Category: Articles

wish ordering bad
April 25th, 2020 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

In my search to find out where Wish.com gets its items from, I stumbled onto something. Apparently an old rumor implying that you could get the Wuhan flu from ordering because their warehouse is in Wuhan. It was an unusual “fact-check” site with the usual weasel words those types of site use, but I was lead to more information I could verify.

First of all, I’ve found that there’s really no risk of “The Coof” due to shipping times of products that leave China. The US Post Office and China Post game to an agreement that boils down to making China ship things in bulk packages. The virus itself can’t survive on the 3-4 week boat trips. But even so…

Secondly, I also found out Wish have warehouses in many other countries. Regardless of where you think the virus originated, it could be from one of many different Asian nations. And non-asian nations, which, speaking of that…

I also turns out, Thirdly, the company is based out of San Fran, USA. Wait, Wish is an American company? That’s interesting to know, who is benefitting the most from Wish then? Can’t say it’s the USA government OR the CCP. One constant is still certain, you cannot guarantee that child labor was or wasn’t used in the manufacturing process.

But this is interesting…

Why, because of certain American business models. While some companies had outsourced labor and manufacturing to China, that’s specifically for individual parts. Wish is just selling stupid crap nobody needs. In a way, Wish is basically just a direct-line into the Chinese manufacturers, for said crap (as well as eBay and Amazon).

This has lead me to conclude that it is “safe” to order from Wish.com in that it’s an American e-commerce company, not “CCP based”, and same risk of virus as any other parcel service. The only thing again, sadly, is the child labor. There’s no way to tell if that’s how certain items were made.

Just do not buy digital storage devices from them, under any circumstance, shits always a scam. But “buyer beware” is essentially to shopping on that app. So that’s up to you if you wanna take a few risks just to save a few bucks.

source: truthorfiction.com
DISCLAIMERS: Hard Mode Gamers was not paid in any capacity to post Wish. HMG does not endorse shopping at Wish. The original source of information for this article contained numerous partisan talking points that did not relate to the topic, and HMG cannot endorse partisan/political content. Any political stances extrapolated from this article are unintended.

Hate reading? The audio version can be found HERE.

Posted in Articles Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

April 19th, 2020 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

You’ve seen the myriad of shit they’ve tried to pull. Maybe you’re used to them taking advantage of you? I’ve not met one employee who likes working there personally.

But they are repeatedly putting you in danger with wanton abandonment of respect and dignity. They do not even try to hide the fact that they are more concerned with profits than you. At least other companies use corporate jargon to justify themselves.

But not GameStop. Go to work. Ignore the law. Buy your own hand sanitizer. Buy your own Lysol. And now my personal favorite, “tape plastic bags over your hands” (see YongYea’s video). Stop. Just stop it. GameStop is on life support and it’s a matter of months before they tank even harder.

I witnessed the death of “MovieStop” firsthand.

They were literally “GameStop but for Movies” and were wholly owned by GameStop until the last few years of their existence where they broke off to form an LLC. And then they committed acts of desperation, and after act of desperation #3, I bailed. Turns out they closed approximately over a year later.

GameStop has been firing off non-stop acts of desperation for months. Read the signs. You, an employee of this heinous organization, need to get out. Have some self respect. Have some integrity. Need the money? Yeah so do 6.6 million other people. You also need to be ALIVE to spend money, don’t you?

Get out, this disease will end, and so will GameStop. Other big box retail organizations are going to see “GameStop” on your resume and they are going to know just how poorly you were treated. It’s a testament to your endurance. “Why did you leave?” Well, you didn’t see any future prospects in staying there. GameStop doesn’t have any future prospects either!

The time you can spend at home doing literally anything else is more value let than the peanuts they are tossing at you. Your time is valuable. Leave now, you will be glad you did, I guarantee it.

Hear the audio version of this rant HERE.

Posted in Articles Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

April 18th, 2020 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

I’ve been thoroughly enjoying Doom Eternal. Except any bit with the marauders. Screw those guys. But yeah, it’s fun. Beat the game, I’ve been going back through it finding secrets and collectibles. Only problem is I started getting bored of it.

So I checked out Battle Mode. Only recently have I gotten more comfortable with multiplayer games, which is weird because when I was younger I played the hell out of Quake 3 Arena. I used to do Splatoon 2 videos but then the Splatfests stopped. I digress, I didn’t pay any attention to the promo stuff regarding Doom Eternal’s multiplayer, so I had no idea what was in store for me.

It’s kinda cool. Kinda. But there’s only one game type in Battle Mode. One Slayer vs Two Demons. That’s it. You have some decent tutorials on how to play as the demons but you can’t really get a feel for them until you’ve played a few matches.

Problem is… I’m having a hard time finding matches. You can select to play as a Demon or Slayer if you want, sure. But more often than not, if I try to pick what I want to play as, the game will search for a match for about 15 seconds before giving up. Like, really? Can’t just keep searching? I was only able to start when I selected Quickmatch, which randomizes being a Demon or the Slayer.

I prefer to be a support type of character and while that is available, the small intimacy of a 3 person match is a far cry from 64 person Battlefield where I get to be a medic and just heal people who are better at the game than me. So, meh, could be better I guess.

But where’s the rest?

That’s it for Doom? There’s no co-op horde mode? Really? That seems like the most obvious idea, you and other slayers face down an constant onslaught of demons that get harder and harder, until you’re left fighting three marauders, three doom hunters, and a baron of hell with only 3 shotgun shells left, and not enough zombies to refill your ammo, so you all panic and die. Sounds like a blast right? Well, where is it?

Horde mode is not an original game mode by any means. In a world where even Forza Horizon gets its own Battle Royale mode (I’m not even joking), you figure that a horde mode would be the first go-to. Oh god they’re not doing Doom Battle Royale are they? I hope not. Maybe I’m being too picky, it’s just really weird that there’s only one game mode and nothing else. Do they have a roadmap? One second. I stopped to look and see if there’s planned DLC. Looks like there is, but it appears to be single player content.

Welp, that’s fine by me I guess. I’d still like a horde mode though, can we please get it? Do you want a horde mode? Have you had a hard time with matchmaking? Come @ me in the comments.

Hear the audio version of this rant HERE.

Posted in Articles Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

fallout wastelanders is out
April 17th, 2020 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

You know I feel like gamers have been rather apathetic as of late. We finally get Half Life 3 (sortof) and everyone shrugs. We get a “Remake” for the beloved Final Fantasy VII and judging by the comments on my previous post, people have several misgivings about the release (to put it mildly). Now we have the game fixer everyone has been waiting for.

The massive failure of a game, Fallout 76, has finally done the unthinkable. It’s become an actual fallout game with quests, plot, NPCs, you know, Fallout stuff. The brand new “free” WASTELANDERS campaign is available to all owners of Fallout 76.

It has also been re-listed as Fallout 76: Deluxe Edition with the store icon changed to a new Wastelanders icon. The game is back at full price right now @ $60, or so they would make you think. The Wastelanders update is free, this deluxe edition is just giving you all the extra fluff crap you don’t need. Search harder and you’ll find a the vanilla version of Fallout 76 for $40 USD.

Reminder if you own F76 on disc.

The disc is basically just a 520MB license file, the game is all download. At least on Xbox, not sure on the exact numbers for PS4 and PC. Still no announcement of we’ll be getting it on Nintendo Switch (as if!).

I purposely avoided reviews for several reasons. I want to go into this expansion blind, and with a fresh frame of mind as I haven’t touched the game since they did the “Nuclear Winter” mode (which was oddly okayish). I’m sure there are plenty of opinions, hot takes, and reviews pouring into the net as we speak.

So, are you gonna go back to play it? Did you get rid of your copy? Are you no longer interested? Have you seen the reviews? Come @ me in the comments.

Hear the audio version of this rant HERE.

Posted in Articles Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Stop Saying it's Episodic or Incomplete
April 16th, 2020 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

At some point during the development of the Final Fantasy VII Remake, one of the devs mentioned that the game might end up being episodic due to the scope of the project. That was a while back, can’t even find a source for you on that one so my source is “dude trust me”. But later on, we found out that the release we were getting was going to be just the Midgar section of the original title.

Some people took issue with this, because that’s approximately the first quarter or third of the game. According to people on forums, the Midgar section of the original game took roughly 5 hours to complete, give or take a couple hours depending on if you’re rushing or taking your time. That in turn would give some people the idea that they are not getting a full experience with the first release. That’s not the case at all.

Calling it episodic or incomplete was a great mis-characterization. That might have been said at some point, but that’s not what the end result actually is. Unlike the new Resident Evil 3 Nemesis Remake, the FF7 Remake is actually long. Very long.

What you are looking at is a 30-40 hour complete experience.

That’s right, according to HLTB, that sure as hell looks like the length of a complete game, doesn’t it? It’s not stuffed with garbage either.

What they did was build upon everything that happened in OG Midgar. Bits that were one-off comments became full conversations. Characters that were one dimensional now have far more depth added on. The script is new and fresh. The structure of the game takes on a more modern experience than the linear path of the original. No, it’s not open world, thank god, we don’t need any more of those. But it has hub locations where you can go around collecting side quests and other fun tidbits.

I’ve mentioned before that I haven’t picked this game up yet, because I already have several games that are occupying me for the time being. I’ve also never played the original. So, maybe I’m full of sh*t. But from what I’ve seen in demo content and reviews, FF7 Remake is a complete experience with a guaranteed sequel. Probably a trilogy.

Final Fantasy 13 became a trilogy, and it was a COMPLETE GAME before the sequels were added (albeit the FF13 trilogy was so unnecessary, it’s baffling). I fully expect FF7 Remake to do the same. Getting the “whole story” you appear to be chasing is going to last for something close to a decade. Either way, this game isn’t the first episode or chapter. It’s the first whole game in a new series. Come @ me in the comments if you disagree.

Hear the audio version of this rant HERE.

Posted in Articles Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

kenways fleet satisfying
April 15th, 2020 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

As I muse on whether or not to get an Assassin’s Creed tattoo… (see previous post), I now examine the games I’m playing. I haven’t picked up Final Fantasy 7 Remake because I’m fully content with the many other games I’m playing on rotation.

Doom Eternal, The Division 2, Forza Horizon 4, and Battlefield V. They are already seeing regular use on my Xbox. But my Switch! I recently moved the dock to a different TV because reasons. Am I playing a Nintendo game? NO! I’m playing Assassin’s Creed: The Rebel Collection. It contains AC Black Flag, AC Rogue, and all DLC. Black Flag is one one of my favorites.

Now, let’s get to it. There’s a mingame in AC4 called “Kenway’s Fleet”. In this game, you manage a fleet of ships, send them on missions, and conduct sea battles to secure trade routes. Except I’m making this sound cooler than actually it is. It’s basically a free to wait auto-play mobile game before they invented the predatory microtransactions to accompany it.

In sea battles, you just select ships with stats to automatically fight other ships, then proceed to watch a handful of boat PNG files pretend to shoot each other.

It’s incredibly lo-fi.

When you send your ships out on a mission, it’s to get you money and resources. Now, these trade missions work in real time. If I send a ship to Mexico, it will be gone for 8 real-time hours. Even when I’m not playing. I send a ship on a mission, quit, go to bed, wake up, “Hey, my ship is back! Yaaaay!” Today’s Ubisoft would have sold you a “Time Saver” MT for this feature. How sad!

Coincidentally, there was a companion app for Black Flag that essentially worked as a second screen for the map, along with other features. My old crappy phone could barely handle the real-time map. But it could handle Kenway’s Fleet! As a result, collecting my gains was the first thing I did every time I fired that game up.

The app doesn’t appear to be on the Play Store anymore, and I’m not sure if it would work even if I found the .APK file for it. In the meantime, I’ve got about 3 more hours before my frigate “Triunfo” makes it home. Did you enjoy this minigame? What minigames have YOU enjoyed? Tell me in the comments.

Hear the audio version of this rant HERE.

Posted in Articles Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

assassins creed tattoos cringe
April 15th, 2020 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

This one’s slightly personal but here we go. I’ve been asked a few times why I don’t have any tattoos. I don’t have any super strong opinions on them, I just cannot imagine a single thing I like so much that I would like it permanently engraved on my body. Also, I’m a bit of a fatass right now, so no idea if a tat will look weird or wrinkled if I lose weight.

But I digress. An ex of mine wanted to get a Boston Bruins tattoo. She was a huge Bruins fan. I asked, what if she stops liking the Bruins? The team isn’t a permanent fixture, and the team has seen many great athletes come and go. I didn’t tell her not to get it, just literally expressing that same concern to her. What if you change your mind? What if I change my mind? Laser removal exists but I’ve looked it up and it’s hardly the best eraser.

You see the picture here, so you sort of know where this is growing. I’m a gamer, as you guys might have figured out. I run this website called Hard Mode Gamers, you might have heard of it. But is there a game with a logo I’d like burned onto my arm or back? Jet Set Radio Future is my favorite game ever but it’s too esoteric for me to get a tattoo. But then… there’s Assassin’s Creed.

I was on board with Assassin’s Creed since the first game.

I only briefly lost faith in it when Unity came out, and the only time I missed out on a mainline title was when Origins came out, I handed it off to someone else to review for the web page. But the first game came out in 2007, it’s a big fixture in gaming. Hell, it was probably the game that changed Ubisoftcs game design strategy for the foreseeable future. Think about it.

But… I’m already aware people have Assassin tattoos. Here’s the REAL QUESTION overall. Are Assassin’s Creed tattoos cringe? Because honestly, if I were to get one, it would probably be the Assassin logo. “Nothing is true, everything is permitted.” That’s a surprisingly poignant mantra. I really identify with their ideology. Freedom and whatnot. But a tattoo? I don’t know, that sounds pretty cringe to me.

Is it cringe? Is my aversion to picking a tattoo reasonable? Come @ me in the comments.

Hear the audio version of this rant HERE.

Posted in Articles Tagged with: , , , , , ,

hard mode gamers digest 1
April 14th, 2020 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

Listen here for the first episode of our brand new podcast idea thing.

(Read below if you hate podcasts.)

Stop Saying it’s Episodic or Incomplete

At some point during the development of the Final Fantasy VII Remake, one of the devs mentioned that the game might end up being episodic due to the scope of the project. That was a while back, can’t even find a source for you on that one so my source is “dude trust me”. But later on, we found out that the release we were getting was going to be just the Midgar section of the original title.

Some people took issue with this, because that’s approximately the first quarter or third of the game. According to people on forums, the Midgar section of the original game took roughly 5 hours to complete, give or take a couple hours depending on if you’re rushing or taking your time. That in turn would give some people the idea that they are not getting a full experience with the first release. That’s not the case at all.

Calling it episodic or incomplete was a great mis-characterization. That might have been said at some point, but that’s not what the end result actually is. Unlike the new Resident Evil 3 Nemesis Remake, the FF7 Remake is actually long. Very long.

What you are looking at is a 30-40 hour complete experience. That’s right, according to HLTB, that sure as hell looks like the length of a complete game, doesn’t it? It’s not stuffed with garbage either.

What they did was build upon everything that happened in OG Midgar. Bits that were one-off comments became full conversations. Characters that were one dimensional now have far more depth added on. The script is new and fresh. The structure of the game takes on a more modern experience than the linear path of the original. No, it’s not open world, thank god, we don’t need any more of those. But it has hub locations where you can go around collecting side quests and other fun tidbits.

I’ve mentioned before that I haven’t picked this game up yet, because I already have several games that are occupying me for the time being. I’ve also never played the original. So, maybe I’m full of sh*t. But from what I’ve seen in demo content and reviews, FF7 Remake is a complete experience with a guaranteed sequel. Probably a trilogy.

Final Fantasy 13 became a trilogy, and it was a COMPLETE GAME before the sequels were added (albeit the FF13 trilogy was so unnecessary, it’s baffling). I fully expect FF7 Remake to do the same. Getting the “whole story” you appear to be chasing is going to last for something close to a decade. Either way, this game isn’t the first episode or chapter. It’s the first whole game in a new series. Come @ me in the comments if you disagree.

Fallout 76 Wastelanders is Out and I Totally Forgot

You know I feel like gamers have been rather apathetic as of late. We finally get Half Life 3 (sortof) and everyone shrugs. We get a “Remake” for the beloved Final Fantasy VII and judging by the comments on my previous post, people have several misgivings about the release (to put it mildly). Now we have the game fixer everyone has been waiting for.

The massive failure of a game, Fallout 76, has finally done the unthinkable. It’s become an actual fallout game with quests, plot, NPCs, you know, Fallout stuff. The brand new “free” WASTELANDERS campaign is available to all owners of Fallout 76.

It has also been re-listed as Fallout 76: Deluxe Edition with the store icon changed to a new Wastelanders icon. The game is back at full price right now @ $60, or so they would make you think. The Wastelanders update is free, this deluxe edition is just giving you all the extra fluff crap you don’t need. Search harder and you’ll find a the vanilla version of Fallout 76 for $40 USD.

Reminder that if you own F76 on disc, the disc is basically just a 520MB license file, the game is all download. At least on Xbox, not sure on the exact numbers for PS4 and PC. Still no announcement of we’ll be getting it on Nintendo Switch (as if!).

I purposely avoided reviews for several reasons. I want to go into this expansion blind, and with a fresh frame of mind as I haven’t touched the game since they did the “Nuclear Winter” mode (which was oddly okayish). I’m sure there are plenty of opinions, hot takes, and reviews pouring into the net as we speak.

So, are you gonna go back to play it? Did you get rid of your copy? Are you no longer interested? Have you seen the reviews? Come @ me in the comments.

There’s Only One Game Type?

I’ve been thoroughly enjoying Doom Eternal. Except any bit with the marauders. Screw those guys. But yeah, it’s fun. Beat the game, I’ve been going back through it finding secrets and collectibles. Only problem is I started getting bored of it.

So I checked out Battle Mode. Only recently have I gotten more comfortable with multiplayer games, which is weird because when I was younger I played the hell out of Quake 3 Arena. I used to do Splatoon 2 videos but then the Splatfests stopped. I digress, I didn’t pay any attention to the promo stuff regarding Doom Eternal’s multiplayer, so I had no idea what was in store for me.

It’s kinda cool. Kinda. But there’s only one game type in Battle Mode. One Slayer vs Two Demons. That’s it. You have some decent tutorials on how to play as the demons but you can’t really get a feel for them until you’ve played a few matches.

Problem is, I’m having a hard time finding matches. You can select to play as a Demon or Slayer if you want, sure. But more often than not, if I try to pick what I want to play as, the game will search for a match for about 15 seconds before giving up. Like, really? Can’t just keep searching? I was only able to start when I selected Quickmatch, which randomizes being a Demon or the Slayer.

I prefer to be a support type of character and while that is available, the small intimacy of a 3 person match is a far cry from 64 person Battlefield where I get to be a medic and just heal people who are better at the game than me. So, meh, could be better I guess.

But where’s the rest? That’s it for Doom? There’s no co-op horde mode? Really? That seems like the most obvious idea, you and other slayers face down an constant onslaught of demons that get harder and harder, until you’re left fighting three marauders, three doom hunters, and a baron of hell with only 3 shotgun shells left, and not enough zombies to refill your ammo, so you all panic and die. Sounds like a blast right? Well, where is it?

Horde mode is not an original game mode by any means. In a world where even Forza Horizon gets its own Battle Royale mode (I’m not even joking), you figure that a horde mode would be the first go-to. Oh god they’re not doing Doom Battle Royale are they? I hope not. Maybe I’m being too picky, it’s just really weird that there’s only one game mode and nothing else. Do they have a roadmap? One second. I stopped to look and see if there’s planned DLC. Looks like there is, but it appears to be single player content.

Welp, that’s fine by me I guess. I’d still like a horde mode though, can we please get it? Do you want a horde mode? Have you had a hard time with matchmaking? Come @ me in the comments.

Gamestop’s Ridiculous Pandemic Behavior

You’ve seen the myriad of shit they’ve tried to pull. Maybe you’re used to them taking advantage of you? I’ve not met one employee who likes working there personally.

But they are repeatedly putting you in danger with wanton abandonment of respect and dignity. They do not even try to hide the fact that they are more concerned with profits than you. At least other companies use corporate jargon to justify themselves.

But not GameStop. Go to work. Ignore the law. Buy your own hand sanitizer. Buy your own Lysol. And now my personal favorite, “tape plastic bags over your hands” (see YongYea’s video). Stop. Just stop it. GameStop is on life support and it’s a matter of months before they tank even harder.

I witnessed the death of “MovieStop” firsthand. They were literally “GameStop but for Movies” and were wholly owned by GameStop until the last few years of their existence where they broke off to form an LLC. And then they committed acts of desperation, and after act of desperation #3, I bailed. Turns out they closed approximately over a year later.

GameStop has been firing off non-stop acts of desperation for months. Read the signs. You, an employee of this heinous organization, need to get out. Have some self respect. Have some integrity. Need the money? Yeah so do 6.6 million other people. You also need to be ALIVE to spend money, don’t you?

Get out, this disease will end, and so will GameStop. Other big box retail organizations are going to see “GameStop” on your resume and they are going to know just how poorly you were treated. It’s a testament to your endurance. “Why did you leave?” Well, you didn’t see any future prospects in staying there. GameStop doesn’t have any future prospects either!

The time you can spend at home doing literally anything else is more value let than the peanuts they are tossing at you. Your time is valuable. Leave now, you will be glad you did, I guarantee it.

Assassin’s Creed Tattoos

This one’s slightly personal but here we go. I’ve been asked a few times why I don’t have any tattoos. I don’t have any super strong opinions on them, I just cannot imagine a single thing I like so much that I would like it permanently engraved on my body. Also, I’m a bit of a fatass right now, so no idea if a tat will look weird or wrinkled if I lose weight.

But I digress. An ex of mine wanted to get a Boston Bruins tattoo. She was a huge Bruins fan. I asked, what if she stops liking the Bruins? The team isn’t a permanent fixture, and the team has seen many great athletes come and go. I didn’t tell her not to get it, just literally expressing that same concern to her. What if you change your mind? What if I change my mind? Laser removal exists but I’ve looked it up and it’s hardly the best eraser.

You see the picture here, so you sort of know where this is growing. I’m a gamer, as you guys might have figured out. I run this website called Hard Mode Gamers, you might have heard of it. But is there a game with a logo I’d like burned onto my arm or back? Jet Set Radio Future is my favorite game ever but it’s too esoteric for me to get a tattoo. But then… there’s Assassin’s Creed.

I was on board with Assassin’s Creed since the first game. I only briefly lost faith in it when Unity came out, and the only time I missed out on a mainline title was when Origins came out, I handed it off to someone else to review for the web page. But the first game came out in 2007, it’s a big fixture in gaming. Hell, it was probably the game that changed Ubisoftcs game design strategy for the foreseeable future. Think about it.

But… I’m already aware people have Assassin tattoos. Here’s the REAL QUESTION overall. Are Assassin’s Creed tattoos cringe? Because honestly, if I were to get one, it would probably be the Assassin logo. “Nothing is true, everything is permitted.” That’s a surprisingly poignant mantra. I really identify with their ideology. Freedom and whatnot. But a tattoo? I don’t know, that sounds pretty cringe to me.

Is it cringe? Is my aversion to picking a tattoo reasonable? Come @ me in the comments.

Kenway’s Fleet Was Oddly Satisfying

As I muse on whether or not to get an Assassin’s Creed tattoo (see previous post), I now examine the games I’m playing. I haven’t picked up Final Fantasy 7 Remake because I’m fully content with the many other games I’m playing on rotation.

Doom Eternal, The Division 2, Forza Horizon 4, and Battlefield V. They are already seeing regular use on my Xbox. But my Switch! I recently moved the dock to a different TV because reasons. Am I playing a Nintendo game? NO! I’m playing Assassin’s Creed: The Rebel Collection. It contains AC Black Flag, AC Rogue, and all DLC. Black Flag is one one of my favorites.

Now, let’s get to it. There’s a mingame in AC4 called “Kenway’s Fleet”. In this game, you manage a fleet of ships, send them on missions, and conduct sea battles to secure trade routes. Except I’m making this sound cooler than actually it is. It’s basically a free to wait auto-play mobile game before they invented the predatory microtransactions to accompany it.

In sea battles, you just select ships with stats to automatically fight other ships, then proceed to watch a handful of boat PNG files pretend to shoot each other. It’s incredibly lo-fi.

When you send your ships out on a mission, it’s to get you money and resources. Now, these trade missions work in real time. If I send a ship to Mexico, it will be gone for 8 real-time hours. Even when I’m not playing. I send a ship on a mission, quit, go to bed, wake up, “Hey, my ship is back! Yaaaay!” Today’s Ubisoft would have sold you a “Time Saver” MT for this feature. How sad!

Coincidentally, there was a companion app for Black Flag that essentially worked as a second screen for the map, along with other features. My old crappy phone could barely handle the real-time map. But it could handle Kenway’s Fleet! As a result, collecting my gains was the first thing I did every time I fired that game up.

The app doesn’t appear to be on the Play Store anymore, and I’m not sure if it would work even if I found the .APK file for it. In the meantime, I’ve got about 3 more hours before my frigate “Triunfo” makes it home. Did you enjoy this minigame? What minigames have YOU enjoyed? Tell me in the comments.

Posted in Articles, Digest Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

May 4th, 2019 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

Feminists everywhere love the realism of this art.

We all know that the body positivity movement is constantly under attack. Sexist and hateful bigots everywhere say it’s bad. We know this simply isn’t true. Women are healthy at every size. It takes a strong and bold woman to prove to the haters that their hate is all lies.

You’ve seen many fat acceptance renditions of all your favorite comic book heroes, video game characters, and Disney princesses. Re-drawings like those are reshaping the very paradigm of sex. A new culture is emerging and proving to everyone that women are beautiful. However, there have been certain issues with some more recent characters. We just don’t have enough of the perfect feminist role models in media. When we do, the characters are still very problematic. A whole army of people trolled the tolerant studio Bioware because their beautiful female protagonist wasn’t sexy enough for them.

We just don’t have enough of the perfect feminist role models in media.

Now we have the default star of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Kassandra. Although she is both very strong and smart, her appearance in the game needs to be unpacked. She has really big muscles for woman, and that’s a completely unrealistic standard. In order to get that big and muscular, she would have to go the the gym twice per day to look that good. But because it’s in Ancient Rome, they didn’t have gyms back then. So there’s nothing that can be done about that. She would also need to drink bulking powder and that didn’t exist back then either.

Fret not. We went to tumblr and found the perfect recreation of this iconic new character. Jessica Goldberg from @goldenbergerarts on the site had all the skill needed to show people what Assassins Creed needed. In true response for tolerance and peace of the women’s mind, this version was created. Now THIS is what feminine beauty is supposed to look like! Share this post everywhere. The manbabies on the far right hate it when people draw accurate representations of the better sex. You can already taste the toxic male tears.

Thankfully, this post was SATIRE in case you weren’t tipped off by “Ancient Rome”.



Posted in Articles Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

xbox game pass
April 29th, 2019 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

Keep em coming, Microsoft!

Xbox continues to power on with their greatest asset. The Xbox Game Pass already has a load of great games to play. With this update, there are even more great choices. What’s best about these is their value and length. A lot of the games on offer are solid, well rounded experiences. They aren’t just dropping a few niche and trashy disposable games. They are getting you THE best games from yesteryear. The titles in this pass of theirs are all of the games that if you missed, you need to play. What are they?

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

The original Deus Ex game was an absolute paradigm changer for the PC gaming industry. N’stuff. I’ve never played the original. I started with Invisible War, a game everyone hated but that’s only because nothing could be as good as that first game (and it’s janky AF). But after that failure, the Deus Ex series found life in the prequel series starring Adam Jensen. A man who is basically the Major from Ghost in the Shell but is a gruff dude working big tech security, and later, Interpol. Mankind Divided is a direct sequel to Human Revolution, which came out last console generation. It wouldn’t hurt to play that title, but it’s not absolutely essential to MD, since a lot of the characters from the first game are mere afterthoughts. That and a handy-dandy 11 minute video comes with the game to recap it for you.

What happens next, is you find yourself in a world the producers called the “Mechanical Apartheid“. This is due to a mass hack that resulted in one of the world’s most bloody acts of terrorism, an event where all cybernetically enhanced individuals received some sort of hacking signal that reduced them to turning into a vicious mob, killing everyone (until Adam Jensen stopped). Understandably shook, the world of the enhanced, now known as the slur “klanks”, live under constant supervision by a humanity who doesn’t trust them. But Adam Jensen is special, and because of his skills, he lands a job at Interpol working a counter-terror task force. Over the course of the game, you will explore the streets of Prague while trying to stop an ‘illuminati’-tier conspiracy that if fulfilled, may destroy the freedom of all individuals as we know it. Yikes.

This game is play it your way, and is mainly a tactical stealth action game. You can stealth your way past everything, hack your way past everything, shoot your way pas everything, blow up your way past everything, or mix it up a little bit. Sadly, the project was suddenly forced out the door before it was completely finished. It now serves as what was supposed to be a new trilogy… only the other two aren’t currently getting made. If you go into this game aware that a few threads will be left dangling, you’ll still have a blast.

Check out our review right here.

Prey (2017)

Prey is another game with a littered history. The original Prey came out in 2005 after being worked on for 15 YEARS. No joke, but it finally came out and it wasn’t half bad. Some people may accuse the game of being racist for having an Indigenous American protagonist who uses ancient Indian magic to protect himself, and to that i say get the fuck over yourself. It’s a game. And the sequel is even better.

See, Prey was originally supposed to come out as Prey 2, a pseudo-sequel at best where you play as a bounty hunter who rounded up criminals using gadgets and some parkour. The game disappeared. Then, at an E3, it re-emerged as Prey, which means I now have to distinguish them by release date. This time Arkane Studios made it, the brains behind Dishonored. Just like their other game, Prey became a game in same style as the “System Shock / Bioshock” games.

This one also features a wide variety of powers and play styles. You can shoot your way through, hack your.. YOU GET THE POINT. This one features a far more bizarre plot. You are on a space station (sorry for spoiling the first 20 minutes of the game), where some experiments on a shapeshifting aliens species has gone awry. They have done a LOT to ruin the station, and if you don’t solve all those problems and a single one of them makes it back to Earth, it will be DOOMED. Peep our review here.

Monster Hunter World

Monster Hunter is a much beloved franchise known for its challenge and scope. You don’t simply fight monsters. You track them down, you beat them to a pulp, and then you wear their bones on your favorite armor. So does your cat. The cats are pretty rad in these games. However, for a very long time, MH was a very niche title for a specific audience, yet Capcom broadened that scope with Monster Hunter World.

This version of the game provided updated controls, a new story, and a huge focus on online multiplayer to get a lot of players. And it worked. During a very quiet January, this title popped up and became the surprise first-hit of the year. Actually, not only that, it set a new all-time record in sales for Capcom. It keeps people coming back with a steady slew of both free and paid updates. You’ll never run out of stuff to do.

This series is a tough and very involved game. Hunting monsters takes preparation. And preparation requires a full understanding of the ins and outs of the game. Preparation is key. Everything from crafting gadgets, potions, poisons, and other key items can make all the difference during your hunt. Of course, this game has a very, VERY extensive tutorial that makes sure you’re always on top of what you need to know. Sometimes it feels like the tutorial never ended. But 25 hours was enough for me. Also I cheated profusely and usually just “fired a flare” during the fights. That means 3 people will show up and kill the monster for you. You could possibly play the whole entire game this way if you wanted. And should. JK, but check out our review.

Vampyr

Developer DONTNOD is a game producer that makes the best 7/10 games you will ever play. They are notorious for their storylines, which aren’t simply engaging. No, these devs would prefer to bludgeon you over the head with hard-to-discuss topics like memory erasure, suicide, assisted suicide, drug abuse, unfiltered teenage angst, and high school drama classes. Then, in comes Vampyr, a narrative heavy action melee game with a slower and focused pace. If you wanted to play the “easy version” of Dark Souls this is the one. Not only that but they recently patched in a story mode and a hard mode so you can either play it as super easy Dark Souls or actual Dark Souls.

Maximizing the potential for irony, the story stars a recently vampire’d Doctor, Jonathan Reed. He’s world renowned for his research in… wait for it… blood. Yep, the blood doctor turns into a blood sucker. Vampyr gets about as bleak as it can possibly get. You are in an old london riddled with Spanish Flu. The citizens of London aren’t a particularly happy or nice bunch either. Between researching links between the flu and a vampire epidemic, you also deal with the citizens.

Many of them need your help in more ways than one. Not only do you do random quests for them, as per most games, there’s an additional angle. You also have to diagnose them and craft the cures for their ailments. Also, you get teased by the level up system. Level up from fighting enemies, but you get a huge XP bonus if you kill an innocent. Yeah, that’s this game. Those aren’t even the truly tough decisions either. You’ll encounter those at the end of each act and marvel at how all options seem wrong. We reviewed it here.

The Golf Club 2

This game exists.

The Walkind Dead: A New Frontier

It’s the Walking Dead my guy.

What are you still doing here? Go play one of these.



Posted in Articles Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

April 8th, 2019 by Vega Montanez

Are you ready for Next-Gen?

With every new generation comes the same question. What titles will be available at launch. Since the console itself has yet to be announced launch titles are still pretty far out. So I think this is the best time to introduce my top 5 request. Regardless of how likely or unlikely.

DriveClub 2

In my opinion drive club failed for two reasons. The first reason was timing. Driveclub was supposed to be a PS4 launch title, but it missed the mark. It was announced during the PS4 reveal in February 2013. Playstation 4 arrived in September of that same year. But Driveclub didn’t make it to store shelves until October 2014. A barrage of delays pushed this game back an entire year. By that point almost all interest was lost and the game still managed to have issues on day 1. To be completely honest, Driveclub did not meet full expectations till January 2015. Almost two years after the initial announcement. So despite going on to accumulate over two million copies sold, Sony’s recent announcement that servers would be shut down as of august 2019 proves it didn’t meet the goal. 

It’s hard to compete against diehard fans.

And in an ultra rare turn of events I put some of the blame on the lack of title recognition. That’s right my second reason is, this game had no fan base to start with. Trying to go up against the behemoth Forza, arguably the greatest racing game of all time, is already a challenge. Then pair that with the challenge of battling Gran Turismo, the second racing mammoth, and you’re asking to die. Don’t get me wrong, I love rooting for the underdog but he has to at least have legs to stand on. Delays and incomplete arrival would not have hurt Forza or Gran Turismo as much as it wrecked Driveclub. Hell, even Need for Speed can get it wrong a few times and fans will still be there. 

DriveClub |
Evolution Studios

That’s the key, fans were still there. Gran Turismo had fans. Forza had fans. Need for Speed had fans, Driveclub has ambition. And a lot of the time that just isn’t enough. The good news though is now Driveclub has fans. This is the perfect time to give it a sequel and build on the little successes. The Driveclub community will love it. And if al goes well, Driveclub might actually be able to compete with the other franchises. Especially with the whole super cool VR advantage. Am I right?

Infamous: (Insert Subtitle) 

First and foremost I must admit, I was not a fan of infamous until I played (and finished) Infamous: Second Son. And now I need more. Similar to my relationship with Uncharted (jumped in at Uncharted 3), I went back and played all the other infamous games to fulfill my need. But now there’s nothing left. The Infamous series is one of those rare situations where i fall in love with an open world game. Maybe it has to do with the super hero aspect. Or maybe it’s the super polished storyline. Whatever it is I absolutely love it. 

Infamous: Second Son |
SuckerPunch Studios

Infamous: Second Son was a great example of where the franchise could go without it’s original protagonist, Cole MacGrath. It also showed how well the team at SuckerPunch could handle replicating real locations. So where in the world could the next Infamous story be set. First idea is the gritty streets of Chicago. We already saw what a near futuristic tech controlled windy city would look like, so why not fill it with a superpower crisis. I really can’t imagine a bad cameo from Kanye West. At all.

The second idea is vacation land gone bad. I can’t think of many games set in Florida. In fact the last game that, that I know, was absolutely Florida based was Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. And that also happens to be the only GTA game i’ve ever finished and whole heartedly enjoyed. So imagine an Infamous game set in Miami. Beaches, drug warfare, and superpowers. Maybe cut back on the drug stuff, so Infamous can be a T rated game, just a thought. 

SOCOM 5

What happened to Socom? One of Playstation 2’s greatest titles. The first real attempt at online multiplayer by Sony. 2011’s Socom 4 was an embarrassment to the legacy of Socom and the final nail in the coffin. Prior to this, the series had already been struggling to remain relevant in a world dominated by first person shooters. But I think now is the best time to bring it back.

SOCOM 4 |
Zipper Interactive

Thank god for The Division 2, but can I get SOCOM 5 too?

The popularity of Fortnite could serve as a launch pad for Socom. Both game being third person shooters means Sony could push Socom 5 to Fortnite fans who want more military realism. The examples are everywhere. The realism is the reason I prefer PUBG to Fortnite. However, I rather play the latter because I prefer third person shooters. Thank god for The Division 2, but that’s a different story.

With the launch pf the PS5, Sony could bring back this awesome tactical shooter. I wouldn’t even judge if they looked to the more recent Tom Clancy games like Ghost Recon Wildlands for guidance. I’d prefer if Socom stayed linear and mission based, but I would be completely off put by an open world. In fact I think Socom 5 should take a page out of the Hitman book as well. Individual missions taking place in huge maps with various ways to complete the mission. Make it happen.

Rise & Fall of SOCOM |
GVMERS

Genji

I think we can all agree; games with samurai, ninja, or any blade based weapons are awesome. No questions asked. Yet, who could ever forget the ultra historical accuracy of the Giant Enemy Crab? That’s right no one. So do I really need to explain why a third entry in the Genji series is necessary? This one isn’t even an ask or want. It is a demand. Sure it was nothing like the historically accurate game they promised, but by god was this game a blast too play. 

Genji: Days of the Blade |
Game Republic

Of course, Genji: Days of the Blade, the second installment to date, still has some of the most amazing gameplay mechanics. And with multiple character to use based on techniques, skills, and timing every encounter feels fresh. Every character feels meaningful. Supported by the sudden resurgence of ninja and samurai popularity, Sekiro & Ghost of Tsushima being prime examples, it’s the perfect time. 

Considering the events at the end of the second entry it wouldn’t be hard to either pickup where was left off or reboot. Personally, I would love to see World Wide Studios take the reboot approach, unless original developers Game Republic still cares. Get in there and bring back all the special magic of the first two entries with a new age polish. I’m incredibly ready to embark on another journey with my samurai pals. 

Sly Cooper

Solid Snake, of Metal Gear Solid fame, is the mascot of adult stealth action. Sly Cooper is that and more for the all ages crowd. Originally developed by the masterminds at Sucker Punch, Sly Cooper is the best robin hood game ever. Why? Because the band of misfits made up of a smooth talking sneaky raccoon, an overly intelligent turtle, and a super strong hippo. Still not interested? Ok, they work together to steal technology from a criminal organization run by a lizard. 

Back in 2013 Sanzaru Games took a shot at bringing the Sly Cooper franchise back and it received mixed reception. Personally, I loved it and would love for Sanzaru to take another shot at it. And what better time than alongside the launch of a new console. Sly and the gang always found themselves on wacky adventures in an effort to line their pockets and save the world. 

I have little reason to believe Sony has given up on this franchise. Especially when you take into account there are various comics and a few spinoff projects based in the Cooper universe. Something tells me this is the most likely game of my wishlist to come to life. If that is the case, I guess I can’t complain. 

Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time |
Sanzaru Games

Honorable Mention

KillZone: (Insert Subtitle) 

As a super fan of third person games, it was really hard for me to get into first person shooters. I really enjoy seeing the wild action animations of incredible cool character designs that i control. Also, most first person games make me really dizzy. Especially during the early days with Halo being the superstar. But I hated Halo. Not just as a Playstation fan boy, although that was undeniably a strong reason. The real reason was I didn’t feel connected to the story in any way and the gameplay was off putting for me. 

KillZone |
Guerilla Games

Enter KillZone. Sony’s first big attempt at a multiplayer shooter to challenge Halo. I remember reading a story in Game Informer and thinking “this ones for me.” The big draw for me with KillZone was the story it was aiming to tell. One of over coming a war with people who felt nothing other than complete abandonment. The Helghast, KillZone’s antagonist, weren’t necessarily evil. Instead, they were misguided and therefore relatable. This narrative made it possible for me to connect with the game in a way Halo never tried too.

KillZone new dawn may have ended at Horizon.

It’s possible Guerrilla Games must have been feeling franchise fatigue because things just got sloppy. Yet, I still hold out hope for a new entry even if the team is now completely tied up with a whole new franchise. I think it’s time for either a KillZone Reboot. Do it comic book movie style. Take the same story, fix the parts that didn’t quite make sense from entry to entry, and reintroduce it to a whole new audience. 

Posted in Articles Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

April 1st, 2019 by Vega Montanez

Standing Amongst Olympians

Sega has been a player in the video games business for quite a few decades. And yet, they still never really manage to get a strong grip. They almost had a huge run with Sonic, but he was quickly bested by the plumber in the red overalls. Enough with the past, Sega is back and ready to rise to the occasion. 

The 2020 Olympics will be taking place in Tokyo next year. Besides already holding the licenses, Sega is taking this opportunity to try to make waves. First headlines were made with eh announcement of “Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 – The Official Video Game”. Coming to Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch worldwide. Sega has gone on the record calling this new title “A fun-filled sports action game where you create your avatar and compete in olympic events. That’s right, you too can go for the gold from the comfort of your living room!

https://youtu.be/YbC_L7dnWIU
Our original linked video was taken down so here’s some NHK program. -Chet

Next, they announced the release of a brand new Mario & Sonic at the Olympics. It’s been a long 4 years since the last time we’ve seen these athletes on the field. Mario & Sonic at the Olympics 2020 looks much like past iterations but this time will have mini-games for your Joy-Cons. The only real question here is; will this game feature the movie versions of our two cover stars?

For those of us who have become avid mobile gamers Sega’s got something for you too, because mobile gamers count. Mario & Sonic will be attending the Tokyo Olympics on iOS and Android as well. Assuming the game will borrow some Joy-Con features and optimize for touchscreens, this will most likely be super casual. I’m predicting for sure at least one Temple Run style track and field game. Actually, bets are open.

Not excited about the Olympics!? Fine.

Fear not friends who could careless about professional sports or sports simulations. Or emotionless monsters who can’t find the humor in the “world’s fastest hedgehog” racing against the “most hard-headed plumber of all time”. There is some retro based good news. Sega is bringing a new challenger to the mini console revolution. 

The Sega Genesis Mini will be available on September 19th, 2019. Retailing at the great price of $79.99 the mini console will feature 40 classic games including Sonic (of course), Castelvania, and Ecco the Dolphin. For the record, Ecco the Dolphin is the second most exciting part of this for me. What’s the first? Well I’m glad you asked. So far, 10 of the 40 games have been announced and one of those game is, Comix Zone. Need I say more?

The console itself is reportedly about 55% smaller than the original and comes with two usb powered replica three button controllers. Also packed into the box is a USB to Micro-B cable for power and an HDMI cable for graphic fidelity. Because as we all know, it’s not a retro remake unless it’s in HD. 

What are some of the found memories you hope to relive with the Sega Genesis Mini? And for those excited for the olympics, what’s your favorite thing to have Mario beat Sonic at? And for everyone else, sorry you stuck around for that Vanquish sequel reveal. Believe me, you are not alone.

Posted in Articles Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,