Guy’s Weekend 2015

Last August, a group of us got together for what is becoming an annual event — the “Guys Weekend”, a time when we get some time away from the family to hang out and do what we love best — eat greasy food and play games. Lots and lots of games.2015-08-21

We decided this year to kick things off with lunch at the Columbus greasy spoon Icon Thurman’s Cafe, home of the world famous Thurman Burger. After stuffing our face with burgers and wings, we headed back to Buttonmasher HQ for some serious board gaming.

The king of Board Games (Mr. Board Gaming Deals Himself) decided that in addition to the games being played, we’d hold a sort of meta-contest with a traveling trophy. He kept track of wins and losses for each game played and compiled ranking that changed as games were won and lost.IMG_1453

What follows are the games that were played and who ended up in possession of the traveling trophy (spoiler alert: The Guys’ Weekend Champion is devastatingly handsome.)

The Game Champion

The Game Champion Trophy

Games:
King of Tokyo has become a family favorite in the Buttonmashing household. You play as one of six Monsters, vying to be the King of Tokyo. You can do this by defeating the other monsters in a fight to the death or peacefully achieve victory by way of victory points. You increase your monster’s powers by buying cards. There are numerous expansions, and we brought in the King of Tokyo: Power Up! expansion, which gives each of the monsters a set of unique powers as the game goes on. KoT has the potential to be over quickly or drag on far too long, but it’s an enjoyable game that balances luck with good planning and strategy.

Dixit was probably my favorite game of the weekend. Each player is dealt a number of cards corresponding to the number of players. Each card is a beautiful piece of artwork, depicting a scene or a portrait or something evocative. The player chooses a word or phrase to describe his card, and everyone else chooses a card from their stack that best matches the description. Then all cards are shuffled and revealed, and players choose which card they think the player’s card is. The card is revealed and points are dealt out according to the outcome. What makes Dixit so enjoyable is the ambiguity that is needed to describe your card enough to obfuscate it within the other cards but not distinguish it.

DC Comics Deck-Building Game was another game that got some attention, similar to Ascension, and if you’ve read this site for any length of time, you know my relationship with Ascension. It also led to a few early disagreements over who were truly your friends and who were dirty rascals out to ruin your fun and your life.

2015-08-25Relic is a variation of the classic game Talisman, set in the Warhammer 40k universe. Relic probably had the biggest turn around of any of the game played. Jason and I seemed to be more or less headed for a showdown while James and Nick struggled to get a foothold. But as my chances started dwindling, Nick made a push through the final tier of challenges and his assassin’s perk, an extra die roll on explosions (rolling two sixes), gave him the extra oomph to claim victory. It was an unbelievable string of dice rolls, capping off a hard fought game of Relic.

This is just a sampling of games we’ve played. Other games included Forbidden Desert, Sushi Go, Family Business, and Formula D. (Others played, but I did not, Great Heartland Hauling Co and Lords of Waterdeep). I really liked the co-op nature of Forbidden Desert and I loved the cutthroat Family Business and the accompanying threats that flowed freely. Family Business should be called Friends and Family Relationship Ruiner. The less said about the things that were said during Family Business, the better.

Computers were set up for some PC gaming and of course there was Dota 2 to be played. While computer gaming usually takes a backseat to tabletop, there’s always time for Dota 2.

In the end, the results were tallied and a champion was crowned:

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This bad boy looks beautiful displayed on the top of my new gaming PC.

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In My Hand (Literally)

razer_deathadder

Decided it was time to up my mouse game for the Gaming PC Workhorse (even though it’s been in service for over a year). For the longest time, I’ve been running a vanilla Logitech M510. While a perfectly serviceable mouse, it is wireless and I never could find an optimal place to plug in the little USB wireless nub. It might be totally psychosomatic, but I blamed any hiccup I noticed on the placement of the dongle. It’s been nagging me even more acutely lately when the mouse seems to lag slightly or outright not react to my movements. When you’re as bad as I am at games, every mis-click and mis-movement is amplified by my initial lack of skill.

So after some research at my favorite Recommendation Engine (The Wirecutter) and some PC Gaming reading, I decided on the Razer Deathadder. It’s not the “Chroma” version the Wirecutter recommends, but it’s just a minor stepdown from it. I had also considered the Cooler Master Mizar but my local PC Mecca (Microcenter) was out of stock, so Razer it is!

So far, so good. This mouse is definitely a +1 to movement smoothness and a 25% increase in point-and-click efficiency.

July Releases

July is usually light on the Triple-A titles (or just titles in general) so it doesn’t seem that there will be much action, except for a couple outliers. That being said, on to this month’s releases:

Microsoft Xbox One

Week of July 5th
Carmageddon: Max Damage

Week of July 12th
Ghostbusters


Nintendo Wii-U

No Nintendo Wii-U games for the month of July.


Nintendo 3DS

Week of July 12th
Monster Hunter Generations
7th Dragon III Code: VFD


PC

Week of July 5th
Frost – “Inspired by deck-building board games like Dominion, Ascension and the like, it’s an unique take on the genre as it puts you in charge of a group of people struggling against a restless, lethal storm.” You officially have my attention…
Cavernus
Furi
INSIDE – This game has been getting a tremendous amount of buzz recently. Definitely one I’ll be looking into.
Leviathan: the Cargo
Hero Zero
Haven Moon

Week of July 12th
Last Will
Song of the Deep
NECROPOLIS: A Diabolical Dungeon Delve
Tumblestone
Dead Age

Week of July 19th
Dreambreak
I am Setsuna

Week of July 26th
We Happy Few
Obduction
Industry Manager: Future Technologies


Sony Playstation 4

Week of July 5th
Carmageddon: Max Damage
Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIII

Week of July 12th
Ghostbusters

Week of July 26th
GalGun: Double Peace
OlliOlli: Epic Combo Edition
N.E.R.O : Nothing Ever Remains Obscure
Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force


Sony Playstation Vita

Week of July 26th
Shiren The Wanderer: The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate
GalGun: Double Peace


What are you picking up this month?

(Note: As always, all Amazon.com links have our affiliate code embedded in them. If you purchase something through our link, we get a little commission. It’s appreciated.)

In My Hands

Actually, it’s a little too big to actually be in my hands, but yesterday I picked up a new Xbox One console and brought it home the only way that seemed fit:

Nice and safe in the front seat.

Nice and safe in the front seat.

Readers of the site will know that I recently picked up a Surface Pro 4. Not for gaming, per se, but gaming was going to (and has) happen with it. I’ve been extremely happy with the Surface Pro 4 for non-gaming tasks (it has worked nicely as a laptop, which I was worried about initially) but now I’m even more happy — the purchase of the surface has facilitated even more gaming in a very round-about way.

Recently, Microsoft announced a whale of a deal where you could get a Surface Pro 4 and pick up an Xbox One for a cool zero dollars.

So being with in the window of the return policy, I asked if I could return my Surface Pro 4 and take part in the deal, and the great folks at my local Microsoft Store were more than happy to help me walk out with a new Xbox One, an extra controller, a copy of Watch_Dogs and a cool 50 bucks to spend at the Microsoft Store in the future. (There’s a better than zero chance that it will go towards an Elite controller)

I had sort of decided that I was going to sit this console generation out, content with a screaming PC and the Wii-U. But this opportunity was too good to pass up, so I’m a next generation gamer I guess. Sure, I’m two and a half years late to the party, but that just means I have a nice big backlog to dig in to.

Any recommendations for what I should check out? I imagine Halo 5 will be my first foray into the Xbox One Universe.

Unsolicited Mental Objects – Fallout 4

(Unsolicited Mental Objects are a series of posts that we started as a sort of stream of consciousness to talk about whatever was on our mind, gaming-wise. I am currently making an effort to write everyday, so these should start popping up with regularity, along with other content.)

fallout_4After an extended break, Fallout 4 is back in heavy rotation. With the first two solid DLC packs having already dropped, I wanted to get through the main quest line before diving in to the DLC. That’s been my SOP for most games like this — finish the main game, then play the DLC the way the Lord intended (in the order it was released). I feel like there was a distinct order the developers had in mind and I want to stick with that.

Unfortunately for me, I put my playthrough on hold and the first two DLCs dropped before I finished the original storyline. No big deal, I’ll knock out the main quests and then work my way through the add-ons later.

So I’m working my way through a quest and it sends me to a randomly selected location to clear out some ghouls. I flip on my Pip-Boy and the quest marker is in the upper right corner of the map, a place I have never been.I dutifully head up there to find the “Eden Meadows” drive-thru. But I get up there and Eden Meadows is nowhere to be found.

It’s just a couple buildings, a dock and an older Asian couple looking for their run-away daughter.

Wait a second. This sounds like a quest that mysteriously appeared in my queue when I started playing regularly again. I talked to Detective Valentine about it and realized it was the Far Harbor DLC. I stashed that quest away to come back to later and now this randomly selected location was smack-dab in somewhere I had no intention of going until I finished the main story.

(I’ll reserve judgement on whether this was a good design choice or not for another post. Fallout 4 is massive and a marvel of development and programming. I’m not going to accuse Bethesda of not squashing a potential bug. I was helping out some Synths and Far Harbor fits that description anyway)

But this presented a dilemma, one that I have grappled with before. Do I sully my experience with the DLC, something I had been saving, to continue on with this quest? I have to further the story of Far Harbor just so I can make progress in infiltrating The Institute. I like to think my way of playing through content is the right way and now I’m forced to do something against the grain.

So I went to Far Harbor, ignored anything that might trigger another quest line, made my way to Eden Meadows, handled my business and got back to The Commonwealth. But in doing so, I still had to further the Far Harbor story a little and now it will wait, fallow, as I continue my quest to get answers from the Institute.

Sorry Mr. and Mrs. Nakano, your daughter’s disappearance will have to wait. I have some revenge to exact for my dead wife and lost son.

In my Hands (Gaming on a Surface Pro 4)

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So I didn’t pick this up for the express purpose of gaming (I built a new PC for that last year (I should probably write a post about that)) but I do expect to do some gaming-on-the-go when the opportunity arises. I don’t expect to pump out the eff pee esses at an alarming rate, but I do plan on putting this Surface Pro 4 through its paces.

So far, I’ve installed Steam on it and I’ve installed Dota 2 (Because of course that’s what I’d do).

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I spectated some of the Manila Major and it did just fine. I was running it at its native resolution (2736×1824) and it looked great. (Seriously though, the screen on the Surface Pro 4 is FANTASTIC. I can’t stop raving about it). I haven’t tried playing Dota 2 on the Surface Pro 4 yet, so I can’t comment on in-game performance yet, but I anticipate having to back down the resolution and tone down the settings. That remains to be seen.

The other test I was able to try so far was using Steam In Home Streaming. This harnesses the power of my gaming PC (Seriously, I need to write about that) and play anything in my Steam library on the Surface Pro 4.

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For this test, I hooked up an Xbox 360 controller to the Surface Pro 4 and streamed some Fallout 4. Aside from a slight (but noticeable) input lag, the game ran fine and looked pretty good on the little screen. I’m not sure what resolution the game was playing at but it looked fine. This will probably prompt me to buy a new wireless Xbox One controller, as this can be synced directly with the Surface Pro 4 (and I could eventually stream Xbox One games to it (if I ever breakdown and pick up and Xbox One)).

So my initial impressions are that it’s not going to replace my PC anytime soon but for gaming, the Surface Pro 4 seems like it’s going to be a competent little machine.

(And yes, this post was written using a Surface Pro 4)

June Releases

June brings with it warmer weather, school breaks and some decent video games. On to this month’s releases:

Microsoft Xbox One

Week of June 7th
Mirror’s Edge Catalyst

Week of June 14th
Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition

Week of June 21st
The Technomancer
MXGP2
Mighty No. 9

Week of June 28th
7 Days to Die
Prison Architect


Nintendo Wii-U

Week of June 14th
Minecraft: Wii U Edition

Week of June 21st
Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE
Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
Mighty No. 9

Week of June 28th
TerrariaTony The young buttonmashers in our household will be excited by the idea of Terraria on the Wii-U. It fits great with the gamepad but Terraria is five years old at this point. It might have been better to wait and release the new Terraria game when it’s ready.
LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens


Nintendo 3DS

Week of June 7th
Kirby: Planet Robobot

Week of June 28th
Zero Time Dilemma
LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens


PC

Week of June 7th
XCavalypseTony Zombies and excavating equipment! Repeat: Zombies and excavating equipment!
Stranger of Sword City
UFO Online: Invasion
Ghost 1.0
SteamWorld HeistNick A PC release for this title is much-welcomed. I enjoyed Steamworld Dig more than I probably should have. Steamworld Heist looks to be a fun new concept within the same universe.
Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter

Week of June 14th
Dead by Daylight

Week of June 21st
Mighty No. 9

Week of June 28th
LEGO STAR WARS: The Force Awakens
The Technomancer


Sony Playstation 4

Week of June 7th
Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book
Paragon – Essentials Edition
Toki Tori 2 Plus

Week of June 21st
Grand Kingdom
Umbrella Corps

Week of June 28th
LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Star Ocean: Integrity and FaithlessnessTony I’ll take Non-Sequiturs for 600, Alex.


Sony Playstation Vita

Week of June 7th
Odin Sphere Leifthrasir

Week of June 21st
Grand Kingdom

Week of June 28th
Zero Time Dilemma
LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens

What are you picking up this month?
(Note: As always, all Amazon.com links have our affiliate code embedded in them. If you purchase something through our link, we get a little commission. It’s appreciated.)

May Releases

We’re changing up the format this month’s release list. I’ve cleaned it up a little bit, removed the images that I never really loved to begin with and now another Buttonmashing blogger, Nick, has joined in with his two cents on the releases that interest him. I hope to add another twist on the monthly release list, but that twist will have to wait until June. With that said, on to this month’s releases:

Microsoft Xbox One

Week of May 3rd
Battleborn

Week of May 10th
Battle Worlds: Kronos
Doom

Week of May 17th
Homefront: The Revolution

Week of May 24th
Overwatch – Origins Edition
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mutants in Manhattan
Tropico 5 – Penultimate Edition

Week of May 31st
Dead Island Definitive Collection
One Piece: Burning Blood
Prison Architect


Nintendo Wii-U

Week of May 31st
Mighty No. 9


Nintendo 3DS

No new releases for the Nintendo 3DS in May.


PC

Week of May 3rd
Shadow Complex RemasteredTony: Shadow Complex was a game I enjoyed on the 360 and never got around to finishing. The Metroidiness of Shadow Complex is real and I may pull the trigger on this game this month.
Battleborn
Dr. Spacezoo
Positron
StellarisNick: I wish I was more excited for Stellaris. Part of this apathy may perhaps stem from my overexcitment for Hearts of Iron IV, by which Stellaris is caught in the back side of this eclipse. Also, perhaps, that I’m just tired of spacey spacey pew-pew stuffs. I don’t know. meh. *shrug*

Week of May 10th
Rocket Fist
Neon Drive
Elite vs. Freedom
DOOM

Week of May 17th
Homefront: The Revolution
Tales from the Void
DuskersNick: Technically this isn’t a new release since it is actually just coming out of early access. But the game has a really cool concept and looks like it pulls it off rather well. The environment looks convincing and the command line interface has me giddy. This is a strong contender for an official ButtonMashing review.

Week of May 24th
Feudalism
Portal Stories: VR
Robot Arena III
Total War: WARHAMMER

Week of May 31st
Meridian: Squad 22


Sony Playstation 4

Week of May 3rd
Battleborn

Week of May 10th
Battle Worlds: Kronos
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s EndNick: Uncharted 2 was one of the most fun I’ve ever had playing a video game. The set pieces were a blast and there was minimal platforming. Uncharted 3 was pretty meh. It tried to do too much and diluted itself. Let’s see what the closing chapter of the franchise brings, if anything other than copious amounts of hype.
Doom

Week of May 17th
Homefront: The Revolution
Valkyria Chronicles RemasteredNick: The more that time passes, the more enticing the PS4 looks to me. Initially the main appeal was just Bloodborne. And now, just in May alone, we’ve got Uncharted 4 and Valkyria Chronicles. Bruh.

Week of May 31st
One Piece: Burning Blood
Dead Island Definitive Collection


Sony Playstation Vita

Week of May 10th
MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune VS Zombies

What are you picking up this month?
(Note: As always, all Amazon.com links have our affiliate code embedded in them. If you purchase something through our link, we get a little commission. It’s appreciated.)

The Friends of Nintendo Humble Bundle

The Friends of Nintendo Humble Bundle is currently available, offering a number of Nintendo Wii U and 3DS games.

I could be mistaken, but as far as I can remember, this is the first time Nintendo games have been available as part of a Humble Bundle. And it’s a great deal — 13 bucks gets you everything, including Street Fighter IV for the 3DS and Darksiders 2 for the Wii U.

April Releases

April marks the release of the HTC Vive, the Valve VR experience. There are a couple other big titles, including Quantum Break and Dark Souls III, so this month is shaping up to be a decent month of games. With that said, on to this month’s releases:

Xbox One

Week of April 5th
Star Wars Battlefront Outer Rim
Fallout 4: Automatron
Quantum Break
RBI Baseball 2016 – I haven’t followed baseball closely for a few years now, so I don’t know which Boston Redsox player is featured as this year’s cover athlete, but it sure looks like he’s REAL excited about diving for the ball!
DiRT Rally

Week of April 12th
Dark Souls III

Week of April 26th
Tales from the Borderlands
Lichdom: Battlemage


Week of April 19th
StarFox Zero


Week of April 12th
Bravely Second: End Layer

Week of April 19th
Langrisser Re: Incarnation – Tensei

Week of April 26th
Pokemon Rumble World
SEGA 3D Classics Collection – I know this whole “SEGA games on Nintendo systems” thing has been going on for quite a while now, but 14 year-old me would be very disappointed to see Sonic on a Nintendo. (That being said, I’d be perfectly happy with Altered Beast)


(**Editor’s Note: There are a TON of games coming out at the beginning of April on Steam, mostly VR games. I didn’t think that every game deserved a link, but if you have new VR Kit and you’re wanting to get some games, there possibilities are numerous)

Week of April 5th
Gunjack
Enter the Gungeon – (Guns are apparently a thing this month)
Outrage
Until I Have You
Fortify
Glitchrunners
Silver Bullet: Prometheus
The Fifth Expedition

Week of April 12th
DARK SOULS III
Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan
Secrets of Deep Earth Shrine

Week of April 19th
The Banner Saga 2
Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair
Wayward
Battlefleet Gothic: Armada

Week of April 26th
Pavilion – If looks were all that counted, this would be a 2016 GotY contender.
Cubium Dreams
Elite vs. Freedom


PS4 Banner

Week of April 5th
Ether One
DiRT Rally
RBI Baseball 2016

Week of April 12th
Ratchet & Clank
Dark Souls III

Week of April 19th
Zombie Vikings
Lichdom: Battlemage

Week of April 26th
Tales from the Borderlands


Week of April 5th
Assassin’s Creed Chronicles

Week of April 26th
Stranger of Sword City

What are you picking up this month?
(Note: As always, all Amazon.com links have our affiliate code embedded in them. If you purchase something through our link, we get a little commission. It’s appreciated.)