June 1st, 2019 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

It may be called Rage but I’m not even mad.

Allegedly, Rage 2 was an endangered game until Avalanche Studios “rescued” it. I’m not sure that is truly the case. The shooting in the game is still the ultra-satisfying and fast paced action you expect from id software. It’s just too bad there’s this whole map and plot that get in the way of your enjoyment. How so?

GRAPHICS

GRAPHICS: 1/2

  • If you like sand, you’re gonna love 80% of this game. There are spots that aren’t sand, and they actually don’t look as good.
  • There’s no designated aesthetic for Rage. It has been, and always will be, a combination of other similar games smashed together.
  • The draw distance on the map is dismal, and that’s on the Xbox One X version. And don’t get me started on their FOV slider.
  • Some games make you stop and stare in awe at the land before you. In Rage 2, I couldn’t ignore the scenery fast enough.
  • At least there was nothing distinctly terrible about the visuals?
STORY/IMMERSION

STORY/IMMERSION: 0/2

  • I don’t always skip cut scenes on a first playthrough. But when I do, it’s usually another id software game. Like Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, I regularly bypassed the plot out of sheer boredom.
  • The plot is too hard to follow anyway, the game expects you to just know stuff about the lore of Rage, which is something nobody has.
  • Did I even need a reason to shoot baddies? The game could have just said “here’s the bad guys, shoot them” and I would have had a blast.
  • But the game is so serious and the ridiculous action is at odds with the serious plot.
  • The plot also seems considerably unfinished, like it’s one third of a Far Cry game. And just like Ubisoft, they were keen to just litter the map with different stuff to do that earned you points towards being given story missions. One of which was a real slog.
  • This game was finished during a 3-night rental. Well, 4 nights total but I didn’t play it one night. I had to sort of force myself to plow through it.
AUDIO

AUDIO: 1/2

  • Soundtrack sounds like it’s on autopilot. And even worse, there were times where it became grueling. Because occasionally the action music won’t shut off and continues looping.
  • I’m trying REALLY hard to remember any song in this game and I just can’t. I distinctly remember the Mutant Bash TV song being OK. But that’s because it was comical.
  • The guns and explosions are satisfactory. You can certainly feel the impact when you pull the trigger.
  • Voice acting isn’t bad. Not that I know that much since I skipped half the cut scenes. It’s whatever. It did the job bare minimum.
  • When you pick up items of any kind you hear the same exact “pow” noise every time. You also get a chime when you upgrade but there are many upgrades where there’s no sound at all. Really removes the “ooomphf” from leveling up your sh*t.
  • The sound FX are like a poor imitation of Titanfall 2‘s BOMBASTIC level up and weapon sounds.
GAMEPLAY

GAMEPLAY: 2/2

  • Despite the open world feeling like more of a nuisance than a gameplay feature, it does leave a lot of areas to go to. And in all those areas are baddies and you get to shoot them. This game is at its best when you are shooting the baddies.
  • But seriously, id software has first person shooter mechanics down pat. It seems like Avalanche just used the exact same structure they did in their “Mad Max” adaptation, but let id do all the fine tuning.
  • The powers are fun, and while the challenge dramatically change, it’s not bogged down by any RPG elements. Each location just has a challenge rating, from 1-10, and I appreciate that you can just walk on in to a high difficulty area and still win if you’re good enough.
  • There are probably cooler guns, yet I spent the majority of the game with a heavily upgraded version of the starter weapon, the ranger assault rifle. And it never got old. Especially when upgraded to high capacity and faster fire rate. Why aim when you can shoot more bullets?
FUN

FUN: 2/2

  • When this game is a shooter, it’s a great shooter. When this game is an open world sandbox, it’s a boring commute between combat sections. I almost would have preferred to just have a loading screen to teleport me to all the missions.
  • You know what really breaks immersion though? Having a pause menu that stutters and lags when you go from category to category.
  • Also the HUD disappears if you press the “Xbox” button. I had to do this frequently because I was capturing footage.
  • Despite all the complaints above, the actual combat just makes up for it in so many ways. It’s similar to Destiny in a way. They got themselves a great shooter that feels well polished, looks good, but lacks in story and creativity.

As stated earlier, this game was finished during a rental. By the time I finished, I had not done many of the side quests and locations to clear. If I had more time, I might be inclined to do them. But, it’s just not a $60 experience. That campaign is short and there are plenty of elements that keep Rage 2 away from greatness.

SCORE: 6/10




Posted in Reviews Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

December 14th, 2018 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

A true milestone for Bethesda

Hello friends, Chet here. What you are witnessing is one of the absolute best games Bethesda has ever made. This game single-handedly shows of the true depths that the developer and publisher can reach. This is an absolute game changer, both literally and metaphorically. Because it changed the Fallout games, and as a game changed the whole world! It’s so good, that we had to give you a whole ELEVEN reasons as to why this game was so good, because 10 just wasn’t enough. In fact it’s so good we are not even going to review it. Check out why it’s great over here!

In case the blunt sarcasm wasn’t enough, it shouldn’t have to be pointed out that this video is SATIRE.

Posted in Videos Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

not reviewing fallout 76
December 11th, 2018 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

Wait and see…

The release of Bethesda’s Fallout 76 has been nothing short of a complete disaster.

    • Terrible reviews (even from games media).
    • Abysmal user scores everywhere.
    • Old glitches that were never fixed.
    • Disconnection issues.
    • Uninspired gameplay.
    • Tedium, very little to do.
    • Ridiculously easy to cheat.
    • Canvas bag changed to cheap garbage.
    • Annoying map and compass layout.

And accidentally doxx’ing their own customers due to a hiccup in their pre-orders for the Power Armer Edition. Ouch. The UK sales figures are showing a huge drop in sales, a whole 80% or more down from Fallout 4. It’s not a good month for Bethesda. It must be an even worse week for Todd Howard. At least as of now, they are fixing the issue with the cheap bags and getting people what they bought.

I’m trying my hardest to play this game and enjoy it, but it is so fundamentally flawed, it’s hard to work up the nerve to carry on. This game doesn’t feel like an actual product. It’s at best either an early alpha. It feels more like someone tried to mod a survival game with Fallout elements. But this combo doesn’t stick so well. It’s… bad. You know it’s bad. We know it’s bad. Everyone knows it’s bad. Except for the concurrent user base who are still playing it. They can force their fun in all they want, it’s still not going to make it any better.

So, that’s a bad review, right?

  1. 0/2 GRAPHICS – Why does this game look and run so terribly even on the One X?
  2. 0/2 STORY – There is no story. What about player progression incentives? Nope. There is none of that either.
  3. 1/2 AUDIO – The new soundtrack is surprisingly soothing. But there’s nothing special about anything else.
  4. 0/2 GAMEPLAY – Realtime VATS. The inability to pause or be safe anywhere whatsoever.
  5. 0/2 FUN – It’s not. It’s really not. I can’t “MAKE” it fun either. Nobody is playing.

If you wanted a number, there’s your number.

SCORE: 1/10

But that’s not a real review. And that’s no way to go about it. So, no, that score doesn’t actually count, and we will review the game eventually. We are going to wait and see if Bethesda can fix this. Why? Because it’s possible. There’s been plenty of games that failed when they started and turned out great later on. We all remember the backlash Hello Games got when they released No Mans Sky. A lot of the features they said would be in there were absent. They didn’t say much about this.

Instead they put themselves back to work. Now we have a No Man’s Sky that has a lot more to do and suits many different playstyles. The same could be said of Destiny 1 & 2. Same for Final Fantasy XIV. Even Bethesda themselves had this with the original release of Elder Scrolls Online. Each one was pretty short and dry on content, but expansions greatly improved upon them. The same could be said of a large number of indie survival games.

That’s the boat we are in right now. Bethesda, your game is broken. Fix it. We’ll get back to you when you do.




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

November 29th, 2018 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

A Battle of Mediocrities

The past week or so, we were faced with some really good games. Like Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee. And probably Warriors Orochi 4, I guess. But you know what wasn’t great? Fallout 76 and Battlefield V, two big ticket games. Both were set to make a splash in the crazy release season that is November. But neither could achieve what the wanted. Fallout 76 was vastly undercut by it’s monotony and lack of direction. Battlefield V was just the same Battlefield as always with a new coat of paint. BFV also had it’s critics for its inaccurate portrayal of WW2 by people on the internet, but that’s the internet. Everybody hates everything on the internet. Besides that, both games got major BETA playtests from regular users. This is honestly a good step, allowing the actual PLAYERS some advanced look at the game instead of some journalist who intends to write a giant think piece. Both of these games have a huge focus on multiplayer. Fallout 76 is the first major multiplayer game for Bethesda and Battlefield V is a multiplayer game with a campaign tacked on. Only their campaign was even shorter AND less interesting.

Either way, we haven’t finished enough of either to give you a consensus. But… if you are absolutely dying to play an online shooter game, we have something interesting for you. We are going to compare the games using our review system. But instead of the score, we are going to say which game did it better! Let’s start, shall we?

Graphics

Battlefield V is flat out gorgeous, with heavily detailed maps and great lighting that really set the mood for a lot of maps. There are some glitches but it works for the most part. The smoke grenades set up some serious smoke particle FX. And the detail of the character faces is surprisingly detailed for a game that doesn’t have too much focus on what the player looks like. Fallout 76 looks… exactly like it did several years ago. Fallout 3 and New Vegas never looked that great. Fallout 4 didn’t look that great. Fallout 76? It’s markedly improved, sure. But does it look great? No way, it looks as trashy as its level design and full of all sorts of ugly textures. Several of the ugly textures have taken more than 20 seconds to pop in. Yikes.

Victor: Battlefield V

Story

Battlefield V is one of the many, many, many, many iterations of World War II presented in game form. Somehow, it managed to make history even more boring, despite trying to spice things up with some creative historical fiction. What you get here is a mere 3 stories, as opposed to 5 in the previous entry. It’s really hard to feel anything for these characters because you spend such a small amount of time with them. It ends up being boring. Fallout 76 is boredom incarnate. Using the gaming worlds least interesting way of telling stories, any thing plot related in the game is played out in VERY LENGTHY audio logs. They can’t be paused or fast forwarded. If you interact with your pip-boy and click the wrong thing, the tape will stop and you have to start it over. Other than that, you only other window into the events of the game are logs written on terminal screens. In old Fallout games, this was done for lore. In 76, they are main story points. Super lame. All the same, when it comes down to brass tacks, it would seems that Fallout 76 still has a better overall story. Having a ton of lore is better than a bog-standard WW2 plot.

Victor: Fallout 76

Audio

Battlefield V has all the standard sounds you’re used to hearing. The audio was on autopilot in this regard. Every single gun sounds like it did in every other game. You will not in any way be inspired by the sound design of the weapons, nor will you be interested in the orchestral OST. It’s there because it’s supposed to be there, not because it wants to do something engaging. Fallout 76 surprisingly has a decent OST going for it. The ambient music that plays while you’re wandering the world is noticeably better then previous versions. It’s actually notable and really adds to the mood of the game being very lonely and desolate. And if that doesn’t tickle your fancy, there’s always the old sock-hop records to keep things going. The fantasy weapons also have wonderful unique sounds.

Victor: Fallout 76

Gameplay

In Fallout 76, you are bombarded with nonstop activity. The game is always online, so that means no pause menu. If you want to look at the map, it’s realtime. If you need to sort your junk on your Pip-Boy, that is also real time. There is nowhere safe to be when you play this game. You absolutely will be bombarded by enemies at any and all opportunities, with very little time to rest and get a bearing on things. In Battlefield V, the campaign is atrocious. But the multi-player is on point. It weird, the game is so much better in multi than single. It makes you wish the they skipped the campaign, instead of Black Ops. Anyway, the game is direct and lets you “play it your way”, which is very important. Divided into four classes, you can spawn is as a specialist in Assault, Medic, Recon, and Support. Don’t let the names fool you, all of them are combat roles. It’s what you do with them that matters. Either way, BFV manages to be a great shooter while Fallout 76 stays wonky as ever.

Victor: Battlefield V

Fun

To put it simply, there’s an easy dichotomy here. Fallout 76 has a “make your own fun” approach to game design. If you want to have any fun, you want to team up and do fun stuff together with your friends. Otherwise it’s a drag. Battlefield is good at grouping you with interesting colleagues that you help out during the many combat modes. Even if you aren’t on voice chat, the game finds a way to make you feel connected with your squad. It’s admirable that it manages to gel so well with random strangers. Meeting random strangers in Fallout 76 are few and far between. They are also as underwhelming as ever.

Victor: Battlefield V

It is clear that the winner is Battlefield V with a victory spread of 3-2. We haven’t heard too much of the game in the blogosphere of gaming. But this may be because the game just… is fine. It’s not spectacular. It’s just fine. Despite early complaints, the bottom line is that BFV is a better experience than Fallout 76. If you need a brand new game to satisfy your itch for fast paced, online, multiplayer shooter action, you could do worse than picking up the latest Battlefield. Me? I got so bored during the campaign that I jumped into multi. I never do that. Not until this iteration. How surprising!




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

June 9th, 2018 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

Bethesda

Intro

  • This is Bethesda.
  • Sizzle reel greatly featured the dev teams, it was very personable and charming.
  • Then another reel full of VIOLENT VIDEO GAMING ACTION.
  • Pete Hines came out, talked about their games of 2017, then mentioned they were the top-ranked publisher on Metacritic.
  • Then he made fun of Wal-Mart Canada for leaking their game.
  • Then Andrew WK happened so they could properly introduce Rage 2.
  • Everyone seemed to be excited about Rage 2, saying RAGE IS BACK.
  • Then they didn’t know what to say and got stuck.

Rage 2

  • This trailer gave us a bit of story.
  • Then we got a gameplay trailer so good you have to see it for your self.

Elder Scrolls Legends

  • It’s a card game with a very good trailer that showed very little game footage.
  • But everyone claimed you would just love it.

Elder Scrolls Online

  • A dev from the game came on to talk about Summerset for too long.
  • Then they spoiler all of ESO in case you planned on playing it.
  • After spoiling the game they showed you some of the things in you’ll see in Summerset.

Doom Eternal

  • A trailer came on revealing Doom Eternal.
  • And it turned out to be an announcement for an announcement, as they’d say more at Quake Con. And that was it.

Quake Champions

  • A dev from Quake Champions came to talk about Quake Champions and how good Quake Champions was and how everyone loved Quake Champions and that they should continue to enjoy Quake Champions.
  • They showed a trailer with new characters like it was a hero shooter.
  • It is also currently free to try from June 10-17.

Prey Mooncrash

  • New DLC for Prey was released, featuring new play modes.
  • It also had a new simulation where each play is unique.
  • And a multiplayer mode 1v4 where 4 players get to be mimics and hide as objects from the players.

Wolfenstein: Youngblood

  • This was revealed by two devs who talked too long about the game.
  • Then we got a 2D trailer that featured some plot and a two women protagonist team.

Prey Typhon Hunt & Wolfenstein Cyber Pilot

  • Pete came back to talk about these two games and showed nothing.

Todd Howard

  • It’s Todd Howard, everyone!
  • He’s been with Bethesda for 25 years.
  • We learned the history of E3.
  • He made fun of everyone!

Skyrim

  • Watch it.

Fallout 76

  • We were treated to seeing the same trailer.
  • And then we saw the first few moments of the game.
  • After, Todd Howard revealed that the only people you interact with are “other humans”
  • He explained the game in more detail, in that it’s more like a drop-in, drop-out squad-based shooter, but you can also play solo.
  • Turns out you can build wherever you want, making the game more like Fortnite than any MMO.
  • The crafty Vault-Tec videos explained how the mechanics work.
  • The game also has… RECREATIONAL NUKES.
  • Then the BETA gets announced and Todd Howard admits that Bethesda has buggy games.
  • Todd Howard reveals the collectors’ edition that comes with a map that “glows in the fucking dark”, along with action figures, and a working Brotherhood of Steel Helmet.
  • Release date slated for November 14, 2018.
  • Also, Fallout Shelter is coming to PS4 and Switch.

Elder Scrolls Blade

  • Todd Howard also showed off this game designed for iPhone.
  • You can play the game with a controller or play it vertically, one-handed.
  • Todd Howard also calls everyone “degenerates”.
  • It’s a full Elder Scrolls experience available for Free that will be made available on multiple platforms and plans to have a complete cross-platform play, but currently just Android and iPhone.

Starfield

  • A teaser featuring the name of the game was revealed.

Elder Scrolls VI

  • A teaser featuring the name of the game was revealed.

Outro

  • Nothing was shown, Pete closes the night.

Posted in Articles Tagged with: , , , ,

May 27th, 2018 by Vega Montanez

Who knew they meant playing the game when they said return to hell…

Damn. What a ridiculous piece of… Well, let me not say that. The damn thing probably just needs an update. It’s just stupid frustrating that I can’t just get the game to work. This is no where as fun as playing God of War. Let’s see how long this update it is… I really hope it’s just an update issue and not that I need to buy Move Controllers. What!? 36 hours to download the update! F*ck this, Doom is stupid. I’m gonna go buy Move Controllers this weekend. 

(Flashback an hour)

Ok, I spent way too much time last week using the PSVR as a glorified 70inch screen that I could play on while laying in bed. Let’s bust open this Doom VFR and see what the hype is about. Maybe I’ll even learn what the F stands for in VFR haha. I walked over to the physical game palace (my wall shelf) and looked through the spines. I grabbed the fully sealed copy of Doom VFR that came packaged with the HMG PSVR. Cracked the bad boy open and threw it in the PS4 to install. 

While the game began installing I did what everyone should do while waiting for games to install. I went to poo. How could anyone ever play any games on a fully loaded bowel. Even worse, a VR game. Yea not gonna get me to throw up anytime soon, I’m smarter than the average bear. For the record and for the young that was a Yogi Bear reference not a homosexuality reference. Moving on.

“I went to poo.”

I completed the deed and went back to find Doom had fully installed. Hazzaahhh it was time to shoot things. Or so I thought. I booted the game and for two whole scenes had barely any control of the game other than moving my camera and my head around. Oh and of course watching the on screen hands squeeze every time I hit the trigger buttons. Can’t pretend I wasn’t entertained by this. Then it happened, the game broke. Maybe? I’m not quite sure but when it was finally time to play, I couldn’t aim vertically and so I could not progress through the first tutorial prompt. 

The first tutorial prompt people. I legit had to google a Doom VFR walkthrough video to see if I was missing something or just having technical issues. And that led us to where we are now.

(Flash forward an hour)

I really hope that getting Move Controllers will solve the problem, cause my internet sucks.

Hold up, two PS Move controllers cost HOW MUCH?

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

May 23rd, 2018 by Vega Montanez

Delays, delays, delays, also delays.

E3 is around the corner so you know how antsy I’m getting. I’m sure you’re feeling it just as much. I’m here today to hit you with all the bad news this week. It sucks but it is what it is. This one is going to be short so don’t miss it flying by. Behold the most negative LGR to date:

1. Shenmue 3 delayed to 2019!

I think it’s fair to say that I warned everyone reading that this was going to be more of an UnLucky recap. Rip the band-aid off quick and tell you out the gate, Shenmue 3 has been delayed. It was originally planned to come out fall of this year but given the lack of marketing and development progress you would be a fool to be surprised by this. Honestly, I have my doubts that it will even make it to release next year. Call me a pessimist (actually please don’t) but Shenmue 3 is quite a long way out. Good news; we are still getting the remastered versions of 1 and 2 this year. 

2. Metro Exodus delayed to 2019.

This delay on the other hand is super unexpected. If you don’t recall, Metro Exodus was the first game to show us a zombie bear in action at E3. It was terrifying. The game looked incredible and I’m pretty sure it had a playable demo as well. THQ Nordic bought Deep Silver which means this delay is most likely to make sure the marketing is labeled and handled properly. In this case I feel like this is more of a winning situation for fans of the series. You know, cause Red Dead Redemption is going to outshine everything this fall.

3. Bio-Mutant & Darksiders 3 release window uncertain?

By now some of you have realized that all these delays come from the same company. If you didn’t, it’s pretty clear now. THQ Nordic buying Deep Silver has put a big shift on the way the game release schedules are working. So the interesting new IP, Bio-Mutant, and the revival of an IP that should never have died, Darksiders 3, are both under revision for release. Fear not, this doesn’t mean these games are going bye bye, it just means they gotta cook in the oven a little longer. Still thinking this is good thing. Also thinking, news about THQ in 2018? Man if I could time travel, the old me would be all messed up. 

4. Skull and Bones delayed to at least 2019-2020

Not all dogs go to heaven and not all delays come from THQ. Sometimes they come from ridiculously incredible publishers with a ton of great IP’s. In this case the culprit is Ubisoft. And as much as I love to entertain the idea that this delay is to make room for the more exciting return of Splinter Cell, that’s probably not true. Skull and Bones is essentially the boat parts of Assassin’s Creed. Ubisoft saw how terrible Sea of Thieves release was and they said “Uh oh, maybe we need more.” Boom and that’s how games are delayed, next question. Damn! 2020 though?

5. Okami HD Comes to Switch.

Because we are a small team and I’m terrible at finishing video games we had to pass on reviewing this when it released late last year. It’s okay though, now that it’s officially releasing on Nintendo Switch, Chet can experience with fresh eyes what I played on PS2. This is light news, but it does a little making up for all the delays right? Right? Please, just say yes. Oh and I just remembered a version of Okami came to Wii as well. Look at that. And Okami HD comes to Switch August 9th.

6. Stalking will be cool again starting 2021.

Well, stalking has never actually been cool. It had a brief moment when the classic survival series, S.T.A.L.K.E.R, last title was released in 2009. That didn’t stop the announcement of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 from happening. Well technically happening again because the game was previously announced and then canceled in 2011. When this game releases it’ll officially have been a full decade since the last title. The funny thing about it is, that seems to be working for games pretty well lately. Examples include: Final Fantasy 15 & Last Guardian but not Duke Nukem. Absolutely not Duke Nukem. 

7. The Kingdom holding your heart will be yours, soon. 

I couldn’t be a complete ass and give you only bad news. Here I saved the best for last. Only the greatest news makes it to the end this week. Are you still with me? Alright here we go. Kingdom Hearts 3 will be officially arriving next month to tell you when it will be releasing for your gaming pleasure. That was fun. Yea so Square decided to indulge in the hype of this game by teasing a day they would provide a release date. Pay attention though folks, this month is May which means next month is June. June is E3. Half-Life 3 confirmed. 

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

April 3rd, 2018 by Vega Montanez

Welcome back Jesus! Now tell me where the easter eggs are coming from and why these rabbits are so fascinated by them! It doesn’t make any sense at all. And another thing, why has it been such a slow past few weeks for gaming news? Does that mean that its going to be a huge E3 or are we about to be really disappointed? I need answers. In the meantime I’m going to be providing my friends who check out this post an update on why they should feel like lucky gamers.

1. Level-5 Levels up for Switch.

Right out the gate, Level-5 announced it intends to be a big supporter of the Nintendo Switch from this point forward. Level-5 is the well known studio behind popular games on Nintendo 3DS, so this isn’t to surprising. Popular series from the studio include Professor Layton as well as Yo-Kai Watch. They are also the studio behind Ni No Kuni, so who knows what can happen? The first game coming to Switch in Japan however, comes from neither of those properties. The Snack World: Trejarers Gold, which comes our April 12th in Japan, might not be the first experience we were hoping for but it is the experience we are getting. Enjoy!

2. Woah Woah Woah, PSVR got an official price cut!

Now, if i can’t get Chet to get us an official Hard Mode Gamers PSVR at this point, I don’t know what I’ll do. As of March 29th, the official starting price for PSVR is $299. Thats $100 cheaper the launch price of the best selling VR gaming headset. Boom! I said it. Come at me bro. And with Sony estimating over 130 games will be coming to the platform by the end of 2018, this is the best time to get one. You hear that Chet? BEST TIME TO GET ONE. Even if half the games will be shovelware, that’s 64 more games than I’ll finish.

3. A new iPad approaches.

I know, we are still kind of unsure of where we stand with mobile games. I think its important to note that, there are experiences for everyone. This isn’t even about that though. Apple recently announced a new slightly cheaper iPad for education purposes. With that said, it’s still just an iPad. Its the cheapest iPad to have Apple Pencil support and is designed to work flawlessly with the latest versions of pages and spreadsheet. Apple’s own Tim Cook seemed very adamant about bringing iOS into the education field, but has never digressed from being excited to support gaming. So, what this really means for teachers is: A whole lot of detention for playing Fortnite in class.

4. Fortnite continues to outshine PUBG.

Ok, so that title is absolutely intentionally controversial. But hey, remember we are still growing and we need some attention every now and then. The big news here is that Fortnite smashed a big YouTube record. Fortnite is now the current holder of the YouTube record for most uploaded videos of a video game in a single platform. It all set a record for the biggest single live gaming stream with 1.1 million concurrent viewers. I could go on and on about these wild achievements this game has but instead I’ll leave you with one fun fact. Fortnite Twitch streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, (the guy who played live with Drake) is reportedly making a handsome career out of streaming. Congratulations to a fellow gamer on his success.

5. Incredible Nostalgia incoming.

As I get older, I look back on things I enjoyed as a child. Things like animated movies, action figures, and dinosaurs. In the past few years we’ve seen an incredible resurgence of some of the IP in many industries that were from my child. I am ecstatic to share with all my friends that not only, as I’m sure you heard, is the Incredible 2 movie officially a real thing but, we are also getting an official game! And not the cheesy kind but instead Lego: The Incredibles will be coming to all major platforms on June 15th. I couldn’t be more excited about this if I tried. Also, Jurassic World Evolution, the theme park simulator, will be bringing some dino-park nostalgia on June 12th. Ah, to feel like a kid again.

6. No Man excused on Xbox.

I’ll admit that was a tough title. Let’s break down what it means quickly before you think I’m crazier than I am. Microsoft announced it can now ban Xbox accounts for “Offensive Language”. This isn’t a policy change, it is just an updated measure of enforcement that will be applied to all of you excessively potty mouthed gamers. Realistically, I think this applies not to the everyday use of F bombs and stuff but more to the players on line who are out of control. And this update comes just as Hello Games announces that No Man’s Sky will be available on Xbox One this summer. The Xbox One version will be released with updates to visuals and include all the major updates from the game.

7. And recently announced we have…

A long awaited announcement but one that we are excited about regardless. Dragon Quest 11 will be released on PS4 and PC on September 4th. There are currently no plans to release it for Nintendo 3DS and the Switch version still has a long way to go according to Square Enix. THQ Nordic also announced Red Faction: Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered will be coming to PS4 and Xbox One in Q2 2018. I applaud the naming convention and never got into this series so I might be down to give it a go. Last but not least we have Deathgarden, a 5-v-1 Shooter from the development team behind Dead By Daylight. Not much was said but they did say to expect to see it at PAX East for sure.

Back in my day I blew off class by playing Tetris on a graphing calculator. -Chet

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

January 10th, 2018 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

I’ll take “not the original game title” for $100, Alex.

Prey is the spiritual successor to a 2006 title that also simply goes by the name “Prey.” Originally, the old title was supposed to get a direct sequel that involves being a space bounty hunter and chasing after criminals, yet sometime in 2014, the game was unceremoniously axed. Fast forward to 2016 and this new game that shares the same title pops up, and is the center of many debates on whether it constitutes a sequel. Also, can developers just give a new game the same title because it’s been long enough since the last one? Developed by Arkane Studios, makers of the Dishonored franchise, and published by Bethesda, this game raised the bar on the “play it your way” style of games. In this one, you find yourself on a space station infested with aliens that can turn into any object they want as well as aliens who just walk around killing people. Fun times, eh?

GRAPHICS: 2/2

This game does visuals in a stunning and very clever way. When facing enemies like “Mimics” or “Phantoms” the game’s lighting goes a bit haywire and in very high contrast, because you suffer from “fear” when you encounter them. Each weapon in the game is uniquely balanced to fit into the world and designed accordingly. Also, being on a space station, you would be rotating constantly. So the developers took special care to make sure that aspect not only looked good but dynamically affected the rest of the locations. Since the station is revolving in real time, certain locations with windows will slowly change lighting and shadows based on what’s outside your window. It’s very clever and well implemented throughout all of the game’s locations. There’s also the “looking glass” technology that feels like a bit of a technical marvel, serving as a sort of video that can display 3D renderings that look more like they are a window into a new room rather than a simple video.

STORY: 1/2

While the story is good and intriguing, it’s hard to find yourself really engaged in the overall narrative. For all its creative bends and curves, the game does boil down to your average “alien invasion” story. A lot of the drama that unfolded before the alien attack takes place in this sort of game’s favorite exposition dumps, audio logs and emails! It does a good job to express all of the goings-on that happened while you were unavailable, but none of the characters are all that compelling enough to have you really investigate. Plus, once you do finally encounter other living survivors on the station, they seem rather stiff and one-note. The game is constantly finding excuses to make you take the long route to what should be an easy destination because dangling that carrot works for some. It did grow tiresome after awhile. It was also made worse by the midpoint of the game in which you’ve accumulated so many side quests, you might get anxiety in trying to figure out where to go next, or where you even should go to at all.

AUDIO: 1/2

The sound in this just plain “works” for the most part. Most of the conventional weaponry sound as they should, and you also get some individual weapons with unique sounds. The soundtrack is average at best, with a lot of synths roaring over your every encounter with the alien Typhons. It sometimes gets annoying, because you can get to a point where encountering a certain type of enemy is no longer as threatening as it was earlier in the game, but you still get that jarring chord that’s supposed to scare you more than the enemy itself and it comes off as obnoxious. As for voice acting, it’s all just alright. Your character doesn’t talk very much even though you see yourself talking in recordings, which makes your silence more suspicious than characteristic. There’s stuff to be enjoyed here, but it’s brought down by a frequently used battle song you’ll hear when you encounter enemies, and you will get sick of it.

GAMEPLAY: 2/2

As said earlier, this game really does feature as one very well-implemented “play your way” approach to the game. You can sneak, go on the attack, science your way through, or turn yourself into the monsters you’re fighting once you gain the ability to learn new abilities. Just when the upgrade tree seems too oppressive, some more abilities pop up as the first quarter of the game comes to a close. The idea of using the psychoscope, a scanner designed to analyze living Typhon, is a neat one for helping you learn about the strengths and weaknesses of enemies as well as the new abilities based on what they can do. At the time of writing this, I tried to pursue the path of not using any alien mods, as they can affect your treatment on the station. It’s quite a difficult path, but not necessarily due to a lack of capabilities. The difficulty comes in the fact that every enemy encounter is more than just a quick fight. It’s stressful and feels like a big ordeal.

FUN: 1/2

And that’s just one of my gripes about the game. Even on Normal mode, every enemy encounter you have will usually result in your death because they are a lot stronger than you and have a ton of attacks and abilities that make them a real force to be reckoned with. This is okay at first because it makes you really consider how you are going to approach enemy encounters. But as the game rolls on, your ability to dispatch enemies, despite having more abilities later on, starts to feel like a chore. Even on the lowest difficulty setting, the combat does turn a bit wonky, especially if you end up in open conflict with too many enemies. Another problem is the loading times. They are extremely…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..long. When you transition from one map to the next, you get a loading screen, which slowly jogs along from the left to right. But then after that loading screen, you don’t get to play because ANOTHER loading screen pops up, this time with dots and no progress bar. Eventually, the game concedes and lets you play. But it’s a real hassle because paired with the difficulty of the enemies and the loading times, dying over and over again may wear your patience thin.

Prey delivered on what it was supposed to be: a new game that challenges the boundaries of gaming by having some interesting design choices on how you go about getting around the ship and the many ways you can handle a problem. It’s too bad the game has so many buzzkills in the form of enemy aliens absolutely wrecking you and the snore-inducing loading. It’s a game to pick up if you enjoyed its cousins like Bioshock, Dishonored, and Deus Ex, but be prepared for some truly frustrating elements in a game that is extremely well-designed.

SCORE: 7/10




Posted in Reviews Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

November 30th, 2017 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

The time has come. The stars have aligned. The constellations are lit.

Skyrim is now a portable game thanks to the most recent port of now 6-year-old game to the Nintendo Switch. So, now that this master class of open world play-it-your-way adventuring is portable, is it any good?

Our story begins like always, you wake in an Imperial patty wagon, ready to be put to death because… nobodys knows or cares, this how Elder Scrolls games are. You are a prisoner, now you are not a prisoner, go do things. Some of them might be important. The fun immediately began before the game had even started. General Tallius goes through the motions, talking to everyone as they line up to be executed, the ususal stuff. But as he is speaking, the horse beside of him just starts floating and clipped right through his 3D model. Yet, the scripted sequence carried on. Fast forward past all the stuff into stuff you have burned into your brain from playing over 20 times, and you make you way out of the hold and towards the next village. I got separated from whatshisface from the stormcloaks and found him eventually. Of course, when I did find him, he was sitting on an invisible chair and talking to his wife halfway across the lumber yard, meaning I had to run back and forth between the characters to hear what they were saying to each other.

Following that, I made it to Rohan Whiterun, but that was after I had to reload a save because I accidentally lit the companions on fire during the scripted fight with the giant. After being immediately greeted by the local blacksmith as always, I decided to actually play the crafting tutorial just this one time. I hate crafting and never use it, but you’d figure by my eight restart I’d pay more attention to crafting. That went well. Of course, as I was talking to the blacksmith, at least 3 NPCs walked by us and talked over whatever she was saying. After finishing the blacksmith tutorial I made my way up to the market place where we talked to “some may call this junk me I call them treasure” Belethor, the only salesperson with a personality in all of Skyrim. Hucked all my junk and had a decent amount of coin to my name.

I also stopped into the Companions HQ Jorrvaskur to talk to start the questline. As the leader was giving me the instructions, two more people started talking over him. And two characters outside of the Bannered Mare also had some really bad timing between their sentences. Afterwards, I visited the Mare and punched the fuck out of some woman so she could help me on my quest. Don’t worry, it was a consentual fisting. Finally found my way to Jarl Balgruuf to talk about the dragon attack. And so I went on my merry… did this game just crash to desktop? Oh okay.

So far I’ve played the game for only a few hours, but it’s been such a long time since I last played it, that playing this game handheld felt brand new yet familiar. With the number of bugs, glitches, and quirks I experienced over such a short time? I can safely say that this port of Skyrim to the Nintendo Switch is a PERFECT RECREATION of the Skyrim experience, but in handheld form. And that’s really the biggest strength of the game, because it’s lacking in the graphical department if you play on the big screen, but in handheld mode, it looks quite alright. If playing Skyrim anywhere is all you want, this port is there for you. Playing Skyrim on demand is a real treat to play wherever you want, and for the most part, whenever you want.

SCORE: Skyrim/10

Though if I had to give a real number it would probably be an 8.




Posted in Reviews Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,