Long Live The Funk

Happy Long Weekend TAY!

Well, a long weekend for those who have one. Canada and the U.S.A. have Monday off, do you have a long weekend where you live?

It is the last weekend before school is back in session for my kid and the return to a regular routine for everyone else. You wouldn’t know it was September around here though, it is unseasonably warm for this time of year. Good time to stay inside with the air conditioning and play games.

Last week, my kid and I finally finished off Toejam and Earl III: Mission To Earth on the original X-Box.

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Wow, that was a lot of content and with consistently great quality in every level. Both Xander and I thoroughly enjoyed the combat and wacky presents; it also makes for a wonderful co-op game. Toejam and Earl III: Mission To Earth still holds up well graphically and could easily stand to be ported to the Xbox One as a classic. It is too bad a lot of people didn’t get to enjoy this one.

Hopefully the new ToeJam and Earl: Back In The Groove will hit the consoles too. It sounds hopeful from this quote:

Console Versions (of ToeJam and Earl: Back In The Groove): We’re still talking to various partners and trying to figure out how we can get funded to build other versions of the game. We can’t say anything more until something is actually signed, but we’ll let you know if and when that happens. (Source)

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I’d definitely recommend ToeJam and Earl III: Mission To Earth if you enjoyed the other ToeJam and Earl games. It is certainly a series that had drastically different games for each release; all were great though. The new Kickstarter funded ToeJam and Earl: Back In The Groove looks like it is going to be a great re-imagining of the first game combined with elements from the two subsequent games. My son and I can’t wait for it to come out.

On the solo side of gaming, I managed to get some more Prototype 2 under my belt last week.

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I’m totally loving it. It is a tad bit samey some of the time, but that’s OK since it is so much fun to just move around the world and the combat is a blast while being fairly tense (on Hard at least). The speed of the game impresses me, not just pure framerate (which is great), but your character moves through the game so fluidly. There are very few games with this sense of having almost no obstacles to your movement.

The story is alright too, it definitely has a great driving narrative which is often missing in many open-world games. There are some great one liners that have made me laugh out loud as well.

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It is a damn shame that Activision has basically shuttered Radical Entertainment (developer of the Prototype games) and isn’t working on a third. I think the Titanium engine is fantastic and it would have been amazing to see what a talented developer like Radical could have done on better hardware. I still don’t know that Prototype 2 didn’t actually sell well, just not well enough I guess. SquareEnix said Tomb Raider didn’t sell well enough either, but the new one of that shows up soon and sales numbers for Tomb Raider were pretty good in reality.

It doesn’t help that Activision re-released Prototype 1 and 2 on PS4 and Xbox One with terrible ports plagued with performance worse than the original console releases. It would have been such a fantastic package (and maybe sold well) if Activision bothered to put some effort in to the ports and actually advertised the re-release. Running the game on PC shows how fluid and fun Prototype 2 is at 60fps. It really sucks when the framerate of games ported to the newest generation of consoles fall to 18fps or lower in spots.

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Other than Prototype 2, Splinter Cell snuck its way in to my gaming path last week. I spent an evening with the Tom Clancy Humble Bundle that I recently purchased. Splinter Cell is one of my favourite series and I was hoping to replace my physical console copies with shiny PC digital copies. I’m always on the hunt for online deals; trying to reduce my physical library in favour of digital versions.

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So, out of the four Splinter Cell games available in the Humble Bundle (Pandora Tomorrow and Double Agent didn’t make the package, though there are still games coming for the bundle), I am able to give up my X-Box version of Chaos Theory and my 360 version of Conviction. Both look and perform infinitely better on PC. As a bonus I was also able to ditch my 360 copy of Rainbow Six: Vegas for the PC version. The Tom Clancy Bundle is still up at the time of posting. It is a fantastic deal and includes beta access to the multiplayer of the upcoming Rainbow Six: Siege if that strikes your fancy.

I’m extremely excited to play Splinter Cell: Blacklist, which I haven’t tried yet. I always put it off in hopes of a better price, but I think deep down I really was protesting the exclusion of Michael Ironside as the voice of Sam Fisher. I know Ironside left the project on his terms, but after so many years of playing Sam Fisher voiced by Ironside, I’m not sure I’ll be able to adapt well. Michael Ironside voicing Sam Fisher made for one of gamings greatest characters in my opinion.

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So, hopefully I’ll be able to get to more Prototype 2 this weekend as well as some more Rock Band with the family. I’m itching to try out our newly purchased mic stand with Rock Band. My son and I are supposed to start Hyrule Warriors co-op, but I might put that off until school is back in session and he is all settled in for the year. Plus, he’ll be absorbed with Super Mario Maker soon enough.

So, what are you playing this long weekend?