@bluesforbuddha That would be me… or at least I think so. The one I’m using is GameAccess.ca. Pretty satisfied with the service. Note that they are based here in Montreal so I don’t know how that impacts shipping times outside of the province.
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I am still up for Squad Santa. Was awesome last year… especially in my case with @bowlisimo ‘s generosity
Also, for my Canadian brethren, I want to mention that Double Fine just released their iOS game in our app store, Middle Manager of Justice. It is one of those free but with in-app transaction games but so far, I haven’t felt like you need to buy anything to enjoy the game yet.
Quick pitch: You are the manager of a superhero company branch. You manage, level up and motivate a staple of superheroes as you fight crime in the land. You select which heroes you send to combat each crime event. You can watch the fights in a action RPG system where you can provide extra support bonus/ directives or you can delegate ala Assassin’s creed assassins missions.
The game has a nice animated/ comic book style with the usual Double fine humor and wit – playing very strong on the office motif. Think it is worth a look
@unmanneddrone @cgrajko @redswir1 Having just completed Hotline Miami this morning, I also would include it as one of my favourite games in 2012. Love the vibe this game has. The twitchy nature of the action, the graphic violence, the 80s neon lighting, the absolutely amazing synth soundtrack that accompanies it. Everything about this game screams 80s drug bender. Never completely approaches Super Meat Boy level of brutal difficulty/ repeated attempts but I could see it get there for some.
I tended to stick to that mask as well @cgrajko – the fists of fury really helped keep things stealthy. I would also love to hear your theory – if only because the game can lead to interesting interpretations and I’m curious where yours went.
Our inevitable Spec Ops squadcast continues to take shape….
@rocgaude Our ISPs clearly agree with that fact….
@feenwager Don’t get it.. Don’t care
@bluesforbuddha If it is worth it, let me know. I’ll give it a go before our eventual Spec Ops squadcast
@feenwager And just after I redeemed some Xbox points for episode 1…. just my luck.
Out of curiousity, anyone play Walking dead on both PC/Mac and console? Wondering which one is the better playing experience….. as primarily console guy, I still want to kinda play it on my 360
@unmanneddrone @angryjedi People’s views on the WiiU were decided way ahead of time – how long have we been hearing the “end of current cycle, not start of new cycle” line amongst enthusiasts – even before anyone actually played the damn thing? I don’t think WiiU had much of a chance in that context. The real joke of the cynicism is that people say they want something new but actually, all they want is for graphics to look shiner and EVEN MORE HD. All the new Xbox or Playstation has to do is up the resolution, keep everything else the exact same and I guarantee people will be ecstatic.
As for the WiiU itself, I am interested overall but right now, I can’t justify buying a new console at the moment. The Giantbomb videos I’ve seen of some of the videos give me hope – parts of Nintendo Land seemed genuinely fun, ZombiU actually looked pretty cool and NSMBU is what it is. Probably next year but I have way too many games left to play on my current consoles to get through.
Also, hardware reviews are just ridiculous at this point especially given that the primary function of the console is to play games works fine and realistically, the best of which won’t come out until developers get comfortable with the hardware so we won’t see the hardware’s real potential for a while. How smooth the OS works, how the online functions right now means nothing, especially given that we know things are missing and that patches are needed/coming. Just stick to reviewing the launch games people… if you want to review the hardware, at least give it a few weeks to allow for patches and initial server crunch to die down.
Re: early GOTY – I agree with the Journey love so far here… I can’t think of an experience I preferred this year although my memory isn’t what it used to be :p I will revisit this once I actually go through my list for our end of year awards…. we’re still doing that, right?
I always play GTA games despite the gameplay issues. They are certainly there and drive me crazy but unlike with other series, it doesn’t bother me as much. I suspect that the aethestics of the games are what keep me interested. I also usually stick to the story missions and avoid the useless sidemission stuff. That tends to keep my interest strong enough to beat the game before the open-world “there’s too much stuff to… oh screw it, I’m down with this” feelings set in.
@bowlisimo Alan Wake was a game that I enjoyed presentation wise. Great job with the setting and the story. If you ignore the collectables and try to get through the woods as straight forward as possible, the gameplay doesn’t hinder as much as it would otherwise. Also, you definitely need to play the DLC to “finish” the story sadly…
@bluesforbuddha I am very much down for a podcast on Spec Ops should it come about
Also, Barkley 2…. HELL YEAH!!!
So today, I decided to start Spec Ops: the line around 3:30pm and see how far I would go. Next thing I know… it is 8pm and I have completed the game in its entirety. I have not done that in a VERY very long time. I agree with pretty much everything that @bluesforbuddha said previously on this game during his playthrough a few months ago.
This was a very powerful narrative experience from start to finish. In particular, the way the main protagonist and his companions get more and more unhinged and manic as they descend further and further into the madness around them is quite impressive (on that note, props to Nolan North for a very good performance within that context). The quality of the narrative was even more striking to me as I have just finished Modern Warfare 1 and 2 over the past 2 months though my game access sub. No comparison. Not even close.
The “hard” part is getting through the gameplay to see this story played out. Not that it is bad however. The gameplay is just adequate. Nothing more, nothing less. When Patrick Klepek spoke on Giant Bomb about playing on easy to get through it, he was right. That’s what I did and frankly, I feel no worse for it. If anything, some of the firefights I encountered probably would have driven me nuts if the challenge had been greater. The other thing I remember Patrick saying on the Bombcast was just wait until you get to White Phosphorus and….HOLY SHIT. Let’s just say that moment put me over the edge on the narrative of this game. Very happy I got through this game.
@bowlisimo I’m a few hours in so far and yeah… I have mixed feelings about it. Love the setting, love the narrative as well (at least what’s happening in the Aminus so far). It is a slow burn but like the Minottis mentioned on the last EBP it’s working for me. On the flipside, there is a lot of needless “gameplay” between cutscenes. Walk 10 steps, cutscene… then open a door, cutscene, then ease drop… cutscene… then you fight for 5 minutes… again another cutscene. I’m hoping this is only because it’s early in the game and they need to set-up their narrative. If you are doing to mix gameplay and cutscenes, at least put in more substantial (and lengthy) gameplay elements between the cinematics.
Also, I already get the sense Ubisoft spent a lot of time (again…) on un-necessary padding . There are 3 types of dice games you can play. Why 3!? Who exactly looked at their mini-games and said we need more dice variety in our mini-games? That is not why people play AC… but Ubisoft again feels the need to add more content instead of simply improving existent content/mechanics (see the Tower defense from the last game). I’m still into the game… but my enthousiasm in the series seems to keep wavering since the high of AC 2 and Brotherhood.
In other news, I just received my copy of Spec Ops: the line in the mail today continuing my weird streak of shooters through Game Access (just finished Modern Warfare 1 and 2). I will likely try to play this in concert with AC3. All depending on my free time.
Also, letterpress on iOS people…. get on it. I need more challengers
On a related note: Are people still interested in doing that again this year? It’s early to discuss it but writing that just made it come to mind
Sorry for the lack of posting – I haven’t had the time to really play much or really put anytime into gaming related news but that changes now (for at least this post anyway). I finally found some time today to get through my Game Access copy of Halo Reach.
I have been pretty “Meh” on the whole Halo series since Halo 3. I played ODST shortly after its release and frankly, other than the amazing soundtrack, wasn’t that wow-ed by the game. I think part of the issue is that I have nothing invested in the Halo mythology anymore. Reach is a fun ride especially since the Flood is nothing to be found. However, I could care less about anything that was actually going on plot-wise. The “emotional” moments rang completely hollow to me despite being well done and not laying it on ala Gears 2.
We’ll see what happens with Halo 4 but I’ll probably play it eventually because I do enjoy the gameplay even if I don”t care one lick about the story. Not exactly sure what that says about the game or me for that matter but there we go…
Quick Tangent: Has anyone watched the Darksiders 2 Quick Look on Giant Bomb? I loved the way the game looked but the more the devs talked about the new additions (Leveling mechanic, tons of loot that you can sell, keep or merge with other items to upgrade, hours of sidequests, 4x the world size and dungeons)…. the less I started to care.
I’m getting a distinct “everything but the kitchen sink” vibe. Darksiders was great as a Zelda like game with some nice upgrades and mash ups from other games (God of War comes to mind). Why add these things?? I don’t get the need to add leveling and loot – just overly complicates things and muddies the waters. I get the world size and side quests changes from the debs point of view – trying to lengthen (or as it will say on the box “deepen “) the game experience because you view that as a selling point to your game.
I would argue that a game like Darksiders 2 would benefit from a tighten scope. When “action-adventure” games (for lack of a better classification) start to add all this fluff, the main drive forward gets lost in the quest for completion and usually the game suffers as a consequence. I hope I’m wrong because I enjoyed the original Darksiders but the quick look really put a damper for me
I’ve logged in a few times on the Squad Minecraft…. and I must say very nice to everyone who’s done some work in there. I’ve found myself just wandering around to see what’s out there and explore. It also doesn’t help that I have no idea where to begin on my crafting journey…. I seem paralyzed by the all the options :p I’ll figure it out eventually…..
I’m up to join for Minecraft. Have only dabble with it but would like to play a bit more so a Squad server may entice me more
Nothing in the Steam sale has really peaked my interest so far out of a combination of a huge backlog, my game access account and my desire to lay off the leisure expenses a bit. Only thing I’ve been truly tempted by is the Walking Dead but I’ve never made it through a single Telltale series yet so I’m a bit apprehensive.
Just completed my go-through of Rayman Origins. I stopped at 200/246 and got all the teeth, so I finished with the “secret” level. I don’t understand what it is about 2D platformers but clearly I can accept a lot of frustration and insanity before I am prepared to quit. Never threw a controller but like Super Meat Boy, it came pretty close especially in the last world and the secret level. Random aside: I know Giant Bomb has already made this joke but dear god the credits are long!! Quite possibly the longest I have ever seen… and I was forced to see them twice!
Not sure what is next, we’ll see what comes in the mail next but I may play some Saints Row 3 in the meanwhile.
Over 20 emails from the Squad in my inbox today…… clearly either hell was freezing over or the Steam summer sale had begun
Nothing has peaked my fancy so far but we have 9 more days to go…
@Sinfony I hear you on the “lumbering” aspects. Ironically I actually enjoy that style of play now as a change of pace compared to the rest of the shooter spectrum. My issue with Gears in general is how Epic doesn’t seem to accept that and try to fit in more fast paced moments and frenetic scenes to spice things up. In those moments, the gameplay falls apart as you can’t maneuver well enough to handle the craziness around you.
I just received an iPad as a graduation gift this past weekend, so I figured I’d poll the Squad for some iPad specific iOS games that I should try out. First impression: holy hell the screen is glorious.
Also, pardon my inactivity of late. Back-to-back vacations will do that to your posting frequency :p
Hey all! A few quick thoughts as I finally recover from a crazy 6 day long strep which torn me to shreds:
- Only positive of being bedridden on Wednesday and Thursday? Having the chance to play probably around 8 hours of Fez. Got through the first 32 cubes without FAQs and actually figured out some of the game’s “language”. I have started my second playthrough and I’ll admit it…. I gave up on the alphabet after a few hours of trying and I looked up where to find the hint(s) for it. I completely MISSED it/them the 1st time so I would been running around for hours (which I don’t have) aimlessly. Figured it out and I am now working through everything without any more assistance. Just a wonderful experience and completely not what I expected in the end – Jeff Gerstmann ‘s “rant” about it on the last Bombcast sums up the whole thing nicely I think. Don’t think I will get as far as @bluesforbuddha or @gkokoris have but I will try as much as I can handle.
- @zegolf Welcome back! Regarding the board games, I have also started to delve into the area mostly through iOS versions but I have played some in actual board form. I would highly recommend Ticket to Ride and Catan. Great starter games that should peak your interest nicely. I wish I had more to recommend but none of my friends really my interest past Catan and I haven’t really found a board game group in the area to join with to try games like Pandemic or Arkham Horror :p Either way, enjoy the plunge!
- My fitocracy activity for our group will commence soon – my regular running up and down Mont Royal here in MTL will begin as soon as I am 100% from this damn sickness
All this book talk has made me realize how much I don’t read for fun anymore. My schooling and current professional situation has turned reading into more of a chord for me. Physical Therapy material is quite dry and long to process it turns out :p
I used to read a new book almost every month but now I’m lucky if I get through a book every 6 months. I received a Kindle for Christmas and none of the 3 books I got with it have been finished yet (and that includes Ready Player One). My commute is by car now (roughly 30 minutes) so while my reading time fell off while my podcast time increased. Any reading time I have is spent on “shorter form” stuff like my RSS feeds and some magazine publications. I’m hoping that using my Kindle to read my sub to the Blizzard (a great long-form soccer magazine for anyone interested) will get me more and more back to my old reading habits.
@angryjedi I have downloaded Saturday Morning RPG and I’m quite eager to try it. However, like pretty much all the games you recommend that I download, I haven’t gotten around to it :p
@cgrajko Yeah… that last level of Uncharted really doesn’t highlight the positives of the series. The bullet sponge enemies is a particular sticking point for me with the trilogy…. it didn’t prevent me from getting through them but it did provide some moments of loud cursing…
To continue with the Field Report, I am 6 hours into AC: Revelations and I must say….. *shoulder shrug*. The game is good – it plays like the previous two which I absolutely loved however I can’t feel help but feel a certain indifference about the whole thing. Constantinople just feels like a middle eastern version of Rome and lacks that special charm/ character that made the Italian cities great when you first saw them in AC2 and Brotherhood. I’m more interested in Desmond’s story than the conclusion of Ezio’s story at this point. The game-play elements Ubi added (The Tower Defense mini-game, The Desmond first person perspective platforming, etc..) feel totally unnecessary and just added to satisfy the “NEW GAMEPLAY” requirement. Also, there are just not that fun.
I am thankful that AC3 will be in America because this series need a makeover (both visual and mechanically) to keep the enthusiasm up. The yearly releases have been the series feel quite stale at this point.
Re: Dungeon Defenders. Tomorrow sounds good although I’m in a seminar until about 4:30 EDT so anytime after that is good for me.
EDIT: Scratch that….my evening must now be spent studying -_-
Great Squadcast guys.
Also…. yes, you totally need to do a Sports game Squad Primer episode! If you need an extra person to fill a chair, you would love to join. Despite my almost ‘jock’ status as a former football player, my views and enjoyment of sports games has changed much over the years….
Seeing the Squad discuss sports games would be an interesting change of pace.
Jeff Gerstmann’s video of his game storage room filled to the brim with video games stuff just reinforces how much I need to avoid keeping too many games from each generation and why I’m happy to have Game Access now…. just wow
@angryjedi Thanks for the explanation. That makes sense…. I was starting to think I was crazy for not being able to see the “edit” button
Also… I may just be tired and can’t see it for some reason… How do you edit a comment again?? I want to update my Challenge list with a strike-through….
Feenwager Challenge Field Report 2: Bayonetta
On a relaxing Sunday where I finally had nothing to do for a change, I decided to marathon through the rest of Bayonetta and spent 5 hours doing so. Note that, following my previous attempt to get through it, I decided to swallow my pride and play it on easy. I played enough of it on Normal to experience the combat system and enjoy it but to be honest, my desire to finish Bayonetta had everything to do with wanting to see through the sheer absurdity of the whole thing and boy was I not disappointed.
I truly cannot tell you what actually happens in the game plot-wise but boy was it a ride….The whole thing plays like some teenage boy’s crazy dream. A beautiful women with a naughty teacher vibe spends a whole game throwing around sexual innuendo while kicking the heck of out enemies with crazy guns and weapons. Once you stop shaking your head at the whole set-up and just roll with it, it’s enjoyable from an absurdest point of view. The boss fights are just huge and crazy to experience. Most of Bayonetta’s one-liners made me laugh when they first pop up and her different special moves (especially her “climax” and “torture” moves) are just ridiculous. In what other game would you have a finishing move where her hair/body suit become limbs that play volleyball with a Golem for a bit before smashing it to bits? Or where break-dancing with guns shooting from your feet is a “normal” move? That’s right… none! :p
Anywho, the game was a fun romp but nothing I would go back to. I don’t care about my scores for each level so the re-playability is lost on me. It is not a game for everyone – the initial set-up will turn some people off immediately. However, if you fall for the initial scene where a J-Pop version of “Fly to the Moon’ plays while you destroy angel demons in a cemetery (like I did), then this will a game that you enjoy.
Next up from the Challenge list: AC Revelations. Time to see if I’ve gotten tired of the Ezio storyline yet…
@angryjedi If you have Portal 2 on 360, I’d be up for it… although I don’t think our schedule mesh very well on weekdays (I work noon to 8 pm EST)
Feenwager Challenge Field Report 1: Uncharted 3
It’s a couple of days earlier than the official start but I figure it still counts
Uncharted 3 is a worthwhile experience if you liked the previous ones but to me, it suffers from the same issues that I had with Uncharted 1 and 2 so don’t expect anything different. It’s more of the crazy blockbuster movie-like experience everyone loved before and the cinematic moments are quite amazing. However, when the gameplay elements get in the way of those moments, it is really jarring. Replaying those sequences again because, for example, I died when Drake got caught in the geometry during his stumbling run animation and thus was short on the jump I needed to make during a chase is a frustrating experience. . All the chase/ running away sequences throughout the game suffer from this issue. The whole “WOW” experience gets tainted when the element of surprise is gone.
My biggest pet peeve with the Uncharted series is how the game ramps up the “difficulty” over the course of the day by flooding you with enemies and/or “enhancing” them in some way (polite way of saying absurd bullet sponges). The 1st two games in the series did it and this one is no different. It wasn’t as bad as the blue guys in Uncharted 1 but still frustrated the heck out of me when it occurs….. surely there is a better way, right?
I don’t want this to sound so negative because the game is quite good. I guess I’m just focused on the negatives because they impacted me so much given the high quality of everything else. The voice cast, as usual, is spot-on with the witty banter and one liners. The game looks amazing – the desert stuff, in particular, deserves much praise – and the music is great again. All in all, a great game that I would highly recommend to those of you have it on their lists.
Not sure which game I will tackle next from the list…. should probably finish Bayonetta but I kind of want to start up Saints’ Row 3 or AC: Revelations. Any ideas Squaddies on where my priorities should lie?
@Bowlisimo Just listened to the song and thought the exact same thing….. now playing the Muppet version on a loop as we speak
Quick update on my Uncharted 3 playthrough: It took 21 Chapters but, like the previous two games, I officially hit the point where their way of ramping up difficulty/ challenge starts to piss me off ROYALLY. Full field report within the week I expect…
@impynickers Oh the memories….. reliving my “WTF is going on” moment when I first spawned in was funny as hell
@unmanneddrone I will focus on Uncharted 3 since I am currently about halfway through and then we’ll go from there. ME3 is not a priority for me so the list will be the focus for now
@unmanneddrone Any board game that is based on the battle of my homeland and has the towns of Gaspe, Tadoussac and Trois Rivieres on their board is alright by me
@unmanneddrone Sounds like it will be quite interested…. looking forward to it. Thanks for the effort you put into this each time!
@feenwager This should be a fun challenge especially with so many of us planning to follow through.. It might easier to put the lists elsewhere for “official” purposes but personally I think we need to insure most of the discussion and interaction occurs here on the Box… just seems right to me.
@Bowlisimo Okay…. I pledge to play Amnesia this coming October. I may need you to keep me honest however.
@angryjedi @scribl I can definitely understand the sentiment regarding AC. So far, the only one I “kept” up with so to speak was Brotherhood. I played AC2 almost a year after it came out and Revelations is still sitting here. The series still pulls me in, so I’m not tired of it although the reports on Revelations make me wonder if that will change. However, the prospects of AC3 keep me excited over the long term.
Like @Bowlisimo said though, I would never marathon through them…. that would be insane
I will join in the chorus for Assassin’s Creed 3 by saying Fuck yeah for the American Revolution setting. I expect the action will be in Boston, Philly and…. New York?
Also @Bowlisimo Ben Franklin would seem the obvious choice in the Da Vinci role which is why it will probably be him. Maybe Jefferson? Regardless…. this will be awesome
Ah the infamous and pretty annual pile of Shame listing… okay then, here we go:
Saints Row the Third
Assassin’s Creed Revelations
Bioshock 2 (one more try before I ditch it)
Shadow of the Colossus
Uncharted 3 (currently going)
Donkey Kong Country returns
Mario Galaxy 2
PC – Too many to list due to Steam sales but of note:
Original Deus: Ex
Rock of Ages
Most of the upcoming games that interest me will come through GameAccess this year (Canada’s GameFly), so that will help limit the expansion of my physical pile. Also, the one game out of a time will force me to get through a game before I can add to the pile – hence why I need to get through Bayonetta at some point :p
I leave a comment this morning, go to work and return an inbox filled up with the 25 posts that followed me today…. such great discussion as always from the Squad
Generally speaking with DLC, I side with @Tolkoto because I don’t believe I end up with an incomplete experience without it. If there is a game I enjoyed I may seek out the DLC to continue the experience (GTA 4, Costume Quest) but it is not an automatic. However, the fact that the business model ends up causing frustrations like the ones @bluesforbuddha described is kind off-putting.
Quick tangent on the used games: While I understand the games industry’s desire to make more money and “screw” the used games market, they should see that market as a way to develop their fan bases and just roll with it. I bought most of my games used before I graduated from University in November because realistically I couldn’t afford to always buy new. However, the used market allowed me to purchase games that I wouldn”t have necessarily considered otherwise at the time (ex: Bulletstorm, Mirror’s Edge, Darksiders, Alan Wake, Assassin’s Creed 2). Because of the opportunity I got to play these games, I either bought the follow-ups new at launch (Brotherhood and Revelations), bought DLC to support their efforts after the fact (Alan Wake) or will buy the coming sequels brand new (Darksiders and the next Assassin’s Creed). So the end, used games made me buy MORE games brand new, so like @angryjedi, I don’t buy the “used games are killing the industry” argument.
Also @Feenwager I also share your hate of the extra stickers on the box although I still bought them. If that makes us weird, I don’t want to be normal
Spending an hour trying to figure out why I can’t join in to the Squad match despite following the exact instructions laid out by @bowlisimo and the website only to realize that Steam was downloading the SDK 2006 for some reason (which appears to have solved my problem once I let it download and install) even though I had SDK 2007 already installed which had allowed me to play Stanley Parable 20 minutes earlier – CHECK
Using a gamepad initially but realizing that only half the buttons mapped properly leading to my 1st death because I spawned in to my surprise with no weapons and couldn’t sprint – CHECK
Playing the first half of the experience without my headset working because the connector was loose (found and subsequently fixed while I was dead) – CHECK
Totally willing to do it again due to the sheer awesomeness of the experience and doing so with the Squad – and not just because I spent WAY too much time on solving these problems to not play again and absolve myself of my terrible performance from tech issues – CHECK
*Note that my library still says I have a Dev build of NMRiH but it worked so what the hell….
It won’t let me in… saying the map is wrong for me