Is 2017 a Thin Year for Games???

no_gamesIn likely what is one of the most ridiculous first world problems, I don’t know if there there are many games I’m going to be playing this year. The thought came to me whilst looking at a list of 2017 games and realized that not only have I not bought anything so far this year, there are not many I plan to buy for the rest of the year.

First, let’s look at games I considered but already passed on:

  • Gravity Rush 2 – I played part of the first one on Vita but didn’t like the mechanics enough to maintain my interest in the story. Figured that it would be the same with the sequel and just didn’t bother.
  • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard – I’m not into horror games. I’m not into Resident Evil games. The only thing that drew me to have an interest in this game was the idea that it was in a small arena type space much like Batman: Arkham Asylum. What ultimately made me decide against purchasing it, even with the great reception that it has received, was my lack of interest in the horror genre as a whole. I tend to steer away from horror as a genre in general and just could not muster the initiative to justify purchasing this game.
  • Double Dragon IV – Even with the greatest of nostalgia, I could not imagine that this game would be very good. Against myself I rooted but ultimately it looks like I was right despite my best wishes. It appears, from what I’ve read and seen, that the game is not very good overall and has several technical issues that are downright sad.
  • For Honor – I wrote about the beta and had a great respect for it. In the end I felt that I would not get the value out of it that I needed to justify the full purchase price. Later on I can see buying it at a reduced cost but I also see that it may not be worth it given that it is multiplayer centric and may not retain enough player base to warrant a late game purchase.
  • Halo Wars 2 – I love the Halo franchise. There is also a belief within me that it is dying a slow painful death. The original Halo Wars game was not a blockbuster within the franchise and the announcement of a sequel was a definitive head scratcher. Given the general decline of the franchise and the distance of interest in RTS games, I just didn’t want to play this game.

Next, let’s look at games I am considering but likely will pass on as well:

  • The Legend of Zelda: Breadth of the Wild – I don’t own a Wii U, I’m not buying a Switch and I haven’t played a Zelda game since the original on NES. I should just skip this.
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands – I played the closed beta but was just not convinced to invest in the game either more of my time in the open beta or purchasing the full game.
  • Rock Band VR – Uhhhh…. I don’t own a Rift.
  • Injustice 2 – I am absolutely terrible at fighting games, I should not play this as to save my money as well as my sanity.
  • Uncharted 4 DLC – As much as I loved the Uncharted 4 game I don’t feel the same draw to any of the expansion material. Not that I don’t think it is worth while but rather that I don’t feel it is worth my while.

Then, we see the few games I do plan on getting:

  • Horizon: Zero Dawn – Initially, I was on the fence about this game but the more I see of it the more I want it. The fact that reviews are coming out for it that are overwhelming positive in ways that I am in tune with are only reinforcing this desire.
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda – This game had given me a lot of question and concern but I also had the same concerns before I bought into the franchise initially. Once I got into it, it was a full sell in. Not that it is reasonable to expect the same totalitarian response, I have hopes and reasonable expectations, based on what I’ve seen, that this game will be a continuation of the same type and style that I have enjoyed in previous games.
  • South Park: The Fractured But Whole – Given that it was officially delayed, we don’t know for sure when it will release. That is okay but it is not guaranteed that will drop in the 2017 calendar year. I am also not sold in the combat changes that have been shown but I am open to them.

What concerns me is not the games that are coming out but my level of interest in them. There a veritable plethora of games coming out that I gave no mention above but not caught any of my interest.  It is a solid possibility that it is not a problem with quality or type of games being released but rather my taste and/or interest in said games have become questionable. This is something that I have concerned myself for several months but have not found remedy for. It first came to my attention during the holiday sale on Steam when I bought nothing as apposed to the previous year and I spent nearly $100 dollars. Am I being more frugal or just narrowing my interest? Hard to tell for sure and only time and experience will tell.

For the year or 2017, the look ahead looks a bit bleak. There are hopes that that will changes and un expected gems while arise that I will be into. If that fails to happen, I have to hold on to the hopes that the few games that I plan to invest in will have a continued replay value. As no one can tell the future, only time will tell.

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 2-23-2017: I’ll Let You Entertain Me

Image via Fanpop

Image via Fanpop

This week was slow on news but I did manage to watch a lot of stuff. I guess that is all I really got accomplished with my extra day off from work.

Entertainment

  • Shameless – Finished all six seasons that are on Netflix. Sort of sad that there is no more available to me. I know season seven is out there but I don’t have access to it anywhere within a price range I’m willing to pay. Seems that my desire to be a cheap ass is out-doing my desire to see more of this show.
  • Batman: The Killing Joke – I enjoyed everything about this one, with one exception. The animation was great and having the traditional voice actors for the leads, Conroy for Batman and Hamill for the Joker, made it feel like it had all the fixings of Batman. Where if failed was right at the end, it just didn’t payoff as well as it could have and left me somewhat disappointed. I don’t know how true or close this was to the original comic but it gets didn’t work for me at the finish.
  • Safehouse – I like watching movies where Denzel Washington plays the badass.
  • The Nice Guys – Russel Crowe and Ryan Gosling have great chemistry in this flick but the overall movie just doesn’t have it. As much as the duo plays off of each other the film just lacks story and ultimately lets you down.
  • Criminal – I think they were trying to make Kevin Costner into Matt Damon in this movie. The way they played things out had a Bourne style to it but it wasn’t nearly as good. There were big names associated to this film, like Tommy Lee Jones, but they were barely present in the film and contributed even less.
  • Hudson Hawk – This a classic. It was one of those movies that become noted for how bad it was when it was released but has garnered somewhat of a cult following over the years. All these years later I still long for a sequel.
  • Point Break – I tried watching the remake but couldn’t get more than 30 minutes with it.  The original was contrived and silly but this one just felt awkward and forced to point that it was unbearable.
  • Halo Wars 2 – Confused? It’s a game but I have it under entertainment. That is because I watched the cutscenes via YouTube. After having watched the story line of the game I’m even more glad that I didn’t buy the game since the story wasn’t that interesting and I already wasn’t interested in the combat.

Games

  • Overwatch – Didn’t spend much time in the game this week. Grinded out a couple of levels to get loot boxes but didn’t care for the game modes in arcade so I didn’t manage to snag any of that loot.
  • Paragon – I gave the MOBA a go this weekend just to see what it was like. Doubt that I will be putting more time into the game but you never know.

News

  • Ghost Recon: Wildlands open beta – You get the chance to play for free if you haven’t already in the closed beta. I’ll likely just skip this but would encourage other to play especially if they are unsure about buying the game.
  • Nintendo Switch early reveals – Well, obviously Nintendo is not happy about the hardware leaking early so much so that those involved may be facing criminal charges associated to theft. I guess this is one of those times being on the cutting edge involves getting cut.
  • Horizon: Zero Dawn has a 250MB patch – Really? That is the smallest day-one patch I have seen in years. The fact that it is so small is shocking in the day and age of patches clocking in with GB’s after the numbers.

Closing Arguments

I give up on Watch Dogs 2. No matter how many times I’ve tried I just can’t do it. Horizon: Zero Dawn drops next week and it is scoring well. That should give me something else to do.

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.

Paragon – Passing Thoughts

paragon-listing-thumb-01-ps4-us-05dec15

So, instead of playing Watch Dogs 2 like I said I would, I played some Paragon on PS4.

From the studio that gave us Gears of War, this game feels like a huge departure. The only thing that feels the same if the third person view. If you are looking for a “Gears” game then you should just skip this. Not that Paragon is bad, it is just nothing like  Gears of War. It is a MOBA and you need to be into that type of game to play this one. A single map, lanes, and heroes. Those that enjoy League of Legends, DOTA, and the like will be into this game. Personally, this was my first exposure to a MOBA and its not my cup of tea, as they say.

Again, not that it is bad…just not something I’m into. I will say that they game feels pretty good to play, with a few exceptions. Once you get passed the basics of a MOBA, the game is fairly straight-forward. What kind of got me offset was the amount of heroes and the differences in how they play. Some characters are not accessible until you unlock them and others are standard but the nuances between them make it a bit perplexing. I mostly tried to play with ranged characters but even those seem to vary in strange ways. It felt like different ranged characters had weapons that had different ranges which made it frustrating at points to try to play them. Also, the secondary attacks and abilities weren’t always the same or even alike. The main thing that got me was the slow rate of fire on every hero I played. It just felt like I couldn’t deal damage in the way I wanted to.

If you want to see how the game starts out… here you go…

To prove how little I knew about the game going into it, you can have a chuckle at me when I say it is a first-person MOBA type game when it is clearly third-person. At least I can laugh at myself about it.

Overall, I think the game is solid but I don’t know that I’ll give it more time than I already have. Not being into or understanding MOBA’s kind of leaves me out of wanting to play this. Others may find this game as something of interest but I’ll likely steer clear of it. I don’t regret having played it and maybe I’ll even return to it from time to time. There is a curiosity on my part to see how or if it changes from it’s open beta status to full release.

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 2-16-2017: Gonna Be A Long One

eaglelrstageNo, this post won’t be long but I’m going into a long weekend… which is nice.

Entertainment

  • Shameless – Made it into season six and will probably finish it this weekend.
  • Metal Gear SAGA – THE MOVIE – Finished watching all twelve hours of this and I still don’t understand the game any better. I’m convinced nobody understands this game and never will.
  • Halo 5: Guardians – Watching the YouTube film of the entire story didn’t make me like it any better. With Halo Wars 2 coming out I thought I could get myself back into Halo but this actually made me less interested.

Games

  • Overwatch – To show how little I still know about this game, I never realized you can get additional loot boxes by earning them in the arcade mode every week. I managed to clear last week’s wins for those loot boxes and this week’s for additional loot boxes. I even played the 3v3 mode to get the second set of boxes. Luckily I managed to group up with two other random players and we marched straight through three wins in a row.
  • For Honor beta – I appreciated the game but just don’t have enough interest in buying it. Playing the beta was all the time I needed with this game.

News

  • For Honor launch problems – Wait…a multiplayer game with server issues at launch? How could this ever happen? This is unfortunately something that I and just about everybody else expected to happen. Still doesn’t excuse it but it is nothing particular to this game.
  • PewDiePie – Apparently he made some videos with anti-Semitic content and did show much remorse about doing so. Even when he did try to apologize he made claims that it was the media attacking to discredit and devalue him. He has now lost contracts from both Disney and YouTube.
  • PlayStation Now drops platforms – The stream service will only be accessible on PS4 and PC after August 15th. So much for an open palate of platforms to play PlayStation games on.

Closing Arguments

For my three day weekend I’m trying to convince myself to play more of Watch Dogs 2. I purchased the game during PlayStation’s Holiday sale but I probably have less than two hours into it. Every time I start playing I remember all the bad things about the first game that I didn’t like because they are still in the second game. Hopefully I’ll give it another go but I can only image I’ll give up after about 20-30 minutes just like I do every time.

For Honor – Passing Thoughts

 

forhonor_og_1200x630Although playing the beta did not change my mind about buying the game I did find a new respect and glimmer of hope for Ubisoft’s latest game, For Honor.

In a world that has known nothing but conflict for centuries you find yourself caught in this endless cycle with no choice than to do battle to survive. For Honor’s premise is that the world has been at war for centuries after peace was destroyed by an unknown/unnamed cataclysmic event. Three factions now and eternally fight for land as well as precious resources in order to live. You take arms to fight along with one of these factions and fight to survive as your ancestors have before you.

The game presents itself in a somewhat strange and undefined manner. This may be how they are trying to sell it but it may also be one of the largest detractors of the game. Ambiguity can be a useful mechanic but when you are asking a player to invest hours on end in a game you should provide a clear reason for them to be there. For Honor may not be doing this with story rather it may be keeping players around for the combat and battle mechanics.

Without getting too far into the game I realized it was something that was going to forever be beyond me. I went through the basic and advanced tutorials to try to learn the mechanics of battle but I never really got comfortable with them. I may have known how to do a block against an enemy but it was an entirely different story when I needed to do it in the heat of battle and found myself struggling mightily to do so. This is not to say that the game functions poorly, rather it is a statement that I am not good at these type of games. As soon as the game asked me to parry, counter, and block my interest quickly waned  as the soul crushing torture of Dark Souls came to mind.

Not that this game is going to fall into the Souls-esqe category. The combat may remind some of those games but it is strictly and multiplayer arena. There are modes with AI components but those look basically like all the multiplayer mode just with AI for those that are risk adverse and don’t want to play against real players. One thing that caught me strangely was the need to play a duel in order to enter the multiplayer arena. Even though I never wanted to ever play a one-on-one match, I was forced to before I could even enter the other online multiplayer modes. Why this would be forced upon players is beyond me especially since moving on into the arena modes is completely locked until success is found in this duel mode. Somehow I dumbfounded my way into winning three straight encounters and quickly moved on. It may have been a deal breaker if I had not been able to get passed this duel requirement.

In the end, the game offers many good things – just not enough to garner my interest. The PS4 version was gorgeous even for a beta. I would only imagine the the retail release(available now) is even better.  Having not gotten too far into the upgrade trees I can’t speak for them. What really makes me excited about this game even though I don’t want to buy it is that it appears that it has a high level of polish. There may be a few things that will need tweaked but the foundation is solid for those that want to play this hand-to-hand combat game.

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 2-9-2017: Snow Before the Roses

snow_roses

It’s a bit snowy here but that’s ok. It’s been a mild winter so far and we are well over due. Oddly that still doesn’t stop people from complaining.

Entertainment

  • Shameless – I’m most of the way through the fifth season but I needed a break. The show was getting a little heavy but still good.
  • Skarknado: The 4th Awakens – Yes, it is as bad as it sounds… if not worse but still one of those guilty pleasures to watch.
  • Metal Gear SAGA – THE MOVIE – Somebody painstakingly cut together all of the cutscenes and some game play from nearly all of the Metal Gear games in the chronological order of the story. It is interesting to watch the whole story and try to make sense of it. I recommend doing so but will caution you that he video is 12 hours long.

Games

  • Overwatch – A couple rounds here and there was all I managed this week. Really slow week for gaming.
  • Wildlands beta – Didn’t care for the game, so I didn’t play much of it either.

News

  • PS4 Pro firmware beta – External hard drive support and boost mode for unpatched games on PS4 Pro, Sure there is more but those two items seem like the bigger takeaways. Most people will be more excited about the external hard drive support including myself.
  • E3 open to the public – This show has lost most of its luster and prestige over the last few years as many long time exhibitors have stopped coming. It has been made more so by some of those that have left hosting their own events just before E3, like EA. If this is an attempt to start turning E3 into another PAX event then I don’t think it is a good move. E3 has also been more of an industry trade show than anything and bringing the public may only water it down.
  • Destiny 2 rumors – Is it coming this year? What will it be about? I don’t know and I don’t think anybody without an NDA does either. I bought big into the first one but don’t plan to do so with the sequel. Rather, I’m going to be a lot more tempered about my approach and probably wait until after it launches to purchase, if at all.
  • South Park: The Fractured But Whole delayed, again – Apparently it is now slated to release before March 2018. I hate to see this but the first game when through delays and came about to be a solid game. This may change some of my gaming plans going forward though.

Closing Arguments

The plan is to play some of the beta of For Honor this weekend. I don’t have much interest in the game and don’t plan on buying it but you never know. At the very least it will give me something different to play for a little bit.

P.S. – Happy Valentine’s Day

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands – Passing Thoughts

grw_wallpaper_panorama_800x600_2560x1600

It’s no secret that Ubisoft and Tom Clancy games have had some rough starts over the last few years.  What was once considered one of the top level of military shooters has become somewhat mired in broken games and fouled launches. Rainbow Six Siege launched in 2015 but took a while to get beyond its broken points but has remained a popular game after fixing itself up a bit. The Division launched in 2016 and still struggling even after major overhauls but has one last planned expansion to try to win players over.

The upcoming Ghost Recon Wildlands is vying to break this trend. Set to release on March 3rd and hosting a closed beta in February, the game is hoping to woo and wow gamers. Since it is a beta and likely the code is months old, there are notable problems that will hopefully be fixed before release. Issues like audio being out of sync or a helicopter sinking into a mountain should be fixable. However, there are other things that may not be as easily fixable that may be of greater concern.

As soon as I started up the game it felt like I was playing Far Cry and I’m not sure that is a good thing. Everything from the map set up to  visuals just looks and feels like Far Cry.  For those that want to go back to Far Cry that is a good thing, for those of us that don’t it is not so good. It brings to front all the things that are good and bad about those games. Things like driving back and forth across the map to do missions like capturing camps or blowing up towers. If that is your thing then this is your game. If you are looking for something else though you best look elsewhere.

The game tries to convey a greater context but its hard to see it from what we see in the beta. The story is supposedly about taking down a drug cartel and planning out the missions to do so but so far the game looks more about doing busy work. Every time the game is shown of at shows like E3 they show mission gameplay of squads making strikes against targets but looking at the map in the game, it appears that these missions may be a smaller part of the game than the developers are letting on.

The perspective I have on the game is my own and others may differ. I can see the game being a blast if you have a regular crew to play with, however playing with random players or solo may be a lot less enjoyable. I played solo and found that the AI teammates weren’t the most helpful. Perhaps my expectations were wrong based on previous Tom Clancy games but I expected to have a little bit more control over my squad. There is a limited set of commands you can give your squad like open fire, hold, or regroup. Maybe I missed it but I don’t see a way to command a squad member to a certain position or selectively take out a target. Those are the kind of things I looked for and couldn’t find. If you are playing with live people this becomes a moot point since you can just tell them via mic. This scenario works great if you have a steady, regular crew but if you happen to end up with someone not communicating things may not go so well.

It could be that I had the wrong expectations going into the game. From all the trailers and gameplay reveals, I really thought that the game was going to be more like Rainbow Six Siege – just on a much larger scale. I did not expect to see the mission map with all the side missions and outposts. After doing a couple of the side things I got bored with the game and couldn’t continue playing.  The expectations I had of missions being tactical strikes was washed away when I discovered that you have to do all the open world side-stuff to get the intel and then go do the mission. I never even got to the mission in the beta.

Looking at the bright side, the beta helped me save about $60. I was on the fence as to purchasing this game or not and the beta had convinced me not to. That doesn’t mean I want the game to fail or do poorly, quite the opposite. My hope is that the games does well at launch and beyond giving Tom Clancy fans the game they have been wanting for years but you’re not going to be finding me playing it.

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.