Lack of Short, Story Driven Games

As a 30 year old male I find the amount of time I have for ‘gaming’ growing shorter and shorter. Its not that I don’t want to play games actually quite the opposite I would love to play more but, unfortunately life tends to get in the way.

Gone are the days of sitting for 6+ hours (some time much more back in the day ;D) and tackling the latest single player story. I look at games like The Witcher 3 now and while I own it, I just can’t dedicate time it deserves. Born in 1988 I am part of the generation where games and gaming have been part of my life since I was born. I first played my Dads Sega Master System before getting my own PS1 when it was released back in 1994. Is this why my Dad stopped gaming, he just didn’t have the time being a father, having job, husband etc.

I am constantly on the hunt for solid story based, single player games with a main storyline less that 20 hours that I can complete with only 30-40min here and there. I guess this is why we have seen this rise of the Battle Royale and MOBA genre where they provide 15-20min of high intensity, high octane gameplay allowing you to play 2-3 games/rounds and be satisfied.

With the largest demographic of gamers being 26-35 years of age surely I can’t be the only one that struggles to find time to play games while holding down a full-time job, be a husband and maintain an active social life?

If anyone is aware of short single player games let me know!

Warframe a 6 year old gift

I’ve known about Warframe for years but just never got around to giving it a go. The game first came out in 2013, any 6 year old game still being actively developed with a thriving community must be doing something right. After a dry period in my gaming catalog I finally decided to jump in and give Warframe a shot and have since racked up almost 30 hours of play.

Firstly the game is great, it runs flawlessly, looks great and plays great the next update (coming soon) brings a graphics overhaul to bring it inline with most modern day AAA titles.

You play as a Tenno (aka Space Ninja’s) a long lost race of noble warriors who one day in a world full of conflict just up-ed and left never to be seen again. Starting a new game you are given the option to play in 1 of 3 ‘frames’ each with there own unique traits and abilities. The game as of writing has over 20 unlockable frames so there is a play style to suit everyone.

Movement is a big deal in warframe and once you master the power slide, into jump, back into slide combo you with literately be flipping about the levels at blistering pace slicing up enemies left, right and centre it really is one of the best parts of the game, its so fluid and you do really get that Space Ninja feel as you glide around. With 14 planets to visit in the game each with around 10 locations the game is nothing short of massive but not necessarily demanding you are able to play very much at your own pace only clearing a few levels if that is all you have time for. The game does a good job of keeping you on the right track making sure progression doesn’t slow down.

Its a free to play game with micro transactions but thankfully its not pay to win. Everything in Warframe is fully unlockable in the game absolutely free you can pay to speed things up but it is absolutely not necessary. At is core Warframe is a farming/grinding game with the end goal to become as powerful and possible if you want a specific weapon be prepared to ‘farm’ the materials required to craft said weapon which could require running the same mission over and over until you meet the required quota.

Warframe is available to every platform at the moment so there really inst a reason you can’t play a small drawback is its not cross platform so any frames I have unlocked on my PC account won’t be available if I were to start playing on my Switch.

The upcoming expansion Warframe: Empyrean brings a graphical overhaul, space ships (fuck yea!) and a new enemy race. If there was ever a time to give Warframe a shot now is the time. If none of this has give you even the slightest inclination to play watch the intro trailer and think of the Space Ninja you could be.

Gorn 1.0 Arrives (Lamps will be broken!)

Tomorrow (18/07/19) sees Gorn the brutally hilarious VR gladiator fighting game move out of early access to version 1.0. I’ve followed the games development regularly playing while in early access for over a year and am super stoked for it to finally be released.

Its a VR only game so if you don’t own an Oculus Rift or Vive (PS VR soon!) this article is not for you. In Gorn you take the role of a Roman gladiator battling against groups of meat heads who rightly so approach you rather cautiously. Before a game beings you are presented with plethora of weapons to choose from and upon selecting your favourite you raise your hands in the air saluting Caesar to begin the fight. Don’t let the cartoonish graphics fool you this game is brutal I’ve lost count of how many hearts I’ve plucked from men’s chests with a spear or how many skulls I’ve sliced in half with the battle axe. This game comes with a massive warning, play in an open area as furniture is likely to get broken or at least smacked with flailing arms when you get overwhelmed. I took a golf swing at the free standing lamp in my living room while playing this, in game I was trying get an achievement of hitting 5 enemies out of the arena so had taken to using a 2 handed war-hammer like a 5 iron.

The game uses the pull yourself along movement system if you are familiar with VR games this most likely wont pose a challenge but can take some getting used to if you are trying VR for the first time. Depth wise Gorn has a large amount of additional weapons to unlock by defeating bosses or meeting certain kill criteria which gives the game a surprising amount of longevity. Version 1.0 brings the Crab & the “diss” track below if its anything like the rest of the game it wont be anything less than bonkers.

This game is a must for parties or introducing people to VR it comes in at £14.99 and is well worth the price for the hilarity it brings alone.

3 Games to pick up on Prime Day

Amazon Prime day is upon us. Racked with controversy as Amazon workers strike due to poor working conditions. With Prime Day ending today here are my top 3 game deals to pick up last minute from Amazon. Unfortunately with disks not really being a thing for PC gamers all of the deals featured below are for the consoles.

Tom Clancy’s The Division 2

The second instalment to the Division franchise brings everything that went into making the the first game great, adding a little more magic and polishing it all up. If your in the market for a solid looter/shooter this is the one for you. Content is still actively being released so there will be no shortage of things to do while playing. The Division 2 is available on PS4, Xbox and PC on consoles as part of prime for £22.99.

Far Cry 5

I always really enjoy the Far Cry games I’ve been playing them since Far Cry 2. They look glorious and I’ll never forget burning the marijuana fields in Far Cry 3 to SKILEREX. Far Cry 5 is available on Prime Day for £16.12 not a massive saving from its usual £17.99 but hey, its 10% off at the end of the day. Available here on PS4 & Xbox.

Crash Bandicoot NSane Trilogy

Who doesn’t love a bit of nostalgia. Crash Bandicoot was the first game I ever owned myself on my PS1. This bundle comprises of all 3 titles wrapped up into one helpful package and is a great trip down memory lane, with some levels being a lot more difficult than I remember. Crash Bandicoot NSane Trilogy is available on all major title and you can pick it up on Prime Day for £19.49 here PS4, Xbox

Review – My Friend Pedro

While I was on holiday a few weeks ago, I noticed a game that I was following had finally been released. That game was ‘My Friend Pedro’. My thoughts on the media released on the lead up to launch was that this game looks like an insane, matrix style bullet time chaos, cluster fuck and those initial thoughts hold up pretty well after the play time I have had.

I’ve racked up about 4 hours of in game time. Upon starting you are shown the basics and the controls to let you dive in fast. Throughout the initial levels with each new mechanic/puzzle being introduced you are taught how to interact or overcome said mechanic. This style suits me to a tee where you are hand fed mechanics step by step rather than with some games I often feel overloaded and thrown in at the deep end expected to be a master from the word go. The games controls are pretty simple, I can’t get into the habit of holding W to dodge but I assume I will get used to it in time.

The game lets you live out some of the wildest action movie scenes you can think of, be that racing through the streets on a motor bike, shooting down missiles,kick-flipping a skate board off someones head or slaughtering near endless bad guys while free falling from a skyscraper. Right off the bat the volume is cranked up to 11/10 as you begin to clean up the streets, all with the helpful direction from your yellow banana friend Pedro.

My Friend Pedro is arguably the first ‘big’ title from independent indie developer DeadToast Entertainment being released on Steam, GOG.com, Humble Store, PS4 and Nintendo Switch the game is currently £15.50 and I am really looking forward to what’s next for DeadToast and My Friend Pedro. Be sure to check out my ‘Lets Play’ over on my YouTube Channel.

How Does An Execution Plan Suddenly Change When The Statistics (And Everything Else) Remains The Same ? (In Limbo)

Richard Foote's Oracle Blog

I’ve slipped this post in as there have been a number of discussions recently on how execution plans have changed while nothing else appears to have changed in the database. How can an execution plan suddenly change when no one has made any changes to the database ?
 
By no changes, it means that there have been no alterations to any segments, no new indexes have been added, no changes associated  bind peeking (indeed, there may not even be any bind variables), no parameters changes, no new patches or upgrades, no new outlines or profiles, no new system stats and perhaps most prevalent of all, no changes to any CBO statistics.
 
The DBA hasn’t touched a thing and yet suddenly, for no apparent reason, execution plans suddenly change and (say) an inappropriate index is suddenly used and causes performance degradation.
 
How can this be possible ?
 
There are…

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