, | Game diaries
Modern_Family_Witcher

Since this game diary will progress alongside my playing time with The Witcher 3, I should warn you there will be spoilers. Never before the jump. I’d hate to ruin anything for the casual skimmer of Quarter to Three who hasn’t played The Witcher 3 yet. But anything after the jump is fair game. I wouldn’t recommend going there unless you’ve made progress in the game yourself.

After the jump, Ciri has two daddies Continue reading →

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, | News
me4_andromeda

For some people, the ending of Commander Shepard’s galaxy-spanning journey was a controversial one. The outcry over the perceived weakness of the multiple-choice ending was vocal enough to spur Electronic Arts and BioWare to patch further exposition into the climax and epilogue. Fans wondering how Mass Effect: Andromeda would handle the end of the last game can rest easy. It’s not going to address it. Instead, BioWare’s Aaryon Flynn explained to Eurogamer that Mass Effect: Andromeda’s setting is far enough away in terms of distance and time from The Milky Way, that nothing you did really impacts the new game.

“We’ve done it in such a way that allows all of those decisions you made to remain intact in the canon of the universe, but also allows a new story to begin.”

That’s one way to negate persistent fan theories about star-children and mind wipes.

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, | Game reviews
bloodwine_magical_small

Early on in the The Witcher 3’s Blood and Wine expansion, a man is killed right in front of the player character and a chase ensues as the murderous “Beast of Beauclair” runs away. There is a fight, a complication, and the killer escapes. Instead of returning to the person that started you on the investigation to report what happened, or going back to look for clues on the body, (the victim is literally gone from the crime scene if you return to the site) the game instructs you to go wander off to meet an old friend or make some renovations to your new house. So goes Blood and Wine.

Is The Witcher’s final journey all that it should be? Continue reading →

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, | Game reviews
Overfall_review

It’s hard not to like Overfall. It’s has such an eager-to-please enthusiasm. The way it talks to you in tiny snippets so as not to wear out its welcome. The ingratiating pop culture references. The simple breezy battles with a thick gooey center of complexity. Its archipelago busy with criss-crossing little boats going about their business. All these cute NPC classes waiting to join you. Ice Maiden. Wrestler. Knife Juggler. Kirinborn, whatever that is. Unlockable weapons like Bloodfang, Nightbane, Harvester of Sorrow, Deepest Ocean, The Butterflies. The elliptical hints for how to unlock them. Overfall is playful, sly, sleek.

And, after the jump, overbearing. Continue reading →

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, | Game diaries
Witcher_3_books

I have to really like a game to read its books. Actually, that’s true of pretty much any flavor text. But it’s especially true of ingame books. I suspect game developers think they’re tricking me by putting backstory into ingame books. They think I’ll read every single ingame book just in case it teaches me a spell or gives me experience points. They’re right. Finding a book and not opening it to see if anything happens is like finding a chest and not opening it. You just don’t do it.

After the jump, Nilfgaardian best sellers Continue reading →

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, | News

Deep cuts. Three-sixty quick-scope balls-out badassness. No shits to give. Farming Simulator 17 is on the way for PC and consoles. Listen, I was farming all the crops before you were a gleam in your daddy’s eye. Don’t start nothing, and there won’t be nothing. You think them crops harvest themselves? Son, get yourself in check. I’m dropping mad cultivation. Farming Simulator 17 is going to be the mac-daddy of agricultural gangsta tricks.

Among the many new features to be announced in the coming months for Farming Simulator 17, we are happy to unveil that modding support – which is exceptionally popular on PC – is making its grand debut on consoles!

Aw, Hell! That’s my farming boo.

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, | Game diaries
Witcher_3_GD_velvet

Stories are weaker when they have a blank slot where a protagonist should be. MMOs are a worst case example of this, because the developers — the storytellers — have no way of knowing what race, class, sex, or morality you’re playing. What sort of story would Star Wars be if George Lucas asked you, “Hey, should Luke give the droids to the Imperials or should he fly them to Alderaan?”

After the jump, how many paragon points are we talking about here? Continue reading →

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, | News
skyrim_remaster

During Bethesda’s E3 show, one of the most exciting bits of information was that the company will be releasing a new version of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim this year. Ever since this console generation kicked off with HD remakes of previous games, people have been asking for Bethesda to look towards their back catalog. When Fallout 3 was made backwards-compatible on the Xbox One, fans rejoiced and wondered when Skyrim would get the same treatment. Rather than simply making Skyrim backwards-compatible or cashing in with a quick and dirty port, Skyrim Special Edition features substantive changes. The remaster has new art and effects, volumetric god rays, dynamic depth of field, screen-space reflections, Fallout 4 style integrated modding that works on consoles, and all the official DLC.

All that is well and good, but current PC owners of Skyrim (either the original with all DLC, or the Legendary Edition) get the new version for free. Free! Plus, Skyrim Special Edition on PC will be 64-bit, greatly enhancing performance and mod capabilities. It’s a well-known fact in the modding community that Skyrim’s 32-bit memory limitations cause a myriad of issues, especially when multiple mods are used. The move to 64-bit code is a welcome change even if you don’t care about the visual enhancements. Macho Man Randy Savage dragons, endless cheese wheels, and lightsabers all day!

Skyrim Special Edition releases on October 28.

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, | Game diaries
Witcher_3_late

The tricky thing about top ten lists for videogames during any given year is that it’s difficult to play every game that comes out on any given year. It’s even more difficult to spend the time it takes to really get to know a game. And by difficult, I’m pretty sure I mean physically impossible. If I calculated how many hours it takes to suss out every game released in a year compared to how many hours are actually in a year, the math wouldn’t add up. Let’s see, 365 times 24 is, uh, six thousand something, which will get you through about one MMO, one Paradox game, four shooters, and about a hundred crappy iPad games. Congratulations, you’ve played 5% of the games that came out that year.

So while I did play The Witcher 3 last year, I didn’t get very far before moving on. I had other things to do. And besides, Nick Diamon did a fine job writing a review, so what did it matter if I played it? Hence its absence from my top ten list. I don’t doubt it was great. I played The Witcher 2 so I’m well aware of what CD Projekt Red can do. But it just wasn’t part of my 2015.

Fortunately, there’s no law that says you have to play a game the year it comes out. So as of today, I’m beginning my official playthrough of The Witcher 3, and I intend to go all the way to the end. Wait, does The Witcher 3 even end? How far did CD Projekt Red go with the new open-world conceit? I intend to find out at least once a day for the foreseeable future. In case you’ve already played it and you’re interested in following along someone experiencing the joy of discovery, I’ll be chronicling that discovery — and hopefully joy — here. Besides, I can’t think of a better way to commemorate this year’s E3 by ignoring it in favor of playing an old game.

Tomorrow: My Geralt. Let me show you him.

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, | News
battlefield_france

It is inarguable that France was an important part of World War I. As one of the Allied powers, they fielded one of the biggest armies and suffered a proportionally large amount of casualties. France is dotted with important WWI battlefields. The Harlem Hellfighters, the cover subject of Battlefield 1, was attached to the French army because the United States would not let them fight. Despite the massive contribution of the French to the war, you will not be playing as the French forces in Battlefield 1 multiplayer unless you pay extra. Speaking to IGN France DICE’s Julien Wera confirmed that the French forces will be reserved for post-launch premium DLC.

“To really do justice to the French army in multiplayer and, once again, to show a side that we’re not used to seeing, we have chosen to dedicate an entire premium expansion with special treatment after the launch of the game.”

Russia will also not be available in multiplayer, but considering the game’s focus on the Western Front, that decision seems less predatory.

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, | News
Heores_of_the_Storm_Medivh

Since MOBAs are apparently like sharks — they need to keep adding content or they die — I got this announcement from Blizzard today about the latest new character:

Medivh, The Last Guardian, has been added to Heroes of the Storm and is now available for play! Read on for a brief overview of his Abilities.

That’s confusing for a couple of reasons. Isn’t The Last Guardian a Sony property? But it’s also confusing because I recognize that name. Where is Medivh from? Starcraft II? Diablo III? Those are the only recent Blizzard games I’ve played that aren’t Heroes of the Storm. I don’t remember him from those. Then where do I know him from? And then I realized, oh yeah, Medivh is what everyone in the Warcraft movie kept calling Ben Foster, who is SPOILER until it turns out SPOILER at which point he SPOILER. That’s where I recognize the name.

Anyway, he’s in Heroes of the Storm now, where he can turn into a raven. Which explains at least one of the confusing scenes in the Warcraft movie.

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, | News
reedus_sony

Sony’s 2016 E3 show was a barely interrupted succession of game trailers. It started with an odd choral arrangement that evolved into an orchestral performance conducted by Bear McCreary. From there, the audience was pushed straight into a demo of God of War, featuring Kratos on a heartwarming jog with his son. Bonding time! Days Gone, a post-apocalyptic zombie game featuring bikers gave the viewers a thrill with a wave of undead chasing a man through a barn. Annual E3 favorite The Last Guardian was displayed, this time with an October 25th release date. Horizon Zero Dawn was back with more future primitive dino-mech hunting. Resident Evil Biohazard looked appropriately dark and jump-scary. Detroit Become Human looks like it takes the multiple-choice gameplay of Until Dawn or Heavy Rain and mixes it with robots.

A selection of PlayStation VR games were shown, including a Batman Arkham VR game from Rocksteady and Battlefront X-Wing VR Mission from EA. The PlayStation VR hardware will go on sale on October 13th for $399.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare‘s space fighter, hull breaching, spaceship explosion gameplay was shown. See if you can guess how long it took the audience to realize it was a Call of Duty game. A Crash Bandicoot collection is being remastered for the PlayStation 4, along with Crash coming to Skylanders Imaginators.

Finally, Hideo Kojima was brought out to great fanfare to show off Norman Reedus’ butt in Death Stranding. It’s no Silent Hills, but naked Norman Reedus is a win.

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