April 2015 IGC

It’s that time of the month again, and this time the information is nice and early, unlike last month where the official post didn’t come out until the day of the releases. This time around the last day of the month fell on Tuesday (today) so we’re going to have to wait until next week to jump into these titles. Overall, it’s a so-so month for me. I really need to bite the bullet soonish and get a PS4 and a Vita, because I’d be getting so much more value out of this plus membership had I all the hardware to run the games. It’s okay, because I know I’ll be able to play these games eventually when I do get the systems, but it’s a bummer when the PS3 games are ones I have already played or own on another platform. Anyway, let’s start with the video and then I’ll go over the titles individually.

So for PS4 owners, you’ll be getting what I think is a pretty cool game in Tower of Guns, along with a couple of indie platformers. A few of the titles this month are cross buy, so I know that Tower of Guns is going to be available on PS3 as well, which is cool, but I’ve owned the game on my PC for months. It’s a really hectic bullet-hell FPS that has cartoon graphics and ran great despite all of the stuff exploding on screen. It’s also a rogue-like, so there’s permadeath and procedural generation along with various unlockables that will ease further progress. I can say if you’re a fan of any of the genres mentioned, you should enjoy this one. I’ll be trying it out when I can to see how it holds up on the PS3. I have a feeling it will be fine either way as the graphics weren’t amazing anyway, but sometimes the PS3 can be sluggish.

The second PS4 title is called Never Alone, and stars a main character with a wolf pet, and I assume there are various puzzles and other platformer elements that you’re used to, so it really doesn’t need much other description. I will say that it doesn’t really look like something I would normally play, but it could be a pleasant surprise, right? Lastly, one of the PS3 games is cross buy on PS4 as well, and it’s called Aaru’s Awakening. This one is still another platformer type game, but it has a more appealing art style and seems similar to The Swapper game we got a couple of months ago. I’ll give this one a spin and report back when I have a chance.

The other PS3 game this month is Dishonored, and my verdict is “meh.” I owned the game when it first released and though it was fun for a couple of hours, it ended up frustrating me. At the time I was deep in a trophy addiction, and the trophies in that game were insane, where you would essentially beat the game without killing anyone, and things of that nature. I’ve written before about how stealth games generally annoy me, because they force you into that role, whereas I love stealth classes in RPGs because you can pick and choose when to go in guns blazing, or play it safe. Anyway, I don’t believe I finished this one, and I did enjoy the story/setting, so perhaps I’ll give it another whirl. We’ll see.

Finally, for the PSVita there’s Killzone Mercenary and Monsterbag. The former is the Vita exclusive Killzone game, and I’m sure it’s just fine. I enjoyed Killzone when I’ve played it in the past but was never a huge fan of the series. It’s pretty straightforward FPS stuff. The latter game is another puzzler, and looks rather boring, but you’ll have to see for yourself.

That’s all for another month of Plus freebies. Til next time.

#playstationplus #instantgamecollection #freegames

Couch Podtatoes Episode 39: Character Customization

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I was unable to make the show this past week (and also didn’t blog as much as you could probably see) because of a pre-planned visit from my sister, so Eri took the reigns and found a couple of guests to join her in a discussion about character customization in MMOs and other games. This is a topic she wanted to discuss previously, but something I really have little to no interest in, so it was a perfect time for her to run with it, leaving me out altogether.

Eri was joined by Dan Ryyu from VGR Show (another gaming podcast) and Jaedia (who has been on the show a few times already). I’m glad to see they didn’t burn the place down in my absence. So have a listen, and see how you like an Izzy-free show.

 

Download this Episode Subscribe via RSS Download on iTunes Listen on Stitcher

Couch Podtatoes Epsiode 39: Character Customization (runtime: 1:01:35)

What are we playing? (starts at 3:37)
Discussion: Character Customization (starts at 9:51)

Host Contact information:

Izlain
Blog: Me vs. Myself and I
Twitter:@mevsmyselfandi

J3w3l
Blog: Healing The Masses
Twitter: @ausj3w3l

Guest Contact information:

Jaedia
Blog: Dragons and Whimsy
Twitter: @jaedia

Dan Ryyu
Blog: VGR Show
Twitter: @danryyu

Music Credits:
“Level Up” by Cookie Monsta (from the Riot! EP)
“Reborn” by Riot Games (from the album The Music of League of Legends)
“Enchanted Rose” by Bury Your Dead (from the album Beauty and the Breakdown)

Couch Podtatoes is a podcast about gaming, though we might stray into other forms of media. Sometimes we use strong language, but we try to keep that to a minimum. All opinions expressed by us or our guests are our own and are in no way to be interpreted as official commentary from any companies we discuss. You can visit our official podcast page at http://couchpodtatoes.libsyn.com/. Be sure to follow us on iTunes, and/or Stitcher Radio.

Questions, comments and feedback are welcomed and encouraged!

#couchpodtatoes #podcast #gamesdiscussion #gaming

Crowfall Campaign Complete

I’ve written about Crowfall a couple of times now, along with talking about it during our Niche MMO episode of Couch Podtatoes. Now that the Kickstarter campaign has finished and the dust has settled, let’s take a look at what that means for backers.

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Keep in mind, the last time I wrote about the game was 3 days before the Kickstarter campaign would end. At that point, the backer total was at 14k and they had just crossed the 1.3 million threshold. By the time funding finished, the game passed 17k backers and raked in nearly 1.8 million dollars. That’s insane, but I know this isn’t setting any Kickstarter records. Still, quite the accomplishment to go from being a not-so-well-known title a few months ago, to making almost 2 million dollars in 30 days. I think this game deserves the money though, and the stretch goals come through for most backer levels.

So since that post, we’ve seen the addition of God’s Reach (ruleset) and the Artifacts and Relics system, bonus parcels, VR headset support, the Infected ruleset, the Minotaur race/class, improved crafting, a tournament system, pets that are used in combat, and some other relics. Depending on your backer level, you’ll get a couple of extra goodies, but you’ll have had to spend $60+.

I’m glad that not all of the stretch goals and rewards weren’t completely meaningless fluff. New systems and character models/classes are always a welcome addition, pack animals and pets sound cool as well. The relics are whatever, I really need to find out what they do before I can comment further. I think I’m most excited for the Minotaur, because that just sounds like it would be fun to play. It’s an interesting idea to add VR support, but I’m not sure the technology is there yet for me to want to don a headset every time I log in to play an MMO. You’d be wearing it quite often if you were heavily invested in the game. Still, the goals and rewards look great. Now we just have to hope the team delivers on the vision of the game they presented, and there aren’t any fiascos surrounding the title.

That would be my luck. My first Kickstarter is vaporware. Good thing I didn’t spend $10k.

#crowfall #kickstarter #crowdfunding

Sword in the Darkness

It seems like I just finished up the first couple of episodes of this series, and yet here’s another one already! It feels like they’re getting churned out pretty quickly, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as I am always in the mood for some TellTale stories. This new episode, “The Sword in the Darkness” released this past Tuesday, and I managed to fit that in before my sister arrived for a visit. I’m just now writing about it because said visit is over, and now it’s back to business as usual. Shall we get down to my choices?

Episode 3 opens with the player in control of Asher Forrester, who has been found by his uncle Malcolm. Of course Malcolm is there to persuade Asher to return home to help his house in its time of need. Without giving too much away, you’re basically after an army of sellswords to return home with, but are also being pursued by another group. There’s some combat. There’s a dragon. You get to choose between saving your uncle, or your partner-in-crime Beskha. I chose saving Malcolm, but neither died as a result, and it appears to be almost an even split on that choice.

Later, playing as Mira, you are reprimanded by Margaery for having spoken with Tyrion for help for your family (with the Ironwood purchasing). During another scene, Tyrion appears and asks to speak with you, right in front of Margaery. I defied her wishes and spoke with him, and he gave some good news. It’s a tricky game you have to play with Mira, I feel like I need to do whatever it takes to help my family, but I’m not being very careful about it either. Oh well. Another fairly even split on this choice as well.

Britt, one of the men who killed Gared’s family, ends up at Castle Black, where Gared has actually come into his own. Jon Snow seems to have a fondness for him as well. You learn about the North Grove, become a ranger, all sorts of good stuff. However, you have a need for vengeance, and at one point are seemingly alone with Britt, who attacks you. By the end of the fight, he lie at the bottom of the wall, per my decision. It seems that the majority of people were a bit more dastardly.

Playing as Rodrik, there comes a point where Gryff Whitehill, one of the family members stationed within House Forrester’s walls, starts a commotion. Rodrik makes a stand, and I pushed as far as I could before I felt bad for the guy. Rodrik isn’t full strength yet, and really can’t back up his words. Bloodied and in the mud, I submitted to Gryff. For now. I was in the majority this time.

Lastly, back with Mira, Tyrion is framed for the murder of Geoffrey at his and Margaery’s wedding. You’ll recall this event from the television show, I’m sure. As such, he is no longer the Lord of Coin (or whatever that title is) and the Ironwood Decree will be null and void. You still have it, but must choose whether you should keep it and maintain that connection to the kingslayer, or burn it. I chose to burn it, figuring it wouldn’t be of use. Though I know that Tyrion was framed, and I know that he gets out of it in the show, but who knows how long that takes, compared to when this game might end. It appears that the majority of players kept it. I guess we’ll see who’s right later on.

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That’s all for this episode. There shouldn’t be anymore episodes for a while, as both series had new releases in the last couple of weeks. So I’ll return to this play through once we get a new episode to play. We’re only halfway through the season, so there should be more cool stuff coming soon.

#gameofthrones #telltalegames

State of the Game: The Short Edition

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Late again, but I was debating just calling this post off for the week because I didn’t want to get into too much detail when talking about any of the following games. However, I think I’ve piled up enough smaller experiences that I can just do a small summation of what’s been going on. This is mainly due to the fact that my sister is coming out this week to visit for a few days, so I know I won’t be posting much if at all, so this is what you get til after she leaves!

League ELO hell continues. The story thus far: Started Bronze I after provisional matches. Dropped to Bronze III. Rose to Bronze I. Dropped to Bronze II. Stayed for a month. Dropped to Bronze III. Got into promo series to go back to Bronze II, lost. Stuck in Bronze III. I guess I suck. Sort of taking a break from taking it so seriously. Maybe I’ll luck out and get back to Silver before the season ends.

Helldivers: Progressed through several missions, and then finally tried out the co-op multiplayer, which is a lot of fun. Since it’s made by the same guys who made Magicka, you can “accidentally” kill your buddies. Tons of fun. Haven’t had a problem with population thus far, but I feel like I should devote some significant time to this one before populations eventually die out.

Hotline Miami 2: Progressed through Act I. Feels more difficult than the first game, but mechanics, atomsphere, graphics, gameplay are all the same. Perhaps I’m just wrong in thinking that the first one was easy.

More sales got the best of me. I picked up Banished for $5, and Starships for some odd discount as well. I was bummed that I later saw a package where Starships and Beyond Earth were both really cheap, but that’s how it goes. Banished is a fun city builder that I’m surprised to be enjoying as much as I have. I usually get bored with these types of games. I actually was looking into getting Cities: Skylines because it’s been all the rage, but again, I usually get bored with these types of games. So I figured I’d skip it, but I’ve had my eye on Banished for a long time, and $5 is a steal, so I went for it instead. I have enjoyed trying to get everything in working order to the point where you can speed things up and it’s on autopilot.

Starships is a 4x-lite. It’s a game designed for the mobile market, and as such many people said it wasn’t worth your time. I am normally one of those types of people as well, but it just looked like a great way to get some strategy gaming in, without the time committment. Having read some reviews and commentary, it seems that was the conclusion most people who were happy with the game came to. Having tried it out, I can tell that I was going about things all wrong in my first game, so I have a better idea of what I want to do in the next go-round. I think it’s fun, but I’ll get more into it at a later time.

During that same sale I was also tempted by Borderlands The Pre-Sequel, and ended up getting it as well. I would have preferred to get it for the PS3 because I have the first two games there as well, but it wasn’t on sale over on PSN, so I couldn’t pass up the deal. However, having purchased Borderlands 2 back when it came out (and the season pass) I know that it’s one of those money sinks, so getting the bundle all at once was helpful, and still cheaper than just the base game would have been on PS3. I never did finish the last couple of DLC packs for BL2, so that was reinstalled on my Playstation to get tackled before jumping into TPS.

Lastly, my Dad gifted me a copy of Tamriel Unlimited. I wasn’t expecting that, and had suspicions that it might not run on this system, but I’m happy to report it runs great. Having played a Khajiit stealthy character in Skyrim, I obviously had to roll a Khajiit Nightblade in ESO. I started out doing all the quests I could find, and then ended up taking a boat to another zone and doing more quests. It feels just like Skyrim, though I see other people doing the same things as me. It’s weird, but cool, and I rather like it. Coming back for another session, I decided to roll a Dark Elf Sorcerer, and I was instantly hooked, and now I’m wanting to try the other classes. I have a full post ready to write about this game that will probably hit next weekend.

Here’s some screens of some of the aforementioned games.

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#stateofthegame #roundup