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So About Them “Videogames”, November 2014

November 15, 2014

ゲームの時間だ! As the cold winds sweep in, they bring with them the holiday season, and the looming threat to your wallet this means with the large last push of big budget games on the way.
I feel like this year has been rough on said big budget games… Starting way back with Battlefield 4 (whose launch problems persisted well into 2014), it has been a year full of failed promises, shoddy launches and outright busted games. It makes me wish developers didn’t feel ushered to expand the scope of their games to the point at which stability suffers and bugs run rampant, but I suppose this is an unfortunate byproduct of how complex video games have become. Genesis games never crashed; all I’m saying.
Here are the games I’ve been putting notable amounts of time into:


I feel like this is as good a place as any to give my sincerest apologies to Transistor.
It was a game that came out at a point in which I didn’t have the time to give it the attention necessary to get my head around the combat and pay attention to the story, and with the year end article right around the corner, I thought it was a disservice to mention it in said article without at least giving it one more try.
And then I played through it in two sittings (short as they may have been).
If you give yourself time to sink in, Transistor’s sense of atmosphere is terrific, and the feeling of uncertainty and mystery is a good motivator to see you through to the game’s excellently done ending, even if by the end, and this is possibly due to my choice of abilities to use (which is how you get much of the game’s back-story), the game didn’t achieve an entirely coherent narrative. The wide strokes make sense, but the characters who make it all happen lacked interesting or understandable motivations.
By terms of gameplay, I still prefer Bastion, but once you get through the early-goings of Transistor, and get to experimenting with different ability combinations, the combat found in this game is perfectly serviceable as well.


Untitled(more) Call of Duty Advanced Warfare-
The problem I’ve realized, in my haste to jump back into objective gametypes (as what good is a shooter without objectives to complete), is that the gaming community, and especially the Call of Duty gaming community has completely forgotten how to participate in said objectives. Momentum is especially broken in this respect, as both teams will simply set up camp on either side of the initial capture point and farm kills the entire match, leaving it to the two or three people who are actively participating in the objective to die over and over again attempting to achieve the impossible. It’s as though the game actively punishes participation, which really rubs me the wrong way.
A simple fix for this would be to not surface kills/deaths on the scoreboard or count kills toward player stats, though this will never happen.
Aside from players more interested in their own K/D ratio than they are in winning the match, the other huge gripe I have with AW’s multiplayer is with the custom class system. When there is one perk or one attachment that is better in any situation than any other perk or attachment, your custom class system fails, and continuing the trend of the games in the series which came before it, there is no good reason to slap anything other than a silencer and all of the anti-UAV perks onto your classes. There is no feeling of experimentation in the custom class stuff here. No building classes around balancing out specific weapon’s weaknesses or to cater to specific styles of play like you could do in some of the previous games. Here they give you five custom class slots and more as you prestige, but I never feel the need to make use of more than maybe two of them.
Add to this the number of map exploits which have been discovered recently, allowing players to get inside of or on top of several of the levels. Hopefully those are fixed soon.
It has obvious, fun-killing problems and smaller, nit-picky problems, but I’m still enjoying the game leagues more than I did Ghosts, although that is hardly saying much.


imagesThe Evil Within-
There’s something to be said for a traditional, straight-forward, linear video game nowadays. Where bigger, open-ended environments and bigger, player-driven narratives have become commonplace, it’s nice every once in awhile to sit back and let a game lead you through its story and its crafted set piece sequences.
Being from Mikami Shinji of Resident Evil fame, The Evil Within plays somewhat similar to Resident Evil 4, with its behind-the-back perspective and moderately sized environments which you can approach from various directions.
The atmosphere here is terrific, with dank, dusty indoor environments and dilapidated rural structures. The performance can be iffy in the frame-rate department, and while you don’t notice them as much when you’re actually playing, this game runs letter-boxed, with large black borders on the top and bottom of the screen.
It’s a fun game though, and hearkens back to when video games didn’t hold your hand at every single step of your journey through them. You will die in The Evil Within, and you will die often, but dying never feels cheap or like you’re struggling against the game’s systems, but rather it acts to create tense combat scenarios in which you need to sometimes fall to enemies a few times before you figure out how to escape the situation or use the environment to destroy your foes. One boss encounter in particular is great for this, and while it caused a good number of expletives to come out of my mouth, afterwards I thought “Wow, that’s something you never really get nowadays…”
The Evil Within isn’t perfect by any stretch, but I feel like it achieves what it sets out to do quite nicely. A fun, late-Autumn adventure.


On launch day, I played a few hours of Warlords of Draenor, World of Warcraft’s new expansion, and save for some unfortunate connectivity issues, it seems well made. I was a little disappointed to find out that the Garrisons, which were the big new feature they were really pushing as being a game-changer, turned out to be little more than a variation of the Brotherhood or Naval Fleet side-missions you’d find in past Assassin’s Creed games, where you send characters out to do missions which take real world time and resources in exchange for XP or loot upon completion.
I’m sure a past version of myself would be way into this expansion, but with work and study and other interests, I don’t have the time in my life for MMOs anymore.
Next week is when video games are happening; several big releases that will be tough to choose between. Next gen GTA, Far Cry 4, Dragon Age Inquisition and Miku F 2nd all in one week… It is enough to make my head spin.
We’ll see which among those we will find time to play and write about come next month’s video game post.
Until then!

From → Games

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  1. Spitz’s Year End Wrap Up 2014 | Spitz's Soapbox

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