The last week or so has been off-the-charts crazy here at GameCritics West—tons of stuff going on and all of it equally important, capped off with the left front tire of my car literally falling off as I was in the middle of a busy intersection in Seattle. I don't like to go so long between updates, but there you go.
As a result, I'm going to catch up for my extended downtime and go rapid-fire through a list of random stuff that's accumulated on my desk here… Hang tight!
I traded in a big stack of stuff for credit and paid the difference for a Wii U a couple of days ago in anticipation of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate launching this month. I didn't pick up any other games at the time, so I've only set up my account and messed around a little bit with the mini-game compilation that came packed in. I don't have a lot to say about it yet other than it seems to load really slowly and that the friends system was horrifically unintuitive and confusing.
Oh, one other Monster Hunter-related thing… Capcom recently announced that they are changing plans to region-lock online play. In a fantastic turn of events, players in the United States will now be able to play with those in Europe when a patch launches about one month after the game hits retail. There was no mention made of the Japanese market, which leads me to believe that there are no plans to integrate there.
That's a bit disappointing considering how hard-core Japan loves its Monster Hunter, but being able to connect with friends overseas for some quests is fantastic news. Cheers to Capcom for listening to the outcry from fans and giving them what they want.
In terms of what I'm reviewing, I'm spending time with Etrian Odyssey IV, and I'm quite happy to report that it's every bit as good as I expected it to be. I am definitely a fan of the series (played and finished the first three) and this newest installment is definitely the most polished and player-friendly.
I doubt that I'll be able to finish it for the review with the other deadlines that I'm currently juggling (it's huge!) but I've got absolutely nothing bad to say about it after the twenty or thirty hours I've put into it so far. It looks great, it sounds great, it's got tons of complexity without ever being overwhelming, the casual mode makes it incredibly approachable to newcomers, and the classic "holy sh*t this is HARD" mode is still there for series vets.
For people who are fans of the dungeon-crawl gameplay it offers, they just don't come better than this.
Aside from that, I just played through the new DmC: Devil May Cry DLC, Vergil's Downfall. The embargo is still up so I can't say anything about it, but look for that review to come this week as soon as we are clear to publish it.
Finally, the PR people representing Coaster Creator 3D (3DS) sent over a QR codes that can be redeemed in-game for a special coaster.
The game is currently available through the eShop, so if you pick that up, snap a picture of this code with your 3DS and enjoy! For further info on this game, scroll down to the PR section below.
Recently, an online T-shirt company reached out to me about doing a review of their products. I can't say that I do a lot of clothing reviews, but several of their offerings were video game-related, so why not? I mean, I do have experience wearing shirts, after all.
The company is called Design By Humans, and they've got an interesting spin as something of an artist collective. For those interested in such things, they've got interviews with the image creators and various bits of information on who they are and what they're about.
So, the shirts.
In the interest of full disclosure, I was sent three shirts at no cost for an evaluation. I've worn and washed them each a couple of times, and used them in a normal way—I didn't put one on and then roll myself down a mountainside, or dip them in sulfuric acid, or anything crazy like that.
Although the material felt a little thin to me at first, it's very soft and comfortable. It's got a good strength to it, and seems like it will hold up for long-term use. The print quality of the images on the cloth is actually surprisingly nice—I've bought plenty of shirts at conventions that didn't look as nice or as smooth as these did. I've seen no fading or wear on the designs, and they look just as new as they did when I took them out of the package.
I was very satisfied with the shirts they sent and I would order from them in the future next time I'm up for a few more T-shirts. Looking through their offerings, I don't even know how many shirts they have, but it's a hell of a lot, and many of the designs are quite cool.
Click on over to their site if you're of a mind to, and tell them I sent you.
Community was one of my favorite must-see shows for its first three seasons, but now that the man behind it has left and control has switched to some new people, the magic is gone. It just isn't as funny, it doesn't crack as sharp as it should, and I'm definitely not enjoying it anywhere near as much as I have in the past. Although I do think that the first three seasons will hold up to repeated viewings, I'm going to present like season four doesn't exist and call this show done.
This video has been making the rounds on Twitter and other social media sites, and it's easy to see why: it breaks down the grossly disproportionate distribution of wealth in the United States, and it's pretty shameful. To no one's surprise, the rich keep getting richer while the poor keep getting poorer. What might be a surprise, is to what degree that holds true.
Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.
Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.
Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway