One more sort of sedate entry for you today, companions. Some of the things I’ve been doing have been sort of interesting, even if they’re not hardcore fanfiction or dissertation work, so I figured I would talk about them a bit.
1: Corrected some trouble with an amazon.com order! In my previous entry, I noted how I got Allan Brinkley’s The Unfinished Nation. The seller, however, ended up sending me a worthless “cengage connect” card with nothing else! I was displeased and contacted them, and they promptly offered me a full refund! I gave them a positive feedback review on amazon.com, but it did take a little wrangling to ensure the refund went through. Still, I went and bought Eric Foner’s Give Me Liberty as my US history text instead, and that seems to be going through OK, so no biggie. I also ordered the Bloodborne collector’s guide, for the nice art. After those orders come through, I should be set with Amazon for a while. 😀
2: I’m keeping in touch with the Library of Congress people. Remember a while back I said I might have to travel a lot for my funssertation? Well, it seems that since a lot of my material is on microfilm, it’s easily digitized! If they scan and email me most of the stuff I need, I may not have to travel as much. So I’m keeping that avenue open and asking about it 8) It might not be so effective, in which case I’ll go along with another trip, but if it works out, things could be much easier for me 😀
3: Also got some PS4 games recently. First, there’s Bloodborne–I actually got this a while ago, but I only bought a PS4 to play it last week so it counts as recent, I guess. My thoughts on it:
The design of the levels and environments so far is fatastic; the art direction generally is, in fact. It also plays pretty much like a faster-paced version of Dark and Demon’s souls, which is good (I loved those games). I also particularly liked the procedurally generated dungeons (Chalice dungeons), those are pretty cool and they’re an optional addition to the main quest, so folks who don’t like ‘procedurally generated’ stuff don’t have to deal with it. There are some things I miss about the old Souls games which aren’t present here, though.
First, the Summon Sign system seems a little better than the beckoning bell system. In the old games, you’d leave a sign down on the ground and another player could use it to summon you. This meant you always had a decent idea of where the “host” player was–he wouldn’t be too far away from the sign he used to summon you. In Bloodborne, however, you just ring a bell and someone else can summon you from anywhere in the level; so when you enter the host’s world, sometimes he’s far away and you have no idea where he is.
Secondly, there aren’t as many “builds” as there were in Dark or Demon’s Souls. Those games had magic, spells, bows, shields, and a wide variety of light and heavy armor. In Bloodborne, on the other hand, pretty much every character has a gun and a melee weapon (there’s only like one shield in the game), and pretty much all the armor is “light.” So unlike the previous games, where you had crossbowmen, archers, wizards, knights in heavy armor, ninjas with light armor, etc. all running around, in Bloodborne it’s pretty much just the same guy all the time, with a sword and a gun, rolling around to his hearts content. I can see why they removed shields, as in previous games players would just “turtle” behind them, but I do wish they’d kept at least different kinds of heavy and light armor, as well as a real magic system.
The game is still a lot of fun, though. 😀
I also got GTAV for the PS4, since they said I’d get “returning player” bonuses cause I had it on the PS3. I bought it used from Gamestop, since it was a little cheaper than the 59.99 thing they had going for that “sale” on Steam. Very sneaky, definitely not the sort of business I want to support. My thoughts:
I have to give Rockstar credit, GTAV is a *massive* game. They’ve created whole cities, a decent-sized region of a state, and even a faux-Internet to go along with it. There’s so much stuff to do, people to meet (and crimes to commit) that the game would keep pretty much anyone entertained indefinitely. And while the graphics aren’t quite as striking as those of bloodborne, it does a suprisingly good job of capturing California’s natural beauty (they based their fictional state off of IRL California and bits of Nevada). The vistas you can see while flying are just breathtaking. The dialogue is also witty, smart, and engaging, and the plot feels like something you’d see in a bona-fide crime movie.
Still, there are times the game becomes interminably, even occasionally unacceptably frustrating. Driving isn’t as smooth as it used to be in previous GTA games, even with maxed driving skill, the cars feel a good deal more slippery and hard to control. It can also be extremely annoying due to how random and arbitrary the environment seems to be a lot of the time. You can blow through fire hydrants and lampposts in a good car with no problem, but a small tree or a freaking volleyball net will stop you entirely cold, which makes chases, pursuits, etc. in vehicles more irritating than fun. The characters themselves can be extremely clumsy at times too; on foot you have a tendency to get stuck on the edges of corners or mailboxes and stuff (which can make you fail missions where you have only seconds to spare). Climbing also feels very clumsy, the square button can be used to either clamber over small hurdles OR make a small hop; if you mistime the button press your character will hop instead of climb over a small fence or wall, and when he does he’ll just smash into it and drop to the ground, or possibly to his death if he’s too far up. This makes some areas and missions a real chore; thankfully Rockstar implemented checkpoints so you don’t have to redo an ENTIRE mission due to one unfortunate button press, but it’s still annoying as all hell. So I’d definitely give this game a 7 or 8 out of 10 rather than the 10/10s it seems to have gotten everywhere.
Alas, despite all this, I guess I’m a glutton for punishment…I haven’t played Bloodborne, I’ve just been screwing around in GTAV! There really is enough content to keep one entertained for literally years. Alas, I can’t just hang around all day–I’ll have to get back to my funssertation soon after I hear more from the Library of Congress…and work on my fanfic, and Dragonar, too. XD Maybe I’ll talk about those next entry, or maybe not. I don’t even know with this blog anymore. XD