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The Weekly OT #11: Gamescom 2016 and PC Gaming

August 14, 2016

I’ve had some fun playing PvZ:GW2. There are problems. The music is really limp, almost depressing; I think they decided to Zombify that of the original, so it basically is without any of its trademark cheery spunk. Also, some of the high-skill level characters have been nerfed, so if you are Plants, go with the Corn Cob guy, if Zombies, the Scientist with the warp-shotgun combo.

And, I came across a couple of outstanding podcasts:

From The Nerdist: Vince Gilligan this was recorded prior to release of the final eight episodes of Breaking Bad. It is a fantastic listen for fans of the show, or even those just interested in how entertaining TV is written.

From War College:
Annie Jacobsen, author of The Pentagon’s Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America’s Top-Secret Military Research Agency (Amazon) is interviewed in DARPA brought us the internet – mind control could be next. And this interview with journalist Noga Tarnopolsky, almost as good, Surprising changes underway for Israel’s army, which provides fascinating insights into the culture and mindset of the Israelis.

Phelps’ achievements aside, THIS is my favorite news of the Olympics. And do you remember that Wide World of Sports intro back in the 70s? Someone wrote an entry in Wikipedia to tell us about Vinko Bogataj, the ski-jumper who was “the agony of defeat”. The age of information, is the thrill of victory.

There are some interesting movies in the pipes: Allied (Brad Pitt, Robert Zemeckis), Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, XOXO, and Two Lovers and a Bear.

And of course, The Get Down. Has anyone binged it yet? So much great TV on my plate, I haven’t gotten to it yet. I just finished the sixth and final episode of the first season. It is simple, cliche, quite predictable, poorly edited, brash, sappy, sentimental, and I enjoyed pretty much every minute of it. The only time I really groaned, for real, was when three girls said “Oh, snap!”…in supposedly 1977. If I knew my music (and history) better, I might find a lot of other anachronisms, but ignorance is bliss. I can’t recommend it, but I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed almost everything about it, especially the music and the “creative process” involved in making it. I can also say this, try it. If you can enjoy the first episode, then you will enjoy the show. Indiewire has an interview and a review.

And if that isn’t enough for now, there is always Friday Links!

  1. August 14, 2016 6:49 pm

    Great story (especially for Bob’s Burgers / Archer fans)

  2. August 15, 2016 3:59 pm

    Had a similar experience just now except a heat wave killed all of them. Feaking colony was hustling and bustling until, the started dropping down one by one.

  3. August 15, 2016 8:08 pm

    BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Zos! You didn’t give me any warning as to the content!

    “Now it was like a heist” LMAO!

    As for myself, my unlabeled (whew!) boxer briefs are still decaying somewhere in the local bamboo forest. That is from the incident (of which there were several) that I can remember.

    @Frenik, fun stories. I can see them all in my mind’s eye.

  4. August 15, 2016 8:18 pm

    “The open beta for Battlefield 1 will begin on August 31”

    VERY excited and on break during that time!

    PS: I should be on at 9pm PST

  5. August 15, 2016 9:50 pm

    Message Cornie. He checks when he gets up. I should be home by 10pm PST (which understandably may be too late).

    And for those who don’t follow links. (thanks for the heads-up, Zos!) I am starting to genuinely look forward to BF1.

  6. August 16, 2016 2:08 pm

    TitanFall 2 “tech test” available this weekend!

  7. August 16, 2016 4:10 pm

    Nice! Fresh gaming for the weekend!

    And Sea of Thieves is streaming from their booth at Gamescom (14 minutes)

    And they just put up another Inn-Side story

    DICE is streaming, too.

  8. August 16, 2016 8:05 pm


    The weird poker game is free and live now. Also Uno is 9.99.

  9. August 18, 2016 4:43 pm

    The Scorpio will have games that don’t play on the One. No surprise.

    For some beautiful animation:

    For some beautiful (and utterly rubbish – as in, Ubisoft always shows prettier footage than the actual game at release) animation:

    And for this weekend:

    • August 18, 2016 5:57 pm

      This is the same thing they have said since day one. Exclusivity would only apply to VR. So unless Microsoft builds an external VR box for non scorpio (unlikely), these would only be playable on Scorpio/PC:

      “And now Microsoft have looked to clarify the subject of Scorpio exclusives today, with Head of Xbox Marketing Aaron Greenberg confirming that console exclusives would ONLY apply to VR titles.

      “We said we’re not going to have console-exclusive games for Project Scorpio,” Greenberg told Engadget.

      “It’s one ecosystem–whether you have an Xbox One S or Project Scorpio, we don’t want anyone to be left behind, Now, with the power and capabilities we have, we’ll be able to do high-fidelity VR.”

      PS: Titanfall looks pretty awesome. There has been a lot of positive impressions so far regarding the SP as well.

    • August 18, 2016 8:17 pm

      Thanks for the clarification, Zos. Two things, ultimately, by the time Scorpio is released, the Xbox One will be 5 years old, the age traditionally, when a console generation ends. So, from the beginning, anything after that is gravy anyway (the reason the 360 gen was so nice). Unless the price is prohibitive, and depending on the capabilities (OS on a USB options?) kind of thing, I plan on getting one anyway so I don’t really care what happens with the One.

      TF2 SP is supposed to be humorous! Not buying though. BF1 comes out at the same time, and I already have WAY more game with RL, Overwatch, PvZ, Uno, etc. than I have time for. Seriously, with the exception of a fun break, even just RL is enough, especially since the gamers include Steamers and hence, ensured community longevity.

      EDIT: I will never forget the freshness and joy of playing Titanfall. It must have come in a drought, and the parkour and tight controls, as well as the awesome jump-in-mech animations were crazy fun and new. I look forward to trying the sequel this weekend, but I don’t expect it will change my mind about the game.

      Whereas BF1, I am darn near ready to pre-order that ish, beta untested. Still, after my BF3 debacle, I will test the Beta first, then pre-order if I like what I play.

    • Blankman permalink*
      August 18, 2016 8:36 pm

      When the Scorpio releases, the XB1 will actually be four years old since it launched on Nov. 22, 2013. That’s very short for a console considering the 360 lasted for an unprecedented ten years. It was inevitable that the VR capability of the Scorpio would get exclusives since the XB1 & XB1S can’t handle it. It’s not like Spencer was deceiving anyone. If the older consoles can’t handle it, that’s the shits.

      I’ve always been a fan of Titanfall, and you guys all know that. I was one of the last of our community playing it. We used to wreck as a group when Cornie & Johann were on our team. I understand that it was lacking in content at the start & it deserved its criticism for almost bare bones offering. 2GN was getting tired of stomping the opposition, but I still don’t understand that at all. If I’m wrecking fools, I don’t want to stop. The community abandoned that game pretty darn quickly which was a shame. I’m apprehensive of getting hyped up for the sequel because we tend to hit the eject button pretty quickly as a community. I am excited about it nevertheless. Hopefully, we can all get some quality time with the TF2 tech test this weekend.

      As far as BF1 goes, I won’t lie; the gameplay that’s been shown so far does look pretty darn good. Fricking DICE…

      BTW: I hope you didn’t pull the trigger on Uno, Suns. Everyone is reporting that the lag is atrocious (seems like everything Ubisoft touches is like that). The reviews are pretty bad, too.

    • August 18, 2016 9:15 pm

      Kenny, thanks for the correction on the life of the One. Got my math wrong (though I am reminded that I called the short life of the console when the specs of the graphics board were leaked).

      Yeah, I can’t remember why I abandoned TF after a month or so. I do remember getting seriously owned by other pilots as one of my last experiences with the game. I also remember that they sold maps for the game and we didn’t all get them. That was a huge mistake on EA/Respawn’s part.

      Yes, we are guilty here of not rallying around a single game like we used to. Maybe, possibly, BF1 can change that for a while.

      I haven’t bought UNO yet, and I didn’t plan on doing so until everyone else did. I mean, how long could it possibly take to download. This isn’t a game where I will be holding up the gang because I didn’t buy and install. LOL So, I will be sure to stick to that plan and wait until we are all ready to play. Then I will buy. Thanks for the warning!

    • August 19, 2016 7:52 pm

      I got the xbox one for titanfall. I still think it’s a good game, just not on par with all the other MP games out. I think Titanfall got lucky in a sense, because it was a launch game, and it had more attention because of it, if it had been released now it would probably died out in two weeks, even with all the content that got later on. That’s just how console game last anyways in general, much less in any group. Then again that’s just pretty much any franchise, Halo or Gears will probably never have the same popularity they had in their day, there’s just too many good games around. Stand by for Battlefield 1 life expectancy 😛

      PC is just different. Bought Mass Effect 3 on origin for a sale, and it has a lot of people playing it, not just from the sale newbs. I don’t doubt if I were to get Titanfall 2 on PC or Battlefield 1 it would have a long life.

      Plus the other thing I am finding out is that one of the benefits of not having just one ecosystem like xbox live is that can pretty much run multiple games at same time. So I am running Mass Effect 3 (origin) while playing Rimworld (steam). Next will try to run those two while taming a bronto on Ark. Also since you can stream xbox games to the PC will try to figure out how to run that with multiple monitors, and that way I can finish up all those SP games I left behind on the xbox. 😀

  10. August 19, 2016 9:29 pm


    Titanfall wasn’t a launch title, actually, unless you meant launch as your personal adoption of the tech.

    Hey, especially now that Steam offers integrated party and voice chat support, there are many reasons to go the PC route, lasting communities for specific games is definitely one of them. Tyrus left our community a couple years back to join Evil Avatar et. al. because he was beating a drum to which no one here wanted to dance. Eventually, you might find yourself similarly discouraged with this group.

    For me (friends presence aside), the fact is, I have very limited time and money. PCs are very expensive, no matter what the propagandists tell you. I don’t know the price of yours, but I suspect it was somewhere around $900 (or more). If I buy two or three Ones for that price, I can similarly play two or three games at the same time. I actually have an $800 PC with a very nice motherboard, plenty of RAM, and a great processor. As soon as I want to lay down the cash to buy a nice graphics card – for the price of another One – I can use it for gaming. Ultimately, I don’t want to. Small, indie games like RimWorld or Prison Architect look totally awesome, but then I come up against the time (and energy) problem. And I am not really interested in playing old games (which are cheaper or have great communities).

    While it would be nice to have the PC library (and mod opportunities), and communities at my fingertips, my family basically likes to play the new and fresh. As it is right now, we have basically gotten our consoles for free if we consider the money saved in double dipping – something that we cannot do with Steam. Every time I start to freak out about the stupid decisions of Microsoft and their Xbox One, I just have to remember the double dip (something I didn’t have with the 360), and something I cannot get with another other DRM protected ecosystem (e.g., Steam, Origin, Ubisoft). If Microsoft’s policy ever changes, there will be another huge rethinking opportunity for me.

    As for BF1, I expect that Xbox One community to last several years. Xbox gamers can still find full rooms for BF4 and that game was (still is to me and Cornie) awful! As an aside, after playing BF3 for a while, I did go back to BC2, but the problems with it were too significant to go back to. So old is way overrated for this time and money limited gamer.

    Four to five new games a year. That is affordable, with the freshness I want, and will fill more than my spare time for gaming. Rocket League, Overwatch, PvZ:GW2, BF1, and a surprise as-yet-undecided title.

    As a final aside, I am really happy about the situation with Ark:SE and RL in the way they are bringing some of the mod content and sharing servers with PC gamers respectively. These are good changes. I am hopeful that more developers will follow the example.

    • August 24, 2016 2:17 pm

      I meant Titanfall as the first big new IP release of the current gen, not launch title. My mistake, it did seem launch since i bought it like that.

      Oh no you misunderstand completely, I have no intention of anyone join me in anything since most of what I play and buy are SP games that I can get cheap and can extend for months/years to come with mods, etc. Aside from about 3-4 MP games which I bought to play with Jr., or just guilty pleasures from the past. If I wanted that I would do what I did before buy games I didn’t exactly want just to play with you guys.

      Not that anyone would anyways. Even with grievances of the console world, I myself made my bed with xbox for a decade, even while having tons of choices around, and didn’t wanted to know anything about everything I couldn’t have based on my choice.

      I share my recent findings based on that perspective, but nothing more. It’s really just to get it out of my system, and I can see that’s done and I can put some closure into this, so by that I guess it’s safe travels, and wish the group the best. Thank you for everything.

    • August 24, 2016 4:15 pm

      Thanks for letting us know what’s new and cool for you. You know who and where we are both in the gaming world and on the web (at least for the near, foreseeable future anyway). You are welcome for everything (and thank you!) and if you are heading out, the door is always open to come back (and basketball season is just around the corner). Cheers! ❤

  11. August 20, 2016 1:57 pm

    The Titanfall 2 Tech Test is alive and kickin! The new game mode “Bounty Hunter” looks great. And the grapple hook is cool, but go with the sonar because Professor X beats The Wolverine.

    I played the tutorial and went out on a high note. All above impressions are based on watching Cornie, Zos, and RoBBins gameplay. Can’t wait not to buy it!

    No Country For Old Men

    • August 20, 2016 7:52 pm

      Professor X may beat Wolverine, but I’d rather lose being Wolverine.

    • Blankman permalink*
      August 20, 2016 9:13 pm

      Wolverine FTW

  12. Blankman permalink*
    August 21, 2016 4:00 pm

    Of all “review sites,” Forbes hit the nail on the head concerning Titanfall 2’s “tech test”(beta):

  13. August 21, 2016 7:06 pm

    LOL@The Wolverine

    And thanks for the heads-up on the review!

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