Wildstar: Days 1 and 2

One of my awesome friends gave me one of her Wildstar guest passes, which has been allowing me play without having to drop $60. I am a human exile medic, soldier path. To be honest, I really don’t know what any of these character choice mean or imply in terms of leveling or end-game, but I figured that I would just roll with whatever and then reap the consequences of my decision later, assuming that I even choose to purchase the full game.

The character designs are a little too much on the cartoony side for my tastes, but that it a personal nitpick at best especially given my WoW background. That said, the game as a whole especially the outdoor environments look very well polished; Everything is vibrant and smooth with lots of detail to the point where many of my screenshots look like they were taken straight out of a concept art book. Pretty awesome.

Questing so far seems pretty typical to what one would expect from a modern MMO; I am unsure if there is much else to say about questing other than I am not sure that it is a good thing that quest trackers are pretty much a default feature in all new RPGs. Is this really what questing has come down to? Following the arrow? ...but that's more of a criticism of the genre as a whole than of the game itself.

The combat system has an action RPG element that is pretty fun. Most abilities are "free-form" in the sense that you don't have to click and select a target to attack. Instead, most attacks are AoE spells using something called the telegraph system. When you cast a spell, the area of effect will be layed out on the battlefield in the form of a colored shape, which will also indicate casting time, channeling, spell type, etc. The unique thing is that, when targets attack you can see their telegraphs as well, allowing you to move out of the way.

All-in-all there seems to be a much greater focus on action (light platforming, no auto attack, sprinting, etc). I look forward to exploring this system further. From what I hear, status effects will actual effect the way you play the game in the sense that when you are blinded your area of visibility is greatly reduced and so forth (versus being a statistic on the screen).

Transistor (PC)

Two new games that I have been interested were released recently: Transistor and Watch Dogs. Transistor was cheaper so I picked it up on Steam. It is an action role playing game by Supergiant Games, the studio behind Bastion. Transistor and Bastion share a lot of common denominators and at the surface level, appear to be fairly similar: Same colorful isometric stylized cartoon aesthetic, same genre (action roleplaying), very little exposition, same style of narrative style in that much of the story is dynamically narrated but this time in the form of an actual character (err talking word).

Transistor diverges from Bastion in terms of gameplay and overall tone. Though they share a similar aesthetic, Transistor is more technological noir in contact to Bastion’s apocalyptic wild west vibe if that makes any sense. Bastion was more or less, twitched based action whereas Transistor is fairly strategy oriented. Combat gameplay is split into two parts: There’s a real time combat aspect typical to any action game and then there is a planning mode that allows you to pause combat, queue up actions and moves, then resume combat to execute your plan.

As a whole, it’s a great game so far. But that said, it’s just not a game that grips on to me and makes me yearn to play it for more than about 30 to 45 minutes at a time. I am unsure if it is the game or of it is just me and my increasingly small game attention span/free time. I don’t know. Regardless, definitely worth a play.

Crunchyroll & Anime

Back from Hawaii, posting can now resume. In lieu of there actually being greater than zero anime series that I am interested in watching I decided to give the Crunchyroll subscription trial a go to see how it is. Aside from Attack on Titan, I think it has been at least a year if not several years since I had regularly watched anime. Word on the street is that there are several decent shows that are not only worth watching but conveniently available for viewing on Crunchyroll so the week before last was devoted to small bouts of anime binging in-between wedding/vacation planning and the like.
 

Hourou Musuko (Wandering Son)
This show  is a slice of life drama about middle school students growing up with gender identity issues. It addresses cross dressing, puberty and gender issues in a down to earth/non-fanservicey manner. It's serious but not dark or depressing. Shows, particularly anime shows such as this are few and far between.

Wandering Son has a slow but well paced plot line with a fairly gentle story that is surprisingly well balanced. It's not for everyone but if you are looking for a quiet drama it is definitely worth a watch. Worth noting that this series is obviously geared towards the middle age crowd.
 

Hajime no Ippo The Fighting
Hajime no Ippo is a shounen boxing anime that follows a 100+ volume manga series of the same name. I am pretty sure that the series on Crunchyroll picks up immediately after where I had left off in Hajime no Ippo but I’m not 100% sure and not 100% sure it even matters plot wise. I am also pretty sure this series falls into the category of unending Shounen anime, but it has always been one of my favorites and one of the only sports anime shows that I really enjoy.
 

Kill la Kill
A way over-the-top super stylized action/comedy series that dips well into the absurd. Oh and it is also about clothing. Good pacing and likable characters. I mean, all any show or book series needs to have in order for me to at least enjoy it is a decent character story, which Kill la Kill has in spades. It is animated well and has a comic book like aesthetic which I like (thick lines). Kill la Kill is also definitely fanservicey and by definitely I mean that the nudity and boobage play a major  role in the story but ultimately aren’t the primary focus of the show if that makes any sense.

This show fell short of being the series that "saved anime," but it garnered enough interest out of me to start watching not only kill la kill but other anime series again

Odds, Ends & Good Causes: May the 4th

First off: I guess this really isn't within the wheelhouse of topics that I usually post about on this site but if you can spare some change, a donation to support Team Ashely for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation would be very much appreciated. It's a good cause to support a good friend.

The 4 games that I have been playing recently are: Diablo III and FTL: Advanced Edition on my computer and then Threes and Neuroshima Hex on my phone (damn fine strategy board game available for both iOS and Android if anyone is looking for one). Diablo wise: I kind of want to switch back to my stun build because of the bracers that dropped last week, but I kind of don't want to give up the movement speed bonus from the Tempest Rush build despite the fact that I'm not sure it really is all that damage efficient. Well, that and the fact that it is a kind of a squishy build as I am almost completely reliant on movement speed bonuses, which is fine and dandy until I get jailed or teleported into the middle of a green/arcane/fire poo pile in between seven sided strike cooldowns :/.

Errata:

  • In between books at the moment. Deciding between either Wool by Hugh Howey or The Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks.
  • Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (Complete Edition) is now on Netflix. It's a great movie to watch if you can ignore things lot plot and physics.
  • Yesterday was a bachelorette party of sorts and well, a good time was had by all (beer, friends, and games). Also almost done with wedding stuff so, yay!

Site wise: I changed the layout/format of the seldom updated image gallery a bit and added a new category (I like birds and apparently they occupy like half of the photos that I take).

FTL: Advanced Edition

  • Posted on: April 30, 2014
  • By: Keiya
  • Category:

So FTL: Advanced Edition is pretty great and I am pretty sure that it has semi-offically replaced Diablo III: RoS as this week's gaming fix (possibly in part to the servers being kind of messed up the other day). But anyway, it's a pretty beefy update adding in new systems, a new race, new events, new weapons, UI improvements amongst other things. The new systems and new race and a decent level of strategy and depth to the existing game (yay clone bay + reconstructive teleporter combo). If for whatever reason you want to disable the new additions, you can go vanilla with an option on the new game screen.

So if you are like me and had forgotten that this game existed, it is definitely worth picking up again, especially given that Advanced Edition not only adds an expansion pack level of content to the game, but does so at no additional cost. If you don't own it, FTL only costs around 10 dollars if that. It is also now available on the iPad but not iPhone T_T. Overall, new additions or not FTL is probably one of the most fun that I have had getting blatantly and repeatedly screwed over in a game.