Bioshock Remastered: Complete

It was about a month ago that I first wrote about Bioshock: Remastered, and despite playing other games and spending time on Magic, Football, Work and Family life, I’ve finally completed it. All things said and done it only took 13 hours so I guess that tells you that I didn’t really put my mind to it, though about half of those hours were spent wrapping the game up last night.

Bioshock is a great game. Reminiscent of titles like Half-Life before it, it is a story-rich first person shooter with some interesting elements culminating in your character being the hero and saving the world so-to-speak. In my case, I went the route of saving the little sisters, so at the end of the game they came to aid me during the final battle. I’m not sure how much of a different ending there would be had I chosen to harvest them instead, but at the end of the day I’m not going to bother playing through again. I’m content to let it lie as it does and move on to the second title in the series.

I recall reading about the sequel and that it was not nearly as good as the original. I also remember reading about playing as a Big Daddy in that title, but I’m not sure if that relates to the original, in that at the end of the game you make yourself into a Big Daddy so that the little sisters will help you make your way to Atlas (Fontaine). The final movie also alludes to your little sisters growing up, having families and being present on your death bed, so perhaps it isn’t the same character at all, though it was an easy conclusion to make. I hope to dive into the sequel soon, because regardless of how it goes, I already know I’m going to enjoy Bioshock Infinite and am looking forward to getting to that. But either way, the backlog rejoices as I move a game from the unplayed column to the completed one.

Here are some screens of the latter half of the journey:

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I really enjoyed this one, and also enjoyed the fact that I didn’t have to spend more than a month playing it. Had I really pushed I could have finished it in a weekend. Perhaps I’ll try to do that with the next game. Either way I’m happy to be making progress on the backlog and hope to continue my pattern of buying next to no games and finishing off the old ones. I’ll probably never complete every game I own, but I can eliminate ones I do and scratch those off the list that don’t meet my approval. Progress is progress.

State of the Game: Warframe and More

I’ve been managing to get some decent playtime in over the past week or so, and though I’ve already touched on some of the games I’m about to talk about already in individual posts, there has been some progress made and that’s exciting to me, because I’ve had a bit of gaming malaise recently. Hello run-on sentence! So not only have I been progressing through Bioshock Remastered and playing some of my MOBAs and whatnot, I also picked up a game that was on sale for $1.50 and is actually pretty decent. Finally, or firstly perhaps, I’ve been playing a game I hadn’t touched in at least a year:

Warframe has been around for a long time, and I’ve toyed with it more than once. A couple of years ago during one of the NBI’s, I earned a prize which ended up earning me some platinum for this game. At that point I downloaded the game on PC and went to town. I played for a bit, actually enjoyed it but was probably more enamored with something else at the time and it ended up sitting unplayed as many games do. A few years later, Destiny was out and I had just picked up a PS4 and a copy of the game. I had some friends that wanted to group up and run through the game together, but a squabble between myself and one of the guys ended up where we never played together again. That’s why Destiny sat unplayed for a very long time until I finally finished it off earlier this year. Destiny doesn’t really have anything to do with Warframe per se, but at the same time the parallels between the game are there. This was noted by Isey recently, and some discussion about the game started up when he was disappointed (but still finished) Destiny 2 and discovered that Warframe was a similar game he could sink his teeth into. Having read and agreed with his judgement on things several times in the past, I figured that I should avoid picking up Destiny 2 and instead put my efforts into playing Warframe again. For one, it’s free to jump in and play so I don’t have to drop $60 to be potentially disappointed, and it also happens to be something I had already played in the past. I’ve also been craving shooter experiences, and enjoy the RPG mechanics tacked on. Jeromai has also fully endorsed Warframe in a recent post, and it just seemed like it was time for me to dive back in.

I had a second stint in Warframe after my Destiny group fell apart, where I convinced my friend’s brother to download the game on his PS4 to play with me in lieu of Destiny. We played a few hours together before he lost interest and again the game sat unplayed. Still, I had started with the Volt Warframe and leveled it to around 13, while having similarly leveled guns and a starter sword. I really had no clue where I had left off and didn’t really remember what I was supposed to be doing, not to mention there had been several updates that probably changed a bunch as it was, but I started re-familiarizing myself nonetheless. It turns out that there was a promotion that if you have Twitch Prime, you get free access to the Frost Prime Warframe, Soma Prime gun, and Scindo Prime axe. It also turns out that as an Amazon Prime member, Twitch premium membership is included, so all I had to do was link my accounts and bam:

The Frost Warframe which is like the “standard” edition would have been pretty much on par with the Volt frame I had been running. The “Prime” variants are souped up versions that have better base stats and stronger abilities along with the ability to slot extra mods into them. The new weapons were big upgrades too, but after using the axe for a few missions I didn’t really care for how slow it was. I’m thinking I eventually want to grab some nunchucks or dual wield some blades but for now I’ve gone back to the base sword until I find more blueprints and materials. Somewhere along the lines a new mastery ranking system was added and I went through the first couple, each of which seems to unlock various bits and bobs for your account. The tests see you having to fight AI in a sort of holodeck area using various parts of your loadout. Once the waves are cleared you earn you mastery rank:

I was going back and forth between wanting to pick up my progress on the PS4 or going back to the PC. It’s too bad I can’t link my account and play on either platform and share progress. I suppose I could be really crazy and play on both accounts, but I don’t have that kind of time. My hesitation to pick things back up on PS4 was because the most recent update adds some open world bits to the game and though I’m probably not at the level to participate, I wanted to see it as soon as possible. But I read somewhere that the PS4 update was coming soon, and I saw this the other day:

So probably before the end of the month the expansion will hit the console, so I’m just going to stick here. I’m used to the control scheme and I’ve already put more time into it than the PC version. As of now my Frost Prime is nearing rank 9, so I’ve almost caught up to the Volt. I’ve cleared most of Mercury and it seems that though I remember clearing other planets that they are all still locked up, so I’ll be clearing for a while. Hoping to get the materials together to experiment with other frames and make some new weapons in the process. I’ll report back more on this as I progress!

The game I picked up for $1.50 is called Anomaly 2. It’s the sequel to Anomaly: Warzone Earth (which I believe also had a couple of expansions). I played the original back in the PS3 days and just happened upon it and well, it was a steal and I have a problem. The game is a sort of tower defense and RTS hybrid but what makes it unique is that it’s really “tower offense.” You play a commander with various abilities and run around the screen in real time. Your units will follow a designated trail and towers controlled by the AI try to stop you. Your commander heals and buffs the units, keeping them alive to push through to whatever the objective is. That’s really all there is to it, but it’s rather entertaining.

Lastly, I’ve been working my way through Bioshock. I don’t know why but it feels like I’ve damn near beaten the game, but I’ve only put in a little over 6 hours. I do know that I’m progressing towards what feels like the final showdown, and things have been fairly smooth going, though I have found a few tricky bits, and some of the groupings of big daddies with splicers and turrets have killed me. Still, I’ve found a good group of plasmids and weapons and feel like I’m coasting along. I imagine it has somewhere around a 10 hour average completion time, so I should be done with this one soon. Some shots of recent events:

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So my goal for now is to finish this off and then move onto the sequel. I’d like to be done with the Bioshock games so that I can strike a few titles from the backlog. Warframe feels like a game I can play for a while as well, so I’m going to continue with it until it gets boring. Otherwise, I’ll mess around with some of the other more session based games I’ve had in the rotation, but it feels good to finally be making some progress! Until next time, happy gaming!

Bioshock: Remastered

Let me give a little background on this particular title before I get into my impressions. Bioshock originally released back in 2007, so by gaming standards it’s pretty old. I remember the first time I was able to try it, my friend had a copy on his Xbox 360. I played through the first couple of hours of the game, had an impression that it was pretty cool, and that was the extent of it. I never did pick up a copy of the game, and though the next two games in the series would eventually be given away for free via Playstation Plus, I never really played them either due to the fact that I wanted to complete the first game before touching them. A few years later, the remastered editions were announced, and it turned out if you bought the originals on Steam, you would get an upgrade to the remastered editions for free when they released (this happened with Skyrim’s special edition as well). Before the release I ended up grabbing the trilogy on sale so I think it cost me $10-20 to get these remastered versions of the game. I figured having them all and having the updated graphics would allow for a premium experience on my PC. I want to say the free upgrade happened within the last couple of years, and yet these titles sat unplayed. I rectified that recently.

As I mentioned a few times over the year, my girlfriend has expressed interest in watching me play certain games. It has mostly been horror experiences, but she tends to get bored if there isn’t a lot of action. Unfortunately, most horror games lack a combat mechanic, and use that as a tool to make the player feel helpless. In Bioshock, it’s not so much of a horror game, but very atmospheric and there is of course plenty of combat to be had. After firing it up and playing for a couple of hours she seemed rather entertained, and I had forgotten how cool the game really is. Of course, having the ability to play it on max settings and everything looking gorgeous helps, but it does have an interesting storyline, a cool area to explore and unique bad guys and mechanics that I haven’t really seen done in other games. Rapture is truly captivating, and I have been enjoying my time.

It’s unfortunate in this day and age that we are able to get games so cheap and there is such an abundance of them without enough time to play each and every one. I have been getting into the habit of trying out more of my unplayed titles in the backlog and just deleting the ones that I don’t really like. I’ve freed up quite a bit of space on both my PC and PS4 hard drives by doing so, and I feel less guilty about having so many games still lying there unplayed. The good news is that some of the games take less time to complete (or they go in the trash bin) so I have been making some progress as far as that goes. Certain games I’ve acquired over the years just don’t do it for me, feel wonky, or don’t hook me like I would have expected and deleting them from my life relieves some of the pressure I have to complete them all. The bad news is that many of these titles are RPGs that take weeks to complete, so the backlog won’t be empty any time soon. But having more expenses as of late has meant not buying games unless they are absolute must haves, and still my wishlist has grown without me making any purchases. It’s likely I’ll wait until the fall sales and maybe pick up a game or two but I’m not buying games year round like I used to. I’m hoping these efforts help me to finally finish some of these experiences!

Sorry for the aside, back to Bioshock! So it’s such an old title that I’m sure anyone who ever wanted to play the game has done so. I can say that the remastered version does feel prettier and runs great but my memory of the original is hazy so I can’t tell what the real difference is. I’m just enjoying the game and trying to make my way through it, so I suppose there isn’t too much else to share. If you have been on the fence about it and having played, you can likely get it on the cheap, and as I said the sales are coming. I’d recommend it if you like atmospheric shooters that are story-driven and something you can play through rather quickly. The collection is cheap so why not play through them all? I’m hoping to knock them out quickly so I can move onto the next task. Here are some shots from the early portion of the game, and I’ll report back when I’ve completed it:

State of the Game: MOBA Madness

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It’s been a very long time since I’ve done one of these, but with my lack of posts as of late, I thought this would be a handy catch-all for the gaming I have been doing, which has been focused mostly on MOBAs, once again. That isn’t news, but it’s still surprising that the genre has been able to keep its grasp on me for so long. It’s also surprising that I’m pulling this column from the grave, after nearly a year (the last time I wrote one, it was December 2015). With that said, let’s jump into it.

MOBAs:

Normally I’d be writing about League of Legends right about now, but I haven’t really been playing it all that much. I started off loving all of the changes that came with Season 6, played some random game modes, played some ranked, and then sort of fizzled out. I still love that game, but I go in waves with it. This is one of the periods where I put it down. I can’t seem to quit playing MOBAs altogether though, and I’m always trying out the next new thing, along with keeping up with my usual suspects. Outside of LoL, the usuals are SMITE and Awesomenauts. Yeah, I still play the latter, and it’s finally happened where the PS4 version of the game is nearly on par with the Steam version, which wasn’t something that was happening with the PS3 version of the game. Awesomenauts Assemble launched caught up, but then fell behind for quite some time, and has recently been patched, so I’ve jumped back into it head first. I already had the Overdrive expansion on Steam from a few months ago, but hadn’t really touched it. I hadn’t intended on purchasing it for my Playstation either, but it was on a deep discount and I knew my best friend IRL still played, so it ended up being worth it. Most of the expansion stuff was included for free, though a small $6.50 donation was required to open the Overdrive characters on PS4. No biggy. He sucks at the game though, so that can be a drag at times, but I still have fun playing with him.

I also got him into SMITE a few months back. I’ve explained how I started that one too on PC but didn’t really care for it, and then somehow got hooked once I played it on the console. With that reiterated, I’ve been focused on earning the trophies for the game, and once those were patched in sometime after the official release (I started playing in the console beta) I had a nice chunk of them already earned. An irritating side note- the PS4 automatically captures a screenshot when you earn a trophy; the waterfall of trophies earned once they were implemented netted a bunch of useless screen shots. Back on point, I have been working my way through god mastery. Having 5 of any of the classes mastered is a trophy each. There’s one for 10 gods mastered. 30, 50, 70 gods mastered. There’s also a multitude of random trophies that I’ve also earned along the way, but as of right now I’m working on the 5 Guardians and 5 Warriors. I have 5 each of Mages, Hunters and Assassins mastered. I think I’m around 17 total gods mastered. Then there’s a trophy for leveling one to mastery 10. So yeah, my work is cut out for me, but it’s been fun playing the game with my friend (and even solo). I should also note that my prior scathing review of the cash shop was slightly unfounded. It turns out you can earn gems by doing the daily log ins, and certain quests, and some skins are also earned through seasonal events, such as the recent summer event where I unlocked a skin for Bacchus, and it was easy to do. So honestly if you’re patient you don’t really have to spend any money, you’ll end up with some cool stuff. And in the event that you do spend money on gems, avoid the damn lock boxes and just buy skins direct.

Other Games:

As I mentioned previously, I am subbed to WoW and I’ve purchased Legion. I’m still standing behind my thought that boosting a character and missing out of much of the content isn’t a great idea for players like myself who never really put much time into the game. The hype train left the station and within hours of Legion’s launch I was basically bored already. I feel like I enjoy the leveling more than I enjoy the end game grinding, but I still want to do some of that as well. My brain tells me that I want to play this game. I want to play Destiny. I want to beat the Witcher 3, and the plethora of other games I have. Then I end up playing SMITE instead, and just go to bed. Having a girlfriend doesn’t help these matters either, because when the opportunity to hang with her arises, I’m not playing games. I’m not complaining about that either, it’s a great problem to have, but I really probably should have avoided adding more to the pile when I should really be playing the shit I paid for months/years ago. But that hype train had me, and I was stuck. I’m still subbed, I haven’t canceled. I don’t intend to either. I am going to play more, but by the time I’m relevant people will be quitting in droves because of the infamous Blizzard content droughts. Like I said before, don’t expect much written about it, but you can definitely check my blog roll for people talking all about it.

I’ve also purchased a few games over the past couple of months I haven’t really mentioned. One of those is Halcyon 6, which is an indie Starship command sim. It’s recently come out of early access and during it’s full release they released a big patch that is supposed to wrap everything up nicely. It’s had good reviews and what I played of it while it was still in early access was fun. It mixes some captain of the ship scenarios (on the bridge), JRPG style ship combat (which sounds weird but works fairly well) and other tidbits that are quite interesting. If you like pixel art indies with a fun spirit, you’d probably like this one.

The other recent indie I picked up is called The Curious Expedition, and that was a title I had on my wishlist for a while, but picked up because it had a minor discount. It’s a rogue like exploration game, and though I’m not really too huge on exploration, it has a fun premise. It’s sort of like Oregon trail, in that you start in one area and move along, but you have more direct control of the path  you take. When you come across settlements or monuments, you’ll get some story bits, some dialogue options, and some opportunities to trade/rest/etc. Once you’ve found the end goal for that particular expedition, the game ends, and you get points that you can use for perks. You then head out again, and this series continues until a winner is determined due to finds. You’re actually in a competition with other great explorers, and they will randomly earn fame each round. Each expedition is random, so there’s some replay-ability there as well.

On The Horizon:

Outside of WoW, and probably more time spent on those pesky MOBAs, I have a few other games lined up that I want to play. I downloaded Hi-Rez’s new game, Paladins, as it’s entered open beta and it looked interesting enough. I haven’t played it just yet though. I also downloaded Duelyst, which I had been following for a long time but hadn’t tried yet, and also due to some of what Eri had said on several episodes of the podcast. It looks great, I just haven’t played it yet either. During the Steam Summer Sale I also picked up the Bioshock trilogy because I haven’t played through any of them, and the remastered editions were just released. From what I hear they’ve been having some bugs and issues on the PC version of said upgrade, so I’ve only downloaded them, I haven’t played yet. Hoping it’s all worked out soon so I can run through them, as I’ve heard nothing but good things. I’m also craving some Destiny… as I’ve not really played it much either, and it’s been in the back of my mind for a long time now… the new expansion also releases very shortly, so perhaps some of my friends will actually be playing. But will they want to help me level up? That is the question.

That’s all for this edition. Looking back on that, it seems like I’ve played a lot, but when I sit and think about it, I don’t spend nearly enough time gaming these days.