Dude’s Chronicles 2-25-2016: This Is A Stick-Up

kitten-stick-upHere we go again, another week and another post. Is this the start of a streak???

I took the time this weekend to do some hardcore Netflix watching. Here is the rundown:

  • Better Call Saul, Season 1 – Having never watched more than twenty minutes of Breaking Bad everything in this show is new to me. I did have the understanding that this is a prequel to Breaking Bad and that little bit of knowledge helped some of the opening scenes make more sense. James McGill is a great character to watch and I really wish I could see the second season but I can wait for it to show up on Netflix as well.
  • W/ Bob and Dave – A spiritual successor to Mr. Show, having never seen that program I have no idea how this one would compare. There were some funny moments but overall there wasn’t much worth watching in this show.
  • 30 for 30: Four Falls of Buffalo – This show was fantastic. Not only does it chronicle the Buffalo bills run of four straight Super Bowl appearances(and losses) but it also gives the current thoughts of some of the key players. It was amazing to take a look back at what that team was able to do and be somewhat marveled by it. I’m not any team will ever do what they did.
  • The Flash, Season 1 – The acting was good, the story was good but it had some problems. Certain points of the story didn’t fit together in my mind and the entire time travel bit just doesn’t work for me. I’m not sure if they can clean this up in season two or not but I’d like to find out.

 

destiny-ib

Since The Division beta is over and the full game doesn’t release until March 8th, I need to kill of some gaming time. I’ve played some of the campaign for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare but find it nothing more than an average Call of Duty campaign. That’s not really a bad thing since so far this is one of the better or more interesting campaigns even if it is formulaically the same as many previous campaigns.

What I’m more disappointed in is the fact that I’ve been playing Destiny again. I decided to delete one of my warlocks and recreate a hunter. This was just to go through and see the hunter’s third subclass and I was pretty much done with the game and feeling burnt out again but then the Iron Banner came back. As much as I generally don’t like multiplayer gaming, Destiny’s is still very good aside from all the other flaws of the game. I’ve gotten some decent rewards so I don’t have much room to complain.

Next Topic!

Although I am a huge Playstation fan, there are a few problems I have with the system.

  1. Lack of support for USB storage – Tip of the hat to the Xbox One for supporting external USB hard drives. I’d rather not rip the system apart to upgrade a hard drive.
  2. DS4 battery life – I thought the battery life was ok until I went back to my PS3 to play a game and realized I played the entire game without recharging the controller. This made me see how quickly the DS4 dies and made me sad to say the least.
  3. DS4 sticks – Months ago while paying a Destiny raid both of my controllers literally fell apart. One controller failed and then the other with the rubber falling off in my hands. Even after two years of gaming I was pissed.

At least I finally got to fix one of these issues. I did some research on the Internet and found that the recommended fix was to replace the sticks with the ones for an Xbox One controller. This advice could not be more correct. The stick feel and play great on the DS4. The added height and slightly smaller top work great. I only wish I had done this in the first place rather than buying the extensions that go on top of the sticks since they were clunking at best and more expense. O’well, live and learn.

Play on players, no matter what your game is.

 

dudewantshisrug-profilePaul 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.

Less Uncertain – Tom Clancy’s The Division (Beta)…Again

 

the-division-coverHere we are talking about The Division beta, again. The open beta has come and gone without answering much more about the game. Bear in mind that this was still only a beta and likely was still old code. With that said…

Unfortunately, but understandably, we didn’t get much more about the story. The only addition was one mission to go rescue a security guy. Pretty thin but it did have the same basic structure as the previous mission which shows some consistency but offered slightly different goals and mechanics. Hopefully this is an indication that the missions will be familiar in structure but not overly repetitive. Remember that this is an RPG and you will likely be replaying missions over and over in order to accumulate XP, it would be bad if it felt like you were just playing the same missions again and again.

As far as the Dark Zone goes, I still hate it at points but enjoyed it immensely at others. Playing solo in the Dark Zone was still a gamble on all fronts. Other players were still keen to turn on you for loot or just to get XP and add to the fact that the NPC’s were far more powerful and plentiful. Whereas the NPC’s in the previous beta were challenging, these NPC’s could be murderous. They were stronger, seemingly more intelligent, and much more prevalent. At one point I got caught in between two pairs of NPC’s and got mowed down like I was nothing. Still don’t know what can be done to make this aspect better for solo players.

When the Dark Zone was at its best was playing as part of a group. I joined up with some random players with our max force being about eleven people. Granted a party can only be four people we were still able to join up with each other as a group and work together. The time and my rank quickly passed while in this group as I rose from rank three to ten within two hours. We were able to walk the streets destroying any NPC or rogue player that came into our sights. This was the high point of the beta for me.

THE-DIVISION-GLITCHSince it was a beta there were still problems. Loot crates that wouldn’t open and items couldn’t be picked up but problems that can be fixed nonetheless. Then there were some graphical glitches(see above). I didn’t find any of the bugs game breaking or frustrating but I hope to find the vast majority of them absent from the final game.

I hold a lot of hope for this game but I continue to be concerned. What little I’ve seen of the story has somewhat placated my worries of the campaign but my solo experiences in the Dark Zone have made me more concerned. If the Dark Zone is to be the most desirable game mode I feel interest could quickly wane if I play mainly solo. If only I had friends(sigh).

But on a side note…

Is this a meth lab???

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 2-18-2016: Where You Been Lately?

EaglesHi, how are things? Haven’t written one of these in a while but i had some free time whilst the beta for The Division downloads in a painstakingly slow fashion.

So what have I been up to? Watching people drop like flies, just like last year. Seriously, the number of artist that have died in the public eye is being out-shadowed by the number of people that have passed in my private life. The only thing I or any of us can do is carry on. I’ll miss the likes of Glenn Frey and David Bowie but I’ll miss my uncle more.

Let’s talk cheerier topics shall we? What? No, I’m not going to keep rambling on about dead people. Go read something else if you want that you sicko!

kenny-powersI’ve been watching a lot of shows and movies that I wasn’t compelled enough to do full write ups on but here is a list of them and a few thoughts about them.

I hope all of you are enjoying your holiday weekend and basking in the unofficial end of summer. As for me, I’m on call for work so I’m living it up indoors.

 

  • Eastbound and Down – Funny show. I really liked the humor and how oblivious Kenny any most of the characters were most of the time. The forth season wasn’t near the caliber of the first three and felt unnecessary.
  • Parks and Recreation – Again, funny show. Again, the final season was not nearly as good as the previous seasons. The ending of season six felt like the real ending and the seventh season was just a bunch thrown together ideas that were all over the place.
  • Master of None – Aziz Ansari is a funny guy, this show however is not his best work. There are only ten episodes at the moment and the show follows a clear bell curve of entertainment. The first two episodes are slow and set some ground work but the show starts taking off and gets pretty entertaining through the next few episodes. The show is at its best when Ansari’s character hooks up with a girlfriend the two play off of each other. Unfortunately the ninth episode turns into an utter disaster and breaks the whole thing apart with the ten episode closing out the season on an unsatisfying confused tone. It has already been renewed for a second season but I’m not sure if I’ll even check it out.
  • True Story – Jonah Hill and James Franco team up to make a movie about a true story but it turns out to be as obvious as the title. The movie was terrible predictable and not worth watching. Just yawn a couple of times loudly and you’ll feel the same as if you had watched this movie.
  • Transformers – Watching this movie again makes me wonder how it kicked of the success of this series. It watches like a slow motion train wreck and I just can’t look away.
  • Knocked Up – Another movie with funny and heartfelt moments mixed together but yet again becomes predictable and uninteresting.

As far as gaming…I played the closed beta and I’m trying to get back into the open beta of The Division. I tried getting back into Destiny but the more I played it the more I remembered why I don’t want to play it.

Have a great day or night or whatever.

dudewantshisrug-profilePaul 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.

Uncertain – Tom Clancy’s The Division (Beta)

 

the-division-coverMuch anticipated, and much delayed are two terms that I would feel accurately apply to Tom Clancy’s The Division from Ubisoft(herein referred to only as The Division). It feels as though this game was announced ages ago and it is only now that a much larger mass of us are getting some hands on time. So, how was it?

Remember this is only a beta, I repeat a BETA. I’ve seen the chatter online about how the game doesn’t look crisp, has clipping, bad frame rates, blah, blah, blah. With this being a beta, the code we are playing is likely months old and many revisions have been done to address the issues listed previously and certainly many more. Let us focus more on the experience overall rather than pick at faults that may likely, or perhaps not, be gone.

From the beta, we get understandably very little more about the story. There is only one story mission that basically gives you a small taste of the game play by having you rescue and secure a high value asset. This gets you some experience playing the game but little more. There are also some very limited side missions that didn’t appear to lend much to the main story, rather they seemed to be more about flushing out what is going on now and previously in the city of New York.

There are two open-world areas for players to explore, the PvE Zone and the Dark Zone. First let’s look at the PvE Zone. The area in the beta is more confined than that which is likely to ship with the game. When you pull up a map and look, you can see much more space than you can access. If you try to do so your screen goes red and you are “advised” to turn back. This is the area where you can do main and side missions of the game. You can also wonder around looking for loot crates and other items. Only AI combatants can be hostile here, so even if you do run across another player you need not worry. The beta left a lot to be desired in this area but not without potential. The size of the map was lass an issue rather than the lack of activity given the absence of missions and sparseness of AI confrontations.

Then there is the Dark Zone. Where as players were safe from each other in the PvE Zone, you don’t know if you’ll be safe in the Dark Zone. Not only are there higher level AI combatants, any player can turn against you. Why? Loot, the Dark Zone has the best loot. This area can be the most rewarding and exciting area but it often turns to the most frustrating. If you find loot or get a drop from a kill, you have to extract it via helicopter and this is when things can be the most contentious. I found that playing alone, I was often and regularly killed by groups of two or more players running together to steal loot. If there is not some type of balance adjustment, solo players like myself will quickly lose interest in the Dark Zone and the game itself.

the-divisionAt this point, may I reiterate that this is a beta. Having played the Destiny beta(yes, I hate the comparison but there are parallels as well as differences) and seen how much it changed from the public beta to the final release I feel that there is still time to make some necessary changes to improve The Division. Unfortunately, I don’t have any suggestions on how to balance out the Dark Zone so that solo players aren’t constantly getting f*&%ed by roaming packs of rogue agents but losing your loot and XP is going to drive people away.

If you are looking to get into an RPG shooter, then keep this one on your radar. Unlike Destiny, this game is outright stating it is and RPG as well as building the systems to do so. Some things we didn’t get to see in the beta, like skill trees and crafting, will hopefully hit home with RPG players.

 

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.