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About
Working for the Government of Canada, DJing and writing about video games in my spare time. Finally decided to create a Dtoid account and start doing this seriously!

I also work for Gamework Canada (www.gamework.ca), bringing competitive gaming tournaments to Canada!

This blog will be doing a bit of everything, but the main feature will be thoughtful analytic pieces on important themes in gaming. That and whatever concoctions my research-addled mind thinks of sharing.

Let me know any games you would like to see in the spotlight!

Player Profile
Xbox LIVE:REDterror1938
PSN ID:REDterror1938
Steam ID:REDterror1938
Origin ID:REDterror1938
Wii U code:REDterror
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The Scholarly Gamer
3 hour ago - 10:48 AM on 12.18.2014

Dear Destructoid Community Blogs,

It has come to my attention lately that you are all amazing. Well, maybe not lately, but I’ve been thinking about it more lately as I’ve been trying to link up with more Dtoiders to game with. Building off an earlier blog that I had quickly posted in October entitled Play With Me, I want to attempt a little community project and see how well it works. 

My goal is to create a master list of everyone’s gamer IDs, so that there is a place for people to come and beef up their friend lists with all of the amazing people in the community. I've reached out to people myself to link up before, but I think it would be something nice for everyone to have access to. 

Upon doing some research on this to ensure that I was not duplicating anything, I came across a Forum post started back in May by the wonderful Firion to gather up 3DS IDs in a convenient venue.  There are 15 gamers who have volunteered their various IDs on there, but I know there are so many more of you out in the C-Blogs!

Bucket of Love

If many other people in the community are anything like me, I do not have a chance to delve into the Forums often and I think that having something updateable in the C-Blogs would be a solid idea. I don’t often see Firion in the C-Blogs, but if you’re reading this and you want to work together and have a list updated on here and it Forums, that would be sweet too! The more we can connect people, the better!

I don’t know, maybe this is not a great venue for this, as within a week it will be pushed off past the pages that anyone traverses. That’s why this is a project attempt, and we’ll move along from here.  I will update this page to list everyone’s tags, and if there is enough of a response I will repost it after a week or so that everyone can see the list in its full glory. If not, we will forget this ever happened and never speak of it again.

If you want to participate in this little project and connect with more members of the community, comment on the thread below with your Gamer ID for any console, Steam, or game (like LoL), and I will update the page accordingly. I won’t populate the list with people from Firion’s list, until you give me the OK to post your IDs here. I will only post the IDs of players who have agreed to post them publicly.  

Happy Gaming!

The Master List

BigDoniel
Psn:BigDoniel
Xbox Live:BigDoniel
Wii U:BigDoniel
Steam: BigDoniel.

bmg123
PSN: r3wind96
XBL: theundeadbox
Steam: r3wind96

Dreamweaver
Xbox Live: TraitortoHeaven
PSN: TraitortoHeaven
NNID: DreamDecker
League of Legends: DreamDecker

El Dango
PSN: MikHoest
Steam: MikHoest

Fenriff
PSN: Fenriff
NNID: Fenriff
Steam: Fenriff
Battle.net: Shev #1563

GajKnight
PSN: gaj76
NNID: Gajknight
Steam: Gajknight

Luna SY
Steam: Luna Sy
PSN: LCAS

Mr Andy Dixon
XBL: Mr Andy Dixon
PSN: MrAndyDixon
NNID: MrAndyDixon
Steam: MrAndyDixon

Occams Electric Toothbrush
XBL: TheHumboldtKid
PSN: Mother_Meat
NNID: Not really sure
Steam: Occams_electric_toothbrush

ShadeOfLight
Steam: ShadeOfLight
NNID: ShadeOfLight

Spieler Dad
XBL: Der Spieler Dad
PSN: Der-Sizilianer58

TheDustinThomas
PSN & XBL: TheDust34
NNID: TheDustinThomas

The Scholarly Gamer
XBL: REDterror1938
PSN: REDterror1938
NNID: REDterror
Steam: matthewferguson.mf

 

 

Photo








Scholar’s back. Missed his friends.

This blog post will sort of be like the soft opening of a new club. You know that the real party is coming soon, but the soft opening prepares you for what to expect, gets you ready for it. Well, this is my Soft Grand Re-Re-Opening, because I’m coming back fools!

As many of you may have known, I took my leave from Destructoid in late August, after accepting a contract to work with the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Canadian Government with the Russia and Eastern Europe Division. It had been a crazily busy experience, but ultimately an extremely rewarding and worthwhile venture. I’ve got to do some great things, meet some awesome people (the Turkish Ambassador to Canada knows my name now!), and be involved in some interesting work.

Work!

Hanging out at HQ

Normally this wouldn’t have been enough to keep me away from your loving embrace, but on top of that I’ve been visiting the doctor a lot and undergoing various tests to try and solve some chronic pain I’ve been experiencing for quite some time now. It’s been narrowed down luckily, and I’m just waiting for the latest MRI results and a specialist appointment to see how we want to advance. On the plus side, if I end up bed-ridden after surgery, I’ll likely be on here 24/7. 

Sadly, my Foreign Affairs contract comes to an end on December 31st, as I head back to finish my thesis so I can finally have my Master of Arts in Russian and Central Asian studies. For anyone that was interested, I’m writing on the foreign policy goals on the Kyrgyz Republic. To bring it into Dtoid terms, Kyrgyzstan was featured in a map in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 called Standoff, which supposedly depicts a border town between China and Kyrgyzstan.  Bam, connections.

Me Chilling in the Kyrgyz Badlands / A REAL Kyrgyzstan Border Town with China

I’ll also be spending this time getting my Russian (and hopefully French) language skills up to par to pass a translation exam which is required for my degree. Luckily I have some great resources, including an awesome Russian Dtoider by the name of Tonich, so this should be a grand experience. While I write my thesis and work on language studies though, I will have much more time to spend with all of you once again, writing and enjoying the life you all bring to the Community!

I am also still engaged, and our wedding date is set for June 6, 2015. Sorry GajKnight, but maybe in another life…or some Dtoid fanfic we’ve yet to write. ;) Ashleigh and I are planning to have a nice outside June wedding, followed by your typical drinking, dancing, and general jovialness.

I have still been managing to get some game-time in while I’ve been busy, but not near as much as I normally would. As you know, I have quite the game buying problem, so in the past 4 months I’ve been buying more games than I can logistically play, and many of them sit half-beaten on the backburner. Normal people would only buy the games they could actually finish given the time they had…not me though. I prefer to stay poor and well-stocked. Stacks on stacks on stacks…of Xbox One games, yo. Is it my fault October/November are the notoriously worst (read: best) times to be a gamer? I think not.

Truly crushing. 

I’ve been dropping in when I get the chance to read blogs, but I have not had the time or wherewithal to leave the loving comments that I normally would, but you can expect that to change as well! It’s nice to see upon reading gaming news lately that the communities seem to be evening out on the whole XBOne vs. PS4 thing. I won’t go into any rants here, but it’s good to see that people are starting to see what Microsoft has to offer, in terms of fan-based updates, (including constantly improving user interface), as well as exclusivity. PS4 is solid and has great potential, and I feel like 2015 will be their year, but just not right now. I bought my PS4 in August, and it’s mostly been gathering dust lately, apart from occasional bursts of Last of Us or free PS Plus games. And from what I’ve been reading, not just on this site, many other people are starting to feel similar sentiments.

Onto the games! As I’ve said, I’ve been dabbling a lot, but I’ve still gotten a chance to try mostly everything that has come out recently, so here goes a quick blast of my thoughts on new(ish) releases, and things I’m currently into, in no particular order.

On the PS Vita side, I’ve been wholly hooked onto P4Golden lately, and I play it on my bus rides to and from work when I’m not reading thesis materials or Russian. I really loved the cast of Persona 3, but I am definitely feeling attached to this crew as well.  The story is great, and the combat while simple has a solid tactical side to it. Plus, making friends and gathering new Personas is awesome, as always. For anyone who has ever been on the fence, I pretty much bought my Vita to play this game portably.

I've been singing the theme song in my head as I've been writing this. 

I ran through the campaign of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and dabbled into the multiplayer on Xbox One, and I was pretty impressed. I didn’t hate Ghosts like most other people did, but I found this campaign to be very gripping, partially because of my work in similar fields. The multiplayer, while staying within the confines of CoD and borrowing from Crysis/Destiny/Titanfall or whatever else, was a solid experience. I enjoyed the addition of verticality to typical CoD, and with my Titanfall experience, I found it fairly easy to adjust to new strategies.

Bayonetta 2 is awesome.  Just period. The first game was great, this game is just superb. Every little fight is absolutely balls-to-the-walls, the weapons are extremely fun, and the mechanics have only improved. Buy a WiiU if you don’t have one, and play this game. It may be one of the best beat-em-up fighters in the genre right now. While you’re at it, Hyrule Warriors and Super Smash Bros for WiiU are also great buys. I miss having people over and playing fun couch-brawling games, and both of these satisfy that desire immensely and in different ways. WiiU has been dropping it like it’s hot lately, and I hope they keep the momentum up.

Shadow of Mordor was nuts. Is nuts. Squirrels. The combat is extremely well designed and very tight, and reminds me of the visceral feel of Ryse, plus it’s within LOTR canon. The skill tree is also very well implemented, and each new skill feels like it opens up a whole new way to fight. The Evil Within is another winner in my books, combining the greatness of Resident Evil 4 with even more brutal survival horrors motifs.  I need to finish it still, but I will only play it at night with the lights out, so it limits my time with it.

Someone please hold me. 

Dragon Age Inquisition was fun, but not astounding in my opinion. I put around 15-20 hours into it before returning it for my refund, partially because it was getting really repetitive even at that point, and partially because on the PS4 I was encountering some issues with metals shining to the point it looked like a screen tear or graphical anomaly. Really took me out of the experience a lot. And it was a beautiful game, but maybe not as breathtaking as I’d expected. I play to pick it up again, maybe for the Xbox One, around Boxing Day.

Speaking of beautiful though, let’s talk Far Cry 4. Holy hell. I know a lot of people have been saying its Far Cry 3 2.0, but I think it’s done an amazing job. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. The landscape is stunning, and surprisingly easy to traverse. The gameplay is very much FC3, with little improvements where they were needed, and the addition of some awesome new side quests, animals, weapons, and features.  The story isn’t perfect, but characters like Pagan Min, Longinus, Hurk, Noore, and others make up for it in my opinion.

I never thought anyone would come close to Vaas. Well done Troy Baker. 

GTA V Xbox One is also gorgeous, and I’ve been enjoying playing through it in first-person. I never thought I would feel like a worse person than when I played GTA V the first time, but lo and behold, playing it in first person somehow amplifies how brutal the game can be, and how bad of a person I am. Oh well, still keeping it hood. Also, Lamar makes that game.  On other remakes, Halo Master Chief Collection is of course everything that you would want it to be, especially now that the bugs are mostly fixed. Last night I tried singing the Halo theme to my fiancée hoping that it would somehow convince her to play co-op with me. Needless to say, she loves the theme, hates the game.  

Hearkening back to my earlier comment on exclusives, Sunset Overdrive was a pretty big blast, and is definitely a lot of fun to play with friends. I found that the gameplay got a bit repetitive after a while, but the dialogue was great and the constant new weapons and outfits added a lot to the entertainment factor. It really felt like Dead Rising meets JetSet Radio, but just needed a little more substance to hold it down. Not saying it’s not a blast, but just didn’t have the longevity I was expecting.

Lastly (I think) is Assassin’s Creed Unity. I could say a lot here, but most of it has already been said by many of you. I didn’t find the game to be as buggy as most people, as was able to successfully play co-op on my first attempt. I only fell through the ground (and a roof) twice, and never experienced any other glitches. Frame-rate is still an issue, but one that is much better now with recent patches. The new combat is pretty solid after forgetting everything my hands automatically did while playing an Assassin’s Creed game, but I found the traversal mechanics to be a bit wonky. I mean, Ezio never had these problems; Arno seems to enjoy breaking his neck. Co-op is great though, even when you have the douchebag Rhinosaurus-in-a-Parisian-Lalique-Crystal-Shop that my friends like to employ. Yelling at them has now become part of my strategy.

Well. This blog has gotten exceptionally long, and I am past my allotted lunch time, so I should probably end it here. I miss you all, and am excited to make my triumphant return permanently to Destructoid at latest by January 3rd. I hope you are all doing well, and I am going to try and catch up with you all via-your own latest blog posts in the next couple days!

Game Happy

TSG.

Photo Photo Photo







The Scholarly Gamer
1:53 PM on 10.20.2014

I swear I had something for this...

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of gaming for several hours with a fellow Dtoider, and I have to say, it was one of my best gaming experiences in a while now.  It really makes a difference, regardless of what game you are playing, when you have a friend to play it with. So I’m going to take my lunch hour today to briefly talk about our Saturday afternoon together. Adorable, right?

This past Saturday Dreamweaver and I finally managed to connect, because we’re both just so busy and popular, and sat down for a few hours making stacks on stacks on stacks in Payday 2. The game was his suggestion, and I couldn’t have been happier to oblige. I’ve owned Payday 2 for a while now, but because I never had any friends to play it with, most games online just devolved into frantic chaos. Typically, random teammates tried to secure objectives, handle hostages, and deal with police while I was yelling obscenities and haphazard instructions through my microphone. Because obviously that works.

Playing with Dreamweaver this weekend gave me a chance to have another person on a microphone to strategize with. And his level 98 (to my level 16 when we started) provided a lot of much needed tools and expertise that I was frankly lacking. He recommended a couple builds and weapons he had prior success with, and showed me some new routes for jobs that I hadn’t considered. All in all, playing with even one other person allowed Payday 2 to function slightly more like it was meant to.

Slightly.

We did decent in a few missions, even clearing one in around 45 seconds before cops showed up, but generally speaking shit hit the fan. And. Got. Everywhere. But you know what? It didn’t really matter. When I was playing with randoms and this happened, I usually got annoyed, because the game turned into one massively annoying grind. But with Dream, we had fun rolling with the punches and determining the best ways to un-fuck ourselves. We also found out that I would not be a successful meth cooker. Damn it all to hell, I blew it up. So, maybe I’m part of the problem. But Dreamweaver was great about it. #notwalterwhite.

On top of playing Payday and enjoying the ensuing hilarity, we got to chat about Destructoid, other games, and life. It was great to have a chance to talk one-on-one with someone who I would consider one of my closest friends Destructoid, and I hope that we have many more chances to game together, and that I am able to have this same experience with many of you.

Some games just lose their “oomph” when you play them alone, such as Payday, Destiny, LEGO games, Mario Kart (really any Mario game), Smash Bros, to name a few. They are decent games and still fun if you play alone, but the true joy comes from the strategy and hilarity related to playing with a friend.

And that makes me a sadddddd panda

I think it’s really important for us to not only discuss gaming together as a community, but take the opportunities that we can to play together. Friday Night Fights are the best incarnation of this ideal, and I’ve had the pleasure of gaming with some great people on those nights.

Unfortunately though, Xbox FNF has been on a downswing since I’ve joined Dtoid, so I’m hoping to put some effort in to try and breathe a little more life into that. I’ve hosted numerous games, both AAA and less-popular, and not once have I had a single person join me on Fridays. Now, either I smell so bad that it’s permeating through Xbox Live, or there is a solution yet to be discovered.  Part of this could be the game choice, but even on the nights I hosted Destiny, I was met with empty rooms. Maybe you just all hate Xbox. I get it.  

Except it's never calm.

Either way, I am going to try and figure something out to form a little more cohesion with game choices for the games I host on Fridays (although I may start doing Saturday/Sundays as well, as sometimes people have better availability then.) ChillyBilly, if you’re reading this, let’s chat! Maybe I’ll put a shout out for suggested games the week before in the forum/c-blogs, to have an idea of what people want to play the next week.  

I know that when I started, often I would quickly read the FNF post, but if nothing was there that I owned, or wanted to play, I often wouldn’t bother. I want to try and make it so that people can put forth their opinions or vote towards my game choice(s), so that I can ensure people are playing the games they want to play, with the friends they’ve made on here. Yay community!

Long story short, I had a blast on the weekend gaming with Dreamweaver, and I’d love to continue this trend, and game with more fellow Dtoiders. And I suppose Dream again, but maybe only once. He made fun of the fact I said “Eh?” So next time Mr. Dreamweaver, we’re going into the Thunderdome. Eh?

Hit me up on Xbox: REDterror1938, PSN: REDterror1938, Nintendo ID: REDterror, Steam: REDterror1938

TSG









Man I'm Punny. 

Now, I know you are all probably already looking at this c-blog thinking I am crazy, but up here in the Great White North, we celebrate our Thanksgiving during early October. I’d get into the specifics of it, but let’s just say that we have to get our celebrations in before the maple syrup stops running and we’re forced to build our igloos for the season. Winter is coming, you know.

Winter is ComingBring on the Wargs. 

 Anyways, as most of you know I’ve been crazily busy for the past couple of months and haven’t been able to contribute towards the community, so here is my catch up c-blog. Because want to know one of the things I’m most thankful for? You guys. And maple bacon. Do you even get that down there? If not, I’ll hand-mail you each a package. It’s phenomenal.

I was reminded of this (missing you guys, not the bacon…) when I was a guest host on Radio Destructoid this past Saturday (look for the episode coming out this week), and after taking some listener questions and discussing recent c-blogs, I realized how much I miss all of you.  Except Andy. I got enough of him Saturday night to last me the next 3 new game releases, which by the time of posting this, will have already came out…so…I miss you Andy.

In all seriousness though, being on Radio Destructoid was amazing, one of my favourite experiences with the site so far. Although after my crazy week of work (apparently international crises don’t stop when I have other plans), and starting recording at 12:30 am, I was pretty beat. So don’t expect me to be my typical sassy self. And Gaj…I’ll meet you under the stars, with the pic-i-nic basket.

Hey there, Gaj Gaj. Keep your eye out for Ranger Andy.

So what am I most thankful for? Pretty much everything. I’m thankful for having an amazing fiancée who puts up with all of my gaming and other crap. I’m thankful for my ferret and my cats, even though one of them insists on sticking thumbtacks between my nails and my toes every morning. Asscat. I’m thankful for my new job, which may only be temporary but is one of the most interesting experiences I’ve ever had in my life; Department of Foreign Affairs with the GoC. FTW.

And last, but never least, I am thankful for gaming, and for all of you being a part of my life. I have only been part of the community for a little while, and you’re all probably sick of me saying this, but you are all amazing. I miss the times when we used to hang out every day. Making fun of bigots with Elsa and Occam, discussing NSFW with Dreamweaver, talking real world news with Riobux, Caim, Zero, and others, Russian affairs with Tonich. I know I haven't covered everyone here, but you all know I love you. Say my name ;). 

It’s like hanging out with your friends at recess on the playground, except with tons of sexual innuendos. So…it’s exactly like hanging out on the playground.  

I don't even have a caption, I just loved this show.

Oh right, games! I’m super thankful for them as well, but also remembering why this time of the year always made me the poorest.

Destiny is still a blast, and haters can eat me. As long as you’re with some friends, and know that it’s a shooter-MMO, with shooter coming first, the game is a blast. To each their own, right? Right.

Shadow of Mordor may actually be sitting near the top of my GOTY list. Pretty pissed about those skeezy marketing tactics, but oh man is this game satisfying. Whereas combat gets repetitive in many other similar games, the combat in Middle-Earth only improved as you progressed through the game. Middle-Earth setting, Nemesis system, satisfying and visceral combat, amazing skill tree, stayed mostly true to the canon while giving a new story? Checking all the boxes on this one.

Sidenote: You guys know how I’m a pre-order nut?  I actually ended up with 3 brand new copies of this game in my attempts to secure DLC. Was not intending this to happen, but was able to get all the DLC, and return two with no hassle. Hey Charlie Sheen, now I’m the one #Winning.

Hyrule Warriors is the best fusion game I’ve ever played. It’s like Gogeta…or Vegeto. Actually no, it’s Gotenks. That’s how badass this game is. I was afraid of too much DW vs. Zelda, but it’s a perfect mix. The narrative has done an amazing job of staying true to Zelda canon, while explaining the parallel universes/games for all those who didn’t read Hyrule Historia. Gameplay is DW at its core, but the moves are great and varied by character and still maintain a Zelda feel.

So...this is Hyrule Warriors.

Alien: Isolation is terrifying. It’s not the perfect survival horror game, but one thing it does exceptionally well is atmospheric tension. The environment, the music, the NPCs; the atmosphere has been exquisitely crafted and instills constant terror into the player. Or, I’m just a giant wussy.

That’s all for my most recent games. I won’t go any farther back, because this could take a while. Stoked to be picking up The Evil Within after work today though, from all the reviews so far it seems to have actually brought the survival horror everyone was expecting it to lack. Come on people, trust Bethesda.

And lastly, but actually most importantly, I’m thankful for life, and for living in Canada. Even though it means I have to be the hat to your ass. Get it? Good.

We should be a fedora. At the very least, a touque.

The world is a scary place right now. ISIL has been wreaking havoc in Iraq and the Levant, Ebola has not been curbed and we recently had a suspected case in my city of Ottawa, human rights abuses continue in a vast number of countries, and people are still dying daily from preventable diseases. Even if you spend most of your days playing video games and surfing the internet, I know I do sometimes, don’t take your life for granted. Things can change so quickly, so be thankful for everything you have.

This has ended up very long, and on a serious note, so I’m stopping it here.  Miss you all, and hope everything is going well with all of you! I know it’s early, but in the spirit of (my) season, what are you all thankful for?

TSG









You probably haven't noticed, (although I sure have) but I have been away from the Dtoid community for almost 3 weeks now.  I just wanted to take a few minutes to tell you all that I already miss you more than some ridiculous gaming metaphor that I don't have the time, or mental capacity, to come up with right now.

I've started my new job with the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development, and so far it's been whooping my ass.  Don't get me wrong, I am absolutely loving it so far, but it's been 10-11 days almost every day so far, which has been severely limiting my Destructoid and gaming times respectively.  

As such, I probably won't be posting that much in the next little while, as my weekends are also booked solid DJing events.  So I haven't forgot about you; quite the opposite if anything.  I think about you guys all the time while I'm doing my work, because you used to be my friends that I could always visit for 15 minutes while taking breaks at work.  

Anyways, that is all.  I'm still here, but will most likely be commenting and ghosting around for the next little while, rather than contributing my own blogs.  AFK News has also taken a bit of a hiatus because of this, but we are looking to get an issue out next week still.  Feel free to add me on Xbox or PSN @ REDterror1938, and maybe we can game a little! 









or: How I Learned to Stop Bitching and Play Everything....

And he was never heard from again.

I did it. It may seem hard for a lot of you to believe, especially with all of my vehement arguing for Microsoft and the Xbox One, but on Friday August 23rd, I bought myself a PS4.

HOLD UP. Don't go rushing to call 9-1-1 yet, it's still me here.  I just made a lifestyle choice. Or at least, I'm PS-curious now. Wouldn't say I've hopped that fence quite yet.  So without further adieu, welcome to One Microsoft Fanboy's expedition into Playstation 4,  otherwise known as, Why I don't enjoy having money. 

The Design / User Interface

So the first thing I thought about the Playstation 4 (besides that it better start offering me sexual favours for the $500 I just spent on it) was whether or not it would fit in my current entertainment center. I was worried about the size, as the Xbox One required some shifting to make everything continue to look pretty.  So I was pretty impressed when I opened the rather large box to see the petite console, which was dwarfed by my fatass PS3 and the Xbox One.  I have to say, I was pretty impressed that Sony fit all that power in such a small box.  I think that last thing we said that about was Paris Hilton.  And look how long that lasted.  

Was that in bad taste Matt? Yes it was other Matt, yes it was.  

So I unwrapped the controller, my hands already perspiring as I remembered how much I hate gaming seriously using the PS1-2-3 controllers, both because of my giant gorilla-hands, the weird feeling R/L buttons, and my annoyance that the design remained perpetually unchanged for a decade.  So imagine my glee when I held the controller for the first time and felt those wonderful contours. Just like the Xbox One controller, it fit right into my hand and felt right at home.  Ok, well done Sony.  Wait...this thing lights up different colours depending on what I'm doing AND my health in Last of Us? Ok...you get bonus gimmick points for that one.


Remember this?

Once I turned the console on, and everything set up fairly simply, it was time to lay my hammer of judgement upon the UI.  I'd been playing Diablo 3 all week as the Crusader, so I was getting pretty good at hammering judgement down.  When stacked up next to the Xbox One home, I still have to go with Xbox on this one.  While I found the layout to be fairly simple, it was all there on the one screen, with minimal separation between things. I prefer having favourites/recently played, and then going into a menu for my apps/games.  It was user-friendly, just not my preferred design.  

Past that, there were small annoyances that I found.  My game library doesn't link to other aspects of the game (IE: the Overview, the store, download speed) like it does with the Xbox.  When playing a game, I can see my other friends, but only that they are "Playing a different game."  Now, I know their security isn't set that high, so what gives Sony?  Maybe it's me, but that seems silly.  Lastly (I think), I really still don't like the Playstation Store.  I find that on my Vita, it's fairly well organized, but it seems to be a mess on the PS4.  Take Playstation Plus games for instance.  While it's fairly easy to scroll to the right and see your two free games, you have to do some digging to find all the deals for PS+ that month.  On Vita, they're all in the same section.

The System Operation

Still too early to judge this fully, but there have been a couple hiccups.  There has been one instance that the PS4 started with no sound. I thought this was odd, and tried The Last of Us, and still nothing.  Plugged something else in to test, sound worked fine, so I restarted the PS4 and everything was gravy salad.  Not a killer, but really odd.

Next, I had some issues with Last of Us being permanently stuck on the first loading screen, and then again on a level load after I restarted.  Maybe the system, maybe the game, but kind of annoying.  Restarts fixed this, but it shouldn't be necessary.  It would be like buying a hamster, and then giving it CPR every time you wanted to play with it.  Uh-Uh-Uh-Uh staying alive, staying alive. Nothing? Uh-Uh-Uh-Uh staying aliiiiiiiii-oh, there it goes. Kind of morbid, don't you think?



"I took a class where you do chest compressions to a BeeGees song." Not Quite Homer

Now, I know this isn't really your fault Sony, but seriously, the first weekend I get this console, you suffer a DDOS?  Not only that, but these asshats apparently took down the Blizzard servers too, which stopped me from playing Diablo 3 on the X1 as well.  I don't know if you can picture this cheerful disposition ever raging, but that is probably as close as I've been in some time.  And I swear if it happens again, I'll burn it down.  I'll burn it all down.



"This stupid building is a tinderbox, and I will burn it to the ground."

The Gameplay

No complaints here.  Last of Us Remastered and P.T.  Seriously.  Ball hard.
Sony Exclusivity

I'm going to try and not smash my face into the keyboard to express my frustration at this point, so I'll KISS. Keep it Simple Sony.

Now everyone has been raging about the Tomb Raider exclusivity (which besides from the business sense, I get. Dick move) as well as some for Bayonetta 2.  What irks me though? Destiny exclusivity.  So now I own an Xbox One, and a PS4.  I also have a fiancee, but she won't be seeing much playtime for a while.

I want to play Destiny on my Xbox One, because my friends will be and because I prefer the controller.  But on PS4, gamers are treated with some sweet exclusive content just for playing it on that system.  I know this isn't the first time (AC games for instance) but this one irks me.  To me, this is the worst kind of exclusivity, besides retail-specific. They can burn in hell.  Instead of making a simple choice, I now have to decide between getting the experience that I want, or getting more awesome content (and you all know I'm a sucker for that).  I'm going to end up choosing Xbox, because nothing trumps playing with friends, but I'm still pissed off.  Apparently we may get the DLC as paid-content in 2015, but it's speculation right now.  So yeah, Microsoft pulls some shitty moves, but Sony is definitely not the Abel of this dichotomy.

This on top of the early Beta access for Sony systems, with only 4 days for Xbox?  Did you forget who made you Bungie?  And I'm not referring to Microsoft, I'm referring to all of us who played your flagship and made the series what it is today.  Or is it Activision pulling these strings?  I already have words for you map-pack hustling so-and-sos, but we'll keep that for a later blog. Either way, I'm perturbed. 

Play it First, Play it Better?  Oh I get it Sony, you're also the devil. 

DLC to Win

This is probably what annoyed me the most this weekend.  Now I know this occasionally happens in certain games, especially those of the Freemium nature, but in a serious competitive shooter, you should not be able to purchase DLC that gives you an advantage over other players.  Waste your money on unlock packs to get it quickly because you're too lazy to grind? Sure. Re-skins, or new weapons which parallel the power and effectiveness of those in the game?  Alright, fine.  Completely new weapons which are the most powerful in the game, on top of 8 new abilities which make life much easier?  Absolutely not.  Ab-so-friggin-lutely not.

Maybe this existed in the original Last of Us for PS3, but I don't recall seeing it.  Either way, this is a horrible tactic.  I could not believe that there were DLC packs with weapons and abilities that legitimately gave people a substantial upper hand, both in attack power, resource generation, and other aspects.  You know me; I'm a DLC, must-have-all-content whore.  I am not supporting this.  Clearly tons of people are, because I'm being taken down by the high-powered pistol and Spectre, but I will not endorse this practice.  I've never seen something this bad in another competitive shooter, or anything Microsoft exclusive.  CoD gets new weapons occasionally, but they are not intrinsically better than the existing weapons.  I could be wrong here, but this seems like it's gone too far.


Oh my bad, I didn't realize you gave us some maps. All is forgiven.

P.T. 

This needs an honorable mention.  Normally, I need a minimum of three full games (that are already out) before I will buy a console.  It's what made Day 1 Xbox One so easy, there were a ton of great games on launch.  For this system though?  All it took was PT, and the rumor that I am getting a raise in two weeks, and I threw my money into a pit. 

I have been playing the past 3 nights as soon as the sun went down, with my fiancee curled up beside me under a blanket, terrified to look at or away from the screen.  This truly is a creepy, psychological, terrifying masterpiece from the mind of Kojima.  I have never been so scared at a video game, or movie now that I think of it, and if the full game is even a quarter as good as this teaser, I'll buy it Day -1. (This is me one-upping CoD's Day 0).  Going back at the final puzzle tonight.  Can't seem to get it to occur, so why not spend another few hours in the most terrifying Groundhog Day reference since, well, Groundhog Day.


Didn't realize Hideo Kojima was such a fan.

Conclusion

I'm happy.  Little grievances along the way, but nothing too annoying.  I expect some small hiccups, I had similar issues with game loads on the Xbox One, so I'm not too worried.  Then again, these have since been fixed on the X1.  As for the exclusivity and DLC issues, F 'em. I'm buying Destiny on Xbox One, and I'll continue executing honkeys who think just because they paid for a high-powered pistol, they're better than me.  Guess what?  Now I'm smashing your head in with a 2X4.  Satisfying.

And that about sums it up; satisfying.  So far, this console has satisfied what I wanted it to do, and I know that with some decent exclusives finally around the corner, it will truly become a stellar system.  Although, stacked next to my Xbox One, I still don't see what all the hype is about.  Yeah, Microsoft has screwed it's fair share of pooches, but when you go system to system, side by side, I don't see PS4 as having the upper hand. Xbox doesn't either (except for me personally in terms of games, which I'd argue are still better right now).  I think we really have complementary systems here.

To each their own.  But for me? Both. 

The Scholarly Gamer