Looking Back

Happy Weekend TAY!

Last Friday was my 21st wedding anniversary. Crazy! It seems like it was such a long time ago that we were married, but at the same time, it seems like the years have passed in the blink of an eye. Enjoy every moment of life that you can; the sands of time have a funny way of slipping through your fingers without you even noticing.

Last week ended up not being a particularly successful week of gaming.

After finishing Far Cry, I was hoping to play For Honor. However, another full Windows 10 reinstall later and now For Honor won’t connect.

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I’ve been trying to squash an audio bug in Windows 10 that causes my surround sound settings in Windows 10 to revert to stereo sound at random. I had hoped a second reinstall of Windows that involved completely wiping the Windows partition might clear whatever bit of data was causing my woes, but it wasn’t to be. Apparently it is an issue with recent updates to Windows 10 and I was relieved to finally find some support forums that confirmed the issues. It isn’t game breaking, but it is annoying. Hopefully a Windows update will come along soon and fix the issue.

What my reinstall did was break For Honor. I had briefly looked at it when I was mulling over cheating in Far Cry (see last week’s TAY! Weekend!!! for that story.) I played some of the single-player campaign in For Honor while adjusting its video settings and I was really surprised how much I was digging the campaign. I didn’t realize For Honor had a fleshed out story with excellent cutscenes.

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Yes, My Motherboard Has What Looks Like An Ammo Clip On It

However, by reinstalling Windows 10, my very old onboard network adapter became incompatible with the game. This network adapter is a flaky thing with a Windows 8 driver, but it has never given me issues for games. It would seem, from my research, that this network adapter causes all sorts of issues with some online games and I’ve just been lucky to have avoided any problems. I don’t have room in my case for another network card (unless I remove my old Soundblaster) and USB Ethernet solutions are too slow, so I guess I won’t be playing For Honor for now.

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My son and I had a better time gaming. We finished off all of Sonic Adventure and had a fantastic time with it. The “Sonic” content is definitely the best part of the game, but other than the fishing, the rest of the characters have reasonably fun gameplay. Plus, the soundtrack is amazing! I’m still humming something from it on a daily basis.

So, we are now onto Sonic Adventure 2...which sucks A LOT MORE than I remembered. I remember not liking Adventure 2 as much as Adventure (1) at the time they were released, but it feels a lot more shallow and broken this time around.

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The “Sonic” content in Sonic Adventure 2 is not nearly as exploratory as his content in Sonic Adventure (1). Many of Sonic’s levels in Adventure 2 involve just holding forward on the controller for large stretches of time, occasionally livened up with a jump or two. The Sonic levels are a little boring so far but at least they are visually appealing.

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Tails’ content SUCKS. It is based on Gamma’s content in Sonic Adventure, but it isn’t nearly as fun. Part of the problem is that Tails has a weird stride length in his mech and that, combined with the nasty camera, makes the platforming frustrating.

The other part of the problem is that Tails is in a mech to begin with. Gamma’s levels in Sonic Adventure weren’t enjoyable enough to require more similar content and worse, it is a step back in Sonic Adventure 2. Gamma controlled infinitely better in the original Sonic Adventure than Tails does in Sonic Adventure 2.

WTF Sega? Tails can fly(!) and that flying makes for interesting gameplay when let loose in the other games, why would you restrict him to an unfun mech-game?

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The Knuckles content offers the best level design but the aggressive auto-camera and crappy combat make for some annoying experiences. Still, the gameplay is fun and the treasure-hunting design feels fresh even today. It is a pity that the Knuckles content is better than the Sonic content in a Sonic game.

My weekend is filled with loads of planning for my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary next weekend and Spikespeigel will be covering for me. I doubt I’ll have a chance to play much this weekend (or the week coming), but I think I’ll take a crack at Ruiner if I can find some time. My wife and I really need to get back to Until Dawn, but we started bingeing on Boardwalk Empire, so Until Dawn will likely wait for a bit.

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So, what are you playing this weekend?