Category Archives: BT Plays

First Two Hours of The Surge

As I noted in my article about Bloodborne, Bloodborne – Frustration Triumph, my very first experience with a Souls like game, was Deck 13 Interactive‘s Lords of the Fallen, “which turned into one of my biggest game purchase regrets ever.” Indeed I was turned off the Souls like games by the experience, but then read that it was a poor example, and I did have a good time with Bloodborne. Despite that poor experience, when I saw they were developing a new Souls like game, The Surge, but based in a sci-fi setting, I still got excited for the possibility. I for one am willing to give a developer several chances to show they can do well, and so the question became, would The Surge impress.

I’ve done a couple hours now. I was out of town for the weekend, and my first day to play it I was busy with a game that’s under NDA (that one will get coverage once it drops), plus I was watching my kids for a few hours, all of which meant not much time yet with it. Still, I have to say, based on the first couple hours, I am far more impressed with this than Lords of the Fallen… it’s in all honestly not as impressive or smooth as Bloodborne was at the same point, but so far I have to say it has been fun. The game doesn’t shortcut and cheat, and mistakes are generally my own, like a proper Souls like game should be.

Here’s a couple of my streams (I’m still working on optimizing the PS4 streams… I have to currently stream from the console itself, so it’s less than ideal setup):
Trying the Surge [PS4] (19 May) This is the first half hour or so, while I was watching the kids, one doing some homework… still it was my first and last chance to play prior to the weekend.
Playing More of the Surge and Dying a Lot [PS4] (21 May) While I was busy most of the weekend, I did get home in time to do a short stream of the game, picking up where I left off before. After the stream, I played for a few minutes more.

So what can I say about it so far? It’s way too early to say too much. It is a fun game, and the combat feels right for the character. The level design is far more complex than say Bloodborne is. I also like the timer on the attempt to get your tech scraps, your currency in The Surge, like Blood Echos in Bloodborne or Souls in Dark Souls. You have a limited time to get back to your money before it goes away.

I really like being able to bank the Tech Scrap as well, so if you have lots of Tech Scrap, you can run back to the base, save it, and not have to spend it yet. This is something I’d love to see in the Souls like games… Bloodborne 2, Code Vein (Japanese site… English site still pending).

I do get frustrated by going back to the base, then leaving and having all the enemies reset, though I think that was the way it was on Bloodborne too, I just can’t remember. I’d probably prefer they only reset if you die, but then that would probably take too much of the challenge away. This is a good time to note your save points seem to be far and few between compared to other games in the genre.

I know from other streams I’ve seen, that the scenery seems too much the same later in the game, but I don’t know if I can fault it too much… yeah, it would be great if it jumped locations, for something new, say from the factory, to another that looked different enough, then perhaps a space station, but I don’t think I’d take too much off for that, and that’s based on what I’ve seen others play, not on my own play experience.

So it it worth it? As I said, I’m only two hours in, so I can’t really judge yet. If you really love Souls games, are interested in the setting, and like what you’ve seen in streams and YouTube videos, then don’t miss out. For everyone else, right now, based on what I’ve played and seen, I’d say, wait for a sale and get it, as it is fun, and makes enough changes to the formula to stand out. Right now on Amazon, The Surge is $60, and I’d say jump on it at $40 on down if the setting suites you, and once it goes under $30, other fans of the genre should jump in… if it goes under $20, then don’t miss it. I’ll obviously have to revise that after I’ve had more time with it, but I’m having fun and I seem to be on track to have near $60 worth of game fun out of it myself. It won’t upset Horizon Zero Dawn for Game of the Year so far… although I have hopes that Destiny 2 might score even higher than Horizon… All of which is sort of beyond the point. It is a good game, and I think Deck 13 has proven that Lords of the Fallen may have been a fluke.

NOTE: In the interest of honesty, I was provided a review code by a PR firm.

Bloodborne – Frustration and Triumph

I’ve never played a Dark Souls game, nor Demon Souls, or pretty much any game like it prior to Bloodborne… well, there was a brief flirtation with Lords of the Fallen, which turned into one of my biggest game purchase regrets ever. However, after recently playing the free to play Let it Die on my PS4, and growing interest in the idea of the Souls games, I delved into seeing which game to get, and based largely on the story, I went with Bloodborne.

The result? Lots of F bombs from me to the game. It is a constant frustration to die so often. Going in, I knew this would be the case though, and I’m working on it. So far, I’ve pretty well enjoyed my time in Yharnam. Continue reading Bloodborne – Frustration and Triumph

Visiting the Ancient Ruins in Elite Dangerous

When Frontier Developments should a trailer of the new 2.2 Guardians update to Elite Dangerous: Horizons, they showed some ancient ruins. A player managed to figure out where those ruins were from the stars and nebula in the background and triangulated their way to the ruins. How he did that is far beyond me or the scope of this article. I had just arrived at HIP 10716 to get ready to do some Imperial rank grinding (HIP 10716 and Wu Guinagi Imperial Rank grind) and it was only a few hundred light years away, so I decided to hold off on the grind and visit the system. It would be my first time landing on a planet without a station (I’ve done plenty of station landing on planets), and first time using my SRV.

From the featured image above, you can see my SRV looking at an apparent alien obelisk.

I used the Radio Sidewinder Ancient Ruins Visual Guide to help guide to the me where to land once at the system…

As I got near, I decided to stream it. The stream went down a couple times, but I managed to get a couple good highlights in. Continue reading Visiting the Ancient Ruins in Elite Dangerous

Elite Dangerous – Sothis Runs

IMPORTANT NOTE: This works as of 2.1, apparently in the 2.2 beta, Sothis runs have been nerfed. As of this writing, not sure if that will make it to live or not.

One of the easy ways to make money in Elite Dangerous is stacking Sothis runs. I just managed around 11 million in 4 or 5 stops in my Type 6 with 96 T cargo capacity and 18.83 laden jump range. This is not a full guide, just more or less what I do.

Sothis is an outlyng human colony system. From Newholm Station, you can pickup a large number of delivery missions. You do this on a few ways. First I do it via a private group that I’m in. Load up all the far away delivery missions (don’t worry, once you get there, they are all within 2 or 3 jumps of one another… at least on my Type 6) and all the data delivery missions to Ceos. Then log out to the main menu, choose Open and get all the delivery missions (they should be near the others) and data delivery to Ceos… log out again to main menu and go Solo and repeat. This process of getting missions from the Open, Private and Solo is called mission stacking. At this point it probably is best to stay Solo or if you are in a private group, go that way. First I deliver my data to Ceos, which is only 1 jump away, and this nets a good haul from the stacking.

You can only have 20 missions at a time, so if you don’t fill up on delivery missions, you can run data back to Sothis and restack the delivery missions as there usually are more… Also note there are two stations in Sothis, I typically only stack the station closest to the entry point, but I know some people stack both.

Here is a Twitch highlight of me delivering mission stacked data to Ceos. Staring Sothis Runs for Credits – Ceos data drops and notes. Continue reading Elite Dangerous – Sothis Runs

We Happy Few – Preview and Second Look Coming Soon

I recently did a preview (semi early review) of We Happy Few back in late July:

Don’t be a Downer, We Happy Few – Giving We Happy Few a quick look at it’s current Early Access alpha access level. The playable characters aren’t in yet, and most of the story isn’t in yet. Highlight starts after the escape seen in the trailers. I talk near the end of the broadcast a few bits of my early impression thoughts and opinions of the game based on the early alpha (and I was one of the ones who got to show it off early before the official press embargo ended).

That was recorded 27 July 2016, which is why I’m getting ready to do a second look and give a review based on more of what’s in the game as of now (it is still very early access) I think there’s been enough time and enough updates to go back in and check it out… plus the press embargo is long over, so I think it’s time to get an official opinion on the state of the game. So keep an eye on this page… this article will be deleted and a full review will be going up… hopefully in the next week or two, depending on my schedule.

NOTE: We Happy Few was provided via a press contact outside the developer and publisher.

Elite Dangerous – My Real Addition of the Moment

So I’ve given up almost all my other games (save For Honor which I discussed the other day) in pursuit of many hours of Elite Dangerous. I’ve had ED (Elite Dangerous people… come on… grow up..) since early alpha… I dropped a lot to get into the Alpha back when… I want to say 2014. Then I stopped playing for a while… I picked up Planet Coaster by the same developers, but still didn’t jump back in.

Then No Man’s Sky happened. A game that I still don’t own, but did get to play some. The mild disappointment in that got me back into ED Continue reading Elite Dangerous – My Real Addition of the Moment

Checking Out For Honor – Closed Alpha

I was lucky enough to get into the For Honor closed alpha, and decided to stream a little of my first dive in… I quickly forget the basic that the CTRL mode is block and keep trying to remember if there was a special block key for the first few matches.

Anyhow, here’s a few highlights from the broadcast (the featured pic here is from one of those broadcasts which is why it is of lower quality than a pure screenshot, I’ll likely replace that with a straight screenshot later):

Checking out For Honor (Dominion – Player vs AI) – Raider. For Honor closed alpha gameplay. My 1st match of the day, trying out the Viking (Raider) this time.
Checking out For Honor (Dominion – Player vs AI) – Warden. More For Honor closed alpha gameplay, my 2nd match of the day, trying out the Knight (Warden) this time.
Checking out For Honor (Dominion – Player vs AI) – Kensei. More For Honor closed alpha gameplay, my 3rd match of the day, trying out the Samurai (Kensei) this time.
Checking Out For Honor – Brawl (Player vs AI) Mode. I think we were supposed to try one particular hero out in this mode, but it said Not Requited… but perhaps he was chooseable anyhow… I don’t know.

I don’t think I’m ready for a VS player mode yet, and will stick to the VS AI modes… lol.

Not shown in those is hero customization, requiting new heroes and adding goals to gain more in game money.

Anyhow, what do I think? Continue reading Checking Out For Honor – Closed Alpha

Playing and Streaming Elder Scrolls: Legends – Bethesda’s Digital CCG Based on the Elder Scrolls Universe

After the huge success that Blizzard had with Hearthstone, a digital CCG based on the Warcraft universe, we’ve got a couple games that came out based on others. Chronicle, based on the Runescape universe, but with a lot of unique and cool twists that sets it apart from any of the others, that makes it well worth your time to check out. Meanwhile, perhaps one of the biggest RPGs (plus an MMO) out there, Elder Scrolls, has gotten it’s own digital CCG, Elder Scrolls: Legends. This game has a great deal more depth than Hearthstone (which remains a great game), and seems to straddle the line between Magic and Hearthstone near perfectly.

The game has a single player story mode, a solo versus mode, an arena versus mode, and others… I’ve been playing the single player story mode of late on my Twitch channel. Here are the highlights:

Elder Scrolls: Legends – Act 1 Chapters 1 to 8 1:18:55 The whole first act, from here on out I cut highlights by Chapter.
Elder Scrolls: Legends – Act 2 – Chapter 9 15:45
Elder Scrolls: Legends – Act 2 – Chapter 10 21:05
Elder Scrolls: Legends – Act 2 – Chapter 11 25:49
Elder Scrolls: Legends – Act 2 – Chapter 12 10:44
Elder Scrolls: Legends – Act 2 – Chapter 13 26:10
Elder Scrolls: Legends – Act 2 – Chapter 14 16:01

Unfortunately I don’t have any keys to give out.

A Few Gigantic Highlights

I recently got to stream Gigantic, while it was still under NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) for most players/streamers. I also created a video, but the stutter in that video is even worse than the Division one so I decided not to use it. So I’ll link the 4 highlights I made that weekend instead. A huge thanks to Motiga for allowing me to stream it a weekend early. Needless to say, the fact I got to do that, even if it was only one weekend early, got put into my  My Noted Past In Gaming post.

I can’t embed these as a bug in either the Twitch player and/or WordPress makes them autoplay:

First Game of Gigantic in 5 or so Months

Gigantic Fun With Gigantic

By Far Not the Best Gigantic Player Out There

Finally a Gigantic Victory

My Division Video is Up

So there’s a new game coming out March 8th called, Tom Clancy’s The Division (pre-order/order Tom Clancy’s The Division via Amazon) for which I’ve been in mixed excitement and trepidation on. After playing a bit of it when it was in closed beta… got to say I’m more excited for it now.

I won’t go on and on about it in this post, and rather leave it to the video here for details (the video had far more stutter than usual, sorry, I must have goofed my OBS settings):

I’ve also got a Twitch highlight that follows it up (I can’t embed it, as it autostarts… even with autostart turned off, a bug Twitch hasn’t fixed yet, though it seems to be more a WordPress ignoring the setting thing, hard to tell): http://www.twitch.tv/jonathanstrangebt/v/39732910

TLDR: The Division rocks, get it. Follow the link above to buy it… and watch the video. 🙂

My First Overwatch Video

Well, I managed to get some video footage that I was able to cut a video from. My personal account still isn’t flagged yet… cough… hint… Blizzard… cough.. so this is probably the only video I’ll be able to do until such time.

It’s mostly an introduction to the game, some thoughts and opinions on a few controversial subjects in the community.  No real new information for those who’ve been following the game.

I also tried to convert my script to closed captions for the first time…

What I’ve Been Playing of Late 8 October 2015

I haven’t posted for ages. Figured I’d give people a run down on some of what I’ve been playing of late, in terms of video games anyhow. These are in no particular order.

First off apologies for the auto playing Twitch video below… it’s marked to not autoplay, but seems Twitch has a 2 year old bug that won’t be fixed until the HTML 5 player is more readily available.

I’ve been playing the Star Wars: Battlefront Beta (buy Star Wars Battlefrontvia Amazon). On my upper mid(ish) range system (i7 4770k, 8GB RAM, GTX 770) I’m getting 60-70+ FPS with all the settings on high. So while the system specs may scare some people, it actually is pretty solid even without the high end systems. Anyhow, it’s a fun game and delivers on all my expectations. The beta is very limited so hard to tell how the overall game will be, as many game modes and maps aren’t in the beta. It certainly looks like it’ll be a must have title for fans of either Star Wars or Dice’s Battlefield series. It is a bit more than Battlefield with a Star Wars theme though and I’d think it’ll appeal more to the Star Wars fans. It is probably a safe game to pre-order. There is no single player campaign, it’s all multiplayer and co-op.
Here is a Twitch highlight of me playing it.
Embed removed as it autoplays no matter how it is setup, click this to be taken to the video.
Watch live video from JonathanStrangeBT on Twitch

Devilian. This is an MMO with ARPG elements. I was using the Thai version, but now I’m in the Trion NA Alpha. The game isn’t in beta yet, just closed Alpha. Closed beta should be coming soon, with open beta soon after that. If you don’t win access via a contest on some Twitch stream, you can buy your way in. Alpha access is a bit expensive and probably not worth the price IMHO, but to each their own. The game will be free to play after launch, and launch should be 2015… I haven’t recorded anything new for the NA Alpha as of this initial writing, but here’s my video of me playing the Thai version awhile ago.

Continue reading What I’ve Been Playing of Late 8 October 2015

Getting an Early Look at Rebel Galaxy

Imagine if you took the greatness that is Firefly1, and combined that with space trading of Elite: Dangerous (while removing the complexity of having to worry about pitch), while tossing in a lighthearted RPG and you’ll have a basic idea of what fun to expect from Double Damage Game’s first game, Rebel Galaxy.  They call it a “swashbuckling space adventure” and that is very apt. Continue reading Getting an Early Look at Rebel Galaxy

Killing Floor 2 – Thoughts and Video from the Stress Test Beta

So I manged to get into the Killing Floor 2 Stress Test Beta (I don’t think my Dear Tripwire, Why I Want In the Killing Floor 2 Beta post helped, but it might have), and I had a blast. Seriously some of the most fun I’ve had in awhile playing a game. Tripwire Interactive has a solid hit to be on their hands.

Let’s step back a moment for those who don’t follow the latest and greatest in gaming. What is Killing Floor 2? Continue reading Killing Floor 2 – Thoughts and Video from the Stress Test Beta

The Search for New Content

So I’m trying to figure out what sort of content I want to push via my @YouTube channel, as well as my @Twitch channel… and to an extent here until Overwatch comes out (see below with my open letter to Blizzard hoping to get in the first wave) and that content push starts.

Let’s back up. My loose New Years plan was to start pushing more content this year (2015).

The idea is to push at least 30 videos to my YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/brianathomas during the year, and to try and not go over 2 weeks between videos.  So far I’ve been more or less on target (EDIT: By mid year that was no longer true, I fell way off, especially coverage of Heroes of the Storm). Sometimes a few days more, sometimes pushing a couple videos in a week. This year has seen 6 videos (2 more that were published late December that I sort of count to the 30 goal, but I’ll skip counting those for the moment since while being 27 and 28 December, they are technically from 2014, though they are under the newer format). So far so good, for the most part. Continue reading The Search for New Content

A Bunch of New YouTube Vids Are Up

I haven’t been good at updating the blog here of late, but there are a bunch of YouTube videos since I last posted here. Check out my YouTube channel. All these videos, as with most of my recent videos are made from highlights from my Twitch Channel so quality isn’t as good as it would be if I recorded locally, edited and uploaded directly myself rather than have Twitch send it over. Remember, comment, like and subscribe! It helps. Continue reading A Bunch of New YouTube Vids Are Up

I Give Zombies Monsters Robots a Try

En Masse Entertainment (of Terra fame) have a new game out in beta called Zombies Monsters and Robots.

ZMR is a fun, 3rd person shooter where you fight, well zombies, monsters, robots, armies of bad buys and a host of everything else. Over the top and immense fun.

Here’s my first try at it:

I might make more videos later… and share more about my thoughts about it at a later date.

Nosgoth Gameplay and Mini Review

Nosgoth is a free-to-play multiplayer action game that is presently in Closed Beta. I got in late February and I’m finally getting around to talking about it. At the end of this article I’ll have a gameplay video so you can see it in action. You can apply for beta at the Nosgoth link, or buy a Nosgoth Founders Pack which will get you into the game instantly (part of why I’m bringing it up now, as I think it’s worth looking at). Like most Founders Packs on games that will eventually be free-to-play, they include plenty of in game currency to buy skins, faster access to classes, and your typical free-to-play, but not buy to win, game… and that’s an important note. Based on my time in Nosgoth, I never felt the need to buy things, or that those buying stuff had an unfair advantage. That said, there are some really cool skins and stuff that would be sweet to have.

A small disclaimer, I’ve never played any of the Legacy of Kain games, the universe that Nosgoth takes place in, so I won’t be discussing any of that aspect. All I know about the world is there are vampires and humans, and from the dialog I’m guessing the humans are the rebels… Nosgoth refers to the world, the planet we are on in this story. Kain has died and the vampire race is in disarray and the humans seem to think it is a good time to rebel… or something along those lines. Like Titanfall (as I noted in my review of Titanfall), there is a story told here via dialog. Perhaps not as heavily well as Titanfall’s story, but in this case it has a rich history behind it already so it just needs to be there enough to connect it to the universe that it inhabits.

Anyhow, let’s talk about the gameplay itself, as that is what’s important. Nosgoth pits Humans vs Vampires. Each match features two rounds. One round you will play as a human, the other round as a vampire, keeping the same team. Whichever team has the best combined score, wins the match. Continue reading Nosgoth Gameplay and Mini Review

ArcheAge – Screenshot Feature

ArcheAge has a really sweet screenshot feature that allows you to compose some really sweet screen shots. If you have a good eye for composition and the like, then you can take some very nice screenshots. You can adjust Depth of Field and add Bokah Effects.

Before I get to the video, here’s the super quick basics. Take screenshots with the F9 key. This will save the screenshot to the documents/archeage/screenshots folder. You can turn the UI on and off using the F12 key. CTRL-F12 brings up the screenshot mode menu and from there you can move the camera around, adjust the Depth of Field and the like.

ArcheAge Gardening and My First Trade Route

I just posted a video (made of four Twitch highlights, as who really wants to watch a long video of somebody walking?) of me doing some gardening and doing my first trade route in ArcheAge NA Alpha. Not much really to say but enjoy the video.

A small side note. I didn’t have headphones on and forgot that the mic might pick up the game audio (in the end it actually didn’t do too bad all things considered, it mostly just got me, and picked up a few of the louder moments of the game). So I killed the stream after realizing my goof. Still, the video offers a good idea of the first gardening/trade route mission for Nurian.