Saturday, November 18, 2017

What's Next For The Brave Heroes Of REDI?


Hey all, Counterfett here.

I really want to get some Solo mini gaming knocked out in the next few weekends, as I have a three day weekend, a two day workweek, a five day weekend, a three day work week, and then a four day weekend. You getting what I'm saying? This is my favorite thing about my current job. I might have actual discretionary free time on the horizon.

That being said, I sort of lost my train of thought on the Robotic Earth Defense Initiative. I started so strong, but like always, just ran out of steam. I'm not burned out on it, though, which is a step in the right direction, because usually, at this point in a project, I am just sick to death of even thinking about it. So, progress.

What would everyone like to see out of the next few play sessions? I put up a poll about adversary types on the top right of the page, so I'd appreciate input there. If anyone has any ideas for fun topics that don't shoehorn into the poll, however, I would love to hear it in the comments!

Thanks, as always, loyal readers!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Skyrim For Switch! The Semi-Monthly Cry For Help!


Hey all, so Makoace is going to be buying Skyrim for the Switch this Friday (it's out on the 17th!). And she's planning to stream it on Twitch shortly thereafter. But what we wanted to do was do a community poll here and on her Discord about what kind of character we should play.

Have your say! Vote in the poll on the top right corner!

Time is short!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Stardew Valley (Nintendo Switch) - Obscure Video Game Review

Well folks, Counterfett here, back with something a little more in the spirit of which the series was started, a bona fide obscure indie game called Stardew Valley. This review pertains to the Nintendo Switch iteration of the game. Mrs Fett picked this one up because she wanted a bargain, relaxation type game to fill time on her streams until Skyrim comes out for the Switch on the 17th


Now Stardew Valley is a Harvest Moon/Terraria/Animal Crossing style game where you can create a character, inherit Gramps' farm, and try to carve your own way in life. You can woo and marry eligible townsfolk, craft mundane to wondrous objects, raise crops, raise livestock, and plumb the depths of dangerous dungeons. All the while trying to fix up the town, perfect your fishing cast, and gain Grampa's approval.

So how does this title pull it off? Let's have a look.

PROS:

  • Ambitious - Now, Stardew Valley tries to do a lot of things. You can fish, mine, farm, craft, ranch, romance, shop, befriend, chop trees, plant trees, irrigate, quest, fight monsters. There's simply just a whole lot of ways you can interact with the world of Stardew Valley.
  • Characters - You'll love 'em. You'll hate 'em. You'll spend entire days screaming at your monitor trying to find them when they wander around or lock themselves in their rooms when you're trying to give them gifts. The characters, on whole, are one of the most fun aspects of SDV, and can be unexpectedly adorable and heartwarming.
  • Addicting - This can be one of those games that you want to play when you're not playing. You'll find yourself thinking about what you want to do next, or which villager might want the gold star goat cheese which just came out of the press. I know, that's gross, but it's a thing.
CONS:
  • Wonky controls - Many games have controller setups you don't like, or have to get used to. Stardew makes you nostalgic for those games. Even with the tool placement indicator turned on, you simply have to make several attempts to get the right spot with any of your tools. Maybe you'll plant something in the wrong spot and waste a seed. Or you'll hoe in the wrong spot and destroy a costly immature fruit tree instead of debris. Or burn a significant portion of your energy recasting a fishing line because your character turned and tried to cast into grass instead of the river you were facing when you started. I know this is a port, guys, I do, but it should be at least COMPATIBLE with the controllers of the system you are porting it to.
  • No Information - A game like this will usually have a tutorial. Or dialogue in which a friendly neighbor tells you a little bit about how to do things. Or a manual. Or tooltips. Or any information whatsoever about how any of the games mechanics work at all. There's simply nothing in this game to indicate how any of it works. And some of the things are misleading or contradictory. For instance, many seeds say "Plant in Spring." This indicates that you will grow this plant as long as it is planted in Spring. Wrong. On day 1 of Summer, any Spring plants you have planted will die. This can be a very frustrating and costly thing to learn. 
  • Fishing - This ties in with both of the above. No one tells you how the fishing minigame works. I mean, it's complicated, not self explanatory, and nothing even tells you which buttons to push. I've heard it's less frustrating on the PC, because the control set up for it is better, but seriously. Since catching different types of fish is practically mandatory for game advancement, this is aggravating.
  • Likes and Dislikes - Again, this ties in with point 2 above, I just didn't want one big bullet point. When trying to befriend the other villagers, you have to give gifts. A lot of gifts. And there are 5 levels for each type of gift. Love, like, neutral, dislike, hate. Better gifts increase friendship, worse gifts decrease it. On board so far? Well, here's where it gets funky, because they don't tell you what things they like! You just have to trial and error and get upset because you lose progress whenever you try and figure out what anyone likes. I don't need a cheat guide, but someone saying "I sure like flowers" or something would be a help.

UPDATE 11/16/2017

Okay, so the game's developers are putting out a  patch for the game save issues, which is currently waiting for Nintendo's clearance. This is a good thing. I have removed the "Broken" bullet point, as they worked with my wife to help her get a workaround until the patch went through. This is the kind of thing I like to see, and it improves my overall disposition towards the game as a whole. It still has its quirks, to be sure, but at least it's a playable mess, instead of a broken one.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Super Mario Odyssey - Not So Obscure Video Game Review

Well, folks, another day, another main market Video Game launch, right?


Today we're having a look at Super Mario Odyssey, what Nintendo is pushing as the main title of their Flagship franchise in the newest generation console, the Nintendo Switch. Now, this is my first Nintendo review in a bit, since we missed the entire WiiU generation. Furthermore, neither my wife or I actually play Zelda games, despite being fans of the franchise's merchandise, so Breath of the Wild sort of rolled by right underneath the radar.

But Mario Odyssey? Even I have to notice that!

PROS:

  • Graphics - I know this is something people don't typically praise Mario games for, because, well, they can be most charitably be described as 'Cartoony.' On the other hand, the objects are pretty, have few quirks, the game has amazing vistas with interactable object visible for the whole length of each stage. It's really just a nice looking game.
  • Physics - Again, something you maybe don't hear about a game with super jumps and mushrooms. Still, objects have weight, and react in predictable and satisfying ways. This is something that a game which attempts a scope that Mario Odyssey does is hard pressed to claim.
  • Freedom - Ever want to play a level as a Goomba? You can in Odyssey. How about navigate an underwater level as a Cheep Cheep? Can Do. Want to fly around like a squid spraying high pressure water jets out of its mouth? Heck, why not fight a boss that way? Play as a T-Rex? Play as a T-Rex! There are things in Odyssey that gamers have wanted to do for a long time, you just have to lasso your hat on them.
CONS:
  • Same Old - Bowser has kidnapped Peach and Mario must swoop to the rescue. Yeah. I feel like I've seen this plot before. What game had a plot like this? I swear, it's on the tip of my tongue.
  • Same Old - Let's face it...they changed the branding, but this is Super Mario Galaxy 3. They removed a few of the infuriating features about Galaxy, but instead of zooming your ship around the cosmos to snag power stars, you are now zooming your ship around the world to snag power moons. Seriously.
  • Same Old - While the possession seems like a new gimmick, it's just the power ups with a new coat of paint. Instead of swapping back and forth between the two power ups in your top box, you snag enemies and use their abilities. This admittedly is rather cool, and in some scenes hilarious, but the difference between possessed snowman Mario and Penguin Mario is, well, how it looks.
Did you enjoy the ironic repetition in the Cons? Well, I hope you did, because I found them vaguely irritating. Nevertheless, Mario Odyssey is a fun title. Some minor control gripes aside, it really accomplishes a lot of what Mario players want a modern Mario game to do.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Brewster Plate - The Strange History of Armor

Hey all, CounterFett here. I've had kind of a bad couple of weeks, and couldn't find the motivation to post, frankly, anything. Sorry for the big absence, but it was one of those things where I was gone from it long enough that it built up a sort of inertia, and I just became less and less interested in writing. Or any sort of rational discourse, really. Hopefully, I am pulling myself back together and will be getting back on track here.


Now, for the matter at hand.


In world War I, a number of the belligerent nations had a good hard look on ways to make infantry resistant to the increasing range and lethality of smokeless powder repeating rifles. The Germans had plates that, while moderately effective, were so cumbersome that only machine gunners (who sat still for the most part) could wear them.


In the States, a less well known, if slightly more practical parallel development spawned the Brewster Plate. These were metallic armor designed to protect riflemen from modern battle rifle cartridges. It was reportedly tested and successfully proofed against .303 British. For those of you not in the know, .303 British was moderately obsolete even in World War I, but was nevertheless powerful enough to shoot all the way through a human target at pretty much any angle it could hit.

So Brewster plate was pretty protective. The fact it weighed forty pounds is what probably put the nail in the coffin for this particular idea. Still, an odd and interesting development. I have included all of the decent pictures I was able to find of the Brewster system, in the hopes that anyone interested in the armor will have an easier time finding them in the future than I did.

Enjoy!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Shadow of War - Not So Obscure Game Review


Okay, so the sequel to Shadow of Mordor is out in the wild, and I'm sure a few, if not dozens of you are wondering what my take on this it. Weeeeeeell.

It's a fun game, but don't take my word for it, let's immediately jump into my patent pending Pros and Cons!

Pros

  • Slicing and Dicing. There are two kinds of gamers in this world when it comes to the "Assassin's Creed/Arkham Asylum" type combat engines. Those who love it and those who hate it. If you like it, well, this is a decent use of it. If you hate it, maybe you should just move this one to the 'cons' file, because this game isn't the one that will change your mind.
  • Shelob's Hot Now. Yup. They made Shelob the creepy spider into a hot seer. I am sure this was totally done with forethought and intelligent story design in mind rather than simply to make a scantily clad female character to entice adolescent gamers. She does drive the story a fair bit, and she's less egregiously bouncy than many examples of this in other games, so I let it slide.
  • Being Fearsome. There are some points in the game where you become genuinely satisfied with how terrifying Talion/Celebrimbor can become. The cutscene after the arena, in particular, jumps to mind as a high point of the game, where you get to maniacally laugh as enemies flee in terror.
Cons

  • Cutscen'd. On the other hand, some of the story development happens in a manner that feels slightly high-handed to the player. Feeling satisfied by the progress and choices you made in the last game, don't worry, something outside your control will make Talion powerless again so you have to start over. Think you did a particularly good job sneaking? Don't worry, a scripted boss will still spot you so all of it was for nothing. 
  • Chekov's Gun. Some of the foreshadowing gets pretty heavy. You know my stance on this.
  • Is this a romance? Seriously, I couldn't tell. Will someone who knows fill me in?
I feel like this game came out a little bit ahead in the pros/cons, as I really had to scramble to make it 3/3. There are a lot of cathartic moments in Shadow of War, but it falls to each player to decide whether they ultimately make up for graphics and technical execution that seem to be catching a lot of flack on the internet.


Monday, October 9, 2017

Calling All Twitch Viewers



Hey all, Counterfett here.

So as some of you may know, Mrs. Fett is a pretty active online content creator as well. She's trying to get her Twitch account 'affiliated,' whatever that may be.

Long story short, she needs to get 50 followers in order to get her new channel up and running. She already meets all of the other criteria based on the stuff she's putting up as well as her Twitch friends that she moderates for (basically she runs their chats and discord servers).

Since I know practically everyone other than me is using Twitch these days, I wanted to ask if some kind hearted readers wouldn't mind clicking the link and hitting Follow on the Mrs' game channel.

Thank you kindly!

LINK!