Tag: history

UPDATE: Where have I been?

Hey, guys. It’s Mason.

It’s been a very long time, hasn’t it? Not a single upload for several months, and I’m truly sorry for that. Sorry for also leaving you guys on a rather negative (and outdated) review of Destiny 2. Which I’ve shockingly gotten myself back into, and don’t worry, that’ll be explained in a later post. Enough rambling though, onto the reason why I’ve been gone for so long, and that’s because I’ve simply hit a wall. I’ve reached a point in my life where I have absolutely no idea what to do with my life. I’m 19 years old working at a fast food joint. No car. No college. No planned future, and I can’t stop playing video games. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it is getting in the way of my life somewhat.

My problem is that I have a very difficult time sticking to a schedule. I can’t seem to really budget my time at all. I make all this time for my friends online, but I never give any time for myself. This is something I seriously need to work. If I want this website to grow and to make it successful, I have to get myself on the right track first. So, moving forward, I’m gonna work on getting my life together. Learning how to drive, getting myself in shape, and seeking new and brighter horizons. I know I’ll get there, I just need to have patience and I need self-discipline.

As for blogging, they will start coming back again. Slowly but surely. Hopefully I’ll be getting back into the rhythm of posting regularly. There are so many things happening at the moment that I’d love to blog about. From the insanity of Fallout 76, to the Federal Trade Commission investigating Loot Boxes, and to the hype surrounding Obsidian’s new game, The Outer Worlds. So many topics to discuss, and I can not wait to get to them all. For those of you who have stayed with me through this … terribly long hiatus, thank you so much for your dedication. Means the world to me, and I promise you, I will work on getting better. To those of you who have just joined my blog, I apologize for the rusty introduction. Don’t it won’t always be like this. Promise.

Thanks again, everyone.

– Mason

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)

164942-armored-fist-2-dos-front-cover

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)

call_of_duty_1

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 Left 4 Dead 2 is one of the greatest Zombie Survival games of all time!

Why Left 4 Dead 2 is one of the greatest Zombie Survival games of all time!

Introduction

Zombie games have gotten themselves a bad reputation as of late. They’ve just become a saturated market where they all feel the same now. State of Decay 2 and Metal Gear Survive both seem like pretty bland, low effort Zombie Survival games. Its really unfortunate to see how much they’ve gone down the tubes. Especially years after the release of Dying Light; and while that game didn’t have the greatest story, the gameplay was fantastic. I really enjoyed the parkour elements, I loved the melee combat, and loved the open world. Especially when the released The Following, making the world bigger. However, it never was as great as this one. The one zombie game that I still play even to this day. The one game that I’ve cherished forever. That game … is Left 4 Dead 2.

This game is a Zombie Survival game, done right. This was during the Golden Age of Turtle Rock Studios. I absolutely enjoyed this game for it’s gameplay, it’s story, it’s characters, and it’s level design. This game forces you to work as a team in an environment filled with hundreds of thousands of zombies. From common infected to special infected, you’ve got to fight your way through the horde to make it from point A to point B. It may seem like a simple objective, but its the journey that makes it a challenge and what makes the game more fun. You’ll have moments when you feel like you’re in the clear and alone, but then you’ll hear that familiar tune, and you’ll have a Boomer ambush your group and cause a horde to attack you guys.

There is so much to say about this game, so let’s talk about it!

Story

Now, this game’s story sounds very simplistic on the surface. You play as one of four survivors. Either Rochelle, Coach, Nick, or Ellis. These characters each have their own unique personalities and backstories. Rochelle was a news reporter, Coach was (obviously) a former High-School football coach, Nick was a gambler and con-artist, and Ellis was a junior mechanic. As you play through the game, you get a brief mention of the backstory of each of the characters. This can be heard through the dialogue segments that you can hear when your in safe rooms.

As the game progresses, you begin share this bond with these characters. The AI makes these guys feel real when you play alone. The other survivors have your back all the way. They will heal you and they will provide you with buffs to help keep you going and keep you safe. So long as you guys stick together, you’ll be an unstoppable force.

Now back to the story. As I’ve said before, it’s very simplistic. If you look at it on the surface, you main objective is to go from point A to point B. However, once you start digging deep into the lore of this world. Reading the graffiti on the walls of the safe rooms, scouring the environment, and listening to the characters speak. Doing all this will begin to unravel the deep lore of this universe. This is what Valve has always been really good at. Keeping the story ambiguous and leaving the player to make up their own thoughts and theories on how everything happened.

It’s what Valve has done with all their titles. Hell, even Team Fortress 2 has a deep and rich lore, but that’s a story for another day. The point is, this game’s story is purposefully ambiguous so the player can think of how things went down on their own. While part of me would like a codex (because I love a good codex), I do think this is the best way to have a story told in a Zombie Survival game. Leave the player to figure things out as the game progresses so they can be immersed into the world.

Gameplay

This is where Left 4 Dead 2 shines brighter. It’s gameplay. There is a lot to discuss on this part of my review. We’ll mostly be discussing the basics here, but if you want to learn more, definitely check out the Wiki where it’s all explained. First, let’s discuss the team work aspect. As I’ve previously stated, this game REQUIRES team work! You’ll never be able to traverse through this game on your own. This game throws wave after wave of common infected at you, and also the random ambushes from special infected. You need to work and communicate as a group in order to make it to the next safe room.

Now to combat. There are two weapon types in this game. Firearm weapons and melee weapons. Melees help you out in close quarters combat. Great against hordes of common infected. Firearms are useful for long range attacks. Very useful when dealing with special infected like Spitters and Smokers. There are 22 weapons that are a mix sidearms, rifles, shotguns, and machine guns. There’s also 11 melee weapons that (while they may act the same) feel different between each one. Killing zombies with a Katana or Baseball Bat feels truly satisfying.

On to the zombies. I’ve already mentioned this earlier, but there are two zombie types in this game. Common Infected and Special Infected. Common Infected are your average zombies. They pose no real threat unless they’re in a horde. There are different types like Hazmat Infected, Construction Infected, Scavenger Infected, Mudmen, and more, but they all pretty much act the same as Common Infected. Then there’s the Special Infected, and they’re the deadlier type. The different types are Hunters, Spitters, Smokers, Jockeys, Boomers, Chargers, Witches, and Tanks.

Spitters spit pools of acid at the survivors, and the survivors will take more damage over time. Hunters will ambush survivors, and will pounce on one of them dealing as much damage as possible before they’re killed. Tanks will randomly appear. They’re basically Arnold Schwarzenegger on super steroids times ten. They’re a mindless ripped infected that will deal tons of damage to the survivors, and literally throw chunks of concrete at them try to knock them down. Watch out for this one. They can literally wipe your entire group.

Finally, the map design. This I think is one of the best thing about Left 4 Dead when it comes down to gameplay. The many different environments that you journey though have so much variety, that it’s advised that you do some exploring. There are so many areas of the game that have little weapon caches or even just some nice melee weapons for you to collect. Killing Scavenger Infected will sometimes give you med kits, pills, or even pipe bombs, searching homes can have ammo supplies and weapons waiting for you to collect, and all these features help make the world feel more alive. It rewards players who search around the different maps.

Community

This is game is turning nine-years-old this year, and the community is still continuing to thrive. While it might be a little dead on console, it’s continuing to slowly grow on PC through the Steam Workshop. Where some of the most talented gamers come to share their artistic and programming skills. Some exceptionally well made mods exist on the Workshop. Mods from popular shows/movies/games like Halo, RWBY, Star Wars, etc. Its one of the many things that makes me keep coming back to L4D2. Always wanting to see the amazing things the community has made.

There’s also the great Multiplayer this game has. From Scavenger, to Mutated, and to Versus, this game does it’s multiplayer well! Especially when you crank the difficulty to realism, for an even tougher experience. This game has some of the best moments when playing online. Interacting and competing with other players is a blast, and one of the many enjoyable experiences with this game. Allowing players the ability to play as the Special Infected is crazy. Playing as Hunters, Smokers, or even as the almost unstoppable Tank is super fun.

The Community is the one thing that continues to keep this game alive.

In Conclusion

Buy this game if you can. It’s only $20 right now and definitely worth every cent. Or if you can’t get it now, wait for a Steam Sale. I don’t care, but if you’re an avid PC Gamer, then it is your duty to seek out this game and add it to your library. I promise you, you’ll love Zombie games again playing this with your friends. Without a doubt. I’ve invested over a hundred hours into this game with my buddies both on PC and Console, and each experience was always memorable for me.

This is one of those games that I’ve unironically given a 10/10. It’s literally on the same level as games like Half-Life and System Shock 2 where it’s practically perfect minus a few minor things wrong, but the good parts of L4D2 truly out way the bad in the best way possible. I highly recommend you buy this masterpiece of a Zombie game. Trust me, you will not find any Zombie Survival game like it on the market. I truly believe that it is the one that dominates them all.