Let’s play Life Is Strange EP1

 

I love most titles from Square Enix. They’re just good. They created most of the memorable RPGs in my life and most of the time I know when I see the logo I’m going to get a quality title. I was really excited to play Life Is Strange for you guys. As with most Square titles, it is turning out to be slightly odd but is an adventure I’m glad to be taking.

The best way that I can think to describe it is after school special meets a superhero origin story. I have to admit, it has a bit more teenage angst than I normally partake in, but being able to manipulate time kind of balances things out. As I said it’s different but in all honesty, I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with Max. Without further ado, I give you Life Is Strange episode 1. As usual, comments are welcome.

#355 and Show Notes

 

 

Telltale Games summer update unveils three new seasons for existing games

GU extra let’s play The Walking Dead EP5

We have finally made it to the finale of season 3. As usual we had plenty of twists and turns. The series continue to surprise me, after three seasons I can honestly say I want more. It doesn’t get old and it continues to be compelling. Clementine is literally becoming one of my favorite characters of all time, and this last episode she definitely has her hands full. I don’t want to say much more  because then you wouldn’t have a reason to watch. As always comments are welcome. Keep checking back Next on the list of games I’m going to play for you, Life is Strange. You see that and the next couple weeks. For now, enjoy.

Lets Play The Walking Dead EP3

 

This is the first of three brand new episodes for you guys. They are already recorded and you will be seeing one a week for the next 3 weeks I hope. I waited for the last three episodes to be released and gave you guys Batman instead. Coming back to it I can honestly say, The Walking Dead is my favorite Telltale Games franchise. Batman was cool and I will play it next season, but there is nothing like The Walking Dead. I had some handicapped issues with this episode, as with the last. I actually created a macro to get around them. I really wish somebody at Telltale Games would ask me to consult. These videos are a whole lot longer uncut. I hope you guys have as much fun watching this as I did playing it. As always comments are welcome.

 

 

Episode #354 and Show Notes

 

Super Nintendo Entertainment System™: Super NES Classic Edition – Official site

The SNES Classic is probably the last retro console Nintendo will make

Lots of new Valve/SteamVR “Knuckles” Controller info (separate finger tracking!) – NeoGAF

Arizona Sunshine Game | PS4 – PlayStation

Mario Kart VR is real — here’s your first look – The Verge

No, Call Of Duty: WW2 Is Not Coming To Nintendo Switch – GameSpot

Detroit has ‘three times’ the branches of Heavy Rain and will let you ‘go back any time and replay from a specific point’ | GamesRadar+

Gamasutra – Fuze to release a Switch game that teaches players to make Switch games

Import your orcs from ‘Shadow of Mordor’ into the sequel

PS Plus: Free Games for July 2017 – PlayStation.Blog

ESA ponders E3’s future | GamesIndustry.biz

The new ‘Zelda’ DLC is all about exploration and survival

Rocket League Coming To This Year’s Summer X Games – Spiel Times

University of California to add Overwatch scholarship | GamesIndustry.biz

Yeti Corner: A Look at One of the Best Games Ever

It’s no secret to you guys that we love The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.  Many people have touted it as being one of the best games ever made.  You can count me amongst them.

While not a perfect game, BotW is a deep experience with tons of character and an expansive world that should be exhibit A of a video game truly being art.

The World:

The world is huge.  I mean huge.  Way bigger than Skyrim.  Bigger than the Witcher 3.  Possibly bigger than GTA V, but sans sports cars and super bikes, so it feels much bigger.

The size isn’t on its own an asset, though.  In fact, one of the Metacritic reviews we mentioned on the first show we talked about BotW stated, “Sadly, the open world is often empty and soulless, lacking a proper soundtrack, characters or stories that make for a truly unique experience.”  While I understand how someone could come to that conclusion, I couldn’t disagree more.

The environment of BotW is the star of the game.  It’s the best character.  It is not densely populated with NPCs, quest givers, and baddies itching to kill you like the Witcher 3, for instance.  But the world itself is the reward for your exploration.

Each region of the map has its own character with its own landscapes and nuances.  Some places are cold while others will literally set you ablaze if not properly equipped.  There are areas ripe for hunting wildlife, climbing mountains to survey the landscape, zipping around by skitchin’ on a sand seal, or creating giant snowballs and slamming them into unsuspecting enemies.

The video below shows my personal journey through the map, thanks to the Hero’s Path feature of the first DLC.   As you can see, from the Great Plateau where you start, I weaved through each of the areas of the map, mostly stumbling upon the awesomeness that the game offers instead of seeking out locations intentionally.

 

Watching the path drawn above brought back so many memories about different experiences in the game.  For instance, there was my unsuccessful attempt glide to Eventide Island at 0:41 and then returning at 1:51 to complete one of the most unique and rewarding experiences in the game.  There’s also the shrine hopping at the end of the video as Jamie and I sought to and succeeded in completing all the shrines in the game during E3.

The world is what will bring me back to this game over and over.  I’m shocked by how many places I haven’t explored after watching the Hero’s Path.

Shrine Addiction:

In my opinion, BotW is either the first or second best Zelda game along with Ocarina of Time.  I’ll now follow that sentence with something that seems nonsensical as a Zelda fan – the dungeons and bosses of BotW were entirely lame.

Zelda has always been built on great dungeons and boss fights.  Just think about the Shadow Temple or, heaven forbid, the Water Temple both from Ocarina of Time.  Or the Tower of Hera from a Link to the Past.  And the bosses!  Volvoagia, Phantom Ganon, Majora, Dark Link, and giant pig Ganon, to name a few.

BotW lacks in both memorable dungeons and bosses.  The final fight with Ganon is somewhat memorable, but the other bosses a meh at best.  But BotW introduced a fantastic new addiction – Shrines.

Shrines are essentially mini-dungeons.  They come in two varieties – combat Shrines and puzzle Shrines.  While the combat shrines are cool at first, they sadly get old after a while as they lack diversity aside from the difficulty.  It’s one of my biggest complaints of the game.

Thankfully, most of the shrines are puzzles very much in the tradition of Zelda, but updated for modern gaming sensibilities.  Some of the puzzles rely on you to creatively use your abilities such as bombs, time stopping, or tapping your inner Magneto.  Others are physics based or timing trials.  And whereas the combat shrines get repetitive, the puzzle shrines are amazingly different and diverse.

The most fun part of BotW for me was stumbling upon shrines or trying to solve Shrine Quest riddles given by the traveling accordion-wielding Rito minstrel Kass.  I was genuinely excited every time that annoying beep of the Shrine detector starting hassling me like a smoke detector with a dying battery.

The thing I want most out of DLC is more shrines.  New map areas to explore would be great, and additional story would be fun to play, but honestly I’m addicted to those shrines.

Give Me a Blacksmith!:

One of the new gameplay elements to BotW is that equipment breaks over time.  It applies to melee weapons, shields, and bows, but notably, not to armor.  The concept is cool, but the execution is flawed.

I’d use Diablo as a great example of how to do breakable gear well.  Give me a blacksmith that can repair stuff!  One of the things I remember from Diablo was certain gear that couldn’t be repaired, called ethereal.  A similar system could work great in BotW.

I would suggest making the standard gear in the game repairable, while better gear, such as ancient weapons found from defeating guardians, wouldn’t be repairable.  That would leave a level of gear preservation strategy in tact in the game.  Also, I went through much of the game with an excess of rupees – this would have given me some spending incentive.

The gear was also pretty disappointing as you get into the end-game.  Because there’s no linear path for completing the game, there’s very little sense of gear progressively getting better until you get to Hyrule Castle at the very end.  It would have been great to have a more dynamic weapon upgrading system so that you’re still excited to get chests at the end of the game.

This whole gear thing culminates in another way that BotW strays from previous Zelda games.  There’s not the excitement of getting new toys, like the boomerang or the ice arrows.  Instead, you get almost all of your powers near the beginning of the game and the gear, aside from armor, is almost completely disposable.

Armor is the one exciting gear upgrade throughout the game.  Because so many regions have climate-induced restrictions, you must find or purchase certain gear to get through the game.  Also, the reward for completing all 120 shrines is <SPOLER ALERT> the classic Link outfit, green hat and all.

Innovative Nostalgia:

What BotW does best is both feel like a classic Zelda game while feeling totally different all at the same time.

The first video game I fell in love with when I was 5 or 6 years old was the original Legend of Zelda.

I played Zelda II: Link’s Adventure obsessively.  Honestly, it’s a subpar Zelda, but I still love it.

Before the Internet, I remember calling the pay-per-minute Nintendo hotline to get help when I got stuck in A Link to the Past.  I even rekindled a lost childhood friendship with a kid named Billy over our love for the SNES Zelda.

I discovered my mom hiding Ocarina of Time in a closest as a Christmas present and convinced her to give it to me early so I could start playing early in return for feigning surprise on Christmas morning.

My friendship with my Gaming Uncensored cohost Jamie blossomed over us playing through  Wind Waker together.  You have Zelda to thank for 12 years and counting of Gaming Uncensored.

Breath of the Wild scratched my Zelda itch.  It felt more like Zelda to me than many of the recent iterations, especially the most recent console titles on the Wii.  I can’t quite explain why, but it reminded more of that childhood joy of A Link to the Past or Ocarina of Time than any game, Zelda or otherwise, that I’ve played in my adult life.

If you visit our Top 10s page here on the Gaming Uncensored website, you must know that my list is now out of date.  Breath of the Wild is without a doubt one of my 10 favorite games of all time, and will be near the top of that list when we revisit our favorite games.

Let’s play Batman episode 5

Hi everybody,

I thought it was about time you guys had some fresh content. Here is the last episode in this series. Overall I really enjoyed this one. Not as much as other Telltale titles but it was really solid. I hope you guys have enjoyed watching this as much as I have enjoyed playing it. As always I would love to hear your thoughts. Don’t hesitate to leave comments. Without further ado….

Let’s play Batman EP4

This one was a whole lot of fun. I never thought I would see Bruce Wayne committed to Arkham but that’s where we start out. There are a couple of really interesting cameos in here and overall it was very enjoyable

Just one episode left. I hope to have that recorded very shortly. As always comments are welcome. I’d like to know if you guys are enjoying these or if I’m wasting my time. I would also like some ideas of what you guys would like to see next. For now, I hope you enjoy this.

Let’s play Batman EP3

 

Hi everybody,

My apologies again for being slow on content. This one was a nightmare to record.  I decided to try shadowplay, which is brought to us by Nvidia. Little did I know the video that it records does not work well with most video editing software. I had major audio sync issues. I actually had to use handbrake to fix the problem and make it the video watchable. I also had trouble with the linking of evidence thing in this one, so please forgive the length.

Episode 4 has already been recorded, so you guys will have that very shortly. With no further ado I give you Batman episode 3. Comments are welcome.