Send the Clowns Away

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Yesterday, I picked up The Division 2. Haven’t played it yet at the time of this writing, but I had some extra money to light up and I’ve been looking at it from the sidelines for a little while as something different to try out. Coincidentally, I had picked up Anthem just after it released and played that a fair bit, too, but also completely stopped.

What makes me think that The Division 2 will stay in my gaming rotation when Anthem fell away? There are a number of ideas, but chief among them is that even though I really do enjoy Anthem’s gameplay, I also really can’t bring myself to fire up a game when the developers are making clownshoe decisions. I have managed to be convinced to fall out of love with playing in a giant, pink, stompy robot suit, which isn’t a sentence I expected to type.

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The Pink Cadillac, moments before it started collecting dust.

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Singing the Anthem

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Thanks to some extremely good fortune, I was granted access to the VIP demo (read: pre-order bonus) of Anthem, the upcoming looter shooter from the folks at BioWare. Unfortunately, I only was able to get my code on Sunday, which happened to be the last day of the demo. As such, this is less of a deep hands-on than an initial impressions piece. Not a complaint, though, because I really had fun.

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Not least of which being the ability to wear a thick, bright pink robot suit.

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Nice Things About Disliked MMOs

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Over a week ago, Massively Overpowered posed a question on its regular Daily Grind column asking readers a nice thing that could be said about an MMO game they didn’t like. I definitely chimed in on this once, since my useless mutant superpower is finding something to like in games I hate, but the more I pondered the question the more I came up with multiple answers.

So, why not take that bit of random inspiration and run with it? Here’s a small list of MMO and multiplayer titles I’m no fan of yet can admit that they do something really well.

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The Best Anticipated List of Video Game Awesomeness for 2018 and Forever (Until Next Time I Do This List Thing)

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Okay, enough of the sad crap.

My previous blog posts have been kind of droll, with me saying goodbye to a loved MMO and before that having a bit of a whine about people not having fun.

So, in the interest of that whole spreading fun thing, I’m going to take a few moments to look forward to some of the awesome stuff that’s coming our way in video gaming. Because dammit, that totally deserves a moment of excited flapping.

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This kind of flapping.

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The Colors of Nexus

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Of course I was going to write about this story. Even though I’ve seen the writing on the wall for this game a long time ago, it doesn’t make ultimately saying goodbye to WildStar not suck. Just suck a little bit less, as I’d made my peace with the matter a while ago.

Still, I’d be remiss if I didn’t provide a few final words regarding what was one of my favorite flawed MMO gaming experiences.

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And this bright pink bastard in particular.

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Recharging Complete

This will likely be a bit of a short post, but I’ve had a few thoughts rumbling about in my head and wanted to get them on the digital page while they were germinating. It’s about my creative side and how I recognize I’ve neglected it.

I started this blog as a way to foster that part of myself and it sort of took on a little life of its own, becoming a form of personal op-ed space as well as an exercise room for my own attempts at writing professionally. And for a while, I actually kind of felt like I resented that. But some introspection and the tail end of the Blaugust Initiative pretty much rewired me a bit, transforming my annoyance into acceptance. Continue reading

Welcome to Joy

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As much as I like how “legitimate” video gaming things like esports are becoming, I’m often left reminding myself that legitimacy should always take a backseat to being fun. For every game that tries to be art or weave a genuinely complex story, I’d much rather there be about three times as many games that just have a good, goofy time.

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It’s a lesson the Devil May Cry series seems to be taking to heart.

That sense of overwhelming fun has catapulted some games into high points on my mental list of favorites, and it’s something that I felt is worthy of elaborating on. Both as a self-reminder and perhaps a reminder to anyone reading this who might be taking this stuff a little too close to the vest.

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How Rend Changed My PvP Mind

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PvP and I have a weird relationship. When it comes to playing games solo or in a cooperative situation I can dance on the keybindings like a piano virtuoso, but put me in a combat situation in front of another live person and suddenly I end up being no better than if I rolled my face up and down the keyboard.

So with that in mind, my recent MMORPG curiosities seem to be going against type. I continue to be intrigued by developing games like Crowfall and Ashes of Creation and kind of leapt at the opportunity to give Rend’s alpha build a peek when I had the chance to. And though my time during said tests was a bit on the short side, it really did help build a small bridge between my brain and PvP.

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Or to reference the game itself, let the PvP tree grow.

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On Jacksonville

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As I write this, it’s a little after 4am locally here. Blame the humidity or my own rumbling head for the poor timing on this post, then, but I had to get a few things off of my chest regarding the events at Jacksonville, Florida.

I love esports. I’m not one of the diehard sorts who roots for a specific org and there are some game genres that hold my interest more than others, but the overall field of esports from a spectator’s point of view is one of my favorite new things that has come out of the modern age of gaming. So to see something so horrible as a shooting come out of this new pastime has struck me more deeply than I thought it would. Continue reading

The Acceptance of Not Understanding

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So there’s this rap song made by this kid who is very, very clearly a fan of Fortnite Battle Royale. It crossed my Twitter feed a week or so ago and it took me just about as long to process, as this young boy was trying to turn his ability to play a shooter well into several bars’ worth of lyrics about their own superiority.

At first blush, it sounds a lot like 2018’s answer to the Numa Numa Dance. But after some introspection, I’ve concluded that the problem isn’t him, but me. Its reinforced something of a lesson about how some games or genres are beyond my comprehension and that’s okay.

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Who knew this little dude would pack so many mental exercises into two-and-a-half minutes?

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