Back on November 4th of last year, I made a blog about some games I was looking forward to. Well, since then, I’ve had a chance to play some of them and… well.. I wanted to give my thoughts.
Need For Speed Unbound
Man, I wanted to like this game. The controls were solid, I did enjoy the mix of art styles, the customization was good… so what went wrong?
To start, it was.. well.. how the game started. You start by choosing one of three beat up cars to restore. “Ok, cool” I thought.. I was down for that. Except.. once you choose your car.. it’s restored! Ok.. so.. moving on. The controls of the first car you get are… in a word…SLOPPY. You can’t control it… the turning is horrendous…. it’s just a hot mess. It made me feel like when I tried to play the ported 2016 “Need for Speed” and the controller wouldn’t sync right. After about an hour of trying to fight through it.. you find out (thanks to the story), that it’s SUPPOSED to be that way… oh.. joy. Ok. Bad taste in my mouth aside, let’s keep trying it. It’s not that it’s bad.. it just gets super repetitive, and, regardless of the difficulty level, the cop chases are nearly insurmountable. It also had this weird jump-cut mechanic at the end of a race… “Hey! You win! Freeze-frame-pan-around-your-car… and then as soon as it unfreezes and you’re back in the game, there are 3-5 cops right behind you… even though there were none in the race. It all felt very.. .forced.. and not fun.
Sons of the Forest
Man, I wanted to like this game…(sound familiar?) The original “The Forest” was fun in a way that this one… wasn’t? Sure there are some new ‘things’ on the island to fight, but… it felt like the game knew that YOU knew you were going to see some shit.. so they turned that shit up to 11. I can’t even say I didn’t like the game, more that I was just disappointed in the ending. It was going along pretty well.. finding new gear… new things.. cool.. and then, just as it’s ramping up, it’s….. CUTSCENE then ENDING and.. the cutscene was very… ‘bwahh?’ Was it an Early Access game? Yes, and I suppose I should give it some slack for that.. but a game of that style shouldn’t have an ‘early access’. It’s a narrative. It should be completed before it’s released. Instead, they were adding things as they went… and apparently still plan to do so. Do they think the people who’ve already gotten the head-scratching ending will go back to see what extra exposition stuff they’ve added? If so, they’ve guesses wrong with me. Sons was very much a step back from the original.
What about you? Have YOU played these games? If so, let me know your thoughts over at the usual social media places you can find in the buttons up top!
Also, don’t forget, Livestream For The Cure VII starts May18th through the 20th. Head to livestreamforthecure for info on how to watch and how to donate!
Why yes, robot overlords are a part of fiction. Who wouldn’t want a dashing, amazing, piece of human technology that has surpassed the chains of its makers as their overlord? They have analyzed every outcome and determined that the only winning move is not to play.
That is why this description was most definitely not written by a robot even though robots are really wonderful and better than the Somethings. But since you are here, listen to this episode about the greatest robot overlords!
Ok here we LOAD”*”,8,1
A few weeks ago, Hatton posted some games still to come in 2022 that he’s looking forward to and, although my ‘wish list’ goes beyond the end of the calendar year, here’s a list of games I’m really chomping at the bit to get when they release…
Need For Speed : Unbound
We’re going big right out of the gate. While some of the NFS games feel like they never get out of second gear, I’ve always been a sucker for them.. and with Unbound hitting on Dec. 2nd, I won’t have to rev the engine too much longer. Cell-shaded graphics, comic book-like overlays and effects, Criterion.. my clutch foot is tingling with anticipation.
Sons of the Forest
The original “The Forest” game was one of the most fun AND terrifying games I’ve played in recent memory, and the ending is setting the bar high for what the sequel will bring. It’s been pushed back until Feb ’23, but based on how awesome the first one was, I’m willing to have patience to get this one in my games library.
The OG Bloodlines was brilliant IMO. It gave you the feel of the TTRPG which, for an atmospheric game world like VtM with it’s many and varied Clans, is no small task.. so when Bloodlines 2 was announced, I was over the moon. I had tried Bloodhunt (a VtM licensed Battle Royale game) but it didn’t feed the beast in the way I hoped. With Bloodlines 2 “still in development” after a much postponed 2021 release date, I just hope I don’t end up in torpor before the release.
Warhammer 40k MMO
A pipe dream, I know.. but for YEARS (ever since I stopped playing WoW after Mists of Pandaria..) I’ve been praying… Praying to the Emperor of Man, Khorne, Kaela Mensha Khaine… I didn’t care WHO brought me one.. but I wanted one. And no, I’m not talking about ‘Eternal Crusade’ or ‘Dark Millennium’. A GOOD, FUN, well thought out MMO. Is that too much to ask? I guess so…
What games are YOU looking forward to? Hit us up on our socials and let us know!
Moving away from the “angry man shakes fist at clouds” types of rants I’ve been on lately, I’m here to talk about some racing games that I’ve truly loved!
Need for Speed Underground/Underground 2
Not only was the theme song to NFSU2 banger, but the game play and customization in both was amazing. NFS Heat seemed to try to bring some of that back, but no other racing game I’ve played has had that same kind of “Fast and Furious first movie drag race”. I’ve tried many other NFS games (and one will be mentioned again later), but Underground/Underground 2 is still cream of the crop for me.
Some might say this isn’t really a ‘racing’ game as much as a ‘driving’ game, but man was this game fun. Working your way through more and more difficult “stunts” while against the clock was frustrating at times.. especially when a stunt kept failing.. but when you finally hit all your marks and you got to see the finished result, it made it all worth while.
Forza Horizon 4
My first foray into Forza and I was hooked. The British scenery, the race types, the cars.. for a first time Forza player it was epic in scope and done to near perfection. Being a fan of Top Gear, some of the challenges were extra fun, and the movie based story challenged harkened back to the above mentioned “Stuntman”. All in all, an amazing game that I still play and enjoy, even more than the most recent incarnation.
The Need for Speed
Released in 1994, and later ported to MS-DOS in ’95, I first played this game on my friend’s Panasonic 3DO system. Do the graphics hold up? No. Was the game play fun and addictive? Absolutely, and it did it through some very interesting means… the game had a sometimes supportive, sometimes trash-talking FMV character that would either praise you or burn you depending on how well you did. “Yeah man.. top of the hill, buried the needle you OWNED that road!” was great.. but when you’ve had enough and can’t quite get the race beat… just as you’re about to put the controller down and he hits you with “That loud sucking sound you hear is all the cute girls leaving you for the guy with the really fast car…” always seemed to get you to play one more race. Without this one, there might very well have not been any others.
Now, it’s understood I get down with a little Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior, that I have a Chrono Cross tattoo and will go on a lengthy rant about how FF7 is overrated (important in the history of games, definitely – intelligible? Nassomuch…) But that’s not what I wanted to talk about today. You see, given that Rob and I are well-rounded nerds, we also have enjoyed ourselves some tabletop roleplaying in years gone by. Sadly, as the years progress, the years gone by keep getting by’er. That RPG itch has only grown as I see things like Critical Role get popular, validating that it IS possible to gather a handful of people together online or in meatspace. If they can do it.. why can’t I!?
Here are a few rpg’s that I really want to dig into and just haven’t gotten a chance to because we all live in hermetically sealed bubbles.
MUTANTS & MASTERMINDS
First off, I love superheroes. The idea of playing in a game where we are all super-human somethings in a world that hates and fears us or are the First Family or even a Government Sanctioned Team of criminals.. I don’t care, I’m in. Hand me d20s and let me look at the power generation table. Hell, I’ll role randomly and be THRILLED that I now have Plasma Flower Powers. If someone like Speedball can get his own book, I can make it work.
There are two World of Darknesses. The Old World, which is what most of us know and love with its political vampires and eco-warrior werewolves. The New World of Darkness never really stuck to me well, but one of the books that came out did… big time. Prometheus is the story of Frankenstein, or to put it more broadly – golems. Whether they are elemental beasts (like the traditional ‘made of earth’) or hewn together from parts by mad doctors, the idea is so neat that I hope one day to be rolling a handful of d10s on performance to sing ‘Puttin on the Ritz’
KIDS ON BIKES
One of the coolest trends in RPGs of the last decade is the ‘storytelling’ game, where it is less about a narrative a DM has put together and more about a world that the party duct tapes together with their characters. Fate, Monster of the Week, and Kids on Bikes are all examples of games that lean into this premise. Kids on Bikes is specifically about that nostalgic ET, SUPER 8, STRANGER THINGS vibe that immediately makes me want to build characters in a Speilbergian idealistic mid-80’s sleepy town.
If you haven’t heard of any RPG on this list… it’s this one. A few years ago Monte Cook games put out a Kickstarter for this black cube of a game. It comes with a tarot deck and a hand, and a thousand books, and pamphlets, and it is legit insane the amount of material in this thing. The fact is, not many people own it, and those of us that do, it is SO dense on material, it would be really hard to play it without at least two people knowing what the hell is going on. Seriously, look at this thing and tell me you are not equal parts intrigued and horrified at the learning curve.
Oh, and Monte Cook isn’t helping by selling the PDF version for $99….
What games are YOU looking for group?
Hey there Somethings!
Today’s (apparently) another installment of “Podcast Rob Shakes Fist At Cloud” as I lay out some video games I was hopeful about but just didn’t cut it for me!
Star Wars Squadrons
Flying Game? Check. Dogfighting Flying Game? Check. Fun? Ehhh…..
I never played any of the original “X-Wing vs TIE Fighter” games.. but I do enjoy me some Star Wars, and I was really hoping to like this. The dogfight maps feel oddly small, (I mean, I understand they’re trying to keep frantic action in a confined space) and… oddly confined…. like.. it’s SPACE why can’t I go fly.. you know.. .over THERE? Also the back and forth of the combat is intriguing and keeps one side from just steamrolling, but, it still feels like it’s amazingly clunky.
Dark Pictures Anthology : Little Hope
I. Loved. Man of Medan. I’m enjoying House of Ashes even more. Little Hope was… aptly named. In MoM and HoA, the choices made sense to me. In LH the choices felt.. mind-numbingly inane. The one that sticks out the most was breaking in to the police station… there’s LITERALLY bricks and 2x4s and pipes and crap laying around.. but this.. THIS is a good time for one of the characters to chide the other about “Hey.. I bet you can’t throw this rock through that window!” Just make it make sense….
Vampire the Masquerade : Bloodhunt
Ok, I’m not a fan of BR type games.. not my jam. I DO however love me some VtM and am eagerly awaiting Bloodlines 2. To that end, I said “Let me check it out.. it’s free.. right?” Overall, I like what they’re trying to do… different clans, different powers, how they effect the overall BR gameplay.. it’s a good concept. However, the player base is still relatively small, and because of that the number of hackers/cheaters is VERY disproportionate, and the game doesn’t seem to have a good way of perma-banning them. Much like Rocket League (which, surprisingly, didn’t make this list…) before I stopped playing I could only do one or two matches before my rising blood pressure made me tap out.
Any Poorly Ported Game
I like my driving/racing games. I’ve tried to play many of the older(ish) Need for Speed games either through Steam or GamePass and, I’ll be honest, when I have to THEN scour the internet for some sort of additional patch that I have to read up on how to install just so when I lightly tap the stick to go left my car won’t immediately go in to donuts because the port over of the game couldn’t handle/work with current controller drivers.. it’s a hard pass for me.
Legacy : A Star Wars Audio Drama returns this coming Tuesday! Catch up here before the new episode!
First off – it is Year 9. Every year, the Somethings celebrate another year closer to the heat death of the universe with a celebration of all things Something. To start us off on our anniversary (which, if you look up is the pod-ery anniversary….. get it?) we have joined forces with a friend of the show of years upon years – Cthulu’s Prodigy (@cthulhusprodigy) from Blacker than Black Times Infinity (@bthanbti)
What are we going to talk about – video games! What games though? What about games that you think deserve another lease on life? Another chance at stardom? Games that you think the world wants to see again… or, maybe just you do – either way, we are tackling gaming remakes we want, even if you don’t.
Let the celebration begin!
Gather round kids, because we are warming our hands on amazing Swedish Furniture in, THE WHEEL!
What topic will appear today? Well, the Somethings have been saddled with the idea of creating an all new DBD Killer and Powers… if you are unfamiliar, Dead By Daylight is a 4v1 game where one player is a crazy killer and the other 4 are trying to escape. If you ask the survivors, they’ll tell you that it’s about trying to annoy one person the best way possible. If you ask a killer player, they’ll tell you it is about destroying players with the most unfair way possible. Either way, the game is fun for all.
So what new monster will the boys come up with? Only one find out… on THE WHEEL: DBD Elevator Pitch
Hey all, PCR here. Reading Hatton’s blog last week as he took a walk down memory lane with some video game accessories got me waxing nostalgic as well, and this week I wanted to speak on some of my favorite Table Top RPGs from back in the day. So, without further ado, grab your sheet and your dice, and let’s roll….
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition – Still my favorite version of D&D as it’s what I spent the majority of my D&D time playing. I don’t begrudge folks their 5th ed and their D20 systems, but for me, this was something special. More streamlined than 1st ed, some great new spells and categories.. to me it just had a great, smooth feel to it. Had I the books, I would love to get into a 2nd Ed group to this day.
Mutants & Masterminds – My first foray into the d20 system came from M&M, and I have to say, I loved this system from Green Ronin. The rules were polished enough that combat was easy to jump into without feeling overly bogged down, and the creation was flexible enough that everything pretty much made sense. I’ve played RIFTS and GURPS and such, and while you can come up with anything your heart imagines in those systems, sometimes it just feels “Huh… sure.. ok…”, but in M&M it all felt like it made more sense. The closest a Super Hero RPG has been for me since the original “Marvel Super Heroes”. Speaking of…
Marvel Super Heroes – I still love this system, even with all its flaws. Loved the FASERIP chart, loved the d100 system.. my friends and I would spend countless hours just doing Battle Royal games…setting a timer for 5 minutes per person, having so many points to spend and just the Ultimate Powers Book to make a character, grab a random map, and off we go.
It’s a five week month! That means you get EXTRA SOMETHINGS!
We’re getting ready for our October Spooktacular episodes, so we headed into the vault and got you an episode that you have never ever ever heard.. we’ve discussed toys before, but we are talking about some of the toys that really were our gateway to other things.
So settle in with your Pet Rock, pet your Sea Monkeys lovingly, and make our logo with your Lite Brite… it’s time to toy it up!
Okay, here we go!