2019 Was Awesome I Hated It
March 6th, 2020 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

A final reflection on the games of 2019. It’s a bit late to talk about last year but I filmed this a month ago and it needs to be seen. Consider this a preamble to the HMG redemption arc.

I hate 2019, it was awesome.

2019 WAS AWESOME, I HATED IT.a final reflection on the games of 2019. it's a bit late to talk about last year but I filmed this a month ago and it needs to be seen. consider this a preamble to the HMG redemption arc.

Posted by Hard Mode Gamers on Friday, February 28, 2020
2019 Was Awesome, I Hated It.

That’s right, 2019 was awesome, I hated it. As of right now, YouTube sucks so I’m going to be sticking with Facebook Watch or any other non-YT video hosting platform. Plus, the FB page is where all the memes are at, so follow the video to my page and SMASH THAT LIKE.

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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




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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.

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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.




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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!




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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.

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