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1  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Weekend Playlist - 2/10/17 Edition on: February 16, 2017, 03:36:23 AM
I made the mistake of accidentally discovering PSNow and Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch.

I set up a trial of PSNow because I was tired of my son harassing me about wanting to play the original Lego Batman game while he was at home sick, so I figured I'd do the 7-day trial, let him play it that day, then cancel. Then I started browsing the RPG section.....

OMG WHY DID I NEVER HEAR OF THIS?? (Answer: I never owned a PS3). Still, this is like my perfect game - I love Studio Ghibli, I love JRPGs....and then I realized the sequel is coming out this year on PS4. So yeah, I'm totally hooked. Sony can just shut up and take my $20/month until I beat this thing.
2  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Weekend Playlist - 1/6/17 on: January 07, 2017, 04:00:41 PM
Just started Watch Dogs 2. I was actually a pretty big fan of the original despite the critical backlash, so needless to say I'm very much enjoying this new and improved version.

With the kids we've been working our way through Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze on the WiiU and they've been having a blast with Disney Infinity 3.0 as I've snatched up cheap figures as stores seek to clear their inventory.

Nothing on the PC front right now, though I'm mulling various options. I reinstalled XCOM: Enemy Unknown since I never finished it, and with the Humble Monthly Bundle featuring XCOM 2 I'm weighing whether to pull the trigger on it.

3  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What is your biggest surprises and disappointments of 2016? on: January 07, 2017, 05:53:27 AM
Biggest surprise: Far Cry: Primal

I've completed every Far Cry game, but after Far Cry 4 I felt completely burned out on the franchise. I had absolutely no interest in Primal, and didn't think much about it. The theme looked boring (no guns?), it looked like a re-skin of 4. Total bore. However, I started to get swayed by the surprisingly good reviews, and when I found it on sale really cheap I took the plunge just for completion's sake.

I can't remember my total playtime, but I think I put a good 50-60 hours into it. That game grabbed me from the get-go, and I was utterly riveted by the primitive weapon combat. Yes, a lot of the elements and gameplay were VERY familiar, but for some reason I just fell in love with it. I don't think I 100%ed it, but only because I was so maxed out that everything ceased to be a challenge. At that point I was just running around scooping up collectibles which were too tedious to invest the time in.

Biggest disappointment: Mafia III

I was a HUGE fan of the first two Mafia games. They really kindled my love of "open world" type games with mixes of driving and shooting, and I loved the subject matter. When Mafia III came along, I was really excited to see what they could do with modern graphics and gameplay. While the graphics were pretty solid, they unfortunately bombed on the open world aspect - to the point I never even finished the game.

Now I can put up with some TEDIOUS grinding. I 100%ed Sunset Overdrive, and that game had more collectibles than any other open world game I've ever played. I've played every Ubisoft game. Hell, I even 100%ed Mad Max, a game that most critics found mediocre at best. I can be a bit of a masochist when it comes to games like this. Yet Mafia III really just bored me to tears. It's unfortunate because the story seems really good, the graphics are good, there's nothing inherently "broken" about the game. It just lacked spark, and I found it more work than fun.


4  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PS4/XB1]Final Fantasy XV on: January 06, 2017, 02:34:32 PM
Finally finished this one up. Enjoyed it a great deal but ultimately left with mixed feelings. I'll start with the bad since I don't want to leave the discussion on a down note.

THE BAD:

- Sorry, I thought the car was a colossal gimmick to pad the game length. It was enjoyable enough at first, and really gave you the impression of being on a road trip. But the supposed "car banter" never materialized, and the forced travel (making fast travel not available at certain times) was annoying. When I wind up getting up to fix a drink or playing on my phone while the game drives me somewhere, you're wasting my time. This game is 30-35 hours (sans sidequests). Think how short it would have been without the car rides. Padding.

- There are numerous things in the game designed to slow you down. The halved movement speed in dungeons, for instance. That interminable sequence in Chapter 13. Just like the car, I couldn't help but feel the developers were artificially trying to slow my pace in lieu of more content. Which is kind of a shame, since I thought there was plenty of content (I never did complete all the side quests).

- Level balance was plain broke. Whenever you have an open world game, you've got to plan for the idea that some people may decide to ignore the main quest for a bit and just do side quests. Even doing a fraction of the side quests, I completely out-leveled the main story line and finished at 52. The vast majority of the game was a complete cakewalk for me. Now, I realize that it was my choice to do that, so I can't really complain. I also realize I could have bumped the game difficulty up. But there are plenty of examples of open world design that still achieve a respectable level balance without forcing the player to have to make those decisions.

- There were a lot of things that felt underdeveloped or vastly underutilized. I never really used magic at all until one of the final fights, and never had much of a problem. I don't think I ever once used my magical weapons I got from the tombs. Many of the items seemed superfluous and unnecessary. In fact, it felt exactly like remnants of an ambitious game design that ultimately had its scope scaled way back.

THE GOOD:

- I'm not exaggerating when I say that this might be my favorite combat engine in any game....ever. The closest rival I could think of would be the Arkham series combat. It's that good. It definitely took some getting used to, but once it clicked it was sooo much fun. In fact, I'd say the combat single-handedly saves this game from complete mediocrity. It did suffer a bit when fighting large amounts of enemies, when the camera could get a little frenetic. But when fighting manageable numbers or big monsters when you could take your time and really use the tactics at your disposal - pure gaming bliss.

- Somehow, against all odds, Final Fantasy made four millenials in black goth gear NOT annoying. I was sooo prepared to hate the characters in this game from the screenshots and videos I'd seen, but I loved them all. The game does a remarkable job - through the pictures you take, the side chatter, and most of all the combat assistance - of making you feel these guys are not only friends but brothers to you. I'm not going to lie - my eyes got a little watery towards the end. The game really gave me the feels, despite the usual incomprehensible plot typical of the series.

- The open world. Yes, I complained about the balance, but I've grown to love open world games and being able to experience one in the Final Fantasy universe was really fun. Yes, I know FFXIV, as an MMO, is as open-world as you can get, and that there have been elements of open world stuff in previous entries, but this one had a particular fun factor that I really liked. If not for the forced travel, I could have enjoyed a whole game of nothing but traveling around with my bros, leveling up and knocking out quests.

In summary, it's a deeply flawed game in some respects. It's also a really strange game in some respects, with odd mixes of genres and content (again a casualty of the long development time, I believe). But ultimately the true measure of a game is whether it's fun or not. I spent 50 hours in this world. I'd say that's pretty damn fun. And I wouldn't necessarily be opposed to going back in and knocking out a few more of those side quests the next time I get bored. I hesitate to shower it with some of the high critical praise it has received, but it was well worth the $60.
5  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Weekend Playlist - 12/16/16 Edition on: December 17, 2016, 02:22:54 AM
Final Fantasy XV - trying desperately to finish it up before Christmas, but it's not looking likely since I'm so easily distracted by side quests.  icon_biggrin
6  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PS4/XB1]Final Fantasy XV on: December 13, 2016, 03:50:39 PM
I had a WTF moment during one cutscene when the character are all sitting around on Coleman camping equipment. Apparently Coleman is a trans-dimensional brand that crosses into alternate universes. I guess if their tents can survive the occasional Sabertusk attack, surely they're good enough for your crappy little Boy Scout outing.

 
7  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PS4/XB1]Final Fantasy XV on: December 13, 2016, 01:28:39 AM
Quote from: Gratch
I'm 30 hours in and the entire party is level 38...and I haven't even hit the halfway point yet.  Something tells me I'm going to be quite overpowered by the time I finally reach the end of the story.

Same here. I'm approaching 30 hours, party level is 32. I just finished Chapter 4. It sounds to me like the side/hunting quests + bonus XP for resting at hotels/campers is playing havoc with the level progression balance. On the other hand, I'd rather be overpowered now than have to tediously grind later on.

It's just a really strange game, and I get what you're saying about it not feeling like a Final Fantasy game. I know the elements are there, but the layout is really weird. I mean you're driving around in a car and using cellphones in between chocobo rides. It's bizarre. It's a mashup of genres and gameplay mechanics and narrative structure that is interesting and entertaining, but not very cohesive.

As far as combat, something I finally clicked and I've gotten MUCH better. One major problem I had was I had not invested in a lot of the early skills in the combat tree that allow you to do such simple things as phase through an enemy attack. I had also neglected my ally techniques. Once I unlocked all those, I started becoming proficient pretty quickly. It also helps to focus on the enemy you're fighting and not get distracted by the large numbers of enemies on screen at once. Most enemies really telegraph their attacks, and once you start focusing you can dodge or block most of them fairly easily. If I run across enemies I can't quite figure out the timing on, I'll just warp strike for a quick hit then spam the dodge to get the hell out of the way. 
8  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PS4/XB1]Final Fantasy XV on: December 08, 2016, 09:56:11 PM
I'm using Wait mode but on Normal. I confess though, I get a little impatient and don't use it to its full effect.

My biggest problem with combat is that my reflexes are just not fast enough most of the time to pull off a Block and Parry. Even when I'm totally prepped, the symbol pops on the screen and my brain waits about a second too long to send the command to my fingers.
9  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PS4/XB1]Final Fantasy XV on: December 08, 2016, 02:14:42 AM
By the time I get to Chapter 13 it will probably be patched already. I've been doing pretty much nothing but side quests, as I've been doing every quest in level order. So I only advance the story when I've run out of side quests lower than the next story mission. The travel can get a bit tedious, but I'm enjoying being a little over-powered since I absolutely suck at combat.  icon_biggrin
10  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PS4/XB1]Final Fantasy XV on: December 03, 2016, 09:45:41 PM
My dad surprised me with some birthday money, so I was able to pick this up yesterday.

Really, really loving it so far.

Thoughts:

- I did not expect to like the real-time combat at all, but it's now by far my favorite aspect of the game. While I agree it gets chaotic with multiple enemies, I love that it requires you to stay on your toes constantly. Unless you're fighting really low-level stuff, you really aren't fighting efficiently if you all you do is button mash. Once the strategerie starts to click - when to attack, when to back off, when to warp and regain MP, switching weapons, etc. it's a blast.

- I'm still not sold on the Chocobros, but they're not initially off-putting like most FF characters so I'm giving them a chance. My wife rolled her eyes the first time she saw them all in the same car and asked me if this was a Jersey Shore game.  icon_biggrin

- I'm a big fan of open world games, so the non-linearity (at least for now) really appeals to me. I'm a sucker for collectibles and roaming around exploring to find treasures and stuff, so I'm having a ton of fun with the side content.

11  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (Nov 27, 2016) - Cyberdemon Monday Edition on: November 30, 2016, 12:49:02 AM
I was told in no uncertain terms today that I was to buy no more games before Christmas. I have Watch Dogs 2 and FFXV on the old wishlist, so hopefully I'll be getting one or both of those for the holidays.
12  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (Nov 13, 2016) on: November 15, 2016, 02:19:24 AM
I picked up Planet Coaster...........and a new video card.   ninja
13  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (October 23, 2016) on: October 28, 2016, 12:14:30 AM
Picked up Skyrim for PS4.
14  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Forza Horizon 3 [XB1/PC] on: October 02, 2016, 03:34:40 PM
Quote
Lucked out and Target honored a deal they had online for $19.99 for the digital copy. Will let you know thoughts as a Forza newb.

I missed that deal by about 20 minutes. I actually got the order placed, but they came back and canceled it.  crybaby
15  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Whatchu buyin' this week, Willis? (Sept 25, 2016) on: September 28, 2016, 12:04:52 AM
I really want Forza but I'm laying out a lot of money on trips in the next few weeks so that's a no-go for now. Hopefully I can pick it up in a month or two on the cheap.
16  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] Survivor 2016 - Millennials vs. Gen X on: September 26, 2016, 12:07:59 AM
I didn't watch this because I didn't think I could bear to watch an entire season of smug, entitled Millennials. Which you know is exactly the type they'd try to cast.
17  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Weekend Playlist - 9/23/16 Edition on: September 26, 2016, 12:06:37 AM
I'm scratching my Elder Scrolls itch with Elder Scrolls Online. Once the Definitive edition hits, though, I think I'm going to be going back to Skyrim as well. I only got about 20 hours into it upon release, so most of the game is still new to me.
18  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Final Fantasy XII HD remake confirmed on: September 18, 2016, 07:06:22 PM
I'll be all over this. It was one of those titles that I really loved, but at the time it came out it was competing with playtime with so many other things that I never finished it. Didn't even get halfway through.

19  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Weekend Playlist - 9/16/15 Edition on: September 17, 2016, 03:52:33 AM
Life got put on hold as I got sucked into Elder Scrolls Online. Don't know why this one grabbed me all of a sudden after two previous failed attempts to get into it, but I've been rolling alts like mad and playing nothing else.
20  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Weekend playlist - Labor Day 2016 edition on: September 04, 2016, 03:47:10 PM
Still making healthy progress in Bloodborne. May also put in some time with Titan Quest: Anniversary Edition.
21  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Weekend Playlist - 8/19/16 Edition on: August 21, 2016, 04:25:10 AM
Also picked up Dark Cloud 2, though not sure when I'll get to it. Made a little progress in Bloodborne.
22  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Weekend Playlist - 7/29/16 Edition on: July 31, 2016, 01:50:51 AM
I finished Far Cry: Primal - just running around cleaning up the collectibles so I can 100% it. I picked up Until Dawn and Bloodborne the other day for $12 a pop, so those will be next on the list.
23  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Marvel Ultimate Alliance 1 & 2 [XB1, PS4, PC] on: July 25, 2016, 01:37:11 PM
Yeah same. I would be all over this at a reasonable price, but for that amount of money I'd expect a full HD makeover plus bonus content.
24  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Weekend Playlist - 7/15/16 Edition on: July 15, 2016, 07:36:26 PM
Still chugging along in Far Cry: Primal on PS4, and on the PC front I'm working through Sword Coast Legends.
25  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Weekend Playlist - 7/1/16 US Independence Day Edition on: July 01, 2016, 01:12:44 PM
I actually reinstalled WoW last night.  paranoid

Not going to have much game time this weekend, but what little I have will be Far Cry: Primal, WoW, and my possible Steam sale pickups - The Vanishing of Ethan Carter and Age of Wonders III.
26  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Weekend Playlist - 6/10/16 on: June 11, 2016, 12:38:24 AM
Uncharted 3 and Far Cry: Primal. I've been out of town so I haven't made any progress at all on those two.
27  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/PS4/XB1] WatchDogs 2 on: June 09, 2016, 11:49:53 PM
I'm one of the few that played it to completion as well. I really think if it had not been so hyped and had just been released as just another open world game, it would have gotten decent reviews. As it was, people (including myself) were expecting something revolutionary, and it wasn't.

It suffered from typical "Ubisoft Syndrome" - too many meaningless side collectibles, and some truly horrible mini-games like that drinking one that made me abandon my usual 100% completion goal early on. That said, as an open world game it wasn't terrible by any means. Overall I'd put it roughly on par with Sleeping Dogs.
28  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Weekend Playlist - Memorial Day Weekend 2016 edition (5/27) on: May 31, 2016, 01:48:14 AM
After plowing through two Uncharted games in the last couple of weeks, I needed a little break from the series. So even though I'm still chipping away at Uncharted 3, I picked up Far Cry: Primal.

I've been having a ton of fun with it. I was expecting a re-skin of FC4, and I was OK with that, but I've been pleasantly surprised at how the time period/setting have added enough uniqueness to make it feel like its own beast. I really liked going around crafting upgrades and getting new skills in the previous game, and this game just throws tons more of that kind of stuff at you. So it was really right up my alley. Shooting cavemen in the head with a bow is a highly recommended delight.
29  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Weekend Playlist - 5/13/16 edition on: May 13, 2016, 06:41:26 PM
Finished up Uncharted: Drake's Fortune last night and started on Uncharted 2: Among Thieves today during lunch. So will probably be that all weekend. I'm trying to be a good boy and finish what's on my plate before buying anything else.
30  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PS4] Uncharted 4 on: May 11, 2016, 03:01:39 PM
I'm playing through the Nathan Drake collection now, and I thought the first one would end up being a total slog. However, I'm really enjoying it. The gameplay is exceedingly simple and linear (extended gunfight, jumping sequence, repeat), but for some reason it's got me hooked. This is promising considering it's the worst-reviewed of all the Uncharted games. Means it only gets better from here on out!
31  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (5/10/16) on: May 09, 2016, 08:39:52 PM
Nothing this week, though I'm keeping a close eye on Doom reviews. I'll pick up Uncharted 4 eventually when it comes down in price and after I've finished the first three.
32  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Weekend Playlist - 5/6/16 Capt. America -Civil War Edition on: May 09, 2016, 12:51:01 AM
Best Buy had Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection on sale for $19.99 today ($15.99 after GCU discount). Couldn't resist that price!

I was really expecting the first game to look like crap even with the HD overhaul, but I've been presently surprised. Having a lot of fun with it.
33  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Weekend Playlist - 5/6/16 Capt. America -Civil War Edition on: May 06, 2016, 02:20:27 PM
As mentioned in the Uncharted thread, I'm thinking of picking up the Nathan Drake Collection to run through those. So hopefully that's on tap. If Best Buy puts Far Cry: Primal back on sale, that may be the other option.

If I don't pick up those two, then I'll continue working my way through The Adventures of Van Helsing: Final Cut, which I'm enjoying immensely.
34  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PS4] Uncharted 4 on: May 06, 2016, 12:19:23 PM
I'm going to pick up the Nathan Drake Collection this weekend. I skipped the PS3 so I've never played any Uncharted games, and the critical accolades have finally pushed me over the edge.
35  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Weekend Playlist - 4/29/16 edition on: May 01, 2016, 11:35:53 PM
I've gotten hooked on The Adventures of Van Helsing: Final Cut. I beat the first one, but never played much of the second and played none of the third. So the vast majority of the game is completely new to me. Having a lot of fun with it so far. Still dabbling in Stardew Valley as well.
36  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Nintendo NX Console - aka Super Nintendo 2 on: April 27, 2016, 04:56:51 PM
This is the reason I was a little hesitant to buy the Wii U this past Christmas, but the kids have enjoyed it enough that I feel we got our money's worth. So much so that I'll probably have no qualms about buying the NX on release.
37  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (4/26/16) on: April 25, 2016, 12:31:40 PM
Alienation (PS4), pending reviews.
38  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: PS4 upgrade - Neo on: April 23, 2016, 02:36:43 PM
Quote from: Ridah
I'm surprised anyone is upset about this. If I was a console-only gamer I would be thrilled at the option to upgrade my system. As it stands, I already spend something north of $500/year upgrading my PC.

The whole reason I bought a console is so that I wouldn't have to spend $500 a year on PC upgrades.  icon_neutral
39  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Weekend Playlist - 4/22/16 Death of an Icon Edition on: April 22, 2016, 03:39:33 PM
I at least put in a few minutes on Stardew Valley a day, so that won't change.

I ditched a bunch of my backlog in a gigantic game purge, so I'm going to try to finish up some short games I have: The Order: 1886, Game of Thrones, or Tales From the Borderlands.
40  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: PS4 upgrade - Neo on: April 19, 2016, 11:42:45 PM
My heart says yes, my brain says NO.

The problem is my steadily dwindling game time. I find myself spending less and less time in front of a console due to soccer games and choir practices and other entrapments of having kids with extracurricular activities. Not sure I can justify $400 for what would essentially amount to something I play maybe 2-3 hours a week.

I don't regret the original PS4 purchase at all since I've gotten more than my fair share of enjoyment out of it, but the next thing I sink hundreds of dollars into will be VR.
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