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Were You Wishing Too Human Was Free

This is just a public service announcement but I wanted to get the word out that Too Human is now on the Xbox One Backwards Compatibility list, but more importantly, it is available for free.

Sure, the game got bounced around a bit at launch, but for free, I think it is worth trying the game out.  I mean, what have you got to lose for the low, low price of free.  I played through a chunk of that game with a friend of mine in co-op and we had a great time going through the world.  Sure, it lacks a ton of depth, but you can see that the pieces are there to set up a cool story moving forward.  Sadly, it never ended up happening.

And hey, if you hate the game, it is easy enough to delete the game and forget you ever played it.

Where, Oh Where Nintendo, Was Bayonetta 3

So Nintendo had their E3 Direct broadcast this morning and it was packed full of neat announcements for the Nintendo faithful.  And yet, I was bummed by the one announcement that was missing from the broadcast – Bayonetta 3.  I thought maybe I might have missed something when I walked out of the room, but no, it was confirmed by many that there was no new Bayonetta 3 news from Nintendo.

Sure, there were plenty of cool announcements that would make most fans happy.  There was more news and gameplay footage of Animal Crossing.  Sure, the game is delayed a few months, but I think fans of the series were happy.  A bunch of the Dragon’s Quest XI characters are coming to Smash Ultimate along with Dragon’s Quest XI coming to Switch as well.  I mean, Nintendo pulled a super surprising Panzer Dragoon announcement out of their ass.  I mean, who the hell thought they would ever see another entry in the Panzer Dragoon franchise?

There were new Amiibos for people to run out and buy (sorry Fourhman, Amiibos are still alive and kicking), we got Banjo and Kazooie coming to Smash Ultimate and there was even some new footage and a release date for Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 (yay for Kamala Khan in the game).  I mean, they even announced a super early, in development announcement for a Breath of the Wild sequel.

And yet with all these surprises, no Bayonetta 3.  My only hope is for Platinum to have some news that comes out at some point during E3 this year, but I am not holding my breath.  I guess I should take solace in knowing my E3 prediction was right about no new Switch Hardware!

Lets Be Honest, Keanu Made Microsoft Great Again

If there was one press conference that I was anticipating for the past few weeks at E3, it would have to be Microsoft. This is a company that has been through the ringer this generation, with a bad launch of a console, and from that point, have never really recovered.  For most, this conference was going to be about when the next hardware would come out, but surprisingly, the conference was much ado Keanu Reeves.

Obviously the big thing announced outside of Keanu was the news about their upcoming next generation console experience, Project Scarlett. Not much was said beyond them also using a weird Hybrid SSD drive, GDDR6 memory, four times as powerful as the Xbox One X and a custom AMD System on a Chip made for Microsoft. While many were looking for a Fall 2019 release date for this console, it will not launch until Holiday 2020.

Project Xcloud was also mentioned which is a system for playing your games via the cloud. This service will leverage the power of special Azure blades that you will connect to, but they also announced Console Streaming which will allow you to connect to your own console, anywhere in the world from different devices. This will be testing coming in the future later in 2019.

The Blair Witch

Neat surprises at the briefing was a new Blair Witch game which seemed to come out of nowhere. I had no idea a Blair Witch game was coming to anything, and as with many of the games in the show, it is coming to Xbox Game Pass day and date at launch. The next Forza Horizon 4 expansion pack will be Lego themed, which is hilarious to see these cool Lego cars based on real life (including the crazy real McLaren that was built out of Lego at the show). While not exactly my jam, I was shocked to see a new Tales game coming to Xbox as well as the first console location you will play Phantasy Star Online 2. Who would have thought an PSO game would be coming to anything in this day and age.  And to put the cherry on top of all of it, Microsoft decided to go out and buy Double Fine.

Less surprising were games like the upcoming Ori sequel, Gears 5 and of course, the obligatory Halo announcement. No, you will be waiting until 2020 for Halo Infinite as it is a launch title for Project Scarlett.

PSO2 Online on Xbox One

We did get more news about Game Pass on PC as it soft launched today with a Beta and a $1 entry point for new users.  They also combined it for free with Game Pass Ultimate, which I immediately jumped in for with the $14.99 cost. The game selection is pretty good, which newer titles like Metro Exodus and Hollow Knight showing up today.

But come on, the star of the show was finding out that Keanu Reeves was a character that you will interact with in Cyberpunk 2077. The new trailer for this game was amazing, but that end show with Keanu in shades and some serious implants was amazing. And then to top it all off, Keanu came out of a tunnel on to a stage to announce a release date for Cyberpunk 2077, which is April 16th, 2020, so just in time to celebrate after filing your taxes.

All in all, I felt the Microsoft briefing moved with a good pace, dropped a ton of announcements and definitely made owning Game Pass even more important moving forward with so many games dropping launch day on the service.  The games were looking great, they did not let Project Scarlett or Xcloud drowned out the message about current games and yes, we even got some cool surprises.  I would give the conference an A-, but this is because there really isn’t much in the way of competition for Microsoft at E3 this year.

So What Exactly is Going on with Anthem at Electronic Arts

Man oh man, how six months can change the look of a game.  Case in point is the game Anthem, which only came out in February of 2019.  There was a ton of anticipation for this game on the precipice of its release.  Anthem had a troubled beta and because of the lack of information leading up to its launch, we did not really have much to go on when Anthem launched.  I mean we knew it was going to be a Game as a Service with ongoing events, but beyond that it was sort of a mystery.

Move forward to June and now people rarely bring up Anthem in discussion, the game has fallen down the list quite a bit on Twitch in regards to active streamers playing it, a three month road map that was released shortly after launch was thrown out the window and probably most importantly, Anthem was nowhere to be seen on the EA Play 2019 schedule that they released.

It is so weird to see a game that was so touted and pushed at E3 Expo 2018, that was hyped in multiple betas, would just crash and burn so hard after launch.  This is a game that was number one on the NPD sales charts in February 2019 and was outside the top twenty games in sales the following month.

Now I know it sounds like I am shitting on Anthem as a game, but really I am not.  Its more about shitting on EA as they seem to have completely lost confidence in Anthem and by proxy, I think Bioware as well.  Note that not only is Anthem not on the EA Play docket, but Dragon Age IV (or whatever it is going to be called) is not on the list either.  Yet somehow, The Sims 4, a game released five years ago, gets a featured spot.  I know the game did not exactly set the world on fire, but there are some great concepts there that could be expanded on.  I love flying around in the suit as it makes me feel like Iron Man (and it is way more fun than those crappy Iron Man games Sega put out years ago).  The shooting is good and responsive.

Now it is not unheard of for a game to turn it around after a bumpy launch like Anthem’s.  I mean, Rainbow Six Siege, For Honor and more have made Ubisoft a ton of cash, but those games came out of the gate to subpar reviews and lackluster player feedback.  So there seems to be time for Bioware to pull it back out and knock it over the fence.

Right now though, I think EA needs to get the player count back up, and I think the best way to do that right now is to drop Anthem on EA Access and Origin Access this week.  Make a big announcement out of it and get those player counts back up.  At this point, you have nothing to lose and you need to get people back into the game on a regular basis.  This is a start, but more work needs to be done.

Now if EA could just give Anthem five minutes of time at the EA Play event (Note on June 8th, 2019 – There are still tickets available for both the 8th and the 9th for EA Play an hour before the show starts).

Lots of Changes Coming to Destiny 2

There was a ton of news that dropped today from Bungie in regards to Destiny 2.  I mean, I did not think that Destiny 2 would be stealing the early E3 2019 buzz, but here we are two days before the first events launch and Bungie is making a lot of waves.

First off we found out that there is a free version of Destiny 2 coming at some point in the future.  This is kind of neat and should boost player count because who doesn’t like free games, especially one with the polish that you get from Bungie.  But the news train did not stop there.  We found out the game was coming to Google Stadia, that the game would be coming to Steam and there was the possibility that the game would be hitting more digital storefronts in the future.

But the last news blast on Destiny 2 was probably the most shocking and that was the news that you can do a character transfer from the Xbox One or PC versions of Destiny 2 to the Google Stadia version of the game.  Now, I am unsure if this means your character is wiped on the old platform or continues working as advertised and the two branch into separate paths, but this is being allowed, which is cool.  Apparently however, PlayStation 4 is not part of this announcement, although the Stadia video did mention that Google was still negotiating with Sony to make this work.

The news is still coming too, as I just read that we will also get cross-platform saves of characters, and that all exclusive items have been dropped moving forward starting September 17th, 2019.  One would assume that is when the PlayStation 4 exclusive timer runs out, but it is cool to think that I can have one Guardian that will cross over to whatever platform I am playing on.

Now if we could just get Cross-Play to happen, that would be perfect, but hey, its not all rain.

Looking Behind the Announcement of Google Stadia

So after getting some general ideas from Google about the Stadia device, today brought a lot of the nuts and bolts about the costs and delivery methods for the Google Stadia.  Overall, there were a few surprises, but the big thing is that your appreciation of the service may be dependent on your bandwidth and how much you are willing to spend.

First off, the only way you get to join in on the Stadia experience on November 14th, 2019 is if you are willing to jump on the Google Stadia Founders Experience package.  For the somewhat low price of $129, you get a controller, a Chromecast Ultra, a three month Stadia Pro membership for both you and one friend.  Of course there are other options, like just getting the Stadia Pro experience or just using the Stadia Free, which costs absolutely nothing, but neither one of these options will be available until 2020.  So if you want in early, you have to pay a premium price.  I have thoughts on this, but lets describe some of these services first.

Stadia Pro is akin to Xbox Games with Gold or PlayStation Plus.  You have access to premium streaming options like 4K/HDR/60FPS streaming options, and you will get selected games for free as long as you keep your subscription active.  The Stadia Free option allows you to use any controller with a launched Chrome browser window, but you only get access to limited streaming options, up to 1080p/60FPS streams.  So again, if you want all that is advertised, you must pay Google.

I was happy that Google did put down on paper what speeds you will need to make things work.  To hit the vaunted 4K/HDR/60FPS threshold, you will need a full 35mbps to get everything working smooth.  1080p/60FPS will work on a minimum of 20mbps and at 720mbps, you will need a 10mbps connection.  Of course, today’s release gave no actual working demo of the games working on those connections, so again, the argument about this working in a real world environment is still up for debate.

One place where the Stadia announcement hit it out of the park were the game announcements.  We got the first real announcement of a Baulder’s Gate III during the Stadia presentation.  Other games that will hit at or near the launch are the upcoming Ghost Recon game, Assassins Creed Odyssey, Doom, Doom Eternal and Rage 2 to name a few titles.  Also announced was that anyone buying a Founders Edition right now will get a full free copy of Destiny 2 with all expansions and annual passes, including the newest pass.

With all of this out there, I was happy with the information that we received about the Google Stadia, but I still feel that there are too many unknowns here to accept the console right now at $129.  The pack in of Destiny 2 is nice, but I still have concerns about the performance with my Internet.  I also don’t like being forced into paying a decent chunk of change to get in on their launch date of November.  If I don’t want to spend, the actual service launches in 2020 for the rest of us that might want to wait and feel out the service, which is a bit disheartening.

Let me know your thoughts on the Stadia conference and if you are looking to get one or not in the comments.

Some Changes Coming to the mclazyj Discord Soon

This is more of a heads up article than anything else, but there will be some changes to the mclazyj Discord in the future.  Right now, there isn’t much to say on the subject as there are some discussions, but the changes should be good and more importantly, promote a more active chat.  Yes, I am aware that there is not much going on in the Discord right now other than live postings and my pictures from college trips.

But keep your eyes peeled for a bit and when everything gets closer to launch, I will have another post here to give out all the details and there will be notice in the current Discord with an @everyone tag so you will have some heads up before it happens.

But I did want to take this time to thank all that are involved with the Discord and I hope these changes will have you come in and chat as a regular!

 

The Blackout Club is a Ton of Fun to Stream

A few months ago, I was supposed to put on a co-op stream with my streaming buddies, @Sevaskyr and @Arbesa.  We were going to try a new game called The Blackout Club, but sadly, I could not make it on that morning and I am sad that this was the case.  We finally got around to playing The Blackout Club this morning and holy crap is that game a ton of fun to stream with friends.

If you are unaware of The Blackout Club, the game is currently available on Steam, but be warned, the game is in early access.  You play one of several 15 year old kids that know something is wrong in their neighborhood, but no one will believe them.  Parents brush them off as being paranoid, and because the city apparently has no Internet access (HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE IN 2019?!?!), you go out at night and find out the truth to show the people.  You find parents roaming as sleepwalking attackers, nasty traps and of course, a crazed manager of this chaos called the The Shape.  In a twist to the standard game mechanics that you would think to find here, you can only see the main enemy of the game if you have your eyes closed.

If none of this is explaining The Blackout Club well enough, just imagine if the Babysitters Club was imported into a weird alternate dimension where Dead By Daylight was located.  You have missions that you are assigned to root out the truth.  Each mission will have three to four goals and then an exit point to get back to your hideout.  Make it out and you advance to more complicated missions, fail and you will become a prisoner of The Shape and you have to restart the mission.

Things are procedurally generated, in that locations for your quest items will change, so you will never know exactly where you will need to go to get to quest objectives.  I also like that there are no guns.  Weapons are all defensive like a stun gun, or a tranquilizer bolt for a crossbow.

The game is fine if you want to play with randoms, but if you can get a posse together to play on a stream, the ensuing mayhem is incredibly fun and will provide both scares and laughs along the way.  Blackout Club is janky and don’t be surprised if you run into a host of glitches along the way while streaming and playing.  I mean, there was literally a 1.2GB patch for the game the day before I played it and there are regular updates.  This makes me feel good because it does mean that the developers are still working on the game and have not abandoned it like the fate of many an early access title on Steam.

So give the game a shot sometime on stream, as you might find it to be a neat few hours with some friends.

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Finding a Work/Life/Stream Balance

Sometimes it can be difficult to find a proper balance when trying to be a part-time streamer.  For those that are young, you might just have to worry about work, but for those of us that are a little older, there can be a myriad of things that take up time that we need to balance. This only came up today for me as a streamer that I watch abruptly cancelled all future streams due to what appeared to be personal issues.

I know of this all too well.  There was a time when I was trying to stream every night, cramming in as much time in front of a camera thinking it was the best thing for the stream.  While that may be true, but when your spouse comes to you saying that they think your stream is more important then them, or your children, you have to learn to set priorities.

When you hear those words, you have to take a step back and find a modicum of balance between all things streaming.  For me, it meant setting a schedule that I was ridged about keeping.  Off-days would be off-days.  On those days, you make time to spend with family either at home or getting out of the house and doing something with them. 

And then from there, you have to make sure to keep things from interfering with work.  For me, I tend to have streams on in the background, as white noise tends to help me work.  However, I try to keep the watching to a minimum.  It is way too easy to find yourself watching far too much video games vs. getting actual work done.

These are just some tips that I have for you anyone looking for some life balance tips.  They are by no means the definitive answer, but maybe they might be a solid starting point.

Microsoft Talks Game Pass for PC and the Return of Win32

A few months ago the president of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, mentioned that Xbox Game Pass would be coming to PC at some point.  However, he did leave out the details of how this would work on PC.  I mean, let’s face it, the UMP platform and the Windows Store has not exactly been hitting it out of the park in regards to game titles finding there way over there.  So how exactly was this going to work.

Well, now we know as it seems Microsoft has relented on the idea that only UMP programming titles can be published to the Windows Store, and they are going to allow Win32 titles to the Windows Store according to a post by Phil Spencer over on Xbox Wire.  It seems that Win32 apps will now be able to be advertised and posted on the Windows Store.  Expanding on this, Microsoft is also going to be posting titles on other platforms like Steam.  Coming first will be titles like Gears of War 5, all the Age of Empires titles and 18 other Microsoft PC titles.

Not to be lost in all of this was the expansion on details for the Xbox Game Pass on PC.  Microsoft will be launching the service with over 100 PC titles, coming from developers like Deep Silver, Devolver Digital, Bethesda, Sega and Paradox to name a few.  Also, Microsoft will be continuing the practice of releasing all Xbox Game Studio titles on the service.  Lacking in the details were when this service would be launching, if all these games will support all the Xbox features that current UMP titles support or even if you will have to pay for this service separately from your current Xbox Game Pass.

It does sound like we will get some more details about these items and more at the Microsoft E3 2019 briefing coming on June 9th, 2019 at 1PM.

Blog Posts

Were You Wishing Too Human Was Free

This is just a public service announcement but I wanted to get the word out that Too Human is now on the Xbox One Backwards Compatibility list, but more importantly, it is available for free. Sure, the game got bounced around a bit at launch, but for free, I think it is worth trying the […]

Read More
Where, Oh Where Nintendo, Was Bayonetta 3

So Nintendo had their E3 Direct broadcast this morning and it was packed full of neat announcements for the Nintendo faithful.  And yet, I was bummed by the one announcement that was missing from the broadcast – Bayonetta 3.  I thought maybe I might have missed something when I walked out of the room, but […]

Read More
Lets Be Honest, Keanu Made Microsoft Great Again

If there was one press conference that I was anticipating for the past few weeks at E3, it would have to be Microsoft. This is a company that has been through the ringer this generation, with a bad launch of a console, and from that point, have never really recovered.  For most, this conference was […]

Read More
So What Exactly is Going on with Anthem at Electronic Arts

Man oh man, how six months can change the look of a game.  Case in point is the game Anthem, which only came out in February of 2019.  There was a ton of anticipation for this game on the precipice of its release.  Anthem had a troubled beta and because of the lack of information […]

Read More
Lots of Changes Coming to Destiny 2

There was a ton of news that dropped today from Bungie in regards to Destiny 2.  I mean, I did not think that Destiny 2 would be stealing the early E3 2019 buzz, but here we are two days before the first events launch and Bungie is making a lot of waves. First off we […]

Read More
Looking Behind the Announcement of Google Stadia

So after getting some general ideas from Google about the Stadia device, today brought a lot of the nuts and bolts about the costs and delivery methods for the Google Stadia.  Overall, there were a few surprises, but the big thing is that your appreciation of the service may be dependent on your bandwidth and […]

Read More
Some Changes Coming to the mclazyj Discord Soon

This is more of a heads up article than anything else, but there will be some changes to the mclazyj Discord in the future.  Right now, there isn’t much to say on the subject as there are some discussions, but the changes should be good and more importantly, promote a more active chat.  Yes, I […]

Read More
The Blackout Club is a Ton of Fun to Stream

A few months ago, I was supposed to put on a co-op stream with my streaming buddies, @Sevaskyr and @Arbesa.  We were going to try a new game called The Blackout Club, but sadly, I could not make it on that morning and I am sad that this was the case.  We finally got around […]

Read More
Finding a Work/Life/Stream Balance

Sometimes it can be difficult to find a proper balance when trying to be a part-time streamer.  For those that are young, you might just have to worry about work, but for those of us that are a little older, there can be a myriad of things that take up time that we need to […]

Read More
Microsoft Talks Game Pass for PC and the Return of Win32

A few months ago the president of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, mentioned that Xbox Game Pass would be coming to PC at some point.  However, he did leave out the details of how this would work on PC.  I mean, let’s face it, the UMP platform and the Windows Store has not exactly been hitting it […]

Read More

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