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CategoryGaming Opinions

Why the Sims: Bustin’ Out is still amazing | Celebrating The Sims 20th Anniversary

In 2003, one of my favorite Sims games was released. With the 20th anniversary of the Sims franchise passing on January 31, 2020, let’s talk about why The Sims: Bustin’ Out is one of the best games of the franchise.

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An honest experience with Choices | Mobile App

Here is a cautionary tale about an app I downloaded in the past.

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Opinion: The Only Way I’ll use Google Stadia is…

At this point, it has been well documented that Google Stadia has launched in a less than impressive fashion. It currently has a catalog that has a few exciting options, but not many. Prices are not competitive compared to other console and PC sale prices. Plus, it’s subscription-based in addition to the full price game options.

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Favorite Playthroughs of 2019 (Game List)

I played some amazing and highly entertaining games this year. It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of the Destiny franchise and I follow Destiny 2 very closely on this site. However, I wanted to put together a list of games that I thoroughly enjoyed in addition to my main game.

The following list contains games that I completed full reviews on. In case you missed them, give the links included in the post a click and take a look. I have reviewed more games than this on the site, but not all of them made the list.

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Destiny 2: Shadowkeep is nostalgic and enjoyable (story review)

When I logged into Destiny 2: Shadowkeep, I was excited to return to the moon. There is a lot of nostalgia in returning to the moon in this game and it’s obvious as soon as you load in that Bungie was wisely aware of that.

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Armor 2.0 in Destiny 2: Shadowkeep brings a new challenge beyond the endgame (bungie stream highlights)

Rodney Thomas, Lisa Brown, Tomonori Kinoshita joined the Bungie live stream with Deej today to talk about Armor 2.0 in preparation for Destiny 2: Shadowkeep releasing October 1, 2019. They revealed great information that already has my mind reeling about the character builds I can create.

Here are some key points.

Basic Stats:

Intellect, discipline, strength return to our baseline statistics with mobility, recovery and resilience and they stat from 0 to 100 percent. Every time you reach a tier you will hit the next checkpoint of the base stat.

Mods:

Looks like randomized perks are gone from all armor now. At least legendary armor.

Mods will be sold at the gunsmith and drop from gunsmith packages, world engrams, iron banner activities, and the raid. If you have your solstice gear, the gunsmith will give you the upgraded Armor 2.0 solstice gear on October 1st.

Your mod is yours. You can remove it or add it to as many pieces as you want, assuming you have the materials needed to do that.

Materials to mod and upgrade your gear include ascendant shards, energy, masterwork cores, and glimmer. There will be new pathways to get masterwork cores and other advanced materials.

I don’t believe the gear would need to be masterwork to mod them out. However, being masterwork does give your gear a base stat increase so it can only help.

Old armor with mods on them and old mods still in your inventory will dismantle into mod components. This is good news. Recycling our materials is better than rendering them unusable.

Super notes:

Shadowshot quiver (bottom tree) has more tethers available now for the Hunters. Five were used by Tomonori Kinoshita during the stream.

Weapons of Light is back with the Ward of Dawn Titan super. I wonder if Blessing of Light is available as well. They did not mention it during the stream.

Other interesting facts:

  • Glimmer has a new cap over 200,000 instead of capping at 100,000.
  • Vendor Legendary armor will drop as armor 2.0 from your collections
  • You can see the class of other players in the UI now.
  • Ammo gives you a visual queue when your ammo finder is working.
  • Universal Ornaments work on all legendaries. Not exotics.
  • Exotics take shaders now.
  • Glow will be usable on all armor if you have it.

Final thoughts:

Going into Armor 2.0 will be like leaving kindergarten and going straight to college.

This is going to be so involved. You’ll need to mod every piece of armor on your guardian for it to be viable. This is an exciting assessment. It will be interesting to pick and piece together mods to have the most complementary experience while playing this game. I especially think that preparing for raids, dungeon activities, and PVP are going to be the most intense.

Imagine modding out your gear for the max amount of aim assist. Or putting all discipline on your Warlock as Lisa Brown did with Getaway Artist in the stream, adding some better passive traits, and taking that build into PVP.

For now, it seems like the possibilities are almost endless with Armor 2.0 and I’m looking forward to jumping into Shadowkeep on October 1st.

Black Desert PS4 beta test (review)

I joined a group of my friends in the beta test for Black Desert. At the time of this writing, the beta is coming to a close. It’s a Fantasy MMO RPG adventure game. The initial release was in 2014 but the PS4 release is coming out on August 22, 2019.

So what about this game?

If you are a fan of Skyrim, World of Warcraft and other games like that, you will enjoy yourself. I played with a party of four people and we laughed the entire time and enjoyed leveling up.

My favorite aspect of the game is the amount of customization. I chose to be a sorceress, I made her hair blue and her skin bronze. She’s amazing.

I went to YouTube to find out a little about the classes available and as I unlocked her move set, I really started to get into the game-play. The combat is fluid, hard-hitting, and pretty to look at.

Yes, I said pretty.

In my group my friends played, Ranger, Wizard, and Bezerker. They all seemed to be having just as much fun as me.

Any Drawbacks?

There are some drawbacks. The biggest peeve in this game is the boss fights. You have to disband your party to fight them.

Every other instance, like grinding quest steps and gaining experience points you can play with friends. But as soon as the quest step requires you to defeat a boss, you need to disband your group and defeat it solo.

This could be a beta thing, but then again, the game has been out on PC and Xbox for a while and I was told that the situation is the same.

Action?

When the action is high energy and you are constantly fighting mobs, Black Desert is a joy. However, there are low points when you are traveling from village to village talking to different people just to complete quest steps. It’s a bit monotonous.

I understand it the RPG way, but that doesn’t make it any less dull.

There was also a point in our game-play that we tried to tame a horse. We tried for 45 minutes and failed. But it was fun trying. We ended up buying our horses from the stable keep for $15000 currency. I also realized you can fish in this game, but I didn’t get to try. I just watched a player for a little while. However, I did end up getting my fishing license after killing a boss. I’m sure there are a lot of activities to try within the game.

Overall, this game is fun to play with friends. I never played alone, so I can not tell you how the solo experience is. I’m told there is a strict RPG community that you can join if you are into that. I’m interested in trying that out once the game launches. But other than that, I had a lot of fun playing with my friends and enjoying this game.

Black Desert releases on PS4 on August 22, 2019.

Is Wolfenstein: Youngblood really so bad? (review)

We are just over a week removed from the release of Wolfenstein: Youngblood. It comes from a storied franchise that a lot of people love, you may be of those people. During E3 2019, Bethesda made a big deal about the release of this game with its huge selling point being the cooperative feature.

The co-op feature made me excited because I like to play with my friends. Sure, I’m able to enjoy a linear story by myself, but playing with friends is always a plus. That’s why I appreciated the co-op mode and eagerly wanted to experience it.

Story:

Playing the story mode was fine. It had its moments of excitement and once you’re leveled up enough you can put together some cool strategies to take down your enemies and have fun running rough shot on your enemies as well.

I’ve heard complaints that the enemies can be bullet sponge-like. And to that, I pose a question. Aren’t a lot of enemies in games these days? I just figured you and your partner were supposed to work together to take down the boss.

But that’s just me.

What I can say is that artificial intelligence is not the best. If you get unlucky enough to need to play with the computer as your sister, she will make your experience infinitely harder due to her lack of common sense.

Welcome to hard mode folks!

Let’s shake that off for a moment. The story itself was cool. You are playing as one of B.J Blazkowicz’s daughters. The goal is to find him because he disappeared in the ’80s. You travel to France to find him and end up working with the Resistance because Nazis are in control there.

Surprise, dad is still alive and there’s a lot of stuff going down that you knew nothing about (that I won’t spoil) and you find out there’s a multi-verse (that I will spoil). You figure out who is causing the trouble, stop them and then plan to push back against the big baddies of the world.

Pretty straight forward.

I will say this, Jess and Soph are not funny. They make jokes that adolescent boys would make and it’s not entertaining. That’s my biggest gripe with this game. I can’t relate to the main characters. I found myself cringing every time they laughed. I felt bad about it, but I have to be honest. I didn’t jive with those characters at all.

Thoughts:

Overall, I don’t think this game is as bad as a lot of people are saying it is. But, I’m pretty sure with the addition of microtransactions, the opinion of this game has drastically dropped in the gaming community. Microtransactions will always be a sour point no matter what game they are in.

I suggest you do what I do. Disregard the microtransactions and just play the game. Now, if the game becomes so wrapped up in in-game purchases that there is no way around it, then run the other way. But, if you can enjoy the game to some level without it, please do.

This is an average game. Unfortunately, it will be remembered much worse than it is due to corporate decisions, but hey that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

Opinion: Fighting Force deserves a reboot

In my opinion, Fighting Force was one of the best games to be released on PlayStation. It had four main characters that played very differently and the campaign was simple, yet explosive. At least it was to me who at the time of its release was 7 years old.

I know the market right now is saturated with remakes, remasters, and reboots. But, I have a strong suspicion that Fighting Force may have a place in the current gaming generation.

Fighting Force initially came out in 1997. The graphics weren’t the best, but we didn’t know any better. But even though it looked like a modern-day Mindcraft world build, it still had fun story progression.

Fighting Force, Mace

The campaign was about an hour and 30 minutes. You could play the game solo or with friends and the main goal was to make it from the city streets to the main boss, fighting your way through enemy waves in preparation to rid the world of Dr. Zeng who was to destroy the world.

My favorite elements of the game included being able to use your fists, soda cans, rocket launchers, trash can lids, guns, and knives that you pick up off the street to fight the enemies. It’s so simple and yet when you threw a soda can at an enemy it was so satisfying.

My favorite level was the elevator. You take it all the way to the roof of this high rise building where Dr. Zeng is supposed to be, but he gets away. But just having the enemies overflow on to the elevator while you have limited supplies and being forced to decide to fight bare-knuckle style or run for a weapon.

Fighting Force

And you had a group of diverse characters too. It kind of played like an action movie, to be honest. You had Hawk, your lead role (handsome type). Smasher was the brute (all of the big enemies looked like him). Mace was cool and had a sassy walk (her kicks were the best). Lastly, Alana who seemed like a boxer type (she was ready to brawl).

All of these character types would fair well in a co-op game today. Think of how Wolfenstein: Youngblood is a co-op experience, only Fighting Force would be in third-person instead of first-person. You can match-make to a full team or play solo if you want, and maybe it could even have a 1v1 environment to go against your friends.

These are just my thoughts. Perhaps Square Enix could consider this. A sequal was made for Nintendo 64 and a third game was canceled in development. Unfortunately, Core Design (the developers) is unavailable at the time of this writing. But hey, Fighting Force could still be a viable option.

Opinion: Let’s reboot Bust a Groove

Do you remember the days of the PlayStation? Can you hear the very first boot up sound that the original PlayStation one made playing in your head? Can you feel the nostalgia?

Same.

The other day I was having a chat with my cousin about some of our favorite games from the PS one days. Please trust me when I say there are a lot of them. But, we harped on one game in particular.

Bust a Groove!

I have fond memories of playing Bust a Groove 1 and 2 on my living room floor. Hearing the 9-8-9 Studios introduction and tone that lead to an amazing dance montage video.

Playing Bust a Groove meant seeing a whole group of diverse characters with different dance styles. It meant experiencing an original soundtrack with songs and level designs specific to each individual character. It meant adapting to levels of difficulty with complex dance combos as you scaled the computer competition. Plus, you had to fend off dance rival attacks, whether you were playing against the computer or person over your house, while still keeping the rhythm!

Super hype!

I remember the day I “got good” enough to unlock the hidden characters. That was Robo-Z in Bust a Groove 1 and Panda in Bust a Groove 2. Both of those levels were the most challenging experience in the game and required attention to detail that, as an 8-year-olds, I really worked hard for.

Why am I bringing all of this up?

Because I think Bust a Groove needs to come back. We need a new opportunity to experience this type of creativity.

How could this game be brought forward? I hear you asking.

Think about this. What if we had the same uniqueness that this game exhibited in 1998 but with some added features of today? Think Jump Force but dancing. Keep the standard campaign mode and expand the player vs. player option online. There could be a tag team mode, character customization and ranked leader boards.

As you can see, I’ve thought about this. So Square Enix, formerly known as Enix, and Namco let me know how I can help!

-AM

Opinion: These games should pique your interest from E3

A lot of anticipated games were shown at E3. And it’s expected for people to be excited about them. But, beyond the critically acclaimed franchises, there were some gems announced as well. I’ve listed a few games that have piqued my interest beyond the main titles that have been showcased.

Twelve Minutes:

Twelve Minutes was shown off at the Microsoft Xbox E3 conference. It has such an intriguing concept. You have 12 minutes to figure out how to not die while you’re stuck in a time loop. The trailer gives off this psycho-thriller vibe. While trying to figure out how to change the events predetermined in the game, I expect to have an intense experience filled with absolute concentration and frustration.

Another exciting thought about Twelve Minutes surrounds the distractions and roadblocks in the game. How will the game respond when the player almost figures out a way out of the loop?

Developer: Luis Antonio /Publisher: Annapurna Interactive / Platforms: Xbox One, PC

GhostWire: Tokyo

The GhostWire: Tokyo trailer debuted at the Bethesda E3 Conference. It was actually one of the most interesting upcoming games mentioned during the conference. It had a brand new feel without any preconceived hype. Planting its feet firmly in the horror genre, GhostWire: Tokyo looks like it will rival The Evil Within which was created by the same developer.

Players will roam a ghostly version of Tokyo after mysterious happenings force you to uncover the reason and purge the city of evil. This sounds like a great opportunity for those of us who faithful play Resident Evil, Silent Hill, and even Parasite Eve.

Developer: Tango Gameworks /Publisher: Bethesda

Wolfenstein: Youngblood

Wolfenstein: Youngblood has the potential to be the best Wolfenstein of the franchise. Why? Because you are able to play in online co-op with a partner. It’s the first Wolfenstein with co-op. If this set up works well, I can’t see co-op not being an option in future Wolfenstein titles.

Another reason why this game is on the list is due to the release date. It comes out on July 26, so it’s an option for some summertime entertainment.

Developer: Arkane Studios, MachineGames /Publisher: Bethesda / Platform: Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation

Death Loop

Death Loop seems cool. It’s two assassins going head to head to see who can get the kill first. The premise of the game is that you are at a constant loop to kill the other assassins while evading other enemies as well. I may have missed this in the presentation, but the trailer does not mention if this is a co-op experience. If it had a co-op mode, that would most likely be the highlight of the game.

Develper: Arkane Lyon, Studios / Publisher: Bethesda / Platform:

My Friend Pedro

My Friend Pedro is the most unorthodox game that I’ve seen so far in E3. Not only did Devolver Digital have the most memorable showcase, but this game developed by DeadToast Entertainment also stood out among everything else. It reminded me of Super Hot. If you recall Super Hot, you’ll remember its a game where you can slow down time to shoot your enemies. Well, this game reminded me of that, but on a train with parkour.

Developer: DeadToast Entertainment / Publisher: Devolver Digital / Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows

Which games stuck out to you?

Destiny 2: Shadowkeep announced, Bungie’s new direction is exciting!

How excited am I about the new expansion for Destiny 2?

Very!

Destiny 2: Shadowkeep is coming out September 17, 2019. I think I can speak for a lot of the Destiny community and say that hearing Luke Smith and Mark Noseworthy talk about all of the changes Bungie has implemented as a result of separating from Activision was like breathing new air. They released a new ViDoc and Trailer for Destiny 2: Shadowkeep.

I personally tweeted that watching the ViDoc in the live-stream from Bungie felt like watching a butterfly emerge from a cocoon. This is a very exciting time to be a Destiny fan, especially off the back of the Season of Opulence release this week.

Important notes from the stream:

  • Destiny 2: Shadowkeep releases this fall. You have the option to purchase it as a stand-alone if you don’t have Destiny 2 yet or as an expansion.
  • As of the release of Destiny 2: Shadowkeep, Destiny 2 will be an Action-MMO single evolving world that you can play anywhere you want using cross-save.
  • PC players will now be on Steam
  • Stand-alone Content
  • New Light will be a free download that gets new players into new content within 15 minutes.
  • They’ll be no more exclusive activities.
  • You can buy all content moving forward stand-alone.
  • Google’s Stadia partnership launches with Destiny 2: Shadowkeep.
  • The current life cycle of Destiny 2 will be bundled and available for $40.

Exciting mentions from the ViDoc include:

  • We’re going back to the moon
  • They’ll be armor trans mods
  • New movements and abilities for sub-classes
  • PVP updates
  • Black Garden Raid

I think I saw Crota in the ViDoc as well. That’d be a great throwback!

Take a look at the ViDoc for yourself:

The Menagerie is the best activity in Destiny 2: Season of Opulence (first impressions)

How much fun did I have yesterday with the new content in Destiny 2: Season of Opulence?

So much!

Bungie hit it out of the park with everything regarding the Season of Opulence, in my opinion.

Invitation:
You start off the season with an invitation from Emperor Calus to come back to the Leviathan. Before you can get on to the Leviathan you have to go through a series of tasks to acquire your Chalice of Opulence and allow you to enter The Menagerie.

You also open up new daily and weekly bounties from Benedict that will give you a treasure map to a chest. The chest rewards you with a powerful engram, a rune, and Imperial currency for your efforts.

I enjoyed running through Nessus getting the Invitation done. It didn’t take long, but it did require some thought as each step introduced a new mechanic of utilizing your Chalice.

Knowing how to work your Chalice of Opulence is key this season and as soon as you reach The Menagerie and opened the final chest, you’ll know why.

The Menagerie:

To me, each room in The Menagerie felt like an ode to the best encounters in the Destiny universe so far. Besides the obvious gauntlet room and cranium uses, which made an appearance in Destiny 2 year 1 in the Leviathan raid and the Eater of Worlds raid lair, I saw so many nods to endgame activities already in the game.

For instance, in one room, you need to use swords to take down Hive Knight shields.

Hey Crota!

In another room, you had to keep feeding your well to keep the shield up. I found it to be a nice upgrade to the Blind Well in the Dreaming City, which is already a great activity.

Then we fought an Atheon-like boss this week! With the added killer vex walls, it really made for a blood pumping encounter.

Leveling:

Yesterday, I ended my playing session at 712 power. I chose to play one character, my hunter. I ran The Menagerie twice, some Dreaming City activities, a Nightfall, three strikes, and Gambit. I completed all of the Benedict bounties, as well as Ikora’s weekly.

I would say leveling was fair. Sure, you need to do all of the activities available to you, but I think that worked out fine. To be at 712 power without pushing myself for the grind is a good thing. That is a balance that I very much appreciate.

Overall, I have a very positive impression of Season of Opulence. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s in the rotation for next week and stepping into the raid this weekend.

Plus, I’m waiting on June 6th to find out the big announcement from Bungie about the future of Destiny 2!

Opinion: Anthem Public Test Server – Is this how you revive the game?

Back in April, Bioware delayed its roadmap for Anthem in order to do some housekeeping on the base game. Yesterday, EA announced that there will be an update to the game that will improve the base game and pave the way for Anthem’s major update, Cataclysm.

IGN posted a quote from EA community manager BW_Darokaz…

“This update contains some under the hood content you won’t see right away, but is setting things up for a future update, the Cataclysm.” – PATCH NOTES

Today, we had our first look at the update Cataclysm. It didn’t jump start any hype, at least not from what I read during the live stream chat. Viewers seemed underwhelmed and it makes a lot of sense.

What’s New?

During the live stream, we learned that the Cataclysm will be an 8-week event. Two of those weeks will be a Pre-Event. After the Cataclysm arrives it will be a 6-week drip feed.

Ben Irving and Jesse Anderson confirmed new gear and weapons but they aren’t coming until basically the end of the Cataclysm event.

Why would I want to wait for 8 weeks to get new loot that I’ve been starving for since the game released?

Something that did sound interesting was the War Chests. By playing the Cataclysm event, you will earn currency that you’ll pay to a new vendor in the social space. You’ll open up the War Chests and that is how you get your loot.

They also mentioned 3 new missions, a new arena called the Cataclysm, a scoring system for the arena activity and leader boards to keep track of your progress versus other players. However, the leader board is another addition that will come later after the Cataclysm update.

Plus, they spoke more about the Public Test Server (PTS) for PC ONLY more than the actual update.

Caution!

So the PTS will allow PC players to test this Cataclysm update before it goes live. So Bioware and EA are pretty much opening a yet another beta in 1 week to test of the community before releasing the actual content to the players who paid $60 for the game when it released.

I can understand trying to test the player base before you release your content. However, at this point, the community is starved. Wouldn’t anything be better than nothing?

They basically talked for 30 minutes about the PTS more than the actual update and that is scary. There is still no date for the actual Cataclysm release.

A promise of more loot dropping, a leader board competition, new weapons, new rewards and not have an actual release date for it gives you something to think about as a player.

The most important thing should be getting the content that was promised released to your player base. All of your player base, not just PC.

What about your console player base?

I guess the release date for the Cataclysm will be based on the positive or negative feedback that Bioware receives during their testing ground.

Anthem Opinion – Opinion: Scared out of buying Anthem(click here).

Preparing for Season of Opulence (Destiny 2: Forsaken)

Should you prepare for Season of Opulence? Good question!

Based on the trailer that just dropped, I’d think there is actually minimal preparation that you can do before the new season begins.

I understand top streamers have put together spreadsheets to maximize the amount of power you can gain in a short amount of time before the raid releases, but for some reason, I get the feeling Season of Opulence is not meant to punish players with hard and unbearable power grinds.

Is it possible that Season of Opulence is actually meant reward players for sticking with Bungie and the Destiny/ Destiny 2 franchise?

I watched the Destiny 2: Forsaken- Season of Opulence (trailer) that released earlier today and the wording in the trailer made it seem like power isn’t going to be an issue this time around.

We’ll be heading back to the Leviathan for treasure hunts, a 6 player activity, and a new raid. Minus the raid which always rewards with power items, it sounds like power items will be in abundance.

Before I saw the trailer, I decided that I would save up bounties and see if I could get the jump on a few weekly power bounties from Ikora, Petra, and Ada-1. Now after seeing the trailer, I don’t feel anxious about being able to gear up enough to join the raid day one.

But who’s to say? I could be wrong and come June 4th and we’ll all hit a power wall despite any preparation that we’ve tried to take.

To that, I ask…

Is not being completely overpowered on day one such a bad thing?

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