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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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20 Responses

  1. Avatar El Muneco
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    says:

    You know what I’d like to see? A new action game that’s not based on an old action game. Tomb Raider, Assassin’s Creed, Dark Souls, Shadow Warrior, Serious Sam – there’s even a DOOM reboot this year… I have high hopes for Superhot – the question is whether its central conceit (“time only moves when you move”) turns out to be a new paradigm or just a gimmick.

    In other news, XCOM2 is still good. Some gaming graphics experts have done some profiling and worked out a priority for which graphics compromises you have to make to get it to run properly on your system, and Firaxis has confirmed that they have assigned some people to look into the issue. I still occasionally have problems with strobing, especially on the main menu and base screens (in particular, character loadout), but changing the shadows settings clears it up (weirdly, it doesn’t seem to matter whether I change it up or down, just re-initializing the engine is all it takes, and that usually indicates a bug in the engine code).

    The game itself is still XCOM. A lot of the outrage was that there is unexpectedly a learning curve even for veterans who thrashed the old game. And that they changed the tactical paradigm – it’s no longer chess, with traps built up over a number of moves and closing with mathematical precision, it’s adaptation and improvisation, and rapidly shuffling so that you can move the rock to where it will meet the scissors. Some of the timed missions are a little tight, but that just forces you to take risks – what separates success from failure is learning what is too risky and what isn’t risky enough, and that takes a little practice.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to El Muneco
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      says:

      You should pick up the Mad Max game, maybe.

      The wacky thing is that let’s say they come up with the perfect new action game. 50+ hours, different possible paths, some moral ambiguity, memorable bad guys (who escape in the final reel). You beat it and put down the controller. You exhale deeply and think about how great that game was.

      Two years later, you gonna buy the sequel? How about the one after that?

      I would. I’d stand in line.

      I don’t mind franchises that much, so long as they don’t suck. This is not intended to be a tautology.

      The Batman games, for example, take an established formula with an established group of characters and provide a wonderful little sandbox to play in. You’re Batman, you have the usual gang of criminals to fight against, you have the usual gang of super villains to fight against, the usual gang of supporting characters, and the conceit is that this 30ish hour game takes place over one evening.

      Dude. I could play a new chapter in that game every year or so for the rest of my life.Report

      • Avatar Zac in reply to Jaybird
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        says:

        I am exactly the same way. Since I’m not super plugged-in to video game news/culture like I was when I was a kid, I depend on lot on certain tentpole franchises (like Batman or Assassin’s Creed or what have you) to deliver consistent, high-quality experiences. And like you, I’m perfectly happy to just keep buying new installments of that ad infinitum.Report

      • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Jaybird
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        says:

        Dude. I could play a new chapter in that game every year or so for the rest of my life.

        Oh, let’s not even go there, because I used to think exactly that about that series.

        And then they totally screwed me with their lack of DLC releases and the *completely idiotic* removal of 90% of the challenge fights.

        That, combined with the way their saved games work, means if I want to actually have fun currently in that game, I have to start the entire thing over, or just go back to Arkham City, where I *can* build custom fights.

        I *would* say this is some attempt to get me to buy the next game, except, as far as I know, there *isn’t* a next game.

        I really can’t comprehend this. If I were making action games like this, I’d *not only* let players set up custom fights, but I’d also let them unlock and replay *boss* fights, at least the heavily scripted and locked-in fights in mostly-no-RPG-elements games like in Batman and Tomb Raider. (It’s harder and maybe not worth it in RPGs like Fallout, where player-builds and weapons can vary wildly.)

        Hours of playtime added to the game, with almost *no work at all*. Trigger the damn ‘entered the boss room’ script, let them play it out (No point in saving), and then end.

        ..hell, whatever happened to being able to rewatch unlocked cutscreens?Report

    • Avatar DavidTC in reply to El Muneco
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      says:

      You know what I’d like to see? A new action game that’s not based on an old action game.

      Why?

      No, seriously…why?

      You say ‘based on’, but action games are not movies, and ‘based on’, in video games, are only *incidentally* based on having the same characters and existing in the same universe.

      What they are actually based on is having the same *game play*.

      If someone had taken the Tomb Raider engine, and turned it into, I dunno, a licensed Rambo behind-enemy-lines-in-Vietnam game that played basically the same way…is that better or worse than another Tomb Raider?

      Why would this be a good thing? Or a bad thing? Isn’t it just a *confusing* thing?Report

      • Avatar El Muneco in reply to DavidTC
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        says:

        With all the pushback, I’m not so sure. Maybe I am just shaking my cane.

        I guess my thinking is that a game that’s not part of a pre-existing franchise is more likely to break new ground and give us something brilliant. You can never re-capture the magic, even if what you’re giving us is objectively better.

        Some classics weren’t followed up by terrific games (I’m looking at you “No One Lives Forever 2”, “Hexen 2”, and “Interstate ’82”, and particularly “Master of Orion 3”). Some were. Some franchises even peaked with sequels – Civilization, Heroes of Might and Magic, Fallout, Jagged Alliance, Diablo, Championship/Football Manager, Tropico, Sims…

        What I want is for more big studios to take risks and break new ground, and maybe make a classic.

        Another example – there hasn’t been a successful action gridiron football game with a playbook design tool since 1996. But every year we get a new Madden that is incrementally better than the old Madden, but still fixed in its paradigm like a deer in headlights.

        Basically, a new version of Doom will be fun. A new game that hits us like the original Doom did would be immortal.Report

        • Avatar DavidTC in reply to El Muneco
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          says:

          I guess my thinking is that a game that’s not part of a pre-existing franchise is more likely to break new ground and give us something brilliant.

          But they do that *in* existing franchises just as often as outside it.

          The Tomb Raider reboot, for example, was pretty innovative.

          Fallout 3 was an entirely different type of game than 1 and 2.

          And the Batman games were based on an existing property that had previous games, which didn’t stop Arkham Asylum from being innovative.

          Frankly, I suspect we’re more likely to get this innovation when the developers *don’t* have to worry about building an entire world at the same time, and can focus on the game play.

          But every year we get a new Madden that is incrementally better than the old Madden, but still fixed in its paradigm like a deer in headlights.

          I suspect the problem there is EA. (A sentence that applies to quite a lot of situations.) EA ruins good franchises…and Madden wasn’t a very good franchise to start with.

          Basically, a new version of Doom will be fun. A new game that hits us like the original Doom did would be immortal.

          I hate to have to point this out, but Doom is only famous because it was a) free (Well, shareware), and b) literally the first graphically interesting computer game that non-computer people had ever seen.

          It wasn’t particularly innovative. The *actual* innovative first-person shooter was Wolfenstein 3D…which no one played.

          And even *that* was sorta based on Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss, which really should get the credit as the first first-person shooter, although a bit more RPG-ish than that usually refers to.Report

          • Avatar El Muneco in reply to DavidTC
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            says:

            “It wasn’t particularly innovative. The *actual* innovative first-person shooter was Wolfenstein 3D…which no one played.”

            And even that was a franchise – I played the hell out of the original Wolfenstein – and its incremental sequel…

            “EA ruins good franchises…and Madden wasn’t a very good franchise to start with.”

            Yeah, the original Madden was crap, although that might have been the port. Although I still remember the Cincinnati SS, who broke the game…

            I don’t fundamentally disagree – I mean, I’m currently playing XCOM2, which is the sequel to the mod of the expansion of a reboot.

            And I think that’s part of it – I mean, we’re getting sequels that keep incrementally pushing the experience – we can keep playing in our favorite franchises forever. I’m just looking to the ones who are trying for a new experience – Superhot, or Clandestine. Another Portal, basically – a project that doesn’t try to perfect a genre, but reconstruct it.Report

        • Avatar Kim in reply to El Muneco
          Ignored
          says:

          You need to play the sequel to Drakengard, It’s called Nier, and it’s totally trolling the entire studio. (If you haven’t played Drakengard, it’s worth it, but also disturbing. Have a child in the Party. Have a child-eating cannibal in the Party. Have a pederast in the Party. What could go wrong?)Report

  2. Avatar Zac
    Ignored
    says:

    Welp, I just found out that a bonus campaign for Shadowrun: Hong Kong dropped for free last weekend, so I know what I’m doing this weekend.Report

  3. Avatar Autolukos
    Ignored
    says:

    Finished off the XCOM 2 campaign.

    Well, sort of: partway through the final mission, the enemies stopped fighting. So I went through mopping them up to see the end of the story. Will have to replay it to actually beat the mission, though.Report

  4. Avatar James K
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    says:

    I’m continuing with Fallout 4 – have decided to side with the Railroad for this play-through.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to James K
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      says:

      I’m trying to get the last trophy: 100% Happiness for my settlement.

      It’s a bear.Report

      • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Heh. I got that one accidentally, somehow. Probably because I had a general policy of, whenever I had spare cash, building a store, and I started with the stores that increase happiness. (It says it in the description.) I never actually did figure out how I got 100% though, and it soon went back down.

        It’s kinda funny, everyone else seems to find it so hard, and I knew about it and how hard it was…and then suddenly it just flashed on screen when I wasn’t even trying and I said ‘Huh?’.

        I can’t even figure out how to actually make happiness change in consistent ways.

        Of course, at this point, I’m not playing for that. I’m just doing fun stuff, like building a gigantic five-story building comprising the entire drive-in, with stores and common areas and little apartments. (And lamenting the dumbass pathfinding.)

        Incidentally, for people who draw the line at outright cheating but would like some building to be easier…there are two very good mods out there, one which lets you build shipments of water to sell (Which lets you do the bank-breaking ‘Build dozens of large water pumps on that island and sell the water for basically infinite money’ much much easier.) and another which makes various stores (Including the ones you setup) have a constant supply of resource shipments for you to buy. (Or just trade *for* the water.) Which, of course, means you can buy the resources to build *more* water pumps and power, which gets you even more water coming in, which means you can buy even more, etc, etc…Report

      • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Jaybird
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        says:

        Among other things, you have to live there for several days. Settlers like it when you’re around.

        The new patch has seemed to increase raids on settlements. Which is annoying, as I’m questing. My settlements exist to provide me with purified water to sell for profit and various food bits and also some raw materials, and then some caps from the stores.

        Upgrading power armor ain’t cheap. I need my minions working, not fighting off raiders.

        More annoyingly, they raided the Drive-in. Despite the…excessive…defenses. And then somehow got INSIDE the Great Wall. They had to have either spawned inside the workshop zone or warped through a wall, because otherwise they’d have died getting through the door into my safe zone.

        I lost a settler too. Pretty sure it was from my own missile launchers.Report

    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to James K
      Ignored
      says:

      I’m moving forward in Fallout myself (my playtime has been..sporadic). In the last like eight hours I have ended up with three more sets of power armor, and I saw another set as I was fast travelling out.

      Sitting at Sanctuary (my current “Power Armor” base) I have three mostly complete setups (in various stages of upgrading, and annoyingly two aren’t all the same pieces which upsets me) and five empty frames now. And enough parts in storage to put together at least two more full sets.

      It’s crazy. I really wish there was a seperate “power armor” section under “apparel”.

      I have mostly given up storming super mutant strongholds without power armor. Screw that. Last time I took a missile launcher, too. I can’t put them down fast enough at long distance right now (my shotgun is insanely good, but I need a one-shot kill sniper rifle or something to make sure the suiciders stay far away).Report

  5. Avatar Damon
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    says:

    D/L Far Cry 4 and am storming towers as I type.Report

    • Avatar Zac in reply to Damon
      Ignored
      says:

      Have you played the Assassin’s Creed series at all? And if so, do you think that to some extent the last couple of Far Cry games are basically just “first-person AC with guns”? Note that I don’t mean that as a bad thing, just curious about your assessment.Report

      • Avatar Damon in reply to Zac
        Ignored
        says:

        No, I’ve not played AC. My previous machine probably couldn’t handle it, and I was heavy into a MMORPG for a long time and am now only exiting that. No it’s not WOW. 🙂

        I’ll have to look at it as the adds seem interesting. I did enjoy a Witcher game recently so new games there will be played as well.

        There’s the new Doom reboot, Dues Ex, and a few others. Sigh…..

        AND CAN I GET HALF LIVE 2 EPISODE 3 FOR JEEBUS SAKES!!!????Report

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