Fallout 1 and 2
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 July 2015, 10:00 am

Woah, blast from the past.

I had never tried out Fallout 1 and 2 before this, but since they were so cheap on the Steam Sale I grabbed them to take a look.

My history with the Fallout franchise is that I played Fallout 3 to completion right when it released (2008 I think?) and that's all I've done with the franchise.  I liked my time with Fallout 3, but it never felt as mindblowing to me as it did to others.  That being said, I'm really excited to get my hands on Fallout 4 later this year.

Anyway, Fallout 1 and 2 are kind of interesting.  They nail the tone of the Fallout universe perfectly, even though they're really old games at this point.  The tone is just spot on.

But, the gameplay in these two games is essentially unplayable by modern standards.  It's brutal to try to do anything in these games.  They appear to be running on the same engine, and it doesn't hold up to my current standards.  I tried each game for about half an hour before giving out.

I do feel like I got my money's worth.  I didn't pay much, but it let me get a basic feel for where the series started and how far it has come.

Battleblock Theater
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 2 July 2015, 10:00 am

It seems like this week's posts are turning into "What did I buy in the Steam Sale?" posts, but that's ok.

I tried out Battleblock Theater, since it's another game I picked up for very little money in the Steam Sale.

It's from the same developer that made Castle Crashers, which is a fantastic game.  I think I was expecting something of the same caliber.

I didn't find it.  Battleblock Theater is a fairly forgettable platformer.  I've played so many platformers in my lifetime, it's a genre that I absolutely love when it's done well, so a platformer needs to either be Mario or something unique that blows me away to get my attention.  This is not that.  This is generic and has loose controls.

I didn't love this game, so away it will go into the "Games I'm Done With" folder in Steam.  At least I barely paid anything for it.

Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 July 2015, 10:00 am

Monaco is another game I picked up for super cheap in the last Steam Sale.  I had played a little bit of it when it originally came out on Xbox 360 and just remembered that I found the premise interesting.

I found the same thing again this time.  It's basically a heist game with super simple controls.  You move with one analog stick and use special items with the A button.  That's it.

And each character gets a special power.  Maybe you can see further than your other partners.  Or unlock locks faster.  Or knock out guards if you sneak up on them.  It adds variety and pushes you to work as a team.

I really think this game was designed to be played with a full team of 4 people.  It's an interesting premise when I'm playing it single player but I feel like the game would truly shine if I had 4 people to play local co-op with.

I'm going to put this one away in my backcatalog and keep it in mind for local multiplayer in the future.

Halo Spartan Assault
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 30 June 2015, 10:00 am

I picked up Halo Spartan Assault for a few bucks when it was on the Steam Sale the other week.  I didn't really know anything about it, but I've had fun in the Halo universe many times in the past so I figured it couldn't hurt.

Well, I played it and found a fairly mediocre twin-stick shooter.  It plays fine with either mouse+keyboard or gamepad.  It's set in the Halo universe.  You move with one stick and shoot with the other.  All the weapons and enemies are themed on Halo.

And that's about all there is to it.

I guess I was expecting more.  It truly underwhelmed me.  If you're a die-hard Halo fan who loves twin-stick shooters then this game is perfect for you.  If you're anyone else you shouldn't waste your money here.

Massive Chalice
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 29 June 2015, 10:00 am

I finally went through some of the Kickstarters that I kickstarted and grabbed the keys for games that are finally finished.  Massive Chalice is a game I was really excited for, so I plugged my key into Steam and jumped into the game.

I was met with disappointment.

I don't want to do a long analysis of why I didn't like the game but it basically came down to two reasons.  One: I hate the visual style.  Two: I hate the tactical combat.  The visuals didn't click with me at all and the tactical combat felt super derivative and just not fun at all.

There's a lot of game here for people to dig into if it clicks with them.  I have to admit, I did like the strategic level of kingdom building in this game.  Building keeps, defending the realm against increasingly difficult odds, and playing matchmaker to create new bloodlines of heroes were all fun.  If I could have done that, automated the tactical battles, and had a new visual style on this game I think I would have loved it.

For me this is another Kickstarter flop.  I loved the pitch, but didn't like the end result at all.  These days I'm much more skeptical of my Kickstarter backings.

Return to Heroes of the Storm
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 26 June 2015, 10:00 am

Heroes of the Storm launched officially at the beginning of the month.

I played it extensively in Alpha and loved the game until they made a change that totally changed the game for the worse, at which point I drifted away.  I heard from my friends that they rolled back that change almost right after it happened because the community hated it, but the spell was broken and I was on to other games.

Now that it's officially released and I know my progress won't be reset I started playing again.  It's easily my favorite MOBA on the market.  I've been playing a little bit each day to finish the daily quests and earn gold.  It seems to be a good balance for me.  If I were to sit down and play it for an entire evening I would get burned out, but a few matches each day is perfect.

It's the most approachable MOBA on the market.  If you've ever been interested in the genre but scared away by the horror stories, then this is the game you should check out.  There are no item builds, no last hitting, and experience is shared across the team.  It has all the core MOBA things I love and none of the annoying mechanics that I hate.

If you haven't taken a look at Heroes of the Storm yet, you should.  It's free to play, so there's no reason you shouldn't give it a shot.

Mostly Unscathed from the Latest Steam Sale
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 June 2015, 10:00 am

Outside of major releases that I really want to grab on day one, I get most of my games during Steam sales these days.  It's amazing how fast game prices fall on PC.  Wait six months, look at the next Steam sale, and that game that was a full-price AAA title is probably half off.

Which is starting to skew my perspective.  I'm not even jumping on deals like that anymore.  $30 for a $60 game that released six months ago?  Not good enough.  I can always just wait for the next Steam sale because it will probably be discounted even more.

This steam sale I spent under $25.  I didn't pick up any games over $10.  That's kind of the tipping point for me now.

It helps that I've purchased all the games I've been interested in during past Steam sales so I don't have a huge backlog of games I'm interested in.  But I do have something like 35 or 40 games on my Steam wishlist that I'll pick up once they fall in price.

A lot of games on my wishlist right now are trapped in that middle ground where they aren't brand new but they aren't quite old enough to have big enough discounts for me.

It's weird how my value of videogames is changing.  I'll still pick up the occasional day one purchase for $60, but if a game doesn't fall into that category for me I'm more than happy to wait for it to go on super sale... because it will.  There's no question anymore on PC, any game I want will go on sale.

Heavensward Is Here... If You Can Get In
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 June 2015, 10:00 am

The first expansion for Final Fantasy XIV, Heavensward, launched yesterday!  I've been really excited for this expansion and I don't know if I've ever felt this invested in a MMO before.  I'll write up some more extensive impressions for my Final Fantasy Project later, but for now I wanted to talk about launch week.

Although Heavensward technically "launched" yesterday it has really been launched since last Thursday.  Anyway who preordered the game could get into the servers starting late last week and get to the expansion content.  That includes me and a lot of people in my Free Company.  It's been fun being in this early access phase but it's also been frustrating.

The frustration comes with trying to log in to the game.  If you can get into the game and log on to your character the servers are rock solid.  But, what often happens, is you try to log into your data center (the step before character selection) and the server doesn't respond.  In other games this would mean you just click a button to attempt log in once again.  In Final Fantasy XIV it crashes to the desktop.

Which means that you need to relaunch the game launcher, type in your password, wait for the game to load, and then try to click through to your data center again.  It's horrible from a user interface standpoint.

Two nights ago, while the game was still in early access, I gave up after trying to log in for about half an hour straight.  That was before the expansion even launched.  Now it's worse.

Even though I'm super excited to get back to playing this game it looks like I might need to put it on hold for a week or so and let the servers stabilize.  It's not that unique, most MMOs have launch week problems, but it's still disappointing.  I'm really invested in the story of Final Fantasy XIV and I want to see what happens next.

Fallout Shelter
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 23 June 2015, 10:00 am

I've been playing a little bit of Fallout Shelter since it was announced and launched on the same day during an E3 press conference last week.

On one hand it's nice that they made a mobile game set in the Fallout universe that doesn't have any paywalls or annoying F2P mechanics.  You can purchase "lunchboxes" if you want but it's less critical than any other F2P game I've ever seen.

On the other hand I've played this exact style of game before.  Build a little community of characters, get more space for them, get new facilities, upgrade stuff.  There's nothing new here.  The main thing the game has going for it is the Fallout branding thrown on top of it.  I've fairly confident this game would not have gotten the attention it has if it didn't have Fallout attached to it.

I can already tell that I'm waning in interest on this game.  It's kinda cool that they made a nice F2P game in the Fallout universe, but there's really nothing new to see here.

Arkham Knight Pre-Order Madness
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 June 2015, 10:00 am

It finally happen.  For the first time, a game has stopped me from buying it with it's stupid pre-order bullshit.

I loved the first two Batman Arkham games that were developed by Rocksteady and I was planning on picking up Arkham Knight on day one. (Ignore Arkham Origins, it was a different developer... and really bad).

But then I started seeing exclusive content packs for certain retailers.  And then different DLC content for the digital versions.  Then some Harley Quin stuff that looked really fun to play.  And Red Hood as a playable character that looks badass.

I did my research and found the only way to get everything is to buy a bunch of different versions of the game, or buy the $99 super crazy premium edition.  As someone who only buys games digitally  it was never an option to buy multiple versions from different retailers.  And no, I'm not going to pay $99 to get a "complete" edition of a game.  At worst it makes me feel scammed and at best I feel nickel and dimed.

Therefore I'm not going to buy a game that I was really excited about.  Good job Warner Brothers, you've made the first DLC structure that turned me away from a game I was super pumped for.

I'm not mad at the developer, or the game, just the publisher.  I suppose I'll just wait six months until the inevitable "Game of the Year" edition that actually includes everything and costs less.

Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 19 June 2015, 10:00 am

Nexus is a novel where I loved the premise but wasn't a huge fan of the way it was written.

The premise is that there's a new recreational drug that basically allows you to connect your mind to other people.  Throughout expansion of the drug people start to connect to each other's minds and gain control of their own.  They even start running computer programs in their own heads.

It's a really cool setup and I loved that part of the book, it just took a long time for things to actually happen.

The pacing was not good.  There were some action scenes but they were divided by lots of scenes with characters just thinking about their actions in uninteresting ways.

The worst part of the book was that there was no good conclusion.  I didn't realize this is the first part of a series.  It doesn't stand alone all that well and I'm not going to read through another book with that pacing.  So, I guess I'm done with Nexus and the follow ups.

The premise is so cool and I wish I could recommend this one but I can't.

My Most Anticipated of E3 2015, So Far
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 18 June 2015, 10:00 am
There are so many great announcements coming out of E3 this year.  Here are the games I'm most excited for so far:

Mario Maker

The footage from the Nintendo World Championship really sold me on this game.  It's my most anticipated game right now.  If it has good sharing and community capabilities it could become one of my favorite games of all time.

Star Wars Battlefront

Star Wars is my weakness and this is the first real Star Wars game that we're getting under the new management of the franchise.  It looks gorgeous and the gameplay should be a ton of fun.  There's no question this is a day one purchase for me.

Fire Emblem Fates

I love a good strategy RPG and Fire Emblem was always on my radar, but when Fire Emblem Awakening came out it finally clicked with me.  I loved Fire Emblem Awakening and it was my game of the year for the year it came out.  Fire Emblem Fates looks like the next step in the same direction for the Fire Emblem series and I'm super excited for it.

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Final Fantasy and Mario are my two favorite gaming series ever.  I don't think I could decide which is my favorite, but that's ok.  They're both amazing.  When they announced that there was going to be a remake of the most widely acclaimed Final Fantasy I got chills.  Who knows when it will eventually come out, but it's going to cause a huge flood of Final Fantasy love from everyone.

There you go.  My most anticipated games from E3 2015.  What about you guys?  What are you most excited about?

Moon Knight
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 17 June 2015, 10:00 am

After hitting a few runs of comics that I didn't much enjoy I asked a friend for suggestions within the Marvel universe.  I'm trying to make the most of Marvel Unlimited while I have it since I'm still not sure how long I'll keep it.

He gave me some recommendations and the one that seemed the most off the beaten path was Moon Knight.  So, I started there.

And I loved it!  Moon Knight is basically Batman.... if Batman was crazy... and didn't give a fuck about collateral damage.... or killing people who deserve it.  Also, he wears white so enemies can see him coming and he's the embodiment of an ancient Egyptian god kind of.  It's really weird, but it works.

I read the whole 2014 run in one night and I wish there was more.  I might have to dive into the back-catalog and see if there are other runs of Moon Knight too.

If you like heroes that aren't typical and you have Marvel Unlimited you should really check it out.

Square Enix Press Conference
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 16 June 2015, 2:50 pm
I'm pretty disappointed in the Square Enix press conference.  It was full of talking heads, pre-rendered CG trailer videos, and not much concrete information.

Almost none of the games were being released in 2015 and there were barely any release dates given.  Most of the press conference was men in suits saying, "We're making this game and we hope you're excited to find out more but we won't tell you more now."

I guess I was expecting a big announcement, like Final Fantasy XVI or a new Chrono game or... something.  Instead I got some trailers for games we already knew were coming and the announcement of some mobile games.

I'm disappointed.

The biggest announcement for Square Enix was done yesterday at the Sony press conference when they announced a Final Fantasy VII remake.

The thing is, I know a lot of the Square Enix games they talked about today will be good, but they were just presented in such a boring manner that it was disheartening.

I'm looking forward to hands-on gameplay impressions for most of the games they announced, whenever those eventually come our way.

One more press conference tonight and then we're done.  PC gaming is up next.

Nintendo Press Conference
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 16 June 2015, 12:58 pm
Ah!  The Nintendo conference is over and I only have 7 minutes before the Square Enix one starts.  Quick!  Thoughts!

Nothing revolutionary announced.  They're holding off on talking about the new system until next year.

Lot's of gameplay from games releasing later this year or early next year.  Things like Star Fox and Yoshi's Wooly World look to still be on track and fun.

I'm super excited for the new Fire Emblem which now has an English name, Fire Emblem Fates.  I loved Fire Emblem Awakening, so I'll definitely be picking up this one.  That Fire Emblem cross over on the other hand... looks a little crazy.  I'm not sure what to think about it.

A new multiplayer Metroid for 3DS just got announced.  I hope Metroid fans are happy.  It didn't look all that appealing to me, but that's ok, I'm not a huge Metroid fan.

The new Triforce Heroes Zelda game for 3DS is more my speed.  I'm not sure if I'll have people to play it with via multiplayer, but I'll get it just for the single player game alone.

The real winner for me is still Mario Maker.  Mario is my favorite platforming series ever.  If Mario Maker has good online sharing and community support it could easily turn into one of my favorite games of all time.

And I need that 8-bit Mario Amiibo like... now.  It's amazing.  So cool.  I can't even.

Square conference is starting in 2 minutes.  Time to wrap up.  Good show Nintendo.  Lots of games I'll end up playing and enjoying.

Avengers (2012)
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 16 June 2015, 10:00 am

I don't always know exactly how to refer to the comics that I've been reading on Marvel Unlimited.  There are so many comics with such similar titles about the same heroes.  After reading a bunch of character centered comics that started in 2012 I also decided to try to get into the Avengers comic that was started at the same time and used those same versions of the characters.

I thought Avengers (2012) would be a surefire hit for me.  I loved the ensemble cast in the movies with the friendly banter and inter-squad tensions.  I think they make for great storytelling.  But now I'm realizing that a lot of that might be because Joss Whedon knows how to write dialog and not because the Avengers themselves are a great plot device.

The Avengers comics that I read didn't click with me.  They brought in so many different characters that I couldn't keep track of them all.  I hadn't even heard of most of the characters that were in these comics.  The core team that I know from the movies was there but the amount of other characters was overwhelming.  I never had a chance to truly get to know any of them or latch onto them as touchstones in the story.

And then the story arc bloomed out into this multidimensional multiuniverse end of everything story arc that included even more characters.  It looks like it tied in to something called Infinity.  It seems like it's one of those big huge events that ties the whole Marvel universe together.  But for someone like me, who doesn't have much context for the wider Marvel universe, the whole thing fell flat.

I'm going to go back and read some other character centric comic runs and move away from the ensemble cast.  But after reading through this run and a couple other runs that were misses for me... I think my time subscribed to Marvel Unlimited may be coming to an end.

Sony Press Conference
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 15 June 2015, 10:45 pm
Wow.  Wow.  Just Wow.

Final Fantasy VII is getting a remake.  There were a bunch of other bombshells in the press conference but this is all I can think about.  Nothing else seems to matter much right now.

If you didn't know, I'm a huge Final Fantasy fan.  I'm so excited for the remake!  And they announced another Final Fantasy game too!  But seriously, that FFVII remake is just dominating my thoughts.

It's going to take some time to decompress after all these press conferences.  Wow.

Ubisoft Press Conference
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 15 June 2015, 7:37 pm
The Ubisoft Press Conference was mixed for me.  There were a couple games that piqued my interest, and of course I'm always excited for a new Assassin's Creed (it's a weakness) but I didn't really see any games that are a guaranteed day one buy for me.

For the most part I'd like to hear more about these games from the journalists who will get to play them this week on the show floor.

I want to know more about Rainbow Six Siege, The Division, and Assassin's Creed.  Hopefully we'll get to read some good impressions as the week goes on.

The thing that impressed me the most with the Ubisoft press conference was the amount of real gameplay footage and live demos.  It seemed like almost every game had real gameplay footage to go with it.  They're not hiding behind pre-rendered CG trailers for their games and they deserve applause for that.

Now I'm going to wait for the Sony event to start.  I'm really excited to see what pops up in that one.

EA Press Conference Mostly a Flop
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 15 June 2015, 5:35 pm
They should have compressed the EA press conference down to Mass Effect teaser, Unraveled, Mirror's Edge, and Star Wars Battlefront.  It would have saved about an hour and 15 minutes of sports games, driving games, and mobile crap.

But omg, Star Wars!  Mass Effect!  Space operas!  I'm so excited!  I'm sure you'll be able to google footage for both very soon.  You should.  If I had videos available right now I would embed them for you, but I don't.

Seriously, go look up gameplay for Star Wars Battlefront.  Watch the teaser trailer for Mass Effect Andromeda!  Most of the rest of the EA conference is easily skippable.

Now to wait for the Ubisoft conference to start!

Microsoft E3 Press Conference Thoughts
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 15 June 2015, 3:58 pm
I had a lunch meeting so I'm a little behind on E3 today, but I just blasted through the Microsoft conference and have a couple minutes to write before the EA conference starts.

It was a solid showing, but not enough to get me to buy an Xbox One.  There are a lot of games that are interesting to me, but most of them are on both Xbox One and PC.  I much prefer to use my monster of a gaming PC instead of spending more money on hardware I don't need.  It seems like I won't miss out on too much.

The Xbox One exclusives that did interest me are Halo 5 and Thieves of the Sea.  Halo 5 is fairly self explanatory, but I really liked the ODST vibe it gave off.  That has always been my favorite Halo game.  Thieves of the Sea looks like a sweet stylized pirate MMO that I would play in a heartbeat if it were on PC, but for the moment it's staying as a Xbox One exclusive.

They showcased a lot of games and hardware announcements, I'm still kinda decompressing.  Here are a couple more random thoughts.

Minecraft with the Hololens was cool looking.  Lot's of potential fun there.

The new Tombraider looks more explorey and less combaty than the last one, which is a huge plus in my book.

Gears of War is generally good, but not a system seller for me these days.

Backwards compatibility for Xbox 360 games could be huge, but it's better to wait for details on how that will work before getting too excited.

Microsoft is partnered with Oculus Rift.  I'm hoping they'll give it lots of support.

Ok, EA conference is starting.  More thoughts on E3 2015 soon!

X-Wing Wedge's Gamble
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 15 June 2015, 10:00 am

Marvel Unlimited and comics have derailed my normal reading patterns for the past month or two, but I'm slowly drifting back toward my normal amount of book reading.

In doing so I finished the second book in the X-Wing series, Wedge's Gamble.

This continues to be a great Star Wars series in their Legends universe.  I loved these books as a kid and they're still holding up now.  I'm surprised that they are as good as I remember.

I think I read them as they were released so I never realized how closely the series is tied together.  The first two books flow right into one another in a way that's great.  A newcomer could pick up book two and start with it, no problem.  But someone who has read the first book will see more connections and get more out of it.

In Wedge's Gamble Rogue Squadron is tasked with taking down the shields surrounding Coruscant so that the Rebels can occupy it.  The Rebellion is looking to finally overthrow the Empire's seat of power and establish themselves as a legitimate replacement government.

It's a tall order but Rogue Squadron thinks they're up to the challenge.  This time they're mostly on the ground on Coruscant using they're special ops training and unique skills to find a way to take down the shields.  There are still X-Wing sections of the novel with dogfights and everything you could want, but the main focus here is on Rogue Squadron as an elite special ops force.  It's really cool to see this other side of them.

This is another great book that let's me recommend the X-Wing series again.  If the premise of this one sounds more interesting than the first book you can easily start here and not feel left out.

Bethesda Press Conference
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 14 June 2015, 11:42 pm
I think I'm just going to write up E3 thoughts whenever they strike this week, instead of waiting for my normal posting schedule.

I just watched the Bethesda Press Conference and it was... ok?  I have to fess up, I'm not a huge Fallout fan.  Or Doom fan.  Or Dishonored fan.  I don't even think I like the Elder Scrolls as much as most people.

Honestly, I usually play a Bethesda game for a week or two, grow bored of it, and move on with my life.  That's where I'm coming from, so keep that in mind.

I watched the press conference anyway because it's E3 and I'm interested.

To me, Doom looked super generic and bloody but not all that interesting.

Dishonored 2 was basically a pre-rendered concept trailer so who cares.  I'll hold off having real thoughts until I see gameplay.

Elder Scrolls card game looks like it wants a piece of that sweet sweet Hearthstone money.  Now that Blizzard has proved there's a market for mobile digital card games it's not surprising that we'll start seeing more.  Could be good, who knows.  Again, I'll wait for gameplay.

Fallout 4 shows some promise.  I liked Fallout 3, but didn't love Fallout 3.  This looks like more of the same... but with some other features added and slightly better graphics.  I'm interested enough that I'll probably pick it up on release and play it for a few weeks, but I don't anticipate it being revolutionary for me.  The most exciting part of Fallout 4 for me is actually just watching everyone else get so excited for it.  I loved seeing it blow up on Twitter during the conference.  That was really cool.

The most interesting thing to come out of the Bethesda conference for me was actually Fallout Shelter, the mobile game.  I saw that and instantly knew that I could kill some time with it.  I'm super excited that it comes out tonight.  I'll play it this week and get back to you.

What did you guys think of the announcements?

Nintendo World Championship was Awesome!
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 14 June 2015, 9:40 pm
The Nintendo World Championship just happened and it totally lived up to the hype.  I watched the whole thing while talking to my brother over text and my Twitter friends over Twitter.  I had a great time.

The main rounds were modern games played competitively and the "underground" rounds were classic Nintendo games done as speed runs or score challenges.  The variety and game selection were fantastic.

Nintendo even revealed a new game in the middle of the event and then immediately had the competitors play it for the next round.

The best part of the event was watching the final round with the competitors playing Mario Maker levels that Nintendo Treehouse employees had designed.  It was strangely captivating watching them figure out the levels in real time.

The event just wrapped up but it looks like it's already posted on YouTube.  I highly recommend checking it out.  I'll even embed it below, for your convenience.

E3 Week!
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 14 June 2015, 10:00 am

It's E3 Week!  A time to get hype!  A time to be skeptical.  A time for many things.

But mostly a time for fun speculating and dreaming.

I love the current format of E3 because all the big press conferences are livestreamed to everyone.  I used to dream about attending an E3, but now there is no point.  I can get the best E3 experience by sitting at home, watching the livestreams, and keeping up with my RSS feeds.

What news are you guys most excited about hearing?  Any particular press conference or game you're looking forward to?

For me, I can't wait to hear more about VR.  It seems like 2016 is the year where VR systems are actually finally releasing to the public as retail products.  That means this is probably the last E3 before they are released.  I'm so excited to get my hands on an Oculus Rift or a Steam VR.

How about you guys?

Armello Early Access
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 12 June 2015, 10:00 am

Armello is a video game, but it's also very much a digital board game.  Everything from the aesthetics to the gameplay feel like a board game while the game has all the conveniences of a video game.  I picked it up on Steam for PC but it looks like it's coming out on PS4 as well.

The game sells itself as Game of Thrones via animal avatars... and it's kind of right.  You won't get any sweeping narratives here but you will get an unpredictable contest for the throne of the kingdom.  You see, the king is filled with corruption and is slowly dying.  When he finally dies one of the animal Heroes in the world will become the new king.  It could be you.

There are a handful of ways to become king.  Kill the corrupt king, cleanse the king of his corruption, or just end the game with the highest standing in the realm when the old king dies.

Like it says up their in the title, this game is early access.  It truly shows in the new player experience.  The tutorial is non-existent.  You learn about the gameplay and objectives through tool-tips while you're playing your first game.  They do not do an adequate job.

My biggest gripe about the game is that I had to go spend a good hour of time with the wiki for it to start to understand what was going on.

Luckily for Armello, it's still in early access and has time to improve.  I think that if a solid tutorial was put into the game along with some more hand-holding during the new player experience this could really be a cool game.

I'm probably not going to play it much more until it's out of early access and is officially launched.  That being said, this is still a game that you should keep your eye on once it officially releases.

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