Friday, February 27, 2015

This is the end....of Saints Row 4

After 85 hours, a broken computer desk and a sore hand from all the pounding on said computer desk I finished Saints Row 4.

The experience was both awful and cool.  That's how this game goes being maddeningly frustrating then suddenly becoming a hilarious romp.

Once I figured out the "super powers" thing I found it a lot more enjoyable to dispatch the hordes of alien baddies but when forced to veer back to "Nintendo land" for a few side missions it became a grind.

Still, I wouldn't have spent 85 seconds in Saints Row 4 if I wasn't enjoying the experience.  The hard parts were always rewarded and that's the mark of a good game.

That's a lot of setup for a video blog entry....

So here ya go, the endgame of Saints Row 4.

WARNING: Spoilers!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Battlefield Hardline: It may be the Battlefield you've been waiting for

On this page you'll find 4 videos of an upcoming Battlefield game....

Ok, that's obvious but what isn't is something new.  That being, the fact that I actually enjoyed making them.

I've been a Battlefield player since the days of Battlefield 1942.  To be honest it was my favorite game in the series for a long time mostly due to Dice's release of a then "unofficial" mod for the game called Modern Combat.

It was that mod to an already great game that laid the foundation for every Battlefield to come after it.  Battlefield 2, Bad Company, Battlefield 3 and 4 all followed the formula of huge maps set in a modern setting.  Yes I left out 2142 mostly due to that game being more of an aberration than a successor to Battlefield games.  Proof being that the major releases after it returned to a less "whimsical" premise of staying within 20 years of present day.

World War 2 was abandoned by Battlefield long ago (except for the Play4Free version) leaving such well traveled ground to other games like Medal of Honor and Call of Duty.

While Battlefield games have become better looking, full featured and more engrossing they haven't been immune to the distractions of DLC disease and profit over polish.   Just like its primary competition,  Activision's Call of Duty series,  Premium subscriptions, seemingly endless DLC and "shortcut" kits have made good games often little more than cash cows for their publisher.  Which has led to rushed development and release of what was essentially games still in a beta phase at launch.  A condition that culminated in a near disastrous launch of Battlefield 4 even going so far as to inspire litigation against its publisher, EA.

So when I heard about a new branch of the Battlefield family coming online last fall (Battlefield: Hardline) I was interested to see if EA and Dice had learned their lessons from all the missteps of Battlefield 4. 

During the closed (later open) beta of the initial candidate of this new Battlefield game I saw promise but also saw many of the same issues from the Battlefield 4 codebase that it shared.  Wall hacks, a screwed up kill cam and problems with hit registers were all present and accounted for. 

In short the game was Battlefield 4 with cops and robbers.  An interesting premise but other than some cool new gimmicks like the zip-line, the game was far from ready for prime time.

The difference with this Beta, however, was that EA listened to feedback and pushed the release date from Fall 2014 to spring of 2015.  EA didn't need another billion dollar disaster and the newly minted Dice L.A. studios (now responsible for Battlefield games) didn't want to have its first release fall on its face.

So here we are half a year later and EA offers up another beta release of Battlefield: Hardline.  So the burning question for anyone who'd played the original beta was, had anything changed? 

I admit that I'm somewhat of a curmudgeon when it comes to hype.  I hate it and I hold a deep seated belief that the level of hype for anything is inversely proportional to the quality of whatever's being hyped.

It's a formula that worked for just about every game released in the past 5 years and I have no intention of changing my view.  While EA is promoting the game and offering the same old overpriced "Pre-Orders" that it has in the past, the hype machine is set somewhere around medium.

In other words, my formula is working perfectly.  The original beta heavily hyped the game and in a word it was mediocre at best.  This time around things are different.
In the videos this old grumbling gamer actually had to admit the game wasn't that bad, at least in Beta.  For one thing there were 3 different play modes; Heist, Hotwire and a classic conquest mode.  There was also a mode akin to Battlefield 4's Commander mode called Hacker that was far more entertaining than similar modes in previous Battlefield games.

In one of the videos I actually said, "I'm having a hard time not liking this game."

That's high praise from me especially when we're talking about Battlefield games.  If the final release on March 17th is at least as good as the beta experience this may breathe new life into the franchise.

A picture is indeed worth 1000 words so rather than try to fight the cliché I invite you to watch some moving pictures as I explore the 2015 edition of Battlefield: Hardline Beta.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

More Sonic Racing Videos and why....

I don't claim to have the latest gaming news or any hot tips.  Even when I was doing weekly gaming reports the few "scoops" I had only came after experiencing something myself.  Otherwise I was aggregating news.

But then, so does everyone else including the Kotakus, Gamespots and IGN's out there.  Gaming news and information is almost always many, many hands away from even second hand information.

So if you see me write up my experiences about an older game it's only because I'm actually playing it and may have found something new.

Something that got passed over in the rush of the 24 hour deadline at launch and the ensuing frivolity to objectify an entirely subjective topic.

Let's face it, Nobody who actually plays a game really cares about new physics engines or map design.  They just want to have a good experience when they get past that first loading screen.

Sure, all that stuff is part of what makes a good game but how good it is rests entirely with you.

That's how I approach gaming and what I'm thinking when I do a game video.

So, that said, I've included a few new videos of my latest adventures with Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed.  This time, however, I managed to get my opponent's experiences on the same screen.

Check it out and let me know what you think.


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Holidays are over, time to start the real party!

It's a strange time of year.  All the interesting stuff is over and the only holidays anyone is looking forward to are the banks.  Valentine's day and Easter are just marketing exercises.  Saint Patrick's day is just another excuse to get drunk.

So with the real holidays behind us (and I include the SuperBowl in that) we enter prime gaming season.  A time of the year when we should be buckling down and leveling up.

Which is exactly what I've been doing in the world of Saints Row 4.  Yes, I'm aware of GTA 5 but for now I'll have to resign myself to watching Neebs' videos of it on YouTube.  

To that end I've selected a few videos from my channel, The Real Dudz Fryd, where myself and Shotglass (a frequent co-op gaming buddy) explore the simulated world of SteelPort. 

Sit back awhile and see what we've been doing since New Years.