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So About Them “Videogames”, July 2014

July 18, 2014

Hey folks! Thin video game monthly this month, since I haven’t been playing much new, and what new things I have been playing, I have very little to say about them just yet.
I’m unsure whether it’s because frame-rate wasn’t really a problem back when I was younger, or whether performance is something you sort of grow into caring about, but it seems as though visuals and frame-rate have become a much bigger deal than they once were.
As far as I’m concerned, a game could look absolutely miserable and I would be happy with it just so long as it runs silky smooth, and coming out of the previous generation of consoles, I feel like I’ve seen enough shoddy frame-rate to last me for some time to come (Far Cry 3? ughhhh). I was perhaps unfortunate to play Battlefield 4 early on once I got my PS4, so I feel like that game has become my graphics versus performance standard for all next gen games moving forward, and it’s especially irritating to me when a game comes along that doesn’t look especially jaw-dropping, and runs at an uneven frame-rate. Call of Duty: Ghosts comes to mind immediately.
To me, visuals do not affect the gameplay experience; but smoothness of frame-rate does quite a bit. Perhaps you’re different?
Here’s what little I’ve been playing:


persona-4-golden-coverPersona 4 Golden:
If there was one game in particular that had me salivating for a Vita, it would be Persona 4 Golden. I was putting off the purchase to wait and see if importing a Japanese copy would drop in price (pretty much primarily because the Golden-specific character Marie is voiced by you-know-who), but since they loom around sixty bucks when the English version is half that, I nonetheless decided to just get a local copy.
And I’ve been enjoying it a lot. If you’ve never played Persona 4, I would even go as far as to say play this version. The changes are minor, but they’re smart changes that make the game much more streamlined (note that I didn’t say “dumbed down”). The biggest change mechanically that I’m stoked about is with Golden, you’re able to simply choose which inherited Persona skills you would like to keep during Fusion. I don’t know how many minutes (or hours) of my life I have spent thumbing back and forth between menus in the original version of the game to get the skills I want, but when I’m on my death bed, I’m sure I’ll be cursing about it.
Story-wise there is a helping of new events, a new Social Link (mentioned above), and a few additional types of attacks and equipment.
If I had one minor complaint, it would be the performance. This game doesn’t run badly, but it has a strange framey look to it which becomes especially evident in areas where you travel horizontally across the screen (such as in the shopping district). It isn’t a game-breaker, but I wish the game ran smoother.
I’m also not crazy about the new voice actress doing Chie’s voice in Golden’s performance. She comes off as more annoying than in the original game, even if the performance there was often poor.
So yeah; few very minor nit-picky complaints, but I’m still very happy with this version of the game. Persona 4 is easily the best RPG I have ever played, and I’m happy to support its release anywhere they decide to put it out.


Destiny_Box_Art_NoIntro_News_Image_01Destiny Beta:
I was rather surprised that your character has a voice in Destiny, but he/she says very little, and I have the feeling that Destiny overall may suffer from the same issues many RPGs do, in that the world is telling you the story, and since your character is custom made by you, it can’t have a personality, and thus you’re simply a grunt doing whatever they’re told.
The gameplay feels great though, and like I said before with the Alpha, even if Destiny isn’t doing anything especially new or exciting, it’s doing enough right to make it an utter pleasure to play, and even after you hit the limits of the Beta after a couple of hours, you still want to get out there and shoot dudes and explore stuff, just because it feels terrific to do so.
This will only get you so far of course. If one can easily blow through the game’s content on day one and is left to wander around replaying the same missions over and over and over to try and get better weapon drops, I’m not sure that’s especially compelling.

A few fears aside, the single player experience of Destiny seems like it’ll be a ton of fun, but it’s a shame that I’m not quite as impressed with the multiplayer…
I’ve played maybe twenty or so multiplayer matches, and haven’t once enjoyed myself with it.
I would call Destiny multiplayer a cross between Call of Duty and Halo Reach, where everyone has a power weapon at all times (shotgun or sniper rifle), so it makes firefights end instantaneously the vast majority of the time, and unfortunately all but entirely de-emphasizes the use of your primary weapon. Ammo boxes for these weapons are littered liberally around maps, so there’s very little reason not to use your insta-kill power weapon at all times.
This focus on power weapons, coupled with Class Abilities (which behave sort of like kill streak rewards from Call of Duty in multiplayer) which all but ensure you will automatically win the firefight of your choosing, the whole multiplayer aspect of the Beta feels tremendously flimsy and tacked on to me, which is quite surprising given how much I have enjoyed Bungie’s previous (arguably more multiplayer-focused) Halo games in the past.
There are a couple maps in the Beta, and while the first is very infantry based and quite small (causing it to suffer from the issues mentioned above), the other is a vehicle based map, which in my experience is all but impossible to spawn onto, as team spawns are on the outskirts of an open area, and the map’s focus on vehicles means you’ll often be lucky to reach the objectives in the center, even with the aid of your personal speeder.

So while I’m not entirely turned off on Destiny, the Beta has had the complete opposite effect on me than the Alpha did. While the Alpha was an eye-opening experience, where I finally realized the sort of game Destiny was (Diablo with guns), the Beta has me worried that the hypetrain that is Destiny might not live up to its potential come September.


Told you I haven’t been up to much, and it wasn’t a complete fib, although I have been playing my fill of Battlefield 4 since the recent map pack hit this week, and I’ve been enjoying that quite a bit. When I’m playing that game, I rarely step foot in a vehicle, and I’m almost always playing as the Engineer class to attempt to keep other players out of them as well, so infantry based maps such as the ones found in Dragon’s Teeth are right up my alley.
I’m also (as I’m typing this out, even) downloading the more recent CoD:Ghosts map pack, because I lack self-control and couldn’t keep myself from wanting to check it out, even when I only rarely enjoy playing that game anymore, so maybe if there’s anything worth mentioning there, I’ll add it to my What’s Up? page. All I know is that they were much more creative with the setting of the new maps. Something about a pirate ship? We’ll see.
Study time for me, though! That’s July for games!

From → Games

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