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September 30, 2013

THINGS TO COME

Sooooooo, the Breaking Bad finale aired last night in the US of A. NO SPOILERS, PLEASE. Some of us have yet to watch it. And I probably already saw a spoiler on Facebook from a #%@#$^#@ troll.....

But anyways, that has nothing to do with video games. :P

***

This week, expect to see the long awaited Grand Theft Auto V Areas of Concern, and Friday will have yet another ReMix Review featuring a possible change of verdict. (For a game which already had one change of verdict.)

Otherwise, I'm busy prepping my newest playthrough to be uploaded soon, and it will be featured quite extensively on my blog this time. I'm also planning to make several "pilot" episodes of video game playthroughs, which will be uploaded to YouTube and picked up if I find them acceptable.

Weekly Milestones:

Grand Theft Auto V: Finished watching the walkthrough. Now just need to edit the huge mess of content and add a Thoughts & Impressions.

Dead Space 1: Managed to make it to Chapter 5 out of 12. Getting there!

Splinter Cell Blacklist: Think you saw the last of that game on this blog? Well, probably not, but let's just say that you'll see it again in the near future. :)

Pilot Episodes: Here is the complete list of games you can expect: BioShock Infinite, Call of Duty: Black Ops 1, Far Cry 2, Mirror's Edge, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Civilization V, and a few other surprises.....

September 27, 2013

What's with the Call of Duty hate?

Fish. That swim away from you. INNOVATION!

It must be weird being a salesman for the most hated game franchise today. It's no small task trying to point out the greatest features of the newest all-too familiar game in the franchise, especially to droves of cynical gamers.

But what if successful marketing of such a franchise did not depend on highlighting the positives, but dwelling on the negatives?

***

So, I decided to take a step back this week and focus on a topic which has been racking my mind ever since I first played Modern Warfare 2: Why do people hate Call of Duty so much?

Okay, sure, it's not the best game in the world, but surely there are much worse games to hate on? Like maybe ET: The Game for nearly obliterating the North American video game industry?

The hordes of shameless movie tie-ins, which exploit our fondness for their source material and give us worthless rubbish in return?

Duke Nukem Forever even, with it's pointlessly offensive humour and infamously dated quality?

Why does Call of Duty get all the flak? Why does a game which does a slightly more than serviceable job get widespread hatred?

Maybe that hairstyle has something to do with it?

Because of one thing: The fans.

Call of Duty was the highest selling game franchise of all time, only displaced by Grand Theft Auto with it's most recent entry.

The thing which annoys most people is the fact that COD of all games became extremely popular, when there are other games to enjoy, and should have had a larger audience.

Now, some may disagree with me and say it's because the COD series contains some of the worst quality games on the market today.

Sorry, but that's not true. And in fact, the rabid hatred for COD is unwarranted. The reason why people hate it so much, is because it disappointed them.

I remember before Modern Warfare 2 was released, Call of Duty was in most of our good books. The game remains largely the same today, except something changed after the overhyped sequel.

The disappointment of a largely similar game after so much innovation was promised could not be taken back. It was after this, when the hate began.

Now I'm not going to go on a lecture and explain why I think it's bad to hate Call of Duty or like Call of Duty. Instead, I'm going to state one thing: The haters are what's selling COD.

Disagree? Not surprised, but there's simple logic behind my decision. The more hatred and bitterness people heap on something, the more attention it gets, and as some of you may know, there's no such thing as bad publicity.

Look, it's your own decision to hate Call of Duty as a whole. That's on you. I respectfully say that I would rather enjoy a game instead of engage in rabid hatred, because then I would only waste my time.

But the simple fact of the matter is, the more outspoken you are about hating it, the more it will get publicized, resulting in even more sales for the franchise.

Okay, you gotta admit that this screenshot looks pretty cool.

The day COD disappears from the market, is when people react indifferently to it. That day may come soon, when haters realise that despite their best efforts, the COD series is going to stay no matter how much 0's they give it on review sites, no matter how much boycotts they organise, and no matter how much bad-mouthing they attempt, it's all for nothing.

And the fans too, if they finally realise that COD is becoming stale, and that there are much more attractive games out there to enjoy, some of them free.

Until then, you are free to continue with your hate. But just know that when the dust finally clears, it will be awfully embarrassing to admit that you were a highly successful salesman for the game you swore to destroy.

What do you think? How does Call of Duty compare to other big name games? Does it deserve the haters? 

No, it doesn't, but tell me why you hate it if you're one of them.

September 25, 2013

Fuse Guest Review





Action game combo meal #4: evil corporations and explosions, with a side of fuse.

Intro:



The majority of actions games are a bit like fast food. Cravable, enjoyable and fulfilling at first, but you can get sick if you have too much. They’re also churned out by huge corporations and hey, what do you know, that brings us to today’s game: Fuse.

How do you make an action game stand out? Do something different. For Insomniac Games (creators of the Spyro and Resistance series) that something different was the use of fuse-powered weapons and gadgets. Fuse, by the way, is an orange alien substance that energizes stuff and does cool things.

Originally called Overstrike with a goofy, Timesplitters-ish art style, Fuse ended up with a more serious, traditional look and tone. The game features four-player cooperative gameplay and follows a team of agents trying to stop an evil corporation from obtaining – you guessed it – fuse.

So basically, you use fuse to stop people from getting fuse. You could say it’s a con-fuse-ing concept. (See what I did there?)

Release Date: 28 May, 2013

Developer: Insomniac Games

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3

Genre: Action/third-person shooter

Reviewed By: Daniel Kay


Areas of Concern:

Violence:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Ban-worthy

--General gameplay violence involves shooting robots and soldiers with guns, lasers and crossbows, with plenty of blood-splatter effects and explosions.

--Players can also use fuse powers to destroy enemies, the most graphic being the ability to impale and “freeze” enemies, then shatter them (though it’s not as bad as it sounds).

--The most horrific scene in the game features a guy carving an enemy’s eye out with a knife while he screams in pain. It’s pretty graphic.

--In another cutscene, an enemy explodes and splatters all over a platform. There’s an extreme amount of blood and gore, almost comically so.

--A woman shoots a bound man in the head, followed by blood pooling.

--One boss injects himself in the neck multiple times with fuse, which looks like it hurts. A lot. Then he turns into a big, scary dude with temper problems.


Sex/Nudity:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Ban-worthy

--A female enemy/boss wears an extremely form-fitting outfit.

--Occasional suggestive humor between characters.


Language:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Ban-worthy

Fairly heavy use of the F-word, as you’ll hear at least a few per hour of gameplay. Also frequent uses of s**t, d**n, God’s name in vain and others.


Drugs/Alcohol/Smoking:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Ban-worthy

Fuse itself could be considered a drug, as the previously mentioned boss uses it and players end up bonding to it after heavy use. Also, a female character in the game smokes.


Spiritual Content:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Ban-worthy

None.

Morality:

Abysmal Bad So-so Okay Good Very Good

All four characters have moral flaws, but are ultimately dedicated to the mission. However, they don’t hesitate to use fuse when they’re trying to stop others from using it. Their other methods for completing missions can also be controversial at times (cougheyeballscough), so the game stands in middle ground when it comes to morality.


Review of Game:



Basically, if Michael Bay created a game, this would be it. Full of explosions and frenetic action, but with a generic, forgettable story. That being said, the gameplay is pretty fun. There are a variety of cool guns to choose from, a skill tree similar to Borderlands and you can play with friends. Then there are the four fuse powers, which aren’t too distinct from each other, but enjoyable enough to use as much as your guns.

Aside from the story, the biggest flaw is your teammates A.I. They’re horrible, as is the case with many coop games. You can, however, switch characters on the fly, which almost makes up for it. It’s a pretty cool feature I found myself using frequently. But by the end of the game, I didn’t have a huge desire to play it again.


Remember that one time I said action games are like fast food? Fuse does nothing to disprove that. If you’re in the mood for something different (or simply feel like blowing stuff up), it’s a fun diversion. But its lack of an interesting story and repetitive nature means it doesn’t have a ton of replay value.

If the developers had stuck with the original art style and tone, it could have stood out from the crowd. But alas, this is not the case. I also wonder if the game is worth dealing with the gratuitous cursing and violence. In the end, is this a combo meal worth ordering? You’ll have to pray and decide for yourself.

Quality Verdict: Okay (C+)

Verdict: 16+



For Strong Language and Violence.

Outro:




If this game sounds fun – or if you already played and enjoyed it – I’d recommend looking into Binary Domain. Similar teammate concept, slightly more interesting story and fun gameplay, but without the F-bombs or bloody violence.

Eesh… that was the worst eyeball scene since Dead Space 2.

September 23, 2013

Guest Review Inbound!

Hello everybody!

First thing's first, this week we'll be getting another Guest Review from Daniel Kay if all goes well. I know you're all anxious for GTA V's Areas of Concern but it's a massive game and it can't be done in one week.

So stay tuned for that!

Weekly Milestones:

Grand Theft Auto V: Areas of Concern nearly halfway done. Still need to download the rest of the videos.

Fuse: Guest Review is scheduled, now just to be written and posted.

Dead Space 1: Still too scared to resume playing. Gonna do this slowly and start uploading when the playthrough is complete.

Age of Empires II: Retro Review a definite possibility. One of my favourite all time games.

September 20, 2013

Let's Player Reviews: Vash12349

Hello everyone! 

As some of you may know, I watch a lot of video walkthroughs as research for the Areas of Concern on this blog and recently ventured into Let's Playing as well.

What started off as a hobby in my lonely teenage years when I was still an acne-faced know-it-all, became an otaku in my adolescent years, where I'm now a beard-faced know-nothing-at-all.

Having over four years experience watching Let's Plays, and two months experience actually making them, (my second series is still uploading on my channel.) I decided to try something that I'm sure plenty of you would like:

Let's Player Reviews, where I, ahem, review all the different LPers on the internet. From huge fanbases, to rabid cult followings, I'll take a look at those who ventured beyond simply being couch potatoes enjoying the occasional video game and taken up the hard task of entertaining the never satisfied masses. 

In the second instalment of the series, we're going to be taking a look at who could possibly the most gangsta LPer on YouTube: Vash12349.

Bio:

(Good luck finding a picture of this guy.) Hailing from the American suburbs, Vash12349 is a wisecracking, quick witted guy who accentuates his dialogue with gangbanger lingo and rap songs.

Vash12349 is also known for his anonymity and cult-like fanbase, who can't help but fall in love with his humourous and warm style of commentating.

Areas of Concern:

Oh boy, this is where the big divider will come into play: Vash unfortunately loads his videos with moderate to graphic sexual jokes, referencing sex acts and genitalia. The amount range from frequent to very infrequent.

What makes me overlook this, is the fact that it's not always there and like NerdCubed's swearing, it often feels extraneous. Not to say it always does, it's part of the gangster lingo Vash has got, but this is what may turn most Christian viewers off.

Now, I've got a bit of a confession to make: Verbal references to sex, no matter how graphic, don't really phase me that much. It's not like I don't MIND it, but I can easily look past it. Believe me, after being on the internet and hearing lots and lots of gnarly things, you get to the point where you can easily ignore it.

(Please don't hit me with scriptures now. Jesus was a friend of sinners, and what kind of "activity" do sinners love to crudely reference? Exactly.)

Otherwise, Vash also drops F-bombs quite frequently, and very infrequently takes the Lord's name in vain.

What was most surprising about Vash is his maturity when speaking about certain subjects, including a recent video where he talked about loving his "daddy", even though so many of today's youth rebel against their parents.

He also called child discipline an effective and necessary countermeasure to growing up "F***ed up", if I were to paraphrase him.

Review of Style:

Pros:

Vash12349 has been a huge inspiration for me, with his quick wit, random use of pop songs to lighten up the mood and showcase his surprisingly brilliant singing skills.

He also loves older games, so people look for a bit more retro video gaming experience, you've come to the right guy. But there's also more modern games, since Vash seems to enjoy games far and wide.

Cons:

Very little, other than the fact that his uploads were irregular at one point during his channel's lifetime, but he uploads frequently now.

The vulgarity is definitely a strike, since it kept me back from recommending it to my audience, but for those who can look past it, Vash will grow on you incredibly fast.

Him and me do share one common problem in our playthroughs: We tend to get confused pretty fast if we're trying to say something and an enemy comes up in a video game, making us forget exactly what we were trying to say.

This is most evident in his recent video "Just Playing: Grand Theft Auto V".

Conclusion:

So I said all that needed to be said. Vash12349 is one of my favourite LPers, also one of the first three I started watching. Next week, we will take a look at the other two, and that's where my praise will considerably decline......

Trivia:

Best Playthrough: Too many to choose from, but of note is his Dead Space 1, InFamous 1, Uncharted 2, Fallout 3, and Metal Gear Solid 1, 2, 3, and 4 playthroughs.

Common Phrases:

-Oh snap!

-That's so bootlegg! (When something looks funky or weird.)

-Hey there! Just come over, sit down your attractive A**, and watch me play some video games! (Frequently used introduction.)

-What's that? I wanna touch it. (When he sees a shiny object.)

-I'm gone. (When running from an enemy. The actual delivery of the line makes it priceless.)

-I'm DEAD! (When dying, and used frequently in his Metal Gear Solid 4 playthrough.)

-*squeaky voice* Bye, bye bye bye! (When ending a video.)

September 18, 2013

Payday 2 Guest Review



EDIT: Apparently the dates were wrong, mistakenly setting the release date in 2012. Oops. Let's justify this by pretending that Daniel Kay is a skilled time traveler and the constant delays in the game's release were caused by a groundhog day effect.

The perfect heist is harder than you might think.

Intro:

Payday 2 will go down in history as the most stressful game to obtain ever. Not really, but it was for me. From shipping delays and stores selling out to problems with pre-orders… agh, it’s a long story I won’t get into.

Basic Plot:

Anyway, the game a sequel to the 2011 downloadable game Payday: The Heist and centers around four players cooperatively trying to complete various bank heists and robberies. Each player has their own customizable set of skills, guns, masks and more.

Aside from a short intro mission, there’s no real story to speak of, as the game consists of about a dozen missions with varying difficulties and objectives. You can run-and-gun or be stealthy, but in the end, you’re there to make as much money as possible.

Got it? Good.

Release Date: 13 August 2013. 15 August 2013. 17 August 2013. 20 August, 2013

Developer: Overkill Software

Publisher: 505 Games

Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Windows

Genre: First-person shooter/strategy


Reviewed By: Daniel Kay.


Areas of Concern:


Violence:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Ban-worthy

Once you take on a heist and it goes wrong, the bullets start to fly. That’s the case with nearly all missions (unless you complete the entire mission stealthily, not an easy task). Here is some of the violence you’ll encounter when things go wrong:

--Players have their choice of pistols, submachine guns, shotguns, machine guns and snipers, as well as bombs and other devices (like power saws). Building up gun stats and inventory is encouraged. You can also melee people to death.

--You can freely kill police officers, other criminals and innocent civilians (though there is a penalty for the latter). There is usually blood splatter (but no gore) when you do.

--You take civilians hostage by tying them up, and can later “trade” them for captured teammates.

--Players can be electrocuted via tasers, electric fences and doors, gassed via tear gas canisters, burned with fire and fall to their deaths.

--Doors, safes and other things can be opened with explosives and drills.

Sex/Nudity:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Ban-worthy

--One mission centers around stealing paintings from a museum and the developers decided that every single one of them should be a woman in a suggestive pose. Many are even nude, with small stars serving as the only censors. Also, you have to look at them if you’re playing by yourself, as you obtain them by holding down a button over the painting for a few seconds.

--Another mission takes place in a nightclub where female patrons wear revealing outfits. It’s also implied the club serves “other” functions.

--Characters make crude sexual jokes to each other on occasion (example: “Hey, I wonder if he sh**ged his sister?”)

--Some masks can be considered vulgar, such as the “gag-ball” mask (a reference to sadomasochism) and the ability to make a mask with flesh as the material.

Language:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Ban-worthy

Prepare to be showered with as many F-bombs as you will bullets, as this game is full of them. There are also frequent uses of s**t and a**h**e, as well as uses of b*****d, b***h, d**n and others.


Drugs/Alcohol/Smoking:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Ban-worthy

--Multiple missions deal with drugs (hey, you’re a criminal after all). One of them involves smuggling bags and bags of cocaine to a truck, then to a boat.

--An objective for another mission actually centers on making and transporting methamphetamine (meth). You have to find the various ingredients and combine them in a specific order. Don’t try this at home!

--There are various bottles of alcohol strewn about and characters can be seen taking smoke breaks.


Spiritual Content:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Ban-worthy

Fortunately, there aren’t any missions at a church or anything like that. I believe I might have seen a Bible or two in a store or house, but there isn’t much spiritual content.

Morality:

Abysmal Bad So-so Okay Good Very Good

Morality? This game is about being the bad guy, so it’s not very good. The objective is to steal, kill and smuggle your way to the next payday. The only two redeeming moral factors of this game are: 1, you can choose to stealthily complete a mission; and 2, there is a penalty for killing civilians.

Review of Game:


If you’ve ever wanted to play the bad guy in a movie, this is the game to do it. It’s frantic, easy to grasp and difficult to master. The first time you load up a mission, it’s a rush just deciding how you’re going to approach it. And once you (inevitably) alert the police, it’s an intense ride until the getaway van arrives.

The most ideal way to play it, however, is with friends. The computer A.I. is horrible, often getting in your way and not firing at enemies right in front of them. (They are good at reviving you, however.) But if you have some buddies, you can each focus on different complementary skills, complete missions faster and laugh at your failures – which, by the way, the game encourages. Missions are usually difficult and you are rewarded cash and experience even if you don’t complete it.


Those looking for a story, however, will be disappointed. As will those looking for replay value. Payday 2 is a super-fun, unique experience, but the thrill wears off after playing each mission a dozen times or so. At that point, it becomes something you’ll want to experience only occasionally.


Quality Verdict: Good (B-)

Verdict: 16+


For Strong Language, Violence and Sexual Content.


Outro:

The struggle to obtain this game still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. But I can’t deny my anticipation before playing it. In the end, I was disappointed with the objectionable content and its repetitive nature. But overall, it’s a fun cooperative game, which is hard to find these days.

If you liked Left 4 Dead (it runs on the same engine) or simply have dreams of being a criminal, you’ll probably like Payday 2. I, on the other hand, will be looking for my payday somewhere else.

September 17, 2013

Delayed Update....

So I clean forgot to update yesterday and forgot that it was Monday. I need a vacation......

My apologies, people. I've just had a lot on my mind recently, with my first public presentation coming up next week (please pray for me!), my friends acting all weird, and the stress of where my future is going.

But you don't have to worry, tomorrow will see another review, this time by Daniel Kay, who hasn't reviewed in a long time. It's good to have him back, and the game in question was requested so that will be a good read.

Hang in there with me people! This blog is going to get real busy come October, and I'm preparing for my Grand Theft Auto V Areas of Concern.

Weekly Milestones:

Payday 2: Review done. Needs screenshots and will be published this Wednesday. (18 September.)

Grand Theft Auto V: Areas of Concern not started yet, but after seeing the big ol' 10 out of 10 IGN gave it, I realised that it's important.

October Season: Praying for the games so that I can hammer out the reviews very fast! But I know for sure that it is in God's hands.

Dead Space 1: By far the most difficult playthrough I've made thus far, and all that effort is more than worth it. This will be the best playthrough of Dead Space ever! (Yep, fully confident.)