Saturday!

80's Commercial For The Classic Viewmaster

The Kinect kinda came and went. (Playing video games while standing up and moving was a wonderful novelty but whoodathunk that it wouldn’t be sustainable?)

3D televisions? My goodness. Major manufacturers no longer make them. (Yet another wonderful novelty that didn’t really add anything. I think that Pixar’s short of “Day and Night” might be the only thing that I’ve seen that 3D added to and I can’t really think of anything else that benefitted significantly from 3D that wasn’t itself a demo of what 3D could do.)

Virtual Reality headsets have me wondering if they’re going to go the same way. There are a handful of cool aps that have come out for VR headsets… be Batman in Arkham VR (have you seen the dancing Batman video?), maybe? They’ve announced Skyrim VR and Fallout 4 VR is coming out next week so maybe those will be big hits… but Doom VFR came out this week and its reception is somewhat mixed.

Of course, some of that is due to the game being somewhat buggy (and dumb choices like “not supporting left-handed players”) and some more of that is due to the game not working on the Oculus Rift at launch (current conspiracy theory is that this is due to Zenimax owing $500 million to Bethesda with Bethesda seeming to be taking the attitude that “if you’re not going to pony up the cash, we at least can make sure that people won’t buy your product”).

VR doesn’t yet seem to have the killer ap that it needs to get half of everybody to say “okay, *NOW* I need one.”

And the clock’s ticking. The Oculus Rift dropped its price from $599 to $499 to $399 (touch controllers included). Without a killer ap, that’s not *THAT* far off from looking like a fire sale.

So… what are you playing?

(Picture is HG Wells playing a war game from Illustrated London News (25 January 1913))


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Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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6 thoughts on “Saturday!

  1. Ordered Prey and Evil Within 2 last week, since both were discounted a bunch for “Black Friday”, and I was feeling a bit burned out from the endgame content of Dark Souls 2[1], and decided to play EW2.

    I’m a fan of survival horror in the vein of Resident Evil 4 and Dead Space, and I had picked up EW1 with high hopes, but wildly uneven tone, erratic and often frustrating difficulty, and a distractingly bad plot all really undermined the gameplay, and the all of the atmosphere and occasional high points in terms of combat and scares made it a real disappointment by the time the end credits rolled.

    Still, it seemed like one of those times where the sequel might be better, and the reviews of EW2 were solid.

    So far—and I think I’m closing in on the end—it is good. A little janky on the mechanics, but IMO the only place it lags the first game is in the visual creativity that went into the design of the bosses (and the reduced number of bosses means fewer good boss fights as well as fewer bad ones). The plot is enjoyable dumb B movie trash, the cop-on-the-edge protagonist is an endearingly lunkheaded self-parody, and the villains are giant sizzling ham steaks. It doesn’t quite match the Resident Evil at its best, let alone Deadly Premonition, for so-bad-it’s-good horror, but it’s all the right kinds of badness, and routinely puts a smile on my face when it isn’t scaring me silly.

    Also, there’s some open-world exploration levels in zombie-overrun Anytown USA between the haunted art galleries, secret laboratory complexes, and torture dungeons, and IMO they really do a good job moderating the pace, and provide a lot of opportunities for you to do really dumb shit in your continual quest for ammo and upgrades, which is a key part of the gameplay that all too many horror games neglect IMO.

    Anyway, it’s not an instant classic everybody should play, but if you do like survival horror, I definitely recommend it. It’s the best game of its type I’ve played in a while, and in a year that gave us Resident Evil 7, that’s really saying something.

    [1] I sunk over 200 hours into that game and I enjoyed a large majority of them, so I more than got my $20 worth even if I never pick it back up.

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    • Resident Evil 4 was a game that I absolutely *ADORED*. I played Resident Evil 2 and really enjoyed it but the controls of the game always made me feel like I was swimming whilst wearing jeans and my Docs. When RE4 came out, the controls just worked. I mean, they just worked. It was pick up and play. Holy cow.

      When I told friends about it, I just gushed about the controls. “But what about the rest of the game?” “It’s a Resident Evil. You’re either down with that or not. BUT THE CONTROLS ACTUALLY WORK THIS TIME.”

      So being told that a game is like RE4 is pretty much one of the highest recommendations I can get.

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    • At the very least, Pokémon Go was able to take off like it did because everybody already had the hardware. It’s gone from “jeez louise, stop talking bout it!” to “I never hear about it anymore”.

      I wonder if Pokémon Go 2 will do as well as the first or if it’ll be like the Wii or the Kinect. “This is awesome! This is the future!” evolves into “yeah, I never play that anymore.”

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  2. Played some more Assassin’s creed Origins. It’s a good game. The missions are better than Black Flag’s and it’s borrowed a lot from The Witcher 3. It’s more of an open world rpg type of game. The side quests are surprisingly good, and some of them have had multiple stages. Unlike some of the earlier games, the extra stuff you can do is fun, at least so far. It doesn’t have the pirate ship fun, but there’s plenty of other things to do. I’ll probably sink a lot of hours into it.

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