17th January 2017: The Aptly Named
I've never really been into console gaming, especially these last few years, but about a year ago I saw The Last Of Us for PS3 really cheap on ebay so went for it. I figured it would be worth a play through, as it has garnered huge amounts of praise amongst the gaming community. As I only really bought it because it is considered a "must play", and the PS3 is really old now, it's quite likely it is the last PS3 game I will ever buy. It seemed right, considering its name.
It's rare I get into games when first picking them up, and this was no different. I quickly started to stuggle with all the stealth sections, which I've never been a fan of in any game, and only played it for a couple of hours before something else got my attention. It took until a couple of weeks ago for me to remember I needed to finish it.
Though I continued to hate all the sneaking around, I still can't aim for shit using a contoller, and there were a host of little things wrong with it, overall it was a really good experience and I'm glad I played it.
The game is set 20 years after a global outbreak of a fungal infection which turned most people into mindless zombie-like creatures. With the world now in a state of total shit, you play as Joel, a man tasked with the job of escorting a young girl named Ellie across the country, to hopefully find a lab to create a vaccine from her incredible immunity to the infection. Along the way you have to fight through a horde of infected citizens, as well as deal with other people who will either help or hinder. Usually hinder.
Though the story was fairly formulaic, it was the characters that made this enjoyable. It was interesting that even the main characters were not really "good" guys. Cool and badass they may be, but these people were pretty much assholes, even Ellie. I guess that's what would happen after the apocalypse.
As stated, I had a lot of problems with the game. Firstly, the initial load time was insanely long. Not really an issue once you were in it, but still.
The frame rate also tanked a bunch of times, especially when I was near water. That poor old PS3 hardware really wasn't meant for a game like this.
I found out near the end, when I tried to save scum for the first time, that manual saves do not work. The game just reloads right back to the last autosave point. So I have absolutely no idea why there's even a manual save option.
And probably my biggest bugbear was how the game's mechanics, particularly the listening mechanic, would change throughout the game. Sometimes I could listen and hear enemies all around me, but other times it wouldn't let me. There seemed to be invisible sound barriers at many locations that I had to step through in order to hear anything on the other side. Annoying.
Still, mostly a decent game and well worth a play through.
Continuing the trend of clearing things up from early last year, I'm now going to do something I should have done a long while ago, and report on some Blood Bowl games. Way back in May and June, after starting a new board game Blood Bowl league, I soon found myself needing some practice with the amazons and lizardmen, which were both new teams to me. I re-installed the computer game, and started a hard difficulty competition with amazons that had 4 divisions each containing 6 teams. I only played the first season, which saw me trying to gain promotion from division 4. I always intended to go back to it, but have not yet found the time or desire.
Though I couldn't remember what happened in the 5 games, luckily I found replays of them all so I could quickly wizz through them and remind myself what happened.
The first game was against elf team High Sea Surfriders. My worst fears came true when their ball carrier dodged through to score on just turn 2. The rest of the half consisted of a big ruck on the half way line, which gave me a numerical advantage for the 2nd half. I took control of the game, with Erika Zeal managing to get through on turn 12 to equalize, and Kallisto Blaze scoring in the last turn for the win.
The 2nd game was against another amazon team, the Tlanxa Javelins. This was a mess from start to finish, with both teams spending the entire match punching each other near the half way line. Twice I managed to push their ball carrier into the crowd, only for the fans to throw the ball deep into my half and put me under pressure. The game ended 0-0 with no chance to score for either team.
My third game was against the much higher rated orc team Da Severed 'Eads. This one allowed me to bring along Zara the Slayer, but I wasn't very hopeful of winning. Turned out to be maybe my luckiest game playing Blood Bowl. Zara was a boss in the early phases, knocking down their troll twice and bullying the black orcs. On turn 3, all the orcs were on my left flank looking to defend my main push, but I switched the play, with Erika handing to Kallisto, who managed to run down the right to score two turns later after wasting as much time as possible. The second half was a massive defensive performance after Zara got KOd right after the kick off. There were multiple orc failed pickup attempts. I noticed several times that they were not using their rerolls during these. Without doubt my main strokes of luck came in turns 8 and 16, as both halves ended with the orcs gaining solid possession of the ball within a turn's reach of the endzone, but I was saved by the whistle both times.
Game 4 saw me up against a Nurgle team Aukrug Eruptors. I remember these being hard to beat when I played with my orcs a few years back, and this one started much the same. One of the beastmen broke through on my right flank with support, and it took a great blitz from Xena Flame to bring him down. She then grabbed the ball, and ran all the way up the right to score on turn 8. 2nd half went my way also, with ball carrier Erika breaking through late on with support from Nikki Heat. On turn 15, one lady handed it to the other and Nikki ran in for the 2-0.
The last game was insane against the Pinkfoot Panthers halfling team. One particular halfling with the block skill called Nellby Hamson was the thorn in my side, seriously injuring Nikki in turn 2, then badly hurting Artemis Flash and Gaia Light on turns 3 & 4 respectively. The little git had me flustered, but I managed to score with Erika on turn 5. A pitch invasion followed, then an attempted throw team mate by one of their treemen ended with the death of one of the halflings. In the 2nd half I concentrated on killing Hamson, but could only badly hurt him after several turns of trying. Though I'd suffered at the beginning, the rest of the casualties went in my favour and they ended with very few players on the pitch. My 2nd TD came in turn 12 for Korina Jet, after she caught an accurate long pass from Erika. The game ended with me retiring Nikki and hiring a new Nikki.
So season 1 ended with a comfortable league win. Hopefully this little update will make me carry on that competition, as it's nice to win with amazons, which I can't seem to do in the board game.