Saturday!

The PS3 was acting up and I was fixing to go overseas so Maribou told me that, if I didn’t die, I could get a PS4 when I got back.

As it turned out, I didn’t die.

So I *THEN* saw that there was a PS4/Arkham Knight bundle and I got the thumbs up to get that one. (“You’re going to be buying that game anyway, right?” “Yeah.” “Might as well get the bundle then.”) and I was then counting the minutes until it showed up. And, of course, it showed up closer to the “6PM” part of the day than the “9AM” part of it and I was in the middle of my post-trip honeydew list so even when it showed up I couldn’t get it set up yet and then, that night, I finally got it hooked up and set up with the internet and whatnot and it had a 7 hour download. Which is just as well, I suppose. It was bedtime anyway.

And, of course, I had to go to work the next day. And it was there that I found out that there was a bit of drama associated with Batman: Arkham Knight.

“Jaybird”, my co-worker told me, “Did you hear that there’s a bit of a scandal related to how the only version of the game that reviewers got was the PS4 version?”

“No, but I’m pleased to say that that’s the version that I have sitting at home.”

“How is it, by the way?”

“I don’t know. The PS4 had to download a bunch of stuff. Gigs of it. I’m going to play it tonight.”

“Well, the computer version is buggy as all get out.”

Since then, the publisher has yanked it from the Steam Store (and even gone so far as to offer refunds (!)) to the PC folks and so instead of talking about Batman and how awesome it is, I’m stuck here thinking stuff like “Man, is there another industry that prefers delivering unusable products then pulling it off of the shelves and apologizing to merely delaying a release for a quarter?”

And I couldn’t think of anything.

But, as I said, I have the PS4 version.

For what it’s worth, that version is really, really awesome.

So… what are you playing?

(Picture is “Untitled” by our very own Will Truman. Used with permission.)

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8 thoughts on “Saturday!

  1. Still playing The Secret World and enjoying it, though it does not always run as smoothly as I would like. I also got the Borderlands Humble Bundle, and I started playing through the first game in the series.

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  2. I have never been a computer/video game kinda guy so I never posted in here before. But growing up I loved RPG’s of the pen and paper variety. Been mostly reading among the OSR for the last few years, but came across a newer one that I really like, Eclipse Phase. I am sure that everyone who plays RPG’s has heard of it, but dang is it good. First in a long time I could actually visualize a character out of the gate. And if anyone is interested who hasn’t come across it, here are the PDF’s: https://robboyle.wordpress.com/eclipse-phase-pdfs/

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    • I might suggest taking a look at the FATE system. (Dresden Files runs on FATE, for instance). It’s a bit of a stretch, at first, for people who learned on the D20 system (or any of the AD&D systems). Like myself, in fact.

      But once I got my head wrapped around it, around the way it worked and the way it’s supposed to be played….

      Good lord, I was a convert. It was everything I was looking for and didn’t know. And it took two gaming sessions with an experienced player FATE guy running it to really get my head around how it worked, but honestly it set the hook right at character creation.

      There’s three or four us, running precanned concept characters. We pick a picture, really, and get the bare bones (I’m a 20-something wizard, specializing in earth magic) and a key character concept (Mine was: “Doesn’t know how much he doesn’t know”) — which immediately makes me think “Young, cocky, prone to mistakes because he thinks he knows so much more….). The rest was some mostly sketched out details (I had a focus, some skills pre-selected, etc).

      Then the GM turns to me and says “Okay, Greg (character name) — you got into some trouble last month, and Tom (another character. Cop with psychomancy powers) bailed you out of it. What happened?”

      And I just got to…make it up. I decided I had tried to take on some ghouls, figuring I could handle it. I didn’t, and Tom showed up with a shotgun and bailed me out. That gave me a link to Tom, and we decided another character trait — “has to be the hero”.

      GM turns to Tom and says “Why were you there?” and Tom blinks and makes something up –..

      And this went back or forth for about five or six rounds between all the players, establishing ties and backstory and fleshing out our characters with traits. Just done as a cool Q&A (all those character traits are IMPORTANT, by the way. They’re heavily used, not just fluff. But they developed organically as we created a backstory between the three of us, everyone taking turns — like one of those games where people hand off a story after writing a few paragraphs…)

      Seriously, any game where you can have a literal battle of wits (social combat, actually) that’s fast, streamlined, run exactly like regular combat and feels entirely natural (including, for instance, sending someone running from the room, reputation in tatters)….

      Seriously, it’s space awesome.

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      • Yes, the FATE system is the absolute bomb-diggity.

        I like the ability to set something up like a domino effect. It might be difficult to trip up a particular bad guy… but it’s easy to take out the lights. Taking out the lights makes it easier to temporarily blind him with a flash of flame… while could then easily set off the fire suppression system… which then makes water everywhere… and now he’s temporarily blinded, magic is useless, and it has become fairly easy to trip him up.

        The hard thing is hard… but the little things can add up to beyond epic.

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        • Oh indeed. That was THE big mental step, really. If you’re just shooting at the bad guy, you’re doing it wrong. You’re supposed to set up for something big. It’s all maneuvering, but in a very storytelling way.

          I think we were fighting in a coffee shop and someone deliberately ruptured a hot water container to blind him, and some minor earth magic to shake the floor and stagger him, and basically it was very tactical but flowed nicely. Felt like a fight in a story or movie, you know?

          You don’t stand at 20 paces and fire. You’re hitting stuff around him, hot water’s spraying, you’re being clever and exploiting weaknesses….

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  3. I’ve been completely ignoring all this drama as I’ve played it, because I haven’t noticed any important bugs in Arkham Knight. Sometimes Bats doesn’t seem to want to glide if he’s really near the ground, switching back and forth between gliding and not instead of just landing. And yesterday I, hilariously, fought some people who were stuck in the ground.

    Other than that, the game is working rather well, and I seem to be about 90% of the way through all the side-quests (Minus the Riddler trophies) and apparently 78% of the way through the story.

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  4. Even though I’ve enjoyed the Arkham series, I’ve probably spent more hours total in Terraria, and I’ve added more this week. I feel almost guilty for picking it up way back when for only $2.50. And they’re releasing another major content update in a couple days. For free. 4 years after release. I wish more studios would show occasional love to their existing catalogs.

    With the Arkham games, I’ve waited until I could get it everything in a bundle. This time, it has the added benefit of letting me avoid a stinker of a port.

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