My wife went away for the weekend, meaning a couple great things.
- I get a lot of one on one time with the kid
- I get a lot of video game time.
I mean, I will miss her dearly, but sometimes you just have to fight through the loneliness. (sound convincing enough? *grin*) Truth is I haven’t gamed in weeks due to our Christmas trip to Europe (which was awesome) so i am chomping at the bit a bit. For a bit. Fitbit?
Thankfully school was cancelled today due to huge snowfalls, so after I clear off the driveway there isn’t a lot of outdoor activities for us to do. A couple errands this weekend but otherwise free to game! I already have 4 (maybe 5?) titles on tap. That seems crazy to me in some ways – in the “good old days” ™ I would have my MMO du jour queued up and log into that endlessly and advance away. Now I have a hodge podge of titles that I am either trying to complete, get further into, and/or if time permits – start! Here is what the weekend should look like barring any sort of catastrophe.
The Last Of Us (PS4)
This game came bundled with my wife-suggested purchase of the PS4 (I actually have a draft necromancy post coming up where I swear off buying one of the new consoles – but why argue with the wife!) I am a completionist and this is a good example of a title that I really want to see the ending of but am not entirely enjoying the game-play. I am at the Philadelphia level and the entire game-play part of The Last Of Us seems to consist of a not-so-convincing cut scene, followed by get from A to Z movement puzzles (where there is only one (and often tedious) path), followed by a fight sequence where you can try to stealth through it but ultimately end up shooting a gun and the entire level aggros. Rinse, repeat. Rinse, repeat. I wish I could say they have done a good job of fleshing out the characters and whatnot but I really didn’t care about my life long partner in crime Tess (when she sacrificed herself) because I had a total of 8 lines of dialog with her before embarking on the somewhat tedious gameplay mentioned above. I know I should care deeply about Elly (that is her name, right?) but I am not feeling it. Not enough character development so far, and I feel as though they are making parts of the game long enough just to stretch out the time to completion needlessly. The other thing I am disliking about it is that when you die all the resources you used before you die are gone BUT they reset the entire encounter. So I can kill 20 guys and use 40 bullets but if I die and they reset, those 20 guys are back but my bullets aren’t. Seems unfair and unnecessary. Still, I can’t just quit. There is a DLC component that I have heard is from her (Elly) perspective but I don’t even know if I want to start when I finish the main part because if I do I won’t be able to stop until it’s over. This game is holding up my next PS4 title, Dragon Age Inquisition.
Batman: Arkham Asylum (PC, Steam)
I got this (and Arkham City) in a Humble Bundle and am 30% through it. This is an enjoyable (but a bit dated) game but again, I want to see how the game ends. The combat is smooth and quick and the Bat-tricks are interesting. Even the storyline has been fun. I’d like to get this moved over to my “Steam completed” folder, because my Steam to play folder is getting really small. I haven’t put in much time lately and think I can fly through this one pretty quick. I still believe that the combat style in this game would translate into a MMO Combat Innovation especially now that telegraphs aren’t the be all and end all developers hoped they would be (right WildStar?). Dare to dream. Bats isn’t even one of my top 10 superheroes but the Chris Nolan movies certainly won me over, and one of my favourite graphic novels of all time is The Killing Joke from back in my comic collecting days. What I wouldn’t give to have a Marvel Hero based game like B:AA.
The Secret World (PC, Steam)
Hoping to get through Kingsmouth (yes, I am still only there) although I have no clue how long that will take. I have only done 15 or so missions in the area and can’t even recall what level I am. I have enjoyed TSW to jump in, do a quest, log off. It hasn’t grabbed me for longer playing sessions yet and part of the skill wheel (even the assisted one) makes me uncomfortable. I don’t have the gaming time to spend hours researching how to level – I want simple and fun. Thankfully the lower levels seem to be just that and I’m focusing on just my main weapon skills for now and the odd update to talismans to wear an item upgrade. I love the setting and wish the gameplay matched for me. Still, it’s a worthy place for me to spend my time and looking forward to sorting out the zombification of this once quiet New England town. Syp at Bio Break keeps me very interested in progressing in this game with his write ups of experiences there. Many levels to go!
Marvel Heroes 2015 (PC)
As mentioned in my Mobile Gaming piece I have a superhero itch lately. I haven’t tried DCUO (although it’s free on Playstation, isn’t it?) and with City of Heroes gone I updated the patcher and launcher and it is ready to go. This is a long shot to really dig into with the aforementioned titles sitting to be finished but it is intriguing and hard to not hit “Play”. I haven’t played Marvel in a long time and read it was semi-rebooted. What I love about their store is that if you click on a costume you are thinking of buying it shows the cover of the specific comic book that inspired the look. I think that is clever and as an old comic collector I was having fun just seeing which ones were available to buy.
Dragon Age Inquisition (PS4)
I mentioned this earlier in the Last Of US paragraph because I own this game and there are only a few things stopping me from taking the shrink wrap off.
- Dragon Age Keep is having tech issues with loading in my Dragon Age Origins history and Dragon Age 2 history. the DA:2 I am not so concerned about but I put in 100+ hours into Origins – I LOVED that game. Sadly, I don’t remember my own choices it has been so long! I really want that saved state to be there before I start DA:I as I am looking forward to connecting with those old characters. I actually emailed EA about it after getting good help from DAK via twitter (good, but unresolved)
- I still have two games to finish right now and would like to do that before embarking on the journey.
- 100 hours! I am a side quester kind of person and I like to do the whole thing. 100 hours of game-play for me right now is around two months of gaming time. I need to clear off some of my dance card before committing to a game that is this involved.
I tend to categorize games into ones you can complete and ones that are ongoing and it is never really a good thing to have too many of each at any time. I am already screwing up controller buttons between Batman and The Last OF Us so it can be challenging to have many control specific games on the go (which they all have.) Add in stories, objectives, maps, quests (etc.) and a portion of your gaming time at any time is spent re familiarizing. Especially after a long break like I just had.
Isn’t it crazy that I feel like I need to manage my gaming time and titles? Those good old days where I just played WoW, DAOC, or LoL where that was the game and that was the focus it seemed so much simpler. When I had time to game there was always one main one waiting. It is kind of like I am in gaming title limbo as I am not entirely immersed or compelled to really game the titles on my docket. Sometimes it feels like I am just playing to get some completed. My completionistic nature works against me here as why shouldn’t I just stop playing The Last Of Us? The levels feel like a chore sometimes. Still, I believe that is part of gaming nature to want to see things through to the end. I am even worse when it comes to bad movies – I still watch the whole thing waiting for that one scene, message, or redeeming quality to show itself for the time and artistic investment that went into the film.
Warlords Of Draenor is also weighing heavily on me – my desire to take my main character through the adventure of the next 10 levels if only to finish his/her journey in Azeroth, but that is a whole other post.
Still, much to look forward to this weekend. I hope it goes as planned.
We are talking next gen amazingness.
One of my favourite posts is “Greatest Fantasy Movie Ever“. In it I describe how a typical boss fight in any MMO would translate into a big budget movie and how ridiculous the whole event is. Sure, arguments of tech limitations and what not on why that is but really – that isn’t an excuse anymore.
Check out Batman: Arkham Asylum. Yes it is an old game (thank you humble bundle) and how action sequences play out there is much more enjoyable and sensible. Sure, you would need to slow down the combat just a bit but just watch:
Notice something? Batman doesn’t get hit. There are 20+ bad guys around him and he dodges, blocks, and counterattacks his way through the group. When he DOES get hit, you really tell. The screen changes color and there is impact. I got hit with a lead bar once and the screen showed me an interpretation of concussion like symptoms. Even more so, the fighting is really smooth, makes sense, and is somewhat believable.
The result is a ton of industry awards and 2 sequels. This was released in 2009. Don’t tell me we don’t have the technology.
Now compare to every MMO where bad guys arms and legs would be going through Batman’s torso and little -10’s would float up from the damage, blocks would show the letters “BLOCK!”, and so on.
It’s a natural progression. We went from standing in place with 4 buttons, to standing in place with 3 hotbars of buttons, to active dodging/attacking – all while not having the graphic interactions between combatants accurately reflected.
It would be an amazing innovation, and well overdue.