Dude’s Chronicles 10-19-2017: Status Woe

Image via azquotes.com

People think I’m a pessimist, I disagree. Decidedly though, I am not an optimist. I look around and see things as I see them. Never would I say I always see them correctly but I won’t say I am always wrong either.  Being a realist is what I try to be and to keep things in check. With the way things are in the world and in life that seems hard to do, I keep trying.

Entertainment

  • Football – Penn State was off. This week they face Michigan, go Penn State.
  • Zoolander 2 – Some sequels just don’t need to happen, this was one of them.

Games

  • Destiny 2 – Destiny free for over a week. See the News section.
  • Forza Motorsport 5 – I found that I had to stop playing this game completely. My driving in real life was becoming too aggressive. There were points when I was scaring myself, not that I really did anything bad but I had thoughts that ‘I could just pass on the inside of this corner, on the shoulder, maybe bump the car, drift to the outside of the next car…..’ Best just to leave this game behind before I did something stupid, still a fun game and I’ll probably go back to it.
  • South Park: The Fractured But Whole – I pre-ordered this game and picked it up on release day. It is installed but I haven’t played any of it yet. This upsets me since I was looking forward to this game but it is also making me savor the time that I will be able to play it. Sweet.

News

  • EA shutters Visceral – This is bad on several levels. First off, sadness for those out of jobs. Iron Galaxy has already offered openings in their Chicago and Orlando offices for these people to apply to, props to them and hopefully they can help out and other studios as well. Then there is the status of Dead Space. It’s been a while since Dead Space 3 and likely even longer, if ever, before we see Dead Space 4. Not being a fan of horror/scare games initially steered me away from these games but I enjoyed the entirety of the first two games and what I played of the third(…thinks about pulling out the PS3 to finish Dead Space 3…). The fact that EA wants to “re-evaluate the single player-focused Star Wars game” that Visceral was developing disturbs me. Speaking for myself, I want a single-player focused game. My interests are not in multi-player and the fact that EA pulled this game from Visceral for “re-tooling” or whatever they want to call it saddens me. Are they, and perhaps other publishers, only looking to develop games that have single-player, multi-player, and/or transaction-based purchases as to maximize profitability??? This may be why gamers have been so apt to support indies and this type of pursuit will continue the decline of games in the triple-A title realm. (Who else liked the Force Unleashed games? Asking for a friend.)
  • Destiny 2 prestige raid – It took all of 66 minutes for the ‘higher-level’ raid to be beaten.  Not that I think it should take 10+ hours to beat such a challenge, it seems to undermine the game’s design that its end-game content was  conquered so quickly.
  • Destiny 2 emote glitch – With a silly emote based on a Monty Python  sketch, people were able to find multiple exploits. I saw the like in the  original Destiny with sparrow glitches and it dismays me, but makes me laugh – uncomfortably, that it is still a thing.
  • PUBG no more live patches – Bluehole says there will be no more live patches until after the official 1.0 PC release of the game. This is still slated to happen before the end of the 2017 calendar year.  Personally, I think this will still happen and it will coincide with the Xbox One Early Access release of the game, but… I’ve been wrong before, after all I thought the iPad was going to be a flop.
  • IGN buys Humble Bundle – OK… I guess????? Having never bought anything via Humble Bundle I’m not familiar with them but I don’t see why IGN would invest in them. The fear is that at some point they will tie the Humble deals to the  IGN subscription service, I can only hope that I am wrong and that all the deals along with charity contributions will remain open to the general public.
  • Halo updates – Frankly, I love the Halo franchise. The fact that these games will be updated to coincide with the Xbox One X release doesn’t do much to get me excited. After what 343 Industries has done with the last two games, I just don’t have the interest in the franchise that I used to and that makes me sad. The wreck that was/is the Master Chief Collection still gets to me. I want the game to live on and see new games in the series but I just don’t see 343 as the proper caterer of it, yet I also recognize that they are the only caterer of it. Again, I want to be wrong or on the outside on this one so that the franchise will be good and successful despite what I think of what is happening with it.

Closing Arguments

Last week I spoke of changes, I’m still mulling these over. It’s been busy for me on several fronts and this blog has suffered for it. There is the desire to do better and I’m trying to determine how to do so. Do I commit to doing more here? Or do I commit to somewhere else? Things I did in the past where I did production stuff, video and audio, were satisfying to me in addition to contributing content. Not being the ‘main man’ is appealing to me and I like being part of a team that others contribute too. There is that desire to collaborate and converse on topics that still appeals to me. Maybe I need to find that area where I support others and work in a team. If anybody is looking for a dude please let me know. Otherwise, I just keep meandering as I am.

In the immediate, I’m going to try to play as much of South Park: The Fractured But Whole as possible this weekend but there is also so much football I want to watch.

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.

Advertisements

Video – Fortnite Battle Royale

Image via epicgames.com

Fortnite is still in early access and the horde mode is pay access but the Battle Royale is free.

I’m not big into the Battle Royale mechanics but I still had a good time playing the game and will likely play some more of it although I don’t know how much.

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 10-12-2017: The One Where I Show Up Again

Back at it here again. My trip was fun but the crash back into work was rough and with no end in sight. Such is the way things are.

Entertainment

  • Football – Pretty sure my favorite team sucks without their quarterback.
  • The Tick –  The Patrick Warburton version still holds up. The only bad part about it was how they zoomed in on the 4:3 frame to get the 16:9 screen. It made everything pixelated and bad. Other than that I enjoyed it.

Games

  • Destiny 2 – Tried playing this game again and just got that dirty feeling within about ten minutes every time I tried.
  • Warframe – I’ve played some more of this game and I think I understand it even less. I’m trying to complete the quest to get an Archwing so I have and can do other mission but I’m lost even with following a guide. It would probably be a good idea on my part to sit down and figure this out a bit.
  • Forza Motorsport 5 – The only mistake I made with this game was trying to play it the night before my road trip. I decided to stop playing only because I tend to be aggressive in racing games and that probably isn’t the best mentality to have when you have about five hours of highway driving ahead of you the next day.
  • Fortnite Battle Royale – Well… oh my. I’ve not played PUBG but this game sure does look like it. I’ve never played the horde mode of the game and I think not knowing the mechanics is somewhat hindering me. However, I do have at least one kill and a top twenty finish, in separate games.

News

  • Big numbers – PUBG 2 million concurrent players. Fortnite Battle Royale 7 million total players. Think people like this game mode?
  • New Hitman content – Personally don’t like these games but I’ve enjoyed watching others play. Glad to see the studio able to keep going.

Closing Arguments

There are a few things I’m mulling over about this blog and other things I want to do. For now it will be status quo but…

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 9-21-2017: The One Where I Messed Up

Image via giphy.com

It is a low goal to hit two posts a week and even with that I managed to f-it-up. Tuesday I was all set to post a review of Batman: The Telltale Series only to find that I had overwritten it and this was the only text in the post:

A familiar but refreshing take on a Batman story.

I had far more than that in the review. The blame is all mine and I know exactly what I did. There is no blaming WordPress, only my own stupidity. Before you ask, I overwrote it enough times that all of the previous revisions are no better. This is one of those moments when I hang my head in shame of myself.

Just in case I never re-write my review, I really liked Batman: The Telltale Series. I liked it enough that I want to play the sequel but I want to wait until all of the episodes are out.

Entertainment

  • Football – There were a lot of games this weekend that had me scratching my head. Jacksonville owns London, they really ought to move there.
  • GiantBomb – Congratulations on the chicken dinner you winner winners.  I actually stood up, clapping and cheering when it happened. If my neighbors didn’t already think I’m crazy, they have one more reason.
  • The Tick – After accidentally signing up for a trial of Amazon Prime I decided to make the most of it by watching The Tick. I started out with the new version that Amazon did and it was good. It had that campy/cartoony/stupid feel that I wanted. The only thing that disappointed me was how short it was. I was just getting really into it and then there were no more episode. However, I do see that they have the Patrick Warburton version as well. That will be a definite watch.

Games

  • Destiny 2 – Pretty sure I’ve had my fill of this game. After not playing it over the weekend I jumped back into see what the Faction Rallies was about. All I found was one more reason they added to grind. This is not what I want and I feel very disappointed. It is likely that I will keep hopping in and out f the game but I don’t feel the draw or dedication I did when playing the original. Frankly, I’m not even sure I’ll care or mind when any DLC comes out. That will be a judgement call at that time.
  • Warframe – My curiosity about this game re-peaked after SkillUp did a video on it. I had played it when the PS4 first launched since it was free and there were so few games.  The last time I played it was probably around a year ago and it was a completely different game. Going back to it now feels both familiar and foreign.  For whatever reason, I played it on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. The PS4 and PC versions are relatively close but there is a noticeable difference in the Xbox One version. It is not bad but the visual fidelity is not the same. I’ve been keeping myself mostly to the PC version so that I can get some use out of my PC for once and to try to get better with using a keyboard and mouse for gaming. I got out of it for years and… wow… am I uncoordinated.

News

  • Volition Layoffs – Anytime anybody loses their job I feel bad. Hearts out to those people and I hope they land on their feet. 30 out of 200 people is a significant cut. Perhaps Agents of Mayhem wasn’t the best idea.
  • Battlegrounds vs. Fortnite – This seems like one of those arguments that neither side is right about. I can see where Battlegrounds is upset about Fortnite ripping off the ascetics of their game, particularly the map. However, I don’t think they can lay much claim to the “battle royale” style combat that they stole from a movie. How they “accused” EPIC of impeding on them and I’m not sure I agree with that. How many third person shooters benefited from EPIC developing Gears of War? What better way to know how to optimize/upgrade a game engine than making a game in it? Could EPIC maybe not made Fortnite’s battle royale mode?  Sure, but how many other games are going or already trying to copy this? Then then there is the idea that Fortnite did straight up copy Battlegrounds in several ways.
  • MGSV free for PS+ in October? – This may put me back in a tailspin of gaming. I put 70+ hours into this game and didn’t get to what is the “true” ending. Still owning the disc version hasn’t got me back to it but that fact that I can download it and it will be right there…. I used to hate stealth games but I loved this game because, with exception, it gave you allowances to approach a situation any way you chose. There is so much of this  I applied to Horizon Zero Dawn. After looking at the situation I would decide to be stealthy or just outright murderous. Both felt very rewarding and made me think back to MGSV.
  • Atari console – Not sure what to think of this. Looks like a Steam Machine and likely to meet the same fate.
  • LawBreakers free to play weekend – When your game hits double digit player counts… yikes. After watching trailers and game play of this I just don’t have an interest. I never root for a game to fail but I don’t see a path that makes this game succeed. It is as though it was rushed to market and will have a hard road to recovery, if it ever does.

Closing Arguments

If you don’t hear from me next week please don’t worry. I’ll be taking a trip to see friends. If I can post I will but it will be from the road and from my phone.

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 9-21-2017: The Heat is Hot

Image via somehire.com

It is September and we are in the midst of a heatwave. In this month alone we have probably had more 80+ degree days than in July and August combined.

Entertainment

  • Football – Soooo many good games yet sooooo many bad teams.  Just like in real life, there are the haves and the have-nots. The distance between the two are immeasurable.
  • GiantBomb – Watched bunch of their shows but the most weird one was just seeing the Fortnite Battle Royale mode. It looked like parts of it were straight out lifted from BattleGrounds. The art style made the game mode just look strange after watching so much BattleGrounds and the mechanics only stretched that further.

Games

  • Destiny 2 – The review is up even though I haven’t done a raid or a Nightfall strike. There just isn’t that driving need to do either of those events. I waited some time until doing them in the original and I don’t know that I even want to do them at all. There is still a desire to play but just in short hour-ish chunks and those higher level activities will likely take longer than that.

News

  • Steam reviews now have a graph – In an attempt to weigh reviews when there are bombs Steam now shows a graph of the number of reviews over time. Now if only people will pay attention to it and mind what it means is yet to be seen.
  • Fortnite crossplay – It was “accidental” that Xbox and PS4 players were matched against each other.
  • RIP Battleborn – Combine a mediocre game and let it get confused with Overwatch to see a game that never had a chance. Apparently the game will still be playable but updates will soon cease.

Closing Arguments

My pal Brad was kind enough to mention my Destiny 2 review over on his site. Go check out his post and all of the other links he put in it. Thanks again Brad, you’re an alright guy.

Football and games are going to be a nice change of pace after busting hump all week at work.  Ten hour days every day all week suck, that’s all I’ll say.

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.

Destiny 2 – Review

Image via xbox.com

The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing people he didn’t exist. The greatest trick Destiny 2 will ever pull is convincing people it is a good game.

The last city on Earth is being attacked by a zealot Cabal known as Ghaul. He and his Red Legion have arrived to take The Traveler and its light from all of the Guardians. It is up to you, guardian, to fight the Cabal, free The Traveler, and return the Light to all of the Guardians.

The opening of this game is strong but the game quickly wanes. The first mission is familiar to anyone that played the beta and it used to setup the rest of the game. You’ll loose all of you abilities and gear that you and have to start over from scratch. The mission does well to setup the direness of the situation only to have it immediately trivialized by the rest of the game. The next thing you do is get your light back just like Stella got her groove back. Your tasked to go to where a piece of the Traveler is and commune with it to get your Light back. It is unclear how or why this part of the Traveler is here or what it does to restore your Light.

The story continues to unravel as it progresses. For whatever reason you receive your Light back, other Guardians do not. Why they can’t simple go to the Traveler shard like you did and get their Light back is unknown. Seems like they should be able to since you keep going back to it to unlock you other subclasses. The idea of you being the only Guardian with Light breaks the premise of much of the game. While all the characters in the story are now afraid of death, you and your fireteam are just fine. Yes, you are the only Guardian with Light and the ability to resurrect, that is until you join up with other players and then they are also somehow good with Light.

If part of the premise were the only problem with the story that would be fine but the game also doesn’t tell a good story nor does it do it well. Those that played the original Destiny will applaud at the story in Destiny 2. Step away from that and one can see that it is still a bad story. Bungie falters back to it prose of telling a story by not telling it. Ghaul comes out of nowhere and for no reason. There is little backstory given to him or his motivations. Near the end you get a touch of his story but not in a meaningful way. The addition of cutscenes and dialogue are an improvement over the original game but this sequel is still lacking a decisive narrative. By the end of the main story one is left to wonder why events transpired and what they mean to the overall world. There is less of the missions of running somewhere and scanning something but most if not all of the missions turn out to be go to a place and shoot all the bad guys.

After finishing the campaign there are a lot of things to do, unfortunately most of them are empty tasks. The open world is there to explore and patrols are provided for something to do. These feel like cookie-cutter rehashes of the original game just on new backdrops. Most players will spend their time in either the Strike or Crucible areas. Strikes are for the PVE players and this quickly becomes repetitive. With few Strikes to rotate through there is little to experience in this mode other than grinding for loot. The Crucible it the PVP area for those that want it. The biggest change is that teams are now four players instead of six as in the original game. The modes have changed a bit and that at least makes games play out differently.

One thing you can’t do after finishing the campaign is replay it. There are no markers on the map to go back to a story mission. There is no daily story mission to do as there was in the original game. The only way I’ve noticed to replay story missions within your character is to get them from Ikora as Meditations. Doing these will get you some rewards and increase your reputation with her. The strange issue is that she will only give you three of them and they do not reset on a daily basis. Likely this is a weekly reset and you’ll have to wait until then to replay any other story missions.

If you’ve ever heard it said “the grind is real” then this may be the realest grind you can get. The never-ending quest for better gear will have you chasing loot through all the activities. Along with these you’ll be getting reputation with NPC’s to get you even more loot. The power levels tend to taper off at a point and the gear you are getting will not be any better than some gear you already have. This can become a frustration when you don’t make any progress for all the time you can easily sink into the game.

The things the game does well it does extremely well. The first thing you may notice is the graphics. It is as if though removing the shackles of the previous generation console has allowed Bungie to create much richer and more detailed textures. Also, most if not all of the draw in animations are gone. With the absence of Paul McCartney and Marty O’Donnell the music has surprising improved. It sounds fantastic and helps to augment the visuals and moods. A major improvement to Destiny 2 over original Destiny are the maps. Not only are public events visible with countdown timers there are now fast travel points to different parts of maps. This drastically improves the playability of the open world part of the game.

Even with all of its improvements, Destiny 2 is still a shallow game. The story is barely more than surface deep and most of a player’s time will be spent replaying activities over and over. Not only are the activities a grind, Bungie also repeats missions and strikes over the same game space. Marked improvements over the original don’t fully justify the game if you didn’t play its predecessor. Players new to the game will likely recognize its flaws more readily than those returning from the original.

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 9-14-2017: Off Again

Image via makeagif.com

More time off before the storm… of work. Not like the storms in the south. Hope all those people are safe. All my issues at work seem trivial to say the least.

Entertainment

  • Football – There are not enough hours in the day to watch as much football as I want.
  • Giant Bomb – Murder Island is still funny and I’ve gotten into their Exquisite Corps series. I don’t play PlayerUnknown’s BattleGround and I have no interest in Xcom but I love watching the Bomb crew play them.
  • Ghost in the Shell – Watched it and reviewed it. I know some people didn’t like it but I did. There may have been an attachment people had to the source material that I didn’t. It wasn’t great but I enjoyed it.

Games

  • Destiny 2 – Still playing it even though I think it is highly flawed. It has it’s good points. Feel like this game is still under scrutiny.

News

  • PewDiePie – I never followed this guy to begin with or watched his content. The fact that he has been involved in multiple controversies makes me less interested in him. Regardless of what people think of him I will continue not to follow his antics. Make your own choice.
  • Destiny 2 Raid Beaten – Congratulations to The Legend Himself and his crew.
  • Destiny 2 Solo Nightfalls – This was bound to happen. I think it is still funny that Bungie’s “top-level” challenge content is still solo-able. Maybe it is intentional but I doubt it.
  • NES Classic is coming back – Nintendo doing something that will make them money? Are they under new management?

Closing Arguments

I did not get ambitious enough last weekend to make lasagna. Having actually purchased everything I need to do so this week I’ve already shown more ambition. Maybe that is what I’ll do in between Destiny 2 and football.

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.