Oh Cross Platform

So I’ve been playing Portal 2 during the last few weeks at Canberra where I play on my iMac. When I go home to Sydney to see my family I don’t usually play anything as it takes away time from my family. I only get two nights at home and I don’t want to waste it.

However this past Saturday I found myself with the chores done and the kids engrossed in a video (and amazingly it wasn’t Frozen!) so I downloaded Portal onto the PC at home. I knew it was a cross platform purchase so I figured Icould muck about in it.

What I didn’t expect was to be able to continue from where I left off last week in Canberra on the Mac! Now that is cool. And a surprise because I had tried that with something else and it didn’t work that way (oh that’s right it was Borderlands 2).

Of course I only got through one room after spending an hour waiting for it to download, before the kids came wandering in having finished the movie

And here’s another cool thing. It’s a great clean non(ish) violent puzzle game. So we puzzled our way about in the next room without much success.

Portal 2 – Gee catch up!

620_2014-05-07_00001Hey this Portal 2 game is really cool [yes, we already know that you all think!]. Some really good puzzles - not enough to totally frustrate you, but enough to make you sit and think for a few minutes. Most seem to have only one solution so far.

620_2014-05-07_00002

Story so far seems to be that I got back to where the evil robot was, swapped the core with the robot that had been helping me only for it to get all mean (or defensive) and throw me down a tube.

620_2014-05-08_00002

My buddy turns mean

620_2014-05-08_00003

A long, long, long way down

This ended me up at what is obviously a sort of 1960s era first version of the laboratory that I was in.

620_2014-05-08_00006And I’m guessing I’m in the first of 9 stages to get through this one. So a fair bit of puzzle to go.

BL2 – Looking for Roland

2013-07-27_00001

 

I made it into Sanctuary. After a couple of small missions inside the town and running into the town doctor…

2013-07-27_00007

Here ya go Navi… isn’t this just like your work ;P

I’ve headed out of town in order to try to find Captain Roland. He’s the leader of the Crimson somethings, that defend Sanctuary from the evil guy I’m apparently after… Handsome Jack.

Somehow Roland has got himself lost out there in the wilderness, and its up to me to find him… none of his other troops are up to it (hmm, might suggest he looks at doing some training of his guys when I catch up to him!)

So at the moment I’m out there in Frostburn Canyon, looking for some lowlife named Firehawk.2013-07-27_00008As I progressed, scrounging through the boxes and containers abandoned about the place, I have come across some that have a midget who is kinda like a really tough piñata that shoots back inside them.

2013-07-27_00012And this is the second one I’ve come across… I’ve almost got him a few times now.

2013-07-27_00009Mostly though, the meetings have ended up in regenerations. Still I notice he’s level 11 and Badass (like Elite I think) and I’m level 9, so killing him will be a bonus :)

 

 

 

Borderlands2 – Getting on with it

2013-07-21_00001

The annoying save points are the way the game plays. The respawns are probably because it is an FPS RPG, rather than just a mission based shooter. Get over it Mabaho!

And I have. By leaving the game paused but running when in between Fast Travel points I can save my progress and not have to refight bosses all over the place. With that in mind I got on with the game.

So I found Flynt, the next boss.

2013-07-21_00007He was a pyromanic, spraying fire all over the place. After several deaths I was getting worried I wasn’t going to get past him, especially when he knocked me off the side (no falling damage in this game) and down a few levels. I started to climb when I realised he was shooting at me, and mostly missing. But he wasn’t moving much either.

2013-07-21_00008

You can just see Flynt in my crosshairs, stuck on that beam.

Sweet, algorithm was stuck. And so I ground him down. I’ll take that kill.

The game got its own back later when I was scouting a new village and activated some big bad mf, who killed be about 6 times on his own before I got him. Payback huh!

Moving on, I’ve acquired a vehicle and am working to get into Sanctuary, the last free city on Pandora (hey, no Avatars here??). Back to enjoying the game.

And as you can see, I can get screenshots (done through the Steam Overlay).

 

 

Boom & Bewm… and Boom & Bewm … and… omg

Boom & Bewm, the repeating boss.

Boom & Bewm, the repeating boss.

Played a couple more hours of Borderlands 2. Still enjoying it, but I’ve found one thing that is REALLY annoying – the save method.

There are save points along the game. Activating them gives you the little saving icon. If you die, then you are revived (for an increasing cost! I liked that idea) at those save points. Cool so far (and dead guys stay dead too)

If you exit the game, you get returned to a much earlier save point (these are Fast Travel points – kinda like the wyvern flight paths in WoW) and all the bad guys, including bosses are ALIVE again.

Yes, you have to work your way back through them in order to get back to where you were. This could be a game breaker for me.

If I push ahead for an hour, killing, dying etc, then have to quit because to be honest a solid hour is about all I can scrape together many days. To quit and be RIGHT BACK WHERE I WAS the night before and have to spend the next hour working through it again, only to have to call it a night. And have gotten no further in the game is killing the enjoyment.

Do you see how that could get frustrating, very quickly. Especially as I assume this early game is a lot more linear than later game sequences. It’s not like I can go off and do anything else.

I suppose some consolation is that these save games do not reset your stats as well as your location and the enemy. So any level ups, gear changes, scores etc are kept. This should, over time, allow me to make my way through this more easily. But that’s a pretty slow way to do it. And I’ve beaten those bosses, not fair I have to run them through again.

Am I missing something about these saves?

And now, back to the game…

I decided after rather awkward attempt at Eve I should go back and try out some of the single player games that I have stashed about.

The Steam summer sales have started too, and whilst I was browsing I remembered that there was a new chapter for The Walking Dead. So I downloaded that and got back into it.

Being that it’s just more content, there are still all the same annoying controls in this chapter too.

In this one, you play about 5 different people at different points in the 400 days since the infection. I’ve played two so far – an convict escaping death at the outbreak and a woman forced into some difficult choices about 250 days in. I wonder if they’ll give use one as a zombie?? That would be unusual.

It is more of the same so, if you loved the other chapters, you’ll love this one. I am still ambivalent really, though I guess, more on the positive as I actually spent money on it.

This afternoon I warmed up the PS3 with some Tomb Raider. Yes, I used my PS3 for gaming, not as a PVR.

When I last left our heroine she was spotlighted and in the open with about 15 guys shooting at her. This set piece took several attempts and a lot of frustration. Very happy when I realised I was through the first wave, because I was pretty sure I could get through the dribs and drabs that would come.

Outside it was daytime (answering another question I did have about the game) and I had to get to the top of the radio tower.

By using a lot of cover and a fair bit of retreating, I ground through the next set of enemy. Bow is still great at range, better than the submachine gun I’ve picked up.

Then it was boss fight time, and I had a guy with a armoured shield and some kind of crude body armour. Bounced a lot of rounds off his shield before getting enough past it to knock him down. Still easier than the set piece.

A last survivor and the building was clear. Now it was just to climb to the top of the mast at the top of the island and try to contact help.

And that’s where Lara is now. Standing at the very top of the tower, gazing at the dawn. I so wish I could get a screenie there.

I still hate the way that aiming is controlled. I’ve noticed its common in several games, as Dust514 uses the same control (with about the same sensitivity) and I just can’t seem to get the hang of it yet.

Red things go boom!

I’ve signed up for a couple of missions from the “Military” agent. And I’ve got out there and blown up a bunch of filthy pirate scum harassing the solid good folks mining the asteroids. It hasn’t been hard, I think you’re meant to be quite overpowered in order to allow for some mistakes (like turning off your weapons for half the fight, not that I’ve done that…)

So success has brought reward and they’ve been quick so some cash bonuses as well. I scored a new ship, a Thrasher. It’s a bit funny looking (no really compared to the bitsa I was flying???)

2013.06.07.20.37.12

But it is significantly more powerful (faster, better armed, stronger) than the older one.

The learning curve continues and I’m going to have to sit down and read the control settings as I’m sure I’m doing it the hard way. I mean my process for selecting, locking, and then chasing and shooting the targets. At the moment it’s a lot of mouse all over the screen and right clicking. I’m sure I can get it set up better, especially with the dozen+ keys on my Naga mouse. So that will be the project for the next few missions. I have about 6 more in this group of missions to stuff about in.

Oh, and must remember to get snap happy again….

Space is quiet

At least the part where I am at the moment. Not a lot of conversation going on in the local chat screens.

2013.06.01.19.31.54

I’ve worked through the tutorials again now. And I think it might even be the first time I’ve gotten all the way through them as I ended up in a different system this time. Now I can choose from some other missions that will teach me the basics of the main career choices in Eve, Military, Industrial, Exploration and Mining.

I’m actually looking to PvP eventually so I’ll follow the military path and see how things go.

I’ve also applied to a Corporation run by some guys at work. Hopefully I’ll find some people out there to talk to, so space isn’t so quiet :)

Choking on Electronic Dust

I’ve dusted off a seven year old toon in order to find something to play on this gorgeous iMac screen. Pretty obviously from the screenshot, it’s not WoW, the toon is in Eve.

2013.05.28.19.17.25

I had a couple of goes at Eve over the past few years, but never subscribed. The main reason for not spending time in the game is that I didn’t really have time to learn it, with RL and WoW as well. As you know, WoW is not about anymore.

Looking about for something to play I discovered that (several years ago) they released a Mac client for Eve. So I’ve downloaded it and it looks pretty great on the 27″ screen. So I’ve logged in to find lots has changed… I think… Having played for a total of about 2 hours in that seven years, my memories are pretty hopeless. However I don’t remember seeing a toon, only ships. You can now get out of your ship and stand in your “office” but I can’t see any use to that. Decoration I think.

Anyway I found a couple of ships in my hanger, a lot of skills to train and almost no inventory. I can’t seem to get the tutorials reset so I’ll have to chat to the pros at work to get some tips.

I have managed to get out of the station and fly about a bit. No autopilot or warping, and no shooting yet. I think I have to find some missions or a corp to join up with to get things moving. I did find out how the screenshots work (and where they get stored on the Mac), so I can document my progress.

I’ve heard Eve is pretty unforgiving, so I will have to keep my wits about me.

Mechwarrior

I just received an invite to buy a founders pack for MechWarrior Tactics, the RTS game being developed alongside MWO. I am feeling a little “once bitten, twice shy”, though actually if I add SWTOR it’s more like twice bitten.

MWO, I’ve spent a bit, with the founders pack and the pc upgrades. And I haven’t felt any interest in playing it for some time, several months now. I’ve spoken to colleagues who are still playing and by all accounts it has gotten worse.

To me the game was at its peak just before they removed knockdowns. From that patch onwards the developers have steadily added complexity without balance and have introduced bugs ands instabilities into parts of the game that were working fine. Even bugs that should have been obvious from even a small amount of play testing (the screw up with missile damage when Artemis was introduced for example) before making it on the Beta servers…. one assumes they have their own internal test servers….. assumes…

ECM, by all accounts is really messing with the game. It didn’t have to be, but they’ve made it a must have for everyone, limiting your mech choices if you want to have any real chance of doing well in a match. There is no reliable way for large mechs to combat small mechs without knockdowns (in tabletop you could even fall if you turned whilst running, now you won’t fall if a mech charges into you). They are having a lot of problems with lag and rubber banding (I remember my duel with a light I think I discussed in another post).

The other concern is that some of the “news” on the website suggests that with the timeline they are running it’s about 3-4 months before we have the full Clan invasion. They haven’t even started the metagame part of MWO and they’re about to introduce a whole heap more to this game! That’s surprising a few I’ve been talking to.

The overall feeling is that they are not balancing the game properly, and spending too much time introducing new hardware, without fixing existing game and balance issues. Adding more mechs, when people really want more maps (bigger ones!) and more game types (and the metagame).

So that’s MWO… now I have this invite for the MWT founders. Same deal, instant access to beta, with varying amount of bonuses depending upon your spend. MWT is being published by the same company but it seems to be developed by someone different from MWO.

Honestly, I’m not really positive about it. Anyone else have any thoughts on the games?