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Gaming Wednesday: Games of 2014

January 30, 2014 Leave a comment

The Escapist recently published their list of anticipated games for 2014, and it sparked some thinking. So today, let’s take a look at The Cheap Ferret’s top 5 most anticipated 2014 games as well as The 2014 Games That Are Getting A Lot Of Attention But I’m Really Not Fussed.

First of all, the anticipated games.

5 – The Order: 1886
(Sony & Ready At Dawn, PS4)

Not much is known about this PS4 exclusive, but it certainly looks interesting. Basically a huge historical anachronism, mixing advanced technology with a Victorian setting with the main characters apparently bearing a strong connection to the Knights Of The Round Table.

Yes, it’s steampunk, and that can feel a tad overdone these days, but it centres around a secret society and mysterious creatures and it just generally sounds very intriguing.

That said, it’s hard to pass too much judgement on the game right now due to the fact that Sony have released so little information about it so far. But it got my attention all the same, so I’m still going to be paying close attention to this one.

4 – Murdered: Soul Suspect
(Square Enix & Airtight Games, PC/PS4/Xbone)

Again, another game with not much information about it, but in this case, that’s probably for a reason since it’s a mystery game. A SUPERNATURAL mystery game. What’s that? You already have my money? Why yes, you certainly appear to.

Murdered: Soul Suspect looks just as intriguing as The Order. It’s a detective game with a twist, as you explore and interact with the physical world as a ghost. Remember when I complained about Beyond: Two Souls and saying I’d prefer a game where I can play a ghost and mess with people? That’s pretty much what this game seems to be, and I’m all for that. Adding a murder mystery just cements things for me.

3 – InFamous: Second Son
(Sony & Sucker Punch, PS4)

I enjoyed the previous InFamous titles, and so I’m certainly looking forward to Second Son as a result. But beyond that, I’m curious about how the plot is going to work in light of the second game’s ending. I’m curious about how Delsin’s going to be as a character.

What’s more, I’m also curious about the supposed power-stealing abilities that are going to feature, sort of like InFamous 2’s Transfer Device but on a bigger scale (or at least I imagine, anyway).

Plus, Sucker Punch announced that they have no plans to shoehorn in multiplayer, and that always makes me happy, since it means they’re focused on getting the game right instead of putting in something that doesn’t need to be. That’s always a good sign.

2 – Alien: Isolation
(Sega & The Creative Assembly, PC/PS4/Xbone)

OK, so by all accounts, Aliens: Colonial Marines was a colossal mess of a game that should never have been made. That’s pretty clear. But Sega are assuring gamers that Alien: Isolation won’t repeat the many mistakes that game made.

In fact, for someone who normally has no real interest in movie-licensed titles, the fact I place it as my second most anticipated game says a lot. It looks like a genuinely tense horror game that isn’t interested in making you shoot a bunch of xenomorphs.

In fact, fundamentally this game looks like it’s determined to recreate the atmosphere of the original Alien, which I maintain is one of the best horror movies ever made, and that’s what’s important here.

It could turn out to be utterly awful, but let’s give it a chance, shall we?

1 – Watch_Dogs
(Ubisoft, PC/PS4/Xbone)

Watch_Dogs looks awesome. It brings together dystopian rebellion and Assassin’s Creed style action, and was one of the first games that interested me at the PS4 announcement. I’m intrigued by the hacking mechanics, and the plot sounds interesting. Plus it’s looking like an open world where the world is part of the gameplay rather than the large map most sandbox games tend to be.

Of course, these 5 choices are a bit moot, since these are all next-gen games and I neither own a high-end gaming PC or a PS4 to be able to play them all when they come out, and the Xbone is right out anyway. But I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for information all the same.

And now let’s look at the games that aren’t all that exciting to me. These are all games that are hugely hyped to all hell, and yet my reaction to them is one of massive indifference, annoyance or disappointment. Let’s take a look, shall we?

5 – The Elder Scrolls Online
(Bethesda & ZeniMax, PC/PS4/Xbone)

I am probably going to be crucified for this, but I have never understood the appeal of the Elder Scrolls series. When the world was raving about Skyrim, I was just shrugging my shoulders at the appearance of yet another medieval fantasy game with dragons and magic and shit.

So you can imagine my indifference to the hugely hyped Elder Scrolls Online, which to me appears to be more of the same, only now it’s an MMO, which doesn’t make it better in my eyes.

But I acknowledge that this is mostly based on my defective nerd genes which have always prevented me from getting hyped over medieval fantasy. It’s also why I’m not massively in love with Lord Of The Rings and never got the fuss about Game Of Thrones, so if you disagree with me, that’s OK.

4 – Bravely Default
(Square Enix & Silicon Studio, 3DS)

Again, I’m probably going to be crucified for this because I know a lot of people like the look of this, so this is kind of an apologetic “meh” for me, and it’s one born out of personal reasons, much like Elder Scrolls above.

I don’t trust Squeenix Japan to make a good game ever again. I’ve been disappointed with their output since Final Fantasy XII, and they’ve done little to prove to me that they’re going to get better. Final Fantasy XIII was worse than XII, and they continue to pump sequels out for that despite no one asking for them. Final Fantasy XIV was broken to all hell when it first came out, and now they’re determined to shoehorn Lightning into that despite no one wanting her there.

And that’s before we get into that dumb DS rhythm game and All The Bravest, aka Microtransaction Roulette: The Game, two decisions that suggest the company have lost their mind. Oh, and they expect my beloved Tomb Raider franchise to make up for all the development hiccups they’ve had on FFXV and Kingdom Hearts, and berate it when it doesn’t do that for them. Sorry, chaps, you can’t expect Eidos to make up for your losses all the time just because they know how to get a game out on time.

And so, Bravely Default. It looks alright, I guess. But I keep thinking “how are they going to screw this up?” and so I’m unlikely to be buying a 3DS for this.

3 – Smash Bros for Wii U/3DS
(Nintendo & Namco Bandai, Wii U/3DS)

I like Smash Bros, I really do. I played the hell out Smash Bros on the N64, and I was hyped for Brawl when that came out. I also got my wish for a Sony equivalent in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, but I just…can’t get excited for the Wii U Smash. I’ve tried, and I can’t.

You see, Nintendo, you almost convinced me to get a Wii U when you announced Mega Man. You did. Honestly. I was all for that. The Wii Fit Trainer was amusing too. But…then every character announcement was massively underwhelming. Sonic is not an announcement. Luigi is not an announcement. Zelda is not a friggin’ announcement.

And then you made that announcement trailer I embedded above. You actually included a character from Super Mario Galaxy who basically did nothing but give Mario hints. It suggested that you’re grasping at straws and as such Smash Bros as a whole is going to be a massive disappointment all round. And now, that one reason I had to be remotely interested in getting a Wii U went out the window.

Prove me wrong on this, guys. Prove me wrong. Please. As I’ve said before, Nintendo, I want to love you but you’re making it SO HARD these days 😦

2 – Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes/The Phantom Pain
(Konami & Kojima Productions, PS4/Xbone)

Again, much like Smash, I want to like this game so much. I was amused by Kojima’s trolling with the Moby Dick Games thing and was interested. Problem is, what’s been shown doesn’t interest me nearly as much as the old games did.

I can’t put my finger on it. I just feel like this entry in the series feels too serious, like it’s trying to do too much as once, like the series is almost feeling tired and soulless. The open world mechanics look vaguely interesting, I suppose, but on the whole, I’ve not been impressed so far. And that makes me sad.

Also, I think that switching Snake’s voice from David Hayter to Kiefer Sutherland has affected my opinion somewhat. Sutherland is a fine actor, but to change a long-established character’s voice so suddenly and so drastically just feels like pandering to executives, and makes me wonder what else has been drastically changed.

Prove me wrong, Kojima. Prove me wrong.

1 – TitanFall
(EA & Respawn Entertainment, PC/Xbone)

Oh god. TitanFall. Honestly, in some gaming circles, TitanFall is all you’ll hear about right now. Ooh, TitanFall this. TitanFall that. My TitanFall can beat up your TitanFall and so on.

Am I in a minority in thinking that TitanFall looks incredibly dull? Like, it looks like every other FPS available on the current gen consoles? Oooh, it’s got mechs, apparently. And that’s usually where the distinction ends. I want more than just mechs. I want an engaging world, engaging characters and engaging things happening besides a shooty bro-fest. And If I’m to be excited by wall-running in a first person EA game, they can hurry up and finish Mirror’s Edge 2 instead of focusing on this bland…thing.

It’s so bland it’s offensive. It’s also so overhyped that it’s impossible to ignore this CoD clone with robots, and that’s sad because it just looks like every uninteresting idea from the PS3/360 smashed together into a single game rather than anything worth getting excited for.

And that’s that. These are just the games that have got a strong presence on my radar, for better or worse, but there are plenty of other interesting games coming out in 2014, and it’ll be interesting to see how things progress into a new generation.

Stress-Free

January 28, 2014 Leave a comment

For much of last year, I was very moody and angry and generally not very nice to be around. While I officially made no New Year’s resolutions this year, I subconsciously adopted one and I’ve been following it ever since, and that’s to stop being so moody and angry all the time.

After all, taking charge of your emotions and not being in a persistent bad mood is a very Grownup thing to do, and I am working on Becoming A Grownup, so yeah! Let’s do that!

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Categories: Uncategorized

Friday Report: Adult Children At Home

January 24, 2014 Leave a comment

This week, it’s emerged that there has been an increase in adults still living at home with their parents. Apparently now a quarter of adults in their 20s are living at home. I can believe this fact, since I’m one of these adults, and know plenty of others in the same boat.

However, the way this news came out suggests that this is a terrible situation that needs to be changed at the earliest possible opportunity because…????????

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Gaming Wednesday: This Is Not An Endorsement

January 23, 2014 Leave a comment

Microsoft have gone and got themselves in trouble again. You’d think they’d learn their mistakes with the Xbox One so far, but it seems they’re not learning anything at all. Bless their little hearts for being so oblivious.

So, the story so far, the Xbone has a confusing name, has an absurd focus on television and external media over video games, was initially announced as requiring an always-on Internet connection when one shouldn’t be obviously needed, requires additional payment for services like Netflix and Internet Explorer, uses microtransactions in full-price games, has an in-built camera and microphone, is expensive and is apparently having “stock issues” despite being easy to buy basically everywhere. What else can possibly put people off Microsoft at this point?

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Sunday Roundup – 14th January 2014

January 19, 2014 Leave a comment

It’s time for a quick roundup of this week on the blog!

First of all, there was no Monday post this week because I was in the process of travelling and so much of Monday was spent unpacking, sorting and sleeping, and I also didn’t really have much idea of what to write about.

Good news though! I do have a plan for tomorrow’s entry, so that will go ahead without incident. It’ll be about a couple of things that I want to focus on with Becoming A Grownup, and it should be entertaining.

On Wednesday I posted about my love for Civilization V. The irony is, after writing that entry, I haven’t played it since because I’ve been pretty busy. So perhaps it’s not as distracting as I stated. Not sure what I’ll be writing about next week as of yet, but something will come to me. I have a backup plan if nothing major happens, but we shall see what happens.

I posted the Friday Report on Saturday because I’m a terrible person…uh, I mean, because my editor was too busy buying booze and hookers to post it, as I stated in the entry. This was a small roundup of the little bits of vaguely interesting news I’d seen during the week. It was a bit of a dull week really and that was the best I could come up with. Hopefully next week will be more interesting.

Meanwhile, on SvTM, I reviewed classic Disney movie Pinocchio, which I dubbed the creepiest Disney movie ever made, and inept gigolo movie Midnight Cowboy. That’s the gigolo that’s inept, not the movie. I quite enjoyed the movie.

SvTM will be taking a break for the next two weeks. My schedule was thrown off by getting stuck in America for an extra week, and I was already cutting things close as it was, so the two week break allows me to get back on track. I don’t particularly like putting it on hold, but it’s a necessary evil.

Not that I’ll be taking a break from working on reviews, since the posting break is allowing me to build a backlog again so that I don’t miss any updates. So it will return on 4th February with a review of…no, I won’t tell you. That’d ruin the surprise!

So that’s this week on The Cheap Ferret. It’s a short roundup this week, I know, and a hastily written one at that, but there you go. I’ll see you tomorrow, where I will talk more about how I’m Becoming A Grownup!

Categories: Sunday Roundup

Slow News Week

January 18, 2014 1 comment

I enjoy following what’s going on in the world, and that’s why I write the Friday Report, because it allows me a platform to comment on the world and pretend I’m some fancy columnist with a major news outlet, offering insightful and informative commentary. No really, I am perfectly capable of doing that, just you wait and see.

The problem is, when slow news weeks happen, I get into a situation where I sit at my laptop and agonise about what to write, and numerous times in the past I’ve shuffled off, admitted defeat and not posted anything at all. This isn’t really good practice. I have to pretend I have a grizzled editor folding his arms and demanding today’s column on his desk by midnight or else I’m out on my arse.

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Gaming Wednesday: The Beating Of A Million Drums

January 15, 2014 1 comment

Last week, my girlfriend did something that was probably the biggest mistake ever. She thought she was doing something good, but instead, she turned me into an addict. A trouble addict that needs help.

You see, she decided to gift me a copy of Civilization V on Steam. And now I am hooked.

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