A Man Without A Plan
Happy Weekend TAY!
I’m actually away this weekend. I should have had someone fill in for me (again), but I didn’t plan ahead (again). See you when I am back late on Sunday.
I am heading to my old university stomping grounds as a friend of mine is back in town and holding a get-together for the old gang at his parent’s place. He currently lives in San Francisco but his folks are here in Canada.
So, I need your help. I am supposed to come to the party with a joke (somebody gets too many team-building sessions at his work) and I don’t know any jokes. Leave some in your replies and I’ll get my wife to read them while we drive to the party. She needs a joke too.
I gamed quite a bit last week. My wife and I finally finished off Uncharted 2 and are now taking a break to watch some Netflix while we digest our game experience. Soon as we are done with The Standups on Netflix, we will get ready to move onto Uncharted 3.
The PS4 version of Uncharted 2 was definitely the superior experience. We had played Uncharted 2 twice before on the PS3 but I felt the differences in the PS4 version right away. Aside from the obvious bump in resolution and overall visual improvements, the almost consistent 60fps makes the controls a dream. The already tight gameplay is enhanced by the improved framerate, making the gunplay much more fun and exhilarating. I always enjoyed Uncharted 2, but the PS4 version is definitely closer to love.
I did get sucked into playing Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 last week with my wife and my son. We finished Episode 1 and now are waiting for Episode 2 to drop. Well...my son is, I honestly couldn’t care less if I played more. I mean, it is alright, but it is very similar to most of the stuff in Season 1. Hopefully, the overall quality of Season 2 will be better though, Season 1 has very uneven writing through the different episodes (some of which were either excruciatingly boring or sleep inducing).
I think the game is targeting a very young audience without giving enough (any) laughs for the adults in the room. There is also very little gameplay or anything interesting to do. The mechanics only serve as a conveyance to the next long cutscene. I think you might actually play way less than 50% of the game and only sit back and watch the rest.
If you liked Season One, then I suppose you will like this one too. I enjoyed Telltale’s The Walking Dead Season One and Two, but that’s basically the extent of my Telltale experience. I know they are more of the interactive movie-style but, where The Walking Dead was gripping and tense, Minecraft: Story Mode seems like something a corporate boardroom think’s would appeal to Minecraft fans. And...maybe they are right. My son seems to be enjoying it, though this series is the only experience he has had with this type of game design.
The new “Crowd Play” feature for the game (and future Telltale games) is somewhat neat. It is nice to let everyone have a “say” in the dialogue choices. I guess this was first introduced for the Telltale Batman game? It is cool that you could stream the game and have up to 2000 people involved with Crowd Play, unfortunately, it does not improve the lackluster game here.
The rest of my week was spent with Horizon: Zero Dawn. 56 Hours in and I think I can taste the end.
It is still cool, it is still similar to Far Cry, it is still sucking away all my time, and I think I’m ready for it to be over. It is amazing how much time you can sink into the game and not even notice until it is 3:00 am and you have a ton of work still to do before you hit the sack.
The exploration and the map design itself are generally very well done in Horizon. I enjoy looking into all the nooks and crannies and this is likely sucking up a lot of my playtime. However, the edges of the map leave a lot to be desired. Nothing sucks more than getting that fourth wall-breaking message that you are “leaving the game zone”. I mean, come on! You can totally clean this up. Half the game is filled with mountains, how about you just build a giant wall of mountains around the edge of the map that I can’t climb. I always dislike when you can see more map, yet you aren’t allowed to go there. So many games take the time to clean up their map limits in a way that seems to fit the story or the gameplay. Sticking up a “no trespassing” sign (or worse an invisible wall) feels like a cop-out in Horizon.
I’m likely not going to play too much this weekend, though the friends we are staying with are fond of the Jackbox games, so I imagine some of that will be on tap. Such a great party game. Next week I will be looking forward to hopefully finishing off Horizon and moving on to something a little less sneaky.
So, what are you playing this weekend?