Comedians in armchairs and am I ruining Games for myself?

Comedians are great. They are people who have dedicated themselves to making people laugh. There aren’t many other professions where the key function is to make people feel great. There is also a huge range of comedians from the relatively wholesome Russell Howard to the dark humour of a Jimmy Carr or the one liners of Tim Vine.

Last night I went to a show in Southend performed by Rob Brydon, Lee Mack and David Mitchell. The trio have been taking the piss out of each other for years on Would I Lie to You? and I have watched countless hours of that show so to see them all together was a laugh. The format of the show is unusual, half a quiz with audience interaction, and then bringing the audience in even more in the second half. It’s a couple of hours of laughter and a strange insight into people’s thoughts on Southend in general.

The trio’s chemistry has been built over years on a show and they all bring their own comedic style to the show. Rob Brydon is the “Host” of sorts, and his showmanship suits that perfectly. David Mitchell and Lee Mack are middle class chalk and working-class cheese and they both play into the stereotypes they’re known for from the TV show. Essentially the show is all set up for the three of them to just show off their comedic skills, and it is a great vehicle for them. The speed they come up with jokes is impressive and with the audience I was in, they were not given the best material to work with. Drug Dealers, dating problems, Wedding cake and Dead cats all came up and none of those are particularly funny situations.

It reminded me a lot of several of the podcasts I listen to, like the Kinda Funny Podcast or Collider Live, where the bulk of the show is the interaction between the people on the podcast and the funny stories and conversations that come from that. The live stage show aspect allows Brydon Mack and Mitchell to include the audience a lot more, although email questions are used, and I know a lot of podcasts use that or twitter for audience interaction. I am hoping when I open my podcast app on my way to work soon, I will be able to find the three of them in podcast form as they have the kind of chemistry that serves that medium well.

Sunday Night Comedy aside, I finally picked up Borderlands 3 again yesterday after a weekend of FIFA and a week of not playing Borderlands. The game is in an odd place for me. Whenever I am playing it, I enjoy it a lot. The loot cycle is as satisfying as any I have played and the gun play is superb, but it doesn’t have me clamouring for more. It is suffering from the same problem The Division 2 gave me, and that doesn’t bode well.

The Division 2 is another game I thoroughly enjoy playing. Again, it does everything right when you’re fighting through the streets of Washington DC, and yet I haven’t had any desire to carry on. I played it solidly for a good 2 weeks in between work and other commitments and got quite a way through the main story. With the division, the story is almost unimportant, you’re in DC, here is a load of bad guys, go shoot them. It flirts with trying to present some motivations for the characters but there isn’t a single character I could name from the games world which is a bit of a damnation of the story in the game.

Borderlands 3 has a more interesting story, but for some reason I just don’t have the motivation to carry on. I will play it a little this week after work, and maybe even on Sunday again in a hungover state after the wedding of one of my best friends, but then Ghost Recon will be ready to go, and I can’t see Borderlands outlasting that.

I was so ready to dive into both The Division 2 and Borderlands 3 when they were releasing, that perhaps I over hyped the games without realising. I was convinced I would be all into smash borderlands continuously, and it didn’t happen. I listened to countless Division 2 previews and knew how I wanted to build my character before I even downloaded the game, but I never finished the main story.

Perhaps it is all my own doing, and I am setting the bar too high and the games are falling below it. Ghost Recon Wildlands was a worse game than both the games I have mentioned in this, and I played it to completion and unlocked nearly every gun and attachment in the game. It was a surprise to me though, I went in knowing nothing about the game and I think that added intrigue about what might be around the corner is what kept me coming back.

The hunger I have for information about games, movies, and TV shows has ruined a lot of surprises for me over the years – for example I knew Han Solo was dying in The Force Awakens long before the film’s release – but I can’t help myself. A huge part of the enjoyment of Marvel and Star Wars films for me is the anticipation. The guessing of what might happen. That translates to games in the form of knowing how the gameplay works before I have touched the game. I normally avoid story spoilers but quite frankly most video games have shoddy stories, especially the first-person shooter genre.

Maybe I will avoid all Ghost Recon Breakpoint previews and see if that game can get its hooks into me. It does have John Bernthal, so it’s got that going for it. I want to be able to say I beat the Punisher in a gunfight, so I guess I am already signed up to go all the way through the game.

I will put up my FIFA 20 full review tomorrow, I have played a lot of it and it’s really confusing. Until then, thanks for reading!

ChAzJS

 

 

The Autumn Video Game Budget

Borderlands 3 signalled the beginning of the period that hurts all gamers wallets. For some reason this 3-month run up to Christmas is when the decision makers at the big companies decide to release every game that people have been looking forward to. I get it, Christmas is coming, but surely some of them should have brought their releases forward or delayed them into 2020 to avoid the overload. 

Without using google, I can list off PES 2020, Borderlands 2, FIFA 20, Ghost Recon Breakpoint, Destiny 2’s newest expansion Shadowkeep which is like a new game, Call of Duty Modern Warfare, The Outer Worlds, Death Stranding and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. If we optimistically say £50 per game, that’s £450 to keep up with the conversation and that’s assuming I haven’t missed any games.

Okay now I have googled it and I missed the new Pokémon and Doom Eternal. They round it off to a cool £550. So, there is ELEVEN games potentially fighting it out for your Christmas list just of the ones I would have any interest playing. If you want to keep up when you’ll need to have a fair amount of disposable income to do so, and that is without looking at all the types of games I wouldn’t play like 2D platformers and puzzle games.

I understand the need for Sports games to be released at the start of new seasons in their respective sports, so PES and FIFA, NHL and Madden all kind of have their set release windows and that’s just how it has always been. Those games sell millions and always will because they have people invested so deeply in them. Games such as Call of Duty or Ghost Recon though, make less sense to me.

Ghost Recon seems set to be one of the losers in this fight. The last game was a game I thoroughly enjoyed, and I am excited for the next one, but there is so much competition around at the time. For me, it means Destiny 2’s expansion will be put off until the Christmas break and I will probably not go for one or the other between Outer Worlds and Call of Duty. In general, though, Ghost Recon isn’t nearly as popular as a title like Call of Duty or Borderlands and doesn’t have the curiosity around it that a game like The Outer Worlds has going for it.

Surely releasing it back in august, when there was a huge gap for a meaty game like Ghost Recon to fill would have been a better move from a business sense and got more people interested in playing it. As it is the over saturation of the industry in the autumn months will probably mean the game gets cannibalised by its competition.

A similar thing happened a few years ago to a Tomb Raider game, which was a single player story driven action adventure game that released one week after Spiderman on the PS4. The result was that I didn’t pick it up until it was on the game pass on Xbox, meaning they missed out on the money I would have happily paid if they had released at a less busy time.

I know this post won’t change anything, but I would love to see these big games show a bit more common sense and move out of the way of each other rather than fight it out.

It’s a slow news day and last night I just carried on with Borderlands 3. I posted my review yesterday, but I am trying to convince myself to finish the entire game. That’s never a good sign, but I am now at that point where I am having to convince myself to boot it up. It’s not because it’s a bad game, it just hasn’t grabbed my attention the way some games do.

It’s only 10 days now until FIFA 19 releases, and the inevitable time vortex that game is for me will mean a load of FIFA related posts. As it is, I am avoiding that type of football because Arsenal persist with playing out from the back despite it clearly not working, and now I am a full time NFL fan.

So, if anyone ask’s how my team did at the weekend, they won 43-0 against the Miami Dolphins.

ChAzJS