02 September 2015

Still Talking Aesthetics

Please wait; Shader loading
The more I play games, the more I find superfluous features.  Take my latest obsession, Destiny.  There are more Aesthetics than there really needs to be in a Halo MMO that focuses on grinding out your equipment, and the developers saw that.
They looked at it all and said "why dont we actually do something about this junk and give it purpose?"  Or, more likely, the players said that and Bungie said "Oh, yeah, alright."
Ghosts will be getting a bunch of ShelÅ‚s that will provide subtle bonuses, for example.  Thats pretty huge on its own, especially if youre getting a bit more dosh as you pound your way through the cut and past characters you repeatedly mow down day after day.
Same witth Class Marks, usually only having the purpose of looking pretty, or showing your faction allegiance as you gain reputation with them.
But what will never change is shaders.  They will always be as simple as they sound, only changing by being removed as an Inventory Item and placed in a Kiosk for you to select at your choice.  What would be cool though is having a random option.  I mean that every time your character loads into a game, they are wearing a different shader.  One stroll through Venus will have you working for the Future War Cult, and then when you reach Mars you'll be Dead Orbit's personal mascot.
But why stop there?  That's not the only thing you have that serves little purpose no matter how different it is.  You also have your Ships and Sparrows!  So why not throw them in the random mix?!
I don't know if they'll be removed as an inventory Item like the Shaders, but damnit I don't see why they shouldn't be.  One doesn't find any difference in Ships, and sparrows have little differences in them in any case, so shove them all in the Kiosk, I say!  Let the shit sort itself out, and let me transmat onto any vehicle that the vendor decides!
Just like the Matrix it's all digital anyway, right?

27 August 2015

Dear Playstation

Seems Legit.
Guess who's back.
Back again.
B.C.'s Back.
Tell a Friend.
It's the age old romance, spanning generations of consoles and leading up to the E3 conference in June, the month of my birth, where I got a surprise present of Backwards Compati-fucking-bility.
That's right, bitches.  It's back on the Xbox One!
Well, mostly.
Apparently their method of "place disc A into tray B and allow download C to play disc A on console D" demands the rights from different publishers/developers before they can just go batshit letting everyone get all the games.  Which is a shame because I would like to immediately be able to fob off my Xbox 360 for the upgrade knowing full well that any of the Games For Gold I downloaded over the past year would be perfectly fine for play.
Sadly, I missed the opportunity to trade in my 360 for $150 credit and get an extremely cheap Xbone because of my insecurities.
That, and money.  Who has $200 sitting in their bank when they're saving for 5k tickets across some water?!
But fingers crossed the offer will come again when the list has expanded and I can know at least the Majority of my games will be freely playable.  That and that the console will get a bigger harddrive than a single Terabyte.
My history with Xbox has been short though.  I've only been around for a single generation, and while I've enjoyed the hell out of it I've got a longer history with Playstation.
That is what irks me.  While I like the fact that I have a Playstation 4, and that the games coming for it will be fucking phenomenal, I can't help but wish that I could have a throwback week when I load up a PSOne game that I wanted to revive.
Like Vagrant Story.  I've spent days playing through that, finding new things that I had overlooked before, or just did not know about.  Even just levelling up my Halberd (My favourite weapon in the game) was spent over the course of a day or two just whacking dummies until all stats were at 100.
I can only wonder what that game would look like if they remade it, boosted it up to the visual effects of todays games.
I guess we could use Final Fantasy VII Remake as a standard of excellence once it's finished up and shipped out.  I might actually finish that game after all.
I still have my problem though.  I have a console that is capable of so much more, but nobody will let it.
I may never get to play some downloadable games that I have had my eye on because of it.
All I ever wish is for a console to replace its predecessor, and be interactable with it's siblings.  Is that so much to ask?  To get a Playstation to play everything?  From PSOne to PSP?  Maybe to PSVita?
Please Sony Playstation.  Give me the all father.  Or All Son.  Fob off the PSTV, and just let me play my Games.

19 August 2015

I fixed Destiny

There are many things i would like to see more of in Destiny 2. But I got to thinking today as I was playing the demo on my PS4 (Still debating on getting The Taken King) was how I would have liked things different.

And I don't just mean like minor differences, I mean a completely different game. Destiny: the Playstation/Xbox Editions. Have their similarities, like fighting on Earth and Chad (Commonly known as Moon) and Mars and Venus, Etc etc, but have completely different locations. The Cabal Landed on Venus in the Playstation version; the Hive have an entire fortress hidden on Mars for the Xbox Version; The Vex and Fallen have been fighting at another Space Station on one or the other. Either way, really mix up the different games.

Then there's the classes. You have 3 classes, so why not give them unique stories? A different set of missions you can play exclusively for them? And the only way you can have others play with you is if you're leading the Fireteam! You can have the same team three times, hopping between Fireteam leaders, and have differing experiences altogether. Or better yet, those who have all three classes can go around and play through whatever story missions on their own! That adds story to the game by threefold! Each character doing their own thing and all culminating into Strikes that anyone can attend!

And then double that again for the differing consoles!

I fixed Destiny. Thank you, I'll be here all week.

10 June 2015

Why i miss Demolition: EU

"You did what to Gary?"
I remember the first time I played Demolition. It was about June and I was starting to get the ball rolling at the base with everything running quite smoothly, all my little ant people running around assigned their jobs of researching one thing or another, or building satellites and constructing work rooms deeper in the base.

Suddenly, Aliens were detected in Russia, China and Argentina. So I loaded up the Skyranger and flew in to Russia because SCIENTS was available there. And i needed whatever the goddamn research was.

My four soldiers, one of each Class because thats how I always roll, were deployed with their Lasers and Carapace Armour, and were ready for a fight as they climbed out of our favourite VTOL and waited for orders outside the gated demolition site.

I made my moves sensibly, moving to either side of the lanes leading into the workspace, down both sides of the digger. Then i threw my Support forward, his additional move making him the perfect scout, and found more than i expected with two pods of Three Mutons, outfitted pretty typically with their Plasma Rifles and Grenades. I was in strife, but fuck me if i didnt want to give em the raw prawn.

Back my scout came and took position for an ambush. Surely, waiting a turn or two in overwatch would result in them walking face first into laser pointers and dropping like a sack of potatoes.

We waited a turn, everyone in overwatch, ready to drop the first spud as he saunters. The anticipation was riveting.

Another turn passed.

Huh. I know theyre there, i can see the little noise marker go off in that direction. Why are they just repositioning? Damnit, are they waiting to ambush me? Well im no fool, i can beat them at my own game! Everyone on Overwatch, and i want to see cataracts when they reveal themselves!

And there he was, the sacrificial Lamb. He padded his way down into my line of sight, triggering my sniper and heavy, who with a PEW-PEW-PEW-FREEM (thats what their weapons sound like) he fell over.

Ah, one down and five to go. See? I knew this would work. Give it time and theyll just walk into the disco lights and do the job for us! Oh, whats this? A muton is... Flanking... Everyone. Shit.

That was when with a thunk-thunk-thunksss (plasma rifle, that is) my poor little legman flew through the air and landed dead on the floor, with nothing but a 12 and a yellow star rising from his place.

I have never seen a group of flies scarper so quickly, let alone people. We fell back behind the high rise fence, and recouped our losses, reloading and hoping the panic doesn't set in quite yet.

But i said to myself "Fuckit. Let's turn the tables" and took the offensive, careening around the corner with my assault soldier, and getting into kissing distance before pumping his disco shotgun straight into his face. A hillbillys kiss goodbye, if you will.

Then there were the remaining mutons to sort out. Four of them faffing around out of sight, trying to think about what is going to happen.

I went on the hunt, prowling around corners, soldiers aiming down their sights for their next kill.

I found a pair cowering behind walls at the very end of the map. I laughed at their futility as I lobbed a grenade and watched their cover disintegrate, giving free aim to my heavy and sniper.

It was the last two that gave me strife. I followed the noises, I checked every room, every level, and I even blew out a wall to check out the closed in room therein.

There was only one place left and it was behind the outside walls. So i formulate a plan. The ol' Pincer strike! If they were going to put themselves into a spot where they almost literally can't escape, then they're going to get what's coming to them. Cheeky devils, probably trying to outflank me when I was parked near the entrance.

So Heavy down the bottom, Sniper up the top, and Assault in Reserve since he was a higher rank, and we found those last two mutons and just ploughed into them from both sides like some sort of Pornographic innuendo.

Commander Bradford thanked me for a job pretty well done, sad that not everyone will be able to come back to base, but all well. Things happen.

But that was Demolition: EU for me. I had fun. It was close quarters and you just can't cover every angle easily. Except those outside walls, of course, that's where you just get screwed.

03 May 2015

Telltale Games Meets XCOM

A scene from my Volunteer Audition Tape
A while ago I was farting around and playing some old Gameboy Advance games, trying to get into Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis again and looking around at other Tactical RPG games when I came across Rebelstar.

By the same guy who created XCOM/UFO, Rebelstar tells a story how a bunch of kids and a handful of adults have begun their fight against their alien overlords, the variety of whom take away anybody over the age of thirty for some unknown reason. The story itself is pretty good and the system, while a little convoluted, was pretty schmick. But lord did it make me want that corner looking feature that XCOM 2012 has.

The other thing I've been thinking about lately is Borderlands 2.5, aka Tales From The Borderlands, by Telltale Games.

The premise of it is that it's like a Choose your own Adventure book, where you're offered prompts and your options can dictate how the story can go. I've played the demo and had some laughs out of it.

So, with my love of XCOM, and the fun of a good story game, I would love to see XCOM 1.5: The Volunteer. obviously this is inspired by the designers saying that everyone's volunteers are alive, and they disappeared before the ship imploded.

So I can only wonder what happened? Did he travel to another temple ship? Or another alien base? Or has he just landed in the middle of the ocean and makes his way to the closest shore to find himself exhausted and amongst an EXALT cell?

How about rollover? I had a pretty tanked out Volunteer, with Gene Mods, armour, medals for his bravery... its hard to imagine that he would suddenly forget all those effects. Sure, lose his gear, they can be replaced. His armour would be near impossible to tear off. So what would be the go? He rolls up on the beach, radiation poisoning starting its crippling effect due to long exposure to plasma, and he has nothing but the PSI Armour on his back. His mind still reeling from the effect of teleportation, he sees others and hides, not knowing who they are or what their intentions may be. Military outfits, not too strange for the coast of... well anywhere at that time.

But hey, maybe they're secretly part of EXALT! He receives their help and passes out, and next thing you know you're forced to go track down your old commander in his living room while he's drinking mountain dew in his trackky dacks. OOOHHH OMINOUS!

But a little story could be fun! Then let that roll over to XCOM 2, why not.A while ago I was farting around and playing some old Gameboy Advance games, trying to get into Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis again and looking around at other Tactical RPG games when I came across Rebelstar.

By the same guy who created XCOM/UFO, Rebelstar tells a story how a bunch of kids and a handful of adults have begun their fight against their alien overlords, the variety of whom take away anybody over the age of thirty for some unknown reason. The story itself is pretty good and the system, while a little convoluted, was pretty schmick. But lord did it make me want that corner looking feature that XCOM 2012 has.

The other thing I've been thinking about lately is Borderlands 2.5, aka Tales From The Borderlands, by Telltale Games.  Well actually, Telltale Games' games in General.

The premise of it is that it's like a Choose your own Adventure book, where you're offered prompts and your options can dictate how the story can go. I've played the demo and had some laughs out of Tales from the Borderlands.

So with my love of XCOM, and the fun of a good story game, I would love to see XCOM 1.5: The Volunteer, inspired by the designers saying that everyone's volunteers are alive.

So I can only wonder what happened? Did he travel to another temple ship? Or another alien base? Or has he just landed in the middle of the ocean and makes his way to the closest shore to find himself exhausted and out of the frying pan and into the fire?

How about rollover? I had a pretty tanked out Volunteer, with Gene Mods, armour, medals for his bravery... its hard to imagine that he would suddenly forget all those effects. Sure, lose his gear, they can be replaced. His armour would be near impossible to tear off, I assume. So what would be the go? He rolls up on the beach, radiation poisoning starting its crippling effect due to long exposure to plasma (THAT SHOULD HAPPEN), and he has nothing but the PSI Armour on his back. His mind still reeling from the effect of teleportation, he sees others and hides, not knowing who they are or what their intentions may be. Military outfits, not too strange for the coast of... well anywhere at that time.

But hey, maybe they're secretly part of EXALT! He receives their help and passes out, and next thing you know you're forced to go track down your old commander in his living room while he's drinking mountain dew in his trackky dacks. OOOHHH OMINOUS!

29 April 2015

Crime and Dalliance

Apt.
I'm not a big fan of multiplayer. I always feel incredibly incompetent against a human opponent, knowing that at any moment I will just get knocked over in an instant because I'm not looking in the right direction, or just wasn't quick enough on the draw, or didn't pump enough bullets into them before they pulled one casing from the magazine and threw it at my head just to spite my pathetic skills.

So when I get into a gaming venue with friends, I prefer Cooperative formats. In this case I mean Heists, part of GTA Online's latest big update.

Everyone, their mother, their grandmother, and their decease families have been rolling in their graves wanting to get heists happening in GTA, and the day it came, the servers basically up and died just trying to handle the influx of returning players, myself included.

My Brother in Law and his best friend were excited too. The best friend works odd and long hours so it has been difficult to convene with him. But Bro-In-Law and I kicked it off with Gusto.

Lester lectured us about the ins and outs of Heisting, gushing with innuendo involving the popping cherries and future experiences that everyone will encounter.

It wasn't until we began the second Heist that we encountered a problem that not only we had to deal with: a lack of assistance.

Now the doctor was a small step towards resolving that solution, being the third to the required quartet of criminal masterminds. But we had nobody else to assist us. Our only solution was to turn to the Internet, request the help of complete strangers to help us through this transition. We found a few players who were all too happy to help, but there were others that were deceitful bastards, piking out at the last minute, less than a hundred metres from the destination before leaving a mocking card and pushing the ejection seat button.

So many times it has happened and it frustrates us to no end that nobody could simply help all the way through, to profit with the rest of us. No, they must give us a taste of what victory could be and leave like it was the funniest prank ever played.

The petty spite these internet trolls plague other players, those enthusiastic to complete these missions, is too much, driving everyone into madness.

Let alone playing by yourself with a pickup party.  It's impossible.  I would spend hours just waiting on players to connect, seeing invites go unaccepted, seeing interested players join and bail, either after seeing nobody else or after waiting five minutes before giving up like I want to.

I could just give up.  But I won't.  We will find our Fourth.  And we will call him Fourthy, and we will worship him like a god.

26 April 2015

Air vents should be in Xcom

I'm pretty obsessed with Xcom, and I keep thinking of other ways that would improve upon it.  Xcom Long War goes a long way towards that, but I do feel it misses a point when each class is basically recycled abilities with a handful of unique ones to make sure there is still definition between them.
But other things I think about are the covert missions, and how sub classing would be a fun addition to that.  Sure you have your gene mods and can use them to their advantage in mission, but I would like to play out some part of that covert mission using a unique set of skills.  This is pretty much inspired by Splinter Cell, which I have been obsessively watching videos of lately, and wondered what a single character moving about the secret EXALT facilities would've been like, directly controlling their infiltration and their actions, possibly changing the effect of the eventual battle with EXALT in the end by sabotaging communications or the reinforcements themselves, maybe collecting further intel on their whereabouts or striking at further hidden bases.
And you would have your subclass abilities providing bonuses like "sneak peek: cannot be seen at corners unless theyve shot or are on overwatch," or "Monkey Grip: able to hand over ledges or on certain wall surfaces", or "Execution: able to melee kill living enemies with less than 8/14 health instantly."  Maybe that's a bit much, but it's an idea.