Trailer Park: New Skyrim DLC! Though Maybe Not EXACTLY What You Were Expecting. **UPDATE I Told You So

Skyrim: Hearthfire –

I just read something describing this DLC as The Sims: Skyrim. Seems pretty apt to me. By the same token, this is exactly the type of game play that hooks me.  I can build my own stupid house and endlessly arrange trophies? Sign me up! However, the initial problem is going to be getting all of my loot from my house in Whiterun out to wherever I build my M.C. Escher nightmare of a domicile. I spent over 130 hours collecting every book, weapon, scrap of armor, piece of jewelry, alchemy component and malleable metal that I came across, all of which is in what are apparently Chests of Holding in my ramshackle Whiterun dump.  How am I going to get everything frome Point A to Point B in a timely manner? Just like in real life, moving is a bitch.

This may be a moot point for us PS3 owners though, as I still don’t have access to Dawnguard and it doesn’t look like I will anytime soon.

In relation to the Dawnguard expansion pack for the PS3 platform, Bethesda still has not decided to give any input on the developments behind this content. In reference to a fans’ concerns on Dawnguard for the PS3, Pete Hines stated that “we got it out on PC as fast as we could. We are equally as unhappy we can’t release current version on PS3.” It is to be presumed that Bethesda is still hard at work trying to resolve the issues they are having with Dawnguard for the PS3. Hopefully they will be able to provide some concrete information to us soon.

I bet that Bethesda just scraps episodic DLC for Skyrim on the PS3 altogether and the only way you’ll be able to play it is on the GOTY edition that they release in 2013 sometime.

**UPDATE — 08.30.12 8:40PM — I WAS RIGHT!! Kotaku reports that “PS3 owners might not get Dawnguard after all“. Way to go, Bethesda. Way. to. go.

Late to the Party But Now That I’m Here, I’m Angry

Tomorrow’s the Fourth of July and I have the day off.  Even better, my office closes at 2pm today AND my fiancé is otherwise indisposed until 8 or 9pm.  A perfect time to buy some beers, download Penny Arcade’s On The Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness 3 which I’ve been waiting roughly four years to play, and just relax.

Home now, the first beers been cracked, I fire up my (fat)PS3 and open up the PSN where I discover…NO OTRSPOD FOR THE PS3.

Really?  Really? It’s slated to come to the MAC of all places?! (ed.note: This is being written on a Mac, so…) But not the PS3?  This is madness.  Madness.

Killing the series when it was halfway over wasn’t bad enough, but Penny Arcade and Zeboyd are screwing over a percentage of their fan base? I don’t get in. I know that the 360 get’s all of the Bethesda and Rockstar DLC first due to have a wider install base.  I get it, I’m not mad.  It’s the console choice I made.  But for a $5 retro game that’s the third in a series, all of sudden now  is when you get picky about supporting platforms? I just don’t get it.

The only consolation I have now is my Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale.  Which I will drink at a luxurious place was absolutely wrecking people in Max Payne 3 multi-player. Penny Arcade doesn’t want my money? Fine, Rockstar can have it.


New CoD: MW3 maps! I don’t think I care all that much!

As it turns out, I don’t.  Yes, i did get sucekred into paying for CoD: Elite even though I swore up and down I wouldn’t.  But with it not working for the first two to three weeks after the game launched & clans being nowhere to be found for even longer, it ust didn’t seem worth the extra money.  FREE MAP PACKS THOUGH, you say.  Yes, that is a hook…. for a game I’m still interested in playing.  My attention span and desire for Call of Duty is waning with every iteration of the game.  It certainly didn’t help that Skyrim came out a week later either.

Now I’m not saying I didn’t have fun with CoD: MW3 this go around.  I think it was a much better game than Modern Warfare 2. Yes, the single player is still incomprehensible as far as story goes, but the set pieces are interesting and a breeze to get through.  Nothing struck me as much in this game as did “No Russian” from MW2 or that first mission in MW1 where you’re fighting in Baghdad some unnamed Middle Eastern country.

It’s just that, with no MAJOR changes to the cash cow (and why would they change it? Every year EA has a guaranteed, BILLION dollar blockbuster on their hands.) I can’t stop the thought of “You’ve already played this, many many times” from creeping into my head.  That’s when I start looking around for other games to play, and CoD becomes less attractive to me.

It’s not a skill level issue either; this is the first year I’ve actively tried to get good at using a sniper rifle and I picked it up pretty quickly.  Not quick scoping level good, but being able to lead shots to hit runners and keeping my KD ratio from being embarrassingly bad.  After my first Prestige, I started using the P90 and was an absolute terror.  But now what?  Keep re-prestiging? That seems so sisyphean and again…I could be playing other games.

Two new maps aren’t going to pull me back into the game.  A thoroughly rethought game will put me back in the game.  Time for a bold statement: I will *NOT* be buying CoD: Black Ops 2 this November.  I won’t do it.  I can’t.

Dammit, but I probably will.

Not Just Gold, Baby…but PLATINUM

One hundred and thirty four hours. Twenty eight minutes. Nineteen seconds. That’s how long it took me to wrap up the majority of Skyrim. At least, what I believe to be the majority. I did innumerable quests, completed the Civil War storyline in addition to the main through line, turned Bone Smasher the Dark Elf into a bad ass blacksmith/enchanter/archer/one-handed/light armor head of the Thieves Guild, Arch-Mage of the College of Winterhold, leader of The Dark Brotherhood, member of the Companions/Bard’s College/Stormcloaks and slayer of many, many dragons.  WHEW.

But now what?  Skyrim was such a consuming, driving force in both my life as a video game player but also into my life as a quasi-responsible adult with responsibilities.  I now feel the same sort of emptiness that I get after finishing a really excellent book; namely, I wish I was still doing it.

Starting anew isn’t the answer, though I am curious how it would be to run through the game as chiefly a magic user.  I just don’t have another 134 hours to spare.  I guess the way forward is to continue to explore the game in my spare time, looking for new caves or keeps or towers I haven’t found before, using my twin Daedric swords to carve a bloody swath across Tamriel (or my twin maces, or my twin katana.  Dual weapons all day!).

Well, that and hold out hope for some incredible DLC.

2011 – Games of the Year

In descending order:

10. Mass Effect 2 (PS3) – No Xbox 360 for me, so I’ve had to wait & listen (& listen) to everyone tell me how amazing the Mass Effect series is.  Once I was finally able to get my hands on it, I was definitely impressed.  The “choices matter” mantra intrigued me & while I definitely planned to go back through to complete all the choice cycles, other games ended up pulling me away.  I would’ve liked to have the option for a “good” and an “evil” version of Shepard heading into ME3.

9. Words With Friends (iOS) – just in terms of time spent playing. Though the words it does allow (sith) and doesn’t not allow (fuck) is suspect at best. The ads drove me berserk and eventually I coughed up the $.99 worth of blood money. Bastards.

8. Tiny Tower (iOS) – Another time suck that is simple but keeps me playing. I’m at 99 floors and counting; the hooks are simple but dammit, they are firmly in place. Plus I finally got a Mapple store.  Mybooks all around!

7. Guerilla: Red Faction (PS3) – I know, I know, it didn’t come out this year.  But this was the year I played it so it’s a 2011 game, dammit. Pure, unadulterated wrecking delight. A next-next-next gen version of my beloved Wrecking Crew for the NES. I want to smash everything with a sledgehammer.  Too bad about the sequel.

6. inFamous 2: I ended up cajoling a friend to drive me out to Forest Hills to buy a street-date broken copy of this from some kid standing out in the street; thanks Craigslist! The story was a fairly natural continuation of the first game though in places it felt almost the same.  The high point of the game for me was the actually pretty touching scene where Cole & Zeke, up on their rooftop hideout, complete with ragged sofa, silently share a couple (dozen) beers & watch TV.  It really conveyed the deep sense of friendship & brotherhood the two shared and illustrated how a meaningful look, a clink of beer bottles or a laugh or two can convey as much as any conversation.

5. Uncharted 3: Best of the series so far, though the ending (SPOILERS) is way too close to the ending of Uncharted 2 for my liking. Bonus for eliciting a “Now this looks like something I’d play” from my girlfriend.  Drake is still clearly a murdering psychopath but his properly keffiyeh gives him a pass, I guess.

4. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3: The single player is less laughable than the ridiculous MW2 though not as interesting or compelling as Black Ops; the multi-player is a tweaked and seemingly more balanced version of MW2’s madness.  It all boils down to a game of tag with guns, yet every time I pick it up, 6 hours vanish.  Bonus points for suckering me into buying Elite when, it was first introduced, I swore up and down I would never pay for it. ACTIVISION (shakes fist) !!!!

3. Arkham City: The sequel to the best Batman game since Sunsoft’s NES Batman . Despite the maddening aerial challenges, this game was note perfect.  The Iceberg Lounge portion with the ice & the shark? Terrifying.

2. Skyrim: My first introduction to the Elder Scrolls; this became my one & only focus from early November when it was released right up until Christmas.  I would love to start over, now that I know how the game world works as well as what choices I should have/could have made in terms of character creation.  But that would involve me quitting my job and until someone want’s to pay me to game for a living, I don’t see that happening.  BoneSmasher the Dark Elf will have NO siblings in Tamriel for the time being; only his distant cousin, Fly Ricky the Wine Taster, from the Capital Wastelands in the far distant future.

1. Saints Row the Third:I loved Skyrim; hell, I STILL love Skyrim. But Skyrim feels like a job; Saints Row the Third feels like a vacation. From the early penthouse invasion mission which beings by parachuting out of a plane then running & gunning through a lavish party full of gangsters and strippers set to Kanye West’s “Power” (gave me goosebumps; the perfect song for that mission) to the first time I stole a plane (and immediately crashed into the ground) to chainsawing luchadores to hitting random pedestrians with float over DDTs, I loved everything about SRtT. It’s just pure…id. Anxiously awaiting whatever DLC gets released for the game; I can’t wait to revisit Steelport.