When You Find That One Game You Love

I’m currently working on designing a new video game and talking to a crew at GameStop about where I was going with the project. As I pulled my trusty iPhone to check a message one of the guys noticed my Skyrim wallpaper, and an hour later…

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The topic quickly changed to the mega hours we had spent playing that game. Skyrim: Special Edition was a much-needed release for the current consoles. Just in that version alone, we had over 1300 hours invested in that magical land filled with dragons and open quests.

My problem is that I have so many games that fit that ‘love them’ stage it’s too long to list…but I will name my second favorite game…Fallout 4. You guessed it, I have over 400 hours alone in that one…and the other guys had well over 100 hours each as well. You may wonder how I have time to work on anything else, which is funny because I don’t know how I do either.

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The point to all of this is that I hadn’t realized how much time I spend in the world of gaming, not counting the design, and now developing. The funny thing is, it doesn’t bother me any. I never get tired of it, and it never gets old.

My house looks like ThinkGeek threw up…well…everything because our house looks like an actual game museum. When I go somewhere I have my MacBook Pro, Xbox One S or my PS4 Pro…on holidays, weekend trips, and the list goes on.

Even when I’m trying to just relax with my wife and catch up on some TV (and have you seen ‘Iron Fist’ on Netflix?…Awesome!), I’m usually reading or scrolling through something about video games, or code, or something in that universe.

I’m pretty sure when my time comes on my tombstone there will be something like, “Game Over…Respawning?” Come on, that’s a good one, what?…I got jokes. I’ll be that old man still designing games, bugging guys at GameStop, and playing Battlefield 12. I can live with that.

 

 

Why We All Need Gaming ‘Fast Travel’

There are certain things in life where a video game’s ‘Fast Travel’ would come in handy…and don’t act like you haven’t thought about it.

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You know when you have to go to that party that you really didn’t want to go to? What about that family party where the crazy aunt shows up and starts calling you things like, “You’re a bunch of Monkeys with Needles”…don’t laugh, it actually happened. Oh, what I would have paid for ‘Fast Travel’ to get the heck out of there that day. The short answer is everything…I would have paid everything.

We’ve all got used to Fast Travel in huge RPG games like Skyrim, Dark Souls, and Horizon Zero Dawn. We always tell ourselves that we won’t use it the next time we play because the world is just too beautiful and that we’re actually doing an injustice to ourselves, and the developers, who took the time to make players such a gorgeous environment.

But, the next time we log in we do a quick scan to make sure no one is looking and bow down at that magic bonfire, that takes us to whatever destination we just couldn’t wait to get to. I admit it, I’ve used Fast Travel in Skyrim, a lot. I know…I know, it’s the forbidden fruit in that particular game. It was just so massive that I would tell myself, “Just this once, to drop off my treasures I’d picked up along the way.” Yeah, 3 hours and 4 Fast Travels later…

 

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You might even be thinking about using Fast Travel reading this right now…by the way, that’s messed up…justified, but messed up. I spend so much time in video games either playing them or working on my current project, that I feel like games might be where I live, and this so called VR life (which at times has some terrible graphics) is where I really need a controller and some gaming perks.

Think about it, whenever we’re running late we could just tap ‘Square’ or ‘X’, and just phase out and appear there, and on time. The possibilities would be endless, although family get-togethers might be much shorter…and that’s not always a bad thing, just saying.

I guess until someone can figure the whole Fast Travel thing out in this world, I’ll keep driving to destinations…driving…like cavemen. I know what you’re thinking, “Can I go back before I took the time to read this?” That’s harsh…

Games To Wait On Until The Xbox One X Releases

If you’re going to drop $500 on the new Xbox One X console later this year, then you may want to hold off on playing a few game titles that are currently out and experience them later in the jaw dropping awesomeness of 4K Xbox fans have been waiting for.

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Not only is there a long list of new upcoming 4K titles coming to the new console, but it will also improve a lot of your existing games using Xbox One X Enhanced. This will allow many of your current favorites to take advantage of the new technology and power and enhance them for an even better experience.

So, before you start off on a new quest or adventure you may want to hold out just a little longer and do it all with graphics pushed to the edge, especially if you have a new 4K TV.

Here is a list of 8 games that will look even better on Xbox One X:

  1. Gears of War 4
  2. Forza Horizon 3
  3. The Witcher 3
  4. Skyrim: Special Edition
  5. Hitman
  6. Dishonored 2
  7. Resident Evil 7
  8. Fallout 4

You could always play them now and then do a second play through later in 4K. I’m on my second play through on the Xbox One for Fallout 4 and on my first on the PS4 Pro. The PlayStation 4K upscale patch really shows what it can do for the graphics, and it looks amazing.

I stop and just look around a lot in the wasteland on the PS4 Pro, because the fog and the lighting are just slap-your-momma good…but not my momma…mine will hit back…and it’ll be in 4K with or without an HD TV.

I’m glad that both Microsoft and PlayStation are keeping console gaming moving forward, and hopefully, the era of the ‘7 to 8-year reign’ for consoles is officially dead. Think about it, do you want to keep your current iPhone or Droid for 7-8 years? Whenever the new iPhone, iPad, or MacBook is released I’m running to pick it up like a hobo on a corndog.

Console gaming for me is the same way. I want to play on the newest, most powerful console available. I want amazing graphics and parachute pants…just because. Hopefully, the new Xbox One X will be available for pre-order soon, the wait is killing me, like my daughter-in-law who likes Jar Jar Binks…that’s strike one.

 

When Your Best Friend Asks To Borrow Your Favorite Game…

We all have our favorite game, I mean, it’s what we do. So, what do you say when your ‘best friend’ asks to borrow it? You have just entered, the Twilight Zone.

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You invite your BFF over to see the game you’ve been going on about for the last two weeks, and then it happens…they ask if they could borrow…your precious.

I’m sure all you guys and gals have great friends who borrow things and return them in the same condition they went out in. But, what about that one friend who doesn’t? They are a lot like ‘Wimpy’ on Popeye, “I’ll gladly pay you on Tuesday for a hamburger today.” Meanwhile, sixteen Tuesday’s later, you still don’t have your favorite game back.

Do you continue to loan games to him/her? I don’t have this problem because we usually have the same titles anyway. And, now that games are on Blu-ray disks it’s fairly hard to scratch one up. But somewhere out there, there’s always that one person who manages to do it.

Sometimes, when I go to people’s houses I’ll see a Blu-ray or game disk with the media side down, on an entertainment center or even on the floor. That’s a red flag if you ever get asked to borrow your game and it’s going to that house. I have heard some pretty tragic stories from people and to be honest, it’s just better to have them over where you can…control the environment.

I have a ridiculous amount of games on both systems and as hard as I fought against going digital, these days for reviews and testing it’s a pretty efficient way of doing it. Plus, if you wait for the digital sales with Xbox and PlayStation you can grab some games at crazy low prices that even challenge Amazon and Best Buy.

So, what about you? Have you had that friend who borrowed a game and never managed to get it back? Did his dog mistake it for a Dingo chew treat? Sometimes, the best way to keep that friendship may just be grabbing some chips and drinks and having a game night either there with them, or at your house. And for the love of everything, put some pants on…just saying.

 

 

 

 

 

‘Ghost Theory’ Coming to Xbox One and PlayStation 4

If you like to be scared, then we have the game for you. ‘Ghost Theory’ is coming to both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. It doesn’t have a release date yet, but trust me, you want it.

In ‘Ghost Theory,’ you’ll be playing as a young woman in possession of powers in clairvoyance. You join a secret university research team who investigates and tries to prove the existence of the paranormal.

One of the coolest parts of the game is that each mission is an open-ended haunted ground – a playable sandbox with its own story. The university is the player’s home base, where your work will be evaluated, and briefed for their next mission.

You’ll be going into real-life haunted sites and areas, that’s right, real areas that have reported actual haunted events. Places like the island of Poveglia, the woods of Aokigahara, and many haunted mansions in America.

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Ghost Theory is a horror game but won’t have players trying to hide from creatures or shooting their way out of a mad house. This game is about fear and really seeing how investigations like this operate, and your conclusions are your own.

It wouldn’t be a true ghost investigation unless you got to use real-life ghost hunting tools, and they are keeping it spot on for realism. The player will be using EMF, blacklights, and full-spectrum cameras to capture anything you may see along the way. You’ll return to your home base after each mission at the university, where you and the team will go over any evidence you collect and make your conclusions.

The developer, Dreadlocks, has nailed the use of sound and suspense. The game is coming to Xbox One and PS4 but no release date is confirmed. If this comes to the PS4 Pro with VR…be afraid…be very afraid…