Friday, November 17, 2017

Chamberlain & Chance 98 : All The Time In The World


Wiiiith Alex!   Alex thisChamberlain that podcast on iTunespodcast on Google Play

Chamberlain and Chance - All the time in the world

THIS WEEK!
  • Chance has played everything.  Just fucking everything
  • Chamberlain learns the hard way that Forza 7 is no Forza Horizon 3! 
  • Alex ranches the crap out of some slimes!
  • And how much does EA suck? 
If you need to tune in to find out, you haven't been paying attention!

New Overwatch hero Moira is live on all platforms!

Wooo!

Moira's arrival comes with the stupid and awful Mercy nerf, which will no doubt further-exacerbate what is likely a chilly professional relationship between the two.

-source-
HERO UPDATES 
Ana
  • Biotic Rifle
    • Damage increased from 60 to 70
Developer Comments: Ana has been outshined by other support heroes lately. Boosting her damage will help her defend herself and make her more threatening to the enemy team. 
Chance's take: I really don't think Ana needs more damage. She's got the grenade for burst and there's no overstating how powerful sleep dart is, but... well, at least she still won't be able to two-shot me...

LĂșcio
  • LĂșcio now has an effect above his head to indicate which song he's playing in spectator mode
If you appreciate this reference, know that I love you.
-source-

Mercy
  • Caduceus Staff
    • Increased visual readability of Mercy's healing and damage boosting beams
  • Resurrect
    • Cast time increased from 0 seconds to 1.75 seconds
    • Mercy's movement speed is now reduced by 75% while casting
    • Can now be interrupted when Mercy is knocked back, stunned, or hacked
  • Valkyrie
    • While active, Resurrect no longer has a cast time
    • While active, casting Resurrect does not reduce Mercy's movement speed
Developer Comment: We feel that Mercy’s recent rework has been successful, but her Resurrect ability still feels too strong and frustrating to play against. Now that it has a cast time, enemies are more able to counter the ability. However, Resurrect will cast instantly when Valkyrie is active. This should make her feel powerful when she transforms on the battlefield. 
-source-

Chance's take: Fuck youuuuuuu!  FIRST of all, Mercy's beams don't need to be more readable to the enemy team - if anything they should be bloody invisible to the enemy team!  You don't see a line from whoever Zen's healing to the Zen, Ana's shots are invisible (when unscoped), and enemies can't see Lucio's healing aura!  This is blatant anti-Mercism, an antiquated holdover from when Mercy was just the Medic from TF2 and Blizzard should be ashamed of themselves.

As for the cast time and ridiculous movement speed reduction on rez, I anticipate this will result in Mercies getting picked left and right, even if they're trying to do a rez in their team's back line.  Close to two seconds of near-motionlessness is a second and a half longer than any sniper or flanker needs to kill you.

IT'S BULLSHIT!  Yes, absolutely Valkyrie will feel more powerful now, because you're comparing it to a hero who's been hobbled like James Caan in Misery.  Hang on, I'm sure I have a GIF for situations like this...


Winston
  • Barrier Projector
    • Now displays a health bar
Developer Comment: This change will help both Winston's allies and enemies know how much more damage his shield can absorb from oncoming attacks.
Also, Moira.  Moira's available now on all platforms.  She's unavailable in competitive mode for the moment, and should remain so for the next week.

I'm mildly hyped to check her out tonight - it might be nice to play a healer who hasn't been disfigured by repeated and vicious beatings with a nerf stick - but I'm yet more hyped to finish my next clip show.  No promises.  Tomorrow, hopefully.

(Jazzy hands!) Moira!

-source-

Thursday, November 16, 2017

I'm in a glass case of emotion.

My home internet is down, apparently part of an outage in my end of town.  So I can't do a lovely big post about how new Overwatch hero Moira is now live on all platforms and the egregious and hateful Mercy nerf has come with her.  I can't even download the patch, and woe.

Woe is me.

I'm also unprepared to assemble the podcast post on my phone, so I'll (hopefully!) attend to that tomorrow night.  Worst-case scenario a repair dude will come by then, but if you cant wait hit up Chamberlain's blog!  In fact you should be doing that on a daily basis anyway - he updates more than I do!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Overwatch Long Cut 14 - Awake.

-source-

I finished my placements on Saturday.  It did not go well.  Went 3 and 7, usually had a lot of gold medals but it didn't equate to victories, and I got placed at 2390 - about three hundred below where I ended last season.

So that sucks.  But there was some fun, in there - most memorably my first placement match of the season, where I ran out of spawn trying to psych myself up for it, and instantly died.  Then I ran back out of spawn, through the enemy line and just didn't die for the entire rest of the first round.  Maybe I shoulda' turned this into a Match Highlights vid, but there weren't any like... rivalries with enemies that needed highlighting.  As a result, it's just one long cut - with a bunch of boring stuff in there where I wait for our enemies to respawn or just kinda' sit back and watch half my team wipe because of bad positioning.  


Then, on defense, we get a Torb.  I go Mercy because the excellent Zenyatta we had on attack would not be able to sustain a prolonged defense, and the Zen went Sym, which all-but-guaranteed us the victory.  I died once on Mercy - Sym's tele was up and brought me right back to the fight - and we full-held the point to win 3-0.  Very nice.  

-source
Oh, I've also played Super Mario Odyssey, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Sonic Mania and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus.  I'm sorry, you were saying something about Overwatch..?

Friday, November 10, 2017

Overwatch Long Cut 13 - Ain't It Baby (Anubis Mercy)

I'm on an Overwatch Discord last week, and someone was talking about how Pharah needs a nerf, how no DPS deals with her, and when you're essentially a Mercy main you don't have the experience on the hitscans to switch to like a Soldier to deal with her - to which I tersely responded "so shoot the Pharah." Which may have seemed dismissive at the time, but...

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Chamberlain & Chance 97 - Delayed Happiness


Wiiiith Alex!   Alex thisChamberlain that podcast on iTunespodcast on Google Play

Chamberlain and Chance - Delayed happiness

THIS WEEK!
  • Chamberlain suffers glittering 4K blue balls while watching a patch download for Forza on Xbox X.  
  • Alex continues snuggling in to Shovel Kni- Goddamnit, I mean Hollow Knight
  • Chance is mad at hell about the controls on the Switch, but what're you gonna' do?
  • And how is Thor Ragnarok?
You'll have to tune in to find out!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Game Diary - What Ninten Does


I heard some GameStop managers had a theory about the NES Classic and why it was so hard to find, last year - because Nintendo legitimately didn't care if we bought one.  They cared that we wanted one enough to get our butts into a GameStop, Goombas and Master Swords dancing in our heads and... when we couldn't find the NES Classic, well, here's a sexy new 3DS we can kinda' relive those treasured memories with!  Here's a Switch!

And, y'know, I could see that workin'.  Six weeks or so ago, I procured a SNES Classic for myself.  I spent an evening or three reliving what is, to me, my defining childhood gaming experience - staying up 'till all hours playing Super Mario World.  My older brother, a horrifying amount of junk food and the smooth jams of P.M. Dawn were not included, but the bleary feeling of a brain and body that expected sleep five hours ago, the sparkling music, the utter charm of the game was some seriously intoxicating nostalgia.

I will almost never play the SNES Classic, but I love it and I loved what little time I spent with it, and I'm quite sure that experience (I really like the UI, by the way) - being reminded of my gaming origin story, being reminded of the feeling of playing Mario World as a kid - played a part in me slipping, stumbling across the room and crashing into a Switch.


The real reason a bought a Switch is actually very close to the reason I bought Overwatch.  Nobody had recently died, this time, but my depression had flared up to a deafening, crushing roar, and the feeling was kind of "well, before I die I should probably play Mario Odyssey."

Eight hundred bucks, for really not much.

  • A Nintendo Switch console.
  • A copy of Super Mario Odyssey.
  • A copy of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
  • A 128GB memory card (shoulda' waited and got like a 500GB one). 
  • A $50 Nintendo network card that they didn't actually activate at the store, because fuck you, David.  
When I think of all the money I saved by not buying a two thousand dollar overcoat, it stings less, but this is still almost a grand invested in the ability to currently play two games.  And these are two games in franchises that I have literally not enjoyed since the early 90s.  As far as I'm concerned, the last truly great Zelda game was Link to the Past, and while I acknowledge their contribution to 3D gaming, I never had any fun with Ocarina of Time, Super Mario 64, Twilight Princess, Skyward Sword, Mario Galaxy...

They were like old friends who'd grown so different from the people I'd known before that we couldn't hold a conversation any more.  It was always so... sad to rediscover, over and over, that I couldn't hang out with that friend any more.  

Like a Final Fantasy game, I kept trying over and over to enjoy these names that I treasured so much in my childhood, but was always disappointed over the years.  I have no idea why I thought anything would be different, this time.  This is like someone sticking their hand in boiling water because, they insist, it's possible that this time it won't scald their skin off.  

I have no idea what the fuck I was thinking.  I was clearly suffering some short-term temporary insanity, but I looked at the pot and said "yeah, this time I'll be fine," and shot my hand into boiling water. 


People will work hard to insist that the purchases they've made are not, in fact, idiotic, despite any evidence to the contrary.  Like they'll overpay for a shitty car but try to insist that it was actually a really good purchase decision.  There's a term for it - I wanna' say "confirmation bias," but I don't think that's it.  I don't know if that's had an impact on my perception of my experience with my Switch, so far, and I have complaints. About the games. 

The fact that the... button in the (PlayStation) "circle button" position is the "enter" button and the button in the "x button" position is the "escape" or "back" button throw me off constantly, and continues throwing me off when I turn on my PS4 and keep on backing out of things I want to enter.  It's frustrating, and deeply Japanese. 

The fact that Mario's plot remains Peach screaming "Marioooo!" and Bowser going "bwa-ha-ha-ha!" bothers me a bit, but what bothers me more is that western-produced platformers like Sly Cooper, inFamous and Ratchet & Clank have been outperforming this in terms of narrative presentation for over ten years.  Mario feels almost like an indie by comparison.  It insists you should explore its explosively colorful worlds because because, but I was actually able to get in to Mario Odyssey - which is kind of a spiritual sequel to Galaxy, which I hated - by remembering how much I love Ratchet & Clank.  

Just explore.  Just bounce around.  Ooh there's a thing in there - how can I get to that thing?  

Bwa-ha!  I got the thing!  I'm so clever!  Oooh, there's a thing over there...


That was my in.  That was the key to enjoying it, for me, and I defeated Bowser inside of a week.  After you beat Bowser, you may have barely collected one-fifth of the game's power moons (Odyssey's stars), but before you can jet off and return to previously-explored worlds (and unlock new ones!), you have to clear the area you find yourself in - and its challenges were exponentially harder than what had come before - so I shoved off to further explore Zelda...

But I really enjoyed Odyssey.  I'm shocked by how much I enjoyed Odyssey.  I'm shocked by how much content there was, and while I find it a bit... lazy that instead of doing a very great deal with Mario's core abilities, the game switches up its mechanics in every world via the enemies you can possess by throwing your hat on their heads (you can run around as a Goomba, fly around as a Bullet bill - there are countless enemies to possess and thus mechanics to exploit), it's also very fun.  

It's very cute.  It's very creative and it doesn't feel, ever, for a moment, cynical.  Its animations are lovely.  When you fight Bowser, he's got this huge top hat with robo-arms coming out the sides, with a boxing glove at the end of each robo-arm.  And he throws this hat at you, so you throw your hat at it (your only attack) and stun it.  Then you pop it on your head and the robo-arms cock like two shotguns, ready for action.  Bowser's eyes pop wide and he holds out his hands like "nooo!" in fear as you pop his giant top hat on your head, and you come for him.  


It's so charming.  Every world is so charming.  Lazy as I may find the way the game permits itself an ever-expanding roster of mechanics, it works and it ensures it's really, really hard to get bored with it. The nonexistent narrative may pale in comparison to Western efforts from two generations ago, but the amount of content in this game is ridiculous.  This is a single-player platformer that a player could likely invest hundreds of hours in.  I can imagine the dedication and time a player would require to 100% Odyssey, but I can't imagine that I'll ever have it.  

There are complaints - the fact that certain moves can't be accomplished when using the Switch in handheld mode, or when using the included Dogface controller thing, or when using a pro controller, that are actually required to get certain Power Moons - is ridiculous.  I'm trucking along, playing your game, and I have to stop, detach the controllers, set up the screen on the kickstand, do this one fucking move and collect my Moon.  

That's fucking bullshit.  But that and other complaints feel small when compared to the volume and generally-consistent quality of what Odyssey offers.  It's very, very generous and of a general very high quality.  

I'm amazed I enjoy it so much.  Oh, and Bowser's Kingdom is visually orgasmic.  

The fact that it is so beautiful - and it can be very, very beautiful - Zelda too can be very, very beautiful...


...brings to mind the promises Sony made about the Vita, prior to its launch.  It was supposed to be an almost-PS3 in your hands (a very sexy proposition), but a few exceptions aside, it merely ended up being one of the best indie game libraries in the world - and the number of indies that have been announced for Switch played a big part in the platform's appeal, to me.  

How well the Switch runs Mario and Zelda, the fact that DOOM and Wolfenstein II and Skyrim are coming... that all brings to mind that promise of the Vita.  The platform we wanted the Vita to be.  

And I'll be the first to tell you, friend, the little fucking "Joycons" on the Switch?  They fucking suck.  They suck so bad.  They're awkward and tiny and poorly laid out, deeply uncomfortable and I would pay a thousand dollars to anyone who can effectively cut a Dualshock 4 down the middle and smack the halves onto the sides of the Switch's screen. 

 But this boiling water doesn't hurt.  I'm kinda' loving it.  

Friday, November 3, 2017

Overwatch Clip Show 49 - Turn The Lamp Down Low.

http://puddingdrop.tumblr.com/

After a long delay!  I had in no way planned for this finally getting finished to coincide with... the fucking opening of Blizzcon and the explosion of news that came with it.  But it's done, I've been working on it for like a week and I finally got it done last night and this is happening.

I've been wanting to use a song by Canadian band The Tea Party since... well since I started doing these vids, actually - but it never worked out.  This time, though, I knew I wanted to include the Roadhog "duel" that begins the vid, and I was playing around with it with a few songs.  Lining the final melee strike up against a drum smash or something never worked - because it had been preceded by two other melee strikes.  The third was comparatively meaningless.  The melee didn't matter.

The wave mattered.  And I lined it up with the first strum and... I had to use Turn The Lamp Down Low for it.


Clip Show 49 - Turn The Lamp Down Low from David Ferber on Vimeo.

Here it is on YouTube, if you prefer.

I really like how it turned out!  The first half of the song is fairly slow and mellow, lending itself well to nice long cuts of me just dancing around enemy teams and killing them in (imo) funny ways.  The second half is all crazy drum smashes and rockin' guitars.  I like it!

Also, I'd like it noted that all the stuff on Anubis in the middle?  That's all one long killstreak.  I drove that Bastion mental.

G'night everybody!

http://puddingdrop.tumblr.com/

All the Overwatch news from day 1 of Blizzcon 2017.

Wooo there's some hot shit in here!  There's a new map - we'll get to that in a moment - but what's important is MOIRA.


Moira is a hybrid DPS/healer, but she's designed to take up the slot of a primary healer like Mercy or Ana.  She was created to satisfy two community requests - a new primary healer, and a character that added to Overwatch's lore.  Well, apparently it's not Mercy who turned Gabriel Reyes into Reaper - it was Moira, who was experimenting on Reyes long before the Overwatch organization fell.

Here's her origin story vid.



And here's her introduction vid...



Okay, so here's the deal.

Her left-click is a healing spray, like Mei's freeze spray, but streamers are saying it works on a resource that can only be built by dealing damage to foes.

Her right-click is a damage beam that locks on to foes similar to Symmetra's, though it doesn't seem to increase in damage over time, and the lock-on seems a lot less forgiving than Sym.

Her shift ability is a very fast short-range teleport - almost a blink, though not quite as fast - that she can use to gain height, and it renders her invincible for its (again, short) duration.

Her E ability is the orb.  How it works is you hit E, and then you hit either left-click or right-click.  If you left-click, it becomes the healing orb.  If you right, it's the damage orb, and you fling it out down your aiming reticle.  As it flies, it will heal nearby allies/damage nearby enemies, depending on which you've chosen, and it will bounce off walls or the ground - so if you throw it into a tight room it'll bounce around wrecking or healing everyone.  Very cool!

Her ult is a long channeled beam that both heals allies and damages enemies.

Very, very, very cool.  I'm super looking forward to checking her out.  She'll be on the PTR soon.


Elsewhere, new hybrid map (Eichenwald, Numbani) Blizzard World was announced.  Like Moira, it'll be on the PTR soon, but won't launch until early 2018.



Another beautiful, moving short was shown - about Rein, and his arrogant youth - and it has the Internet super excited about Torb's daughter.



Finally, they just had a panel where they showed off some Blizzard World / lore skins for eight heroes and these all look awesome!  Totally called it on the Mei skin!


Ecopoint Mei!


Young Rein!


Butcher Hog!  (Fans have been begging for this since launch.)


Barbarian Zarya!


Demonic Doomfist!


Nova Widowmaker!


Dwarf King Torb!


And... some kinda' Starcraft Orisa thing I guess!

And that's all she wrote byeeee!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Chamberlain & Chance 96 - Holding Hands.


Wiiiith Alex!   Alex thisChamberlain that podcast on iTunespodcast on Google Play

Chamberlain and Chance - Holding hands

THIS WEEK!
  • Chamberlain has finished Ys VIII, and didn't mind it one bit! 
  • Alex returns to the pulpy shores of Wolfenstein: The New Order!
  • Chance has done something wholly unexpected, and enjoyed it!
  • And what do the boys think of Sony's Paris Games Week presence?
You'll have to tune in to find out!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Ghost of Tsushima (!!!) is... (!!!)


I've got a game, in my head.  It's been there for years, and its title is Five Body Blade.  In feudal Japan, blades were tested on the bodies of executed criminals, stacked one on top of another.  Only the best swords were able to cleanly cut through five bodies in one stroke, and I thought it made a cool and suitably morbid title (while promising awesome loot).

Five Body Blade would be an open-world action game, set in feudal Japan with an emphasis on branching narrative and a living world where you could strike out in any direction and experience a story, throwing in with this feudal lord or that one, and playing your story to its conclusion.
Credits roll, start a new game, strike out in another direction - refuse to swear yourself to any lord's service, end up protecting a village from a band of bloodthirsty bandits, tell your story, credits roll, start over.


Lose the tutorial combat, get your arm chopped off, play the rest of the game as a one-armed Ronin, mastering a whole new sword style.  Ridiculously ambitious, I suppose.  But it's my dream game.  It's my fantasy.  It would have heavy RPG elements, and be produced by a western studio (preferably Rockstar, with combat overseen by Hideki Kamiya - because it's my dream).

Now, I bring this up because we finally learned, today, what Sucker Punch (Sly Cooper, inFamous) has been working on since inFamous: First Light launched.  I don't know if there's a branching narrative (I don't believe there is), I don't know if the combat is any good, but... well, watch this.



It is open-world.  That's all we know, really.  Well, that and it's about Kublai Khan and that one time the Mongols tried to invade Japan, starting at the island of Tsushima.

So I am bursting with questions and there's so much I want to know but we don't have a release window or year or anything, and I'm just dying to see some gameplay beyond the two little snips we got at the very end of the trailer.  But that's okay!

  • western developer
  • one of my favorite western developers!
  • Samurai game
  • open-world
  • looks gorgeous. 
WOOOOOOO!  Ghost of Tsushima is, far and away, the awesomest thing Sony has announced in years. 


The Last of Us 2's PGW trailer is absolutely brutal.

It's just a cutscene - I really want to see gameplay - but at first, we had no idea it's a trailer for The Last of Us.  I was once again impressed that Sony had put triple-A funding into "a new IP" with a female lead, and quickly more than a bit horrified at the brutality of it.  Smashing that poor woman's arm with the hammer is just sickening, but nothing in The Last of Us or it's DLC...



...can compare to Ellie's sick pythons.


Like holy shit she is fucking Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2.  She is Ripley.  She's a fucking Action Hero and I love it.

God of War's PGW trailer.



This is, unfortunately, kinda' meh compared to what we've seen of God of War in the past.  I appreciate how much variety is shown in the combat - the ways Kratos can throw and recall the axe, the various charge moves - but perhaps the most important thing is the "early 2018" part.  We were told it was coming early 2018 back in June, but the fact that that's still true six months out from the end of "early 2018" is heartening.  It may actually make that release window.

GUACAMELEE TWOOOOOOOO!

Announced at Sony's Paris conference today - coming first to PS4 (no, not Vita.)



...but I want it on a handheld.  Still - one of my favorite games of the past decade is getting its long-awaited sequel.  Hyped!

Everything else from Sony's Paris press conference.

Beyond the above, Sony talked about a bunch of other stuff at the Paris Games Week conference.  There was a whole bunch of PSVR stuff, which I don't care a single little bit for (and don't know anyone who does) - and to me, there was this long, dull ache of longing to see a bunch of indies and little announcements for Vita.  Obviously that wasn't going to happen - I didn't expect it to - but there's a part of me that remains really salty that Sony poured all this money into VR instead of the Vita.

I love my Vita.

Elsewhere...

They announced Spelunky 2.  No gameplay, but it is indeed a direct sequel to the legendary Roguelike, coming first to PS4 and PC.

A neat-looking top-down bullet-time Hong Kong noire shooter called The Hong Kong Massacre looks pretty cool.



The Gardens Between is one of those heartfelt indies that I don't give a shit about - and Concrete Genie is similarly pretentious-feeling.  Erica is like a live-action thriller thing.  I don't know what the market is for games that are made up of live-action footage, but it ain't me.  They talked about some content for Far Cry 5 and Call of Duty: WWII coming to PS4 first, and the fact that you'll be able to play as Aloy in Monster Hunter World, but the other headliner of the conference was probably the new trailer for Detroit: Become Human, which is just... horrifying.



The story of AI companion Kara coming to understand that she was "reset" because her owner "broke her," likely because she attempted to stop him from beating his tiny and adorable daughter, is momentarily compelling before it becomes more real and stressful and disturbing than I want from my video games.  I think I would find the realness it manages far more exciting were it not coming from Quantic Dream and David Cage, a studio and director who can't tell a story well to save their fucking lives, yet still manage to rake in untold millions of development funds from Sony.   Coming from them, it feels... exploitive.  And, despite the stunning presentation, cheap.

To each their own.

The Shadow of the Colossus remake got a rather sizable new trailer, and Insomniac's Spider-Man got a new trailer.  I remain very meh on Insomniac's Spider-Man.



Oh!  And Horizon: Zero Dawn - The Frozen Wilds got a new trailer that actually shows some new machines.  One week away wooooo!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Care to know exactly what happened at Visceral?


Kotaku's Jason Schreier put together a phenomenal breakdown covering almost a half-decade at the studio, going back to Dead Space 3.  The short version is Amy Hennig's Uncharted Star Wars was almost doomed from the start, between being forced to use an engine that was never intended for third-person games, a terribly understaffed studio, internal clashes and sky-high expectations for a genre the studio had never executed before.

If you wanna' know what went down, you've gotta' read this. 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Chamberlain & Chance 95 - The Show Must Go On


Wiiiith Alex!   Alex thisChamberlain that podcast on iTunespodcast on Google Play


Chamberlain and Chance - The show must go on

THIS WEEK!

  • Chamberlain finds himself in the cringey-yet-comfy embrace of Ys VIII!
  • Alex continues his love affair with Battle Chasers!
  • Chance has gorged upon the trough of South Park: The Fractured But Whole
  • And what the heck is going on with NeoGAF?
You'll have to tune in to find out!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Genji and Hanzo Nendos are up next.


Here's Hanzo's page, here's Genji's, and here's a buncha pics!    $50 each.

















Now... do I preorder to keep the collection complete, or do I ignore because I don't play these guys and don't much care?

But what if I git gud with Genji one day?

Hmmm decisions, decisions...