E3 2017 – Part 2 – Microsoft Press Conference

Part of watching and blogging about E3 is watching the competition’s conference. Everyone knows that I’m a complete Sony fangirl and have always been, but after the reveal last year of the mysterious project Scorpio, I knew I couldn’t miss this year’s Microsoft Conference. There were a bunch of different things covered during the conference from the new upgraded console, to games, to other things, and there was just so much that if I put every single note that I took into this blog, it would be short story sized. So what I’m going to do for you so you don’t have to read every single note that I took, is break it down into what I found the most interesting.

Let’s start with how Scorpio was revealed to be Xbox One X, it’s a mouthful right? Anyway, it’s basically the PS4 Pro and comes with a huge price tag of $499.99. It also releases November 7th and has some pretty impressive specs. It’ll work with your normal TV, but if you want the full experience you need to upgrade to a 4K TV making everything even more expensive. Size apparently doesn’t matter when it comes to the Xbox One X, really even typing the whole name out is just weird, because this is the smallest Xbox ever. Not only is it the smallest Xbox ever, but it also has 22 exclusive games and all of them will be shown off along with another 20 that are cross platform games. Let’s start with the exclusive games.

The first exclusive they show off is Forza 7 and this is because every racing game looks good on a new console. That doesn’t mean they’re any good, but it’s a nice show off and everyone does it. Playerunknown’s Battleground really couldn’t hold my attention for the short time it was showed, but I did take notice of State of Decay 2. On the outside this game looks amazing, but look up close and the game starts to breakdown just a bit. Animations are stiff and let’s not even talk about the facial animations because those were worse than Mass Effect: Andromeda. There was also a game that kind of looked like a Battleborn type game and that was The Darwin Project. A lot of the games started off looking interesting but then got weird real fast and these games included Black Desert, Code Vein, Deep Rock Galactic, Tacoma, Cuphead, Ashen, and Ori: The Will of the Whispers. Yes these games were weird and made me glad I didn’t own an Xbox, but then there were those games that made me say “Damn, I wish I had an Xbox.” The main game that did this was Sea of Thieves because who doesn’t want to play as a pirate? The game of course looks campy, but I think that’s part of it’s charm. Another game that piqued my interest was The Last Night and The Artful Escape. There was also a montage of games that I couldn’t even keep up with the names or anything as they flew across the screen. I thought that Crackdown 3 with Terry Crews looked like a screwball type of game, sort of like Saints Row and it felt like Super Lucky’s Tale was a rip off of Sonic. Let’s face it, the main character looks like Tails from Sonic and Tails.

Now onto the games that I would actually be able to play because they aren’t Xbox exclusives! This part was exciting because they showed off a lot of games and there were a couple of surprises thrown in there as well. Let’s start with Metro: Exodus. Now I’ve played Metro: Last Light, I never finished it but I played it enough to know that this game looks pretty cool and it would be something that I would buy on sale. I kind of figured this one out halfway through the promo, but it had me sitting on the edge of my seat. After that I wasn’t even expecting to see the next game which just happened to be Assassin’s Creed: Origins. I wasn’t expecting it because I figured Ubisoft would want to show off their game at their conference. Anyway, the game looks amazing and looks like it can reboot the whole series from this downfall that it’s in right now. If that will actually work, no one will know, but it does release 10-27-2017. Then there was the promo for the game that had me the most excited. Right now if you read this blog on a regular basis you’re probably thinking that it was Anthem, but it’s not. We’ll get to why later, but I got totally excited when I seen the Life is Strange: Before the Storm promo. We get three episodes of Chloe before she was the Chloe that we know and she’s the main playable character. This totally came out of left field because I just seen they were working on Life is Strange 2 so I was not expecting this. Then there were the games I didn’t care for even if they’re playable on every platform and that included Dragon Fighter Z and Shadow of War. To me, Shadow of War just looked weird because while the cinematic’s looked good, the gameplay just looked off.

It wouldn’t be a Microsoft conference without some Minecraft stuff so there was some of that thrown in for good measure. There are updates and you can now play Minecraft in 4K when the Xbox One X comes out. Who knew right? Minecraft in 4K. Mind blowing. What really impressed me is Microsoft’s dedication to backwards compatibility, especially since they are trying to expand to the whole Xbox catalog. That’s a pretty cool thing that Sony will never do because it means that PS Now was a failure.

I saved this for last because they closed the show with it, and that’s Anthem. Not only do you guys know me for a Sony fangirl, but I am also a BioWare fangirl. After the EA conference I was super excited for this because it looked amazing until I seen the actual preview and my excitement went out the window. This game basically looks like Destiny. I feel this is a big risk, no huge risk, for BioWare who really can’t afford that right now. These guy’s tell stories and I’m not sure what kind of story they’re going to tell with this game. I’m not even sure it’s going to work because even though they’ve said you can play alone, it really looks like there is no single player to this game and it forces you to play with other people. If you have a group of people, great. If not, you’re kind of screwed and I’m not really feeling it. I like my BioWare games to have memorable characters and not be Destiny 2.0.

Overall I felt like Microsoft had a good show. I was surprised that Scorpio turned out to just be Xbox One X instead of a brand new console meaning that the Xbox One would have an extremely short life span, but that’s how things worked out. This also means that all those rumors about a PS5 are totally not happening any time soon as they are going to milk this generation’s consoles until at least 2021 or even longer.

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E3 2017 – Part 1 – EA Press Conference

When it comes to the EA press conference, I usually have mixed feelings because they do a lot of sports stuff that really puts me to sleep, but they also have a variety of other games that I would enjoy playing a find them interesting. Usually these come from BioWare, but sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised. I made a lot of predictions for this year’s EA conference, so let’s see how everything played out for their hour + conference.

EA kicked off their press conference with a band to come out and play the drums in order to promote Madden 18’s story mode Long Shot. Seriously, I had thought that Ubisoft was the only one that did this kind of thing each and every year for Just Dance. Guess not. Moving on, EA then went on to do a reveal of some Battlefield 1 content. The team working on Battlefield 1 is still working on it and there will be new maps and a whole new DLC to go with it. That’s cool if you’re a Battlefield player, but if you’re not then it’s really not that interesting. Moving on there was some new information on the FIFA and Madden Championship games where real people play for real glory and all that other stuff. This is about the time of the show when I start to glaze over a little because it seems like the sports stuff is the same each and every year. I know that EA is trying to incorporate some kind of story mode into each and every sports game, but it’s still not drawing in any interest from me and I don’t think it’s drawing in any kind of interest from non-sports playing gamers. Anyway, Men in Blazers came up to do a thing about FIFA and I guess it was a big deal. So I just don’t look like someone who hates sports games, I used to be totally into sports games on my PS2 and even tried playing FIFA once, but it just never worked out for me and since then I’ve given up.

The reveal for Need for Speed Payback was up next. I feel like this was a cool game when it first came out in 1994, but this is one of those franchises that should just give up. Correct me if I’m wrong, because sometimes I am, isn’t this just the same game over and over again? Anyway, what I did notice about this game was that the voice acting was just terrible. Anyone else get tired of the voice acting within the first minute or two of the game demo? Next up was a presentation from EA originals. I have to say I was excited about this because last time we got Unravel and it was awesome. I was excited to hear that the creators of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons have joined EA originals to come up with their next game. I thought this was going to be awesome, but I was soon sadly mistaken. The next game coming from this studio is A Way Out. This is basically a prison break game where you’ll play one of two inmates who for whatever reason don’t want to serve their time and just want to break out. The catch is though that you can only play this in co-op mode and while it does support online co-op it was mostly made for split screen on the couch co-op. This had me groan because seriously who likes split screen co-op? I thought the overall concept of the game was a pretty stale one and the graphics didn’t look all that great anyway. I feel like this studio can do so much more especially after Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons but did a complete 180 and I don’t think it’s going to work for them.

There was also talk of a new SEED team which is basically a research team so that maybe EA can stop getting as much hate as they do. Tall order. Anyway there was some project Scorpio talking from EA about how amazing it is and so and so before the semi-reveal of BioWare’s mysterious new IP dubbed “Project Dylan.” There was about a minute preview of the game along with the reveal of the game title which is Anthem. The minute preview really wasn’t enough to judge the game, but the rest of the game along with gameplay footage would have to wait until the Microsoft conference. There was then some more sports stuff with NBA Live. They showed off some of the mechanics of the game and it had me think that “Wow these games have become complicated.” NBA Live will also have a story mode that still did not get me interested and had me sitting on the edge of my seat. After this we finally get to the good stuff which was Battlefront II. Not a Star Wars fan, I did love Battlefront I and though it was amazing even though it got a lot of hate for having no single player mode. EA has listened to the fans and have added a full story mode for this game along with a more enhanced version of the multiplayer. All of this looks fabulous and what they showed off secured my pre-order. Everything about this game looks amazing and I really can’t wait for it to be released. That being said there is no season pass for this game either. This was surprising because it’s EA we’re talking about here, but any updates done, characters added, maps added, and whatever else will all be free. I had to double check and make sure that this was still the EA conference at this point.

Overall I felt that EA was a little lacking this year and it felt like all they really had was Battlefront II. This was disappointing as I thought some more games would be revealed and the show would be bigger. Starting E3 is a big deal and if you aren’t going to bring it, then you should schedule your conference some other time. I also feel that BioWare was really slapped on the wrist this year for making a mediocre Mass Effect game. Nothing was revealed about upcoming content and they sure as hell didn’t mention anything about the confirmed Dragon Age 4. At this point I’m thinking that BioWare is looking like they’re in a really bad situation at the moment and it’s sad because they really are a great company. Sure they suffer from mistakes and stuff, but so does Bethesda and a bunch of other companies. It just seems like BioWare gets shit on the most. Anyway, I’m thinking that if Anthem doesn’t work out, the studio is done for.

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E3 2016 – Part 2

After the Bethesda conference on Sunday, I was pumped for Monday as it looked like it would be turning out to be a pretty good E3 after all. Sure there was some crappy stuff with the EA conference not really showing anything, but I had some pretty high hopes for the three press conferences that were to be showcased on Monday, so here we go.

Microsoft Press Conference

So, I don’t even own an Xbox, never have and probably never will, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t like to see what Microsoft has going on and in the works. They started the show by introducing the Xbox One S, which I thought looked pretty badass. Up next was the exclusive Gears of War 4 which will now have a cross-play feature between Xbox One and Windows 10. I’ve always wanted to play Gears of War because it looks like a pretty awesome franchise and 4 looks pretty amazing from what they showed. It also came with a release date of 10-11-2016 and there’s going to be a collectible controller.

Next up was Killer Instinct which kind of reminded me of a more successful version of Playstation All Stars Battle Royale. New Gears of War characters are going to be added and it had the crowd going crazy. This was followed by Forza Horizon 3 which is a racing game and I had zero interest in it because I’m not all that big into racing games to begin with. Then there was ReCore which looks like an interesting concept and you can tell that a lot of effort went into it, but yet again it was not something I would play so no jealously there.

Now I know I’m going to get a lot of hate, but the Final Fantasy XV demo did not impress me one bit. I’ve never played this franchise or have the desire to but it just looked like a bunch of people running around and dodging a big hand. This was followed by some DLC for The Division which will come to Xbox One first along with more information on Battlefield One which was just a repeat of what was shown at the EA conference. Next came some hardware stuff. I have to say that there was that slight kick in the balls to Playstatoin when they said they wanted to have a faster and more reliable network and the addition of Cortana who I personally find useless. Other than that they announced features that Playstation already has such “Clubs” or as us PSN people like to call them “Communities”. There was also an announcement of want ads for multiplayer and even though Playstation doesn’t have that, there’s PSNProfiles.com which you can basically do the same thing. There was also mention of the ability to be able to sign up for competitions. Then there was the introduction of customizable controllers which I have to say, had me pretty jealous since I would like to customize my Playstation controller like that.

After that was some Minecraft stuff which had me bored since the presenters were…a little too enthusiastic about Minecraft along with the new game from the creators of Limbo called Inside. Just another reminder that I still haven’t played Limbo yet. This was followed by a montage of indie games that are coming soon. Next up, We Happy Few which looks amazing and has a kind of BioShock feel to it where nothing is really as it seems to be. I’m really hoping for a PS4 release for this one as well as the next game which was shown which was Gwent. I’m assuming this was created to compete with The Elder Scrolls: Legends which has basically the same concept. While I’m not interested in The Elder Scrolls one, I do have a lot of interest in Gwent because in the short time I spent playing The Witcher 3, most of it was spent playing Gwent. Like The Elder Scrolls: Legends, there will be a single player campaign along with multiplayer.

Although I’ll pass on the Tekken 7 game and Dead Rising 4, which is basically killing zombies to Christmas music, I’m totally jealous of Scalebound which looks just really cool and Sea of Thieves because who doesn’t want to play as a pirate? Then there’s State of Decay 2…sigh…is it time to jump ship to Xbox? No, I have to resist the urge even though these games look pretty sweet. The trailer for Halo Wars had me realizing why I choose Playstation every time because I have zero interest in Halo and then the big finale.

Project Scorpio is announced for Holiday 2017 with the tag line “No one get’s left behind” and then Microsoft drops the mic and ends the show because they knew that Playstation wouldn’t be talking about Project Neo.

Ubisoft Press Conference

What better way to start a press conference then by dancing right? Which leads into the perfect opportunity to promote the next Just Dance game. Everyone lets out a huge sigh of relief because the world would simply end if there wasn’t another Just Dance game released for this year. While that was a whole ten minutes wasted, after a brief opening from Aisha Tyler, who killed it again like she does every year, we finally get into the serious games. Up first is Ghost Recon: Wildlands. While this game looks awesome as you hunt down a drug cartel, I’m not sure it’s for me. I like that there’s solo play and co-op but you really have to play with people who know what they’re doing because if not it’s just not as cool as it looks up on the E3 stage.

The next game up is South Park and it had a really weird intro making me thing that someone went and made a Purge video game, which I think would be really cool, but it turned out to be The Fractured But Whole which was one of the games I was looking forward to this year. I love how this game looks like an episode and is said to be a continuation of The Stick of Truth. The scenes that they showed were hysterical and the new game play was pretty sweet as it’s still turn based while allowing you to move around the battle area now. This is supposed to have a release date of 12-6-2016, but I’m thinking it’s going to be delayed. There’s also some more talk about The Division DLC and how this game is a long term commitment for Ubisoft which makes me happy because I can buy it whenever and it’ll still be relevant.

Ubisoft then announces it’s plan to get into the VR competition and at this point, I know it looks cool, but I’m not sure it’s going to be as big as everyone thinks it’s going to be. I really think it’s just going to be a super expensive fad. To show off their move into VR they decide to show Eagle Flight because who hasn’t wanted to play as an Eagle soaring through the air picking up rabbits and taking out other Eagles trying to get their prize? Anyone? Anyone? No One. Here’s the thing with VR, when they show it, it just looks like a first person game and you really can’t see what it’s going to look like. How do you really know that when you play whatever game it’s going to be that awesome? I know I’m on the border of getting some major hate, but that Star Trek VR game that was shown next looked so damn basic. It really looked like something from the 1990’s and not something that was made today, I know the actual Star Trek stars were playing and it was really cool, but was it?

Next, another game that I’ve been waiting for, For Honor. This year the trailer was even better than last year and I’m even more excited about this game. Not only is there multiplayer, but there’s also a single player campaign which I found surprising. I thought the combat style looked pretty sweet and it’s even nicer that this game finally has a release date of 2-14-2017. Yes, the release date is far away but I think it will pay off if this game has a little extra polish. On a side note, dear future girlfriend, please don’t be offended when I spend the day playing For Honor instead of doing all the things couples do for Valentine’s Day. Thanks!

No Ubisoft conference is complete without an oh-no moment and Grow Up, the sequel to Grow Home was one of them. I really can’t believe this mess of a game is going to have a sequel. Seriously, mind blown. Oh-No turns into Huh? as Trails of the Blood Dragon is shown and then a cringe worthy moment as there’s a promo and more for the upcoming Assassin’s Creed movie. I thought that when they said there would be no Assassin’s Creed they meant no Assassin’s Creed in any way shape or form. Guess not.

Finally is the WatchDogs 2 trailer, which I’ve avoided until this press conference just because I wanted to see it on the big screen of E3 first. I like that there’s a new location, new character who’s also a member of DeadS3c, but I kinda wish the new character was a badass hacker chick. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad they got rid of whatever his name was because he was boring as shit, but still it would have been nice to have another lead role filled by a female. What’s nice is that it has a release date of 11-15-2016, but I don’t know if it’s a day one purchase for me. Contemplating if I’ll pre-order or not, I get a head shaking moment as I hear that there’s going to be a WatchDogs movie. Sigh.

Ubisoft ends the show with a new IP and I’m thinking this is going to be fun, but was soon proven wrong as it’s this weird sports, open world type game called Steep. Total pass, I completely zoned out by the end of the show and thought this was a horrible way to end their overall pretty good press conference.

Kudos: Seriously, another kudos to all the support from the gaming community for the tragic events of the night club shooting. It was nice that it was mentioned and that these companies didn’t act like nothing happened any they were more important than an actual tragedy.

There’s one more press conference to go and that’s the Sony one. The one that I wait for all year long like a child on Christmas Eve. It’s the big one for me and usually my favorite as I see a bunch of games that I know I’m going to have to buy. By the end I’m usually surprised and already making my list, but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see what I thought of it.

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One and Done Games. Are They Worth It?

Every gamer knows the kind of games that I’m talking about. You play them once and then you’re done. You do everything that there is to be done, even get all of the trophies, and then there’s nothing else to do. Maybe you paid a lot of money for the game and maybe you didn’t. The question is, when it comes to these types of games are they worth it?

When it comes down to trying to figure out if these types of games are worth it, there are two things that I like to look at. One is the amount of content that you got for the game and how long you actually spent playing it. The second thing that I like to look for is of course the price. For me these are two major factors when it comes down to purchasing these types of games.

Concentrating on the content, I think that if a game has a good overall story and will provide an enjoyable experience then of course it’s worth it. The perfect one and done game will also have more then 10 hours of content, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes these games are less than 3 hours long. Take Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons for instance. This whole game, including the story as well as the trophies, can be done in less than 3 hours if you’re diligent. That’s without rushing through the story and without missing anything. This game is extremely short, but it does have one of the best stories that hits all of the right feels when it comes to story telling. This game is basically the definition of one and done though. After you complete the story the first time, and even get all the trophies, what would be the point to go back and play again? Nothing you do will change the story, events will still take place, and no matter what you’ll get the same ending. If nothing changes, what would be the point in playing again?

This is where my second point comes in. Price. Everything comes down to the all mighty dollar when you’re on a budget. Some of these one and done games can range anywhere from $9.99 – $19.99 in the PSN store. Then of course you have some retail AAA games that can also be considered one and done selling for $59.99. These prices are kind of crazy for a game that you’re going to play once and be done with it especially if you’re downloading it. For the retail versions, I think that if you’re going to buy these types of games you can buy them used at a lower price or pay the full price and hopefully you can turn around and sell it again making some of your money back. When it comes to strictly downloading these types of games, I would say paying anywhere from $9.99 – $19.99 is a complete waste of money. You could seriously be buying something else with more content, more play time, more everything for just about the same amount of money which is why I like to wait until these games go on sale. While I can’t justify spending $9.99 – $19.99 on these types of games, I can justify spending under $5 on these games. Or there is the option to hope that these games become free on PS+ so then you don’t have to pay for it anyway.

So are these games worth it? There really is no solid yes or no answer. It’s a mixture of both. For me if the game has a decent amount of content and allows me to play for a decent amount of time, then yes the game is worth it. If the game has a decent amount of content and is anywhere from 3-5 hours long then I’m going to look at the price. When looking at the price I think if a game is under $5 then I’m going to take it under heavy consideration if I should buy it or not, but anything over that is just not worth it especially if it’s a download.

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Turning Movies and TV Shows into Games

We’ve already discussed when games get turned into these huge motion pictures along with when they work and when they don’t work, but what about when it’s the other way around. What happens when movies and TV shows get turned into games? Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s bad, really bad.

So when are these types of games actually good? They’re good when they’re cohesive with the movie / show that they’re taking on. They have to have the same qualities that the movie / show has and branch out to let you play in that already created universe. It also helps if you can get the people in the movie / show to actually voice the characters in the game, if not it’s just a waste of time and really takes away from the experience as a whole. These types of games can be considered bad when they’re just a money grab. The people who decided to make this game based off of a movie / show know that people who watch might also be gamers and might also play the game so they release some half-assed excuse for a game that just adds no value to the movie / show the game is based on.

I know I’ve had some squabbles with Telltale’s version of Game of Thrones, but it is seriously one of the best TV to game adaptations available. I’ve complained about the graphics and the playability in various different reviews along with how some of the original show characters aren’t panning out like they should, yes I’m talking about Daenerys, but the one thing that it has is a story that is most of the times cohesive with the show’s events while telling a completely different story within the same setting. Sounds complicated, which is the definition of Game of Thrones, but it’s not and when you compare it to other movies and TV shows that have been turned into games, it really shines.

Telltale’s Game of Thrones isn’t the only game out there based on a movie / show that is actually good. I did find enjoyment from games like Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse and South Park: The Stick of Truth. I’m even eagerly awaiting the new South Park game that was announced this year at E3. Not to mention that I enjoyed The Godfather on the PS2 as well as The Godfather II on the PS3.

Now when it comes to those bad movie / show games, I would have to say the absolute worst one I have ever played, and yes I might lose some gamer respect, is Desperate Housewives: The Game. Not only did it constantly crash making me lose my save more then once, but it was just bad. I seriously have no idea how IGN gave this game an 8.2, but this game was like The Sims gone wrong and it all took place in the Desperate Housewives universe. The shows characters looked just weird in game, the game didn’t in any way enhance the show nor was it cohesive with the show, and let’s not forget all of the product placement advertisements that were littered throughout the game. This game was a very clear and desperate money grab which sadly I got sucked in because of my love for the show and ended up with a game that is now tucked away somewhere in a closet to hide my shame.

So while I’m all for game adaptations of my favorite movie and TV shows, I would like them to actually be good. I want them to have the actual cast from the movie or the show voice the characters in the game and I want a story that is cohesive and is able to enhance my playing and viewing experience. I know, I know! I’m asking for a lot, but what can I say I usually have high expectations and get disappointed quite a bit. If a game based on a movie / show can do this, then I’m a happy gamer.

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Trophy Grinding. When it’s Worth it and When it’s Not Worth it

Reach level 20 in multiplayer, reach level 100 in multiplayer, collect 5,000,000 coins, travel 500 km, and the list can go on and on. These types of trophies are the ones that you just know when you look at them are going to require some kind of grind because unlike other trophies they just aren’t going to come naturally over the course of playing a game. Sometimes these are even the trophies that are holding you back from getting that platinum and completing a game, but when is enough enough? When is grinding for a certain trophy worth it and when is it not worth it?

If you are truly 100% enjoying a game, then the trophy grind is worth it. You might not even think of it at a grind if you’re enjoying the game that much. Maybe you’re enjoying the game’s multiplayer so much reaching level 100 seems like a super easy feat to you. That’s great then! Go on and play that game, get to level 100 and get your well deserved trophy because you’ve earned it and you had a good time getting it.

If you are just hating a game or you’re just done with it, then the trophy grind isn’t really worth it. Yes, it’s not worth it even if that means you won’t be getting the platinum. If you sign onto your system every day for days or weeks just to grind out a trophy, gaming becomes a huge chore then. Gaming is supposed to be fun not chore like because let’s face facts, no one likes chores. They’re boring, sometimes tedious, and sometimes they’re just things that absolutely have to be done.

Game developers are slick when it comes to adding these types of trophies into their games because they know that trophy hunters will stick with it and play their game for weeks and weeks, even if they don’t like the game, in order to get a trophy and complete the game. This means that you spend more time with that game and less time with other games. It makes sense right? The last thing a game developer wants you to do is to play their game for a couple of days and then toss it aside for a new one. That’s where the trophy grinds come in.

Some of the hardest trophy grinds for me is reaching a particular level in multiplayer since I’m not really a big fan of it. I still play the game and maybe I’ll try the multiplayer to see how I like it, but I know that for me it’s not worth it to try and reach a specific level in multiplayer. Why? Because I simply don’t want to and I feel like the grind just isn’t worth it. I’ll end up hating what might be a pretty good game or I’ll just stare at my system and walk away because I know that turning it on means that I’ll have to play something I don’t want to. I don’t want to do that, so I would rather leave another half completed trophy list on my gamer card then grind out a trophy that just isn’t worth it.

Sometimes it’s hard to determine if a trophy grind is worth it or not so I go by a few simple rules. Am I enjoying the game? Am I really close to the trophy that I’ll only need 1-2 days tops to grind out the trophy? If I answer yes to any of those questions then for me it’s worth it and I go for the trophy. If the answer is no then I know that the trophy isn’t worth it and I simply walk away no matter how hard it is to do so. Maybe one day I’ll go back to the game and maybe I won’t, but at least I know that I didn’t spend weeks playing a game that I didn’t enjoy.

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E3! E3! E3! – Part # 2

As promised, here’s part two of my E3 blog. I’ll go over some highlights from the Ubisoft conference along with the Sony conference, let you know what I thought was missing in this years E3, and I’ll let you know who I thought won the whole Sony and Microsoft yearly battle. I think the outcome of who I thought won might surprise you so you’ll have to keep reading to find out.

For Honor

I’ve been calling this for months and I was right, it’s going to be so hard to keep up with my gaming goal of not pre-ordering anything for Ubisoft this year because did you see that showing of games? From South Park to the Tom Clancy games to Assassin’s Creed, the whole show was just action packed and filled with games that I wanted to play. For Honor had to be one of the best new games that I had seen throughout all of E3. The whole game is just new and original and it looks badass. I was really just impressed with the whole show, but I’m going to be a little cautious with the company as a whole. I really hate having a bunch of unplayable games sitting on my shelf and after last years Assassin’s Creed stuff, I don’t mind waiting. While I hopefully can stick to my goal and not pre-order anything I might have to pick up a couple when they’re on sale.

Adult Multiplayer Conversations: Did you see how “grown up” everyone was who was playing the multiplayer live on stage? You could tell that everything was totally scripted because I have seriously never played with other players who were that mature while playing. This even includes the group of friends that I play with. We are never that mature and when I play with randomes, I mostly get stuck in rooms with children screaming garbage at me while their mommy yells at them in the background.

Horizon: Zero Dawn

Of course it wouldn’t be E3 without some rumors about The Last Guardian, but this year they turned out to be true and the Sony press conference opened with this game. This game that everyone has been talking about for years and years just made me say “huh” as I have no idea what the hell is going on with this game or what all the hype is about. I seriously wasn’t impressed at what I saw. What I was impressed with, wasn’t the new Uncharted 4, which I’m still excited about, it wasn’t the new realistic looking Hitman, it wasn’t even No Man’s Sky, which in my opinion looks way too ambitious, it was Horizon: Zero Dawn. The fall of man, the rise of the machines, a new female lead (take that Tomb Raider), this game looked like a winner to me. When the preview was done all I wanted was to see more of this game. This game had me totally excited and I really can’t wait to play. Another game that had me on the edge of my seat was Firewatch. Is it a mystery game, an action adventure game, who the hell is that voice on the walkie-talkie? The whole game seems like a mystery and I can’t wait to learn more and then finally get my hands on it. Ugh, and did you see how Uncharted 4 had to be restarted during the demo? It makes me happy that this game was delayed but what a downer to have something like that happen during the press conference. The game looks phenomenal on the PS4 and I’m loving the banter between Drake and Sully but I thought it was somewhat of a fail to not have the game function properly.

Nightmares: Did you ever wonder what your dreams would be like if they could be turned into a game? Wonder no more with the announcement of Dreams. Create your dreams and have other people play through them while you play through their dreams. While this game looks pretty neat and “artsy”, I just think that this game just looks way to difficult and it seems like you have to be an actual artist to be able to excel at this game. There is no way that someone who isn’t art inclined is going to pick up this game and make some of the fantastical designs that were shown off during the preview. I also think that this game, which is meant to be intriguing and creative, will turn into something extremely filthy extremely fast. I can predict that minutes after release there will be a dream titled “Boobs” somewhere.

MIA

Even though this E3 was just as huge as previous E3’s, I felt like a few things were missing from the show as a whole. I was totally bummed out watching the Microsoft and EA conference and didn’t even hear anything about Dragon Age: Inquisition DLC or an expansion. I mean the game was released in November, ended in a bit of a cliff hanger and we get nothing. E3 would have been a perfect place to announce something for this game that won so many game of the year awards. Not hearing anything at all makes me think of some problems behind the scenes and I really hope not because not only do I love this game, but I also love the franchise as a whole. I also thought that this E3 was sorely missing some Borderlands news. I would have taken anything, a short clip, some art from the new game, something, but nothing at all. Just an empty space where some Borderlands news should have been. Although I won’t mind if Watch_Dogs never gets mentioned again and never has a sequel, I was kind of expecting it at the Ubisoft conference. I was surprised when something for this game wasn’t announced, but not surprised enough that I’ll lose any sleep over it. Another game that I thought was missing from this year’s E3 was God of War. To tell you the truth it seems like the franchise at this point is finished, but I was still expecting something new to wow me and make me regain my enthusiasm for a game that I’ve been playing since the PS2.

Although it pains me to say it but at least as a loyal Playstation fan I can admit it, Microsoft was the clear winner this year. Their show was huge and showed a bunch of new stuff, even that weird looking new controller, they also showed that they were willing to listen to their fans and make adjustments to their system in order to allow backwards compatibility. While Microsoft is listening to the fans need for backwards compatibility Sony is still pushing the whole PS Now thing that I refuse to pay for at such a high price. The price is just not worth it and I just don’t see a lot of people using this. Not to mention they had a huge showing of games both first and third party that didn’t look all that bad. Sony had a lot of games that were shown as well, but I think that it wasn’t enough compared to the Microsoft show. Overall I thought that E3 as a whole was a huge success as usual and I can’t wait to start getting my hands on some of the new games that were announced while trying to wait patiently for the games that won’t even hit the shelves this year.

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E3! E3! E3! – Part # 1

So it was that time of year again. The gamer version of Christmas where just about every big name in video games makes an appearance to show off what they’ve been working on for the past year, or the past couple of years for every gamer to ooo and ahh over. There was so much news coming out of E3, it was almost hard to keep up with everything going on. I tried as best as possible, and here are my highlights from this years E3. Because there was just way too much to put into one blog, I’ve broken it up into two parts. Kicking off part one of my E3 blog are my highlights from the Bethesda, Microsoft, and EA conference.

Fallout 4

Bethesda kicked off E3 this year with their first ever press conference and boy did they really set the bar. While they started off a little slow with Doom, they slowly worked their way up by announcing Dishonored 2 with a new female protagonist. Nice. I have to admit I have the first Dishonored sitting on my game shelf just begging me to play it and I’m going to have to get to it one of these days before Dishonored 2 comes out. While the Dishonored 2 announcement was pretty big, it wasn’t as big as the Fallout 4 presentation. Fallout 4 was what everyone was really waiting for and it made just about everything else that was shown look like a filler since they couldn’t possibly devote whole hour to this game. I mean, they could have but they didn’t. Everything about this game looks amazing. From new ways to create your characters with out the character “sliders” to the reveal about being able to create your own settlement in game for other survivors to join you, everything about this game excited me. Then just when you thought it was over, the release date was announced. 11/10/2015. This year! This game is only months away!

Bonus: After the announcement of Fallout Shelter, the new mobile game, I was quick to download it since it was released that night and I’ve been addicted ever since. While you can spend money if you want, there really isn’t a reason too and this game is totally free.

Backwards Compatibility

Although I’m a strictly Playstation gamer, I still watch the Microsoft conference just to see what the competition is offering. I have to be honest and say that they’re kind of offering a lot, not a lot that it would ever make me change my gaming system, but I was pretty impressed by their show. There were just a ton of games announced during this show it was crazy to try and keep up with all the games. While some were just blah so I didn’t mind those being exclusives there were some games that wowed me and I was a little sad that they were exclusives but that’s how it goes. Some of the best looking games that were shown at the Xbox conference were Tacoma, Ashen, Day Z, Sea of Thieves, and Fable Legends. Sure, Rise of the Tomb Raider was shown during the conference as their big “this is OUR Uncharted” type thing, but at this point I don’t even care. The game seriously looked like the previous game but now with ice and snow, so whatever. Backwards compatibility was a huge thing because as of now Playstation has said they aren’t doing it which makes me sad. I would love to play some of my PS3 games on my PS4 with all the capabilities that my PS4 has, but what are you going to do. Kudos to Xbox for being the first to do this. Finally, how badass did Hololens look especially while playing Minecraft?

Seriously? So after announcing that you don’t have to waste your money buying games that you already own since the Xbox One is now backwards compatible, the Gears of War Ultimate Edition was announced. Seriously?

Mass Effect: Andromeda

While most of the EA conference was just a huge snooze fest, I mean did Pele really have to be on stage that long for what had to be the most boring interview in the history of interviews, but the conference as a whole just dragged. Racing games, sports games, and a bunch of other stuff I wasn’t interested in made up this really long conference. Although I haven’t played Star Wars: The Old Republic, I like how EA is finally letting BioWare do what they do best with this game and that’s tell stories. The expansion looks really cool and while I would like this to come to console like ESO I know it will never happen. As excited as I am about Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2, I was just as bored with Mirrors Edge: Catalyst because I really disliked the first game. I know I’m in the minority with that game but it just didn’t appeal to me. It seemed like every good game that was announced came with one that wasn’t as good. I also couldn’t not mention Unravel which not only looks totally amazing, but has a deep meaningful story to it that I can’t wait to play. Now to the show opener, the game that I thought was going to set the pace of the show, but sadly didn’t, Mass Effect: Andromeda. Nothing was said about the game at all except for the title and cryptic “Holiday 2016” release, but nevertheless I was excited. Although I enjoyed the tease I could have done without it since they aren’t going to do a big showing of this game until next year. Knowing EA and BioWare, this date will roughly change and I’m thinking that Holiday 2016 will turn into Holiday 2017.

Predicting the Future: So, any of my friends could vouch for me as I always said that the next Mass Effect would never be Mass Effect 4. I have always said that it would be Mass Effect “Whatever” and it totally is. Why have I been saying that? Because I still hold onto this little ounce of hope that the true Mass Effect 4 will be the return of Shepard. Doubt me all you want, but you’re going to have to wait and see.

That’s it for today! Come back tomorrow for part 2 of my E3 blog where I’ll go over the Ubisoft and Sony conference. I’ll also be going over some games that I thought would be at E3 but sadly weren’t and I’ll tell you who I thought won this year between the Micosoft and Sony yearly battle.

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Making the Most Out of Your PS Vita

I’ve been a proud PS Vita owner for over 2 years now and to tell the truth, I’ve only paid a total of less than $20 for all the Vita games that I’ve played and I’ve played a lot of PS Vita games. My main goal when buying my PS Vita was that I really didn’t want to spend any money on the games, but I still wanted to get a decent amount of usage out of it. I already had a PS3 that I spent a ton of money on and I didn’t want to do the same with a handheld console. Here’s how I managed to make the most out of my PS Vita.

Most of my PS Vita games come from the monthly PS+ lineup. Even if I have no intention of playing the game when it’s released on PS+, I add it to my library anyway. That way when I feel like I have nothing at all to play, all I have to do is go to my library and download something that’s already there. If you’re a member of PS+, take advantage of it. How can you really turn down a game that you’re getting in the monthly line up?

There are a lot of free PS Vita games. Yes, you read that correctly. FREE. They aren’t part of the PS+ lineup, they’re just free. Like with most free games, there are places for you to spend actual money, but why are you going to do that. The game is free and most likely you can get at least 30 minutes or more of playtime at a time. You don’t need more then that. Once your lives or whatever runs out, move on and come back when everything regenerates.

Black Friday is a gamers friend. Especially a PS Vita gamer. Most of these PS Vita games are way over priced, but Black Friday and the weeks to follow up until Christmas have these games at a marked down rate. Load up on these games during that time and when you’re finished with them just sell them. I’ve had huge success this way and I always get back more then what I actually paid for the game making the game that I paid for free. Or it’s like I was paid to play the game. I’ve done this mostly with all of the TellTale games including The Walking Dead Season 1 and 2 and The Wolf Among Us.

Cross-buys are another great way to get some extra PS Vita games. Most of the PS Vita games are made for the PS3 and/or PS4 at this point. The cross-buy feature lets you buy the game for your actual console while getting a chance to play another version on the PS Vita. Some of these games even have separate trophy lists so it’s a total win-win situation and it gets you using your PS Vita even more.

If you just can’t justify buying yourself a Vita and making that type of investment, just think of all the free games that you’re missing out on. Sure, I’ve paid for a few games but the total amount of money that I paid for these games is seriously less than $20. Most of this is because when I do buy a game for the PS Vita, I make sure that it’s on sale or I make sure that I can sell the game later on for more then I paid for it to begin with. The PS Vita is a great little handheld console to have on the side and you at least won’t have to spend the money that you spend on your PS3 or PS4 in order to play it and get a decent amount of usage out of it.

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Should Dead Games Be Rebooted?

Dead games. You know the ones I’m talking about. The games that at one time were so wildly popular, had sequel after sequel after sequel, until one day they just died. No longer were these games popular, no longer were sequel’s made, and the gaming world went on without them like they never existed in the first place. With new consoles being not so new anymore it seems like the popular thing to do is to reboot these dead games, but the question is should they be rebooted?

When I think of dead games getting the reboot, I think immediately of Rock Band and Guitar Hero. Back in the day of PS2, there was nothing I would rather do then plug in my plastic guitar and rock out to some of my favorite songs. Like many, I bought into the hype of playing like I was an imaginary rock star who was in my own band and who totally rocked. I bought all of the equipment, which just sits in my closet now collecting dust, and even made the transition from PS2 to PS3. Like almost everyone else though, I thought that these games soon became boring. It was the same thing over and over again with nothing new and exciting coming from either the Rock Band franchise or the Guitar Hero franchise and I eventually stopped buying the games and stopped caring about them.

As of late, both Rock Band and Guitar Hero have gotten some major press with their reboots coming to the PS4. I’m not really buying into the hype this time around though. Sure, both games have made some much needed improvements and look like they could be fun, but how long will it last? How long until both games release a new game every year as an exact copy of the year before until they die again waiting for a new console to reboot these dead games again.

In my very honest opinion, I believe that dead games should stay dead. I have some really great memories of rocking out on my PS2 version of Guitar Hero playing Skid Row’s 18 and Life, but I’m not really interested in a reboot and buying new equipment that will suffer the same fate of the previous equipment. Plus there are so many other games, great games, coming to the PS4 this year and next year and the years to come that there really isn’t room for these games anymore. So RIP Rock Band and Guitar Hero, the trend was fun while it lasted but it’s seriously over now.

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