I’m running a little late on my reviews, nothing is wrong, it just happens sometimes, but there is generally always some mish-mash of subjects I can write about to stay on track and hopefully inform or entertain you fine folks, so here we are. Today I have a variety of topics ranging from tabletop games, a couple of important news bits and controversy regarding my State Of Decay 2 Review.
Difficulty and Accessibility.
I only really want to say, that I’m not going to talk about this right now. For one, I haven’t fully collected my own thoughts on the issue and two, it’s not beating a dead horse, it’s grinding it into dust. Ever since Sekiro released it has been talked about at length by every gaming journalist on the planet. If I may be little crass for a moment, I doubt half of them even care about the topic at all. It’s a low hanging fruit to grab and generate views based on click bait and a spicy topic. I don’t do that. I may address it in the future once the controversy has died down, but not today.
State Of Decay 2 Review Backlash: Fall in line or bust?
I recently reviewed State Of Decay 2 with it’s new “Choose Your Own Apocalypse” update. I gave it a 9.5, evidently, I rustled some jimmies with that score. Apparently, according to one comment, I sacrificed my reputation because I didn’t fall in line with other critics views. First of all, if I have to fall in line with the views of other critics to maintain a good reputation, I might as well hang it all up now because that’s never going to happen.
I don’t even look at other scores prior to writing my reviews. I had no idea how my score compared to other critics until I found that my review of State of Decay 2 was the highest one on Open-critic. I stand by my score and my opinions on the game. However, I’ll gladly elaborate on the issue.
I reviewed State of Decay 2 nearly a year after it released. Not only did I review it with the difficulty update that fundamentally changes the way you play the game if you choose higher difficulty settings (I do). I played the game with nearly a years worth of bug fixes and updates that other critics did not have at release. What I played was undoubtedly more polished on a technical level than the game that was reviewed at launch.
Games change over time in today’s gaming climate. Reviews of launch day No Mans Sky are obsolete when it comes to the No Mans Sky you would buy today. My own launch day reviews are not immune to this kind of decay and can become outdated over time.
More importantly, the difference between scores matters very little between two reviewers. What’s important is whether or not the reviewer justifies the score they gave in the written context of the review they wrote. If I give a game a low or high score, I try to justify why I did that in my own subjective reasoning. You should never walk away from one of my articles with no idea why I scored something that way.
State of Decay 2 scored so high because I enjoyed the vast majority of its gameplay and systems with the new update, I encountered very little in the way of bugs and even less that I didn’t enjoy. I can outline the reasons why I enjoy those systems and I think I did that pretty well in the review.
The fact that I scored it higher than bigger name games came up. My reviews of Red Dead Redemption 2 and God Of War while high, are scored lower than State Of Decay 2. This doesn’t necessarily mean they are worse games. First of all, they are hardly comparable. State of Decay 2 is a survival sandbox zombie game, God Of War is a third person semi-linear story oriented game.
In my review of God Of War, I noted what I loved about the game. I also noted that I disliked the simplistic puzzles, repeated bosses and backtracking. In Red Dead Redemption 2, I praised the details, the visuals, atmosphere, and story. I criticized the ho-hum gunplay and poorly balanced systems.
Those negative aspects might not be negative to you. It’s subjective, I explain why they are negative to me, those aspects affect my enjoyment of the game and bring MY score down. You might not agree with my criticisms or my praise. But if I’ve done my job right, you should leave knowing why I hold those opinions.
I think I did decently well at outlining why I enjoyed State Of Decay 2 in my review. Perhaps I didn’t and if that’s the case shoot me some feedback and I will try harder in the future. If you only look at my final score without reading the context, that’s fine. I can’t stop you. Just know that if your throwing shade at me without reading the context. You don’t have much of a leg to stand on.
R/games Indie the middle of the week.
The moderators of r/games over on Reddit have introduced themed stickied topics for different days of the week. If you don’t know r/games is a subreddit with over 1.6 millions subscribers.
On Wednesdays, the themed topic is Indie Middle of The Week. If you can excuse the horrible pun its actually a pretty great idea. You can go there as a gamer or developer and show off indie games that you enjoy or think need more attention. Here is the official quote from the thread.
Please excuse the pun and discuss indie games, no matter how small they are! Give them a spotlight, some recognition!
Also, for you enterprising game developers just getting off the ground: this is where you can discuss your own game without running afoul of our self-promotion rules. Maybe share a pretty screenshot of your released game or a gif of your work in progress. Give some insight into the development process as well!
I’m all for new ways to find good indie games an audience, so consider checking it every Wednesday. Word of mouth is a big deal for indie games right now.
Several new games are coming to Xbox game pass. Most notable is Monster Hunter World. Monster Hunter World is an amazing game that is the culmination of a decade worth of franchise improvements dating all the way back to the PlayStation 2 era. I’m a long term fan of the series and if you are on a platform that supports Xbox game pass. I can’t emphasize enough how much I think you should try it.
Its got an expansion coming late this year also, so now is a great time to become a monster hunter.
You can now change your PSN name! Finally! Be careful however as there are some potential complications with certain games. The first name change is free and if stuff ends up breaking you can revert back to your old name.
Earth Defense Force Iron Rain releases on PlayStation 4 tomorrow (April 11th). The super cheesy but chaotically fun series newest installment claims to have some changes that appeal to a Western audience. We shall see I suppose!
Sea Of Thieves Anniversary update drops on April 30th including the new Arena Mode. I’m quite interested to see how this goes. I had a ton of fun with Sea of Thieves and I feel like the arena mode will also be a lot of fun. I also believe that the inclusion of the Arena mode might be the death of its standard mode. Time will tell.
Inside Xbox On April 16th 5:00pm EST. The next inside Xbox is coming soon with new details on the Sea Of Thieves update I mentioned. Rage 2, E3 and more. I’m personally really excited for Rage 2.
Table Top Games:
Videogames is only one part of the nerganism ( Nerd and Organism look how clever I am) that is Gideon. I’m pretty big into board games and tabletop RPGs also. In the past, I have run official DnD games at hobby shops as a dungeon master. Heres some tabletop games I want to point out to you folks.
Minions of Mordak is one of few games I’ve ever backed on Kickstarter, its company Skybound Games, have a good reputation and the game looks amazing. They accept late pledges as well.
Basically, it’s a board game of many vs one. One player controls the evil wizard Mordak and the other players control various heroes attempting to thwart the wizard. It has all the common tropes you would hope for, such as combat, leveling up and loot. It looks fun and hilarious, I can’t wait to get my hands on it.
Eldritch Horror is a co-operative 2 to 8 player board game set in the Lovecraft universe. It’s my gaming groups favorite board game and hits the table quite often. You play as investigators trying to thwart the awakening of one of several great old ones such as Cthulhu.
You move around the board collecting clues, improving your investigator and solving story based encounters. The game features a nice blend of luck and strategy and it tends to play out differently every time, especially if you have expansions of which there are many. Its downside is if you want to catch up on everything, its gonna cost a pretty penny.
Legend of the Five Rings The Living Card Game. I used to play Magic The Gathering, NetRunner and Warhammer Conquest. L5R dwarfs all of them. Its the most strategy intensive card game I’ve ever played and it is a constant back and forth of plays and counter plays between opponents.
If you like complex games heavy on the noggin, you won’t regret L5R, especially if you enjoy the ancient Japanese theme. It’s a living card game, meaning there is no randomization to the cards you receive when buying the sets. Everyone that buys a box gets the same cards. Like Eldritch Horror it’s pricey to start out if you want all the expansions, but it’s perfectly playable without them. Though if you are interested, buy at least 2 core sets. A single core set is close to unplayable, to the point that two players won’t even have a legal deck size.
I used to play a lot of DnD, I was an official Dungeon Master at one point. I’ve dabbled in several others, and I never really found one that was to my particular taste. I don’t like simplistic storytelling games, but I also found some others to be needlessly complicated. Eventually, I began dabbling in homebrewing. For a year and a half, I worked on a system and got it to a playable point.
It was set on another planet that was radioactive. Some of it was inspired by Mad Max and had lots of vehicle stuff. It had classes such as a telekinetic psyker, or a stitcher that could synthesize stuff from their blood. My group loved the game itself, but after several sessions expressed interest in playing the same game…but generic fantasy instead of cool post-apocalypse. I give you ungrateful whelps gold and you want my system, but elves and dwarfs instead…sigh…the life of a game master is a thankless one.
So I began converting the whole damn thing to fantasy. In essence, I’m kind of working on two versions of the same game at the same time. Though the fantasy version takes priority since that’s what we play.
The point is, you will probably see me talk about the game every now and then, or how our adventures with it are going. For example, one of my players created a Pixie Elementalist who specializes in pyromancy. She named her, Fayette The Flame. That’s amazing! One of my other players made a dragon born named Drogon, because he is just that original…Come on dude ..I don’t even watch Game Of Thrones and I groaned.
At some point when I consider it finished, I will either put the game up for a buck or two or simply give it away for free. I haven’t decided yet. Speaking of which…