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81  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/XB1/360/Ps3/Ps4] Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor on: October 03, 2014, 07:55:26 PM
I don't think the non-combat controls are horrible, but I do agree they could use some tweaking. Climbing up on something is particularly frustrating, as you may make several attempts at it and it doesn't take, then finally it says "Oh yeah, you can climb here" and lets you climb up. I think AC was better at climbing, Mordor is better at dropping. Both are annoying in terms of sticking to terrain.

I don't think the game is particularly hard if you're careful, so I'm guessing that's just some frustration talking. One thing I realized early on is that if a mission is too hard, you're probably under-leveled. Some of the skill unlocks are absolutely crucial to certain mission types. For example, there's one legendary weapon mission that requires you to kill 100 orcs that spawn in waves around you. If you don't have the wraith attack that does AoE damage, I don't know how you'd get through that one.

Never beat your head against the wall in this game, because you're just empowering the enemy. If I die twice on a mission, I go elsewhere.
82  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Alien: Isolation announced - kinda looks good? on: October 03, 2014, 05:07:17 PM
I'm kind of glad this one has some mixed scores, I need an excuse not to buy it right now.  icon_biggrin

I definitely want to play it at some point just because I'm a huge Alien fan and it sounds like they really nailed the details from the movies.
83  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Weekend Playlist -- 10/3/14 on: October 03, 2014, 03:57:15 PM
Going out of town this weekend so I'll probably just get a little Mordor in Sunday night.
84  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/XB1/360/Ps3/Ps4] Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor on: October 02, 2014, 11:24:44 PM
Possibly stupid question:

Does anyone know how to tell what your current "Power" level is? All I see is the progress bar to the next tier.

As it stands I have no clue if a level 8 Orc is easy or impossible.
85  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/XB1/360/Ps3/Ps4] Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor on: October 02, 2014, 09:27:50 PM
Yeah, I think it's important to note that the open world design of this game is nothing revolutionary. It's a serviceable open world game with the typical missions, side quests, and collectibles you'd expect from any "decent" open world game. What makes it great is the Nemesis system and the solid mechanics of the combat. I'd also say that because the skill tree/weapon upgrade system is more in-depth than we've seen in similar open world games, you get more of a sense of purpose in hunting down optional content than you do in say..Watch Dogs. In Shadow of Mordor, you need to hunt down that collectible because it gives you money to purchase upgrades. In Watch Dogs or Assassin's Creed, a lot of times the only reason to hunt that collectible down is for bragging rights.

That's all to say that I would be hesitant to recommend this game to someone who doesn't like Ubisoft-style open world games in general. At its very core, that's what it is, and I'm not sure if the Nemesis system would be enough to keep someone who doesn't like that kind of game from getting bored.
86  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/XB1/360/Ps3/Ps4] Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor on: October 02, 2014, 12:22:29 PM
To show the attention to detail and dialogue they gave to make the nemesis system feel more alive, last night I fought this chief that basically kicked my ass due to the large number of bodyguards he had.

I immediately went back to get some revenge and when he saw me he mentioned something about this being the second time he's had to deal with me.

It would have been super easy for them to just have canned responses every time, but I love that the responses are situationally aware.

By the way, this game can be difficult in areas. I spent a lot of time last night dying over and over due to my (foolish) decision to mess around in an orc stronghold at my newbie level. smile

I'm also now on the fence about Assassin's Creed. Am I going to want to dive into that so soon after spending 20-30 hours in this? Not sure right now.
87  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV]Gotham - Batman Prequel on: October 02, 2014, 02:43:28 AM
The ratings so far have been really good, and the critics like it. I think it will do fine.
88  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Windows 10 announced on: October 01, 2014, 11:51:30 PM
I've heard that another reason they went with 10 is that this may be the last major traditional release of Windows. Future upgrades will be done incrementally.
89  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/XB1/360/Ps3/Ps4] Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor on: October 01, 2014, 05:23:56 PM
One thing I forgot to mention about the PS4 version - they make extensive use of the controller speaker, to a much greater extent than any PS4 game I've played to date. It's not just for descriptive narrative sequences - they actually pipe the sound of bushes rustling into it and some of the battle sounds.

I'm a little torn on the graphics. Sometimes they look absolutely spectacular, and sometimes they look horrible. It's a bit of a mixed bag depending on what you happen to be looking at.
90  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/XB1/360/Ps3/Ps4] Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor on: October 01, 2014, 03:49:48 AM
My impressions from 3 hours of play:

They definitely ripped off both Assassin's Creed (climbing, stealth take downs from bushes, climbing towers to unlock areas) and the Arkham series (combat, upgrades, a "heightened awareness mode"). However, they equaled if not improved upon those mechanics.

The game is VERY combat-centric, so it's fortunate the fighting feels so good. Countering is instant, and you'll never have to wait for a previous animation to finish before you can counter. I can't tell you enough how much I love that, as it's always been a gripe of mine in these types of combat engines. You feel like a kick-ass warrior as you stroll confidently into camp taking on 5 or 6 orcs at a time right from the get-go - however, the game is also quick to remind you how vulnerable you are. Before long you'll end up attracting the attention of too many captains, or slip up some counters from being outnumbered, and you'll realize that you can only take a handful of hits before going down. It's an amazing balance between feeling powerful while being acutely aware of your limitations.

As leo pointed out, the game relies on you to do some story missions early on to really explain the mechanics. If you choose to ignore this and do your own thing (which is certainly a viable option), then just be prepared to be plopped down into a world full of stuff to do almost immediately. Unlike many open world games that ease you into areas little by little, you have a pretty large area in which you can roam right from the start.

The Nemesis system is really neat, and you do get a sense that the Uruk leaders are relative bad-asses among their "people." I really liked the Intel system which requires you to seek out Intel in the form of informants you beat up and interrogate or plans you find lying around. This Intel can be used to find the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of the captains, which you can then use to kill them quicker.

As far as customizing your character, you have the ability to both power up your weapons with runes, or power yourself up with ability points. You can also purchase traits (not sure what they are called in game) that boost health or unlock new rune slots. While the upgrade paths are fairly limited and linear, the fact that there is so much "stuff" to unlock and upgrade really gives you a sense of purpose when killing enemies. The UI provides constant feedback on XP and currency gains, so you always feel like you're making progress.

One other thing I really appreciated is how well the appendix is laid out. Nothing drives me more crazy than a badly implemented catalog or appendix in which you can't tell what entries are new, or which ones have already been read. This game does a great job of showing you not only what you've read and haven't read, but how many entries you have left to discover. Entries are detailed but not overly long, and I enjoyed reading them and fleshing out the backstory and Tolkien lore.

If you don't like the Ubisoft: The Game structure (i.e. open world with main missions/side missions/collectibles), then this may not be your cup of tea - it contains a lot of those elements. However, it's so well implemented and has so many little features that have not been seen before that I think if you have even the slightest interest in that type of game then you should give it a chance.

Ultimately I think it's the most mature and "adult" Lord of the Rings games we've seen to date. It's violent, it's dark, it's combat-heavy, and it doesn't hold your hand. If you want to march into a camp and take on three captains above your level at the same time, it's not going to stop you. It feels like a game made for people who have had experience with open world games and want something that kicks things up a notch. In terms of a "game features tailor-made for YellowKing list" this one marks off a LOT of checkboxes.

Just remember:

This ain't The Hobbit cartoon.

This ain't Gandalf sitting around blowing smoke rings.

This is a bad-ass undead ranger fucking shit up deep in the heart of Mordor. If you're ready to put down your Legolas dolls, put on your big boy pants, and go toe to toe with Sauron's black army, then come on.
91  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Last of US BoSs help (spoiler) on: September 30, 2014, 12:27:42 PM
I finished it last night, but the revelation that the entire story was just a dream that Joel had after watching a zombie movie felt a little contrived.
92  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/XB1/360/Ps3/Ps4] Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor on: September 30, 2014, 12:25:42 PM
I spent four hours last night pounding my way through the end of The Last of Us. Finished it off just under the wire!

I still need to go back and wrap up the DLC, but since I'll be out of town all weekend I plan on putting some heavy time into Mordor this week.
93  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV]Gotham - Batman Prequel on: September 29, 2014, 11:38:04 PM
If they focus on one major villain per season I think it could do well. I can't really think of another superhero whose hometown is as big a character as the hero himself. Metropolis without Superman is pretty boring, but Gotham without Batman still has plenty to offer.

Perhaps it's just my Batman fanboyism coming out, but I'm really excited about the show and loved the pilot.
94  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (09/29) on: September 29, 2014, 12:30:57 PM
Shadows of Mordor (PS4)

I'm still on the fence about Forza Horizons 2 due to money, but I'll probably wind up picking that up too.
95  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/XB1/360/Ps3/Ps4] Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor on: September 28, 2014, 02:57:00 AM
Well, I officially took the plunge and pre-ordered the PS4 digital version tonight. I really can't afford two games right now so I gambled that I'd enjoy this more than Forza. Hope it lives up to the hype!
96  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/XB1/360/Ps3/Ps4] Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor on: September 26, 2014, 04:43:31 PM
The comparisons to Assassin's Creed really helped push me over the edge. I've been really anticipating AC:Unity, and this should scratch that itch.

I'm going digital as well. I started off this console generation swearing it would be all physical, and all my initial launch games I bought hard discs. I actually saved a good bit of money with game trade-ins for a bit. Ultimately, however, I realized that the convenience factor of just booting up the console and hitting play without worrying about whether the disc was in the drive was immense.

I'll also be going PS4, since there are some bonus missions for that platform and it's kind of turned into my default console for single player games.
97  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Weekend Playlist -- 9/25/14 on: September 26, 2014, 02:03:43 PM
I'll be trying to finish up (or at least make a significant dent in) The Last of Us Remastered. Since I've been focusing the game it has started to grow on me more, but it's still so stressful that I'm almost happy when my game time is over and I can set it aside.

I don't see myself playing anything else. I've got to get some stuff out of my backlog before Shadows of Mordor and Horizons 2 land next week.
98  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/XB1/360/Ps3/Ps4] Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor on: September 26, 2014, 12:46:25 PM
Seems like I have a decision to make. Forza Horizons 2 or Shadow of Mordor.........or BOTH!  nod
99  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360,XB1] Forza Horizon 2 on: September 26, 2014, 12:07:55 AM
Polygon gave it a 70? I thought they were in Microsoft's back pocket and incredibly biased.  ninja
100  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/XB1/360/Ps3/Ps4] Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor on: September 25, 2014, 07:23:07 PM
My resolve is definitely starting to crumble the more videos I watch. While I had my mind set on Forza Horizons 2 as my next big purchase, I'd more in the mood for a good RPG than a good racing game. I don't need it to be earth-shatteringly brilliant, but if it's getting some 8s and packs 20+ hours of gameplay, I'll be all over it.
101  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC] Wasteland 2 on: September 25, 2014, 03:09:19 PM
There's really no consistency in any type of media reviews, so I don't think we should expect it with games. Music and movie critics don't have consistent scales either. And niche movies do fall through the cracks of RT. I'm a big horror movie fan, but a slasher film is almost never going to get great reviews from mainstream film critics, even if it's a great movie in comparison to other slasher films.

I think the thing that stings in comparison with those other forms of media is that the price of gaming is much higher. I go buy a crappy album, I'm out $10. I buy a crappy game, I'm out $60. About the only thing that comes close to that kind of money is going to a new release movie with a date and buying some drinks or popcorn on top of it. In that regard, we tend to place much more importance on game reviews over an album review or a movie review because the stakes are higher.

This becomes even more apparent when the game is multiplayer, or some new sports title. Now you're dealing with a time limit. Unlike a movie, which you can watch 2 years after release and still enjoy, by the time you make up your mind about that new Call of Duty it will be replaced by a new version or your friends will have moved on to something else.

Anyway, sorry to continue the derail of the thread, but I think it's a really interesting discussion. Keep up the game impressions - this one's on my radar but I'll have to wait for a price drop.
102  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC] Wasteland 2 on: September 25, 2014, 12:26:16 PM
That's why people should actually read reviews and not just take scores at face value. I can't count the number of times the reviewer has showered a game with praise throughout the article then gave it a 70% because he ran into a multiplayer bug or something.

I think you can still trust professional reviews, but it's like trusting reviews for any product. You have to do the legwork. That means reading a BUNCH of them and finding the common themes.

Alas, I know the general population is not willing to devote that kind of energy to it. As for RT for games, I could almost swear I remembered them experimenting with that some time back.
103  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Cholesterol Blues (Paging Pete Rock) on: September 24, 2014, 06:37:58 PM
I first got checked when I turned 30 and it was borderline high. Higher than someone my age should have been (mine was mostly hereditary as well).

They put me on a very low dose (5mg) of Crestor. I actually wound up taking it for 8 years with no ill effects. However, I had to get bloodwork done every 6 months to make sure it wasn't causing any liver damage, so that's always a fun thing to have hanging over your head.

I will say though, that statins kick cholesterol's ass. Mine dropped 100 points. However, like you, I'm not really one that wants to take medicine if I don't have to.

I finally got off the statins completely last year due to a combination of diet and exercise. I could have probably got off them a lot sooner, but it was easier to eat pizza, french fries, and Crestor than to actually eat right and work out.

Regular exercise and eating better (not perfectly, just better) got me to a point where I could stop taking them. My cholesterol is still on the high end of normal, but it's at least manageable without the drugs.

I don't really know whether statins are "good" or "bad." All I can tell you is I survived 8 years with no harm done. I can also tell you I'd rather not take them than take them. I'd definitely aim to control it through diet and exercise if at all possible, because that's going to have broader beneficial health effects than just cholesterol.
104  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Final Fantasy XV on: September 22, 2014, 11:43:13 PM
I predict that like in every other Final Fantasy game I will despise 90% of the characters but somehow still have a blast playing it. I predict that I will also spend approximately 15 of the 40 hours I spend on it bitching about how long the cutscenes are and would the developers mind if I played the goddamn game already. However, I will never skip those cutscenes for fear of missing some of the story which is entirely too confusing to comprehend anyway.
105  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (09/22) on: September 22, 2014, 11:36:07 AM
Nothing. FIFA 15 was tempting, but I'm sure EA will add it EA Access at some point so no point in paying $60 for it.
106  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Weekend Playlist -- 9/19/14 on: September 19, 2014, 06:33:03 PM
The Last of Us Remastered (PS4). I've got to finish this damn game even though I'm not head over heels for it. Story-wise and presentation-wise it's excellent, but I see a lot of ways in which the gameplay could have been improved.
107  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360,XB1] Forza Horizon 2 on: September 18, 2014, 02:59:29 AM
I gave this a whirl tonight for about an hour. Long enough to zip through the solo bit and mess around with online free roam.

Overall I really liked it. The driving feels good, the graphics are excellent, and the cross-country open world stuff is waaaay more interesting than Forza 5's boring circuit races and menu-driven progression.

About the only hesitation I have after playing the demo is whether or not a racing game (even a very good one) is going to hold my attention when the next couple of months are so jam-packed with big story-driven titles. It seems  for me like a title better suited for the post-holiday drought.
108  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: MS Buys Minecraft on: September 16, 2014, 11:16:23 PM
Quote from: Dante Rising
I don't understand the logic behind this purchase, either. For 2.5 billion dollars, they could have jump started 25-35 new AAA IPs, and possibly come up with the next Assassin's Creed, Destiny, Halo, or Gears of War. To spend this much money on one property is counterintuitive to me.

Microsoft doesn't care about console IPs. This is a bid to sell smartphones.
109  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: MS Buys Minecraft on: September 16, 2014, 05:27:15 PM
It would be interesting to see Microsoft dump some money into a sequel or something. Minecraft really hasn't changed all that much other than being ported around to different platforms. I'd love to see what they could do with a big development team behind it.

There have been a lot of clones that have done some really cool stuff with the premise, but some of the coolest feature sets have been in the 2D clones. I'd like to see some of that carried over to a 3D version.
110  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PS3,360,PS4,XB1,PC] Grand Theft Auto V on: September 16, 2014, 04:41:06 PM
That would actually be really awesome. Then we could laugh about it and hang out, drink beer, and play games!
111  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you (AT)Buying this week? (09/15) on: September 16, 2014, 12:13:58 PM
I wound up picking up Expeditions:Conquistador from the Humble Store for $4.99. I've had my eye on that one for quite some time and even though I don't really need another one in my backlog, the price point was right.
112  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Destiny -Bungie's new game with Activision on: September 16, 2014, 12:34:41 AM
Quote from: Ridah
Everyone's expectations seem to be in line with a shooter,

Hmm...wonder why that is?

"We don't use the term 'MMO' because we think that where players engage with this and where they spend their time is in that great action gameplay," says Lead Engineer Chris Butcher. "We think of destiny first and foremost as a first-person shooter. It's a great action game; it's got a really visceral combat to it. and then we've added a lot of elements of this living, persistent world with a lot of socialization and customization."

113  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Destiny -Bungie's new game with Activision on: September 15, 2014, 11:37:27 PM
Quote from: Harpua3
I read something from bungie today that said the players don't understand this game and it take about 20 hrs to get interesting.

Yeah, that's an example of what I was talking about. I can't remember a developer going so far out of their way to tell people what they should think about a game as Bungie has with Destiny. Their spin machine is going full blast.
114  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: MS Buys Minecraft on: September 15, 2014, 11:32:24 PM
I gave it a fair shake a year or two ago, and there were a lot of aspects that I really liked. However, I like a lot of structure in my games so without quests or goals or something to guide me I got bored with the sandbox pretty quickly. I do respect it for basically creating a new genre of game, but I just found it wasn't really my cup of tea.
115  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/XB1/360/Ps3/Ps4] Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor on: September 15, 2014, 09:19:53 PM
The Game Informer feature article on it awhile back made it sound really cool, but with so many must-buy games coming out this fall I've decided to wait and see how the reviews shake out. Middle Earth games have always been so hit-or-miss that I'm a little skeptical despite the fact that everything I've read sounds pretty awesome.
116  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Netflix Instant Watch recommendation thread on: September 15, 2014, 06:41:08 PM
Nymph()manic Vol.1 & 2   Actually did a google search on this before watching and I am glad I did.  Very good movie about a women dealing with her addiction and the consequences it has on her life .

I had read a bit about this one and queued it up to start, then got sidetracked and never finished it.

So I went to put a movie on for the kids and of course the first thing that pops up is NYMPHOMANIAC PART I on my recently watched list. My wife just gives me a look like, "Well, I know what you've been doing in the evening." I tried to explain that this was a legitimate film, not a XXX porno, but I don't think she was buying it.  icon_redface
117  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Summer TV Binge Watching Report on: September 15, 2014, 06:37:32 PM
We did Black Sails, Penny Dreadful, Hannibal Season 2, Crossbones, Eastbound & Down Season 4, Orphan Black Season 1, Orange is the New Black Season 2, and Doctor Who (Season 1, I guess you would call it - the 2005 reboot).

I have started Parks and Recreation and finished Season 1, but it hasn't grabbed me enough that I'm itching to get back to it. We also started Once Upon a Time but we're only about 5 episodes in.
118  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: MS Buys Minecraft on: September 15, 2014, 06:28:53 PM
Minecraft has fallen into the space where Pokemon and Skylanders reside - it's my big mental box called "Shit that Kids Really Love That I Don't Care About."  icon_biggrin

119  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you (AT)Buying this week? (09/15) on: September 15, 2014, 06:25:03 PM
Wasteland 2 looks really tempting, but I'll wait on some reviews. I'm still trying to stay disciplined since Forza Horizons 2 is going to be a day one buy later this month.
120  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Apple Watch on: September 14, 2014, 07:28:48 PM
I think wearable tech is a legit market, I just think what we have so far is incredibly crude and dorky. It's like the first mobile phones - the concept is sound, but nobody would be caught dead actually using it.

Someone will eventually crack the code and make the one wearable product that is both fashionable and functional. I'm not sure the Apple Watch is it, but each product is a baby step towards it.

The problem (particularly in this case) is that companies keep wanting to give us wearable tech because they can, not because it fulfills a need or solves a problem. I think that's where that marketing speak starts to fall on deaf ears.
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