jdodson1

Joined 01/23/2012

I'm an Engineer and built the video game community Cheerful Ghost and text based mini-MMO Tale of the White Wyvern.

2573 Posts

Rage 2 was one of my most anticipated games of 2019 and as such I pre-ordered the Deluxe Edition that April. I always felt the original Rage was a somewhat forgotten shooter that I think is good by falls flat at the end. When the trailers came out hyping Rage 2 I was excited as it looked like the perfect follow up.

When I wrote about Rage 2 back in May of 2019 I noted that Rage 2 was fun and that it took a bit of practice to master each of the abilities to fit my style of play. I also wasn't so focused to sticking to the main story and didn't write about this, but played a few things out of order and got my ass handed to me quite a few times. The BFG saved my bacon early on but wasn't something I ever really used beyond getting out of those "oh shit" moments caused by playing the game out of order. One big event was that I wanted to complete early was the Cult of the Death God mission to get the Settler Pistol and Raine armor. If you do that early on in the game the super mutant boss is INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT and I wasn't quite ready for it but the BFG was.

I'm mentioning my first experience with Rage 2 only to note that Rage 2 is a good game but not an absolutely perfect one and frankly it doesn't really need to be. Rage 2 is a kick ass shooter that focuses on what it does well which is great gameplay and a really hardboiled Mad Max styled plot with a villain so campy he never leaves the tent. Which is to say, Rage 2 is a lot of fun.

I never felt Rage 2 was so compelling that I had to complete it all in a short amount of time which I'll note to the games credit. Games that are fun in bursts and compelling enough to return to a year after you bought it get high marks in my book. I know some gamers are looking for the next fully immersive experience where you lose yourself in a game but I'm not. Is a game fun? Can I pick it up again quickly for 45 minutes? Do I even want to keep playing it? With Rage 2 the answer is hell yes.

I finally completed Rage 2 a couple days ago on a whim. I had completed enough of the main story to have the "last mission" marker unlocked on my HUD. Up until that point I had just been exploring the map and defeating random bandit dens and decided I might as well complete it. In this way Rage 2 and it's open world feel a lot like a Far Cry game. Far Cry is an open world game with a lot of places to explore but each "bandit den" is very similar to the others and you have those interspersed with story locations and you can decide to main-line the story or just hang around doing other stuff if you want. It took me just as long to finally complete Far Cry 3 and I enjoy it just as well as Rage 2.

Since I purchased the Deluxe Version I have some story DLC and i'm not sure when I'll get to playing that. Until then Rage 2 will camp out on my PC until I decide I want to head back to its particular shooter shenanigans. I hope Rage 2 did well enough to justify it becoming a series that will live on for a Rage 3 because I think there is a lot they could bring to the table with MORE player powers and by doing some sort of time fast forward to space.


The Super Nintendo Classic has been hooked up to my TV since it was released in 2017 and I've played so much of it it might be the video game system I've played the most of since I picked it up. One fun part about the Super Nintendo Classic is that a lot of the games are meant for younger audiences and my son is getting older and enjoys watching me play them. He can even play Super Metroid well enough to get by but he won't be breaking any speedrun records anytime soon. Still it's a fun system and may be one of the best consoles made in the last 5 years or so if I was the only one that voted for that sort of thing. One game that I've been playing a handful of minutes per day is The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. One cool part about Link to the Past is that each dungeon is relatively short(compared to later Zelda games) meaning that the entire game can be completed in a short amount of time. HowLongToBeat.com says you can complete the main quest in 15 hours and I may have taken longer than that but not by much.

Everything has been said about Link to the Past already but I will say playing it with your kid brings a new level of joy to the experience. He seemed to think I should have been better than I was and dying and coming at bosses again seemed to bother him which added to some of the stress you get while playing a game. "Daddy don't die here, don't get hit, why did you get hit Daddy?"

I've heard rumors that a remake to Link to the Past would be coming and if that happens that would be something i'd be interested in. That said i'm not sure it's strictly needed but that's also what I thought before the Link's Awakening remake came out and I rated that in my top 10 games of the last 10 years.

*FUN NOTE* I embedded a Link to the Past Let' Play above I recorded in 2013 when Lets Plays were rather new. It's one of the most popular videos I've ever made on YouTube clocking in at over 35 thousands plays. Not a lot when you consider the most popular YouTubers around but a fun number considering I don't really make Lets Plays and my Link to the Past chops aren't top notch.


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Stardew Valley is a modern classic that many consider to be one of the best games of all time. It debuted to critical acclaim but never received a physical release until now. You can pre-order Stardew Valley collectors or standard edition on Switch or PC. The each version is priced a bit differently and the Switch SKU seems to be a couple bucks more than the PC version. That said, the Switch Collectors edition is $69 and for what you get that's quite a good deal.

I have yet to really dig in to Stardew Valley and now that play most games on my Switch am considering picking up the standard physical edition. Anyone else thinking about that?

"Stardew Valley is now available as a physical edition for Nintendo Switch and PC (DRM-free disc with Steam key) in a special collector's edition available exclusively on Fangamer.

The Collector's Edition includes:

* Deluxe six-piece wooden standee made from responsibly sourced birch and cherry wood (measures 4.5 x 4 x 4 inches; some assembly required).
* Wooden lapel pin made from the same eco-friendly wood as the standee
* 14-page Junimo comic by Chihiro Sakaida, the artist of the Before the Farmer comic
* Deed to your farm featuring gold-foil details on paper made from 30% recycled straw (a byproduct of actual farming!)
* Collector's Edition box made from sturdy, high-quality materials featuring artwork by Kari Fry, the artist behind the Stardew Valley Guidebook
* Physical copy of the game on your choice of platform with 18-page, full-color illustrated instruction manual and double-sided cover with Joja theme on the inside
* Soft polyester-nylon blend cleaning cloth designed by Chihiro Sakaida
* For a limited time: Bonus poster for preorders until August 15th (measures 10" by 16", folded)
"

https://www.fangamer.com/products/stardew-valley-switch-pc-collectors-edition-game


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Pre Orders for the Analogue Pocket will go live August 3rd @ 8am PT. The base system will play Gameboy, Gameboy Color and Gameboy Advance games and be priced at $200 and will ship with a raft of other add-on gear and some entirely new features that look to make the system even better than we originally thought. I'll clip the spec sheet below:

* Compatible with Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance game cartridges.
* 3.5" LCD. 1600×1440 resolution. 615ppi.
* 360° display rotation (tate mode)
* Variable refresh display
* Rechargeable lithium ion 4300mAh battery
* 6-10 hour gameplay time & 10+ hour sleep time 9
* All buttons mappable
* Stereo speakers
* micro SD card slot
* USB-C charging
* Original-style link port
* 3.5mm headphone output

The interesting bits hardware wise is that the Analogue Pocket will be USB C which may imply that your USB C Mac, Android and Switch gear might work for it. The Pocket will come with an optional Switch Style doc that looks like it works in the same fashion and if so would be cool if you could just plug your Analogue to it and have it just magically work the same.

It also seems that Analogue has created the Pocket with music creation in mind as it can be treated as a MIDI device using a few cables compatible with old or new MIDI gear.

For the full list of features and extras the Pocket will come with check the link below and if you plan on grabbing this pre-order drop me a note in the comments.

https://www.analogue.co/pocket


In the mostly great news with some downsides department, Rocker League is going free to play this summer! The downside is that moving forward it will only be available for new players on PC on the Epic Store and not be available for new players on Steam. If you have Rocket League on Steam already you can still play it moving forward just fine, but they are funneling all PC players to play on the Epic Store. Some fans have questions about mod support and Steam Workshop integration as the Epic Store has none of these features, that said this seems like an overall good move as it puts Rocket League in the hands of more players.

I bought Rocket League on sale last year on Switch for $20 and it's a perfect game to play with friends on the couch. I imagine playing online is just as fun and this should give the player base a fun shot in the arm.

https://www.rocketleague.com/news/rocket-league-going-free-to-play-this-summer/
https://www.reddit.com/r/RocketLeague/comments/hvb5xe/rocket_league_going_free_to_play_this_summer/


I'm noticing a trend as I play BioShock. Enter a new area to find out about a new person in charge that at first seems a bit goofy. Find out more backstory to realize they are a psychotic murderer. Spend more time and find out they are so much worse than that. Also note that every "normal person" either doesn't really notice the writing on the wall (sometimes literally in blood) or doesn't seem to care. Then again if you lived underwater that might make leaving very hard or impossible such that you had to make working with your boss work even if they seemed to enjoy being a horrible person.

Even though at this point BioShock seems like a game that can't stop making it story, citizens and people in charge look like the worst people of all I time it's still really fun to play. Part of the fun comes with how the game unfolds its story along with the next level tone building through music, art and gameplay. Recently I completed the interactions with Sander Cohen and am looking forward to finally coming to meet Andrew Ryan. Will I actually meet him? I'm not sure but all signs seems to say I will. If I had one critique of the game beyond that everyone important seems like a horrible person is that the game isn't really in a hurry to have you meet Ryan. Personally I think the most interesting parts of BioShock are the story and I wish more than a few times I could just skip to the next story beat.

I'm sure i'm not the first person to say this but BioShock might make an incredible series of films or one kick ass TV show. I could see a great show out of the original BioShock game to Infinite through all the DLC. Seems like video games moving to TV and film might be the next big move for Hollywood as the current Superhero craze has run for a while now.

As with most gaming lately I've been playing BioShock on the Switch and if you have one and are interested in playing it heartily recommend it even if every character in the game is a horrible person.


Chex Quest is a non-violent breakfast cereal game released in 1996 that was a conversion of The Ultimate Doom. I had a copy of this and really rather enjoyed it in 96 but as with some things, I got rid of it not knowing it would achieve cult status later on. The legendary status of Chex Quest is still very strong and it so much so that recently got an HD remake and came to Steam last month. Since I enjoyed playing the original and it's currently free on Steam I downloaded it and gave it a go.

Firstly Chex Quest HD is free and that means that it shouldn't really be held up to the same light as a game you paid for. With that is Chex Quest good? I think that depends on what you like but for a free game it's well worth your time and if you never played the original this could be fun to try.

All that said, I'm not sure as a remake this does much more than bring the original namesake back into the light for a time. Reason being is the game is aimed at recreating the levels and gameplay of the original but doesn't really improve anything. The graphics are in HD and entirely remade here which is interesting but the gameplay is so stiff and uninviting i'd argue the original Chex Quest is a far better game. Chex Quest HD is based on the Unreal Engine 4 but the gameplay doesn't feel like it is. The original Doom and Chex Quest by association were on the same engine and those games are bound to the limitations of 90's era control schemes and what DOS was capable of. One improvement i'd have made to Chex Quest HD is that since you are on a modern shooter engine, make the game feel like a modern shooter. The original Chex Quest was awesome because it was on the DOOM engine which was an entirely modern shooter engine back in the 90's. Sad that the HD remake didn't take take advantage of the modern Unreal Engine it was built within to feel more like Unreal or any other modern shooter made with it.

I absolutely love that Chex Quest is getting the attention it deserves. It's a fun classic campy game that should be more widely played. That said, I wonder if simply porting the classic game to modern systems and making it work in widescreen with a modern Doom engine port would have be better? The developers could have made a feature to switch between two WAD files one being the original and the other being a touched up version. In the end remaking a classic game with an entirely new codebase and art isn't bad and we've seen it done to incredible levels with the recent Link's Awakening remake. One reason why the modern Link's Awakening remake shines is because it improves on the original game in various ways that create a new fresh experience that builds on the classic game. I appreciate the love that the developers put into the Chex Quest HD remake I'm just not sure it hits quite the same notes as the original.

https://store.steampowered.com/app/804270/Chex_Quest_HD/


YouTube documentary great Noclip dropped a timely look at the recent Command and Conquer + Red Alert remastering. I knew the remastering was made with a lot of attention and care but I didn't know they got the original developers back to work on it. Clocking in at 40 minutes this look at how EA remastered one of the best games of all time is a must watch.

"Featuring interviews with Jim Vessella, Petroglyph Games and Lemon Sky, we explore how Command & Conquer Remastered Collection came together, and how the international team remastered FMV, graphics, audio, music, gameplay and more."


I heart Sim Tower so when I heard there was a sequel a few years back I was surprised. Sim Tower gets some love in retro circles but seems like a forgotten gem. Lazy Gamer Clint Basinger is back doing his review magic on a game that I feel holds up well even if some of the games simplicity doesn't fare well for longer play sessions.

"There was a Sim Tower 2? In all but name, yes! Let's take a look at Yoot Tower, aka The Tower II, developed by OPeNBooK9003 and published by Sega in 1998 for Macintosh and Windows PCs. Along with the Towerkit maps and other plugins from Japan!"


I've played a lot of Donkey Kong Country but I wouldn't consider myself a pro. When I was in my prime I could be the whole game start to finish without dying, which is quite difficult. To celebrate the game coming to Switch Online on July 15th Nintendo released a fun Classified Information video showcasing some Donkey Kong Country secrets. One features infinite lives you can get while Diddy Kong and also a trick to getting 101% which is just what all the Donkey Kong Country completionists out there needed.

The full list of games Nintendo is adding on July 15th is Donkey Kong Country, Natsume Championship Wrestling on SNES and The Immortal on NES.


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