Video Game Tuesday: Quick Time Events

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m talking about a thing that I’ve seen done way too much in games. It’s all about Quick Time Events!

Quick Time Events?: “A quick time event (QTE) is a method of context-sensitive gameplay in which the player performs actions on the control device shortly after the appearance of an on-screen instruction/prompt. It allows for limited control of the game character during cut scenes or cinematic sequences in the game.” That’s the Wikipedia page on QTEs, and while that is generally how things are done that isn’t always the case.

Really?: Yeah some games like an older Spider-man game (Spiderman 2 I think) had them included in boss fights and you’d fail a fight or something equally unforgiving if you didn’t perform the QTE properly. That hasn’t happened in most AAA games for the last couple years, but it used to be so overused that there are still memes about some really dumb QTEs. The Press F (or X) to Pay Respects for example is from Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Was it really necessary to have that occur? I’d say no, although it might have seemed like an awesome idea at the time.

What are some good QTEs?: There’s a few, but generally I find QTEs that aren’t anything more than a single button press to be generally decent. I still hate QTEs and having them appear in boss fights in Final Fantasy XIV definitely caused more than a wipe or two, but those were pretty easy to deal with compared to some of the worse examples (like that Spiderman game).

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday, are there any really bad or good QTEs that you can remember? Post examples in the comments below.

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Retro Game Friday: Worms

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a real classic. It’s Worms!

Plot Synopsis: There is no plot.

Gameplay: There was really no plot for the game, it was all about the gameplay. It was turn based and allowed each player to direct their worms to fire in a certain direction. The goal was to be the one with the last worms alive. The multiplayer was quite fun, I remember playing the game with my cousin and having a blast.

Art: The art has aged, and while it’s 2D it doesn’t quite look as amazing as other 2D games of the time. However given how much effort was spent on the gameplay rather than art it’s not too surprising.

Music: I don’t remember the music, sorry.

Overall: If you get the chance to give it a whirl for a few minutes it’s worth it just to enjoy the classic gameplay. Of course you could probably play later games in the series and enjoy it more.

For those who like: Tactical Games, Turn Based, Oddball Games, Multiplayer.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Video Game Tuesday: Destiny 2 PC Beta Impressions

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m talking about the recent PC Beta for a game that releases on consoles tomorrow. It’s my Destiny 2 PC Beta Impressions!

What changed from Console to PC?: Nothing really except for supers charging slightly faster it still felt like a stripped down and crappy version of the original Destiny a game I already despised after all the gunplay changes were made after the original launch. Not only that but on my not even a half year old computer the game wasn’t able to run on the preset Medium settings without significant slowdowns. I met all the specs so I’m not really impressed with Bungie on the PC Port. Sure those who have $2000+ sunk into their computer can run the game just fine, but those of us on a budget will do a hell of a lot better just getting the console versions. It could even be cheaper to just buy a standard PS4 and Destiny 2 to play the game and not experience all the hang ups I experienced on my PC. Even with messing with all the various settings to try and get the game to look as nice as possible and not have any issues I still had noticeable slowdown during intense firefights, which is something no one really wants to happen.

As for Gameplay changes, well I mentioned the supers charged faster, but many other things like the Hunter’s dodge, grenades, and melee abilities are all still on a way too long of a cooldown. Before I hear any whining about “There is gear for that” let me say that I am aware. However the gear we are wearing in the Beta should be that kind of gear, plus we start off at level 20 in the beta. Whether that is actually what we’ll start with at launch is a matter we’ll be seeing tomorrow.

Frankly I’m disgusted with Bungie, and if I hear that it’s another “Months” old build I’m going to call bullshit. Beta’s are meant to test the latest build, so I didn’t even buy that excuse during the Console beta. Gunplay changes that were supposed to occur in the PC port, like no recoil weren’t present in the Beta (Not that it’s really needed with a KB&M). It also felt really awkward to try and dodge enemies with a keyboard and mouse. Sure there is the precision in shooting you get from using a mouse, but Destiny has never really been about precision shots. They help, but it’s always been about dodging mechanics and frankly it’s a pain to do with a keyboard. I ended up having to hook up my PS4 controller just to get past the initial level.

The combination of slowdown due to whatever issue is on Bungie’s end and the imprecision of movement and ability usage with a keyboard just kept killing me. As a side note it was amusing to see that I wasn’t the only one to die repeatedly. Zavala died as well during his portion of the mission and his ghost respawned him shortly after mine did for me each time we died.

But all (insert other news site or streamer) said the game runs amazingly!: Yeah they did and they all got to experience it on the same systems. They got to experience it with a very, very high end computer build that was built by Bungie to specifically show off the game. That or they got to experience the game during this beta with their own very powerful computers. This PC Beta is the first time people with varying computer builds have actually touched the game. So while those people got to experience it on a system that can go over 100 frames per second consistently, the rest of us probably won’t unless we sink a ton of money into our computers.

Also remember that they and we weren’t allowed to touch any of the harder content, the stuff where you get dozens of enemies firing at you at the same time. So while the game might be easier to aim with on a computer, like I said Destiny has never really been about precision and has always been more about being able to kill enemies while being extremely mobile.

So again I’m really not impressed with the game, considering that I have a computer that is easily comparable to a PS4, I expect to be able to run the game on a similar level of graphics quality and expect the same smoothness I got during the console beta.

Overall: Unless you have a computer with thousands of dollars sunk into it, don’t bother with this crappy port. Even with such a computer though you’ll probably want to hook up a controller just so you can successfully dodge  enemy fire (which you will be doing a lot of in Destiny 2) if you are coming from consoles. Everything else I’ve already said about Destiny 2 still holds true, and with the game launching on consoles in a little over a week I’m not holding my breath expecting Bungie to actually pull off a decent enough comeback to warrant the year delay that got us Rise of Iron.

Retro Game Friday: Ogre Battle 64

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a really obscure title most probably forgot even existed. It’s Ogre Battle 64!

Plot Synopsis:  The story follows Magnus Gallant, a recent graduate of the Ischka Military Academy and fledgling captain in Palatinus’ Southern region Alba, as civil war erupts in the country.

Plot: It was pretty good and one of the first console games to have multiple endings that I played.

Gameplay: This was a RTS, instead of a turn based strategy game like Final Fantasy Tactics, which made it a bit more hectic. Frankly at the time I preferred turn based combat, and for strategy games I would say that still holds true for me. That said this was one of the more obscure games and getting a copy to play wasn’t exactly easy. I only played it a couple of times.

Art: The art is mostly 3d in an isometric perspective, so while it hasn’t aged very well, it’s aged better than more fully 3D games like Perfect Dark or the like.

Music: Don’t remember a whit of it, sorry.

Overall: If you get the chance to play it, go for it. It’s pretty interesting, although the gameplay may seem somewhat simplistic now.

For those who like: RTS, Strategy Games, Good Plot, Decent Gameplay.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Video Game Tuesday: Patch Notes

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m back with a topic many gamers should read a heck of a lot more often. It’s all about Patch Notes!

Patch Notes?: Patch Notes are notes of any and all changes that occur when a game is updated. These are most of the time fairly boring reads, especially in the bug sections, but nevertheless such things are really worth reading. Especially the bug portions, because it might just help you avoid getting a game breaking bug, or getting corrupted save files and losing all your progress in a game.

All of your progress, really?: Yeah, really. In MMOs it’s especially worth reading any and all Known Bug sections of Patch Notes before playing. The ideal time to do so? While your game is updating. In fact it’s also worth having your phone or tablet’s web browser open to any community sites, be that a fan site like Blizzard Watch for Blizzard games or a really active subreddit like the Final Fantasy XIV subreddit. This should be done during any major patch, and especially during Expansion launches. They’ll put up things like PSA’s about what not to do. For instance in FFXIV’s latest expansion Stormblood, there was a particularly nasty bug with the first Primal fight players experience in the expansion at level 63.

If you entered the instance and were sitting or doing any emote at all prior to entering you would be kicked from your character and be unable to log in to that character at all once you finished the instance. This was particularly bad, and was just one of the many issues that were occuring during Stormblood’s launch. There were also congestion issues and server issues that were occurring due to DDoS attacks on the FFXIV servers, and later on to the actual ISPs themselves.

Okay so back to Patch Notes, they are not all boring. Some games actually have a ton of fun with their patch notes, and it’s just a fun thing to be reading when you are bored. Crusader Kings II is one game whose Patch Notes are genuinely hilarious almost all the time. Like this little jewel “-No longer possible for AI to plot to assassinate self (unless they are a lunatic).” Brilliant, and it’s actually relevant!

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. Are the any particular Patch Notes that you remember just being absolutely hilarious? Feel free to share them below!

Retro Game Friday: Jet Force Gemini

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a game I’m shocked I never covered before. It’s Jet Force Gemini!

Plot Synopsis: Jet Force Gemini begins with the three heroes, Juno, Vela and Lupus in orbit around the planet Goldwood after barely escaping the destruction of the entire Jet Force fleet at the hands of Mizar, who has been capturing and enslaving a race of survivors known as the Tribals. When they are attacked by several drones, the three decide to abandon their ship and go off on their own separate paths to stop the invasion.

Plot: The plot is okay, not amazing, but it’s better than Destiny’s non existent story.

Gameplay:  The three heroes all play slightly differently, but there are some things that are the same like the targeting and general movement. However Juno can walk through lava, Vela can swim indefinitely and Lupus can hover for a short period of time. The gameplay itself is actually pretty good, however the fact that you have to rescue every Tribal to beat the story is more than a bit annoying, especially since you can accidentally kill them with friendly fire. Or on purpose if you’re just in a mood for destruction and mayhem. The game also has local co-op where the second player can play as Floyd, a robotic drone that hovers above the characters and can open fire on enemies.  The multiplayer was okay, but really not that amazing compared to now a days.

Art: The art has definitely aged poorly, but it was pretty freaking awesome back when it released.

Music: I don’t remember a whit of it, sorry.

Overall: If you get the chance to play this, give it a whirl it’s pretty fun. That being said it does require a lot of effort to actually finish the story which is more than a bit frustrating.

For those who like: Sci-Fi, Third Person Shooters, Action, Adventure, Drama, Decent Plot, Great Gameplay.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Retro Game Friday: Twisted Metal

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a classic from the 90s! It’s Twisted Metal!

Plot Synopsis: Once a year the legendary Calypso, a man who dwells beneath the streets of Los Angeles, holds the “Twisted Metal” competition. The contest takes place all around the Los Angeles area and calls upon drivers in various different vehicles to battle to the death. The contestants are selected and contacted by Calypso via an e-mail message that simply reads “WILL YOU DRIVE?” in red letters. The one driver still alive at the end of the night is granted a single wish, with no limits on price, size or, according to some, even reality.

Plot: I’ll be completely honest and say I don’t remember this game even having a plot, I was just playing it to have fun with my cousin. That being said the plot doesn’t sound too bad.

Characters: I don’t remember the entire cast, and my quick search online didn’t help all that much. That being said I do remember my favorite character wasn’t the clown, he creeped me out at the time. I liked the guy who as in the Lamborghini, Agent Stone, a car with which I was fascinated with at the time, although it being a fairly fast car might have something to do with it. I’ve always preferred smaller and fasert combatants compared to larger and heavier ones.

Gameplay: The gameplay was pretty fun, and was quite a bunch of fun to play with friends in local Co-Op.

Art: The art hasn’t aged well, but considering it was one of the first 3D games on consoles I’m not too surprised at how badly it has aged.

Music: Don’t remember a whit of it, sorry.

Overall: If you get the chance to grab it really cheaply or for free, it’s worth playing for a bit if possible.

For those who like: Vehicular Madness, Vehicles, Cars, Action, Arena Battlers.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.