Tagged: Online

Halloween came to Grand Theft Auto Online

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I don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner but the idea of celebrating Halloween in Grand Theft Auto Online suddenly struck me the morning of. The game’s got plenty of gross outfits and masks, cars are customizable enough and Katy’s already expressed her love for knife fights, so why not?

I made a quick post on Google+ inviting people to friend up, dress up and stalk the streets of a private game with melee weapon in hand. I wish the weather cheat code worked in Online so we could’ve kept it atmospheric but the deathmatches and races were filled with eerie rain and darkness… it was the most the game allowed. I had dug up some spooky royalty free mp3s as well so if you watch our archived stream (Part 1Part 2) you’ll get the full effect. Umm, sorry about the frequent kitten mews, I don’t know why those are in there.

It went really well and we had friends cycling in and out for nearly five hours doing races, knife fights and a round of Survival. It was also my most popular Google+ post by far with 76 +1’s and commenters asking if we were doing the same thing on PlayStation 3 or if the party was still going. It wound up being one of the most memorable Halloween nights for me since I was a kid.

Pro Tips: Make Grand Theft Auto Online more fun!

Grand Theft Auto V throws a lot of info at you, doubly so when you go online. I’ve poked around in the game and on the Social Club site and here are a bunch of tips and tricks that I’ve found not everyone knows about. Most useful of all: how to make a closed, friends-only game!

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Hidden Menus and Online Modes
From your single player game, press Start, navigate to Online, choose Play GTA Online and then choose a mode. The default is ‘Go’ which throws you into a random world of players but you also have the choice of Invite Only, Crew Session, Closed Crew Session, Closed Friend Session and Solo, though this last mode specifies “available activities will be limited”. Once you’re in a mode the only option you have to change it is to join a new session with random players or ditch back to single player and choose ‘Play GTA Online’ again.

While we’re in the menus you might as well hit Start, Online, Options after you’re in an online game. This gives you access to your various “mood” settings and Quickplay Actions for races, freemode, and deathmatches. You can set your spawn location if you prefer to spawn at your apartment (after you’ve bought one) and you can choose how much info is displayed above players’ heads in the game. Maybe most useful is the ability to keep the on-screen map expanded; handy if you find yourself always toggling it by pressing down on the d-pad.

Why Rockstar split up these options is beyond me but there’s one last place you may wanna check. Press Start and scroll over to Settings. If the game is getting too noisy with incoming calls, award pop-ups, and activity info you can toggle most of them on or off under Notifications. The rest of the settings are mostly the same as in single player but worth looking at if you haven’t tweaked them yet.

So You’re Finally Playing Online
I lied, there’s more esoteric menus here. Hold Select/Back to bring up your quick menu. It’s a really handy tool that I’ve come to wish was available in single player. The top option will quickly let you set a waypoint to the nearest Ammu-Nation, ATM, mod shop, clothing store or quest marker. When doing a mission it will also let you set waypoints for mission targets and locations.

Below that is your Inventory where you can store up a bunch of snacks to refill your health when you can’t find a medkit. Buy snacks at convenience stores and fill up your pockets because these things don’t replenish a lot of health. You can also put on a mask or change clothing here, both of which have more than cosmetic value. Put on a mask before holding up a convenience store and you won’t be spotted (and immediately attacked) if you come back later for legitimate shopping. Changing your outfit will also remove one star from your Wanted level when you’re out of sight and the stars are flashing. Last up in the Inventory is the option to set who can get in your personal vehicle so you can keep random strangers from driving off in your car!

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Random Tips

  • Races cost money! If you aren’t winning at least $300 from each one you’re secretly losing money.
  • You can navigate to an ATM but you can also head to Maze Bank’s site on your phone browser to manage/hide your money.
  • Take a look at your bank Transaction Log to see where your money’s been going.
  • Passive Mode only keeps people from killing you on foot. You can still be shot if you’re driving a vehicle.
  • If you lock onto another player and hold Select/Back you’ll see new options at the bottom of your quick menu to view their profile and crew info.
  • On the dealer websites on your phone browser the number on the vehicle images indicates how many passengers it can hold.
  • The game gives loser perks to anyone who dies repeatedly in a deathmatch without getting a kill. Activate these on the Wasted screen before you respawn to get a little edge up.
  • JP points currently don’t seem to have any value. Reasonable speculation says they may factor into the online Heists or other modes planned for future updates.
  • You can sell off a vehicle at the Customs shops every 48 minutes which is 1 in-game day.
  • Your online bank account is shared between all your characters. You can’t get the free $500,000 for each of them.
  • If you want to add playlists or maps to your game from the Rockstar Social Club site you need to make sure your Xbox 360 Family settings are turned off or have ‘Member Content Privacy’ set to ‘Everyone’.
  • If you’re looking for something to do press Start and go to Stats. Press A/X on the Awards and Unlocks sections to display a ton of detail on your progress in dozens of categories. 

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Enough, We’re Through Here
When you’re ready to quit playing Rockstar strongly suggests switching back to single player to make sure your online progress isn’t corrupted. Hold down on the d-pad and switch to Michael, Trevor or Franklin or press Start, Online, Leave GTA Online.

There hasn’t been any news from Rockstar yet but just as a reminder they have a lot of content planned for the future. Coming soon is the content creator that will let players make races and deathmatches, 300+ new clothing items, 4 beach-oriented vehicles, 2 new weapons, a Capture the Flag mode and multiplayer Heists. All this content is allegedly free according to Rockstar.

Thanks for checking out this immense post. If I learn anything else I’ll update it and hopefully have a video covering this same info in the game up soon.

Hot new release ‘Scott Pilgrim’ finally gets online play

It’s been so long I don’t think “better late than never” even qualifies on this one! Almost exactly two years after its release, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game is finally getting online multiplayer. Oh, and it costs 400 Microsoft Points.

Major Nelson updated his blog today with a list of upcoming Xbox content and the “Online Multiplayer + Wallace Pack” is listed for release on August 19th. There have been flubs and mistakes made in these posts before so I can’t trust it without more details but mostly it’s because there was always the promise of multiplayer being added and I can’t believe that after so long it’s finally coming.

Done Playing: VVVVVV (Web)

Speaking of punishing old school gameplay refried like a batch of beans and made all the more potent, I recently played the demo of current Indie darling, VVVVVV. Its got pixels, single-screen rooms, requires absurd timing and just as much twitchy reflex as puzzle-solving gray matter. Where it gets the modern trimmings is with its hook — you don’t jump, you have one button that instantly changes gravity — and its checkpoint system.

So you can’t get too upset because while you’re punching your keyboard and your brain is melting out of your left nostril the most you’re typically set back is one screen’s width. No life counter to worry about. No continues. It’s only Game Over when you give up. That said, I had my fill from the demo when a series of moving platforms over a spike pit (and spike ceiling) proved just as daunting with gravity pulling in one direction as the other. I love what the game does and especially how it looks but I have no desire to punish my brain any further.

I did, however, buy the soundtrack by SoulEye, PPPPPP. It’s just as retro as you might expect from looking at the game and is as diverse in mood and atmosphere as it is loud and chiptuned. Like Shatter’s soundtrack it’s just as important  as the visuals for setting the mood. You can check out both the game (here) and the music (here) for nothing but a few minutes of your time.

What do you think of VVVVVV and PPPPPP? Is it totally your thing or, like me, did it squash your cognitive logic like a microwaved M&M?