Friday, November 27, 2015

Travel Entertainment

Last week while I was traveling I got some time to dabble in various distractions.  I was away from my main gaming PC and consoles, so I got away from the newest game releases and dug into other things.

I listened to a lot of podcasts on the trip.  I even picked up a new one, Rebel Force Radio, which is an awesome Star Wars fan podcast.

I got caught up on all the Star Wars comics I've purchased on Comixology.  Then I started picking through the 80+ unread comics that I got for free through Comixology last year on free comic book day.  They were a lot of either one-off or issue #1 and I didn't get through them all yet, but there were a couple that were intriguing and I might actually go purchase some more in those series to see if they hold my interest.

I'm basically up to date on playing all the 3DS games I wanted to so I browsed the Nintendo e-shop and realized I had never picked up Pokemon Ruby or Sapphire... they were after my prime time with Pokemon Red/Blue and Gold/Silver.  They now have a 3D remake of Ruby and Sapphire on 3DS so I picked up Omega Ruby for my trip.  I barely got to play it, but it's nice to have a low key Pokemon game to play around with.  Especially one I haven't played before.

One day I had a bunch of down time in the hotel so I watched the first half season of Jessica Jones.  It's another Marvel Netflix Original Series in the vein of DareDevil and it released the entire first season last week.  I really like what I've seen so far.  It's so much better paced than DareDevil and the characters are way more interesting.  It also feels a lot more consistent... where DareDevil had inconsistent quality problems.  I'm excited to dive in and finish up Jessica Jones season one soon.

Besides reading a bit the only other thing I did for fun on my trip was playing a little bit more Hearthstone.  It's a really good game for when you're stuck in an airport but still have an LTE connection on your smart phone.  It helped me kill a lot of hours while waiting for plane delays.

It was nice to break up my media consumption a bit by being away from home.  It got me to spend time on things that I enjoy but that I don't normally make much time for.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Overloading my Brain in a Good Way?

I'm an introvert.  I know this about myself.

When I need to recharge I need time by myself.  Preferably some time without any noise or needs from other people.  This is the core of being an introvert.  It's not how you act or if you're a people person.  It's how you recharge yourself.

I noticed something interesting last week on my trip.  I had a lot of travel for three days in a row and no real time alone to recharge.  Instead I did the opposite... I kinda overloaded my brain.  On the plane I put on a podcast and played games and paid attention to my traveling companion all at the same time.  Apparently this can help me deal with stress when I can't actually recharge the way I need to.

As soon as I got back home I just wanted to retreat to a quiet corner of the house and relax... but it's good to know I have another coping mechanism for when that isn't possible.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Star Wars Battlefront Impressions

So good.

It's so good.

Well... if you're a Star Wars fan it is.  If you aren't a Star Wars fan I don't know if the gameplay is anything groundbreaking enough to recommend it to you.

But if you are a fan this is an amazing game.  Everything comes together to make it feel like you're in a real Star Wars battle.  The graphics and sound design are simply amazing.  It's spot on.

Now that the full version is released I finally got to play around with all the gameplay modes.  My favorite two are Squadron and Heroes vs Villains.

In Squadron mode you are never a trooper on the ground, you spawn in an aircraft and you're always in the air.  It's so much fun.  It makes me crave another Rogue Squadron game.  I'm already thinking that Squadron mode will be my preferred mode of play before too long.  I already love it that much.

Heroes vs Villains is a really cool set-up too.  It's a 6v6 match where three people on each team spawn as heroes.  The hero characters are single elimination and whichever team destroys the other team's heroes first wins.  It's both a fun gameplay mode and a cool way to get to be hero characters much more often than in other modes.

My brother and I also started dabbling in the Co-op challenges.  I'm going to wait until we dig in more to write much about them but so far we've had a fun time together.

Honestly, if you are a serious Star Wars fan go buy this game.  I don't know what other advice to give you.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Star Wars Hype Rising

I am so excited for The Force Awakens!  My hype level has been slowly rising over the past few months and at this point I just can't wait for the movie.

Star Wars is my favorite universe and to see it move into new hands that are finally going to expand the universe officially with new movies makes me happy.  I'm mostly over the fact that they had to wipe out the old expanded universe because they've started creating a new one, and this time it's all canon.  Disney is going to keep all Star Wars media canon going forward and so far I love what they've done.

I'm still reading all the Star Wars Marvel comics that they're releasing in the run up to the movie.  And I've read all the books.  And now I've played Battlefront too.

At this point I'm re-watching the original trilogy and digging into the special features in the latest Blu Ray collection.  The behind the scenes stuff is super interesting, especially the footage and interviews from the original trilogy.

I have my tickets for opening night and I'm ready for the movie.  I can't believe it's less than a month away.  Honestly, nothing could get me as hyped up as a new Star Wars movie.

I'm just so excited for The Force Awakens!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Fallout 4 Main Story

This post obviously contains spoilers.  You have been warned.

I have to say that I like Fallout 4's main story so much better than Fallout 3's.  I completed Fallout 3's main quest because I felt like I should.  I finished Fallout 4's because I was really excited to see what would happen.  The story actually drove me to complete it, which is super rare for a Bethesda game.  I still don't think I've actually seen an ending to any of their Elder Scrolls games that I've played.

Fallout 4 is my favorite Bethesda mainline story so far.

The intro to the game was super cool.  I loved seeing the world of Fallout before it was destroyed.  That futuristic yet 50's style is so well done.  It's the first true glimpse of that world that they've ever let us see and I thought it was a big insight into the rest of the world of Fallout.

Shortly after entering the Vault and narrowly avoiding death by nuclear war you are frozen for 200 years in a cryogenic chamber, your spouse is killed, and your kid is captured.  When you escape the Vault you're compelled to track him down.  As someone with kids of my own this setup really worked for me.  I was driven to search for the child without dawdling around.

But it's Fallout so there are diversions.  Despite being interested in the main story I still spent the first two nights just wandering around and getting the lay of the land.  Exploring the world is some of the most fun in the game.

Then I decided to go critical path and blast my way through the story.  Eventually the main questline just kinda stops.  I wasn't sure what to do so I looked it up.  It turns out that the 4 different major factions in the wasteland are needed to progress the story.

All 4 of the major factions have interesting things about them and the coolest part of the main story is that eventually you'll have to pick a side an exclude one or more of the other factions.  You can't finish the game and see an ending without pissing off at least one of the four factions.

At this point I've seen two endings.  The Railroad ending, which is my main game and the one I'm still playing after seeing the "ending".  I also had a good save state to jump back to and see the Institute ending.  It was much less interesting to me, but at least I know how that one ends now.

If I ever decide to start the game over from scratch I'll most likely try to get my gamestate to a place close to the endings for the Minutemen and the Brotherhood of Steel.  I think you can push both of those close to endgame together without running into too much conflict.  Some day I'd be interested in seeing their endings.

I'm currently sitting at about 36 hours played in Fallout 4.  I would guess that if you only did the critical path you could probably get to an ending in about 15-20 hours in your first playthrough.  But you won't.  You'll get distracted by something in the wasteland... and that's fun.  So don't fight it.

I seriously overloaded on Fallout 4 in trying to finish it in one week.  Battlefront was releasing the next Tuesday and I needed to clear my plate.  So I'm stepping away from Fallout 4 for awhile.  I want to dive into Battlefront and Legacy of the Void.

But there's so much more to find in the wasteland.  I know I'll be back.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Sorcery! 2 and Sorcery! 3

Sorcery! (the exclamation mark is actually part of it's official name) is an interactive fiction game that I played awhile ago on iOS.  Scorcery! 2 picks up where it left off.

These games are basically a choose your own adventure book brought to life with combat, gear, and pieces moving around on a map.  It's a pretty cool format.

In Sorcery! 2 you're immediately thrown into a city of thieves and untrustworthy types and are tasked with getting through this massive city to the other side.  Your true objective lies beyond the city and this is an interesting detour that you have no choice but to take.

Quickly you realize that the different sections of the city and different factions within all have a variety of motives and goals.  You can choose who to help and who to hinder.  And occasionally you'll stumble on a really cool diversion.

I loved my time with Sorcery! 2 and was considering replaying it until I saw that Sorcery! 3 had also been released.

I immediately jumped over to the third game to continue my adventure!  I was so excited after the fun I had with Sorcery! 2... and was quickly let down.  The third game is a return to the main quest to defeat the big bad and return the something or other.  It doesn't really matter, what matters is that it's so much less interesting than picking my way through an imposing town.

I guess the main story just didn't grab me, but the giant sidequest that was Sorcery! 2 was right up my alley.

It's still an interesting series but I don't think I'll finish the third game.  I lost all momentum in it and it doesn't seem super compelling.

I would really recommend checking out the first Sorcery! if you're interested at all.  I remember having a lot of fun with that one.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Battlefront: Twilight Company

My regular readers all know by now that I love all things Star Wars.

That being said... this is the first Star Wars book in the new canon that is extremely mediocre.  It's not horrible but there's no way I would recommend this one to anybody.

Seriously, if you want a recommendation go read Lost Stars.  It's probably my favorite Star Wars book ever and it's in the new canon extended universe.

Star Wars Battlefront: Twilight Company is supposed to be a tie-in book to the Battlefront game that releases today.  Actually, it's a very generic sci-fi military novel.  I've never been a big fan of military books.  These are novels that spend the whole time focusing on what it's like fighting on the ground and being one of the troops.  Twilight Company is no exception.

There are a bunch of undeveloped flat characters that you spend the whole book with.  They're ground troops in the war against the Empire but they rarely tie into the overall Star Wars universe and the book barely adds anything to the universe at all.

Out of all the new canon novels this has been my least favorite.

But at least the Battlefront game is out today!  I loved the beta and I'm super excited to play the full game!  It looks amazing!  Just skip the tie-in novel.