One For The Road

How ’bout them Game Awards? Guardians of the Galaxy taking home the surprise “Best Narrative” award. And It Takes Two taking home Game of the Year. Most impressive.

The wife and I plan to play this game on her Twitch channel during our couple’s gaming nights. (Typically Tuesdays). twitch.tv/cro0kedj. We played through Morkredd last time, and I have the VOD downloaded and plan on editing that into a fun “highlights” video for Youtube.

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What I’m Drawing
Speaking of the wife… she said I’m not allowed to draw anymore Gwen Stacy. And I see her point. 15 variations is a bit much. I’ll be sure to draw more next year though 😉 .

In the meantime, I drew Tracer, from the game Overwatch, to add to my collection of those characters. So far I’ve drawn Widowmaker, Moira, Brigitte, Mercy, Sombra, D.Va and now Tracer.

Colour version coming soon.

As I continually add and reference my art, I should probably just create a dedicated section for it. With proper folders. Project for the new year.

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What I’m Playing
Played Unpacking for the achievements. 1000G in about an hour. A little bit of Dirt 5. Rain on your Parade has DLC launching next week which I’ll be playing through. Played a little bit Halo Infinite Multiplayer, but have not tried the campaign yet, now that it has released. It’s on the short list but after recently starting up GTA 3 and Watch Dogs Legion, those two are my immediate priority before starting anything new.

Watch Dog has been pretty fun. It is definitely a nice looking game, and I’m getting the hang of the team setup, where you have multiple agents to pick from. Its kind neat actually because they all just roam around the city, and act almost like fast travel points if you don’t mind swapping.

In the co-op zone we’ve started up Borderlands 3. I’ve always loved the Borderlands games. Played 1 and 2 thoroughly, including the DLC. The Pre-Sequel I didn’t quite finish. But 3 has been been pretty fun so far in co-op.

And a huge bonus: it comes with a Photo Mode. And not just any photo mode. One that plays in-real time with your online co-op buddies.

Also tried out the Matrix Awaking Unreal Engine 5 tech demo that was announced at the game awards. It’s kind neat. An impressive showcase of what the new UE5 can do. Obviously limited in scope. Its an open world city where you can walk around and drive showing off the lighting and damage body engine, but not much beyond just looking pretty. The initially opening sequent is mostly just quick-time events to show off the particle effects and visuals, but it is all on rails to hide the limitations of the demo.

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What I’m Reading

Crossover #10
Dark Knights of Steel #2
Soul Plumber #3
The Walking Dead Deluxe #28


Quieter week this week on the comics front as I actually only got 2/4 of my expected pull due to Diamond delays getting the indie books in. Hopefully they’ll arrive for next week.

Achievement of the Week
Borderlands 3: Tips Appreciated (15G)
Tipped Moxxi

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More holiday shopping on the horizon, and a few more weeks of work. A couple more snowfalls and Spider-Man: No Way Home to look forward to as well. Festive times.

Happy Holidays.

G309,401
iRogan

Peeker’s Disadvantage

“Back smacked” with a ton of games and gameplay this past week, as we gotta talk about Forza Horizons 5’s awesomeness, GTA Trilogy Definitive Edition’s not-so-awesomeness, Halo Infinite shadow dropped, and maybe a touch of Watch Dogs Legion; so let’s just jump right into it.

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What I’m Playing

Halo Infinite

Halo Infinite multiplayer dropped on us this week, releasing early on the Xbox 20th Anniversary. This was just the Multiplayer component and not the campaign. And its basically the beta, only a full release where the developers are asking the players to treat it like a beta as they are still ironing out bugs and server load. They are expecting the player count to drastically increase around the proper launch date of Dec 8, but wanting to surprise players too. I’m sure EA is none-too-pleased to have the early competition to BF2042.

I guess because the game hasn’t officially launched, Xbox is like “no achievements for you!”. But also, sure, you can have achievements.

600G are included with the multiplayer component, 50 or so, so I’ve been burning through those as I can. A chunk are training/tutorial related, and then customization, and then gameplay.

From what I’ve read, a large chunk can actually be unlocked when playing on the bot list lobbies, making them significantly easier to acquire. I won’t argue that.

Impressions: It’s fine. It’s Halo. It’s what you’d expect.

Forza Horizons 5

As you’d expect, not reinventing the wheel here, Forza Horizons is great. Another meaningful step forward for the franchise but nothing new, aside from the locale. It is amusing to me, to see that they were able to finally pull off the “seamless multiplayer integration” which they touted for 4, but weren’t actually able to pull off.

Impressions: The game is beautiful and plays amazingly, performance mode or quality mode.

Grand Theft Auto Trilogy – The Definitive Edition

Definitely not definitive. But still fun. Still a nostalgic trip back in time. From my initial experience, aside form the awful rain effects (since fixed), it actually looks quite good. The lighting is impressive in the evenings, standing amongst the vehicle headlights. And the game is just as quirky and goofy as I recall. Currently playing through III.

I’m just going to tackle these as a campaign playthrough, and not going to go after 100% completion. Just focus on the bulk of the achievements, but I don’t need to find all the hidden packages or anything. Ain’t no one got time for that!

“What are you plans for the weekend?

Well, I have a family… so I don’t make plans.”

Watch Dogs Legion

Watch Dogs Legion? Really? Where did this come from? Well… see… I beat ME: Shadow Of War, and needed another open-world game to fill the void. I wasn’t ready to tackle Assassin’s Creed Valhalla yet. So… Watch Dogs? Right? But GTA is open world. Yeah I get it, but I started this before that came out and now I have two on-going and I don’t want to talk about it.

Watch Dogs Legion has been pretty fun. I’m not too sure how I feel about the “no main protagonist” angle, but it works with the whole DedSec movement; No leader, No Problem, etc.

They brought back Aidan Pierce as a paid-for, playable character, so I suppose I could just play the whole campaign with him, but he also has his own expansion, so we’ll leave him to that.

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It’s unfortunate that with the recent batch of releases, quite a few games on my list have fallen by the wayside. Far Cry New Dawn, The Ascent, Back 4 Blood, Surgeon Simulator 2. Wreckfest and Dirt 5. Hell, even GTA V was popular all over again amongst my group for all of twelve minutes.

This is why I don’t like starting too many things at once, as it’s so easy to just forget and move on. Sad, really.

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Achievement of the Week

Halo Infinite. You guessed it.

Working from home has its advantages.

You can drop everything at 12pm, nuke some food and load into some afternoon Halo.

It’s even better when your friends are also working form home. Talk about needy.

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Be Good
-iRogan

I Think They Like Me

A quiet week with little progression. But some weeks call for a little down time.

Games: We played some more Aliens: Fireteam Elite this week. We’ve passed the halfway way point of the story. One of our players has already progressed through the story once, unlocked the final character and levelled up quite significantly. I think for this reason alone we’ve been able to make steady progress without much grinding, as the game ramps up the difficulty with some pretty serious wave-based survival sections. The gameplay has been enjoyable, but from a story perspective, it’s mostly told through radio chatter and the initial loading screen before the level starts. So there’s not really a lot to absorb and it’s easy to tune out.

AOTW: Achievement of the week goes to, unsurprisingly, A:FE. I always find achievements that ask you to fail in some way to be kind of funny. “I Think They Like Me” asks you to get pounced or grappled 5 times in the same mission. Getting pounced or grappled takes a pretty good chunk of health off, so without help this can easily end your run quick. Early on in the game this is quite doable organically, as you are running down the halls a large alien can be waiting for you around a corner. Later on, with the right sensors you can see the aliens waiting in advance so its easy to avoid. I intentionally went for this, running ahead of our group so I would get pounced knowing my team was there to back me up. It was also a failed run anyways as we were not adequately prepared for the final sections of the level and got overrun.

Comic: Outside of playing video games I made a little more progress in my Stranger Than Friendship webcomic. The latest comic is focusing on Surgeon Simulator and the results are pretty funny, if I do say so myself. Here’s a little preview, should be able complete it this weekend as I’m currently not at home:

“Cruz, where are your clothes?”

Drawtober: As I mentioned above, this week I won’t actually be at home as I’m house-sitting. This has put a twist into my drawtober plans as I will not in fact be able to get as ahead as I wished. I will share my first week’s post though, which I will be publishing on Friday. And then every Friday going forward I will be showing off a new coloured piece. Hopefully. That’s the plan.

Colour gradient tests
Looks good in print.

Anyways, a small update this week.

Be good. Stay safe.

-iRogan

Working Myself To Death

The game is Black The Fall. A title like Limbo or Inside. Side-scroller puzzle game with no dialogue. Only many traps and many deaths. 

The Achievement is appropriately titled “work yourself to death”. At the start of the game you have to jump (press and hold “X”) on the bicycle that opens the door to reach to the next area. Instead of advancing, just ride the bike. Forever. 

No problem. 


-iRogan

Achievement Hunt – Ben-Hur

Ben-Hur – Free Easy 1000G

Ben-Hur doesn’t succeed as a game or as an advertisement for the film. In fact, all it’s really good for is some easy achievement points.

Released before the theatrical release of the new Ben-Hur movie, the game boasts a season full of chariot racing. But this “season” comprises of only 3 races, each race one lap longer than its predecessor.

I figured it might be fun to jump into for a bit to laugh, and see how bad it is. Also see if I could unlock a few achievements along the way. And I wasn’t disappointed.

In what can be described as an achievement sprint, I captured all 10, 1000G, in an hour. I have a time-lapse video below to show the progress:

So if easy achievements are what you’re after, and you have an hour to spare, look no further than Ben-Hur. I have the achievements listed below, and how long through my 1 hr 8 minute playthrough it took me to earn them.

  • Falcon’s Swiftness – 50g (0m:57s)
    Finish a lap in under 120 seconds
  • Falcon’s Ascension – 75g (0m:57s)
    Finish a lap in under 60 seconds.
  • Spoils of the Victor – 50g (5m:37s)
    Destroy an enemy chariot.
  • Mercury’s Touch – 100g (8m:08s) 
    Finish first in a race.
  • Mercury’s Gale – 150g (16m:14s)
    Finish first in a race, without using a health potion.
  • Gauntlet of Might – 50g (20m:00s)
    Destroy an enemy chariot, with a whip attack.
  • Executioner’s Touch – 100g (34m:35s)
    Destroy all enemy chariots, in a single race.
  • Ben-Hur’s Redemption – 150g (37m:01s)
    Complete a season of racing.
  • Emperor’s Gauntlet – 75g (50m:34s)
    Destroy 5 x enemy chariots, with whip attacks.
  • Emperor’s Glory – 200g (1h:08m:42s)
    Destroy all the enemy chariots, in every race of a season.

-iRogan