When the Xbox One launched in November of 2013 it ran about 500.00 USD. Though the price has gone down if you want to upgrade or replace any of those things you plug or connect to it you may quickly find yourself matching your initial investment. Is it worth it?
Tomorrow evening is our first live stream, which you can watch right here on the website by going to the tab marked 'stream' or by searching us out on either Twitch.tv's website or mobile app. To say I am nervous would be an understatement. It's not that I worry about the technical aspects of the stream (they've been tested) or whether or not you fine folk will be watching, it's the quality of the stream. Specifically the audio. Regardless of the Xbox One being my primary gaming device I have never really upgraded my peripherals. Rather I had not bothered to begin the process of shelling out fractions of the original cost of the machine on things to plug into it such as controllers and a new headset. That is until last month when I purchased the Elite controller (150.00 USD on Amazon), which required some thought. I'm glad I bought it as the thing is amazing for shooters and Forza. It feels every bit like the controller that should have come with the console in the first place. But the thought became necessary when i looked at that price tag. The same thoughts crossed my mind again when I started looking at headsets today.
I have a tendency to look for the 'best' thing when I'm looking for new tech. You should see the portable digital recorder I picked up for the podcast last week, cradled in it's orange waterproof storage case with it's handle and double clasp openings the thing looks absolutely mint. It's hard to settle for the the middle of the road option, but in headsets I had to. A quick amazon search and a trip to reddit will yeild dozens of options, all supposedly the best in true internet forum fashion. The consensus seems to be that the Astro A50's are the top of the heap, and at 300.00 USD a pop i would certainly hope so. I settled on a set of Turtlebeach XO4 stealth ($90.00) which came in towards the top of the smaller heap and you'll be hearing the results of this investment by our second stream. If you've been following along so far that's $240.00, about $60.00 less than buying a second console for a controller and a headset. No external hard-drive for expanded storage. No rechargeable battery packs or fancy stands and system coolers. How would rate an additional investment such as this one? What if anything have you purchased for your own systems? Was it worth it to you? let me know!
The Division experience for me began Tuesday evening with a phone call to Microsoft's store support line. Me and the rest of the gaming world who had chosen to order a physical copy of the game were without our copies on release day. The promise that the game would arrive within 48 hours was scripted and the customer service person on the line was uninterested in providing any help. An hour and a manager later and I had been credited with enough Xbox dough to pick up the digital copy of the Gold edition. The download commenced and I promised myself that no coupon was worth the obsolescence of ordering a physical copy of anything ever again.
At 6:00pm on launch day I was finally roaming the streets of Manhattan. And I was happy to observe that there hadn't been any huge changes since the open or closed betas. The atmosphere and pacing of gameplay were still just as exciting to me as they were a month or more ago. My initial reaction was that I had made a good call and I could look forward to many days of being dead on my feet at work. That reaction stuck as soon as my squad came together. Mark and two mutual friends logged in and we painlessly joined up and were running around in the streets in no time. In two hours of gameplay we took part in some of the best multiplayer gaming I can recall in years. Full of dynamic movement and awesome firefights and a general feeling of content with the experience as a whole.
This evening that feeling hadn't changed. On your own, The Division can be a lonely experience. Not bad, but certainly lacking after taking to it with a group of friends. There is more than enough to do and match-making is fairly easy for playing with people you don't know to get some help on tougher missions..It is when you are in a group with people you know well that the developers really seemed to have hit their mark.Unlike a standard shooter where in fun is available assuming you have a good group around you and a solid lobby, or destiny where you are rolling the dice every time you want to run a strike The Division has for me at least filled a void that has been missing since the days of LAN parties or couch co-ops.And i encourage anyone looking for that to invest in this title.
There are some things missing that were prominent in the early concepts and trailers. Or if they exist i haven't found them yet. Such as the ability to play on a tablet in some roll with others on the Xbox. Or a broader variety of classes. So far it seems like its down to three tracks on the same character which come down to a medic, a support and an engineer/hybrid. I'm not disappointed enough to count these against the game.
I realize that when I have mentioned The Division on the show I've not really gone in-depth on the gameplay itself. And barring any massive problems or setbacks in my time I'm most likely not going to do so. I may have more to say on specific points as time goes by, but i feel like there are many sites and people who have already put out some quality work and pieces for anyone looking for those details and i encourage you all to go and search them out from wherever your preferred sources are. At this point all i know is this; The Division seems awesome right now. In a month I hope it will continue to be and avoid the pitfalls of its current generation console predecessors.
Check back in a few weeks after more time has gone by and listen to next weeks show where I am sure there will be some things said by the both of us.
My name is Justin, also known as Justinthulu, Those of you who have listened to Episode 69 will have heard a small bit about me, but I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself in a less 'First show I've been on' sort of way.
I am an avid fan of both traditional and video games. I've also been known to dabble in pen and paper RPGs. As I said on the show I play a lot of shooters and open world games on consoles(primarily Xbox One), but I'm not super focused on any one genre. I like my Forzas just as much as my Battlefields, and Minecrafts just as much as my occasional flings with Destiny. Steam gets plenty of my money- every time there is a sale- and PC will always be where I give indie games a solid try. Throughout my life videogames have been a constant companion, time sink and form of escapism on par with the small library of books I have insulating my home. I have enjoyed nearly every console from the Atari onward and will most likely continue to do so until they are replaced with neural implants. When we will all sit drooling while our minds wander whatever magical or horrifying place developers of the next few decades decide to send us.
In addition to games i am a huge fan of nearly all things Lovecraftian, Zombie or horror related. Books and graphic novels will never be something I don't go out of my way to enjoy. And photography and wanderlust round out my person.I look forward to sharing my gaming and geek weirdness with you all over the coming months as The Digital and Dice Podcast continues to put out new episodes for your listening pleasure!