Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hype

So I’m trolling through the various gaming media outlets and creators I follow on Twitter and I came across this article on Gamesradar. The best upcoming games of 2017 and beyond (for those of you who don’t want to read the link).

Now, in principle, I don’t have an issue with talking about the upcoming games. But best upcoming games? I mean, come on. First off, this is total speculation. More than half of the games on the list are still TBA release dates. Which, in and of itself isn’t a big deal. You know, if the games had a substantial amount of info already released to the press or public, then one could at least make an informed decision on what’s available. But with the majority of these games, there is so little announced that one could barely interpret what to expect out of a tutorial…

I’m going to pick on Destiny 2 for the majority of this post. Why? Well, because it’s the easiest target.

Didn’t we learn anything from Destiny 1’s pre-release hype and subsequent launch? I mean, I would hope that the media at least would have the sense to treat everything about Destiny 2 with a grain of salt. But, nope. Here we are with this game already making the list of best upcoming games for 2017…

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Now, I don’t hate Destiny. I bought it. Hell, I even bought it for both platforms because my friends insisted I play with them on X-Box, and they paid the lion’s share. But what Bungie promised on Destiny 1 and what they delivered were worlds apart from each other.

Now here we are again: Bungie is making some big promises. So far I’ve seen promises of bigger, more diverse worlds that will feel substantial and different from each other. I’ve seen richer story with developed characters.

A lot of that sounds really familiar. I remember when Destiny promised to bring us total exploration. The ability to go anywhere you can see on the planet. How’d that work out? I also remember hearing about a big universe full of stories. Well, we did sort of get that, but definitely not in the game. And all Destiny really added was a bunch of really expensive expansions that didn’t change the overall play space.

So why are people getting themselves all revved up already? Why is the media leading people by the nose again? Fool me one, shame on me and all that.

Is the hype, the possibility of that sequel or that new game being exactly what we all want it to be worth the eventual disappointment? Because let’s all be real for a moment: Nothing is ever as good as what we build it up to be. I look at games like Insomniac’s Spider-Man and the new God of War game – and I know that those games are being made by studios who I have a lot of faith in. And I have yet to be disappointed by a God of War game. But the truth is: speculating and talking about how great they’re going to be without a shred of tangible evidence – well, that’s just begging for a let down.

Now, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe part of being a fan is buying into the hype. I don’t know. But what I can say for myself is that there is only so much I’m willing to buy into. I can anticipate and look forward to a new game. But what I won’t do is start telling the world that it’s going to be the best game of 20XX. From time to time, I’ll even buy into the hype. I will get more excited than I should. But there is still a vast difference from personally buying into the hype and selling it to the masses.

As always, you can find me on Facebook and Twitter. Let me know what you think in the comments. Is the hype worth the risk? Am I just being too hard on Destiny?

– The Ego

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Cut me in half and count the rings

So I was online the other day, and I got invited into a chat party on my PS4 while I was playing Overwatch. These guys, who I’d never played with before, started talking to me and asking me questions. One of them was: “How old are you?”

To wit, I responded: “Old”.

Now, in context – it was true. Turned out I had nearly a decade on most of them, and an actual decade on one of them. But, in reality, I’m not that old. I’m currently (shudder) in my early thirties. But, in terms of the demographic, I guess I am old.

I later related this story to my wife, who guessed that they were quite a bit younger than me, and we got to talking about gaming as it relates to age. Which made me wonder – is there an age where people say “I’m too old for this”?

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True story: My grandmother is probably as old or older than this lady, and she still games on her NES/SNES. She’s a Donkey Kong Country boss. You need to know where a hidden banana coin is – she knows.

On point: I can’t say that there is a time in my life where I think I will no longer be interested in gaming. And thankfully, I failed 5/5 on this Cracked list of reasons you’re too old for gaming. So there’s that.

But the truth is – it’s pretty rare that I find myself playing with anyone older than me. In the last ten years, I can only think of two times where I was surprised to find out the age of someone I was playing with. One being a 70+ year old who was in my first WoW guild. And, strangely enough, the other guy was someone I regularly played Diablo 3 with. Maybe there is some corollary between Blizzard games and elderly gamers…But I digress.

The thing I find strange is this: to be an avid gamer is really a young man’s game. Mostly due to the kind of time requirements involved. Obviously, responsibilities and priorities change as we age. Significant others and kids, etc get in the way of the 10 hour/full weekend gaming binges we once knew. Though, I can also recall a couple I played WoW with who would parent while raiding high-level content. But, that may not be the best idea. The time constraints of life definitely factor out people after a certain age. I can even see this happening to me.

Simultaneously, though, having the kind of disposable income to keep oneself in games and new consoles is certainly the privilege of the otherwise employed. When I was a student, my gaming library was quite a bit more sparse. Thinking back to…2003/4 I certainly didn’t have much going on in the gaming department. I had my PS2, which I had gotten as a Christmas gift when I was still in high school, a Gamecube I got on sale for a whopping 99$ and maybe 10 games between the two of them before WoW came out. Then my gaming money went to the whopping 15$ monthly.

So, there must be a sweet spot somewhere in there for the ideal gaming age. But again, I digress.

Is there a time where we have to say “I’m too old for this”? I say no. Because I will always love games the same way I will always love movies. Do I foresee a point where I have to step back a little to focus on other things? Sadly, yes. But stepping back isn’t stepping away. Quitting gaming, for me, would be denying a part of my personality. It would be saying goodbye to something that makes me me. So, I won’t be doing that. Besides, giving up now would mean I would never get to use the Holodeck. Yes, that’s where I see things goes. And I won’t miss out.

What do you think? Will you ever throw in the towel? Are you already too old? Let me know below.

– The Ego

For Honor…or something

So I participated in the For Honor closed beta test over the last few days. Now, I went into this pretty pumped. The concept to the game is pretty awesome. Some personal info about me: As a kid I was obsessed with medieval times because my fourth and fifth grade teacher did units about it that included projects like building an ideal castle for defense out of whatever materials we could find (mine was made out of old cracker boxes and paper towel tubes and had bitching arrowslits and battlements) paiting murals of medieval battles as a class and being knighted. And as an adult I’ve always had an affinity for the culture and concept of samurais.

Now, I’m glad Ubisoft has given us the chance to play this ahead of time, because lately (like many) I’ve had a much more wait-and-see attitude towards their games. Especially something that is pre-dominantly online (cough Division).

Here are my thoughts about it:

So, the graphics look good. I think they did a good job creating a convincing, well thought out environment. The characters themselves look good as well. The armour and weapons of each faction and class look interesting and relatively historically accurate.

Unfortunately, that’s about where my compliments end. Ubisoft has once again dropped the ball. This game is another Division or Rainbow Six: Siege. Great in concept, but failing in practical application.

First thing that struck me was how confusing the explanation is as to the larger picture of the game. I mean, I got it. It’s not that hard to comprehend. But you get a lot of information thrown at you very quickly. I guess the idea of territories being based on season outcomes is something new, that could end up being fun. But, right now, I’m not convinced. The other problem is that taking territories forces you into specific types of matches – like 1v1 brawls. Which, from experience this weekend, didn’t do a whole lot for me.

Speaking of game modes – I expected the whole thing to be massive battles with players functioning as some sort of hero.

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Well, it’s like that and it’s not. Two of three game modes are duels. And they’re exactly what they sound like. It is just a couple of people smashing blades and hoping the other team dies first. Now, some people might like this kind of mode – not me.

The part of the game I had the hardest time with was definitely the controls. While the tutorial gave me all of the skills I needed to succeed in the game, it is a hell of a lot easier learning against a dummy that moves slow and predictably. When you get into it with other people – it isn’t as easy. A quick rundown for those who haven’t played it, you have two types of attacks – light and heavy and you can attack from three directions: left, right and top. To block, you need have your weapon on the same side. Now, I’m no button masher (though one does almost want to do that with the way this game feels, rather than how it actually plays), but I had a really hard time getting used to the way the controls work. During duels, I did poorly. It feels like playing a third person fighting game, in a 3D environment. You’re expected to make quick movements to block and attack, varying them to oppose your defense and protect yourself. Honestly, I’ve never been great at fighting games, maybe that’s why I found the game difficult to play. But, in all honesty, I think the game just plays really clunky. Everything is slow and hard to maneuver and it really shouldn’t be considering how reliant on those controls the game is.

Anyway, this is all conjecture. I didn’t like it. I won’t be keeping my preorder. But that’s me. You read this, so I assume you care what I think.

Remember to comment, e-mail, tweet or post on Facebook.

– The Ego

I’ve been watching

Yea, I have. Watching videos, and more importantly – watching the people I play with. One of the videos I see pop up a lot on YouTube a lot is “10 things gamers hate”, and various versions regarding specific games. Today, I think I’ll take a swing at something that has been on my mind for a while.

I think the thing that gets my guff the most when I’m playing a game (especially multiplayer) is when other people can’t seem to grasp the core mechanics of a game. Now, let me preface the rant that’s about to take place by saying:

I accept that there are different people of varying skill levels playing every game. And by no means do I expect them all to be at the same level as me – frankly unless they’re devoting the same amount of time I am, there’s a good chance that’s not even possible. And I’m sure most will agree – amount of time spent playing does not equal skill level. I will also say I don’t have any expectations that people spend as much time watching strategy/developer videos either.

With that said: I really can’t understand it. I’m going to use Overwatch as my prevailing example because I do play a lot of Overwatch.

Now, I get that CoD and BF are the biggest online games and have been for some time. I get that the majority of online FPS players have or do play one of those two regularly. But here’s the thing: Games like Overwatch do not operate on the same principles! This is really where my frustration sets in.

Overwatch, for those of you who don’t play it, is primarily a team, objective focused online FPS. Yes, you need to be good at the FPS part to be good at Overwatch. Being able to put the opposing team down is key. But understanding that going lone-gunner in a 6v6 match-up where the objective is to move a payload from point A to point C will not achieve that objective is the crucial element that seems to be overlooked. It’s so ridiculous that a page on Facebook called Overmeme exists, and is constantly posting stuff like this:

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Of course, from my games, it doesn’t seem like anyone made that their resolution.

But deep down, I think what bothers me the most is people’s inability to understand the team mechanic. Even without the use of verbal communication, I think that the concept of playing together is totally possible. If everyone understands that there is a goal, and that the only way to achieve that goal is through co-operative play – then victory is usually assured. I mean, the game breaks down to three simple facts:

  1. There is a goal to be met
  2. Teamwork is imperative
  3. Everyone has a role, and everyone needs to understand their role

Making sure that these three things are met is all the game really asks. And, considering the majority of players are in the competitive games – one would expect this to go without saying. In fact – if you’re going to play competitive, I would hope people would familiarise themselves with things like competitive metas, good team composition, etc. But, failing those two things, the core basics should go without saying. But it is often not the case. People don’t protect support characters, healers focus on healing their friends rather than crucial roles like the tank and the biggest one is the people who only play for themselves. The latter being the most common. Overwatch is not a death match. There is no death match mode. Everything requires that those three principles be met. If not – you can basically guarantee a loss.

Now, some of you are probably thinking that I’m taking the game too seriously. And, maybe that’s true. But like anything you invest time into, you want the people you do it with to put in the same level of effort that you do. Videogames are no different.

Till next week fans.

– The Ego

Switch to 2017

Happy new year readers.

I hope everyone got all of the games they were hoping for, and took some time to play through some of their backlog. I took some time off to recharge my batteries as far as keeping this up, so I appreciate you picking back up with me.

As I’m sure many of you were, I eagerly anticpated the Nintendo Switch announcement. So, I’m sort of live-blogging while they live reveal. I’ll share with you some of my initial impressions:

Let’s get the facts out of the way:

We’re looking at a March 3rd release date and an intial price of 300$ in NA (I’m assuming more in Canada). It will have two configurations, one with standard grey controllers and one with a red and blue – no games included in either bundle. Apparently we will be getting a system with a portable battery life between 2-6 hours, and I’m assuming that depends on network connectivitiy. Local multiplayer matches will take place over WiFi, rather than Bluetooth, with the ability to connect up to 8 consoles at a time. And, for the first time, we will get a competitive online service, which Nintendo is offering for free until fall 2017, and then will switch to a pay-to-use system afterwards.

My impressions so far:

  • The new HD rumble seems like it’ll be pretty cool. Though they could have done a much better job explaining it. I feel like a lot of info was lost in translation. Oh, and speaking of translation: Nintendo needs to hire some better translators. The guys tasked with it were appalling at best. Boring, no personality and the guy translating for the weirdo from Grasshopper just needs to stop.
  • And on the note of the Grasshopper – that guy was too much.
  • 1-2 switch and Arms look super hokey. Even for tech demos. I was hoping Nintendo was going to forgo that kind of thing this time around and focus on a solid gaming platform – but they had to go that way I guess. They make the VR tech demos look well thought out.
  • When Reggie Fils-Amie is the most charismatic at your press conference – you done fucked up.
  • I did like how the explanation of the origin Switch talked about the DNA taken from all of Nintendo’s consoles throughout the years.
  • ZELDA LAUNCH TITLE!

Ok, now that it’s over I’ll try and organise my thoughts a little bit better.

So overall I thought it was a pretty good presentation.

There were a lot of ups and downs over the course of the conference. The 3rd party announcements were weird. Octopath Traveller looked great and was a pretty old school/new school Square Enix title. Some of the others though…can’t say I’ll be jumping on any of them.

The first party announcements were good. No Pokemon announcements kind of let me down. I was hoping to see something. Oh, and no Mario Kart either? Meh. The new Mario looks fun, but super gimmicky. I mean, his hat is alive. And he can throw it. Not sure what to say about that…

Hardware-wise: I think it’s exactly what I expected it to be. The graphics are about where I generally place Nintendo. The controllers look cool, but they also look really small. The new HD rumble is a feature I didn’t expect to hear so much about. I mean, it’s great. I think it’ll improve  the tactile experience.

One thing, from the hardware perspective, that they didn’t go into was hard drive size. They did mention the ability to take pictures and eventually video – so that is going to be something I’m eagerly awaiting to find out. Not that I expect I’ll be recording much Mario.

I guess I’ll leave it with this: I went into the announcement thinking that the Switch would be a day one purchase for me. Today I’m a little more on the fence. Though I really, really want to get the Zelda game as soon as possible. It’ll take some thought.

– The Ego

Just when I thought I was out…

What’s enough to bring you back to a game. And I don’t mean a franchise. I covered Second Chances on Monday. I mean, you’ve got a game, you probably bought it a year ago, but it’s being published by one of those good studios who keeps giving you content (for free no less). But it’s been sitting on your shelf for the better part of the last year. So what kind of content is enough to bring you back?

Take Diablo 3 for example. Now, Blizzard is renowned for constantly updating and providing new content for all of their franchises, and Diablo has been no different in this respect. Here we are nearly four and a half years later and they are still giving us the goods. Recently at Blizzcon, they announced a new playable character and a new mode.

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Yup, it’s the Necromancer from Diablo 2.

So is that enough? I know it’ll be enough for me to dust off the game. And frankly, if I’m willing to, I bet a lot of others will be too. I got the platinum for the regular release on PS3 and I got the platinum for the re-release on PS4. So suffice it to say, I’ve dropped hundreds of hours into the series already.

And it’s not like I don’t have other games to play. But I’m curious. Plus I feel like when companies go out of their way to provide free content and support after this long – I owe it to them to at least check it out. Plus the idea of playing the old Diablo on my flatscreen should be pretty cool. I wasn’t privy to the original Diablo games because I didn’t have a PC that could run any kind of games when I was growing up.

Rockstar and GTA V are another good example. Now, I have friends who play GTA Online and only GTA Online. Granted – it can be pretty fun. There’s a whole slew of things to do there. But after a while, I feel like greener pastures are calling. Playing the same sorts of missions against/with the same sorts of people gets dry and requires a break. But then they release major updates like Heists and Bikers. Again – for free.

With major updates to the game the likes of Bikers (giving you the ability to form a Motorcycle Club and buy and manage illicit businesses, run MC missions and purchase your own clubhouse) it’s a real game changer. And, again, something worthy of blowing off  the dust and popping the game in for another run.

Then again, there is also examples of games like Destiny. Where the running joke seems to be “People still play Destiny?”. They seem to be putting out a combination of free and paid updates to the game, and it seems to be a harder and harder draw towards maintaining and bringing back their player base. Though, that probably has more to do with the initial offering than the applicable content.

But is that enough? Is new content a good enough reason for you to come back or is playing the game while it’s new and fresh the only joy that can be derived from the medium? Especially in this trade and play culture that we have set up all around us. Once beaten, does it get dropped off for something new and shiny? What about when it’s not free? Are you likely to pick a game back up if it requires you dropping another 24.99$ to access the content and play with friends? Where is the limit as far as price goes?

You can sound off in the comments below, I always respond. You can also now find me on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. So please like, subscribe, follow, etc. Everything helps. And as always, if there’s a topic you’d like to see covered here, just let me know. The new plan is to release content on here every Monday and Friday. This will allow me consistency.

– The Ego

We built this city

No, not on rock and roll, but on a mountain of backlogged games. No, I’m not going to drone on for 600 words about how I’m backlogged to all Hell and how life is busy, etc. No, today I think I’m going to talk about what I am playing. I’d like to know what other people are playing. Are you staying current? I know I’m not. And frankly, till someone starts paying me to do this, I don’t foresee myself catching up. So here’s where I’m at:

Overwatch: Yup, I’m still playing this. I had taken some time off of it after the first competitive season – which kind of broke me. I just don’t understand why people who are terrible play competitive. Well, I do. There’s an exclusive item involved. Part of the problem with Blizzard games is that they’re grindy. You see a guy with a crazy high level and your normal reaction is to think “phew, someone who knows how to play” but really all you’re seeing (with exceptions, of course) is someone who dumped (likely) hundreds of hours into the game – win or lose.

Rant aside – it’s still a really fun game. I like putting myself to the test in games like that. And I like that there are over 20 characters for me to choose from. And I’ve taken to the most unlikely character too – Zarya. She’s a challenge to play well. Ever since I read the article about the Korean girl who ended the career of two pros, the character intrigued me. I even picked up this awesome print from Johnni Kok at a comic con:

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If you like that, you can find his page here.

All in all, it’s one of Blizzards best games. Definitely crushed poor Gearbox’s Battleborn. Like Blue Rodeo said – just bad timing I guess.

GTA V Online – I played a bit of this when the game first came out. Played more when I upgraded to the PS4 version. But since they released the Bikers update – I’ve been all over this game. Like many, I’m a huge Sons of Anarchy fan. And I’ve always had a soft spot for bikes. Runs in the family and I’m just waiting for the day I can buy my own and ride it across the country. I liked the Heists update. They are REALLY fun – at least the actual final missions anyway. The lead-ups are pretty tedious. Well, most anyway. But the Bikers expansion finally let me dress and ride like I have been trying to for the length time I’ve been playing this game in the first place. Plus the buying and running of the illicit businesses hearkens back to the good old days of Vice City. Now, they businesses aren’t as clandestine, or as “fun”, because you just straight up own a weed farm or coke lock-up, but it’s a fun addition nonetheless.

Lastly, I’ll drop a demo in here:

World of Final Fantasy: Played through the whole demo, and I spent some time just running around Grimoire trying to check out all of the monsters. At first – I didn’t get it. The whole stacking thing threw me off. But in the end – I loved it. It’s one new game that I’ll push my backlog back for. I’m a sucker for a good Final Fantasy game. Admittedly, it’s a bit too cutesy for me. But the core game and the mechanics are solid. I watched the IGN “review” just for giggles. I don’t disagree with everything – but their reviews are generally pretty bad. At least with the video version, I didn’t have to suffer through the typos…

Now – if only Amazon had the foresight to, I don’t know, ship my game ahead of time instead of making me wait till the end of the week. If I had it in hand, I’d be writing a review of it, instead of the demo. So, I guess once I sink a few hours into it, I’ll give you something more in-depth.

– The Ego

Just a few days behind

Red. Dead. Redemption. 2.

YES. OH MY YES.

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Sorry, I’ve got a hold of myself now. The funny thing is that the reaction isn’t even based off of the trailer. Which, granted, was pretty exciting though incredibly brief as per the Rockstar usual. But it just looked so amazing. Waves of nostalgia just swept over me. Back to the end of the first game and that heartbreaking moment and for the first time I saw GTA V.

And yea, I know this came out a few days ago, and I’m just getting to it, but I wasn’t writing then, and I am now. So lets talk RDR2:

Watching a true current-gen offering from Rockstar is like watching Cirque de Soliel for the first time. It’s beautiful, unique and stirs up a million questions. What can we expect? Unlike the majority of the articles that are kicking around the web, I’m not as concerned with the whole “Is it John Marston?” debate. Whether or not it ends up being him, or if the game focuses on a new/series of protagonists, is secondary in my opinion. What I want to know is: What has Rockstar got up it’s sleeve this time? How, pray tell, could the possibly out do themselves this time around. I mean, Red Dead Redemption is iconic. There are few games that have come out in my lifetime that are so universally loved. The only other series that has generated that kind of universal acceptance and admiration is the Elder Scrolls series.

So what can they add? The online was prolific for the time. It was one of the first online games I actually engaged in. The range of activities was pretty vast, and of course had the standard “oh look, there’s another person, I better just shoot them”. So, I’m not sure what they can add to improve it. I mean, I’m sure they’ll have something new in the offline game that will translate over to the online. My big concern with the online side is that they go the same was as GTAO has. Where only the online aspect of the game gets all of the DLC. And this is coming from someone who actively plays the online in GTAO. And given the extremely high quality of the DLC for Red Dead. Undead Nightmare – despite being yet another zombie DLC in a time where that had sadly become the norm – was incredible.

So far the single player looks like it’ll be true to form. The hunting will likely return and looks like they’re putting a greater emphasis on it. Of course, everything at this point is speculation. More of the same would really hit the spot. I trust in Rockstar. I know a lot of people have gone down the path, likening Rockstar to companies like EA and Cashcom – only being about the moolah via micro transactions. But it’s not the case. I mean, I know GTA hasn’t gotten any single player DLC like they did for GTA 4. That being said – every piece of GTAO DLC has been free. And let’s face facts – they haven’t disappointed so far. I haven’t played a Rockstar game since GTA 3 that wasn’t good.

The one thing I hope for is more fun little things like some of the trophies and the horses of the four horsemen. Dastardly  was probably one of my favourite things in the entire game – and that’s not just because I always root for the villains in the movies. Hunting the Chupacabra, tracking down the pale horse – also pretty damn awesome. I always find it’s the little things that make Rockstar games great. Like when you realise that Donald Love is a cannibal in GTA 3.

So this week past begins the countdown to fall 2017. That’s the one thing they do that I can’t deal with – tease (in the most literal sense) a game a year in advance. It’s hard enough waiting in between releases, but it’s worse when they give us just enough.

– The Ego

 

Can’t we all just get along?

So, admittedly, I do break a lot of balls when it comes to Microsoft. Now, I wouldn’t label myself as a fanboy. Yes, I primarily play on Sony consoles. And yes, as a general rule, I’m not crazy about X Box in any form. I guess it stems from the myriad of problems I had on my 360. Which, in part, is due to EB Games. That company will always live in infamy for me. So, it’s Christmas a few years back, I asked for an X Box and a digital camera. I changed my mind at the last minute, and I just wanted a 360. Luckily, I have a loving a generous family, who also gave me close to what I needed to pay for it myself. So I did. My rational was: I wanted to play Fable. One of my friends had gotten me hooked on the stellar title. I bought the arcade edition, and I was told I could play Fable as is. Turned out, I needed a HDD that had to be bought separately. Strike one. Mostly on EB, but Microsoft nonetheless. They also had the fact that the PS3 was still obscenely priced at the time. Strike two: RROD aka Red ring of death for the non-initiated. Strike three: RROD the second. Now my 360 is just sitting in my closet.

All that to say: I’ve been really happy with my Playstation experiences.

Now, I don’t think one console is necessarily better than the other. At the end of the day – if it plays games, and you like those particular games – buy it and play.

If someone asks, I know what my answer to the best console is, but what makes it that, is generally a personal decision.

I think the real distinction between gamers comes when you start getting to the so called “master race” players. PC gamers, for the uninitiated.

Yes, admittedly, your games look better, run faster and play smoother. But, 1) I only have to pay 400$ for my console and I don’t need to upgrade every year. When it comes down to cost, console players pay more for the games, but less overall for the hardware. I would love to have the ability to custom build the consoles, to an extent. Start off with some more RAM and definitely a bigger HDD. Sort of the way that Apple/Dell allow customers to “custom order” their computers by selecting the upgrades they way. That would be great. And, it would probably save me some money in the long run.

I guess what bothers me is that there is a divide. I know that branding, as in anything, always plays a part. Xbox vs PS vs PC. That’s what it all boils down to.

I know that cross play will probably never be a thing – at least not to that extent. But the idea is nice.

I think the time has come that we need to call a truce. Erase the line drawn down the middle of the house a la I Love Lucy, and move forward as a community. Does it really make a difference how you game? The quality of the games that we choose to support is what should drive the industry forward, not which brand of hardware that we play on.

I guess I should say sorry to Nintendo for not including them in this “war”, but frankly, they’re totally on the sidelines with their pom poms as of now.

So yes, I am a Playstation guy. And I work with a lot of Microsoft guys and they all get together and play Destiny, or whatever it is they’re all one now. Would I like to be able to play with them all? Yes. Obviously. However, I don’t see that divide closing any time soon. At the end of the day, what matters, is when we discuss the better games out there, we can agree on qualities of the games that bring us together without fussing over hardware.

– The Ego

Not going to lie

I’m kind of regretting not pre-ordering Rainbow Six: Siege.

What’s funny, if you knew how I generally pick up my games, you wouldn’t think this is an issue I would have.

The way I’ve done things, at least for the last last couple of years, is the old throw the spaghetti at the wall trick. I basically pre-order everything that piques my interest even the least little bit and what I don’t want, I return. This year’s tally was somewhere around the 18 game mark. Frankly, some of those games, I don’t know how they’ll turn out, but I’ll burn that bridge when I cross it.

I’m not sure how it happened either. Missing R6: Siege. It’s something to say that a game that looks this awesome slipped through the cracks for me. I know that the E word can be a tumultuous time for gamers. There is a lot going on and a lot of new things being shown, so, I guess I’ll have to chalk that up to my being overwhelmed. Not too big of a shock, I suppose. There were so many big announcements that it was tough to keep everything straight. And, like I said in my earlier blogs, there ended up being quite a few games that I wouldn’t have considered otherwise. Plus, well, Fallout 4. Yea. Don’t think I need to say more than that.

I guess, in the end, the Tom Clancy games ended up being the biggest shocker for me. I’d never considered any of the games as something I would have picked up in the past. Especially a Rainbow Six game. I remember playing it on the PS1 way back when. Didn’t strike me as something that would be able to hold my interest for more than a demo run. And Splinter Cell? Well, it wasn’t doing stealth the way anyone really hoped it would. I know there are a lot of fans of the Tom Clancy games, and I’m probably forsaking some kind of holy gamer covenant (of which I guess would be my second major transgression – the first being that I’ve never played FF7). That being said, please hold the  torches and pitchforks till the end.

Like I said, shame on me. But now I’m thinking: This might end up being one of those games I break my rule for and buy day one. Time will tell whether or not the game will be worth the price of admission, but I have high hopes. Of course, the part that’s yet to be field tested is: How good will the game be when you factor out the communication? We all know that that system is going to break down almost immediately. It will, however, definitely be one of those games that playing with your friends will be the gamer equivalent of gathering around the water-cooler.

I just wonder whether or not this will be a game that will end up horribly frustrating when you try and play online alone and everyone thinks that they’re Stalone. Honestly, I think there is enough substance that even if you do get those players, and you’re losing online, that it will likely be pretty fun.

Looking back at that, and the other Tom Clancy games that got me all hot and bothered, the reason comes down to choice. Being able to approach a situation in any way is pretty appealing. It leaves a lot up to the gamer to build on tactics and strategy. It’s not one of those games that you need to sit and read a walkthrough, or post on playstationtrophies.org. Want to blow in through the roof? Or, repel in through a window? Sounds good.

One can only hope that it builds up from there. Ubisoft does have a tendency to oversell features in their games, and come up short on launch day. I guess, worst case scenario, I’ll pick it up after the first month, when the end user has found all of the un-fixed bugs.

– The Ego