Underestimation

For those who have been checking out the updates I’ve made with YouTube, don’t be alarmed. I’m not leaving WordPress, I love writing too much to abandon you. Then again, I love games so games and words was going to happen sooner or later. I’ve made attempts to write reviews and banter about games here but it seems I never really get into the idea. Video form seems like the way to go but I still have some obstacles to tend to concerning technological and psychological barriers.

It’s been awhile since I did a walkthrough with commentary on YouTube. First and last was Call Of Duty: Black Ops, the results were varied since I just downloaded everything and just went for it. After a few good years of taking steps and being cautious, I’m going to reopen the channel by playing Banished from Shining Rock Software. This time, I’m going to do this right. I want to have a good audio and video quality which brings me to the updates you might have noticed here. I’m sharing test gameplay and commentary while I set up my audio and video until the 18th rolls around. Doesn’t guarantee my first instalment will be same day, the video takes about a good hour and half to upload and 20-30 to record. But I will try and keep it to at least once a week like my blog if not the same day as my blog updates. My target would be blog on the weekends and video on a weekday. With a bunch of free time from being unemployed, I got to do something; am I right? From what I learned in the last 3 years of blogging will be applied to how I execute this video series, I learned:

  • If you fail once, keep going.
  • It’s not a numbers game, it’s a game about value of time.
  • Short and sweet, sweet and simple, or simple and short are the best combinations (at least for me anyways).
  • Enjoy the ride and not hijack it.
  • Try, check, revise, try again.

There’s plenty more I haven’t learned yet but I am ready to explore that unknown until I can’t write anymore. No surrender, no giving up; we got this!

For those rare handful of readers, you personally know me as a shy guy and I’m now admitting it to everyone (I might have said something about it in the past). It’s no problem when in group of like 10 people, but in a crowd of innumerable amounts it can get scary for me. In such a case, certain criteria must apply before my comfort is satisfactory. Without details, let’s just say conclude I’m shy and have a problem with public speaking. Yes, if you listen to the test clips, I have a bit of stutter because of it. Still overcoming that hurdle which I found deep breathes help while I turn off my brain and say something. I know I’m alone in my room and I can literally wear underwear while I’m recording, but it feels like when I say something in my microphone I feel like it’s going out to at least 25 unknown folks. Even with that, my stutter would just disappear in time and I can overcome my shyness.

Maybe YouTube is a good step ahead.

Advertisements

Testing…1…2…3

Look everyone, I posted something on YouTube after so long. Seriously I have a lot to improve so probably some quick updates in the upcoming week. So without further ado, gamer me has something to say.

Game: Blacklight Retribution

Currently working on getting ride of the letterbox issue for Blacklight when recording, then just have to test it alongside with Insurgency, Star Trek Online then figure an upload schedule. Indeed, I’m taking what I learned in 4 years of blogging to this thing.

So far from uploading this clip, I learned a few things. First being quality is a bit off so I might have to adjust brightness. Uploading is really slow due to my connection. This 20 minute snippet was about an hour and a half to upload and process. Most importantly, re-renders lower the quality. I figured to save time to compress it a bit, but that lowered the quality. So I have to improve on quality. I’m not way too worried about high definition since those files would literally take a good chunk of the day to upload which I don’t really have time to put towards babysitting. I still have real life to tend to and I don’t think being a YouTube personality would be an overnight thing. For now, sticking to my main goal – keep busy!

Until the next test, get ready for a lot of time with Banished in 1 week, 4 days.

P.S. Fill out social media contacts on YouTube…maybe…

Trying new things…not in a dirty way (maybe)

The Steam store has finally gotten the hold on me. There are games at the moment there I want to play and explore; I just spent the rest of my previous Steam card funds on Insurgency. I decided on it on a two fold decision. First was the price, it was 10% off until the end of January so I would spend the entirety of the card. In hindsight, it could backfire wince another game is coming out and I’m absolutely pumped for it. I was attracted to the game for the co-op, I heard it was challenging. When I got the game it was challenging at first; even after a few runs in these maps, I must admit it feels very linear but the computer opponents would be it’s best to shoot back. At times, they’re ridiculous good shots or they are just a cut above the Stormtroopers. When the time is right, those bots are pretty good at keeping heads down or even just slowing down progress. Probably the best AI I’ve seen so far in an FPS, they’re not too smart and not too dumb.

Mentioning a game, I’ve always wanted to play a city building and management simulator. Ever since Simcity moved over to EA’s Origin client, there’s nothing I can find I can get from Steam – until recently when I heard about Banished. After seeing a bunch of pre-release let’s play videos on YouTube, I intensely want to play with it. With only two weeks and two days away from release day, there’s already a lot of videos out for the game. Watching the gameplay does not phase me to play it; I’m more interested in playing it considering it’s a sandbox and it seems like a well made game for one individual from what I hear. From the specs for the game, I think I should rekindle an old project on YouTube.

The last time I did a Let’s Play (technically called a walkthrough, for those who can’t find the noun) was Call of Duty Black Ops. If I can remember correctly, it was on easy too considering the difficulty is fairly steep between medium and hard. I guess it was a test of a format, thus why there’s only one on my channel and that’s all I uploaded. Perhaps when this game comes out, I will get back to doing a “let’s play” of Banished. I guess I should look into downloading the editing suite and recording software. I’ve been out of it so research might be scheduled. It would keep me busy and maybe gain some video editing and production skills, but keeping productive is probably something that sounds more encouraging while I find employment. Yay to being my own intern!

Aside from blogging, I can add making videos on YouTube to the list of things to keep me busy and close to video games. I have about a good couple weeks to get set up and get rolling or chicken out, so that’s something to look into so let me know if you guys want to see me play a sandbox city builder. Until next time, be brave and bold everyone!

Ding dong, you’re dead!

Start of the week is pretty incredible considering I received on Steam Ghost Recon: Future Soldier from Ubisoft. Well it wasn’t a gift from Ubisoft, but was a gift from someone I know not relating to games and stuff of that nature. Anyways, got home on Monday after eating turkey and pie to get down to killing stuff.

So I downloaded it, which took about an hour or two to finish. Not surprising now games are about 6GB and onward (either we’re going to need free internet or smaller games), so a popped that install button and just let her run until I was done. After that, I had to go through the whole process of getting a Ubisoft account. Which I was not amused and not at all surprised, this stupid thing about client-ception has to stop. Sorry Ubisoft, went with this on EA and I’m not at all enthusiastic with the whole “we haz own social thingy” concept. To me, it’s a company self-esteem issue. But back to topic, I got the game, got an account and started it up.

I did play Advanced Warfighter 2 a long time ago and I was pretty happy with some if not all the features in the game at the time, but this really takes the cake. I’m all for weapon attachments so it does make me feel good that I can customize my weapons as I play through the single. No spoilers but you do get more stuff as you do the singleplayer, which is great. I haven’t played through the whole campaign, but I can safely say I have attached myself to several attachments and certain weapons for certain times. Once again no spoilers, but safe to say I have 3 favourite attachments plus a few weapons I already like to keep around just of the way the weapon stats are, you can really have a weapon for anything.

For those people who are into the textures, graphics and pretty colours; graphics are pretty great. Especially if you have the latest DirectX drivers, you can really experience some of the most detailed models I’ve seen so far. To put it simply, the colour palette is a mix of Battlefield 3 for weapons and the environment of a Modern Warfare 3 campaign map. You experience darkness and different weather environments as closely replicated, the mix really does provide a sense of mood and speed to the game at certain parts (once again…no spoilers).

Gameplay does keep it to the original Ghost Recon games I’ve seen and tried. The elite soldier with the most high tech gear sent to kill the baddies. Many tried their way of setting that up for you, but this turns it into a bit of a strategy and less of a juggernaut situation like the last level of Modern Warfare 3. Cover is important, stealth is important, speed and creativity is important. Though I’m on easy mode, I’m still getting shot up pretty hard. Likely the fact that I’m more of an up close and personal kind of person when it comes to assaulting positions. One thing I really found hard to really grasp is the whole coordinating with the team and time. Most of the game allows you to be the best modern ninja but you have to really time it right to avoid those few baddies standing about. Though the levels are fairly linear, it does provide a lot of ways to approach objectives which does change up play one way or another. Ever since I played Battlefield 3, I loved the idea of stealth kill animations. In Future Soldier, there is no shortage of times when I would just approach from behind and whisper sweet death with the back of a rifle, a bullet to the head or a quick snap of the neck. Plays like an RTS version of chess, you have to think of your next move before your opportunity passes. And you are always outnumbered on the board about many to 4. Controls are pretty easy to adjust to after you notice there is no jumping, usually some people hate it but I like the fact you can’t dodge bullets like a bunny. However I did find myself in certain situations where I need the interface to be much more precise. Example #1: Stealth kill behind cover. Example #2: Switching gadgets. First off, it’s really hard to do the whole “ding dong, you dead” move while undercover, I’ve tried many times and only a few times I really pulled it off. Most of the time my guy just jumps out like it was a birthday cake to reveal his position to the guy I’m trying to stealth kill. Just makes it worse when I can get killed in a harder difficulty if it was a harder difficult. The controls are great, no denying it makes my hand happy to the fact that I don’t have to extend or contract my hand too far to reach of things I need. However the whole switching between 3 things with a mouse wheel is difficult especially when it’s an asset that makes noise or a very important asset you don’t want to spend too quickly in a stealth shooter. Too many times I’ve threw grenades when I wanted to throw a sensor down. The game should really reinforce the fact you can use the number keys to switch or just make the HUD a bit better in terms of really telling you’re really using. The HUD is a HUD, styled for the game but very minimal. Outputs just tell you weapons, ammo, gadgets and any mission/control info about the weapon. I like that it doesn’t obstructs the view so I don’t have to move around too much to see what I’m up against. The AI is pretty great on both sides, since they do take cover and do their best to avoid getting shot. Though sometimes they do the darnedest things. In the game, you’re given optical camouflage which you can use to move without being detected but at a certain distance, you can be detect (which is about a good 5 metres in front of the baddy). At certain points of the game I’ve seen my allies literally walk right in front of them without being detected. Either that AI was dumb to notice a blurry crouched man or my camo is way more inferior. Good balance overall even in easy mode to make me die or fail a few missions. In real life if there were Ghosts like these, I would be hitting that “Reset to last Checkpoint” at least five times before the mission ended.

From trailers and previews I’ve seen, the multiplayer is fairly much deathmatch. Kill each other, that’s about it. I really wanted the game for the co-op considering the “Guerrilla Mode” is something that intrigues me. Essentially bottom line it plays like a singleplayer campaign (I think the campaign also has co-op too), but you go through rounds of enemies like any other co-op. Just survive until you have to infiltrate another building and repeat. To me, this is new. Usually you’re given the building and you have to hold it out. With this, you get to do it yourself then to survive more baddies. At a certain point after those baddies are eliminated, you get goodies like sentry guns and stuff (according to the Ubisoft video clips). So far, I want to finish the singleplayer as fast as I can and then move to Guerrilla mode as soon as possible. Which means maybe have a Fun Friday in Ghost Recon, I’m totally okay with that.

So for anyone wanting to get the game, want me to join in on a “let’s play” or want to join in on Fun Friday in Ghost Recon. I’m not sure when I’ll be done the singleplayer. But from the feel of the game, I’m just over halfway. I’m taking names for anyone who are willing to play the co-op campaign or Guerrilla mode. You can find me in-game as “nawkcire”. If you like, leave a comment about the game and/or your screen name below and I’ll get back to you.

Well, back to my diet of cola and games. See you all next week!