Back In The Driver’s Seat
Happy Weekend TAY!
Or a happy long weekend to all those who have an extra day to enjoy this weekend. It isn’t much of a long weekend for us around here as we are gearing up for the kid to go back to school, but we’ll certainly take any holidays that come our way.
A HUGE thank-you to Meathead373 for holding down the fort while my family and I went on vacation. It was great to be able to catch up on what everyone has been playing around here when I came back.
My family went to Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. We are regular visitors to Canada’s Wonderland which is also a Cedar Park, so for some additional cash added to our regular season pass, we were able to upgrade to Platinum Passes that allow us to visit any Cedar Park in North America (parking included).
My whole family loves roller-coasters, so we decided it was time to visit the Cedar Park with the most coasters (two more coasters than Canada’s Wonderland). We had a blast! It was nice to ride completely different coasters and other rides that we don’t see at Wonderland. I was impressed that there was extremely little duplication of rides between the two parks which meant we had the whole park to explore and enjoy.
Overall, I think Canada has the better coasters but the ones at Cedar Point (Ohio) didn’t disappoint. I think my favourite one was the Top Thrill Dragster. This is the world’s second tallest coaster and third fastest. It has a crazy accelerated start which was so fast that my wife could feel her necklace digging into her throat from the force. It is essentially just a giant hill, you shoot up and then fall back down, but what a rush.
We enjoyed our time in the U.S.A. The cheaper prices for eating out made the trip easier on the pocketbook while letting us have food experiences we don’t get here in Canada. Olive Garden, Texas Roadhouse, Steak and Shake, Perkins and Bob Evans always make for a reliable meal when we are in the U.S. We would have gone to Sonic, but there is a no eating rule in our car and eating outside on picnic tables in the crazy heat wasn’t the least bit appealing.
We spent four days at Cedar Point (and their water park) and enjoyed everyday despite the oppressive heat. We did a little bit of shopping as well and while I found most of the products the same in both countries, the U.S. grocery shopping experience is a treasure trove. The U.S. has a staggering variety of different foods on the shelves compared to Canada. More choices in soda, cookies, peanut butter...you name it, there are likely more variants of it in the U.S.A. My favourite discovery was the individual Idahoan instant mashed potatoes you can make in the microwave. What a magical country. (though, the 50 cent mini-pecan pies at Wal-Mart were pretty awesome as well). The boy cleaned up with his shopping and bought a huge amount of Five Nights At Freddy’s paraphernalia.
We had a wonderful time in the U.S.A. and we will be looking at getting those Platinum Passes in the future. Virginia isn’t too far away and that would allow us to visit King’s Dominion (another Cedar Park) as well as hopping over to Busch Gardens for more thrills.
I played absolutely no games while I was away as we came back each night to the hotel completely exhausted and passed out watching Nick@Nite (oh, the U.S. TV is so much better as well). Since I’ve returned home I’ve had very little time to relax as I’m playing catch-up to everything I left aside while we were away.
Aside from lots of Rock Band 4 with the family (and the aneurysm being formed in my head from trying to hit those high notes in Toto’s “Africa”), I’ve only had a single session with my continuation of Far Cry 4.
While playing Far Cry 4, I am still trying to figure out what is crashing the game periodically. I think I’ve figured it out from internet research and practical testing, but I don’t want to face the facts.
It seems like the Nvidia Gameworks features are actually gumming up the game’s works. This includes soft shadows, enhanced godrays, and Hairworks. While the enhanced godrays and soft shadows definitely improved the visuals, I could easily live without them. The disappointment is in the loss of Hairworks to fix the crashing. Anyone who has recently played The Witcher 3 with Hairworks enabled knows how much this feature can improve the overall lifelike appearance of hair and animals. Once seen, it is really hard to unsee (or give up).
So, my solution at the moment is to play the game with the GameWorks features enabled and just deal with any crashing. At the times when major missions involve checkpoints instead of saving (and a crash would mean restarting the whole mission), I can quickly go into the options and turn off the offending features. It is a bit of a messy solution, but one I feel gives me the best of both worlds.
I’m swamped with work this weekend, so I don’t imagine there will be much gaming in my future, but hopefully I’ll be able to pick at more Far Cry 4. I have to visit the music store sometime this weekend and pick up some more rubber tipped drum sticks for Rock Band 4 (since we broke a pair this week) and then we will be back in action for our band.
What are you playing this weekend?