We know absolutely everything there is to know about World of Warcraft. In no way whatsoever were we in any way unprepared to talk about it. We also have the easiest quiz in the world which we’ll have to make 10x as difficult next time. “Wow that’s crazy!”
We don’t have an RSS yet as this is the pilot so for now if you’d like a recording, we have the file available right here on our drive.
Hi there. Are you a streamer? HMG wants to do a podcast with you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want come on. Or if you know someone who does stream and would love to come chat, send them out way. We are looking for good whole-hearted gamers like YOU, not net celebrities.
New types of games, Consoles shaking hands, and Loot Boxes done right? Only on the Lucky Gamer Recap!
“Live” Games, cross Platform play, and a ton of DLC sum up this week in gaming, but we’re here to catch you up if you didn’t know these things happened. I will say there is a very somber feel in my heart for the down hill spiral of one of our gaming icons. It happens to the best of us and you’ll read more about it below in the Lucky Gamer Recap! Here are the crazy stories to make you feel lucky for this week:
1. Rocket League expands the league!
Cross platform play! Enough said. Seriously, does anything else need to be said. The incredible guys over at Psyonix have committed to bringing cross platform support to everyones favorite Soccer game in 2018. The official Psyonix twitter stated they are actively working on bringing support in 2018. The current promised consoles supported will be Xbox One, PC, and surprisingly enough Nintendo Switch. For some stupid reason Sony is still stuck in negotiations so there is no official word on whether we will see PS4 on this list but Psyonix seems determined. If it were me I would have ended the conversation a long time ago and made them come begging. Guess that’s why I’m not in charge. Keep doing what you guys do, we love you Psyonix.
2. Sonic’s mid-life crisis?
Sonic is really doing every he can to stay relevant. I mean he’s got a reality tv show, he’s got new games thats he’s giving away free dlc for and he’s even got himself a cool new ally in his comic book series. Seriously Sonic is like the Bojack Horseman of Video games! Yea, Sonic is so out of control I had to compare him to a fictional characters who’s life is spiraled out of control. Anyway, the game news: Sonic Forces: Super Sonic DLC is now free forever! Yea get your super saiyan sonic on for free! Sonic is also hanging out with a new lady friend who happens to be a ring-tailed lemur named Tangle. I kinda feel bad for Amy though but that’s none of my business. It does seem like not everyone on the team is fully onboard with the biggest example being Mr. Yuji Naka who just announced he’ll be joining Square Enix later this year. Sorry Sonic, doesn’t look like everyone is loving your antics bro. Dial it back.
3. The God of War is real and returning!
If there were any doubts let them lay to rest now because Kratos is coming back. He may not be coming to battle olympians but may the norse gods quiver in their boots. Kratos is coming to do damage on April 20th, 2018. It was also revealed that there would be a Collector’s edition with a 9” statue of Kratos, a cloth map, and a bunch of other cool stuff. Pre-ordering any edition of the game will also get you in on a ton of in game bonus items. Yeah, its definitely time to get excited. If you weren’t already that is.
4. Xbox stories for weeks.
Microsoft, for the third time in a row, has made an incredible announcement for gamer everywhere to rejoice. Regardless of preferred platform, this is the best announce of the week. Why’s it in the middle? Who knows, I just type. Anyway, Starting with Sea of Thieves (which releases on March 20th, 2018), every game from Microsoft Studios will be available on Xbox Game Pass on the day of the release! That means Xbox Game Cast is now the Hulu of the gaming industry. Well Almost, It’s still more like Netflix because only first party content was confirmed. However still amazing news because A. it may push other consoles to operate a similar program. B. It allows for an entirely new conversation around the price of video games which is great for the economy of the industry. Finally and probably most importantly the impact on the consumer trying to figure if they would like to purchase the game. There are many people contacts to idk yet
5. Let’s Switch the topic.
A little bit of wordplay to get the day started right. Microsoft wasn’t the only team showing they came ready to win. Nintendo had a few announcements of their own, some good some not so much. The first piece of incredible news was the announcement of a 512gb Micro SD Card, the highest capacity made thus far. That wasn’t a Nintendo announcement specifically but given that the Switch is supposed to support up to 2TB (whenever those become real) its going to be interesting to see what happens. Now lets make this a compliment sandwich and out the bad news in the middle. Nintendo announced there are no plans for additional Arms content. You know Arms the quirky fighting game everyone was going insane over till they realized it really isn’t good? Yea, that games not getting anymore content. Sorry not sorry. Then we go back to the good news, the 2D platform/tower defense game Aegis Defenders will be making its debut on Nintendo Switch (and PS4) on February 8th. Its a fitting game for Switch for sure with the grab and go mentality so I hope it does well and we get more like it. Honorable mention: Dead Cells, the steam early access game, will also be coming to all three console giants.
6. How about that Downloadable Content.
I couldn’t decide which of these games deserved more attention because in my eyes all games are created equal. Regardless of gameplay, graphics, or anything else that sets them apart they deserve the same amount of love and respect. With that said this ones a doozie. First off Warframe gets a gruesome update which brings new weapons, new personalization stuff, and more importantly new monstrous looking enemies to it’s free to play world. I think the most important thing is the face you will now be able to clean your living quarters and spruce it up for special guest visits. On the more terrifying side, the 4-v-1 horror game, Dead by Daylight, is bringing another set of movie tie in DLC. Following pretty rapidly after the Nightmare on Elm Street and Chainsaw Massacre DLC, we are being treated to a new set of Saw DLC which brings with it a new map, survivor, and a pig faced killer! Yuck. Last but not least is the arrival of Ubisoft’s attempt at making Loot Boxes work for everyone. While we were all distracted Ubi went and dropped paid loot boxes into Ghost Recon: Wildlands. Before we freak out though it is critical to note, these are only cosmetic items and nothing more. I guess that’s pretty cool.
7. What is a “Live Game”?
I am not sure at all to be honest. Casey Hudson from Bioware says it means “desigining a game for continued storytelling after the main story.” Why is Casey Hudson qualified to answer? Well because him and his team over at Bioware have said that they are making the next Dragon Age and it will be a “Live” game. Sounds a lot like single player DLC to me, but what do I know? Although I am not a huge fan of the Dragon Age series I have always appreciated the dedication to storytelling that can be found in the series, and most Bioware series as well. Those guys out there really do love the story telling. Are you excited for your first “Live” game experience?
You don’t have to be a super serious hardcore gamer, a streamer with thousands of views or be an MLG pro to be a true gamer. Instead, consider if you’re really enthusiastic about your gaming. How much do you love your games? If you are here, then gaming means something to you. Gamers who are truly passionate: we want YOU. Streamers who just put yourselves out there just for fun? Yes, we plan to notice you. And not just you streamers, we want to talk to all of you gaming enthusiasts too. That doesn’t make you less of a gamer if you don’t feel like streaming.
Be it console, PC, or even mobile, we don’t discriminate. You don’t have to be the best at every game to be a hard mode gamer. You don’t have to be the best at one game, even. Hell, despite the namesake, you really don’t even have to play games on hard mode if it isn’t your bag. There are people who are happy with playing game after game after game for the sake of variety over challenge. And, there are also people who just play one game with their comrades.
Not to mention, this site will remain free from game activist POLITICS.
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Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays to all of you lovely gamers. I said it before and I’ll say it again, it feels incredible to be a part of a community of gamers who love gaming. At Hard Mode we do our very best to make sure we approach the gaming industry from the perspective of simple fans. No journaling agenda (not that that’s a bad thing) just real gamers (also not to say journalist are not real gamers) playing video games.
This year has been quite an adventure for us and a major learning curve as well. Kurt has said it a few times before but it doesn’t take much to be a hard mode gamer. If you’re passionate about playing and enjoying video games, you my friend are a hard mode gamer.
During this time of year a lot of people end up feeling extremely sad or lonely and some of us, myself include, may not be around if it weren’t for video games. It can be a real life saver to play through an incredible story in a world so vast and different than what we currently live. For that I love to thank the incredible developers, designers, publishers, and everyone involved in making games. I also know how amazing it could feel to have people all around the world you can connect with over something you both love.
I guess what I’m trying to see is enjoy the holiday season by playing video games. Enjoy our reviews check out our chats do whatever you do but know that you have friends over at Hard Mode Gamers you can reach out to anytime. Let’s chat about life, let’s remind each other we matter, and most importantly let’s play games
Get Even is a unique action adventure game developed by The Farm 51 and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. It is available now on PC, Xbox One, and Playstation 4. In the game you play a mercenary named Cole Black who appears to have some sort of involvement with a kidnapping and a bomb. Throughout it, you explore different memories to eventually figure out how everything transpired. However, as you go through the game, you will notice that there are several moments where something seems off about this method. The game combines many different types of gameplay elements and tries to manage them all. Does it succeed?
Way back in the old times (2014), the game was shown off with a very vague tech demo at E3 highlighting the detailed graphics of the game. Though it may not have held up to the original trailer (which seems to be the case with every E3 trailer), it got the job done with a gold star. This is both from a technical standpoint and an artistic standpoint. Environments, both indoor and outdoor are relatively small but they all flourish with minimal repetition. If anything, it could have used some more variety as you go through trash heap after trash heap, but at least said trash heaps are all well crafted. The concrete locations are littered with various tags and street art in every room. That, and the dissolving particle effect you get from unlocking memories, creating objects, and killing NPCs is stunning every time you do it.
I don’t want to talk about it too much here, because this is the sort of game that is better if you know as little as possible before jumping in. The game revolves around exploring memories while finding clues with your phone. You are doing this to piece together all the parts of a vast series of events that led up to the aforementioned bomb and kidnapping. But any game that revolves around memory and the human psyche are bound to be riddled with plot twists. These plot twists really do deliver themselves routinely throughout the experience and add up to a rather surprising turn of events later on. But that’s all I really want to expound on right now.
Now, the original soundtrack to this game isn’t the most astonishing in terms of just music. But what it does with the way the music and sound implementation is ingenious. Tracks play with odd time signatures that sometimes fall out of sync with themselves. Sometimes you hear people humming a song you heard in the soundtrack earlier on. There are other times where the soundtrack is played back at different speeds. Several characters have their own leitmotifs. At one point, two songs were playing at the same time and it was definitely intentional. One of the levels has a song wherein if you enter open combat, a loud bubblegum pop song plays instead of a serious orchestral piece. Additionally, there are moments where your breathing becomes louder than everything else. You also hear echos of non-natural sounds in the distance. Stealth sections have some really heavy distortion synth pad chords that get louder and louder the closer you get to an enemy NPC. What I’m saying is the audio design on this game is a perfect fit for the content within. Clever uses of diegetic & non-diegetic sounds are abound.
This is where the game gets a bit dodgy. Get Even has decided that the only way to be unlike any other game is to simultaneously consist of many different games all in one package. For better and worse, the game tries to do the following: first person shooter action, tactical stealth, horror with defense, and adventure. Yes, all of that. Whenever you’re in a section with many enemy NPCs, you can choose to shoot your way through it or sneak around. However, there are sections where open conflict seems mandatory, especially towards the very end. The game does a good job of letting you know that you are being actively judged for how you handle every situation too. When you’re not around NPCs, you spend some time exploring an asylum trying to find photographs for plot reasons, and this is where both the horror and puzzle elements prevail. Sometimes the asylum is quiet and peaceful while other times it’s like a haunted old mansion. What’s worse is the game is not afraid to implement overused horror tropes. Then there are bits where you have to solve actual puzzles in order to proceed and they aren’t very difficult, but they exist throughout the entire journey. The game is truly trying to be a jack of all trades and is definitely a master at none.
Your mileage may vary greatly on how much you can tolerate the genre shifting. My experience on the whole package is positive. However, there are a handful of sections that can be frustrating, and this again depends on what part you are at. I remember a particular section where stealth was too hard and I ended up either shooting everyone up or sprinted away hoping the NPCs would not give chase. There was another section of the game where after rounding a corner and going outside of the asylum, the game dramatically switches to full on supernatural horror for no particular reason. At the same time, the tactical stealth was very engaging and the implementation of an actual corner gun really sets this title apart from the pack. All in all, the game was vexing enough that I feel at least one additional playthru (in which I murder everyone) will be warranted.
Get Even promised to be a unique game and it delivered. It is quite a psychological experience that you won’t soon forget after the credits roll. The only thing that really keeps the game hampered down is the inconsistency, which can greatly affect your enjoyment of the title. Overall, despite not being one of our top rated games this year, it is still a contender for GOTY 2017.
P.S. There’s a lot of involvement from inclusion of an in-universe VR headset and I personally think this kind of game would be great to have a VR version.
Here at Hard Mode Gamers, we prefer to feel like we are gamers just like you. We aren’t necessarily journalists. When we do our reviews, we don’t want you to have to read a 10-page essay on the minutiae of everything contained in the game whilst using big fancy words like “minutiae” and “whilst.” We want to be direct and concise. The reviews contained here are considerably short and very easy to read. In our reviews, we provide a simple and clear expression on why we scored a game the way we did. To do so, we divided five core elements of game design to be individually scored.
These elements are:
GRAPHICS – How does the game look? Is it technically expressive? Is it very artistic? Many factors are considered, like if realism is a factor, or if the art style if unique against other games. Top scores for this category should make us stop in awe at what we are seeing.
STORY/IMMERSION – How’s the overall plot, writing, characters, and/or lore? Was the plot overbearing or was it too weak? This might seem like a slight against arcade-style games or indies, but that’s not true because when a lack of plot is accounted for, we consider if having little plot benefits the game, and if the design of the game itself does the storytelling for us. A great story is either one that keeps us engaged or doesn’t get in our way. [Update: 3/22/19] We recently added “Immersion” to the title of this category to better express what we are looking for in this section. We figure that the game should keep your interest in one way or another.
AUDIO – How’s the mixing, sound effects, and original soundtrack? Would we listen to the OST outside of playing the game? Audio is a big and important factor when playing games and many reviewers sort of gloss over this aspect of game design, but it’s just as important. Audio also factors in the quality of the voice acting, because the written story and the execution of it are different factors.
GAMEPLAY – Of course, there’s the game itself. How does it play? Can we pick it up and play or does it take a while to learn? We try to make sure our reviewers are playing the game they want to play so they can report how a game stacks up to other game in its genre. Having a good control scheme is crucial to having good gameplay. Also considered is what sort of gameplay elements are implemented in the title.
FUN – And finally, fun is the most important factor. Any of the above could suck, but they may not impact how much fun we are having. What does impact our fun are things like glitches/bugs, game length, immersion, addictiveness, and catharsis. Replayability is also a factor in this category, as we could enjoy a game thoroughly and then realize it’s not really worth a second go.
Now, each of these elements have a very simple numerical score attached to them. They are ranked on the incredibly basic scale of 0-2. It’s pretty straightforward here:
0 – Bad
1 – Good
2 – GREAT!
It becomes easy to consider when we turn the decision for each element into a nearly binary choice. We can determine if an element is either good or bad. After that, if it’s good, is it REALLY good or just regular good?
The total score of all of these elements will add up to an X out of 10 score. This way, the game practically scores itself for us. We don’t have to think about what we want to score the game because once we look into a game based on these criteria, we have our answer. This also benefits the reader because they can quickly see which parts of the game design were impacted when it comes to the final score. You can see a review and quickly determine where it’s lacking and where it shines. All in all, we find this system to be the most non-biased when it comes to reviews, because it’s so direct. And that, readers, is how we review our games.