Geekly Review #245

Guys, I think summer might be done. Which means we’re getting close to silly season for games. Time to check in on what we’ve been playing now the rain has come back.

Destiny 2

Since the beginning of August I’ve been grinding away on the Solstice of Heroes event for the maximum power level armour. Last week I finally finished it off and I have to say that those last few sessions of playing were some of the best, I’ve played in a while and is part of what makes Destiny such a good game.

Most of my friends are currently playing the latest World of Warcraft expansion, so I’ve been a bit of a loner when playing. But in order to finish off the last few quests for my armour pieces I was going to need some help, so I decided to see how good the local chat would be when in the social space i.e. the tower. I put a few messages in chat saying I was looking to do the nightfall for this week. This didn’t really seem to get any attention, so I starting dancing instead. Then I noticed another Guardian dancing too – we both had the same dance emote, so we synced them up and danced away for a little bit, not long after I got an invite to his group and both him and his friend asked me to do the nightfall! Dancing worked!

Later in the week I turned to Destiny LFG (Looking for group), a place where you can find other people to do certain activities with you, to finish off the story missions. Not too soon after I’d found some people also working on similar things. Each of us had slightly different objectives to complete, with some cross over. But we all helped each other out and eventually got everything completed and I’m now the proud owner of a set of 400 power level armour which feels great. It feels great to finally have something at the max power, and the sense of accomplishment from getting it is awesome.

I’ve not really used LFG type sites to find other players for a long time and I kind of felt like recently that meeting new random people to make friends with had kind of gone away. But this experience has renewed my hope in meeting nice people again – one of them even joined my clan!

Dead Cells

Dead Cells has been in early access for a while, but the full release recently came about. I’ve kind of had my eye on it for a while with a view to wanting to play it, but for some reason I just took ages actually getting around to it. I briefly played it at EGX earlier in the year and immediately started to enjoy it’s fast paced fluid gameplay.

I’ve only played a little bit so far and I will be digging in to it a lot more soon with more in depth thoughts too, but I have to say that I really like it so far. The gameplay has an interesting loop to it in that there is permadeath, but the more you progress the more things you can unlock and keep from death to death, for example I’ve already got the ability to keep up to 3000 gold on death instead of having to start again. The mantra is ‘Kill, Die, Learn, Repeat’ with the idea that as you play the more you will learn and get to know your enemies and environments and the better you can equip yourself for future runs.

There are 13 levels in total and they kind of shift about when you start again, meaning that not everything will always be in the same place, but they will still hold the same, or similar secrets for you to find. I can’t wait to play some more!

– Will

Shenmue

I was due to receive Shenmue 1 & 2 tomorrow as that is when it officially releases, however thanks to ShopTo, my copy arrived on Saturday morning which was not expected at all. I didn’t get to play much on Saturday due to clearing the house up for a gathering that evening, but Sunday was free to play it all day. And I did just that.

It’s amazing how much of the game I can remember and so far remembering where I need to go and who I need to speak to as I unravel more clues about the mysterious Lan Di and why he had a grudge with Hazuki Sen-say. All the familiar sounds from flipping through the menus to the button presses at QTE sections are just as I remembered from all those years ago.

One thing I had forgotten though is that it takes a while to familiarise yourself with how clunky the controls feel, it did take me a little time to get back to grips with that. And to be honest I still haven’t got used to the fighting mechanic at all and have so far more or less lucked out victories in the brawls I’ve been involved with. For the life of me cannot remember how to block attacks. This re-release doesn’t do much in terms of improving the visuals, it’s pretty much a straight re-release. The difference is that this looks sharper as it’s output onto HD rather than the old analogue TV’s from the past.

The same ability to go completely off course from the main story is as ever present as you head into Dobuita. Go to a bar and play some pool when you’re meant to be finding out information about sailors, head to the Tomato convenience store and buy pointless chocolate bars just so you can get a chance at the raffle in the hope to win a Sega Saturn game. Spend all the money that Ine San provides for you daily on toy capsules and setting records on arcade games and such. It’s all so brilliant. Currently I’m still taking care of the kitten who’s mother was killed on the same day that Ryo’s father was killed. Always make sure I check in with her morning and evening with milk and tuna. Then spend the final few hours of the day wandering around the Hazuki residence either in the dojo or actually in the house phoning Nazomi or going through Fuku-San’s belongings in his room.

Yep, it’s so good to be back in Dobuita with the ability to take screenshots and there are some new features added that have made a nice improvement to the game. You can now save anywhere, while that doesn’t sound like a big deal, it beats having to complete a whole day and only being able to save the game in your bedroom before going to sleep. Another new feature is when leaving the Hazuki residence you are now prompted if you’d like to arrive in certain parts of the city, rather than having to actually walk there. I still tend to walk to the places mind as I enjoy the site seeing and taking back in all the views and memories.

I really hope that people who never played Shenmue before give this a chance on current consoles. Shenmue fans have been dreaming of these games getting re-released for over a decade and now it’s here I also hope they stick to their word and buy it to show Sega the property was missed. It was one of the most ambitious games ever with once the largest budget for a videogame ever. It showed back then, and while it is a little dated by today’s standards, it still holds up as one of the most gripping and compelling stories.

NXT Takeover: Brooklyn 4 & WWE Summerslam

It always blows my mind how one company can out put 2 completely different levels of entertainment across one weekend. Takeover Brooklyn was exactly as you’d expect it to be by now, show stealing. The tag match for the title got things off to such a great and frantic pace. Adam Cole vs Richochet was the high quality match that was always inevitable. Kairi Sane vs Shayna was a surprise result for me but a great match regardless and say what you want about Ciampa vs Gargano going on for too long, the match they produced was again another classic between them in one of the most intense rivalries in WWE for years. The amount these 2 guys go through and the work they do for NXT brand is incredible. It appears Gargano might be out for a while now, which is some ways is a good thing to let this feud just simmer for a while rather than keep at it. It means Ciampa can now start to defend against the other plethora of talent available on NXT’s books. Adam Cole losing his title is a good start for Ciampa, and Veleveteen Dream is already a superstar and if he isn’t called up soon at least deserves a run at the title.

Summerslam on the other hand, well, it tried I guess. Some of the worst decision making to end some of the matches ever. It was the PPV of fucky finishes, and It was the first PPV I’d seen with 3 squash matches on. I legit felt sorry that Kevin Owen’s was one of the squash matches against Braun. Ronda Rousey throwing Alexa around like a doll was the correct call however. It was a much more believable match. And why the fuck was Demon Finn called upon for this stupid match with Baron? Was Baron being punished for something? Did he fuck up backstage? It seemed that he was building some momentum again after his public fuck up by mocking a war vet last year, with how quick he was put away it screams he did something stupid again? Finn needed the win though mind, from the rocket being shoved up his ass on his main roster debut, the injury he suffered those years ago cut short his reign and he never recovered in terms of getting back to the top. This result was needed to help that.

Samoa Joe vs AJ Was incredible, and the DQ finish while annoying was a right call to further build this personal rivalry. It seemed weird that Summerslam was treated as a PPV to start new and further existing rivalries along rather than close any. The triple threat match for the Smackdown title was my match of the night, and the Becky heel turn while stupid was also smart. Hopefully the crowd still stand with Becky as her momentum was going well.

I don’t know why I put myself through it though staying up till 4am. On this occasion it just really was not worth it.

– Murr

 

 

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