Control – Game Diary

Control – Game Diary

Control:
Game Diary

Control PS4 Box Art

Platform:PS4
Price at Purchase:AU$68
From:Harvey Norman
Developer:Remedy
Publisher:505 Games
Released:27 Aug 2019
Rated:MA 15+
Genre:Action
HowLongToBeat:11-24h
MetaCritic:82
Game Size on Disc24.42GB
Game Version1..00

Control – PS4 – Game Diary

Firstly Control has boss sound – not a game to be played with crappy tinny tiny headphones – if you can risk the wrath of thy neighbour go the full subwoofer – you won’t regret it. Aternatively a really good headset will suffice. It’s not just Big Bass its all the layers of sound that swirl and twist in perfect support of the wonderful visual elements of this game.

Secondly, apart from the creative use of layered FMV one of the most striking elements of Control is the wonderful burts of rainbow dust into which one’s antagonists explode when vanquished. Sure a cloud of pink mist might be satisfying to some, but these puffs of chromatic dramatics are something to behold indeed.

The video-logs brought to mind those deeper levels of The Witness or the tremendous Allan Watts lectures in Everything – to say nothing of the Lost TV show’s Dharma Initiative.

Obviously there’s no RTX on PS4 – rumours of inclusion in PS5 – but the graphics here are still pretty nice beyond the aforementioned Rainbow Dust. I watched through Digital Foundary’s loving explanation of how different levels of reflection work and I guess I can trick myself on my feeble 4K HDR TV that what I’m looking at still looks good in upscaled cheaty PS4 4K.

It’s worth noting how good the environmental destruction is – its amazing – office glass shatters and stays shattered. The downside of this is that you sometimes feel like an elephant in a china shop as walking in the nearest vicinity to a desk can send its contents flying wildly but hey.

December 6th

Does the The House’s brutalism remind me of the PS4 a bit? Yes, yes it does.

Death Stranding

Death Stranding

Death Stranding

Game Diary

Death Stranding Box Art

Platform:PS4
Price at Purchase:AU$64
From:Amazon AU
Developer:Kojima
Publisher:Sony
Released:8th Nov 2019
Rated:MA15+
Genre:Action
HowLongToBeat:48hrs
MetaCritic:83
Game Size on Disc48.18GB
Game Version1..08

Death Stranding – PS4 – Game Diary – 12th November 2019

Provisionally feels like iDeath Sranding takes a while to get going. As a bloke who doesn’t like to talk over cut scenes while recording I feel like I got nearly 3 hours in a hardly said anything.

Pro-Tip: Charge Your DualShock 4 – Death Stranding rumbles your puppies almost constantly.

Meandered to Episode 3 then decided I wanted to record it so I started again.

Some of the cooperative elements reminded me initially of Children of Tomorrow.

Reedus I can take or leave – not sure about the 4th wall breaking nods and winks in the Private Quarters – seems inconsistent with the rest of the game world.

I am for whatever reason loving the sounds of running through the world, junk-jangles and all.

Some Time Later…

So I played fully 8 or 9 hours – got the “end” of Episode 1 where you can leave the opening “Hinterlands” area – and decided I had to go back and start again but this time recording for YouTube.

That I was willing to retrace so many very arduous steps is a sure sign this game had it’s hooks in me. Also I thought I could get to the same place much faster knowing the lay of the land as it were – looking at the playlist now it looks like I got there in about 4 hours but of course there was noodling and exploration and “outpost relationship management” that I undertook off camera.

26th November 2019

Having found and done a mission for The Engineer who’s one of the first “Preppers” you meet having sailed into Episode 3, we’re rewarded with the “Magic Trousers” which are basically robo-legs that allow much longer runs, increased carrying capacity and possibly double-jumps unless I just hadn’t noticed before.

28th November 2019

I got a bit carried away (yes ok drunk) and powered ahead a little (yes ok about 3 hours) and had to go back again to highlight for video such aspects as:

  • clearing out a MULE camp with fists
  • building our first bit of road which was amazing
  • completing the mission that gets you the bolo gun
  • clearing out a MULE camp with the bolo gun

The completion of the first stretch of road was pretty cool – kind of like those “cresting a hill and seeing a new settlement” moments, indeed crescendo’s – that Kojima quite deftly manages to curate into what is essentially an open world game.

The fact that completing the road also confers a massive amount of Bridge Link experience and pretty much doubles your current level just adds to the huge rush of achievement and reward. The message is clear:

BE HELPFUL!

1st December 2019

The “be helpful” thing now added a huge new level of fetch-quest-ery to the game. Suddenly it wasn’t enough to run boxes of microscopes and magazines between ghost-people – I had to be harvesting huge amounts of resources to fund the next section of road.

With this in mind MULE camps were no longer to be avoided – they were targets – those MULE post boxes were rich resource deposits – and they were also often useful truck repositories.

The Vehicles/Road combination also seemed to change the game significantly. Distances between things has shrunk significantly.

4th December 2019

It occurs to me that when I see sections of road in the Death Stranding world that are partially or nearly built I am aware of a creeping urgent need to be the one who finishes it – yes I am feeling what I can only describe as “Competitive Helpfulness” – I want to be the helpfulest Sam on the map.

I’m not sure if this is what Kojima had intended.

11th December 2019

I was struck while running errands for the Junk Collector guy through the ruins of South Knot City that as desolate and ruined, rusted and broken and blasted as this world is, it’s also absolutely stunningly beautiful.

20th December 2019

It’s interesting to hear George Miller discuss the creative process and the human condition in relation to Death Straning. It did help me realise a bit more that initial rush of “other people have been here and have endeavoured to help not just me but everyone else. His point seems to be something along the lines of:

Kojima – not just the tip.

I do appreciate that HK is pushing boundaries – like how much will people put up with and non-sequncial narative – and that game in no way feels hindered by outside influence (Monster notwithstanding) or even strong editorial oversight, and as such Death Stranding retains an artistic purity and integrity that is not just rare in video games but in art.

4th January 2020

Having had a little bit of a break over the Xmas & NY period, and having spent more of that break playing Death Stranding than I certainly should have, I have discovered that as we roll past the 80 hour mark that this game’s loop seems to suit me perfectly.

It may not be My Best Me that it suits but there we go.

I can run up to the end of a chapter, drop a save then spend another 5-10 hours dashing back through and around a newly opened area maxing out my relationship with the “locals”, filling the map with roads and ziplines and generally just farting around till I’m OP enough that I can smash through any end of Episode challenge with ease.

It’s how I played The Witcher 3, it’s how I played Mad Max, Days Gone, Far Cry 5, Assassins Creed: Origins and Odyssey and it’s ultimately why I finish so few games each year.

I just cannot imagine charging through a game to its end point without being fully prepared – I clearly have an issue.

 

12th January 2020

I’ve been experimenting a bit – with pizza delivery as you do – I wanted to find out why I was seeing

“cargo for delivery damaged by stacking”

error – for some reason in my head I imagined it was because I had other items in the backpack and they were jumbling around injuriously.

Turns out when it says the pizza must be flat it means that the pizza must be flat – and stuffed or auto-sorted into pack means it will be stashed vertically – and vertical isn’t flat – who knew?

Make sure the pizza sits on top of the pack – and maybe have a layer of other items on top just to keep the worst of the elements off.

Ghost Recon Breakpoint – Game Diary

Ghost Recon Breakpoint – Game Diary

Ghost Recon Breakpoint

Game Diary

Ghost Recon Breakpoint Box Art

Platform:PS4
Price at Purchase:AU$116
From:Amazon AU
Developer:Ubisoft
Publisher:Ubisoft
Released:3 Oct 2019
Rated:MA 15+
Genre:Shooter
HowLongToBeat:11-24h
MetaCritic:82
Game Size on Disc24.42GB
Game Version1..00

Ghost Recon Breakpoint – PS4 – Game Diary

It was interesting to gauge where the critical consensus was at the release of this game – there was a fair amount of “Oh my god – Micro-transactions!”, and there was a fair amount of “eee gads – the jank!” and then the early froth seemed to give way to some more substantive opinions – some of which took issue with narrative problematics – most agreed it was a fine example of quantity over quality.

The whole thing was pretty much step for step Assassins Creed Odyssey – which was probably the same as Origins…

The thing with most of these games – the ever-less distinguishable Ubi-output.

Still sitting at 2.6 (2.2 on PC) userscore on Metacritic on October 21st.

October 20th 2019

One thing its worth pointing out about Ubisoft open world games – of The Ubisoft open world game in all its presentations – is that they/it are generally very good Podcast Games – they require little aural focus so you’re pretty much able to go about your business with something else in your ears without fear of missing anything.

This suits me just fine since I splashed out on SteelSeries Wireless Pro Headset which can cope with simultaneous connections to both the PS4 and my Phone via Bluetooth.

October

After probably 30 hours in the game I finally figured out how to do Sync Shot with the drones again – such a mainstay of the Wildlands game. I’m still not sure I feel stupid for not getting it or angry at the poor in-game explanations?

Another 30 hours in discovery – how to start upgrading weapons to Mk2 level – it just costs skill point but did I see that on the Skills page? No sir.

October 11th

Found out that you could find yourself standing on a spot that’s about to catch fire and you won’t know it until your character arrives and says “Oh no this is going to blow up/catch fire” – of course without UnDo’s. Also we learned that folks who explode or die in an inferno can’t be revived, even if you spend many turns edging forward cautiously with fire extinguisher.

October 15th

It occurs to me playing last night that rather than risk having a discarded team member – or even someone you befriend for the fuel in their hand – turn up later in the game with hot vengeance coursing through their veins, the game takes it easier on you if you just run the poor souls into the arms of our new alien overlords – a dead fellow is less likely to chase you down.There goes my “nobody dies” trophy…

 

Overland – Game Diary

Overland – Game Diary

Overland

Game Diary

Overland Game Cover

Platform:PS4
Price at Purchase:AU$37.95
From:PSN
Developer:Finji
Publisher:Finji
Released:01 Oct 2019
Rated:PG
Genre:Strategy
HowLongToBeat:tbch
MetaCritic:70(pc)
Game Size on Disc1.29GB
Game Version1..02

Overland – PS4 – Game Diary

Provisionally feels like it has the movement and turn-based strategy elements XCOM or Hitman Go, on the game tiles of BlockHood, with some visual and tonal elements of Kentucky Route Zero, with thematic feel of Death Road to Canada.

Discovered things like “Revival” of dogs and humans.

October 5th – Patch 1.02 Release fixes

Discovered that if you dump someone and move on, they can re-appear and not be in a great mood. I then watched our old chum get killed, revived him, heard him say “maybe I was wrong about you” before venting his impotent rage on my vehicle. I hadn’t even tried to siphon his truck – yet.

October 7th

In our first real flirtations with them “teleportation sparks” we found to our peril that if you try to zap a 2nd person through the same sparks, the laws of Overland physics dictate that no two bodies may occupy the same spot and rather than favour one over the other, they’ll both completely disintegrate.

Also don’t stand on emerging creature piles – its not like Into The Breach where you “block” – you just die.

Lessons learned.

October 11th

Found out that you could find yourself standing on a spot that’s about to catch fire and you won’t know it until your character arrives and says “Oh no this is going to blow up/catch fire” – of course without UnDo’s. Also we learned that folks who explode or die in an inferno can’t be revived, even if you spend many turns edging forward cautiously with fire extinguisher.

October 15th

It occurs to me playing last night that rather than risk having a discarded team member – or even someone you befriend for the fuel in their hand – turn up later in the game with hot vengeance coursing through their veins, the game takes it easier on you if you just run the poor souls into the arms of our new alien overlords – a dead fellow is less likely to chase you down.There goes my “nobody dies” trophy…

October 20th

Pipe-organ spine monsters in The Mountains

 Pipe Organ Alien

make heaps of gross little monster-babies when you bash them. Maybe next time I’ll try burning…

I also find myself wondering about things like should I be stopping off all over the place or basically charging straight for the barricade as fast as possible? How far could one get on foot? How on earth do folks manage pacifist runs? 

 

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

Zelda: Link’s Awakening
Game Diary

Links Awakening

Platform:Nintendo Switch
Price at Purchase:AU$67
From:EB Games
Developer:Nintendo
Publisher:Nintendo
Released:20 Sep 2019
Rated:PG
Genre:Adventure
HowLongToBeat:14-22h
MetaCritic:88
Game Size on DiscCard
Game Version1..00

Zelda: Link’s Awakening – Switch

It’s about time my Switch got some love and that love is coming in the form of a very loving recreation of the 1993 Game Boy classic The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening.

I have to admit to my deep shame here – Link’s Awakening is the first Zelda game I’ve got anywhere with. I have explained at length elsewhere how I’ve struggled with Breath of the Wild – the strange pressure I’ve felt to enjoy it as much as its god-tier review scores and general Game of the Decade status have imbued on it, even though I basically bought the console to play it.

This 2019 Link’s Awakening has lots going for it. It looks amazing – and anyone who was familiar with the old original will instantly know where to go and how to get there – the recreation is accurate enough that one can use a game guide from 26 years ago and it will still serve you just fine.

The main new addition apart from the visual love is the ability to build and play through your own dungeons using tiles earned as you play through the game. Its a nice way to extend the game but it doesn’t really feel like much more than a side-project add-on to partially justify the game’s full price tag.

I’ve heard folks have struggled with frame performance in hand-held mode but being too old and bespectacled to enjoy tiny screens, playing Link’s Awakening docked on the big screen I had no issues.

In terms of progress I romped through most of Link’s Awakening in the first weekend – and got stuck on what I am presuming to be the last boss. I’m not ashamed to admit I had occasion to refer periodically to various wikis to get past some of the more onerous levels, and the occasional sense that I had no idea what I was supposed to do next.

I will go back and pick up from where we left off in the stream for the sake of completionism in the not too distant….

We were trading in a bunch of old games so went crazy and got the collectors edition of Link’s Awakening – with nice Artbook and Amazing GameBoy card case 🙂

Red Dead Redemption 2 Online

Red Dead Redemption 2 Online

RDR2 Online

Game Diary

Red Dead Redemption 2 Onlne - PS4

Red Dead Redemption 2 Online – PS4

I’ve found myself back in the Red Dead Redemption 2 Online loop a bit since the Frontier Pursuits update – its given me something to do as a soloist which I’ve appreciated.

Its been fun have bounties to hunt, skins to cart across the map and running around with the metal detector looking for things to dig up has actually been the most fun of all. It did take a while to hustle enough cash to afford the shovel and the detector but I’d say it was totally worth it.

I did have a go at the first Legendary Bounty but I am still low level and solo so didn’t get too far.

What I don’t like is that as someone who struggles with completionism, getting back into something like this is quintessentially just dead time. There’s nothing I can complete or really feel satisfied about – its just an endless invitation to grind for ephemera for the pure but empty pleasure of doing so.

It’s clearly a trap so I’m going to try to ignore it unless by some miracle I somehow make a huge dent in my ever-growing Gaming Shelf Of Shame.

I have no issues putting Red Dead Redemption 2 down – I put in more than enough time finishing the amazing single player campaign – I got my money’s worth for sure.

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