Video Game Tuesday: Graphical Mods

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m covering a topic that get’s overlooked by most console gamers, myself included. It’s all about Graphical Mods!

PC MASTER RACE!: Yeah, yeah, we’ve all heard that before. It’s an old and tired shtick, and console gamers are pretty sick of it. There are downsides to being a console gamer, but there are also upsides. That being said, that’s a topic for another day. However there is one thing that warrants special mentioning. Graphical Improvement Mods.

Graphical Improvement Mods?: Yeah, so there are of course custom 3D model mods out there for all sorts of games, like Skryim or Grand Theft Auto. However this isn’t what I’m talking about, not exactly. I’m talking about mods that completely improve your entire visual experience of the whole game. Stuff like NaturalVision Remastered. Go check out the video I’ve linked. I’ll be waiting, and it’s definitely worth a view.

Done?: Great, so these sorts of mods are huge projects and I have immense respect and admiration for anyone who does this sort of work. It’s incredibly difficult and you rarely see something of such high quality like NaturalVision Remastered. Honestly the person behind the mod deserves to be hired like immediately into the industry. They are an amazing artist and coder who understands gaming engines and graphics to a degree that I can only wish I had even a tenth of their skill and knowledge. Of particular note is that the original NaturalVision mod aims to be as intensive as the base Grand Theft Auto V game. That’s an incredibly difficult goal, but they did it for the most part.

What goes into such a mod?: Well for a big part of it, it’s all about improving the textures to a much higher resolution and detail. That’s not an easy goal, not at all. You have to literally work on every single texture used in the entire game and improve them. That’s a massive undertaking by itself. However that’s not all, mods like NVR also tweak the physics and lighting systems and those are not any easier to deal with. The fact that the mod is attempting to do all of that and still be only as intensive as the base game is nothing short of a masterwork. Like seriously Rockstar, or any company with a decent reputation, you need to be trying to hire this modder.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. Are there any favorite graphical mods you like and I didn’t mention? Leave a comment below!

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Video Game Tuesday: Playing to Win isn’t Always Fun

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m back with a topic that is about how being super serious isn’t always entertaining. It’s about how Playing to Win isn’t Always Fun!

What do you mean “Playing to Win”: Well I mean that pretty literally, sometimes it’s just more fun to just goof off in games, and in fact some games don’t have set objectives and are made purely for goofing off in.

Like what?: Well Minecraft for one is a perfect example of a game that’s made purely to goof off in, you can create amazing things in the game including working calculators, but it’s really mostly used to just goof off and make stuff. There’s a reason why Rooster Teeth has a weekly episode of their Let’s Play crew just playing Minecraft. It’s got pretty much endless potential to just mess around with friends.

What do you like?: I personally keep Grand Theft Auto V always installed on my PS4 just to load up on days where I’m stressed to just goof off online. I go around creating havoc and just having a blast destroying other players. Sure it’s not always a nice thing to do, and I tend to do it to people who aren’t doing special activities like the Motorcycle Club stuff, but just going around and goofing off is pretty fun.

So what about playing to win?: Well I tend to avoid the PvP aspects of games because I personally don’t find them much fun as people take it way too seriously sometimes. League of Legends is a pretty great example of people getting way too invested in pick up games. Now I’d understand if they were playing in ranked mode, but if they are just playing casually I’m not expecting someone to be perfect. PvE activities for me tend to be more fun as it involves either the plot, or just good old team work oriented gameplay with other players.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. What are some of your favorite games to just mess around in? Leave your answers in the comments below!

Video Game Tuesday: Character Customization

character_customization

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m covering a topic that is a bit contentious. It’s Character Customization!

Character Customization?: Yes, the ability to change your player character’s appearance either during creation or later in the game. To make yourself look unique, or like a famous person, or yourself, or just plain ridiculous.

Give me examples of good customization!: Well there’s always MMOs, with more recent ones getting some pretty awesome character creation abilities. Final Fantasy XIV has a fairly large character customization feature, and you can even go back and change some of it later on. Other games like the Elder Scrolls games have always had a pretty good customization ability.

Some bad examples?: Earlier MMOs had some okay character creation screens, but they limited a lot of options. For example, World of Warcraft had an okay system, but frankly every race choice was limited to a single height, no options to change height were available. They said it was due to PvP limitations, but frankly I don’t know if that’s an okay response in todays market. I’m leaning towards no, but I’m not certain on that. It was certainly useful to be able to call out “Kill Undead Mage” in flag room in Warsong Gulch for example.  No one would get confused about not killing the giant Tauren Warrior instead of that smaller and skinnier Undead Mage. An example of a bad single player character customization are examples like Sword Art Online Lost Song, which had such a terrible character customization system that it might as well have been removed to allow for something more useful.

Variety: I personally think having a great variety of options is always great, but some people find it overwhelming, while others love spending hours upon hours making the “perfect” character for themselves. Personally I’ll spend a bit of time on it, but if it gets past the 15 minute mark, I’ll start to hurry it up.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday! What are some of your favorite character customization in games? How long do you typically spend in character customization? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!