Halo 5 – impressions

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Finishes it yesterday, in thep ast week, here’s some thoughts while it’s still fresh:

+ looks at all times polished and even good sometimes however:

-, – , – , – was 95% of the time incredibly increeedibly bland and generic in it’s visual design/world/world building/visual language. It all was “generic mech-i sci-fi” writ large. At any moment you look you seem something that looks “cool” yet I easily found myself spacing out at just how same-same everything was. And I could also tell this based on the reactions of my wife as I would keep saying “look, this looks good” but then 2 seconds later she would look away and the thing is, i felt the same even while playing: the recipe is always the same: at any moment you look at the screen you see a) big empty mechanical surfaces without visual interest (hardly any wear and tear, planlife or life or use, even though they were supposedly houndreds/thousands/millions of years old b) on which boring visually uninteresting mechanical humanoid characters were walking and the camera was taking it’s sweet time to keep showing this. And the characters felt so bland, not just story but visuals too that:

-, -, -, I think I was like 60-70% through the game until I realized the 4 characters in my team were actually sometimes also another 4 characters, that’s how little they looked different and how bland mechanical and without personality or personal style flair they were. Only then did i have a flash of realization that the game keeps switching me between two teams of opposing 4 characters. You may laugh at me if you want, but i think this shows a huge flaw in the visual design. This is made worse by:

-, -, -, very very bland story, that I couldn’t care less about. Soldiers always talking like there’s a great urgency, like there’s not enough time, and this in EVERY mission, this has to do with:

-, – the game has very bad pacing, Like a good game I expect to have highs and lows, moments of quiet and moments of action, tension alternating with awe, this game felt like it was always trying to do tension, tension, rush, rush, rush. There’s pretty much always some big scale battle going on, and banter of “quick quick, we don’t have time…”

+ the game felt uniformly polished looking, like consistently AAA quality in the content presentation, smoothness of running and flowing things forward

+ it kept moving forward, which was good and kept me going even to the point of finishing it, too bad:

-, -, – a lot of the game felt like a series of interconnected arenas. They were not small, but there was always the feeling of “clear the enemies and the next door will open” a few times even leading to confusion or fear of bug because of some lost enemy. And this wave based fighting felt very much the opposite of any personal adventure or exploration (for some reason i keep wanting to contrast this to the now ancient aged game Unreal )

+, +, –  Music is good, and now that i listen to it separately there’s even great musical moments, but little of that was to me apparent while playing the game. Maybe it was the monotony of the wave based enemies, or the annoying pointless in-between soldier-soldier dialogues, but most of the time i didn’t notice it (maybe also shows that it wasn’t used good, at the right moments & the existence of moments of breathing to notice it), except a few times when i remember thinking what a waste it is was when they overused and abused the “finish the fight” (i think Halo 3) majestic song which had tones of grand last stand but this as a completely trivial moment which meant nothing, and then again, and then again, trivializing it and being a bit lame if one thinks it was an attempt to project greatness feeling and a feeling of story and purpose in which such were missing

-, +, – The whole game and world, instead of being an excuse to see and feel alien worlds and interesting stories felt populated only by faceless fighting soldiers. I thought for a while in a mission about a mine i’ll get more of a feeling of a colony, but that was super shallow (Rage shined in contrast to this) while for the most I’d see a grand looking camera fly by some alien structures, but instead of seeing some indication of alien or even human living activity there there would be only more faceless soldiers doing nothing

-, -, – I found it incredibly embarrassing and annoying that they kept the signature halo little silly enemies and even worse they gave them some silly voices saying stupid things. This further destroyed any pretense of this being a well thought out universe with interesting participants with own motivations. I get it, it must’ve been a whole different world in 2001, 16 years ago when the first Halo game was made, and maybe back then they were meant as a little comic relief, but today, with such a big franchise, this felt just embarrassing. Even under obligations of keeping the identity I would’ve hoped modern days would at least try to minimize such enemies, make them less common and overshadow them by something more immersive.

-, – there’s this one race of robotic aliens that appears again. It was there in Halo 4, it felt there too lazy, and it does so even more in these bland environments. The weapons they drop are pretty cool looking, but their designs I find totally lazy and cheap. Sure, clean and sleek, but lazy and part of this bigger problem of the look/atmosphere of the whole game.

– the dialogues in the story I also found pretty bland and forgettable.

-, +, –  I’m not a huge fan of the game always forcing you to switch weapons. It’s like it thinks it’s “game design” is more important than your fun or player choices. I get that it forces you to try different weapons, but this is even if you don’t like it, aaand it feels a little silly to in the middle of battle constantly be trying to pick a new type of weapon for ammo aaand at the beginning of new mission segment it keeps forcing you back with a selection of weapons which you’ve already many times shown the game you don’t like, but it disregards that and puts you back with them. I get it that it can be justified as “but it fits the characters”, but i still find it bad for disallowing player expression and agency.

Overall I’d give the game a 1 on a -5 to 5 scale. Surprising maybe given all my complaints, but still it does feel like a AAA title, even if I was very disappointed. It did keep going forward so that I liked and is why I actually finished it.

Last chance 4 Secret Santa 2017

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We’re in the last 24h, last chance! If anybody still wants to join the party this year and gift & receive a game for Christmas, this is your last chance to leave a note at http://artsygamer.com/artsy-gamers-secret-santas-8th-edition/ After that entry will be closed and the random Secret Santas will be asigned.

Skyrim Details

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What amazing attention to detail. My favorite was the one about that mumbling guy who turns out to be an insightful witty author of a recipe book that is actually popular.

 

10 Silent Hill Trivia

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Silent Hill ramen… looks bad, but i’d totally give it a try… ONCE :D And that fact about the real town with burning fires deep, fascinating.

2017 Gaming Stastistics

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Some interesting Numbers

gameSketch 388

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Colorful not alive salvation that was

 
Usual rules: 3 tries per person. Winner gets to propose a gameSketch. x5 multiplier for first timers. Newcomers: you may ask for 3 freebies even if you didn’t yet guess anything. Outstanding credits: Schkan x4, Firefish x34, Jason Clark 10, Jaco x100, Marius, SebastianKErben x19, Radu x45, , 47Crows x19, Ange, PettyX90 x7, Pori x2, Tarpo x5, player347 x9, Diana x6, VideoGamesAsArt x2 , thegazer x9, BiaHawks x7, rsocu x5, Teofil S. Awaiting scenes from you guys.

 

The Joy of Exploration

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It’s stuff like this that impresses me about the games today, they can give one experiences I’ll probably never have in my life… for example in this case just wondering arid areas, fascinating stone formations or a desert in all directions. Just fantastic! And not just the visuals, but the sounds, how they change based on what you’re stepping on, and the kind of love given, I mean i just couldn’t believe it when i started to to experience mirages. that kind of attention to detail and hidden subtletly In the past I would only expect from some elite Metal Gear Solid 3 game or something… and yet here it was. What a treat! And even the In general and technically this game in general has just mindblowing environmental detail, also greatly due to the fantastic work of Sébastien Rousseau, check out some of his amazing grounds for the game: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/Qqy0B

Another thing that I totally didn’t expect is some technical/engineering/historical thinking about the objects, in fact i was betting against it. I had expected the game to be all eye candy, instead I saw there some incredibly thought out irrigation mechanisms in Egypt, I marveled at devices to lift the water, at an ingenious system using a river power to raise the water level for another perpendicular unconnected river, irrigations for plants, and here… Aqueducts… which, in a level of delight that I often wish for in reality are in construction (just like some Pyramids) , giving the opportunity to observe and understand the method of doing. Just amazing. Simply running around in this world is to me mindblowing. And i remember seeign in one place a multi-layered set of pols of water seemingly meant strongly for function (maybe for colors or making some kind of chemical processing?). Fascinating.

Artsy Gamers, Secret Santas – 8th edition

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Want to gift and receive a game for Christmas aand make friends in the process? Just leave a comment in this thread and a secret Santa will be randomly assigned to you while you will alike be assigned to a lucky gamer/gamerette

Wuuppeee!!! 2017 Christmas! Gifting  & being gifted time has finally arrived again ! Let the paaarty beegiiiin!!!

What?

On this magical occasion we shall continue our proud tradition, come wind or snow (we hope)! We’ve started building a list for 2017 of people who are interested in joining. On the 24th I will use this list to randomly extract (out of something christmasy, like a hat or something) everybody’s Secret Artsy Santa. Then I will contact the people on the list with info to their respective giftee.

The nitty gritty

For specifics I would propose a low budget Steam game (thousands of games at <10€. It’s more about the fun and the gesture than anything else). I propose Steam ’cause it’s the most hassle free and it’s digital instant delivery makes it convenient, plus I know quite a couple of us have an account lying around somewhere. However Good Old Games (gog.com) also has fantastic games at fantastic prices (and amazing sales) and so do other networks, so we’ve got even more options. Plenty of choices & probably a ton of fab holiday deals on fantastic games are guaranteed :D I’m not mentioning Playstation & Xbox although a lot of us are gaming there simply because a) I don’t know of an easy way to gift there b) it risks raising the costs prohibitively. If however  that is okay for you, that’s of course perfectly fine also, though Steam is still a likelier focal point.

Also if you just want to research what people might like, we have a steam group: steamcommunity.com/groups/artsygamer and from it you can add friends and see their wishlists, in case you’re temporarily out of ideas, plus friending them now is not just nice but also a good preparation for when the actual gifting will happen.

Why would I do it?

Well… for the huge joy of giving, of course! Imagine you get to browse through a ton of games, remembering the ones you liked most, and share one with somebody, spreading the joy, making the world a better place! As an incredible added bonus you will also get to have a cool surprise waiting for you to unwrap. Even if you’ve played the game before it will be super fun to get it, knowing that somebody else (and you get to wonder who) reaaaallly enjoyed that game and thought it was special enough to share. It probably meant a LOT in their life… it’s magical to share that!

I want in! How?

Well, just leave a comment, gimme a private message (top menu), email, or facebook or even contact form… the popular quickie favorite: you could just leave a comment here if the email you’re registered with is the one you’ll want to be receiving your surprise on. Name + email … and that’s all :D Get ready to gift and receive! A meeeery Christmas is on the horizon !

Kirby Music Russianized

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Sounds interesting.

AC Unity’s French Revolution

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Great video editing of great footage from an amazing game! I enjoyed my visit to it’s 1789 Paris even significantly more than my visit to the contemporary Paris in it’s fullness of artwork and architecture and sculpture and set design and period costumes (plus the modern one had some missing monuments).

gameSketch 387

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Schkan’s hint: “Take a deep Breath and become a Legend”

This week I’m happy to introduce to everybody our newest artsygamer Schkan with her first great gameSketch proposal and cool hint.To many more! Welcome on board and congrats also for last week’s guess!

 
Usual rules: 3 tries per person. Winner gets to propose a gameSketch. x5 multiplier for first timers. Newcomers: you may ask for 3 freebies even if you didn’t yet guess anything. Outstanding credits: Schkan x4, Firefish x34, Jason Clark 10, Jaco x100, Marius, SebastianKErben x19, Radu x45, , 47Crows x19, Ange, PettyX90 x7, Pori x2, Tarpo x5, player347 x9, Diana x6, VideoGamesAsArt x2 , thegazer x9, BiaHawks x7, rsocu x5, Teofil S. Awaiting scenes from you guys.

 

Beyond: Two Souls – Behind the Scenes

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It’s always interesting to see the acting behind the game.

Non-Gamer Misconceptions

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A couple of valid points in this list.

Dork Souls

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Super funneh filled with insider jokes :))

gameSketch 386

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A steed or a camel may work just as well, but the latter fits the murderous protagonist’s birth land better.

 
Usual rules: 3 tries per person. Winner gets to propose a gameSketch. x5 multiplier for first timers. Newcomers: you may ask for 3 freebies even if you didn’t yet guess anything. Outstanding credits: Firefish x34, Jason Clark 10, Jaco x100, Marius, SebastianKErben x19, Radu x45, , 47Crows x19, Ange, PettyX90 x7, Pori x2, Tarpo x5, player347 x9, Diana x6, VideoGamesAsArt x2 , thegazer x9, BiaHawks x7, rsocu x5, Teofil S. Awaiting scenes from you guys.

 

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