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.

TwitterYouTube

What to Expect at E3…Maybe Part 2

Because yesterday’s blog was getting way too long, I decided to break up the conferences and let you see what I think is going to possibly happen at this years E3. Today I’ll be looking at the Microsoft and Bethesda conference. If you want, click here to see what I’m expecting to see at EA’s conference.

Microsoft Conference

• I totally expect to see a bunch of Microsoft exclusives that will make me completely jealous and bitter about not having an Xbox. The game that will make me the most jealous? Sea of Thieves.
• Then I expect some Forza stuff because they have that every year right?
• Finally I expect that the Xbox Scorpio to have a huge spot on this conference. I don’t think it will be released this year or even next year, because I think that would be too soon. I’m thinking this will be the holiday gift of 2019.

Not being that huge into Xbox that’s basically what I’ll be looking for, but I’m open to being completely surprised.

Bethesda Conference

• I’m really surprised that Bethesda is having a conference this year, but I’m expecting the announcement of the next Doom game. (I had to add that in there because my buddy, mm, is a huge Doom fan and thinks a new game will be announced this year.)
• I’m expecting some updates to ESO that I probably won’t be interested in, since I can’t seem to get back into that game no matter how hard I try.
• I’m sure there will be some talk about Fallout Shelter which has become surprisingly addictive for me as of late since it made the move to PC. (Don’t tell my PS4 I’ve been cheating on it with my PC!)
• Since they’ve decided to hold a conference, I’m thinking the next Elder Scrolls game will get some sort of announcement but won’t be released until 2019.

SURPRISE ANNOUNCEMENT!
A huge surprise would be the remaster of Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas as a package deal.

Other than that I’m not sure what else they could announce besides some DLC for Prey.

That’s basically what I’m expecting out of those two conferences. Agree? Disagree? Have your own ideas of what will be happening at these two conferences? Let me know in the comments section and come back to tomorrow to see what I’ll be expecting from the Ubisoft conference and the Sony conference.

TwitterYouTube

The Walking Dead: A New Frontier – Episode 2 – The Ties that Bind Part Two Review (PS4)

The Walking Dead: A New Frontier

Apparently the first episode was getting way too long that they had to split it up into two parts for this game and release the second episode at the same time. Does anyone else smell the Minecraft: Story Mode explanation of “needing more episodes through DLC” story coming up for this season? Anyway, after playing the first episode I was eager to get into the second one and luckily was able to even though it took a few days to do so. Was it just as good as the first episode or was it lacking? Keep reading to find out.

You’ll start off where you left of in the first episode. Javier is reunited with his family only to see the demise of one of his family members along with the possible demise of another. He’ll see his somewhat perfect little world basically go to shit in the matter of minutes while single handedly running another community in the process. It seems like disaster follows this famous ex baseball player everywhere as it’s just one problem after another. You’ll have another flashback with Javier before the zombie apocalypse and get another glimpse into what’s been going on with Clementine since you last left off with her in season two. All of this will make for a somewhat short episode that has another surprise ending. Please make sure to pick your jaw up off the floor by the end of this one.

I felt like this episode was really short and kind of tacked on. It felt like it could have been played with the first episode and not felt too long like Telltale insisted that it would. I didn’t realize that there was a time limit that they had to stick to with each episode. Instead they went the Minecraft: Story Mode route of making this episode feel way too short as was the case with the second episode of Minecraft: Story Mode. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy the second episode as you were introduced to Jesus. If you read the comics or watch the show you know who this character is even though I’m not really sure of his importance to this story at the moment. The ending was another kicker and I was once again a little disappointed that you were only able to play Clementine in another short flashback scene. Any chance I’m going to be able to play her for at least one whole episode Telltale or will that be in DLC?

Garrus is that you? If you’re a Mass Effect fan like I am then you might have picked up that Jesus sounded a lot like my favorite space bro Garrus. If you’re not a Mass Effect fan then you can just skip this paragraph because it’ll make no sense to you and you have no idea what I’m talking about. That’s because Jesus is played by the one and only Brandon Keener. Don’t get me wrong, I think that Brandon Keener is a very talented voice actor and he’s one of my favorites but I couldn’t help but picture Garrus head on Jesus’s body every time the man spoke. It was weird. Was it weird for my fellow Mass Effect fans? Let me know in the comments section below.

Just like with the first episode, there were some major improvements to the overall playability of this game. The quick time events are not only feeling more natural and more fluid within the game itself but they’re working a lot better. If you played the previous two seasons then you know that sometimes they were a little sketchy and sometimes you would do as prompted only to fail. This didn’t happen this time around but there were still problems with the loading times. Loading times still took way too long and I’m hoping this is something that will be cleared up in the future.

It didn’t happen to me but… While the only problem I had with my game was some loading time issues, it was reported to me, by LMD (who is a reliable source because well he’s my dad), that while playing his game crashed and he had to replay a portion of the game over again because it was a complete shut off the game crash. Like I said, this didn’t happen to me but I just wanted to put it out there so that you can be aware that it’s possible this could happen. I had this problem a lot with Telltale’s Batman and when I was told of this I wasn’t really surprised.

Like with other Telltale games, the graphics for this episode were consistent with that of the first episode. I’m enjoying the graphics this time around basically as long as I don’t see any other characters from other seasons because I would hate to see them have the same facelift that Jane had. As always with this game, the graphics really excel and kind of make the game. You can tell a lot of work went into them and it doesn’t go unnoticed.

Did you get the first 6 trophies for the first episode? Of course you did because you’re playing the second episode. Finish this quick episode for another easy 6 trophies getting you 6 steps closer to getting the platinum trophy for this game. Please take my advice though and don’t play these games for the platinum trophies. Telltale happens to be a really good story telling company even with all of their flaws and it would be a waste if you’re just playing the games for the easy platinum trophy.

Do you have a Telltale account created yet? If you do you can go ahead and try out the crowd play feature for this game even though I refuse to. If not then you’re like me and this will be a single player experience for you.

Overall I give this episode a 3.5 out of 5.

What’s Great:
+ Continuation of the first episode with another surprise ending that will have you shouting at your TV.
+ More natural feeling quick time events that fit nicely into the game.
+ Some more Clementine backstory.
+ Consistent graphics that are great.

What’s Not So Great:
Episode was too short and felt tacked on. It wasn’t long enough to warrant a part two and should have been included in the first episode.
More loading issues with the reported game crash issue that is not good.
You still aren’t able to fully play as Clementine.

While I was a little disappointed with this episode because of the length it was a good episode. I’m eager to see where this season is going especially with Clementine’s reveal and that ending. If you played you know what I’m talking about. Did anyone see that coming? I sure as hell didn’t. If you’re on the fence about this game, I would once again say to hold off especially since this episode was so short and I smell a “we need more episodes to finish up so buy our DLC” coming up. I could be wrong but you would probably benefit from waiting and have to shell out less money in the long run.

Spoilers! Below are the choices that I made for the second episode.

The Walking Dead: A New Frontier

The Walking Dead: A New Frontier_20161230143614

TwitterYouTube

Video Game Tattoo Chronicles Part 2 – Athena Out!

It’s that time again, when I go for what I like to call my monthly therapy session.  That’s right, I consider my tattoo sessions my therapy for the month because it basically costs the same.  Anyway, keep reading to see the progress I made on my arm.

The last time I went to get work on my arm, this was what started to transform after my first session.
Athena Tattoo - Session 1
This most current session was about finishing up my Athena tattoo and basically discussing where we would go next since I’m looking to work on a full on sleeve on my left arm.  Four hours later, this is the end result and my completely finished Athena tattoo.
Athena Tattoo FinishedAthena Tattoo FinishedAthena Tattoo Finished

Not only did I leave extremely happy with the outcome, but I also left with a lot to think about.  There were a couple of things certain though that will come out of my next session.  While I was going to get the messed up paragon sign on my inner wrist fixed, I decided it would be better to cover it up completely, just because it’s really bad.  I know that in my last blog I talked about how much this tattoo had meant to me, and it still does which is why, while I regret having to so, it has to go because as great as my tattoo artist is, I really don’t think there is a way to fix it properly and give it the recognition that it needs.  The tattoo will make a reappearance though, I’m just not ready to reveal that yet.

So now the question of what to cover it up with.  I talked to my artist about doing a full on tribute sleeve to Borderlands with a couple of memorable characters featured on my arm along with the signature Borderlands logo to top it off on my shoulder.  While my artist thinks that’s a cool and workable idea, he also gave the suggestion of something different.

What he suggested was that since I already had my favorite Borderlands character permanently inked on my arm, why not make a collage of a bunch of different characters from a bunch of different games.  Each character will have its own background theme which will then merge with the other scenes on my arm.

Both ideas intrigue me.  I like the idea of doing a bunch of different characters with their own scenes and I also like having one solid theme on my arm.  I have some time to think about things since I’ll be skipping this month and instead going to a Convention, but I have a lot to think about.  My next session is in June and you’ll find out then what I decided to do.  Opinions are always welcomed so let me know what you think in the comments section.  Should I go with a full on Borderlands theme?  Or should I choose a bunch of different characters and and have them merge together? I’ll let you know that at this moment, I’m kinda thinking about how cool a bunch of different scenes would look all merged together and even have some ideas in my head. I guess you’ll just have to wait until June to see what’s going to happen.

TwitterYouTube

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.

TwitterYouTube