Prepping up for holidays! Part 1

Yeah, yeah, its not even past Halloween and I’m talkin’ Christmas right?!  No one wants to hear about the long-ass lines to see Santa/Black Friday/parking/food/decorations/slash (lol!), do Christmas cards or deal with the family events.  But if you’ve got little ones, getting your shopping (or a planned out lay-away) over time is the way to go.

Personally, Louie and I went to Toys R Us and got it locked down last week.  Frankly, its a good strategy if you haven’t done it before and really doesn’t cut a hole in your wallet/purse.  That and we dodge all of the BS, while still ACTUALLY DOING the shopping.  Sure, I could do everything online and get a sweet deal.  But it just doesn’t feel the same.  Actually doing the legwork for me, seems to have a weird sense of self accomplishment to it.  Go figure on that one.

I know, ZERO care factor from ya’ll!

Overall, Grace is getting a pretty nice haul for her presents from us.  Most notably, she’s getting a 2DS with a few Mario games.  (With me quietly getting Smash Bros for it!)  🙂  Right now, I do feel she’s pretty young for it, but it seems that she gets on the phone a bit and plays Mario Run too much, along with the usual My Little Pony and Learning games.  But that is where we’re putting a limit on our mobile/gaming time to rainy/cold days, when we need a break or half hour here or there.

As of now, we’ve been pretty light on enforcement with the rule.  But I’d rather she spend her childhood outside, doing activities and less gaming/phone time.  Hopefully it will turn out that way, as I’ve always been a good balance of outgoing and a homebody.

But I really didn’t get any inspiration to write anything down about making a list until I read about the upcoming Wolfenstein: The New Colossus.  Which is one of my must-plays for the upcoming year.  For those that haven’t been following any of the upcoming titles, I’ll give a few bits about them.

1)      Wolfenstein: The New Colossus

If you grew up playing PC games, there is NO WAY you’ve never heard of Wolfenstein 3D.

It was the game that started the First Person Shooter (AKA FPS games) genre and got its reputation for its kill all Nazis gameplay.  The New Colossus is a direct sequel to both Wolfenstein: The New Order and The Old Blood.  (I know, confusing.  The latter is a DLC expansion that is just as good.)

What’s so special?    –  Well, The New Order is a phenomenal game that plays very simplistic.  With its single player only, story driven, shootfest that gives you the option to go stealth until the shit hits the fan.  Its gameplay barely penalizes you for just doing a kill em’ all type of run-through.  It plays just like it used to, when it came out way back in the 90s but runs smooth and combat is tense and satisfying.  That and the story is great take on an alternate-reality of the World War II.

The New Colossus is a clear continuation of that story and gameplay.

This isn’t Call of Duty, I assure of that!

Why am I excited?  –  The new setting and how the events changed things that happened from the previous entry.  It has a brand-new engine by Id Software, which is known for making some powerful engines that rival Unreal and Crytech.  (Which are what MANY of the games we play, run on.  In case you didn’t know.)

That and killing Nazis in Wolfenstein is way better than CoD:  Zombies, without question.

Also, I enjoy a truly mature gaming experience.  Which is where the title has no censorship, the violence, gore and nudity/sex is used correctly and not forced or thrown on a canvas like a trashy painting.  Wolfenstein did that.

Release Date October 27th

2)     The Evil Within 2

The sequel to the former director/creator of Resident Evil, Shinji Mikami.  The Evil Within was a pretty frightening game to experience.  Although it seemed to rely way too much on the mechanics of one of his older titles:  Resident Evil 4.  Which is a classic survival horror game, but most people saw TEW as a clone.  In response to that, The Evil Within was a GOOD CLONE gameplay wise, that did have its moments where you had more bullets than the enemies you were fighting.  But had MANY twisted, tripy and frightening moments.  The first game made me feel tense and on edge throughout my first playthrough.

What’s so special?  –  The first game left a lot more questions than answers, which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.  It just left everyone that enjoyed or cared about the story, with a big fat, SO WHAT’S NEXT?!  Most likely, survival horror fans will pick this up, especially if Resident Evil 7’s move to 1st person didn’t sit well with you.  Which was a solid and well executed move for that series.  The Evil Within plays like Resident Evil 4, except on acid.  So you’re in for a wild ride!  It’s release is THIS FRIDAY THE 13th, so it’ll be a no-brainer for a great Halloween title.

Why am I excited?  – Years back, Shinji Mikami made a claim, that he was, “going to bring survival horror, back to its roots”.  Personally, he didn’t really do that in the first game.  Hopefully, he pulls this off and the second one is a phenomenal experience and succeeds on the market!

3)  Star Wars Battlefront II 

Two years ago, DICE released the first Battlefront and the gaming community went apeshit in the WRONG WAY!  Sure, it was DICE’s Battlefield sort of gameplay with everything done up in a beautiful Star Wars fashion.  But a large majority of its gameplay was focused on the multiplayer aspect.  Which is great and all for a military shooter, but this is STAR WARS we’re talking about here!

Seriously, where the HELL was this in the game?! Oh wait, it wasn’t.

The fan base for the series is MASSIVE with only Trekkies and comic fans being the only groups to rival that demand!  So they completely failed in catering to casual gamers that just wanted to boot it up and play a story/reenactment of the series.  That, and it lacked in content or was paid DLC.  (Albiet pretty good DLC)

I’ll admit, there was a lot that was done right about the game, too.  Walker Assualt was pretty cool and the Death Star DLC is pretty badass.  All of the content that was present was faithful and true to the series.  Space and X-Wing/Tie Fighter dogfights were a blast! (Pun intented.)  Battlefront II is set to surpass this in spades and remain true to fans of both shooters and the Star Wars series.

What’s so special?  –  Well it’s Star Wars, with plenty of vehicles, blasters and gadgets to use.  Also, it’s going to be a clear improvement over its predecessor.  Not only will it cover ALL three Star Wars generations, (prequel, original and sequel) it will feature a new story campaign that will cover the period between Episode VI (Return of the Jedi) and VII (The Force Awakens) using an original character.

Yesterday, I sunk my teeth into the Multiplayer Beta.  From what I saw, it looks to be a solid improvement.  The content has been TRIPLED and it seems that EA/DICE is doing away with paid DLC for this.  (SOURCE)  All of this covered by a teaser video featuring John Boyega (AKA Finn)

Why am I excited?  –  The beta is kinda making me a Day 1, which is NEVER what I do.  But this may be the Star Wars/Battlefield experience I was looking for in the first!  I’ve been a Battlefield veteran since Bad Company and Battlefront 1 was the only DICE title to let me down.  (But the DLC did make the game better!)  It comes out November 17th

  • That and well THIS!

MORE TO COME ON PART 2

 

 

The Prince I Never Cared For

Today I got my platinum trophy for Final Fantasy XV, not because I couldn’t get enough of the game. (Which is what normally happens with the ones I do.) It was just that playing through it was such a breeze.

After spending almost 70 some hours total doing BORING side quests and the occassional fun monster hunt. I decided to finish the story and all that remained left in the game. Sadly, I’d have to admit this was worst Final Fantasy experience in all of my days playing them. Before I begin, you’ve gotta know, I’ve been playing the SNES version of Final Fantasy IV (then titled Final Fantasy II). So I know my FF games, including the random spin-offs Square has been spitting out since the post Final Fantasy X days.

IT’S KIND OF SAD WHEN THE FISHING IS MORE EXCITING THAN THE ACTUAL SIDE QUESTS!!

In the end, I will have some lighter things to say about the title. But lets finally get all the bad shit outta the way.

FFXV’s world is a beautiful thing to see, with all of it’s greenery, mountain trails, lakes, mystical caves and dungeons. The enemies interact with the environment and the on-foot music is pretty sweet. But 50% of that is ruined by the repetitive commentary of the “four friends”. (Which is barely what they seem like to each other! But I’ll get to that!) Couple this with the sparse placement of NPCs and lack of real reward for exploration. I get that developers made the side quests to encourage exploration. So why the hell wasn’t there more to hear from the team than “ohhhhs and ahhhs”, “take a look at that” or “whoa”.
It seems that the relationship between the four guys is always strained and never about being real with each other until too late in the game. By that time, the player is so prepared for the end-game, that you’d rather not hear about everyone’s personal demons or why a certain event happened to this guy. Noctus (the primary protagonist) was protrayed as a spoiled whiney emo kid. Okay, I get that; why?! It wasn’t just because his daddy never cared about him, cuz if you pay attention to the story you can kind of feel that King Regis was a good father. Also, I get that he was bummed out with getting hitched soon and all the other crappy things that happened to him. So why didn’t they eleborate on it put in some real scenes with the guys. I mean, for fuck’s sake, the only time Noctus truly sheds tears is in the final camping scene with his “buds”. Even then, it seems like there is sort of a male psuedo-social repression thing.

This happens to ALL of the characters, which is garbage, as there could’ve been so much potential to have a social affection system for the four, much like many other RPGs out there nowadays. There are hints of it here and there, but it never seems to really be something that would get you to like the bond they all have.

For example, take the little morning adventures Noctus’ buds call him out to do. They are too sparse and you’ll probably engage in about 10 total in your entire playthrough. Considering as much as the team camped and toured the world, that chance to interact was WASTED IN A MONUMENTAL FAILURE. Especially, when the team begins to visit the big cities in the game and truly get to enjoy the sites. Where were the welcoming parties, festivals (the lil’ DLC “Moogle-Chocobo Festival” doesn’t count, as only Noctis gets to enjoy it solo, which was also a bad move. Despite the DLC being a nice touch from the developers.) Honestly, I’m going to go out on a limb and say this.

What bothered me the most was the bad portrayal of some of the cultural references throughout FFXV’s worlds. Particularly during pit stops along the highway, where you’ll experience a seriously disenfranchised version of Western American culture. (BTW, not even gonna touch the whole Cindy the mechanic thing.

All I can say is, Noctus’ team acted VERY TAME to how it really would’ve went down! CAN SOMEBODY SAY DIXIE HAZARD RIP OFF!! Okay, fuck it, I touched on it and you guys would, if you were a customers at Hammerhead, you’d be tryin’ to WORK IN HER GARAGE; MARRIED OR NOT!!!! BTW, Square must’ve had a few former Koei-Tecmo staff members join their character design staff. This is included terrible voice work used to to imitate American back country yokles. It almost seems as though the development team, spent more time on the road during their research and less time trying to communicate with the local cultures. Sure there the areas are captured respectfully in a visual sense. (Again, visuals are Square’s speciality, they NEVER have a problem making things PRETTY! I can talk about how good they are until the cows come home!)

Now there are some exceptions, like the big cities which are probably the best parts in the game. Yet again, there was so damn much potential for further story arches, additions to the story, chances to strengthen the bond with the “four friends”, have memorable side stories, etc. (Mind you, would’ve helped want to love the four guys even more.)

In the end, the story stumbles to catch up with most players who are either burnt out from over-questing and exploration or giving us a story with more holes than a buckshot-torn target. Sure, the ending does leave on a high note, but it end up being unremarkable and too ambiguous as to Noctus and company’s fate. (In the end, I kinda did care to see what actually would happen to him and his mates. It is a story I invested $60 and 80+ hours of my life into.)

As a conclusion to this quasi-rant, (Okay, it’s more of a full-on, one) the is are some great qualities to the game I loved. Visually, this was the most beautiful open world I’ve seen in a game, thus far. The surrounding world outside of the lengthy roads, tunnels and rest stops; is vibrant and seems to breath on its own. The floura and fauna blend perfectly with the fantasy creatures well know and love.

Magic and summons are sparse in terms of variety, but they truly are spectacular to see and use. (FYI, summons can to used ANYWHERE and were fairly common during my journey. One badass instance in particular was in the Tower of the Tall and Ramuh used his Judgement Bolt, right into the fuckin’ dungeon!!! (New animation and all, as opposed to the regular one used outside.) Another part I liked, was when a certain dragoon NPC jumps in during some of the later more difficult, night time battles and helps you win, when you might be in a pinch.

The last thing I did love about the game were the dungeons!!

Typically, most RPGs have made the dungeon sections either a chore or the enjoyment made strictly to the battles.  FFXV DOES ONE THING RIGHT, it makes the dungeon crawling a full adventure with its mixture of the atmosphere, monsters and the Four Friends’ reactions.  For example, the first dungeon you go into, you’ll run into goblins.  But it’s HOW you run into them, is what makes FFXV’S dungeons some of the most we’ll thought out scenarios since Atlus’ Persona series.
I loved that I was able to customize the Regalia a bit, was cool and didn’t try to steal the show. Save for the post game ability to literally tranform the Regalia. All I can say is, it ended with my in a ball of flames, a GAME OVER and me falling on my ass in histarical laughter. 

Honestly, it would’ve helped if we had access to it BEFORE THE FINAL CHAPTER, cuz by the time you get the upgrade, it’s loses it’s charm after about ten minutes to a half hour.

Ultimately, I left this experience with caring less about how the characters turned, but more about the adventures dated in dungeons and the rare unique hunt, like fighting a behemoth for the first time.

Had the story been on part with anything on part with ANY of the other Final Fantasy games I’d probably loved the experience more!

First Aid?! – Resident Evil 7 Madhouse run

I’m officially Resident Evil 7’d out! A couple days ago, I finished Madhouse difficulty, (which almost gave early male pattern baldness from all the hair I was pulling out) and a NO HEALING ITEM AND INVENTORY BOX run! (Which was done on easy, yet still a head-scratcher considering there is a part where I had to use ALMOST NO ITEMS!!)

After going through the game three times, I’m done. I can’t play it ANYMORE!!!  Ultimately, here is my final take on Resident Evil 7 outside of what I’ve already said before.

Very much like a roller-coaster ride; the first time is scary as hell, next time your ready for it but it’s still a thrill. But once you’ve ridden the ride a few times it gets boring. Resident Evil 7 is a GREAT title and I’d highly encourage you play it! HOWEVER, the game is a ONE TRICK PONY without the additional content, as many of the scene ARE SCRIPTED and the ones that change are simply there to throw you off.

RE7 kind of reminds me of playing Metroid Prime, once you beat it and find everything, there isn’t anything new. Perhaps that’s how games should be!! Yet this feeling inside me is saying, WHY THE DLC!!!! Honestly, some games NEED TO HAVE CONTENT ADDED! But with Resident Evil 7, IT DOESN’T NEED IT! Sure, the die-hard RE fans like myself will be slobbering over what happens to Redfield in the upcoming “Not a Hero” DLC. (AKA HUNK?/ACTUALLY CHRIS REDFIELD) But leaving us out on additional story material from the MAIN GAME is just plain unfair. Honestly, shelling out $30 dollars, (which is HALF of the retail game price) for the Mercenaries/Horde mode and BANNED FOOTAGE is BULLSHIT! It really is. Honesetly, if anything, the “Not a Hero” should be paid as, it’ll probably be an entirely different feel to the main title experience.

With that said, I was pleased with the challenge Madhouse difficulty brought. But I have one more thing I’ve realized about myself as a gamer. I’M NOT A MASOCHIST!! What that means, is that I don’t truly enjoy most games that PUNISH you is death after death x 10 to the 23rd power! A perfect example of this is Dead Space, which pretty much is already a hard as shit game. But on the highest difficulty, one hit and you’re dead, almost always!
This is probably why, I’ve not gotten into the Dark Souls games or continued to play “Let It Die” after the second boss. (Although, it may be because it’s a rigged free-to-play game. That’s just my opinion.)

YEP, NOT SIPPIN’ THAT DUDE’S KOOL AID!  SICKO!

Honestly, I DON’T MIND a serious challenge!! But unless I’m truly enjoying the reward of moving forward and beating it on the highest level. (Like in the case of me finishing Metal Gear Solid 2 on EXTREME!) Then it’ll now be a resounding HELL NO! I don’t need the platinum or 100% achievement, E-penis to gloat about. I’ll take my hours and use them on what important my life and my family time!!!

No disrespect to the the gamers out there that are 100% completionist and always play on the HARDEST levels. But I just never had the patience and yesterday I truly realized that.

Final Fantasy XV – ARE WE THERE YET?! NO!!!!

During the holidays, I lucked out and got a copy of Final Fantasy XV. (for $40 mind you) Which is the eighty millionth entry in the series, but only the fifteenth to be named with a shiny new roman numeral. Mind you, this title was initially named, “Final Fantasy Versus XIII”. Even better, the theme of the game is inspired by a great American past time; road tripping!! What the fuck SquareEnix, stop smoking the blue crystal, cuz it sure as hell ain’t magical!!!

 

Anyhoo, XV is a journey involving a young prince (Noctus, AKA Super EMO prince) and his three “bros”. Ingnis, the smartypants and iron chef wannabe. Gladio, the soft-hearted macho man and Auron’s bastard son (not really) and Prompto the social butterfly/wimpy kid.

 

Just remember, guns don’t kill people, Prompto’s bad selfies do.

 

As a team, the “four friends” work well together, combat is super simple to play and chain attacks. Each of them, complement with Noctus’ movements and comment during the battle, to keep things fresh. This is great, that is until you realize, you can HOLD either the attack or defend button and never have a problem…which serves no challenge to season vets of RPGs and Final Fantasy. However, enemies are either serious over-powered or one hit wonders. Thankfully, the visuals and solid boss fights make up for mediocre gameplay.

 

 

Magic kind of gets skimped on and the whole system of using status, time and white magic is condensed into added effects. Using fire, ice and thunder you mix and add potentcy to the elements by mixing in items and other elements. Sadly, the system seems very basic and looks like it could’ve much more exciting. On the up sides, summons do return, even though there are only a few, they are MARVELOUS to watch!!

Story-wise, I’m not impressed with it thus far. Which is mainly due to the massive amount of fetch quests and hunts you have to do in order to level up. It reminds me a bit of Fallout 4 and MGSV, how the quests, looting and exploration were so distracting that you really stopped caring about the main objective. Don’t get me wrong, this is WORLDS better than Final Fantasy XIII’s linear gameplay. At this point things are picking up, but it hasn’t reeled me in like Noctis’ fishing skills. (Yep, there’s fishing AND IT’S FUN!)

In terms of exploration, the world in FFXV is BEAUTIFUL!! Monsters are immersed into the world and naturally behave in it until the party gets into a battle with them. Exploring takes to different paths, first is using the Regalis (or the Noctus-mobile) which you can drive to ANY destination when you have access to the area. Initially, seems pretty sweet cruising and enjoying the view; that is until remember that sitting in a car is BORING AS FUCK. Let alone, a virtual car ride. Thankfully, once you’ve reached each area, you can fast travel!!! Then there is using chocobos (FF horses) or good ol’ hoofing it. I recommend you use chocobos more often, as they do give you a chance to truly enjoy the design of the world. (Something I learned to appreciate during my playthrough of The Witcher 3. Horses add depth…NO BULLSHIT!)

 

 

Towns are replaced with rest stops that pretty much just serve as outposts to recouperate, do side quests and hunt missions. Honestly, this may seem disappointing at first. That is, until you get to the bigger cities, which add a little spice to the world you’re in. Personal advice, do the side quests if you need curatives and the hunts for money and EXP otherwise, they are a worthless grind with no story or anything else. (Save a few exceptions)

In a nutshell, my experiences thus far, with well over 40+ hours in; if you are patient enough to sit throught the lengthy car rides. Then Final Fantasy XV is worth your time. Overall, it’s an improvement over the previous titles in terms of things to do and see.

INSERT MASSIVE IN-GAME AD!!!!!!!!!

CUP-O-NOOOOODLEE!!!!  (Which are actually REALLY gross!!!)

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS ARTICLE, PLEASE LIKE, SHARE AND COMMENT!  THANKS!

-RACCOON DADDY

 

 

Dabbling into Virtual Reality!

Three weeks ago, I got a gift card to Target and I intended to use it to buy some new clothes.  But the inner geek inside me couldn’t help to avoid the oncoming VR (virtual reality craze!  Once I finished doing some research, I’d realized that Google had released some cheap-ass vr headsets call Cardboard.  Which are literally……

CARDBOARD.

Which is NOT what I wanted.  So I looked up Target’s page and they had a pair that were sturdier.

This is an example of the one I bought, which ended up being 50 bucks.

When I got it, it seemed pretty simple, open up the front once I found a supported VR game, app or video and pop my phone in!  It was, but after about a few hours playing with the apps, the charm of 360 immersion wore off.

Videos were cool, as many of the good ones feature a 360 view where you can feel like you’re actually there.  This was especially cool using Google’s Street View, which lets you explore anywhere on the globe in full view.  But that gets old after a while.  Viewing was also bothersome after a half hour and many times I HAD TO TAKE BREAKS!!  

 

The games and apps seemed SUPER COOL, but my headset had fairly limited functionality, unlike the fancier Samsung, HTC, Oculous and Sony versions.  Having a controller was pretty mandatory, which I kind of wish VR breaks AWAY from the controller.  (I mean, isn’t that kind of the point of the virtual experience?!)

JUST NOT LIKE THIS!  (Wow!  I can’t believe I remember this movie!) – Stephen King’s Lawnmower Man

I know I’m getting a bit ahead of myself, but I have a feeling that VR STILL HAS A LONG WAY TO GO!  The more expensive rigs will give users a WAYYY better experience than I had and I’m in no way trying to discourage you guys to try out the headsets for yourself.   As a matter of fact, dip your toes in the pool and test the waters yourself and I hope you enjoy the swim

Just bring along a spear gun, just in case!

 

 

 

Title Image Credit

Double Dragon 2: The Revenge. Technōs Japan. (1988) Nintendo.

Unless you didn’t notice by now, I don’t do reviews on here.  At least, not the usual one, with number scales or letter grades.  (Let’s face it, I’m done school, no more letter grading for me)   As a nod to another blog I like A LOT, I’m going to submit a few of their works when they come up.

Recently, Double Dragon II got RE-released on PSN.  I haven’t tried it since the SNES days, but I imagine its just a direct port with trophies/achievements stuffed in.

Got this off of Gamesrevisited! Check these guys out, if you want a REAL review of a game that’s gonna have you laughing hard! Fair warning some do have MILD SPOILERS, but unless your really paying attention, you’ll won’t notice.  Also, they make reviews based on the fact that you don’t narrow band your attention on the number they give at the end! Good times!

Special Thanks to Game Art-HQ for the title pic.  Which is a MUST if you love cosplay, fanart or concept art!

Games Revisited

Double Dragon 2 Cover

I was surprised about this one, as a kid it was a frustrating ballache, with many a tantrums thrown at its behest. So is it a good game? Has father/mother time been fair to it?

View original post 894 more words

Teamwork is KEY when your shooting people in the face!

Every so often, I’m going to continue to recap a few groups of titles. They are mini reviews like before, except I will be giving you some thought provoking material.   Which will have some points for discussion on each of my recap entries.

Plants Vs Zombies:  Garden Warfare

 

Here is a good FPS that was designed to be like Battlefield and Team Fortress 2 and it works well.  (Hell, it was developed by the staff who make Battlefield.)  

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If you’re completely oblivious to those two title and Plants Vs Zombies.  Here’s a quick run-down:  First, Team Fortress using a class system that requires a true commitment to win on a regular basis.  Each class has its strengths and weaknesses and cannot clear out the opponent going rouge.  TF2 kind of created the whole four-class system that you see in many shooters now.

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Second, Battlefield launched off of TF2 system and made vast improvements over the original concept.  Coupled with the heavy reliance on teamplay with modes like Rush and Conquest.

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I’m a huge Battlefield player, so I’ll elaborate more on it another time.

 

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But it’s fair to say that Battlefield is a true FPS experience, vice the super fast-paced killfest in CoD.

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Last is the feature of the post, Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare.  If you liked the first Plants Vs Zombies, YOU WILL BE DISAPPOINTED, it’s a shooter, not a tower strategy game.  With that said, the gameplay is fun with lots to do and has many similarities to Battlefield 3, using many of its gametypes.  But what makes PvZ charming is its characters, setting and the wide arsenal of plant and zombie themed weapons/gadgets.  

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Not only does each class get their own unique gear, they have get a few different abilities.  These are achieved by unlocking new skins, which can be be obtained via expansion card packs.  (Which are purchased with in-game money or cold hard cash, also known as freemium)  

Which brings me to another great feature in this game.  When you buy packs, even getting the common cards are rewarding and have their usefulness.  Also, any skins, weapons or cards you collect are featured in a pretty extensive compendium that can be assessed outside of battles.

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The last feature that is included in the game is the zombie defense, very similar to CoD’s Nazi Zombies, except each round features different modifiers and occasional boss fights.  Also, as a nod to the original tower defense games; the defending players can place plants in empty pots to defend and assist them with the oncoming hordes.

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Also, this is a great alternate to younger players, who would like a shooter that is free of the blood and gore.  Not only that, it has some really funny moments, which range from an opposing player being blown 30 feet in the air by a potato mine or the various emotes each class has.

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I’d recommend you buy it, as it also has ALL of its full expansions available FOR FREE, which makes more than worth the price.

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Mini Reviews for You: 2015

Last year I went through quite a few games and felt like I’d share a mini review of each one I’d played, so you could have a snapshot on it.  I’m not including the ones I played during the period when I had my Playstation Now subscription.  (If you like, feel free to look at those previous posts, of which gave a fairly good description of each game I played on the subscription.)

Just Cause 2

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This was a fun experience and reminded me a lot of Bionic Commando but with big explosions.  Plenty to do in the game, it’s a sandbox where just about everything can be destroyed.  Definitely a buy, considering it’s bargain bin price now.  The new sequel is out now, but if your waiting  for the price to lower or not sure, give this a try first.

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–Now THAT, is a jumbo jet!

Duke Nukem Forever

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Not the best quality game for as long of a wait many fans had to put up with.  Beyond that it was a solid shooter that wasn’t a waste of time, if you like lowbrow humor and don’t mind a story that was written by monkeys. Rent it if you like, but you can usually get it for around $5.

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Sorry Duke, maybe I’ll have $59.99, next time…But here’s a dollar!

Castlevania – Lord of Shadows: Mirror of Fate

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Solid platformer that tries to go back to the Metroidvania days.  Combat was fun, boss battles were great and challenging.  You take control of three characters in the game that are supposed to have unique abilities.  The story was pointless and I would get this just to get that old Castlevania gameplay you’ve been missing since the handheld days.  It’s available on PSN and Xbox for $15.

 

Castlevania – Lord of Shadows 2

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Plays like Lord of Shadows did, which was a good game.  Good story, good gameplay.  It plays a little like God of War, but with its own type of combat.  There were some stealth elements in the game that were just inserted in, to bring variety, but it could’ve done without it.  Story is taken in a different direction from other Castlevania games, so if your fan, you might like it.  Rent or buy in bargain bin.

Soul Calibur II HD

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HD port of an oldie but goodie.  Plenty of modes and a large weapon master mode, which will take you some time to finish.  You won’t find any create a character like the later titles and visuals certainly show their age; but if you can get beyond that, try it out!  If you aren’t familiar with Soul Calibur, its a fighter, but with hand-to-hand weapon combat, and a good solid game.  Recommend buying online, which I believe is the only way its available.

Monkey Island: Special Edition

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This game is a perfect example of a quality gaming experience.  If your used to fast paced and intense action, this game isn’t for you…or perhaps it is!  Slow yourself down, put your thinking cap on and get ready for an entertaining story that will make you laugh.  Besides, if you get stuck you can always just look at a FAQ to move you along.  Stupidity happens to all gamers, myself included.  Also, if you played this many years ago, you’ll be surprised to know that the graphics are updated with new artwork and you have the ability to play the original version, if you’d like.  It’s worth every penny!  Available on PSN or xbox live.

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Boy!  The locals sure are nice here!

Kingdom Hearts 1.5

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If you missed this back on Playstation 2, you have a chance to enjoy a phenomenal game.  This is a completely original story and RPG, that takes Disney and Final Fantasy characters and puts them in a merged world.  The combat does require a small learning curve and when you first start the game, you may be a little bit lost when you get to Traverse Town at first.  But the action quickly picks up and keeps it consistent and fresh throughout the game.  Story wise, I felt it was a little predictable and to be honest, I don’t know why they are so obsessed with this series’ story line. The story isn’t bad, it’s just not DAMN!, WOW! or New York Time’s bestseller material.

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Whale penis…

Also, this game is a bundle of two other “games”.  The first is Chain of Memories, which was an okay title.

The other is Kingdom Hearts 358/2 days, which is a compilation of cut-scenes from the game, but doesn’t include the game itself…just movies.  Personally, I felt it was a waste of time, sitting through 80 cutscenes of three teens as they ate salted ice cream and whined about emo-bullshit.  (Salted ice cream?!?!)  Honestly, I felt like I’ll never get that time back, its gone and 358/2 days took it away.

Must play for the original Kingdom Hearts and the other stuff is just filler and not fan service.

 

 

Ducktales: Remastered

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This game I loved back the original NES and this one is even better.  If you’re looking for a GOOD unconventional platformer, with a side of well written Disney humor, look no further.  Lots of good nostalgia for those whose played this way back when!  I’d buy it.

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–Pain, from a cane, now IN HD!!!

Injustice

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It plays like Mortal Kombat for PS3, minus the fatalities.  Good story mode, with a lot of variety for DC fans to enjoy.  Fighting is good, giving the player to use environment items as attacks.  If you like a good fighter, a Mortal Kombat/DC/comic fan, you’ll like this.  Rent, if your not sure, but it’s worth it.

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–This is what you get when you ask for more DLC characters!!

Infamous

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Overall a solid title.  The more powers you the more fun can have in the game.  My biggest bitch with the game was the overpowered minor enemies, which were able to kill you pretty quickly and at long distances.  Also, hitting said enemies with your powers was a pain in the ass.  A lock-on feature would’ve great for this game.  

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The story was good, with a few unexpected twists, the game is worth the frustration, though.

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FYI, Cole’s power is electricity, which means, DON’T GO SWIMMING!!

Assassin’s Creed Liberation and Black Flag

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–Okay, 5 to 1 on the angry chick with the sugar cane knife!!

For those new to Assassin’s Creed, at least try one of these games, as you can jump into these games in particular as they are not continued stories, but separate experiences.

First is Liberation, which was good, but not great.  My complaints, were that it was too simple for veteran Assassin’s Creed players and missions seemed kind of flat when comparing them to previous games.  Eventually, you get access to an economy system, which wasn’t bad, but left you with a ton of money and not enough to do with it.  I’d rent or get it on sale.

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–On the bright side, at least you’ll be able to eat some gata’ tnite!!

Black Flag is the opposite, if you love pirates, history, sailing in open waters, raiding ships and performing many fun missions, try this!  This one of those games that makes collecting items and exploring enjoyable, not a grind!  Hell, even your crew with sing sailing songs during voyages, seriously!  Worth a buy!

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–True.  So true.

 

That was…satisfying.

Finished Beyond:  Two Souls last night.
Pretty epic story overall, which kept me guessing until it finished. 

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It left me with a few questions at the end.  But I’m not complaining; there is plenty of action, mystery and paranormal in game that kept me wanting more. 

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Sometimes, there were decisions I had to make that were very hard to make…in terms as to how I felt about the characters.  Then there were times I had that completely flipped this way of thinking in order to better fit the way the story moved; in a GREAT way.

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It’s great, because in real life we engage in hardship.  New relationships develop, others may betray or destroy that connection, and in between we have to decide if we turn away, embrace, or just forgive. 

Another one of Quantic Dream’s titles, Heavy Rain, tried to do this.  But it felt like they were trying to hard.  Sure, if you play it, you’ll experience some powerful moments.  But Beyond takes the body of the previous title and pumps blood into it; bringing the player into a great and powerful narrative.

It is an amazing game and worth your time.  Be mindful, it was short and sweet and it can be finished in about two or three serious gaming sessions.

-P2D2