Posts Tagged as games

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  1. Monday, September 10, 2018:
    Beat Saber Day  Since the treadmill broke down, Beat Saber has been my regular cardio workout. Here are a few recent videos of some of the more challenging songs.    Can't Stop the Feeling by Justin Timberlake (Expert) (previously posted)        The Nights by Avicii (Expert)        Gangam Style by Psy (Expert)        Otter Pop featuring Hollis by Shawn Wasabi (Expert+)        New Rules by Dua Lipa (Expert+)     
  2. Wednesday, August 29, 2018:
    Review Day: Dead Cells (PC)   There are no major spoilers in these reviews.       Dead Cells  is an addictive mash-up of three separate gaming genres. At its core, it's a side-scrolling platformer with monsters to kill and challenging boss fights like the Castlevania series. As a Rogue-like game, death is permanent and kicks you back to the beginning of the game with reset stats and basic starter equipment. Some earned abilities are permanent and persist beyond death, allowing you to explore old levels in new ways, evoking comparisons to the Metroid series and reducing the general level of frustration.   This feedback cycle of explore, grow powerful, and die is perfectly implemented, with interesting loot drops,...
  3. Wednesday, June 20, 2018:
    Review Day: Beat Saber (Early Access)   "Not to sound like a shitty Ted Talk or anything, but virtual reality is finally here."    I pulled my  Oculus Rift  out of storage last week after not having played with it since that whole "having a kid" thing happened. In addition to re-downloading all of the games I partially played and dropped midway, I also used up some store credit on a pre-release version of  Beat Saber , a rhythm game in which you slash through blocks with light sabers in time to the music. Since the awful first season of  Riverdale  proved that telling is inferior to showing, here is a gameplay video recorded in my new semi-permanent VR room (formerly known as "the workout room" and sometimes known as "th...
  4. Friday, June 15, 2018:
    Review Day: Divinity: Original Sin 2    Divinity: Original Sin 2 is an excellent Kickstarter-based, old-school role-playing game with minor deficiencies that will probably be ironed out in the Enhanced Edition coming out later this year (free for owners of the original). It features a top-down view with a fully rotatable camera, turn-based combat built up around Action Points that allow you to cast, attack, or move specific amounts, and an involving story based in high fantasy without feeling overused. If someone were to modernize  Ultima 6  and  Ultima 7  today, this is probably as close as you could get to those classics.   I enjoyed the original D:OS game until its cumbersome UI got in the way. This round is much more polished b...
  5. Monday, May 28, 2018:
    Overwatch Retirement Day  I reached level 1201 in  Overwatch  last week, which got me a useless gold portrait border and a good point at which to stop playing the game so obsessively for a while.  Overwatch  has always been fun (and it's the only game I ever played contiguously for over 2 years) but like  Hearthstone  before it, it got to a point where I was mostly playing it because it was familiar, fit into the baby-nap-sized holes in my schedule, and I didn't have to think too hard about it. Recently, queue times are getting longer, the community is getting grumpier, and I'm not improving nearly as much as I want to. I'll still play a game now and again, but it will no longer be the default thing to do whenever free time exists...
  6. Monday, January 15, 2018:
    Review Day: Legenda of Zelda: Breath of the Wild   There are no major spoilers in these reviews.      I have had a tempestuous relationship with the Zelda series over the years, and the ones I tend to like don't always match the ones that receive critical acclaim. A general rule of thumb is that I prefer the 2D games over the 3D ones, motion controls are always dumb, and the more cinematic they are, the worse games they tend to be -- I loved  A Link Between Worlds  on the 3DS but actually fell asleep a couple times while playing  Skyward Sword  on the Wii.   After about 20 hours of playtime with  Breath of the Wild  on the Switch, I remain unconvinced that it's a great game. It's not a  bad  game by a...
  7. Monday, November 27, 2017:
    Overwatch Highlights Day  I haven't done much video editing work since Microsoft killed Windows Movie Maker (and I don't have the PhD or patience necessary to learn Adobe Premiere). However, I recently discovered Shotcut for lightweight movie editing and finally put together a highlights reel of all of the Overwatch Plays of the Game I'd amassed over the past couple years. Enjoy!    
  8. Monday, November 06, 2017:
    Data Day: Overwatch Level Over Time  One's account level in the game of  Overwatch  has no bearing on skill, but it does show the world how much time you've  wasted invested playing video games. By charting my Overwatch level over the months since the game was released, I can see how my different jobs and offspring have affected my play time.      Conclusion : Children have a more detrimental effect on video game play time than any job. 
  9. Wednesday, May 24, 2017:
    Overwatch Day     Overwatch  turned one year old yesterday. I started playing this game during the closed beta in February 2016, and it is the only game in recent memory that has retained my contiguous interest for more than a year. Even in the face of crazy VR games for the Oculus Rift, I still find myself coming back to  Overwatch  to unwind after a long day of work.     I haven't increased my stable of heroes that I'm good at playing, but there's still enough variety to make each game fresh and satisfying. Plus, the online community is "not awful", which is pretty high praise for any online community.   What games are you playing these days, and what upcoming games are you looking forw...
  10. Friday, March 10, 2017:
    First Impressions: Oculus Rift  With the millions of dollars gained by selling back 5 weeks of leave from my last job, I decided to get one last pre-adulthood extravagance and purchased an Oculus Rift. Of course, it arrived just two days before they dropped the price by $200.     Not to sound like a shitty Ted Talk or anything, but virtual reality is finally here. After many false starts like those mall kiosks in the early 90s and awful 3D Televisions, the Oculus Rift is a high quality, consumer-grade solution that will change not only gaming, but also the way we interact with other people online. Using it for just a few minutes gave me a sense of technology awe that I haven't really experienced since the Wii first overpromised its motion contro...
  11. Wednesday, November 02, 2016:
    Overwatch Day  I'm still enjoying Overwatch, as evinced by the 376 hours I've spent playing it. For reference, Steam says that I played Skyrim for 345 hours, Borderlands 2 for 232 hours, Fallout 4 for 214 hours, and Portal Stories: Mel for 30 minutes. I enjoy the fact that Overwatch matches are quick, self-contained, and always fresh, even though I haven't branched out from the few heroes I play the most.        Roadhog  is my default hero pick, because I feel like I can make a difference in a game regardless of how good my team is. I've also become adept at "fishing for Tracers" with the hook, which is always satisfying.    Junkrat  is the character I have the most fun with because he can be...
  12. Thursday, June 09, 2016:
    Review Day: Overwatch   Over 7 million people purchased  Overwatch  globally in its first week of sales, which is comparable to everyone in the state of Washington playing at least 1 game. It's capturing a player base of unexpected people like  Elon Musk  while evoking moments where  T-Pain expresses his love of gaming  (language not safe for work). Even Rebecca tried a couple games against the AI as Winston, the gorilla scientist, and didn't have an awful time.   The game is essentially the same one it was when I reviewed in closed beta, and has not stumbled in the final polish stages at all. I've played steadily since release, and even reconnected with some old Starcraft friends who I hadn't been in a multip...
  13. Friday, May 27, 2016:
    Overwatch for Beginners, Part III: Harder Heroes   Part I  |  Part II  | Part III    Tricky Heroes : These are intermediate heroes with slightly more complicated skillsets that take a little practice to use effectively.        D.Va:  Like Winston, D.Va is a secondary tank, good for disrupting the enemy but not as good for protecting your team. The trickiest part of her kit is combining her mobility skill with her self-destruct ultimate to maximize damages. It's best to think of Self-Destruct as a way to clear the enemy out of a particular area, rather than something that will kill lots of enemies.     Hanzo:  Hanzo appears to be a sniper, but is actually more useful at mid-rang...
  14. Thursday, May 26, 2016:
    Review Day: Doom (2016)   There are no major spoilers in these reviews.     The latest iteration of  DOOM  is a solid first-person shooter with a high nostalgia quotient, marred by a few too many distractions and minor bugs. It immediately loses an eighth for reusing the title of the original to drive home the fact that it's a reboot, making it difficult to search for walkthroughs and tips online without getting diverted to twenty years of established wikis and articles.   I was never a fan of the direction that shooters evolved in the Half-Life years. Everyone was gushing about how interesting the story was in a boring ten-minute unskippable tram ride and all I wanted to do was kill things and find keycards ...
  15. Tuesday, May 24, 2016:
    Overwatch for Beginners, Part II: Easy Heroes   Part I  | Part II |  Part III    There are many resources available for mastering individual heroes (like the  Cynical Nerds Youtube series  or  Furious Paul's Overwatch Strategy Guide ). Instead of retreading the same ground, I'm going to approach  Overwatch 's 21 heroes from the perspective of how easy each one is to master. Every hero is fairly easy to pick up and use, but some heroes are more tricky to play  in a way that will help your team win a match .    Starter Heroes : These heroes have straightforward, understandable skillsets and roles, and it is very easy to make a difference in a game with them.      &nb...
  16. Friday, May 20, 2016:
    Overwatch for Beginners, Part I: Introduction  Part I |  Part II  |  Part III     Blizzard's latest game,  Overwatch , has its global release on Monday night, May 23 on PC, PS4, and XBone. I normally don't jump on the hype bandwagon for new games (the last game I preordered may have been the highly disappointing Ultima IX in 1999), but the hundred hours I spent playing the  beta  has convinced me that this is going to be a huge hit. Besides the obvious care, charm, and polish baked into the package, the game features the same addictiveness and accessibility that made World of Warcraft intriguing to gamers who wouldn't normally be interested in the genre.    Overwatch  aims to do the same for first-per...
  17. Friday, April 22, 2016:
    Overwatch Day  I'm busy working on proposals today, so here are some short movies of my Overwatch Plays of the Game in lieu of a real update.                  Also, here's  a video  on the history of Blizzard's failed game,  Titan  and how it morphed into  Overwatch , which should be interesting to anyone who's played any Blizzard games over the years. 
  18. Thursday, March 10, 2016:
    Review Day: Overwatch Beta    I've been playing the closed beta of Blizzard's latest game,  Overwatch , for about a month now, which is long enough to give it my solid endorsement. Overwatch is a team-based shooter: "team-based" meaning that you'll run into at least one clown daily who thinks too highly of his or her skills, insults the rest of the team for being bad, and then rage-quits in the middle of a match; and "shooter" meaning that your Duck Hunt reflexes are just slightly more important than low network latency.   A team of six players selects "heroes" from an initially overwhelming cast of characters and competes against another team on typical shooter map types like "King of the Hill" and "Escort the Payload". Matches usua...
  19. Tuesday, January 26, 2016:
    Game Day: 10 Beginner Tips for Fallout 4      Hold down TAB to turn on a flashlight. It's the color of your PIP-Boy text, so make your PIP-Boy bright white in the settings to get the brightest flashlight.    I only have 4 must-have game mods right now: Better Item Sorting and Better Weapon / Armor Sorting (which add some prefix / suffix logic to the atrocious inventory pages), Better Map with Visible Roads (to increase the overland map usefulness from 20% to about 24%), and No Dot Dot Dot (which stops truncating item names in the UI and shrinks the font so you can see the whole name at once). I use the Nexus Mod Manager (also used in Skyrim) to download and keep them updated.    If you need a scrap component to craft something, yo...
  20. Thursday, January 21, 2016:
    Review Day: Fallout 4  Fallout 4 is a highly entertaining game that provides a massive amount of addicting content held back by a frustrating user interface. It takes the emergent gameplay and open world engine of  Skyrim  (in which I invested over 300 hours and multiple playthroughs before it finally got tiresome) and pairs it with the responsive first-person shooter action and loot gathering of  Borderlands 2  (over 100 hours), resulting in a satisfying exploration of what Boston might look like after nuclear war.   The appeal of "open world" games is that you can go anywhere and do anything without being constrained to an on-the-rails main storyline. And in fact, I've barely made any progress in the main story, opting ins...
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