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So About Them “Videogames” October 2013

October 15, 2013

皆おっす!It’s already the 15th? Geez.
Aside from a few bigger releases coming out since last time, I’m not sure a great deal has happened in games.. Valve has talked more about their living room pc plans, and they’ve shown their new controller off, but I’m still sort of iffy about it, as there are no thumb-sticks, but instead a pair of touch pads, and the face-buttons seems as though they may be difficult to comfortably reach. It’s of course difficult to tell how a controller is without fooling around with one yourself.
We’re still trudging toward the new console cycle, though at this point I’m probably a little more interested in the Wii U now that it has a few promising games planned for release, than I am with the other two new consoles.
Dunno. It’s weird. This is the first console cycle since the Genesis/S.Nintendo which I haven’t been clamoring for one of the new consoles at launch. Comes with getting older I suppose…


What I’ve been playing:

GTA-V-Box-Art-523x640Grand Theft Auto 5:
Me and maybe two or three other people out there have been playing GTA5 recently..
In some ways, it almost feels like you’re playing three separate games with this one, as each of the three protagonists each have their own individual motivations for participating in the plot, each has their own unique special mechanic, their own bank roll(/inventory of guns), and their own brand of side-missions; but the brilliant thing about GTA5 is how while each of the characters may feel different by terms of personality or tone or whatever, they all contribute to the story equally. The game took me around 33 hours to finish (with a 74% completion tally), and the skew was generally split evenly between the three protagonists.
Rockstar is a lot like Blizzard, I feel. Even if they don’t always release a game that is absolutely groundbreaking or innovative, they always deliver on quality, and that’s absolutely true with GTA5. While the story-telling isn’t anything especially new (save for the ability to see it from three different perspectives), it does enough to give you context for your in-game actions to carry you through to the end.
While of course a higher frame-rate would have been welcome (though impossible on these consoles), the game is gorgeous and obsessively detailed. The city feels busy, and the more realistic tone makes it all the more tempting (and hilarious) to cause havoc. Screwing around in the open world in GTA5’s single player has been some of the most fun I’ve had with a game in the past few years.
GTA Online on the other hand, has been little more than a mild headache since it launched. While after a week or so, they fixed the issues present with trying to simply play the game, they’ve yet to fix the bank bug, which causes you to lose all of your saved funds.
Futzing about the open world can be entertaining, and the organized missions (racing/deathmatch/etc) can be fun as well, but there are a large number of issues bogging it down at the same time.
One of the biggest annoyances is with trying to get into a mission with a friend. There is no way to form a Party in GTA Online (to my knowledge), so in order to play with a friend, you have to join an event and then try and quickly invite them to get them in there before a random person can join (that is, unless it put you with a random group to begin with). This becomes a much more severe issue in the events that only consist of 2 players (such as Tennis). Maybe there’s some way to fix this issue hidden in the menus somewhere (or staring me right in my stupid face), but regardless, playing with friends shouldn’t be this big of a hassle.
I have mixed feelings about Online. There are a lot of good ideas going on that I’d like to see expanded upon, but in its current form, it’s wearing out its welcome pretty quickly. Now that the mode isn’t on fire, I hope Rockstar is thinking about how best to make it more fun to play.

pokemon-y-official-boxartPokemon (X/)Y:
I thought the Black/White generation, with clean 2d Sprites over 3d backgrounds looked terrific, and in a way I was sort of bummed to see the change to full 3d graphics, but they look quite good nonetheless, even if there are noticeable (but not game-breaking) occurrences of a lower frame-rate in a few areas.
There is a good attention to detail with how the characters animate (your character will lean down to speak with child characters, and Pokemon that you have a strong bond with will look back at you for direction in battles for example), and while some areas can take a little getting used to in order to comfortably navigate (as there is no second analog stick for camera control), overall I would say they’ve done a bang-up job at a fully polygonal handheld Pokemon game.
There are, as always with new generations of Pokemon games, small improvements here or there to make certain things less of a hassle (such as being able to use one of 4 different registered key items in just a couple button presses, or having more options for sorting your bag), but there are a few bigger things added here too, with my favorite being the Player Search System.
If you’re connected to the internet, your use of PSS allows you to see the portraits and names of (what I’m assuming are) people who are currently in the same area of the game world as you. You can tap on their portrait to send them a word of encouragement or a small buff to things such as health regeneration and critical chance rate among others, as well as options to battle or trade with them.
When you enter a new area of the game, the PSS refreshes, and the custom greeting which players have set will pop up on the bottom screen, which allows the game to have a good sense of community without actually having a ton of players running around in the game world, especially when the players it presents you with aren’t limited to your region (I’ll win next time, だいすけさん!).
Your 3ds friends also appear on the PSS, as well as people who aren’t your friends but that you have recently traded or battled with, so it’s incredibly easy to interact with other people while playing. It’s an interesting feature that I wouldn’t have immediately expected from Nintendo (they don’t seem to be especially internet savvy), but it’s the new feature that I think I enjoy the most.
I’m enjoying my time with Pkmn Y quite a bit, though I’m only around 15 hours in or so at the moment. I’m looking forward to what lies ahead!


A Steam friend and I also played through Rainbow Six Vegas 2 recently (eerily coinciding with the unfortunate loss of Tom Clancy), and perhaps the PC version of that game isn’t the one to go for.
It was functional, but absolutely infested with bugs and connectivity errors. Despite the issues I(/we) had with it though, the gunplay in that game was fun enough to make it a good time regardless.
That’s pretty much it for the first half of October though. Pokemon X/Y was the last game on the calendar that I was looking forward to this year, so in a way it’s a bummer that I don’t have anything to look forward to anymore, but the future is bound to bring unexpected and interesting things.

From → Games

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