Posted by: seanmalstrom | September 10, 2018

Heroes of the Storm is a dead game

I tried to get a friend into Heroes of the Storm. He was frustrated by it. And he doesn’t want to play it.

Why?

Heroes may have started simple and accessible, but it didn’t stay that way. Any new player has to learn all these new maps, each with their own objectives, and then they have to learn the heroes. Even coming back to the game after months I was overwhelmed with all the shit. Then, new heroes seem to be almost always overpowered at first. The game had been relaunched with ‘loot boxes’.

Blizzard does not know how to run an online multiplayer game. THERE. I SAID IT! Heroes of the Storm is dying because of Blizzard’s stupid management.

Look at Starcraft 2 and how that crashed to the ground. The single player is pretty cool. The online multiplayer? Terrible. Why is it terrible? It is because blizzard thinks ‘fast, bursty’ play with 10,000 APM is ‘fun’ and ‘fun to watch’. It isn’t. Heroes then adopted this, and it became no fun to play.

Remember Lightknight69? He was insulting, rude, played Diablo then how everyone plays Diablo today, and he was banned by Blizzard for life. But Lightknight69 was right about Blizzard screwing it all up.

As far as I’m concerned, I prefer Blizzard’s ‘single player’ games such as Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 more than their online experiences now. We’ll see what Blizzard does at Blizzcon.

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Posted by: seanmalstrom | September 10, 2018

Email: Nintendo Online continues to be a disaster

https://www.gameinformer.com/2018/09/07/multiple-switch-games-including-pokemon-splatoon-and-dark-souls-do-not-support-cloud

What’s the point of could saves if they don’t work in the games you REALLY need them, I’m just waiting for Smash to not support it the last two games disabled save backups. When PS3 first got cloud saves they simply had a 24 hour limit for uploading saves for games like Dark Souls but all games had to support backups and the PS4 removed all limits entirely along with letting you backup to USB drives and you never hear any devs whining about this, Nintendo’s choice here along with it being the only option for backing up anything is one of the most openly hostile anti-consumer moves they’ve made in a long time as even the fans who don’t understand the problems of 3DS and Wii U are calling them out this time.

Aside from online games, we should be able to control our saves. I would like to physically back up my 200 hour save of Breath of the Wild, for example.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | September 10, 2018

Email: Cancelled Direct

Hi Master Malstrom. I’m guessing that there could be a few potential reasons for why the latest Direct was cancelled. One of these are my likely guesses for what happened.

1. The online system was part of the announcement and Nintendo decided to take some international feedback seriously at the last moment about the service. The earthquake is just an excuse to revaluate what can be done/added to address the feedback and not soil the final announcement. This is the company that held back all of the major underpinnings of the Wii U’s online services until launch day so that’s very possible.

2. The Direct is seen as a major win/strutting for Nintendo. They culturally don’t feel that they should do so immediately after a major disaster in their home country. There could have also been some theme or form of announcement that people wouldn’t take lightly. Like maybe “Shaking Up Nintendo” or something similar appears prominently for a surprise with an announcement.

3. A relative of someone important was involved or an important member of Nintendo was involved. This makes the least sense to me since they could have still just let the video play. Unless someone in the video died, I don’t see this being the case. We should have also received some sort of acknowledgement/announcement of someone died or was seriously injured.

4. Some big company in the Direct pulled back on their support or wanted to negotiate harder with Nintendo about something. This also seems unlikely. It sounds good at first thought for someone to try to negotiate more favorable terms at that point, but in the end it would likely just kill a business relationship or strain it deeply. The reverse of maybe a new game like Metal Gear or The Witcher 3 or something else being brought forth to Nintendo as not only being in development but being presentable could potentially be more likely. However, it still doesn’t make sense to cancel the Direct. We’ll likely find out soon what happened.

I think you’re thinking about it too hard. Nintendo is ‘Japan first’. I suppose they have to do their patriotic cheerleading.

Meanwhile, a nasty hurricane is about to hit the East coast of the US. Will Nintendo cancel the direct again? Of course not. Only Japan matters.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | September 9, 2018

Canceling the Nintendo Direct makes little sense

Doing things live is harder than doing them recorded. Anything can go wrong when you are live. But since the Nintendo Directs are recorded, everything should be seamless.

Nintendo ‘moved back’ their latest direct because of the natural disasters occuring in Japan. This is causing a mess as many third party studios are announcing their Switch games that should have been in the direct.

What I do not understand is why did the direct have to be ‘moved back’? How does what is going on in Japan affect the Nintendo corporation? After all, it is a video that is already complete. Why not just upload it? Besides, most of Nintendo’s market is not in Japan. If such a natural disaster occurred in America or Europe, would Nintendo ‘move back’ the direct? I doubt it.

So unless there is some sort of issue where it affects Nintendo’s operation, I cannot see the business rationale of how the earthquake in Japan affecting Nintendo’s operation. If there is no business rationale, then there is another rationale.

Is this some sort of Japanese pride thing? I mean, it isn’t like the developers are standing in front of a camera live. This should have be already recorded, right? It makes no sense to me. If I was a Nintendo investor, I would be thinking, “Why can this company not do what it said it was going to do?”, and I’d be very concerned.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | September 3, 2018

Email: The Balance of 2D & 3D Games on Switch

Master Malstrom,

I have 10 games that are 2D/fixed perspective, and 7 games that are 3D/roaming camera. 17 games total.

As my collection grows, the imbalance of 2D to 3D becomes more apparent. I want to add Dead Cells, Stardew Valley (if it ever gets physical), Shovel Knight, Hollow Knight, and more. When 2D Mario eventually comes to it, I will want that too. And don’t forget Smash!

By comparison, for 3D titles I might want to add Dark Souls, Skyrim, and some others. Metroid Prime 4 if it is a worthy sequel. The real Pokemon game may suck me in too. As well as Animal Crossing.

I just figured you might get a kick out of this comparison. The Switch is becoming the premier 2D gaming console. And this is modern 2D games, not mere rereleases. Looking at my Wii collection, seeing only 4 of the 17 games are 2D gives some perspective on that.

Regards,
Your Most Glorious Reader

This most glorious reader provided a picture too.

I can vouch for Dead Cells. I was playing it earlier today.

Don’t forget about Mega Man 11. It comes out in a month.

Would Diablo 3 be considered 2d? It is a fixed perspective and Diablo 1 and 2 are definitely pre-3d games. So there is Diablo 3 as well.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | September 3, 2018

Email: Another sign of Nintendo’s laziness

Dear Master Malstrom,

Since reading your blog I’ve really noticed how lazy Nintendo is when it comes to making games. But it goes even beyond that. I just got an email from Nintendo with a special discount on select games due to my approaching birthday. However, reading over the list of available games has left me annoyed rather than grateful. There were 18 games offered at a 30% discount. 12 were for the 3DS; 6 were for the Wii U.

Alas, I don’t own a 3DS. I own a Switch and a Wii U. What irks me is that Nintendo knows this. They know exactly what consoles I own. So why offer me 12 games for 3DS, zero for Switch and just 6 for Wii U? Even worse, I already own 3 of the 6 Wii U games offered, which Nintendo also knows.

It’s just amazing to me how a company could put so little effort into something like this. They just make a random list of games and say, “Take it or leave it.” I’ve never been more sure that it’s only a matter of time before Nintendo suffers another major decline.

What you’re talking about is just Nintendo’s email marketing.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | September 2, 2018

Email: “Xbox all access”

Hello, Master Malstrom!

Would you mind sharing your opinion about the “Xbox All Access” initiative?

(The “no upfront cost and one low monthly price for 24 months” xbox plan.)

https://news.xbox.com/en-us/2018/08/27/xbox-all-access/

Is it a way to quickly “clean up inventory”, some sort of market research or really a model trying to be implemented?

PS: I just bought my Switch! Octo’s waiting for me!

Microsoft’s console strategy is baffling at the moment. Initially, the Xbox franchise was to stop the Sony disruption of PlayStation eating away all of the entertainment software that was on PCs. Now that the PC is in decline (not gaming PCs, general public PCs), what is the purpose of the Xbox?

Microsoft has been moving to a service company instead of a product company. Instead of buying Office in a box, you have a ‘service’ of it. This Xbox All Access seems to be a transitioning of the Xbox as a product to Xbox as a service.

Do gamers want games to be services? I don’t think so aside from games that cannot be products like a MMO.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | September 2, 2018

Email: Free games don’t convince publishers…

https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2018-08-20-despite-millions-of-playstation-plus-downloads-the-velocity-2x-developer-cant-convince-a-publisher-to-fund-a-sequel

Much to the chagrin of your recent critics who say sales don’t equal quality, it looks like indie devs are getting screwed when trying to convince publishers to fund their latest projects when they offered their goods for free. Full disclosure, I have not played Velocity 2x so I can’t attest to how good the game is or isn’t, but it is sad to see hard working devs nearly put their livelihoods at risk for the “deal with the devil” of putting their goods out for free in order to get exposure.  Sales matter. And in the end, people will throw money at good games if the game is worth the cash, customers and publishers alike. I bet after seeing how successful quality games (both indie and large studio games) have sold on the Switch, many developers have begun to change their tune. Just look at how adamant the “Hat in Time” developer was about never putting his game on the Switch less than a year ago, and then we have this:
Go to 3:40 for the announcement.

Saint Row: The Third is coming to the Switch, and its sales will be a test to see if Rockstar has the business savvy to dare to port GTA V to the Switch.

It is very hard to make a video game that captures the attention of people. It takes ferocious technical and entertainment talent… which 99.9% of people lack one or the other (or both!). Many people who think their indie games are ‘good enough’, I’m here to tell you they ‘aren’t’. Video game business is very, very hard and extremely competitive.

However, the good thing is that gamers buy every ‘good’ game they can get their hands on. Gamers do not go without. They will FIND a way to get the ‘good game’. This is why games ‘blow up’. I suspect gamers don’t want to ‘miss out’ hahahaha. If you make a good game, it will sell. The thing is, most games are not ‘great’. Not even all of Nintendo’s games are ‘great’. Look at how many lousy Zeldas we got until Breath of the Wild. Look at the current state of Metroid games. And this is Nintendo, the most experienced and talented of game makers, and they have trouble.

One thing I have noticed is that great games tend to come from young men. Young men meaning 20s and 30s. It is uncommon to see great games come from men in their 40s, and we’ve never seen great games come from men older than that (though there aren’t many developers yet that old). I suspect youth is connected with the passion.

Like playing a musical instrument, the audience can detect passion. If you put passion into the game, the audience will sense it.

Anyway, yeah, I think all these ‘free games’ are crapping up the home consoles like the smartphone market. Bad games are locked out because you have to pay for them. But free bad games feel like they are stealing your time which they are.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | September 2, 2018

Email: Octopath Finale

Finished Octopath Traveller. I’m going to try and avoid spoilers, but there are some details things that people will take as spoilers no matter what, so here be spoiler warnings.

I thought the 3rd chapters for the characters were generally better than the 4th chapters. A lot of story endings fell a little flat, IMO, with some exceptions (I thought Ophilia had the most enjoyable chapter 4). By no mean were they horrible, but the story is not this game’s strongest point (not that that’s news to anyone). I did Tressa’s finale first, and it’s a good thing I did, since I think I would have enjoyed it less if I did it last. Her story is the cute and G-rated story all-throughout. I actually like it for that reason.

I did like how the stories got a bit more connected at the end. In some cases the links are plainly obvious, in others it’s a bit more subtle (Tressa’s story ends up having a surprising connection to Primrose’s, not a major one, but it’s there).

The boss fights, however, were excellent. Some of these are pretty challenging, and at this point the game is really mixing up the boss battles and making them less straightforward. Basically every boss battle has its own ‘gimmick’ to it that forces you to change up your tactics a bit.

The ‘post-game’ is great. There are a ton of new side-quests that unlock after you complete the characters’ chapters. Some of them you have to complete multiple chapters, since the NPCs in the quest are characters from the story’s of two different characters. In addition, lot of characters from the story will now appear in the world as NPCs in the world, and you’ll be able to purchase from them, challenge them, guide them, etc. These story-NPCs often have amazing equipment for sale, and some of them are the most challenging duels in the game. So yeah, there’s plenty of content to enjoy after the 8 main courses.

And then there’s the finale. And there is in fact a finale to the game, with a final dungeon and final boss. The fact that such a thing exists at all is kind of a spoiler, though I probably would have missed it entirely if I did not already know it existed though.

You need to complete several sidequests before you can access it. I won’t say which sidequests; you can look it up yourself if you want to know. It tries to fully tie up the stories together and show how they are connected via exposition dumps. There are no savepoints in the dungeon—once you go in, you have to complete the whole thing and beat the final boss, or you have to start the whole thing over again.

And that final boss is a doozy. I’m amazed I killed it in my second attempt. You need to make sure your entire team (all 8 of them!) is high level (my members were no lower than 70, though I’ve heard of people winning with level 50 and 60 characters as well). You need to have great equipment on everyone, so make sure you do those end game sidequests, and scour some of those end game dungeons with Therion. You need to be smart about which passive skills you have equipped (I recommend ‘Saving Grace’ on just about everyone). You need to be smart about which characters have which jobs. You need to have a good understanding of how the game works, which characters need to have high elem atk weapons and which ones have high phys atk. You need to know how to abuse Alfyn’s Concoct. Be prepared to spend up to an hour fighting the final boss alone.

It’s pretty fun though.

Anyways, I think seen most of what this game has to offer. All 8 story lines, most of the sidequests, and the finale. I think I missed a few early game sidequests and side-dungeons, but TBH I don’t feel like going back just for those.

Reader, I received this email WEEKS ago. Like I’m going to open up an email saying ‘Octopath Finale’, yeah right. You guys really love spoiling stuff. Good thing I didn’t read it until now! BTW, I never used Alfyn’s concoct the entire game. It’s not necessary, and overrated compared to other things. Sorcerer and Warbringer are the two most powerful classes in the game, easily. Apothecary and Cleric’s ultimates are sooo good too.

My characters were all around lvl 70. I didn’t find the last boss scary so much sa the prospect of having to go through 8 bosses again just to get to the final boss. Good thing I didn’t have to do that.

I 100% the game. It is done!

Now I have the four disc soundtrack to play to keep the memories alive. Good stuff that soundtrack.

Image result for octopath traveler special edition

Above: Time to put it up for safe keeping.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | September 2, 2018

Finished Octopath Traveler

Cosplayer: @rubyfia Ph📸: @narcissusphotograhy . . . . . . . #primrose #primroseazelhart #octopathtraveler #cosplay #cosplayer #cosplayerofficial #cosplayconnection #cosplaycommunity #cosplayworld #manga #anime #modeling #model #modelpose #alternative #alternativepose #pose #photo #photooftheday #foto #fotografia

Above: Malstrom approves of Primrose cosplay.

Game time to completion: 110 hours.

Switch time to completion: 115 hours.

Now I can review it and move on.

On another note, this Octopath cosplay is quite entertaining. Primerose seems to be popular.

I wanted to do something new before I take a little break from cosplay going into the school year. I found the motivation to start on Primrose today so it is a little sad that I'll be setting everything down for awhile. If you get the chance to please play Octopath Traveler! It's such a charming game and I'm having a great time playing it. #octopathtraveler #octopathtravelercosplay #primroseazelhart #primroseazelhartcosplay

"shall we dance?" wowee i still have a ton of work to do on this one but here is a costest of primrose from octopath traveler !! . . . . . . #octopathtraveler #primrose #primrosecosplay #octopathtravelercosplay #costest #cosplay #videogames #videogamecosplay #sqaureenix #nintendo #nintendocosplay #nintendoswitch #cosplaygirl #octopath #primrosecosplay #animegirl #primroseazelhart #projectoctopathtraveler #octopathcosplay #nintendocosplayer #octopathtraveller #animecosplay

Good job girls.

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