Weekend Gaming

Thanksgiving kicks off the “Holiday Season” officially, with its extended weekend and treat-yo-self mentality that really lends itself to some extended me-time, in the form of some video games.

So what is everyone playing this long weekend? Myself, I have a handful of ideas I’d like to get to.

Most importantly is not gaming in and of itself, but a means to a more glorious form of PC gaming — the process of acquiring new components for a new PC build. Taking advantage of Black Friday deals has netted me a new AMD motherboard/CPU combo and RAM. Thanks, Micro Center!

I’ll be waiting for a couple days for my monitor and GPU to show up, so in the meantime, here’s what I’ll be playing this weekend:

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: This is the weekend it all comes together — I am finally going to finish BotW. I’ve collected all but one memory, I have crafted a huge pile of food and elixirs to sustain me during the assault of the castle and I’m coming for you, Calamity Ganon.

breath of the wild

Some of the Buttonmashing crew took advantage of the gift Blizzard bestowed on us all with a free copy of Destiny 2, so I’ll be jumping in and out of that as time allows.

Dota 2: the 7.20 game patch came out last week and all its accompanying game-changing updates. Dota 2 has an eternal place on the Weekend Gaming rotation.

What are you going to be playing this weekend?

Weekend Gaming Looks Back at 2017


Before we get to the weekend gaming report, I thought it’d be fun to do a little year-end review of the gaming I did in 2017.

2017 was the year I actually played video games. For the past couple of years I seemed to really only dabble with games here or there while I spent the bulk of my time playing Dota 2. I still played a lot of Dota 2 this year, but it definitely took a back seat. 2017 was also the year that I finished more than one game, which is a milestone in and of itself. So here’s a quick rundown of games that kept me busy in 2017. These are in no particular order. (Or are they??)

Dota 2: Like I said, I still spent a good chunk of time playing Dota 2. Not a lot to say here. The newest patch introduced two new heroes, a bunch of new items, hero updates and I don’t think I’ve played more than 10 matches since the update. I don’t know if that says more about me or about the state of the game.

Resident Evil 7: Resident Evil 4 is in my personal Video Game Mount Rushmore. Resident Evil 5 was pretty alright and was a lot of fun co-op. I haven’t spent much time with RE6 but it’s in my Steam Library. I figure I’ll get to it eventually. When I heard Resident Evil 7 was looking good in early previews, I gave it a go. I even streamed the entire game, a first for me. The switch to first person was a great addition (when I discovered the kept the quick-turn mechanic, I squealed with delight). RE7 is a worthy member of the Resident Evil series.

Nier: Automata: This title was picked up purely on a whim, and I’m glad I grabbed. Nier: Automata has charm, an interesting take on a post-apocalyptic world, and an absolutely killer soundtrack. It also had some straight-up bonkers and weird moments, like the time a swarm of robots came together to for a cocoon (egg?) and gave birth to a naked, androgynous android. That was a Top 2 WTF video game moment. (Actually, it’s probably #1 on the WTF scale. I can’t think of anything weirder). Would probably be my Game of the Year if it wasn’t for BotW.

The Switch: This year I picked up the greatest console ever (I do believe when it’s all said and done, the Nintendo Switch will supplant the SNES as my favorite console of all time). I haven’t even played that many games on it yet, but every time I pick it up (whether it’s with the Pro Controller, playing it on the TV or I pick it up out of its dock and play on its small but brilliant screen) the potential just oozes. Initially, I picked up Breath of the Wild and Overcooked. BotW we’ll get to later, but I do want to mention that Overcooked is a super fun party game to play with, especially with people you want to come to hate. Later in the year, I picked up Super Mario Odyssey and Mario Kart 8. I haven’t had a chance to spend a ton of time with either of those titles (it will become clear why later) but I could easily lose hours at a time to either title.

The Division: I picked up a Xbox One when I got my surface and I picked a special edition The Division Xbox One. I put in 15-20 hours of The Division on the Xbox One, enjoyed it enough, and set it aside. Late last year I was thinking I wanted to play a “Christmas Game” and remembered that The Division was set around Christmas time. This time I picked it up on PC so I could co-op with my mates and we spent the majority of Christmas break running around Manhattan, making Dark Zone runs, hijacking extractions and having a merry ole time. Unbeknownst to us, we were enjoying the golden age of this 2+ year old game. The Division is a pretty dang good game by yourself, but is fantastic when playing with friends.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: A lot of virtual ink has been spilled extolling the virtues of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I got on the bandwagon late, but man-oh-man is this a great game. Everything that has been said about it is true: it is a perfect open world game, with exploration for days, a crafting system that is useful and soothing, collection quests that aren’t in your face, a story line that is laced with a wistful melancholy, and a hero that is a perfect proxy for escapism. I think I’ve logged 50+ hours into this game and am approaching the 1/2 point (by my estimation) and I can’t wait to see what the game holds in store.

Unfortunately for me, my three kids also think it’s the best game ever and it’s a battle to get time with the Switch. But I don’t begrudge the sharing. It’s been great seeing the game through their eyes. My daughter decided she didn’t want to harm any animals, so she decided to do a vegan playthrough. My youngest wants to catch up to where dad is while my middle son is content to explore and document the world through his Sheikah Slate. It truly has something for everyone.

So that was 2017 for me. What were some 2017 stand-outs for you?

And I’ll be saving NYC and the world this weekend, unburdening some bad guys of the sweet, sweet loots they are hoarding. What will you be playing?

Weekend Gaming

2017 has been a pretty decent year for gaming with a lot of good games already out and even more on the way, including a couple very big releases that have a surprising thread running through the two of them:

Seriously, though, in the Buttonmashing household, this is going to be a great weekend (minus some funeral stuff, but that’s neither here nor there). We’ve got Super Mario Odyssey downloading on the Switch, a HUGE OSU Football game on Saturday and STRANGER THINGS 2!! (Oh, and the Buttonwife is auditioning to be on Family Feud with other members of the family including fellow Buttonmasher James). It’s a cornucopia of good content waiting to be consumed.

Pile on top of that the Steam Halloween Sale, and you’ve got yourself quite the gaming weekend.

Steam Halloween Sale

I think I’ll be spending the majority of my time with the Switch playing Super Mario but I’m sure we’ll sprinkle in some Dota 2 and other PC gaming.

What are you playing this weekend?

Clinton ‘Fear’ Loomis Retires From Evil Geniuses

Evil Geniuses today issued the announcement that EG and esports veteran Clinton ‘Fear’ Loomis is retiring from the player’s hot seat. He is, however, remaining with EG as an active coach for future EG Dota2 lineups.

His retirement is effective immediately, with Fear citing his personal health as a priority. In a brief statement on EG’s website, he recognizes his accomplishments and gushes about EG and Dota. “I still have a passion for Dota and for competing,” Fear begins, “but the long term health of my arm has to come first.”

clinton-fear-loomis-eg-dota2

The sudden removal of heavy-hitters like Fear is sure to make a splash. Teammates and many redditors who Bleed Blue are bummed yet supportive. Teammate PPD said this of Fear: “Fear helped me reach my potential, and I believe he will continue to do that for players in the years to come.” Of his prospective coaching abilities redditor /u/prolepatriot thinks, “considering how much ppd and others on EG have praised fear for being a calming presence as well as helping with the drafts…i expect fear to be one of the best coaches in the scene.”

With an empty chair now in the lineup EG plans to announce its new Dota2 roster tomorrow.

TI6, EHOME vs. EG: How EHOME Faltered, EG Staged a Comeback

In what can confidently be declared as one of the greatest matches of DOTA2 in the history of everything ever, game 1 of the EHOME vs. Evil Geniuses went to EG, having bided their time, staged a clutched throne rush and producing a thrilling last minute comeback. The fallout of the nerve-wrecking 75 minutes match witnessed EG moving on and EHOME dropping to the lower bracket.

Dagon

EHOME had all of the radiant T1 and T2 towers down by the 20-minute mark. They were ahead in farm, in kills, in XP. IceIceIce as Timbersaw kept the lanes pushed out and Old eLeVen as Beastmaster provided vision all over the radiant side of the river. EG were hesitant to do anything; PPD was picked off nearly any time he happened to leave base. All the while old chicken continued his free reign in the enemy jungle for farm and items for his Juggernaut. EHOME must have taken Roshan at least four times. Fenrir had a stash of that sweet, stinky cheese in his inventory.

There came a point where an EHOME victory was all but certain. So, what the devil happened? Why was Key Arena filled with thousands of EG fans ejaculating “U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!” Prompting PC Gamer’s Chris Thursten to Tweet:

Two factors led to EG’s victory: 1) Their ability to read the situation, and 2) EHOME’s mishandling of an early advantage.

Put simply — and as nicely and professionally as possible — EHOME’s early advantage went to their heads. Contrary to the more controlled and paced play style they generally favor, it seemed that this early aggro gave them a little too much confidence. To be fair, this dominance was rightfully earned; EG did not give this to them. EHOME just played smart…

… that is, until they started sieging radiant high ground. Old chicken specifically was overextending himself too often. Iceiceice seemed to forget that the DOTA2 user interface has a map in the lower corner, often getting ganked because of zero (0) awareness. The supports did the best they could to maintain dominance of the radiant side, but EHOME’s cores started getting too cocky and thus team composition started breaking apart.

Dagon

EG saw this. Even though they had less vision, they read how EHOME was behaving when besieging and capitalized on this. Using PPD as Ancient Apparition as bait, EG would stage counter ganks, relying on the head-strong EHOME cores to come in for the kill. With those threats removed Universe would then drop some damn effective chronospheres while SumaiL dropped the stars on remaining the remaining EHOME roster.

And so it went for nearly another 60 minutes. EG paced themselves, resetting fights and reacting to EHOME tactics. Iceiceice kept the lanes pushed. Juggernaut kept farming. Roshan was highly contested. Buybacks were commonplace. But it seemed with each passing minute EG somehow kept gaining ground back, and EHOME was consistently underestimating their opponents’ draft.

There came a point after the 60-minute mark when EG had to get creative and act fast. Iceiceice was become too tanky for rightclicks and old chicken’s six slots made it hard for Universe to trade punches with him. What to do… What to do…

THIS!

THIS!

SumaiL was the first to purchase a dagon. Then Zai. By the time they both had a level 5 dagon, PPD starting getting in on it. Evil Geniuses were having themselves a laser party. And that party came a’knockin on the dire’s front door.

Yes! EG chrono’d, brawled, and zapped their way back across the map, dodging golems and saw blades. They rushed mid, took out the barracks. In the last few minutes, both teams fought dirty right there in front of the dire ancient. Kills were had. Buybacks were bought. Both teams sent their carries on a Hail Mary mission to the opposing side, and the game quickly turned into a base race. EHOME had siege creeps flooding the radiant base.

The clutch moment was when we got the notification that Universe was now equipped with a Divine Rapier, giving him the edge in the race. He activated his Boots of Travel, plopped right in front of the dire ancient and demolished that sucker before EHOME had time to preemptively declare ‘gg’.

Commentators were speechless. The crowd was bezerk. I still can’t even. I think all the the Dota community still can’t even.

The fallout of that spectacular 75-minute match carried over into game 2 where EHOME was clearly deflated and tilted. In a rather unspectacular match, EG was the victor mere minutes before the 40-minute mark.

And this is only the semi-finals.

Props to both teams for giving us so damn good Dota.