Slice Of Strange

Happy Weekend TAY!

I hope everyone is doing well on this rainy weekend. (rainy around here at least).

I returned home last Monday from Thanksgiving at my parent’s place and I’ve been catching up on my sleep over the past week. I don’t sleep well when I travel and I take a while to get used to strange beds, so I am always happy to come home to my familiar mattress.

I didn’t play anything while I was away aside from a night of Jackbox fun with the whole family. Such a great way to play games with non-gamers and gamers alike. I am excited to see what is new in the upcoming Jackbox 4.

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Once I returned home, I thought I’d finish off my GDI missions in the original Command & Conquer.

I was surprised that I only had one mission left. It took me almost 4 hours to finish this single mission but I was left wanting more. The original C&C holds up extremely well and I had more fun with it than my last foray with StarCraft. I enjoy the C&C base building as there is more strategy involved than in StarCraft, but it remains simple enough to keep the action flowing.

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Since one mission of C&C wasn’t much of a palate cleanser from Prey (2006) to Prey (2017) (I dislike playing the same genre of games back-to-back), I thought I’d throw another game in the mix. It just so happened that Humble Bundle was running a “female protagonists sale” and Bayonetta on PC was part of this sale. (though Bayonetta isn’t doing the portrayal of women in video games any favours).

Up until now, I’ve never played Bayonetta. I also own it for Xbox 360, but by the time I was getting around to playing it, Nintendo announced Bayonetta for the Wii U. Once I was ready to pick it up for the Wii U, Digital Foundry made good arguments for the best all-around Bayonetta experience being on the Xbox One (via 360 backwards compatibility). And...once I snagged an Xbox One-S for my game room and was ready to once again play Bayonetta...it was announced for PC. So, when Humble Bundle finally had a sale on the PC version, I jumped.

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From what I’ve read, the PC version of Bayonetta is the “definitive” experience mainly because of a few options like ambient occlusion and higher levels of anti-aliasing. It also supports higher anisotropic filtering and “hdr” lighting (though, not true HDR support). The biggest factor for me is the ability to run the fantastic port at 4K while maintaining the silky smooth 60fps that the game is famous for.

Bayonetta is an odd one for me (and just “odd” in general). The game itself is a lot of fun and offers a wacky brawler experience. However, it isn’t nearly as compelling for me as something like Arkham Knight, but it is tight enough as a fighter to be entertaining.

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The cutscenes are another matter altogether. The dialogue is atrocious and the voice actors don’t do anything to help make the bad lines any easier to swallow. It also suffers from that slightly stilted cadence found in many anime dubs which I find annoying to listen to.

Thankfully, Bayonetta includes options to skip all cutscenes, so you are never forced to sit through them (especially the ones you’ve watched before).

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I’m having a good time with Bayonetta, but not an amazing one. I remember everyone complaining about how short the game is, so my time investment shouldn’t be too awful. I’m not sure I understand what all the fuss was about. I love the surreal look to the game and the creature designs are amazing, but the overall experience is a little ho-hum.

This weekend is a test-prep weekend for the kid, so I likely won’t be able to play too much. Hopefully, I’ll be able to finish off Bayonetta and finally make my way back to the new Prey. Maybe I’ll even get in some Uncharted 3 with my wife.

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So, what are you playing this weekend?