Happy Monday Duders - Kevin Spacey is Pretty Cool Edition 03/02/15

[INSERT COOL INTRO TITLE HERE]

Is that a PS VITA in your pocket?
Is that a PS VITA in your pocket?

I spent most the past week entranced by a 4.88 inch screen staring down a game that I had never really given a chance before and documenting my ineptitude and eventual understanding of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate in two separate blog entries you can find here; part 1 is about character creation and part 2 covers the failings and successes of my first battle against an actual monster. The rest of the time that I had from last Monday to this one was spent with my family and the indomitable Frank Underwood and House of Cards, if you haven’t watched that show yet then you should now (after you read the rest of this blog of course), it is absolutely amazing.

I was able to pick up a New Nintendo 3DS XL on Saturday and must say that I am more impressed than I initially thought I would be. The C-Stick control helps so much with Monster Hunter and Majora’s Mask and the boot up time for the system and the games is much faster than the older model. I said the other day in a comment that MHU4 is playable on an original 3DS, and it is, but if you really want to play the game with the correct amount of precision then do yourself a favor and get a “New” 3DS.

I also want to thank everyone who has given me some fantastic advice about how to play Monster Hunter. The community has done a great job in offering me advice about the weapon that I have been using and the best ways to hunt and survive. It really is great to see such positivity from everyone and while there are people on the internet, who as someone once said, just like to watch the world burn. I know that I can turn to a group of awesome people here on Giant Bomb to heighten my enjoyment of the games I play. Keep being amazing Duders because you are all the absolute best.

1. Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate

Cool Hunters Don't Look at Giant Dragons
Cool Hunters Don't Look at Giant Dragons

THOUGHTS: There isn’t much that I can say about this game that I haven’t already said in the 2000 words that I posted last week but I can still muster a few. Do not make the same mistake that I did and overlook this series. I realize that it isn’t for everyone but for those that are willing to give it a chance you will find that it offers a deep and engaging experience that will keep you entertained with a variety of interesting mechanics and an impressive combat system. I have watched myself go from struggling to make contact with a Great Jaggi to now tackling expeditions with, somewhat, limited fear. I plan to keep the series chronicling my playing time with Ultimate going and should have another entry later this week for those that have enjoyed it so far.

VERDICT: Monster Hunter is pretty cool!!!! Play it.

2. Code Name: S.T.E.A.M (Demo)

You're no Abe Lincoln lightning master!
You're no Abe Lincoln lightning master!

THOUGHTS: This is a weird Fire Emblem and X-Com mash up with a little more action thrown into the mix. You move around on a fixed battlefield and pull the left trigger when you want to attack with your rifle. You can move freely but are will be restricted in attacks and movement tiles by a steam meter, once the meter runs out, you end your turn and the enemy takes theirs. You also can go into overwatch mode by conserving enough steam power after your turn to allow an attack. The in-game and cutscene are is really cool and the designs of the player characters and enemies that I saw in the demo were on the right track. I am a fan of both games that this one reminded me of and hope that the full game adds a bit more depth to what you're actually doing.

The voice acting is pretty bad but I do like seeing some historical characters in these insane fantasy scenarios fighting aliens using steam power in old London and none of this sentence would make any sense taken out of context.

VERDICT: It seems kind of cool. It wasn't enough to pull me in immediately and make me run out to make my pre-order but if it can be half as good as the games that it is imitating then I can see myself devoting some time to it later in the year. I'm going to wait on a few reviews but hopefully it turns out good.

THE WEEK AHEAD

I plan to continue to play more Monster Hunter but I am going to give everyone a Nintendo break in the blog as I move into playing some of the stuff that I have put on the backburner while I fueled my Mario addiction. I have had the Resident Evil HD Remaster in my Steam library since it released and will finally get to that while also giving Lords of the Fallen one more chance. I tried to play it a couple of months ago but just could not get into it but I want to like it. We’ll see what happens. Oh, and Screamride looks really stupid and I may see just how stupid.

OPINION TIME

I really enjoy playing video games. I don’t talk much about things on this blog other than that and the occasional mention of my family but we all need distractions in our lives and gaming is the perfect way to escape from reality for a few minutes. Our personal lives are just that, personal, and we tend to keep them that way but sometimes there are topics that we feel compelled to share with not just those close to us but to everyone in case it catches the eye of the right person and helps someone.

I suffer from severe depression. I have for a while now and it all stemmed from a medical diagnosis that I received a few years ago that changed every aspect of my daily life. I lost the use of my left arm because of a rare nerve disease that also tends to shut down the use of my left leg from time to time. I can use my left hand just a fraction of what I could before but the one thing that I can still do with some accuracy is use a controller.

Depression is a terrible affliction but being able to distract from that is invaluable. My family has been incredible since 2012 when our lives changed and I appreciate them for that but sometimes when dealing with my physical and mental ailments I need to be alone and do something that I could do before all of this happened. I can’t play pickup basketball anymore (which was my favorite hobby and source of exercise) but I can still put on a headset and play something with my friends. It gives me the social interaction that I need occasionally. Gaming can bring us comfort and it has me. I also watch tv shows, movies, read, etc. but being able to somewhat physically do something is different. Watching videos and listening to podcasts here on Giant Bomb is another great way to forget about things because they center on my favorite hobby and they make me laugh.

Therapy has helped me and while I am no doctor; if anyone relates to this then I can offer an ear if you need to talk. All you ever have to do is send me a PM and I’ll listen. Sometimes that’s the best thing you can do for someone.

This is a little bit deeper than the things that I usually discuss in this blog but I know how much of an a-hole depression can be and I want to let everyone know that you're not alone.

Also, we would all be happy if we played for the Harlequins. Just look at that logo!

COMMENT REQUEST OF THE WEEK

Let me lighten this back up just a little (or not):

Has there ever been a video game series that you were intimidated to try to play?

Go Play Some Games

Thanks for being such a cool community.

Please leave a comment if you feel so compelled and more importantly have a very Happy Monday Duders!!!!

8 Comments

8 Comments

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PatODay

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Good luck with the depression, man. I don't know exactly what you're going through, but I've been battling depression myself, it's an endless struggle and it's easier for me to enjoy the moment instead of constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop.

A game I've been to intimidated to play, not that I even have the means to play it right now, but something like DOTA or League of Legends. It seems like there's a steep learning curve and the time commitment seems to be high.

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ArbitraryWater

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I like to dabble into the hardcore crazy games (like Monster Hunter, for example) but even then the likes of Crusader Kings and Europa Universalis scare the hell out of me. I'd like to take the time to learn how to play them, but the learning curve seems daunting to say the least.

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cornbredx

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Edited By cornbredx

I agree. This season of House of Cards is fantastic. It feels like the show is picking up steam again. Season 2 felt strange and disconnected from season 1 so it's good the show feels like it's fresh again.

The amount of video game references this season is staggering.

Has there ever been a video game series that you were [too] intimidated to try to play?

*Fixed.

Originally I would say the Souls series falls into this category for me. But me being who I am I eventually played them and they're great games.

I usually try to play most games- especially important/innovative ones- just to know. So I have my own real opinions about them.

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JBG4

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@cornbredx: I try to play new things or go back to things that initially gave me trouble. I talked about that in the entry where I only discussed the Souls series. At first I couldn't stand Demon's Souls but when I took the plunge and played Dark Souls I found out that I really loved it and went back to Demon's eventually to conquer it too.

@arbitrarywater: I have entries in both of those series' in my Steam library right now but have never really played either one because of the time commitment that I believe I would need to invest to just learn the basics. Daunting is the perfect word for them.

@patoday: Thanks. I've learned to control it the best that I can... it's tough by totally manageable if you get the right help. I've also avoided MOBA's because I really don't understand them.

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Slag

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Dang dude, I don't know what to say. I'm sorry that happened to you and this something you have to deal with. That's life though I guess, All any of us can do when fate deals us a bad hand is try to appreciate what we got and keep grindin'. Sounds to me like you do.

Fwiw You have my respect. Not sure if I can do anything for you, but if you ever need to vent to a stranger, you know where to find me.

Has there ever been a video game series that you were intimidated to try to play?

No, not really. Maybe Crusader Kings like @arbitrarywater said. But for me that's more due to old gamer man laziness of not wanting to learn byzantine mechanics, than intimidation.

I will say there are many multiplayer modes for games I just don't want to mess with because I don't feel like getting rekt and taunted. But even then a lot of times I don't care, if I'm in the mood I'll just keeping mash next until I get somewhere. Think I lost 7-8 Street Fighter matches in a row last week.

Well ok Rhythm games, I have a terrible sense of rhythm so those games are about zero fun for me.

Heh if you can get Monster Hunter, MOBAs should be a piece of cake for you conceptually. Especially for you since you like Basketball. In my opinion DOTA captures more of the co-operative free flowing feel of Basketball than any Video game basketball game like Double Dribble, NBA Live, 2K or Jam or what have you. That team aspect to the game is actually why I like it so much.

The hard part is not the game itself, but really finding decent people to play with, as having bad teammates almost guarantees a bad time.

To be fair you are probably smart to avoid them, all my friends who have become parents (I think you mentioned you were a parent before right?) pretty much have had to give them up. A game that requires dozens-hundreds of 50-60 minute matches that you basically can't pause to get proficient at it, just doesn't jive well with the realities of parenting.

But they also make a decent spectator sport, if you are into watching e-sports at all I think you'll dig it if you give it a chance.

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JBG4

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@slag said:

Dang dude, I don't know what to say. I'm sorry that happened to you and this something you have to deal with. That's life though I guess, All any of us can do when fate deals us a bad hand is try to appreciate what we got and keep grindin'. Sounds to me like you do.

Fwiw You have my respect. Not sure if I can do anything for you, but if you ever need to vent to a stranger, you know where to find me.

Has there ever been a video game series that you were intimidated to try to play?

No, not really. Maybe Crusader Kings like @arbitrarywater said. But for me that's more due to old gamer man laziness of not wanting to learn byzantine mechanics, than intimidation.

I will say there are many multiplayer modes for games I just don't want to mess with because I don't feel like getting rekt and taunted. But even then a lot of times I don't care, if I'm in the mood I'll just keeping mash next until I get somewhere. Think I lost 7-8 Street Fighter matches in a row last week.

Well ok Rhythm games, I have a terrible sense of rhythm so those games are about zero fun for me.

Heh if you can get Monster Hunter, MOBAs should be a piece of cake for you conceptually. Especially for you since you like Basketball. In my opinion DOTA captures more of the co-operative free flowing feel of Basketball than any Video game basketball game like Double Dribble, NBA Live, 2K or Jam or what have you. That team aspect to the game is actually why I like it so much.

The hard part is not the game itself, but really finding decent people to play with, as having bad teammates almost guarantees a bad time.

To be fair you are probably smart to avoid them, all my friends who have become parents (I think you mentioned you were a parent before right?) pretty much have had to give them up. A game that requires dozens-hundreds of 50-60 minute matches that you basically can't pause to get proficient at it, just doesn't jive well with the realities of parenting.

But they also make a decent spectator sport, if you are into watching e-sports at all I think you'll dig it if you give it a chance.

Thanks so much, I really appreciate that, it's awesome to know that I have just added to my support system with people like you here on the site. I have learned to manage everything the best that I can right now both physically and mentally so I'm in a good place; writing this blog and interacting with everyone has been great over the last few months.

I was terrible at Guitar Hero or Rock Band. I could never get the timing right playing an instrument or singing so I just played them on easy when people were around and wanted to try it out.

The way that you described MOBA's is the only way that anyone has ever piqued my interest in them, haha... relating them to basketball seems crazy but makes sense with the gameplay that I have watched of them. I play NBA 2K so playing DOTA with that in mind is intriguing to me now but, like you said, I just may not have the time to commit to them to get even somewhat decent. I'm playing Monster Hunter right now but that's easy because I can lay in the bed and load up a hunt while I'm getting tired enough to fall asleep or I can jump into a mission during the day after I save a run in Resident Evil. It's an amazing game to just turn on and get some quick fun with; which I guess is one of the main reasons it is SO huge in the East.

I may start watching more of it though. I have mainly only watched Daily DOTA here on GB but I may check out some Twitch streams.

Again though, thanks, he added support means a ton.

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emfromthesea

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Edited By emfromthesea

I appreciate you writing these blogs, duder. Reading blogs from various people on these forums has become one of my favourite pass times on this site, and your blogs are no exception. I'm sorry to hear about your unfortunate situation, but if it means anything, the enthusiasm you show when writing about the games you play has always left a smile on this duder's face.

In regards to the question, I'd probably say Resident Evil. These days I'm a proclaimed fan of horror, but I feel like I've been spoiled with video games like Dead Space, to the point that I think I'd struggle to get into the series that effectively preceded it. I remember forcing myself to try the original Resident Evil, but to no avail. I also gave the Resident Evil 5 demo a shot, which was more up my alley, but the setting wasn't doing anything for me. That said, with the recent release of the HD version of Resident Evil on PS4, I'm thinking of giving it another shot. Even if I only end up playing the first game in the series, I don't quite want to give up on it yet.

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JBG4

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I appreciate you writing these blogs, duder. Reading blogs from various people on these forums has become one of my favourite pass times on this site, and your blogs are no exception. I'm sorry to hear about your unfortunate situation, but if it means anything, the enthusiasm you show when writing about the games you play has always left a smile on this duder's face.

In regards to the question, I'd probably say Resident Evil. These days I'm a proclaimed fan of horror, but I feel like I've been spoiled with video games like Dead Space, to the point that I think I'd struggle to get into the series that effectively preceded it. I remember forcing myself to try the original Resident Evil, but to no avail. I also gave the Resident Evil 5 demo a shot, which was more up my alley, but the setting wasn't doing anything for me. That said, with the recent release of the HD version of Resident Evil on PS4, I'm thinking of giving it another shot. Even if I only end up playing the first game in the series, I don't quite want to give up on it yet.

That is one of the things that brings me the most joy now. I have a great life, don't get me wrong, I've learned to take a step back and look at all of the great things I have other than what I've lost. I'm hoping that if someone sees that enthusiasm and positivity when they're in a bad spot then it may help them. I am so happy that you enjoy the blogs and I absolutely love interacting with you and everyone who comments. Thanks.

Resident Evil was such a product of the time it was released. There was NOTHING else really like it back then that was on that scale so people fell in love with it, myself included. The HD version has improved analog control which makes it a ton easier to go back to and play right now. I think you'll really enjoy it because there are some great moments in that game.