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Season 16, Episode 03

Microvision Blizzardsoft

That’s pretty much what the whole show is about. There’s a time or two we talk about a few other things but really the focus is on Microsoft buying Activision.

Oddly enough, having talked about it for two hours there were still things we didn’t get to – mainly the good and bad of things or, well, if this is good or bad.

I think almost any other sort of acquisition I might be questioning the ramifications of it as well, but I’m not in this case. Activision needed new management. From the highest point on down, really. And outside of being bought like this, I don’t think it was ever going to happen. Maybe they shoot themselves in the foot enough with the government and that causes a change, but they probably had enough money and pull to skate by without worry. Although lately it seemed like the water was getting above their heads when it comes to this stuff. Given that, I’d have probably been okay with any company buying them, and I’m totally okay that it was Microsoft.

It remains to be seen how good or bad this will end up being, but hopefully it’ll break the awful cycle in that company and I feel like that’s probably good, regardless.

It would be great if someone would buy Ubisoft, cause it’s been 3,077 days since the last Splinter Cell release (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, or VR exclusive).

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Season 16, Episode 02

I think I own Hellblade on both consoles and PC. And I’ve had them now for quite some time. Years, in fact. So I’m just a little bit behind in finishing it but that’s exactly what happened over the course of the week.

I have stronger feelings about Guardians Of The Galaxy, be them good or bad, than I do of Hellblade. My complaints for the former are far more numerous than those of the latter. Hellblade is just all around good except for some issues with combat. The game looks great, the story told is wonderful, the puzzles aren’t too difficult and the acting, voice or otherwise, is top notch. This game deserved every award, praise, and accolade it received. But Guardians is the better story. At least for me, the story in GotG had more of a pull for me. And I’m not really comparing these two. You can’t. I just happened to beat them both within like 2 weeks of each other. And the story of Guardians Of The Galaxy is still sitting with me.

I’m not yet sure where I’ll go from here. I never finished Horizon Zero Dawn and that sequel is just around the corner. Days Gone is another I’ve been curious about and there’s a few smaller games here and there to jump into and some that are just ways to pass time (Pedestrian & Hot Wheels). And there’s the return to Mass Effect as well. All before Destiny’s expansion takes hold in late February.

Not a bad problem to have really on where to go next.

I could always replay Splinter Cell. Speaking of…Ubisoft, it’s been 3,070 days since the last Splinter Cell release (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, or VR exclusive).

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Season 16, Episode 01

It’s been two weeks but it feels longer for some reason. Anyway, we’re back and the topic of discussion is what we did on our Christmas vacation.

I’ll probably ramble on a little bit here like I did in the show about these two things, but I’ll start by saying Guardians Of The Galaxy is worth your time. It really is. It shouldn’t be – I mean, just at a quick glance and seeing what Square did with the other Marvel game you’d be justified in being a bit concerned. Fear not, true believer! This game, like a certain character within it, is golden. Combat is annoying. It isn’t hard. It isn’t broken. It just isn’t good. That’s my one complaint. The rest of the game is great.

Then there’s Hellblade. Yeah, I’m a bit behind here. There’s nothing broken in the game. It’s beautiful and the story is captivating. It’ll hold you through it, but that’s all it’ll hold. There’s no guidance here. No hand holding, no tutorial. Your best friend is the pause menu with the controller options because that ‘s the only way you’ll know how to fight. There’s no waypoint or map. In some cases (MYST), I’m okay with this. In a game with combat, death, and permadeath, I’d like a little hint now and again on how to stay alive or where to go. Too many times now in the game I’ve spent the better part of 30 minutes just trying to find my way around an area. When I do finally finish this game, I’ll come back to it on the show and see if these problems, after all is said and done, are actually problems.

As another year begins we still count the days…Ubisoft, it’s been 3,063 days since the last Splinter Cell release (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, or VR exclusive).

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Season 15, Episode 43

The more the merrier.

Our final episode of Season 15 (and 2021) did not end quietly. Nor should it. We celebrated old friends and new games with a hopeful look to what’s next for 2022. I say hopeful but we’re all quite certain more companies will be facing reckonings of some sort or another as old stones get overturned. Which, actually, is kind of hopeful in a way since they all need to be held accountable.

It’s been a long time since we’ve had this many people on the show with us and it was wonderful to see this time of year. I’m hoping in the next year it’ll happen a lot more often. I’d also like to bring back guests again for interviews so that’ll be a goal of ours in the coming year.

We can’t thank you all enough for giving us another great year of episodes and constantly and consistently showing up for the live broadcasts. Be it through Twitch, Discord, the radio, or however you listen – it really means the world to us.

Thank you all so much for listening. We’ll be back in two weeks.

As another year ends we still count the days…Ubisoft, it’s been 3,042 days since the last Splinter Cell release (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise or VR exclusive or remake).

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Season 15, Episode 42

You do plan to have dinosaurs on your dinosaur tour, right?

It shouldn’t be called “The Game Awards”. At this point, just call it “The Game Show”. I mean, there’s very little award there to even be mentioned. It’s a sorry excuse to just show off new stuff. So do that. Show off the new stuff and do something else to honor the developers. Within the first five minutes of someone actually being on stage, they give out an award. Then, you’ve got nothing until nearly an hour later. About thirty minutes after that you get another followed by like, 5 more just rambled off without any fanfare or acceptance speeches.

Look, I know you aren’t going to please everyone. The majority of people tune in for the announcements, but most don’t even do that. They watch them all later without all the filler in between. Look at the viewer count for a new trailer compared to seeing some developer win something. It’s a massive difference. And so while you say you are there to honor the devs who made these games and show off new stuff – it’s really only to show off new stuff. Your actions and their views easily prove this. So lean into it.

But stop calling it The Game Awards. Unless, you know, you do plan on having awards at your award show.

For what it’s worth, I’d enjoy having both. But if I can’t, I’d rather have the awards. The people who make these things we obsess over deserve the recognition – and they deserve it better than what’s being done so far.

And the award for longest break in a Ubisoft franchise goes to…Ubisoft, it’s been 3,035 days since the last Splinter Cell release (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise or VR exclusive).

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Season 15, Episode 41

It was brussels sprouts for me.

You know how when you were a kid you specifically remember hating a certain food. It was probably a veggie of some sort or another. Maybe even a fruit. Usually healthy, but that’s not the point. What happens is, you remember hating that food and really not liking it but then you try it later after some years and LOVE it. You can’t even remember why you hated it as a kid, but damn it’s delicious.

That’s not really what happened with me and VR, but it’s close. I loved VR when I first tried it years ago. I loved it when I had my own headset and loved it again with the Playstation version. But it was a process. A lot of wire connecting and more effort to play a game for 20 or 30 minutes than what’s usual – which is none, really. I had those headsets years ago – the first versions of the Vive and Oculus. Maybe a few months of time spent with them then nothing. Then PSVR came around…another month or so of enjoying it and nothing.

Then I got a Quest 2 last week. VR is back on the menu. But for probably longer than a month or so this time.

I still need to put in a lot more time with it, and I will, but right now it’s amazing and I want to show it off to everyone (which I can thanks to its ability to stream cast to a tv, phone, or PC). It’s portable. It needs nothing but the headset and the controllers. No wires. Every room can be room scale VR. It’s not THAT expensive (compared to other VR units) either. It pretty much ticks the boxes I talked about years ago for VR to become more accepted.

I’m excited about VR again. And, again, excited for the potential of VR.

Maybe in some other reality it’s already happened but for us…Ubisoft, it’s been 3,028 days since the last Splinter Cell release (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise or VR exclusive).

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Season 15, Episode 40

Stuffed with savings.

As usual this time of year we won’t be doing a show next week.

I’m currently in the middle of looking over deals and checking reviews and patch notes to see what’s maybe worth picking up at a decent price when I remembered I had a show to post.

Seriously, I was up until 2am this morning as the last of the expected deals for today started going live (more to come tomorrow and later this week, of course). I’ve only made a few purchases here and there but overall it looks to be a nice sizable haul of games. I’m still hoping for some sort of miracle deal on Returnal, Ghost Of Tsushima Director’s Cut, & Ratchet & Clank. Their current sale price just doesn’t cut it for me. And, honestly, the more I sit on them, the more I think waiting for a PS+ freebie sounds like the better option. Still, there is a price point for those I’ll bite at and I’m eagerly awaiting to see how that may play out.

Check out our twitter and facebook page for a spreadsheet of ALL the deals currently available and those will be updated as prices change or new sales announced.

Happy deal hunting, everyone!

Meanwhile…Ubisoft, it’s been 3,014 days since the last Splinter Cell release (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise or VR exclusive).

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Season 15, Episode 39

The new kid in town.

Every week I come away playing one game more than another. And yes, usually that game is Destiny, but not this week. And likely not for a few weeks to come until something pulls me back into Destiny (and it will). This week, that game was Forza Horizon 5. For some of the lucky few, it might have been the Elden Ring network test.

I’m not going to write a review of FH5, but I will say it’s one of the prettiest looking games I’ve seen. There’s a ton of vehicles, and the map is gigantic and you never stop progressing. Those are just some quick high spots of the game. There’s a lot more to it and it’s hard to find fault in any of it. Just…well, I hope you like driving games.

On another note, we’re less than two weeks away from the big Black Friday sales and if you’re looking to pick up a few games then just hold off a little bit longer. We hope to have a better list of things on sale come next episode (hurry it up Target & Best Buy), and we’ll run down what you can find and offer up a very well done spreadsheet so you can keep track of it all.

Meanwhile…Ubisoft, it’s been 3,007 days since the last Splinter Cell release (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise or VR exclusive).

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Season 15, Episode 38

What goes around…

I think we all have phases of our hobbies. Or vices. Or maybe really anything. I’ll relate it to gaming but I think it works in almost any scenario.

For gaming, it can be anything from the style of game you’re interested in, the genre, the franchise, the aesthetic – all the way down to the console you prefer to play on. And that can shift over time. With the release of that trailer for the film version of Uncharted, I’ve been looking back at that series and revisiting Lost Legacy since I never finished it. And lately, I’ve been having a craving for combat in the Batman games.

When I get around to checking out Forza Horizon 5 next week on Gamepass, I’ll probably have an itch for some more arcade racing and will likely dip back into Burnout.

Just that whole cycle thing, but, of course, a circle never ends.

Speaking of things that never end…Ubisoft, it’s been 3,000 days since the last Splinter Cell release (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise or VR exclusive).

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Season 15, Episode 37

Great expectations.

Guardians Of The Galaxy was never on my radar. The showing a few months back was long and drawn out and seemed to be combat focused. That’s fine, but what I was seeing wasn’t drawing me in. About ten minutes or less into a 30-45 minute presentation and I was done. Game was written off and I’d never think about it again except for another swing and a miss for Square and their Marvel games.

Then the game is released and the tide of opinion begins to turn and not just on the reviews side of things. Regular players who don’t review games for a living were giving high praise to the title. And yeah, by Avengers comparison the bar wasn’t that high to begin with, but it was better. I watched a few reviews on my iPad during exercising and was genuinely turned around in my expectations of the game, and really happy to hear the combat is sparse. Or more so than that 45 minute first look would have you think. Single player, story driven, no online aspect or microtransactions. These were all boxes I loved seeing ticked.

Then I watched a video comparison on the different console versions between Series X and PS5. Except not on the iPad this time, but on the 65’ OLED.

Sold.

Decision made. I need to play this game. So yeah, from this summer up until just a few days ago I was already forgetting this game. Now, I’ll scour the ads looking for a good Black Friday deal (we’ll talk about that in the next few weeks, by the way). I’m curious though, what games have done this for you?

Speaking of expectations…Ubisoft, it’s been 2,993 days since the last Splinter Cell release (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise or VR exclusive).

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Season 15, Episode 36

Giving it the ol’ in-and-out.

Yeah, probably not the best starter I’ve ever come up with, but it’s in relation to those moments in gaming when we turn the game on and something about it just makes us turn it right back off again. It isn’t out of something like forgetting you had something else to do and couldn’t play at that moment or anything like that – it’s specifically a design choice, or a gameplay mechanic, or something else about the game that makes you give up before you even started.

This happened recently while trying to play Doom Eternal on Gamepass. The download of the game took forever (we couldn’t find where to download JUST the single player portion so it pulled down the whole thing), then when we finally started it up, it asked us to sign into a Bethesda account and if we didn’t have one we needed to make one. I couldn’t find any option to skip this part so we could just play the game. So we turned it off.

I rarely “nope” out of games on a superficial level. I hate underwater sections where air is crucial. It’s not a trigger or anything like that, but it’s anxiety on a level I do not want. I love the Burnout games but I absolutely cannot stand and dread, in fact, their time trials. Then there’s this whole thing where to play a game you have to have an account with the developer/publisher. Not a fan. And most, I believe, give you the option to play without signing in/up and you’ll miss out on some stupid extras or something, but when they completely close the door to the game until you do, that’s bad design. It’s corporate design, and it’s bad design.

One quick note…in regards to the counter below that I’ve been doing for a while now. That will continue until they release the game. We’ve gotten word that a new Splinter Cell is probably in development, but it’s a rumor right now and nothing official from Ubisoft. So until it’s released, we’re still counting the days.

With that said…Ubisoft, it’s been 2,986 days since the last Splinter Cell release (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise or VR exclusive).

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Season 15, Episode 35

Dread and loving it.

I haven’t spent much time with Metroid Dread since its release but what little time I have spent with the game has been enjoyable. It also happens to look amazing on the OLED Switch. In handheld mode this game shines and even when docked it still looks and plays great.

I’m currently not a fan of the EMMI rooms. It’s the “dread” part of the title. And while I’m not a fan of them because of the stress and anxiety they bring about, I understand and accept their place in the game. And it’s essential.

Then there’s Destiny. It’s a game that I can notice myself running out of patience with at times. Some of their decisions on things are so odd and feel more like a punishment than anything else. I don’t like that feeling. I don’t like feeling that way about a game I’ve put so much time into. I want it to keep me coming back. I want that drive to play, and when they release updates as they did which, again, feels like a punishment then it really puts a damper on my desire to fire up the game at all.

But as soon as this is posted, there I’ll be.

Meanwhile…Ubisoft, it’s been 2,979 days since the last Splinter Cell release (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise or VR exclusive).

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Season 15, Episode 34

That thing you do.

You know the thing. Where you say you won’t do something but you end up doing it. Almost every single time.

I was able to sell my launch Switch System and, with all that GameStop credit I had from last week, also picked up a new Switch OLED version. Something I’d said probably as early as 2 weeks ago was something I wouldn’t do. But here we are.

I’m not at all unhappy with the system, by the way. Screen is gorgeous. The build feels better and it really feels like Nintendo will probably continue going in this direction with further iterations of the system.

A quick note about this episode, the audio isn’t at the quality you’ve come to expect from us. It wasn’t noticeable as we were recording. However, I’m now aware of what the issue was caused by and we’ll have this corrected come next episode. Really sorry about that.

Meanwhile…Ubisoft, it’s been 2,972 days since the last Splinter Cell release (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise or VR exclusive).

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Season 15, Episode 33

Let’s make a deal.

And boy did we ever. Rarely will I ever shill for a store. For one, on the air, I can’t really do that. Not unless they pay for it. BUT, I love deals. And this was more of a PSA for folks than anything else. We know how hard it can be to sell off old systems when the new stuff is flying off the shelf. You’re competing with brand new and better stuff for what was essentially the price you paid for the older stuff when it was new. Currently, however, that new stuff is hard to come by for folks so they’re buying up pre-owned systems from last gen to hold over with.

GameStop is pretty low on stock of both the new stuff and the last gen stuff. They’re running a promotion now until the 9th where you get a pretty big chunk of store credit for what you have. For example, if you’re a Pro Member ($15 a year), you’ll get a percentage bonus on any Xbox One or PS4 system along with a straight up $50 bonus on top of it. A PS4 Pro retailed for like $400 when it was new and they’re giving you $325 for it. Now, if you can find a buyer to give you more cash than you would get store credit, by all means. But most of us can’t or don’t want to deal with the hassle of eBay and the like, and this is a really decent alternative. You can then use the credit for a new system or games or even buy OTHER gift cards with it for the Xbox Store or…well, anything. You can then also FLIP that and sell the cards to someone who’ll pay the cash for them. It’s up to you.

I felt like a criminal walking out of that store Friday with over a grand in store credit. Then I turned around the next day and offloaded 15 older games (Days Gone, Watch Dogs 2, Dark Souls 3) for $250 in credit.

By the way, if you have any questions about this deal, find us on Twitter or Facebook or hit us up on Discord or something. Happy to help you make sense of this and figure out what to do. Again, I’m all about the deals and I love passing them on to folks so I can help them save money or get a better return on the initial investment. The trade-in system for most stores, GameStop included, usually never falls into the customers favor. But every now and then it does. And right now is that time!

Speaking of time…Ubisoft, it’s been 2,965 days since the last Splinter Cell release (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise or VR exclusive).

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Season 15, Episode 32

I don’t need no game to tell me what to do.

But I sorta miss instruction manuals. Back before I could drive they were quality reading on the way home to play the game. I can remember for some game I got I hadn’t finished reading the manual, so I sat on the couch and finished it before I put the game in the system. Almost as if there would be some sort of quiz making sure I’d read it before playing. I dunno, but it just seemed like it was almost criminal to play a game without reading about how to play it first.

I also didn’t realize how long they were still being produced. We talked about it on the show, but I came home afterwards and grabbed the nearest PS3 game (happened to be Uncharted 1), and there was the instruction booklet. Even though by then the games came with tutorials. Speaking of, was Halo the first? Half-Life, perhaps? What game is considered to have the first tutorial built within it? There’s some trivia to hunt down.

Also, outside of writing down save codes, did anyone actually use the notes in the back of an instruction manual? I took notes for games, but rarely did I write them in the booklet.

Speaking of needing instructions on how to do something…Ubisoft, it’s been 2,958 days since the last Splinter Cell release (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise or VR exclusive).