Where To Sink the Time?

My birthday is coming up this next weekend. 33 doesn’t feel like it means much outside of being one year older. It’s old enough to feel like an adult, but young enough to still be in touch with society and culture. One thing that hasn’t changed is my love for video games, and that doesn’t look to ever change, considering it’s been about 30 years since I first played one. Sure, I get irritated with the state of things here and there, and sometimes I don’t feel like playing anything but I can’t imagine myself not being a gamer until arthritis or carpal tunnel steal my ability to be one. With that said, I think it’s going to be a long while before I’m not longer interested in the medium, if ever.

I was given the option to pick a game as my birthday gift by my father. It’s been the usual gift over the years, and I do love getting a new shiny when the opportunity presents itself. So, given a price range of $60, there were plenty of options that I had been considering. The biggest titles that I’ve had on my wishlist for a time but haven’t picked up yet and have been contemplating were Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Grand Theft Auto V, The Witcher III, Dragon Age Inquisition: GOTY Edition, and Fallout 4.

Having played Blops3 a bit on my friend’s PS4, I can attest that I really enjoy the game, and it’s a return to greatness for the series. However, despite glowing professional reviews of the PC version of the game, the reviews on Steam are still filled with contempt for shoddy optimization. People with better GPUs than I were having trouble with the game. I have a system that is only a few months old, and assumed I would be able to play the game flawlessly, but that hasn’t been the case for many people. Granted, it has only been out a few short days, and apparently some of the issues have already been fixed, but I’m thinking it might be best to scratch that one off of the list for now. I would just wait and buy it once I have a PS4, but I hear there will be modding and custom map support like the good old days of CoD on PC in the future, so perhaps that will be the time to pick it up. Either way, I can still play this one at my friend’s house, so it’s off the short list.

Grand Theft Auto V was another strong contender, mainly because the PC version is supposed to put the console version to shame and already has mod support. I have played bits of the game in the past and rather enjoyed it, this feeling being a similar return to the glory days similar to that which I described about the new CoD above. However, the game is old if you go by the original release date, despite coming out on PC early this year. Still, I think this one would be best purchased when it’s on sale, and it isn’t currently. So scratch that as well.

The Witcher III looks incredible. Eri had nothing but positive things to say about it for the long while she was playing it, and I would like to get in on that experience. However, it’s not a franchise I have any history with (from what I’ve read, the first game is pretty bad and the sequel was only passable) so it doesn’t have the pull of some of these other titles. I also know that it has a ton of DLC, some of which is free but more is on the way, so it seems to be the type of game I should wait to purchase, preferably when it’s a GOTY package on discount. I’ll get it one day, but I’m not dying to play it.

That brings me to the last two games, both of which I have been really excited to play for a long time.

Dragon Age Inquisition released about a year ago, but since then has seen multiple DLCs, and just last month released the GOTY package that includes everything for the full box price. That’s more of a deal than the $60 would have been a year ago when the game was new. I also know from playing through both DA:O and DA2 + all of their DLCs that the full experience is so much better than just the base game. I’ve read mostly positive reviews about the game, and though most people agree that DA:O was the better of the two, I liked both of them and know that I will enjoy DA:I.

Fallout 4 released this evening. I’ve read horror stories about Bethesda game launches in that they tend to be buggy messes. Most of the reviews from both professional journalists and those from players on Steam are all reporting that the game is running surprisingly well and though there are some bugs still, it’s nothing compared to recent launches from the company. I first learned of Fallout 4 back during E3, and I knew it was a game I was going to want to play, even going back and playing New Vegas through most of the way to get back into what a Bethesda game can offer. This one is also $60 out of the gate and has a $30 season pass which will most likely be worth the purchase even at a later date.

I’m torn between the latter two, because I know they will both provide a deep engaging RPG experience, and many hours of gameplay. I’m a big fan of BioWare and Dragon Age, while I have enjoyed portions of Fallout in the past and would love to jump into that on day one.

So my question to you, dear reader, is what game would you choose, given the option? Reasons can be given in the comments.

State of the Tweet: Media Consumption

SotT

So aside from my consistent posts about Shadow Warrior, one of the newest games I’ve committed to playing through and writing about, this was another slow week here on the blog. I keep feeling like there are more philosophical or technical ideas I should be conveying, as so many of the great writers in our blogosphere are wont to do, but I just don’t have the muse. Nothing has come along recently that really chaps my hide, catapulting me into ranty action. As such, I’m providing another round-up of my recent tweets — some to do with gaming, some to do with other forms of media. I hope you won’t mind this occasional foray into other venues besides gaming, but it does give me more to write about, and by proxy, more for you to read about. Win/win.

This past weekend we saw the semi-finals of the North American League Championship Series (NALCS) Spring Split (one of two major parts to the pro season), where the top two seeds, Team Solo Mid (TSM) and Cloud 9 (C9) had enjoyed a bye week and were preparing for their matches against Team Impulse and Team Liquid respectively. C9 was up first on Saturday, and were actually down 0-2 when I posted the above message. I thought it was going to be a sad day for C9, when lo and behold, they won 3 consecutive games to take the series 3-2, and move on to the finals. Excellent play and so much fun to watch.

On Sunday, we were treated to the TSM/TiP matchup, and it was the first series of the weekend that didn’t go all 5 games. TSM ended up winning 3-1 in game 4. TSM is my favorite to win next weekend in the final, but it really could go either way and would be well deserved no matter the result. Both teams are truly on another level. Also next weekend is the third place matchup (which matters when it comes to league points and placement in the summer split) between Team Liquid and Team Impulse, which should also be a great series, as each team gave the top seeds a run for their money.

Also on Sunday, the season premiere of Game of Thrones was on HBO. As a fan of the series, it was great to see it back on the air, seeing the familiar characters and watching the plot thicken. However, thickening was about all that happened, as there wasn’t much action or intrigue in the first episode. I do see where they are lining things up to pick up rather quickly, but it was still sort of a snooze fest. Oh well.

You’ll probably recall that I boycotted purchase of Call of Duty games after Modern Warfare 3. If I hadn’t mentioned it, that is the last game in the long running series that I purchased, after having being a loyal consumer since the very first incarnation on the PC. The game really did become more of the same, year in and year out, and I dislike the model of paying $60 per box plus another $60-80 for DLC and having to do this on a yearly basis. However, I have played most of the games since that boycott, because no matter who you are, you know someone who plays CoD. The last CoD I truly loved was Black Ops, and Black Ops 2 was also tolerable. Seeing the announcment for Black Ops 3 was no surprise, but I wonder how it will perform, and differentiate itself from predecessors? It appears it is taking the Advanced Warfare MO, going with some future tech arsenals, and is keeping the revered Zombies mode. We’ll see what happens soon enough I guess.

I recently finished watching two seasons of Magic City on Netflix. I hadn’t heard of the show, just happened upon it while browsing. Apparently it was an original series on the Starz network (which I honestly didn’t know still existed), but has already been cancelled, so those two seasons are all you’re gonna get. I’d recommend watching it still though, as it had a pretty decent plot during a time period not much shown on TV (I think Mad Men is about the only other show on TV exploring that era). No spoilers, but the series ends pretty solidly, not leaving loose ends, so they must have known they were getting cancelled, or the writers were good at ending things with the season, rather than having cliffhangers.

After URF left us, I decided it was time to get back into playing some ranked in League of Legends. I had a long enough break, and dove back into my ELO hell. I managed to get a few wins and got into a promo series…

But the feeling of elation didn’t last long. I won the first game, but the second two games were thrown, despite our early game dominance in both cases. It seems we didn’t have good shot calling and/or mid-game knowledge. Our rotations were shit and we lost. Both times. I did get to try out Vladimir top though, and he was fun. Sustain for days!

Today I got back into another promo series, and I have won the first game again. Here’s hoping I managed to win it. It doesn’t really matter that much though, as this is just to get back to Bronze II. My Bronze I down to III up to I down to II and staying for a while, then down to III story is about to see the next chapter. I’ll get silver at least, but I really would like to shoot higher.

Another new season for a show I enjoy started up on Monday. TURN is the story of the Revolutionary War between the American Colonies and England. It’s an interesting time period, and the acting and story are superb. The original season which aired last year started off really slow and took forever to get going but I gave it a chance anyway, but this season started off very intriguing right off the bat. I should also mention that I have been watching the last episodes of Mad Men that are airing currently, while another show that started last year is coming back next month in Halt and Catch Fire. I seriously love AMC. Best network on TV in my opinion.

So that’s it for this edition of my random tweets. Peace out.

#stateofthetweet #roundup