Ark: Survival Evolved finally hit PS4! There was great rejoicing. People lost hours, days weeks of their lives and dinos were tamed. I first heard of this game through a friend who was playing it on PC. He was regaling me with tales of dino taming. Crafting everything from scratch. Building not only weapons and gear but actual buildings. I was intrigued. I went to the nearest source of the interwebs (in this case my phone) and looked for a release date for PS4. They said June of 2016. I was elated – dancing ensued. June came and went and the Ark folks said nope, it is not ready. Back in the oevn. It finally hit in December of 2016. I bought it digitally, something I don’t usually do, and have been playing it every since.
Here is the idea behind Ark: Survival Evolved. You wake up on a beach. You are clad in a loin cloth of sorts. You have to make, build, craft everything. You have to control your food intake, your hydration. You can over heat and you can get hyperthermia. Oh… and there are dinosaurs. Did I mention the dinosaurs? You can tame them, fight them, saddle them, ride them – the dinosaurs are your friends, your enemies – both. Now, you can play Ark by yourself on your own local server or you can play Ark on the web with people. This is one of the truest PvP games I have ever seen. You are in a constant state in game. If you exit the game, on a non-local server, your body falls to the ground. You are technically still there. Someone kills you in game, something kills you in game while you are logged out and you still die. Very intense. I am a chicken, I don’t play that much on large servers.
The best part for me is the fact that you are literally doing everything. From clothing yourself to making all of your tools and weapons you have to build everything and everything tiers up. You have to learn how to make clothes out of cloth to advance to hides to end up with shiny metal armor. You make a slingshot to end up with a sniper rifle. This is a true survival game. I like playing in my own local hosted server because when I stop playing the game stops. I don’t get to play for a set amount of time each day so being able to control the gameplay is important for me.
And speaking of control, this game lets you control everything. On your own server you can control basic gameplay functions like the amount of time to tame a dino, the amount of time that night lasts, damage amounts – literally all of the basic game functions. On top of that, like computer games of old, you have a whole host of admin/console cheats and commands to use. Dino spawning, item spawning, auto-taming, level boosting – you are in control even in this game of survival – if you like to cheat – which I do.
In the end, this is a fun game that can suck your life away or just be a diversion from time to time. The world is entralling, the gameplay is solid and it just keeps getting better. Take the time to check out Ark: Survival Evolved.
I was asked this recently and it made me stop in my tracks. What kind of gamer am I? One that plays games, isn’t that enough? Now, in a day with so many games to choose from and all falling into different categories, you do have to align yourself with one game or type or another.
First person shooter games such as Call of Duty or Halo would have been my first choice until the Master Chief collection came out with all of the bugs that came with it and COD moved towards a hyper, faster-paced play style.
Puzzle games mixed with action have always peeked a certain amount of interest. With the imagining of the Tomb Raider series, at least the first one, I found a new respect for the blending of the two genres. Now with two kids under five in the house, I don’t get to play every day and often find myself asking aloud, “Now where was I, what was I doing and what in the world is the button for jump again?”
So I move on to button mashers. We all know these games and the one I fell in love with long ago that they have remade is Castle Crashers. No real thought to it, push the attack button as many times as necessary to kill whatever is on screen and collect the loot. I don’t have to remember the map or a complex story line, just kill things and along with them some time. These are the types of games I spent countless quarters on back in the olden days of arcades and happily hand over my onetime payment plus DLC for them today.
I know there are many games and types I haven’t even tried to bring up here. Some I’ve tried (Dark Souls players are a special breed that I respect but don’t understand) and some I love to watch on Twitch but don’t have the hours to sink into getting good at them anymore now that I’m an adult (looking at you Overwatch).
What kind of gamer am I now… I’m an adult that finally has a little bit of money to spend on the games, a dad without time to play the games, and a kid at heart that still thinks Dig Dug is highly under-rated. That’s what kind of gamer I am now.
With 2016 in the books, I am looking forward to a better 2017. Below is a list of a few of the entertainment pieces I am looking forward to. Just Video Games and Movies right now but I figured it was worth mentioning. And before the haters rise up, I know that there are only two video games listed but these are the two I am looking forward to.
Ark: Survival Evolved – Just for full disclosure, I am currently playing the early release for PS4 and it is incredible. I am looking forward to the full blown version of this game. Right now the graphics have a little bit of a glitch to the but the gameplay and the game itself more than makeup for any pieces that are not completely done yet.
Red Dead Redemption 2 – Big fan of the original Red Dead Redemption. The Spaghetti Western feel of the game the characters the storyline and the gameplay completely immersed me in the old west. I wanted to go find a horse and shoot some stuff. With the number of silhouettes on the art… I think we are going to have a lot of other possibilities in this game.
Justice League – I hate to admit that I am looking forward to this one as much for how bad it might be as much as I am looking forward to enjoying it. This flick has the potential to be amazing. Or it has the ability to be horrible on a whole new level of horrible. I will be honest that I don’t care either way. It will be a spectacle regardless.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 – CANNOT WAIT. Take my money now. This is still one of my favorite Marvel movies to date. Bringing these characters back. The trailers that have dropped so far. I am completely on board for Guardians 2.
Thor: Ragnarok – Ready to get my Thor on again. This should be a huge movie and it might have the most overwhelming scope of anything that Marvel has tried. Thor’s movies so far have been hits for me. Ready to see what we get in the last installment of Thor’s solo saga.
Spider-Man: Homecoming – Have you watched the trailer? Stop and go youtube it… NOW! It looks amazing. Fun, very New York, we are finally getting the Spider-Man that we all wanted and deserved. The scene of he and Tony Stark in the car and then the tag at the end of them flying through the streets of New York… WOW… just wow. Love this movie already.
Logan – I am so hesitant to add this to the list. I really want this to be Old Man Logan on the big screen. I think I will end up disappointed like I have been for the other Wolverine solo films. That being said I will see it in the theater and I will feel a sense of lose that it will be the last time with see Hugh Jackman with the claws.
Star Wars: Episode VIII – Love the fact that we get to add a Star Wars movie a year for the foreseeable future. Thank you, Disney! Saw Rogue one last weekend – review coming soon. I like dit but it was not one of the saga movies. Episode 8 will be incredible, I have no doubt. Opening weekend, I will see you then.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – Everyone is already hating this movie. I have no doubt that it will be panned by critics. I don’t care. I love the pIrates of the Caribbean movies. Johnny Depp can have some of my cash. Need to get my buckle swashed.
Wonder Woman – This may be the most anticipated movie of the year for me, so far. The trailer looks great. The adventure, the time period and the fact that we will have our first current generation standalone female superhero movie, makes this a slam dunk for me. DC may finally get one up on Marvel. I hope that the final print is as good as I am hoping it will be.
Baywatch – Stop the finger pointing, I am really excited about this movie. I loved the Dukes of Hazzard reboot and I think this will be just as funny. We all know that Dwayne Johnson is a funny dude and I think this will be a big win for him and for the viewing audience.
XXX: Return of Xander Cage – Liked the first one with Vin Diesel. Glad he is coming back to the role. The trailer looks just as over the top as the original. Lots of action, lots of explosions! Mindless movie viewing at its best.
Jumanji – Now, I am not expecting this to be as good or even the same as the original with Robin Williams. This is going to be a different kind of Jumanji film. Again, The Rock is a true talent and this could be a great movie for him. Might not see it in the theaters but I will definitely see it.
Fist Fight – OK, so I am a big fan of Charlie Day due to my old boss and Always Sunny. He is a truly funny guy and one of those people that I will watch in anything that he performs in. Add Ice Cube to that in a movie where they are both teachers that decide t have a fight after school. Should be awesome. Again, maybe not in the theaters but I will be seeing this one.
I am a bad gamer. I hardly ever buy a game when it first comes out. I like a hard copy of the game and at times I am turned off by the multiplayer/online aspect of most games. I am not saying that I am opposed to first run games, but I am opposed to paying the money you pay and not knowing what the everyday person says about the game when it comes out. I really like hardcopy of the game, actually own a physical copy of the game, much like y idea for collecting movies. And at the end of the day, I am more of a story guy than I am a multiplayer fast action guy. Al of that being said, I am not the typical gamer nor am I good for the video game industry.
My rule, a rule that my wife completely supports, is no game over $40. Now, I have broken this rule a good bit, most recently, this summer when I bought No Mans Sky on opening weekend. My wife refers to this game as the $60 screen saver. Had I waited, talked to some folks that had played it that were not part of the industry, I could have saved 20 bucks or more. As it is, I now own a game that I will probably never play again. It was fun, it was exactly what they said it would be but it is not what I really wanted to play. It is not my style of game. And by breaking my Under $40 Rule, I don’t have a game I really like.
I do though have a physical copy of the game. This means that I can take it back into my local game store and trade it in on something else. I am not stuck with it. Sony, Amazon and Steam have issued refunds for this game but I don’t know that I agree with that, either. The main reason that I am opposed to these refunds is they are not some altruistic ruling from the gaming companies. The refund did not come from Hello Games, the creator of No Mans Sky. The refunds came from these huge companies to get us, the gaming public to bu digital games. There are lots of reasons that digital is better than physical but the main reason is that… you own it. With digital, these companies have a little more control over your digital and gaming life. With a physical copy, I can just hand it off to someone else for them to play. Try that with a digital copy.
Lastly, I am an RPG guy. I am the person that gets the newest Call of Duty game (by newest I mean the latest one that is under $40) and plays through the single player game. I am much more of a Fallout, Assassins Creed and Just Cause gamer than I am any of the hot new First Person Shooters that are out. I do like a good shooter but I prefer a little more story and quite frankly a little less social interaction when I am gaming. This makes me a triple threat in the world of bad gamers. I am not the guy that is going to run out and buy the latest Call of Duty, because I really don’t like other people. I have learned to live with it, I am not a good gamer. I love to game and will play almost anything but I am not very good with the gamer culture.
Welcome to Nuka World boys and girls, children of all ages. What do you add to the game that has everything… an amusement park themed after the most famous soda in 2077 – Nuka Cola. In case you are unaware, Fallout 4 released its latest and last piece of DLC – Nuka World. And I kid you not you get to go play in an amusement park. Granted it is a post-apocalyptic amusement park full of raiders,robots, ghouls, radiation and all manner of creatures, but it is an amusement park nonetheless.
Now, before I get any further, remember that I am the slowest video gamer in the world. I have not gotten through any huge amount of Nuka World, nor have I finished the main story of Fallout 4. I am completely enjoying this piece of downloadable content though and if it ends up being anything like Far Harbor I will finish playing this area completely before I move back to the game itself.
So far – and by that I mean there are about to be spoilers – I have gotten into Nuka World proper, I have met the three factions of Raiders that are living there and I am beginning to look around. The plot, so far as I can tell has to do with you becoming the OverBoss of Nuka World. You kill the current OverBoss and then you are chucked straight into the story. The three factions have to have their own portions of nukaWorld to play around in. They also have side quests. You pick up a new follower in Porter Gage – he is the guy that makes you the OverBoss. And after you have your marching orders, you start to explore the grounds of Nuka World in earnest.
Nuka World is made up of several different areas, think Magic Kingdom, Epcot, etc. The six sections of Nuka World are:
Nuka Town USA – Think Main Street USA in Disney World only a little less cheery.
Nuka Galaxy – Tomorrow Land with killer robots.
Dry Rock Gulch – Red Dead Redemption in a Fallout universe… kind of. Not really. To use something close to home for me, think Tweetsie Railroad. Some of you will like that reference.
Safari Adventure – Animal Kingdom with GatorClaws, a Tarzan-style character and way more. Lots of mutated, radiated animals in this area.
World of Refreshment – My closest example of this is the Coca-Cola museum in Atlanta, GA. At least it would be if Coca-Cola restored your health and gave you special abilities from time to time.
Kiddie Land – Tea cups, a Ferris wheel, a castle and ghouls. What more could a kid ask for?
Also, and I admit this is one of the main reasons that I want to play through all of Nuka World, you get a Nuka World branded set of Power Armor. I have found it. It is in the bowels of the World of Refreshment. It is behind a locked door and you have to hack a terminal to get to it. I don’t want to spend the Perks points to be able to get to it, but I will. I want that armor. I will have that armor. If Sony would give me mods on the PS4, I would already have that armor.
All in all, this is an awesome addition to the game. I really dig it so far. It is adding experience to my character and lots more junk to my stock pile. Can’t wait to see what else I find in Nuka World – the Happiest place on earth…. with ghouls… and raiders… and radiation sickness.