Checkpoint: Post-E3 2015 Edition

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E3 2015 is over which means it’s time for some random impressions and thoughts.

Star Fox Zero

I had Star Fox Zero in my list of pre-orders before seeing it in action on Nintendo’s E3 Digital Event. After seeing the footage and the announcement of PlatinumGames’ participation, I decided it wasn’t worth the $69.99 asking price. It looked stale and sterile; certainly not like the wonderful Super Mario 3D World or any number of Nintendo’s other first party titles.

People claimed it’s taking cues from Star Fox 64 and I can see it but I don’t have nostalgia for that game and thus adhering to its legacy doesn’t appeal to me.

Virtual Reality

The buzz around virtual reality coming out of E3 2015 has been positive but I’m still not sold that it’s something that I want to partake in yet. It all seems very early and nothing has come out to convince me that I need to get this for myself. I’ll wait for HTC Vive, the Oculus Rift or Sony’s Morpheus headset to release a second revision before I will seriously consider it. That or one of these headsets can be had for less than $150.

The Division

I have The Division pre-ordered but every time I see it, I cannot help but think back to my initial gut reaction and cancel it. The player vs player betrayals sounds cool but everybody knows that the internet is full of assholes and I cannot foresee any other outcome outside of constant betrayals.

The beta will be the ultimate decider though and I’m glad it has one. I don’t have an Xbox Live! Gold membership so I’ll be giving the PlayStation 4 beta in early 2016.

Super Mario Maker

I’m impressed with Super Mario Maker and felt the need to partake in it. I don’t know if I’ll be developing levels but I’m so happy to see Nintendo get the idea right. The game specific physics, the easy level editing and easy sharing were pillars that we were all expecting but worried about when they first announced the title.

The horizontal limits may prevent players from recreating every Mario level but I’d love to see people try.

Hitman

The Hitman trailer was my favorite CG trailer coming out of E3 2015; it screamed Hitman. The gameplay trailer showed off classic Hitman ideas but blown out for modern technology. I’m very tempted to get into it on the first day and see this crazy “World of” Hitman idea unfold.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

That E3 2015 press conference demonstration featured the most impressive car chase sequence of any game. But before that impressive chase, the fire fight in the market was also dazzling. There’s just so much activity on screen with items exploding, falling off carts and cover disintegrating.

It certainly looks like more Uncharted but fans of the series will notice many tiny refinements to animation and transitions to elevate it above the notion of it being a 1080p30 version of Uncharted 3.

Street Fighter V

I don’t blame anyone who thinks Street Fighter V looks like Street Fighter IV but all I ask is that you remind yourself what the game really looked like. The mind’s eye likes to embellish things.

Street Fighter V looks fun and appears to be promoting offence with normal attacks causing chip damage. Normal punches and kicks causes damage? Sounds crazy but a welcome change. At least you can’t be chipped out which will hopefully force me to become a better defender.

Fallout 4

I really want to believe in Fallout 4 but after Skyrim and their promises of a new engine filled with refinements, I’m left very skeptical. Especially coming from The Witcher 3 and its quality quests.

I have it pre-ordered but I don’t believe it’ll stay.

Xenoblade Chronicles X

Speaking of bad side quests. This game looks awesome in trailers. Giant mechs and dinosaurs in a large open world are fine ingredients to brew a quality game but if you have nothing to populate the world with, that’s a big problem. And one that I don’t want to futz with so I’m going to pass on this.

That’s it

That’s everything that I had on the top of my head. Many of it may have been negative but I was focusing on those that had 2015 and early 2016 release dates. I felt it was a great E3 and one that makes me very optimistic about future trade shows.

Blue & Green Launches

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti

There’s a new NVIDIA video card that will cost you at least $649.99 USD which is a lot if you’re not used to the high end video card market. But if you’re in that market, a video card that’s only 3% slower and 35% cheaper than the GeForce GTX Titan X is a hell of a bargain. As always, I recommend AnandTech or The Tech Report’s reviews.

If you’re afraid of reading long articles, the bottom line is this: Unless you’re bound to NVIDIA, the recommended conclusion is to wait to see how AMD’s upcoming Fiji and its High Bandwidth Memory will stack up.

I’ll admit though, NVIDIA’s G-SYNC and its growing crop of monitors is making the green team very enticing

Windows 10 Launches July 29

Windows 10 has an official launch date. The Technical Preview is shaping up nicely and I can see them hit that launch date comfortably. I’ll be there on day one.

If you’re not as gung ho as me, be sure to reserve your upgrade regardless because the free upgrade offer will not last forever.

Broadwell on Desktop Lives

With Windows 10 just around the corner, I realized that my current PC will have gone through 3 operating systems on Intel’s 2009 Core i5 750.

I was already toying with the idea of building a new PC with Intel’s upcoming Skylake architecture but was curious if Broadwell ever made onto the desktop. Yesterday’s searches bore no fruit but today Anandtech posted their early look at some limited Broadwell desktop chips.

Looks like Intel are going to release some niche chips and simply move quickly to Skylake because these aren’t the chips that we’re looking for.

Odds & Ends

  • Thunderbolt 3 could enable a one cable future
  • XCOM 2 was announced for PC – Unsure if it’s PC exclusive or not but I’ll tell you this: I love this short media cycle.
  • Fallout 4 teased for E3 reveal – I said I would be very cautious approaching Bethesda’s next game and unless something convinces me otherwise, I’m waiting for the discounted GOTY version.

Checkpoint: Day One PC Gaming Edition

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checkpoint-day-one-pc-gaming-edition

I returned my PC copy of RAGE yesterday despite the claims of bug fixes by id Software and AMD/ATI. Day one PC gaming has become a growing concern as of late. Out of the handful of day one PC purchases I’ve made, over 75% of them gave me grief.

It starts with Fallout: New Vegas which was purchased several weeks after the release date, but despite that buffer, I was still experiencing stuttering and crashes.

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GameDealsCanada’s Deal of the Year 2010

doty-2010We’re in a bit of a post-holiday 2010 lull at the moment, so I thought it’d be a good time to reflect. It’s time to look back at 2010 and pick out some “deals of the year”.

If you’re curious about last year’s result, just head over here.

Digital Distribution Deal of the Year

Winner: Fallout: New Vegas Digital Collector’s Edition for $29.71 ($20 off) @ Direct2Drive

steam-logo fallout-new-vegas-pc

A non-Steam sale for “Digital Distribution Deal of the Year”? Blasphemous? Not quite. Allow me to explain.

Just a little over a month after release and this game gets a hefty $20 off on Direct2Drive. It was a timely sale, there was plenty of time take advantage of it (weekend sale) and it was a deal for a game people wanted. We wouldn’t see a similar deal like this for another 30+ days on Steam. Plus, since this title was a Steamworks game,we were activating it on Valve’s service anyway.

Runners up: Super Meat Boy (PC) for $3.75 on Steam, Amnesia: The Dark Descent for $9.99 on Steam, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit for $19.95 on Direct2Drive

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