Sampling the Borderlands

20170202070338_1

For the better part of 2 weeks the only games on my gaming menu have been Borderlands, Borderlands 2, and Borderlands: The Pre Sequel. For better or for worse I’ve been bouncing between all three games depending on which one of my friends are on to play. I played Borderlands when no one was around, I played Borderlands 2 when Jay was around, and I’ve just started a play through of the Pre Sequel with Jay and CC.

I wasn’t interested in Borderlands when it first came out in 2009 on the account that I was really into the Nintendo Wii at the time and didn’t like the FPS genre all that much. I remember my friends in high school were eagerly awaiting it’s release. I didn’t even really know what it was until a few years later when I started playing it with Jay. By the time I played it with him he had played it 7 times over and new where do go and what to do andd ended up dragging me through the game. We kept restarting to play new characters and I don’t think we ever got farther than the second boss.

20170204185450_1

Fast forward to a few days ago when I decided to fire up the PC version of Borderlands I got from one steam sale or another. The game is brutal I spent more time at the revive station than actually shooting some times. By myself there’s no other focus for the enemies so I’m the one absorbing every bit of damage. It was still fun though if not challenging. It was the first time I actually paid any attention to the story and it turns out I wasn’t missing out on that much. As fun as it was I’ve made it to level 15 where we had stopped in the past and I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to finish it.

I bought the Handsome Jack Collection to play with Jay about a year and a half ago and we still haven’t beaten it. Borderlands 2 is much like Diablo 3 where I get in a mood to play it and then it becomes my main game for a few weeks until I get bored. So every few months or so we’d pick it back up and get a lot of story done and some DLC and then we’d stop.

Borderlands_ The Handsome Collection_20150926000457.jpg

It’s always been a struggle to get myself psyched to play it that first time after a long break because the co op game play is a lot of fun but the story is kinda boring even with a great cast of characters. And after a few hours the dialogue gets overdone. I love spoofs, puns, and pop culture references in games but when its all of that 24/7 it gets a little tiring.

With that being said me and Jay are currently working through BL2’s DLC Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragons Keep and it’s fantastic. I especially enjoyed a quest line spoofing Dark Souls and the whole setting of being in a tabletop game. In fact both the DLC’s that we’ve played through have been much more interesting than the rest of the game.

Borderlands: The Handsome Collection_20170207211803

Now we’ve just started the story in the Pre-sequel and it’s nothing new in terms of story telling or game play. But the Pre-Sequel, despite the story outshines the other 2 in terms of co op for one reason. I can be ClapTrap who is simultaneously the trolliest and most supportive character all in one. I can dish out tons of helpful buffs and abilities to my allies one moment and then turn us all into bouncing rubber ducks the next moment. Much to the chagrin of my friends. Since the game is set on the moon there’s very little air and apparently there’s a mechanic my friends keep talking about where they have to fill up their air canisters every now and then or they die….but I don’t really know because as a robot I don’t need air.

So after this intensive few weeks of the crash course to the Borderlands series I can say that its much more fun to play with friends than alone, the story is nothing to write home about, but the game play and co op is top notch. Your always one drop away from a gun that will change your entire play style or make you super overpowered for your level.

New Dungeon Jitters

Kluwes A'llond 02/03/2017 09:29:31

While I’ve been continuing through the 2.XX main quest line I keep getting distracted by quest that unlock things. As a result I’ve filled up my quest tracker and journal with a bunch of quests that unlock more parts of the game. Most of the ones I’ve picked up have led to unlocking more dungeons and primal fights. While a few of them have been new dungeons most of them are Hard Mode of the rest of the ARR dungeons and trials.

New dungeons are exciting but there are always those new dungeon jitters. These are so old that most of the players in the Duty  Finder have already done them many times over which results in being dragged through which isn’t an ideal way to experience new content. That’s just how it is though coming in later, which I totally understand. But I also don’t want to slow them down too much as I’m learning the dungeon.  What still surprises me is that even though these Hard Mode dungeons are being run as efficiently as possible by the more experienced players they still stop and explain things when I ask, which is awesome.

Kluwes A'llond 01/30/2017 10:34:08

In the regular story dungeons in ARR there is some skipping of rooms and alternate paths but the group typically kills everything in its way. What’s throwing me off with these level 50 dungeons is that the tank will either pull everything and their mother or just skip entire packs of mobs. It feels faster passed and more rushed than the regular story dungeons ever did.

Now I know I could possibly get FC mates or a PUG together to this stuff slower but I know eventually I too will be running these dungeons again and again so I might as well learn how its usually run.

Kluwes A'llond 01/31/2017 10:13:07

 

Other than new content I’ve been leveling up my pugilist through the daily leveling roulette. It’s going pretty well I like the class much more than I did the last time I played it. It’s fun moving around the enemies to land those positionals. It feels like a very active class. After being in greased lighting for a while and losing it the GDC skills feel like they take forever to reset. I’m also enjoying the class quest story line and Hamon Holyfist is such a delightful character.

 

 

I Risked the Rain

Risk of Rain_20170122162045A very rare occurrence happened last week. I bought a game and within the span of a week I beat it. I guess “beat” is a relative term for risk of rain because while I got to the final boss and killed him there is still a whole lot to unlock.

I’ve been eyeing this game for a long time. It’s been on my steam wish list for as long as I’ve had a steam wish list and for some reason I never pulled the trigger. Part of this was I heard it was a great multiplayer game and could never convince my friends to get it. This past PSN  Flash sale the game was a mere $4 and I thought to myself if I don’t get it now I’ll never get it. As it turns out one of  Jay and I’s mutual friend had it too so I had someone to play multiplayer with. That and the fact that it was a PS4 and Vita cross buy it was finally time to get it.

Risk of Rain_20170122161436

I knew going in Risk of Rain was a rouge like, I knew it had pixel graphics, and I knew it was highly acalimed. What I didn’t know was that there were so many classes to unlock, the difficulty increased with time, and that I would be facing a relentless onslaught of tiny creatures for an hour or more.

I really like the fact that the difficulty goes up as time goes on. It adds a little more to the rouge-like formula. You can spend time after you clear the map looking for the chests and power ups you might have missed or you can go to the next level and have a slightly easier time on the next world.

Risk of Rain_20170122180458

Playing this through in multiplayer has kind of ruined the single player experience for me. With 2 people the game is challenging but not seemingly impossible. I can only imagine how fun and chaotic three or four players would be. I played the first 2 hours in single player and only managed to make it to end of the third world. But when I was playing with a friend we beat the game twice in one night. I

Being a rouge like it has a ton of replay value that’s only added to bye the many classes available to unlock. So far I’ve unlocked 4 and they all have a unique feel to them.  also think some of the classes make more sense when playing with other people. There’s just no way I’m playing through the single player with the sniper with his single shot rifle that needs to be manually reloaded. Therese also artifacts to unlock that add interesting mechanics to the game like being able to choose which power up you get out of a chest or enemies dropping bombs when they die.

My favorite experience with it so far has been when a friend and I wentaround seeing how many drones we could collect at once. We took our massive drone army and obliterated everything on the last level just by getting close enough to be in drone firing range.

Risk of Rain_20170122150008

What I like most about the game is that there is a real sense of progression throughout the game. I think this has to do with the fact that the difficulty is always increasing and with it the number of enemies on screen as well as the distribution of power ups. In the beginning its fairly easy with low level monsters spawning leisurely. In the middle you are getting your bearings and are facing situations that get dicey. By the end of the run you’re done actively dodging individual monsters because you have so much health and can take out big chunks of their health. Until you get to that final boss fight and you have to dodge.

This was the best purchase I’ve made in a while. I’ve already gotten my moneys worth out of the game and still have so much to unlock. It’ll definitely be one of those games that stays installed on my system for a while.

 

Finishing Up A Realm Reborn

I’m back to playing Final Fantasy 14 after a month long hiatus. Patch 3.5 doesn’t really do anything me in the right now as I’m a long way off from reaching the current content, but  at least now I can queue up for the Duty Finder and have my trusty chocobo by my side.

I’ve changed things up a little since my return. For one I am no longer playing a hulking mountain of muscly man meat and have changed Kluwes into a female Au Ra. Now I have the pleasure of looking like mostly everyone else in the Duty Finder.  That’s ok though, every once and a while I like to play other races and genders. This isn’t the first time Kluwes has had a total DNA make over, he started out as a Duskwhight Elezen with long flowing locks.

It’s taken a little while to get used to my drastic decrease in character size after adventuring so long with the Roegadyen. I no longer have an over sized chocobo and I feel like the camera is lower to the ground than before. Also, it’s weird having NPC’s actually look down to me when I talk to them.

Kluwes A'llond 01/17/2017 15:32:46

Once I got my character set up I decided to see how much longer I had in the Main Scenario for ARR. At first I was going to level my Ninja to 50 and then do the Main Scenario but an FC mate encouraged me just to get it done.

It turns out I wasn’t actually that far from the end anyways. I had about 3 quests and 2 dungeons to complete. One of my least favorite parts of FFXIV is that story is delivered through cut scenes in the dungeons. I like the idea  because it makes dungeons all that more cinematic but trying to watch a cut scene in content that old is a sure fire way to get left way behind by a group. Luckily I on’t mind skipping the cut scenes and watching them later in the inn. Actually I found that watching the last cut scene for both Castrum Meridianum and  Praetorium was enough to understand what was going on.

Kluwes A'llond 01/17/2017 14:44:55

I’m not sure how I feel about the last 2 dungeons in ARR. On the one hand the scenery and backdrop for each is really pretty. On the other, especially in Castrum Meridianum, my screen ended up looking like a field of purples and greens when the group made huge pulls.

I enjoyed the Praetorium more than Castrum Meridianum. It seemed like there was more to do in the dungeon rather than just pulling everything in sight and demolishing it. A brief moment of embarrassment came when I  couldn’t figure out how to get into the Magitech so I ended up huffing it on foot the whole way while my teammates destroyed whatever horror were along the way. Turns out it was kind of fun watching my mechanical chicken teammates clear things from the ground.

The Ultima Weapon was a fun final boss and since this is a Final Fantasy game of course he had three forms. He didn’t seem all that challenging but I’m sure that had something to do with 7 people whaling on him who knew what they were doing.

With ARR finished I can start working my way through the last of the 2.XX content on my Dragoon. I still want to level up my Ninja but for now I’ll reserve that for the Daily Roulette. What I’m most excited for is the 2.XX Main Scenario to be all level 50 quests so I don’t have to take a break in the story to get a level up or three.

 

Backlogged: Titanfall 2

 

Titanfall™ 2_20161201103021The last time I thought to myself “you know what I need in my life right now, a multiplayer fps” was in 2007 when Call of Duty: Modern Warfare came out. Well after a 9 year hiatus I decided I needed a new shooter in my gaming rotation. Enter Titanfall 2.

OK maybe it hasn’t been that long, I played a lot of Destiny’s multiplayer, I played Battlefield 4 for a while and I did get Rainbow Six Siege at the beginning of the year. Destiny was always kind of a side thing when I was bored of the PVE, I didn’t really play Battlefield 4 all that much, and my time with Rainbow Six Siege was mostly spent in the Player versus AI Terrorist Hunt. I will admit this was kind of an impulse buy. I wanted something with quick matches and I wanted to shoot things with Mechs. Plus, who’s game would capture the feel of Modern Warfare better than Respawn, the guys who made Modern Warfare.

It came out on the heels of Battlefield 1 like just a few days after. Kind of a weird plan releasing right after one of the most anticipated shooters of the year but it looks like its doing OK. I really hadn’t heard much about it before release. but afterward the internet was hailing the campaign as one of the best in years and praising the multiplayer for fixing the problems the last game had. The internet was also full of “lol this game will die in 6 months gg scrubs” predicting the fall off of players that plagued the first game.

Titanfall™ 2_20161109104558

The campaign took me around 10 hours to beat. I’ve never been great at shooters even against AI so I died a whole lot even though I was playing the easier difficulty. The story is pretty forgettable, as in I beat this 3 weeks ago and faintly remember what its about. It’s story of a generic solider turned elite Mech Pilot who has to stop the bad guys from using a weapon to destroy the world. To Jack some credit, he was training to be a Pilot before the battle that wiped out most of the landing party. His mentor, the Pilot of the lovable Titan BT-7427 doesn’t make it and gives Jack the reins to BT seeing as he’s the only one still alive there isn’t much of a choice.  BT is your typical computer AI that takes everything too literally but he’s endearing and I never got tired of hearing him talk. The banter between BT and Jack is great.

So you may be wondering, if the story was meh why has the campaign been getting all this praise. Well, it’s the levels, the levels are really unique and I haven’t played anything like them. Each level comes with a mix of shooting things, stretching your platforming muscles, wall running, and using BT to shoot even more things.My favorite two are the factory level with all of its platforming goodness and the time travel level which adds something wholly unique to Titanfall 2.

One of the best things about the campaign is collecting all of the Titan Kits as you progress. These correspond with the Titan load outs in multiplayer so you can get a feel for each Titan before diving in. It’s also really fun to switch load outs on a whim in the campaign. One titan not working for the particular boss fight? Switch to a different one. Since theirs not cool down penalties for switching in the middle of a fight you can pull off some interesting combinations. Too bad you can’t do this in multiplayer.

Titanfall™ 2_20161201103252

Speaking of multiplayer, Titanfall 2 has an interesting take on it. I didn’t play or follow the first one so when I jumped in to Attrition, the main game mode, I was  surprised to find AI enemies as well as other players. This really helps less than talented players, like me, contribute. They may not give as many points as an enemy player but they stand still long enough to shoot. Later in the match they seem to gain the ability to aim and do plenty of damage where they can almost kill you which just adds to the fun. At that point you most likely have your titan and are ripping through them anyways. The movement is really well done and it constantly makes you feel like an elite solider wall running and sliding around the battle field. There are constantly those moments of “whoa did you see what they just did”.  From my experience, even if your at the bottom of the score board you’re still getting your titan pretty often in battle which is nice because I don’t feel like I’m missing out on part of the game because I’m not doing well.

Titanfall™ 2_20161201103820

All in all, I’m happy with my purchase. The campaign was short but fun and the multiplayer is fun even if your bad at shooters. The multiplayer definitely has that one more round feel and the matches are short enough that you can’t get too mad about losing. I’ve been playing for a few weeks and learning and improving has been the main hook. But that level up bar is always fun to watch fill up at the end of the match. Who doesn’t love a good level up bar?

The Magnificent Mullet of Eorzea and Other Final Fantasy 14 Things

Look at it. It’s fantastic. Serious business in the front, raging party in the back. It’s a mullet’s mullet.  It’s glorious, a true character creation masterpiece. It goes with everything, it’s durable, and easy to clean. It doesn’t even clip…that much.It begs the question why did I not have this the whole time.  Unfortunately there’s only room for one sumptuous thing on this Roegadyn’s smug mug so the elegant mustache just had to go.

I played a lot of Final Fantasy 14 this past week and over the weekend. It’s probably the most I’ve played in the last few months I’ve been subbed. Me and Jay have been playing pretty regularly at least getting the dungeon roulette done every night. This weekend I had a lot of time on my hands.

In this past week I’ve gotten my dragoon to 50 and got him spiffy new armor. I have 10 more levels to go until max and I feel like I have too many buttons to press already. Learning the combos has been fun and the animations for the skills look awesome. Let’s be honest here, when your last level 50 threw rocks at things for hours outside of dungeons, having some more buttons is a godsend.  I got my level 50 armor and much to my surprise it really doesn’t look terrible on my large character.All the other dragoons I’ve seen have been stick thin characters. Sure I may not look as sleek but I don’t look like dragoon sausage. Now if only my weapon didn’t look so much like a gardening tool.

Kluwes A'llond 11/03/2016 11:17:44

I’ve been trying to help Jay catch up to me in the main scenario which is taking a lot longer than I originally thought. I have to keep finding something else to work on between dungeons while he runs story quests. So I settled on getting my bard up 2 more levels to hit 50 as well. With that came completing the quests for the armor. The other classes had some interesting reasons for getting said armor. Dragoons have to go through 5 trials to prove they are worthy of it, White Mage’s need to get it to wistand the force of the Great one, the Bard’s  boils down to dig up this old man’s clothes and wear them because he deemed you worthy. What an honor. Sadly the hat is not as obnoxious as I thought it’d be but the rest of the set well makes up for it.

Kluwes A'llond 11/03/2016 11:16:10

In an effort to clean out some of my uncompleted quests from my journal I finished the level 30 rouge quest. I’ll admit, this was probably a mistake, because the rest of the weekend was spent leveling up my new ninja and thoroughly enjoying it. After playing dragoon, the class feels a bit simpler and with less buttons to manage though I’m sure this will change as I get higher in level.

Finally, I actually installed the expansion and put the key on my account. I’ve had it lying in a drawer for a while now. When I went to open it I actually had to dust it off. I m itching to complete the 2.XX main scenario stuff and get into the expansion which I might go ahead and do if Jay doesn’t catch up soon. Other wise I’m going to end up with yet another level 50 class.

But seriously, this mullet is amazing.

 

 

 

The Hunt is Afoot

Part yUp.jpg

For a while I’ve been craving a hunting game. Not a Cabala’s Big Game hunter sort of game but a Monster hunting sort of game. I’ve really enjoyed the Monster Hunter series on the 3DS for a few years I bought the last 2 installments but when Monster Hunter Generations  came out just a few months ago, I wasn’t all that interested in buying it.

Don’t get me wrong, Monster Hunter is awesome, It was the reason I played the Wii so long and the only game I bought the 3DS for. What other game has you go around killing giant monsters, carving them up wearing their skin, making weapons out of their body parts, and beating up other monsters with them to repeat the cycle. I love the idea behind the games like crafting new and powerful weapons and every fight being a boss fight. But the 3DS just isn’t that great of a device to play a game like this on. The screen is really small, even the 3DS XL feels claustrophobic after a while. For a game that requires you to put in at least 15- 20 minutes per fight, playing on a small screen for a long time can get tire some. So I started looking to see if there were any of these types of games for the PS4.

I turns out that there are actually quite a few of these types of games. Unfortunately most of them are on the PSP or the PS VIta. That’s when I stumbled upon the God Eater Series. I’ve seen God Eater 2 Rage Burst (ah I love JRPG titles) on the PlayStation store for a couple of weeks and decided to watch the trailer out of boredom this weekend. It was exactly what I was looking for, monster hunter-like game on the PS4.

I’m not the type of person to run out of my house and go get a game on a whim without a little research. Apparently if I bought the physical day 1 edition of the game I would get the first game, God Eater Resurrection, as well.t seemed like a really good deal 2 games for $60, so I drove down to the local Gamestop and picked it up. I’m actually glad I got the physical edition the case art looks so cool!

Right now I’m about 3 hours into God Eater Resurrection and loving every minute of it. It’s really scratching that hunting itch. I’ll write more about it once I’m further into the game.