March updates!

•March 9, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Hello friends. Just wanted to make a quick post about some of the stuff I’ll be doing in March. This will be pretty short.

First of all, on March 29th I’ll be streaming for 24 hours straight as part of the Healing Over Time charity gaming marathon. This starts at 9AM CST on  Saturday March 29th. Please come hang out for a little bit and show some support for that. The goal for the even is to raise $5000 for Child’s Play. An awesome charity that I’ve supported in the past. I was thrilled to hear that Subterfuge Gaming was going to be a part of this and as soon as I heard about it I made sure I was available to be a part.

Secondly, on March 10th starting at 11PM CST I’ll be streaming Titanfall until at least noon on March 11th. I would love for some people to jump in and out and play with me. My name on Origin is Klokworkk. Feel free to add me :).

Next, I’ve made some changes to the stream schedule. Sorry I keep doing this. I’m still sorta new to the whole streaming thing so I’m trying to nail down a schedule that works for myself. My current schedule is (as posted on Twitch):

  • Monday: FF Marathon; 5PM – 9PM at least. Lasting to midnight potentially.
  • Tuesday: New Game or FF Marathon; 5PM – 9PM at least. Lasting to midnight potentially.
  • Wednesday: Sporadic. Watch Twitter for updates.
  • Thursday: Sporadic. Watch Twitter for Updates.
  • Friday: DERPDAY; 5PM – X where X is when I decide to stop streaming.
  • Saturday: Currently sporadic. In the future I hope to stream some live D&D.
  • Sunday: Final Fantasy Marathon; When I wake up(10AM or so) – 10PM.

So Fridays are going to be my kind of goof off with friends and viewers day. I’ll be playing random multiplayer games and occasionally doing a giveaway and other stuff.

Moving on, I plan to start playing Dark Souls on stream after I finish South Park: The Stick of Truth. This will be my first time trying to beat Dark Souls so it should be entertaining. If I enjoy it enough I may do the same thing for Dark Souls 2. We’ll see though. This will probably only be a day or maybe two a week on the stream.

Lastly, I’ve got a couple blog articles that I’m working on: Two about MMOs, one or two game mini-reviews (South Park and Titanfall), and an article about not being a total dick on the internet. I’ll get the reviews out first probably.

That be all for now. Like I said, really short. Appreciate the couple of people that have hung out and supported my streaming efforts so far <3

Final Fantasy Marathon progress and some other updates!

•February 22, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Hello friends.

Just wanted to make a quick blog post with some random updates for stuff. Mostly to do with streaming and gaming since not much else is going on right now. This’ll be pretty short as I don’t really have anything else to talk about :)

So for some general bullshit, I’ve been playing Bravely Default a little bit. I’m about 7 hours into the game and I’m already pretty hooked. This is more-or-less a spiritual successor to FF1-5. There are a lot of similarities. I’m curious why they didn’t just call it Final Fantasy: Bravely Default. Them not doing that kind of leads me to believe they plan on making a full-fledged series out of this one similar to FF. I’m down for that.

I also got to play a bit of Titanfall during the beta. That game is fucking amazing. I haven’t had that much fun with a shooter in a long time. I’m definitely going to grab that on release and play the hell out of it. I streamed a bit of it as well, so you can go to my stream archives to see some beta gameplay. I think they’ll disappear soon though. Not sure :).

In the future I plan on getting involved in some Everquest Next, but right now there isn’t much going on there. Everquest Next Landmark is out, but I’ve never been too great at sandbox stuff. I respect the hell out of the idea though. Have your users create content that they want and put the best of that content in the game? Sounds like a win/win to me. Developers get easy content, players get the content they want because they make it. I’m curious how it’ll work for the actual game though, but excited to see.

Stream wise: We’ve beaten FF4 for the marathon! We were a little bit into FF5 on the PS3 but the  PS3′s PSX emulator kept crashing on me when I tried to save. So I’m going to restart that one using ePSXe on my PC to just avoid all that annoyance. So just to give you an idea of what I’m going to use to play the rest of the series: FF5&6 I’ll use ePSXe, FF7&8 I’ll be playing on PC, FF9 I’m not sure yet, FF10&10-2 will be the PS3 HD remakes, FF12 I’ll be playing on a PS2, and FF13, 13-2, and LRFF13 will all be played on my PS3.

In addition to streaming all of the FF titles, I’m also going to start streaming some FF14 soon with a couple of friends. So be prepared for a bit more MMO action :). I also plan to stream a playthrough of the Tales of Symphonia Chronicles (the HD Remake for PS3) starting next week. So that being said, I want to detail exactly when I’ll be streaming. I’ll be streaming beyond this most nights unless something comes up. I’ll always update via Twitter too, so on the nights where I put “Game of my choosing” I’ll say on Twitter what I plan on playing. Right now this will probably be FF14 or Tales of Symphonia.

  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: 4:30 CST – 6:30 CST Final Fantasy marathon | Maybe: 7:30 CST – 11:00 CST Game of my choosing (Possibility of extending the marathon)
  • Thursday: 5:00 CST – 11:00 CST Game of my choosing (Possibility of extending the marathon | +Dinner Break)
  • Friday: 5:00 CST – X CST Drunken bullshittery. Games with friends/viewers (Possibility of extending the marathon | +Dinner Break).
  • Saturday: 8PM CST – X CST Final Fantasy marathon
  • Sunday: 3PM CST – 11:00 CST Game of my choosing (Possibility of extending the marathon)

I also haven’t talked about this before, but I’ve recently in the past couple of months joined a gaming community called Subterfuge Gaming. It is a multigame community that currently has two Wildstar guilds and a League of Legends team. Subterfuge Vanguard and Subterfuge Oddity are our Wildstar guilds. Vanguard is our Hardcore NA based Dominion raiding guild, while Oddity is our casual EU based Exile guild. Both are currently recruiting people for Wildstar. We’re currently a pretty popular community for Wildstar players because we’ve got 2 really popular Wildstar streamers in Tainted, and Zybak as well as a Thursday night Wildstar live show called Late Night Dominion. I help with community recruitment, so if this sounds like something that you’d be interested in feel free to chat me up about it and/or check out the website at: www.SubterfugeGaming.com 

That is it for now! Time to stream some FF5 :).

What is in a raid? My take on the ’40 man raids are too big’ topic.

•January 14, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Hola. So lately in a couple of places I’ve noticed some people ranting about the fact that Wildstar has 40 man raids and that 40 man raids are a problem. This is a point I completely disagree with as a veteran MMO player, a ‘hardcore’ gamer, a former raid leader, and a former guild recruitment officer. A reddit user posted a breakdown of his disagreements which pretty much air all the common complaints about larger raid sizes. I’m going to break that post down point by point and present counter points here as my base. I’ll then probably add to it.

“Headache for leaders: You will certainly find people to lead any guild, but a 40 man raid poses a lot of logistical problems. It MANDATES a guild leader and officers (plus maybe even role/class leaders), and for these people, the headache of dealing with drama due to sitting people, helping bad players improve, recruiting, etc, can be very burdensome. It turns the game into the a job, and expedites burn-out. In a 10 man, on the other hand, you can avoid ANY structure (other than needing a guild leader just for in-game UI purposes) and be just fine… just a group of friends having fun.”

This is partially true and partially hyperbole. The leadership of a large raiding guild does have to deal with some headaches outside of the raids. Note that I said outside of the raids. During raid time this sort of thing shouldn’t be coming up in a content pushing raiding guild. These things are handled outside of raid hours on the leadership’s own time. Many people in the leadership of larger guilds actually enjoy some of this. Myself as an example, I actually really enjoyed guild recruiting. Talking to new people and going over applications was something I found fun for various reasons (some worse than others ;) ). If this is such a huge problem that it becomes burdensome inside of a raiding instance then the problem isn’t how many people it takes for you to fill the raid, it is your organization as an entity. Though the point that you don’t need any structure for 10 friends playing the game together is true, 10 man (and even 25 man) instances have always felt less epic and grand in comparison (I’ll touch on this more later).

“Cliques: Invariably, in order to find 50+ strangers (can’t just have 40, what if people don’t show? RL happens) who can make 80%+ of raids at a given time, you’re going to have cliques form. Not everyone will get along, and at it’s worst flat out fighting, ultimatums, and general bitchiness will ensue. This was even a problem in every 25 man guild I was in during my time in WoW (which included very high-end and successful guilds like Eternal Reign, Vis Maior, and Cuties Only). Unfortunately, given that you need the bodies to field this number, you can’t be picky.”

This was only ever a problem in ONE guild I was in. And this one guild cultivated drama like it was a prized crop. A normal content pushing raiding guild are all striving for a singular goal. People in guilds like this often all become friends very quickly and bond through the trials of raiding. So there will absolutely be a clique. However, the clique will encompass the vast majority of the guild’s raiding force and integrating into the clique is always easy. You just hang out with the guild, you show up to raids, and you contribute like everyone else does. The only time this might be a problem for someone is if they can’t integrate with a group of people and don’t become part of the guild culture. You don’t join a guild JUST to punch dragons. You join a guild to punch dragons with like minded people that you can get along with while trying your best to perform. You push the guild forward and the guild pushes you forward, and as such you become a member of the guild clique so to speak. If this becomes a huge problem in some way then it is something that the guild’s leadership needs to handle. This is part of building the guild foundation and is actually good for a guild’s natural progress and moral.

Loot: Related somewhat to Cliques because in a smaller raid size (like 10) people can just be friendly and pass to those who need, otherwise use random roll. Not so in a 40 man raid! The time it takes to do loot, both inside and outside raids, can be huge. It was not uncommon to spend 10+ minutes for 3 items off a raid boss with only 25 people. In classic WoW 40 mans with only 2 drops, it occasionally took 30 MINUTES.

I have never been in a guild that took 30 minutes for an item that wasn’t a legendary. I don’t really understand how this could be a problem. While leaders handle loot, other leaders should be continuing the raid. This is literally how every guild I’ve ever been in handles this. The only time sink I could see outside of raids is the need to record who showed up for raids if you’re using a point system. This just seems really hyperbole.

Your fond memories betray you: A lot of people look at classic and TBC raids as the “golden age” of raiding in WoW. Boy did you guys sure forget a lot. Your golden age was more likely attributed to the fun of your first raids with a new guild. You don’t remember the 30 good players carrying the 10 terribads (though if you were one of these, you may not have realized what was happening). You don’t remember the pain the leaders and officers had to deal with. You don’t remember the endless pain of doing a key run for the 1000000th time for the damn new guy who was too lazy to pug it. You don’t remember how ineffective most raiding specs were because it’s hard enough to balance once spec for each class among other classes, let alone every single one (something WoW still hasn’t perfected). The need to stack is amplified in 40 man raids and made more painful. Who remembers needing 8 warriors for Four Horsemen in classic Naxx? I do. It was a massive pain. I’m not saying the devs will intentionally design a fight like this, but there may be a class that just excells at a certain fight (looking at Engineer tanks as a definite pain point there; being able to tank from range may allow them to cheese many mechanics)

Classic and BC raids were definitely the golden age of raiding in WoW. This golden age for me was attributed to the fact that the fights were larger in scale, tougher, and all felt pretty well designed. There wasn’t a single painful key run in WoW. So you had to run some bloke down an instance before a raid started. That took what, an hour? I played Everquest. Getting raid keys sometimes took weeks. I was personally fine with off-spec stuff not being raid viable in vanilla. I was also fine when they became more viable in BC. This is another point I don’t see being a ‘pain.’ The whole ’30 players carrying 10 baddies’ thing really just depended on the guild. A lot of more casual guilds had to take this approach just to fill numbers. It may be a thing that happens to some guilds in Wildstar. 25 man raids can be exactly the same though. 20 people carrying 5 derps etc. This is, again, more of an issue with how people organize the guild. I do remember the Four Horsemen fight as well, and I totally agree with you that the fight was retarded because you needed 8 well geared warriors. That isn’t really the fault of the raid requiring 40 members though, that is the fault of designers making a dumb decision.

Forming new Guilds: This is going to impact Wildstar heavily at launch. Lets look at some other, major MMOs that are currently out and have successful raiding. WoW: moving to 20 man likely before Wildstar launch, 10 or 25 right now. SWTOR: 8 to 16 man. Rift: 20 man. No existing, large-scale MMO has this raid size, which means either merging or mass recruitment. Neither are pleasant for anyone. The former leads to political power struggles and disagreements, and the latter leads to players disliking one another because you had to settle on player X due to the fact that they could make your raid times.

This is a pretty good point. Players aren’t used to recruiting at this level, and even any guild that moves over will have to recruit the extra player base. I disagree with the point that a guild has to do some sort of unpleasant recruitment method. We’re far enough out from the first bit of raiding content right now that if a guild wants to go in at launch they’ve got plenty of time to recruit quality players via the community. There are guilds that are doing this. I happen to be a member of one such guild myself. Guilds don’t need to mass recruit random warm bodies right this very minute in order to raid in a few months. They can still be selective.

I do totally agree that mergers fucking suck though. Having gone through two I can confirm that fuck that noise. The guild is always an organizational cluster fuck until it eventually bombs or one side just leaves.

Telegraphs: This is of course specific to Wildstar. I know you can chose to turn off certain telegraphs, but often these include vital information. Just looking at PvP matches and dungeon gameplay, I can see this spiraling out of control in 40 mans (and a likely reason why we haven’t seen any raids yet, as they are trying to figure this out). I love the idea, but tanks are going to need to see boss and healer telegraphs for example; with 6-10 healers in a 40 man raid, how are you going to figure out which heal is which? If you have to pick which one to run/dodge to, how can you make the kind of split-second decision with a green/red clusterf*** on the floor?

I don’t really have a good response for that. Though 6-10 healers in a 40 man raid sounds a bit excessive. This is something that there isn’t much information about, and could very well come down to player skill and Carbine’s design choices. There are way too many unknowns here for me to begin to speculate.

So that was everything from the reddit post. I know a lot of the fears of more people in raiding come from people worrying about drama. Drama is always an organizational issue. Guilds need to learn to stop drama at their roots if they want it to not be a problem. This is often on an individual to individual basis. I’ve never seen a mass scale drama issue that wasn’t because of a guild merger or something. Drama is only a problem is an organization lets it be a problem.

Another thought is that larger raids are easier. I don’t really understand this though. Some people seem to think that with more people there is a larger margin of error. I can’t think of a single instance where this was true. The most difficult raid bosses I’ve encounter have all been in a 40+ raid with the exception of just a couple that were 25 mans (Lady Vaashj and No Light Yogg’Saron come to mind). The reason raid groups because smaller had nothing to do with difficulty and everything to do with making raiding more accessible and easy for your average raider to overcome.

Raiding isn’t something that everyone can do. It shouldn’t be something that everyone can do. Some people just can’t put in the effort. There is nothing inherently wrong with that train of thought. If you can’t put the time into an MMO but get upset when you’re not geared or good enough for raiding then the MMO genre probably isn’t for you. There are tons of non-MMO RPG games that can give you that, such as Diablo or the Elder Scrolls Series. MMOs are different in the fact that just because you buy the game doesn’t mean you can see all of the content just because. You should have to build your skills as a player in order to accomplish raiding feats. And as such, the 40 man raids should see the best rewards, and only the 40 man raids. Why should someone that didn’t put in as much work get an equal reward? That just doesn’t make sense to me.

Scale is also something that seems to be better the larger the raiding force goes. In Everquest, some of the best raiding was on a huge scale (Planes of Power, Shadows of Luclin, Scars of Velious). You were fighting massive gods, or clearing out huge dungeons. This is something that has more-or-less died in current MMOs. 40 man raids retained a lot of this in WoW. The majority of the fights didn’t quite have the epic feel of the larger Everquest fights, but some of them still retained that feel (Ragnaros, Twin Emps, C’thun, most of the Naxx40 end bosses). Scale just makes shit feel more epic, and I’m personally hoping Wildstar brings that feeling back to me for raiding.

Just to conclude the random rant: I’ve always enjoyed larger scale raiding and all the challenges it brought. I hope the goal with Wildstar raiding is to bring back those challenges to core raiders and not attempt to cater to every single player so that they have the notion that anyone should be able to clear the most rewarding content. It should be reserved for the players that put forth effort and shouldn’t be attainable by minimal effort or mindless grinding.

Think my opinion is shit? Want to respond? Feel free! Tweet at me, e-mail me, or comment below and I’ll do my best to respond :)

The 2014 Stream Plan!

•January 11, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Hola Frands!

I just wanted to do a quick write up for my stream plans.

So right now my plan is to stream at least 3 nights Mon – Friday from 6 CST to 10 CST. Saturday and Sunday I will probably stream, but the times will be fairly random.

I’ve also got a few stream projects I want do. First, I plan on streaming every numbered Final Fantasy game from 4 to Lightening Returns. To do this I’ll need to purchase a device that will let me stream from my PS2 and 3, which I plan to do in the next month. I’ll also need to purchase the FFX&FFX-2 HD bundle, FFXIII, FFXIII-2, and FFXIII Lightening Returns. None of that should be an issue though.

Second, I want to participate in ExtraLife this year in some capacity. I’m talking with a friend about this but I haven’t made any official plans.

Third, and probably the one that’ll be the biggest challenge: I’d like to stream the D&D group that is going to start playing shortly. To stream it how I like would probably require me to: Buy a new laptop, buy at least one more webcam, buy a high quality microphone. So this one is the most financially challenging because I’d want a new laptop. I could potentially get around that, but I’d still want the extra webcam and the microphone. I’d also need some USB extension cables, but those are like $2 for 15 feet so that isn’t really a problem. Which is good because they’d probably need replaced on occasion when someone inevitably trips over them and dies on stream.

There are some other things I’d like to do but just aren’t in the cards right now – Such as stream Bravely Default when it releases which would require a $450 investment in like 3 weeks for a product that isn’t even in stock right now. So that one is seeming pretty unlikely.

So when can you expect all this stream stuff to start? Well, I’ll start back to regular streaming next week. So I’ll likely stream something on Monday at around 6PM CST. I’ll try to stream a little bit every night, but I’ll likely have to cut some off. Wednesdays I probably won’t stream (for now) because generally I’m going to reserve those to exclusively do stuff with Subterfuge Gaming, a community/Wildstar Guild I recently joined (Check out the website if you’re into that kind of thing :) )

What sort of content can you expect? All sorts of gaming shit. I’m literally into all kinds of gaming and I’ve got a pretty expansive backlog because I got a bit lazy with my gaming last year. So, I’ve got a lot of things in my Steam Library that needs playing, a couple of console games (Last of Us and Tales of Symphonia Chronicles when that releases), some older games (Such as the Person series that I’ve never touched but plan to play), and pretty much anything and everything in between. Once Wildstar releases I’ll probably be streaming a lot of that content as well. I also fully intend to play coop games with viewers and friends while streaming. If I play some games with viewers I’ll make a post with plenty of time in advance about which game(s) I’ll be looking for coop partners for.

I know I’ve got a pretty small following right now, and I appreciate the handful of people that actually read these right now a lot. Hopefully I can expand upon this a bit and do some cool stuff :).

 

This whole blog thing…

•January 4, 2014 • Leave a Comment

..I kind of suck at it. So part of my new years resolution is to make a bit more of an attempt at actually posting shit on here again. Mostly random ramblings that’ll incorporate a bigger attempt at starting a streaming schedule and putting my thoughts of gaming to words again. I haven’t really had an outlet for that lately. I know I’ve largely lost my interest in reviewing things. So, you’ll not be seeing much of that from me anymore. I’ll probably post a small paragraph or two when I finish something just to tell you how it is, but that will more-or-less be it.

So some updates from 2013 that I never made:

  • I now have a really good gaming PC, a 3DS, and another PS2.
  • A large portion of my old game collection that was stolen has been replaced.
  • My internet connection has improved in such a way that I can now actually stream games (woo!). You’ll hear more about this.
  • I went to PAX. It was fun but not nearly as fun as previous years. I’ll make a post about this later.
  • I’ve burned out on League of Legends, got reinvigorated about League of Legends, and then burned out on League of Legends again. I’ll probably make a post about this later too!
  • I’ve been trying to get back into MMOs but so far nothing has stuck with me. I plan on posting some MMO exploits.
  • I’ve played less games overall this year than I did last year. Funny how that works when you’ve got a real job that you actually enjoy doing.

So the most important bit is the bit about streaming. I’ve been trying to do that pretty regularly and adjust my setup in a way that compliments that. My timing was rather random during the last bit of 2013, but I plan to be a bit more structured this year. Not really structured, because that never works out for me when I try to do that, lol.

I’ve got a few future plans coming up this year. Just to list some:

  • I’ve got a lot of random Steam games I’ve never played now. I plan on doing a Steam Stream challenge where I play games I’ve never played on Steam at least once or twice a week.
  • I plan on streaming some D&D play from a game I will start DMing soonishly.
  • I plan on streaming PS2 and potentially 3DS games. This requires some pricey hardware and PS2 is higher on my priority list.
  • I plan to stream FF5-FF13 Lightning Returns. I’m insane I know.
  • I plan on contributing to Extra Life this year in some capacity. I’ve been talking with a friend about streaming some stuff. Things that have been tossed around are a random older JRPG and the early Mega Man games (From the PS2 Mega Man Anniversary collection).
  • I will probably stream some MMO content. It really depends on what releases and how interested I get in it. FF14:ARR is almost certain in around April if PC users can play with PS4 users (which everything as lead me to believe they can)

So, what’s going on right now? Well right now nothing pretty much. I’m working on setting up some stuff for D&D and I’m playing a little FF3. I’d be playing more on my computer but my chair broke so I’m having to get it replaced from Amazon and the replacement won’t show up until Tuesday. So this weekend I’m going to be pretty quiet. I probably won’t stream much next week either because I’ll be watching Awesome Games Done Quick 2014 which everyone should totally watch. I’ll also be playing with some stream settings to get things looking nicer. I’ve also been watching more Anime again and I’m trying to catch up on Supernatural (I’m in the middle of Season 4!).

I’ll try to make posts here more often. We’ll see how that goes, lol.

 

Twitch Stream Link!

Gaming Plans for 2013: Most anticipated games and expanding the backlog.

•January 5, 2013 • Leave a Comment

With 2013 literally tomorrow I figured I’d make a quick post about what I’m looking forward to playing in 2013, and what other gaming exploits I plan on getting into. I’ve got two fairly big projects I’m going to try to do in 2013 as far as gaming goes, and I’m in a pretty good position now to see them both to light. Aside from gaming I’ve got a few other projects I’m going to try to push forward as well, most of those things aren’t even in a planning phase though.

I’ll go ahead and start with my most anticipated (announced) games of 2013. List is in order of release dates.

  • Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch (1/22) – A JRPG from Level- 5 with art from Studio Ghibli? Sign me up!
  • Dead Space 3 (2/5) – Next installment of one of my favorite current gen series. I need more sci-fi horror in my life.
  • Aliens: Colonial Marines (2/12) – I’m a little dubious on this one. Gearbox development team is a good plus (though they’ve had their failures). Direct sequel of Aliens movies. Only thing that worries me is that I’ve been burned by Aliens video games in the past. Maybe this one will pan out though.
  • Tomb Raider (3/5) – I was never very big on the Tomb Raider series of old, but this approach to Lara Croft has me fairly interested. An Uncharted feel to the game, with Ubisoft at the helm? I can get behind that. Maybe this will get me into the series.
  • South Park: The Stick of Truth (3/5) – I’ve been off and on with this game for a while, but after the VGAs I decided to go ahead and give it a chance. It does look hysterical and I’m a sucker for RPGs.
  • Gears of War: Judgement (3/19) – I love Gears, but I’m a bit dubious on this title too. Giving People Can Fly a hand-me-down Gears side story prequel when they could be working on Bulletstorm 2 or something a bit more interesting just leaves a bad feeling in my gut. I’m getting this because I love Gears of War, but I’m not expecting much out of it.
  • Bioshock Infinite (3/26) – Bioshock. Do I even need to type anything else here?
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us (4/1) – Mortal Kombat fighting mechanics and getting to beat the hell out of people as comic book characters? I can dig it.
  • The Last of Us (6/2) – Original IP from Naughty Dog that has a lot going for it. It looks great and I really hope they pull it off. I’d hate for the game to be a dud, and for Naughty Dog to be a 1 trick pony.
  • Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 (TBA 2013) – I really like the Castlevania mythos, and I enjoyed Lords of Shadow 1. Pretty excited for this one after watching some trailers.

Other games I’m totally interested in, but aren’t definite day 1 buys for me:

  • Devil May Cry (1/15) – I had some fun with DMC 1 and 2 back in the PS2 era, but dropped it for no real reason. I debated picking up the HD collection and DMC 4 but haven’t done that yet. I’ll probably grab this one after I do that and replay the older ones.
  • Crysis 3 (2/19) – I like shooters. I liked the other Crysis games. I’ll probably play this eventually.
  • FUSE (3/13) – Somewhat interested. Third-person cover shooter with sci-fi/Deus Ex sounding themes seems pretty legit to me.
  • Metro: Last Light (3/31) – I couldn’t really get into Metro 2033, but I’ve been debating giving it another chance just because of how good this game looks. I’m still on the fence on this though.
  • Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 (4/1) – This is kind of a guilty pleasure of mine, but I really like games that let me play through anime stories. Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 lets you play through the first few arcs of the Naruto Shippuden anime, and this one is supposed to continue where that game left off. It isn’t a day 1 buy for me, but I’ll probably pick it up during the summer lull.
  • Splinter Cell: Blacklist (4/1) – I’m not really huge on forced stealth stuff, so I’m a bit dubious on this one because of that. The trailers do make the game look really good though.
  • Grand Theft Auto V (TBA Spring 2013) – I’m interested in this for the open world aspects, the economic system that usually comes with these games, and the random fun. I wasn’t a huge fan of GTA4 though, so I’m a little dubious.
  • XCOM (TBA) – I like Sci-fi a lot. I really liked XCOM Enemy Unknown. This is a shooter, and I like those too. I’m really interested but fairly dubious because this game has had some really odd news behind it. Changes in design and gameplay style that just smell funny to me. I’ll definitely keep my eye on it though.
  • Beyond: Two Souls (TBA) – I’m fairly interested in this one, but I’m going to wait for reviews. I’m also not going to buy it day 1 on the principle that I’m not a big fan of some of the things David Cage has spewed after the success of Heavy Rain.

Next I want to talk about the two video game related projects I’m going to endeavor myself on this year. The first of which is replacing my stolen games and expanding my collection of video games. This mostly covers things I’ve played and want for collection or that I’ve never played and really want to play from the past 2 or 3 console generations (with a little older than that games mixed in but not many). I’ve got two different wish lists for this: An Amazon wish list and a collection list on Google Drive that also has a wish list tab. My current focus on that project is to knock out all the games under $30 while looking for good deals on the more pricey parts of that list.

The second project I’m going to undertake is to upgrade my current gaming setup and eventually have a way to stream myself playing games on a mostly nightly basis. This will be the easier of the two projects and I’ve pretty much already got this mapped out. Only thing I’m really worried about is bandwidth and the fact that I won’t be able to stream anything for a system that doesn’t use HDMI cords without actually getting a TV (the setup I plan to use and currently use is all computer monitors).

That is what I’ll be up to in 2013 though, as far as gaming in concerned. I’ll update my “projects” page as well to reflect all this too. I’m already having a pretty awesome January. Moved in to new place and start new job on Monday. This year is already great.

Game(s) of the Year 2012

•December 17, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Welp, it is the time of year again where everyone is throwing out their game of the year picks and all that jazz. I’ve not really been updating this blog too well, but I figured I’ll type out a little bit about what my top games of the year are. The reason I’m just doing “top games” instead of “Game of the Year” is because this year it is really difficult for me to pick what game I think is the overall best. So many new IPs, incredible upgrades on existing franchises, and unique gameplay experiences happened this year. What I’m going to do is a “top 5″ and then follow that with some honorable mentions (Note: None of this is in any particular order). Every single game I’m going to make note of in this post is worth every dime you could possible spend on it. With that being said, let us dive right into it.

XCOM Enemy Unknown

XCOM Enemy Unknown

XCOM Enemy Unknown is a perfect change of pace from your standard mindless AAA shooters and action games that tend to come out every year. It forces players to intelligently think about how they go about every detail in the game. I’m not talking about just combat here, I mean everything. Macromanaging your base is just as important in XCOM as the micromanagment of your troops in battle scenarios. Thinking about where to allocate your resources in the early part of the game is the difference between being prepared for everything to come at you, or scrambling to keep yourself in the game with a steady flow of resources. The grid based strategy action is also extremely well done and works perfectly on any platform that the game is played on (I actually played the game on the Xbox 360 mostly, and never had any issues). Aside from the superb mechanics, XCOM also has a good story to progress through that has you doing a lot of unique things during combat missions. All in the name of science and survival! If you’re looking for a unique turn based strategy game with tons of depth, look no further than XCOM Enemy Unknown. Easily one of the best games to release in 2012.

Note: XCOM Enemy Unknown also features a rather unique “Warhammer” tabletop style multiplayer mode. I just can’t really comment on it because I’ve not played any of the multiplayer yet =X.

The Walking Dead The Game

The Walking Dead

Two words best describe Telltale Games’ episodic The Walking Dead: “Them Feels.” As I understand it, The Walking Dead the game is a prequel to AMC’s The Walking Dead TV show, which is an adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead comic book. Now, with all of that out of the way, The Walking Dead the game is one of the best story driven games you could possibly play. Just about every choice in the game is specifically designed to tap into some sort of emotion. Choices like picking a specific person to save, or taking supplies at someone else’s misfortune are all designed evoke an emotional feeling players. Whether it be guilty, angry, frustration, shock, or anything else I guarantee that you’ll come out of each episode of the 5 episode series knowing what I mean when I say “Them Feels.” I really wish I could say more, or give examples, but literally every decision and every little detail about this game can be a spoiler. Suffice it to say that this is one of the best story driven games I’ve ever played. Telltale learned from previous titles like Jurassic Park: The Game and other hits in the genre like Heavy Rain and vastly improved the formula. At only around $25, this is a steal for one of the best games in 2012. EVERYONE should play this.

FarCry3

FarCry 3

FarCry 3 was a massive pleasant surprise for me. I was on the fence about getting it and playing it because of how little I’ve heard about it from Ubisoft. However, when I got my hands on a copy and started playing it, I was hooked. There are a bunch of things that set this game apart from your standard military guy blasting stuff away. First and foremost is that the main character, Jason Brody isn’t really the “shooter bro” type. Jason is actually more of the really annoying preppy frat kid type. So naturally Jason starts off a little whiny and having to progress into toughing up a bit. It is a little weird how he basically goes from whiny rich kid to stealthy pirate killer in the course of a couple of days, but that is a little nit-picky. The open world aspects of the game are awesome too. The organic feel of the FarCry 3 rival that of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. There were many times where I would be setting up to liberate a stronghold (Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood style) and a creature of some sort would meander in and spice things up a bit. The majority of the predatory creatures (Tigers/Bears/Komodo Dragons/Dingos/etc) will just attack anything that moves. I’ve also been in fights with some of those same creatures while hunting that would end up on the road. Then, out of nowhere, some bad guys would speed down the road and accidentally run over the creature I was fighting while they began to try to shoot me down. Stuff like that just happened, unscripted. It really made the island feel a bit more chaotic and alive. Probably the biggest thing that sets FarCry 3 out from the rest of the shooters out there is its story and how it plays with the theme of insanity and changes in mental state. You see it very obviously in the antagonist Vaas. However, you also see Jason’s personality slowly change. Jason will also start to question himself, and it leads to some interesting plot points. Aside from that, the FarCry 3 has stellar gameplay, amazing visuals, and loads to do. The cooperative missions weren’t anything fantastic but it was a nice touch, and I’ve not touched any of the PVP multiplayer so I can’t really comment on that. However, if you want an amazing single player shooter experience, you should definitely check out FarCry 3. It is definitely the best shooter to come out this year.

Dishonored

Dishonored

Next on the list we’ve got Dishonored, an action-stealth-first-person-adventure-thing. So yea, Dishonored doesn’t really fall under any specific genre of game. It has a lot of different genres blended into it to make a really awesome experience with a lot of replayability. You’ll see a lot of inspiration from other games in Dishonored. It has some Bioshock, some Half-Life 2, some Assassin’s Creed, and a little bit of Fable thrown in. None of that is a bad thing. Everything about Dishonored is designed in such a way that there are multiple ways to accomplish any task. Whether brute force, stealth, pacifism, or violence is your thing, Dishonored gives you a way to complete a task. The introduction of the “Chaos” mechanic even has the city of Dunwall changing to how tasks are completely. If you’re ultra violent, Dunwall will start to have more enemies and unpleasant things about due to the high amounts of chaos you’ll be generating from leaving all the bodies around. Alternatively, you can go through the entire game without killing a single person. The amount of Chaos one stir’s up also affects the game’s ending (there are 3 separate endings I believe). Dishonored’s story is also very good. Centered around Corvo Attano’s needing to prove he didn’t murder the empress, his revenge of the people who did murder the empress, and his role in protecting the empress’ daughter Emily. The story as a whole was very good, and you add all the stuff I already mentioned to that and you’ve got an awesome game.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

And finally, our last game in the top 5. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is an amazing Action/RPG title. Imagine the open world aspects of Skyrim with the combat mechanics of God of War inside of a fantastic fantasy world with thousands of years of story written by R.A. Salvatore. There are a lot of epic quests lines, one shot quests, and the overall story is amazing. There are tons of things to do in the world and tons of depth. Not just depth in the world though, the RPG and crafting systems also offer tons of depth. You can mix and match class from a standard “pure” warrior/rogue/mage type to hybrid rogue/mage rogue/warrior warrior/mage too. And these hybrid “classes” even give extra benefits. It is all an awesome system on top of a deep world setting with great game play and fantastic lore. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning hasn’t gotten the recognition it deserve this year. Any RPG or Action game fans will love this game. I wrote a full review for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning over at InteractiveDistractions.com.

That is my top 5 list for this year. If you’ll notice, all of those except FarCry 3 are brand new video game IPs. Which is awesome for the industry this late in the current console life cycle. It goes to show that new IPs can still do really good. Hopefully production companies will be a little less scared of releasing some new IPs next year and we can see some more awesome games come our way.

These 5 games aren’t the only good games this year though. Here are all the honorable mentions I can think of. Every one of these is worth your money (again in no particular order):

  • Assassin’s Creed 3
  • Borderlands 2
  • Mass Effect 3
  • Darksiders 2
  • Halo 4
  • Tales of Graces F
  • Journey
  • Mark of the Ninja
  • Sleeping Dogs
  • Dragon’s Dogma
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
  • Legend of Grimrock
  • Spec Ops: The Line

I’d also like to make a note for Doom 3 BFG Edition and Zone of the Enders HD Collection. They’re not new games, but did come out this year. They’re both totally worth playing through.

Couple things to note: 1) I didn’t get a chance to play a lot of Indie games this year, so a lot of the new indie games aren’t on my list because I don’t really have an opinion of them (I think FTL and Lone Survivor are the ones I haven’t had a chance to play that got good marks). 2) I don’t own a Wii or a 3DS. I’m kind of starting to get interested in playing some of the Nintendo games again, but I don’t really care too much about them.

Thoughts? Opinions? Shout at me! Leave a comment here or yell at me on Twitter!

 
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