By Rorie 50 Comments
Some thoughts on games and stuff I've been playing lately.
Destiny: I got to max level in this without ever grouping, which is a nice feature for a pseudo-MMO. Not sure I have much more to do here, but maybe I’ll dig it out from time to time.
Generally speaking, I really enjoy the action here, but it is pretty baffling to encounter the story and variety issues that Bungie let slip through. When every mission seems to end with your Ghost scanning something as you defend it from waves of enemies, well...it feels like someone should've said something at some point during development. It's difficult to figure out a reason why that didn't happen except for myopia or perhaps a bit of intimidation on the part of people who would've had the power to give feedback on gameplay. Theoretically the role of external producers (i.e. people from Activision) would've included giving more harsh feedback than what might come from internal testing, but then I suspect that Bungie's contract might've made them somewhat immune from publisher feedback, given that they're one of the most popular developers in the world.
Tough to guess. Regardless, the game is fun. I like fun games. It could’ve been better.
Dead Rising 3: This game is surprisingly fun, but then that shouldn’t be too much of a surprise considering how much I enjoyed the first two games in the series. I was initially worried about the fact that the casual difficulty still had a timer ticking down, but thus far it hasn’t seemed like I’ve felt pressured by the clock, even when I’ve been spending plenty of time going after the side objectives and collectibles and such.
That said, I don’t think that the vehicle combinations really add much to the game, and it’s a bit annoying when the PC versions of a game come pre-loaded with a bunch of DLC weapons that make the early sections of a game trivially easy. That said, this doesn’t seem to be focused on being much of a challenge even without super weapons; the way you can just retrieve whatever you’ve built before from the locker as you jaunt off to a psychopath fight seems to make those kind of trivial, at least the few that I’ve done so far. At any rate I’d rate this as more intended to act as an entertaining diversion than some hardcore death simulator, which is fine by me.
Wasteland 2: It’s amazing how something as simple as the ability to create your whole party makes me like this more than Divinity: Original Sin, which I’ve been meaning to complete but simply can’t get enthusiastic for due to its somewhat hamstrung character creation. That’s unfortunate, as Divinity’s combat and general design is pretty clearly the better of the two games, but hey: the heart wants what the heart wants.
Even so, my time for gaming is so bursty these days that I’m far more likely to sit down for a half-hour of Spelunky than spend the same amount of time on Wasteland or Divinity. I used to love super-long games, but knowing that it’ll take me two months to get through a game with nightly hour-long sessions just makes me feel more blank than excited these days. It feels like I either need a game to be under ten hours long or open-ended like WoW to get me excited to sit down and give it a whirl, which is a shame, but seems somewhat common as people who play games often get older. Maybe if I take a vacation that doesn’t involve travel I’ll give Divinity another whirl sometime. Or try to breeze through it on the easiest difficulty and not worry about the party composition so much. I know they added a pair of new companions, though; maybe those will be a bit more up my alley.
More than anything I guess I’d really like someone to make a decent respec mod. It looks like there’s a custom henchmen guide, though; might have to give that a whirl sometime, even though it looks super-complicated.
I guess this was mostly about Divinity. I sincerely regret the error.
Men who don’t raise the toilet seat before they pee in a public bathroom: what the hell, people.
The New La Roux album: This isn’t very good! It’s repetitive musically and doesn’t have any songs with the kind of lyrical hooks that songs like In For The Kill and Fascination did on the the first album. There’s a strong theme of sexual anxiety in the album, and anxiety can lead to some amazing music (see: most of Fiona Apple’s best songs), but that only works if the songs are actually interesting to listen to. They were decent live when I saw them, but damn does Elly Jackson ever dance like...well, like me. I don’t dance well.
Spelunky: I’m up to 1,237 plays in this game, with five Olmec kills and five Yama kills. I don’t know why I keep playing it, but I easily clock half an hour a day with it on my Vita, without fail. At a rough guess of 7.5 minutes per run (probably high), that’s over 150 hours I’ve spent on this game. I almost gave up after the first 50 runs or so, but I’m glad I persisted.
Shadow of Mordor: This is good, and noticeably more difficult than most recent Assassin’s Creed games, which is a fine complication. I’m not very far into it, but it’s a solid PC port aside from some extreme framerate issues when you’re in tight spaces and have been playing for a while - this can extend back to the upgrades menu, at least in my case, which can cause problems. It feels like this is probably related to my five-year-old CPU (an i7 920) rather than my video card, so maybe I’ll try to just shut down all my other programs while it’s running and see if that helps. But somehow it feels like a memory leak. Who knows!