LTTP: Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (PC)

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MachineGames’ Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus’ strengths do not lie within its gameplay. In a post-Doom (2016) world, Wolfenstein II feels clunky when played a balls to the wall action game. As for the stealthy routes? They felt serviceable and only rewarding in the sense that I managed to avoid another drawn out firefight. Wolfenstein II will not be remembered for its gun-toting but instead for its palpable world building and ridiculous cutscenes and story beats.

Delving deeper and further into the alternate timeline laid out in Wolfenstein: The New Order produced a world where the Nazis won. America surrendered after a nuke was dropped in New York and the land of the free was no more. I’ve caught glimpses of this popular thought experiment before but I never explored any of them in great detail.

I found MachineGames’ depictions of this Nazi America to be detailed and surprisingly nuanced. There’s the obvious shock factor of seeing hooded white supremists roaming the streets alongside Nazis but the additional layer of discovering how the occupying regime saw this extremist group was unexpected. In fact, similar revelatory nuggets presented themselves in written communiques and new articles throughout the world. These little details gave the world a “lived in” feeling that worked in tandem with the visuals.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus looks better than it runs on my PC. I am running the Windows Store version of the game so there may be some wonkiness due to that. I am hoping it’s that because my GeForce GTX 1070 shouldn’t be struggling like to keep pace like this.

I struggled to keep any semblance of momentum through Wolfenstein II. I would start it, play it for an hour, stop for a few days, and repeat. It took me such a long time to wade through. Part of it was other games drawing me away but it’s also one of the easier games to just stop playing because of the natural lulls of exploring home base. Exploration yielded minor rewards in the form of story tidbits and collectibles but I generally didn’t find the submarine very interesting beyond the first couple of visits.  

The perks system returned with rewards actions such as silent assassinations and grenade kills. I didn’t grind out completions like I did with The New Order though. Part of it was the lack of time/space to do it all. The other? I was trying to incorporate those newfound abilities introduced at the halfway mark into the game. They felt clunky and ridiculous which made it tough to mesh with it.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus can be summed up by those new additions. The ideas were there but the execution left me wanting. I never got into the groove of things gameplay wise but I can tell you all about the ridiculous cutscenes and set pieces. I don’t know if that’s a mark of a great game but it’s one of a memorable time.

Verdict:
It was okay

Ratings Guide

Checkpoint: Uncle Tetsu Edition

Just had a slice of Uncle Tetsu’s cheesecake and a madeleine. After we shared some Korean Fried Chicken from Go Gi Ya, we waited a whole hour for those Tetsu delights and it was worth it. But that’s the last time I go out of my way to wait a whole hour to get some cheesecake. It’s good but not worth the lineup.

I can see why many people prefer Tetsu to Rikuro but I am a fan of both. If I had to choose one, I’d choose Tetsu’s for its richer taste. Uncle Rikuro’s cheesecake airs on the fluffier and eggier side of things.

Ottawa asian food choices are blossoming and I’m all for it. Go Gi Ya on Bank leans more western with its Korean Fried Chicken and K-Bowls but it’s all made with Korean sauces sourced from South Korea. They have 3 other locations serving KBBQ and an expanded menu but we have yet to partake.

It’s been a busy couple of months. Helping my brother move out, pondering and picking stuff for our new house in 2020, and rejigging all sorts of IT infrastructure stuff within the house. I’m swapping PCs because my RVZ-02 just couldn’t handle that Gigabyte G1 Gaming GTX 1070 in that case. I think it was throttling and causing stutters in Wolfenstein II. I haven’t tested it yet but even if it doesn’t alleviate Wolfenstein II’s stutters, I should have a quieter gaming experience.

Game wise? I’ve been dabbling with Overwatch whenever an event kicks off but I’ve been primarily playing Apex Legends Season 2. I just hope I can continue playing it because I’m taking the plunge and cleaning out my PlayStation 4 Pro. While I’m in there, I’m going to replace the thermal compound in hopes of shaving off a few more degrees.

Checkpoint: Banff Edition

Here I am watching episode 3 of Neon Genesis: Evangelion in a hotel in Banff. It’s an older hotel that radiates old wealth. I can see appreciate it for what it is but it isn’t my idea of an impressive hotel. I like my hotels modern.

At least I have adequate complimentary Wi-Fi to entertain me during the down time. The down time isn’t much but it’s enough to catch an episode of Evangelion on Netflix or Billions.

Banff is a sight to behold. Being completely surrounded by mountains and trees should be awe inspiring but there’s something about its abundance that I find conflicting. I feel like it’s unnatural to humans like myself. This isn’t where I belong. I somehow find a small piece of green space carefully curated by man to be far more fascinating than the vast forests and mountain ranges stretching across the landscape.

There’s also the clash between all this nature and all these people milling about trying to capture epic vistas for their social media pages. At least in a crafted garden, the touristy reality of the spot is apparent — I felt those spots were more honest to their nature. I find there’s a lack of authenticity to Banff. Many of the locations were operated by foreigners who hailed from other Commonwealth nations. All of this feels like I am paying a lot of money to breath in cleaner air and have beautiful background for me to wake up to. I’m neither fascinated nor engrossed by any of it.

Canada Day is coming up and there’s still much more to see. Maybe there’s still something out there that will make the hours of driving worth it.

LTTP: Overcooked (PS4)

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Ghost Town Games’ Overcooked was a good time for 2 players. It may be a great time for 3 or 4 players but I didn’t round up a group of that size. Not that I would want to considering how inconsistent the performance and controller response was on the PlayStation 4 Pro. The experience was so poor that I wrote off getting the sequel on consoles.

My fiancee and I had a great time three starring the early stages but as soon as precision was required, we were grinding against the sluggish controls during some of the trickier and flashier stages. We eventually figured it all out but not without a bit of frustration.

My fiancee loved the frantic pace while I enjoyed trying to dissect, distill, and optimize our workflows to solve each level. After perfecting all the base game’s levels, we tried out the versus mode which didn’t appear to have a 1 vs. 1 option whatsoever. Even if it did, I think it 2 vs. 2 would have been preferable. Playing solo seems to be antithetical to what Overcooked was all about.

We loved the idea of Overcooked and we would gladly play more of it. Thankfully, we still have the free holiday DLC and a sequel to play through. Unfortunately the PlayStation 4 release carried some technical flaws. I may have gotten this game as part of my PlayStation Plus membership but I would gladly pay for a more performant release.

Verdict:
I liked it

Ratings Guide

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