Tuesday, November 17, 2015

My First Impressions of Fallout 4

This game has been hyped like no other and it deserves all the attention. I have been playing for a long time but haven't even gotten to the second main mission. From what I have seen this could easily take game of the year(or Witcher 3, its going to be close)!

Fallout 4 does everything you want in a game. It has great combat and exploration. It can be crazy and serious at the same time. It is a truly special moment in gaming.

It is amazing how the combat is 100 times better then past fallout games but it still doesn't loose its RPG feel. The new crafting system is great for guns, and armor. This extends to settlements which may feel slightly clunky but you can create some awesome things.

Another improvement is the dialogue system which resembles The Witcher 3 but in Fallout you get to craft your character into anything you want him/her to be. Everything is intertwined with gameplay; that means no more menus when looting or picking your dialogue option.

The graphics are very good during the day but can get kind of ugly in different weather and times of day. It doesn't lesson the experience at all though.

There is so much to do and competing factions. Not to mention just getting distracted and exploring. Unlike other Fallout games this one is densely populated with either people, quests, or things to explore.

This is only scratching the surface of what a masterpiece this game is. This was a rushed post but that's only because I need to play more Fallout 4!

P.S. I may write a review but that will probably take a while! I haven't even completed everything in New Vegas and that isn't for a lack of trying! Fallout 4 is also the reason for our absence of promised Uncharted reviews.

   My character; I went for the normal look. Alberto's character will be all kinds of crazy

Planting is always fun! This is part of the settlement building. At the top is all the things you need to keep people happy. You know water, food, and what not.

 In Fallout 4 power armor makes you extremely powerful but you need these "thingamabobs" to power it. There is also a crafting component for power armor.

This freak-in city is made in a baseball field

Me shooting some feral ghoul. They are very aggressive in this one!

Just because...

Relationship!! Oh yeah!!! 

It's so beautiful! 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Uncharted Trilogy Reviews: Uncharted Drake's Fortune

With the Nathan Drake Collection released, I am going to review each Uncharted game as I play through them for the hundredth time. This will act as our Uncharted Collection review since nothing has changed in the ps4 version except graphics and framerate. The multiplayer is even taken out, but you will get to play the Uncharted 4 beta on December 4th. The only reasons to get the Uncharted Nathan Drake Collection is if you haven't played them before, you can't get enough Uncharted, or if you can't wait to try out the Uncharted 4 multiplayer. 

Uncharted Drake's Fortune

  The first time we see Nathan Drake ,our favorite treasure hunter,thief, mass murderer, and hero, he is fishing up Francis Drake's journal with "last year's model"- Elena Fischer. Little did we know these characters will be the basis of what is arguably Sony's biggest achievement of their exclusive games lineup. Anything great has to start somewhere, and Drake's Fortune is Uncharted's starting point. It creates the formula that allows future installments to strive, but suffers from many miss-steps that only helps the series grow

 Nathan Drake's search for the treasure of El Dorado introduces him to an Uncharted island where he races against an opposing treasure hunter, Gabriel Roman, and his "employees" Atoq Navarro and Eddy Raja. Little to Drake's knowledge everything isn't so cut and dry with the mystery of his friend Victor Sullivan, journalist Elena Fischer tagging along, and El Dorado not being as it seems. Nathan Drake will have to climb, jump, think, shoot, and grunt his way to friendship, discovery, and treasure.

 As most people know platforming, shooting, and puzzle solving are the three basic tiers in an Uncharted game. Drake's fortune has a good base when it comes to climbing. Everything works the way you want it to, and it's fun to climb on treacherous landscapes. This element is only improved in later installments to create an even greater cinematic experience. You will always know when someone is playing Uncharted, because you will hear the famous sounds of Drake's grunting as he jumps across ledges. I wish I could have heard Nolan North's recording of these loud sound effects that can be only associate with passionate love making. I'm sorry, I went on a tangent but it was something that needed to be said!

 Now moving on to shooting, which doesn't match up to the excellent climbing mechanics. Combat mostly involves ducking behind cover and shooting at stupid AI that all look the same. The constant movement of Uncharted 2 and 3 is the saving grace of combat. In this first installment you will find yourself behind cover, standing up to shoot someone, them not dying, and somethings rolling out of the way when a grenade is chunked at you. It all revolves around clunky gun mechanics that rarely makes shooting satisfying. Getting behind cover may also be difficult since the jump and roll buttons are the same, therefore Drake may roll into the line of fire instead of crouching behind a conveniently placed block.

 The puzzles are pretty easy to get past and all revolve around Drake's journal. There is nothing wrong with them, it's just that their placing is off. You do a few puzzles at the beginning and a few towards the end. I wish they were more evenly placed throughout the campaign so that it could give a breather from all the shooting and climbing.

 One other element of gameplay is the dreaded jet ski missions.  This surprisingly involves Drake driving a jet ski through flooded ruins while Elena blows people up with an infinite ammo grenade launcher. The main problem comes from how uncomfortable the jet ski feels. This becomes a tedious task rather then fun gameplay element.

 Naughty Dog does get one thing right and its their specialty: the story. I'm not just talking about the plotline, but the characters and atmosphere that flourishes because of it. You can't help but fall in love with the relationship between Drake. Elena, and Sully. This is the result of excellent voice acting that can be serious and comical at the same time. This outlandish journey is cemented by these characters as they face one impossible obstacles after another. The story is able to take you to diverse environments that are all rendered perfectly for the standards of 2007. The achievement of characterization, graphics, and storytelling are beyond its time.

 It's easy to think critically after you have been playing 2015 games on your Ps4 and Xbox One. If you look at everything it accomplished in 2007 then you may look past the gameplay issues, and acknowledge that it set the prerequisite of what many games are today. The idea of games acting like blockbuster movies with huge cinematic moments and deep plot lines is what Uncharted Drake's Fortune set in motion. I'm not saying this is the one catalyst that provoked a major change in the video game industry, but it is one(there is also Mass Effect, Bioshock, and many others) example of how games started to be recognized as artful devices for storytelling.

 Looking back, Uncharted Drake Fortune's gunplay, and pacing can be relevant issues, but the story was an accomplishment of its time that sets the stage for Naughty Dog's future installments.

Uncharted Drakes Fortune receives a score of 7.5

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

My Reaction to the Star Wars Battlefront Beta

  EA had a three day long beta for the highly anticipated Battlefront 3, at which 9 million people participated making this the biggest beta ever for EA. This beta reinvigorated my hopes for the series, but highlighted a few problems that will ,hopefully, be fixed before the game is released on November 17th.

  The beta gave players a change to try out 6 rounds of survival(split-screen or online co-op) and two modes each featuring their own map. Drop Zone has players fighting for control of escape pods on the planet Sullust, and Walker Assault has rebels trying to stop the empire's walkers before they can blow up the shield generator in Hoth.

  The first thing I noticed was how beautiful this game is. It is breathtaking and may offer the finest graphics for the Ps4 and Xbox One.

  Secondly, I noticed how satisfying the gunplay is. Everything works right when firing lasers at your enemy. This extends to all the equipment such as the  jet-packs and grenades. The idea that there is no iron sights bothered a lot of people, but the exceptional mechanics quickly overshadowed that complaint.

  There are a few small problems that can easily be fixed. One of which was spawning issues. I found myself being placed in front of the enemy in multiple occasions. Another issue was the buddy spawn mechanic,because it doesn't establish a fair playing field. Imagine shooting at a stormtrooper then his buddy appears out of now where to blast you down. Another critique would be balancing. The problem comes from walker assault on Hoth. The empire has a clear advantage which originates from the structure of the game mode. Rebels have to capture these beacons to call an airstrike on the walkers. After the airstrike, the walkers can be weakened by attacks. Just destroying one walker takes forever therefore giving the rebels a huge disadvantage.

 Another thing that fans are looking forward to is the ability to play as characters like Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. It's a blast to become these characters and have control of their vast powers. It's also a huge thrill to see one of the iconic characters on the battlefield and choose to either take them down or run for your life. I just wish they could have handled it a little differently. You have to pick up a token thingy to become one of your favorite Star Wars heroes. I think it would be more rewarding and fair if you became these characters by accomplishing a set goal, such as killstreaks or objectives.

Everything above are small issues that can easily be fixed by the time the game is released. What follows is a list of things I am still unsure about; not just from the beta but the game in general.

1. No Space Battles: This was a huge success from Battlefront 2, so it's a big surprise and disappointment that we won't be able to see the heights this could go with current technology.

2. No Campaign: I understand just focusing on the multiplayer since that is the main aspect of the game, but I am a campaign enthusiast. They could have had someone else do the story mode or I would even be happy with co-op missions.

3. Nothing from the Prequels: The original trilogy is 100 times better then the newer movies, but they did have some cool characters (Darth Maul, General Grievous) and planets. I wish we could have experienced this through Battlefront 3... even if it means having to play as those stupid droids! Maybe Jar Jar could have been a hero character.

4. Missing original Battlefront style modes: Battlefront needs to be its own game, not battlefield with Star Wars characters(Battlefield Hardline anyone). They are doing a good job with this, maybe to good of a job. How many of you miss good old conquest mode? How many of you miss 64 v 64 matches(Battlefield 4)? How many of you miss getting into vehicles anytime you want( in Battlefront 3 you can enter vehicles by finding a token thingy). I enjoy all the new, interesting, and diverse modes since they are a blast to play, but they should keep some of those original Battlefront game modes. Not saying they won't, I haven't played the whole game after all.

 You may get the impression that I disliked the beta. On the contrary... I loved it! Everything I have been talking about would improve the game in my mind, but the game gets a few things right. It's fun and its Star Wars. Aren't those two things what people are looking for? EA has done something spectacular, which is dragging that inner Star Wars within all of us, and putting it on the screen for all to see.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Deadpool Movie Trailer

See how I timed that Deadpool review with the movie trailer! I'm good.......actually it was just a coincidence! Viewer discretion advised

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Big Changes Coming to Destiny (No more Dinklebot!)

The biggest news is that Dinklebot is no more! It's true Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) is getting completely thrown out of the game. Dinklage played the ghost, the robot that would follow you around, and open doors. He is getting replaced by video game voice actor legend, Nolan North. This isn't only for the Taken King DLC, but for the whole game. Nolan North re-recorded every dialogue in the game! The other news is that the leveling system is getting revamped. After you reached 20 leveling focused on armor, and items. Not anymore! Now it will be back to normal; that means you level up by killing things, and doing missions.You will get XP like this until you reach the max level of 40.

These are two very welcome changes to the game. Peter Dinlage's delivery was criticized by fans, so a replacement should make people happy. Nolan North is also one of the best in the business. The new way to level up will ease many frustrations, for leveling via armor caused confusion, and patience as you wait for the right loot drop.

Thanks to Gameinformer for the information 

Xbox at Gamescom 2

1. Attendees got to see a new Halo 5 map called coliseum. At the end the Halo 5 Guardians World Champions was announced and will start winter with millions in rewards.

2. Halo Wars 2 is coming to Xbox One and Windows 10

3. New Rise of the Tome Raider gameplay

4. Bloodstained presentation brings a new character and cross play with Xbox One and Windows 10. This is a new game coming from the Castlevania series producer. It will come out on Xbox One, Ps4,WiiU,Vita, and PC on March 2017

5. Forza Motorsport 6 trailer

6.  A trailer for Timbleweed Park . This is a point and click adventure game from Ron Gilbert, and Gary Winnick 

7. Cities Skyline will come first to Xbox One. This is a city management game.

Thanks to Gameinformer for their spot on coverage! 

Rainbow Six Siege at Gamescom

Xbox at Gamescom

1. Scalebound is an Xbox exclusive that features a dragon type creature named Thuban, and 4 player co-op. It releases summer of 2016

2. Quantum Break trailer reveals a release date of April 5th 2016 and the voice actors for the game.

3. Announcement of a free DVR service for TV. You can record something and play it back on any Windows 10 device.

4. Xbox chatpad announced. This is a little keyboard that can be placed on your Xbox One controller

5. Crackdown 3 first look

6. Backwards compatibility will be available in November, and all games with gold will also use this feature.

7. Killer Instincts season 3 is coming in March 2016

8. Cobalt is an action platforming from the developers: Mojang and Oxeye. 

9. Minecraft coming to windows 10, and the beta is available now. 

10. Homefront: The Revolution showed off a new trailer and announced that Xbox One will be getting a beta this winter

11. Xbox Game Preview was announced at E3. At Gamescom the first two games available for the program were shown We Happy Few and Ark: Survival Evolved. This means that these games can be played before they are released.

12. New Dark Souls 3 trailer 

13. If you buy Just Cause 3 on Xbox One you get a backwards compatible version of Just Cause 2

There is so much Xbox One news that I'm getting tired, and will continue to show more in a later post!

Thanks to Gameinformer for their spot on coverage!