Friday, November 17, 2017

Why I'll Not Be Buying Star Wars: Battlefront 2


It looks like I'll be boycotting another battlefront again. Back in 2015, I wrote the reasons why I would not buy Star Wars Battlefront. A half-baked video game that was thrown out the door to cash in on the new movie. It wasn't worth the $60 price tag EA put on it and then they had the balls to charge $50 for a season pass.

Star Wars: Battlefront 2 at the beginning of 2017 was shaping up to be a great game. EA wanted to get rid of the season pass model to encourage longer shelf life. And add a campaign that was missing from the first game. Then the beta hit and everyone found out what it meant by cutting out a season pass, which was then replaced by loot-box microtransactions. Not only where these loot-boxes a replacement for the season pass, they are designed into the multiplayer of the game as progression. Basically making Battlefront 2 a pay-to-win video game with a $60 price tag. If that isn't bad enough, they have the balls to charge tiered versions of the game. Stanard at $60 and Deluxe Edition at $80. What do you get for spending $20 more on the game? Upgraded trooper classes, effectively giving you an advantage right out of the gate. If that isn't enough, it has been known that they are selling starter packs which give you rare Star Cards and in-game currency that can allow you to buy loot-boxes before you even start playing. How can anyone say this isn't pay-to-win?

I am not only boycotting Battlefront 2 because of EA's scummy business practices to squeeze every dollar out of their player base. I am also boycotting this game because they shut down Visceral Games. Visceral Games was working on a single-player Star Wars game. Despite what EA says on their reasons why they canceled the game and shut down the studio working on it. It has been found out from one of the people working at the studio that since EA couldn't find a way to effectively shove microtransactions into it, so they canceled it and moved the assets to another studio. Moving the assets doesn't mean it will be the same game that Visceral Games was working on. Whatever that game was, is now dead.

These are the reasons why I am not buying or playing Star Wars: Battlefront 2. I have to vote with my wallet, this is the only way they will listen. Complaining and then turning around and purchasing the game does nothing. It only shows EA that we are willing to accept their scummy business practices. To really hurt them where it counts is to not buy this game. To lose money is a business' worst nightmare. Till EA goes back to making great games without the scummy business practices, I think I will never buy a game from them ever again.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

JBtheGamer's Thoughts On: PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds


If you have been living under a rock this year, then you might not have heard about one of the biggest games of 2017. Known as PlayUnknown's Battlegrounds, it has taken the video game industry by storm and it is still in beta on the PC. Yup, this is an Early Access title on Steam that has sold over 15 million copies. The popularity of the game has gotten Microsoft wetting their chops to get it exclusively on the Xbox One.

What makes this game so special that it has over 15 million downloads and a major console manufacture giddy like a school girl? I thought the same thing. I finally took the plunge and bought it. For $30, it wasn't a bad price tag to pay to gain access to this Early Access title. So far I have enjoyed my time with the game.

If you don't know what this game is by now, then you have truly been living under a rock. PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (also known as PUBG for short), is a battle royal style multiplayer game which puts up to a hundred players against each other on one huge map. The game works like this. You pick either solo, two player, or squad team game mode. Then you are randomly placed into a game that quickly fills up to a hundred players. Once all the players have joined, the game starts by flying you over the huge map. At this point you can pick when to jump out and para-shoot your way down to the ground. Once on the ground you hunt for weapons and gear that will randomly generate across the entire map (they are never in the same locations twice). They can be found mostly in buildings, but also spawn in some open areas. Depending on the game mode you picked you will then hunt down and kill all the other players till there is one person or team left to declare as winners. To keep players from camping and staying in one area of the map. They will have a limited amount of time to make it into a randomly placed safe circle. Once the timer runs out a blue circle will then start to close in to the safe circle. Anyone caught outside the blue circle will start to take damage. As time progresses the safe circle shrinks smaller and smaller forcing players to encounter each other or die outside the blue circle.



At first I didn't know what to think about this style of gameplay. I normally don't like competitive multiplayer games like this. But PUBG is a game I have never really played before. What I enjoy the most is how fast this type of game is. You could be in and out within five minutes or less depending on how you play and your skill level. A match could last up to about twenty minutes if you make it all the way to the end. Though, you only get one shot at playing, once you die the game is over for you and you're quickly sent back to the main menu to join another game. This and the hunt for weapons and gear can get exciting and rather addicting.

PUBG currently only has one map and a few game modes. It is still in Early Access on Steam (also known as Beta version). Though a desert map is coming out rather soon to change up the scenery. But it should be noted that while still in Early Access, the game does have bugs and an issue with cheaters. But despite all that, I still find it fun and at times hard to put down. If you are looking for a frantic, challenging and fun multiplayer game under $60, I'd suggest taking a look at and/or purchasing PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Blog Status Update - Summer 2017

I know I haven't been posting in a while, and most of my reviews are on growngaming.com now a days. Along with the summer gaming drought, my blog posts have been lacking. Though, if you are interested here are some of my reviews and previews I have done recently for GrownGaming.
Now that the gaming season is in full swing all of my reviews for the latest games will be posted on GrownGaming's website. I will continue to post entries here on my blog, but they will be less frequent. I will not be able to review all the games I would like this season. So I decided to start a new section that might help with the lack of postings here.

I want to do "Thoughts On" posts instead of a full review. Of course I will still do full reviews here on my blog, but they will be less often as most of my reviews and previews will be posted on Grown Gaming. Best way to describe the "Thoughts On" posts would them being about my opinions of a game I am currently playing without any rating or grading system. I don't expect the posts to be long either. Maybe a few paragraphs at most. I'd like to try this out for the Fall Gaming Season and see how it goes. I know I pretty much stopped the "Games Under $30" posts. Hopefully this new section will replace them.

In other news, I have finished building my cousins gaming computer. I will have a full post on here by the end of this month and will even update my Gaming PC website with pictures and specs. For now I have decided not to shutdown my Gaming PC website just yet. I know I posted before about moving that site here to my blog. But lately I have decided against that because of a few projects I have been working on.

Well, it looks to be a very busy gaming season this year, so I best get to it. Till next time, keep on gaming.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Wonderland Part 3 - WestWorld


WestWorld is the final themed section of my park in Planet Coaster called Wonderland. I had another planned section that I wanted to add based on Sci-Fi theme, but like I said in my other post, the game just couldn't handle more then 7000 people in the park that well on my PC. I knew it was time to stop expanding and focus on the sections I had left.



The WestWorld section went through a lot of changes, thus the reason why it took so long. Things just ended up not working the way I wanted them and rides were going unused. So I scrapped what I started in this section and kept things tightly packed and added about five coasters to this section.


The first roller coaster I put in WestWorld, and the most successful, was the Phantom Mountain. This ride was created by Xaphor and I downloaded it from the steam workshop. It became the most popular with the guests. They couldn't get enough of it. I ended up putting some ATMs and Shops near the entrance and exit of Phantom Mountain.


The second coaster I added to WestWorld was Gold Fever. Gold Fever was created by Mcdread, and I have used some of his other coasters for Wonderland. I ended up placing the coaster wrong but made it work out instead of deleting and replacing it. Gold Fever became the second most popular coaster in this section.


I ended up filling a lot of the space with themed objects that I downloaded from users in the steam workshop. I was pleased with how they turned out. Some of the buildings were pre-made by the developers but most of the others were user created.



Some of the dead space was filled in with these two coasters, El Giro Loco and Spaghetti Western. El Giro Loco was created by Tetsuo303 and Spaghetti Western was created by Knightvision. These were the last two rides I added in this section, but have also become very popular. 

WestWorld ended up being a very short themed section compared to my pirate themed section. But with the revisions and change of plans it ended up taking the longest to complete. I know this was suppose to be the last post on Wonderland, but I have decided to create a video showing of my park. I don't know when I'll post it as I have a bunch of touching up to do in the park before I create the walk through video. Till then, you can see the pictures I didn't use here on my Google + Page along with all the other pictures I have used so far.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

What I'm Excited About From E3 2017

E3 2017 is over and I was pretty disappointed. It seemed as if every company was holding back. Not sure why that was, but about 90% of the games shown, we already knew existed. EA held back on the Star Wars game being developed by Visceral Games. It is still untitled and still unknown what it is. All we know about that game is they are working on a Star Wars game. Sony held back on Last of Us 2. Naughty Dog gave the excuse that they wanted to show their, yet another, Uncharted game. And Bethesda held back any information about a new IP or Elder Scrolls 6. Though Bethesda did show off Wolfenstein 2 and Evil Within 2. Two games I wasn't expecting to be released this year. I thought they had at least another year to go. The one company that did knock it out of the park for me was Nintendo. They showed lots of information about their new Mario game and they teased Metroid Prime 4 coming to the Switch, most likely next year or 2019 as well as a full rpg Pokemon game. Also what helped Nintendo was the fact that they are on board with the cross-play between PC and Xbox for games such as Minecraft and Rocket League. Big win for Nintendo and Switch owners. Sony, as always, made a piss poor excuse as to why they are shutting down cross-play with the PS4. I guess since they are the top selling console they feel they can do this. Oh well, their loss.

The games I am most excited for are the following:

Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus will be released October 27th, 2017 on Xbox One, PS4, and PC. I was surprised this showed up this year. I was thinking E3 2018 and a Fall 2018 release but I was wrong. Wolfenstein 2 is made by MachineGames, the ones who did the first game. This sequel looks just as bad ass as the original was. Can't wait to get my hands on this. You can check out the full eight minute trailer here.




The Evil Within 2 will be released October 13th, 2017 on Xbox One, PS4, and PC. This is another one that surprised me showing up at E3 2017. I thought for sure the reveal wouldn't be for another year. But I was wrong as well on this one. I knew it was in the works by Tango Gameworks, but didn't think it would be ready for 2017 release. I can't wait to play this one as well. The first game was freaky and creepy to play. Can't wait for what they have in store for us now. You can watch the full reveal trailer here.










Super Mario Odyssey will be released October 27th, 2017 on the Nintendo Switch. I knew this one was already coming but what we didn't know was the release date. Also Nintendo showed a lot and I mean a lot of game play for this Mario title. It looks like it will blow Mario 64 and Mario Sunshine out of the water. Can't wait to get my hands on this game.


These are the games I was most excited to see at E3 this year. I wasn't expecting them. October is really starting to look like a crowded month. Shadow of War, The Evil Within 2, Wolfenstein 2, and Mario Odyssey will all be released in October. This Fall is going to be a busy gaming season.

One other game I thought was really interesting is a cross-over game by Ubisoft featuring Rabbids and Mario. It looks like a strategy game that resembles XCOM. It is headed to the Switch around August. I plan to pick it up and play it. Seems really cool.


That is it for what I am excited for from this years E3. Till the next E3 in 2018, keep on gaming.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Returning To HITMAN


Its been a while since I played HITMAN. I really only played the first two episodes (a.k.a. Levels/Maps). I heavily played the first episode called Paris. I played so much of it, that I recorded my best assassination. The double swirly silent assassination. I was most proud of that one. It is up on my poor excuse of a YouTube channel. But you can check it out here:


I bought all the other episodes but got side tracked and distracted and never got around to playing them. Now with IO Interactive either being sold from SquareEnix or heading out on their own. I'd figure since we are in a gaming drought, I would return to HITMAN. I may even record my play through of the other episodes (Levels/Maps) and upload them onto my YouTube channel. Till that happens, check out my other video I did of the second episode of HITMAN. Enjoy!



Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Game Status Update - Spring 2017


I have decided to remove my PC Gaming Rig website. I just don't see a need for it since I haven't updated it in a long time. I'll be moving all the contents to my blog, most likely will be its own page instead of a blog post. I'll post an update on this, once the information from http://gamingpc.jbthegamer.com/ has been moved to the blog's main site.

Also, the next update like this will most likely be renamed to Blog Status Update instead of Game Status Update. I think it fits better in the posts I have been creating for these. I do these update statuses about once every quarter. I am also planning to create a page that will have links to my articles on GrownGaming.com. I wanted to kind of have a portfolio of my work that I have been publishing there on my blog here.

Now that we are reaching the gaming drought, that time of the year where less video games are released, I'll be focusing more on Indie games and games from the past. But the games from the past will all be posted on GrownGaming.com under the title of "Games Gone By".

This status update was short and simple. Thank you for stopping by and look forward to more blog posts coming down the line.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Review - Mad Games Tycoon


I have been a big fan of business-management simulation games since I first played RollerCoaster Tycoon back in 1999. I came across the video game themed versions of these games for the first time back when Game Dev Story released on the iOS back in 2010. I have been hook ever since and have played most of the well-known versions of these type of games. Then came along MAD Games Tycoon, developed and published by Eggcode Games, released only on Steam Sept 13, 2016.

These video game tycoon games pretty much play the same. The goal is to make as much money as possible by creating and selling the best video games. You start off small, normally a one person team ready to create his or her first video game. Choose your genre, platform, and game engine, then let the waiting begin. As your one man team starts to create the game he or she will go through many stages before the game is 100% complete. During those stages, your video game will collect score points in graphics, sounds, technology, and gameplay. Once your video game is complete you can then publish the game which will then be subject to a review score. Of course the higher the review score the better your sales will be. In order to get a high review score for your game, during development, each of the four sections would have to of gained high points. Depending on how many score points of the four sections was gained, will determine the outcome of the review score on your video game. So the goal is to get as many points as possible in graphics, sound, technology, and gameplay.


In the beginning of the game, if you have at least a 50% or higher review score on your video game, you will gain a decent amount of cash. Once you have enough money you can then start hiring more people to help speed up your game development and with their skill sets, increase the score points of the four categories during development. Your new hires will then help increase the review scores of your games.

But high review scores don't always result in higher sales. Marketing and fans of your company will help push those sales into the millions. Once you hire enough game developers and regularly push out a game to keep the cash flowing in, you can then hire people for Marketing, Research, even Console development. Not only can you hire more people for other jobs not related to game development, you can also buy servers, production units (to publish games), even storage units to hold produced game copies. But don't expand too fast, otherwise, you will run out of money and go out of business.


Till MAD Games Tycoon came around, these video game tycoon games were rather simple and didn't expand much beyond developing and releasing video games. MAD Games Tycoon allows you to publish your own games, something I haven't seen before in these type of games. The fact that you can produce physical copies of your game and store them and then set a release date is awesome. If you go down this path, other developers in the game will ask you to publish their games. But as I said before, this can be very costly and if you don't have enough cash on hand, could put you out of business if you don't market correctly and your copies don't sell well. If you do well as a publisher, you can even resell a game that has fallen off the market and republishes it at a lower price. Once that is done, you can then bundle each of the titles that have been republished into a bundle, further generating more cash for your company. So effectively you could sell the same game three times. Something I haven't seen before in these video game tycoon games.

Another feature, and one I think MAD Games Tycoon handles better then their competition is MMOs. I found these to be done very poorly in other games, but MAD Games Tycoon handles this well. Again, another venture you can dapple with but is costly. Not only will this require a development team to create the MMO game, but if you choose this option you will have to buy servers. If your MMO gets a good review score, is marketed right, and sells like hot cakes. This venture could be profitable. As long as you are willing to put out expansions that will keep the subscriber numbers high enough to rank in the millions. The one annoying thing about how MMOs are handled is the fact that these games never leave the market as long as there are subscribers. That means you will have the MMO video game and its expansion displayed on the left side of your screen and never go away till the MMO is dead and has 0 subscribers.


The final venture you could pursue in this game is to create your own console. This is the most expensive thing you can do in MAD Games Tycoon. It costs millions to research and hundreds of millions to produce. Of course if you start doing this early, the costs are not that high, but still high enough for the time period as you can start in 1980 and follow the history of gaming till things slow down around 2020. Creating a console allows you to produce games for it and even allows other developers to publish games on it. You can even see how many games have been produced for your console. If done right this can bring in billions of dollars.

The freedom of MAD Games Tycoon allows you to pursue all of these ventures, not just one or two, as long as you have the money to support them. Basically, you could become EA or Activision if you really wanted too. The only thing I see missing is buying video game developer studios and a lack of digital distribution. But this game is always getting updates, with the last being just a month or so ago adding new consoles. So Eggcode could add even more features to the game down the road.


Conclusion:

MAD Games Tycoon has been so far one of the best video game tycoon games I have ever played. So much depth in allowing you to manage your company instead of just creating video games. You have to keep your employees happy, create customer support team to support your fans, train your staff, and even run a free-to-play MMO. I am addicted to this game and can't stop playing. It has provided me many hours of fun. I highly recommend picking up this game on Steam, and for $15 you can't beat the price for how much game MAD Games Tycoon provides for your buck.

Final Score: 5/5 - Amazing Game


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Second Year Anniversary

Wow, it felt like yesterday I posted about my blog's first year anniversary. Now we are past the second year. A lot of changes happened since the first year and during the second year. I continue to write reviews and I have added something called "Games Worth Playing Under $30" posts. Also in the beginning of 2017 I joined a site called GrownGaming.com and have posted some opinion pieces and previews/reviews of games there. Writing for GrownGaming.com doesn't mean I'll quit my blog. It just means I'll focus some of the heavy hitters over there and keep to personal posts here. I may not post as often as I have before, but I am still committed to JBTHEGAMER.com.

I was at some point going to move the blog to Word Press, but since I now write at the other site I have decided to keep my Blog at Blogger. Thank you again for sticking around another year and reading my posts. I look forward to another awesome year...

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wonderland - Part 2 - Pirate Cove


Pirate Cove is one of my favorite sections of my theme park Wonderland. I spent a lot of time in this area, mainly because I ended up scrapping a ride and building new ones. Also, I ended up adding a rail-way to my park because I found some open land in this section. So far this if my favorite section of the park.


When you first enter Pirate Cove from the Fairy-Tale section you are greeted with either going left or right. If you head left, you will end up going towards Turtle Rock, a roller coaster I downloaded from the Steam Workshop. Turtle Rock was created by JONS90, and I thought it looked perfect for this section of my park. It looks amazing at night as well, so an added bonus there.



If you head to the right, you will be passing by some of the flat rides in this section. Also, you'll be headed to the little food section that is in the corner before reaching another roller coaster The High Seas.




After passing The High Seas (which is a pre-made coaster in the game), you will end up heading towards another coaster created by a user on Steam Workshop. This roller coaster is called Dead Pirate Falls created by the user McDread. I loved the look and feel of this coaster so I just had to add it to Pirate Cove. 



Dead Pirate Falls was heading towards the back of the Pirate Cove section. Back here I added a very very large coaster that you can kind of see in some of the screenshots already. I ended up not liking this coaster and had another idea. I found two more coasters that I loved on the Steam Workshop and ended up placing them in the spot that one huge coaster took up.


The Caribbean Curse created by McDread as seen in the back left of this screenshot above and Jack's Pirate Hideout by xepi88 were the two coasters I added instead of the one huge coaster I had there before. You can also see some of the rail-road I decided to add as well, called The Wonderland Express. It runs through a large part of the park and has four stops. The Wonderland Express also runs through a mountain in the back part of the map. That area is going to be the new section I have been working on called West World.

That is pretty much it for Pirate Cove, again I had the most fun creating this area and tweaking it to my liking. My next update on Wonderland will be my last. When I was starting the West World section of my park I found the game to get very very sluggish. I found that this game doesn't handle a lot of people in the park very well. So I decided to stop expanding even though I had more plans for other sections, but more on that in the final post. For now enjoy a night-time screenshot of the whole section of Pirate Cove and look for more screenshots I didn't use on my Google+ page.