Listen here for the first episode of our brand new podcast idea thing.
(Read below if you hate podcasts.)
Stop Saying it’s Episodic or Incomplete
At some point during the development of the Final Fantasy VII Remake, one of the devs mentioned that the game might end up being episodic due to the scope of the project. That was a while back, can’t even find a source for you on that one so my source is “dude trust me”. But later on, we found out that the release we were getting was going to be just the Midgar section of the original title.
Some people took issue with this, because that’s approximately the first quarter or third of the game. According to people on forums, the Midgar section of the original game took roughly 5 hours to complete, give or take a couple hours depending on if you’re rushing or taking your time. That in turn would give some people the idea that they are not getting a full experience with the first release. That’s not the case at all.
Calling it episodic or incomplete was a great mis-characterization. That might have been said at some point, but that’s not what the end result actually is. Unlike the new Resident Evil 3 Nemesis Remake, the FF7 Remake is actually long. Very long.
What you are looking at is a 30-40 hour complete experience. That’s right, according to HLTB, that sure as hell looks like the length of a complete game, doesn’t it? It’s not stuffed with garbage either.
What they did was build upon everything that happened in OG Midgar. Bits that were one-off comments became full conversations. Characters that were one dimensional now have far more depth added on. The script is new and fresh. The structure of the game takes on a more modern experience than the linear path of the original. No, it’s not open world, thank god, we don’t need any more of those. But it has hub locations where you can go around collecting side quests and other fun tidbits.
I’ve mentioned before that I haven’t picked this game up yet, because I already have several games that are occupying me for the time being. I’ve also never played the original. So, maybe I’m full of sh*t. But from what I’ve seen in demo content and reviews, FF7 Remake is a complete experience with a guaranteed sequel. Probably a trilogy.
Final Fantasy 13 became a trilogy, and it was a COMPLETE GAME before the sequels were added (albeit the FF13 trilogy was so unnecessary, it’s baffling). I fully expect FF7 Remake to do the same. Getting the “whole story” you appear to be chasing is going to last for something close to a decade. Either way, this game isn’t the first episode or chapter. It’s the first whole game in a new series. Come @ me in the comments if you disagree.
Fallout 76 Wastelanders is Out and I Totally Forgot
You know I feel like gamers have been rather apathetic as of late. We finally get Half Life 3 (sortof) and everyone shrugs. We get a “Remake” for the beloved Final Fantasy VII and judging by the comments on my previous post, people have several misgivings about the release (to put it mildly). Now we have the game fixer everyone has been waiting for.
The massive failure of a game, Fallout 76, has finally done the unthinkable. It’s become an actual fallout game with quests, plot, NPCs, you know, Fallout stuff. The brand new “free” WASTELANDERS campaign is available to all owners of Fallout 76.
It has also been re-listed as Fallout 76: Deluxe Edition with the store icon changed to a new Wastelanders icon. The game is back at full price right now @ $60, or so they would make you think. The Wastelanders update is free, this deluxe edition is just giving you all the extra fluff crap you don’t need. Search harder and you’ll find a the vanilla version of Fallout 76 for $40 USD.
Reminder that if you own F76 on disc, the disc is basically just a 520MB license file, the game is all download. At least on Xbox, not sure on the exact numbers for PS4 and PC. Still no announcement of we’ll be getting it on Nintendo Switch (as if!).
I purposely avoided reviews for several reasons. I want to go into this expansion blind, and with a fresh frame of mind as I haven’t touched the game since they did the “Nuclear Winter” mode (which was oddly okayish). I’m sure there are plenty of opinions, hot takes, and reviews pouring into the net as we speak.
So, are you gonna go back to play it? Did you get rid of your copy? Are you no longer interested? Have you seen the reviews? Come @ me in the comments.
There’s Only One Game Type?
I’ve been thoroughly enjoying Doom Eternal. Except any bit with the marauders. Screw those guys. But yeah, it’s fun. Beat the game, I’ve been going back through it finding secrets and collectibles. Only problem is I started getting bored of it.
So I checked out Battle Mode. Only recently have I gotten more comfortable with multiplayer games, which is weird because when I was younger I played the hell out of Quake 3 Arena. I used to do Splatoon 2 videos but then the Splatfests stopped. I digress, I didn’t pay any attention to the promo stuff regarding Doom Eternal’s multiplayer, so I had no idea what was in store for me.
It’s kinda cool. Kinda. But there’s only one game type in Battle Mode. One Slayer vs Two Demons. That’s it. You have some decent tutorials on how to play as the demons but you can’t really get a feel for them until you’ve played a few matches.
Problem is, I’m having a hard time finding matches. You can select to play as a Demon or Slayer if you want, sure. But more often than not, if I try to pick what I want to play as, the game will search for a match for about 15 seconds before giving up. Like, really? Can’t just keep searching? I was only able to start when I selected Quickmatch, which randomizes being a Demon or the Slayer.
I prefer to be a support type of character and while that is available, the small intimacy of a 3 person match is a far cry from 64 person Battlefield where I get to be a medic and just heal people who are better at the game than me. So, meh, could be better I guess.
But where’s the rest? That’s it for Doom? There’s no co-op horde mode? Really? That seems like the most obvious idea, you and other slayers face down an constant onslaught of demons that get harder and harder, until you’re left fighting three marauders, three doom hunters, and a baron of hell with only 3 shotgun shells left, and not enough zombies to refill your ammo, so you all panic and die. Sounds like a blast right? Well, where is it?
Horde mode is not an original game mode by any means. In a world where even Forza Horizon gets its own Battle Royale mode (I’m not even joking), you figure that a horde mode would be the first go-to. Oh god they’re not doing Doom Battle Royale are they? I hope not. Maybe I’m being too picky, it’s just really weird that there’s only one game mode and nothing else. Do they have a roadmap? One second. I stopped to look and see if there’s planned DLC. Looks like there is, but it appears to be single player content.
Welp, that’s fine by me I guess. I’d still like a horde mode though, can we please get it? Do you want a horde mode? Have you had a hard time with matchmaking? Come @ me in the comments.
Gamestop’s Ridiculous Pandemic Behavior
You’ve seen the myriad of shit they’ve tried to pull. Maybe you’re used to them taking advantage of you? I’ve not met one employee who likes working there personally.
But they are repeatedly putting you in danger with wanton abandonment of respect and dignity. They do not even try to hide the fact that they are more concerned with profits than you. At least other companies use corporate jargon to justify themselves.
But not GameStop. Go to work. Ignore the law. Buy your own hand sanitizer. Buy your own Lysol. And now my personal favorite, “tape plastic bags over your hands” (see YongYea’s video). Stop. Just stop it. GameStop is on life support and it’s a matter of months before they tank even harder.
I witnessed the death of “MovieStop” firsthand. They were literally “GameStop but for Movies” and were wholly owned by GameStop until the last few years of their existence where they broke off to form an LLC. And then they committed acts of desperation, and after act of desperation #3, I bailed. Turns out they closed approximately over a year later.
GameStop has been firing off non-stop acts of desperation for months. Read the signs. You, an employee of this heinous organization, need to get out. Have some self respect. Have some integrity. Need the money? Yeah so do 6.6 million other people. You also need to be ALIVE to spend money, don’t you?
Get out, this disease will end, and so will GameStop. Other big box retail organizations are going to see “GameStop” on your resume and they are going to know just how poorly you were treated. It’s a testament to your endurance. “Why did you leave?” Well, you didn’t see any future prospects in staying there. GameStop doesn’t have any future prospects either!
The time you can spend at home doing literally anything else is more value let than the peanuts they are tossing at you. Your time is valuable. Leave now, you will be glad you did, I guarantee it.
Assassin’s Creed Tattoos
This one’s slightly personal but here we go. I’ve been asked a few times why I don’t have any tattoos. I don’t have any super strong opinions on them, I just cannot imagine a single thing I like so much that I would like it permanently engraved on my body. Also, I’m a bit of a fatass right now, so no idea if a tat will look weird or wrinkled if I lose weight.
But I digress. An ex of mine wanted to get a Boston Bruins tattoo. She was a huge Bruins fan. I asked, what if she stops liking the Bruins? The team isn’t a permanent fixture, and the team has seen many great athletes come and go. I didn’t tell her not to get it, just literally expressing that same concern to her. What if you change your mind? What if I change my mind? Laser removal exists but I’ve looked it up and it’s hardly the best eraser.
You see the picture here, so you sort of know where this is growing. I’m a gamer, as you guys might have figured out. I run this website called Hard Mode Gamers, you might have heard of it. But is there a game with a logo I’d like burned onto my arm or back? Jet Set Radio Future is my favorite game ever but it’s too esoteric for me to get a tattoo. But then… there’s Assassin’s Creed.
I was on board with Assassin’s Creed since the first game. I only briefly lost faith in it when Unity came out, and the only time I missed out on a mainline title was when Origins came out, I handed it off to someone else to review for the web page. But the first game came out in 2007, it’s a big fixture in gaming. Hell, it was probably the game that changed Ubisoftcs game design strategy for the foreseeable future. Think about it.
But… I’m already aware people have Assassin tattoos. Here’s the REAL QUESTION overall. Are Assassin’s Creed tattoos cringe? Because honestly, if I were to get one, it would probably be the Assassin logo. “Nothing is true, everything is permitted.” That’s a surprisingly poignant mantra. I really identify with their ideology. Freedom and whatnot. But a tattoo? I don’t know, that sounds pretty cringe to me.
Is it cringe? Is my aversion to picking a tattoo reasonable? Come @ me in the comments.
Kenway’s Fleet Was Oddly Satisfying
As I muse on whether or not to get an Assassin’s Creed tattoo (see previous post), I now examine the games I’m playing. I haven’t picked up Final Fantasy 7 Remake because I’m fully content with the many other games I’m playing on rotation.
Doom Eternal, The Division 2, Forza Horizon 4, and Battlefield V. They are already seeing regular use on my Xbox. But my Switch! I recently moved the dock to a different TV because reasons. Am I playing a Nintendo game? NO! I’m playing Assassin’s Creed: The Rebel Collection. It contains AC Black Flag, AC Rogue, and all DLC. Black Flag is one one of my favorites.
Now, let’s get to it. There’s a mingame in AC4 called “Kenway’s Fleet”. In this game, you manage a fleet of ships, send them on missions, and conduct sea battles to secure trade routes. Except I’m making this sound cooler than actually it is. It’s basically a free to wait auto-play mobile game before they invented the predatory microtransactions to accompany it.
In sea battles, you just select ships with stats to automatically fight other ships, then proceed to watch a handful of boat PNG files pretend to shoot each other. It’s incredibly lo-fi.
When you send your ships out on a mission, it’s to get you money and resources. Now, these trade missions work in real time. If I send a ship to Mexico, it will be gone for 8 real-time hours. Even when I’m not playing. I send a ship on a mission, quit, go to bed, wake up, “Hey, my ship is back! Yaaaay!” Today’s Ubisoft would have sold you a “Time Saver” MT for this feature. How sad!
Coincidentally, there was a companion app for Black Flag that essentially worked as a second screen for the map, along with other features. My old crappy phone could barely handle the real-time map. But it could handle Kenway’s Fleet! As a result, collecting my gains was the first thing I did every time I fired that game up.
The app doesn’t appear to be on the Play Store anymore, and I’m not sure if it would work even if I found the .APK file for it. In the meantime, I’ve got about 3 more hours before my frigate “Triunfo” makes it home. Did you enjoy this minigame? What minigames have YOU enjoyed? Tell me in the comments.
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?
In case you missed it, there’s a new movie coming out from big time director Luc Besson, famous writer/producer/director for countless blockbuster films like The Fifth Element, The Transporter Series (the good ones), Leon: The Professional, Lucy, and Taken. This new feature’s full title is Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. It’s shaping up to be one of the biggest sci-fi films of the year, especially in a year and a half that’s chock-full of the genre. You now have stuff like Ghost in the Shell, Westworld, Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Wars and the upcoming Blade Runner 2049. But don’t let me tell you about it, have a look at the trailer above.
See that? Listen up Bioware, though this film may not even be out yet, the trailers alone already have more interesting plot developments and characters than all of Mass Effect: Andromeda. A 20-60 hour title. Even the small snippets of soundtrack from the trailer are better than the mess of an original score Andromeda had. EA Games’ faith in the series after launch is so low that it diverted the entire staff of the game off to other projects and have all but acknowledged the failings of the new entry. Even the multiplayer, usually a big holdout for some games, seems to be in its own death throes.
Indeed readers, if you are one of the many disenfranchised souls who had their hopes and dreams crushed with the lackluster-at-best Andromeda sequel to the Mass Effect trilogy, here is where you can lay your new aspirations. Valerian, despite sharing it’s name with an herb that promotes sleep, is a very ambitious and very stunning looking glimmer of hope coming to a theater near you. Launching on July 21st, this film is showing nearly Avatar or even Star Wars levels up hype and excitement. This is big for a new IP Not only that, but the visuals and costume design are so on-point, you’d be forgiven if you’d think that this film is actually a film version of a Mass Effect game. The action shots, the color palette, the plot; everything you need to make a perfect new space adventure project are her. This film is laying the foundation of what could possibly be a glorious new series, and if not a new series, at least a great new original movie.
And speaking of the costume design, is it a coincidence that the armor and outfits in Valerian seem very similar to Mass Effect? Is it possible that there was maybe even some inspiration from the game series? This new film may be an adaptation of an old graphic novel, but apparently Besson had considered making Valerian as early as when he was shooting the Fifth Element back in 1997. The news of the ambitious title tackling the title didn’t come until 2012. The Mass Effect trilogy’s release dates were in 2007, 2010, and 2012. Regardless of who inspired who and what inspired what, Valerian is showing a whole lot of promise and its bringing it’s whole universe along with it.
Fans of the original Mass Effect Trilogy enjoyed an exciting sci-fi romp filled with amazing characters, lore, action, and excitement. It’s a shame Andromeda was not able to hold up to the impossibly high bar that was set. It’s even worse that Andromeda was actually pretty bad for some people. But if you want to see a rich universe full of interesting aliens, cosmic conflicts, and explosive space epics, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is ready to deliver!
Saw the film. Everything I said above was accurate. Film was only slightly above average. It had great special effects and costumes, but dialog and action sequences were rather wooden. But to to delve further into the analogies, the protagonists Valerian and Laureline were like Renegade MaleShepard and Paragon FemShep existing together at the same time. But, instead of being brother and sister like Andromeda, they’re actually bickering partners, both in the space police and in the bedroom. Their lines were pretty bland for most of the film, yet somehow still more compelling than Scott and Sara Ryder, main characters who are so utterly forgettable I had to google what their names were while writing this blurb. So yeah! Go see this film if you want to see a considerably better high fantasy experience. One that is guaranteed to give you two hours and seventeen minutes more enjoyment than you will if you play Mass Effect: Andromeda.
Did you all see Furious 7 yet? Great! Splendid action movie! Now that you’ve experienced the thrill of the film, it’s time to play the tie-in game! What’s that? You didn’t know there was a tie-in game? Of course there’s a tie-in game, all of the biggest properties have tie-in games.
But tie-in games, they suck right? After all, the past few years have brought us gems likeDuck Dynasty, Walking Dead: Survival Instinct, and even a tie-in for the previous F&F film, Fast & Furious: Showdown. With the last, I found the decision to re-release an old PS2 game from 15 years ago on last gen platforms was an odd idea but… oh what’s that? Showdown was released in 2013? And it’s brand new? Oh, how embarrassing. But still, this is all just standard operating procedure for tie-in games.
Thankfully, the tie-in game for Furious 7 is different. It’s called… wait, what? It’s called Forza Horizon 2 Presents: Fast & Furious. (Well, that’s going to need some shortening, let’s go with FH2p:F&F.) That’s not a new game at all! That’s just Forza Horizon 2 with some new DLC, isn’t it? Well, not exactly.