That’s not how things work lady

July 15, 2015

I’m getting more amusement than I should out of the Amazon Prime Day ‘outrage’, but Jackie Dana ‘wins the internet’ with this:

This was the worst sale ever on Amazon. A bunch of crap no one wants that still sold out in seconds

Bolding is my work to help Jackie and Jackie-like individuals out.

Hearthstone: The more dice the better

July 14, 2015

I’ve posted my overall thoughts about Hearthstone in the past, but the TL:DR is that its less a card game and more of a graphical dice simulator. It looks like a M:TG clone, but the gameplay is a lot more like Candyland, where it’s less about the decisions you make and more about just watching things happen based on luck/dice.

That said, as a ‘TV goes to commercial, let’s kill 5 minutes and CoC/BB/FO:Shelter don’t need to be checked’ option, you could do worse. The most recent addition, the Tavern Brawl, plays to this strength, as it’s a completely randomized clusterfuck.

Basically every week a new Tavern Brawl starts, and each one has unique rules. Last week it was spells-focused; every time you cast a spell, the game would summon a random monster of your spells cost for you. The week before that, every time a creature was killed, you gained a random card that could boost troops or harm others. Before that it was a deck full of spiders, with said spiders giving you a random creature when they died. Before that it was two pre-made decks of silly, broken OP cards.

In other words, winning or losing in Tavern Brawl isn’t the normal 90% luck that a typical game of HS is, it’s 99%, and the deck building aspect drop from the usual 10% to 1%. And its great fun in very short bursts (one or two games a week, just enough to get the free card pack), because you can’t possibly take the games seriously or care if you win/lose. Just make your clicks, watch the explosions, and return to whatever you were watching on TV when the commercial break is over.

Hopefully Blizzard continues down this path with HS, just embracing the fact that it’s not so much a game as it is a WoW-themed dice simulator, and continues giving us more stuff like Tavern Brawl in 6 months when the next game update happens.

Early Access: Is it working?

July 9, 2015

Being in somewhat of a ‘main game’ lull, I’ve been looking over my 100+ list of Steam games of late. In particular, I’m checking back in with a some of the Early Access titles I’ve purchased in the past but have long since stopped playing. Some I stopped playing because they sucked, but others I played enough to say “this is going to be good” and waited for more development to happen. Consider this a half-time review of Early Access.

Some games haven’t been updated much, which leads me to believe they never will be. Those are the worst examples of Early Access, and the titles that sour people most on the entire thing. If you are a dev responsible for such a title, finish your damn game or go play in traffic, thanks.

Other titles have gotten updates, but either the ‘vision’ has changed, or the updates just don’t do it for me. Sometimes an early access game will be in such a state that you believe something good will come of it, because there isn’t enough there just yet to really know, and once the devs do hit those critical ‘pull the game together’ parts, it just doesn’t work. While these titles aren’t great games, they aren’t a terrible example of early access either. You are buying in early to see how a game shapes up. It won’t always shape up how you expected, and since the price is generally low, that’s not the worst thing in the world.

Then there are the titles that either made it out of Early Access as great games, or are still in Early Access but are clearly progressing and getting better as time goes on. If the devs throw in some stuff about how the Early Access-based funding has contributed to the game improving, all the better. It’s these titles that show the true strength of the system, especially for titles in genres or themes that aren’t viewed as major sellers or ‘viable’ by suits.

Finally, sometimes a title is in Early Access for so long that, despite it being ‘finished’, feels old or dated. Whether its the graphics, or the ‘unique twist’, or the combination of features, sometimes the gaming landscape changes so fast that what was cool or interesting a year or two ago is now tired and boring. Great games and great ideas age well, but sometimes a quirky little title just stops being quirky.

Overall I can only say I’ve truly regretted a small percentage of Early Access purchases, and have been very happy with many. I like the system, and while not perfect, is a plus to gaming IMO.

Time Warp – D:OS thoughts

June 29, 2015

Welcome to the newest feature for the blog (which means this will be the only time it is used); where I blog about an older game you have either already played or have no interest in playing. Should be really riveting stuff, so get excited!

I want to like Divinity: Original Sin more than I do. Which isn’t to say I don’t like it, but at the same time I can’t play it for more than an hour, and while I’m overall interested in whats happening, the game works really hard to make me care less with its humor and immersion-breaking bits.

Let me get this stuff out of the way first; The graphics are very good, sometimes amazing (standing on a cliff and looking at the area below is very well done), but I wish there was some in-game indicator for what the terrain is. Sometimes it can be hard to spot a pool of water, which is rather important when you are throwing around lighting spells. Sound is mostly good, although as mentioned the goofy voiced dialog can at times be distracting or a negative. No crashing, game loads up quickly, has mod support, etc, so all good on that end.

The combat is a lot of fun, although can be a bit taxing. I’m more than fine planning things out for a larger battle or a boss fight, but doing all of that for EVERY encounter can feel a bit much at times. There is also something a bit off with the numbers behind the action, as a lot of times I don’t take much damage at all, but then for some reason (crits, specific element damage, bad status effect) a character will just get trucked almost instantly. Resurrection scrolls seem to be rather plentiful, but still it would be nice if things were a bit smoother.

My main issue with the game however is the setting/humor. D:OS to me seems to be stuck in an awkward middle ground, where it has mostly serious content that fits the setting, but throws in just enough jokes or immersion-break self-references to pull you out of that setting anytime you start to really feel invested. Either go all-in on being a jokey RPG, or keep the meta-jokes down so they aren’t always so in your face.

Finally, while I can see where min/maxing characters could result in a lot of fun and powerful combinations, the game feels as though you almost HAVE TO min/max to get a lot out of it. Combat is clearly geared towards combos, so if you happen to run a party that can’t combo easily (or the combo you do have a certain enemy is immune to), its not only an uphill battle, but you feel like you are playing the game ‘wrong’. I think if every character had more access to elemental damage, but the overall impact was toned down a bit, the game would feel better. Right now a lot of the encounters feel more like a “do you have this combo” check than a strategic puzzle to figure out.

Again, I am enjoying the game overall, its a fun RPG with a lot going for it, but it’s not on the same level of Pillars of Eternity IMO. D:OS gets 80% right, where I felt PoE got 95%.

Fallout 4 info and the mobile game

June 15, 2015

As most of us predicted, given it was up for pre-order on Steam, Fallout 4 is coming later this year. The full 2+ hour E3 presentation can be seen here (talking starts at 26min, Fallout 4 around 1hr), and you can get pre-hyped with the Fallout mobile game (yet another reason why Bethesda is like Old Blizzard, the Fallout app is #1 right now on the apple charts, unlike the release of HS).

Can. Not. Wait.

Darkest Dungeon mini-review

June 13, 2015

Darkest Dungeon is absolutely kicking my ass. Some times things turn ugly on the first run, before I even open the various buildings. Either I’m doing something (a lot of things) wrong, or the game is just brutal. Fun game though, and doesn’t feel like a ‘traditional’ rogue-like.


May 4, 2015

Guessing you have seen this already as its being linked all over the place, but just in case, this video of GTA using real people and a drone as the camera is A+ work.


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