metro exodus review
April 6th, 2019 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

In Soviet Russia, train rides YOU!

The Metro series of videogames are all based on a series of novels by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky. The book was originally released in 2005 and the videogame adaptation, Metro 2033 was released in 2010. Metro Last Light followed that up in 2013, and now we have Metro Exodus. It was developed by 4A Games and published by Deep Silver. In this entry in the game, you leave the traditionally claustrophobic tunnels of the Moscow metro for the great outdoors. Your quest is simple, find a place to start a new settlement. It is a lot harder than it sounds. Many things go awry on your journey. This series is a mix between an FPS and survival horror, where you have to be more conservative with your ammo and resources, don’t have regenerating health, and have a lot of gadgets to fiddle around with. So, what’s the deal with this 3rd entry?

This review is based on the Xbox One X Enhanced version of the game.

GRAPHICS: 2/2

On a technical level, the graphics are fantastic. You’re looking at some absolutely great lighting with a full night and day cycle that feels real. The contrast between the spacious open skies and the darkness of the tunnels is large. Animations are top notch, which is a big bonus for this game. There are a lot of in-engine scripted sections where people do a LOT of talking (more on that later). From just a purely visual perspective, everything looks as real as they can get. If I really had to go nitpicking, I would say that there are two locations in the game that look dull because they look so real. Yes. As in, the big open desert wasteland map was a big open desert wasteland. The snowy lake area is just a bunch of bright-ass snow. But I’m really reaching here, these visuals are off the hook.

STORY/IMMERSION: 2/2

This is also gonna sound more like a criticism than an accolade, but there is too much story in this game. The script for this game had to be massive, because every single character you encounter has a lot to say. Every enemy encounter is loaded with stuff. There’s a lot of stealth in the game so you have plenty of opportunities to eavesdrop on everyone. And those are just random encounters. The setpiece locations themselves are filled to the brim with story as well. They make an absolute masterpiece of world building based on what you see and hear. All of that is before I talk about the Train scenes. Good lord, there is a lot of dialogue on that train. The train serves as an exposition/character buffer between locations, and is rather amazing. You get to learn all about EVERYONE on this journey with you, and there are many tales to be told.

There is one scene on the train where you’re in the control car with 3 different pairs of people. And they are all in different corners of the head end, talking to each other.

Some may take issue with these bits. For one, the train sections are really LONG exposition dumps. 30 solid minutes of people talking to each other. I haven’t seen this much discussion in a half hour since the opening “speech” in Old World Blues from Fallout: New Vegas. Honestly, this game has a very slow pace. The talking is a great bit of respite after a stressful mission. The other point, which is a bit more annoying is that people very frequently talk over each other. But, this isn’t a bug, it’s intentional. There is one scene on the train where you’re in the control car with 3 different pairs of people. And they are all in different corners of the head end, talking to each other. You would have to replay these scenes multiple times to hear everyone properly. I personally didn’t think this was a problem either. It added to the realism.

Finally, the over-arching plot itself isn’t really much of a traditional story. The entire point of the game is simply finding a place to settle outside of the Metro. The hardships you encounter along the way compose the parts of this story, but every stop is more like an intrusion than a narrative. You walk into a weird cult, you reason with the cult, you leave. You encounter some… crazed survivalists in a bunker, and then you leave. Trying not to spoil here. It’s just a big series of literally crashing into the middle of other people’s stories that have nothing to do with you. Once again, I find this aspect refreshing. Not everything has to be about saving the world.

AUDIO: 1/2

The OST was tolerable, but altogether not to outstanding. For all of the interesting monsters, their noises and growls don’t have the same impact they did in prior titles. There’s some faux-zombies in this title, and they sound like zombies. The guns are interesting but also don’t sound all that interesting. Most important is the voice acting. Despite being FULL of lore and story, the English voice cast still sound like a bunch of Americans faking a Russian accent. It’s charming in a way, but still objectively not too great. Many say to play the game with Russian audio on instead, but that would involve far too much reading. It is still competently put together and has its moments.

GAMEPLAY: 2/2

This game is hardcore, even on the easiest setting. You cannot expect to just run and shoot your way through the campaign. You will burn through resources and crafting tools so fast. I believe there could be a point where you can legitimately run entirely out of resources and have to start the chapter over, probably.

The gameplay loop is quite engaging. Each major stage after every train scene is a wide open map. Pleasantly, they aren’t gigantic, but actually very decently sized play areas with plenty to explore. It’s not easy to get from point A to point B. You can make waypoints, but the locations aren’t as simple as the map makes them out to be. You spend your time with a lot of gadgets on you, and you’ll need all of them. You have a lighter, the map, a backpack, headlight, battery charger, and a wrist gadget just to name a few. Your backpack serves as a mobile crafting station but you can’t craft the best gear on it. It’s good for getting you out of a bind if you have low health and know health packs. Your health doesn’t regenerate in this one, so you gotta take care of yourself.

Even if you have a lot of ammo, it will still get you killed if you charge in guns blazing. Stealth is almost mandatory when you deal with human enemies.

Combat is slow and deliberate too. Even if you have a lot of ammo, it will still get you killed if you charge in guns blazing. Stealth is almost mandatory when you deal with human enemies. As for monsters? Well… good luck. You’ll need it. Here’s a testament to the immersion of the gameplay. After I finished this game, I started playing Far Cry New Dawn. There were many times where I found myself pushing buttons that are supposed to bring out my lighter or flashlight. I kept forgetting I wasn’t playing Metro anymore. That’s right, the game is so engaging it will actively ruin other FPS’s for you. Maybe play a fighting game afterwards.

FUN: 1/2

The fun you can have in this game is widely subjective to your tastes. I got what I wanted out of this. A tough as nails survival horror game masquerading as an FPS. I’ve had friends tell me they absolutely hate the game and get annoyed by it the whole way through. And there’s people who loved it. And people who liked it but didn’t think it was Metro enough. That’s my opinion, it’s good but at the same time it does seem a bit out of its element compared to the other titles. There’s that, and the game has its fair share of some truly frustrating moments. Despite this, I pressed on and on, even when the game got maddeningly hard.

SCORE: 8/10

Pick this up if you like horror and shooters. Just keep in mind that its a very nuanced experience.




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January 13th, 2019 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

Everyone has been upset over a particular mission. Nordlys depicts a woman and her mother opposing German troops who are transporting a nuclear compound known as hard water. This event actually took place under several men trying to sabotage the plans. All the complaining about misrepresenting history has made something clear. We now all know what really happened.

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magic belong in assassins creed
January 12th, 2019 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

Is it really a stretch that the main character fought mythical beasts?

An interesting topic was brought up in a thread about the latest Assassins Creed. A commenter said that the inclusion of magical elements and legendary beasts we a step too far. Sure, by now we all know that the AC franchise take many creative liberties with history. But in a game where you can relive the memories of ancestor via DNA sample isn’t really hard sci-fi, is it? But yeah, the jump between pre-movie AC games and the newer post-movie AC games does mark a striking change in some of the established lore of the series. (BTW, don’t watch the movie, just using it as a point of reference here.)

Very minor spoilers for Odyssey, but there are optional boss fights with beasts of legend from Greek folklore. But it’s not that surprising is it? After all, we do know that the people of the “first civilization” enjoyed messing with early humans. But is it a step too far anyway? It’s still the memories of the ancestor, so you should see what really happened, right?

No, actually. Coming up toe to toe with the Minotaur actually might make a bit of sense. The key operating word is that we are exploring memories. The game already likes to throw around the “memory glitch” or something as a handwave to issues. But that’s a weak excuse and there’s a better explanation. Memories can be distorted over the years. Some things aren’t quite how you remembered them.

Like how to spell the BerenSTEIN Bears or whether or not Sinbad was a genie. No, I’m not trying to invoke the Mandella Effect but… Well, yes I am actually. The stories are stories for a reason. Do we remember who killed Medusa? Was it the gods or just that Kassandra person?

Okay, so why is it okay then?

But really what it comes down to is this. It’s perceptions that paint these memories the way they do. When Kassandra defeats the legendary beast, the moment she takes the artifact, the ‘monster’ quietly transforms into a little Sackboy, basically. Were the ‘gods’ just messing with Kassandra’s head? There’s no way to know for sure.

But we do know that Kassandra believes she defeated these beasts. It is what she thinks she did. So when you’re in the animus, exploring her memories, its going to show you she actually felt about the fight. Maybe the Minotaur was just a slightly oversized bull that she had a hard time with. Maybe Medusa was just a sickly woman using superstitions or herpetology to fight back. Maybe she ate some psychedelic mushrooms on her way to the Sphinx?

In the film 300, the bombs that the Persian army chucked at the Spartans were referred to as magic. As is the case here, I believe. Whatever happened, Kassanda had her very own explanation for what transpired. Simply a matter of what she believes. And if she truly believes that she fought mythical beings, then that’s what the animus is going to show you. It’s not magic, just perception.

MALAKA! Chet has played about 90 hours of Assassins Creed Odyssey and doesn’t expect to stop any time soon.



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December 14th, 2018 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

A true milestone for Bethesda

Hello friends, Chet here. What you are witnessing is one of the absolute best games Bethesda has ever made. This game single-handedly shows of the true depths that the developer and publisher can reach. This is an absolute game changer, both literally and metaphorically. Because it changed the Fallout games, and as a game changed the whole world! It’s so good, that we had to give you a whole ELEVEN reasons as to why this game was so good, because 10 just wasn’t enough. In fact it’s so good we are not even going to review it. Check out why it’s great over here!

In case the blunt sarcasm wasn’t enough, it shouldn’t have to be pointed out that this video is SATIRE.

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Splatfest November 2018
November 10th, 2018 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

Tasty Taco Tribulations Test

Nacho chips are pretty good. You know, I’ve cut myself off of all junk food, but when it comes to snacks… I cannot resist two things. Number 2 on that list is nacho chips. Whether it’s straight from the supermarket or restaurant serving, they are great. If you’re like many people, you’ve come to realize that the $2 bag of Santitas is the real deal. You’ve also come to another conclusion, and that’s what to serve your nachos with.

Are you thinking about queso? Well too bad. Queso sauce doesn’t count because it tastes good on literally everything. Tacos? Queso. Steak? Queso. Fish? Queso. Nay, we’re here to talk about the Splatfest November 2018 event. Coming to a Nintendo Switch near you, enjoy getting to choose between the best to nacho companions by duel. The theme? Salsa vs Guacamole. You are choosing between a tomato and peppers mixture versus a fulfilling avocado and lime paste. Okay, honestly both those sound terrible by description. But connoisseurs of Mexican cuisine will be able to tell you all about how they both are amazing.

Salsa. A delicious and spicy addition to the crunchy, wholesome, salty taste of the chips. The spicy aroma and taste certain add a layer of action to the tortillas, don’t you think? Just thinking about it makes you crave it. Let’s talk about a real restaurant. A local authentic Mexican cuisine restaurant with great prices has a fun addition. You see, normally some Mexican restaurants will give you the tortilla chips and call it a day. If you’re at Chipotle or Moe’s. Moe’s has a ton of salsa selections in particular. But nothing can beat the local place that serves hot salsa with a layer of refried beans and cheese on top of it. That’s what this local place does, and that’s what makes it amazing.

Guacamole. A soothing, smooth topping to the crunchy, hard satisfaction of chips. In this case, the smooth taste of the avocado mashed up with other ingredients is the perfect recipe. If you live in California, you are overexposed to the vegetable and are disqualified. But anyone else? We have to pay the restaurants EXTRA if we want to get some guacamole. In one particular local authentic Mexican restaurant that is not the one above, they have it special. You get served a freshly made batch right in front of you. The waiter comes over with a tray full of the ingredients, puts them in a bowl, and mashes it up all before you. It’s rather impressive, the mixes needed to make perfect guac.

If I had to pick one, I’d go with team Salsa. Salsa is an absolute essential when it comes to tortilla chips. On top of those, it’s also essential for tacos. The truth is, you can always go for some cause with it. Salsa comes in many varieties. These include mild, medium, hot, very hot, super hot, and ‘why is this green?’. Those are a lot of varieties. On the other hand, guac is a luxury that is only good once in a while. If you had this several times in a row and still want it the next day, you’re either a dirty Californian or crazy. Guacamole is good as a treat but is certainly not necessary for all servings of chips. But it is definitely orbiting around the salsa. It always comes with salsa.

Salsa is the key to victory. Our deliciously spicy destiny awaits us. Together, we shall do our best to combat the enemy to victory. We will prove once and for all that salsa is the best snack enhancement of all time!

The festivities run from 8pm PT/11pm ET on November 16, 2018 until 8pm PT/11pm ET on November 17, 2018.




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November 7th, 2018 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

44 Hours In…

By now I’ve found a missing person I’ve been looking for, killed a few “Templars,” found the lost city of Atlantis (sort of), and now have to win a war and compete in the Olympics. That’s right, I have four main quests to play on top of all the side quests I’ve been accumulating. The islands you can sail to in this game always have great side-stories that are totally optional. Now that I’m 44 hours in, I can safely say I might be done with one third of this game. Maybe. It’s possible. Give or take. The unfathomably popular Stealth/RPG (stealth optional) series developed and published by Ubisoft is now at its tenth main series game. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey adds even more elements to make it an even further evolution from the roots of the franchise.

GRAPHICS: 2/2

This game is absolutely stunning, even on my sub-par Xbox One S. Stable frame rate, great coloration, variety, it’s all there at the baseline for a good looking game. What makes it look better is the sheer marvel of the whole thing. Ubisoft didn’t just make a few cities in Greece for their game. They made ALL OF IT. And it feels like they did, too. Everywhere you go there are gorgeous busts and statues, temples, altars, and residences that are all fully realized. I want to know where they got the time machine so they could take photos of Ancient Greece and use it as references for the designs. It’s the empire in all its glory. An absolute marvel to stand at the top of a mountain and look in every direction. In the distance, you can see all the ships in the water going about their business in real time. You can see other landmasses across the water and know that if you can go there if you want to. There… might be a few minor hiccups and glitches in some of the animation, but that is literally the only bad thing I can think of. And the sheer beauty and aesthetics more than excuse that.

STORY:2/2

I admit, at the beginning of the game, it’s hard to get into the plot. You are not really sure what you are supposed to be doing. The grand scheme of things is boiled down to simply leaving your home island to go on an adventure because you’re sick of being at home. There’s a goalpost, sure, but it’s far and not too tantalizing. This is definitely the type of game that you have to spend time with to get into the swing of things. The overarching narrative becomes far more clear well towards the 15-hour mark of the game. Once it does hit, it does so with ruthless efficiency. The way the game’s campaign works is the prime form of dangling the carrot in front of the player. It’s hard to imagine you would run out of things to do after being far enough in the game to really open up to the “go wherever you want” phase. Four main storylines. Every location story has its own stuff going on. I was on an island where I helped a young child make some friends while also meddling in “The Bachelor: Greece Edition”. Then I had to overthrow an evil ruler running another island ragged while hooking up with the sexy leader and her boyfriend if I so pleased. Hell, I had to take part in a gay orgy with a goat just to advance the plot. I’m not even remotely joking. A goat was involved. And Sokrates turns out to be the world’s first internet troll. Good times.

AUDIO: 2/2

I’m going to mention one prevailing bug in the game that hurts the audio quality in a way. On a regular basis, around twice or more per hour, when you talk to an NPC,  you or the character will interrupt each other mid-sentence and say lines on top of each other. It’s annoying. Some of the secondary characters don’t seem really committed to their parts, while other characters go full ham. The voice actress for the soundtrack gets old really fast. With such a big scope, I really, REALLY get tired of hearing the same music every time I open the menu. And the main “Assassin’s Creed Theme Leitmotif” is sprayed over every other song too. It gets old fast. I may eventually have to turn the music off and just play my own tunes or a podcast over it instead. Which would be great because I’m in the perfect setting to put my vaporwave collection on full blast. But still, this is just the soundtrack I take issue with. The actual sound FX and quality of sound is tremendously satisfying. I will give the full grade because I’m being too personally harsh on the OST, even though it’s objectively decent.

GAMEPLAY: 2/2

There are many on the internet who say this game has become too action oriented. Sure, the formula has been changed, but it’s been heading this way for a while now. The fact is, you can still play this game stealthy if you want to. There are just more rules to it because you can’t assassinate people who are at a higher level than you. The majority of the EXP you earn will be from completing quests, not kills. So if sneaking in and out of an enemy base is your idea of fun, there’s plenty of that to be had. Yes, open conflict is a bigger part of the game now. It’s the play-it-your-way model that prevails. But everything in the game works and does accommodate for all play styles. Shoot everyone with a bow, bludgeon people with a hammer, death from above, and Sparta-kick your enemies of a cliff. There’s plenty of gameplay to be had here, as iterated above.

Ship combat makes a return to the game and I boldly welcome it as a delicious appetizer to sate my hunger for a good pirate game until Skull & Bones arrives. But that said, it’s a bit more minimalist than it’s predecessor, as there was less maritime war tech in this setting. They have also implemented a mercenary hierarchy that mimics Shadow of Mordor’s Nemesis system, but it is also bare bones by comparison. Hunting down a devious death cult is the replacement for the assassination quests, but you have to put in the legwork to identify who they are. There’s also a conquest mode where you can take part in a big fight between the Athenians and Spartans. You can also change whichever team you’re on for every battle. You can also fight mythical beasts from Greek folklore, because hey, why not? This all may make it sound like it’s quantity over quality. And to an extent, yes it is. But set in this game, it’s actually not a big issue, it just works.

FUN: 2/2

And now for a bit of controversy. Ubisoft has no problem putting expensive microtransactions in their fully priced games. It gives them big money, they have a right to. However, as an experience, they nearly broke their goodwill on a portion of this game. That’s the progression system. In order to level up or afford things, you have to do more than just missions to get enough EXP to progress. You’ll have to do a lot of mundane-out of the way stuff like exploring caves and attacking small camps at question marks dotted all over the map. I found myself in a position where I was two levels too low to progress through the game because the game is harsh if you are under-leveled. Ubisoft remedied it by offering a buff that will get you 50% extra EXP and money for the whole game, including new games. You have to at least buy the 20 dollar helix credits pack to get this. If you don’t, the game can get very grindy. Plenty to do is one thing, being forced to do everything is another. I caved and bought this buff, and it feels like this is the way the game was supposed to be played. It seems as though this was intentionally done to goad extra cash from the player.

I am willing to forgive this transgression because it was on me to make that choice in the end. I could have bucked up and cleared out every single icon on the map to take the game nice and slow. But, be that as it may, I cannot stop playing this game. Even with the buff, I did manage to get myself into another situation where I was under-leveled. But I kept playing and playing and playing. I told myself I had to stop at 11 PM, then 2 AM rolls around and I’ve conquered another city. I am willing to accept that the price I paid to make this game more enjoyable is worth it because of the amount of fun I’m having with it. Before tax, I paid a total of $68 for the game with the helix credits. That is an acceptable price for this game. I don’t know if I will finish any time soon, and I’ve had plenty of time to play.

SCORE: 10/10

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soul calibur 6
November 3rd, 2018 by Vega Montanez

Be whatever you want to be.




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team treat cheat
October 26th, 2018 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

Halloween Splatfest Drama

The big spooktacular Splatfest October 2018 is done-zo! It was a big powerful 2-day festival and the winner has been declared. In the war between tricks or treats, it was Team Treat who succeeded 2-1. They lost out on popularity but they pulled through on victories. It was a valiant effort and many claimed that it was one of the toughest splatfests in a while.

You would assume all is well, but alas, it is not! It seems that the results have actually caused quite a ruckus in the squidkid community. It appears that many of the people on team Trick have accused Treat of CHEATING. Now, normally this is just a thing that losers do whenever a big competition ends and they lose. Saying the team cheated, had a biased judge, got away with bending the rules, and other such things. Normally, this would be the case for most Splatfests. This is actually an okay accusation because it has been known that Splatoon 2 is not short on its number of cheaters. The part where Nintendo now charges for online play still doesn’t account for this issue and has created its own drama. But even so, why are these accusations different?

They are different because there are several screencaps that depict a very suspicious ruling over who won a match. This has many people concerned that the ratings may have somehow been glitched or biased! Have a look at the series of images here, it is considered suspect and debatable.

HMG- Splatoon Cheaters?

That is a bit… disturbing, is it not? Well, if that isn’t enough, let’s hear it from some commenters on the case throughout the net! Have a look at THESE samples:

Thread 1-1

Some of the usual suspects show up. There’s lots of talk about lag. A LOT of talk about lag. We can talk about lag for days. You also have people just writing everything off as “losers just complaining.” That’s an easy thing to say, but the bizarre screencaps insist otherwise.

That said, some people are saying that the map screens are inaccurate at depicting who won. Why? Apparently, the dark purple shade makes it look like less ink was covered than there actually was. Perhaps that’s the case? Another person in the thread insists to look at the X-map for a better rendition of what parts of the map were actually covered. Fewer shaders make it look more precise, I’m sure.

Apparently, someone actually called Nintendo on the phone and inquired about these discrepancies. They said they received many complaints of this kind and were “looking into it.” That’s corporate jargon for “doing nothing whatsoever.”

Some are also citing the algorithm being flawed. Unless you can see what it actually is, you can’t really blame something you can’t see at all. There were also server complaints, which is common with Splatfest because so many people are online. Should Nintendo have more servers running? They have to if they are going to start charging for the service. Put that money to good use.

One really great suggestion was “story reasons.” Like, did Nintendo want to change the ongoing feud between Pearl and Marina over who wins more? I love Marina personally, but I doubt that’s the case. Otherwise, we have reports of characters flying and other people who probably were cheating. Doesn’t mean the whole team was cheating. Splatoon 2 has cheaters, but not on this level.

Finally, there are reports of people who have second accounts logging into teams and going AFK on purpose to sabotage the team. If that really happens, man, that’s crazy. It implies someone owns two Nintendo Switches and two Switch Online accounts. That’s quite the accusation. An expensive one. [EDIT: Chet is an idiot and didn’t realize people could just another account on their own Switch and get a family plan with Switch Online.]

Truly, this Splatfest had a lot more going on with it than prior games. The jump to going 48 hours, along with the change to the clout system from the winner counts definitely have had effects on the game. All we can hope is that if Nintendo is aware of some of these issues, they can take care of them.

What matters most, is you remember to have fun. This is Splatoon, not Call of Duty. People actually have fun here.

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forza horizon 4 wheelspin
October 6th, 2018 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

You spin me right round, Forza, right round!

Racing fans all over the world rejoice. The official “only game series worth playing on Xbox” has just dropped its newest iteration, Forza Horizon 4. This is the relaxed, more open world format of the game that can be custom tailored to your play style, from arcade racer to hardcore simulator. I haven’t reviewed the game yet but I am confident it is the best racing game ever made. But we’ll have to wait for the review on that.

We are here to talk about loot boxes. They are a sticking point in the gaming industry that has recently left gamers with a bad taste in their mouths. It’s easy to say EA was the straw that broke the camel’s back with their disastrous issues brought up by Dice’s Star Wars Battlefront II. It made national headlines to the point where non-gaming outlets were covering the issue. It inspired several developers to actively patch out the aspect in their games. It even got a country to outlaw it.

Now, Microsoft has been walking on thin ice in regards to this for quite some time. The more recent games in the Forza franchise featured an alternative currency you can buy with real money. This alternative currency could be used to buy cars. But they took a step too far with Forza Motorsport 7, in which you could earn “prize crates”. These prize crates were filled with cars, in-game currency, and challenge cards. The challenge cards were interesting, in that they just offered you a bonus bounty if you complete certain conditions during a race. For example, placing in 5th or better, or making 3 perfect turns would net you some more coin.

Forza Horizon 4 NK Garaffa 1

But the Forza Horizon Wheelspin is present in all four titles in the series. The only difference is you can’t really purchase spins, outside of using perk tokens in later titles. But, still, it is basically a slot machine that has different prizes you can win. The fourth installment expanded on the items you can win. On top of cars and money, they added cosmetics for your avatar, car horns, and emotes. Yes, emotes. However, something else changed with this version. That alternative currency is gone, completely removed from the game. You can’t buy cars with real money anymore, and you certainly can’t buy the wheel spins or the new SUPER wheelspins. You win one item for wheelspins and three items for super wheelspins. The only microtransaction outside of expansion packs is the treasure map, which reveals all of the secrets on your map for just $3.

So what makes a loot box a loot box? Overwatch may not have been the first, but it did codify the concept of loot boxes. The list of items you can win from crates are icons, skins, emotes, sprays, voice lines, victory poses, highlight intros, and loot. So, cosmetics and some currency. But you can pay to get a whole bunch of these, and you get 4 items per box. And one “rare” item is guaranteed in every box, with rare being the second tier of swag, sporting blue. After that, you have purple for epic loot and orange for legendary loot. MANY games that feature “loot” in general, box or no box, use this color-coded system and verbiage for their items. In Forza Horizon 4, that most certainly is the case, the names and colors are the same.

You only win one loot box from leveling up in Overwatch, with some exceptions for certain events and standards. In Horizon 4, the game practically throws wheelspins at you. Level up? Wheelspin. Do a couple stunts? Wheelspin. Buy a house? Wheelspin. Paint a car? Wheelspin. Take some photos? Wheelspin. Buy a few cars? Wheelspin. Get a couple perk points? Wheelspin. I could stop here but I’m going to keep going anyway. Win a few races? Wheelspin. Lose a few races? Wheelspin. Complete a championship? Wheelspin. Drive around doing absolutely nothing? Wheelspin. Participate in a live event? Wheelspin! EXIST? WHEELSPIN! DON’T EXIST? WHEELSPIN!

Forza Horizon 4 NK Garaffa 2

I swear I could not go more than 15 minutes without getting at least one or two wheelspins. That may be because I bought the ‘Ultimate Edition’ of the game and got some generous boosts to start, but even afterward, I just kept getting more and more. It actually got annoying and broke up the pace of the game. Thankfully, you don’t have to sit through a whole wheelspin animation, which is only about 5-7 seconds, not much at all. But even then you can skip that animation, get your prize, and be on your merry way.

So, what’s different about the Horizon 4 wheelspin again? Let’s review. You cannot purchase them with real money. The alternate currency system is not present. You get them all the time. Basic wheelspins will always get you either a car or more money. Super wheelspins will get you 3 of anything else. You do not get unfair advantages in multiplayer for wheelspins. You don’t get cards that change the conditions of earning more. Every spin is a winner (unless you get 10,000CR, that’s pretty lame).

It feels a lot more like the game is using these prizes to encourage you for playing the game. You can and will play the game regardless of the wheel spins. Yet as you play, the game is constantly rewarding you pretty much just for playing it. You may feel appreciated by the game as you continue to get gift after gift after gift. You may feel far more appreciated than you ever felt possible with this inclusion. Despite the “slot machine” appearance, it feels a lot more like you are just being given some free things, instead of gambling. Because of these reasons, I assert that the Horizon Wheelspin is neither a loot box nor a form of gambling. On top of that, I appreciate Microsoft’s nerve to decide not to include alternative currency this time around. I hope this game along with others continues with that mindset for the foreseeable future.



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megaman 11
October 1st, 2018 by Kleev

I’d rather be playing Mighty No. 9

There is no way I am spending money on MegaMan 11. The only thing anyone can do to make me play MegaMan 11 is to buy me the game or give me 70% worth its price. I would only pay less than half the game. But the problem is that’s out of character for me. I dont make people do that so there are no options You want a review? Here you go.

Mighty no. 9 is better than this cartoony, uninspired crap. The explosions look great tho, no pizzas! 🍕🍕🍕 But, what about the story? It doesn’t seem to be focused on story. The last 10 games had more or less the same story, no reason this would be any different. Except maybe they will put 1 or 2 unique things to make it not a basic copy paste. Like, Mr. X and the contest of robots masters from all over the world in MegaMan 6 instead of Dr. Wily. Whatever.

MegaMan is known for his cool pew pew pew and other 8 bit classic sounds, or 16 bit classic sounds too. This sounds like a very realistic game, completely unappealing for MegaMan. As for the music? Most uninspired garbage ever, designed to be background noise at best. This allows the sound effects and obnoxious character / enemy voices to be cheard in full, terrible detail. But, at least there’s some good MegaMan action, this part is mostly unchanged except for extra things, which are welcome. It’s a hard game too just like the classics, but with more tools to help the ‘evolved gamer’ of today. You can slow down time or temporarily be more powerful. I’m all about that classic difficulty.

One third of the game can possibly be fun, because only the gameplay is good. Honestly, even if the gameplay is good, it’s still a very simple jump and shoot MegaMan game where you die lots, which was only enjoyable to me because the graphics and music used to be nice in older games. MegaMan 11 is closer to being flappy bird. I did NOT want to go through a level again after dying because it would be so boring. If i had to rate just the fun, it would be 0.25/5 but I was told I have to use whole numbers, so I’ll just say 1/5. This review is entirely based on the playable demo for Megaman 11. I am a fan who has played every single version of every Megaman game ever made (except DOS, fuck that). The demo did not interest me in any way to this new installment. It will be out on October 2nd, maybe you’ll enjoy it more? I just can’t.

The editor-in-chief can confirm the reviewer’s Megaman skills and affinity for the series.




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