The Witcher 3 – Three Years Later

Last Friday, April 20, night I was excited. God of War for Playstation 4 was being released, and though I was never a huge God of War fan, this game looked incredible. IGN gave it a 10/10, and everywhere else was reviewing it high as well. I had already planned on starting a weekly Witcher 3 stream for Saturday mornings and I was concerned that God of War would make me want to cancel those weekly streams so I could showcase God of War. It turns out my fears were unfounded, or rather, misplaced.

I started my new save on April 21 and I haven’t looked back since. Yes, God of War is amazing – graphically awesome, gameplay and mechanics are wonderful, the story – so far – is pretty good, but The Witcher 3 proved once again that it is my favorite game of all time (and that is saying a lot, I have been playing video games for over thirty years).

Even though I have several playthroughs and a foray into the New Game+, the world on a new save still feels as vibrant and inviting as always. Even though I know how the story goes, even though there isn’t a lot left for me to spoil for myself, I keep finding areas that I somehow missed, I still find the story itself engaging. I can still remember starting up TW3 on my Playstation 4 almost two years ago, I still remember one of my sons shocked face when he saw Keira Metz naked – in my defense I thought he had gone to bed but he had silently sat on our couch. I still remember the first time I found the frying pan for the old lady on the way to meet the Nilgaardians, and I still remember playing some really tough rounds of Gwent. I also remember being tied up by Triss Merigold and Yennefer and realizing that the life I had planned for Yen and Geralt was over. Every decision mattered, every seemed to have consequences, every word chosen to speak was important.

Few games stick with me for a long period of time. Final Fantasy XII has, but simply because it was the last game I played with my “dad” before he had a stroke and eventually died. Thus why it is my favorite Final Fantasy game. The Witcher 3 is one of those games I longed to get back into, but with my penchant for playing MMOs and new games that came out, I could never find the time. A part of me also knew that once I sat foot back into Geralt’s world, I’d never want to leave, and so far, that has been the case once again.

I tried to think back whey I even left in the first place, after putting so much time and effort into my initial playthroughs, and I remembered I had a vacation back to Georgia, Elder Scrolls Online came to console, Destiny: The Taken King came out. I don’t feel bad for leaving Geralt hanging, but I am glad he was excited when I found him again. The depth of the story is amazing, from the Bloody Baron to the search for Ciri to the end, it is the best, in my opinion, hand down story of any video game in existence. Graphically pleasing and awe inspiring with good game mechanics, I find myself enthralled with the living and breathing game world every time I start it up. For a game that came out May 19, 2015, it has not only aged well, but still gets updated for consoles such as the PS4 Pro.

If you have not had a chance to play The Witcher 3, and you are a fan of action/adventure role playing games, I suggest you pick it up and give it a shot. Be warned, its bloody, sexy and down right addicting.

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God of War – The First Two Hours

This game looks, and plays, amazing. I am only around two hours in – just made it to the dwarf’s little outpost, and so far I agree with what virtually everyone else is saying. This game is amazing.

Unfortunately, after spending just over two hours on release day, I haven’t gone back because I have been playing The Witcher 3. However, with the time I have spent so far, the game is really good. Graphics: A+, Game play A+ and story: A so far.

“Weekly Witcher” – The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt Stream Series

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New weekly stream coming, starting this Saturday at 8:00am Eastern – The Witcher 3.

This game is in my top five all time favorite games, and i will be starting a fresh save and playing at least every Saturday morning and streaming every kill, death and Gwent match. It has been awhile since I have played The Witcher 3, so it will be a learning experience at first, but hopefully I will be able to showcase what an amazing game this is. Feel free to stop in and watch, comment and ask questions during the streams. As always, if you catch up after the stream is over, I will do my best to respond to any comments you have.

Stream Schedule:

April 21 – 8:00am ET – “Weekly Witcher” – The Beginning (Pt. 1.0)
– Throughout the week: 1.1, 1.2, etc if I stream

April 28 – 8:00am ET – “Weekly Witcher” – Current Quest (Pt. 2.0)

All streams to be on my YouTube Channel

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Tech Specs:

PS4 Pro
Elgato HD 60S – For capture

Alienware 17R4 – For streaming
Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-7700HQ (Quad-Core, 6MB Cache, up to 3.8GHz w/ Turbo Boost)
256GB PCIe SSD (Boot) + 1TB 7200RPM SATA 6Gb/s
16GB DDR4 at 2667MHz (2x8GB
NVIDIA(R) GeForce(R) GTX 1070 with 8GB GDDR5
Windows 10 Pro (64bit)

I will be streaming both with Elgato and through the PS4 – depending on my setup at the time. The plan is for all Saturday streams to be through the capture device and any additional streams to be through the PS4.

State of Things – JZH Gaming

Hello all, happy Monday – to all who celebrate Easter, I hope you had a wonderful one, and to those who don’t, I hope your weekend was wonderful as well.

As everyone who follows myself and those involved with JZH Gaming, our original focus was Star Trek Online. While the game has had its ups and downs, the STO has provided steady entertainment for a lot of people. I want to preface this site update by saying i am not leaving STO behind, though the trickle of new stuff will remain until we get the space balance update when Season 13 comes to consoles – Season 12 comes in tomorrow. That being said, I plan on having content from STO on Friday nights – which may not show up until Saturday morning – but there will be content hear and there. I am not going to write in this post what I feel the state of STO is on Playstation 4 – I will leave that for another post, but because of where I am at personally on my characters, until the space balance update – beyond making sure I have everything I need when it hits – there simply isn’t enough content in the game, even with the Season 12 update hitting tomorrow, to have me playing everyday. Saying that, I will continue to pass on news, updates and anything I come up with when it happens, so stay tuned. I will also continue to tweet out videos from PC players – i.e. Oden Knight, Snipey, SOB, etc, as they produce content that is always helpful for console and PC players alike.

I have resolved to not get into a free to play MMO ever again (note: this is not the first time I have said this), and beyond STO, in that regard, I feel i am best served playing an MMO that is either just buy up front, or buy up front and subscribe. In that vein, myself and others are eagerly awaiting the release of Elite Dangerous on PS4, and I have recently got back into playing Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. Once I get back to the point in FFXIV, I will be sharing more content – at the moment it is mostly leveling and unlocking the dungeons, trials, etc on the way – but soon I will be having content on the channel for everyone to see. Once Elite Dangerous hits, there will be regular coontent from there as well. My plan is to play FFXIV on a regular basis, while doing what needs to be done with E:D when it comes out and as needed. For those who have known me for awhile, or for those who have played with me or asked me about MMOs in general, you will know I holed FFXIV in high regard – which I only stopped playing once Elder Scrolls Online came to PS4.

I know it appears I will be jumping around a lot – and though it seems that way, that is not the plan. STO has a very conflicted place in my heart – but it is there, and I will continue to play it until Cryptic ruins the game entirely or until it ends server wise. However, I will not be spending any money on the game – everything, from now on, will come from resources I can get in game. With that, I have spent a lot of money already, and my in game resources are decent, so from a content perspective, nothing should be lacking – except maybe playtime. Concerning Elite Dangerous – we still do not have a release date, and because of how it is set up, I do not feel like I will have to grind constantly to “keep up,” since most of the stuff is on your own and building yourself to where and what you want to be. With Final Fantasy 14, because I already have experience in the game, I am not spending a lot of time learning anything new, just essentially relearning what I already know – and therefore I feel like I can be at a place soon to provide good and constant content, which I am really looking forward to. Lastly – the plan with other games, such as Mass Effect: Andromeda, is still to have content related to multiplayer, etc on a normal, weekly basis. This, and any other single player games I play, will have content as it comes.

For now, the J&J Show is on a short hiatus – mainly because we do not have anything new to really talk about. Yes, STO has an update tomorrow, but with that, all of the information has been released already, either by Cryptic or by PC players. Obviously, if there are issues, we will make sure to pass those on to you, as well as test them out, but beyond that, there isn’t too much to say. Hopefully, once we get the space balance, there will be more to talk about. In the mean time, once Elite Dangerous gets released, we will have a show or multiple shows on that to give you our thoughts and our visions for what we want to accomplish in game. I am also thinking about doing something similar with FFXIV, but I do not have a plan at this time. For streaming schedules, Friday nights between 7-9pm Eastern will be STO (this week will have the new queues and the battlezone) and Saturday nights between 7-9pm Eastern we will have Mass Effect mulitplayer – both of these nights will be contingent on participation from other players. Beginning either later this week or next week, I plan on streaming some FFXIV – time will be around 7pm Eastern, and last for how long it lasts. I will post something on twitter once I have a better idea when and what.

For everyone who has subscribed to the Youtube channel, and for everyone who follows me here, I appreciate everyone of you.

LLAP,
jzhnutz

 

Mass Effect: Andromeda – J&J Show Special Live Stream

Had a special J&J Show event last night streaming Mass Effect: Andromeda!

We will have more videos and articles to come, so stay tuned. Below are the pictures that altlesjo referenced during the stream that he took and sent me.

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Golden Nomad
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Eos – 100% Viability

Horizon Zero Dawn – Review

It took me a total of 51 hours, 47 minutes and 22 seconds – but I got 100% completion in game. I got Platinum (all trophies / achievements) at just over 50 hours, and still lacked one side quest and one errand to do, which I found in Free Hope. Let me say this first, i enjoyed every second I played this game, and in the end, it has become one of my favorite games of all time – rivaling games such as The Witcher 3, but saying that, it doesn’t surpass TW3 in my book.

The first thing you notice as you begin playing is that the graphics and soundtrack are superb.

Graphically it beats games like The Witcher 3 simply because the FPS doesn’t drop and I found hardly any glitches whatsoever – except the occasional machine dino break dancing after death. The soundtrack only adds to the wonderful ambience, adding an element that both delights and terrifies as you trudge through the beautiful post-post apocalyptic landscape. This is simply the most beautiful game I have ever played, visually striking with a wonderful attention to detail.

Mechanically, the game borrows heavily from games such as TW3, Assassins Creed, Far Cry Primal and Tomb Raider – there is also elements of other games as well. What it does borrow it borrows really well. Everything, from climbing to shooting a bow feels natural. In fact, using the bow feels so natural that when switching to another weapon, it feels unnatural using it – but no less enjoyable. In combat, the game gives you many options – including just going all out, no stealth and blasting enemies, or the more subtle approach of setting traps and blast wires and leading machines and humans alike into a symphony of destruction as you whistle to get them to cone closer to you. Combat in this game FEELS natural – meaning it isn’t clunky or over complicated. At the same time, even being level 50 with the games end game power armor equipped, you can still easily die if you are not paying attention and dodging attacks on a regular basis.

The game is challenging enough on Normal that it provides a good experience. I have not tried it on any harder difficulty – Normal was good enough for me, providing a good balance between paying attention to the story and being challenging enough to not feel like I was rolling through enemies too fast.

Story wise, Horizon Zero Dawn tells the story of a civilization ultimately created by humanity to survive a man-made apocalypse. I’ll leave that there as the only true story spoiler – but I will say that the story was well thought out and very well told. Every element, every bit of information is important, and even though there are several side quests through out your journey, none feel like they are taking away from the main story, but in fact adding to its mystery. I will be honest, though I had an idea of how it was going to play out, the story did ultimately surprise me – and that is a good thing, with me not being able to guess all of the intricate details in the end.

Beyond the main story, we see a true human element in the side quests and little adventures that the game brings up – from finding people who are lost, helping people get revenge, clearing bandit camps and clearing dungeon like cauldrons – everything in this game feels right and again, ultimately adds to the end result, which is a well thought out and described story that brings us to the salvation of human kind.

My only complaint is that even though the game is open world, and a large one at that, I did not feel the need to actually explore. Ultimately, if you buy the “special maps,” all of the collectibles will be placed on your map. Yes, it is a general location, and I confess, Google helped me a couple of times, but the need to actually run off in a general direction simply wasn’t there. Instead, I would run off towards a particular map icon – be it a metal flower, and ancient vessel or a long neck to get my prize or open up even more of the map. This made the discovery of collectibles more like another fetch quest versus something that i actually found during the journey throughout the world. That being said, I have not discovered all of the date points, but since those do not count towards the completion percentage or the achievements, I wasn’t too concerned.

In the end, I got platinum before I got 100% completion –

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Platinum Trophy – 50 Hours In

And getting 100% completion was as simple as me finding the one location I had not yet gone to to get my last side quest and errand –

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100% at 52 Hours In

Ultimately, the game felt a little short to me – though left open ended enough for DLC or a sequel, I felt like it could have been a little more there. Essentially, knowing what I know now, I feel like I could have done everything in about 45 hours or less – and with a guide, which isn’t out until tomorrow, probably even quicker. However, I did really like that for the most part, the trophies/achievements were gained for typically though normal operations – except for the 23 training dummies – and i really appreciated that.

Over all I give it a 9/10 – Excellent game play coupled with an amazing story topped off with amazing graphics and soundtrack that only felt a little short to me. I would have loved another 10-20 hours with Aloy in her machine infested world.