Thursday, December 26, 2013

Gamer Corner: Brice

Welcome to this week's installment of Gamer Corner, where Fangirl Review interviews a gamer and gets his thoughts on the gaming world and learning what he is enjoying at the moment. 

1. Tell me a little bit about yourself?
I’m Brice.  I’m 29 with a wife and two kids.  I’m a Capricorn.  I like long walks on the beach and cuddling next to a fire and winter nights with…I mean... I love arm wrestling, spitting, eating bacon, and growing a beard... cuz I’m a man!  

2. What rig do you currently game on?
I mainly game on my PS4 right now.  But I also have a gaming laptop from Ibuypower that I use for most of the games not on the PS4.  I have a Vita as well that I use a lot for remote-play with the PS4 but also play some of the Vita games too.  I did have a PS3 and 360 but sold them both for my PS4.  Hopefully, I’ll be getting an Xbox One by next summer.

3. What game are you currently playing right now?
Right now, I’m heavily into Assassin’s Creed 4 and Lego Marvel Superheroes.

4. Do you enjoy that game, why? How’s the overall game play?
I was really surprised at how much I like AC4 because I didn’t care too much for AC3.  I just turn on the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack and sail the open seas in search of plunder.  There are so many places to explore on the maps and three large cities for some of the more classic AC gameplay.  The hand-to-hand combat is immensely improved from AC3.  It takes timing and skill and is reminiscent of the Batman: Arkham games.  The one thing that I felt was lacking is different weapons.  So far as I have played, you really only have your fists, dual swords, or dual arm-blades.  You can pick up some of the weapons from fallen foes, but it is hard when you are in the middle of combat.  The ship combat is just awesome.  I always head up the mast and swing to the enemy ship from a rope to board… so awesome!  Best pirate game since Monkey Island (How appropriate… you fight like a cow)!  

I also have really loved Lego Marvel too.  I’ve played a lot of the Lego games and they just seem to get better and better with each iteration.  My favorite so far was Lego City Undercover on the Wii U, but this definitely ranks up there with it.  It has a massive New York city to explore and tons of side missions (albeit a bit stale at times).  The platforming in the Lego games is so fun though and this game is no exception during the main missions.  Can’t wait for the Lego Movie!

5. Would you recommend it?
I would definitely recommend both games!

6. Are there any games coming out that you are looking forward to?
By far my most anticipated game is Destiny.  It has such a fresh concept to me and seems like it can be really awesome.  I’m also pretty excited for Infamous:  Second Son, The Division, Watch Dogs (Damn you Ubisoft for pushing it back!), and Star Wars Battlefront III.

7. What kind of gamer do you classify yourself to be? ie. PC, Console, Tabletop, LARP as well as Hardcore, RPG, etc.
I would definitely consider myself and console gamer at heart.  Although I play plenty of games on my PC, I still have to use a gamepad (360 controller) for all of them.  If it doesn’t have controller support, I tend not to play it.  I have not tried my hand at Tabletop or LARPing but with a wife and kids, I would find it difficult to make the time (plus I don’t think I’m adventurous enough to try LARPing).

The term Hardcore gamer is a very fluid one in the market right now.  I don’t really love JRPGs and that’s what I think of when I think HARDCORE gamer.  However, I play pretty much every new game that comes out aside from sports games and some shooters (I’m looking at your Treyarch and Infinity Ward...) and I much prefer challenging and immersing gameplay with puzzles that make you think, so I guess I could be considered hardcore.  I prefer RPGs most of the time, even the turn-based ones, but I also love a good action, platformer, survival horror, drama (Heavy Rain), or even a racer (no sim racers for me though, my 2005 Altima is all I need from the real world…).

8. So with the new consoles out, which way are you leaning One or 4? (Ignore if you are a PC gamer)
Obviously since I already got the PS4, I think I’m leaning more that way, but I’ll end up having all of them, even the Wii U, eventually.  I just don’t like to miss out on exclusives.  That being said, I love indie games and feel like they show how games don’t need huge budgets to be terrific games with lots of gameplay time.  That’s the main reason I’m leaning toward PS right now, they have seemed much more involved with indies than XB, but XB I’m sure will have some good ones coming too (Below looks amazing!).  If you haven’t tried too many indies, I highly suggest it.  Shadow Complex (XBL), Dead Nation (PSN), Trials HD and Revolution (XBL), and Mark of the Ninja (all) just to name a few.

9. What are your thoughts on the gaming industry?
I feel like devs are focusing too much on appealing to the ‘Mainstream’ gamer and watering down the gaming experience.  Dead Space 3 is a great example of this.  So many pickups and so much ammo made this game nothing more than a shooter and far from its survival horror roots.  Don’t get me wrong, I liked Dead Space 3 and played it to the end, but it could have been so much more if they weren’t trying to make it easier so it appealed to the ‘Mainstream.’  I feel like EA is a big culprit of this.

Naughty Dog shows us that you don’t have to water down gameplay or story or anything and can still appeal to the mainstream.  Both Uncharted and even more so The Last of Us has had amazing success while still focusing heavily on story and being challenging games at times.

I by no means think ‘Mainstream’ gamers should be ‘kicked-out’ of gaming, but they are the loudest and most fickle voices and so the market is starting to lean toward them.  I wish COD players and Madden players out there ventured away from those games a little more to see how much more there is out there.

10. If you had the power, what direction would you have the gaming industry go?
I would definitely do away with microtransactions.  I feel like this concept is killing the market and makes me want to punch a baby…  Day One DLCs and the ability to buy something to make the game easier (ie:  better armor, better weapons, upgrades, etc) rather than putting the time in the game to find them yourself, spits in the face of gaming and is completely self-destructive.

11. 10 years from now, where do you see the industry? Are you happy with that direction?
I honestly have no idea.  It seems like the industry is still in a huge flux.  It could start moving back toward innovation and amazing storylines, or it could get rid of stories in the AAA games all together and solely go to multiplayer, with Indies being the only single player games out there.  10 years is a long time in the technology world so it’s really completely up in the air.

I would love to see Google Glass integrate with games.  That would just be awesome!

12. Favorite Game (can include tabletop) of all time and why?  
I would have to say my favorite series has been Mass Effect.  The story and level of choice in that game is just so deep.  Even though the ending leaves something to be desired, the story is still told so well throughout and it’s all about the journey, not the destination.  I still talk to people now and again who describe parts of the game I never knew because of the choices they made.  And I’ve played each of the games no less than 5 times through and twice through the entire series back to back.  

Of course, a game series that was with me throughout my childhood that will always hold a special place on my thumbs is Monkey Island.  It’s mix of humor with really challenging puzzles makes it fun to play even now, 20 years or so after its release of the first game.

Ok… one last one… Mario RPG!!

13. Additional Thoughts and Comments?
I really hope my daughters grow up to be gamers, but if they don’t, at least I don’t have to share...

14. Would you like to share your gamer tag and the system so others may add you?
This is on PSN, XBL, and Steam.  Although I don’t have an Xbox right now, I still have my XBL account and check it with my tablet.

GAME ON! (Wayne’s World)

Thank you to Brice for an awesome interview. If you would like to be interviewed for Gamer Corner please feel free to contact me at

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