Checkpoint: August Long Weekend 2017 Edition

This is the first time I’ve visited Toronto. I’m specifically in the Markham and Thornhill area. It’s an eerie place from someone who is not used to seeing Asians sprawled across such a huge area. The very concept of an Asian bakery existing in the middle of an industrial park is foreign to me.

I’ve been impressed with what I’ve seen thus far though. My girlfriend’s parents live in a very nice neighbourhood albeit older than I would like. I’ve been near Lake Shore and Union station which are all well kept areas with plenty of space for people to wander. We were smack dab in the middle of the long weekend and it’s not as densely packed as the busiest areas of Ottawa during tourist season. 

The much touted Asian food in this city has mostly panned out. The dim sum is noticeably better than Ottawa’s but that’s not a high bar to clear. I was honestly more impressed with the low cost which was easily half of what I’m used to paying for adequate dim sum in Ottawa. The prolific Korean restaurants impressed me as well with options the eye can see. 

While the people have been generally nice, there is a noticeable aggression to the driving around the city and parking lots. People don’t wait for pedestrians or other cars to their thing in the parking lots. I’ve witnessed more honking in parking lots this past weekend than the last 3 months in Ottawa. Relaxed driving doesn’t seem to be part of the vernacular in this city. “Don’t give a fuck!” and “Fuck you, I want mine.” driving seems to be more common here.

I still have a day or so to go in the city but so far it’s been a very pleasant visit. The girlfriend’s parents have been very kind to me and I feel very welcomed. It’s been a wonderful trip and I wouldn’t mind returning. 

What have I been playing lately? Games? What’s that? Actually, the girlfriend and I just started playing Diablo III via local co-op on the PlayStation 4. It’s taken her a bit of adjustment but she seems to have warmed up to playing it with a controller with me. She even power-leveled me while I took a nap the other day. That’s love.

Checkpoint: Thanksgiving 2014 Edition

Checkpoint - Thanksgiving 2014 Edition

Thanksgiving long weekends used to be filled with video games when I was younger. I used to play video games all day and only take breaks for meals. It was great.

I haven’t done anything like that until this weekend. I would play games for an hour or two per day but it was never an all day event. This weekend was filled with Wasteland 2, FIFA 15 and Diablo III. I’m enjoying my time across all of them and I can say they could all be in my top 10 of 2014.

Wasteland 2 became much more manageable after spending an hour or so doing side quests and rummaging through old areas for scrap and ammo. Now I’m overflowing with resources.

I wrapped up my first season in career mode in FIFA 15. It was amusing but I wish there was more fanfare for winning the league title. They also could have played up the fact that I could have won the title in the last game of the season. I also partook in my first online ranked match which resulted in a victory but also gave me a glimpse into the world  of cheesing and lag.

I’m exploring the Diablo III rift system and the challenges that await there. I’m also experimenting with different builds based on the equipment I stumble across. I’m planning on creating a hardcore character for that trophy. It should be a very interesting journey.

It’s Sunday and I as much as I want to, I think today will be filled with things other than video games. Food and football will likely be on today’s menu.

Checkpoint: FIFA 15 Edition

Checkpoint - FIFA 15 Edition

I’ve been playing a fair amount of FIFA 15 lately and continue to improve and digress with each game. I feel like I’m playing a fighting game where I’m looking up techniques, tips and strategies. And I’m not even playing against live opponents yet; only “Professional” level CPU opponents.

All sports titles have this level of involvement and every year balance changes are implemented which means the tips of last year don’t necessarily translate to the current release. There are fundamentals that are relevant year after year which I’m trying to grasp. I’ve been looking up YouTube Tutorials and written articles. Thankfully there’s not much conflicting info.

It’s been interesting to watch my brother and I’s progression through FIFA 15. Initial wonder and amusement is now replaced with frustration and bewilderment as we attempt to master “Professional” difficulty. What was once so fluid is suddenly sluggish and what was once a natural course of action seems to be a risky proposition. Is it the game or is it us? That’s what we’re trying to figure out and we’re enjoying that process of retiring old tricks and picking up new ones.

I’ve also been playing Diablo III: UEE and started Wasteland 2. I’ve freed up a fair bit of time with the decision of not buying Forza Horizon 2 yet so I decided to start up the game I Kickstarted. So far? I’m enjoying it. My only complaint so far is that I wish it had more spoken dialog.

Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition (PS4) Review

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Diablo III Ultimate Evil Edition Logo

I wasn’t a fan of Diablo III when it first debuted in 2012. I felt Blizzard made several bone headed decisions which kept me from enjoying the game from the beginning; it soured my initial impressions of the title. It would take two years before I even considered revisiting it and I’m glad I did.

Blizzard’s dungeon crawler came a long way since its debut on the PC. It made its way onto the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 which many claimed it was the best version of the game due to the absence of an “always online” requirement and the removal of the auction house. I wasn’t about to play the game at 720p and 30FPS, so I passed on it. Blizzard eventually removed the auction house from the PC release but that alone didn’t convince me to go back.

Reaper of Souls’ PC debut put the game back on my map but with the arrival of new PlayStation 4 titles, my attention was diverted. It would take GiantBomb’s coverage, growing interest in playing Diablo III with a controller and the summer lull to convince me to buy Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition. I figured if my brother and I were going to spend $45 each for Reaper of Souls, we would be better off spending $65 on the Ultimate Evil Edition and sharing it.

Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition was a revelation.

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