Checkpoint: Too Many Games Too Little Time Edition

Checkpoint: Too Many Games Too Little Time Edition

posted in: Editorials & Features | 0

We’re 3 months into 2017 and I already have a surprisingly long list of games that I want to play:

  • Resident Evil 7
  • Nioh
  • Horizon: Zero Dawn
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda

I had Horizon and Mass Effect pre-ordered but I have cancelled them in order to clear way for other titles like Yakuza 0 (which I’m still playing), Nier: Automata, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Persona 5 not long after.

And I still have this pressing backlog to get through that includes:

  • Pokemon Sun
  • Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King
  • The Witness
  • Firewatch

There are just too many games.

Checkpoint: Post-E3 2015 Edition

posted in: Editorials & Features | 0

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.

Checkpoint: E3 2015 Edition

Checkpoint: E3 2015 Edition

posted in: Editorials & Features | 0

E3 2015 doesn’t officially start until Tuesday but the plethora of leaks, the Bethesda E3 presentation later today and the beginning of the Amazon.ca E3 2015 pre-order promotion, it felt like the annual trade show already kicked off.

I’ve already pre-ordered a handful of titles including Ratchet & Clank, Street Fighter V, Wolfenstein: The Old Blood and Fire Emblem If. I’m sure I’ll pre-order more but not if they’re exceeding $74.99 MSRP. Even with Amazon.ca’s 30% off, it’s a lot of money for titles that could plummet in price within 3 months of release.

I have a free day off so I’m taking Monday off to enjoy the E3 festivities. I’m hoping for some real surprises but I’m not holding my breath. I look forward to footage of announced games and when they’ll finally ship. Titles like Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and Mass Effect 4 are known quantities but I want to see them realized for the latest generation of consoles. I want to see Black Ops III and if DICE’s Battlefront will look as good as the trailers and screenshots they’ve released.

Although a lot was leaked, there’s still a lot to look forward to.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’s fantastic. I keep chipping away at it and it continues to reward me with amusements. Game of the Year 2015 has an early contender.

It’s Virtually a $75 Reality

posted in: Editorials & Features | 0

“I shall call him Stitch Face”

Charlie Nash is back and I’m not sure if he’s better than ever with that face. The game does does look superb though. I may pre-order for the beta code but I don’t know if I’ll keep my pre-order. Especially not for $74.99.

Upcoming new releases listed at $74.99

It seemed like it was just yesterday that we saw Canadian video game prices rise from $59.99 to $69.99.

It was actually just little over a year ago.

I’m still not used to seeing $69.99 MSRP and retailers and/or publishers have already raised prices by another $5. It matches the exchange rate but it’s still an unattractive proposition and will undoubtedly affect the buying habits of most consumers. I am very curious how these price hikes have affected the new generation console adoption rates. Imagine having to pay $74.99 for The Order: 1886? Imagine paying $499.99 for a PlayStation 4?

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Sony raise the MSRP of the PlayStation 4. They did it once already.

For myself? It’ll just mean longer waiting times for games to get to my price point. On the plus side, it gives us all more reasons to delve into our backlogs.

Virtual Reality

These are the questions that I ask myself before I buy anything:

  • What are the additional costs?
  • Does it integrate well with my current flow?
  • If not, Is it worth the hassle?
  • If it’s expensive, will I be able to enjoy it for years to come?
  • How quickly will it be dated?

Most of these are giant question marks and I don’t see myself finding convincing answers for them any time soon. I hope the upcoming VR extravaganza at next week’s GDC will yield more concrete information but I’m not getting my hopes up whatsoever.

It’s difficult for me to get excited for virtual reality because it goes against the way I play games. I’m not against the idea of total immersive view of a virtual world but to me, it’s like a racing wheel, a DDR pad or a fighting stick; it’s appealing for only certain genres. I can see myself wanting to use this in a game like MechWarrior: Online but how often do I play that these days?

For now, I’m treating it like an arcade machine. I’m sure it’s amazing and fun but I don’t want to actually own one just yet.

Random Thought of the Week

If you’ve ever wondered how player ratings are calculated in sports titles, read this excellent piece by FiveThirtyEight Sports

1 2 3 4 5