Let the Streaming Begin!

I’m happy to announce that I’ve finally build up the courage to start streaming on Twitch! While I’m still trying to figure out my own groove, I have to say I’ve been having fun getting started. I’m only averaging about 2 viewers, but hey, everyone has to start somewhere.

For now, I’m going to try to stream at least every few days to setup some regularity and help me get more used to streaming. If interested in, follow me on Twitch, bludrgn311, to get alerts when I start streaming. You can also follow me on Twitter @bludrgn311 where I’ll also post when I’ve start streaming.

Current game on the menu is Diablo III. This is my first playthrough as I skipped it on initial release and just never got around to playing it. Being my first go at the game, it will be a story playthrough so no skipping dialogue or cutscenes.

To Radiant Quest or Not To Radiant Quest?

My wife decided to hop back into Fallout 4 recently, and was quickly reminded how annoying radiant quests can be. For those not familiar with what radiant quests are, Bethesda first introduced them in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim as a way to dynamically generate random quests to help keep players busy. An interesting idea; but not implemented well in my honest opinion.

So yes, while they are great at keeping one busy by constantly send them off to random locations to complete an objective, they tend to be fairly shallow. Kind of like daily quests in MMO’s without any soft of payoff. They don’t exactly progress any story arcs, they tend to be repetitive, and they don’t care at all where you may have visited yet, including DLC. That last point can be especially annoying if you are starting a new game and own all the DLC. In the case of Fallout 4, it isn’t uncommon for the game to send you either to Far Harbor or Nuka World before you have even started either DLC or are level appropriate. Yes, you could just ignore them, use a console code to remove the quest, or just start the DLC before you really want to; but I don’t feel players should have to be forced to go either route as all of them can break game emersion. “Hold on folks, before I do this important main story quest, I need to leave this area entirely, and start a new side story quest just to kill one dude. Then I’ll be back to finish this main story quest.” No sir, I don’t like it.

Why am I writing about this now since Skyrim and Fallout 4 have been out for while now? Not like anything will be done now. Well, while I was thinking about radiant quests, I remembered Bethesda has both Starfield and Elder Scrolls VI coming down the pipeline. Considering they liked radiant quests enough in Skyrim that they incorporated it into Fallout 4, one can wager radiant quests will make their way into both of these games potentially. If they do, they do. All I really hope for is that they actually spend some extra time to improve how they work.

At minimum, have the game check against the players started/completed quests to see if they have actually started a particular DLC before forcing them blindly into DLC they haven’t started and potentially have not plans of starting yet. To be honest, that doesn’t seem that hard. Just seem like an oversight on their part. As for them being repetitive and shallow, that just comes down to better writing. I don’t see any reason why they couldn’t give each radiant quest line a little more purpose. At least make it feel like you are making a difference in the game world for doing them. I mean, having to place what seems like several dozen MILA unites on different rooftops seems fun in all in Fallout 4. There is absolutely no payout at the end. No special dialogue, no unique weapon/armor. I’m not looking for some game altering event, just something that at least made me feel like doing all the radiant quests was worth it and had some sort of payout.

While I don’t feel like radiant quests have to be inherently boring and meaningless, I don’t feel like Bethesda hasn’t really put much effort into them considering how much they talked about them prior to each games release. My hope going into Starfield and Elder Scrolls VI, if they bring back radiant quests, I can only hope they put more thought and consideration into them. It can be done.

Nintendo’s New Timed Releases, Why?

After Nintendo announced the Super Mario 3D All-Stars and that it will only be sold up to March 31, 2021, including digitally, I figured this was a one off to hype up the 35th anniversary of Mario. I mean, I’d understand them not selling physical copies past that date, but digital copies also? I’m honestly not thrilled about this and can’t figure out what their game is with doing this. Maybe they just wanted to maximize their sales by encouraging those on the fence to buy it sooner rather than later. Another idea I had is that they have something in mind after March 31st next year to enhance the game. Possible that Nintendo is planning to add additional 3D Mario games to the collection that weren’t included. Those that bought the game “early” will just get the extra games for free. Those that didn’t already buy it could then buy a Super Mario 3D All-Stars “Deluxe” edition, much like Mario All-Stars + Super Mario World for the SNES. That last idea is very much wishful thinking on my part. Either way, I ended up buying it. I planned to get it regardless because I never played Super Mario Galaxy and I never finished Super Mario Sunshine. Super Mario Galaxy is so much fun!

However, Nintendo threw a monkey wrench into my last idea after announcing Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light as another timed release until March 31, 2021. Now I’m just thinking they are trying to maximize the number of people who are buying these games by giving an artificial limited window. I just can’t think of a good reason as to why they can’t just continue selling the digital copies. Not like they have to manufacture digital copies. It honestly makes me feel like Nintendo is pulling a Disney on us. Nintendo is creating its own Vault and I don’t like it. There is still plenty of time between now and March 31st, so maybe they do have something planned around that time that could explain the timed release. I just really hope this isn’t a new trend for Nintendo going forward, especially if they are just trying to create artificial demand. As for Fire Emblem, I do think I’ll pick it up though. I’m a Fire Emblem fan and have never played this one; and for $5.99, why not.

My Verdict on Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5

Wanted to make sure I gave this some additional thought before making my own verdict on the Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5. To be completely honest, after seeing everything for the Xbox and PlayStation, I’m not interested in getting either just yet. Neither company has me really sold yet. Yes, both the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 are powerful consoles; but neither has anything worth dropping $500 on this year. Yes, PlayStation 5 is getting Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales this year, but so is the PlayStation 4. Sure, it will look much better and load way faster on the PlayStation 5, but that just doesn’t justify a new system for one exclusive title. Not even $400 for the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition. Same with Xbox Series X/S. Yes, I want to play Halo Infinite, but I have a gaming PC that I know can run it. I also have Xbox Game Pass for PC. There just isn’t enough to make me want to get one at launch.

As for which system I may eventually get, that is still up in the air for me. Since I have a good gaming PC, there isn’t much of an incentive for me to get an Xbox Series X or S. The only exception for me is the backwards compatibility. I still on occasion grab my Original Xbox and Xbox 360 to play some of the games I still own for them. Unfortunately, because they are all physical, that will limit me to the Xbox Series X just for the disk drive. Can’t find any options yet for the Xbox Series S, if there are any. If there is a way, I’d seriously consider getting an Xbox Series S just for that to retire my Original Xbox and Xbox 360. Then just play all the newer releases on my PC.

As for the PlayStation, they are providing me with less and less incentives at the moment. The two major titles I most wanted to play are Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Horizon Forbidden West, yet I can get both for my PlayStation 4 and save myself at least $400. Everything else is cross platform. True, they did just officially announce the new God of War, but no release date yet, so not until 2021 at the earliest. Then don’t forget about the Sony Executive mentioning they are looking into releasing more PlayStation first party titles on PC. If that honestly happens and the new God of War also releases on PC, I really have no reason to get a PlayStation 5.

Final verdict, if I had to pick one, I’d honestly consider the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition. If money wasn’t a concern, I’d just go for the full PlayStation 5 to replace my PlayStation 4. I’d just hold off on the Xbox Series X until my Original Xbox and/or Xbox 360 die. Figure by then, I may be able to get an Xbox Series X at a lower price point. As for the games, my PC can hand what Microsoft is releasing.

Microsoft Acquiring Bethesda Softworks

Well, technically, Microsoft is acquiring ZeniMax Media, which is the parent company of Bethesda Software; but Bethesda Softworks is admittedly the more interesting detail. Here is a link to the official announcement.

Can’t say I saw this coming, but this is very intriguing acquisition to say the least. What will this mean for Bethesda Softworks games going forward? I know there is a fair amount of talk on Twitter about Bethesda’s games becoming console exclusives. I’m not so sure about that. Doesn’t seem like a smart move to take a publisher who has been releasing their games across all platforms for a while now and just cut out one of those established markets. Sure, it would give Xbox a boost in what would be first party exclusives that PlayStation used to have; but I don’t think that is entirely smart.

Here is what I honestly think is more likely to happen. Bethesda Softworks main titles will release first on Xbox as a timed exclusive, and they will be exclusive to the Xbox Game Pass subscription service. The latter is not to say you won’t be able to get them digitally on PlayStation, just that they won’t be included in PlayStation Plus. Baring Microsoft and Sony don’t make some sort of deal to get Xbox Game Pass on PlayStation. Granted, I’d expect to win the lottery before I see that happening. If it does though, I’ll drop everything and immediately buy a lottery ticket.

Either way, this is a big win for Microsoft that puts Sony in an interesting position. From what I’ve seen, this won’t impact anything already slated for release on the PlayStation 5, namely DEATHLOOP and GhostWire: Tokyo; but I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if both of these titles are eventually released on Xbox Series X/S considering they are already slated for PC. Will be more interesting to see what happens with Starfield and Elder Scrolls VI.