Slowly entering the next generation of gaming…

I haven’t posted here in a while. I should do something about that…

Last month, both the Xbox One and the Playstation 4 were released. I can’t say I’ve been too impressed yet; there hasn’t been anything released on Playstation 4 that I want, and the only game that drew my eye on the Xbox One was the new Killer Instinct game. While I loved the first two Killer Instinct games, I’m not sold on the new one, especially as it’s not even a complete game yet and has no story mode to speak of. Until a killer game comes out for either console, I really don’t see the need to buy either one yet. As a result, as I’ve said in previous posts, my next generation console will likely be my PC.

As it stands, I’ve already got a few games in my “to play” queue for the PC. For example, while I donated on the Kickstarter, I haven’t yet finished Shadowrun Returns. I’m also eligible to get the first expansion, Dragonfall, because I did take part in said Kickstarter. I’ve also managed to get myself into the beta programs for two upcoming games: Infinite Crisis, which is a MOBA based on DC Comics characters, and Hearthstone, which is an online collectible card game based on the WarCraft universe. Unfortunately, while I’ve played both games, I haven’t gotten into them as much as I would like.

The problem I have with Infinite Crisis is two-fold. The first problem is that I’m new to MOBA games, and as it’s a beta without a tutorial Infinite Crisis has something of a learning curve. I’ve played some online, but I always feel like I’m useless and don’t know what I’m doing. I feel better having watched some of the demonstrations the developers have done on live stream events, but I’m still a bit uncertain. The second problem is that my system isn’t keeping up with the game. My main PC has a budget video card, and the demands for recent games on it have been a bit too much. It’s not just Infinite Crisis, either; Mortal Kombat: Komplete Edition runs slowly on it as well. I need to buy a more decent non-budget card, but that will have to wait until after Christmas. Until then, there’s not much point playing when my system lags all to hell.

Hearthstone is fun, but like Infinite Crisis I have two problems. The first problem is the fact that I’m trying to get back into the mindset of playing collectible card games. It’s been twenty years since I last played one; I used to play Magic: The Gathering and Jyhad (the precursor to Vampire: The Eternal Struggle) with my friends Chris and George. Even then, we never bothered learning how to create specialized battle decks. We would just take all of our cards, put them in a big pile, and play using those. With Hearthstone, on the other hand, I’m going to need to learn to create battle decks if I plan on playing online. I’m also having to get used to playing that kind of game again; while people on the unofficial Hearthstone IRC channel I’m on seem to find the tutorials/practice enemies easy, I’m struggling.

The other issue I have with Hearthstone is that as a casual game, I would probably play more often if there was a tablet version available. Fortunately, Blizzard has announced that there is an iPad version coming out fairly soon, with iPhone and Android versions coming out late next year. As far as gaming on the go goes, hopefully by then I’ll have replaced my currently-struggling iPhone 4 with an iPhone 5S.

I should also point out that the PC is not the only place I will be gaming. For my birthday last month, Jennifer, her mom, and my mom got together and got me an iPad Air. I’ve already loaded all of the games I had on the iPhone onto the iPad, and even added a couple like Injustice: Gods Among Us, Batman: Arkham Origins, and Doctor Who: Legacy. When the Hearthstone client comes out for iPad, I’ll definitely pick that up as well. Once I’ve cut some of my “to play” queue down a bit, I’ll pick up some of the longer games like Final Fantasy IV and possibly Final Fantasy VI (should it come out).

In any event, I should be okay for gaming even without a console. Most of the games I play on console right now have PC versions; the only downside would be that for games from NetherRealm Studios (and possibly others), the console versions come out several months before the PC ports do. Still, it’s a smaller price to pay than having to pay $300-400 for a new system that doesn’t have the games I want, and I can be fairly patient. :-)