Geekly Review #218

As another week rolls by it’s time to check in on what we’ve been up to!

Sea of Thieves

As I was part of the technical Alpha I was invited to get in to the Beta for Sea of Thieves without pre-ordering, so over the weekend I’ve been spending a fair bit of time playing both solo and as part of a crew on the larger Galleons.

I’m going to talk in more detail about the Beta later this week, so for now will just let you know my initial thoughts.

Our crews mighty Galleon!

I had an absolute blast the whole time I was playing! I was a little worried that playing Solo might not be a viable option with bigger crews sailing around, but I didn’t find it any trouble at all and the only time I got in to trouble with a bigger ship was when I went looking for a fight for a bit of fun.

There isn’t a whole lot to do in the beta, for the most part you can either engage in PVP or take on Voyages that will have you searching islands for treasure by following clues. I found the Voyages fairly short and quite simple, but I imagine we will get longer and tougher ones in the main game. For the most part the clues were pretty straight forward and would almost hold your hand the whole way with the clues, I’d like to see them a little more vague and riddle like.

Enemy ship in sight.

Sailing around is fun and simple to do. I think they’ve struck a nice balance of it being engaging enough that you’ll need to coordinate with others or yourself and your own actions, but it’s not overly complicated. Never at any time did I feel overwhelmed by having to sail and adjust the other bits along the way.

On the Galleon side, I randomly match made with three others and we set out on a number of Voyages and ended up getting over 1000 gold each, which was nice. Even though only two of use were using Mics we were still able to work out who was doing what when sailing. I can see this being really good fun when playing with friends.

Can I also just mention how great the game looks, especially the water effects, they’re amazing!

I managed to record quite a lot of gameplay and have put together a video on my channel and have more coming, so please check it out! But be warned, I make terrible mistakes…

Right now I have two issues with Sea of Thieves, one is the price. At £50 I think Rare are going to miss out on a lot of sales, I know that all of my friends have expressed how they wouldn’t stump up that much for a game like this and I have to agree, £30 seems much more reasonable.

Secondly is the longevity, we still don’t know what else we will be able to do in the game and that leaves me a little worried, I’m hoping there will be plenty to do, but time will tell.

-Will

Broken Age

As I continue my plight to trying to complete as many games as possible this year, the next on my list was one of my more recent purchases, a physical copy of Broken Age. While I’ve heard the game isn’t overly long, that has been what’s taking my time this week in reasonably short sittings. I had no idea what to expect with Broken Age. Despite it’s age, I’ve not delved into what the story is, what type of game it is. I’ve just heard from numerous people that it is a great Double Fine game. So on initial play through I started on Vela’s side and progressed her side of part one where you’re determined to bring down the monster that is Mog Chothra who visits towns and expects an offering of young women to eat. It was a nice introduction to the game and it’s mechanics and the puzzles of part one of Vela were pretty great. There were also some very entertaining characters to be introduced to. A few occasions I did feel quite durpy that it was so obvious how to solve a few of the puzzles (just put the cloud shoes on the ladder… come on). I then moved onto Shay’s side once the might Mog Chothra was brought down by Vela. Shay’s side of the story I found more entertaining despite being only in one location on his ship. I enjoyed the story that was being told about his robotic protectors and how he’s being treated as a kid and not really realising it when taking part in these special missions to safe knitted characters. Also meeting the character Marek the wolf is really cool, he’s a funny character that I enjoyed working for. When the penny drops though about the link between Shay’s outer space adventure and Vela’s destruction of Mog Chotrha I admit I was pretty taken aback. It was an incredible link that I legitimately hadn’t seen coming, but once the secret was out, the mission that Shay is tasked by Marek makes so much sense.

I’m currently working my way through the second part of Shay’s side now after getting to the end of Vela’s part 2. So far the 2nd parts of their stories have been alot more difficult with regards to the puzzles. The objective with Vela making the maintenance robot move towards a broken door had me stumped for a long time.

So far though a very enjoyable experience, in part to the quirky characters and interaction between them. It also looks brilliant too visually.

Stardew Valley

One of my friends picked up Stardew Valley during the PSN sale in December / January. I’d completely chewed his ear off back in the summer last year about my playtime with Stardew Valley, well my friend returned the favour spending all last week messaging me about his antics in this game. Me with zero will power and remembering how great this game is thanks to our conversation reinstalled the game on the weekend. The result… 6 hours solid in one sitting on Friday night. Oh dear. My first farm last year saw me clock 46 hours into the game reaching winter year 2. I went down the route of buying a Joja membership in order to turn the community centre into a warehouse. This time I’m going different, I’m going to restore the community centre to its glory days by completing the bundles required. So far Spring harvest and Spring crop bundles have been completed. And any mining or fishing bundle parts I come across are being sent straight to the community centre. Here’s to another 40 hours of my life into Stardew Valley.

NXT Takeover: Philadelphia & Royal Rumble 2018

WOW, just wow. What kind of booking are witnessing in 2018? NXT Takeover was once again outstanding, while the first 3 matches were good, they were overshadowed by Alister Black vs Adam Cole extreme rules match. And just when you think they’ve got match of the weekend wrapped up, Johnny Gargano & Andrade Cien Almas say “Hold our beers” and tear the fucking place down. So emotionally exhausted at the end of the match, giving all the feels in the world for the incredible display that Johnny and Andrade had put on, then Ciampa returns and with one strong hit to the back of Gargano with his crutch, sets up potentially the feud of 2018 already. The title doesn’t need to be involved in this feud, the story that they’ve told since their tag team breakup leading to that point on Saturday night is enough to invest us all. I cannot wait to see this play out. Equally I’m hyped for where Andrade goes next, especially seeing as he got a surprise and awesome call up to the Royal Rumble the next night.

Away from the Gargano vs Andrade III, Veleveteen Dream came out looking like a star, he’s so invested in his character, and it’s great to see. Probably will be dead in the water when he makes main roster like similar gimmicks with Tyler and Fandango, but in NXT he’s flourishing.

As for the Royal Rumble itself, the matches that weren’t Royal Rumble matches were standard really, nothing to get excited for, and results were kind of expected. The male Royal Rumble was incredible. There was so much talent in the ring at one point. It’s incredible where WWE has gone in the last 5 years in terms of hoovering up talent from other promotions and how their NXT call ups have grown into top tier talent. Rusev is at the highest point in his career. Big E is guaranteed a title shot at some point. And this match finally gave the fans something they’ve craved for, a break from the norm. While the tease was there at the end that WWE weren’t listening to us by having Reigns, Orton & Cena remain in the rumble, the right thing was done with Finn and Nakamura also remaining. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been so worked in a WWE match. I think I knew Nakamura was going to win, but as mentioned I had no doubt WWE would be dumb and give Reigns, Cena or Orton the win again. The correct result occurred though setting up a dream match in the WWE of Nakamura challenging AJ Styles. If you watch NJPW, you’ve seen this before and you know what to expect. It’s something the WWE fans have wanted since the 2 teased a collision at Money in the Bank last year. WWE have done very well to keep them away from each other in terms of storyline on Smakdown, and it’s great to pull the trigger at Wrestlemania.

The women’s Royal Rumble was the main event for the evening. It was decent enough, and there were some nice entrants such as Ember Moon and Kairi Sane. I think we were all waiting for the inevitable Ronda Rousey entrance but it never actually came in the Rumble. Once Trish Stratus came in at number 30, and with Asuka still in the ring, it was clear from then despite a few scares this was Asuka’s night. The ending though however was a real random move having Ronda crash the party at the end. We didn’t see who Asuka was going to challenge but can expect she’ll go after the RAW women’s championship as Ronda and Charlotte appears to be the money match on paper.

Basically, the actual Royal Rumble matches were incredible and the best Rumble I’ve seen since I got back into WWE in 2013. Even after a 10 year hiatus from WWE when I returned in 2013 I could see who was winning that match based on other results. This year despite the certainty that Nak was winning, there was always a bit of doubt, and the ending moments were just incredible. Well done WWE, but please, let’s not have Kane in a title shot again in 2018 now?

– Murr

 

 

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