Astebreed

Picked this up now that it’s out on PS4, and yeah, this is so up my alley. Haven’t played a good shooter (as in shmup) in ages, and the visuals on this are fantastic. Haven’t played that much yet, but I’ve certainly enjoyed what I’ve experienced so far (the first couple of chapters). The one thing I do find annoying is how the dialogue happens during the action, which makes it really hard to read while you’re playing.

Riptide GP2

Picked this up because I miss Wave Race so much, and just want to race on water with decent visuals. The fact that it’s only $7 on PS4 made it an easy sell, as well as hearing that it’s from the same people behind last generation’s Hydro Thunder revival, a game I had a lot of fun playing. So far, I can’t say that it’s a fantastic game – controls aren’t as smooth as I’d like – but I’m still having fun with it, and I am noticing that upgrading the vehicles does make for a better ride. Just makes me want a new Wave Race that much more though.

Her Story

I’ve only played a bit so far, but this is such an interesting game. You play by accessing video recordings of a woman being interviewed/interrogated in regards to a crime, and based on that you need to figure out what really happened. Nice to see a game that incorporates live-action, and it not feeling cheesy.

Fresh Off the Boat

Since getting access to a whole lotta new apps on Apple TV, I was browsing through the ABC one, and decided to check out this show. I remember thinking it sounded just awful when first announced, but I’d since heard that it was actually pretty decent, and having watched 2 episodes now, I gotta say it’s pretty funny. I think it finds the right balance of playing off stereotypes, but also going beyond them. Not an amazing show or anything, but good for a few laughs. I love the granny.

Mr. Robot

Man, based on the first episode, this series is fantastic, and I still don’t quite get what it’s doing airing on the USA network (not the place I’d expect to find quality shows). It’s about hacking, and doesn’t feel hokey, and the main character is a revelation – this guy is fantastic to watch. Really hope upcoming episodes continue to be as good as the premiere.

Under the Dome

This is not a good series. My wife and I did have fun watching it last year, although by the end of season 2 we were pretty much finding it too ridiculous (that egg is so silly) and just kinda lame. But with the 3rd season starting last week, we did decide to check in again, and… We may keep watching it, just to see how ridiculous it gets, but I didn’t enjoy the season premiere much – felt like a lot time spent on stuff that was meaningless (what they were experiencing while in the cocoons). Dean Norris’s character is still pretty fun though, he’s the only reason to watch.

Alive and Well

It’s been a while, but yes, I’m still here.

My last post was to announce that I was going to move to Montreal and start working as part of the Shinra Technologies team here in Montreal, where we work from the Square Enix Montréal studio (and are part of the Eidos Montréal family). That move happened at the start of May, my first day of work was on May 11, and as June comes to a close, I’m still here.

It’s been a bit less than 2 months since I started my new job, and I’m still so happy to have had the opportunity I’ve received to work with these people. We’ve got a great team here in Montreal, and we’ve got a great team in New York as well, which is were the business side of the company is located (in Montreal, it’s the technical team, where all the magic that is Shinra Technologies is getting developed). 

And although I still didn’t get to go to E3, it did feel a bit different to be watching it as an insider, instead of just as a fan (or as part of media). I got to cheer for all for all of the exciting things coming out of our great Square Enix umbrella – and there definitely was lots that I really am excited to play, including Lara Croft Go, which is being made in the studio where I work.

In terms of life in Montreal, I’m sure it’ll come as no surprise if I say that it’s been taking time for us to get settled – after 15 years in Japan, re-adapting to North America, and more specifically Canada (and on top of that, to Montreal, with its own idiosyncrasies), is taking time. 

I am incredibly happy to be able to eat Lebanese food again – shish-taouks are definitely my jam. And poutine. And club sandwiches. And bagels.

And root beer.

I’ll try to start writing here again – I don’t want this blog to die. I also started updating my media consumption diary again.

Sunset

Even though I was very much interested in playing this game, I hadn’t picked it up upon release, mostly because I don’t really play games on my Mac much (I’m truly a console/portables/iPad gamer). But seeing this announcement from Tale of Tales today, about the poor sales of Sunset and how it has made them want to get out of making games, well I figured I’d still show support by buying it and playing it. I doubt they go back on their decision, and the gaming space is going to miss them.

Rayman Legends

Another game I’m buying for the second time thanks to that PSN E3 sale is Rayman Legends on PS4 (I had previously bought it for Vita). I absolutely loved this game on Vita (and loved Rayman Origins too) and so I figured that at the price they had it for ($16), it was worth revisiting on PS4. I’ve started playing and, wow, as good as this looked on Vita, it’s just outstanding on PS4 and on a TV screen. This is such a great game, and I’m still excited to be playing through the levels again.