No New Games

No New Games

Video games press is a tough business to stay on top of. New games are constantly releasing, and there are tons of websites and streamers covering those games immediately. I would love to buy every new game on day one and cover it, but I simply can’t afford to, nor do I have the time. Therefore, I’ve decided to let them have those games (unless there is one I feel I just can’t miss.) Instead, I will pick thru every clearance bin I see, and grab games I have never heard of (or have always wanted to play), as well as finally finishing up the games I already own. Some I will review, some I will stream, and some I will Live or Snap Look. We’ll see how I feel that moment. Please check back in, as I will be adding more as time goes on…

 

Very good game.  I recommend playing it with at least one other player at or around your level, though.  I started to get very frustrated playing by myself, so I opted to wait for reinforcements.  I would also like a few more options for customizing my character, as well, other than simple skins…and for God’s sake, shut that damn robot up.  The shooting feels really good, though, and the loot is addictive as hell.

 

 

Another really good game.  I’m a huge fan of Far Cry 3, and this is that on steroids.  The shooting feels good, and the environment is wonderful.  The main missions are captivating, as are the side quests.  I wish the skill trees were more inviting, though.  Overall, there were only a couple of skills that really enticed me.  That’s easily overlooked, though, as the gameplay is a ton of fun.  Those damned eagles are a menace, however.  They must be stopped.

 

Red Dead Redemption 2 Announced 

Red Dead Redemption 2 Announced 

***UPDATE***

Red Dead Redemption 2 DELAYED until Spring 2018.

Yes, you read that right! Red Dead Redemption 2 is officially announced for Fall of 2017 for PS4 and XB1.  Oh yeah.

After a quick Twitter tease on Sunday (Oct. 16th, 2016) which simply showed the Rockstar logo in red, RS gave this press release this morning:

Rockstar Games®, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), is proud to announce that the highly anticipated  Red Dead Redemption 2® will release worldwide in Fall 2017 for PlayStation®4 computer entertainment systems and for the Xbox One games and entertainment system.

Developed by the creators of Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead RedemptionRed Dead Redemption 2 is an epic tale of life in America’s unforgiving heartland. The game’s vast and atmospheric world will also provide the foundation for a brand new online multiplayer experience.

“With  Red Dead Redemption 2, the team is working hard to push forward our vision for interactive entertainment in a truly living world,” said Sam Houser, Founder of Rockstar Games.  “We hope to deliver players an epic experience that builds upon everything we’ve learned making games.”

Watch the  Red Dead Redemption 2 trailer at 11:00 a.m. Eastern, Thursday October 20th at  www.rockstargames.com .

 

Rockstar followed up the tease with these Tweets:

Well, I’m excited.  The landscape is beautiful, and it made me want to revisit RDR1. I want to know more (as does everybody else), though. Sequel, prequel, alternate reality (probably not that last one)…Are we kid Marston? John back from the grave? Again, probably not that last one…Please not that last one…We just don’t know yet. But we shall, and when we shall, I…shall…report it to you, so check back!

How do you feel about that trailer?  Thoughts?  Concerns?  Theories?

New trailer!

Dutch, huh?  Fascinating…

No Man’s Sky Impressions and (Moderate) Coverage

No Man’s Sky Impressions and (Moderate) Coverage

*** I have been on vacation in the wilderness of the Show-Me state, and shall be for a spell.  No PS4, which means no No Man’s Sky for the duration, so please be patient, and definitely check back in a week or so. Until then, enjoy the random gameplay, and let me know what you think. ***

As you may have deduced from my No Man’s Sky Preview, I’m pretty damn excited for this game. I know the basics, I’m alone in a procedurally generated universe, and I need to make it to the center of the galaxy.  What I don’t know, is everything else. What will I see, and what creatures will I discover?  I’m about to find out, kiddos! Perhaps I’m hyped for nothing, and it’s not what I think it will be. Perhaps I’m right in the excitement…

*Possible spoilers ahead*

The first fifteen minutes recorded live:

After dying in a space battle yesterday, this Douglas Adams quote popped up:

Being as Douglas is my favorite author, I was naturally ecstatic to see this. But then, about an hour later,Voyageracross this beauty:

The Heart of Gold.  Zaphod must be near by…

I had no other option, than to name the planet, Magrathea.

 

Misc. gameplay footage. No commentary, just me playing the game.

I found a black hole!

…and then, the second before I reached the other side, the game crashed…yep…so I reloaded, and went through again.  Unfortunately, it didn’t record that footage for some reason.  However, I recorded some of where it took me, and I was able to snag some screen shots, too.

I’ve spent quite a few hours in NMS since it’s release, and, honestly, I’ve gotten a bit bored.  Regardless of others’ opinions, I do not blame Hello Games for this.  I blame myself, and my small attention span.  HG has provided me with a space sim worthy of boldly going.  However, it does get a bit repetitive.  Everything I wanted is there, aside from more diverse planets and systems.  Trading is simple and effective, if also repetitive (which is fine.  I don’t need a complex trade system. Easier the better.)  Crafting works very well, and there is a seemingly endless supply of new tech to build and upgrade.  My advice, just focus on what you need to propel your ship, and the rest can be had in any (so far) solar systems.  They all seem very similar, basically only changing the colors of the environments.  Although, on different accounts, I did see rather unique changes in wildlife and vegetation.  I have NOT made it to the center of the galaxy, nor have I solved the Atlas mystery.  I have been distracted by other external stimuli, as it were, and shifted my focus from Sci-Fi to Horror.  The space travel is fun, though, and I do intend to finish the game.  Hopefully before Halloween, as it is drawing near.

*UPDATE*

For the love of everything holy, upgrade your hyper drive. Before my upgrade,  I could only go as far as the next system in a warp jump.  This method takes a loooooong time if you are trying to reach the center, or are following the Atlas storyline. After the upgrade to only the Warp Reactor Sigma, I was able to jump the entire way to the next Atlas Interface…seen below. 

Also, just for kicks:

Following the Atlas path, and not currently heading toward the center of the galaxy, I have been to a system already discovered by another player. It was an odd feeling, I won’t lie. 

Also, being as I’ve decided to play as Tom Paris of Voyager separated from the ship with the Delta Flyer, I’ve had to consider the fact that Tom’s brainwashed. He should be heading toward the center, and back to Voyager.  Perhaps, however, he smelled a rat, and went undercover to expose the possibly evil Atlas…Either way, it has to play out now. It’s the only way…
As always, stay tuned, kiddos…

No Man’s Sky Preview

No Man’s Sky Preview

Let’s say a starship appears above my head one night. The inhabitants offer me the chance to leave Earth forever, and explore the galaxy in search of adventure and knowledge.  I say, “Hell yes.”  I then grab my family, and embark on my dream journey…Sounds good, and all, but that’s not going to happen.  What IS going to happen, is No Man’s Sky for the PS4 and PC.

No Man’s Sky may provide me with a hint of my dream, and I’ll damn sure take it.  Brought to us by Hello Games, NMS is a procedurally generated space adventure/exploration/survival game set in an infinite galaxy, where every planet, sun, animal and star can be visited and observed.  You are alone, and must collect items and materials to trade, in hopes of upgrading your ship and suit enough to survive.  One might ask, “Survive against what?” I may answer, “Who the hell knows.”  According to Hello Games, “Every creature, geological formation, plant and spaceship is unique.”  What are we going to find out there?  I don’t know, and right now, I’m having trouble containing myself…

Your mission is get to the center of the galaxy…MY mission is to pretend I’m Tom Paris of Star Trek: Voyager.  Apparently, while checking the Delta Flyer’s boosters just outside of range of Voyager’s tractor beam, Paris accidentally flew into a wormhole, sending him to the outer rings of the galaxy.  Now he must get back to Janeway…I believe I could also follow the story provided.  Perhaps they’ll mesh together…we shall see on August ni-..er…tenth!..when I actually get my hands on a copy. Until then, kiddos, enjoy some sweet screenshots, and a linked video or two!

P. S. The soundtrack, provided by 65daysofstatic, is damn good.

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Tune back in, as I’m sure I’ll have some more thoughts & rambles about this game.

For more information, please visit the official No Man’s Sky website here, as well as Hello Games here.

 

Final Fantasy 7 Now on Android

Final Fantasy 7 Now on Android

Final Fantasy 7 has long been a standard among my friends and me.  I have nothing but fond memories of sitting in my friend Kev’s house nightly, racing Chocobos, wandering around the Gold Saucer, and bitching about the constant random encounters.  He even figured out early game capture (he rigged a VCR to record while we played).  Well, now we can do it all over again, turn off random encounters (for a more direct story experience), jack up all character stats to max, and take screen shots as we go (no more VHS tapes to worry about!) with the release of FF 7 on all Android devices.

Running for $15.99 (USD) on the Google Play Store, it can be had quite easily.

From Square Enix:

“Features for the mobile edition include:
●      Simple and comfortable virtual controller design for a clear view of the action
●      The ability to choose between virtual analog or fixed four-way digital control pad options
●      Adjustable opacity of on-screen controls through the configuration menu
●      An enemy encounter option that allows players to enjoy the storyline uninterrupted. While enemy encounters are turned off, players can still enjoy the story event battles.
●      A Max Stats command that enables players to become all-powerful in the blink of an eye.”

This version, as well as the previously released iOS, PC, and Playstation 3 versions are all available now.  For more information, please visit Square Enix here.

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Vacation Days (Day 5)

If you’ve read my previous posts in this series, you may be wondering, “How did your day start this time, Chris?”

Crappy.  Sabretooth finally caught up with me.  I knew he had my scent from the other day at the Sheriff’s office…God help me.  He is the biggest cat-man I’ve ever seen, and I’ve had beers with The Puma of Portugal…Of course, that was after my internship for the mildly talented Federico Felinae, who wasn’t big, so much as barrel-chested.  Regardless, after a vigorous jaunt through the woods of the MO River Bottoms (A. K. A. running for my life), I settled in a cave apparently used for mining coal.  I prepared my brain for the morning stay, eventually assuming Logan finally caught up to ST, wrestling my approaching aggressor to the confines of an extra strong jail cell.

The rest of the day was pretty wonderful, as I was able to, once again, catch up with some beloved family.  I was blessed with an order of Mazzio’s Pizza (the ranch is so damn good), and a few rousing games of “UNO Attack!” at night.  I got whooped…bad…real bad…but it was fun.
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OK…so…you know how I claimed that I couldn’t get into Majora’s Mask?  Well, I gave it another shot, and I finally got the appeal.  The game is weird, quirky, colorful, and beautiful.  I dig it.  It sucked me in.  I’m very excited to play it on my plane ride home, and watch out for poorly captured screen shots…like so:

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My face playing Majora’s Mask until 2am.

Mushroom Men: Rise of the Fungi

Mushroom Men: Rise of the Fungi

In the short time (five to eight hours) that I spent with Red Fly Studio’s Mushroom Men: Rise of the Fungi for Nintendo DS, I spoke aloud curse words that I didn’t even know I knew, almost broke my console in half, and just about gave up.  I also jammed to some good music, tried out three classes of talking mushrooms, and beat a giant spider to death with a CO2 cartridge attached to a stick.  I’d say it equaled out fairly nicely.

The game starts with a meteoroid crashing to Earth.  Dust from the now meteorite sprinkles onto the ground, giving sentience to some rather surly creatures (wasps, cockroaches, worms), as well as our hero, Pax.  Pax is of the Bolete tribe, and only one of many types of mushrooms who’ve now grown eyes, ears, hands, feet, and vocal cords.  Your first task as a newly coherent mushroom warrior is to gather food for another local tribe, the Amanita Order.  While you are meandering through this level, you are also charged with saving a few of the Amanitas from insect-induced annihilation.  Throughout the game, you will run into a slew of characters affected by the mutating space dust.  These creatures, among many others, include the scientific inventors:  the hermitic Morels.  Using tiny weapons and gadgets, prepare yourself to fight across a multitude of platform levels while you dodge mohawked wasps, heat-driven spiders, and multi-skilled militant mushrooms.

At the beginning of the game, you choose one of three classes: Heavy (Warrior), Sage (Mage), or Scout (Archer).  Heavy will focus on melee combat, while Scout is more proficient in ranged attacks.  The Sage class uses spore powers to fight the baddies.  With a swipe of your stylus on the bottom touch screen, your character produces attacks that can dispense enemies and objects, as well as hurt opponents.  Throughout the game, you collect small canisters of mutagen.  These canisters add skill points that Pax can use to upgrade his abilities.  Each point can be added into one of four sets: health (how much you have), spore power (your mana pool), strength (damage caused), and speed (movement and attack).  Using bits of string, screws, needles, sticks, and various other implements you find from the fallen bodies of your baddie brethren, you craft weapons to also aid you in your quests.  A wrench and a piece of string make a good apparatus for slinging wooden beads at an approaching wasp.  You also have ample opportunity to slay a spider with a CO2 cartridge on a stick.  Thanks to a handy spot next to your inventory screen, you know what that spider’s weaknesses are, and can exploit them.  When this icon is tapped by the stylus, you acquire all of the information you need to know about the enemy.  You see its weakness(es) and attack focus, giving you everything you need to craft the perfect weapon to combat the enemy.  Your only charge after that is deciding how to properly utilize that weapon on a boss.

Boss fights are one thing that MM:RotF does a mediocre job at.  Through one boss fight, you need a good weapon and your sharpest wits.  You use those wits (and a few respawns) to figure out the enemy’s tactics, solve the puzzle, and reign victorious.  In the next battle, however, several respawns are spent just trying to work out the special way to win, only to discover that all you have to do is jump at the right time and mash your buttons to oblivion.

That is only the top of the puzzle list, however.  Periodically throughout the game, a floating jigsaw piece will appear.  By arranging certain parts of an item, you unlock the ability to progress.  For example, by placing the given pieces in perfect order under the time limit provided, Pax is given a leaf to grab onto, thus slowing his descent to the forest floor, avoiding a sure-death experience.

A major draw for me was the game’s soundtrack.  With original music from Les Claypool of Primus, possessing an amassment of funky tunes to cruise around the forest to is not an issue.  The rest of the sounds of the game fall short of spectacular, but thanks to Mr. Claypool, all is forgiven.

The in-game graphics are decent, especially for the original DS, aside from some color issues that I will delve into shortly.  What I like about the visuals are the comic book panels used to tell the main story.  There are no real cinemas, just a gorgeously illustrated, graphic novel-esque story presented in panel form.

The difficulty of this game waivers a little at times, but mostly stays fairly true to its nature.  Unfortunately for most (myself included), though, that means that it is pretty hard.  Fortunately for me, there’s no continue cap.  Part of the difficulty lies in the aforementioned boss puzzles, part lies in level puzzles, and part also lies in the frustratingly (and perhaps strategically) placed save points.  At some spots the save points are plentiful, almost daring you to skip one; but mostly, they are just absent.  This causes enough replay through the levels that you start to memorize the layouts fairly quickly.  I believe the save points to be brilliantly placed, and am making that my X Factor for this game.

There were a few instances throughout the game that left me wishing for brighter colors.  The earthy tones are welcomed, and I understand the meaning behind them (they’re mushrooms from the earth!), however, the colors could have been just a bit louder.  The dullness results too often in a meshing of colors as you’re climbing to the top of a log, via sporadically placed platforms that all look exactly like the back drop.  It usually ends with a missed ledge and a respawn at the last save point.

The other issue I have is the constant use of the stylus to swap between screens to access the inventory, map, and skill screen.  Occasionally you need to tap on each individual screen to accomplish a different task (ranged shots, puzzle pieces, etc…) However, I would have preferred a designated trigger button for the swap, so I could put down my stylus while I played the majority of the game.

That being said, though, there’s really not a lot to complain about in this game.  The controls work pretty responsively, the graphics are decent for a DS game, the music is great, and the RPG elements give you several options to go and experiment with.  Mushroom Men: Rise of the Fungi is a slightly above average platformer that left me wanting to continue the somewhat unique story in the Nintendo Wii sequel:  Mushroom Men: The Spore Wars.