Gaming To-Do List (Blaugust #11)

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Following in the footsteps of Jaeda at Dragons & Whimsy, Ysharros at Stylish Corpse and a few other video game bloggers, I thought it was about time I started my own gaming to-do list. I’m somewhat using the rules laid out by Izlain in his post The Gamer To-Do List. You can read his suggested guidelines over on his blog!

First of all, why would I do this? Like a few of my fellow gamers, I have a Stack of Shame (on Steam and elsewhere) the size of a skyscraper at this point and it’s ever growing, and I have a few too many unfinished games piling up on the backburner, not to mention games I own but have never even installed.

Instead of feeling excited that I have so many options, I feel, well…stressed. I know that’s absolutely ridiculous, but I get so overwhelmed with a long list of games that instead of just picking one and playing it, I stare at my list and end up doing something else instead. Or, in some cases, doing nothing.

So for me, organisation can sometimes help! When I’m on my time off, I often even write myself a list of games I want to play so that I don’t get distracted or waylaid. With that in mind, here are some things I want to achieve in my video games of choice so that I can feel accomplished and make some progress on my gaming to-do list!

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Screenshot of the Week #2

Screenshot of the Week: Thumbs up in Saints Row IV!

This week’s Screenshot of the Week is from the beginning of Saints Row IV, which I started this weekend co-op with T. I’ve had a soft spot for Saints Row since trying the third game and realising it had everything I loved about Grand Theft Auto games, but with a healthy dose of surrealism, and it didn’t take itself too seriously. Or, in most cases, seriously at all.

In the fourth game, which has been out for rather a long while (shame on me), you become the President of the United States, and have to fight off an alien attack. The screenshot above is from the opening few moments, and I don’t even want to spoil what happens there because it’s really worth playing through to find out.

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Giveaway

Win a copy of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls!

No one can stop death... - MalthaelThey say I was lost to them. They say I turned my back on Heaven.

Fools.

I am the only one with the dedication to seek that which was stolen from us. Have not we fought over it for centuries? These humans, these abominations, they are not worthy of that which we have given them. They are but creations of an abhorrent union between angel and demon. Why should we cater to them? Why should we allow them to live?

I did not turn my back. I am the only one left who upholds what we stand for. And I will not stand for this.

I am Malthael. I will rend the souls of humanity from their vile shells, and I will consume them. I am the embodiment of death.

I will do what they cannot, and you will not stop me!

· · · · ·

How to enter

All you have to do is “collect” the 10 villains and follow the instructions in the giveaway thread. Now that you have the name of my villain, simply visit Catalyst Gaming Media and keep an eye on the members’ content for the name of a featured villain. Visit the Diablo III: Reaper of Souls forum thread for more information and a list of participating blogs, podcasts, video creators, and comics!

First Impressions: DayZ Standalone

First Impressions: DayZ Standalone - Running around, looking for wells, constantly thirsty.

I’ve been playing DayZ since shortly after the mod was first released, due to colleagues talking incessantly about their shenanigans and an awesome story I read online. I was hooked, despite the bugs. I even revelled in how the community moved from survival-focused to banditry-focused. Mostly because I became a bandit myself at that point. I killed indiscriminately.

So when my colleague came into work a few weeks ago and simply said, “Did you buy it?” I did. I bought it on the spot, sight unseen. I bought it for T. I encouraged our friend Andy to buy it. And we played it. So what did we think?

Well, it’s certainly buggy. Occasionally falling through walls and/or floors can cause some sticky situations. Zombies that chase you until you break line of sight…which never happens, because they can see through walls and, as if that wasn’t enough, walk through them. The hunger and thirst meters are weird at best, and annoying at worst, as you seem to start thirsty and it doesn’t get much better. Some of the guns bug out a little when you try to look through a scope you’ve equipped. Ladders can, occasionally, instantly kill you.

But, I do actually really enjoy it. It brings back the feeling of needing to survive, instead of it being just about shooting every guy you see. I’ve stopped feeling the instant urge to shoot people, and started waving at them instead. Last night, a guy approached me and shouted at me over mic, “Get down on your knees!” Seeing as I can’t take instructions in real life without being a stubborn ass, that didn’t go down so well, and I hit him in the face with the baseball bat I wasn’t planning on using. There’s a more tangible depth to the game that I hadn’t noticed in mod for a long time.

First Impressions: DayZ Standalone - Sporting a rather unfriendly looking Dallas (from Payday) mask.

It also brings a lot of great new features, like a quickbar for ease of weapon switching or using items, customisability of your character through the use of clothing and aesthetic items like masks, modular weapons, more buildings that you can enter and explore for loot, and clothing inventory on top of backpacks. Some features are yet to be implemented, such as vehicles, but DayZ standalone is well on its way to becoming an enjoyable game in its own right.

Two things I don’t like, aside from the bugs I mentioned, are the lack of combat logging prevention, and the public hive only approach taken to servers. The former is a huge problem; that guy I hit with a baseball bat after he threatened me with a gun? Yeah, he logged out as soon as I hit him, meaning I’m left feeling frustrated because he got away, even though he initiated the fight. This happens constantly. The latter, however, is merely an annoyance for two reasons – players will server hop to loot popular military spots to get guns and mods for their weapons, and for me, it’s a problem because I often play with friends but would like the option of running off on my own without abandoning them when they’re not around to play.

All in all, the game is in Alpha, so it will improve. If you’re looking for a large-scale multiplayer zombie survival game, it’s definitely fun, as long as you’re prepared for the fact that other players can and will shoot you. Or attack you with a fire extinguisher.