Saturday, April 29, 2017

Clip Show 37 - Heart and Soul.

Vivixenne over on the Penny Arcade forums will put up gameplay clips occasionally, and I'm a bit of a fan. It's not just that it's always amusing to see someone stomp on Junkrat or that her shot-calling and communication on Zenyatta are always on point, but part of it is just getting to watch some gameplay of someone who's not Seagull or IDDQD or Soon - someone with skill level closer to my own (Viv's better, for the record).  Her gameplay is relateable, I guess is the point.

My clips shows, by their nature, are often a bit... emotionally one-note.  It's a series of smash-cuts from kicking someone's ass to kicking someone's ass and then (surprise!) kicking someone's ass, probably in a Play of the Game.

I love my clip shows - wouldn't make 'em, otherwise - I love Destroyer and Gel and most of all Believer, but triumph is little without failure.  So this week's clip show is a little different.  I've had Heart and Soul by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club on my this-might-go-well-with-Overwatch-gameplay USB for months now, and it never got used because (1) the song is so long it naturally lends itself to a single long cut, (2) it has no kind of bannng or punctuation moments that would line up with a cool pulse bomb kill or elimination - which is how my clip shows usually work and (3) it gets kind of crazy towards the end, changing the emotional flavor of the song and the gameplay.

This week I lined it up with the sequence that starts at 3:00 below, and I was like "shit, this really works for long cuts."

So that's what the clip show is this week.  It's a teensy touch of Battle Mercy action (personal highlights: 100%ing the enemy Mercy on the first attack on King's Row, taking out Tracer and Genji with the help of Torb's turret and the Ulting Soldier Takedown from the NeoGAF in-house), and then a series of long, forty-second-plus clips of going on absolute tears with Tracer.

Like, almost ten minutes of it.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. YES!

So.  Earlier today, this was the SEGA / Atlus booth blurb on the official E3 2017 site:
"Atlus U.S.A., Inc. is known for high-quality, deeply immersive, uniquely Japanese and indie video game experiences. SEGA is a worldwide leader in interactive entertainment software products. Don’t miss our booth featuring highly anticipated titles from ATLUS and SEGA, including Yakuza 6, Yakuza Kiwami, Sonic Forces, Sonic Mania, and 13 Sentinels."



Remember what that is?


is the next

game from


Vanillaware, of Odin Sphere, of Muramasa: The Demon Blade (and Genroku Legends), and of Dragon's Crown.  Vanillaware - a studio I've held up in the top-five best dev houses in the world for most of the last decade.

13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim was announced wayyy back in 2015 as in development for PS4 and Vita - and we've heard nothing of it since.  All we've seen of the game is this suitably lovely announcement trailer:

The listing on SEGA / Atlus's E3 page has since been changed to remove the "13 Sentinels" listing, because we haven't heard of this game for two fucking years, it was never announced for localization.

But it wouldn't be at E3 if it wasn't coming West.  What're the odds of it being localized for (my beloved) Vita?  Slim.  Very slim.  And the thought makes me sad - but even if I don't get it on my favoritest handheld, at least I'll have it on my PS4.  To me, this is up there with Sucker Punch announcing their next thing, with Klei making a new PS4 game, with Naughty Dog's latest.

I have no idea what 13 Sentinels is about, Vanillaware have never even suggested its genre.  Don't care.  Vanillaware in English.

Day zero.  Special Edition.  Soundtrack.  Shut up and take my money.

Bonjour from the other siiide.

Important revelations : Reaper knows Adele when he hears it.  

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Chamberlain & Chance 69 : Good Games Will Happen, Bad Games Will Happen Too.

Wiiith Alex!  Alex thisChamberlain that podcast on iTunes

Chamberlain and Chance - Good games will happen and bad games will happen

  • Chamberlain was right about The Deer God
  • Persona 5's sexy dungeons somehow offer longer-term pleasures than Persona 5's sexy cast. 
  • Yakuza 0 fails to seduce our resident curmudgeon. 
  • And Chance managed what when playing with and against a team featuring Grand Masters in Overwatch
You'll have to tune in to find out!!!

Oh who I am I kidding, I can't resist posting this: 

Oh my goodness gracious, the Darkest Dungeon diorama is so smexy.

Behold it!!!

Oh my goodness they've got the Shambler's alter and the Highwayman is using his Point-Blank Shot animation and the Crusader is using his holy scripture AoE and the Shambler comes with its two Tentacle companions and there's all kinds of enemies and OH MY GOD LOOK AT THE BOX IT COMES IN!

Okay.  Okay.  Deep breath.  This is just a prototype.  The official version may not be as spectacularly awesome.  Mass-production is months away.

Stay cool.

Stay cool.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Little Nightmares - launch trailer!

I have got to get in on this - where can I get a physical copy?  Hm... wants me to import from the UK - that's silly.

Hm... doesn't even have it listed...

Hm... I really don't want to import from the States...

I'll just call my EB.

Oh my God I have so much cache at my EB that the guy's going to hold me a copy for when it launches on Friday eyyyy.

This one's for Alex.

Call of Duty: WWII reveal trailer.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Aw yeah - Kingsman: The Golden Circle trailer!

I still feel bad that I don't own Kingsman: The Secret Service on Bluray.  It's a show that's having all the fun James Bond forgot to have for like the last fifteen years - but it was on Netflix for months (maybe it still is?) so there wasn't a need, there.



Monday, April 24, 2017

Vanquish coming to Steam?

Well well well...

Oh, also in the rumor mill today, PlayStation Universe says that in next month's Official PlayStation Magazine, this gem appears:
''Our sources tell us that after work is finished on Halo Wars 2, a new Alien game may start development over at Alien Isolation dev Creative Assembly.''
Oh God yes.  Oh God please be true.

Update: Oh Goddamnit.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Clip Show 36 - Where's My Money?

My win rate has been pretty close to 50/50, but my Play of the Game rate has been through the roof lately, on all characters.  S'too bad Mercy PotGs are so meh, as a rule.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Chamberlain & Chance 68 : The Sexiest Episode.

I honestly hope this podcast becomes no sexier.

Wiiith Alex!  Alex thisChamberlain that podcast on iTunes

Chamberlain and Chance - The Sexiest Episode 

  • The thrilling and sacrelicious conclusion of Tales of Berseria!
  • Alex enthuses about and generously denies himself the pleasures of spoiling Persona 5!
  • Chance has played Flinthook and has an opinion on it!
  • And how does one best describe a mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich?
You'll have to tune in to find out!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Clip Show 35 - 7th Born Son

Clip Show 35 - 7th Born Son from David Ferber on Vimeo.

My return to Overwatch after the extended break following the Believer clip show is slow going.  I'm still not where I was, but I'm gettin' there.  I'm gettin' to the point where I can one-v-one almost anyone I come across, and roll this into the PotGs and highlights you see here.  The run after the opening clip, when we're on Gibraltar, was an amazing series of takedowns.  We took the point and the match - and I didn't die to that Reaper ult, for the record!

The opening is seriously one of the weakest PotGs I've ever gotten - but how often do you get the PotG on Round One, before the point even unlocks?  Most of the clips in this show are moments where I just felt... un-fucking stoppable.

When I wreck the Hanzo who just used his ult, that was immediately following me tossing my Pulse Bomb into a cluster of three of the reds - at the exact moment his Lucio popped his ult.  It stuck to the Hanzo but he wasn't hurt thanks to Lucio's ult, I swept around behind him as he pops his ult and their Tracer starts spraying me.  And that snap when I blink up behind him on the stairs, finish and blink away towards the point felt so perfect.

The McCree I walk up to at 2:17?  I felt unstoppable.  I had a goddamned Trumpian self-image as I went for him.  Ain't nothin' stoppin' me - ain't nothin' can stop me, not even my direct counter.  ...though Widow's wallhack no doubt helped out lol.

I've also been playing a bunch of other characters, lately.  I've got like three Symmetra PotGs, two Soldiers and the other day we're defending on Dorado and it's just not happening, so they get to the last point and I died and just hung out in the spawn room for like thirty seconds, examining their team comp and trying to figure out what character could just wreck it.  And then,

(Sigh.)  PotGs on literally any other DPS character are so much more impressive than (most) Tracer ones.  Hanzo, Soldier, Pharah, Reaper, Mei, Bastion - they're wreckin' whole teams.  Meanwhile Tracer, Sombra and Widow are lucky to get two picks in the same time span.

Oh welly.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Match Highlights 4 - Kisses Sweeter Than Wine (The Lijiang Mercy).

I'm plucking away at a new Tracer clip show which, as is tradition, is entirely footage of me kicking ass and taking names.  But one of my funnest games in my recent return to Overwatch was not a success - it was a one-sided stomp on Lijiang in which my team and I could get pretty much nothing done.  The red's DPS was on point (most notably the Soldier) and their tanks were solid - but the keystone was their Mercy.  This incredible Mercy who was always right in the thick of it, and always had an ally to GA to when I got close.

She quickly identified me as the greatest threat to her personal safety - a compliment I'll happily take, though its accuracy doesn't mean I can actually impact the outcome of this match at all, no matter how many times I get the pick on her.

Doesn't matter if I get her once the teamfight's already over, and my team's been wiped.

Match Highlights 4 - Kisses Sweeter than Wine (The Lijiang Mercy) from David Ferber on Vimeo.

Doesn't matter if I pick her first, because by the time my team and I wipe the point, she'll fly in with the rez.  The rez at the end of round 2 was such a perfect faceplant after finally wiping that team I had to do the cheer emote.  It was too perfect.

I sent her a PSN message.
ME: The rez at the end of the 2nd round?  Spectacular.

MERCY: I know right?

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Gold - 2256 - not bad!

Finished up my placements last night.  A little Tracer, a little more Mercy and a bit of flexing.  Clearly I should just stick to Tracer and Mercy.

This means, at the end of Season 4, I'll have enough competitive points to finally get myself a gold gun.  Mercy or Tracer?  Tracer or Mercy..?

Tracer.  Obviously.

Damnit. The Star Wars Battlefront 2 trailer is super-good.

Curse you for getting my hopes up, EA!  I'll never join youuu..!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Game Diary.

I don't play Overwatch during the week.

I should - just to keep myself in the zone. Matches are generally better during the week, and weekends see an influx of more casual players (like me!) who (unlike me!) don't understand the whole get-on-the-payload or group-up thing.   But last night, when I was actually planning on snuggling up into Persona 5, I ended up watching an old Overwatch clip show and was like "goddamn this game is fun" and I couldn't help it.

Ended up rolling quick play for the rest of the night.  I still haven't touched competitive this season, and... let's look at how we did:

Not bad!  Solid Tracer, solid Zarya, solid Soldier (oh my!) and what the heck two wins with Orisa.  The night culminated with two king of the hill matches against a six-stack, whose centerpiece was an unbelievable Hanzo.  Whatever work my team got in to on the point was beautifully, casually torn apart by this guy just plink plink plinking away at us.

After doing well with Tracer on the first round of Oasis, he was shutting me down too hard on round 2.  I switched to Winston, but his D.Va and Zarya tore me apart before I could get close.  I switched to Soldier and we pushed them off the point, but they regrouped and routed us, and took the next round too.  It was a helluva fight, so I didn't feel that bad about the loss - plus, what're you supposed to do against a six-stack?  It's like a single awful organism with six tendrils all trying to kill you at once.

The next match was on Lijiang Tower.  Against the same goddamned six-stack, and their SuperHanzo.

We get a Lucio.  I lock Tracer.  Someone else instalocks Winston, and when we spawn in the room I look him up and down.  He's got a golden gun on that monkey, and I grin.

We're gonna' win.  I stick to that Winston like glue, supplementing his soft general damage with my spiky bursts.  We stick together, and the reds pay me the ultimate compliment.  One of them switches to Junkrat to fuck up my shit while Hanzo cleans house, but I've killed Junkrats before - and Junkrats who aren't Junkrat mains hold no terror for me.

The Hanzo remained incredible, excellent, all the way to the end - but we kept sweeping his team so hard that I repeatedly had the chance to get right in his face, force his attention on me and now, having learned a healthy respect for his capacity to put a broadhead between my eyes, we danced hard.  A squad of randoms kicking the ass of a six-stack - that's not somethin' you see every day.

I send him a PSN message.  Tell him he's an awesome Hanzo, and put in a sticker of Ellie from The Last of Us giving a thumbs up.

I really should send a thumbs up to that Winston.

We're enjoying a long weekend, at the moment - something about a zombie situation back in like the New Testament or somethin' - so I would anticipate a similar influx of "off" players today, but this afternoon I sat down to finally try Competitive Season 4.

The first match was on Lijiang.  I can roll a decent Zarya on Lijiang, but I've rarely had much success with healers on that map.  If I really wanna' bring my A game, I gotta' go Tracer.

Which is always scary, in comp.  If you're not rollin' at your absolute best, it's a wash - and even then, the other team may just be better than you.

There's a lotta' reasons why I haven't played comp so far this season.  The same self-image thing that warned me off Season 3 for over a month is still in play, but when the season began it was the Bastion Ironclad buff that kept me away.  I just seriously didn't want to fuck with a Bastion who was rockin' a 35% damage reduction in competitive mode.  Then the Support SR bug kept me away.  It's still a problem and I'm still terrified of the impact it may have on my game.  Then, the influx of players from the Uprising event worried me... but goddamnit it, it's time to get back on the horse.

I locked Tracer, and we swept that shit.

The second match was Volskaya - I'll only have Tracer success there with a solid team backing me, usually - so I healed on attack and defense, and we swept it.

Match three was my beloved Tracer playground of Hanamura, but three of my team had already instalocked DPS, so I went Zen on attack to supplement our Lucio, and we took both points.  On defense, I instalocked Symmetra, hoping someone else would get the idea that we needed a healer.

Turns out, we didn't need one.  They never got the first point.  I actually solo'd their attack Bastion twice on Symmetra.  Felt awesome.

The next match is Numbani - another favorite Tracer hangout - but we're on defense for the first round and, like Volskaya, I don't like to bet everything on my Tracer game when I don't know what my team's comp will be.  I instalock Sym.

The next instalock is Torb.  I smile.

The next is Mercy.  I grin.

We're gonna' win.

Torb's turret will make the game of any attacking Genji, Pharah, Tracer or otherwise squishy enemy a very hard one.  My turrets will do the same, and my teleporter will take some of our group's sustain off the Mercy, so she can keep her rez for PotG moments.  We had a real good Soldier, but I don't remember what we had tanking 'cause I spent almost all of the match harassing the enemy Tracer and - once my ult was up - maintaining a microwave hallway with a teleporter in the middle.

As a Tracer main, I know how easy or hard a Sym can make it for me to kill that teleporter.  If a Tracer wants to blink in, drop her pulse bomb on it and rewind out, there is literally nothing you can do about it unless you get real lucky and get the drop on her - which you're not gonna' get, given Sym's nonexistent mobility.

But the teleporter placed midway down a long hallway with just the two entrances - dotted up and down in both directions with my little turrets - will ensure that using her ult is literally the only way she can do it.  And she wouldn't use her ult.  Every time she tested my defenses I would sweep around the corner with an orb and an auto-locking beam, either killing her or sending her running for a health pack.

They never took point A, but attack... was a different story.

Between our defense round and attack, one of our team dropped out of the game.  We were going to have to attack 5 vs 6.  A countdown timer begins.  In two minutes, my team will be able to leave the match without incurring a loss to their SR points.

I would've instalocked Tracer, but our very-good Soldier took her first.  I went Mercy.  I should've pocketed her closer, but they took out the Torb turret that wrecked me when I first made it onto the point, and I got back from respawn just in time to help them clean the last of the defenders off the payload.

It was a close one.  But man.  I've gone four and O on comp season 4 so far.

I didn't wanna' push my luck, so I shut 'er down  Watched some movies, ate some lovely food.  And it's Friday.  My brother'll be on tonight.  And when I lose with him on my team, I never feel that bad about it.

...but the fact that three out of four of those wins were on Mercy or at least a support...

Blizzard, fix that fucking bug.

Now, please.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Chamberlain & Chance 67 : Where Does The Time Go?

Wiiith Alex!  Alex thisChamberlain that podcast on iTunes

Chamberlain and Chance - Where does the time go

  • Chance has played Persona 5 and all the praise you've read about it is correct, and accurate. 
  • Alex has played more Persona 5 than that, and heroically spoils less of it than Chance does.
  • Chamberlain remains enamored with the delicious evil of Tales of Berseria
  • And what do the boys think of the big Scorpio reveal?
You'll have to tune in to find out!

Huh. Kung Fu Panda 3 is worth watching.

Didn't expect that.  I absolutely love the first one.  The first one is an actual classic kung fu movie.  Tai Lung's escape from the prison is an incredible action sequence.  When he faces off against the Furious Five on the mountain bridge, it's an incredible action sequence.  Po's training montage at the paws of Master Shifu is an incredible action sequence, and Po's final battle against Tai Lung is, again, a beautiful action sequence.

Kung Fu Panda 2 wasn't as awesome in the action department but it had some greats, too.  It had that lovely opening battle with the wolves in the mountains while a little bunny plays his guitar, it had that hilarious chase through the city and - what I consider to be the best action sequence in the movie and its centerpiece - the Jackie Chan-esque battle of submission against Masters Croc and Ox, and a steel door.  Seriously the best use of a prop in a martial arts scene since Master Chan picked up a ladder.

What Panda 2 lacked in action it made up in heart, in my humble opinion.  The sequence when Po remembers the trauma of his childhood while learning to catch a raindrop is... beautiful - even if the dialogue at the end is a bit ham-handed.

Panda 3's fight choreography doesn't offer the spectacular, minutes-long sequences of the first or second - there are these lovely, brief and razor-sharp exclamation points of lightning-fast action here and there, but nothing so generous as the original's Five Vs. Lung.  It makes it up, here, in literal God of War-grandeur spectacle.

It begins with a beautiful fight between (dead-since-the-first-movie) Master Oogway and his just-as-ancient foe Kai, in the floating, idyllic realm of the spirit world.  Kai is a bull who is also Kratos from God of War, with literal Blades of Chaos - except his are made of jade.

So imagine a fight sequence against a super-zen tortoise and Kratos, with all the epic grandeur of like the Poseidon fight from God of War 3, but entirely produced in high-end CG.  It's a really good analogy, actually, because instead of the blink-and-you'll-miss-a-move, drawn-out choreography of a classic kung fu flick you've got these gigantic, mountain-shattering moves that read very clearly to the viewer and result in the environment blowing apart in dazzling detail.  It's absolutely beautiful.

It has no equivalent of the Five Vs. Lung or the Ox and Croc sequence, but it's actually funnier than the first two movies - even if some of it feels as a result of Dreamworks' desire to push baby panda plushies or something - and the gorgeous environments remain a highlight.  The movie's climax doubles down on the visual spectacle of its opening, annnd yeah.

I'm lookin' forward to watching it again one day.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Overwatch update day!

Here's the officially-official announcement trailer:

Here's like an animated comic thingie:

Here's all the deets on the Overwatch site.  Here's the patch notes for today's balance update.  Most importantly, the Mercy SR bug is not even addressed and second-most-importantly, the Lucio rework is now live on all platforms.

Finally, here is the coolest thing in the entire update - a new highlight intro for D.Va.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy launches August 22nd, budget price.

First of all, are they ever gonna' show gameplay of this?  I have the impression that Chloe and Nadine just sorta' do nothing but talk.  I hope they also shoot mans.

Second, release date - August 22nd, 2017.  Please don't tell me this is your tentpole autumn release, Sony.

Third, price.  $40 US, $50 Canadian - which suggests like maybe a ten-hour campaign, to me.

...I wanna' see some gameplay.

Oooh a new Cladun: Sengoku trailer.


Monday, April 10, 2017

Blackwatch Genji skin confirmed! UPDATE: NENDO MEI!

Wewt.  As is tradition, the skins for tomorrow's Overwatch event have leaked ahead of (what one imagines was) Blizzard's official announcement (if one's not prepared to take these repeated and reliable leaks as actually part of Blizz's brilliant master hype plan.)  This time, PlayStation France's YouTube channel did the deed and yanked it a little under an hour later - but this is the Internet!

This is how Genji appeared in last week's digital comic - this is the one the community was praying for.   ...kinda' makes me wish I played Genji.  Annnywho... Torb, Tracer, Mercy and Rein all get legendaries that echo their look in the Insurrection story...

Ohmigosh different Mercy hair!

Oh, and the above four will star in a Junkenstein-style PvE thing in King's Row.

And, finally, new actual-reskins for Widowmaker and McCree - each of whom have famously gone like, the game's entire first year without a badass new skin.  Widow's is kinda' meh but it's neat to see her before she got like, blue-skinned through Talon's supersoldier process or whatever.

I feel like McCree's isn't quite different enough from his normal look, but this is still a sweet lineup of new skins.

[update] Oh shiiii

Nendo Mei is available for preorder on the Blizzard store right now.  And yeah, I nabbed one.

Weirdly enough - speaking of figures - the payment request popped up for my Momohime recolor last month.  Let it slide by.  Dunno why - but Overwatch Nendos still gotta' happen.  [/update]

Today's Thor: Ragnarok trailer is sooo worth watching.

Because it eschews the weird seriousness of Age of Ultron and Civil War and feels like it's trying to have some Guardians-style fun.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Overwatch Clip Show 34 - Destroyer.

I have been that Tracer or Pharah who drops in on the enemy Mercy only to have her turn, pull her sidearm and blow my face off.  I have also been that Mercy.

Ohmigosh I totally forgot to post the skins leak.  Jaunty blue caps for everyone!

Want 'em, need 'em, will drop $50 on loot boxes to get 'em and then never use them after the event because Rose Tracer, man.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Chamberlain & Chance 66 : Oh Japan.

Wiiith Alex! Alex thisChamberlain that podcast on iTunes

Chamberlain and Chance - Oh Japan

  • Alex has actually played Persona 5 and it sounds as awesome as we dream. 
  • Tales of Berseria is the same 'ol Tales gameplay with a bizonkers story. 
  • Chance is a creature of habit, and commitment. 
  • And Kickstarter has funded how many games?
You'll have to tune in to find out!

All of Digital Foundry's info on the Scorpio.

The excellent Eurogamer - specifically the site's excellent Digital Foundry - blew the doors open on what Microsoft's Project Scorpio actually consists of and it's... potent.  

In brief, it pushes the 6 teraflops (which Chamberlain can explain) that Xbox promised last E3, it has twelve gigs of GDDR5 RAM (PS4 and Xbox One have 8), which offers a larger bandwidth to fire data through, it allows you to capture gameplay at 4K and 60 frames per second (which I would love), and it has a cooling system that is just totes cray:
"To cut a long story short, Microsoft is using a vapour chamber heat sink. It consists of a copper vessel that forms its basis, inside of which is ionised distilled water under vacuum. Heat is absorbed into the water, where it vapourises. The steam convects away from the hot spots and condenses on the heat sink fins. It's highly efficient - but the heat still needs to be expelled from the system and the standard axial fans used on prior Xbox hardware wouldn't cut the mustard.

"We went to a custom designed adapted centrifugal fan for this design," Del Castillo continues. "It kind of looks like a supercharger on a car, it looks like an intercooler almost. Every part about this is custom designed for the application.""
Oh my.

 The basic idea, here, is that the Scorpio can run very good-looking games in 4K at 60 frames per second no sweat. For example, this is the first 4K screenshot from the thing - Forza:

Breaks down like this: a nutshell.  But there's a ton of stuff to read on the reveal, if you're up for it - all from Eurogamer.