Ok I am making a joke here a bit in the title, but Hawaii is a very liberal state, extremly (maybe not as much as CA) and here I am a well bit far right, finding myself in agreement with what the state of Hawaii is doing here.
First so you understand me, here is my history with video gaming.
Growing up my family had a 2600.
In my early teens my sister got a Saga Genesis (the same christmas I got a computer)
Later on both my sister and I got the original Game Boy
Finally in 2001 after I finished college and moved out of my parents place, and got a Gamecube.
This year when the Switch came out I thought I would try to get back into gaming, and since I have more monetary resources available then I had in the past, I went all out. I got a PS4, 2DS-XL, Switch, and Vita (order by how much I like them at this point)
I went with console as I did not want to deal with windows on my computer, all but one of my computers are Linux (slackware) and the one that is not Linux is a NetBSD box.
So being semi-new to the current gaming situation I been shocked, by micro-transaction situation. And I am wondering what happened to gaming? Yes I know companies need to make money and I don’t begrudge them that, but with all these micro-transaction, and the attempt to force users to buy them or you will be at a disadvantage at the game against those that bought a them (pay to win). It just feels like the companies that are doing these things are just out to rip off the consumers.
I have watch the recent explosion that happened with EA and BF2, and was wondering if I made a mistake getting back into video gaming. I know at this time Disney has force them to turn off the micro-transactions for now, but how long till they bring them back? Back in Oct when I read about this, I canceled my pre-order on Amazon, and I have not gotten the game at this point, and have 0 plans to get the game.
I am wondering what happened to EA, back on my Gamecube I had the NHL hockey 2005, I had great times with it, a friend and I played a full season on it, we created a custom team, turned off penalties, and played a violent checking game. It was a great time. But now it seems like EA is more concerned with making a quick buck, rather than making a game people will enjoy.
Mind you I am not talking about DLC. I have read bad things about DLC, but with the few games I have played since I got the PS4 (Horizon Zero Dawn, Just Cause 3, Borderlands 2,South Park the Stick of Truth) the DLC did not seem like I was getting ripped off they felt like they were adding to an already completed game or did not have a DLC, and when I read about the HZD DLC, I had no issue pre-ordering the DLC for it, it was a great game (my favorite video game to this point) and I felt it was a great game.
Also I am not even talking about cosmetic loot boxes, yes I hear those that say that this is where the issue started and I can fully understand that, at the same time they don’t feel like the company is forcing you to by them. Now when you look at EA, and the patterns that came out from EA on how to try to force players to buy loot boxes. It just feels wrong, and not something I really want to be a part of.
I currently have other hobbies that could easly fill the time that I play video games on (sure it only 3 to 5 hours a week) I play board and card games with friends, Pencil and Paper D&D, ham radio, playing with technology. So I wondering if getting back into video games was a mistake if this is where the industry is going on milking the customer. While I have not had many game consoles in my life is this a last console for me? Don’t get me wrong, the time I played the games listed above I have enjoyed, but when I see people say micro-transactions are the way the industry is going and that it is the future I have to ask myself is this something I want to deal with in the future?
So the question is, is this where gaming is going? Maybe the issue is not gaming but Disney promoting gambling? With Star Wars being about gambling now, do I even want to see the next Star Wars movie, am I feeding this beast/problem if I see the new movie?
On my way to work yesterday I saw the following, I was just flabbergasted at it. But just another day in Baltimore.
I will be participating in Extra Life this year. If you wish you can donate to the cause here https://www.extra-life.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donordrive.participant&participantID=267411&wait=1
What is Extra Life?
Here’s how it works
Extra Life is a 24-hour fundraising and gaming marathon to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
On Game Day (Nov. 4th), I will join the thousands of gamers and dedicate an entire day to play games and get donations from friends like YOU!
For the even my friends and I will be spending the 24 hours playing Pandemic Legacy.
Please consider giving.
Three words “pay to win” If you are going to charge the full $60 for a game, then do not make it pay to win, if you want to have it pay to win, make the game free.
I also detest micro-transactions, and don’t do them, but to make a game pay to win (as EA has done for both star wars battlefront 2 and shadow of war) means I am not going to buy your game, because a game that is pay to win, means the game is just made to generate money off of loot crates, aka you can not win without dropping money. Also since the last 2 games from EA were pay to win, means I am guessing that all they are going to do in the future, meaning I will not be even considering any EA games ever again.
On Thursday night I picked up the new South Park game “South Park The Fractured but Whole”. I will say I was surprised at what I got in it. Not only did I get what I was expecting, but I also go “South Park The Stick of Truth” Well since I have not played the first game and I got it I thought I would give it a try first. Well I have to say I do like it. it going to be a bit of time before I start The Fractured but Whole. I will warn you, there is a reason it has the M rating on it. But it is funny as all get out, it is true South Park humor. Also it is nice to play a “old style” turn based “RPG” game again, have not done one of those as a video game in a while. True I do it 2 times a week, nomaly, my Pathfinder Games on Thursday Nights, and the D&D, 5e, that I do on Saturday, so I still get my turn based RPG on 2 times a week, but nice to see it in a video game still
I am now left with a question, I did preorder the new Mario game for my switch, maybe it will be the game that finally gets me to play the switch, but since I tend to do one game at a time and finish them before I go to the next (and I will probably finish, The stick of Truth, go back to the HZD DLC coming out next month, then go back to the Fractured but Whole), it will be a long time before I will even consider the Mario game. Now I have a couple of days left to think about, do I keep the Mario preorder, or just cancel it, as I probably will not get to the Mario game till some time in 2018 (yes I am a noob gamer, and have limited free time for video games, so it takes me longer to play a video game then most), and by that time it will either come down in price, or I could buy it used.
So back in June I posted about my new PS4, but still did want a switch (nintendo, I mean nintendo who does not want one) I got it back in July, so here are my thoughts.
First nintendo needs to fix their attitudes about artificial scarcity. Mind you I got it in July 5 months after it came out. So I found out when the store got their shipments in (Friday after they close) so I was up and at the store at 7:30am Saturday (the store opens at 8am) I was the FIRST person in the store, the FIRST person to the electronics section, the FIRST person to buy a switch after they got their last shipment, and I got the LAST switch. So nintendo in their wisdom figured Baltimore area stores only need 1 switch in shipments. Ok I don’t like Baltimore as much as the next person (My home is Pittsburgh, I just reside in Baltimore for now) But even with my dislike of Baltimore I admit it is a major city, a BIG MAJOR city. So why are the stores (as of July) only getting 1 switch in their shipments?
Along with the switch I dropped the money for Zelda BotW. Let me say I WANTED to love this game, I DESIRED to love this game, I NEEDED to love this game, I LOVE Zelda. I HATE BotW, 10 hours into the game (according to the switch timer 10 hours played) I just stopped I HATED the game. That hurt me as I wanted to love the game. My biggest beefs with the game are the breakable weapons and you can not climb while it is raining. I had a simple work around for this, I would put the game down for 30 minutes and do something else while the game would continue to run, and time passes in game. But think about that, a strategy to a game is NOT TO PLAY IT, that yells of bad design. I understand wanting to make a game a bit harder. But these things are not making a game harder, it making a game annoying. I seen and read people try to defend the breakable weapons of it, with how else is nintendo going to give you a reward for progressing though the game, it is open world so you could just skip things and get the best weapons right a way and go right to the end. I have a novel idea!!! Give me a good story that I want to play. Lets take my FAVORITE PS4 game, Horizon Zero Dawn. I loved that game, it is open world and you can ignore the whole thing and rush the story quest and go right to the end, but a lot of people don’t do that. I did not do that, I am not a completionist either, why did I take my time and poke into the world more. The story was compelling, I was excited to play and learn about the story, when I finished the main story I continued to explore HZD to find out more, pick up more data points to learn even more, I was pulled though the game not by the reward of weapons or more power, but pulled through by a compelling story. Zelda story you wake up forgot everything and need to kill gannon (that the whole story of BotW) there was no thought that went into BotW story, just wake up and kill gannon. HZD on the other hand, at the start you don’t even know who the enemy is, you get to learn the story as you go through it. HZD I am very excited about the DLC coming (heck the first day you could pre order it, I dropped the $15 for it on the PSN store without a second thought), and when I heard rumors that it going to be the first and last, I felt myself starting to be a bit depressed as HZD is a great story, it deserves more than 1 DLS. BotW on the other hand I hear there is DLC for it, but I have 0 desire to even think about it, will not be getting it.
Another issue with the switch, the lack of a built in party system, and on console voice chat. I will admit I am not a big online player. I play 2 game that has online playing (Borderlands 2 and Diablo 3) and rarely do I play those online. BUT…. I have a few IRL friends I have friended on the PS4, and at times when my buddy Charlie is on at the same time I am, we will create a party on the PS4 and just BS while playing games, we might not even be playing the same game, but I enjoy talking with my friend, because he is my friend I would not be friends with him if I did not like him. And this also leads me to another issue with nintendo’s online network, friend codes. friend codes, I remember the last time I had to deal with those, that was back in the mid 90’s when I tried out one of the first IM clients out there ICQ. a little bit more then 20 years ago. why do I have to use (what I assume is the DB UID) a long string of gibberish numbers that has no meaning to me or my friends to add a friend. I been using the same variation of the tag mpop online since 1999, and when I sign up for things and need a name/username I try to use that or a variation of that. and it is easier for people to remember (not going to reveal my real PSN network name here, but I will say the first 4 characters are mpop, and then I added something meaningful after that, if I told my older brother, or father, hell any of my friends they would instantly know what the second 4 characters mean, so they could even recreate my PSN name if they forgot what it was, but unlikely as it would stick in their minds, heck I could just tell them mpop and what the second 4 characters represent and they would know what it is) I will not be signing up for the nintendo online gaming service when it goes to the pay version unless they fix those 2 issues right there, let us use peoples tags to add them not friend codes. And let us have on console voice chat.
Right now my switch is gathering dust, I am just not playing it. When I think about playing a game, I look to my PS4 (and I am not talking about the lack of games, as since the switch is new, the game issue will solve it self) why the PS4, I have friends on there, it is easier to add friends there, and I can talk with them though the console, no need to pull out a second device just to do voice chat.
Also I still say the controls on the switch are WAY to small I have small hands and I still have trouble with the tiny buttons.
Yet another issue I have is the WiFi connectivity. When I bring my switch into the same room with the WiFi router, I get 2 bars (only 2) all my other devices (including a 2DS) can get a full 4 bars (I only have a 850 sq ft apartment), in my living room, with 2 walls between them and the WiFi router. The switch can not even get 2 bars in my computer lab. True I have a lot of devices in my apartment that generate RF signals, but ONLY the switch appears to have issues with WiFi connectivity.
So my verdict, I regret buying the switch, I regret buying BotW. My switch is not getting used, I just own it. It is no fun for me. My PS4, well wow, I LOVE it I use it every day. Even when not playing games, it has taken over as my TV’s entertainment system, watching YOUTUBE and other video streaming services on it also. This is another issue with the switch, this is something the switch could really capitalize on. it has an OK portable screen AND it has a built in kickstand. If they would get a set of Video Streaming apps on it, the switch could just dominate the portable video playback area, going to a hotel, take your switch and you have all your internet streaming services on it. Tablets are fine, but they lack the kickstand. I will be taking a few trips in the next half year, and if the switch had the video streaming apps, it would be a no brainer to take the switch, but as there are no games I enjoy on the switch at this time, I have no use for the switch when traveling, so I will probably leave it at home, as I do not want the added weight of it when traveling if I will not use it. Come on nintendo, get Netflix, Funimation, CrunchyRoll, YouTube, Amazon Video, Hulu, and the other ones that people use. (I only use 3 of those, Netflix, Funimation, and YouTube, but you want to spread a wide net for everyone.)
I thought about a switch for 2 months, I been wanting a new game console for about a year and a half, my last game console was the game cube, I had played Rock Band at a friends house and that made me think about a new game console. The switch came out and I got excited about getting a console and thought this was the time.
But after 2 months of not being able to get a switch I asked myself “Why do I want a switch?” As above I wanted the game rock band, a google search told me not to hold my breath as it probably will not be on the switch (admittedly this is just people guessing and not official word), ok what other reasons, well I wanted to play with my friends online, so I asked my friends what consoles they had, here are what I got back
1 with the switch, and one an extremely soft maybe, maybe next year if …… (so many ifs that basicly it is a no)
2 on the Xbox (for me to consider an MS product is kind of funny to me as I am usually anti-MS, but I did consider it)
5 on the PS4
Then I thought about the selection of games, on the switch there is only one (zelda) not a big mario fan nor did I like mario cart in the past, so for the next year there is 1 game I might want, and that there are some 3rd party developers saying they will not dev for the switch… just means over time there will not be as many games.
So due to more friends having the PS4, more choices of games, and most (all except 1) not being on the switch, the answers to the questions I asked myself lead me to no it not the switch I wanted, it was the PS4.
That was my thinking at the time when I got the PS4, and from things I seen and heard since then makes me think I made the right decision, over the easter break I went up to my sisters place, she has a switch, I picked it up and looked at it, and wow the buttons are way to small, I have small hands and I don’t see how I could not hit 2 buttons at a time all the time, I am just wondering with some one with normal size or even large hands would be able to use it. From what my 1 friend that has the switch and talked about how zelda plays, no thank you, your weapons break, and you need more then one of the same weapon (he had to use 3 bows) for a boss fight, wtf?
Android Auto, it has my contact list. I can say Call
When your game is 90% cutscenes (Final Fantasy X on vita)
or nothing but text (press X to read the next line persona 4 golden on vita)
It does not make me care about the characters back story more, it makes me return the game. Yes I like watching videos, but I have a DVD player, Blue ray player, Netflix for videos, and yes I enjoy reading, but I have physical books and a Kindle for that.
When I want to play a game, I want to PLAY a game.
The worst is when the game is just a tech demo of what the controller can do (looking at you Uncharted: Golden Abyss)
I have been using PcGen for a while for my characters in RPG games. Good program, but as of late one of my characters will not export, so instead of being one of those that just complain that there is a bug. I downloaded the source code (got to love open source code) Set up the work-space in eclipse Here is a SS of it running from the eclipse work space now the fun of debugging the issues. If I can do that maybe I can send it back up stream.
Google Says if you support Amazon Echo you will not be allowed to work with Google Home I saw this article today. Given that Amazon Echo is already out (I have it, and love it) Given that most smart home devices already integrate with Amazon Echo, looks like Google is trying hard to kill Google Home before it even comes out. Things that work with Amazon Echo, Hue Light bulbs, Honeywell and Echo bee thermostats, Uber, Domino’s, Nest (????). I wonder if google will take Nest off of Echo or will they ban it from Google Home??
Also given Google bricks devices one can not be confident that Google will not do this to Google Home. I know after I read how google bricked Revolv, I reconsidered getting a nest smoke alarm, I just got a new battery for the old one I had. Google does have a long history of abandoning projects, and they have bricked one device people had that they decided to abandon.
I use to be a Google Fan boy, but over the last year I have kind of changed that (My hate of the new Android Studio being the start of the lost love) Reading about how they are breaking devices, and now they are trying to pull an Apple or mid-90’s Microsoft. Maybe it is time for me to check out Bing as a search engine (Microsoft is not what it once was) I wonder what ever happened to the old google motto “Do no Evil”
I know I would not risk the money on a Google home as it would not support the devices I already have, and I wonder why anyone would, also considering I already have (an older) Android Watch which is basicly the same “Ok Google” technology (and it has already proven to be weaker than the Amazon Echo”(I should post a review of the Echo some time on the Blog)
I have to renew my pet license so I went to the Baltimore count site, well guess they will not let me do it on line because it requires silver light (an old dead technology by ms) to use their site, I guess baltimore is anti-Linux. Boo on them, I guess I will have to mail the stuff in, and they will have to waste tax payer money to process it, since baltimore hates Linux.
In the news as of late it is said that they want to do a rip off of the Amazon Echo. I wonder how many people would risk getting the device given that Google bricked the Revolv be not to long ago. Google has a long history of abandoning things they once did. latitude, Reader,Google Walet. So if Google loses interest in the voice only PDA will they brick it like the Revolv and how long before they loss said interest? I will stick with my Amazon Echo.