Hey Dtoid, do we need to talk? Did I do something wrong? I must have, because none of you seem to want to post on Tuesday's anymore.
I'm not asking for much. Just a few blogs to cap, a few articles to read, a chuckle or two. I had to dip on over into Wednesday just to find something to Topsauce, times are lean my friends. What are you doing? Out enjoying the sun with family and friends? Too busy living to write junk about videogames? That's not the Dtoid I fell in love with. I fell in love with Morlocks who would deep dig into games and write juicy brain-blogs I could sink my teeth into, so stop dicking around and write stuff (preferably on a Tuesday).
I started dipping into my Steam Sale haul over the past few days. Me and my bro finally picked up Payday 2 for that hot crime action and I kind of wish I picked it up sooner!
After hearing near endless shit-talk about the game, it's progression system (which does seem grindy), and it's playerbase, I'm shocked at what a great time I'm having with it. We linked up with a few other career criminals the other night who were interested in trying to heist stuff without turning every mission into a reenactment of the branch Davidian siege and it was actually pretty baller. Casing the joint, knocking out security systems, controlling hostages, bitch-slapping anyone with a cell phone – taking a place without raising an alarm is very satisfying. Controlling the room and staying on top of hostages while the rest of the team works on cracking a safe or bagging up loot creates a wonderful tension. Nobody wants to be the guy to fuck up the perfect heist mid-way through, so people actually try and communicate and do their jobs.
Who knows how long that kind of gameplay will hold up, but for now it's a ton of fun, well worth the $5 bucks the game cost on sale.
I dipped my toes into Mercenary Kings on the weekend. As a big fan of retro-action games and the pixel art of Paul Robertson I was VERY excited for MK when it was announced. When reviews came in, my zeal for the title waned a bit. The grindy gameplay loop of trekking through the same level again and again, chasing after bosses that keep moving Monster hunter style, waiting for random drops, and keeping an eye on your encumbrance level made me hesitant.
Sad to say, that hesitation was justified. After working through the first world/area, I feel like the game just moves too slow for it's own good. The animation is great, the characters are dorky and fun, and the gameplay is solid if not fantastic – it's all just too damn slow.
Go talk to this person, navigate this menu, find out you don't have the right materials to do anything, talk to another person, pick an arbitrary mission, talk to the other guy to GO to the mission, wind around the same massive level again (this time you are looking for coins, last time it was pelts, the time before that, sniper enemies), miss that one frustrating jump again, find them all, repeat.
It isn't bad, but it isn't great. After watching the insane action and style of Robertson's video clips for years, a plodding B- shooter isn't what I'd want from a project he had a big hand in.
But thankfully, it was only $5 or something, so the pain isn't so great. I'll probably try the online stuff and see if that helps pick up the pace.
No matter what the experience was or which game or genre left that strong first impression, such experiences have the potential to open our eyes to the rich history of a series or genre. With any luck, we might find even more to love or something better. A great first experience with RPGs could lead to an undying love affair.
Sometimes a first kiss can be so impactful that the game gets placed on a pedestal and enshrined as a gold standard, which has its own pros and cons. I mean, it is nice to have a basis for comparison, but some folks take it too far. There are people who loved Half-Life, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, or Final Fantasy VII so much that nothing after them really got a fair shake.
So first impressions matter -- they can shape and inform our gaming habits. I grew up on arcades, Nintendo, handhelds, and eventually into RPGs, so much of what I play will be influenced by how I acquired my tastes. I probably like Overwatch a ton because it has a passion for RPG roles, but contextualizes them closer to older shooters focused on objectives more than gear builds and grinding out perks for better killstreaks.
So for this month's Bloggers Wanted, we'd like you head over to the community blogs write about your first kiss, the games that positively influenced you or maybe biased you a little too much for a time. What turned you on to a series or genre? Was it love at first sight? Did it set any expectations in stone or possibly lead you to something better?
Whatever the case might be, remember to use the title "First kiss" and place "Bloggers Wanted" in the tags!
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