Video Game Tuesday: E3 2019 Reactions

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m back with a look at this years Christmas in June for gamers. It’s my E3 2019 Reactions!

Microsoft: I wasn’t expecting to hear a name regarding the next-gen console when they teased Project Scarlett. Other than that the conference was rather lackluster and was mostly teasers with a notable lack of gampleay trailers for those games. One notable title that was announced, at least for me, was one that is set to for release next year, Tales of Arise the next Tales of game. Thankfully Tales of Arise will release on more than just the Xbox One with releases on both PC and the PlayStation 4 as well.

Ubisoft: The only real thing of note was the confirmation of the leak that occurred shortly before the conference that said that the next Watch Dogs game would take place in London and would allow you to play as any NPC in the game. That last was a bold move, but I’ll believe it when I play it as other games have tried it before and those NPCs were mostly bland and uninteresting characters to play as. Other than that it wasn’t that interesting a conference.

Bethesda: I had hoped for something interesting here, but overall it wasn’t that awe inspiring so they get a failing mark here.

EA: Mostly focused on Star Wars Fallen Order, but as I’ve never considered EA anything but despicable I wasn’t expecting anything to really impress me and I wasn’t disappointed with that expectation.

Square Enix: They showed off the Marvels Avengers game, which is probably being released too soon. The fact that people will look at it and expect certain actors to portray their favorite heroes is only a bad thing and is going to cause issues. Other than that it wasn’t that great a conference, but the appearance of Yoshi-P on stage to the reception he got was heartening.

Nintendo: And here is the big winner of this year’s E3, Nintendo blew it out of the park by announcing multiple things including the inclusion of Banjo and Kazooie and Erdrick from Dragon Quest in Smash Bros. But the biggest surprise was the announcement of Breath of the Wild 2 which has sparked off huge amounts of speculations in the community who are hoping for a playable Zelda and/or co-op play. Personally I’d love to play as Zelda in this next installment.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday!

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Video Game Tuesday: Stadia

 

Hey all I’m back for this Video Game Tuesday with some thoughts on Googles upcoming Streaming service. It’s all about Stadia!

Stadia?: In case you haven’t heard Google is launching a streaming service platform for gaming called Stadia that will “supposedly” be able to play lots of games with maxed settings without any hardware except a controller and TV/Monitor.

What do we know?: Quite a lot, we know the controller will be $70 and that the base subscription will be $10 a month, which is pretty pricey although there is apparently going to be a free version of the service. In addition to play using Stadia at all in 2019 you’ll need to pay for the very pricey Founder’s Pack that costs $130. That isn’t even counting the fact that you can either wait for newer games to be added to the available library or pay for them seperately to play them immediately.

That sounds pretty great!: Yeah hold your horses right there pal, it’s not all unicorns and sunshine. First this is going to be absolutely killer on your data usage, with 10mbps being the recommended bare minimum to play games at only 720p and 35mbps being needed for stuff at 4K resolutions. Now unless you live in a big city, and that means on one of the coasts at least in the US, you most likely won’t ever be able to play using Stadia with any real reliability. So don’t be celebrating just yet, and Stadia hasn’t even been stress tested on a large scale yet, although last year’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was playable on Chrome. In all honesty it’ll probably be a nightmare, especially with games like Destiny 2 which is one of the headliners of the service. You’ll be subject to a bunch of lag most likely which will render multiplayer games like Destiny 2 completely unplayable and not at all enjoyable.

So this is doomed to failure?: Probably, I mean this is incredibly ambitious and honestly I just don’t think the US or any other country except maybe Japan has the infrastructure necessary for such a service to be successful.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday!

 

Video Game Tuesday: Thoughts on the Bungie/Activision Split

Hey all I’m back with some thoughts on a subject that was often a topic I was asked about while I was taking a break for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. It’s my Thoughts on the Bungie/Activision Split!

So did you see this coming?: Yes and no, honestly if I was some of the investors at Activision I’d have been pissed at Bungie for the absolute pathetic showing they gave us with the original Destiny. The Taken King was a big step in the right direction, but after that came the filler that was Rise of Iron and the absolutely atrocious Destiny 2. Forsaken was actually quite fun, but that was only for a few months and still was highly exploitative of Bungie when you consider how underwhelming Black Armory was. So while I was a bit shocked at the turn of events a few months back I wasn’t surprised that Activision wanted to wash their hands of the clusterf*ck that is the Destiny IP.

But it’s a good thing right?: Yeah I’m going to say it’s got the potential to be a good thing, but until Bungie steps up and makes a game that actually can take advantage of all that Destiny could be I’ll be only disappointed with them. The fact that the game still lacks good space flight gameplay after all this time and so many various ship models made by the artists is nothing short of a travesty. I’d like to go around the solar system using my Thousand Wings and go back to various places like the Cosmodrome from the original Destiny. The fact that they bothered to tease it and didn’t let us go back to old locations is a travesty, and insulting to many players.

Honestly the whole losing all your progress from Destiny 1 to Destiny 2 was just as insulting, and while some say making a clean break is only a good thing I would beg to differ. If they were forced to make guns that outdid older ones like Midnight Coup or the IKELOS shotgun just to give the gameplay variations it’d only better the game in the long run. The fact that they continually add old guns like Thorn or Thunderlord to the game was just as much an insult as not letting us keep them.

I’ll be honest, I don’t see Bungie recovering from this in any conceivable measure in the next year and possibly never. They just lost all their Marketing and additional studio support that they had received in the past and used in “expansions” like Curse of Osiris or Warmind. They’ll need to work five times as hard with just the people they have on hand, and that will take away from the development time that could make Destiny 3, or whatever the next installment will be, better.

When Bungie split off from Microsoft, in a move really similar to what happened with Activision, right down to the people in Bungie HQ cheering, they pretty much fell off the map and weren’t seen for years until Destiny was announced, and even then the game we got years after that announcement was so far from expectations that it was a huge let down. I’m expecting the exact same thing to happen again, and while I can hope I’m wrong it’s not a large hope.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday.

 

 

Video Game Tuesday: E3 2019 Predictions

Hey all I’m back with my guesses for this year’s upcoming Electronics Entertainment Expo! It’s my E3 2019 Predictions!

No Next Gen Consoles: I fully don’t expect to hear anything about the next generation of consoles at this year’s E3, especially given that Sony is not even attending at all. We may hear about these later this year at stuff like Tokyo Game Show, or other events, but not at E3.

Slimmer Versions of Current Gen Consoles: This is a fairly safe bet, but it’s not a 100% certainty, though with the rumors of a portable mode only Switch abounding recently I won’t be too surprised to hear about at least that.

Price Cuts to Current Gen Consoles: This is also a fairly safe bet, though with Sony forgoing attendance who knows what will be announced in regards to the Sony side of the console market.

EA SPORTS: I mean come on, given the crap we get yearly from EA I’m going to be more surprised to hear they closed down the EA Sports studios rather than them announcing this years crop of crappy sports games.

Bethesda, BioWare and Ubisoft Kowtowing for forgiveness: I hope to see them fess up to their complete failures over the last year from the poorly done Assassin’s Creed Oddysey DLC, Fallout 76 being completely terrible and the Collector’s Edition Bags being utter garbage and finally BioWare’s utter screw up of Anthem, which is even more of a disappointment than Destiny ever has been.

More Smash Bros DLC Announced: This is a really safe bet, especially since we don’t have a clue on who is coming next to Smash Bros. Personally I’m rooting for Velvet Crowe from the Tales of series, Jenna from Golden Sun (because Smash Bros, and life in general, could always use more kick ass girls) and finally someone from the Fate series, preferably not a Saber class Servant but if it does happen it’d probably be Artoria, just to add to the utter craziness. Will they happen? Who knows, but those would be my preferred entries into the game!

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday!

Video Game Tuesday: Black Armory’s Launch was a Failure

I’m back with a familiar topic for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. It’s all about why Black Armory’s Launch was a Failure!

Black Armory?: Black Armory was the first DLC drop after Forsaken launched for Destiny 2, and it was a massive middle finger to the player base once again. There were many things I had faintly hoped Bungie had learned from in the past, but apparently five years into this series they still make really stupid mistakes.

Like what?: They decided to make the first new activity of the new DLC an activity that even people who had the very best gear the day before the DLC released couldn’t complete without being highly skilled premade group despite flaunting the ability to match make the activity and locked it behind a tedious grind. Black Armory wasn’t like past DLC that included Story Missions, Strikes, New Vendor Gear, New Exotic Armor, or Crucible Maps, instead it included none of those things, and just added a new activity and a raid that was locked for a few days after it’s launch that started off at a new gear level that was vastly over the previous cap. They included no ability to catch up for those who hadn’t reached that previous cap, so those who were just hitting 500 power level were still unable to even contemplate doing these activities until a month or more had passed depending on their luck. This has been lessened with a recent hotfixed change that made Prime Engrams drop more often up to the 600 power level cap, but that’s a really shitty bandaid that doesn’t fix the issue with RNG deciding to give you the bird and still requires players to grind constantly.

The fact that the very first activity was geared for people at 630 power level was a big fat screw you to the player base considering the cap was 600, and getting 1 or 2 increase in power level is a serious grind for everyone at the level.  People who had stocked up multiple bounties with Powerful Rewards and keys from the Raid could easily skip most of the grind and get a character past this with ease, but most people weren’t expecting to have to continue doing the same old content just to even think about doing the new stuff and still most likely fail.

This was a serious mistake on Bungie’s part, and instead of really creating a solution they hotfixed it the next day to give the activity a 5 power level decrease in total, meaning people had to spend only a day or two less in a very lucky week to get to that level. I’ve long held that Bungie has no clue how to properly communicate with their consumers, and this is another mark in the long list of proof I’ve been keeping of this fact. I had been playing Destiny 2 nearly daily since Forsaken up to the release of Black Armory, a thing that hasn’t happened since the Dark Below way back in 2014. That quickly changed when I was told to continue the grind just to do a new activity that wasn’t really all that fun in comparison to the work required to do it. I’ll be deleting Destiny 2 off my PlayStation’s hard drive once again and I’ll hope Bungie gets a clue in the future on how to treat their player base, but it’s a tiny hope now and I expect only more screw ups from them.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. Have a Merry Christmas everyone!

Video Game Tuesday: Thoughts on Blue Mages in FFXIV

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m back with my thoughts on a big announcement that happened a few weeks ago. It’s my Thoughts on Blue Mages in FFXIV!

Blue Mage?: So announced at the Las Vegas Fan Fest was not only the upcoming Shadowbringers expansion but also the announcement that Blue Mages would be coming in Patch 4.5. This has been met with some major ripples in the community and it’s pretty torn up about it.

What do we know?: That it’s going to be the first “Limited Job”. It’ll start at Level 1 and will be capped at Level 50 for a while before the cap will be raised in the future. In addition it’ll be barred from doing anything with Matchmaking, from PvP to the Random Dungeon Roulettes and the current 24 man raids if it ever reaches the current level cap. What it won’t be barred from is premade groups which means you can tackle any older content and theoretically any newish content that’s still level relevant as a Blue Mage in a group. We know we’ll be learning various abilities from monsters, including bosses like Shiva, and that the powers are going to be pretty freaking broken (as in really imbalanced in the favor of the player) with a total of 24 usable at any one time but with 49 in total that we’ll have to pick and choose from. To learn the abilities we need to merely see it in action and we may learn it. It’s not a guaranteed thing, so there is an RNG element added into it. We know that they’ll gain XP much faster than any other job in the game, so it shouldn’t be a burden to level them up just by killing mobs out in the world or doing level relevant FATEs. We know that the weapon will be a cane and the aesthetic will be the more classic take on the class rather than the more Middle Eastern versions from the Tactics sub-series. Finally it’ll have a special Blue Mage specific solo instance or challenge area called the Masked Carnival and that it’ll take players using their various abilities with high amounts of skill to perform well.

How do you feel?: Pretty excited, because Blue Mages have always been more than a bit overpowered if they had the right skills in the right situations and could pretty much kill anything with ease when those conditions were met. That doesn’t seem to be changing with it’s implementation into FFXIV. If anything this will make playing as a Solo player really fun, and those who use the class skillfully will be able to solo stuff much easier and be able to do older content without having to worry about sharing loot with other players. That isn’t to say that they can’t and won’t do content with others, if anything people will be running old group content with a mix of higher leveled classes and Blue Mages to learn certain abilities from specific bosses.

However I’m not a huge fan of the class aesthetic, and would’ve preferred the Tactics version’s. Especially since they had a perfect region in game that would make a lot of sense to have Blue Mages hail from if they went that route.

BUT WHAT ABOUT ME MAINING BLU?!?!: Look, it was never going to happen while feeling like playing a real Blue Mage. Having only limited monster abilities is just taking the class and making it another Black Mage/Warrior/Scholar depending on the role it would’ve been limited to. And before you bring up Red Mage being in a similar situation, it never was at all. They did an amazing job bringing the class to FFXIV and making it work in the classic holy class trinity without being either too overpowered or a completely underpowered class. Blue Mage could never fit in any of those roles without pissing off the other 2 roles and the developers know that. So they did something completely out of the box and made it the class to play as a solo player. Red Mage was going to either be a DPS or a Healer, and honestly they don’t need another Healer class, as they’ve got the entire spectrum of healing covered from HoT healing to Shields. So they took the White Magic spells and mixed them with the Black Magic and made it a Spell DPS class that mixes them together to make Red Magic, which was always the core concept behind the class. It makes sense, and while they have a heal that’ll help in a pinch they shouldn’t be using it unless they’re in an emergency.

That’s my thoughts on the situation and I’m looking forward to playing Blue Mage as it sounds like it’ll let me solo some old content without other people which suits my generally lone wolf nature perfectly.

Video Game Tuesday: Setting Expectations

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m talking about the importance of a very key factor when discussing future games or plans for content. It’s all about Setting Expectations!

Expectations?: So recently we’ve had two really good examples of how NOT to set fan expectations both prior to announcing something and afterwards. The Diablo Immortal Issue, and Final Fantasy XV’s cancellation of almost every future DLC and PC support.

Diablo Immortal: Let’s get this one out of the way first. Blizzard royally screwed up with the announcement of Diablo Immortal at the recent Blizzcon. I don’t think I remember them screwing up so bad, ever. There was the Real ID fiasco that occurred years ago, but that wasn’t as bad I think. They could and had plans to announce not only Diablo Immortal, but also Diablo 4 as well at the end of that announcement. Instead they just announced Immortal, which was a huge freaking mistake. First hardcore gamers in general, and PC gamers in particular, all hate the idea of Mobile games, add in the fact that Blizzard was teaming up with NetEase to make Diablo Immortal and the whole situation looked like a huge betrayal of the Diablo fanbase. One of the developers incredibly poor response during a particularly pointed question during a Q&A session later only exacerbated the issue. They should have gone with their first plan, as it was would have been much better. People would’ve been upset, and arguably rightly so in some views. Having multiple teams working on separate projects for Diablo could be seen as overly ambitious, and division of potential labor towards the quicker goal of completing Diablo 4, as well as the blatant cash grab that was the initial response to Diablo Immortal. I don’t agree with the direction of making a Diablo game for mobile, first it seems like it could easily be a poor clone, and while the demo available was apparently okay, that was a controlled demo that was made to showcase the best of the game. The rest of the game could easily be a huge disappointment, and the response from the people who played the demo doesn’t rule out that possibility. The Blizzard seal of quality has meaning, and if they handle this poorly they could end up repeating Bungie’s mistakes that cost them pretty much every shred of credibility with the gaming community.

Final Fantasy XV: The loss of Director Hajime Tabata seems to be the root issue of this issue, and frankly it’s a huge disappointment. I was really looking forward to playing the second wave of DLC, and because it was announced I hadn’t touched the first wave of DLC. Now I’m not sure I will for a good while. I’ll probably have fun with the Final Fantasy XIV crossover stuff, but I’m highly saddened that Square Enix is cutting back on the entire DLC plan they had for 2019 and beyond. Unlike many, I was looking forward to seeing a different ending that would’ve been included in the Noctis DLC, as while I really enjoyed most of the game and the story, the later portions of the story were incredibly depressing. Knowing that we lost this DLC is highly discouraging and a huge black mark on Square Enix’s record of making Final Fantasy games for me.

How can Developers handle expectation better?: Honestly, knowing their consumers better would prevent many of these issues in my opinion. Nintendo lost many hardcore gamers with their decision to cater to the casual market with the Wii, and they are still feeling the repercussions of that decision still. Granted that the Switch is a huge success, but they lost a lot of trust with the decision to pursue gimmicky controls with the DS and Wii. Others should take note of their mistakes and keep them in mind when they are planning announcements.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday!