What I’m Playing, part 17

GAMES!

Since I’ve played quite a bit this weekend, I decided to cram all the things I’ve played into one post, so let’s get started:

Little Nightmares

This game is, so far, pretty eerie.  It’s like what would happen if Tim Burton decided to make a side scrolling video game.  So far I’m a huge fan of the art style (it looks like Nightmare Before Christmas) and how well the game plays, but I’m not a fan of how the game doesn’t tell you how to control the character.  I personally hate it when any game does that to be honest.  Don’t want me to play your game?  Don’t tell me the controls and that will be that.

RiME

Think The Witness meets Journey meets ICO in this graphically beautiful, yet somewhat frustrating, puzzler.  The number one rule about this game is that your perception of things is not what it appears at first.  The game is highly dependent on it’s visual and audio cues, making for a memorable experience if not a bit frustrating (in terms of not being able to jump high enough)

Blade & Bones

Imagine what it would be like if the Souls games and Rouge likes had a kid.  At least that’s the vibe I’m getting so far from Blade & Bones.  This is yet another game that does not explain controls to you in a good way, it took me several minutes and random button presses to figure out how to get in my inventory to change weapons (pro tip: it’s not even a button press, you have to click in the left thumb stick and go from there.  So annoying.)  The story is a bit cheesy, but lays out your objective in order to beat the game – find the 7 swords.  There’s a day/night cycle that you can manipulate which is cool.  Here’s where the Rogue like aspect comes into play: you start the game with 7 Purity and when you die you lose one.  After you re-spawn, you get a pop up that tells you that if you lose all your Purity, you lose your save file.  I can tell this is going to be a very frustrating game for me to try to complete.

Friday the 13th: The Game

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Definitely a game better suited to playing with friends instead of a pick up group.  It’s both fun and a little scary at the same time since it’s so campy but it’s hugely entertaining and has a decent replay value, but those trophies…ugh.

 Killing Floor 2

Another game that’s a lot of fun and best with friends (and a full compliment of 6) I’m definitely looking forward to more nights of making fun of the French weapon vendor and being the only German guy in the Motorhead reunion tour.

Polarity:  Ultimate Edition

Managed to finish this one in one sitting!  It’s a satisfyingly short first person puzzle game that does collectibles the way I like:  there’s only 3 in each level and you can see them all in plain sight, you just have to figure out how to get to them.  The bare bones story here is that you’re a hacker working for a mysterious benefactor and the levels represent the computers that you’re hacking (similar to Deus Ex: Mankind Divided‘s intense Breach mode, only without any stealth elements).  The only thing left for me to do in this game is get the co-op trophies and I’m finished!

Destiny 2

Destiny, part 16

It’s been a little over 3 weeks since the gameplay reveal of Destiny 2, and I figured it was time to put in my 2 cents on what we’ve seen so far.

I am freaking excited to play this game!

It was a little soul crushing to see the Tower in ruins, my home for the last 3 years, gone.  It was exciting to see the Vanguard in action;  Ikora blasting the Cabal ship with her Nova Bomb, Cayde firing the Golden Gun and Zavala using his Ward of Dawn to try to save everyone in the Vanguard room when the Cabal attack.

I’m excited to see what is (or was) in the north part of the Tower when I get my hands on the game and to explore what’s left of the Tower before we leave it behind.

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Definitely going to main one of these guys first!

I’m also excited to play the new classes and learn how their abilities work and interact with each other.  I’m a little bummed that Warlocks can’t self resurrect anymore, but I’ll trade it for being able to rain swords of fire from the air.  It’s definitely going to make things interesting trying to raid without the usual linchpins of self rezzing Warlocks, bubble Titans and tether Hunters.

I also can’t wait to explore the new planets and zones.  I’m happy that public events will have on screen timers now instead of having to rely on 3rd party apps that may or may not be accurate.  I’m looking forward to exploring the places and seeing what I can find.

Like this lovely place for example.

I’m happy that the director got a face lift and looks pretty snazzy now.

Slick!

And I’m so happy that we don’t have to go to orbit anymore to go to a new location.  We can just pick a new place and BAM! off we go.

A new raid, new strikes, new locations, new classes.  I can’t wait for September to get here.

In spite of all the negativity floating around the internet about the game, I can’t wait.  All the haters and trolls can suck it.  If they don’t like what they see then they can play something else (like the next Call of Dudebro)

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I can’t wait to play one of these guys either!

What I’m Playing, part 16

Dead Rising 2: Off The Record

This post is entirely about Sandbox Mode.  Story Mode may or may not be covered in a future post depending on if I feel like being bothered or annoyed by this game again.

So there was another publisher sale on PSN this week, this time for Capcom.  As usual, I browsed the sale and looked to see if anything was a must buy for me, but as is usually the case, everything that was on sale was something I already had – except Dead Rising 2: Off The Record.

From what I had seen previously about the game, it didn’t look like they had iterated much on the series (like some other franchises we know) so I figured a $10 price point was just about right since memories of the irritation from the first game still annoy me to this day.  More on that in a minute.

So for this weekend’s bite size gaming, I decided to give it a shot and right off the bat, I remembered why I haven’t been back to this series in years.

Rehash Rehash Rehash…

At the start, you are greeted with 2 options:  Story Mode (nope) and Sandbox Mode (oh hell yeah!) and since I didn’t feel like having every minute of my playing timed like in the first game, I went with sandbox mode.  I was greeted with a little older (and fatter) Frank West jumping out of a helicopter just like he did many years ago to take on the zombie horde.  And, just like many years ago, I was met with a janky camera and a character that controls like a tank and apparently doesn’t run (at least not that I have figured out from experimenting with the controls.  No wonder Frank got fat.)  I was also met with the age old task of saving your progress yourself, which I don’t have a problem with until I get careless and die and have to redo several minutes (sometimes hours) of gameplay.

Not off to a good start kids…

Our setting this time around is Fortune City, which if I remember correctly was the setting for Dead Rising 2 (I never did play it even though I have it.  I know, I’m a bad gamer.)  Once I got my bearings and was greeted with the tutorial on how challenges worked, I was off to start killing.  Challenges are marked as purple stars in the environment and the handy dandy map and are, of course, rated on a scale from bronze to silver to gold.  There are many Challenges to play, scattered all over the place, but they aren’t all immediately available, they must be unlocked by killing enough zombies and the amount you need to kill caries from Challenge to Challenge.  I think at the time of this writing, I’ve tried maybe 2 out of the ones that are available to me.  I’ve been having more fun just crafting the absurd weapons and seeing how many zombies I can kill with it until it breaks.  Another noticeable change in Sandbox Mode is that the survivors all are trying to kill you.  The first one I came across was a shotgun and bomb toting mailman that, after trying a handful of times to kill, I eventually just left him to die at the hands of the zombies.  I hope they found him tasty.  There was also the psycho bride with bad makeup, a James Bond wanna be and the crazy chef in the food court full of overweight zombie women in moo moos and hair curlers.

Other things that they rehashed from the other games were the stat boosting magazines that you could carry in your inventory and those oh so annoying to find PP Stickers.  It actually took me a long time to remember that I could photograph the enemies and environment for bonus experience points, I’m embarrassed to say.

Great, this shit again.

Also, Capcom decides to still punish players with a poor targeting system when it comes to guns, making them pretty much useless in the game.  I know, I get that the idea is to use items in the environment as weapons and craft the absurd weapons from things laying around in the shops and safe rooms, but it would be nice if players had the option to be a gun toting maniac at the end of the world if they wanted to be.

At the time of this writing I’m currently level 10 with a body count of 2,727 that has taken me about 8 or so hours to acquire, with a break for lunch in between sessions.  I don’t think I’ll go out of my way to platinum this game, but if I ever feel the itch to just kill zombies with silly weapons, I know where I’m going to turn.

  • Is platinum attainable?  Yes but you’ll need a co-op buddy
  • % of trophies at the time of writing according to PSN: 11%

What I’m Playing, part 14

What Remains of Edith Finch

This is by far one of the shortest and most enjoyable gaming experiences I’ve had this year.  I think it took me a little under 3 hours to complete and it was worth it.

You play as a young woman, Edith Finch, who is returning to her family home after the death of her mother to learn the history of her family.

Along the way you’ll learn the tragic fate of each family member in turn in a house that’s as much a character in the story as the family itself.  The controls are very simple, utilizing only the R1 button and the thumb sticks to traverse a house that’s equal parts eerie and has that homey, lived in feeling.

I kept expecting it to turn into a survival horror game at any moment but was thankfully proven wrong when that never happened.

All in all, I feel like the price point versus the amount of time I got out of the game was just right and if you enjoy a purely story driven experience then this game is right up your alley.  I have a lot to say about the game but after my last couple of spoiler filled posts, I feel like keeping this gem a secret that you should discover for yourself.

  • Is 100% attainable?  Definitely if you don’t mind replaying some bits of the story to farm for the trophies
  • % of trophies at the time of writing according to PSN: 50%

The Age of Triumph

Destiny, part 15

So, with the recent announcement of Destiny 2, Bungie decided to give Destiny a proper send off, with style.  Over the course of the last month, every week one of the four raids has been the featured raid.  What does that mean?  Well, if you complete each of the challenges in the raids it means extra loot drops and new ornaments for the Age of Triumph armor pieces as well as new exotics.  On top of that, they’ve finally brought back elemental primary weapons in the form of Adept weapons from each raid (the aforementioned “new” exotics) as well as raising the Light Level for the featured raids to 390.  The difficulty feels like being back in Year One all over again and for the most part I’m enjoying every minute of it.

The first week of the Age of Triumph introduced us to a 390 version of Crota’s End (why they didn’t start things off with Vault of Glass as it was the first raid in Destiny, I don’t know) and also brought us a new modifier for Nightfall:  Daybreak.

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(Pictured here: armor from Crota’s End with full ornaments)

Daybreak means that everyone’s super charges ridiculously fast, so it made doing the Nightfall that first week rather enjoyable despite having all 3 burns active.  As for the 390 Crota’s End, that was interesting to say the least.  All of our old exploits have finally been patched out after 3 years:  no more flying across the bridge gap while the rest of the team stays on the other side and wipes, no more running the lamps solo, no more killing Crota in one sword, no nothing.  The lamps must (well, not must, should) now be run as a group to help fight off the increased amount of Thrall.  That was a “fun” learning experience to say the least.  After that, the bridge must be formed the legit way.  No big deal.  Then came both of the challenges for 390 Crota:

  • Deathsinger Challenge – kill ir-Yut last after killing all the other adds in the room, but you must use a Hive sword dropped by the last ogre.
  • Crota Challenge – use different Fireteam members to bear the sword.  No one person may hold the sword twice and dropping the sword to do something else counts against the challenge.

Needless to say, the Deathsinger Challenge was an anxiety fueled nightmare the first time we tried it.  We have to split into 3 teams of 2 (2 people each on the left and right wizard/shrieker combos and 2 others out in the central area killing everything out there in sight.  If more than 2 people die, it’s a party wipe as all hands need to be on deck to fight off the adds and the eventual 3 ogres that spawn at the end, one of which will drop the Hive sword needed to kill the Deathsinger.  Even if she’s at full health, one swipe is all it takes to kill her and then, challenge complete!  Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, my record in the Age of Triumph book (more on the new book later) is 2 minutes 11 seconds for Deathsinger’s Challenge.  To be successful, you have to complete the challenge in under 2 minutes.  Hopefully the next time Crota’s End is featured I’ll get it.

The Crota Challenge was a bit easier to handle, even if the mechanics of the fight have been altered.  In order to succeed, different people in the Fireteam have to be the sword bearer.  So far, we’ve been able to do it in 3 swords.  The fight mechanics have been changed a bit too:  sword bearer grabs the sword and the chalice, calls for the team to shoot Crota with rockets, then when he goes down the sword bearer attacks and then backs off just like before.  Then after that is the twist: once Crota gets back up, the fireteam has to shoot him with rockets then immediately switch to sniper rifles because he activates the Oversoul and it must be stopped in order for the fight to continue.  If you don’t stop the Oversoul, it’s a party wipe.  Once the Oversoul is stopped and the sword bearer attacks then backs off, it’s back into the crystal chamber as before.  Then after sword #2 is change #2 to the fight: the party must then split into 2 teams of 3 and duck into the base of the right and left towers to deal with the ogres as that phase has been moved up a step in the sequence.  After the ogres, the fight goes on to sword #3 and hopefully, Crota’s demise and a nice pile of loot.  At the time of this writing this is the only 390 raid that I’ve managed to complete all the challenges.

One humorous incident of note with this raid:  upon our first completion, everyone on the team switched characters for an immediate second run.  Hilarity ensued as our team consisted of 5 Defender Titans and one Nightstalker Hunter.  Needless to say once we got to the end of the lantern maze, we were pretty much invincible on the final plate before exiting into the next room.

Age of Triumph week 2 saw the Vault of Glass come to the spotlight and brought with it 2 new challenges for the community to deal with:

  • Templar Challenge – keep the Templar from teleporting (a bit easier said than done)
  • Atheon Challenge – every member of the Fireteam must shoot and kill 1 Oracle when Atheon opens the Timestream and splits the team in two.

The Templar Challenge isn’t really that bad as long as you can keep the team alive during the continuous onslaught of Vex while wailing on the Templar.  As for the Atheon Challenge, this has to be one of the 2 most sinister raid challenges in Destiny (the other being the Golgoroth Challenge in King’s Fall) and is sadly on the list of challenges I have yet to successfully complete.

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(Pictured here: armor from Vault of Glass with full ornaments)

Age of Triumph week 3 saw my favorite raid, King’s Fall, take center stage, but this was met with some bittersweet reception by others as they apparently still find the raid to “take too long” and “is too complicated/complex” but those are the very reasons why I enjoy this raid.  I was a little happy and a bit disappointed that the same 3 challenges from Year Two were put into effect for the featured raid slot:

  • Warpriest Challenge – no one on the fireteam can have the damage bubble more than once
  • Golgoroth Challenge – everyone on the fireteam must hold his gaze during every damage phase
  • Oryx Challenge – detonate all 16 bombs at the same time then kill Oryx.

I was happy to see that the challenges were already ones that we knew how to do, but a bit disappointed that they didn’t come up with something new (and that Golgoroth’s challenge hadn’t died in a fire like I would have hoped) but it is what it is.

After several days of total failure and some heated words in the thick of battle, I was not able to complete the raid like I would have liked.  I took my reward of a couple of Adept weapons and a couple pieces of Warlock armor and called it a day.  Hopefully the next time that it’s featured we’ll have more success.

 

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(Pictured here: armor from King’s Fall with full ornaments)

That brings us to this, week 4 of the Age of Triumph an the featured raid of Wrath of the Machine.  The challenges:

  • Vosik Challenge – use one of the last 2 SIVA bombs to close the door to the clean room during the end of the round.
  • Aksis Challenge – kill everything in the room, don’t die, make sure you stun Aksis, make dinner, take a shower, try to balance your work and social life and shove a broom up your ass and sweep in your spare time (in other words I don’t know how this one works)

Have, on my part, been met unanswered as I don’t particularly care for this raid and I don’t really know why.  I guess because I just don’t really find it fulfilling like the others; there’s nothing new to learn even in 390 mode as it’s just additional irritation on top of being an anxiety fueled nightmare even on normal mode.  I’m sure with the window of time we have until Destiny 2 (September 8th) I’ll just have to suck it up and do the raid and challenges whether I want to or not (especially if I’m going to get those new Adept weapons.)

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(Pictured here: armor from Wrath of the Machine with full ornaments)

At the time of this writing, I have acquired 4 out of the (I think) 16 new Exotic weapons but I hope to get them all before the end of Destiny’s life.  We haven’t reach a consensus as to whether or not we’ll keep playing once part 2 is released, so I might have time to get them, I might not.  If I don’t I won’t cry about it since nothing from Destiny is going to carry over to part 2.  Still not sure how I feel about that, but, it is what it is.  Maybe Bungie will make something that’s so great that we won’t want to go back, or maybe it will fail spectacularly and will be the final nail in the coffin.  All we can do now is wait and see.

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On launch day for the Age of Triumph, a new 13 page book was introduced for us to chip away at, only this time instead of intangible in-game rewards for our accomplishments we are met with a new carrot on the stick: a shirt with our gamertag on it!  I didn’t really care about this at first, but at the time of this writing I’ve reached the final rank in the book (rank 7) and I’m at 96% complete.  You can still get the shirt without “completing” the book, the catch is that the price tag is astronomical ($777,777.77 without the discount code you get from the Age of Triumph book versus $20 with the code.)  If I do succeed in getting the code from the book and decide to buy the shirt, I’ll most likely put it in a shadowbox and hang it on the wall instead of actually wearing it.  I just hope I don’t have to actually do everything in the book because I could care less about the Trials of Osiris and Crucible pages and I’m hesitant to delete my alternate Warlock for a new Hunter.  So if those 3 pages are out, that leaves me with trying to finish the Raid page and the Warlock page if possible.  I’ll see what happens in the coming weeks, stay tuned.

What I’m Playing, part 13

Talisman:  Digital Edition

One of my all time favorite board games has finally come to PSN!  It’s a bit on the expensive side ($30 USD) but at least it includes ALL the expansions currently available for the physical copy of the game.  If you’ve never played the game before and this is your first time, the only small mercy is that there’s plenty of pop ups that explain how things work and whats going on at any given time.  On the bad side, playing against the computer is total bullshit and positively boring so, unless you’re a glutton for punishment, find some friends to play it with instead!

  • Is the platinum attainable:  Yes with a lot of luck (win a game without losing a life?  holy shit…)
  • % of trophies at the time of writing according to PSN: 0%

What I’m Playing, part 12

Call of Duty:  Black Ops 3

As part of our quest to find another multiplayer game to play together, one of the games that we decided to try out was this one because 3 of the others already had a copy, so I decided to pick one up.

We haven’t really played it much since we were a little disheartened by the PvP multiplayer portion (we sucked at it) plus it’s just not that much fun for us as a group.

I personally liked it for it’s over the top action sequences and the fact there are a LOT of sexy, masculine, testosterone oozing men in this game.  It’s a pleasure for me to just watch your character on the title screen clean his gun while smoking a cigar.

I like the Destiny like abilities that your character has and the DIY cybernetics that you have to choose from plus the fact that there’s a 4 player campaign co-op.  Hopefully I’ll be able to get back to this again sometime.

  • Is the platinum attainable?  Pfft, yeah right…I don’t have that kind of time.  Plus I’d have to stop masturbating to the title screen and actually play the game.
  • % of trophies at the time of writing according to PSN: 1%