Saturday, December 9, 2017

Last Night, At 10:00 PM Central, The PSX Opening Presentation Started.

And then, nothing happened for two hours.  A WipEout game is coming to PSVR.  MediEvil is getting a 4K up-port.  BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle is coming west in 2018.

It was pretty much Cory Barlog and Shawn Layden and Siobhan Reddy from Media Molecule, and then they brought out (siiiigh) David Cage and did a playthrough of a scene from upcoming terrible game that people will buy, Detroit: Become Human, and Mark Cerny and Andrew House were there too.  All these PlayStation luminaries just chillin' on couches, chatting.

Pretty much saying nothing.  Showing nothing.  Announcing nothing.  For two hours.

Just chilling out on couches.  Barlog said that God of War will take 25-35 hours to complete, so that's newsworthy.

The two-hour waste of my evening ended with the same 8-minute trailer for Death Stranding we saw at The Game Awards the night before, and then an actually-pretty-interesting little chat between Hideo Kojima, Andrew House and Mark Cerny, who offered the biggest news of the night - Death Stranding is in a playable state.

After showing said 8-minute trailer, Cerny said it start making sense "after you've played the game for four or five hours."  What was nice, during the Kojima sequence, is that it was almost-all a bunch of personal anecdotes between House and Kojima.  Coming as no surprise to people who follow Kojima on Twitter, almost all of Kojima's stories start with "well, I was getting food with Mark," or "while going for lunch with Andy..." and it was... cute.

One of the stories he told was that before he had even signed any deals, he was trying to find an engine for what would become Death Stranding, and he had a meeting and presentation with Guerrilla Games (Horizon: Zero Dawn).  At the end of the meeting, they gave him a wooden box, and left.  Inside the box was the complete source code for Horizon's Decima Engine - given freely, no contracts, no strings attached - and Kojima said he was almost moved to tears by the gesture.

And that's PSX.  I spent two hours last night not playing Overwatch and not working on the next clip show to learn that God of War will take a while to beat and Death Stranding has 4-5 playable hours.

To err is human. (Sigh) I'd be posting the next clip show right now if I hadn't wasted my time on this bullshit... (grumblegrumble)...

Friday, December 8, 2017

All The Good Stuff From The Game Awards.

Robbery Victim Ashly Burch

The Good Stuff, naturally, does not include the awards themselves.  Cuphead winning best Art Direction over Horizon, Gravity Rush or heck even Darkest Dungeon's Crimson Court DLC, is bullshit.  It's good - it is good!  - but it's not that good.  Its presentation is immaculate.  Its art direction is intentionally, successfully derivative.

Likewise, it comes as no shock to see game journalists violently jerking off Nintendo, but that doesn't mean Zelda actually deserves to win best Action-Adventure or Game of the Year.  In my opinion, Zelda is a great game - but it also just takes what a lot of open-world games have been doing for years, puts Zelda in it, and fails to deliver on a lot of the joys of open-world games (random encounters, robust AI) while failing to deliver some of the expected joys of Zelda (dungeons, a wide variety of tools providing access to an ever-expanding world).

It's still a great game, but it has failings that my pick does not.

Similarly, Melina Juergens did a good job in Hellblade - and her genuine glee at being handed a Game Award from legendary mocap actor and pioneer Andy Serkis was nothing less than uplifting - but I don't think her performance is actually better or more impressive than Ashly Burch's starmaking turn in Horizon: Zero Dawn.  It's over-the-top melodrama. 

Ashly Burch was fucking robbed, and as much as I imagine she's happy for Juergens and supportive of a fellow artist, this was her year and it's bullshit that Hellblade - a deeply mediocre game from a developer who's done far better in terms of narrative, presentation, gameplay and structure - took home so many trophies.

The fact that Horizon didn't win a single.  Fucking.  Thing it was nominated in is an affront.  It is one of the best open-world games ever made, making huge leaps in presentation and combat mechanics.   Burch in particular gave so much life to a character who frankly didn't have the best dialogue.  She had spun straw into gold with Aloy, and failing to recognize that is... well, it's immoral. 

Thank goodness we don't watch The Game Awards for the awards - we watch it for the trailers and new game reveals and hooooooo dawgies we got some big ones, man.

From Software teased their next game.

So there's some sort of... device.  Mechanical.  And it's soaked in blood.  And part of it is made of bone.

Naturally my first reaction was "if this isn't Bloodborne 2 I will pitch a fucking fit."  Mechanical weapon, blood, body parts - they all scream Bloodborne, to me.  The text, though - "Shadows die twice" - brings to mind a few of From Software's other properties.

The calligraphy you see behind the device, the phrase "Shadows die twice" and the music sting all suggest a new Tenchu title - series co-protagonist Rikimaru has always referred to himself as a Shadow, and the final boss from Tenchu 3 almost word-for-word says "Shadows can die twice."  Worth noting as well, From Software owns the Tenchu IP.

Finally, it may also be worth knowing that From Software released a game in 1998 called Shadow Tower, which bore a lot of similarities to King's Field - the spiritual predecessor of the Souls series.

Mysterious!  From Software have said that we'll learn more "in the next twelve months," but I'm crossing my fingers we'll get a reveal at PSX tomorrow.

Up next...

Bayonetta 2 will launch on the Nintendo Switch on February 16th, and it comes with a download copy of Bayonetta.  Day.  Fucking.  One.  Alsooo...

Bayonetta 3 is on its way, exclusive to the Switch.


Hideo Kojima's Death Stranding got an eight-minute trailer that feels a lot longer.

Probably my favorite trailer of the evening is this - for Witchfire.

Ohohoh clever twist, right?  Yeah, I'm down for Hexen HD.

Annnd that's about it.  Soul Calibur VI was announced, along with the next thing from the Firewatch crew, which actually looks pretty cool.

So the short version?  From Software.  Bayonetta.  Awesome.

Enter the Gungeon lands on Switch... next week!

I did not expect this news today.  You'd think indies would try to stay out of the news feed the day after a 20-minute Death Stranding trailer and a pants-destroying From Software tease and Bayonetta 3's announcement, and yet here we are.

So... that's a day-one.  I never put enough time into Gungeon when it landed on PS4, but Alex and I both agree - it's excellent.  I said, repeatedly at the time, that I wanted it on my Vita - but the Switch, which boasts four shoulder buttons over the Vita's two, is a better home.  

(Behind Chance, his shocked Vita nearly yelps a sharp gasp of jealousy.)

McCree's a mushroom.

Because he's such a fun-guy. 


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Overwatch - Winter Wonderland Returns Next Tuesday, Fan Art Explosion Happens Today.

Winter Wonderland returns to Overwatch next Tuesday, December 12th!  Woooo!

Jeff gives us very little hypeworthy information in this vid.  The short version is...

  • “A long-awaited Hanzo skin that you’ve seen before in one of our comics.” 
  • “Two of our favorite Junkers will also be getting legendary skins.”
  • (And others.)
  • Some maps got seasonal passes last year – King’s Row & Hanamura - this year they Christmas'd up the Black Forest arena map.
  • Mei’s Snowball offensive will be available in Black Forest.
  • A new event – Mei’s Yeti Hunt.
  • 5 Meis against one Winston.  The Yeti is played by another player.   Winston powers up with meet to get to Primal Rage mode, and then all the Meis have to run.  It's Evolve in Overwatch, basically. 

 The Hanzo skin we expect is this one.  If Hanzo appeared elsewhere in the comics I don't remember it, and people have been begging for the Hipster Hanzo skin:

And that's it.  You could have shown us a skin or two, Kaplan.  You dick.

So here's some fan art!


the incomparable MonoriRogue












And I think is is one of my favorite Mercies ever:


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Chamberlain & Chance 101 - 2017 category awards and other stuff

Wiiith Alex! Alex thisChamberlain that podcast on iTunespodcast on Google Play

Chamberlain and Chance - 2017 Category awards, and other stuff

  • Don't play Nights of Azure 2, it has no redeeming qualities!
  • Chance checked out Serial Cleaner!
  • Alex continues playin' the heck outta' Grim Dawn!
  • And what are the biggest disappointments of 2017?
You'll have to tune in to find out!

Ohmigosh Iconoclasts launches Jan 23 on PS4 AND VITA!




The gleefully colorful, pixel-art-gorgeous Iconoclasts has been on my radar for a while, and like most PS4+Vita indies I had all but given up hope that it would actually release on the handheld. 


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Darkest Dungeon : The Color of Madness DLC announced!

Woot woot more Darkest Dungeon DLC!

And an update on the Shieldbreaker coming to PS4/Vita - December 6th!  Press release: 

“With five feeble senses we pretend to comprehend the boundlessly complex cosmos…”
-HP Lovecraft

Some hateful shard of alien origin has streaked through the night sky, crashing into the old Miller’s farm on the outskirts of the Hamlet!  Those unfortunate enough to witness the Comet’s arrival have been blinded by what they can only describe as a shifting, ephemeral hue of damnably abrasive intensity.  There has been no word from the farm in a fortnight, save for the unearthly groaning that echoes from the ruin of the mill…

A New Quest Type: Get lost in time and space as you confront unending waves of enemies, new and old, pushing ever closer to the crash site of the Comet.  Survive as long as you can stomach, and compare your highest kill count with friends and rivals alike!

A New Enemy Faction: The husks of the Miller and his farmhands roam the area around the windmill, spreading the all-consuming influence of the Comet’s light.

Powerful New Trinkets: Visit the Nomad Wagon and spend Comet Shards to purchase trinkets with new and powerful functionality.

The team at Red Hook is thrilled to continue to support Darkest Dungeon with this latest DLC.  We’re committed to providing our new and veteran players alike with the very best in all-consuming misery and morbidity.  The Color of Madness DLC is planned for a spring release, and pricing information will follow in the new year.

Console Updates:

The Shieldbreaker DLC on PS4 and VITAWe’ve received confirmation from Playstation that our second DLC: The Shieldbreaker will be releasing on Wednesday, December 6th in both NA and EU regions. We pushed a update out a couple weeks back in preparation for the release, and now after some toil on our part to get it through certification, all our Playstation players can enjoy the new class and her slithering nightmares!

Switch: Crimson Court and Shieldbreaker will be available at release!While we don’t have a solid release window just yet, we do want to share that all currently available DLC (The Crimson Court and The Shieldbreaker) will be available at release on Switch.

We are hard at work getting the Switch version of the game prepped for submission to Nintendo for their certification process. Once we get a build in the certification process we will have a solid idea of our possible release schedule. That being said, we are hoping for sometime early in the new year if all goes well.

What about Crimson Court and Shieldbreaker for iPad?!Our fantastic porting partner Blitworks has begun working on porting over the DLC to iPad. So far things are looking good and we will have a update from them soon to talk about likely release schedule for that soon!

All the best this holiday season,

-The Red Hook Team

I actually ran a team of level-1s through the Warrens last night.  Wrecked the place.  Fought a Shambler for some insane reason - I dunno' what I was thinkin' - got one measly hunk of jade and like 250 gold pieces for my troubles.  Ridiculous!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Overwatch Clip Show 51 - In Like The Rose

I love this one, but I can't find a source!  Reverse image lookup was no help at all!

This week's show is largely about an enemy going by SimplyLemons, whose settings ensure I can't send them a message thanking them for these games - more on Lemons later - and it's also about me kind of trolling the enemy team. 

We begin with a short Bastion bit that I just thought was funny.   Oh, I should warn you, this is a long one. 

0:00 - 0:11 : "Waugh!"  That's funny, to me.

0:12 - 1:05 : When Overwatch was first released and tutorials for all the characters were springin' up on the 'net, more often than not, the advice you'd find for Tracer was to do exactly what I'm doing here.  Don't help your team directly, don't fight on the point.  Instead, get yourself behind the enemy team - between their spawn and your team - and just start fuckin' with them.  Make them chase you around - they'll never catch you - and give your team a numbers advantage in the fight that matters.

There are some good reasons for this - giving your team that advantage is a help, and it can be very dangerous for you to put yourself on or around the point, where Junkrat, Pharah, Hog and Soldier spam can accidentally delete you in the blink of an eye, but nowadays that's kind of an archaic strategy - or that's what I believe, at least.  There are a lot of problems on the point that you could be helping your team with - specifically, accurately targeting the enemy supports, peeling to deal with flankers who're trying to jump your supports and pouring damage into their tanks - but there are times when it's still an effective tactic.  This is one of those times. 

My team is losing the match.  We got the point for a bit (30%), but the reds shove us off and hold it up to 70% before we take it back.  As soon as the point dings blue, I shoot towards the reds' spawn, blink through their lines, waving and piping "ooh, scary!"  Tracer zips past without even seeing me.  Zarya and Hog pretty much ignore me.  Mei sticks around and tries to get an angle on me, but I'm too fast, she gives up after two attempts to corner me and heads to the point.

Soldier and Hanzo, though, they're comin' for me - and this is fairly prudent, actually.  They've got the numbers advantage against me, they can see I've burned most of my cooldowns - there's no reason to think they won't be able to deal with me. 

Surprise, surprise.

Overall I'm pretty proud of this, for multiple reasons. 

One - I fought a Hanzo and a Soldier 2 Vs. 1, and won.  This wasn't a sneaky gank on my part where one or both of them didn't know I was coming - they were coming for me - and I won.

Two - I fought a Hanzo and a Soldier, going in to the fight with one blink, and won.

Three - I landed a stuck Pulse Bomb on a moving Hanzo!  That's hard!

Four - When Hanzo is miraculously bubbled by his Zarya just in time to save him from the Pulse Bomb, I kept my cool and kicked his ass the old fashioned way. 

Oh man. 

And five... this week, I went back and watched Clip Show 15 - Tracer.  Put up two or three months after I bought Overwatch - long before I started adding music to my vids and spending a lot of time cutting 'em up, I think it's my first video with any large amount of Tracer action - I played mostly Mercy, when I started.  It includes my first Tracer Play of the Game - a pathetic little thing where I kill a Zen with his back to me and then a Hanzo with his back to me.  I completely fail to kill baby D.Vas, I get my ass kicked by a Reaper - it's pretty embarrassing, to watch it now. 

It's also like... looking at a picture of me, when I was small enough to curl up on a couch cushion.  I remember being that small and weak, and I never imagined I'd be able to do what I can, now.

Practice has not yet made perfect, but it's made a helluva difference.  For example...


1:05 - 1:48 : The right flank coming out on Route 66 attack, I've found, is the best bet for a Tracer.  Going down main or up the left flank (the train car that forms a tunnel going up the slope) is either risky or a death sentence, depending on the enemy's setup.  A Bastion, Junkrat, Soldier, Pharah or Widow love it when you come straight at 'em like that in an enclose space, and often, I find, the right flank, along the top of the cliff, is poorly guarded. 

A lot of the work done here is on the back of my team's Genji, who does an excellent job of getting killing blows and puts a ton of damage into the D.Va before I move on her.  Personal highlights - oh my God that Widow pick was smooth as silk, and the D.Va Pulse Bomb trick never gets old. 

An excellent first teamfight. 

1:48 - 2:00 : Another perfect, smooth-as-silk pick on the Widow, and the killing blows on the Hanzo and Zen.  That poor Widow, man.  I get her a buncha' times, but that's for a Widow vid I'm cookin' up in my head.  I got a Pulse Bomb stick on her, actually, but...

2:00 - 2:04 : ...sticking it to a McCree in the middle of a Zen ult is funnier.

2:05 - 2:25 : With this final pick, the Widow quits the game and my team and I clean up the point.  Moira's hitbox is so tiny and she has so much survivability that killing her always feels pretty badass.  For the record, we do get the Pharah (I got like 86% of her), but I wanted the cut to the next map to come at the cymbal crash.

2:25 - 2:58 : Ladies and gentlemen, meet SimplyLemons.  An inauspicious introduction, but Lemons is the Tracer who dies to our Orisa at the start of this clip.  When we first met, they were practicing their Widow.  Then they switched to Hanzo.  Then they pulled out their Gold Gun McCree, and I tore through all of the above like tissue paper.

Then, after a 17-killstreak on Junkertown attack, Lemons pulls out their Gold Gun Tracer, and the payload screeches to a halt.  My job becomes quite a bit harder, because Lemons is now far more dangerous than anything else I'd faced in the match so far, and my team was completely unprepared to deal with her.  So yes, I'd go in and wreck two-thirds of the enemy team, but by the time I'd turned around I'd discovered Lemons had done the same to mine, and was comin' for me. 

They stayed on the opposing team for the Lijiang matches that follow the Junkertown footage, and while I got the cards and the PotGs and the medals, they got the wins, and that's more important. 

But anyway, I still manage to be very productive.  For example, here we get...

  1. A perfect pick on the Reaper. 
  2. Killing blow and half of the Moira. 
  3. Killing blow and half of the Roadhog. 
  4. A pulse bomb on a flying, Valkyrie-ing Mercy!
  5. A sweet Tracer-on-Tracer duel with Lemons while the enemy Reaper destroys my team behind me. 
The duel with Lemons is just as delicious as the Mercy stick, to me, because while Lemons burns all her cooldowns and still can't get the pick, I only used two blinks and good positioning.  Very nice. 

Oh, and
      6. Killing blow and half of the Reaper.  

Thirty seconds and six reds.  Nice. This is, to me, the centerpiece of this vid. 

Artist's name is "Gula Yuki."

2:58 - 3:09 : This isn't the first meeting with Lemons, but it's close - he and the Hanzo stayed on snipers for most of this match - and this is a gorgeous pair of sniper picks.  One clip into each, just like in the target range.

3:09 - 3:34 : One of my favorite parts of this clip is cut.  The Mercy is right there as I sneak up on the Bastion - I ignore her and walk past her right up to his crit block - and instead of helping Bastion or shooting at me, she just NOPEs the fuck outta' there.  (I'd put some scares into her earlier in the match). 

Bastion, to his credit, gets out of turret form as soon as the damage starts coming in.  To his credit, a single direct-hit shell from him in tank mode will one-shot me - he's just gotta' land it.  (He didn't.)

And then, a fine illustration of why the Mercy's scared of me and a gorgeous clip of body blows into the Moira.

3:34 - 4:06 : A cheeky Tracer dancing on the payload!  I'd thought this was the end of the match, and decided to go out dancin' - I was wrong, the fight was still on.  Lemons thinks this is her chance to take me out of the fight and lobs a Pulse Bomb my way - whup! - so I blink outta' there, my team floods around me to get on the payload and I get back to work, which prudence dictates begins with the Mercy. 

I get on the mic and start asking my brother to help as she flits around the point, doing a great job of staying alive, but the angles I get her at end up being too perfect, and it finally takes two clips at midrange to take her down.  The PotG begins the moment after the killing blow happens - the kill is still on my screen, but the red skull doesn't pop. 

Two breezy clips into Hanzo - beautiful - and a nice long-range stick on the Hog for a double with that poor Reaper (the Reaper was also the Bastion).  My health's so low I have to rewind to get it back, and by then I can't get on the point, the overtime timer tics out and that's it - defeat.

4:06 - 4:19 : A bee-yootiful pick on the Mercy, and a nice dance with the Genji who tries to avenge her.

4:19 - 4:33 : And yet, this is not what makes Lemons pull of their Tracer to deal with me.  It's not often I'm able to stick a Hanzo - they're a lot more mobile when shooting than a Widow.

4:33 - 4:44 : Oh Lemons.  That musta' stung.  You're on a character that hard-counters me, you've got a Moira at your back and you get a Pulse Bomb slapped to your chest. 

The incomparable Monori Rogue

4:44 - 4:45 : A nice if humble PotG on Lijiang - still against Lemons and Co.  More than getting killed by a hero you counter, I know how bad it stings when the enemy Tracer gets PotG while you're playing Tracer, Lemons!  I know how bad that stings!

5:02 - 5:28 : Okay, so let's count it off.

  1. The Pulse Bomb kills Pharah. 
  2. The Pulse Bomb kills D.Va.
  3. The killing blow and half of Reinhardt. 
  4. 40% of the Lucio. 
  5. The killing blow and 10% of Moira. 
  6. The killing blow and 70% of McCree. 
Fuck.  Yes.  

5:33 - 5:54 : C'mon, that's hilarious.

G'night everybody ^.^

Friday, December 1, 2017

Rumor - Genji winter skin leak?

It looks a lot like Pharah's from last year.  Let me say...

(Takes a deep breath, raises a palm high above my head pointed to the sky, closes my eyes, opens my mouth and intones...)


Sundered is coming to Switch!


Y'all remember Sundered, yeah?  2D platforming Roguelite Metroidvania with sumptuous presentation and hand-drawn animation from Thunder Lotus, the team behind Jotun?  Currently on PS4 and PC?  Yeah, you remember.


So yeah.  Give it a year after launch, maybe?  So perhaps next summer we'll get an announcement.  Fingers crossed!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Chamberlain & Chance 100 - This Podcast Only Gets Better With Age

Wiiith Alex! Alex thisChamberlain that podcast on iTunespodcast on Google Play

Chamberlain and Chance - This podcast only gets better with age

  • Chamberlain spoils the fuck out of Wolfenstein 2!
  • Alex checks out a capable alternative to Diablo!
  • Chance continues to wallow in his Switch!
  • And does Chamberlain really play Nights of Azure 2 for the articles?
You'll have to tune in to find out!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Avengers: Infinity War finally has a trailer.

Look, I'm gonna' see it, but I'm more hyped for Star Wars.  And Black Panther.  And I'm more curious about The Shape of Water because after Crimson Peak I really want Guillermo Del Toro to get it right again.

That last bit was pretty cool though, right?

Meanwhile, I haven't so much as read a review of Justice League because if it's DC and it's not Wonder Woman 2, who gives a shit?  DC needs to reboot its universe like yesterday, but keep Gal Gadot.  Everyone else can step aside.

Actually, hang on to Jason Momoa.  I'm not a lunatic.

Watch the trailer for Wizard of Legend. Watch it. Watch it.

Wizard of Legend was Kickstarted in early 2016, but this is the first I've heard of it, and I love this trailer.  This looks like some fun-as-shit super-fast-paced action.  I've embedded the PlayStation YouTube channel's trailer, but it's coming to Switch, PS4 and Xbox One.

When?  "Early 2018," which will be pretty impressive, if it actually hits all three platforms, what with a two-person dev team.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Game Diary - My Switch Runneth Over

I still don't know where I've landed, on the Switch.  I know what I want from it - I want a worthy successor to the Vita, a platform that keeps the promise of the Vita - triple-A games on a handheld, and one of the best indie console libraries, period.

What lets it down, at this point, is the fact that third-party games can't actually compete with Nintendo's first-party offerings.  Nintendo's games control very, very well for the most part.  Aiming and shooting in Zelda works great, with a touch of tilt for fine-tuning.  Moving and jumping and pulling off crazy shit in Mario Odyssey becomes fairly second-nature, after a while, and Mario Kart controls equally well - but the control sensitivities that Nintendo nailed in Zelda don't translate, or haven't been adequately adapted to, Bethesda's wondrous ports of Skyrim and DOOM.

DOOM is basically unplayable in handheld mode - not even close to how it should feel - and using bows in Skyrim is an absolute non-starter.

I'm hoping these two early attempts will be growing pains on the road to a platform that could totally run a definitive portable last-gen third-party library with the likes of Max Payne 3, Dead Space, Valkyria Chronicles, Grand Theft Auto IV, BioShock and Resonance of Fate - but I don't know... I don't know.

I feel like that right joycon just fucks up the deal.  It's just so goddamned uncomfortable if you need to use that analog stick while playing a game.  I have trouble understanding why what works in Zelda works in nothing else.  Probably because you spend relatively little time shooting your bow.

...which is why I don't have a copy of Splatoon 2, perhaps.

For some reason, I keep buying games for it. So far I've got...


  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Super Mario Odyssey
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  • Skyrim
  • DOOM
  • Sonic Mania (I feel like it counts as an indie)
  • The Flame in the Flood
  • Moon Hunters
  • Wulverblade
...and yet... I don't feel like the thing has a killer app.  At least, not for me.  Flame in the Flood is good, but it's no Don't Starve or Darkest Dungeon or even Rogue Legacy.  Maybe it is, actually - Roguelikes tend not to reveal their brilliance until after the fiftieth hour or so, and Flame hasn't drawn me in that deep (so far). 

Moon Hunters' combat and meaningful player choice is anemic.  Wulverblade can't hold a candle to the 2D combat (or presentation) of Shank 2 (or even Shank) and Sonic Mania is just a sequel to games I played back in the 90s.  

...maybe I should check out Stardew Valley.  Alex has had good things to say on the subject, recently...

I played Koopa Troopa, back in the day.  Strangely enough, I landed on Donkey Kong for 8.  

Mario Kart I picked up on Saturday, and... I haven't really poured this much time into a Mario Kart since the original game, back on the SNES - when blue shells didn't exist, and you picked up items by driving over boxes on the road instead of driving through shimmering cubes. 

I love its tracks, I love all the little animations and gleeful tricks the roster will perform, I love the music and I fucking hate the fact that on 150CC I can rely on every AI in the game to fire lightning and red shells and blue shells and God-knows-what-else at me as soon as the third lap starts.  I can drive the fuck out of those tracks and lose first place just because the AI rolled the dice and they came up "fuck this guy."

I stuck to 100CC and cleared all the tracks, but even there, it doesn't feel... fair.  At all.  It feels like you're playing well, doing everything you should, and also fuck you, buddy, fifth place in the last eighth of the last lap after being in first all race.  

I enjoyed my time with it (frustration aside), but outside of just puttering around in 100CC and absent anyone I could be doing multplayer with, I don't know when I'll feel compelled to pick it up again.  7.5 out of ten, knocked down from an 8.5 because of bullshit asshole AI.  

It's different, when a human shoves a red shell up your ass.  You expect that.  Perhaps the Mario Kart experience requires it, in fact, but when the AI does it it just feels like you were robbed for no reason.  
Zelda I haven't finished, but I'm generally positive on it so far.  No, really, the game I've enjoyed the most and put the most time in to on the Switch is Mario Odyssey.  Which is a really strange thing for me to say. 

I haven't loved a Mario game since Super Mario World - at first I blamed the shitty 3D controls that were just being discovered with the N64, then I blamed the weird day Nintendo had designed its controls on the Wii, and I believed that Nintendo and I had simply grown apart. 

Why Odyssey mostly works for me where Mario 64 and the Galaxies failed, I'm not entirely sure.  Perhaps it's just that the analog sticks on the Switch are better than that stupid nubby things on the Wii, or perhaps it's that the need for waggle is greatly reduced, but it works and I like it... 

...but I don't love it.  It's more powerful, it certainly has more first-party support, but the Switch has not succeeded or surpassed the Vita, in my eye.  There isn't a game here like Gravity Rush or Killzone Mercenary or Odin Sphere or Dragon's Crown or Muramasa or Trails of Cold Steel that I can point to and say "you have got to try this."

There isn't a robust library of indies that you have got to play.  There's no Guacamelee.  There's no Bastion or Transistor, Dead Nation or Super Stardust, Olli Olli or Hotline Miami, Limbo or The Swindle... 

...which may just be on account of the platform's relative youth.  A definitive indie library doesn't spring up overnight.  Serial Cleaner's coming out soon, and so is Xenoblade Chronicles 2... 

I don't know, Nintendo.  I just don't ooh Overwatch fan art!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Chamberlain & Chance 99 - Hype list recap.

Wiiithout Alex this week, tragically.  But the show must go on!  Alex thisChamberlain that podcast on iTunespodcast on Google Play

Chamberlain and Chance - 2017 Hype list recap

  • Chamberlain is pretty lukewarm on Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus!
  • Chance remains pretty positive about the Switch!
  • Chance remains pretty negative about the Switch's joycons!
  • And what hyped games of 2017 were worthy of the word? 
You'll have to tune in to find out!