Oh god. Did I really title this article that? I did. Let’s move on. Please, as fast as possible. Since the Xbox One was unveiled, Microsoft has been performing this seemingly unending dance of going back on intended features of the system. First it had this restrictive DRM policy for disc-based games, but would have unprecedented digital sharing potential. Also it needed a Kinect, which was always on, watching…judging. Also with the way the internet reacted to the initial offering of the XONE, I assume it also devoured your first child whole, giving Don Mattrick its vitality.
Microsoft listened to their consumers though. They got rid of the DRM stuff in a day one patch, made it so you could unplug the Kinect, and hide it away from the NSA, and I assume the console no longer eats babies (I don’t know, I don’t own one). However, the price of the console was still $499.99, compared to the PS4’s $399.99. It has long been assumed the price difference was because of the cost of a Kinect, and the baby-devouring tech. At least one of those theories has been proven correct as Microsoft has announced today that a new SKU for the XONE will be coming this June, in the form of a Kinect-less console, for $399.99. This change will no doubt make it easier for people to choose an XONE, especially if they didn’t like the idea of a Kinect mocking their clothing choices. At the same time, I have to imagine this infuriates game devs who have been working on Kinect games, as now 100% of the install base won’t necessarily have a Kinect. Continue Reading
In anticipation of the expansion Reaper of Souls, Blizzard has put out patch 2.0.1, which is a huge update that basically overhauls the entire game. Remember how Blizzard announced the Diablo 3 Auction Houses were closing, and a new loot system was being put in place? This is that patch. While the Auction Houses are still open for now, they will hopefully be pointless as items enemies drop from here on out will be more useful to your character as you’re playing, as opposed to just vendor trash. Also helping that along is the fact the difficulty system has been revamped, and enemies now dynamically level up with you, and have an adjustable slider so you can customize how you want to play at that moment.
It seems like every class also got looked at, with various abilities tweaked across the board. Stats have also been changed on weapons, re-classifying them in a fashion that really seems to mirror World of Warcraft more than anything. There’s even some new, tertiary stats, much like one would see in Warlords of Draenor. Other quality of life changes have also been included, most promising is that the crafting system got an overhaul, presumably to make it even halfway useful. That would really be nice. To a degree, this seems almost a shame, this looks like the Diablo 3 Blizzard should have set out to make from the start. It seems a lot easier to understand, and doesn’t muddle up the tried-and-true loot system by adding an annoying middle man in the form of the Auction House.
I finished Torchlight 2 recently, and thought I was kind of done with this sort of game for a bit, but reading the frankly extensive patch notes has me thinking it may be time to go back and do more of this game. Before you download this patch though, just know it is a big one, and it actually has to reconfigure the game files. So not only will it take a while to complete, but it will actually slow down your computer while it is all being put in. You may want to start this process right before you have to leave the house, or before going to bed. But in any case, if you already have the game, it seems this patch gives you the game you really wanted from the start. If you don’t already own Diablo 3, the upcoming expansion seemingly just gives you another reason to question your choices in life.
Source and Image Source: Battle Net
Well Bethesda has gone nuts with bundles. Pricing out at an affordable $29.99 each, 4 of the company’s best reviewed games are now available in 2-game bundles for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. You have the choice of the shooty, looty, rootin-tooty game Borderlands 2 paired with a healthy dose of stealth teleporting found in Arkane’s Dishonored, or you can pick up the dragon-slaying adventure that is Skyrim bundled together with the robust shooting action of Bioshock: Infinite. That bundle even apparently comes with the first Bioshock game, because why the hell not.
While these seem like amazing deals, it is worth noting none of the DLC is included for these games, which all of the games of course have. If you’re not the type to ever go for DLC, then fine, these are great deals. However it is also worth mentioning that, especially on PC, these games go on sale quite often, and their DLC. If you’re willing to wait for big Steam sales, you can probably pick up all of these games with all of the DLC for maybe slightly more than it would cost than to buy both of these bundles. That would then come with a lot more game. Also, I feel the need to point out that Borderlands 2 is free for PS Plus users right now, as well as Bioshock: Infinite. So really there may be better options than buying these bundles, but really they’re not bad.
Oh, and here is the trailer for the bundle-a-thon.
Source: Bethesda Blog
Game of the year talks. People feel uncomfortable around me when the game of the year talks start. Let me tell you, these are tough, time-intensive conversations that involve a lot of yelling, getting angry, and having to leave the room in frustration. Despite all of that, the reason people feel uncomfortable around me when these talks start is because I don’t actually work with anyone, and am simply arguing with myself, at a very loud volume, like a crazy person. That is at least until someone forces those pills down my throat that keep me from screaming. Then the game of the year talks tend to get a lot quieter, which I am sure everyone around me appreciates. Now before I actually start talking about the games I found to be my favorite games of 2013, I should explain myself a bit beforehand, and the policies I adopted for this.
First of all, I am only going to talk about three games. Why three games, and not something like ten? Well when it really boils down to it, I am not a professional games reviewer, and as such do not have access to all the games, all the time. I could if I wanted to buy them all, but that is an expensive thing to do, and I have bills to pay. Usually I end up buying newer games when they’re on sale. Like I JUST bought Bioshock Infinite for ten dollars during the Steam Autumn Sale. I haven’t played it yet, and who knows if it would go on my list.
Second thing about this: I don’t play only new games. I have a huge backlog, and I find it hard to quit on a game forever. If I ever made a real list, on paper, and put it up on my wall, I would probably cry. Final Fantasy Tactics Advance 2 is still on my backlog, so that should be a good indication of where I stand. Next year…will hopefully be better using my free time more effectively. Maybe I will write an actual backlog list. I could use a good cry. Alright let’s talk about the games now. Also note that I don’t have a “Game of the year”. These are my three games, in no particular order. Continue Reading
On the 21st of May, Microsoft announced the much anticipated next entry in the Xbox line. With this reveal, all three major console manufacturers have drawn their lines in the sand as to what their idea of the next generation will look like. This current console generation has gone on now for the better part of a decade, and honestly games look great. We have a wide swath of titles out now, for various price points. While Triple A gaming seems to remain and brown and gray, shooter-filled hell by and large; one can look across the entirety of the gaming landscape to find a plethora of titles more just as diverse as any point in gaming history. So with this generation featuring such a range, why do we even need new gaming consoles? Can graphics really get better without driving the already high cost of game development into the stratosphere? What new features do we need on our consoles? Which ones need to be improved? Let’s take a look at each next generation offering and see what each company has put out there thus far, and what it needs to do going forward. Continue Reading
I have a new idea about 2K Marin, the studio behind the recently confirmed to still be alive game The Bureau: XCOM Declassified. This studio is apparently tasked with making games, while usually high in quality, don’t really need to exist. I base this solely off the other title 2K Marin made, Bioshock 2. I have not gotten very far in the Firaxis XCOM: Enemy Unknown yet, I am only up to the Alien Base mission, but it is definitely one of the best games that came out last year. 2K bringing the focus back from the stellar strategy title to the shooter that garnered such a vicious reaction from fans is certainly a gambit. This could lead to brand confusion, diluting the great name Firaxis worked hard to revitalize. The game itself could simply suck and also torpedo the possibility for other strategy games. However, if this game can prove itself to be worth the development time, it can succeed in maybe bringing shooter fans over to trying some turn-based strategy. “Oh you like this XCOM game? You know there is another one that came out last year…” That will be a glorious day. In the mean time, here is the trailer for The Bureau: XCOM Declassified: