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Ovirew Blog

Fall Thoughts, and The Past 4 Years

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I apologize for making yet another blog so soon after the last. Here is my blog from yesterday, which talks about my fresh perspective on Gamespot moving forward.

Lately the weather has been changing - fast. I'm not sure if anyone else has given much thought to it, but formalities aside, we are entering Autumn - for realsies. I always tend to get nostalgic and reflective around this time of year.

2010. It wasn't that long ago, or rather, it still doesn't seem like it was. It was a year of great change in my life, as I made the bold decision to leave behind my sheltered life at home and move in with the woman I'd been dating for several months. Up until that point, my future was quite the uncertainty. I'd passed on going to college, and felt crushed by the realities of the world and the workforce. But an unexpected relationship developed at the beginning of the year, and for nearly every weekend that Summer I had spent the weekends traveling out of state to be with my sweet one.

Sometime before the Summer, I had sold my XBox 360 and all of the games I'd owned for it. It was due to feeling like most people on LIVE were rude, after a depressing party chat session. I began to miss my 360, however, and as Fall approached that year I hoped to buy a new game system to share with my girlfriend. We soon agreed upon going half & half to buy a brand new XBox 360 model, with the new Kinect, which my girlfriend was mainly interested in trying out.

We bought my second 360 in either September or October of 2010. At the time it was actually pretty thrilling. Maybe part of me was really excited because everything was so new to me - a new love, a new house, a new opportunity in life. And here was me and my girlfriend's new game system. I immediately set about downloading all of the old Arcade games I used to have, and began trying out the Kinect. At first, I felt bad because of all of the (tons) of games I owned, my girlfriend didn't seem interested in a single one of them.

Of course I had something to look forward to - Halo Reach. Though I was a year late to the party, I was still really excited by the game and enjoyed it a lot when I did finally play it. I made sure to buy another copy of Halo 3 digitally, and picked up another copy of Halo 3 ODST shortly after. I would spend the next couple of years making some progress on each, and getting every achievement for ODST.

I would soon find a game that both my girlfriend and I really enjoyed in Costume Quest. After playing through the demo, both of us fell in love with everything about this game - from the Halloween theme, to the adorable too-smart-for-their-age children, to the stamp equipment feature, to the ambitious and addictive battle system where the kids powered-up and turned into super-hero versions of whatever costume they were wearing.

A large part of my inspiration for writing this blog is Costume Quest. When I played this game, it perfectly matched the time and the mood that Fall. It felt like Fall outside, and it was Fall in this game. We both went on to play CQ and its DLC a few times over the years. And Autumn has always been one of my favorite times of year since moving here.

Life in this new household was difficult at first. During my Summer and Fall weekend visits, things went fine because I rarely bumped into other people in the household. I officially moved in after Thanksgiving 2010, and the initial reception was lukewarm. My girlfriend and I were already having one of our first 'fights', and I quickly began to clash with our two roommates. One roommate got angry whenever I used the bathroom in the mornings and took from her work preparation time, the other roommate frequently bothered me with his creepy doings.

Up until the end of 2010 I also spent a lot of time looking for work. Getting used to the area was challenging enough, especially because I come from somewhere much smaller. I remember spending hours collecting applications, and then going back out to return all of them. It's a shame that most of those places never called me back, but I finally caught my break at the tail end of December, when I was hired on as a dishwasher at a small diner beside my house.

I blew a lot of money after I moved. It went quickly. One big mistake I made early on in 2011 was buying a launch 3DS, and then seeing the price drop shortly after. D'Oh! I ended up selling it by year's end out of need for money.

2011 seemed like it lasted for a long time. Time seemed to slow down, perhaps because I was still getting used to my new life, and so much was happening every day. As the Summer rolled around, I had fallen in love with the Toy Soldiers games. I can't remember if I bought the first game before or after my move, but regardless, it stayed in my memory as one of my favorite downloadable 360 games alongside hits such as Costume Quest. That Summer, Microsoft released a new Toy Soldiers game, Cold War, as part of their Summer of Live program. I enjoyed it a lot, though I still tend to like the first game more. But Cold War did introduce a lot of original concepts to the gameplay, and a cool 80's action movie vibe.

The Summer kept plugging along. Soon we were repainting our living room, to make it our own. I remember I was doing touch-ups in the living room one day when my girlfriend came along and told me the latest news - our one roommate was moving out. It came as quite a shock to me. Even more shocking, was when our other roommate, who had been living here for several years, also decided to leave - and took off before our other roommate. My girlfriend and I were left without roommates, and had to make a decision - would we get new roommates, or have the house to ourselves? Though things are taking longer to pay, we opted to live alone as a couple, like we figured we eventually would.

By the end of Summer I discovered another 360 gem, with Double Fine's Trenched, renamed as 'Iron Brigade'. The same people who amazed me with Costume Quest, and also put out the so-so Stacking, made magic happen again with this mech-customizing, alien-shooting team-based downloadable title. It made me a believer in Double Fine, and became yet another big hit for me on the system.

The end of 2011 was difficult to adjust to. I got Halo: Anniversary when it came out and enjoyed it, but I was admittedly starting to get burned out on Halo again, especially after I became stuck in Legendary mode. It began to contribute to my steady re-loss of interest in the 360.

In early 2012 I took on a part-time job at a donation center's warehouse, but then left it and stayed on at my old job under the conditions that I would get a promotion and a raise. I got the promotion, but my boss never gave me the raise. Months passed.

One of the last big disc games I got for my 360 was Red Dead Redemption. I never got to appreciate the game fully, but was happy with what I did play. I would later buy it again on the PS3, and damn wouldn't you know, had the same results. I remember I got Trine 2 at one point, hoping I would play it with my girlfriend, but we never did. My girlfriend also got into Dragon Age and Mass Effect somewhere along the line, either in 2011 or 2012. It would take me longer to get into Dragon Age, and I'm still not really into Mass Effect.

The remainder of 2012, I had a Vita. I owned that thing clear up until about mid-2013, so for about a year. I had some good times with it, played a lot more FF7. but it never got enough AAA games. In early 2013, my girlfriend and I bought a PS3. And then, I ended up fed up with Microsoft before and during the XBox One unveil, and pre-ordered the PS4. On launch day 2013 we got the PS4. That Christmas, I got the 3DS XL. I ended up owning that for a shorter period of time than any other game system I've owned, selling it under half a year later in June. And of course that brings us to now, with me buying the XBox One.

And it's Fall again.

4 years after moving out of Pennsylvania and into New York, my life has changed a lot. I've spent the last nearly 2 years working for the same place - that's the longest amount of time I've worked for any employer. I'm in college. And things are maybe starting to pay off.

It's funny how things kind of repeat themselves in a good way, though. Here I am with a new XBox system, with a new Costume Quest and Halo on the way, and a new Toy Soldiers coming next year. I will probably be entering a new career soon. And next year I will be entering the next level of my relationship with my girlfriend - now my fiancee - when we become husband and wife.

I'm not sure how much Fall has to do with any of that, but at any rate, it seems to be the season of brand new beginnings...

~ Ovirew

600th Entry! And a Clean Slate.

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This will be my 600th blog entry on Gamespot. I was thinking just yesterday how I feel like all of these blogs are probably a waste of space on GS, but then I saw that some people have well over 1000 blog entries, and then I felt better. : )

I also sat down and deleted the vast majority of people from my GS friends list. Some of those people were still quite active, too. I guess I just want to follow people who I have some stuff in common with, or people who blog frequently. I also decided to keep some GS staff members on my list.

If you enjoy reading my blogs and login to GS frequently, then please let me know and I'll consider re-adding you to my friends list.

The Grand Plan

Something you should probably know about me, if you're considering following my Gamespot blog, is that I can't predict the future. (Though that would be cool.) I've been all over the place with game systems I've owned from day one.

Just since I started this blog I went through a lot of different gaming phases. I've flip-flopped between Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft so many times now, it isn't funny. In 2012 I owned a PS Vita for a while there, in 2013 I got a PS3, and then a PS4. At the beginning of this year I was playing 3DS XL, and since this Summer began I now own an XBox One - a complete reversal of feelings.

For the record I currently own: XBox One, Playstation 4, and Playstation 3.

I also sometimes feel like playing a game on the PC, though usually nothing graphically taxing.

For the most part, the game system I am most excited about right now is the XBox One, so you will likely hear be talk about that a lot. But I don't mind talking to people who own other systems.

Recently I've gotten back into a Dragon Age mood and I've started a new save file on Origins (PS3), and I'm looking forward to Inquisition. My fiancee is buying it for the PS4... And yet, I'd still really like to get it for my XBO. We'll see.

A lot of interesting games are on the horizon now. Just recently Minecraft made the jump to XBO. I'm still not sure if I want to get that game and try to play it again, though I had some good times with Minecraft in the past, which I wrote about here a few years ago. Latest news was that Microsoft is thinking of buying Minecraft developer Mojang, so I'm wondering if there are plans for some XBox exclusive sequel to Minecraft, or something.

Next month will see the release of Costume Quest 2, which I'm pretty excited about. Me and my fiancee were both really into the first game, and were hoping for a bigger CQ adventure. I think it really sets the tone for Fall, brings back some memories of the last couple years.

A lot of other good games are coming out. Ori and the Blind Forest, Halo Master Chief Collection, and of course Sunset Overdrive - the game I am perhaps most excited for. But there will be time to discuss all of these games in later blogs, as I get them.

There is a lot of talk about doom and gloom in the industry nowadays. This or that company is closing down. Wii-U is gonna fail. XBox One is gonna fail. EA is killing the industry. I get sick of hearing it.

Right now, when I look at all of the great games I have to look forward to in the next year or two, I am excited. I have a lot of great games to look forward to! And maybe people are just too busy looking at that bigger picture to stop and remember that games should be fun and exciting, and not something to spend all of your time bitching about.

Whatever I'm playing in the next year or two, hopefully I'm enjoying it. And with any luck the XBox One will make some sort of comeback and be at least moderately successful and competitive with the PS4. And hopefully the PS4 will get some exclusive games that I actually am interested in.

Just gotta keep chuggin' along, not worrying about pleasing the masses. Maybe with this clean slate, I'll actually make a buddy or two?

~ Ovirew

When You Need Them Most...

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I've been mostly enjoying my time away from school during break, though I do eagerly look forward to going back soon. Both for the reasons I stated in my last blog - aimlessness, depression, etc... And because work is... You never know exactly what to expect at work whenever you walk through that door, a good day or bad day or something in-between.

For the past few weeks I've become a bit concerned about my department at work. The Holidays are coming up, as I've mentioned previously a few times now, and with them likely more freight and more adversity. Of course, there is a big difference between my workplace department right now, and my workplace department last Holiday.

Last year we had a pretty solid team. Everyone functioned as a much more well-oiled machine, and everyone was pretty familiar with their departments and was good at stacking pallets. This year, the majority of my department is made up of people who are new or relatively new. And everywhere I turn, I hear people talking about leaving our department - possibly before the Holidays even arrive.

It puts me in an awkward position. I have no intentions of leaving work yet, especially not with the Holidays on the way. I don't intend to stay there forever, but I am at least hanging in there and trying to perform well each day. I am not so sure that other people are doing the same.

I've talked to three coworkers who are all thinking of leaving. One is new. One has been there a long time. The other has been a pretty invaluable member of our team for months now and I think his absence would impact us worst of all.

The situation has me a bit angry, especially with the coworker who has been there a while. After all of this time, he just seems more and more selfish and lazy, and rude towards people who I would be respectful towards. His absence would probably impact us the least, but it bothers me because I've formed something of a work friendship with him.

I feel like I may have to play diplomat a bit to convince some people to stick around for now, and I guess no matter what I have no control over the Holiday rush.

~ Ovirew

Healthy???

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Since the first quarter of school ended, I've pretty much stopped thinking about school. Life goes on. And, I've found myself mostly tired and lazy, relishing in my days off with freedom. I did manage to clean and reorganize the living room a bit, which I'm happy with.

2014 has been a fast year. If I think about it real hard, it almost seems like I could still be living off of a meal I ate a few months ago. I keep wanting to say this year has been a blur, but then I can't deny that I've learned more at my job this year than in the previous one. (My former manager was absolutely wrong about that, when she said I wouldn't learn as much in the back room.)

A lot has happened this year. But I guess I still can't deny that it has seemed fast. I know that people always say time flies when you're having fun. I'm not sure that I agree with that. Maybe it just means, you aren't filling your time with enough adventure, and time seems to go fast because you're doing the same things over and over again. You can overcome time with patience, so this analogy makes much more sense to me.

The laziness and aimlessness has been a bother. Today, I wasted most of the day. I couldn't figure out what I wanted to do with it, and I just stayed within the confines of things I usually do. It also seems more and more that having a varied and plentiful amount of food around for mealtime can mean the difference between a confused and inspired mindset for myself. When I'm eating junk food and eating the same things over and over again, it can leave me essentially stuck in a pit.

I'm depressed over money. I don't really want to talk about that though. Maybe that has something to do with my current mood, too.

This morning I did download Forza 5 and was playing that for a bit. It is free on XBox One this weekend for Gold members. But I just seem to hate people who talk on the mic when they play games, and I suck at racing games so the experience has been a bit less than stellar.

The XBox One also launched in Japan yesterday, but had a horrendous launch. How can an entire country think the same way? It just baffles me.

Then you've got the ISIS and Russia shit going on.

I'm not sure where my focus should be right now. I will just try to get some sleep, and try to look forward to some sense of accomplishment at work.

~ Ovirew

The End of the Beginning

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Yesterday was my last day of the first quarter of school, ending my first three months of basic study at technical school.

In retrospect, I think it was the best day we ever had in that particular class. We delivered an excellent presentation, and I think it felt like a more proper goodbye to the class than we'd had in our other two classes. Moving forward, we will see less and less of the students going to class for different degrees.

Next quarter doesn't start for two weeks. That doesn't seem like a lot, but it's essentially half a month. I know all too well how easy it is to forget things, or to become used to things. I think it's important for me to maintain some momentum from this quarter so that I don't walk into next quarter unprepared.

Some changes will probably have to be made on my part for next quarter. We had the same teacher for all three classes last time, and we got used to his style of teaching and his leniency. We would sometimes bring food and drink into class during and after break, and calling out was usually not a big issue. With another teacher, things may be more professional and less laid-back - certainly, I am sure that is what will be expected of us in the field.

I will miss the first quarter. Sure I had my bad days, and bad weeks, and it took some adjusting just to get used to the school. But I had my fiancee there with me in every class so I wasn't going through things alone, and I had some pretty easy courses for the most part. I made a few friends. And there will likely be some adjusting between that and this.

More than anything I am worried about that math class. It is math that I have probably struggled the most with this quarter, and it is very time-consuming work. Indeed, I am still not caught up on all of my math work... But, I will try to get more done before the official due date. I am also nervous to find out who my new instructors will be.

Today is the last day of the month. Tomorrow, it will officially be September. Along with the second quarter, comes Fall. And as the holidays approach, work will get busier. So I am also worried about balancing work and school next quarter, and also the weather - however that may be.

But despite these worries, they seem fairly minor at the moment. I am looking forward to the remainder of this year. Besides, the bad weather probably won't come until Q3. The rest of this year should probably put me in a much better place for understanding my new career path.

~ Ovirew

Time and Threats

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This weekend was a busy one, for us geeks.

Firstly, the Playstation Network was hacked again, by a 'Distributed Denial of Service' attack. But as though that weren't enough, the hacking group also issues a bomb threat to the airplane the US CEO of Playstation was riding on.

The hacking group also went on to hack Blizzard's Battle.net, XBox LIVE, and a few other services throughout the evening.

The whole issue has me actually kind of angry. Angry that there are people out there who actually waste time like this, and cause trouble for others. And, more importantly...:

"Proof im online. Im on their administrative server. pic.twitter.com/t9Q4TMBafX"

They can't even spell worth a fuck!

The hacking is bad enough, but the bomb threats are much worse. This goes from being hacking with potential to steal information, to being hacking with a potential to steal information PLUS Terrorism.

I actually saw one user on Gamespot point out that the President of Sony is partly at fault for putting it out there what flight he would be on. Maybe that was a stupid move, but BULL SHIT is it his fault. It takes a dickless bastard who thinks he knows it all to make a bomb threat, real or not.

The sad thing is that these hacker groups are idolized and almost glorified by some people on the Internet. Along with this 'Anonymous' bullshit. Are these really people's heroes? Because honestly, I'd rather just have the whole Internet taken away and abandoned than have it used to cause more problems. That's where the term "Doing more harm than good" comes into play.

I think another thing that is bothering me, is that Playstation is the main target for this hacking. Should I be concerned because I like XBox? And what does it say about the people who are doing the hacking, that they are targeting video game services? Does it say that they are gamers, or that they hate video games? It's really a mindfuck question to think about.

But on a more positive note, Saturday was the premiere of the new season of Doctor Who.

I couldn't get into Matt Smith's Doctor as much, but since Peter Capaldi was announced for the role I've been anxious to see how he'd do. This episode finally gave Capaldi his chance to play as the Doctor, and give his take on the timelord.

I liked the episode, but to be fair, I feel like we didn't really get the chance to know Capaldi's Doctor yet. He spent much of the episode in a bit of personal stupor, trying to remember who he was while at the same time dealing with yet another alien threat.

The episode was good. Capaldi even proved that he can do comedy pretty well as the Doctor. And I think there were a few moments where the premiere really hit upon questions that this new Doctor is facing. But I get the impression now that it may take a few episodes before we really see Capaldi as "The Doctor", before he grows into the role.

Which is funny, because when I think about it, that's exactly what most of the previous actors who played the Doctor had to do.

The villain of the episode, the unnamed 'androids', were actually - from what I can tell based off of the episode - the 'clockwork' robots from the 2nd season of the new series. Apparently they had evolved to become more human than robot, and their appearances changed a lot as a result.

The biggest question is, of course, where the season will go from here. But the episode laid the foundations for what could potentially be a great new series and Doctor.

~ Ovirew

Coming Up: 20 XBO Games I'm Following

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The other week I talked a bit about XBox One games I may get through the end of the year, and it got me thinking about the long-term of games on the horizon for the system. Over the last couple of weeks I've started following more XBO games, and it feels like now is a good time to list all of those games, discuss their pros and cons, and take a look at their projected release dates. Keep in mind that not everything on this list is necessarily stuff I am going to purchase:

1. Super Time Force

Release Date: Out Now!

What is It?: A sidescrolling action shooter in the same vein as games like Contra, but with a time-bending mechanic like in Braid.

Pros: The game is $15, and that's about what I am willing to spend on another game at this point. It looks fun and funny, and sort of oozes that Sunset Overdrive vibe in a way. It seems interesting with the time mechanics. I guess it's the kind of game I might be in the mood for right now?

Cons: No demo. It could potentially be released on Games with Gold. I'm not sure how good the game is, or if it will hold my attention. Wonder if I will get my $15's worth.

2. Dead Rising 3

Release Date: Out Now!

What is It?: Sandbox-style game where you fight waves of zombies with every manner of weaponry, and odd costumes.

Pros: Less stressful timed events than in previous games. Lots of goofy fun. Tons of weird weapons and costumes to find and use. A nice linear, single-player adventure. Different gameplay modes.

Cons: I couldn't get into the first Dead Rising game for some reason. $50 is still a lot of money and I'd rather wait until it's a better bargain. It has DLC now, which I might feel pressed to buy. Not sure that I would have the necessary time for it right now.

3. Titanfall

Release Date: Out Now!

What is It?: Competitive online FPS game where you can battle inside of and outside of mech suits.

Pros: Will likely remain a popular FPS on the One for a while. Mechs are cool.

Cons: Can only have so many online FPS games at a time. No single-player. Has DLC. Made by Activision.

4. Kinect 2.0

Release Date: Out Now!

What is It?: Okay so technically it isn't a game, but the XBO Kinect is still a costly investment worth lending some consideration to. It is an alternative control method and another way of interacting with your XBO, and could see more integration in the future.

Pros: You can tell your XBO to do stuff. Doubles as a microphone for online games, and a webcam for Twitch streams. Recognizes motion and other things about the user.

Cons: The technology still isn't perfect. $100 give or take is still not pocket change. Not extremely necessary or useful right now.

5. Sunset Overdrive

Release Date: October 28, 2014

What is It?: An open-world game where you run around fighting mutants and hooligans in a big, fun city.

Pros: Great single-player adventure. Has drop-in, drop-out co-op. Plenty of customization options. No matter how it turns out, it is already a great effort. Getting it.

Cons: There are no cons major enough for me to be uninterested.

6. Costume Quest 2

Release Date: October 31, 2014 (Targeted)

What is It?: Sequel to the hit 2010 game, CQ2 follows the adventures of twins Reynold and Wren, and their other young friends as they go trick-or-treating on Halloween night. The sequel aims to give fans more of the good stuff, and improve upon the base laid by the first game. It will include new costumes, among other things.

Pros: Another must-have downloadable game for this Fall. Big fan of the first game, so I am looking forward to this one.

Cons: It is unclear how much the game will improve upon its predecessor. Very few details and little information have emerged thus far. Could potentially get pushed back, possibly to next year?

7. Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Release Date: November 11, 2014

What is It?: A re-release of the four main-series Halo games, along with the Anniversary edition of Halo 1 and the new Anniversary edition of Halo 2. Also includes the Nightfall story and access to the Halo 5 multiplayer Beta. And like every main series Halo multiplayer, modernized.

Pros: Tons of value. Updated Halo 2. I will get to finally play Halo 2 and 4. I can play Halo 1 and 3 again. Includes Nightfall feature. Lots of multiplayer options. Good for multiplayer, single-player and co-op. Getting it.

Cons: Not anything technically 'new' or next-gen.

8. Dragon Age: Inquisition

Release Date: November 18, 2014

What is It?: Third game in the DA series, it is the most ambitious of the games yet. You create your own unique character who teams up with various characters from the world of Thedas, and go on an adventure to set right the messy situation the world is in.

Pros: Looks fantastic. Possibly a vast improvement over the other two DA games. A great single-player adventure. Lots of replay value. (I apologize for the lame screenshot.)

Cons: Already getting it on PS4, but question whether I should get it for One also. Have not completed the first two games yet so I have no idea what the hell is going on. If I bought my own copy, it would likely not be for a while yet.

9. Ori and the Blind Forest

Release Date: Q3/Q4 2014

What is It?: A platformer with fantastic visuals. Players control a furry, white forest spirit named Ori, and go on an adventure to rescue his caretaker who raised him after it goes missing. Ori is joined by another being called Sein, who can help him fight enemies and grow stronger.

Pros: Gorgeous. Looks like a solid platformer with a heartwarming story.

Cons: Unclear release date.

10. Minecraft: XBox One Edition

Release Date: September 2014 (Likely pushed back.)

What is It?: Minecraft is coming to XBox One. As of 8/21/14, the PS4 version of Minecraft was found to be very buggy, and will likely be under development for some time to come. People suspect the XBO version will be in a similar situation.

Pros: Relaxing, familiar fun on the XBO. I might actually play Minecraft again if it's on XBO. Potential exists for actual updates to the game over the course of a console's lifetime.

Cons: There are much better games to play on XBO. I don't want to pay for Minecraft again. Minecraft is rarely updated and improved. I much prefer the PC version of Minecraft to the console versions, even though my PC apparently has trouble running it. My fiancee will likely buy it for the PS4 when it does come out for it.

11. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Release Date: February 24, 2015

What is It?: Based off of a hit series of novels, the Witcher games are a series of video games made by Polish developer Projeckt RED. The games folllow the exploits of a monster slayer named Geralt. Have built up quite the reputation in recent years among PC RPG fans.

Pros: Looks great. Deep single-player adventure.

Cons: Never played any of the Witcher games before.

12. Hover: Revolt of Gamers

Release Date: April, 2015

What is It?: A parkour game with 1st-and 3rd-person gameplay, in the same vein as Mirror's Edge and Jet Set Radio. You play as a group of rebels trying to stop an anti-video game cause.

Pros: Looks interesting. Nice character roster. Worlds look unique, and kind of Futurama-ish.

Cons: Could wind up being mediocre. Not sure if it will be my kind of game yet.

13. Quantum Break

Release Date: Q2 2015

What is It?: A television show and a video game. At the same time. The developers, who are known for their work on the Alan Wake games, created this game in a similar vein. But whatever happens in this game can influence what happens in the TV show, and vice-versa.

Pros: Pretty revolutionary idea. Adds variety to the XBox One library.

Cons: Could be QTE-fest. Not sure if I will like the story or the show. It's risky. No solid release date or air date.

14. Fable Legends

Release Date: 2015

What is It?: A new Fable game, this time without the series' trademark morality system. Set before the first game, you control a band of adventurers and go on co-op adventures with other players - and one player can play as the villain, setting traps and commanding monsters from a top-down perspective. Apparently players can also make their own characters, take on quests and jobs, and partake in pub games.

Pros: Looks like the most refreshing Fable game to come along in a while. 4-on-1 co-op seems fun. The cast of characters from E3 seem like cool party members. Beta inbound in a few months.

Cons: Still don't know a whole lot about the game. Is it multiplayer co-op and versus only? Not sure if it is anything like the other Fable games. No certain release date.

15. Cuphead

Release Date: 2015

What is It?: Painstakingly recreated in the style of old 30's cartoons, Cuphead is described as a run-and-gun shooter. It features continuous boss battles, and has a single and multiplayer mode.

Pros: One of the most ambitious games of all time, if just for the sake of its animation process. Looks great, looks fun. Most likely will get this game.

Cons: Release date is likely a ways off yet.

16. Below

Release Date: 2015?

What is It?: By Capybara Games, the makers of Super Time Force, comes their newest game. You play as a warrior exploring an underground cavern, and there is a heavy emphasis on difficulty and permadeath. It will also feature multiplayer.

Pros: Sounds good, especially if I like what Capybara did with Super Time Force.

Cons: Don't know a whole lot about it yet.

17. Space Engineers

Release Date: 2015?

What is It?: Sounds kind of like Minecraft, but more interesting and potentially more fun. You control an astronaut, and build a space station and attempt to stop asteroids, and stuff like that. Is available on the PC in alpha mode now.

Pros: Very interesting concept. Kind of like the XBO answer to No Man's Sky.

Cons: Maybe there isn't much to do in the game?

18. Halo 5: Guardians

Release Date: 2015

What is It?: The latest Halo game, wherein Master Chief is being sought for by a mysterious new Spartan named Locke.

Pros: Oh yeah!

Cons: Idk?

19. Scalebound

Release Date: 2015?

What is It?: Developed by Platinum Games, the guys behind Wii U's upcoming Bayonetta 2. Little is known about the game, other than you will be able to fight dragons alongside a dragon, and apparently technology and fantasy will be mixed.

Pros: Human-dragon partnership brings to mind fond memories of Drakengard.

Cons: I know NOT-SING!

20. Crackdown

Release Date: 2015?

What is It?: Spiritual successor to the original Crackdown, also sort of a retelling of the story of the original game. All we have so far to look at is a trailer, but it is awesome.

Pros: Right team in the right place to make the right sequel to Crackdown!

Cons: None.

So, there you have it. 20 games to consider on the horizon for the XBO. Which ones will turn out well and be worthy of my purchase? We shall see in time...

~ Ovirew

The Next Semester...

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Last night the realization hit me that we technically only have 1 1/2 weeks left in the first semester of college.

We had been talking about end-dates for a while, but I guess I hadn't realized how close everything was until just now. So literally I have 5 more classes, and then it's break-week, and then on to second semester. O.O;

I still have work to do for all of my classes between now and then. I have to put finishing touches on one project, I have to get some more information for another project and make progress on that... I have to study for a final test, I have to write up a short paper and upload it to a portfolio. ...And I need to finish 3 math lessons yet.

My fiancee is in a similar boat, though she has likely already written her portfolio paper and is behind on the math lessons. I think we will both make it through okay, but i'll need to make sure I'm on-task for all of this stuff going on. It won't be this cake-walk.

I got my schedule for the next semester. I'm excited about this semester, but also pretty nervous about it. In the first quarter we learned the basics, and had the same teacher for all of the classes, and my fiancee was in all of the classes. This time around we start learning more about the subject we are going to college for, I will likely have 2 or 3 entirely different teachers, and I have 2 classes with my fiancee and 2 classes with another classmate we befriended.

My schedule is different this time around. It will take a bit of getting used to. I no longer have Saturday classes, which is kind of nice - not gonna lie - though I still have classes on another morning since it's the only way I can stay full-time at work.

Tonight I will discuss the schedule changes at work. Hope that goes well.

My biggest concerns are how much more challenging things will get this quarter than last. And roadwork has started back up a lot on the highways and roads and everywhere, so I am wondering if that will impact things. Hopefully I won't have to contend with bad weather yet this quarter. And work is probably going to get busier as we near the Holidays.

This week I'm going to go to the State Fair, I'll spend more time with my woman, and try to get my other work finished in preparation for the new semester. I'll try not to think too much about it yet, but I will miss this semester.

~ Ovirew

Pre-Ordered, Game Outlook, Balancing Act

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Today I decided to pay off my pre-order:

Sunset Overdrive. I don't know what to say, the game just captivated me ever since I first heard about it however many odd months ago. It's a game I've been looking forward to, and probably the game I am most excited about at present. It represents refreshing, over-the-top, upbeat gaming.

This being the 'Day One Edition' of the game, it also features a few extras. You can dress up as Fizzie, there's a more powerful version of the Hi-Fi Gun, you get an impractical hammer weapon, and there's also a code that gets you a mutant-inspired costume and weapon.

To be honest though, I don't care if it's the Day One version, or just the regular game. Either way I'm looking forward to SO.

I'm not sure how much gaming I'll do over the 2 1/2 months between now and then, but I will be sure to make some time for Sunset Overdrive when it arrives.

I might not buy any other games this year. I have no idea. I don't want to say I won't, for certain, because then if I do I'll just look like a liar and an ass. But other games I'm interested in, which I may or may not buy through the end of 2014?:

I am still kind of interested in the downloadable title Super Time Force, but I remain on the fence about it since I have no idea whether Microsoft will just decide to add it to Games with Gold one of these months, given their recent additions. It's also difficult to make a decision about the game since it's $15, and has no demo.

At any rate, it looks like a better game than Crimson Dragon, and at least as good as Halo:Spartan Assault. So it's staying on my watch list. Might get it sometime, we'll see.

And of course, there's Dead Rising 3 out there. The game is now a bit cheaper, but $50 give or take is still quite a bit of mulah. I will probably wait the game out until it reaches a better bargain price.

I don't mean to sound like it's unreasonable for a game to cost $50 almost a year after launch. That's not too bad. But lots of other good games are starting to come out now, lots of high-profile games.

My thinking is that we will see some very decent deals on launch and launch window games come this Holiday Shopping Season.

I would like to get the Master Chief Collection this year, but if I can't then oh well. I'll toss it out there as a gift suggestion for my fiancee, but otherwise it's something that can wait.

By the time it comes out my current Gold subscription will be expired. Unless I renew it to keep playing PVZ, or something, I would be playing it solely for single-player. Of course, this would be a fantastic package of single-player content, alone.

But September... As we near September, and the final days of Summer, it quickly becomes time to start thinking about gift-shopping.

Juggling college and work has been a challenge for me the past few weeks. It wasn't so bad those first couple weeks of school, but as things went on it has become a bit more difficult. I worry about the two group projects I'm working on, and also the homework for one class which I am behind on. Maybe I will make it through this quarter, but what about the next?

The other war I'm fighting is the struggle to stop spending money with credit. It has turned into a real problem the past few weeks, as work and school have become more stressful. I keep wanting to buy snacks and sodas on breaks, which really adds up, and I got into a binge with fast food. It is hard to get things under control.

I might have to cut my losses and just do what I can to stay afloat in all aspects of my life right now. Rew is getting spread thin.

~ Ovirew

Gamescom, and Competition

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Lately Gamescom has been happening, kind of crept up out of nowhere this year. I feel like, in all honesty, the event wasn't as big this year as it was last year. Or maybe that's just the way it feels. After all, I didn't really follow the event these past few days like I did last year. Sony fans seem to be in agreement that they won this one. Maybe they did. I won't back down from my feelings that Microsoft delivered on a much better E3 than Sony did this year, but maybe Gamescom wasn't a strong showing for the XBox brand in 2014. That said, the fact remains that we already knew pretty much what to expect for the remainder of 2014, and that's what counts right now.

If possible, I'm hoping to pay off my pre-order for Sunset Overdrive next paycheck, just pay the whole thing off. I would like to make better use of my One by the new year, and after all it is the big game I've been looking forward to on the system. PVZ GW is fun, but SO is the main dish. It is what could truly define the beginning of this console gen for me.

I've also, slowly, began to give thought to buying a Kinect to enhance the One experience. I guess a lot of it is curiosity, wanting to know what this technology is capable of at present. How far has it come since the 360? Hopefully a ways. A lot of it also now stems from my interest in computers and college work. And seeing if this could make the whole XBox One experience more fun to navigate with.

I've become a bit more defensive about XBox as a brand recently. With Microsoft facing the problems its facing, potential bankruptcy, and the backlash from fans over the One that still persists... It faces a long uphill battle to regain momentum in the console war. I feel more passionate about the One than I did the PS4 just one year ago. I think maybe a part of that is because Microsoft is now the underdog, and now I have the opportunity to make my voice on the matter heard more, rather than being lost amongst the crowd of millions of people with a similar opinion. I think it also comes back to my firsthand disappointment with the PS4, and my longtime lean towards logic over style.

I guess some competitiveness has emerged from a friendly difference in opinions with a fellow classmate, who is a die-hard Apple supporter and Microsoft shunner. I think my classmate is very knowledgeable and raises good points about Macs and their architecture. I think there are a lot of benefits to the Apple way. However, I also see the benefits in the PC way. And I tend to still favor the PC hands-down. But maybe different people have different preferences, and there really is no 'best' anything. Maybe there isn't one ultimate computer or game system, but rather, many different takes on that concept.

Funnily, my last blog saw us at the start of August. We are now just about halfway through the month. Dang! I'm also fast-approaching the end of my first semester of college. I'm a little nervous about that.

~ Ovirew