Why You Should Play With Subtitles

My husband, author of Falcon Game Reviews, thought it would be a good idea to have a… hmm… discussion of sorts. He wrote an article about why gamers shouldn’t play with subtitles on. It is filled with pretty screenshots he took when he re-played Mass Effect 3 with a side of humor.

This is my rebuttal.

Read his article and then come back here.

Did you read it? I did. I forgot to butt punch him. I guess I’ll have to make good on that promise…

Why You Should Play Games With Subtitles On

Firstly

Sometimes your spouse will want to show you goofy videos or tell you what is going on in his/her video game while you’re playing yours. Subtitles allow you to pay attention to your spouse and also know what is going on in what you’re doing.

Subtitles Don’t Ruin Screenshots, They Add To Them

Who cares if it ruins your screenshot? The subtitles are good for people who like to screenshot a certain moment. The words allows the audience to see what is going as well as read it. What if Kaidan said something super funny to Garrus while riding up the elevator on the Citadel? You can’t capture that with an image, unless you have the subtitles on.

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I took this screenshot because I thought the saying was hilarious… I mean, c’mon guys, what do you see? (Shelby: Nice screenshot notification in the top-left, noob)

Without subtitles in this picture you would see the guy about to chop off my head and Alduin approaching. Boring. The subtitles add context and content. See? Good for screenshots.

And those comments to his super-duper-awesome-Mass Effect 3-gallery, they’re just kissing his butt. Butt kissers. I should play ME3 now WITH subtitles and do the same thing.

They Don’t Distract From The Game (Husbands Do That)

They distract you from the game? No. You know what distracts me from the game? A spouse that watches those Monster Factory YouTube videos and laughs crazily and then pauses it and makes me watch them with him while I am playing my game. I have been playing ReCore lately (I really need to finish that) and it has some hairy situations it it. During several moments of I-am-near-death the husband will be like, “Hey, check this out.” NOT RIGHT NOW CAN’T YOU SEE I AM ABOUT TO DIE????!!!! And then I die and he feels bad (Shelby: I never felt bad). I can’t tell you how he has survived for this long.

Okay, anyway. They don’t distract you from the game, they should assist you in becoming more versed in what is happening. Sometimes voice actors talk funny or use weird accents that make it difficult to understand them, thus ruining the experience because you don’t know what the heck is goin’ on! 

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Thank you for adding that context, Ralof. Otherwise, I may not have found that out. 

You Read Things You Should Understand (You Don’t Know Me)

How do you know I don’t speak Czech? (Shelby: I will quiz you later then) You don’t know my life. Maybe I am like James Bond and just somehow can speak like ten different languages. Beside, even if I don’t speak Czech (not saying I don’t) then the subtitles help me know what that douchepants said behind my back and now I have a good reason to punch him in the face.

Right Or Wrong?

Finally, Shelby is wrong (Shelby: Pfft). Or I don’t know, who cares? Get off my back about my subtitles!

The Comments

Here are some comments made on his post by some fine people:

iplayed the game said,

I keep them on for dialogue in gameplay moments. When the background noise is loud, I sometimes can’t hear what’s being said so I have them on to glance down and pick up key words (driving in open world games, shooting in FPS games) to avoid missing something important. You point about body language in cutscenes is interesting though.

I bet he is talking about kids, or his spouse…

Mr Panda said,

I play with them on, and if there’s an option to enlarge them, I do that too. Subtitles help me because I usually need more than just audio cues to understand what people are saying, especially if they’re using in-game lingo or have an accent. Sometimes, I play with the sound off too, out of necessity, so they work great when they’re options. I don’t think you’re wrong in not using subtitles while you play, but others should play games how they want and with what works for them.

 

Mr Panda is right to play with them on. Here’s to you, Mr Panda.

James Dixon said,

I tend to play with subtitles too – all other things being equal. A lot of that’s because I’ve become weirdly addicted to subtitles in general – all TV programmes here have Portuguese subtitles on them – and whilst I’ll happily ignore them 90% of the time, it’s great if you do miss something, because you can quickly glance down and get a second chance.

In games, it’s a trade off I think. Sometimes you’ll maybe miss a visual clue, or badly done subtitles might spoil something if they’re running a bit ahead – but they’re a massive bonus if the game’s loud, or if you’ve not fiddled with sound settings properly. There was one bit in the last CoD, for example, where I couldn’t hear what I was being told to do, and I’d pressed every combination of buttons in hopes of stumbling across it accidentally. After dying a bajillion times, I just turned on the subtitles and got it done first time.

What does really wind me up though, is when the subtitles aren’t exactly the same as the dialogue, but that’s probably a different discussion…… 😉

Did he know he was going to help fuel my argument by allowing comments on his post? Ah, no matter.

I can’t share with you all of the comments made on his post, because he has so many stinken comments, but I will say that there were some agreeing and, as you can tell from above, some that disagreed. Some were a mixture of yes and no.

So, who is right or wrong? (Shelby: I am right) Is there a right or wrong? (Shelby: Yes, you are) What do you think about playing with subtitles on/off? 

Thanks for reading! Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

 

Falling Off The Face Of The Earth

Have you ever gone into a room, looked around and wondered why you were in there? I mean, you had to have been looking for something, right? And yet, you have no idea what you were looking for.

This same concept can be added to why I haven’t made a post since November when I wrote about the Skyrim: Special Edition. I have meant to write a post here and there, maybe something goofy or silly or serious, but I never made it to the laptop to start writing. On the other hand, the husband, Falcon Reviews, has been doing a fabulous job of writing and keeping his blog up-to-date, and I’m the writer.

Unfortunately, the last time I made a post was about a week or two before finals began. I had two term papers to write, two normal-ish tests, and two ginormous tests that sucked out my brains and possibly my soul. I became nothing. So it should come to no surprise that I did not have it in me to write during Christmas break, or even last week when I had to spread my wings and crawl out of my introverted shell, again. Le sigh.

I have some posts that I am eagerly working on, and by working on I mean they’re in my head. I want to have a post a week at least if not more than that from here on out. I can’t really call myself a writer or a communications degree major if I’m not communicating with the world around me.

So please, take this an my apology for allowing my recluse side to take over and vanquish any sort of normalism I may have from time to time.

What I am planning to write

  • I got the husband ReCore for Christmas but somehow he ended up dragging me into it and now I have to write a review. Well, I don’t have to, but I’m gonna!
  • I plan to write a post about how women think they should look after they give birth vs. how society makes them feel how they should look
  • My 2017 in the making!
  • A review on Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring vs. the movie adaptation
  • Probably something about books or a book
  • IDK I’ll think of something though

This is tentative and will not be in order.

Stay tuned!

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Special Edition Review

We waited five years for Skyrim to release after Oblivion, then we waited five more years to see an updated version that would touch on what Skyrim could be. Unfortunately, we only got a remastered version instead of a whole new game (Elder Scrolls VI: whatever *cough cough*). I guess we will settle for what we can get our grimy, greasy, gross nerd fingers on.

Skyrim released the year I met my husband. We stood in line together to purchase it and then we each went home, put our headsets on, and started the game in unison. It was magical. It was brilliant. And it has been my go-to game since that day.

Skyrim wasn’t as beautiful or engaging as Oblivion was. The music didn’t captivate me like it did in Oblivion and the main quest was sub-par, but it was still magical.

My first playthrough consisted of me going to Whiterun and then I trudged to Solitude because that direction looked prettier.

I spent far too much time wandering and wondering what the heck I was supposed to be doing and where I could find someone to purchase all my horded stash loot.

I didn’t role-play my character (meaning I did everything in that first playthrough so I got distracted a lot. I was saddened by the lack of awesomeness with the Thieves Guild missions and the lack of absolute I-am-a-horrible-person feeling in the Dark Brotherhood, and yet I still loved it.

That’s why, when they announced the Special Edition, I was all too eager to get my hands on it. Luckily, for me, my husband had purchased Skyrim on our laptop (homework during the day, gaming at night) which meant that we would get the version for free.

Just before its arrival my husband showed me a newly released trailer for Skyrim: Special Edition. It showed how the original version looked on the PS3 and Xbox 360 compared to what it would like on the PS4, Xbox One and PC. I noticed that it was focusing on the scenery differences rather than graphic changes in the NPCs or animals. At that point I was a little worried that the Special Edition wasn’t going to be that big of a difference. Regardless, I was eager to play.

October 28 took far too long but finally it arrived.

I came home that Friday from a ridiculously difficult work week to play my new game. I didn’t know what to expect but for some reason I thought that it was going to be noticeably different. Because I had my mind up that it was going to be a significant change, I was let down more.

Alas, let the official review begin.

What’s Different

Little Details – More plants, ants on logs, more details in the fauna and flora.

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I’m not even kidding… And yes, I am a Stormcloak

Rain Occlusion- First of all there is actual rain in the SE instead of the sort of misty stuff we had in the OG. With this addition the rain falls around the player unless they are standing underneath something that obstructs the rain, thus making it more realistic.

Improved Stability- improved drastically with Unofficial Patch mod, higher framerate, 64-bit engine, higher access to RAM. The clip below shows how stable the game has become in the SE version. This stability allows the player to experience a more fluid type of gameplay and it allows for more to happen on screen without the framerate falling.

Water is more realistic- the water has been improved by making it look more realistic and believable. The rivers and lakes flow in a certain direction and if there is something obstructing the flow, the water will go around it.

Lighting- makes the game look better with “natural” lighting. The lighting has been improved to look more natural, creating softer light tones. It is most noticeable during dawn and dusk. There is also the addition of God-rays, light that streams between trees causing rays of light.

Clouds over the mountains- instead of being able to see an entire mountain from any direction, the SE edition as added clouds that flow around the mountains, obscuring the view. This is more natural and realistic.

Shelby (the husband) here!

First, I’d like to begin by talking about mods. Modding, which was previously impossible on consoles, without breaking warranties and ToS, has made it into Skyrim. To further make the sale, modding on PC has become even easier since Bethesda rolled mods into the game as a menu option. The only other game I’ve played that has mods as easy to install and manage is BeamNG.Drive (which is an awesome game by the way).

Modding is simple and easy to carry out. Sure, achievements are disabled, but who cares in a five year old game?

The only downside here is that mods are nowhere near as developed as modding through Nexus, as mods have essentially been completely reset. In time that may change, but there’s a great deal of uncertainty there. Also, PS4 mods are limited to mods that only use in game assets, so expect far less variety.

Put simply, if modding is a major concern for you when deciding what platform to pick, the formula is: PC > Xbox One > PS4

Other than mods, there are a couple other little touches that made it in. Skyrim benefits from minor improvements including better spell effects, like prettier effects from having spells prepared in your hands and spells lighting up their trajectories over terrain.

More vibrant colors- if compared next to each other you can see the difference in colors between the two game versions. They brought out a lot more reds and oranges in the SE making the game look less gloomy than the first version. This also makes the game look more like a painting than a video game that released in 2011.

Disappointments

The reason I was disappointed upon launch is that I couldn’t see a significant difference between the original game (henceforth referred to as OG) and the SE (it means Special Edition). I recently started a new character in the OG, so it hadn’t been too long ago since I saw the beginning sequence. I thought that the people would have smoother textures and their mouths would move more fluidly with what they were saying. Honestly, I was expecting something like Halo: The Master Chief Collection (though without multiplayer and the ridiculous bugs).

I was expecting a difference similar to this:

Textures- added to game, not totally noticeable until two screenshots are next to each other. I jumped into the game expecting a huge difference but didn’t notice much. Until I saw a video comparing the OG and SE side by side, the game looked no different to me. I saw the ants on the log, the lighting differences, and a few added textures but nothing that made me say, “WHOA!”

People- not a lot of change with people, creatures, or way people/creatures behave. This is probably the biggest one for me. I was hoping to see a vast difference in the way people and creatures behave and look. They look choppy and not smooth in the OG and the SE. There are few details that they changed like making the people look a little smoother or adding color but I think that is mostly the lighting difference. I know it can be difficult to make huge changes to characters in a game this big but they could’ve done more.

Shelby again…

Something that should be stated is that if you’re going to be playing Skyrim Special Edition, you should download the Unofficial Patch mod ASAP. Skyrim still has many known bugs that have still not been officially fixed for some reason. Miscellaneous quests that can bug out, followers disappearing, etc. Granted, these can be fixed, but in a game that has been out for five years and now been remastered, you’d figure that quality assurance might’ve been somewhere on the list of priorities.

But it’s Bethesda, so yeah… Free pass.

Why should you play it? 

First, because it is Skyrim and now you can play it on the PS4 and Xbox One. Second, because the light changes and water differences actually make the game more beautiful, somehow. Third, because, although there aren’t gigantic differences, it is still a spectacularly beautifully sculpted game. It will stand as one of the best RPGs until they release Elder Scrolls VI: Best Game Ever…

Overall 

There are some disappoints that fall in line with purchasing the SE but I got it for free. BONUS. I am unsure if I would spend sixty dollars to buy it for the console considering the minimal changes to the game. What I was looking for in a remaster did not happen, however what they did do is amazing, it just isn’t enough for me to purchase the game for my Xbox One. Some people may feel differently considering you currently cannot play the game on a console unless you resort to the 360 or PS3 (which is a joke). If you’re going to spend the money to get the SE then I would encourage you to buy it on PC so that you can have the maximum mods available to you.

Thank you for taking the time to read my review, I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it..

*The additions in block quotes were written by my husband. Check out his blog at Falcon Reviews.*

 

 

New Look

Since I have recovered from my bout of writers block and started writing again, I thought it would be a good idea to create a new look for the blog.

It didn’t take as long to find a theme that I thought fit me but what took longer was nitpicking over what I wanted my viewers to see and interact with. I hope that the new look gives you what you are looking for.

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Hope you like the new look! 

If you have any questions or inquiries, please don’t hesitate to send me a message.

Thank you all so much for your continued dedication.

My next post will be a review over the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Special Edition PC version.

Stay tuned!

Forever A Nerd

Video Games and Equality

This summer break, I’ve really been nerding out. I’ve been playing a lot of Skyrim, a lot of TERA, a lot of OldSchool RuneScape, have been trying to get a Northern Crown (basically, a colonial/frontier America-themed version of Dungeons & Dragons) group going, and have been attending fantasy and renaissance faires. Well, basically, I’ve been […]

via What Being A Nerd Has Taught Me About Equality — Tigerlily ProudBeatle

Seeking Adventure

I am going to skip over the post I wanted to do next for one regarding adventure… I probably won’t make you laugh on this one. Sorry (no I’m not).

Do you ever get the feeling that you need adventure?

I have played several Role Playing Games that involve characters who go out exploring new and strange worlds. Games such as Mass Effect or Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion give me a sense of adventure.

I often find myself gravitating back to those games because adventure doesn’t really exist in real life. I mean we wake up, eat the same bland breakfast (or nothing at all), go to work (same boring job), come home, eat dinner (or don’t), and go to bed…

Same.

Damn.

Thing.

So that leaves us with video games. I mean you can pop in Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones (if you like to mix BEWBS with adventure) to get that fix OR you can play an RPG.

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt are three games that really kick the adventure craving in the ass. So much so that I really do have to play it just to get a fix.

Now don’t go around telling people that I am some crazed video game addict, that just isn’t true. I just get bored with life. You know, the same shit every single day kind of life. I also have to point out that my husband isn’t a bore to me. We laugh, and joke, and have good fun, but we have been married for a minute which means there isn’t much adventure. AND who can afford to take vacations just because whenever they get a wild hair? Not I.

Video games are the answer to all of your adventure seeking needs.

In Oblivion you can kill whatever jackass insults your race or because he/she looked at you funny. You can also spend hours and hours and hours and hours (you get the point) running around the vast map doing whatever you want. This one is my favorite just because the music was badass, the scenery was gorgeous, and the Thieves Guild missions were freakin epic! (DUH)…

Skyrim also gives you hours of roaming around. The scenery is more bleak and the guild Oblivion meme.pngmissions are nearly as gnarly. BUT it is fun and you can kill dragons. SOOOOOOOO, yeah.

I wish that there was a closet I could walk through and be teleported to whatever world or galaxy I so wished. Now, upon teleporting I would also want to be given awesome armor, skills, and money so I wouldn’t die (dying sucks).

I would visit the Mass Effect world just to travel on the Normandy and say “HI” awkwardly to Garrus just to see if he would say it back. Siggghh..

AND I would travel to Oblivion so that I could become a Master Thief and steal EVERYTHING… Because I can’t get away with it in real life.

I would die within five minutes of being teleported to the world of The Witcher. Not kidding.

So, what worlds would you travel to and why?

Goodbye peeps. Have a great weekend!

Wanna read something else that I have written? Click here and read some Oblivion fanfiction! I also have a hubby that does video game reviews. Click here to view them!