Dude’s Chronicles 7-11-2019: Post 4th

Image via upperarlingtonoh.gov

The holiday was good but feels short-lived. Lucky for me I get to be on-call for work to help me forget about it though.

Entertainment

  • The Book of Eli – I wanted something I didn’t have to pay a great amount of attention to but could still enjoy. Plus, Denzel Washington still kicks ass. 4.5/5
  • The Flash: Season 4 – It’s ok, it is still about what I expect from The Flash but kept me interested enough that I started the next season. 2.8/5
  • Supergirl Season 3 – Again, I don’t expect much but this show is entertaining. I only made it through about half a dozen episodes so I still have a while to go with this one.

Games

  • Mutant Year Zero: A Road to Eden – I’ve played more of it but I think the combat is still a bit more unforgiving than I want. Not that I want to breeze through the game but I would like to enjoy more of it rather than being stuck in the same a encounter for hours. Probably going to walk away from this one.
  • Into the Breach – I finally made it through the base campaign and after opening up a few of the other squads I feel that I am also done with this game. The time I spent with it I did enjoy but I feel that I can be ok with moving on.
  • Forza Horizon 4 – Ever want to play a game that you just don’t care about what happens? Bingo. The game plays well and looks great but I’m just not invested in it in any way. It’s just something I can jump in every now and then when I don’t want to trudge through anything else.
  • Solitaire – I remember playing card games, with real cards, as a child. I’ve taken to playing the Microsoft Solitaire Collection just because I find it relaxing in a way that I can just play the game and not worry about what happens. Plus, I don’t have to focus on it and I can keep watching Netflix.

News

  • Remedy owns Alan Wake – Good on the makers getting their product back it doesn’t say much about what the future of the series may be.
  • China tariff woes – In a fairly obvious move, all three console manufactures are looking to move at least some of their operations out of China because of the possibility of a 25% tax. It’s a smart move on many fronts. Even if the tax never hits it opens the companies up for geographic diversity to help them in the event of a huge environmental disaster.
  • Nintendo Switch Lite – It’s official, I still don’t want to buy a Switch. The cheaper price had me interested but the fact that you can’t dock it or connect HDMI to a tv broke the deal for me. I don’t do any game playing on the go and sit on my couch looking at a screen even smaller than to original Switch does nothing for me.

Closing Arguments

I had a pretty good holiday hanging out at two different parties with friends and family. Of course I ate and drank too much but I would do it all over again.

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.

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Dude’s Chronicles 6-27-2019: Is It Summer?

Image via npr.org

It’s almost the end of June and where I live we’ve had about four days above 80 degrees. I hope this slow burn of a summer doesn’t turn into a monstrous heatwave.

Entertainment

  • Jessica Jones: Season 3 – Short version: I finished the season and I’m sad that the show is over. Long version: Here. 5/5
  • The Flash: Season 4 – I’m only a few episodes in and it is about what I expect… somewhat disappointing but still watchable. NA/5

Games

  • Mutant Year Zero: A Road to Eden – Well… I tried to play more of this game but Gamepass would not update it so I could not play it. Then I noticed that Sea of Thieves also would not update. So, the quest began to fix it which eventually lead to a chat conversation with a Microsoft support representative and with his help we diagnosed the problem. Turns out that Windows Update also handles Gamepass and Microsoft Store updates. Which is fine when it works but it seems mine was corrupt but there was a solution… an in-place repair. A few mere hours later, I was ready to play the game again but by that time it was time to go sleep. I’ll get back to this game at some point.
  • Into the Breach – This game is so good but so brutal. I just want to keep playing it. Just when it seems like I’m getting the hang of it I screw myself over with one wrong move. Even after those moments I find myself wanting to jump back into the game.
  • Ori and the Blind Forest – I give up. These platforming mechanics are killing me. After unlocking the bash ability the game is essentially unplayable to me. I just don’t have the dexterity, mentally or physically, to handle these types of things. It is a truly gorgeous game and I enjoyed my time  with it… mostly.

News

  • EA still backing Anthem? – Well… they say they are but that was to a bunch of investors. They can’t come out and call it a failure. “Under-performing” is a much milder approach. The fact that higher-ups willing gave up their bonuses is a sign that they had to save face somehow. Was it enough?
  • Steam Summer Sale – It is upon us and if you are a PC gamer you can get some great deals. Personally, I will be skipping this sale. Not because there aren’t great deals but rather because I feel like I have enough games to play via Gamepass that I just don’t need anymore right now.
  • God of War Sans Kratos? – I can see what Sony Santa Monica might have been thinking but damn… am I glad they stuck with Kratos. There was never a thought of me playing another God of War game until well after the game came out and everybody was gushing about it. As I played through it I completely agreed. Good on the studio for sticking with Kratos.
  • Trump’s proposed tariff – Let’s be honest, if there is a 25% tariff on consoles that will likely be a factor in me only buying one instead of two, which actually leads to less commerce overall. Therefore, the exact opposite of economic stimulus.
  • Dr Disrepect returns… again – If Twitch were truly committed to cleaning up its channels then this should have been a permanent ban. This dude has a well noted history and shows no signs of changing. For my part, after seeing his act for about two minutes I decided it was not for me and I have never partaken since. The fact that people continue to support him worries me to say the least.
  • YouTuber Desmond “Etika” Amofah – Condolences to  his friends and family. It is always a tragedy when someone takes their own life much less so young. The fact of his popularity brings the matter to light but it should always be remembered that people who struggle with mental health and suicidal thoughts but there is help and those people should feel no shame, in fact instead encouragement, to reach out for help. Please do so if needed.

Closing Arguments

Next week is a holiday, Fourth of July in case you didn’t know, therefore if I do post next week it will likely not be on Thursday.

No podcast this week. 😦 So…

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.

Jessica Jones: Season 3 – Review

Image via collider.com

Sad to see this be the last because it was so good.

Jessica Jones continues her strife as the anti-hero hero. Only now she faces an enemy that that has no powers, only brains. As hard as she tries to best him, he keeps the upper hand. Then the tides turn and she faces her hardest challenge. Her sister Trish now has powers but lacks the ability to control herself.

Before this show was even released we knew it was cancelled. The fact that it is the best that is has ever been makes that point tragic. The tone and mood of this show is at its best and I will miss it. The characters and their plights had weight. Every time something was about to go down or a decision had to be made I leaned into the screen in anticipation.

The only point that I felt the season missed was the ending. Perhaps it suits the point but I feel that they could have done it better. Calling back to a deceased character just to keep Jessica where she was seems like a poor use of a bad mechanic that could have been better served.  I’ll guess that the producers where trying to keep it open for the series to continue but this wasn’t the way to do it.

It’s heartbreaking not only in its story line but also inthe idea that the show is over. This season took many characters down a path that was both heroic and sad. I would say that this may have been the best season of the show.

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 6-20-2019: Too Many Games

Image via microsoft.com

With E3 over until next year and all the information of everything has been given out and there is nothing left to do or talk about, forever. If only that were true. There are still things happening and games to play.

Entertainment

  • Jessica Jones: Season 3 – I only watched one episode but it was good. When I get some time I’m looking forward to watching some more. Too early for a rating… NA/10
  • I rewatched a bunch of the Giant Bomb E3 shows. Those show run for hours so I didn’t have time to watch much else. If you have limited time I would recommend the Phil Spencer interview. 10/5

Games

  • Mutant Year Zero: A Road to Eden – This game is a lot like XCOM and for that I both love and hate it. The game play is very similar especially since you end up dead and done with the encounter with in one turn. I took a break from it since I was stuck in one of these loops and it was just frustrating as all hell. When I get stuck like this I typically just back off for a while because I’m normally stuck in a certain mindset or strategy and taking time off from the game lets me clear my head of these. I definitely plan on coming back to this game.
  • Into the Breach – This game is tough. It is very good but it is very tough. I am playing on ‘easy’ and still not making much progress. The mechanics are a bit tough for me but I want to keep playing the game and learning how to do it better.
  • Ori and the Blind Forest – I’m a little late to this game but let me tell you something – this game is pretty good. Since I don’t get into platformers I passed on this game when it came out but certain “conditions” were met that made me interested in playing it. The conditions being that they showed stuff about the sequel at E3 and I signed up for Xbox Game Pass. Truly enjoying this game when I am not struggling with the platforming but I am into the game enough that I want to continue with it.

News

  • Elon Musk – This guy is notable enough that he should be more supportive than divisive. If somebody tweets out a photo of someone else’s art, for no apparent reason, the creator deserves credit. Other media such as music, movies, publications, etc. have strict rules about giving credit where credit is do. His argument that someone can find that information in seconds without him posting feels like a farce. What should I Google “that photo Elon Musk tweeted”. Sure would have been better if he had named the artist, not that he had to link to the artist’s Twitter or other presences, and at least acknowledge the person.
  • EA “surprise mechanics” – A loot box is just that no matter what name you use. Loot boxes aren’t inherently bad but how they are monetized in some games is. Don’t try to use words to change this. Take action by making them fair and reasonable.
  • Amazon Game Studios layoffs – First and foremost, best wishes to any of those affected. It sounds like they have a little bit of time and hopefully it works out for them. Makes the future of Amazon’s game development feel questionable.
  • Destiny 2 Stadia crossplay – Apparently Stadia player can only play with other Stadia players. I didn’t expect there to be crossplay with consoles but I assumed Stadia gamers would be able to play with PC players. Makes me wonder if there is a technical reason for this or some weird business/contract issue.
  • The Division 2 gets the Gunner specialization – It’s great that this game is still getting new stuff but it just doesn’t do anything to make me want to go back. They need to add something more substantial to make me pick the game back up.
  • Mass Effect 2 in First Person – Well, those PC moders will do about anything. I didn’t need one more reason to play this game. Alex Navarro of Giant Bomb is doing his Mass Alex series with this game currently and every time I watch an episode I think about starting another play-through myself.
  • Tifa’s ‘endowment’ – Why is it such a big deal that they changed her breast size? The character model looks fine. They did the same thing to Lara Croft and I didn’t see this issue come up.

Closing Arguments

Phil Spencer’s presentation sold me on Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Despite thinking the name isn’t great, the service feels like a good value to me. The down side is now my backlog looks infinite. I probably downloaded almost twenty games and I had to put a hard brake on myself to not start them all at once.

Given the price point of $15 for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate I find Ubisoft’s Uplay Plus to be questionable. Ubisoft has good catalog on PC but I’m not sure it compares that well with Microsoft’s across both PC and console.

Well, Chuck and I recorded another episode but he has yet to post it. So…

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 6-13-2019: That E3 Stuff

Lot’s of stuff was talked about at the E3 shows this last week. Some of it was exciting while other stuff was disappointing.

Entertainment

  • Captain Marvel – I thought it was good but I feel like I missed something because I just don’t see how people think it was amazing. Maybe it just wasn’t what I was expecting or wanted. For being just another Marvel movie that wasn’t marvelous… 2.5/5

Games

  • Dauntless – This game feels like it is missing something. After about 10+ hours of it I’m done with it. The loop of hunting isn’t doing anything for me since it is just a bunch of button mashing. I tried changing to the pistols as a ranged weapon instead of a melee weapon. It felt ok until I realized I was doing extremely less damage than my teammates. The game is still new and if they add and fix it significantly I would be willing to return.

News

  • EA – They have a bad show every year and this was no exception.  They stayed away from Anthem as much as possible.  I don’t care about The Sims or their sports franchises. The only thing of any interest was the Star Wars: Fallen Order but even that doesn’t look great. While the game play was rolling I could only think about how much is just blandly looked like another Force Unleashed game. I’m in the minority of liking the Force Unleashed games but I admit they were terribly problematic and if Fall Order doesn’t show something more endearing I just don’t think I’ll even buy this game. EA being EA so… 0.8/5
  • Microsoft – Point blank, this was the show I enjoyed the most. It’s not that they showed the best or most exciting games but I think that Phil Spencer did a good job laying out the vision of where Xbox is going. Everything from the games and studios to the services and new hardware. The only game I was stoked about was one that already had me and that was Cyberpunk 2077 but how can you not love a good Keanu Reeves appearance??? Bonus points for getting half of Bill and Ted on stage… 6/5
  • Bethesda – Ugh… watching this show was like listening to you boss talk up the department and how much good it did this year when you really now it’s struggling and things are shit. I knew they had to talk about Rage 2 and they would avoid calling it a miss. Fallout 76 should have been a straight out apology but rather than doing that they joked about it and talked it up. WTF? I don’t play a lot of Bethesda game but I use to at least respect the studio… things change. For having no respect… 0.08/5
  • Devolver  Digital – I love how they make themselves part of being E3 by panning it. This show gives me a good chuckle every year and I thank them for it. Oh, and they make games. For being the E3 hero we needed but not deserving… 10/5
  • Ubisoft – Their press conferences are always the most uncomfortable to watch. They talk about a bunch of games and IP that I don’t care about but I can see that they are genuinely passionate about it. The next Watch Dogs game was the big takeaway but after not even playing much of the last game I don’t know that I was swayed. Since they still believe… 3.5/5
  • Square Enix – Short version.. if you like RPG’s, particularly Final Fantasy, then this was a good show.  Since I don’t care for RPG’s I’ll say I’m happy for those that do. Looks like you have a busy future ahead of you. For not trying to pull out another Tomb Raider game… 3/5
  • Nintendo – Look… I won’t apologize for not being a fanboy here. With that said, I’m glad that Nintendo does their thing and that people are excited about it. I still don’t own a Switch and don’t plan to change that but it looks there is some amazing stuff coming(just wish I had an interest). Because you keep being breathtaking… 4.8/5

Closing Arguments

Others will rate the shows differently but I can only give you my take. Sure felt weird with Sony being completely absent.

Chuck and I are on what one may call “a roll” with yet another episode of The Unlikely Herocast. Feel free to listen.

As much as I like seeing E3 again I’m glad it is over. Now I want to see where all the games are and what really comes of what was said.

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 6-6-2019: Hi There, How Are Ya?

Here we are again, again.  Back at things like watching bad entertainment. I even took a few days off of work to watch some extra stuff.

Entertainment

  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season 5 – Unfortunately I think this show keeps getting worse. This season was pretty much unremarkable in almost every way. It is somewhat of a shame that this show hasn’t been canceled but all the others have and therefore… 2.5/5
  • Backdraft 2- I didn’t even know they made a sequel to the Ron Howard classic and after having watched it I can see why. The brought the Baldwin brother back for this one but it was pretty bad. They tried to invoke a lot from the original but just failed to pull it off. For not being anywhere near as good as the original, a hard… -1.5/5
  • DC: Legends of Tomorrow: Season 4 – This show isn’t very good but that is exactly what I expect and it didn’t disappoint. Sure it could be better but I kind of enjoy the campy-ness. For introducing killer unicorns… 3.8/5
  • Zombieland – Still a good, funny movie that is worth watching. Wonder if that sequel will still happen. For Woody Harrelson killing zombies… 4.1/5
  • Hateful 8 – Another good movie but still not my favorite Tarantino film(Hint: it’s Reservoir Dogs). For ridiculous amounts of blood… 3.6/5
  • Remastered: Tricky Dick and The Man in Black – An interesting look at how Johnny Cash felt betrayed and burnt by Richard Nixon but would not come out against him because he didn’t want people thinking he wasn’t supporting his country. For Trick Dick being just that… 3.8/5
  • John and Yoko: Above Us Only Sky – The documentary was about Lennon’s time at the end of the Beatles and after. It felt like it leaned too much into the idea that Yoko wasn’t the problem(which I don’t think she was) rather than just present the facts of his life. For giving peace a chance… 3.3/5

Games

  • Dauntless – I wanted to give this game a chance but I’m not too keen on it. The game is fairly simplistic to play but it doesn’t do much to on-board players other than have them read dialogues from NPC’s. I’m not use to this game style and it is somewhat off-putting not having a clear idea of what I am doing and why. Another one of my problems is the lack of variation in the missions. It is a case of go to a place, kill a behemoth and go home. This is really boring and it is very easy to lose track of your team. Some type of indicator would be nice to find your teammates other than the flare that a player can send up because not everybody seems to do that. I still want to put more time into the game but I’m not sure how much I will do so if something doesn’t hook me in.
  • Life is Strange 2: Episode 3 – It took me about ten minutes to finish the episode from where I had left it. I guess I could have just finished it during my first sitting but I still enjoyed it and am looking forward to more. Too bad they are really taking their time with it so there is not telling when the next episode will be out.

News

  • Stadia – With everything they had to say about it there are still so many questions. In the end it comes down to two things for me: 1. How is the performance? 2. What games will they offer at what cost?.
  • Destiny 2 – Bungie confirmed the game is going free-to-play but still has pricing options for different bundles??? What did I miss? If they truly went free-to-play and in-game Silver was available for purchase then I could be more on board but how are you still charging for a free-to-play game when the name basically rules that out?

Closing Arguments

Going back to work even after two days off really sucked. Of course I never expected my co-workers to pick up my work while I was off but I was hoping they wouldn’t slack off on their own.

Chuck and I got together for the second week in a row to record a podcast. You can find it here.

I’m excited for E3 even though I don’t know what to expect. Maybe that is for the best, let’s hope.

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 5-30-2019: Wet Paint

So… its been a while but here I am. For reasons I won’t go into I wasn’t here. For reasons I won’t go into I’m back.

Entertainment

  • Overboard – This was a remake of an 80’s movie that I remember very fondly. I also remember that it wasn’t very good. The remake is no different. It was entertaining and whimsical in some ways but the premise is so absurd that you can’t buy too far into it. It had some heart and gave some entertaining moments but in the end… 2.5/5.
  • Ready Player One – The movie had a bunch of pop culture references and tried so hard to be endearing but somehow fell short. It felt like a movie that should have been made in about 1985 for all the corniness it had. I did enjoy it but I guess I just didn’t have much expectation going into it so there wasn’t much that could disappoint me, so… 3.1/5
  • Tomb Raider – It was very true to the game series that inspired it but somehow just felt flat, just like the recent rebooted game series. The look and feel of the movie very much invoked the game but maybe that was the problem. The movie was too much like the game and they didn’t take it in a direction that was more real and relatable. It was ok and I don’t regret seeing it once meaning… 3/5
  • The Predator – I was excited to see Jake Busey but that excitement quickly dashed as was my enjoyment of watching this film. I would rate this as a ‘B’ movie but it had a more ‘direct to video’ feel. It just felt like that script was made up as they went along and someone asked ‘how do you make a Predator scarier?’ with someone else answering ‘I dunno, make him taller?’. For abusing the sanctity of the Predator franchise… -1/5
  • Game of Thrones: Season 8 – Despite what anyone else may have to say, I enjoyed this final season. It was well written and produced, my only knock would be the pacing. It seems to me all the haters are just disappointed that it didn’t go the way they wanted. Hate to say it but get used to it since many things in entertainment and life won’t. For being on par with all other seasons… 4.87/5
  • Giant Bomb: Crime Crew – They recently started this series and I love it. It is the East coast crew playing the GTA 5 heists and it is hilarious. If you aren’t a Premium member on the site I suggest to sign up for a trial just to try it out and see the first few episodes(during your trial also watch the Exquisite Corps).
  • Twitch – I’ve been watching Macho run people through and speedrun the raid. He and his crew struggled at first but came in as the third crew to finish it so congratulations.

Games

  • The Division 2 – After finally finishing my third specialization, Survivalist, I am done with this game. For some reason I had it in my head that I need to complete the skill tree so that all the specializations would be available to me but now I feel like I just don’t want to play the game. There is no gear I care about getting and the raid looks like a ball busting experience that isn’t worth getting gear I don’t care about. I hope they add modes like Underground and Survival from the first game into this game so I have a reason to come back to it.
  • Life is Strange 2: Episode 3 – I’m two hours into and I think I’m at a pivotal moment and I am thoroughly enjoying it. I hate that they are taking so long to complete this game but I am loving it when I get to play it.

News

  • A lot of people played Dauntless – Release a good looking RPG for free and 5 million people logon? Huh? I want to play this game and have even downloaded it on PC but I’m waiting until the weekend when I have some time to actually dedicate to the game.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog film delayed – A. Why wasn’t it cancelled? B. Why was it made to begin with? C. Why to I have to ask A and B?
  • Tariff wars – Trump vs. China wants to raise the tariff on game consoles from 10%(?) to 25% because that will solve things(???). Trade agreements are more complicated than I understand but singling out gaming feels bad. How about we call out cellphone imports? Raise that a percent or two and I think you’ll get more revenue since more cellphones are sold than game consoles. (Which is exactly why they won’t do it because of the broader impact and it is easier to impact a niche consumer group.) Way to address the issue and side-step the real problem while making gamers look bad because if we complain or say anything we are just whining.
  • Modern Warfare – The next Call of Duty game is named Modern Warfare, not to be confused with the other game from years ago that was called Modern Warfare. I wish I cared more about this series since Modern Warfare 2 was a game that I put hundreds of hours into but the games since then have just not hooked me at all. I’ve only plated some of them long after their initial release and found them to be mediocre. Hopefully this retooling of the series will be a fresh start
  • Death Stranding – The official release date is November 8th of this year. I never thought this game was going to release much less this year. This game is still a mystery to me in that I don’t understand what it is about or what you are to be doing in it. The Metal Gear-ness of this game is obvious but I just don’t know that I want anything to do with it. However, good on them for putting a release date out and hopefully it sticks but I wouldn’t be surprised if the date slips.

Closing Arguments

My absence and disinterest has been caused by several factors that I will not go into at this time. However, I find that things have taken a turn and I feel like doing stuff again.  In that vein, Chuck and I got back together for The Unlikely Herocast, go check it out if you have the chance. I hope we keep up with it(we recorded a second episode but it isn’t up yet0.

The reason I rated several movies and such this week is because I was on-call for work which basically puts me in lock-down mode for the weekend. Since it was a holiday weekend I had an extra day of not really being able to do much outside of my apartment. Others take that as a burden but I take it as an opportunity. Under the lock-down I cleaned my apartment thoroughly to the point that the only thing left to clean is the carpet(see you next weekend). I even repainted my windowsill and surroundings, yea it got that deep. That also led me to getting a trial of HBO via Amazon Prime and that is how I watched most of those movies and Game of Thrones. That trial didn’t inspire me to keep HBO and I will have already cancelled it by the time you read this but hey… thanks Amazon!

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.