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Video Game Reviews: What Are You Playing?


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1 hour ago, beatlesrule said:

I pre-ordered the MVP edition.  Do you watch the live Twitch shows?  They give away a bunch of stuff and you can ask the devs questions.  The next one is tomorrow at 2.

 

Yes, BOTW is like crack. Keep in mind, it's also on Wii U so if you won't be getting a Switch for awhile, I suggest getting it there. If you own one that is.  Thank God I'm not married. No way in hell I would let a woman tell me what I can and can't buy.

I was going to get the the MVP Edition at first, but then I figured since I play a lot of Diamond Dynasty I'll be good with the HOF. Yea, I watch the shows, but not when they're live. I end up watching them on YouTube.

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VINTAGE. BASEBALL. STORY. 
Visit Big Fly Gear to get your baseball apparel today!
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true, but you'll lose whatever college eligibility you had left.

It would help if the AI told me homophobic slurs and the sexual habits of my mom to make it feel more real.

Really?    (looks at your avatar)

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I picked up Zelda for the Wii U. Can't justify picking up a Switch when it has some launch system growing pains, 1 viable game to play and that game is a port of the Wii U's with little to no aesthetic improvement. Seriously it's only a 13.4GB game on the switch.  Increased resolution (720P to 900P) doesn't help cell shading much. That said, the game is serious crack regardless of system.

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17 hours ago, Thomas said:

I picked up Zelda for the Wii U. Can't justify picking up a Switch when it has some launch system growing pains, 1 viable game to play and that game is a port of the Wii U's with little to no aesthetic improvement. Seriously it's only a 13.4GB game on the switch.  Increased resolution (720P to 900P) doesn't help cell shading much. That said, the game is serious crack regardless of system.

Yeah, you can't go wrong getting it for Wii U even though they removed some cool gamepad features.  I would so buy 1,2 Switch if it wasn't overpriced.  Game should have been a pack in or max $30.  There are 10 games at launch for Switch and most of them are actually good but I mean come on, I'm only going to be playing Zelda anyway regardless of cool games like Snipper Clips, Shovel Knight, I am Setsuna etc. I had to have played at least 30 hours so far.

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Trial access to "Mass Effect: Andromeda" just went live so, if you have an Origins account or XBox Live and subscribe to EA Access, you can get to play the first 10 hours of the game plus unlimited multiplayer until the official release date of March 21st.  I'm going to be starting this tonight and I'll post some early impressions over the next couple of days.

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Okay, played through the intro and initial priority mission, about 2 hours of the 10 hour trial and some immediate thoughts:

Pros:

- You don't need to have played the previous trilogy.  You may miss a few Easter Eggs but nothing missed in terms of narrative.

- Dialogue options are solid.  In the past games it was Paragon/Renegade/Neutral, with the occasional triggered Paragon(left trigger)/Renegade(right trigger) "interrupt", that filled the respective Paragon/Renegade points that led to additional dialogue options in future conversations.  Now, the dialogue is based on four potential tones - Emotional, Logical, Casual and Professional - that allow for more nuanced conversations.  The four tones don't appear in every conversation as some dialogue encounters are just there to move the narrative forward.  

- Visually, its quite stunning.  I'm playing this on a XBox One with a basic High Def TV, no 4K or anything special and the graphics are quite vibrant and nicely realized.  Just in the first 30 minutes alone, there are couple of specific cut scenes that I can still visualize now due to the impression it made.  Also, instead of "Load Screens", they seem to employ "Transitional Moments" where, you say, take a tram someplace and you and your companions comment on the situation or make small talk while still allowing you to view your surroundings 360 degrees and move about freely.  When you finally do end up on a planet, the environment is pretty dynamic and alive with certain toxic hazards that are incorporate into its exploration.

- Speaking of exploration, at its roots the Mass Effect series, especially the first game, was about exploring new planets and uncovering its mysteries all within the context of the main plot.  Here, the exploration aspect is back as you climb, scan, and "jet pack" to interact with the environment to uncover clues to resolve specific plot items or gather resources for crafting.  One of the issues I have with some exploration-heavy RPGs is the feeling that some time-consuming side quests don't make logical sense in terms of the urgency established by the main narrative.  So far, the exploration makes sense and is pretty "organic" - your exploration doesn't feel off-piste or ill timed.

- This is definitely an RPG.  Your ability to build your profiles, crafting found resources into weapon and armor upgrades, relationships built on nuanced conversations, the discovery of lore, etc....its all here.

- Combat is the best of the series.  The first Mass Effect was best in terms of narrative but combat was very average and would feel extremely dated now.  Mass Effect 2 & 3 each improved upon this but its been fully realized in this game.  Nice fluid movement, guns that feel real and visceral, pumped up biotic and tech powers, but the game changer is the jet pack as it allows you zip around the battlefield or hover to pick off enemies that may be hiding behind cover.

Cons:

- Just a minor irritation but the character creator is pretty bare bones as you get 9 pre-set facial scans and you tweak from there.  I'm not one to spend a ton of time crafting my character and usually play the default image but this might be an bigger issue for some.

- Some facial and body animations are just...odd.  Odd walking motions, a few strange facial expressions in relation to the context of the conversation, "resting weird face"...I don't usually focus on that stuff too much but it was noticeable at times.  Overall, though, it made up only a very minor part of what I saw.

Neutral:

- The menu options feel complex.  Hard to saw if this will be cumbersome or it I am just learning a new interface so i will reserve judgement overall until I've given it more time.

 

If you have EA Access, I'd definitely give it a shot if you enjoy good combat, exploration, RPGs or SciFi themed games in general.          

 

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7 hours ago, cezero said:

Okay, so I've never played any of the Mass Effect games before this. 

The only BioWare game I've ever actually played is Dragon Age Inquisition, which I really enjoyed. 

The UI for Andromeda is not good to me, and the writing is pretty bad. Not sure I'll be buying this. I'm only 2 hours in, so we'll see.

 

Just finished the trial tonight and and really enjoyed myself, especially once I got off the Nexus and got my ship.  Since you got the trial access, I'd at least get to the first planet and explore as I really think it plays to its strengths.  If you have any questions - planet scanning, combat, skills, or whatever - just quote this and I'll tell you what I know. 

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17 hours ago, cezero said:

I got to the part on the first planet where it says you've completed the trial part of the story. 

I just don't know. 

I'll probably wait until I see what you have to say about it after you get further into the story. 

Just as a follow up, this game is getting some of the most polarizing scores in the history of the series ranging from 6 to 9.5 (Metacritic has it around 7.5-8) with contradictory reviews that has some peeps praising the writing and story while others down on it.  Some of that may be nostalgia for the previous trilogy and how it ended, not to mention a particularly toxic gaming environment at the moment, but it does appear opinions are splits so I'd probably hold off purchasing at the moment if you are unsure.  I'll have access to at 9pm PST tonight and I'll pick up where my save left off when the trial ended.  Once I've completed it, I'll leave a detailed review of what I felt about the game and if I'd recommend buying it or not.  While you are waiting, DLC patches should hopefully fix some of the technical and animation glitches I've seen and, by the time I've finishes, the game would likely be reduced in price.

In the meantime, though, if you haven't played the trilogy, I'd give it a shot as it has been universally praised (90+ scores for all three games).  You can pick up all three games pretty cheap as a digital download on PC or used copies for XBox as all three are backwards compatible.  It's also available on the PS3 only at this point.        

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On ‎3‎/‎19‎/‎2017 at 2:04 AM, mulwin444 said:

Just finished the trial tonight and and really enjoyed myself, especially once I got off the Nexus and got my ship.  Since you got the trial access, I'd at least get to the first planet and explore as I really think it plays to its strengths.  If you have any questions - planet scanning, combat, skills, or whatever - just quote this and I'll tell you what I know. 

Just watched the IGN review of the game. Based on that alone I don't think I'm going to be buying the game anytime soon.

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3 minutes ago, TobiasFunke said:

Just watched the IGN review of the game. Based on that alone I don't think I'm going to be buying the game anytime soon.

Yeah, if you're unsure that's the best way to go.  It's wild - I just read the Forbes review giving it a 8.5 after Gamespot gave it a 6 so there is really no consensus on this game which is weird for BioWare as their games are pretty much universally praised.  There was a lot of toxicity after the controversial endings of ME3 so I'm curious if that creeping into some of the reviews.  Mac Walters, the project head, was the co-lead writer in ME2 and the lead writer in ME3 so he knows how to make great games with compelling plots and immersive universes.   I'm playing this one because I really enjoyed what I saw in the trial and it appears to be similar in many ways to Dragon Age Inquisition, which won game of the year in many places and which enjoyed a lot.  The reaction reminds me of Dragon Age 2 and how it really divided the Bioware fan base but even that was getting overall better scores than this one so I'm genuinely curious if the negative reviews are fairly assessed or hyperbole.  I'll keep you updated.

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18 minutes ago, mulwin444 said:

Yeah, if you're unsure that's the best way to go.  It's wild - I just read the Forbes review giving it a 8.5 after Gamespot gave it a 6 so there is really no consensus on this game which is weird for BioWare as their games are pretty much universally praised.  There was a lot of toxicity after the controversial endings of ME3 so I'm curious if that creeping into some of the reviews.  Mac Walters, the project head, was the co-lead writer in ME2 and the lead writer in ME3 so he knows how to make great games with compelling plots and immersive universes.   I'm playing this one because I really enjoyed what I saw in the trial and it appears to be similar in many ways to Dragon Age Inquisition, which won game of the year in many places and which enjoyed a lot.  The reaction reminds me of Dragon Age 2 and how it really divided the Bioware fan base but even that was getting overall better scores than this one so I'm genuinely curious if the negative reviews are fairly assessed or hyperbole.  I'll keep you updated.

I'd post the IGN review here for you to see but it was a facebook video. Some of the key things that I took away from it was that there was no buy in on the other shipmates, the difference in species is lacking, and the worlds even though are vast are not too diverse when it comes to the structures. With the original trilogy, other than the beautiful gameplay, the best part about the ME series was the relationships you had with the other characters in the story. It seemed like this one doesn't have that.

And of course I've heard numerous things on the AI speaking/graphics problems but I won't pay attention to those critics since that will (or should) be hammered out by the launch of the game.

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3 minutes ago, TobiasFunke said:

 Some of the key things that I took away from it was that there was no buy in on the other shipmates, the difference in species is lacking, and the worlds even though are vast are not too diverse when it comes to the structures. With the original trilogy, other than the beautiful gameplay, the best part about the ME series was the relationships you had with the other characters in the story. It seemed like this one doesn't have that.

Yeah, I've read this as well.  Gamespot (6 score) and Polygon (7.5 Score) had a similar take while Forbes (8.5 score) and Kokatu (8.0 score) said the strength was the story and characters but criticized other things.

One thing I remember from 2007 with the original Mass Effect was how no one really liked Garrus or Tali much and they seemed one-dimensional but by ME3 they were two of the most beloved of the franchise.  Hard to say if it's a case of not connecting with the characters right away or if indeed genuinely poorly written.  Either way, I'm going to see it firsthand.

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38 minutes ago, mulwin444 said:

Yeah, I've read this as well.  Gamespot (6 score) and Polygon (7.5 Score) had a similar take while Forbes (8.5 score) and Kokatu (8.0 score) said the strength was the story and characters but criticized other things.

One thing I remember from 2007 with the original Mass Effect was how no one really liked Garrus or Tali much and they seemed one-dimensional but by ME3 they were two of the most beloved of the franchise.  Hard to say if it's a case of not connecting with the characters right away or if indeed genuinely poorly written.  Either way, I'm going to see it firsthand.

Garrus was my home boy. I look forward to hearing your review when you play the game.

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23 hours ago, mulwin444 said:

Yeah, what the hell is up with that? haha

I've never had the impulse to lick any of my console cartridges/CD's...kinda wondering if I've been missing out all these years. 

The cartridge is coated with a foul substance to discourage little kids from swallowing them as they are a choking hazard. People I guess found this out, tested it out and it went viral.

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I bought the Destiny expansion pack and the first quest for an exotic weapon glitched and won't move forward in the storyline. Only known work around is abandon the quest and start over from the beginning or try a new character but that quest will be forever unavailable to complete for your primary. Bungee knows their programming is the problem but are not going to patch it.

The other quests have quest titles that are hidden in the map where you have to randomly choose one of the earlier quests then upgrade the difficulty level to see if the quest name changed to what you are looking for. Again, Bungee being assholes about lazy programming.

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2 hours ago, Blarg said:

I bought the Destiny expansion pack and the first quest for an exotic weapon glitched and won't move forward in the storyline. Only known work around is abandon the quest and start over from the beginning or try a new character but that quest will be forever unavailable to complete for your primary. Bungee knows their programming is the problem but are not going to patch it.

The other quests have quest titles that are hidden in the map where you have to randomly choose one of the earlier quests then upgrade the difficulty level to see if the quest name changed to what you are looking for. Again, Bungee being assholes about lazy programming.

Damn that's messed up.  I've always wanted to try Destiny as some friends of mine play it but haven't due to just general time constraints.  BioWare's "Mass Effect: Andromeda" launch had some noticeable graphical issues that are being categorized for the next DLC patch.  They are in constant contact with the fan base through the social media sites to find and correct the issues but it always surprises me how buggy these enormous launches can be.  Bethesda is another developer that seems to have these issues as well.  It's always made me wonder if there is a way to essentially make these open world, 100+ hour games errors minimized or, because of their enormous size (40+ GB) if its just impossible to account for everything and DLC patches are just the price of doing business?   I wish I had a better understanding of this but I'm admittedly limited in this area.

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My son worked for Blizzard on Wow. They have non stop QC departments that try to not just play but exploit the game to tell the programmers where map holes are, texture and lighting errors, if they can clip through a wall or even get outside the screen. They try and cheat the vendors, exploit weapon or Armour builds, basically the same stuff any 15 year old will do without thinking. 

Most games have those problems even after thousands of hours QC. It's a really big job.  

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16 hours ago, cezero said:

I ended up buying Mass Effect Andromeda. 

It's huge. Unbelievably huge. And it's mostly fun. Totally worth the money so far. 

I wish that you could land at multiple points on a planet. And I wish the UI were better, as I've said before. 

 

Yeah, I'm 25 hrs into it but it progressively improves the more you get used to it's quirks.  I usually drive to the different locations that have the forward stations first so i can fast travel around later.  I want to give it a proper review when I'm done but right now in definite 8-9 territory 

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