Seeing this game coming out is going to make me one happy camper!
Seeing this game coming out is going to make me one happy camper!
Here is a conundrum I have been faced with multiple times. A cool game comes out, you play it for a while, and the next time you go shopping for games to see what may be out, you see it………that box staring you, making faces from its little perch on the shelf…….
It’s the “Game Of The Year” edition of the very same game you have been playing.
These versions of games come with all the bells and whistles you could want – everything that was in the season pass, all of the DLC content, extras not included in the regular game………yeah…….it’s all in this box that is mocking you, making you regret the day you bought the regular game, when for the same money, you could have waited and bought this one that has everything already included in it.
That’s the trap game developers put people in time and time and time again – they get you into a game, and then slap you in the face with the “you could have had THIS version” syndrome – so then you are faced with this question……….do you buy all of the extras online, or do you sell off your regular version and get THIS one?
Here is the other trap though………the game saves, in many cases, do NOT transfer over between the regular version and the GOTY version! So if you played, say, Shadow of Mordor, and got through a lot of the main story, decided to get the GOTY version since it has all of the DLC – guess what – you have to start………all………over………again. I can see if it transfers over from the regular version, but to not have that option is just another burr that sticks in the horse’s backside. So how do you know if a game is going to come out with a GOTY, or Definitive, or Platinum version of a game? You don’t! Game companies are really not going to tell you if they are going to release one or not, because most of the time, they probably don’t even know if a game is going to do well enough to put the investment into making one of those versions. It may be a big stinker and not do well at all, and you can get they’re not going to make an enhanced version of a game that bombs out in sales.
For myself, I waited to get Skyrim for the PS3 until the “Legendary Version” came out, because it had all of the DLC, and I didn’t even think about Fallout 3 until that GOTY was already out, so that was a no-brainer, but some games you really wish you knew if it would do really well or not, so you knew whether a better version was going to come out at a later time – but you just never know.
For right now……I’m counting the days until Deadpool comes out on the PS4 in November. That may be worth the cost.
There are two types of schools of people who play the Skylanders games – those who just play through and don’t really care about what all characters they have, as long as they have at least the bare minimum to unlock every path through the levels, and then the ones who enjoy the collecting thing – getting all of the various characters, accessories, and random power-ups that come along with the packs that are being sold by the metric ton.
I used to be of the latter school. In recent times, it’s become a bit of a frustrating, tiresome mess.
“But why, Midnight?” you might ask. Well………sit back by the fire and let me tell you a story about how this game empire has rendered people from normal humans into slobbering trolls.
Skylanders has a simple premise – collect figures of various elements to get into various parts of levels in order to complete quests and liberate Skylands from the forces of the evil Kaos – the main antagonist of every single game to date. How he manages to get away each and every time to come back and haunt Skylands and other enchanted lands is beyond me. Their prisons must seriously suck. There are eight elements in total for the first 3 games of the series, which are life, water, air, fire, earth, tech, undead, and magic – the new game bringing an additional two – light and dark, bringing the total to 10 elements. Each element has a cadre of characters to choose from that you can make your army out of in order to beat back the bad guys.
The main problem is that the characters are just too darn cool looking. The people at Toys For Bob are very artistic craftsmen, who make superb figures that appeal to a wide audience. The funny part is that the part of the figure that actually matters is not that big. On the whole, it’s a silicon RFID wafer that sits on top of the base, and it holds all of the information for that character – powers, stats, upgrades, accessories, loot……..everything that makes that character unique is stored on this wafer of information – the rest is just window dressing (the exception being the “Swap Force” characters, which are two-piece characters that have this information in each half, which allows them to be combined in up to 256 different combinations).
How is this maddening? I can sum it up in one term: short-supply
When stores get shipments of characters (and in the latest game – traps), they purposely proportion them to where some figures and traps are widely available, and some are so hard to find, you spend days driving all about town and looking online just to find ONE, and often times, the only place you can find it is somewhere like eBay where some scalper has already scoped them out, scooped them all up, and are selling them for a profit.
These people suck, and they know they suck…………they want your money though, and people will give it to them willingly.
Sometimes, the company doesn’t even release the last figures or accessories until the next game comes out, which is even worse for those who collect. For example, the “LightCore Hex” figure from the Skylanders Giants game was not even released until Skylanders SwapForce came out! How much you want to bet the last traps for Trap Team won’t even come out until after SuperChargers comes out? Yes, I know……….”why do you still collect them then? Why not just play something else?”
That……is a valid point.
The other part that I really don’t get is why they re-release a few figures in a new pose every single game, yet some characters that people would want to see a re-pose or re-issue of will never get their wish! Are they that much in love with Stealth Elf and Gill Grunt? Seriously??
Another fun topic – exclusives! You can find some figures only by pre-ordering at certain stores, or they are only sold through certain stores when they come out regularly. The most absurd example of this is when Swap Force came out, there was a “UFO Hat” that was only available if you pre-ordered it at Target – and it wasn’t even a plastic figure – it was a chip on a card!! Seriously???
So now we come to the new game – SuperChargers, and they introduce a new wrinkle – console-exclusive characters! Yes! Now you can get Donkey Kong and Bowser – each can be combined with their own vehicle, but……you can only play these two characters/vehicles on the Wii U! They will not work on any other platform! They also have a switch on the base that switches them from being a Skylander to an Amiibo, so there’s another nail Nintendo threw into that coffin. So if you have any other platform than Wii U, then do not get these two characters, because they will not work on anything other than Wii U!
So will I even bother getting this new game? I have no idea just yet – probably, but will need to find space for the figures if I do. Will this be the last game? I’m starting to really hope it is, because one of the things that sucked when they announced SuperChargers is that the traps from Trap Team will not be used with villains – in fact, the portal doesn’t have a slot for them. You can use them to buff up vehicles, but that’s it – those traps were pretty much for one game only, and there was a buttload of them made!
For one game?? Really? That was a pretty pathetic game mechanic.
Let’s hope that they do better with SuperChargers than they did with Trap Team……although I’m not holding my breath.
I’ve discovered that there is a trend with how I like to play video games. I’ve often found that if I go into an area with guns blazing or kicking tail, that I more often than not end up getting my own butt kicked or worse – shot, so I have often opted for an alternative – sitting back and taking out my enemies from a distance.
I guess I’m a wannabe sniper. I say “wannabe” because I wouldn’t be one in real life. I say that those in our armed forces who do this for real every day are a small select bunch that I would not envy for the world…….and I thank you for your valuable service to our country and to the world. Since I am not military material, I have happily settled for the electronic equivalent – taking out computer-generated bad guys by any means necessary.
There is one small issue though…………I’m not big on military games, so I find other games that have this mechanic in them. Luckily, I have found some good stealth alternatives – stealth is another game mechanic that I really like. SO……….here is my list of games that I enjoy sneaking around in.
This was one of the first games I played that had this particular mechanic in it – best of all was the zoom scope that let you really zone in on your target………breathe………and then “plink!” – down they went. It’s a game where sneaking about really pays off more than just going in and announcing to the world that you are there while unloading the clip in the weapon of choice that you happen to be carrying.
Assassin’s Creed series (Multiplatorm)
This is the game that introduced me to the stealth mechanic – and a wonderful job it does of it too. Your whole goal is to take out your enemies while remaining undetected. In fact…….some missions, it’s absolutely vital that no one sees you, otherwise you are pretty much toast. Once you get used to sneaking around the city, it’s a lot of fun figuring out ways of taking out the Templars without getting yourself shish-kabobbed.
Infamous Series (PS3/PS4)
While not really a sneaking game or a sniper one, it does feature some mechanics that really allow you to take your enemies from a nice comfortable distance. You get time-slow mechanics, precision shots, and other weapons that you can really cause some damage with in order to complete your missions.
Watch Dogs (Multiplatform – best on PS4, Xbox One, or PC)
This game allows you to REALLY take our your enemies from a LONG ways away via the hacking mechanic used in the game. You can surf security cameras and use your hacks to burst steam vents, blow junction boxes, explode electric terminals, and more. The city really is your weapon in this game. You do get a nice arsenal of conventional weapons to play with as well, from sniper scopes to IED’s, and more. The “Bad Blood” DLC also lets you take our your foes with a nice, handy RC car. Oh, the toys that we enjoy………….
Grand Theft Auto V (Multiplatform)
For a game that focuses so much on mayhem, robbing, being a thug, shooting, and trying to be as much of a badass as possible, there are some very nice weapons options in this game – some of which have sniper scopes, and some that even have infrared capabilities! You’re not tied down to any specific mission though, so feel free to be a thug around Los Santos as much as you wanna be, popping your targets off from far away vantage points.
So not every good sniping game is a military game (even though I’m sure there are many that are – they’re just not my cup of tea), so have fun choosing your weapons and honing your skills. Just keep them in the electronic realm and off the streets. ENJOY!
I’ve been an avid Playstation fan for some time now – ever since the PSX (or PS1 – or PSOne…..whatever you call it), and have had a steady diet of some pretty good games over the years. Yes…..I have the discs to prove that one. Playstation, for some reason, just has the games I like. No, it doesn’t have every game I like – probably why I play Xbox (the first one), Saturn, Dreamcast, NES, SNES…….you get the idea. All of these systems had one thing in common until the latest couple of generations…………
They had physical media to play them from – whether it was CD or DVD, we had the discs to show off that we owned these games. It was that way up until the PS3 and Xbox 360 came into being that something new emerged…………the digital download.
This is getting to be a problematic thing for a number of reasons. If you have a physical disc, you can play it on any console of that particular type you own in your own house – or a friend’s house. You didn’t need anything special to play the game – just the disc. Just make sure that you didn’t put any scratches, burns, warps, or gouges into it. With digital downloads, you run into two major problems (well, at least one – two if you play a lot of them), and I’ll go over each one here.
Problem #1: Disk size
The PS3 and Xbox 360 came out with varying sizes of hard drives, meant to appeal to a wider audience of gamers, because let’s face it……..not everyone is going to download every single title under the sun on the respective online outlet. The first iteration of these consoles had Sony in the lead for one simple reason – it was far easier to upgrade the hard drive in a PS3 than it was a 360. Why? Microsoft had propietary design hard drives. It was a special form factor that had to fit on top (or end) of the 360 so it would connect and allow the extra storage. The PS3? You just popped open a panel, unscrewed the one blue screw, then popped out the hard drive. Any 2.5″, 5400rpm, laptop drive would work wonderfully in upgrading your PS3 to 250, 320, 500GB or more! Why the need to upgrade at all?
Downloaded games…….take up space. Not only that……the games you buy in disc form often have to install game data to the hard drive so they play at a decent rate! You also have the add-ons and apps that you can install as well……….these take up space as well. Eventually, if you buy enough games…..you need more space. What options does that leave you? Either delete games you aren’t playing right now, and then download them again later in place of something else when you want to go back to them – or upgrade your hard drive. Now you know why the PS4 and Xbox One have options for even larger hard drives. Some people have figured out also how to add-on an external hard drive for even more room without having to touch the internal drive, so whichever path fits best for you, have at it.
Problem #2: The Game License Lock
This has caused quite a bit of stir in the gaming community – but why? Well, for one, Microsoft & Sony are exercising their right to limit how many systems you can play a particular game on. I don’t have first-hand knowledge of how the limits work on Xbox 360 or Xbox One, but I can tell you what I have found out on PSN games. In the beginning on PS3, you could have your login on up to 5 consoles, and everyone had access to everything you downloaded on all of them – that limit is now two consoles. The PS4 took this even one step further. You have to have a primary PS4, which gives everyone logged into it access to everything that you downloaded, but any secondary consoles would be limited to just your login for access (no one else on a secondary console could access those games). So if you have, say, 2 PS4’s, then if one is for the family, you would make that one your primary, and then one in your room would then be a secondary unit, since only you would be playing it.
One other thing that has been a new trend since the days of the PS3/360 is the “version updates/patches” that occasionally come out. You can buy a game brand new off the shelf, and you can just bet that there is at least one update just waiting for you to download right away. Sounds almost like a computer operating system update, ya know?
Whatever happened to the days of “insert game and play”? Sadly………those days are long gone.
I don’t get it. People nowadays are expecting a game that has been hyped and anticipated to be something truly epic – something truly glorious that will fill a person’s day with many hours of fun and joy. Well, at least that is what we would want to believe when it comes to today’s games.
There is just one problem with this theory – one mind-numbing issue……….the launches……..FAIL.
It seems that lately when big-name game companies come out with a game, they get all the hype and pre-orders, and then it just falls flailingly flat on its face. I think one reason why they do this is because these companies figure they can just poop a game out and then do in-game fixes and patches afterwards as time goes along – meanwhile, gamers are frustrated that the games are broken, buggy, glitchy, and overall just don’t work right.
Assassin’s Creed Unity was a victim of this maneuver. When it first came out, there were reviews, blogs, and videos of various glitches and bugs in the game, from parts of characters not being rendered, to people falling through floors, or any number of other issues. They’ve done a number of patches since then, but still………you would think this would have been more polished prior to launch.
Another issue with recent games was that the hype outweighed the actual gameplay – Destiny was the biggest example of this problem in 2014. This game had so much hype, it might have rivaled the presidential speeches or the last launch of the space shuttle. The only thing is……….this game was so short of story and focused so much on GRINDING. It was a game that should have been much more than it ended up being. Watch Dogs was also dogged for not delivering on promises – mostly based around the fact that the E3 footage was much better than what came out for PC. Granted, later on, someone found a mod to bring back the graphics, but by then, the damage was already done.
Another issue………..how about doing DAY ONE DLC? Oh yeah……..nothing says “money printer” than releasing a game, and right away touting all of the extra stuff you can get as add-ons for a game for more money! Evolve apparently fell into that money hole, which ticked off a number of gamers, which may be why the game isn’t being the huge thing that it was touted to be either.
When a new game comes out, and it shows off beautiful graphics, promises groundbreaking gameplay, and an overall mind-blowing experience, we expect these companies to put their money where their mouth is, and actually deliver on the goods – give the gamers what they expect – something awesome! We’re getting games for the new-gen systems, like PS4, Xbox One, and hopped-up PC’s – we’re ready for something cool! Why not step up to the plate and actually deliver that promised experience, rather than drive off the people you are trying to bring into the fold.
Game Review: Watch Dogs
Platform Reviewed: Playstation 4
The city………is your weapon!
Watch Dogs was released last year by UbiSoft for the PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, and PC.
You take control of a vigilante named Aiden Pearce, who was targeted for a hit by a mob boss, but when the gunman tried to take him out, he ended up killing his niece instead. Now Aiden is on a mission to find out who targeted him and killed his niece, and get his revenge on them. An arsenal of weapons is at your disposal, found throughout the game in increasing abundance, but the main focus on this game is hacking – something Aiden Pearce knows a lot about.
This game admittedly looks much better on the next-gen consoles (PS4/Xbox One), than it does on any other console platform. The PC version was downgraded until people found out there was a way to unlock the graphics settings, which then allowed people to bump them up to what they expected at the E3 demonstration when it was first unveiled. The graphics really shine during atmospheric times, such as sunset/sunrise, rainstorms, and when dealing with large explosions. The voice acting for the most part is well-done, although many were hoping Aiden Pearce would have a little bit more……….personality for someone who lost a family member. The map is large enough to where it’ll take time for people to traverse the area from one end to the other. You have the whole of Chicago to roam around in and around, as well as Pawnee – a rural area a little drive away from the city, but definitely has it’s own character. An open world for to see, roam around in, and soak in the sights while taking out your enemies – ranging from fixers, to cops, to street thugs.
Juries on this front have mixed things to say about this game. The driving sections are a bit loose, and the control of the vehicle does depend on what type of vehicle you are driving. You won’t get the same control from an SUV as you will a motorcycle, so choose your vehicles with care and get the ones that won’t let you down. The moving about on foot feels right at home. You can run at a good clip, or just casually stroll so you can blend in with the locals. Hacking is really easy, thanks to the simple interface used to activate the cameras, puzzles, and so forth. Surfing the cameras can really let you survey a large area quickly, which is helpful in some of the online modes. You can also use the free ctOS app for IOS & Android to hack players games as they battle you while you are in control of ctOS itself!
You have a large toybox of side-missions and “digital trips” that you can play, as well as the main story missions. The trips take on a life of their own, whether it’s a Mario-style coin grab romp while avoiding purple skulls, to VR alien raids, or “Alone”, where you have to power up generators while avoiding the single-eye gaze of the robotic citizens who roam around the area. “Madness” must not be missed. This is kind of like Death Race 2000, where you make points by running down the people in the levels – the more you get, the higher the score – as well as the Epic Spider Tank (who doesn’t love scaling buildings in a robotic tank while blowing stuff up?). The Season Pass is well worth the cost of this game, as it adds more add-on content PLUS you get the full on “Bad Blood” storyline, where you get to play as T-Bone! If you like him in the main game, you’re gonna love him in this DLC pack. If you play everything this game has to offer, you’ll be calling Chicago your playground for quite a while.
Online – It’s All Connected
Online modes are another part that really makes this game stand out. Players can hack into other people’s games, and likewise they can hack into yours. Sadly, the hacking does not go cross-network, so people on Xbox Live can’t hack PSN accounts, and vice-versa. You have Online Hacking and Online Tailing for all-around fun, but PS4/Xbox One also have Online Free-Roam and Online Decryption for even more fun. You never know when the online hacking is going to happen, so this will keep you on your toes!
Some Better Than Others
Depending on the platform you have, the experience may not be the same. You will get the most content out of PS4, Xbox One, or PC. PS3, and Xbox 360 are missing some of the online missions, and the Wii U version does not have the DLC that the other platforms have OR ANY Online Mode. If you only have one console, then you get what comes with that version, but if you have the next-gen systems, you will have a more complete experience.
Overall, I found this to be a very fun, and satisfying game – well worth the time and money spent. It’ll keep you busy for quite some time, unless you just play the main story and that’s it. Take some time, enjoy the hacking, and this game will keep you active for quite a while. Also, the online modes are adrenaline-filled fun, playing cat and mouse with random people, seeing who is the better hacker! This is a game that is sure to bring a lot of fun to fans of open-world environments with lots of stuff to do.
FINAL SCORE: 9/10