Lack of Entries

Posted: May 18, 2017 in All about ME!
Tags: , , , ,

 

I haven’t written much lately because I have been dealing with another death in the family. This time my grandmother passed away. Her death was sudden and unexpected. Yes, she had Alzheimer’s. Yes, she had medical problems. However, there was no indication of her passing away when she did.

What happened was this: She was having a bout of confusion, so she went to the hospital. The doctor after examing her felt that it could have been due to some new medication she had been put on. He was going to keep her for a few days just to make sure everything was ok. On her 2nd day, she was having trouble swallowing and wasn’t being very responsive. She passed away that night.

It went from “It’s her medications”, to “I’m sorry. She didn’t pull through”. This upsets me on so many levels. My grandma and I had become very close in the last 3 years since my mother passed away. We were always close, but in the last 3 years we talked every day, and sometimes twice a day. She was like another mother to me. It hurt a lot when she passed away, and it still does. It’s like losing my mom all over again.

Since my grandma has passed away I haven’t had much interest in writing blog entries, playing games or even watching TV really. So, obviously, the blog has taken a backseat for awhile. Hopefully, soon I will be in a mood to write some entries soon.

I just wanted to let you all know the situation in case any of you noticed I had vanished from the blogosphere and assumed I had been abducted by the government.

First, let me just state that this IS an RPG. It’s not an open-world crime saga like the GTA series. The screenshots and the videos might lead you to that assumption, but the fact of the matter is that this game has more in common with Final Fantasy than it does Grand Theft Auto.

This is a prequel game, so it takes place before all the other Yakuza games, which makes this a perfect jumping on point if you are new to the series. One thing that should be noted however (particularly if you are new to the series), there is no English audio in the game! Everything is spoken in Japanese, but it does have English subtitles.

The lack of English audio in the series has always been a love/hate relationship. On one hand, I enjoy hearing how the actors and game designers intended for the game to sound and it also adds more authenticity to the game. On the other hand, sometimes the subtitles go by so quick I miss what was being said(I’m not a speed reader, plus when i hear speaking, i get distracted from reading). On top of that, there are times when you need to read what’s being said while you are moving or performing activities which can be distracting(Like texting and walking, or texting and driving).

The graphics are fairly nice, though not as good as would be expected for a PS4 title. In fact, it looks like it could possibly run on a PS3 just fine.

Lastly, there’s no AutoSave feature(The game is very old school. It’s gameplay is deeply rooted in it’s PS2 heritage, and SEGA never never really updated the games mechanics and features. If it’s not broken, why fix it?) so you have to manually save at telephone booths scattered around the game map(They show up as S icons on your minimap) old school gamers may love this feature, other gamers might find it a bit of a headache..I personally have a slight issue with it! See, the game has a good number of random encounters, as well as long bouts of cut scenes. This means that if you are midway through a plot zone/ dungeon or whatever. You have to finish it before you can save your game! This could take awhile, and let’s be honest! Somethings require immediate attention! So, you might be forced to just shut it off and lose what progress you made, because there’s no payphone access to you, but hey! It beats writing down save passwords I guess, am I right?

On a side note, you could always just pause the game and put your PS4 into rest mode. Of course this “Method” isn’t ideal since if you lose power or the system somehow gets unplugged you lose progress. but it beats a 100% chance of losing progress by just quitting where you are.

Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 is a fun WWII Squad based FPS and the first title in a series of games that spans across different gaming platforms. Now, normally I am not much of a fan of squad based games. Why? Well, frankly I have enough trouble keeping myself alive without having to worry about different characters too. However, this game was highly enjoyable!

You can tell that Gearbox was inspired by the popular HBO series Band of Brothers(Which came out 4 years before BIA). Not just in name, but it has a similar opening soundtrack, Similar titling colors..among other details. However, similarities aside, it’s still very much its own game, and I think has proven it’s self to be one of the better WWII titles of that generation of games.So, yes! I enjoyed the game very much! Unfortunate though, the game is not perfect and does have some flaws! Well, maybe not “Flaws” but negatives that might put some gamers off!

The first thing you are going to notice are that the graphics aren’t that great! But come on! It’s a 2005 game! Perspective man! For that era? The graphics were top notch! This same thing applies to the voice acting. By today’s standards? Not so good! But back then? Aces!

Secondly, I would have liked the game to me more cinematic! I’m a sucker for a good story in my games, and I love a good cinema scene! Thankfully the game DOES have a good story and some small cutscenes between each level that helps move the story along!

Thirdly, I didn’t care for default controls! They were clunky and just plain awkward! Thankfully the controls are all changeable in the options of the game, which will allow you to go with whatever controller scheme goes best for your playstyle.

Lastly, I would have loved to see a better cover system in this game. Sure, you can crouch behind walls/barrels/logs/ravines, but there’s no Real cover system in place. That being said, Cover systems weren’t very common in 2005(If they existed at all!), So, that too can be overlooked in my opinion.

Other than that, the game is a fantastic WWII title! I’m looking forward to checking out the rest of the BIA titles.

Blizzard is probably best known for its insanely popular MMORPG “World of Warcraft”, or it’s almost as popular game series Diablo! In fact, I know a few people who didn’t know that there were other “Warcraft” games before WoW! People are just really focused on WoW is what I am saying!

Another popular series of games Blizzard released was called StarCraft. It played much the same way as the Warcraft games, but took place in a Sci-Fi setting, and had 3 factions instead of just 2 like the earlier Warcraft games. Blizzard has decided to update the original StarCraft game with a remastered version(Which looks gorgeous!) and to get people psyched up about the upcoming release they made the original StarCraft game + it’s Brood War Expansion Pack free! You can go download it, install it and play to your hearts content!

I used to own the original StarCraft game, but lost the disc many years ago so never bothered getting the expansion..so this is great for me, and great for anyone who wants to experience this early classic RTS game!

Now, if you are interested in grabbing it, I would do it quickly! I don’t know if this is a limited time deal, and after awhile they will remove the free download link, or not.

 

So, I sat down here, and was going to write out a quick review for the Mafia III DLC “Faster Baby!”, but then it occurred to me! I’ve never even written a review for Mafia III! I had planned on it and had even written it out in my mind, and at the time knew exactly what I was going to say! Somewhere along the line though, something must have happened that made me forget to actually blog it! I apologize! To be fair, that’s not the first game that has ended up getting skipped over. I am a horrible person!

So, let me try to rectify that situation now! What is Mafia 3? It’s an open-world crime saga! If you are familiar with Saints Row, Grand Theft Auto or the other Mafia games, then you know what I mean! It takes place in New Bordeaux(a fictionalized version of New Orleans!) in the late 60’s! You play Lincoln Clay, an African American soldier just home from Vietnam and dealing with a lot of racial tension! He’s also in a criminal organization of sorts! Unlike other open world Crime sagas, this game goes from the standard “Criminal doing crime” story, to a tale of revenge! Now me personally? I love a good revenge story, and this is a good revenge story! The whole game is well paced and has some decent controls.

Here’s the thing about Mafia 3 though, storywise it is an incredible game with decent graphics and most importantly, it has perhaps one of the best soundtracks I have heard in a video game in a long time, including the GTA games! Everything is so good that I really want to say that the game is the bee’s knees, but I can’t! The game is extremely buggy! Sure, there have been updates, and fixes but the game still is plagued with bugs! There are graphic glitches, weird blue flashing lights that appear and disappear and World scenery just popping in and out of the gameworld! It definitely needs a few more patches!

That being said, I still like the game,. and it is playable, it’s just incredibly frustrating and needs to be patched ASAP. If it ever gets patched up completely, we are talking about a 5-star game though in my opinion. I mean the contents not perfect, but they are trying to fix that! For instance, when the game shipped there was no way to customize Lincoln Clay(The main protagonist in the game), which was just stupid! Mafia 2 had the ability to buy new clothes, and other open world crime sagas like GTA or Saints Row provide a LOT more customization to their characters. In this day and age, personalization is expected in free roam games! Not including any such form of customization was just lazy! However, they have since rectified that in a patch! Sort of! There are now a variety of outfits available in a “Closet” found in your safehouses. It’s not the kind of customization I was hoping for, but it’s at least something!

Currently, there is one story based DLC available called “Faster Baby”. It opens up a new section of the city called Sinclair Parish, which is being terrorized by a corrupt and super racist sheriff. Lincoln Teams up with Roxy Laveau to bring this sheriff down!

The DLC focuses mainly on high-speed chases and vehicle stunts that would make the duke boys proud! These stunts include driving up ramps and flying through billboards and signs! Since it does focus on driving there are obviously some nifty cars included in the DLC including my favorite “The Lassiter Nightcrawler” which will unlock as you play through the story. If you are a trophy hunter, then you are in luck, because the DLC offers a whopping 10 new ones for you to try to earn.

In terms of length? The DLC is really lacking! There’s a total of 10 missions, one is optional and a good portion of the other 9 are less like missions and more like cutscenes, which for some reason they decided to make a mission, despite not really doing anything! The whole DLC can be finished in an hour or so, but if you spend some time getting trophies and exploring the surrounding, you can definitely stretch that out! Still, the DLC is 15 bucks, which is a lot for the little that you’re getting! In comparison, the single player DLC for GTA4 consisted of 20+ missions(That were actually missions and not cutscenes) plus side missions and random character encounters! It was almost like a whole game, and only cost 20 bucks! So, yeah! This DLC is way overpriced!

There are more planned DLC releases. We have one coming up sometime in may, and then a final third one later this summer. Here’s hoping the next 2 add a little more content for the dollar.

Happy Easter one and all!

Posted: April 16, 2017 in General
Tags: , ,

I just wanted to wish anyone who might be reading this a HAPPY EASTER! I’m not really a big holiday person, so I’m not going to say much! That’s pretty much it in fact! I got things to do! Anyone doing any driving today to spend time with family should definitely drive carefully though! I want everyone to be safe! and watch out for bunnies!

I had actually considered getting an Xbox One for this title! There are a few other games I would have also probably played, but Quantum Break was the deciding factor, and now since it is on PC, I don’t have to buy an Xbone!!

So, is the game good? I found it incredibly enjoyable. Though sometimes confusing, but that’s to be expected with any Time Travel plot! It also has decent controls, and incredible graphics, though to get the FULL enjoyment and run the game on Ultra settings you will need a pretty top-notch PC. If you don’t have a beast of a computer, don’t fret! The games high graphics setting still looks amazingly good and to be honest the low graphics setting isn’t even too bad, though some of the signs are extremely blurry and aren’t readable due to the low resolution of the textures.

The game is divided into 5 acts. Throughout the game you will be called upon to make some choices which will impact the 22-minute live action “Episode”(Basically 22-minute live action cutscenes.) which follows each of the acts. You will also be presented with a screen comparing your choice with other players via a percentage rating, not unlike those found at the end of a telltale game episode.

One thing that disappointed me with this title is that the game seems to lack any replay value! Sure, there’s the choices, but those impact the cutscenes, not any of the gameplay! So, unless you are a hardcore completionist or a trophy hunter then the game really offers no incentive to delve back into the world of Quantum Break! However, since the game’s only 40 bucks(And I have seen it as low as 22) I guess that can be excused!

Scattered around the different acts, you will find small little nods to Alan Wake, another game developed by Remedy. I thought this was a nice touch for fans of the Alan Wake game series(Which I wasn’t, but that’s beside the point!). Apparently, the world of Alan Wake, and the world of Quantum Break are one in the same(It’s also a world where everyone uses only Microsoft products, and everyone drives Nissan cars)….That’s a scary world these guys live in!

Now, the game as I mentioned earlier was an Xbox One exclusive, but Microsoft has begun making their Xbox One titles available on PC too now! I think this is a dumb move, but if it saves me from buying another console, I’m not going to complain too much! So, the game was released on PC/Windows 10 through the Microsoft store. A few months later they also released it on the Steam Store(Which is where I picked it up!), so there are several different options for gamers to get it. It’s a pretty accessible title!

Is it worth getting? I would say it is definitely worth picking up! Though I would recommend getting it on Xbox One(If you have the console), that way you know it will run smoothly and look fantastic! Alternatively, I would grab it on Steam. Why Steam you ask? Well, steam has frequent sales! True I don’t often see Microsoft games go on sale via Steam, but Steam does allow you to return a game for a complete refund! This is great for this particular game, in case your system REALLY can’t handle it!

So, yeah! Pick it up, give it a shot! If you love time travel storylines, and love 3rd person story based adventures, then you will love this game! It’s worth checking out, and worth having in your library.