Video Wednesday

Note: This was originally planned to be uploaded last night but thanks to some numpty digging through a cable in Sydney, Australia, it impacted on internet in New Zealand, meaning it took hours and hours for the video to actually upload. Things were sorted at 3.30am this morning, apparently.

I’m never going to be a popular YouTuber or Twitch streamer. I’m too old for that sort of thing. I’m an old man, don’t you know?

I don’t have the skills like this young whippersnappers to show-off my gaming chops live to an audience around the world (my ageing old man reflexes means I’d embarrass myself more than anything)  and I don’t have the confidence (or time) to devote to a channel full-time (I have a mortgage to pay off and a trip to Canada with my family later this year to fund).

I’m up with the times, though, and despite having a background in print and online writing, I can foot it with the young players by posting some of my gaming footage on this blog from what I hope will become a regular feature.

The footage will be either console or PC, depending on the game, and it’ll either be something that I’m reviewing at the time or just a game that I’m playing. At the moment I’m making my way through Yakuza 0 (while also playing Yakuza 6: The Song of Life)  but some of the fight finishing moves just lend themselves to videos.

So without further ado, here is a couple of short (ish) videos of Yakuza 0, some hours in where hero Kazuma Kiryu has to take the fight to some enemy yakuza. Enjoy.

Let me know what you think of the video. Is this something you’d be keen to see more of?

NB: I’ll look at posting some Yakuza 6 footage, as well as some of me playing pirate in Rare’s Sea of Thieves (despite not really being a multiplayer gamer and if I can actually find something interesting to do). I’m also hopeful of playing the next God of War game so I’ll definitely post footage of that. If you want me to, of course, dear reader).

Age of Empires The Definitive Edition: Blast from the past

As far as real-time strategy games go, I spent countless hours playing the original Age of Empires when it came out God knows how many years ago (Mr Google tells me it was 20 years ago!). It was one of the first RTS games I played when I first got a PC, along with Westwood’s Red Alert.

Fast forward to 2018, and Microsoft Studios have released an Age of Empires for a new age of gamer (or those older gamers who hark back to their youth) but is it the Definitive Edition? I’m not so sure: Sure, it captures the magic of the original game but it doesn’t do anything revolutionary to the genre.

For those that aren’t familiar with Age of Empires, players start the game with a civilisation and have to grow it, researching new things and conquering other civilisations as you move through the ages. As with most RTS games of this ilk, there’s a lot of micro-management: Making sure you have enough resources to build new structures, enough food to feed the troops and enough soldiers and weapons to defend your clan from invading factions.

Campaigns in Definitive Edition include Egyptian, Roman, Japanese and Babylonian factions but fundamentally, they’re all the same basic idea with the same end goal: Grow your civilisation.

While the graphics and audio are crisper than the original (the game really does look great, boasting  4K visuals and much improved audio), sadly, some of the game’s wonky AI path finding has managed to sneak into the new game: I lost count how many times a villager just stood around waiting for the next command rather than continue the task he had been allocated until I asked him to stop.

One thing that might hamper the game is that it’s only available for Windows 10 on Microsoft’s store (so no Steam), something that might limit its market.

Age of Empires Definitive Edition will appeal to gamers who want to re-play the original on modern hardware but for RTS fans wanting something to really get their teeth into, they might need to look elsewhere.

Bayonetta 2: A frantic, over-the-top hack ‘n slash – and I love it

It’s games like Bayonetta 2, now making an appearance on the Nintendo Switch, that make the Switch my go-to gaming platform right now.

Bayonetta 2 (like the original Bayonetta) is a fast-paced, frantic and over-the-top hack-n-slash (with some truly OTT finishing moves) and, importantly, it’s bloody fun.Gun-toting, magic-wielding, witch-tastic fun fighting against angry, giant angels (that explode majestically into bright read clouds when defeated).

It’s hard to believe that the series, from the mind of Japanese developer Hideki Kamiya   is almost 10 years old but, you know what?  It feels so right on the Nintendo Switch, both in portable and docked mode.I captured a lot of footage using the capture feature on the Switch, which lets you share it on social media, but, sadly, you can’t share it via any other medium (at least, no way I know of). That’s a shame as I’d like to show you just how great this game is.

Bayonetta has already appeared on a Nintendo console before, the Wii, but it didn’t sell well. It deserves to do well on the Switch as the combat is just so fluid, the game world so crazy and the lead character so charismatic that it just needs to do well on the Switch. Sure, I tend to button mash at times and don’t really get to grips with all the combos like I should, but, man, it’s just so much fun.And so over-the-top. And so frantic. And so chaotic. And I love it. A lot.

I don’t really have much else to say about Bayonetta 2 on the Switch, to be honest. I also downloaded the original Bayonetta but, to be honest, I’m having too much fun with Bayonetta 2 to really want to re-visit the original again.Maybe when I’m finished with Bayonetta 2. Maybe.

A big thanks to Nintendo Australia for providing me with a download code for Bayonetta/Bayonetta 2.