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Jaybird

Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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46 Responses

  1. Avatar Morat20
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    Banished (it’s addictive! Also everyone keeps dying and I want to prevent that!) and Fallout again.

    I have started up secondary settlements, finally. My food situation is resolving itself so I might have a firm supply of adhesives, and now I find myself chronically short on oil and copper.

    I also have built the weirdest bunkhouse at Grey Gardens….but it sleeps like 15 people. 🙂Report

  2. Avatar Aaron W
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    I’ve been playing Knights of the Old Republic for the first time. I’m actually a bit surprised at how good of a game it is. I know everyone says it is, but I always wondered how much of that was nostalgia or Star Wars fandom. It’s aged really well. Old Bioware puts EA Bioware to shame.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Aaron W
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      I remember thinking “this game is oh-so-much better than Episode One”.

      Old Bioware, like Old Lucas, said “let’s steal the best bits from Hero With A Thousand Faces” and gave us the hero’s journey over and over and over again. (KoTOR (both, kinda), Jade Republic, Dragon Age, Mass Effect (the first one), and even NeverWinter Nights.

      It’s when they started saying “let’s do what Lucas did with the Prequels!” that everything turned to crap.Report

    • Avatar Zac in reply to Aaron W
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      Do yourself a favor and make sure you follow it up by playing KotOR 2 (which I just replayed recently myself). The beauty of it is that it takes the classic Star Wars hero’s journey and completely deconstructs it, in the process telling what it probably my favorite story ever told in that setting (the movies included).Report

  3. Avatar Brandon Berg
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    I still don’t get the Facebook thing. It turns out that at $600 plus a fairly hefty requirement for the actual PC, it really is a hardcore gaming thing. So how is this something it makes sense for Facebook to spend $2 billion on? Maybe an investment for a couple of years down the road, when the technology is cheap enough for Facebooky stuff, I guess, but at that point it’ll be commodity hardware. Why invest so much in one particular product—which might turn out to be the wrong one—when for a fraction of the price they could make their software run on whatever headset actually reaches the mass market first?

    I’m not saying they’re wrong. I don’t see it, but maybe I just lack vision.Report

  4. Avatar Autolukos
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    says:

    I finally dove into Endless Legend, which has been the most fun I’ve had with a 4x game in a long time. Kind of a cross between Civilization and Heroes of Might and Magic, with a really interesting set of asymmetric factions.Report

    • Avatar El Muneco in reply to Autolukos
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      I’m still playing this too.

      I like the ambition in adding tactical turn-based combat resolution. Since “magic” is basically limited to healing/buffing, it doesn’t dominate the battlefield like in Master of Magic or distort it like in HOMM. And while the tactical AI doesn’t make mistakes, it doesn’t plan ahead. Still, it’s a nice feature.Report

      • Avatar Autolukos in reply to El Muneco
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        So far, the tactical system is the most interesting part of the game for me. One thing I’ve really liked is how rounds can be too successful if you’re not thinking carefully and let units get out of position; the more I play, the more I have units hold their ground and advance very carefully.Report

        • Avatar El Muneco in reply to Autolukos
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          I’m kind of playing easy mode because I mostly have played Vaulters so far, and both their native heroes and core army unit are Ranged. So I do a lot of “hold position and don’t target anyone unless they move into range”, especially in the first round. I’d much rather keep the army together for morale, in good terrain, than have one extra shot – infantry units with move less than 3 (maybe even 4) aren’t going to live long enough to reach us anyway…

          The downside of Vaulters is that they get stuck in the ass-end of nowhere. The last game I started my initial region actually touched the south polar ice cap, and even 2 anomalies only managed to bring my best city site up to 8 food…Report

  5. Avatar DavidTC
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    I’m a little confused as to how a smartphone on a headset costs $600.

    Normal smartphones don’t cost that much. To get that high a cost, you need a giant screen *plus* the Apple tax.

    I mean, yes, it has two screens, but they are smaller than normal screens. (I guess?)

    Meanwhile, it, not being an actual smartphone, does not have to include any of the phone stuff, or bluetooth, or anything. Maybe it has wifi. It needs good speakers, I guess, but that’s about it.

    In fact, it logically can be a pretty crappy CPU and memory, considering I’m assuming most of the video processing will be done in the computer?

    I don’t actually know a lot about how the Rift works, but $350 seems a pretty reasonable price for that. And $600 is really high.

    Maybe it’s doing something with video I am unaware of, though. I can imagine the Rift getting an extra-large video image that it truncates, and then doing some sort of head tracking and moving the image viewport, so you don’t have to wait for the computer catch up. Which would help with both realism and motion sickness.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DavidTC
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      Yeah, I think it’s the head tracking and real-time viewport movement that turns it pricey.

      If they conquered motion sickness, then that right there might be worth the price of admission.

      After some games come out, of course.Report

  6. Avatar Damon
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    I was playing Jedi Knight Jedi Academy. Needed a light saber fix after the latest star wars move. Hell it was better than the movie. Waiting for my new gaming rig to show up and get windows 10 killed and replace it with something better. Got the box now..just need the software…..

    Damn USPS…Report

  7. Avatar Zac
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    says:

    Still playing the hell out of The Witcher 3, like I have been for the past two weeks. I finished the main storyline a few nights ago and am now working my way through the Hearts of Stone expansion.Report

    • Avatar Hoosegow Flask in reply to Zac
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      I’m closing in on the end of the game. Finally found the last gwent card I was missing. I fully expect to finish before the end of the long weekend.Report

      • Avatar Zac in reply to Hoosegow Flask
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        Aaand…finished it. Did absolutely everything, except Gwent, cuz fuck Gwent (it is weirdly by far the hardest part of the game, at least for me).Report

        • Avatar Hoosegow Flask in reply to Zac
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          says:

          I manage to put together a deck that seems to work for me. I almost never lose.

          I’m going to finish with a bunch of the question marks still on the map. They started to feel tedious after a bit. If I ever replay on Death March, I imagine all the places of power I’ve skipped would prove useful.Report

    • Avatar Damon in reply to Zac
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      I wasn’t aware of the expansion. Nice. Gotta get me that. Of course, I can’t run the game yet on the old machine…Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Zac
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      I still haven’t beaten 2 and I still haven’t beaten 1.

      I feel obliged to beat them both before I play 3.

      Which means that I’m probably going to miss out on 4 too…Report

      • Avatar Zac in reply to Jaybird
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        says:

        To be honest, I never played the first two at all. I could be mistaken, but it doesn’t seem strictly necessary: I just read the plot synopses on Wikipedia and that was enough to orient me.Report

      • Avatar El Muneco in reply to Jaybird
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        says:

        Coincidentally, this is exactly how I feel about Mass Effect.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to El Muneco
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          I recommend the first one wholeheartedly and the second one somewhere between whole and three-quarters heartedly.

          Then imagine how awesome the third one must have been and never, ever, play it.Report

          • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Jaybird
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            says:

            No.

            Play Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2.

            Then play Mass Effect 3 and, as you go through it, marvel at how everything you did in previous games is being referenced and is relevant.

            Then, when you get to Earth, touch base with the few remaining people you haven’t touched base with over the holosystem, gear up for war…and then TURN YOUR GAME OFF AND DELETE YOUR SAVED GAME SO YOU WON’T EVER BE TEMPTED TO SEE THE IDIOTIC END.

            I am not kidding in the least.

            After that, go lay down and just *imagine* that what you did during the games had some relevance to the final push. Imagine that beloved companions showed up again, lending aid. Imagine being forced to sacrifice them in heartbreaking choices. Imagine the moral choices got grayer and grayer as you couldn’t risk the resources to save civilians, or even had to use them as distractions.

            And then…the multiple endings. In some, you managed to unite the galaxy enough to defeat them. (And maybe even lived.) In others, you were forced to sacrifice Earth and the entire fleet, but still won the war. And in others, you didn’t make it at all, but all you could do was fling a light into the darkness and the epilogue is 50,000 years in the future and *those guys* being prepared thanks to you.

            Because that is the actual ending of Mass Effect, not the utter nonsense we got.

            Christ, the end of that series still pisses me off.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DavidTC
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              says:

              Give them money for Mass Effect. Give them money for Mass Effect 2.

              Do not let them know that Mass Effect 3 ever entered your system. Don’t let them get the feedback that tells them “huh, some guy out there just got the ‘I finished the opening scene’ achievement.”

              Don’t encourage them.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Well, that’s one argument. But they can’t distinguish ‘Guy not buying the game because of crappy ending’ from normal ‘just not buying the game’. (1)

                If your intent is to deprive them of money, sure. If your intent is to send a message, I suspect that people getting to the endgame and then *not* going forward does that better.

                This isn’t, of course, to say that ME3 didn’t have other problems before that point. A lot of times the ‘effect’ of things you did in previous ME games was solely that, if a character was dead, they introduced a new character to do exactly the same thing. Likewise, things you did in previous games were somewhat undone.

                This…seems a bit dubious storytelling. I understand, for plot purposes, that certain things had to happen, and that they weren’t going to spend days making an area that your previous saved game might not even allow or require you to get to…but I think they went a bit too far there. At least give us a ‘You must recruit another Salarian scientist’ quest or something, instead of just ‘Here’s a guy you never met because Mordin is dead and he’s willing to do the same sacrifice for some reason’.

                But the superficial problems with having to corral all the previous saved games into a single coherent plot in ME3 were understandable and expected. It was, ironically, the endgame push (Which was the *perfect* time to have previous choices actually change things, like how many levels it was and what enemies and allies spawned.) that started the failure, but no one would have noticed that problem if, after that, the story had a reasonable conclusion.

                1) Before you say ‘But they could see the sales of 1 and 2 vs 3, note that 3 was actually harder to *buy* than 1 and 2, because it, insanely, didn’t come on Steam, but on a dumbass system they set up themselves called ‘Origin’. If it had been any game *other* than a series conclusion to an RPG that was one of my favorite series, I wouldn’t have bothered to set the damn thing up. (In fact, being about two hard drives later, I have no idea *how* to reinstall ME3 again, if I wanted to.)Report

  8. Avatar Mike Schilling
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    says:

    Aaron Rodgers has sold his soul to the devil. There is no other explanation.Report

  9. Avatar Hoosegow Flask
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    says:

    I’ve been following the VR developments off and on for a while. If the Rift had been close to $350, I might have been tempted, but a $600 price tag easily moves it into a “wait-and-see” category. HTC Vive has gotten a bit of hype lately, especially with the blowback towards Oculus. Theirs comes with 3d controllers (which will be a separate purchase for Oculus, sometime near the end of the year) and a forward facing camera, which can display a wireframe outline of the room. And HTC is partnered with Valve. If Half-life 3 is a Vive exclusive, that’s a total game changer. There would be mass cancellations of Oculus pre-orders.Report

  10. Avatar aaron david
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    says:

    Dang Panthers.

    Shakes fist in direction of the south…Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to aaron david
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      says:

      Seattle has a pattern now of sucking in the first half and then being unstoppable in the second half. It’s not so much the Seahawks being beaten by the Panthers as running out of time.Report

    • Avatar El Muneco in reply to aaron david
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      says:

      I think there’s also an element of “the Rams always beat the Seahawks because that’s what they were seemingly designed to do” going on. The field conditions took away the ability of the defense to correct for mistakes/mismatches through superior pursuit skills – since even if you got there you’d just fall down when you tried to plant to make the tackle. And it took away any chance of using smoke and mirrors to bail out the overmatched offensive line, allowing the Carolina front – that was always going to be more than a handful – to completely dominate.

      It’s not an excuse – they totally got outplayed until after halftime when Rivera took his now-traditional “up by more than three scores” nap. But I believe that the field was definitely a contributing factor in turning superior play into total domination.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to El Muneco
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        says:

        Field conditions guaranteed to be different for the Rams next year.Report

        • Avatar El Muneco in reply to Burt Likko
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          says:

          Hey, I know what I’m thinking – if it made it on the page more clearly more often, my prose would be a damn sight better…

          What I was trying to get at is that my impression is that while Carolina and Seattle are built along very similar lines, Carolina seems to put a higher value on power when evaluating players. Seattle seems to value athleticism, even on the lines. On defense, Bennett and Avril aren’t the biggest, and the tackles are noted more for being mobile for their size than for the pure size itself (even Mebane). On offense, the only real strength is Okung, and he’s not exactly a road-grader, while the right tackle is a converted tight end. And speaking of tight ends, they don’t get much blocking help from them, since they’re all pass catchers. Even when they need lead blocking, they turn to an ex-DE.

          So on a slow/unsure track, Carolina’s relative strengths are magnified, while not only are Seattle’s weaknesses magnified, the conditions make it even harder than usual to scheme around them.

          Thus the Rams – how do they do so well against Seattle? Get pressure while still rushing four (and control the line against the run), that leaves one more in a short zone or one more to keep Wilson from getting a clear lane when he scrambles. Carolina was a danger of doing that in any case, the field just made it easier IMO.Report

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