Resident Evil 3 First Impressions and Thoughts

Resident Evil 3 Raccoon City Demo Capture 2

Everyone’s First Impressions on Resident Evil 3? STAAAARRRRS!

Resident Evil 3 is finally here, and I have captured my first impressions! Don’t worry if you don’t get all the STARS references that will be flying around – it’s an injoke from the game, that you will get quickly if you play ūüėÄ

There is only one game I have been waiting for with more anticipation, and it is teasing me on my shelf.

Final Fnatasy VII Deluxe
It teases me :p

I am waiting for April 10th to look at this one. Not just because of the request for no spoilers from Square Enix, but day one patches and the like aren’t available. So, my plan is to do my first impressions as per normal – even though the start¬†should be the demo that was recently released.

But enough of that teaser, on to todays game – RESIDENT EVIL 3! Resident Evil 2 blew me away last year, and the only reason I haven’t Platinumed it is because I haven’t had the time to dedicate powering through the later skill and time based challenges.

As much as I have been trying to stay away from reviews, headlines have flashed before me. Apparently the game is a ‘mixed’ experience. So what do I think after a half hour of gameplay?

Only one way to find out!

Is Resident Evil 3 a game you have been looking forward to? I can tell you from the demo, it plays equally well on PC, PS4 Pro and Xbox One S so you should have a great time playing it if you do!

Not sure if Resident Evil 3 is for you? Play the Racoon City demo – it is very representative of what Resident Evil 3 is like.

Until next time,

JohnHQLD

Doom Eternal First Impressions – I made a video!

Doom Eternal First Impressions

Doom Eternal has the tag line ‘Rip and Tear’. I play ‘Sticky Bomb and Pray’!

So I have had some start/stop video experiments that I have shared in the past. Today, there is another ūüôā Rather than try to write up how I feel about Doom Eternal, I thought I would do a video of my Early Impressions!

My plan was to play 15-20 minutes of a game for the first time, and give my live first impressions and reactions. What do you know – even with prep, that didn’t work out quite as well as I hoped! Doom Eternal’s soundtrack in particular turned out to be a challenge. Life finds a way indeed! ūüôā

You can watch the video below, expand it up to full screen and all the usual stuff. You can also go over to my YouTube page at https://www.youtube.com/johnhqldplaysgames if you have trouble casting or want to leave a like/dislike and a comment. Feedback is appreciated!

So today, let me introduce you to my first ‘First Impressions’ game video, where I sit back and enjoy Doom Eternal ūüėÄ

Slightly Extended Impressions

Once I had played through the above, I was actually a little sad that I stopped recording. Not that I wanted to make a longer video, but because I found out I was only a little distance from another really cool secret!

I discovered another secret only a few minutes after finishing up my Thoughts in the video. And this secret had me grinning like crazy!

Doom Eternal has cheat codes that you can find in the secret areas!

Doom Eternal Cheat Codes Found
This is such a great idea. And I had my original Doom collection on such disks!

I haven’t tried messing around with them yet, but I think these are a great idea. Plenty of times I would fire up the original DOS Doom games, throw on invincibility and all guns, and just blast away for a bit on fun for a little while.

Doom Eternal is going to let me do the same thing, and use these overpowered features to let you explore the map more as well!

Until next time,

JohnHQLD

Detective: A Modern Crime Game First Impressions

Detective A Modern Crime Board Game

What if Sherlock had Google?

So, yesterday I made the grand statement that a game technically not yet released replaced one of my favourite games of all time.  Yes, Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game (or just Detective) has replaced T.I.M.E. Stories for me.

It’s important to note though that the two games cannot be any more different.¬† If there was a game with similar DNA, it would be Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective¬†or even a little Legacy of Dragonholt.¬† If you didn’t like T.I.M.E. Stories for any reason, never fear – those experiences and issues will not cross.

So what is Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game?  It is basically exactly as advertised.  There are a series of mysteries to be solved, and you and the other players work together to determine the truth.

Players take the role of Investigators for the Antares National Investigation Agency.  Antares is the most high-tech investigation agency in the world and operates under the jurisdiction of the F.B.I.

Think of yourself as a member of any high-level investigation team on TV, such as Criminal Minds or The Blacklist.  You select an investigator to play, each of which has special skills and abilities.

All you know going into the game is there are five cases you will have to solve, and there is a metaplot for a campaign.¬† That’s it.¬† You could look through all of the components in the box, but it won’t really help you – the only way forward now is to play.

Detective A Modern Crime Board Game Retail Components
The retail components of Detective. Most of the game is played in discussion between players - it's hard to explain how much game this represents

This all probably sounds really vague, but that really is what you do.  There is no preset path to take.  The game creates an intentionally vague starter setting with some information, and as a group, the players decide what to investigate and where to travel.

There is a lot of rules to take in up front though.¬† Once you begin to play, the options become fairly simple and intuitive.¬† But that’s once you start playing.¬† Learning a game where you can’t be given exact examples or clarifications can be a bit confusing and off-putting.

There are two really great things to help with this in Detective though.  First, there is a great rules explanation from Rodney Smith and Watch It Played.

Don’t be put off by the almost 20-minute length.¬† A lot of the video is trying to give examples of the game without giving any story away.¬† The video also includes a guide for the Antares Database that I will go into shortly.

The second really big help are tips through the manual from the playtesters.  Mostly just general tips, they are sound bits of advice that you should keep in mind when playing.

It might not sound like much, but a lot of people will go in without any real idea of what sort of game they are playing.  Notes on taking breaks and general feel advice is great for first time players.

Detective A Modern Crime Board Playtester Tips
This may not look like much, but when you can't be given specifics on the game you don't know what to expect. That alone makes these tips so appreciated.

So gameplay begins with an introduction from the casebook, giving you starting leads and case conditions.  These conditions are things like the amount of time you can spend on the case and special rules.

The leads are a large part of the game though.  When you investigate a lead, you search the case deck for the appropriately numbered card and read it.

These lead cards give you most of the background information in the game.  It is with this information you begin to gather information on the world and the people you are dealing with.  Information can be text, it can be images or diagrams, it can be handwritten letters Рthe possibilities are amazing.

The other thing with leads is these cards can sometimes be investigated further if you have the right skills at your disposal.¬† It’s hard not to just turn the card over and see if it’s worth spending the resources, but it’s great that the game puts you into such a position.¬† It may be something that opens up a whole new area to investigate, it could be nothing.¬† But those skills are finite resources, so it’s also risk/reward.

A really cool thing with the cards is sometimes you will unlock the ability to put a card into another case deck, meaning some areas can be locked or unlocked in the future.

But surely you don’t just walk around and read cards describing your actions.¬† After all, Antares is the most high-tech investigation agency¬†in the world!¬† So where do you get the other information¬†from?

Welcome to the Antares Information Database.

Instead of having a card for everything, there are many entries in the online database.  This is a pretty obvious use of the database, and it does it well.

But it also handles clues and evidence for you.  This was a great way of letting the online database know what paths you had taken without having to enter every card examined!

Detective A Modern Crime Board Game Antares Database
The Antares Database. Information source, constantly referred to FAQ, and the ultimate score keeper.

The other great aspect of this is the database also keeps your score for the case.  When you are ready to finish, either by consensus or time has run out, you enter what is called the cases final report.

The game looks at the evidence you collected and it’s¬†relevance, then gives you a base score.¬† You are then asked a series of questions with multiple choice answers about the case, and about the metaplot.

You may be tempted to guess an answer, but I strongly¬†recommend against it.¬† For my practice game I was tempted, but one or two of the questions I am not sure if they actually happened in the game.¬† If you get an answer wrong, your case score will go down.¬† If you honestly answer “I don’t know”, no points are awarded¬†or subtracted.

“Practice Game?” I hear you ask?

That’s right.¬† We get to do the first game again as a practice.¬† I got a minor rule wrong and a major setup was skipped limiting our investigation options, but we can play again with no real foul.

That’s because when you have answered everything, you are given a case score giving you an indication of how well you did or didn’t do.¬† On the first game, we really flubbed the case, but I only know this becuase¬†of because of our score.

Detective gives you the option to restart a case before showing you the actual solution.¬† This is something that is hard to do in Sherlock Holmes for example, but because Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game is essentially an app-driven game, fairly easy to accomplish.¬† Once you see the solution, your score and everything is locked, so you can’t game the system too much, but it makes for a great experience.

I wish I could talk more about the case, but that would lead to specifics that will spoil parts of the game.

I can talk a little bit about one more aspect though that makes Detective stand out from other similar games.

Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game has ties to actual historic events.¬† There are many parts of the game you don’t just use the Antares Database, but you search Wikipedia and Google events to verify times and dates of testimony given.¬† This game is the most fun, educational, investigation heavy game I have ever played.

Alpal and I had a great time playing the first case, rule mistakes and all.¬† We didn’t have enough puppy breaks – we played for about 2.5 – 3 hours straight.¬† I think the case went for close to four hours total.

Detective A Modern Crime Board Game Pre Order Bonuses
Some of the preorder bonus items. With the exception of a sixth investigator and a short special sixth case, nothing that changes the experience overall.

One of the greatest thing about Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game is I am confident I have at least 20 hours game before me, and that’s assuming I can get the cases first time from here on in.

During this time, I can choose when to play the next case when I am ready.¬† Five cases later, I will be looking at solving some metaplot game, ending the campaign probably adding even more time to play.¬† Without ending the fifth game, I don’t know this for sure, but the entire experience is here in one the one box.

This is where Portal Games have blown T.I.M.E. Stories out of the water.  Three years after release, I am still waiting for the metaplot component of T.I.M.E. Stories.  Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game has everything here, ready to go, and for a much lower cost than the initial outlay of T.I.M.E. Stories.

I am confident that Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game will be a success.  When this happens, I have no doubt a second campaign will be released, and I feel it will be a stand-alone expansion.  It may be in a year, it may be in three years.  The main thing with this structure is I am not left hanging a ridiculous amount of time to continue the story.

Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game won’t be for everyone.¬† If you get the chance to play the game do it – it’s the only way you will know for sure.¬† If you play someone else’s copy, just don’t read the case endings and you can enjoy it fully once purchased.

For people that may not have a chance to try a case before buying, I am thinking of doing a solo run on video of Case 1.  It would be spoiler heavy, but I would not show the actual case solution.  You would see all of the mechanics and how the game is played in detail.  If this is something you would like to see, let me know in the comments or on the Facebook page!

Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game will definitely be a game I will be trying to play every 2-3 weeks.  It may not work out that way, and I may not finish the campaign before PAX, but this is a game that definitely deserves all of the hype.  A full review will be coming in the next couple of months, but at the moment Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game is all but guaranteed a spot on my top 10 games of the year.

Until next time,

JohnHQLD