June 9th, 2018 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

EA GAMES

Intro

  • Sizzle reel has Sports, Battlefield, Sims, Anthem, Star Wars, and Esports footage.
  • They decided to use a holographic AR system to show off their games.
  • Andrea Rene opened the show, she emphasized that a lot of people would be playing games at the show.

Battlefield V

  • Oskar Gabrielson and Lars came on to talk about the gameplay customizations and innovations being done for the multiplayer.
  • Dive and smash thru windows, moveable weapon emplacements, more destructible environments, customize everything.
  • War Stories is back for the single player.
  • No loot boxes or premium passes confirmed and that daily content would be made.
  • They confirmed Battle Royale mode and got BOO’d live on stage, which was hilarious.
  • Ground Operations mode was featured and then they moved on a cinematic trailer, followed up by a tease for a story that would be revealed at the Microsoft press conference.

FIFA 19

  • A theatrical trailer was then shown for FIFA showing a famous footballer that I don’t know
  • Aaron McHardy hosted along with Lena to talk about the game while standing next to a bigass UEFA trophy.
  • It was announced that the story mode would pursue this cup and that as per usual, many new modes and features were added.
  • World cup mode confirmed as always.
  • They made a joke about England fans.
  • They announced that you could play the full game experience as a trial mode for free RIGHT NOW.
  • EA’s CEO Andrew Wilson showed up to talk about the game some more.

CEO

  • Wilson then showed off a project being worked on where you could stream EA games to practically any device using cloud computing technology.
  • Origin Access Premier: a new service was announced that appears to give you all the EA games as they come out, along with Vault access, launching later this summer.
  • A sizzle reel was shown off to advertise the new service.

Jedi: Fallen Order

  • Andrea showed up again, standing next to Vince Zampella from Respawn Entertainment.
  • He introduced Jedi: Fallen Order.
  • He was interviewed about the game but was constantly being very vague about it, except that it takes place between films 3-4.
  • He announced for Holiday of 2019.

Star Wars Battlefield II

  • Apologies were had with SWBF2’s disastrous launch with Dennis Brannvall.
  • Ewok Hunt was featured along with Han Solo DLC based on the film.
  • A new overhaul along with a new squad system and new starfighter mode were discussed, along with a multiplayer sandbox experience.
  • New content will include the beloved Clone Wars battles.
  • General Grievous and Obi-Wan Kenobi were introduced as new heroes along with Count Dooku and Anakin Skywalker.
  • He also said a new map would be the largest ever.

Unravel Two

  • Unraveled came back with a brand new trailer featuring little Yarnie getting lost at sea and losing his string. But that’s okay because he meets a blue buddy.
  • The lead dev came on to talk about it, speaking of optimism and togetherness, and that the game would have a major co-op focus.
  • A player game on stage for a “live” demo of the experience, this is the first time actual gameplay was shown. It may have actually been live because they messed up the footage for a few seconds.
  • Yarny gets chased by a chicken, and the gameplay showed that the two characters can fuse for fast sections.
  • Editor’s Note: This is the only trailer worth watching so far since you see actual gameplay and it looks like a remarkably improved experience and the specialized co-op games are becoming a new niche
  • The section was bookended with another story trailer that also showcased real game footage.
  • Oh… and it’s out today, the 9th of June. And somebody in the audience screamed, “oh my god.” That was fun.
  • They also talked about A Way Out afterward, which was fitting.

Sea of Solitude

  • A new indie game was shown off from Jo-Mei games, featuring another super shy indie dev geeking out at being on stage.
  • She talked about the theme of loneliness while discussing the mood of the game. The main character has turned into a monster and is trying to become human again.
  • The gameplay footage features a flooded world that you traverse by foot and by boat, featuring platforming and running, but not much else was shown.

NBA LIVE 19

  • NBA came out with a trailer focusing on the story campaign that features a ton of character customization.

Madden 19

  • Madden was actually shown off in the context of Kevin, an Esports champion of Madden with footage from several championships. He came on to talk about the game and a pro came on with him.
  • Madden 19 trailer came on. I can confirm it featured football.

Command and Conquer Rivals

  • A real-time strategy game where you have to launch a missile or something had a “live” match on the set before they announced the title of the game.
  • This is a touchscreen-based mobile game.
  • The pre-alpha can be played by Android owners starting now.
  • Afterward, a cinematic trailer was played, looking way more interesting than the actual game.

Anthem

  • Andrew Wilson came on again and rambled about stuff that was basically a thinly veiled apology for all the dumb stuff that EA did last year.
  • They paired up with a few advocate groups.
  • Anthem came on with an in-engine cinematic trailer, it was rather decent and made a lot of it look awfully cool.
  • Andrea came back on also, Casey Hudson, Mark Darrah and from the development team.
  • They all sat on chairs and turned the event into a question and answer session. Gameplay was shown as they talked about the game.
  1. They emphasized that the game has a single player story focus with a ton of co-op features and that it’s not really designed to be an MMO.
  2. Namedrop, the catalyst of the goings on in the planet is called the “Anthem of Creation”, and that it’s a bit of a post-apocalyptic world that has been ravaged by changes in wildlife and weather.
  3. The world is constantly changing, where the game’s world and lore can change between gameplay sessions.
  4. You are a mercenary that fights using the Exo suits called Javelins, you will fight an enemy faction trying to weaponize the monsters.
  5. Four classes were introduced, the ranger, colossus, interceptor, and storm.
  6. They talked about customization and said that the suits were fully customizable.
  7. No loot boxes or advantage microtransactions, but cosmetic microtransactions were confirmed.
  8. Teamwork is necessary for some missions and the multiplayer is built around fusing the experience with multi without interrupting the single-player experience.
  • A long gameplay demo was shown afterward and is easily worth watching. Fake microphone chatter was NOT employed. They showed an amended version of the full trailer.
  • February 22, 2019, was the release date for all platforms except Switch.

End of Showcase

  • After the show they recapped themselves, hey that’s my job!
  • They were going to start a live FIFA game tournament directly after, and then ending sizzle reel rolled.

TAKEAWAY: Anthem looks like the best Iron Man game we will ever get. I am absolutely non-excited for anything else. What did you like in the show? DROP THOSE COMMENTS IN.




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March 19th, 2018 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

Nintendo delivers the goods in more ways than one, and several iconic characters are seeing the limelight.

Senior News Editor and part-time rapper Vega couldn’t be here last week and I was too busy pretending I was getting better at Monster Hunter World to notice (though seriously, thank you to those who contributed). This edition of Lucky Gamer Recap will get you whaaaaa… two weeks of news? Does that mean you’re gonna get 14 hot topics this edition? No, of course not; 14 isn’t lucky, 7 is. But I promise you I’ll work twice as hard, okay?

1) Nintendo Directly Delivers Definitive Deadlines

So in case you missed it, one of those big grant Nintendo Direct thingamagigs happened. A lot of announcements were made. One of which involved WarioWare Gold, which would have been a stellar thing if it wasn’t just another 3DS compilation game. What’s up with Nintendo putting big compilation games like this and Mario Party Top 100 on the 3DS? Everyone has a switch now, c’mon Nintendo. Detective Pikachu’s on 3DS too? At least we got another No More Heroes and… oh, it’s some minigame compilation too? Ah well, at least it’s on the Switch. We also got that sweet Dark Souls port coming and with a dope ass amiibo to come with it! Continuing the course of WiiU games nobody played that are coming to Switch, Captain Toad: Treasure Track is finding it’s way to the Switch, but with additional levels and content. For some reason, Crash Bandicoot also made it to the Switch, originally a Sony exclusive. Man, if you’ve got a remake in the works, Nintendo is totally down with tossing it on to their roster. I for one who didn’t play the remake series would love to play it on the small screen.

Here’s a second paragraph on the direct, just because there’s so much to discuss! Splatoon 2, a game that’s constantly evolving with a steady feed of free content is about to get a 3.0 update that has a lot of stuff. More than 100 new pieces of gear are coming, tons more levels (so many levels), and they introduced Rank X for people who rank higher than S+. There will also be a badass new and highly challenging single-player campaign called the “Octo Expansion.” Oh, and I guess the squid kids will be in the next Super Smash Bros game for Switch, which got a tease of at the very end of the direct.

2) Dynamic Duo Deuteragonist’s Dong Dangling Discussion

In the last of crazy “why is this news?” phenomena that the internet likes to indulge in, we have Luigi. Apparently, we also got a good look at his dick. You see, I left out the part of the Nintendo Direct where they introduced Mario Tennis for a very good reason. This is that reason. Yep, you can catch a very good glimpse of the plumber’s phallus in one of the promotional shots. In fact, people were so obsessed over his schlong, they took to measuring it and the results are staggering. Apparently it’s 3.7” while flaccid. That’s… a pretty hefty package. No wonder Daisy doesn’t get kidnapped as often, Luigi is keeping her mighty satisfied. Yep, I went there. I subscribe to the whole “Peach and Bowser are shagging” fan theory, and in my eyes this almost adds more credence to the tale.

3) SEGA’S Sonic Satisfaction Starts Soforth

Just when we thought with Sonic Forces that SEGA couldn’t learn a damn lesson about how to get the Sonic Formula working, something incredible has happened. They realized just how huge of a success Sonic Mania was and decided that now was the time to make a physical release for it. Prior to this, the only “physical release” of the game was a collector’s edition that came with a ton of physical swag but a digital code for the game. Now, they have big plans for the erinaceomorph (look it up). The real-life copies of the game will be available for PS4, Xbox One, and Switch, with a sleek looking reversible slipcover with a retro aesthetic and a 32-page art book. Dubbed Sonic Mania Plus it will have such features as something called “Encore Mode” which they haven’t elaborated on, and two more characters will join the roster: Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Flying Squirrel. I had to look it up and they are indeed real Sonic characters from the Genesis age. It will retail for $29.99 and come out this summer but those who already own the digital copy with have the extras made available at a later date. Also, there will be a new cartoon miniseries, and news of a film is abuzz.

4) Battlefront 2 Mitigate Microtransations to Make up for Maniacal Multiplayer

EA’s Battlefront 2 may go down as one of the biggest follies of overreaching when it comes to negative treatment to it’s consumers. After immense pressure, EA shut down a loot crate system it had originally planned to implement. It was scrapped at the last second because the crates had gear upgrades that created a seemingly pay to win atmosphere. Well, the crates are gone, but just plain ol’ microtransactions are back. Indeed, you can still get crates, but they only contain cosmetics, emotes, and other items that don’t impact gameplay. These crates can be bought with in-game currency or premium currency. Indeed, although this is a step in the right direction, improvements could still be had. We still strongly advise simply waiting for Battlefront 3 or playing the first one, as we were not too kind to it with our review and this change doesn’t really give it any points.

5) Famous Fighter Finds Friends and Foes in Fighting Franchise

Bandai Namco has always been spot on with adding interesting characters to their Soul Caliber series of fighting games. Some more famous ones were Link, Yoda, Darth Vader, Ezio Auditore da Firenze, Kratos. Now they’re about to get medieval on you, and are including Geralt of Rivia from the highly acclaimed “Witcher” games by CD Projekt Red. In case you don’t know who he is, here’s a primer: He roams the lands fighting more monsters than you fight in monster hunter, is bound by a code in taking coin for all his contracts, carrier of two swords (one for humans, one for monsters), knows 5 spells, and is a real ladies’ man (chicks dig scars). Honestly,  not sure how he’ll fit in with Soul Calibur VI or what he wants to do with the eponymous sword, other than adding it to his vast collection of swords. Not a bad goal really, he’s just the ultimate collector. Now, the question on everyone’s mind: how many of the female cast will he end up sleeping with? Guess we’ll find out when the game comes out.

6) Ridiculous Rumours Recovered Remotely

It wouldn’t be a lucky gamer recap without some serious rumors. Word has it that a Splinter Cell for 2018 was briefly listed in Canada’s Amazon store, but has since been taken down. But the world could do with a new Splinter Cell game, possibly one with a new character as protagonist Sam Fisher has really been through the ringer, having stopped 3 major terror attacks, gone deep undercover, killed his own boss, thought his daughter was dead, and forgot to do the laundry that one time. The last Splinter Cell game was Blacklist from 2013. Five years off is a pretty decent vacation. Just shoot me if they decide to make it open world.

7) Tomb Raider just hit theaters and it’s not terrible.

The most recent Tomb Raider film stars Alicia Vikander as the famous Lara Croft, this time taking on the form of the rebooted character from 2013. The film has had mixed reviews, mainly that it goes over the top too frequently, but in this age of superhero films, this isn’t really a bad thing. For big fans of the new game, the adaption has been reported to be extremely faithful to many of the game’s events, sometimes even copying some of the many many injuries she sustains. This game is determined to look as authentic as possible, and if you want to see a film that is highly representative of a video game, you could do far worse than this adaptation. You can check out Chris Stuckmann’s review here if you’re interested.

Making all those alliterations was very mentally taxing and I’m never doing that again, ok?




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December 20th, 2017 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

Exciting gameplay clips from the hit game!

One of the most exciting SWBF2 gameplay videos you will ever watch.




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December 20th, 2017 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

Lootbox-free discussions! (Mostly)

In all honesty, even without the lootboxes, Star Wars Battlefront 2 is still a massive failure in many regards.




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December 20th, 2017 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

This isn’t the multiplayer game you’ve been looking for.

I really cannot restate enough how disappointing Star Wars Battlefront II was to me. I knew based on all of the feedback from the beta and the pre-release reviews that it wasn’t going to be great. But I specifically wanted to give DICE and/or EA the benefit of the doubt and see if it really was just as bad as everyone said it was. So I played it. And… it was worse than I even imagined.

Many people would come to the website and think we are trying to be edgy with the score we gave to this game. Not quite. While the language I personally used was lost bashing, it was a very inspired brand of bashing to say the least. After hearing so many negative comments and so many negative reviews (AKA 6/10s, the mainstream games journalism equivalent of “bad”), I went in with rather low expectations, and not even those were met.

I stand strong in everything I said and don’t think I was being harsh. To shortly reiterate the review, I found that story was particularly abysmal in its stupidity. The audio was a snorefest of generic music with lazer noises and bad soundalikes. The gameplay really wasn’t all that fun with its needlessly confusing starcard system. And then the loot box fiasco was just the icing on the cake. Fun fact, Ubisoft recentaly globally rolled back all their scheduled 2018 releases and I have a slight suspicion that they intended to implement loot boxes but are now backpedalling. I have no proof of this, just merely a speculation.

So, you may be asking yourself, what’s the point of this article? Are you just here to kick SWBF2 while it’s down? Well, no. This is because it’s not “down” at all since it appears to somehow still be a successful release. But as much as there were many great games this year, there were also 3 major titles that were massive disappointments.

Sonic Forces came out recently and I harped on that being only good for the soundtrack. But would I play that game over playing SWBF2? Yes, this buggy, poorly slapped together mess of a game is still a better and far more entertaining experience, made doubly so because it’s short. And well, that soundtrack, hot damn.

Mass Effect Andromeda was a huge letdown across the board thanks to janky animations, clunky combat, and god awful scripting. But it’s still Mass Effect and as much as I like to joke that SWBF2 was Star Wars game with mass Effect assets, one thing still stands. Andromeda does have substance. By now, Andromeda should also be fairly patched (I hope) to a point where all the multitudes of bugs and glitches have been fixed.

What else was a letdown? Agents of Mayhem, Volitions spiritual successor to Saints Row, was quite mess. It was buggy just like Andromeda, but only half as much. The way the script and character design was made, I genuinely have no idea what audience they had in mind when they made this game, it’s all over the place in tone and script. But after finishing the campaign, I still had stuff to do, and time permitting, I would have done it because even with all the repetition, it was at least playable. A weird design, but playable.

And that’s just 3 examples. I’m not saying that Star Wars Battlefront 2 is the worst game of the year, the game runs ok, the graphics are good, and at its core there’s potential for improvement. This, on the otherhand, is a heavy letdown because it didn’t have good press before it came out, and was even worse for wear on release date. But to all the fans who are angry at the bad reviews, you ire is misdirected. Don’t get mad at the reviewers for giving your bad game a bad review. Refocus your attention on EA and ask why, oh why, did they make the decisions they made for the game. You deserve more and you should be asking for more.




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December 6th, 2017 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

Misses the mark harder than 100 stormtroopers.

Star Wars: Battlefront II is a sequel to 2015’s remake of the classic Battlefront (2004) series originally released for the sixth console generation. The new Battlefront II was developed by DICE Studios and published by EA Games. Originally, the first iteration of this remake series came into a bit of controversy when it turned out that the core game only had 4 maps and that the rest of the planned map releases would only come with a fifty dollar expansion pass. Obviously, EA have learned their lesson because there is no expansion pass for Battlefront II. It’s all just water under the bridge now, right?

GRAPHICS: 2/2

I was always wondering where the missing assets from Mass Effect Andromeda ended up and wouldn’t you know it, Battlefront II had them the whole time, they were just hiding it in the single player campaign. That goes double for Iden Versio who was one N7 decal away from being a Commander Shepard stand-in. But the graphics were all good. Very good in fact, featuring some inclement weather on multiple planets. There are also some lovely high res textures and animations. The ability to switch between third and first person views also augments the experience, letting you play the game as you see fit (unless playing as a hero). The garden world you go to has rich vegetation amongst its vast stone walls, which gives it a really pleasant look. But seriously though, there were several sections of the game that looked suspiciously like they belonged more in the Mass Effect universe than they did in Star Wars, it’s weird.

STORY: 0/2

The plot is so bad I’m going SPOIL IT. Skip this section if you want, but seriously, I’m doing you a favor. So as Iden Versio, you’re in a spec ops unit called Inferno Squad and you start off after the Death Star II explodes. The Empire, licking its wounds, has the perfect plan to recoup its losses. They decide to just launch an all-out attack on a planet that is loyal to the Empire. Yes, the Empire’s great plan to restore order is to destroy one of its own planets with some sub-par miniature super weapon they just had laying around (and only visually appears to cause super bad weather and nothing else). That’ll show them who’s boss, right? So, since Iden Versio actually has a brain, she goes rogue and flees, only to be captured by the rebel alliance. The rebels, executing a great amount of scrutiny, politely ask her if she’s an Imperial spy and after saying no, determine that she’s trustworthy and instantly give her access to pilot a snazzy new X-wing to help out the cause. I mean, no, she wasn’t about to betray the only people willing to help her, but the change from treating her as an enemy to an ally happens in less than a minute of actual game time. What follows after is a series of very poorly veiled excuses to go planet hopping in order to stay one step ahead of the Empire to find some MacGuffin type thing that was so utterly unmemorable that I finished the game no more than a couple of days ago and already don’t even remember what it was. The series ends with an all-out battle between the rebels and Empire within the atmosphere of Jakku, and if you’ve seen The Force Awakens, you know how that will end. At the end, Kylo Ren enters someone’s mind to find yet another MacGuffin, hinting at a possible sequel to the single player story down the line. But please, please don’t do that. Don’t ever make a Star Wars campaign again, DICE. If you’re up for another Mirror’s Edge, that would be stellar, but stay away from Star Wars.

AUDIO: 0/2

Well, the audio has one thing going for it: at least a few of the blasters sound authentic, as if grabbed directly from the films themselves. But this is outweighed by that bad. Several points of the game have token moments where you get to play as the “Heroes” from the Star Wars canon, and pretty much all of them are piss-poor attempts at sound-alikes with Kylo Ren possibly being the only one that sounds legit. The rest of the voice acting is pretty ham-fisted, which would have been okay had the game not been trying so hard to get you invested into its seriously laughable plot. Anything new doesn’t sound great either. There’s nothing memorable audio-wise about any of the weapons or explosives, and if one were to hear just the audio, the multiplayer matches would be almost indistinguishable from a Battlefield title, save for the pew pew of the laser weapons. The score is more or less a John Williams sound-alike, but just as with the rest of the game, it doesn’t do anything special or unique. It sounds a lot more like the Star Wars music was fed to a robot on punch cards with instructions to do something similar.

GAMEPLAY: 0/2

You know, when I’m playing a first person shooter and I’m up close enough to punch someone, I expect to land a hit that at least damages the opponent if it doesn’t kill them. What I don’t expect however, is to teleport two meters directly through them as an overly long punch animation unloads and then take an additional second or two for an asthma inhaler dose before I’m allowed to move again. Gameplay during the campaign was just okay even at its absolute best, with almost all of the levels simply being re-purposed multiplayer maps that will yell at you if you go too far in the wrong direction, even if you’re trying to go somewhere to preempt an enemy attack (like seeing a drop ship landing). The enemy AI is basic at best with many NPCs being capable of landing shots or charging you down, but at other times seeming to almost run into your line of sight on purpose. I even experienced an NPC getting stuck and forcing me to hunt him down so an event could progress. As for multiplayer, initial impressions were optimistic at first, until I realized how long it would take me to play with a gun I don’t like just to get an SMG. I didn’t like that, so I tried to stick with playing as an officer with one of the worst weapons in the entire game, but some decent abilities to bolster friendlies with a stat boost and the ability to lay down a turret. But round after round, no progress was being made, as even playing the objective didn’t feel rewarding. We all know why that was a problem…

FUN: 0/0

Now, normally, I like to make it a policy of this site to demerit a point from the score for egregious lootboxing, but even without any lootboxes, player progression is completely ruined. Offering no way to advance without the help of the now in-game-currency-only crates, they still stave off having improved versions over regular abilities, and that’s just not very good design. There’s no sense of progress when you do well and you’ll be stuck for a long time dealing with guns and abilities you aren’t going to like. Not to mention that just getting into the clusterf*ck of a system that the star cards set up is a total mess and a half. Even worse are the loading times. Either jumping into the campaign or trying out a few of the game’s “arcade” scenarios takes close to a minute, if not more. Which is a shame, too, because the arcade challenges are little more than just uninteresting bot matches. The lag was also incredible, as in “I can’t believe a game with a budget this size has this much lag!” Upon re-reading this review, I realized I forgot to mention the air combat. It sucks. Nothing else to say on that, I’ve played many other games with air combat and the amount of times it was forced into the single player campaign and how utterly useless it is in multiplayer is astonishing.

Star Wars: Battlefront II was a game I wanted to believe simply wasn’t as bad as everyone was saying, and that people were just exaggerating it’s problems. Little did I know that it would be one of the worst games I’d play this year. Even if the loot box controversy hadn’t been a thing, this still is a poorly made game with zero charm, enthusiasm, or gusto. Designed from start to finish to be nothing more than a cash grab (which backfired tremendously), this game is just a wet fart on the video games market. Purchase this game only if you are a hardcore Star Wars fan and the game is in the bargain bin.

SCORE: 2/10

Our lowest score to date!




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November 3rd, 2017 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

Ignore Battlefront II, just play the first one some more.

Star Wars Battlefront II is making it’s way to shelves whether you like it or not. But if it sucks, why not just keep playing the first one instead. The first one doesn’t have loot boxes and has a great player base.




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