RE: Looter Shooters

So a few days ago I ran a poll to see what game in the so-called “Looter Shooter” genre people might think I’d enjoy. It turns out that following my logic, some people recommended Warframe even, a game I’ve already spent some time in but still look at all of the content available as a little daunting. I was surprised to see more people vote for Anthem than anything else, but we are talking about a very small sample size. In the end, my decision was made with my wallet’s welfare in mind: I picked up Forsaken for $20. I should be able to blow through what’s between where I am and the new content fairly quick.

I appreciate the feedback though. Haven’t seen that many comments on a post in a long time!

Ironically enough, we were treated to the announcement of Borderlands 3, a game that I had included in the poll (only got a single vote though) as more of a joke than anything. It does look pretty good though… here’s the trailer in case you missed it:

In a way it does look like more of the same, but it did look it had some pretty slick stuff going on at the same time. I hope there is enough variance to the world, classes/mechanics and storyline that it feels like a proper sequel and not just another pre-sequel. I’ll be keeping an eye on this one for sure, and make a decision about its purchase depending on the details. In the meantime, I’m in for more Destiny 2.

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!

State of the Game: Creative Endeavors

This last week I spent most of my time playing games I’ve already made posts about, but also doing the usual session based grind. I’ve spent some time trying to further some other creative endeavors, such as starting up a podcast and possibly setting up a streaming schedule. I’ve also been toying around with more recordings, and I’ll be posting one here shortly.

As far as the Podcast goes, me and my partners had a brainstorming session early in the week and we have decided on a name for the show, and a general format scheme. We’re actually going to do some practice recording sessions soon so that I can start learning to edit. Depending on how that goes, we might record our first show next weekend for release on the following Monday/Tuesday. I’m really looking forward to doing this and I hope that we get a good response.

As far as Streaming goes, I’m just toying with ideas of potentially finding a schedule and perhaps even a theme. However, I am limited a little bit due to this machine not exactly being new, so I can’t exactly stream anything that I want. With that said, I was thinking of focusing on Hearthstone or maybe even Roguelikes. This is still in the works and might come down the pipeline.

Lastly on the creative front, I don’t think I mentioned that I picked up the RPG Maker Humble Bundle that was going on last week (It’s over now). For a buck I got RPG Maker VX Ace and a couple add-ons, plus games made with the software. I always thought it would be cool to put some of my ideas into a game, and I’m very fond of the old school JRPGS. It turns out my good friend Doone has had the program for a while and seems to already know what he’s doing with it. As a result, he proposed that we work on something together. I threw him an idea I had for a comic book or maybe a novel, and he seems to think it’s good enough to make something out of. I have yet to use the program as I have been focusing on other things, but I plan to have a virtual sit-down with him in the near future to learn. Ok, now that that’s done, on to what I’ve been playing:

Hearthstone: It’s been more of the same, where I wait a day or two so that quests pile up, then I go ahead and clear a few, run an Arena and then wait a couple more days. I haven’t had any good cards from packs, and I’m anxiously awaiting the expansion from which new cards keep getting teased. Aside from that, here’s a video of my last Arena run, or at least part of it. I had a decent Warlock deck and went on a 6-0 run before losing to a Druid. I called it a night at that point, but I will continue that run at a later time (and will let you guys know so you can see the rest). I actually did commentary throughout, but there’s a chunk of like 5-10 minutes near the middle where I must have moved my mic into a bad angle, cause you can hear breathing, and that’s rather annoying. So you can mute it if you like, I won’t be offended.

Awesomenauts: I have been playing on the console with my roommate again, and the other day we just could not be stopped. We literally played probably 10+ matches and won every single one. As a result, I have risen through the leaderboards that much more, and have broken into the 800 range. That’s officially the highest I’ve been. On the PC side, I’ve made a couple of friends from playing, so I’ve had some group time there as well. However, the leaderboard system works a bit differently, so I’m stuck with a rating of ~12000 (as opposed to the rating of ~17000 on the console). I haven’t been able to dominate as readily, partly due to the increased tactical difference that extra nauts bring, but also because of balance changes that occurred between the time of release and now. Basically, things that are stupidly OP in the console version have been fixed on the PC version, disallowing me to utilize those. But it’s ok, I still have a lot of fun and I don’t necessarily need to be at the top (just close!)

League of Legends: I didn’t play a lot of league, but I did get some games in with my Brother-in-law and a couple of the NBI peeps. Mostly I played Mirror Matches, but that game mode is coming to an end soon. I enjoyed that more in the first few days than I did later on though, because some of the champions are just not suited for that mode. Try playing as one of ten Tarics, and you will feel my pain. It also seems to point out that there are far too many people who don’t know how to play anything but a few of the champs. I realize that the game isn’t played in a hardcore fashion by everyone, but some people just don’t know how to play anyone. I have played the game casually for a few years. In that time I can say with a certain amount of confidence that I can play all but 10% of the champions well. Even in that 10% of champs that I don’t play well, I still at least contribute a little something to the team. I actually saw a player literally stand still and let themselves die, and then stand in spawn the rest of the match because he “didn’t know how to play that champ.” The kicker was that he didn’t even tell me that when I was bitching about him being AFK. His friend had to speak for him. I realize it’s a game mode that’s supposed to be “for fun” but I still think that people need to try at least, or else they ruin four other people’s fun. Also, the Pentakill album released. It’s pretty good. Go download it.

The Forest: Awesome game. Go check out my full post.

Shadowrun Returns: Another great game, for completely different reasons. My playthrough starts here.

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing: My Dad gifted me a copy of this game a couple of months ago, but due to my obsession with Diablo III at the time, I didn’t want to play it. After I was done with D3 it was still hard to see the point in playing it because I was kind of burnt on the action RPG thing. It doesn’t take long to realize you’re doing the same shit and expecting different results <— definition of crazy, btw. So this game collected dust. I was motivated to play it for another reason than just pure boredom, but I’ll get to that in a bit. When I fired this up the other day, I was surprised that it supported a controller. I probably wouldn’t have even known had I not already had a controller plugged in (as I never unplug it). Rather than unplugging and playing with keyboard and mouse, I decided to try out the game with the controller (I’m really lazy). I was amazed at how well the control scheme worked for the game. It actually feels like it was designed for a console. I’m curious if the sequel does the same. Anyhow, it’s steampunkish, and based on old Transylvanian lore. Or something to that effect. Really, I didn’t care, it was just fun to blast things with guns and then charge into the fray with a huge 2-hander. The game does some things differently than traditional ARPGs, and that’s a good thing in my book. Still, I see this as a game I blow through once and move on from.

Warframe: A gift I received for all the work I put into the NBI was a gamer gift card. It was used for multiple online games, and served as a means for someone to gift me in-game cash, to a game of my choosing. After perusing the list of mostly Korean MMOs and other F2P titles I had little-to-no interest in, I found out that Warframe was supported. I had been seeing things about the game recently on Steam and around the net, so I thought I’d give it a try, and dump the money there if the game suited me. The game does suit me, though it’s lore and design is a little weird. Still, ignoring that and just admiring the pretty graphics and solid gameplay mechanics, I found a game that’s a co-op shooting dream. It’s been a lot of fun and the Platinum earned via that card was nice for buying more Warframes (playable suits – think characters) and appearance stuff. Mostly everything is supposed to be available via in-game blueprints, but now I don’t have to wait for one of them to drop for me, as I got a little head start. Now I just need some friends to join in (hint hint)

So I’ve fallen into a new pattern of selling off the Steam Trading Cards. At first I was hoarding them, only selling off the doubles, but I have since decided that I could care less about them, and selling them for $0.10 a piece is still better than them virtually collecting dust. I’ve probably made close to $10 already, though I’ve spent that (was how I got the Forest for next to nothing). This is also the real reason why I played Van Helsing, and a motivating factor to play a couple other games in my library that I haven’t yet. Those cards add up over time, and sometimes Steam sales are pretty damn cheap, so it’s easy money for when something good pops up.

That’s it for this week. Happy Gaming.