Gaming Thoughts: Witcher 3 (PC)

Wow, I haven’t updated this blog since January! I may have too many blogs. 😛

I grabbed Witcher 3 during the Steam Summer Sale, it was $20 for the game + DLC so I jumped on it. I could have just played Tim’s copy, but that would require me to chase him away because Steam’s family share only works if the other person is not on their computer. So that was my excuse…I mean, to be honest, I am a nerd and I wanted to collect the Steam Trading Cards.

Well worth the money though, I’m loving it. I really liked Witcher 2 and I could feel myself becoming obsessed with the world (I even started to read the books) and Witcher 3 is everything and more and OMG SO PRETTY!

But I really love the characters. This is a STORY HEAVY game, even though there is plenty of action, adventure and exploration. I think Witcher has the edge on other games in this genre because of the novels and the very rich world that the game writers had to pull from. Compared to a series like Tomb Raider, let’s say, where Lara Croft is pretty much THE character and you know about her and everyone else is just set decoration. Witcher has characters all over the place, people with backstories that they are happy to share with you if that is your play style. (I can’t help but play Geralt as the badass with a heart of gold, sorry if it is cliche. Maybe the second time through I’ll be a dick to people and tell them to suck it up when they are crying to me about their dead wife).

I’ve logged 16 hours so far in the game, Tim completed the game and has 222 hours. So I have SO much game left to go through, so many stories. When the game starts, it seems like you can just go from point A to point B and complete the story. But riding around pays off. Yesterday, I was meandering around an area and I found an abandoned village full of ghouls. Geralt wiped them out and when he killed the last one, the townspeople returned and set up shop!

And not every quest ends in a battle. The quest I did last night, I had the option of fighting the monster or using the monster for a ritual to make it into a protective spirit. Of course, getting the monster to the right location took a little bit of fighting, but nothing too difficult for Geralt. After he did the ritual, I followed the creature to gather clues about the story. It is so satisfying to make a choice in the game and have it actually be a choice and not just a dialogue option that leads to the same outcome no matter what.

Most hilarious quest so far was going to find a villager’s goat that had wandered off. It liked a little bell, so Badass Geralt is walking around the woods, ringing a little bell. LOL. It was fantastic.

Anyway, I’m only 16 hours in so obviously I have barely scratched the surface, but if you are into games with great story (and you can put the difficulty all the way down to pretty much just play the story) watch for this to drop back down to $20 and grab it. So worth it.

Also, did I mention how pretty? (also, Geralt’s voice? Rawr. It’s probably the thing that worries me the most about the Netflix series. The voice actor for the game was so unique, how could I accept another voice?)

Witcher 3 - Geralt in the Rain//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Bonus: I carried over my save from Witcher 2 and I never got around to getting Geralt’s tattoo removed after the “Hangover” style quest in that game so when I started up Witcher 3, there is was. **facepalm** sorry Geralt! Don’t drink so much next game!

“goodreads for video games”

dpadd logo vs. grouvee logo

These are the things I search for on my days off. I have GoodReads to help me track my books, Letterboxd for tracking my movies – now I need a site for my video games!

After a perfunctory Google of “goodreads for video games” I came across two sites that launched in 2013:
Dpadd
Grouvee

Time to sign-up, compare and contrast, and let you know who comes out on top!

Dpadd is currently winning in the “sign-up and get going” realm. You fill out the form (or log-in using Facebook, Twitter or Steam account info) and you’re on that familiar screen with your info on the left and a feed in the middle. You can add what you are currently playing, played, want to play, or rate/review a game all from this page.

Grouvee tries to help you build a “game shelf” and has a list of the “most popular” games from several genres, which is has you rate and list as either Playing, Played, Wishlist, Backlog or creating a whole new shelf (I’m thinking my first shelf will be “abandoned” for those games too bad to finish).

Dpadd is definitely prettier. The dark gray background with light gray text, the blue border – someone took a aesthetics class along with their coding class.

Grouvee is a bit more sparse in design but WOW is there a lot of information on the game pages. Here is the page for Tomb Raider. It lists every platform it is available on, the publisher and developer information, box art, and user ratings and reviews.

In contrast, Dpadd just the basics – original release date, overall rating from other users, how many people are playing/want to play, what you have said about the game and a feed of recent activity about the game.

On your “Game Collection” page on Grouvee, you will find the release date for the game, when you added it to your list, and dates when you played the game (helpful for single-player campaign games). Dpadd doesn’t seem to have this feature at all, which kind of annoys me because I tend to use these sites to keep track of WHEN I did certain things.

Dpadd lets you link quickly to your Steam, Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo, and Twitch.tv profiles. Grouvee only has a place to enter your Steam URL. Grouvee is also beta testing posting to Facebook for you, I don’t see anything like that on Dpadd (not sure if that is a pro or a con considering how I feel about Facebook right now LOL).

Both let you create “shelves” or “lists” that can be customized, so you could make a “favorites for Xbox” or “best games I ever played” shelf.

Neither site lets me pick which system I played the game on, which would be helpful since for some games there are additional levels based on which platform you chose.

Neither site has a way to embed your profile information into your blog or other social site, which makes it hard to spread the word and find your IRL friends.

Both sites are relatively new. I’m going to continue to play with both and see who wins my affections.

Have you used either of these sites? Which do you prefer?