February 23, 2018
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On the week of Valentine’s Day, I started to play the new prequel to Life Is Strange. I was completely blown away at what they’ve done with the old characters while introducing new characters.
As someone who played the first game, there are a bunch of references. While I know what happens in the first game, I did my best to think about this as the “first” game in the series. I’m not completely done but it is so far really entertaining. There are a lot twists and lots of moments where it’s fun and sad. Life Is Strange played with my heart but Before The Storm really feels like a heartbreaking game.
Chloe and Max are probably the two characters in any video game yet that reflects how I perceive the concept of love. It’s a difficult subject to grasp and no one would every get it right, but we all understand it in out own way. What it means to us and what it matters to be with and without.
The game feels so much shorter than the first but I can’t wait to finish the 3rd episode and wait for the bonus episode.
February 10, 2017
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For those who have been following for awhile, you know I try to put out a post every 7 days or so. Last month it’s been more like 10 days until I throw up a post. I’ve been engrossed in playing Star Trek online and trying to balance working on myself and the things I’ve built around me. This includes this blog, the YouTube stuff and my photography hobby. Hopefully thing will get sorted out, though it looks like more events are coming to Star Trek Online, according to the in-game calendar.
The photography stuff has been slow but I’ve been slowly phasing out my Google Photos uploading and making use of 500px as a place to upload. I just like the fact my account name is visible in the address. I don’t think YouTube does that anymore, which makes the community a bit unique in their own way. I was complaining a lot about 20 photos a week limit awhile back. For me, it’s actually quite doable since the past few weeks I’ve been sending out maybe 4-10 a week depending if I have an idea. Definitely sticking to it and trying to do more in the future.
Speaking of more stuff, I’ve been trying to focus more on playing Tropico 4 which the campaign is being played on my channel. I think I might be burnt out from playing RTS and city builders. I might transition into survival or a shooter sometime soon. For the moment I want to get the campaign out of the way and maybe grab some achievements. One thing I’ve noticed is when you log into the game is when the achievements from the previous session will pop up. Strange they don’t reward it to you on the spot, but I’m not going to complain. I just finished uploading the last part of the first mission for the campaign, just 19 more to go. Yikes.
Until next time, feel free to take a gander and maybe drop of alike and comment somewhere. I’ll probably respond however I’ve been getting lots of spam comments recently on YouTube. Please be unique and try and not sound like you’re advertising, thanks in advance.
December 9, 2016
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I’m almost done with work. Just a couple more weeks, then I’m going on a month long gaming binge. Recently I’ve been spending a couple hours a day at a time recording and editing. It’s been kind of bit slow since I haven’t hit the gym in a couple month, I should return to the gym but video games are so much fun. I would like to push hard to record all those games I bought so many moons ago, all 4 games. I doubt I would complete them within the month since most of them are sandbox games; I would like to at least finish Prison Architect, Call To Arms and one more (Skyrim if I can binge the entire game). Speaking of which, I’m about $30 away from owning the entire Skyrim collection; just two more DLC’s!
Speaking of games, I’ve been looking around to all the people I’ve met who would like to play more cooperative stuff. The last coop recording I did was in Insurgency which was fun, but I think I should do something different and interesting. Trying to see if there is a game I have and someone wants to spend a few months or more on it. Space Engineers does take forever to get somewhere interesting. I have Star Trek Online, I could do the story campaigns with someone in odd ships. I might return to The Long Dark, not co-op but I would like to at least die in the game. However The Long Dark suffered more like Stardew Valley where I lost interest. Ryan, the guy who I use to play a lot of Pulsar:Lost Colony, had Empyrion: Galactic Survival but I would like to go the survival stuff with a partner or a group. Especially starting from scratch and ending with a large ship or completing the massive project.
As I’m editing my gameplay, I’ve been watching a lot of livestreams. Not sure if I ever mentioned or tried to look up what I need to stream, but I recently looked up how much I really need to stream in HD. Safe to say, I’m no way close to a bandwidth to stream; maybe a 480p stream, could be less. So I can hardly play a game with a live audience, maybe some day when Canadian ISP’s were cheaper. For now and until next time, I’ll keep recording and playing.
November 26, 2016
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Really, two weeks have gone by without a post?! Wow, I thought I had something ready last week. Anyways, here I am!
Recently I’ve been bogging down my internet with uploads of Prison Architect. Actually quite different since the last time I read anything from the developers. I didn’t realize there was a campaign and more items to build. As I’m writing this post, I’ve uploaded the first part of the sandbox gameplay and a bit of chapter 5 has been published.I still have a lot to upload. I do miss playing long sessions and editing it down. I’m still shying away from adding effects in Lightworks. I’ve said many of times, I upload to share and not to profit; well, that’s the case for now anyways.
In December, I think I’m going to push this new hard drive and play and upload like crazy since work is going to ease up closer to Christmas. However recently I’ve gotten into watching some live streams on YouTube Gaming. Like Twitch and Hitbox.tv, I have a major problem with people playing a lot of games from the mainstream. Mainstream games like Grand Theft Auto, Minecraft, the new Call of Duty and Battlefield, it seems there is just a lot of streamers who just wants to play these games and nothing else. Maybe I want to see smaller niche games make it to the front. Any web developers from these companies, there’s an idea for you; make me a stream search filter for small games and streamers with a certain amount of viewers. Back to topic though, I’ve seen a lot of Life is Strange and Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture. Kind of tough to find games to watch since the games worth watching don’t have streamers.
There’s my weekly update to my blog; more like a bi-weekly, but I almost made it through an entire year with a post a week.
November 5, 2016
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This week, I’m going to get back into recording gameplay for my YouTube Channel. It has been a very long time since I recorded anything, I figured out why. Stardew Valley was the last game I played on the channel and as I watched, it was getting fairly monotonous. I’m going to break away from Stardew Valley for awhile and focus on a new game. “New” does not mean recent; in this case, I’m taking a game I’ve had in my library that I haven’t played and I bought many moons ago in a Steam sale far far away.
Awhile ago I had bought myself a few games; Stranded Deep, Call To Arms, and Prison Architect. As per the title of this blog post, I’m going to start working on these sandbox games since I’ve had them in my library for the longest time. I’ve already recorded and edited a few episodes and it feels much more fun than the last few episodes of Stardew Valley I’ve put together. Reason behind going with Prison Architect was because the developer recently announced they were done with this game and any upcoming patches would just address major bugs. That was probably a couple months ago, which by now should be fairly stable and playable.
I think after I get a good chunk of Prison Architect completed, I’ll start on the next one and then maybe consider revisiting Stardew Valley. For the time being I think I’ll stop and enjoy what I have accomplished. Much like I did with Defiance, the MMORPG, I’m going to leave this one as is until I feel I can play it in it’s entirety.
October 14, 2016
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Don’t know about you guys out there, but I feel a bit off every time Steam tells me I’ve completed an achievement. I always open up the in-game overlay to see what I did to deserve a pop-up like that. Usually achievements fall under after completing part of a the game or the whole, then there are achievements which are very mundane. Some games are sensible with the achievements but there are are some that can be sinning against the purpose of achievements.
To me, a sensible achievements is story completions. It makes sense especially if you created a game that’s hours long. Another sensible one is when you collect an amount of objects. Makes sense to put a good achievement on a tedious task. If the game has some complex stuff in it, it’s even cooler if there is an achievement for it like saving someone from explosion damage or being able to react to a certain way. However there are a few achievements I don’t want to see even though I might have achieved these on my own account and accord.
I like a good achievements for a repetitive task. However a repetitive achievement for a repetitive task is overboard. As much as I can kill 100 bots, I don’t want to kill a million bots for an achievement. At that point, you’re just playing to kill and not necessarily enjoying the killing bots. This goes the same with FPS games which does the same thing but with a different weapon. I’ve played games which want the player to kill a thousand with one weapon and a thousand with another. It’s a nice way to push players to try these guns and grenades, but there is no point aside from forcing players to play with weapons the developer is lazy to balance or the player does not which to play with for the duration.
Mystery achievements, as much as they are surprising they sometimes don’t provide any contextual information for their completions. Whether in the icon or description, they can be fairly vague. Most games I’ve encountered have been mysterious but able to convey a point where they want us to do. For most of the time, some of you developers have to give the player some sort of clue.
Then there are games I’m not even sure they’re really games anymore with over a hundred achievements. I have a game in my library which has over 500 achievements. Most of the are hidden since Steam has the courtesy to hide the massive list. I don’t think I have the patience for 500 achievements! Early on I had Team Fortress 2 as the only game with achievements. Looking at it now, it has a lot of achievements that look intense. I did achieve the “Pyromancer” achievements but it was an undertaking. To spent years on a game to complete the list of achievements is as agonizing as spending years in an institution. Which gets me into downloadable content achievements!
This generation of gamers seem to support DLC to games. Nothing wrong with that since some of them are like expansion packs of the past. Most of them would hardly count as an expansion pack, but I digress. I don’t like achievements related to DLC’s, especially on Steam since the service clumps all the game’s achievements. Which means you can’t “perfect” a game on Steam without buying their DLC content. Which sort of supports the argument of games are incomplete until all the DLC’s are released which sounds a cash grab.
Achievements should be an enhancement and not the objective for enjoying the game. I honestly hope more games can do less in achievements.
September 16, 2016
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The past week has been filled with some ongoing things happening. Aside from the sleep and the much relaxation, I’ve been trying to get back into recording more Stardew Valley on my channel. I’ve recently upgraded my 8 year old PC. Nothing too in depth, installed a new GeForce 950 GTX to replace the 430 I had and a 2 TB hard drive. After a week running the new GPU through her paces, I’m starting to think my entire PC is under powered for the new GPU. Power is running great but I think the CPU might be having a tough time catching up with processing some games. I don’t know exactly is the problem, let me know in the comments what you think stuttering and “lag” might be. The new hard drive is working fine, I’ve managed to transfer my game files from Steam to the new drive without hiccups. All save files are functional thankfully so I don’t have to restart a new Stardew playthrough.
The original intent was to buy a new PC, but an old buddy of mine convinced me to upgrade the GPU and save the $600 of new PC parts. But the cheap guy I am, I decided to upgrade this PC; hopefully one last time. When I started up Insurgency to play, I had a few problems with servers that were located out west. Then I realized I was lagging from local servers too. Of course I had to pull off something stupid to expend the $600 I saved. Luckily at the time, a local airsoft store had a P90 in stock. I’ve been looking into buying a P90 since I started playing airsoft and now here it is with only an hour ride out and a few days of waiting for the shop to open. Of course the day came and I bought it under budget, still pricey for a airsoft replica. Nonetheless, it was less than 600 with a spare magazine. Along with the Cyclone impact BB grenade and spring shotgun, I have a few things to try out. Of course I’m giving my pistol another go even though I’m shearing the feeding lips every time I’m using it. If I get a chance at the end of the month to play, I’ll definitely give it a go.
Other than that, happy with my new purchases for fall. Maybe enjoy it as much as I can until I can find something to complain about or something to talk about.
June 10, 2016
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As the summer starts, I’m starting to think all the plans I’ve set a couple months are starting to fall through. Right now I’m sort of scrambling with finding something to keep myself occupied with for the next a few months. Unlike last year, I think the internet will benefit from this scrambling.
I was hoping I was going to work for the entire summer. I’ve been in contact with my employer and it seems they don’t know what to do with me or I got it easy (or difficult, depending how you look at it). Now a week into June, I’m making some expensive plans for my YouTube channel and perhaps my new camera. I had everything planned; I was going to end my Life is Strange playthrough and start a summer hiatus, then I would spend the remaining days before I was slated to work to take up a hobby and go to the gym a bit more. At the moment, it seems the hobby and gym might be the largest component in my entire life until I have something to do. I might even seek employment all summer; if there is an employer who will hire me in short notice.
Short term futures right now, I have purchased a new game on Steam. It was on sale called Call To Arms, it appears to be a modern warfare RTS game I might be recording . Along with recording a new game, I’m jumping back into Insurgency and Borderlands 2. For Borderlands 2, I purchased the Collector’s Edition so I have a few DLC packs I can record. Insurgency received an achievement and map update so I’ve decided to record a bunch of compilation of some of these achievements as well as maps I’ve may or may not have played in the past. That should cover a month or so of content online. As for personal content, I will have to really coerce myself to the gym and spend the soon-to-be sunny summer days outside snapping photos and hopefully get into a bit of trouble. I promise I won’t end up in jail or on the evening news, haha!
This is all I have for now for updates and progress. Hopefully I have something to show next week.
May 25, 2016
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I thought it would merit a blog post in itself since I’ve played the entire episodic narrative, Life is Strange. After a long 6 months since I bought episodes 1-5 on Steam, recently I finally put aside some time from work to play. All this time avoiding spoilers I can put in a review down without ruining any plot lines and there are a bunch of plot lines.
Developed by DONTNOD and published by Square Enix, you play as Maxine Caulfield who has travelled to Oregon to attend Blackwell Academy in hopes of being a photographer. Within the first month of settling in, you have premonitions of a tornado. You have 5 days to prevent it happening. Along the way of trying to save the seaside town of Arcadia Bay, you make friends both old and new.
You play in the third person in a narrative where each episode is a day until the end. As you play choices from the previous episodes can effect the story and how it will culminate. The art for the game does exude something resembling of water colours which exemplifies focus on the story while delivering a detailed (but not too detailed) atmosphere. The entire game is littered with story devices which opens the player to character development outside of Max’s journal. If you are an empathic gamer, you will find yourself thinking about these little bits of information as you interact with other characters and help make decisions throughout the game. The voice acting in itself is very professional and does feel very natural and fluid with each choice. The character animation is nothing impressive, there are parts where characters would just talk and wouldn’t necessarily interact with each other. Felt more like talking heads on the news than a theatrical performance. Definitely something work improving is the motion capture to let these characters interact with the space around than standing there and have it be consistent. Max’s time travelling provides a good plot device to allow the player to change their answer if they think their choice is undesirable considering most choices aren’t described fully. Usually the game will give your an explicit choice of actions or a vague noun like “Nathan” or “Joyce” and hope that choice is what you are thinking it would be what is summed in a few words. It makes a logical choice to have the choices concise but a bit more description would be helpful. Then again the time travelling ability really solves all that.
Thematically, the game is about choices. Choices everywhere and if you aren’t tainted by spoilers, these choices are interesting because they carry weight through the game and changes up what you can say and do. The developers seemed to explore the idea of choice in terms of a social sense with moral implications. Choices which challenge vices and virtues, needs and wants, truth and the perception of truth; the does give some good examples of philosophical dilemmas which defines our humanity. Who said video games can’t teach your anything?
If you haven’t decided to get Life is Strange yet and you want to play it, I would recommend getting all the episodes in one package. For the value of a movie ticket and popcorn (like 25 dollars-ish), you get about 22 hours of content (That’s on my count, experience may vary). As much as the first episode is thorough in giving you a preview of things to come, the main attraction is a story which a game can only deliver. There are some faults in quality such as some bugs and some dialogue which fell flat because of the animation. It’s a good play with achievements which can be completed (for you perfectionists out there). In the end after I made all the choices and comparing similarities with my personal life, the title is indeed exclaims a truth. Life is strange, so very strange.