What Bungie hasn’t done & I appreciate.

tbodgagnon

I have been outspoken on Destiny.

I made it clear that of the limited info released I have gotten literally NO INTEREST WHATSOEVER in it. I do not like magic in games and with the capes characters wear, I regularly joke its Halo meets Harry Potter.

Now after seeing ‘The Devils Lair’ 7 minute game play video of Destiny, I might have even LESS than zero interest n the game, if that’s possible. The flowing capes as the characters run, because in the future capes are so important for.. er.. hmm… I mean… oh boy… maybe…. Dunno.. storing recipes or matches maybe? Okay so then the trailer has the magic spells and lights zapping opponents more effectively than I saw when the shit went down in the last Harry Potter movie at Hogwarts. Or was it the feeling that Bungie had left Halo to do different things and effectively from what I saw in the Dragons Lair, had made a Halo feeling rehash with brighter colors and better graphics. So Bungie left Halo to copy Halo…

I mean good lord, when they made the Star Wars prequels, I remember seeing a documentary where the costume designers decided to go crazy with the costumes because the original movies they were too ‘conservative’. So the bright red guns and flowing gowns, Oh geez.. SORRY.. I mean capes might have us seeing Bungie going down the Jar Jar path.

BUT LET ME GIVE BUNGIE CREDIT IN ONE PLACE THEY ARE DUE.

Hype… or lack of it generated by Bungie propaganda, is something I appreciate.

Let’s look at Titanfall, where we knew very little about the game until it came out, when you compare it to so many campaigns other manufacturers go through prior to release. Bungie is right now going down a similar path, not as much in the dark but not showing all its cards. Work on the game, not the self promotion!

Sure, they will no doubt have a great E3 show with Destiny. But it’s releasing this year, so that goes without saying. But it’s not building up a supergame that can only be a disappointment like Halo 4 was, which for me wasn’t a question of a bad game.. but more like the hype Halo 4 helped generate about itself that made it IMHO only inevitable to be a let down.

I’m thinking like the movie trailer that shows you all the great parts to the point where when you see the movie, it just fills in the boring parts NOT shown in the trailer. You think “I gotta see this.. imagine what they DIDN’T show in trailer!” Come on.. admit it.. we have all fallen for this.

Now of course some people might say “Bungie aren’t releasing a ton of info because it sucks.” While I honestly think what I have seen of it amounts to a steaming pile of dog crap on a icky cold morning, I think Bungie is being smart. Bungie doesn’t have to be MacDonalds spending so much money on advertising despite the fact they have so many dedicated fans hooked to the point they don’t need to spend a penny on promos.

People expect too much from Bungie/Destiny, and no matter what, at least some people will be let down by it because they fell victim to the hype. But at least it won’t be hype Bungie themselves built up if this in fact is the case. At the very least not the bulk of it.

Now unlike Titanfall, the relative tightly lipped campaign form Bungie isn’t as risky. As aforementioned Bungie has the fanbase and track record they can pull this thing off more than Respawn could. I do respect Bungie for so far taking this approach. Sure from E3 on well get no doubt a ton of hype, but that to me is an acceptable sell to clients so close to release.

I’ll stand behind my dislike of Bungie which has also been generated by hype from its fans who don’t think it can do any wrong. I have a few blogs where I point out they are not as flawless as a lot of their fanboys build them up to be, they started Halo down its current path (the 343 gets all the heat for) and showed that in the end they are a company there to make money, not service the fans foremost when they canned Marty O’Donnell.

I’ll still keep hating on Destiny, but Bunge I thank you, at least you aren’t throwing the game in my face like it’s the second coming of Christ… which the last 3 versions of COD and Halo 4 blatantly told me they were… well pretty well the marketing team told me.. but at least they didn’t dress them up in capes.

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The TBoD Podcast – 54 – Unleash the Dragon

Howdy chaps and chapesses,

Here we are again. Another week older, but probably not any wiser; you be the judge.

This week we talk:

XBONE price drops

Virtuix Omni secures funding

Playstation Plus free games for May

New Watch Dogs gameplay video

Civilization: Beyond Earth – wowzers…

Four player narrative coop announced for AC: Unity

Minecraft real-world application awesomeness

More departures from Naughty Dog

Our Indie game this week was Franchise Hockey Manager (chosen by Crinbot, obviously)

As ever, get in touch on Facebook, Twitter, or comment below.

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X-Bone Was Like, Totally Gnarley Vision…

CLEARS THROAT PUTS ON BEST VALLEY GIRL IMITATION: “It’s like, OMG, I’m like liking what I was sure I would like totally wouldn’t like.”

tbodgagnon

So there I was May 21st 2013, the fallout of fecal matter from the s***storm that was the Xbox One announcement still raining down.

I was amongst the unimpressed, albeit not to a big degree as some, yet miffed enough to post the following pic on my Twitter feed.

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Not my best graphical work, but it got my gut feeling out.

The fact is perhaps only the old timers remember the new Coke fiasco. I was in High School at the time and remember that this move got me addicted to coffee. Now history will show that ‘Classic Coke’ was announced not 3 months after New Coke was launched. Certainly there are similarities on the original XBone launch , the backlash and 180 by execs/decision makers and what we got in the end.

However the similarities end, for me personally, on that now a nearly a year later I actually think some of the XBone retracts were things now I really wish we had. Yeah, I freaked to get rid of them a year ago… and NO I don’t feel like having a new Coke.. not since 1985 anyhow.

As a refresher, here is the 62 minute launch video

Here are some things I now have 180ed on that XBone pitched to us and we got them to reverse to varying degrees. In short, I don’t think they were bad ideas any more!

    1: IT’S AN ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM!

    This really rubbed me the wrong way. Like so many others, I thought after seeing the video that gaming was taking a backseat to TV, videos ect. I wasn’t too hopeful that the gaming jump would be that great.

    Yet here I am, the owner of a XBone and I honestly love the total package this machine does bridging gaming to TV, movies and even sound system.
    Going back and forth to home screen to tie it all in is the kicker for me. I mean outside the TV you could do it on the 360, but not swapping back and forth as smoothly as the XBone does it.

    Also with the Blue Ray on the console, I scrapped my stand alone player and can finally hook up my optical audio cable and get surround sound for gaming.

    Integration of Twitch and Skype brings my PC into the true home entertainment system.

    Funny, because when I relook at the video from last year, it said that it would do this and I just ignored that because I wanted game stuff. Why? I don’t know, because there is no question the games I have played on XBone are definitely next gen in looks and performance. My outrage at the lack of games emphasis blinded me to this entertainment feature I now love.

    2: KINECT

    Now that I set here and think, wow.. yeah I hated the idea of this as well. I have no use for Kinect, I mean I haven’t even had a single inkling to get one for the 360 for any game or feature.

    Now I didn’t then nor now give a rats behind if by XBone Kinect is staring at me all the time. If somehow its streaming me secretly to someone in MS HQ as I play Titanfall in my underwear then so be it.. honestly I don’t care.

    I was upset that because Kinect was in all units, I would be paying more for the overall package and wouldn’t use the Kinect.

    Yet I really love the speech and gesture feature in operating the X Bone. It’s not a novelty, it’s a cool function I use nearly every time I turn it on.. which includes HOW I turn it on.

    Searching for things with Bing (I prefer Google on PC, but for X Bone it works well) is also cool using voice.

    I am surprised Kinect is working so well and has so many features I use. To think that they’ll only be working on more is interesting.

    For the first time ever as well, I hope games I love, like Halo will feature more Kinects use so I can continue to enjoy.

    Also helps me keep the living room tidy so the spies at MS enjoy the underwear shows more!

    3: RESELLING GAMES/DIGITAL DOWNLOADS

    I actually had NO issue whatsoever with the idea of not allowing me to sell old games or buy second hand ones. Honestly people either do or don’t do this. I am a ‘Don’t do this’ person on reselling games. Call me a games hoarder if you want, but I like to keep games and see them physically in a collection.

    In fact my beef with the whole ban on reselling games that originally proposed by MS (but then scrapped) was the idea it was clear we were going down path to have only digitally downloaded versions of games.

    Now not only do I own the Titanfall X Bone bundle, but my second 360 was a Reach bundle. (Although I already had a hard copy of Reach I bought for old 360.) So 2 of the games I have played the most were both full digital downloads.

    Last week Connor wanted a ‘Plants Vs Zombies : Garden Warfare’ & I actually said, “Lets get digital copy.” Yes, I have changed my game hoarding ways.

    It is more convenient then having to get up and get disk, it means you don’t have to leave home to get it, and with a larger hard drive than the 30 GB I had for years with the 360, I don’t have to worry about space as much as I used to.

    In fact it was concerns on space to dl a bunch of games that I realize this digital dl only path irked me. Again, I was told there was a lot of space on the new console.. yet like so many others ran for the pitchfork.

    I want to say it is better for environment too.. but that sounds like a hippy thing to say.

    Back to the resell of games, I don’t want to weigh in on that too much, I mentioned I don’t like to buy used games, but I also feel bead because people make a living in that corner of industry.. but then again, milk men were honest workers, but just aren’t needed in today’s world.

    I also REALLY hope the now backburnered idea that we could share games with friends we purchased but they didn’t gets green lighted in the near future.

    4: XBONE ALWAYS ON/CONNECTED TO NET

    Like many, I was a victim of RROD, so my sole concern was wear and tear on machine.

    Like a computer is goes dormant, updates happen overnight/out of view and the box is not hot at all and is performing well. In February my concerns pretty well were gone. No reports of overheating or any horror stories at all I found on this topic.

    Now it didn’t take hours of my life wasted when I turned on my 360 to get updates. But really, it’s nice to say “Xbox on” have it boot up and not have to see installation/update needed on anything, were barely 6 months into launch of new console, there are PLENTY of updates, yet it has been seamless!

    I also see my internet usage with the exception of the first week I got the XBone is pretty steady with what I used for 360. That’s first week of course I dled Titanfall and a ton of other goodies to the new console.

UNFORSEEN BEEF: I can’t deny one beef I didn’t foresee about the X Bone that bugs the hell out of me though. The friends list and system it uses is cluttered and really not practical. I want to see when friend pop in and out, and what games they are playing when they do such. I mean why can’t we voice message friends anymore? Now I have to type messages.. UGH.. come on, I’d rather voice message than honestly have people ‘follow me’. It’s a friends list, not a follow list. I normally give devs benefits of the doubt, but whoever pitched the idea, implemented and tested and ultimately put it to gold, should all be taken out and be slapped in the side of a head with a rotting salmon.

So in closing, (That sounds too formal for a hack like me to use.. oh well.. I used the line) I say now that a year later, I panicked prematurely and followed too many other sheep condemning MS in May of 2013. While I don’t think we were all ready for what they originally proposed collectively, I think that a lot of what they said and took out or delayed, would have probably been things at least I would have liked.

NOTE: Out of respect for the TBOD founders who are Playstation boys, I will not say that Playstation sucks.. at least not until I find a polite way to say it.

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The TBoD Podcast – 53 – Marty be Gone

Sup’ bitches,

We’re back again for another week of epic gaming lolz. This week:

Marty gets kicked

Virtual insanity/reality returns with more news from Occulus. More here. And yet more here.

Continued nonsense from Call of Doody.

Nice words from a Titanfall dev.

And the PS4 gets a long-overdue update.

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Pluto TV, A Step Forward By Going Back!

tbodgagnon

Gonna go by memory on a conversation I have had a few times with my wife when she says she doesn’t understand how I can watch YouTube so much.

    Me: “It’s like TV. But better.”

    Wife: “We have a TV, how can it be better?”

    Me: “I can watch literally a million things whenever I want! No schedule, no limits.”

Now I have gone through this with here a few times, and similar conversations with friends. I still maintain that I love the freedom YouTube allows. But sometimes it’s TOO big.

So then I tripped over Pluto.tv

pluto blog

What Pluto offers is channels that have been set up by scouring YouTube, Veemo and other video hosting sites online and placed similar vids on appropriate channels. This can simplify things if you feel like say watching music videos on certain genres (Because somehow MTV no longer shows music videos) sports vids, or more specific things like Minecraft videos for gamers.

Now wait.. now I’m back to a schedule someone else sets up if I want to watch something on a particular topic. True, but honestly, the people behind Pluto literally have experts on certain topics put theses channel playlists together. They find things about topics you may already try to scour to find videos for and are unable to.

Face it, there are times I am watching a Halo video on say Forge, and at the end YouTube in its infinite wisdom shows on ‘suggested video’ section when my vid is over something REALLY off base like “How to remove unwanted body hair.” Though I do appreciate manscaping on myself, I don’t see a correlation.

So Pluto can bring to light corners of a community you like that you haven’t found in the depths of the internet. As put before, sometimes the internet is TOO big.

There are some ads that flash on screen, but unobtrusive like YouTube currently has.

So now in real time you and your buddies can watch a show at the same time and interact with the private chat feature, personally appeals to me.

There are a varying range of topics, however if there is a topic not covered maybe let them know and a channel can be set up for you and your buds.

On the gaming angle consider how Twitch has blown up with the X Box One’s integration. Pluto is hitting on something that is more than trending right now but seems to be a serious emerging new real integration of the internet as true entertainment base, that can take a big bite from the TV we have known for so long. I mean if you miss an episode of your favorite sitcom now, you can go to the networks website and often watch it after the fact, so it’s happening now. The TV networks use the web for what was considered not apples to apples as far as home entertainment, the gap is bridged, and dare I say, forming into one.

Looks like the Xbone 2013 spring uproar when it was pushed more as entertainment system than games was something so many of us shouldn’t have flipped out on (Including me) I see things like Pluto benefiting from this and I am enjoying it early into the game.

Now will this stick? I think so but who knows it what form it will evolve, but right now its new and hot and I think people should look into it and help it grow.

Fairly short and simple blog gang… Pluto.tv…. check it out!

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The TBoD Podcast – 52 – Nintendo Don’t cry

Hello boys and girls,

Welcome to another edition of the TBoD podcast, the topics up for discussion from our likely lads this week are;

Xbox updates,

Lets Change the Pace…

Wow, the last 2 weeks of blogs, dealing with Halo, took a lot of attention to follow up on. Writing them was something I knew would be difficult on a lot of angles, but in the end I felt I needed to say it. I do appreciate those who took the high road in proper rebuttal to in particular my blog on ‘Halo community having too much say.’ I got a lot of emails and replies that say apparently I should simply fornicate with myself. I assure you all, if I could to that, I probably wouldn’t leave home for a solid week or two.

tbodgagnon

None the less had some good comments from different corners of the Halo community which despite what we think on the topic I brought up, it’s clear a lot of people care about the game.

So how do I follow those 2 weeks up? Well honestly I have a couple of blogs ‘banked’ but to change the pace a bit, I figured I should simply post one of my favorite recipes.

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You may have just said “WTF?”

Yeah, it’s a recipe, and it’s easy and tasty. Would you rather I spew Halo stuff for a third week in a row?

PULLED PORK A LA GAGNON

What you need

1 KG (About 2.2 lbs) Pork Tenderloin

1 Can of Root Beer (Yeah.. that’s right, root beer)

1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce (18 oz/500ish ml)

Slow cooker

Instructions

Place tenderloin in slow cooker

Pour Root Beer over meat

Cook on low heat for 6-7 hours, until meat shreds easily

Drain liquid from meat

Stir in BBQ sauce to meat

Serve on fresh buns (Hell on stale ones if that floats your boat)

Recommended

A little homemade cole slaw on top of meat is popular.

Great part about this meal it’s easy to make, a quick clean up and you can brag it took 7 hours to make, yet you can play a solid 6 hours of games while it cooks!

Yeah.. my blog is a recipe this week… so?

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The TBoD Podcast – 51 – TBoD Bingo

Howdy chaps and chapesses,

TBoD return the normal schedule this week with more news from the gamesphere from the past 7 days or so.

We firstly bash Xbox for erroneous reasons; the Game with Gold this month is indeed Hitman: Absolution. Apologies to Microsoft…

We touch on our thoughts around the more broad points from Gagnon30’s recent post.

Phil Spencer promoted;

Disney buys Maker Studios; and

Amazon Fire TV, among others

The indie game this week is the truly excellent Gang Beasts

As ever, get your lugs (English for ‘ears’) around our dulcet tones, and give us your thoughts on Twitter, Facebook, or the comments section below.

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Halo Community Hiatis

    NOTE: I wrote the article below March 26th intending on releasing April 2nd, (I want my blogs to go up to TBOD on Wednesdays, I even have next 2 articles already written/in rpocess.) Since then another previously published blog on the Halo community having too much say got alot of attention by community and an all out attack by the very protective competitive community at Teambeyond.net.

    I considered not publishing this new blog for a week or two as the ther blog still had people jumping about. But I wont change my schedule for people who register to comment on my writing using phony email addresses to tell me to **** myself. Interesting that they were passionate about a blog that they say in thier own forum that they stopped reading after a paragraph or two. Yet then are qualified to comment about it.

    As always, my details are listed on the bottom of my blog so people can contact me and comment to me. A courtesy alot of the Teambeyond people dont do.

    To be clear: Halo 4 was not the best version of Halo made, my blog never said that. My blog made a point I believe that I still think stands. People cant complain about having more inuput in next Halo, as I feel 343 gave them unprecidented say in Halo 4, and it turned out very poorly.

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I am a Halo nut. Honestly I am.

I love all the novels. (If you don’t the Greg Bear trilogy.. which I consider more a sleep aid) My son and I have amassed a rather large collection of Halo Mega Bloks, and we own all the games, most with multiple versions. I have even been fortunate to be on a few different Halo podcasts spreading the Halo love.

But Halo was not my first. My first was on a filthy couch in the late 80’s… OH WAIT.. WRONG ‘First time’ blog.

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But seriously folks.. there WERE other games I loved over the years including a series of multiple PC titles called “Close Combat”.

But Halo has had a grip on my since just before ODST. However it appears that while I am eager to getting H2A and H5 in the next 18 months or whenever these materialize, that I am not destined short term to stay as active in the community.

Its nothing to do with Halo 4s quality. I feel Halo bottomed out with Halo Reach and Halo 4 got momentum back. Halo 4 has some outstanding new gametypes and features I love!

As someone with a long history of sports in my life, Ill use a sports analogy. I believe I have hit 3 strikes with Halo that spell at the very least a break for me in the active Halo community, if not something much longer. Ill be clear though again, I will be there on release night for whatever Halo has down the line. On the virtual Halo battlefield, I think Ill always be there!

    STRIKE 1

    Firstly my favorite Halo Podcast, Postgame Carnage Report, recently went non Halo format. It’s a shame, because for a long time they had great Halo chat and insight. But over the last few months it was a Halo trainwreck within the opinions between hosts of the show. So to switch over to an “All games” podcast is what I believe was a trade off to stopping the show entirely. (The show stopping was speculation on my end not a conformation.) Although they have 2 of my favorite personalities in the podcasting world on their hosting teams, I won’t listen going forward. It won’t be the same hearing their voices, yet not hearing Halo talk. (Better put GOOD Halo talk) PGCR will continue to be a great podcast I am sure, but without Halo, I will genuinely feel sad listening.

    STRIKE 2

    BS Angel is taking a promotion at 343, and good for her. She was a great community manager and her career is seemingly taking the next step. Bravo is now community manager. All I can think of is when I have heard or read anything from Bravo it always pushing MLG/PRO/Competitive Halo. I feel he wont understand all the fans, the vast majority casual or non competitive players. To quote line from a friend Robowski on a recent non related topic, I feel Bravo is ‘Too Corporate’. Angel had a great sincerity and honest to goodness feel she cared about everyone in community. Bravo will have to kiss a lot of babies and shake a few non golden pro players hands to get that kind of street cred. In fact it’s a far enough journey he has that I don’t wait to wait and see for now.

    STRIKE 3

    Everyone seems to think they know how to make Halo games better than the pros who make it. I can’t really think of a podast, blog or active forum in the Halo universe that doesn’t talk down to 343. Saw the same thing in Close Combat. Hell I WAS HIRED TO MAKE CLOSE COMBAT after modding it for a few years. All of a sudden people feel resent in why they aren’t being asked or even paid to help. New versions are attacked by the community to serve their own interests/notoriety.. its happening with Halo. I question as I type in fact if I am doing that very same thing right now. Seems I am giving flack out to a lot of Halo community people recently.. so its in the best interests of community I too take a break to either avoid going to or backing out of the hypocrite zone!

But really, wherever I go, its negative Halo talk that makes me upset. When a hobby makes you upset, you need at the very least a break. Fact is a got a big mouth and love to talk. What I say gets me into trouble a lot, so I am sincerely telling you that I am not ragging on Halo community to boost myself with a blog or anything. I like creating things, that’s all.

I have publically let a lot of people know I have moved on to Titanfall for now. Yeah, Ill be creating stuff, and trying to keep positive vibes around this incredible game. Fact is Titanfall may be the next series I have a love affair with after Close Combat and Halo…

But I have real hope the stars can realign and that love affair with Halo is back as strong as ever. You will see me playing Halo going forward, but I will not be putting time into community much anymore.

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