Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Thoughts on Saints Row 4

Saints Row IV is a new game from Volition that builds on the previous Saints Row games (in a very loose way).  I have been looking forward to this game for quite some time.  I love Saints Row the Third.  I love the jokes, the game play, the city, the characters, even the giant purple bat that has other "uses" (if you get my drift).  Last night I got my chance to play it.  After a very cinematic heavy beginning, that was a little slow in my opinion, you finally get to "play" your character.

You are thrown back into a city that is very close to the one from Saints Row the Third (the same city, just a little different).  At first, the quests are pretty much the same as the ones from "the Third".  That isn't a bad thing as they are fun.  A little more on close the game is to "the Third" in a bit.

Soon after running a couple quests you get your "Super Powers".  Imagine Crackdown powers on, well, crack.  One power gives you the ability to sprint for long time frames much faster than any vehicle in the game.  You can also crash through the other vehicles and pedestrians while you are at it.  The question I started to ask myself was why they even bothered to put vehicles in the game.  You can get where you want to go faster by running there.  See that annoying building in your way?  Jump over it.   Is the building too tall to jump over?  Just keep hitting jump and your super hero will keep jumping up the wall.

On to the weapons.  When using them they feel underpowered.  They are not fun to use and you don't get that sense of destruction that you did in previous Saints Row games.  Very early in the game your punches and kicks become more powerful than the weapons you carry (much like Crackdown).  I also don't like the idea that when you hijack a car you just need to press down on the D-Pad to save it.  No more going to a garage to save it.  Kind of takes the excitement of trying to get to the garage in the vehicle in one piece away.

I played the game for about two hours.  The more I played the more I kept feeling that this should have been DLC for Saints Row the Third.  I just feel that they took a very good game, threw in some super powers and aliens, and dumbed it down.  I am going to try and give it a little more time but as of now I will probably be trading this in very shortly as it won't be keeping my attention very long...especially with GTAV hitting soon.

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Console "War"

So I am sitting here playing WoW, and was just thinking about all of the "information" that has been presented by all of the very opinionated people that inhabits the internets.  I find it funny that so many people think there is a console war going on right now.  In my opinion, it is a little early for that (not to mention way too early to declare a winner).

I personally have pre-ordered an Xbox One.  Holy carp!?!  Why not a PS4?!?  Well, my decision was based on innovation.  Yes, the PS4 has marginally better hardware.  I say marginally because we don't know how Microsoft is going to utilize their eSRAM, so until we get to play with the consoles we won't know.  Now, back to innovation.  The Xbox One just seems like Microsoft was trying to push the genre of gaming forward.  They were willing to take risks.  I really think Azure is a pretty cool technology (I work with virtual servers and SAN storage, so yes, I like the cloud).  Kinect 2 sounds amazing.  The first was is okay, just a little glitchy.  I even liked the idea of DRM.  I guess because I play a lot of PC games I am used to it.  I could sell my games (I am a customer of Gamestop and proud of it :P).  I don't loan games and neither does my son (never a borrower or a lender be).  The fact that we would have been able to access our library from anywhere was awesome.  Alas, Microsoft did have to remove the DRM because of all the negative press.  They didn't communicate the feature very well and just kind of put it out there.  That, in my opinion, should have had someone moved from their Xbox One PR position.

 Why don't I think the PS4 is very innovative?  Well, I'll tell you.  The PS4 didn't seem like it had any "next gen"ness to it.  It seemed like Sony wanted to play it safe and not push any boundaries.  The way I have explained my thoughts to other people is that the PS4 is akin to someone replacing the video card in a PC rather than getting a whole new gaming rig with all of the bells and whistles along with the newest OS.  Another reason I am pushing off getting the PS4...I HATE their controllers.  NOTE:  I said pushing off, because I will be picking one up as well.  I have read that the new Dualshock feels much better but Microsoft's controller is going to be hard to beat.

Both systems have a lot of promise.  The exclusives for both are really amazing looking and this next generation of game systems looks like it is going to provide a lot of fun.  I CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!!!!

Monday, June 10, 2013

I watched the Microsoft event today at E3 2013 and I was actually very happy with what I saw.  They promised games and we got games.

I find it interesting that people complained about the $499.00 USD price tag.  Lets put this into perspective:  a 16GB iPad is $499.00.  Personally, an Xbox One is a much better value at that price.

Another major complaint is the DRM.  I guess I have been playing PC games for so long that this is not a deal breaker for me.  If the game has to be installed onto a hard disk then you almost have to have some sort of DRM or people would buy the game, return it and still have the game to play. Speaking of having to install the game, I actually like the idea that the game is going to be installed on the disk instead of read from a blu-ray.  A disk is going to be able to present much more iops (I/Os per second) then a blu-ray so load times and level transitions are going to be much quicker on the Xbox One than on the PS4,which is going to read from the blu-ray (granted the initial load is going to suck on the Xbox One but I guess I will have to deal with that).

The one thing that bothers me about the DRM is the current aspect of no renting.  Microsoft has already stated that they are working with publishers to get this changed so we will see how that goes.

Now about some of the games that were shown at the Microsoft event:

Metal Gear - Open world.  Finally a Metal Gear I might actually like.  The older ones always felt too scripted.

Forza 5 - Driveatars.  If you don't know what these are look it up.  If it works like they described it, it will be an amazing feature.  Not to mention, the game was beautiful.

Halo - 'nuff said.

Titanfall - Yes, it is going to come out for PC but it won't be on the PS4.  The game also looks incredible.

Ryse - There were a lot of complaints on IGN that Ryse was too button mashing and that Gods of War was better. Personally, they looked like they both played the same except the textures and graphics were much better on Ryse (to be expected).  However, the sequence they showed looked like D-Day set in Roman times and looked incredible.

I loved Insomniac's new game, Sunset Overdrive, it looks plain fun.  In the interview that IGN had with one of the execs at Insomniac he stated that one reason they wanted to develop this game for the Xbox One was the cloud.  Personally, that feature of the Xbox One sounds awesome.  Now, another thing I thought was funny was that Microsoft had Insomniac showing an exclusive game for the Xbox One.  Insomniac is usually known for their Playstation games (Insomniac is an independent developer though).  At the same time they started the event with the video of Metal Gear..also known for being a Playstation game.  I guess both of these are to offset Destiny being shown at the PS4 event.

Enough babbling for now, later.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Been a while

Wow, time flies.  Just realized I haven't posted on my blog in FOREVER.  Since the last post I have played so many games I couldn't even list them all.  

One thing that did change is my position on Steam.  I used to hate the idea.  Probably because I found it annoying to download games then install them.  However, just about any game you get you have a large download before you can play it so that argument is moot.  I have purchased quite a few games lately, especially during the Holiday sale.  I love the centralized library that updates my games and i just pick the one I want to play and click "Play" (genius, I know).

Now onto what I have been playing.  I have been playing Skyrim (Steam), Space Pirates and Zombies (Steam), Black Ops II (X360), Devil May Cry (X360), Don't Starve (Steam and Chrome), and whole plethora of iOS games.

Space Pirates and Zombies (SPAZ) is a little Indie game that I love.  You are in control of a small fleet of ships trying to get to complete quests and upgrade your fleet.  Graphics are kind of N64ish but the game play will keep you enthralled for hours.

The next Indie game that I have come to love is Don't Starve.  You are on an island and you are trying to survive by building tools, weapons, and hunting food.  It has a Paper Mario in a 3D realm feel to it but it is an amazing game.  If you buy it through Steam right now you actually get two digital copies of the game so it is well worth the buy.

I am going to try and remember to update my blog more this year, I will just have to see how that goes :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Things that make a troll go hmmm.....

I have been playing Rift lately and have really been enjoying it.  Every once in a while I get an itch to troll the "Level 1-29" chat.  Yes, I will start crap just to start it.  However, last night actually floored me.

First, a bit of information about me (other than I like games and have ADHD).  I consider myself a constitutionalist.  For most progressives, that means I am conservative.  However, I don't like what a lot of conservatives believe in (such as making gay marriage illegal, banning smoking in private establishments, etc).    I believe the country should be governed the way the founding fathers meant for it to be governed:  small federal government and most control at the state level.  This also means that I cannot stand Obama.  He is probably the most anti-constitutional president we have ever had.

Now that I am done giving background this is what happened.  Someone was talking about how great Obama was and then started looking for a spanish speaking guild.  I, being the smartass that I can be, said "Just remember to vote for Obama or you will get deported".  If you have been monitoring the news lately, you will know what I am talking about.  Anywho, a person in chat said something along the lines of "Just because you can say stuff doesn't mean you should".  Someone else then responded with "Free Speech, we can say what we want".  The response to that from Mr. "Just because You can" was:  "The Constitution is only there for people that do something wrong to hide behind".  WHAT?!?!!!

I didn't know how to respond to that.  I don't think many people did.  How does someone even come by that belief?  I know Obama has been quoted as saying that the U.S. Constitution is one of negatives (i.e. it doesn't list out what the government can do, just what it can't).  It is there to protect our rights (which Obama thinks is a negative).  It doesn't matter if you believe someone says something wrong and shouldn't have said it.  The wonderful thing about our constitution is YOU CAN SAY IT.  Why would someone want to take that away?

Well, enough ranting.  Time to spend some time with my son and then maybe get some game time in later.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Decisions, Decisions

Since the massive disappointment that is Lollipop Chainsaw I decided to charge up my Xbox 360 controller and dig out my copy of Battlefield 3 (henceforth referenced as BF3).  This has led to a conundrum for me.  I have really enjoyed my time playing BF3 but I have also enjoyed playing Rift again.  When I get time to game I really wish I could split myself in two and play both.  Since I haven't been able to figure out a way to non-fatally do that, I often waste time debating which I am going to play.

Now, that doesn't sound to difficult but somehow during that debate I have an "ooh shiny" moment and go off on a tangent.  Once said tangent has gone on to completion, I log into Rift and select my character (I play on Wolfsbane if anyone cares..Guardian) and then decide to log off and go play BF3 until my 360 decides to lock up in the middle of a game.

Since both offer different types of gameplay, you would think it would be easy to least for most people.  For me, I am addicted to leveling which both games offer.  I think "Hey, I could level my classes in BF3" then I go into "I really need to level my character in Rift".

Speaking of BF3, the Close Quarters maps are actually pretty good.  They offer plenty of run and gun areas with a good mixture of little areas where someone that likes to snipe can hole away and snipe 'til their heart's content.

Ohh Shiny Moment:  I am glad I have a Tide stain shirt decided it wanted to share my lunch with me

If I had beta access into GW2 I would probably be content with that for the moment but for now I will have to fight the good fight and figure out what I am going to play each night (I know, very important life altering decisions there).  Another thing that I am waiting for that will probably help in the decision is 1.9 in Rift.  That patch seems to have some interesting changes.

Until next time

Monday, June 18, 2012

Welcome to my world

First things first, I am going to give a little background information about me.  I have been gaming since Pong was first released.  Yes, that means that I am an "old" dude.  I am married and have an 11-year old son/gamer/soccer player.  I have played 100's of games over the years and have owned every major system released since the Atari 2600 (and some not so major systems).

The one thing that really drives how I play and what I play is the fact that I have ADHD.  I have had it all of my life (not really diagnosed until a few years ago) and have just learned to deal with it (for the most part, my wife would probably disagree with me on that one :)  ).

Currently I am playing Rift, BF3, Max Payne 3, Ghost Recon 2, MW3, and Fifa 12 (plus other games on my iPad).  Games that I play have to have things happening at almost all times or I move on to something "shinier".  For example, I tried out Skyrim but all of the endless meandering throughout the huge (and admittedly amazing world) I got bored to the point that I couldn't play it anymore.  At the same point, the meandering in MMOs doesn't really bother me as much.  I guess that is because even though I may be wandering around there is usually something to read/debate/troll in chat.

Note: For anyone that may be reading this that doesn't know what an MMO is, it is a massively multiplayer Online game.  Games that fit this bill are games like World of Warcraft, Rift, Star Wars the Old Republic, Tera, Everquest 2 and on and on and on.

To finish this up, I am going to talk about the latest game that I played: Lollipop Chainsaw.  I was actually looking forward to this game.  It looked fun and like it was put together pretty good.  First, I can tell you I didn't play it very long, just 30 minutes.  That should give you a hint as to what I thought about it.  Second, in my opinion $60 for this game is WAY too much.

Why you may ask?  Well, first there is the fighting a la button mashing.  They seem to have went for a Batman: Arkham * type of fighting where you want to chain attacks together.  They failed.  Unlike Batman, the moves did not seem very fluid when chained together, there was almost a millisecond pause between each move.  Second, the game just annoyed me.  I couldn't put my finger on it.  It could have been every time you try and move the camera down a little the main character says something about trying to look up her skirt.  It could also have been the fact that they were going for a "Buffy the Zombie Slayer" feel and made more of a "Air Headed Bimbo with a chainsaw Zombie Slayer".  There just was no "life" to the game.  The Zombies, the story, every thing about the game seemed forced.  For a game that was released this late in the X360 and PS3's life the graphics were also pretty crappy.

Now for what I liked:  There was a bunch of shinies in the game and rainbows :P  Alas, not much more than that impressed me.

Until next time.