April 1st, 2019 by Vega Montanez

Claptrap and The Vault Hunters!

After years of speculation and rumors Borderlands 3 will be coming to a console near you. Gearbox and 2K confirmed the long awaited sequel at a keynote during PAX East. Although little information was provided at the initial announcement, Gearbox promised more in the near future.

Check out the trailer!

The next reveals will happen on April 3rd. And, Hopefully we get our bags filled with exciting Borderlands 3 news. In the meantime, true Borderlands fans can rejoice in the second major announcement. Borderlands: Game of the Year edition is will be available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. When? April 3rd. Why? Well because, why not and it’s getting some big quality updates.

For any newcomers to the series, Borderlands is a First Person RPG Shooter. Some fan favorite elements of Borderlands include a ridiculous range of customization and weapons crafting options and 4 player co-op. I mean who am I kidding, everything about Borderlands is a fan favorite. From the unique comic book aesthetic to the different play styles of each character to the amazing narrative. Borderlands is a series that is experienced not just played.

So it looks like it’s going to be a good year for Borderlands fans and the Gearbox crew. Are you excited for Borderlands 3?

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October 10th, 2018 by Vega Montanez

Hey $gtBallZak69, I’ve got some good news!

Sony has heard the cries and complaints and have decided it’s time to let your PSN mature with you. The overly requested PSN Online ID Change feature is currently in the Playstation Review Program. That means it’s pretty much official and just awaiting a launch date.

As of now, it’s available to PlayStation users that have registered as testers for previous PS4 system software betas. Anyone who does get access will be able to do their first change for free. All changes after that will cost $10. For PlayStation Plus members, it will cost $5 after the first change.

In standard typical Sony fashion (yes as a fanboy i can admit they hardly get it all the way right) there are some weird rules. First the new feature won’t be compatible with all games. It will be compatible with PS4 games released after April 1, 2018, and “the majority of the most-played PS4 games” released before this date. That’s right not all PS4, PS3, and PS Vita games are guaranteed to support the feature. Users might see issues or errors in certain games. If you run into any issues with the change, PlayStation will let you revert back to your old ID free of charge.

Makes sense? Yea not really, but hey it’s a start. Enjoy.

 




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October 9th, 2018 by Vega Montanez

Mech meets Metal Gear!

Is it just me or am I really starting to have some pull in the video game industry? After releasing my review of the best mech game available on current generation consoles, we get a release date for a new one. Left Alive, a new spin-off from the Front Mission series, will be available on PS4 and Steam on March 5, 2019.

Left Alive is an upcoming third person survival action shooter set in a dark and gritty war torn world. With art designs by Metal Gear character designer Yoji Shinkawa, this game quickly found its way on my “must play” list. Square Enix has shrouded the game heavily in mystery. However, Left Alive plans to tell a story focused on three unique protagonist fighting for survival.

The game will let players decide between stealth and wit gameplay or going guns a blazing against enemies of all sizes. And armor. That’s right, as shown in the trailer, players will be able to pilot giant mechs into battle. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a proper narrative game with heavy man vs machine elements. Unless we’re still counting TitanFall 2, of course. 

Let us know in the comments below, does this game excite you as much as it excites me?




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October 9th, 2018 by Vega Montanez

Claptrap. VR. Claptrap. VR. CLAPTRAP VR!!!

That’s right, VR continues to make strides in becoming the best way to experience your favorite games. Announced on the Playstation blog, Borderlands 2 will be making its way to PSVR on December 14, 2018. One of the most popular first person shooter RPG’s of all time will be letting you experience its wild gunplay from the most first person perspective possible. The full game will be playable and available for the price tag of $49.99.

“Players will get the opportunity to visit Pandora in the most immersive Borderlands experience yet.”

Although Enhanced for VR, Borderlands 2 VR will not include the online multiplayer making this a single player only experience. The new Bad Ass Mega Fun Time will allow players to slow down time to prepare for the battles ahead. All four characters unique abilities that relied on multiplayer have been reworked into the BAMF Time, but its not entirely clear how.

Borderlands 2 VR is exclusively available on PSVR and pre-ordering the game will unlock a PS4 dynamic theme featuring the four vault hunters we’ve come to love. Let us know in the comments below how you feel about the lack of multiplayer in exchange for the VR experience.




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October 4th, 2018 by Vega Montanez

An Old Mech Game Given The Present of New Life By Future Tech

In a landscape nearly devoid of mech-based adventures, Konami (the company best known for being terrible) dug deep into its bag of old games and gave Zone of the Enders a second life. The irony behind Konami remastering another amazing series by the great Hideo Kojima is pretty amazing, but enough politics. Zone of the Enders: 2nd Runner Remastered is a third-person action adventure set in a futuristic world where humans inhabitant both Earth and Mars and war is fought in space. Released for the Playstation 4 and PC on September 6th, 2018, the remaster was developed by Konami and Cygames. Does Zone of the Enders deserve to exist alongside the rest of the recent remasters?

More importantly, how does Zone of the Enders work in VR?

(Note: VR Review does not impact the overall score of the game because it is not the originally designed experience.)

Graphics 1/2

There should absolutely be a standard for allowing companies to use the term “Remastered” for any future game release. Zone of the Enders: 2nd Runner treads the line between just better than the craptastic Shenmue remakes that Sega released and the absolutely stunning Yakuza remakes that Sega released. One major advantage for Zone of the Enders is the great way that the game was originally designed to not look hyperrealistic. The visuals paired with the level of fun the game carries makes it very possible to kick back and look beyond the broken character models. Without ever having been to Mars, its safe to assume that Zone of the Enders did a great job recreating exactly what the surface of the red planet looks like.

“Developers truly benefit from the skill of using cartoonish art styles and Zone of the Enders wins heavily thanks to its anime style.

VR: The game looks worst. The real question here is: was anyone expecting any other response? When playing in first-person through VR the game doesn’t look bad but it definitely doesn’t feel immersive. Think about this one thing for a second. When playing in third-person all of the lasers and explosions are happening, visually at least, in front of the character. When playing in VR the player can look at all the angles of this lighting special effect that was designed to be viewed head-on. Boom, worst, not entirely immersive but not bad. Shenmue was still worse and it wasn’t even in VR. 

Story 1/2

For anyone who has not played the first Zone of the Enders, STOP. There will be spoilers ahead because Zone of The Enders: 2nd Runner is a direct sequel. With that said, it’s been damn near 15 years, so get over it. Ready? Let’s go. The game takes place two years after the events of the original game. Playing as Dingo Egret, a miner working on the planet Callisto who comes across the all-powerful orbital frame, Jehuty. That is literally the last part of simplicity this game has until the very end credits. From that point it goes into true Kojima mode with main characters dying and being revived, past significantly important characters appearing then suddenly deciding they want absolutely no part of the new story, and a world-destroying battle between two superweapons on the brink that falls on poor Dingo’s shoulders to be smack dab in the middle of.

Anyone who has ever been a fan of Gundam, Metal Gear or any mech-based anime will absolutely love this. Anyone who read that last sentence and thought what the f*ck is a Gundam, maybe stay away. 

VR: Same story. Really not sure what anyone expected to see here. 

Audio 2/2

Sound effects help to drive the validity of any game’s atmosphere and Zone of the Enders sounds like a robot war. Nailed it; not a beat missed. Lasers flying by sound way more dangerous than they look. Explosions are short-lived, but in the moment they sound very great. The voice acting and dialogue is great even though it doesn’t seem like any of it was updated for the remaster. It was just really great from the source. The menu sound effects sound exactly like the sounds from Metal Gear Solid 1-3 so super fans should be prepared for some nostalgia. Some excellent nostalgia. Damn Konami why you do Kojima so bad.

VR: Sound is the most critical aspect of VR. If the game sounds right the player can get fully immersed in the experience. Zone of the Enders takes place in space and space is, by most accounts, pretty quiet. That empty atmosphere is great as long as there are no other sounds in the outside world. Most people can’t afford to play their VR in an isolated perfect environment but everything else sounding great is definitely a VR experience. 

Gameplay 1/2

Zone of the Enders: 2nd Runner Re-Mastered is a remastered PS2 game, and it definitely shows. The control schemes are extremely dated and very light on motor control demands. There are only a handful of buttons used from the entire DualShock remote. Even with the highly bragged about adjustment of the way the secondary weapons button works it still feels super dated. The biggest issue with the controls for the game is found in the lock-on system. For whatever reason, the lock-on system locks on to whatever target that it wants to and when changing targets, probably due to the fast-paced gameplay, the thing goes bonkers. Rather than simply pushing the analog stick towards the closest target to lock on, the game just cycles randomly through all the targets on screen. That’s a really bad thing to happen when playing what is essentially an on-rails shooter. 

VR: Probably the best VR experience available to date. The entire game is playable in VR and it feels amazing. Jumping into the cockpit of the super mech known as Jehuty is everything most people want from a VR experience. This is a VR Experience that should not be missed. With better visuals, it would be the epitome of VR gaming. It still suffers from most of the things that made the non-VR version hard to play but in VR those are well worth the pain. 

Fun 2/2

Wooooooooooohoooooooooo. Playing Mech games is arguably always fun. Anyone who disagrees is entitled to their opinion but is completely wrong. Outside of the frustration of losing a battle due to a faulty lock-on system, it’s very easy to let time fly by as Jehuty flies or slides all around the surface of Mars, the interior of a massive space battleship. It’s an on-the-rails shooter for the most part in the vein of a super modernized Gradius, but who didn’t like throwing quarters in those old arcade machines? The other issue with the game that hinders its fun levels just a tad is that the save system doesn’t play entirely nice with pick up and play gamers. Fortunately, the PS4 rest mode is a nice workaround for this objective-based issue. 

VR: How do you make a fun game more fun? Add the latest technology to its tool belt. Playing Zone of the Enders 2nd Runner in VR mode feels like the way it was meant to be played. Zipping around Mars in first person perspective could only be more exciting in a Sword Art Online style full dive mechanism that doesn’t exist yet. Just to reiterate, everyone should play Zone of the Enders: 2nd Runner in VR Mode at least once. It is truly an experience. 

Zone of the Enders: 2nd Runner is a remaster like no other. Sure, a ton of remasters exist that look a million times better, but Zone brings a brand new element to the game that hadn’t existed previously. Hideo Kojima must have shattered at least three or four rooms’ worth of valuable merchandise when he saw what Konami was able to accomplish with one of his crazy ideas. Honestly, it’s a bit confusing as to why Konami didn’t make the VR mode a more significant marketing push for the game. Priced at only $29.99 brand new, this is a must-have experience for anyone interested in VR.

Scratch that, anyone with a PSVR or PC-based VR system needs to get their hands on Zone of the Enders: 2nd Runner today. Especially since the evil monsters at Konami published the game, so we never know what to expect. This last good review pushed them to start making pachinko versions of the game. 

Score: 7/10




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October 2nd, 2018 by Vega Montanez

Remember back when the PSP was the coolest thing on the block?

And then all of a sudden anybody who could make a pandora battery was a master hacker? And the PSP ultimately became the greatest way to play stolen, I mean emulated, game?

It may seem so with the latest reports we’re hearing. Retro-Arch is back with it’s latest update friends. And this latest update is making major waves. If you don’t know let me be the first to inform you. Retro-Arch is a homebrew program that combines all your favorite gaming emulators into one beautiful new place. Development started back in 2010 (yea I know that was mad long ago. In fact I had just graduated high school!) and fast forward to 2018 and let’s just say its working.

It’s working so damn well it can run on everyones new favorite home console portable system hybrid. That’s right, if you fall into the “Criminal Activity Indulging” category of gamers, first off shame on you, second its your time to shine baby. That’s right the latest version of the app runs flawlessly on hacked Nintendo Switches.

We don’t encourage the use of hacked consoles on HardModeGamers but we do support the freedom to do whatever the hell you want with your console so long as you purchased it. With that said, don’t expect much more info from this guy. I already feel dirty including the link. Gross.

Let us know in the comments below how you feel about hacking your console for free games or in general.




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June 30th, 2018 by Vega Montanez

Tour was a nightmarish fun experience. Like it was really hard, expensive, and dangerous but it was fun none the less. Now that I’m back the free games are pretty cool. Solve a crazy murder or play an epic fitting game or get ready for one of falls biggest releases. It doesn’t matter whats happening late but take advantage now of all the free games still coming to PS3 and PS Vita. Here are the free games this month folks, you know cause July new game releases are awful.

Free Playstation Plus Games:

Heavy Rain (PS4)

Absolver (PS4)

Call of Duty Black Ops 3 (PS4)

Rayman 3 HD (PS3)

Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess (PS3)

Space Overlords (PS Vita)

Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma (PS Vita)




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June 15th, 2018 by Vega Montanez

Seriously, why did you miss the party?

Every year gamers from all around the globe collect themselves for the, debatably, biggest event in gaming, E3. It comes once a year and usually brings amazing surprises and gifts for the family. Just looking back, there have been many times lives have been changed over announcements made at E3. E3 2018 was no different. Although lacking in surprises because on the internet, no not that internet this internet, it still kept its promise to deliver a great gaming expo experience.

However, every year some people think they’re too good for E3. Some people get the invitation to the party and throw it away. Sure some people forget but in this case, it’s super unlikely. So I’m going to take this opportunity to call out a few people who were missing. And I’m going to rate them on how willing I am to forgive them. 

Rocksteady (Batman Arkham Series)

One of the most beloved studios by comic book fans is undeniably Rocksteady, home of the best Batman games ever made. I don’t like Batman, so I’m a little more upset they didn’t show up than I normally would be. Reason? Well, there are way too many rumors that their next project is either a Superman game or a Justice League game. I love Superman. I like Justice League. Is this making sense yet? Good. BI will give them a pass though because they addressed hey didn’t feel ready to show their next project off yet. I can appreciate waiting for some high-quality masterpiece. 

Status: Forgiven.

THQ Nordic (Darksiders Series, Biomutant, Metro Series)

I always knew Soccer had the largest following in the world of sports. Yet still, I was shocked beyond belief when I saw that these guys were giving up their invitation to E3 to watch the World Cup! Really, that’s a thing that happened. These guys just made an announcement in which almost their entire stable of games was delayed. Biomutant, Darksiders 3, and Metro Exodus all delayed and all we get is a release date for one of them? But as hurt as I am, you gentlemen and women have lives. Enjoy the World Cup, I secretly hope your favorite teams lose. Kidding best of luck. 

Status: Forgiven

Tekken X Street Fighter (Namco Bandai)

I don’t even know where to start with this one. I am a huge fan of the Tekken series but not so much of Street Fighter. Regardless I love the characters and stories from both universes. So when the two crossover games were announced I was 100% sold. Even got the collector’s edition of Street Fighter X Tekken. That was the street fighter version and I enjoyed it but not as much as I love Tekken. And yet here we are. My support was for naught. I still anxiously await the Tekken version of this crossover spectacular we were promised. I have hopes it’s still around the corner considering the addition of Akuma and other Capcom and SNK characters in Tekken 7. With Soul Calibur 6 around the corner, however, it might be a while.

Status: Forgiven

Borderlands 3 (Gearbox)

This is the reason Rage 2 exist. I love what Rage 2 looks like it’s going to be. Being brutally honest though, Borderlands 3 is what fans of that type of game are really waiting for. It was one of the games in the same Walmart Canada leak that outed Rage 2. So maybe it’s real and good old Randy was just annoyed that his surprise was ruined. I totally understand his perspective. I hate when people ruin my surprises too. If that’s what happening Randy, I feel your pain and I’m hoping, after the time passes, the official reveal will be out of this world. I have zero doubts it won’t be. I remember reading Game Informer when the first Borderlands was announced. Bring me back to that first high. I need it. 

Status: Forgiven

Mortal Kombat 11 (Netherrealm)

Returning to the fighting game world there is a big question for the gruesome champions of parent offending fighting games. The last Mortal Kombat game was released a few years back and while Injustice 2 has been an amazing filler, we need gore. What appeared to be the last batch of DLC came to Injustice 2 a few months back so what have you guys been doing. I expect much more from one of my favorite development studios of all time. Much more dammit! You teased it, Boon!

Status: Forgiven

Sony’s 11 Other Studios 

I think that one is pretty obvious. The reality is that Sony is most likely moving their major presentation to PSX. I mean why wouldn’t they. At thins went they cater to the fans and investors and make it all about them. So it makes we didn’t hear much about them but in all honesty the way the cycles are right now we won’t hear from them for a while. I’m sure Guerrilla Games, London, Japan, Polyphony, Bend, Foster, San Diego, Pixel Opus, and Project siren have something fancy coming our way. Just wait and see. I’m all still not entirely sure if Media Molecule’s Dreams was or wasn’t on display. So it might be 10 studios missing. 

If you were paying attention you’ll notice all of these absences have been forgiven. These people who make our favorite games are just that, People. At the end of it all, they need a break. They need some time to enjoy the things they enjoy (hopefully video games) and escape from work. I appreciate all the Hardworking individuals in the industry keeping it alive. As much I want to indulge in all these fascinating ideas, I want you to indulge in life. Thanks. 

P.S. Miss the next one and you’re not getting another f*cking invite. Bye Bye.

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May 28th, 2018 by Vega Montanez

This week we pay respect to a legend.

As time moves forward people are moved on. This week we honor a man who was at the forefront of the gaming industry. Rest in peace Mr. Ted Dabney, co-founder of Atari, who passed away after a battle with cancer at age 86. We must also express ou feelings for John Bain, aka TotalBiscuit, whom also died from cancer at age 33.  The HardModeGamers, the Lucky Gamer Recap, and so much would potentially not exist without your contributions. Now this week’s Lucky Gamer Recap:

1. PGA touring with… not EA 

It seems those eager for more golfing games may be in a bad place. EA has lost the license to PGA Tour. The news came as Canadian developer, HB Studios, announced the addition of the tour to its upcoming title The Golf Club 2019. Rory McIlroy took the helm of EA’s PGA Tour series after they ended their partnership with Tiger Woods. And that game didn’t do well critically or commercially. Now, EA has lost the license completely but both sides claim the split was amicable. Meanwhile HB Studios is boasting that this validates they have the number one golf game on the market. Cool brag guys. 

2. Remember the Garbage Pail Kids?

Well, they’re getting a video game. That’s right the Garbage Pail Kids game was officially announced. Do you want to know more? Word, so it’s going to be a free-to-play card-battle RPG. There will be original characters as well as newer cards thrown in the mix. Developed by Jago Studios in collaboration with The Topps Company, the game is currently in Private beta. There is no official launch date but it is planned to be release on both iOS and Android markets. It seems like things from the 80’s really are making the strongest comeback ever. Shout out to Stranger Things and Hipsters for that one. 

3. Japan Exclusive: Dock-less Switch!

In a surprising turn of events, Nintendo has announced a dock-less Switch bundle coming exclusively to Japan. As most of us know, Japan is super heavy on mobile gaming. This move makes perfect sense in the idea of providing what the consumer wants. On the flip side it is definitely pretty self destructive considering they own the #1 portable console on the market. However, as far as I’m concerned this is confirmation of a Pokemon Switch game coming out this fall. Why else would they be so willing to ditch a core component of their hybrid console? No dock means it’s just a portable game console.

4. And there may be a new challenger… maybe.

During a recent interview with Bloomberg John Kodera, the new Playstation bossman, said he wants the company to continue thinking about portable gaming. He stated very clearly they are not discussing hardware specifics yet but they were carrying out experiments in the department. Could the next Playstation console be a hybrid like the Nintendo Switch? Quite possibly because this is also the same interview that sent the internet into a frenzy. A statement about the PS4 nearing the end of it’s lifecycle made everyone panic. Until they realized he was speaking from a sales of product perspective. The Vita is already dead, with physical game support and free Playstation Plus games already seeing an end.

5. Resident Evil Switch is cloudy with a chance of bad.

The good news: Resident Evil 7 is coming to Nintendo Switch. The bad news: Resident Evil 7: Cloud Version is coming to Nintendo Switch. The game that originally released on all the platforms isn’t getting a port. Instead Capcom is releasing something called, Resident Evil 7: Cloud Version, here’s the explanation. This is going to be a streamed game, much like PlayStation Now. Its a small download at only 45MB but obviously needs a constant internet connection to work. As of right now this is only coming to Japan (update: released in Japan May 24th 2018) which makes sense. They have the internet capability to support this, much like they did before with Phantasy Star Online 2. It’ll be really tough for this to ever work in America, but one can dream.

6. Madden NFL 19.

I know the NFL is in really hot water lately because of all the racism protest and stuff but that doesn’t stop the money train from running. EA officially, to no one’s surprise, announced Madden NFL 19 releasing August 10, 2018. The cover athlete honor has blessed, or cursed depending who you ask, incredible Wide Receiver Terrell Owens. There will also be a Hall of Fame edition of the game available for $80. The special edition comes with three days of early access, 12 gold team fantasy packs, an elite legends player, and more. This will definitely have some presence at E3 so if interested for sure tune in. 

7. School Shooting Game? Very Bad Idea. 

It never make sense to me when people claim that real violence is a product of fictional violence. The reference material for fiction is real life. Such is the case with Active Shooter, a game released on STEAM earlier this week. The game has been under fire for literally being a game about mass shootings. You can play as a civilian, a SWAT officer, or the active shooter. Tons of people were triggered over this. I can absolutely see why, but I still feel like the timing was wrong, the concept not so much. If it’s not for you, it’s not for you. It’s kind of silly for people to feel like if they don’t like something it has to disappear completely. Don’t get me wrong I think it was dumb as hell for this game to release with the school shooter being a playable character. I think it’s worst that the civilian is a character. Either way, I’m hoping to get an interview with the Dev team so we can discuss it in detail.

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May 24th, 2018 by Vega Montanez

Its a War against Zombies! (or Zombie Fatigue, who knows.)

Alright, so something weird is shaking up in the gaming industry. It’s weird “in a creepy not sure whats going on here” way. At a time where most people are having discussions surrounding this mythical thing called “Zombie Fatigue“, what’s the least likely thing that should happen? Well the obvious answer is the announcement of a new zombie game. That wouldn’t make any sense right? Well thats just the tip of the confusion spear.

Here’s where it gets real strange. Most movie tie in games, no scratch that, all movie tie in games are usually released around the release of the movie. It kind of works to the marketing and business side of things even if the game is complete garbage. So imagine my surprise when I woke up this morning to the the cinematic gameplay trailer for World War Z. Yes, you read that right. The absolutely amazing 2013 film World War Z is getting a tie in video game at some point after or in 2018.

I would love to justify this game existence by saying “Paramount confirmed the sequel, World War Z 2, is in production” but, that really isn’t enough. That movie doesn’t even have a release window yet. So, where did this announcement come from? Honestly, I don’t actually care or care to know. It looks like its going to be amazing, its coming to PS4, and I’m going to play it proudly. No explanation needed guys, take your time cause that seems to be working so far. Check out the trailer below and let me know what you think?




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