Apr. 21st, 2017

kv0925: (Default)
So my gaming life lately has been rather focused on The Last of Us. I mentioned I picked up a PS4 back around Christmas, right? I played through Uncharted 4, which was amazing, and then went back and played the first two games in that series (having also picked up the Nathan Drake Collection). Hallie was playing through them at more or less the same time, so I thought I'd play something else while she catches up and finishes Uncharted 2. So I popped in The Last of Us, which was actually a big reason I wanted the PS4 in the first place, having heard what a great game it was.

And it is. It really, really is. The gameplay is fun, a very well-crafted mix of FPS, stealth, exploration and survival, with some RPG elements tossed in too. But the story, and writing, and performances.. man. It's all linear, of course, which puts the whole game on rails and removes the choice factor. There were a few times when I felt forced to do things I would have chosen not to do, because they were required to progress the story as written. But still, on the whole? Just an amazing experience, and one that will stick with me. Once I got through it, I played through the Left Behind DLC, and then almost immediately started back through the main game to try to find all the collectibles and see other things I might have missed or not fully appreciated the first time. And it's just as good the second time, and actually even better since I knew what I was doing in the early parts of the game. So yeah, if you get a chance to play this one, I do recommend it. And I will be very much looking forward to the sequel next year. I almost never pre-order a game, but that one I absolutely expect to. After this one and the Uncharted series, Naughty Dog have earned my trust for sure.

Otherwise, on the PC I've been playing Mafia III. I enjoyed the first game in that series, and loved the second one, so I had high hopes when 3 was announced. Reviews were not exactly glowing when it came out, but I saw a good price and figured it was worth a try. And it's not a bad game, not at all. As an open-world shooter, it's very adequate. But that's the thing. There was something special about Mafia 2, some bit of magic and serendipity, which took it up a level in my mind and made it more than just the sum of its parts. It had its weak points, but it was just plain FUN. Mafia III seems to have missed that magic, somehow. I still want to get back to it and go through it, but.. yeah, the second one is a lot better.

I've also been playing some Alien: Isolation, which is very good, but somehow hasn't sucked me in like I expected it would. I actually started it quite some time ago, and dropped it, so this time I started over again. Hopefully I'll stick with it this time.

Also spent some time with a game called The Flame in the Flood, which is pretty fun. It's a wilderness survival game reminiscent of Don't Starve, though not quite as cartoonish. Your character is traveling downriver on a wooden raft through a flooded area, stopping at dry land here and there to forage for supplies, craft, hunt, cook, etc. It's nicely done and I dig the art style and music. It's a fun diversion if you find it cheap.

Speaking of finding things cheap, a while back Amazon had the SteamLink on sale for $20, which was a price I couldn't resist. I could already stream from my main PC via the Steam client on my HTPC (which is itself rather underpowered for gaming, of course), but I figured having the dedicated device might make it even easier, and maybe more robust. And it's a pretty nifty little device, for sure. I use it with a pair of wireless XBox 360 controllers, and it works very well. My only issue is that it doesn't seem to wake up when I fire up the first controller--I have to connect the second controller too. Not that big a deal, but it seems like unexpected behavior, which I should get around to researching. ETA: I researched and it seems I might just not be giving it enough time. People say it takes the SteamLink 15-20 seconds to wake up, so I probably fire up the first controller, wonder why it isn't waking up right away, then fire up controller 2, at which point the 15-20 seconds has passed and it wakes up. I'll have to test that to see.

In other news: TGIF!

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