Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Well that's cool.

The biggest video game news today is that Ashly Burch is the voice of Aloy in Horizon.  That's (1) very cool and (2) doubly cool because I seriously never clocked her as Aloy in all the trailers we've seen so far.  Now I love Ashly - she's hilarious, brilliant and (if you don't mind me saying) quite attractive - but I'm kinda' thrilled she's taking on a... dare I say dramatic role?  (I know she was the lead in Life is Strange, shut up.  This is a triple-A event game, it's a big deal.)

A bunch of preview articles and new footage went up yesterday, so... y'know... go to a better website and check it out.


Monday, January 30, 2017

Personal note. And Game Diary.

My basic setting, at the moment, is fuck this.  Fuck that.  And fuck everything.  

Fuck everything. 

My Overwatch game has just gone to shit.  Just shit.

Season 3 has been live since like November, but I never did my placements for competitive.  Didn't much feel like it - felt pretty negative, and didn't... want to try.  Didn't want to let Overwatch's placement and medal system judge me, because it couldn't have anything positive to say.  And if it did, I can't imagine I would believe it anyway.

My Mercy game is still pretty solid - or at least, I can rock shit when the team around me is humming.  My Tracer game... well it might still be awesome, and I've certainly had some awesome moments, but ending up gold in kills, objective kills, objective time and damage is absolutely meaningless if the team around me isn't capitalizing on the fact that D.Va isn't being healed any more or their tanks just went boom.

I did get a pretty sweet quad-kill PotG with Tracer's new highlight intro and skin.  Just one, though.

I don't think it's my teams, though.  I think I'm just playing shittier.  Maybe Gravity Rush 2 is to blame - this always happens when I play anything but Overwatch, and then return to Overwatch.

Anyway.  I finished my placements today, and landed at 2100.  Gold.  Another 400 comp points in the coffers towards a golden gun.   Not bad at all!   Especially when you consider that most folks were placed pretty low this season.  I mean, I'll take it.

But still, fuck it.  Fuck this and that and ev-er-y thing.

Due to some things happening around the house, my anxiety was at max all day, fearing for my mother.  Everything's fine, for the record, but I was climbing the walls at work.  I was very nice and polite to everyone and I blitzed my workload to keep busy but all day I just wanted... I don't know.  A fucking hug.

And if I got one, I know, I would still feel as empty and angry and helpless as I do now.

I never talked about Fate EXTELLA on the podcast last week.  I played Fate EXTELLA.

Unless you're a fan of musou games, I would stay away.  I was hoping for an arena brawler with RPG aspects and a decent story.  I got the most simultaneously convoluted and soporific narrative I've seen in an age, and paper-thin combat in what is basically a Dynasty Warriors game with characters from an anime I've never seen.

I stopped playing my Vita for almost a week because whenever I reached for it, my first thought was the fact that I'm playing Fate EXTELLA, and I would just put it back down.  Then I played a bit of Odin Sphere and felt a lot better.  Then I started up a new Amazon in Dragon's Crown and, again, felt a nice warm comfort and affection for my beloved Vanillaware.

But really, the best game I'm playing lately that's not Overwatch is Gravity Rush 2.  The worst thing I can say about it is they took the online servers off, over the weekend, for maintenance.  Because nobody plays fucking video games on the weekend and I'm really sore I didn't get to do a bunch of treasure hunts, but I cleared a ton of side quests and story missions.

It's pretty fucking spectacular.  I'm (kind of?  Sort of?  Not really but a little?) interested in that Gust Magical Girl RPG, but I pegged the original Gravity Rush as a spectacular Magical Girl Action Game years ago - and its sequel is, to its credit and glory, more of the same.

Its environments are absolutely stunning on a regular basis - and not, thankfully, stunning in like the Uncharted way or the Alien Isolation way.  This world is gorgeous in the Okami way or the Sly Cooper way, where technology merely exists in service to art.

The only downside to the presentation, I'm prepared to say, is that when you stop using aftertouch as you fall up or down or across the sky, Kat can settle in to a perfectly static position.  Like usually she's beautifully animated as she falls - always making slight adjustments and stretching a bit, almost casually, as sky skydives - but sometimes she'll like find a position that I guess she thinks is perfect for maintaining this speed and heading, and she'll freeze, motionless as she plummets along, until you tell her you need her to pull up or left or right and she'll begin a gentle spin that will see her around the next obstacle.

It happens... oh... one out of ten times, I guess?  So for the most part, watching her flip and fall and go soaring over the city to skid to a stop across its cobbles is pretty goddamned spectacular.  She's like a dancer.  An action-dancer.

This is a game in which me and my Flying Magical Girl Bestie, Raven, face off against two evil (or at least misguided) man-made magical girls, swooping and soaring and dogfighting above a huge park, and as I go for a flying kick against one, the other will sieze me by my ankle and fling me down towards the pavement - and at the last moment I can catch myself in mid-air, send out a pulse that gathers the park benches nearby into swirling orbits around me and fling them back at my attacker as I sail in for a heavier attack.

This is not shifting gravity.  This is just snapping the left stick forward and tapping X, in Moon Style. 

This is a game where I can leap, horizontally, two hundred yards in a long, low arc, touch down for a moment on the top of a light post and fling myself another quarter-mile.  Its greatest satisfaction is found in knowing when to cut gravity shifting completely to go into a natural freefall, or switching on Moon Style or Jupiter Style at the precise right moment to kick off this wall or rocket through that pipe.  There's a lot of very pleasant depth to the game's locomotion - far more than in the original - and pulling off cool shit, here, feels very cool because it's so skill-based.  It's like Grin's Bionic Commando reboot - and as a result, Gravity Rush 2 is one of these games whose missions and challenges are just kind of cherries on top of the experience of just flinging one's self around its lovely environments.

Honestly, like half my time with it is spent just dicking around its floating boroughs, running up a building to leap off just before I get to the roof to go soaring over the city, cutting gravity shift to go plummeting below, switching to Moon Style to charge a jump that automatically connects to a nearby wall and with a mighty leap, send myself skyward again.

I said it about Protoype, and I'll say it about this - Gravity Rush 2 is a dream of freedom, and power.  It's almost hard to stop enjoying its spectacular locomotion and bring up your map to find an objective, a side quest, a conversation to go check out.  Why bother?  You're already having so much fun.

The game loads and you're standing there, on a beautiful street in this spectacular floating city.  You swipe up on the touchpad and with a supernatural hum, silvery ornaments appear along your arms and calves.  Your arms float out a little bit, for balance, and you bounce ever so lightly on a single toe.  Hold down X.  You crouch, coiling like a spring.  Release.  You explode straight up, a hundred feet into the air.  And then, you don't stop.

Because you're strong.  And you're free.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Guess I should blog somethin'.

Don't much feel like it, though... still feelin' pretty shit, all around.  What's really on my mind, I'm afraid - and I know you don't come to this video games blog for this - is what's going on in the States. So I wrote a bunch of stuff but... I guess I'm not the best person to talk about this shit.  This is not my wheelhouse.

It's horrifying, is what it is.  This is an active and conscious reversal of everything that did make America great.  Ideals of truth and freedom and a lack of religious persecution.

So let's muzzle the government agencies whose sole job is to research and distribute provable, scientific truth to the American people, and its government.  Let's trade in "alternative truths," and attack and discredit anyone who would dare point out our lies and falsehoods.  Let's strip away constitutional rights as defined by the Supreme Court.  Let's tell everyone that people who follow the faith of Islam are evil, sub-human enemies, and ban people of that specific faith from entering America, in the name of the 9/11 attacks.

Well, I mean, only people from these particular countries - y'know, the ones left destabilized and war-torn by our aggressive foreign policies - certainly not the countries the 9/11 highjackers came from, though!  I mean, Trump has business interests in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon - we can't bother them!

You're living in a fascist country.  Everything that made you great is being chopped up and sold off.  Everything that is good in you.  In the name of hatred.  And ignorance.  And fear.  And money - but only for the very few.  Only for those who are already very rich.

How can you stand it?  And what can you do?

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Chamberlain & Chance 56 : Never Good Enough.

Wiiith Alex!

Alex thisChamberlain that podcast on iTunes

Chamberlain and Chance - Never good enough


  • I, Chance, have played - and loved - a game that is neither Overwatch nor Darkest Dungeon!
  • Chamberlain has played all the games!
  • Alex continues his heady descent into classic RPGs!
  • And what're the worst tropes in gaming that we can think of off the top of our heads because even though Chamberlain gave us a ton of advance notice and Alex and I just like didn't do any of the work?  
You'll have to tune in to find out!

The new Mass Effect Andromeda trailer is good!


Dayum.  That looks like not-shit.


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Wooo Overwatch's Year of the Rooster thingie is live!

I've already blown fifty bucks on loot boxes!  Wooo!

I scored...

Am I the only one who's bothered that Palanquin D.Va is like Christmas Mei Ver. 2.0?  D.Va finally gets a new legendary skin, and her mech's geometry has barely been changed.  It's lovely, there's no denying that - but... anyway...


Never gonna' use it.  Good to have another in the collection, though :)

Yeahhhhhhhh!  I frickin' LOVE this Tracer skin.  All-black with shiny red roses - very, very nice.  New best Tracer skin?  It just may be.  So I went and bought her Dragon Dance highlight intro, to be used for the next three weeks and then never again.

So of course I went and bought Mercy's gorgeous Golden skin and her Fortune highlight intro.

I'll deal with Zen and Mei and Rein's skins towards the end of the event, if I don't find 'em in a box by then.  But that Tracer skin - sooo goooood...

Monday, January 23, 2017

Clip Show 32 - Sun of a Gun.

Okay, I think this one is pretty good!  As the first major clip show since my last major clip show, it includes bits of the last three Match Highlight vids, but is mostly new footage.  I think it works!  I've wanted to use this song for a long-ass time, and I've used so much old music lately I wanted to use a song from like, after 2010.

It is, naturally, mostly Tracer work - got a lotta' nice doubles and contributed to a lotta' team wipes!  But we begin with Mercy, being extra-defensive on Anubis defense.

0:00 - 0:27 : I've learned not to be very scared of Sombras.  I can't have her hacking my Bastion, though, so she's gotta' be dealt with.

0:27 - 1:00 : Hahahah Ana's not healing you, Rein!  She's trying to support the ulting Roadhog on the other side of the payload!

Oh hi, Ana.  Your Rein's gone.  Care to dance?

Worth noting: an Ana who can land her sleep darts is actually pretty darned dangerous.  Took me way too long to kill her.

1:00 - 1:09 : Soldier and Zen are both very dangerous to me.  Soldier can give me a little burst from his rifle and hit me with his helix rockets, and I'm done.  Zen can discord and a single headshot will reduce me to almost nothin' - so solo'ing two of them to keep them from backing up their point is some very solid work, thank you very much.

1:09 - 1:15 : One of my lamest PotGs ever!  But sticking a Hog never ceases to be a pleasure.

1:15 - 1:20 : This is The Mercy Who Wouldn't Die I was talking about on the podcast last week. After multiple failed attempts, my team has disposed of most of the reds, and only Mei and Mercy remain on the point - but I'm alone too.  I blink in to finally deal with Mercy, and the Mei freezes me as I drop the bomb on Mercy.  As Mercy flies through me and Mei's freeze kicks in, I'm sure I'm about to die and we'll lose the point.  If the Mei is close enough to freeze me, she's probably so close that I'll still be in my pulse bomb's blast radius before Mercy flies to her...

...the freeze kicks in, the bomb goes off, and takes Mercy and Mei with it.  That is what a lucky Tracer looks like.

1:20 - 1:24 : A nice triple, mostly off the back of my D.Va's ult.  Chasing down a fleeing Hog feels delicious.

1:24 - 1:47 : Play of the Game for The Mercy Who Wouldn't Die is this display on the point.  I go for a dive on her - merely the latest in a series of pathetic and failed attempts - but this time my Sombra ults at the perfect moment for me to capitalize on it.  With none of her team's abilities to intercept me or protect her, I take the Mercy without much difficulty.  Our Genji finishes off Rein, McCree dives for a health pack but gets picked before he can nail it, and the Tracer who had been countering me every time I tried to get close to Mercy retreats off the point just in time to run right into me.

And the PotG cut off before I got the Mei, but I got the Mei!  And then we lost the point and lost the match anyway!

1:47 - 2:01 : I do my best to harry the reds' defensive line, and successfully get their nano-boosted Rein to ignore my team, turn around and ferry my pulse bomb down to his Bastion!  And then he tries to charge me, misses (blink counters charge), and my team finishes off what the pulse bomb started.  Very nice.

2:01 - 2:20 : Pulse bombing the hog is, y'know, standard procedure - but whacking a Sombra out of stealth before wrecking her?  That's a sweet plum.

2:20 - 2:23 : The very humble PotG from the Gibraltar Match Highlights.

2:23 - 2:38 : A solid teamfight on Lijiang.  Why do I feel like I'm the only one who ever does for the damn healer?

2:38 - 2:41 : I turn a corner and find myself face-to-face with Ana.  She fires her sleep dart right over my left ear, and I fire a pulse bomb into her face.  I win.

2:41 - 2:46 : Much as I enjoyed beating the crap out of the enemy Roadhog this match, for my money, the single coolest moment is using rewind to get around the enemy McCree.  It would've been ideal to finish him with a single clip, but nailing the shots after my blink really made it perfect.  'Course then I screw up and the Junkrat kills me, but it was still a gorgeous move.  'Specially with the harmony orb on him.

2:46 - 2:59 : I did enjoy beating up the Roadhog, though.

2:59 - 3:16 : A really nice PotG after a dominant match on Ilios.  We had a Lucio.  I heart Lucio.  The McCree must've been so burnt.  He saw me kill his Soldier, he came for me on the other side to take me out, and he winds up in the PotG.

3:16 - 3:19 : You're always worth my pulse bomb, Bastion.

3:19 - 3:22 : Ha!

3:22 - 3:25 : I messaged the Widow from the Shop Around vid, with a link to it.  I was worried she's feel burnt by it, but...

Eyyy.  And this takedown, I believe, is the best of the bunch.

3:29 - 3:41 : This Rein screwed up.  When I tossed my pulse bomb, it hit his shield.  If he'd just kept it up, he and Lucio would be fine.  He drops it, for a moment - and the bomb detaches and latches on to the nearest thing - him.  Then, he brings the shield back up - but now the pulse bomb is on the other side of it - and it blasts him and Lucio.

Lucky Tracer.

* * *

On a personal note, I think this one is pretty darned good.  Didn't get a single heart on the PA forums, though... I think I flooded the heart market with the Match Highlight vids... or maybe people just hate the song?  I love this song.

 ...or maybe my videos are just shit.  They could definitely be shit.  I like 'em, though.