MajorMitch's comments

Posted by MajorMitch

@arbitrarywater: I agree entirely about Beyond Earth. It's a totally competent Civ game on its own merits, and I've had fun every time I've played it. If it existed in a vacuum it would be a lot more impressive, but the fact that it's so similar to Civ 5, which has so many years of patches and additional content, kind of overshadows it. As it stands there's not much reason to ever play Beyond Earth over Civ 5, which is kind of a shame, but it is what it is.

@cornbredx: Hey Josh, thanks for the adventure game suggestions! It's a genre I want to explore more fully over the relatively near future, and it's always good to have some insight from those in the know. I'm not sure how many I will play, I'll have to feel it out as I go, see how I'm liking them. But I want to give the genre its fair shake for sure.

As for that Bloodborne boss, I'll put my 2 cents in the spoiler block below, out of respect for anyone who wants to avoid it.

The thing that makes the Shadow of Yharnam tricky is, unsurprisingly, the fact that there are 3 of them. As with all bosses with multiple of them, I think trying to take down one at a time is generally the way to go. At least, that's what I did. One of them runs at you a lot faster than the others, and uses melee attacks. I tried to stay far away, and get a hit or 2 in on that one as it ran at me (he'll come to you). I used the hunter's axe in its long form, and used attacks with good reach (the big L2 swipe has been my friend). Then I ran away and reset things, rinse and repeat. After the first one was dead, I more or less did the same to the next one, as the third one who shoots fireballs stays really far away. Basically, they all have different ranges, and I tried to hang back and take them out one at a time, from short range guy to long range guy. Once it was down to the final guy, he started summoning some really crazy worm things out of the ground. I tried to stay moving quickly, and didn't think it was too bad once it was only one guy left. Keep chugging those vials at that point. Also, be ready to dodge through those fireballs during the entire fight. Early on I abused these 2 pillars at opposite sides of the arena, kind of bounced back and forth between them. Once it was just the final guy I stayed close to him as much as possible.

As with all bosses, there are at least 37 different ways to handle it, but that's what I did if it helps. As a parting thought, I feel you have room to be patient in that fight. I found plenty of chances to back off, heal, and reset. So I'd say don't rush things, you have time. Hope that helps a little! :)

Posted by MajorMitch

@mento: I haven't played a lot of other adventure games for comparison, but I'd definitely believe it if Broken Age was easier than most. Nothing about it was especially difficult, just tedious, and resorting to a guide was nothing more than a time saver. Would you recommend playing The Book of Unwritten Tales over going back to visit the revered classics? Part of me was wanting to see the classics for historical purposes as much as anything, but would it be better to start with something else a little more modern? And I'm definitely planning to keep playing BoxBoy! as long as it remains fun! :)

Edited by MajorMitch

@slag: Thanks much Slag! Never say never, but I currently have no plans to get a PhD. My masters was very industry focused, not research focused, gearing me towards going back out into the workforce. It also took me 6 years after undergrad to muster up the desire for grad school (during which I was working), and I primarily did so to get more relevant knowledge/skills. I'm super happy I did though; it was a fun year, and I have a ton more opportunities now!

I hope you enjoy Axiom Verge when it hits PC soon; I think you will! Arkham City was a weird one for me. I did really like the way they integrated the collectibles in the environment, as you mention, but there were so many of them I almost felt it diluted the tight pacing that made Arkham Asylum so enjoyable. And while it's generally not the norm for bigger open world games like that, I still kind of wished more of its collectibles were gamplay relevant (like Axiom Verge for example). Finally, I'm in the middle of Act 2 of Broken Age right now, look forward to chatting about it when I finish! :)

Posted by MajorMitch

@mracoon: Thanks duder! I couldn't be happier with the degree- it should only lead to bigger, better things :) As for Broken Age, I waited until Act 2 was out before starting it at all, so hopefully not having that year long gap will help the experience. I just wrapped up Act 1, and have enjoyed it well enough so far. We'll see how Act 2 holds up!

@dankempster: Wow, thanks so much Dan! It's been a long, winding road towards a Masters, as I too was not ready for more school after I first got my bachelors degree. It took me 6 full years to go back to school (which was full of plenty ups and downs), and I think it helped me to have work experience to get a better idea of what I was looking for. Everyone's different and has to find their own path, but I'm super happy that I did go back, and couldn't be more excited about the degree and what's coming up :)

On another note, I just caught up on your Keyblade Chronicles initiative! I've never dived too deep into that series, so I'm going to be really interested to follow along with your in-depth reactions as you work your way through. Godspeed! :D

Posted by MajorMitch

Nice to hear from you Dan! I understand having less free time for playing and writing about games. I've also been extra busy this past year in grad school (hence it took me 3 days to even read this), and have had less time for both playing and writing. I graduate in a few weeks though, and am eager to get back to playing and writing more! :)

I'll be curious to see what you think of MH4U when you dig in, regardless of whether you turn it into a serial blog or not. I've never tried Monster Hunter in any capacity, more because it's a time sink than anything else. My curiosity is starting to get the better of me though, and I very well may check out MH4U sometime. As for your blog ideas, I await any serial blog from you! I say go with whichever would be the most fun for you :)

Edited by MajorMitch

@slag: Hey Slag! I did get around to a large quantity of games this month, which was great! I didn't necessarily spend a lot of time with games though; I didn't spend more than 3 hours or so on any one game but Ori, and Ori was maybe 9-10 hours. So the sheer number of games I played makes my time a little deceptive, but it was still a very productive gaming month nonetheless :)

I'm glad I could provide the warning about Ori. I still think it's worth playing though, missable collectibles and all, so long as you enjoy good platforming. I totally understand if those collectibles would drive you crazy though. It kind of drives me crazy too, but I've learned to let it go :) Collectibles in games, especially games that are about exploring and maneuvering around a space more than something like combat or puzzles, are often weird, and feel like they walk a fine line. Sometimes they're exciting to discover, sometimes it feels like busywork as you say. I agree that it's nicer to have help in a 3D space. Or maybe it just comes down to how well the world is designed, I have no idea. I've loved and hated collectibles in many games on many occasions, and you summed up my feeling pretty well:

@slag said:

There's got to be a way to "gamify" collectible hunting without just handing you the answers.

On another note, Transistor is great! Glad you got around to it and liked it! :)

Posted by MajorMitch

@slag: Thanks Slag! Hope you had fun at PAX East. I'll make it out to a PAX one of these days, though not living close to any of them makes it trickier! Maybe they'll make PAX North Carolina someday :P

You make a good point about not all years being equal (and comparing them is very difficult), which is something I've thought about quite a bit. It's fun making making top 10 lists each year; it's clean and easily understood. But for a bigger list like this I didn't want to target a certain number, or mandate arbitrary constraints. I put a lot of thought into the best way to showcase my favorite games, and this approach made the most sense to me. It does mean the list keeps growing, which could get unwieldy depending on how long I keep it going (passing 100, if it ever happens, will be the true test). But with how picky I am about letting games on, that would be a good problem to have, as it means I'm playing a lot of really good games :)

The east/west trends were definitely interesting to me. While there are certainly more eastern games on this list in the 90s compared to recently, I was expecting it to be significantly more lopsided. I would guess in retrospect that's more due to my taste in games; these are my favorites after all, and I still have an appreciation for Japanese game design. More recent games like The World Ends With You, Pokemon X/Y, and the Souls games continue to prevent Japan from being completely overshadowed. I would bet if I looked at all the games I play, however, there is an overwhelming shift towards western games in the past decade. It's just when I pick my favorites from the masses, I still get some Japanese games in there :)

On that point, I actually keep a spreadsheet of every single game I've played a "meaningful" amount of. It took a while to build when I started it a few years ago, and is too large and unwieldy to keep up to date on GB's sometimes shaky list tools. But in its current form it's easy to update (and sort, by any number of additional variables I want, like year), and the current total is 832 games. So, 50 games out of 832 making this list means that on average 1 out of every 16 or 17 games I play ends up being a "favorite". Considering I primarily play games I expect to like, that makes a certain amount of sense, and still feels pretty exclusive. I will add that I've played a lot more games per year over the past few years, without increasing the number of games per year making this list. That means I used to be adding games more frequently than 1 out of 16, and recently I've been adding them less frequently. 1/16 is just the "average".

Anyway, thanks for the comments! I'm happy with the format and progress of the list, and glad others seem to dig it as well. I never would have expected someone to run with the idea themselves, but that's pretty cool :)

Edited by MajorMitch

@gunstarred: Wow, thanks Gunstar! I always enjoy seeing your take on games as well! How big I want this list to get has always been an internal debate, but I try and do what feels right to me. That's led to slowly adding games, but never removing. In other words, it's tough to get in the party, but once you're in you're here to stay :)

Conversely to you, I was a Nintendo kid and missed a lot of Sega stuff :P I did have a Genesis for a little bit as a kid, and played the Sonic games on it, but somehow missed the other big Sega hits. Going back and seeing those classics is actually a high priority on my backlog when I have time! As for Mario 64... I was a 10 year old Nintendo kid when that came out, and I'm also someone who has always liked seeing new ideas that pushed boundaries. That personal history led to Mario 64 having a huge impact on me, and I also thought it played extremely well (I haven't played it in a long time though, curious if it holds up). I also remember feeling like 2D platformers, which I certainly liked a lot at the time, weren't going anywhere. Stuff like Mario 64 felt more like an addition to me than a replacement at the time. In retrospect though, while we certainly have a lot of excellent 2D platformers today, they did take a backseat for a while. Probably thanks to stuff like Mario 64...

I like FF IX a hell of a lot! It's my favorite FF that's not on this list (FF VI-IX was my personal FF sweet spot), and is one of those games that has kind of always been "on the edge". As for why it's never made it on, it's a lot of subtle distinctions that probably has more to do with my own FF history than anything. I had played just enough FFs at that point that IX didn't stand out quite as much, and also hadn't yet played the NES FFs to really endear me to IX's specific throwbacks. There's a whole lot more that could be written on that, along with how my own history and experiences shape a lot of this list. But point being I do really like FF IX! :)

Posted by MajorMitch

@slag: Playing at my PC probably does hurt productivity some :P But it's also a more enjoyable way to take breaks than getting distracted by the internet... it does require some disciplined time management though!

I think any of the "gen 6" Pokemon games, meaning X/Y or Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire on the 3DS, would make a great starting point for the series. Those are very similar mechanically, and I personally wouldn't start with anything older unless you have to... Pokemon is a series of incremental improvements, meaning I think the newest ones are the best yet, and there's no meaningful story continuity to worry about either. As for deciding between those two pairs, the differences are subtle, and and probably wouldn't even be that meaningful if you're not deep in it already. I like the world and the Pokemon available during the campaign more in X/Y, but I like the post-game content and features in ORAS better. I might lean ever so slightly toward X/Y for a first-timer, but I honestly don't think you'd go wrong starting with any of those games :)

Posted by MajorMitch

@dankempster: Thanks Dan! I totally agree about Detector mode, and more generally I like most all of the DexNav features. There's a lot of great functionality there that really helps you get what you want more readily.

As for the main campaign, to delve slightly into my Pokemon history, I actually haven't really liked any of the campaigns in the series that much since the original Red/Blue. Back then it was such a novel concept, but all the campaigns are similarly long and grindy (a slog as you put it) that I haven't really gotten back into them. Even Gold/Silver I didn't care for a ton, and that's why I originally skipped Ruby/Sapphire, as I mentioned above. It was only when my brother got Diamond/Pearl and started telling me about all the competitive options that had been introduced since the first two generations that I got interested again. Ever since then Pokemon has been all about the post-game for me, about training and battling competitively with friends, and the quicker and more painlessly I can get through the campaigns the better.

Anyway, all that to say that I agree that the campaign isn't that great ORAS, and can be a bit of a slog. But it's still a lot breezier than the rest of the series before this generation. That's one of my favorite changes this gen, that I can get through the campaigns quicker and focus on the improved post-game. It probably also helped me that I was playing in small bursts, out of necessity from being so busy, so I never really got tired of it. I'm happy to be done with it either way, and am primarily looking forward to more training and battling when I have time. Hopefully you'll find a spark in there somewhere! :)