Sunday, October 30, 2016

Overwatch Clip Show 23 - Magic In My Dancin' Shoes.


This week's clip show is a bit of a humble one.  There aren't any spectacular saves, there are no team wipes, there's just some good, honest Tracer work.  Some Mercy hunting on Ilios, some jazzy one-on-ones on Numbani, and the best parts of a phenomenal game on Hanamura where I ended with eighteen eliminations and a single death.  Glorious.



0:17 - 0:22 : Soloing a McCree always feels like hot shit, when you're Tracer.

0:32 - 0:44 : I did not know there was a Bastion waiting down there when I followed Winston off that ledge.  Also, I have no idea why that Zenyatta popped Transcendence - maybe it was just to save his skin?  Transcendence can't save his Mercy from a pulse bomb, though.

0:44 - 0:51 : Soling a Hanzo always feels like hot shit, when you're Tracer.


1:00 - 1:09 : This felt fucking amazing.  Doing a one-eighty before blinking, backwards, through a Reinhardt's shield to begin blasting him in the back is an old trick - and it's a risky maneuver, like a tank-dance with Mercy.  I'm usually putting myself right into the enemy line, with my fingers crossed that I won't get insta-gibbed by the Rein's team.

This one worked terribly well.

1:36 - 1:41 : Poor Reinhardt.

1:41 - 2:05 : It's not often that the Play of the Game actually reflects something you did that you thought was awesome.  Usually it's a numbers game - a 2-rez, 2 solo kills will do it, but more often than not it's a three-fer or a team wipe that'll get it.

This was awesome.  This felt awesome, at the time.   I can appreciate that for the other folks in the game (who likely pulled some awesome shit of their own), this was probably a disappointing PotG - but it was definitely one of those moments where I felt remarkably badass.

Our Mei throws up her ice wall, the enemy Reinhardt just on the other side.  I press my back to the wall and wait for it to shatter, and do a reverse-blink into the enemy line.  The Reinhardt has moved, and charges onto our point... but nobody from his team follows him!  Most notably, not the Mercy, who is almost instantly brought to 10% health by yours truly.  I chase her down and finish her off,

The enemy Tracer and I were at our throats for most of this game - more often than not, we would clash for a few frantic seconds, and each of us would go our separate way, in search of easier pickins.  On this occasion, I just got pretty darned lucky, and put every single round into that tiny hitbox before she could kill me.  Noice.



2:19 - 2:31 : Poor Mercy.  But dealing with Mercy, first and foremost, is the dark work of a good Tracer.  Every party-rez she gets off is a failure on my part.

2:31 - 2:44 : Chamberlain has asked me if these videos improve my play, at all.  And sometimes, it does - in this particular melee (woo McCree takedown!), I really needed to be more aggressive with the Roadhog.  If I hadn't blinked back and forth, and just gone straight for the pulse bomb, I woulda' taken him out no problem and gotten off scott free.

Still, two for one ain't a bad deal.

2:58 - 3:11 : Taking out an airborn Pharah, while standing on the edge of a precipice, a colossal red bullseye for her concussion blast, as Tracer, is some white knuckle shit.  ...but why did it only say I'd knocked off 20% of her health?  That's bullshit.

3:11 - 3:26 : This entire Numbani defense, my Tracer was on frickin' fire.  I managed this, mostly, by not going off on my own behind enemy lines to get picks.  I find, like Mei, Tracer is at her best when she's complimenting the DPS of the rest of her team - so when this Winston dropped in at the perfect time to help me take down Zenny and Hanzo, I really appreciated the help.

Game Diary - Tomb Raidin'.


I like Rise of the Tomb Raider.  I really like it - not done it, yet - the story and story presentation is farcical, its gameplay loops are sublime.  Mostly, this means its wide-open areas, thick with collectibles and doors protecting secret areas with enticing locktease and little side-tombs to master.  Once you solve whatever platforming/physics puzzle they wield, you get to open up a millennia-old manifest carved in stone, and your reward is ancient knowledge.  That's awesome.

Just platforming around its areas feels good - all the little mechanics like wall-jumps and axe-swings give it just a nudge more depth, making it more rewarding and involving than Uncharted's relatively tame but gorgeously-presented movement.

One thing I pointed out in the podcast last week, I feel like Rise idealizes Lara too much, to the point that she's devoid of flaws or... humanity.  This is perhaps a reaction to the controversy the reboot enjoyed when it attempted to frame Lara as a victim of sexual assault.  I like that there are no animation frames that call attention to her female figure, I like that all of her costume options are actually really hardy, practical ensembles for the Siberian weather she's spending most of the game in.


In the old games, there would always be sexy animations - Lara would pull herself up onto a ledge in a suggestive, gymnastic flourish, she would swan dive off cliffs like a model in a perfume add - not so, here.  When Lara cliff dives in Rise, she assumes the form of a Navy SEAL, dropping straight down, feet first, with her arms crossed over her chest for stability.

It's nice to see - but Lara is so perfectly capable, proficient and confident that her adventure feels absolutely inconsequential, as a result.  It's kind of the Superman situation - it's obviously impossible to hurt her or give her a challenge she's incapable of overcoming, so the stakes are nonexistent.

This is a stark departure from the Lara we got in the Tomb Raider reboot.  There, Lara didn't think she could do it.  She was John McClane, getting the absolute shit beat out of her over the course of that campaign, but a combination of luck and skill saw her gather up her courage and forge through an impossible challenge.  By the end, like The Guy In Die Hard, she was a staggering, desperate woman smashing through her limits - a legit, badass, awesome hero.

In Rise, she's not a human hero who's overcoming the impossible.  She's Rambo.

The gameplay?  Sublime.  The narrative?  Two steps forward, three steps back.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Awesome Posters! Ver. 6.0

The yearly tradition returns!

Ver. 5.0
Ver. 4.0
Ver. 3.0
Ver. 2.0
Ver. 1.0

Kayla got herself some fine art too.  I really liked the... energy of Johnni Kok's Overwatch stuff, but if you bought two you got two free, so Kayla got this one



And I got a Mei, a Mercy and a Tracer.  The Mei is not great, but whatevs.



There were a lot of artists with what I would call "higher quality" Overwatch art - like I coulda' got this one,


...but the face is just wrong.  And much as I love the composition, it just didn't have the spirit that I wanted.  Anywho...

I got a pretty nice Gwendolyn (Odin Sphere) from Reema A...


The artist there with the most uniformly gorgeous stuff was PulsArtStudio, and I was this close to getting an Okamiden one, but it wasn't Okami.  Kayla got herself this lovely Madoka piece.


And finally, of course, we made the yearly pilgrimage to Justin Currie's booth.  Kayla got herself Heartless Sora, 


I grabbed an original of his called The Last Iron Sword,


and, of course, Currie's entry into Blizzard's 21 Days of Overwatch thing, Zenyatta.


One for home, one for the office.

Finally, for the last two years when we go to the 'con, I've had my eye on a certain hoodie.  And I acknowledge it's less than... practical.  I don't care.  I finally got a Chewbacca hoodie.



When you zip it up all the way in the front, it becomes a mask of Chewbacca :) :) :)

It's okay to be jelly.  I know you're jelly of my Wookie hoodie.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Chamberlain & Chance 45 : Not so fast, Nintendo.


Wiiiith Alex!

Alex thisChamberlain that podcast on iTunes


Chamberlain and Chance - Not so fast, Nintendo


THIS WEEK!

  • Don't waste your time on the new Deus Ex
  • Waste your time on the new Gears of War instead!
  • Exist Archive ain't bad, and Rise of the Tomb Raider is pretty darned awesome.  
  • Civilization 6 will wrap its simulated claws around your gamer's brain and never let you go. 
  • Thumper sucks. 
  • Actually no, Thumper is fucking awesome. 
  • And how many of us will buy the Switch on day one?
You'll have to tune in to find out!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Yomawari: Night Alone's launch trailer.



My physical copy of Yomawari is still in customs over in Ontario, and I'm actually pret-ty darned hyped for it... but even if I snap and decide to get it digitally off PSN, I can't because there was some sort of price snafu there, and it's not even available on the store yet!

Nyahhhhh!

Podcast should be up tomorrow!  Sorry for being a bad blogger :(

Man, I need to blog more.

Sorry, I've been super-busy.  Rise of the Tomb Raider is really fun, so far!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Twenty Sweet Seconds.

Chamberlain has assured me that Level 5 of Thumper becomes unfair, and stupid, and not-fun.

So I beat the Level 4 boss (super-hard!), and move on to Level 5, my hackles raised, my defenses up, as the game introduces a new mechanic.  And I keep on truckin' and havin' a fine time.

I beat the mid-boss, kept on thumping my way through, and after beating Level 5, Stage 19, Stage 20 began and this happened.



I had never seen this track before, never taken these precise turns before, and I ran it perfectly on my first try.  Those are twenty very, very sweet seconds of gameplay.

Skyrim Special Edition gameplay trailer 2.



Hm.  Hype Factor decreased.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Chamberlain & Chance 44: The Wait Begins.

I'll be honest, I worked nine hours today and I'm fucking exhausted so let's do this up efficient-like.


Alex thisChamberlain that podcast on iTunes.  G'night.  Exist Archive is kinda' pretty awesome so far.


Chamberlain and Chance - The wait begins

Behold. The gorgeousness that is Red Dead Redemption 2.



Gorgeousness and... nothin' else, pretty much but oh my God so gorgeous!  It really serves as a reminder that Grand Theft Auto V was a last-gen title, and in one year we're gonna' see what Rockstar can do on the new gen.  Wewt.

Oooh a new Persona 5 trailer appeared.

Okay so the NX is called the Nintendo Switch.



So here's the deal,

  • Coming March 2017. 
  • The young people in Nintendo's ads have suspiciously affluent apartments. 
  • The NX is exactly what we'd heard it was - a bigger screen than the Vita with detachable controllers on the side that has a dock for when you want to play it on your TV. 
  • All of the games shown (Skyrim, Splatoon, Zelda, Basketball Game Whatever) are ports, and the only new thing is a new 3D Mario title. 
  • Nintendo showed off a big list of partners that they say will support the Switch. 
  • It would behoove us to remember the Wii U had a similar list when it was announced. 
  • Word is this thing only has 4GB of RAM.
    How comfortable are those weird detachable controllers? PROBABLY NOT VERY
  • What's the battery life when it's off the dock?  THEY'RE NOT SAYING
  • What exclusives can we look forward to? NINTENDO WON'T TELL YOU
  • WHAT IS NINTENDO HIDING?!
That said, you know I love the thought of a handheld with triple-As on it.  But who can really trust Nintendo, after the Wii U?  

Who should wait until like two years into this thing's life cycle before making a purchase?  Everyone

Oooooh movie trailers!



Yeeeeah!



Oh as if I need to care about an X-Men movie but what seems to be a character-driven three-hander with Patrick Stuart back as the professor and why does Wolverine look so old when he's supposed to be immortal but I don't care I'm probably gonna' have to see this.

All the Amnesia games are coming to PS4 on November 22nd.

Chamberlain probably went like "squeee!"



And I went "wow those graphics look like shit."

But still, the Amnesia games are hugely influential, and have made the studio thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of lifelong fans.  The collection will include The Dark Descent, Justine and A Machine For Pigs.

Atelier Shallie on Vita is coming west!

And lo, the entire Atelier Dusk trilogy will be on your Vitas!


The Dusk trilogy consists of Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk, Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky and now Atelier Shallie: Alchemist of The Dusk Sea.  The Atelier games are light, frothy RPGs.  Tons of content and extra stuff to find, but a fairly mellow experience, overall.   They star pastel-colored girls and their pastel-colored friends, a few beautiful pastel-colored boys and some colorful, cartoony pastel monsters to kill and pastel pastures to play through.  They're terribly pretty games, and I've actually got physical copies of Ayesha and Escha & Logy on Vita.

So here's the deal - the game will be available physically and digitally in Europe, and will primarily release on PSN in North America.  If you want a physical copy (pictured above), you can only get it through the NIS America online store. That is, the Atelier Shallie Plus: Alchemist of The Dusk Sea Limited Edition.  It includes..!

  • Atelier Shallie Plus: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea for PlayStation®Vita
  • 30-Track original soundtrack with jewel case
  • Microfiber cloth (6" x 6")
  • Full-color, 48-page softcover art book
  • Collector's box (Includes all the above)
And given my collect-y inclinations... I had to preorder it.  Drops January 17, 2017. 

Which reminds me, I think I want to get on that Asian release of Dragon Quest Builders... 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The platform.


Red Dead Redemption 2 is a real thing that is coming... next fall.


"Rockstar Games Announces Red Dead Redemption 2 Coming Fall 2017

Rockstar Games, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, is proud to announce that the highly anticipated Red Dead Redemption 2 will release worldwide in Fall 2017 for PlayStation 4 computer entertainment systems and for the Xbox One games and entertainment system.

Developed by the creators of Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption, Red Dead Redemption 2 is an epic tale of life in America’s unforgiving heartland. The game's vast and atmospheric world will also provide the foundation for a brand new online multiplayer experience.

"With Red Dead Redemption 2, the team is working hard to push forward our vision for interactive entertainment in a truly living world," said Sam Houser, Founder of Rockstar Games. "We hope to deliver players an epic experience that builds upon everything we've learned making games."

Watch the Red Dead Redemption 2 trailer at 11:00 a.m. Eastern, Thursday October 20th at rockstargames.com/reddeadredemption2."

Monday, October 17, 2016

Welcome to Hanamura.

This is the piece of Overwatch culture that's popped into popularity today.  And it is... accurate.

This is why Rockstar doesn't go to E3.

Or Paris.  Or Cologne.  Or Tokyo. 


Because all they have to do is change their logo color to red, and folks will go nuts.  All they have to do is tweet an image of some cowboys, and the Internet explodes at the news.  They don't need to hold a press conference - we the consumer will spread their message far faster, and with greater enthusiasm than the capital-M Media ever could.  

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Overwatch Clip Show 22 : Sexy Robot.

It's a great big Overwatch jamboree!




Oh, worth noting, when the "boss" Witch Mercy appears in the Halloween brawl and does her ultimate, she shouts "my servants never die!"  She does not say it when a player uses her ult while wearing the Witch skin, however.  Players begged for it to be applied to her skin for players annnd Kaplan said "Ok.  ETA mid-Nov."

Nice!


First of all...



I would like to begin by advising you that Alex had an awesome fucking Play of the Game on Dorado yesterday - he rolled like almost the entire enemy team.  Seriously - this is a quintuple kill.  One of the best Soldier ults I've ever seen.



And who's that damage boosting our heroic Soldier?  That's right - one of the best Soldier ults I've ever seen... and I helped!



Second, last night, finally, someone sent me a hate message on PSN.



The name didn't stand out to me at all - I had no idea who this person was - but I did remember a sweet roll on Volskaya.

We were up against two D.Vas, so I went Zarya and another on my team soon followed suit.  We did well, but I got to the point where I felt like the other Zarya wasn't supporting me nearly as much as I was her, and I wasn't detecting many heals from the Ana, so I decided to go roll a hero with a bit more survivability - Mei.


I was pleased enough with it that I recorded it, and when I re-watched it... ohhh that's who LuckySaintz is.  She's the D.Va I waved hello to after I killed half her team.



At this point, really feeling like my team wasn't working together and I pretty much just needed to go it alone, I had no fucks left to give.  They're all nice kills - the Soldier alone is pretty sweet - but I think popping up in that Pharah's face was definitely the scariest, for them.

Finally, the clip show!





Annnd I'm not even gonna' do the play-by-play today, 'cause it's all pretty self-explanatory.

  • I think I'm better on Tracer than I think I am.  We keep winning when I play her. 
  • As soon as I got the double-kill after that three-rez, I leaned into the mic and said "and there's your play of the game."
  • That Mercy was very thankful when I saved her from the Genji ult. Felt good. 
  • I actually got PotG for killing that Torb and Mercy in quick succession like that.  It was one of my worst PotGs ever. 
  • Eating a Whole Hog and a Death Blossom?  Delicious
  • The last third of this vid is all one match on Anubis.  We lost the game, when a D.Va ult took me down and their Reaper and Genji ulted on the point.  My ult charge was at 91%.  It was tragic.  Still, I got the PotG for the Zarya/Genji ult counter!



Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Chamberlain and Chance 43 : Nothing Can Stop Us.


Wiiith Alex!  Alex writes thisChamberlain writes that, and I occasionally write this thing right here and the podcast's on iTunes!


Chamberlain and Chance - Nothing can stop us

THIS WEEK!

  • Not even Alex's hot new video card can make Fallout 4 run impressively. 
  • Song of the Deep is as meh as you've heard!
  • Darkest Dungeon is hot hot shit. 
  • Thumper is hot hot shit. 
  • Overwatch's Halloween update is, additionally, hot hot shit. 
  • And is Westworld hot hot shit? 
You'll have to tune in to find out!

Exile's End launches October 25th on Vita and PS4.



Ten bucks.  Not really feeling the animation... but ten bucks, ain't bad.  Worth keepin' an eye on.

...man I want Guacamelee 2...

Oh, also, on a personal note,


...I just need to vent and say I had the shittiest fucking day today.

I had to burn a vacation day yesterday, in order to be home for a boiler repair dude who was just coming in to do regular bi-yearly maintenance.  So,

  • on a vacation day, I have to be up at the crack of dawn.
  • The fucker doesn't show up until after my work day would have ended
  • so I burned a vacation day for no fucking reason
  • He charges me $300.00, and leaves.  
  • I go to sleep, and wake up frozen to the core because we've got no fucking heat
  • So I go to work, cold on a deep and fundamental level, and call the company to explain that I need him to return - but just to make sure I have enough space on my credit card, I give my balance and statement a peek.  There's a $200 charge I don't recognize from a company called something-something-luxembourg. 
  • So I call my credit card company, and indeed it is fraud, so now I have no fucking credit card. 
  • A dipshit at the office was a total fucking dipshit and I'm not about to post that shit on the internet. 
  • On the way home, I pulled my fucking shoulder.  
Fuck this fuck that fuck everything. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

That didn't take long.



That Mei deserved the rez - she was puttin' in work.

OVERWATCH HALLOWEEN EVENT IS LIVE AND ALSO BALANCE CHANGES BUT WITCH MERCY SKIN OMGGGGG!




The long-rumored, slightly-leaked Halloween event is now live on Overwatch on PC and consoles!  Also, it features the game's first co-op PvE brawl!  Also new victory poses that are like tombstones!





 Also, it has the recent PTR balance changes!  Namely,

  • Ana's ult cost has increased by 20%
  • The radius on her grenade has been increased from 3 to 4 yards. 
  • Widow scopes into her rifle slightly faster
  • Junkrat activates his Riptire slightly faster, but let's be honest, none of this matters because THIS:

Ohhh shits Mercy in a jaunty witch's hat and it turns her Caduceus staff into a broom ohmyGodohmyGod...

Oh but wait, that's only the second-best part.  The best part is that this time (unlike the Summer Games skins) you don't have to rely on the luck of the loot box dealer to score these hot new skins.  This time you can buy them with in-game coins!  3K for the Legendary skins, 750 for the Epics. 












Okay, need Reinhardt, need Reaper annnd I wouldn't say no to Junkrat, if you offered it to me.  Excuse me, I need to see how a certain update is progressing...