Category Archives: videogames

What to game, what to game?…

I’ve hit a bit of a slump after finishing listening to the two books in the Kingkiller Chronicles. That was filling my evenings and I was doing chores and playing a bit of Magic: Puzzle Quest while listening. The books are phenomenal, and the audio book was a great presentation as well.

However, kind of like the Amazon ads, I hit a “show hole,” or in this case a book hole, and I wasn’t sure what to read or listen to or do next. I had put 80 hours into listening to the Kingkiller Chronicles, with more and more towards the end.

I have a few books out from the library: Jo Walton’s The Just City out in print, and Station Eleven in audio book, but neither seemed quite right (although I have finally started listening to Station Eleven: liking it so far). But really, what I felt like doing was playing a video game.

I was immediately stopped because we have not yet setup the X-Box 360 in a new place at the new house. This limited my choices considerably, although it especially brought me up short as I was starting to think about replaying something like Final Fantasy XIII-2 (which is not yet backwards compatible) or Diablo III (which had a fancy X-Box One version come out so won’t be backwards compatible).

Given our recent discussion of replaying versus new material, I turned next to thinking about new games. There’s not really one I’m looking to play that we already owned, but now that we don’t have a data cap, the idea of buying a digital game and downloading it doesn’t seem like a terrible idea. Final Fantasy XV isn’t as cheap as I’d like it to be (might be an okay $20 game). I’ve heard such rave reviews of Witcher III that I strongly considered that one, but with the digital game I can’t tell if it’s equivalent to the “Game of the Year” edition which would have lots of the content as well. I did check for this at the store in town as well, but no luck… Hmmm, maybe an Amazon purchase…

My search for a new game to play leaving me unsatisfied, I turned to games I haven’t completed yet. I got started with Dishonored 2 and was liking it alright, but I also felt like I wanted to play in a different way than vaguely stealthy and want to start over – I’m giving myself a bit more time before doing that! On the other hand, I was well into Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, but it’s been long enough since then that diving back into the end feels daunting. Same with Kingdom Hearts 2 HD.

There was playing a classic, as well. I had started playing Final Fantasy VII on the PSP, but when it ran out of power it lost my progress during what is apparently a super long section without a save point – working your way up Shinra Tower! I could play it or VIII easily enough on the PSP or the PS3, but those didn’t feel right.

I also got to thinking about Baldur’s Gate 2 Enhanced Edition, which I had picked up on the computer but haven’t played because I haven’t really played anything on the computer in some time. I had this one recommended to me on Facebook recently by Jeremy, as well, so I may turn to it next…

But the game I ended up picking back up, however, is Mass Effect: Andromeda. The news that this game will probably not have DLC or sequels took some wind out of my sails in terms of finishing the game. However, it also felt like a game where I’ve played recently enough that jumping back in wasn’t a problem, I’m far enough that I feel the completionist desire to finish it, and knowing that I’ll probably just finish it and be good with it, I’ve decided to mainly just focus on the main story and companion quests. Hopefully I knock this one out soon!

Of course then, I might just be back into another bout of wondering what to play…

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Currently Really Enjoying: Dishonored 2

After a break from video games due to life, and after having this game for quite a while without playing it… I have to say, I’m really enjoying this one. Even as I am utterly grossed out by the Bloodflies, and even though I’m not sure I like my first choice for unlocked ability (I picked one that works like Mirror Image, and illusions aren’t the easiest thing to work with…), and even as I’m still trying to decide whether I want to put the work in for a non-lethal playthrough… I’m having fun.

Dishonored is slowly coming back to me – it’s a stealth game, but also one where you might actually explore and go everywhere, collecting items and such. In a game like Deus Ex you might miss whole areas or regions of a map because you stealth or bypass past them; in Dishonored, there’s more of a thought that you go to these places. There are collectibles to get, and the Heart to track the most important of these down. You don’t collect standard Experience Points, either – you collect Runes towards unlocking additional abilities and upgrades. So the exploration and collection is key.

Anyway, I have some things to do, and I’ve been playing, so… I’ll leave you with this fun live action trailer for the game.

Getting Started: Dishonored 2!

We got out X-Box One set back up! Which means, it was time to dive back into games. After a few minutes in Mass Effect Andromeda, the long break has me cooled down on the game. Meanwhile, in between while catching up on my X-Box magazine, I read a lot of great reviews of Dishonored 2. Since the game was here and available, I decided to load it up!

Over 50GB later, I could play!

Yeah, it’s kind of like that. I actually am not far enough to have run into the Outsider yet, the supernatural being who provided you with powers in the first game. Which means I’m in the rough starting point of the game, where you’re trying to work your way through a world designed to be played with magic powers. Holly had trouble recently in the early stages of Dishonored, which reminded me that the challenge of not having the abilities was real.

Speaking of challenge… I wrote a review of the first game talking about how the difficulty of the game really had more to do with your personal choice of approach than anything they program in. Apparently, I was not alone in thinking this – you can play on pre-set difficulty levels, or you can customize your own difficulty level. There’s sliders for a huge number of in-game elements, to tweak your challenge. Combined with two protagonists to play the game through with, and this game seems like it has a lot of options for replayability.

However, I’m going with perhaps the most obvious for now. Going with a preset difficulty level (went with Hard), and playing Emily instead of Corvo. And I’m trying for a non-lethal game again, although perhaps I should save that for a Corvo playthrough – since I succeeded at non-lethal with him before, carrying that through to the new game has a nice roleplaying feel to it.

Kingdom Hearts III – now with more release date!

Well, there was a bit of footage recently for Kingdom Hearts III – but now there’s a whole lot more!

At this point, we know the game will have worlds centered around Tangled, Big Hero 6, and now Toy Story. We also know the Olympus Coliseum is coming back (of course), and likely some of the other places like Twilight Town.

I feel like there must be other worlds they’re just sitting on waiting… or that still haven’t been developed. They finally, finally gave a time frame for the game’s release.

Next year? Ugh. Well, at least they’ve actually declared a date – that hasn’t really happened before, and this one’s been years in the making. Still, hopefully they don’t have a whole lot that they haven’t at least started developing – I’d prefer earlier 2018 to later!

BioWare’s New IP: Anthem

Before it got showed off at E3, I wasn’t really aware that BioWare was working on a new intellectual property. After all, they just released Mass Effect Andromeda and though we haven’t beaten it, it sounds like it’s open to sequels. Meanwhile, the ending of Dragon Age Inquisition definitely sets them up for Dragon Age 4. So they have two large universes they are continuing on with, which seems like a lot to be working on.

So with those two games being similar sorts of party-based RPGs, just one fantasy and one science fiction, I suppose it makes sense that if you were to be making another game, you would try to step out of that genre a bit. Enter Anthem.

The early reactions to this game compare it to Destiny, although I couldn’t quite tell if it was an MMO or more just multiplayer up to a certain number, a la Borderlands. Unfortunately, I’ll bet it’s not split-screen like Borderlands is, meaning that the odds of Holly and I playing this one are low.

Which is sad, because this game looks great! It further pushes some of the movement elements that we’ve really enjoyed in Andromeda (and which Holly used even more in playing Re-Core). It’s a big open science fiction world. And the loot!…

Basically, it looks like you’re playing Iron Man.

Different suits, different weapon loadouts, class-like functions on them (like the big old tanky one). I mean, even multi-target targeting and shooting missiles out. Very Iron Man. But like, in the, wouldn’t it be fun to be Iron Man sort of way.

It took me a while watching the video to quite realize that what I was hearing was the players, and not the characters, chatting. Still, it sounds like the main writer from KotoR and Mass Effect is working on this one, so story should still be important. Honestly, I would expect nothing less from BioWare.

If there’s a single player campaign, we might still end up getting this one and playing it that way. If there’s split-screen, we’re absolutely getting this one. If it ends up on our Mac computers, we could play this one. But requiring two X-Box One’s (or PS4’s) for a married couple in a single household? There’s a whole host of games that we can’t play because of the multiple consoles needed. So we’ll see where this one ends up!

Anthem is currently expected late 2018, so plenty of time between now and then (or possible delays) for all these details to sort out.