Sunday, April 9, 2017

Real Dudz Fryd Blog & YouTube Channel updates: From Battlefront to StuntFest

Bills gotta be paid....

So if you've noticed that the frequency of my posts here as well as my videos has slowed down lately it's got everything to do with an unavoidable fact of life....

I gotta work a "Real Job"

It's not a very good one either.  It means long days, total exhaustion at the end of them and scarce time to chase down all the latest gaming news.

Still, anything worth doing is worth making the time for.  In that spirit I've kept up the pace of doing at least 1 video a week on the Gaming With The Real Dudz Fryd  YouTube channel.  I can't say the same of the blog as there really hasn't been that much to write about of any interest.

It seems the more mainstream gaming gets the less there is to write about.  What was "revolutionary," "groundbreaking" and "genre defining" a few years ago is just an also ran today.  VR and AR (Virtual and Augmented Reality) are hot topics these days but the games you play on them pretty much take a back seat to the hardware.  Long standing game series like Call of Duty and Battlefield struggle to reinvent themselves while indie developers rush in to fill the void left by mediocre triple-A offerings.
Change can be good but in this case there are so many gaming choices out there that it's hard for anything new to stand out from a crowded landscape of "me-too" offerings.

For me, time constraints force a less promiscuous gaming eye.  So if something captures my attention these days it's got to have more depth and hold my interest longer than your average shooter or RPG grinder.

To that end, my latest adventures have pulled me away from games like Path of Exile and toward titles with more of a focus on immersive gameplay than spreadsheet-centric RPG economies.

Don't get me wrong, I love Path of Exile and I have goals for my characters that live there.  Reality says, however, between now and the Fall of Oriath update with all it's reshuffling of the game into 10 acts, it's not worth getting too wrapped up in until the dust settles.  One of my pet peeves is Grinding Gear's incessant fiddling with the passive skill tree which can render a good build worthless.  I can only imagine what a major update like this will do.

We've seen much less ambitious updates wreak havoc on builds before.

So that leads me to spending a little less time in RPG land and a bit more in other genres.  For me that's led to Star Wars Battlefront, Project Cars and Watch Dogs 2.

Battlefront has become a Saturday night favorite for myself and my gaming buddy Shotglass as we play the PVP and survival modes of the game.  If there's one thing Dice got right in the reboot of this classic Star Wars game it was Co-op.  While the rest of the game (namely Multiplayer) was little more than a tweak of the classic Battlefield series theres more to Battlefront than just soldiers with light sabers and AT-AT walkers lumbering around like tanks.

Project Cars was part of a Humble Bundle gift from Shotglass over Christmas.  A game that started out as a scruffy upstart to challenge the likes of Forza  and Grid, the game has managed to do on it's own what it's competition could not.  Be fun to play.

Project Cars is a racing simulator first and foremost.  The experience lies somewhere between the classic Race Driver: Grid and Need For Speed: Shift.  Meaning it's far more forgiving than most racing games but you've got to pay attention.  Car selection is somewhat limited but you soon find that what the game lacks in selection it makes up for in the details.  Cars accelerate, handle and respond the way you'd expect them to.  Hit a patch of grass on the side of the track and you're going to lose control.  What's nice is the effect is as expected and recoverable instead of an uncontrolled descent into oblivion. Racing simulations aren't arcade racers but far too many of them try to substitute difficulty for reality ultimately achieving only the former.

Shotglass and I enjoy the game so much that it's replaced all the others in our Steam Library.  It's the GO-TO racing game.  Quite an honor from our perspective.

Lately, most Friday night live streams have found me indulging in more solo gaming efforts having replaced Path of Exile and Rainbow 6 with the likes of Watch Dogs 2.  Another gift from Shotglass, I've been intrigued by the premise of the Watch Dogs series since it's troubled predecessor and jumped at the opportunity to dive into the current incarnation.

What I've found can be best described as GTA 5 meets Mr. Robot.  At least that's the way I play it.  You are free to choose otherwise.

The gameplay is familiar even if the control setup is a bit daunting at first.   I still have trouble remembering some of the keyboard commands but with time that will fade just as it did with GTA 5.

Hacking terminals, blowing up steam pipes and sneaking around data centers ( a la' Splinter Cell) is just some of the fun.  It's a thinking game that lets you be as crafty or as brutish as you deem necessary.  There are multiple paths to victory but all of them require "out of the box" thinking to get there.  While I've only got a few hours into it, It's a game I'll stick with.

The future?  I've heard the buzz about the upcoming Flatout 4.  The latest in a series of destruction-racing games that almost found itself obliterated after the disastrous Flatout 3.  A horrible exercise in milking a franchise; the game suffered largely from the departure of developer BugBear entertainment and a rejection of everything that made the series successful.   The end result has been called "The worst racing game EVER"

This latest installment promises to remove some of the stink of it's predecessor but reviews are mixed at best.  Still, with all the (well founded) hatred of Flatout 3. that there is positive press at all means there's hope.  Will I buy it for it's $33 Pre-Order on Steam?  No, but half that during the Steam Summer Sale seems fair.

As for BugBear, the original developer of the Flatout series, They've continued development of "Wreckfest" their indie-developed destruction racer but more to the point they've also announced "StuntFest" which is where Shotglass and 1 will likely spend countless hours just as we did with Flatout and Flatout 2 when it's finally released.

Check it out here:

That's pretty much the lowdown on what's going on in DudzLand these days.  You'll find out more by visiting my YouTube channel ( link is on the sidebar )

As always, if anything interesting happens, I'll let you know....