Video – Fortnite Battle Royale: The Path to #1 Volume 02

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Not my best, not my worst.

63 leaves room for improvement.

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Paul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

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South Park: The Fractured But Whole – Review

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Of course I want more South Park.

Picking up where The Stick of Truth left off we find the lads of South Park still adventuring. This time they are playing super heroes and they must find the source of evil that is causing crime in their beloved town.

The Stick of Truth was a huge homage to the South Park universe and The Fractured But Whole is no different. Even though I haven’t seen much of the show over the last few years there are still familiar call-outs and references. There is a strong chance that I missed some of the humor since I haven’t watched the show in some time. That didn’t diminish my enjoyment of this game in any way.

From technical stand point the game is good but problematic. The graphics look just like the show and probably could easily be mistaken for an episode at any given point. Any sight or sound could have been straight out of the show. Problems with battles and actions popped up throughout the game however. At one point in the game I was trying to do an encounter versus a group of sixth graders but as soon as one of them went into a micro-aggression the battle broke. I would interrupt the micro-aggression so that I could get some free damage but after doing so the battle just stopped. Literally just stopped. I could take no turns with any of my characters nor would any of the sixth graders attack me. After quitting and reloading a save twice with the same results my only resolution was to go do something else then come back to this particular encounter. Later in the game when you have to use Fartkour, basically a jumping maneuver, it would not work at all. No matter when I pressed the button I was prompted for the event would fail and I would die. This then had to reload the game only to have it not work again. My fix for this was to quit the game, actually close it on my PS4, and reload it completely. First time it loaded back in I successfully completed the sequence.

The combat in the game is similar to the original game but slightly reworked. The turn based mechanic returns as well as a mix of near and ranged attacks to be used. The first change a player will notice is the introduction of lanes. You can move your character, within a certain amount of space, to direct your attacks or to avoid incoming attacks. This can also help you maximize the effectiveness of your team but you’ll need to be mindful of the capabilities of your chosen teammates. The other big change is the addition of artifacts, changeable items that add to your overall fighting power. You can craft of find these but be sure to keep your best equipped so that you are keeping up with the level of enemies you will be facing.

There are things, like crafting, that were added into the game that I’m not sure they were a good addition. It adds a level of complexity and management that is likely welcome to those that are familiar with these systems in other games but for players like myself it feels like a layer of confusing busy work that keeps me from enjoying the game more. This may just be a matter of personal preference.

As much as I enjoyed going down to South Park to have myself a time, again, I’m good with where this game left off. The predictability of the plot didn’t diminish my enjoyment of the game but at the end of it I just didn’t want any more of it.  Everything I got from my one play through was all I felt I needed. Most likely I will not be picking up any of the DLC for the game unless there is some reveal that shows a major reason to do so.

dudewantshisrug-profile

Paul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

Video – Fortnite Battle Royale: The Path to #1 Volume 01

Image via epicgames.com

Sometimes I do better than others.

30 isn’t the best but it’s ok.

dudewantshisrug-profile

Paul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

Video – Fortnite Battle Royale: The Path to #1

Image via epicgames.com

I haven’t gotten much if any better at this game but I’m enjoying it nonetheless.

45th wasn’t my best but it hasn’t been my worst either.

dudewantshisrug-profile

Paul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

Video – Fortnite Battle Royale

Image via epicgames.com

Fortnite is still in early access and the horde mode is pay access but the Battle Royale is free.

I’m not big into the Battle Royale mechanics but I still had a good time playing the game and will likely play some more of it although I don’t know how much.

dudewantshisrug-profile

Paul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

Destiny 2 – Review

Image via xbox.com

The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing people he didn’t exist. The greatest trick Destiny 2 will ever pull is convincing people it is a good game.

The last city on Earth is being attacked by a zealot Cabal known as Ghaul. He and his Red Legion have arrived to take The Traveler and its light from all of the Guardians. It is up to you, guardian, to fight the Cabal, free The Traveler, and return the Light to all of the Guardians.

The opening of this game is strong but the game quickly wanes. The first mission is familiar to anyone that played the beta and it used to setup the rest of the game. You’ll loose all of you abilities and gear that you and have to start over from scratch. The mission does well to setup the direness of the situation only to have it immediately trivialized by the rest of the game. The next thing you do is get your light back just like Stella got her groove back. Your tasked to go to where a piece of the Traveler is and commune with it to get your Light back. It is unclear how or why this part of the Traveler is here or what it does to restore your Light.

The story continues to unravel as it progresses. For whatever reason you receive your Light back, other Guardians do not. Why they can’t simple go to the Traveler shard like you did and get their Light back is unknown. Seems like they should be able to since you keep going back to it to unlock you other subclasses. The idea of you being the only Guardian with Light breaks the premise of much of the game. While all the characters in the story are now afraid of death, you and your fireteam are just fine. Yes, you are the only Guardian with Light and the ability to resurrect, that is until you join up with other players and then they are also somehow good with Light.

If part of the premise were the only problem with the story that would be fine but the game also doesn’t tell a good story nor does it do it well. Those that played the original Destiny will applaud at the story in Destiny 2. Step away from that and one can see that it is still a bad story. Bungie falters back to it prose of telling a story by not telling it. Ghaul comes out of nowhere and for no reason. There is little backstory given to him or his motivations. Near the end you get a touch of his story but not in a meaningful way. The addition of cutscenes and dialogue are an improvement over the original game but this sequel is still lacking a decisive narrative. By the end of the main story one is left to wonder why events transpired and what they mean to the overall world. There is less of the missions of running somewhere and scanning something but most if not all of the missions turn out to be go to a place and shoot all the bad guys.

After finishing the campaign there are a lot of things to do, unfortunately most of them are empty tasks. The open world is there to explore and patrols are provided for something to do. These feel like cookie-cutter rehashes of the original game just on new backdrops. Most players will spend their time in either the Strike or Crucible areas. Strikes are for the PVE players and this quickly becomes repetitive. With few Strikes to rotate through there is little to experience in this mode other than grinding for loot. The Crucible it the PVP area for those that want it. The biggest change is that teams are now four players instead of six as in the original game. The modes have changed a bit and that at least makes games play out differently.

One thing you can’t do after finishing the campaign is replay it. There are no markers on the map to go back to a story mission. There is no daily story mission to do as there was in the original game. The only way I’ve noticed to replay story missions within your character is to get them from Ikora as Meditations. Doing these will get you some rewards and increase your reputation with her. The strange issue is that she will only give you three of them and they do not reset on a daily basis. Likely this is a weekly reset and you’ll have to wait until then to replay any other story missions.

If you’ve ever heard it said “the grind is real” then this may be the realest grind you can get. The never-ending quest for better gear will have you chasing loot through all the activities. Along with these you’ll be getting reputation with NPC’s to get you even more loot. The power levels tend to taper off at a point and the gear you are getting will not be any better than some gear you already have. This can become a frustration when you don’t make any progress for all the time you can easily sink into the game.

The things the game does well it does extremely well. The first thing you may notice is the graphics. It is as if though removing the shackles of the previous generation console has allowed Bungie to create much richer and more detailed textures. Also, most if not all of the draw in animations are gone. With the absence of Paul McCartney and Marty O’Donnell the music has surprising improved. It sounds fantastic and helps to augment the visuals and moods. A major improvement to Destiny 2 over original Destiny are the maps. Not only are public events visible with countdown timers there are now fast travel points to different parts of maps. This drastically improves the playability of the open world part of the game.

Even with all of its improvements, Destiny 2 is still a shallow game. The story is barely more than surface deep and most of a player’s time will be spent replaying activities over and over. Not only are the activities a grind, Bungie also repeats missions and strikes over the same game space. Marked improvements over the original don’t fully justify the game if you didn’t play its predecessor. Players new to the game will likely recognize its flaws more readily than those returning from the original.

dudewantshisrug-profile

Paul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy – Review

Image via naughtydog.com

You know you want more Uncharted, even without Nathan Drake.

The quest for fortune can make strange bedfellows. Case in point Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross. Chloe a former flame of Nathan Drake is seeking one of the world’s greatest unfound treasures, one that was her father’s obsession. Nadine is in a bit of a slump, she lost her private army backing a group that ultimately got taken down by the Drakes. Both want the money that the treasure will bring them but both are looking for something more than material wealth, a redemption of sorts. These ladies go through the highs and lows of pursuing their fortune as well as becoming tenuous friends. The adventure ahead holds their dreams but also some of their nightmares.

Originally announced as DLC to Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, it becomes clear to see why this became a standalone game. Clocking in at around ten hours, depending on how much time to take to explore or look for collectibles, the game is very substantial for its $40 price tag. Most of the game is true to the Uncharted series but at times it feels wholly different.

Gone are Nathan and Sully but here are Chloe and Nadine. The later are well tailored replacements for the series former stars but they take their places without being carbon copies. Chloe and Nadine have characteristics of Nathan and Sully but are also very distinct personalities on their own. Those familiar with Chloe will feel comfortable with her as the wise cracker to Nadine’s gruff but wise ways. Even though both characters had appeared in previous games the story of The Lost Legacy slowly reveals more about each of them. This story is about both of them moving on from their past and accepting their future, be it apart or together.

Naughty Dog takes a hard swing with this game’s narrative and nails it. The game uses all the established aesthetics and environments of the Uncharted franchise. Although the game is set in India alone it looks like it could have been a chapter in almost any previous game. At times the location is as much a character in the story as another, whether it exploring for treasure or solving puzzle to progress, and it is an active part of the game. One thing that was quite unique compared to other games was the open world aspect employed in one of the chapters. Uncharted is known for its linear gameplay but this chapter allows players to explore and progress at their own pace. It is the player’s choice to go straight through the story or explore all the nooks and crannies they can get to.

As the story plays out, the tale of Chloe and Nadine is an equal part of the narrative as their joint quest is. There is a cycle of the two earning and losing each other’s trust and friendship that makes the game have weight. The human element of trying to understand each other is a key part of this relationship. There is no shortage of both heartbreaking and joyful moments.

Building on the prowess of their previous effect Naughty Dog has made a very gorgeous game. Even with the limitations of an original PS4 the scenery was awe-inspiring enough to make regular use of the game’s photo mode. There were times that not only the view but the game play were reminiscent of not only the titular Uncharted series but games like the modern Tomb Raider and Horizon: Zero Dawn.

Every rose has its thorn and this game’s biggest issue is its most familiar – combat. Always the bane of any Uncharted game, the combat is clumsy and clunky at times. One can get infuriated when you want to take cover but end up vaulting or jumping to your death instead. Not only are the mechanics not ideal, it sometimes looks like the character is jumping to try to break a brick Mario style. Perhaps all the motion-capturing budget was used on the cinemantics.

If the question posed is “can there be an Uncharted without Nathan Drake?” then The Lost Legacy is a resounding “yes” for an answer. Not only did it stay true to the feel and formula of the series it helped it move forward in meaningful ways. It would be more surprising to not see more of Chloe and Nadine. The only concern is that it may not come from Naughty Dog due to their other commitments but then again they seem to have a commitment to quality rather than turn-around time on games.

 

Enjoy some more pictures….

I like pizza.

 

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Paul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.