This was a fairly slow news week, but we’ve got NieR: Automata news, Rogue One, Shenmue updates, and I continue down a dark and crowded road.
What was Played
I continued playing Fallout 4. I am still focusing on the Nuka-world DLC, but I’m in the part where you’re mainly taking over settlements for your raiders instead of settlers. So basically it’s the same as before but you have actively aggressive a-holes in your settlements instead of whiny, passive aggressive a-holes. I dabbled in Overwatch, due to the Winter Wonderland update. It’s just as fun as ever, but more than ever I feel that playing without even one friend is a waste of time. Not having even one person to coordinate with severely limits your effectiveness. And I won’t turn on general voice chat; I’m not that desperate. I re-kindled my on-again, off-again relationship with Street Fighter V in an hour-plus long session with one of my housemates. We’re nowhere near good enough to be truly “competitive”, mainly on account of there not being a local scene that we can find (if you live in the Spokane, WA area and are interested in playing SFV please get in touch), but my housemates and I enjoy playing each other. I mainly play Ibuki but lately I’ve been trying to get better at Juri. I could write a whole post on why I love SFV, but it’d boil down to basic fighting game concepts, it’s just that SFV did it in a way a scrub like me could get into. The use of space, mind-games, and variety of tools all add up to a game that I love. SFV is my personal “10 out of 10 game with so many flaws it’s more like a 8 or 7/10 but I love it so much” of 2016 and the new characters and updates coming in 2017 with season 2 only have me more excited.
What was Watched
I’ve only seen the first arc of Sword Art Online, the first 14 episodes. And I hated 99% of it. I’ve decided to soldier on down this path to better understand the series and better critique it. Also I don’t want anyone who has seen it writing off my problems with it since I haven’t seen it all the way through. So far I’m only one episode into the Fairy/Alfheim arc of SAO and I still hate it, but it riled me up enough to start on a post covering my problems with SAO’s first arc. But in good anime, Jojo Part 4 is now one week away from concluding and it has been quite the ride. Jojo has many qualities that put it above most other battle manga and anime and I may write something about it later, but if you still aren’t on the Jojo train and you enjoy battle anime I can’t recommend it enough. Some friends were introducing other friends to Avatar: The Last Airbender and I have to say, season/book 1 doesn’t hold up. It’s not atrocious, but I hate Aang, and the writing and humor is strongly kid oriented. I’m not saying it needs to be “darker” or anything like that, but watching this show back when it aired and I was 13 it was easy to notice how the show was constrained by being on a kids’ network, and over ten years later it shows even more. The characters, aside from Aang, are still compelling and fun, but the show doesn’t really hit its stride until season 2 when Toph shows up and Zuko comes into his own. Hopefully, if Young Justice season 3 can exist we can get a third Avatar series where that doesn’t have the troubled production and storytelling of Korra. I saw Rogue One on Saturday and my short thoughts is that the characters were shallow, the action and aesthetics were well done, but overall it is disappointing. I’ll be posting my full thoughts later. The most interesting thing I watched this week by far, was Danny O’Dwyer’s Noclip documentary on Doom 2016.
Danny O’Dwyer recently departed Gamespot in favor of producing Patreon funded video game documentaries. All three parts of his Doom 2016 documentary is out as well as his first production, which was on Rocket League. O’Dwyer has found and filled a niche in games coverage that I didn’t notice until now, and he’s doing a bang-up job. Go give his Noclip channel a look as well as his personal YouTube channel, he’s doing tremendous work and game journalism is better for it.
Dishonored 2 Patch Coming
It sounds like Arkane have been listening to feedback, and are releasing a substantial patch for Dishonored 2 on December 19th. This update includes multiple changes to the game including changes to detection notification. While I’m happy that some of my critiques are being addressed in this patch, the most interesting addition is a New Game+ mode which will allow players to replay the game with all the runes and bone charms they collected on their previous run. In addition to keeping your upgrade materials you can choose your character, meaning that if you played through as Emily for your first run you can choose Corvo in New Game+, but still keep the runes and bone charms you collected as Emily. This patch is the first of two “Game Updates”. Game Update 2 will include a Mission Select mode so you can go back and replay individual levels or start the game from a specific chapter, and Custom Difficulty modifiers. Game Update 2 is currently slated for release in January. Once both of these patches are available, I will be going back and updating my Dishonored 2 review.
NieR: Automata PS4 Pro Information
During a livestream event on December 15th, Platinum Games and Square announced that NeiR: Automata will be getting PS4 Pro support. The PS4 Pro version will display at 1920×1080 whereas the normal PS4 version will be at 1600×900.
Other upgrades include motion blur, better lighting, and other details.
This seems to be the first Pro version of a PS4 game where even if you don’t have a 4K TV you’ll see significant changes. For me, none of these changes have convinced me to run out and get a Pro or a 4K TV, but smaller differences like these are probably coming in more games down the road.
Shenmue 3 Screenshots and Kickstarter Update
Shenmue 3 released its first screenshots in a Kickstarter update. I’m not personally invested in Shenmue 3, but ever since Mighty No. 9 released to a lukewarm reception at best, I’ve been interested to see how Shenmue 3 shapes up, since they’re two of the highest profile Kickstarters. At least we know there’s progress being made on development even if they have to Photoshop faces on their screenshots; it is a work-in-progress after all.
Boruto Anime and Live-Action Hollywood Naruto Movie in the Works
I don’t care about Naruto and I’ve never watched an episode of the anime or read the manga, but holy crap they’re milking this thing like non other. I’m going to jump on board now just to see how this all turns out, and hopefully it turns out horribly.
Persona 5 Update
Persona 5 is still not available in North America.
What’s on the Plate
Hopefully I can find the time to start up Steins;Gate this week. But I’m definitely continuing Sword Art Online and Fallout 4, and I’ll give Dishonored 2’s New Game+ a look. As previously mentioned I am working on a post covering the issues I see in SAO’s first 14 episodes, which will be my first non-video game related post. Hopefully that will be up a in a couple days as an early Christmas gift to you guys. I also saw Rogue One and will be posting my thoughts shortly. As always, thanks for reading and Happy Holidays.