Category: Gaming

Destiny 2: Forsaken/Black Armory – The Destiny I’ve Been Begging For … Kind Of.

Destiny 2: Forsaken/Black Armory – The Destiny I’ve Been Begging For … Kind Of.

Introduction

Destiny has been an up and down rollercoaster ever since the first game was released back in 2014. Many people even equating it to an abusive relationship, and I can’t really blame them. Bungie hasn’t necessarily done itself any good. If Destiny 2’s launch state wasn’t bad enough, the following DLCs (Curse of Osiris & Warmind) were absolutely terrible. With poor story telling, short and dull missions, and lazy new game mechanics. It wasn’t looking good for Destiny, to say the least. Activision doesn’t even consider the game a success, and that’s never good to hear from your publisher.

Now despite all of these truths, I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t enjoying my time playing Destiny 2: Forsaken. Yes, I’m well aware that it is mirror to what Bungie did back in Destiny 1 for The Taken King. However, after putting a fair amount of time into this new expansion, I can safely say that now is a perfect time to return to Destiny 2. The story is far superior to last two, the new game mechanics are great (with some minor flaws), the new raid added is amazing, the new loot is worth the grind, random roles are back (kind of), and I actually feel good about the Annual Pass (kind of).

In this review I’ll be giving a brief run down of my thoughts on Destiny 2: Forsaken thus far, and will be including my thoughts on The Black Armory as well. This review will also contain some spoilers here and there. So if you for any reason haven’t played Forsaken yet, and you’re wanting to experience it for yourselves, please leave now. Spoiler Alert Ahead! With that all being said, let’s get started.

The Story

Forsaken starts us off with a distress call from Petra Venj. She’s just informed us that there is a riot going on at the Prison of Elders, and she needs help getting everything under control. So, with the help of Cayde-6, we descend deep into the prison to assist Petra in restoring order. However, as the riots continue, explosions are caused which begin setting off chain reactions throughout facility. Letting out some prisoners better kept locked away. Regardless, after fighting your way through wave after wave of enemies, you and Cayde manage get the security systems back online. All seems well, until Petra discovers high-value inmates missing from their cells.

She informs Cayde that there is an airlock on one of the bottom decks, and believes that is where they’re going to escape. So Cayde, being the man he is, decides plunge his way down to the bottom of the prison. Using the dangling security hub as a makeshift one-way elevator. Soon as he hits the bottom, he is immediately surrounded by several tough looking Fallen prisoners. Soon as they spot him, they send their underlings after him, and what begins is an absolutely spectacular scene of Cayde-6 in action.

I won’t go into too much detail here, because you need to see it to truly enjoy it. As the fighting dies down, Cayde is worn out and beat. He pulls out his Ghost in need of a pick-me-up. However, before he is given that chance, one of the Fallen inmates (who has now perched himself in a high spot) snipes his Ghost, killing it instantly. Without Cayde’s ghost, there is no where left for him to run. The Fallen prisoners defeat him, and the inmate in-charge of the group, Uldren Sov, deals the final blow. Killing Cayde with his own Ace of Spades.

From this moment onward, your Guardian along with Petra Venj, are both out for blood to avenge Cayde-6. In rush of rage, the two of you invade The Tangled Shore, and with the help of Spider, you track down the Fallen Barons who were responsible for the death of your fellow Guardian. With each of the Barons dead and gone, you make your way for Uldren, only to find a dark truth. Uldren had been seduced by a manifestation of his sister, Mara Sov, into believing he could bring her back. Instead, he unleashed a greater evil unto this realm. The Ahamkara known as Riven.

A mystical, dragon-like beast who was taken by Oryx during the Taken War. She was the Awoken’s greatest ally, and now, she has become their ultimate curse. As we finish Uldren, we begin our journey into the Dreaming City, a paradise created for Riven. As a means to conceal her from the outside world. However, this paradise was short lived when the Taken War began, and Oryx had invaded the Dreaming City. In the process, he took Riven, and she was now a Taken Ahamkara.

At this point, the players are given one task: Drive deep into the heart of the Dreaming City, find Riven, and grant the Queen her Last Wish; Killing Riven.

The Gameplay

(Mostly) Everything that many people have been asking from Bungie was finally brought here in this new expansion and the Black Armory DLC. Destiny 2 Forsaken has random rolls, better loot drops, more challenging raids, better XP gains, more adventurous quests, better told lore, and visually spectacular new environments. It’s also given players so much more to do. With weekly clan bounties now added in, weekly challenge completions that grant players with “Powerful Gear”, weekly flashpoints on different planets, weekly bounties for the Dreaming City and helping the Queen defeat Riven, two new raids (The Last Wish & Scourge of the Past), and a new PvPvE multiplayer mode (Gambit).

We were also gifted with a new third skill tree with each of our Supers. Warlocks were given Nova Warp (which turns you into a spectral ghost that moves quickly and kills any enemy instantly with one attack), Well of Radiance (which creates a ring around wherever the well is planted, it heals all members of the fireteam within it, and it also grants them a slight damage buff), and Chaos Reach (Kamehameha … that’s it … that’s Chaos Reach). On the other hand, Hunters were given Spectral Blades (which turns the hunter into an invisible assassin with dual blades), Blade Barrage (which takes the regular solar hunter knife times twenty and making them explosive … AND making them be thrown everywhere), and Whirling Guard (which takes the Arc Staff and makes it deflect attacks, and the damage of any attack deflected is tripled). Finally, the Titans were granted Banner Shield (which a shield that absorbs damage from enemies while your fireteams works on dealing damage), Siege Hammer (which is a much larger flame hammer that attacks people with flame tornadoes, which is always fun), and Thundercrash (which turns your Titan into an Arc Meteor, and you get to control where they land).

Each of these new Supers also come with their own perks, but if you wanna know more about the details, I’ll leave that for you all to find out on your own. Needless to say, these new gameplay mechanics for D2 definitely made the game more both challenging and enjoyable. At least for me.

The Complaints

While I absolutely love this new expansion, there are a few minor things that kind of ruin the experience for me. Mainly, the PvP aspect. I simply don’t enjoy it that much, because it mostly revolves around luck. It’s similar to Call of Duty’s PvP, where whoever shoots first is usually the one to win. This is especially true when you’re going against a player who is using Sleeper Simulant, Nova Warp, Queen Breaker’s Bow, etc. (aka “One Hit Kill” attacks). Typically I don’t really mind one hit attacks, but when you have little to no chance to recover or react, it kind of gets really annoying.

We had this issue when Gambit first came out. Everyone was using Sleeper. It was just the best weapon to have. When you got heavy ammo, you got enough rounds to wipe the whole enemy team. Also, the gun is one hit on impact, no matter what part of the body you hit. So if you’re invading, it’s basically required that you use Sleeper, or you have you’re super ready. However, it has to be a Super that kills quickly.

While we’re on the topic of Gambit, the game mode itself has it’s problems. Main one, at least for me, is how fast the invasion portal comes back. I understand the need for it, but the frequent use of it is crazy. You’ll have players constantly invading every 30 seconds while your team is trying to kill your Primeval. I understand it being a way for the enemy team to catch up if they’re behind, but at the same time, there should be a bit of a longer cooldown before invading.

On top of that, I believe Primeval’s should be more challenging. Instead of just shooting, there should be some Raid-like mechanics put into it. Maybe you have to complete some sort of puzzle or kill a certain enemy in order to make the boss vulnerable. Something that adds a little bit of uniqueness to the fight. Making each boss feel different. A good example is the Primeval you need to kill for the Malfeasance Quest. That is a unique boss that you can fight. The rest are just Taken enemies with nothing special about them. You just shoot them.

The Black Armory

An interesting idea, but not quite executed well. I didn’t necessarily like how difficult it was at launch. I felt it was a little unforgiving with a very low time limit and a drastic increase in difficulty. I don’t mind difficulty, but please try to give everyone a chance. Don’t release a DLC that no one can play Day One. However, since the release, they have fixed a lot to make the game more bearable. More time will be granted (one second per kill) and the decreased the level so more people could attempt the forge.

Aside from that, the Black Armory DLC is alright. Doesn’t necessarily do much for the story, and is kind of just more lore tacked on to the back story of Destiny. Good loot though so, can’t really complain. Haven’t sat down and attempted the Raid yet, so I can’t fully review this yet. You’ll hear about that sometime in the future.

In Conclusion

All in all, Forsaken and Black Armory are two things in Destiny 2 that we needed. Without them, this game would simply be left in the dust. Forgotten to time. It finally gives players a reason to play Destiny. Before, we had little to no quests to do, no raids worth completing, no quests worth doing, but now, things are better. Things are more enjoyable. We can finally have fun on Destiny 2 again. It’ll never be perfect, but it is nice to know things are looking up.

I only hope that this the start of better things to come.

 

 

 

Destiny 2, and the Fall of Bungie

Destiny 2, and the Fall of Bungie

Introduction

I remember the first time I came across Bungie. It was many years ago when I found  Halo 2 at garage sale. That iconic cover art, with Master Chief holding his dual-wielding SMGs with burning city behind him and the Halo 2 title above him. It lured me into the franchise, and I fell in love with it after the first shootout. While it’s first-person shooter mechanics were amazing and revolutionary for the time, the main thing I quickly became a huge fan of was the story. This series is very famous for it’s compelling story, and rightfully so.

Right after finishing this masterpiece, I went to GameStop and bought a copy of Halo: Combat Evolved, and from then onward, I fell in love with the Halo Franchise. This series was made by developers who cared and who wanted to make a fantastic universe. Great writers, great composers, great programmers, and phenomenal artists. This company was on a highway to success, and I was proud to be a part of it. I’ve been a fan of Bungie for years, and I’ve seen them grow and develop with their titles. Then they left Microsoft, and everything changed.

When Destiny came out back in 2014, it was the first sign of trouble for Bungie. When the writer left the project early and several aspects of the story were missing. There was also the issue of there being no end game, and when they started wrapping things up with Destiny 1, there’s just no reason to continue playing. There were many problems with Destiny 1, and Destiny 2 was supposed to be the game that fixed everything. It was supposed to be the one game that made Destiny a better and brighter franchise, and it was supposed to the game that would bring everyone back.

It came out last year … and was somehow WORSE than Destiny 2. The story was worse, the writing was worse, mechanics from the first game were gone, Eververse became even more greedy than it was in D1, and much of the fantastic lore that was in D1 was practically retconned. It was a disaster, and as the DLC’s rolled out, it got worse, and worse. I’ve told you guys that I would be making my final post about Destiny 2 when the DLC II dropped, and that I would be giving my thoughts on it.

I was hoping to give you guys good news, but you and I both where this is unfortunately going. The DLC II was terrible, and Destiny 2 is no longer worth my time. I’m done with the Destiny Franchise. I’m done with Bungie, and this is my final goodbye to them.

Copy & Paste

That’s what this DLC was. It was a copy and paste of the shit that we’ve been seeing over and over again throughout the entire life cycle of Destiny 2. Same bullshit Hive that we’ve fought before, but this time, they’re covered in fucking snow. Wonderful. How original Bungie. Oh, wait hold on, there are new enemies there’s … Hive Knights that have a shield now … that you can break. Oh oh, and there’s Hive Acolytes with snipers … that are basically Hobgoblins from the Vex … oh, and … all the other “new enemies” are basically the same old Hive … just named differently.

Also, apparently this “species of Hive” is rare … and only exists on the Polar Ice Cap of Mars … for … some reason. This is never explained why. At least for not as far as I got before I gave up and deleted the game.

Another thing that’s copied & pasted is what I’d like to call “The Destiny Campaign Level Formula”, and it goes as follows. Step 1, player cut scene and briefly introduce characters and plot. Step 2, spawn player in visually breath taking environment. Step 3, when player spawns, play more dialogue that explains what the player needs to do. Step 4, after less than two minutes of walking down a boring path, introduce the players to the “new enemy” type by creating a combat scenario. Step 5, more dialogue after the combat scenario. Step 6, have the player face one/more than one big boss with many mobs the player has to defeat. Step 7, dialogue/cut scene before finishing mission. That was the entirety of the first mission, and it was fucking boring.

This has been every mission ever in every Destiny game … E V E R.

The “A C T I N G”

Sucks. It’s god awful. Whoever they hired to voice Anastasia Bray is the absolute worst at acting. She sounds like she’s fourteen using an iPhone 5 to record her lines. She doesn’t sound convincing in any words she says. The beginning part of this game actually made me quit. Nothing hooked me in. Which is the one thing you NEED to have with every story you write. You need to have a good HOOK, and Bungie, you fucked up bad on this one … again!

Zavala also is in this one … oof, his acting. His acting is similar to everyone else’s acting in the entire game … they’re all terrible. Nobody sounds convincing in any words they say or any actions they do. The only character I like (and everyone will agree) is Cayde-6. He at least sounds real in his words. The writing for his character is well done. However, everyone else sounds either cliché or forced in their dialogue.

Everything Wrong With Eververse

It’s greedy. It’s manipulative. There’s nothing more to be said. You wish to hear more about it, simply go look it up. The only real thing to discuss is the new system they added to make it more … “fair” for players who wish to play the game in order to earn rewards with paying money. I say “fair” in quotations because they can only earn one thing, once a week, and can only earn more … by spending more money. It’s fucking dumb.

Bungie Doesn’t Care Anymore

From what I’ve heard from many people still playing Destiny 2, this is just the same song and dance we’ve seen and heard before, but this time, with a different texture. At this point, I firmly believe that this company doesn’t care about Destiny, nor do they care about the fans who wanted to see this game grow and develop. It’s sad, but I’m afraid this is the reality. The Bungie I knew from my childhood would’ve NEVER allowed this kind of insanity to happen. They would’ve started from scratch again and again until they truly got it right.

I believe that many things happened after they left Microsoft. I believe several key developers left or were fired during the transition to Activision, and these new corporate folks came in and took over. When that happened, everything began on a quick and swift decline. The Destiny series went from bad to worse with Destiny 2, and instead of addressing the problem and being transparent with their consumers, Bungie continued doing sketchy stuff. Throttling XP gains, retconning the many great back stories of the Destiny Lore.

They don’t care anymore.

Goodbye

I’ve all but given up at this point. Destiny 2 has been on a slow decline ever since launch, and well deserved if you ask me. This is a complete repeat of what happened to Destiny 1, and we know what’s going to happen after DLC 2. There’s going to be a “massive DLC” that’ll “bring everybody back” and “fix everything”. I’m sorry, Bungie, but when Activision even considers you’re game a failure, I think it’s time to either start doing your job properly, or don’t do it at all. You’re running out of time, Bungie.

Gamers are moving on to bigger and better things. Warframe is a masterpiece compared to anything you’re doing, and Fortnite and PUBG have taken gaming by storm. There are better games out now. The only thing I’ll hold near and dear to my heart, is the Destiny Lore. The one thing that I loved about the series. Minus the lore of Destiny 2 … that … that lore was shit. So after giving them numerous chances, I’m finally done. This is my final goodbye to Destiny and to Bungie.

Of course, I will continue to observe this from afar and see what happens, but I will no longer interact Destiny with either of their games, because at this point, there is no longer any point to it.

Goodbye, Bungie. It was a good run, but you have truly fallen from grace.

 

 

Games From My Childhood

Games From My Childhood

Introduction

I’ve been around video games since I was five years old. I’ve seen all walks of life when it comes to different types of games. I’ve played platformers, first-person shooters, roleplaying games, mass multiplayer online games, and many more. It wasn’t until I was roughly twelve years old when I was first introduced to online gaming. When I got my first three month membership to Xbox Live. It was a blast. Playing Halo Reach online was one of the best times I’ve had online. Playing classic Modern Warfare was always fun with friends. The online interaction and the marvelous work game developers do for their games are the two main reasons why I continue gaming to this very day.

However, as much I love all these new titles out right now, I do still enjoy going back in time to the classics. Going back to the games that I played as a kid. Seeing the slow evolution of how games went from low to high resolution. It’s always fun to go back and enjoy the games of old. So, I’ve decided to compile a short list of a few games that were a major part of my childhood. This list (obviously) is exclusive to the only a couple games I played when I was little. Nothing more. As much as I would love to discuss old classic games for a blog, that’ll have to be saved for another post.

So here we go.

#1 – Halo 2 (Xbox)

halo_2

I distinctively remember the story of how I got this game. I was around ten or eleven years old, and huge yard sale event was going on in our neighborhood. Nothing really peaked my interest the whole day, so I just accepted that I’m gonna be heading home empty handed. It was all cool. Right as we were about to head home, one of our next door neighbors had a yard sale setup. We went to go check it out, and there it was laying on the table. An original copy of Halo 2. Show casing the badass Spartan-117 on the front cover. This sucked me right in the moment I picked the game up.

I fell in love with Halo 2, and felt so proud when I beat it. Great character work, excellent gameplay, fantastic story, and many epic battle scenes. This was then first Halo game I ever played, and it’s the one that introduced me to the long lasting franchise. It wasn’t long before I got my hands on Halo 1 after I beat 2. This game left a major impact on me as a child, and a major impact on my love for gaming.

#2 – Armored FIST 2 (PC)

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Well … here it is. The very first video game I ever played. Novalogic games were very famous for being based on the many wars in the middle east during the 90s. Everything from The Gulf War, Black Hawk Down, Operation Desert Fox, among others. I just found out they got acquired by THQ Nordic back in 2016. Which … I think is rather interesting, but sad at the same time since … well … THQ Nordic is pretty much unheard of in the gaming industry. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I haven’t heard a single thing from their company since the early 2000s. A sad end to Novalogic in my opinion.

While their games weren’t exactly the highest quality … at all, the foundation of their games were pretty well made. The tactical shooter aspect of the modern military was there, and the scenarios based on actual battles that took place back in the 90s were pretty authentic. It just needed better quality. Now that all of it is in the hands of THQ Nordic, I don’t think the series has any hope of evolving. Especially since these games are now on sale for 60% off.

Unfortunate truths aside, this game was my introduction to tactical games. This wasn’t a first-person shooter, but a tank game based in the Gulf War. The game is centered around realistic tank combat, and it was an amazing experience. One I highly recommend to gamers who enjoy the classics.

#3 – Counter Strike (Xbox)

Counter_Strike_ntsc

Here it is! The very first Valve game I ever played. Now I never had the luxury of playing this game’s multiplayer when I was younger. This was one of the games my friends and I would take turns on during sleep overs. It got repetitive at times, but we still had a great time doing it. Playing through the many different levels, fighting different difficulties of bots, and trying out all the different guns. Kind of wish there was more to it when it came to Counter Strike, but that’s what Condition Zero was for.

Anyways, this classic introduced me to online multiplayer shooters and to the Valve Corporation. Following this, I came across Half-Life 2 on a demo disc. Yeah, remember those discs that came in the Official Xbox Magazines? Those were the days. A game that went from a Half-Life mod, to a worldwide phenomenon, was one of the major highlights of my childhood.

#4 – Call of Duty 1 (PC)

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Here it is. The game that started it all. The very first Call of Duty game I ever played, and I fucking loved it. I still do to this day. From it’s classic set pieces, to it’s great combat system, to it’s memorable stories, and even down to the powerful soundtrack. This game was amazing. It’s not popular amongst today’s COD fans, and its mostly forgotten by many people, but I still honor what it did. It taught history along side a fantastic game with great story telling. From the Americans, to the Russians, and to the British; each story helped piece together brotherhood between soldiers in a war against the deadly Nazi Regime.

It used historical landmarks and events to show how these battles occurred, and what the outcomes were of each battle. They showed how we infiltrated and sabotaged the Nazis. They even were tough enough to show the darker side of the Soviet Union, and how they killed their own if they took “one step backwards”. It’s a WW2 game that blows Call of Duty WW2 right out of the water. Did it have the best multiplayer? No. But did it have the best gameplay, story, and design? Not by today’s standards, but generally, absolutely.

This is one of many Call of Duty games I’ll play again and again.

#5 – Star Wars Battlefront II (Xbox)

star_wars_battlefront_ii_by_demykins

There is no way I could finish this list without bringing up this one. One of my most cherished games of all time, Star Wars Battlefront II (not that one). Yes, the famous game from 2007 that got retconned with the many great Star Wars games by Disney. This game was the one game I could never stop playing. The campaigns, galactic conquest, hunt, instant action, heroes vs villains, and so much more. This game had it all. It was a Star Wars’ fan’s wet dream. The battles were amazing, and so much fun to be a part of.

I played this game with friends and family for hours on end. This game beats the new Star Wars Battlefront titles, and I’m so damn excited that this game is coming to backwards compatibility later this week. I’ve been fangirling ever since the Xbox announcement. I can’t wait!

So there it is, a short list of games from my childhood that had a major impact on me to this day. You got any games from your childhood that left an impact on you, let me know and show off your list. I’ll be hopefully making higher quality posts in the future, but for now, here’s a little something to hold you by. Thanks guys!

Why all gamers MUST see Ready Player One!

Why all gamers MUST see Ready Player One!

This is one of the best films of 2018, hands down. I don’t believe I’ve seen any film in my life that can top the fantastic, action packed, beauty that is Ready Player One. This film, in my opinion, is up there with Spielberg’s greatest hits! Right up their with Jurassic Park and E.T.. When I went to go see this with a great friend of mine on Tuesday, I got sucked into the world when they introduced the Oasis. For those who don’t know, it’s this online multiplayer world where you can do and be whatever you want. It’s pretty much VR Chat with greater development.

The basic plot of the film is that the creator of the Oasis, James Halliday, dies from old age. After his death, he leaves one final message stating that he’s planted an Easter Egg somewhere within the Oasis that he’s left for the players to try and find. Whoever finds the Easter Egg will receive half a billion dollars and will be given complete and total control of the Oasis. Free to do whatever they want with it. After the first clue was discovered, it took them five years for them to figure out how to solve it. Which, I honestly think is a little to long.

Either way, they figured it out. A young gamer by the username of Parzival (real name Wade Watts) is the first player in the Oasis to discover the second clue to James Halliday’s hidden Easter Egg. With this news, the mega corporation, IOI, becomes interested in wanting to know what Wade knows. The CEO, Sorrento, tries to manipulate Wade into working for him. When that doesn’t work, Sorrento makes it his goal to stop Wade and anyone else who get’s in his way from controlling the Oasis.

This film touches up on many messages, and one of the big ones (in my opinion) is how corporate interference can ruin some of the greatest games. IOI is pretty much a combination of companies like Electronic Arts, Take-Two Interactive, Zenimax Studios, and even Activision. Companies who prefer quantity over quality with their titles, and I’ve got to thank Spielberg for making that message clear in this film. It’s one of the biggest problems in the gaming industry right now.

If you are a gamer, or if you’re just a fan of pop culture from the 70s and 80s, you MUST see this film. It’s one of the best films of the year. All of the acting from the antagonists to the protagonists is done magnificently. I felt like the whole thing with taking the entirety of the Oasis FIVE YEARS to solve the first clue was kind of unrealistic, but hey, that didn’t ruin the film in the slightest. Spielberg, you did good!