Monday, February 24, 2014

The Playlist - No Medal for Blogging?

Between a thrilling Olympics and work, my time was squeezed this week but I still managed to get a bunch of stuff published - gold medal for me! Gaming wise, I played some more Titanfall along with a bunch of classics ranging from Blades of Steel to Heroes of Might and Magic. If you want to find out where you can find my Titanfall beta impressions, my feelings on the Year of Luigi, or anything else I've recently written - keep reading!

What's Up
Most of my work last week was centered around The Sofa is Waiting. I posted a new Sofa Story where I relayed some of my recent issues with the Origin platform. It's slightly exaggerated, but is grounded in truth (and I do mean slightly - I really had an awful experience with Origin). The piece actually started off with the intention of highlighting some of the PC specific issues I had with Titanfall but I felt I kept returning to the same points about Origin and needed to retool my approach. Once I decided for the Sofa Story format, the flow improved and I was much happier with the piece as a whole. On Sunday I finally managed to get back live-streaming and screwed around with Ice Hockey and Blades of Steel for the NES. I had to stream on leeched internet as my main line went down literally minutes before the stream (and came back on literally minutes after I was done) so it ended up quite choppy. Next week, I'm not expecting anything special outside of my normal weekly posts and stream as I will be working on a few things behind the scenes and explore the possibility of migrating to WordPress.

Elsewhere, the second episode of Passion for Pixels was posted and I recorded another one with Stian. I still feel we are working out the kinks in presentation but the points we make are pretty solid. Each new episode we work on feels like it's getting better but we are miles behind some of the amazing podcasts out there. I'm set to record another one later this week and will be exploring the possibility of doing a 'Let's Play' stream with Stian in the near future. We are working on getting the podcast available on iTunes but I have no idea how long the approval process will take - more info as it comes. Also on the interwebs, at StudentCom you can catch my opinion on the Titanfall beta as well as a short piece on region locking. For Geek Binge, I published a quick blurb about the Year of Luigi coming to an end. I'm salvaging some of my non-Origin issues for Titanfall and may rework them into a more generalized piece on PC gaming this generation. Also, the first Geek Binge stream should happen in the near future (though maybe not next week).

What I've Been Playing

Titanfall
As expected, I logged a bunch more hours until beta access was cut off on Wednesday. My initial impressions can be read on StudentCom - I feel that the game is a high-quality shooter that feels incredibly similar to Call of Duty despite giant mechs and parkour. I think it's important to reiterate that I think Titanfall is a great game just not the genre revolution it's been hyped as. The beta gave a great taste of the final product but I'm psyched to see what else the game has to offer when it launches early next month. I'll certainly be grabbing a copy on day one.

Ice Hockey/Blades of Steel
For my stream, I decided to honour the Canadian gold medalists for Ice Hockey by busting out some old school NES titles. Both of these games are horrendous depictions of the sport (Ice Hockey doesn't even get the number of players per team right!) but are oddly entertaining. I remember these games fondly but they probably didn't translate all that well to streaming format - they work better when you are playing with a buddy than against the AI.

Heroes of Might and Magic 2
Steam had Ubisoft titles on sale last week and one of the days was dedicated to the Might and Magic series. I didn't actually buy any games but I did feel inspired to play this one that was already in my collection. I forgot how difficult it could be and was decimated in my first few games before I developed a focused strategy. Even then, I frequently found it was either feast or famine in terms of resource availabilities. I'm interested in picking up the latest iteration in the series but feel a bit miffed that I missed the 75% sale. Oh well, probably a good pick-up in during the Summer sales where it might be discounted even further.

Final Fantasy 7
I completed my run through the final crater and made Sephiroth eat my omnislash. From start to finish, my recent playthrough was enjoyable and I feel ready to discuss it on an upcoming Passion for Pixels podcast. If for whatever reason you've never played this title, go ahead and pay the $10 on Steam and enjoy this masterpiece.