Thursday, June 16, 2016

EHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH3 2016 Reaction - Part Dos

This whole post is just more game reactions. But a lot of games did not get a full reaction from me, so I’ll write up quick ones reviews here before the detailed ones:

"Battlefield 1" is about World War I, which is cool, but also it’s a Battlefield game, so it’s instantly un-cool. "Dishonored 2" could be really cool but the story seems dumb and it only makes me wish I were playing "BioShock 4". "Prey" should be called "Prey 2" because if you call two games 'Prey' that just gets really confusing. "Watch_Dogs 2" should not fool anybody in 2016. "Gears of War 4" is more like 'Gears of Bore 4'."Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE" is a game that only I will ever enjoy. "Titanfall 2" is not "Overwatch". "Spider-Man "won’t be out until 2019. And I don’t know what "Mafia III" is.

Anyway, onto the reactions. I'll break this post up into categories:

Games I Really Want to Hate But Must Begrudgingly Admit Don’t Look That Bad:

"God of War 5" – I hate God of War. These games have been symbols for a very long time of everything that was wrong with gaming last decade. The first "God of War" was fun in a pretty shallow way. Now that "Bayonetta" and "Metal Gear Rising" exist I cannot really think of a good reason to play "God of War" in 2016. When I think of Kratos I think of teenaged boys who think they’re mature, eating Doritos, sipping Mountain Dew, and raging against the Wii for being “kiddie”. That’s probably unfair, but God of War really collected a lot of bad trends like QTEs, lame linear game design, and stupid empty-headed plotlines. If God of War was in anyway aware of its own insanity that was all lost in Kratos’ unrelenting brotastic fury. It was assholian to a degree that aesthetically turned me off.

Weirdly Seems like the guys making the games agree with me. "God of War 5" is a curiously specific answer to all my complaints.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

E3 2016 Reaction - Parte the Firste

Guess what? It’s E3! And unlike last year where I pretty much did nothing for the show, I’m actually going to write up some reactions. Because there isn't much else to talk about, other than really depressing serious issue like gun safety in this country, Islamaphobia, and the slow disintegration of the electorate into bickering groups screaming past each other in an endless national flame war. Games are a much easier topic, so I’ll talk about them.

While I did not go to E3 this year, I have done all I can to try to be there in spirit. That includes watching the long industry conferences, watching playthroughs on Youtube, and downloading the "Resident Evil VII" demo. But also I’ve simulated the experience by sitting in long soul-crushing lines of traffic, eating gross fast food breakfasts, and sleeping like trash all week. No, it isn’t the same thing, but at least work is slow so I have plenty of time to write up my reaction posts. Also I can pour all my frustrations at my failure to ever return to E3 into Reinhardt players in "Overwatch". You slow bastards never know what hit you.

On some level of topic: Every year the question is brought up: "who won E3?" Well, I cannot really say there were winners of E3 2016, because right now everything in the gaming industry is in such flux. Nintendo is holding its cards close to its chest while it transitions to the NX. At the very least Nintendo knows where it wants to be and seems to have a roadmap to get there. But Microsoft seems totally lost. The Xbox One is clearly the second place finisher after the PlayStation 4 and Microsoft does not know how to get back on top. Everything Microsoft has tried since 2010 has failed. Scorpio seems more like a threat than a promise of the future to me. These gaming half-steps show a console industry that has prepared itself badly for this generation and is looking for a way to catch back up to PC, consumers be damned. VR is here but it’s been floundering to make a true beachhead. Sony is giving it a big push but how serious they are is hard to say. While Ubisoft is celebrating thirty years with giraffes and dancers without bellybuttons, Vivendi is plotting a hostile takeover. Heck, E3’s showfloor itself is largely a ghost town this year I’ve heard. Konami and Disney are gone from the industry, EA and Activision left the showfloor, Nintendo has just Zelda and a treehouse. E3 as an institution itself is very much in doubt.

So with all uncertainty in mind, I’m just gonna talk about games. Because despite the industry's state right now, 2016 has been a phenomenal year of gaming so far, and this E3 was very good for games. Scorpio seems like a rip-off, VR might not work, Nintendo might be doomed, but while we all ride this train to our collective doom, we'll have games to play.

This is going to be a two-parter. I'll post the second part tomorrow night.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Overwatch vs Battleborn

So here's a topic I didn't think I would ever discuss in detail here.

I don’t play FPS games or multiplayer games very often. I don’t really know what a MOBA is other than it has something to do with eSports and lots of RTS games my friends played in college that I was not interested in at all. I do know that my natural inclination is to hate anything new and popular and that makes me suspicious and fearful of this MOBA thing. (What does "MOBA" even stand for, anyway?) However I do know one thing: one of these FPS multiplayer games is the best thing I’ve played all year, and the other hates me.

"Overwatch" has been on my radar for over a year now, ever since I played it at PAX East 2015. Normally a multiplayer shooter of any kind would be the very last thing ol’ BH would play. I’m a lone wolf, I got anime RPGs to finish. Also the FPS games I have played have reminded me again and again with horrifying KD ratios that I am utterly and completely terrible at those types of games down to a fundamental atomic level. But "Overwatch" was bright and appealing and there was a hint of what I did know at the time would eventually blossom into a full on romantic love with the character Tracer. I played a round, and sucked hard at McCree and did not suck as hard at Tracer, and that was that. Or so I figured. "Decent game, going to be cool for the folks that are down for it, but I’ll be busy with 'Bravely Second' or something when 'Overwatch' comes out in 2016." Instead "Bravely Second" has been ignored for over a week and I fucking love "Overwatch".

Now there’s "Battleborn"… the Pepsi to "Overwatch"’s Coke. Or more accurately, the decades-old can of Crystal Pepsi bought on EBay to "Overwatch"’s Mexican real sugarcane Coke. This is a game that stinks of “also ran” syndrome. "Battleborn" just looked bad. I did not have the heart to tell Randy Pitchford this when I interviewed him at PAX (hash tag shameless self-promotion) but I did have to bring up "Overwatch", because it was the game we both knew was going to kill "Battleborn". The only reason I’ve played "Battleborn" at all is that I was able to score a review copy. I have all the respect in the world for Pitchford, since he really seems to love his game or at least bullshits with a level of sincerity that I can only envy, but man… it’s just not good. And being “just not good” when you’re competing against what might be the best game of 2016, that’s going to hurt any game.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

PAX East Blogging Round Up Extraganza Ultra Sexy Posts

Wikia sent me to PAX East last weekend (well, I paid, they just supplied the press pass), and I've been writing posts about the show since. Figured you might want to read some of them, maybe. I dunno. How you been? It's like 10:30 right now and I'm super tired so this turned more stream of consciousness than I wanted. Eh.

Warframe Panel and Developer Interview

Total Warhammer Hands-On and Developer Interview

Battleborn Hands-On and Developer Interview

Pyre is really amazing, yo

Pit People was pretty alright in most ways

Thumper is the greatest fucking thing ever! It's the Raid: Redemption of games

I don't really know what this is or why I wrote it

I try really hard to not be too negative about the Warcraft movie at a panel, and try to convince myself it might be the next John Carter

SEVEN BEST INDIE GAMES OF THE SHOW

I think that about catches you all up. Presumably this makes my resume look better. I've never actually done an interview before so that's like games journalisms stuff or something.

Hoping next PAX I'll be allowed to just go as a tourist and just have fun. Also if I missed any good games, tell me. I kinda miss talking to you.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Broodman v Supergrimdark: Dawn of Misery (Rant)

I'm not even going to try to post this review on any other website. Nobody is going to want to publish one of my rants. But I'm mad and sad and depressed and I have a lot to talk about. So I'll dust off this blog and use it again. To talk about sad things. I'm sorry the first real post in a long time has to be about this. But hopefully it will be fun for you to read.

I think a lot of the reason I really stopped writing reviews was because I'm just... tired. After five years of watching any awful shit that came out of Hollywood I'm tired of doing this to myself. I looked at 2015's slate of bad comedies, bad superhero movies, and after things like "Age of Ultron", I just don't have the energy to say the same things over and over about the same kind of mistakes in the same kind of movies. Ironically I've seen a lot of really special, amazing, and original movies since I basically retired, "Room", "Anomalisa", "Hateful Eight", "Sicario", "Midnight Special", "The Boy and the Beast", "The VVitch", and I'm not writing about any of them. As a matter of fact, I think I'm just too old to watch shit anymore. I'm old enough to realize that life is too damn short to get hung up over the "Green Lanterns" of the world. One of these days I'll be dead and certainly nowhere on my list of regrets will be missing "Fantastic Four".

So here's my recommendation for "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice": don't see it. Don't do it yourself. There's nothing here. Trust me. I only saw this movie last night because a friend from high school wanted to hang out and why not see a superhero movie? I was on the fence about seeing it at all before that. I gave you a list of half a dozen great movies, watch those! Or see "The Revenant", "Trainwreck", "Turbo Kid", "Ex Machina", "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl", or "Krampus". Your life can be enriched, it can be improved, you can learn new perspectives, see new things, experience new emotions. Don't see "Batman v Superman". In the great cosmic scale of positives and negatives of entertainment, this is pure negative. It's a hateful, depressing, dreary movie that has a bold new vision for superheroes: mainly that superheroes are not fun anymore. And it's boring.

On Thursday I was tired of Marvel and didn't want to see "Civil War" and thought it was just all too much. On Saturday I am a Marvel fanboy. Bring it on, Disney. They make colorful and fun movies where people crack jokes. They're not perfect, but they're trying to entertain. They're not... this. It's so awful. It is corroded with misery. It's like a funeral. I've seen cancer movies with more joy than "Batman v Superman". I've seen Holocaust movies with more joy. You could make a Holocaust cancer movie that ends in a funeral and it would be more fun than "Batman v Superman". Just don't. Really. I can explain more after the pagebreak, but please, trust me even if you've never trusted me before. Don't.

(Also this is Batman Movie Batdown: Week 1,000 or something. It is also the very first time I have not enjoyed a Batman movie. Yay...)