SIONR/Lucien’s First Take: Sky – Teaser Trailer (thatgamecompany)

My favorite Indie game of all time is Journey.  It was made by thatgamecompany.  They’re a company with a penchant for doing unorthodox things with the medium.  They prefer artistry and unique control schemes.  Whether it be the abstract yet undersea quality of flOw, the pure visual poetry that was Flower, or the absolute narrative and visual perfection that was Journey, this company has shown that they will take good concepts and run with them in strange ways.  I’ve been waiting to see what their next big game was going to be.  Well, the wait is over.  They’ve released a trailer.  Let’s take a look!

Alright, so we got this character who looks a lot like the hooded nameless character in Journey.  They seem infinitely more spry and happy than him.  Alright!  So where does this game take place?  You open up and see this massive island in the sky!  Oh hell yes!  The visuals on this game are a cut above. Our character glides down, and there are others!  Lots of others.  So I’m guessing a multiplayer component much like that in Journey, on this time with more people.  That’s cool.  It’s pretty clear that this game is taking a lot of cues from its predecessor, but that’s not at all a bad thing.  After all, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

They take off from a platform and we have flying mechanics!  Oh hell yes!  But the trailer’s over?!  That’s not cool!  I wanna see more!  They totally got me salivating.  Alright, let’s watch to the end and see if they have a release date.  Since this company has been pretty tight with Sony up ’til now, I’m not worried about being able to get it on my PS4.  So when will it be coming out?!

I’m sorry, maybe I didn’t see that right.  “Coming Soon to Apple iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.”  Are you fucking kidding me?!  What the fuck is this shit?!  Not only are they making it exclusive, but it’s exclusive to shitty Apple products?  It’s not even specific to a console, but their shitty mobile products?!  What the fuck is this shit?!  I’m seeing articles by Polygon where they’re saying it will come to Apple first.  Where is the basis for first?  I looked on the website and on statements by the devs.  Everything points to this being exclusive to those outlets alone.  I’m not seeing anything about a wider release.  This is bullshit!

Look, I get the idea of exclusives.  I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’ll never get to play Cuphead on my PS4, even though it looks absolutely fantastic.  That’s just how it goes.  But why the fuck is it exclusive to this crap?  What if I don’t want to fork over the money for this?!  What if I don’t want to have to shell out hundreds of dollars for crappy Apple products to play a game from my favorite company?  I’m sure that Apple paid BIG dollars for this neat little scam.  Well fuck.  I guess I’m not going to get to play this game then.  Because I don’t want Apple’s overpriced devices or their fucking overpriced TV.

I’m kinda curious what happened between thatgamecompany and Sony.  They always seemed to be tight.  I wonder if there was a falling out.  Maybe Apple offered more money?  If that’s the case, then I bet my bottom dollar that the games they make for the foreseeable future will be exclusive to their mobile garbage too.  Well fuck you, Apple!  You won’t sucker me into buying your second-rate phones or TV that will break and I have to shell out even more money for a replacement.  Nope!  It genuinely hurts to see this be how my time with thatgamecompany ends.

Initial Verdict
Fuck Apple

Peace out,

Maverick

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Lucien’s First Take: Tingle Trailer Pre Alpha

There are days, growing in number, when I think that the real failure of GamerGate was that we gave a platform to the stupidest and most corrupt part of video games.  After all, the disgusting, amoral horse-face known as Brianna Wu is running for Congress.  Can’t wait to watch her get destroyed in debates.  We also gave the talentless hacks like Zoe Quinn a platform as a “game developer.”  Because if her choose-your-own-adventure “game” Depression Quest didn’t show you what a great talent she is, then the fact that she has a new Kickstarter project that has over 2,000 people who have donated should give you pause.  What is this project for, you ask?  Well, why should I tell you, when I can show you instead.  The phrase cringe-worthy is so overused these days, but it’s so fucking fitting.  Get ready to cringe until you have no capacity left to cringe.

Let me put this in context for you – 2,000 people have donated to this.  That’s right, at least 2,000 people wanted to see this.  That is assuming Quinn didn’t use sock puppet accounts to make it look better than it is.  We learned that she will use sock puppet accounts to get what she wants.  Like during that very mature fight she had with Candace Owens.  However, let’s give this madness the benefit of the doubt and assume that over 2,000 people actually saw this and were like, “yeah, this seems like a worthwhile cause.”

What will they be getting for their money?  Well, I’ll tell you – this insane bullshit!  A full-motion game that didn’t learn from the fact that full-motion games were universally terrible.  And what is this game about?  Well, as we learn from the opening scene, it’s about pounding ass!  That’s right, this game apparently is about the “Tingleverse” where gay sex abounds and I’m assuming Tom Cruise is working at a fudge factory packing fudge.

I, I don’t get this.  Who is this appealing to?  Who thinks this is funny?  What’s the joke?  That you can draw dicks?  Okay, I guess.  That we have people in weird costumes being gay together?  That we can get talentless hacks like Mara Wilson, Jim Sterling, and Willy Wheaton to be in this?  Wait, is that Dante fucking Basco?!  How far you can fall from Avatar: The Last Airbender to this insipid crap that has gotten thousands of dollars raised.  I think it was over $80,000 as of my last checking the Kickstarter page.

And it’s gay erotica?  Is the idea here that all these people just decided that they would do something stupid just for the fuck of it?  If that’s the case, why would 2,000 people decide this was worth giving their money to?  Fuck it, I’m calling it, this is Zoe Quinn with sock-puppet accounts.  I’m sure Willy and his succubus wife gave sizable donations, but I think the bulk of the small-time donations are from Quinn using sock-puppets to falsely inflate this product.

Maybe the goal here is to get on gamers nerves so she can say, “look at those losers!  They’re all mad over this stupid thing?!”  I’m not mad, Zoe.  I’m…what was this made for?  I don’t get it.  Who finds this funny?  What was the funny part?  Mara Wilson being in a chair talking about gay sex?  That’s not funny.  Why didn’t they get Gail Chord Schuler to do it?  She’s shown to be pretty damn good making gay sex funny as fuck.  Look up her book “Jesus the Eternal Bridegroom.”  Her reads of that book is the greatest thing ever.  Still have fond memories of that on the Drunken Peasants.

Nothing in there is funny.  I half-expected to see Steve Shives in this.  I guess this is where the talentless’ careers go to die.  We have washed-up celebrities like Wesley from Star Trek, Mara Wilson, and Chris Kluwe.  And I am fucking shocked that they got Dante Basco to do this.  Did his career suddenly die off as well?  Did he peak with his last role in cartoons and now is just playing out the string?  We already knew that Jim Sterling sides with the sex SJWs, so him supplying the voice to a monkey isn’t the shocking.

I’m just trying to understand what the goal was here.  To see how many idiots and their money could be parted?  Did they want in on that piece of Anita Sarkeesian pie?  Why wasn’t she helping out with this?  Actually, scratch that.  My opinion of her has immediately improved because she has more self-respect than to join in with this crap.

Nope.  I give up.  This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen.  It will never get dumber than this.  The SJWs will think they made me mad or are hoping for some gamer to get their knickers in a twist.  They haven’t.  It’s like they decided to make something about gay sex in the hopes of getting people riled up so they can say, “They can’t take a joke!”  Didn’t work.  I’m not riled up.  Why?  Because I honestly can’t understand the motivations here.  If I understood what they were going for, maybe then I’d be mad.  But I don’t, so I’m not.  Wow, what a complete waste of my time.

Initial Verdict
“You’re in a fudge factory packing fudge.  You’re a fudge-packer.”

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s Review: Life is Strange: Before the Storm Episode 1: Awake

I’ve talked at length about how my favorite game of 2015 was Life is Strange.  While it had its flaws, it told an interesting narrative about a girl with time powers and a mystery that unfortunately had a lackluster conclusion.  The outright-terrible ending of the game, however, didn’t ruin the entire experience for me.  I still love everything leading up to it.  It’s kind of like Mass Effect 3 in that regard.  When I saw the announcement for this, I was more than a little pissed.  I mean, why would I want a prequel?  It’s a story I already know!  Rachel and Chloe were tight as fuck, Rachel was secretly in love with Frank, she gets killed.  What more could they fill in?  I said in my First Take post that if this was just some stupid prequel telling us crap we already know and nothing else, I would ream this game a new one in a way that Square Enix would feel.  I’m happy to say that this prequel challenged my skepticism.  It’s not perfect, but for the flaws it has, it has some things done better.  Let’s talk about it.

This game is still a prequel.  Set four years before the events of the original game, we see a much younger and much more vulnerable Chloe.  She’s trying to get into a concert where a band who is weirdly playing the tune of another band (did the actual band not want their name associated with this game?  You’d think they at least would have had to have the song licensed, so why not just play as yourselves?  Odd).  After getting in trouble, it’s here that we see her meet Rachel Amber, the most popular girl in her school.  From there, our young protagonist gets involved in a new life of freedom, friendship, and maybe something more.

There’s a lot to say about this prequel, and it’s a lot of the same stuff one could say about the original game.  For starters, the dialogue is just as bad as the first episode of the last game.  Maybe this is a trend with this game.  I don’t know who their writing staff is, but no teenager anywhere talks like this.  But just like the original game, that grows on you after a while.  It sure as hell grew on me.  So there’s that.

The visuals are much better.  They’re using the Unity engine, and it really stands out.  The faces in-particular.  My biggest complaint with the original game was that the faces were so inexpressive.  Better facial animation would have made some of the best scenes of dialogue even better.  Here, there is much more expression, and it makes the dramatic climax of the episode really good.

One thing I do miss is that the time powers are gone.  Now, instead of being able to rewind and make a choice about whether or not you want to follow through with something, you have to basically own it.  Not gonna lie, that does bother.  You also can’t restart episodes from various chapters.  That’s kinda frustrating too.  Here’s hoping future episodes fix that.  But you do have some new mechanics.  Like this back-talk mechanic that makes no sense in reality but it is kinda cool that you get to play mental games with people.

Let’s talk about the characters.  There are some REALLY weird voice-actor changes that totally take away from characters.  For example – David.  I grew to like him at the very end when you finally see under the hood of his mental problems if you tell him that Mr. Jefferson killed Chloe and he shoots him.  Whoever they got to replace him as a voice actor does NOT sound at all like a torn-up veteran.  The first guy they got was a douche, but you believed he’s a tormented veteran haunted by what he saw.  This guy sounds like a fucking doofus.  There is no presence with this guy.  Same with the dude they got to replace William.  I can at least forgive that because you only see William in dreams.  His weird speech patterns fit with the scenes they are in, but still.

Ashly Burch is back to play Chloe, and I genuinely do like her character more.  It’s pretty clear that the voice actress is older, but the performance feels more genuine.  Stereotypical punk Chloe is cool and kinda hot, but young and vulnerable Chloe is genuinely more interesting.  One of my biggest complaints from the first game was the fact that we never got to meet Rachel Amber, since I assumed that the power Max had has some connection with her.  Thankfully, I at least know that’s right.  But that gets into spoiler territory for this game.

Something I’d like to add is that there is one genuine improvement over its predecessor.  So many choice-based games make it so that the choices feel meaningless.  This episode doesn’t!  There are a ton of variations, little things that change in scenes because of choices you make.  It was surprising when I’d go through the same scenes over again and have them play out differently because of things I’d done.  That’s pretty cool.  It gives me some hope that the decisions I make in the end will actually amount to something.

Overall, this game is about growing up.  It’s about Chloe accepting that her dad is dead and making a new friend and how she can’t deal with how alone she is.  We also get to peek into the life of a character who I always wanted to meet.  But I am glad to see that it isn’t just a prequel to stuff we already knew.  They actually go back even further than recent history and give us some stuff.  We get some hints as to the nature of the supernatural in Arcadia Bay, which I am desperately hoping they run with.  I’m curious to see where this goes, and while I do hate how much Max gets shit on, we have two new characters to see where things go.

Final Verdict
7 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

15 Characters Some Idiot Thinks are Offensive (A response to Chris O’Connell)

That’s a pen name, by the way.  This person is so ashamed of what pathetic click-bait this is that they don’t want to have their real name associated with it.  It seems that they want to talk about 15 characters in games that Sony has made who are just so offensive.  There’s a lot to unpack here, so let’s get right down to it.  Here’s a link to the article, so you can see the stupid for yourself.  Let’s rip this to pieces.

15. Ivy Valentine (Soul Calibur)

Regardless of what the developers claim, Ivy’s outfits keep getting skimpier and skimpier, calling more attention to her looks than her actual fighting prowess. Yes, she is one of the best fighters in the series, but the developers can’t get past the horny teenager shtick.

From a purely practical standpoint, Ivy’s outfits are crazy. Not only are they not practical, no human on earth could keep them on standing still, let alone pulling off the moves Ivy does.

Yes, let’s castigate her lack of realism here.  The character who uses a sword that can extend into shapes and is possessed by demonic energy for the lack of realism in her outfit.  Also, what’s the problem with making her sexy?  The lack of realism in her outfit doesn’t mean shit to me.  Yeah, the boobs would fall out.  I don’t play video games expecting perfect realism.  If that were the case, then The Last of Us would have ended with Joel not ever being able to get a car because gasoline does spoil, believe it or not.  It’s something that literally EVERY post-apocalyptic game, film, and TV show gets wrong.  Without exception.

There is nothing wrong with making Ivy hot.  My girly-mate Quinn said she wants to motorboat those tits as much as any guy.  Turns out, lesbians exist.  I know the SJW camp wants to pretend they exist, or not let their opinions into the conversation by saying it’s made for men (that’s so homophobic, when you think about it).  Ivy is in control of her sexuality.  Her character is aware of how hot she is.  She views the whip-like nature of her blade in a very dominatrix way.  Plenty of women like to be the Dom in their relationship.  Are you saying their sexual choices are bad?

14. Sheva Alomar (Resident Evil 5)

Their entire argument for how she’s offensive is a clothing option you can unlock.  They completely gloss over how she is a badass and tough character, all so they can rag on the fact that you have an outfit to unlock that’s risque.  This was such pathetic click-bait.  I am more ragging on this article for the garbage it is so I can get some rage I have been bottling today off my chest.  Roll with it.  They actually do make an argument that her character is bland and virtually non-existent.  A sign that this guy has never played this game.  Is she clearly a side-kick?  Yup.  But she is still a tough fighter and serves a role in the story.  She’s not the co-op partner in Halo, who just is a phantom that disappears with each cutscene.  Seems by saying her character is non-existent that you are the one reducing her to how she looks.  Kinda sexist.

13. Rikku (Final Fantasy X)

This is the one that really pisses me off.  They are showing her from X-2!  They only talk about her look in X-2!  Yeah, I have my problems with that looks too.  It’s stupid.  I genuinely love her character in Final Fantasy X!  Her character, worldview, look, and her culture’s atheism are some of the best parts of the game.  Rikku is a likable girl who is bubbly as a cover for some deep problems with the world and a thinking mind that is trying to find a way to save her cousin.  But all this bullshit article can do is focus on her outfit and they don’t even put the right goddamn title on the game!  Fuck this article!

12. Quiet (Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain)

Sexy woman bad!  It really is amazing how SJWs basically treat any woman who is even a little sexy as wrong.  I have to wonder what they do when they see women who want to show their bodies off.  Like a girl I know.  She works hard to stay in shape, and she likes to show her body off in very revealing outfits.  She’s not a model, but with how hard she works to be in shape and how unabashed she is about her sexuality, I can’t help but think that people who think like the asshole who wrote this article would say they are wrong.  No wonder they don’t have a problem with Islam.  Just admit that you want women in a burka and be done with it.

11. Larry (Leisure Suit Larry Series)

Yes, Leisure Suit Larry is offensive.  Anyone who plays these games knows that.  And how is this on Sony?  The biggest game in this franchise was for PC.

10. Duke Nukem (Duke Nukem Forever)

This article isn’t even trying anymore.  And again, why should Sony feel bad for it?  The developers of the game should feel bad because they created a piece of trash.  It’s a bad game.  Everyone in gaming admits that it’s a bad game.  No one likes this game.  But Duke was always meant to be offensive and over the top.  Who is surprised by this?  Toddlers?

9. Auntie Poulet (Grand Theft Auto: Vice City)

Fun fact: Auntie Poulet is voiced by Miss Cleo. That is where the fun ends with this offensive character. Auntie is a voodoo priestess stereotype that has Tommy Vercetti kill Cuban NPCs for her after drugging him.

Auntie Poulet leans into the whole voodoo stereotype to the point where she becomes unbelievable as a character. It is ridiculously over the top and offensive. Women from Haiti are not all voodoo priestesses that use their magic to get their way.

What the fuck are they even talking about?  Who thinks that all Haitian women are voodoo priestesses?  Where the fuck does this “stereotype” exist?  Nobody thinks this!  And the stereotype about voodoo priestesses is that…they drug characters…and have them kill criminals to help them?  I don’t get it.  This article has really lost the plot here.  And so far as I remember, this game was also multi-platform.  How is this Sony’s fault?!

8. The Women Of Killer Is Dead (Killer Is Dead)

A game from a company know for making games that hold nothing back and are more than a little sexually empathetic is bad because you can have sex with women in it!  Yeah, this guy wants chicks to wear burkas.

7. Ashley (Resident Evil 4)

Although not as sexual as Sheva, Ashley does not help the Resident Evil franchise. The president’s daughter is a damsel in distress that the player begins to loather not only for her vapid, tasteless portrayal, but also because saving her butt is frustrating and infuriating.

Damsels in distress are an unfortunate video game staple that demeans women and is offensive. Ashley is the most pathetic version of this trope. She can barely stand on her own two feet, let alone stop from being taken repeatedly. It is really upsetting to watch as such an underdeveloped character drives the plot. After recovering Ashley for the tenth time, the gamer wishes she could at least hold a gun, for women and sanity’s sake.

What the retard who wrote this (and clearly just took lines from Anita Sarkeesian’s old series of videos) fails to realize is that we hate Ashley not because of some bullshit involving a trope.  We hate her because her AI is poorly programmed and she can only be kidnapped or killed.  Yeah, saving her is a pain in the ass.  It’s bad partner AI.  I am really regretting responding to this.  It’s basically like debunking the watered-down version of an Anita Sarkeesian clone.

6. James Earl Cash (Manhunt 2)

Manhunt is not meant for the faint of heart. That is why parent groups wanted to never let it see the light of day. The game forces the player to take part in the brutal killing and torture of any enemy Cash can get his hands on. The violently sadistic nature of each kill leaves little to the imagination.

Cash is an offensive character because how he disposes of each enemy. The snuff film angle really has not been replicated since the second entry in the series. You could say he is being told to do such things by the Director, but how quickly Cash takes to it all is in his nature. Cash was created to be the gamers vehicle into this world of gore.

I swear, this idiot who wrote this is so close to being close to the point without it going right over their head.  Yeah, Cash is a violent degenerate.  He’s a psychopath who does horrible things for the sake of a narrative.  That was the point.  Rockstar wanted to make a game so violent that it was piss people off.  Players ate it up because they understood that this game is just a twisted way to get some crazy out on digital people.  It’s like how people listen to those ASMRs about having a girlfriend to simulate a relationship.  You get to have some emotional catharsis and no one is actually hurt in the process.  How did this point escape this retard?

5. Sammy Wasabi (Freaky Flyers)

There are no good characters in Freaky Flyers, as the stereotypes are laid on pretty thick in this game. Sammy Wasabi might be one of the worst one though. Sammy Wasabi is a horrible Asian stereotype that has buck teeth and flies a plane called the Kamikaze Express.

I did a little research on this one.  What’s the problem with this guy?  There is this huge intro about how he is a genius.  He’s got a ton of accomplishments to his name at a young age.  He is a fun character.  Not to mention, are we not going to point out that the clearly American characters in this game are made to be the stupidest people you can possibly imagine?  Is this all exaggerated stereotypes, sure.  But they clearly are not above making every character a stereotype in the negative.  I half-expect the black chick I saw in the trailer for the game to call the guys she kicks the shit out of “suga.”  If a game is honest about what it is doing, I don’t see the problem.

I’m sure the argument is that if we perpetuate these stereotypes, it will make people more racist.  I can see this guy, and I don’t think that all Asians have broken Engrish and buck teeth.  In an age before everyone was some butthurt pussy who needs to have their ideas constantly validated, I bet there were plenty of Asians who saw stuff like this as amusing as I do the fact that the Americans in this game are stupid as fuck.

4. Barret Wallace (Final Fantasy VII)

Although he is the first black character in the series, he is unfortunately a walking stereo-type from his mannerisms, lack of intelligence, and over the top speech. Japanese developers have continually had a hard time portraying other races in a positive light. In fact, that might be an undertone throughout this list. Barret might be the most infamous example of a Japanese developer trying to create a Western black man for Western audiences.

Barret is one bad mothereffe, but that does not make up for his representation. His tattoos and Mr. T like appearance are just the cherry on top of this sundae. Gamers grew to look past his exterior as they progressed through FFVII. He is a solid character underneath it all, but first impressions matter, and this one was super offensive.

I’m calling it!  This was written by a person who never played ANY of these games.  Wanna know how I know that?  Because Barrett is a bad motherfucker and everyone who plays the games knows it.  He has a cybernetic arm that can be upgraded with better weapons.  He’s the leader of a resistance (or some might say eco-terrorist group) group and you know that he is a boss from the moment you meet him.  I love that they got that right in the new version of him in the remake that I’ll never play because fuck Square Enix and their episodic bullshit with this game.  I’ll wait for the full version to come out.  First impressions don’t mean shit.  If that was the case, then I’d think Tidus in Final Fantasy X was nothing but a whiny bitch, or Balthier is a Han Solo rip-off.  It’s what’s under the skin that matters.

I hate these Sarkeesian wannabes and their bullshit arguments.  Context matters!  Character matters!  These people say it doesn’t.  I fucking hate that.  By that logic, you can easily write off pretty much every character I like.  By that logic, Joel is the worst person ever in The Last of Us, because he is an asshole who is gruff and violent.  But then you get to know him and see the forces at work inside him which as you understanding by the end why he chose to sell humanity up the river to save Ellie.

The last entries are all from games I’ve never even heard of, but trust me, it’s all bullshit.  We’ve seen up to this point that these people castigating conservatives is funny, because their views on how women match up real nice with Islam’s, and their views on race end right where the skin does.  Hell, they even said it.  They don’t care about what’s underneath that.  It’s all about how the person looks.  These people are sexist, and racist.  Fuck that noise!

Until next time, a quote,

“For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” – H.L. Mencken

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s First Take: BioMutant: Gameplay Trailer

I first heard about this the other day, when a leaked image showed a one-eyed cat person holding a sword.  And immediately I wanted to know more.  2017 has been kind of a slow year for gaming, but it’s clear that the best is yet to come.  2018 already has some big things in its roster.  There’s the God of War reboot, Insomniac’s Spider-Man game, and now we have a game which is being advertised as a kung fu game with furry creatures, guns, and mechs.  All of these things sound good to me.  And this trailer, while definitely leaving me wondering a lot of things, has at least got me intrigued.  Let’s take a look.

We begin seeing a little robot grasshopper.  That’s kinda cute.  It hops away to its master, a furry creature waving its hand over a pool of what looks like nuclear waste.  I’m assuming the title ties in to that.  What is the story with this universe?  I’m hearing that it’s some kind of post-apocalyptic sorta place, but that doesn’t jive.  There are places in this game’s world that look like real world dilapidated places.  Is the story here that the mutant ooze turned animals into kung fu furries?  You know…I can dig it.  This game clearly is meant to make little sense, so let’s go with it.

Our little furry friend then has a giant furry monster show up looking to mess up his day.  Pulls out a pistol, but that doesn’t help.  Then we see him whip out a katana and charge it up.  Game on!  But really, the gameplay section is the part that got my attention more.

There are good parts, and there are bad parts.  The good parts are the environment.  This is definitely not maximum fidelity, but you know what, that’s fine by me.  I kind of miss the undercooked look of RPGs from back in the day.  Has it really been so long.  And it won’t be too demanding on my hardware.  Still got the first generation PS4.  I also know that high fidelity doesn’t always mean great content.  My favorite game of this year is perfectly capable of running on the PS3 (which it was also released on) and was damn-near flawless.  I’m willing to give this game a chance.  But the water looks amusingly low-tech, not gonna lie.  Oh well, the sunsets are glorious.  Plus, seeing how you get around is very fun.  You can fly in giant dirigibles, use gliders that remind me of the one Aang had, or even board a jet-ski!  Very nice.

I love this little section where you have your furry friend inside a mechanical hand walking around and then transforming into a finger pistol and shooting things.  It’s a sign that this game isn’t going to take itself too seriously.  Have mechanics that are silly and maybe a little stupid.  After all, is the finger robot wind-up?  That looks like a wind-up thing on its back.  Cute.  As is how some of the little furry friends you come across method of speech.  Seems they are taking cues from 90’s platformers, like Banjo Kazooie.  Interesting.

Something that does make me wonder is the combat.  How is this going to work?  What are the mechanics?  They are saying this game will use martial-arts, gunplay, mech combat, and customizable weapons.  That’s am ambitious roster to have.  I honestly wonder how that will pan out.  Is there a HUD?  If this game is trying to hang its hat on deep combat, getting to see more of how that worked would have been nice.

All-in-all, I’m curious.  An open-world RPG with furry creatures fighting with katanas, guns, and mechs has all the ingredients for one hell of a game.  Apparently the studio making this is THQ Nordic.  Didn’t THQ go under?  Someone let me know what the story of this is in the Comments.  I’m gonna wait for reviews, but I think this game is going on my Most Anticipated Game of 2018 list, when it comes out.

Initial Verdict
Promising

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s First Take: Marvel’s Spider-Man 2017 E3 Gameplay

I meant to talk about this months ago, but I am finally getting around to it, because there is a lot to unpack.  Here’s the thing about probably 95% of superhero games – they suck, or are really mediocre.  Especially the ones licensed to films.  Licensed games are the worst thing under the sun.  After the SNES and Sega Genesis, they were all nothing but crap.  So when I heard that Insomniac is making a Spider-Man game that is officially licensed by Marvel, I was groaning.  I mean, Insomniac games are awesome.  They made the Ratchet and Clank games, which are awesome.  But a superhero game to come directly from Marvel?  This has bad idea written all over it.  This year at E3, however, they released a gameplay trailer that has taken all my skepticism and destroyed it.  It looks awesome, so let’s take a look at it now.

Right out of the game, the visuals for this game are amazing.  The level of detail is just perfect.  It’s pretty standard, for a modern console game, but you know what, it’s great.  Definitely hoping we can either customize or get new suits for the web-slinger, but I do like this suit.  Not too worried about that.  Switchable suits has been a standard for Spider-Man games since their inception, so it’s all good.

The control scheme for this game looks pretty simple.  I can clearly tell that almost all of it will be about staying above your targets.  The stealth elements look absolutely phenomenal.  One of the things I always thought was kinda dumb about Spider-Man games is that they don’t take advantage of the elements of getting enemies from above.  Sure, his suit ain’t exactly made to sneak, but you can still hit an enemy from above without them seeing you coming.  Since Spider-Man never kills his foes, we don’t have to worry about non-lethal runs of the game.  Exciting stuff.  The controls for getting back up to beams or on top of objects are taken right out of the Arkham games.  No problem with that whatsoever.  It’s totally fitting for our friendly neighborhood hero.

We also get to see some potential gadget stuff in this game.  Another thing I am digging that seems to have come straight out of the Arkham games.  Desperately hoping that they don’t just copy that formula beat-for-beat though and give you some freedom to customize the stuff you use and be able to craft specialty stuff.  Really wondering how the leveling up system is going to work.  You also can use the environment to fuck up enemies!  That’s awesome!  I love it.  Later on we get to see that done even in combat scenarios.  Manipulating the environment in active combat and not just for stealth is a break from the mold they clearly are going off of, and I think that’s a great one.  But the stealth aspect of this game is really something.  Not gonna lie, the more potential I have to be stealthy, the happier I’ll be.  It’s my favorite way to play a game, and it looks like I get to scratch my itch here.

Then we get our first peek into the combat.  Now here’s something where I want to elaborate on how this game is using the Arkham formula.  A lot of people are saying that that’s unoriginal, but you know what, I think it’s goddamn brilliant.  There’s a reason why.  When you fight, it’s clear that you are using the same kind of system they used in Arkham to dodge enemy attacks before they happen.  To me, this formula makes even more sense for Spider-Man than it did for Batman.  Why?  Because of the Spider Sense.  That talent gives him the ability to see what’s about to happen when danger is close.  He gets an almost perfect ability to perceive incoming problems and react to them.  So the indicator system from the aforementioned series is perfect for that!  It also lets you dodge machine gun fire, which, for those who read the comics, is something that Spider-Man could do when he’s at his best.  Since this game isn’t attached to any film or thing like that, keeping it true to the comics is kind of awesome.

From there we get some stuff with a helicopter that shows this game is also taking cues from the old God of War games with quicktime events.  Not gonna complain about that either.  Clearly they are doing the concept right.  Kinda curious to see what all this “HEX” stuff in that clearly is some kind of energy.  This should be interesting.

This game went from being something I figured wouldn’t be worth my time, to one of my most-anticipated games of 2018.  That’s pretty awesome.  Let me know what you all think down below.

Initial Verdict:
Hyped!

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s Review: Observer

I find myself in a very strange position – having a game where there is nothing wrong with it in terms of appearance, gameplay, or performance, and yet I was totally and completely bored by.  This is a game that has nothing fundamentally wrong with it.  I just got so bored playing it.  How is that possible?  Maybe it’s just not the kind of game for me?  I honestly don’t know.  There could be a lot of self-reflection in my future as I think about this game and what it represents to me.  This review may end up with me just stroking my own dick as I think about why I didn’t really enjoy this game as much as the Steam community seems to, but so be it.  I do want to talk about it.

The story goes that you’re in a 1980’s style dystopian future horror movie.  Everything about the aesthetic screams old school horror films.  This game seems to have taken some cues from Alien: Isolation in that regard.  You play as Daniel Lazarski, voiced very well by Rutger Hauer.  I like the voice acting from this character.  Rutger isn’t known for being able to boom.  He plays the broken down old man very well.  He is an Observer.  They’re a new kind of law enforcement who can go into people’s minds and take information that they don’t want to give up out of their heads.  It’s a dark concept, that admittedly has a lot of potential.  Now he’s on the trail to find his son, with whom he is estranged, and gets involved in a plot of murder and deception, all inside the heads of the dead or dying.

This game has a very unique look.  I liked the retro feel of the tech in this game.  You have all these holgraphic displays, mixed in with computers that look like they were coughed up from the 80’s.  It’s cool stuff.  Seeing games willing to eschew the modern film convention of making all the technology super advanced is really refreshing.  A pity Hollywood can’t seem to do that.  The problem here is that since the game really doesn’t take a large amount of time building the world it inhabits, I didn’t find myself getting into this beyond the most basic “that’s kinda cool” sorta way.  Which is really unfortunate because there was a lot of loving detail put into the environments.

Hacking into people’s minds brought me to another game that this one clearly took a lot of cues from.  Well, not really a game so much as what could have been a game – P.T.  After the death of Silent Hills, a TON of games have been trying to take that concept and run with it.  To extremely varying degrees of success.  In my opinion, this game didn’t seem to rise to the ambitious goals Hideo Kojima was trying to do the way others appear to be.  All the intricacies of P.T.’s environmental puzzles connected to being in a single hallway are lost on this game.

Then we get the sections that it’s clear they took from a previous work, Outlast – the moving around and hiding sections from a monster that you can’t kill.  These sections got very tedious, very quickly.  It was so easy to predict where the monster would be, so all the tension that could have come from hiding from the creature was lost in a nano-second.  I found myself wishing that they could have just ditched those entirely for maybe more creative environmental puzzles in the world of people’s minds.  For all the potential the idea of jacking into people’s heads has, they really seemed to not want to take any crazy chances with it.  I can think of 100 ways to make it a surreal nightmare all off the top of my head that they didn’t even try.  I kind of want to see this idea done again by a studio that is a little more ambitious.  Maybe Kojima can take a crack at it after he is done with Death Stranding?  Just a good idea.

Which brings me to the fear element – this game isn’t scary.  At all.  They really should have ditched the fear side.  I guess the fear is supposed to come from the idea of what it means to get into people’s heads and how that is violating their minds.  But here’s the thing – 99% of everyone you jack into is dead.  This concept could have been made immediately more disturbing if you had living people who are desperately fighting you in their minds from getting to their secrets.  Like maybe have an investigation where the Observer is so desperate to get to the answer that he’ll do all sorts of crazy shit in people’s head.  As I said, this is a really neat concept, that I want to see done better.

I guess my biggest problem here is that this game feels like a ton of potential that wasn’t wasted, per se, just not taken far enough.  If they wanted to make a game where the implication of what you’re doing is supposed to be the scary thing (which I like on a VERY large level), then why not go all the way with it?  I mean REALLY fuck with the player.  Make it so that the player feels like they are partly to blame.  Have them also so eager to get to the answer that they are pushing the main character to do all these things.  Maybe some Fourth Wall moments where you put on the player that what they’re doing is wrong.  So much potential in this thought process.

This is not a bad game.  I just got very bored by it.  To me it feels like a game that is riffing off other games and doesn’t go out of its way to be its own thing.  Which is a bummer, because the kind of game I described above, I can see Rutger Hauer being an amazing addition to.  Hopefully this isn’t his last foray into video games before he passes.  He is quite old.  It will be a shame when he goes.  He’s a great actor, and has the chops for great voice acting too.  But that’s just my thoughts.  Let me know what yours are below.

Final Verdict
6 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick