It’s not perfect but don’t buy the haters argument’s – Battlefront

In light of the recent Battlefront 2 trailer release I decided it would be good to re-hash Battlefront(2015). The TL;DR is that people are blinded by their nostalgia from Battlefront 2 in particular. I replayed Battlefront 2 on stream leading up to the release of this game. Battlefront 2 had no story to speak of. The entire campaign is a set of cut scenes amounting to essentially “Remember that battle they didn’t show in the movie? We were there!” followed by playing a bot match with the occasional objective. There was no story to speak of in Battlefront 2. The following is a review I wrote on Amazon’s feedback page in support of the game. I probably should have posted it here initially but I thought it would be most effective on Amazon. Here it is, unedited.

Battlefront Logo

Posted: December 9, 2015

Don’t buy the anti-game hype from most of the other reviews. Many people are mad because the game didn’t meet their unrealistic expectations due to all the hype. Also make sure you are comparing launch numbers to launch numbers when comparing this with other games.

Continue reading “It’s not perfect but don’t buy the haters argument’s – Battlefront”

Custom Playstation DualShock 4 Thumb Sticks

I stumbled across this video the other day and thought this was a neat idea.

In the face of the first gen plastic peeling and tearing issues finding an alternative stick seemed like a great idea. Plus different colors would look cool. So I decided to go out and give this a shot myself. Below you’ll find instructions and photos to help you do this yourself as this video leaves out a little bit of information. Continue reading “Custom Playstation DualShock 4 Thumb Sticks”

How To Get Mario or Luigi Palico Costumes in Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate on 3DS

Pelico in Mario Outfit

I ran across this while watching a live stream on Twitch and as I came to find out that it takes a fair bit of Googling just to find the instructions(this has improved apparently). I then posted this screen shot to Miiverse only to find out that even people on Nintendo’s own Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate community aren’t really even aware of it. I figured I should try to help float this information to the top. Continue reading “How To Get Mario or Luigi Palico Costumes in Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate on 3DS”

I don’t give much credit to Nintendo for a lot of things outside of making entertaining games. Frankly they’re terrible about keeping up with the modern state of gaming, by in large, and they’re especially bad at dealing with networking and the Internet. So it seems weird that I’m about to write about Nintendo doing something, arguably, right on just such a subject.

Many a games journalism website has seen fit to highlight the New 3DS’s microSD card slot and the fact that it’s kind of oddly locked away under a bottom cover that requires a tool to get in to. Knowing only this as I’m sure many people will might lead one to believe that this is just Nintendo up to their old tricks. And at first glance you’d be right. If you have a need to physically swap sd cards then perhaps you’re out of luck.3DS SD Card Share

Fortunately if you’re just looking to make a backup Nintendo got smart and tucked away a little trick that makes that microSD card accessible through a network share on your home network.

Under “Data Management” you will find an option for “microSD Management”. This wizard will walk you through creating a network name for your 3DS and a username and password and then connect you to your homes wifi network so you can access the storage on the card.

On your windows PC open a file explorer window and in the quick access icons in the left window pane scroll down to network and click the icon. You should see the name of your 3DS listed. Click on that to access it. If for some reason you don’t see your 3DS listed click on any blank space in the address bar on the file explorer window and type \\MY3DSNAME where MY3DSNAME is the name you picked for your 3DS. This should find and open your 3DS files for you.

Enjoy this tiny slice of Nintendo finally getting with the new(I use the word loosely) networked world. There isn’t much of it to be had.

Battlefield Hardline Beta So Far

I’m sure there are going to be hundreds of reviews of the Battlefield Hardline Beta now that it’s in the open. I wanted to share a perspective that is a little bit different. I had the displeasure of taking part in the Alpha or Private Beta. I don’t recall which it was but I’m going to go with Alpha and you’ll see why below. This allows me to do a little then and now analysis. Lets dive in shall we?

The Battlefield Hardline Alpha, to put it bluntly was an ugly mess. It looked like they used the older Frostbite 2 engine instead of 3. The cops and robbers character models and cars looked like they were bought cheap off of Turbo Squid or some other cheap pre-fab site. The weapons were copy/paste out of BF3 or 4 and frankly so were the game modes for the most part. The only saving grace of that experience was the new game mode, who’s name I don’t recall, added where each team had an armored car on each side of the map and it was a game of attack and defense to see who had the most cash in their truck at the end of the game. I’m sure you can imagine that over all I wasn’t thrilled.

So this brings us to today and the now open beta of Battlefield Hardline.

Continue reading “Battlefield Hardline Beta So Far”

Blizzard’s Hearthstone On Linux Via Wine

UPDATED! 11 Nov 15Hearthstone on LinuxThese instructions should allow you to install Blizzard Updater and Hearthstone on Linux using Wine. From what I understand these instructions will allow some of the other Blizzard games to be run on Linux as well.

First install wine 1.7.
In a terminal type:
Continue reading “Blizzard’s Hearthstone On Linux Via Wine”

Hands On – Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider AntennaI haven’t played Tomb Raider extensively, in a meaningful way, since the original. I’ve put in no more than an hour in to each with the exception of Tomb Raider Underworld which I put a solid 7 or 8 hours in to.  Having enjoyed at least a few of the previous games really made me want to like a Tomb Raider game. Thank goodness Tomb Raider(2013) delivers!

Lets start with the visuals. This game is gorgeous! I’d probably classify it as a true next gen game. Even on my AMD A10 with an AMD Radeon 7660G GPU on medium settings the visuals are stunning. Expansive draw distances are everywhere and managed with no visible popping or anything of the sort. The set pieces in the game take that huge draw distance and fill them with huge, high, beautiful terrain. The attention to detail is off the charts. Not only is the game beautiful earning it that “next gen” title but there is new technology at play with things like TressFX and the Crystal Engine in general. TressFX will destroy your performance unless you are running a beast of a graphics card so flip it on, see how it runs, and then flip it back off if your system can’t handle it. Crystal understands that they’ve thrown some new tech at you and has graciously included a benchmark in the game so you can play with settings and get a feel for what your hardware can handle.

Game play rests heavily on the concepts and foundation laid down by the likes of Uncharted and of course earlier Tomb Raider games. None of that is a bad thing. While Uncharted’s some what awkward stumbling, loose footing feels a bit heavy and maybe slow at times most of Laura’s trips, stumbles and frequent falls feel lighter and faster. If that is supposed to be indicative of the characters different size and weight that’s fine but the pace and weight of Laura’s bumblings result in a much tighter well controlled experience.  Speaking of a tight well controlled experience the shooting in the game is beautiful. It doesn’t float, Laura changes stance and grip on weapons based on the cover available  and her own stance at the time(sneaking vs. upright). While I’m sure some shooter fans, tactical shooter fans no doubt, want more control over the character these auto adjustments really make the game fun. It frees you to spend less time figuring out how to approach enemies and more time looking at the environment that those enemies are in. As mentioned above its such a beautiful environment!

The story is not unlike many ship wreck stories told so many times except that the setting is some what unique for video games. That is an island that is decidedly Japanese filled with rich Japanese style and a hint of world war 2 artifacts that succeeds at both feeling real and yet fantastical at the same time. This is an island that isn’t just difficult to find but one that has been inhabited by both descendants of those Japanese souls that resided there so long ago as well as previous survivors of both boat and plane wrecks over the many years since the island was lost. The story is ultimately an intricate interweaving of both survival but also discovery of the secrets contained on the island. This is pulled off VERY well! You are sucked in to this world and want badly for both Laura and her friends to survive. At the same time you  crave finding out whats in the next room or over the next hill.

Multiplayer runs in the vein of some of the Tom Clancy games or the the likes of Uncharted. This is in no way a bad thing. The same solid shooting from the game makes it’s way in to the multiplayer and a wealth of unlockables for character skins, weapons and weapon attachments. Everything is up to snuff. The only real points I could dock Tomb Raider comes in the form of a lack of multiplayer maps. There are 4 or 5 game modes but only a grand total of 5 or 6 maps including the one currently downloadable. Some of these maps also appear to be ready made for particular game types. I played several games of death-match and every game was the same map. I also played quite a few rounds of the supplies game type and only experienced 2 maps. Sadly this makes multiplayer rather repetitive. As of this writing a new map pack has been released on the Xbox 360 but wasn’t showing up for the PC version yet. Hopefully it’s a large number of maps to make the multiplayer experience a truly well rounded experience.

While other reviewers have nit picked how these elements play out or are integrated they seem to miss the fact that they then point at the game as a whole and call it a great game. This is because all the elements are measured appropriately. To use a food analogy the ingredients are individually delicious and leave you wanting more of each but when you put them together you eat them up like a fat kid eats cake.  Having the craving for more is not a bad thing.

All in all this game is spectacular. I highly recommend it to any one who fondly remembers Tomb Raider or if you’re just after a grand adventure game that will have you climbing to the top of a radio towers on top of a mountain and then climbing to the depths of a dank tomb.

Defiance Update – Bait and Switch

Defiance-GameplayFor those who read the blog you’ve seen I’ve been checking out Defiance. An MMO in the universe of SyFy’s new show coming out soon. You’ll see that my time with Defiance hasn’t been very intriguing or interesting. I just got an additional piece of information that may or may not play in to your view and decision to play Deviance so I wanted to share it to give you a complete view of the situation.  In an e-mail sent out on 28 March Defiance VP of Development let slip that, as I mentioned in a previous post found here http://brockh.at/YRdxNd, that what they gave console gamer’s was in fact old code. That means that what you saw is not representative of the game at that time. You can have a look at the message that went out over e-mail.  http://brockh.at/YRfvx9. Take away from this what you will.

Defiance Beta Playstation 3 Extended Look

As promised I spent some more time with the Defiance beta on PlayStation 3. For those who may not know Defiance is a Third Person Shooter MMO on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The game is part of some form of over arching story/universe being constructed to go along with Syfy’s (pronounced “sifee”?) television show of the same name.

In my last post on the subject I hadn’t had a very good experience with the game. This time around it’s gotten a bit better. You eventually work your way out in to the open world as you tend to do with most MMOs. This helped the situation greatly. Several quest lines opened up, some items like an ATV were handed over and the game got a bit more entertaining. Sadly the voice acting and facial animations through out extend not a hint of humanity or serve to draw you in emotionally. The game is not terrible but it’s not great. It’s what most would call mediocre. The shooting mechanics are pretty solid and there seem to be plenty of challenges, objectives and creatures dotting the landscape to keep you busy. Thats really about the extent of it. If there weren’t better MMOs available this game would be just fine. But as it is it has to contend with the likes of WoW, Guild Wars 2 and PlanetSide 2. I don’t see this game going any where unless they manage to slap a thick layer of polish on whats in this beta or the TV show is able to draw people deeply in to the universe it’s trying to create.

I think this video sums up the experience nicely.

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