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If you monitor ATC for the flights that are basically over Highway 95, the radar coverage is terrible. This report is evidence.
Time / Day
Date : 199104 Local Time Of Day : 1201-1800
Locale Reference.Airport : TPH Locale Reference.ATC Facility : TNX State Reference : NV Relative Position.Angle.Radial : 206 Relative Position.Distance.Nautical Miles : 20 Altitude.MSL.Single Value : 15000
Flight Conditions : VMC Weather Elements / Visibility.Visibility : 10 Light : Daylight
Aircraft : 1
ATC / Advisory.Center : OAK Aircraft Operator : Air Carrier Make Model Name : Large Transport, Low Wing, 3 Turbojet Eng Crew Size.Number Of Crew : 3 Flight Plan : IFR Mission : Passenger Flight Phase : Climb Airspace.Class E : ZOA
Aircraft : 2
Aircraft Operator : Military Make Model Name : Military Transport Crew Size.Number Of Crew : 2 Flight Plan : IFR Mission : Tactical Flight Phase : Cruise Flight Phase : Cruise
Person : 1
Reference : 1 Reporter Organization : Air Carrier Function.Flight Crew : Captain Qualification.Flight Crew : Flight Engineer Qualification.Flight Crew : Air Transport Pilot (ATP) Experience.Flight Crew.Total : 5500 Experience.Flight Crew.Last 90 Days : 170 Experience.Flight Crew.Type : 3500 ASRS Report Number.Accession Number : 175062
Person : 2
Reference : 2 Reporter Organization : Air Carrier Function.Flight Crew : Pilot Flying Function.Flight Crew : First Officer Qualification.Flight Crew : Instrument Qualification.Flight Crew : Commercial
Person : 3
Reference : 3 Reporter Organization : Air Carrier Function.Flight Crew : Flight Engineer / Second Officer Qualification.Flight Crew : Flight Engineer
Person : 4
Reference : 4 Reporter Organization : Military Function.Flight Crew : Captain Function.Flight Crew : Pilot Flying
Person : 5
Reference : 5 Reporter Organization : Government Function.Air Traffic Control : Enroute Qualification.Air Traffic Control : Fully Certified
Anomaly.ATC Issue : All Types Anomaly.Conflict : Airborne Conflict Anomaly.Deviation / Discrepancy - Procedural : Published Material / Policy Detector.Person : Air Traffic Control Miss Distance.Horizontal : 500 Miss Distance.Vertical : 700 Result.General : None Reported / Taken Result.Air Traffic Control : Issued New Clearance
Primary Problem : Human Factors
DEPARTED FROM TONOPAH TEST RANGE ON AN IFR CLRNC TO CLB TO 15000' DIRECT TO THE TPH VOR, DEST, NELLIS AFB (DEPARTED AT XA:20 LCL). FLT PLAN WAS TO PROCEED DIRECT TO TPH VOR, 206 DEG R TO TEZUM INTXN, J92 TO BTY VOR, DIRECT TO LSV. AFTER CLBING TO 15000' IN APPROX 5 MINS, WE CROSSED TPH VOR AND TURNED LEFT TO INTERCEPT THE 206 DEG R OUTBND TO TEZUM. AFTER ANOTHER 3 MINS APPROX, I SWITCHED OVER FROM TPH DEP TO ZOA, AND WITH RADIO CONTACT, REQUESTED A CLB TO HIGHER ALT. HE (CTLR) ASKED MY LOCATION, WHICH I STATED AS 206 DEG R 11 DME TPH. HE THEN ASKED IF I COULD BE AT OR ABOVE 17000' BEFORE 30 DME, WHICH I COULD DO WITH NO PROB. I WAS THEN CLRED TO CLB TO FL230, AND I STARTED MY CLB IMMEDIATELY. I WAS AWARE OF THE PRESENCE OF A MIL ACFT APCHING FROM THE OPP DIRECTION, BUT COULD NOT PINPOINT HIS EXACT LOCATION BY MEMORY, HE WAS AT 16000' ALT. MDW THROUGH MY CLB THE TROUBLE STARTED, THE CTLR ASKED IF I COULD BE ABOVE 17000' BY 3 DME, WHICH I INTERPRETED TO MEAN AS MY POS IN RELATION TO TPH VOR; I.E., TO BE WITHIN 3 DME OF THE VOR BY 17000', AND I STATED, "NEGATIVE, I AM ALREADY AT 16 DME." HE THEN TOLD ME TO MAINTAIN 15000'. BY THIS TIME, I WAS AT APPROX 16800', SO I STATED MY ALT AND ASKED HIM IF HE WANTED ME TO DSND BACK DOWN TO 15000'. HE STATED, "AFFIRMATIVE." MEANTIME, THE OTHER ACFT MADE VIS CONTACT WITH US AND SAW THAT WE WERE SLOWLY DSNDING THROUGH HIS ALT, AND HE IMMEDIATELY REQUESTED LOWER ALT, BUT THE CTLR DENIED HIS REQUEST. SECS LATER HE TOOK EVASIVE ACTION AND DSNDED TO 15500'. PASSING APPROX 16200', I SAW HIM (MLT) PASSING BELOW AND SLIGHTLY TO MY LEFT. THE CTLR QUESTIONED MY ACTIONS AND I GAVE HIM A PIECE OF MY MIND IN A POLITE MANNER, TO WHICH HE REPLIED, "NO HARM DONE, NO ACTION TO BE TAKEN FROM MY END." LATER I WAS CLRED TO FL230 AND PROCEEDED W/O FURTHER INCIDENT. SUBSEQUENT INVESTIGATION THAT THE RADAR COVERAGE IN THAT AREA IS MAINTAINED BY A SUBSTANDARD 2 SYS TYPE WHICH HAD FAILED TO SWITCH WHEN THE FIRST SYS FAILED. ALSO, IT SEEMS THAT THIS AREA IS NOTED FOR NEAR MISSES FREQUENTLY, AND IS KNOWN BY PLTS AS "COFFIN'S CORNER." FREQUENTLY, THE WX IS TOTALLY IFR AND THIS ADDS TO THE PROB.
ARTCC RADAR CTLR CLIMBED LGT X TO A HIGHER ALT WHICH RESULTED IN LESS THAN STANDARD SEPARATION WITH ANOTHER ACFT.
We had a close call with a tornado last night. I was literally scared out of my mind. It was like one of my worst nightmares was coming true. A strong, long-track wedge tornado was making its way counties over and it was in the middle of the night. We took shelter underneath the stairs in the laundry room and we could hear the wind and thunder outside. I have never been so scared in my life. I used to wonder why my fear of tornadoes was so bad. I knew I had it since childhood, but I never actually lived through a catastrophic tornado. I have never even seen one before in my life. I felt guilty hearing of others with that fear who actually survived a catastrophic tornado. Then again, it is no different than having a panic attack standing in the water at the beach when you see a large fish, immediately thinking it's a shark swimming towards you. You have never actually been attacked by a shark or encountered one in your life, but that fear is still naturally there. This is the same principle. That weather may have frightened me since I was a kid. When I was living in California where I never had to worry about that kind of weather, I would sometimes watch live coverage on the Weather Channel of a monster tornado taking place in Oklahoma. I learned that you cannot survive the strongest twisters unless you are underground or out of its way. Ever since I had to move back to TN to help take care of my Grandfather 2 years ago, it has been very stressful whenever severe weather was in the forecast for this area. We do not have a basement. If we had a basement, I would be chill. I was more than thankful we got through last night unscathed, but just learning that a large wedge tornado that has been on the ground for a while and hearing that it is headed your way was traumatic. It was such a horrible feeling. My folks were really worried about me stroking out. It really can hurt my health. I spent all day processing it. It appeared to have skipped over our area before it touched down again in a neighboring community, wrecking a number of houses. I was curious about its exact proximity to our house and watched the coverage from last night with the radar and it was triggering. It was hard to watch, but I did find out that the supposed tornado that lifted was about a mile from this house. It wasn't right over us, but pretty damn close and did damage somewhere else very close by. It may have traumatized me, but I was extremely relieved after it was over. Has anyone ever been traumatized by a close call? How do you cope?
Tornado Watch: Favorable conditions for tornadoes to form. Will have a yellow outline on weather maps
Tornado Warning: Cloud rotation has been spotted on radar. Tornado may have not formed yet, but could in a few seconds. Take cover. Will have a red outline on weather maps.
Tornado: A tornado has been confirmed and is actively fucking stuff up on the ground. Will have a "debris trail" on radar. Take immediate cover. Will have a pink outline on weather maps.
RPGs are a good time but they can also be real monkeys on your back when you've got a lot of stuff you want to play. Heck, I don't even mind really long RPG experiences, as evidenced by The Witcher 3 being my favorite game from last year
. The important thing is that the game earn
its length, and sadly I don't think either of the huge games I was working on over the past three months quite managed to do that, even though both certainly had their strengths. But there are two sides to every coin, and in this case the disappointment of a big game falling short of the mark is balanced by the relief that it's over, and the accompanying newfound joy of just playing other games again.
It's with that joy in mind that I completed 10 games
during the month of March, including the two aforementioned bigguns. Unfortunately none of these ten quite ascended to the "great or better" tier for me, but the mere fact that I got to play them all has me counting March as a win.
(Games are presented in chronological completion order; the numerical indicator represents the YTD count.)
#14 - Horizon Forbidden West
- 7.5/10 (Solid)
Horizon Zero Dawn had perhaps one of the best "story experiences" I've ever played in a game. I had nitpicks about the limited variety of enemies and the lackluster melee combat, but those things weren't the focus for me. Instead the thrill was in exploring this incredible setting, unraveling the mysteries of the history of the world, the backstory of the main character, and seeing the wonderous new sights. All those things paid off in extremely satisfying ways in Zero Dawn, so now here's Forbidden West with an impossible task set before it: how can we recapture that sense of awe and wonder? The magic of discovery is largely gone. We know all about Aloy now. We know all about the world. We've seen all these sights before, or at least ones that are functionally similar.
The truth is that Forbidden West can't deliver in the same ways as its predecessor, so it doesn't even try. Instead the game spends its energy trying to just get Bigger™. The enemy list has expanded; melee combat now has its own combo system, skill tree, and a full questline dedicated to mastering it; combat in general offers a lot more options, with a substantial variety of weapons and effects to play around with; and of course, the world map itself is huge
. Yet without that awe and wonder, these things actually serve as drawbacks. There's plenty to do in Forbidden West, but quite a bit less that's truly worth doing. The world is enormous to the point of being both overwhelming and exhausting. The economy is a broken waste of time, as the most desirable items can only be found through grinding specific enemies, leaving you with thousands of worthless metal shards. And despite having a bunch of new weapon types, the functional result of combat is always identical: shoot thing at enemy weak point, dodge attack, repeat indefinitely.
What Forbidden West does still have going for it is that the visuals are terrific and the acting is impeccable. One of the major supporting characters has become one of my new favorites across all RPGs, but the other primary characters are very well put together too, with all being exquisitely performed. And while the main story isn't the revelation that the first game was, it does manage at least to hold your attention. So Forbidden West definitely isn't a bad game or anything close to it. But it's also not anything particularly special. It's a gorgeous, engaging, cinematic, yet bloated and uninspired open world - a terrific 40-60 hour game masquerading as a 100 hour timesink. I wish I could recommend it more strongly.
#15 - Ghostrunner
- 7.5/10 (Solid)
True action platformers are uncommon enough, but finding one that doesn't try to force you to speedrun feels impossible these days. Ghostrunner surprised me, then, with how committed it was to the platforming aspects of its gameplay specifically. And while it does prominently show you your time for each level and give you the chance to check a leaderboard, it doesn't ever put those things front and center. The result is a very rare combination (among first-person games) of quality action segments, quality platforming segments, rewarding exploration, and a total lack of time pressure. It was, in a word, refreshing.
The gameplay for Ghostrunner is all about momentum, with platforming sections that bounce you between walls and fling you past grapple points, and combat sections that require you to keep moving to avoid taking damage; everything in this game kills you in a single hit. But respawns are close to instant and checkpoints are frequent and well placed, so death is really just a mild inconvenience as you start to work out a better plan of attack and then practice executing it until you finally manage to weave expertly through your foes and unlock the door to the next challenge. In this way Ghostrunner is also really well paced, and even very difficult combat encounters don't get too frustrating.
On the down side, the game's voice acting is pretty bad, with a story that's more style than substance. And while sufficiently atmospheric, the environments (with the exception of certain virtual reality style tutorial stages) are all more or less the same for the entire game. Beyond those minor complaints, there are some mechanical consistency issues with certain key player actions. These problems weren't enough to get me not to recommend the game, as the good still noticeably outweighs the bad, but they did impact things a bit for me. Ultimately though, even if Ghostrunner wasn't perfect, I'd love to see more games like it.
#16 - Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order
- 7/10 (Good)
I was lukewarm on the first two Ultimate Alliance games when I finally played them a few years back. I had hoped that the third entry bringing things up to a modern standard would result in a significant improvement, but instead it's really just...more of the same. That's not a death sentence by any means, mind you. The better combat from MUA2 is back, coupled with a coherent, well-paced story and strong roster like in MUA1. So in a very real way, MUA3 provides the best of both worlds.
Yet even as it pulls the best qualities from its predecessors The Black Order also finds its own unique drawbacks. Most notably, there are simply too many menus flying around this game. Combat is simple, straightforward, and satisfying, but if you want to do anything with your team you'll be slogging back and forth through a bunch of different menu screens, many of them confusing given the multiple new systems introduced for improving your heroes. Additionally, the main campaign scales enemy levels faster than your heroes can advance their own, forcing you into the game's "infinity rifts" system. These are a series of repeatable challenge levels that grant experience and other rewards, and they're accessed through their own overly involved menu system. Making all of it worse is the fact that everything you do (including accessing menus) requires loading, and the loading times are very slow across the board.
So in a nutshell, Ultimate Alliance 3 is good, stupid fun when you actually get to play it, and I imagine playing with friends would make that fun grow exponentially as well. But in order to play the game you've got to spend even more time not
playing the game by virtue of navigating menus, watching loading screens, and grinding levels in repetitive rifts until you can progress. Which evens the game out to a "good not great" experience pretty much completely on par with what came before. It's fine, I guess, but consider me lukewarm once again.
#17 - Mega Man Zero 4
- 7/10 (Good)
The prophecy of half point improvements continues all the way to the end, as Zero 4 is overall just a little bit better than 3, but noticeably better than the original game. The key positive change this time around is that the ridiculous "cyber elf" upgrade system has been completely streamlined to such a degree that you might even be able to reasonably think of Zero 4 as a bizarro RPG, using currency for straightforward, linear upgrades and nothing more. This is decidedly in the game's favor, especially because you can now also collect boss abilities like a true Mega Man game, regardless of how "leveled up" you are.
Sadly this is still a Mega Man Zero game, which means that by official Capcom law when one game system gets fixed two others must get worse. Thus, some upgrades are segmented into a truly awful crafting system, whereby you can create new upgrade parts if and only if you're playing with a guide - otherwise you're looking at an impossible task of farming enemies for drops and trial-and-error random combinations. Beyond that there's also a poorly conceived and implemented "weather system" that serves as a soft difficulty selector. And naturally, there's still the speedrunner-focused ranking system that does still punish your rank for daring to use the upgrades you unlock, but mercifully this time around there's nothing but "a sense of pride and accomplishment" at stake with the ranks. So all in all, no - they never quite did get it all the way right. But this one's the best of a mediocre bunch and the first I'd confidently say is worth playing for fans of the genre.
#18 - Axiom Verge 2
- 7.5/10 (Solid)
My memory of the first Axiom Verge was that I thought it was a really bold, interesting metroidvania with unique abilities that helped it feel totally different from the rest of the genre. My other memory is that I hated just about everything regarding the way the game looked. The whole vibe was "cyber horror" and it was uniformly ugly as sin, which made it difficult for me to want to play it even though in a vacuum I did enjoy the gameplay. Thankfully that awful aesthetic is mostly all gone for the sequel, replaced with a more consistent theme of "ancient Mesopotamian robots." That change allowed me to better appreciate the gameplay, which is also a little more traditional. There are still some unique flavors like "hacking" enemies for combat assistance, or changing forms to navigate different areas, but nothing here gives you the "whoa, what's this?" feeling of the first game. That said, abilities are still generally satisfying to find and they can still surprise you when you expect one way to deal with an obstacle and the game instead gives you something else. Also, unlike the first game where I was never able to figure out what was even going on, the story this time around is relatively coherent (even if still pretty "out there"), which helps provide a sense of motivation and narrative direction.
Sense of geographic direction, though, is one area where Axiom Verge 2 falls short. The critical path feels completely arbitrary and random. You'll get little beacons on the map indicating where you need to ultimately go, but more often than not you can't get there without acquiring some kind of new upgrade, and that new upgrade could be literally anywhere - there's no rhyme or reason to the placement, narratively or geographically. You're constantly looking at your map going to every dead end or unexplored room one by one trying to recall if there was something there you couldn't do before but now can. Further, map markers are limited to a universal "reminder" icon on the entire (large) room, so you can't even devise your own system of tracking the obstacles placed before you to find your way forward. Getting lost is part of the genre, naturally, but Axiom Verge 2 forces you repeatedly into that "lost" state, breeding frustration. There is a robust fast travel system which takes some of the pain away, at least, and bosses are almost uniformly easy, making exploration less scary even as it makes the combat itself much less satisfying. So overall I'd say Axiom Verge 2 is pretty fun to play, a net positive entry in the metroidvania sphere, even if not quite a special one. Play it if you really like the genre; skip it otherwise.
#19 - Bowser's Fury
- 7/10 (Good)
Touted as the first experiment in a true open world Mario game, Bowser's Fury underwhelms if you focus more on the "open world" part of that phrase rather than the "experiment" part. While yes, you can freely travel the environment without being subjected to a loading screen, the entire geographic area of Bowser's Fury is smaller than, say, the Sand Kingdom from Super Mario Odyssey, which you can already also navigate in the same kind of "open world" fashion. Even still, the world just isn't all that compelling. The islands where the core action happens each give you a progressive series of tasks to get "cat shines" (the power stamoon equivalent), but afterward you've got to navigate away to allow the background loading process to reset things before returning for the next one. This isn't difficult or tedious, but it exposes the game for the conceptual test run it truly is.
The platforming itself is fine, though I missed Odyssey's superior physics. No, my biggest complaint lies with the pervasive nature of the "Fury" mechanic: every several minutes or so the giant Fury Bowser rises from the center of the map and starts rampaging, making your life miserable while you're just trying to collect stuff. When you get a shine he goes away for a while, but some shines require him to be present in order to collect them, forcing you to engage with the system even when you'd rather not. Then eventually, when you're near the number of shines you need to complete the game, he just...stops going away and you're on permanent fury duty until you go fight him, which completes the game, almost certainly before you wanted to. It's an entire system in dire need of a rework.
But again, it's a 3D Mario game made by the 3D Mario team, so there is
a firm baseline of fun to be had, and despite all of the above I didn't even slightly mind playing the game through to 100%. It's got a pretty good power-up system (you can bank up to 5 of each kind of power-up and use them on demand as situations dictate), lots of little nooks and crannies to explore, and level/challenge design that's mostly high quality across the board. If you've already played 3D World on the Wii U, don't buy this package for Bowser's Fury. But since that game is excellent and this game is overall "just good," it's a worthwhile package if you've never played either. Then hopefully down the road we can look back on Bowser's Fury as a stepping stone to something truly great.
#20 - Dragon Warrior VII
- 6/10 (Decent)
This game came out in the late PS1 era; for context, consider that rival franchise Final Fantasy had at this point already put out VII, VIII, and
IX on the hardware. You had to think Enix was gearing up for something big over the ~5 year development cycle, right? Sadly you'd be wrong: Dragon Quest VII is not truly a PlayStation game, but instead a really huge Super Famicom game with a confusing, poorly implemented "3D camera rotation" feature in towns and a couple low budget FMVs. What were they doing that whole time?
I'll tell you what they were doing: padding. DQ7 is three hours of pure exposition dump old by the time you fight your first slime. From there it tricks you into thinking it's superbly paced, as the plot revolves around traveling to distinct regions in the past and saving them from one thing or another, restoring them to the present. This creates a really satisfying gameplay loop of "go do thing in past, explore new area in present, collect doodads to unlock new thing in past." The whole game functions like a series of self-contained vignettes, each lasting only 2-4 hours, with nary a need to grind in sight. The fact that there are 18 of these doesn't therefore at first seem particularly daunting until a series of bizarre design decisions comes your way. A party member is arbitrarily removed from your group. One vignette lasts 8-10 hours by itself, an interminable speed bump. An entire job system is unlocked starting everyone from zero (this about 25 hours into the game, mind you). The collectibles to unlock the new regions become more difficult to find, leaving you stuck for longer periods of time. Vendor prices become absurdly high across the board, preventing you from upgrading any of your equipment. A second party member also just unexpectedly dips out more or less forever, taking all their equipment and precious class levels with them. And then eventually you hit the dreaded brick wall: one boss that's so cruelly designed I had to spend literally 8 hours
grinding to beat it. I didn't have to grind for anything else at any point prior in the game.
By the time you're nearing the end of your set of 18 mini-stories the game has worn out most of its initial surplus of goodwill, and any praise you were ready to heap upon it for pacing and storytelling is long gone. It's become an unending slog you can't wait to finish. At last you enter the end sequence, gearing up for the showdown with the game's big bad, the one that's been teased through all 18 of its grueling chapters. You fight it in a hard battle. You beat it. You do your little semi-interactive cinematic victory lap, collecting congratulations from various NPCs. You get a text summary explaining that peace has returned to the world and your Hero has returned home to live a normal life. You've spent 70+ hours
on this game, far longer than any previous in the series, and far longer than it had any right to be. You wait for the credits and that most blissful of two-word phrases, "The End." But when the scene concludes, it's a four-word phrase that appears on screen instead, a nightmare made legible before your very eyes.
"Please insert Disc 2."
#21 - Kuru Kuru Kururin
- 7.5/10 (Solid)
This is classified as a puzzle game but I don't feel right about it. Is the board game Operation a puzzle game? That's the closest comparison I can figure to foreign GBA classic Kuru Kuru Kururin, a game which consists of you, a bird, sitting inside a simple blue helicopter device. You can pilot the vehicle in any direction at any time with a simple press of the d-pad, but there's a catch: the helicopter is steadily, perpetually rotating. You can't speed up or slow down this rotation, and can only change its direction by means of environmental objects. This might not seem like a big deal until you realize that each stage has you guiding this device through a winding maze, and the vehicle is fragile enough that touching a wall (or other obstacle) three times will kill you.
Thus, the "puzzle" of Kuru Kuru Kururin is not in using your brain to solve clever riddles or mechanical conundrums. There's no "eureka" moment of figuring out what you're supposed to do. The "puzzle" is rather just a test of timing, spatial reasoning, and dexterity as you navigate a series of ever more difficult challenges, trying desperately not to touch any walls. While there's a timer for "scoring" purposes, by the first few levels the difficulty ramps up so significantly you throw speedrunning concerns out the window altogether. Survival is all that counts, and the later levels get truly brutal in their demands upon your planning and precision. Late-game challenges can last for 2-3 minutes of increasingly tight moves with no checkpoints, but the simplicity of the fundamental design will keep you trying again and again until you pull it off.
#22 - Gargoyle's Quest
- 6.5/10 (Tantalizing)
The gameplay mechanics of Gargoyle's Quest are entirely novel, unlike much else I've played even 30+ years after its initial release. You play as a demon who can jump, spit fire, hover for a brief period of time in the air, and cling to walls. Thus, the platforming in this game generally doesn't consist of "avoid falling into pit," but rather "wall jump from safe point to safe point while managing enemies and dodging spikes." It's actually pretty compelling! There are also "RPG-lite" elements here, serving mainly as a vehicle to give you a breather between action scenes and as a means to grant you linear upgrades to your abilities. This gives Gargoyle's Quest a very satisfying sense of character progression.
But with a more powerful character comes more difficult stages, and I think that's where Capcom really dropped the ball. The early stages are just the right amount of challenging, but by the later ones it feels apparent that the designers just didn't know how to design around your improved abilities. They therefore fall back on the worst of "hard" design tropes: memory-testing troll enemies, completely unavoidable hits, arbitrarily doubled enemy damage, and exceedingly long runs between checkpoints. Then at the end of the big gauntlet, the final boss is counterintuitively an absolute snoozefest - a long, easy, boring affair. It's all unfortunate, as it's much better to start slow and end strong than the opposite; the last impression is often the strongest impression. And so my impression of Gargoyle's Quest naturally inclines towards "it's a let-down," but the first half of the game is really very good, and if you're viewing the game in its historical context it's something truly extraordinary.
#23 - Wolfenstein: The New Order
- 6/10 (Decent)
Wolfenstein: The New Order wants to be all about story, framing itself up as a semi-cinematic narrative adventure. Lots of cutscenes and transitions, a mostly coherent plot set in an interesting alternate timeline where the Nazis won WWII after developing some sci-fi level technology, and a strong attempt at characterization. The storytelling was admittedly fairly cool, but created a huge suspension of disbelief problem with the main character's absurd amounts of plot armor. Nevermind the prologue chapter where you survive multiple nearby explosions, hundreds of pounds of falling concrete, and of course all the bullets you soak through normal gameplay - during the course of the campaign the protagonist gets captured by the enemy no less than seven times
, and every time manages to escape. I mean, hey, you can count on James Bond to get caught once per film, but seven times in one adventure? I was rolling my eyes pretty hard by the halfway point.
Between the constant capturing and the general game structure of "go to X place for new mission," you're constantly
losing your weapons in this game. You'll go through a level, building up your arsenal, then start the next with just a knife again, unable to use any of the cool weapons or skill perks you've unlocked. Some later game standard enemies additionally gain super armor, making them tedious bullet sponges. So while the combat was
inherently quite fun, it was always being hampered by these other choices. I do however think the level design is really strong. Most encounters allow you to approach them either through stealth, through cover tactics, or Doom-style pure assault, and all three aspects are pretty well realized. Thus, a pretty high floor of gameplay, but in light of these other problems - and some bugs with certain skill perks just not unlocking or working at all - a distinctly lowered ceiling on how well The New Order could deliver.
Coming in April:
- After the heavy violence and completely unnecessary graphic sex scenes (plural!!) of Wolfenstein: The New Order, I find myself yearning for a bit of innocence once again. I think and hope I might find it in Supraland, an exploration-focused puzzle adventure featuring children's toys. A good mental reset is always worthwhile.
- And then once the mind is reset, well, I suppose we can start killing again. Dishonored has been on my radar for years and I'm looking forward to finally giving it a whirl.
- Meanwhile, though the Mega Man Zero series is technically over, my journey doesn't end there. Mega Man ZX has sufficient differences so far to warrant not being Zero 5, but the lineage is still writ plain upon its sleeve. If it can at least follow the same "getting better by half a point" pattern of its predecessors, I'll be satisfied.
- And more...
Thank you for your coverage of the storms this morning. Such an underrated Meteorologist in North Alabama. Say what y’all want but Fox54 has the most accurate weather radar in the area.
Now I was born and raised in Texas I've been different places across the US I lived and went to school in Reno Nevada for a few years and also lived in San Diego very briefly I'm currently staying with family here back in Texas to save up money I'm going to be moving somewhere else soon with my girlfriends and Florida is on my radar specifically southern and central Florida.I Love the beach and I heard the water there is actually barrable unlike the cold waters on the west coast.I also love riding motorcycles and the weather there I feel is very ideal for riding most of the year. One of my concerns is that I've heard mixed things about Florida apparently being racist I'm a black man and the things I've heard make me want to reconsider. For those of you who have been there most of your life what is your experience is it racist there? I should also mention that I'm in a relationship with my 2 girlfriends that would be moving there with me one of them is trans and I've also heard that it can be very close minded there. All in all do you think living in Florida is worth it? Are there any problems there I should know about?