Week In Gaming 9/6/2015

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The Long Weekend

This week was pretty crazy, and involved a whole heap of work related stress.  That said it is also the week before the labor day holiday here in the United States.  With that in mind the stresses seemed to be more manageable knowing that I had a four day weekend waiting for me.  The funny thing about doing these review posts is that I don’t realize I played quite as many games as I did until I actually sit back trying to sort it all out.  I am not sure how effective of an adult I am going to be today, because a combination of allergies and exhaustion are settling in and leaving me groggy as hell this morning.  Yesterday we did one of our whirlwind circuits of Walmart stores looking for back to school clearance… and of course for me… clearance Legos.  During the course of the day we hit six different stores in several towns just outside of the Tulsa Metro area, and I managed to get a Lego Star Wars Snow Speeder and Tie Interceptor which made me pretty damned happy.

Destiny

Bel Failing at Destiny

With all of the talk of the Destiny expansion, I decided to give the game a spin again since there are several content packs that I have yet to even touch.  That said a combination of lack of gear, and lack of skill kept me from really progressing.  I am not sure what sort of gear levels they are expecting players to have upon starting the new story content, but at 22 light it felt like I simply lacked the punch needed to chew through it.  I did have several nice weapons waiting for me when I logged in, so I guess that was awesome.  One of which was a nice hand cannon, which when I last played Destiny was the weapon I really enjoyed running around with.  I want to get in and figure out how best to increase my light score, and throw on a few levels before trying this out again.  Supposedly right now Xur has a night Titan helm available so I might boot this up after the blog post and see what that does for my total light bonus.

Grow Home

Quirky Robot Exploration Game

 

While on the subject of PlayStation 4 games, this week also saw the release of a whole batch of brand new PlayStation Plus free games.  If you own ANY Sony products… and are not a PlayStation Plus member, I highly suggest you do.  One of the big positives about the PlayStation platform is how well the various products ultimately interact with each other.  One nifty trick that my friend Ashgar showed me is that you can log in via the web interface and quickly “purchase” all of the free games even if you don’t happen to own a given platform.  So for example for the longest time I only had a PS3, but I was still picking up Vita and PS4 games every month so that when I finally broke down and bought the consoles I had an existing game library.  $50 a year ends up getting you a minimum of six new games each month.  You cannot beat that anywhere.

This month saw something slightly different for the PS+ process in that they allowed the subscribers to vote between a choice of three games for one of the September slots.  I personally voted for Armello, but it seems like the community as a whole really got behind the game Grow Home.  These is by the UbiSoft branch that does more “indie” titles, and quite honestly… it is not ready for prime time.  In my short period of time playing the game it locked up and froze numerous times on me.  It is in theory a quirky exploration game where you play a robot that has been dropped on a planet to explore it.  You collect crystals, climb surfaces, pick up items… all in an attempt to explore more.  It has some strange controls but I got used to them pretty quickly.  The only problem I have is the whole open world blocky exploration thing doesn’t quite hook me the way it used to… seeing as I have now played Minecraft for half a decade.

Teslagrad

Block Polarity for Fun and Profit

While Grow Home didn’t really grasp me…  Teslagrad absolutely did and I made the mistake of booting this up late one night…  and then ending up playing for over an hour before realizing just how late it had gotten.  The story of the game is that you live in the Kingdom of Elektropia and find yourself being hunted by the King’s guard.  You feel from them and find your way into Teslagrad the massive tower fortress of the technological wizards.  The game of course does not tell you all of this, but instead asks you to piece things together from bits and pieces of information you see in the levels of the game on tapestries and through little animatronic theaters.  The gameplay itself is simple and brutal at the same time.  The core mechanic of the game centers around polarity… hitting certain objects with your left trigger button will shift it “blue” and with your right trigger button shift it “red”.  This simply mechanic is used throughout this metroidvania puzzler to complete levels.  There is also a level of twitch gameplay as you have to use other abilities at just the right moment to get through the levels.  The challenge being that ANY damage taken will kill you.  Much like Ori and the Blind Forest the game employs a really nice checkpoint system so very rarely do you have to repeat much gameplay, allowing you to quickly learn your way through a given puzzle element through rapid succession.  The art style is this lovely hand drawn, hand painted feel that works really nicely.  I highly suggest you check it out even if you don’t have access to Playstation Plus.

Rift

Badass Flying Bike

While I did not really play a lot of it, I did spend time in Rift.  I ended up getting a code for the fourth anniversary aethercycle, which prompted me to want to return and play the game some more.  Funny how cosmetic items can do that.  I mostly spent time working on the “Intrepid Adventures” which sends you through a series of “Instant Adventure” style interactions deep within otherwise Raid only zones.  The experience was fairly slow going, but it might be an entertaining way to get to the level cap.  Right now I am 62.5 and I would really like to reach the level cap on at least one character before the next expansion lands.  I am not sure why but I have really struggled leveling in the post vanilla Rift game.

Final Fantasy XIV

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With folks at Pax Prime, it ended up being a bit strange as far as raiding weeks went.  We did not have the Monday raid and with tomorrow being a holiday I don’t think we plan on raiding that night either.  By the time we get back to work on Ravana Extreme we are going to be rusty as hell.  Wednesday night also lacked the people to meet, so instead we worked on Alexander for folks.  The 2nd anniversary event is going on in game and I highly suggest that you check it out because I think it is going away quickly.  Easily some of the most touching content I have completed in any game, because it breaks the fourth way in a good way.  Still going through a bit of a Final Fantasy XIV break, but poking my head in periodically to check and make sure everything is still going well.

Diablo 3

Greed Pays… at least when it comes to killing him

Once again this week I spent the vast majority of my time in Diablo 3.  At this point I am completely decked out in legendaries… thought not really the right ones.  I am also at Paragon 91 which makes my seasonal character far and away my most progressed character yet.  I think on the normal servers I am only something like Paragon 19.  At this point I am working on bounties and then grouping up with friends whenever folks are around, mostly for the highest chance of seeing set pieces drop.  I currently have a charge build, which helps me keep up with my wizard friends and also as soon as I can get one more piece of gear… deals a silly amount of damage.  I am having a blast, but still completely baffled that for some reason the game has just “clicked” with me where it did not for so long.  I am one achievement away from getting my season four rewards, and after I wrap this blog post I am probably going to pop in and work on just that.  It was a fun week, and I am really starting to enjoy doing these posts, hopefully you all my readers also like them.

 

 

Extra Life Results

AggroChat #28 – Server Nightmares and Spycraft

Last night we recorded another episode of the AggroChat podcast, which is something that was a bit up in the air a few weeks back.  Because of all of the excitement going on with Extra Life streams and Team Alliance of Awesome… I had wondered at one point if we should just skip the week.  Thankfully we had plenty of stuff to talk about and the normal cast of characters were all in attendance.  Last night we were joined by Ashgar, Kodra, Rae and Tam as we discuss all sorts of stuff going on.  It was a weird lead up for me, since I was out and about all day long, and didn’t really have much time to catch up on the news until right before we started recording.

We talked about the latest round of FFXIV announcements coming out of the London Fanfest.  Unfortunately the announcement that we got in Vegas of the Job information coming in London… was a bit of a tease.  We also talk about what we are looking forward to Tuesday when the 2.4 patch lands.  I talk about my experiences with Rift Nightmare Tide launch and the fairly catastrophic server rollback that caused me to loose essentially one entire days worth of playtime and a bunch of other stuff that came with that.  Tam and Kodra talk about their experiences playing Civilization Beyond Earth as a co-operative team.  Finally Rae fills us in on some of the craziness that is happening in the post season League.  It seems like there is a ton of “horse trading” going on as players are swapping teams left and right.

Extra Life Results

teamallianceofawesome_progress I have to say I am really damned proud of Team Alliance of Awesome.  We opted to do the 25 hour marathon relay style where each of us would pass the baton to the next leg of the stream.  I personally chose to take the 11pm EST to 3am EST slot thinking I could just stay up after we record the podcast and push through it.  I did however take a nap in preparation but I have to thank all of the folks that showed up during the middle of the night to cheer me on.  You guys kept me awake and responsive.  During that last hour after Pazz logged out of voice chat I got more than a tiny bit quiet.  All told we had 9 total participants and as you can see from the image on the right side we raised $1728 for the Extra Life charity.  So I want to thank everyone that participated by taking a leg of the stream, and everyone who tuned in to cheer us on.  It was an awesome experience and I am hoping next year we can maybe even make it bigger somehow.  I know as we neared go time folks came out of the woodwork wanting to participate but we had already assigned all of the slots.

One of the things that I thought was awesome was just how varied the group was in what all they streamed.  Sure there were a few games that got duplicated but there was a ton of variety from Single Player to MMOs to even Classic Console games.  There seemed to be a little bit for everyone.  I know Ashgar even managed to completely beat the Kirby game he was playing during his stream, which is pretty awesome.  I originally planned on playing The Secret World, Trove, FFXIV and Destiny… but I ended up mixing that up a bit.  I started off rolling a brand new Illuminati character in The Secret World, but having not played in awhile I did not make it terribly far into the game before I hit the hour threshold where I had intended to swap games.  After that I popped into FFXIV and threw myself at the Mercy of the Duty Roulette, healing an Ifrit and a Tam-Tara Deep Croft run.  After another hour had passed I flipped over to Rift and spent the rest of the night working my way through Goboro Reef in the Nightmare Tide content.  After two hours of play I managed to finally get back to roughly the same place I was before the server rollback the other day.

The folks I am immensely proud of though are the individuals who took it upon themselves to do the entire 25 hour stream.  For me I found four hours late at night a challenge, but I know Braxwolf, Stargrace and Liore all took it upon themselves to do the entire stream.  So seriously raise your hands and give all the folks that managed to complete the full 25 hour marathon a huge round of applause.  This is an awesome cause and it was great to actually be part of it this year.  Like I said before I am hoping to maybe do a better job of assigning slots and getting as many folks participating as we can next year around.  For the most part I believe the covered all 25 hours of the marathon, and some streams ran a bit long but it was awesome to have multiple folks streaming at the same time.  I really like the team construct in Hitbox, and I just wish Twitch would extend that functionality to mere mortals instead of having it walled up behind being a partner.  I will never have the kind of numbers needed to become a partner in any site…  but it is awesome to still be able to have a team of friends streaming.  You can watch my entire 4 1/2 hours of streaming in the embedded video above.

Valdis Story

Valdis_Story_AC 2014-10-21 19-07-09-303 This morning I am cheating a bit with my Steampowered Sunday game, in part because I started playing this last week.  I have gotten in the habit of picking up almost every Humble Bundle package that comes out, because I know sooner or later I will want to play one of the games in it.  Ashgar actually tipped me off to this game, because of the horribly long name I mostly ignored it when I noticed it in the bundle.  However he thought I would definitely be interested in it as it is a Metroidvania of a sort.  More so than a Metroidvania, it is very much a game in the feel of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night… and if you have been around my blog for very long you will recognize that as most likely my favorite game.  I own copies on the PSP, Vita, PS3 and even still have my original Playstation disc around here even though I don’t actually have a functional PSX any longer.

Valdis_Story_AC 2014-10-21 19-05-02-951 You have a series of characters to choose but initially your only options are Wyatt a emo haired youth with a big sword (see cloud) or Reina a female monk that is labeled for “advanced” players.  I of course went for the guy with the big sword…  because slashing things with a big sword is fun.  At some point I plan on going back through and trying out Reina, especially since during Wyatts play through of the game you encounter her early on… and she seems like a badass.  The storyline of the game is a little odd.  You are in a world where heaven and hell have both come to the material plain to duke it out for the surface.  As one of the last remaining humans you seem to have the ability to use the attacks of either side.  There is a lot of this that I don’t quite understand yet, but the devils are reddish hue and the angels tend to have blue color palettes.

Valdis_Story_AC 2014-10-21 19-11-40-387 The story doesn’t really matter much to me to be honest.  Why I am playing this game is that mechanically it is really fun.  You wander about and collect new abilities that open up new areas to explore just like the traditional Metroidvania style.  For example one of the first abilities you get is a wall jump, allowing you to explore new areas and reach places that you haven’t been before.  Today during my stream I managed to find a new ability that allowed me to erect a pillar of ice, allowing me to jump on it to reach areas I couldn’t before.  If you are used to Metroidvanias none of this will seem out of the ordinary.  There is a basic crafting system that allows you to upgrade your gear in towns, and that aspect actually reminds me a bit of Simon’s Quest the second Castlevania game.

This is the sort of game that you either really like Metroidvania games or you dislike them.   You can check out my entire stream from this morning above.  I play the area between two towns and end up fighting two bosses… both of which I barely made it through.  The boss fights are fairly tough in part because often times the environment conspires against you.  The first boss I made it through I literally have no clue quite how I did it.  In part I feel like I just lucked into that one.  The second boss was difficult because the floor was icy, and the wind would blow you to the side making it super hard to stay on the platforms and time the jumps to avoid the ice beams.  In any case it is worth a look.  The game is pretty much $15 wherever you go for it and available DRM free through the developer or on Steam.  Good game, and I play on playing it some more… I just wish I had it on the Vita to be honest.  This seems like the perfect type of game to play before falling asleep.

Blood of the Werewolf

AggroChat Episode #26


I feel like last night was a really good episode, or at least I hope it is.  It is one of those nights where the conversation flowed freely and we had way more topics to talk about than we realistically had time to do so.  Even at that we still recorded for roughly an hour and a half and it is completely packed full of stuff.  The title of the show is the “Gospel of Galaxy Trucker” and that is because Kodra has become an evangelist for the power of that game.  He has always been a big fan of the board game, and has latched onto the iOS port with both hands trying to get as many people to play with him as possible.  Problem is for me at least I don’t have any iOS devices, and I sadly doubt that android and iOS users will be able to play together….  although in Carcassonne you could play across platforms so here is hoping.

Other than that we talked at length about Dragon Age: Origin and mostly how Kodra has been getting along in the game.  He had tried to play it before in the past but was unable to get into it, so it seems as though he is at least over the hurdle.  As we refer to it “Getting Off Citadel” because that was the big hurdle of when Mass Effect 1 started to become interesting, and getting past Lothering in Dragon Age is a similar journey.  I talk at length about my issues with Destiny right now and the mindless grinding that is required to keep progressing.  I am far more grind friendly than the rest of my cast mates but even I am starting to hit my limit.  Finally we talk about the tell tale blank spots in the Blizzcon lineup and contemplate what they might be announcing.  We throw out a bunch of ideas for a new game genre for them to polish to a mirror shine.

Blood of the Werewolf

Blood of the Werewolf 2014-10-12 10-11-13-894 I picked this up some time ago on a Steam sale because it had two things that greatly interested me.  Firstly the fact that you were playing as a female werewolf looking for revenge for her slain husband was an interesting spin on the genre.  Secondly it looked in many ways similar to the original Castlevania with a series of levels that show your progression in form of a minimap.  The dual mechanics of “human” and “werewolf” modes seemed interesting as well.  So for this mornings Steampowered Sunday I decided to give it a spin and play it for a bit.  I was not really feeling up to interacting with the world so I opted not to stream it, however I did take lots of screenshots along the way.  This however is a review that almost didn’t happen because apparently this game is essentially broken without massive intervention.  When I launched it the first time I started getting C++ debug errors, and since I am programmer by trade and have visual studio installed… it kept asking me if I wanted to launch a debugger to step through the code.

It turns out this is a “known issue” and simply has not been patched.  In fact there is a “helpful” thread on the steam forums on how to fix it.  I put helpful in quotes because the “fix” requires you to edit your registry and hard code the resolution you want to run the game at.  This is a horrible horrible decision, and I damned near stopped playing the game at this point.  If you put a game on steam you should at least have a way to configure your games resolution without resorting to the registry.  Quite honestly this right along makes me not recommend this game for anyone at this point.  I feel like more than likely the current $1.04 pricetag and the regular $7.00 pricetag maybe reflects the fact that this game has some shitty development behind it.  All of this said…  the registry hack seemed to clear up my problems.

Charming Narrative

Blood of the Werewolf 2014-10-12 10-11-19-648 The art style and voice acting are really nicely done.  I maybe should have used charming in quotes… since in reality you are going across the country side on a revenge fueled murder spree.  But I guess in reality the original Castlevania didn’t give you much of a reason why you were going after Dracula…  so it works here as well.  The game is told from the perspective of the mother telling her son what she had to do to seek revenge for the killing of his father.  I am not sure if this is like a journal that the son is reading, but it seems likely.  Which makes me wonder does your character simply not survive in the end.  I have not played enough yet to really be able to determine that, nor do I know if I will play enough, but I can get into the reasons behind that later.

Blood of the Werewolf 2014-10-12 10-10-01-407 The only problem I have is that the enemies you face are mostly random monsters…  and while the rats and crocodiles and even other wolves make sense… I have no clue why there are giant fireball belching deep ones in the sewer system as well other than a faint nod to Castlevania.  I feel like the game didn’t really explain who I was fighting against other than someone killed my husband and the father of the person reading the narration.  What helps me care less about all of this is just how nice the characters and background end up looking.  It is very stylistic but at the same time still richly detailed without going overly minimalistic.

Interesting Mechanics

Blood of the Werewolf 2014-10-12 10-08-56-566 The gameplay is split into two different kinds of mechanics.  The first is that of your character as a human.  She is equipped with a crossbow and here is where things get a little wonky.  You aim your crossbow with your right thumb stick and fire it with your right trigger.  Now if you fire your cross bow without touching your thumb stick it shoots straight at, but there are many times where you will need to angle a shot.  The ability to fire directed arrows allows you to hit switches and trigger traps and angle shots just right to be able to shoot from relative safety.  All of this however in practice feels like a lot to do as something is rushing at you.  I got the hang of it as my play test went on, but it did not feel exactly intuitive at first.

Blood of the Werewolf 2014-10-12 10-24-52-241 Whenever your character goes out into the moonlight, you change immediately into your werewolf form which has a completely different set of attacks but maintains the same basic control scheme.  Right trigger to attack, right shoulder to perform special ability.  In werewolf form you get the ability to double jump, so a lot of the puzzles involve you jumping just at the right time in the middle of the air.  One of the things they carried over from Castlevania is the constant cavalcade of bats timed at just the right spacing as to make it damned near impossible to ignore them, but futile to actually try and destroy them.  Later the bats develop the same kind of loping movement as the medusa heads from Castlevania which makes them even more frustrating.

Uneven Difficulty

Blood of the Werewolf 2014-10-12 10-19-30-539  Other than the fact that the game does not actually run when you install it through steam without registry hack intervention… my number one complaint about the game is that it seems to have very uneven difficulty design in the levels.  Granted the original Castlevania had this going on as well, but it was very much not a good feature.  I feel like this game as a whole is a nostalgic nod to Castlevania in so many ways, and it even managed to carry over the same brutal and frustrating bits that quite frankly were just the product of poor level design rather than actual planning I feel.  I played the first two levels this morning, and in each of them the bulk of the level was rather sedate with logical progression gradually ramping up as you went through the play field.

Blood of the Werewolf 2014-10-12 10-18-22-570 Then they would throw you at a bullet hell section, where for the course of a single area you would have to avoid three projectiles at a time from an enemy on the far side of the room, while avoiding environmental damage form above, bats flying in from the side, crumbling tiles beneath your feet and still having to make perfectly timed jumps between ladders and platforms.  These sections are maddening but not in a good way.  They feel completely misplaced when compared to the rest of the level design.  Why should this one room be that much harder than the others, and why did none of the rest of the level really prepare you for it?  The first time you really encounter the crumbling tiles… is during one of these sections so you really have no clue what that block does until you have already failed at doing so.

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The above section is what finally made me decide I was done for the morning.  YOu have a series of crushers that are a one shot kill.  They move in all sorts of directions, and extremely quickly.  There are status indicators above or to the side of them that show you how long before the piston fires.  They require perfecting timing to get through.  There is a moment where at two lights, you have to wait a split second before jumping.  If you jump immediately after the second light you jumped too soon and die.  If you jump as the third light is coming on, you jumped too late and die.  I could have handled one sequence of these pistons but after doing three in a row… and having a fourth one at the top of the ladder in the above screenshot…  I just said fuck it and killed the game.  I was not in the mood for that, especially when the rest of the game was actually rather enjoyable.

Rhinestone in the Rough

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Given that it is the season of monster themed games, I figured playing Blood of the Werewolf was a good pick this week.  Now comes the hard part… do I suggest this game to others.  I can’t really say this game is a diamond in the rough, because there is quite a bit of rough that you have to deal with to get to where you can play it.  The steam forums are full of issues folks have had with this game, and apparently if you are not using an  xbox 360 controller…  you are likely going to have issues with controller support as well.  Like the subheading says this is more a Rhinestone in the Rough.  There are definitely some shiny bits that are fun, but the thing that got me was the uneven progression of difficulty.  If you really like Metroidvania style games, and there is an aspect of collecting bits that make you more powerful… and you don’t mind frustration games that can be down right unfair like say the Mega Man series…  this might be a game for you.

If you wanted a game that you could install, boot up without issue and play through without the feeling of wanting to throw your controller… this is very much not a game for you.  Thankfully like I said earlier the game right now is super cheap on Steam through the 15th for only $1.04.  At that price, even dealing with the bullshit it is probably worth it if you are at all curious.  Sadly despite its charm I will likely never boot this game up again.  I feel like Outland is better at doing the things I like about Metroidvania in every single way, so in truth you would probably be better playing it or Guacamelee.  If however you have massive amounts of nostalgia over the original Castlevania… this might be just the game you were looking for.

#BloodoftheWerewolf #AggroChat

Outland

AggroChat Episode 25

Last night we recorded yet another episode of our weekly podcast AggroChat.  This week we were missing Rae, but had Ashgar, Kodra and Tam to join me to talk about stuff and things.  Of the four of us, three of us have almost spontaneously started replaying Dragon Age: Origins.  In truth Ashgar started it and then Tam and I decided it was a pretty excellent idea to follow suit as we all realized we didn’t really have a good save to feed into the upcoming title Dragon Age: Inquisition.  As such we have been lost in that title and remembering just how amazing it really is.  We gush about about the writing behind the title and some of our favorite and least favorite characters.  We try not to give many spoilers since Kodra has yet to make it terribly far in the game, so should be safe to listen to for complete Dragon Age nubs and pros alike.

We meander our way through a couple of indie games, namely Crypt of the Necrodancer that Kodra has been playing, and Outland the awesome metroidvania that I am reviewing as part of my Steampowered Sunday.  Ashgar hooked me up with a copy originally with the intent of playing this co-op…  but it seems like the latency for co-op play is still absolutely atrocious.  So instead I played it all by my lonesome this morning… we at least as lonesome as you can be while streaming it to the internet.  Finally we talk about Final Fantasy XIV and the odd sense of compartmentalism in that game.  How you can progress among multiple vectors without the need to really mess with the others.  Also we walk about how much we are looking forward to the as of yet completely announced 3.0 expansion, which is rumored to have as much content as the original 2.0 release had.

Two other really interesting things happened during the episode.  For starters we announced that we were now part of TGEN The Gaming and Entertainment Network of podcasts.  Quite honestly I am a bit humbled to be included with such illustrious podcasts as Battle Bards, Beyond Bossfights, Cat Context, Contains Moderate Peril, Couch Podtatoes, Massive Failure and Roleplay Domain.  I am also quite humbled to be the first podcast to officially be launching the network, since we record on Saturday nights and launch Sunday, we are the first show sporting the new network bumper.  Additionally we talk about the upcoming Extra Life gaming marathon and our team.  Right now you can check out Ashgar, Kodra and Myself on the donor pages and our progress… and then tune in Oct 25th to the Alliance of Awesome hitbox team to watch the streamers.  Being our first year I set a very low team goal of $200 and so far we have raised just shy of $600 dollars in pledges.  Really looking forward to the event, and I hope you join us.

Outland

Outland 2014-10-05 11-02-19-011 For a few weeks now my friend Ashgar has been talking about this particular metroidvania with some interesting twists.  Last weekend shortly after recording the Steampowered Sunday for Mercenary Kings he hooked me up with a copy on steam, suggesting we might play it for this Sunday.  Apparently there is some really cool co-operative play in the game, but at the time of writing this it is apparently completely broken in that the latency makes it absolutely unplayable.  I can see how any matter of latency would be a problem, as there are several places where you have a very slim window to time a jump or an attack.  Since the co-op was out of the picture, I opted to still play the game but do so solo… or at least as solo as you can be while streaming.  At face value it is a really artistically slanted metroidvania game.  It follows the artistic style to some extent of the current crop of mostly silhouetted figures against a colorful background.  This almost always makes a game feel far more detailed than it actually is, and I tend to enjoy this style of art.

Outland 2014-10-05 09-55-37-778 You play the role of the ancestor of a great warrior who tamed the twin sisters of light and dark to save creation.  To be truthful while well done the narrative doesn’t seem to matter that much other than add a bit of flavor.  You wander through the levels collecting coins and rare pieces of treasure and sometimes unlocking special abilities.  The twist on the traditional Metroidvania genre however comes in the fact that over time you can harness the power of the Light Spirit and the Dark Spirit and use these to bypass certain obstacles.  The Light is represented by blue, and the Dark by red and while in the same color as an obstacle you can pass directly through it.  You can also use your color to active switches and platforms allowing you to traverse the levels.  You are rationed these abilities slowly and I didn’t get the second color until I had defeated the first boss.  Some of the later puzzles require you to switch colors midair to take advantage of a platform that activates when you land on it with a specific color.  This is facilitated by hitting the right shoulder button on your controller.  This definitely feels like the sort of game that is greatly improved with a controller, so I did not even attempt to pay attention to the equivalent keyboard controls for things.

Epic Boss Fights

Outland 2014-10-05 10-30-24-270

At the end of the first level you have to fight a giant golem that is blocking your way.  The scale of the fight is extremely impressive and makes the game feel much larger than it actually is.  The camera zooms in and out based on how large the chamber you are in happens to be, and this gives a more dynamic feel to the gameplay.  The boss mechanic was rather simple but extremely effective in that you had to avoid a ground slam and then climb the giant itself while it was temporarily drained of its power to attack and exposed weak spot.  As the fight got on there were more details that had to be avoided, like a rain of red and blue bullets that gives the game almost a bullet hell feel to it.  I had to stand in the blue beams to avoid taking damage from the red beams, and I am imagining that in later encounters you will have to shift back and forth between red and blue to soak specific abilities while flipping to the opposite to be able to damage your target.  While you can soak beams of the same color…  mobs of that color can still damage you, and you can only damage them when flipped to the alternate polarity.

The game is constantly compared to the fabled bullet hell shooter by Treasure called Ikaruga in that it has similar soak/polarity mechanics.  However any many ways it reminds me of the gameplay of Silhouette Mirage and earlier title with the same basic mechanic by Treasure.  Similar to Outland it was a side scroller and you had a dual polarity of absorption and repelling based on which direction you pointed your attacks.  You can check out my entire hour and a half long play session this morning in the embedded Hitbox video.  I have to say I dig the game so far and want to play more of it.  I just felt like I needed to wrap up this mornings session so I could get my blog post out, however I played significantly longer than most Steampowered Sunday mornings… so that should tell you something.  Right now the game is under $10 on steam, and more than worth that price.  I would have paid at least $20 for it to be honest, had someone not ever so graciously gifted it to me.  If you like the Metroidvania genre and especially like ones with interesting mechanics like Guacamelee you should check this out.

#Outland #AggroChat

Sympathy for the Devil

Last night we got a much needed reprieve from the onslaught of tornado spawning super cells.  As a result I tried my best just to chill out and relax.  So much is going on right now relating to the tornado effort in Moore, but other than the links I posted yesterday I am not really going to dwell much on it.  It is still pretty much the only thing we are thinking about, but I just needed to relax last night.

Now I Remember

The other day I was talking about restarting Final Fantasy 13 on a whim, and not really being able to remember why I stopped playing it in the first place.  Last night I continued my journey into the game, and reached a point where now I know exactly why I stopped playing.  Basically FF13 is this super relaxing game, that does most of the work for you by managing your abilities based on what “stance” you are currently in.  This is does a great job of taking the tedium out of a JRPG and letting you just sit back, relax and watch the events unfold before you.

This all goes extremely great until you encounter your first Eidolon fight.  Basically all the gaming vocabulary you have learned to that point becomes completely useless for the encounter.  You have to do one specific gimmick, over and over… and do so with flawless timing or you die.  Basically the Eidolon fight goes against everything you have experienced in the game to that point.  On top of this, usually the gimmick you have to perform is something you would never do in another fight after this one. 

Ultimately the Eidolon fights become these cruel precision mini games, that are forced upon the otherwise very casual experience.  You cannot avoid them, and they usually occur at key times in the storyline that are unavoidable.  The Shiva sisters fight shown above for example occurs after a minion battle and two cut scenes.  So each time you attempt the fight you have to slog through those to get back to the boss fight.  If the numbers over snows head tick down to zero, the fight is over.

I remember the last time I played the game I managed to slog through several of these fights, but ultimately it was one near the end of disc two that got the best of me.  I simply did not care enough about continuing the game to learn whatever pattern needed to executed flawlessly to get through the fight.  I don’t mind the concept of battles like this, I just mind them greatly when they are so drastically in contrast with the super causal gaming experience as a whole.  It feels like the game does exactly zero training to this point in the skills needed to succeed at these egregiously gimmicky fights.

Sympathy for the Devil

After attempting the Shiva sisters a few times, I decided that I needed to retreat into something warm and familiar…  and thanks to the wonders of the PlayStation Network, that happy place was Symphony of the Night.  I am not sure if I can quantify it, but this is as close as I think I will ever find to my perfect game.  It has awesome side scrolling exploration, fun fast paced sword melee combat, the ability to collect gear and level your character up, interesting abilities to unlock, and non-linear progression.  This is literally everything I want in a game wrapped up in one gorgeous package with an amazing hard rock inspired soundtrack.

I think more than anything the soundtrack is what sells the experience for me.  I own an original copy of the Japanese soundtrack that was released, and have listened to it over and over.  For ages this was my defacto coding soundtrack, and was not really replaced until the Tron Legacy soundtrack.  Interestingly enough, Tron Legacy has now been trumped and The Secret World has become my default background music at work.  Everything about this game screams a level of attention to detail that you just don’t see much in games.

I can happily fall back into this game at any time, after playing any other game.  Last night I continued onwards with my game, trying to remember where things were in relation to other things and start gathering up the relics needed to progress further.  I completely surprised myself last night… with my ability to keep from taking damage.  I was going through an area of the castle I remembered, but completely forgot the fact that I was about to get trapped in a room with a shadowy clone of myself.  I only had 15 hit points going into the fight, and somehow managed to make it through defeating the boss with 5 to spare.

My favorite version of the game so far is the PS3 Emulated one.  I just wish that it supported the digital stick, rather than gamepad only for movement.  Someday I will hook back up my Saturn and play the Japanese import version again.  It has the unique features of being able to play as the default Alucard, but also Maria and Richter from the start of the game.  My only problem with the Saturn version is that while it has all these extra features, the controls are nowhere near as responsible as the PSX rendition.  Also when you get a large number of creatures on screen at a time, there is a bit of slowdown and hitching.  This combined with the fact that there was never an english version released…  definitely put the PlayStation version on the top of the heap.

MMO Vacation

Other than the game that must not be named due to a super strict NDA, I have not really been playing a lot of MMOs over the last week or so.  This is really a combination of two factors…  firstly that I now have this awesome apartment like game loft, that I can go up to and chill out in without feeling like I am taking the television from anyone else.  Also thanks to the quirks of acoustics, my wife can be sitting downstairs on the sofa, and we can hold a conversation at normal volume.  So it doesn’t really feel like I am that far away from her when I am playing.

Secondly, and this is the big one…  I wrote awhile back that my ISP is discontinuing residential internet access.  I have a feeling that they have begun throttling users to try and get them to switch faster.  Essentially my ping times have been horrific in any game I play, and this has lead to more than one extremely frustrating death.  This has caused me to completely swear off League of Legends until this has changed, and even in Rift doing daily quests has become annoying with lots of mob warping.

Luckily this will be remedied tomorrow.  I have them scheduled to run a new line to the loft, which will then host the wireless router for the house.  It is a good centralized location, and the limited obstacles will make it prime for internet access from the living room downstairs.  So as of tomorrow I will be going from roughly 4 meg internet to 25 meg, and going from single room dvr to whole house dvr.  I am extremely pumped, and ready for not having to worry about streaming slowing down everything else on the network.  We are starting with 25, but may at a later date bump up to the full 50 meg connection.

I imagine that once this goes in, I will be having a renaissance of online gaming… as I can not only download patches much faster but not have to worry so much about my ping going to shit.  I know this will not be the be all end all cure for bad ping, but it will certainly take a step in the right direction.  Also the ability to watch anything we have recorded on the DVR from the livingroom, loft and bedroom is a huge boon.  There are a ton of shows that I like to watch… that my wife has zero interest in.  I can pop up to the loft and watch the show til my heart is content, while she is watching whatever she wants to watch.

Wrapping Up

On top of the new internet, we will be getting our sectional delivered tomorrow.  So it is going to be a super exciting day, when a lot of realities change around our house.  However, it is also going to mean a super busy night of prep work to get ready for the furniture movers and the cable installer.  Additionally right now I have a cat trying to tell me that I should stop typing and pet her.  So I am going to do just that. I hope you all have awesome days, and that you get accomplished everything you need to.

To Boldly Go

I am extra groggy this morning.  Last night was another episode of that familiar Oklahoma… try and sleep while also listening to the weather forecast because you are under a Tornado Warning.  It is a fun game for a large group of players.  The negative side effect is that you either don’t really sleep deeply at all, or you end up dreaming about a tornado hitting your house.

Twisteropolis

I have to marvel at just how good the weather is here in Oklahoma.  We had been warned about this outbreak of tornados on Friday, and the warnings got steadily more and more dire until yesterday when the show finally began around 5pm.  Additionally it is pretty miraculous that over the course of the evening there were 29 separate tornados and uncountable miles of destruction…  but only one single fatality.  It is just staggering to me that so much destruction could be caused, yet only one life be lost.

Here we live in a culture of constant preparedness for that big tornado, so early in the evening we had prepared our hidey hole, and I was texting people to make sure they were also aware of the imminent danger.  Now like many nights, this ended up much ado about nothing…  but it is because we take it seriously… that there were so few lives lost.  We rolled the dice and lucked out on the path of the twisters, and had the conditions been slightly different they would have hit us for certain. 

The closest tornado spawning super cell passed about 30 minutes to the north of our house.  When that cell was extremely active over the Wellston area, there is footage of it being roughly a mile and a half wide.  Think about that for a moment…  there this is thing destroying literally everything in this mile and a half wide path.  Tornados feel like a giant eraser tool, smudging out everything in its arc.  We fared the night just fine, but this evening is supposed to be worse.  Additionally, todays show is supposed to start at roughly 3pm, just in time for the drive home.

To Boldly Go

We had to do something to take our minds off the impending doom, so we went around noonish to a matinee for Star Trek: Into Darkness.  I have to say I loved every minute of it.  I’ve always been a shirt tail fan of Star Trek, watching whatever series happened to be on the air at the given time.  However I have never really reached the point of ravening fanboy, because I just didn’t buy the “utopian experiment” aspect of the franchise.  Deepspace 9 was my favorite of the series, because they were essentially in a constant state of war and chaos, it felt like it was Star Trek for the Star Wars fan.

J.J. Abrams has taken this very neat and tidy Star Trek universe and messed it up a bit, producing something that is far more enjoyable for me to watch as a whole.  Just like the first one, I loved every single minute of the movie, and cannot wait to see it again.  However as I am sitting there watching the movie, I am getting super excited in the back of my head.  If Abrams can do this for Star Trek, a series I have always felt was a bit too sterile…  it makes me absolutely giddy to think about what he can do to Star Wars.

If you have not seen the film yet, you definitely should.  It was a great rollercoaster ride to go on.  Essentially from the first moments of the film to the last there is nothing but nonstop action.  Additionally it has some truly amazing moments in between that will play on your emotions like a harpsichord.  There are purists that will hate the film, and I have already heard enough negative clamor about it… but it is just plain movie fun.

The Most Inappropriately Named Game Series

With the return of having an Xbox console in my loft, I wanted to play a game on it.  While over the last few days I have played a good deal of my old friend Castle Crashers, I felt like I wanted to play something more substantial.  For whatever reason I never managed to finish Final Fantasy XIII, I just stopped playing it and got out of sync with the storyline… never to return.  I have this love/hate relationship with the series as parts of me are super nostalgic about the Nintendo and super Nintendo era titles… and other parts of me are frustrated with what the series has become overall.

The game as a whole feels extremely rehashed at this point.  Something is causing the world to end, and only your team can stop it… with the help of super unrealistic armor and needlessly intricate weapons.  It will somehow involve god like creatures that you can either summon or will help you in some fashion, and also include insanely unrealistic armor, needlessly intricate weapon designs… and quite possibly take up large amounts of real time to manifest themselves.  The game is just drowning in the same tropes every single time.

The final fantasy trope that just kills me though, is the fact that they give you this one character that they want you to hate.  In FF13 this is Hope… when you use him he is markedly weaker than every single character you have gotten to that point.  He literally has half of the hitpoints of Vanille the character that is introduced to pair with him.  Additionally he wields this goofy boomarang, and seems to do far less damage than Vanille. 

To complete the arc of hatred, he is annoying as shit…  and throws the game into this entire arc of falsetto emotion.  I think we are supposed to feel sorry for him, or identify with him in some way…  but all I see is a kid with goofy hair, crappy weapons, no hit points and no personality.  Final Fantasy as a franchise has a history of setting up completely useless character and intending for us to like them… need I mention Edward the Bard from Final Fantasy IV?

All this bitching aside, I rather enjoyed playing FF13 again last night.  The story is kinda lame, and the characters are overly dramatic…  but I still enjoy it for whatever reason.  I think one of my impediments from enjoying console games in the past is that I always felt rushed when I played one.  Since it was hooked up to our main television, I always felt like I was somehow imposing by playing the game.  Now that I have a television of my own, set up in a gaming area of my own…  I can take as much time to play whatever I like and not have to worry about rushing through the cut scenes to get to the action.  I don’t feel like I have to hurry and get my fill so I can return the television to its intended purpose.

Alucard Again

I find it completely unsurprising that my favorite game right now on the PS3 is the same favorite game I have had ever since first playing it.  Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is that game for me, that is so far ahead of every other game I have played in matter of deep personal enjoyment.  No matter how many times, and on how many different platforms I have access to it… I still return to playing it.  Thanks to the PlayStation network, there is a really great emulated copy of it running inside my PS3.

I had started the game just prior to the whole tornado madness last night, so only made it past the first boss before shutting it down and heading downstairs.  I am sure I will be tag teaming back and forth between this and Final Fantasy 13 for a few weeks.  The funny thing is, that while I can remember large chunks of the game, every time I play it I cannot remember the exact order and locations of items I need to get… so the gameplay never gets stale.  This is for me as close to a perfect game as it gets, and sadly nothing has ever really come close.

Guacamelee! does a really good job of invoking the same feeling.  But for whatever reason I just don’t feel as connected to the Luchador, as I do to Alucard the son of Dracula.  I won’t lie, I love vampires… I always have.  I was a pretty rabid player of Vampire the Masquerade, and did not really get disenfranchised with the genre until the last few years and the whole “vampires are people too” movement.  So the thought of running around in Castlevania as this sword swinging badass that you also played in Castlevania 3… is pretty much the pinnacle of awesome.

I need to hurry up and finish my net top PC so I can also be playing Super Metroid from the loft.  I feel like I am old now, because I would rather play a side scrolling sprite based game, than any of the new shiny 3D titles available for the console.  I think this is ultimately what the process of getting old feels like, mind crushing nostalgia about the things you used to love and still do.  I can remember thinking about consoles like the Gamecube… that no one will feel nostalgic about this…  but sure enough the generation that grew up with Super Smash Brothers is going through the same exact thing.  Oh well I guess we just have to enjoy whatever we can when we can.

Constant Vigilance

I need to wrap up and get on the road.  It looks like we are going to have another beautiful day of thunderstorms ahead of us.  All indications say that today will be far worse and far more likely to hit the Tulsa area.  The thing that freaks me out the most is the fact that the deluge will be hitting as we begin the drive home.  Here is hoping if it ends up looking bad enough, that we can duck out early.  I have so much to do this week, and so many non-work things to try and arrange for.  I hope you all have a great week, and I hope you too can get done all the things you need to do.

Responsible Adult Time

Today is going to shape up to be a stressful one.  My boss overdid it coming back from surgery, and will be out of the office today.  As a result I will be acting as his proxy, attending whatever meetings he would have had to attend.  The beginning of these is having to lead an 8:30 meeting… so I really have to watch the time this morning as I blog.  Once again I am under an NDA as stated last night, so there is not much I can say about what happened last night,  save for as to say that it was an awesome evening.

Instant Ports

Over the years in EQ2 travel has gone from something that took large amounts of real time, to something that mostly involves knowing which travel networks connect in which zones.  For example I tend to use Enchanted Lands as a switching station, since the Druid Ring, Wizard Spire and Travel bells are all very close to each other.  I find traversing zones extremely quick, and so long as you have a base idea of what travel options are available in zones near where you are going you can get there in a matter of a few ports.

Apparently however this was not easy enough.  Based on an article I read yesterday, it looks like they will be offering the ability to teleport to one of the travel network destinations from anywhere in the world for an outlay of station cash.  This will likely replace the portable travel bells that already exist on the station cash store.  The portable travel bells were nice for emergency situations, and this will likely fill the same bill.

I feel like however, this is a change mostly for players without a guild large enough to host the various travel network vendors.  Between my port to home city and port to guild hall, it feels like I always have an option to get back to the travel network rapidly.  What it also does is make it so that players no longer need to memorize the directory of “connecting flights” that get you from one travel network to another.  There are times I cannot remember just which network goes to this expansion zone or that. 

Ultimately it will be interesting to see just how much station cash it costs to port like this.  I am completely fine with new conveniences, so long as they do not remove the existing networks.  Travel after many years arrived at a point where it made quite a bit of sense and that you could pretty much avoid all the boats entirely.  I don’t ever want to return to a time when intra-zone travel is a real-world time sink.

Exploration and Crafting

 

Yesterday Zenimax released a pretty cool video for the Elder Scrolls Online covering the gathering, crafting and exploration systems.  The fact that you can loot the barrels on the docks for crafting materials seems cool, but the highlight of the video is that they get close to what looks like a Nirnroot… and it makes the Nirnroot sound.  There were so many times I would be wandering across Skyrim, and I hear that sound. and immediately go into find the root mode.  The fact that they have carried that sound effect over… gives me hope that all the other little nuanced things will be there as well.

I am happy to see a lockpicking system in the game as well.  Even though it looks like the Oblivion system, which I was absolutely horrible at…  it is awesome to see it.  I am more aligned to the easy mode lock picking of Skyrim and the Fallout games.  I love chests in games, and even more so I am excited that they may be difficult to find.  I hated that in WoW chests were just thrown out in the middle of nowhere, in places that made no sense to have one.  The chest showing up in the hollowed tree in the video seems about right.  I am all about games rewarding exploration.

Spam Mail Personified

 

I saw this video and thought it was pretty amazing…  especially when it gets to the point of the fake virus/speed software that takes over your machine.  I have had to rebuild our neighbors laptop at least five times because they managed to get that stupid faux virus malware.  I remember one time my mom called me, after being 3 screens deep into an obvious phishing site… because it finally sounded strange to her.  I told her that if she had already clicked submit a few times, it was all over but the crying.  Maybe this will go viral enough to reach our parents and neighbors…  one can only hope.

Luchador Power!

I mentioned this the other day, but I am massively hooked on the game Guacamelee!, the exclamation point is part of the name… that is just how awesome it is.  Essentially at its core is a Metroid/Castlevania game with Mexican Luchador flair.  This is one of the newer cross buy titles, in that you get it both on PS3 and your Vita.  Up until this point I really had zero interest in a Vita.  Don’t get me wrong I like my PSP, but I rooted it and turned it into a portable emulation machine, since that was a far more compelling use than the games actually were.

Also of note… Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is my favorite game of all time.  The fact that I could be playing Guacamelee! on a portable device has done more to make me lust after the Vita goodness than anything has to this point.  Additionally my little inner circle of friends has been going on and on about Persona 4 Golden…  I will admit I am also curious about that madness. 

Now I will begin my search through craigslist for a used unit…  because I just cannot ever bring myself to pay full price for a new console when there are so many used ones out there in need of good homes.  They totally need to make gaming adoption commercials… with Sarah McLachlan shaming us for even existing and not giving all our money to all the consoles.  I have 3 rescue cats and 3 rescue ferrets… and still I cannot bear to watch those commercials…  just think what it will do for gaming consoles.

Responsible Adult Time

So I need to wrap up this madcap episode of “Bel finds shit to talk about that doesn’t break and NDA!!!”.  Just think you are going to get several more of these since I am under NDA until at least Monday.  I need to go finish getting ready, gather some breakfast, and arrive at the office with enough time to print all the things and mentally prepare myself for the super important meeting.  There are days I hate being a responsible adult, but there comes a time when you are actually though of as a leader in your organization…  which scares me.  I hope you all have a great day…  one that doesn’t involve you being responsible!!!

Thief School Dropout

It’s shaping up to be a rainy and hazy morning here in Oklahoma.  I have an on-site meeting with a printing company today about a joint project, so that is going to prove to be an odd little detour for me.  I am not really a hands on people person, I prefer to communicate over email unless I absolutely have to do otherwise.  So the thought of having to do a face to face with someone is extremely nerve wracking.  However, if this moves the project along I will take one for the team.

Thief School Dropout

As the day went on yesterday, we found out there far more than just ourselves had gotten hit by the car bandit.  Most of the individuals that got hit swore they locked their car, and in the case of one of my neighbors I believe it.  My problem is I don’t really remember if I locked it or not, it is usually just something I do as a reflex.  So essentially we are finding that the thief had some way of unlocking car doors rapidly.  What makes the whole thing even more brazen is the fact that there is a county sheriff directly across the street from me.

But since the thief had hit multiple sites, it meant when he hit our cars he was likely on the way to another home.  I figured he would have noticed that my sunglasses were prescription and tossed them pretty quickly.  Sure enough after retracing his steps I quickly found my sunglasses case, and shortly after my sunglasses laying nestled in the grass.  Basically they got into our cars and found nothing worth keeping.

It really makes me wonder what the thief was looking for in the first place.  If it was just a bored teenager as I originally thought, why go to all the trouble.  Especially since some of the cars appear to have been locked.  What on earth was worth the risk that they went from car to car but essentially found nothing much.  The whole skewed logic behind the whole thing baffles me.  I guess I will likely never understand it since I am a law abiding citizen…  and would never think to break into someone else’s car.

Rift Changes

The more I think about it the more I am looking forward to the changes.  But the more I have seen from the community that they feel this is the end of the world for the game, and that all of the priorities will shift from this point onwards.  I can understand this line of thought, but having lived through the cash shop and free to play conversions inside of Everquest 2 I know that life goes on happily regardless.  Not every cash shop implementation is as egregious as the SWTOR conversation has been.

What I have seen with EQ2 is that the regular big updates continue to happen, but now there is a weekly flow of optional items you can pick up from the store.  Most of these are completely optional and purely flavor based, but all in all make your character more enjoyable to play.  I really hope they exploit this for some really cool looking cosmetic sets.  I am also really hoping that a good deal of the housing stuff makes it to the cash shop as well.

The other big thing that I am looking forward to is REX.  I actively played EQ2 during the transition to Krono, and to me personally this was a huge deal.  No longer did I have to worry about how much platinum I had, or attempt to farm it at all…  which is my least favorite activity ever.  If I ran low, I could just pick up another Krono and fill my coffers again, so I stopped having to worry about such things and just got to play the game.  It allowed me to do all the things I enjoy in the game without ever having to worry about trying to accumulate large amounts of wealth and/or play the auction house.

If you are one of those players that love playing the Auction House… then I apologize because this really is the apocalypse for you.  The best change for me in a post Krono economy is that almost everything on the broker in EQ2 is dirt cheap, making it super easy for players starting out to get the items they need to play the game.  The highest tier of quality at every level range is still commanding a premium, but the basic items that you need to survive all plummeted in price massively after the introduction of the Krono.  This was a huge net positive for me personally, but reeked havoc on the players that loved to piddle around with the broker.

Yesterday they sent out a survey to all subscribers trying to get feedback on the transition.  I took the very short survey, and will be interested to see if they release any of the data.  Essentially it is mostly concerned with how likely you are to stay subscribed to the game.  I said that the big benefit that is missing from the patron rewards is a monthly cash shop stipend.  I have come to expect this playing SOE and Turbine free to play games.  If they managed to cough this up, even a small stipend it would make this literally the best free to play conversion for subscribers.

Going Dark

As of this evening I will pretty much be going dark on my nightly activities again through the weekend.  I will be once more bound by an NDA, as a result I am going to be trying to dig up interesting things to share in the absence of updates about what I am actually doing.  However recently I have been talking a good deal more about myself than my gaming.  Over the last few nights though, I have mostly played PlayStation 3.  The whole cleaning of the loft thing has provided me something I had been missing, a way to play console games without feeling guilty for taking up the television.

Thanks to Playstation Plus I now have this instant library of titles to play, and thanks to a recommendation from a friend I have been playing a good deal of Guacamelee.  If you have not played it you should at least download the demo.  Basically it is this awesome side scrolling fighting game meets metroidvania with an awesome Mexican luchador flair.  Everything about the game screams fun, from the colors to the ability names… instead of wall jump, you get goat jump.  The story is simple, but the cast of characters are colorful and well written.

Right now it and Darksiders are seeing the most playtime, but I have a large stack of games I have grabbed from the Playstation Plus program.  My biggest problem right now is that my internet connection has gone to hell.  I am going to be working on my office this weekend trying to prep it so that I can order the cable installed next week.  It will be so nice to bump up to 50 meg internet.  I am literally going to stream all the things…  ALL OF THEM!!!!

I hope you all have a great day, I am going to try my best to be a civil member of society and deal with this on site visit thingy.  Hopefully nothing horrible happens today, since the last few days have pretty much depleted my ability to care.  Dear weekend… why can’t you be today?