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?
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
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
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
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
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!
Ladies and gents, once again it is that time where you are paid for your continuing service as a subscriber. Here, we have the free games given to Xbox Live Gold and PSN Plus members. No fuss, no buss, just brass tacks. Do you want to know what games you are getting? We have them here.
Xbox Live Gold
Battlefield 1 – Did you miss last year’s Battlefield entry? Trying to make the old wars cool again, Battlefield 1 was a breath of fresh air in a series that was starting to lose its way. Featuring a lot of anachronistic weaponry, high concept weapons, and outrageous single player stories, it was a blast. Literally too. Before Battlefield V drops, you have a FREE chance to catch up on all the exciting action from this previous entry. Yes, previous, I know, the numbers make no sense.
Race the Sun – This is a simple yet addicting game where you drive super fast on an endless route. Your goal is to make sure the sun stays on the horizon as you navigate difficult obstacles in your way. The game can be rather brutal with its checkpoint system, but it’s still fun. Free is nice too.
Assassins Creed – The original. The source of it all. One of the most popular franchises in the video game world got its start with this one. It’s a flawed experience with several nags that make it less than excellent. But AC2, of course, improved everything, molding it to what is today. That said, this version of the game is interesting because even though it is a 360 title, it has Xbox One X enhancement, including an improved resolution and texture details. It actually looks relatively good for its age.
Dante’s Inferno – No, not the book. The brawler game. This particular title was noted for some of the crazy publicity stunts EA pulled off during its release. It had a fake religious group protesting it at E3. And they sent a handful of copies to devs with some very bizarre circumstances that were related to the seven deadly sins. In fact, the crazy campaign was more memorable than the actual game was. It’s an okay brawler game.
BulletStorm: Full Clip Edition – This was a fun shooter that EA needlessly made a remaster for and charged full price. It features a game that puts a big focus on making the player get creative with their kills. You get points for killing enemies, but you get more points if you’re creative about it, like in midair, or hitting them with a whip, etc. This game had a unique marketing gimmick where EA released a fake Call of Duty game to advertise for it and HOLY CRAP I’M SEEING A PATTERN HERE. I’m onto you, EA!
Yakuza Kiwami – There’s never been a better time to dive head-first into the amazing Yakuza series. This remaster of the original classic makes the game look like a title that came out recently. It’s the kind of remaster that really put in the effort to make the game look better, rather than just upscaling the resolutions and calling it a day. Looking at you, Shenmue 1 & 2 ‘HD’.
Jackbox Party Pack 2 – The Jackbox games are a collection of party game that, while launched on a console, you actually play on your smartphone with up to 8 friends. The second party pack has two outstanding games that are great. It has Quiplash XL, a game where the player is prompted with a topic and has to come up with a funny response. Literally, the funniest person wins. It also has Fibbage 2, a game where tough and bizarre trivia questions are asked. As the player, you get to submit your own wrong answer, then everyone tries to guess the correct answer. You get points if you make people fall for your fake answer. A total blast at parties and the ease of use is fantastic.
Arkedo Series – This just looks like a series of indie pixel games. Whatever.
Burly Men at Sea – Okay Sony, first Arkedo and now this? What are you even doing?
Roundabout – This is not a song by 70’s prog rock band Yes, but is, in fact, a game where you drive a limo around a map. But the limo is constantly spinning and you have to time your movements to the rotation of the car in order to avoid obstacles. It’s a wacky game that features some fun live action cutscenes. The low budget of this game bleeds through it, and a ton of people gave the game a bad review just because it came out at the turn of a new generation of games and didn’t look stunning.
Nintendo Switch Online
The free virtual NES games this month are:
Mighty Bomb Jack
All consoles have some friggin amazing titles on offer here. Battlefield 1 was a fine game with a very robust campaign, so even if you’re concerned that not many people are playing online, you still have a great single player experience. Race the Sun is a bit low rent, but having the enhanced Assassins Creed is a great piece of gaming history to have on hand. I mean, it literally INVENTED the tower climbing mechanic you see in every game now. It will be especially interesting to see how well it holds up. As far as Dante goes, it didn’t sell that well, but if you are curious as to what you missed out on, nows your chance to peep it.
PS4 has some strong current gen entries. Bulletstorm was also not a big hit and vastly overlooked. In fact, you probably didn’t know that they just randomly added Duke Nukem to the new version. Did you know that? You do now. And after that, Yakuza Kiwami 2 JUST CAME OUT, so it’s a great time to play it. That said, you may find that you don’t have enough time to play the sequel because Yakuza games are big. That said, with the exception of the Jackbox games, the rest of the Sony titles are considerably lackluster, I wouldn’t bother with the last 3 on the list.
NES on Switch, on the other hand, has a major game up its sleeve. The original Metroid is an all-around classic. I personally have never played a SINGLE MetroidVania title. Sad huh? But what better time to start than right now, while it’s free? If it’s free it’s for me right? That is the title of the series after all. The other games? Never heard of them.
Another jam-packed October coming up on our wallets gamers but fear not the great folks at EA have our back. Or maybe they just have their best interests in mind. Who cares, however you look at it Battlefield V has been delayed.
Oskar Gabrielson, general manager at DICE, has said in an official blog post (no bogus crap) that Battlefield V has been delayed to November 20th. That’s right a nice little Thanksgiving shootout. Should be amazing.
The post kind of seems like they are crediting player feedback for the delay which means someone was listening. I just hope they were listening to the right complaints.
As time moves forward people are moved on. This week we honor a man who was at the forefront of the gaming industry. Rest in peace Mr. Ted Dabney, co-founder of Atari, who passed away after a battle with cancer at age 86. We must also express ou feelings for John Bain, aka TotalBiscuit, whom also died from cancer at age 33. The HardModeGamers, the Lucky Gamer Recap, and so much would potentially not exist without your contributions. Now this week’s Lucky Gamer Recap:
1. PGA touring with… not EA
It seems those eager for more golfing games may be in a bad place. EA has lost the license to PGA Tour. The news came as Canadian developer, HB Studios, announced the addition of the tour to its upcoming title The Golf Club 2019. Rory McIlroy took the helm of EA’s PGA Tour series after they ended their partnership with Tiger Woods. And that game didn’t do well critically or commercially. Now, EA has lost the license completely but both sides claim the split was amicable. Meanwhile HB Studios is boasting that this validates they have the number one golf game on the market. Cool brag guys.
2. Remember the Garbage Pail Kids?
Well, they’re getting a video game. That’s right the Garbage Pail Kids game was officially announced. Do you want to know more? Word, so it’s going to be a free-to-play card-battle RPG. There will be original characters as well as newer cards thrown in the mix. Developed by Jago Studios in collaboration with The Topps Company, the game is currently in Private beta. There is no official launch date but it is planned to be release on both iOS and Android markets. It seems like things from the 80’s really are making the strongest comeback ever. Shout out to Stranger Things and Hipsters for that one.
3. Japan Exclusive: Dock-less Switch!
In a surprising turn of events, Nintendo has announced a dock-less Switch bundle coming exclusively to Japan. As most of us know, Japan is super heavy on mobile gaming. This move makes perfect sense in the idea of providing what the consumer wants. On the flip side it is definitely pretty self destructive considering they own the #1 portable console on the market. However, as far as I’m concerned this is confirmation of a Pokemon Switch game coming out this fall. Why else would they be so willing to ditch a core component of their hybrid console? No dock means it’s just a portable game console.
4. And there may be a new challenger… maybe.
During a recent interview with Bloomberg John Kodera, the new Playstation bossman, said he wants the company to continue thinking about portable gaming. He stated very clearly they are not discussing hardware specifics yet but they were carrying out experiments in the department. Could the next Playstation console be a hybrid like the Nintendo Switch? Quite possibly because this is also the same interview that sent the internet into a frenzy. A statement about the PS4 nearing the end of it’s lifecycle made everyone panic. Until they realized he was speaking from a sales of product perspective. The Vita is already dead, with physical game support and free Playstation Plus games already seeing an end.
5. Resident Evil Switch is cloudy with a chance of bad.
The good news: Resident Evil 7 is coming to Nintendo Switch. The bad news: Resident Evil 7: Cloud Version is coming to Nintendo Switch. The game that originally released on all the platforms isn’t getting a port. Instead Capcom is releasing something called, Resident Evil 7: Cloud Version, here’s the explanation. This is going to be a streamed game, much like PlayStation Now. Its a small download at only 45MB but obviously needs a constant internet connection to work. As of right now this is only coming to Japan (update: released in Japan May 24th 2018) which makes sense. They have the internet capability to support this, much like they did before with Phantasy Star Online 2. It’ll be really tough for this to ever work in America, but one can dream.
6. Madden NFL 19.
I know the NFL is in really hot water lately because of all the racism protest and stuff but that doesn’t stop the money train from running. EA officially, to no one’s surprise, announced Madden NFL 19 releasing August 10, 2018. The cover athlete honor has blessed, or cursed depending who you ask, incredible Wide Receiver Terrell Owens. There will also be a Hall of Fame edition of the game available for $80. The special edition comes with three days of early access, 12 gold team fantasy packs, an elite legends player, and more. This will definitely have some presence at E3 so if interested for sure tune in.
7. School Shooting Game? Very Bad Idea.
It never make sense to me when people claim that real violence is a product of fictional violence. The reference material for fiction is real life. Such is the case with Active Shooter, a game released on STEAM earlier this week. The game has been under fire for literally being a game about mass shootings. You can play as a civilian, a SWAT officer, or the active shooter. Tons of people were triggered over this. I can absolutely see why, but I still feel like the timing was wrong, the concept not so much. If it’s not for you, it’s not for you. It’s kind of silly for people to feel like if they don’t like something it has to disappear completely. Don’t get me wrong I think it was dumb as hell for this game to release with the school shooter being a playable character. I think it’s worst that the civilian is a character. Either way, I’m hoping to get an interview with the Dev team so we can discuss it in detail.
God of War, Yakuza 6 and some other less important stuff.
It’s been a long time coming but the worst part of the pre-E3 drought is here. Well, I guess that’s not entirely true. It was a great release week for PS4 so it can’t be the worst. The worst is when there are no good releases and news is as dry as last week. Either way this week sucked pretty bad too. But as always I did my best to bring some glorious, or at least interesting, news for my fellow Lucky Gamers:
1. To play alone or not to play alone?
I would never have thought that the day would come where I would be questioning how much longer single player games have left. Sure on one hand we have the incredible single player adventures like God of War or Yakuza. But on the other, we have the recent rumor that this years Call of Duty may arrive with no single player campaign. That is crazy. Absolutely unexpected. The rumor is this years Call of Duty ran out of development time to perfect the single player campaign and it was scrapped. Of course, this could all be hype train boarding because all parties involved have declined to comment. If Call of Duty goes campaign free, it may set the example that single player is dead. At least for triple A titles. Is that something we are ready for? My answer: No.
2. The Anthem Story.
Mass Effect: Andromeda’s story was so poorly received that EA and Bioware haven’t been able to shake the nightmares. Now on the rumors of an industry shaking decision, Bioware has go on record to say that they are focusing heavily on the story for the upcoming Anthem. Anthem was shown off last year and immediately touted as a Destiny clone. In a world dominated by Battle Royale it may have become apparent that a Destiny clone might not be enough. Anthem was set to launch this year but was recently delayed to 2019. Let’s just hope they don’t butcher the story before launch because “there wasn’t enough time”.
3. Battle Royale!?
Let’s sum up the interesting Battle Royale news category real briefly this week. First off congratulations to Epic for Fortnite mobile bringing in over $25 million in its first month. That’s a lot of money. Like a lot of money. So much so that it brings us to point two. Dice is currently prototyping a Battle Royale mode for Battlefield V. Reports say that they are testing mechanics and gameplay styles in engine but it most likely will not be ready for launch. Rumors also claim Treyarch is doing the same for Black Ops 4. And while the big guys are playing catch up the other little big name on the scene is innovating to compete. PUBG just added a new underground cave system to the map. The cave had various exit ways and an entire underground system of its own.
4. Switch delay Switch Hooray!
Bad news out the way first. Dark Souls Remastered for Switch has been delayed. The Dark Souls amiibo has also been delayed and Bandai Namco did not provide any clear reason. The delay only effects the Switch version with the remaster still releasing for all other platforms on May 25th. Good news, NBA Playgrounds 2 will be launching this summer. Season mode, over 200 players, and a championship online mode are just a few of the new improvements to the game. And random over speculation of possible great news, new Wave Racer incoming. I’m talking about the game series, not the musician. In a brief interview at BAFTA, series producer Takahashi said it may be one of the games they are working on bringing back.
5. One long awaited, one hardly expected.
This console generation has seen the long over due return of traditional horror games. Great experiences like Resident Evil 7 and Outlast have given the genre new life. Canceled projects like Silent Hills have shown us how crazy things can really get. Now Agony, a kickstarter horror game, will be released on May 29th on PS4, Xbox One, and PC will be aiming to further darken your underwear. The other genre this console generation has has a massive impact on is Open World. With damn near every game exploring the idea of open world for better or worse. Still not enough and so we have the announcement of Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass. Not much was shown about the game besides the announcement trailer but I’m sure we’ll see more at E3.
6. It’s never too late for training.
If you’ve ever thought to yourself after playing a game for a whole year, “man this game could really use a training or practice mode”, don’t give up. That’s what I’m guessing happened over at Ubisoft. Some noob kept getting wrecked in For Honor and finally someone was like “Fine Steve! We’ll put a training mode in so you can ‘git good’ and stop crying”. So now a whole year later, For Honor will have a training mode. Dreams do come true. And if that was enough class in a game how about Disgaea 1 making a comeback on Nintendo Switch and PS4. No exact date was given yet but it will be coming sometime this year with collector’s editions available for preorder now.
7. Classic gaming in a possible modern classic?
That was an awful title mechanic. Either way stick with me and see where it goes. First, Kingdom Hearts 3 finally gave us a little more information about itself. The game will feature mini games inspired by classic LCD gaming from days of old. Days of old being a quick reference to 1980’s games and old Mickey Mouse animated shorts. Supposedly still slated to release this year it won’t be much longer before you can have Sora reliving our gaming past on his current gaming tech. I really don’t expect this game to still be coming out this year but boy would that be a pleasant surprise.
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
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?
Controllers, Clouds, Counterstrike, and Cole Train
Good news and bad news. Comparisons of titanic forces. And all the power money could buy if money could buy power. That’s what this week looks like for the gamers who can use a little good feeling. Last week brought us interesting rumors around power moves and saddening, yet exciting delay announcements. Here are the reason you should feel like a Lucky Gamer:
1. Microsoft buys more clouds and enters the rumor mill.
Microsoft is undeniably the most financially capable of the big three video game console makers. Sony’s a company shifted their focus to Playstation a few years back to help keep the entire company afloat. Nintendo, on the other hand, really only makes video games so they are stable but not as much cash flow available. That’s why the rumor that Microsoft is considering buying EA, Valve, & PUBG corp. is incredibly believable. And with none of those three having responded to comment after nearly a week (at the time of this writing) boy oh boy what might we be in for. On the factual side of business, it’s business as usual. The super company just acquired PlayFab, a backend cloud based service provider. The goal is to have PlayFab work as an extension tool to build on Azure, the current cloud. Look at you go Microsoft, look at you go.
2. Waiting for Redemption better be worth it.
Who am I kidding, of course it will be worth it. It’s Red Dead Redemption, and even though i’m not the biggest fan, I have to admit I am among those looking forward to this adventure. With that said, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but Red Dead Redemption 2 has been delayed to October 26th. Watch out Ubisoft, Rockstar is coming hard. Not much was said about what cause the delay but it doesn’t really matter. The fact is they gave us a solid release date, that could change, and that makes me way more comfortable with the delay then anything else they could have said. You know, other than “We tested it and felt like our horse mechanics just weren’t as fun as Dynasty Warriors, so back to the drawing board.” Also they released new screenshots of gorgeous sunsets. And horses.
3. Unlike Sonic, Mario is doing pretty well.
This battle of icons has been raging for as long as the video game industry has been booming. It’s like Jay-Z v Nas. Yankees v Red Sox. Trump v Everything that makes sense for a president to do. So of course Mario got word of all the things Sonic has been up to and decided to 10 up him. Sonic got a TV series, Mario partnered with Illumination Entertainment to make a movie. A whole feature length film. That’s how you go big but there’s more. Mario Kart tour was announced for mobile which is set to release sometime before March 2019. Boom headshot! Well not exactly. See in the midst of all these upcoming plans Nintendo also took the time to humbly brag that the Nintendo Switch has outsold the Wii U lifetime sales in less than 10 months. With the best selling game being, you probably guessed it, Super Mario Odyssey. Damn Mario straight killing the game. It’s also the fastest selling console in the history of consoles though, so no big deal.
4. Enter new Dualshock 4 Controllers.
This is the most exciting news for me! As a playstation controller connoisseur, there is no way I was going to miss an opportunity to make a big deal over the new PS4 dual shock 4 remote colors. Midnight Blue (which actually happens to legitimately be my favorite color) and Steel Black. They look absolutely gorgeous. Both controls will be available in March for the standard price of $64.99. And this announcement comes hot on the heels of a sneaker partnership announcement too! Damn it Sony, I am a starving artist. You need to show some damn consideration for the little guys cause now I gotta come short with the rent so I can get one of each control and the Playstation sneakers. Oh well, totally worth it.
5. Yea I used this pun last week but, let’s Switch the topic.
If you’re the type of gamer who has been patiently waiting to be charged more money for a service you’ve kind of already been using, then boy is this the box for you. Nintendo announced that the Switch’s online service will be launching in September of this year. No other information was really given so it’s safe to say the previous statements apply. It will most likely run you $19.99 and give access to a Classic Games Selection and eShop discounts, much like the competition. Also, although announced by Microsoft, the Nintendo Switch is getting some rather unique content. The Switch version of Minecraft saw the addition of the Xbox characters pack. This means you’ll be able to play as Master Chief, Cole Train, Banjo, and many more on a Nintendo console. Does this mean we are getting closer to a future where Gamestop employees no longer have to say “Mario is not on Xbox”? The update also includes the Moana character pack featuring characters from the Disney movie.
6. Diablo creator announces new game while Counter Strike creator gets in trouble.
The good news. David Brevik, the creator of gaming classic Diablo, has announced he’s finished a new game which is already in closed beta. The new game, title “It Lurks Below”, mixes elements from Minecraft, Terraria, and Brevik’s original work Diablo. If all goes according to plan, “It Lurks Below” should launch later this year on Steam. This is also Brevik’s first major project since 2013 and he mad it on his own as a one man team. The bad news. Jesse Cliffe, co-creator of Counter-Strike, has been suspended by Valve following his arrest on charges of sexual exploitation of a child. It is important to reserve judgment as details are still emerging around these allegations. We can only hope, as gamers, that this gets resolved in an honest matter and none of it is true.
7. Gaming goes South by SouthWest
SXSW Gaming is headed to Austin, TX March 15th through March 17th. It’s been a little while since gaming has taken part in the SXSW festivities but it’s exciting to see it making it’s return. The video game industry is booming and it really shows with events like this popping up all over the world all year around. This year the SXSW Gaming will feature eSports, indies, VR, AAA, and Mobile, which pretty much is all of gaming. Including gaming in this world of music, film, and art is just another example of the built up appreciation of video games. Hardcode gamers rejoice, a new day is coming.
Got anything that made you feel Lucky that I didn’t mention? Drop it in the comments below.
Everyone keeps saying that Payback takes huge inspiration from the new Fast and Furious films, but if you dial time all the way back to the original releases including 2 Fast 2 Furious (still one of best sequel names ever, shut up it’s brilliant) and Need for Speed has ALWAYS been on the same wavelength of the series. However more recently they ditched that in favor of trying to make better racers vs cops modes and zero’d in on that. Even the new 2016 self titled sequel had a hard time breaking the mold. But the continued success of the newest generation of Fast and Furious films have given rise to a better Need for Speed experience.
As far as reviews go, many reviewers weren’t too into it, but Vega disagrees.
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.
Racing games tend to be the conduit for showing how powerful new consoles are. It’s no surprise, with the release of upgraded consoles PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, that this holiday season has been riddled with racing games. Need For Speed: Payback is one of the contenders aiming to fulfill the adrenaline desires. Published by EA and developed by Ghost Games arrived to store shelves on November 10th, 2017. As the 23rd entry in one of gamings most iconic franchises, Need For Speed: Payback has the difficult job about giving gamers a reason to stop playing the other incredible racing games available now. Full speed ahead to see if this game will continue to revitalize the series that the previous entry reignited.
Right out the gate, racing games have two very important jobs. The first is for the console manufacturers. They need to extract every possible amount of power that the little box can muster and make sure to show it off through visual representation. Need for Speed: Payback does an incredible job making the world feel alive and real but it doesn’t do anything that makes it stand completely outside what other racers are doing. Fortune valley, the most recent recreation of Las Vegas in video games, is a beautiful city filled with different environments that help to breathe fresh air into the long drives. The cars all look fascinating, accurate, and provide a real representation of some of the worlds greatest super cars at home. Some of the character models for less important characters look a little shoddy but nothing of importance is ever effected by the lack of attention. This new racer does a great job of showing off all the technical power in these new consoles but it doesn’t do anything to break the mold or really stand out.
The games title is pretty telling when it’s comes to the plot in this particular game. The story opens up with a typical race crew of misfits who each fill a general role working together to steal a car with some crazy prototype technologies. Things go bad pretty quick and a member of the crew screws the whole team over. The team falls a part everyone goes on their own sad adventure till they eventually team back up to fight the good fight. In no way is Need for Speed: Paybacks story bad. In fact it’s actually pretty great. The story unfolds through the eyes of the 3 playable characters from the crew and the fourth who happens to be the team mechanic. The issue with the story, as with many of the titles this year, it feels to predictable. Maybe it’s a writing issue or maybe it’s a reviewer issue. The story just lacks any real sense of freshness. However it’s still a really good fun story to experience, just not one that will have the edge of the seat warm by any standards. Also, not sure why one of the main characters is Bruce Wayne. Just saying.
Hearing the roar of the roar of the most powerful engines in the world is one of the most endorphin-inducing sounds for any person. Vehicles moving at speeds that literally break wind (insert fart joke) have to sound as real as possible. The screeching of tires, the sounds of collision, everything sounds incredibly real. It would be easy for a neighbor to confused the sound of this game through surround sound for an actual vehicle collision. On top of the hyper realistic world noise, the voice acting is also pretty good. Lines are delivered in ways that feel convincing and compelling. None of the characters fall into a muddy or uninteresting tone however there maybe a little backlash over the stereotypes in some of the characters voices. Arguably the most important audio component in any racing game or sports game is the soundtrack, and boy does Payback deliver. Boasting a playlist that covers a wide range of genres that keep the blood pumping the music really pulls everything together. It’s super easy to envision someone racing down the street with A$AP Ferg’s “Trap and A Dream” playing at neighborhood rattling volumes.
It’s hard to judge gameplay on a game type that has one basic mechanic: Drive fast. Sure some of the game modes and challenges add a little dynamics to the concept but overall it’s just drive really fast. And for better or worse that’s where Need for Speed: Payback sits. It doesn’t really do anything new but it also doesn’t really get anything wrong. The one gameplay mechanic that was kind of a silly decision was not including police cruisers and chases in the free roam. All police chases are tied little bait boxes which provide loot when completed but have no negative impact at all when failed. It’s a really interesting choice that doesn’t quite make any sense no matter which lens it’s looked at through. It was just a bad choice that hopefully can get patched in via an update or something. Who knows how games work? Either way all the other modes and race styles almost make up for it but not quite enough. The one thing that seemed to be a major point of concern were the loot boxes EA is trying to force into every game. After playing the game for a few hours, there was never a moment where purchasing a loot box felt necessary. The pay to win model, for single player, doesn’t exist, however the impact on multiplayer is still not entirely clear. Hopefully the concern remains baseless.
Tying things back to the beginning of the review, the second important mission every racing game is tagged with completing is owed to the gamers. Every member of the development team who wasn’t taking the console apart to figure how to abuse its power, is now focused on making sure the game carries endless amounts of fun. Check this box for Need for Speed: Payback for sure. Hours and hours of fun can be had with this game whether playing through the interesting story or driving around fortune valley smashing billboards there is something for everyone. Vehicle customization remains a staple feature, now that EA finally figured out no one ever asked for racing games with out customization, and boy does it get deep. Of course it doesn’t get as deep as the ultra pro racing sim, Forza, but it definitely goes a lot further than any other arcade racing sim available now. Locating derelicts feels like an exciting scavenger hunt in this brand new world while racing around the world aimless still feels just as adventurous. The major complaint is still the lack of police cruisers when free roaming but outside of that can’t imagine putting the control down once the engines start.
At the end of the road, Need for Speed: Payback will be remembered for giving fans almost everything they love without to much extra filler. Beautiful cars to drive through beautiful scenery while playing beautiful music. That sums up the fun in a beautiful way. Anyone looking for a great story or something incredibly brand new in racing gameplay may not be 100% satisfied with this selection but it would be hard to believe they didn’t enjoy themselves at all. Need for Speed: Payback is almost the game fans of the series wanted but in the world’s current state, maybe complaining about the little things isn’t to great of an idea. Just hop into Payback and push those cars to wind breaking speeds. [Editor’s Note: Fart Joke Here Too]