Archive for the ‘General Musings’ Category

Daytona! Let’s Go Away!

Just doing some internet surfing and found this bad-boy. One of my favourite arcade game tunes.

Had to share it with you all, Enjoy!

Contact details for Leeram

 

 

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Xbox One X or Switch?

I have to buy one of them but I don’t know which!

The XboneX is going to be a monster of a machine, equivalent to a PC with a GTX 1070 in it. Not only will that mean great XBoneX games it will mean that PC games get a boost as well, just like happened with PS4 and XBone, and that is a great thing, so it’s worth supporting.

The trouble is I already have a powerful PC, and practically all the decent games come out on it anyway, so the XboneX might just be replicating what I already have.

Then there’s the Switch. It’s Nintendo and they make the best games, unfortunately though the catalogue is a bit sma… What the hell am I on about? Of course I’m getting a Switch, I’m a Nintendo Fanboy!

That new Atari looks lovely though, I will probably have to get one of them as well! I remember the Atari 2600 and the hours upon hours of time wasted on it (Space Invaders anyone?), hopefully this one will be just as good.

Avaguddun,

Lee

 

How Awesome is the Witcher 3?

I played The Witcher 2 and was not that impressed, well that’s not true because I loved the story – it was the game itself that miffed me off. I got stuck at some boss or other and could not get away from it unless I reverted to a game save and I hate doing that. It feels like I am having to compensate for bad game design.

I was a bit hesitant at buying The Witcher 3 but eventually the continual good reports, and a hefty discount on Steam, convinced me to dive in.

I’m not going to write a review because there are plenty of them online. If you like single player RPGs with a good story and plenty to do then this is for you. Make sure you have plenty of time though!

Cheers

Lee

3DS’s Swan Song

I’ve just been lucky enough to be able to go to Florida and so needed a decent mobile game to pass the time on the plane during the trip.

It came down to a choice between Monster Hunter X, Zelda – A Link Between Worlds and Lego City Undercover. I quickly removed Lego from the list because it’s available for Nintendo Switch, which I intend on buying in the near future.

In the end I plumped for Zelda. It is a great game by any measure, I haven’t finished it yet but so far it’s completely engaging. The 3D effect is the best I have seen on the system and Nintendo have learned from previous games – providing some decent tools to make it easier to remember what you are doing,  for instance you can place multiple pins on the map to remind you where to go.

Unfortunately, unless I buy Monster Hunter (which, let’s face it, is likely to be out on Switch before I get chance to buy it) this is the last game I will play on 3DS. It makes me sad but onward and upward!

Nintendo continue to make the best games on any console, I’m hoping the Switch can keep up the trend.

Cheers

Lee

*P.S. Skint? Go to the Society of Matched Bettors and get some risk free cash!

A year off

Has it really been a year since I last wrote about my gaming exploits? Time doesn’t half fly!

The truth of it is that I have been more concerned with Matched Betting and Betfair Trading than true gaming. I do consider them to be my new “rpg” though, lots of stats and flashing numbers.

I have spent a reasonable amount of time improving my arcade cabinet after buying a New Net City. You can see what I got up to on my youtube channel.

I did have a bit of an epiphany as well.

The thing is, I am an older brother and that makes me inherently a) correct – always, b) in charge – always and c) correct – always.

So when I played GTA Vice City and thought it was a bit pants, then obviously I was right, and obviously that applied to every other GTA even though I hadn’t actually played them.

My daughter asked me if she could play GTAV so I thought I’d check it out, I happened to have a PS3 version which I got in a game bundle with said machine. (She has the PS4 version because she stole my PS4 off me.)

It is truly awesome. There, I admitted I was wrong. The city is incredible, certainly the best environment I have seen in a game, except, maybe, for Xenoblade X. The amount of detail and sheer scale of it is astonishing and, unlike say, The Division, it doesn’t get boring or seem to repeat itself too much.

Before GTAV I completed Red Dead Redemption. I never did get to grips with it, I found it boring, repetitive and the ending just stupid. Other people love it but it just didn’t click with me. I got sick of seeing brown, that’s for sure. Sticking in a Nintendo game in-between Red Dead stints and seeing some colour was a breath of fresh air.

Anyway, just thought I’d check in. I’m currently putting a bit of time into the Witcher 3 at the same time as GTA 5. I’m still at the beginning but I’ll report back.

Avaguddun!

More Wii U Goodness

It’s a long time since I played a Tomb Raider game and the reviews and comment on the latest incarnation whetted my appetite for a bit of action with Lara, if you know what I mean. Rather than dive into Rise of the Tomb Raider I decided to go for the first in the series, i.e. the reboot – Tomb Raider.

I really enjoyed it. Not too long and not too short. I couldn’t help but think I haven’t ever seen any protagonist either in a game or film fall down so many things. Highly recommended if you fancy a good 12-15 hour game that’s just straight linear action.

After Tomb Raider I was faced with the release of a load of games, none of which I could really afford and all of which I wanted to buy. Reluctantly I whittled it down to a choice of two: Zelda Twilight Princess or Xenoblade Chronicles X, both for Wii U.

I never got to play Zelda TP so the release of the HD version was just what I needed to scratch my Zelda itch, but I was also itching for another massive RPG and I hadn’t yet coaxed my PS3 back off my daughter to play red Dead Redemption (who also managed to take my PS4 as well!) and that’s when I noticed Xenoblade Chronicles X.

The download version was £50 or so but you could get it for about £30 on disc second-hand so I trawled my local Computer Exchange and GAME for a copy, but it was no-where to be found. After about an hour of searching I gave up and treated myself to a Costa coffee instead. On the way out of the shopping centre I noticed an Argos, so I reckoned I might as well have a look in there and see if I could maybe get a bit knocked off the RRP, maybe to £40 or so.

I noticed that they had a game called Xenoblade Chronicles for £25, but it was pictured with the Chronicles X box art. Xenoblade Chronicles X was priced at £40 but had a different cover for the box art, and it was different to any of the art I had seen in reviews. So I took a punt and got a genuine, brand new Xenoblade Chronicles X for £25. Get in!

I really didn’t know what to expect from the game, but I did not expect the glorious spectacle that was set before me.

I will go as far as to say that this is the best RPG I have ever played. The graphics are about as good as you could expect from a Wii U, and on the downside the draw distance of NPCs and associated graphics is really poor. That is made up in spades by the scale of the world. It is phenomenal and as good, if not better, than anything I have played – even on PC. It is truly open world and you can run, walk, fly or swim across the whole thing and you will never see a load screen or a pause.

The level of detail in the various systems is incredible, with a depth that I have not experienced in any game. Not only do you have to keep an eye on your equipment and stats but you have to invest carefully in equipment suppliers; develop your “spells” which are known as “Arts” in this game; build up NPC characters and relationships with them; develop a mining system where you balance resources against cash and get stuck into a bit of crafting. For the first time in an RPG I got into the story. The side quests feed into the main story which is cinematic to say the least. The cut scenes are relatively short but are gripping and you want to watch them, then when they’ve finished you want to watch them again.

If you like RPGs it is worth buying a Wii U to play this game. Especially if you like RPGs that are very Japanese, including associated cheesy music. I put over 100 hours into it before deciding to complete the main story and I could easily spend another 100 hours in it if I wanted to. Sheer unadulterated perfection.

And that leads me onto a point I’d like to make – the Wii U is currently the best console of this generation.

Quite simply the best games I have played over the last year have been for the Wii U and I cannot understand why PS4 and Xbone are as popular as they are with the dross that gets churned out for them. Don’t get me wrong, there are some good games for them but the Wii U seems to ooze great games but gets no attention (over here in the U.K. at any rate) and it should sell at least as many as the other platforms.

My next game will either be Zelda TP or the Fallout 4 DLC when it comes out but only because I have already paid for it so I practically have to.

Before I sign off I’d just like to make another contentious statement:

Xenoblade is better than Fallout 4 and even Fallout 3. There, I said it!

Cheers,

Leeram

 

 

Decisions Decisions!

What to play after Fallout 4?

The first course of action was to finish Bayonetta 2 (B2) on my Wii U because I only managed to get around three quarters of the way through it before Fallout 4 came along.

B2 is a game of three halves. It starts off and pierces your brain with synapse scrambling gorgeousness and action but about half-way through the game it starts to get a bit “samey”. Although Bayonetta has more moves that John Travolta I found myself sticking with my favourite three or four and it turned into a bit of a grind for an hour or so.

There is a shop system but getting enough currency to buy anything but the very basics seemed impossible. I think the idea is that you go back and improve your score on each level to build up the amount you can spend. I rarely play games twice though so that wasn’t going to happen in my case.

Then, for no reason, it decided to show the world exactly what the Wii U can do and lavished the rest of the game with the guts, finesse and style of nothing I have ever played before, propelling this to the lofty heights of the being the greatest action RPG I have ever played.

B2 is emphatic in its “Japeneseness” {that’s a real word, in my head at any rate}; the music, the graphics, the sexiness, the flow and the unfathomable story all taking me back to a time when Japanese games ruled the world.

As I said to my mate in a text, “I have no words. Ridiculously hard, beautiful , stupidly fantastic, immensely astounding Japanese punishing slog-fest of a billion health bars with incredible pulsating mash-fests of doom in a wonderfully unfathomable story and eye bleeding colour. With bad accents.”

The best action-game ever, bar none. Nothing comes close.

Going retro

The next game was going to have to be stunning to come close to B2 so I thought I’d give the universe a chance and play some retro goodness. That way, the game scan be fantastic but doesn’t need to get close to B2 on account of old age.

Up first was Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. I’d heard nothing but good things about this game but no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t get into it. I decided to go on a Sci-Fi odyssey and loaded Deus Ex because that is supposed to be a fantastic game too, but, again, I just couldn’t get into it, mainly because it was so dark I couldn’t see anything. I don’t know if that’s the way it’s supposed to be or whether it’s a bug.

Going even more retro

I may have forgotten to mention that around this point I bought myself a New Net City arcade cabinet to replace the Egret 2 I sold a year or so ago. It’s an awesome machine, currently running my Neo Geo set up, so I’ve been giving Strikers 1945 Plus some welly. At some point I will get Gradius V running in it but that’s something for another day.

Going retro – but not quite as retro as before. Actually, is this retro at all?

A friend of mine gave me a PS3 which had Red Dead Redemption with it. I gave the game a go for a couple of hours and found myself getting dangerously sucked into it, however I wasn’t really up for another 100+ hour open-world RPG after playing Fallout 4 so this one is in the playing queue.

I eventually settled on Batman: Arkham City. You might recall my adventures into Arkham Asylum and I was expecting a similar experience but to my surprise it’s been improved in almost every way, transforming it from a good game to a great one.

Arkham City is organised in a more open-world manner and contains side-quests you can have a go at if you like. The Riddler collect ’em up seems much more cunning if you are into that kind of thing. Rocksteady have tweaked Batman’s movement just a tad and the whole game flows better because of it which becomes strikingly apparent when navigating the city. Rocksteady have nailed the feeling of gracefully floating around using a bat-cape but managed to keep real weight and heft in the fighting sections. It feels like you are Batman. The characters are possibly the best acted I have come across in a game and the story does just enough to be not too crazy but allow the inclusion of a load of antagonists.

I’m a bit Batmanned {again, definitely a real word} out now so I’ll give Arkham Knight a go later in the year I think. Hopefully it’s as good as everyone says it is.

So, what next?

Well, I was going to load up Red Dead Redemption and start playing that but a certain daughter of mine decided to “borrow” my PS3 so that’s out of the window for a while.

I’m minded to finish off Sin and Punishment 2 and then Super Mario on the Wii U, but who knows?

I’ll let you know how I get on in my next post.

Avaguddun!

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