Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Gaming Update

Unfortunately Pathfinder: Kingmaker is on hold for the time being. I don't know what the cause was, whether it was a patch or the GOG Galaxy client, but my saved game was erased. I do have a couple of autosaves from the very beginning of the game, but I lost almost two hours of gameplay. Out of frustration and fear of losing more time, I'll just wait a bit because there are a couple of other games right now that have my attention.

Of course I'm talking about Diablo 3. Season 15 started almost two weeks ago and I've been having a blast. For the most part. I have been primarily playing a Whirlwind barbarian this season because I enjoy the playstyle. One great thing this season is I've pushed to a higher Greater Rift difficulty than I've done in the past. That has also caused me some frustration because a WW barb is fun, but starts to lack damage and survivability in the higher rifts. I have tried a Hammer of the Ancients, or HOTA, build which is pretty dang strong and is almost as equally fun to play. The HOTA build I've been using lacks the movement speed of the WW barb, but in general my barbarian no matter the build is lacking in toughness. I've max leveled a Monk and Demon Hunter, with Monk being the least fun thus far. I am tempted to do a Necromancer because I absolutely loved leveling one last season.

The other game I'll be playing is Wildstar. So Wildstar is closing down and going offline at the end of November. I was never interested in Wildstar when it released, I did try it a few hours when it switched to a f2p model but didn't care much for it at the time. I actually installed Wildstar a few weeks before the news broke that it will be closing down because I've been on a MMO kick lately. I've been installing random f2p MMO's just to see if they are any good. For me, Wildstar became enjoyable when I found the mouse lock option which turns the game more into an action MMO like Tera or Black Desert Online. My goal with Wildstar is to level at least one character to max level before the game shuts down. With the XP bonus event running till the end of the game I expect that I'll get to level 50 rather easily. My thoughts on Wildstar right now? It's a fun game with a bit of a learning curve.

That's the updates for today, I don't really see me playing much else for the foreseeable future, but you never know.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Pathfinder: Kingmaker 1 Hour Initial Impression

When it comes to Pathfinder, I am a novice. I know nothing about the world, the ruleset, nothing other than it's a fairly popular pen and paper rpg. When I saw the videos for Pathfinder: Kingmaker, it instantly reminded me of the older Baldur's Gate games or more recently the Pillars of Eternity and Tyranny games by Obsidian.

I am a big fan of computer rpg video games, and I have a special fondness for the isometric style made popular with the original Baldur's Gate. So naturally I was very intrigued by Pathfinder. So much so that I decided to take the plunge and purchase the game.

So what are my thoughts after just over an hour of playtime? Well I'm glad you asked. I like it so far. Pathfinder: Kingmaker is just familiar enough in look and feel of past isometric rpg games that fans of the past Pillar's or BG games should find enjoyment with Pathfinder.

The ruleset for the Pathfinder pen and paper which Kingmaker is based off of is very reminiscent of Dungeons & Dragons. For those like me that have never played the Pathfinder game but have played anything based on the D&D rules, I think, will be comfortable with Kingmaker which should keep the learning curve to a minimum. I remember the first time I played the first Neverwinter Nights and absolutely hating the game because it had feats and abilities, this stuff that wasn't in the first Baldur's Gate. That honestly ruined that game for me for the longest time. These days that kind of stuff is very common in rpg's so when I went back to play Neverwinter again I had a great time.

So what is bad about Pathfinder: Kingmaker? I'm still in the tutorial, but I would say that there is nothing bad about the game thus far, but there are some things I wish were different. Recent crpg's have spoiled me with some of their quality of life options. Things like movement speed toggle between slow, normal and fast, or a show interactive object toggle. A few things I don't like is the shared inventory weight, really just inventory weight in general as it slows character movement which is already slow to begin with. I also am not a fan of character movement during combat, your front line fighters take an awfully long time to walk up to the enemy.

One area I do need to spend more time learning about is spellcasting. According to the tutorial, spells that are cast cannot be used again until the spellcaster has rested. It's a mechanic found in the older infinity engine games, Baldur's Gate/Icewind Dale, something I've not been a fan of ever. I created a fighter for simplicity sake to learn the game, but very early on you will get a bard, sorcerer and cleric in your party, all of which can cast spells.

So far I am enjoying Pathfinder: Kingmaker. I have purchased very few PC games this year, but I love isometric crpg's so I was actually excited for this game because I know nothing about the Pathfinder IP and I thought this would be a great introduction to that world. I hope to share more thoughts about Kingmaker as I make my way through the game.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Champions Online 9th Anniversary!

Happy anniversary Champions Online! It's hard to believe you are 9 yrs old and you're the longest and only active superhero MMO today! You are also a slightly unbalanced and generic MMO with uninspired questing, a terrible cash shop and f2p restrictions.

9 years ago I was fortunate enough be given a copy of CO to review for a site named Gamesquad, an opportunity I am grateful for. Unfortunately the website doesn't exist anymore so I'll have to dig up a copy of the review to see what I thought of the game at launch. I have spent quite a bit of time with CO the past three weeks, I hit level 38 which is a couple short of max so I might write-up a re-review just for the heck of it.

What I will say about Champions Online right now is the questing is bland and generic. CO is highly reliant on gear which makes the early levels really tough. If you don't have a gold account or lifetime sub you are limited to pre-made archetypes, some of which from what I've read online are plain bad. Did I mention the questing is generic? There is very little in Champions Online that makes you feel like you are a superhero in a comic. Replace the superhero gimmick with a fantasy setting, or a sci-fi setting, or anything that comes out of Korea and the game would be the same. It's so generic that at times I struggled to get excited to login and play.

So yes, Champions Online is 9 years old this year, it is a time capsule of MMO game design from almost a decade ago.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Weekend Recap 2/2-4

The Weekend Recap is a post where I recap my gaming and other various happenings from the weekend. I don't know about you but I always consider Friday evening as part of the weekend!

Holy smokes, I totally forgot to post my recap for gaming this past weekend! It's a short week for me as I have Friday off, but it has felt like a long week because of how tired I've been due to staying up late playing the only game I played not only this past weekend, but this whole week as well!

The Division - That's right, I've been playing the heck our of The Division. After doing quite a bit of solo play I decided to try using some pick up groups for the daily missions, and it has been very enjoyable. I was finally able to try out the Survival mode DLC, and it's probably the most fun I've had in the game since I came back.

The premise is simple - you have to survive and the weather, starvation, thirst, people that want to kill you on site and extract with the anti-virals before you die from an infection cause when the helicopter you are in crashes. The weather is the first big obstacle that you will face. You start off with clothing that has very minimal protection from the snow storm that is pelting the city. You can get warmer clothing by crafting or loot from enemies and containers around the city.

While doing that you also need to find food and drink. While you will never die from thirst or starvation, food and water are important because food affects your ability to regenerate health and thirst will help you spot loot containers while traversing the snow covered streets. Being able to see loot better is actually important because the weather effects and lighting can actually make things on the screen difficult to see.

So you've got food and water, getting some clothing to keep you warm, now you must find meds to help slow down the infection. While you can actually die if you let the infection progress too far, it's pretty easy to find around the city. I have yet to die due to infection. There are two types of medications - pain killers and syringes with syringes being the stronger of the two. The thing is, the more of the medication you take, the less effective it will become as you gain a resistance to the medication. If you were to not take any medication at all, you have exactly an hour of real time to extract before death. The one time I did extract it took me also an hour and forty minutes, so medication does work.

In order to extract you have to craft a signal flare and get the anti-virals. The anti-virals are located in the Dark Zone. To get to the DZ you have to craft a contamination filter, but in order to do that you need to look crafting materials from around the city. Once you've done all of that and you've used the signal flare, you then have to take down what's called a Hunter, and these things are no joke. I've run into Hunters a few times by myself doing the Underground  DLC and each time I got my face crushed. I got really lucky in the Survival that I did manage to extract from because I accidentally shot his grenade in his hand which caused a whole heap of damage. After that it was about trying to kill him before he healed to full health, which he did on a few occasions. Was a frustrating fight, but boy did it feel good once I boarded that helicopter for extraction.

Survival mode is a really slow way to grind for reward caches, so if you're looking to grind for gear there are way better ways to do such. I will, however, be trying more Survival at some point. There is a bit of RNG because of the random start locations and of course the loot, but the feeling of satisfaction from completing an extraction was awesome.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Obligatory "What Are You Playing This Weekend" Post

Normally I would post this on Friday, but since I am working today I figured I'd give myself something to do and write this up today. While this weekend will only have the fraction of things to do like last weekend I still will find myself with not a ton of time to game due to work today and the Super Bowl tomorrow.

This post won't be very long because I already know what I'll be spending most my time with - The Division on PC. It's going to be all Division all the time! I have always enjoyed The Division, it combines the rpg loot-fest of an arpg like Diablo with tactical third person combat. Such a great combination. It's also a game the can really get under my skin and frustrate the hell out of me. The field of view is kind of restrictive, the cover system isn't very consistent at times, and some of the AI enemies just charge at you for no reason negating the point of using cover.

All that said, I am really enjoying the game as it's been the only thing I've played this week. I normally like playing solo because I hate people, but I did try some daily missions with a random group and it was a ton of fun. Because of that I'm going to try to do some more group missions this weekend.

Today is my buddy Jim's birthday, and he has requested my presence on Xbox for some gaming tonight. Who knows what we'll end up playing. It boils down to a group of us spending a massive amount of time trying to figure out a game that we all own to play, last year it was Titanfall. This year I'm not sure what it'll be, but that will be on the docket for tonight.

I do know that I'll be doing a small bit of Hitman again as I want to make sure I complete the current Elusive Contract before it expires. Elusive Contracts were one time events that IOI ran I think a couple of years ago and I missed all of them. When the GOTY edition of Hitman was released in November last year IOI restarted the elusive contracts, but this time we get a week to complete the contract.

Well that's going to be it, I hope everyone has a great weekend. And if you are watching the Super Bowl, let's all hope it's at least competitive.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

NXT Takeover: Philadelphia Recap & Reaction

As is normal with these big PPV weekends, it's a story of two shows and how Takeover continues to out perform it's main roster sibling.

NXT Takeover Philadelphia Results:

Fish & O'Reilly (c) def. Authors Of Pain: While the result was what I expected with the Tag Champs defeating AOP, I had no idea exactly how this match was going to play out. I was quite pleased with this match, AOP looked the best I've seen since they debuted. There was some good back and forth between both teams with AOP looking like the giant meat bags that they are, and the champs being the resourceful heels that they are. Some great selling by all, especially Akam who suffered a knee injury that was exploited by the champs, giving them the eventual win. This match was very good, both teams looked great and I'm actually interested in seeing how AOP perform when they on the main roster, which should be very soon.

Velveteen Dream def. Kassius Ohno: The Dream had a great match against Aleister Black at Takeover Brooklyn and continued to impress here in Philadelphia with Ohno. Velveteen oozes charisma both in the ring and with his promos, and his entrance is fantastic. This was a hard hitting back and forth entertaining match that saw Velveteen pick up the win, a result that was expected. It should be noted that Velveteen was extremely over here. The crowd even started counting to 30 when the match started due to Velveteen saying he would knockout Ohno in the first 30 seconds.

Ember Moon (c) def. Shayna Baszler: I really enjoyed the storytelling in this match from start to finish. It was a slow, methotical match that firmly cemented Moon as the #1 baby face and Baszler the #1 heel in NXT's women division. The build-up of Baszler as an imposing bully has been fantastic. The story of this match is Moon selling an arm injury after Baszler put her in an extended submission sequence that Moon was eventually able to fight out of. Moon would eventually hit Baszler the Eclipse but was unable make the pin due to her injured arm. Baszler would put Moon back into an arm bar with Moon eventually rolling Baszler for the win. The end result was expect, what I didn't expect was just how good this match was going to be. I personally think it made both women look strong. Baszler choking out Moon after the match outside of the ring was great as well.

Aleister Black def. Adam Cole - Extreme Rules Match: The Philly crowd as very much into this match from the start. Black and Cole delivered on of the hardest hitting and brutal extreme rules matches I've personally ever seen. There were chair shots, Cole being tossed onto a latter, Black falling through two tables, Cole sustaining an injured hand that bled like crazy, Black with cuts on his back, Black delivering a double knee shot to Cole through an announce table, and probably the worst spot ever where Black delivered a Death Valley Driver to Cole onto two chairs that were sitting back to back. This match was awesome, the crowd was super hot for it, but hopefully we never ever see that double chair spot ever again. As much as I liked Alpha vs Omega at Wrestle Kingdom, I thought Black vs Cole better. That's just my opinion. The surprising thing about this match was Aleister Black picking up the victory. The insider opinion says the victory for Black means a program for the NXT Title against Cien Almas.

Andrade "Cien" Almas (c) def. Johnny Gargano: Whoa nelly, this match was amazing! There may not be another match in all of WWE for the rest of the year that will be able to touch this match, that's how good it was. There was some great back and forth, plenty of near falls, excellent selling by both men, this match was as perfect of a match that two people can have. There was a great spot where Zelina Vega, Cien's "manager", went to attack Gargano on the outside of the ring when Candice LeRae hopped the ringside barricade to chase off Vega. It was timed so well, and so perfectly with the crowd chanting Thank You Candice. I loved this match, it had everything I want from a wrestling match - great wrestling, great work and great storytelling in the ring. I was so into this match that at one point I actually thought Gargano was going to win, but he didn't. The ending sequence with Almas giving Gargano his signature double knee shot against the ring post on the outside ring apron then giving Gargano a draping hammerlock DDT from the top rope gave Almas the victory.

I have yet to be disappointed by a NXT Takeover, and this Takeover was no different. They continue to be the best PPV's that WWE puts  with this Takeover probably the best PPV in years. With a Takeover being this good, certainly Royal Rumble will be just as good, right? Not really.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Weekend Recap 1/26-28

The Weekend Recap is a post where I recap my gaming and other various happenings from the weekend. I don't know about you but I always consider Friday evening as part of the weekend!

Talk about planning a busy weekend. I had a chiropractor appointment, possible birthday party to take my son to, the NHL Skills Competition and All-Star game, UFC on Fox, NXT Takeover: Philadelphia and the big Royal Rumble on Sunday. All of that and trying to game as well!

Max Payne - I love all three of the Max Payne games, in my top 5 games all three would probably be on that list. After finishing Quantum Break I had a real hankering for a game with great storytelling and decent gunplay, so I thought of Max Payne. I didn't play much on Friday, but I just love this game. Every so often I'll dust off Max Payne because I love the story, they way it's told, the atmosphere and the awesome gunplay. Max Payne was came out at a time when developers used to program cheats into their games, and thank goodness because this game can be brutally difficult at times if you play on a hard setting. I will definitely be finishing this game for the umpteenth time and probably playing Max Payne 2 afterwards, a game that I think is even better than the first!

The Division - Since I knew that I wasn't going to have tons of time playing games, I didn't want to start one of the plethora of games that I have so for whatever reason I just fired up The Division on Friday. This became the only game I played the rest of the weekend, I just had a blast with it. In December I bought the Season Pass so I spent the weekend trying out the Underground DLC and messing around in the I guess revamped Dark Zone. I've always like The Division, but there seems to be this sentiment that it was broken or incomplete when the game launched. I honestly have no idea why there is this thought, other than the Dark Zone being crap I had a lot of fun playing through The Division.

So that was the weekend, I figure there'll be quite a bit of The Division this week with some Max Payne mixed in!

Friday, January 26, 2018

NXT Takeover: Philadelphia Predictions

Greetings wrestling fans and welcome to my first in what I hope will be many more prediction posts for WWE PPV's. For this one I am going to look at NXT Takeover: Philadelphia. Bear with me, this is my first attempt at something like this, my hope is that over time as I do more of these types of posts that they will be more informative and hopefully interesting.

Please know that this is just my opinion based on watching the product, there are plenty of other professional sites on the internet that can offer you a deeper analysis and insight.

Velveteen Dream vs Kassius Ohno:
From what I've read, the only build-up to this match was a quick backstage segment between the two. I don't know when it happened, but I apparently fast forwarded through this part of whichever show it was on because I never saw it. To me this match was put on the card to showcase one of NXT's bright your stars in Velveteen Dream. He had an awesome match against Aleister Black at Takeover: Chicago that was arguably match of the night, and a very good match against Johnny Gargano this past Wednesday. However, both those matches resulted in a loss. Because of that and his growing support from the fan base, I don't see the Dream losing this one to Ohno.


Aleister Black vs Adam Cole - Extreme Rules Match
Given the two competitors, this very well could be match of the night. It's hard not to get excited about this match-up, and I'll admit that expectations are quite high for this one. Problem is, I have no idea what to expect for the finish. Arguments can be made for either man winning, and honestly I'd be happy to see either of them on the winning side. What I don't want is some gimmick finish where there's a no contest ending. The popular opinion online seems to think that Cole will get help from his Undisputed Era buddies which could lead to a run-in from Sanity. If done well that could be pretty entertaining. Cole was brought in to be champion, I don't think there's any argument there. But Black losing a second match in a row after going undefeated since debuting makes this one hard to call. I would like to see both these men in a feud that culminates at Takeover: New Orleans, but then again I would love to see Black as a surprise entrant in Sunday's Royal Rumble.


Adam Fish & Kyle O'Reilly (c) vs Authors of Pain - NXT Tag Title Match
This is probably the second easiest match to predict. Popular opinion believes that AOP will be called up to the red brand so putting the tag titles on them seems silly. AOP have developed since their debut, and I do believe they are way, way better today than they were a year ago this time. However, I have never liked them or their gimmick since the beginning. I think they are terrible wrestlers, terrible workers in the ring, they can't do promos and the only reason they are in WWE is due to their size. When they do make it to the red brand, they are going to steal the tag belts away from a better, more deserving team. That said, I would be surprised if you see AOP on NXT tv again after Saturday.


Ember Moon (c) vs Shayna Baszler - NXT Women's Championship
I've read arguments made for either woman winning this match. I side with the opinion that after spending the majority of 2017 chasing the title only to lose it in her first PPV title defense would be devastating for Moon. Frankly no argument for Baszler winning the title now makes any sense. I like her gimmick and the build-up of this match, but it's too soon in my opinion. What I think is Moon picks up the victory from a possible DQ on Baszler with those two feuding till Takeover: New Orleans. Yes it would be great for Ember to be on the main roster and a surprise entrant in the women's rumble if she loses, but I would really like to see more of these two against each other -  it could really build them up to being the top face and heel in the women's division on NXT. I fully expect Baszler and Sane to be in a program together once this feud is over.


Andrade "Cien" Almas (c) vs Johnny Gargano - NXT Championship
This is the match that will break my heart the most. I saw Almas and Gargano live in San Jose back in August before Takeover: Chicago, and it was match of the night. It was also a really good match at Takeover. After reading some prognostication on this match, I am of the belief that Gargano does not win this match. This match could very well be match of the night based on what I've seen before, so there's no reason not to be excited for this match. I support the opinion that after a great match, Gargano's victory is snatched away due to interference from Tomasso Ciampa. It's unfortunate, but it honestly makes the most sense for a result. If Almas retains, which i think he will, maybe he feuds with Roderick Strong, dropping the belt to him and setting up Strong vs Cole title feud. That would mean Gargano vs Ciampa come Takeover: New Orleans, who doesn't want that!


Obligatory "What Are You Playing This Weekend" Post

I had actually meant to post more this week, but I spent a good part of the week catching up on some wrestling. And speaking of wrestling, that's what is going to be dominating the weekend for me. On Saturday there's NXT Takeover Philadelphia, then Sunday is the Royal Rumble! Here's hoping it doesn't suck!

Also this weekend there's the NHL Skills Competition and All-Star Game, and a UFC on Fox! Talk about a busy weekend of non-gaming! But that doesn't mean there won't be any gaming, just not as much.

Truth is I'm not really sure what I'm going to play this weekend. Since finishing Quantum Break last weekend, I've been in a bit of a funk trying to decide what to play next. I've dabbled a bit in the Elder Scrolls Online, Hitman, even installed Max Payne and played a bit too.

The downside of owning so many games is it's easy to get in a funk trying to decide what to play, and that's been the story this week for me. I've also been trying to figure out whether or not I'm going to continue playing ESO, if I should just uninstall and be done with it once and for all.

I have been playing quite a bit of Hitman, my personal game of the year for 2017. There's a new Elusive Contract the begins today, so there is a very good chance I'll be trying to do some murderin' sometime this weekend.

One game I forgot that I installed this week was Virtua Tennis 4. That's right, a tennis game. I love tennis, both playing and watching. I haven't watched or kept up on pro tennis in ages, but I was able to watch a tad bit of the Australian Open last week. I love sports games because they, much like multiplayer games, are great time fillers and my go to when I can't decide what to play. I bought Top Spin 4 for my PS3 last month, but instead of going through the hassle of hooking it up to my computer monitor I went through the hassle of dealing with Games for Windows Live instead.

I did install Prey this week, I really want to start playing that as well as get back into Tyranny. With pre-orders starting for Pillars Of Eternity II, I wouldn't mind playing through the first one before that comes out. However, with all the tv going on this weekend I forsee myself playing some ESO as I try to decide if I want to continue with some Hitman and possibly other sports games sprinkled in.

This post is kind of all over the place, but so has my game playing this week. Oh well, should be a fun weekend!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Weekend Recap 1/19-21

The Weekend Recap is a post where I recap my gaming and other various happenings from the weekend. I don't know about you but I always consider Friday evening as part of the weekend!

I forgot to post a What Are You Playing post on Friday due to being home sick trying to get over the flu. However, that did not stop me from playing games on Friday. Or rather one game as I spent the whole day playing Quantum Break by Remedy Entertainment back in April 2016.

Quantum Break - This game is a doozy. Quantum Break has the best story that I've experienced in recent memory. I've played many games over the years, quite a few have great stories and many are complete stinkers. But not since I've played Bioshock Infinte have I been so moved by a story. There have been a few MMO's with pretty memorable quest lines that elicited the same feeling, but the mixing of live-action with gameplay takes Quantum Break to another level. Even with the amazing story telling and character development, Quantum Break is a bit weak on the gameplay front, has a terrible final boss fight and an ending that's so unsatisfying that it nearly ruined what was an exceptional story.

Remedy is probably best known for the Max Payne games and Alan Wake, Quantum Break is the hybrid child of those games with a better story and worse gameplay. The gunplay isn't bad, but the half-back cover system that lacks a dedicated cover button holds it back some. There's also a couple of sequences where the game becomes a platformer. I am not a fan of platforming games and the jumpy bits feel like they were added to inflate game time. Although I did enjoy the story, with 5 acts I felt that the game was maybe one act too long.

Some of the marketing for the game mentions how your choices can affect the story, some of that is true. After the end of Acts 1 through 4 you are presented with an either/or decision, either path A or path B. You are given some indication how that choice will affect the overall story before you choose, but the final boss encounter and the ending will always remain the same. Personally I feel that the decision made at the end of Act 1 is the most pivotal because it really sets the tone for the rest of the game. At the end of the first four acts there's a 20 minute live action sequence that is just amazing. It really helps flesh out and give better context to the story and excellent character development for those not involved necessarily with the gameplay but that have roles withing the story. It's a neat idea that i hope catches on with other games, but the choices don't have that huge of an impact like you might be lead to believe.

Even with the poopy parts, I cannot stress enough just how great the storytelling is in Quantum Break. I spent all Friday and the better part of Saturday playing through the game twice because of how much I thought of the story. Even today I am still thinking about the story, the characters and the world that was created.

Elder Scrolls Online - I did dabble in ESO for a few hours while watching the football games. I have this kind of love/hate relationship with ESO; the game looks great, plays great especially with a controller, but I hate the class system, crafting and after awhile I just get this feeling that I should play Skyrim instead. Every time I think maybe I'll just uninstall the game I'll sit and play for a few hours, realize I am actually having some fun and decide not to. I don't hate this game, I'm just not sure how much more I will end up playing.

Hitman - This is the best game I played in 2017. I will probably say that every time I write about Hitman. I'm not sure what to say about this game, I just love it. Like all other Hitman games it's got a story that loosely ties together the missions. The story is fine, but it's the gameplay and the myriad of ways you can go about completing each chapter that I love the most.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Weekend Recap 1/12-14

The Weekend Recap is a post where I recap my gaming and other various happenings from the weekend. I don't know about you but I always consider Friday evening as part of the weekend!

Homefront The Revolution - What an annoying game this turned out to be. The game starts off with a bang, and the initial hour or so is actually pretty good. Once you get into the open world, however, the game begins to head towards the chore type of gameplay.

The story has some terrible pacing issues. There were a couple of times I thought I was done, but the game just dragged on and on. It's honestly about 5-7 hours too long. The gameplay becomes a chore as well; each zone you are assaulting control points, sabotaging various items or finding radios to raise the resistance level to 100% in order to progress the story.

The gunplay wants you to be more tactical, but once the enemy is aware of your presence you'll be hounded by endless waves of KPA ala Call of Duty style till you run away and lower the alert meter. Another annoyance is how the KPA are able to spot you so easily making stealth a massive chore at times.

Did I like the game? Kind of. I did play through the DLC on Saturday even though the main game left me annoyed. I even went back and tried to get some easy achievements because that's how I roll. Two pieces of DLC, Aftermath and Beyond the Wall, are great. It's honestly what Homefront The Revolution should have been like and not some open world mess. Both are much more linear and focused, have far more interesting characters, the character you play Ethan Brady has an actual voice. Beyond the Wall, I thought, satisfying ending for both your character and the game.

I bought this game on the cheap during the holiday, it's the only way I would recommend this one.

UFC 2 (XB1) - I played a boatload of this game on Saturday and Sunday. One area I struggle with in this game is the ground game. I spent some time watching Youtube videos to learn how to better my grappling offense and defense. I like this game...most of the time. The striking gameplay is super fun, but the grappling is where UFC 2 really breaks down. I've only played against computer opponents, but the AI is so hyper-aggressive and you lose stamina so much faster than the AI does, couple that with such a small window of time to defend while on in a clinch or on the ground and you've got yourself a heap of frustration.

Blade of Darkness - This is an older game that I bought on GOG ages ago before it was removed. I loved this game back when it first game out. This is one of the very few games I still have a pirated copy of from when I worked at Gamestop back when I used to do dirty pirate kind of things.

You may see this game being referenced as Dark Souls before there was Dark Souls. And it's true. I am not a fan of the Souls games, but the insane amount of gore is why I love Blade of Darkness. It's old, takes some work to get running sometimes, the controls are awful and the story is nothing. It's not really that great of a game. But for the time it was pretty with some of the best lighting and water effects, four different playable characters that each specialize in different weaponry, and you can cut the head off an enemy and then use it to beat down another enemy. What's there not to love?

I can't remember how far I played through the game before, but I've had this installed on my computer for a while now. So I messed around with the keyboard controls to make it as modern as possible and spent the better part of 5 hours playing on Sunday. Again, it's not a great game, but there's just enough combat to keep me engrossed enough to want to play more.

Well that was my weekend - video games and the NFL playoffs.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Obligatory "What Are We Playing This Weekend" Post

Ah yes, the weekend - the time for relaxation, the NFL playoffs and of course, video games. While I do game during the weekday evenings, I find the majority of my gaming can be on the weekends if I have nothing else going on. Being a homebody type of person I often don't have anything else going on.

First on the list is Homefront The Revolution. I started playing this game at the beginning of the week and should actually finish it tonight. Thank goodness. It's a pretty game, but after the first few hours it becomes quite tedious. The gun play can't decide if it wants to be Arma or Call of Duty, it's pretty frustrating at times.

Also on the list will be a few multiplayer games - Mechwarrior Online and Elder Scrolls Online. I decided to give ESO a fair chance and even subbed for a month. It's not a bad game, there are things to like with ESO, but every time I'm playing I can't help but get a feeling that I would rather be playing any of the single-player Elder Scrolls games. The class system in ESO really drives me crazy which doesn't help.

I haven't played much MWO the past couple of weeks thanks to playing through some of the games I picked up on sale during the Holiday. It's my go to game when I'm in between single-player games, and probably one of the very, very few competitive multiplayer games that I am half-way decent at playing.

Hitman is probably on the list as well, we shall see. I love this game so freaking much, it's the best game in the franchise hands down. Of all the games I've played in 2017, Hitman was by far the best and my most favorite. One feature of the game is the Elusive Targets - special targets unrelated to the story that you are tasked with removing their life played out on the various levels that you play through during the story. I missed the Elusive Targets the first time, but in November IOI decided to bring them back to which I am grateful. Any reason to play Hitman is a good reason for me!

There very well may be a chance I'll play some SWTOR, or SW: Battlefront 2 on Xbox with a buddy, or even some Path of Exile during the football games depending on how out of hand they become. I'm also going to be deciding which single-player game that I'm going to want to start next. I'm thinking it's going to be Quantum Break, another game I picked up during the Holidays.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Let 2018 Begin!

Last week I wrote about not doing New Year's resolutions, yet all week I kept thinking about what I want to do this year with regards to gaming. 2017 for me was an up and down year for gaming. On one hand I finally made a backlog list, I finished or retired a number of games, and I purchased far fewer games than years past. All great things.

However, I spent a lot of the year handcuffed by the overwhelming feeling of needing to thin out the backlog. I've had these types of dry spells as I like to call them many times. What ends up happening is I will sit and ponder what to play, then just play something multiplayer because I can't decide what to play.

I've said before that gaming should be fun and not feel like work, but dealing with this massive backlog has felt like work to me throughout the year. My resolution last year was to not buy as many games in 2017 as I have done in years past. I'm proud to say I have done that. For the year 2018 I want to buy even fewer games, easier said than done but I think it can happen.

Another resolution that I had last year was to only buy a game I knew I was going to play. I did pretty well with that one in 2017. Most of the games I purchased in 2017 I have played either to completion or retired because they stink. During the Holiday sales I picked up the Sniper Ghost Warrior bundle. I've already finished both Ghost Warrior 1 & 2! I knew both games were super short so knowing that I decided that it was worth the $3.50.

I also picked up Homefront The Revolution. I decided to replay the first Homefront, which only took just over 4 hours, and am now about 5 hours into the newest Homefront. I also picked up Just Cause 3 but I'll end up waiting a bit before diving into that one. It was super cheap and I don't think it'll be cheaper for a long while.

So in a nutshell my 2018 gaming resolutions remain the same as last year: purchase fewer games, play the ones I do buy, and continue to play through the games I do own.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The Time For Resolutions

I'm not big on New Year's Resolutions, never have been. I am, however, into starting new habits if they are for the betterment of one's self. One habit that I really want to get back into is writing and blogging. I do enjoy writing, but as evidence of this blog I have done very little of it over the past few years.

So for the year 2018 I think I am going to get back into the habit of writing, whether it be something big or small. My goal is to blog as often as I can, and to learn and grow as a writer.

Well, the die is cast. Here's to 2018 and to more writing!