Video Game Tuesday: Bungie Can Do One Thing Right

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m covering one of the better things that Bungie can do, other than screwing up gameplay constantly for fans consistently. It’s all about how Bungie Can Do One Thing Right.

Huh?: So Bungie has always been known for their rather well done ARGs, or Alternate Reality Games. Now while this particular one was done mainly with Vicarious Visions, I have no doubt that Bungie had a hand in it. Stuff like I Love Bees. Now while these are all outsourced, they definitely were helped out by Bungie and they often get the credit for it.

But this one?: So players were given a puzzle in the latest Destiny 2 DLC which lead to a rather massive cipher and it lead to a message from an in game lore character from the first game. It also included a GPS location where there was two containers. One contained a replica of the Valkyrie weapon you get to use in the game temporarily and was given to the first person who found it. There was a second container holding commemorative gold coins for each person to visit the location. I have no doubt they are all gone and probably up on eBay already after the weekend that this was found, which was the week of the DLC launch. Honestly this kind of thing is really cool, though I’ll never get to take part in one really as code breaking isn’t my thing, too much numbers for me.

So give Bungie and their outsourced help credit for doing at least one thing right, their ARGs. If only they could make their actual games halfway as decently as these ARGs. That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday!

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Video Game Tuesday: Warmind

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m covering what we know about Destiny 2’s latest expansion. It’s all about Warmind!

Warmind?: Yeah that’s the title of the next expansion, and frankly the only sure thing we know about this. However there are reports and possible leaks by retailers like GameStop that gives us a look at what it’ll actually contain.

New Enemies: Yay? Frankly I could give less of a shit at this point about new enemies in Destiny 2. They weren’t significantly different from Destiny 1 with only a few additions to the already limited types of enemies. Supposedly the new enemies are called Crypt Exos, which may mean we face things that are roughly “Guardian” shaped and sized and have to fight more traditional humanoid enemies. Again this isn’t really a big change and if anything only more boring.

New Area?: We’re headed back to Mars, whether it’ll include areas from the first game is unknown but highly likely given what we know about the backstory of this expansion which is supposed to deal with the Clovis Bray facilities we last raided during the Dust Palace strike in Vanilla Destiny (If you played on the PlayStation at least). Again I don’t particularly care at this point, but even if just is the same map, which wouldn’t surprise me and I wouldn’t put past Bungie to just copy paste into Destiny 2. Frankly while Mars was an interesting location, like all of Destiny’s various locales it was fairly with sparse enemies. At least if they copy paste the map from Destiny into Destiny 2 we should be able to use our damn Sparrows.

Raid?: Nope, we are supposedly getting another “Raid Lair” activity. This is highly disappointing. At least the Dark Below gave us the Crota raid even if it was ,and still is to the best of my knowledge, a buggy mess.

Horde Mode?: Another thing we are supposed to be getting, and frankly again really disappointing. Firefight hasn’t changed all that much since the Halo ODST days and Prison of Elders wasn’t all that different from that mode Bungie first made in 2009. I’m expecting nothing more, and just more disappointing stuff.

Story?: Supposedly we’ll be getting a story, but again I find that I just don’t give a fuck anymore. None of my friends regularly plays Destiny 2 anymore and I’m not suprised in the least, because it’s a freaking terrible game.

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

Video Game Tuesday: Violent Games Are Not The Problem

I’m back with a topic that is really starting to piss me off for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. Violent Games Are Not The Problem!

What?: So recently our beloved leader of the United States Vladimir Putin Trump, and no I don’t like Trump if you can’t tell from me implying that he’s a puppet of a foreign government, stated that he believes that violent media, namely movies and Video Games are at fault for influencing people to become more violent. I have so many problems with this bullshit that I could rant for ages. I won’t though, and will stick to a few paragraphs at most.

Video Games Do NOT Cause Violent Behavior: The American Psychological Association (APA) has stated in a recent memo that there is no viable link between violent games and movies and violent behavior. These are people who perform hundreds of studies and actually know what the fuck they are talking about. So the next time you turn on the news, and no Fox isn’t actually a news channel it was made for sensationalism not accurate or even coming close to factual reporting; and hear a person saying video games are the problem, ignore them. They have no idea what they are talking about. Besides if that was the case, and it isn’t because even watching an episode of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood could cause a kid to become violent, there would be so many mass shootings around the world that most of humanity would be dead or hiding in the ruins of civilization.

Here’s the quote from the APA “The less publicized, more scientifically sound view [is] that little evidence exists that playing violent video games produces violent criminal behavior”.

So when Trump announced his meeting with video game industry leaders I was more then a bit pissed off. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened, in 2013 Vice President Biden held a similar meeting with industry leaders and it went nowhere because they aren’t the issue. Easy access to guns and poor mental health care are the things we should be focused on. The fact that so many people with mental health issues are not being helped by the government is a huge problem, and it’s not just an American issue.

We don’t as Humans have enough care for people with issues like severe depression. So many people believe that it’s something you can just get over, and that’s patently not true. I’ve dealt with severe depression for many, many years and it has never once gone away. I’ve had times in the past where I was almost able to forget the negative sides of myself, but it never fully went away. There’s always a part of me telling myself that I’m an utter failure and waste of oxygen. That I should just give up and find some shallow ditch to lay down and die in. But I’ve never once performed a criminal act of violence against another person. And I’ve been playing video games longer than I’ve known and felt my severe depression.

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

Video Game Tuesday: Bungie’s at it Again

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m back with a warning against holding high expectations for a company that doesn’t deserve your patronage. Bungie’s at it Again, and this crap is getting old.

Again? Really?!?: We’ve been here before, many, many times. I’m almost considering making an entirely separate category on my Blog for Tuesday posts that deal with me bashing Bungie. I’d name it Bungie Bashing Tuesdays, or something like that. The fact that I’m even jokingly considering this is mind blowing. I won’t because I’m much too lazy and unwilling to give Bungie the even minimal respect that such a column would give them, even if it’s disrespectful on the most part. So when they made an announcement this last week with their plans for 2018 I’m not going to give them the time of day anymore. I don’t care that they are trying to make up for their mistakes. The fact is really simple, we’ve done this crap before every freaking year since Vanilla Destiny has launched.

We’ve been locked out of content before, with the Dark Below “expansion”. We’ve had massive changes occur for gear before, with House of Wolves and than the Spring Updates (seriously every freaking year). We’ve had all our gear become essentially useless with The Taken King, and the following Spring Update. They’ve promised to listen to their fans, they’ve promised to be more transparent, they’ve promised to not make really freaking stupid mistakes like Legendary Engrams not dropping Legendary Gear, Pushing Atheon of the edge, or their Public Events being worthwhile #TwoTokensAndABlue. We’ve had this told to us so many times that even Kotaku, whose writers are pretty forgiving compared to me, is getting tired of their bullshit.

So please, don’t spend that Holiday gift money, on Destiny 2. Stop buying or pre-ordering their content. They don’t have a reliable track record anymore when it comes to actually delivering a lasting solution to problems their games have. The fact people have started making shirts clearly ridiculing them is not a good sign for the games they make. But hey, at least I have content to bash every year around this time.

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

Video Game Tuesday: Things to Improve in 2018 Edition

Happy New Year everyone! I hope all is going well and you’re enjoying the first day of this New Year as much as I will be, hopefully. I’m back with a couple topics that could really use some attention for this week’s Video Game Tuesday.

Transparency: Lots of games failed to do this and made the players do this on their own. When games start treating players like tools and walking cash cows, they need to be stopped. Destiny 2 has had repeated failures on this part, and frankly it’s insulting at this point. Having your game limit you and tell you it’s doing otherwise when it comes to something as basic as earning experience points is unacceptable. It’s exploitation of gamers and everyone knows it. Doesn’t matter how many PR sprinkles you put on it, it’s still a pile of horse shit.

Communication:  If you are running a game that is getting content updates, regularly or not (I’m looking at you Destiny and Bungie), there needs to be a lot more discussion into future plans so people can A. Look forward to it and B. Know that the developers aren’t just taking their money and running off. Final Fantasy XIV and it’s Dev Team headed by Naoki Yoshida is an often used example of mine of how to do this right. So again please take some freaking notes!

Loot Boxes: Let’s all agree that these need to follow some simple guidelines in the future. First way of doing this is that all things in Loot Boxes are cosmetic in nature. Nothing earned from a Loot Box affects gameplay at all, in any way, shape, or form.  The second way of doing this is the Fate Grand Order example, where it can affect gameplay, but you just have to re-roll for a decent 5 star servant that you want. However the kicker is that you can’t have any form of competitive modes AT ALL. Finally and this applies to both ways of doing this, it has to be potentially attainable through purely gameplay means, which means that if you grind or wait it out long enough you could potentially get what you want from these loot boxes.

Net Neutrality: I’m trying to make this horse into so fine a paste that it could be sipped in through a fancy twisty straw like those you see used by kids who just had dental surgery. This shit matters, please don’t let it die. And hey I’m not saying riots in the street are necessary, it might be justified but it’s not necessary. Check both of of my two links in the this paragraph to see some simple things you could do.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. Happy New Year!

Video Game Tuesday: My Games of the Year 2017 Edition

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m covering my picks for my favorites of this year. It’s My Games of the Year 2017 Edition!

Best Gameplay: Tales of Berseria is by far my favorite JRPG of all time, it’s got an amazing combat system and an equally amazing story with a really kickass female lead who has tons of character depth. Berseria allowed even people with minor physical disabilities like myself to enjoy the hell out of the combat system while still feeling like you were growing in skill along with the characters growth in the game. By the time I was done playing this game I was at the hardest difficulty setting in the Post Game Dungeon beating the hell out of enemies with Mystic Artes Chains while doing tons of damage. Not many games allow for people to really grow into the combat system and still feel like it’s got depth enough to be interesting endlessly. Berseria captured that quality easily, and that’s why it’s getting my Best Gameplay award.

Best Story: This was a close one for me between Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood and Tales of Berseria. However as Berseria is it’s own complete game and FFXIV is somewhat episodic given it’s nature, I had to give the award to Berseria.  It was really close though.

Best Artwork: I might hate everything else about the game, but Destiny 2 was pretty freaking beautiful to look at. However that’s about the only good thing it had going for it. However tying this was Stormblood, it’s got a less realistic art style, but it’s no less beautiful and it had a hell of a lot more locations to explore.

Best Musical Score: Final Fantasy XIV has always impressed me with it’s amazing musical score done by the incredibly talented Masayoshi Soken. The only gripe I have is that the Stormblood OST hasn’t been released yet! I want to listen to the sounds of the Azim Steppes while I’m writing or enjoying the thrilling pace of Stormblood’s exquisite Primal fight themes while on a walk to the store. Needless to say that Stormblood impressed the hell out of me, and while the currently released music of Stormblood hasn’t exceeded the awesomeness that is the Sophia boss theme it’s equaled it many, many times.

Best Mobile Game: Fate/Grand Order wins this one. Sure it’s got some serious grinding going on, Christmas Stocking farming sucked, but the story and lack of any competitive mode made it the top Mobile Game for me. I don’t like PvP modes all that much, so the fact that F/GO doesn’t have one isn’t a bad thing.

Overall: This was a really close one for me, but Berseria beat out Stormblood based purely off the same fact that it’s not an MMO that has content patches. That enclosed experience was amazing, and while Stormblood is without doubt the most fun I’ve had playing a MMO including the days of Tarren Mill versus Southshore on a PvP server, it isn’t a fully enclosed experience. So Berseria wins this one again.

Runner up: Stormblood for reasons stated above.

A Distant Third: Fate/Grand Order, it’s at least upfront about what you’re getting into, unlike a certain space shooter…. even if you have shit luck at anything RNG like me.

Video Game Tuesday: Destiny 2’s Seasons Aren’t Enough

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m talking about why Bungie’s plans for the futures aren’t what players are looking for. It’s why Destiny 2’s Seasons Aren’t Enough!

Seasons?: If you hadn’t heard, Destiny 2 will have “Seasons” which at the beginning of a new will reset many things like Clan Progress, Reputation Rewards, and Vendor Stocks. Frankly while this is a step in the right direction, it’s not nearly enough. I have absolutely no faith that Bungie will be able to keep up with a real full expansion’s worth of content every 3 months, which is the suggested time frame of each Destiny 2 Season. They are supposed to be bringing in outside help, but even with that I have no trust that they’ll be able to bring something like The Taken King every 3 months. However that’s the sort of thing they promised prior to launch.

As things stand now, we probably won’t be getting a new raid in The Curse of Osiris expansion that will launch on December 5th. That single thing being absent is already a failure in many gamer’s eyes as the only real challenging content was the raids, not that the Leviathan Raid is all that hard compared to some actual MMO hardcore encounters. Many of my friends who were excited about Destiny 2, have already stopped playing simply because there’s no point in doing things like Prestige Raids or Nightfalls, the gear rewards in such things is pitifully lacking. The fact that it’s mere vanity isn’t worth the effort in getting all of us together to do the raid. They might be adding things like Prestige Lost Sectors (How?), or Flashpoints. However these sort of stopgap measures are just that, stopgaps. It won’t be enough to keep the player base interested in the game and they’ll move onto other games and forget all about Destiny 2.

So what can they do?: I don’t know, but Seasons aren’t enough at all. Maybe we could actually get to use our ships in real gameplay like a dogfight instead of having them just be loading screen vanity.  Maybe they can add Sparrow Racing as a weekly event like Trials. But with just Seasons it’s painfully obvious that they’re not looking out for the players best interests.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. What do you want to see Bungie add every three months to the game? Leave your answers in the comments below!