I never wanted to be away from this blog for so long. I know I don't exactly have a hoard of readers, but I like to keep track of my gaming so I have something to look back on when the year is over. However, LIFE has a way of getting in the way. Well, I made it back for now. Let's see how much I can make out of a cup of coffee and an hour.
(I had been working on a blog post that was to be posted before this, but I haven't finished it. It was/is inspired by the announcement in April of a new Star Wars movie and game coming out toward the end of 2015. I spent a fair amount of time playing (or trying to play) old Star Wars games. At some point I'll finish that entry...hopefully before the movie comes out.)
Fallout 3/Fallout New Vegas (PC/360) - Speaking of announcements, Fallout 4 is now a thing this year too. Or at least it's planned to be - I'm betting on a delay into 2016. Anyway, the renewed interest got me going on Fallout 3 again, but I started to run into some crashing issues on the PC version. Turns out that Fallout 3 isn't really happy with Windows 7. So, I figured it was time to at least dip my toe into the sort-of-sequel, Fallout New Vegas. (Note: I did this with a serious amount of trepidation. My foray into the wastelands with Victoria, my Vault dweller, consumed my imagination, and the journal I wrote for her is something that still has not seen the light of day.) I tried FNV on both PC (via Steam) and the Xbox 360 - it gave me some initial issues on PC, but I think it plays better with mouse and keyboard. I like that the world isn't as bleak (okay, it's not paradise) and that the game is a step or two above Fallout 3's design. I can see getting into the game some more, even though I don't feel the same kind of connection to my character. But, I'm still just starting out.
NekoAtsume (iPad) - A quick note here on a little iPad game. All in Japanese, and you just feed cats and buy them toys. Oh, and you can take their pictures. Dumb fun!!
The Witcher 3 (PS4)- I think that the Best Buy Gamer Club Unlocked thing may have been a mistake. Not that it isn't worth it - it's a great deal. It's just that I have bought games that I would have waited on before so now I have this massive open world game that I have played about 3 hours of. However, even a little slice of awesome is grand. It controls much better than Witcher 2 and comes with enough background info in a little booklet to fill you in to what is happening in the world. A very pretty, well designed, well supported action RPG that I really hope I get a chance to dive into and just get lost in. Think GTA with swords! And the developer has set the new standard for what a game should come with - more than what some "collector's editions" include.
FFXIV (PC) - Well, this is why I probably didn't play more of Witcher 3. The Neverwinter Knights have taken on the successor to FFXI. At first, a new MMO seemed so pricey, but it works out to about .50 a day - cheap fun when you think of it that way. We've been playing for almost 2 months now and it's just like old times, just with better graphics and music. Everything in this game is either faster or easier to do than FFXI, which is a welcome relief. The only downside is that nearly all the story content requires reading paragraph after paragraph of text. It's easy to skip, but then you do sort of feel like you are just doing the mechanical parts of the game.
Lego Jurassic World (PS4) - As a huge dino-nerd, I had to see the new Jurassic Park movie (which was really good, by the way), and, of course, I had to get the game the day it released (thank you Best Buy again). As of this writing, I've played through the first 3 movies and I plan to finish it soon. The game is good, in general, but I still can't help feeling that they ruined something when they started using the voices of the movie characters. I miss the days of pantomiming Lego figures. Also, I remember the original Star Wars Lego game being a bit more challenging. They've made the Lego games more of what they were before originally - kid's games. Still, I really enjoy the dinos and seeing what they do to "recreate" the movies is fun. I'll probably sell this copy back and rebuy it around Black Friday when it will likely be $20.
**Update**: All done and returned to Gamestop for credit. I guess I should clarify that "all done" means I finished the movie missions - not that I spent gods-knows how many hours trying to get all the collectibles. That's never been something I've wanted to put my time into. The designers obviously put the most work into Jurassic World and even added new dialog from (I think) the original actors. This made it a better experience and playing it after getting the various mechanics down in the first three "movies" also helped. You also get to play as the dinos more - running as a raptor or a compy has a very satisfying feel to it. And I have to say I felt like I was a kid at Sea World when I got to run around the Jurassic World park area, but there was still the feeling that I was playing a game that didn't really take any skill to beat. It also broke a couple of times; once when I fell through the world in a gyroscope car and once when I got a jeep stuck on a rock. It will be interesting to see if they put out a patch or DLC for this one. It will be on my Xmas shopping list since by then it should be cheap.
Xbox One Console - I chalk this one up a really impressive E3 conference and an equally good sale. Did I "need" it? No, but that's not the point. I do want to play the new Tomb Raider and there are other exclusives coming out that I would like to play. It's not as huge a box as I thought it was, but I do wonder about the controller. It seems less solid than the 360 one. The D-pad is gone, or rather it is just 4 buttons now, and the batteries go into the unit instead of hanging on the outside. The menus of the itnerface are challenging to navigate, but I'm sure I'll get used to them. I put it in the living room because that's where I'll need it for racing games and Rock Band 4. At least they added a headphone jack to the controller ala PS4. All I needed to add was a footstool so I didn't have to sit all the way back on the couch.