Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Madden, The Crew Beta, Movies

Madden 15

Another year the same old crappy Madden. Just kidding that line was for Brent.  This year I am happy to report that Madden is finally next gen and it's really fun to play.  I'm of course a NFL 2k5 fanboy and haven't been too happy with the Madden series for years, I've felt without competition they never were pushed to make the best football game as some flaws were there year after year.  This year something changed and they improved almost every area and made one of the best football games. 

  • Last years version really didn't look that great which I could somewhat understand because of the new consoles.
  • This year Madden truly looks next gen especially in motion. The cut scenes have always looked good but the game in motion wasn't as detailed and this year they fixed that issue. 
  • The lighting looks great and dusk to nighttime games look awesome.
  • They don't rotoscan every player/coach so some don't look that great especially Jason Garrett he looks really bad.

  • Madden has made some massive improvements this year.
  • They hired someone from NFL films to direct the presentation and it really shows.  When I'm playing it actually feels and looks like the real games I watch each week.  From the camera angels before and after plays to the overlay graphics they really did a great job.  I especially like the down and yardage graphic.
  • They have a half time show which is decent but is still a bit clunky.  The replays aren't long enough and although I like the guy doing the voice over it isn't detailed enough.  Also during the season they don't show any plays from other games.
  • You can change your camera angle at any time by pressing the d-pad which is extremely useful instead of going to a menu.
  • The worst part is the announcing, it didn't take long before Jim Nance and Phil Sims got on my nerves.  Phil Sims has some great things to say but he's a bit boring especially after 3 straight games.  They also aren't always in sync with the game either as I've had multiple times their comments didn't match what was happening on the field.  I eventually muted them.
  • Defense is extremely fun to play this year and you can play with the camera directly behind your player which makes a huge difference. 
  • I've always had trouble playing defense because I would always overrun tackles I just couldn't get the depth perception.  This year they have the tackle cone that lets you see the direction you are facing and it really helps in making tackles. 
  • The Defensive Line play is amazing.  Each snap feels like a mini-game to get to the QB.  Right at the snap you hit R2 which engages you to the offensive player then you can steer him right/left or do a swim move to get around him.  It works really well and I'm finding I playing the DL exclusively.  It's very satisfying getting around your guy and sacking the QB.
  • The kicking game also has some major changes as you have more control over accuracy and power. The kick meter is divided into 3 areas of power and they show the actual arc the ball will travel for each level which makes it much easier to kick towards the sidelines and pin your opponent.  The CPU kicker is actually smart and has pinned me down multiple times. 
  • The passing game seems a bit tougher as zone defenders play better so your timing must be exact. 
  • The physics are much better but I still see on just about every play some weird player animation that is impossible for the human body to make. 
  • The skills trainer is very good at teaching you the new systems and it has some football theory mixed in to show you how to deal with various defenses which is a nice touch.  There is also a Gauntlet mode where you have various challenges and you are scored by how many you can complete without failing 5 times.  My first score was 7 can you beat it?
  • There have been some complaints over the new play call screen.  I'm fine with it but I can see where it can be improved. 
  • I have read reports where the PS4 version runs smoother and has better colors than the Xbone.   
The Crew (PC Beta)

I found a beta key from the Steam forums so I was able to test the game out for a bit.  It's an arcade racer so I wasn't sure about wheel support. I was surprised as there was a ton of wheel setup options and even though it's not as precise as a racing simulator after a bit of tweaking it felt great racing with my Fanatec.  The premise is that you can race all of America and of course it's not every road but the map is huge and full of different cities with paved and offroad streets to race on between them.  You start in Detroit and the game feels like other Ubisoft open world games where there are a ton of markers on the map to denote side quests which are car challenges.  Some have you maintaining a top speed without veering off the road or jumping over a river, the amount of these is a bit overwhelming, they do earn you money that you can spend on cars and upgrades.  It looked like there was a ton of options to upgrade your cars with different parts having different levels. 

So far the story races have been linear tracks meaning the there is a set way to race and not like in Burnout Paradise where you could take any route you wanted to get to the finish line.  The game is always online so you will see other racers while you are free roaming so you can challenge them to races or help you beat story missions by having them join your Crew, which is a major focus of the game that I didn't get to try in my first hour of playing. It is a beta so there were a few bugs, like losing the force feedback a couple of times and some frame rate issues but other than that I had a great time and hope to spend more time with it while the beta is running this week. 

Quick Movie Reviews

Worth It.
Bad Words - Funny movie, Jason Bateman is awesome.  A little vulgar at times though.   Don't look at me!!!!!
Need for Speed - Unbelievable stunts but a pretty decent racing movie based on a game with good special effects.
Van Helsing - Decent blu-ray version and the movie holds up pretty well. 
Mummy 1 & 2 - Decent Blu-ray version and both movies are still fun to watch.  What happened to Brendan Fraser.

The Purge - A cool plot that degenerated to a silly horror movie with illogical decisions. 
Divergent -  Decent movie with a bad ending.
Non-Stop  - I've not been impressed with the recent Liam Neeson movies and I wasn't a fan of this one either. Too many unbelievable sequences. 
Rushmore - Older highly rated movie but only mildly entertaining. 

New Releases - It's Madden time and the end of summer which means a ton of games are being released which doesn't make any sense because so many people that had time to play are now in school. 


The Walking Dead: Season 2 - Episode 5 (download - $25)  - Finale so I'll probably pick it up now.
Super Time Force Ultra (download - $15) -  Been waiting for this one looks great was an Xbone Exclusive.
Metro 2033 Redux (download - $25) -  Really good game that has been updated to the Last Light Engine.
Metro: Last Light Redux (download - $25)
Pinball FX2 - The Walking Dead Pinball (download) - Getting this as well.
Lethal League (download)
Toast Time (download)
Draconian Wars (download)

PlayStation 4

Madden NFL 15 - Pre-purchased but I'm not going to the midnight release.  I think anyway????
Metro Redux (retail)
Metro 2033 Redux (download - $25)
Metro: Last Light Redux (download - $25)
Pinball FX2 - The Walking Dead Pinball (download)

Xbox One

Madden NFL 15
Metro Redux (retail)
Metro 2033 Redux (download - $25)
Metro: Last Light Redux (download - $25)
Pinball FX2 - The Walking Dead Pinball (download)

Xbox 360

Madden NFL 15
The Walking Dead: Season 2 - Episode 5 (download - $25)
Pinball FX2 - The Walking Dead Pinball (download)

PlayStation 3

Madden NFL 15
The Walking Dead: Season 2 - Episode 5 (download - $25)
Pinball FX2 - The Walking Dead Pinball (download)

Wii U

Pinball FX2 - The Walking Dead Pinball (download)
SteamWorld Dig (download)
The Fall (download)
Donkey Kong Jr. Math (download)


Hyperdimension Neptunia Re:Birth 1
The Walking Dead: Season 2 - Episode 5 (download - $25)
Pinball FX2 - The Walking Dead Pinball (download)

Nintendo 3DS

Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
Azure Striker Gunvolt (download)
Mighty Gunvolt (download)
Thorium Wars: Attack of the Skyfighter (download)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Diablo 3 UE Edition, EA Access

Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition(PS4)

So this is the third time that I've bought Diablo 3 and I think I've finally found the best version.  The PC version launched and it was good but had some problems because they really made a mistake with the loot, auction house, and always online features. When they released on the consoles I bought the 360 version and it was almost perfect, all the issues above were fixed and the only problem was the resolution.  When the PC expansion came out they fixed 2 of the earlier problems, but I still had issues with the always online feature as the game would lag quite a bit and it was annoying.

Sitting in the recliner and moving your dude around with the analog stick and with each attack booming on your home theater system, that is the way to play Diablo.  The PS4 version is just about the perfect place to play Diablo.  The resolution is 1080P and I haven't noticed a bit of slowdown, the Xbox One version runs at 1080P, but has some frame rate issues. 

I played with the new Crusader class and it was awesome. The sound was so intense that it rumbled a pretty heavy cup off my chair after 20 minutes of playing.  I'm playing on the expert difficulty and I've actually died a couple of times. It feels like I am leveling faster than before, I think after 3 hours of game play I'm at level 18.  The game plays great with the controller and really is easier than the keyboard/mouse, the only issue could be with targeting specific enemies, but for most players, unless you are playing on the the hardest difficulties, it should never be an issue.  

The only gripe I have with the game is that you have to beat the full game with one character before you open up adventure mode. 

EA Access

If you haven't heard EA is offering for $5/month or $30/year access to a backlog of games and pre-release access to their upcoming games.  Is this a good thing?  So far there are only 4 games in the backlog Fifa 14, Battlefield 4, Madden 25, and Peggle 2 with more supposedly coming.  Madden 15 is coming out next week and this Friday you can get early access, but are limited to only 6 hours of playtime, and yes there is no demo this year so you are kind of paying for early access demos which isn't as cool as if first sounded.  Other publishers are looking to see if this model works so you could see more subscriptions down the road and I'm not sure if that is a good thing or not. 

New Releases - Quite a few good games this week. Diablo 3 on next gen and Shadow Gate


The Golf Club (download - $35) - I bought the early access and it's a good golf game.
Shadowgate (download) - Looks like a good dungeon crawler.
Hatoful Boyfriend (download - $10)
Chess 2: The Sequel (download)
Grim Legends: The Forsaken Bride (download)
Commando Jack (download)

PlayStation 4

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - Ultimate Evil Edition - Probably getting this version.
Plants vs. Zombie: Garden Warfare - Bought on PC good game.
CounterSpy (download)
Hotline Miami (download)
The Last Tinker: City of Colors (download)

Xbox One

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - Ultimate Evil Edition
The Golf Club (download - $35)

PlayStation 3

Tales of Xillia 2
CounterSpy (download)
Kung Fu Rabbit (download)

Wii U

Lifeforce (download)


Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment
CounterSpy (download)
Gravity Badgers (download)
Crimsonland (download)

Monday, August 4, 2014

Sblog 8/4 Crypt of the Necrodancer, Blackbay Asylum, Rouge Legacy, Theif?, Movies

Crypt of the Necrodancer(Steam Early Access)

I am usually wary of Steam Early access games because most of the time they are alphas and lack a lot of content and I get bored quickly.  This game so far feels full featured and is a blast to play.  The Rouge-Like type of game has really invaded a ton of indie titles recently and although I like them there are almost too many that are similar. This game has some unique concepts that work well and it feels fresh.

The game plays like most rogue-like where you move around a randomized dungeon in a top down view and try to find the stairs leading to a new floor while finding cool loot and defeating enemies.  In this game you can only move to the beat of the music, the enemies also move to the beat and have specific patterns that they follow so you not only have to time your attacks when the enemies are in specific locations you also have to do this to the beat, it sounds tough but after playing for awhile the movement become hypnotizing.  You can even play the game with a USB dance pad,(mine is on it's way). 

You can import your own music but the in-game music is so good that i haven't messed with it that much.  There is a vendor who you will meet that will sing during one of the songs and it's really awesome and it had me singing.  There is some permanence so you can build up attributes and what types of items show up in the dungeon. 

I think I've put about 3 hours into the game so far and I am really enjoying it and i haven't even beat the first boss yet.  I highly recommend this game if you enjoy rouge-like games, it's unique spin on the genre and is really fun in execution. 

Blackbay Asylum (Steam)

I bought this game this weekend and put in a couple of hours and enjoying this as well.  It's a horror adventure game played mostly form a top down perspective with some first person exploring mixed in.  You are a serial killer that just got sent to an asylum and for some reason your door opens one day and you are trying to escape and find out what happened by reading journals and computer terminals. 

The game feels like you are in a B grade horror movie, there have been some crazy scenes so far, one involving a lawn mower and a crazy hatchet wielding chef.  Just about every item can be examined or picked up and the main character will comment of everything.  It's more of a puzzle game than anything else and I've been stumped a couple of times even though the clues were right in front of me.  I just got to the part of the game where it transitions into first person view and it was pretty creepy.  Another game that I highly recommend.

Rouge Legacy(Vita)

Another rouge-like game, one of my favorites from last year, and it's finally on the Vita which is the perfect platform for these types of games.  I've wrote about this in the past and it's an amazing game.   This game is an action platformer  where you restart if you die, the catch is you come back as a decendant of the dead character so your stats and traits are randomized.  The traits is what makes the game stand out, you could be color blind then then whole level is black and white.  You could have near-sightedness where the screen is blurred on the edges or you not be able to see in 3D which has it's own cool effect.  The game is addictive and has that let me try one more time feeling.  The third game this week that is highly recommended.  If you have a Vita you must get this game if not then buy it on the PS3/PS4/or PC, it's crossbuy on Sony's consoles so if you buy it on one it's available on the others and it has cross save support. 


I tried to be a real life lock picker this weekend after my girlfriend locked the keys inside a house she was house sitting.  There was a baby kitten inside as well that luckily we just fed.  I spent about an hour trying to use a credit card to unlock the door and was unsuccessful.  I watched a couple of videos and it seemed so easy.  My hands were sore and cut up with little success, I did get the card into the crack but could never get it to release the lock.  We eventually called a locksmith and he couldn't do it with a credit card either which I was thankful for because I was expecting him to try and within 5 seconds have it open.  He had to get 2 different sets of lock picking keys before it was finally

The lesson is: 
If you need to break in a house don't call me, just because I can do it in a video game doesn't mean that it translates into real life.


300: Rise of an Empire -  Decent movie with some really cool visual effects and a great sound effects, not as good as the first movie but a good time.  I need to get the 3D version. 

Spy Kids 3: Game Over - Some really cool 3D that has stuff flying out at you throughout the game but one of the worst acted movies I've seen.  Sylvester Stallone has some great scenes though. 

The Raid: Redemption -  Modern kung-fu movie with some really good action scenes and can get pretty brutal, I'm not sure some of the stuntmen didn't go home in some casts.

Watership Down - Watched this movie as a kid and re-watched it again this weekend until my PS3 couldn't read past the scratches and it holds up.  It's adapted from a book and has a good story. 

New Releases - A ton of PC releases this week you would think it's November. Pick this week is the  Darksiders Collection. Stay away from Sacred 3 it's nothing like the original games and getting horrible reviews.


Ultra Street Fighter 4 (download - $15 digital upgrade)
Sacred 3 (download - $50)
Road Not Taken (download)
Darksiders Collection (download - $30)
Red Faction Collection (download - $30)
Jet Gunner (download)
Guns and Robots (download)
Mind: Path to Thalamus (download)
Rex Rocket (download)
Pe-2: Dive Bomber (download)
Back to Bed (download)
Amazing World (download)
Kingdom Tales 2 (download)
Direct Hit: Missile War (download)
Cloud Chamber (download)
Heroes of a Broken Land (download)
Orbital Gear (download)
GamersGoMakers (download)
Victory At Sea (download)
Frontline: Road to Moscow (download)
Another Perspective (download)
Stonerid (download)

PlayStation 4

The Swapper (download)
The Road Not Taken (download - free for PlayStation Plus members)

Xbox 360
Sacred 3
Ultra Street Fighter 4 (retail)
Darksiders Collection

PlayStation 3

Sacred 3
Ultra Street Fighter 4 (retail)
Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed
Darksiders Collection
Red Faction Collection
The Swapper (download)

PlayStation Vita

Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed
Table Top Racing
The Swapper (download)

Nintendo 3DS

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The Mysterious Murasme Castle (download)
Xtreme Sports (download)