The Critical Geeks Ep. 4 “Loot Boxes”

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The AFK Podcast # 240 “Computex 2019”

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The AFK Podcast # 239 “Epic Shenanigans”

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The Critical Geeks Ep. 3 “Avengers End-Game”

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Let’s Play | The Witcher 3

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News-IRL Ep. 3 | PC Gaming News

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Vampyr – Reviewed (Recommended)

Vampyr from Dontnod Entertainment is a 3rd person RPG/Action game that even though I enjoyed, I almost didn’t recommend.

Let’s get right into why I almost didn’t recommend this game.  The game had some serious  technical issues.  It would frequently crash to desktop, and if you are playing on an AMD CPU, the loading screens were epic.  I’m talking about 3 minute plus loading screens here.  This forced me to play the majority of the game on my Intel rig.  While I have that option, most people don’t own multiple gaming rigs.

Overall the game-play is what you’d expect from a single player RPG, and falls into 3 categories; dialog, combat, and exploration.  You’ll upgrade skills and weapons using materials found in exploration and XP earned through dialog or feeding.  As with any good RPG there is a fair bit of dialog, so sit back and grab a cup of tea.  The dialog is skip-able but I don’t recommend it, as you will miss clues that help you progress the story.  Combat is a little clunky at times.  Powers seem a little slow to activate, so combat sometimes devolves into button mashing.  You are able to reset your skill tree and try out different skill combinations, for a small cost of 500xp.

The Story is unlocked through cut-scenes, clues, and conversations.  You are doctor Johnathan Reid.  After returning from service in WWI, you wake up to find yourself a vampire.  As you work to uncover the mystery of how you ended up in your current state, you’ll discover that something darker and sinister is at work.  While the story was not predictable, some of the situations and characters do fall into standard tropes. There were times I felt the developer was trying to push an agenda.  In one case, I made the opposite decision I was being pushed towards, out of spite. Reid’s responses and world view were that of a millennial, causing the character to feel like a man out of time.  I personally don’t like when game writers push 2019 morality into a games based in earlier periods.

The game is an atmospheric masterpiece.  Set in a dark version of 1918 London after the end of of World War I, the atmosphere of the game is dark and foreboding.  The animations at times are a bit robotic, with the facial animations at times giving the impression that the character is a ventriloquist’s dummy.  The music consisted of an out of tune violin.  For me, it was really annoying and I ended up turning it off.

Overall the game-play was fun and the story was engaging.  My play-through came in at 35 hours, which is a tremendous value for a single player game.  Despite the technical issues, I recommend Vampyr.

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The Critical Geeks Ep. 2 | Game Difficulty

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Game Difficulty and Elitism

I will never understand why some gamers worry or care about how other gamers play games. A wise man once said “Don’t worry bout the fuck I be doin”. How does one player, playing on easy, affect another player, playing on hard? It doesn’t. At all.

We all play games for different reasons. Some want a challenge, others just want to relax. I almost always fall into the second category. I have a stressful job. Games are my chance to relax and enjoy some interactive entertainment. They help me get my mind off the horrible shit I’ve seen, and the horrible shit going on in the world. So why the fuck would anyone care if I play on easy mode? The truth is, most gamers don’t really care. Only the “elitist” cares.

The “elitist” actually shows up in pretty much every hobby or interest. You’ve seen it’s many forms and may have just not realized it. It’s the Guinness beer drinker who proclaims that your not a real beer drinker if you don’t drink Guinness. It’s the long time Blackhawks fan that’s pissed at all the new fans getting into hockey just because the team is doing good. They are not real fans, only he is the real fan. Yes, these jackasses show up everywhere. They are the self proclaimed gatekeepers of what constitutes a real (insert interest here).

When it comes to the “elitist” gamer, they are really just shitty people with no real sense of accomplishment. They suck at everything else in life and were probably made fun of at some point. Now is their chance to say shit like “get good” or “uninstall noob”, and make others feel shitty like they did.

I’m not saying all games need an easy mode. It should be up to the developer. If the developer feels it’s part of his vision for the game, then so be it. The game will not appeal to as large of an audience, but it’s the developers right to do that.

I don’t care how anyone else enjoys playing. Personally I wouldn’t buy a game that didn’t have an adjustable difficulty setting. It makes no difference to me how anyone else plays. If it makes a difference to you, then you’re a douche.

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Star Wars : Jedi – Fallen Order

Respawn released a trailer today for it’s up coming Star Wars: Jedi – Fallen Order.  They dropped a bombshell when they announced, and EA confirmed, no micro-transactions and single player only.  Holy crap!  Could this be the start of EA redeeming themselves? Day one buy for me if it is.  What do you think?  Leave a comment below.

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