2018 in Review

2018 was a big year for games.
But then again, every year seems to be a bigger year for games than the last one.
Looking back at the list of the many games that I've played in 2018, there's stuff from the beginning of the year that makes me think "Woah, that actually was just from this year?"
Here's a short list, in rough release order:

Monster Hunter World
Far Cry 5
A Way Out
Yakuza 6
Detroit Become Human
Yoku's Island Express
Sushi Striker
Budget Cuts VR
WarioWare Gold
Donut County
The Messenger
Dragon Quest XI
Marvel's Spider-Man
The Gardens Between
Return of the Obra Dinn
Red Dead Redemption 2
Fallout 76
Pokemon Let's Go
Just Cause 4

That's a "small" sample. It can actually be quite overwhelming. I'd like to take some time to talk about a few of them, what I liked and didn't like.

First, A Way Out is probably the biggest example of the feeling "Wait, that was just earlier this year?"
Playing the whole game with a friend, is bound to leave you with memorable feelings that will last for a long time to come.

Yakuza 6 was probably the biggest surprise to me. I had heard of the Yakuza games, but I guess I just never paid attention to it. But finally decided to give it a try, and I loved it. So now I've got Yakuza 0 and Yakuza Kiwami (Yakuza 1) that are on my (rather large, to be honest) list of games I consider to be "in the middle of".

Budget Cuts remains one of the best examples of a must-have game when showing off VR. Simple as that.

EXAPUNKS took over my life for a while. Over 50 hours trying to solve all the puzzles it has to offer. Very satisfying.

Speaking of games taking over one's life. Pokemon Let's Go. What a blast that game is. It has a nostalgic factor from the first-gen Pokemon games, but with modern graphics and adjustments. Coupled with some new mechanics, it really becomes satisfying. There's a lot here to satisfy your Pokemon itch.

I was excited for Return of the Obra Dinn to come out. It's enjoyable to explore the ship and see all the details everywhere. However, I feel like I may be missing a sense of observation that is making the 2nd half of the game super difficult for me to figure out some of the remaining cause of deaths. I should probably have been taking notes on actual paper like people suggested.

I've been having a blast playing Fallout 76 with some friends. I love how you can drop in at any time and help someone with their quest, and the game doesn't make you feel stupid for not having caught up to wherever they are yet. This will be a game we'll be playing for a long time to come.

I still want to mention Dragon Quest XI, because that game is quite wonderful, but got buried by life and some other games. I do plan to get back into it once the holidays die down a bit.

So yeah, just a small sample of the games I played this year. Doesn't include Super Smash Bros. Ultimate or Katamari Damacy ReRoll, which come out tomorrow.
Either way, easy to say that 2018 has been pretty good for games.

Diablo 3 on Switch

A few months after I made my previous post talking about how Diablo 3 has aged well, Blizzard went ahead and announced Diablo 3 for the Nintendo Switch.
This is a welcome addition to Switch. After playing around with it for a while, I almost want to say it's the best form of Diablo 3. The inventory system is a bit better than the PC version too, in that instead of having to tetris inventory to make room for things, each item simply takes up one slot. And you can easily see what you have of each armor type, instead of everything just in a big wall.
So, it's nice to have Diablo 3 on Switch. It's nice that many developers are bringing over some of their older games to Switch too, especially games from the WiiU that may not have gotten the attention they deserved.
So yeah, Switch is absolutely rocking it with the game library. Can't wait to see what is in story for it in 2019.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 - Game View

Three years ago, I wrote about how much I enjoyed Xenoblade Chronicles X.
I still have not played the original XBC, although I have the 3DS version, which I intend to play one day.
But here, we have Xenoblade Chronicles 2, which I guess is meant to be more of a sequel to the original game.

Leading up to XBC2 coming out, I tried to go back to XBCX, since I knew I still had some story left to get through. The game has so many functions and systems, that I found it really intimidating trying to get back into. I gave up, and instead directed my attention to the release of XBC2.

So what did I think?

Yes. It's good. It reminds me why I loved XBCX so much. Huge world to explore, and fun goofy story, and able to play at my own pace.
I found myself losing hours to just exploring the open areas, gathering items, and planning for buying certain items, or building up the Development Level of different areas, and tracking down side quests.
I also got the expansion pass. It has been so cool when each new expansion pack gets released, and then opening up the game, and seeing what new items are given, or what new quests there are to handle.
It serves as a nice diversion to the main story.

The main story is fun. It just feels really long at some points. Which is why the side quests are delightful.

I'm still working my way through the game. I'm at Chapter 4. The game is broken up into 10 chapters. But I've already spent 51 hours playing, and I still enjoy it.
So, I suppose the game still has that intimidating factor to it, where it's going to take up a LOT of time to play through.
But again, I still enjoy it. I've been taking a break to play other games lately, such as Yakuza 6, but I keep thinking of my time with XBC2 and excited to get back to it.

Spy Party - Game View

SpyParty just recently came out on Steam on April 12, 2018.
But I've been following the game far longer than that.
I signed up for the Early Access Beta list on May 11th, 2011. So it's been at least 7 years that I've been watching the game grow.

After signing up for the Early Access Beta list, I finally got my invite to join on June 7th, 2012. Beta was $15. After that, I was able to jump in and start playing.
However, the game never really grabbed my attention when actually playing it. So it remained something that I just watched development of.

But when it was finally released on Steam, I rediscovered the game, and fell in love with it.

The game is a two-player game, where one person is a Spy at a party (hence, the name) and the other person is a Sniper. It is the Sniper's goal to identify the spy and shoot him.
The twist? The Sniper doesn't know what the Spy looks like. The Spy's job is to blend in at a large group of people, completing various spy missions, without standing out. Everyone else at the party are computer-controlled.

It is a hilarious confusion.
I was playing with a friend. So there was the added aspect of taunting each other, how we were doing a good job of hiding, or "Oh, did I just see you take the guest list, hmmm??"

After playing so much with my friend, it's given me a new appreciation of the game. And now I'm likely to play alone, with the automatic matchmaking, to play with other random people.

So, if you find yourself playing some SpyParty, send me a message and we can play together.

Fortnite - Game View

Fortnite is the super-popular game that has been sweeping the world. Even people who would never normally play games, are seeing Fortnite, and they want in on the popularity of the game. At the dinner table, mention Fortnite, and all the kids' ears will perk up, "DID YOU SAY FORTNITE?!?"

But is it actually good?

To answer that, let's back up a bit.

Fortnite came out July 2017, as an early access co-op game, requiring a purchase to access the Save The World campaign mode, with the promise of a free-to-play release in 2018.

A few months prior, March 2017 saw the release of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, and it started rocketing up the Steam charts, and the Twitch streams.

To avoid being overshadowed by PUBG, Fortnite comes out with a free-to-play Battle Royale mode of their own in September. At the time, I passed it over, seeing it as a desperate and cheap ripoff, and that nothing more would come of it.
Little did I know, a few months later, it would start to dominate the social media sphere.
April 2018, can't go a day without hearing about some twitch streamer playing Fortnite, or some YouTuber suddenly starting to play Fortnite. Because the game is captivating a sizable audience, and everyone wants in on that attention.

But is the game actually good??

Eh, it's alright.
I think Epic Games accidentally landed on something huge. I think the Battle Royale mode was initially meant to just be a marketing ploy to get more attention into their for-purchase mode. Instead, it has grown to be a cash cow.
With the success of the Battle Royale mode, the Save The World mode has seemed to fall off the radar. It was originally stated to be released free-to-play in 2018, but I haven't seen any real news about it. Supposedly it'll still come out this year, but it's probably safe to say that it's a lower priority at the moment, compared to continuing the improvement and additional purchase options for the immensely popular Battle Royale mode.

When I first tried FBR, I could not really get into it. But over the following months, it seems they've made huge improvements for it. The art style and building mechanics work well together. I think the game really works best when playing with someone else, or interacting with others. Which is likely why it's so popular on Twitch.
Playing it alone, not much fun. Playing with others, and being able to laugh at things that happen, is a joy.

If you go into the game wanting to win, you're going to be disappointed. Only one person will win any round. But if you focus more on just trying to get as far as possible, and enjoying the moments in between, you may find crazy shootouts, or tense times, which will stand out the most, and are what really makes the game enjoyable.

So, playing alone, not so fun.
Playing with friends, it can be a good time.
That's about all I have to say about that.

Diablo 3 - Game View

Diablo 3 came out May 15, 2012
I've been spending a lot of time playing the game over the last few months, so I felt it was appropriate to celebrate the 6-year anniversary by sharing some quick thoughts on it.

I actually remember pre-ordering the game, and playing on launch-day. Or, I suppose it would be more apt to say "tried to play" on launch day. I remember the launch day was plagued with error messages when trying to start the game.
This was because the game depended on online servers to manage progress in the game.
Eventually, the errors cleared up, and I was able to enjoy the game.

I remember early on, there was an Auction House, where you can buy and sell gear and other items you've found in the game, in exchange for gold. There also was a real-money auction house.
I remember it being kind of a mess.

Anyway, years later, the auction houses have been removed, and there have been many new additions and changes to the game.
As I decided to give the game another try, I breezed through the rest of the new Act V, and unlocked the Adventure Mode.

Oh MAN. Adventure Mode totally adds a well-needed aspect to the game. In Adventure Mode, all the areas from all 5 Acts are unlocked and available. You're then able to choose wherever you want to go. Each act has 5 bounties to choose from. Bounties can be to find a chest, clear enemies, or kill a boss. This adds a lot of replayability to the game. After each Bounty, you get an XP and Gold bonus. Completing all 5 bounties in an Act gives you an additional bonus, as well as a chest full of bonus gear and crafting materials.

Even though there's a level cap of 70, you can still earn experience to get "paragon levels", which lets you increase various stats.
And you continue to find new gear.
As you get better gear, you can fight on higher difficulties. Which further lets you find better gear. So it really gives you opportunity to continue playing quite a fair amount.
And there are Seasons, which gives you a few months to level up a new character, and complete different objectives, which will give you opportunities for new gear and other unlocks.

Overall, the game feels very solid, and it can really dig into your mind to get you to keep playing.
I'm enjoying it, and i'm excited to see how far I can push my character.

Sometimes, you just want to destroy many many demons.

Yakuza 6 - Game View

I'll just cut to the chase.
This game is awesome.

With that out of the way, let me share with you the joy I have discovered, that is Yakuza.

I know I've heard of the Yakuza games in the past, and overlooked them as boring and mindless fighting games. But that is furthest from the truth for Yakuza 6, and I am so glad that I gave the game a chance.
For starters, this is the first Yakuza game that I've ever played. The game includes recap videos for the previous games, but even without watching them, the game does a good job of introducing the characters and establishing the plot, to where I'm not feeling like I'm lost in the story, or overwhelmed, or missing out on some crucial information. That is often hard to get right in sequels on long-running game franchises.

So, here we are as a Kazuma Kiryu, a legendary Yakuza fighter, who has decided to try turning a new leaf, and atoning for his past, to start a new life.
But when his daughter goes missing, he goes looking for her. And he finds things are quite complicated, and is dragged back to his old life, where he has to defend himself from mafia, and other various thugs.

The game starts out with a 20-minute cutscene. It's the first hint of what you can expect with this game. This game cares about story-telling.
Soon, you arrive in the main city of the game, and given free rein to roam about the city. The game gives you a map, with an indicator of where to go to further the story. Otherwise, you can visit just about anywhere in the city. The city is full of diversions and mini games and side quests (sub stories, as they call them) to encounter.

Like, immediately, I discover a karaoke lounge, where I can play a rhythm game, where Kiryu ends up in a bizarre music video.
Later, I stumble into a "cabaret club" where you flirt with girls to try to get them to go on a date with you.
Later, I run into someone on the street who is fighting with his girlfriend, because he's spending all his time and money in "live chat" rooms online. This triggers a sub story where he takes you to an internet cafe, where he teaches you how to flirt with cam girls online.
And then there's a whole thing where you have to chase a drone through the city.
You go to another city where this punk yakuza guy is picking fights with you. You keep beating him, but he keeps coming back for more. Until he is attacked by other yakuza, and you rescue him, and then he starts praising you and calling you his "anaki" as a term of respect. This goes on for quite a while.
And there's a whole section where you're going around a city carrying a baby at night looking for milk, and every few minutes he cries and you have to shake the controller to appease the child.
And all of the story content, and mini games, and substories, are all tracked via an in-game award system, where you are given experience to level up various aspects and unlock abilities, for everything you do.

Everything is played with such sincerity, yet there's also such a bizarreness to it all. The contrast between it all is simply amazing, and hilarious. I love it.
Most of the core of the game is walking from place to place, with short and intense fight scenes sprinkled about, with extended cutscenes all along.

It's hard to really describe this game. All the bizarre things it throws at you, while still wrapped in such a serious tone. The game seems to enjoy how bizarre it is, and it has no shame in doing absolutely anything it wants. And i love that.
I've already purchased Yakuza 0, which is a prequel to the entire series, which I look forward to playing once I finish through Y6.

So yeah, don't let the "tough brawler" exterior detract you from what is a delightful and quirky adventure.

Back to the 90s

I have many fond memories of games that I played while growing up in the 90s.
I've said that the last few years have been a wave of amazing games, but some of the most memorable games that I've ever played are ones that I played 20 or so years ago.
Or, I suppose, it'd be that these games are the ones that became more ingrained in my mind, because there wasn't such an overwhelming number of games constantly coming out, as we have today. So the good games were better able to stand out. Or just because I was younger and that's just how things work.

Either way, I've been thinking a lot about some old games, and how they still have retained their relevance to this day, and I wanted to write a little bit about them.

First, a big problem I have with older games, is that over time, as I've played newer games, and have become more comfortable with how games function today compared to back then, I've found that it is much harder for me to go back and play those older games (or games that are meant to play like the older games).
I remember really liking Planescape: Torment. Last year, a spiritual successor, Torment: Tides of Numenera, was released. I found that I just couldn't get into it. Similarly, Wasteland 2 came out and I just wasn't able to get into it as much as I would have wanted to.

Fallout 1, 2, and Fallout Tactics were games I really enjoyed in the late 90s, early 2000's. The Fallout series in general has really persisted in my mind ever since I played them. Fallout 4 was released about 2-3 years ago, and I played through that (You can find my Daily Recap of it on my website somewhere). But Fallout 4 was not like Fallout 1/2. Now it is more of a realtime first-person shooter, rather than the turn-based isometric RPG that the older games were. So I suppose it trying to "keep up with the times" allowed the franchise to live on. (Not counting all the legal stuff and change of ownership that happened behind the scenes. It's complicated.) I recall that some fans of the Fallout series were disappointed with the direction that Fallout 3/NV/4 took with the FPS format. Personally, I find it refreshing, and gives a new perspective on the World that the Fallout franchise has built.

I was talking to a friend about old games that influenced me, and the Fallout games came up. I tried playing Fallout Tactics, and I became impatient within 10 minutes of starting it up. Which, maybe I just need to be in a certain mood to give it another try, but I was disappointed that I couldn't force myself to play it. I already beat the game in my younger years, of course, so I wanted to revisit it.

I've been watching a Let's Play of Fallout 4 recently, and it has been very enjoyable. It can be really fun seeing someone else play something you've played, while he adds his own personality and stuff to the action. It's also fun when he discovers things I missed in my playthrough, as well as just general different play style than how I would play.
It just makes me really happy that the Fallout series is able to live on, when it impacted me so much in my younger years.

So, I've covered "Old games that are hard to revisit, even through sequels" and "Old games that have enjoyable modern sequels", now we have one more category. "Games that truly withstand the test of time"

Perhaps my favorite video game franchise of all time would be Myst. Everything about Myst and the sequels and related media, are simply amazing. The games are beautiful, every detail is well thought-out, and and the story is subtle but woven into every fabric of the games.
The original Myst was released 25 years. From it, spawned five games, an MMO, remakes, remasters, re-releases, three books, a comic series, a spiritual successor, and several attempts to make a movie/tv series (Which may one day happen, but… we shall see.)

It's been 25 years, and the Myst name and series retains a strong presence in gaming history, and the ending has not yet been written. A 25th Anniversary collection is planned to be released this year with all the games updated to work on modern computers.
Going back to play a 25-year old game can be a difficult ordeal. But Myst hides its age rather well. Myst's environments were all pre-rendered, with clever interactive bits, so it was able to show off amazing detail, even on such low-spec computers 25 years ago. And remains impressive today. With the upcoming updates this year, it should guarantee that the game can last for another 25 years and beyond.

Myst's gameplay is exploration-driven. You learn by observation. It's all done at a fundamental level that I can enjoy it today just as well as I did 20+ years ago. It's really hard for me to really describe it all. It just kinda "works". And it has stuck with me throughout my entire life. And I am glad that I can still appreciate it today, where other games have eluded me over the relentless march of time.

What Remains of Edith Finch - Game View

I like games. I like good games. I love it when I get to play a really good game.
Sometimes though, there comes a game that leaves a lasting impact. It creates a memorable experience that keeps me thinking back to it and say "Wow."

What Remains of Edith Finch is one of those games.

You start the game as Edith Finch, walking to her childhood home. Edith narrates this segment, as you see things that give you a hint as to the family history of the Finches. This house is big. It has rooms and floors added on to it in a very haphazard way.
When you entered each family member's room, you are transported into a new scene, where you become that family member, and learn about that person, and how they (supposedly) died.

Each segment was creative and unique. You never know what you'll experience next, which makes you excited to keep going, and to see what happens next.
It is an emotional roller coaster of surprise, amazement, bewilderment, and sorrow.

This is a special game. It is obvious that the developers cared a lot about what they were creating.
This game deserves all the attention it gets, and more.
It's a short game, but a meaningful one.

This game is my Game of the Year 2017.

You can also check out my Let's Play on YouTube here:

Yonder - Game View

Yonder came to me as quite the surprise. I hadn’t seen or heard anything about the game, until basically the day before it came out.
I’m glad that I did find out about it though.
It’s SUCH a cute game. Everything about it is just cute.
You’re in an open world, and can complete various quests at your own pace. Or just ignore them and do gathering, crafting, farming.

But there’s just so many little things that I see, and I’m like “OMG.”

Like when you jump off of a high ledge, after you fall for a short bit, your character opens up an umbrella and gently floats the rest of the way down.
(And SPOILER: if you do that from a sufficiently high ledge, you earn a Steam achievement titled “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”, which is of course a reference to Mary Poppins, and her floating down via umbrella.)

And various craft leaders will speak in very corny puns. Such as the woodsman crafter will say something like “Usually I wood axe you to join the guild”, and that just totally caught me off guard, and I laughed for a long time.

The game is scattered with little cute things like that.

I spent about 12 hours playing the game so far, before I reached the credits. That included a fair amount of side quests. And I still have more side quests to complete.
But the ending.. left me feeling rather empty. Like, suddenly you look at something, and then it cuts to credits. And there’s no music or anything over the credits. It feels hollow.
After the ending, you’re back to where you were at the end, and can continue on as if nothing happened. So you can go back to doing whatever side quests, or unlock secrets, or just play with the farming and crafting mechanics.

All-in-all, I liked the game, and the developers are very active in their Discussion forum, and have released several updates to the game to fix various issues, and adjust different balancing complaints. They have also promised further content updates as well.
So this is definitely a game to check out and keep an eye on!

Tacoma - Game View

Tacoma finally came out today.
I actually had the chance to help beta test this game a few weeks ago

Let me just say this. I loved Tacoma.

There will inevitably be some comparisons to Fullbright's 2013 game, Gone Home. However, where I felt Gone Home was missing 'something' to really bring it together, Tacoma feels like a complete experience.

Tacoma basically requires you to walk around this abandoned space station after a tragedy has occurred, and you see various scenes of what happened to the crew. This is shown through a rather brilliant "Augmented Reality" overlay, where you can pause, rewind, and walk around and through the scenes as you're watching them.
What I really found most brilliant, is that characters can and will walk around and even go away from each other. So you would end up rewinding a scene to follow a specific character, to see where they go, or even to see where they were coming from. This would be required a few times to access specific rooms.

Everything will basically push you in a firm direction in the story, and you are not affecting it. Everything you see has already happened.
However, with the way you follow the scenes, you get to see more information about each character, and you come to empathize with each unique person. I am trying hard to not give away anything, but I will say that I was totally surprised by the ending, and it had me experiencing several emotions in rapid succession.

Once you really feel like you're getting into it, it comes to an end. I wish there were more to explore. I also wish that there were more interaction involved. Perhaps more puzzles where paying attention to different elements of the AR playback would be required to access other areas, or find other secrets/lore.

That being said, I still ended up feeling very satisfied when I finished.
If you like games like Gone Home or Her Story, then you'll love this game.
If you want to just relax and get lost in a story for a few hours, then give this a try.

I think Fullbright has a real winner on their hands with Tacoma. I just wish it would last a bit longer.

Fallout 4 - Post-Game View

Today, I finally made it through the rest of the main story-line of Fallout 4, after playing for 41 hours.
You can read my early game view write-up [here][1],
Since then, my feelings for the game remain largely the same.
I've been writing up a sort of journal of my chronicles through the game. Mostly in the voice as if I was the actual character. You can find all of those Daily Recaps [here][2].
While my "Daily Recaps" are essentially just me regurgitating the story as I experience it, and thus are very "spoilery", I'm going to try to keep this "Game View" as spoiler-free as possible.

The game is really dark and intense.
And lots of "go here, shoot this". By the end of the game, it really got to the point where I was like "Ok, I'll put that off until later, I guess" whenever I knew I would have to go to some remote location and clear it from raiders or some other big ugly monster-thing.
I still really like the game, but at the same time, I'm kinda relieved that I'm done with the main story. Now I feel like I can go back at my own pace and complete some of the side missions.

I must admit, the story left me kind of underwhelmed.
Don't get me wrong, the story was intense, but I just didn't feel satisfied at the end.
Essentially, the story splits near the end, where you have to choose one of four Factions to side with for the remainder of the game. Once I was forced to choose a side, basically everything started going downhill. And I felt like a horrible person for each action I was forced to perform.

I've seen games before do stuff that intentionally messes with your emotions. I suppose you could argue that since the game is all about freedom of choice, that it is just one of those things about making choices. But near the end, I started to feel like I was no longer actually being given a choice. When faced with specific situations, I kept selecting dialog options with the hope and intention of doing one thing, while the other character basically says "No, we're doing it this way" and then the quest continues as set forth.
The illusion of having a choice while not actually having a choice.
I'm not wanting to do these things, and you make me do it anyway.
So again, I suppose you could have a discussion there about human mentality and moral decisions and whatnot. But personally, I would rather enjoy my time with a game, rather than basically feeling hatred at the situation I'm being forced into.
On the other hand, I have not played the other three Faction endings yet. So maybe one of those would feel more personally satisfying. If/when I do that, I'll be sure to add a quick note here about my feelings.

So, ending aside, I really liked this game. Part of that may likely be my personal-bias, coming in from being a fan of the Fallout franchise for over a decade.
The game looks great, despite many glitches. (Incorrect subtitles at times, interface not loading properly after re-load, odd camera angles during dialogue,)

The Quick-Save feature is invaluable. The game is very shooty-shooty, so I died a lot. Being able to reload quickly to re-try a section was very convenient.
I'm not really a huge fan of FPS games, so that aspect really started to wear me down a bit.
But other than that, the writing of the characters was really good. For most of the game, I had a 50's-era detective robot as my side-kick, which was like the greatest thing ever.

I still have a lot of side-quests to complete, and probably the other alternate endings to try for, as well as the settlement management. So there's still plenty left of the game that could last me many more hours.
It's a big game.

But I need a break from it for awhile. It's just really intense.

Was it worth playing? Yeah. I think so. It's a solid game, which will likely only get better with patches to fix the bugs. And there's all the Season Pass content yet to come. So I'll be revisiting the Commonwealth wasteland soon, surely.

I probably wouldn't vote for it as Game of the Year, though. Despite my love of the series.
It's a solid game. Lots of love for it. But at the end of the day, there's just that little something that leaves me with a little hole. Probably just me trying to cope with the ending. I don't want to judge the game on that, as I realize that is just one of the endings, but so far that's the only ending I know, so that's the ending that I have to judge it on so far.

If you wanna check it out for yourself, which I do recommend, you can pick it up on Steam [here][3]

[1]: "Fallout 4 - Early Game View"
[2]: "Fallout 4 - Daily Recaps"
[3]: "Fallout 4 on Steam"

Fallout 4 - Early Game View

As of writing this, I've played about 11-hours of Fallout 4 so far, and felt like sharing some of my early thoughts.

Already, I can say that this game is awesome.
I may get excited about a lot of things, and many games, but this game truly is awesome!.

I was a bit nervous about whether this game would live up to my hopes and expectations for Fallout, since I never really got into New Vegas.
But turns out, Fallout 4 deserves that "sequel numbering", very much so.

Fallout 4 is huge. I feel like I've barely scratched the surface, and I'm already juggling 10 quests, having to go here or there. Of course, I'm free to ignore them and just focus on the main story. But I'm enjoying the side stories, and improving my stats.

The new Perk system is pretty neat. It's a lot more streamlined.
I do wish that there was an easier way to note things on the map, since I've encountered several areas that I know I'll need to come back to later, once I unlock a certain talent. But I'll probably forget.

The game is gorgeous. Which is weird to say of a desolate wasteland. Everything has a visual weight to it, and you feel like this stuff could really exist. It makes you care about this world.

The game does have some issues though.
I found myself getting stuck on a wall, falling through a wall, NPCs seeming to disappear during conversations due to weird camera angles, seeing broken subtitles in dialogue, un-synced lips for character, etc. The game even completely crashed at one point.

But the rest of the game feels so fantastic, that it makes it easy for me to overlook the glitches. (Although hopefully they're fixed in new updates)

If I had a real complaint, it'd be that quests involved in going into a large building, end up frustrating me a bit. I get lost easily, and if I'm trying to make sure I don't overlook an item, I end up just all over the place.

There's a "crafting" aspect for weapons/armor, which is pretty clever. I didn't expect to care much for it, but it has shown so far to be fun.
Settlement management is available, but it feels natural, and I've found myself spending a surprising amount of time just playing around there.
I find myself looking forward to getting a certain material, so that I can improve a weapon, or build another piece of a settlement.

I'm still early on in the game, but I can see that I'm going to be spending many many more hours here. There's a lot to do in this game. It can be a bit overwhelming. (I had a similar issue with Skyrim.)
They key is that it doesn't feel like filler quests. Each quest feels like it belongs, and I find myself wrapped up in these issues that need to be solved. (Since I'm such a great person, and all that stuff.)

So yeah, the game has issues, but it's a lot of fun.
It's safe to say that if you liked Fallout 3, then you'll like Fallout 4.

I must admit something. After discovering that I could use "console commands" in Fallout 4, I think I'll be having even more fun.
Fallout 4 is a tough game. I'm not planning to enable god mode or anything. However, running out of ammo or having to struggle to scavenge scrap to sell for extra money.. I don't find that fun. That was an issue I had with Fallout 3. So I admit I may give myself some extra ammo now and then just to keep things going. :)

The Pip-Boy app for iPhone is really freaking sweet. It gives me instant access to my Pip-Boy functions in the game, on another screen. So I can tap over to heal, or change inventory, or have a constant map available, without constantly opening up the in-game Pip-Boy. Pretty dang cool.

Nintendo 3DS

I gotta say, that I’m very impressed with the Nintendo 3DS. Even without buying any of the launch games, I’ve found a lot of entertainment built right into the device.

First off, I wasn’t really impressed with any of the launch games, so that played a factor in not getting any of the games. I already have plenty of regular DS games to play on the new system. I’ve played enough super monkey ball. Street fighter isn’t my cup of tea and I have the iPhone version anyway. I’m not a cat person and already have Nintendogs. Etc etc. I’m disappointed there wasn’t a mega win launch game, but I’m fine with waiting for Mario or Zelda.

Most people (myself included) would first want to know how are the 3D cameras? Or how well does the system actually show 3D?

The cameras are fine for a game system. You won’t be taking any mind blowing pictures with the low-res cameras. And if there’s bad lighting in the room it’s really grainy. But under normal use, the quality is fine, and cool for showing people 3D pictures. seems to be cool for sharing the actual 3d files, because it process the files and splits it into the red/blue glasses type thing. But it’s not as cool as actually seeing the pictures without glasses. Haha

One thing that has occupied a lot of my time is the “AR games” which the system comes with cards and you point the camera at them and 3D models pop out of them. So there’s games like target practice and fishing. And another game doesn’t require the cards, instead it takes a picture of your face and then it pops out and there’s a game where you’re rotating the device to point the camera at the floating heads and shoot them. It’s trippy. Haha

3D video of Ok Go’s White Knuckles is available to watch on the device. Which is a sign of things to come, as more people film in 3D, and movies can be released in 3D, etc.

Which brings me to, how well does the 3D actually work?

Surprisingly very well. You can adjust the depth of the 3D with a slider, but the 3D is subtle enough to where the changes aren’t too huge. The 3D is subtle, but is still full of impact. I took a picture of the table, and holy cow, you really can tell that it has that realistic depth.

Sometimes, I admit, you have to readjust the device to make sure you’re looking at the screen at the right angle, or else you don’t see both the 3D right (things would then get blurry, or you’d see what The wrong eye sees) But I haven’t really found it to be a problem.

I’ve read a lot of “oh noes the 3D will give you a headache” and I did not notice that to be accurate. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the exact same kind of experience as if you saw Avatar in 3D at the theater. Except without the glasses.

The technology is pretty clever, and there’s a lot I hope Nintendo does with this device. Better than with the DSi which I don’t believe Nintendo really did anything significant with, since before it had been out that long, the news of the 3ds leaked out. Oops. Heh.

Being able to add people to a friend list and not have to worry about individual game codes is good. You can see when someone is connected to the Internet, and which games everyone is playing.

Another cool thing I’ve found is the activity log. Keeps track of how long you play a game, how many times you’ve played, and average play time.

The 3DS can also count how many “steps” you take when the system is in sleep mode and you walk around with it (sleep mode is also good for trading quick-data with people. Good for trading games or racing games for ghost data. Lots of possibilities) Every 100 steps you get a playcoin. Which can be used to unlock extra things in different games, or in the “AR games” app. Clever. And I really hope Nintendo expands the unlock options with firmware updates.

So it’s kinda cool to see how long you played games, how many steps youve taken, and all that misc data that activity log tracks.

Disappointed that the Internet browser isn’t available yet, but doubt I’d actually use it anyway, since the iPhone browser is better. Duh. Also: the Nintendo “eShop” isn’t there yet. Kinda disappointing. Looking forward to it. And a future system update (month or two) will allow 3D video recording. That just blows my mind. I sure hope that Nintendo partners with YouTube to allow uploading to there, since YouTube has 3D conversion options.

3DS also came with a little “dock” that you can place the device in to charge, and allows for quick pick up without having to worry about cord plugged in (still can plug directly in though) Kinda neat, but nothing earth shattering.

So overall, I’m impressed with the 3DS. It’s a nice system with a ton of awesome games coming out throughout the year for it. A lot of potential for bonus updates that Nintendo can release for it. New unlockables for the Augmented Reality games and whatever else.

And same as the DSi, you can use an sd card to put music onto the device and manipulate it in a variety of ways. Fun.

So if you were on the fence about getting a 3DS, you really ought to get one. Packs a lot of power, while plays regular DS games without any issue. I really look forward to enjoying this thing for the foreseeable future.

Portal 2 with MysteryGuitarMan

So, I’m minding my own business, with nothing interesting going on. Then I see a tweet from @MysteryGuitarM saying he’s looking for someone to play Portal 2 co-op with. So I tweet out my steam name and try to figure out his steam name to add him. Eventually I see him pop up on my friend list, and we start to play. I must have sounded like a crazy person to him. Me trying to fumble finding my microphone headset, and being all “omg it’s HIM!”. Haha. So my brother didn’t believe me that I was about to play with him so I asked if he’d say hi. He did. Seriously, he’s super great for being so calm while me getting so star struck.

So it took about 3 hours for us to get through the entire co-op mode. Very fun game and awesome to know that someone so famous and talented was on the other side.

Oh internet, how awesome you are.

So we finished and he went to eat dinner.

Thanks again to Joe for playing, and giving me the opportunity to work with him. Looking forward to his next videos! :D

Games - August 2013

Quick list of games I’m been playing in August, or will play.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf - 3DS (Almost every day. I’ve been slowing down though, since it eventually feels like a grind nearly 3 months later. It’s still nice to be able to just pretend to live in a world where all of the day-to-day worries in your real life simply do not matter. Mad PROPS (lolpun) to propercopperhatter for always letting me crash her town to take advantage of her town’s love of pears (irony) to rake in LOTS OF BELLS. MUAHAHAHA )

Pikmin 3 - WiiU (LOVE it. Takes the best parts of 1 and 2, into one GORGEOUS and enjoyable package.)

Mario & Luigi: Dream Team - 3DS (I’ve very much enjoyed the “Mario & Luigi” RPG series, and so far this is just as enjoyable!)

Saints Row IV - Windows (Already wrote my thoughts on it. Just came out, but enjoying it so far)

Amateur Surgeon 3 - iOS (It’s a free game, you should check it out. It’s fun. Use tools such as a pizza cutter and a lighter to perform odd operations on odd characters.)

Dropchord - iOS (Made by the fine folks at DoubleFine, it’s a rhythm game that will have you twitch your thumbs. Music games are fairly common, and a mixed bag. The music is good, and it’s a solid app. I’m a huge DoubleFine fan, so I couldn’t resist picking this up.)

Knightmare Tower - iOS (Real basic concept. Bonk monsters on the head to propel yourself up the tower to rescue princesses and unlock more powerups. But there’s just something about it that I really enjoy)

Plants vs. Zombies 2 - iOS (Surely you’ve played Plants vs. Zombies. If not, what rock have you been under? Either way, this game is free, so you really ought to check it out. *dances* There’s a zombie on your lawn.)

And of course, the latest game everyone is playing. Anyone who is anyone has been playing Cookie Clicker. 407000 cookies per second. COOKIES FOR EVERYONE!!!!
And relatedly, there’s Candy Box.
I blame piranhabat. <_<

And soon I’ll get into The Bureau: XCOM Declassified. I haven’t played it yet, so I’ll reserve any comment until my write-up. Assuming I make one.

Luckily the next few months are looking to be a very QUIET for games. Other than Grand Theft Auto V in September, and October has new Pokemon game, and Batman: Arkham Origins. Otherwise, it should give me time to get caught up on some older games, and post some Game Views. (Not really meant to be ‘reviews’, but just my own personal view of a game)

It’s 3am, so I’m going to go to sleep now, rather than play more SR4 as I expected I would after writing this. zzz

Saints Row IV - Game View

Saints Row IV just came out on Tuesday, available for most consoles, and Windows. (Steam link: )

Last summer, on a whim, I picked up Saints Row: The Third and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I had never played the first two games, so wasn’t sure what to expect.

It’s a very silly game. Tons of customization, tons of exploration, tons of killing anything you feel like killing, going anywhere you want to go, doing anything in any order, lots of satire of other games / popular things / anything, and MUCH sophomoric humor (I could elaborate, but I’d rather not. :P )

But it’s fun. It was a solid game that doesn’t take itself seriously. Just get to explore and complete the missions and slowly dominate the entire map. Sort of like Just Cause 2 which I’ve poured over 100 hours into and have STILL not completed all the things-to-do. (that’s another game I highly recommend). I almost would include Skyrim into the mix, although Skyrim is much more heavy into story, and going place-to-place-to-place, which caused me to lose interest faster than I would have wanted. Just Cause 2 and Saints Row The Third is more self-contained bits which still tie into the larger story, and freedom to explore.

I enjoy that open world, free-to-do-anything type of game. It seems hard for most “open world” games to get it right though.

I was excited when Saints Row IV was announced, and pre-ordered it (thanks to Amazon having a mega good deal on it)

So anyway, it’s finally out, and I’ve spent 7 hours playing it today, almost non-stop. (Wow, I’ve gotten this far into the post and haven’t even started TALKING about the game yet.)

Long story short: This game is AWESOME.

Back in the city of Steelport that you’re familiar with if you played Saints Row The Third, yet this time it’s all in a simulation. (Aliens have taken over and [another spoiler removed]) so you have to go through the simulated city, taking it over, causing mayhem, and just having fun. (while there’s still story to move things along if you want.)

But this game doesn’t take itself seriously at all, and that’s fine with me.

From the start, you’re able to customize your character’s looks, personality, and voice.
There’s a “Nolan North” voice option, since of course, almost no game is complete without Nolan North.
The game had me laughing my ass off right from the start, when you find yourself in the simulation for the first time. You can watch the entire segment [HERE](, but you may not want to watch it if you plan on playing the game yourself, as part of the humor comes with just how DIFFERENT it is from what you expect from the game. Although I love the music that starts at 3:05 (Spongebob fans may recognize it too. :P )

And if you’re playing with the Nolan North voice, you’ll see that response at 5:04 in the video, which again made me laugh my ass off (breaking the 4th wall ftw)

Anyway, after all that, you’re left in the city simulation. Killing things, hacking things, and doing all the Matrix-ish stuff you would expect. (Running super fast, jumping through the air, flying), or stealing vehicles, killing anything, just exploring.

Lots of freedom, but it still forms a cohesive whole. Very much enjoying the game, but still needed to take a break to come down from the ol’ ultraviolence, I suppose. :P

The game is mindless fun at its core, doesn’t take itself seriously, but still end up being serious fun, with a solid story, and enough to keep you going for many hours. (Likely a 40-hour game. Even longer if you end up playing in co-op mode)

With lots of collectibles, variety of missions/activities, and customization galore, this game is likely to keep anyone entertained, assuming you don’t mind the senseless violence and sophomoric attitude.

Gone Home - Game View

First up is “Gone Home” by The Fullbright Company (Link to Steam page, for Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux.)

This was a VERY short game. Took me 3 hours to get through, although likely could be completely in much less time.

The entirety of the game takes place in a large house. You can pick up objects, rotate them, and put them back.

You have a backpack, a map, and a girl’s journal. I think you only end up with 5 things in your backpack. Two you start the game with (and serve no purpose)

There really is nothing to ‘do’. It’s highly linear. You walk around, exploring the rooms. You’re controlling “Katie” who is coming home after a year traveling Europe. You arrive to an empty house, without any sign of the Mom, Dad, or sister Sam.

Picking up certain notes will trigger a journal read aloud by the sister Sam. The entire story is presented in this matter. While you do piece together bits of side story through other objects. I say it’s linear, since half the house is blocked off until you come across some key or combination (practically thrown at you, in your face, so there’s really no thinking involved)

I was rather disappointed, as I kept something unexpected to happen or something else. But it’s really just about exploring the highly detailed 3D house, seeing bits of what happened to this family over the year Katie was gone.

The description does say:

> No Combat, No Puzzles: Gone Home is a nonviolent and puzzle-free experience, inviting you to play at your own pace without getting attacked, stuck, or frustrated. This house wants you to explore it.
>And it is certainly an accurate description. There are no puzzles. Nothing to do. You’re guided along.

So it really isn’t a game, rather more of an “Art” exhibit (for lack of any other term). Highly detailed house, which tells a story in a fairly linear fashion.

As a game, I was disappointed. As an art exhibit, I was mostly impressed, although I think much of it was lost on me, since I’m likely not the target demographic, and I kept expecting some twist. Waiting for the game to begin, or just something. Also far shorter than I would have liked.

Without spoiling it, it’s a story of a teenage girl’s struggle after moving to a new city, making friends, struggle for acceptance, self-discovery, loss, and starting anew.

There are a few parts of the story that I’m still confused about. It’s a story that is very much just about Sam, although there are bits about the Mom and Dad which I feel like I’m missing half of the story because they seem unresolved, or missing key plot points. Possible spoiler: We find out what happens to Sam, but not what happens to the parents. (Unless I missed an important detail somewhere.)

I bought it for $18 through the []("developer’s website"), which gives you Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux versions of the game, all without any sort of DRM. And includes a key for Steam redemption.

Despite it leaving me feeling awkward, I would probably recommend checking it out, as long as you go into it less thinking of it as a game, and more as a movie, or a book. (Gives you a good cost/enjoyment ratio expectation as well)

Cookie Clicker - Game View

Sometimes a game can be as simple as clicking a single button.

No other requirement. No strategy. No challenge. No winning. No Losing.

Just click the button.

That is what Oreteil’s [Cookie Clicker]( "Cookie Clicker") is, essentially.

Then what is it about it which has captivated so many people?
What is it about it that has captivated ME so fiercely?

Maybe it’s the deceptive simplicity of it. And the silly graphics.

The progression. The desire to get MORE.

And of course, I see it, and I’m clicking and getting more cookies, and I see the PATTERNS. And I want to unravel the secrets of those patterns.

So I basically start writing down every data point, and form a spreadsheet which can automatically calculate cookies and building cost, and how long it’ll take for the next level.

And of course, since everything can change overnight, it may require “re-balancing” of my spreadsheet next time I load it up.

But it’s still interesting.
I don’t know precisely why.


So for me, it’s more than just clicking the button. It’s about finding out what to trade my cookies for, to get the absolute most efficient ‘bang-for-my-buck’

So after spending HOURS trying to find the right formulas and values and “Cost increase”, it stops being so mysterious, and now I feel like I have a sort of secret power over the whole thing. A sort of power that can help you be 'better’ than the game, without cheating.

So while I’m waiting the next 39.27 minutes to purchase my 48th Time Machine (granting me an additional 436,378.4 cookies per second) I’m here pondering why I’m so fascinated with a game about cookies.

It’s a game, but not so sure exactly what kind of game to classify it as. Not a normal game, but it’s something.

And I hear they’re making a cellphone version. uh oh.

I’m surprised how it’s just sitting there, free. (Of course, you can donate to support the site, if you’re generous)

I wonder how much success they’d have if they had a “Pay $0.99 for an instant X number of cookies” based on how many cookies you have, and how many you earn per second.

But I’m not about to get into the whole “Free” vs. “Free-to-Play” vs “Premium” debate. That’s for a COMPLETELY different post. :P

So anyway, long story short…. COOKIES.

I blame you, PiranhaBat.

UPDATE 8/27:

Of course, today’s update added MILK, so now my entire spreadsheet is off balance, since I have ZERO idea how to factor “milk” into everything. BAH!!!!

Games - September 2013

Luckily for me, September is a slow month when it comes to new games. I’ll be able to keep catching up on some other games.

So many games on my current backlog, and I lose track of my ‘extended backlog’ :P

Anyway, I have not forgotten about my posts here. I’ve just not been playing any new games. I have one I’ll likely post about soon though. Otherwise, I’ve been playing bits of different games, but not really getting into any much. So right now, it’s mostly been Saints Row IV (trying to finish the story at least) and I finally get into Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, I guess as a way to get ready for GTA V coming out soon, which I’ll likely get. Not 100% sure yet. Likely will wait for the first reviews to start coming out, which are likely going to be “OMG awesome game” which will push me to click the buy button.

Oh, and then Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD comes out at the end of the month, which I’m looking forward to. But I think my brother may be more excited about it. Wind Waker is one of his all-time favorite games.

Anyway, I just finished writing a list of games I could potentially blog about. Not that anyone necessarily would care about them other than myself. But at least it gets me writing about 'something’, and keeps my mind off of work all the time.

Miasmata - Game View


This game.


This game has completely captivated my game-playing time this week. I’m about 8 hours into the game, and just… I’m finding it difficult to stop thinking about it.

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of the MYST series. Based on screenshots of this game alone, it’s easy to compare the game to MYST.

You’re on an island. Given no information to start with about what to do. You don’t know why you’re there, how you got there.

In Miasmata, you start with a journal, and a blank map. Nothing else.
But these two items will be absolutely vital for the entirety of the game.
It’s not common where a game gives you all the tools you need right at the start, and have it work so well.

Technically, you can go anywhere and do anything right away. But you likely won’t get far without putting some thinking and careful planning into it.

Basically, you’re a scientist trying to find a cure for a plague. So you will use your map to navigate across the island, finding plants which can be used to create different medicine, and parts of a cure.

You’re given so little information to begin with. You do not interact with anyone though. Everything is told through notes you will find and add to your journal.

You will have a VERY difficult time navigating without your map. But your map will remain pretty barren other than parts that you discover through notes. You will have to rely on cartography to CREATE(or rather, unhide) the map yourself, through triangulation. It works amazingly well, and makes me want to go outside and try doing it myself.

The game is beautiful. The island is HUGE, and completely free-roaming. You can go anywhere, with no loading screens between any areas or whatnot.

But you will want to be prepared. Bring some water with you. Some medicine to stave off the plague fever, and beware of The Creature which will hunt you.

All-in-all, this is one of the most amazing games I’ve ever played. It can seem simple, but it’s all done so very well.

There’s times where I’m checking my (in-game) watch, plotting where to go next, wondering if I can make it there before nighttime hits (Where you basically can’t see anything). Wondering how fast I can go, what directly, without falling off a cliff or something.

My map shows a tent somewhere vaguely to the north-east. Can I get this rare plant there safely? Will there be a research hub there where I can synthesize some medicine I desperately need?

Oh good, there’s a known area just to the south with the last ingredient for Agent Y I need. Maybe I can go there.

OH BUT NO. I’m getting close, and suddenly I hear loud heartbeats. It’s my heartbeat. I’ve sensed that The Creature is near. I need to hide to prevent being found, otherwise The Creature will start stalking me and claw me to death.

Seriously, I hate that Creature. Whenever I see him starting to come in my general area, I pretty much think I’m doomed. Since I haven’t yet figured out how to properly evade him or hide.
But luckily I save often, every time I make it to a research station, or a tent, or a campsite. If I die, just start from last saved spot.

However, currently I’m lost in some upper region of the map, and can’t find any known landmarks in order to triangulate my position, so I am basically walking blind through the forest. Great.

I’ll figure it out though.

And that’s part of why I love this game. There’s so many ways to play it, and just being able to explore it, and it just makes you FEEL like you’re actually there. Like what you do MATTERS.

It’s definitely an experience. One I am definitely enjoying. So glad I got this game and actually played it.

GTA V - Game View

It’s been awhile since my last update. Been busy with work, and too many games.

Much of my game time has been occupied by Grand Theft Auto 5, as I’m sure many other people have been doing the same.
I was never able to get into the previous GTA games. They just didn’t appeal to me. However, over the last few years I’ve been more interested in the more free-form, open-world games such as Just Cause 2, Borderlands 1 and 2, Batman Arkham trilogy, Fallout 3, Prototype 2, Far Cry 2/3, etc.

And of course, this new one was meant to be the “definitive open world game” type thing. And I fall too easily into the hype for new games, so I picked it up.

And honestly, I wasn’t disappointed. Perhaps I’m just more mature now than I was years ago, but I found it pretty easy to look past the violence and vulgarity, and able to enjoy the detailed world and freedom to let loose and do whatever I want, in situations I of course would never be in, in real life.

Seeing how the three characters, from three very different backgrounds and lifestyles, come together and interact with each other in the messed up and corrupt town, serves a very compelling story.

The world is huge, but it ends up not being too overwhelmingly huge. You will soon become very comfortable with the different areas, even though there is constantly something new to do, and you’ll see things differently, and end up in areas you hadn’t been in before, even though they were sort of just there waiting for you already.

I’ve spent most of my time in the game following the missions and random events. But there are tons of mini games and extra activities which you can explore. The main story and side missions are likely to keep you too occupied to bother with them.. until maybe when the game is over.

I’ve yet to reach the end of the game though. I’m not convinced there IS an end to the game. :P

This game might not be for everyone, but if you’re not afraid to get your hands dirty, and want a virtual city to cause some mayhem in, this game is worth checking out.

I’ve not yet played any of the Online mode, but that is likely going to be a source of new missions and activities (and multiplayer interaction), with the potential of new areas to explore.

I may end up getting this game for PC whenever it comes out, but playing it on the PS3 has been great. Makes me realize I need to find a better controller for my computer, since rumble is a very nice feature for console games.

Influx - Game View ($10 for WIndows)

Influx was a game that seemed to come out of nowhere. I hadn’t heard of it until I found a coupon to buy it. I’m definitely glad I bought it.

It’s a puzzle/exploration game, and it’s beautiful as well.
It almost felt like a cross between Portal and “The Ball” (Except not having to worry killing anything)

The experience was sort of like the first time I played Portal. Being amazed at how the game looked, and the way things moved and controlled, almost seeming to be perfect. Along with the cube puzzles.

Definitely one of the most unique games I’ve played in a long time.

Pokemon X - Game View... so far

Alright, so… some people *cough cough, Gianna, cough* may have already completed the game, but I have not yet made it to the 2nd gym yet. (I know, I know. I’m slow. I blame too many gaaames. And work. Gotta work to get money for gaaaames… and life :P )

But I already have a pretty good impression of the game.

It takes Pokemon to a new direction, while still maintaining the formula which has remained successful to this date.
The more free-form camera is a welcome change, and the world looks gorgeous, fun, and interesting. However, it is a major disappointment that they only use the 3DS’ 3D option for limited things (such as battles, namely). A huge missed opportunity, and kind of jarring going back-and-forth between 3D and just “2D 3D models”. But supposedly it has to do with performance issues, which I find to be a poor excuse. I’m sure you could have taken more time to fine tune things better without losing any quality, and still giving the 3D effect consistently in the game. (But what do I know, I’m not a developer.)

Having over 700 pokemon in the game, it can be overwhelming. So it’s pretty ingenious that they’ve now split the pokedex into different sections, based on where in the game you are. Central, coastal, and likely another one I haven’t reached yet. It gives you the opportunity to better see different pokemon, in the ever-growing list of ‘mon, and better motivation to see and catch-'em-all.

Internet connectivity and interaction is better than ever. Being able to trade and battle from anywhere without needing to meet at a pokemon center is FREAKING AWESOME. Also “O-powers” let you send powerup gifts to people to have a passing interaction with them and a sense of meaning to the online stuff.

I find it odd that only Pikachu has the “cartoon voice”, while all other pokemon use the old bit-rez screeches. Either pick one or the other, but not just use one for one and none for the other. Very weak choice.

So… despite some very confusing choices made in parts of the game, this is definitely the definitive pokemon game for me so far. I’ve been avoiding spoilers, so we’ll see what’s to come. But I’m pretty happy with this game so far!

Her Story - Game View

I only learned about this game about a month ago, and since then, my hype levels have been off the chart.

It’s always fun anticipating a game, and the closer it gets to release, the more difficult it is to wait. A week. 5 days. 2 days. Tomorrow. 12 hours. 1 hour. Is it out now? Where is it? WHEN?? Why can’t I find it?!

Finally. Downloading. Playing.

So often, a game will fail to truly live up to the anticipation.

But for me, Her Story totally exceeding all my expectations.

You’re at a computer, trying to find search terms to find video clips related to a murder investigation, over a suspect’s interview segments across 7 different days.

The story that you discover has so much subtlety, and slowly unfolds, that you get sucked in, being unsure what’s going on.

“OH!! I totally know what’s going on!”

Haha. No you don’t. You find that one more bit of information, that flips your thoughts entirely.

You learn more, you understand more.

Such a journey.

Such an experience.

This is one of the most satisfying games I’ve played in SUCH a long time. And it makes me want to shout it out to encourage more people to give it a try. I truly think it’s an experience worth trying.

Here's the link where you can purchase it:

So Many Games

2015 is the year of games.

I probably say this about most years lately, but I am seriously overwhelmed with all the awesome games that have been coming out, and will come out, in 2015.

The sheer number of games that I’ve been excited about, have been difficult to keep track of. So I kind of want to share my thoughts on games that I’ve played so far this year, and some games yet to come and why I’m looking forward to them.

So far, there’s been Splatoon, Her Story, Witcher 3, and Batman Arkham Knight that I’ve all been super excited for. Also a few games that I was surprised at, such as Grow Home, Fallout Shelter, and GTA V for PC.

And I’m currently playing “The Magic Circle” which I just found out about this week, which totally surprised me. Not sure how to explain this game. It’s like a game about an unfinished game?? But it works, and I’m very much enjoying it. Somehow I knew about the game a year ago, but I don’t remember where I found it from, but then I completely forgot, and happened to be subscribed to a YouTube channel that recently made a new video about it, and the game’s available now, so… Ok, cool! I’m digging it! It’s fun and funny. Seriously, i’m a bit confused about this game’s existence, but I think that probably just adds to the intrigue!

Splatoon (WiiU) is just oozing (hahah) with charm and it’s a lot of fun. One of the first multiplayer games that I’ve felt very comfortable with. I haven’t played as much as I would want to just yet, but I plan on it soon. Luckily, Nintendo is still strongly supporting it, so that’ll keep things freeeesh longer (Staaaay fresh!)
I already said my thoughts on Her Story. Go buy it.
Grow Home (PC) was a surprising release, came from almost nowhere. Really interesting game about collecting diamonds in this weird world. It’s just fun!
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (PC) I got for free from buying a graphics card for the gaming computer I built, but I really wish I had actually paid for it, because it’s been a lot of fun, and there’s just SO MUCH stuff in the game. I feel like I’m nowhere near getting started, even though I’ve spent many many many hours playing.
Batman Arkham Knight (PC) I’ve spent 40 or so hours playing, and very much enjoyed so far, despite the controversy around it’s release and issues with the PC version. My issues with the game have been minimal, although some freezing/crashing have been had, auto-save has got me back right where I left off without issue. I finished the main game, and have collected 88% of the collectibles. May or may not go back to play through the New Game Plus mode. It’s a shame there was such issues with it at launch. You can’t even buy the game right now. It really is quite an awesome game, and I enjoyed it deeply, harking back to how much I enjoyed Arkham Asylum. They’re still busy “fixing” things for the people who had issues with it on PC.
Fallout Shelter (iOS) is a neat spin-off of the Fallout series, basically just a simply vault-management game. But Fallout. It’s free, it’s neat. Yay!
And then GTA V, I’ve already posted my thoughts about that game, although probably a bit outdated now, since that was for the PS3 version, when I’ve since played it on PS4, and now on PC. The PC version is definitely the best version of the game, due to the added time the developer spent on it. I have mixed feelings about the game. There are many parts that make me feel very uncomfortable, but in the end the whole thing just seems to work well, and is fun. I haven’t been able to get into the Online parts of the game. Mostly because I’m just not much of a multiplayer person. Although see Splatoon for exception.
There was a bit of hype around Kholat (PC)when it came out, and I saw a few bits of gameplay from YouTubers I follow (Jim Sterling and Markiplier of primary note). The game looked super interesting so I had to check it out for myself. It reminds me a lot of a game called Miasmata that I enjoyed several years ago. Basically, it’s you exploring a large world, and all you have to guide you is a map. Just like The Real World, the map doesn’t really tell you exactly where you are. You have to figure it out yourself based on your surroundings. You explore the area discovering things. In both games, there is an enemy-sorta that will come after you, but it’s really rather easy to avoid it, while just focusing on the story of the game. So yeah, how much I enjoyed Miasmata influenced my want to try Kholat. I haven’t finished it yet, but I’ve dug it so far.

The year’s half-way over, with a ton of great games already been released. Somehow, it seems that the 2nd half will contain an even larger number of games I’m excited for.

I’m a bit skeptical that all of the games will be released though, since half of the ones on my list do not have actual release dates yet.

Games with release dates are:

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture: August 11th
Mad Max: September 1st
Yoshi’s Woolly World: October 16th
Fallout 4: November 10th
Just Cause 3: December 1st.
(there’s also Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer, and Chibi-Robo Zip Lash that come out in October, which I’ll probably end up getting, but not necessarily “excited” about. Home design was always the part of Animal Crossing I cared least about, but maybe this game will change my mind. I absolutely LOVED the original Chibi-Robo game, and have been disappointed that it has never gotten a proper sequel, but it really will be nice to be able to re-visit the character. AND I MUST HAVE A CHIBI-ROBO AMIIBO. I simply must.)

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture captures my interest, because it looks great, and will be heavy on telling a story. I’m always keen on checking out games that aren’t afraid to do something different in a interesting way. The developer’s previous game Dear Esther was more just walking around without doing much, but seems like this game’s going to be interesting. Not sure how I’ll play it, since my PS4 is on loan to a friend. Maybe I’ll stick to watching a YouTube Let’s Play on this one. Disappointed that there’s no PC version..

The Mad Max game looks interesting. Looks a bit like RAGE, which I quite liked. This Max Max game is by the same developer that makes Just Cause, and I’m a bit fan of the Just Cause series. More on that in a bit. But this game looks pretty big and action-y, so heck yeah, why not? Not seeing any pre-orders available for the PC version, just the PS4/Xbone versions, which is kinda concerning, but there’s no reason to expect there to be an issue with the PC version coming out same day, right?

Yoshi’s Woolly World. What can I say? I’ve been a HUGE Yoshi fan for as long as I can remember. I grew up playing Yoshi’s Island on the SNES. (I must have been 6 or 7 when it originally came out.) I stunk at playing it at first, but then several years later I actually was able to go back and finish the game, and loved it. Definitely one of my all-time favorite games ever. Since then, I’ve been a Yoshi fan. I didn’t get much into the Yoshi’s Island 2 DS game that came out some time ago, but Yoshi’s New Island seems like a lot of fun, but I’ve been slow getting into that. Either way, looking forward to Yoshi’s Woolly World. The game is already out in Europe, which makes it all the more unfair that we have to wait until October. :(
But seriously, just look at it. How adorable is that? I’m going to try to get all three Yarn Yoshi amiibo. (Have I mentioned I may have an amiibo collection obsession? I may make a separate post on that later.)

Fallout 4. Well. I’ve been a fan of the Fallout series for quite a long time. Fallout 1 and 2 were probably the first “M” rated games I ever played. Which doesn’t seem like a big-deal ‘now’ but at the time I was probably 13 years old, so there was a sense that I was doing something I wasn’t supposed to do. Ooooh, I’m such a rebel. (But my mom actually did buy the games for me, so I totally had parental permission, and was deemed Mature enough to play. For what it’s worth.) Got both games in one bundle pack. Not sure what year that would be, I want to say 2001 or 2002.. I must have been in middle-school, and the only games I could play were when I was able to use “allowance” to get a cheap $10 jewel-pack game from Target. This one happened to have both games in a double-jewel pack, so it was like oooh, getting two games for the price of one, Smart shopping! Turns out, it was a very wise decision, because I really dug those turn-based tactical, dark, post-apocalyptical role-playing games. And the memory playing them has stuck with me all this time. I even participated in a forum online “roleplay” story set in the Fallout universe. That was probably right around the time I was entering high-school. Gosh I was such an awkward teen. (Still am awkward, but that’s a different story). I had a lot of fun on that forum. It kind of dissolved after awhile, though. Kind of a bummer. Anyway, I remember soon after I got Fallout 1+2, Fallout Tactics came out, and I couldn’t find it anywhere. Eventually, I was able to find it on one of the game end-caps hidden at the back of a store (probably also a Target), and ended up playing through and loving that too. It was very different from Fallout 1+2, but still enjoyable revisiting the universe created in those games. And then Fallout 3 is totally not like any of the other games, because it’s more first-person fully 3D game. I remember when FO3 game first came out, I couldn’t really afford it. Eventually it went on sale on Steam, and I was in the middle of nowhere at the time, and bought it for like $30. One of the first games I bought on Steam sale that I can remember. Haha! In hind-sight, $30 was a pretty high price to pay for a game on Steam Sale, but it was still more-than-worth it. I don’t think my computer at the time could even handle it, so it wasn’t until a year or so later that I was able to actually play through it. (If you know me, I tend to play “the long game” when it comes to actually playing games. I have many games that I am “in the middle of” but eventually get back to actually playing. Then I’m like “OMG I love this game, why didn’t I finish this sooner?” and it’s typically because there’s just so many other games that keep coming out. Like this year! But I’m also making a lot of progress playing through games. Even while balancing having an actual job! Me, with a job! Sometimes that still surprises me!

Anyway, long story short (too long), I am very excited about Fallout 4. And it was just announced out-of-the-blue not too long ago, so the hype is still strong. It looks great from what I’ve seen. And maybe now is a good excuse to go back and finally finish playing Fallout: New Vegas, which has been on the backlog back-burner for some time. I have Fallout 4 pre-ordered at Best Buy and Amazon, because I want myself that real-life Pip-Boy. Oh yeah.

Just Cause 3. Not sure which game I’m more excited about, Fallout 4, or Just Cause 3.
I got Just Cause 2 as part of a larger “Square Enix Game Bundle” on Steam, which included Batman Arkham Asylum (which also had a sequel released this year. See above.)
JC 2 was probably my first significant introduction to modern Open World games, and also fairly violent. (although in hind-sight, it doesn’t seem as violent as some other games I’ve seen recently). I’ve spent ~100 hours on JC2, going through the story, finding all the collectibles, destroying all the target destroyables, etc. It’s just super entertaining. Everything about the game just resonated to make a perfect game. And the new one sounds like it’s going to be punching a bigger punch, so I am definitely excited. Hype Hype Hype HYPE!!! Already pre-ordered.

Games that have do not have a release date, and may or may-not actually be released this year would be:
Torment: Tides of Numenera
The Witness
No Man’s Sky
Soft Body
The Room Three

Torment and Obduction are both games I backed on Kickstarter, and have been following for quite awhile. Torment: Tides of Numenera is a sorta-sequel to Planescape: Torment, which I enjoyed as a teenager. (Another game I got in a “combo jewel pack”, see above. This one came bundled with a game called “Soulbringer”, which fast forward to 2015, is available on Steam and I ended up getting there for nostalgia purposes). Planescape: Torment was another game from Interplay that I ended up really liking. (Was a big fan of Interplay before they fell apart. Icewind Dale is another game I really enjoyed). Not sure much about what Torment will do, but many of the same team that worked on Planescape: Torment are working on this one, so that along makes me excited. I liked the story involved in Planescape: Torment. A lot. The whole atmosphere of the game was just captivating and unique. They can’t use the name Planescape, since that is trademarked by a different company. Heh.
Obduction is made by Cyan, the same company that made Myst. If you know me, then you know I FREAKING LOVED the Myst franchise. Such an amazing franchise, even through the ups and downs. And the books. OMG I loved the Myst books. I loved the Myst books so much, that in 12th grade, we had to write 4 book reports throughout the year. Three of the reports I did, were on each of the Myst books. I think that speaks largely on how much I loved the books, and how awesome my English teacher was. So, now we have a new game by the same company, I’m definitely eager. There’s something really magical about being able to explore a world without a timelimit, and be able to just uncover the secrets the world has. Probably a reason why I enjoy Grow Home and Her Story, and why I’m curious about Everybody’s Gone To the Rapture. So yeah, Obduction will be great. I’ve enjoyed following the development of it through Kickstarter.

Firewatch. This game looks super interesting, and curious, and gorgeous. I am very interested in this game, and I’ve been looking forward to this game for a year or so. The linked trailer is from August 2014, but there’s much more newer stuff available, including some early-game footage, if you’re interested in looking. Another game that I’m excited for just diving in and soaking in the story.

The Witness. This game. I’ve been looking forward to this game for 2-3 years. It is absolutely beautiful adventure game. It looks like a sort of Open World huge Myst-like puzzle game crammed full of puzzles. This is a game by Jonathan Blow, the same guy who made Braid, which was another game I absolutely loved. It was supposed to come out in 2014, but now it’s supposed to come out this year, but I won’t be surprised if it slips to 2016 due to there still not being a release date for it. But the hype is strong with this one, and I’m excited for it.

No Man’s Sky looks interesting. A procedurally generated exploration/adventure game I don’t really know too much about this game, but it looks cool, and will be worth checking out. Look at the graphics. It’s gorgeous. I’ve often said that graphics aren’t the defining aspect of what makes a game good, but there are some games where the game’s emphasis is primarily on exploration, in which case just look at it. Being able to just freely explore a humongous universe that looks just so gorgeous. It just screams out to want to be explored. This game has practically been confirmed to NOT release in 2015, in which case it shouldn’t be on this list, but last I heard was that it was 2015, so it may be, may not be. Probably not. Still keeping it here.

Soft Body by Zeke Virant. I saw this game covered during E3 2015, and it instantly captured my attention.
“You are a beautiful, gooey snake, and you paint the world with your soft body.”
What else can be said?? Check out the linked video.

The Room Three, I just found out about today. While writing up this post. OMG I really liked the first two The Room games. Basically, you have these rooms with puzzle boxes, that you solve the puzzles to open the box, to discover more about what’s going on. It’s really quite mystical and just awesome.

So that’s about it. I probably missed something, but that’s ok. This post is long enough already.

“You don’t have to get every game.” Yeah, I’m aware of that, mother. I don’t get every game. It just so happens that a lot of games are all coming out in the same year that I’m interested in.

I’m not quite sure if that means more amazing games are coming out in 2015, or if it’s just that my taste in games has grown so much over the years to where I am more open to a wider range of games? Probably both. I definitely think “Just SO MANY great games coming out in 2015″ is a primary factor. Although it is also true that my range of games that I’ve come to play and love has dramatically grown over the years. In part due to the increase in the overall increase in quality of games that are released more often, and to it being easier to find, and buy games now, than ever before, with the growth of the internet and dominance of Digital game purchase/download/distribution.

No matter how you look at it, there’s never been a better time to be a gamer, than right now.

More Games

It feels like a ton of games have been released lately, and there’s still a ton more to come out throughout the rest of the year.

A few surprises showed up.

The Swindle
Rocket League
Spider: Rite of the Shrouded Moon

They came out of almost nowhere and were super awesome games.

The Mad Max game came out this week, and I’ve spent about 20 hours with it so far. Really digging it. Never seen any Mad Max movie, and I’ve been enjoying the game regardless. It doesn’t seem to matter, since it exists as it’s own thing.
The reviews for the game have been mediocre, which is disappointing considering how much I’ve enjoyed it.
Part of the disappointing reviews may be in part due to the release at the same time as Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, which was a hugely anticipated game from people and stuff. I had no interest in MGS, but I am a sucker for hyped things, so I decided to check it out and give it a try.

I’ve discovered that I absolutely suck at stealth games, and strategy.
I am loud and dumb.
It’s definitely going to take me quite a bit more time to get “into” the game. But I am certainly willing to give it some more time. Especially with all the freaking weird stuff that it’s got going on. It genuinely had me laughing at certain parts, and saying “WHAT THE ACTUAL HECK IS GOING ON!??” at other parts. Just the first 3 missions. So there is “something” there, even though it’s making me literally scream for how much I keep dying.

But yeah, I can’t wait to get back to Mad Max.

And there’s still new games coming out, practically one new big game, each month, for the rest of the year. Just the ones that I know of. Not to mention the “surprise” games that are sure to show up.

Super Mario Maker comes out next Friday, and I wasn’t originally thinking about it, but it’s Mario, and the more I see about it, the more I’m like “OMG that sounds so cool!”.

So yeah, I complain all the time about this. How there’s just so many things out there that exists.

I realize it’s impossible to always go through absolutely everything. But that won’t stop me from trying. And I’ll continue to complain about it. In the best way possible.
Because it can’t be a bad thing to enjoy stuff. How boring life would be if there weren’t things to enjoy? Or something, I dunno. :)

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

Here I am playing "Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes" with my friend TigerSkunk!

“Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes” is a new game that just came out, and it is SO MUCH FUN.

To get the game yourself, head over to Steam here:

And if you are playing the game and need a bomb expert, give me a holler, and I’d be happy to play!

Virtual Reality is coming

I had my first experience with VR last week.

My life will never be the same.

I am being 100% serious here. VR is the future. And it is GLORIOUS.

Two weeks ago, if you had asked me about VR, I would have said something like, "Oh yeah, you put on an obnoxious helmet, and it's in 3D. Woo. Of course, I'd be interested in checking it out and trying it, but I doubt it'll be a HUGE impact for me".

Oh you poor, naive fool.

Even after my brief, limited experience with a VR demo, I was blown away.
From that moment on, I knew.

I knew.

I have seen a glimpse of the future, and it will change everything.

I realize I may sound a bit hyperbolic. But I assure you that I am being serious.
This is special. This is going to be huge.

This is going to change everything.

We're still in the early stages, where developers are starting to create experiences specifically for VR.
Once the Oculus Rift comes out, and more people have VR devices, and more games are made for VR, and developers become more comfortable with the platform, and ideas have more time to grow...
We're going to see some seriously awesome stuff.

Just imagine with me for a moment.
Close your eyes.
Imagine that you're hiking through a forest.
You come across a ravine. A bridge crosses to the other side.
You approach the bridge. Look over the side.
A long drop into nothing below you.
You start to cross the bridge.
Each step, the bridge creaks a bit.
You're nervous.
You slowly make your way, and finally reach the other side.
The emotions you experience there. Pretty terrifying and exciting, right?
Now, open your eyes.
With VR, you're there. No need to imagine. You see everything with your actual eyes, as if you were there. You feel like you're there.
You look around, and the view moves with you. Super natural.

I wrote about "Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes" before. (Check my 2015 archive here)
So, imagine that game. You're sitting in a quiet room. Alone.
In front of you is a strange box. A countdown timer appears. You have buttons, and wires, and you have no idea what to do.
You have someone talking to you to guide you through things.
The pressure feels real. The pressure is real.
The amazing thing is that this game ALREADY SUPPORTS VR. It's there. It's ready. It's real. We just need the actual VR devices to be released! AAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!
I am excited to be able to play it with VR.

Yesterday, I came across this article about a game called Dead Secret.
The game sounds like a perfect fit on VR.
How exciting? Exploring this puzzle-filled house, trying to solve a mystery.
I now have it pre-ordered.

The Witness comes out in January. I've been excited for it for some time. And as it gets closer, I get more and more excited for it. I didn't think I could be even MORE excited for it, but after my VR experience and hearing that The Witness will support VR, it has managed to again increase my excitement.
Being on the island of The Witness, and exploring everything. BEING there, with full view range, and solving the puzzles. My brain is having trouble comprehending the awesomeness.

So far, my VR experience has been limited to silly little demos. But it was enough for my mind to instantly think of the possibilities. Along with what is already known, and announced.
Things will only get better.

This is an exciting time. The start of something unique. Something truly special.
I am excited for what's to come with VR.

That game made me MAD

So. This is the story of a game that made me mad.
The game is called "PERFECT ANGLE: The puzzle game based on optical illusions".
As the name suggests, it's a game that has you rotating an object to uncover the secret shape contained within.
Sort of like an OK Go video.
Except without all the fun.

Now, this is a game that is available on Steam for usual price of $13.
However, it looks and feels like a mobile game that has been slapped up on Steam without any changes. And after doing some research, it appears that's exactly what it is.

The controls aren't great. The levels are all over the place, ranging from easy to "how does that even make sense", with some odd "objects" that you're supposed to find.
There is a story/narrative that is woven in between levels, but the writing is so horrible, and often feels like the game is in a fight with itself to decide whether to have the object match the story, or to have the story match the object. Either way, it never feels cohesive.

Again, some levels are so convoluted, that you cannot solve it without using a "hint".
They give you 10 hint tokens to start, but you'll run out quickly. And when you do, they're ready to sell you more hint tokens for $2.
This is a game that you already bought for $13 (well, $8.44 on sale). And they're wanting you to pay more for hint tokens.
And there's tons of billboards and posters within the game advertising their other mobile games.
Again, in a game that you already paid for for $13.

What a horrible mess of a game.
And I'm not the only one who feels that way. Check out this hilarious article on RockPaperShotgun that does a good job expressing my thoughts. (Although he dwells mostly on the story, I feel it gives a good indication of the quality of the rest of the game.)

I am so disappointed. I went in to the game wanting to like it. I wanted SO MUCH to like it. And I was let down.

My recommendation, buy Shadowmatic on iOS/AppleTV for $2.99.
It is vastly superior in every way imaginable, and doesn't have a story hamfisted into it.
It also includes hint-tokens, which yes there is an option to buy more, but they're generously given out for free when you complete a level, that I have more hint tokens than I would ever need.
Shadowmatic is a beautiful game. The levels are gorgeous, and the controls are perfect.
It is the standard that I was hoping that "Perfect Angle" would live up to.

So yeah, for a fantastic puzzle game based on optical illusions, just stick with Shadowmatic.

Xenoblade Chronicles X - Game View

This game is huge.
It's probably the largest single-player game I've ever seen. And it's on the WiiU.

This game is sort of like an MMORPG without the other people.
There's sorta an online aspect to it, where you'll basically be joining an online division, where your actions contribute toward a server-wide goal, where you can earn extra rewards. But you're not interacting directly with other people. You may run into a representation of another person's character in the world, where you can recruit them to fight with you. But again, it's more of an automatic thing, rather than an actual person playing with you.

That being said, Xenoblade seems to keep getting larger the more I play it.
You start out on one "continent", and as you explore and unlock more of the map, soon you start reaching out onto 5 different continents.

I've played for way more hours than I can keep track of, and I've only reached 3 of the 5 continents. And I only just now unlocked the big mech that lets me explore further and higher than I was able to before. So this game is dense.
So much to do.

It can end up feeling a lot like normal MMO games where you "go here and collect this, kill that".
But the characters, and story, and graphics, and everything is so finely tuned, that it doesn't get old.
And the story is fantastic, and there's been some pretty major twists that I am now so invested in, and want to see through to the end.

I wasn't expecting to enjoy this game as much as I ended up enjoying it. But I really am glad that I gave it a chance.

Just Cause 3 - Game View

Let me start off right away by saying that if you liked Just Cause 2, you will for-sure enjoy Just Cause 3.

If you have not played Just Cause 2, I highly recommend it. You can often pick it up for less than $4 when it's on sale on Steam. Probably even lower during the upcoming Steam Holiday Sale.

In many ways, Just Cause 3 is more-of-the-same compared to Just Cause 2.
Just bigger, louder, and more intense.

Just Cause is basically about going around blowing things up. You'll travel across the map, clearing out different sections one-by-one.
There's enough variation between cities and regions to keep things feeling interesting without feeling too repetitive. And with freedom to play however you want, it keeps things interesting.

There's not too many things in gaming more satisfying than grappling a person to a gas tank, shooting a hole in the tank, and watching it fly off and explode in the air.

Or having a helicopter air-dropped onto a roof. Or even a battleship. Onto a roof. Yes, you can do that.

I finished the story part of the game on Friday. The story is fine. Although it ends up feeling a bit short. And some things happen near the end that made me really disappointed. I was expecting there to be some sudden twist, but the twist never came, and then I reached the end.
That being said, even after reaching the end, you still have a LOT of territory left to clear out. And even after you finish clearing everything, the game makes it easy to "re-oppress" the bases and cities, so you can basically go through everything again. And since there's so many different ways to approach things, and experiment, and blow things up, it's not a pointless feature.

I was expecting Just Cause 3 to be a lot bigger than Just Cause 2. Which would be a monumental task, considering that it's been 5 years and I've already put in over 110 hours into Just Cause 2, and have yet to complete all cities and collect all collectibles.
But with Just Cause 3, I'm at just about 30-hours in, and can already feel the sense of completion nearing.

That's just taking raw "completion" into consideration. Just flying around the map with the wingsuit in Just Cause 3 is a magical experience that one would likely not get tired of any time soon.

But Just Cause 2 had tons of extra collectibles to find, which had another layer to everything. Then again, that can sometimes feel overwhelming. Like an impossible task. So perhaps that was the reasoning to tone down the pointless collectibles. However, now it just feels like I'm just going to be going back to Just Cause 2 for another dozen or so hours to finish that, when I was expecting Just Cause 3 to completely replace that feeling for me.

Basically, in a nutshell, Just Cause 3 is a giant sandbox of exploding things. It's fun.
I'd recommend it, but I'd also still recommend checking out Just Cause 2. (although with caution, since JC2 crashes fairly often on newer computers, it seems.)

2015 Year-End More Games

Really awkward title, but wasn't quite sure how to title this post, without saying "2015 End of Year Post about random games that came out"

I've talked about most of the games that I've been looking forward to already.

Before I continue, I want to again say how much I loved Batman: Arkham Knight, and Mad Max this year. Two fantastic games that really stuck with me.
I played Metal Gear Solid V for quite a bit. Haven't totally gotten into it, but I have gotten much better at it (by my own standards, at least), to where I can at least enjoy it. It's a weird game, and I'm sure I'll spend more time with it over the next few months.

I wasn't really planning to get Guitar Hero Live, but I ended up getting it anyway, and I've enjoyed it for the most part. The "TV" portion is the best thing about the game though. Basically, there's a constant stream of songs being played, and you "tune in" and play the song, while the music video plays in the background.
You can "level up" and earn coins and "plays", which you can use to choose individual songs to play. Otherwise, you can only play whatever is chosen to play in the constant stream.
Some people may not like not being able to "own" songs, but for me, I like the automatic stream. Forces me to check out songs I may not choose otherwise. (And I've built up a large number of plays for if I do decide to choose individual songs eventually).

After Nintendo's recent "Nintendo Direct", it got me excited for a few games I wasn't planning to get.
First, there's Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash. I'm typically not into sports games. But I remembered how much I surprisingly enjoyed the Gamecube Mario Tennis, and feel that bit of "craving" for some silly Mario sports, so I figure why not?

As for Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon, I ended up not playing much of the previous Pokemon Mystery Dungeon game (although it's been on my list to play eventually). But based on things I've heard from people, I'm probably not missing much. So I might as well try out the new incarnation to get the best version possible. I really like the Mystery Dungeon format, ever since I played the GameBoy "Azure Dreams", and absolutely loved it. So yeah, I'd love to revisit that type of gameplay.

And finally, Xenoblade Chronicles X. Graphically, the game looks amazing. And the previews claim it's one of the largest open-world maps, with a lot to explore. I like exploring. I just hope it doesn't end up feeling too overwhelming.
The game looks like fun, so I look forward to giving it a fair try.
But knowing me, and my gaming habits, it could just as easily be "super awesome" or I could give up early because of it being too complicated or something. Sort of what happened with The Witcher 3 for me, since the game just has so much to do, that it gets overwhelming, and I reached a point where I found I had too much stuff thrown at me at once to do, with most things not being possible unless I leveled up more, so it just felt like a large hill I didn't want to climb. Ha! I'm sure I'll revisit it eventually. But as I complain often, there's just so many games, and my backlog continues to grow.

And now I'm starting to think about all the games planned for 2016. Looks like I'll have another new post soon for that.

2016 Upcoming Games

I was working on a "2015 recap" post, but then when I found myself just going on about a million games, I realized that it was just too much. Too many great games came out in 2015. And looking at my list, I see many games that came out that I wanted to play but just never got around to playing. That is disappointing!

So, I may still write up a modified "2015 recap" post, but for now I think I'd rather look towards 2016.

And looking at my list, 2016 is already threatening to be as insane as 2015.

Just for January, we have The Witness and Rise of the Tomb Raider coming out on PC.
On top of that, there's Paper Mario: Paper Jam for 3DS, and Dead Secret for PC/VR.

I am so incredibly excited for The Witness. It's been a long-time coming, and it's finally almost here! It's like a puzzle game mixed with Myst. And it's going to be huge.
Rise of the Tomb Raider is finally coming out for PC, and that'll be another big game.

Soon after that, Firewatch comes out in February, and looks very promising. Not sure how to describe it, but it's basically another exploration game with interactive storytelling.
Unravel comes out the same day. Why do all these games have to come out on the same day? Unravel looks absolutely charming. Frustrating that I'll be forced to get it through EA's Origin system if I want to play it on PC. I may just stick to getting it for the PS4 in that case.

Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD comes out in March. I'm very much excited for that. Twilight Princess was a fantastic game, and I played the heck out of it when it first came out with the Wii launch. So it'll be nice to revisit the game.

No Man's Sky comes out in June, and looks to be a huge space exploration / simulation game. There's a lot of big promises the game is making, so it'll be interesting to see if it manages to succeed.

There are many other games promised for 2016, and ones that didn't make it onto my list, but will still be looking forward to playing.
And judging by my 2015 list, I'm sure there'll be plenty of games that sadly get pushed onto my backlog.

Where does the time go?!

The Witness - Game View

I've been looking forward to The Witness for years.
I can't remember how long it's been. But I remember that the excitement reached it's peak around the time it was showcased for the PS4 launch announcements.
Since then, I've eagerly awaited.
As is the case with games that I've been eagerly waiting for, and the hype that builds leading up to release, I had a pang of fear, in case that I'd be disappointed in the end, after so much waiting and excitement.
Luckily, that did not happen.
The Witness is a good game.
Very good.
Even just exploring the island, there's a sense of wonder. Something special about how everything has a visual weight to it. It's so pretty, and draws you in.
The game doesn't verbally explain anything to you. However, it would be up to you to solve the 600+ puzzles that exist on the island.
Basically, they're line puzzles, go from point A to B.
However, along the way, you'll start to learn differences to the puzzles, how a dot here, or a color there can require you to go a different way.
And then there's puzzles that require you to pay attention to the environment as well.
It all adds up, to a very engaging experience.
It's a journey. And it's wonderful.
The puzzles get difficult. I've wanted to slam my head against my desk several times due to a frustrating puzzle.
Most of the time, it was either because I was forgetting something important about the puzzle, overlooking something, or because I just haven't learned the important "trick" to solving the puzzle yet. Leave to a different part of the island to solve other puzzles, and there I may learn that missing idea that I needed to go back to the other puzzle.
I've also used some image editors to help track my ideas/plans. A notepad would also help.
I kind of feel like this game was made just for me.
I'm enjoying so much just walking around the island. (Although some times it can feel a bit overwhelming, since it's so big, and I've gotten a bit lost).
I feel like anyone else playing would likely get too frustrated at some of the puzzles, and then quit playing.
I'd love for as many people to play this game as possible. And I want everyone to enjoy it as much as me.
I can't help but imagine some angry internet trolls getting frustrated at one of the early puzzles and then complaining because it was too hard or they think it's broken.
If you don't like puzzles, then maybe don't play a puzzle game.
But if you're wiling to lose yourself in a literal world of puzzles, The Witness will be a nice excursion keeping you busy for days.

Factorio - Game View

When I first saw heard of Factorio, and looking into it a bit, I was not interested. Building a factory? Why? What's the point?
Well, after hearing more people talking about it, and seeing more game videos on it, I finally decided to give it a try for myself.
I am SO glad that I did.
I feel bad that my initial thought of the game without trying it was so negative, because after playing it, it has become one of my favorite games.
It is so intricate, with many layers.
You start out with basically nothing but a pick and a furnace. You find some mineral areas, and start collecting Iron Ore, Copper Ore, Stone, and Coal. Then you use the furnace to forge the ore into plates, and further on into bigger, more complex objects.
You start crafting items on your own. But this is very time consuming. More complex objects will have dependancies, which require you to first craft some other item first. So you eventually start building fabrication machines, and auto-loaders, and conveyor belts, to transport items from point-to-point, to automatically build smaller objects, to take them to the machines that would build the more complex objects. And before you know it, you have a complete train complex that is bringing in raw material from remote locations.
To complicate matters, you have to research the more advanced processes, which takes time, and crafting "science packs".
All this factory building, generates pollution. The native creatures on the planet will seek out the pollution generators and destroy them. So you also need to worry about defense.
And of course, you need to generate electricity to power everything. Starting out with burning coal, and then building up to solar energy
It's absolutely crazy. And I love it.
So many different layers to the game. And there's a huge mod community, with users creating their own changes/additions/expansions to parts of the game. Much opportunity for sinking a LOT of time into this game, and with the mods it can let you tweak the game to your liking, and keeping everything fresh and new.
The game is currently in Early Access on Steam, so the developer is still adding and changing and updating and improving things. But even as it is right now, it is a super-high-quality game, and I strongly recommend checking it out! Factorio on Steam

Tom Clancy's The Division - Game View

I first saw this game during E3 a few years back, and it didn't really interest me.
(If you read my review on Factorio, you probably already can tell where this is going).

Last week, I was given a copy of the game by a friend, so I felt it fair to give the game a fair try, to see how it was.
I had seen some fairly average reviews for the game, so I did not have high expectations for it.

Well, long story short (too late!), I ended up really enjoying this!

So, I have about 12 hours invested in the game so far, and I'm really digging it.
The game feels kinda like Borderlands, in a way. Except without the over-the-top cartoony aspects.

You are a Division agent, and your goal is to help rebuild the city, after it was basically destroyed after a virus outbreak. To make matters worse, there's a lot of looters and other hostile enemies around, causing trouble.
So it's up to you to help find missing people, retrieve lost supplies, restore power, and just help-out in general wherever help is needed.

It doesn't really sound all too exciting, but the realistic graphics, fully voiced characters, and interesting story elements, and other side-story elements to collect, it really keeps you engaged.

It's another Ubisoft game, which by now pretty much gives anyone an idea of what that means. You have a map, and a large open world, where you can pick which missions you want to do, and you have safe areas that will unlock more details on your map with more missions. Assassin's Creed has that, Watch Dogs has that, Far Cry has that. (Speaking of Far Cry, I've been playing Far Cry Primal, and been enjoying that as well).

So, if you've played any of those games franchises, you kinda know what to expect in that regards.

There's a lot of detail in the game, and it's really quite beautiful, even if the setting is basically a run-down and desolate city. It's still really quite amazing to look at.

Long story short (again, too late!), there's a lot to do in the game, so if you enjoy it, it'll keep you entertained for dozens of hours. You can also play with friends, with missions scaling up in difficulty if you play with other people. And there's a whole "dark zone" which pits everyone against everyone else. I spent a few minutes in there, and kept dying. So I left. Maybe I'll go back once I've leveled up and earned better gear.

Overwatch - Game View

Oh hey there! Been awhile, I know.
I have a lot of posts that I've been meaning to write, but been too distracted by other things, such as work and games.

Especially [Overwatch](

Seriously, Overwatch is pretty spectacular.

Blizzard games always tend to have that added special touch that really makes them stand out, and Overwatch continues that trend.

With some team-based multiplayer games, they tend to get a bit boring, once you've become so familiar with the maps, and it all starts to just feel like the same thing again and again.
Somehow, Overwatch manages to overcome that. It keeps feeling fresh, never stale.

To start, you have instant access to all 22 "Heroes" in the game, and can choose whichever one to play as. You can switch between them freely while playing as well (as long as you're in a spawn room). If (when) you die during a game, you'll just re-spawn at the current spawn room after a time delay, so you can get back into the action.

Each hero feels distinct, with their own colorful personality, and background. The game launched with 21 heroes, and the 22nd one was recently added, and there'll likely be more to come later as well.

As of writing this, there are 12 different maps, which are chosen randomly (seems random, at least). Each map is vibrant, with different objectives, and requires different strategies in order to make your way to victory. The 13th map will be released fairly soon, with more to come as well.

Each "match", there are two teams, each with 6 people. So with 22 heroes that people can choose from, that gives nearly 400 million different combinations (if I did my math correct) of heroes that you can play with/against on a given match. That probably helps why things always feels fresh and exciting/interesting.

The heroes are divided into different roles/types.
Offensive heroes are typically the fastest, and are able to get in, and cause as much damage as possible. However, the tend to be easiest to kill.
Defensive heroes are great at barricading an area. They can cause massive amounts of damage, and basically stop/slow the other team from reaching a destination.
Tank heroes are basically just to absorb as much damage as possible, so that other teammates can get in there a bit easier.
And then Support heroes, they mostly are there to heal up the team, to keep them from dying.
Since everyone tends to have different play styles, and each hero has their own unique set of abilities, it really opens things up to allow anyone to be able to find the way to play that is the most fun for that person.

I tend to play as either a Defensive hero, or Support hero, so I'm either causing a ton of damage, or healing everyone.
Since each hero has their own unique abilities, some are better at countering specific other heroes. That helps keep things balanced, so it doesn't feel very one-sided. In the heat of a match, if you feel you're being beaten too easily, you can quickly switch to another hero that has specific abilities that can help that situation.

The game also has a pretty smart match-making system, so that you'll be paired up with a group of other people who are similar in skill level as you. So even if you feel like you're having a rough match, the rest of your team may be able to help save the round.
Overall, you should find that you win and lose about the same amount of times.
Nobody likes to lose, but the majority of the time, the match is so much fun that you still feel satisfied.

Another neat thing is that each hero has a bunch of customization options. As you play, you'll earn experience points, and can level up. The only purpose that leveling has is that it grants you a "loot box", which has random customization unlocks for different heroes. These can change how the heroes look, their special voice lines, and other neat enhancements. It adds another fun layer to everything.

Everything just comes together to make the game a ton of fun. I've spent over 100 hours playing, and I know I'll be playing much more.
It probably also helps that a number of co-workers are also playing the game, so it's pretty cool to be able to team up with them.

If I had to come up with a negative about the game, it would be that the loot box system can be a bit frustrating. Since it's random, you don't get to choose what comes out of the box. (You can unlock most things separately, but even that can feel a bit frustrating at times. And I really don't care about unlocking all the "sprays")

Anyway, I've really been enjoying the game, and I love how Blizzard has been constantly updating the game with balances, fixes, and new content. I look forward to playing more.

Doom (2016) - Game View

I really intended to write this like two month ago.

Oh well, here I am now.

I never played any of the previous DOOM games. I didn't really see them as being something I'd like. So when DOOM 2016 was first announced, I thought nothing of it. The previews didn't do anything to interest me.

However, somewhere along the way, I figured, you know what? I really like Bethesda games, so I might as well give it a try.

I'm glad I did.

While on the surface it's just a generic soldier-type guy on a foreign planet, making his way through level after level, killing anything and everything that moves,
Deep down.. That's all it really is. But the thing is, it works.

DOOM doesn't take itself seriously. It is over the top. It is gruesome. There is a lot of blood and gore and the animations of bashing in an alien's face can be disturbing.
But at the same time, it can also be quite satisfying.

Sometimes it's nice to just let go and embrace the bizarre and dumb. And DOOM gives you all the tools for that and more.

One thing I also appreciated about DOOM is that the map for each level is quite large. Yet not too large to where it becomes intimidating.
There's a lot of verticality as well, so each map can have upper sections, and lower sections, and makes it fun to explore while hunting down the aliens.

There are also MANY secrets to discover on each map. Hidden areas, and bonus powerups, all waiting to be found. You can re-play any level you've already completed, to go through and try to find the remaining secrets as well. The pause screen's map display is extremely helpful in guiding you as to where secrets may be, or places you might not have discovered yet on the map. But the maps are still designed in a clever way, to where you will still have a challenge (but not necessarily an unfair challenge) to find it. And it is satisfying when you do find it.

I must admit I've only played about 5 hours of the game as of this writing, but I did enjoy it. The graphics are also really quite stunning. Even though it's an alien planet (with research bunkers) and a lot of red landscape, it still looks really good.

Inside - Game View

This is another game I played several months ago, and forgot to write about!

INSIDE is the follow-up game from the studio behind LIMBO. If you never played LIMBO, that's ok. This game doesn't have anything to do with that game, other than similar character design, and horizontal nature of the game.

A lot of playing INSIDE is about experiencing the game. It is hard to explain.
It is a puzzle game, but the puzzles are not necessarily difficult. (although I was pretty stuck at one specific part near the end, but after setting the game down for a while and coming back, I was able to then continue)

And then the ending was shocking. And probably left me more confused than anything.

So while I wasn't personally satisfied with the ending, I did appreciate the game as a whole.
And I strongly recommend checking it out!

The Sexy Brutale - Game View

Yesterday, I lost track of time, because practically all day I was playing this game.
I really like this game! Everything just works well together.
Your goal is to prevent the murder of various guests of this mansion.
Everyone dies during the same day, but you have the ability to start the day over whenever you want.
This lets you take the time to watch and see where people are going throughout the day. (And your map will keep track of what you've seen, you can always see where you've seen someone, at what time.)
As you prevent the murder of someone, you gain the power of their mask, and gain access to a new area of the mansion.
So as you progress, you've got more areas available to you, and you see where people you've already seen have crossed paths of other people you're trying to see.

It really strikes me as clever how the developers were able to make it so intuitive how to follow a character. And there's not really any penalty for rewinding a day, so you are able to basically take all the time you need to watch everyone, and carefully plan things.
Even though the end solution tends to be something relatively simple, it still gives me a sense of satisfaction to successfully solve each puzzle.

So yeah, I'm really satisfied with this game.
Here's the game page on Steam: The Sexy Brutale

Beware the MMO

Massively Multiplayer Online games. Primarily the MMORPG (Role-Playing Game).
Oh boy, this is going to be a long post.

For a long time, I looked down on the concept of a MMO game. For several reasons.
First, I simply preferred single-player games. I like to play at my own speed, and not have to worry about whether other players will help or hurt my progress.
Second, I had disdain for the concept of paying a monthly subscription for a game, and having to maintain that subscription, otherwise I would no longer have access to the game, and all of my progress.

Over time, my taste in games has grown and evolved, and I am far more open to different gaming genres than I ever was a few years ago, let alone a decade-plus ago.

Growing up, the only internet at home I had was dial-up. Where you had your computer connected to the phone line, and nobody could call you while you were connected. And everything loaded up SUPER SLOW.
Mind you, I was in middle school, soon to be high-school. So this is probably around 1999-2002.
I was only allowed to be online for about an hour a day (because it would take up the phone line, and my parents would of course want to be able to make/receive calls if needed). But I would routinely stay on for as long as possible, and only getting off when it was absolutely unavoidable. (I.E getting caught)

Much of my time online would be spent looking up game information on websites such as (which surprisingly still exists, unlike many other websites from that time).
I would download FAQs for many different games, so that I could refer to them whenever I wanted to, even when I wasn't online. Not to mention, everything loaded super-slow, so it was better to have them on my computer where it was easier to access.

So games were very much a solo experience for me at that time.

Even as technology improved, and we finally got high-speed internet (and then soon after, actual wifi), games would be a single player experience for me.

Even through high-school, my access to games was dependent on how much money I could save up from birthday/Christmas, and I had to choose which games I got carefully.
So the concept of a subscription-based game would never even cross my mind at that point.

Even years later when I had a job, I was making so little that I was more worried about paying for my phone and computer, rather than games.

I was a fan of Starcraft and the Brood War expansion, and played the heck out of them back in the super-late 90s and early 2000. So I already knew of Blizzard being a game company I liked. Even played a bit of Diablo 2.

World of Warcraft came out in 2004, so that would have been firmly in the middle of my high-school years. At that time, I was deep into Nintendo Gamecube games, and then obsessed with the Nintendo DS's release.

Throughout the following years, I would hear all the stories on the news and cartoons making fun of World of Warcraft, and how addicting it was and people being irresponsible, etc etc. Things like that would indirectly enter my consciousness and would cement my bias against MMO games.

Sometime in 2008, a friend I was regularly chatting with online was very big into WoW, and convinced me to give it a try. He even gave me access to his account so I could create my own character and play as much as I wanted when he was at school. So that was my first taste of WoW.

A couple years later, two of my friends started playing WoW, and so I joined in for a month or so so we could do some quests together. I never really got into it, so I stopped.

Most of my gaming during all this time was solidly Nintendo-based. GameCube, Wii, GBA, DS, 3DS, WiiU, and getting into the PS3/PS4 as well. (This was also in a time when I didn't do much PC gaming. PC games I played would tend to be the ones you'd find on the budget rack at a store. You know, the ones where it's just the jewel case. Otherwise, it was primarily consoles)
And the computers I had for most of my gaming experience were cheap pre-built computers, which as it turns out, are not really designed with gaming in mind. And the built-in Intel graphics chips were rather lacking. So again, pc gaming for me was a hit-and-miss experience.

Being primarily Nintendo-based, I didn't have much experience with Final Fantasy. I was aware of it, of course, FFVII was "the popular one", with the movie related to it too. But I hadn't really played any of them. My experience with Final Fantasy was Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles for the GameCube, and I loved it so much. Along with several other games in the Crystal Chronicles umbrella.

And over the years, liking games so much, I would pick up more information about Final Fantasy in general.

Because of all that, I was one of the first to get Theatrhythm Final Fantasy for the 3DS when it came out. And I LOVED it. Being able to enjoy all the history of Final Fantasy and the incredible music (especially the Crystal Chronicles music that I was so familiar with), it was great.

Meanwhile, I eventually got an iMac, which was the best computer I had ever had to this point. With Steam giving easier access to finding great games, for both Windows and Mac, and being able to use BootCamp to run Windows on the iMac, I started amassing a larger collection of games on the computer. And now that I had a reliable job, and a consistent income, I was able to afford more games, and was always on the lookout for sales on Steam.

Fast forward to February 2014. Final Fantasy XIV had just came out 6 months prior. Steam had one of their routine sales, and FFXIV was on sale for $15, which included a month of game time. So I figured, Yeah! Why not? I wanted to try out a new Final Fantasy game.

And boy, did I get hit by the bug hard.
For the next 6 months, I spent many hours every day playing that game. Maxed out my Disciple of the Hand/Land classes, and making my way through all the story quests.
I loved it.

Somewhere during this time, I got the PS4 version of the game, so that I no longer had to reboot my iMac into windows when I wanted to play. Which encouraged me to play even more.

The game is one of the best-looking games I've ever played, and the game gives you so much freedom to play however you want. You can play the vast majority of everything alone. And any time you need to go through a dungeon, the game will automatically pair you up with other players. So you can go through as a Healer, and the game will automatically pair you up with a "Tank" and "DPS" players to complement your run through the dungeon.

And I really appreciated that.

Playing as a DPS (damage-per-second) player, you will sometimes collect different items/materials from enemies.
As a Crafter, you can use these items to create new weapons and armor, which you can then use for your battle classes, or trade for "gil" (the in-game currency) with other players. I loved how all the elements worked together, and I could really just spend hours playing whichever class I wanted, and do whichever quests wanted to.

Eventually, I was spending so much time playing, that I found myself juggling running through a dungeon on the PS4, while trying to reply to a coworker on my computer. I quickly realized that I couldn't keep doing that or it could really hurt my job.

So, I stopped playing.

The expansion pack was released the next year, and I had considered getting it. I eventually decided not to, since I had many other games to play.

Over the last 6 years, Blizzard just kept doing its thing. Released Starcraft 2, and Diablo 3, and I enjoyed both, along with their expansions. Then last year, Blizzard revealed Overwatch. I tried out the beta, and didn't really care too much for it. But by the time it officially released, I was fully on-board. (and the rest was history. You can read my post about Overwatch I posted before.)

So, at this time, I was spending more and more time in Blizzard's application, for playing Overwatch and Starcraft. And of course, World of Warcraft is there in the application as well.

Another friend had recently gotten into WoW, so I decided I'd sign up for it again to try to play along with them. Around the same time, I decided to give FFXIV another try as well.

Well, it's been about 2 and a half months since then, and I'm again spending hours every day on FFXIV. With the expansion, there's new areas, and classes, and raised level cap, so I've been going through the story quests, and working on my crafting classes, and just enjoying everything.

Yup, it got me back. Hard.

I'm not complaining, and I'm not letting it affect my job either haha
And I am looking forward to the next expansion.

Once I get satisfied with my current progress through the main story quest, I'll probably then switch into playing WoW while waiting for the FFXIV expansion.

I'm not really sure what my point is with this post. I titled it "Beware the MMO", which is true, since it is easy to get lost in spending so much time playing these games.

But on the other hand, I think the point I'm actually making is don't be afraid of the MMO.

Hear me out.

Growing up, I had to be conscious of which games I got, since I couldn't afford much.
Then, based on my previous gaming experiences, I stuck with single-player games.
As I could afford more games, and had more time to play games, my taste in games grew/expanded and I was more willing to try out new things.
However, I think along with that, I started to get a bit burned out on being frustrated at spending upwards of $60 on a new game, only to find that I only played an hour of it and never touch it again. That money adds up, and it's a lot of money wasted on games I don't actually play.
It boils down to quite a lot each month.

But here's a game where you can play as much as you want, and gives you a lot of freedom to play however you want, and it's only $13-15 a month, for however much you want to play. And considering the hundred and hundreds of hours I've spent playing, that is a HUGE value compared to all the wasted money spent on games that I don't play.

And there are MMO games where you don't have to pay every month. Elder Scrolls Online and Guild Wars 2 are both fantastic MMO games which are free to play after buying the main game.

So, it's worth taking a chance on these games, to see if you like it. And if you don't, then you cancel and move on to something else.

So over time, all the multiplayer games I've been playing, along with FFXIV, I've grown a new appreciation for these games, and I'm much more comfortable with the online nature of the game, and value certain aspects of it.

So as long as you are able to manage your time and not let it affect important things, then there are games available that can give you a lot of bang for your buck.

Pokemon Sun/Moon and Final Fantasy XV are coming out later this month. I am definitely excited for both of them. So I'm going to need to find time away from FFXIV to play those. haha

Yeah, I really don't know what my point was in this post.
Maybe my point is that you shouldn't let old biases get in the way of trying new things, as you may be pleasantly surprised.