Weekend Gaming: What are You Playing?

It’s the last weekend before E3 2016 (“our last Goonie weekend!”), so there’s never been a better time to smash something in your backlog. Got any gaming plans?

I decided to take a couple of days off in order to give my brain some time to recharge. Hard to believe today is the one month anniversary of dad’s death. Still seems surreal to me, and there’s been a handful of mornings that I’ve woken up fully expecting him to be in the kitchen making coffee. It’s been an adjustment, that’s for sure.

I’ve been hard at work helping my mom take care of all of his stuff, both material and financial, and it’s a lot more work than I ever imagined.

So yeah, I definitely needed a break.

uncharted2

I finished the first two Uncharted games in the Nathan Drake Collection. Yes, this is my first time playing through them. Yes, I know that’s blasphemy. Point is, I did it and I loved them both. In fact, Uncharted 2 may very well be the most perfectly paced game I’ve ever played. Really incredible stuff.

After posting my review of Stranger of Sword City I tried to stick with the game, but it failed to hold my interest. Sometimes I don’t mind a grindfest RPG, but it’s just not what I want to do with my time right now.

I managed to finish up Arcania: The Complete Tale on PS4, which took around 13 hours total (doing all of the side-quests). It’s generic, ugly, and doesn’t play very well, but it was okay. There were some neat side-quest stories, like a civil war between two clans of orcs, and a quest giver who swallowed my gold reward to avoid being robbed by thieves. The ending was extremely disappointing though, so I was more than happy to uninstall it when the credits rolled.

I re-subscribed to GameFly and received my first two games yesterday: Homefront: The Revolution and Arsland: The Warriors of Legend.

homefront

Homefront, at least on consoles, is fucking terrible. I don’t mean that from a gameplay perspective, although the shooting did seem rather sloppy (aim with L2 and steady aim by pressing in the left analog stick… why?) and it came off as a generic Far Cry.

Homefront auto-saves frequently, and every time it would do that the game would lag for 3-4 seconds. It also did the same thing whenever I opened the shop to buy and upgrade my weapons. On top of the lag, it never kept a steady framerate and ran like crap the entire time.

I rented the PS4 version, but a buddy of mine on Twitter confirmed they had the exact same issues with the Xbox One version. It’s worth noting that the only two people I’ve seen enjoy the new Homefront were PC users. You win this round, I suppose!

Also worth noting that Homefront launched last month and failed to chart on NPD, so that doesn’t look too hot for Deep Silver.

Arslan: The Warriors of Legend is another one of Omega Force’s Dynasty Warriors cross-over games, like Hyrule Warriors or Dragon Quest Heroes. I’ve seen bits and pieces of the anime, but since anime isn’t really my thing I rented it purely based on my enjoyment of Dynasty Warriors. It didn’t disappoint at all, even as someone who isn’t familiar with the source material.

Arslan is probably the smoothest running musou I’ve played. There’s some technical issues, like enemies popping in to the screen and wonky camera angles in tight corridors, but the framerate is as consistent as the action.

One thing I enjoyed about Arslan that separates it from the other cross-over games I’ve played is that it was very story driven (seriously, there’s hours of cutscenes). There’s lots of plot jumps, which put you in the shoes of different characters and their unique screen-clearing abilities. With that in mind, there was very little of the Dynasty Warriors zone defense moments, instead focusing on coming to the aid of your friends or triggering cutscenes to open up new areas.

I finished up Arslan last night and already gave up on Homefront after spending a few hours in the campaign and taking part in a handful of co-op matches with random people online. The co-op was surprisingly enjoyable, and the only reason I’d recommend Homefront if you’re buying or renting it on a home console.

valkyriachroniclesremastered

I’m not sure what to get in to next though. I figure I have at least week or so before I receive my next GameFly shipment, so now may be a good time to get in to a new RPG. I have Valkyria Chronicles Remastered sitting the shrinkwrap still.

With Persona 5 coming out on Valentine’s Day (I pre-ordered the Take Your Heart Premium Edition at Best Buy the day it was confirmed), maybe I’ll revisit Persona 4 on Vita. I played the PS2 version, but haven’t even opened the Vita copy since I received it at Christmas.

Gaming aside, my girlfriend and I are attending the PlayStation E3 Experience thing Sony is showing in theaters on Monday. We went a few years back and it was pretty fun. Ended up with some free swag, like beta keys, posters, and lanyards. Should be no different this year.

What about you folks? What are you getting in to?

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21 thoughts on “Weekend Gaming: What are You Playing?

  1. It’s been over a month since my grandmother passed. I drove by her house the other day and had the thought ‘I should stop in and see gram’. Still hard to think she’s not there.

    Since I’m on-call for work, my plan is to finished Alienation. Two months into it I’m stuck on about the ninth mission. Every time I try it I get murdered. Did a little bit of grinding to level up, so that is finally going to get finished this weekend.

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    1. It’s definitely an adjustment, isn’t it? My dad had his routine (he was a night owl) where he’d wake up around midnight, stumble around the kitchen making coffee, and sit on the porch with his dog for an hour or two. Nearly every day around midnight when I walk by the porch door, I look out expecting to see him. Or to smell coffee.

      I still haven’t picked up Alienation, but I’m holding out for a PSN Plus release for it. Sucks that it requires grinding if you play solo, since Dead Nation didn’t.

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      1. I did the missions on the lowest level thinking I could do the whole game that way but the mission I’m stuck on doesn’t give that option. Therefore, under leveled and getting murdered. If you get it, suck it up and play on professional and not rookie. That should keep you on a better curve.

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            1. Velocity 2X on PS4/Vita had something similar, though not with difficulty settings. I played 90% of the game, and then noticed I couldn’t start the next level. Turns out you needed to reach a certain score total before you could unlock the following stages, and there was no way I was going back through 40 levels to try and beat hi-scores.

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  2. Nice to see you, and your family are doing better. It’s a long process losing someone.
    As far as gaming plans go, not a ton, Saturday, as it’s generally a ten hour day for me. But late night, and part of Sunday, I’m playing through the Redux edition of Hard Reset. I may even stream it a bit. It’s another HD remaster, but this one adds a considerable amount of content. There’s been some controversy over the graphics not being as good (Though the developers at Flying Wild Hog did a good job of answering it in a PC Gamer interview.) Honestly it’s a negligible difference from what I’ve seen in my play through. I reviewed the original version eons ago, and I’ll probably do a review on this version once I’m done. One positive thing aside from bonus content is the performance is almost doubled.

    I may also review my new sneakers. I nabbed a pair of the Donkey Kong Vans recently, and I’ll be able to put them through the paces on my next free day.

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    1. Thanks man, means a lot.

      I really want a pair of the Nintendo Vans, but I’m not sure which ones. Sad thing is I’d probably buy them and never put them on, which kind of defeats the purpose.

      Hard Reset Redux is on my PSN wishlist waiting for a sale. Looks really rad. I’m pretty bad about checking my WordPress feed reader, so shoot me a comment or a Tweet if you end up reviewing it.

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  3. I’m sorry that Homefront ran so bad for you. I kept a stable 50-60 fps the entire time. It would dip down to the 20’s every now and then, but for the most part it was pretty smooth for me. It sounds like Homefront is terrible on controllers. I’m glad I played it with a mouse and keyboard. I probably would have reviewed the game much differently if I played it with a controller.

    I think Uncharted is one of the worst franchises I’ve ever played :]. Didn’t enjoy any of them and I won’t bother with part 4.

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      1. The PC port wasn’t perfect by any means, but it was better then other titles that I played on launch.

        Uncharted isn’t a very memorable series for me. I don’t remember much about them. They’re repetitive, boring, don’t have interesting stories, and I couldn’t play a single one all the way through.

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        1. Haha, wow. I really enjoyed the story and characters immensely in the first two games. I also felt the same way about Uncharted: Golden Abyss on Vita. Haven’t started 3 yet though, and I’m waiting until that happens before picking up UC4.

          Different strokes for different folks, of course!

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  4. I completely forgot to mention what I would be playing this weekend :].

    The majority of my gaming time has gone to Salt and Sanctuary. I’m 70 hours in and at the end of my third playthrough and I’m about to start my fourth.

    I’ve gotten back into Dark Souls 3 so I expect to spend some time in that as well.

    And I’m still trying to experience Blood and Wine in The Witcher 3, but I literally just got to Novigrad so it’s still a long way off.

    Let me know how you like Sony’s E3 show this year. I never watch E3, but I like reading about it :].

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    1. I’m sure I’ll do a write-up for each of the presentations. Maybe not immediately, but once I’ve had time to digest them all.

      I really, really need to get back to Salt & Sanctuary. I keep getting sidetracked and forgetting it exists when I pick something new to play.

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        1. The PS4 only shows your most recent 10 apps or games played on its splash page, and everything else is under the Library app — similar to the Xbox One’s Games & Apps page if you don’t pin things to your home screen. Out of sight, out of mind I guess. Once I finish Resident Evil Revelations (I have RE Rev 2 coming from GameFly and I’m playing catch-up) I’ll do Salt & Sanctuary for sure.

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