo's first open world game and they nailed it, and is probably the best open world game ever made. 
  • The subtitle to the game is Breath of the Wild and it's that first word that sums up what makes this world great. 
  • In every open world game there are tons of stuff to do, but what if you just sat back and did nothing and just let the world Breathe for a bit.  
  • When you do this in Zelda, something about the world just feels alive and like it's a real place.  The way the wind interacts with the grass and trees, the way the insects come and go, the way the animals interact, everything just feel right.  The physics in the world help create this life like environment.  
  • Also the sound direction is great as well.  It's not noisy or boisterous but has subtle sounds that make the world come alive.  I was talking to a person with bells around their neck and as they moved you could barely hear them ring just like I would expect in real life.  Once again it's hard to explain but it just feels right. 

  • The game runs at 720P so it's not a graphical powerhouse, but at times it looks amazing.  Some of the sunsets I've seen are incredible. 
  • While it does carry over quite a few things from the older Zelda's that make it feel a bit dated, the one thing it doesn't do is give you a long tutorial and explain every detail.  The game starts with a guy showing you 4 places to go and that's about it.  It's up to you to figure out how to get there, which makes the start to the game a bit difficult.  
  • You have about 6 abilities that you learn in the first couple of hours and you use them throughout the rest of the game to complete all the puzzles and dungeons.  You have everything at your disposal at the beginning, no more finding certain equipment that lets you access different areas. 
  • You can climb anything as long as you have stamina to do so.  There is no pre-set ledges or paths, it's up to you on how you want to get to the top.  If it starts raining though it will make the surface slick so you will have a hard time climbing or be stuck waiting for the rain to subside.  
  • The combat can be difficult as the enemies are no slouches and you can easily die with one hit from some enemies, I've died around 10 times in combat. It does have degradable weapons which is divisive.  If you like to have one weapon and use that all the time then you will not like this at all.  The weapons break pretty quickly on enemies so you will have different weapons in your inventory that you will be switching to.  I found it to be cool as each weapon feels different so it keeps combat dynamic.  

  • The game has surprised me multiple times. 
  • The first time I encountered a lightening storm, I was running around and it showed me that the lightening was getting ready to strike me so I tried to get to somewhere I could hide but I didn't make it and got hit and died.  This happened again and I was wondering what I could do to avoid this.  Well I didn't notice that I had equipped my metal sword and shield which was attracting the lightening, I took that off and I could run without worry. 
  •  In combat I was dropping bombs as I was running away from enemies and then blowing them up as they ran by it.  I came across a different enemy and tried the same tactic and he kicked the bomb back at me which caused me to blow my self up. 
  • I was paragliding down from a building and saw my horse down below and thought maybe I could land on my horse and sure enough got close to him and I mounted my horse.  
  • You can use your shield as a sled and slide down huge mountains.  
  • Knock an enemies weapon out of their hand and they react and run around trying to find another one to attack you with. 
  • There is just so much little stuff to find, I've heard one guy say after 85 hours he is still finding new things and new ways to interact with the environment. 
  • I did have the Switch pre-ordered but cancelled because there was only one game to play on it. 
  • The WiiU version runs pretty well, there are some frame-rate issues in some areas but overall it runs fine. I am using a pro controller but some puzzles require the gamepad to use its motion capabilities so that is a bit of a pain to get that out.  

Monday, February 20, 2017

OLED 4kTV, Resident Evil 7, Metal Gear Revengeance, Ryse:Son of Rome


  • Wow! Amazing! Unbelievable! Crisp! Awesome! Colorful! Bright! 3D! HDR! Can you believe how black that is?
  • Now that that's out of the way. 
  • I've been debating getting an OLED TV for quite some time.  While I do love my projector and the large screen there is just something about the graphical pop that you get from a back-lit screen that I really like.   I have a Plasma TV which has a great picture with a good black levels, but it was very heavy and did use a lot of electricity.
  • The minute I hooked this TV up I knew it was going to be awesome.  It has a screen saver that shoots fireworks and in my dark room it looked like they were coming out of thin air. When nothing is on the screen I can't even tell it's in the room.  The black level is amazing.
  • My PC is very far away from my receiver and TV and one of my cables doesn't support the bandwidth needed for 4K so I was playing at 1080P for most of the time and that content looked fantastic up-scaled to 4k.  
  • I did get a curved 2016 model because it has 3D which is being left out of the 2017 models and I'm not sure why.  3D on this set is amazing everything is so colorful and crisp.  It uses passive technology so the glasses are like sunglasses, very light and not as dark as the active glasses. 
  • I tried about 20 games this weekend and each one looked incredible.  It amazing how much a difference the absolute black level can make.
  • I also tried out the HDR mode and it's great as well.  It's hard to explain, but the effect is jaw dropping. I wish I would have waited to play RE7 on this TV.  
  • The Tv is super thin as well about the width of my iPhone 6 and weighs about 50 pounds and it fit perfectly on my stand. 
  • I do have one issue and that is the edges has a silver trim which at times does reflect the light on the screen so I need to find something to cover that up.  
  • Another issue is with my Comcast X1 box,when I enable HDMI deep color the box will not connect to the TV. I was able to work around this issue by connecting my receiver to the Xbox One and watch it that way.  Comcast does have a 4k box that I need to upgrade to.  
  • If you have the money then I do suggest getting an OLED TV, it has the best picture that I've ever seen.  

Resident Evil 7

  • The last couple of Resident Evil games were really just action games with little to no survival horror elements.  While I did enjoy those games I did miss the uneasy feeling the original and RE4 gave me. 
  • Resident Evil 7 returns to it's survival horror roots, at least for the first 10 hours.  There were times I had to quit the game just to calm down and relax.  
  • The beginning hours are the best when you are sneaking around an old decrepit house with really no way to defend yourself. You see some really crazy stuff and it's very effective for setting the unsettling mood of the game. 
  • The game did scare me on several occasions and it did limit the use of jump scares which I liked.
  • A couple of the "boss" fights seemed to go on a bit too long but other than that on the normal setting the game felt balanced.
  • My main issue with the game is with the last 2 hours.  It sort of goes away from horror and returns to just action.  They try to make it tense by having you fight in tight quarters but it's the same enemies you've been fighting the whole game and they aren't varied enough.  
  • Overall this was a fantastic game that I finished in a week and highly recommend.  I will definitely play again in VR once the Sony exclusivity ends. 

Metal Gear Revengeance

  • Bought the game 4 years ago, just now finished it.
  • An awesome hack and slash game in the Metal Gear Universe.
  • Cutting up enemies in hundreds of pieces never gets old.
  • The cut-scenes are amazing with some great graphics.
  • Probably took over 100 screenshots.
  • Crazy dialog.
  • The final boss was extremely frustrating and I almost quit without beating him.  I looked online and did find out the trick that I was missing and once I tried that it was better.  

Ryse: Son of Rome

  • Another game that I bought 4 years ago and finally finished.
  • The graphics were amazing at the time and they still hold up, 
  • The combat was pretty fun, but it could have used a bit more variety.  
  • They have an action system kinda like the Doom melee kills but the prompts are a bit slower which does hamper the fluidity of the combat.
  • The game was a fun diversion and the store was interesting.