Sunday, April 27, 2014

Marvel Puzzle Quest, Octodad, Trials Fusion, Second Son, and More...  


It’s been a while since my last post, so apologies to my regular readers who were wondering about the delay… I was holding off on new entries in the hopes that I’d have a formal announcement to make (a good one!) but the time is not quite here yet. Soon! In the meantime, it’s business as usual…

Games: First, a quick check-in on Marvel Puzzle Quest. I'm still playing daily, and it’s still quite a bit of fun. If you haven't been following the game closely for a while, you might be surprised at how many changes have been instituted lately. 

Although it's hard to quantify exactly how much, it seems to me that the penalties of losing to PVP opponents have been greatly reduced, so it’s not nearly as soul-crushing as it used to be. Also, ‘Alliances’ are now a thing that have been integrated into the game overall, so grouping up with friends pays great dividends. There's been a steady trickle of new characters added to the roster, and some events have been re-worked and broken up into seasons. For example, it didn't make a lot of sense to play the S.H.I.E.L.D. Simulator mode in the past, but now that there’s a deadline for point accumulation, it's a more worthwhile endeavor.

Much respect to Demiurge for keeping development going and constantly instituting changes that make the game bigger and better. This is a quality product that I'm happy to support with my dollars, and it's giving me who knows how many hours of entertainment in return. If you haven’t checked it out yet, now is a great time to jump in.

In other games news, I just played and reviewed Octodad: Dadliest Catch on PS4. I won't say much about it now, except that it was hilarious and a fantastic amount of fun to play, and the developers are extremely clever people.

Embrace difference.

I've heard some people complaining about the difficulty of the game, but I found it to be quite easy in most regards. I'm not trying to say that I'm some kind of phenomenal games player or anything, but honestly, I think the chatter about the difficulty was overblown.

As far as I'm concerned, this is a must-have for the PS4, and doubly so if you have kids… Sit your little ones down beside you and be treated to a family-friendly good time.

Over the last few days, I also completed and wrote a review for Trials: Fusion, although I’m both surprised and disappointed to say that my opinion of this installment is much less positive than I expected. I'm a huge Trials fan and enjoyed the hell out of both HD and Evo (still play 'em!) but Fusion just doesn't match up at all.

I'm still chipping away at the Extreme tracks (I even streamed my struggles with the Rock of Rages track last night, and it ended in a finish!) but I'm already noticing that it doesn't have the same pull over me that the previous ones did. If you've never played a Trials, I'd say go for either of the two older games before this one.

In my last bit of PS4 news, I tried inFamous: Second Son for a day, but didn't find it to my taste at all. Though it was a very beautiful game that had some cool ideas, the general feel of the gameplay was more irritating than anything else. 

Y'know, I'm pretty sure 520 doesn't lead straight into Queen Anne... 

Full disclosure, I'm tired of open-world games that don't have a unique spin or a real justification for being open, and giving me a big area dotted with random objectives to complete doesn't cut the mustard anymore. In this respect, it definitely didn’t impress. Even so, I might have powered through it just because except that I found it to be completely irritating to play. 

The inFamous titles always come off like shooters disguised as superhero games, and this one is no different. Whenever going to any location, I got really tired of being surrounded by a huge number of enemies firing at me from all directions, and it's just not what I'm looking for.

(Random side note: being someone who lives in Seattle, I found the depiction of the city disappointing. It's not like I expected things to be re-created block for block, but although you could catch occasional glimpses of what the real city looks like, it just didn't feel right to me at all. Oh well.) 

Parenting: The other day, my wife went to the Wendy's drive-through and the person at the window asked if we wanted the girl’s or boy’s toy in the kids’ meal. I realize there was probably no ill intent in it, but it would be great for society to get to a point at which toys are not immediately gendered. 
It's fun for all kids.

After all, kids of both sexes are often curious about all sorts of toys, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.  It’s perfectly fine for little girls to play with action figures, and for little boys to dress a doll. The way we constantly reinforce gender roles as a society is disappointing, and something that we’re consciously trying to correct as parents. Let’s just let kids be kids!

Television: Finally, just a quick shout-out to a new show that the wife and I started watching called My Mad Fat Diary.  

We've only seen the first episode, but the story about a big girl who's coming to acceptance with her size and society is both brutally honest and incredibly funny. The entire first season is available for free on YouTube, so check it out if you're in the market for such a thing.


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