Microsoft came off a pretty good E3. Many were wondering if they’ve turned the corner. I may be wrong, but this looks like part of the answer. I think I’ve mentioned my love of video pinball. Well, Zen Studios is finally releasing a new version of Pinball FX2 for the Xbox One. It looks to be nearly identical to the PS4 version. However, Microsoft will not allow importing of any tables from you Xbox 360 collection. It was precisely this sort of bureaucratic, customer unfriendly business decision that turned gamers off in the first place. What reason do I have to move my pinball gaming to the Xbox One? None. And I started out playing Zen’s version of pinball with the original Pinball FX on the 360. Good job boys.
I think I’ve discovered something about my gaming habits. I seem to have a limit of about 30 hours for a game to hold my attention. I say about since it’s clearly affected by the quality of the game. So a great game can hold me the full thirty, but an average effort will be lucky to get half that. That’s not to say I can’t finish a game that’s longer than 30 hours. It’s just that I’m going to move on to another game or two before coming back to complete that one. I think it’s largely driven by my limited gaming time. I’m rarely going to get more than two hours chunks at a time. That means the thirty hours gets spread out over weeks. By then I’m ready to move on. Good games pull me back. Right now I’m meaning to get back to Assassin’s Creed IV and Watch Dogs. Both are very good games, but there’s a lot of there there. Let me know if you have the same problem and what your limit is in the comments.
I had been meaning to pick up Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3, but it got hard to find. For a while people were asking outrageous prices. The prices have finally come down. I was considering getting it when a bunch of reviews for Gundam Reborn started showing up. I found it interesting that many of them seemed to say the same thing. On the negative side, the game was repetitive and the environments were unimpressive. Well, yeah, it’s a Dynasty Warriors game. They also said it was the best of the Gundam games and surprisingly addictive. It’s been a while since I’ve played a DW game, and it’s time to scratch that itch. However, there doesn’t appear to be a physical release in North America. You can grab it from the Playstation digital store. If you need a disk, you can always import it from Play-Asia. I just need to decide whether to grab it now or wait for a sale.
I’ve known Bill Harris of Dubious Quality for a long time even though it’s been years since we’ve seen each other. A while back after he kept recommending books, I set up a simple Amazon astore for him to show him how easy it was. He didn’t want to deal with it. He told me I could take care of it if I was interested. He didn’t want any of the proceeds. I’ve put up the DQ Bookstore on this site. I believe I have every book he’s recommended on his site. Let me know if I missed anything. I will try to keep it updated. One of the reasons I like Bill is his diverse tastes. You can see that in his recommendations. Enjoy it as you will.
Playstation Blog just announced the top sellers for June. I’ll list the ones that catch my eye:
- Watch Dogs — Playing this now, very fun, always something interesting to do.
- Valiant Hearts: The Great War — World War I is underrepresented, so I bought it.
- Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes — I have this. I’m trying to finish Peace Walker first.
- inFAMOUS First Light — Preorder, I will get it probably closer to release.
- Child of Light — I will grab this someday.
- Wolfenstein: The New Order — It’s a nice fusion of old school gaming and modern production values.
- Flower PS4 — Get it if you’ve never experienced it.
- MLB 14 The Show — Every time the Astros win I think about picking this up.
- inFAMOUS Second Son Limited Edition — I enjoyed this one enough to get the Platinum Trophy.
- Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch — I have this. I just need to find time to play it.
- PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale — This is far better than it has any right to be.
- Mass Effect Trilogy — I grabbed this on super sale so I could take one character through all three.
- Twisted Metal — This speaks to my inner teenager.
- Grand Theft Auto V — They’re still the best at the open world genre.
- Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag — I do my pirating on PS4.
- Shadow of the Colossus — Perhaps the best game ever.
- Diablo III — Getting this on PS4 as soon as they release it.
- Ultra Street Fighter IV — I’ll upgrade the next time the fighting bug hits.
- Killzone: Mercenary — This really sucked me in for a few days.
- Borderlands 2 — I’m sure I’ll grab it eventually to round out the set.
- Tearaway — This is how you do a Vita game.
I’ll probably try to do these lists every once in a while. Site revenue is way down, and I’m hoping some Amazon links will get it back in the black. Thanks for your support. I tried to link to the appropriate version, but confirm you have the right one selected before purchasing.
Here’s a little news from the Zen Pinball front. As you may remember, with my transition to PS4, I moved my pinball gaming to the Playstation platform even though I started with Pinball FX on the Xbox 360. One purchase will now get me the PS3, PS4 and PS Vita versions of a table. Of course, that’s only if I remember to purchase on PS3 or Vita. I accidentally purchased the new Deadpool table on the PS4. So now I only have that version. I can’t claim to be too upset. Deadpool is visually interesting and feels and sounds like the recent action game that was removed from digital storefronts last year. The problem is that pinball tables require a lot of repetition. Hit this ramp seven times then shoot the drop targets, etc. Deadpool’s antics wear thin quickly. Then you have to fast forward through his animations just to launch the next ball. There are other niggles, but I don’t find it fun enough to keep going back. Not recommended.
If you can’t wait that long, Zen is going to drop a bunch of new tables on the PS4 next week. Ok, they’re only new to the PS4, but they’ve been polished up and made to look extra pretty. We’ll be getting:
- Marvel Vengeance and Virtue Pack
- Classic Pack of original Zen Pinball tables
- Fantastic Four
- Captain America
- Street Fighter II
Of those, I’d say that the classic pack, Fantastic Four, Captain America, and Mars are the top tables to play. If you’re grabbing any and want to play on all three Playstation platforms, remember to buy on Vita or PS3.
Way back when, I told you about the Homeworld Remastered Collector’s Edition. Now you can preorder it on Amazon. Here’s a friendly link:
As you’d expect, there are extremely limited copies and the release date isn’t final yet. If you don’t want the physical goodies, it will be coming to digital download platforms.
The new season of Teen Wolf has started on MTV. As old as I am, it’s just bizarre for TV seasons to start in the middle of summer. In fact, I only knew about the season start because I followed a twitter link and saw it trending. This spring I caught up on Teen Wolf through Amazon Prime streaming. I was interested since many fans and critics had favorably compared it to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I may be nostalgia biased, but I don’t think it’s there yet. It is good and getting better every season.
Early on the show seemed too much about showing off the bodies of the attractive cast. It didn’t take long to find its footing though. Even now there’s still a little too much surprise!, new monster, but at least, they’re not afraid to explain the mythology to the audience any more. Overall, interesting plots, unusually deep characters and a strong cast drive the show.
The only thing I don’t like about it is MTV’s promotion. I can understand live chat during the broadcast and twitter updates though I could certainly live without them. I don’t understand the after show video chat at all. I could see it after each season, but thinking about the stars as actors takes me out of the story too much. There’s a good story there too. Check it out if the genre interests you. Highly Recommended.
I admit that I love the big Steam Sales. I did figure out this year that I could sell all my unneeded trading cards during the sale to help lighten the burden on my wallet. Sure, it only saved me about five bucks, but that’s much better than I did last year when I lost a bunch of cards to expiration as the sale ended. I grabbed a bunch of DLC for games I already owned. I did pick up a few new games. Almost everything I bought was on my wishlist, so my willpower was a bit better than usual.
Here are the highlights:
Wolfenstein: The New Order — I played the original id Wolfenstein 3D back in the day. People I play with kept telling me how great the new version was. I believe it’s from former Starbreeze employees.
Crusader Kings II — I have a friend who loves it. He tells great stories from it. I’ll give it a try.
Age of Wonders III — Honestly, I don’t know if it’s a good or great games, but I want to support bringing back classic strategy series.
Blackguards — Remaking the Dirty Dozen as a fantasy strategy RPG. Yes.
The Wolf Among Us — I just love the premise. And Telltale.
Van Helsing II — I really enjoyed the first one and I kind of love Neocore Games.
Banished — We’ll have to see if this proves too frustrating for me, but it sounds intriguing. I like supporting indie strategy efforts.
That should keep me busy for a while.
The GOG List is part of my plan to keep a regular update schedule. I’m going to be going through my game libraries. With GOG, I’ll be explaining why I purchased these ‘old games.’ After all, it’s easy to understand buying the new shiny games, but why buy something old? The simple answer is that they’re still great games. Some of them I want my kids to be able to play to see what it was like in the old days.
Why Independence War? I’ve mentioned my love of space sims going back to Star Raiders. Most of those had you jumping in the cockpit of a small fighter. The B-Wing expansion for X-Wing was surprisingly fun as a heavy fighter. Freespace and its sequel made great use of capital ships making you feel like you were in the middle of an epic battle. But you never commanded those big ships. Independence War put you at the helm of a dreadnaught class corvette. I won’t dwell on that incongruity. I eventually played and enjoyed IWar 2. I wanted to go back and try the original.
Nexus, Star Trek: Bridge Commander and the upcoming Dreadnaught offer similar big ship experiences. Independence War paved the way. Let me know if there are other big ship games you enjoyed. Even if you want to go far afield with something like Dropship or some of the WWII battleship games, I enjoy the recommendations.
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