Dude’s Chronicles 1-2-2020: End of an Era

First of all, Happy New Year.

Entertainment

  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – It wasn’t as terrible as some made it out to be but it also wasn’t good. It’s a very pretty but problematic movie.  The CGI is well done, for the most part, but seems to serve as a crutch. The plot seems nonsensical yet predictable. I would say it’s ok but you don’t have to rush out and see it. For barely giving a rise… 2.2/5

Games

  • Phoenix Point – I really wanted to like this game since I adore the XCOM series but it just didn’t work for me. The gameplay was good but all the other systems were just overly complicated. I gave up when I was trying to load a mission but it kept telling me that my weapons weren’t loaded without giving me any direction on how to do so.

News

  • Nothing – It’s the holidays and nobody was doing anything otherwise.

Closing Arguments

I decided to do this post because I’ve decided to end this blog. Not that it takes a lot of time to through up the one post a week I do but there is just little to no return on it. If it provided something more engaging or rewarding I would continue.

Therefore, unless there is some surprising groundswell of support, I’m shutting this place down effective immediately. It took a lot of thought and inward searching to make this decision but ultimately I think it is for the best.

I’m looking forward to a lot of things in 2020 and unfortunately this blog just isn’t one of them. If anybody is interested in collaborating or looking for some background assistance, feel free to reach out. To anybody reading this post or has ever read any of these posts, thank you.

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Paul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

Dude’s Chronicles 12-19-2019: Merry Christmas

It’s almost that time. Ready or not, it’s coming.

Entertainment

  • A Very Murray Christmas – I’ve watched this every year since Netflix put it out. It still makes me laugh. Yes, I’ve watched it several times more.

Games

  • Destiny 2 – Not sure I’m liking the new season. Don’t much care for the event they built for this one. I like that you can get powerful gear but I don’t like that it is limited to two guns.

News

  • Xbox Series X – So much for the name being relevant to what the console is. Why name the new box almost the same as an existing box, Xbox One X? Are we to refer to these as Series boxes? Dumb name but I’m looking forward to hearing more about it.
  • PlanetSide Arena servers shutting down – If you did know PlanetSide had a battleroyale mode you better go see it quick since the servers will be shutdown on January 10th. It didn’t launch to much fanfare and did gain any afterwords. I forgot it even existed.

Closing Arguments

Um, I probably won’t do a post for the next two weeks unless I find some extra time. Or I could just end up doing them both regardless. But anyway…

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Thanks for stopping by, please come again.

dudewantshisrug-profile
Paul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

Dude’s Chronicles 12-12-2019: Done Shopping?

I hate to be the one to tell you this but there is less than two weeks until Christmas. Do with that information what you will.

Entertainment

  • A Very Murray Christmas – I’ve watched this every year since Netflix put it out. It still makes me laugh.
  • Shazam – Funny but still heartful. Maybe the best of the DC movies.

Games

  • Crackdown 3 – I started playing it to include it in my Game of the year post but I didn’t get to finish it. Not sure if I’m going to finish it out at this point. It’s not terrible but I don’t have any investment in the Crackdown series so I don’t know that I have enough interest to continue.
  • Game of the year – As stated, I did my annual post and you can find it here.

News

  • New Bioshock – Ok, realistically it’s pretty far away. Even if development did start in 2017 it will probably be 3-5 years before release. They had started and halted development once, therefore this could almost be like starting over.
  • Bayonetta and Vanquish – For $40 that’s a solid deal. I probably won’t take part in it since I have no affinity for Bayonetta but I did really, really like Vanquish. I just played it again this year after all.
  • Minecraft cross-play on PS4 – Why does this still have to be news? We shouldn’t have to be surprised or happy about cross-play at this point. It should just be a thing that we expect and happens.
  • MLB the Show will go cross-platform – Wait, there are people on other platforms that will buy the game? We can make even more money?
  • Resident Evil 3 remake – Unpopular opinion: I don’t care about any Resident Evil games. If people are exciting to throw money at playing a new version of a game they played years ago then more power to them. I’d hope this is more for the people that never got to play these games upon the original release and started with the series when the other remasters came out.
  • Dreams release date – Well, at least now I have a reason to look forward to Valentine’s Day. I’ll probably never play this game but I am super curious to see what other do with it.

Closing Arguments

I had a lot of personal obligations this last week, therefore I didn’t get to watch much or play many games. I’m not aware of any obligations for this weekend but I didn’t know about most of the stuff I got wrapped into last week until about a day before. Guess I’ll wait and see.

Thanks for stopping by, please come again.

dudewantshisrug-profile
Paul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

2019 Game of the Year!

2019 is almost over. HOLY… $#*%!!! It was an ‘interesting’ year for games. I played a lot of games throughout this year but not many that were actually released this year. I’ll run down a quick list of games I played and a quick thought or two about them but I’m only going to award games released from the year proper.

Without further ado let’s look at my games of 2019…

In no particular order:

  • Totally Accurate Battle Simulator – This is a wacky and hilarious game that is still in pre-release but I would recommend it for a good time.
  • Tap Titans 2 – It was worth it to just waste a little time on my phone but it got boring after a while.
  • Boderlands: Game of the Year Edition – It was fun to play a few hours of an old game that held up with some remastering work.
  • Mutant Year Zero: A Road to Eden – Liked the story but hated the combat just because it was so brutal.
  • Into the Breach – A brilliant game that I can see why people were so up on it when it first released.
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order and The New Colossus – Fun shooter games that really were entertaining in ways I find hard to explain.
  • The Turing Test – Great puzzle game and pretty good story.
  • Blazing Chrome – A fun kickback to side scrolling shooters but hard for me to stick with and enjoy.
  • LEGO Batman 2 – These games are simply fun to play and act as a good palate cleanser between other games.
  • Recore – I was actually enjoying this for a good bit and then it got so tedious I abandoned it.
  • Tacoma – Good use of environment and story telling but seemed to miss on the ending.
  • Shadow Warrior 2 – It was funny with his idiotic dialogue and was fun to play.
  • What Remains of Edith Finch – Very good game and I would highly recommend it.
  • The Wolf Among Us – Great way to reuse fable characters and I hope they make a sequel but I won’t go waiting on it.
  • Destiny 2 – I played a lot of the Season of the Undying and enjoyed everything except for how they ended it.
  • Life is Strange 2 – It’s a good game but I hate that they have drug it out so long with the episode releases.

Incomplete… Crackdown 3

I just started playing it and haven’t finished it. So far the controls are bad. The graphics are ok as well as the story. If it had not been part of Game Pass I would not have even played this game.

Also Incomplete… Blair Witch

I also did not finish this game after several hours in. I liked the environment and most of the gameplay. The framerate was not good on my pc even after turning everything down in the video settings. I quit when the combat started because it was bad.

The Hotest of Messes… Anthem

It boggles my mind how bad this game was when it came out and the state that it is still in. This was EA’s flagship game for the year and it was seen by many to be their answer to Destiny. The game did not play well and it was buggy. On top of that it was uninteresting. I have EA Access on Xbox One so I had up to ten hours to try it out. I made it through about half of that time and walked away from the game. It was glitchy, which has been somewhat fixed, but the story was boring and the game play just didn’t feel good. It’s sad to think about the expectations that this game had on it versus the results. The fact that it is already part of the EA Access vault is telling that EA can’t just drop support but also can’t get people to buy it and the only way to get people playing it to give away access to it. I still haven’t played since it was added to the vault and I truly don’t plan to either.

Staring into the… Void Bastards

It was a novel concept to make a shooter that was run based. I didn’t much care for the run based aspect and felt like it screwed you into playing the same part of the game over and over. That’s not to say it was bad but rather it just wasn’t something I wanted to play. Others really took to the game and enjoyed it, good for them.

Hoping for More but Getting Less… The Outer Worlds

I really didn’t have an interest in this game and honestly would not have played it if it had not been included in Game Pass. It felt like it was well built but it also felt like a game I just didn’t care about. The shooting worked well but somehow felt weak. Melee combat felt better but more risky. The story seemed a bit confused and after a while I didn’t quite get what I was supposed to be doing or why. After ten plus hours I turned it off never to return and I’m ok with that.

A Little Too Daunting… Dauntless

Basically you go around hunting monsters to get parts and such. It was fun for a bit but the endless loop of going on a hunt just seemed mundane.  Going through the exact same environments to kill the same monsters over and over just wasn’t my jam. The game worked well and ran well on every platform I played it on but overall it was just dis-interesting to me. I hope other people keep playing and enjoying it.

Oh, If Only… Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Image via starwars.com

I had little expectations of this game but such high hopes. The story and how it was told was very good but two things held the game back in my mind. 1.) The technical issues with how poorly it ran. There were times when the framerate was in the single digits. Several times I got stuck against a wall and couldn’t even see the fight I was supposed to be in. 2.) The combat was bad. I could never get the timing on the parry and dodges even after putting it on the easiest level. Had the game ran better this might have been my GOTY.

Not Quite There… The Division 2

As much as I loved and played the original game, this one did not hold up as well. I played regularly for the first few months and then trailed off. When I went back it still felt like it was not balanced properly and I could get mowed down by random enemies. Even though I bought the higher end package I never went and played out the additional story missions just because it didn’t seem to matter. With Underground and Survival never coming back this game it was good but just fell flat.

Life of the… Afterparty

This was a short but clever game. Making your way through hell to out party the devil is a good enough concept but the game pulls it off in very entertaining way with some subtle twists and turns throughout it. Highly recommended since it is fairly short but very entertaining.

Greasing the… Gears 5

Image via news.xbox.com

It wasn’t the best Gears game ever but it also wasn’t the worst. I loved the combat and the environments. Even most of the story was good, failing only at the end. Also, that skif was fun at first then became more a nuisance. It left the door open for the next game and  it felt incomplete because of it. Overall, I enjoyed the game but felt like it still had issues.

In Closing…

This year in games surely felt odd to me. There were no releases that I felt were truly great in any way. Gears 5 is a game that I don’t have any enthusiasm for after finishing it but yet here it is winning game of the year. It was good but not great. I had higher hopes for Star War Jedi: Fallen Order but the technical issues and my struggles with the combat were just too much to make it higher on the list. The one game I just didn’t get to that I really wish I had was Control. With the performance issues it had at launch time I just never looped back to it after they had a chance to improve things.

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Paul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

Dude’s Chronicles 11-121-2019: Ready for Christmas?

Hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving. Hope you’re ready for the next holiday.

Entertainment

  • Stumptown – Seems like the show is tuning up a bit. I’m liking it better and it feels as if things are coming together and the show is establishing itself.
  • Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, Batwoman – I’m on record stating that these are not great shows but I still find them entertaining. The shows are about to do a cross-over event and I took the opportunity to catch up via Hulu. I’ve enjoyed my time and hope to see the event through.

Games

  • The Gardens Between – It is a short adventure/puzzle game. I was having fun with it even though I’m not good at puzzle games and had to look up most of the solutions. However, I had to leave about half way through the game and I thought it would set me at the menu where I could just select the next mission but upon loading the game my only option was to start a new game. I’m just not interested in doing that. For puzzling my why I had to start over… 2.3/5
  • Afterparty – A fun but short adventure game where you have to out party the devil. At only two hours long it was a good bit of fun and just about the right amount of it. For being the life of a quick party… 4.7/5
  • What Remains of Edith Finch – I had been wanting to play this game for some time and it was well worth it. It wasn’t very long but it was very good. Having the story bleed out while working my way through the environment was brilliant. For getting the most out of Edith… 4.9/5

News

  • Riot Games to pay out $10 million dollars – To settle the discrimination and harassment suit it was facing the company will dole out a bunch of money. You know what would be even better? Maybe changing culture so that these things don’t happen to begin with. Wishful thinking.
  • Star War: Battlefront 2 update – How is this the Star Wars game getting new content? I get that it is related to the movie but a newer, better Star Wars game just release last month. It just seems weird to release a new game in the universe then turn-around and dump content into another one. Why not delay Fallen Order, taking time to fix some of its issues, and release the Battlefront 2 content instead of both? Answer: $$$.
  • Control is then isn’t coming to Game Pass – You tease.

Closing Arguments

Thanksgiving was nice and quiet. Didn’t get a post up because well… me and just about everybody else had other things to do. It made me realize though that I need to seriously consider my Game of the Year post. Yikes! Guess I should get on that.

Thanks for stopping by, please come again.

dudewantshisrug-profile
Paul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order – Review

Image via starwars.com

I had such high hopes but low expectations. This game comes in closer to the latter.

Cal Kestis is a former Jedi padawan that has been in hiding for several years after the execution of Order 66. He reveals his connection to the Force and subsequently  has to run for his life. He meets up with the crew of the Mantis and they team up to try to restore the Jedi Order. It won’t be easy since the Imperial group of Inquisitors will be chasing them trying to finish what they started… killing all of the Jedis.

Things I Liked…

The story and characters of the game are the key point of interest in this game. Everything they do to slowly reveal Cal’s background and how they tie that to relearning his connection to the Force was very good. The story was well paced and remained interesting and intriguing until the end. No spoilers but… the very end of the game took off in a direction that was somewhat unexpected but very pleasing.

Things I Disliked…

Then there are all the problems and boy howdy. I played the game on a launch Xbox One and it was not a good experience. However, it sounds like some of the problems I had weren”t unique. The most obvious problem was the frame rate issue. At any point, whether in combat or in a cut scene, the frame rate could nose dive into the single digits making the game not only unenjoyable but also unplayable. As pretty as the environment was it still looked washed out and the drawn-in of textures was annoyingly noticeable. Then there was the combat. Even after dumbing it down to the lowest level it was still broken and no fun. No matter what I tried I could not get a grasp on the parry and dodge techniques making the combat frustrating. Add to it the fact that you could get stuck in a stun-lock situation with one enemy effectively knocking you out of combat.

When It’s All Said and Done…

This was a game that had a legitimate chance to be a good Star Wars game and not just a good game. The fact that the game runs so poorly this late into the console generation dumbfounds me. What ruined this game was strictly technical in my mind. Would it have been great if it ran perfectly and the combat didn’t suck? No, it would have been much better but still not great.

In the end, I liked the story but wouldn’t recommend the game unless you can get it on the cheap. A full $60 is too much for the game but maybe the $25-ish area would be ok.

dudewantshisrug-profile

Paul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

Dude’s Chronicles 11-121-2019: HiThere…

Image via giphy.com

Don’t worry, I was just being lazy last week.

Entertainment

  • Stumptown – I still really want to like this show but it just seems like something is missing.  Not sure what it is I don’t care for about it but it is gnawing at me. However, I keep watching it.

Games

  • Destiny 2 – I’ve reached level 100in the current season and am still having fun playing it. That is a bit odd to say since it is a lather, rinse, repeat type of experience but nonetheless it’s a good time… for now.
  • Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order – I’d really be enjoying this game a lot more if A. the combat didn’t suck and B. the game didn’t run worth $#1&! I don’t like the combat system. That doesn’t mean that it is bad or broken, just I don’t like it. Even with trying to parry and dodge it doesn’t feel as responsive as the same moves in God of War. On a technical level, this game is garbage level. Load times are a joke. If I die I can walk to the kitchen, get a drink, walk back, and still not be respawned yet. Then there are the frame-rate issues. I’m playing on a launch Xbox One, so I didn’t expect greatness but yikes! This game constantly drops to a chop and perform like trash. There was already two patches and I hope another is coming just for the performance issues.

News

  • Xbox Game Pass – Getting everything from Halo: Reach to Yakuza just makes this service more impressive. I can’t help but think back to the Xbox One launch and how poorly it was handled to how different things are now. What if Phil Spencer had been in charge back then?
  • New Half-Life game – Sorry, it’s not Half- Life 3. It’s Half-Life Alyx and it’s a VR game. Not sure how well this will be recieved but people love the Half-Life, I happen to not be one of them. Good to see Valve working on games though.
  • New Mass Effect game – According to Bioware it’s in “early development’ and I take that to mean an actual game would be about 4-5 years away. Maybe in the meantime they can do those remasters of the original trilogy that everybody is always on about.

Closing Arguments

I was in training all week, which was good. Somehow I feel like getting back to work would be a good thing though.

Thanks for stopping by, please come again.

dudewantshisrug-profile
Paul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.