Once upon a time I made a blog about video games. And this is what's left of it (mostly tweets).

2 June 2014

Fuck Iraq’s boss fight, its wall-hack-equipped immortal enemies spawning in the middle of the map and its repeated voice-overs #watchdogs

For the pedestrian descriptions in Watch Dogs to have any actual incidence — to influence whether I’ll raid their bank account or not — they’d have needed to match their appearance and behavior perfectly. As soon as there was the first disconnect between the flavor text and the NPC’s routines, the illusion was shattered once and for all. And that is to say, it did not last long at all.

Now every time I see a QR code I have flashbacks to playing Watch Dogs. Well done, Ubisoft.

Forza Horizon 2 announced for Xbox One… and 360. Not that it would have been enough to make me buy an Xbox One, but it would at least have given me pause. I struggled to understand the decision until I realized that Horizon’s developer is actually not owned by Microsoft. Just another file for the One’s “oops” folder, then.

3 June

I want to love Watch Dogs’ one-on-one online modes, but I find them seriously unbalanced in favor of the victim. Which makes sense since it’s basically forced on the players and you don’t want to completely scare them off — but I feel it would work better if it were an easily toggled mode (granting extra XP to reward you for turning it on) and, in exchange, didn’t telegraph the invader’s location so much.

5 June

@netsabes:

Les dessous de l’annulation de World of Darkness : [theguardian.com]

Republique (just part one, presumably) is free this week. I wasn’t confident enough to buy, but definitely curious enough to try.

8 June

Climbing onto the elevated train tracks to find my online hacker from a vantage point. Forgetting I’m on the train tracks. Splat.

10 June

E3 2014

This morning I kinda want to have an Xbox One just because of Sunset Overdrive’s trailer. (There were so many ways the idea for that video could have turned to obnoxious shit in the hands of other studios, but Insomniac knocks it out of the park.) And if Crackdown delivers on half its promise, that would be a nice bonus.

Assassin’s Creed: Unity is more of the same, but fucking gorgeous. And the new traversal controls visibly make movement more fluid while alleviating one of the franchise’s biggest annoyances, your character jumping off in the exact opposite direction of what you intended. Pretty sure I’m gonna have to give more money away to that franchise, for which I kind of hate myself (especially after buying the undercooked standalone Freedom Cry on PS4 just so I’d have something to look at).

Far Cry 4 is also more of the same, but in that case that’s a very good thing. And it, too, looks gorgeous. The best part is a very interesting marketing gamble: you can invite a friend who doesn’t own the game into your sandbox — campaign missions will be closed off, so they’ll have a great taste of the game and then have to buy it for themselves (or wait until you’re done and can lend it to them).

Meanwhile, on the Sony exclusive side, H1Z1 looks… like shit? At least I’m glad I’ll be able to play Grim Fandango, but even that appears to only be a timed exclusive.

Wait, was I supposed to care about Little Big Planet 3? As charming as the franchise has always been, there’s nothing significant about it anymore. Or Uncharted 4? They only showed the smallest sliver of a cutscene, I’ve never liked that series anyway, and episode 4 appears to have been rebooted mid-development and taken over by the creative leads of The Last of Us, which I enjoyed even less.

At any rate, co-op is the name of the game this year, and it’s time I found myself more gaming friends, now that I’m not stuck on dialup-like bandwidth in the boonies.

I’d consider buying GTA Online on PS4 if it were available separately. No way I would play through — let alone pay for — the campaign again.

11 June

I miss the 360’s obligatory demo for all arcade games. Entwined looks quite sweet, but I expect to find the gameplay frustrating, so…

God damn, the last mission in Watch Dogs is fucking bullshit.

Watch Dogs (PS4)

Quite hard to decide on a rating for this game — it gets so much right, and so much wrong. In the end the gameplay mechanics (mostly good, if you ignore the driving) are more important than the writing (terrible all around) — but there were so many times when I wanted to strangle this game with my bare hands.

Kotaku has a really good review, in which I agree with every point except for the final assessment: Should you play this game? Yes. But probably not buy it at full list price.

Do I have high hopes for the inevitable sequel? If it is a direct sequel, no — but if a semi-reboot forgot all about this game’s characters and was directed by a different team, maybe. (Does anyone direct Ubisoft’s big games anymore? now that their development is always parallel-processed by thirty different studios all over the world, and they all follow the same template anyway.)

Watch Dogs was pretty much the game that motivated me to buy a PS4 this spring. Well. Oops, I guess.

12 June

OMG, the Spider-Tank mini-game (which I somehow hadn’t tried yet) is the best thing ever.

Rocksteady peut retourner chez sa mère avec sa Batmobile #spidertank #spidertank #doeswhateveraspidertankdoes

The Assassin’s Creed controversy is offending my sense of fairness because it’s pretty much the least guilty of Ubisoft’s major franchises. Although it occurs to me that I only played half of AC3, and none of AC4, so maybe they’ve been evolving backwards since characters like Aveline de Grandpré or Caterina Sforza.

13 June

The Enchanting Beauty of Ori and The Blind Forest”

One of the more unique aspects of Ori is the Soul Link mechanic, allowing players to create checkpoints and save their progress only if they have enough of a resource called Spirit Energy to do so. Spirit Energy is hidden amongst the levels and earned through killing enemies, but it’s not exactly common. It’s important to create Soul Links strategically, as Ori and the Blind Forest is surprisingly difficult and you only have so much Spirit Energy to spend to create checkpoints.

I can’t imagine any universe in which that would be a good idea. You’re the ones who know when I’m gonna need a checkpoint. I don’t care how beautiful and enchanting the game looks, I stopped reading forever at this paragraph.

14 June

What the hell, Watch Dogs? “You have two queens. I have four. Your move.” Is this Star Trek chess?

La PS4 qui ne trouve plus internet depuis que j’ai branché le ventilateur dans ma chambre. Suffisait de déplacer le point d’accès wifi.

Damnit, it was enough of a struggle to stay awake during The Wolf Among Us episode 4, I didn’t need it crashing on my Mac, too.

15 June

I’d be hard pressed to say how they belong in Watch Dogs, but I do love the chess puzzles. They’ve got good mini-game teams over there.

Wonder if the negative reaction to Watch Dogs’ dull cityscape could bring the end of present-day open worlds. Imagine the same engine, same mechanics in an actual science-fiction universe. (Which, one way or another, also gets rid of the crappy driving.)

16 June

17 June

18 June

“Meet Far Cry 4’s Handsome Star”

Couldn’t they save him for a third-person game? I hope there are functional mirrors.

19 June

Oh fuck, Far Cry 4 is gonna suck

Far Cry 4’s narrative director hasn’t played the same Far Cry 3 as I did, evidently. Everything he criticizes from the previous game — the disconnect between sandbox mayhem and the friends you’re supposed to care about, or the white-savior trope — was actually addressed by Jeffrey Yohalem’s writing, in a subtle and understated way. Clearly too subtle and understated for his successor’s taste. There must have been some heated meetings while they produced that game.

Here’s the thing: from what I understand about everything we’ve heard and seen, Far Cry 4’s hero is not a white savior because he’s not white. Whereas Far Cry 3’s lead was not a white savior because he was not a savior, even though he thought he was. Guess which of the two “twists” on the trope I find more interesting.

Far Cry 4’s trailer hadn’t convinced me, but I gave it the benefit of the doubt because I assumed the same team was at the helm. But it’s gonna be another of those self-serious stories with a sociopath or two for added color, isn’t it? See also: Watch Dogs.

Well, at least the mechanics, and visuals, will be good. But this is not an easy preorder for me anymore.

20 June

That Team Fortress short proves that you could totally make a TV-worthy cartoon with the minimal cost of animating within a game engine.

MGS Ground Zeroes is quite all right mechanically (I must admit I’m a bit surprised) but the writing completely discourages me.

21 June

Has anyone noted that, even on PS4, Watch Dogs does a lovely depth-of-field effect when you toggle your phone — with no noticeable slowdown?

J’ai trop joué à Watch Dogs, j’ai envie d’enjamber toutes les balustrades, parkour-style. C’est gênant quand je traverse un pont.

24 June

30 seconds into Killzone Shadow Fall—oh, it’s about Palestine, not the Berlin Wall. Ugh. Well that’s how you know the game’s made in Europe.

Good grief. Shadow Fall didn’t have stellar reviews, but I never imagined I’d find it that frustrating.

I don’t have any powers yet in Second Son but my jumps are floatier than Master Chief’s. I now realize what always irked me in Infamous.

25 June

So far Second Son is precisely the polar opposite of Watch Dogs: the story and characters are great; the side activities are boring.

Oh, and I forgot, the traversal is awesome fun in Infamous where Watch Dogs had that terrible driving.

PC Gamer’s review of Grid Autosport is really enticing but, come on, you know I’m not gonna pay 60 euros for a previous-gen driving game.

26 June

@deliciousbees:

Google’s Cardboard VR: we heard Facebook bought Oculus, so now we’re going to poison VR out of spite. Let’s all hope it never hits volume.

29 June

Finally figured out Steam’s trading cards and badges. Whole thing could be pretty fun if the inventory and profile UI wasn’t a dire mess.

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