Destiny Critical Analysis

Opinion, Video Games

By William Chandler

I don’t know what the hell happened, man. Is this Destiny the one Bungie seemed super excited to make or did that game get lost somewhere in development? After all, Bungie have always been known for injecting some great personality into their games, if nothing else. Cortana’s likeability as a character, silly dialogue from the Grunts, and a sometimes playful tone really afforded Bungie’s Halo an identity unique to itself, as well as a style that we haven’t really experienced in anything since. It was something that was sorely missed in Halo 4, in my opinion, and is really what makes Destiny feel like such a letdown.

For all intents and purposes, Destiny is a fine game. It plays perfectly well (even to the point of feeling a bit like Halo in some regards), it looks gorgeous, and there are no major bugs or stability problems to speak of. But the game starts to crack apart and show its hollow shell not long into its ~18 hour ‘campaign’.

Most of these issues reside in the story, or lack thereof. The game takes place in a post apocalyptic future where a force of pure evil, simply known as the darkness, has been quite busy in its quest to devour all life in the universe. The player, as a warrior of light, must ensure that the darkness does not continue to do that by killing quite literally every living thing you see. Apparently it’s chill if you do it but fucked up if those other guys do it. And that’s really all you do. You never actually do anything else. Fuck, you don’t even push a button or touch anything other than a weapon with your hands. Need to use a computer? Your robot companion does it for you. Need to contact another human for a side mission? Your robot takes care of all that. Seriously, Guardians must be some legitimately fucked up people if they never actually do anything but shoot other creatures in the face and make quips with a robot. The player’s role as a Guardian is never really fleshed out either, considering that the game never even bothers to show you what’s at stake, nor does the final city on Earth that you are in charge of protecting ever fall into immediate danger. Honestly, you seem less like a Guardian and more like a glorified assassin by the end.

Rapid Fire Reviews: 07-09-2014

Opinion, Video Games

By William Chandler

Well, fam, I decided to make this a regular segment due to the fact that I play a metric shit ton of games, many of which I either don’t have the time, or simply do not care to write about in full. So here are some critical summations of various games that I’ve been playing lately.

The Banner Saga: 5 – 6 hours in, purchased on Steam, played on PC

Admittedly I’ve been sleeping super hard on this game because it came out way back in January and I’m just now taking the time to play it. I was looking forward to it prior to release because it is essentially a Norse themed Fire Emblem game developed by a few ex Bioware employees and I fucked heavily with Bioware games. Even the later ones that eschewed many of the core components that made their early RPGs great like actually having complex skill trees. The gameplay is solid with just enough depth and difficulty to keep one interested as well as reasonably challenged, which I certainly appreciate. The battles are played out in a fashion similar enough to a Fire Emblem or Final Fantasy Tactics game that you’ll likely feel relatively at home with the mechanics if you’ve played one of those titles, however, there are enough small differences to ensure that you won’t have a complete mastery over them upon first booting up the game. For instance, the stamina system not only limits how much you can use a character’s special abilities, but it also allows for spare stamina points to be added to regular attacks for additional damage, or they can even be used to move slightly outside of a character’s standard movement range. These mechanics, combined with the fact that most characters only have a handful of hitpoints which make them realistically squishy, ensures that moves must be thoughtfully considered during some of the more difficult battles.

The story is obviously also a major component in The Banner Saga and it is as solid as one would expect from a Bioware pedigree. Very few of the characters are particularly likable at my current point in the game but I expect that to change over time. Honestly though, the main draw is the lore in my opinion. The world is decidedly unique and interesting enough to keep me going just to learn more about the way things work.

If you like slow burn RPGs with a heavy focus on character interaction and decision making then I imagine that it is difficult to go wrong with The Banner Saga. Shout out to the dope as fuck atmospheric sound design as well.

Shovel Knight: 4 hours in, bought on the Nintendo eShop, played on a 3DS XL

Yo, this game is wicked charming. From the true 8 bit graphical stylings and soundtrack to the legitimately funny NPCs, you’d be hard pressed to not be grinning from ear to ear while playing this game. Well, that is until you get to some of the more bullshit platforming sections later on. Perhaps the 3DS d-pad just isn’t as accurate as is apparently necessary for this game, but I’ve found that many of my trips to the void are due to the slightest and most frustrating of miscalculations. That said, the difficulty is never overwhelming and it ensures that even the most annoying of areas do not overstay their welcome. Aside from that small complaint, the game feels extremely tight and responsive which lends itself well to the type of game that Shovel Knight is. That is, a 2d side scroller in a similar vein to that of the Metroid or Mega Man games of yore, but you probably already knew that considering the absurd amount of praise the game is getting from the press.

Just fucking buy it if you haven’t already. It certainly isn’t perfect, nor do I find it to be as great as many reviews suggest, but it is damn fun and just the type of thing you probably need if you’re sick of a lot of the tropes present in modern games.

The Forest: 5 – 6 hours in, bought on Steam, played on PC

Let me just say that this shit is decidedly early access. It’s still quite rough around the edges in many spots and a great deal of the content hasn’t even been implemented yet, so my evaluation of the game will likely change over time.

The Forest is an extremely thorough survival horror game with an almost obsessive focus on the survival portion of that description. Let me just say that this game is not afraid to mercilessly and completely fuck you over in an instant, and indeed that will likely be the case the first few times you play it. It certainly is never frustrating though, as the game really insists on the player learning from their mistakes of their last playthrough. And the randomly generated island layout as well as the various possible starting locations ensured that my few attempts never really felt too similar. That said, I did find myself growing bored a couple of hours into my most successful playthrough, so perhaps the advertised longevity of the game is not nearly realized in the current build.

You must gather food to avoid starvation, build a fire for warmth so you don’t freeze to death, and construct a shelter in order to avoid exhaustion, and those are just the basics of survival. It seems as though the developers plan to expand upon all of the survival aspects as game development progresses but the systems are pretty bare bones in their current form. There are only a few types of shelters and very little in terms of flora and fauna diversity, which means that hunting and gathering can often feel like a grind, but I imagine that won’t be the case in later versions.

While being stranded on an island sounds horrible enough on its own, the fact that there are mutated cannibals stalking you at every turn is really just the icing on the cake. The combat system leaves much to be desired in its current state, and it often feels like you have to dish out far too much damage to dispatch any adversaries, but the fact that it is a horror game makes that par for the course. And if the fact that it can often be a pain in the ass to find food doesn’t kill you then it is highly likely that these boyos will.

The Forest is certainly an interesting concept with some great ideas and even the fact that it is extremely early in development doesn’t stop it from being one of the most in depth survival focused games on the market currently. It’s some good fun but likely not worth the fifteen dollar price tag for the current version.

Wolfenstein Critical Analysis: TLDR: It’s aight

Opinion, Video Games

By William Chandler

Reviewed on PC using an Xbox 360 Controller

I’m not sure whether this was addressed pre-release or not, but as someone that has played a great many of the previous titles in the Wolfenstein franchise, it certainly appeared as though The New Order was going to be a reboot. Pretty much every aspect of the 2009 Wolfenstein release by Raven Software has been shed, including the occult aspects, the trans-dimensional medallion, and especially the fact that Deathshead’s army appeared to be left in a state of crippling defeat at the end of that game. So, I went into Wolfenstein: The New Order expecting an absurd, alternate history reboot of an ancient and storied over-the-top action franchise. And I mostly got that. However, there is an overwhelming sense of strangeness and intrigue to the entire game that exists in the forefront of your mind long enough to mask many of the game’s issues for several hours into its surprisingly lengthy campaign.

Since I’ve already mentioned it, let’s go ahead and deal with this oddity up front. This game, while masquerading as one, is not actually a reboot. At least, not really. A vast majority of the events from the previous games go unmentioned aside from in the most vague sense. Deathshead returns, of course, and BJ mentions in a monologue that he should have killed him when he had the chance, no doubt a reference to the events of the last game, but it does not become wholly apparent until a character present in 2009’s Wolfenstein returns as a major character a few hours into The New Order. Of course, none of this is really a problem. Without having played the previous title, one would never even know about this fact, so it really doesn’t even matter. That said, throughout the campaign I was expecting a reveal that would tie the game to its occult roots, however, that never really happened. Instead, the game chose to stick to a more pseudo-scientific approach to all of its unnatural technological advancements, which is sort of preferable. It just makes no sense that the Nazis would abandon a cultural obsession that seemed to be quite ingrained in them in the past. You’d also think that they would want to use any and all advantages that they could in order to ensure total victory, but fuck it, man, I’m tired of nitpicking.

MY ADVENTURES IN CLICKING: THE BOMBSHELL WEBSITE

News, Opinion, Video Games

by Bipol Alam

They did it.  Everything I love in the world encapsulated on one page.  Is it real?

Yes it is.

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As #Xhristian pointed out, The Division (Tom Clancy Dystopia Training Simulator) has been pushed back to Q? 2015.  I fear that by the time of its release, nuclear war will have already happened, and the training manual will be of no use to us anymore.  However, do not fret my fellow armchair-mad-max-wannabes for our savior has come, and her name is SHELLY “BOMBSHELL” HARRISON.

The Gods at 3D Realms have crafted the perfect sexy lady badass who happens to be equipped with all the knowledge we’ll need to survive Fallout 4.   Unlike the boys at The Division, (who apparently want us to die in 2015), 3D Realms has PROMISED a ROCK-SOLID release date of Q1 2015.

I know what you’re wondering – Bipol, how did you get all this information?  Well, let’s just say that I’ve been designated a prophet by our Lords in 3D Heaven, for they have given me our bible :  http://bombshellgame.com

With a click you’ll be baptized in the glory of HARD ROCK MUSIC and EDGY STEEL INDUSTRIAL TYPOGRAPHY.  If this doesn’t evoke the lame out of you, scroll down.  In the words of our savior, Shelly “Bombshell” Harrison: “PREPARE YOUR FACE”.

Is that a video in the center of your screen?  Fuck yeah it is.  If you can bear stopping the HARD ROCK MUSIC for the 3 minutes and 27 seconds then go for the click, I sure as hell couldn’t.  If someone in the comments could tell me what happens in that video, I’d appreciate it.

EDIT: Alright, I decided that my journalistic integrity would be tarnished if I didn’t watch the video.  Unfortunately they opted for some weird deus ex sci-fi kind of beep boop stuff.  Not my cup of Daniels Jackson.

WAIT – THIS IS A VIDEO GAME?  A VIDEO GAME ACTION RPG FEATURING “INTENSE STORYTELLING ACTION”?!  HOW DID THEY KNOW?

This “brilliantly brutal” top-down RPG X-core shooter is coming soon to your PC or PS4.  You should be excited.

 

 

 

 

WHAT AM I DOING? A BRIEF DISCOURSE ON WHY I HATE JRPGS

Opinion, Video Games

by Bipol Alam

“Woah! Look at that title!  Man, that is such a strange opinion, I bet.  He doesn’t like JRPGs? How does he live!  Everyone loves JRPGs.  They are probably the most rigorously built, engaging, innovative genre of video game I have ever played. “

–       No one ever (Tristan Tran)

JRPGs are like skinner boxes for pre-pubescent boys who just learned how to massage their boners.

“JRPG’s are good because of the plot and character development”.

Oh.  That makes sense actually.  The mechanics of JRPGs are rote to showcase the true source of entertainment, the plot.  I get it, okay?  It’s like comic books – a little male fantasy to escape in.  A super powerful generic protagonist boy with his hot 12-year old kid-sister-love-interest travels for 60 hours killing wild animals in order to save the world.  Intense.  How many people can I fuck in the game?  Zero. That’s okay.  I have 60 hours to obsess over the dialog and allergy problems of my kid-sister.  What other game can provide you with that?

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OMG BONER ALERT

How the fuck can she have allergies with that Voldemort-esque snake-nose.  Oh wait – that’s her O-face.  Got it.  Still can’t fuck her though.  I wonder if someone has drawn her nudie bits for me.

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Meow

Oh jesus – submissive cat poses get me off like nothing else.  I blurred the bits that may offend people.  Then again, if you are offended by submissive cat poses, why are you on a website named Nerd Orgy?  Seriously.  Who thought that was a good name?

Why do they deprive me of sex with these cat women?  These games are horny generators.  Oh wait – brain blast.   JRPGs are the ultimate form of foreplay.   60 hours of it.  After surviving a Tales game, you’ll have the stamina of a God.  Actually, I changed my mind.

I think turn-based RPGs were made to maximize fap time in between combat rounds.  You have a good 15 seconds to get one out during the enemy combat phase.  If you can’t get off during the round, there is always a chance during the Victory Orgy.

That 40-plus-year-old-American-feigning-youth mating call makes my loins dance.   It’s like a strange combination between M.I.L.F.-ness and pedophilia that drives any Tales-Of attracted male insane. If you don’t touch yourself in these moments, you’re either a monk, or asexual.  Hell, I can’t even imagine how RED 2 GO the actors are in the studio.  I wonder how many JRPG voice actors have slept with Troy Baker.  Probably a ton.  I’d sleep with Troy Baker.

I take everything back.  JRPGs are everything I want games to be.