Archive for the Skyrim Category

Gaming In 2020

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Games, Resident Evil, Skyrim, Tony Hawk Series with tags on December 9, 2020 by slateman

Another year down and another year in which I missed out on more of the biggest titles than I played. Before hitting upon what I have experienced, I figured I’d look at what I didn’t get a chance to dive into.

  • Final Fantasy VII Remake
  • Ghost Of Tsushima
  • Hades
  • Immortals: Fenyx Rising
  • Last Of Us – Part II, The
  • Ori And The Will Of The Wisps
  • Sackboy: A Big Adventure

I’ve skipped out on Cyberpunk 2077 and some others. Of those games, my interest is genuinely piqued by Tsushima and Hades. The former will eventually be in my collection, the latter will have to wait for a Sony port. I’ve no interest in playing that on the Switch.

OK, now to the older games I’ve experienced. Titles with an asterisk are ones I’d played before. Underlined are ones I beat.

  • Death Stranding
  • Dark Souls: Remastered
  • Days Gone
  • Detroit: Become Human
  • Doom
  • Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, The (*)
  • Far Cry 5
  • Fighting EX Layer
  • Ketsui
  • Minecraft Dungeons
  • Modern Warfare 2: Remastered (*)
  • Shadow Of The Colossus
  • Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Remastered (*)
  • Ys VIII

Not forgetting Skyrim is a remaster, that’s a lot of updated old games there. I spent most of quarantine lockdown replaying Skyrim and actually progressing farther than I had during my initial playthrough back in 2012. I beat Shadow Of The Colossus for the first time, after bailing on both the PS2 and PS3 versions in years past. Another Uncharted 2 run was a reminder of how that game is still top-10 ever. (I’ll eventually get around to posting my list). Others were things I dipped my toes into but came far from completing.

Far Cry 5 was the expected, entertaining romp and I do endeavor to get back to Days Gone and Detroit. Most of these games were good; few were great. Next up: 2020 games, finally!

  • Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla
  • Astro’s Playroom
  • Borderlands 3
  • Bugsnax
  • Demon’s Souls
  • Resident Evil 3
  • Spelunky 2
  • Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2

So, obviously, I beat THPS, writing an entire chapter on it in the revised edition of Tony Hawk’s Gaming Domination. Just as quickly, I dropped off of that one.

Spelunky 2 was a frustratingly-difficult but enjoyable journey. Each run was different and my kids and I laughed our asses off far too frequently. It’s about the same as the first, but pretty fantastic and there’s zero chance I’ll ever actually complete it. Speaking of kids, they played the crap out of Bugsnax, just finishing it today. I haven’t completed Demon’s Souls and suspect that’s a long journey ahead.

Resident Evil 3 was a short affair, but one I never traipsed through on the PS1 original. I enjoyed it, beating it a few times. That’s the good, but I don’t envision diving back in, despite my enjoyment.

And then we get to the year’s best. Astro’s Playroom won’t win any awards, but damn, that was fun. It was a spectacular history lesson, peeking at Sony’s legacy as well as being a showcase of the new console and its features.

So, as of the second week of December, I am so enamored with Valhalla and its beauty, that I must declare it my tentative 2020 Game Of The Year. It’s the most vibrant and diverse world I’ve ever played in. The gameplay loop is enjoyable enough and the sound design is top notch. It’s possibly the best-looking game I’ever witnessed and the 60fps/often-4k visual upgrade has just left me speechless on numerous occasions. The dynamic lighting is superb, dialogues and story are wonderful and the scope is simply remarkable.

I suspect this opinion could change…but as of today, this is it. This could be the first Assassin’s Creed game I actually complete, much like GTA V in 2018.

Return To Skyim: Impressed All Over Again

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Games, Screenshots, Skyrim on April 12, 2020 by slateman

Ah…Skyrim! I’ve been meaning to dive back in for quite some time now. To enjoy the updated visuals, to relive the experience and to stumble upon countless things I never even saw during my first hundred hours or so. (I’ve no clue how long I played initially).

But, I was hesitant. My first playthrough was interrupted by a several-month-long hiatus. I recall the gameplay being the weakest portion of the game. I’ve also re-purchased updated games in recent years and never even got around to really playing them. However, after completing top-20-ever God Of War (2018), being mired in a months-long lockdown and having a few bucks in my wallet after selling some books, the $14 reduced-price tag inspired me to take the leap.

I was immediately drawn back in to the game’s world. Jeremy Soule’s soundtrack is easily one of the best ever produced, with inspiring crescendos and heroic heights joining themes of exploration and discovery. Even its implementation is remarkable: from how music plays even during load screens to how it fades out when needed. These match the game’s phenomenal visuals perfectly. Towns are alive with details, water shimmers as it flows and those nighttime skies are things of beauty!

My game is a bit different this time as well. I’m making different choices and also checking on Lydia constantly so to avoid prior mistakes. I’m pondering the wife choices while stumbling upon DLC content I never saw. I’m visiting new areas, saving incessantly and falling into the familiar trappings of spending an hour getting distracted between here and there. Most importantly, however, is the fact that I’m loving every minute of it. This game is simply spectacular and I’m thrilled to have jumped back in. Here’s to the next hundred hours or so!!!

Gaming In 2016: Snore…

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Games, Lists, Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil, Skyrim, Street Fighter, Uncharted on August 20, 2016 by slateman

ZTDPackagingKeyArt_thumbI love gaming, there’s no question about that. But as August winds down and we enter the final third of 2016, it appears it’s been a rather lackluster year! A quick look back at what has come out and what I’ve played reveals a slow trickle of games truly worth playing.
Checking my PSN Profiles Page I see a short list of new games I’ve played since January. It’s not comprehensive, there have been a number I’ve played but didn’t care for (like many recent PS+ games. Ugh). Also note that I haven’t an XBox One, my 360 is about to die and both the Wii U and 3DS are utterly useless outside of Mario and Zelda games. Let’s see where we stand…

Games Of 2016

  • Ratchet & Clank
  • Resident Evil 0
  • Resident Evil 5
  • Shadow Complex Remastered
  • Street Fighter V
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
  • Zero Time Dilemma

Umm…Seriously? NOT ONE original title? Maybe I’m just a cautious buyer now, but c’mon, that’s pathetic. So, we have three ‘remasters’, one re-envisioning, and three sequels. Now, the sequels are good. ZTD is a solid finale into the fun series, SFV as a package is flawed but the gameplay is spectacular and the production value of UC4 is second to none. It just makes a ‘Game Of The Year’ competition unfun. There are other sequels coming…Gears 4, Rise Of The Tomb Raider, and Final Fantasy XV. There are also more re-re-releases like Rez Infinite and Resident Evil 4 as well as Modern Warfare and Skyrim. However, if that were my top seven of 2016, it’s sad to know I’d already beaten two of them, three if you count R&C.

I have friends curious about Mafia 3 or Battlefield 1 or whatever, but going by what interests me, there’s almost nothing on the horizon. And in my Game Of The Year competition, I list the best game and the best new IP title…I have NOTHING for the latter?

OK, enough of the bitchfest twenty sixteen. Let’s see what I’ve actually beaten this year. See if there’s a theme here. This list omits the aforementioned titles (of which I haven’t yet beaten RE0 and ZTD):

  • God Of War (*)
  • God Of War II (*)
  • God Of War III Remastered (*)
  • Gone Home
  • Lego The Hobbit
  • Lego Marvel Super Heroes
  • Metal Gear Solid 3: HD Edition (*)
  • Metal Gear Solid 4 (*)
  • Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker: HD Edition
  • Ratchet & Clank: Into The Nexus
  • Tales From The Borderlands
  • Tembo The Badass Elephant
  • Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition (*)
  • Ys: Memories Of Celceta

Asterisks denote games I’d already beaten already (barring HD upgrades, etc.) Of the 14 titles, I’d already completed 6? Two of those were my GotY for 2008 and 2013!!! The two Lego titles I got platinums in. They’re fun to play with the kids. But they’re the same as every other Lego game. There’s nary an interesting and unique game in the lot that has done something I hadn’t already done or seen before. Well, Gone Home but that almost doesn’t even count.

So…I’m disappointed by 2016 but hey, it’s how things go. I haven’t tried No Man’s Sky yet. Maybe that’ll be great. For giggles, here’s a full list of what’s left in the year as well as a few titles that trickle into 2017.

30 – Resident Evil 4

13 – Pac-Man Championship Edition 2

11 – Rise Of The Tomb Raider
13 – Rez Infinite
28 – Skyrim

04 – CoD: Infinite Warfare
04 – CoD: Modern Warfare Remaster
29 – Final Fantasy XV

24 – Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

28 – Horizon: Zero Dawn
28 – Vikings: Wolves Of Midgard

Who Knows
?? – Zelda: Breath Of The Wild

Skyrim: Part Deux

Posted in Blog, Games, Skyrim on December 30, 2012 by slateman



I stopped playing Skyrim back in July. At level 27, I was stuck and getting frustrated. Whichever cavern I was in had a foe who was far too strong for me to beat, and I just didn’t want to backtrack all the way through and lose all that progress. That was it for me and Skyrim.

But, the year is about to end and it’s time to start thinking about the year’s best stuff – and Skyrim has to be in there. Sure, Draugrs got pretty boring after a while and I don’t have much interest in mixing Orange Dartwing and Mudcrab Chitin (WTF is chitin?). But, I figured I’d see how much more was left in the main storyline.

After loading an older save and losing whatever progress in that one dungeon, I set my scopes for Winterhold (still had never been there before) and embarked.

90 minutes later I had traveled maybe halfway between my closest fast-travel location and Winterhold. Friggin’ Yngvild! Precisely what waylaid me for 60+ hours this spring has done it again! “Ooh, a cave…well…I mean, we gotta check it out, right Annekke Crag-Jumper? Annekke?” Haha…ah, there she is! I got nervous there for a second. I do wonder if Lydia’s body is still there. I digress…

Yeah, so I just had to explore that cavern and this is why I never beat the game.

However, as I began to wander Skyrim’s frozen northlands, the grandeur of this game returned to me. Jeremy Soule’s sweeping score came back to me. I’ve played few games whose soundtracks were more fitting than this. It epitomizes exploration. Sweeping in scope, soothing in its beauty; grand and vast are its boundaries. As the sun set on Fredas, the 9th of Frostfall, I felt peace but yet excitement at what may lie over the next hill.

I probably will never dedicate enough time to Skyrim. I will complete it; it deserves that much. It will also be mentioned on my Best of 2012 article…whenever that surfaces. I’m so glad I went back to this game, even if just for an evening.

Games I’ve Beaten – 2012 Edition

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Borderlands, Games, Lists, Portal, Resident Evil, Skyrim, Street Fighter, Uncharted with tags on September 4, 2012 by slateman

After a few rough weeks, I’m glad to be back posting stuff here, even if no one reads this blog. I was thinking about the games I’ve completed this year and thought I’d write a few notes about them. How many have I finished? Well, these should be broken down into retail games and PSN games. Don’t think I got anything new on the 360, so that’s PSN and not XBL.

GameFly tells me I’ve rented the following this year:

  1. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (later purchased)
  2. F.E.A.R. 3
  3. Street Fighter X Tekken
  4. Portal 2
  5. Uncharted: Golden Abyss
  6. SSX
  7. Sniper Elite V2
  8. Rayman Origins
  9. Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
  10. Binary Domain

Not a bad list and it really justifies the GameFly fee, seeing as how I’d not have purchased most of those. Of the 10 titles GF sent me over the course of 8 months, I only completed 4. But that’s not really bad seeing as how SFxT can’t truly be finished and my PS3 died before I could complete the fun Sniper Elite.

In addition, my friend and I love coop games, but both Ghost Recon and Binary Domain aren’t what we’re looking for (gotta pay for one, no campaign coop in the other), so I wouldn’t count either of those.

This leaves F.E.A.R. 3 which, by all measures, was pretty much crap. SSX just was absurd and I didn’t play that long before shipping that one back. It lost all the charm the old games had. Now, Skyrim is a big one, and I quite enjoyed what I played but I have yet to complete the campaign despite dumping scores of hours into it.

The games that I count are Rayman Origins which was a pleasurable platformer replete with collectibles and tons of replay value. Had I not been on vacation in the middle of nowhere (which is why I got the game to begin with, really), I would’ve written more about it. The handheld Uncharted was largely a success. In fact, it’s the best-looking handheld game I’ve ever played and it felt like Uncharted, itself a success!

Finally we have Portal 2. I’ve said it before and won’t hesitate to repeat itPortal 2 is one of the most brilliant achievements in gaming history. Ingenious and clever and…well, no reason to do this again.

Now to PSN games. It looks like I’ve played the following this year:

  1. Outland
  2. Journey
  3. The Mysteries Of Little Riddle
  4. The Walking Dead (Episodes 1-3)
  5. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD

I figured I must’ve beaten more than that…but I guess not. I’ve already professed my love for that game. As for Journey, I wasn’t entirely sure what I thought of it. The Little Riddle game was something fun to play with my wife, and The Walking Dead games…well, just read below. Playing through the three episodes was one of the of the most enticing gaming experiences ever.

I played, but haven’t finished:

  1. Batman: Arkham Asylum
  2. Just Cause 2 (PS3 died, lost save game)
  3. Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One (same)
  4. Lara Croft & The Guardian Of Light (same)
  5. Rochard

I’d like to get back to Rochard. Batman…I didn’t love that as much as everyone suggested I would.

Verdict: So…let’s face it…the reason for this article was to figure out what the best game was that I completed. Well, first off, Borderlands 2 comes out in two weeks and Resident Evil 6 in four. Those could very well be high up on my list, but from what I’ve done so far, Uncharted, The Walking Dead were the highlights. Rayman and Outland were fun, visually-impressive titles, but Portal 2 was the best.

Let’s see how BL2 and RE6 fare against such a juggernaut!

New PS3: Reformat / Re-Download / Re-Install.

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Borderlands, Games, Skyrim, Street Fighter with tags , on July 29, 2012 by slateman

As I’ve now managed to kill two original fat PS3s in a little over 15 months, I’m stuck with the arduous and painfully-long process of redoing everything. Last night, I tossed firmware 4.21 on a flash drive and formatted my awesome 320Gb drive full of everything I loved. All my games, patches and many of my save games are lost forever. Oh yeah…again!

So, last night, around 11pm, I started doing it all. I queued up my old downloads, things I grabbed back in 2008 or so. Overnight, my PS+ auto updater finished those and synched my trophies. I later grabbed whatever save games I had backed up online. This morning, I started grabbing bigger games. Söldner-X and its sequel tallied about 2Gb. Things are going to get big soon.

The next step, (well, I’m still in my 2009 downloads, mostly) will be to plug in each game disc and start it up, downloading patches along the way. The game that killed my system (it was a coincidence), Arkham Asylum, is a Game of the Year edition, so fortunately everything was there. However, about 275Mb went to Brütal Legend, a game I will likely never get around to. I’m going to need to grab the three Borderlands DLCs I purchased and I fear Skyrim will be large as well. How big was Arcade Edition for Super Street Fighter IV again?

Ultimately, all games are dwarfed by Burnout Paradise and Heavy Rain. The former has a series of seven updates. I know this because I did this reformat/re-download/re-install nonsense just last June. As I write this, I’m just finishing up the first of those seven updates. You know, the 385Mb one. That is followed by a 154Mb update. Then, just five more after that.

I can’t recall the precise size (turns out it’s 1.15Gb) but huge is the Heavy Rain update that included the much-sought-after Move controls (/sarcasm). I always wanted to go back to that game. The problem with these updates is that I can’t let them go overnight. I have to sit there and let them run. I’ve got a good connection, but a gig is still a gig of waiting. And better yet is when you download a big PSN title, install it, boot the sucker up just to find out a patch larger than the original install is waiting for you.

Burnout’s third patch was only 35Mb; its fourth a meaty 250.

I should’ve just gotten a slim last spring when my original launch model died. And I shouldn’t complain too much, as I have a functional PS3 here, a nice 320Gb drive, a good connection and a Sunday where traffic is always faster than weekdays. Note to self…Back your shit up next time. This is your fault.

Burnout Patch Updates:
Patch #5 – 133Mb
Patch #6 – 176Mb
Patch #7 – 413Mb
Burnout Paradise Total Patch Size = 1.26Gb

Oh, and before I sign off here, I really wonder/fear how this will all work in 10 years. I can still play any PS1 or PS2 game I own, any NES or SNES game. Not being able to play your stuff or missing out b/c of patches is just going to be strange. Will there even be a PSN? I LOVE me my PS3 as you should know…but how things are going really bothers me. Knowing my copy of Final Fight on the PSN won’t let me play it at all w/out being connected is insane. And don’t get me going on digital distribution. I don’t like it and that’s not gonna change.

Skyrim: Dawnguard…Not What I Was Expecting

Posted in Blog, Games, Skyrim with tags on June 1, 2012 by slateman

Vampires? Really? Well, the whole of Skyrim was so polished, I have no fear this will be a well thought-out and beautifully-crafted addition to the Elder Scrolls world. However, it’s not at all what I was expecting or desiring. But, I guess that’s the beauty of things. Too vanilla and we’d complain about just that. It’ll cost $20 by the looks of it, and I’ll have time to read reviews on the timed-exclusive Xbox360 version first. Ah hell, I’ll be getting this for certain. Oh right…still gotta beat it. :)

Skyrim: Dawnguard!!!

Posted in Blog, Games, Skyrim on May 1, 2012 by slateman


OK, timed exclusive…that sucks, but still! I actually haven’t beaten Skyrim yet…so I suppose I shouldn’t get too excited. However, this may give me the kick in the ass to get it all finished, right? I’m guessing a $15 DLC or will it be a more expensive expansion? Dunno, but it’s an almost-certain purchase. It’s not a bad time to be a gamer. Tho…I kinda do wish I played PC games more. Portal was an awful lot of fun. Perhaps when the kids are older. Ah well. More Skyrim!!!

Skyrim Music Video: So Awesome!

Posted in Games, Music, Skyrim, Video on April 5, 2012 by slateman

Apparently this could be considered cheesy. I don’t know how, it’s dripping with awesome sauce. So fantastic. Enjoy this Skyrim music video!

Lydia, I’ve Moved On

Posted in Blog, Games, Skyrim with tags on March 25, 2012 by slateman


The pain of your loss was great. But I’ve fared well since losing you in Cragswallow Slope. In the months that followed, I’ve slain many a dragon, multiple pyromancers, and actually did a few missions! My trusty follower Anneke Crag-Jumper has been faithful and as useful in battle as you, Lydia. I know you would be happy that I’ve moved on. While I shan’t forget you, it is for the best. Your body is no longer laying face down in the brush. And I’ve moved on. Goodbye, Lydia.