Monday, March 27, 2017

Valkyria Revolution launches June 27th in the West.

Well, in North America.  In Europe it launches on the 30th.


Physical on PS4 and Xbox One, digital-only on Vita.



I continue to approach Revolution with an abundance of skepticism.  Its gameplay is a far departure from the sublime, if relatively simple tactics of Valkyria Chronicles proper - and I didn't hear much (see: any) positivity about its Japanese launch.

Hyped at the thought of a new Valkyria game?  Yes.

Waiting for reviews?  You betcha.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Game Diary - not Horizon. Mostly.


Long time coming, I suppose.  I'm at the last few story missions on my second, hard mode playthrough of Horizon, and still lovin' it - but I'd promised my brother I'd play Overwatch with him this weekend.  I was... intimidated.  Worried.

It's been weeks since I played.  In fact, I can tell you almost precisely - when was the Believer clip show..?  Holy shit, February 5th.  So I pretty much haven't played Overwatch in two months.  And I didn't want to roll in with my brother and just be like some kinda' dead weight, so on Friday night I tried out a few rounds of quick play.

I went one win, two losses on Friday night.  Went back to Horizon pretty quick.  My reflexes, my gamesense just weren't where they needed to be.  My reaction time was just shot.  I couldn't get picks on Tracer, couldn't win duels, couldn't survive on Mercy...


I gave it another try yesterday afternoon - maybe with a bit of practice I'd get back into fighting form before my brother came on that night - and I just got my ass kicked.  I could never do better than bronze or silver on elims and damage, and my K/D ratio was in the toilet.  It was very disheartening, but it ended in a pair of rounds on Gibraltar where my Tracer was utterly dominated by the enemy team's Tracer, who was always just there once I'd burned a couple cooldowns to capitalize - chasing me down where no other hero coulda' followed in time.  It was a brutal reminder of how good my Tracer game wasn't.  The Tracer switched to Hanzo in the next round, and continued to carry their team - but I pulled a Shop Around on him and specifically targeted him for the rest of the match, keeping his attention on me, winning some duels, losing more, but more importantly buying some breathing room for my team to actually fight with his instead of just getting torn apart by him.  It ended with sticking a pulse bomb to him, which felt very good - but getting into a little tête-à-tête with another, much-better player, I think, was exactly what I needed.

Somehow - miraculously - when Chris came on last night, it wasn't like it clicked back in - it's like it had never left.

(I main Tracer, Chris mains D.Va.
When he's not on Soldier or Sombra, and I'm not on Mercy.)

It's not like Chris and I have any sort of synergy when we play.  It's not like I can count on him to throw defense matrix around me in a clutch moment, and he can't depend on me to finish off the targets he's pressuring - but I was back.  We were both on fire for half our games - the rest of our teams doin' God-knows-what, and we were just rockin' it.  I'm gettin' quad gold medals, PotGs left and right - carrying teams - and there's something fuckin' magical about kickin' ass on Tracer.

When I get in the zone, it always seems to be off the fuel of adrenaline.  My heart thrashes, my gamesense kicks into overdrive and my reaction time is something that... I can't replicate, elsewhere.  When Italians talk about the inexpressible joy of just being alive, they're talking about what I feel when I get on a roll with Tracer.

So today, I pulled out the Overwatch disc and put Horizon in, and kept playin' the campaign.  I stalked and killed a couple Corruptors, killed a Deathbringer and its accouterments, killed a corrupted Thunderjaw and...

...pulled out the disc.  Put Overwatch back in.  Played 'till I got quad golds.  Played 'till I got PotG.

S'good to be back.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Salt and Sanctuary Vita launches ON MARCH 28th!!!


Feels like it's been a very, very long time coming.  In fact, it's been just over a year - but mad, mad, MAD props to Ska Studios (and Sickhead Games, who handled the port) for sticking with it.  Ska Studios were teasing the announcement for the past few days, with a few pictures of progressively-less pixellated Vitas on their Twitter feed.

They said, last year, that they were shooting for Q1 of 2017, and I'll be honest - I didn't think they'd make it.  I mean, it's the fucking twenty-fourth of March - time is pretty much up - but here we are.

You'll be able to play what is seriously the best riff on the Souls formula (taking into account the unfortunate Lords of the Fallen and the not-quite-there Nioh) on the best darned handheld gaming platform in FOUR DAYS!


Honestly, Salt and Sanctuary is ridiculously good. #5 on my list of best games of 2016, just behind the incredible DOOM, the incredible Odin Sphere Leifthrasir, Game of the Year Overwatch and other Game of the Year Darkest Dungeon.

And I quote,
"As phenomenal and beautiful and pretty-darned-perfect as Dark Souls III is, though, it’s not new.  Enter Salt and Sanctuary from indie dev Ska Studios (Charlie Murder, The Dishwasher), who’ve taken the core combat feel of Dark Souls (the stamina bar, a slew of impeccably balanced weapons and absolutely vicious enemies), and squeezed it into two dimensions.

The game has the structure of a Metroidvania (delicious!), with all that satisfying exploration and platforming, but combining that with all the core pleasures of Souls turns both of those familiar joys into something that’s so damned gratifying it’s almost shocking.   I wanted Salt to be awesome.  I had no idea it would or could be this awesome.  For Ska to nail open-world design, Metroidvania design, 2D platforming and the supremely satisfying feel of Souls combat is… well, it’s ridiculous – but here we are."
Dig it.  

Dark Souls III: The Ringed City launch trailer.



Hm!

Styx: Shards of Darkness - accolades trailer.

Styx has an accolades trailer?!



I...

Well I...

Hm.  What're my options?  Wow, full-price physical release on Amazon.  Hm.

What does Metacritic say?  Hm.  75.  I'll wait for a price drop.  Which is very weird.

This is the second time today I have possessed myself with a need to wait - which, if you know me well, you would understand represents nothing less than a bizarre aberration of my characteristic character.  Earlier today I was window shopping for a 4K, HDR-capable TV - mostly to better-bask in the glory that is Horizon: Zero Dawn.  Chamberlain's sagacious consult yielded displaylag.com - a site that tests the input delay on the newest, hottest TVs (of paramount import for gamers).

I browsed BestBuy.com, checking what DisplayLag had to say on each interesting unit, and settled between a very-reasonably-price 50-inch LED and a 55-inch OLED - both from LG, which has earned my loyalty and custom over the years.  Their cost is low and their quality is high.  The OLED is like twenty-six hundred dollars - and that's on a sale that ends in six days.

Now here's the crazy part.  I can afford that.  But I don't want to pay it.  I can't rationalize a three thousand dollar investment in a TV (after taxes), regardless of the impressive amount of time I tend to invest in mine via this hobby of ours.  A grand or under a grand or just over a grand is perfectly reasonable to me, though.  But...

...I think of the difference between an LED Vita and an OLED Vita, side-by-side.  And the difference is fucking huge, to my eye.  I want an OLED TV - but three grand is stupid.  I'd rather spend a thousand and get a Hugo Boss overcoat (I've always wanted a Hugo Boss overcoat - it's a lifelong ambition).

If I bought the LED - knowing me - I'd just return it and pay another two grand for the OLED.  So, instead of doing that, I will do neither.  I will - I hope! - wait until the OLED I actually want comes down to a reasonable price.  Which tends to happen sooner than you'd think.

Or maybe I'll swing by Best Buy at the next opportunity and see how much I like the LED version.

Either way, this whole patience thing is freakin' me out.  It's like suddenly discovering I had the fuzzy tail of a lemur. A fly lands on my nose, I swat it with my tail and it's like, "ohmiGod, where the fuck did this come from?"

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Chamberlain & Chance 64: The End?!


It's true.  This is our last podcast.  We get into the whys of it around the forty-five minute mark - and we weren't planning on having this discussion! - but the boys and I basically agree that we can make some fatt buxx by leveraging our powerful profiles as influencers and content creators via three individual Patreon pages.  More on that in the coming weeks!  But this week the podcast is...

...wiiiith Alex!  Alex thisChamberlain that podcast on iTunes

Chamberlain and Chance - The end?!

THIS WEEK!
  • Alex doesn't have uniformly and hyperbolically positive things to say about Horizon: Zero Dawn, and this offends the fuck out of me. 
  • Alex does have nice things to say about Mass Effect Andromeda, and he has poisoned me with a mustard seed of desire for that shitty-looking game. 
  • Chamberlain has finished Zelda, tried a titty-shmup and is now knee-deep in Gravity Rush 2!
  • And why hasn't Chance played Overwatch in a month?
You'll have to tune in to find out!

Prey - Only Yu Can Save The World.



I had no idea Prey would have multiple endings, but given how much this thing smacks of BioShock (in a good way!) it makes a lotta' sense.  Here's hoping there's more than two endings!  When is this thing launching again..?

Wow, May 5th.  Wait, when does Persona 5 launch?!

April 4th.  Okay, a month should be enough time.  Those things are only like... a hundred hours...


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Horizon Zero Dawn's 1.10 patch changes EVERYTHING.




Praise Allmother.  This is (was, I guess) literally my biggest complaint about the game.

Check out the trailer for Tale of Ronin.



Now... this is being made by Dead Mage - the folks who still haven't finished Children of Morta and have heavily suggested it won't actually honor its second fucking stretch goal (Vita) - so I'm more than a bit suspicious.  But... samurai... and an involved story...

Hmmmm...