The NES Classic Is Fun But Flawed Machine

Thanks to Nintendo re-releasing the NES Classic mini-console, the Shmees were able to get our hands on one, and we have been having a lot of fun with it.  The thirty games on the console contain most of the classics you would want, and the emulation does a great job of upscaling the games for modern TVs, so everything looks the way you remember.  Instead of some stretched out blurred nightmare.  The menu is simple, and now you can save any game on the console, which is nice.

However, not everything is perfect.  The cord for the controller that comes with the NES Classic is waaaay too short, so you will have to get an extension or invest in a wireless controller.  Plus it only comes with one of them, but the biggest issue is that there is no way to add games to the system.  If you were hoping to play Ninja Turtles or Metal Gear, you are out of luck, unless you hack the little box.  The included games are the only thirty games the NES Classic will ever play.

It is baffling in the era of the internet that there isn’t a game store for this machine.  Sure, Nintendo is already making a ton of money off of the NES Classic, but think how much more it could make selling branded SD cards for storage and extra games for $10 a pop.  They would be rolling in dough.  This is even truer for the SNES Classic that only has twenty-one games, and none of them is Chrono Trigger (NOT EVEN ONE!).

For $60 the NES Classic is a good deal, and a ton of fun to play with.  Even if the nostalgia for some of the games does tend to wear off.  It is just a shame they couldn’t make a controller cable more than four feet long, and have a way for us to add more games to complete our NES era collection.

With The Division, Ubisoft Continues To Have Problems With Tone

A while ago I complained that Ghost Recon: Wildlands has a tone issue.  It is a very serious setting, but in all actuality it is a co-op version of Grand Theft Auto: Bolivia, but with higher powered weapons.  The Division has the same problem: New York is a wasteland after almost being wiped out by a bio-terror attack, and people are struggling to survive.  Which is a great setting for a third person looter similar to Borderlands, but with cover based shooting.  I mean someone has to go in and murder all those people that are looting and then take all their stuff for themselves.

The Division is all about getting better items so you can shoot bigger bad guys and then in turn get better items.  All the while your character gets more and more ridiculous.  I mean look at this majestic neon trash Mounty:

She has matching neon striped guns and backpack, with purple headphones, and not seen, yellow shoes that she got from giving a sick homeless person a can of pop (like in the real world, the only reason to help the needy is to get cool clothes).  She might look odd now, but trust me, she could be crazier, and yes that icon by her gun does mean she has a turret that shoots taser bullets.

Listen, The Division is a fun game, and looter genre has a great loop.  Getting guns and gear with bigger numbers and cooler abilities is very fun and addicting.  I am just tired of Ubisoft making these super serious worlds and putting silly games in them.  If you are going to have a looter in New York why not do a future version of The Warriors, and then have a bunch of crazy themed gangs (The Division’s flame thrower wielding Cleaners not withstanding).  That way the player will at least feel good about what he is doing in a trashed version of the Big Apple, but no, we get a sad and haunting story mixed with zany gameplay, again.  Ubisoft’s games are good, but they just need to stop trying to be so serious.

Shmee Inspects Hearts Of Stone In The Witcher 3!

Apparently some time ago I purchased The Witcher 3: Hearts of Stone.  I don’t remember doing this.  I do remember getting Blood and Wine so that I could tool around the Duchy of Toussaint (still need to finish it), but at some point Hearts of Stone must have been cheap as well.  Which is good, because while there is not a ton of content in Hearts of Stone, it is one of The Witcher 3’s better stories, and that is saying something.

The expansion starts how most Witcher quests do, with a job: To take down a ‘frog prince’ that is eating foolish women in the sewer system of Oxenfurt.  The man who gives Geralt this missive is Olgierd von Everec, who is a terrible human being, but soon after dealing with this ‘frog’ you are roped in to granting Olgierd three wishes by the mysterious Mirror Master.  Every wish is more difficult to grant than the last.

It is a fun ten-ish hour quest, and you will meet some of Garalt’s old friends, as well as make some new ones, but by far the best part is figuring out what is going on with Olgierd and Mirror Master.  It is strange to say the least.  Is Mirror Master some sort of djinn?  Just some powerful jerk?  And why is Olgierd, the willfully evil curmudgeon that he is.  Depending on your choices you will figure all this out.

The bosses they have added for Hearts of Stone are some of the best too.  The ‘frog prince’ really changes up how most fights work, and there is a wraith towards the end that really threw me for a loop for a while.  Garalt will also get a ton of cool new gear, and depending on your last choice of the expansion, two of the best swords in the game.

All in all Hearts of Stone is a great addition to The Witcher 3, and well worth the ten plus hours you are going to put in to it, but it isn’t a transformative experience, so if you didn’t like The Witcher 3, you will not like this.  It is just more of what made the game great, and that is all I wanted.

Ummm I Guess The Rest Of E3 2018 Was On Cruise Control…

I watched most of E3’s press conferences yesterday, and I was not overly impressed.  Square-Enix should have just skipped it, their 30 minute presentation pretty much only announced a new Dragon’s Quest game, and Ubisoft hit cut and paste from last year.  Which left Sony, and while Sony’s show was at least interesting, and it had this awesome trailer:

The rest of it was stuff we expected or that we had seen before, but with Sony’s amazing production values that at least made the show worth watching.

I am not sure what happened yesterday, last years pressers were so good, but this year, barring Microsoft and Bethesda on Sunday, the shows could have just been boiled down to a couple of new trailers.  It would have saved us all a bunch of time that is for sure.  Oh well, at least there are a ton of good games on the horizon, and I can’t wait to play them.

Stuff From The E3 2018 Kickoff Weekend!

2018 E3’s Pre-shows started this weekend, and for the most part they were pretty good, with the exception of EA who pretty much just said they were sorry for being greedy jerks, Battlefield would also have Battle Royal, and Respawn was making a Star Wars game with Jedi in it.  This left the weekend to Microsoft and Bethesda.  They did not disappoint.

Microsoft kicked off the show with Halo: Infinity:

Then ended with Cyberpunk 2077!

What was between those two massive trailers was non-stop game announcements.  Most of them were not exclusive, but the message was clearly, “We have plenty of games to play!”  Other big things were that yes they are indeed working on a new Xbox despite rumors, as well as a streaming service, and that they bought four studios (Ninja Theory!!) and are creating a new one.  Also Forza Horizons 4 looks amazing!

After all of that hotness it was up to Bethesda, and while they had less games to show, they were all pretty amazing.

New standalone expansions for Prey and Wolfenstein, Doom 2 Eternal (AKA Hell on Earth), more Rage 2 with excellent digs at Walmart Canada, more info about the biggest Fallout ever 76 (AKA Fallout: The Division), and they ended it with a one two punch of STARFEILD!


Of course they said Starfield is a next generation experience, and that The Elder Scrolls 6 doesn’t come out until after that, so who knows when they are coming out, but with Microsoft hinting about the Xbox Two being around the corner, we could see Starfield late next year and TES:6 in 2020.  However, it may be a safe bet to add an extra year to each of those games, so 2020 and then 2021 respectively.

I will be watching what goes down today, but Sunday was a good day for games, and I am expecting the usual fireworks from Sony, so today should be just as good if not better.