March 19th, 2018 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

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?




Posted in Articles Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

March 7th, 2017 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

You’ve probably heard the phrase “better than the sum of its parts” at least once, never before has a video game encompassed that idiom better than Horizion Zero Dawn. By and large, all of the elements in the game aren’t very original. It’s an open world sandbox game with multiple approaches to tasks that suits different play-styles and features crafting, hunting, leveling up, and climbing some towers. Sound familiar? It should, because you’ve played “that game” at least a dozen times by now. What makes HZD so special is in what it borrows from which games, and how it implements them.

THE WITCHER 3 – You travel along a vast open landscape fighting all sorts of monsters along the way. Just like Geralt, protagonist Aloy must use skills and tactics if she wants to win the battle against the beasts within. Mashing buttons won’t get you anywhere in either game, even on easy mode. What is done better here is the streamlined crafting system used to upgrade your gear. Witcher will have you quest all across the fields to find one particular flower for a potion you need to make, whereas the requirements for potions in HZD are more generalized. You also get a sort of “Witcher-Vision” to track down objectives, but unlike Geralt, Aloy’s “Focus-Vision” is a lot easier to follow.

TOMB RAIDER – And collecting the goods to perform crafting is pretty straightforward and easy to perform. Like Tomb Raider (the new ones), you will find all the materials you need to make things all around you. In both entries, you can craft ammo for your ranged weapons in the middle of a battle using the weapon wheel. That’s a handy skill when you’re in a bind and run out of arrows. That said, Tomb Raider keeps the types of things you can grab in the wilderness minimal while HZD has a whole a bigger assortment of odds and ends you can find. It’s also notable that the targeting reticle for the bow in both games are nearly identical.

FAR CRY – The hunting aspects of this game also found their way here. The crafting at higher levels includes the need to hunt for specific animals in order to get better upgrades for your gear and outfits. Both have the perplexing tendency to be arbitrary with what animal is required for what upgrade, forcing you to hunt down a specific animal when you just need one more pelt for that potion bag you really want. Why do you need a rabbit skin for the bag? Who knows, go get it now.

ASSASSINS CREED – It’s not really like AssCreed at all, but we have only this series along with Ubisoft in general to blame for the parts where you climb some tower to unlock the map. Hell, even the latest Zelda is doing it now. Besides that, hiding in the tall grass to stalk enemies was a big part of this game and was used extensively in Assassins Creed: Black Flag.

METAL GEAR – Tell me the corruptor enemies don’t remind you of the Gekko from Metal Gear Solid. Besides the puzzling choice of having these machines moo, the big scary spider-like enemies can be rather terrifying in how quick they move. That first encounter with a corruptor was probably the first major boss fight of the game and still sends chills down my spine every time I have to face them in the game. They aren’t even the biggest boss fight characters either, just wait until you get further into it.

TUROK – Dude, remember Turok? Because I vaguely remember Turok.

MAD MAX, WATCH_DOGS 2, HOMEFRONT: THE REVOLUTION, ETC ETC – The most important lesson HZD learned about games that others failed on is that you can’t just make an open world and then simply pepper it with stuff to do. That’s not game design, that’s just stuff to do. This goes double for games that have a large open sandbox but don’t utilize much of the space for anything. The map needs to be memorable by having locations and areas that are more than just your commute from point A to point B. HZD gives you various locations and biomes all contained in one large cohesive land mass that just makes you itch to explore.

Horizon Zero Dawn has giant robot dinosaurs. That’s never been done before and that’s very unique. The rest of the game? You’ve definitely seen it before. What makes it so great is what it achieves with the design factors it borrows from other great titles. “Derivative” doesn’t have to be a dirty word. It can’t be. If doing things similar to another popular game make it bad, the reviews for Dishonored would have been terrible.




Posted in Articles Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

June 29th, 2015 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

The Witcher III: Wild Hunt is a spectacular game. Epic in scope, the game boasts an incredible story of both length and engagement. It has tons of interesting, fully-realized characters, locations, lore, and monsters. The “Witcher Contracts” alone are immersive miniature tales that lead to some pretty epic boss fights. In a way, this game truly raises the bar for fantasy action-adventure RPGs everywhere. But… this is neither funny nor entertaining to praise its glory, so I’m gonna just go ahead and nitpick it some more.

THE MAP. The Witcher 3 is already a really, REALLY long game and whatnot, but the world map makes you believe it will be even longer, even though it wasn’t the case. Why? When you zoom all the way out, the map shows you the whole continent with a very small section highlighted, telling you “Hey, this big localized map is actually just a small section of the world!” This gives you the idea that there will be a LOT of traveling to many lands all over the country, searching far and wide for Ciri. Well, you don’t do that. Actually, you go to three places and spend a good long chunk of the second act running back and forth in a city helping people do things. Sure, the looming main mission makes it clear you are only visiting three places, but you can’t help but feel like that was going to be just the first act, and not the whole story. By the time you reach the “WARNING: GAME IS ENDING” alert, you are a little surprised you won’t be going to go to any more cool locations. Speaking of the game ending…

Read more of this article »

Posted in Articles Tagged with: , , , , , ,

June 12th, 2015 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is bringing my attention to an issue. Y’see, some games like to occasionally bind the same button to more than one function. That’s okay, that’s doable. But sometimes, one button has so many uses that it becomes a nuisance. Here’s a basic look at all of the functions that Witcher III attaches to the “A” button on Xbox One:

-Sprint
-Interact with Character
-Interact with Object
-Select Menu Option
-Dodge Roll
-Horse Jog
-Horse Sprint

It’s nowhere near exhaustive, and many of these interactions are clearly contextual as you can see. The problem is that sometimes you may intend to use the button for one situation and accidentally end up with the other. For instance, in the aforementioned game, let’s say you stand next to a character you want to talk to. But there’s also a candle next to them. You go to say “hello” but you light the candle instead. No big, now you turn the camera to the left to face them. Oops, you are looting that box behind them, who put that there? Okay, now that the box is looted you can turn back to them to talk, for real this time. Only you don’t because you just relit the candle again instead. Argh!

Read more of this article »

Posted in Articles Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,