Sunday, March 30, 2014

2014 Play Log - March 29 to April 4

Well, it was bound to happen - a week came up that crossed months. Sort of odd it took so long. Anyway, that's why the title has changed.

3/29 -  (And that changed too - date and pic of game played.) Before I got too rusty, I decided to get back into inFAMOUS (as I guess it's actually spelled). I'd do a lot better at this game if the Reapers were worse shots. I had to restart a number of times when I got more than a couple of them shooting at me at once. Also, their guns have a longer range than my lightning bolts so I had to eat lead a few times to get within shocking distance. I was able to complete a mission and earn some xp's - making progress. I also started to try to go vertical and climb some buildings - something that you have to force yourself to think about. We get so used to games like GTA and other open world games where a building is just as unscaleable as it is in the real world, that you forget what you can do in the game.

3/30 -  Since I got off to a late start (I blame The Walking Dead season finale), I didn't think I'd get any game time in, but I did play some more of Broken Age. Do I like it better after another hour? Not really. If there's an interesting story here, it's hiding behind (I'm just going to say it) an outdated game design with too little interaction. Before I completely throw in the towel on this one, I'm going to play some of the girl's storyline even though I already know something about it - she's been picked to be sacrificed to some kind of monster and decides to fight back. Maybe if I switch back and forth between the two parts I can stay with it long enough to finish. Looks like it only takes 3 or 4 hours.

3/31 -  And that's a wrap for inFAMOUS. No, I didn't finish it, but after playing some more I feel like I have a good feel for the game. This is one of those "new IP games" (when it came out) that is technically very good, but one where the majority of the design went into creating a new game mechanic - in this case, having "super powers" in an open world, 3rd person action setting. It's an entertaining experience, but there's a lack of diversity to the missions - I found myself in the sewers, jumping around platforms, twice within the first half dozen. The game can also be punishing unless you figure out just the right vantage point to attack from. Attacking an adjacent rooftop from one building can get you killed, but on the one next to it, you can pick off Reapers with ease. Same went for a boss battle in the sewer where I had to jump forward, then back to keep from being knocked off the platform and killed. Anyway, I liked the game overall and can appreciate its originality, but I think I'll save my gametime for something else.

4/1 - Mercenary Kings ImageTitanfall Image I started out the evening installing Titanfall - not a fast process! I bought the PC retail version because I'd heard it was a nearly 50gb install due to the audio files being uncompressed. It's been a very long time since I've installed a PC game from disc (this was on 3 DVD's, by the way) and brought back some old memories - install directories, CD keys, etc. While the game lumbered on, I decided to try my new "free" PS4 PS+ game, Mercenary Kings. (You know what's cool? Being able to kick-off a remote install of a game to your home console from a webpage at work!) It's a cross between Metal Slug gameplay and Don't Starve's crafting system. It's also not an easy game. I tried the first real mission and failed, mostly due to respawning enemies and a countdown timer. However, you get to keep any resources you collect (to build upgrades), so you could look at it as "grinding", I suppose. I'll have to give it another try later. Even though it had gotten a late, I still had to boot up Titanfall and try it out. It starts you in a "simulator" where you learn all the various moves and options in the game (ie, a tutorial). There's a lot to learn and I may run through it again before I dive into a real match. I'm also trying to decide if I should give it a shot on the gamepad. The downside is precise aiming, but there are some aiming aides in place for that, like an autotargeting pistol. The upside is that some of the commands should be mapped to buttons and not keys spread all over the keyboard.

4/2 - Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Image Hi Raven! Sorry I was late tonight. Didn't know Xbox Live was going to have a 15 minute update. Not even sure what it was for. They just say, "You need to update" blah, blah, blah. Know what I mean? Raven? (Oh! What? Yeah, no problem.) Uh, are you ok? (Sure! Fine. Why?) Well, you're clutching those chakrams pretty tightly. (Really? Just making sure the grips are secure.) And you seem to be hiding behind some crates. (Not hiding. Resting. Yeah, just resting.) You want to tell me what was going on tonight? Just start at the beginning. (Yeah, good idea...Well, after I knocked out a nasty thresh, I went to visit the Fae in the Gardens of Ysa. It was so beautiful! Colorful flowers, tall trees, ornate carvings, buildings that seemed to glow from the inside like they were alive themselves.  I even saw some little creatures in the branches. Sort of like a cross between an owl and a cat. I wished I could have reached one.) Sounds awesome. (I've never seen anything so enchanting! I just wanted to live there for the rest of my life.) But didn't you have some business there? (Yeah, an audience with the High King himself, no less! He read that codex I brought and got all soothsayer on it. They really have issues with my ability to change fate. I guess they can't wrap their heads around what I'm doing to their world, but if I don't change things, they will be doomed anyway.) Did you offer to help the Fae? (Oh, of course. You know, the whole "be a hero" bit.) I'm proud of you. Then? (Then I looked around the Gardens for a bit and took on a couple jobs. Nothing major. Helped a squire figure out how to line up some dignitaries so they'd be happy when they met the High King. I also did a job for the local tavern owner to get him some rare seeds to make a special ale. No fighting though. Not in such a lovely peaceful....) Raven? Anything else? (No...Well, maybe.) Go on. (I was looking at my map and there was this place just down the road from the tavern. It was getting late and I thought maybe I'd just turn in, but I was so close and the name. The D...Den...Den...) The Den of Night? (WHA?!?) Sorry, sorry. Didn't mean to startle you. (No, no, it's ok. Just, uh, sat on a rock there. Yeah, The D-Den of N-N-N-Night, that was it.) Interesting name. (Yeah, I thought it was like a, I don't know, a quiet place to rest or pray, or maybe a dance club?) Uh, dance club? (Hey, they have to have some fun around here, right?) Yeah, I guess so. And you...went inside? (Well, sure. I mean, there wasn't anything to stop me and the Gardens of Ysa are so peaceful and calm and safe. What could possibly be dangerous in a place like this?) But, not so safe? (HELL NO! I take two steps in there and the freaking tunnel is full of monsters! I start to do my warrior thing and they're like, "Meh. That's nothing, bitch!" So I turn around, but I'm all mixed up! Forward is back, back is forward! I'm getting pummeled! My health  is dropping like a rock down a well! My life is flashing before my eyes and all I can think is, "Don't die here! Don't die here! I'm not ready to go back yet!" Then I finally get my bearings, find the way out...and...and I'm back in sweet, serene Ysa. Nothing trying to kill me. Trees, streams, flowers. And here's the good part. There's this Fae standing by the entrance to Don't remember seeing him when I went in. And he says, "This is no place for you, dustling. Our criminals are put deep inside this den and can only fight their way out when they've redeemed themselves." So it's a prison! A maximum security prison guarded by monsters right on the edge of paradise! What the hell were they thinking?! Huh?!?!) Ok, Raven, breathe. Breathe. (Yeah, yeah, I'm fine now. Whew!) Well, everything's all right now. You're out, safe, got your health back. (Right. You bet! Kick-ass warrior again!) That's the spirit! So, ready to jump back into the fray tomorrow? (Uummm....ya know? I think I'll stay here behind these crates just a little bit longer, if you don't mind. I mean, you have Titanfall now you probably want to play. I'll see ya next week! Maybe.)

4/3 - Ugh. Too many late nights and a bad night for my (formerly) favorite gaming drink.My advanced(ish) age has conspired to add Lactose Intolerance to my medical file making me watch how much real milk I have every day. As I enjoyed a full strength Grande Latte in the morning (so good!) I knew it meant I had to avoid this in the evening. (Oh, and to anyone suggesting I try a Latte with Soy Milk, I'd like to say, that a) I've tried it, and b) PFFFFFTTT!) With a nice combination of sugar and caffeine, I got a nice little boost out of a cup of Mocha before gaming. I'm now on the hunt for a lactose-free alternative. So, I turned in a little early and got some extra sleep.

4/4 - One of these nights where it got late in a hurry. I did manage to get Final Fantasy XIV installed on the PS4 (along with trying to get back into my Square Enix account from bygone days). This is going to bring back memories. I think I'll have to write a FFXI specific post before too long - so much history there. My actual gaming consisted of getting into The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds Image I'm only right at the beginning but part of me misses the old SNES version already. A Link to the Past holds a special place in my memories since it was the only Zelda game I ever finished (although I got very close with Ocarina of Time on the N64). I'm getting used to the art style they used for ALBW, but slowly.

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