I didn’t exactly plan it this way, I thought I’d hold on a fair bit longer yet — despite a rather tepid response to the game so far. Between work keeping me much busier these last few weeks than normal and choosing to use a lot of my remaining free time to recover long-lost Java knowledge I just… didn’t log in.

And I haven’t missed it. The fact I hadn’t played in… *checks Steam* …7 days didn’t even really register.

In retrospect this doesn’t surprise me, I suppose. When your summary of a game can be essentially summed up as, ‘Nothing special, but eh, not actively bad I guess’ then maybe it isn’t exactly going to have a lot of staying power. Particularly not when the person in question is me, someone who can be quite flighty when it comes to games at the best of times.

I have returned to gaming a bit though these last couple of nights — Friday and Saturday nights being prime gaming-with-friends time after all.

Game in question?

Back 4 Blood

Screenshot sourced from Steam’s official shots — as I still haven’t found a screenshot solution I like for Xbox Game Pass games yet. If you have the Xbox Game Bar app enabled, you can use Windows Key+G to bring up the overlay and click to take a shot, or you can hit Alt+Windows Key+Print Screen to directly take one. But in the heat of action? Good luck with either of these.

Back 4 Blood. Itself, an unplanned addition to my gaming line-up. After playing the beta for a few hours my conclusion was: Fun game, but not worth the asking price. Not when Aliens Fireteam Elite was also a thing that existed.

Enter Xbox Game Pass! Back 4 Blood was put up as a day 1 title. And that changes everything. I’m still constantly surprised by the value Xbox Game Pass provides. Having said that, it is still my strong preference is to buy games outright for the most part. Games come and go from the current lineup, it separates my achievements to a different platform, I have a username there that isn’t my preferred, screenshots are a pain… All individually fairly trivial reasons, but collectively are enough to drive my preference.

Every once and a while though it is just perfect.

So far, I’ve been having a lot of fun. There have been a couple of pretty awesome set pieces, too. I think the deck building system is pretty smart, overall a decently put together package!

Not enough to change my stance on buying it outright, but if the post-release content keeps up? And on a half-decent sale? Yeah, for sure — I could see myself happily buying this.

The Riftbreaker

I don’t think I’ve written about Riftbreaker here previously, but it has been on my wishlist for a while now. It is a blend of a number of genres and game elements I really like.

An RTS that trades out units for Tower Defense and a suped-up hero the player controls and a factory-builder that eschews the laser focus on ruthless efficiency and item pipelines for swarm combat action.

All in a package that looks really good to boot.

I’ve not spent much time with it yet — about 90 minutes, as I put this post together, but 30 of those minutes were from jumping in now ‘just to get a couple of screenshots’.

Setting up a mini-outpost to improve Carbonium collection

Already Riftbreaker is probably worthy of its own post, so I won’t go on too long about it here. But suffice to say, I’m really enjoying it. The risk with genre-bending games like these is often sacrifices are made on the depth of the individual elements. It’s hard to say for sure of course, being so early into the experience but it doesn’t feel like that’s the case so far.

I mean- just look at this research tree. And this is just one of the three trees. The second focuses on armaments for your mech, the third on alien ecology and understanding (which I haven’t even unlocked the start of yet).

Java

I really need to make myself a reusable ‘this post is about programming’ image like UltrViolet has.

In any case, since the last post, I’ve completed the sections on gaining user input via the keyboard. I had forgotten just how finicky the Scanner was though, eesh!

I’ve also made a start on the Object-Oriented Programming section. Just the basics though; class structure, member variables and constructors.

Scanning through the remainder of Part 1 of the OOP, it’s mostly content I remember — scope and reference vs value, in particular. We spent a lot of time in the first year of Uni working through this and ensuring these concepts were absolutely locked into place. Apparently it worked because just seeing the titles of the course content section was enough to bring it all flooding back!

My goal is to finish all this Part 1 content this weekend in any case, and perhaps make a start on Part 2 which then jumps into composition, polymorphism and encapsulation.

I also played around with Visual Studio Code, to see if I liked it any better than IntelliJ as an IDE. Short version, no, I don’t. I gave it a try for a number of the challenge projects but ultimately flipped back to IntelliJ.

I might eventually give the full version of Visual Studio a go, but for now I’m content to just keep working through the learning process with what I have. :)