Category Archives: Opinion

Can Death Stranding be the new Metal Gear?


PT or Metal Gear Solid?
We were all excited to see Hideo Kojima’s return to E3 and even more excited to see his first title under Kojima Production: Death Stranding. The trailer shows a beach littered with dead crabs and sea creatures. Then, we are introduced to a naked Norman Reedus and a baby on an umbilical cord (Kojima’s self representation of breaking away from Konami?)  We hoped for a Silent Hills resurrection (you know, because of Norman Reedus and the sink baby from P.T.) but I think Kojima might be going the way of Keiji Inafume (Mega Man) and Koji Igarashi (Castlevania). Death Stranding hints at another resurrection of Metal Gear Solid –without the MGS title.  The credit screen features, along with Hideo Kojima, MGS script writer: Hitori Nojima and MGS producer Kenichiro Imaizumi.

Will Death Stranding be another version of MGS, or do you think Kojima will make a game that goes in an entirely different direction? Let us know what you think in the comments!

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Review: Battlesouls

Battlesouls: New Moba ideas
by Dark_Laharl
 I didn’t know what to expect when I first heard about Battlesouls.  I knew it was a MOBA but had no idea how it played. I decided to try the beta and was less than impressed; but I also wasn’t disappointed.
Gameplay/Controls
The controls are standard; walk with the W, A, S, and D keys on your keyboard and activate your abilities with a mouse click.  You can also switch your characters with 1, 2, and 3 number keys; no complaints here.
The gameplay is where my gripes start.  It takes too long for what it is. The game I played has an inhibitor to be captured before you attack the enemy crystals but the crystals have too much health.  If your team is not attacking it takes forever to destroy one crystal. While you are attacking, the enemy can easily capture the inhibitor and stop your attack.  The re-spawn time seems to get higher (at least, it feels like does) each time making it more difficult to go back and help complete the mission.  The entire match just feels long and tedious.
Battlesouls does bring something I have not seen to the MOBA genre: the ability to choose 3 heroes at once that you can switch on the fly.  You can start as a melee character, then switch over to a ranged, then a magic user. Every hero has a unique passive ability when you first switch to them and they also have two active-able abilities.  The game has a 3rd person style so the melee characters feel awkward to play as they slash in front of them. Aiming the melee also feels odd, but that is nothing new since I feel like all 3rd person games have weird melee mechanics.

Graphics
The graphics of Battlesouls reminds me of Team Fortress 2.  It’s cartoony and minimalistic which isn’t a bad thing; it sets the game apart from other games in the MOBA genre.

Verdict
Battlesouls
is not a horrible game; it’s just not my cup of tea. I can see it improving but it depends on the direction the developers take it.  The game is free to play with in-app purchases.  I didn’t venture too much about finding out what they sell but I know I wouldn’t bother buying it, especially if it is the heroes or skins.  Don’t dismiss it until you try it, but personally, I will play other games for now.

Games that need to die

Games that need to die
By UNDED
 
No matter how much you want to deny it, there’s always those few games series that you wish you’ll never see again. Game titles, that upon gazing at, will immediately make you cringe. The horror just never ends. No matter how much you beg, pray, and plead to the heavens, they just never get any better. Whomever is reading this, I hope to sway your poor soul to let go. Personally, I would love to put Grand Theft Auto on this list, but if repetition was the only deciding factor, Pokémon would be the undying winner. The lack of fresh ideas with old concepts is the biggest killer of these franchises.

Assassin’s Creed

Did you really think we’d miss Assassin’s Creed? The game is centered around playing your ancestors memories from the past, and ironically, makes you play the same thing with every entry over, and over again. At first, AC was a true pioneer in the sandbox genre. The story was great, if not a little convoluted. The gameplay was unlike anything we’d ever experienced; much like how Sonic first came onto the scene after years of slowly hopping over pipes. The set pieces of the past were so gorgeously rendered and meticulously recreated they could have been shown off in history museums. Even though every game had something “new” to offer  (recruiting noob assassins, exploring tombs, and taking down pirates in battleships) it didn’t venture far enough from the main selling point of the game. Climbing and killing. Those mechanics are what made Ubisoft so much money so I can’t blame them for not straying too far from it, but before long, some of us start to question what the company has in mind for the series future.

 Dragon Ball Z Budokai

At the start of this series there lies a fresh idea for fighting games; the over the shoulder, third person camera. Akin to God of War before it, debuting epic cinematics and quick-time events (which I absolution hate BecauseThey’reGlorifiedCasinoSlotMachinesAndIfThatsYourIdeaOfGamingThenGetTheFuckOuttaMyFace). Honestly, I still appreciate DBZ:B for its contribution to games by giving us something as simple as a new camera angle, but 16 years later literally jack shit has changed. You still throw yellow snowballs at each other, you still button mash, and you still stand in the middle of the fucking arena waiting to get enough testosterone built up to bleach your hair. This series almost squeezed by with the newest entry, Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butoden for stepping back and letting itself fall into a classic style, 2D fighting game, but it’s too little too late. It’s still a fighting game. Except now, they have deliberately changed nothing. Nope, fuck that! Don’t shit in my cereal and call it ketchup.

Final Fantasy

Before you go chasing me with your pitchforks and scythes, admit it, you see Final Fantasy so much that when you see the word fantasy written anywhere, you think Cloud. And if you don’t think about Cloud, you’re thinking of that comically large sword that attaches to his back like DMC Dante’s does (since nobody has money to pay someone to animate a sword fitting in a sheath).That’s really the only thing you can really say about Final Fantasy; The budget. Square was after the highest gain possible and thought they could blow their wad all on marketing instead of making a compelling game. I’ve never heard of anyone saying they played through Final Fantasy more than once per game. Never. There are a few that genuinely tried to be great games, I hear Final Fantasy X was one of them but Final Fantasy (more than any other series on this list) has made bold attempts to rob you of your money. ‘How could Final Fantasy 7 do that UNDED? I’ve bought and rebought that game a dozen times!’ Well I’ll tell you how in 3 simple words; All The Bravest.  

Monster Hunter

This needs to be a fuckin MMO already. Prepare your gear before you go out, check your weapons, potions, and supplies. Sharpen your blades. Gather friends. Trade a little. Head out to the hunt. Build campfires, hunt small game, use loot to make your gear better by painstakingly crafting every single digit of defense. Kill big game. Come back three hours later. Do it all again. Fuck that! I might as well just wake up and go to work. 

Mario

It’s quite apparent that Mario isn’t going anywhere, but I can’t be the only one getting sick of seeing his face everywhere. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not being disrespectful. Nintendo is a pillar of the gaming industry and has helped to elevate it to where it is now, but along with that is the saturation of Mario’s face in everyday culture. It’s starting to wear thin. The games aren’t bad. In all honesty they are some of the best ever, but goddamn if I hear “wahoo” one more fucking time, I’m going to grow a mustache just to rip it off in spite of him. I don’t believe Mario should die and just be gone forever, but a small five, maybe 20 year Hiatus would be great. Please, just temporarily retire him long enough for me to actually miss him. Long gone are the days that I hear the name Mario and actually get excited.

Football Games 

I know I can’t be the only one who looks at a game with the NFL logo on it and think ‘goddamn, here is another game that’s going to swell up the bargain bin and only make it harder to find good cheap games that I would actually want to play’. Maddengames come out so frequently and have such little improvements from the last title that you really could go fromMadden 98 to Madden 17 and not miss a beat. I don’t believe all sports games should disappear forever, just anything that tries to outdo the actual sport the game is based on. That doesn’t help anyone, it doesn’t make me want to play the game, it doesn’t make me want to watch football. I look at these games more often than I do Indie titles and think to myself ‘here’s something I absolutely will never fucking play, no matter how cheap it is. What a waste of useless plastic’. Other sports games that aren’t based off national teams, whether it be Basketball, Football, Hockey, or Soccer can really strive with the right developers. Just stop allowing EA to shit all over those respective sports with these repetitive games, and the faith will be restored. A perfect example of this is the NBA Street series, and even Mario Strikers (Still, Mario… fuck you). Fantastic sports games that have nothing to do with professional teams and actually inspired me to go out and play Soccer and Basketball. The closest game to break this mold in recent memory wasNHL ’14. ’14 was boasted as being more open to new players and for once in decades, I actually wanted to play a sports game with a professional team on it. 

 

Games don’t have to go extremely overboard to stay fresh. Call of Duty backed themselves into a corner by leading Modern Warfare out into space. Anything else they come up with will need to top that emotionally because cinematically, they have nowhere else to go. On the other side of that same coin, if games don’t progress and just release annually without striving to do better and giving you the same experience, before long, $60 for the same game that came out three years earlier is sounding a hell of a lot more expensive than you’d expect. I experienced this myself when I started waiting two years before buying a new Assassin’s Creed, or CoD. Only the strong survive, and if your series isn’t helping to push the gaming medium out of the “kids toy” reputation that we have (no doubt from stupid kids that want to get online and call everybody’s mom a twat), then you’re only hindering our growth. 

Thoughts on: The Division

Thoughts on: The Division 

 The Division has been out for almost a week and there are a few people who have already reached the end game. I am a fan of the game, but I always feel jealous of all these people who can play games for a living and reach those milestones first. In other ways though I don’t mind taking my time. With those words in mind, I still believe that there are a few things that could be improved for the game.

                I am only level 17 in The Division so far and level 5 in the Dark Zone and so far I have no problems with the game, I feel like I still have half the game to explore, the story is good, the gameplay is good, and the exploration of the game itself is pretty awesome. Even still, I think the game could use a little more rooftop action. There are a few rooftops you can reach but it’s only a little ways off the ground, how about we get to explore a skyscraper that’s been taken over by rioters? Or the cleaners? Or any of the bad guy factions culminating in a rooftop battle against a helicopter…..add an RPG or Rocket launcher for this area only too.


                Speaking of which, what about adding a combat area that allows the use of vehicles. Nothing fancy, no need for jets and helicopters, just cars and Humvees shooting at each other out the window. It sounds ridiculous but I’m sure someone could refine the idea and make it work. Along the same lines maybe The Division needs a vs mode that isn’t the Dark Zone, like Squad vs Squad or 4 Squads vs each other or a free for all Dark Zone style, those are popular. I don’t think I would play it personally but it would give the fan base something to do at the end game.


                Speaking of the Dark Zone, I read about how a certain amount of people have already reached the end game and now have nothing left to do besides either quit or troll the heck out of everyone else in the Dark Zone. I had a thought about this, what if these people played a “fair” game of turning rouge and helping everyone get some awesome weapons? Here is my thought. These people could go farm up some awesome weapons and carry them around then turn rouge then the manhunt begins and they just try to survive for fun, meanwhile the rest of the server tries to kill them to get these awesome weapons they drop if killed. I can see many drawbacks to this, but if it became an official gameplay mode then I could see it working.


                Those are just some thoughts about how I think The Division could be improved a bit. These probably would not be popular options for everyone, but I am sure some people would play them. What do you guys think? Would you play these modes or participate in these types of missions? Let me know in the comments.

Written by Juan C Valles (Darklaharl)