Time To Relax

Happy Weekend TAY!

Well, winter has definitely arrived around here...I had to shovel the driveway on Friday. I’ll be spending part of the weekend prepping the snowblower for the season and my family is going to see Thor: Ragnarok on Saturday night. I hope the rest of the weekend will be filled with family and gaming.

I finished Owlboy last week and I don’t know how to feel about it. It looked quite nice and did the retro-sprite presentation probably better than most. The music starts off annoying, but some of the later pieces (without as much chiptune noise) are quite pleasant.

For me, it was the story that was likely the best part of Owlboy. It was told in that quirky 16-bit JRPG style and I found it somewhat compelling. The story ended up being the gas in my tank to finish the game; I certainly wasn’t driven by the gameplay.

It is weird, Owlboy had great level design and the simplified Metroidvania exploration was fun, but it never gelled for me as a game.

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Where Owlboy ultimately fell apart for me was in the controls. I found the layout and control decisions slightly unintuitive, but in the end...it was just boring to be your character. I’d look at a sequel though, there was enough fun to be had with this first offering and I think the mechanics could be made more interesting down the road.

I also managed to get in some more Uncharted 4 with my wife. Having just come off the previous three Uncharted games, I’m slightly disappointed with the lack of innovation in the core gameplay and mechanics, but the game is still a fantastic experience. The story is bordering on cheesy though, I hope that improves somewhat.

The big deal for me last week was that I have finally started The Witcher 3. I’m *just* at the beginning of the game and still getting acclimated. It all seems very “witcher-like” which is great; I like few RPGs but loved the previous Witcher games.

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I’m slightly disappointed in the visuals since many have said it is one of the best looking games they’ve played. It’s more likely that The Witcher 3 is now two and a half years old and I’ve played things like Prey and Horizon: Zero Dawn in the meantime. I might have a look at some of the graphical mods for The Witcher 3, especially some of the higher resolution texture ones. Don’t get me wrong, it still looks very nice...I just didn’t have my breath taken away.

It is a little weird coming back to a series and having to be afraid of weaker enemies (like Drowners) again. It would be nice to see games use your imported save files from the previous games to build on what stats and skills you’ve already earned. I understand the hurdles involved in that, but I don’t really feel like the powerful Witcher I am supposed to be when my stats start off in the toilet at the beginning of each new game.

I’m really looking forward to The Witcher 3. I was happy to read all the love for this game over the years on this weekend post. Some of you are *still* replaying the game to this day, for the seventh time!

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My family has been on a Rock Band bender lately and I hope we can get in some more of that this weekend, but we’ll lose a day going to the big city to see Thor in D-Box. My 10-year-old son did a surprisingly great job singing Evanescence’s “Bring Me To Life” last weekend. That has psyched him up and has renewed his interest in playing Rock Band. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that puberty will soon rob him of soaring with Amy Lee.

Funny enough, Evanescence just dropped a new album last Friday.

So, what are you playing this weekend?