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Showing posts from 2019

Jumbled Gamescom Thoughts

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Like everyone else not attending Gamescom, I had completely forgotten that Gamescom was on!

I was reminded of it's existence yesterday morning, on the train to work. I was skimming through my Twitter feed and noticed an unusually high amount of Death Stranding mentions. Half of my timeline was praising Kojima, while the other half was lamenting the shit we let him get away with. Something must have happened, I thought to myself.

What had happened was that the first day of Gamescom had happened. In Germany.

I have a fairly long commute and therefore had plenty of time to catch up with all the news, reveals and piss antics.

Some thoughts, then.

1. Death Stranding

I am both thoroughly sick of and extremely excited for Death Stranding.

That trailer was weird and I still have little to no idea what I'm actually going to be doing in-game. However, I 100% agree that the industry is a better place for Kojima's strangeness. In a world of sequels, ports, remasters and Just Dance 201…

Casual or Classic

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I'm paralysed by a simple choice.

An either or, one or the other; this or that.

Casual or Classic.

I'm sweating. I've been staring at this screen for what feels like an eternity. Fire Emblem Three Houses is already proving to be a very difficult video game, and I've barely even left the intro screen.

Casual: Fallen units rise again after the battle ends.
Classic: Fallen units are lost forever. Every decision counts!

I know what these words mean. But what do they really mean? Why is there an exclamation mark at the end of the final sentence? Do the developers know something that I don't, something that I should be considering? Something that would require an exclamation mark?

Casual and Classic are such loaded terms. I don't want to be casual. In our world, the world of the video game world, it is a vile word. Anyone who knows me would agree that I am classic through and through - I don't even know how to spell casaul.

Fuck, I don't know what to do.

I'…

Battlefield 1943 - The Mysteries of Aviation

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After an unusually long rainy season, summer has finally arrived. July was overcast, wet and relatively cool, but the last week has been roasting. Also, it is clothes-sticking-to-your body humid.

Anyway, it's definitely summer now. This time of year makes me think of Battlefield 1943, because I played it non-stop one summer a decade ago.
So here's a thing about that.
*********
There's a cable running from our router to the back of my PS3. My SDTV is as deep as it is wide. I have heard of HDMI, but I think it might be the name of a band. It is 2009 and I am playing Battlefield 1943 "on-line".
I and 23 strangers are about to wage war on a Pacific island. We will shoot each other on foot and in vehicles, while striving to capture flags and claim the island for the US Marines or Imperial Japanese Navy.
With our allegiance already chosen for us, we have the opportunity to select our class: gunman, man with gun, or man with a slightly different gun. In a few short sec…

I Have Game Pass

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Here's something you've never heard before. A take so hot you'll need protective eye wear just to look at it.

This is the Mt Vesuvius of opinions and you are Pliny the Elder, succumbing to heat and noxious gasses. My words are a pyroclastic flow and you are about to become a volcano mummy.

Game Pass is quite good value, I reckon.

Like everyone else with an Xbox One, I made full use of the recent spate of discounts for Game Pass, Microsoft's game subscription service. I bought three months for a Pound and then upgraded part of that period to the Ultimate service, to include Xbox Gold. A ludicrously good deal that encouraged me to get through nine games in the space of two months - well above my usual average - and sample several others. It convinced me to completely abandon my PS4 in favour of a console that I have only used a handful of times over the last three years.

Until last week, I hadn't played a game on my PS4 since Sekiro, which I finally abandoned in mid…

E3 2019: More Thoughts

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Have you seen how smooth Squall's face looks?

Square Enix has done a lovely job of tidying up everyone's favourite teen mercenary for ..... wait for it...... Final Fantasy VIII Remastered!

I almost fell off my chair when the trailer started. I was so excited, I didn't know what to do with myself. Should I watch the trailer? Look at the twitter reactions? Fax my wife? Pretend to do some work because I was at work and I'm not being paid to watch E3 trailers?

Within seconds of the trailer ending, Twitter came alive with idiots sharing their terrible opinions about VIII. These pitiful, hateful dimwits lack the cranial capacity to appreciate such a masterpiece and should not be trusted on any matter that requires any semblance of good taste. With that being said, I'm low-key terrified that I won't enjoy returning to my first Final Fantasy, and will be forced to apologise to all the people I just insulted in this paragraph.

Nah, it'll be fine.

The FFVIII remaste…

E3 2019: Day One Things That I Thought

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It is 5:45 AM.

It is Monday.

It is very early on a Monday.

I'm fumbling with my phone. I'm trying to navigate Twitter through bleary eyes, looking for the Microsoft stream so I can get my E3 fix while getting ready for work.

I'm still half asleep. I'm not entirely sure what day it is - it is Monday - or what I'm supposed to be doing - I'm supposed to be getting ready for work - but I have an overwhelming urge to hear Phil Spencer talk about video games. In my early-morning haze, E3 had initially slipped my mind, but my gamer instinct, my Ginstinct, has kicked in and and I'm able to get my gaming sustenance.

Anyway, long story short, I watched some of the Microsoft presser when I was getting up this morning. I caught up on the rest of it during my train ride to work.

There was a bit where one of the devs described Project Scarlett, Microsoft's next-gen platform, as being the most immersive ever created. This bothered me far more than it should've, a…

Damian Lillard and the Video Game Shot

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Tuesday night, Damian Lillard, point guard for the NBA's Portland Trailblazers, hit a game-winning and playoff-series-ending three pointer against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
I don't think I've ever seen a shot quite like it. Or at least not outside a video game.
Damian Lillard is, by most accounts, one of the ten best players in the NBA. With apologies to any undiscovered basketball prodigies hiding out in the remotest corners of the globe, that makes him one of the best ten players in the world. Even still, that shot was insane.
His game-winner came from way behind the three point line, from a spot where few players would dare let it fly, and certainly not in the dying seconds of a playoff game. Also, he hit it with Paul George draped all over him. Paul George, 6-9, athletic and one of the most gifted defenders in the league. And just to make it even more challenging, it was a side-step, fade-away three. And he did all this with only seconds left on the clock.
Oh, and hi…

Sekiro - Are You Enjoying This Game?

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"Are you enjoying this game?"

I'm fighting a Sekiro mini boss. An unimposing foe who has already killed me a dozen times and wasted a good half hour of my precious time. Time that would've been better spent studying Japanese, doing the washing up, or going to bed early.

"Are you enjoying this game?"

My wife is asking. She's seen me playing Sekiro on and off for the last month. Me, Games King, as I've asked her to call me, slowly chipping away at a game that refuses to respect my time or lack of hand-eye coordination.

Every time she glances at the screen, I'm dying. Trampled by an over-sized bull; cut down by a rooftop samurai; outwitted by an ape without a head; bested by a cliff. Fucked by a regular monkey. I can understand why she might question my enjoyment of Sekiro.

This particular mini boss is completely optional. However, now that I've engaged with her once, I feel bound to keep at it until I finally figure out a way to defeat her. I t…

Filling a Steering Wheel Sized Hole

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¥980.

That was all they wanted for it. A boxed Sega Saturn Arcade Racer Joystick for the cost of a pint.

As with most used electronics here in Japan, it was in excellent condition. Boxed, bagged, and with instructions - near pristine. The epitome of Japan-used. I wanted it, but I didn't want to lug it around all day and then have to take it on a rush-hour train.

You see, I was shopping during my lunch break. Suited and booted, rummaging through boxes of old games dressed in my finest; the dapperest bargain hunter that you ever did see. Quite the spectacle in Akihabara, where most of the visitors can hardly dress themselves and, if they can, they're probably wearing a hideous anime t-shirt (Japanese) or a shorts-and-massive-rucksack combo (white people).

I wanted it, but it was impractical. So I walked away and spent most of the afternoon regretting my decision. That is until I remembered that I was going home via Akiba that evening. So I went back and bought it, and braved t…

The Vita Has no Games

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All signs point to the end of the Vita, with shipments of the remaining models set to end "soon".

To celebrate the life and mark the death of Sony's beautiful, ill-handled and ill-advised portable, I have written a poem.

The Vita has no Games by me
The Vita has no games said the man on the internet
Yes it does said another also on the internet
I can name plenty of exclusives worthy of your time Examples of developers at the top of their craft Especially if you like hentai games rubbing the back of your Vita and looking daft
No wanky shit said the man on the internet The Vita has no games!
Then what would you call Persona 4 Golden Lumines Electronic Symphony and Uncharted Golden Abyss? No games you say Are you taking the piss?
Retreads and derivatives said the man on the internet The Vita has no games!
Well how about indies? Undertale, Thomas was Alone, Olli Olli and TxK Excellent games made even better by letting you choose where to play
No one bought a Vita for indies sa…

Please Don't Let This Priest Murder My Family

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This post contains minor spoilers for the opening hours of Assassin's Creed Odyssey
In a plague-ravaged village, a family of survivors kneel, bound, before their would-be killers.

They are a young couple with a girl, about my daughter's age, and a son, a little older. They are quite adamant that they don't want to die. They plead for mercy and appeal for aid; a priest and his two executioners wait to see if I will help the family or turn my back on their desperate pleas.

Should I kick-off or should I piss off? Do I intervene and protect the defenceless family or do I leave them to their fate. The decision is not as simple, not as black and white, as it would seem.

It is the fifth century BC, I'm a mercenary and somewhat of a local hero on my Greek island. I have a very difficult decision to make. Only it's not Alexios who has to make this decision - it is I, Matt, Brit abroad and relatively unpopular, who has to make this decision and live with it. And I'm real…