darksiders 3 review
March 2nd, 2019 by Vega Montanez

When you’re last gen but you’re fun.

Game development studios go out of business all the time. It’s the unfortunate part of the industry that keeps every on their toes. What does not happen often, if at all, is a game publisher going out of business. Then there assets and trademarks being purchased at auction. And finally, one of their biggest franchises gets brought back to life by the new owners. However, crazy it sounds, this is the story of Darksiders 3. The release date was on November 27th 2018 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. It picks up where the previous games left off and puts you in control of the only horsewoman of the apocalypse. Developed by Gunfire Games and Published by THQ Nordic (remember the story) the third person hack and slash action adventure game hopes to build on the foundation laid before it. Does Fury get an adventure as awesome as War & Death?

GRAPHICS: 1/2

The first thing most gamers will notice is that Darksiders 3 looks a lot like Darksiders 2. For reference, DarkSiders 2 looked a lot like DarkSiders 1. So yeah, the graphics are nothing to really be blown away by. The impressive part of the graphics feeling dated is (with the remasters in existence) the timeline of events feels super coherent and natural. In a weird way, rather than feel like the graphics are outdated it feels like the game is bringing the player to a specific point in time. Whether this was intentional or not it makes it super easy to overlook the minor graphic issues. And the game development team did an excellent job at making sure there were no glaring graphical faults. Not the prettiest tool in the shed but not ugly enough to ruin the experience.

STORY: 1/2

The Darksiders series tells an incredible story when all three games are put together. Individually, each games story is really good but it’s very clear something is missing without the experience with the previous games. Fury is on a mission to take down the seven sins that have taken over earth. That reads interesting but not quite enough. It’s missing the flare of knowing everything that led to this point. Like War being framed for causing the battle that destroyed earth and ruined the balance. Or that Death is on his own unapproved mission to prove his brother War’s innocence. Or perhaps the suspicious story from the Char Council that Strife is off on a mission and he can not be reached. See now the story is much more interesting, however all those pieces come together from playing every game. Great story spread across three good games.

AUDIO: 1/2

Similar to the visuals, the audio in Darksiders 3 sounds very much like it’s predecessors. Again this does an incredible job of creating the feeling that the events of the game are indeed taking place simultaneously with Darksiders 1 and 2. For anyone who’s played the previous games the roars of monster and the destruction of items in sight will sound very familiar. For those new to the series, it’s a hit or miss. Some menu sounds are absolutely annoying with their sharp chimes. However, most of the sounds in game, from sword swinging to landing from a large jump, are pretty action packed. The adrenaline inducing sound effects and music add to the fast paced excitement even if it sounds like a last generation soundtrack.

GAMEPLAY: 2/2

This is where each game in this series really separates. Each development team for the Darksiders series has had the privilege of working with nearly identical environments with a different protagonist. In Darksiders 3 the player takes control of Fury, often recognized as the least predictable of the four horsemen. Fury specializes in using her whip and magic to overcome most battles. This makes her similar to Death in that she more effectively dodges than she does block. Yet, similar to War, she is very up close and personal, using her whip and magic to close the distance more often than end the fight. The introduction of a few new enemy types and the strengthening of others makes the experience unique to Fury. Enemies that could barely hurt the hulking War are a larger threat to Fury. Learning to play to each Horseman’s strength and weaknesses is what has every fan of this series asking, when do we get the 4 player co-op DarkSiders game?

FUN: 2/2

Fast paced hack and slash third person action. That sentence is the literal definition of a fun game. The Darksiders series does a great job of combining puzzle, platform, and adventure game mechanics. Darksiders 3 is no different. It embodies basic RPG elements like growth and skill charts but it’s mostly about reflex reactions. Battles involve accurate timing for both attacks and dodging. Puzzles scale in size from small levers and dials to entire environments that need to traversed with precision. All these great pieces of other fun games make Darksiders 3 the type of game that requires effort to stop playing.

Darksiders 3 does a great job of being exactly what fans of the series want at the small risk of being too much for newcomers to handle. The team at Gunfire Games have done an excellent job of providing a solid hack and slash adventure during the genre’s major drought. Any fans of fast paced action, unique gameplay mechanics, and challenging puzzles needs to get their hands on this. Or any of the games in the series, honestly.

SCORE: 7/10




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May 23rd, 2018 by Vega Montanez

Delays, delays, delays, also delays.

E3 is around the corner so you know how antsy I’m getting. I’m sure you’re feeling it just as much. I’m here today to hit you with all the bad news this week. It sucks but it is what it is. This one is going to be short so don’t miss it flying by. Behold the most negative LGR to date:

1. Shenmue 3 delayed to 2019!

I think it’s fair to say that I warned everyone reading that this was going to be more of an UnLucky recap. Rip the band-aid off quick and tell you out the gate, Shenmue 3 has been delayed. It was originally planned to come out fall of this year but given the lack of marketing and development progress you would be a fool to be surprised by this. Honestly, I have my doubts that it will even make it to release next year. Call me a pessimist (actually please don’t) but Shenmue 3 is quite a long way out. Good news; we are still getting the remastered versions of 1 and 2 this year. 

2. Metro Exodus delayed to 2019.

This delay on the other hand is super unexpected. If you don’t recall, Metro Exodus was the first game to show us a zombie bear in action at E3. It was terrifying. The game looked incredible and I’m pretty sure it had a playable demo as well. THQ Nordic bought Deep Silver which means this delay is most likely to make sure the marketing is labeled and handled properly. In this case I feel like this is more of a winning situation for fans of the series. You know, cause Red Dead Redemption is going to outshine everything this fall.

3. Bio-Mutant & Darksiders 3 release window uncertain?

By now some of you have realized that all these delays come from the same company. If you didn’t, it’s pretty clear now. THQ Nordic buying Deep Silver has put a big shift on the way the game release schedules are working. So the interesting new IP, Bio-Mutant, and the revival of an IP that should never have died, Darksiders 3, are both under revision for release. Fear not, this doesn’t mean these games are going bye bye, it just means they gotta cook in the oven a little longer. Still thinking this is good thing. Also thinking, news about THQ in 2018? Man if I could time travel, the old me would be all messed up. 

4. Skull and Bones delayed to at least 2019-2020

Not all dogs go to heaven and not all delays come from THQ. Sometimes they come from ridiculously incredible publishers with a ton of great IP’s. In this case the culprit is Ubisoft. And as much as I love to entertain the idea that this delay is to make room for the more exciting return of Splinter Cell, that’s probably not true. Skull and Bones is essentially the boat parts of Assassin’s Creed. Ubisoft saw how terrible Sea of Thieves release was and they said “Uh oh, maybe we need more.” Boom and that’s how games are delayed, next question. Damn! 2020 though?

5. Okami HD Comes to Switch.

Because we are a small team and I’m terrible at finishing video games we had to pass on reviewing this when it released late last year. It’s okay though, now that it’s officially releasing on Nintendo Switch, Chet can experience with fresh eyes what I played on PS2. This is light news, but it does a little making up for all the delays right? Right? Please, just say yes. Oh and I just remembered a version of Okami came to Wii as well. Look at that. And Okami HD comes to Switch August 9th.

6. Stalking will be cool again starting 2021.

Well, stalking has never actually been cool. It had a brief moment when the classic survival series, S.T.A.L.K.E.R, last title was released in 2009. That didn’t stop the announcement of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 from happening. Well technically happening again because the game was previously announced and then canceled in 2011. When this game releases it’ll officially have been a full decade since the last title. The funny thing about it is, that seems to be working for games pretty well lately. Examples include: Final Fantasy 15 & Last Guardian but not Duke Nukem. Absolutely not Duke Nukem. 

7. The Kingdom holding your heart will be yours, soon. 

I couldn’t be a complete ass and give you only bad news. Here I saved the best for last. Only the greatest news makes it to the end this week. Are you still with me? Alright here we go. Kingdom Hearts 3 will be officially arriving next month to tell you when it will be releasing for your gaming pleasure. That was fun. Yea so Square decided to indulge in the hype of this game by teasing a day they would provide a release date. Pay attention though folks, this month is May which means next month is June. June is E3. Half-Life 3 confirmed. 

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April 3rd, 2018 by Vega Montanez

Welcome back Jesus! Now tell me where the easter eggs are coming from and why these rabbits are so fascinated by them! It doesn’t make any sense at all. And another thing, why has it been such a slow past few weeks for gaming news? Does that mean that its going to be a huge E3 or are we about to be really disappointed? I need answers. In the meantime I’m going to be providing my friends who check out this post an update on why they should feel like lucky gamers.

1. Level-5 Levels up for Switch.

Right out the gate, Level-5 announced it intends to be a big supporter of the Nintendo Switch from this point forward. Level-5 is the well known studio behind popular games on Nintendo 3DS, so this isn’t to surprising. Popular series from the studio include Professor Layton as well as Yo-Kai Watch. They are also the studio behind Ni No Kuni, so who knows what can happen? The first game coming to Switch in Japan however, comes from neither of those properties. The Snack World: Trejarers Gold, which comes our April 12th in Japan, might not be the first experience we were hoping for but it is the experience we are getting. Enjoy!

2. Woah Woah Woah, PSVR got an official price cut!

Now, if i can’t get Chet to get us an official Hard Mode Gamers PSVR at this point, I don’t know what I’ll do. As of March 29th, the official starting price for PSVR is $299. Thats $100 cheaper the launch price of the best selling VR gaming headset. Boom! I said it. Come at me bro. And with Sony estimating over 130 games will be coming to the platform by the end of 2018, this is the best time to get one. You hear that Chet? BEST TIME TO GET ONE. Even if half the games will be shovelware, that’s 64 more games than I’ll finish.

3. A new iPad approaches.

I know, we are still kind of unsure of where we stand with mobile games. I think its important to note that, there are experiences for everyone. This isn’t even about that though. Apple recently announced a new slightly cheaper iPad for education purposes. With that said, it’s still just an iPad. Its the cheapest iPad to have Apple Pencil support and is designed to work flawlessly with the latest versions of pages and spreadsheet. Apple’s own Tim Cook seemed very adamant about bringing iOS into the education field, but has never digressed from being excited to support gaming. So, what this really means for teachers is: A whole lot of detention for playing Fortnite in class.

4. Fortnite continues to outshine PUBG.

Ok, so that title is absolutely intentionally controversial. But hey, remember we are still growing and we need some attention every now and then. The big news here is that Fortnite smashed a big YouTube record. Fortnite is now the current holder of the YouTube record for most uploaded videos of a video game in a single platform. It all set a record for the biggest single live gaming stream with 1.1 million concurrent viewers. I could go on and on about these wild achievements this game has but instead I’ll leave you with one fun fact. Fortnite Twitch streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, (the guy who played live with Drake) is reportedly making a handsome career out of streaming. Congratulations to a fellow gamer on his success.

5. Incredible Nostalgia incoming.

As I get older, I look back on things I enjoyed as a child. Things like animated movies, action figures, and dinosaurs. In the past few years we’ve seen an incredible resurgence of some of the IP in many industries that were from my child. I am ecstatic to share with all my friends that not only, as I’m sure you heard, is the Incredible 2 movie officially a real thing but, we are also getting an official game! And not the cheesy kind but instead Lego: The Incredibles will be coming to all major platforms on June 15th. I couldn’t be more excited about this if I tried. Also, Jurassic World Evolution, the theme park simulator, will be bringing some dino-park nostalgia on June 12th. Ah, to feel like a kid again.

6. No Man excused on Xbox.

I’ll admit that was a tough title. Let’s break down what it means quickly before you think I’m crazier than I am. Microsoft announced it can now ban Xbox accounts for “Offensive Language”. This isn’t a policy change, it is just an updated measure of enforcement that will be applied to all of you excessively potty mouthed gamers. Realistically, I think this applies not to the everyday use of F bombs and stuff but more to the players on line who are out of control. And this update comes just as Hello Games announces that No Man’s Sky will be available on Xbox One this summer. The Xbox One version will be released with updates to visuals and include all the major updates from the game.

7. And recently announced we have…

A long awaited announcement but one that we are excited about regardless. Dragon Quest 11 will be released on PS4 and PC on September 4th. There are currently no plans to release it for Nintendo 3DS and the Switch version still has a long way to go according to Square Enix. THQ Nordic also announced Red Faction: Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered will be coming to PS4 and Xbox One in Q2 2018. I applaud the naming convention and never got into this series so I might be down to give it a go. Last but not least we have Deathgarden, a 5-v-1 Shooter from the development team behind Dead By Daylight. Not much was said but they did say to expect to see it at PAX East for sure.

Back in my day I blew off class by playing Tetris on a graphing calculator. -Chet

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February 19th, 2018 by Vega Montanez

PSVR gets a discount, Persona 5 gets an App, & THQ gets, well, everything else.

We are 8 weeks into 2018 and the slow news weeks are starting to happen. That can only mean one thing; E3 approaches! Tickets went live last week and I don’t really know how many have been sold but it’s that time. I couldn’t let you guys down though so I had to dig real deep. And dig deep I did, here are the reasons you should feel like a Lucky Gamer this week:

1. No Hearthstone on Switch.

Straight to the point. Despite numerous ambiguous teases and tweets from Blizzard that may have felt promising, the game’s designer Dean Ayala has provided a firm “no”. It’s weird because Hearthstone is such a perfect fit for Nintendo Switch as a platform. The only speculation I could make at this time is that they don’t feel confident with the online infrastructure of the Nintendo Switch. Even that doesn’t entirely make sense for me because Splatoon 2 plays great. Maybe there are things about video game you can never understand from just playing. What are the odds?

2. No Hearthstone but at least you get De Blob.

One of the most amazing 3D platfomers of the last consoles generation is getting remastered for Nintendo Switch. De Blob, originally released back in 2008, will be coming to the Switch at some point in 2018 as tweeted by THQ Nordic. Last year we saw the release of the remaster on PS4 & Xbox one with the sequel coming sometimes this year. De Blob is one of those fun games that can serve as a cool party experiences to introduce new people to gaming. Given Nintendo’s recent track of cool additions to games, it will be really exciting to see what kind of bonus features De Blob will get. Maybe we’ll be able to dress up De Blob as Pikachu or link.

3. It’s the return of the purple dragon!

If someone would have told me that Skylander’s was not going to be the end of Spyro the Dragon, I would have laughed in their face. In fact I think I actually might have. So to anyone who’s face I laughed in, well I apologize. Much like I did when Crash Bandicoot made his remastered trilogy return. It turns out that was enough to push Activision and/or Sony to stop playing with our emotions and give us back our playstation mascots! That realization led us here: Spyro the Dragon Trilogy remaster is in the works and potentially coming to PS4 in Q3 of 2018. To put that in basic terms: Spyro is coming for Christmas, people! The trilogy is rumored to have the first three Spyro games remastered with brand new everything. Textures, assets, and all the other boring stuff. The real exciting news, which may come as a surprise to most, Crash and Spyro are potentially timed exclusive deals which means they may come to other platforms afterwards! This is going to be huge for two of the most iconic characters in video game history. Looks like the Gamers win again.

4. US government is against loot boxes, maybe.

It turns out it’s time for the government to get involved in video games again. It’s been a long while since the US government felt the need to step in and take stand in the video games industry. Fear not however fellow gamers, this time it appears they are on our side. At least thats what it looks like. US Senator Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire has issued a letter to our friends over at the ESRB establishing a strong outline of concerns regarding micro transactions. More specifically regarding Loot Boxes and Loot Box Systems. Her concern is primarily surrounding “in game purchases for surprise winnings” because they may be highly addicting. This comes hot on the heals of the World Health Organization update which adds “gaming disorder” as a diagnosable mental disorder. All of this follows Hawaii’s recent proposal of bills which specifically target Loot Boxes as a form of “illegal gambling”. Now that we have reached the end of this topic, I am no longer sure who’s side these people are actually on.

5. The Devil May Cry for free occasionally.

February 27th marks the day of the beast. Actually, I’m not sure if that is true at all. Something that is completely true is that starting on February 27th Devil May Cry HD will be available for free to all PC players with a Twitch Prime Membership. With Capcom running this promotion for an undisclosed length of time, rumors floating around of a Devil May Cry 5 on the horizon are staring to feel real true. Couple the free give away with the upcoming release of Devil May Cry HD releasing on March 13th for PS4, Xbox One, and PC makes for a powerful argument. I personally had nothing against the rebooted Dante for the most recent game, but I can’t wait to go back to hanging out with cool Dante. I also really hope the rumor of a new Devil May Cry is true regardless which Dante we get. Speaking of devils and demons, did I mention that Persona 5 is getting an official Mementos App? Well, in Japan at least.

6. Missing? Who’s missing?

There is only one name in the video game industry that evokes more confusion than the question “is a hot dog a sandwich?”. That name is Hidetaka Suehiro. Actually, no it’s not.  That’s the man that evokes confusion, however the name is Swery. And there you go, your hold world just flipped thinking bout what this guy has done now. Now let’s be very clear: Swery has provided absolutely no information about this game beside the fact he’s working with Arc System Works, and it’s called “The Missing”. Also, the game will “blow your mind” when it releases late this year. On the topic of Arc System Works and missing things, the first two DLC characters for Dragon Ball FighterZ have leaked and I can’t wait to (spoiler alert) play as Broly & Bardock.

7. THQ fills their shopping cart and PSVR hopes to fill yours.

THQ Nordic heard about the Lucky Gamer Recap and said “We are going to do something to get us on that damn list twice in one day!”. You read about De Blob remastered but that’s not all. It looks like THQ Nordic might have gotten their tax returns back early because they just made a very big purchase. In a roughly 150 million dollar deal, THQ Nordic just purchased Koch Media. What does that mean? Well let me give you an idea. Koch Media is the holding company of Deep Silver (Dead Island, Metro), Volition (Saints Row), and Dambuster Studios (Homefront). Ultimately this deal really just means that the THQ we remember watching fold in 2012 is getting right back up. With no plans for restructuring any of the current business plans, it seems some great things may already be in the works. On the flip side because its tax season, and in honor of big purchases, I have to share that PSVR will be $100 off from today (technically yesterday) until March 3rd. Looks like its time to jump on one of those bad boys, hey Chet!

Let me get this straight, THQ goes Bankrupt > Gets bought by THQ > Become THQ Nordic > Deep Silver buys Saints Row > THQ Nordic buys Koch Media > Koch Media is parent company of Deep Silver > THQ now owns Saints Row again. What kind of timeline is this?




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January 21st, 2018 by Vega Montanez

Rumors. Cardboard. Sneakers. This Lucky Gamer Recap has it all.

Another week another surprise announcement from companies we thought were out of surprises. This week in gaming news Activision publishing CEO takes a walk, Nintendo tells us to play with the packaging, and information leaks from every pipe in the house to fuel rumors. As In read that back I realize it sounds like Video Games went back to middle school for a week. That’s ok though, we all need to tap into our inner child every now and then. Don’t worry its totally cool as long as you come back to adulthood in a reasonable timeframe. I mean I spend have of every week acting like a child on purpose and look at me. Probably not the best example, any way here are the goods to make you feel lucky this week:

1. Nintendo literally tells kids to go play with a Box.

When it comes to video games, Nintendo is the crazy uncle in the family who you’re never really quite sure what he does or how but you know he’s bringing in the big bucks. Ever year Nintendo drops this insane, outrageous, damn near ridiculous plan for a new product. This year that product is Nintendo Labo, a line of build it yourself experiences for the Nintendo Switch. Players will be able to build cool experiments that can be connected to the Switch and interact with specific software. I could talk about the fact these kits are completely modular or I can reference the silliness that is Nintendo calling them your creations Toy-Con’s (sounds pretty bad out loud) but instead I want to tackle something bigger. All the kits are made of Cardboard Sheets designed to interact with your console. That’s right. Cardboard. That’s what they’re selling us now. A variety Kit for $69.99 that includes materials to build a two cars, a fishing rod, a house, a motorbike, and a piano OR a Robot Kit for $79.99 (that brings material to build a robot suit). And I’d be a damn liar if I said I didn’t want them all.

2. It seems even publishing maybe exhausted from Call of Duty.

After eight years with the company Activisions Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg will be leaving the company. Eric had an incredible run with the company and is making the strong decision to go out on top with Call of Duty WWII and Destiny 2 both dominating the top selling games list of 2017 (#1 and #2 respectively). For some this may be a huge moment of exciting because you are thinking “COD is trash anyway, maybe the new guy can make it better” but you’re wrong. That wasn’t his job. For some people this is terrifying new because you are thinking “Damn now COD is gonna be trash, the new guys going to ruin it.” but you to are also wrong. His job was to sign off on titles getting published so we can play them till our hearts collapsed. So if you’re thinking “thank god maybe we wont get anymore awful ports or licensed games” you are absolutely right cause those were totally his fault. Damn you Eric. However, on a serious note, Where ever Eric moves on to, we at Hard Mode Gamers wish him the best and thank him for all his hard work for this ungrateful and under satisfied industry. Don’t be mad you know damn well we are never fully satisfied as gamers.

3. Strong chance there will be significantly fewer happy people this spring.

Things happen in this industry regularly because there are so many uncontrollable variables. I’m not gonna do the list thing sorry. Originally slated for an April 13th release date, We Happy Few has been delayed till sometime time in the summer. Compulsion Games, the guys developing the game, have simply said they just need a little more time to polish the game up. The detailed version seems to point at story pacing revisions as the primary concern so who knows exactly when it will be ready. This game has had quite an interesting development cycle if you ask me, so while you wait for it to release in some undisclosed timeframe, catch up on the whole process on the developers website. Crowdfunding for the win!

4. Let’s put the good Xbox rumors in the same place and as the bad ones last week.

As you get to know me you’ll get to understand I treat all systems equally. No bias or inequality in my world. Do something good you get applause, do something bad you get the saw. This week, if all these rumors pan out to be true, Xbox gets a huge applause. First rumor is that a new Fable games is in development at Playground Games, home of Forza Horizon. Supposedly the recent success of Horizon Zero Dawn, the other horizon game, was a major influence on this decision and if so, that is the type of healthy competition we need. Second rumor on the report is that Microsoft is working on another Xbox Elite Controller for it’s most elite players. There obviously aren’t a ton of concrete details but, if rumors are to be believed the new control will bring rechargeable battery built in, a USB C port, three levels of hair-trigger locks, a three profile switch, and more. All of which, in my opinion, is sooper dope.

5. More on the rumor mill.

Like I said this was the week of gossip gamers, so let us soak it all in. A series of European tore listings let slip that a last generation THQ game may be getting a new generation facelift. Red Faction: Guerrilla may be seeing new life on PS4 and Xbox One as early as sometime in the near future. See that’s how rumors work they tell you a bunch of information that ultimately goes nowhere. Not my fault, come at me bro. In a completely unrelated leak, comicbook.com reports that TT Games may be working on two new Lego adventures for us to die over. The first being a Lego Incredibles game, obviously to coincide with the release of the highly anticipated Incredibles 2 film. That one I’m pretty inclined to believe is true because of the blatant marketing opportunity. The second rumored Lego game in development I’m not entirely convinced is real yet. Supposedly the other Lego game in development is a DC villains game centered around the Rogue Gallery (you know the Joker, Lex, Harley, Mr. Freeze, etc.). Unless a rogue gallery film is in the works or this was supposed to coincide with the Justice League sequel we will never get, I don’t know how this would entice the normies. But hey what do I know?

6. Blizzard World is here! Almost.

The long-awaited Blizzard World Map for Overwatch, announced back at Blizzcon 2017, will be available on January 23rd. See straight to the point for all the fans who came here for one thing and one thing only. If you are unfamiliar for some outrageous reason, Blizzard World is a new Overwatch map that pays homage to Blizzards other franchises that paved the way. Featuring areas themed around games like World of Warcraft & Hearthstone you can expect cool easter eggs to be laced all around the theme park. Exclusive streaming deal with Twitch, an incredibly supportive community, and new content on a regular basis, Overwatch has made it very clear it plans to be a part of E-Sports for a long long time.

7. The partnership of incredibles! Playstation themed basketball shoes.

Nike reveals a brand new pair of incredible basketball sneakers called the PG-2. Why is this video game news? Well I’m glad you asked. You see these particular basketball sneaks are the birth child of a unique breeding ritual between Nike, Playstation, and Paul George. Paul George is a basketball player who plays for the Oklahoma City Thunders and is a long time Playstation fan. Playstation is one of the greatest video game platforms of all time and with basketball games that features Paul George and Nike clothing. Nike is a clothing company that just had to sit back and watch one of its main competitors dominate the “nerd culture” community by starting a DBZ sneaker line. This combination was just a heavenly match waiting to happen. How this beautiful shoe came to be is unbeknownst to me however. I will absolutely need a pair when they are made available for purchase on February 10 at a look shoe dealer near you. If I don’t get a pair, Just be careful walking back to the car.




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August 28th, 2017 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

Those peacekeepers could use your help, agent!

Agents of Mayhem is a third person shooter with RPG elements developed by Volition and published by Deep Silver. Volition’s last full release, Saints Row IV was released by Deep Silver after THQ, the original publisher was unable to stay in business. This final game (plus the Gat Out of Hell standalone expansion) left the series with little room to move on. So, this game serves as a spinoff to the Saints Row series by taking all of its gameplay and adding some interesting new tweaks. It’s a single-player-only experience, yet you play as a squad of 3 and just swap in and out of all 3 characters. Does it work?
{Reviewed on Xbox One]

GRAPHICS: 1/2

It feels like Volition is always just a little bit behind everyone else in the area of graphics. Adding a slight amount of cel-shaded flair and some decent visual FX, it’s their best looking game to date. But unfortunately, ‘their best’ is a game that looks like a launch title in the graphics department. Or, at the very least, it’s a former last gen game that was hastily ported to next gen for Xbox One and PS4. The design of Seoul, the city the game takes place in, looks quite nice artistically. Aesthetic highrises, building zones, factories, and a shipyard, they made them all look decent. But, in terms of technical prowess, it’s just not up to part with the more modern games it’s lining up against. There’s also a fair bit of asset reuse going on here. Because of that, you see the same signs and buildings multiple times if they aren’t part of the set-piece structures. There will be more about this later on in the review.

STORY: 1/2

The plot of Agents of Mayhem was so banal, it was entirely forgettable. The titular agents of M.A.Y.H.E.M. are put up against the nefarious L.E.G.I.O.N. in order to stop them from creating a super weapon. If this sounds like a Saturday morning cartoon, that’s because it’s framed as one. Tons of 2D animated cutscenes play before and after missions. This game manages to mimic that look, albeit way more raunchier and full of F-bombs. But, like I said, the story is forgettable. What is memorable is the array of colorful characters that interact with each other. Every single mission and major side-mission is loaded to the brim with radio chatter, often engaging as much as 5 or more people in the group gabbing it up while you’re fighting. The case contains 12 agents, 5 major NPCs in your home base, and 5+ enemy characters and they all do their fair share of talking. This is multiplied if you play the game with your favorite squad loadout. You definitely won’t like all 12 agents but you’ll find the ones whose humor aligns with yours the most. Bonus points do have to be given. The enemy NPCs have a metric ton of lines that are specific to whichever agent you’re currently playing as (“It’s Hollywood, get him!” or “Oh sh*t, it’s Braddock!” etc). One more thing that bothers me more though, is that they decided to make Saints Row mainstay Johnny Gat into a pre-order only DLC from Gamestop. I am dumbfounded as to why they decided to do this, so I chose not to pre-order and pick up the game elsewhere.

AUDIO: 0/2

Complete disaster. The audio is littered with multiple small glitches like sounds being interrupted, missing sound effects, and lines getting occasionally cut off. There were also numerous times where leaving the game running and coming back later mutes the entire game, forcing you to restart it. Games running in the background are a staple of all the new consoles, so it’s a pain in the ass when your enjoyment is interrupted because you have to restart the game. The voice acting was mediocre for the most part. Nobody really stood out, but nothing was terrible. The music though? Boring. The cars didn’t even have radio stations either, music just clicks on any time you enter a vehicle. I said in our video that the music sounded like generic “royalty free” music you can purchase at a lower cost than licensed music. Given Volition’s usually propensity for absolutely nailing scenes with well-times songs, it’s just depressing that they couldn’t be bothered to come up with something more interesting.

GAMEPLAY: 1/2

The gameplay in AoM is hectic, as you jump around attacking various enemies in either wide open spaces or closed in dungeon-type areas. It’s sort of an overhaul from Saints Row IV but optimized to suit a squad-based combat system. Some team members are better at taking down certain enemy types than others. It’s pretty easy to make a well balanced teams since they all have handy little logos indicating what their specialty is. Some break through armor, some break shields, other can hack, others do more damage against leaders. This new depth actually made the game exciting to try out different characters while playing the missions. However, all of the gameplay is completely marred by bugs. I’ve gotten stuck in scenery, textures not loading, my car getting trapped, and an enemy boss accidentally teleporting outside the map, forcing me to start the whole bass battle over again. It’s stuff like this and the aforementioned audio bugs that really bring this game down. Even worse is the mission design. Every other story mission or major side mission has you perform a menial task followed by assaulting one of Legion’s underground lairs. Except it’s the same lair. EVERY. TIME. The game tries to make up for this by having you travel to different sections of the lair per mission but its done so frequently that it doesn’t help it at all. One more thing: another detriment to the game was the lack of a minimap, making the buggy GPS system and driving confusing on many occasions.

FUN: 2/2

So, here’s the rub. Despite all of AoM’s problems with glitches and bugs, the game is an absolute blast to play once things get going. Though I’m not a fan of the recent uprising of every game turning into a sandbox game, I can’t say it doesn’t give you plenty of things to do. This is also helped by making the map not really that big. In a market full of games that are continually trying to outdo each other by size, this game had the guts to say NO. This game takes place in one city, not of the missions or activities is all that far away, and the activities are free form so you have that old-school freedom to do whenever you want. The best way to play this game is in short bursts. Playing the game for review forces me to tire of the repetition but if you use it as a time killing game and decide to go around, shooting some stuff up, and causing general MAYHEM, you’ll be in for a good time.

Bugs, glitches, and lackluster soundtrack really hampered the overall quality of the experience of this game. It could have been better had it not been for seemingly lazy mission design. Doing the same thing over and over again can be annoying but not in short bursts. A wild idea arose while writing this review. I think this game should be on the Nintendo Switch. This game looks like it could run on it, and this game would be great to have as a portable title. So if you really like your sandbox games, you could do worse. But for a full price release? Forget it, wait for a sale.

SCORE: 5/10




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