Okay Things

//Okay Things

Reviews: Warlords of Draenor Legendary Ring Quest

I finished the Warlords of Draenor legendary quest today. This marks the end of a relatively long journey in the latest World of Warcraft expansion. I got a really bitchin’ ring statue for my garrison (which I’ll miss when they ultimate shit on this next expansion) and a ring that gives me a crazy strong lust affect every 2 minutes. How did this quest fare compared to the last one? Well, the last legendary quest, for the cloaks in Mists of Pandaria was a terrible experience. Whoever made it absolutely hates human happiness and I do not like them. Or at least I do not like the version of them that made that quest.

The Legendary Quest in MOP was a bit like beating a puppy. Super duper sad and with no redeeming qualities. All who participated walked away being lesser for it. By contrast I’d say that most of the WOD Legendary Quest is not bad. It starts out by sending you through some of the game’s dungeons. This I like, no complaints. Most of the dungeons for WOD are actually quite good, which is a shame because there is almost no reason to do them.

Once you’ve completed most of the dungeons once, you’ll have finished the dungeon side of these things. Once you move on from that you’ll enter into the raid portion of the legendary quest. I liked Highmaul and I liked Blackrock Foundry, so doing them for legendary stuff was not a problem. The drop rates for both zones was perfectly fair. You had a 100% chance of getting something but you had a small chance to get a big number of them. This is how you correctly do a grind quest. Grind quests with less than 100% drop rates are absolute dogshit. I have no patience for them, more on this later.

Sometime after this you’ll find yourself getting a new legendary follower. She’s really neat and I wish she had the bodyguard trait so that she could walk around with me. Once you have her basically all missions are 100% regardless of your teams (in my experience). No complaints, she has a legendary impact on your experience. There is a special quest involving her that I actually liked a lot. It wasn’t perfectly applied but the concept was not bad. You basically roam through a stronghold and have her murder the shit out of people while not getting caught, metal gear style. They needed vision cones and whatnot but it wasn’t absolutely terrible.

Now…here is where I believe we get to the part that I absolutely hated. The third grind quest involves getting 33 books. I remember seeing 33 and thinking “Fuck…what’s the catch?” The catch is that it is a coin toss. So you might get them all in 33 kills, or you might not get them in a hundred or more kills! That’s fucking terrible. A terrible terrible scar on a quest chain that I otherwise found delightful. I was very disappointed in the entire grinding experience. Do you know how infuriating it is to get to 32 books, then kill 4 bosses and not get the last one? Being forced to wait an entire week just to get 1 more freaking book?

Horrible. But, at the very least, it is not so bad that it ruins the entire experience beyond redemption. Where the Cloak Quest was a giant pile of flaming poop, this quest is perfectly acceptable. Maybe not good, I think they still don’t “get it”. Something I might explain more articulately at a future time, but I certainly wasn’t unhappy doing it. A nice solid C or C+ experience.

What’s that header image have to do with this topic? Three Words. Legendary. Cloak. Quest.

By | 2015-08-11T22:19:10+00:00 August 11th, 2015|Okay Things, Reviews|Comments Off on Reviews: Warlords of Draenor Legendary Ring Quest

JustTheTip EP.16 ~ Hitman: Sniper Challenge

This will be one of the shorter reviews. Sniper Challenge, as I’ll be calling it, is a free demo promotional game that was released before Hitman: Absolution. At least that’s my recollection of it. I don’t know how I got it since I didn’t pre-order Hitman: Absolution, but here it is. The game takes about 5-8 minutes to complete and features you sniping a group of people partying on a rooftop.

They provide you with a handful of challenges that will net you bonuses in the main game when you complete them. Apparently even at my best I’m fairly terrible but that’s assuming nobody is cheating on the leaderboard. Frankly I’m skeptical. It’s not bad though! The controls are perfectly serviceable, the game looks nice, and it sounds nice.

If you happen to purchase Hitman: Absolution it probably will benefit you to run through this a few times to net yourself some more gear for the main game. I’m presuming the items are balanced but we won’t know for sure until the day when I play that game comes.

By | 2015-12-14T00:12:46+00:00 May 16th, 2015|Okay Things|Comments Off on JustTheTip EP.16 ~ Hitman: Sniper Challenge

JustTheTip EP.12 ~ Lucius

When I first loaded up Lucius I was expecting some very lazy attempt to scare me with a little white kid. It wouldn’t be the first time that a game has done it. It might be the first time a game has done it intentionally. But certainly not the first overall. Imagine my surprise when the game controls were finally rendered unto me and I was controlling the creepy white kid. Oh joy! By the end of the tutorial I had murdered our maid and I realized that this was going to be one strange ass experience.

Strange it was! For the next hour I did the bidding of my father and murdered folks all over the house. I don’t know if the game is trying to take itself as a joke or not but I got quite a few smiles out of it. The kills are over the top and silly. The graphics are just bad enough to keep you out of the moment and examining it more as a piece of work rather than an actual internal experience. I don’t know if that’s ever really a good thing but it worked here. When you are slipping someone’s noggin into a rotary saw it helps.

Each kill is a little more complicated than the one before. Think of them as puzzles to solve in a house with very little direction. It’s not open ended. There is one correct answer, but it gives you free range to figure that shit out. Also amusingly you can do chores in between the killing to unlock various perks like a Ouija board that gives you hints.

There are crosses throughout the house that make you weaker but naturally you can turn them over to render them moot. This earth centrist requirement for crosses has fascinated me for some time now. If you were a vampire in space how would you know if a cross was rightside up or upside down? Does it only matter in relation to your own direction? I doubt anyone has a satisfying answer but at least in this mansion upside down == good, for you.

The audio is fine. The voice acting is fine. The controls are fine. The whole thing is a silly campy affair. I was asked by a stream viewer to finish the game and so I’ll be likely playing it this Saturday. I’m going to need some snacks because it’ll probably take a little time. Regardless if you can find it for a few bucks I wouldn’t tell you not to. Its a silly, weird, experience that is probably worth an hour or two of your time.

By | 2015-12-14T00:12:30+00:00 April 21st, 2015|Okay Things, Reviews|Comments Off on JustTheTip EP.12 ~ Lucius

JustTheTip EP.2 ~ The Maw

To start off with one of my cliche intros: The Maw is an interesting beast. Graphically I think the game looks fine. It takes the arduous job of making a 3D game look good even as technology leaves it behind. Most games look like donkey turds a few years after their release. The Maw is just the right level of color and design that it’ll likely look alright for decades. It’s not fantastic, but the charm that it exudes through its simple art design is likely to please you and your kids for many years to come.

The controls are equally passable. At every step of the way the game tells you what button to press to make things happen. This is nice because otherwise it features absolutely no user interface most of the time. That’s not something I dislike and I admire its attempt to keep you engaged in the game instead of menus and whatnot. The game tasks you, a refuge alien, with controlling a creature known as “The Maw”. This jelly like creature has an insatiable appetite that luckily never seems to turn towards you. Much like Yoshi you can feed this monster other monsters and he’ll sometimes gain special abilities because of it. Blowing fire, flying, smashing through things. It’s all quite lovely and intuitive.

Each level is a puzzle and you must solve that puzzle using both terrain changes and the Maw itself. For the most part I found this to be fun. I kept over thinking puzzles and looking for a complex solution where a much, much, more basic one existed. That’s fine, I’m fairly sure this game is targeted at quite young kids. I could be wrong though. The levels never really outstayed their welcome with me which I appreciate. They were just long enough to get the job done in each instance.

The game also gives you each new ability one at a time and uses the level to teach you how to use it. There are no long winded tutorials (minus an awkward one right at the beginning) which again is a breath of fresh air.

The thing I can’t say about this game is that I want to play it more. I could see myself watching someone else finish it but there is something about the game that just doesn’t really work for me. It doesn’t have that spark that keeps me engaged. I’d love to know what happens in the story but mucking through each of the levels as the alien instead of the monster is just kinda a chore for me. He’s cute but he’s also painfully slow and not very interesting. I much prefer the silly Stitch monster over the kid.

Overall if you can pick it up for cheap (which is likely the case) I’d say it is worth it. It wasn’t bad. I’d say its alright or ok. It didn’t offend me, it didn’t break any real rules of gaming, but there just wasn’t a spark to keep me going. I can’t really burn on my own, I need a little help from the entertainment I’m engaging.

By | 2015-12-14T00:12:13+00:00 March 25th, 2015|Okay Things, Reviews|Comments Off on JustTheTip EP.2 ~ The Maw

Reviews: Wolf Children

It’s not often that I experience something that leaves me with a pleasant sense of okayness. This kind of feeling that what I experienced was just as much as I needed to without that thing overstaying its welcome. Wolf Children certainly gave me that feeling and I’d like to talk about it a little bit. I’m not even entirely sure what I’ll say since it has left me a little bewildered.

The general overview of the story is that our protagonist (the gal in the image above) meets up with a wolfman. He shows her his sexy wolf mane and then they make sweet sexy wolf sex. You might be thinking “Oh, they had sex while he was in human form.” You’d be wrong. She has back to back children and then we get to watch the events leading from that moment up until the ending. I want to say more because this film does something weird. I think this movie is at its best when you know what is going to happen in the broadest sense. Knowing what tropes this movie will not be exploring would go a long way in making it less stressful and more of a visual and writing experience.

The characters in this story are very well written. I can’t really complain. For the most part I was introduced to a series of people that I’d like to meet. From the crotchety old man, to the children, to the mother, and everyone in between. Each of them had this wonderful life to them that felt genuine and unforced. Similarly the English voice acting is top notch and never grating. This is some of the best talent choices I’ve experienced in…well a very long time.

The story itself is actually pretty darn good. It’s a slice of life story which is exactly what it sounds like. Abrupt beginning and an abrupt end. These things always leave me wanting more but I end up understanding that they might go too far and spoil it. For me this kind of story is one I’d rather exist within than learn about or watch second hand. That off the beaten path life is one that I do find dreamy and the house they live in for the majority of the film is equally exciting.

So why is it then that I feel like this film was just okay? I can’t quite put my finger on it. It doesn’t really wow me. I’m not expecting avengers either, The Secret World of Arrietty is amazing and has much the same formula. It has an abrupt beginning, believable characters, and an abrupt end. I walked away from it feeling the desire to have more. But there isn’t more to be had.

But when I say it is okay I mean that in the nicest possible way. I really think that anyone interested in cinema or animated films should check this out. this isn’t “anime” much like Studio Ghibli films are not. It’s high quality and really charming. One of those rare experiences where I think me telling you more about it would be better than worse. This is not a story about surprises but more about experiencing the life of a family in the strangest of circumstances.

I’m at odds with myself. But this is why I changed the “average” review rating to “okay”. This isn’t an average film. Heck when I see the cover I think “I want to watch this.” Perhaps its that mental blue balling that it gives you at the end that has me cross. It acts a bit like eden of the east. But where that series ended up trying to cram too much into too little time, I feel like this gives you the teaser to something greater.

I like it. It’s one of the best okay things I’ve ever seen. Go give it a watch.

By | 2015-02-08T19:15:48+00:00 February 8th, 2015|Okay Things, Reviews|Comments Off on Reviews: Wolf Children