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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borderlands 3 grievances
April 18th, 2019 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

It’s possible this is totally bogus.

Chet reads off the now infamous anonymous post of an alleged developer from Gearbox. He appears to be angry with Randy Pitchford over the release of Borderlands 3 as well as airing some other grievances. Which is all good and fun, and very damning if it’s true. But is it? It’s an anonymous post after all. Let’s have a look at what is being said in each paragraph and what each statement means. At least stay for the dramatic reading of the post, you’ll love it.


The post in question.

Looks like we may have more Borderlands 3 grievances in the future.



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April 1st, 2019 by Vega Montanez

Claptrap and The Vault Hunters!

After years of speculation and rumors Borderlands 3 will be coming to a console near you. Gearbox and 2K confirmed the long awaited sequel at a keynote during PAX East. Although little information was provided at the initial announcement, Gearbox promised more in the near future.

Check out the trailer!

The next reveals will happen on April 3rd. And, Hopefully we get our bags filled with exciting Borderlands 3 news. In the meantime, true Borderlands fans can rejoice in the second major announcement. Borderlands: Game of the Year edition is will be available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. When? April 3rd. Why? Well because, why not and it’s getting some big quality updates.

For any newcomers to the series, Borderlands is a First Person RPG Shooter. Some fan favorite elements of Borderlands include a ridiculous range of customization and weapons crafting options and 4 player co-op. I mean who am I kidding, everything about Borderlands is a fan favorite. From the unique comic book aesthetic to the different play styles of each character to the amazing narrative. Borderlands is a series that is experienced not just played.

So it looks like it’s going to be a good year for Borderlands fans and the Gearbox crew. Are you excited for Borderlands 3?

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October 9th, 2018 by Vega Montanez

Claptrap. VR. Claptrap. VR. CLAPTRAP VR!!!

That’s right, VR continues to make strides in becoming the best way to experience your favorite games. Announced on the Playstation blog, Borderlands 2 will be making its way to PSVR on December 14, 2018. One of the most popular first person shooter RPG’s of all time will be letting you experience its wild gunplay from the most first person perspective possible. The full game will be playable and available for the price tag of $49.99.

“Players will get the opportunity to visit Pandora in the most immersive Borderlands experience yet.”

Although Enhanced for VR, Borderlands 2 VR will not include the online multiplayer making this a single player only experience. The new Bad Ass Mega Fun Time will allow players to slow down time to prepare for the battles ahead. All four characters unique abilities that relied on multiplayer have been reworked into the BAMF Time, but its not entirely clear how.

Borderlands 2 VR is exclusively available on PSVR and pre-ordering the game will unlock a PS4 dynamic theme featuring the four vault hunters we’ve come to love. Let us know in the comments below how you feel about the lack of multiplayer in exchange for the VR experience.




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August 21st, 2018 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

Not so happy too.

We Happy Few is a survival-oriented stealth adventure game developed by Compulsion Games and published by Gearbox Publishing. It is an unusual game that drops you into a bizarre world. One that will take you between two different types of zones, separated simply by whether or not people use to take a drug called “Joy”. If you refuse to take your medicine, you are thrown out of the city and have to live in the garden district. The game focuses a lot on the perception of your interactions with people. There’s also a system where you need to make sure you are fed, hydrated, and rested. Otherwise, you face severe debuffs that affect your ability to run and fight. The game was delayed many times but eventually released it. The game was originally funded via Kickstarter, with over 7K donaters. It got a huge promotional jump when Gearbox scooped the game up to publish it.

GRAPHICS: 1/2

The appearance of We Happy Few is is another game with a certain stylized, cartoonish design. People have bizarre body to head proportions and some enemies are very tall. Everyone’s face looks like it’s been physically sculpted out of clay, and that’s on top of the mask everyone is required to wear. There are also moments that change the scenery when you take certain drugs. The enviornment also changes when they wear off. When you take Joy you get a double rainbow and it does go all the way across the sky. But beyond that, there are several graphical hiccups. Some textures look very hastily made. Other times, texture pop-in issues arise. However, most egregious is the amount of copy-pasting done to the world.

This game’s campaign features procedurally generated environments, so no two playthroughs are alike. I haven’t seen a game utilize this feature quite like this since old Xbox classic game, “ToeJam & Earl III”. Yes, it’s real, I played it. They’re eerily similar in terms of artistic design, it’s quite unusual and I don’t expect others outlets to pick up on this. While this is good for the game long term, it also means that a limited amount of assets are available. Because of this, every single location looks exactly the same. You’ll see the same dozen houses in the garden district and the same dozen houses and signs in the cities. They become so unremarkable that you can almost never figure out where you are and frequently need to consult the map to navigate around town. This also applies to the citizens, with the same dozen NPCs littering the locales. It tries to justify this in-game, but nobody is buying it. Not enough models were made.

Also, even on PS4, the framerate takes a pterrible nosedive into the 15 frame zone if there are too many NPCs in view, which happens all the time since there are so many.

STORY: 2/2

In a world where Germany won World War II, the people are now forced to… wait, what? Really? Is this a fad or something? But seriously, despite this being a somewhat common trope, the game manages to veer off into crazy town. This is the game’s greatest strength, its engaging story. You start the game as one Arthur Hastings. He happily works his day job censoring old newspapers when he spots an article about his brother, who was taken away from him (put on a train to Germany). Triggered by this traumatic event, he stops taking his Joy and then gets forced out of the city. Throughout the campaign you work your way through location after location, simply trying to escape Wellington Wells to look for him. Over the course of this story, you will meet very interesting characters, two of which later become playable after his story is finished.

It’s surpisingly enrapturing, constantly making you want to know more and more. It also helps that the game is one of the very few games where they inject humor and it’s actually funny. There’s one mission called “Oh, Behave!” that teaches you how to interact with people and it was enough to make me laugh out loud. It also has a ton of references to many touchstones of British comedy, with gags about the Beatles, Austin Powers, and of course, Monty Python. “Supreme exective power derives from a mandate from the masses…” one of the NPCs will tell you. Conversations with random people are always a series on non-sequitor comments. You’ll eventually hear all of them and get sick of it. In this case, it’s somewhat acceptable because talking to normal NPCs is actually a part of the gameplay mechanics.

AUDIO: 1/2

Oblivion syndrome in full force here, where you will hear the same voice actor over and over and over again. It was also revealed in a few videos that some characters will actually swap voice actors. Again, considering that it’s a gameplay element with randomized voices for some NPCs, this is just okay. But, at the same time, it’s too often that you’ll hear the same thing repetitively. More random dialog needed to be recorded. As far as the music goes, it’s acceptable but not very audible overall. This is true even when I turned down all the other audio settings to favor the music. It fits the game’s setting, and that’s just it.

GAMEPLAY: 0/2

OOF. Here’s where the trouble starts. I have an entire list full of gripes I have with this game and don’t know where to start. The combat is trash. First person melee can be difficult and is either becomes enough to work with or flailing mess. This one is the latter. Attacks just don’t seem to connect when you attack them. But your seem to have a hit box that spreasds a couple feet around you. The other main gameplay mechanic revolves entirely on you wearing the correct type of clothing for different locations and some specific costumes for a couple missions. Switching back and forth between your suit and your torn-up suit feels a bit like an unnecessary step. Basically, when you are in the garden (poor) districts, you are allowed to move about all you want but people will become hostile if you go in their homes or steal, which is reasonable.

But when it comes to the cities, it’s extremely strict but also trite. You have to make sure you walk normally, don’t crouch, jump, or sprint, and everyone will leave you alone. But if you’re caught either doing one of these things too often without immediately saying hi to people afterward (seriously), everyone will chase you. But moments later you can add a perk to your abilities section that gets rid of this mechanic. However, you can also be chased for appearing to withdraw from Joy, stealing, or wandering after curfew. During the daytime, this can be really problematic because once you do something wrong, the ENTIRE CITY will aggro and chase you, sceaming that you murdered someone. This isn’t too hard as long as you can find an alley to ditch them in, but it happens enough to become a nuisance more times than a challenge.

Some more nags. The map does erase your custom marker when you arrive at it. Icons on the map for missions and sidequests will also stay on the map screen even after you complete them. Because of the randomization and lack of variety, you also have to consult the map too frequently to figure out where you are. Fast travel is somewhat available but it is largely useless. This is especially poignant when quests put you on missions where you have to go to opposite ends of town, often several times per mission. Which would be fine if the game wasn’t littered with so many fetch quests. The game starts off fine but after a few hours in, you’ll be doing way more fetching than anything else. There’s an ultimate perk in your upgrades that makes you impervious to being dehydrated, hungry, or tired. But it literally does not actually work and it costs the most skill points to purchase.

More? Okay. NPCs will get stuck in one spot in a walking animation, float around, and clip right through the scenery. The game forces you to focus heavily on crafting in its second act. It asks you to craft a lot of things the moment you start the act when you have nothing in your inventory. I had to spend a solid half hour or more trying to find one specific item so I could continue the story. Then, later on, I had to do it again.

MORE? Okay. The Joy mechanic is very unbalanced and frequently leads to the problem of the aforementioned aggro of the entire town. The load times are very long and you can be stopped dead with a loading screen while walking around. Some mechanics force you to just sit and do nothing for several minutes. Oh, and it completely crashes many times too. I had eight crashes during my play time. This leads to another long wait for the game to load and on two occasions it cost me mission progress.

FUN: 0/2

So, yeah. All that above? It doesn’t make the game hard, the game is rather easy on its normal setting. But it is arduous and obnoxious. You are essentially being drip-fed with plot elements followed by 5 minute long jogs around town. This happens too often. The original sense of wonder you get when you start the game diminishes and becomes tiresome. The final straw was during the second act. I was hard-pressed to find crafting elements. And when I did, I had to go back and forth between two locations countless times. After finally collecting an ingredient, the game hit me with yet another 600m trip to the other end of town. Remember, you can’t sprint until you unlock that perk. I had enough after 20 hours of game time. I cut my losses and traded the game in for Xbox bucks.

This game is such a letdown and appears to have been released before it was ready. As stated, the game was delayed several times, and it is very likely that the developers at Compulsion Games were simply told to wrap up production and put the game out. It would also seem that Gearbox may have had a negative impact on their game and made them do far more than what they originally set out to make. If you can tolerate bad gameplay for a good story, that’s your only reason to buy this.

SCORE: 4/10




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June 15th, 2018 by Vega Montanez

Seriously, why did you miss the party?

Every year gamers from all around the globe collect themselves for the, debatably, biggest event in gaming, E3. It comes once a year and usually brings amazing surprises and gifts for the family. Just looking back, there have been many times lives have been changed over announcements made at E3. E3 2018 was no different. Although lacking in surprises because on the internet, no not that internet this internet, it still kept its promise to deliver a great gaming expo experience.

However, every year some people think they’re too good for E3. Some people get the invitation to the party and throw it away. Sure some people forget but in this case, it’s super unlikely. So I’m going to take this opportunity to call out a few people who were missing. And I’m going to rate them on how willing I am to forgive them. 

Rocksteady (Batman Arkham Series)

One of the most beloved studios by comic book fans is undeniably Rocksteady, home of the best Batman games ever made. I don’t like Batman, so I’m a little more upset they didn’t show up than I normally would be. Reason? Well, there are way too many rumors that their next project is either a Superman game or a Justice League game. I love Superman. I like Justice League. Is this making sense yet? Good. BI will give them a pass though because they addressed hey didn’t feel ready to show their next project off yet. I can appreciate waiting for some high-quality masterpiece. 

Status: Forgiven.

THQ Nordic (Darksiders Series, Biomutant, Metro Series)

I always knew Soccer had the largest following in the world of sports. Yet still, I was shocked beyond belief when I saw that these guys were giving up their invitation to E3 to watch the World Cup! Really, that’s a thing that happened. These guys just made an announcement in which almost their entire stable of games was delayed. Biomutant, Darksiders 3, and Metro Exodus all delayed and all we get is a release date for one of them? But as hurt as I am, you gentlemen and women have lives. Enjoy the World Cup, I secretly hope your favorite teams lose. Kidding best of luck. 

Status: Forgiven

Tekken X Street Fighter (Namco Bandai)

I don’t even know where to start with this one. I am a huge fan of the Tekken series but not so much of Street Fighter. Regardless I love the characters and stories from both universes. So when the two crossover games were announced I was 100% sold. Even got the collector’s edition of Street Fighter X Tekken. That was the street fighter version and I enjoyed it but not as much as I love Tekken. And yet here we are. My support was for naught. I still anxiously await the Tekken version of this crossover spectacular we were promised. I have hopes it’s still around the corner considering the addition of Akuma and other Capcom and SNK characters in Tekken 7. With Soul Calibur 6 around the corner, however, it might be a while.

Status: Forgiven

Borderlands 3 (Gearbox)

This is the reason Rage 2 exist. I love what Rage 2 looks like it’s going to be. Being brutally honest though, Borderlands 3 is what fans of that type of game are really waiting for. It was one of the games in the same Walmart Canada leak that outed Rage 2. So maybe it’s real and good old Randy was just annoyed that his surprise was ruined. I totally understand his perspective. I hate when people ruin my surprises too. If that’s what happening Randy, I feel your pain and I’m hoping, after the time passes, the official reveal will be out of this world. I have zero doubts it won’t be. I remember reading Game Informer when the first Borderlands was announced. Bring me back to that first high. I need it. 

Status: Forgiven

Mortal Kombat 11 (Netherrealm)

Returning to the fighting game world there is a big question for the gruesome champions of parent offending fighting games. The last Mortal Kombat game was released a few years back and while Injustice 2 has been an amazing filler, we need gore. What appeared to be the last batch of DLC came to Injustice 2 a few months back so what have you guys been doing. I expect much more from one of my favorite development studios of all time. Much more dammit! You teased it, Boon!

Status: Forgiven

Sony’s 11 Other Studios 

I think that one is pretty obvious. The reality is that Sony is most likely moving their major presentation to PSX. I mean why wouldn’t they. At thins went they cater to the fans and investors and make it all about them. So it makes we didn’t hear much about them but in all honesty the way the cycles are right now we won’t hear from them for a while. I’m sure Guerrilla Games, London, Japan, Polyphony, Bend, Foster, San Diego, Pixel Opus, and Project siren have something fancy coming our way. Just wait and see. I’m all still not entirely sure if Media Molecule’s Dreams was or wasn’t on display. So it might be 10 studios missing. 

If you were paying attention you’ll notice all of these absences have been forgiven. These people who make our favorite games are just that, People. At the end of it all, they need a break. They need some time to enjoy the things they enjoy (hopefully video games) and escape from work. I appreciate all the Hardworking individuals in the industry keeping it alive. As much I want to indulge in all these fascinating ideas, I want you to indulge in life. Thanks. 

P.S. Miss the next one and you’re not getting another f*cking invite. Bye Bye.

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