What I’m Listening To, part 7

Celldweller – New Elysium (Zardonic Remix)

Decided to do something a little different with this one.  Thought of this scene in my head on my way home from work.  Lyrics in italics between parts of the scene.

I’m sitting in the passenger seat in numb silence.  “Are you ready?” asked the pilot, stern anger crossed his face.  He slammed the big blue launch button before I could answer.  “Set coordinates for New Elysium” he said to the computer.  “Acknowledged” came the computer’s cold, automated reply.

We are the young
Voices in unison, the ending has begun
A new kingdom come
Enter into this new Elysium

This new Elysium
This new Elysium

I felt the weight of the world press against me as the ship jolted to life and began its ascent to the sky.  I felt the tears begin to run down my face.  What was I doing?  What was going to await me where I was headed?  Oh yeah, because the Earth was dying.  And it was all our fault.  I felt the wind from the storm outside whip the ship slightly as we took off.  I began to sob even more.

Born of the earth, are we all condemned to hell?
We’ve tried so hard but we can’t save us from ourselves
Destined to die from the moment of our birth
So why have we forgotten everything that we are worth?

We are the young, the chosen ones
Voices in unison, the ending has begun
A new kingdom come, a new will be done
Enter into this new Elysium

As the ship entered orbit, I unbuckled my belt and floated to the nearest window and watched the Earth get farther and farther away.  I should have died there with him, but I was a coward and left.  I am worthless.  I am nothing without him.

Looking for hope but it’s often hard to see
It’s obvious the future isn’t what it used to be
We’re born of the dust and to dust we will return
So why have we forgotten everything that we have learned?

We are the young, the chosen ones
Voices in unison, the ending has begun
A new kingdom come, a new will be done
Sometimes we need reminders of everything that we are worth

The ending has begun

For me, for you
Enter into this new Elysium

I silently, angrily, floated back to my seat and buckled back in.  The pilot didn’t give me any notice that I had even moved.  I sat and looked out the window as Mars fast came into view.  “We’re almost home” the pilot spoke after what felt like an eternity in silence.  I felt sick to my stomach.  “You were the last refugee from Earth.”  I looked down at the floor in disgusted silence.  I survived, but I don’t know why.  And I sure as hell didn’t like where I was going.

Rise up from the ground, join our voices to the sound
The time has come, new Elysium, tear this oppressive empire down

Rise up from the ground, join our voices to the sound
The time has come, new Elysium, tear this oppressive empire down

Rise up from the ground, join our voices to the sound
The time has come, new Elysium, tear this oppressive empire down

Rise up from the ground, join our voices to the sound
The time has come, new Elysium, tear this oppressive empire down


Relationships, part 13

So it’s been about 3 weeks since the election results and I’m still not sure how to take it.  I still don’t know how anyone could have willingly voted for him.  I still don’t know how I’m supposed to work with people that I know voted for him without blowing up and biting their heads off.  I’ve been successful, so far, in simply not talking to them and avoiding them as much as I can.

I just want to wake up and have this nightmare be over, but I fear that it’s going to a 4 year descent into darkness that there won’t be any coming back from.  Once this is over with, you still have to share space with those people.  Still have to (either willingly or unwillingly) interact with them.  I don’t know.  I’m of the mindset at the moment to simply cut the ones that voted for him completely out of my life, or in the case of total strangers just dismiss them entirely.  I certainly don’t think I can help anyone that voted for him with a clear conscience.  I just don’t do second chances.  It’s like giving someone another bullet for their gun because they missed you with the first one.

People are angry, people are upset, people are afraid.  Battle lines are being drawn left and right and I really don’t know who I can and can’t count on anymore.  I really think that Tess Rafferty really hit the nail on the head:

I am so damn tired of trying to see it from the other side. I’m trying to discuss nuance while they paint us and our candidates with the broadest of hateful brushes.

I’m tired of pretending that it’s somehow reasonable to teach creationism in public schools with my tax dollars, while you tell me that two same sex people who love each other, getting married, somehow threatens your marriage.

You voted for Trump – I am tired of trying to see things your way while you sit in your holier-than-thou churches/white power meetups, refusing to see things mine. Did I just lump you in with white supremacists? No, you did that to yourselves. You voted for the same candidate as the KKK. You voted for a candidate endorsed by the KKK. For the rest of your life, you have to know that you voted the same way as the KKK. Does that feel good to you? Here’s a hint – it really shouldn’t, especially if you call yourself a Christian.

I’m tired of pussy footing around what offends your morals while couching what offends mine, because racism, misogyny, homophobia, and xenophobia offend mine.

Let me say it right here – if you voted for Trump, I do think you are a racist. I do think you’re homophobic. I do think you’re a misogynist. Racism, and homophobia, and misogyny are all a spectrum, and you’re on it.

Don’t like getting painted with the broad brush of racism? Now you know what it feels like when you get told that you want to rip a baby out of a mother’s womb at nine months when that’s not what happens. That’s NEVER, what happens.

I tried to be polite, but now I just don’t give a damn, because let’s be honest, we don’t live in polite America anymore. We live in ‘grab ‘em by the pussy America now. So thank you for that, being polite was exhausting.

And don’t come at me with how you just didn’t like Hillary, this was bigger than Hillary. This wasn’t your standard “I just want lower taxes and smaller government” Republican – we had Germans warning us that this guy was scary. And still you cried – emails and Benghazi or “that voice.” And still there’s been mountains of evidence proving that nothing that you think Hillary did was that big of a deal or even true. Some of the finest minds in the world have drawn you graphs and charts proving that no crimes were actually committed, and you were either too dumb or willfully ignorant to care.

And if you really cared about crimes, you’d care about any of the three pending against your candidate. Take your pick. I’d start with the rape of a thirteen-year-old girl, but if you voted for Trump, you probably don’t care much what happens to women. Doesn’t matter anyway, she received so many death threats from your political peers that she dropped the charges. But ask me again why more women don’t come forward.

And speaking of smaller government and lower taxes, enjoy not getting mine. If Trump actually does what he says he’s going to do, then your petty backwards state and your small angry town can pay for your own school to not educate your children. I live in California, the largest economy in the United States, and the sixth largest in the world. We’ll be fine. But have fun affording all those children your health insurance won’t pay for your birth control to prevent. I’m just kidding – you’re not going to have insurance. Won’t that be just great again!

The truth is, that for those of us on this side, there is no ‘when all this is over.’ Things are just getting started. We think last Wednesday was bad – we don’t know what bad is yet. This isn’t something you get over, this is something you endure. We’re going to face a tax on every right we fought the last sixty years to gain. The deck is so stacked against us that we may not win. The best we can hope for is gridlock. And that’s just nationally. Internationally, who the fuck knows what this lunatic is going to do. And the scarier thought, is that the only thing worse than this guy, is the guy who’s one angry tweet away from the Presidency – Mike Pence – advocate for gay conversion therapy and mandatory funerals for fetuses.

So now’s the time you might want to see things from my side. Because, if we’re all going to have to be friends after this, imagine me having to be polite and having to respect your vote to take away my rights and freedoms and those of my friends, while we fight desperately to try to hang onto them, because that is what you did.

I honestly just don’t think that I can be friends with anyone that voted for him.  I know I’m pretty upset at the people that voted third party and the people that simply chose not to vote.  My anger toward them is such that I created a new Facebook account and added them all to it while simultaneously kicking them off my main account, just so I don’t have to interact with them again if I don’t want to.

I know that everyone is one this whole “we need to unite and come together” kick right now, but this is personal.  If I can find a way out of this country to Canada, then I’m leaving as soon as possible.  “Do you think that even if you go there, you won’t be affected?”  Of course I know I’ll be affected if I go there!  I’m not dumb, but I am tired of my tax dollars going toward a country that apparently hates my guts even though they don’t even know me.  You want this country to yourselves?  Fine.  I just wouldn’t bother asking me for help if the need ever arises, because I’ll willfully stand by and watch you drown in your own blood and I won’t lift a finger to help.  Maybe humanity as a whole is the scum of the Earth and deserves to be wiped out.  Right now I just feel like we’re beyond any sort of redemption or reconciliation.

Make no mistake, you’ve definitely made yourselves an enemy.  And I don’t mean just myself.  Marsha P Johnson started this fight and it’s not going to stop, not anytime soon.

Days of Iron, part 4

Destiny, part 13

One of the things about Destiny that’s bugged me since day one is exactly how far into the future is the game supposed to be set?

I finally had the idea a few days ago to do some Google searches to try to figure out how far from now the game is set, so I decided to start my search with ‘how long does it take for a building to decay’ since there’s a lot of decayed structures around the ruins of old Russia.  The first result that I got [http://ask.metafilter.com/51124/How-long-before-a-skyscraper-decays] is a lengthy back and forth in some forum and it seems that the consensus is anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 years.  So I assume that Destiny is a minimum of 10,000 years from now considering the state of old Russia.

The second thing I thought to search for was ‘how long does it take for metal to rust’ and it seems that it only takes a matter of days if near an ocean due to salty sea air (which the beginning area of Destiny is.)  So most likely the cars from the beginning that are left outside the wall were completely rusted out a few weeks after the collapse since the whole area is next to (what I assume) is the sea.

Until Bungie decides to give us a concrete number, I’m just going to assume that events in the game are about 10,000 years in the future.  That being said, if it’s that far in the future then how are any of the computers and machines on Earth still functional?  Since computers are relatively new in the span of human history, it’s safe to say that we have no idea how long it would take for every computer in the world to stop working completely.  This is definitely a thought experiment that might never be answered and we’ll just have to chalk it up to space magic.  I enjoy this game a lot, but some of the science in it is very bad.  I’m still trying (after 3 years) to get my head around the whole idea of turning Venus into a habitable planet and Mercury into a garden world.  But, again, space magic.

Hopefully when Destiny 2 comes out some of the time questions will be answered.

What I’m Playing, part 8

I didn’t really finish too many games this year, but I did play a lot.

As far as games that I played to completion that were released in 2016, this list goes: Rez Infinite, Batman (Telltale), Ratchet & Clank, TMNT: Mutants in Manhattan, Republique, The Witness and of course Destiny: Rise of Iron.

As for games that were released in 2016 that I started and never finished, that list goes: Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, Hard Reset Redux, Mighty No. 9, Doom, Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Song of the Deep, Ninja Pizza Girl, CoD: Infinite Warfare, EVE: Valkyrie, EVE: Gunjack, Loading Human, Neverwinter, Marvel Ultimate Alliance, Type:Rider, Amplitude, Firewatch, ADR1FT, Dex, Broforce, Layers of Fear, Pac-Man Championship Edition 2, The Tomorrow Children, Lumo, Titanfall 2 and No Man’s Sky.

Games that I finished this year that were released last year: Bloodborne (released March 2015) and Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune Remastered (released October 2015). I also played some Awesomenauts Assemble which was released in March 2014.

Rez Infinite – The VR component made this game fresh and exciting for me all over again. Using my head to track the targeting reticle and adding in a new level? Yes please! Here’s my money! I hope to get the platinum for this game eventually. This is thankfully one of the VR games that doesn’t give me motion sickness. If anyone out there ever does decide to play it on VR, here’s a pro tip: get up out of your chair and turn completely around if the boss of the 4th level ever starts attacking you from behind. I thought that was a very clever thing to do.

Batman (Telltale) – I was highly put off by the price point of this Telltale series since their other games have been much cheaper in the past, but it turns out that this game is definitely worth the cost of entry. I’ve finished all 3 episodes that are currently available and waiting for the 4th to be published is hell on earth. I won’t/can’t say anything since it will spoil the game, but if you’re a Telltale or Batman fan you should give this a shot.

Ratchet & Clank – Definitely loved coming back to this series after such a long hiatus. Loved the weapons, the platforming, the puzzles, the boss battles, the witty dialogue, loved everything about the game. I’ve finished it and now the only thing left is to complete the trophy list.

TMNT: Mutants in Manhattan – While I don’t follow TMNT like I used to when I was a kid, this game brought me back to the days of TMNT 2: The Arcade Game on the original NES. Definitely more fun as a multiplayer co-op than it is to play this by yourself. I think Platinum did a great job with the game. Movement is smooth and actually fun and the combat is fast and fun.

Republique – This is another 5 episode adventure game that I loved so much I did all 5 episodes in ONE NIGHT. The game is about a girl that lives (and is trapped in) a totalitarian state and you are her eyes and ears as she tries to escape. The tension is very high in this game as the protagonist has no way to fight so she must be as stealthy as possible. If you’re into mysteries and stealth games, maybe give it a shot.

The Witness – This is a puzzle game that’s definitely out there and will test your patience and thinking/observation skills. I got through a small amount of puzzles on my own and after running into a wall where solutions to puzzles that I thought would work didn’t, I resorted to using a guide and even then the solutions that I used didn’t make any sense as to why THAT was the answer. I might go back to it at some point with a new perspective.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided – I absolutely LOVE Deus Ex: Human Revolution and I feel that this game is definitely a worthy successor. I stopped playing it simply because I don’t want it to end. I love just about everything about the game except only being able to get and use your pre-order bonus items once. After that, you’re on your own. I also don’t like the fact that you can literally pay to win by using real world money to get Praxis Kits to level up. For real world money, you can become OP from the beginning of the game if you want.

Song of the Deep – if you love Metroidvania style games, you’ll like this one. I stopped playing it out of frustration of not being able to figure out where I was supposed to go next. I’ll eventually go back to it as I have a burning desire to know what eventually happens with the girl’s father.

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst – this one was definitely worth the wait. I stopped playing it because the day I brought it home, I managed to get 50% through the main story in 6 hours and, again, I don’t want it to end.  I’ll go back at some point I’m sure so I can find out what happens to Faith and the others.

Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness – the grind is real with this game.  I was amazed at the look and feel at first, but once the game really opened up after several hours of playing the main story, the complete lack of any sort of fast travel really turned me off (unless I’m just dumb and didn’t find it or get to that point in the game yet). Trying to do any kind of side quest in the game requires LOTS of back tracking so I think that having no fast travel is a disappointment.  I just don’t have the time or patience for JRPGs like I used to.  Here’s hoping that I don’t drop Final Fantasy XV part way through because of something similar.

Hard Reset Redux – I love the idea of a cyberpunk FPS, and it’s not bad for the most part but there are instances where I definitely could have used more ammo and others where I could have used some sort of direction or hint as to what to do.  I really want to finish this at some point.

Doom – I was very skeptical of this game until I bought and played it.  Doom (the original one) will always be one of my “comfort food” games; one of those games that I like to go back and play every now and then.  Sort of a gaming palate cleanser if you will.  I loved how detailed the environments are in this game and I really loved how fast the character moved.  I also enjoyed the nods to the original Doom that are scattered through out the levels as hidden items and sub levels.  Hopefully I’ll go back to it at some point, though I doubt that I’ll ever do the multiplayer portion again.  I just don’t care for it.

Call of Duty:  Infinite Warfare – So the trailer for this game first grabbed my attention back at E3 this year.  Watching them seamlessly transition from combat on the outer hull of a space ship to it’s interior definitely grabbed my attention.  I am by no means a Call of Duty fanboy, but this game was definitely doing it for me.  Combine with that the fact that I’ve been playing Destiny with someone that helped to work on the game and I wanted to support him and his team it was pretty much a SOLD! when I found out that this year’s zombie mode was going to be an 80’s theme.  I picked it up on a buy 2, get one free sale and was not disappointed.  I was intrigued by the story of a Martian colony at war with Earth over resources (which could one day be a reality in all honesty) and I like how each of the guns in the game fires and sounds different (unlike Destiny where a lot of the guns sound alike and fire similarly).  I positively love the zombie mode though.  Listening to 80’s music while running around a zombie infested 80’s style theme park is the most fun I’ve had in a shooter in a while.  I can get up to wave 4 just about every time before they over run and kill me.  Definitely looking forward to finishing this game and playing more zombies.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance – I was very happy to hear that they were bringing this back on PS4.  I remember this game and it’s sequel quite fondly, though at launch there were a lot of issues with the camera which have since been fixed at the time of this writing.  It’s still a grind to try to level up all the characters in the game, but it’s at least a fun grind as each character has different abilities and a different feel.  Flying is still shoddy as is trying to land but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 – Definitely a case of taking an already awesome (dare I say perfect) game formula and improving upon it.  Much like the predecessor, how far you get in the game depends on how fast you can play.  At the time of writing I’ve managed to unlock the base level of each game mode in the game, so now the only thing left to do is start perfecting my skill and getting faster as was the case before.  Definitely a score chase game that I don’t mind repeating over and over again.

EVE:  Valkyrie – The demo on the disc that came with my VR unit was what sold me on this game.  From the moment the demo began and I was dumped in the cockpit of my ship before being launched out into space and left to fend for myself, I was sold.  I didn’t care about the cost of the game, just shut up and take my money.  This game was the first in many many years that gave me motion sickness.  I was ok until I did my first barrel roll in the ship, that’s when I had to suppress the urge to projectile vomit everywhere.  At the time of writing I’ve played the full game enough that I’ve desensitized myself to the sensation but it’s still quite thrilling to fly around in the ships.  I haven’t gone very far into the story mode or the game as a whole since the in game currency is confusing (gold, silver and credits which can be bought with real world money) and the single player seems a little short so I want it to last a while if possible.  I was pleasantly surprised upon playing the game that it’s a sort of murder mystery in that you’re trying to find out who killed you.  In the EVE universe you can re-download your consciousness into a new body when your current one dies (think of the Cylons from Battlestar Galactica) and you’re in your new body trying to figure out what happened and who is trying to kill you.  I can tell that even after I’ve finished the main game the PvP might not be that bad.

A sort of companion game to this one EVE:  Gunjack is a short but sweet score chase type game where you are a Gunjack charged with protecting a mining ship from incoming enemies in waves.  Very good use of head tracking as it is used instead of manually moving the targeting reticle around to shoot at enemies.  There aren’t many levels in the game, but then again it was only $8 USD so I can’t really complain.  All in all it’s a fun little diversion.

Dex – another cyberpunk game in the same vein as Hard Reset, this one is a mashup side scrolling 2D beat ’em up combined with bits of a choose your own adventure style storytelling.  The combat in the game is very reminiscent of an old arcade game called Rolling Thunder where your reflexes determine whether you live or die.  I have a feeling that in some of the dialogue choices you’ll get the same result whether you try to be an asshole or not.  I thought that it was fun but the price admission was a little high for what I got.

Broforce – This was another case of a game being free on PlayStation Plus that I didn’t think too much of based on appearance.  Turns out that it’s actually a lot of fun!  Very reminiscent of old side scrolling shoot ’em ups from back in the day.  The movie character references are hilarious (like for example 007 being changed to Doublebro Seven.)  The only negative is trying to play the game online co-op with friends.  It’s a real pain in the ass trying to get in the same game as your friends and even if you do, the lag is terrible.  I doubt I’ll ever go back to it unless I can play with people because I got as far as a boss battle in the game’s version of Hawaii and never could get passed it, but at least it was a free game and fun while it lasted.

Lumo – This was a cute little isometric puzzle game where you are running around trying to find your way to the next area of the dungeon/maze and solving puzzles and platforming jumps along the way.  There were a lot of secrets and collectibles to be had through out (like those damn rubber ducks I never could figure out how to collect without dying) and I didn’t get terribly far in before I gave up and went back to Deus Ex.  It’s too bad really, it’s a lot of fun for such a cheap game.

Titanfall 2 – This was another game that I was skeptical about before buying.  The first one didn’t review well at all and if I remember correctly was a strictly online only PvP game.  This one has a story mode to it that I very much enjoy.  The movement and combat is very fast paced and fluid and piloting the Titan is a joy.  I very much love giant mech games and this one fills the void that I’ve had for years (probably not since the old Mechwarrior games to be honest.)  The main story line took a turn that I was not expecting and I’ve been wondering what’s going to happen next so I need to get back to it while it’s still fresh on my mind, but with Final Fantasy 15 due out in 2 days it’s not likely that I’ll be back any time soon.

Games I played this year that were disappointing:

Mighty No. 9 – Wow…I don’t even know where to start.  I thought this was going to be the game to bring back Mega Man but boy was I wrong.  The graphics and sound are good and the play controls are ok, but the mechanics are what killed the game for me.  You have to shoot enemies to stun them, then run into them to kill them and you get rated based on how much damage you did to them before you run into them (ranked S, A, B, C, D and E as is the usual case with Japanese games.)  You also have to use this mechanic to defeat the bosses in the game and even if you hit them, it only takes off a portion of their health.  I was never able to kill any of them no matter how hard I tried, so this game only stayed on my hard drive for less than a day before I gave up on it.

Firewatch – man is this game pretty, but boring at the same time.  I expected (from the trailer) that it was going to be action packed and full of adventure.  Instead, you get a half-assed adventure game where you have to quickly read and choose a list of responses during the lengthy dialogue in the game.  And if you don’t choose quickly enough, the person you’re talking to (your in game work partner) gets angry and thinks that you’re ignoring her.  Sometimes, I missed the chance on responding to her just because I was caught up in listening to them talk and didn’t notice that the prompt had appeared.  There are (apparently according to the trophy list) only 4 in game days for you to complete and if they were anything like the first day (which was the only one I completed) it’s going to be a dull ride.

Loading Human – a VR adventure game?!?!  Yes please!  Oh, wait…  This was another case of the trailer making a game out to be better than it actually was.  You have the “option” of either using 2 Move controllers or a Dualshock to control your character, and since I didn’t feel like getting out my Move controllers, charging them and then pairing them with my PS4 I decided to just use the Dualshock which the game immediately protested.  I immediately found that the control scheme is quite irritating in that the game uses head tracking in order for you to pick up/examine any item in the environment and you literally have to be right on top of anything that’s laying on the floor in order to pick it up, and even then you have to pretty much double over in your seat with the VR unit on in order for the game to figure out that you’re looking at that item on the floor.  Once you finally get around that hurdle and finally pick the item up, trying to put it down without throwing it is a whole other ballgame.  There was no simply putting it back where you got it, oh no.  Your character had to throw anything that he was finished with.  I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to this game before I give up and trade it in for something better.

Amplitude – I was so excited when I heard that Harmonix was bringing this series back.  However, what I ended up getting was a little disappointing.  I don’t know if they were just trying too hard or if it was me, but it just wasn’t as much fun as the original.  A lot of the music in this game sounded the same and some of it was hard as hell to find the beat/rhythm.  There was also a lot of fucking up on my part as to when was the most strategic time to use any of the power-ups in the game.  I guess it requires more trial and error and replays than I’m willing to invest.  I could also be suffering music game burn out still (a la Rock Band.)  The graphics were good and the play controls were pretty responsive, but all in all it wasn’t worth the wait.

Ninja Pizza Girl – this looked like a fun side scrolling game from the trailer, but it’s actually a little annoying.  My major complaint is that the levels are timed.  I hate playing games where I’m timed, doesn’t matter what it is.  If I ever feel like being aggravated I might go back to it.

Neverwinter – An MMO set in the famous Forgotten Realms city of Neverwinter seems like something that would be amazing, however amazing is not how I would describe this game unless it’s the phrase ‘amazingly bad.’  It’s very laggy, the interface is confusing and for being on PS4 the graphics aren’t that great.  I more or less joined out of peer pressure since I’m always skeptical of free to play MMOs in the first place.  More or less a case of you get what you (didn’t) pay for.  Still, I did have some fun when the game was working properly but it’s still your standard MMO affair of “go kill X number of these” and “go run through this dungeon.”  If not for the fact that some of the D&D races that I would like to play as were behind a rather steep pay wall ($70 USD for an expansion pack with one of the races and some other cosmetic things?  No thanks) I probably would have kept playing.

Type:Rider – I like history, so playing a game about the history of typefaces seemed like a good idea.  What I ended up with was a platformer with frustrating controls and a lot of cheap, one hit deaths.  The only mercy was that the checkpoints were plentiful.  For being a cheap game I certainly got what I paid for.  Save yourself some money and just go read up on the history of these typefaces on Wikipedia.

ADR1FT – Frustrating, frustrating, frustrating, frustrating and frustrating.  I would have thought a game about exploring a high Earth orbit space station that’s been sabotaged would be fun, but it’s anything but.  You have one resource: oxygen.  Trying to grab the small canisters as they slowly float by you should not be this annoying.  You need oxygen to stay alive, however, you also have to use it as a means of propelling yourself around the debris of the station.  For people like me that like to explore every nook and cranny of a game world, this resource doesn’t really give you that luxury since you’ll burn through it rather quickly trying to get anywhere.  Definitely not something that I’ll go back to.

Layers of Fear – It looked like a fun horror game from the trailer, but as I never seem to learn, trailers can be deceiving.  The atmosphere is great and the graphics are decent, but the game itself is rather lackluster.  It’s basically a set of 6 “chapters” where you’re trying to recreate some horrible painting that’s locked away in the main character’s studio.  Every time you finish a chapter, the house re-arranges itself to lead you back to the studio and you get to see how the painting has changed.  It’s full of cheap jump scares and not really much in the way of combat that I can remember, just a lot of item collecting and running and listening to the tale unfold through story bits provided by the items that you find in the house.  The strange part is, they released an expansion for it not too long ago so I guess you can drag the monotony out even further if you like.

The Tomorrow Children – I don’t even know where to start with this one.  Developed by Q-Games, I thought this would be another fun diversion like their Pixeljunk games were, but this game is more like a second job than anything.  It’s all a little confusing at first, but you begin to slowly understand that the majority of the game is just resource gathering to rebuild civilization one town at a time after some vague apocalyptic event, and unless you plan on spending a ridiculous amount of time in the game doing other things in the town that you’re randomly dropped in, that’s about all the game has to offer.  I tried helping to defend the town that I was sent to first from the giant creatures that randomly appear out in the Void (the empty space around the towns) and once it was gone, I was thrown in jail for destroying some structure in the town thanks to some idiot poorly placing the turret.  Getting out of jail, by the way, consists of completing a button mashing sequence that’s quite boring and simple but lasts for several minutes.  Oh, and once you “complete” a town you can’t even go back to see the end result as it is permanently locked.  This game is a waste of time and drive space.

No Man’s Sky – at the time of this writing, the months long silence from Sean Murray and Hello Games has finally been broken to reveal the first in what is going to be a series of updates to the game to add in more features and content that was “missing” when the game was launched.  I’m not one of the ones that was viciously hateful about the game at launch, but I do have to say that once the leak about what happens when you reach the center of the galaxy was out, I was highly disappointed.  I’m also not one of the ones that wanted his money back either.  Still, despite its flaws I did enjoy my time with the game and once the updates start rolling out, I will be back to see their progress.

Days of Iron, part 3

Destiny, part 12

So we’re about 2 months into Year Three and I feel like I’m in need of a serious break like the one I took last year when Fallout 4 was launched.

I’ve managed to inspire people to get geared up and try out the new raid, but it’s become something of a nightmare.  Phil took to the new raid like a fish to water and has been guiding random people through it all the time.  But I, however, was only taken through once.  Guess I’m not much of a friend to him them, but, whatever.  The only thing that really pisses me off about that is the Outbreak Prime quest.

This is, quite possibly, one of the most insane quests I’ve ever encountered.  In order to begin it, you have to find a sequence of 5 computer monitors in the raid, one of which is hidden behind an enormous octohedron that’s locked by a number that has to be translated from binary.  And once you have the numbers, the other members of the raid team use the numbers (that are coordinates) to stand on pillars that are around the octohedron.  Oh and the numbers are randomly generated every time you start the raid and the last monitor can’t be accessed until you kill the final boss.  Parts of the quest chain also have to be completed by a fireteam of 3 and you have to have once of each class to complete those parts.  Phil has managed to complete this quest on all of his characters and all the people he’s guided through the raid.  But do I get any help?  No.  If I want to complete it, I have to either get some randoms like he did or whip the others into shape, so I’ve been opting for whipping the others into shape.  It’s been a slow going process to say the least, but for the most part it’s been a success.  Until this week.

Yesterday we (myself and the people I raid with in America) got up to the 2nd boss (we call it the Death Zamboni) and we kept wiping over and over.  Eventually we gave up because people were exhausted (like me) and others had to get up for work the next day.  Today, we did a fresh start and I used my Titan instead of the Warlock and managed to get all the way to the final boss (Aksis) but failed.  First Dusty (and myself) were getting tired of people fucking up, then someone had to leave and jka joined.  I don’t like raiding with him because he’s very critical and bossy and he just comes across as a total asshole.  Dusty had to log off because he got sick again and then we were inches from success during the last round but thanks to someone missing his empowered slam against Aksis we wiped and now we’ll have to begin the raid again from the beginning to get the Outbreak Prime quest.  I’m so pissed, but I’m not going to give up.  I’m going to get this damn gun on all my characters like Phil did if it’s the last fucking thing I do.

In other news, I’ve mostly completed the Days of Iron entries in the book.  The one that’s proving to be the most difficult to complete is the Trials of Osiris.  We get a credit toward completing the entry even if we get a losing ticket, but does anyone want to do that?  No, they actually want to try.  I hate Trials because those people are pretty elite and I just don’t stand up to them.  I’ve been playing a lot more Crucible since Rise of Iron started thanks to that book.  I’m getting somewhat better at it even though I still don’t care for it.  I’ve also been playing more Crucible thanks to Festival of the Lost and that damn Thorn exotic quest.  The exotic weapon entry in the book is also proving irritating to complete thanks to Thorn and Outbreak Prime.  The section that will take the longest is the raid entries, but I’ll get there.