Storypost | 2016.08.14

Warframe Mag waterfall
Cache



Back in July we hit Cache Canyon for some rafting. Jes and I survived the day after the Southwest computerpocalypse and barely survived the insane temperatures.

Travel San Diego airport lines Resting in the shade Cache Creek rafting rapids Cache Creek rafting rapids
Cache Creek rafting rapids Cache Creek rafting rapids Cache Creek rafting rapids sideways
Cache Creek rafting rapids Cache Creek rafting rapids gopro Cache Creek rafting rapids Cache Creek rafting rapids

(Rafting photos from Cache Canyon River Tours social media).
League of Sport: pool volleyball

League of Sport pool volleyball party

Erik hosted the annual League of Sport cookout, this time featuring pool volleyball. I brought along the underwater housing and threw on a yellow filter to color correct for some underwater shots. As it turns out, I mostly shot above the surface, so there's a fun postapocalyptic vibe.

Our beach vball house rule is that game point is a jump serve. Here it meant a divingboard or slide serve:

thumbnail Pool volleyball slide serve thumbnail Pool volleyball thumbnail Pool volleyball diving board serve thumbnail Pool volleyball diving slide serve
thumbnail Pool volleyball slide serve thumbnail Pool volleyball diving slide serve

Otherwise it was classic fun. Hot weather, warm pool, burgers, chips, brews.

thumbnail Pool volleyball diving slide teflon thumbnail Pool volleyball thumbnail Pool volleyball spike
thumbnail Pool volleyball high five
thumbnail Pool volleyball thumbnail Pool volleyball thumbnail Pool party
thumbnail Pool volleyball thumbnail Pool volleyball thumbnail Pool party
Witcher 3: the best sloppily-made game I have ever played

The Witcher 3 Geralt

"WTF sacrilege! Witcher 3 is an epic!"

Okay, let's beef. But also shower the game in praise.

The Witcher 3 Geralt weather forest

The graphics are a bit dated. They're not bad, and there are definitely some cool weather/lighting/camera effects, but there isn't much done to cover up the obvious sprites and low-polygon models.

The Witcher 3 Geralt

Character control is disasterous. I want to believe they were going for a realistic modeling of momentum and conveyeing the need for anticipation (in swordplay especially). Other games have done this, but pulled it off with much more success. So what was probably intended to be a fighting system with more depth than 'mash square' becomes just that.

Don't wander off the road on horseback. You'll get caught in a tree, rock, fence, whatever. In many third-person games you seem to glide off hard edges so movement is both smooth and realistic (personally irl I don't intentionally smack into a tree branch). Witcher provides no such help, any stray object will stop you or Roach (your horse) dead in your tracks.

Activate. If you want to activate something or pick something up you need to aim just right. And I'm not talking center of mass, but at just the right spot to get the activate prompt. And once or twice I've accidentally examined something while attempting to dodge, resulting in a significant hp loss and the sheathing of my sword. You don't want to bring fists to an acid-vomit fight.

The Witcher 3

Load. I want to believe the long load times are a punishment for sucking. Unfortunately, it's really easy to suck. For example, you can run into a lower-level enemy that will two-hit you unless you know the mind control spell makes them docile.

The voice acting is pretty good for the main cast. For the bit parts, it just falls off a cliff. The music is pretty good, but the tracks are short and don't loop well, so you definitely notice.


The aesthetics are hit and miss. The game really goes out of its way to be gruesome, but in a viscerally repulsive way, rather than with just gore. A Resident Evil game will shower you in guts, a Silent Hill will make you afraid of the fog, Witcher gives you morbidly obese witches with flies buzzing around their basket-covered heads.

thumbnail The Witcher 3 npc rotting goblin thumbnail The Witcher 3 bathhouse thumbnail The Witcher 3 werewolf thumbnail The Witcher 3 road people hung from tree vultures
thumbnail The Witcher 3 fetus monster

On the opposite end of things, they really don't spare the adult content. But where (unmodded) Skyrim was fairly bland in this regard, and Mass Effect and Dragon Age were sexy beyond their graphical capability, Witcher 3's naughtiness is just kind of cringey.

The Witcher 3 Geralt Roach view swamps

That said, the world of Witcher 3 is gorgeous.

The Witcher 3 Geralt spider sense game mechanic clue

As a witcher, your character is a bit of a badass (novel, eh?). You carry two swords (for monsters and humans), you can craft potions, cast spells, and you have heightened senses that help you complete quests by holding down a button and seeing red highlights.


I'm just now level 12, but I'm getting the feeling the main quest was somewhat phone-in. The plot seems to be to find your old apprentice. The subplots have invariably been: go to a place where someone may have seen her, do them a favor in exchange for them telling you to check somewhere else. Sometimes these favors require going to another npc and doing a favor for them in order to complete the original favor.

In contrast, the side quests are fairly unique and involve dialogue and scripted events (rather than a thing that says go raid this dungeon).

The Witcher 3 Ciri basilisk The Witcher 3 windmill dragon Don Quixote symbolism

Monster hunting is pretty cool. It doesn't have the depth or focus of Shadow of the Colossus, but it feels fresh to be in a world that has all of the legendary creatures. Like all of them. And I don't mean all the colors of dragons. Basilisks, chimeras, wyverns, werewolves, chupacabres... the lot.

The Witcher 3 Gwent

Most of the merchants you run into will throw down a few bones for a hand of Gwent, the in-game card game. While the game itself isn't particularly deep, you build your deck as you progress through the game, keeping it pretty fresh (like a mild Dominion).

The Witcher 3 ghost ship The Witcher 3 witch lair candles The Witcher 3 spirit guide
The Witcher 3 pointy nose mask The Witcher 3 hunter
Nyx prime

Warframe Nyx Prime doorway

I finally have my first prime warframe. Happy that it's Nyx (the mind control warframe). My first prime melee weapon, Orthos, is ready as well, though I have yet to take it for a spin.

Warframe cinematic Warframe luna moon Warframe Mag disco ball
Warframe Nyx Prime rank test Warframe Mag orokin pendula

In the meantime, J and I have worked on some quests and run into some more crazy abilities.

Etc.

Longship Brewery Miramesa San Diego taps

Longship Brewery hadn't yet opened for the Camp'n'crawl II, but it's there now. They don't have a huge lineup, but the tasting room is nice (and has Axis and Allies).

Cheesy photomosaic

MoPA was running a couple cool exhibits, including a realtime photocollage.

Office panorama

Derrick and I have the corner/window office pretty well dialed in, I think.



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