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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.

Continue reading “Opinion: The Only Way I’ll use Google Stadia is…”

Interesting finds from Gamescom (day 1)

I watched a good amount of Gamescom day one streaming on YouTube yesterday. There were a lot of high profile announcements with Destiny 2: Shadowkeep, Gears 5, Death Stranding, and Borderlands 3 preparing for launch. But I also saw 3 games in particular that piqued my interest.

I’ve listed them below:

Dead by Daylight: Stranger Things

If you are familiar with Dead by Daylight, you know its creepy and horrifying to be chased by a huge stalking figure while trying to escape an even creepier atmosphere. The new update for this horror survival game is coming out in September and the highlight is Stranger Things. The Demogorgen a long with Nancy Wheeler and Steve Harrington will be playable characters in the game developed by Behaviour Interactive.

Disintegration

The Disintegration trailer came off with Destiny vibes. That makes sense because the co-creator of Halo, Marcus Lento helped make this property with V1 Interactive & Private Division. It’s described as a sci-fi fps. Honestly the character in the cinematic looks like a exo Titan, especially in the face. It’s a first person shooter where you sit in an oversized sparrow known as a Gravcycle while managing a group of combatants on the ground.

Need For Speed Heat

Need For Speed Heat is an upcoming release from Electronic Arts (EA). If nothing about this game intrigues you about this game, it should definitely be the assumed amount of customization . There is an app component to allow players to customize their vehicle and import it into the game that launches in November 2019. Plus, there is a level of player customization as well. It gave me GTA racing vibes honestly. And, there is said to be no loot boxes in this game.

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.

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!

Tetris 99 (review)

I finally had the chance to play Tetris 99 on Nintendo Switch and I am exhausted. I also think that my brain may have almost exploded once or twice.

In a good way.

If you are not familar with Tetris 99 you should give it a try. This latest iteration of Tetris combines puzzles with the battle royale culture. So if you are a fan of Tetris in previous versions, this game type will add an extra layer for you.

It may also make you cry a little.

Tetris 99 is so unpredictable! It takes a massive amount of concentration, hand eye coordination, and fast fingers. My cousin was able to win! However, I was so stimulated that I couldn’t get past the group of 10 for a few reasons.

First, the soundtrack gets me hype every time. And when I managed a good run, the remix of Flight of the Bumblebee made me so excited that I may have made a few mistakes.

Second, whenever I would get a good combo going and make some back to back Tetris’, I would immediately get an onslaught of attacks from other player. Unfortunately when that happens, you get overwhelmed and lose.

I’m an excitable person, okay.

No, I may not have tasted victory for myself, but I was just as excited when my cousin won.

Seeing the pace that he matched up against with the other players in the lobby was insane. Again, I commend the concentration that anyone playing must have. They are seemingly unfazed by the ever rising bar on the screen that shows you are about to be attacked.

I plan on playing more and working on not getting flustered and perhaps I will win!


Opinion|Saints Row: The Third should come back

I miss Saints Row: The Third.

It was a great game and it still is. In my opinion, Saints Row the Third had a fun story line, immersive sound track, ease of game controls, the best customization, and a really well rounded player character.

Saints Row: The Third had and still has a magic to it. Volition, the developer, found that special spot of not taking itself to seriously, but still providing a compelling story for fans of the franchise. Plus, the side missions didn’t feel completely forced on you as a player. Genki Bowl was one of the best activities and sometimes the most frustrating things to do in the game.

Giving Saints Row an identity change up was the best thing they could have done. Especially since they were being compared directly to Grand Theft Auto. I personally thought Saints Row: The Third was nothing like it. Unless you want to harp on the gang turf fights, third person POV, and open-world shenanigans.

Every wheel doesn’t need to be reinvented, and Saints Row: The Third was altered enough that it felt like something new.

In my opinion, Saints Row the Third gave the player more control. I personally didn’t walk around looking like a banana, but I spent hours customizing my character. I still remember her. She had short silver hair, coco skin, and looked amazing in black! I believe I played the campaign at least 10 times just because it was so enjoyable to me.

My favorite mission involved the Third Street Saints parachuting down on to a penthouse and taking it over to make it the first main headquarters you get in Steelport! It was such a good time.

I would be happy to see a reprise of the franchise. Sure Grand Theft Auto V is still going strong, and the online allows for a lot of customization, teaming with friends, and doing missions. But, why not give Saints Row another chance?

Saints Row: The Third was my favorite game of the franchise and Nintendo is releasing it on the Nintendo Switch in May 2019. But, we’re six years removed from the last game, Saints Row: IV and I’d love to see what Johnny Gat and the crew are doing since going to space. Plus, I’m ready for a game I can just have fun with again.


Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order biggest reveal (trailer and update)

When EA and Respawn Entertainment released the teaser image for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. I wrote an opinion piece that said a lot of things that came from a wounded place.

Having played Star Wars Battlefront 1 and 2, I was worried that pay walls would diffuse any fun from the game. On Saturday, more information was released regarding this game. The information dump seemingly answered all of my reservations.

Feel free to read all of my reservations by clicking here: Opinion: I can not get excited for Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order

In the recent information update, Respawn Entertainment revealed the most important thing … there will be no micro transactions.

Wow, I did not see that coming.

So that’s good news! Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order will be a single player experience will no multiplayer mode or pay walls. I’ve embedded the trailer below in case you haven’t seen it.

Stadia: Questions about latency

Last week Google broke the news about it’s online gaming platform, Stadia. An on-demand cross platform, fully online cloud based system. However, the quality of your game play depends on your internet connection. You could have 60 FPS or not depending on if you have a potato for a router.

This brings up the question, what about the lag?

Excerpts on store.google.com mention that you need high speed internet connection in order to experience the Stadia platform. So should we assume that buffering, stuttering, crashing, and getting kicked from games will be an issue with a subpar connection?

Consider the connection issues that gamers have  even when they are hooked up to a Ethernet cord while playing games such as Destiny 2, Division 2, Anthem, Fortnite, Apex Legends and others. Plus, users on  YouTube or Twitch are known to have buffering, freezing and audio out of sync issues based on their WiFi connection as well.

Being that Stadia is 100 percent in the cloud, will that play a part in fighting the latency issue? Or will it cause more of a problem?

Right now when you visit YouTube.com and click on your desired video, you are automatically place on ‘auto’. Whatever that means from your connection. On average, that means 720p HD. Will Google place you on auto based on your connection for gaming as well?

The promotional site also mentions being able to watch a video about a game and instantly being able to jump into that game. Can you imagine the amounts of people backed up in the queue waiting to play with their favorite YouTuber?

This is bound to be a new experience for all involved. We’ll be tracking information. View any of the facts discussed in this article by clicking this link.

Apple Arcade promising a new age of mobile gaming

March 25, 2019 – Apple announced it’s launch of Apple Arcade. They unveiled their new gaming subscription today and promised 100 exclusive games to IOS devices.

They revealed that game studio’s such as SEGA, Lego, Annapurna Interactive, Bossa Studios, and Cartoon Network, among other will be creating content exclusive to the subscription based product.

According to Apple.com, IOS users will be able to play on any of their devices online or offline, with no ads interrupting game play or interface, and the subscription will be viable for everyone with access to your family.

The subscription service is planned for a Fall 2019 launch. Find more information on apple.com.

Opinion: Destiny 2 is in a great place

I’m a long time Destiny player. I’ve enjoyed my time with this game. Through the ups and the interesting times, I played and so did many others. But now, Destiny 2 is in the best place it’s been since Taken King.

Sure, Cayde-6 had to die and pretty much every guardian you come across is Dredgen but, hey at least we’re having fun, right?

I remember the height of Destiny. Always the top of the Twitch directory, never a dull moment with the grind for over-powered but fun weapons, and a very creative community that always made their own fun.

Members of the community made full blown charity events in the process of enjoying the game!

However, as being a content creator becomes more and more accessible, the voice of the community seems to be trending to a toxic conversation. Rants about economy issues in the game are a mainstay, loot drop issues, and lack of reasons to grind.

But, I think Destiny 2 is actually in a great place in this post Forsaken world with the annual pass.

There is more to do in this game than ever before.  As a player, we have a longer content loop. You can do strikes, you can grind the Dreaming City, run the Black Armory Forges, and now play out the new modes, Gambit Prime and Reckoning in Season of the Drifter.  And let’s not forget we still have two viable raids available as well.

In my honest opinion, I don’t believe we are expected to do each loop for each piece of content. At least not for the average player.

There are times when I don’t get to every milestone before reset. But for those privileged to be able to grind the content daily and reach max power in two or three days, I have a question.

Do you realize the weight your voice holds?

Between using your platform and attending summits, you are speaking for the collective.

Would it be so terrible to admit that the seasonal content since Forsaken has actually added much needed depth to the game?

Random rolls are back, new loot to chase, titles to grind for, longer content loops to play, and materials to stack.

Isn’t that the name of the game?

Plus, the lore is getting really interesting in the game. Have you been able to read up on the Emissary?

Sure no game is perfect and no developer can make the entire player base happy all the time. But, I’m enjoying Bungie’s game. And perhaps focusing on those positives is why I think Destiny 2 is in a great place.

-ABD

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