Saturday, December 24, 2016

Review - Killing Floor 2


I rarely played the first Killing Floor, but this time around I am really enjoying Killing Floor 2. Developed and published by Tripwire Interactive, Killing Floor 2 was released out of early access on November 18th 2016 for the PC and PS4. The game is a co-op First Person Shooter that is much like Left 4 Dead in terms of game play.

Killing Floor 2 has two modes and 12 official maps, with more created by the community. The two modes are Survival and VS Survival. In Survival you play with up to 12 other players cooperatively against waves of Zeds. You can also play this mode Solo, but it is a lot more fun playing with others online or just with your friends. You can have a Survival match last up to just 4 waves or the max of 10 waves. The last wave is the boss fight, if your team survives then the humans are victorious. If the Boss kills everyone on the team, then the humans lose. VS Survival mode is much like Survival mode except it is a PvP version of Survival for up to twelve players, in this mode two teams of up to six players each take turns playing humans vs. Zeds, each match lasting four waves plus a boss wave. One team plays human and the other a mixture of specially modified Zeds backed up by AI controlled Zeds until the human team is defeated or it defeats the boss, at which point the two teams switch sides and the battle continues. After each team has a turn playing both humans and Zeds, they both receive a score based on their performance and the higher score wins!

What are Zeds? Zeds are failed experimental clones created by Horzine Biotech, a biotechnology company in London, England. They are also known as zombies. In Killing Floor 2 there are a total of 13 different types of Zeds, including the two bosses. As you start off in the first wave only a few easier type of Zeds show up. As you progress through the waves the game starts to include more challenging and tougher Zeds into the fight. When your team reaches the Boss wave, one of two bosses will show up, either the Patriarch or Hans Volter. As you play on higher difficulty the Zeds get harder to kill and change their tactics a bit.


In terms of game play, Killing Floor 2 is rather simple. It is a FPS where you have to survive waves and waves of Zeds till the boss. After each wave you have to go to the Trader Pod to buy more ammo, armor, and better guns. Depending on how well you did during the wave you will get cash to purchase these items. There are over 60 weapons to choose from and each weapon is specialized by perks. There are ten perks in Killing Floor 2 and each perk has their own unique skills. You can choose one skill per five levels up to level 25. At the beginning of the game you can only choose one perk to play as, but gain all the skills up to level 25 for that perk. Although, you can switch perks during mid-game, but to maximize benefits of that perk you would have to buy the weapons for that perk, which could be costly. The great thing about the weapons is you don't have to buy the one meant for your chosen perk. You can use any weapon you want and gain experience towards that perk the weapon is meant for. For example, if you picked the Melee perk at the beginning of the game, of course using Melee weapons would benefit you greatly. But you could buy an assault weapon and use that instead. You will not get the bonuses meant for that perk (until you switch your perk and skills in game), but you gain experience towards the perk that uses assault weapons.

Aside from choosing perks, and skills you can also customize your avatar by choosing from 10 characters. From there you can then customize how they look. Characters do not have any affect on Perks or Skills. They are just there for looks. Killing Floor 2 does have a in-game store where you can buy weapon skins, keys to open supply crates, and items for your character to further customize your look. These are just added visual transactions that have no affect on the game play and are 100% optional.


How about the story in Killing Floor 2? Well, there really is not much of one. The simple story is the CEO of Horzine Biotech created these creatures called the Zed and In his background story you find out he becomes The Patriarch. Who is one of the bosses in the game. That is pretty much all there is to it. If you are looking for more of a story in Killing Floor 2, then this game is not for you. Killing Floor 2 is all about co-op survival against waves of Zeds.

JB The Gamer's Final Rating on Killing Floor 2: 4 out of 5 - Great Game.

Killing Floor 2 is a great game. It is fun to play with a group of your friends or even online to see how far you can survive on each map. It can take hours of play to gain all the skills in the perks within Killing Floor 2. I find my self coming back to play this game over and over again. I even enjoy playing this game with random people online. Mix the awesome FPS gun play with heavy metal music and Zed time (Zed time is where the game slows down for a bit when someone gets a critical hit. It feels like you are in the Matrix for a few seconds.), and you got your self one damn fun game.

It was hard for me to find any faults to the game and I didn't run across any gaming breaking bugs. But I gave it a 4 out of 5 because I didn't like the micro-transactions, even though they are optional. And the repetitive game play can wear on you. Yes, I do keep coming back, but I can only play for a few hours before I have to walk away because I get the feeling of been there done that. Also, there is a lack of tutorial in this game. You pretty much just jump right in, with no learning how to play the game. But all and all Killing Floor 2 is a great game to pick up and worth the asking price of $30 on the PC.


Killing Floor 2 is available for the PS4 & on Steam for the PC.



A

Monday, December 19, 2016

Game Corp DX - Games Under $30 Worth Playing


Ever since Game Dev Story came out for the iOS back in 2010. I have noticed a surge of games based around this type of management simulation the last five years. I was addicted to it and Game Dev Tycoon as well. Game Corp DX is another management simulation game set in this theme. It was created and produced by an indie studio called Endless Loop Studios. Game Corp DX is based on the Flash game with the same name, minus the DX.

The game is very simple yet addicting. You start off with a small team in a small office producing micro games (mobile games really). As you grow and make more money you can expand your employee count and office space. Making a game is as easy as creating name, picking the genre, and then assigning works. Depending on how big of a game will determine how many employees you can assign to a game project. The management part is making sure your employees have food, water, and are well trained. It doesn't get anymore complex then that. The big motivation in this game is making lots of money and winning all the awards from the other companies (competition).

Like I said Game Corp DX is simple, but it can be addictive. Why is it worth playing for under $30. For starters it is only $3 and the game is solid and fun. It is well worth the $3 investment for hours of mindless enjoyment. If you like the Game Themed Tycoon games then this is a must own. Game Corp DX is available only on Steam.


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Mother Russia Bleeds - Games Under $30 Worth Playing


Mother Russia Bleeds is a game based on the old beat'em ups from the 80s like Double Dragon. You choose from four different characters, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Then with a limited set of moves you take on waves of enemies leading up to a boss fight at the end of each level.

The story is simple, your character is kidnapped and forced to use a drug called Nekro. So, naturally your character sets out to find out why they were kidnapped and forced you to be addicted to this drug. From this point on you have to use the drug to heal and gain a temporary boost to speed and strength. You progress through each level by beating the shit out of everyone that gets in your way. Of course each level gets harder as you progress.



Mother Russia Bleeds has two modes, Story and Arena mode. Story of course is the campaign and Arena is where you fight wave after wave seeing hold long you can last. The Arena modes can unlock different drugs which have different affects, which you can then use in the Arena or Story mode. There is also Local Co-Op so you can play with up to four friends.

I had a lot of fun playing this game by my self. It was challenging and pretty violent. For $15 Mother Russia Bleeds is definitely a game worth playing for under $30. I wouldn't mind seeing the developer make a sequel either.


Mother Russia Bleeds is avialable on the PS4 & PC from Steam, GOG.com, & Humble Bundle.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Review - Planet Coaster


Planet Coaster is the RollerCoaster Tycoon successor we have all been waiting for. Created by Frontier, the guys who did many other Coaster Tycoon games even Roller Coaster Tycoon 3. Planet Coaster is by far their best work yet.

Since RollerCoaster Tycoon hit the market back in 1999, I have been a fan. I bought and played the first, second, and third for hours and hours. The RollerCoaster Tycoon games are some of the few games I still return to, to this day. So where does Planet Coaster stack up against the golden child that is RollerCoaster Tycoon? Let me just say that Frontier has created one hell of a coaster tycoon simulation game. The freedom of creation is amazing. If you can dream it, then you can build it. Frontier has given players some powerful tools to design, and create some epic parks. The detail in this game is amazing. You can zoom in so close you can see the inside of shops. Detail and creation is what the developers had in mind. You can come up with and create pretty much what ever you want. Take a shop for instance, you get the basic box building which you can then adjust its size. Then you can place all kinds of scenery around it, coming up with some epic ideas. Once you have designed a shop's look that you like you can save the whole thing as a blueprint and replicate it again and again and keep it for future use in another park. The freedom of creativity is epic in Planet Coaster.


Once you have installed the game and fired it up you get to create an avatar. I guess this is suppose to represent you because it shows you on the world map and anyone else who is playing the game or just your friends. At times these people's avatars will visit your park. Aside from that, I don't really know what else the avatar does, but once it is created you can then choose from the three main modes of the game. Career mode, Challenge mode, or Sandbox mode. The Career mode is kind of like the single player. You follow a set of missions, as you complete each mission the game unlocks more to play. This mode also kind of acts like the tutorial of the game. Sandbox mode is pretty much the free for all mode. You get unlimited money and just create to your hearts content. The Challenge mode is where more of the management part of the game comes alive. This is where you have a set amount of money and decide if you want to charge people as they enter the park or charge per ride. This mode also has challenges for you to complete as you play. There are no time limits on the challenges so you can complete them at any time. But you have to watch your spending, because you will run out of money quick if you don't manage your park correctly. For me I found that the Challenge Mode was more of my style of play. I enjoyed this part of the game a lot. My goal was to make the best park and loads of money.

I have praised Planet Coaster for its powerful tools for creating some epic parks. But the game isn't perfect, Planet Coaster has some faults. One of it's biggest faults is the lack of a proper tutorial. With all the powerful tools, it doesn't really explain much on how to use them. You pretty much have to figure out what everything does as you play. It would have been nice to have a good tutorial to teach you the game and maybe some advance tool videos online. Planet Coaster basically just throws you to the wolves and makes you figure mostly everything on your own besides a few basic tool tips. Another fault, and a good tutorial could fix this, are some of the alerts that keep popping up I didn't know much on how to fix them. For example, the percentage of peeps that say a line is to long. This hurts your rating, but I couldn't find or figure out how to fix this problem. Again the game relies on you figuring it out for your self with little to no help. Also, as you create a big enough park, the detailed graphics can start to slow down even the more powerful of PCs. The frame rate starts to drop the bigger your park gets. It's not a major issue, but could be a problem for people playing on older machines. Even turning down the graphics doesn't help much at very large park sizes.


In conclusion, Planet Coaster is the best Coaster Tycoon game that has been released in a long time. Frontier has improved on their formula from the RC3 days and even fixed a major bug from RC3. The damn looking for group bug with peeps. The powerful creation tools that they give you is amazing. I am no artist, but what others have created and put on Steam Workshop is pretty awesome. I didn't mention this but the coaster creation and path creation is a little cumbersome and takes a bit getting use. I have spent hours and hours again in a Coaster Tycoon Simulation game thanks to Planet Coaster. It is worth the $45 price tag, unlike the horrible RollerCoaster Tycoon World game that came out around the same time. If you love to create and manage a park, then Planet Coaster should be your go to game.

JB The Gamer's Final Rating on Planet Coaster: 4 out of 5 - Great Game.

The lack of tutorials for all the tools and management of the game hurt the score on Planet Coaster. Also the performance issues with bigger parks. But that shouldn't really stop you from picking up easily what is the best Coaster Tycoon game of the year.



Planet Coaster is currently only available for PC on Steam.




Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Broforce - Games Under $30 Worth Playing


Take all the action heroes from the last twenty or so years and put them in one crazy 8-bit game and that pretty much sums up Broforce. Developed by Free Lives and Published by Devolver Digital Broforce is one hell of a fun game for $15.

You start off with one of many random Bros such as for example, RamBro or Bro Hard, and you use their unique abilities to fight the terrorist that threaten the world. To balance the awesome power of the Bros you can't get hit or hurt at all. Once you do, you die. But, as you run across the map reigning havoc against the terrorists, you can save other Bros which give you extra lives. Take note, that you don't have a choice on which Bro you get, it is always random, even if you die. This makes for a fun yet challenging game. As you progress, the game does increase in difficulty only getting harder as you reach the end. Broforce doesn't take it self serious, so there were many times it made me laugh, no matter how frustrated I got at some points in the game.


Broforce can be played alone, with friends cooperatively or even have an all out brawl with your friends in its multiplayer death-match. I had a blast playing through the single player, and for $15 Broforce is hard to pass up. Broforce is most definitely a game worth playing for under $30. If you haven't played this epic havoc creating 8-bit awesomeness, then what are you waiting for Bro?



You can pick up Broforce for PC or MAC at Steam, GOG.com, or Humble Bundle.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Gaming Status Update - Fall 2016

Lots of games came out and coming out this Fall Season. I did three reviews in under two months. That is pretty good, considering I only maybe get one review every month or two. I am currently playing through Tyranny and Planet Coaster. I should have a review soon on Planet Coaster, but Tyranny might be a little longer. Tyranny is an RPG and those take me a bit longer to go through then say an FPS or Action Adventure game. I hope to have a full review on Tyranny by January 2017.

I also been playing a bunch of little games lately. And what I mean by little games are the ones that sell for under $30 and don't have a Triple A budget. So I was thinking about doing a new segment post based on these games called "Games Under $30 Worth Playing". I am shooting to have my first post either by the end of this week or early next week.

As for games still on my list that I want which will be coming out in the next month or so are the following. Space Hulk DeathWing, Dead Rising 4, Final Fantasy 15, and Resident Evil 7. Till those come out I'll have to be content with Planet Coaster and Tyranny.


Saturday, November 12, 2016

Review - Titanfall 2


Titanfall 2 was released on October 28th, 2016 by Respawn Entertainment on the PS4, Xbox One, and PC. And is a sequel to the 2014 video game called Titanfall. Titanfall 2 was published by EA, but the release of the game between Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty almost felt like they wanted the game to fail. We will never officially know, but I just feel as if releasing Titanfall 2 between two major games and expecting high sales seems a bit odd to me. This game would have been better suited earlier in the October month then the date EA picked.

But, besides the conspiracy theory how is the game? Titanfall 2 now has a single-player and that is one of the most exciting things about this sequel. You start off in a tutorial as a rifleman named Jack Cooper who is training to be a pilot (only pilots can use Titans).  The short tutorial was well done and shows you how to play the game and use the features of Titanfall, such as sliding on the ground, running on walls, piloting a Titan, and so forth. After the short but well done tutorial you get thrown into the front lines of the war against the IMC. During the opening battle, your mentor Captain Lastimosa gets killed and transfers authorization of his Titan to you. BT-7274 a Vanguard-class Atlas Titan, but he is named BT for short. This is where the single-player gets interesting as you play along the campaign and form a bond with your Titan. I have to say I really enjoyed the single-player in Titanfall 2. It was well done, with excellent voice acting, interesting characters, a strong bond between you and BT, and a well done story.


Lets not forget the gun-play here, I mean Titanfall 2 is a FSP after all. The gun-play is very solid, didn't expect anything less from Respawn Entertainment. These guys created Call of Duty, so no complaints there. But the thing that hurts Titanfall 2 is a very short single-player. You can complete it in under five hours. This is pretty disappointing, but at least it is there and I had my most fun in the single-player.

As far as the multiplayer goes, I didn't see much of a change from the first game. Though it might just be me, but I felt the matches were way to short. Each match only lasted maybe 10 to 12 minutes, and for some reason after each match the game sends you back to the lobby to search for more players instead of just continuing on. I don't recall if this happened in the first game, but it was really annoying. Even more so since the player base is very low on the PC. It can take a bit of time to find players and start a multiplayer match again. Game modes can range between 5vs5 - 8vs8 and include Bounty Hunt, Last Titan Standing, Pilots vs Pilots, Attrition, Amped Hardpoint, and Capture the Flag. As you play the multiplayer Titanfall 2 has unlocks where you can get more guns, banners, and badges. I didn't really care to much to play the multiplayer, it was fun, but the short matches and looking for a new game after every match just got to me. Plus, it feels to much like Call of Duty's multiplayer. This is my opinion, but I prefer the longer battles in Battlefield 1 then the multiplayer in Titanfall 2.

Now for my final rating on Titanfall 2:

JB The Gamer's Final Rating on Titanfall 2: 3 out of 5 - Good Game.

Overall I felt the strongest part of Titanfall 2 was the single-player, but it only lasted for 5 hours. Respawn Entertainment created an awesome world, and I was left wanting more. The multiplayer wasn't for me, but I will admit it is fun to play. I just wish matches lasted longer then 10 minutes. The short single-player and not so exciting multiplayer is the reason why I gave this game a 3 out of 5. I just really wish they would focus more on the Titans then the Call of Duty style multiplayer. Titanfall 2 is not a bad game, it just didn't keep my attention for long.



Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Review - Battlefield 1


For years now EA and DICE have been trying to dethrone the mighty Call of Duty and this year they have done it with Battlefield 1. Well, only when it comes to multiplayer. The multiplayer is where the meat and potatoes of Battlefield 1 really is. DICE gives you a lot of modes to play around with. Conquest makes a welcome return, along with other modes such as Rush, Domination, and Team Death match. Two new modes added to the game are called War Pigeons and Operations. In the War Pigeons game mode the opposing sides compete to use messenger pigeons to call in artillery barrages on the enemy. Operations is like a full scale war based on battles of World War 1. You either play on the attacking or defending teams and must capture or defend points in each sector of the full map. Maps can have up to five sectors, so the battles can rage on for a while. The base game has a total of 9 maps, which is enough as Conquest and Operations are huge. You can choose if you want to play with 32 or 64 total players online and it can make for some epic battles between the Americans, British, Germans, Ottoman Empire, and Italians. While playing online you can choose between four classes; Assault, medic, Scout, and Support. The Assault class deals with vehicles, Medic can heal and bring fellow team mates back to life, Scout is like a sniper, and the Support class has mortars that can help turn the tide of battle. I feel that the classes are well balanced, but sometimes to many people end up playing Scouts (snipers) and can get kind of annoying. If you play with a well balanced team that has a good amount of each class, your team can dominate the battlefield.


Battlepacks also make a return. These are given random after each game and provide you with new skins for all the weapons in the game. You can't purchase these with real cash, which is for the best. Battlepacks have to be earned and can also be bought with scrap, which is an in-game currency that can be earned in the Battlepacks or scrapping a skin. Along with the Battlepacks, you also level up by getting XP for playing matches. As you level up you get different guns for each class. This is an interesting system, but I didn't really care for it, nor did I have any desire to collect the skins. But it is there for those that like this sort of thing. Really glad there is no micro-transactions in Battlefield 1. That is an awesome thing to see in a $60 video game.

The graphics and sounds in Battlefield 1 are done very well. Visuals are stunning, but not anywhere near Battlefront. The sounds of the weapons, explosions, and vehicles are fantastic. These are done very well and help the immersion of making you feel like you are on the battlefield.


I have to say that Battlefield 1 has been the first Battlefield in which I was really excited to play. It's been a while since I have wanted to continue to play Battlefield online. The last time I really got into a BF game was back in the "Bad Company 2" days. Though, I have to comment on the single-player. When Battlefield 1 first came out I read in the reviews that the single-player was really good. So, when I first picked up the game I jumped right into the single-player. I have to say I was really disappointed after hearing so much praise. The single-player is really short and gets pretty boring fast. You can choose between 5 different stories to play, but each story only lasts about an hour max. The single-player can be completed in less then 5 hours. I was really disappointed from the reviews I read to experiencing the single-player my self. If DICE concentrated only on a few characters and extended the single-player campaign across WWI it could have been better. But instead we get short stories that are very forgettable. If you are itching to play this game for the single-player, I hate to say it but you will be very disappointed.

Let's get to my final score of the game:

JB The Gamer's Final Rating on Battlefield 1: 4 out of 5 - Great Game.

Overall Battlefield 1 shines in the multiplayer, it is very solid, fun, and enough content to keep coming back. Though it looks like EA is holding out the French and Russians for future DLC, but the base game is still worth the $60 price tag. The only big disappoint, and makes the game a 4 out of 5 is the crappy single-player. It was forgettable and to damn short. It really felt like they just slapped it in there to tick off the box that says, hey we got single-player too.

Thankfully DICE has done an amazing job with the multiplayer, which is really the only reason why I keep coming back to Battlefield 1.


Battlefield 1 is available now on the PC, Xbox One, and PS4.




Thursday, October 20, 2016

Nintendo Switch & Red Dead Redemption 2


This week had some major announcements. RockStar Games announced Red Dead Redemption 2 finally and Nintendo officially announced their new console titled Nintendo Switch.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is slated for a Fall 2017 release. So we have a whole year to wait for this title. It has only been confirmed for Xbox One and PS4. The PC version hasn't been announced yet. It maybe possible they are pulling a GTA V and launch the PC version later down the road. To ease the year wait RockStar released a trailer today for RDR2. You can check it out below.




Today Nintendo finally announced and showed off the Nintendo Switch. Yup, that is it's official name the Nintendo Switch. Above is a picture of what the console will look like. It is going to be a hybrid of a home console and mobile console. Basically, Nintendo is merging it's home console and mobile console brands into one. I really like this idea, because now I don't have to own a DS and a home console to play games. They will all be on one main console. No official specs have been announced yet but Nvidia did confirm that the Nintendo Switch will have a custom Tegra chip in it. Nvidia's Tegra chip is in their shield products along with many other third party brands. No price point has been officially announced yet, but the console is slated for a March 2017 release date.

To see more on how the console is suppose to work, check out Nintendo's marketing video they released today.


Friday, October 7, 2016

Software Inc. - Early Access Impressions


I don't normally buy into any "Early Access" games on Steam. If I have any on my wish list, they stay at the bottom of my list untill they come out of "Early Access". I don't really like the fact that I am paying to beta test or alpha test a game. But there was something about Software Inc that enticed me into purchasing it. I am a sucker for business simulation games like SimCity, RollerCoaster Tycoon, Game Dev Tycoon, etc, etc. What really got me to buy into the game was an article by Rock Paper Shotgun, you can read it here. The article detailed the features of the game in an interesting way that made me want to try it out.

Software Inc. is a game which is in an Alpha state that is being developed by one person. Currently he has stated that Software Inc. will remain in "Early Access" until maybe around 2018. For the most part the game is playable with minimal crashes. I only ran into some when I increased the graphic settings, for some reason the game would reboot my computer if I turned them up. After turning the graphic settings down the game has run pretty solid with little to no crashes.

The main goal of Software Inc. is to build a software company that makes money. You hire people that will fill roles such as programmers, designers, artists, marketers, and leaders. Once you hire some people and even design and build your own office, you can then start to create software. There are many choices such as creating an OS, office software, video games, anti-virus software and much more. There is even an option to buy servers and start your own online distribution channel, kind of like Steam. The software goes through three phases, Design, Develop, Beta, after beta testing you can then release it to the public. During each of the phases you can market your software so people know about it. It is a simple game, but has gotten me addicted to it for the last 3 weeks or so.

I am really excited to see what features will be added to the game over the next few years before its final release. Till then I am enjoying the crap out of it, even the state it is in right now. If you are curious about this game then check it out on Steam, and remember it is still in an Alpha state and is an "Early Access" game. So there are bound to be bugs and crashes.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Back To The Past: Shadow Warrior


Recently I beat "Shadow Warrior", a First-Person Shooter based on the FPSs of the 90s. The version I played was a reboot developed by Flying Wild Hog and published by Devolver Digital. The original "Shadow Warrior" was created by 3D Realms and released in 1997 (This version I never played). You can currently pick up both versions on Steam and GOG.com.

You play as Lo Wang, a wise cracking ninja assassin who gets caught up in an ancient battle of demons. From start to finish you run through the levels hacking demons with your sword or blowing them to bits with your guns or both. Lo Wang also gets to wield magic powers as you progress through the game. Game-play is a very well done nod to the classic First-Person Shooters of the 90s and early 2000s. It reminded me a lot of Serious Sam, hordes of enemies with a wise cracking protagonist.

The weapons are fun and the melee combat with the sword was enjoyable. I enjoyed playing through this game, but thought Flying Wild Hog made the game a little long. Some areas felt as if they dragged on for ages. The humor was pretty good. I found my self laughing out load many times during my play through. Lo Wang was an enjoyable character to play and I am happy this game made enough money to produce a sequel. Shadow Warrior 2 is set to release in October of 2016.



The story of this version of Shadow Warrior was an interesting one. The plot of the game was very simple and not much to it. You are tasked with collecting three swords, that when put together is capable of killing immortals and you must do so to save the world. Simple right, but the story of the immortal gods is the interesting part of this game. It is the only serious part of the game as well. The story is about a family of demon immortals who struggle with each other over power and it gets pretty emotional at times. I was surprised at how serious this story line gets, since the rest of the game doesn't take it self too seriously and can be very funny at times. I thought that was pretty neat, one serious story and one over the top not so serious story.

Playing the 2013 reboot of Shadow Warrior kind of makes me want to play the original from 1997. I might pick it up in the future just to see how different Flying Wild Hog's version of Shadow Warrior is. If you haven't played either version of Shadow Warrior, I highly recommend at least picking up the reboot. The sequel is just around the corner. Shadow Warrior reboot is available on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

ToeJam & Earl Back In The Groove


When I was playing the original ToeJam & Earl on Steam, I found out one of the original creators is making another game. This new game is called ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove and was kick-started by developer Humanature Studios in 2015 to be released on PC, Linux, and MAC. The kick-start was a success but the stretch goal to port the game to the consoles wasn't met. So, this year Adult Swim Games announced they are publishing this game for a release in 2017 on PC and console platforms. You can check out the teaser here...


I am super excited to check out this game next year. It sounds like they are going for the original gameplay with a modern twist. Let's hope ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove does justice to the franchise. You can read an interview of the developers by Polygon here.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Playing Borderlands The Pre-Sequel On My Nvidia Sheild Tablet


Earlier this year I posted on my blog that I picked up the Nvidia Shield Tablet K1 2015 version. In 2016 I haven't really gamed on it that much. Maybe a few games here and there, but they were all tablet app based games.

That was till I found out that Borderlands 2 and Borderlands The Pre-Sequel were released on the Nvidia Shield Tablet. So, never playing the Pre-Sequel before, I downloaded it onto my Shield Tablet. Right away I was pretty blown away on how well this game looks and plays on this tablet. Of course it is no-where near as good looking as the PC version. But on the K1 it looked pretty good. The game also played pretty well, with no frame-rate drops or hick-ups. It handles very well with a controller attached to the tablet. To be honest this game was not designed at all for any touch inputs. It only works with a controller. I happened to be using the Nvidia Shield controller that I picked up to go along with my tablet.


Borderlands The Pre-Sequel was the first major game I played on my K1 tablet. I am having a blast playing the game. I normally play it while I mine in EVE: Online. So I kind of multi-task gaming, lol.

I just wanted to quickly share my experience with the Nvidia Shield K1 Tablet and my first real major game played on it. This has really secured my feeling about picking up this tablet. Can't wait to see other games released for this device. Till then, I'll be enjoying Borderlands The Pre-Sequel on my tablet.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Upgrading My GPU To A Nvidia GTX 1080 FTW


I was finally able to pick up a GTX 1080 at it's MSRP for my gaming rig. For months now the EVGA Nvidia GTX 1080s have been way over priced. I know I could have found other brands, but I really like EVGA graphic cards. I have been using them in my builds for the last 10 years since BFG went down hill and then out of business.

I was currently running a EVGA Nvidia GTX 770. There was nothing wrong with the card but I knew it was temporary when I first bought it. Back in March 2014 when I built my latest gaming rig that I currently use now, I wanted a GTX 780. While researching parts I found out the GTX 700 series was being phased out for the GTX 900 series. So I didn't want to drop a lot of cash on something that was going to be replaced in the future. As time went by I decided to wait it out for the generation after the GTX 900s. When the GTX 1000 series was announced I felt it was time to upgrade to a GTX 1080. When the Nvidia GTX 1080 was launched in May 2016, you couldn't find them anywhere and when you did the prices were crazy. Like $1000 starting price crazy. So I waited till I was able to find this gem on Amazon at its MSRP of $679.99. The EVGA Geforce GTX 1080 FTW ACX 3.0, specs are:


-1721MHz Base Clock
-1860MHz Boost Clock
-275.3GT/s Texture Fill Rate
-8GB GDDR5X Memory
-1000MHz Memory Clock
-320GB/s Memory Bandwidth

After installing this puppy in my current gaming rig, I was able to play DOOM (2016) at Ultra settings while never going below 60 Frames Per Second at 1920x1080 resolution. Can't wait to bump up the settings on all the other games I play. I am pleased with this bad ass GPU from EVGA. It destroys my old GTX 770. But I do have to say that the size of this card is much bigger compared to the GTX 770. I almost thought it wasn't going to fit in my computer, but it did.


You can check out more pictures of the install and spec information on my current gaming rig at my site called JB The Gamer's Gaming Rig. If you are interested in the Nvidia Geforce GTX 1080 card, now is the time to start looking. The prices have come down to normal and are starting to stay in stock. You can pick this bad boy up over at Amazon by Clicking Here.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Review - No Man's Sky


The hype of No Man's Sky was real, but I wasn't sucked into it like many others. Over the years I heard of the game but didn't know much about it. That was till I read about how it was a wide open space exploration game where anything was possible. I figured I would give it a try, I am a sucker for a game where trading is one of the things you can do. So when No Man's Sky came out on the PC on August 12th 2016, I decided to pick it up. I was rather excited at the time to check it out and see what the buzz was all about.

First off I'd like to say that No Man's Sky is an impressive game. The ability to jump from planet to space and to another planet with no loading screen, is something I have never seen before in a video game. I remember my friends and I talking about how awesome it would be if a game could do that. No Man's Sky accomplishes this flawlessly. Another impressive thing about the game is the technology behind the procedurally generated planets and lifeforms. There is so many planets and lifeforms in the game that it would be impossible to catalog them all. I have to give majors props to the developers of No Man's Sky, because these three parts of the game are very impressive. But beyond the impressive technology, No Man's Sky is pretty basic to it's core.

When you start up No Man's Sky it randomly sets you up on one of the planets in the massive universe. Your ship is damaged and the game gives you a short tutorial on what do. Your Multi-Tool can be used to mine pretty much anything you see and can be used for combat. After you go through the tutorial and get your ship flying, you quickly find out that each part of what you can do in No Man's Sky is very basic. The controls of your ship are basic and limited, the game even doesn't allow you to crash into a planets surface. Your Multi-Tool only just mines and shoots, one button to mine/shoot another to change between the two. Trading is even very basic, all you do is go to a Space Station or Shelter and just walk up to a terminal and all it says is Sell or Buy. In theory you could buy something for a lower price and go to another planet or galaxy and trade it for higher price. But since this game is so basic, even the way-points and warping is simplified. The game just pushes you forward and makes it harder to go back to where you came from. These are just some examples, but you get the idea. No Man's Sky has no depth, it has everything at the very most basic and things start to repeat. Repetitiveness is pretty much what you start to see. Go to this galaxy, mine minerals, locate one of four things with signal scanners which are a Shelter, Outpost, Monolith, or Transmissions (which each of these always end up finding the same stuff and just keep repeating them selves). After that you gain enough minerals to warp to the next Galaxy and rinse & repeat. You can look for intelligent aliens and try to learn their language by finding Monoliths, but even this gets boring and repetitive. The intelligent aliens are always located in the same looking buildings and just sit or stand in one spot and offer you useless stuff. Like I said before, no depth, just an empty universe where your only goal is to either warp to the center of the universe or find more drop pods to expand your inventory. Oh and the inventory, don't get me started with how awful that is.


The inventory in No Man's Sky is very clumsy. You can store things on your person or your ship. You can transfer things from your personal inventory to your ship and visa-versa. You craft from your inventory, reload your weapons and systems, even create things needed to craft all within the inventory screen. Who ever thought up the inventory system in No Man's Sky had no clue what they were doing. 50% of your time is spent going in and out of your inventory to do basically everything. It is one of the worst inventory systems I have ever seen in a game and is pretty annoying. It sucks when you are in the middle of combat only to reload your Multi-Tool or Shields in the inventory. It takes you out of the immersiveness of the game.

The Plot, what plot? You wake up, fix your ship and explore. I didn't find any story in No Man's Sky. This isn't really a bad thing but just wanted to point it out. The only plot device I found was something called the Atlas, but no real story to tell.

Combat in No Man's Sky is basic, you point and shoot with the same tool you use for everything else. Even the combat in your ship is simple to the point where I just didn't enjoy any of it. Don't expect anything amazing here, it's basic like the rest of the game.


I said a lot of negative things about No Man's Sky and how very simple and basic it is. There is no denying that, but it is still an enjoyable game if you like to explore and gather materials. Technology is impressive but the game-play is not. I just find it best to not play more then a few hours at a time. No Man's Sky feels more of a tech demo then a game worth it's $60 price tag. As it stands I have to rate this game with a final score of:

JB The Gamer's Final Rating on No Man's Sky: 2 out of 5 - Ok Game.

Like I said above, the technology is impressive and the game can be enjoyable at times. But the lack of depth really hurts No Man's Sky in the long run. Maybe in the future they will add more meaty stuff to it, but as it is in it's vanilla state, wait for a price drop to pick this game up.

No Man's Sky is available on the PS4 and PC.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Gaming Status Update - Summer 2016


I have been mostly playing EVE: Online this summer. I pretty much just mine and sell what I mine on the trade markets. Yes, that sounds kind of boring, and I know I haven't even touched 95% of the game. But this is what I like doing so far in EVE: Online. I read comics and other books while I mine, so there is a trade off. I subscribed to the game for 3 months and I plan to keep my sub for a while.

My recent post about Icewind Dale was another game I have been playing this summer. I wanted to catch up on some gaming and decided to play some games I haven't played or completed in a long, long time. But I didn't like how splitting the expansion and main game of Icewind Dale turned out in my Back To The Past blog posts. So in the future I will just post a blog entry once for the whole game, instead of splitting it up.

Currently I am adventuring through No Man's Sky. It is an interesting game, but a little on the repetitive side. I do enjoy the exploration and mining parts of the game. I'll have a full review of the game before the month's end.

Before the summer ends, I plan to have two more Back To The Past blog posts up. I also have to play more of HITMAN, because I haven't even touched Episode 3 yet.

In terms of my YouTube channel, I still haven't decided if I want to record and post anymore of my gameplays. Maybe I'll post more HITMAN videos or not. I just don't know how I feel about it yet. Well that is pretty much what I have been up to in terms of gaming this summer. Till next time, keep gaming my friends.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

YouTube & Twitch Update


It has been a while since I uploaded anything to YouTube or even played live on Twitch.tv. Well, I just wanted to say that I will no longer be broadcasting live on Twitch.tv. After trying it out back in May, I have come to find out that I just don't like it. So from now on I will no longer be using Twitch.

As for YouTube, I don't know yet. It has been a while since I uploaded any videos. Mostly they have been the new Hitman game and Brutal DOOM (DOOM from the 1990s). I am still going to sit on this one and see if I still want to record any of my gameplays. If anything I might just continue uploading Hitman gameplay videos. I'll think about it, but for now you can check out what I already have uploaded on my YouTube channel. Check it out here...

Monday, July 11, 2016

Review - Mirror's Edge Catalyst


Mirror's Edge Catalyst is a prequel to DICE's 2008 video game Mirror's Edge. It is suppose to tell the story of how faith became a runner and the events before Mirror's Edge. Catalyst starts off with Faith in prison, which we never learn why in the game unless you read the comic, just as she is being released. You jump right into the action from a few quick tutorials and you are off doing parkour on the roof tops of the City of Glass.

Catalyst is pretty fun when things get going, and the parkour feels great, as long as you don't stop. Which is pretty much how I played this game. But for what ever reason EA decided to make Mirror's Edge Catalyst an open world game and it is one of the major issues keeping this game from being great. I say one of, because there are a few other major issues as well. Lets focus on the open world issue first. I have to say that Mirror's Edge didn't ever need to be open world. It slows a fast paced game down and is not what this game is about. I pretty much skipped all the side quests and stuck with the main missions. The side missions were just a bunch of junk to add some fluff to hide the fact that the game is really only 8 hours long. Since it is open world you have to run to every mission. After 8 hours of this, it gets very tedious. I fully feel that they should have made it linear and spent more time fine tuning the parkour and combat. There was no need to make this game open world, it was like EA said....oh we got that and this and oh don't forget about that. All these added things should justify the $60 price tag. Sorry it doesn't, the crappy open world made this game weaker and took away development time from the main parts of the game that are fun.



Like I said before, the main draw here is the platforming parkour fast paced first person game play. It feels fluid and feels awesome just running around the city's roof tops jumping from building to building landing parkour moves from one wall to the next. This is one of the things Mirror's Edge Catalyst gets right. Though it is not perfect. At times the buttons wouldn't always land the action I wanted and I ended up falling or messing parkour moves up. It is not a major issue, but could have been something the development team might have focused more on if they didn't have to make an open world game and fill that world with junk missions.

Mirror's Edge Catalyst is a fun parkour platforming game. It shows you that you can have a FPS without guns and still be fun. Even if you don't shoot a gun, there is combat in this game, which is welcomed. The combat is all hand-to-hand melee. DICE said they improved the combat from the first one. But I feel this is one of the second major issues of the game. If they improved it, it sure doesn't feel that way. Maybe adding a skill point system is suppose to mean they improved the combat or something. I can say that the combat was one of the most frustrating parts of the game. It felt clunky and most of the time was annoying. It stopped the fast pace running, instead of adding a layer of fun, it just added frustration. I don't know how many times I had to reload a check point cause I died in combat. Most of your moves were useless except the heavy kick. Which I ended up using the whole game. This is another area of the game that should have been the focus instead of making it open world.



We haven't even talked about the story yet. Mirror's Edge Catalyst's story is an improvement from 2008's Mirror's Edge. But in the end it just sets you up for a sequel. There is no real conclusion here, it just ends and is like.....hope you buy the next one. But it does have some interesting characters and the story at least goes a little bit deeper into Faith and why she is running. But over all it is nothing special and isn't the draw here. At the least the story does keep the game moving forward.

Another major issue with this game is the bugs. I never ran into any game crashing or freezing bugs, but I did run into clipping issues and actions not firing off when they should have. These issues are all over the place, and shows that this game was rushed out the door too early. Again, I mostly blame this on adding open world, when this game didn't need it.

JB The Gamer's Final Rating on Mirror's Edge Catalyst: 2 out of 5 - Ok Game.

There is a fun game to play here, but the focus on open world is what dragged this game down. Missed bug/issues, poor story, clunky combat, all should have been the main areas to focus on instead of adding hundreds of side missions that are boring and useless. If you can get this game for cheap or even rent it for a few dollars over a weekend, Mirror's Edge Catalyst is a fun game to play. But I wouldn't really pay full price for it. EA rushed this out the door and forced open world gameplay on DICE's interesting parkour platforming game.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

What I am Excited About From E3 2016


I haven't posted much on my blog in June because I have been away on vacation, but I wanted to post about what excited me from E3 2016.

I was most excited to hear about a New Prey and Quake game coming out. I really enjoyed the first Prey, but this sequel or reboot looks very interesting and the studio that developed Dishonored is behind this New Prey. The game is set to release in 2017. ID Software got me excited by showing a teaser trailer for their new Quake game title Quake Champions. It looks like they are going back to Quake 3 for this one. It doesn't seem to be related to the singleplayer Quake games from the 90s, but we will found out more information at QuakeCon in August. Check out the trailers for both games here:




Nintendo showed off a lot of The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild and it looks amazing. I can't wait to get my hands on this Zelda game. It's just to bad they are delaying it to 2017 so they can release it on the Nintendo NX. I still don't know how I feel about this new console of theirs. There is still very little information about it. I can say for sure that I am picking up The Lengend of Zeld Breath of the Wild when it releases next year.



Another game I was really glad to see was Resident Evil 7. It seems as if Capcom is going back to RE's horror roots, but the demo they were showing almost seems like they were going to compete with Konami's Silent Hill. It reminded me a lot of the famous P.T. Demo. But Capcom was stating that the demo of RE7 isn't in the final game. It could have been just a technical demo showing off the PlayStation VR. We will have to see when more information comes out about the game in the next coming months. RE7 is slated to release in January of 2017 and will support Playstation VR.



I was also excited to hear that Dead Rising 4 is coming out. I am a fan of this franchise and can't wait to play this sequel. This Dead Rising has the return of Frank West, which is very welcomed. I was happy to hear that the game will be released this year in December.

Dawn of War 3 gameplay footage was show at this E3 and it looks awesome. DoW3 is slated to release in 2017 and I can't wait to get my hands on it. Huge fan of the original. Though only some footage of gameplay was show, not much else was shown off. Hope to hear more about the base building and units in the coming months.

The video games mentioned above were the games I was most excited to learn about during this years E3. Though, there were a few other games that I am now thinking about after learning more about them. These games are the following:

-Sea of Thieves
-Ghost Recon Wildlands
-Death Stranding
-Final Fantasy XV

Even though I might not be as excited about these games as I was about the others, after watching footage and learning more during the E3 week they got me thinking about them. Some of them I may end up playing, and I may get more excited about them the closer we get to their release dates.

Over all I feel this years E3 wasn't as exciting to me as last years. But E3 2016 still had a lot of good games and hardware shown off. I look forward to being able to play them in the future.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Review - DOOM


The first question is...is DOOM worth it? Hell yes! It is one hell of a ride and DOOM is the best FPS in 2016. If this game isn't in your library yet. What the hell are you waiting for?

ID Software and Bethesda has done an amazing job bringing this classic from 1993 to 2016. The fast paced shooter action, mixed with a bit of some modernization became a cocktail for success. The Singleplayer alone is enough justification for the $60 price tag. But ID Software threw in SnapMap and Mutliplayer options to sweeten the pot. Lets get down to the nitty-gritty.

DOOM looks amazing, the ID Tech 6 engine is a beast. It is the next game to benchmark your system for the next few years. I had to turn down some settings because my GTX770 couldn't handle the game turned up. But even having to adjust the graphic settings to get it to run smoothly, the game still looked amazing on my system. My only issue with the graphics is at times it took like 1 or 2 seconds to load some textures while looking around. It really wasn't that bad for me, but if you have an older system it might happen a lot more. Since I played DOOM on my PC I don't know how well it looks on the consoles. Though I have heard it runs smooth and looks damn good on the PS4 and Xbox One. But of course to truly see the beauty of this game, the best option is the PC.


Gameplay, it is as close to the classic DOOM as we could have ever gotten. The shooting is solid, the weapons are bad ass, and the action is fast. Unlike 2004's DOOM 3, DOOM (2016) is fast, really fast. You are not stuck in claustrophobic hallways fighting one or two demons. In this version of DOOM you have to keep moving or you die. You will be jumping all over the place as you fight 10, 15, sometimes even 20 demons at once. DOOM 2016 starts you off with a gun in your hand and you never slow down till the end. There are some platforming in this game, but it really is a nice way to get a small break from the fast paced action. It allows you to look for secrets and admire the beautiful graphics. Speaking of secrets, you can find all kinds of stuff in them. Things like upgrade points for your armor, ammo and guns, even little collectibles. ID Software did a great job on the level design as well. You have to take your time and look for the secrets. They were not easy to find. Of course the gun play is like the classic DOOM. Point and shoot till you run out of ammo. There is no reloading of your weapons in this game. The way DOOM should always be. But what gave it the modernization was the ability to upgrade your armor and weapons. You can collect and gain points for both. Allowing you to upgrade things like Health, Armor, and Ammo within your armor. The weapons have a basic main fire option, but can be upgraded with parts to allow a secondary fire option that does some crazy stuff. Like allowing you to lock onto demons with the Rocket Launcher and firing 3 or 4 rockets at them. It gives a fresh take on the classic shooting gameplay.

DOOM's Story, well there is a story line in this DOOM, but it takes a back seat compared to DOOM 3. Basically you are DOOM Marine, who wakes up and is the only one able to stop the demon invasion. They go a little into how the invasion happened and what they are doing on Mars and why the demons are there. You can find codex devices around the levels as you play. These go into more details about the demons, what happened, and who the main characters are. They do provide some interesting things about the DOOM lore, but the story is not DOOM's strongest point. It works, but if you are only playing this game for a story, then DOOM (2016) isn't for you.


Like I said before, the Singleplayer campaign is enough to justify buying this game. But ID Software threw in Mutliplayer and SnapMap. Multiplayer reminds me a lot of Quake 3 from back in the day. Except they decided to do load outs instead of finding the weapons on the map. Not sure why they went with this for the mutliplayer. It is fun, fast paced deathmatch, that is best played in short bursts. Mulitplayer in DOOM isn't ground breaking, but it does add value to the game. SnapMap on the other had is a really neat feature. It allows easy map making that you can share with the community. You can make singleplayer maps, co-op maps, deathmatch maps, and so on. I haven't dived into making any maps yet, but I played a few of the user made ones. There are some creative things that people come up with, with this feature. well worth checking out.

I have been talking about DOOM (2016) like it is a perfect game, but there are some flaws. One flaw was that DOOM did crash on me a few times. Those two times were a hard crash to desktop. But for a 13 hour game, that is not bad. I was surprised when it happened because it didn't give me an error or anything. The game just shutoff and I was looking at my desktop. I also have to say that another flaw is the Multiplayer. It just seems a bit half-ass to me. Kind of like they just threw it in there to add something to the whole package. The only other flaw, well more like a bug, was when a Hell Knight got stuck in a wall and I couldn't kill him to progress the level. It only happened once and it is more of a bug then a flaw. But I had to reload to a checkpoint in order to move forward in the campaign.


Over all, DOOM (2016) is one hell of a game. It will be the first game in a long time that I plan to play again. I want to see if I can find all the secrets and try it on harder difficulties. Maybe even try the Ultimate Nightmare mode, where if you die it is permanent death and you have to start all over again. Might be a fun challenge. I also plan on creating maps in the SnapMap feature. So, with that said onto the final score.

JB The Gamer's Final Rating on DOOM: 4 out of 5 - Great Game.

I wanted to give it a 5 out of 5 but to me the half-assed Multiplayer knocked the score down a point. If you are going to put one in, at least do a better job. If the excuse was to focus more on the Singleplayer, then leave it out. Yes, it does add value, but since it was half-assed it is a mode I plan on skipping all together. I do look forward to more with DOOM on SnapMap and maybe ID Software and Bethesda will put out more Singleplayer levels in the future. Also, I hope with the successful DOOM rebirth, that ID Software will bring back Quake. The future is bright with ID Software now that they renewed my faith with this game. I can't recommend getting this game enough. If you are a fan you should already have it in your collection.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Whats Up With Nintendo?


I have been a Nintendo fan since I got my hands on a NES back in the 80s. I have gotten every console they released since then. I am a huge fan of the Legend of Zelda series as well. But I found it interesting to hear that in March of 2017 Nintendo is going to release another console called Nintendo NX (code name). Which is to be the successor of the Wii U. I don't know how I feel about this announcement. I find it strange for them to release a major console in March of all months. Normally these things are released in November, to maximize the holiday sales. Why release the Wii U's successor in March? Only thing I can think of is Nintendo is desperate to sell something new to gain profits since 2016 has been loss for them. I do know that Nintendo has said it will sell the NX at a profit. Which means it may not be all that powerful compared to the Wii U, Xbox One, and PS4. Or the NX could be something Nintendo wants to get out because of Sony and Microsoft selling a tweaked powered-up version of their consoles. This news has got me worried. I only say that cause now the new Zelda game has been pushed to 2017 to also come out on the NX next year. It could mean that if the NX is a big failure like the Wii U, then Nintendo might be jumping ship in the console wars. I hope they don't. If that happens, then we may only be able to play Nintendo games on hand held systems (since those have sold the best for Nintendo). In my later years I have found the hand held systems to be less appealing. I got rid of my 3DS cause it just sat there and collected dust. I found the 3D aspect of the system to be just a gimmick and holding the unit for a long time was uncomfortable to me. So, I am not a fan of their GameBoy systems anymore. I want to play the new Legend of Zelda games on a console, that I can hook up to my TV.

I have heard some rumors that the NX could be cartridge based. But if that was true, it would only be a disaster for Nintendo, as cartridges are far more costly to produce then CD/DVD/Blu-Ray. Though there are rumors saying that the NX could be a hybrid of home and portable console. Which in portable, the cartridges would make sense. These of course are all rumors, and we will most likely not hear about the official details of the NX till later this year. As Nintendo has said it will not be featured at E3 this year. I am both worried and excited about the NX. I just hope it will end up being a success for Nintendo, so I can continue to play Zelda games on a home console made by Nintendo. Well, we will have to find out what the House of Mario has in store for us later this year.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Gaming Status Update - Spring 2016

DOOMs out, but I had to travel this week and only had the past weekend to play it. But I plan to hit that game hard once I get back to my gaming PC. Hoping to have a review on it up by Memorial weekend. But, while away I having been playing an old game that I just started to get into lately. I have been on this space flight simulator kick. It all started while playing a little bit of Elite: Dangerous, then I moved on to EVE: Online. Yeah, I kind of got sucked into that MMO. Been enjoying my 21 day trial, which I have about 11 days left. I plan on sticking with EVE: Online for a while.

Pretty much been all over the place lately, jumping from game to game. But The Division is the one game I have stuck with since it came out. All the hate the game gets, I really enjoy playing it with my cousin. Though, it is still buggy and has its own issues with balancing. We plan to stick with it till the new Battlefield comes out in October. Till then I am going to continue playing some EVE: Online and DOOM.

Monday, May 9, 2016

First Year Anniversary

On this day a year ago I started JB The Gamer's Blog. Wow, can't believe a year has gone by since I started this. Anyway, I just wanted to thank everyone who has read my posts in the last year. Video Games are my passion, so I like to talk about them and express my opinions about gaming. A year ago I started this blog slowly, and only posted a few things here and there. As time has gone by I have posted more and more, as well as add to the content of this blog. In 2016 I started to do reviews, post videos of game play, and even stream live. My goal with this blog and will always be to just express my thoughts on video games and the video game culture. Thanks again for reading my posts and/or viewing the other content I produce. I look forward to another year on JB The Gamer's Blog.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

HearthStone and HITMAN Major Updates...



So, two games I play quite a bit had some major updates today. First is HearthStone, this one is kind of my little guilty pleasure. I enjoy jumping into this game every now and again. But once I heard the new expansion is coming out, called "Whispers of the Old Gods", I pre-ordered the cards for $50. This will be the first time I am ready to play an expansion for this game. I can't wait to open all the packs I got later today. But not only is the expansion coming out on April 26th, Blizzard is making some balances to the game. First they are changing what Standard play is. You can only build decks for Standard play with the following cards:  Basic, Classic, Blackrock Mountain, The Grand Tournament, The League of Explorers, and New 2016 Expansion. The others are not allowed in this mode, but will be allowed in a new mode called Wild Mode. It also means you can no longer buy cards from the excluded expansions as well. In order to get them if you missed out you can only craft them with Arcane Dust. But those are not only the changes that happened with HearthStone. Blizzard is also balancing 12 cards and you can find out more information on the card changes by Clicking Here.

The second game to get a major update today is HITMAN. IO Interactive is releasing the second episode called Sapienza. This is the latest map for the game that came out on March 11th. I can't wait to dive into this new area. I really enjoyed the challenges of the last main map. Even though you play the same map over and over it allows for different approaches to the objectives. You can check out the Launch Trailer below:


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Review - Quantum Break (XboxOne)


I have always liked Remedy Studios since they put out the first Max Payne. One of my all time favorite games from early 2000s. Now Remedy has a new game called Quantum Break, which came out April 5th 2016. How good is their latest game?

I have to say, the game is a pretty good ride. But I feel it is not their best work. Quantum Break is Remedy's first Sci-Fi based video game and has a really good and interesting story. The story is where I feel the game is at it's strongest. The characters are played by real actors that have been motion captured into the game. Along with their voice acting, they get to act out their parts as well. So Quantum Break has a strong and very interesting story that keeps you playing the game. Where it falls from there is the actual game play it self.


I am not saying that the game play is bad, no it is far from bad, but it is lacking. You play as Jack Joyce the brother of a genius named Will Joyce, who creates a time machine. Of course something goes wrong in the beginning of the game which in turn gives you these powers that can control time. Being able to control time is really cool, but the situations end up being all the same. You move from place to place fighting the same guys during the action parts and during the slow parts you have to basically do puzzle platforming. This is the whole game and I felt the platforming in this game was something that could have been cut out. But in doing so it would have cut the game play hours down in an already short game. Yeah, I think you can beat this game in about 8 hours. So yes, the game is short.

Remedy tries to add more to the game by adding in the live action TV show part. That is right, you get to play the game for a few hours then after making a decision based on two choices, watch what happens depending on your choice. The live action TV show is about 40 minutes, give or take, each episode. I think there is a total of about 4 episodes per choice (total of 8 if you play the game again and choose the other choice out of the two). This is where I believe why the game feels so lacking. It seems a lot when into the production of the TV show and the game development parts suffered. Game play is a rinse and repeat, all the way till the end. And I felt that watching the live action TV show pulled me out of the immersion of the video game. But it was all worth it cause of the good story that Remedy tells in Quantum Break.


So far this review has been negative of the game, lets get to some positive things about Quantum Break: 

-First is the story, I feel this is the game's strongest point. The story of Quantum Break isn't ground breaking but it is a really interesting one about Time. Through out the game you learn how your brother built this time machine and how it broke time it self. So the rest of the game is of course being the hero and trying to fix it. The story has emotion and the science parts are pretty interesting. Like I said, it is the main reason why I kept playing. 

-Second is the time powers you get to play with. These are pretty neat. You can place a bubble around baddies that stops them in their tracks so you can unload your gun into this bubble, once the bubble pops all the bullets hit your target causing massive damage. Your other powers include the ability to run fast while everything else slows down, kind of like a speed burst. Time blast and time shield, also the ability to see enemies through walls (not sure how this ability is related to time, but maybe it is like see the future or something). You can combo these abilities to take down the multitude of enemies that come at you. 

-Thirdly is the live action TV show it self. These are very well done and interesting to watch. I know I said before that these pull you out of the game, but I did find my self excited to watch the next episode.



Overall Quantum Break is a fun game to play and watch but it ends up being too short and repetitive with its game play. Now that brings me to my final score:

JB The Gamer's Final Rating on Quantum Break: 3 out of 5 - Good Game.

For what it lacks in game play, the story makes up for it. I enjoyed exploring the non-action sections and reading the information scatter around the game. Remedy's take on time and time travel was an interesting ride. But I would wait on buying this one, maybe when it goes on sale or lowers in price. I just hope they return to Alan Wake now that Quantum Break is complete.