Last Of the E3 Shows
I think at this point I am ready to be done with E3 2015 for awhile. In theory yesterday was the tail end of the major conferences. I have to say that when I originally made my statement that Bethesda had won E3, I was doing so with an over exaggerated amount of hyperbole. I have to say however as the dust settles… they still managed to put on the best event and was the only show where every single thing they announced was something I cared about, at least on some level. The most frustrating event for me personally was the Square Enix event, in part because they combined a line up of amazing games… with a high school speech classroom quality of presentation ability. I am not sure how they managed to make these games seem boring, but they certainly did. All of that said I am completely amped to get my hands on Just Cause 3… or that game that lets me blow everything up. I got a see a little bit of game play on Twitch yesterday evening that showed them taking out bridges… and I could not be more enthralled.
The surprise of the year still is Microsoft in the fact that they presented me with what was an overall enjoyable conference after several years of being frustrated by their product offerings. The problem being that last night during PC Gaming show they pretty much destroyed all interest I had in picking up an Xbox One, when they started announcing that several more previously Xbox exclusives would be coming to PC. It seems as though I am going to finally get to play Gears of War in the new premastered form, and get my hands in the new Killer Instinct. This makes me question even more of their previous “exclusivity” statements because it seems like they are treating Windows 10 and Xbox One as the same platform. I guess in the grand scheme of things I am completely fine with this. This lets me focus on a Gaming PC to get the Xbox exclusives and PS4 Console to get any remaining Sony exclusives.
Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5
Of all the games that I saw over the course of the last three days, the one that I am the most gleefully happy about is probably a surprising title. I am so damned excited to see the return of the Tony Hawk Pro Skater franchise to modern gaming, and yesterday I got to watch some game play on the twitch stream. It looks and feels like a beautifie d version of the game I loved and remember spending so many hours playing in the original playstation, and later the playstation 2. I cannot fully explain my love of this game, other than the fact that one upon a time I was a little skater punk kid. While I never had the skill to do half of the things that you can do in THPS, I always wanted to carve and insane session out like my one time idols. This is absolutely a guilty fantasy fulfillment experience for me, that allows someone who is relatively uncoordinated and has a shitty sense of balance to do insane grinds down every possible surface I can find.
Now Tony Hawk Pro Skater HD has been available on Steam for awhile now, and while I enjoy it quite a bit… it is missing a lot of the reasons why I enjoyed the THPS series. Firstly I loved the create a Skater mode that allowed me to essentially create a version of myself in the game and work my way through a “career mode”. This feature thankfully has been confirmed to be in the new THPS5, as is the create a skate park feature that is also missing from HD. Apparently there is going to be an in game market of sorts that will allow you to swap skate parks with folks online, greatly extending the replay ability of this title. The negative is that it will initially release on the PS4 and Xbox One and then later on the other platforms including PC. For me this is a simple decision since I played all the original Tony Hawk games on with a playstation controller in my hand, I have no problem picking this up for the PS4 which will also let me play it over my Vita. Watching folks play this game, and seeing the new version of Warehouse and School 2… that has been renamed to School 3… just put a massive cheesy grin on my face.
I had originally intended to write about this yesterday, but wound up with far too much to talk about on the E3 news front. Monday night was our last raid night before the expansion lands Friday morning, and as such we focused on the two things that have been in our way for awhile now. The first of which is the last of the extreme primal encounters, Shiva. This fight is such a frustrating experience because it combines elements we are horrible at. Namely our group is bad at doing the same dance over and over. For example on Turn 9, everyone else does this method where they stack up and run as a group to drop the meteors. However for us we simply do this thing we lovingly refer to as the “Benny Hill maneuver” where we just try and spread out around the edge of the room and move as the meteors drop. Shiva combines elements of get away from everyone and stack the hell up in a way that ultimately ended up in many deaths along the way.
The worst of her mechanics is the bow attack, which she starts in phase two. This fires arrows in a 270* arc from the front of her meaning that you have to be stacked tight on her ass to keep from getting hit. What makes it worse however is that the normal damage dealt by bow to the tanks is truly insane. Ashgar and I had to essentially cycle through cooldowns while in bow phase to have a shot in hell of staying alive. On the attempt we defeated her, our strategy absolutely revolved around staying alive long enough to get a level three limit break… and then using that to resurrect the entire party and finish her off. There is something so damned satisfying about the level three healer limit break, it is like a giant screw you to the boss when you can bring back your entire party. It makes the whole experience seem like one of those insane Anime come from behind victories. While we did not get much further in Turn 9, we did manage to take down the last of the Extreme primals so I can go into this expansion with a feeling of accomplishment. Granted I know we will be fighting all of these extreme primals again partially for ponies and partially to get other guild members through the quests. I feel like I am completely ready for Ishgard now, and I am going to have so much trouble sleeping tomorrow night.