Derek Smart is talking, and you won’t believe what he said THIS TIME!

September 25, 2014

(About the title, it’s a joke on the beyond stupid trend of trash websites using that style of headlines to draw hits.)

Just as we were all remembering the gift that is Derek Smart, out he comes once again to lighten up everyone’s day. This time? Because is latest abomination was released on Steam, Smart took it away, and now is mad that people are being mean to him and his game via reviews because he took said game away.

In his defense, isn’t him taking the game away from you a favor?


Can we close the book on ‘accessibility’ now?

September 18, 2014

File this as example 164,239 of “difficulty is good for everyone, faceroll is bad”: EVE Burner missions killing people make them enjoyable. This is pretty good timing too, given that Blizzard just confirmed example 164,238 (WotLK, the ‘accessible’ age, was when WoW started declining), and Tobold is here to provide example 164,240, where he had to stop face-rolling in Destiny (a ‘casual AAA game’ everyone) due to running into something with a challenge, and actually had to think up a way to get around it. Oh the horror.

Not that this is news to most. The most popular game out overall is based on scaling PvP difficulty (LoL), the most popular and profitable mobile game is based on scaling PvP difficulty (CoC), and the most popular gaming franchise (CoD) is based primarily around PvP of scaling difficulty (server selection). It’s almost like people are trying to tell devs something, and they are saying it with what counts (money rather than words).


MMO players eat at Olive Garden

September 10, 2014

Loving the ‘outrage’ some are experiencing over this whole Olive Garden promotion, because it reminds me so much of MMO players and the ‘outrage’ we display at times over an MMO. I mean you could literally replace “Olive Garden” with “World of Warcraft” in some instances and the rants people go on would still totally work. Funny stuff.


Spam, freebies, rewards

September 9, 2014

Slow days in blogging land of late, unless you are really into ‘debating’ definitions or pounding away at the corpse of a long-dead horse, so just a quick couple of notes for today.

First, if you own a blog that I occasionally comment on, check your spam filter. Seems I pop into spam filters now. Not entirely sure that’s in error…

Second, I’ve noticed that if a company outright sends me a copy/code for a game, I’m far more likely to at least give it a shot than if someone sends me one of those “would you be interested in…” emails. Just something about getting right to it and not pre-filtering it with a wink wink nudge about a positive review works for me. Still doesn’t guarantee you anything, but if you have a solid product, it removes one barrier I have to giving you a shot.

Finally, I like how Final Fantasy XIV handles subscription longevity rewards, in that you can see what you will get the longer you stay subscribed, and (I think) all of the rewards fall into the fluff category. It’s not THE reason to stay subscribed, but at the same time it is a nice bonus and does its part to justify the monthly cost. FFXIV maybe not have the one killer feature to make it amazing, but so far it seems that everything it does, it at least does well, and the sum of all those solid parts makes for a great MMO.


We have time to make this, but not a sandbox PvE MMO

September 3, 2014

Really gaming? A garbage truck simulator, and just $21 thanks to a sale!? I’ll take three!!

I guess this is a bit like learning that Nascar is really popular. While most people see zero value in hours and hours of left turns, there are ‘those people’ who just can’t get enough of it. I guess this game is for that crowd. Strange world.

PS: Love that this is published by Rondomedia, because I of course initially read it as rando-media, which made a lot of sense.


State of Decay: The survival aspect survives for longer than 30 minutes!

September 2, 2014

I’ve been playing a lot of State of Decay lately (Steam sale, what else), and I think it’s the best zombie survival game I’ve played so far, primarily because the threat/survival part lasts longer than 30 minutes or until you find the first gun and things go from ‘survival game’ to zombie mass murder funtime (Looking at you, Dead Island).

I won’t do a full review, but will just quickly say that everything is on point other than the UI, which is clearly held back due to the game being a console port. It’s not game-ruining horrible, but it does get in the way more often than I would like.

I first played through the standard “story mode” of the game, which took about 10 hours. Even though you have story-specific missions at times, it still feels very open-world, which is nice. I was also surprised by the voice acting, as 90% of it is solid to great. The story itself isn’t going to blow you away, but at the same time its good-enough to keep you entertained.

Once that was finished, I started playing the Breakdown DLC, which removes all of the story missions from the game and replaces them with just one objective; find an RV, fix it, and escape. Well, not escape exactly, but move on and repeat at a higher difficulty. The RV breaks down in a different spot of the map, and you plus the 6 companions you selected basically start again, though you keep your skills/inventory.

What I like most about Breakdown is that the escalating difficulty is somewhat gradual, with each step up increasing the zombie population a bit, cars become harder to find, resources shrink, etc. There are ten degrees of difficulty, and even at level 4 right now I can already feel the difference. What’s really great about this is that all of the tools you had but didn’t need in the main game now become more vital. Basically, unlike most zombie survival games where things get easier, in Breakdown the actual survival gets harder and harder.

For instance, I’ve lost more than a few people while searching a house because I made too much noise and got swarmed, while I also escaped similar situations because I brought along a distraction item or two. In the ‘main game’, I never really needed to do this because while the zombies were dangerous, things rarely got do-or-die difficult.

Another example; cars become harder to find as you move up, which means I can’t just plow through zombies at will. The car gets too damaged, and finding a replacement isn’t always easy. Having the ability for your home base to repair cars also becomes more and more important, which again is a feature that wasn’t that needed in the main game.

In a way, State of Decay has a bit of my ‘Sandbox PvE MMO’ design to it; in that it’s you vs the world, and the world is constantly fighting back. If the game had multiplayer, where each person could play a character and run around, with the world scaling to really crazy difficulties, it would be a total blast. I also thing with better technology or more resources, if the map had more randomization to it (ideally a totally random map each time), the game again would be all that much better.

Future dreaming aside, as is State of Decay is well-worth checking out, and is another good example of game difficulty nudging you to play better/smarter, and really pay attention to details you might have missed/skipped when things were easy.


Need one player for Fantasy Football

August 26, 2014

As the title states, the Fantasy Football (American, not flopper soccer) league I run needs one more coach. First person to email me will get sent an invite. Everyone else will forever regret not emailing sooner.


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