Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Chessasaur's February 2017 Gaming Log

February 2017 Day by Day

2/01 - Hitting that Terror Machine button again! Have to say this is shaping up to be a very good horror game (and I was so down on it at first!).

2/02 - Did about another hour of RE7. Interestingly, I heard on one of my podcasts that they thought the first boss fight was the hardest. Well, I did struggle a bit, but streamer CallofCthulhu did it with basically just a knife!

2/03 - More RE7 during the afternoon (when it's not so scary). In the evening, I tried a few games on the iPad, but several of them (including the new Fire Emblem game) would not run. One of the drawbacks of pad gaming.

2/04 - Nothing tonight. Still sick.

2/05 - Even though I'm still fighting this cold, I got in a good chunk of RE7 during the afternoon. I got to what looked like the final boss fight, but when I played later in the evening, I found that the game took sort of jog to the left and now I'm playing as Mia.

2/06 - Well, 14 hours, 14 minutes and 9 deaths later...Resident Evil 7 is done! I have to say I REALLY enjoyed playing this one! I know I was very negative at first, but once I accepted it for what it was (a much needed and well crafted reboot of the franchise) I had a lot of fun. This game gives you the tools you need to feel like Ash from Army of Darkness, and less like someone who always has to run from monsters. First game finished in 2017, and maybe the best already!

2/07 - Needed a palette cleanser after so much horror, so I started up Yakuza 0. I wanted to avoid going back into RE7 right away - it's something I felt like doing, but I need to push out to more games I have. Yes, I could have gone through it again, undoubtedly faster and finding a few more secrets, or I could have even bought the DLC for it, but in the end, it's still the same game. A very good game, but one I need to move on from for now. Interestingly, I remember my first (and only, real) experience with the Yakuza games, as playing a few minutes of a demo on one of the old PS2 OPM discs. And that seemed to only involve walking in Tokyo and getting into fights every few steps! This one is feeling more like a GTA game with lots to do, but packed into a very small area. Typically, what I've heard about the way Japanese cities are structured. Reminds me of what William Gibson describes in Pattern Recognition.

2/08 - Yakuza 0. (I think I'll drop putting in "more" every time I write about a game I'm still playing.) The game hasn't really opened up yet; I have to do the mission I'm assigned and can only walk from place to place with the occasional fist fight. I'm hoping that I'll eventually be able to explore all the little businesses that light up the very narrow streets. I've heard a lot about this game being a huge and crazy sandbox, but I haven't seen that yet. I'll probably play until I get at least to that point and get bored doing weird Japanese stuff. With a HLTB score of at least 30 hours for the main story, I don't see that this is a game I'll ever finish. Just not my kind of game to sink that much time into.

2/09 - Started too late, so nothing.

2/10 - Yakuza 0. Finished Chapter 1. Had to fight a lot of Yakuza and a lieutenant to get past the opening story missions. Finally at a point where I can do stuff in the city. A little disappointed that you can't go into more of the buildings. Looks like just the occasional store, eatery and entertainment place (gaming/bowling/etc). Still no sign of the guy with the eye patch. Bowled, played Space Harrier, and won items out of a claw machine. Not bad for a nights work.

2/11 - Darkest Dungeon. Wanted something a little different tonight and I've never really tried playing this. It's hard and pretty confusing, but kind of fun. It seems like it would better on a PC (I got it cheap on the PS4/Vita). There were a number of controls that they had to map in strange ways. In addition, text that the characters were saying while Afflicted were hard to read - dark red on black. Probably not coming back for more on this one.

2/12 - Omega Quintet. A little PSN+ freebie from last June. Very Japanese game where you battle monsters as a member of a JPop girls band. No, no, I just can't. DragonQuest Heroes. I got this awhile back and in a rare move, bought it digitally (it was a very good price). One on many, fighting action game with characters and monsters from the DragonQuest games. Pretty, but I don't think I could play this for very long. Waves and waves of enemies with endless button mashing. Not what I'm looking for.

2/13 - Started the night by opening all my unopened Xbox One games and looking for DLC codes. As I've discovered, usually to my dismay, these codes can (and do) expire. A bit time consuming, but worthwhile. Then I started playing a little bit of Ryse: Son of Rome. I've been looking forward to this one for some time, being a fan of the Gladiator movie and gratuitous violence. Like a lot of games, they start you out in the middle of a huge battle, but trying to get used to the somewhat odd control scheme makes you feel like you are trying to use a controller while wearing boxing gloves. It does get easier to handle, I'm happy to say. Still very early in this one.

2/14 - No gaming tonight, but I did go through all my PS4 games that aren't part of special editions and got out any DLC codes. This went much faster than the Xbox One games since PS4 games don't have security seals on them which I insist on peeling off and sticking inside the case. There were a lot more codes than I thought there would be and some (only a few, fortunately) were already expired. It's going to take some time to get these all entered. It looks like Sony is trying to address DLC code expiration issues; as I got to newer games, the expiration dates were in 2099 making them basically good forever. I shudder to think what I will find when I do this for the PS3 and Xbox 360 games. Interestingly, I totally forgot that I had bought Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - got it late in the Black Friday Buy-a-thon and just added it to the stack. I saw it on sale the other day and thought I might want to get it. Glad I didn't.

2/15 - And tonight was the PS3 DLC Card Pull Event. I really need to play something tomorrow! But, there is something to be said for actually looking at all the discs in my collection - sort of a "not appreciating the trees for the forest" kind of thing. And so much potential, so many adventures to take and worlds to explore. Such is the life of a video game collector.

2/16 - Ryse. Getting more into it. The designers of the game should have stressed dodge rolling a lot more during the tutorials. It seemed they expected you to block every attack. Doesn't work so well when you get enemies on both sides of you. There was also a point where I didn't understand what I was supposed to do and almost got permanently stuck. I had to advance on a group of archers who kept cutting me down. What I missed was that I was supposed to rally my men around a banner than advance as a group. That rather vital piece of intel was not conveyed nearly as well as it should have been. Also, it looks like I'll be fighting "barbarians" during the whole of the game. I'm into chapter four and that's been the only foes I've fought.

2/17 - Nothing tonight, but I did play some Zombi during the afternoon. I still really like that one even if it does have that frustrating arena combat section. Plays very well on the PS4 without the Wii U gamepad.

2/18 & 2/19 - Zombi. I can't help myself. I still think that Zombi(U) is one of the best "What would it be like to be in the world of The Walking Dead?" games...without all the human drama, of course. It controls better without the gamepad, but I remember switching to things like flares to be easier in the WiiU version. When the game came out, they made a big deal about the fact that opening the inventory on the pad allowed you to look between that and the main screen, because the game didn't pause for that. But I never found that to be a problem - you just don't check your bag when zombies are trying to eat you. At this point, I think I want to get to the arena section and see if I have a better time with it. It's not taking me as long, so I should get there pretty quickly. It's a little thing, but I've always been moved by that little bit of somber music on the loading screens and the lone survivor cautiously walking across. I can't say I'm really attached to my "person" currently - Joseph someone - but I'll try to keep him alive as long as possible. The constant threat of perma-death in this game gives weight to every step you take.

2/20 - Zombi. Yup, can't get away from this old game. At least I can't blame it on, "well, I payed money for it, I'm going to play it". I got this from a PS+ freebie set. Not sure why Ubisoft decided to port it just for the PS4. I have run into a few "bugs" - a thing I could see,  but not pick up; a few times where it said there was an object, but it disappeared when I got closer. Nothing major, but a few little quirks.Got rid of Joseph and now have a girl (can't remember her name) whose former occupation was "gangster"! You'd think that would help her combat stats.

2/21 - Zombi. Well, I guess I should have checked her name before she fell to her fucking death! So, now I have Harvey, who sort of looks like me...a little...when I was younger. On the good side, if you die in the game without being "eaten", you don't come back. I guess they are playing by Dawn of the Dead (2004) zombie rules. I also decided to stream for the hour-ish time I played - not so much to get viewers (of which I had none), but to give me a chance to capture any highlights to keep for posterity. I have to admit, the ones I have saved are fun to look back on. I'll start a section at the end of each month's log with links and descriptions.

2/22 - Zombi. Nothing really special to mention, other than a) I didn't die, and b) zombies appear to like rock music. Oh, and the shotgun rocks...but we already knew that, right? Is there an FPS game where the shotgun isn't awesome?

2/23 - I'm officially done with Ryse and it's a shame. I just feel that I'm fighting the control scheme (where your block and attack buttons are both face buttons on the right side) and there's too many of the same kind of enemies. Not enough variety. It's a pity, because I had always looked forward to playing it, being a fan of the Gladiator movie. Oh, well. As for evening fare, I played a little bit of Dead Nation Apocalypse Edition. It's a pretty basic but enjoyable twin-stick shooter that doesn't lend itself well to streaming - the overhead view makes everything look tiny. It works for actually playing it, but I think most people would not be able to see the action unless they ran it in fullscreen mode. This is all just filler until the 28th and HZD is released!

2/24 - Zombi. But not for much longer. When I played on the Wii U, I don't remember having as much trouble figuring out where to go on the missions. I spent tonight running around, basically getting nowhere. At least I was able to put in the new router today and that seems to have helped Diane's lagging issues and my Twitch stream problems. Guess the old router's 2.4Ghrz band was just failing.

2/25 - Tired. Long day. No gaming.

2/26 - Got derailed by the Twitch bug (again). I wanted to play something from my PS1/PS2/Xbox/Gamecube collection and even figured out a way to randomly pick one. I used a Google page that generated a random number for a shelf (1-10), then column (1-3), then game (1-21). This, 7-1-14. ended up being Kuon for the PS2, which I guess I've played before because it had a little white sticker dot on the spine, my old system for marking games I've at least tried once. I don't have any memory of playing it, mind you! After that, I fired up the Elgato software...which needed an update, of course. Then I started up OBS Studio...update again. When I got that done, I had to mess around with the settings I had for the retro-gaming broadcast scene in OBS. For some reason, the webcam wouldn't show up right. In the end, I got it all working, but used up all my playtime. I do have to work tomorrow, ya know. And it's going to be a busy week for games - Horizon Zero Dawn and Zelda: Breath of the Wild...if I get the Wii U setup again.

2/27 - And tonight I played...nothing. But I was productive! I got the Wii U hooked up at my gaming station again and I didn't have to move any other systems around. So, I'm now ready for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on Wii U...if it comes. Amazon shows a delivery date of 3/31(!) which doesn't make a lot of sense. It looks like I will get the Master edition from Best Buy, but I think that's going straight to eBay. If I can get as much as some people are getting for it, it will pay for that PS4 Pro I've had my eye on. All I'd be giving up is having that sword statue. The other stuff is no big deal - a coin, a map, a CD soundtrack album, and a Switch case that I don't need.

2/28 - First night of Horizon Zero Dawn. So far...not sure, really. It feel like there's a disconnect between the environment and the personality of the characters - they sound too modern to be in a basically primitive setting. I know this isn't "caveman" days - it's actually in the far, far future - but they sound like they walked in off the street of present day San Diego. And I could really do without the "because we're outcasts" thing they keep going on about. I know it will get explained eventually, but it drags down the mood of the game at the beginning. The game looks great, fantastic even, but I guess I expected it to be so I'm not that "blown away". Plus, why would the machines decide to create mech-animals in the first place, especially ones that graze like deer? Some sort of leftover human memory impression?

Ongoing Monthly Games: FFXIV (PC), Cookie Cats (iOS)

February 2017 Twitch Highlights...and Lowlights

That Zombi(U) loading screen - CLICK ME

How not to fight a zombie on a scaffold - CLICK ME

Miscellaneous Thoughtful Meanderings

PS4 Pro: Recently, it was revealed that the upcoming PS4 firmware 4.50 update will include Boost Mode for the PS4 Pro, making some PS4 games look and perform better even without a specific Pro patch. Between this and the realization I had the other day that I'm going to want to play Mass Effect Andromeda on the best hardware available, I'm going to have to get one in the near future. But, it starts to make me wonder if I should delay playing other PS4 titles? Would RE7 have been a better experience on the Pro? And how many games that I play now will I want to replay when I get the new system? Horizon Zero Dawn comes out at the end of the month and from what I'm hearing it is THE game to get a PS4 Pro for. One downside is, no one makes a 32" 4K TV, so IF I get one, it will just be on 1080p. And I wonder if my HDMI switches will work for 4K? I'd like to wait until there is a bundle deal, but can I hold out that long?

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