Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Blog Status Update - Fall 2017

This gaming holiday season really kicked my ass. I got pretty ambitious with how many games I wanted to review, but ended up canceling one review and falling behind with the rest. I just had to pick two games that came out early in the season that had over 60+ hours of gameplay. It really set me back. Though I did eventually catch up, but still behind on one of my reviews.

The reviews I completed these season are posted up at GrownGaming.com, please check them out here:

Since I fell behind on my reviews this season, I haven't been able to post about building my cousin's PC back in September or update my PC's website with the upgrades I did to my computer in October. I am hoping to at least get to one of these by the end of the year.

In other news, I plan to do more reviews of smaller games next year. For 2017 I mostly stuck to AAA games. But since the whole EA and Battlefront 2 thing, I have fallen less in love with big franchise games. There are a bunch of the indie and AA games I'd like to play and review, with a far less focus on AAA games in 2018. Of course most of my reviews will be over at GrownGaming.com, but I will also focus on some here on my blog as well. I'd like to finally catch up on my back-log of Steam games in 2018.

I also plan to build another park in Planet Coaster next year. I know I haven't done the video tour yet of Wonderland, but I haven't gotten to start on that cause I fell behind with my reviews. I hope to have that done early 2018 and start my new park around February/March of 2018. The plan is to post status updates through-out the year like I did this year.

Oh and I started a group on Steam that basically focuses on my reviews of games that are also sold through Steam. The reviews link back to my blog and GrownGaming.com, but I wanted to point out this page because I will also have reviews of some games directly in Steam only. So check out my group if you are interested and drop me a line or two or maybe even join the group. You can check it out here:  http://steamcommunity.com/groups/JBtheGamer

Well that pretty much sums up what I wanted to talk about in this Blog Status Update. I'd like to wish everyone a Happy Holidays.

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 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.





Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Review - Has Been Heroes


Has-Been Heroes is an action roguelike strategy game developed by Frozenbyte and published by GameTrust. It was released on the PS4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch on March 28th 2017.

I'll admit, I only came across this game because it was a part of the Nintendo Switch bundle I pre-ordered back in January. But I ended up enjoying my time spent with the game.

Has-Been Heroes is like none other game I have played before. The best way to describe it is it reminds me of The Darkest Dungeon. The reason for this is the fact that if anyone of your party members die, you have to start all over again. And you will die a lot in this game. At first this can be annoying, but once you get over it, the game becomes almost addicting. I found my self saying, just one more play through....five hours later I am still playing.


The story of the game is rather simple. A rogue is on her way to the castle hoping to run into the heroes of legend. The warrior and wizard have been summoned to the castle for a task ordered by the King. Of course the rogue meets up with the has-been heroes and they agree to allow her to join them. The King then tasks the heroes with escorting his daughters to school, as the road there has been crawling with monsters. So the five of them set off on their journey to the school. Along the way an evil spirit sets loose many monsters to attack the Has-Been Heroes and thus the game begins.

Each area is procedurally generated and the game starts off with only two areas to conquer. The goal of said area is to reach the boss and defeat him. Along the way you can run into merchants, camps, spell vendors, and treasure boxes. Each of these will have random items you can buy or find. Collecting said items can help you survive the many battles that you will have along your path to the boss. Once you reach and defeat the boss in an area, another area opens up and you guessed it another boss to kill. If you are successful in defeating both bosses the game ends and starts over from the beginning. This can also happen if any of the three party members die during your travels. Yup, you only get one life and once you die the game starts all over again losing all spells and items. A fresh start to say the least. This may sound annoying, but like I said before once you die the first time or beat the first two bosses you quickly understand what Has-Been Heroes is all about.


Tactics and strategy is the heart of this game. Plan your moves wisely, and take full advantage of the pause button. See, during any battle with the many enemies you can encounter or bosses you can fight, the combat is simple. The rogue gets three hits, wizard two hits, and warrior one hit. Of course the warrior is the strongest of the three and hits pretty hard. But items can help raise the damage of the other two party members. The interesting thing about the combat is when one party member attacks the game pauses, letting you switch party members and move them around the three lanes. How this helps is knowing the enemies that are attacking you down those three lanes. It is very similar to Planets vs Zombies. Enemies attack down all three lanes, and you can move your party members depending on which ever enemy is closest. But the strategy is to match the party member with the enemy of similar stamina. Monster's can have a range of stamina from one point to five points. What you want to do is switch around your party members to knock out the stamina matching their attack number and then switching in another party member to deliver the final blow. If done correctly, you can combine some deadly combos this way. So it is always best to plan your moves and attacks. Of course the game doesn't make this easy. It throws in some randomness to make things harder and thus ends up with you dying a lot.

Though, dying is ok in this game. See, whether you die or defeat all the bosses your reward is unlocking more Heroes, Items, Monsters, and Areas. To unlock these you must collect souls, and souls are only collected by fighting the battles in an area. So if you mess up or the RNG is unfair, the souls you collected are totaled up and you see what you have unlocked. Starting over from the beginning is not so bad, because now you have more chances of getting better items in which you just unlocked during your next play through. It is hard to describe, but once you play this game it can become very hard to put down. You'll always end up saying to your self, just one more time and then before you know it five hours have past.


At first glance it may seems there is not much to this game. Go through random areas, fight monsters, collect souls, die or defeat all the bosses and then rinse and repeat. But the more you unlock, the cooler the items become and monsters you fight. Adding to the challenge of the game.

Conclusion:

Overall the game is fun and can get pretty addicting at times. I found it hard to put down once I picked it up. But the RNG can be very unfair at times and can leave you demoralized. I really liked the combat style, it is unlike any I have seen before. If you are looking for a roguelike strategy tactics game, then pick up Has-Been Heroes. Its fun for what it offers and for $20 it can't be beat.

Final Score: 3/5 - Good Game

Friday, March 31, 2017

WonderLand - My Planet Coaster Theme Park


Welcome to Wonderland, a place of wonder and adventure. Recently I have gotten back into Planet Coaster. A theme park simulation game where you can build almost anything you want. You can check out my review I did of the game back in early December 2016 by clicking here.

This post is about my latest park I am building in Planet Coaster. I have called it Wonderland and first up is the Fairy-tale section at the beginning of the park.


First up is a easy going roller coaster called Grendel. It fit well with the Fairy-tale theme, so I decided to use it once I was able to build up some cash. See, I am playing this map on Challenge mode, which means you start with limited funds and try to run a park without going into the red. It took some time and as you can see the area is rather bare, because I was strapped for cash. Once I was able to build up some funds I built Grendel, which helped secure more funds to further build out the park.


This little section near the entrance of the park is where the guests go to get their food and drink. I find that guests are always thirsty more then hungry. So keeping up with their demand was rather challenging at first. But I was able to find a nice balance which kept the guests happy.


The greenish roller coaster you see in the back is called the Green Dragon. The second and very successful roller coaster in the Fairy-tale section. It filled the guests desires for thrills and made me a lot of money.


All that cash coming in from the other two roller coasters allowed me to build the main star of the Fairy-tale section of Wonderland. This epic coaster is called the Schloss Blauwinkel. It was created by the Steam user Xepi88 in the Steam Workshop. I decided to add some coasters from the Workshop. It was rather easy to download and install them. Really all you have to do is just find what you want and hit the Subscribe button and boom it is downloaded and installed into your game right away. The Schloss Blauwinkel impressed me so much I had to add it to Wonderland. It is currently the guests favorite and is always crowded. If you ever decide to pick up Planet Coaster, head on over to the Steam Workshop for the game and add this awesome coaster to your park. Your guests will love it. Here is another look at this amazing coaster.


The Fairy-tale section is rather small since I had limited funds. But I really wanted to add a Pirate section. Schloss Blauwinkel pulled in a ton of cash which allowed me to build another section with out to much worry. So coming soon in a future post will be about Pirate Cove, the newest section of Wonderland.



Thursday, March 9, 2017

Gaming Status Update - Winter 2017


About a month back I announced on here that I would be writing most of my reviews and other articles on a website site called GrownGaming.com. It is owned by one guy and he does a pretty good job writing quick gaming news and feature articles. I reached out to him and became the reviewer at his site. That is pretty much why the amount of posts have dropped on my blog, by a lot. Don't worry though, I still plan for the foreseeable future to continue to post some reviews and games under $30 articles here. But my reviews of games and such will mostly be present on GrownGaming.com.

Some of the up coming reviews I plan to post here on my blog are the following games:


  • Dead Effect
  • Halo Wars 2
  • Batman: Telltale Series
  • Torment: Tides of Numenera
I hope to have at least one of those games reviewed and posted here this month. But it would mean a lot if you could support my articles at GrownGaming.com and visit that site on a regular basis. Some of my articles shown there are the following:

I am currently working on a review for Horizon Zero Dawn and Breath of the Wild, which I hope to have released on GrownGaming.com this month. I got a little carried away with how many games I wanted to review recently but narrowed it down to the two I said above.

That is pretty much what I have been up to the early quarter of 2017. It is a new and exciting adventure for me. I hope to be writing articles for GrownGaming.com for a long time. I just want to say, thank you for all the support and hope you continue to support this blog and GrownGaming.com. Till next time, keep on gaming...

Monday, February 13, 2017

Darkest Dungeon - Games Worth Playing Under $30

Darkest Dungeon is a side-scrolling turn-based RPG developed by Red Hook Studios. Recruit, train, and lead heroes into the depths of the Darkest Dungeon. Your heroes will face unimaginable horrors, which will cause physical and psychological stress on them. Can you survive the Darkest Dungeon?

At first I really enjoyed this game. The voice actor alone with the amazing writing is enough to play this game. How he delivers the lines is awesome. The narrator is the only voice in this game. He explains the story along with the horrors of the action as you play through the dungeons. I could listen to this guy talk all day long and fits the mood of the game. But the grind and the RNG can turn this game into a unsatisfying adventure. You can spend hours building up your perfect team of heroes, only for some RNG dice roll to ruin your day and wipe them all out. Boy, this game is hard as shit. It can take about 80+ hours to beat it, but those 80+ hours will be spent grinding through the same areas over and over till you finally beat the odds and win.



What makes this game worth playing for under $30 is the fact that it is fun and interesting. You have to manage your team of heroes through each dungeon so they can gain more power to defeat the final level. But along the way your heroes will get diseased and stressed out. So you have to use the facilities at town to relieve-stress and cure them of their illnesses. The endless supply of heroes is crazy, but since death is permanent you will need them. Like I said above, the RNG in this game is brutal. You could be doing great in a dungeon, then the RNG will turn the tide and wipe your whole party out and there is nothing you can do about it. Luckily the developers are adding different modes to the game which will reduce the amount of grind it takes to beat it. Till then, Darkest Dungeon is still worth picking up for under $30.


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Writing Articles For GrownGaming.com


Some of you may have noticed that I have been promoting articles from GrownGaming.com on my Twitter account. This is because I have signed up to be a writer on that site for game reviews. Starting this week I will be focusing my game reviews for GrownGaming.com, so please check them out. This means that far less posts will be happening here on my blog. I will still post some reviews here and even continue the Games Worth Playing Under $30 series, along with some other future posts.

So this is an official announcement that I will not be featuring my articles on GrownGaming.com. The one thing I have to say is it is a very well thought out website featuring Video Game reviews, previews, news and feature articles. The owner of the site is a very nice guy who is a gamer that loves to write about video games. The site also features a lot of guest articles from other writers out there. I look forward to my new adventure at GrownGaming.com and will support this site the best I can. Because I want to see it grow and grow in the coming months. So please, keep an eye on my twitter feed for future articles posted on this site not only from me but other writers as well. Keep gaming on my friends...

-Growngaming.com
-Growngaming Twitter Account
-JBtheGamer's Twitter Account

Monday, January 23, 2017

JB The Gamer's First Quarter 2017 Games & Review Release Schedule


I want to follow a schedule in 2017 for the game reviews I want to do this year. So I created a schedule of the games that are coming out and my schedule for when I would like the review of that game to be posted on my blog. So here is a list of games I intend to play and review for the first quarter for 2017.

January 2017
  • Resident Evil 7 (01/24/2017) - Review 2/10/2017
February 2017
  • Nioh 02/07/2017 - Review 2/24/2017
  • Sniper Elite 4 (2/14/2017) - Review 3/3/2017
  • Halo Wars 2 (2/21/2017) - Review 3/10/2017
  • Horizon Zero Dawn (2/28/2017) - Review 3/17/2017
March 2017
  • Legend of Zelda BotW (3/3/2017) - Review 4/7/2017
  • Ghost Recon Wildlands (3/7/2017) - Review 3/31/2017
  • Has Been Heroes (3/31/2017) - Review 4/14/2017
April 2017
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (4/28/2017) - Review 5/12/2017

Of course the review date is not set in stone and is subject to change. I don't want to rush out a review or if I don't finish the game after three months of release, I will not do a review of that game. I hope this schedule will give a better understanding of when to expect a review of the games I intend to play.

Also, here is a refresh of the meanings of the scores I give to games I review:

5/5 = Amazing Game
4/5 = Great Game
3/5 = Good Game
2/5 = Decent/OK Game
1/5 = Crappy Game
0/5 = Total Garbage

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Stardew Valley - Games Under $30 Worth Playing


Stardew Valley reminds me a lot of Harvest Moon, and it should because it has a lot of the same features. You inherit an old run down farm from your grandfather in a small town called Stardew Valley. From there you are left with pretty much doing anything you want.

In Stardew Valley you can farm crops, raise animals, build things, explore the local town, adventure and discover things in the near by cave, socialize with the locals, get married, have children, the list goes on. Of course by doing most of these things you can make money, which allows you to buy seeds and other things for your farm. The game has four seasons and each season allows only specific crops to grow during that season. Stardew Valley also allows you to upgrade five skills which are; Mining, Farming, Fishing, Combat, and Foraging. As you progress through the skills, they unlock different things in the game such as new crafting items, cooking recipes, and new areas to explore.

Stardew Valley was created by one designer and boasts a huge amount of features. Even though the graphics are pixelated, the game is still amazing for what it does. For only $15 Stardew Valley is definitely a game worth playing for under $30.


Stardew Valley is available on PS4, Xbox One, PC, and soon the Nintendo Switch.

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Nintendo Switch Presentation


Nintendo had their Switch presentation on Friday morning in Japan (Thursday night here in the USA). It only ran for about an hour but confirmed 100% the information on the price, launch date, and launch titles. The Nintendo Switch will launch March 3rd 2017 world wide at $299.99. Nintendo also showed off what the Switch can do and how the Joy-Cons work.

The biggest title at launch for the system is Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild. Which releases on March 3rd, 2017 along with the system it self. This marks the first time ever, in Nintendo's history, a Legend of Zelda game launching with a hardware launch. This for me is pretty exciting news. I can't wait to pick up the system and Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild on March 3rd, 2017. The other games launching on that date with the system were rather unimpressive, but included Just Dance 2017, Skylanders: Imaginators, Super Bomberman R, and 1-2-Switch. Nintendo spent a lot of time during the presentation showing off 1-2-Switch. The game boils down to a bunch of mini games that show off how the Joy-Cons work with their HD Rumble. A new technology built into their Joy-Cons that is suppose to be the next level of rumble in a controller. I wasn't impressed and didn't really care, but I understand that Nintendo likes to innovate, which is a good thing for the industry. Another big software title for the Nintendo Switch is SKYRIM. Yes, Bethesda confirmed that Elder Scrolls 5: SKYRIM will be coming to the Nintendo Switch. One of the best games in the industry will now be portable. But the game doesn't release till the Fall of 2017. It would have been more epic if this was a launch title as well, but I understand Nintendo wouldn't want that big of a game to hurt Zelda sales at launch. Last but not least, there will be a new Mario game called Super Mario Odyssey and that will not be released till the Holiday of 2017. At least we don't have to wait years for it, just 8 months or so.

As unimpressive as their presentation was, I am sold on the Nintendo Switch and have already pre-order my system with Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Can't wait to get my hands on Nintendo's new system and I hope this is a successful console for them. I really don't want to see Nintendo fail again, like they did with the Wii U. Till March 3rd comes around, game on my friends.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Review - Space Hulk DeathWing


I was hoping for DeathWing to become the Vermintide for Warhammer 40k, but sadly that wasn't the case. Space Hulk DeathWing is far from the co-op survival games and is more or less just another First-Person Shooter. DeathWing is developed by Streum on Studio and Cyanide. It is published by Focus Home Interactive.

Graphics

Visually DeathWing looks good, I can't really complain about anything here. The graphics are done very well and are powered by the Unreal Engine 4. Space Hulk DeathWing looks awesome, they nailed the grim-dark atmosphere of Warhammer 40k. The art work and detail in every map is just absolutely amazing. This is one thing that the developers got right. Though DeathWing does suffer from some performance issues, which were really bad at launch, but a patch was released to fix them. Even with the patch, the game can get sluggish when there is a lot of things going on.

Sound

Another area that the developers did very well. The voice acting and sounds add to the atmosphere of the game. Space Marines sound like just as you would expect a Space Marine to sound in the Warhammer 40k universe. The music adds to the tension when loads of Xenos come rushing at you. Though, when walking around there is not much music playing. It only shows up during high octane action areas. The sound effects are pretty spot on to how the guns sound when they shoot and the steps you take in your Terminator armor. I really didn't have much complaint about the sound work in Space Hulk Deathwing. It works for the game.

GamePlay

Now here is where things start to fall apart in DeathWing. You have two options when you start up the game, play the single-player campaign or play multiplayer online. The real meat and potatoes here is the single-player. The Multiplayer is lacking in every way. I'll get to that in a minute, lets start things off at the single-player section.

Single-Player starts you off as a Librarian of the Dark Angels 1st company of Space Marines. You are accompanied by two other Space Marines, who are your AI driven brother in arms. This is all fine and dandy at first but after a few chapters you realize they are just there to keep you alive. You cannot give them anymore weapons other then the basic weapons. Your only choice is to have one guy heal, which he cannot use any other weapon then the Bolter for the rest of the game, and the other Space Marine becomes the Heavy Support. But in reality you find out that there is no classes either. The Heavy Support can die as fast as you or your healer. They are both the same, except one can heal and the other can use slightly more weapons. This makes for very basic cannon fodder AI buddies, but god forbid you lose the healer. You can't survive with out the healer.

The only person who gets upgrades is you, the player. You unlock more weapons and skills as you progress through the single-player campaign. Most of the weapons you unlock your other AI buddies can't use, which really sucks. I ended up just leaving them the same when I first started the game, the other weapons they could use didn't help me much. At the end of each chapter you get three skill points to put into three skill trees. One deals with psyker abilities, which are really cool and help a lot, the other two trees deal with utility and survival. Choose wisely, because once you save your choice you can't undo them later. As nice as that sounds, it really only makes you the stand out character. The other two Space Marines that follow you around are the same as when they started. I really wish Space Hulk DeathWing had more options for your AI buddies. Allow more weapons to be used or even classes such as a tank, healer, etc. But no, you are stuck with the same options since the beginning of the game for them.



As far as gameplay goes in Space Hulk DeathWing, it is pretty basic. DeathWing has been compared to Left 4 Dead and Killing Floor, but I don't see that. The Xenos are pretty much the same except for a few. You have your cannon fodder Tyranids, Melee Tyranids, and then Tank Melee Tyranids. Some of the Tyranids can spit at you or become invisible but I didn't see much of a difference in combat style from them. I noticed the cannon fodder (human/tyranid hybrids) would shoot weapons at you and the others just did nothing but Melee. Unlike Left 4 Dead or Killing Floor where the zombies or zed each had a purpose and you had to use different tactics to fight them. In Space Hulk DeathWing the Tyranid can be smashed to death or shot and either way didn't matter, no tactics involved just point and shoot. Except for the Tank Melee Tyranids (BroodLords), these require more tactics then the others because they can pretty much kill you quickly and take a lot of hits to bring down. That is why I say this game is more of a First-Person Shooter with spats of Xenos rushing at you every now and again till you reach the end of the chapter. All you have to do is point and shoot, and that tactic will be enough to get you through the campaign.

Of course you would think you would be able to have more say in your tactics in Multiplayer, right. Wrong, Multiplayer is just the single-player with none of the progression saved. Yup, you heard right. Each time you play online your skills start all over again. Whats the point if you are just going to be starting from the beginning each time you play online with your friends. No progression, no loot, nothing. A huge opportunity missed here. It could have been the Vermintide of Warhammer 40k or fun like Left 4 Dead and Killing Floor. But no, the real game is the single-player.

Story

The story in Space Hulk DeathWing is the only interesting thing that kept me going through the campaign. What happens is a Space Hulk appears out of the warp and the Deathwing, the Dark Angels Elite Space Marines, are sent to investigate. As soon as you arrive the Librarian, played by you, gets visions of something within this Space Hulk. As you fight your way through the chapters you discover what that something is and what must be done for the good of man kind. If you like Warhammer 40k, then the story will be interesting, but if you are new to Warhammer 40k it might fly over your head. Space Hulk Deathwing misses a big opportunity to lore dump on you. It is like the developers forgot to put in information about the universe of Warhammer 40k. They just assume you know everything and can follow along.

Conclusion

Space Hulk DeathWing is a game made for the fans of Warhammer 40k. They got the art, atmosphere, and sound design right. But from there the game pretty much falls apart and just becomes a basic First-Person Shooter that tries to be like other co-op survival games. Multiplayer is useless and single-player is the only thing worth playing. If you can stand the mindless hordes of Tyranids coming at you again and again till the end of the game, and with no explanation of the lore in this amazing universe.

Final Rating

2 out of 5 - OK Game.



Space Hulk DeathWing is currently available on Steam and in 2017 to Xbox One & PS4.